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Angel....or Mutant?

United States

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a part of Angel....or Mutant?, by Ichigo15.

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Ichigo15 holds sovereignty over United States, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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United States is a part of Angel....or Mutant?.

13 Characters Here

Marceline "Marcy" Bernard [48] "What? No Vamps raining from the sky today? Oh, wait, never mind..."
Matthew "Matt" Bernard [41] "The Vamps are coming for us? Gosh, really?"
"Sariya" Eins [41] "I'm not worthless... I'm not! I'm a person too, right? And that means I'm worth something... right? But if that's true... then why? Why does everyone hate me...? Please, don't leave me alone again!"
Samuel Echtin [39] "Running is so much easier than fighting."
Taylor Rice [37] "Life sucks right?"
Michael [29] "Fly away, cling to your hopes for freedom. I'll hunt you forever."
Marcus [28] Character Edited!
Euro [25] "How long do we have to run? I want us to have life...family life....a real life..."
Alice [15] "What is the world?"

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins
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This was a terrible idea. But there were other mutants. And they'd escaped from the Ward. Safety in numbers.

It was like those old cartoons where there's an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, except my devil was telling me I was going to get myself killed, and my angel was cheerfully chattering away about how nice it was that there were more bird kids out there.

Really, walking was just a bad idea, not to mention a tiring one.

I eyed the alley critically as Marceline gestured, mainly looking for sneaky little rocks or harmless dumpster kittens that one of us could trip over. Because that would hurt. A lot. I kicked a semi-flattened soda can off to the side, wondering if this idea would really work. Plenty of things could go wrong... but really, the hardest part would be actually getting off the ground.

I was about to mention this, but Marceline beat me to it, suggesting that Eins go before us. Pretty good idea, except a tug on my shoulder told me Eins didn't think so.

"What is it?" I asked, in the resigned tone of a person used to complications of life. I frowned and waited as she stammered, realization setting in as I pieced together her broken words. Oh, fantastic. I was quiet for a moment, determined to keep my sarcasm to myself and figure this obstacle out.

I mean. You can't just tell someone how to fly.

"Well..." I began, trying anyway. "Hovering is pretty much flying... kind of." I stopped, exhaled in one long woosh, and tried again. "Look, just get a running start and jump into the air. Your wings will do the rest."

Assuming she had the same instincts I had. Predicting her reaction, I added "Worst case scenario, you get a few feet in the air and then fall. But if you can hover, I don't see that happening."

I stepped away from her, further into the alley, to give her room. I couldn't imagine her not being able to fly... she might not be the best at it. But I was sure she could stay in the air, and I made sure that confidence showed on my face. We'd have to make sure Eins could even fly before we got into the air ourselves, otherwise we'd have to figure out how to land and...

Damn it. How were we going to land? But as I wondered, I could already see that we'd simply separate and drop the last few feet to the ground. Couldn't be that difficult.

Reassured, I turned to Marceline. "I guess we'll go for it right after her?" I asked, inwardly wincing at the awkward take off I was already imagining. I wondered if it would be a good idea to hold onto just her arm. Maybe I should get a good grip on her belt loop or something. But I didn't want to imagine the kind of reaction that suggestion would get, even if it was totally innocent.

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Alice

I grimaced under Mike’s conditions. They were, by the tone of his voice, absolute. Not that I knew how to fly. I mean come on, I’d been cooped up my entire life in Gunther’s lab. I’d never used my wings. Not being able to explore on my own, though, that one hit a tender spot. Even if Mike was locking me in room 24/7 I still had to stick with him. I was only learning as much as I was allowed to stray. Which meant I had no independency.

"Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I would like to ask you a question. If you choose not to answer, I will not be offended. Do you have any abilities, or powers that I should be aware of?"

At least he was giving me a choice. It wasn’t like he wouldn’t find out later. Somebody give him my files, and one way or another, he’d know everything about me, right down to my genetic make-up. So, might as well tell him now.

I sighed, before being my longwinded explanation. I would try and shorten it as best as I possibly could.

“First and foremost, you should know that I don’t have a pair of ‘parents’. Gunther’s not my real father,” I internally flinched when I said that but continued anyway, “I was born from the DNA of many of the bird kid mutants, including some of the ones you know…looking at it from that point of view, I have many parents.”

I twisted my fingers together as I began listing off my powers, “I have increased intelligence, for my age. It doesn’t mean to say I’m extremely smart. I just understand things quickly, and am smarter than the average child my age. Of course, most one year olds can’t do what I do. I can turn invisible for a small amount of time. It’s kind of like a shimmer, and I’m gone…but you can still hear my heart beat, my breathing etc. if you listen closely enough….”

I avoided Mike eyes for a second while considering if I should tell him about my last power. Sighing, I gave in. He would know about if I didn’t tell him anyway.

“I can shape shift…but not normal shape-shift…” Closing my eyes, I allowed myself to shimmer down to my much smaller six year old self, “I change the appearance of my age of so it seems.” My voice had risen about an octave with my more childish vocal cords.

Marceline

"Well..." Marcus seemed to be taking a shot at explanations. "Hovering is pretty much flying... kind of." He stopped abruptly, taking one long breath, before trying again. "Look, just get a running start and jump into the air. Your wings will do the rest. Worst case scenario, you get a few feet in the air and then fall. But if you can hover, I don't see that happening."

I sighed. I wondered if Marcus was just frustrated with her, or being a typical guy. I couldn’t tell, since I didn’t really know what the two’s prior relationship was.

I could feel my face softening, melting down to Mother-hen Marceline. I was pretty sure I had multiple-personality disorder, or something. Or maybe that was just me adjusting to the situation, like I’d always done for my brother.

Sighing, I pinched the bride of my nose before stabbing at an explanation of my own.

“Eins,” I said, trying to sound friendly, “Marcus is right. If you can hover, that means you have what it takes to fly. Besides,” I frowned as I stapled words together to form a coherent explanation, “Flying kind of has to do with the wind too. Flapping is to help you get up and stay aloft. The wind is what allows you to glide and stuff. The only time you really ever have to worry is when there’s little wind, which means you have put in some extra flaps…”I sighed. I could understand why Marcus had, had a hard time with this explanation. “You’ll understand what I mean when you get in the air…you’ll feel it, in your wings and body and stuff…Just trust me.” I said the last three words in the friendliest, most trusting tone I could muster up, before falling quiet.

I was never that…maternal…to people outside of Matthew. It was embarrassing. Clearing my throat, cheeks flashing red from embarrassment, I turned to Marcus, “I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Both you and I know that. This is going to sound awkward but...I don’t think you’ll be able to hold me arm or shoulder. I’ll probably end up with a broken arm, or popped out socket…so..I think…you might just have to hold me…like…around the waist…or something…”

That was it. My face was full blown red. I frowned, quickly turning to look at my friend, the wall.

God if there was a time to slap me, it would be now.

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Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Taylor Rice
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#, as written by TheFlag
Samuel


A small frown formed on Samuel's face, as he slowly looked towards his chair before scooting forward an inch or so. He wasn't sure how long they had been in the hospital it felt like it had been ages but he couldn't be to sure. Things were starting to get a bit weird, he didn't know how to describe the feeling he was getting, but it was as if things were getting creepier by the second, like a gradual change in the atmosphere. Samuel's head turned towards Matthew as he raised his hands and quickly clarified his position within the group, “Don’t look at me that way,” Matthew chuckled.

“I’m not the leader. If there had to be a leader, I would chose Euro, but he left our sorry asses alone..." Samuel winced slightly, still a little sore on the subject of Euro's departure. Samuel nodded understandingly towards Matthew, being a leader wasn't an easy task. "Well, anyway, I agree with Sam. I think we should get Marce, and get out of here. This place gives me the chills.” Samuel nodded again before muttering, "I know what you mean." Samuel paused before humorously quipping, "I guess we're a democracy for now..." he smiled slightly, before hunching over.

As Samuel looked forward, he began browsing through the waiting room, he had noticed for the first time there weren't particularly a lot of people in here, besides the gaggle of nurses which were frankly unnerving, in a sense. Samuel tried to laugh a bit but it sounded anxious and nervous, perhaps he had a phobia of nurses, he had no doubt that he most certainly had a phobia of doctors too, another thing to add to the list he guessed. Samuel turned once again on Matthew, as he browsed through the crowd of nurses, before spotting the one from earlier, he waved for her to come over.

"Yes, sweetie." the nurse spoke directly to Matthew in a condescending voice, Samuel focused on the pair watching them both anxiously. "Umm, can you tell us what room Marceline is in?” Matthew responded politely, Samuel nodded in union with Matthew's words. The nurse seemed to hesitate before speaking “I’m sorry but you and your….siblings,” siblings? Samuel recoiled slightly at the statement, before realizing Euro or Marceline probably made it up, so the story or whatever would fit more with the situation. “Can’t see your sister just yet. You’ll have to wait till the morning.” Samuel's eyes narrowed slightly and he tensed, he could feel a feeling in his gut that was telling him something wasn't right.

The nurse smiled before nodding her head. Then she walked back into the gaggle of other nurses disappearing from plain sight. Samuel had a feeling that they were trying to keep them here for longer, perhaps so the Ward could apprehend them. Perhaps Samuel was just being paranoid but it was better to be paranoid and free, rather than sane and in the Ward. Samuel could feel an uneasy tension settle over the hospital, and he sighed.

Matthew got up and gave a quick stretch, Samuel shifted forward out of his seat, before stretching his arms relieving himself of the tingly sensation of being immobile for so long. "So, who’s up for an adventure. Any ideas on which direction we should head?” Matthew spoke, and Samuel rose from his seat, before nodding "Always..." he paused before casually suggesting, "As for the directions, I haven't got a clue. I'm sure we'll figure it out though."

Samuel's head turned as he strolled briefly towards the waiting room's door and quickly peeked through. Samuel then turned backwards and walked back over before suggesting mildly, "We could always split up and search the hospital individually." he kept his voice rather hushed but still audible, "Or... if things get bad enough we could always ask the doctors... politely." he put emphasis on the word politely, basically he was suggesting shaking a doctor down for information.

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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"E-errr... It's not that I can't get into the air..." I explained nervously, pressing my fingers together and staring anxiously at the ground, letting my hood slip over my eyes in a futile attempt to hide how embarrassed I was now that the one behind whom I had been hiding had slipped from my grasp and stepped away. "It's just... I don't really know how to move around once I'm off the ground..." A quiet rustling punctuated my statement as I slowly unfolded my wings, being careful not to tear apart the fabric of my rather fragile new shirt as I did so, and slipped them out from beneath my concealing jacket. As the diamond-like appendages emerged into the moonlit alley, they seemed to glisten and shine like pearls, as though they were emitting their own light rather than reflecting the luminescence of the mysterious white satellite in the dark sky above. I didn't realize at the time that Marceline had probably expected avian wings rather than my own batlike pair, and thus didn't even take into consideration the suspicion this would no doubt cause.

I gave them a few flaps - it didn't take me much to get off the ground - and began to hover in the air as a sort of demonstration.

"E-er.... I know you're supposed to lean forward and keep flapping if you want to move, but... I've never really done it before, and... and I might fall..." I explained lamely, gently touching down once more and looking at the two "Angels" for guidance.

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins
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Flying 101: Learning To Propel Yourself Through The Air With The Wings God -Excuse Me, The Evil Psycho Scientists- Gave You.

If I couldn't say these things outloud, I could at least say them in my head. In case some people hadn't noticed, I'm actually not a very patient person. We'd been standing in this alley for a while now trying to get our act together so we could finally accomplish something. It was just one obstacle after another.

I'm surprised I've lasted this long without blowing up about something, but I figured it was only a matter of time.

Both you and I know that.

I realized I'd tuned them both out completely and recalled what she'd been saying. Oh, right. Definitely not a walk in the park. I'm sure I looked as relieved as I felt when she mentioned the thing I was inwardly wondering about. Really, it wasn't that big of a deal... but I would rather eat glass for breakfast than piss her off and have her leave me here.

"I... was actually thinking the same thing," I admitted with another half smile. "Just didn't want to say it." And I could tell she was embarassed, so I left it at that, like it wasn't a big deal. Which it shouldn't have been, but somehow it was.

I watched as Eins hovered... obviously she'd at least had practice at that. I tried to stop and think about what I was saying before I said it.

"Eins," I said thoughtfully. "The only way you'd fall is if you just stopped flapping or you aimed yourself at the ground..." I could feel my tone going dry and trailed off. With my luck, she probably would hit the ground and then I'd feel bad. "Okay, just try it and if it looks like you're gonna fall I'll help?"

Maybe we should walk. This was becoming a lot more of a pain than it needed to be.

"Besides, you did fine flying up that building earlier. Don't try to tell me that was just hovering, because it wasn't," I said, a little amused by the whole thing.

I glanced at Marceline. "I knocked a vampire out in a forest not too far from here. Needless to say, I'm kind of in a hurry to get away from here. But maybe we will have to walk after all..." I grimaced at the thought. I really didn't want to do that. For one thing, it was slow. For another... it was slow. And also I wasn't exactly let out for early morning jogs in the Ward and all this action had already made me tired. Which, being manly, I wasn't about to admit.

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Mike made note of everything Alice told him. He felt bad for asking such a personal question, but Mike had to know what Alice could do if they were ever in comabt. He saw Alice grimace after his conditions. Mike didn't like the rules either. He just wanted to duck his head down, to stay out of Gunther's eyes. He didn't want to constrict Alice. He was slightly surprised by Alice's transformation. This was one of the first emotions he had shown yet. His eyes were attentive now, no longer half asleep. He knelt down infront of her, so he was at eye level.

"Okay, now that you were truthful with me, I will return the favor. The thing is, if I let anything bad happen to you Gunther will kill me. I hope you can understand and forgive me for these rules I've imposed upon you. If you prove capable, then I will make exceptions. The more you learn, the less strict I will be. Plus a few sessions at the fireing range wouldn't hurt either." Mike liked to respond trust with more trust. It was a healthy relationship for normal people. Then again, Mike wasn't normal at all.

"I'm not asking you to trust me in any way, but if you ever have a problem, or a question about me for that matter. Feel free to ask it." Mike wasn't always cold, he belived that he was a monster with a morale code. Mike was by no means a benevolent man. He had blood on his hands that could never be washed away. He was locked in, forever on a downward spiral into more damnation. He calmly breathed in the air, and whistled a low tone. He closed his eyes and looked to his left, checking the guard patrols to see if they were in check. He stood up, and looked to Alice once more.

"I won't mandate which form you choose, but I only ask you don't shift in public."

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Alice

"Okay, now that you were truthful with me, I will return the favor. The thing is, if I let anything bad happen to you Gunther will kill me. I hope you can understand and forgive me for these rules I've imposed upon you. If you prove capable, then I will make exceptions. The more you learn, the less strict I will be. Plus a few sessions at the fireing range wouldn't hurt either."

I nodded complacently as Mike told me the truth. I knew for a fact that what he was saying was honest. I knew Gunther. He would crush anyone who got in the way of his goals. The Vampires were just another expendable tool that my father used at his own discretion. When he felt they were no longer good, he simply got rid of them.

So, I knew Mike was telling me the truth when he said Gunther would kill him if he were to let anything happen to me.

"I'm not asking you to trust me in any way, but if you ever have a problem, or a question about me for that matter. Feel free to ask it. I won't mandate which form you choose, but I only ask you don't shift in public."

Well, to be quite frank, that was a rather open invitation. My questions still burned in my mouth, but I held my tongue. I had a few things of my own to inform Mike on, things that, in certain respects, made me feel embarrassed. My clothing at the moment hung loosely around my body; of course being for a sixteen year old, they would have never fitted me perfectly. Still, they covered me, overflowing around my body, and giving me a hard time when it came to moving.

Shifting back to my normal form, I said, “You won’t have to worry much about me flying away…I can’t fly. I’m sure you’ll understand when I say, Gunther’s never allowed me out and about much. Also, by his orders, I’m to stay in my sixteen year old form whenever I’m out and about with you, so you won’t have to worry much about me randomly changing back and forth between forms.”

I hesitated for a moment. My ability to speak with others, through my thoughts that is, was a handy thing. While I wasn’t able to mind read, I’d been able to persuade people, or rather trick them, into thinking that I was the one thinking for them. They didn’t understand that their conscience voice and mine were too different ones. It had come in handy in certain situations between me and my father’s personal assistants and scientists.

Taking a deep breath, I continued speaking, “I think I’ll be able to keep my brain in check, and resist using any mind abilities with one exception. Or rather a request. I want you to teach me how to fly. A least give me times of the day, and places where I can go out and practice. Not that I’m planning to, you know, run away or anything.” I tact on the last sentence quickly, hoping to avoid any suspicion from the Vampire.


Marceline

I didn’t expect what I saw when Eins broke out those wings of hers. My shoulders stiffened, and I eyed them carefully. Marcus was either extremely oblivious to what Eins wings looked like, or he knew something I didn’t. I was going to go with the second choice. Because I understood from what he was saying, something about knocking Vampires out, that he wasn’t stupid. He clearly knew what danger was, so why would he be with Eins if she was a Vampire. But she definitely wasn’t one of us.

“Good job, Eins,” I called in a hesitant voice, trying to reinforce Marcus’s thoughtful encouragement. I’d tried to keep the uncertainty out of my voice, but it cracked anyway. I internally reprimanded myself. I didn’t want Eins to be afraid of me. Or did I? I mean, how would I be so sure if she was on our side or not?

Marcus didn’t seem to be bothered by the whole waist thing, and with my new found surprise, the blush from my face began to recede away. I could feel a pulsating pain come from my damaged wing, and I assumed it had something to do with stress. Because I was stressing out. I mean what had I agreed to when I told them about the kids back at the hospital? For all I knew, they were double agents, about to whips out knives and guns on my sorry ass.

Shaking my head, and still looking at Eins, I slowly put an arm around Marcus’s shoulder. I was too scared and unsure to be bothered by the contact anymore.

“We’ll be able to take off,” I said in a far off sounding voice. Then, in a low whisper, out of Eins earshot, I murmured, “Marcus, what is Eins? I mean” I subtly signaled to her wings with a casual flick of my hand, “What are those? On her back. They’re not, you know, wings like ours…” I trailed off, nervously glancing at the girl. My instincts had kicked in, and all of a sudden I was in flight or fight mode. I swallowed quietly, eyes darting to the entranceway of the alley. My only escape. Not that I could fly or anything.

(@ Abridged. I think perhaps you should have them take off in the your post. I don’t mind if you rp Marce’s actions. Then I’ll have her, you know, lead them to the hospital post after that. I don’t want this whole taking off thing to take too long.)

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As the nurse approached, I stiffened and gave her a stare down.

“Yes, sweetie.” She said and I narrowed my eyes. We were obviously teenagers so the fact that she was talking to us like that pissed me off slightly but I kept a straight face.
“Umm, can you tell us what room Marceline is in?” Matt asked.
She hesitated and then a bunch of suspicious popped up in my brain before I could stop them. “I’m sorry but you and your….siblings,” She started and I couldn’t help but grin slightly. “Can’t see your sister just yet. You’ll have to wait till the morning.”

Glancing at Samuel I could tell he had the same reaction. My face fixed into a tight scowl as I began to run my fingers through my tangled hair. It then occurred to me at what a mess I looked. Being on the run, escaping from near death.....yeah I don’t have time to worry about the small stuff.
"
So, who’s up for an adventure. Any ideas on which direction we should head?” Matt asked. Samuel got up. “Always...” he said and I followed his lead. “Sure” I said shrugging. Not like I had a party to go to anyway.
We could always split up and search the hospital individually." Sam suggested and I shuddered at the thought. One. I was partly afraid of leaving these guys. If something bad happened to them, I wouldn’t know and vice versa. Two. Getting lost in the hospital? Not fun.
"Or... if things get bad enough we could always ask the doctors... politely." He added and I snorted at the word “Politely”

“Right...” I said my voice sarcastic. “I think that could be our last decision” I said putting a finger on my chin as I thought. “Searching the hospital could be a first choice though” I say. “Individually...” I add a second later. It’s true that I’m against it but searching all together could cause problems and attract attention. We didn’t need any of that either.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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Well, while it was nice to see that they were encouraging me, and that evidently, flying shouldn't be a problem, somehow I didn't really feel any less nervous.

Truth be told, the only way I'd flown earlier was by hovering in the air and then flopping forward slightly before I panicked and righted myself... over and over again. I essentially was simply lurching myself forward, stopping, then lurching again. That was why it had taken me so long to surmount the roof of the building, not mention why it had been so difficult for me to get down again. But... they wanted me to fly, so... I would have to follow their orders. That was the only way.

"O-okay... I'll take off then, and try it..." I murmured, not sounding entirely convinced of the safety of these actions even though I was the one doing them. Still, it was the only choice, so I couldn't complain. I was a servant, which meant that doing something like that was out of the question, as was failing in my duties. They wanted me to fly, so I would have to fly, no matter how scared I was or how many times I fell. I couldn't have them worrying about me, nor could I afford to slow them down by being burdensome. So, slowly, I began flapping my wings again, and bit by bit I rose into the air. Not wanting to be unable to see my surroundings, I swiftly pulled back my hood once I was high enough that my face, and the fear in my eyes, wouldn't likely be seen. I didn't take into account, of course, the fact that my long, white hair immediately came flowing out and trailed behind me as I rose like the tail of a comet. I, myself, didn't realize at the time exactly how strange my hair was. It wasn't just that it was white, which contrasted greatly with my age. No, my hair was even stranger than that. It quite clearly had never greyed nor been bleached it dyed. Rather, it was obvious that my hair was naturally that color. Its hue, unlike what one would expect, was a pure, silvery white, like the light of the moon in reflected, or like the pureness of snow I had never seen. It seemed more like a void of absolute color than a dimming of whatever hue it had originally been, almost as though it was glowing with a light of its own rather than merely shining with the glistening moonbeams that filtered through its soft, straight strands.

A few more flaps, and I cleared the alley, floating upward with a speed I was rather concerned about. Unfortunately, due to my small form, I couldn't help but rise quickly, even given my rather small wingspan and my wings narrowness. Soon, I found myself stabilized somewhat as I floated over the alleyway, gazing down at the city below. For a moment, I couldn't help but shake off my fear and be consumed by awe and wonder. I never had dreamed something like this could exist, even here in the outside world. Vast expanses of masonry, lights gleaming from every surface... people bustling around beneath me, moving with a chaos despite the completely ordered cityscape around them. Each one of those tiny shapes was a living, thinking being... a "Human." I hadn't seen many of them, and couldn't help but wonder at how intricate, and yet how normal they were. This was the life form upon which I was based, a being that did not know the joy of soaring without limit above the clouds, of spreading one's wings and rising through the boundless heavens. Then, it struck me. I didn't know what that kind of freedom was like either. It might have seemed a little conceited, and more than a little foolish, but just this once, I wanted to act for myself... to feel what it was like to be "free."

And so, my curiosity and delight overcoming my fear for an instant, I cut out two flaps from my usual routine, and leaned my body forward, letting myself slowly begin to arc out into empty air, as though stepping off of a vast cliff. Then, forcing my body forward with an inexorable will, I began to flap my wings faster than I ever had before. There was only a mere second or two of acceleration, and then, I was off, rocketing into the vast and unbounded heavens. I streaked like a comet out into endless space, my flowing white hair and glistening wings trailing behind me like a gleaming tail as I eclipsed the moon, then banked to the side, slowing the movements of my right wing as I came about abruptly, my wings' protective covering the only thing protecting their delicate membranes from the strain of the sudden turnabout. Then, I turned my gaze upward, and with my wings beneath me, I continued to rise, my wine red eyes set firmly on the heavens as I spread my arms, aiming to grasp one of those tiny lights that seemed just a little beyond my current reach. As I pierced like an arrow through the clouds, I at last spread both my arms and wings to my sides, letting my momentum carry me as I slowly spun about, my flight beginning to dwindle as I rose on my final wingbeats into the endless heavens.

The world beneath me was white as I stared down from above the clouds, as though I, too, was a star in that unlimited sky, gazing down on the gorgeous world below. My eyes soon took in the entire panorama as I slowly spun, searching out over every inch of the immeasurable canopy beneath me. Then, with my arms spread wide for joy, I did something I had never done before.

I laughed. I laughed loud and long, my voice ringing out forever over the sky even though it did not reach the world below. In that instant, all of my fears were forgotten, for I had achieved what I and many others like me had thought impossible. I was flying at last, soaring through the endless world above the world that I had only dreamed about. I felt, for an instant, that my existence was validated, that I was meant not to serve, but to fly as I was now, from the moment I first took breath to the moment that I at last departed from the earth. If I had died in that instant, I would have done so without any regrets.

But, like all good things, that seemingly eternal moment came to an end. I felt gravity begin to take me, and with my wings no longer flapping to maintain my altitude, I slowly began to fall. For the first few seconds, I didn't do anything to stop myself, so transfixed was I by the new and unimaginable beauty before me. But, moment by moment, the realization came to me that this was a world in which I could not remain. I had enjoyed being a star, and overlooking the Earth, but for now, there were things I yet had to do before I could enjoy this moment forever. I had left my masters on the ground, and it was time I returned to them.

"I'll come back," I whispered to the heavens as my voice was drowned out by the air rushing around me as I once more pierced through the clouds, and began to fall.

Spreading my wings to slow my descent, I gave several powerful flaps until I found myself slowly fluttering downward, like a feather dropped from a height as it sways back and forth, seeming to go down in slow motion. Slowly, tentatively, I finally managed to calm my stressed nerves, and, overcoming my panic, I landed on the roof over the alleyway I had only just left. Gazing downward, I decided to wait here and see when my masters would come up to join me.

That was right... I wasn't born to be a star. I was created to serve, and until I had completed this duty, I would simply have to wait. Still, I had to admit... it seemed like before my eyes still was not this mundane world where one's feet must always touch the ground. Rather, the world I still saw, even after I had left it for the time being, was the unlimited sky.

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When I saw the look on Eins face when she agreed, almost helplessly, to try flying, I almost considered telling her to forget it. Almost. Then where would we be? Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what you have to do.

I noticed Marce tense up when Eins' wings came out and mentally smacked myself for not explaining or giving her any warning. What if she thought I wasn't trustworthy? What if she was too suspicious of Eins to allow us to help her? But she said nothing, and I watched as Eins began to hover and rise higher in the sky.

I had to admit, I was impressed with her ability. Hovering was probably the most energy consuming thing I'd ever done... it took a lot of work and you didn't even go anywhere. She made it look easy.

Seconds after that, she was high enough that I had to "zoom in" a little to see her, which is kind of like squinting, except that it actually works for super powered bird kids. Did she really want to go that high when she was afraid of falling? I saw that she was still hovering despite the fact that she was rising, and wondered if I should say something, or go up there and help, or something. Instead I found myself watching her intently for any signs of clumsiness or... any actual proof that she didn't know how to fly.

Like I said, suspicion always drops in at some point to say hi, usually when I least expect it. She did seem a little shaky at first, but she moved as if she'd done it before... but it could've been instincts. Probably was instincts. I hadn't had any problem flying except for that one terrifying moment of pure disbelief and doubt, right before I rose into the air.

Eins went high enough that I actually began to have trouble seeing her, and my attention began to drift. Just in time too. I noticed Marce moving, but despite the fact that she was moving slowly, I was still glad I'd gotten enough of a warning not to do something stupid when her arm went around my shoulder. Like, I don't know, attack. Or jump back and shriek like a girl. Or forget how to speak English.

We'll be able to take off

"Yeah," I agreed, wondering why we were still standing there. Then Marce began to ask the questions I kinda expected to hear when she saw Ein's wings.

"I don't know," I said, sounding tired even to my own ears. I didn't want to go into this story right now, but Marce looked uneasy, and I didn't want her to be suspicious of us. "Remember that Vampire I mentioned? I knocked it out because it was attacking her, even though I didn't know her. It was trailing me, but disappeared when I fought it's friend, so I followed it into the woods. It was kicking her tail at first, it was really vicious... and then she started to fight back just as viciously, out of nowhere. To be honest..."

I hesitated. Did I really want to mention how paranoid I was? I started to talk again, quickly now, because I could see Eins beginning to descend.

"I thought that it was a trap to lure me in, even though the Vampire couldn't have predicted that I would've followed him into the woods. But then she started getting her tail kicked again and I jumped in. And she seemed to think I was going to take her head off next, which didn't help my suspicion any. But she started doing that beaten dog routine and I stopped worrying about it. Well, actively worrying about it."

"Now everytime I express any kind of emotion she acts like I'm going to rip her head off." I rolled my eyes, tone dry. Then I became serious and added, "I've just kind of decided to keep an eye on her... I'm not sure."

I decided honesty was the best policy here. I truly wasn't sure if I thought Eins was one of my enemies are not. I didn't trust her, but that was to be expected. I was actively fighting the urge to trust Marce just yet, just because I never knew what the Ward would throw at me, and this seemed to good to be true. That there would be other free bird kids out there.

And now, because I'd admitted that I didn't really trust Eins, I wondered if that helped or hurt what I began to think of as my "case". What would the verdict be, when we reached the hospital? Where we needed to be heading right now...

"Eins, you did good," I called up as Eins landed on the roof of one of the buildings. I actually wasn't sure that she could hear me, but I figured it was worth a shot.

I turned to Marce, shifting nervously and trying to get my serious business face on. "Guess we better get going too. It'd help me out if you put your arm around me..." And I proceeded to move to the side of her with the damaged wing, slipping an arm around her waist and focusing aggressively on calculating distance to distract myself from the awkwardness of it all.

"I'll follow your lead... ready when you are," I said simply, putting one foot forward to indicate which foot I would start running on first. I wanted to give all the visual cues I could, so we wouldn't end up flat on our faces. Because that would just ruin everything. But I'd also pay attention to hers, trusting my useful ability to help me out.

When she gave the word, I refused to hesitate and started forward, luckily at the same time she did. Yes, it was awkward, but not as awkward as I thought it would be. I loosened my hold on her a little bit to give us both room to get our speed up. The second I felt her tense up I did the same, tightening my hold again, and more or less managed to get into the air at the same time she did. From there on, I stopped concentrating on choreographed movements and concentrated instead on getting us stable in the air, flapping hard with my wings.

To avoid messing up the air flow around her one good wing, I tilted one wing up a little bit and found that this wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it'd be. Since she had that one good wing, I was really only handling part of her weight, and it wasn't taking much of an effort. I wondered how much weight I could handle. And then I sympathized with her, because I knew it had to suck to know that another person was the only thing keeping you from splattering.

I decided that it would be best not to mention this, since it would be the worst thing in the world to say right now. Sensitive and tactful, that's me. Maybe I should write a book. How To Not Offend People.

And maybe another book on how to avoid getting lost in your own little world.

I decided to look around for Eins and make sure we didn't leave her behind, though this was kind of hard to do since I couldn't twist around too much. After spotting her I glanced at Marce, half smiling, half frowning. As if to say, hey, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But it still sucked. Which was more or less what I was thinking.

"What now?" I said loudly, over the roar of the wind and the feathery, some how dreamy noise of wings flapping.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Marcus Character Portrait: Taylor Rice
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Matthew

I grinned when I heard Samuel say democracy. I like the sound of that. We were working together, rather than having someone be the leader. I hoped that wouldn’t change. So far we were doing a good job without my sister or Euro here to lead us on.

"Always..." Samuel said, nodding in response to my previous question.

“Sure” Taylor responded, shrugging her shoulders. I could understand the look on her face. It was one of those ‘we’ve-got-nothing-else-to-do-so-might-as-well’ looks. Which was understandable. It’s not like we were normal anyway.

"As for the directions, I haven't got a clue. I'm sure we'll figure it out though." Samuel continued, helpfully.

I smiled. His casual response was cluelessly optimistic, which encouraged me not to give up.

Sam’s head turned before he casually sauntered over towards the waiting room’s door, peeking outside. Turning on his heels, he walked back to where we were.

"We could always split up and search the hospital individually." he suggested quietly, "Or... if things get bad enough we could always ask the doctors... politely."

Both Taylor and I snorted at the same time.

“Jinx, you owe me a soda,” I muttered under my breath comically, suppressing a mischievous grin.

“Right...” she said sarcastically in response to Sam’s idea, “I think that could be our last decision”

Putting a finger to her chin, she looked thoughtful.

“Searching the hospital could be a first choice though…Individually...”

That seemed to be our resolve. It was a good a idea anyway. If we were all thinking on the same wavelength, then we all probably thought we’d look way too suspicious running out together, all huddled up, and looking for our “sister”. Not to mention the fact that none of us had a single idea about which direction to head in.

I bit my lip, “I guess we’ll be splitting up then.”

Glancing toward the entrance of the waiting room, I could see the hall conveniently split up into three paths, as though it were meant for the three of us. Left, center, and right.

“I’ll go right,” I declared, eyeing the right hall. I’d just made a split second decision. All the halls looked equally dreary, and I deliberated the idea of splitting up again. Still, if we stuck together, it’d be too obvious. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ward caught us faster that way. After all, we were in a hospital. A hospital, that, by the looks of the hall, was one huge maze. I swallowed noisily and nervously.

Taking a deep breath, I looked back the two of them, before smiling. Sticking my right arm out in the middle of the group, I explained, “We should probably do one of those things where people stick their hands in the center of the group and then raise them,” I shrugged, “It’s corny…but since we are a team now…” I let my thoughts trail off, "We'll meet up back here if anything."

I glanced at the clock. It said 10:15.

"After about an hour. So, like 11?" I questioned, still patiently holding out my hand.

Marceline

"I thought that it was a trap to lure me in, even though the Vampire couldn't have predicted that I would've followed him into the woods. But then she started getting her tail kicked again and I jumped in. And she seemed to think I was going to take her head off next, which didn't help my suspicion any. But she started doing that beaten dog routine and I stopped worrying about it. Well, actively worrying about it. Now every time I express any kind of emotion she acts like I'm going to rip her head off."He rolled his eyes, and I chuckled warily, "I've just kind of decided to keep an eye on her... I'm not sure."

I nodded, complacently taking in the information. At least, from what I understood, Marcus was still keeping an eye on her, unsure of her or not. He was a good guy.

In a matter of seconds, after his explanation, we were taking off. Synchronizing our steps, we took a running start towards the opening of the alley. If felt a little awkward, running so close to him, and I internally sighed in relief when he put some distance between the two of us, allowing us to speed up.

The take off wasn’t so bad. I could hear the heavy flaps of his wings, and I knew he was working extra hard to help stabilize us in the air. I myself was pounding my good wing up and down, hoping it would help him somehow, and feeling extremely sour, bad, and regretful for the situation I’d put him in.

When we were stable enough, he seemed to tilt one wing up, allowing us to flow almost fluently through the air. I grimaced. If Marcus let me go now….I subconsciously tightened my grip around him, loosening it when I realized how wussy that must have looked.

He glanced behind us, probably scouting out for Eins. Her little display earlier made me grudgingly sure that she could keep up with us. All that complaining for nothing. She’d done just fine. And that, my friends, is what happens when people underestimate themselves. I really need to stop talking to myself…

He turned back to me, half smiling, half frowning. This still sucked. I couldn’t move on my own, and was completely dependent upon some boy I’d met not but ten minutes ago to help me. But, in the end, we were still in the air. That was what mattered.

I smiled wryly in response wondering if I was doing the right thing. On the plus side, I’d just added two new members to our cracked up family. On the down side, I had no idea if they were good or bad. I had to make myself believe they were good. They were on the run from the Ward too…but…

I sighed shaking my head.

"What now?" He said loudly, speaking over the commotion our wings, coupled with the night wind, were making. I pursed my lips. We’d head to the hospital.

Tilting my good wing, I angled us the in the direction of the hospital, depending on Marcus to straighten us out. As if by instinct, I replayed his earlier motion; glancing backwards, I raised my eyebrows at Eins as if to silently say ‘keeping up?’

“We’re heading towards the hospital,” I said, trying to keep my voice level enough so that I was able to be heard. All of a sudden, I’d found my throat all dried up, and found myself rather tired. I really needed to stop stressing out.

“We’ll go in through the window I left from. After that, I think we’ll search for the rest of them. Then we can get the heck out of there, and somewhere….better…” It wasn’t necessarily safer, being out on our own. There was always the chance that some Vampire would get us. But it was better than being in a stinky hospital all day.

It took us about twenty minutes to reach the hospital, and sneak back in through my window. It was cold, but I peeled off my sweater anyway, wondering if either Marcus or Eins had realized that the blackish-red splotches on it were really blood marks. Walking around a hospital with blood all over your clothing wasn’t exactly the best way to go, and so I simply wrapped my arms around it. I was unwilling to leave it; it’d kept me warm for almost a month, and God knows when I’d get another one. If I kept it hidden it wasn’t such a big deal.

But my wings. It’d be hard to hide those with the thin black t-shirt I was wearing. Hesitantly, I turned the sweater inside out, so that the fluffy inside was facing outwards. Slipping it back over my head, I smiled dryly at the two of them.

“Wouldn’t want any nurses to see all that blood,” I glanced at the entrance of the room, “Eins you might want pull your hood back up. Normal people don’t have natural white hair.”

I loosened my own hair, before wrapping it up in a tighter bun. “People out there are going to be suspicious. As far as they know, I was in here alone. So we’re going to have to be sneaky.”

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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The sound of voices and wingbeats beneath me told me that my masters had taken off as well, prompting me to spread my own silvery wings and follow them as they clumsily rose from the alleyway below, like some sort of giant, two-headed bird. I might have laughed at how silly they looked, but it wasn't my place to do or think such things. So, instead, I focused on not messing up and falling to my death as I still worried I might do at any second. They'd gotten a head start, which meant I'd have to catch up to them, or be left behind. And, even though they were flying two on two wings, they were still moving at a pretty decent pace, and already had quite a bit of distance between them and myself.

Gulping down my breath, perhaps as an instinctive method of filling the air sacs located adjacent my lungs, I took two steps, reaching the edge of the building, then leaped off of it, giving a powerful beat of my wings at that same instant. With an almost violent force, I was launched into the air, carried for a moment, then propelled further by the force of my second flap. My initial leap had already carried me into the sort of lunging posture that was apparently appropriate for high speed flight, so now all there was to do was go forward with my full strength! In an instant, my mind was consumed once more by the desire to fly, and to fly as fast as I could. I wanted to be free to roam that unlimited sky, to defy the laws of gravity as I moved ever farther, ever faster into the heavens. At the time, I didn't even notice the strength this desire seemed to give me, and even if I had, I probably wouldn't have thought it anything unusual.

From what I could tell, there were three steps to flying. Firstly was the launch. Through the strength of one's legs, a powerful jump could be used to gain initial momentum, and to carry oneself from the ground without overly straining one's wings. I had picked up this art back in my old concrete world when I had hovered to keep my wings from atrophying. But now, I had found two more steps. The second was the first segment of actual flight. Through several powerful wingbeats, each punctuated by a large intake of breath to replenish my air sacs, I could continuously bounce upward, catching the wind and launching myself like a rocket both straight ahead and into the air. Once I had reached a satisfactory height, the third step was key in maintaining my desired altitude, as well as in gaining speed. You see, while continuous, powerful bursts of energy would keep me aloft, they would also carry me progressively higher and higher until I was finally completely exhausted. At that height, a stall and the subsequent free fall would surely be fatal, with no chance of recovery. So, I reasoned, I would have to keep my speed and height without going beyond my original intentions. In this endeavor, any excess movements would only serve to knock me off course and waste my strength, which meant that the goal for the third stage of flight would have to be maximum efficiency, with each movement flowing into the next: that is to say, continuous wingstrokes that were strong enough to propel me, but subtle enough to keep me at my current level of altitude.

Therefore, as I flew, my wingbeats grew progressively faster and faster while also becoming smaller and smaller. After about ten seconds of flight, I found that I was moving fast enough to cause my eyes to tear up, and mentally made a note to search for some kind of eye protection later. But, for now, I was overjoyed at the prospect of the sudden freedom I had been completely ignorant of until now. This kind of speed, this kind of absolute movement over an endless expanse of space... It was surely what the people minding their own business far, far below me had always dreamed of, and it was something only I could experience. That realization gave me a sense of pride as my wings seemed to stop beating entirely, instead simply oscillating up and down at such a pace as to be like a blur of white light streaming off of my back, a celestial halo that carried me inexorably forward, my speeds continuing to rise with every passing second.

The wind must have given a loud, ear-splitting roar as I abruptly came alongside, then, in the same instant, passed my comrades, for I could see their hair and clothing blown to the side opposite me be the sheer force of my passing, overcoming even the overwhelming pressure of their flight, the wind of which should have been enough to keep these things pinned securely behind them like the silvery hair that trailed out behind me like a mane of light. I gave a joyous laugh as I sped on ahead, blissfully ignorant of the fact that I might have actually been moving fast enough to create a small vacuum beneath their wings in my wake, which would likely have carried them both ahead and downward at a somewhat dangerous speed. Fortunately, I hadn't yet achieved a sufficient speed to make a shock wave of sufficient force to actually destabilize them, so this faux pas ended up being rather harmless in the end. "You were right! It is easy!" I called back to them as I slowly halted my flight by turning my momentum into an upward launch, then looping back overhead to come down beside them, at which point I hovered along on their left in the semi-standing posture to which I was more accustomed, the slow pace of which kept me by their side as we limped our way to our destination.

However, as I flew at speeds that, although I did not know it, I almost certainly should not have been able to achieve, I never turned my gaze backward. Consequently, I never even noticed the faint trail of glittering silver particles left behind me as I flew, nor did I realize that not all of the light emitted by my gleaming metallic wings had been reflected from the moon above them...

A few minutes of flight brought us to the building known as a "hospital." I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but from the moment I entered it, I felt suddenly on edge. The sterile smell of its rooms, the perfectly ordered white cupboards and drawers, the mysterious instruments laid out all around... It seemed, somehow, that it was too clean, or perhaps too methodical. Remembering the many thoughts and pains I had obtained from Jude and the other mutants back in the lab, I immediately shied away from anything and everything that I didn't recognize to be safe - which is to say, the entire contents of the room. All the fears I had felt in the places of my fellow prisoners in the Ward now flooded my mind, as though a chorus of invisible voices was warning me that this place was dangerous. But, I didn't say anything, although I felt my skin grow cold and didn't doubt that I had blanched somewhat since my energetic, enthusiastic smile in the skies a few minutes ago.

I was quickly directed to pull my hood up again, so I did so, letting its warm, comforting folds wrap around my face and restore some of the heat that my inexplicable terror had sapped from me. As I folded my wings beneath my jacket - although I wore it more like a cape - a question occurred to me, however, that caused me enough curiosity to momentarily overcome my fear.

"Err... Why does everyone keep saying that my hair isn't normal?" I asked innocently, my voice sounding curious and just a little bit hurt. I knew that normal people had hair, and I also knew that "white hair" was also a common expression among Humans, so why was my hair so different from theirs? I didn't realize that "white hair" didn't refer to hair so purely and naturally that shade that it could truthfully be said to practically glow with a light of its own.

(Foreshadowing...!)

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Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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“You won’t have to worry much about me flying away…I can’t fly. I’m sure you’ll understand when I say, Gunther’s never allowed me out and about much. Also, by his orders, I’m to stay in my sixteen year old form whenever I’m out and about with you, so you won’t have to worry much about me randomly changing back and forth between forms.” Alice said after shifting back into her normal form

Mike nodded, Gunther was very intrusive, he liked to impose his own opinions upon others. Mandating that they listen to him as if he was something more then an ordinary man. Mike had only met Gunther in person once, the ordeal hadn't been very... enjoyable. Had Mike known what kind of situation he was currently in, he probably would've killed Gunther that day.

“I think I’ll be able to keep my brain in check, and resist using any mind abilities with one exception. Or rather a request. I want you to teach me how to fly. A least give me times of the day, and places where I can go out and practice. Not that I’m planning to, you know, run away or anything.” Alice's request was innocent enough, plus Mike had planned on teaching her anyways. Mike also nodded once more. He started moving once more. Not knowing exactly how to teach Alice how to fly, Mike kinda took the concept and did it.

"Flying is really easy once you got the basics down. I'll teach you, and if you want, you could always fly above the woods around the facility without me. Everyone flies differently, plus I'm not the best when it comes to flying. I prefer a fight on the ground. I'll teach you the essentials, and after that you can practice in your free time." Mike finished.

"While we're talking about flying, we shouldn't fly in the city. If a bird kid sees us first we lose the advantage. I doubt we'll see any today." Mike offered advice, and he somewhat was deceptive about that last part. Mike only slightly doubted the fact that the bird kids still remained in the city. He saw Marceline get hurt in the fight. Claw marks across the wing, that would give the birdkids limited mobility. The night air was chilling, he looked up at the moon for a few minutes, then back to Alice.

"Ok we should get the basics of flight down now, we could fly the rest of the way to the city. The trick is to kick off of the ground as hard as you can. When you are at the peak of your jump, flare out your wings. It's important to move your wings as hard as you can. Gaining altitude is the obvious goal of talking off. The rest is just managing how fast you move your wings, and the angle in which you move them in conjunction with your body. I'll give you an example." Mike angled to his left, and walked into a clearing. Mike ran about ten meters, and jumped as high as he could. His large bat-like wings exploded from his back in a flurry of motion. He battered the ground with wind from his wing beats. Mike rose just above the tree line. He circled around Alice's position.

"Now it's your turn, keep in mind I don't need as many wing beats, because my wings are larger then most. You need to adjust to what feels right." Mike hinted to Alice that she would need a few extra wing beats. The night sky would cover Mike well. His black wing color would make it hard to see at night. Mike was a night predator, he could track and take down targets much better when he got enough cover to get close. All Mike needed was a longrange ability, and he would be the perfect hunter.

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As we crept in through the window (a process that wasn't nearly as easy as I made it sound), I wondered if I should shut it behind us. I decided to turn and shut it, in a small attempt to make myself less nervous about where I was. No vampires would be coming in that way.

I glanced around, trying to be casual about it. This place had the same sickly smell and look as the place I'd escaped from. The same weak lighting, the same cold, impersonal furniture and the same dim humming noises of machinery somewhere deep in the building.

I shivered and pressed my warm wings flat against my back, slipping into my leather jacket almost as an after thought. Well, at least we would be leaving soon, if what Marce had planned turned out smoothly. We as in us included. As in, we would be allowed to join her and the others and go with them wherever they went. I was determined not to let my excitement show, even going so far as to tell myself that things might not go according to plan. Since that only happens about never.

I turned a questioning look on Marce when she turned her sweater inside out, one eyebrow raised. I only nodded when she mentioned bloodstains, because in hindsight it seemed pretty darn obvious. I jerked around to stare at the door as a nurse clopped by on what sounded like horse shoes, but the nurse never opened the door.

Eins you might want to pull your hood back up. Normal people don't have natural white hair.

Good point. Why hadn't I noticed that immediately?

Eins responded with her typical cluelessness and feeling somehow responsible, I turned to reply. "Because the only people who have natural white hair are old people and mutant escapees, and obviously you're not old. People will notice and remember you... maybe the wrong people."

I turned to stare at the door again. People kept walking by, and I kept expecting someone to throw the door open and walk in. I felt like I was tresspassing or breaking some unwritten rule by being in here. Marce only seemed to confirm this when she said we would have to be sneaky getting out.

I turned a doubtful stare on the door.

"I don't think we could get out without saying we snuck in," I said. I didn't know much about hospitals, what kind of trouble would we get in? "Maybe... me and Eins should go back out the window and go in from the front. If they would let us in..."

I was oddly reluctant to go back out the window. It seemed to me that the moment I left, even for a second, she and the rest would simply disappear. Maybe she was trying to think of a polite way to get rid of us. But I didn't think so... I felt that she would come right out and say it if we weren't welcome.

(Sorry there isn't much content, I'm kind of at a lass as to what to say. Feel free to control Marcus if you need to for your next post)

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Character Portrait: Euro Character Portrait: Solo
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Euro and Aqua (Notice: I changed Solo's name, since Solo is too much of a loner name. She's now Aqua. I can't actually change the name, so I'm depending on you guys to know that ^.^)

I unlocked the door to our small apartment, hesitantly letting myself in. No doubt, Aqua would be sick with worry. The bag of Ramen in my arm crumpled nosily as I slowly shuffled in. Our apartment wasn't anything big. We didn't have enough money to afford anything special. It was a small thing, with a puny, diminutive kitchen, a small but empty living room (only equipped with an old couch, and an ancient looking lamp), and a bedroom, only just big enough to fit the full sized bed inside of it, along with one dresser that held most of our stuff. There wasn't even a closet.

"Euro!?" An excited but questioning gasp greeted my return. I could see Aqua's gray blue eyes staring me down from under the dim light of the lamp. The play on the shading between the mixture of lamplight and natural shadows gave her an almost suspenseful look; those gray, eyes glowing mysteriously under the lamplight, a blue tint that gave it a shining look, along with the anxious but serious nature of her expression. If I hadn't known any better, I would have been anxious myself. Or thought something was wrong with the baby. But I knew she'd just been worried about me.

"Aqua," the word was saturated with love. I didn't know what it was about Aqua. It wasn't just that we'd grown up together. Aqua had been made for me, for the purpose of keeping me "happy" during our time in South America. It was almost like she'd been raised to be my perfect half, my soul mate, for lack of a better descriptive word. As corny as it sounds, I believed it, believed that they had tinkered enough with the both of us that we couldn't help the almost absolute dedication we felt to each other now. Of course there he been steps to falling in love.

All I know of our early years was that I'd never felt "love" (in the sense of being in love) with Aqua. I'd just felt like she was a really good friend, a best friend, and we'd gotten along splendidly. I don't think that I had to fall in love with Aqua. She was there for me to be happy with, to be the half of me that kept me company in our lonely existence. I don't think they expected us to have enough knowledge or feelings to fall in love. But it happened anyway.

My mouth easily upturned into a smile. Seeing her was all I needed to be happy. Besides, with her sweet disposition and feeling changing powers it was hard not to be happy around her. She vibrated joy, even with our sucky living status.

"Where were you?" she asked, carefully removing herself from the couch to come lean into me. He round stomach pressed against me and I found myself looking down.

"He kicked," I muttered. That's right. Our baby was a boy. As soon as Aqua had hit three and a half months we'd taken her to a doctor to get him checked up (after all, we needed someone to tell us our baby was okay). The doc had said it was a healthy little baby boy. Yeah, yeah, I know people like to be "surprised". But we didn't have the money to be surprised, and I definatly didn't want my baby boy toddling around in pink clothes.

She nodded, tiptoeing to give me a light peck on the mouth, before repeating her question, "So, where were you?"

I hesitated. Then, as carefully as I could, I threw the Ramen onto the overflowing kitchen counter (small = overflowing, even with a small amount of food on it).

"Love," I said quietly, "After you eat, get packing. I think we have to head out of Arizona."

And those bright gray blue eyes turned up to look at me with shock.

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Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Taylor Rice
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Samuel


Samuel's head cocked forward slowly in a tired manner. It seemed fairly tranquil at the hospital which made it seem all the more unnerving, but even in this situation Samuel could not help but feel tired, he had been on the run for days. Mostly without sleep, and even when he did go to sleep it only lasted a few brief minutes, which really didn't help. It came to Samuel as rather funny, that his body was probably just running purely on adrenaline, his supply was beginning to run out however, and he wasn't sure what he'd do then. Samuel pondered how long it'd be until he began seeing hallucinations of the sort, but he seriously doubted that he'd be able to keep himself up that long. However his tiredness was beginning to hinder him, as his thoughts were beginning to cloud, and it was getting harder to think clearly, but he'd pull through. He always had after all.

“Searching the hospital could be a first choice though" Taylor paused before adding not a second later, "Individually." Samuel gulped at his own idea but nodded in unease, he didn't like this, but it seemed like the most logical think to do, they'd look a lot less suspicious that way, and plus they'd cover more ground quicker, allowing them to get out of this creepy place once and for all. Samuel's pessimistic mind however, began noting all the bad things that could happen alone: if he disappeared none of the group would know; plus being alone did make you a rather easy target. But then again Samuel was used to being alone, the prospect didn't seem that bad, and he was sure that if he played his cards right, everything would turn out okay (although a big portion of himself was convinced otherwise.) Samuel drew breath, before deciding it'd be best not to think on it.

Matthew bit his lip before saying “I guess we’ll be splitting up then.” Samuel nodded morosely, before gazing at the pathways that awaited them. Ironically there were exactly three pathways: left, center, right he gazed at them individually, summing up the surroundings, most of the halls looked the same, and had little difference. It reminded Samuel of a book he'd manage to read in the Ward, which involved having to navigate out pf a labyrinth, of course there wasn't a Minotaur chasing them here, but he still felt it had a loose connection and some relevance, he felt a lump in his form and he shuddered at the thought.

“I’ll go right,” Matthew declared. Samuel nodded wearily before looking down towards the ground in deep thought. Samuel's head slowly raised back up, and came into focus, "I'll go left, then." his voice was anxious, and the tone was rushed. Samuel didn't like this, and wanted to get it over with as fast as he could. Samuel's eyes slowly wandered over to the left hall, nothing looked out of place in regards, and it seemed like any other part of the hospital, he nodded again reaffirming his decision.

Samuel kept his focus, and glanced towards Taylor awaiting her decision, which was rather pointless as there was only one option left: the center. As Matthew put his hand in the middle of the group, he explained “We should probably do one of those things where people stick their hands in the center of the group and then raise them,” Samuel raised an eyebrow before smiling, he guessed it would offer reassurance as well as comfort "It’s corny…but since we are a team now…” Matthew trailed off, before continuing "We'll meet up back here if anything." Samuel still felt a little dazed at the pace, but nodded, "Seems like a plan..." he commented casually, he noticed Matthew glance at the clock on the wall, "After about an hour. So, like 11?" Samuel's head lolled forward, as his eyes settled on the clock, it was 10:15 so in total they had 45 minutes, more than enough time. "Let's do it." Samuel said, eager to get this over with, and with that he stuck his hand forward.

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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Marceline

"Because the only people who have natural white hair are old people and mutant escapees, and obviously you're not old. People will notice and remember you... maybe the wrong people."

"Like I said, normal people don't have white hair," I snapped, irritated by the repeated explanations. Some small voice in the back of my head told me it was wrong. Told me I should have given Eins the benefit of the doubt, be more light about it. But I wasn't in the mood to keep up with innocent curiosities when I had more pressing matters on my hands. I had just brought two completely clueless mutant children in a place that I was most certain they didn't want to be. My lips pursed as I warily eyed the door. I wondered if the doctor from earlier was still seething about my "masturbation" accusations. It left me grinning mischievously, almost evilly, and, for the benefit of my two new mutants, I quickly wiped the smirk off my face. At this rate, they were going to start thinking I was insane.

For a while, I deliberated on what to do, while Eins and Marcus stood off idly waiting for, I guess, directions.

"I don't think we could get out without saying we snuck in," Marcus said, breaking the silence, "Maybe... me and Eins should go back out the window and go in from the front. If they would let us in..."

I scrunched my nose, unwilling to leave the two of them alone. Eins had already proved to be more than enough to handle, and I didn't think she and Marcus alone in the hospital would do any good.

"I don't think, if we were normal you'd get in any trouble. But I'm willing to bet whatever I have," If I was wrong there went all my clothes, "That a couple of those nurses have been informed about my present...condition."

Meaning my wings. A sighed, resigned to our plan.

"Here's how things are going to go," I said quickly, trying to give as much information in a little span of time, "We're going to go out there casually. If no one asks us anything, great. But if stuff happens, we're just going to wing it. No doubt the commotion is going to bring the attention of the....family," I smiled wryly as I thought of referring to Matt, Sam, and Taylor as my collective family. If Marcus and Eins stuck around long enough, no doubt they'd become a part of that family too.

"Once we're all together we bust out of here."

I didn't wait for their approval. Assuming they were following me, I carefully opened the door, walking out with caution written all over my face.

A male nurse immediately threw me a grief stricken look, "Miss you're not supposed to leave..."

"My ass!" I said, pushing a hospital cart into his stomach before he could wrap his too big arms around me. He was too fit, too muscular, and way too accurate to be a hospital nurse. I could deduce from this that we were probably surrounded.

"Run!" I screeched last minute dodging the same nurse from before.

(@ Abridged and Tsuk
You guys can probably go into a fighting scene. We'll be up against a few nurses (male and female) who aren't actually nurses, but rather gov't officials. The commotion should bring all the other bird kids, who have split up, to the same point. From there, I'm thinking los government officials will apprehend them and bring them in for questioning.)


Alice

I looked at Mike intently listening to all his directions and observing his take off. I grimaced when he hit the air, flying what looked to be a dozen feet above me and circling my position. My teeth gnashed together. It looked so easy that it was laughable how frightened I was of the actual take off. Him circling me didn't make it any better; I could barely imagine myself getting in the air, much less angling myself enough to go round and round.

But I was determined not the let that deter. Putting on a confident face, I gave myself some space, trying to mimic the amount of the space Mike had given himself. He was taller than me so the space was no doubt more than what I needed to get in the air. My foot steps would not be as striding as his, and so I would be able to pick up speed in a relatively small space. The extra space made me feel comfortable though.

From what I'd seen of the bird kids, they didn't need to run to fly. I figured Mike was teaching me this was because I was just beginning. There was no way I was ready to just snap out my wings and fly from a stationary point.

Taking a deep breath, I snapped out of my standing position, racing forward. When I thought I covered enough ground to give me an adequate amount of speed, I jumped pushing my wings out, and pumping them fiercely in attempt to get in the air. And...it worked!

I smiled triumphantly for moment, before nearly tumbling out of the sky.

"Woah!" I yelped, forgetting about my momentary happiness in favor of trying to stabilize myself. I was not circling anywhere, at least not today. Looking up at Mike, I tried again for the grin. I didn't smile often, and the stretch on my mouth felt good.

"How was that?" I asked, as I waited for him to lead me on further to wherever we were going. All of sudden I was excited. What if I did see bird kids on this night?

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Mike was ready to step in at moment, his eyes were focused. Too concerned to daydream for even a moment. Mike continued circling, angling so the circle would grow in size. The war hardened Vampire hid his approval, and happiness for Alice well. He cracked a smile for only a fraction of a second. Mike couldn't afford to get attached to Alice in anyway, even if it was just pride of her acheivements. Mike noted her ability to fly, atleast she was better then Mike. When she looked to him, he gave a nod of approval.

"You did great, I fell on my face a few times before I could even fly at all. You're a natural, When you want to land just get as close to the ground, flare your wings a few times to reduce speed." Mike motioned her to follow, and altered his heading ever so slightly. Mike gave himself a wide berth, as he didn't want to hurt Alice with his larger wings. The city lights guided Mike across the moonlit terrain. He calmly shifted his weight, and flew closer to Alice. His voice boomed over the wind.

"We'll be landing at the edge of the forest, we wouldn't want any bird kids seeing our approach." Mike pointed down at the edge in the distance. After a few minutes of flying, they arrived at the landing point. Mike tucked his wings in, and plummeted, after he was only a few feet from the ground, he started flaring. Mike hit the ground running, from there he slowed it into a jog, then into a walk.

"Now your turn. I'm sure you'll handle this rather nicely." Mike called up to Alice. Leaves rustled around Mike, as the night air called to him. He was tired, but he still had a job to do. He was to protect and teach Alice, but maybe after that Gunther would focus more on the bridkids. Mike could just slip away without anyone noticing.

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Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Taylor Rice
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“I’ll go right,”

"I'll go left, then."

That left me with only one choice. “I’ll go straight” I said shrugging. I glanced up at the hall ahead of me warily. Matthew put his hand out though, saying “We should probably do one of those things where people stick their hands in the center of the group and then raise them,”

I grinned as I balled my hand up into a fist and stacked it on top of there’s. “Eleven it is” I said then added, “I’ll think of a team name later”

Heading forward, I turned and gave a small salute to the guys then turned back, taking a deep breath, “Well here goes nothing” I murmured under my breath. I didn’t look back and quickly slipped out of the waiting room, having no idea where I was going. I tried my best to avoid nurses and anyone who resembled some kind of authority. It wasn’t hard either considering the fact that everyone had more important thing to do than wander the halls. Eventually I came across a bathroom and silently hid out in there. One look in the mirror told me why some people had given me odd looks as I passed by them. I winced and then looked around. The place was pretty tidy and pretty small too. I glanced at the floor where the stalls were to check for feet and thankfully saw none. I let out a sigh and moved towards the sink, turning the faucet on. I splashed water on my face trying to remember what I was looking for again. Actually I think we were just suppose to be exploring. Wait, I can think of a team name now. I glanced up at the mirror. My fact was dripping wet but at least it was clean now. I grabbed one of those towels from the dispenser thing and dried my face off then began to repeat the process with my arms and legs. After a few minutes I headed out and resumed searching.

“Team….team…Gah this is hard” I muttered under my breath. The hallway seemed to stretch on forever but I was pretty sure I wasn’t lost. Doors were on the right and left side of me and every time I turned a corner, it either led into another hall way or a large space that eventually led to more hallways. God this was not gonna be fun.

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I nodded as my newest instructions were given, this time not by Marcus, but rather by the new girl. While it seemed a little odd to obey this person over my master - Marcus had saved my life, after all, which meant I now belonged to him, whereas this girl had simply appeared and requested our help... did that make her an employer? - he didn't seem to have any issues with the current circumstances, so for now, I went along with my orders. Making sure my white hair and wings were safely concealed beneath my jacket, I waited for the others to begin moving, then followed them out the door.

At first, everything seemed like it would go smoothly - that is, until we were suddenly accosted by a strange, uniformed man who immediately reminded me of the white-coated, gray-haired one who had always appeared vaguely through the slit in my door to deliver me my food and water. But this man was much larger than even that person, a thought which struck fear into me the instant I beheld him. Calling out that we apparently weren't allowed to leave, he reached out to take hold of the girl I could only refer to as our employer, only to receive a rather heavy looking cart to the chest instead. Stumbling backward, he was only overbalanced for a split second before he lunged forward, forcing the girl to dodge and cutting between Marcus, myself, and her. At that same instant, I heard swift footsteps ringing off the floor of the corridor behind me, and noticed a swift shadow rushing up from out of the corner of my vision. Giving a squeak of fright, I darted to the side just as the small form of a female nurse, her long black hair trailing around her like the tail of an evil comet, swung up her hand at my head, revealing in the process the glinting object which she was lunging toward my throat. I recognized the fearful thorn-like weapon immediately thanks to the fears and memories left me by those mutants whose minds I had comforted back at the Ward: this was a syringe filled with a tranquilizer, a chemical that would immobilize me almost immediately should I be struck by it. Before I fully realized what had happened, I had leaped to the side without a second to spare, the woman's hand plunging right through where my throat had been only a moment before as I ducked beneath her extended arm and rolled forward, again escaping only just in time as she used the momentum of her first attack to spiral back about, bringing the syringe down in a backhanded stabbing position toward my back.

In an instant, I had risen to my feet, and found myself confronting the woman as she lunged yet again, this time aiming for my right side with a low stab. Twisting myself aside, I felt the needle brush against the tail of my coat as it passed. However, I didn't have any time to focus on how close this escape had been, for a slight shimmering from the edge of my vision and a sudden flurry of movement drew my attention to the woman's free hand, which was suddenly striking across her already raised weapon arm, aiming straight for me. The pinprick of light that gleamed in her incoming hand didn't need to be analyzed to recognize it for what it was. That light was glinting off of the needle of a second tranquilizer! Immediately, I tried to dodge to the side, but found myself cornered between the wall of the corridor and the medical cart that the girl had shoved this way earlier. It was too late. There was no way to escape. Which meant I'd have to block it somehow?

Before I fully realized what I was doing, I flared my wings outward, sweeping them forward with abrupt force. My right wing shot forward, its very tip striking the needle of the syringe and knocking the weapon off course as I quickly bounded off of the wall, diving out of the way as the weapon brushed right past my head, jabbing into my hood and forcing it down as I pulled away, the needle striking the wall and breaking apart as I did so. My white hair scattered around me as I launched to the side, the woman dropping her second syringe and leaping after me after only a split second of shock at my sudden revelation of my true nature. I grimaced, wishing that I hadn't had to show my true nature so soon, but there had been no other option.

What was she going to do to me if she managed to knock me out, I wondered as, slashing my right wing upward once again, I countered the syringe and sent the second weapon flying from the grasp of my raven-haired assailant. The sounds of clashing metal rang through the air for a moment as I drew back, not risking a counterattack against a clearly superior foe. Perhaps she would take me back to the Ward, or to some equivalent place? This time, I probably wouldn't be spared any of the tortures and humiliations I'd felt within the minds of the other Mutants within the old complex. Or perhaps I'd be agonized until I finally relented and served these people as my new masters? Alternatively, I might simply be deemed monstrous, and executed on the spot.

Rushing air from overhead tipped me off to the enforcer's baton the woman had drawn, with which she was now attempting a basic overhead strike. While such a heavy blow might give me a concussion in the process, it would still serve the purpose of incapacitating me, which meant just like before, I couldn't risk being struck by a single blow, which would doubtless do enough damage to my body to render me incapable of further resistance. This time, I spread my left wing, sidestepping the blow and parrying it with my silvery, steely scales, before bringing my back foot around and rotating myself to the woman's outside as she stumbled forward. Bringing out my right wing, I whipped it up savagely without even thinking what I was doing, striking to the woman directly in the back with enough force to send her slamming into the wall. The loud crack, like that of a whip, sounded throughout the hallway, followed by an audible thud. My eyes fell upon the crumpled form of my assailant, from whose back blood was now streaming, staining her formerly pristine white coat in shades of crimson. The warm liquid on my wing began to dribble down, seeping between my scales as it slowly flowed down toward the floor. I'd managed to cut her with my almost blade-like appendage, it seemed. Still, she was already beginning to rise again, which meant I still hadn't done any severe damage to her. She would come back again, no matter how many times I struck her down or disarmed her, it seemed, until I finally lay prostrate before her, and she could kill me at her leisure.

So... was I going to die? As she gave a hoarse growl and lunged again, her baton clashing with my wings again and again as I deftly diverted the force of each and every blow, continuing my steady dance around my enraged opponent, I had to admit, I was terrified. It seemed to me like nothing could stop her, whereas a single misstep would have cost me my freedom, my strength, and possibly even my life. I was sore and tired, and with each impact against my wings, I could feel myself shaken from my scaly feathers clear down to the bone. Yes, at this point, it was already almost a certainty. This fight was one I couldn't win. Already, the woman's blows were beginning to come closer and closer to striking home. At first, I'd had the advantage of surprise, but by this point, she had surely analyzed my fighting style and taken measures against it. My silvery wings would not cut her a second time, would not even reach her through the vicious storm of blows she rained down, forcing me to continue my frantic retreat as the moonlight-hued ward that danced before me grew weaker and weaker with each stroke it intercepted. In short, I didn't have a chance of winning anymore, didn't have a chance to survive at this point. That realization welled up inside me, almost sapping my entire remaining strength as my willpower cracked and began to break down. With a sudden rush of air, a blow got past my defenses, forcing me to duck as the club arced over my head. I was doomed, for sure, but, at that moment, above everything else...

I really, really didn't want to die.

Golden light flared up in my eyes as, with a predatory hiss, I swept out my leg, striking my enemy in the shin and sending her off balance. Carried by the force of her blow, she staggered forward, right into my elbow as I brought it up, slamming it with unnatural force into her solar plexus just as I brought both of my wings forward, twisting myself first to one side and then the other as I landed a powerful slash against her exposed sides, prompting a cry of pain from my formerly calm enemy. I smirked as I took another step forward, hooking my back hand around and striking her hard in the side of the nose, feeling the bones cracking beneath my fist. Yes, it was true that her combat experience made her a far superior fighter than myself, but there was one advantage I had, acting on instinct though I was.

She was proud. She had underestimated me, had thought that my wing-based deflections and counters were the most I would risk in a fight like this. Unable to get close without exposing myself, I'd been completely incapable of attacking with either my legs or my arms, forcing me to resort to hanging back at a distance and fighting only with my wings. Because of this, she had pegged me as too scared to venture such an all-out offense as I had just launched. She had simply assumed that she knew everything there was to know about my combat abilities, and so had closed in for the kill, unknowingly opening herself to the very sort of attack I'd been prevented from launching since the beginning! Now, as she stumbled backward, blood from her shattered nose dribbling into her right eye, she was disoriented, enraged, and partially blinded. Her next attack, if I had pegged her right, would be a wild return strike with her club, trying frantically to strike a blow and drive me off before I could continue pressing my advantage. She would panic and aim to take me down with one blow before I could do any further damage to her. Before she could even reverse her momentum, I had already sprung into action, beginning to step to the side before the club had even made it halfway back towards me. By the time it reached me, I was already twisting with the force of the blow, causing it to simply graze off of my left flank as it carried me around behind my enemy, right into her newly created blind spot. In an instant, I had leveled my hand, and, twisting about with all of my strength, I came around from behind her on her right side, striking the blade of my hand hard into the side of her neck. I didn't know anything about pressure points or stylized combat, to tell the truth, but something, a sort of fighting instinct, simply told me that this would work. And so, as she let out a gasp, the air knocked from her lungs by the force of my strike, and crumpled to the ground in a blood red and pristine white heap, I didn't waste an instant on surprise at my success. Reaching down, I quickly snatched up her club, clutching the fresh bruise on my left hip with my other hand. Even if I'd turned away the force of the blow, the impact had still hurt a great deal. But, I could still fight, and with my master and employer in need of assistance, I'd just have to provide it.

However, just then, two shadows fell over me. Looking up, my eyes widened in surprise and fear as two shapes loomed over me, cutting me off from my two fellows down the corridor. That was right... I'd been so focused on defending myself from the nurse's frantic assaults that I hadn't even realized that she had just been luring me away from my comrades, letting me knock her out in single combat so her comrades could surround me! I hadn't even realized what was happening until too late, and now I knew all too well that she'd been one step ahead of me after all. As one of the two uniformed men raised a small black object, the golden light died out in my eyes. I'd caught a glimpse of what that object was, and its purpose, in the mind of the one who held it.

A stun gun. A weapon capable of releasing a powerful electrical discharge into my body before I'd even be able to effectively dodge. I couldn't block the attack, even with the weapon I'd just picked up, and the corridor was too small for me to be able to evade even the first shot! If I rushed forward to try and close before he could fire, his comrade would certainly snatch me up, or perhaps just knock me to the ground in an instant. In short, there was no possible route of escape. My mind worked frantically, trying to find some way in which I could be of use to my comrades, even though I was about to be eliminated. Then, I fell upon my answer. It wasn't a particularly original plan, given that it had been my response to danger each time I had faced it since escaping the Ward. That's right... when Jude had attacked me, when the Vampire had sprung its ambush, and now here, faced with yet another enemy I could neither escape nor defeat... This was the only thing I could do after all, wasn't it?

In an instant, my thoughts stretched out, scouring the hospital I was in, searching the minds of all those around me. I found names, minor scraps of notable thoughts, schedule information, and so on and so forth, but amidst the tumult and the chaos, I also found exactly what I was looking for: Mutants, and plenty of them. The ones we had come to this place to find, no doubt. And now, these Mutants were the last reinforcements I could call to the aid of my master, even as I failed him myself.

Time seemed to slow down as the man tensed his finger on the trigger and I braced myself, ready to fight to the very end. I drew back my arm just as I drew my thoughts back in time, to when we had entered the building. In an instant, I had recalled the memory I desired to locate, done the proper calculations, and expanded my consciousness to reach out to each and every Mutant in the building.

"Third floor, eastern corridor off of room 308. The Angels are under attack. Help them." This message was projected to each and every one of the potential comrades I sensed, a faint whisper suddenly entering their mind and silencing the chaos of their constant thoughts with just a few short words as I spoke to them, even over the distance between us. I didn't recognize many of them, but that couldn't be helped. I would simply have to trust in them to help us, and hope I had done the right thing.

Then, giving a final, defiant cry, I shifted my weight forward, and brought down my arm, releasing my grip on the club as I did so. With the sound of the air being forced aside, the blunt weapon arced forward from my extended hand and caught the gun-wielding man in the wrist, knocking his aim off just as he tensed his finger on the trigger, causing the electrical discharge to be fired into the floor rather than my fragile body. Not one to let a last change go, I continued my forward motion, flapping my wings powerfully and hurling myself forward, slamming my shoulder into the overbalanced man with all the force I could muster. I gave a quiet cry as I felt the aforementioned bone dislocate from the force of the impact, my right arm suddenly dangling uselessly at my side as I felt an iron grip fall upon me from behind even as I watched the man I had struck fall to the floor, letting go of his stun gun as he collapsed like a fallen giant. As I was lifted from the ground, I quickly brought back my leg, kicking it outward, making a quiet crack as it connected with the weapon on the floor, which skidded down the hallway, straight towards where I had aimed it. Even though a crushing arm had wound its way around my throat, driving the air from my lungs, I didn't need my voice to give one final cry as my vision blurred and faded.

"Master! I hope you know how to use a gun like that... It's on the floor to your left, so take it! I've called friends for help, so perhaps you can use that to last until they arrive. And... I'm sorry I wasn't able to do more for you."

"Do you think they're going to kill me? Ah... I really don't want to die."

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Some people might find it hard to believe that, as brilliant and amazing as I am, my knowledge base is actually not infinite. I know, shocking. I didn't find it odd that the male nurse told Marce that she couldn't leave, nor did I find it odd that he was rather large and muscular, so it was a little unexpected when Marce shoved the cart into the guy and he reacted like he'd been expecting it and lunged for her.

Run!

"Where?!" I retorted sarcastically out of pure habit, as more nurses, male and female, converged upon us. They feeling of being surrounded is probably the second worst feeling in the world, right next to being locked in a tiny little space with no room to move. These people simply moved like they were professional fighters, despite their ridiculous outfits. I would've laughed, except my heart was racing at like a thousand miles per hour and my nerves were wound up tighter than guitar strings, threatening to snap at any moment.

Two large male nurses sprang towards me with a grace that instantly made me suspicious, but that was in the back of my head as I threw a punch at the first one's windpipe and sent him crashing to the ground, clutching his throat and struggling to breath. I probably could've crushed it if I'd put more force behind the punch, but that just goes to show you how nice I am, even when people are threatening to do me in.

The second nurse got close enough to grab me by the arm, which was a big mistake. What did he think he was going to do next, drag me off? Even as he slammed a fist into my side, I grunted and whirled on him with all the speed I could muster and punched him several times in the nose, in the jaw, in the stomach. He stumbled back and would've regained his balance if I hadn't kicked him hard in the stomach. He hit the ground with an ugly chuffing noise and curled up. The punch had been surprisingly hard, hard enough to make my ribs throb on that side and take my breath away for a few seconds.

Light flashed off of something out of the corner of my eye and I whirled to face the other direction; another male nurse was frighteningly close to me with a syringe, which probably held a sedative, a concoction even worse than poison in my opinion. I'd gladly drink a poison cocktail to avoid going back to the Ward. Get me the deadly spiders and the snakes and I'd make the cocktail myself.

I resisted being knocked off my feet, forced to take a step back and grabbed the wrist holding the syringe and twisted it; the guy let out a surprised and angry shout, but instead of dropping it, he transferred it to his other hand and stabbed me in the arm with it. It hurt, but I snarled and grabbed his other wrist before he could get the chemical into my system. At least I hoped. I let go of both his wrists and sent him tumbling to the floor with a well placed blow to the jaw. I heard something crack. Great for me, not so great for him. The syringe had left a nasty puncture in my arm that throbbed with surprising pain, but I'd live. He deserved a cracked or broken jaw for that.

Wildly, I jerked around to look in every direction, expecting to see yet another figure hurtling at me. I'd taken out, what... three? It'd felt like a dozen. That's what fighting does. Your adrenaline gets going, things speed up and go so fast that you can't keep up, but somehow they slow way down and you can take in every little detail. It's dizzying. You can't think straight and your body has a mind of it's own and just starts kicking ass while your mind sits back and enjoys the ride. Or maybe that's just me.

Like I said, it hadn't been many. It had seemed like a small army of imposter nurses (the real nurses stood back looking extremely alarmed but not surprised, which made me wonder), but half of them were down and now it didn't seem like there were that many. Marce seemed to be holding her own, and Eins had been holding her own last time I...

Master

Wait, what? Master?

My searching gaze found her as she made to kick something, but I didn't see what it was because I was looking at the nurse who had an arm around her throat. Something hit my ankle and I looked down... for a moment, my heart stuttered as I took in what looked like a gun. A stupid reaction, but the fear was there all the same. I realized it was different, and had prongs on the end, and could only assume it was some sort of sedative or electric gun. I had never seen one in action.

It would be a waste of time to figure out how to use it. And besides, I had been built to fight... probably to kill. If I couldn't take down one admittedly muscular (but still inferior) imposter nurse, I was pretty much worthless.

The distance between us wasn't great; a short hallway with maybe a couple yards to go before I reached them. I crossed that distance faster than any normal human could, and knowing he couldn't do anything while holding Eins (assuming he could even react in time), I gripped his shoulder with one hand to use as leverage. With my free hand I grabbed the wrist that was strangling Eins, twisting and tearing it away so hard and fast that something in it snapped dully. The man screamed and staggered back, collapsing against a wall.

I struggled to catch my breath, more out of an almost dizzying surge of adrenaline than any actual exertion I might've made. I yanked my leather jacket off and clutched it hard in one hand, revealing my jet black wings dappled randomly with silvery gray. They clamped tight to my back in a physical reaction to fear and adrenaline, but I just wanted them free in case I needed to get out quick. I wouldn't leave without the other two... but I wanted to be prepared.

I figured at this point it didn't matter who saw them.

(I tried not to make it seem godmoddy, since I figured the FBI agents would be well trained in some kind of defense or hand to hand combat. If it seems too godmoddy, I can go back and change it. I was kind of afraid of giving Marcus such physical abilities in case it came out that way.)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Marceline

"Where?!" Marcus retorted sarcastically. Figuratively speaking, his sharp response provoked an equally sharp feeling in my chest.

It was like venom versus venom.

"Anywhere but here," I said, scathingly, pausing just enough to get in a pouting scowl. My own sarcasm burned my tongue; it was natural, for me at least, to act that way. To challenge when I felt I was challenged. And so, I flinched internally, hoping Marcus wouldn't take it badly.

The pseudo nurse was still coming after me, his long, heavy muscled arms outstretched in a threateningly uncomfortable way. Grimacing, I imagined that the incoming grip was a gentle hug, rather than the tight squeeze I knew I would feel in less than a minute. I gasped when his arms wrapped around me, quashing the breath out of my lungs and making my world spin with oxygen deprived dizziness. Ouch. I could feel my wing crushed up against my back; it disturbed me when I realized that my damaged wing had gone limp. I suppose the pain had been a bit much for it to endure.

I was in the air now. I was tall myself, but this guy was taller and stronger. With his height, my toes could barely reach the ground.

"Idiot," I grumbled under my breath, knowing he wouldn't hear me. He grinned down at me condescendingly, and I could feel my rage growing. Writing in his arms, I tried to slip out of his grip. Instead, my foot clipped him in the knee, forcing him to drop me as he doubled over in pain. Good. I hoped his knee would feel pain for a good week or two (you know, if he happened to survive this encounter.)

While he was wreathing on the floor, I found myself in the vice tight grip of much slimmer, more sure, arms. A woman. She'd been so quiet, I'd barely had time to react before I'd realized that her slim hands were wrapped around my neck. The best I could have done was slip out from under the delicate strangling half circle she created with her left arm, only for me to grab her right and fling her over my head. My wing (both of them, thank goodness) were beginning to feel normal again, as the blood flow previously constricted returned back to its normal flow, and I ripped off my blood soaked sweater. I was taking this bitch down.

She snapped up on her legs faster than humanly possible, and began charging at me again. I would have compared her to a hunting lioness, if I knew what one looked like.

"You are going down." I snarled charging back and snapping out my wings. The elongated hall of the hospital was perfect; flapping hard, it was less than three seconds before I was in the air at my top speed, my wings slightly bent to compensate for the fact that hall was smaller than the length of both my wings put together. For a minute second I wondered how the boys, with t their probably large wingspans, would have been able to cope with the claustrophobic space.

I have no idea what my top speed it; but, I do know that it supposedly breaks the speed of sound. Curiously I wondered if this was the fastest I could go. Could I break the speed of light? It was a good question, since I hadn't always been able to fly this fast. It had built up over the years, till I had hit a maximum speed. The Ward Master hadn't labeled it as my utmost max speed, and so it left me wondering how they had programmed my body.

And for that matter, for the first time in my life, my eyes. Normally, a bird kid, even with our advanced sight, would not have been able to see at my speed. Their eyes would have teared up and everything around them should have been a blur. But I was seeing just fine. A slight frown tugged at my lips; it had always seemed so natural that I had never considered it. Perhaps, when they had messed with my brother’s sight they had messed with mine too?

I didn’t have enough time to contemplate all those questions. Before the lady was able to hear the flap of my wings I had crashed into her (what with my faster than sound thing going on). I heard a sickening crack come from her arm, and a splatter of blood whipped across my face in a diagonal line. Ew.

We crashed into the very end of the hall, rolling in a discordant ball, and tumbling more than a few nurses out of the way. When we finally stopped, I was able to look back and check out Marcus and Eins.

To my surprise, and dismay, Eins seemed to have been hurt. However, he’d done it, Marcus had saved her. As I tried to get up, I froze, feeling a strange tingling sensation rolling down my back. It was stressful, as thought my muscles had tensed up, and I realized that was exactly what happened. To make matter worse, the muscle spasm had my left wing (the hurt one) constantly pulsing with pain. I kneeled on the ground, not sure if I was giving up or taking a break.

Matthew

I nodded briefly before dissolving from our little group to head down my hall. It was only now, when I was away from Sam and Taylor, did I realized how frightened I really was. My mouth feel dry, and I could feel the early stages of a headache crawling up along my brain. I needed an Advil or Aspirin, or whatever the hell people used to get rid of headaches.

I could give you all the boring details of my exploration through the hall but I’m not trying to kill you. All you need to know was that is exceedingly dreary and frightening to be alone and worried for my sister. It had all my nerves on end, and I found myself carefully picking my way from nurse to nurse, politely asking them discreet questions, hoping they wouldn’t relate me to my sister quickly.

After about fifteen minutes of searching I heard the strangest thing I’d ever heard in my entire life. Third floor, eastern corridor off of room 308. The Angels are under attack. Help them. I hissed (at least in the human approximation of the word) before I began making sense of the urgent invasion of sorts. It didn’t take me long to deduce how I had received such an alien plea for help; either a) there were other mutants in the hospital, or b) the Ward was trying to bait me. And either way you looked at it, if the Ward was trying to bait me or not, it meant that either Marce, Taylor, or Sam were in trouble.

Following the direction, I soon found myself close to room 308. And that’s when I spotted her. Relieft flooded through me.

“Marce!” I called out, elated. She was hurt, so that definitely meant something was going on. There was a woman not too far away from her with a deformed looking arm. She was slouched against the wall, her lips twitching angrily as she stopped me quickly lopping towards my sister.

“Don’t you dare,” the woman growled at me as I went in to pick my sister off the ground. I had been about grumble my own response back when I realized she was holding a gun to my face. I swallowed noisily waiting for her to pull the trigger. Time seemed to stop, and I barely had a fraction of a second before I ducked. The bullet careened off the metal top of the hall, reflecting back and digging itself into the flat marble floor.

I looked back at her stunned; had she really been out to kill me? Usually the Ward went for capturing, not killing. And there was nothing even remotely Vampire-ish about her. Out of my peripheral vision I was just able to spot the blurred shapes of two smaller (or rather thinner) people, about my age, I would guess. I didn’t risk glancing, too afraid that the gun was still loaded.

Alice

"You did great, I fell on my face a few times before I could even fly at all. You're a natural, When you want to land just get as close to the ground, flare your wings a few times to reduce speed."

I felt a genuine smile creep onto my face. How many times in my life had I even been complimented? I’ll answer that for you; not many.

Even with the space Mike was giving me, I found myself angling away from him, not wanting to be smacked by his mammoth wings. For a while, I admired the way he flew. It was far more graceful than me, and if there was anyone who was “natural” at flying out of the two of us, I would have thought it was him rather than me.

For a while we flew separately, until it seemed that he had something to tell me. Carefully, he angled his wings, coming close enough that I could hear him, but staying far away enough so that we didn’t collide.

"We'll be landing at the edge of the forest, we wouldn't want any bird kids seeing our approach." I nodded quietly, listening intently as he spoke.

Then, as he had described to me earlier, he began descending towards the ground, flaring his wings out in order to make a smooth landing. I watched him with envy; I knew this was the part of the day where I failed my flying test.

He called down for her, and she grimaced when he mentioned “handling this nicely.” This was not going to be nice.

“Here goes nothing,” she muttered under her breath. Taking a steep (probably too steep) dive downwards, she angled herself as best as she could, for the ground. It wasn’t enough.

“Ouch,” she growled, as she tumbled in a pile of crumpled leaves and pointy bushed. Groaning, she asked sarcastically (something she had picked up from observing one of the bird kids), “How was that.” She rolled her eyes, not at Mike, but rather at herself.

Twisting around so that she could see her wing, she grunted when she realized that her Vampire wing, jet black as it was, was marred with the small trickle of blood that indicated a cut. Her pure white Angle wing seemed find, albeit a bit ruffled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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As suddenly as the pain had started, it stopped, air flooding back into my deprived lungs as I gasped desperately, trying to stay awake after the crushing pressure that had nearly incapacitated me. The arm grinding down upon my throat had been torn away, causing gravity to take effect once more as I fell back to the ground, stumbling forward due to my disorientation and swiftly overturning myself, causing me to slump against Marcus for support as he drew off his jacket and spread his own wings in the attempt to increase his mobility. Evidently, both he and my second master had thought along the same lines as myself, using our speed for advantage in close quarters even if we couldn't actually fly. Although, they must have had a harder time than myself, since it seemed that their wings, unlike my own, could not also serve the ancillary purposes of "Shield" and "serrated bladed weapon." I suppose I should simply give thanks to my own design, then, as it seems that my own capabilities are somewhat of an anomaly.

It seemed that our first ally had arrived, as a boy who looked quite similar to Marceline quickly showed himself and rushed to support her. I'd at least succeeded in one regard, then.

A sudden spurt of pain as my shoulder contacted Marcus reminded me of my previous injury, and I stumbled backwards somewhat, giving a quiet gasp as I instinctively clutched my dislocated right shoulder in a futile attempt to make the agony stop. Now that the adrenaline had slowed somewhat inside me, I was feeling the full effects of my wound, and despite my valiant attempts to compose myself, my vision rapidly blurred as I began to tear up from the inescapable torture of my badly jarred arm.

"It hurts..." I mumbled without even realizing it, nearly fainting from shock at the agony the likes of which I had never experienced, even whilst taking on some of the pain of my fellow mutants back in the Ward. Even if I managed to retain my consciousness, however, I could tell one thing.

I wouldn't be able to continue fighting from this point.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Marcus
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#, as written by TheFlag
Samuel


Samuel nodded anxiously towards Taylor and Matthew, he took a deep breath before slowly turning his back away from them and stepping towards the left hall. As Samuel approached the opening he looked back briefly, before steadying himself and taking another step forward. This time however he didn't falter; he knew that he had to do this. As Samuel continued down the bleak, dull hallway he felt the cold chill of fear begin to creep up his spine, his eyes darted forward instinctively examining his new surroundings in more detail while he steadily continuing forward. The hallway seemed so still, serene came to Samuel's mind; there wasn't anyone walking through these halls, and the noise was now a hushed whisper. This added to the atmosphere, but most importantly it also added to Samuel's distress, he wasn't exactly sure what to expect from the unnerving silence. To put it simply: in a room full of people he felt safe, no matter how many were secretly against him, silence however was different he couldn't help but feel something was out to get him.

Samuel took a sharp turn before letting out a sigh of relief at the sight before him: there were people, although the amount was small Samuel's tension was eased considerably. They were mostly pushing empty hospital trolleys along, a few were heading in and out of rooms holding documents of data. However Samuel's momentary ease didn't last of long, he wasn't sure why, but the tension just seemed to return as quickly as it had left; he knew it had something to do with the way everybody was moving, it seemed rushed and slightly false. Samuel could just sense something bad, he wasn't sure if it was pure-avian instincts, or just common-sense; then again he had developed quite a paranoid streak since his escape from the Ward. Samuel gulped not exactly sure what to do, a sense of panic seemed to wash over him, he felt an irresistible urge to flee from this building and never look back. The feeling he felt there was similar to the feeling of being caught in a trap which had not sprung yet. For a second the feeling to escape wasn't a suggestion it was a maddening imperative.

Samuel sighed before shaking his head shakily he couldn't leave now, he had gone down this rabbit hole (on his own accord) and he had to see it through, he knew the consequences but for a moment he didn't really seem to care. All he knew was that he had to see this through. Samuel began to continue through the hallway until a thought struck him; he could at least prepare himself, it wasn't a solution but it would make him feel better. His eyes scanned the edge of the hallway until he spotted what he was looking for, a bathroom but that wasn't all he spotted. Two of the male nurses had spotted him from down the hall, which was non-surprisingly empty by now. He could immediately tell that these people weren't ordinary nurses, they didn't look the part, but he could also see in their eyes that there was harm, which was more distressing. The two nurses did not even attempt to stop him, but simply strode towards him, one had a case, and was unpacking it slow and steadily: he pulled out a long hypodermic needle, while the other pulled out a baton of some sort, both looked calm and business-like. Samuel stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds before his rationality regained itself, and he quickly rushed into the bathroom slamming the door behind him.

The bathroom was empty like everything else, and there were six empty stalls next to several sinks with urinals on the other end of the room. Samuel had originally intended to come inside here, and drain the power from the lights, he didn't have time to do it now of course, but he still had a rather vague plan in mind. Samuel's eyes glanced at the stalls, and then towards a small window which was tightly shut. Samuel had to act quickly; he dived over to the window and tried to force it open it didn't budge an itch it must have been or something, he hesitated before exerting more force, he could hear it creak and that willed him to push harder until the window was fully open. Samuel turned in panic, they were probably almost upon him by now he quickly ran over to one of the stalls shutting its door behind him and quickly getting up on the seat, he knew they were going probably going to check the stalls but they wouldn't be able to spot him: hopefully anyway. Samuel paused before closing his eyes and forcing concentration, he was trying to become invisible to no avail, he was beginning to panic now, rationality was beginning to crack as he heard the bathroom door creek open.

Samuel heard them shuffling forward, until a giant wham! entered his ears. Samuel winced he knew they were kicking the stall's doors open. He closing his eyes, shivering slightly. Another wham! had entered his ears, Samuel was in outright panicking now, he was positive he was in the third stall, and the surge of adrenaline that had washed through him had made everything slow down. As the stall to his door was kicked open, he saw the man with the baton fall back down from his kicking stance, before scowling adjectivally, he looked around in the stall failing to spot Samuel, who had by now relaxed and was breathing heavily; he wasn't sure how he had done that, but regardless felt a large weight lift of his chest. As the two nurses checked the last three stalls, the one with the needle muttered uneasily, "Where did the bugger go?" The one with the baton looked around, in thought before spotting the window that was open, he gasped before stating, "I think the little shit might of gone out the window." Samuel looked on casually aware that there was a slight pressure on his brain, he had another five minutes before he'd have to become visible again, but they'd be gone by then so it didn't really matter. Samuel watched laughing hysterically as the two nurses ran out quickly, he fell to the floor howling with laughter, this wasn't the funny sort of laughter but more of the, I-can't-believe-that-worked kind of laughter.

Samuel pushed himself off the floor, wiping his eyes; the occasional snort of laughter erupting. As Samuel looked around the bathroom, he decided it'd be best if he did what he had originally planned. Samuel slowly walked forward until he was directly under the light, he could feel a small buzzing sensation in his stomach and he raised his hands, almost as if to touch the light. Suddenly a spark of yellow static electricity escaped from the lamp and jumped into Samuel's hands, it buzzed around for a second before steadily feeding into his hands, the light was flickering on and off rapidly now, he was sure that other electrical appliances would be acting up, as he wasn't draining just this lamp, but the whole hospital but none of the appliances would be drained as bad as the light, since that was the source. After about a minute he let go satisfied that he had charged himself up enough. Samuel pushed himself forward, raising his right hand and sparking a small spark of electricity from his fingertips, "Perfect..." he smiled, before snapping his right hand shut.

As Samuel readied himself to leave the bathroom: a voice entered his head, causing him to nearly jump out of his skin, before looking around obviously startled and bewildered, Third floor, eastern corridor off of room 308. The Angels are under attack. Help them. the voice whispered, and then it was gone. Samuel looked around wide-eyed for a moment, before regaining his composure, he wasn't sure whether to act on this, it could be a trap, he hardly recognized the voice which had entered his head after all, but nevertheless he felt a certain obligation to do so. The obligation wasn't anything special, more of a natural curiousness which Samuel couldn't help but check, anyway now that he was charged up he felt confidence bubbling up, before he grinned. Samuel walked out of the bathroom with some hesitation however, but he was almost certain that he invisible anyway so it didn't really matter to him. Samuel walked out to see the hallway was completely deserted, he relaxed before letting himself become visible again. Samuel began running at a quickened pace forward, he looked up at a sign above the hallway's archway, which told him he was exactly on floor two, and in the western corridor.

As Samuel continued running down the western halls, jumping over the occasional obstacle he came across a small stairway, which he quickly dashed into and up a flight of stairs as quickly as he could, he didn't want to waste anymore time. As Samuel emerged he could hear something, which sounded like a gunshot, his senses were immediately on high alert, and he instinctively fell to the floor; he scowled edgily, before realizing the trouble the others could be in. Samuel dashed ahead, before sliding along and soon finding the eastern corridor, as well as the ominous room 308. The first thing Samuel noticed was the scene that had played out before him, his eyes went wide at what he had seen: a woman her arm a mess, was holding a gun in her other hand towards Matthew who was supporting his sister, behind him however was two others, both he didn't recognize; he could tell however he was a bird-kid due to his black wings, the other he couldn't get a good look at, but she looked different.

Samuel had fortunately however, emerged behind the scenes and had not drawn the woman's attention... yet anyway. Samuel stopped when he was a few feet away from her, hoping she wouldn't detect him. Samuel sprang with surprising speed off his legs and onto the woman's back, forcing her to the ground, he heard something slide along the floor, he suspected (hoped) it was the gun. The woman turned slightly before elbowing Samuel in the face a few times, they didn't do much damage due to him being on top of her, but they still hurt, and Samuel felt blood drip from his nose, it didn't matter all of his wounds didn't last for long after all. Samuel quickly grabbed her head, before slamming it into the ground repeatedly, her blows got weaker and weaker, until they stopped completely. Samuel rolled off the woman, before speaking roughly "Sorry I took so long..." he coughed, before spitting some blood on the floor and staggering to his feet, using the wall as support.

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Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Mike stood on the ground with his arms crossed across his chest. He wanted to offer Alice more advice, but really couldn't. Mike couldn't remember the first time he took flight. It was filled with rage; it was unfiltered, amplified anger. The odd Vampire sat there, digging through his own mind for answers. He imagined these same answers would set him free. If he could find the files that shed light onto his past, he would no longer have to stay with the scientists, masters, and Gunther's spies planted to watch him. He often wondered if Alice was under Gunther's orders to report back on his strange behavior. It didn't matter though. If Mike even caught the slightest hint of his death, he would cut and run. He would leave without the answers he sought. It wasn’t worth his life. Plus Alice seemed genuinely as mixed up in this crazy world as Mike was. He was a soldier designed to deal death, yet he never had the stomach to kill. Mike despised what he was, every day he looked into the mirror. He had caused too much pain to be forgiven.

Mike was ripped from his thoughts by Alice’s descent. He calmly watched as she approached at a steep angle. He had already been wincing when Alice careened into the ground. It wasn’t the worst landing he’d ever seen. It wasn’t exactly the best either.

“How was that.” She rolled her eyes.

Mike breathed out calmly. He shambled over to her, and knelt down next to her. Mike preferred to help people out with advice, it’s just he really wasn’t in the right place to help people. His purpose was to do the exact opposite. He looked at Alice with his multicolored eyes. In the same demeanor he was always in; he spoke. “You’ll get better, you just need to practice.” Mike rose up and offered an outstretched hand to help her up. For a monster, Mike was surprisingly polite.

“Are you okay?” Mike offered mild concern to mask genuine concern.