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Angel....or Mutant?

United States


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


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....a real life..."
Alice [15] "What is the world?"

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Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins
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I was silent for several minutes as I searched the store fronts, occasionally standing and moving to another side of the building. I couldn't see them all from here, because some of the other buildings blocked my view. However, I thought I could make out a red shield-like logo partially obscured...

"Err... You said I needed to get rid of my clothes... right away, right? W-well, it's kind of cold up here... B-but, if it's important, I could just leave them here."

"What?" I said stupidly, turning to face her. Not in a million years had I expected to hear that and I knew I was staring at her like she was some bizarre creature I'd never seen before.

I had an epiphany. Not the good kind, where you come up with some amazing conclusion or idea, but the kind where you realize you've gotten in waay over your head and you're drowning. She was completely clueless... probably about everything. What had the Ward had planned for her, if they hadn't even taught her the basics of life? Even I had learned a few things when I was younger... mostly by making mistakes and getting punished for it. Maybe she was an experiment that turned out wrong...

I was drawn out of my rapidly wandering thoughts by the sound of a zipper. I hastily turned away, knowing my face was bright red despite my semi dark complexion. I almost scoffed when she asked if something was wrong, remembering just in time how timid she was.

"Yeah, something's wrong!" I said derisively, without turning around. "You can't take your clothes off in front of people... in public places..." I wondered how I could possibly explain this to her, trying to get my scrambled thoughts in order. I waited until I heard the suit being zippered up, glanced carefully over my shoulder, and then turned to face her again once I found it was safe. I stalled for a moment, instinctively scanning the area in search of threats or witnesses. It seemed clear but I couldn't be sure. We had to get under cover as soon as possible, but she also needed to know some things.

"We're on the run from the Ward... Oh, and their army of psychotic, murderous experiments. If we don't want them to find us, we have to blend in. You're going to stick out if you look like you just escaped from some kind of prison facility, not to mention the Ward will recognize you instantly. You need normal clothes so you can blend in." I paused, to make sure she understood this. "That's why we're looking for a Salvation Army. It's the name of a clothes store where we can get you another outfit cheap."

Which was yet another problem. I couldn't possibly take her down there with me. There was only one jacket between us, to hide one pair of wings, and besides that, who knew what she would do. But how would I know what size to get her? I wasn't sure of clothes sizes myself... I sighed. If I'd been on my own, I would've been out of the state by now, sleeping peacefully (okay, fitfully and uncomfortably) in a tree in a random forest. Too late for that now.

I peered over the edge of the building and scanned the area below, then turned to face her again with my serious business face on.

"Here's the plan. You're going to hide in the alley down there-" I pointed to the space between the buildings, narrow and dark enough to hide her, and also devoid of drunk people and other dangers to society. "- and I'm going to go into the Salvation Army I spotted over there, and get you something else to wear. Alright..." I left the sentence hanging, realizing that I didn't even know her name.

"What's your name?" I asked, halfway expecting her to say she didn't know. "I'm Marcus."


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Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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"Yeah, something's wrong!" The immediate response to my innocent inquiry was harsh and direct, barked angrily over the boy's shoulder as he turned away from me for reasons I didn't really understand. As he began to explain what I could and could not do - listing several different restrictions I had never expected, and the purpose of which I did not then comprehend - I couldn't help but feel guilty and ashamed, like a child caught doing something prohibited. To be perfectly honest, I might have felt a tinge of embarrassment at how the boy averted his eyes from me as though frightened, and cried out in anger as though my mere action was something repulsive enough to burn him to a simmering anger. Was my natural form so unnatural as to be disgusting to him? While I hadn't really thought of his opinions on how I looked when I began to unzip my jumpsuit, now that I had received his most vehemently negative impressions of me, I couldn't but feel somehow insulted, or monstrous. I could only wonder as much as I looked down at the ground, not sure what I should say or do to make up for my mistake. I'd had no idea what I was doing was so incorrect. He had to understand that, right? But even if he did, it was evident that my crime was too grave to be simply dismissed and forgiven. Doubtless, he would have some punishment prepared at a later, more convenient time, and I mentally began to prepare myself for it. I was his inferior, and, as I was relying entirely on him for my own safety and support, I would simply have to submit to his judgement, or risk his abandoning me. I needed his guardianship and guidance to live, so, in short, whatever he wanted me to do or not do, I would have to abide by, even if I didn't understand it. But, on the other hand, hadn't that been what I was already doing? He had ordered me to get rid of my evidently conspicuous clothing, and so I had tried to follow his command. Despite that, I had apparently somehow misunderstood him, and done something gravely wrong which had offended him deeply. Then should I ask for an explanation of everything? But that would only make me seem stupid and doubtless irritate him beyond belief. Perhaps I should try to read his mind to find the answers I sought, then. But this option was dismissed just as quickly as the last two, for if he found out, he would surely be righteously indignant, and I would be severely punished for intruding upon his private thoughts - perhaps even killed for finding out something I shouldn't have, or worse, left to die slowly on my own. Then should I simply wait and try to follow his lead and do as he did, trying to adapt his own actions to suit myself without bothering him with questions or failures? It would surely be a minor annoyance to him, but it seemed to be the only option available to me. I could only brace myself for the many scoldings to come and hope that he would understand.

"I-I'm sorry. I didn't... I wasn't... that is... I don't... understand..." I mumbled at last, fumbling with the zipper and pulling it back up as far as it would go as fast as I could do so. Cowering behind my suddenly comforting cloth mask, I fastened one of the buckles on it with my still fidgeting hands, and pondered whether I should do the same with the second so as to silence my loathsome voice completely, feeling that simply muffling it and hiding my evidently repulsive countenance and form wasn't a good enough solution to the problem I had caused. I decided against this measure, wanting to be able to respond immediately to any question he might ask of me, or to apologize and beg his forgiveness should he choose to continue scolding me. Fortunately, it seemed that he had passed over my infraction for the moment, and seemed to be forming a plan. I looked up nervously through the curtains of silvery hair I let hang down in the hopes that they would cover my hopelessly red face. Combined with the half-mask of the garment, they formed a sort of screen from behind which I peered shamefully, my burgundy eyes dancing fearfully about as though unsure whether or not they deserved to see any of the things around them.

"Here's the plan. You're going to hide in the alley down there, and I'm going to go into the Salvation Army I spotted over there, and get you something else to wear. Alright...?" The boy spoke suddenly, and I started to attention as best I could while also keeping my face turned submissively downward. In the end, all I did was stiffen slightly, and turn my gaze up at his face - a feat of resolve that was almost beyond me, due to the strange attraction the concrete roof beneath my feet held for my wandering eyes. I was aware that he wanted some kind of response, but found myself unable to give him one, so overwhelmed was I by the lingering anger and irritation that I thought I could see in his eyes, and by the shame I felt at my innocent error. In the end, all I did was give a slight twitch that wanted to be an affirmative nod, and turned my gaze sadly downward, humiliated further by my humiliation itself.

"What's your name?" The abrupt question was rather unexpected, and rather awkward, considering that it couldn't be answered by a simple yes or no - in short, I would have to say something again, and that was a privilege I didn't feel myself worthy or capable of handling at the moment. In any case, I hadn't expected him to ask my name at all, considering he had completely passed over the subject when he first encountered me. I had assumed he simply didn't care about who I was, and personally felt that I wasn't someone who warranted such a concern anyway.

"I'm Marcus," he added, almost as an afterthought to his previous query. This was more surprising than anything else - his anger, his swift return to calm control, and his sudden asking of my name were all unexpected, to be sure, but this was beyond that. He was giving me his name? To a normal person, I learned later, a name was just a simple thing everyone had, a term by which one defined themselves, or by which one was defined. But to me, a name was something almost mystical, a label placed upon a living soul, chosen to suit that soul, and used to show everything that person was. I had never had a name of my own, instead being referred to by the simple designation of "Eins." That was a name without meaning, a worthless term used to define an equally worthless being. The importance I felt a name possessed was why I had at one point tried to make for myself my own name, a true and beautiful name that I hoped might encompass everything I was, and everything I hoped to be. But that name had been unsuited to my hopeless and worthless nature, and thus had been scoffed at and trampled upon by all those who heard it. I had no doubt that this boy, Marcus, would feel the same, even if he was giving me his own name, seemingly forgiving me for all of the errors I had just committed by doing so. And so, forced to answer as I was, I said not what I wanted to say, and instead simply repeated the same old title I loathed, and yet in all regards, I deserved.

"Eins," I blurted out, forcing the word from my throat. My eyes dropped further down, and my neck seemed not to support the weight of my skull, filled as it was with foolishness and mistakes. I averted to my eyes, my countenance turned downward and my head bowed submissively. "My name is Eins," I repeated gloomily, my shame consuming my each and every word as I spoke in a broken tone of humiliation. My form was utterly motionless save for the occasional shiver that ran through it - I wasn't sure if I was verging on the point of tears or if I was just cold. Perhaps it was both? - and for the occasional breeze that tousled my hair about me, the moonlight catching my silvery locks as they flapped about me like a flag of defeat and surrender.

"I'm sorry... s-sorry for burdening you. I'll just follow... your instructions..." I murmured at last, and then was silent, bearing the weight of my guilt and embarrassment without complaint, and on my own.


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Character Portrait: Euro Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Taylor Rice
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I didn't say anything on the trip there. Honestly there wasn't much to say. I just listened to Euro talk, staring out the window. As we arrived at the hospital, I quickly got out of the car, stretching. Sitting in that cramped thing was horrible and I would fly a thousand miles instead of driving.

We were all guided to waiting rooms and from there....well we waited. Matthew gave us an update on how she was doing and I would only nod. Thinking. That seemed to be the only thing I was doing now a days. Thinking and staying quiet. Matthew came at us with a few questions and after thinking them over for a split second, I answered "No." and cleared my throat. I had been quiet for a long time so it felt weird using my voice. I looked at Samuel wondering how he was holding up.

Then I looked towards Euro. Wait..... Where was Euro?! I stood up, looking around eyes wide. "Where's Euro?" I asked, looking at the two as if they had the answer. I didn't know why I was so worried. Maybe Euro was captured? How had I not noticed he was gone earlier? Wait....what is Euro was completely safe somewhere? But that didn't make sense either. I put a hand to my head, feeling dizzy. I wanted nothing more than to leave and go fly around for a while.


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

Samuel noticed that even though the car had started moving, he still felt uncomfortable. It was probably due to the awkward silence which had descended upon the car, that along with how cramped it was inside, their wings really didn't help in a situation like this.

Samuel already hated small spaces, a dislike he developed due to the Ward's methods, and the car was definitely not his favorite way to travel: as the noise and space available was very off-putting for him, as his instincts told him that something making that much noise is obviously bad and wants to cause him harm in somrway. Samuel summarized that he'd be able to get over his fear with time, as time heals everything, well mostly everything. Samuel could only hope that he'd grow used to the noise as well as the space available in time. Samuel fidgeted before tucking his wings tighter against his back, and sighing looking outside the widow at the road ahead as the car sped on.

“Kids,” Euro's voice interrupted the awkward silence, “There’s no way they aren't going to call the FBI out on you guys…just…be careful…" Samuel's head drooped before he continued to morosely stare out of the window, "Perfect..." Samuel muttered dryly his voice had an obvious sarcastic and distasteful tone. Samuel didn't even know what the FBI was, all that Samuel could assume was that it was bad, and that he shouldn't want to encounter them, Samuel guessed he'd be extra careful at the hospital, and if he did suspect a confrontation then he'd at least be prepared. Samuel sighed knowing that some sort of confrontation at the hospital would probably be inevitable, he could just feel it in his bones all he could do was hope that he was wrong.

Samuel's eyes slowly began to droop as began finding it harder to focus, he leaned again the window his eyes fluttered closed as he drifted into a light sleep. Samuel slept often like this, his sleeping patterns were erratic thanks to the Ward, he could never get into a routine about it, and when he actually wanted to get to sleep he found he couldn't, no matter how hard he tried or how tired he was. “We’re nearly there, guys.” Euro's voice jolted Samuel awake, and he moaned tiredly before gazing out the window at the building forming in the distance.

Samuel moaned with relief as he got out the car, he instantly stretched followed by flapping his wings a few times to stop them aching, as Samuel turned to focus on the massive building ahead he gulped before shuddering at the sight. As Samuel lagged behind the group they approached the transparent doors, he could already smell the familiar scent of disinfectant and other chemicals in the air all reminded him of the Ward. As they entered everything seemed to speed up, the girl was in dire need of help and was taken off to emergency while the rest of the group were shoved into the waiting rooms. On the way through the hospital, Samuel noticed most people giving him strange looks, but then again he did have wings, so it was expected he guessed.

As Samuel sat down on one of the chairs, he began to try and pass the time by playing idle games which were to be honest fairly boring and eventually he just sat back bored. Samuel also noticed Euro had been summoned several times, along with Matthew who had been summoned in total: once, he guessed the Doctor's assumed Euro was a parental guardian or something like that, as for Matthew well he was related to the girl, probably a blood transfusion, or explaining her condition.

Samuel watched as Matthew walked over to a soft, plush chair, before collapsing into it “She’s doin all right. Doctor says ‘s gonna be a few weeks before she can return to normal health.” Matthew explained, Samuel in response nodded at least it was good news that the girl was going to be fine he supposed. Samuel looked towards his chair, before shifting into a more comfortable position, his head laid back and his arm on both rests he stifled a yawn.

Matthew was silent for a moment before asking “Where are you guys from, by the way? I mean, a Ward I would guess, but you guys got any specific directions on you? Any places you were supposed to be heading? Any plans of your own…?” Samuel turned to hear Taylor answer with a bland "No." she then cleared her throat, Samuel turned before answering "I think I came from..." he paused trying to focus, until the word clicked into place "Arizona. As for plans, I haven't really had time to formulate one." Samuel laughed edgily, before hearing Taylor ask "Where's Euro?" Samuel turned to see Taylor, he eyes wide, Samuel paused before looking around curiously.


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It took a couple minutes and a few odd comments on her part for me to realize that I'd come off a little harsher than I had intended.

I'd overreacted, probably because I was being chased across the country by a pack of rabid mutants lead by evil, psychotic scientists who wanted to lock me up... again. Oh, and probably because I just discovered that the person I was traveling with was completely clueless about anything remotely related to socialization. Not that it was her fault, but that didn't make it any less horrifying to have to deal with. On top of that, we were yards away from an unconscious Vampire who was probably being tracked and would probably wake up soon. We had to get moving.

"I'll be back in a few minutes," I said in a softer tone than I'd used before. I turned and hoisted myself over the side of the building, opening my wings just a little bit to cushion my fall as gravity pushed me down. I landed in a crouch with only a slightly uncomfortable jolt and folded my wings, straightening up.

(Assuming she had come down with me)

"Just wait here and don't touch the dumpster, who knows what -or who-'s been dumped in there," I told Eins as I slipped my jacket on over my wings and zipped it up. "Don't leave this alley unless you're being attacked by something or someone. Or unless something comes out of the dumpster." Even in a tight situation, sarcastic humor has never let me down.

I strode out of the alley, glanced left and right, and headed across the few streets that separated me from the donation store, wondering if I really had been making jokes to myself and enjoying multiple burgers at a fast food restaurant half an hour ago. It felt like it'd been days, but being hunted and attacked like an animal will skewer your peceptions like that. I'd never expected to escape from the Ward, but when I had, I'd felt an almost psychotic joy at the thought of being free; I felt invincible at the time, like nothing could stop me and I had nothing to worry about. That joy had stayed with me for a week, even through two mugging attempts and two Vampire attacks. Now it was simply gone, and I was left wondering how I could possibly stay out of the Ward's sadistic claws. Would they hunt me forever?

And, no matter how unlikely it seemed, I couldn't shake the suspicion that Eins was a trap. It was a suspicion I scoffed at now, but it was waiting for a hand hold, for any unusual or unexplainable behavior from Eins, so that it could sink it's claws in and become a belief. Even though no one could possibly pretend to be that clueless about... well, the world. Even though, if Eins was a spy or something like that, she wouldn't make herself out to be so timid and let me take the lead. If it was a trap, she'd try to manipulate me into doing or believing things. She'd know what she was doing and she'd try to take charge. Maybe. I couldn't think of a single thing she'd have to gain by just following me around, except to keep track of me... but apparently the Ward was already on that. Unless those Vampires had been out for an evening flight before bedtime, which I sincerely doubt.

The only other option I could think of was that it was a test... all of it. They'd let me out on purpose and she was there to record my behavior. When she'd gotten all the data for the Ward I'd be back in a dog cage before I even know what happened. But that was just too much, and if I went down that road, I'd go insane with paranoia. For my own sake, I refused to even entertain that idea. For now, I'd keep an eye on her, and if anything major about her changed, well... we'd take it from there.

Meanwhile, I -we- still needed to get under cover, a thought that put an end to my mental rambling. My mind had dutifully been taking in important details (like that pothole in the road that would've put me flat on my face, or the greasy looking guy on the street corner with a fistful of wires), and I was right in front of the Salvation Army. I opened the door and slipped inside, my eyes instinctively shifting to the counter. The cashier, a middle aged lady, smiled at me - but her expression froze. I remembered that I still had a long cut on my forehead and blood dried down the side of my face. I half-smiled at her while panic bloomed in my chest, and said casually, "I tripped over a pothole on the way in and hit my head on the sidewalk."

Either she didn't care or she wasn't very sharp, she nodded and her frozen smile turned sympathetic.

"Do you need anything...?"

"No," I said, casually waving her off. "It's not as bad as it looks, I'll take care of it when I get home. I figured I could handle it since I was already here..." And it continued on that vein for a couple minutes until I finally agreed to take a wet napkin she offered. I scrubbed the side of my face with it and around the cut, and wincing only a little bit, tossed it in a nearby bin. I moved deeper into the store and got down to business.

Everything was perfectly organized, and since I wasn't exactly here on a weekend shopping spree, it only took me ten minutes to find a few things for Eins to wear. I could only hope they were close to her size, though the drawstring pants shouldn't be that much of a problem. I'd also found her a T-shirt, some socks, shoes (even the Ward's shoes had to go, just to be safe), and a hooded jacket that was thick, but not bulky. She was tiny after all.

I went up to the counter and the cashier began to price the clothes; I halfway expected her to ask why I was buying clothes that obviously wouldn't fit me, but apparently she was used to that kind of thing. She gave me my total, took my money, and put them the clothes in a bag for me, once more giving me sympathetic tips to help me with my "accident". I murmured my thanks and left quickly.

Buying the clothes definitely made me feel better; I didn't think too hard about the situation or my suspicions on the short trip across the various streets and back to the alley. I gave one last thorough glance around before slipping into the alley with the bag.

"Eins, it's me," I called quietly as I entered, so she wouldn't think I was a Vampire come to attack her - or worse, one of those crazy old people who push grocery carts full of junk around and call you names.

"I got the clothes, hope they fit. I'll turn my back and keep watch while you change..."

I handed the bag over (and assuming she took it) and hoping she wouldn't think I was calling her stupid, gave a brief explanation about each clothes item and where it went. Satisfied that she knew how to do it, I turned around to face the mouth of the alley, keeping an eye out. But it was deserted. Now would probably be a good time to apologize.

"Um. Sorry about earlier. You didn't really do anything wrong... I was just embarrassed. And a little peed off about being attacked by vicious flying bat mutants," I said hesitantly. I surprised myself by elaborating, hearing a bitter edge in my tone: "The whole situation has put me on edge. Being attacked, being hunted. I guess I was so happy to be out that I didn't think I'd get caught again. Stupid as that sounds."


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Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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"I'll be back in a few minutes," The boy, no, Marcus, said, dropping over the edge of the building after motioning me to follow him. I hesitated a moment, lingering on the edge of the roof and looking down rather fearfully at the ground below, which I couldn't even see - my night vision, as I did not yet know how to actively use my Vampiric traits to my advantage in such a situation, was probably worse than my ability at flying or protecting myself, considering I'd only lived in a fully lighted underground chamber all of my life, and thus never had to see in the dark or look at anything over 150 centimeters away. On the one hand, I was rather reluctant to do anything involving my wings, as I didn't really trust in my ability to use them well at this point. But, on the other, Marcus had commanded me to wait for him in that alleyway, which meant I had to obey, somehow. So, gulping down my fears, I spread my silvery wings, and stepped into empty space. For a split second, I could feel gravity tugging down harshly on me, ready to send me plummeting to the hard ground that lay an indeterminate distance below. Fluttering my wings tentatively, I tried to keep myself from coming down hard while also not entirely breaking my fall. As the only level of flight I was used to happened to be "hovering" and my landings always left something to be desired, this was much more difficult than it sounded. At times, I would start falling too fast, and begin to panic, flapping my wings quickly only to find that I'd begun to go back up. So, I would slow down again, and start falling so fast that I was sure I'd break on the ground like an eggshell when I hit it. But, after a few seconds fraught with the terror of falling to my death, I managed to locate the ground and get just a few feet above it. I folded my wings, bracing for a landing, but found to my surprise that I was falling forward rather than down - I'd folded my wings too fast and too early! The old panic returning, I frantically tried to put my feet beneath me as I met the ground, stumbling forward upon unsure footing. Trying to bring my balance back over my feet, I instead overturned myself, and went toppling headfirst forward, landing hard on my side despite my efforts to catch myself with my hands.

I gave a quiet groan, and was almost tempted to simply lie where I had fallen, defeated. The impact hadn't been, in and of itself, unbearably painful. But, on the other hand, my back was cut and bruised, I had small cuts all over my body from being thrown through the branches of a tree, and I had been generally battered and beaten down ever since I escaped the Ward. The force of my uncomfortably hard landing had been enough to cause all of these many wounds to flare up with protest yet again, and a fresh wave of pain wracked my form with every passing breath. But, Marcus wanted my attention, so I would have to rise and give it to him.

"Ah..." I gasped with pain as I tried to roll over and rise to a standing position, forgetting for a moment the many injuries that marked my back. In an instant, I was up, the pain from having so many wounds ground harshly against the pavement by the weight of my body motivating me to rise in an instant. I brushed my hand across my exposed back, and it came back somewhat bloody. Even scratches and grazing wounds could make a rather prominent red stain if there were so many of them in one spot at once.

"Just wait here, and don't touch the dumpster, who knows what -or who-'s been dumped in there. Don't leave this alley unless you're being attacked by something or someone,"[i] Marcus directed. I nodded, thinking that was all, before he gave me one final instruction. [i]"Or unless something comes out of the dumpster," he added, leaving me confused as to what he meant as he strode from the alleyway and into the lights of the street beyond. I glanced around. Truth be told, I didn't even know what a dumpster was, although that wasn't as problematic as identifying the mysterious "Salvation Army" Marcus had spoken of earlier, as the only other notable thing in the alley than myself was a rather large box-like object, almost, if not as wide as the world I used to live within, if not quite as tall. Its purpose was unclear, but due to the cryptic comments of my guardian and the nauseating smell coming from within, I had a suspicion that it was probably a storage device or prison of some sort for dangerous objects and/or creatures. Why else would he stress so heavily that I should not approach it, and that I should flee if something emerged from within its unspeakable depths, and that I might be attacked by "something?" Upon this realization, I quickly moved to the opposite side of the alleyway, gazing intently and uncertainly at the mysterious box-like object that was apparently a great threat to me.

For the entire time I remained alone in the alleyway, the dumpster had my entire attention. Every time I thought I heard a noise, I suspected that it had come from within the horrible container, and recoiled until I was up against the wall, spreading my wings and mentally preparing myself for both the grisly and unimaginable visage of the imaginary - but no less blasphemous against the laws of reality, several of which the image I had pictured defied maddeningly - terror which I fully expected to emerge at any moment. Many times, I was certain that I could both hear and see something moving around just beneath its closed lid, causing it to rattle terrifyingly. My fear built within my chest until finally I could hold it no longer, and it burst forth in the instant that what I dreaded happened: something brushed under the lid and leaped out from its prison and into the world it was not meant to enter! In an instant, I had leaped back, landing near the alleyway's exit and beginning to back up as I sized up the being before my eyes.

It was small, tiny even - only tall enough to reach up to just below my ankle, and not even the length of my foot - and covered head to each of its four feet with alternatively black and white fur, streaked with dirt and grime that likely came from within the prison in which it had been contained. As it gazed up at me with innocent green eyes, looking almost as afraid of me as I was of it, I had to wonder why I was supposed to be afraid of this creature. It was clearly too small - and thus, too weak - to seriously harm even a helpless person like me. I supposed it might have some terrifying mental ability - considering my own power to infiltrate the minds of others, this wasn't out of the question - but in that instant, I couldn't help but be drawn towards it rather than driven away. It was actually rather cute and fuzzy, and some sort of instinct deep within my heart told me to go and stroke its dirty but nonetheless soft fur.

"Meow." The creature's sudden cry caused me to abruptly reconsider my planned course of action. The sound was mournful and piercing, and so abrupt as to take me completely by surprise. I jumped at least a foot in the air, and began to creep backwards, my gaze divided between the small creature and the bin from which it had emerged. Was it calling more of its kind? Yes, that must of have been it! This terrible creature, along with its fell brethren, would overwhelm me with numbers rather than strength, and would doubtless devour me alive or something similarly awful! Marcus had directed me to flee should anything emerge from the dumpster, and I now regretted not obeying his orders immediately upon the fulfillment of their conditions. I needed to escape, at once, so, unthinking of the doubtless many people outside of the alley who might see me and realize what I was, I turned to flee, only to run headlong into a boy just entering the alleyway. For a moment, my fears were compounded, until I heard him speak.

"Eins? It's me. I got the clothes, hope they fit. I'll turn my back and keep watch while you change..." He said, handing me some kind of bag. In my panic, I hardly perceived these words, or those that followed as I dived behind my comrade, gesticulating wildly to the creature in the alleyway as I peered at it from behind his protective shoulder.

"It came from the dumpster!" I squeaked as a means of explanation and warning, hoping that Marcus was capable of fighting off that horrible being and its loathsome kindred. If he wasn't, I was absolutely certain that we'd be on the run again, or worse, dead.

How I wish now that I had realized the joke in Marcus' "orders," or known what the "creature" - actually just a small, harmless kitten - was. And, most of all, I wish I had actually paid enough attention to hear the apology he had started to give me before I cut him off with my burdensome antics. If I had, then I think the days following our meeting would have been much, much easier on us both...


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I was halfway through my apology when I realized she wasn't paying attention. I felt my eyes narrow in irritation as my sincere little speech ground to a halt. Then Eins squeaked something about a dumpster and dove behind me. I sighed. Just another one of life's hints that I should stop wasting time trying to make the world a funnier place. I turned a scowl in the direction of the monstrous thing she'd attempted to hide from.

A tiny, fluffy, dirty creature wobbled toward me.

"You have got to be kidding me," I said in disgust, avoiding contact with those enormous green eyes.

To be fair, the kitten was dangerous in it's own way. If either of us decided it was too cute to be left behind, we would definitely regret it later. Plenty of people had been hoodwinked by cute little kittens, only to be stuck with them later when they were bigger and less cuddly.

"It's just a kitten. A baby cat," I told her with a dismissive wave of my hand, once again holding out the bag with the clothes in it. "It's harmless. I was only joking about the dumpster. Here, take these clothes and put them on."

Not only was I not in the mood to repeat my apology after it'd been ignored, I was also not in the mood to mess around with a kitten when we were on the run. I waited for her to move back into the alley, then I turned to keep watch, leaning one shoulder against the cold brick wall.

"I hope you were at least paying attention when I told you what clothes went where," I tossed over my shoulder, blandly. "We need to get a move on or we're going to be back in straight jackets and dog crates before we know it."


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"You have got to be kidding me."

These were... not the words I was expecting. I looked up with confusion evident in my gaze as Marcus stepped to the side, gesturing his hand dismissively and motioning me to get back in the alley, looking fully disdainful of the fear I had felt and of the creature before us. "B-but... it..." I murmured, my voice trailing into silence as I became acutely aware of doing something wrong yet again. Had I again misinterpreted his orders, somehow? He had been perfectly clear that I was supposed to escape if something emerged from the dumpster. Something had, so... why? Why was he acting this way, scolding me again as though I'd done something wrong by obeying his commands? Had I misunderstood him again? Why...? Why was it that there were suddenly so many things I didn't understand? It seemed to me like people in the outside world - no, people in general - were always getting mad at me no matter what I did. First, my unremembered failure that had apparently resulted in my imprisonment and punishment, and subsequent near-execution. Next, my sudden appearance apparently angering Jude, and resulting in another punishment. After that, I had quite nearly been punished for my fear of being seen by other people, and then had been beaten savagely by the Vampire for my flight from the Ward. Marcus had saved me, only to scold me when I misinterpreted his orders to unclothe myself. And now, I had only tried to do as he said, but had somehow mistaken his command yet again! In a way, the fact that he, as of yet, hadn't actually physically struck me in retaliation for my failures was actually worse than the punishments I was used to and fully expected. How besides guilty was I supposed to feel for constantly burdening someone so benevolent as to protect me and not harm me? How besides ignorant should I have seemed when everything had to be explained to me, and where all of my innocent follies resulted only in actions so absolutely stupid as to frustrate even such a generous, wise soul as my guardian?

As he explained how I had apparently gone wrong - something about how he had only been joking, which, although I didn't really understand it, seemed to be a way of saying that one was not entirely serious when one made a particular comment, although how one went about discerning the truth from a "joke," I could not begin to fathom - I couldn't help but feel insignificant and mentally inferior. He threw around so casually concepts that I had never even heard of and did not fully understand, such as "jokes" and "kittens," while I simply stood, my head hung low in shame, trying to grasp his meaning in the hopes of discerning some means of not making the same mistake in the future. But, as it lay, I still hadn't the slightest clue how to interpret his words, laced as they were with "jokes" and other casual statements of the facetious. How was I supposed to know when he was in earnest? How was I supposed to meet his expectations, to please him?! I felt as though I'd been unjustly convicted of a crime I didn't commit - or, more aptly, like a child being scolded for unintentionally doing something wrong. I was totally overwhelmed by his words, by his actions, and by the world in general. I felt helpless, unable to even do menial things due to the vast handicap of the unknown. If I couldn't even grasp things that were evidently very simple, then of what use was I to anyone? Perhaps I'd have been better off just going back to the Ward to die so I wasn't a burden anymore. I'd done wrong enough to deserve it.

As Marcus gave me the bag and directed me to put on the clothes within it, ordering me to hurry myself in the action or else face the Ward - a threat which, despite my guilt, decidedly frightened me enough to give me the courage to pass the terrifying kitten as it looked up at me and gave a quiet mew - I headed reluctantly for the end of the alleyway, where a brick wall rose sharply from a building, thus terminating the path. As I reached this point, I set down the bag, and, my hand hesitating over the zipper I'd tried to undo before, I glanced uncertainly back at my new master.

"E-er.... is it really okay, then, to... take this off?" I stammered nervously, my voice almost crushed by the feeling that what I was saying was unbelievably stupid. He had directed me to undress and abandon my old clothing in favor of the new garment he had procured, so it seemed only reasonable that I was supposed to remove the outfit. Yet, I didn't want to do something to anger him further, and at this point, my belief in reasonable courses of action had been entirely shattered. No matter how reasonable it seemed, there was still the chance that I had misunderstood something in his orders, so, reluctant as I had been to do so before, I now decided it would be prudent to ask and confirm what I was supposed to with him before I did it. I only hoped it wouldn't trouble him...

And, this justification for my actions didn't make me feel any less ignorant, or embarrassed.


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While I kept watch at the mouth of the alley, I wondered bemusedly why Eins acted like the world had ended everytime I was a little less than happy. I wasn't even angry about the kitten incident... in fact it was a little bit funny now that I was thinking about it. But she had looked dejected as she took the bag from me, and I could sense some kind of depression radiating off of her even from this far away. She was walking on egg shells, like I'd threatened to strangle her or something.

I sensed eyes on my back, but resisted the instinctive urge to meet them with my own. I kept my eyes firmly on the row of buildings ahead, absentmindedly reading the shop signs and listening for anything remotely suspicious.

"E-er.... is it really okay, then, to... take this off?"

I really couldn't blame her for asking. Like I said, walking on eggshells. And I'd overreacted the last time... but that was the past and I was tired of thinking about it.

"Yep," I confirmed, keeping my amusement to myself. I had a feeling she would think I was demeaning her or something. I wondered what else I'd learn about her before the whole thing was over... maybe I'd better find out now, before it became an obstacle.

"So... Eins," I said slowly, after a moment of silence on my part. "Anything I should know about you? What kind of abilities do you have?"


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(And, yet again, I do awkward things to embarrass Eins. XD)

My companion's monosyllabic reply, while relieving me of my fears that I would somehow anger him again, didn't make me feel much better despite that fact. He stated his answer as though it was so obvious as to be undeserving of any response longer than a single word, as though merely questioning the fact that it was okay to do as he said - as I understood it, anyway - this time was so pointless as to be idiotic. I had missed something else that I should have instinctively known, it seemed. The reality of how clueless I was weighed heavily on my shoulders, almost crushing my will to do anything entirely with the fear of doing it wrong. But, I was apparently supposed to do as I had been told, so...

"So... Eins... Anything I should know about you? What kind of abilities do you have?" The sudden query distracted me from my uncertainty as I slipped off my tight-fitting shoe and legging package, then tackled the nerve-wracking challenge of yet again unbinding the zipper, feeling the cold air against my skin as an abrupt reminder of the fact that, aside from the garment I was currently removing, I had nothing in the way of clothes, and of how cold the night was - colder even than my old cell.

"A-ah..." I stammered, trying to find an adequate response to his question as I fumbled about with the first buckle, not really sure how to unfasten it. How should I answer him? I could tell the truth about my powers - the ability to enter minds and take on the pain of others - but, I feared, that might make him paranoid and cause him to be reluctant to trust me - or even to abandon me entirely. But, on the other hand, if I lied to him, he would probably realize that I wasn't telling the truth, which would make him even more suspicious. But I couldn't simply remain silent - given that I had called him for help telepathically, he already had some clue as to the nature of my powers, and would no doubt be curious, or even apprehensive, of what they were, and thus would have his suspicions confirmed by such an obvious action - as doing so would probably make him angry at me again, since I would be defying his request outright, a course of action I could not even begin to consider. At last, I settled on a compromise between truth and untruth, deciding to tell him what my powers were by a roundabout way that would hopefully assuage his potential fears whilst also not arousing his suspicion.

"I can communicate with others at a distance," I said briefly, doing my best to answer in a confident and assured manner so as not to seem suspicious by stuttering or hesitating in response to his question. "A-and I can take on people's pain, too," I added as an afterthought, my finished response punctuated by the sound of a clicking buckle - I had finally discovered how to undo the fastenings - followed by another and another as I worked my way down the cloth's front. To my surprise, however, even though the front of the jacket was entirely undone, it still refused to part enough to slip around my shoulders and off of me. I could feel a faint tugging holding the jumpsuit together from behind, which must have meant... there was a clasp in the back, too? Feeling my arms around blindly behind me, I tried to reach far enough to locate the fastening, stretching first to one side, and then the other, then to both at once, but all to not avail. Despite all my efforts, I found myself unable to do more than ever so fleetingly touch the very edge of the last buckle, as I had to reach around my own wings to do so due to its location at the bottom of the slit through which they protruded, concealed just below them. Growing frustrated now, I spread my wings to their full length, then raised them upward, trying to reach the fastening, but even then, I could not quite grasp the clasp that would separate it. Overbalanced by the effort, I instead found myself taking a step to the side to catch my weight, only to collide into the wall at the alley's end and tip backwards, falling on my rear with a quiet "Oof!" of pain and surprise, the old bruises I had sustained yet again flaring to painful levels of protest. I rose to my feet her again, rubbing the side of my head where it had bumped against the wall. Already, I was feeling several small uneven patches beneath my hair, each from a spot where I'd been struck today. My head was hurting and my ears were ringing, I was tired, I was cold, I was sore, I was depressed, I was scared, and on top of all that, I couldn't even undo this last buckle!

"E-er..." I stammered, hesitating to ask for help as I recalled the reaction of abhorrence Marcus had shown before at a single glance at my body. It would doubtless be uncomfortable for him to even be close to me like this, but how else could I comply with his orders? It was the only option I had, but, somehow, that didn't make it any less embarrassing. "T-there's a buckle on the back..." I said weakly, my voice barely more than a whisper. "I-I... can't reach it..." I finished lamely, leaving my conclusion unsaid, but nonetheless implied. Ashamed at my request due to its apparently rule-breaking nature, I flushed red for what seemed like the millionth time today and turned away, my head once more bowed in humiliation.


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I can communicate with others at a distance.

A deeply sarcastic reply sprang to the tip of my tongue when I heard that, but I bit it down. I'd already decided that the best way to approach Eins was stoically, with very little emotion at all. A sarcastic reply would definitely make the awkwardness between us worse. The less emotion I showed, the less likely she would be to assume I was angry or disgusted by her.

I wonder how much of that behavior is because of the Ward. Probably about... 99.9 percent of it. Speaking (or rather thinking) of the Ward, she seemed a little vague about her abilities, hesitant even. Maybe she didn't really know what she could do... that surely couldn't be all of it. Communicating at a distance, that sounded pretty useful. Taking other people's pain... yeah, I'd kill for that ability. Not.

Eins stammered from behind me. I'd registered the sound of a light struggle, but hadn't paid any attention to it. Instead of speaking, I waited for her to finish whatever she was going to say. There was a buckle in the back that she couldn't reach. Okay, no big deal. I really needed to stop acting like an eight year old... human bodies were not that traumatic.

"Okay," I said evenly. "Turn around and I'll get it."

I waited until I heard her move and then with one last glance up and down the street, I turned and moved further into the alley. Presented with the buckle, it was simple enough for me to reach over with both hands and unclasp it. Why anyone would put a buckle there was beyond me, it didn't seem like it served any purpose at all.

"Hold the suit closed and I'll make sure there aren't any others that need to be undone," I suggested. (Assuming she'd done so) I checked for any other weirdly placed buckles but it seemed like she'd gotten them all.

"Done," I said simply, slowly stepping back and turning to face the front of the alley again.

It'd been maybe half an hour since I'd smashed a rock against the Vampire's skull. They recovered pretty quickly and I was sure he'd woken up by now. Yet I hadn't heard or saw a single thing to suggest we were about to be ambushed. Most likely, the Vampire had gone back to headquarters with a concussion, unable to battle. But wouldn't they send more?

It was a very tense few minutes as I waited for Eins to finish dressing.


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Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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"Okay. Turn around and I'll get it." My face flushed a brighter shade of red - if that was possible - as my guardian reluctantly approached me from behind, reaching out and quickly unfastening the strap. I somehow just knew without looking that I must have made another mistake and angered him. After all, he hadn't even wanted to be near me before when I had tried to undress, and now I was forcing him to approach me regardless just because I was a helpless klutz.

Ashamed as I was, I didn't need him to tell me to hold my now limp and loose jumpsuit, keeping it from slipping down any further than where it currently dangled dangerously below my exposed shoulders while he patted it down for other hidden fastenings - probably meant to make the suit cumbersome to its wearer, if any existed, although I had a feeling the one on the back was the only one and was probably just meant to keep the suit from sliding down and covering my wings.

"Done," he said at last, and stepped back and away, evidently not having found anything else. A glance over my shoulder told me he wasn't looking, so for the first time in years I stepped fully out of my prisoner's raiment, letting it fall softly to the ground as the frigid air danced across my now fully exposed skin, causing me to shiver in the sudden chill. I'd been cold enough, even with the thin garment on. Now that I had discarded it, I felt as though I had stepped into a freezer and locked the door behind me. Quickly, I began rummaging through the small bag of clothes, glancing over the various items that greeted my eyes. Well, over my confused fear I hadn't really heard much of Marcus' instructions, but they were things he wanted me to know, and were fresh in his mind, meaning just by being close to him I had a fairly good idea of what I was supposed to do - although there was a somewhat confusing part I didn't understand about something called "underclothing" which evidently was not included in the outfit he had brought, as I couldn't seem to find any of it.

The new garments consisted of a pair of snugly fitting, ankle-length leggings known as "pants," made of some very soft, snowy white colored material I didn't recognize. I slid into these first, but found them to be only slightly thicker than my old attire, and just as tight against my form. While the latter was good, as it gave me one less thing to trip over, it still meant I was rather cold despite the garment I now wore.

The raiment known as a "T-Shirt" - I wasn't sure why there didn't seem to be a "U-Shirt" or a "V-Shirt," or even an A, B, or C shirt, but evidently that was just how the naming convention worked, despite making very little sense to me - was a little more complicated in terms of size. The garment was a dark shade of ocean blue, and, unfortunately, while it fit me fairly closely in the bust and stomach areas - although it became somewhat loose and rumpled in the latter region - it was evidently tailored to fit someone quite a bit taller and more sizable than myself. Vertically, it went clear past my waist and reached nearly to my thighs, while its sleeves - which, due to their construction, were evidently meant to only reach to around elbow level - ran clear down to my wrists, and were so bulky as to look almost comical as my small, white hands protruded from their vast consuming depths. This garment I donned second, and, after some stumbling around in a confused search for zippers or other fastenings of the sort I recognized, found that there were none, and I was instead supposed to pull it over my head. After this confusion was resolved, I managed to get the garment on - although my practically bladed wings were somewhat difficult to fit through its fragile back without tearing too large a hole in it - and set about tackling the remaining accessories.

The stockings I had been bought - rather over-sized black cloths that, unlike my other clothing, were thick and warm - reached almost up to my knees, but were fairly simple to work out, since they were quite similar to my old leggings. The shoes, on the other hand, were somewhat more complicated to work out. My instructions as received from Marcus' mind dictated that I tie the strings on top of the rather confusing footgear - which white with flecks of deep blue, and in their flat design were like some sort of a cross between a tennis shoe and a slipper - in something called a "knot." Unfortunately, it took quite some time to decipher exactly what this meant. But, after a few minutes of fiddling with the strings, I managed to finally get them to assume the shape they were apparently supposed to, and the shoes fit quite snugly on my feet. But, unfortunately, aside from them and the socks keeping my feet quite warm, I myself was rather cold. I searched through the bag a final time, and to my delight, I found at least a partial solution to my issues.

The last garment was a thick blue jacket with soft white lining that had obviously seen better days - both its sleeves had been at some point removed, the torn area restitched and patched entirely over by hand so as to maintain the garment's insulation, and its zipper was not only broken, but also jammed just below the collar, making it impossible to either loosen or fully close - but on the other hand, it was very comfortable - the collar was both loose and high enough for me to slip into and hide behind in much the same way as I had concealed myself beneath my mask before, and the garment also came with a rather large, consuming hood that I could probably pull over myself if I ever got embarrassed, on top of which the garment would also conceal my folded wings perfectly - and warm - even if I would end up wearing it more as an open poncho, it was oversized enough to flow down almost as far as my gigantic shirt did, and from the moment I put it on had a tendency to wrap around me like a sort of cloak - and so I instantly decided to wear it, pulling it over my head and feeling almost instantly comforted by the feeling of a sort of barrier between my face of the eyes of any who might look at me. I also donned the hood, as an extra measure against the shame I still felt, before turning uneasily and picking up my fallen jumpsuit.

"I-I'm done," I murmured uneasily, not sure how Marcus would react. Something, be it instinct or some other basic feeling, told me that I should be worried about his opinion on how I looked at the moment. If the outfit suited me well, I wanted him to say so, and at the same time, I was afraid that he would reconsider his choice based on my appearance. I didn't really understand the feeling of trying on a new and uncertain ensemble until later, but at the time, I was quite baffled by it. "W-what should I do with this?" I asked, holding up the old white jumpsuit as I tried to get my mind off of my sudden anxiety, hiding my somewhat reddened face beneath my new hood.


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Character Portrait: Euro Character Portrait: Matthew "Matt" Bernard Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: Samuel Echtin Character Portrait: Taylor Rice Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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Matthew (@TheFlag and NTNO; you guys should try continuing the conversation in your own ways, asking other questions, etc. I feel as though my character overshadows yours just a bit too much, and I don’t want that :( )

I awaited their answers patiently. Taylor responded with a prompt no, clearing her throat in the process. For a moment, I wondered how long the two of them had escaped from the Ward. Had they unknowingly come from the same Ward and accidently met up? Or had they been together the whole time?

“I think I came from..." Sam began, pausing for a moment as he seemed to organize his thoughts "Arizona. As for plans, I haven't really had time to formulate one."

I nodded, prying apart my lips to inform them on my own situation. For a moment, my eyes flashed brightly as I remembered the crumpled up piece of paper stuffed in Marce’s sweater. Jeez. There was no way that thing had survived the blood showers in one piece, as cruel as it sounded to joke about my sister’s condition. I’d just have to hope that it was at least legible.

Just then Taylor seem to grasp onto something I had been completely and utterly oblivious too.

“Where’s Euro?”

Where was Euro? A better question would be, how long had we been here? Certainly long enough for them to have patched up my sister. We’d been sitting here for what seemed like hours.

“I don’t know,” I answered dumbfounded, just as a nurse sauntered over to us.

“Is your name Matthew?” she asked politely, a small yellow, sticky note looking piece of paper in her hand. I nodded, still too shocked with Euro’s disappearance to find words.

“Well,” she said, hesitating, “Amazingly, your sister,”

“Marceline,” I filled in automatically.

“Marceline,” she corrected herself, “Is in stable condition. Her wound seemed to, well, miraculously speed up in the healing condition. However, you all can’t see her just yet.”

I nodded. The nurse and doctors would never understand just how advanced us bird kids were. Speedy healing was a part of the package.

“Also, the young man who dropped you off left this note for you.”

I took the note from her dainty hand, unfolding it to read the insides.

I’m sorry. I have a family. We’ll meet again someday. I’m really sorry kids. Oh and I’m human.” I read aloud. The words were scrawled on the paper as though he’d rushed them down. My lips pursed. I felt both betrayed and yet at the same time, responsible to keep Euro a secret.

I could only assume so many things: First and foremost, Euro was a young guy. Family probably meant a wife, or something, and a baby. I couldn’t jeopardize his life like that.

“He’s human,” I repeated the word human, emphasizing on it, and hoping to convey to Taylor and Sam the idea that we couldn’t let it slip up that Euro was one of us. We could be putting his family in danger. I mean, I hoped he wasn’t lying to us. He’d helped us, why would he be lying?

I slumped down in my chair, disappointed and tired. Tired but not necessarily sleepy. I didn’t know what to say, and honestly hoped that Taylor or Sam would change the subject somehow. This was just…too devastating.


I remained emotionless. Perhaps a normal person would have arched their eyebrows, but I knew of no such thing as plainly expressed emotions. Or rather, I preferred to keep what I was feeling to me, only if the reason was because I didn’t really understand what it meant to express myself. Slowly, by the indication of the female scientist, I lifted myself to my feet following Mike’s lead.

He seemed…intelligent…or at least I had to assume so. Something already felt different about him, different to the way other Vampire’s acted. He seemed careful, and controlled. He also seemed to have recognized me as soon as the scientist had uttered my age.

That in itself proved how well known I was amongst the Ward intelligence. Anyone with power in the Ward knew about me. Which meant if my father trusted Michael to take care of me, trusted Michael to know about me, Michael must have had a rather high ranking amongst the Vampires.

I followed him through the hallways, uncomfortable with the looks that the majority of scientist threw my way, praising my form as though I was some kind of prize animal. I heavily disliked it. You may wonder why I didn’t use the word hate. I once heard that hate means you must have once loved quite a bit. I get the impression that many don’t believe, but I do. And so, for now, I shall try to avoid the word “hate”.

“Tell me,” I said in a monotonous voice, directed at Mike, “What is it you do here at the Ward? What is it we’re going to do?”


Do surgery on my wing, will you?

My lips pursed as the doctor tersely touched the edge of my formerly ripped wing, reveling in it’s presence.

“Are you done masturbating to my wing yet?” I asked casually, implied venom subtly dripping from every word. Taken aback, he snapped his hand away, pale freckled face running bright with blood.

“Sorry,” he stuttered, already seeming to grasp for an excuse.

“I don’t want hear.” I cut him off, before he could continue. “Where’s my…family…” I said carefully, referring to all of them (Matt, and the new kids, Taylor and Samuel ) as my collective family. It was safer that way, if the doctor thought we all had connections to one another.

“They’re outside. They can’t see you yet,” He murmured, quickly beginning to dismiss himself, “I’m sorry miss, but you’ll just have to stay here. Good night.”

He rushed out of the door flicking the lights off. Asshole.

I sighed, rubbing my forehead, and flexing my fixed wing. It was beginning to feel much better, but the ache in my head was worsening.

Euro had driven us here. He’d helped the doctors patch me up. But he’d never once said he was a bird kid as well. All I remember hearing of his hushed conversation with the doctor was that he’d been strolling along when he’d found us. He explained his bird knowledge by saying he worked in a pet shop with a section dedicated to parrots and parakeets. All his excuses would have sound like lies coming from a kids mouth, but he was an adult.

Then, when everything had been over, he’d come and spoken with me.

”Sorry, but what’s your name?” he looked down at me sheepishly, and I almost melted under the light brown eyes begging for forgiveness. I’d never in my life met a guy who was able to that. Then again, there’s always firsts.


“No prob Marceline,” he twined his fingers, glancing the other way then back. His words spilled out of his mouth like a rushed waterfall, “I have to leave you Marceline. I have a family, a pregnant wife, a special baby on the way…”

Special. Winged, he meant.

I nodded. “Thanks Euro…you gotta do what you gotta do.”

He nodded back in agreement, looking genuinely sorry. “I’ll leave a note for the kids. We’ll meet again someday.”

And just like that he was gone.

I frowned. The rest of the kids would be devastated when they found out. I was.

Flapping my wing, I tested it out on the curtain, which abruptly began flowing with the motion of wind I was producing.

I couldn’t handle being in here. It smelled disgusting, and felt cramped. Slowly, I slid out of the hospital bed, grabbing my jeans and my shirt. My regular, blood soaked sweater was now dyed with dark, almost black spots of dried blood. Against the dark purple background of the sweater, the blood looked like an out of place design.

Oh well.

I slipped it over my head, glad for the fact that blood doesn’t smell. I’d ditch it some other place.

Prying open the window, I did one of the things I knew how to do best. I jumped.

Spreading my wings out, I let a sliver of wind catch me, before pumping myself higher in the sky. I winced as my wing ached a slight bit before subsiding.

My headache was already beginning to disappear. The fresh (or as fresh as polluted air can get) air was a welcome change to the disinfectant scent of the stinky hospital.

I can’t tell you how long I flew. The trip back to the area where I’d been, by air, was about fifteen minutes, tops. It didn’t take long before I got to a shopping district, grinning as I looked down at the ant-like people still out and about. Which, to me, was not many. They wouldn’t be able to make my shape out against the pitch black darkness of the night sky. To them, normal people who’d never seen a bird kid, I would have looked like some giant bird. To a bird kid, I would have been recognizable.

For a second, my eyes blurred, and I snapped my head forward.

Oh no. Once again they blurred, and I felt myself tilting to the left. My left wing had given out.

In a matter of seconds I was spiraling downwards. In a desperate attempt to adjust my direction, I tilted my body, and remaining wing, aiming for a rather desolate alley near an already closed store.

When I was close enough to the ground of the alley, I spread my right wing out, slowing my speed, but still toppling me into the ground. At least it didn’t hurt as much.

But let me tell you. It still hurt.

“Ow,” I scowled, tightening, my wings against my back. My right neatly tucked itself into my sweater, but after a determined effort, my left simply plastered itself awkwardly up against my back, too stiff and painful to fully fold into my sweater. Jeez, what a mess I had gotten into.

“Stupid,” I reprimanded myself, refusing to blame my wing (yes I treat my wings just like any child would treat their teddy bear; like a real person…I wish I had a teddy bear.) The walk back was probably a good hour.

“What’s wrong with you Marce?” I sighed, pulling myself to my feet and dusting my jeans off.


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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins
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It felt like it had been silent for a long time, though it'd only been a couple minutes. When I finally heard Eins say something, it was so unexpected that I jumped and glanced around warily. I turned again to face Eins, quietly considering her new (okay, used and kind of worn) clothes.

My guesses seemed to be more or less close to her size and I smirked inwardly. The T-shirt was a little too big, hanging a few inches below the equally oversized jacket, though that wasn't a big deal, and it was better that the jacket was larger. Hopefully it wouldn't be a problem when it came to flying.

"Perfect," I said, nodding in approval. I could only assume that tearing I heard earlier was her making holes for her wings through the back of the shirt.

"Just to be safe, you should probably keep your hood up for now," I suggested mildly. "It's not unusual for people to dye their hair different colors from what I've heard, but it still draws attention."

When she held out the jumpsuit and asked what she should do with it, I stared at it thoughtfully. "I'd love to burn it, but that would be a bad idea. No matches or lighters to burn it with, either. This'll have to do..."

I took the jumpsuit from her, balled it up, and walked over to the dumpster. Doing my best not to touch the contents or the bin itself, I stuffed the wad of cloth behind a trashbag with a grimace. There was a moldy, soggy sandwhich melted across the top of the trashbags. Disgusting.

"Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way... we can finally get the heck out of here," I announced with a half smile, half smirk, suddenly in a better mood. We were one step closer to being out of the Ward's reach.

Life really loves to prove me wrong.

As I stepped out of the alley, I instinctively scanned the area. And froze. Something large, dark, and human-shaped temporarily blocked out the stars, and then the thing went hurtling past, moving faster than I could possibly think or observe. It disappeared behind or between the buildings nearby.

Vampire! my mind screamed at me as my heart began to pound with adrenaline, my breathing quickening. I just knew it was the Vampire I'd knocked out; we'd wasted too much time with those stupid clothes and now we would pay the price. The Vampire had probably brought reinforcements!

I panicked.

I broke into a run and headed in the general direction I'd seen the Vampire go, without even pausing to inform Eins. I had a vague idea that I'd corner the Vampire and force him to tell me who he'd brought with him and how they were planning to ambush us. A poorly thought out idea with a lot of holes in it, but I was too busy worrying about having a heart attack (right before the Ward captured and tortured me, of course) to reconsider my plan of action.

It felt like hours passed as I ran, but I knew it could only have been seconds, certainly less than a minute. I'd passed several alleys and turned a couple corners, refusing to stop and think, my eyes frantically shifting in search of dark humanoid shapes with glistening wings. Every shadow that leapt at me was an enemy.

I almost passed the Vampire before I realized what I'd seen and skidded to a halt at the mouth of the alley, nerves wrapped in a tight painful bundle. In hindsight, probably not a good idea. The Vampire was there, standing in the shadows, probably giving orders to his friends.

I tensed, prepared to do... well, something. Attack? Probably. Like I said, panic. But then the Vampire spoke, and that threw me off for several reasons.

"What's wrong with you Marce?"

One, last time I checked, Marce was a girl's name. Two, last time I checked, the Vampire I'd attacked and knocked out was male. Before I could begin to jump to conclusions about why this might be, details penetrated my panic clouded mind.

The figure had been dark, but the wings had been pale. Feathery. Even in the darkness, I could see that this "Vampire" also had pale wings, one of which seemed a little... off. It wasn't folded properly. The "Vampire" was also wearing normal, slightly dirty clothes and had no claws.

The "Vampire" was not a Vampire. It -she- was another bird kid. Another escapee. Someone else who would appreciate this situation and the evil that was the ward. Safety in numbers. Elation jolted through me, but I shook my head, forcing it away.

She could be a spy. No, screw that. I was not going to go through that again. And it was hard to be suspicious of her... she was like me, wings and all. Not that Eins was bad... but she was different. That sort of thinking was probably wrong, but these weren't thoughts or feelings I could ignore or change. Besides, the paranoia would probably drop in later to say hi, it hated to miss crashing a party.

I realized I'd been standing there like an idiot for a least ten seconds. Finally I found words.

"You escaped from the Ward. Just like me and Eins." I said, a little disbelievingly, and also a little out of breath. What were the odds? I felt my lips form a subtle half-smile against my will. Now that my eyes had adjusted to the darkness again, they were drawn once again to her wings, especially to the one that was a little off. I also noticed that she was cute. Not that I should be thinking stupid thoughts like that, at a time like this.

"Your wing isn't broken, is it?" I asked, surprised at how calm I sounded. I halfway expected to be attacked, or confronted with suspicion... same way I had acted towards Eins. But this was different. Not everyone was as paranoid as me.


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Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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“Tell me,” Alice said in a monotonous voice, directed at Mike, “What is it you do here at the Ward? What is it we’re going to do?” Mike hadn't quite anticipated Alice to beat around the bush, but she was surprisingly straight forward. Mike slowed down to walk alongside her, rather than lead the way. Mike would likely answer any answer she had to offer. He wasn't exactly the person that liked to lie. Mike prefered to speak in deceptive truths. Blending his speech patterns to dance around a question with vague answers.

Mike's eyes were unfocused, clouded with past events. He walked for a small while longer, turning a corner while formulating the words. When he turned the corner he gave Alice a wide birth. Mike decided it would be best to tell her most of the truth. "I'm one of the operation managers at this facility. I take orders from Gunther's proxies. I'm just another ordinary Vampire really." Mike's eyes would occaisionally drift over experiments in their cages. Though he wouldn't allow it, regret filled the pit of his stomach. He looked away, reminding himself that such feelings couldn't be allowed to cloud his judgement. Mike kept pushing the guilt down.

"As for what we're doing here, I believe your father explained it rather thoroughly. To explain it in simpler terms. I am going to be preparing you for your deployment into the field." Mike answered casually. They eventually reached an exit. Where Mike pushed open the doors. The best way to experience the outside world, was just to simply dive in head first. Mike always had very few choices of his own when in the field. Most of the time, some proxy was telling him orders. Mike was only present to track targets, or coordinate attacks. Mike was under the notion that it was his duty to protect and teach Alice. His intentions blurred. Mike rarely got to interact with anyone that was capable of thinking clearly, though he knew he would be unable to be himself around her. He would always have to wear a mask of emotions, just as he had always done with everyone else. His gut told him to teach her, then be done with her. Mike knew deep down that Gunther wouldn't allow that. He didn't know what that man had in store for everyone, but Mike didn't like to think what was going to happen to himself in the near future.

"Any other questions?" Mike asked calmly. His mind slowly drifting away. He was almost always thinking about anything but the present. Always doting on the past, always trying to envision the future. Mike sought distraction from the things he was doing. He continued walking pondering on events long since passed.


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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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"Perfect." The reply brought me some measure of relief, as evidently this outfit, unlike my last wardrobe, would be satisfactory to my new master and to the job of blending into society I would have to do. I gave a slight smile beneath the concealing, oversized collar of my new jacket, glad to see that I had met with his standards at last. It was a comforting thought to know that I could, after all, earn Marcus' approval, even though most of my attempts to follow his commands were rather unsuccessful, to say the least.

But, the calm that came with this response did not last long. As Marcus took a step forward, he froze for a moment, and I could clearly hear the breath stop in his throat for a split second. A second later, it picked up again with renewed force, and he took off abruptly without so much as a word of directions. For a moment, I was conflicted. Was I supposed to follow him, or should I wait here? What was it that had startled him so much? Why hadn't he given me any orders? I couldn't be sure of the course of action that was least likely to result in my further chastisement without knowing what it was that my master wanted, but how could I do that when his thoughts were clouded by fear and excitement and he hadn't given me a word of direction? But, at that moment, an answer came to me. Orders or no orders, something had scared him. And, if something could manage to scare Marcus, then it would surely be a much graver threat to myself. Here, by my self in the dark, there was one thing I knew for sure: with or without my master's will, I did not want to be left alone.

In an instant, I took off after him, nearly tripping over several objects that might or might not have actually existed as I rushed frantically behind my master, trying to catch up to him despite his considerable speed and my own clumsiness. I was slow enough on the ground to begin with without counting my lack of experience at running and the stumbles and falls that caused, while my master was nimble and quick. It took my utmost effort to catch up to him, especially once I realized that those few people on the streets at this late hour were staring at us - staring at me - as they passed. The fear I felt at having their eyes on me was mitigated only by the reassurance provided by the knowledge that my face was hidden by my hood. Even still, I almost became so panicked as to run away and give up on following Marcus.

Despite my difficulty pursuing him, I did not cry out for him to wait, or protest being left behind. Whatever was happening, this was his will, and I would not jeopardize it by valuing my own opinions over his. Whatever it was he was doing, I had faith that he knew, and so simply followed quietly, doing my best to keep up despite the many stumbles and the occasional fall I took along the way.

And then, as suddenly as our flight had begun, it ended as Marcus abruptly stopped at the mouth of another alleyway, gazing intently in at something I couldn't initially make out until I managed to get closer, running up behind Marcus as I finally caught up. Standing before us was a being of a stature greater than my own - as most were - whose wings I noticed almost the instant I set eyes on her. By the look of things, we had found another avian-based "Angel" type mutant, which explained why Marcus had run off, at least. But, although it appeared that all Angel mutants were allies of each other - at least, Marcus treated it that way - I couldn't help but feel - perhaps Jude's sudden attack on myself had something to do with that - that I wasn't included in that alliance. Considering Marcus' reluctance to take me and the beating I had been dealt by Jude, it seemed to me that the Angels would only keep me around so long as I was useful, and even then, that I was suspect and inferior to them. As it was, I could at best be called Marcus' servant, and now that he had found another potential ally, I was quite afraid that I might no longer be worth protecting to him. If I had to reveal my ability to track other Mutants - and, by extension, the true nature of my powers - I had a feeling that I might be considered both equally useful and dangerous, which would, while preserving my safety, hardly improve my situation. Thus, I stayed nervously behind Marcus, clinging gently to his arm and peering fearfully over his shoulder as though it was the girl in the alley that I wanted to be protected from rather than my guardian's own betterment, and the subsequent abandonment I so dreaded.

"You escaped from the Ward, just like me and Eins... Your wing isn't broken, is it?" My master said. I simply waited, and watched.


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Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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So that was it then? I didn’t believe him, to be honest. I felt like there was a bigger picture behind his role in the Ward, but kept it to myself. He must have been important, whether he knew it or not. Otherwise, with the amount of malice Gunther referred to Vampires with, why would he trust Michael of all of them? There must have been some change in him, something that sparked my father’s decision and interest in him. After all, I’d seen Mike on countless monitors back in Antartica…

Which reminded me. I’d gotten a taste of the air outside when I’d had been transferred from plane to truck. It was cool now, at the night, but I knew what Arizona was, and I was not looking forward to the sweltering heat of tomorrow.

"Any other questions?" Mike asked in a cool voice. I struggled to match my pace with him step for step as he seemed to unconsciously speed up.

All of a sudden a tirade of questions assaulted my mind, things I wanted to know, things I’d never seen, people I’d never met but knew of…

“Have you met them,” I asked quietly, still straining to keep up with him, “The winged children I mean…what are they like…Where am I staying?”

I had a feeling that we wouldn’t be going anywhere special tonight. It was already late, and, from what I knew, I doubted the idea that shopping areas would be open. For a second I felt a pang of regret, wishing that I could have arrived earlier so that he could have taken me somewhere else, anywhere. I remembered once seeing a “McDonalds” on the screen of one of my father’s monitors as he observed some of our escapees.

I wanted to go to McDonalds one day too….

And then I asked, “What’s McDonalds?”

I inwardly cringed. I had a vast expanse of knowledge, but not an in depth look into what I knew. It was embarrassing to say the least.


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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins Character Portrait: Marcus
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As I straightened my back out, stretching in the process, I became aware of the skid of footsteps, the muted company that had joined me in my shadowed alley.

Turning on my heels, I cautiously faced my uninvited guests.

Who in turn surprised me on their own.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the alley (assisted by the shine of the moon that penetrated the entranceway of said alley) I was able to deduce faces, features that told me I wasn’t about to be randomly jumped by a Vampire.

A thin boy stood before me, with tousled black hair that framed his face nicely, and a set of dark eyes. I took the time to notice the fact that he seemed to be a cute kid, about my age, and that he wasn’t alone. Beside him another, much smaller indiscernible figure, shielded by a hood, cowered into his side, and I could only assume I had frightened the shit out of them. I mean, how often is it that you see a random girl falling out of the sky?

I’m going to go with not very often.

They definitely weren’t Vampires. Or at least I thought so. The girl was too small and frightened, and the boy was equally too streamlined to express the bulk that most Vampires sported.

"You escaped from the Ward. Just like me and Eins." The boy asked, sounding winded, but throwing everything into perspective with that one question. If he had recognized me as a Ward escapee, if he had recognized my wings, my best deduction was that both of them had wings too.

Isn’t logic amazing?

I bit down on my lip as I tried to fit more puzzle pieces together. It’d been a little over a month since me and Matthew had busted out of there. We’d had plenty of traveling experience during our lifetime of being transferred from Ward to Ward, and were aware of the fact that there were others out there like us. But since then, it seemed like our number of escapees had increased considerably. And it seemed as though many of them had been shielded from the fact that there were others out there, just like themselves.

Was the Ward purposefully letting us go? Was this just some game to see which of us would die first? Or were we really fighting our way through the scientists and Vampires towards freedom?

Arizona itself seemed to be a hotspot for Ward facilities. Soon enough I was going to stop being surprised by the mutants that seemed to pop up everywhere.

I broke out of my thoughts for a second to see the boy throwing me half a smile, kind of stuck in between awe and caution, as if he was still processing the fact that I was real.

"Your wing isn't broken, is it?" he asked, seeming to already have spotted my floppy, struggling left wing.

In an attempt to seem friendly, I responded with a lopsided, kind of sheepish smile, “Yeah I'm from the Ward. I escaped a little over a month ago.” I said slowly, “And my wing...It’s pretty much gone right about now. Can’t really move it, though it pains like hell.”

I attempted to sound casual. While I couldn’t asses the girl’s feeling, seeing as I couldn’t see her face, I had a feeling that the boy was glad with the present situation. I couldn’t blame him. What a relief it was to understand that there were others out there just like you. If I had been in his place, I would have been the same way.

This was just like a serious relationship. I had to take it slow, be careful with what I was saying. Matthew wasn’t here to help break the ice, and so it was up to me to make sure everything went smoothly between myself and our new set of mutants. The fact that the boy seemed so calm was a great assistance. It wouldn’t have helped if he had tried flogging me right there and then.

I needed to get them on my side before they decided to turn tail and leave me helpless.

“I was in the hospital,” I began explaining quickly, “Me and a few others had been attacked by Vampires. I ended up getting pretty beat up, and we ended up having to resort to the hospital. They fixed me up, but being me,” I sighed at that point, “I went out for a flight and ended up crash landing.”

I smiled again, just as sheepish as before, “And so here I am, broken up in the middle of Arizona. I’m Marceline, by the way,” I said holding out a now much cleaner hand for him to shake (this is the only point in my life where I will ever say this; thank God hospitals are sanitary).


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Character Portrait: Marceline "Marcy" Bernard Character Portrait: "Sariya" Eins
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"Yeah I'm from the Ward. I escaped a little over a month ago."

I don't know why I was so relieved to hear that, since I'd already guessed as much. I really needed to get a grip on myself before I started worshipping every avian mutant I came across.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a small movement and knew it was Eins. I was glad she'd caught up with me, I hadn't meant to leave her behind, but panic doesn't exactly let you pick and choose what you're going to do.

I hardly jumped when she latched onto my arm, probably afraid I was going to take off again. I didn't blame her.

The girl began to explain her situation and I felt another leap of excitement when she mentioned "others". I stomped it down, beginning to feel annoyed. I had to get a grip on myself.

"We got attacked by a couple Vampires too, but we got rid of them pretty easily. Lucky us." I inwardly grimaced at that bit of an understatement. That second Vampire had meant business.

When she stuck out her hand I hesitated only briefly before shaking it, fighting the urge to laugh at the image. Three mutants on the run, shaking hands like civilized people in a dark, dank alley. Nothing weird about that at all.

"Marcus," I introduced myself with another half smile, then glanced briefly at Eins. I figured she would be too shy to say anything. "And Eins," I added.

And now, the problem. How would we get Marceline back to the hospital? And once we did, would we be allowed to join her and the others, or would she expect us to go our separate ways?

"So, Marceline... we need to get you back to the hospital," I said slowly, and a bit tentatively. "How far away is it?" I went over our options in my mind, which really only boiled down to two. Walking was obviously one of them, and the first thing that popped into my mind... I put it on the back burner for now. What about flying?

A brief image of me and Eins towing her through the sky flashed through my mind... but no, Eins was already unsteady in the air. That was a recipe for a disaster. Maybe I could carry her myself? I wasn't sure, I'd never tried before. But I was pretty sure she would hate that idea. She seemed like the strong independent type.

"I guess walking is an option... but flying would be better. If I helped, do you think you could fly with one wing?" I asked. It seemed an awkward solution, one wrong move and we could both go down. On the other hand, three wings should be enough to keep us both up. Assuming she even wanted to take that option.


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Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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“Have you met them,” I asked quietly, still straining to keep up with him, “The winged children I mean…what are they like…Where am I staying?” Mike noted her curious nature. It was to be expected, as she was only a year and a half old. He slowed his pace down. There was no easy way to teach Alice everything in a small time frame. Why Gunther entrusted Mike with Alice, he would never know. Perhaps she was a pipeline back to Gunther, to inform on Mike, and how he was behaving. Mike knew that Gunther had no solid proof of his intelligence, excluding his calm, and quiet demeanor. Mike was still able to convey the idea that he lacked emotions. He simply didn't know what to do, what actions he should take to avoid a coming conflict. Mike only had one answer to his solution, and that answer wasn't acceptable. Impossible even.

"I've been charged with guarding a handful of them. It is also my duty to test and bring back the ones that have escaped. As for what they are like, they are faster, more flexible, and all around better thinkers then my kind. Special abilities are to be expected among Avian hybrids. They rival us in flight, though most of them lack knowledge of the outside world. I've met many in the past, but that is a story for another time. You will be bunking in your own room. I will allow you to choose an empty one." Mike was trying to stay brief but informative. He assumed Alice would be a quick learner, for she was young, and could still grasp new concepts rather quickly. He stopped around twenty meters outside of the Ward's perimeter.

Alice asked, “What’s McDonalds?” quite randomly. This one caught Mike off guard. He glanced at her, making contact with her green eyes. He looked back into the woods, and breathed the night air.

"McDonalds is a series of fast food stores around the country, even the world. People go there, and pay for quick cheap food with currency. Not quite healthy, but it's still food I guess." Mike added the last part, obviously voicing his opinion about the place. He didn't think Alice would quite care about anyone's opinion, but he still voiced his own. After all Alice was going to be spending a lot of time with Mike. It would make sense to add a bit of himself into his 'teachings.'

Opinions had a strange way of giving frame work to basic ideas. Mike was willing to offer his own opinions sometimes, as an example rather then something to emulate.


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At that moment a woman came by and began to talk to Matthew. I sat down and put my head, silently listening to their conversation.

“Also, the young man who dropped you off left this note for you.”

I looked up and stared as he took the note then began to read aloud. It took me about two minutes to understand everything. “He’s human,” Matthew repeated and I nodded quickly. He slumped down in his seat looking worn out. I glanced at Samuel then looked down again. Guess it was up to me to save the day then huh?

“So….” I began, letting my voice trail off awkwardly. I had no idea what to say so I swung my feet and looked down at them to stall. “What do we do after this?” I asked. Ok yes, I suck at small talk but it was the best I could come up with it.


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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 after a few seconds snapped back into reality slowly regaining his senses, his eyes widened and came into focus as he relaxed against the chair again, he was completely certain Euro wasn't in the waiting room. Samuel didn't really understand the deal here, so what if he wasn't in the waiting room, he had been with the doctors most of the time after all. But then again he could have left which Samuel considered a viable option. Samuel straightened up, before shifting uneasily in his seat, a slight bit of hesitation in his eyes.

"I don't know" Matthew answered Taylor dumbfounded by the situation, just as a nurse was approaching. She turned facing Matthew, “Is your name Matthew?” the nurse asked in a polite fashion, Samuel curiously examined the nurse, he caught sight of something in her hand, a note of some kind it was yellow and small, Samuel had seen them before but struggled to find the word for it: "posted something" other than that Samuel's mind was at a blank. Samuel's eyes caught Matthew nodding, shock was written on his face. Samuel sighed before leaning back into the chair, his ears open and primed for any important news.

Samuel's head lulled closer towards the edge of his seat as he listened intently to the conversation. The nurse began to explain Marceline's condition, Samuel nodded along casually, it seemed she was improving rapidly. 'At least there's some good news.' Samuel's mind echoed faintly, before he nodded again accordingly. He guessed all bird kids had accelerated healing to a limit, he wasn't sure how it compared to his, he supposed it varied but he wasn't really sure on this. Although Samuel took slight comfort by the fact that he'd probably never need to go to the hospital.

“Also, the young man who dropped you off left this note for you.” the nurse spoke, as Matthew took it from her hands. Samuel leaned forward a little his curiosity piqued, he watched obviously interested as Matthew unfolded the paper and began to read it aloud. “I’m sorry. I have a family. We’ll meet again someday. I’m really sorry kids. Oh and I’m human.” Samuel's eyes locked down to the ground, and he felt genuinely shocked, it took a few seconds for him to genuinely process the information, and with that came slight understanding, he had other priorities: a family, that didn't stop Samuel from feeling slightly betrayed however, but it eased the feeling.

"He's human" Matthew quickly repeated emphasizing the words and Samuel nodded along quickly, before sarcastically muttering, "You don't say?" he leaned back into his chair before rubbing his temples, all this waiting around was giving him a headache, he wasn't sure he could take it much longer. “So…” Taylor's voice interrupted the silence, “What do we do after this?” Samuel's eyebrows cocked, before he went into thought, "Well I'd say we get Marceline, and get the hell out of here." he paused before continuing, "The nurse said she was doing alright. I'm sure she'd be alright now, right now we're taking a unnecessary risk." Samuel's head turned towards Matthew as he shrugged generally.


Characters Present

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 Character Portrait: Michael Character Portrait: Alice
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I waved casually to Eins as Marcus introduced both himself and his companion.

"So, Marceline... we need to get you back to the hospital. How far away is it? I guess walking is an option... but flying would be better. If I helped, do you think you could fly with one wing?"

I’d just been about to tell Marcus the distance of the hospital, when he made his suggestion to put it in mild terms.

I frowned feeling my pride stiffen every friendly muscle I’d just had.

God, I could imagine it now. We’d look like an awkward giant-three-winged bird toddling through the air. It was so embarrassingly laughable that I couldn’t even bare to look at it in a humorous light. Or maybe that was just my pride speaking. Biting my lower lip, I deliberated for a moment, allowing Marcus and Eins to be covered in a blanket of silence.

Let’s see. Walking would save me all the shameful feelings of not being able to carry myself on my own two wings. On the other hand, in my ever increasing bad condition (being made worse by my rebellious nature) I was bound to tire myself out before we’d reached half-way there. And the whole trip would probably end up taking, about, two hours. Far too long. My brother and the rest of them would find that I’d snuck out of bed already.

Which left flying. In my condition, flying with Marcus’s assistance would give us about twenty minutes to make it back to the hospital. Enough time for the kids to find out about me being gone, but also enough time for me to get back without giving any of them heart attacks.

It was at a time like this that I wished Euro hadn’t decided to pick up and leave us. Damn that boy….man for having other things to do. With his herculean strength (or his car stealing skills) we may have slid out of this one at a much faster rate.

But no, I was left with other bird kids who were similarly malnourished to me, and just as clueless as I was about stealing cars.


I wasn’t going to lie to them though.

“I don’t like this idea….but it’ll have to do. There’s no way we can make it back in time on foot…so to the air away….”

I spread my good wing, holding out my arm for Marcus to grab onto. My pride was bending my will into all sorts of impossible positions, and I could only imagine my conscience wreathing under my decision. What can I say? I liked being independent.

Motioning to the length of the alley with my other, not outstretched, arm, I said, “The alley should be long enough to give us an adequate running start.”

After all, with the two of us bumbling along, I didn’t think we’d have enough space to just jump into the sky.

“Maybe she should take a head start?” I said, jerking my chin towards Eins. If she was already in the sky, there’d be no worry about leaving anyone behind, and we’d have more space in the alley, rather than just having her go stand behind us, or outside by one of the stores.


There was so much to learn, so much to comprehend, I thought my mind would overflow with the questions that were pricking the back of my mind. Rubbing my forehead, I tried to make sense of what Mike had said.

I’d seen Vampires attacking the bird kids on the screens back at my father’s lab. But never before had I gotten a good in depth look on either species. What Mike was telling me was so different from what I knew from passing glances at blurry screens (you would think Gunther could afford better).

And McDonalds. The way he’d spoken of it all of sudden made it much more distasteful than I had originally thought.

Pursing my lips, I asked another question, a much more important one, that had been pricking my mind for quite a while.

“Where are we going now?” We were outside. The Arizona air was cool now, chilled by the snug blanket of the night sky. “Any place in particular, or are you just going to stuff me back in the Ward?”

For a moment, I surprised myself by breaking my usually monologues tone. The last words I said came out cracked, with a bitter tone, and I blinked away the strange wet substance known as tears. Father condemned me when I cried, and therefore I knew better than to cry. But he wasn’t here now, and with him gone, there was space in my head for me to think about how I felt. Emotions. Something I didn’t necessarily understand.

“Sorry,” I apologized quickly, going back to my dull, non-threatening tone.


“What do we do after this?” Taylor asked, all of sudden concentrating on her swinging feet. I frowned. Good question.

"Well I'd say we get Marceline, and get the hell out of here. The nurse said she was doing alright. I'm sure she'd be alright now, right now we're taking a unnecessary risk." Samuel responded, looking my way and shrugging.

Raising my hands, I quickly made my position clear, “Don’t look at me that way,” I said, chuckling, “I’m not the leader. If there had to be a leader, I would chose Euro, but he left our sorry asses alone….well, anyway, I agree with Sam. I think we should get Marce, and get out of here. This place gives me the chills.” I shrugged my shoulders, as if I was trying shake of a nasty substance from my back.

I turned my head, searching around for the nurse that had addressed us earlier. My eyes didn’t find her for a while. She was camouflaged in with all of the other, similarly dressed, nurses, and even with my stellar vision, I was forced to pick body apart from body in an attempt to discern her.

When I finally spotted her, I waved my arm timidly, to which she responded by coming over.

“Yes, sweetie.” Aww she talked to me like I was a scared little kid.

“Umm, can you tell us what room Marceline is in?” I said in my most polite teenage voice.

She hesitated for a moment, before saying, “I’m sorry but you and your….siblings,” I arched my eyebrows in surprise. Marce must have told them we were all related, “Can’t see your sister just yet. You’ll have to wait till the morning.”

Her tone was as friendly as ever, but I had a feeling she knew about our secret. Maybe from Marce’s doctor or something. And I had feeling she was keeping us from seeing Marce because maybe, just maybe, a certain government investigation team was on its way to apprehend us. Which meant they didn’t want us going anywhere. This nurse had, in the span of a minute, become far more creepy and deceptive than I had originally thought.

She smiled at me again, before curtly nodding her head, and disappearing back in the masses of nurses.

Getting up and stretching, I turned back to address Sam and Taylor, “So, who’s up for an adventure. Any ideas on which direction we should head?”


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As the girl turned to me, suggesting that I take a head start, my heart abruptly stopped. Up until that point, I'd been simply listening passively to the conversation, letting Marcus decide things how he wanted to without me bothering him. But, with this suggestion, I knew I could remain silent no longer. Unless I informed the two of the rather prominent reason why I wouldn't be able to comply with their orders, there would doubtless be a great deal of trouble very shortly. I felt my grip tighten on my protector's arm somewhat, and my breath catch in my throat. Even though I was hidden behind my reassuringly enshrouding hood, I still couldn't help but feel pathetic by comparison to the prodigious masters amongst whom I stood. To think that I'd have to admit it so soon, and so directly... I was so ashamed...

"A-ah.... there... might be... a small... problem with that..." I stammered at last, almost forgetting to take in air before I spoke - which, consequently, caused my voice to be even more shrill, quiet and airy than it usually was, as though my words were some kind of siren's song from far, far away. I could feel my face heating up in an instant, almost so much that, were it not for the fact that I didn't want my guardians to see the embarrassment written across my countenance, I might have seriously considered removing my hood. But, I would be expected - no, required - to continue now that I had thus spoken up, so I had no choice but to spill everything now and save myself the pains any sort of reticence would cause.

"I... can't... that is to say, haven't really gotten much of a chance to... so I'm kind of bad at..." I fumbled around with my words for a bit, unconsciously sinking back behind Marcus and staring down at the ground as my hands fidgeted together rather uncomfortably on top of his shoulder. "What I mean is..." It was no use delaying. I had to say it.

"I'm... not.... very good at flying," I finished lamely. My face was probably red enough by now that it was glowing in the darkness of my hood like some sort of sign. But, for some reason I felt I should keep talking, though, despite my shame, as if I simply stopped at this point, I'd only be humiliating myself further. Somehow, although I wanted nothing more than to simply shut up and fade into the background once again, I had to explain myself, to elaborate and make them understand the reasons for my failure. While that sounded awfully close to the definition for the term excuse, I couldn't help but give it anyway.

"Err... you see..." I began again, unsure of how to say what I meant to. "I only just got a chance to fly for the first time tonight. I've been able to practice hovering, but actually flying is something I've never really been able to do before, and... I'm really bad at it. I'm sorry... Er... if you want to still try flying, I'll do my best to keep up with you and not fall..."


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Mike stood outside, the same bird from before distracted him for a few moments. Mike's mind wandered with the bird, his thoughts darting across the various dark corners residing in his mind. He reached through his thoughts; back as far as he could. Mike didn't know if his intelligence was a mutation, or in the form of an injection. The catalyst wasn't apparant to Mike. He had scars he couldn't remember, things that vaugly reminded him of his past. It was as if he had been under a drunken stupor for the majority of his life. The only thing Mike knew for certain was that the events that led to his mental rejuvination were somehow connected to the burn scar on his abdomen. He didn't know why he felt that this was the case, but he simply just did.

Mike was brought back to reality when the bird fluttered away, into the night sky. It was soon lost to Mike, for his eyes gazed on the beauty of the night sky. He gave a brief sigh, and forced himself to focus on the task at hand. He looked to Alice as she spoke.

“Where are we going now? Any place in particular, or are you just going to stuff me back in the Ward?” She spoke in a tone layered with spite. Mike's eyes softened for a few moments. He understood to an extent. Mike hated the synthetic smells of the school, the machines constantly buzzing in his ears. It was his prison as much as it was to those experiments he guarded. Though Mike was under no illusion that the Experiments were treated much worse then the Vampires. Then again Vampires were easily replaced. Experiments such as Mike could be killed off without anyone losing sleep over it. That was the drawback of working with monsters, and killers.

“Sorry,” Alice added, her voice changing back to its guarded demeanor.

"No need to apologize, not yet anyways." Mike's eyes glazed over for a few moments, his mind once again drifting to cloudier thoughts. He blinked twice then turned to Alice, his feet crunching twigs and grass.

"I was planning to take you into the local town, under a few conditions of course. I have no wish to have you locked up when I'm not able to accompany you. My conditions are simple, and I believe they are also reasonable. If you don't like them, you can take it up with Gunther, and ask for a new teacher." Mike liked offering alternatives, though talking to Gunther generally was a frowned upon practice in Mike's book.

"When we are in public with normal people, we can't afford to attract attention such as: flying, showing off, making a scene, and using powers asuming you have any. No running off on your own, I will to be with you whenever you enter the city. In the off hand chance we get into a fight, you don't rush in. We stall for time, and we call in more Vampires. In the event we are forced to engage in combat, I ask that you listen to me unless chain of command directly contradicts one of my orders." Mike finished, facing Alice directly.

"We can go wherever you choose to, within reason. The only time we will be returning to the Ward, aside from a place to sleep and eat, is in the event of injury, or in the event that a scientist calls us back." Mike finished and put his hands into his pockets. He looked at Alice with the same expresion he always had. Though Mike was already fond of Alice in a way, she was someone to talk to, even if Mikes only function was to answer questions.

"If any question pops into your mind when we're in the city, feel free to ask." Mike added.

"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?" Mike asked, genuine curiousity filled his voice. He was sure someone would give him a file on Alice if he dug far enough, but he preferred to ask. It was much more polite.