Announcements: Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Cunningham's Law » The Tribalism of Religion » Lost Library » Game Theory » The Hidden Void » Removing CS From an Indy Universe : Solution » On the Matter of New Players and Orphaned Plays » STOP BLAMING US FOR RPG BEING SLOW! » Polytheism » The Game of Life » Just War » Science and Philosophy » The Bible as Literature » Humans in the MV. Questions and thoughts. » Surviving the post-holiday apocalypse. » SL: 1097 Bestiary of Monsters » What latest tech excites me? » RPG: Season of Giving 2020 (WINNERS ANNOUNCED!) » A question about 'hyperspace travel' and its use as a weapon » NaNoWriMo 2020 »

Players Wanted: Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players » Here, At the End of the World (supernatural mystery drama) » Seeking Role Players for a TOG Based RP » so I made a Stranger Things RP idk why not come join » LFP - New Roleplay » Gifted/Mutant individuals escaping the gov » Spaceship Zero! A retro horror sci fi RP with rayguns :D » mahou shoujo rp » Avolair: Academy For The Supernatural [NEW][OPEN] » Calling for adventurers to explore Xamoyos »

0
followers
follow

Sarin

"Deep breath now. In and out."

0 · 262 views · located in Las Flores

a character in “Blurry Lines: Establishing Them”, as played by Lifecharacter

Description

Image
Image
Worry about what you can't see, not what everyone sees.

Name
Sarah Martin

Age
Visual Age: 29
Factual Age: 32

Appearance
Hair: Short, Straight, Black
Facial Hair: None
Eyes: Dark Brown
Build: Slim
Skin Tone: Pale
Height: 5'7
Weight: 128 lbs.
Voice: Somewhat low in tone with a bit of a rasp, generally muffled by her facemask
Handed: Right
Body Markings: None
Scar Tissue: Two faded surgical scars on her chest and neck that are two inches and one inch respectively.
Unique Body Features: Her mask has left her with a slight discoloration of the skin it covers and red marks from where it's been pressed into her skin for overly long periods of time.

It's good that the eyes are seen as the most expressive part of the human face, because that's all Sarah has to really work with most of the time. Sadly, such all-important features seem to display little for the most part, always keeping a somewhat tired, apathetic look on them. Generic brown eyes have never been the most lustrous, but hers have been dulled by white rooms, lab coats, and too many dead bodies to catch the light like they should. When life does return to them, it's rarely due to a positive situation; frustration and anger are much more common than joy and surprise. Underneath the mask, the rest of her face hides. Her narrow nose thin and thin lips flare and part without anyone to see, and as a result the lower half of her face also lacks what little color and life the rest of her body has. Without the mask, thin red lines highlight the sickly pale and last for an unknown amount of time, as they've had little chance to fade. To further the covering of her face, her short, black hair is kept long enough that the part she places in it manages to cover her left eye and a good portion of that side of her face as well.

Her light body is not one built for fighting anything really. She keeps in good enough shape to run away and avoid people, but lacks any sort of real muscle mass that could be useful, making her body soft. She lacks any overt blemishes on her skin save for her scars and a new bruise or cut every once in awhile. She tends to move quickly and sway about before catching herself and letting her self-conscious attitude stiffen her up, as well as always trying to keep her head down lest the wrong person wonder about why this woman has a mask on. When she's not out and about though, she tends to pace and move her hands about as she thinks and talks, whether it be to mimic certain actions or just to further express herself.

Atop all this though, is her clothing, the most noticeable of which is the mask she wears anytime she is around other people. It covers everything from just below her chin to the bridge of her nose and is secured through a series of straps that rap around her neck, the over perimeter of her face, and through her scalp at her natural part. It is a rather heavy thing to wear, but it's the best she can do when the alternative is filling the air with poison, and the blue LED lights let her know that it is working properly with no leaks. Besides that, she tends to wear long sleeve clothing in public, preferably with hoods and in dark or neutral colors along with baggy pants with deep pockets.

Sexuality
Asexual. She lacks the drive to even wonder about it anymore.

PersonalityImage
Motivation: Petty, fanatical revenge.
Fears: Waking up without her mask on, doctors, and dying young.
Goals: Ruin everyone and everything associated with Bayer Laboratories.
Positive Traits: Tolerant + Determined + Cautious + Curious
Negative Traits: Irritable - Sadistic - Zealous - Manipulative

Content and motivated would probably be the best way to describe the Sarah from a few years ago. She wasn't too cheery or brooding or what have you, just content and personable enough to maintain amicable work relations.

The only thing that seems to have carried over into her current state is her being motivated and being just personable enough to maintain amicable work relations. Sarah spends her days working towards and contemplating how to achieve her very narrow goals and puts more effort into this one task than she's ever likely spent on anything. And what a task it is, bringing down an entire corporation and everything associated with it. All for what? For turning her sulfuric breath into poison and locking her up in a room without her consent. She didn't really have this burning desire back then though. No, she was still content with the large amount of money they promised and all the things they provided for her in captivity. It wasn't until being let out into the world where air tight rooms are rare and the straps of her mask dug cruelly into her face that she something stirred. She was like this because they operated on her and used her for their own profits, and they couldn't even be bothered to hold up their side of the deal. They were incapable of withstanding a bunch of hippy's with guns and now she has to deal with their failure, and now she not only has lots of ways to deal with things, but takes great pleasure in watching them get done.

In the interests of getting these things done, she has developed a flair for pulling people's strings when she sees the opportunity. She certainly won't be orchestrating any riots or turn strong allies against each other, but when she gets a hint of something that she could use to influence someone she makes good use of it. She's spent her time out in the world doing such for the END, but they were rather simple to push in a certain direction, what with their lack of discipline and zealous terroristic bent.

Besides her self-admitted, disproportionate desire and her twirling of terrorists around her finger, she does her best to keep things to herself. This is partially due to the people around her being the aforementioned hippy's with guns that she doesn't have much respect for, but, as a general rule, the more she talks (and how she loves to talk once she starts!) the more likely things will end with someone getting offended or something best kept secret being revealed. So she tries her best to behave professionally and dryly amongst others, though her best isn't that great. If someone prods long enough (it doesn't really take too long) she'll start letting the words flop out of her mouth and through her mask's vents, whether it be to taunt or rant, threaten or cry.

Likes
  • Smoothies
  • Sour candy
  • Video games
  • Human contact
  • Gum
  • Walking outside

Dislikes
  • Cats
  • Crowds
  • Her mask
  • Summertime
  • Air Fresheners
  • People staring at her

Relationships
She's relatively new to Las Flores and only really knows the members of END that came with her. Other than that, her parents and siblings are likely under the impression that she's deceased and she hasn't been in contact with them since being taken in by Bayer.

Power
Naturally, Sarah was rather unimpressive when it came to superhuman traits. In her lungs were several small growths that cause the air she breathes to be laced with a harmless gas and also gave her body the ability to tolerate constant exposure to a substance foreign to the natural body. Bayer Laboratories altered these harmless growths through several surgeries and extensive hormone treatment to produce a powerful nerve agent that the company had developed with much more frequency than what she produced prior. This toxin she now produces, like other nerve agents, attacks the nervous system of those who are exposed to it. A lethal dose–what amounts to a couple breathes of her exhalations–is capable of robbing a person' control over their bodily functions within two minutes before they eventually suffocate between three and four minutes from their initial exposure to the toxin. With lesser exposure the victim tends to last anywhere from ten to twenty minutes depending on the situation, precious time that they might be able to get their hands on benzo or diazepam, which serve as effective antidotes if they're taken quickly enough.

The problem with taking an antidote is that it is generally difficult to notice one's been affected by her poison. The nerve agent is colorless, odorless, and can fill a room pretty quickly. Beyond that, it has a habit of sticking to people's clothing for up to an hour which helps spread it around and Bayer's unwillingness to admit to creating the nerve agent or a walking war crime means that little information is actually available to the public or the authorities at the moment.

Equipment
She carries a prepaid phone to keep in contact with people, and a pocket knife to fend off any annoyances on her everyday travels. When she's expecting to confront someone though, she wields a 10mm handgun with a 16 round clip that she bought on the black market as well as several smoke grenades filled with her pressurized nerve agent.

Strengths
  • Access to nerve agent
  • Wealthy
  • Intelligent
  • Plans ahead
  • Support from the END

Weaknesses
  • Conspicuous
  • Talks too much
  • No combat training
  • A threat to everyone around her at all times
  • Becomes stressed easily

Home
She has several safe houses throughout the lower income areas of the city, most of which are just abandoned buildings that some of her people squat in. Her nicest residence though is in an apartment building in one of the better part of towns. It has a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen with enough space to make a single person not feel too cramped. The lack of doormen or security cameras is what made her choose it.

HistoryImage
Sarah was the second child born to two school teachers in a suburb of the Pacific Northwest under the name Sarah Angles. Neither they, nor her older brother, nor her early childhood could be considered note worthy in the annals of history. The two of them worked hard as teacher's do and her grandmother tended to the children until they were deemed old enough to be at home by themselves. It wasn't really until the fifth grade that anything really different could be said to have occurred to little Sarah.

One particular morning in late spring, Sarah woke up and shipped off to the elementary school a few blocks away from her house. It wasn't really until about lunchtime though that Sarah actually noticed anything different when her friends all seemed to be sitting a little further away than normal and always leaned away when she leaned closer. When she asked what was wrong and they finished glancing to each other and shifting about wondering who would actually tell her, they told her that her breath was pretty intolerable that day. After acting embarrassed and muttering how she hadn't noticed and how she'd brushed her teeth like always, she gave up and threw a piece of gum in her mouth for the rest of the day. Thinking it just a onetime thing that would never happen again, she went through the same routine the next day, except this time she found out first thing in the morning. She ran home to brush her teeth again before she was late for school but it did little once the scent of peppermint faded. She stumbled her way through the day relying on gum once again and told her parents about it.

They took her to a doctor and he diagnosed it–incorrectly, but there were few alternatives–as halitosis and simply gave her instructions to clean her tongue thoroughly, gargle mouthwash, and avoid certain foods for awhile. When that didn't work they took her back to the doctor to report on it and have a proper examination done. When nothing wrong was found in her mouth or on her tongue, and yet the smell of sulfur still wafted its way out, she was sent to an otolaryngologist to have her throat looked at. After having several scans of her chest done, the doctors finally managed to spot the small growths–first one, then three, then seven, then more–that were believed to be the problem. Noting that the growths were too numerous and placed in areas too risky to perform surgery, and that there was no health risk coming from them, they merely proscribed her special gum, mouthwash and toothpaste to mask the smell and checked the superhuman box on her medical forms.

After getting used to having to chew weird gum constantly, little else notable happened. She graduated with honors from her high school and eventually worked her way into a university's pharmacy program where she managed to earn her degree. She had to hunt around for a bit and live with her parents for a time but she eventually managed to land a job working at the research company Bayer Laboratories. Though it was a rather tedious job of busywork and promised to be a good starting point for a more interesting career. When promotion time came up, she was asked about her superhuman status–no one had noticed any lasers or levitation yet–when she told them what actually qualified her for such a thing. The interviewer laughed a bit and she went along awkwardly, but she did get the promotion, along with the more engaging work and higher pay. The problems would come later.

Not two months after the interview, Sarah was asked to participate in a workplace study involving some pointless thing that the legal system required they test for before allowing one of their products on the market. She agreed after some prodding and had to spend the night in one of their observation rooms. After overcoming her restless legs and the uncomfortable bed, she fell asleep only to wake up strapped to a table with a tube down her throat and the feeling of fading anesthetics. When she started struggling from the growing pains in her chest and neck, pain medication was administered and someone explained what had happened. They had conducted surgery on the growths around her lungs and altered them. She was still recovering so they oft repeated the need for her to not struggle or else risk tearing her stitches or damaging the healing growths inside her.

Sarah spent weeks in recovery before they finally pulled the uncomfortable tube painfully from her throat and replaced it with a mask screwed together around her head to prevent her from removing it. This was when someone in a lab coat explained what had actually happened and that instead of producing some harmless sulfuric gas, she was now producing a nerve agent whose only name was a random string of numbers. The man who had the unfortunate job of explaining this to her tried his best to make what they did sound reasonable and fair, explaining that her parents had been given a large settlement and that matched the money they had put in investments in her name. He said that all this was conditional on her remaining here and doing what they said for the next five years, after which they'd reverse the surgery or simply remove the growths all together. Seeing how much money she had just gained and knowing that refusal very likely wasn't a healthy option, she acquiesced.

Sarah tried to settle in to her life of spending five years in a moderately sized white room with windows all around and the uncomfortable mask she was required to wear. They gave her the necessities of food and water and television and books and video games and whatever else she wanted that didn't give her the option of communicating with anyone. For rent, she had to spend several hours every day with a tube hooked up to her mask that collected the nerve agent she exhaled, taking it away to be purified somewhere.

It wasn't four months in, and when the resentment started to kick in, that a certain group of eco-terrorists, apparently upset with the pollution Bayer was dumping in some lake or forest, outright attacked the building Sarah was kept in. The End of Nature's Destruction (END), Funded by Bayer's competitors and well armed, tore right through the place looking to steal all the valuable information they could and set fire to everything else. When they stumbled upon Sarah, they took pictures of what they saw (thankfully covering her face for them) and took her with them.

She told their apparent leader, Ryan Anders, what she was there for, what they had done, and that she needs to keep her mask on if he doesn't want people to start dying. He took all this information she'd given, along with what they'd found during the raid that wasn't given to other companies on the internet while she quickly collected all the money Bayer had invested for her. At first she wanted to just go live an actual life somewhere but everywhere she went people stared at the woman wearing the facemask and no train or plane or boat would have somewhere wearing such a thing. She considered having surgery done to remove the growths and free her from her current state, but she had no idea how complex such a thing would be or who would be capable of doing it, so she just wallowed for awhile. Her resentment over what had been done to her grew as time went on and, before long, she went back to END to join them. She didn't really care about the environment or pollution, but they were the ones most capable of harming Bayer and that's all she wanted to do right now.

Sarah's poison and money let her rise through the ranks rather quickly and gave her enough influence to focus members' attentions on Bayer rather than whatever new environmental disaster was occurring. She took many of them with her and went to Las Flores, where the headquarters of Bayer Laboratories was located. Due to the rising violence being perpetrated against their company, Bayer had upped their security and forced Sarah into biding her time and trying to figure out a way to bring them down. Those that followed her got day jobs to boost their resources and give them something to do all day, while she planned. In the meantime, there are plenty of investors, employees, and executives to go after.

So begins...

Sarin's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarin
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

The North End | Durwick Building | Late Afternoon


It's really quite a sinister sound. It's the sound of faceless men prepared for poison and of dark lords with breathing problems. This was the sound that constantly filled apartment 14D of Sarah's building, as the only other option, while much quieter, would also fill the entire building with silence before the eventual sirens came. With that said, this sound, this breathing, didn't really fit the image inside the apartment: a young woman in her underwear and a white t-shirt lying on her bed and flipping through a stack of papers. Names and numbers filled these sheets, with the occasional elaborative picture attached with a paperclip to liven up the informative text.

It was a rather archaic way to go about things, as well as somewhat ironic considering the people Sarah sent into the fray. Paper and ink seems wasteful when the same text and the same images can be found on a tablet mere feet away, along with the infinitely greater resources to be found on such a thing. That said, computers were a bit too open to the world for Sarah to put her rather large pile of damning materials onto one. She certainly kept some digital information, but she made sure to keep as much of it analog as she could; digital was used only for storage and amounted to a single harddrive hidden in one of her desk drawers.

And, most importantly, it was much easier and far more satisfying to physically mark the sheets up, especially when you're using such an authoritative instrument as a red pen and a clipboard. X's through the names of people who'd already died–whether through her actions or just from living in a fucked up Las Flores–scribbles through things that didn't matter, and circles for targets. So far she'd decided upon four managers, two clinics, and a vice president for her little band of tree huggers to work on over the next week or so. After settling on her decision, she turned one of the pages over and scattered the red names of her targets over it; top right for Vice President Sherman, middle-left for the West End Clinic, and so on until they were all set. Then, she engaged in her most sacred of rituals: she closed her eyes waved her right index finger around in the air for a few seconds while humming to herself, and then gave it the order to pounce on the first to go.

Sadly, it didn't hit any of the names directly–such a thing happens a disappointingly small amount of times–so she simply went with whichever was closest to her finger's location in the lower-mid-right: Steven Hoatle, a manager in human resources. The unfortunate man lived in the East End and didn't have any noted spouse or children living with him in his upscale apartment, meaning that when Mr. Hoatle came home tomorrow, he'd have someone to greet him for the first time in awhile. The rest of the targets were assigned the days following it, all with their appropriate times already determined through analyzing the set of papers that was once a stack but now crinkled under the weight of the person cruelly defacing them.

"Hey, Nick."

A few seconds went by without a response or even the muffled sound of movement from outside her apartment door.

"Nick!"

Another few seconds went by before a muffled and exasperated sigh filtered through Sarah's gas mask as she rocked herself upright onto the bed and shuffled her way to the side. The carpet scratched her feet as she extended her legs to the floor and gave her soles the weight they were made to bare. She gave her own personal doorman one last chance to answer before both she would have to show her neighbors the rather strange sight of a half naked woman in a gas mask and he would have to be brought inside to be yelled at for not paying attention.

"Nick!"

Nothing. And so she purposefully stomped her feet over to the door and swung it open as quickly as possible, like a parent trying to catch their child doing something forbidden. Initially, she was in absolute shock at what she saw on the little bench found outside her apartment, but, within moments, she realized who it was she had willfully associated herself with and felt deeply ashamed of herself. Nick, the man who was supposed to make sure people didn't suddenly break into his boss' room, was gone. He was off on the obviously important mission to buy some complicated mixture of caffeine and cream before complaining about how the shop doesn't recycle properly no doubt. She considered picking someone else to do the job, but Sarah had little respect for any of them, so she settled on sending Nick to squat in some slum for punishment and giving the next person a game to at least keep them there.

Regardless, Sarah still had to do what she wanted Nick to do, call someone to actually put what she'd just planned out into motion. So she closed her door, glad no one had actually seen her simply staring at an empty bench for so long, and meandered over to the desk where her cheap, throwaway phone lied. She took it into the bathroom and slid the glass door to the shower open, shutting herself in the only airtight place she had access to. Reaching her hands up to her head, she started to unfasten the straps that affixed her mask to her face so tightly and, when the complex affair was done, her neck, shoulders, and face all felt immediate relief from the stripped burden. Now that she was sure she could actually be heard over the phone and not have to deal with having to repeat herself too many times, she looked to her phone and selected one of the names listed. She brought the piece of plastic up to her ear and heard three rings go by before someone answered.

"Hello?" A harsh tenor answered the rings and was immediately curious as to why this particular number was calling. Normally, Nick's phone would be making this call.

Uncaring about his curiosity, she briskly informed him why she called. "Yeah, I've decided on the next set. I want you, the Sams, and Joe to meet me at the usual place so we can go over it."

"Okay, I'll call 'em after this. What time d'you want us to be there?"

"I'll probably be there by six."

"Okay, I'll let 'em know... Bye."

"Yeah, thanks. Bye."

Sarah stood still for a moment after the call had ended. She looked down at her mask as she rocked back and forth a bit on her feet, enjoying the light feeling that everyone else gets to have all the time. Eventually, the light feeling turned bitter and she quickly went about strapping her mask back on before going back into her room to get dressed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Synapse Character Portrait: Sarin
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image

The West End || Glades Park || Late Afternoon



Everytime she and hers took to the roads to get from place to place, Sarah remembered why she never bothered updating her driver's license before her corporate imprisonment. Twenty minutes she had been stuck in this inconspicuously cheap-looking and uncomfortable car behind this same red truck with that same bumper sticker about honor students. There were only so many things to look at as the car crawled along the busy street, and she had already looked at each of them several times. Now she was occupying her time bouncing her leg up and down, pounding her heel into the dirtied carpeting and tapping her finger vigorously against her metallic mask just so that dull ping could drown out the jumble of bad music, beeping, and people talking too loudly on their cell phones. Her driver for the day who had earned no favors abandoning her apartment with an excuse she didn't even care to listen to, duly noted his passanger's irritation, but had no way to dissipate it. She had already switched off the radio and ended most of his attempts at conversation well before they had entered their current, hobbled mobility. Fortunately, something else would distract her better than anything he could have tried.

In an instant, everything stopped. The engines slept. The radios hushed. And the cell phones died. Most importantly, though, the blue LED lights in Sarah's mask flickered off, stunning her with the suddenless. Then her eyes went wide in fear and a layer of sweat started to form over her body. They were in the middle of the damn city, with no real openness between here and any possible destination she could go to. She was deciding on how the keep the bodycount to an unnoticed minimum when enough time passed for the absense of the alarmist red light that is meant to appear with a leak to become curious. While Nick was trying to understand what had happened to everything else, Sarah worked her hands around her mask trying to see if anything was wrong. Eventually she came to stop fearing that she had sprung a leak, mostly because Nick hadn't started convulsing.

When this emergency had been resolved, there still laid before her the issue that her car wasn't moving, and neither was anyone else'. Aware of what an EMP does due to the frequent use of such a thing in media, she decided it was either that or some superhuman who thought it was funny to stop an entire city's traffic. Either way, she still had a meeting to get to, and, with her current means crippled, she opened her door and stepped out amongst all the others who had done the same. She bent over and peered in after Nick's "Where are you going?" to answer. "You stay with the car to make sure no one searches it. It'll be faster for me to walk."

Not one to argue with the face of his boss, Nick nodded and glanced around to get a better feel for the people he would now be surrounded by for an unknowable amount of time. Sarah, pulling the hood on her dark blue sweatshirt down as far as she could and keeping her head slouched, closed the door and began to slither her way out of the mess of cars and people. She walked her way down the sidewalk, bypassing person after person more concerned with what had happened than inspecting everyone who went by, which eventually resulted in her raising her head more and more. It wasn't long before she had left the affected area, though, and had to return her chin to her chest, just before she had entered Glades Park. It was here that she got distracted. Walking had opened up a good amount of freetime for her, and the sound of strings was more than enough reason to stop for a few minutes.

Sarah peered around for the source and quickly found it near one of the fountains. It looked like it had stepped—maybe rolled would be better, if potentially offensive—out of an ad for a charity; crippled, impoverished, and sickly-looking. On her approach to hear better and stand out less while next to the wheelchair-bound musician, she noticed the open case for the instrument and sighed. She reached into her pocket as she got closer and pulled out whatever loose assortment of currency she had at the time: a few coins and several crumpled bills. When she arrived, she leaned over the case and dropped the assortment into the case before taking a step back to listen for a bit. There wasn't much of a reason to worry about some sick kid she'd just given money to.





The business card had been placed up one of September’s long sleeves, his primarily because that person, the odd apparition, had never left, and now stood more or less beside the one she had made for herself, the latter of which was looking rather put-out by the whole thing. She was tempted not to try getting rid of the new one for that reason alone. Maybe if she slept at some point soon, they would both go away, but she was not in the business of quite so much optimism as that. In the end, there wasn’t really much she could do about it at this point, and with the consummate practicality that can belong only to someone who is entirely out of impractical dreams, September shifted slightly in her position on the rim of the fountain and went back to playing.

At one point, she could have sworn she heard something, like a clamor, but from further away. There were no sirens, however, though when she pulled her hacked-together cellular device from her pocket, it seemed to be missing a signal, suggesting that the tower nearest here had bee knocked out somehow. Well, given the amount of catastrophe that seemed to pass for normal in this city, that wasn’t exactly unusual. There were always metahumans and who knew what else getting into it over things that September couldn’t bother to get worked up about. She was a little busy trying not to die, most days.

Shoving the phone back in her pocket, she went back to playing for a while. A few people wandered by here and there—there was an older couple who she was pretty sure walked the same route through the park every day. They were just about as dirt poor as she was, though, so excepting the occasional food item from the bakery down the street, she neither expected nor received anything from them. They seemed to think she was in greater need of food than money, and she really couldn’t say they were wrong, all things considered. Alas, food was not really the answer to her obvious afflictions, but then, money couldn’t fix them either. Perhaps if it had been capable, she wouldn’t be here now, trying to make enough of it to scrape by on.

The card seemed like a sudden lead weight in her sleeve, but she ignored the way it burned against her paper-thin skin, because that too was only in her head. No less real, to someone like her, but something she could put aside, for the moment.

Her attention was eventually drawn by someone new, and the clatter of coins into the violin case. Drawing out the last note of the tune, September looked up, blinking slowly at the dark-colored gas mask the woman was wearing. That was admittedly not something she saw every day. Still, be it simple paranoia or something more complicated, she assumed there was some kind of reason for it, and she was hardly the kind of person who got to assume that someone else was crazy. The two invisible men to her left were proof enough of that. Lowering the instrument from her chin, she cocked an eyebrow. “Any requests?”

Not particularly familiar with most music, let alone the classical kind, Sarah wasn't sure whether the song being played coincidentally ended with the dropping of her coins or if had ended prematurely for her. Either way, the question wasn't really one she was prepared to answer, and she shuffled her weight a bit while thinking of what to say. Thankfully, whether out of courtesy for a patron or just a desensitization towards the weird things in this city, nothing of the usual sort involving her mask came up. A raspy "Umm" filtered into the air as she scratched her head and peered into the air. When she gave up pretending to actually think of a song she didn't know, her eyes leveled out with the musician and she halfheartedly shrugged her shoulders. "Not really. Anything's fine."

Anything was a bit broad for someone like September, who had memorized literally hundreds of pieces, and she thus faced something of an incommensurability problem, having really very little preference for any of them at the moment. “Fair enough. So pick a color, or a mood or something.” She did consider just reaching into the woman’s head and picking out some detail to go from, but given what had happened the last time, she wasn’t really in the frame of mind to risk it. It had never been a risk, before; she had thought herself undetectable. Just one more oddity to mull over. Considering that, a gas mask and a hood were hardly much of note, really.

Apparently musicians had songs for every color, mood, and thing to be picky about, fascinating little freaks that they are. Sarah never had much of an ear for music and, short of the actual lyrics, rarely had any grasp on any musical nuance more subtle than the most upbeat or somber tones that a child could understand. As such, trying to figure out what, say, a "green" or "sad" song would ctually sound like racked the mind and she crossed her arms and hung her head back to stare up at the sky for a moment to consider it. Blue seemed fine. The sky was blue. The little musician's eyes were blue. Blue it was. "Blue... And happy." To punctuate what she considered a tricky addition to her answer, she swung her head back into place to look straight at the musician and pointed towards September as if she had already caught her. She might be the least musically inclined person in the park, but Sarah knew the nuances of color, and she felt little (immediate) shame for wearing a smirk under her mask and feeling superior about it.

The girl on the fountain snorted slightly, tipping her own head back to take in the sky. “I don’t usually do happy.” Both as a point of fact about her own life and because nobody ever seemed to ask for it. Maybe there was something to that—could a geographic location be so miserable that people forgot what happiness even was? Still—there was perhaps a way to incorporate both elements of a seemingly paradoxical request, and she was the slightest bit amused by the challenge. “You’ll have to let me know how it goes.” No point of reference, really, but that was neither here nor there.

The piece was one that took a lot of turns, but then, she hadn’t been told it had to be happy and blue simultaneously, only that both elements had to appear. So perhaps that was a bit of creative interpretation of the mandate, but, well, that was simply the way of it. “It’s Vivialdi—Summer.” She gestured with a truncated sweep of her violin bow up at he sky. “Blue sky, blue ocean if you can afford it. But happy for some, I suppose.”

Considering the music she'd listened to in the past, Sarah wasn't wholly surprised by the lack of happy in classical music; happiness seemed to be something you gave up before creating something like that. She simply shrugged at the responsibility of critique and stood idle as the bow found itself against the strings and played. She could see the blue in it, low and slow, and guessed the other parts were meant to be the happy. Seemed more excited than happy, but the two were close enough. It wasn't until the musician bothered to explain it that it became more overt. "Clever." She reached a hand into her pocket and withdrew her worn leather wallet. "How much does clever go for nowadays?" Opening up the single fold, she began picking at the edges of the bills and eyed the musician.

September considered it for a moment, then shook her head. “You tell me. I’ve been clever all my life, and yet here I am, playing for the whimsy and benevolence of strangers.” Honestly, they didn’t often have a lot of either. She’d learned not to expect it—she wasn’t exactly whimsical or benevolent herself. There wasn’t much logical reason to have such traits, anymore. Whimsy was a waste of time, and benevolence was a good way to get oneself walked all over. If she played for the money itself, she would have been sorely disappointed by her yield, and likely would have stopped quite some time ago.

"You just have to be the right kind of clever at the right time." Three bills slid from their leather binding and casually floated down into the violin shaped depository below. 300 dollars to spend on whatever clever thing they wanted, though Sarah did have a suggestion. "And right now, someone who's the right kind of clever would take the money they have and not go near the slums tonight." She tapped a nail against her mask. "Clever people can tell when something bad's going to happen and know to stay away." She looked towards a distant clock to see her extra time had almost been expended on the performance and turned to leave, taking a few steps towards her meeting.

“You don’t say,” September murmured, watching the bills float down into the case, then flicking her eyes to the woman in the gas mask and inclining her head slightly. She lived in the slums, as it happened, but she could stay away for a night. In fact, there was probably someone she could impose upon for the required shelter, or she could simply spend it wandering around. She didn’t fear much, in truth, at least not anymore. Whatever the case, the woman left, and September figured she might as well follow suit, looking around to make sure nobody could see before she lifted the violin case with her mind and set it down beside her on the fountain. Pocketing the coins, she left the bills where they were and set the instrument down.

Well. She supposed she had to find something to do with herself for the night, then.