Delirium

Portland

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a part of Delirium, by Adoration.

Portland - A well established community, except for the scarce occasions of the deliria here and there.

Adoration holds sovereignty over Portland, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
294 readers have been here.
2,715 readers have visited Delirium since Adoration created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/delirium_(lauren_oliver_novel)

Setting

Image




Portland

"Portland is a beautiful place... And it`s a well established community, except for the little cases of deliria here and there."



As the title says, Portland is a very beautiful place. Most people preferably favor the many beaches it harbors.
Like every other established community, Portland has a border to it. This border is an electrical fence, like all borders. If you even go five feet near it you`ll be fried like a chicken. It is usually recommended that one stays at least ten feet away. Trees and bushes get scarce near the electrical fence. The closest tree to the border is fifty feet away. There are many guard towers on the border, watching for Invalids, or citizens trying to escape.
Near the north side of the border, there is a small stream that floats under the border. This is a very risky place to try to escape, but Invalids will use this river to send supplies into the Wilds. They`ll fit supplies into black garbage bags, and will let them float down the stream, under the border and into the Wilds.

The border goes out over the ocean. Since you can`t have an electrical fence in the ocean, there is just a plain old fence that rises out of the water that reaches 100 feet up over the water. Many guard towers are floating up against the fence, like little lighthouses. If one was planning to get past the border, they know especially not to try the water border.

Even though the water border is far off, the buoys are only 20 feet away from all the shorelines. This signals the no passing point when swimming. People rarely swim though, since parents never care to teach their children to swim. The buoys are all connected with a rope, and there is a rope net that goes down from the rope to the bottom of the ocean floor. You can just barely swim when you`ve reached the buoys.

Shell Beach: A popular beach that`s rather fun to explore. Mostly the area up on the large rock, which you can climb up to on the side facing the water. Some people can get suspicious when you do this though.
Back Cove: A not so popular beach. Not many regulators pass by this beach at night, and there`s a small cave near the trees that`s a nice place to hide.
Oahu Park: A fairly popular beach. The grass can go up to your thighs at some parts, which makes a nice place to hide and mess around.
Coronado Bay: People barely ever come here, because of the rather rocky shores. There`s a small cave, as you can see, that`s a good place to hide if needed.
Longtail Bay: The most popular beach in portland. People come here to tan usually on the shores.

There are a lot of other beaches, but you can just make those up in the roleplay if you want.

Downtown is like any regular town. I shouldn`t have to say much about that.

Near where the water border connects to the land border, the labs are located. The labs consist of very, very bright white buildings, and they are surrounded by an electrical fence. There is very tight security.

Near the east border, there is a ton of farmland. Population is scarce out here, since barely any people live out there. There is usually just abandoned farms and houses out here, an awesome place for illegal parties and concerts.
Near the South border is the Brooklands, which is a place that used to be a very, very wealthy neighborhood. Now it`s just filled with abandoned houses. 37 brooks is a two story house that the Makota family favors when it comes to staying overnight in Portland. All the entrances and exits are blocked off, and the gate is usually locked, but there`s a place where you can slip under the gate, and there`s a board that`s loose in one of the windows, making a perfect entrance into the house. The backyard is filled with trees, that pretty much forms a perfect canopy.
All the other houses are also awesome places for illegal parties and concerts.

More description might be added later.
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Portland

Portland - A well established community, except for the scarce occasions of the deliria here and there.

Minimap

Portland is a part of Delirium.

3 Places in Portland:

10 Characters Here

Skylar Everett [20] "Can't you only be happy if you're unhappy sometimes?"
Theodin Jaynar Everett [15] "Nothing in this life is worth dying for. There's nothing there after death. So live long and live happy. The Book tells us how to do that."
Klein Everett [14] "Basically, the cure is the only hope for mankind. I mean, why else would it be called a 'cure'?"
Johann Makota [13] "Well, I guess I'm just awesome like that."
Alva Makota [10] "The trick is to make them believe they want it more than you do."
Annette Makota [7] "I'm sure it'll be alright! Everything will be perfect, you just wait and see."
Hannah Everett [7] "Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must."
Morgan Alistair Makota [5] "Just because a law is passed does not mean it should be followed. Some rules are meant to be broken."
Lucy Everett [5] "Don't think it's right, just because the majority agree."
Paul Makota [3] "Family, Humanity, God. For these I make my stand."

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Oɴᴇ ɢᴏᴀʟ. Oɴᴇ ᴛᴡɪsᴛ ᴏғ ғᴀᴛᴇ. Oɴᴇ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ— wʜᴏ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ? ❞




ImageJust give it up, it's gone already, was the thought that kept repeating itself over and over again in Skylar's head. All she could do now was return home empty-handed, and crushed. The little object no where to be found wouldn't mean anything in less than a year anyways, when she got the cure. And once again, she wondered, would anything matter after the cure? Her siblings? Ginny? Her past?
Would she only care about duty, obligation, and her job?

Two months till evaluation day. Eight months until the cure—less tha—

Now what in the world was that?

Glancing upwards, she saw the blonde haired boy walking towards the door. With the slight movement of her head though, there was the feeling of something sliding, something small, with a chain being dragged along with it. It could only be one thing: her locket.
Fumbling around, she hurried to catch the small object. If it hit the ground, countless things could happen to it. It could slide underneath something, she could accidentally step on it while trying to find it, or maybe it could drown in the pool of tomato sauce now flooding the shop's floor. How ironic that would be, coming here all the way to find a lost locket, getting it back from some strange blonde boy, and then just losing it all over again.

Why hadn't she just waited for tomorrow to come and get it?

After what felt like an eternity, she managed to grab the flimsy chain. Of course, she almost dropped it right after, with the startling sound of shoes sliding across the floor and a loud thud. Oh God, she knew it. The regulators had come inside the shop, and any second by now they'd be dragging her off out the doors, down the side walk, up the stairs, and into her house. And with who? Oh, none other than some random blonde boy that just happened to have her locket.

If only her heart could've just given out then, so that maybe someone would find her in the morning and they'd think a murderer had dragged her out of the house. Then, she would never get in trouble, right? She'd just go on with her life, going to school and hanging out with Ginny, goofing off with her siblings and painting whenever she feels like it.

How credulous Skylar's thoughts could be sometimes.

There were more sounds after that as she dared not to look and see what the cause was, more of what sounded like sliding and slipping. Had the Stop-N-Save been turned into an ice skating rink?

When she finally opened her eyes to see what exactly was happening, she had to cover her mouth with both hands to muffle her laughter. The whole shop was a complete mess, but what was amusing was the fact that the blonde boy was also a mess, now covered and smothered in tomato soup.

Up to now, she hadn't exactly established in her mind what exactly the blonde boy was. But now, he just looked like a bloody chainsaw murderer. Wait, correction—a short, bloody chainsaw murderer.

Basically, the area behind and around the counter now looked like an exact picture of a massacre, minus the corpses, and the blood, which was really just tomato sauce. A small can of grape soda was fizzing out onto the floor under the counter, and some broken pieces of Pop Tarts were scattered near the cash register. And those things were just the little parts of the mess. Tomato soup was everywhere—covering the floor, the sides of the counters, some parts of the windows.

Being slapped in the face always felt horrible, but this was worse. Trouble just seemed to come up to Skylar, and say 'Hey, how stupid can you be?'

"Oh, God. I'm so dead." If Uncle William saw this mess, he'd freak out. He'd probably call the regulators, and they'd use all this technology and stupid devices to figure out who broke into the store and caused the mess. With her fingerprints on all the cans of tomato soup sprawled out across the floor, it'd be as easy as pie to figure out who did all of this.

Carefully shoving her locket into one of the pockets of her coat, she turned around and scanned the shelves for some paper towels. When she finally found them, she headed back where the mess was, having lost all hope of returning home by curfew. How the hell was she going to explain the loss of tomato soup in the shop to her Uncle? Some person just happened to need a ton of tomato soup, and decided to come here out of all the places to go?

If only I had actually listened to what that boy had said. He probably had been trying to convince me to stop, so I wouldn't have made a mess—

Maybe tomato soup would actually make for a good ice skating rink.

All too quickly, Skylar was awkwardly sitting in the newly formed pool of tomato soup after slipping, the paper towels getting drowned beside her. Well, so much for cleaning up the mess.

If only this blonde boy hadn't been here, this mess would never have been formed. She would've gone home with her locket, all fine and not covered with tomato soup, and in the morning Uncle William would find the shop spotless, just like he had left in the night before. Then again... it occurred to her that if the boy had never been there, she would've never gotten her locket. She would've gone home drenched and heartbroken, only to become mute again for another year or so, like the time when her mother had died.

But... why had he had her locket?

Looking up at the back of the boy's head, she wondered why he had it.

1. She had dropped it somewhere else, and he had ended up finding it.

2. He stole it. What kind of bastard would do that?

3. Maybe it wasn't even her locket?

Reaching into her coat pocket, she pulled out the small bronze locket, and clicked it open in silence. There it was—the folded photo, wrinkled from aging. If it weren't for the red coating of tomato soup on her hands, she would've picked out the tightly folded picture from it's wedged position in the locket, but she was almost definite it was the picture of her mother, and that the locket was hers.

It was her locket. The shop was a mess. It was past curfew. She was talking to a boy. She was breaking the law.
Nothing could be worse, so there was only one thing was left to do.

"Who are you?"




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett

0.00 INK

#, as written by Mituna


❝ Alva Makota ❞
And then it got more surprising.




Alva was sure she would end up sick. The winds had gotten a bit stronger and under her cloths, Alva was freezing. Her body was trembling and all she could do was stare into the brewing storm. She wanted to leave and continue her search to find Paul but her body was exhausted. The harshness of the rain also only encouraged her to stay under the little protection she had. Alva swallowed, hoping it would cure the dryness that had settled in her throat.

She wanted to go home. It was the cure's fault and all the people who believed in it that she was where she was. If it wasn't for them, Alva and her family wouldn't be living in the forest in isolation. They wouldn't have to sneak inside a town that treated them like mongrels and Alva wouldn't be in the condition she was. She would be accepted and she wouldn't have to worry about her family all the time. She wouldn't be paranoid and come to the conclusion that every person whose eyes she met knew about her being an Invalid, she wouldn't have to lie, and her parents would still be alive.

"Ah, damn it," Alva muttered under her breath after her vision grew blurry. She forced one of her hand to let go of her bag and quickly wiped the tears from her face. Anger grew inside her, both directed at the world and herself.

Just then, she was knocked out of her position. The force made her stumble from her place and her hands nearly dropped her bag. She scrambled to grab it and quickly placed it against her chest like it had been before. After regaining her composure, her eyes snapped up to face the culprit. Her glare clashed against the look of surprise the man had. Alva's head tilted to the side as her irritation changed to confusion. What was a local doing out at this time? "I apologize for the-" he began to speak. His voice was urgent and by the looks of it he was in a hurry. Something in his eyes changed though and his sentence was cut off. His eyes grew wide, as if he had an epiphany of some sort, and suddenly Alva found her staring at the man's feature's more closely. He was a tall man with an angled face, brown eyes, and dark hair.

It was the suit that her wore that made Alva recognize him. She stepped back without thinking as an unsettling feeling formed in her stomach. Her eyes narrowed and she tried to make herself look less freaked out than she really was by standing straight and defiantly. He was the one who she had caught staring at her the few times she had come to Portland. It always creeped her out, especially when she thought that he was suspicious of her, and she had made it a goal in her mind to avoid him as much as she could. It seemed luck wasn't on her side at that moment though.

She heard him clear his throat and look away from her. Her eyes blinked rapidly, finding his behavior strange. He looked as if he was about to speak but suddenly he began to cough. It wasn't a normal cough either; it was more like something was forcing its way up. He immediately covered his mouth his hand and muffled his coughs. The thought that he was sick, probably because of the rain, came to mind first. Yet Alva's eyes caught liquid running from his hand and down to his wrist. It was a thick, red liquid.

"Hey, are you..." Alva began to ask but he walked past her in quick strides. Her head snapped to the direction he was headed, already soaked in rain again. Thoughts were racing in her head as she stared at his figure. It was blood, she repeated in her mind a few times. His condition didn't look stable and Alva's m was nagging at her to make sure he was all right. Scenarios began to form in her mind of what could happen to the man in the storm and none were a good ending. As much as that man scared her, if something did happen to him during the storm when she could've done something to help him, it would haunt her the rest of her life.

A string of curse words left Alva as she forced her body to step out into the rain. It's what a decent person would do, it's what a decent person would do, she repeated over and over in her head as she began to trail after him. She moved quickly in the rain and even though she was dragged down by the rain, it wasn't long until she managed to catch up with him. "Hey, hey, hey," she called out as she got in step with him. "Are you all right? Do you need help getting home or something?" she questioned as she fought down the nervousness that had already formed.

It wasn't like Alva to be scared so easily. Sure, she was paranoid but it only made her more defensive than scared. Yet the mere thought of the man made her anxious for some reason and now that she was walking side-by-side him, waiting for him to talk, Alva was honestly scared out of her mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett

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❝ Klein Marth Everett ❞
To be confused is an understatement. To be curious is obvious.




Klein didn't think that anything would continue after that little run in. He had just presumed that she would just consider him inconsiderate and rude, and then be on her way - which ever way that would be. Klein successfully erased all thought of the curiously enraging woman, even her voice that he just heard. "Hey, are you..." was all she said, but Klein ignored her completely. He didn't need a curious person wondering what was wrong with his health, especially if she was from the community: sure, if she was a sympathizer/Invalid, that would be just as bad, but at least nobody would listen to her. He shook his head in a little response, and continued his pacing in the rain. Klein needed to get to Stop-N-Save, and hope that Skylar was there just picking some things up or something. The worst case scenario? Nobody being there, and Klein having to search with ALL the Regulators out. He hadn't had to be stealthy for a long time, and he wasn't sure how well he could be, or for how long.

The wind picked up a bit, and the blood slowly began to wash off his hands and onto the cold, wet street. It probably wouldn't all wash off - it always left a little bit of a stain until he washed it properly - so that just meant he would have to hide his hand when he found his siblings. That would be a problem. Klein didn't notice that he swayed a little, just a tinge of dizziness flooding his mind, until he straightened himself out and continued. Now would not be a good time to stop, for he could only guess that the girl hadn't left her position and was probably still watching him or something. Klein closed his eyes for a bit to sigh, and then blinked a few times to clear the water.

It was then that he heard footsteps pattering behind him, like an army of raindrops catching up.

Klein refused to turn around, and assumed the worst instantly: she had gotten curious about him, and decided that the best thing was to extend some form of pity. Good going, Klein, now she's following you! What to do, what to do.. If it was possible to begin sweating in the rain, Klein probably would have, and it wasn't because he was tired. No, he was nervous - really nervous, and these nerves were sprouting from pure anger and curiosity, which made him more confused than anything. Klein wasn't sure why these forms of emotional behavior were beginning to cloud his judgement, but he could recognize them easily. And he didn't like it. Nervousness around women never happened to Klein, and the only cases he knew were of signs of Deliria - and those warning flags were beating in his head.

"Hey, hey, hey," He still refused to turn to face her - he had an objective, and didn't need somebody distracting him from it. However, she instantly fell into sync with his own footsteps, keeping up with his own long strides easily, and that didn't help - it was hard to ignore somebody beside him. "Are you all right? Do you need help getting home or something?" Klein slowed down some, noticing the tone in her voice as being slightly uneasy. It made him relax considerably that this girl felt somewhat similar to himself - really didn't want to be having this conversation in the first place. However, she did start it.

Never looking away from the road in front of him, he spoke in a low rumble. "Just fine, miss. Happens all the time." He nearly kicked himself mentally for such a stupid comment as it left his mouth. Happens all the time?! Now she is bound to follow and ask questions! You really aren't yourself, Marth. Yeah, Klein would call himself by his middle name mentally when annoyed, as a way to differentiate his conscious.

Klein gave a sigh and slowly began to pick up speed as he spoke once again - after mentally chastising himself, of course. "No need to worry miss. I just need to get to the store before curfew and then get back home." The thought that he was giving too much information away crossed his mind, but then he dismissed it with an onslaught of curiousity. He wanted to see how much he could understand from her right now, so that he wouldn't feel these damned emotions. After all, they say that the more you understand, the less interesting it becomes - and in Klein's case, anything to get rid of his anger and curiousity would be grand. So, he pretended - against his cautious judgement - that she was a local to see what he could find out.

"What about you miss? I'm afraid I do not know your name, and you are out awfully late for such a storm." He kept his eyes ahead of him as he turned a corner - one more to go - making sure that he didn't get too far ahead of her now. Sure, those raging emotions were a pain, but if he could quell this annoyance in his system, there would be one less problem to sleep on. And he certainly needed the sleep. Klein coughed again, and instantly realized that it wouldn't be long before he coughed up something again, but it held off for now. At least I can be thankful for small blessings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Paul Makota Character Portrait: Hannah Everett

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❝ Paul Makota ❞
Of all the population, her. What are the odds?




Paul glanced over at the girl who had joined him. He hadn't expected to see the face that looked over at him, nor the form that now stood only a few feet away. He couldn't put a name to her, though. He knew her only as the redheaded girl who went jogging around here regularly. Seeing her out in the midst of a storm this bad was...surprising. A sudden roar of thunder interrupted his train of thought, and he jumped before calming himself and answering her. "No, it's no trouble. But if this wind picks up we might need to find better shelter." He wasn't exaggerating; the rain was already moving sideways in odd drifts. If it got worse it might move objects, or even them! He looked through the rain, wondering if any buildings there were occupied. If they were not, they might be in luck. Of course, how could Paul know? Or more importantly, how could he figure out without betraying that he was not native to Portland? After all, the only other possibility was that he was an Invalid, and that would spell certain doom.

Paul, focus. You have to get to safety before you can worry about getting out of here. And don't forget Alva!
Paul had to get his priorities in order. If worst came to worst he could stand being on the run for a while, and getting the hell out would be easy even with Regulators after him. He supposed. He hadn't had to evade pursuit before except from one or two Regulators; they would doubtlessly try harder to catch an Invalid, especially one who had been interacting with one who he presumed was unmarked! He couldn't see the Devil's Mark on her, but her hair covered the area where it would be anyhow. He supposed asking would be impolite, and so decided not to. Instead, he focused on more important issues. "I don't know this area of the city very well. I kind of got caught out here, and live...elsewhere." Technically not a lie. "I think we might want to find more...substantial shelter. You think we can get into any of these buildings?" He tried the door under the overhang; to his surprise it opened to reveal an empty room. Perhaps they had shelter after all. "Well, looks like we can get in here. Come on. The wind's picking up." Indeed, a sudden gust had blown by as he spoke.

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

0.00 INK

#, as written by Belynta


❝ Caroline Louise Makota ❞
A girl lost and alone in a vicious storm, its like a scene straight from my story!




The storm had not lessened in force in the time she had spent curled up near the front door, if anything it had only increased in strength and ferocity and between the wind and the thunder Caroline could hear nothing outside. She strained her ears for any sound of voices or footsteps yet all she could hear was the pounding rain and crashing thunder. She sat curled up with her back leaning against Tallon who lay beside her head resting on her paws, the dog was warm and safe and helped ease a little of Caroline's loneliness and worry. Being alone didn't normally bother her as she was quite happy lost in whichever world she was writing about. But knowing her family were out in the storm perhaps lost, perhaps hurt or worse...dead had Caroline on edge, she was worried to the point where nothing would distract her any more. Suddenly she stood, causing Tallon to lurch to her feet with a grunt.

Caroline hurried back up to her bedroom and quickly changed into warmer clothes including thick socks, scarf, hat and gloves. She pulled on her waterproof coat and ensured the hood was pulled up covering her hair. She walked down the stairs and pulled on her boots before standing and taking a moment to ensure she had not forgotten anything. She checked that she had her house keys and then stepped towards the front door, Tallon whined and tried to stand in front of her but Caroline pushed her out of the way. It wasn't easy given the size of the animal but she managed it and then yanked the front door open. She was immediately buffeted by the strong wind and staggered back slightly. She hesitated a moment wondering if it really would be better if she stayed inside and waited for the others to come back. But then she scowled and pushed forward, she was not going to sit around and wait for them like she was a little girl, they could need her help and she was not going to hide away if her family needed her. Tallon made to follow her off the porch and into the storm but Caroline turned and glared at the dog.

"Stay!" She said sharply and after a moment Tallon crouched down on the porch and Caroline smiled softly. "I'll be back soon but Morgan would kill me if anything happened to you."

Tallon whined again as Caroline walked away from the house but stayed on the porch to Caroline's relief. In what seemed like a very short space of time the Makota house was no longer in sight. As she pushed her way forward fighting the wind and the rain Caroline suddenly realised that this could be a scene in one of her novels and she wished that she had something to write it down. It was just her luck that she would get inspiration right in the middle of a storm with no shelter in sight.
She quickened her step when she thought she must be getting close to Portland and promptly tripped and fell landing on her knees into what felt like sand, with a wince she slowly climbed back to her feet and looked around her. She realised with a sick feeling in her stomach that she was standing on Shell beach not in Portland where she wanted to be. She staggered forward further onto the beach and could now hear the waves crashing onto the sand and the wind was much stronger here.

"Hello!" Caroline called, ridiculously hoping that her family would just appear beside her and give her a big family hug. Tired, soaking wet and now beginning to get frightened Caroline yelled again. Realising that no one would possibly hear her in the storm she sat down with a thud having no motivation or energy to try and find her way back to the house. Most likely she would end up getting even further away from the house if she tried going back in that storm, besides which she felt close to tears and just felt the need to simply sit for a while and try and bring herself back under control.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Alistair Makota Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Annette Makota

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Image
❝ AN N E T T E ------ M A K O T A ❞
"She wasn’t going to let her savior go, not until she at least thanked him."




The more embarrassed she became, the more the tears raced from her eyes. Annette began to blush through her sobs, sensing how she must seem to this stranger, who would most definitely force her through a wretched Cure. The Cure! She began crying harder, beginning to shake her head. No! she began to scream in her thoughts, I don’t want to be like them! I want my mom! She couldn’t hear the stranger talking to her, though she did sense the low, hushed, frantic whispers of his. A boy, she realized. A strange boy who seemed to be hiding from Regulators as well. Perhaps... she slid her fingers apart the slightest bit, and was surprised to see a face she recognized. Yes, she had seen him on her visits to Portland. She calmed then, or at least, tried to. She still cried softly and hiccuped, a result of her fierce weeping, and removed her hands from her face, staring up at him, still red-faced, still teary-eyed, still stressed and overwhelmed and sad, but no longer weeping so harshly. Just soft sobbing and hiccuping, little sounds that moved her body up and down in a rhythm that soothed her, somehow.

He was beginning to rant a little, she realized. “What the hell are you crying about anyway?” he was whispering. Annette nearly smiled; somehow, in the middle of this rain and this thunder, she was finding him a little adorable. Flustered, bewildered, and very similar to a little boy. Annette decided it was endearing, and that she liked him. She opened her mouth to say something, anything. “Hi, nice to meet you,” would be awkward, she decided. “I’ve seen you before,” sounded borderline creepy. And apologizing for her sobbing would not calm this boy. Before she could decide on what her first words to him would be, he grabbed her and began to run.

Startled, Annette tried her best to follow, but he was dragging her with such strength she couldn’t seem to keep up with her own physical effort. She was pushed into a corner and covered with his hand, her warm breath bouncing from his palm to her face, warming her in the shivering cold. Annette willed herself to stop crying, and miraculously, the tears slowed. She blinked at the boy, his savior, who had protected her from Regulators. She smiled at him, making sure it showed in her eyes. Thank you, she wanted to say, for keeping me safe when no one was there. But before he could even notice her smile, much less respond to it, he was assaulted with a can. A can, of all things. Annette nearly sighed; why was it that every time she even attempted to communicate with this stranger, she was interrupted? Why did she even care, anyway?

It was then that an oddly familiar voice shouted, “How about you take your hands off my sister!”

Oh, no. Annette’s eyes widened considerably, and she began to frantically grab the boy’s hands off of her mouth. Morgan had found her! How?! She was about to run, when the boy sounded like.. like he recognized Morgan. Oh, she better stay, make sure nothing happened. Besides, she had to thank the boy, after all. Trying to be discreet, she shuffled behind him, trying to hide. Morgan seemed to know the boy, too. How did they know each other?! Annette became frustrated. He was her savior. Her friend! Not Morgan’s!

“Where’s Johann?” Morgan shouted. She would have to lie. Here goes nothing, Annette thought, aware of her miserable incompetence at lying.

“Well, he... I wanted to go to Portland, and he... Johann, he, uh...” She couldn’t think under the pressure, couldn’t function correctly, and decided to hope for the best and do the first thing that came to mind, to stall, to avoid, and to distract Morgan. ”Run!” she shouted to the boy, taking his hand and beginning to run in the opposite direction. She gripped his hand as tight as she could, determined not to let go. He may be strong, but so was she, and she had had years of practice, of holding people’s hands in affection, in begging, in loving. She wasn’t going to let her savior go, not until she at least thanked him.

And not until he explained to her how he knew Morgan. And not until she found Johann. Annette was convinced that this boy could keep her safe from everything and everyone, and she would need that in this thunderstorm. She still cringed each time the thunder roared, and cowered and shook and shivered when she thought about the next one. She needed a protector, and Morgan would only get her in trouble. This boy would have to do. Somehow, she trusted him already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
In Which He Has A Lengthy Debate With His Shoulder Angel




While Jo's coat and boots were waterproof and therefore salvageable, he had no doubt that his pants would forever smell of tomato. This was unfortunate, to say the least. His current bloody appearance, as well as the stench of soup that clung to him like glue, pretty much ensured that there was no way he'd make it back home without notice. The gig would be up the second Paul and Alva got back and demanded to know why everything smelled like tomato soup. And why Johann looked like something had tried to disembowel him.

He shuddered as he imagined what his family would do in response to his little Portland shenanigans. Paul would confiscate his treasury of random useless items (the horror) and then proceed to kill him; Alva would kill him; Annie would kill him; Morgan would kill him; Morgan would then proceed to lock him up in a room with Tallen; Tallen would then proceed to destroy him. And then Caroline would write a book about the tragic and stupid death of one Johann Makota and publish it. The book would subsequently become a best-seller and then the family would become filthy rich, and every year on Johann's birthday they'd shower his grave with blocks of one hundred-dollar bills in tribute to his noble sacrifice.

Johann blinked. Woah. That thought derailed pretty quickly.

Well, even discounting the one hundred-dollar bills, it didn't change the fact that he was going to be—

"—so dead."

It took Jo a while to realize that the girl had said that out loud. After scanning the store with a critical eye—boy, was it a mess—he concluded that yes, the girl's situation wasn't looking too hot either. Especially since she had somehow managed to slip into a blood puddle of her own.

Oh, well, he thought, turning to leave. Not my problem—

Now wait just one second! cried Shoulder Angel. What kind of dastardly villain are you, to leave a damsel in distress alone in a storm of misery?

He made a face. Damsel in distress? She was the one who assaulted me! If anyone's in distress, it should be me!

Foul beast! Whatever happened to accountability?

Accountability, shmaccountability. Okay, that sounded a lot better in his head. Er…in the inside of his head. Or something. What? Anyway, it's not my fault roly-poly-girl decided to wreak havoc!

But it is your fault, isn't it? the Shoulder Angel countered. If you hadn't taken that locket, then none of this would have happened in the first place.

Johann opened his metaphorical mouth to argue, but found that he couldn't. He sighed. Shoulder Angel was right. It was his fault, in a twisted sort of way.

Darn you, Shoulder Angel, he grumbled, rotating 180 degrees and grudgingly marching over to where the girl had retrieved the paper towels. On his way back, he shot a sulky glare at Roly-Poly-Girl. (Or at least, he thought it was a glare. In actuality, it was more of a pout.)

Brandishing fistfuls of paper towels, Johann began staring down the ghastly scene before him. Lake Soup-erior. His nemesis, as of five minutes ago. This was probably going to take years to completely clean up.

He got to work.

Let it not be said that Johann Makota had a lot of common sense.

Curling sheets of paper towels in hand, he had just begun to attack the floors when the girl suddenly spoke up.

"Who are you?"

Why, hello there, Awkward Question Number One.

Johann tapped a bloody finger against a bloody chin, thinking on how to reply. When the Makota's had been choosing their fake names, Johann had wanted something awesome. Something extravagant. Something memorable. Unfortunately, this went against every single one of Paul's paranoid instincts. Thus, "Johann Sebastian Bach" was swiftly vetoed, as was "Johann Le Blehcap," "Johann Nnahoj," "Johann Awesomesauce," and "Johann Shoemowetochawcawewahcatowee." Even Jo's creative attempts at smashing together Paul's fake name with their family surname was met with disapproval ("How about...Johann Mabakortaton! Or Bakomartonta! Huh? What do you mean, it's not cool?"). And so the disheartened Jo was left to scavenge for a name with less overall awesome.

Pausing in his crusade against the dirty floor, Johann flashed the girl a wide grin and swept into a dramatic, flourishing, and altogether unnecessary bow.

"Johann Tallman, at your service!"

(Yes, Tallman. A guy can dream, can't he?)

"What's your name, Roly-Poly?"


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Virginia Hearst Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Finnegan Slade Everett ❞
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♮ Science and progress don't speak as loud as my heart ♮


♫♫♫




He'd already given up the hopes of making it back home on time. Finnegan knew he was a fast runner, but he wasn't a magician. He couldn't click his heels and wish himself home, either. The likelihood of him making a mistake, turning down the wrong alleyway, and fumbling straight into a marching gang of Regulators was all too feasible. The Crypts would not succeed in gaining another prisoner. He appraised her in the dim light, with the storm's occasional flash of lightning: simple clothes, absolutely soaked. With feathery hair, promptly flattened to her forehead, and indigo eyes, blinking away beads of water like liquid-snowflakes. What was he? A sleeping dog in the rain, dishevelled and rusting at the joints. Hardly worthy of being in her presence, waggling his fingers, with his fingernails clutching bits of dirt. She was ironed flat, completely aware of who she was, while he was a creased, discarded shirt, stained from frequent use, and easily replaceable. He had plenty of siblings that could be proper Portland denizens. He, obviously, could not hope to fit in, or puzzle himself out enough to fit into their flawless archetype. Subservience wasn't in his blood – that much was clear.

Her hand folded neatly into his own, validating that what was happening, at that very instant, was real, was genuine. He wasn't dreaming. No amount of cheek-pinches could wake him, anyway. He wouldn't want to. Finnegan's mouth curled into a small smile, throwing down a bridge between them, as if it were a small link being formed out of seashells and discarded bottles. Even if it didn't last very long, and they parted ways never to speak of their beach-side reconnaissance ever again, then he could still say that he was momentarily holding the world in his palm, turning it over like the smooth side of the rocks found at Shell Beach. He was free, and she was, too. Lifting his chin, lifting his gaze, Finnegan pulled her to her feet without much effort, though he kept her hand clasped in his own, only to sheepishly drop it when she pulled back to brush off her raincoat – wouldn't really do her much good because it was soaked, and whatever bits of grass and pebbles would cling to her like stubborn burdock’s.

The icy breeze drummed on the surface of his skin, goose-pebbling his exposed arms, threading it's disapproving fingers across his shoulders, and reminding him that he might've condemned himself to the Crypts by lingering here with a girl, no less. How many rules had he broken in the span of five minutes? His heartsick heart didn't care, even if his siblings would tug his ears clean off for being so desperately reckless, for endangering his entire family and bringing even more gloom down on them. If one of them was hauled off to the Crypts, then the rest would end up being scrutinized; put under telescopes, and needles, and hasty surgeries to keep the infection from spreading at such a rapid rate. He shrugged his shoulders, in the tepid effort of saying no, no, it was nothing, even though I almost knocked your block off because I thought you were a Regulator.

Here he was, Finnegan Everett, standing in a brutal, unforgiving storm, with a girl, no less, laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world. Not just a girl, but one who was the epitome of perfection in studious endeavours, in monitoring her emotions, in keeping everything in check so that no one would raise any inquisitive eyebrows. She seemed to know when to speak, and when to look beautiful. She was, in fact, a queen of beauty, grace, and of course – anything and everything that Portland applauded, and strictly encouraged. His hands were cold, numb things, clutching at his abdomen to stifle his laughter, to pull it back in because it was transposing into uncomfortable cramps. He hadn't laughed like that in a long time, too long to recall. What was that look on her face? Revulsion? Disgust? Intrigue? This multi-chambered girl, so unexpectedly calm, was now looking at him like he'd exposed himself. Like she'd just found a dirty stray rolling around on her immaculate carpet. He snorted loudly, pressed his fingers against his stomach and pointed at her face, grinning widely.

He decided, then and there, that he wanted to know her better. To figure out why she was looking at him so sternly, as if they'd committed the grandest of atrocities; stealing goodies from the Shop 'n Save, gallivanting down the streets hand-in-hand, laughing loudly at nothing at all, or sneaking away to the wilds. This was nothing. It didn't feel wrong. He was holding poems in his heart like tenderhearted secrets, clutching them like individual wishes, and she was standing there, gawking like a fish out of water. Already, Finnegan's heart was knocking at the walls in his chest, demanding release, demanding something that, as denizens of Portland, they weren't allowed to utter aloud.

“What's that look on your face—,” he started to say, snagged raw from his previous bout of laughter, before Ginny snatched his arm, dragging him away from where he'd been standing moments ago. There was no hesitance, no irrefutable reason for him to flinch away. It was only then, scrambling away from the mucky path, that he spotted the diluted lights in the distance, growing increasingly brighter and less watery, like a lighthouse that had finally finished it's circuit. The moved into the ocean-salted cave, alcove, mini-outcrop of rocks that hid them away from the thick sheets of rain, or circling strobes of flashlights presumably checking the hilltops for wayward citizens. He puffed his cheeks, then breathed out, long and hard, in relief.

“Now, that was crazy. You've got good intuition, I didn't even notice how close they were.” He commented with a low whistle, clicking his fingers. If it weren't for Ginny, then they really might've been caught. At least they were mostly out of the rain. “God, my hearts beating so fast. No, really, feel it.” Then, as quickly, and unhesitatingly, as he'd stumbled after her, Finnegan took up her hand and placed it on his chest, resting his own on top of hers. Like that was the normal thing to do in the Everett household – because it was, truly, honestly.



I don't know if someone else could handle me
I don't know what I'm suppose to be
You're the only one who really sees
You get me



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett

0.00 INK

#, as written by Mituna


❝ Alva Makota ❞
Goldilock and one bear.




Alva's eyes flickered from the stranger's feet to her own. After a few minutes, she noticed she was trying to get into the same step as him. It was something she would always do with Paul and for some reason she was doing it with that man as well. She quickly came to conclusion that it was to distract herself. "Just fine, miss. Happens all the time," he then answered her question. Her eyebrows shot upwards and she found herself staring at him for a moment.

"How in the world is that just fine?" As she spoke, she shook her head to move her bangs out of her eyes. The rain immediately forced them back down though, much to her annoyance. "Is that what your doctor told you? Have you even seen a doctor?" she continued to ask. He was either naive (or an idiot, as she would prefer to say) or stubborn if he called that just fine. Alva then realized that she was prying without meaning to. Her head quickly snapped to the front once again as an abnormal warmth spread across her face. She wasn't sure where all the questions were coming from. It wasn't like she cared much about the man's personal life or decisions, so why was she prying? Alva's eyebrows knitted together into a frown as confusion set in.

His pace seemed to quicken because Alva found herself falling behind. Ah, I hate the rain, she growled in her mind as she tried to match him once again. She would have no trouble keeping up with him if it wasn't for the rain; it slowed her, tired her quicker, and had her trembling from the cold. Even though she could stand the cold much more than the usual person, it was too much for her — especially with the little protection she had. "No need to worry miss. I just need to get to the store before curfew and then get back home." Her eyes glanced towards him as he spoke. Without noticing, she began to wonder what the reasons were for him needing to go to a store at such hour and during the storm. She decided it must be important if he was risking being out past curfew. She quickly shook the thoughts out of her head though, finding it strange she was even thinking about such things.

"What about you miss? I'm afraid I do not know your name, and you are out awfully late for such a storm." His voice cut her from her thoughts. Her body stiffened immediately when she noticed the attention had been drawn to herself and a million thoughts began racing through her mind in a matter of seconds. His pace slowed down, she noticed, and she knew she had to be careful about her answer. Fear, once again, ran through her entire being but she made sure not to show one bit. Really, Alva didn't see why she should explain herself to him. Yet if he was suspicious, he would be even more if she avoided answering his question. That being said, she knew she had no choice but to answer him.

Her eyes rested one again on him. Unlike most people who tended to look away whenever they lied, she would always look at the person when she lied. "Alva," she said calmly. It felt like she had been lost in her thoughts for more than few minutes but she had reacted after a moment of seconds. "My name is Alva Locke. I'm looking for my brother who hasn't come home yet." Her alias sounded strange coming from her. Alva had no creativity whatsoever so when they were choosing their false names, Alva was one of the last ones to decide. She ended up finally choosing one when Johann, being who he was, made a joke about calling her 'goldilock' and without any other idea, she settled with Locke (she added the e to make her feel like the creative person she knows she isn't). Of course, she didn't tell her younger brother or he would simply never let it go.

Alva turned to face the front once again and her eyesight hit the ground. Before she could even realize what she was doing, the words continued to roll out of her mind. "And your name? I can say the same thing about you being out here, especially with that, um, condition of yours." Alva grew more frightened at that point. This time, though, the cause wasn't the man besides her but herself. Her actions, thoughts, and words weren't hers. She had no clue where they were coming from and the fact that her behavior was that out of place made her fear that she was losing her mind in the storm.

The sound of the rain muffled most of the sound around them; that included the coughing that had started up again. Yet Alva heard the sound of it loud and clear and her body tensed up significantly as an uncomfortable feeling hit her. It wasn't as bad as the one before but Alva's eyes were on him to make sure he was all right either way. She had started to ask him if he was fine but she caught herself before she could make it to the second letter. Her jaw clenched and her eyesight returned to the ground as an uncomfortable feeling hit her. It seemed slightly familiar but Alva couldn't place where it had come from or why — and by how uneasy it made her feel, she really didn't want to find out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett

0.00 INK



❝ Klein Marth Everett ❞
Introductions of the Wary




Klein ignored her comment. "How in the world is that just fine?" He had already kicked himself for being mentally short sighted, so her little comment was just the fruits of his inability to think things through. He knew that she wouldn't be able to understand why he would hide something so important from his family, nor that she would get why he hadn't gone to the doctor: if he went to see one, they may deem him unable to be cured, or have to wait until he got better. Worse still, his family would start worrying about his own health, when he really didn't need them fretting over his well being. It was just an episode, and he would get over it. That was what he kept telling himself. After all, it had only been happening for the past 3 weeks. Klein had kept telling himself that 'Next week, I shall go get this checked out secretly.' But he was constantly putting it off due to family matters and school work.

However, regardless of this, his eyes did harden at her prying. He really hadn't a clue why a girl that he really had a hatred for would suddenly be concerned for his health - after all, he had made his suspicions of her quite clear when he ran into her and stared at her weird. If that wasn't an indicator of his inability to trust her, he didn't know what was until he verbally told her. So when he picked up his pace a little, he his his annoyance in the fact that she willingly wanted to keep up with him. It was as if she felt the need to find out all of his secrets in a time span, then disappear before he could get anything out of her.

The rain kept his cold, constant march down towards the earth, causing Klein to shiver a little from the coldness of its touch. If he kept this up, not only would he have a cold, but a cold that caused him to cough. Not a good way to hide his own coughing problem when he caught a cold that made him cough. He glanced sideways at the lady beneath him - by quite a bit, mind you - and noticed that she had stiffened instantly at his own question at her name. He gave a small smile, and knew that he could expect an answer in his near future. When Klein was younger and meeting people for the first time, those that didn't know what to tell him would always get really nervous - as if his height made him scary or something. However, regardless of the fact that they had gotten nervous, they always gave him an answer.

He turned his full head towards her and looked down as he waited for her response. Klein's pace never slowed, but he made sure to check his peripherals just in case he started veering towards a wall. That wouldn't be good - running into a wall with a stranger, injuring himself and becoming at the mercy of the people around him. That wasn't his job, so he refused to do so. It was then that he saw her turn his head towards him and stared right at him, which was somewhat unsettling, since her eyes seemed to be perfectly clear, and yet clouded at the same time. Odd was an understatement. Klein couldn't help but hate the feeling he was getting when he was looking at her. His emotions churned in a weird way, as if he was supposed to regurgitate all of his emotions, along with his stomach. For some reason, the longer he hung around this woman, the more life made no sense.

"Alva," Her voice was calm and steady, with no hint of lying in it. Klein wasn't sure to be impressed with her honesty, or cautious. "My name is Alva Locke. I'm looking for my brother who hasn't come home yet." Klein's face was a little puzzled as he ran his brain through all of the last names he knew from the area. Locke wasn't anywhere close to one of them, so Klein had two options: He could either trust this foreigner, and assume that she was just from another section of Portland and she was lost. Or he could be even more cautious of her, and presume that her name was a lie to trick him into something. He decided to go with option 1, but he would continue to play this cautiously - option 2 was still a factor.

"And your name? I can say the same thing about you being out here, especially with that, um, condition of yours." Klein's body went through a very weird shift. His blood began to run cold at the thought of telling her his name and why he was out there, because it had just dawned on him: She could be an undercover regulator. Klein knew that it wasn't anything concrete - undercover regulators were people used by parents to scare their children into staying away from strangers. However, over the past few years he had become less certain of their existence, since had seen quite a few students get paired up with others for projects, and then suddenly they were gone.

Klein's guard went up, but he knew it would be no good: if she really was a regulator, she would instantly know if he was lying or not. He gave a heavy sigh, and then looked at her once more, his pace still quick. By the look on her face, and the tenseness of her body, she didn't come off as some professional government agent - she came off more as a scared, cold girl. That instantly made him pity her, and he hated himself for it. Here was a girl that he knew something was wrong with, that she could be a sympathizer, and here Klein was, nearly giving her sympathy. He shook his head to clear his thoughts, and also to rid his eyes of the water that now was clogging his vision. Knowing he had a choice, he thought about giving her his alias: Marth. If she was a regulator, then he wouldn't be lying, and he could protect his identity that way too. He nearly did begin to speak, but then paused - Klein had done enough lying for an entire year, so with a sigh, he spoke.

"My name is Klein. Klein Everett." There. He now just told the lady that he didn't trust worth a grain of salt his real name. Afterwards, he wished he had given his middle name - he wouldn't be so annoyed with himself if he had. He coughed once more, noticing that she was looking away after his last fit. He looked at her, and decided he might as well continue with the truth. "I guess I am similar to you, since I'm hunting for my sister - curfew mustn't be broken, after all." He added the last part looking away from her, but eyeing her out of his peripherals. Klein wanted to gauge her reaction to that statement, hoping for some reaction to tell him where her allegiance lay.

If anything, he was just hoping that he could get something more concrete on her. Then he turned the next corner, and saw the store a little ways away. His pace did not quicken much, but it was visible.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Alistair Makota Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Annette Makota

0.00 INK



❝ Theodin Jaynar Everett ❞
❝ Morgan Alistair Makota ❞



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❝This is going to hurt, isn't it?❞
❝You got that right. Now give me my sister.❞




How had Annie ended up with this guy, of all people for her to run into. It had to be him, the one who had tried to stab Morgan through the chest not two months ago. Morgan sighed as his sister proceeded to try and drag the guy away from him. Was she nuts? "Annette." He hoped that would sink in. It wasn't often he called any of his siblings by their given name, save for Paul. "I hate to break it to you, but your self-proclaimed "lover boy" here tried to kill me a while back. I don't take too kindly to that. Now get away from him."

Theodin on the other hand, while just as confused by the whole situation, reached out and took a hold of the stranger girls' arm, his grip none too gentle. He smirked slightly as the orange-haired boy in front of him froze. "Well now, isn't that interesting...the both of you are Invalids, then? While I would love to turn the both of you over to the Regulators and watch you endure the Cure," He glanced at his watch and grimaced, "The time is now 9:03 pm, meaning that if caught by Regulators, no matter what my excuse, I shall suffer the same fate as I'm past curfew." Morgan's eyes narrowed and Theodin only smirked, a pocket knife sliding down his sleeve and into his free hand. "I don't think so, Invalid. I want one thing, and one thing only. See, I'm looking for my sister. You're looking for this Johann, your brother, yes? You help me, I let you go, for now. Besides...it would be such a shame to watch the Regulators have their fun, when I could just do it myself."

Morgan grit his teeth. This was one hell of a situation, bad no matter how you looked at it. However...he'd over-powered this guy once, he could do it again. By the way he was holding himself, his leg was injured, and Morgan could use that to his advantage. But only if Annie stayed out of the way, and right now, it didn't look like she was going to. Morgan shut his eye, and sighed. "Fine. You've got a deal. For now. If you make one move to hurt my sister, I swear, I'll tear your throat out with my bear hands, Regulators or no." To his fury, Theodin grinned. "Very well, I wouldn't have it any other way. Now what is your name, boy? Mine is Theodin. I don't think it would do to continue calling you Invalid."

Morgan's hands balled into fists as he spat out his answer. "Morgan."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett

0.00 INK

#, as written by Mituna


❝ Alva Makota ❞
Tired, tired, tired.




As they continued to walk through Portland, her eyes looked around at her surroundings. She couldn't recognize any of her surroundings and it was disturbing her because she knew most of the town quite well. Alva wasn't sure whether she was thinking clearly or the storm was getting to her - or maybe it was the presence of the man besides her that was messing with her mind. She wanted to get out of the wretched place and back home with her family. She wanted to fall into her cozy bed and sleep the troubles away. Instead, she was stuck in storm with a man who she believed to be a threat to her and her family.

There has been a moment of silence since she had asked for his name. He seemed to have a lot in his mind for a simple question; what did a local have to hide after all? "My name is Klein. Klein Everett." He then answered with a sigh. For the first time, she noticed the tired tone of his voice - whether it was because of their situation or something else, at least she knew she wasn't the only one struggling. "I guess I am similar to you, since I'm hunting for my sister - curfew mustn't be broken, after all." Alva gave an automatic nod of agreement that she had developed because of her work. Mrs. Hershaw would always let her leave early because of the curfew so she would always find herself needing to agree quickly in order not to arouse suspicious.

"Of course," she added as they turned a corner. The man besides her, Klein, began to walk a little faster. Alva shifted the bag into her left hand as a way to free her right hand. Confident that her bag wouldn't fall, she allowed her right hand to let go and she used her fingers to push her bangs back. As she did so, her eyes looked around and studied the buildings. "Are we close to that store?" she asked him, thinking it was one of the few reasons that his pace would quicken. It was either that or he didn't want to be bothered anymore. I should probably get going, Alva thought after a while. She could probably wait close to the part of the fence where they entered and left Portland. Paul could be waiting there or at least going there. She just couldn't search aimlessly, especially with the rain. It was wearing her down and her feet were killing her. He should be fine once he gets to the store, she reasoned, knowing she wouldn't have the energy to do anything else. Her eyes began to drop a bit and a sigh escaped through her nose. Just a bit more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Alistair Makota Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Annette Makota

0.00 INK



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❝ AN N E T T E ------ M A K O T A ❞
"I’m Annette! But you can call me Annie, since we’re friends already."




    Pulling and pulling and pulling, Annette soon realized after a few sharp tugs, was not going to move this guy. Annoyed, she retreated back to his side sheepishly and kept her eyes cast downwards, at her feet. My, she had such pretty shoes on today. She had stolen them a few weeks ago, a fact she refused to admit to anyone, not even Jo. She didn’t like stealing, but... they were so pretty! So far, no one had noticed. She began to hum quietly, underneath her breath, trying to block out the sound of Morgan’s voice. She didn’t want to be lectured, and she wasn’t trying to do something bad. She was trying to help the family, actually! Why didn’t anyone understand her? If Mom had been around, then she would have listened. She wouldn’t have let Morgan ruin everything by -

    “... self-proclaimed ‘lover boy’ tried to kill me awhile back. I don’t take too kindly to that. Now get away from him,” her now-hated brother was saying. The word ‘lover,’ of course, grabbed Annette’s attention at once, and she began to cry out in protest, though she was too angry at him, still, for interrupting what would have been a perfect search party. This guy was not her lover! He was her... her savior! Which was completely different. It wasn’t like she wanted to kiss him or anything. She snuck a glance at the boy beside her and began to blush slightly, realizing she was still holding his hand. She let go quickly and brought her hand close to her chest, as if she was protecting it from the rest of the world. This boy was not her lover! No, no, no. Morgan just misunderstood everything. He ruined everything. And she planned to tell him so! Yes, she would.

    “You ruin - hey!” Her whisper-shout was quickly interrupted by a harsh grab of her arm, by the boy who was her savior. What was he doing? This had to be some sort of plot, right? But it hurt! Annette narrowed her eyes and began to thrash her arm around, trying to push him off with her other arm. Ooooh, boys just sucked! It was the boys who had gotten her into this mess. She glared at her savior boy and began to punch him. Ouch, that hurt a little. Ugh. This was getting nowhere. “If you don’t let go of me now, I will... I will tell your mom. Or I’ll bite you. Seriously.”

    Ignoring her, the boy began to speak. Oh, no no no. He was one of those... those civilized savages. He was going to be Cured! Annette had to save him, in return. She momentarily forgot that, for an instant, he was the enemy, and instead widened her eyes and allowed the flood of sympathy sway her opinions. She grabbed his arm with her free hand, and began to shake him gently as he spoke of a late curfew. “Hey, you should... come with us. You don’t have to be Cured, you know. You can live with us!” Her eyes brightened and she smiled broadly. “Yeah! That’d be fun, don’t you think?”

    But Morgan did not look happy, so Annette quickly quieted. He was younger, but... he was still taller. A lot taller. Annette listened closely as they talked, introducing themselves, and giving the trio a mission: to find their siblings. But did Morgan have to come? He was going to make things so difficult; all she wanted to do was make friends with this Theodin! She moved her gaze from Morgan to Theodin slowly, back and forth, trying to understand. Things had gotten confusing very, very quickly. Theodin had... shown a deep sense of loyalty and pure goodness by saving her when he didn’t really have to, when she was weak and humiliated and utterly useless, but he had tried to kill her brother? And now they were speaking as if they were enemies. She couldn’t understand. Why would anyone hate Morgan? Sure, he was tall and wouldn’t help her reach things she couldn’t, and hid the ladder from her (another reason to be mad at him, Annette remembered), but he was her brother, and she liked him. He was funny and honest and sincere and he didn’t have to say anything; he showed his character in his actions. And why would Morgan hate Theodin? A guy who would save her should be a good guy, right?

    Annette resisted the urge the sigh. Boys were just so dense sometimes. She shook her arm gently and whispered, “I would like my arm back, please. And I would also like to find my brother. Not him,,” she said spitefully, throwing an angry, albeit weak, look towards Morgan’s way, “just Jo.” She was quiet, for a moment, and suddenly beamed at Theodin. “I’m Annette! But you can call me Annie, since we’re friends already.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Qᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ. Sᴏᴍᴇᴛɪᴍᴇs, ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴs ᴀʀᴇ ʙᴇᴛᴛᴇʀ ʟᴇғᴛ ᴜɴᴀɴsᴡᴇʀᴇᴅ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴜɴᴀsᴋᴇᴅ. ❞




ImageOf course, asking him his name is going to help you in so many ways, Skylar mentally scolded herself, honestly surprised that she had blurted out the question. Then again, it was shocking to know she hadn't just ran out of here by now, leaving the blonde boy behind as he was cleaning up the tomato soup lake.

Oh boy, she could imagine the look on his face if she did that.

At that very moment, a part of her couldn't help but scream at the boy in her mind, telling him to just leave over and over again. On the other hand, another part of her was almost dying to figure out more about the strange boy. Anyways, if he happened to be someone infected with the deliria, she'd know who to find if she ever got in trouble with the Regulators, right?

"Johann Tallman, at your service!"

Yo-what now? Now, there was no way she'd ever learn how to say that name, even if it was familiar. She'd heard of a few 'Johann' names before— particularly on LAMM, but never before had she actually met someone with the name. Yeah, her name wasn't a name you'd hear everyday either, mostly from a girl, but at least it was actually easy to pronounce her name.

As she was about to ask him how to pronounce his name, she found herself staring at him, at his grin, to be particular. Some strange realization swept over her at the sight of the carefree smile. No one ever smiled like that in Portland—then again, you barely saw anybody smile at all. Not even the cureds smiled that way, even though it was said the cure would make you happy forever. The only person she could recall that would smile like that, in a manner so daring a bold, was...
Her mother.

Once again, her doubts and curiosity started to prod at the idea of this 'perfect world' they were living in, and most importantly, the 'all important' cure.

And there was the all too familiar thought of her mother standing at the edge of a seaside cliff, the waves willing her to come closer.

"What's your name, Roly-Poly?"

Appreciation filled the gaping black hole that was making it's way back up to the surface of Skylar's thoughts when the boy spoke again, preventing further thoughts about the horrifyingly persistent past. Her mind could've gone on forever, coming up with different possibilities of what had happened on the night when her mother disappeared. It would've been like a never-ending whirlpool, dragging her down deeper and deeper until she couldn't bear it anymore, if it wasn't for this Johann boy.

Then again, none of this would've happened if he hadn't had her locket.

At this point, her mind had become blank when she remembered that she was still living in the present. It was even hard to get her mind to grasp the thought of stating her name. She was most likely looking like some lost puppy sitting on the ground, confused and dumbfounded, in the presence of some animal that was going to eat her. The look on her face probably was of utmost unbelief, like this whole meeting was going to ruin her whole life, and she'd never be able to walk around like some normal person ever again. Here was a scene that someone would probably say only came from fairy tail books, with some guy saving a damsel in distress, but in her mind, this whole meeting was not even close to something like that. In fact, the only thing it probably was in her mind was the exact opposite.

"Skylar... Skylar Everett."

It wasn't until after she had replied that the thought came across her mind that she should've probably come up with a fake name. She still hadn't even thought of the fact that he was cleaning up the mess she created, while she was sitting around in the middle of it all though. Her mind was too busy going it's separate ways—first telling her to get away from this insouciant boy, and then telling her to stay and try to get to know him next. One thought did happen to find it's way across her mind though, and of course, like most of her thoughts, it was a question.

"Why did you have my locket?"

There went Awkward Question Number Two, and the welcoming of a whole load of questions to come.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
You Won't Find A More Red-Handed Criminal




The girl's blank expression at his proclamation did not bode well. Johann gave a dramatic sigh. Yet another victim of his overly flamboyant first name. Here he was, a little guy with a big name, forever doomed to suffer the plight of confused stares and nominal mispronunciation.

Maybe he should have just introduced himself as Jo.

Thankfully, the girl didn't comment, and instead of making fun of his stuffy name, opted instead to introduce herself. Her name, as it turned out, was Skylar. Skylar! That was just a letter away from "Skylark." How cool was that? Forget Blehcap, or Nnahoj, or even Shoemowetwochawcawewahcatowe. "Skylar(k)" had just ninja'ed its way to the top of Johann's List of Most Awesome Names.

Skylar Everett. Skyyyylaaaar. Eeeevereeeett. Wow. The perfect, blissful arrangement of syllables…that there was real poetry. Truly. (No offense, Al.)

As he inwardly enthused on the merits of Skylar Everett's name, Jo continued his valiant attempt at cleaning. After a while, his hand closed around a slightly dented, but otherwise unharmed can of tomato soup. Ooh, a salvageable one! This one was going back on the shelf. No need to thank me, Monsieur Tomato. You're very welcome. And yes, I'm still boycotting you.

He scuttled over to the shelves, stretched upward to place the can back into position—

"Why did you have my locket?"

—and froze. Rather spectacularly, if he did say so himself. He almost fell over, but didn't because he spent way too much time sneaking around and freezing in strange poses to lose control of his balance now.

Okay, so. Locket. Right. There was no way out of this; he'd been caught red-handed. Literally. How the heck was he going to explain this one?

Sorry, miss, but I have kleptomania. It's a dangerous medical condition in which if I don't steal something, I die. Don't take it personally.

No, too callous. And too stupid.

Sorry, miss, it was an accident. Don't take it personally.

True enough, sort of, but it didn't really explain much. And how likely was this Skylar girl going to believe him, anyway? Too vague. Too lame.

Sorry, miss, I was just in the middle of robbing people blind when I randomly had the urge to take your locket, because it's shiny and stuff. Don't take it personally.

No. Just no. Too…too everything.

Johann fought the urge to groan and face-palm. Darn it, this was why he wanted to run away earlier. Stupid chivalry. Stupid guilt. Stupid girl being all curious. Stupid tomato soup, stupid locket, stupid him, stupid everything. Why of why was he still here, cleaning the shop, no less, and not halfway back to the Wilds? Why?

You're an idiot, Shoulder Angel informed him.

Hey, it was your idea to stay here in the first place, Johann replied sullenly.

Yes, but I'm a figment of your imagination. Stupid ideas on my part are, consequentially, stupid ideas on your part.

Darn you, imagination.

The girl, Skylar, was still waiting for an answer. Jo glanced between her and the tomato soup shelf and went through an internal struggle of epic proportions. He told himself he was being stupid. What did it matter, what one small girl thought of him? It wasn't even like he lived here; he was an Invalid for crying out loud! He'd probably never see her again, and they'd part ways with Jo content in the knowledge of a good deed well done (sort of) and Skylar content in the knowledge that some people in the world were just jerks. They'd brush off the encounter, get on with their lives, and eventually forget the whole thing even happened. An inconsequential random event in the vast cosmos of random events. No harm done. Right?

It would be so simple to just bolt right now, but for some mysterious, inexplicable reason…Johann really didn't want the girl to dislike him.

Making up his mind, he set the can down with a determined thud.

He would do this.

Time to pull out the big guns.

(Courage, Johann. Courage.)

"I'm sorry!" he wailed, swinging around with his hands clasped in a way that screamed please-have-mercy-on-my-soul. "I didn't mean to take away something so important to you, honest! I swear it on the moon and stars!"

With the air of a desperate person, he fired his Puppy Dog Stare at her.

"I was gonna return it as soon as I realized—ran over here as fast as I could—I'm just so, so sorry, and I apologize, and I'm so sorry, and I feel like a terrible person and I'm so, so sosososo sorry, please forgive me!"

He finished the emotional speech with a flurry of repeated kowtow-ings, until he realized that the floor was still wet. Semi-cleaned, perhaps, but still smothered in the blood of lifeless tomatoes.

…Darn it.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Klein Marth Everett ❞
An Expected Surprise, and the One that Wasn't.




Klein's pace seemingly began to have an affect on his little companion - she seemed a little less enthusiastic to keep up with him as he rounded the corner and noticed the shop. He took the time to focus on it as he neared the little place, and even though it was still raining heavily, a small smile reached his lips. Klein truly did care for that little store, regardless of the arguments over inventory, the feuds over cleanliness, and the battles for shifts that made working there a chore. The people that entered were normal, everything inside there was normal: the store itself was predictable. There was none of this 'random-girl-that-you-just-met-and-could-possibly-get-you-arrested' type of thing, just normality. It was one of the main reasons he believed in the Cure, if he was to be honest with himself: it was completely straitlaced, no twists or sudden changes. It could be counted on as predictable and honest, unlike that... that.. crap that mom was infected by. His mood soured quite a bit as his train of thought switched to his parents, so he shook it away and focused on his goal.

"Are we close to that store?" Klein nodded, and spoke curtly. "It is just up ahead." His tone was that of facts, nothing more - the rain had probably washed away any sentiment of his voice that he had placed in it. As much as he hated to admit it, he was grateful for the lady's company in this journey. True, he would have been much more thankful if he knew who she was, or if this was a pre-determined trip, but never the less a hint of gratefulness was there. Klein snuck a peak at her through his peripherals, and noticed that she seemed to be tiring of traveling with him, which he had to admit was all for the better. No matter how thankful he was, it would be better if they went on their own separate ways soon - he hopefully finding his siblings, and she hopefully doing the same and both of them returning to their daily lives. It was weird to admit that he still had a gut feeling of anger and wariness around her, but it was even more weird to think that he constantly saw her on the streets, and yet came to hating her outright. He shook his head - That is what the cure is for: ridding us of these petty emotions that do not, and cannot make sense.

With that thought strongly in his mind, he reached the store and stopped abruptly as he heard a noise coming from inside. Now he was torn - either regulators were in his shop, and he would be seriously screwed if he opened the door, or Skylar was in there. Talking to someone. Klein narrowed his eyes, seriously confused. Either his mind was playing tricks on him, or there was a male voice coming from inside the shop. At least, it sounded quite male, but it was hard to differentiate from the two genders when the voice was... crying? Whining? Wailing? Klein hadn't the word that he wanted to use to best describe the voice coming from inside. Regardless, it wasn't Skylar's voice, so now the situation changed from earlier. Either a burglar was inside the store whining about their products - HEY! - or Skylar and a boy were talking about something while avoiding the Regulators. Klein had a feeling that it was the second option, since the first didn't seem very likely. Or plausible, for that matter.

Klein would have continued mulling it over, knowing he would have to go into the store eventually to find out, but a flashlight and the stomping of boots stopped his thinking cold. Here he was, standing with a random miss, outside of his shop, where a whiny male voice had recently just stopped. Now, to make matters worse, the Regulators felt it necessary to make their rounds over by the store at precisely this time. Even in the quick fear he felt, Klein couldn't help but let loose a sigh of discontent. Oh, bugger. This isn't going to go over well, now is it. Ignoring any comment that Alva may have made by now, he turned to her, and said quickly ""Well, no time to waste." With that - and Klein assuming that Skylar had unlocked the door to get in, or at least he was praying she did - Klein grabbed this mystery woman Alva by the arm (she really was quite light, if he had to make an observation), turned the handle of the shop, and dragged himself and Alva into the darkness. Klein didn't even bother to think that maybe the Regulators were going to continue forward instead of turning, he just acted as smoothly as he always did.

Klein wasted no time getting to the spot in the corner, dragging the poor Alva along with him. Since he had been in this kind of situation many times before - saving your siblings was quite repetitive, after all - he had a spot he knew exactly where to hide his massive frame: right beside a shelf. Apparently, Regulators never looked in the front corner of a shop, where the window and shelves just ended. There was a little nook tall and large enough for him to stand behind, and even watch the regulators. So, he moved with the speed and grace he always did, except for the girl he was dragging with him. When he finally got into the place and had Alva pretty damn close to him, it all hit him in the face - here he was, dragging a stranger he just met into his store, and was trying to conceal her against his own body. Pretty damn awkward, if Klein could think it straight through. The only reason he had for doing all of this was drilling through his head, keeping him sane through the next few moments: She could be a spy, she could be a regulator, it doesn't matter: if she got caught out there, she could rat on me and the store's inhabitants, and so help me I am NOT leaving my family alone, like before.

Klein watched out the window, listening for footsteps and watching for lights, until it became apparent that the regulators went down a different road. Any speech made by Alva at this time was greeted with a simple "Sh.", nothing more. After a few seconds, he turned his head back, and once again noticed that they were too close for his comfort level. He quickly mumbled an apology. "I... uh, well, I'm sorry for dragging you in here on such short... notice." Klein looked away, and then eased himself out from in between the shelf and the small bit of wall. It was then that he spied two little human beings through the darkness, and finally noticed the destruction of the little shop. A thick red liquid - Klein prayed that it was Tomato Soup or something - covered the walls, the counter, and a bit of the window. He hadn't noticed that before.

When Klein had finished assessing the damage, his face becoming harder to read as he did so - he finally turned back to the little silhouette that appeared to be his sister, and a silhouette of a boy. It hadn't occurred to him that he was probably standing about 6 feet taller than the two on the ground, which may or may not make him look like one of those massive shadow monsters people talk of, so he continued standing at full height. Instead of saying something like 'Thank God I found you', or 'I was worried! Now where are the others?' he had to go and say something like this in a harsh, yet extremely worried whisper.

"Now what in the Blazes has been going on in here, Skylar!?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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#, as written by Mituna


❝ Alva Makota ❞
Walking on cold rage.





The area they were in was a bit too unfamiliar for Alva's comfort. Usually when she came to Portland it was straight in and straight out. Meaning, she would go directly to where she had planned to go and then leave just a quick. It was all caused because of her fear of drawing attention to herself. That being said, Alva avoided the kind of neighborhoods where everyone knew each other's faces in order for others not to question her presence.

"It is just up ahead," Klein answered her question from before. Her body couldn't help but relax a bit as she let out a silent sigh of relief. Her honorable but idiotic act would be finished soon and her search for Paul would continue. A slight frown tugged at her lips at the tiring thought. At least where she was she had a destination in mind. Searching for Paul without a clue to where he might be was too exhausting for her to even think about.

They seemed to have arrived to the store because Klein came to halt. Alva stumbled a bit but managed to regain her balance and stop right along side him. It seemed her legs had gotten accustomed to walking and they felt like they were vibrating now that she had stopped. Alva's eyes glanced over to Klein and she was about to tell him that she should be going her own way now but a noise caught her attention. A strangely familiar noise that was coming straight from the store. Her eyebrows drew together as her eyes stared at the store with a troubled look. It sounded too familiar; almost as if she had heard that noise all her life. No, it must be some stupid cat or something, Alva reasoned in order to calm her nerves since there was no possible way that the only person she knew that could make that noise was in Portland, in that store, without permission. Her thoughts came to a pause as she suddenly realized it was possible — especially if it dealt with that person that she had in mind. Alva found herself caught in the middle of trying to hope that her family didn't choose that day, of all days, to become stupid morons who don't listen to their older siblings like good children should do and the fact that there was no way anyone or any thing could make that noise except her dear little Kleptomaniac brother, Johann Makota.

She had been too busy with the million thoughts in her mind to notice the flashlight and sound of footsteps coming closer to them. Alva only broke out of her trance when she heard a sigh leave Klein. Her eyes seemed to immediately snap towards him and for a second she forgot what exactly she had been stressing over. Just then, she noticed the light breaking through the screen of falling rain. Her body stiffened like a rock like it always did when she caught sight of any regulators. Alva couldn't even began to think about what to do or say because Klein's voice stopped her from panicking. "Well, not time to waste," he said so calmly that it surprised Alva. He then proceeded to take her by the arm, open the store, and pull her with him inside the building. Instinctively, Alva tried to free herself from his grip. She couldn't remember the last time someone other than her family touched her and the fact that it had affected the pace of her heart both worried and scared her. It was a futile though, seeing as the man was huge compared to her and it really didn't help that most of her strength had been used to push her through the storm.

"H-Hey!" she hissed as quietly as she could but loud enough for him to get that she didn't want him dragging her along. Her face had changed temperature drastically and her heart only seemed to quicken. She wanted to free herself from him because at that moment all of her attention was focused on the spot where he was grabbing her arm and that thought was unbearable. What the hell is going on with me? Klein didn't put any mind to her and moved straight to a corner of the store. He seemed to know what he was doing because he headed straight to a large shelf without any hesitation. There was a small amount of space right besides the shelf and soon both Klein and Alva found themselves stuffed in there. Without thinking Alva kept her back pressed again the shelf in order to keep herself as far as possible from the man while at the same time doing nothing to alert the regulators. As much as her efforts were, they were still close considering the amount of space there was to keep them hidden. Her breathing pattern had been broken and become unevenly. Although she wanted to blame it on the fact that everything had happened so fast, she knew that another factor was the close proximity between Alva and Klein. All Alva could hope for was that he couldn't hear the pounding from her chest that seemed to resemble the raging thunder from the storm they were caught in.

"A-Are they...?"

"Sh," Klein cut her off as his eyes watched the regulators through the window that was right besides them. Alva remained quiet after that until he moved his attention back to the situation inside the store. Alva couldn't help but relax once knowing the danger had passed. "I... uh, well, I'm sorry for dragging you in here on such short... notice." That said, he quickly shuffled out from the small space they had been in and Alva followed suit. She settled in saying nothing, not trusting her voice at that moment. Klein didn't seem to have trouble with his, though, because his voice, as much as he tried to whisper, seemed to boom through the building the next second.

"Now what in the Blazes has been going on in here, Skylar!?"

Skylar? Alva's curiosity got the best of her and she stepped out from behind Klein to see what exactly was going on. Her eyes landed on a young girl who seemed to be trying to clean something off the ground. She was young, younger than Alva at least, and she had dark hair with a pair of green eyes. The familiarity that Klein spoke with when he said her name made her assume that she was the sister he had been looking for her. Her eyes then took notice on the other figure besides her.

It was then that Alva froze. It was the only thing that froze too because her insides had begun to boil like the lava from a volcano that was about to erupt. Her eyes narrowed as she tried to channel her fury through the glare she was currently sending Johann. A million ways for her to kill him ran through her head in those little seconds that passed. Forgetting about the presence of the others, her feet began to move her closer to the fool she called her brother. It seemed like her strength had come back because when she grabbed the younger boy by his cloths, Alva nearly picked him up from the ground. "Johann," she stressed his name with all the anger she had inside her. "You better say goodbye to your new friend because it's the last time anybody's going to see you alive!" That's when her anger unleashed. Her grip tightened and she began shaking Johann with all her might. "I mean, what the hell were you thinking?! I didn't know my brother was such an idiot that he would, first of all, disobey his sibling's commands, but put both his life and his family in danger! Oh, I'm feeding you to Tallen as soon as we get home and while she rips you to bits, I'll try deciding which way to destroy whatever is left of you. And once I'm done with you, I'll finally rip off Morgan's stupid hair for letting you get away with this and then choke you with it! Morgan will be pretty pissed by then so I'll let him take his anger on you as well. And let's not forget about Paul! Oh, I can't wait to tell Paul about this so he can kill you — again! And if you're here, Annie is probably out here too so we'll probably repeat the whole damn process for her as well! Damn it all Jo, I'm just so pissed right now that I can't even decide whether I should start your torture by punching you or strangling you!"

Alva was forced to stop describing her younger brother death because of the lack of oxygen. Her breathing had gotten harder as she continued to glare daggers at Johann. It was then that she remembered that the Makotas weren't alone and that she couldn't abuse her sibling in front of people outside her family - what was normal in her family might not be normal for others, after all. Alva's face began to change to a shade of red and it wasn't out of anger. It was more due to the fact that no one but her family had seen her lose her cool like she just did and for some reason she her anger was subdued by the embarrassment. Her eyes flickered from Klein to his sister to the ground before she forced herself to regain her composure. "Ah," she cleared her throat. She quickly changed her grip from the front of Johann's cloths to the back and pulled him towards her; both to make it seem like she was hugging him out of affection and had no intention of harming him and also to keep him from trying to escape. "I'm sorry about... that." She forced one of her best smiles towards them. "That's just how we like to play," Alva added, still with the same smile, and pulled Johann closer into a tighter side hug. "Isn't it, Jo?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Virginia Hearst Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Caroline Louise Makota

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❝ Finnegan Slade Everett ❞
Image
♮ I'm quite the joke to you ♮


♫♫♫




In the air, in-between his teeth, something felt inexplicably strange. He'd always wished for attention and love and people he could trust, and he first thought that if he snuck away from Portland and reinvented himself in ways they couldn't control, then he'd definitely have that little piece of himself to save for moment's like this – in a teeny tiny cave settled into a well-hidden grove by Shell Beach, momentarily trapped because there was some kind of torrential storm in full-swing just outside the cave's jagged mouth. It was in the rhythmic beating of his heart parapumping against Ginny's fingertips, blaring through his own, as if it could transcend straight through her palm. At least, Finnegan had enough sense to know better than to transfer his hand onto Ginny's chest to see whether or not her heart sounded the same, though the flighty thought passed like a diving sparrow, fluttering it's wings back as if it'd stricken a barrier. He was so sure she'd throttle him until he was little more than a jelly-armed mess and throw him into the sea – maybe, she'd apologize to Skylar later, or say she saw him scuttling across the cliffs after a runaway box of Pop Tarts before valiantly falling to his death. She'd have the proof scattered around her feet, where she'd suddenly dropped her sopping wet box.

Why the hell was she holding Pop Tarts? Where had they come from? Was she some kind of magician or something?

Did he stutter or something—

No. Ginny was just uncomfortable touching his chest. Or something like that. This didn't particularly feel any different, did it? He was always slinging his arm around Skylar's neck, pretty much wringing her neck in bear-hugs, until she squirmed away and told him that he better not do that to anyone outside of their house or they'd tattle on him. With all of his other siblings, it wasn't much different, though he tended not to be too affectionate towards the ones who crinkled their eyes, full of irrefutable arguments countering his ridiculously dangerous actions. He couldn't smile too much, or high five them unless they were in the privacy of their own home. All his life he remembered affection, or rather affectionate actions. It was rarer now, but he still treasured every moment. He was the happy one, after all. The brother full of laughter. Finnegan grinned, Finnegan laughed loudly, with abandon, at the stupidest things, and tended to make others follow suit no matter how grudgingly. That was his role.

She was staring at him. He was staring back. That's as far as his memory will go at the moment, because, to be perfectly honest, he was way too caught up in the warmth of her hand, captured beneath his own. His face pulled into a slight pout, but there's something sincere in his eyes, something he's hiding. This wasn't as awkward for him as it was for her because he was used to this. He was used to cuddling up with his siblings and twining his hands through tufts of hair, or locking elbows, recklessly prancing down the street in full-view before disconnecting like they'd just robbed a bank or escaped a troupe of Regulators. All wild-eyed, messy-haired and happy. It was normal. Wasn't it? Maybe one day she'd look at him and find him dazzling. He was the average boy, the boy next door – he definitely didn't have Ginny's unscrupulous grades, or Theodin's knack for doing everything correctly, nor was he fabulous or famous, but he was someone who could figure out their weak points and still, once upon a time, didn't need to raise his fists to get his point across. Things were different, now.

Finnegan's fingers twitched when he heard someone call out to them, effectively loosening his grip on Ginny's fingertips, then allowing them to fall away completely as they were gently plucked. Regulators – how had they found them? A quick snarl transformed his features, wrinkled his forehead and furrowed his eyebrows. Of course, Finnegan had no intention of letting her bumble out into the storm when there was possibly an enemy-in-wait hunched in the shadows, waiting to gobble her up or drag her away to the Crypts. Hunching his shoulders and stalking silently behind her, Finnegan peered over Ginny's head and squinted into the darkness at the hazy figure wandering outside. His hands curled into tight fists, knuckled white, then loosened when he got a better look. Definitely not a Regulator. There would've been lamplight’s strobing across the entire area, searching for unlikely beach-goers.

He very nearly smashed into Ginny before back-peddling gracelessly, realizing that she was trying to drag the sopping-wet-girl back inside. Now, this was ridiculous. Three kids huddled in a briny-cave, hiding from something or another. When they finally stumbled back inside, breathing hard, possibly wondering why the other was even here on the beach at this ungodly hour. The dishevelled box of Pop Tarts flopped to the side, as if judging their midnight caper, drug down by it's miserable-looking corners. He glanced down at it, then back to the drenched schoolgirl – er, well, she looked as if she was their age, anyway. He snatched up her wrist in one quick snap, gripping it above her head, forcing her to meet his eyes. “Who are you? Are you some kind of Regulator-in-disguise? A snitch? A rat? Speak up, lady–”



Baby I'm in love and maybe it's not to tell
Only thing that I can do is hold it in, hold it in
I was told that I'm a man now and I'm not allowed to cry
The only thing that I can do is hold it in, hold it in