0
followers
follow

Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

"I like to be thorough, and ask the right questions."

0 · 288 views · located in Artamus

a character in “Kindles of War”, as played by AceofSpade

Description




Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Image
Name: Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald

Age: 28

Race: Human

Personality: Congenial, good-humored and likeable, Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald is a stable beacon of good will in a growing nation of darkness. So unlike the surrounding filth and corruption, Reginald is patriotic, loyal and modest. Similar to April, Reginald has experienced more than his fair share of death, particularly as a combat medic, so his outlook has a tendency for being pessimistic and cynical. Well aware of this, Reginald likes to counter despondency with humor, a habit he developed quickly to deal with the constant horrors of war.

Though Reginald is outwardly sociable, war has created a distance between those who have shared the experience with him, and those who have not. Reginald is extremely slow to warm up to those he has recently met, and is well capable of hiding it behind the gentle smiles and jovial laughter. On the subject of therians, Reginald seems to possess a keen interest in their mechanized limbs.

Abilities: Expert at unarmed combat and disarming.

Equipment: Aid Bag – Consists of assorted equipment (bandages, safety pins, trauma shears, band-aids), airway management, fluid resuscitation, battlefield medicine and hemorrhage control.

Strengths: Medical Knowledge

Weaknesses: Pacifist

History: Reginald was called in to assist April with nurturing the injured Touya after the Lieutenant discovered the crippled therian in a side alley. The two shared a natural report and April trusted Reginald to properly treat the therian without prejudice, unlike the majority of the human populace. A combat medic assigned to April’s D Company, Reginald and April served with each other during the fourth Beastmen War. During that time they learned to trust each other’s mutual instinct despite their differences in personality. For April, a pacifist was useless in her eyes. What conventional application did Reginald have that other combat medics could not fulfill? Over time, April discovered that Reginald’s medical abilities were second to none.

Reginald’s excellent composure enabled him to focus on saving men in the midst of battle, and on more than one occasion did April owe her thanks to his expertise. Reginald was one of the fortunate few to survive Val’s incursion into Altheim. During the chaos, April ordered the combat medic to pull Touya away from the fires so that they could exact their revenge. The medic protested at first, opposed to the idea of petty revenge, but eventually came around after some time alone.

So begins...

Dean 'Havoc' Reginald's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend





Miles released a small huff of approval as his sword dug satisfyingly deep into the therian’s chest. Not enough to be an instant kill, but the therian had completely lost function of his right arm in the process. Sacrificing it was a desperate ploy to alter the trajectory of his blade, and a well calculated one given the limb was already damaged, but not for much longer. The two of them stood still in the drenching rain for a moment, breaths steaming. Staring down at his opponent, Miles pulled his blade back and prepared for the finishing blow, but therian intercepted and took hold of it. Crimson liquid welled between the cutting edge and where his fingers had taken their grip, but Miles could not retrieve his sword. Screw the scientist’s orders to take in therians alive, he was going to do this the quick and efficient way. The right way. Miles reached down to his belt to purposefully withdraw his combat knife.

Abruptly, boot steps splashed in the mud behind him. Miles kept his attention on the therian, but realized one of Jaeger Guard had returned from the forests. Something heavier splurged against the dirt, followed by the soft groan of a woman.

“Where’s the other one of you?” Miles asked.

The Jaeger Guard stood to attention, like a hound presenting its prize. In front of him lay April, down on her knees and severely injured. The most telling factors were the giant bruise coating her left cheek and a miniscule bullet wound in her left thigh. A second hole bore into her waist. Trickles of blood ran from her wounds only to be diluted then washed away by persistent drizzle. Though mostly covered by a slick film of hair, April’s face was a mask of barely contained agony and shame.

“We caught this one sir! She killed Sanchez before I could subdue her,” the man reported.

“A fighter, eh? Well that’s not too surprising, you’re average therian is far better equipped than your average huma-”

“She’s human, sir,” the Jaeger Guard interjected. “Ex-military.”

The correction managed to turn Miles’ gaze ever so slightly as he allowed the surprise to show on his features. Humans travelling with therians were essentially unheard of in Altheim. The social backlash alone of assisting the aliens was often enough to dissuade even the kindest of Samaritans. Why then was a former military soldier associating themselves with this therian?

“Proof?” Miles queried, raising an eyebrow as he turned around briefly, even as his sword was held in the grasps of the therian.

The Jaeger Guard held up a crossbow before chucking it to Miles. Snatching it from the air with his free arm, Miles turned back to the therian as he switched between inspecting the weapon and watching Touya. The crossbow was of a standard issue army design, even despite a few personal modifications. An army seal was the missing component, but Miles could see evidence in the metal work that the insignia had been scratched off recently.

“A sympathizer,” he frowned as he tossed the crossbow away casually. The question now was how many of these spies currently resided within their own ranks? How far up the ranks had they infiltrated the chain of command? “Take her to Glendale prison.”

At that point the knife came forwards, a flash of steel aiming for the therian’s jugular.





Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





It was Damea alright. Recognizing the man from his clothes, Reginald stepped into the jail cell and walked forwards to the lethargic mercenary wearing a frown. His disheveled appearance conjured a multitude of questions, but Reginald reminded himself to focus on the immediate dangers. Unfortunately he did not possess his med pack with him, having hastily raced down to the guard precinct from work.

“Do you have a medkit available, and water?” he asked the key keeper quickly before crouching besides Damea. The man nodded and hollered to an adjudicate to go fetch the requested materials.

"Reginald…Touya... April... they fought. Then there was... an army, and they... killed the Therians," Damea smiled stupidly, as if he had been blessed by an angel. The words, a cracked shadow of his former enthusiasm was the most concerning aspect of Damea’s delirious condition.

"April... left us... betrayed us.... Touya's captured..."

Reginald was barely listening to his deranged ramblings but the last sentence gave cause to a slight show of astonishment. His hands hovered in suspense above Damea before commencing their routine check-ups.

“You need to rest first,” Reginald stated.

"Have to leave... have to help him..." Damea mumbled, trying weakly to rise. Trembling hands struggled to support his build, but his body was too exhausted for any standard form of movement. Damea looked malnourished, dehydrated and debilitated. The best solution then was to sleep. Reginald caught the sell sword as he fell back before re-positioning him carefully.

“Rest first, you can tell me everything later.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


“Where’s the other one of you?” Miles asked one of the men that walked out of the forest. A sound caught Touya's attention and he turned ever so slightly to look at what it was. Before him was April and he felt his heart clench. It was now more imperative for him to win this fight than to lose. She was wounded, two bullet wounds, one in her thigh and the other in her waist. He winced inwardly for her.

“We caught this one sir! She killed Sanchez before I could subdue her,” the guard replied.

“A fighter, eh? Well that’s not too surprising, you’re average therian is far better equipped than your average huma-”

“She’s human, sir,” the Jaeger Guard interjected. “Ex-military.”

Touya barely contained his smirk and a short laugh at the man's ignorance about April. He knew that she was a fiery warrior and not one to underestimate as he'd done plenty of times before. Miles' turned his gaze over to eye the woman before asking the guard for proof of her being ex-military. The guard threw her crossbow at the man and Miles' caught it deftly. The slight movement made Touya wince momentarily as the sword shifted in his chest. Just a little longer and he'd have enough energy to blast Miles' backwards, though it wouldn't be nearly as much as he'd originally wanted.

The correction managed to turn Miles’ gaze ever so slightly as he allowed the surprise to show on his features. Humans travelling with therians were essentially unheard of in Altheim. The social backlash alone of assisting the aliens was often enough to dissuade even the kindest of Samaritans. Why then was a former military soldier associating themselves with this therian?

“A sympathizer. Take her to Glendale prison.”

Miles threw her crossbow away and returned his attention to Touya. Had the Therian not been paying attention he would have never seen the knife coming at his throat. Right then, Touya would have lost his life to the human before him. Even so, it was hard to see the movement at all. He dislodged his other arm that had been stuck with the sword in his chest, pulling it down hard and fast. The pain was dizzying and he nearly lost the strength to continue, but her forced himself to do so. He snatched the knife just as it grazed his throat. Touya barely kept it from digging deep enough to kill him. His hands shook as they held each weapon that was threatening to kill him.

"Don't think... you can kill me... that easily," Touya growled at the man. His body glowed brightly as he'd been hiding the fact that he was gathering the energy around him. In the next instant he expelled the magic at Miles', it was meant to simply throw the man away from him, though he'd hoped to kill him. Unfortunately he didn't have nearly enough magic to do that, but shoving the man backwards was more than enough. The magic expelled outwards, throwing the man before him away. The blade in his shoulder pulled free from the attack and he gasped, falling forward as he could feel the blood pouring from his wound.

Touya caught himself barely in the mud, a cough welled up in his chest and expelled a pool of blood onto the ground, mixing with the mud. His power had also reached the guards that stood over April and he slowly made his way over to her. Reaching out he touched her wounds and allowed his magic to heal her. He worked as quickly as he could, knowing that he didn't have much time. Taking her chin in his fingers, her looked at her as he spoke firmly, "Run. Do not argue. Run," he commanded, "You have to get to Reginald and Damea. Go," he released her and reached up to heal what he could of his deep wound in his chest.

Touya stood then and retrieved his sword in the hand that he could still use. The forearm was damaged completely, but the pain was dull. Even so, he could still wield a blade. He faced Miles and leveled his blade, his body still humming in power and glowing slightly around his form. He would keep Miles attention for as long as he could, to give April time to escape. Flipping his weapon once in his hand, he crouched over and lunged at Miles, slicing through the air as he closed the distance between them.

Image


“Rest first, you can tell me everything later.”

"Don't... worry about me, Reginald. You have to help him," Damea reached out and took hold of the doctors sleeve in his grip. His strength was fading as his body was slowly shutting down to sleep once more, "Just go... you have to hurry..."

Slowly his head slipped down onto the cot and his eyes grew heavy. The fire mage's grip on the doctors arm began to loosen as well and in a matter of minutes he was asleep once more, though the look of urgency still plagued his features.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend





"You're a fool. I've no reason to kill her, nor do I wish to," the therian snarled.

Releasing a sigh, Miles’ eyes glanced idly over Sergeant Erin before the Beast Slayer nodded his head, signalling to shoot. Erin grimaced, but too disciplined to disobey, he squeezed the trigger. To Jaeger Guard’s utter dismay however, his actions were rewarded with a wet click. Somewhere along the line, the rain had finally seeped through the leather cover, entering the rifle’s mechanisms to moisten the gun powder. Sergeant Erin might as well have been holding a elaborate club at that point.

Both men opened their mouths, initiating the start to a shared curse as the therian’s body began glowing a second time.

“This is precisely why I don’t use firearms!” Miles swore, baring his teeth as the therian’s rippling force tore out and smacked him over.

The world span around as his body twisted mid-air. Surreal as the reversed imagery was, Miles had no wish experience it for any length of time. Landing again in the mud, he tumbled away, rolling with the momentum to re-launch himself upright. In another second the Beast Slayer sprung back on his feet, maintain a crouched position as he glared at the therian and his wench as they fled from the scene.

“Stop them!” Miles screamed.

Not that the order was necessary. Gauging that the situation had devolved, the other four Jaeger Guard reacted with astonishing haste. With the stubble gun already setup in preparation, all they needed to do was crank the trigger. Lieutenant Bastionne, the ochre skinned man, handled the cannon with enthusiasm. Rotating his arm to spin the crank, a steady chattering began to fill the air as round after round was spat out at a terrifying rate. Obsidian balls bombarded the clearing, obliterating flora and gouging holes into the road way in an effort to seek out the duo.

Sergeant Erin was back on his feet also. Musket forgotten, he was actually the first to fire as he withdrew his flintlock pistol and hammered the therian in the chest. Just short of the heart, assuming therians had those. Before anything fatal could land, the couple disappeared beyond a ditch. Miles assumed they had tumbled down the incline and motioned the Jaeger Guard forwards with a flourish of his arm.

“Search and destroy! Don’t let them escape!” he roared. The stubble gun would take time to dismantle and move, but the others would be more than sufficient.

Sprinting forwards, Miles ran through the rain and glanced over the ditch. Unable to spot either the therian or woman, his fist slammed into a nearby tree trunk in rage.

“Follow their foot tracks! After them!”

“This is your fault Mr Riverbend, I’ll be informing my superiors of your failure,” Sergeant Eris levelled his gaze at Miles as the Jaeger Guard passed by.

“Just go do your job,” Miles responded.

Ironically it was him who had been fooled by the same trick twice.





April Rosevolt





Plunged into the trench, April winced from the acute pain that still haunted her limbs. She withstood it for Touya’s sake, knowing that whatever she felt was insignificant to the therian’s grievous wounds. Rolling around in the mud, she ended up on top of him in a sloppy heap, dirt soaking her hair and clothes.

Their chests heaved from the combined effort of escaping. For April, her heart pumped in her chest, beating against the extremities of her rib cage. Adrenaline poured through her veins in spontaneous response to danger, heightening her senses. Above them she could hear their cries of objection and the frightening salvo of gunfire.

“Your wounds,” she murmured anxiously, displaying real concern for his safety. Touya had taken multiple hits and April was certainly no healer. She had little idea what she could do for him. Would he bleed out like that other soldier?

Touya pushed up, pulling her back on her feet with clear intentions of running. Familiarizing herself with their surroundings, April pin pointed the location of their steed and assisted Touya in reaching in. She clambered up first, hoisting her weight up even with the cuffs in place. Flipping her leg over, she glanced down towards Touya, “Hold onto my waist.”

He complied with obediently and climbed up behind her. His warmth merged with her back as Touya slouched against her, his strength evading him.

"I'm sorry... I should have listened," he said.

April snapped the reigns, urging the horse to gallop.

“Don’t die on me yet Touya. Things were just about to get interesting,” she stated, heading straight towards Altheim.





Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





"Just go... you have to hurry..."

Reginald raised an incredulous eyebrow at the mercenary’s delirious ramblings.

“Go where exactly?” he sighed, “You haven’t even told me where they are.”

The key keepers adjudicate entered the room then with a med-kit and mug of water. Reginald smiled at him and offered a brief word of thanks before resuming his duties.

“Awful weather,” the adjudicate murmured.

“Hmmm, what?” Reginald said, not really listening.

“Oh, the rain. Looks absolutely dreadful,” the adjudicate remarked and then stepped out.

Frowning, Reginald glanced out the tiny window and confirmed that it was indeed raining. That was typical Altheim weather for you. Perfectly normal weather at one moment, raining the next. Glancing down at Damea, he fed the unconscious man some water, lifting his head slightly to prevent choking. After cleaning a few cuts and bruises, he finished of dressing them and then turned to the key keeper. The elderly man had returned to his desk and was currently residing over a crinkled newspaper.

“That should be it,” Reginald interjected. The key keeper looked up from the tabloid, drawn to his voice. “When he wakes up, leave him this note.”

The note held an address to Reginald’s house. Though he had authority to order the city guard to shift Damea, Reginald preferred not to.

“Are you certain it’s safe to release him?” the key keeper asked.

Reginald’s look left little room for debate. Repacking the med-kit, the former medic dropped the equipment on the man’s desk before seeking out the exit.

“Just make sure he gets the note.”





The tram ride back was agonizingly slow. After spending his time at the guard precinct, Reginald entered into what was grudgingly referred to as peak hour traffic.

By the time he reached his modest apartment, the sun was far below the horizon. Reginald strode up the steps to his doorway and fumbled to open the lock mechanism. The stubborn door received a final shove as it gave way, opening up to his simple lounge room. Blundering inside, he kicked of his shoes and flicked on the light switch.

“Reginald?”

Reginald’s eyes widened as he span around, jumping at sudden intrusion. Looking like she had escaped through hell, the former lieutenant was encrusted in filth and blood as she addressed him with a vacant expression. By far the most concerning sight however was the bloody mess laid out on his couch.

“April…what's going on? what happened?”

"Please, help him."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


The sound of pouring rain was what woke him from his slumber. Damea opened his eyes to a dark room, a window with pouring rain against it and candle light flickering just on the edge of his vision. He was still in the holding cell, but hadn't been moved so that told him that Reginald must of somehow kept him out of jail. The fire mage had to seriously thank that man, without Reginald, he wouldn't have known what to do.

Slowly shifting his body, he felt a lot better than he had several hours ago. More of his energy had been restored from the much needed sleep. He could have slept more, and dearly wanted to, but he had to leave and see if Reginald had heeded his warning. He sat up and was greeted by a pounding headache. With a slight groan he reached up and pressed his hand against the side of his head, wincing slightly. A sound across the room caught his attention and he looked up. The bars to his cell were opened and the large key keeper walked in.

"Here, the doctor told me to give this to you as soon as you woke," the man said, his voice thick with boredom. Damea took the paper and glanced at it. An address was scribbled on it in what was most likely Reginald's handwriting. The key keeper left the room and did not close the bars to the cell that Damea occupied. Standing, the mercenary slowly peeked out and looked around. His eyes went to the key keeper and he cleared his throat. The man looked up from his paper and frowned.

"My... weapons... I'd like to have them back," Damea said slowly. He was answered by the guard flicking his gaze over to the wall where the fire mage's twin swords were already laid out and ready. Damea nodded to the man giving him a slight smile before quickly retrieving his weapons and leaving the building.

It didn't take Damea long to navigate through the city. He'd been there plenty of times before. Working his way through the streets, Damea made it to the address given and wiped away the rain that had soaked him through thoroughly. Looking around he made note that no one was around in the empty street and reached up for the door handle. Opening it and closing it softly, he entered the house and leaned against the door before calling out. He didn't wish for Reginald to think him a burglar and accidentally kill him.

"Reginald?" When it was safe, Damea came into the room where he found three people instead of just one. How Touya and April had come to be in the city he did not know, but what did give him cause for fear and worry was the fact that Touya was laid up on the couch bleeding profusely. Once again the Therian was walking with death far to closely. Damea moved quickly and was beside the three of them in no time.

"What happened!?"

Image


At some point during the hard ride to the city, Touya had lost consciousness. He couldn't recall entering the city, nor being put up onto the couch in the house he now woke too. Slowly his eyes opened and the first sight he saw was the white ceiling overhead and then Reginald sitting right next to him. Well... this is certainly familiar, Touya thought to himself. With a quick glance around he saw April and also Damea. With that he concluded they were back in the city where he'd left several days ago with April to look for Val.

Turning his gaze to Reginald he gave the man a small grin, "We've got to stop meeting like this," he said softly, his voice a bit hoarse. He shifted around and started to push himself upwards, but a tight feeling across his chest accompanied by a painful burn brought him back down. His breath gasped into his lungs as he fell back and he reached over to grip the area tightly. Wincing he looked down to see what the doctor had accomplished. Once again nearly every inch of his lithe frame was wrapped in white cloth, some of it now staining red from his reckless move.

"You're the idiot who goes and does whatever the hell he pleases," Damea's voice countered. The fire mage was definitely angry with him, "Doesn't matter who tells you not to. Or that it's a bad idea. Damn it man, are you asking to be killed?! Could it bother you to think at least? We actually care about you, you know. What do you think we would do if you died? We're not friends by just the word, Touya," Damea continued, his voice rising and falling in his fit of anger. Touya shifted slightly so that he could look at the man who stood at his head. Damea's mismatched eyes were angry, filled with worry and relief.

"I'm sorry..."

"Yeah, well next time try giving our plans a thought," Damea muttered and turned away. The mercenary left the room then and Touya was left in an awkward silence.

What was he to say to that? Everything Damea had told him was true, the Therian was reckless and had no thought about the others feelings or anything like that. All he'd cared about was trying to mend things between the Therian's and the humans. Or was it completely different from that? Did he really care about that, or was he trying to get himself killed for all of his past failures? Touya didn't know for sure and his eyes narrowed slightly as he stared at the ceiling. All he'd done in the past several weeks was make sure that April, Damea and Reginald were safe and then tried to make sure his own people were safe. He wanted to make Val see where his errors lie, but then there were humans who had no heart, no compassion at all for Therian's. This made his thoughts go to Miles, a cold and deadly man who almost killed Touya, not because Touya deserved death, but simply because he was Therian.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





"What happened!?"

“I was wondering that myself,” Reginald muttered disapprovingly as Damea waltzed in.

Current residing within the comfy establishment of his unit, Reginald was attending to a critical patient. This seemed highly unlikely for a multitude of reasons. It was raining profusely outside, lightening the general traffic, particularly in the suburban portions of the city. Secondly, rarely anybody every visiting his household, unless they were dispatch officers bringing him the occasional emergency work.

Reginald had commenced treating the injured Touya promptly on April’s request. A split second decision. Most surprising was her desperate plea, a trembling tone that almost resembled a petty cry. Of course, April was too adapt at suppressing such blatant emotion, but to Reginald she conveyed a lot more than simple concern for the faceless’ wellbeing. Gauging the faceless’ wounds, Reginald was mildly surprised to discover gun shots. Firearms had only recently been introduced into the arms forces of Altheim’s military, and as such, Reginald actually had no experience with treating such injuries.

Instead, Reginald settled for treating them like a broken arrow heads, meaning surgical removal was necessary. Continuing his investigation, Reginald identified a disconcerting number of stabs and lacerations as well. Those require cleaning and stitching. Fetching his military grade med-pack, Reginald had most of his tools spread out over the table. A blood stained washcloth hung over the rim of a bucket, trading water for red liquid. The whole living room appeared much like a miniature war zone, or at least like a riot had passed through it. Behind the drawn curtains, chairs were strewn across the open space haphazardly without order or rhyme. Dirt and mud trails coated the floorboards, showcasing where April had dragged the faceless indoors. It was all such a disheveled mess.

Reginald sighed and sat back after a long moment to admire his handiwork, wiping his brow with the sleeve of his shirt. Searching and addressing every major wound had taken the better part of three hours, but both he and April remained stubbornly diligent. April remained uncharacteristically quiet throughout the entire process, leaving more than a few questions about the events that transpired.

He suggested to the former Lieutenant that she should go have a wash and rest. To be honest, Reginald was exhausted himself from mending both Touya and Damea after a day’s work and was set to keel over. The medic frowned as a puddle of water trailed behind Damea, compounding the general filth.

“Please dry yourself off befo-”

"We've got to stop meeting like this," Touya whispered voice clawed up to him.

Gazing down, Reginald offered the faceless a wide grin. The operation was largely complete so Reginald pulled off his surgeon’s gloves and stood up.

“Is it just me or do your injuries seem to be escalating faceless?” he chided. Picking up a silver bowl on the nearby table, Reginald showed Touya the number of shrapnel and bullets he had removed. “Ten pieces in total. I’m very surprised your weren’t torn apart, or that nothing vital was hit.”

“You’ll be glad to know that only one arm was severely injured this time however,” Reginald continued. “Food anyone? I’m famished.”

"You're the idiot who goes and does whatever the hell he pleases," Damea reprimanded, fury distorting his features. Reginald whistled and stepped out of the room.

“I guess that’s a no.”





April Rosevolt





The wash was a welcome relief to her adventure strained limbs, so good she had almost fallen asleep on several occasions, reminiscing on civilisation’s luxuries. April winced every time the hot water rinsed over her wounds. Touya’s healing had prevented them from becoming fatal, but there was little time between then and now to fully address them. Reflecting on the conflict involving Riverbend and the Jaeger Guard was painful. Not in the physical sense, but mentally she was keenly aware that Touya had taken more than a few bullets for her. Growing weary by the second, April forced herself upwards and drained the murky water. She had requisitioned a pair of Reginald’s clothes, a white shirt and brown pants, as her leather suit was too far gone to consider wearing.

They looked several sizes too large for her alluringly nimble frame, comical even, not that April cared for such trivial notions by that point. The one downside was having to constantly pull up the hem of her trousers to keep them from falling, though slipping into them was an extraordinarily easy endeavor.

Exiting into the hallway, April looked into the kitchen, spotting Reginald by a dining table. He noticed her likewise and proffered a bowl hot porridge.

“Seems like you had quite the journey,” he commented as April pulled up her pants again before settling down in her seat.

“Sorry for intruding…and thanks for helping,” April returned, meekly accepting the bowl.

“I’m guessing that things didn’t go down so well with Val?” Reginald remarked, biting into the gruel.

“No,” April frowned, knitting her brows together; “The army discovered his whereabouts and chased him away before we could get to him. I don’t know how they got the information.”

Reginald continued chewing for a few seconds, mouth full. Gulping down his morsel, he spoke up again, “Could have been any number of ways. They have been searching for those faceless terrorists for a long time now. The problem is, how do we track him now?”

“Indee-”

"Yeah, well next time try giving our plans a thought."

Reginald and April looked up as Damea stormed in. The mercenary was flustered with irritation and Reginald was the first to speak as he entered.

“Calm down mate,” he smiled, chucking his a towel, “Come, why don’t you sit down and have a bowl of food?”

April stood up from her seat then and piled some porridge into a fresh bowl using the serving spoon. Taking a second spoon, she retrieved her own bowl and nodded at both of them.

“I’ll go pass our mutual friend some food,” she stated, pulling the waistline of her pants a third time. Leaving them, April caught Touya in the midst of his brooding. The therian was positioned flat on his back, his blue gaze directed at the ceiling in silent meditation. An armada of bandaging and stitches saturated his muscular frame, so much so it astonished her. Remembering his prior inability to fully control his hand, she puckered down and held the bowl up, offering to feed him as thanks.

“You should eat. It’ll maintain your strength. Allow me,” she said, placing the bowl down temporarily to assist him in sitting upright. Scooping a spoonful, April blew on the gruel before nudging the chunk close to his face. “You’re arm must be still hurting right?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Val Character Portrait: Ahmeil Leain Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


“Is it just me or do your injuries seem to be escalating faceless? Ten pieces in total. I’m very surprised your weren’t torn apart, or that nothing vital was hit.”

Touya grimaced as he looked at the pieces of metal that had struck him, had he really taken that much? It was hard to recall. He lifted his gaze up to Reginald and smirked at him once more, closing his eyes he shook his head slightly, "Therian, Reginald, or Touya. Not 'faceless'."

“You’ll be glad to know that only one arm was severely injured this time however. Food anyone? I’m famished.”




A soft sound caught his attention after Damea had left the room in anger. April had left him just as Damea had entered the room and chided him. She looked washed and was wearing different clothes. The cloth over her body was obviously far to large for her to be wearing and he thought that despite it, the look complimented her very well. She lifted the bowl up as an offering to him and he gazed at the pile of mush in curiosity and also a bit of weariness. Did she intent for him to eat that?

“You should eat. It’ll maintain your strength. Allow me. You’re arm must be still hurting right?”

She leaned over him and helped him upwards so that his back was against the back of the couch he rested on. The movement pulled the wounds along his body but it didn't hurt half as bad as it would have had he done it on his own. She settled back down and held the bowl up, getting a spoonful of the white mush that steamed. He eyed her carefully as she blew on it and then brought it up to his face. On instinct, Touya drew away from it and flicked his gaze between the spoon and then to her.

"I can feed myself," he muttered and reached up to take hold of the spoon. Unfortunately, and to his utter dismay, his fingers would not comply and he could not close them properly due to the dent and the other arm was even worse he couldn't even move it without feeling pain. He glowered at the spoon that hovered before him defiantly and felt a faint blush upon his cheeks as he sat there. Slowly, he leaned forward and took the spoon into his mouth taking the food that was upon it.

Upon letting the spoon slid from his lips, he grimaced as he tried to eat whatever it was she'd given him. It was sticky and without taste, bland really to him at least. He forced himself to swallow it though and lifted his hand up to his lips as he gave her a disgusted look. Once his mouth was clear of food he spoke to her, "You're trying to poison me, yes? What is this?"

Image


“Calm down mate. Come, why don’t you sit down and have a bowl of food?”

Damea uncrossed his arms and pulled out the chair next to the table. The mercenary plopped down but didn't take the bowl offered to him. Instead he sat there for a while, boiling in his anger but feeling relieved at the same time. He flicked his gaze over to Reginald after a moment and heaved a heavy sigh before giving in.

"Fine, I'll eat," he said and grabbed the bowl. He was starving after all, between mouthfuls he growled out his anger at the Therian, "I can't believe... he would try and get himself killed again... Really, how many times is it going to take for him to realize!" Damea chewed another bite and reached for a cup of water, "He's not going to keep getting lucky like this and he'll actually get himself killed. What's that going to do? I really wonder about him sometimes... that man has a serious deathwish...." he turned with another spoonful of porridge in his mouth to glower into the other room. What he saw though had his eyes widening and his thoughts turning abruptly from anger to astonishment and then mischief. Turning back around he swallowed the mouthful and grinned at Reginald.

"Although, if April sticks around I think he might just make a complete turnaround. I mean, she seems to have gotten closer to him recently. Last I remember she was about ready to rip his head off and now look at her. She's feeding him," Damea grinned and took another bite. He would have to make sure to mention this to her later, but perhaps when she was in a particularly good mood, the fire mage didn't exactly wish to die at such a young age.

Image


"Seems the army was called back to their city," Val said as he leaned against a tree. The night had grown cold and the rain had done nothing to ease that. It had been three days of travel across the wilds, including three days of rain, and the only thing he'd set eyes upon besides the army was a small group of soldiers and an empty carriage on the road. It seemed something of interest had happened there, but Val hadn't gotten the details. Whoever was involved with the ordeal was long gone.

"Shall we return?"

"Not yet. I want to know more about these humans... we still need to learn more about their technological advances. I fear there is more to it than just their trying to re-create our species into their own."

"What do you want to do now, Val?"

"We get inside the city and infiltrate their ranks. Go as high as we can go and learn as much as we can. Then we leave, no traces, no killing, simply information gathering."

"What of the others that went to get information?"

"They should be on their way back to the caves now. Once they get there, they'll realize that we were discovered. Everyone knew that if we were ever discovered we were to head further south. Don't worry about them, we'll get what we need here and meet up with them afterwards."

"That sounds like a mighty fine idea, Val," a feminine voice cut in. Val startled a bit and turned to look at who had addressed him. Standing with her arms crossed was a fairly short Therian woman with long brown hair and deep set green eyes. She once had a beautiful smile and softer eyes, but hard times had changed that and she now wore a scowl most times and those green gems were ice cold.

"Ahmeil. It's very good to see you again," Val said, smiling at her the moment he saw her. Reaching out he hugged her, just barely feeling her own arms wrap around him for a mere moment before she released him.

"I'm just fine. Every errand you send me on is easier than the last," she scowled.

"Because I care about you, Ahmeil, just as I care for everyone here."

She scoffed at him, "I can take care of myself."

"I realize that. Do you have anything to report to me?"

"A few things of interest," she reached behind her back and pulled forward a satchel that was bulging outwards in an awkward shape. Dropping it to the ground, she untied it and let the bag fall away from the device that she'd procured. Val knelt down next to it and examined it carefully before looking up to her.

"What is it?"

"One of the human's new toys. It does something to our magic, keeps us from using it. It's very... unpleasant... to fight against it," Ahmeil grimaced as she crossed her arms and glowered at the device.

"Intriguing," Val murmured to himself as he continued to examine the device. After a moment longer he pulled the bag back over it and motioned for one of the men to take it. He looked back to Ahmeil as he stood, "I'm sure I can find a few uses for it," he grinned at her, "Good work, Ahmeil. Would you like to join us as we infiltrate their city?"

"I thought you would never ask," she answered and her body shivered as she shifted her form into that of a human soldiers. The rest of the group followed suit that were to go inside the city. Val was last to shift his form and when that was done, the only thing that was left was to walk into the city gates as the sun peeked through the gray clouds of the fifth day. They were unhindered as they entered, just a group of soldiers that moved into the city. A few seconds later, when no one was looking, the soldiers shifted forms again and were simple citizens. It was like this that the group of Therian's moved through the wash of people. With no one the wiser, the group of rebel Therian's had inserted themselves into the deepest parts of civilization and worked their way up the ladder to where the information was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: The Scientist Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Reginald kept on a smile as the mercenary dropped down on his chair, brooding over his source of irritation. Occupied with the process of filling his belly, Reginald said nothing at first as he reached over the table, taking the salt shaker. Adding a pinch of salt to his meal, he waited until Damea was comfortable with speaking again.

"Fine, I'll eat," sighed the mercenary with some reluctance. Damea took the bowl and quickly began shoveling spoonfuls of porridge into his watering mouth. Reginald could tell the man had not eaten properly for days, without the need for an inspection. Damea was restless and easily frustrated, common symptoms of hunger. The mercenary’s righteous outburst at Touya was proof of that. Fortunately, the mercenary had managed to keep himself from dehydrating. "I can't believe... he would try and get himself killed again... Really, how many times is it going to take for him to realize! He's not going to keep getting lucky like this and he'll actually get himself killed. What's that going to do? I really wonder about him sometimes... that man has a serious deathwish...."

“We all have different ways of achieving our goals,” Reginald said, observing Damea, “Our faceless friend is simply doing what he thinks is best. It’s not always the most effective way…”

Reginald caught the impish look that had crept up on Damea’s face and glanced behind the sell sword, into the other room. Witnessing his former Lieutenant as she administered the faceless his food, the medic’s eyebrows raised in a gesture of mild amazement. The tender aura surrounding April and Touya was hard to miss and he inferred the meaning behind Damea’s look immediately. “But sometimes it doesn’t have to be,” he smirked, completing his sentence.

"Although, if April sticks around I think he might just make a complete turnaround. I mean, she seems to have gotten closer to him recently. Last I remember she was about ready to rip his head off and now look at her. She's feeding him," Damea grinned, his anger forgotten.

“Indeed, who would have ever imagined?” Reginald said, finishing the last of his gruel.





April Rosevolt





Wearing a sour expression, Touya’s eyes looked at the spoon and then April, acting like she had just sullied his pride. "I can feed myself," he stated distastefully.

His attempt to regain control ended in abysmal failure. April regarded his struggles with wry amusement as the therian hissed at the pain preventing him from lifting his arms properly. Surrendering the thought of independence, he glared at the wet slob of gruel before blushing faintly. Stifling the urge to chuckle at unintended helplessness, she held the spoon still as he anxiously stretched forwards and bit onto the cutlery.

“No need to feel so ashamed,” April remarked, tilting her head side wards at him, “Or would you rather I called Damea or Reginald to feed you?”

Chewing onto the food, Touya put on a scowl as the muggy taste soaked into his mouth. For a second, April instinctively drew back, anticipating a wad of regurgitated porridge. Fortunately, Touya was able to retain his dignity and he gulped down the tasteless morsel.

"You're trying to poison me, yes? What is this?" Touya blanched, visibly disturbed by the flavor.

“Oh, look at you princess,” April responded, “And here I was thinking you therians were used to living it out tough in the wilderness.”

Scooping another portion up the moment he swallowed, April smiled at the question. “Crushed oats, water, milk and a bit of salt if I know Reginald,” she answered eventually, suggesting the savory experience was not her first encounter with it. Reginald’s emergency rations had been the source of many profanities in the past, though it was far from the worst military culinary had to offer. “A good source of fiber and some protein, both of which are stable nutrients for a human’s diet.”

Offering him the second round, April waited politely for the therian to finish. Methodically, she repeated each step as she fed him, blowing onto the steaming mush before stretching the spoon out. In between his cursing, April would take the time out to consume her own food. They continued on in this fashion, sitting beside each other, joking, until Touya indicated he was satisfied. Or perhaps he was on the verge of vomiting. Preferring not to press on the matter, April deposited the empty bowl on the table, stacking it onto her own. With the curtains closed, she looked to the grandfather clock in the corner of the room for a sense of time, discovering that an hour had elapsed since she had joined him.

“That’s it for now,” April concluded, standing up. Once again she was forced to pull up the hems of her disproportionate trousers. Taking the bowls within one hand, she started off in the direction of the kitchen, where Reginald and Damea still resided, before pausing behind him.

“I appreciate what you did back there by the way. You're a very interesting therian,” she stated abruptly, referencing their encounter with the Jaeger Guard. It would have been so much easier for him to kill her, as simple as it was when April abandoned him in the fields. Amazingly, Touya stuck by her despite everything, defended her even. “Thank you, Touya. Have a good night.”





Miles Riverbend





"This is most concerning news," Victor asserted as his eyes scanned down the report before him, "To think even a man of your...reputation would be unable to stop one therian..."

Miles stood to attention in the court room, his proud features impassive. Inwardly, he glowered at the old general, loathing his condescending tone.

"The therian was assisted by a human woman. Either ex-military or a looter," Miles informed, hoping to direct the discussion on a constructive path. Hushed murmurs were whispered among the audience and leaders alike as everyone divined the implications of his discovery.

"Fear not," Victor said, silencing the rumors before they could spread dissent, "We have strict security measures in place. Even if the therians were to shapeshift, we would be able to detect them."

"Oh? And how will you detect human sympathizers?" snapped Miles.

Victor's brown eyes lowered at the Beast Slayer and for a split second Miles was certain he said something. Fixing his classes, Victor lowered the report instead. The old general cleared his throat to attain everyone's attention.

"In light of recent activities, I feel now is the right time to introduce our guest."

The grand double doors opened on cue, like some grand reveal, and behind them came a single man. Miles' eyebrow raised ever so slightly as a robed figure entered the room, his signature wheezing instantly recognizable. Painted in red, the scientist was a picture of macabre machinery. The portions of skin which he deigned to show better resembled dissolved tissue paper and barely masked the disconcerting make-up of cables beneath. As ever, the man's face was hidden behind a mask. He stopped besides Miles and nodded as a form of greeting.

"Greetings," hissed the scientist with startling volume. Miles glared at the man, having never realized he was capable of synthetically amplifying his voice. Just what other secrets did he hide? The result was a slightly robotic tone, not that the scientist let that dissuade him, "You have all been made aware of recent incursions, yes?"

"It's hard not to know," Miles rolled his eyes, "People on the streets are on the verge of panic. If even our vast armies and firearms cannot eliminate a terrorist cell, what can?"

"Then I believe it is time to show you the culmination of my work," the scientist said, expertly incorporating Miles' sentence to suit his purposes. His arm swung out, gesturing to the doorway once more as something clanked towards the entrance.

"This, is the future of mankind!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


“Oh, look at you princess. And here I was thinking you therians were used to living it out tough in the wilderness,” April teased.

Touya frowned at her as he watched her scoop another spoonful and blow on it. She answered his question right after as she held the spoon out towards him. He was still uncomfortable with her feeding him and felt more than ashamed to have to let her do so. On the other hand, it was showing him a side of her he'd never seen and it was quite appealing.

“Crushed oats, water, milk and a bit of salt if I know Reginald. A good source of fiber and some protein, both of which are stable nutrients for a human’s diet.”

He eyed the mixture as she brought another spoonful up to his lips. He grudgingly bit into it, but grimaced once again. Forcing himself to swallow, he eyed her carefully before he spoke.

"Perhaps I should teach him how to cook. It is a wonder that you humans survived... at least what I eat in the wild is tasteful," he muttered in response frowning once more as she offered up the next bite.

He found himself relaxing more as they sat together and she continued to feed him, Touya of course offering up distaste for each bite taken and a few choice curse words both in his own language and the common one. Finally when he couldn't take anymore -and the bowl was thankfully empty- he shook his head at her when she offered the last spoonful. He leaned back away from the spoon and refused to eat it. The Therian wasn't sure if he could handle anymore of the 'gruel' as she called it.

“That’s it for now,” she said and stood with both bowls in one hand and the other hand reaching to adjust the pants that were far to big for her.

"Thank the God's," he muttered in reply and lay back against the sofa, adjusting his body for as much comfort as possible. The time had passed by quite quickly with her keeping him company.

“I appreciate what you did back there by the way. You're a very interesting therian. Thank you, Touya. Have a good night,” her voice filled the room suddenly and Touya twisted to see her. An eyebrow lifted as he watched her, the woman's frame illuminated by the firelight in the other room. It was getting darker in the room he was in, but maybe that was because they had not thought to turn on any of the steam powered lights that ran throughout the complex.

"You're very interesting as well," he offered softly and turned away, "I would have done it for any of you. Do not thank me yet, this is far from over and I've not done anything worth being thankful for," he replied and waited a while until he knew she was out of the room.

"For you especially... I think I would do anything," he muttered to himself as he lay back against the sofa's cushions.






A stray beam of sunlight through the window upon his face was what woke him. Touya peered out of slitted eyelids to see nothing but golden sun blinding him. The rain had long since passed and the smell of newly washed earth filled the room. Slowly he pushed himself upwards as best he could and looked down at his battered body. There were far too many wounds to heal in one sitting, especially since many of them were deep and would take a lot of his energy. Reaching up, his magic radiated from him and he healed the stab wound in his chest as well as the bullet wound just underneath it.

Closing his eyes he concentrated on the other area's that had been penetrated by the bullets and began closing them as best he could. Out of the ten gunshot wounds, he healed half of them. The rest would have to wait until he had more energy but for the most part many of them were just cuts or gashes left from the bullets that had been shot at him. He pulled his legs off he bed and stood up, stretching his body as best he could.

His long hair was still braided, but it was caked with mud and blood. He needed to wash, but he wasn't sure where he could do that in the home he found himself occupying. Usually Touya would have found a stream or a lake to wash his body with, but there were no such things here. He wondered briefly where, then, had April gone to wash the night before?

"I heard some interesting news this morning," Damea's voice filtered into the living room and Touya went to it. Leaning against the door frame he listened intently as the fire mage spoke to Reginald. Touya frowned as he realized that the doctor was probably going to cook again for them.

"Seems that a few soldiers died last night. No one is sure what happened exactly, but they were both killed. One died from multiple lacerations and the others head was lopped off," Damea said as he took a drink of something in a cup.

"This happened last night?" Touya asked and Damea choked on his drink. The fire mage leaned forward suddenly and coughed harshly. Touya stood still with an eyebrow raised at the man's reaction.

"Jeez! Can't you warn us when you enter a room?" Damea asked, flustered at having choked on his drink. When Touya did not answer him, the mercenary rolled his eyes and sighed. Then the man grinned at the Therian who was even more confused at what was happening, "You look better. A good nights sleep, before that a pretty woman to feed you... you sure had it good last night."

Touya watched the mercenary without moving, his eyes steady and unwavering as he tried to comprehend what it was that Damea was talking about. How had last night been 'good' to him? He wasn't entirely sure, "I slept fine," he answered eliciting a sputtering laugh from Damea. Why were human's so confusing?

"Of course you did, you had your belly full of hot food given to you by April..." Damea's face went pale then and he turned around quickly and continued to drink his coffee. The sudden silence was not what Touya had been expecting and so he stood there with his arms crossed, still trying to sort through what had been said. Unable to figure it out, he shook his head and looked to Reginald instead.

"Is there a place where I may wash?"

Image


Their information gathering had gone according to plan and within the day they'd made it up into the ranks of the soldiers. However, something had gone wrong and all that Val had accomplished was learning that there was a scientist testing Therians. Unfortunately he did not learn where as he had to pull out of the operation and regroup with the rest of his men. Whatever happened, he didn't know but figured it was one of his people that had sparked the suspicions all across town.

Frowning, he now glared at the city from the outskirts, hiding amongst the trees that lined the outer edge of the city and the main road. Turning around he counted once again the people with him and indeed he was still one short. His eyes narrowed as he realized then who it was he was missing. She'd not been with them long, thus making his mistaking her for never being there in the first place. Ahmeil was not with them and that proved to be quite disconcerting. She wasn't one for subtlety at all times, but he'd thought that she would have at least heeded his orders to not killing anyone and being quiet.

Val turned around again and gazed at the city. There were two options he was presented with. Go back in and find her, or leave her to her own devices.

"Val," a voice called.

"What is it?"

"Should we not leave? It is getting dangerous just staying out here on the edge. They could send out search parties to see if any Therian's remain around the city."

"As correct as that is, I would like to wait a little while longer. Ahmeil knows how to take care of herself, but I would much rather see to it myself than not."

He didn't turn around to see the man nod in agreement and melt back into the shadows. With a deep frown he pulled away from the tree and followed his comrade into the shadows of the trees. He would give her three hours. Three hours only and if she was not with them, he would leave her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: The Scientist Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




April Rosevolt





"Is there a place where I may wash?"

Well groomed, April strode out of the corridor just as Touya completed asking his question. Her brisk pace earned her the attention of everyone present within the room as she waltzed over to the table where Reginald had prepared breakfast. With access to basic tools, the former soldier was back to her refined self, or so it seemed. Somehow the former soldier had also managed to acquire a more fitting set of clothes. April had woken up early to assist Reginald in cleaning his household. Most notably she spent a good hour mopping away the dirt and blood that had accompanied them the previous night. It was easy to think April would welcome the opportunity of having a roof over their heads, yet a cold tension still haunted her posture.

“You look better,” she commented, striding past Touya.

“Bathroom is down the corridor, to the immediate left,” Reginald smiled, answering the therian’s inquiry, “Inside is a wash basin, just turn the handle clock-wise and let the water build-up…”

The medic stood up, pulling his seat back abruptly. “On second thought, allow me to show you.” He strode over quickly to the therian and led Touya directly to the bathroom.

“We’ll be leaving soon,” April said once Reginald was out of earshot. She looked sternly towards Damea as the mercenary sipped at his beverage and sat down.

Claiming one of the empty bowls which had been courteously laid out, April opened the lid to the pot and began ladling white globs into her dish. “Remaining here is dangerous for Touya. We’ll leave the moment he’s done washing,” she continued, digging into her food. Gesturing to the bags of supplies by the side bench, she spoke again, “I’ve borrowed a jacket that should hide Touya’s more characteristic features, and enough food and water to sustain ourselves for a time. I have something important to discuss with both of you later.”

Reginald returned promptly after shouting once last time to the therian, causing his voice to echo into the kitchen. “I left a spare set of clothes on the side if you need them!”

“Well, I sent a dispatch to work informing them I’d be sick today,” Reginald said as he circled around April and Damea. Taking a seat again, he resumed to finish his breakfast. “So? When comes the time where you explain what happened?”

April lowered her spoon and smirked at the medic, “There’s not much to tell. You already know the most important detail. The terrorist cell is still out there, somewhere,” she shrugged despondently, stirring the mush in her bowl.

“You’ve been gone for a couple weeks April, is that really all you have to show for it?” Reginald huffed, lifting his eyebrow coyly, “I’m rather surprised that you’re so cozy with that faceless.”

She looked at him and laughed. It was attractive, hard and confident. “The fate of his people consumes him. Touya is in a precarious position, trying to mend the relationship between humans and therians. Unfortunately, its good people like him who get hurt the most.”

Left more than a little speechless at her bluntness, Reginald felt a smile grow over his face as he consumed the last spoonful of porridge. Adding a pill to his drink, he skulled down the water. “Those in between are the first to receive the cross fire? Or something along those lines,” he mused, “In any case, allow me to drop by the groceries. You can tell me about everything that happened later.”

Reginald stood up and dumped his bowl into the sink before moving in the direction of his bedroom. Materializing with a jacket and boots, he waved to Damea and April then left through the front door. Following his departure, April calmly stood up and crossed over to the bathroom door. Knocking politely, she called out to Touya, “Touya, we’re leaving before Reginald gets back. Don’t ask any questions, just finish washing quickly.”

Walking back to Damea, April hefted one of the backpacks. “I’m afraid we may be in immediate danger, get ready to leave. We’ll head for the western gates. It’s the closet exit to Reginald’s house.”





The Scientist





“That went…worse than expected,” Victor remarked, sipping his glass of red wine.

The two of them sat within the general’s office. A grand collection of books surrounded them, lining the shelves on either side of the room. They rose up to the ceiling and where connected via a ladder that travelled across rails. The scientist admired the insurmountable value of the collection beside him. Many of the books were first editions or original copies, priceless artifacts. Victor leveled his gaze at the man and offered him a drink out of courtesy, curious to see if the mask would be removed. Disappointingly, the scientist refused the offer.

“This is an impressive collection General Hawthorn,” the scientist said, gesturing to the tomes, “Are you an avid reader?”

Victor flashed a smile and lay his wine glass to rest. “Hmph, if only,” lamented the general, “Time is a rare commodity for men such as you and I. I’m more of a collector, thought sometimes it helps to keep up appearances.”

“A shame,” the scientist commented, wheezing as always. “And don’t worry, the committee and politicians will agree. The therians have invaded our homes, eluded our armies, defeated our champions. One more match will light the bonfire.”

“I’m impressed by the speed of your results though,” Victor said, his hand fell over another report which held classified information of the project. “The process…is it painful?”

“Excruciating,” the scientist answered, “Fifteen percent of subjects died in the process. We are currently researching ways to reduce the fatalities. The main issue is replication and integration. Not all are compatible.”

“Then I put my trust into you. Don’t let those lives go to waste, we will emerge victorious.”

"For the greater good," chorused the scientist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


“You look better,” April's voice startled him as she brushed passed him to enter the kitchen. He watched her walk by, unsure of what to say to her in response. How was it that he 'looked better'? To him, he still looked terrible, especially with his hair a mess.

“Bathroom is down the corridor, to the immediate left. Inside is a wash basin, just turn the handle clock-wise and let the water build-up…”

Touya stood still as he directed his gaze to Reginald. He didn't move nor say anything in response to the doctors words as he tried to answer the Therian's earlier question. After a second, Reginald pushed back his chair and stood up, smiling at him as he did so.

“On second thought, allow me to show you.”

Touya followed Reginald back to the bathroom where the wash basin was. It was a very large pot like contraption with a couple of metal bars on its end. Touya watched the doctor curiously as the man worked the contraption. Water poured forth from the spout and began filling the bath as Reginald plugged the hole on the bottom. Once that was done the doctor left the room and closed the door behind him. Touya watched the water spout for several moments longer. Reginald's voice reached him as the man yelled back to the room where the Therian was at.

“I left a spare set of clothes on the side if you need them!”

Glancing over to a small table, Touya spotted some folded clothes there. However he was more interested in the spout that poured water forth. Slowly, Touya leaned forward and touched the metal handles. He turned them slowly and witnessed more water spewing forth. Turning them the opposite direction slowed the flow of water until it no water came out at all. Intrigued, Touya turned the water back on and watched it fill the tub before he began taking the rest of his clothes off, which was just his leather pants as his shirt had been discarded the night before due to Reginald's treatment.

He slowly maneuvered his body into the warm water, wincing as the water crawled up passed his waist and began licking at the many wounds that ailed him. Blood began to seep into the water as the dried out places were soaked. Reaching back he pulled his hair over his shoulder and began undoing the braid. He worked his fingers through the pale silvery hair, trying his best to get the mud, blood and other dirt out of it. Leaning backwards he submerged almost the entirety of his body, the warm water amazing against his skin. He was used to bathing in cold rivers and lakes, this was certainly a luxury among the humans.

Pulling his body back up out of the water, he watched as the streams of liquid flowed down his form and brought with it trails of blood and filth. He grimaced as he sat there. Reaching up a second time he pulled his long hair over his shoulder and worked his fingers through it once more. Once he was done with that, he found a cloth along the edge of the tub and began rubbing his body down to wash it as best he could. He ground his teeth as he washed the wounds along his frame, too many to count at the moment. Nearing the end of his bath, a solid knock startled him and he immediately looked for his weapons, but when April's voice called out to him, he relaxed immediately, though he was curious about her words.

“Touya, we’re leaving before Reginald gets back. Don’t ask any questions, just finish washing quickly.”

Did she intend to leave the good doctor behind yet again? He frowned at the door and finished rubbing his body down. Standing he climbed out of the bath and dried off as best he could. Reaching for the clothes, he noted that they were made of simple material. A light weight leather that was nothing like he'd ever worn before. Pulling his pants back on, he reached for the shirt and tugged it over his head. The leather stretched nicely to fit his form, coming down to his hips just enough so that his belt could connect to the two pieces of clothing.

Once the belt was buckled on and his weapons secured he opened the door and stepped out. Moving down the hall he spotted Damea and April waiting for him. Looking over to where April motioned, he noted the pack and reached down to pick it up. Although he wished to ask her a question he decided that it was best to listen to her for once. He shouldered the pack and watched her, waiting for instructions.

Image



“We’ll be leaving soon,” April said, her gaze flicking over to Damea and he felt a slight chill pass over his body. He was definitely in trouble with her. The fire mage continued to sip his hot coffee and tried his best to ignore her cold look. Reaching over she grabbed a bowl and began filling it with food.

“Remaining here is dangerous for Touya. We’ll leave the moment he’s done washing. I’ve borrowed a jacket that should hide Touya’s more characteristic features, and enough food and water to sustain ourselves for a time. I have something important to discuss with both of you later.”

Her hand gestured to the packs laid out behind her and out of sight for the most part unless pointed out. He lifted an eyebrow as he watched her. What was she planning this time?

"Leaving him again?" He asked her, a bit of accusation in his tone. She didn't have time to answer though as Reginald came back into the room after yelling down the hall to Touya.

Reginald sat down again and inquired about their travels to find Val. Damea didn't say anything and for the most part kept out of the situation, but he was a little surprised at her lack of information. He looked up at her for a moment, curious as to why she didn't say anything to the man that was important. However, he didn't butt in to add anything, if April didn't wish to tell, that was her own business and Damea had no reason to tell her otherwise.

Shortly after, Reginald stood and left, excusing himself from their presence on the fact that he had to go to the grocery. Immediately upon his departure, April stood and made her way to where Touya was washing up. He faintly heard her voice calling out to him, asking him to hurry and not ask questions. She came back soon after and picked up one of the packs off the floor.

“I’m afraid we may be in immediate danger, get ready to leave. We’ll head for the western gates. It’s the closet exit to Reginald’s house.”

Damea stood and picked up the second pack and waited in the hall for the Therian to join them. He wondered why April was in such a hurry to leave, but felt that perhaps something was seriously amiss and didn't want to chance it. Especially not with the recent news that some of the guards had been killed the night before. Touya joined them soon after and the Therian also did not ask any questions as he looked down and picked up the pack that was pointed out to him by April. Right after, the three of them left and entered a brightly lit city. Looking over at Touya, the tall Therian eyed the coat that April had provided him. It took a moment, but Touya donned the jacket, though he didn't look all that pleased to be wearing it. With that, they started into the city, making their way to the western gates.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




April Rosevolt





Damea descended on the grass behind her as they waited for Touya. Admiring his nonchalance briefly, April gave a slight shake of her head before returning her thoughts to Touya. What was taking him so long? After witnessing the therian’s blistering speed on the plains and roadway to Altheim, she thought he would have beaten them here. Her brow furrowed as April’s nerves got the better of her. This position was awful. Exposed to ambushes and all manner of surveillance, she had no wish to remain rooted, particularly so close to the city.

"I believe we've got a stalker. The forest behind me. I could be wrong, but we might want to keep an eye out for anything suspicious," Damea whispered under a hushed breath.

April shifted her gaze to him, narrowing her irises. “Then we shouldn’t remain here,” she stated, attaching her hands to her hips. Interestingly, the soldier made no effort to look around or confirm Damea’s suspicions. Preferring to act casual, April was hoping to shake their pursuer before they the other party took notice. “We need to-”

Her face drained and she dropped on all fours abruptly, wrenching on air. Despite the absence of control, April’s sole focus was preoccupied with identifying the source of her current predicament. A sick feeling churned around her innards, threatening to throw out all she had eaten. Quickly, the burning spread to encompass her entire body, erasing any intentions to run. Instead, April’s thoughts were replaced by a simple, fervent hope for the pain to end. The woman released a strangled moan as she succumbed to the building nausea.

“Damea…run…”

Reginald appeared on cue, though the good doctor was leading a troop of Jaeger Guard down the main road. Marching in plain view, they adopted a brisk but certain pace, one that was neither hurried nor restless. Rather, it was one derived from knowing your opponent could not escape. Unknown to Damea, similar effects were about to seize his entire body. Reaching the position where April had fallen, Reginald strode forwards ahead of his squad.

“Damea, April. It’s a pleasure to meet you again,” he smiled, though the gesture was forced. “I didn’t expect you to run quite so soon, but I added a little something to the porridge as insurance.”

The medic looked towards Damea for answers to his next set of questions. “The ruckus at the west gates was your doing correct? Where is Touya?”

Damea startled when he saw April drop to her knees, doubled over and a slight moan slipping from her lips. He came forward to try to get to her but a voice stopped him cold in his tracks.His heart pounded as it was the same voice that he could recognize any day or time. Turning slowly he watched as Reginald came down the street with a group of elite Jeager guards behind him. The fire mage's throat clenched and he thought that he would die because of the sheer astonishment that wracked him.

They had been fooled.

This entire time they'd been fooled by the man. How was that even possible? Damea's mind couldn't wrap around what was going on and he stood up quickly, his hands reaching for his swords at his side. His mis-matched eyes were narrowed as he glared at Reginald whose demeanor seemed to change immediately.

“Damea, April. It’s a pleasure to meet you again. I didn’t expect you to run quite so soon, but I added a little something to the porridge as insurance,” Reginald smiled, but it wasn't the same smile that Damea had gotten used to seeing.

"You... you traitor!" Damea cried and then immediately after felt the same effects that April was feeling. His stomach twisted violently and he thought he was going to be brutally sick right there. He couldn't stand anymore, the world spun around him and he dropped to his knees with his own groan of pain. Slowly he fell off to the side, his arms wrapped around his stomach as he curled into a ball on the ground.

“The ruckus at the west gates was your doing correct? Where is Touya?”

"Go to hell," Damea responded between clenched teeth, he winced and curled into a tighter ball, rocking back and forth slightly on the ground.

"Here," the deep voice called from the midst of he Jeager guard and the men separated instantly. A man that was about the same height of Touya strode forward, his black hair was short and cropped like all of the other soldiers and he wore the same armor as the men did. However, as he approached Reginald, the human soldiers form faded away and the black hair grew long and turned silver, the dark skin paled and his black eyes turned to their crystal blue.

Damea sucked in a deep breath. It was the first time he'd ever seen a Therian actually transform their features before. Quite amazing to say the least, though he was in far too much pain to admire it for much longer. Not to mention he was rather irritated that the reckless Therian would so calmly make his appearance. Touya must have slipped in with the men when they were leaving the city.

"I should have known," Touya growled as he eyed the man, "But you play a rather good part, Reginald. Far too good. Though, now that we are far from the city, I don't have to hold back," Touya growled and the spikes on his arm extended outwards. His eyes narrowed and his body glowed.

Reginald backed of instinctively, as did the Jaeger Guard for a split instance of a second as each soldier sensed Touya’s vengeful lust. Eyes widening, the medic balked at their slow reactions. These were men who had seen over a dozen conflicts, men who had killed and been death’s closest companions for most of their lifetimes. Still they hesitated. Under normal circumstances, an armed faceless was not to be trifled with, much less an angry one. Yet right before them was a therian who had seen both sides of coin. Right before them was a man about to lose two of his dearest companions. Remembering who they were, the Jaeger Guard snapped into action with astonishing swiftness. A multitude of personal weapons spat forth, each one aimed and brandished with calm assuredness.

“Stop,” Reginald ordered, waving the Jaeger Guard down. They responded in their typical manner, instantly dropping aggressive stances but maintaining their guard.

“You to faceless, or how will you save April and Damea without the antidote?” said Reginald, directing his steady gaze towards Touya. Appearing nonplused, the medic dug his hands into his pockets and exhaled a deep breath in a motion that was unusually sinister given the situation. “Don’t worry, I swore an oath not to kill, remember?” Reginald said abruptly, smirking as if recalling better times, “But there are far more fates worse than death, yes?”

Foreshadowing their gruesome conditions, Reginald walked a few paces towards April, leaving Touya to his imagination. He bent down, gauging the faceless’ expression the entire time, and checked her pulse. It was a huge risk blackmailing the therian this way. Effectively, it would only work assuming Touya harbored affections. The original plan was to have Touya consume his porridge as well, but April had an unnerving habit of interrupting his plans. Just like when she unwittingly abandoned him to pursue Val.

“Help us,” he stated, certain the faceless had no option but to comply. “You and I, we want similar things. April and Damea aren’t the only ones in danger, countless others exist. There are people, Touya, people who will stop at nothing to see their fantasies realized. People who wish to see humanity turned into living weapons. Help us find and stop Val again, help us put an end to this madness before it starts.”

The moment Touya had unleashed his weapon, it seemed that the Jaeger guard had come out of their daze. Steel screamed in the air as the weapons were drawn and then pointed directly at Touya. The Therian's icy gaze shifted over to the group and he glowered at them, angered into a near fit of rage. His body glowed brighter as he prepared to annihilate them all.

“Stop,” Reginald's voice called out and Touya watched in mild surprise as the men all lowered their weapons but continued to watch the Therian wearily regardless.

“You to faceless, or how will you save April and Damea without the antidote? Don’t worry, I swore an oath not to kill, remember? But there are far more fates worse than death, yes?”

Touya watched the doctor ruffle around a hand in his pocket and continued his weary glare as the man approached April. Slowly his fist close tightly and the arm shook from his anger. The blades that he'd summoned from their compartment slowly retracted into his arm, folding down to be flat once again and like a bracer. The glow around his body also faded away as he released his hold on the pure energy, but didn't attack anyone. His thoughts went wild as he tried to figure out what Reginald could possibly be suggesting regarding April and Damea.

They were obviously sick, lying on the ground in pain. April's shifting in pain and slight moans were causing Touya much grief and heartache. He couldn't bear to see her like that and it was everything he could do to not reach out and strangle the doctor, force him to give her the antidote and then kill every last person there. He could have tried that and maybe been successful, but the actual odds of his coming out on top were very thin and for all he knew, Reginald could be lying to him right then. To make a move could endanger them all and Touya knew that he would most likely be getting himself killed in the process.

“Help us. You and I, we want similar things. April and Damea aren’t the only ones in danger, countless others exist. There are people, Touya, people who will stop at nothing to see their fantasies realized. People who wish to see humanity turned into living weapons. Help us find and stop Val again, help us put an end to this madness before it starts.”

"Don't!" Damea moaned as he winced, one eye was opened to look at him, the green one. The sharp color was filled with pain and discomfort and Touya ground his teeth, narrowing his eyes at his friend. A soft growl issued from the back of his throat as he turned his attention to Reginald.

"Why help you when you've done this to April and Damea? You could have asked me, no. You knew already that I was planning to go after Val again," Touya turned his body so that he was facing Reginald full on. His eyes were like smoldering ice, burning as he glared at the man he thought had been a friend, "What do you want?" He growled.

“I doesn’t really matter what I want. I am but a cog in the machine,” Reginald chuckled, lifting his eyebrows. Taking another few steps, he approached Damea and scanned over the paralyzed mercenary. “What matters is what my superiors don’t want. And what they don’t want to happen is for the human-therian hybrid project to come to fruition.”

Certain he held all the right cards; Reginald regarded Touya impassively, letting the therian's icy glare slide of him like cool water. The faceless could not possibly threaten him in his position. “Don’t act you have a choice faceless. I don’t have the antidote on me and you’re so close to Altheim that you can’t trust anyone with a simple request for aid either,” Reginald said bluntly, “Sure you were pursuing Val, but that was then. Both you and our army failed, so this time I need insurance.”

“So, here’s the deal,” Reginald continued, smiling quaintly, “You bring me Val’s head, and I’ll return April and Damea. I’ll give you two weeks, fail to do so and I’ll let toxin run its course.”

“Think of it as motivation.”

Human-Therian hybrids? What was Reginald on about? Touya hadn't heard anything about this. If it were true, then the humans really had sunk low. He didn't like the sounds of the implications. His stomach twisted as he tried to imagine just what exactly the humans and their scientists would have come up with.

Reginald moved from April to Damea and examined him as well. Once he was finished, Touya was clenching his fists and grinding his teeth in response to what the doctor had said to him. So, Reginald planned to keep Damea and April hostage while he sent Touya to kill a man that he could barely handle by himself. Was the doctor insane?

"You said it yourself, I failed to stop Val on several occasions. Your army failed to do so as well. What makes you think that sending me alone again will make any difference? You're a fool if you think that I can defeat Val on my own. I can barely stay alive when I fight him," Touya growled back.

"I think I'll deal without your little game," the Therian continued and his blades snapped forward once more. He lunged forward at Reginald, but he was stopped by the Jaeger Guard. Several of the mean leapt at him and pulled back his arms. A sharp kick to the back of his knees sent him to the ground and though he would have summoned the power to blast them backwards, one of the guards actually had a mind of his own and pressed his blade against the Therian's throat. Touya tensed his muscles, pulling against the men who held him, his deadly glare straight at Reginald.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Ahmeil Leain Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
April Rosevolt, Damea Reese & Touya Khan


Reginald backed off defensively, ever cautious of Touya’s abilities. The therian’s rash attempt to lash out landed him several quick jabs as the Jaeger Guard restrained him forcefully. Iron grips caught Touya as he leapt forth, pulling limbs whilst driving him into the dirt.

“You’re right faceless. I don’t trust you,” Reginald shrugged, “Which is why we have taken the courtesy of organizing you companion. They should be here any second now…”

With a quick gesture, three more figures paraded down the main road. Riding their horses, Reginald squinted to verify the identity of whoever it was that approached. Abruptly, the trio of horse riders veered off upon sighting them, hastily retreating down a side street. Reginald chuckled amusedly, raising one hand to his mouth.

“Whoops, wrong people. Guess life isn’t that convenient,” he commented, scratching the side of his cheek sheepishly.

Faintly, galloping hooves could be heard in the far off distance, clapping thunderously again pavement. The sounds quickly congregated on their position as the medic patiently waited with Touya in front of him. One more figure appeared on the horizon, though this man was easily identifiable from the clean crop of blonde hair and aristocratic good looks.

“Mr Riverbend, how nice of you to join us,” Reginald smiled as the Beast Slayer brought his steed to a startling stop. Miles’ eyes narrowed as he recognized the figures of both Touya and April.

“What in the empire!?” snarled the man, pointing his shock towards Reginald, “What is going on here? I was meant to be visiting the murder sight! Who are you?”

Reginald flashed a badge in the face of the Beast Slayer who immediately turned pale. “What do you want?”

“Judging from your reaction at the court house Mr Riverbend, we were hoping you’d cooperate with our mutual goals. We wish to acquire your unique skills in hunting a particularly dangerous faceless and therefore put a stop to the hybrid experiments,” Reginald explained, skipping straight to the point.

Miles glared down at the medic, his chin seemingly up in defiant resistance to Reginald’s will. “Why are we talking out here about this?”

“Because we felt it was vital to introduce you to your partner early on,” the medic responded, earning a low growl from the Beast Slayer as he glanced around him.

“You’re kidding me, you want me to work with the therian?” said Miles, deducing his meaning.

“Faceless, meet Miles Riverbend. Mr Riverbend meet Tou-”

“We’ve already met,” Miles interrupted.

“Perfect! Then you’re already acquainted!” Reginald beamed, "Faceless, Mr Riverbend will be ensuring that you carry out your mission effectively." Reginald had said last sentence partly for the sake of Miles, "You have two weeks Mr Riverbend, two weeks to kill the terrorist leader. Failure to do so ends in the doom of us all."

“You’re right faceless. I don’t trust you. Which is why we have taken the courtesy of organizing you company. They should be here any second now…” Reginald said with a slight shrug. The man looked off to the side, down the road where Touya could not see, but he could hear the advancing of several horses. His chest tightened at the thought of who it could possibly be that Reginald had called for.

“Whoops, wrong people. Guess life isn’t that convenient,”

"Your games are growing tiresome-" Touya hissed, but he was ignored and cut off as a new set of approaching horses could be heard. In a matter of seconds, Touya was greeted with a sight that he'd hoped not to see again. His fists tightened and he pulled harder against the men, eliciting a couple more of the Jaeger Guard to grab hold of him.

“Mr Riverbend, how nice of you to join us,” Reginald stated, calling out the name of the man whom Touya had fought not but a couple days ago.

The Therian couldn't believe that his 'partner' would be this man, a man who had tried to kill him -and almost succeeded- two days ago. Was Reginald out of his mind? Did he really think that Touya and Miles would just take this lying down? Touya wasn't about to agree to this at all, he didn't want anything to do with Miles and most of all he was tired of hearing Reginald spout his crazy ideas. He wanted to know why the man had been friendly before hand, why had he deceived them. What was it that he'd been planning on the entire time?

“Because we felt it was vital to introduce you to your partner early on,” Reginald's words pulled Touya from his brooding.

“You’re kidding me, you want me to work with the therian?” Miles replied, his voice telling of his disbelief and disdain for the situation.

"Believe me, I'm not happy about this either," Touya growled in return.

“Faceless, meet Miles Riverbend. Mr Riverbend meet Tou-”

“We’ve already met,” Miles interrupted.

“Perfect! Then you’re already acquainted! Faceless, Mr Riverbend will be ensuring that you carry out your mission effectively. You have two weeks Mr Riverbend, two weeks to kill the terrorist leader. Failure to do so ends in the doom of us all."

Touya glowered at them both. He was in a precarious situation. He wanted so much to pull on his power and destroy them all right there, but then what would he do for April and Damea? Glancing over to Damea, he noted that the mercenary was still curled in a ball, but because the man hadn't said anything Touya figured that he was probably too far gone in pain and delirium to deduce what was happening. His gaze moved to April, though he couldn't see her face by the way she was laying, he guessed that she might have been in the same state as Damea.

"Bastard..." Touya muttered. He opened his mouth to say more, but a feeling of immense power filled the air and he looked off to the other side of the road sharply. A swirl of blue light filled the air and shot across the distance, aimed right at Touya. Rather, he thought it was aimed at him, but the magic brushed by him just barely and instead knocked the Jaeger Guard off their feet. A second blast filled the air aimed right at both Miles and Reginald.

Touya didn't see what happened to them as he'd been knocked over from the magic. Covering his head, he curled slightly to try to protect his body from any more attacks. Looking over to the other side of the street, he spotted a woman making her way across the road, a large blade drawn and held at the ready. From her arms and legs were curved metal blades and he immediately recognized her as a Therian. As she grew closer, her body glowing, he then realized who it was.

Getting to his feet, he turned around and faced the Jaegar Guard. Reaching back he drew both blades and flicked them open. Touya glowed as well as he pulled the energy into his body, then launched himself at the nearest elite.

A few shouts of warning issued the moment a wave of blue energy singed the air, leaving a white vapor trail in its wake. Its kinetic force threw the Jaeger Guard off their feet resulting in harsh curses and dropped weapons. It came from the forests which marked the edge of the Altheim. Reginald looked around in time to spot a second energy blast spiraling towards him and gasped.

The medic jumped aside, as did Miles, though the Beast Slayer was much quicker to draw. Reacting a second too late, the surprise attack hammered into Reginald and sent him tumbling several paces across the dirt. On the other hand, Miles was up and had darted around, efficiently dodging the entire magical discharge. Swaths of dust and rubbish swam up in response to the sudden movement of gases, throwing garbage right across the street.

“Dammit! They were meeting someone else?” Reginald snapped, rolling onto his back. The medic winced at the bruise which now coated his wrists.

Unnervingly, not a single man stopped in startled surprise. The Jaeger Guard where the first to counter attack. One who held a pistol aimed the armament in the direction of the charging woman and fired, releasing a loud bang. Another was not as lucky as Touya barreled into him, catching the man on two blades. Impaled by the swords, any normal man would have given up, but this Jaeger Guard growled defiantly. Pulling close to Touya, he head butted the therian and reached out, attempting to throttle his opponent. Using the opportunity, another Jaeger Guard unclipped his flail and descended on Touya.

“The games up doctor,” Miles hissed, brandishing his already unsheathed weapon, “Go, and take your prisoners.”

Reginald looked up at the Beast Slayer and nodded his appreciation, "Hold them back!"

On this order the Jaeger Guard wold never fail. Immediately the medic was up. Running over, Reginald hoisted April over his shoulder and directed a fourth Jaeger Guard to carry Damea. Miles met the woman with a large blade head on and brought his sword swooping from his right hand. The first Jaeger Guard, the one who fired the pistol, moved in to support, thrusting his spearhead forwards in an excellent cooperative maneuver.

The man he impaled surprised him as he pulled himself across both swords and slammed his forehead into Touya's face. Blood trickled from the Therian's nose from the impact. He stumbled backwards, wincing slightly from the hit. With a growl of anger, he kicked the man and pulled his blades free from his body at the same time. Touya caught sight of the second Jaeger Guard who came at him wielding a mace like weapon.

Turning, he caught the downward strike with one sword, swiped it aside and plunged his blade into the man's chest. Ripping his sword free, Touya pivoted to face another opponent and from behind the man his gaze saw Reginald taking hold of April and another Guard grabbing Damea. His heart pounded rapidly against his rib cage and fear flooded his body as well as rage. Where was the man going with April?! What the hell was he doing! Across the way, Touya noted that the female Therian was engaged in a fight with Miles, her large sword swinging rapidly and accurately to try to cut the man down.

Touya growled and with a blast of his own power, sent several of the Guards away from him as they tried to circle him. He broke away from the chaos and started to give chase to Reginald, his speed increased by his power. However, his way was blocked by several of the elite men and he barreled into them, falling to the ground as he'd been completely intercepted. Looking up he glowered at Reginald's back as he made off with April and Damea.

"I'll kill you!" He shouted at the man. A sharp burn cut across his back and he was brought back to the reality that he was still surrounded by several of the Jaeger Guard. Flipping over, he retaliated and swiped both swords across his chest, cutting into the man who had wounded him. Touya flipped his body upwards, landing on his feet gracefully and rushed at Miles who was fighting the Therian woman. If she killed him, then he would have no way of getting April and Damea back. He needed to stop her. Of course, the other thing that he had in mind was why she was fighting in the first place.

"Ahmeil! Stop!" He shouted at her. He jumped in between her and the downward swing towards Miles' head. His swords crossed and cut her off, stopping the deadly blow, not that he thought Miles incapable of dodging such an attack, "Stop, or I'll lose everything," he told her again. As he gazed at her, there was something different in her eyes than from the last time he'd seen her.

"Why are you stopping me! Let me kill him! Let me kill ever last human on the face of this planet! They are filthy! Worthless scum who have no right to live!" She screamed back at him. Touya shoved himself forward, dislodging her blade from his. Shaking his head he turned to Miles and leveled his sword at the man.

"You're going to help me get Damea and April back, that mean's going after Val. Once that's finished, and only after both my companions are healthy again, then we can finish this."

"You! You! Traitor!" Ahmeil screamed, realization hitting her then. Touya turned to face her as she swung her sword now at him, "I didn't think it was true, but when I saw you in the courtyard of the city, I thought the worst had happened. I thought that you'd joined with the humans. I tried to convince myself it wasn't true! But here you are now, saying you want to save them! You pathetic fool! You! Don't you know what they did!" Ahmeil screamed as she continued to swing wildly at him. Touya, now on the defensive, watched her in confusion. What had happened to the woman he once knew?

"They killed him! They killed your brother, Touya! They tormented him! They took him away from me! They used him in their disgusting, vile, experiments! They killed him right in front of me!" Her voice was high pitched, her eyes wide with rage and blood lust, "Now you want to help them!? You traitor! You filthy traitor! I'll kill you!"

"Friend of yours?" Miles asked, raising an eyebrow as Touya stepped between him and his opponent. Not really trusting Touya, Miles kept his sword arm up and ready to strike. Still, the woman had just informed the therian of his brother's death, and judging by Touya's expression, Miles was preparing to defend himself on two fronts if necessary. "This one seems a little crazy if you ask me therian."

The Beast Slayer glanced around in the direction Touya had come from and to his surprise spotted three dead Jaeger Guard. So he does kill. Whistling low, Miles smirked down at Touya as he refocused on the immediate issue. The way Miles saw it, there was only one way to resolve the situation. "So what's it going to be therian? Will you save your precious wench? Or will you take your revenge? I certainly don't blame you if you want the later, but you can't have both."

Touya blocked another swing aimed directly for his chest. She was serious about trying to kill him. Every strike she'd made was a mortal blow to his body. If he allowed her even the slightest opening, he would be done for. Her eyes were wild with rage, lost in a agony he knew nothing of. However, at the mention of his brother his eyes widened and he barely managed to block her next blow. Even so, her powerful swing, coupled with an enraged blast of magic, threw him to the ground.

"Ahmeil... what are you saying?"

"They killed him," she growled back as she lunged for him. Her large weapon clashed with his and she leaned down, putting all her weight behind the sword. Touya winced as he struggled to keep her off him, "They killed him. Tormented him. It was horrifying, Touya. My husband... they killed him! Took him away from me! And yet... here you are, his brother, wishing to help these filthy scum!" She screamed at him.

Her magic boiled and writhed around her frame and she sent it down at Touya. The Therian's pale blue eyes widened slightly as the full force of her energy impaled him. A cough issued a spray of blood up into the air and flecks of it onto his face. Touya shook, shuddering under her pressure. One eyes was closed tightly as he glared up at her. A bit of blood trickled from the corner of his lips down the side of his face.

Miles' voice came to him then, asking what he wanted. To save April and Damea, or take revenge on the loss of his brother. It was true he couldn't have both. To kill Miles would mean the death of April. Saving April meant forgoing revenge. However, Touya knew that he could get revenge after saving April and right then, he needed Miles alive. Besides, he didn't think that Miles had been the one to kill his brother, and even if he had been the one, now wasn't the time for it.

He gathered his energy around him and expanded it outwards, the power pushing Ahmeil off of him effectively. She toppled over and rolled away from the hit and Touya got to his feet. He moved in front of Miles and aimed his weapons at Ahmeil, the sister-in-law he once loved and cherished. She was nothing but a monster right then, her mind lost to nothing but rage and revenge.

"Help me save April," Touya muttered to Miles as he eyed Ahmeil who started back to her feet once more. Ahmeil screamed, her voice holding the deepest parts of her wraith and insanity. Leveling her own weapon, she crouched down. The power around her vibrated and she was then flung forward at Touya at amazing speeds. He barely got his weapons up to block her straight thrust to his chest. Even so, the tip of her blade scratched deep into both of his weapons as he held them crossed in front of his body. Her magic had shoved her so quickly forward, that Touya skidded backwards from the attack towards Miles.

A blur of movement skirted around Touya before a sharp blade glittered in the face of Ahmeil. In the span of a second Miles had taken the opportunity to counter attack from the flank, swiping his blade in a horizontal swing that would have decapitated half of her head.

“I like that decision,” Miles commented, a fierce grin forming over his cheeks, “It means I get to keep my head a little longer. Jaeger Guard!”

The surviving Jaeger Guard, three in total, leapt into action. “Impressive fighting skills therian,” one remarked as he passed Touya, brandishing a pole-axe. The others, a spearman and fencer respectively, attacked in synchrony, following up Miles’ blistering thrust. If there were any lingering reservations about Touya, none of them voiced it for they dedicated themselves fully to bringing down the ambusher before them.

“Sorry girl,” Miles said, glaring at the woman with slick, black hair, “Go take your selfish revenge somewhere else.”

That said, the Beast Slayer’s left hand appeared beneath his right. He released a blast of concussive air, aiming to throw the therian woman off balance.

“She may warn the other therians!” Miles yelled, “Don’t let her escape!”

Touya was startled at how fast Miles had moved. In the next instant, Ahmeil's blade pulled away from him as she back peddled way from the man who almost too her head. Even so, a long scratch across her forehead bleed profusely down her face. The Therian woman yelled and swung at Miles, her blade missing him completely, but it was only to keep him at a distance. Touya watched as the last three elites rushed passed him, one commenting to him on his fighting. This made the Therian even more confused than before and so he did not respond.

Touya didn't move from his spot, watching in curiousity as they attacked Ahmeil. She was easily outnumbered and when Miles sent his magic at her, knocking her backwards, the woman decided that it was probably a good idea to leave. Turning around, Ahmeil sprinted across the earth and into the tree line. Miles yelled out an order to the men and they gave chase after her. Straightening, Touya turned to Miles as he sheathed his swords.

"Lets get started, the faster we get this over with the better."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Ahmeil Leain Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend





"Lets get started, the faster we get this over with the better."

Miles looked over the therian and scoffed at the man’s utter disregard for the escaping woman. Touya had sheathed his weapons, allowing the blades to fold over in snapping motions and therefore reducing their ungainly size to something more manageable. Now he was staring at Miles with icy blue eyes, apparently at ease with allowing the therian woman to flee. Was it all just a ploy? “You’re not going to chase after her?” Miles asked, sounding slightly incredulous, “She could warn the other therians and I’m not particularly keen on dying here. Well, it’s your loss also. Havoc’s one of those people who keeps his word, if you catch my drift.”

Shaking his head, the Beast Slayer looked to the dark blood that coated his sword. Another inch and the blow would have been fatal. That was a perfect lunge yet once again he had been undermined by the more advance therian physique. Releasing a sigh, he withdrew a handkerchief and wiped away the blood stains, running the piece of cloth up and down the length of his sword. “Can’t believe I got assigned to more guard duty,” Miles cursed under his breath.

“I must admit, I’m impressed by your display of loyalty again. That turncoat must mean a lot to you. I mean look at the mess you made for her sake,” Miles mused, not even looking up from his repetitive maintenance, “I wonder what she did to earn such special treatment? Wait, you guys haven’t screwed? Have you?!”

Shuddering at the thought of such a joining, he turned once he was finished with cleaning, pocket the dirty fabric and sheathing his sword with a click. “What a bunch of mavericks. Whatever, let’s get this charade on the road then, shall we? So therian, which way do we go?” Miles asked, waltzing back to the main road to reclaim his horse. "Jaeger Guard! Fall back!"

The remaining Jaeger Guard halted their pursuit, ending the sounds of gunfire. They turned to Miles grimly and saluted before disengaging to attend to their dead. Hoisting himself over the back of his steed, Miles took up the reigns between his hands. “Don’t expect me to organize your supplies though. You find your own horse and food. Fall behind also, and I'll ditch you faster than you can say Beast Slayer.”





Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





“Two weeks, huh?”

Presiding over the unconscious forms of April and Damea, Reginald jumped at the interruption with a sharp intake of sterilized air. Looking up from his work, the medic glanced around and spotted the silhouette of an individual he recognized. Well lit, the holding room was a pristine environment. Perfect for surgical procedures if necessary. White tiles lined the walls and floor, ending just at the edge of the rectangular roof. Steam powered lights shined overhead, prickling the back of his neck with warmth.

“Yes,” Reginald replied smoothly, turning his head back to resume his work, “Two weeks is the deadline for all of us.”

He was in the process of securing April to an operating table. The toxin he had fed them was particularly virulent and could lead to violent seizures during the later stages of its development. If such a thing were to occur, Reginald wanted to prevent his patients from hurting themselves, at least for the time being. It was vital he maintained his leverage over Touya.

“Two weeks from now is when Victor Hawthorn and his ilk have opted for a re-vote,” Reginald said, attaching a drip to April’s arm. Though comatose, the woman still winced unknowingly, her face riddled with accumulated sweat and agony. As though enduring a nightmare, she had tossed and turned more than a few occasions now, subconsciously desperate to escape her fate. Damea was similar, but fairing much better overall than the former soldier. “Something tells me they’ll make their move before then even. Currently most of the court doesn’t support the hybrid project, but that could all change at a moments notice.”

“People are getting desperate, they’re scared of the therians,” said the person. Reginald sensed a shrug behind the words and smirked.

“If it’s not faceless, it’s the elves. If not the elves it’s the beastmen. People are always jumping at their own shadows,” Reginald frowned, “People will be people, regardless of race.”

A soft chuckle penetrated the gloom from behind him, earning a raised eyebrow from Reginald as he performed his final checks. “Quite, we can only pray the therian succeeds. If Victor achieves his goal then a new era dawns of Altheim. A new era I’m rather afraid of.”

Reginald nodded, “It’s all up to Touy-”

April had started coughing abruptly, disrupting his speech. Fearing the woman would choke on her vomit, Reginald strode over and held her head up as she convulsed, fighting his grip fiercely.

“Is she meant to be coughing?” asked the voice.

“No, it’s not a symptom caused by the drug. Pass me that bucket!” Reginald grunted, struggling to hold April in place. Eventually she calmed down, but a wet goblet of red mucus flew out on the final wrench. Reginald’s eyes widened he gazed at the crimson liquid. “Blood…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


“You’re not going to chase after her? She could warn the other therians and I’m not particularly keen on dying here. Well, it’s your loss also. Havoc’s one of those people who keeps his word, if you catch my drift.”

"It doesn't matter if she warns them or not. They will know I'm coming. If I can feel their presence they can feel mine, no matter what. If you're afraid of dying then stay here," Touya scoffed. He would have remained silent, but the man spoke a name he had yet to hear. Havoc. Who the hell was Havoc? It only took a moment for him to realize that it was Reginald whom he spoke of. What an interesting second name the man had, suited him well.

“I must admit, I’m impressed by your display of loyalty once again. That turncoat must mean a lot to you. I mean look at the mess you made. I wonder what she did to earn such special treatment? Wait, you guys haven’t….you know? Have you?!”

Touya stared at him, raising an eyebrow. His arms crossed over his chest as he watched the man. Was he so dense that he thought April, of all people, would allow a Therian to touch her in such a way? Touya would have a knife in his heart quicker than anything. She was important to him, yes, but she would never harbor the same feelings. To her, they were nothing more than comrades. Hell, Touya was lucky to have even gotten that far with her.

“What a bunch of mavericks. Whatever, let’s get this charade on the road then, shall we? So therian, which way do we go? Jaeger Guard! Fall back!"

Touya watched, mildly interested as the three remaining Jaegar Guard returned to their commanders side. It was interesting how well disciplined they were. They began working around those that had fallen during the fight. Touya averted his gaze, feeling a bit of guilt rising at the back of his throat as he'd been the cause for many of the deaths, if not all of them. His eyes shifted to look up at the man as Miles mounted his horse.

"Into the wilds, as far out west as possible," Touya answered.

“Don’t expect me to organize your supplies though. You find your own horse and food. Fall behind also, and I'll ditch you faster than you can say Beast Slayer.”

"You underestimate me, Miles. I think you should be the one to worry about that," Touya countered. His body shuddered, his image rippling like water that had been struck by a rock. In a matter of seconds the tall Therian had transformed his entire body into that of a very large wolf. The white fur glistened in the light and the only thing to mark it as being Touya were the pale blue eyes that stared up at Miles. The beast's lips pulled back into what could only be presented as a smirk. Turning, the wolf took off into the tall grass, towards the trees where Ahmeil had run off too. Passed there, it was open grassland again and he would follow it until he came upon Val and his men.

Image


His eyes opened slowly and he squinted as he was met by brilliant white wash light. Blinking a couple of times his blurry sight cleared and he could then see where he was. However, that didn't mean he knew where exactly he was. It was a room with white tiles all around and he was strapped to a cold table. His body was cold feeling like he'd been in ice for hours, however sweat beading on his forehead. What the hell had Reginald fed to him and April?

His breathing was short and it was hard to concentrate passed the pounding headache that wracked him. He moaned slightly as the pain in his stomach grew sharp for a moment before fading away. Damea's dry throat burned for water, but he couldn't find his voice to call for anyone. The ceiling above him spun then, his head feeling like it was swirling around and he quickly closed his eyes to avoid being sick on the table.

Damea turned his head off to the side and glanced around as best he could. Every movement was slow and the pain came and went, earning soft moans from him. His eyes finally caught sight of April on his right and he felt a bit of fear welling in his chest. She looked far worse than he felt. Also strapped to a table, her face was pale and she looked to be in constant pain, more so than Damea. He pulled at his bindings, trying to move, trying to free himself to help her, but to no avail. The movement only made him even more dizzy and sick.

It wasn't too much longer and Damea felt his eyes growing heavy. He couldn't stay awake any longer, no matter how much he fought. The headache was too much, the dizziness overwhelming. He needed to sleep, sleep and hopefully overcome whatever poison Reginald had given them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Val Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend





"I fight with honor, unlike you," Touya announced, gazing at him proudly, naively, "I'm much faster than you humans. In my opinion it is you who have no training at all, you are all clumsy and slow. The only group of people who fight decently are your 'Jaeger Guard'. Though, I must admit, you've some talent as well. Not a lot, but some."

“Honor? Honor is the kind of thing that gets you killed,” Miles said, his voice becoming low with menace as the goofy façade from moments earlier faded abruptly, “Do you think honor matters to a man when he’s bleeding out on the ground? When he’s trying to prevent his guts from fall out? At the end of the day all that matters is you and yourself. Honor’s just a petty excuse.”

“Anyhow, speed is only a part of it,” he continued, the storm of his anger passing as suddenly as it started, “Speed and control and two separate things. The more speed you have, the harder it is to control that velocity, to stop, to turn, to respond. Want to know how I beat you therian? I beat you because you’re predictable.”

"For one that likes to be superior you sure aren't meant for this kind of weather at all are you?" questioned Touya. He brought himself to a halt, ending up besides Miles.

“You act like that’s a bad thing,” Miles responded, a glint of a smile in his emerald eyes. Going from jolly to sour, his expression quickly transformed to one of suspicion as Touya’s hand extended up to him. Miles reached for his combat knife instinctively, folding his fingers over the hilt of the blade.

“What are yo-”

Warmth flooded his body, easing into his aching shoulder blades and frost bitten extremities. “You used your magic for heat transfer?” he asked incredulously, “Even though I was joking?”

"Now, can you manage to be quite for a little while? We're nearly upon Val. I suggest getting off the horse as well. You'll want to have your body moving to stay warm as well. You'll need to be ready for a fight."

Miles’ gaze came down as it narrowed at the therian. Nodding, he clambered off the horse wordlessly and followed Touya as the man climbed up grassy incline. Blades of grass crunched noisily underfoot, but then again, ambushing had never been a prospect in the first place. The Beast Slayer brought out his sword, anticipating the inevitable violence. Arrayed below them was a small encampment. Pitched tents glowed in the night, reflecting glimmers of orange flame and revealing a few dark silhouettes.

"He's here," Touya said, indicating the camp with a flick of his head. Miles frowned at the therian’s attempt to keep a low profile.

“If they can sense you like you said they could, there’s hardly any point in trying to remain inconspicuous is there?” he sighed. Expecting an angry retort, Miles response was greeted with unnerving silence instead.

Touya looked to him then, alarm written all over his moonlit expression. Impulsively, Miles scoured his surroundings, expecting an attack of some sort. What he was not prepared for was the scale of the attack. Miles was used to men, beast and eight-foot tall monsters trying to kill, stab and maim him, but having a nest of snakes burst from the bushes was something new entirely. Caught off foot, Miles stepped back in hesitation, only to be saved by Touya’s swift reaction. The therian jumped in front of the field of fire, receiving a multitude of snake bites for his efforts. One hissed past Miles’ face, before dropping into the obscurity behind him.

"Don't move," Touya directed, flinging snakes back to the ground.

“Don’t move?!” Miles said, snapping his head left to right for potential threats, “What kind of tactic is that?”

In another moment a blast of energy was dispelled from Touya, propelling everything in the immediate vicinity to the air. Miles shielded himself from the buffeting wind, twisting his head sidewards so he was facing the opposite direction. Spotting the writhing shadows being discarded into the distance, he stumbled on a new found appreciation for Touya’s magic.

“Nice to not be on the receiving end of tha-”

Turning back, Touya had completely vanished from his last position and was now tumbling down the other side of the hill. Miles heard a yelp of pain, glimpsing sinuous muscle wrapped around the therian’s body. Assuming another snake had gotten the therian, Miles had little chance to assess the circumstances for a proper enemy lunged at him, striking out of the darkness. Stuck mid-transformation, the therian was a horrifying amalgamation of flesh, scales and claw.

“Aren’t you a pretty thing,” Miles commented, recoiling at the sight. The Beast Slayer rolled aside as the therian shot past, its open claws scything through the patch he had last been on. It disappeared into the darkness behind him and Miles turned smartly, sword on the offensive. Somewhere a twig broke and grass rustled. Emerging from his flank came the same therian, or was it another one?

Miles shrieked a curse as his weapon was slapped aside. Sharp claws grazed the edge of his arm, eliciting a burning sensation as blood leaked down the length of his sleeve. Weaponless, the Beast Slayer was horribly exposed and oddly, harmless. There was no time for respite as the first therian jumped at the opportunity. It started straight for Miles, eager to have the honor of tearing him limb from limb. An unarmed human was the equivalent to a baby lamb. Slower and weaker in every respect, they were far more susceptible to injury.

“Gotcha,” Miles smirked.

In one fluid motion, a dagger was thrust at the speeding therian. Even though the knife was detected well before it was thrown, at the speed he was traveling, there was simply no time to turn or halt in his efforts. The first therian literally ran itself into Miles’ throwing knife, lodging the blade in the front of its forehead. Momentum continued to carry its body well past Miles even several seconds after the therian expired.

The second therian ploughed after his companion, howling at Miles in rage. By then the Beast Slayer had already retrieved his sword. Gracefully, he guarded and sliced back, his blow cutting the fingers from the therian’s hand. Toppling over, this time the therian screamed in pain, but Miles was already in the process of delivering the finishing blow.

“Regenerate this.”





Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Alarms were ringing, furiously, and the air was filling with the sound of gunfire and shouting.

Reginald burst out of his office, a room he had acquisitioned since procuring April and Damea in order to remain close by. “What in empires teeth is going in?” he roared, greeted by a flock of agitated city guard. There was mass panic in the hall room outside as staff members fled down the emergency exit corridor, the one specially designed for fire emergencies. Jaeger Guard were hurrying in the other direction in response to whatever was causing the ruckus, leaving Reginald to wonder what could possibly be happening in their head office, midday.

It certainly was not a drill, gauging from the fear ridden faces around him at least. No drill in the world could have generated such a tightly realistic response. Sergeant Erin materialized besides him, a look of solemn concern in his dark, hazel eyes.

“Section E is under attack corporal, you best head off with the rest and-”

“How bad is it? Who’s attack?” Reginald asked, barking out questions.

“Grim. Over several dozen casualties. We know roughly a squads worth have attacked, mechanized in nature. Possibly therian,” Erin reported, “Now I must insist you leave corporal.”

An explosion rocked the facility then, followed by a terrible screeching that sounded like scorched metal grating together. The therian stormed into the hallway following a spray of broken glass. Reginald saw it, but was unable to comprehend the sight he was witnessing. It was therian, but also not therian in that it possessed none of the beautiful symmetry he typical associated with therian weapons.

“A hybrid…” Erin murmured, “Get back now corporal! We’ll handle this!”

Reginald’s eyes widened as he looked at the approaching hybrid and the door at the far end of his office that contained both April and Damea. How much time did he have?

“To think that Victor would be this direct…he’s mad!” Reginald stammered, “Wait! The prisoners!”

Sergeant Erin glanced at him anxiously even as his men commenced firing. A volley of bullets ripped through the hall, riddling the floor and splintering doors. Men started to die as the hybrid lolled wretchedly, nonchalantly shrugging off bullets like rain water before descending on them in a wave of carnage. Limbs were severed and collapsed in fountains of blood, shredded to parts by gigantic blades. The Jaeger Guard, the best soldiers humanity had to offer crumbled like wheat to a scythe.

“You can only carry one doctor. We’ll hold it off as long as we can,” Erin announced, firing his rifle. Reginald nodded his appreciation and ran back to his office. Kicking the door open, he went to the closest bed and undid the straps, hands shaking.

“Come on! Come on!” Reginald hissed as he tugged open the final strap. Once done, he lifted Damea’s body over his shoulder, grunting from the effort, and hurried back out the door. Erin and his men were still fighting the hybrid but Reginald just kept running, not daring to look back at their grizzly fates.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Val Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


Touya let his weapons slide across Val's directing the man's thrust off to the side. He released one blade and struck out at the man, the slash came dangerously close to severing Val's head from his shoulders. Val, on the other hand, smiled at him as they fought. A thin trail of blood leaked from the hairline cut along his throat where Touya had just barely missed him. Val's blade dislodged from his and he came back at the Therian, another thrust to the chest. Touya deflected this one again, tossing it off to the right and slashing at Val.

It went on like this for a long while, thrusting and slashing, blades screaming against each other as attacks were blocked and turned away. Touya pulled his energy into his body and expelled it outwards at Val, who also did the same. Their power slammed into each other and blew across the field. Touya slid backwards from the impact as did Val. However, he wasted no time and lunged forward at the man as soon as he got his footing. His power propelled him forward and he crashed into Val, knocking him to the ground. The rebel leader expelled his power a second time and threw Touya off of him. Touya flipped through the air until he landed hard on his back some ways away.

A shout from on top of the hill got both of their attention and Touya looked to see Miles' form outlined by the moonlight. He had killed one of the Therian's that had attacked him and was about to kill a second. Val let out a shout of rage as Miles dealt the killing blow. Touya's heart clenched and he got to his feet as quickly as he could. He had to intercept Val no matter what otherwise... Touya tossed the thought aside and rushed towards the quickly moving rebel leader. His power was growing low, but he had to use it in order to make it in time. Touya burst up the hill and shifted his body so that he was in between Val and his target.

"Move, Touya!" Val screamed at him, angered that he was losing his Therian brethren again.

"No."

Val growled and slashed at Touya who blocked the attack and pushed back. Val's swings were more calculated and deadly as he attacked Touya with everything he had. The claws on his hands extended and the blades shot out from his arms. Touya let his own blades come free, unable to draw the claws on his hands. Steel screamed, sending sparks as they hit each other. Touya used both swords to push aside Val's and then with a quick twist around the weapons, he sliced across Val's upper arm with his arm blades. Val took a few steps back to get out of range and glowered at Touya.

Val lunged forward soon after, his words clipped as he attacked furiously, each clang of their weapons cutting into his speech, "Why... do you... insist... on helping... humans!?"

Touya winced as each attack jarred his arms, especially the shoulder where Val had bitten him earlier. He was slowly being pushed back and he could only hope that Miles had either moved or was getting ready to help in the fight. Touya didn't answer Val's question, knowing full well that no matter what he said, Val would never understand. Magic burned through the air and Touya crossed his blades to try to block the attack as he was no longer able to summon anymore energy. He was growing tired quickly having expended so much already.

He tumbled backwards from the power, trying to angle his body so that he did not crash into Miles if the man was still behind him. He hoped that the man had moved and perhaps was going to pull one his moves like he'd done so with Ahmeil earlier. If they could just drive Val back, they would have a chance. At the rate they were going, though, it didn’t seem like they were going to win.

Image


His body was being jostled around and it hurt as well. The pain had spread from his stomach to the outer limbs of his body. A constant ache that kept him wishing to sleep. He wasn’t sure how much more he could handle, hell he wasn’t even sure how long he’d been in the state he was in. Where was Touya? Or was it Touya who held him?

His eyes opened slowly and he groaned in the hold of whoever had tossed him over their shoulder. He knew immediately that it wasn’t Touya who had him because of the lack of long hair. Shifting he looked as best he could, only getting a glimpse of dark, short hair. Unsure of who had him, he didn’t know what to do. Damea couldn’t even think properly.

Damea looked around after getting a look at who held him. He couldn't see anyone else, but he could hear the chaos down the hall. Something was going on, and whatever it was, it had gathered a lot of attention and fear. The man holding him was moving as quickly as he could down the hall in the opposite direction of the commotion. Damea's heart clenched slightly, though he wondered if it was mostly because of the poison in his system. Either way he felt a bit of fear as he realized then that April was not with them.

"April..." he muttered barely.

The world spun around him and he felt a different kind of pain welling through him. He groaned again, then a gasp of pain and felt every muscle tighten and release repeatedly. Unable to control himself, his body shuddered on the man’s shoulder. He half hoped that whoever held him dropped him because he was sure that this person had no good intentions for him.

His breath was short and quick as he convulsed. His eyes were squeezed shut as he struggled to gain control over himself and be rid of the pain. Damea’s body settled several minutes after, leaving him aching and utterly worn. All he could think before he was unconscious once again was that if and when he got better, he would love to drive his swords through Reginald’s heart.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Val Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend, Touya Khan & Val





Without warning a flash of metal came through the darkness as Miles’ dagger cut the air spinning. Still caked in the blood of his therian comrades, it flew straight at Val in the absence of Touya. A diversionary tactic. Miles came in behind the knife, ducking low but travelling at a blistering pace. He rose up as the dagger reached its target, faking a sword swipe when he was actually aiming more dirty water. Drawn from his water canteen, the texture was yellow and wretched in smell.

“I had a lot of time to contemplate how to defeat you,” Miles remarked, hoping Touya would adequately support his efforts, “Have a face full of piss.”

The flash of steel was caught by Val's gaze easily enough and lifting his arm deflected the blade. His steel bracers allowed the knife to bounce off his forearm unscathed and he lowered it to glower at the human who thought that would have done something to him. However, he wasn't prepared for what happened to him right after the knife flew away.

Val stumbled backwards, his eyes stinging from the disgusting water and sputtering as it hit his mouth. He'd effectively been taken off guard and he was boiling with rage at the mere thought that a human had done it. The man had tricked him and used underhanded methods to get his guard down. Val growled at the human and advanced threateningly.

"Daruth kuth shan," Val cursed in their language.

Touya was back on his feet then and assisted Miles in the fight. With Val's attention on the human only, Touya came upon his left side and swiped both blades downwards. The first cut into Val's arm, creating a deep gash, the second locked against the arm blades that were out. Val ignored the cut on his arm and turned his dark gaze upon Touya. Quicker than Touya could disengage, Val pulled his arm towards his body with Touya in tow. A sharp punch to Touya's stomach had the Therian doubled over and coughing, a second to his face sent him crumpling backwards and dizzy.

The most stunning sight by far was Val's unnerving resilience to injury. Despite a fatal cut his arm that would have incapacitated any normal man, Val was still swinging strong. He laid out on his assailant, staggering Touya with his brutal onslaught, but Miles had no intention of simply spectating. Aiming precisely, Miles came between them, intercepting the next blow with vicious sword lunge to the therian's center. Simultaneously, he propelled himself forwards with an acute burst of air from behind, accelerating his speed.

Val had turned on Touya who was sprawled out on the dirt, nose bleeding and eyes unfocused from the last hit. He didn't see Miles' coming at him until it was too late. The sword came very quickly, too quickly, obviously propelled by the man's magic. Turning ever so slightly, the Therian took the weapon fully, surprised. Steel slid through the rebel leaders chest, effectively stopping the man in his tracks. Val lowered his gaze to the sword sticking from his body then looked up to the human. A bit of blood trickled down his lips as he smiled.

"How... fortunate for you... but don't worry, neither of you will live to leave this god forsaken place," he pulled himself forward on the blade to lean in closer to Miles, his wicked smile gleaming, "Even if you do survive, Touya'll die anyway. I don't expect you to save him, of all people. Give my regards to that woman of his," Val finished just as the camp below erupted. Val had done something to warn them, magic most likely. Or perhaps he'd just given them a time limit and that time was up.

Val toppled over and Touya's breath released in a sigh of relief. They'd kill him. Finally. It was over. Well, not quite as the camp below was in a complete uproar. Several Therian's were going to be topping the hill very soon. Touya pushed himself up to his feet and glanced over to Miles.

"Go," he said nodding his head to the open wilderness behind them. Touya turned and faced the other side of the hill, his swords held loosely in each hand. He would keep them occupied for as long as he could. That would give time for Miles to get a good distance away.

Miles glared at up at Val from where he had struck the therian, eventually letting the man slip off the span of his blood soaked blade. A soft thump prelude the explosion of frantic activity from the therian camp, signaling the game was up. How much time did they have? No more than a matter of seconds judging from proliferating sounds of shouting. Miles could already spot a few dark figures rising intimidatingly over the lip, moving close and closer. The wind picked up abruptly, whipping the cloth of his uniform. Grimly, Miles stepped in front of Touya and gave him a rough shove.

"We both know who the faster one here is,” Miles sighed. He was just about out of tricks. To make matters worse, his dagger had disappeared in the process of fighting Val, “They’ll be on us in seconds. I still have to get on my horse. Go save those prisoners.”

Chiding his decision to remain behind, Miles could scarcely believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. It was not Val’s words that had provoked him; few words rarely did when one came from a social background such as his. Nor was it any particular inclination towards Touya. Was it honor? Pride? Probably not if his life’s decisions were any indication. Having trained to fight since birth, Miles was far from his limits, but stamina was a moot point when one was outnumbered and outgunned.

Touya glowered at the man, "You and April are the same in that regard," the Therian growled. Flicking his weapons closed he sheathed them and reached out to take hold of Miles' arm.

"You think I'll really leave you here to die!?" Touya snapped. With a shake of his head he turned and started down the hill with Miles in tow. He didn't have enough power to use on both of them and speeding up his movements would be far to taxing. He could shapeshift into his wolf form and easily out distance the Therian camp, but he didn't wish to leave Miles behind.

"Quickly," Touya urged.

"You fool!" Miles snarled in growing frustration. The therian's stubbornness was utterly illogical given the situation. Scant meters away from being torn asunder by outraged therians, Miles switched his gaze from enemy to ally. This was not the time to be considerate. He whirled around and jerked his arm free from Touya's grip.

"Don't get us both killed! Take the horse!" he ordered. Miles adopted a defensive stance, rooting his feet to the ground to indicate he had no intentions of moving.

Touya growled in return, "Stubborn human!" He twisted around to glare at the man who stood rooted to the spot. If Touya had had enough energy he would have thrown the man off his feet and hauled him up over his shoulder.

Muttering under his breath in his own tongue, Touya turned on his heel and ran for the horse. He was soon upon the animal and mounted in a matter of seconds. Yes, he was definitely much faster than a human. Kicking the steed, he raced across the grass towards Miles' last position. He pulled the horse around the human and faced the oncoming group of Therian's.

"Don't let this go to waste," Touya shot at Miles who was on the other side of the horse. Stretching his hand forth, Touya summoned as much energy as he could and expelled it into a final blast outwards. The ground shuddered at the attack and the Therian's who were rushing towards them were thrown backwards and dazed. The noise alone was enough to have their ears ringing if not bleeding. However, it would not keep them grounded forever.

Touya turned to Miles and motioned for the man to mount the horse. His energy was falling dangerously low and with Val's poison in his system he wasn't going to be awake for much longer. Even so his vision was blurring and his body was growing heavy. Miles was going to have to move the horse if they wanted to get out alive.

Miles did not turn around to see Touya's response after that. So this was his end. He guessed it was suitably glorious, one against many, man versus beast. A story suitable for the history books. None of that sentiment particularly comforted Miles Riverbend as he faced down the approaching therians. Blades whirred, snapping out of hidden compartments like jaws hungry flesh and Miles could not help but shudder in anticipation of their cold edges entering his body.

An energy wave rocked him from behind suddenly, disrupting his careful composure. Hearing the thunderous clamor of a galloping horse, Miles span around in confusion. Approaching fast, Touya had taken command of his horse and was now in the process of expelling his magic. The resultant shockwave threw off the pursuing therians, throwing them violently. Gawping in astonishment, Miles shook his head and then sprinted towards Touya. Mounting the steed behind Touya, he snatched the reigns from his hands and kicked the horse into action.

“We should’ve done this in the first place instead of bickering like petty children!” Miles laughed, his joyous chortle echoing well into the night.





“Altheim! Finally!” Miles proclaimed, sounding genuinely please for the first time in days. His arms spread out in an open wide gesture, imitating a hug as he welcomed the archway of Altheim’s west gate. “Keep that hood on and stick close to me. Getting in shouldn’t be a problem that way.”

Another week had elapsed since their hasty escape. Fast as they maybe, even the therians could not fully outrun a horse full on the gallop, a fact Miles had much cause to be grateful for. Assuming that was the end of their problems was Miles’ impulsive error. Succumbing to pain and fatigue, Touya passed out moments after their getaway, but that was only the beginning to a string of dilemmas.

Initially Miles only held suspicions towards Touya’s condition, but as the days expired the venom was increasingly taking its toll. By the time he addressed the bites with a bandage to slow the transfer of poison, it was too late. With their mission complete, he considered abandoning the therian on several occasions. But Miles figured he owed Touya the courtesy of seeing him through to safety.

“Havoc’s office is a few blocks from central HQ. He should have something to counteract the poison’s effects,” Miles said, reciting a statement he had repeated many times over the course of their journey to comfort the therian.

They approached the gates, Miles walking on foot as he directed their horse and Touya on top. Taking the lead, Miles strolled up to the gates and past the guards, only to be quickly intercepted from behind.

“Excuse me sir, do you and your companion have identification?” asked the city guard.

Miles raised an incredulous eyebrow, “I’m Miles Riverbend, my face is my own identification. Is that not adequate?”

The city guard’s grip around his shoulder was tense, as was his face. In fact it was hard not to notice it now. Miles read anxiety on the faces of every passing individual, as though fear permeated the very air itself.

“This is highly irregular,” Miles complained, “Look, I’ve been living rough for two weeks now. Do you think that kind of person has the time to be worrying about identification?”

“I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to come with m-”

“That’s quite alright sergeant.”

Miles looked around, spotting the familiar short, dark hair and rough features of Reginald. The medic strode down the court, crossing the bustling streetscape to reach them. “Mr Riverbend, what did you see on my badge the day I summoned you?” Reginald asked.

“A golden crest held by the national griffon…why?” Miles replied, slightly clueless.

“Just confirming your identity,” Reginald smiled warmly in return, “Welcome back Mr Riverbend….and Touya?”

“Bitten by a snake,” Miles explained, flicking a thumb over his shoulder towards Touya’s stricken form.

“May need to keep him that way for a while. He’s not going to like what we have to say,” Reginald frowned, growing somber abruptly, “Come with me. We'll treat him at the hospital.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend & Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





“Looks like he’s awake,” Miles muttered observantly.

Viewed through the looking glass, Touya had started awake with a sudden intake of breath, more like an exasperate gasp. Caught in a daze, confusion was rife in the therian’s features as he took in his new surroundings. His breathing was audible, wracking the frame of his chest. Reginald watched from the comfort of his seat, retaining a position the medic was all too familiar with. Asides from Touya, Reginald could also see his own reflection, marred by the one way window, but noticeably dark and brooding.

“How are you going to tell him?” Miles asked, cracking a smile to display his curiosity. Reginald lifted an eyebrow at the Beast Slayer. The man had a strange mannerism like that. Never fully sincere, never completely earnest. He despised having the man’s company at that moment.

“I tell it to him straight. He’s not going to like it, hence the security measures,” Reginald explained, mostly to reassure his doubtful assertions. Human's currently possessed few means of containing a therian. “But that’s the least of our problems at the moment.”

Miles nodded, shifting his legs so they crossed over. The medic and Beast Slayer were currently sharing the observation room, a small deck space that connected to Havoc’s office. It looked over the cubic space in which Touya currently resided, securely strapped to a white bed that was not unlike those used in a mental institution. An ominous black box hung in the center of the ceiling, preventing any outbursts of magic. That was new also, but such magic inhibiting technology had yet to be made portable. Touya’s rehabilitation had primarily fallen to Reginald since their arrival in Altheim. Miles was surprised when Havoc volunteered to look after the therian, even despite the risks. Perhaps the doctor felt some small lingering guilt over the fate of Touya’s companion.

“Indeed, things have changed a lot since I returned,” the Beast Slayer mused, “That won’t matter to Touya though. After hearing what you have to say, he may become the next terrorist leader. Heck, he could become worse than Val. What then will you do Havoc?”

Reginald stood up from the table, drawing his seat back with a squeak. Crossing the length of the room, he approached the doorway and twisted the knob. “If things get out of hand I trust that I’ll have your cooperation Mr Riverbend?” Reginald said, pausing by the door.

“Tsk, you have the authority, why not just order me?” Miles returned.

“Our list of allies is rapidly decreasing. Not many are left after last week’s assault. My organization is practically in tatters. I need people I can trust,” Reginald shrugged, somewhat melancholic about the sorry state of affairs.

“Don’t worry doctor, I’ve got your back,” Miles said, giving a nonchalant wave to Reginald.

Chuckling, Reginald pulled the door open and disappeared into the corridor beyond. Miles waited, only accompanied by the ticking time as the doctor transferred spaces. After several minutes, the door to Touya’s room clicked and became unlocked. Reginald materialized in the doorway, along with an aid whose name Miles was not aware of and a third man with a black hood over his head.

Directing the party inside, Reginald carried a tray of food which he intended to give to Touya. A modest bowl of steaming casserole. The aid gently ushered the third individual into the holding cell before removing the cover. Upon seeing the light haired mane and mismatched eyes, Miles recognized the man was the other individual to have been taken prisoner by Havoc. Unlike that time, Damea appeared well-nourished and looked after. The affects of Reginald’s drug had long since been stripped from the mercenary’s system and Reginald’s men had only kept him incarcerated to uphold their agreement with Touya. Similar to Touya however, Damea was still cuffed around the wrists. The chains jingled as he walked in infront of Reginald’s adjutant.

“It’s pleasing to see you’re awake,” Reginald said upon closing the door behind him. Motioning towards Touya, he paced to a side table and laid down the bowl. “You must be hungry! Don’t worry, it’s not drugged this time, and I assure you it wasn’t cooked by me.”

Reginald stepped back again, cautious of therian’s response to his presence. Miles did not even have to be in the room to sense the burning tension. “Congratulations on returning. I took the liberty of removing the expelling the poison from your body. You should be proud, it was an incredibly perilous mission. Mr Riverbend has briefed me on the events that occurred. As promised, Damea, you’re free to go,” Reginald stated. Well aware of the therian’s next question, the medic spoke quickly to address it.

“As for April…I’m sorry to say we lost her,” Reginald said, staring impassively at Touya, “The hybrids attacked our building a week ago. In the ensuing chaos, I only had the time to save one.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


The door opened and Touya's concentration was broken as he'd been focusing on his magic. Looking up he glowered at the doctor who strode into the room. He had with him an attendant and someone with a black hood over their face. The one with the hood was soon revealed to him and Touya's eyes widened with a bit of shock and relief at the same time. So, Damea was alright after all and he looked better than he had when he'd seen the mercenary last. However, Touya's thoughts went to April immediately. Where was she?

“It’s pleasing to see you’re awake. You must be hungry! Don’t worry, it’s not drugged this time, and I assure you it wasn’t cooked by me.”

Touya's eyes watched Reginald as he put the bowl of steaming food down onto a table nearby. He glanced at the food for a mere moment before turning his attention to Reginald once again. He didn't say anything, not trusting him in the least. The Therian wasn't hungry to begin with either, or maybe he was but his worry for April was far to great to be thinking of food at that moment. Although, he did note the way Reginald moved around him. The man was weary of being near Touya. This gave the Therian a well of satisfaction. The man had every right to be cautious of him.

“Congratulations on returning. I took the liberty of removing the expelling the poison from your body. You should be proud, it was an incredibly perilous mission. Mr Riverbend has briefed me on the events that occurred. As promised, Damea, you’re free to go,” Reginald only paused for a second before he continued. Giving Touya the briefest moment to remember Miles once again. In between that, Damea had gotten to his feet, angered.

"What of Touya!?"

Reginald obviously ignored him as he continued to address Touya, “As for April…I’m sorry to say we lost her. The hybrids attacked our building a week ago. In the ensuing chaos, I only had the time to save one.”

Touya's heart skipped a beat. Silence filled the room for several minutes before the Therian remembered what breathing was. His pale blue eyes were wide with shock at first, but as realization sunk in, his eyes narrowed to smoldering chunks of ice that glowered at the man. Had there been no device to keep him from summoning his magic, Touya would have destroyed the room entirely in his rage. Even with the little magic he had, he was capable of that -though it would kill him in the process, but that didn't matter at the moment- and had every thought to try.

As his thoughts began to function properly again his anger rose steadily. The man was lying to him. How could he trust him after everything anyway? What the hell was a 'hybrid'? Touya had never heard of anything like that before. It made no sense. She had to be there, she had to. April wasn't someone you just 'lost'. There had to be more to what Reginald wanted than just Val's death. Touya flexed his arms against the bindings that held him down. His body glowed on and off, the unpleasantness of the device overhead wasn't affecting him at all right then, only keeping him from summoning. Baring his teeth at the man, the sharpened canine teeth in his mouth seemed to be ever more present than before.

"Give her back to me!" He shouted. All rational thoughts were out the window and the only thing that startled him was what Damea did right after.

Image


Damea had been ignored almost immediately. Though Reginald had told him specifically that he could leave, that he was free to go, did the doctor really think he was going to leave without Touya? He was highly mistaken. Not to mention the mercenary had been wondering about the whereabouts of April as of late. His question was answered soon after.

Reginald addressed Touya calmly, almost too calmly and with a monotone like voice, he told the Therian that he'd lost April to a hybrid. What a hybrid was exactly, Damea had no clue, though he tried to remember back when he was being moved from the last hospital like room to another. Nothing was piecing together for him though, it was all a jumbled mess. He couldn't make heads or tails of his blurry and messed up memory. Damea didn't know what was delusion and what was real.

Thus, he stood there for quite some time, blank faced as he let the words sink in. They'd left April behind... and from what Reginald was saying, she wasn't alive anymore. No. No, that couldn't be right. April wouldn't just... die? Would she? That was impossible! Damea shook then, his heart racing as he slowly stood up from where he'd been sat down. Had there been the smallest of sparks in the room, he would have ignited everything. He had half a mind to strike the cuffs together as hard as he could to create a spark, but he didn't know if it would be successful. The other reasoning was that Touya was there in the room and he didn't wish to burn his companion alive.

Damea's eyes narrowed, his lips pulling back into a snarl and he lunged forward, aiming to grab Reginald by his throat and choke him. He had lunged almost immediately after Touya's deafening shout, the Therian's deep voice reverberating through the room. Don't worry, I'll kill him for you, Touya, Damea thought to himself as he rushed the short distance, hand held up and ready to grip the doctor's neck.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend & Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





"Give her back to me!"

Reginald swallowed hard, becoming aware of the faint vibrations of vengeful anger emanating in the form of magic. Before him was a therian desperate not to lose a friend, maybe someone more than that. He saw a man trying his best to work around the web of lies that had intruded in his life. Touya’s shocked disbelief was not entirely unexpected, granted the therian had even less reason to trust him given the circumstances. Perhaps Touya was just in stubborn denial. Regardless, Reginald started to explain when something caught his attention from the corner of his eye, interrupting him. His jaw stiffened, turning to bring his gaze upon Damea as the mercenary leapt up in outrage.

Faster than either Reginald or his adjutant could respond to, Damea pounce downwards, reaching for Reginald’s neck. They crashed together, scuffling and grunting on the floor as the mercenary’s assault winded the medic, driving the air from his lungs. “And you wonder why I kept you in restraints,” Reginald cursed, his voice slightly strangled as he fought to keep Damea’s fingers from choking him.

Reginald’s aid ran forwards to keep Damea from causing further harm. Unfortunately, the man was merely a nurse, not an armed combatant, neither was he a trained one. He fumbled ineffectually until the door slammed open and a gleaming blade shot between Damea and Reginald. Miles gazed down at them both, wearing a dreadfully condescending expression. The sudden display of weapons seemed to make everyone freeze in suspended animation, dispelling the confusion with sudden clarity now that lives were in danger.

“I hate pointless violence. Come now, let’s all be sensible here. Killing Havoc may appease your temporary appetite, but what about afterwards? How did you plan to escape after murdering someone? What about your friend?” the Beast Slayer said, purposefully lifted the sharp edge closer to Damea’s throat. The movement forced the mercenary to lean back, lest he wished to lose a chunk of his neck. “Stand up, you to Havoc.”

Liberated, Reginald slipped out from underneath Damea and stood upright. Brushing his shirt and vest off, he nodded at Miles to show his appreciation, “In case you were wondering, Damea, you’re both free to go. You defeated Val and held up your end of the bargain. I only regret that it was all in vain. Victor Hawthorn found a way of supporting his hybrid project, even without Val’s intervention,” Reginald continued, referring to both Damea and Touya, “The only reason you’re currently restrained is for safety measures.”

A huff sounded out as Reginald recovered his composure with stunning alacrity. He had prepared for such reactions going into this conversation. What concerned him more where the implications. With the hybrids already in full production, the last thing Reginald needed was more enemies. Killing Touya and Damea was a final solution, something he sincerely wished to avoid.

“But April is gone. MIA, though the likelihood of her survival is…poor. That was over a week ago, when we were forced to abandon our facility. Assuming the hybrids didn’t slaughter her like everyone else, there wasn’t a chance for me administer the antidote in the time I had to get Damea out. That means paralysis, which in turn leads to dehydration and then death,” Reginald said, “We’re not holding her out of cruelty, spite or to blackmail you. This is the truth, whether you believe or not.”

Recounting the attack on their head office, Reginald’s brows furrowed as he re-imagined throngs of Jaeger Guard and personnel cut to ribbons. “Why don’t you tell them about the hybrids Havoc?” Miles suggested, reading the expressions of Damea and Touya. Miles had kept still the entire conversation, balancing his blade perfectly to arrest Damea. The wily aristocrat could be unnervingly insightful at times.

Reginald directed a skeptical glance towards Miles, questioning the purpose of informing the duo, “The amalgamation of a certain scientist’s life-long work and coincidence. The concept would’ve never seen fruition if you faceless had not awoken. It is a combination between a human and therian, part machine, part man. Quite brilliant when you think about the results, but quite horrifying when you think about the process.”

“How many have you seen?” Miles asked.

“Two, to date. The one unveiled at the court house, and the other one which slaughtered over a dozen Jaeger Guard. They kill remorselessly, efficiently, which leads me to believe they are stripped of their memories, among other things. The ones I saw were hideous creations. Irreparable, they possess none of the natural grace of your kind,” Reginald finished his sentence by looking at Touya.

“So the spotlight falls onto you, Touya and Damea,” Miles grinned enthusiastically, “I’m sure you know what this means. The scientist has been experimenting on therians. Havoc and his compatriots of do-gooders have been fighting a shadow war trying to stop that, but the cats out of the bag. Victor attributed the attack on Havoc’s office to the therian terrorists. Fearful, people caved in. What will you do?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


Touya watched, unable to do anything as Damea slammed into Reginald and took the doctor to the floor. Their struggle wasn't long as the door burst open and Miles came in quickly. The man brandished his sword and held it between the two, angling the edge just enough to have Damea back off. Touya glowered at the man too, why did he stop Damea? Was he in on the whole ploy as well too? Why did nothing make sense to him? Things were getting too damned complicated. Both men got to their feet and Reginald addressed Touya and Damea after brushing himself off.

“In case you were wondering, Damea, you’re both free to go. You defeated Val and held up your end of the bargain. I only regret that it was all in vain. Victor Hawthorn found a way of supporting his hybrid project, even without Val’s intervention. The only reason you’re currently restrained is for safety measures.”

Touya remained silent, seething in his anger as he leveled his cold gaze on the doctor. His eyes only flicked to the restraints holding him for a mere second before he looked back up to Reginald.

“But April is gone. MIA, though the likelihood of her survival is…poor. That was over a week ago, when we were forced to abandon our facility. Assuming the hybrids didn’t slaughter her like everyone else, there wasn’t a chance for me administer the antidote in the time I had to get Damea out. That means paralysis, which in turn leads to dehydration and then death. We’re not holding her out of cruelty, spite or to blackmail you. This is the truth, whether you believe or not.”

"I don't-" Touya began, but was cut off as Miles spoke, encouraging Reginald to speak further on this 'hybrid' that he'd mentioned before. The man was standing with his blade held just level with Damea to keep the mercenary from doing anything else.

"The amalgamation of a certain scientist’s life-long work and coincidence. The concept would’ve never seen fruition if you faceless had not awoken. It is a combination between a human and therian, part machine, part man. Quite brilliant when you think about the results, but quite horrifying when you think about the process.”

“How many have you seen?” Miles asked.

“Two, to date. The one unveiled at the court house, and the other one which slaughtered over a dozen Jaeger Guard. They kill remorselessly, efficiently, which leads me to believe they are stripped of their memories, among other things. The ones I saw were hideous creations. Irreparable, they possess none of the natural grace of your kind,” Reginald's gaze settled on Touya as he finished his explanation.

Throughout the detailed account, Touya had felt his heart clench tightly. Why would humans go through such lengths to do something so horrendous? It didn't make any sense to him at all. Was fighting all they knew? Then again, could he really say that when in the same light his own kind were just as ruthless? Touya sighed inwardly. He was irritated with the human race, more so right then than ever before. He didn't know what to think of them.

“So the spotlight falls onto you, Touya and Damea. I’m sure you know what this means. The scientist has been experimenting on therians. Havoc and his compatriots of do-gooders have been fighting a shadow war trying to stop that, but the cats out of the bag. Victor attributed the attack on Havoc’s office to the therian terrorists. Fearful, people caved in. What will you do?”

"You want us to go and kill these... Hybrids," Damea said, his voice bordering sarcasm. He glowered at Reginald and Miles before turning to look at Touya. The Therian met the mercenaries gaze for a long while before he looked away up at the ceiling.

"This... Scientist of yours, he must have high standing in your government. To be allowed to experiment on his own people. I did not think that humans would stoop so low as to do such things to themselves."

"Touya, you're not actually thinking of going after this guy are you?"

"What would you have me do?!" Touya snapped back, his voice growling as he lifted his head to glare at Damea. The mercenary took a step back away from the table on instinct.

"I... you should think this through, first. What if sending you off to this scientist is what these guys want?! To have you experimented on as well! Not many of your kind..." Damea shifted his gaze to the two men and switched dialects immediately. Now speaking in the Therian tongue, he was assured that the two humans would not understand, "Not many have your healing abilities. That is rare. What if they are sending you to be tested as a rat on your magic? You're just going to let them?"

Touya glowered and answered in kind, "No. I'm not going to let them test on me if I can't help it. Would you rather see this scientist of theirs continue his experiments on my people? On your people? We can't let that happen."

"So you're just going to blindly rush into things again, as usual."

"I'm not going to go blindly."

"Really? Then what do you have in mind."

"A couple of things," Touya turned his attention to Reginald and switched back to the common tongue, "April. I want to know for sure if she is... dead," he forced the word from his lips, "Where were you last? Where was the place that you were attacked at? After you tell me that, then I will consider going after this scientist who is causing all of this trouble. But I won't be going alone, either. He's coming with me," Touya jerked his head in the direction of Miles. Damea's eyebrow lifted as he looked between Miles and Touya. Even the Therian wasn't sure how he was going to get the man to come with him on the endevour of finding this guy. However, that didn't mean he wasn't going to try.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: The Scientist Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend & Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Reginald and Miles exchanged wary glances, as if communicating some hidden message. Eventually, the Beast Slayer lowered his sword from Damea’s neck, sheathing the blade without sound.

“Naturally I’ll be going with you,” he stated, smirking abruptly at Touya as if it his answer was the most obvious thing in the world, “I have a stake in all this also, though mine is rather more selfish. That sounds like what you wanted to hear though, isn’t it Havoc?”

Miles turned his head back to the medic, raising a cursive eyebrow. He nodded willingly to show agreement, not that the entire plan was faultless. Ideally Reginald would have liked to avoid investigating their head office. Indulging such petty whims was a risky endeavor in the grand scheme of things. The abandoned facility was currently secured by Victor’s forces. After the attack from a week ago, nobody had been allowed in, likely to prevent contradicting evidence from being discovered. At the same time, experience told him it was futile to deny Touya’s stubborn insistence. The therian would chase any lead, no matter how trivial, to protect his friends. Damea was a testament to that.

No, it would be far better to assist and guide the therian indirectly, therefore reducing the possibility of failure. “You want to go and investigate,” Reginald said, verbalizing Touya’s intentions, “I’ll warn you now, the facility is well-guarded. Any therian discovered, particularly now, will be persecuted to the fullest. Not just by city guard mind you, but hybrids are also a possibility. HQ is quite eager to test out their shiny new toys in a controlled environment.”

“Anything else you wanted to say before we conclude this, Havoc?” Miles added expectantly.

“No, that’s all for now. Give us two days to cook something up. Of course, Mr Riverbend and a few Jaeger Guard will also be accompanying you. Look after yourselves until then,” Reginald said, brushing the question off. The medic strode to the door, pulling it open with a soft tug. “Hans, would you be as kind as to undo their bindings? As a sign of good faith, you’re both free to do as you please until we summon you. Should you wish to leave, that is also fine.”

Reginald’s adjutant nodded and briskly moved forwards to perform his directives whilst Miles and Reginald left through the entrance. Shutting the door behind them, Miles tapped the medic over the shoulder, brining Reginald’s pace to a stop.

“Why didn’t you tell him?”

Reginald gazed around, craning his neck to observe the Beast Slayer. The man had been oddly sentimental since his return to Altheim, perhaps he respected Touya more than he let on. “Tell him what? That April had lung cancer? Would you crush such youthful hope? Why does it matter now if she’s dead?”

Shrugging as if to say he did not care, Miles whirled on his heels and started down the other end of the hallway, “You’re right, I guess it doesn’t really matter now…”





The group that assembled that night was a close assortment of Reginald’s trusted associates. They gathered at dusk, just as the sun’s rays fell beneath the crest of Altheim’s walls. Streetlamps, powered by a winding network of cables, were just starting to flicker to life, illuminating cluttered pavements. Inside Reginald’s makeshift office, the mood was somber. Packed cardboard boxes, some stacked as high as the ceiling, littered the interior, exacerbating the general sense of filthiness. Obnoxiously, no effort had been made to conceal the one way window which provided a cubic view into Touya’s room.

Miles Riverbend was present. Dressed in appropriately dark material, the Beast Slayer had requisition one of Reginald’s boxes and had it residing firmly under his bottom. Of the two others, one was Lieutenant Bastionne, the opposite of Touya in almost all regards. Where the therian was deathly pale yet graceful in appearance, Bastionne was bald and ochre skinned. He cast an intimidating image, more so than even your average Jaeger Guard. The second Jaeger Guard was the very same man that complimented Touya’s skills on the day they had taken Damea and April. He was tall and vaguely good looking, but a diagonal scar bisected his face from eye to cheek. His name was John. Damea and Touya were both summoned after exactly two days. Surprisingly, the duo had been left utterly left to their own devices in that time.

“Oh, why if it isn’t the little pacifist therian,” Bastionne remarked as he passed Touya, “Where’s your woman today?”

Strolling alongside Bastionne, John simply nodded his respects. Standing at the head of the congregation was Reginald. The medic began the briefing immediately after the Jaeger Guard settled down. In his possession were a series of floor plans, reports and a multitude of props.

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t goad our guest Lieutenant, especially when he’ll be responsible for facilitating your entrance. Welcome all. As promised, we have devised a method of infiltrating the compound, but I’ll be short,” Reginald began. The doctor shot Touya a stern look as if indicating his next sentence was addressed solely to him. “We need someone on the inside to open the backdoor. The perimeter is heavily defended by squadrons of city guard, but once inside that shouldn’t be a problem. That falls onto you faceless.”

Moving his index finger, Reginald showcased the designs of facility. The building’s layout was ‘u’ shaped, with two wings acting as the walls and north/south entrances respectively. A courtyard resided in the center, outside the main entrance which led to a rectangular lobby. Overall, the building was no larger than four levels in height, with each storey identical to its predecessor. The ‘backdoor’ entrance Reginald was referring to lay near the center, situated in a rear hallway that connected to the inner lobby.

“I figured opening that access way would be a good use for your shape shifting abilities. The rest of the team will wait for you behind that door. After that, you have as long as you want to investigate, so long as you avoid detection,” Reginald concluded, “My office is in the north wing, ground floor. Shouldn’t be hard to miss, I imagine there’s still a bloody patch there where twelve Jaeger Guard died.”





Patterson Riverbend





“You hybrid scum, did Hawthorn send you? Is he killing members of parliament for simply disagreeing with him now?” Riverbend coughed as his precious life blood leaked out from his ruined lower-half.

Her blue eyes regarded him lazily, watching him bleed beneath bangs of dirty yellow and thick brown lashes. It was incomprehensible to Riverbend how someone so young could possess eyes so terribly fragmented. She remained silent, unaware of his questions as blades warm with blood retracted from the torso of her latest victim. The sixteenth that night. They disappeared somewhere into her silver wrists with a faint hiss of air. The slight jerk of her small shoulders revealed stitches placed to hold torn flesh from surgical cuts along her back. If not for them, she would have been a woman’s dream, possessing a figure both lush and deceptively alluring.

Riverbend gave a shake of his head, even with his eyes closed he could still see the tiny cuts; the arms marred like eaten stumps to fit metal prosthetics. Pitched against the front of his study desk, Riverbend forced out one final gasp, “Just get it over and done with.”

Complying with slavish indifference, she stalked forwards and ran the blade through his chest.





The Scientist





“You’ve violated our terms of agreement General Hawthorn, again,” droned the scientist, his metallic voice rising synthetically in volume to display outrage.

“Just a test of your latest model,” Victor reassured, “Killing two birds with one stone really. You wanted to test her; I wanted to secure our position.”

“The hybrids were designed for the betterment of humanity! Your killing is…self serving,” the scientist clamored. Had he been a poorer man, Victor would not have been surprised if he had knocked the papers from his desk. The general showed mild amusement, easing into the back of his grand study chair. It was pleasing to see that even the scientist could show emotion about certain topic matters. Every man had his vices. Supporting his weight, the furniture creaked in protest.

“The Riverbends were conspiring against us. As one of the major families within Altheim, they hold a lot of influence,” Victor droned, explaining his reasoning, “Killing them sets an example for the rest of the families.”

“We already possess seventy-five percent of the voters support,” the scientist countered, “Are you going to blame the killings on therians again? People won’t fall for the same story twice.”

“I understand your frustrations, but leave the political maneuvers to me scientist,” Victor said, “We’re so close to achieving your vision, would you risk everything now? Would you let all those sacrifices go to waste just on the account of a few lives?”

The scientist’s eye lenses whirred and refocused in mock imitation of narrowing at Victor. “Your right, we’re working towards a greater good. Just don’t get lost along the way General.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK

#, as written by Siryn
Image


It had been two days since Touya and Damea had been released. In that time, Touya had done what he could with his broken mechanics on his arms. Damea was no doctor, Touya had learned from experience then, but he'd done what he could. The Therian's forearm was patched up finally and the gears working again, though it was far from perfect. The blades had a hard time being deployed, but they came out none-the-less and that was all that mattered. The dent in his hand was fixed as well, and though he could draw his claws, he couldn't extend them out to their maximum length like his other hand. Again, they worked again and that was what he needed.

They were called upon on the second day for a meeting that Reginald was holding. At first Touya had had half a mind to just leave the place and go on his own to investigate the area, but he knew nothing about the place and he knew that Damea would have declined vehemently. So, the Therian stayed there to respect Damea's wishes as well as get as much information as he could about the place. Besides that, he was just a little more curious about Miles than before. He still wanted to know why the man hadn't dumped him the moment he had the chance to. Touya figured he would ask Miles later on when they had the chance.

“Oh, why if it isn’t the little pacifist therian. Where’s your woman today?”

Touya frowned at the man as he was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest, his long silver hair braided and falling over his shoulder.

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t goad our guest Lieutenant, especially when he’ll be responsible for facilitating your entrance. Welcome all. As promised, we have devised a method of infiltrating the compound, but I’ll be short. We need someone on the inside to open the backdoor. The perimeter is heavily defended by squadrons of city guard, but once inside that shouldn’t be a problem. That falls onto you faceless.”

Again, the Therian's frown deepened as his icy pale blue eyes watched Reginald throughout his entire description of the plan. As the man said 'faceless' Touya bared his teeth, his hands tightening over his arms, "Therian," he growled in correction. Reginald ignored him and continued, running his finger over the designs of the place where they were to infiltrate.

“I figured opening that access way would be a good use for your shape shifting abilities. The rest of the team will wait for you behind that door. After that, you have as long as you want to investigate, so long as you avoid detection. My office is in the north wing, ground floor. Shouldn’t be hard to miss, I imagine there’s still a bloody patch there where twelve Jaeger Guard died.”

Touya's gaze studied the plans intently, burning them into his memory before he lifted his eyes to look about at the group of men that were going to go with him. Uncrossing his arms, he turned and left the room without a word. Damea followed right behind him. The mercenaries demeanor had grown solemn in the past few days, he was no longer as talkative as before. Touya figured the poor man had seen more than enough for one man. He didn't say anything though, leaving the fire mage to his own devices. However if he ever wished to talk, Touya would listen.

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes," Touya answered Damea shortly.

"Then all I have to say is be very careful. No matter what we find there, Touya-"

"I know."

Damea didn't say anything more but watched Touya intently before nodding his head.




The trip was spent in silence as they traversed across the city to where Reginald's old office had been. It took about an hour to get across town as Touya was moving rather quickly. He spotted the building that the doctor had described easily enough and pressed his body against the wall of the alley that opened up to a wide street right before the building. His eyes flicked from one end of the building to another. No one was visible from where they were standing and Touya leaned back with a sigh.

"I can't shape shift unless I know what to shift into," Touya said, mostly to Damea, but his voice was loud enough for all to hear. The fire mage smiled at him mischievously and patted his shoulder.

"Leave that to me, my friend," and Damea slipped passed him into the wide street. There was a long pause of complete silence. After that Damea's voice could be heard as he yelled loudly for someone to help him. Touya tensed, wondering what it was that the man was thinking. He glowered at the street before him and forced himself to wait, no matter how apprehensive he was at that moment. A few seconds later and Damea reappeared next to Touya, his eyes wide with fear as he looked at someone down the street. Waving his arm, he called out again.

"Over here! My friend! Please, he's hurt!" Then Damea ducked passed Touya and the tall Therian waited patiently as he heard the hurried footsteps of a disgruntled soldier. The mercenary had done well, that much he could commend the man on as a tall man about the same size of Touya came and stood right next to the Therian. Reaching out like a snake, Touya gripped the mans arm and pulled him into the alleyway. A hard crack to the side of his head put the man into darkness right after and the human soldier lay limply in Touya's arms.

Touya's gaze studied the man for a few minutes more and then his body shivered and his features transformed to match that of the soldier he held. Looking to Damea, whose jaw had dropped in awe at the display, he handed the unconscious man over. The fire mage took him and pulled him a little ways down the alley and behind some boxes so that he was out of the way. Touya turned and exited the alleyway going back down the way he'd heard the footsteps. There were several other soldiers down there as well, watching as Touya returned to them.

"What was it, Byres?" One of the men asked as they all walked together back to their station at the left wing of the building. He knew that Damea and the others were already making their way over to the 'back' door that he needed to get to.

"Nothing, just a delusional man," Touya answered.

"He didn't look delusional to me," another replied, eyeing Touya.

The Therian didn't answer only glowered at the man before him, hoping that they would not notice a difference in demeanor or voice. The soldiers stared back at him with suspicion, but one of them shook his head and sighed heavily. Almost as one, they disregarded Touya and the Therian made his way behind them. Slowly he worked his way backwards to the door that the men were stationed at.

"Whatever. Next time don't just go running around to follow some random person. You're lucky you didn't get killed," the first one commented but never turned around and silence soon fell among the four soldiers. Touya's hand reached out behind him and his fingers soon hit the doorknob. Quietly turning it, he backed into the building, keeping a steady eye on the four men outside. Once he was inside the building, he closed the door and lifted his hand. With a bit of magic, he locked the door and for good measure, turned the energy towards the metal on the side and warped it to the point of jamming the door.

Touya turned on his heel and looked around. He shed his shape shifted appearance, his hair returning to its normal length and color as did his eyes and pale skin. No one was in the hallway as far as he could tell and the door he needed to open was on the other side for the men. Moving quickly and quietly he made his way there, nothing hindering him as he went. It was almost too smooth for an operation. So much so that Touya was growing rather apprehensive. He reached the designated door and pushed it open slightly to let the men know he was inside.

Turning around, he eyed the hall and started back down it. He was now looking for Reginald's office. There had been destruction throughout the building, evidence that something had definitely happened there. Touya turned down right hallway, he worked his way through thrown furniture, papers and destroyed walls. It was amazing the destruction that littered the area. When he reached the office that Reginald had told him of, there was indeed a lot of blood left over. Touya walked around the room, looking at papers scattered around the desk and floor.

There was a window as well that opened up into another room, this one looking no worse for wear as Reginald's office. Beyond the window where several metal tables with leather bindings on them. All of which were empty. Touya felt his chest growing tighter as he eyed the area. There was no sign of April at all, the only thing that was left behind was blood.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Miles Riverbend





"Hurry and leave!" demanded Touya.

Miles hesitated, struck by the gravity of those words. The Beast Slayer had never considered that the therian would take his suggestion to heart. Overriding his guilt with the necessity to live, Miles nodded solemnly at Touya.

“Never a dull moment, huh? Good luck therian,” he said, throwing a smirk on for show. It was the last time he expected to see the courageous refugee. Snapping into action, Miles sheathed his own sword and ran over to Damea. “Corporal! Help me carry this man! And you don’t complain or make this any harder than it already is.”

Responding with unnerving swiftness, John materialized out of the shadows, side stepping the hybrid so as to avoid its lethal attention. The man’s cross bolts had been all but spent in the ensuing battle, reducing him to a pair of combat knives. To Miles’ chagrin, John paused midway to crouch over the corpse of Bastionne. The Jaeger Guard muttered a few words of respect before jerking the dog tag free of his superior’s neck and hurrying over to assist him in lifting the mercenary’s weight.

“A good man,” John said, pocketing the name label.

“Empire rests his soul. Now, unless you want to join him, I suggest you haul arse faster,” Miles grunted, hefting Damea from under his shoulders.

Without responding, John shifted himself down to lift Damea up by the knees in a fore-and-aft position. “Secure?”

“Solid! Let’s go!” Miles confirmed, adjusting his arms to steady his grip. The Beast Slayer spared one last glance over his shoulder, glimpsing a brilliant flash of yellow light and the ominous black shadow of the monster. They were two sides of the same coin, almost.

Starting down the hallway, John navigated through the simple corridor. Their objective was an alternate route which existed by the north wing, and seeing as the hybrid was currently blocking any entrance into the lobby, it was their final alternative. They took a left, jogging swiftly into a ribbed hallway. Miles noted how the wall panels surrounding them looked battered and old despite the recent dereliction. Only a week ago this building would have been bustling with activity.

“How much further?” Miles asked, agitated to escape the suffocating premises. Getting outside of the building was only part of the problem given their discovery. Thankfully Havoc had the foresight to plan numerous routes of bypassing likely security. Of course, it also helped they were technically on home turf.

“Just at the end of this hall, a window should lead into a side alley,” John informed, reciting the path off memory.

Abruptly, Miles felt the impact rather than heard it. In response, the wooden beams overhead shivered, shaking dust onto their heads. Contemplating the cause, they all paused in unison.

“Sounds like something cut into the building’s structure, again,” John remarked, directing a cautionary gaze around at their surroundings. Both men knew that could have only been caused by one thing.

Concerned that the roof could collapse at any point, Miles looked up in tow and frowned. “Do you reckon you can carry Damea alone?” he asked, not bothering to consult the mercenary for his opinion.

“Sir?”

Miles assisted John in moving Damea into a firefighter carry, leaving the injured mercenary over the Jaeger Guard’s shoulders. “Call it a whim, don’t wait for me,” Miles winked.

Turning the other direction, Miles began sprinting back the way they came, praying the hybrid would be finished before he arrived. What he discovered upon reaching their previous position left him in utter disbelief. Discretion turned to amazement as he stumbled past the quiet remains of the hybrid, eyes wide. The surgical wounds and grafting remained, as firmly etched to its skin like knots in a plank, but the cuts and bolts were gone without trace. Even Bastionne’s head wound had vanished. Miles tip-toed past, uncertain if the monster was simply playing dead and unwilling to test the fates.

“Touya? You there?” he hissed.

Not far off, Touya’s unconscious form lay just beyond the hybrid, clumped up against the wall.





“A few broken ribs, for both of them,” Reginald muttered, reading the words off a checklist. The doctor had only just completed his physical examination of Touya. Damea, though still conscious, hardly fared any better than the therian and was currently resting in the adjacent bed.

Welcoming the gentle warmth offered by the hospital room’s interior, Miles leaned back in his seat, letting the tension slip out of his shoulders. Not so unlike the first room that Reginald used to restrain Touya, the key difference was a noticeably lack of magic inhibitors and metal bindings. “Skin of our teeth Havoc, it was that close.”

Reginald gave Miles a certain look, as if the medic was on the verge of saying something important before sighing. “I’ll read the report tomorrow,” he waved. The details could come later, but Reginald’s chief concern was determining how exactly the faceless managed to defeat the hybrid. “You’re certain about what you saw?”

Miles gave a tired shrug, “It looked like it just healed up then dropped dead. I did jokingly suggest trying to healing it…but I had no idea the therian was capable of such a feat, let alone if that’s what he even did.”

"I've seen him use it before. Anyway, he needs rest for now. There'll be time for questions later," Reginald said, "However, do you mind stepping outside? I have something important to tell you. Something about your family."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Dean 'Havoc' Reginald

0.00 INK




Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Upon reach the doorway, Reginald paused outside, a fist hovering over the iron lever. He heard conversational banter on the other side, soft and slightly muffled by the thick hardwood that the door consisted of. Assuming the duo had awoken, his arm moved up, racking the door to signal his entrance. Out of courtesy, he spoke up and identified himself, “Damea, Touya, its Reginald here.”

Reginald strode in without further or do, looking every bit the professional he was. Emerging in blue scrubs and a white coat, the former medic entered alone before closing the door quietly behind him. Stereotypically, in his possession Reginald carried a clipboard, most likely a checklist of sorts.

“You fellows look like you’re doing remarkably well,” he smiled warmly to override the mild surprise that crept up from seeing the faceless already on his feet. Most men would have remained bedridden for quite some time following a broken rib, not to mention the respiratory issues. Oddly, Touya seemed like his usual self, almost as if the events of last night had never transpired. On that note, there was still much that Reginald wished to learn about the incident surrounding the hybrid. Eager to fill in the blanks, Reginald stepped forwards and presented himself officially. “How are you both feeling? Hows the pain?”

When Reginald walked in, Touya was immediately on edge. His eyes narrowed at the man and he took a slight step forward, a dangerous aura around his body. However, all he did was cross his arms, the usual frown upon his face. Touya watched the doctor walk into the room and address them, though he didn't say anything in return right away. Damea, though, was quick on the uptake and turned to look at the man.

"Fine, or did you forget that Touya's a healer? No pain," Damea said and glanced over to Touya.

The tall Therian shrugged his shoulders slightly, "No pain," he answered as well softly. His gaze turned to Reginald as his thoughts returned to the papers that he'd seen in the man's office. Before the fight had broken out, all he'd gathered was that April had been sick with something before hand. He wondered what that was, though he doubted that Reginald would tell him. Touya decided then that once he saw Miles again, he would ask him instead to see if the soldier knew anything.

Not one to be put off by apparent hostilities, Reginald chuckled in response to Touya's careful discretion. It was almost endearing. Tight lipped, the faceless was evidently quite perturbed by the medic's presence, but Reginald had greater fish to fry than the therian's prejudice. Passing a side table, Reginald entered the empty space between the two beds, stopping just besides Touya.

"Just following protocol Damea. It's my job to check on these things," Reginald said with an easy shrug before adjusting his gaze towards Touya, "It's fortunate that you're doing so well though. Seeing as you returned empty handed, I assume there was no trace of Miss Rosevolt? Do you mind telling me about what happened last night? More specifically, what happened with the hybrid?"

Touya's frown deepened as he eyed the doctor. Anger boiled just beneath his skin at the mention of April. Had the man not taken her away from him to start with, had he been more diligent... There were plenty of things that could have been done differently. However, Touya knew there wasn't much use dwelling on it now. What he wanted was solid proof that she was still alive because he did not believe for a second that she was dead.

"No, I didn't find her. I still don't trust you either," Touya answered in a growl.

"Touya..." Damea stepped up next to him, touching the Therian's arm. Touya looked down at the fire mage who had a sorrowful look on his face, "She's not here. She wasn't with me when everything went to hell. I know it's hard to believe, but Reginald doesn't have her."

"You were sick at the time and most probably delusional weren't you?" Touya asked in his language.

Damea frowned as he answered in kind, "Well... yes, but I do remember thinking why she wasn't being carried out with me."

A heavy sigh wracked the Therian's body as he turned from Damea and tilted his head back to stare at the ceiling, "Fine. Miles suggested to heal the monster since attacking it clearly wasn't working. So I healed it, the metal anyway."

Withholding a gasp, Reginald’s dark eyes narrowed as he glanced at the therian in disbelief. “You’re saying that your healing abilities can manipulate synthetic material also? Is that how you defeated it?” he asked, mostly to reaffirm his suspicions, “Do you know what this means lad? We now have a way of stopping the hybrid project!”

Reginald turned to face Touya fully, "No, you could put an end to the hybrid project. In fact, the whole endeavor might be moot if more of your kind also possess the same healing abilities. We only need to find their facilities."

Damea looked over to Reginald and sighed, "Unfortunately, doc, the healing ability that Touya wields is very rare. In fact, I think he's the only one... of course I've not met too many Therian's, but from what I know Touya's ability isn't exactly what you would find in every other Therian."

"As for stopping this 'hybrid' project," Touya started, "What do you mean by it? Just because I can heal the wounds gained from being experimented on doesn't mean I can stop your kind from continuing it. Don't you think it would have the opposite effect?"

Damea’s information hit Reginald like a tonne of bricks, causing the man’s shoulders to slump depressingly. “On the contrary my dear faceless, what’s the point of funding a hybrid project if there already exists a counter?” Reginald said, answering Touya rhetorically. The question was accompanied with a slight shake of his head. “It’s a shame, really.”

Turning abruptly, the medic turned on his heels and started towards the door. “I hoped to avoid doing this the hard way. What will you two do now? I don’t plan on holding you here but I won’t lie to you when I say we could use the assistance. The choice is yours.”

"The point is that if this group of people find out that I can heal the infused metal, they will manipulate that. The monster didn't die from my healing him, he died because he'd been shot up with crossbolts and had taken multiple wounds from Damea and I both. My healing of his mechanics brought him to his senses and only then did his body realize how much damage he'd taken. That was when he fell."

Damea sighed heavily as Touya explained in an angered tone as Reginald made his way to the door. The mercenary looked between the two and raised his hand up to brush through his silver hair. After a moment he finally spoke up, "What I want to know is what you mean by 'doing this the hard way'? Do you mean to blackmail us somehow? Sorry to say, Reginald, but you don't hold much leverage over us."

"No, he doesn't. But he knows me well enough," Touya sighed.

Damea looked over to his companion," What do you mean?"

"I cannot overlook the fact that these humans are experimenting on both their own kind and my own. I don't wish to leave it at this, but I do not wish to show them my ability to heal their horrifying attempt at creating Therian's. That will only complicate matters."

The mercenary shrugged, "Well, there you have it, doc. Now. What will you do in return?"

Chuckling, Reginald's eyebrow lifted bemusedly at Damea, "Not everything is about you two. What I meant by the 'hard way' was confronting Victor as is. Crippling the facility before their numbers increased. The plan didn't involve you, but I would appreciate the aid."

He switched between visage, smiling softly at the duo. "What can I offer in return? Access to our spy network, our vast wealth of information on certain topics," Reginald bargained. Of course information on military disposition and inventory would be strictly regulated but the doctor was well versed at dancing around the topic. "Which i'm sure you could put to good use in your...bid to mend human and therian relationships. More over, we could even support you if we overthrow Victor."

Touya's eyes darkened as he glowered at the man. How he wished to strangle the man right there. Many times had it crossed his mind, but he couldn't... there was still a chance. A sliver of hope that he was going to hang onto to the bitter end.

That hope actually grew brighter as Reginald continued in his speech. Access to their spy network could very well work to his advantage if he used it correctly. Of course the things that Reginald was suggesting could also go towards putting him in a higher position as well, but his mind was thinking more on the lines of finding April.

"Well?" Damea asked, whispering in the Therian language.

"Seem's there's no other choice."

Damea turned to the doctor who was still standing at the door and crossed his arms over his bare chest, "Fine. Count us in then. Tell us what you need."

“Nothing, for now,” Reginald grinned brightly, “First we need to find their facility. When we have such information, rest assured, you will be contacted.”





Miles Riverbend





It was raining profusely the day of the funeral, with dark clouds looming over their heads. Wearing a dress uniform, with his sword strapped to his hip, a melancholy Miles walked to the viewing deck that overlooked the procession. Hushed silence took the crowd as the coffins of his mother; father and sister were lowered into the rain soaked earth and final resting places. The ceremony was small. Most of their associates had been massacred along with his family, or so he was told. Others were simply too afraid of Victor’s reign, too cowardly to dare show their support. Wordlessly, Miles stood out in the rain, letting his anger smolder beneath the surface.

“We gather to commemorate the end of these lives,” started the priest. Despite the furious downpour he hardly had to yell to be heard. “We acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by these people. Molly Riverbend, Patterson Riverbend and Felicity Riverbend. May their souls rest in peace and pass onto the ether.”

Miles took off his cap, a last sign of respect for his family. Watching as the coffins were released from their cranes with a soft thump, he made a solemn vow to avenge their deaths. Both the culprit and perpetrator, he would not allow a single one to live.