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Morningside Research Facility

Paragon Inc Facility

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a part of Morningside Research Facility, by VitaminHeart.

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VitaminHeart holds sovereignty over Paragon Inc Facility, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

436 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Morningside Research Facility
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Minimap

Paragon Inc Facility is a part of Morningside Research Facility.

12 Characters Here

Captain Edwin Nakai [10] Head of Security, Division 6.
Captain Blaze [8] "Are you going to submit peacefully, or am I going to have to use force?"
Paul Spiro [4] "It's Mister Spiro"
Dr. Ainsley Graham [3] Head psychologist of Morningside Research Facility
Dr. Oren D. Kovalenko [1] [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Oren D. Kovalenko Character Portrait: #22475 - Rei
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Down on the secure level, Dr Kovalenko regarded the inferiour cup of coffee with distaste as she and one of security headed along to lockdown.

Whilst the upper areas tended to go for a light, open-plan look, the necessity of security meant that the lower level was more tight, the corridors wide and low with reinforced doors and shutters that could be drawn up to view the inside of the rooms that branched off.

A few noises, muffled by the thickness of the walls, could be heard from time to time, but generally the place was pretty quiet, pretty preferable to the noise of the offices.

Even if there was a much larger chance of being ripped apart.

They paused in front of the large, thick blast door of the lockdown section and the doctor, an angular woman in her mid twenties, pressed the button on the intercom outside.

-"So, are you planning to rip anyone else to pieces this week or can I open up this door?"-

The corridor was quiet for a few long moments before a voice on the other side staticed in.

"No, no I'm good."

"Well as long as you're good." the researcher muttered with a degree of sarcasm before she input a code, pressed her alm to the scanner and swiped her ID through the lock, causing the heavy door to slowly slide down.

"Admin is on my back about this. Prototypes taking out staff is unacceptable and you are downstairs until the team fix the problems."-

The figure sat at the back of the room narrowed their luminous green eyes in distaste.

"I'd rather not hang out with the freaks down here."

"Well I'm sorry you feel that way princess, but seeing as there are still pieces of Robinson in the ventilation system then you're just going to have to be brave and deal with it. They're opening up the rooms and sending the prototypes on this level to the cafeteria and I'm going to be dong the check up rounds, go along there, make some friends or whatever it is that you do when you're not savaging people and get used to it because you aren't leaving til I'm certain you're not going to go Cthulu fhtagn again, clear?"

The indidivual in the cell was well aware that there was not much to be gained from arguing the case. Dr K. had a lot of authority around the place, and exactly the same amount of unwillingness to back down. No degree of persuasion was going to sway her.
The figure stepped out of the blast doors, shoulders drawn up, regarding the doctor with distaste, her head still aching from the after-effects of whatever they'd given her the day before. She felt like someone had ht her over the head with a baseball bat.

Which was possible. It was all pretty hazy.

There were not that many people who could have pulled a stunt like she had and still be on decent terms with a company, but Rei did represent a considerable investment from Paragon, and in the end it all came down to the monetary value. That and while the thing had been pretty grisly, she was by no means the most hostile or difficult prototype Morningside had. Up until recently she'd been spending her time upstairs with the most personable experiments, the kind that went to meet investors and showed off what they could do, but when the random 'check-outs' started happening, they'd started talking about the move downstairs.

Downstairs was where the 'freaks' ended up. The experiments with health issues, or disciplinary problems, or glitches that meant that the level of security and monitoring was justified.

Rei had her own friends upstairs, and interactions with the downstairs lot had been limited at best, and not something she was eagerly anticipating.

The experiment stepped into the large room, regarding the guards posted up on the walkways over head sceptically.

"Looks like a classy place, huh?"

Rei was not, at a glance, all that threatening looking. Skinny, curveless and quite sickly-looking, she was wearing the white pants and T-shirt marked with the logo, and her ID code, that seemed a little large on her form. Long, silvery hair hung down to her lower back, not much paler than the unhealthy hue of her skin. All in all she looked like someone that'd struggle to carry groceries, let alone wipe people out but....when you were talking about bioweapon research appearance was always pretty deceiving.

"Don't be a smart-ass. I'm expecting a flawless record from you."the researcher remarked.

Rei made a vague noise of agreement in response, not having the energy to argue.
She stepped to the back of the line, hunching forwards whilst the doctor went to speak to security.

It was going to be such a long week.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Captain Tyler Blaze had just finished his 2nd breakfast. 2 stacks of pancakes, 5 pieces of sausage, 2 eggs, and a lukewarm undesirable coffee had been cleaned from his plates. If they were edible, he may have eaten the plates, too. Luckily for him, his metabolism was heightened alongside his appetite, so he could eat meals like this (and did 5 times a day) and manage to keep in shape with normal exercise. And, traditionally, after his meal he lit a cigarette with his thumb, and sat there smoking for a few moments before a member of his security team entered his room.

"Captain, your assignment detail for today," she said as she handed him the usual datapad listing off his assignments. Tyler sighed to himself, "Downstairs duty today. Figures. The incident with Dr. Robinson has security on it's toes. Well, I suppose that's what I get for being a flame-throwing guard Captain." He scrolled through the list, "Huh, nothing of supreme importance today. Overview the prisoners, make sure no one is attacked, keep the peace, yadda yadda." He signed his name, as per protocol, and handed the security woman the datapad back. "I'll finish this smoke, and head on down," he told her as she turned to leave.

After a few moments, he had finished his cigarette, put the butt into his ash tray, and left his room. He made the short walk to the Security department to gather his gear.

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Character Portrait: #14917 - Falshir
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In the lower levels, a head doctor walked through the hallway to head to one of the subjects containment cell. As he arrived he walked into a room next to the containment cell and was greeted by other fellow doctors, "how is subject 14917 doing so far?" The head doctor asked as he opened up a shutter to look in the cell, "same as yesterday, still quiet and doing nothing" a doctor replied to the question.

Falshir stood in his almost empty room, since he did not use beds or desks. All he had in the room was a table with an old fashioned record player on top playing classical music. He looked at the window and stared directly at it, although it was a one way window he knew people stared at him, watching him.

The head doctor closed the shutters to stop looking at the subject, "it always gives me the creeps...I'm going to go look at last weeks data on the subject, keep a eye on it and record anything new" the head doctor said before he opened the door and left.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: #00534 - Atlas
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Captain Nakai frowned as he pulled the trigger of his rifle three times, the sights already lined up to point at a snickering little teenager standing a few paces away from his vantage on the security catwalk. His expression didn't change as the rubber bullets hit home, causing the scraggly, goth-looking guy to give an animal yelp and stagger away.

"I fucking see you, eighty!" Nakai yelled at the twerp, who growled like a dog while massaging his injured left arm while skulking away.

Nakai liked some subjects, disliked others, but everyone in Security accepted that #80666 was an insufferable nuisance. Apparently it was somehow useful because it could smell like a bloodhound at the cost of acting like one... like it had done just now, trying to get intimate with a food dispenser. Not only was it horribly unhygienic, it was plainly disgusting.

Now the Captain gave a sigh and raised his rifle from where he had propped it up on the railing of the catwalk (bulletproof glass; the joys of safety!), switching the safety on as Private Kubrick chuckled on to his left.

Nakai looked around the room, his helmet concealing his face as he quietly counted how many guards were dotted around. Yep, 10 guards, one at each entrance plus seven up on the catwalks. The poor fellas down below were constantly being hounded by the rowdier subjects, but they were always safely suppressed by a couple of rubber bullets to the shoulder or leg. At least they had shields; if some of the subjects got up to the catwalks, those up there had nothing but their LTL rifles and sidearms (loaded, just for safety, with lethal ammunition) for protection against the sixty-odd monstrosities below.

The fact that there was a constant influx into the cafeteria also didn't help; slowly, one by one, new subjects poured into the room, some peaceful, others snarling at poor Williams posted at the main door. Nakai saw many faces he recognized; some he didn't. In particular, he noticed the presence of someone he recognized from the most recent Incident Report: #22475. His grip tightened slightly on his rifle; so this was the young woman who had so brutally slaughtered poor Robinson.

She didn't seem all too threatening, but then, Nakai knew far better than to not fear something that didn't look scary at first.

As if confirming this, many corridors down, a wall-shaking moan was heard softly.

---

Atlas stared at the two men in security garb who stood beyond the triple-reinforced observation port of its containment chamber.

It could just barely make out their words; ancient machinery within it processed and translated it.

"How the fuck does the Doctor intend to check out this thing's containment chamber?"

"I don't fucking know, but apparently she's insistent on it. I heard that Captain Nakai tried to overrule her inspection order, but then got called into her office, probably to talk to her about it. Apparently there was a lot of shouting and finally him storming out, shouting something about opening a Pandora's Box or whatever."

"Well, the thing doesn't look particularly happy right now."

It wasn't. Atlas was pacing around its cell, giving the occasional loud rumble. It hated the walls. The confinement. The isolation. There had been only a few people to talk to; all the rest were either too scared or hated it too much. It did not know why they hated.

Only that they hated, and the hate was infecting it too.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: #01675 - Eli
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Eli sat in the cafeteria, enjoying the mental cacophony. There were always so many minds to listen to, so many desires kept hidden, so many aberrations and psychological monstrosities to to cleanse, to exploit. He liked to hear that #41984 really wants a pack of crayons but no purple ones cuz’ they don’t taste right and am I a sheep prol’ly not but if I was- or that #12978 thinks this food is really terrible but the lady who serves it is really pretty but burning her is wrong like last time with the- and the guards.... The guards were harder to read, but just as rewarding. The third from the right has been grappling with her sexuality because if they found out me and Claire- or that the fat one near Eli is gonna shoot that white-eyed freak if he doesn't look away right this fu- Eli quickly averted his gaze before man had to make good on his promise. Some knew about his abilities or were angry enough that they didn't have to. Very well. He could enjoy the nerves just as much.

The nerves were all he could see without his Eye other than the solid walls and objects that littered the room. Nerves were different than thoughts; they couldn't tell Eli what their owner thought, but they could tell him what they were. There was the jagged and flickering nerves of the damaged, those who dragged themselves more by will than physical ability. The clustered bright nerves of the subjects with enhanced sense made the area where their sensory organs should be burn with light, and the mentally enhanced subjects brains acted like small suns in their splendor. A nervous system arcing and floating meant a regenerator or a shifter of some sort. For every power, for every little mutation or subtle augmentation, there was a change in the system.

His attention shifted to Captain Nakai, and with it, his motives. The Captain knew, of course, something was coming. Atlas was dangerous, too unstable, too alien. Almost guaranteed to go wrong, catastrophically so. However, Eli was reasonably certain he didn't know the scope of the coming storm. Eli himself had a hard time understanding the magnitude of the future events, which honestly made him feel...scared. He didn't get scared often, at all, really, but the thoughts he heard at night, the patterns he'd been seeing, the growing sense of dread emerging from the collective mind of the facility... it overwhelmed him. Whatever it was, it was going to be upon them very soon. Too soon. Eli hadn't edited enough minds, tested the personnel thoroughly enough. He had to start now, sow the seeds and reap the harvest of a stronger facility. So he undid his blindfold.

Eli felt the fabric slip from his fingers, the bright orange eye in his forehead darting madly in his head as it opened for the first time in hours. Clarity flooded his mind; he could see again, colors, textures, writing, everything jumped out at him and lifted him from his darkened state. The thoughts grew louder, coming from everywhere at once and being sorted with preternatural speed as his mind returned to it's natural state. Eli sighed deeply and focused, eyes locked on Captain Nakai, hoping for accidental eye contact. His mind reached out and found the Captain's, and his words came from within. You must be ready. It is starting. You see, but you do not see it all. It is so much bigger than you or I and the creature you fear is stirring it's nerves are like runes carved into the bones of a leviathan floating in the void and IT IS BUT ONE OF US- The rubber bullet struck his eye directly, severing any connection he may have had and stunning Eli. The fat guard grunted, a smug smirk plastered on his face as Eli slowly blindfolded himself and stumbled back into the crowd of monsters churning below the catwalk.

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Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: #01675 - Eli
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Nakai snapped out of his strange trance the very instant that he saw a rubber bullet collide with the forehead of a subject.

Before the subject stumbled back, the orange blaze in the middle of said forehead was clearly visible. An eye. The eye.

So this was #41984. The reason seven guards had quit, claiming they "couldn't take it anymore", and another had blasted his own brains out. He was considered among Security to be a threat, a mental poison; yet in this instance, it seemed he was trying to warn him of something. Leviathan... was he referring to Atlas? As far as Nakai knew, this guy could read thoughts, even the briefest flicker of one to the living metal abomination.

Private First Class Fargley, to Nakai's right, was chuckling, his barrel still smoking a little. Fargley was an idiot, a well and truly accepted fact. The only reason he had ever gotten promoted is because he somehow managed to worm his way into taking credit for something mainly done by another group of guards. Now, Nakai took the liberty of slapping him on the back of the head. Hard.

"The usual policy, First Class, is to shoot them in the shoulder or leg. Do you think Executive will be happy when they find that a subject has developed critical brain trauma, or in this case, lost his powers? Hope, for your sake, that he's alright."

He walked back to his post, scanning the crowd again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Captain Blaze had finished gathering his gear, and was walking down the hallway to report to his assigned post when he passed by the cafeteria balcony doors. "...lost his powers? Hope, for your sake, that he's alright." Blaze heard another Captain's voice say. But which Capt- Oh, Nakai!, Blaze thought to himself. I never see him that often, I may as well make a quick detour to say hello. Blaze strode through the doors and quickly spotted his fellow Captain, with a stern look on his face, scanning the crowd of subjects eating. "Nakai, how goes the post? Is anyone particularly rowdy today?" Blaze asked as he walked towards the Captain, stopping to lean on the railing next to him. Blaze then scanned the sea of subjects, mentally assessing, and tallying them all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: #00534 - Atlas Character Portrait: #31235 - Meadow Character Portrait: Dr. Ainsley Graham
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A collaboration between AthaNielsen and Scarlet Loup


Two pairs of footsteps caused echoed through the hall, one much daintier than the other. The two were a pair often seen together around the facility, the subject had grown attached to Dr. Graham as soon as she met him. Of course she liked all the doctors but he was her favorite, she considered him to be a better friend than any of the other subjects. Gentle humming accompanied the footsteps, the girl sang a familiar tune from Phantom of the Opera.

The soothing sound was interrupted as Meadow spoke up, “Dr Graham?” She chirped, her voice not unlike the other half of her genes. “Are we going to go downstairs today?” She asked, clearly trying to hold back excitement. Ever since the Upper Level subjects had started to be moved she had lost more and more company, and wanted to visit the Lower Level as often as she could.

Meadow had, by that point, become almost a constant in Ainsley's life. Not that he disliked it, of course. In fact, he was quite grateful that he had the young hybrid to pass the time with. Her soft humming blended into the background as though the psychologist were carrying about an MP3 player around with him. He didn't notice she had stopped her twittering -- no pun intended -- until she spoke up gently.

It didn't take a psychology degree to tell that she was obviously anticipating a visit to the Lower Level. Either way, he did have one, and he did notice her excitement. The doctor could not help letting out a soft laugh in response. It wasn't a condescending one by any means, just a light one of amusement.

"I have to run down there to look at #00534," he replied, flipping open the file in his hand and extending it so that she could see it quickly. Ainsley snapped it shut before anything confidential could be viewed. At least he hoped he did. A light Scottish accent, which seemed to grow fainter with each passing day, graced his words, reminding those in the facility that he did not hail from America. "You really shouldn't spend too much time down there, Meadow. Bad juju and whatnot." He did not speak in a belittling manner. Rather, he tried to sound more like a concerned friend than anything. Ainsley even added a smile to emphasize his humor.

She was doing well, however. He hadn't had to worry about her behavior yet. Besides, she asked for little. "I'll take you down there today, alright? You better not go apeshit on me. I'm growing fond of your presence." He smirked as he scanned his ID, which was clipped to his labcoat, on the elevator's panel. Beneath said labcoat, he wore a red flannel shirt and some jeans, giving him the appearance of a well-shaven lumberjack.

Meadow glanced briefly at the file, only to see the image to jog her memory. No matter how much she tried she could never remember all the numbers and who they connected to. She gave a small nod of understanding at who they would be visiting.

"I'll be ok, I promise." She cooed, grinning up at him with an air of innocence. Meadow was incredibly childish, despite having the intellegence of her actual age. Despite her confidence she was still terrified of "going apeshit" like he said. None of the others had anything that would make sense for them to attack, but they still did. She tried her hardest to hide her fears from the others, but she wasn't stupid enough to not know that doctors knew.

The petite girl hurried into the elevator beside Ainsley. Her outfit constrasted his greatly, being bright and gentle. She wore a pale yellow skirt and a lime blouse, revealing several of the feather patches around her body. When they finally reached their destination and the elevator gave a satisfying "ding" Meadow's smile widened. She grabbed Ainsley's hand and scurried out the door, dragging him behind.

He took her word, as he did with most of the patients within Morningside. Not that that was a good thing to do with the amount of emotional instability about the place. Still, Ainsley knew that doing so created a nurturing environment, if such a thing could really be said about the research facility. Her innocent aura was endearing, and he couldn't help smiling back down at her. Though not necessarily immature, she was childish enough that he often forgot she was nineteen.

A brief silence ensued as the elevator zipped in a downward direction. Ainsley gave her a gentle nudge with his elbow as they rode the elevator side by side. "You're right," he said, his smile becoming one of reassurance now. "You'll be fine." Mere moments after the lift jolted into place, he found himself trailing after Meadow. His weight kept him from losing his footing and from her getting too far ahead until he could look around a bit. One never knew what venturing down here would result in.

He finally had to pull her to a stop when they were outside of the cafeteria. "I can't take you to #000534's room," he said in a soft yet definite manner. "It's too unpredicatable right now." He looked towards the cafeteria. "You could go catch up with some friends," he suggested. Looking back to her now, he smiled once more. "Try to stay away from Kovalenko, alright? She'll probably find a way to give me hell for bringing you down here."

The sudden halt made her fall back into Ainsley's chest, grinning up at him and fixing her skirt. Nodding along obediently with what he said, her enormous eyes lit up at the prospect of seeing friends. "I'll be sneaky." She reassured him, waving and rushing off towards the cafeteria.

Once more, he could not help smiling as she fixated her eyes on him. In a way, perhaps, her eyes were unnerving. As time passed, however, he seemed to find them winsome like something from a Margaret Keane painting. Ainsley gave her a moment, watched her run off towards the cafeteria, and then turned in the direction of Atlas's cell.

It wasn't hard to find, of course. Something like that needed a larger cell than most of the other prototypes did. He had not been on the staff when Atlas had gone on his rampage through the facility's hangar. Still, he had heard of the catastrophe many times before.

In a way, Ainsley was concerned for the day's session. He had never interacted with Atlas, never so much as been face to face with the being. Sure, Ainsley had watched the footage for weeks, attempting to get a read on its mentality, its intellect. Anything. At this point, there was little such analysis could do, and he knew, as well as everyone else, that nothing more could be achieved without actually confronting Atlas.

It was a wonder Ainsley didn't simply decline and push the job off on some rookie. He could have, most certainly, and he most likely would have. There was, however, that one spark in the back of his mind that propelled him forward. More so than the other clips, Ainsley had studied the instance with the cat. It was this interaction, this affection Atlas showed the cat, that convinced him that perhaps it was worth risking himself. It was all in the name of science, right?

Finally, he found himself outside of the door, clutching the file before his body. The rumbling from within the cell was already overwhelming, but at least there was no mistaking it for another cell. Ainsley must have stood nervously for a bit longer than he had thought, for a small crowd began to form behind him, watching eagerly for his next move as though this were a performance rather than a psychiatric evaluation.

Slowly, carefully, he extended a hand and knocked gently on the door as if it would make a difference. Not that Atlas could open the door, but it seemed like the right thing to do. After giving it a few seconds, whether as a kind gesture or as a chance to breathe, Ainsley identified himself on the door's lockpad and opened the door.

"Hello there," he said, forcing himself to choke it out before his initial impressions reduced him to a state of silence. A few moments passed as he looked up at Atlas from the doorway. At a snail's pace, he stepped into the room and let the door shut. "I'm Dr. Graham...would you -- erm -- do you have a moment...to talk?" In the face of danger, his usual charisma dissipated, leaving him in what felt like a far more vulnerable state than what he was already facing. He prayed it couldn't sense doubt or fear, for that would certainly make this interaction far more unpleasant.

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Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Nakai raised an eyebrow at the other Captain striding in, trying to mentally place him...

Oh, Blaze!

"Well, they haven't rioted yet and Eighty only humped the food dispenser once, so I guess that's nice. Though I just had to reprimand one of my guards for misconduct."

He turned back to the crowd, where the flow continued, though a little less fervently now.

"How about you? Has your day's assignment been ki-"

He cut off abruptly to squeeze off a shot at a big guy in the corner who was throwing a tantrum about something or other and looked about ready to stampede. Luckily the rubber bullet seemed to calm him a bit.

"As I was saying," Nakai started again with a sigh, "Did you get a good post today?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: #00534 - Atlas Character Portrait: Dr. Ainsley Graham
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Atlas sat in his cell, leaning against the back wall of the 10x10x10 metre cube he was doomed to stay within.

And now, one of those who brought pain stood outside, staring in through the small viewing port next to the personnel airlock.

He was an odd one; he did not look like the guards who brought their objects designed to induce pain, or the white-coated men who caused much deeper, much greater pain.

This one looked worried.

And he was asking if he may enter. How odd, how odd.

The door hissed open without Atlas giving response, opened by invisible button presses within the control station, but now Atlas himself was curious. He sat up a little straighter and readjusted himself to view the man who had just entered through that small door. What lay beyond, Atlas did not know; he had been thrust in and twice escaped through the large tungsten airlock inset into one of the walls, not that small door for small people.

As the man walked inside, Atlas leaned a little closer to him, practically daring him to show his true motives, and gave a low rumble of semi-caution. He would hear this one out, but if it came to bring more pain, it would suffer it too.

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Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Blaze cracked a smile as Nakai shot the subject about to cause a scene. Well, if he keeps this up, my job is easy, Blaze laughed to himself. "Not my favorite post to have gotten, but it's not so bad. Especially with you working up here. Basically, whenever lunch ends, I need to head down and ensure no one gets into a fight. Then, it's just downstairs patrol. There are a couple notable subjects who I've gotta keep an eye on whenever they're moved, but other than that, it's just 'Keep the peace'," Blaze said mildly bored.

As a guard he had hoped for some action every now and again to liven up the routine, and while there were incidents occasionally, the most "action" Blaze ever got was target practice at the range. He was a good shot, with both a gun and his powers, but paper targets didn't shoot back. Maybe he'd put in a request for live targets of some sort at the main office. He decided to think it over.

Blaze glanced back over to his fellow Captain. "What about you, Nakai? Where you headed after lunch?"

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Character Portrait: Paul Spiro Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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The man stepped out of the black, company issued, Chrysler sedan. Flanked by two taller, burlier men, and pursued by a woman struggling to keep up, the man made his way towards the research facility ahead.
"Hurry up will you? Or we might be late." His words were crisp and clear, finding their way right into the ears.
"I'm sorry Mr. Spiro, but-"
"There's a reason why I don't like it much when you wear heels Sarah. Besides, we're going to a possibly hazardous research facility, not a fashion show." The words leaving the man's mouth were saturated with contradictions.

First, the crew was 5 minutes early.
The intercom at the front door beeped on. "Hello, please state your business at Morningside."
"Paul Spiro, representative from Paragon Incorporated Head Quarters." A retina and fingerprint scan ensued before the door before them slid open.
"We've been expecting you Mr. Spiro." When they walked inside, Paul wasn't surprised to see the greeting office empty. It was amazing how much better computer voices had become, but they were still a tad bit off.

Second, Paul didn't like his secretary wearing high heels because it drew her closer to his own height.
The four walked down a few corridors before picking up the commotion radiating from the cafeteria. Course was adjusted to head towards the sounds, there was bound to be staff there. Chaos ensued upon arrival. Some strange thing seemed riled up and about to start something even as the crew walked in. The two large men's hands disappeared inside of their suit jackets but reappeared after a speeding projectile seemed to calm the mutant down.

Third, the four were dressed as if on their way to a fashion show. The larger men were dressed in black suits and ties with white shirts underneath, while Paul and his secretary were dressed in grey suites, black ties, and a white shirt/blouse. Black shoes for everyone, and of course everything was designer. The only thing that seemed off was the unsymmetrical bulge on the left side of the chest of the two accompanying men. The men were originally supposed to be carrying moderately sized sub-machine guns on straps, but Paul found that to look a bit unprofessional. Instead they packed 45 caliber pistols at their hips, and light SMGs that accounted for the bulges.

Paul traced the rubber bullet to what looked like two security officers not far from their current location. "Excuse me," He spoke while approaching the two. "would you know who's in charge here?" Paul held out his ID, "Paul Spiro, I'm with Paragon's head quarters." To the point, no nonsense, professional. Perfect. The two men at his sides tried their best to look intimidating, and Paul had even instructed Sarah to hold a clipboard. It was all so melodramatic...He loved it.

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Character Portrait: Paul Spiro Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Nakai shrugged at Blaze's question. "After lunch? I believe I'm discussing the results of Dr. Graham's investigation into Five-thirty four's psyche. As far as I've heard, top-level corporate is in the midst of one hell of an argument about whether it's a worthy risk or not."

And hell, was it one worth taking? Twice now #00534 had breached containment; twice, it had slaughtered dozens, mainly security personnel shooting at it but also innocent scientists and technicians. Yet, at the same time, corporate didn't care about loss of life until it got expensive; they just wanted their killing machine which could rip apart tanks, and screw all its mental complexes. But it just wasn't that simple, Nakai knew; that thing in there was a thinking organism. It felt pain, and loss, and sorrow, and anger, and it wasn't just a mindless berserker.

His sudden philosophical thoughts were interrupted by the sudden appearance of four people in the room, none of which looked remotely like subjects. One was a crisp-looking businessman, one was obviously his assistant, and two bodyguards flanked them, their concealed submachineguns (Rubicon Industries RIA-7 PDW; the outline was unique) very evident under their jackets.

And they were standing on the subject level of the cafeteria, where any one of them could do any number of things to steal the guns and open fire. The OSIRIS suits were a boon to personal protection, but they only dampened bullet impact, not totally blocked it.

Simply put, every single subject in the room stared at them, and Nakai knew they noticed the guns and the strange people as well. When the leader whipped out his ID card, Nakai's suspicions were confirmed. Fucking corporates. They just fiddled around with numbers and ran think tanks on what new subjects to breed without ever really getting up close to them and seeing just how scary they got.

"You might want to come up to the catwalks before talking, sir," Nakai yelled down, waving his rifle at any subjects that inched too close to the oblivious procession. "Safer for everyone."

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Character Portrait: Paul Spiro Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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#00534 was quite the troublemaker. Machine, alien, an odd specimen to say the least. Blaze believed everyone would be better off if they just killed the damned thing, deactivated it, whatever. If corporate needed a machine, a machine could be made, artificial intelligence was tricky to program, but it could be done. The thought of a living machine held within the parameter put Blaze on edge. He wasn't a fan of #00534, and everyone in his security detail knew it, as did the brass. Which was probably why Blaze himself was never assigned to work with it, he'd fry it as soon as look at it. Just shoot it a few times, salvage the remains, and reverse engineer it. Easier on everyone.

But Blaze heard (and saw) the four men arrive just as Nakai did. He looked at Nakai when he instructed the group to come up to the balcony, looked back at the group, and said, "I'll get 'em. Keep me covered." He pushed off of the railing, turned to his left, and briskly walked the short distance down the hallway to the high-security elevator between the facilities' levels. "Captain Blaze, vocal authorization," he said to the microphone that he spoke to frequently, before undergoing the usual accompanying retina and fingerprint scans. The elevator doors hissed open, and Blaze stepped inside.

Paul Spiro, Paul Spiro, where had he heard that name before. Shit, Spiro, the hothead executive who only recently joined the corporate level of Paragon. He had overheard some of the other executive's arguing about Spiro's recent promotion (for the 4th time, or was it just the 3rd?). Blaze was trying to recall the information he had read, seen, or heard about the man when the elevator doors hissed open once again. Let's hope he's not as stupid as he is ambitious. Some of those subjects can be volatile, especially around new people.

Blaze walked out of the elevator, cut a right, and approached the small group. "Captain Blaze, I'm one of the heads of security here," he said as he stopped in front of the group. "I'll bring you up to the secure level, and we'll get this matter sorted out."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Paul Spiro Character Portrait: Captain Edwin Nakai Character Portrait: Captain Blaze
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Victor and Max were the first to realize the change in atmosphere as the subjects began taking notice. The air was still and full of discomfort, but not hostility...yet. The two bodyguards accompanied their corresponding principles towards the security guard, a slight bend in the knees as they walked.
"Thank you Captain." Paul wore a counterfeit smile that ceased to reach the eyes. Sarah's was much more genuine. And of course Victor and Max kept their stone faced composures. Soon enough, the group was up on the "catwalks."

"Captain Nakai" A nod of acknowledgement followed the statement. Paul had "studied up" on Morningside prior to the arrival. Most, if not all personnel were well memorized as were locations and subjects. The whole, "Could you find the one who runs the place?" thing was a charade. Just an opportunity to meet some of the staff beforehand. The Captains were both most effective at what they did from what he'd read, and Paul was content with receiving directions or accompaniment from the security officers.

"As I've said, I'd like to know where I can find the one in charge here. It's on account of company business." His words weren't arrogant, but they weren't necessarily revering either. Just about void of emotion really, business tone. "Oh, and in case you were wondering," the businessman continued, "this is my assistant, Miss Anderson." Gesturing with his hands, Paul drew further attention to the two towering bodyguards. "And they are Misters Carr and Hunter. Please feel free to ignore their presence, after all they don't do much...unless there's trouble. Of course, we won't encounter anything of the sort."

The last statement had the whisper of a challenge in it, Paul couldn't help himself. It was a rare occasion to visit these facilities, and even less so with two giants that looked capable of swatting away most of everyone like flies. Of course, Paul knew about Blaze, all about him, but who said he couldn't have a little fun. Just a little. After all, who would dare confront the face of Paragon in one of the companies very own facilities?

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Character Portrait: #00534 - Atlas Character Portrait: Dr. Ainsley Graham
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As Atlas leaned closer, Ainsley felt himself instinctively leaning further away. Once he realized this, however, he quickly steadied himself and brushed at his lab coat, flattening it out of habit. At least he knew the gargantuan being noticed him. On the other hand, this was hardly comforting. He tried to convince himself otherwise. Ainsley could hear a soft sound echo through the room, and he might have mistaken it for the air conditioning in the room. In a way, however, he knew it was not, for it all too eerily resembled the sound a cornered animal might make.

A few more moments of awkward silence gripped the room until Ainsley cleared his throat lightly. "Good morning," he said gently, smiling up at being. Slowly, his initial nervousness seemed to dissipate. Granted, it was obvious that he was not entirely comfortable. Perhaps an observer would notice the new, relaxed manner in which he held himself. "Now, the others all seem to call you 'Atlas'. Would it be alright for me to call you that too? The ID numbers aren't very personal, are they?"

There was a beat, and Ainsley made a bit of a face as if he were contemplating something. "Do you understand English, Atlas?" he asked softly. Certainly, this whole session would be rather difficult if there were a language barrier between subject and scientist. "Can you speak or write it?"

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