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Essie (SE-5984)

"there are worse things than being broken"

0 · 130 views · located in Infinity City

a character in “Neon Streets”, as played by rubytuesday

Description

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"o, white moon, you are lonely. it is the same with me."
just paste the quote here tbh-sarah teasdale

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i d e n t i t y

xxxxx|| Name || Essie (former ID: SE-5984)
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xxxxx|| Nicknames || Essie / it's technically not her 'birth' name, but it's more xxxxxof a name than anything she's had before
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xxxxx|| Gender || genderless (comfortable with any pronouns)
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xxxxx|| Age || broad 'adult' mental capacity, appears mid-to-late twenties
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xxxxx|| Birthday || celebrates it on March 14th, the day of her 'glitch'
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xxxxx|| Sexuality || she does not feel sexual attraction, per say, but her xxxxxempathy and newfound capacity for emotion has opened her up to xxxxxromantic sensations (asexual, panromantic)
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xxxxx|| Composition || android
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a p p e a r a n c e

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xxxxx|| Height || 5'4"
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xxxxx|| Weight || here
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xxxxx|| Hair Color || she can adjust the photon energy in her 'hair' to adjust it, although she typically sticks to silver xxxxxor black
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xxxxx|| Eye Color || similar as to her hair, she can adjust, but brown is her resting shade
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xxxxx|| Identifying Features || she has a two inch-long scar at the base of her skull, where her tracking chip and xxxxxother related tech was removed, considering the popularity of colourful hair nowadays, her silver hair does not xxxxxcause her to stick out much, nor does the rest of her- which is ideal, considering she is trying to go undetected
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xxxxx|| Description || one word to describe Essie's appearance would probably be 'misleading'. Her stature,
xxxxxunimposing and slight, isn't what one would expect of someone who can snap a spine with a single punch. xxxxxFurthermore, her features, in all their apparent softness, never seemed to inspire the fear warranted until it was xxxxxtoo late. Her eyes weren't cold, only doe-like, her lips not snarling, only rosy. And so on and so forth. Her xxxxxappearance is aggressively intentional, and perhaps if someone looked close enough they would notice her xxxxximpossible perfection. Her lack of any scars or spots or mars. But such is the trend, nowadays. All-in-all, she isn't xxxxxsomeone who stands out in a crowd, and her ability to blend in is yet another part of her design. A design built xxxxxaround the idea of an invisible killer- someone you would never see coming. Her image, it seems, is one of the xxxxxfew things her designers actually got right.



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p e r s o n a l i t y

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Essie's personality is sometimes difficult to pinpoint, in large part because it is still evolving. Of course, such is the nature of everyone, but Essie is unique in that she is changing at a rapid pace, currently in the thrall of discovering a humanity that she wasn't before aware of.

she's shockingly soft, considering that neck-snapping is a specific motion coded into her physicality. now, she has an aversion to violence, and her memories of past violence, before this aversion suddenly revealed itself, cause her much despondency. Or at least what one might diagnose as despondency, in a human. As a machine, she isn't entirely sure how to gauge her feelings; they are anomalies in and of themselves, and thus there is no information in her extensive databases to help her. she seems muted in many cases, because she has yet to come to understand the flutterings of emotions that now exist within her. they are tremors, rather than waves, and she struggles to always express them effectively. it's a learning curve, and one she is eager to be on, but she in nonetheless currently a cypher, difficult to read despite her own volition.

in contrast to this struggling self-awareness, her capacity for empathy is rather remarkable. the trait is an intense divergence in her design, and yet it has come to define her. she interprets the feelings of others with all the fluency she lacks for her own, and has an inherent compassion to her- a desire to help and heal. perhaps it is her glitch, or maybe she is guilty regarding her past, and is attempting to engage in some sort of atonement. even she isn't entirely sure yet.

matter-of-fact to the point of being blunt, it is oftentimes that norms regarding etiquette and tact go over her head- she lacks subtlety, quick to point out unspoken tensions in a room, or the inaccuracies in a purposeful lie. her empathy comes with edges, a tendency to note the feelings of another even if the situation does not demand it. it is mostly out of a desire to comfort, although it must be said that another part of her wants to learn more. feelings are complicated, nuanced, and for all her ability to feel them, she wants to understand them more. there is a desire for purpose in there, somewhere. a desire to have a reason for existence now that her initial one is impossible in relation to her newfound morals.

she finds a joy in simplicities she never knew existed- things like rain and jokes and handholds. simple things that once existed on her periphery, unimportant and irrelevant, now incite elation. she enjoys sociality, almost to the point that being on her own is a discomfort. when by herself, she needs distraction, else she lose herself in ennui and unwelcome memories. distractions come in the form of the aforementioned simplicities, although her favourite distraction is people, and conversation. humanity excites her, with it's many layers, far more intricate than any piece of technology. she wants to understand, and more so, she wants to be apart of it. and yet it's a desire she is barely aware she has, what with self-awareness yet to rise to her simmering surface.

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f l a v o r

xxxxx|| Likes || rainy weather (she's perfectly content standing in it for hours) / documentaries (they help provide humanity and context to the facts already in her database) / cartoons (she enjoys characters and settings untethered by reality, it's novel to her) / long hair (her own hair does not grow, and seeing people be able to braid and play with their own has given her perhaps her first bout of envy) / art (she isn't necessarily good at it, but she enjoys the notion of creating 'pretty' things, and works hard to do so) / learning (as intelligent as she is, she likes the process of taking in new information, particularly the humanity-related)
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xxxxx|| Dislikes || herself (that is to say, herself as she knows she should be. her existence is in and of itself representative of a cruel and corrupt society, and that fact is not lost on her) / violence (she is a pacifist, through and through, resulting in her most impressive ability being something she has an intense aversion to) / horror films (in connection to her disdain for violence, even fictional brutality and fear can 'trigger' her) / enclosed spaces (they remind her of her 'case' back when she was still a model being edited and perfected / being touched without permission (positive physical contact isn't exactly something she is used to, and delivering it without consent or warning can be risky at best)
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xxxxx|| Fears || she doesn't experience fear in the same way that humans do, or at least, she doesn't think she does. But then she considers being shut down, or remodelled to carry out her intended purpose, and she feels unpleasantly cold
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xxxxx|| Secrets || her entire existence is a secret- she is a rogue creation, and a dangerous one at that, and so she lays low, hiding her identity whilst at the same time hanging around with one of, if not the most famous journalist in the country.xx
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m i s c e l l a n e o u s

xxxxx|| Abilities || hand-to-hand combat she was designed to be the perfect killer, and the perfect killer she is, or she would be, if only she weren't such a damn pacifist / weapon proficiency as previously mentioned, she was designed for such a thing. her perfect accuracy is technologically unprecedented, and was one of her greatest selling points when she was first presented to investors / appearance adjustment one of her most unique additions is also one of the most frustrating for her creators- an ability to adjust the photon energy in her form to change things such as hair and skin colour, which in turn allows her to create markers on her face that prevent facial recognition / vocal mimicry upon hearing enough of someone's voice, she is capable of making vocal adjustments which allow her to mimic the voices of others

xxxxx|| Strengths || physicality she was created to be the perfect soldier, designed to be peak human condition, if not beyond so. her speed and strength are emblematic of this design, as, as a machine, endurance is no concern / empathy odd, for a robot, and even odder, for a killer robot. and yet, for whatever reason, she is empathetic to a fault, able to sympathise with people to a fault. that said, considering the dark times we live in, this could be considered a hindrance / memory and perception her ability to perceive is inherently different from a human's. she can return to past memories with more ease and less unintentional adjustment than humans can. furthermore, she perceives more, and can note minute details. this often extends to being able to read and detect physiological cues, such as when one is lying.

xxxxx|| Weaknesses || humour she does not understand jokes, and often takes things literally, with sarcasm typically going over her head / pacifism she is a killer who can't kill, which, to many, renders her useless. even the rising resistance may find little purpose in an android warrior reluctant (or even possibly unable) to spill blood / naive intelligence does not equate to street smarts, and although she has an understanding of metaphor, it is not rare for her to offer her trust too easily, or for things to go over her head



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h i s t o r y

The SE Corps was and is a unit of combatant androids designed for espionage and assassination, designed using otherwise unprecedented technology, the unit was top secret- a government funded project that, until one particular member's 'defection,' produced perfect results. For five years, SE-5984 carried out her assignments with the exact precision and efficiency inherent to her creation. Her fellow units (just a dozen in number, few because of the immense expenses involved) were identically perfect, carrying out missions ranging from assassinations to reconnaissance.
Five years into her existence as an active agent, she was assigned what would become her final assassination mission. Her target was famed journalist Yuri Capra, who had just a month prior exposed a scandal so horrifying that it had enflamed an already scalding rage among the general populace towards the wealthy. In a bid to prevent any more secrets being exposed, and hopefully silence the cries for revolution, the government sent SE-5984 to have Capra killed in a 'tragic automobile accident'.
From her position at an adjacent window, she aimed the weapon that would send Capra's vehicle spinning, and incite an explosion for good measure. She fired, and, as always, her aim was perfect.
But as she watched Capra struggle with the wheel, rocking back and forth as it twisted, and screaming as the fire erupted, she felt something she should never have felt: concern. Capra's feelings of horror and pain engaged her, and in that moment, she was struck by an urge to help, to protect.
And so she did, pulling what was left of the barely breathing journalist from the wreck, and rushing her to a hospital in time to save her.
Capra was surprisingly sympathetic towards the android, whom she dubbed "Essie," considering the latter's responsibility for her cyborg state, and sought out someone to remove Essie's tracking and communication devices, severing her ties, at least physically, with her creators. And she has resided (in secret) with Capra ever since. Of course, the government still pursues her- she's a multibillion-dollar killing machine, after all, but thus far, their search has been hampered by the secrecy in which they are restricted. After all, the public cannot know about the SE Corps, and the role they play for the government, and may eventually play in the inevitable revolution.



So begins...

Essie (SE-5984)'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cordelia Hallis Character Portrait: James Character Portrait: Miles Caal Character Portrait: Faith Walton Character Portrait: Angel Edwards Character Portrait: H.A.V.E.N. Character Portrait: Essie (SE-5984) Character Portrait: H.A.R.L.I.E Character Portrait: Kylar Worthington Character Portrait: Ezekiel Cartwright Character Portrait: John Cross

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M I L E S CAAL
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miles' home/workshop • outfit#35404F
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A hundred years of peace and prosperity in Infinity City. That’s what was being celebrated. Not everyone cared about the celebrations; the parade would be held on the upper streets and floating walkways, so over half of the population wouldn’t even be able to see it unless they tuned into the transmission. For most of the city, this was just another bank holiday. The words “peace and prosperity” just didn’t ring true to those at ground level, it was just another day to be reminded of all they didn’t have. At least it wasn’t raining.

The decorations had been up for weeks (well, closer to ground level they’d only bothered to reprogram some of the signage to indicate the big day), and they’d really pulled out all the stops. There was no way to miss it, with a reminder around every corner. There would be parties, television specials, the news would probably run a story about it, as if the whole thing wasn’t just an empty celebration.

Well, that’s how Miles felt, anyway.

He’d seen the worst and the best that Infinity had to offer, and he wasn’t particularly impressed. His family had been built up and held to unrealistic standards, once. Lived high above the city. He didn’t remember living up there, among the clouds, but he still got glimpses of it occasionally. His work was one of the worst-kept secrets in town, and he built tech for all sorts. Sometimes he thought that he would have liked to have grown up higher in the dizzying expanse of the city, he felt a little robbed of it. His father’s greed had stolen the life he may have had. He could still craft his tech, though. He loved creating, using technology to manipulate the way he could think and see, and even feel. He didn’t mind the extra money some people were willing to pay to buy it off the market, either. Some people had a hard time trusting that companies were actually following regulation, and Miles understood that. It was easier to get back at a single guy than a faceless corporation if your tech failed you.

Business carried on as usual, for Miles. When you work all alone, a day off is rare. Even more rare when the nature of your work requires that you constantly do more work or you’ll lose everything and end up right back where you started.

Maybe that was the paranoia talking.

Either way, he liked to keep himself busy. Busy hands, busy mind, not as much time to think about everything that could go wrong.

He was just finishing up with a client, he’d had to learn how to install neurotech out of necessity; turns out, people who bought back alley tech often didn’t have a safe way to install it. He hated doing it, but knowing how definitely made it easier for him to test his pieces (mostly on himself), so he didn’t complain.

He liked to keep the television (at this point, it was almost just called that out of tradition) going in the other room, it provided some background noise, and blocked out most of the sounds of his work. Everyone on the street knew what he did, but it kept the police out of his business, and that was most of what he cared about. After finishing up his install, he noticed a familiar voice from the other room. Cordelia Hallis was a familiar voice (and face) to most everyone in Infinity. Miles just couldn’t stand to hear, or see, her anymore. Not when he could help it. He’d have to remember to turn it off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cordelia Hallis Character Portrait: Faith Walton Character Portrait: Angel Edwards Character Portrait: Essie (SE-5984) Character Portrait: Yuri Capra Character Portrait: Ezekiel Cartwright

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━━━━━━━━━━━━━ESSIE SE-5984
attireX#9096aeXyuri's placeXXXXXXXXXXXX

she might get lonely at times, but that was to be expected.
XXXXXXXXXXthat was her true purpose in life.XXXXXXXXXX
he was a mere background character in other people's lives.


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━━━━━━━━━━━━━━YURI CAPRA
outfitX#a70000Xyuri's placeXXXXXXXXXXXX

tell stories. sad stories about bodies stolen, bodies no longer here.
xenraging stories about the false images, devastating lies, untold violence. x
bold, brash stories about reclaiming our bodies and changing the world.


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the parade was not something Yuri had wanted to attend- she saw little reason to celebrate, and the elaborate and expensive nature of the celebrations only sought to reestablish a clear financial gap. The government could afford to spend millions of dollars on elaborate lightworks and performances- less so on tackling their precious city's rampant poverty. It was insincere, and the falseness of the event tasted like salt on her tongue.

but she had to be here, if not for herself, then for what she stood for. It was the most highly televised event since her 'accident,' and since then, she had become something of a symbol. She was a whistle blower, the whistleblower. But more importantly to the people of Infinity, she was a sign of failure. A voice that the Powers That Be had unsuccessfully attempted to smother in fire and blood. Most targets went silently, but her miraculous survival had prompted rumours and hearsays, most of which miraculously pointed in the right direction. Her tragic accident had become an unconfirmed assassination attempt, and now there was little They could do, else prove the conspiracy theorists correct.

and so she stood in the crowd, strong of stance and expression, leaning into the discomfort of curious eyes. She was used to fame, but it was different now. Danger had never really registered with her before- but now she could seldom sleep without remembering the smell of her own flesh burning black.

the presence of Essie beside her was ironically comforting, considering the android's role in her trauma. Perhaps it was Essie's curiosity that softened the tension of the parade, or maybe Yuri simply felt safer knowing that the planet's most affective combatant droid was acting as her volunteer bodyguard.

maybe both.

On behalf of all of us, we will be donating half a million dollars to the Infinity Relief Organization for Needy Families."

the familiar voice brought her back to centre, and she looked up at the screens, and the woman present on them, with a sombre expression. She looked so different, it was hard to recognise her now. Every rough edge had been sanded to smooth, every mar erased from existence. She looked like a doll, but she played like a puppet, spouting government-friendly soundbites, and disingenuous conciliations.

even her eyes were completely-

blink

Yuri paused, stepping toward the screen, watching with intent.

"Essie, did you catch that?"

"The speech? It's recorded in my memory bank, yes. However, considering it's propagandist nature I wouldn't recommend-"

"Not the speech, her face- her blinking, I mean."

"No, sorry, I was distracted by the attempted indoctrination- a moment, please." As Yuri's gaze remained locked on her old friend, Cordelia Hallis, Essie's glazed over for just a second. Indiscernible to any onlooker, she searched through her recent memories, replaying the speech's conclusion.

"It seems she was blinking in code. Morse, presumably. She said-"

"S.O.S." Yuri's voice was a whisper, her head rife with contradicting emotions. Relief washed over all the rest; after all these years, her friend was still in there.

"We have to get her out of there. I don't know how, but we have to."

Essie had no opportunity to respond, any reply she may have had was drowned out by gasps and screams, and nanobots collected at the stage, and words formed, red and bright: Menace.

People had begun to panic at the sight, but Essie remained seemingly unaffected by the drama, her gaze hooked to the stage where Cordelia still stood. She looked to Yuri.

"She needs us to 'save her soul,' yes?" "Huh?" Yuri blinked, disarmed by the sudden turn of events, and Essie responded with a resolute smile, "Then I shall."

She took off towards Cordelia, moving through the crowd like a dancer, all smoothness and grace. The woman's blinking replayed over and over in her memory bank, and had done so since it was first drawn to her attention.

Save our souls. As an android, she didn't have a soul of her own, but she was eager nonetheless, to see what one looked like.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cordelia Hallis Character Portrait: James Character Portrait: Miles Caal Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: Faith Walton Character Portrait: Angel Edwards Character Portrait: H.A.V.E.N. Character Portrait: Ozric Slade Character Portrait: Essie (SE-5984) Character Portrait: Yuri Capra Character Portrait: Kylar Worthington Character Portrait: Ezekiel Cartwright

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"A S T R I D"xxAS-7210
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but am i just a broken machine?
androidx|xoutfitx|x#DC403B
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxwith all the layers of dust.
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Astrid knew she needed to get out of the way, people were still bumping into her left and right; some were leaving, others were trying to get a better look at one thing or another. It was overwhelming, trying to pinpoint an opening so she could just get out of everyone’s way. She was always causing problems, wasn’t she? Maybe that’s why everyone sends me away.

She had just found a way, and just needed a moment to get through, when it happened. There was a loud boom, and a lot of screaming. Suddenly, all she seemed to be able to process was the fear of everyone around her. She quickly looked around: people were running away, now. Maybe back home. Maybe just as far away as they could get. There was another explosion. It wasn’t safe here, was it? She needed to go, but the fear everyone felt… It was just her programming, but she felt the intense need to protect the humans around. They were frightened, and it was only getting worse with every passing moment.

She didn’t know if it was being broadcast over the speakers, or just in her mind, but she heard an overwhelming chorus of, “Stay calm. We have everything under control.” It didn’t look like everything was under control, but Astrid knew that was what they always said. If the powers that be couldn’t control a situation, they’d lose control of everything. Still, in control or not, there wasn’t anything Astrid could do. She wasn’t well-suited to crisis situations; she was a domestic droid.

Astrid caught sight of a little girl, presumably separated from her family, and all thoughts of retreating to the relative safety of the seedy underbelly of the city left her mind. Suddenly the only thing that felt right was helping the child. Caring for children was what she was programmed for, after all.

Then there were more people, who Astrid only recognised as being associates of the Alpire Corporation. What did they manufacturer? Weapons? They had arrived very quickly, Astrid thought, and immediately started cordoning off areas, ushering people away and to different places of the city. “Don’t worry,” They said, “We’re here to help you.” Maybe they’d been hired as private security.

There was some sort of weapon fire from somewhere above. Astrid couldn’t place it, but the Alpire Corp representatives certainly used the moment to keep corralling people along. Keeping order, it seemed, was the top priority.

Astrid was getting swept along with the crowd, weapons were still firing from, what sounded like, all directions. “Where are we going?”

“Don’t worry, ma’am,” Astrid could hardly tell if the person in question was a human under all of their armor. “There's a warehouse nearby where-” Then the person in question seemed to realize that Astrid was an android, “We don’t have the space for androids.”

A gesture was all it took to seal her fate, it seemed. Astrid was grabbed from behind, and deposited back into the middle of the square, to fend for herself. Something strong that she didn’t quite understand filled her, and she felt quite resigned to whatever was in store for her. She didn’t have anywhere to go, not really, so she figured that she would probably be shot down and then tossed on a scrap heap somewhere. She wasn’t just going to stand around, though. Maybe she could get lucky, find some place to hide… At least until this blew over. It couldn’t last forever.







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M I L E SxxCAAL
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there is very little left of me,
"human"x|xoutfitx|x#35404F
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxand it's never coming back.
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Even as Miles went to switch off the broadcast, it cut to a shot of the crowd on the ground. The city’s government loved to show off how well everyone got along when it suited them. Sometimes the news organizations played along, and some played nicer than others. Normally he wouldn’t care, if not for the fact that the crowd seemed to be pretty worked up. Surely that wasn’t the image Infinity City officials wanted to broadcast. The first explosion went off right before they cut the footage to some pre-recorded message of peace and prosperity, though that was quickly cut to make way for the coverage of the terrorist attack on the upper levels of the city. On the day they were meant to celebrate one hundred years of peace, no less.

Miles switched off the broadcast; he could hear the screaming and subsequent detonations over the gentle hum of the lights. Even so far beneath it all. It was quiet, and Miles couldn’t fully be sure if he was really hearing the commotion, or if someone nearby just had their television up too loud.. Subtle green lights raced along his veins, visible from just below his skin: the lights flashed yellow. He was distressed. It was strange, if he hadn’t known better, he may have said he didn’t recognise what he was feeling until then. But what was he meant to do in a situation like this? He supposed most people would be shutting themselves in their homes, which seemed like a reasonable response.

He elected to swing open his front door. There was chaos everywhere, people were running out and away from the center of the city. Did Miles know any of the people running past? Did it matter? Of course it mattered. He would let a friend take up shelter inside if they needed it.

Did he have any friends left?

He did. He knew he did. He had to.