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Mina Aldridge

"If it don't give you a heart attack on the spot, it ain't sweet enough."

0 · 317 views · located in Helton

a character in “The Age of Gifted”, as played by scoundrelboots

Description

Image

Full Name: Doctor Mina Louise Aldridge

Nicknames/Aliases: Doc

Age: 28

Gender: Female

Gift: Fine bioelectrical manipulation/suspension (Control over the micro-level electrical impulses in living things, able to be used for slowing bodily function to a "suspended animation" state, and stopping and starting the heart)


Loyalty: Wanderer (formerly Erubescan)


Description: 6’0”, with a lean-muscled figure and tawny skin. She has toffee-brown eyes and gentle, graceful facial features, framed by extremely long and often untamed natural hair. Her hair is often tied back at her neck, but still difficult to keep a handle on. 

She most often wears a T-shirt, running shoes, and Erubescan military-issued pants.

Personality: Calm and collected, with a natural desire to nurture and care for others. She has no tolerance for nonsense, however, and it would be amiss to take her kindness for weakness.

Skills: Medical doctor specializing in trauma care and field surgery, Erubescan schooling, basic military training, skilled markswoman.

Weaknesses: Gift requiring physical contact, strong moral code, severe post-traumatic stress disorder, which makes her prone to flashbacks and impulsive behavior during stressful combat.

Brief History: Mina moved into Citadel city and lived with a host family at a young age, partaking in an accelerated medical schooling track. She graduated as an M.D. at 25 and was promptly assigned to a military regiment as a front line doctor. 

She quickly found the work to be less noble than she had hoped for, and defected mid-mission after serving over two years on the front lines. Her life since consisted of wandering the Wasteland with her stollen medical kit, tending to refugees and the factionless while raiding bunkers and abandoned settlements for further supplies. 



She ran across the Wanderers several weeks ago, and was accepted into their group after her quick thinking and medical training saved Reith from life-threatening injuries that would not respond to gift-healing.

While her positive demeanor won her favor amongst most of the group, her behavior during Kora Norrevinter’s attack left several wondering about the real nature of the good doctor’s past.



Other:

So begins...

Mina Aldridge's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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  1. possible wrong location

    by scoundrelboots
  2. Should be in Helton, but I don't know how to move it.

    by scoundrelboots

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Mina was not one for useless expenditure of energy and time, and by extension not one to lie awake in bed when sleep refused to come. 



So, by the time the sun rose over Helton, the young doctor had thoroughly cataloged, sorted, and stowed the contents of every fallen Erubescan’s supply pack.

The vast majority of the medical supplies were stored in her own hulking backpack, but some had been left out and dispersed amongst six smaller piles on her bedroom floor, along with food rations, ammo, weapons, and basic survival equipment. Each pile had a stick-it note above it, with the names of various Wanderers on them: Dawn, Toby, Soren, Montana, Kayla, and Talin each had a pile assigned to them, which Mina would distribute when the respective owners woke up for the day. 



It was silly to keep all of the supplies on one person, after all, and so Mina had deduced which members of the group were best suited to carry a spare store of supplies in case the group was separated or left in an emergency situation. There was another notepad, kicked off in the corner of the floor beside her bed, on which she had calculated an algorithm for the decision of who was to carry the emergency packs.



The choice had been a logical, mathematical one free of moral bias or preference: Black and white. 



Very unlike the practice of bandaging a torture victim without a word to her, or the captors. 

In fact, Mina had not said a word to anyone since Montana had requested she bandage the Erubescan, save for “Fine,” and “Get me if she opens the wounds again.”

When the sun peeked through the bedroom window, though, she managed to push that thought out of her mind with more practical matter: Breakfast, for one. Hel would be up soon, and someone ought to make her breakfast other than Soren’s leftover cookies.

Still fully dressed from the night before, 

Mina made her way to the kitchen as quietly as possible, opened the cabinets, and set to work at boiling water in a pot for oatmeal while humming softly.


The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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There was a certain surrealism about this group at times. On one occasion they could be sitting together, enjoying dinner. Laughing, joking, discussing events just as a particularly distant family would at a reunion. In the next, they could just as casually be peeling away the nails from an attacker’s finger. Snapping bone, parting flesh, tossing the body away as if it were little more than scraps for the dogs. Clockwork had been made aware enough of the circumstances of the woman’s appearance and punishment, and more so as to why she had not been called in to tend to the Erubescian’s wounds. A waste of energy, for one. A matter of mistakes was another- after all, who was to say that she wouldn’t heal more than necessary through pure accident? Even then, there was still the risk of her becoming compelled to heal the other completely…

Nevertheless, the stranger had been mended. Mina had seen to that. And the others had paused in their...methods for the time being, having decided to let the woman rest for the time being.

They were coming up with a new plan of attack.

There was a chance of that being true, correct, but there was still the fact that they could very well be looking into a less gruesome approach. One that could keep the process as short as possible, and get as much information as deemed necessary. After all, from what had been floating about the base, the prisoner had refused to let a single thing slip through whatever was done to her. It was possible they could use one of the Memoli siblings somehow, and simply search through her mind.

That’s true. Although…

It’s best not to put much thought into it, now. The matter is out of our hands. For now, we must provide anything that is required from us by the others- emotionally or otherwise. You’ve seen how they’ve been lately, after all. And with Hel being at the brunt of it all…

Yes, I understand.

Good.

A gentle smile upon his lips, Soren finished his work in braiding his adoptive daughter’s hair, and planted a kiss upon her forehead before rising. “Come, now,” he began, helping Clockwork to her feet. “It’s breakfast time, and we wouldn’t want to keep anyone waiting, would we?” To his dismay, the child still appeared bothered- brows furrowed ever so slightly, thumb running a methodical circle on palm- but, nevertheless, she accepted the hand and allowed herself to be led into the hall.

“I suppose we shouldn’t,” she eventually said, and the furrow faded as quickly as it had appeared.

Hand in hand, the pair walked into the kitchen as they did every morning- although, much to their combined surprise, someone else had beat them to the punch. Standing before a pot of water was Mina, obviously distracted and humming a song beneath her breath. They stood there for a few moments, silent, lingering just outside the doorway and minds mulling on what to say. While both had been asleep during the attack, it hadn’t taken long to discover what had went on in their absence, and, well…

At any rate, it was rude to stare, and Soren soon broke the silence with a polite clearing of his throat. “Good morning, Mina,” he greeted warmly, taking a step onto tile. “How are you today?” He spoke without judgement, hands clasped behind his back, head bowed slightly as he waited for the doctor to respond. Clockwork, on the other hand, had completely passed the threshold into the room, eyes locked upon the pot set on top of the stove.

“Would you like any help with that?” While making any steadfast assumptions tended to be something she was warned against, the box of oatmeal set neatly aside appeared to be a large hint that Mina wasn’t there to practice her skills in professional accordion playing.
At least, unless one planned specifically on using basic cutlery to play accordion music.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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When Mina heard the kitchen door swing open, a wide, warm smile spread across her features and she turned toward her guests with a nod and a chipper “Mornin’!” Her posture was relaxed and welcoming— the same body language she had grown up seeing from her grandmother, just before she put down a pitcher of tea and a plate of biscuits on a summer afternoon. 



“I’m doing swell, Mr. Soren, and I think I can handle it, sugar,” she drawled, and then turned back to the stove to dump the box of quick oats into the boiling pot, “Unless you wanna sit up on the counter and help me stir?” She picked up the spoon and gave the mixture one quick stir to make sure the oatmeal was all wet, then tapped off the water on the edge of the pot and offered the utensil to Clockwork.

“I hope I ain’t interrupting anyone’s morning routine,” she drawled, turning her attention back to Soren, “I can get out of y’alls hair in two shakes, if you need. Just figured with Spire being… well, with him being occupied last night, I reckoned it might be nice if someone fixed Miss Helena something to eat.”



Skirt the subject; don’t linger on uncomfortable subjects.



“I thought about putting some eggs on, too, but we’re just about out of the powder mix for that. And I know y’all’ve been baking up a storm lately. It’s been so nice, having real food like that. Been meaning to thank you two.”



Another smile, another nod. Erase the discomfort of mentioning Spire and Montana’s work. Forget the bloodied gloves she had tossed away after patching the prisoner. Kick the subject of the bound, wounded woman back under the table.



Keep her hackles down; keep her expression gentle.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby cleared his throat, glancing back at his unwanted tagalong. His look was greeted with a keening mrow.

"More like he--found me," Toby said guilty. "I was just walking around outside to k--keep my head clear..."
He shrugged helplessly. Dawn could see the whole story in his head, anyway. He considered offering to get rid of the cat, chase it off somehow... but now the thing was circling his ankles and then prancing over to Dawn to claim her as its property, too.

Yeah, right. He wasn't gonna be cruel enough to the pathetic, scrawny thing to get it to stay away. He was the one who was idiot enough to feed it in the first place. Now his impulse was to take it toward the kitchen where he thought he sensed Mina... that was where he wanted to be, personally, anyway. He just wasn't sure it was wise to let the cat in there because he didn't know whether Mina would croon and give it diabetes with gallons of sweet tea or beat it senseless with a broom. It was easy to picture either possibility.

---

Mina's concern that Spire would sleep in was misplaced. Indeed, the elder Schippers brother woke brightly, feeling like he had just begun a long-awaited Saturday. Despite a late night, he awoke alert with the sunshine in the window, much the way a child awakes in anticipation of a trip to a theme park. His smooth stride led him down the hallway of the Helton training center with his black desert boots laced tight, his charcoal peacoat loose over his arm, and a cool smile on his angled face. For Spire, a man easily bored and incessantly cynical, his crisp mood could only mean one thing:

Somebody was likely to get cut up today.

The prisoner in Pierrot's pocket universe hadn't yet spilled any information about Hel, nor why the sick and irritatingly persistent Commander Green wanted her. This was bad news, in a way, but...glass half full. It meant that Spire and Montana still had interrogating to do. And until they finished wringing the speedster's knowledge like blood from a wet cloth, he still had the possibility of slicing her throat to look forward to. (He wouldn't let the likelihood of the softies forbidding the killing dampen his mood.)

But first things first.

He gently tapped on the door of the room next to his own--Hel's. "Hey, kid, you ready to get up?" he said, turning the handle and stepping in to check on his ward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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In spite of all that had happened, Mina appeared overwhelmingly positive on the forefront. Her smile was broad, posture left open and as welcoming as it possibly could in that moment. In a silent movement, the slightest gesture, Clockwork’s eyes flickered over to her guardian before sweeping back to their original positioning.

“It would be my pleasure to help, Ms. Mina.” Bone white fingers folded themselves neatly about the handle of the spoon, securing it in place as the child stepped forward to stir the pot. Upon doing, however, she seemed to realize that it was quite a reach, and instead paused in her efforts to retrieve the stepping stool from across the room. While Clockwork attempted to try and gain the height that her years left her without, Soren found himself answering what remarks had been left in the air- starting with Mina’s reply.

“I’m glad.” His own warm, polite smile was provided in return, although it didn’t quite hide the concern that lingered in his eyes. “I know how...stressful things have been lately, so it’s good that you’ve been doing well.” Soren was quiet for a few moments, hand lightly scratching at his shoulder as he watched Clockwork stir, but it was with the doctor’s next comment that his attention was brought back.

“You really don’t need to worry about interrupting us,” he replied. “We just came here so we could help prepare breakfast, that’s all- if anything, we should be the ones apologizing for the interruption.” His mouth quirked ever-so-slightly at Mina’s obvious avoidance of recent events, but he chose not to comment on it- instead smiling once again and folding his hands behind his back.

“That’s very thoughtful of you, Mina,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.” At least, Spire would, at any rate. Soren had noted the amount of food left untouched by Helena, little more than mouse nibbles here and there. She had been eating some of the desserts that he had baked as of late, but it wasn’t exactly what a growing girl needed.

It was at this point that Clockwork had decided to chime into the conversation once more, having been apparently distracted by the oatmeal. Her wrist continued in its deliberate movements, circling the pot in a steady loop, and dark purples remained on the pot, but her words were still very obviously directed towards Mina.

“Someone brought back a sack of apples from the last raid. Granny Smiths. If we slice them, and add them in with a bit of cinnamon, Helena might enjoy it.” It was partially from her own experiences that she made this suggestion- while oatmeal was certainly a staple of breakfasts, it wasn’t exactly the most flavorful dish out there, and Hel appeared to have more of a sweet tooth than not. A simple suggestion, a quiet commentary.

Although Clockwork had made her own additions to the conversation, it was Soren who picked up the exchange when the girl fell silent once again. “There’s no need to thank us. We’re just doing what we can for everything else- making a few meals here and there is hardly worth any real attention.” In a single movement, his hand had lifted to rub yet again at his shoulder blade. Small, linear flicks here and there. “If you’d like, I could see if I can ask Percival to get more powder for our supplies. I wouldn’t want resources to fall low just because of us.”

It was a simple, affable stream of chitchat, but far better than lingering on any of the less...desirable topics. Mina’s demeanor told that well enough than any words possibly could.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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  1. Sorry if this is bad. It's late and I'm barely coherent. I'll get the others' intros posted later tomorrow. ^^;

    by wolfsong4640

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As morning arrived in Helton, Kayla was stirring slowly in her room. Her thin form was curled up in the bed, the sheets tangled up around her legs from a restless night. Sunlight began to trickle in from the window above and stretch across her face, making her eyelids flutter. Her hands twitched and she turned over, curling up further before she blinked awake.

Her peaceful expression turned to a startled one and she sat up quickly, only to realize she was in her room still. She sighed and groggily brushed her hair back. Her fingers caught in the wavy blonde tangles and she frowned. She needed to cut it some time soon. While one hand played with a lock of hair, the other rubbed her eyes. So much for sleeping soundly through the night...

Untangling her legs from the sheets, Kayla climbed out of bed and fumbled through the drawers for some clothes. She pulled out a t-shirt and jeans and examined them for ash stains. With everything that had happened, she had forgotten to look for new clothes, and to wash some of the old clothes. Thankfully, this outfit seemed to be just fine. She threw it on, all the while yawning and struggling to reach a decent level of coherency. It would take a long while for her to grow more alert, though.

After slipping on her shoes and a jacket, she traveled out into the hall to go to the kitchen. Despite her exhaustion, she was hungry. She had not eaten much the day before, and now it was coming back to bite her. Dawn and Sera had also been showing concern about her current state, and she didn't want them to worry too much. As she approached the doorway to the kitchen, she picked up the scent of food being cooked. She hesitantly peeked in to find Soren, Clockwork, and Mina standing there.

"Ah, morning." She murmured, her green eyes observing the others curiously.

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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  1. Sorry I missed Kayla's intro, Rach! The forum's been buggy for me. I tagged in a mention so it doesn't seem like Mina's ignoring her.

    by scoundrelboots

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Mina kept a hand behind Clockwork as the girl climbed onto the step, unreasonably worried that the girl would trip and fall off of the platform. Even if Clockwork could heal herself in an instant, the thought of anyone more coming to harm that day had Mina on edge.



She cringed a bit at Soren’s offer to send Pierrot out again, but did head toward the large walk-in pantry to look for the apples. “I think I’ll take you up on those apples, Miss Clockwork,” she said, and then, calling from inside as she found the bag, “That’s real good thinking. These’ll be perfect for that.”



As she passed the counter beside the pantry, she took a knife out of the butcher’s block and grabbed a cutting board to take back toward the stove. She placed all of the items beside the cooking pot, again placed a hand behind Clockwork’s back to be sure the girl was steady, and then began cutting the apples into small cubes.



Her brow furrowed together for a short moment, and then her gaze shifted back to Soren, “I- I have to say I’d rather Pier—Percival— not go out again, just for something silly as eggs. What with the risks, and it is a bit like stealing, not that worse hasn't been done or nothing, but…” She looked back down at the food, then to Clockwork, then back to the apples. “And, well… I can’t imagine we’re gonna be able to stay put all that much longer, what with… Well.” 



She shook her head, setting the dark curls of her ponytail bouncing like springs, and started on another apple. “It ain’t my call to make, though,” she said, and corrected her tone and expression back to their former easy brightness. “But um, really. Thank you two. It ain’t nothing to make meals like that. We’d all be eating protein packs and MRE slop, if it weren’t for y’all.”



And then, “Watch your hands, sugar. I’m gonna dump in the apples, now,” as she raised the cutting board and scraped the apple bits in with her knife.

"Oh, and morning, Miss Kayla," she added with a chipper smile, though she was still not aware of where she stood with the shifter. Of all the Wanderers, Mina had spoken with the young woman possibly the least since the attack from Erubesco, and hadn't yet ventured to test the waters on that front.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby still held himself sheepishly as he nodded to Dawn's advice and gestured for her to come along if she liked, heading down the hallway toward the kitchen and the sweet scent of apples and warm cereal.

"K--Kayla," he greeted, spotting her in the doorway. As he spoke, their tagalong darted between Kayla's feet and into the kitchen, slinking into the corner and looking shifty, casing the area as though it intended to make off with their breakfast like a tiny scruffy bandit. "Um. Morning. Everyone. I was--"

But he broke off suddenly, his large eyes taking on a glazed look.

"Someone is coming into the city," he said, concentrating. "Some k--kind of regenetator. Gale is there. He doesn't seem--too alarmed--" Not that Gale's emotions were easy to read. If you could even call them fully fledged emotions. "Probably just an ashrat." He glazed into focus again, flushing, paranoid that what he had said was probably derogatory. Their potential victims in the wastelands had always been designated ashrats or faction scum, or some more original variation thereof. He felt an increased need to walk on eggshells lately, especially around Mina after his (in retrospect, miserably hypocritical) brief resentment toward her. He didn't want them to think he thought they were lesser or other or evil.

Even if a decent percentage of the time and despite his best efforts he still totally thought that.

"Sorry. I mean, we're all ashrats so...anyway. Ah. Probably just a wanderer, but...Should someone go and check?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Kayla looked up as she heard footsteps, and she turned her head at the sound of Toby's voice. She blinked and offered a small smile. "Oh, hey." She replied. "Good morning." She would have said more until she felt soft fur brush by her ankles. A small, surprised yelp escaped her and she looked down to spot the tiny bandit making his way into the kitchen. Her expression grew dumbfounded. She looked to Toby again for an answer, but his eyes had glazed over, and he announced the newcomer's presence.

While she paid no attention to the term "ashrat", she did feel wary about who the person might be. "I don't mind checking, if that's what we should do." She offered after a moment. Even though they weren't too sure about the newcomer's intentions, it wouldn't be too hard to simply check and see who they were.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Mina. For all that could be said about what had happened- about the good doctor’s actions during the attack- it was hard for one to deny that she was a decent enough person at heart. It reflected in the fact that she had woken up so early to prepare breakfast for Hel, or the hand hovering cautiously at Clockwork’s back. The crease that appeared at the suggestion of a raid. The caution of approaching some of the darker topics that might have risen. It was too real to be anything but, and this was something that both father and child could easily agree on.

Even when you couldn’t boast a squeaky clean record of morality, kindness was one of the most priceless things to offer in times of need.

Clockwork had half a mind to address the Mina’s positioning, but decided against it- eyes instead focusing the movement of the greyish mush as she stirred. It didn’t take any sort of special Gift to take note of the...impression Clockwork gave off, and the little child was very much aware of this. She was just as aware that acting as if you had eyes on the back of your head could be as equally off putting. Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary, indeed.

She handed the opportunity to speak for the moment over to Soren, who gingerly took it, cupping it in both hands. Like a hot-potato game between the two- a childish comparison, but accurate nonetheless. Hold and pass, everyone gets a turn.

“I suppose you’re right.” A wan smile. “It does seem that we’ll have to move on soon, doesn’t it? We’ve been- oh, hello Ms. Kayla, good to see you- we’ve been looking through a few of the maps left around, but the pickings have been slim, unfortunately. The most that we’ve found is the location of a few other bases, but nowhere that would exactly be the best place to call ‘home’. And- oh, thank you, by the way. Like we’ve said, it really is no trouble.” By this point, Soren had moved over to one of the cupboards, rifling through its contents in search of a pot. That was one of the very few things about their little base he would miss when they left- a well-functioning kitchen.

(You would be content to live in a lion’s den as long as it had a oven, wouldn’t you)

(Not exactly- it would need a sink, too, after all)

Clockwork’s upper lip twitched.

“We were thinking about asking one of the others if they knew any potential areas,” Clockwork said. “Many of them have been travelling for long enough to have an idea as to where we should head next.” The girl had been just about to turn on Kayla to ask her that very question when the company suddenly grew by two- or, well, three, if one were to count the ball of fur that had suddenly darted into the corner. Clockwork reflexively took a hold of the countertop to keep herself from getting knocked over by the creature, but as it passed, her eyes settled upon it curiously.

“A cat?” As one could easily expect of the healer by now, she didn’t immediately follow the route for others her age and hop off the stool after it. Instead, she merely watched as the cat stretched in the corner, soon getting distracted by a stray scrap of food that had fallen on the floor and beginning to bat at it. Again, a question came to mind, but she quickly snuffed it in favor of listening to Toby. Unlike Kayla, Clockwork had managed to catch the “ashrat” comment, but remained silent on that point, as well. For as articulated as the man was, his background was still very much there, after all. This was something that Soren also found himself agreeing upon, and, as he drew the last of whatever utensils he had been searching for out of the cupboard, he turned to face both of their sensory Gifteds with an expression of concern.

“I believe we should,” he answered, unconsciously hefting the items upwards. “Even if this person merely stumbled upon this place, letting him roam freely after what has happened may be dangerous. And then- you said...Gale was with this person, as well?”

He left that thought hanging in air. There was no need for clarification, after all.

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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“What in the name—“ Mina exclaimed, taking a jumping step in toward the stove and reaching for the weapon on her hip as something small and quick darted past her periphery. Her head whipped around assess the threat in a wild shake of hair (which likely grazed Clockwork’s face with a puff of black curls), but the alarm soon proved pointless. Mina’s hand relaxed away from her gun and resumed its place behind her tiny sous-chef, and broad smile spread across her face. 



She let out a low whistle, and then cast a glance to Toby. If he was not alarmed, it was safe to say that the cat was simply a cat, and not some kind of shifter. “Well, doesn’t that just take the cake?” she crooned, watching the scrawny little creature sniffing about the back corner.

She had just been about to reach across the counter for an apple scrap when Toby got the “half-there-but-only-barely” look that could only indicate something new happening. His words only served to confirm this, and scrunched Mina’s face into a worried frown. 
“Ashrat’s’re the least of our worries, given circumstance,” she muttered, picking up the term that had once been a staple of her mess-hall vocabulary without hesitation or salt. “‘Specially with the interest’s been taken in Miss Helena.”



She caught Clockwork’s hand mid-stir and muttered a half-minded, “That’s fine, sugar,” as she took the spoon away and settled a lid over the oatmeal. 

“I’d say that Mr. Soren and Miss Clockwork here, well as maybe Spire and Montana, if we know where they’re at, should go keep Miss Helena company for a short bit while the lot of us go and um…” She caught herself from saying “handle the situation,” as she turned the stove off, settling for, “Greet our company?” after a brief pause.



“Myself, Toby, Miss Dawn, Miss Kayla, and whoever else is there already should be plenty, and I think it’s best if the rest of the lot hangs back with the precious cargo. And I'd say it'll be good to wake up anyone who's not stirred yet. Maybe have Allen go be sure that Miss Reith's looked after, if she's still down?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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It had been with her own soft “Good morning” that Dawn had followed Toby into the kitchen, hands dug deep into her pockets, winding a loosened string around and around her finger as she nodded towards those already gathered. The gentle, pleasant smell of whatever breakfast the de facto chefs were making had already filled the room, and she took in deep lungfuls of the stuff as she entered.

“Smells great,” she said, offering up her own, little smile towards the few who appeared to have taken up the roles of chef this time around. Her interest didn’t linger on the topic of breakfast for long, however- Toby’s announcement did well to draw attention.

Another one?

Almost reflexively, Dawn threw out her own reach, stretching the tendrils of her Gift to the very boundaries of Helton, where, just as her fellow sensor had said, she found both Gale and...whoever had decided to wander into their little homestead so early in the morning. She did her best not to delve deeper into the former’s mind than necessary, simply dabbling briefly before rerouting her power to the stranger. After all, even in the best of times-

(the fun thing about those stories is that they teach morals)
(like fairy tales isnt it interesting)
(nice day for a walk)
(smells like copper but not copper not really)
(alouttealouttealouttealoutte)

-it typically wasn’t the most pleasant place to linger in.

Dawn remained discreet about her probing of the regenerator’s mind- gently sweeping the surface of his thoughts, picking ever-so-carefully around his intentions, but hardly going any further than that. While the chances of the stranger being another member of a faction was just as considerable as it had been before, there was still the possibility of the person being just another traveler. It was better to be careful, she thought, than risk setting off an uninvolved party with the happy realization that you were no longer alone in your own head.

The term “ashrat” slipped easily beneath the manipulator’s nose as she wrapped up her little examination, surfacing to reality in order to relay her own news to her companions. “He doesn’t seem like someone from the factions,” she began, “but I still wouldn’t put anything on it. He’s...like Montana.” An explanation in itself, given the nature of the man’s existence- and an unconscious echoing of a certain speedster speaking on his own findings. Dawn paused for a moment, Gift fanning back outwards again, before continuing. “Sera and Talin are out there, too, but I think Mina has a good idea about some of us going out there to meet...whoever-it-is.”

And help control the situation if we need to.

The words were unspoken, but still there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Move on soon? Toby was always a bit unsettled when the others spoke of moving on from Helton. In his eyes, the factions could find them no matter what rock they crawled under, and he thought at least this was defensible. Still, it wasn't a battle he wanted to pick, and one place was probably as good as another.

Anyway, they had the more pressing issue of their visitor to think of.

At Mina's suggestion, Toby nodded. "Sera and Talin and Gale--probably wouldn't mind the--extra--the extra c--company. You know. Just in case," he said. Well. Gale might mind if he had been planning to wring their visitor's neck like he did to members of the local avian population. He pulled out his handguns one at a time and checked the clips.

There was still something strange about walking out to meet a strange Gifted hoping not to have to shoot anybody.

"Shall we?" he said, holstering and stepping back out into the hallway.

He decided he'd leave the problem of the cat to those who would staying. He'd happily shirk that responsibility.

---

Spire stuck out his hand to guide Hel along as they started toward the dining hall. At first, interacting with her had been persistently awkward and ridiculously far out of Spire's comfort zone, but he was a quick study. The rhythm was easy as breathing now. His gaze was alert--he was wary after the speedster nearly snatched Hel away under their noses--but not unhappy. He didn't try to make unnecessary conversation. No need. He had nothing important to say, and Hel didn't usually like to talk, which was alright, since Spire only really enjoyed smalltalk if it was to cut somebody with the edge of his sarcasm or threaten to cut them with something a little more tangible.

Separately, Spire and Helena were rather troubling, unsettling individuals in their own rights, and it was difficult to say whether the picture of them together changed the impression to something rather sweet or just multiplied the disturbingness. Possibly a bit of both.

They met the cluster of Wanderers at the door, and Spire perceived the note of tension on the faces.

"What's the fluster this time?" Spire asked Toby in a drawl. "Too much to hope Dutch lit up by the fuel tank of one of those cars he's been tinkering with and blew himself to hell?"

"Visitor," Toby replied, wishing he wouldn't say inflammatory things about Dutch--or anyone else, for that matter--around Hel. At the end of the day, the younger Schippers brother just wanted everyone to get along. "Probably nobody. You can stay here with Hel."

"Put a few between the freak's eyes if something's off. Don't wait for somebody to get killed," Spire said calmly. His mouth turned up in a half smile. "Because let's be honest. Given historic evidence, it'd probably be you."

Thank goodness for Clockwork.
Not that Spire was gonna say that aloud more often than he had to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Mina rolled her eyes and then fixed her gaze on Spire with obvious disapproval at his comment about Dutch, but said nothing. It was hardly as if anyone was out of place to wish him ill, but that did not make the joke any less in poor taste, especially with little ears around.


The doctor’s accusative stare dropped when Spire mentioned Toby being killed, however.



That one was definitely on her.



Sort of?



“Well, best get moving before anyone else does,” she said in her usual warm tone, checking that the stove was off before striding toward the kitchen door, “And Miss Dawn, I suppose you could tell the others what’s going on?” 


She moved at a pace just below a jog as she passed into the hall, taking long, quick strides like a server during rush still trying to look collected. "Y'all don't think it's some kinda ambush, d'you?" she questioned, pulling out her handgun as she walked and checking to be sure that it was properly loaded. "I mean, what with the company we've been getting thrown lately... "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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The sudden brush of fluff against her face quite visibly took Clockwork by surprise- head jerking away, nose wrinkling in what was, undeniably, a rather undignified manner as she fought back a sneeze. It was after a few moments that she recovered, and, absentmindedly rubbing the side of her nose with the side of her hand, continued to stir the pot. The oatmeal was coming along nicely now, with some of the chunks softening under the heat. Only a portion of her focus was on the state of Hel’s breakfast, however- the rest remained on the matter at hand.

“We would be more than happy to stay behind,” Clockwork intoned, willingly offering up the spoon to Mina as the doctor took it. “It would be for the best to make sure that there’s enough people on alert around base, after all. Soren and I can finish preparing breakfast for the rest of the group, as well, once we’ve finished waking everyone up.”

“And if you need any more help, however, then just call us.” To emphasize his point, Soren tapped gently against his temple, letting it linger there after a few beats. “If we can’t bring help ourselves, then we’ll try to send someone else as soon as possible.”

Not the ones to dawdle, the two moved to follow into the hall- Clockwork quickly loping from the stool and to her guardian’s side, reaching to grab the extended hand with her own- although they soon came to a halt as Spire and Hel came around the corner and into view. In all truth, the ex-Liberties found the former to be a bit more than a little ominous, but it was with a smile that Soren greeted both him and the young Norrevinter, and a slight bow of the head from the healer at his side.

“Good morning, Spire. Helena,” Soren said. He gave a slight nod as Toby explained the situation to the other Schipper, but, rather than add any commentary, remained silent. His attention had been torn away by the vision that had suddenly took form before his eyes- Dutch’s car, in its place outside Helton, with the man himself positioned beneath the hulking metal. There was a sudden flash, blinding him- then a brilliant bloom of oranges and yellows as the vehicle exploded. Soren could imagine the warmth across his face, smell the gasoline and ash as it scattered…

(there would be nothing left to heal the body would be too damaged for even me to help with he would be finally gone)

Alarmed, the man looked over to see his adoptive daughter staring forward, eyes gleaming fiercely as she watched the mirage along with him. She had stuck to the idea Spire provided like a fly to honey, and had begun to weave the idea out within her mind almost...blissfully. Frowning, Soren gave Clockwork’s hand a slight press, and, when her attention had been caught, a disapproving look.

The vision vanished.

Expression once again settling into one of welcome, Soren once again brought his attention to his current company with a quiet clear of the throat. “Mina was preparing breakfast for you before she left, Helena,” he began. “It should be done in a bit, but I can get you a glass of milk for you until then?” Then, to Spire, “I hope you don’t mind waiting for breakfast this time around. We woke up a bit later than we expected, so it may take us some time to prepare everyone’s meals.”

It was an odd thing to apologize for, really- especially at a time like this- but old habits died hard.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Kayla followed Mina and the others out of the kitchen, a grimace on her face. She had bit back a reply to Spire's little joke about Dutch. Now wasn't the time to start another argument. It was time to make sure they weren't receiving unpleasant company.

Hearing Mina's question, she looked over at the medic with an uncertain expression. "Hopefully not, since it seems to be one person, according to Toby." She answered. "You can never be too careful." She watched as the woman pulled out her handgun and she frowned a bit. "Though, I wouldn't have weapons drawn just yet when we find them." She added hesitantly. "We wouldn't want to set them off at the sight of them before it's necessary."

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Kayla’s commentary drew a sideways glance and half-smile from Mina. The younger woman was right to be wary, given recent history, but the insinuation that the doctor would come out pointing her gun like a finger still stung.

“I ain’t quite that kind of stupid, sugar,” she replied, her tone free from sarcasm or malice. Her stance and expression were easy and forgiving, showing that no offense had been taken.

Not that she was in a place to take offense, anyhow.

There was a soft click as Mina snapped the magazine back into the pistol and checked the safety, and the weapon was returned to the back of her waistband. “Just checking ammunition, is all. Rather not get caught with an empty chamber when it counts.” 



She pushed onward through the main building’s exit, and the old doors gave a groaning creak like an old woman’s joints as the lock bar was shoved open. The hazy rust-gold of Ash light streamed into the hall, serving as a last-minute reminder of what they were walking into outside of the relatively cozy halls of the facility. The smell of dust was quick to kick up into Mina's nostrils, as well as the faint lingering of death that never seemed to wash out of the city walls.

The medic gave the door quick hip check as she passed to bump it open for those following behind her, and she cast a glance over her shoulder. 



Decent shots and fighters, and a good handful of them— It was always better to bring too many than too few when there was an unknown variable involved. 



She slowed down just a step to fall into stride beside the others rather an in front of them, and found herself walking next to Kayla once more. “I trust when Toby says there's only one,” she added to the group, “but only one don’t mean you ain’t getting ambushed.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby’s hesitance was quickly picked up by the little radio in Dawn’s head, although by this point, she had grown aware enough not to comment on it. His logic made sense- the walls around Helton, while broken down, could still be reinforced, and they had learned the layout of the city well enough to use in a fight- but she still found herself in agreement with the idea of leaving their current home behind. A large part of it was that, in spite of the Helton curse, it had proved to be easily invadable by Erubesco- a faction that was only a short distance away. And given the frequency that they had been attacked...Unconsciously, Dawn’s hand slipped into her pocket, fingers curling around nothing.

It was easy to believe that they would never really give up their pursuit, but it felt better to make it just a bit harder to be found. Better to add more hassle in being moving targets than sitting ducks, waiting for the next thing to happen. It may have been the part of her that was brought up in the ash that clung stubbornly to that belief, in truth- the survivalist that still made her sort her backpack’s inventory each night, or strain to catch any odd noise or presence when out raiding- but that did not change Dawn’s view in the slightest. Her instincts had grown unnecessary with the safety of the group to the point of dulling, but they were still something she had grown to trust with the years.

Shaking off her little reverie, Dawn followed into the hall, previously thoughtful expression shifting into a frown as a certain serial killer and his young companion met them at the doorway. There was reason for them to dislike Dutch at the level they did, but that didn’t make it much better in her eyes. Dutch could be a bit...much at times, but at the end of the day he wasn’t a monster. Besides, stroking this kind of fire would only cause more trouble in the long run. Gnawing on her cheek, Dawn gave a slight nod in response to Mina’s request, and proceeded to send out a brief mental broadcast to those awake, explaining the situation, before coming back into focus and following down the hall.

“It doesn’t seem like one,” she said, casting a glance over her shoulder at Clockwork (whose face was just as impassive as ever) for a moment, before returning her eyes back to the hall. “The person- he’s…” Dawn’s brows pulled together, “he figured out that there’s more of us. Trying to avoid a fight for now.” Her face relaxed, eyes losing the odd glazed look as she returned to her own mind, before she continued. “I do think we should be prepared for the worst, though. Just because he’s feeling peaceful doesn’t mean that something will happen.”

Dawn fought off the urge to cringe at Kayla’s comment- and the hurt that went through Mina in response- teeth gritting with the effort. While friendly, the air within the Wanderers was still very much tense. Strained, almost. It made her uneasy. Rubbing her shoulder, she followed into the morning light of the Wasteland, silently training her focus upon the bubble of activity that awaited them. Hers wasn’t a weapon that she could draw out and threaten it, but it was a weapon nonetheless.

“Like Mina said. We shouldn’t go into things like this without any backup plans. Just in case.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby corroborated Dawn's information about the stranger with a nod. "I d--don't feel anything especially hostile about him. I mean--not deliberately malicious, I guess. But he seems a little guarded, with the others over there. Which makes sense, considering he probably didn't expect to find, you know, sentries at the Helton gates. You know. And, um, I don't know...secretive?" He cleared his throat.

Mina's caution wasn't misguided. Even if he hadn't shown up with the immediate intention to harm, that didn't mean he wouldn't hurt anybody. Desperate Wastelanders could be just as dangerous as predatory ones. One could just as easily be shot by a nervous, guarded scavenger as by...well, somebody like he and Spire used to be. (Toby may have been overly optimistic with that "used to.")

He slowed his pace as they neared the place where Jake was speaking to Sera, Talin, and Gale.

"Um, hi everyone," he said carefully, a bit surprised by the youthful appearance of the newcomer. Something about the emotional signature had struck him as mature. Then again, so did Clockwork's. "What's going on here?"

---

Spire smiled a perfectly cheerful smile, despite a blunt throb of dissatisfaction at the fact of the missing Pierrot. "I'll be sure to let him know," he said, and though he sounded sincere enough, the promise was deleted from his mind so quickly it was as though it hadn't even found purchase in the first place. Unimportant trifles were always erased to make room for more important things. Like wringing Oren for more information.

Spire would feel more comfortable leaving Hel with Soren and Clockwork than he would have with any of the other Wanderers, but with the issue of the ashrat knocking at their metaphorical door, he decided he'd better not, yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Talin, in the meantime, had sent his visual of the apparent boy, as well as his instinctive understanding of the meanings of the visions to their most efficient communications system – the mind manipulators, who could transmit the information to everyone else. Sera, in the meantime, smiled fondly towards Gale – no need to reveal the experiments dark nature, when he was pretending so well – before scanning over the newcomer. “Just passing through then?” she asked, as the most reasonable assumption. “Or are you scavenging through the city?” The second would be especially inconvenient, after all, since they didn’t know how much of a “finders keepers” mentality this wanderer would have.

“Hello, To-“ she turned then paused, realising there was a group there, ”everyone.” She amended. “Just someone else who’s wandered into Helton. We were out for a jog and came to check it out.” She explained, gesturing to herself and Talin in turn. “We had a bad scare with a faction not too long ago, so we’re on alert” she told the new one, almost apologetically. “Seems like nowhere is safe these days.” She finished off with a slight shrug.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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"Right. Yeah." Kayla murmured to Mina and Toby. She mentally kicked herself for acting so cautious about Mina's actions, as well as the actions of the others. This was something to definitely be careful about. She kept quiet for the rest of the way until they ran into Talin, Sera, Gale, and the newcomer. "Ah, hello." She said awkwardly as Sera greeted them.

Her eyes rested on the boy observantly as Sera spoke to him. He seemed harmless enough, but she stayed alert. The others could probably pick up more than she could. "Any immediate danger,
Dawn...?"
She asked curiously.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Gale beamed again- the pearly white, saccharine grin of a “do no evil” schoolboy- and pressed the lollipop deep into the corners of his mouth. “It would depend on what you consider ‘under control’ to be in this case…” His fingers folded at his chest, eyes widening in realization. “I don’t believe we’ve gotten your name yet. A bit rude, I’d think, given the fact that we’ve already introduced ourselves.”

Lips curled. “It’s quite surprising, actually. I would have expected better manners from someone so...mature.” The words were left hanging in the air, the implication in them thick, but Gale did not pursue the topic further. Instead, he gave a decisive suck of the candy’s stem, gave a pause of thought, then lowered his gaze to lock eyes with the stranger. “Just passing through.” A statement. “Well, if that’s all it is, then I’m sure my friends and I would be more than glad to escort you out.” The word “glad” fell thickly from his tongue, rolling as smoothly as syrup.

As yet another round of footsteps sounded out nearby, the blond glanced up, the picture of innocence.

Although, given the child giving off said effect, it didn’t exactly stand for much. It was the same expression he gave when caught with his new pet of the day, or when trailing several of the group members with his gaze- a little “i wasn’t doing anything” sort of look. Once it had been fully established, he looked from Toby, then Mina, Dawn, and Kayla. The last of the bunch would find herself at the end of a particularly pleasant beaming before Gale turned his attention to the group as a whole.

“Nice to see you all again,” he said. “We’re simply greeting a new friend, that’s all.”

It was the word friend that received special attention this time around.

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Mina approached with the little party wearing her usual hospitable smile, honey brown eyes giving away little of the survey she was taking of the newcomer: She waited for the moments his gaze was on one or all of the others to take careful inventory of the weight of his pockets and the lay of his clothing.

Not that being armed was exactly a crime in the Wastes.

Moreover, it was good to see that the young Mr. Eden had not been granted the chance to inflict any injury.

“Mornin’,” she responded to the general greetings being exchanged, offering no names just as none were given. “Ain’t a bad day for passing through,” the doctor added, taking the opportunity to glance out past the gates for any further backup or secrets the boy could have been hiding, “Nicer than some we’ve had out this way.”

Her stance was open and relaxed, with her arms at her sides and her weight shifted onto one hip in a relaxed posture. Neither the slow, calm gestures that punctuated her words nor the easy drawl with which she spoke betrayed how acutely aware she was of her own weapon. It was a half-second from her reach, to be precise, with one more second needed to flick the chamber closed and ready the first shot.

“Sorry to say that there ain’t a helluva lot left in here to ‘pass through,’ though. Not that we’d mind escorting you, though. Ain’t any one of us can take a quarrel with someone for being an Asher, and it ain’t a problem to keep some company for a short meeting, Mr….?”

She certainly did not want to escort him through the city, but it beat the alternative of letting him wander past unchecked. Their numbers may have been enough to provide confidence and deter most, but the newcomer seemed unfazed by the small party that had converged.

It was disconcerting at best.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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(So, post may need editing later. I wasn't sure who to tag and not tag so I tried to just add anyone who I knew (due to direct conversation) was there)

Jake didn't make any signs or appearances of tensing up, maintaining his calm demeanor. Anyone experienced enough at reading body language might see some hints he was on alert if they looked hard enough, but it might also then surprise them just how much control he had over his body language. That wasn't part of his gift, but something else about his past he tried to put far behind him.

"Hello everyone" he replied. As they spoke, he picked up clues here and there. He couldn't confirm much on any one individual yet, but he got some things already. The first is that they all knew each other, though that was obvious. However, they weren't people with bad intentions most likely. Given he was alone, this boy, Gale, was probably extremely tough and strong, just like Jake, so the fact they had a group here and didn't attack him yet probably meant they didn't mean him harm. They were also intelligent, as he caught one glancing at him through the corner of his eye when ever he looked away, probably accessing weapons. Of course, neither could necessarily be true, cause they could just be suspecting he was a scout for a larger group and didn't make a move yet out of caution. However, they mentioned some small details, including that they were in conflict with a faction recently, as well as an offer of escort. The fact they were open about that, while not revealing too much, made him doubt they suspected he was part of a group, since whether they were weakened or recovering, or at full strength, no one would risk saying that in front of a stranger the suspected of being a part of a large group in case they were hostile and decided to take advantage and attack. Could there simply be details he doesn't have yet, sure, but that was his theory based on information gathered so far.

He went on to answer the other's questions. "Well, mostly passing through, but I will probably pick up any good salvage along the way. Anyways, thanks for the offer, I am sure there is more then enough room for everyone while I am here. Also, have I not yet? Sorry, I guess I got distracted by all the glaring...from the sun, you know?" Jake had meant every glare but the sun, and the others likely knew it. That one girl (Mina) probably already noticed he had some weapons on him from the way she had been looking at him, as well as a variety of other things.

This is probably getting just a little bit silly... "Anyways, my name is Jake. Jake Vale. And I gotta say...." Jake told them calmly, before smiling. "...its bad for your health to be tense when you don't need to be. Right, Gale?"

If this tension went on any further, he might just start being blunt just to relieve it all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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“Hi, guys.” Arms swaying at her side in a non-threatening manner, Dawn met the eyes of her fellow wanderers with a quiet smile. “It’s good to see that, um. There’s no trouble out here. Like they just said...it’s been a busy week.” She laughed, then, sheepish, before lowering herself some to better meet the stranger’s eyes. One hand rested against her bent knee, while the other remained comfortably in her pocket.

“It is nice to meet you, Jake, but it’s...ah. It’s just kind of hard not to be tense in a time like this, you know?” Her smile widened somewhat, turning into something more open. Welcoming. Even her voice had softened some, taking on the gentler inflections of a person meaning no harm.

As Dawn rose back to her feet, she quickly slipped back into the heads of her companions, fluttering about briefly as she relayed the information stolen from the stranger. Well, it does seem like he’s telling the truth about just wanting to “pass through”, she began. From what I got, I think he’s alone, too- but, well. I was also right about him being like Montana. A rumbling chuckle came through the stream, but was cut short not long after. He figured out that we think he’s alone, or a scout, too. Loaded to the teeth with weapons, and trying to get to…somewhere.

There was a slight lapse in the flow of thought as she tried to pry just a bit further, to scrape a little further into Jake’s mind without alerting the boy, but it took only a few moments before picking up again. That’s all I got so far, she admitted. But he’s being honest, I think.

During her little mental exchange with her party, Dawn had glanced back at the others, as if silently asking for further opinion before turning back to Jake. “A lot of the buildings around here have been picked clean,” she said apologetically, “and, um. You’re welcome to look, but I...I think we’d be all more comfortable if we had someone tag along ‘til you left. Sorry.” She gave a swing of her arms, hands rubbing together when they met. A look of shy guilt.

Of course, the action would be unnecessary in the long run- the intruder had been watched since he had first stepped into Helton’s boundary after all- but Jake most likely didn’t know that. And the less he did, the better, Dawn thought. He had already gathered too much about the group as it was.