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Seraphina Iclosis

"I can still see, you know."

0 · 349 views · located in Helton

a character in “The Age of Gifted”, as played by ianna_334

Description

Image

Full Name: Seraphina Iclosis

Nicknames/Aliases: Sera, Spirit

Age: 19

Gender: Female

Loyalty: Wanderer (formerly Liberty)


Gifts:
-Light manipulation
-Astral projection + tethering ability = spirit form
-Heat manipulation
-Stasis form




Description: Sera is considered attractive by most of the wanderers, even with her abnormal eyes. She has long caramel coloured hair that has loose waves, and unless she’s using her light manipulation to make her eyes look normal, they are pure white, with no irises or pupils. She is slightly shorter than average, with a slight frame that goes well with her preferred battle style of “dancing” past enemy attacks. She is physically fit, having been both a Liberty agent and now a wanderer with the everyday fight for survival.
When in spirit form, she is cast in white, with some shadows showing definition. Her hair whips around wildly when she is agitated


Personality: Sera’s personality comes off as a bit unstable, because of her ongoing effort to not remind the wanderers of her past clashing with traits Liberty made sure she had. However, as a general rule, she is empathetic, friendly, and rather flirtatious. She is fun loving and this shows during calmer times, but in battles, the personality Liberty programmed comes through and she becomes focused and efficient. She is not a Leader, nor a meek Follower; she will challenge decisions she disagrees with. She has a touch of vanity to her, but most of all, she is lonely and feels uncared for within the wanderers. Sera cannot stand to be ignored, and wants someone to care for her, so when she feels like an afterthought, she begins to break down. Seraphina also has a high control of herself, though she’s been letting go a bit more often since she left the faction.


Skills:
-Seraphina is an excellent liar and can read people well thanks to her training in Liberty Espionage
-She is very good with guns
-Her gifts have been trained extensively by Liberty, making her a dangerous opponent even with traditionally non-offensive gifts
-A good memory, again trained by Liberty
-High emotional control
-Fast, agile, and observant in battle
-She can push personal issues aside to complete a goal easily
-Intelligent


Weaknesses:
-Her gifts don’t have much defensive capability, so she has to rely on evasion
-She cannot use heat manipulation in her Spirit form


Brief History: What Sera remembers is that Liberty forced her parents to leave her and her sister behind after the Iclosis adults brought their unconscious elder daughter to the faction for help after she got stuck in her spirit form. She was only 6 at the time, and wavered between rebelling against the faction for separating her from her parents and wanting to be a good agent, as all the propaganda proclaimed. This rebelliousness lasted until she was ten, at which point she did something unforgivable in Liberty’s eyes.
Liberty responded by blinding her.
Fear of such consequences let Sera to submit to the faction and allow them to mould her into the heartless and efficient espionage agent who tricked many other wandering groups into Liberty’s clutches. However, things changed when she met the wanderers, a group she thought might be strong enough to take a Liberty team on. The result of the raid was her losing her sister, her one true tie to Liberty, at which point she was free to join the wanderers.
Soon after, Sera began to feel that the other Wanderers distrusted her, and left with Eliza, only to be reunited with them in the city of Helton. However, she has become more withdrawn due to the long delay in the reunion.


Other:
-She is a complete failure at using knives or swords
-Her favourite colour is orange and she likes to wear dresses, but tends not to because of practicality
-She loves waking up early and will often wake the other wanderers in the process

So begins...

Seraphina Iclosis's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden
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They jogged together leisurely, enjoying the morning air. Or rather, Sera jogged leisurely, while Talin lapped her every so often, his idea of an easy jog being closer to the pace most other would use for a running race. Still, it was a scene straight from their memories, when Talin was still her trainer, pushing her beyond her limits because that would get them both noticed, would push them both past the lowest levels of their sector and into position to become important, valued. And now, reunited outside the faction, the pattern repeats. Behind her, a whisper of sound let her know the speedster was approaching once again.

There was no warning as the brunette took her elbow, and steered her to the left with a destination clearly in mind. The light manipulator followed willingly, used to such manipulations. Not only used to it, but Seraphina was trained this way, to move instinctively and focus on using her gifts, while trusting someone other to watch her for danger, and if necessary, physically remove her from harm's way. Even though she could survive most anything, the healing it took to fix her body once it was blasted to pieces was a waste of time when she could just avoid getting hurt, and when she was in physical therapy, she wasn't able to work...

Sometimes, she forgot she wasn't supposed to think that way anymore.

"Someone new entered the city," Talin said, pulling her along briskly. "Gale found him, I can also sense Reith nearby, and we're close enough. I want to /see/ him" he emphasized "see", and the manipulator at his side understood immediately. Behind the building, Talin adjusted his pace so he was meandering along, and looped his arm through Seraphina's in the matter of close friends. So linked, they turned on the street where the meeting was taking place, stopping several feet behind and to the left of Gale.

"It's a child." Sera raised a brow, turning to the speedster skeptically. "Is he what you were worried about?"
Meanwhile, Talin's eyes scan the stranger with his gift sight, and he exhaled. "No, he's not. He's like the Mercenary"

A regenerator the woman translated

"And supersensory." he finished, and tapped the back of her hand with a finger.

Sera didn't respond outright, but there was a faint glimmer in the corner of Talin's eye. She understood the message, and had her gifts ready for use.

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden
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The boy’s reaction had been, admittedly, against Gale’s expectations. The blond had already gathered that the “child” wasn’t your run-of-the-mill little darling- the boy would have been long dead by now, if that was the case, especially given the fact that there was no guardian in sight. Besides...while the younger Schipper had gone out of his way to hide away as many corpses as possible, that didn’t change the fact that Helton remained the same forsaken place it had always had.

Not exactly “playground material” at it’s finest.

Nevertheless, Gale remained just as he had been- lips a fine, bloodless slit, gaze glossy and distant. His fingers had clenched even tighter to the granite in front of them, as if the stone served as a security blanket instead of just dirtied rubble. “I just told you,” he whispered, voice harsh. He paused for a moment, throwing a hasty glance over his shoulder, before turning back with a visible “hysteria”. “They’re in there. In the city. They kill kids for fun- and- and they eat them, too! They’ll skin you alive!

And then, the rubble shifted behind him. The blond once again took a panicked look over in the direction of the road at the sound- although, this time, instead of fear upon catching sight of the arrivals, he...changed. It was not a physical transformation by any means- Gale still remained the same light haired, dark-eyed boy as before- but something else entirely. As he slid down from his perch on the wall, the earlier paranoia and stress seemed to melt from his face, and the tension in his shoulders drained away just as easily.

He smiled, sugary sweet, and trotted from behind his hiding spot and into open view.

“Hello, Mr. Talin, Ms. Sera. It’s good to see you both.” He greeted the ex-Liberty pair with the grace of a young gentleman, even going so far as to bob his head in salute. As his head lifted up, Gale reached into his pocket, pulled out a single cherry lollipop, and, swiveling on his heel, spoke once more to the stranger. “Oh- and my name is Gale, by the way. A pleasure..”

His smile widened even further- genuine in appearance- but he did not extend his hand for a shake.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden
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(Sorry, suffering from a bit of writers block right now, best I could do)

Jake had to admit, he was a bit curious about the people in front of him. Of course, he always expected to meet a few people, but three in close proximity already most likely meant a larger group in the area, so it meant that right now the area was pretty active, considering. He decided to play it safe and cool for the moment tho, since it didn't seem like anyone wanted any hostilities right now.

"Nice to meet you Gale, Talin, Sera. Also, really? That's what the monsters do?" Jake asked, before smiling a little. His voice suddenly calmed, and he closed his eyes a little. "If that's all, then you must have the situation well under control. Guess there is no reason to be worried about danger then. And thanks for the warning". Of course, there may or may not have been some other meaning to his words, but nothing hostile.

"Anyways, you don't need to worry either" he then added. It was probably his most direct statement yet. "I don't plan on staying long".

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling 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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“Theyr'e right. You won’t find much,” Toby said. None that didn't belong to the Wanderers, anyway. He might have felt more generous to share if this Jake was desperate, starving, or anything less than confident…bordering arrogant. “And I’m—Toby, by the way,” he added guardedly. But politely. There was no harm in that. But no full names. Not necessary. Besides, there was a moderate possibility of an Ashlander associating a very distinct reputation with ‘the Schippers brothers.’

Toby was about to volunteer to help show Jake around when his pupils constricted. His stomach lurched with vicarious alarm when Larke nearly fell. He felt someone who was afraid, dizzy, nervous, someone airborne. He recognized the person's Gift and emotions like a fingerprint, vaguely yet intimately. Toby pinpointed the memory. He had never met this person, yet he had felt this person’s immense pain, one of the voices in a chorus of screams that had almost broken him. Someone in the fire at Erubesco.

His strange relief that the individual was alive was soon overshadowed. An Erubescan. Since no natural flight Gift appeared in Larke, Toby naturally assumed that the intruder was on some kind of aircraft.

His hand shot to his sidearm and his look at Jake turned to a frown. Toby didn’t trust coincidences. “You sure you’re alone, there, Jake?”
/Dawn?/ he called mentally for confirmation before he said something to alarm the others.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling 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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There were several certainties out in the waste.

There was, for instance, the certainty that the sun would set in the west. There was also a certainty that one needed water, food, and shelter to live, or that it was hot or if it was raining. A mind reader was allowed a few more certainties, however. Like being certain of when your travelling partners were worrying about supplies, or thinking of how easy it could be to slit your throat in your sleep.

Of course, there were many uncertainties to balance the truths out, but Dawn could allow herself to be sure of a few things, like how this child with the mind of a man had come to them alone. The sudden hint of a presence in the horizon, however, made her much more doubtful. Startled, she reached out to try and enter this new stranger’s mind, but it was still too far for her to properly get a read on. Jake’s mind, however, was much closer, and she quickly dove back in, picking at the cluster of thoughts to try and find anything she might have missed.

No, she thought back. It isn’t his partner or anything- I mean, I can’t find anything about a partner coming here with him… Dawn gave another pass of Jake’s mind, brushing through it with a fine toothed comb. I think he has just about as much idea of who this person is as we do. It might just be another stranger, but…

She drew back again, lips pursed in an effort to keep them from drawing into a proper frown. Another stranger just seemed a bit too coincidental, but unless Jake had a mental Gift, there was nothing…

Dawn suddenly paused, stiffening slightly. However, they had, admittedly, been getting an influx of unexpected guests lately. Her own thoughts returned to the train they had been on when the first visitor had arrived, and she cast a wary glance over to Toby.

Coincidences happened, but if Erubesco had been after them for this long, she highly doubted that they would just give up now.

Nevertheless, she quickly expanded the net of her broadcast once again, nestling back into the group’s heads. We have another problem, Dawn began. There’s someone else coming now- in the sky. I checked him, a mental indication towards Jake, again, and he doesn’t have anything about this, but there’s still someone else out there. I can’t get a read on them yet, but I should once they get close enough.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling 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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Before Mina could make out all that she thought of this Jake character, Dawn was in her head yet again.

With more bad news.

Mina was careful not to let her eyes wander immediately upwards; whether or not the newcomers were in league with one another, it would be easy for Jake to use the confusion caused by an additional variable to make a move. She leaned her chest forward to form an arc in her spine, and moved her left hand to the small of her back as if rubbing out a pinched muscle.

The backs of her fingers brushed over the grip of the pistol at her waist.

“Like the others said,” she stated, a grimacing smile gracing her features as she let her hand rest behind her, “I’m afraid there ain’t much left, save for stiff mattresses and bones.”

Her left hand came up to shield the light from her eyes as she spoke, and she moved with intention to watch the sky, checking the position of the sun, “And I’d say it’s still a mite early in the day for you to be looking for a night’s shelter. So, ain’t a whole lot of much for you here, save for an escort in one end of the premises and out the other.”

In the clouds. On my one. Coming right at us, she warned to the network.

There was the faint shape of a bird just a smudge too big, or perhaps to steady, or maybe even too high to be a bird. It was hard for Mina to take her eyes off of it, but she turned her attention back to Jake before she had lingered long enough to give away the check.

Whatever the thing was, it was moving toward Helton with a very deliberate purpose.

We gotta handle this kid before we’ve got bigger problems. Call the others to handle the flier.

Mina turned her back to Jake (again, against all instinct, and nodded forward for him to follow. “Come on, then. I’m happy to walk you along through. Ain’t got much to offer, neither, but I can fish you some ration packs out of my bag along the way.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Reith Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Distracted in her progress by the appearance of a lizard, Rei had delayed her attempts to find the others by a few minutes.

She was still kind of hungry after all.

The flicker of a shadow overhead however drew her immediate attention. Possibly she'd just spent too much time hunting animals out in the ruins that her sense of perception had gotten highly attuned to movement, or perhaps it has always been a feature of her ability's strange physiological effects, but she identified something far above that was moving. Something that was alive.

Rei stared at it, limp lizard tail still jutting from the corner of her mouth for some moments, before the mutant snapped it up and sprang off over the rubble to follow the trajectory.

Her hasty course almost caused her to jump down right into the centre of a group of other Helton residents.
The creature hurriedly cut her momentum,skidding in the dust to stand about level with the edge of a group.

"Did you see the big flying thing? It's definitely alive, but it's not moving right for a bird. " she asked, tilting her head upward again.
"Also hi everyone. I guess I slept in as everyone seemed to be out when I got up."

Well, that was technically right, in that her 'sleeping in' was the duration of about three days.
"Also also, who is this guy?" she eyed Jake with some level of wariness.

Whilst Rei would not consider herself a very unwelcoming person, her experiences with strangers entering the area lately had been...less than positive. Most of the people who turned up seemed to make things decidedly worse, and she wasn't exactly liking the odd as they stood.

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling 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 whipped around at the sound of footfalls behind her, only taking in Rei’s voice a second after her pistol had been drawn.

And in the span of about ten seconds, the effort spent hiding her weapon and the fact that they were expecting an unwanted incoming was wasted. She tucked the gun back into her waist and cast Reith a nod, before training her eyes back onto Jake.

“Listen, sugar,” she said, taking a step forward into his space, “We’ve got bigger problems than you at the moment, so I suggest you get along out from underfoot. I’ve not got the best track record on watching my crossfire, so back the way you came’s gonna treat us all better in the long run.”

Poor hospitality taken care of, she brought her gaze back to watching the encroaching figure. “We all saw it, Reith. Mr. Talin or Schippers… You got anything to tell us about our new friend? Because I’m not a fan of the way he’s coming in.”

Then, back to the mental channel, ‘Trying to keep the Mind-Manipulator card in the back pocket, for now. But if you’ve got anything, please do share. Or... Sera? You think you can cast some light the wrong way and hide us?’

----

Larke, meanwhile, was wholly unaware of the situation he was drifting dangerously near to. The healer had been holding himself afloat on a warm updraft, keeping as hidden as possible behind a cloud. While there were peeks he managed to catch below, the small gathering in Helton was all but impossible to make out given his near snow blindness from the thick sheet of white he was gliding over.

The courage to swoop lower and get a better read was still beyond him; perhaps if he flew more directly over, he could descend on the back gate and take them by surprise?

The setting changes from helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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We’ll see. Talin?

On it


“I’m going to check the radar” the speedster announced casually, strolling away from the group. As soon as he was out of sight, he broke into a run, and was on the roof in seconds, gazing down, sharing the semi aerial view with the mind linked wanderers. Mostly for Sera’s benefit, she could create her illusion now. It was from this height, however, that he succeeded in catching a proper glimpse of their flyer, causing him to blink in shock.

It’s odd… he broadcast, tying together the image and knowledge that came with it. It says it’s a…healer? Not quite, it’s how he’s trained though, but no flight gift. Toby, do you get that?

Sera, meanwhile, directed lights to create an empty street below when looking down, although not perfect without being able to see it herself. Should we try to ground him? the young woman asked seriously, while visibly deferring to a leader with her body language.

The setting changes from the-wasteland to Helton

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Reith Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby's eyes locked skyward. The closer the Erubescan flew, the more accurately Toby could track the movement, almost imagine a sillouette through the haze. He half-nodded at Talin's note. I thought the same. I thought there might be an aircraft, maybe, but...

There. A shadow, just for an instant, through the clouds. Like an angel of death. Maybe a bit of a clumsy angel of death.

Toby lined the beam of his arm to the tip of his .357 up to his eyeline. The heavy artillery, the rifles and submachines guns Montana had provided, lay back at base. With one shot of the .357, Toby could reliably shatter a bottle at 100 yards. Semi-reliably at 150. If he was lucky, 200. Larke would be a lot farther than that when he passed at his closest, but he was, even without his broad wingspan, a lot bigger than a bottle. Plus, Toby couldn't link his Gift to a bottle.

He felt perspiration on his forehead. What if he was a defector? Dread at the idea of feeling Larke spiral down leeched into his mental announcement: I think I have a shot.

He broadcast it as though he would ask for permission, wanting someone else to make that decision, wanting to defer like Sera. As if there was any time for permission or any authority from whom to get it. The stranger would only get farther out of range and closer to the others at the base. Toby had learned by now to somewhat detangle his emotions from others', but if he did that, he would have to disconnect entirely, and then his aim would suffer from the poor visibility. So Toby sent out more mental fibers instead, until he could feel exactly where Larke was - and could feel the pressure of the air under his wings and the moisture of the clouds, the nervousness, determination, and that heady soul-wrenching fuel that could only be loyalty. This man wasn't a defector.

Toby's lip quivered, but his hand didn't. Aiming a few feet high to adjust for the distance, he pulled the trigger, emptying his five remaining hollow-point rounds at a steep angle into the sky. He would be happy to make even one hit.
If happy was the word for it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Reith Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Larke blinked hard as a bright flicker crossed his vision— a flash of light from below that seemed to originate from nowhere. He squinted through the film of his goggles, but found nothing save for rubble and Ash in the streets of Helton beneath him.

The stillness of it was chilling: It cut through the layers of his flight jacket and traveled over his skin until the hair on his arms prickled as if caught by a static cling. Rushing wind dampened any sound for miles.

He did not hear the shots leave the gun. He did feel one burry itself in his defensive vest, casting him back with a thunk. A rush of air whizzed past his head, and another somewhere near him.

And then something far more direct: A sharp, fervid pain ripped through his right wing, setting ablaze nerves he never knew he had. Feather, skin, and muscle were all ravaged into meat, and his hollow humerus shattered like a clay pigeon. As the shot crumpled inside of his body, spidering cracks splinted from his shoulder blade to the very tip of his wing.

The wind stole the scream from his lungs.

Reflexively, the wing pulled into his body just as the compromised bone snapped from the sheer air pressure rattling against it. It mangled itself in the blustering squalls, folding and twisting into a gore-splatted work of modernist origami. As Larke plummeted toward the ground, his vision swam with black and pain. There was no differentiating between his spinning vision and spinning body as he tried his damned to show his descent.

The air pressure changed, and he was sure one of his eardrums burst.

He did not know whom he was expecting to answer his cry, nor what he gasping for as his arms flailed in search of anything to hold, but his instinct to live disregarded this logic; a bird beating its wings even as the snake gobbled its head. There was no directing this fall, but rather a shallow hope that his remaining wing could provide enough air resistance to break it.

In a horrid moment of clarity, he was struck by the sudden realization that he was going to die.

And then he was struck by the ground.

More precisely, it was the pavement of a road twenty or so yards behind his shooter.

His body stone-skipped across the fractured earth, the concrete ripping flesh and clothing alike his skeleton bashed against it. While the goggles had shielded his face, it was evident that not much else on his body had been spared damage in the ordeal.

Blood flesh flecked the Ash around the Erubescan’s unconscious form, and his backpack had split open to reveal a load of partially broken medical supplies.

A shower of wayward blonde feathers still floated on the breeze, settling long after the man who had shed them

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Reith Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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Toby contorted with the scream the wind had stolen from Larke.

His spine arched with the explosion of pain in the wing he didn't have, then reversed in a fetal curl as desperate panic flooded in, twisting like a werewolf just before its first full moon. For a few seconds, he felt everything his target felt, plus a pinch of standard-fare guilt. Dizzy, Toby tried to untie his consciousness from the Erubescan before he hit the ground with same urgency he'd try to untie himself from railroad tracks in the face of an oncoming train. He didn't have time to unsnare himself completely. He watched Larke plummet and felt the crunch of the landing, and very nearly blacked out. Repressing a whimper, Toby forced his shaking limbs to understand they had not in fact been crushed after a drop from the equivalent of a small skyscraper and that he didn't need to limp, before he started walking through the snowfall of feathers.

Like any good dog on a bird hunt, Toby moved quickly toward Larke's crumpled body.

Though he didn't know whether he intended to ensure death for the wretch or to see if there was any life left to save.