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Toby Schippers

The stuttering one with the sweatervest.

0 · 250 views · located in Helton

a character in “The Age of Gifted”, originally authored by FranklyLorelle, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Image

Full Name: Toby Schippers

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Gift: Gift-identification and, more recently, empathy

Loyalty: Wanderers, formerly humans

Description: Pleasant, gentle features. Wavy mouse-brown hair. Tall.

Personality: Mild and unobtrusive unless pushed.

Skills: Deadshot with a firearm. Ability to predict and read friends, strangers, or enemies.

Weaknesses: Toby doesn’t merely know what people are feeling, he feels what people are feeling, which isn’t terribly helpful in combat. He's also not the smoothest conversationalist on account of his crippling stutter.

Brief History: Growing up in a bunker among some of the last humans, Toby and Spire's non-Gifted family raised the brothers to believe in a cause: the destruction of the "Cursed,” justice for the genocide of the human race. Toby and Spire were mission killers. But Toby has grown painfully disillusioned of this crusade under the compassion of the Wanderers and the unlocking of his second, repressed Gift, to feel others' emotions and physical sensations. Now the energy of his well-earned guilt is turned toward trying to keep the Wanderers safe.

So begins...

Toby Schippers's Story

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Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Rosy-fingered dawn.

Toby thought about the Odyssey as the pinkish light stretched over the gray sky and the light warmed the top of his wavy, mouse-brown hair. Odysseus. Huh. He couldn't qualify as a hero in the most favorable sense of the word, but could probably pass as a Greek hero, he thought. Some of them were terrible people like him. Fatal flaws and all that.

Except he had no Ithaca to return to. Hellton was probably the closest thing to Ithaca he had.

The young man paced the perimeter of the central Hellton training facility to keep himself alert for his shift. After the ambush, not to mention Oren's attempt to kidnap Hel, Toby and Dawn had set up a rotation for the sensory-Gifted among them--that is, Toby, Dawn, Allen (Toby had gladly left Dawn to convince her rascal brother), Talin (Toby asked nicely, and a little bit nervously), and Pierrot (Toby asked nicely and a lot bit nervously - even as an empath, he was never sure what Pierrot thought of him) in the form of any of them. Somebody needed to keep a wary eye at all times. Hopefully Roxy and Dutch were on their way to fixing the anti teleportation technology and hacking the Erubesco communicators.

It was as Toby completed another circle  that he realized he had company. Not company he could sense--it was no Gifted.

Toby didn't know it, but he had made his first grave mistake of the day:
Earlier, he had picked a ration pack of sealed tuna to take on the road. He had finished the package and had folded it over, crinkling the foil-plastic idly.

His stalker had smelled it and trailed him around the building.
Toby turned around when he heard the whimpering mewls, turned to see a skinny adolescent cat. Its matted short fur was probably white, with blotches of black on the nose, paws, and tail, but it was rather difficult to tell what was dirt and what was markings.

"Hi," Toby said glumly, wondering how the pathetic creature managed to survive in the deserted city. Probably on rats that had in turn subsisted on garbage and human remains. Which he supposed indirectly meant the cat might have subsisted on human remains.
Which might have even bothered Toby a bit if one of his best friends among the Wanderers wasn't a cannibal.

Mrow?

Toby looked at the empty package in his hand. "Nothing left," he said apologetically. He vaguely remembered a resident cat and a few dogs from the bunker days, back when there were a fair number of humans, enough to be called a community. He'd always liked that cat.

The stray persistently crept forward.

"Sorry, c--c--cat," Toby said, unfolding the package and holding it down where the feline could poke its black nose into the opening. "Beat you to it."

Toby had made his second grave mistake.

With a tiny pink tongue, the bedraggled feline licked hungrily at the remnants on the package, pushing the wrapper out of Toby's hand with its little ash-stained paws. Its head didn't quite fit inside the opening, so after watching a moment, Toby took pity and pulled the wrapper apart to reveal the last juicy bits of fish.

Mistake number three.

By the time Toby made it back to the door of the training center, the cat had claimed him and flagged him with a dusting of dirty white fur on his ankles.

It was far too late for "Go away."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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It would be an understatement to say that the lighter was worn. The coloring had long faded, having turned from what appeared to be a red to a pale pink through its exposure to the sub. Dents and scratches peppered its surface, and, upon being shaked, it let out a hollow sound that made it clear that most of its liquid had long since been used. However, it still worked well enough that a few well-timed flicks of a thumb birthed a spark, and held enough fluid within that a few more snaps brought a flame- a weak, feeble thing, nearly on the verge of going out- but a flame nonetheless. It worked, at least, and that was all that really mattered..

In a deft motion, Dawn snuffed the flame with a snap of the lid- only to open it once again and repeat the process. It had been a trinket she had found abandoned on the shelf during one of her own rounds, and something she had spent the time after toying with. It gave her something to do while waiting for her own shift to start, and to keep drowsiness from setting further in. She had debated attempting sleep for quite some time, now, but found it near impossible to keep her mind idle enough to properly rest. Eventually, she had decided to simply keep herself alert with the others on rotation- after all, it wasn’t as if an extra pair of hands at the ready would do any harm.

Her eyes drifted away to somewhere in the the corner of the room, only to return to the flame as quickly as it left.

It gave her some time for uninterrupted thought, as well. A bit of time where she could properly go over the events of yesterday, and the week itself. Attacks both major and minor, what had followed, and what was supposed to happen next. The group needed to move soon, that was clear enough- after all, Erubesco’s troops had proven capable enough of withstanding Helton’s curse long enough to stage a proper attack. There was also the matter of their prisoner, who had continued to keep her lips sealed in spite of...what measures Montana and Spire had taken to try and pry information out of her. While Hel was safe for the moment, it didn’t take a degree to figure out that she was set as a primary target- although many details beyond that were a mystery. Dawn could only hope that they would get something out of the woman soon, given that her own abilities were currently as useful as dirt when it came to finding any answers.

Then, there was another, milder, issue that had been brought to her attention.

Dawn had felt it recently, during one of her earlier rounds- a sort of...empty space within her own head. A clearing, where there had previously been little more than mental notes and other such thoughts scattered about. She had investigated once her shift was up, of course, although it didn’t seem to be much of anything, really. Her various proddings, searches, and scans came up with little more than that it was just a...space. Given the recent problems the Wanderers had been facing, it hardly seemed like anything worth mentioning- especially with the changes that her Elemental Gift had been inflicting on her mind lately- so Dawn had opted to keep an eye on the space and remain silent otherwise.

If it changed, she would inform the others, but it didn’t seem to be much. Besides, it was nice to have some quiet once in awhile.
Her musings were cut short by the realization that Toby had entered the building, and she quickly slipped the lighter back into her pocket before rising and going to meet him. Although she could feel a few of the group waking up, shift duty hadn’t officially ended, and her round was still next in line. It wouldn’t hurt to see if Toby wanted her to pick up where he left off. Taking care to not wake anyone up with her own movements, Dawn padded through the hallway, feeling her way through the corridors until she reached the exit- and, by extension, her fellow guard. Putting more sound into her footsteps (not that it really mattered, given that the other was an empath), she made the final turn to where Toby was and gave a bit of a wave upon seeing him.

“Hey, Toby,” she greeted. “Time to change shifts, right?” Before the other could answer, however, her attention was drawn away by another presence behind the man.

Immediately, Dawn gave a quick mental sweep, and was satisfied to find it was exactly what it appeared to be- a cat. Admittedly, she had become a bit...paranoid as of late, but given the circumstances and the existence of shifters, the raven felt it to be justified. Now curious, she drew back her power and peered at the creature for a moment or two before taking a few steps forward. A cat. It had been a while since Dawn had seen one out in the Wasteland. She had started to reach towards it before she caught herself in the action and thought better of it. The hand was pulled back.

“I see you’ve found a guest.” Smiling lightly, Dawn once again glanced at the feline, using her hand to gesture towards it instead. “Where did you find him?”

Granted, there was a fair chance that it wasn’t a male at all, but she found it flowed more naturally than calling the cat an “it” out loud.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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If one were to go by a strictly survival-based approach, they would have immediately opted to get rid of the cat before it became too attached to the group. To leave it somewhere where it would take at least a few days for it to come back, so no one could feed it more scraps, let it become a...pet. A waste of resources was a waste of days, really.

However, Dawn’s was not solely focused upon the grittier aspects of survival. Her thoughts were elsewhere, taken up by more pressing matters than the amount of food in storage or in their bellies. It had been some time since she had to worry herself about such things, after all, given the ease of getting supplies that came with having a pair of transporters on their side. As such, the only concern of hers towards the creature was the pests that might come with it- a concern that grew somewhat as the cat began to pace about her legs, as if it had known her for all of its life.

Like Toby, she wasn’t heartless enough to leave the thing to starve. Somewhat wary to actually start petting the thing, Dawn instead reached into the pocket of her jacket, and, pulling out an untouched piece of jerky, offered it to the cat. “Here you go,” she said softly. Placing the meat upon the floor for the cat’s further inspection, the raven straightened up and tucked her hand once again into the warmth provided by her coat.

“One of us could just go and see if Mina will be fine with us bringing him in,” she offered. It was an absentminded reply to unspoken words, but Dawn’s own thoughts were too distracted to make note of that. Her mind was elsewhere, following Spire as he practically skipped through the hall to Hel’s room.

Needless to say, she didn’t linger on the man for too long. Dawn had been left very much aware of the prisoner’s state when she had been hoisted from Pierrot’s “funland”, and she doubted that it would be in the best interest for her state of mind to see what else Spire had in store for the woman.

The setting changes from Helton to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Talin Melardos Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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.