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The Age of Gifted

Helton

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a part of The Age of Gifted, by Miss Echo.

A nice safe place to rest... If you don't mind death, decay, and skeletons.

ianna_334 holds sovereignty over Helton, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

470 readers have been here.

Setting

Once one of the first Gifted Cities built after the Gifted-Human Conflict, Helton was taken over by Erubesco soon after the start of the Faction W-r and converted to the most advanced training facility of its time - and its population forcefully recruited as Knights. It only served Erubesco for two years before an angry Curse-Gifted lashed out, and made the city uninhabitable to Erubesco Knights by means of a curse that ended them in four hours. Now Helton is a city of loss and decay, where the remains of the trapped Knights can still be found underfoot. With its location unknown to Liberty and untouchable by Erubesco, it is a favorite resting spot for weary travelers, but the general unease inspired by the area has driven possible inhabitants away.
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Helton

A nice safe place to rest... If you don't mind death, decay, and skeletons.

Minimap

Helton is a part of The Wasteland.

19 Characters Here

Mina Aldridge [20] "If it don't give you a heart attack on the spot, it ain't sweet enough."
Toby Schippers [19] The stuttering one with the sweatervest.
Dawn Memoli [16] "Tomorrow will be a better day."
Kayla Chandler [14] The wolf shifter is shy and quiet...until she bites
Clockwork Pelacour [12] "No side is strictly 'right' or 'wrong'; only a blurred grey."
Gale Eden [11] "'Quoth the Raven; 'Nevermore.'"
Soren Pelacour [11] "A good act can never drown a bad, although the former is still necessary."
Seraphina Iclosis [9] "I can still see, you know."
Talin Melardos [9] "I'm pretty sure this isn't what they meant by 'Live fast, die young' but okay..."
Jake Vale [8] "Looks can be decieving. That does not just apply to me, but all finds a scavanger may come across".

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Setting

Characters Present

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

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

They were coming up with a new plan of attack.

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

That’s true. Although…

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

Yes, I understand.

Good.

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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



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

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



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



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



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



Keep her hackles down; keep her expression gentle.



Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marcus Harrison Character Portrait: Roxy Adams
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Marcus and Roxy continued to walk through the broken city quietly, enjoying the sunlight and the sounds of the birds. As they approached another building that had birds perched on it Roxy walked ahead of Marcus and flapped her wings to lift off the ground. She flew up to the rooftop and whistled softly. The birds fluttered away at first, but then chirped to her in reply. Smiling, she made little chirping noises.

Marcus watched her curiously from down below. "Do they understand you?" He asked. The brunette popped her head over the edge. "I think they kinda do." She said, smiling. "They come to me if they're comfortable. Wanna see?" The young man nodded and watched as Roxy disappeared for a moment. He heard a lot of chirping and coos, and not too long afterwards, the girl was landing beside him. Two finches fluttered around her shoulders before perching there. She smiled and stroked their feathers softly.

"Bird whisperer, I see." Marcus mused, smiling more. Roxy grinned and let one of the finches move onto her hand. She then held it out to him. "Want to pet him?" She asked. "Trust me, he's friendly." Marcus blinked, but reached out a hand towards the bird. The bird looked at him, feathers twitching, but made no move to fly away. Seeing this, he began petting his feathers very gently. "You have an interesting Gift, Roxy." He noted. "Normally these birds would look at me in horror." Roxy giggled a bit at the joke. "Aw, I doubt that." She laughed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Reith
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The buildings near the outskirts of the old town of Helton were quiet. Once residential properties the families that had occupied them were long gone, either evacuated.. or gone in a far more ultimate way. The curse was indiscriminate.

The houses were not entirely without activity however,

A small, shrill squeal from inside one of the abandoned buildings heralded the exit of a pale-looking, silvery haired humanoid from inside. It edged out into the grey morning light, with the limp body of a large rat clasped in its twisted set of talons. Thick scales encased its forearm and patches its shoulders, a ridge of spines ran along its back, protruding through gaps in some faded tee, and the legs beneath the black, loose-fitting pants it wore seemed to not be shaped right...the joints snapped into place more like the back legs of some predatory monster. The mutant thing crouched on the concrete outcrop of a fallen building, clutching the deceased rodent, and, in two grisly bites with sharp, uneven teeth, consumed the whole thing, fur, bones, even tail.

Rat gone, the aberration remained hunched up on the wreckage, and as it did, the more monstrous features began to recede. The jagged teeth shrunk down, the chitinous claws snapped back into fingers, and the thing began to take on a far more human look. Of course, it was clear to any observer that this individual was not exactly normal.

Rei, OUROBOROUS RE1 T 1-1, Erubescan experiment now living wild in the wasteland after attempts to make something extremely hard to destroy turned out to work better than fully realized.

A few days ago, Rei had experienced being seized, lifted up, and torn clean in half by an Erubescan knight before being flung across thw battlefield. Considering that, she was looking pretty good for it. All pieces where they should be. It hadn't come without a cost though. After the fight and the repercussions, Rei had made her way to her room at the old training centre, collapsed into bed, and had remained there for about seventy five hours after. For most people, several days apparently comatose might have been a cause for concern, but Rei's rather..idiosyncratic biology meant that it had all turned out very well..

..aside from the fact that she had woken up the morning feeling very, very hungry.

And hungry was, perhaps, one of the most dangerous things for Rei to be, dangerous to others. Rei's hunger was not discriminate. Rats. Frogs. Fish.

And other, far more shameful food.

Recovering from her injuries had had another cost. One she was not keen to talk about. One she very much hoped no-one was ever going to speak of again. Some people had seen it, some people knew the horrible extremes her abilities would go to to preserve their host... but as long as no-one spoke about it, Rei had decided she could live with it. Well, it was not like she really had any choice.

The young woman straightened up, dusted herself off, and hopped onto the cracked asphalt of the road. She'd best go and let some of the others she was around...not that she assumed anyone was desperate to talk to her, but it seemed like the sort of thing you were supposed to do within the rather limited sphere of personal interaction Rei had picked up. Also, in her mind, she had no idea she'd been asleep for days to that point, so her appearance was hardly before time.

Setting

Characters Present

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

    by scoundrelboots

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



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



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



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



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



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

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

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Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden
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So, after passing through Helton, I should start making my way there towards that place. With everything I got from the last site, I finally have everything I need to finish what I have been working on for the past few decades... Jake thought to himself, as he got near the city. Helton was supposedly mostly picked clean, but he had been to old salvage sites before and found perfectly good salvage others had missed, including an Altari Motherboard, which was better then anything currently produced today.

As he got closer though, he heard multiple sounds. Most of them were heartbeats, each one of them giving off a different rythem....a different tune. Distinct to each person. However, one was that of a child singing. It was something French, Jake did not recognize it. However, he soon came into contact with the child singing it. The boy had stopped singing when he approached Jake, but Jake remained on edge and at the ready. No normal child would be out here on their own, so he was probably incredibly powerful. Jake was almost certainly stronger and faster then him, or at least one of those two, and at this range, he could easily take him on most likely, but better be safe then sorry...and not pick any unnecessary fights.

Still, there was no reason to think this person would be a threat to them, though according to his analysis, he was a capable fighter. He had not approached him randomly, this boy came to meet him alone on purposely. Therefore, his strength and power level must be high. The fact he approached him so quickly revealed he either had some sort of detection ability, or enhanced senses. The way he asked his question also revealed something. He was an experienced fighter, and capable of analysis in his own right. His comment about the monsters meant not only he had extensive combat training, but that he knew Jake did too. To most it would look like two children talking, but he and this boy were actually analyzing each other for strengths and weaknesses, staring each other down. It might be tense, if it didn't excite Jake a little. Old habits die hard.

"Monsters huh? Where are they exactly? Are they fun to fight?" Jake replied, deciding to reply in a way that wouldn't be as expected. "I hope they are not boring monsters. Boring monsters are no fun, don't you agree?"

Well, that just happened. Still, he kept on his guard. He was ninety percent sure others were around, and conflict was within his realm of expectations, though he would like to avoid serious conflict if possible. That said, this boy did put him on edge....though he interested him as well. "So who are you anyways?"

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Character Portrait: Jake Vale Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis Character Portrait: Talin Melardos
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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.

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Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Spire Schippers
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The sound of small feet in red tennis shoes padding up to the bedroom door heralded the arrival of the Wanderers' youngest member, six year old Hel.

The door slid open to one side, and the pale little face with wide, pinky-red bushbaby-esque eyes watched Spire from the centre of the room. The young girl had already gotten ready an dressed. The hooded top she'd been given was already pulled on, and her toy, the grotesque grinning coyote, had been stuffed through the central pocket, button eyes staring out emptily off to the girl's left.

Hel seemed a small, skinny creature. Her skin was pale, making her wild ginger hair more vivid, and also serving to make the scars on her face, her neck, and her shoulder stand a dakr pink against the tone of her skin.

While it was clear that some things must have happened to the girl at some point in her past, her time with the group had seen a noted improvement in her general condition. She had put on a little weight, and she no longer fought for breath when she walked. Her appetite also seemed to be gradually returning, to the point that she was anticipating breakfast with something approaching eagerness.

Of course she didn't say anything though. Hel was quiet much of the time, though her actions were often the things to speak for her.

Like the day before when she had deftly plunged a teleporter's own knife through his neck.

That was the problem with attempting to turn a young child into a weapon. They tended not to easily set upon who they were or were not allowed to use their skills on. Rei had discovered this to her cost numerous times. Even someone who would be an ally wasn't entirely immune from her spite, so it was maybe not surprising that it was Spire that she was closely bonded to.

"I'm ready." she responded, small and quiet as usual, as she trotted over to the man she had come to regard as a father figure...
Even if he was perhaps the worst of the group to take as one. Spire had shown her compassion, he had taught her things, like how to whittle with one of her mother's knives, and, possibly most importantly, he had promised to help her kill Dutch at some point, something she was still holding him to on some level.

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.

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Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Hel Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler Character Portrait: Spire Schippers
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Spire was quite aware of Mina's disapproval of his little jest about Dutch, but he had no intention of stopping such talk any time soon. He had found his position was on higher strategic ground if he kept the insults to the charming banter variety when it came to most of the Wanderers, but Dutch was free game. Nobody liked that greasy-haired killer anyway. Especially not Clockwork and company. And sometimes he might even manage to get a smile out of Hel by saying nasty things about Dutch. ...Even if it was a kind of dark smile.

"Thanks for the concern, Soren," Spire chuckled, "but somehow I've gotten by without a personal chef all my life so far. I'm set for now." He leaned against the counter, idly flicking out one of several short knives and testing its edge against his thumb almost subconsciously. With this motion, the direction his mind had wandered became suspect when he asked, "I suppose you haven't seen old man Montana yet. Probably still slinking around acting mysterious. Unless he's taken another unexplained haitus?" And it came painfully clear when he added, wryly, "And any idea where one might find your great and marvelous showman this morning?" because Pierrot was the only one who could portal him to the prisoner.

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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: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis 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: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis 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: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis 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.

Setting

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Gale Eden Character Portrait: Roderic Montana Character Portrait: Seth Ghysels
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Beads of sweat had started to fall an hour ago- maybe more, maybe less, Seth wasn’t paying attention exactly. They slid down his face, warming the already flushed skin before coming to pool at his collar. He had been sent moving about for most of that time, as well, only stopping to listen to Montana’s instruction when it came. His muscles were sore, and there was a bit of that familiar queasiness that came with frequent teleportation, but Seth considered that a good thing. It meant progress. Improvement.

Now, rocking back and forth on his heels, he listened once more to his teacher, green eyes obedient and intrigued. Seth was almost puppylike in his fascination- although that could be said about the boy no matter the situation. Even now, with the indentations of muscle visible beneath his shirt and on bare arms, and with the deadly gleam of hatchets in hand, he seemed more like a schoolboy than anything.

The effect was distorted, somewhat, by the light frown that touched his lips at Montana’s advice. It wasn’t one of disapproval, or of any sort of upset- it was thoughtful. Quiet. His eyes didn’t leave the other through this change, and as direction was given, Seth gave a brief nod to show his understanding. He had never attempted to use his teleportation in such a way- why bother, when you were so used to using it in the typical manner?- but it would be interesting. Fun. Helpful. Absently, he ran his arm across his mouth, hands tightening around the handles of his axes with the comfort of a hitter with a bat.

Within moments of Montana’s signal, Seth was gone- off to the land only others of his Gift seemed to know. He drew himself out just as fast, appearing at the side of the first target. With a swipe of his arm, the linen that made up the bag split, vomiting sand across the tiled floor. He didn’t stay to watch his efforts, instead moving to the next to repeat the process. And the next. And those after.

It was at the seventh that he slipped up. Rather than burying deep into the “torso” of the target, it instead nicked its side, leaving a shallow cut instead of anything particularly noteworthy. Granted, on a living person, there would be a chance of it eventually becoming lethal.

But “eventually” was not what he had been aiming for. Jaw clenching, Seth spun on his heel, surveying the damage for a slow moment. Not good. While he could still simply redo his attack and continue down the line, there was little margin for error now. And with the time wasted now with indecision…

He made his choice swiftly, and with little hesitation after that. Willing himself out of existence, he teleported to the dummy before Montana, planted his hand firmly upon it, and brought it several feet away again before disappearing once more.

When he reappeared, it was behind his tutor, arm lifted to swing at Montana’s back.