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The Age of Gifted

The Citadel

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

The pinnacle of Erubesco glory, don't let the medieval inspiration distract you from the technological marvels it hides

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

448 readers have been here.

Setting

A prominent towering structure that ascends to the skies and descends far underground, the seemingly medieval castle hides some of the world's most advanced technology in its walls. Sprawling and twisting tunnels run through this base, which is dominated by research labs, archives, and experiment storage. New acolytes finds themselves scrambling to navigate for years on end.
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The Citadel

The pinnacle of Erubesco glory, don't let the medieval inspiration distract you from the technological marvels it hides

Minimap

The Citadel is a part of The Age of Gifted.

15 Characters Here

Lulu Botrelle [19] "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, but the Devil's in the details"
Kora Norrevinter [18] I know one thing that does not die, the judgement of a dead man's life.
Drake Coleman [12] "You can kill me, but I'll just keep coming back."
Edgar Gormly [11] "One man's trash is another man's life."
Rosette Eschelia Crimson [7] "The name is Ruby, thank you, not Rosette."
Piper Kolert [7] The one in the chair.
Id Gormly [5] "It's the thought that counts."
Lindsey Nightingale [5] Naive, playful blonde with a side-shave
Nicola Varren [4] "MY ORDER!"

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Piper Kolert
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If it hadn't been for his stomach growling, Nathan would have skipped eating and gone off to work. His body had said otherwise, and he couldn't simply ignore it now. He begrudgingly entered the mess hall, and he was welcomed by the ambiance of constant chatter and food preparation. Oh, how he enjoyed the mess hall.

Making his way inside, he stepped into line to grab some food, doing his best to drown out the noise. The line moved slowly, but he busied himself with people-watching until he reached the counter. He observed the food options warily, eyeing the unidentifiable meat in particular. Though he had survived on this food so far, he couldn't get used to the look of some of it. Nevertheless, he took some, along with some flat cakes, and went to find a table.

A good portion of them were full of people, and he was not looking to squeeze in. He didn't really want an empty table today either, though. As he was walking down an aisle, he spotted a familiar blonde sitting in her wheelchair at an otherwise empty table. Blinking, he approached the side of the table across from her. "Mind if I sit with you?" He asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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Jack still wondered about the ball, and he was starting to get second doubts. Was he even invited? They might want him somewhere else. He wasn't too sure, he had spent most of his recent time in the labs, so they could monitor a growth spurt. They wanted him ever bigger, and even stronger. Even if he was invited, what was the chance he would find clothes? He had some nice clothes from years before, from when he and his mom went somewhere nice. There is no hope of putting them on now.

The smell of food distracted him from that thought. "Clothes can wait." His sense of smell was keen for food, and Jack as still hungry. He didn't care if it wasn't up to some of the standards of his fellow Erubescians, he would still eat as much of it as he could.

As he walked, he saw two people chatting, although one seemed rather annoyed at the other. The second man didn't seemed phased by it though. Whoever it was he was trying to find, sure did sound like a sight to see. He was soon interrupted as his feet started to slide on the wet floor. "Holy smokes!" He slid forward on the floor trying not to fall, but it didn't take long before he felt himself starting to tip backwards. His feet were in the air. Desperate not to hit the ground, Jack reached for whatever he could. In his panic, he grabbed for the wall but instead punched through it, pulling parts of it down with him as he fell.

He hit the ground with a loud thud.

Jack laid there on the ground, with a fistfull of wall and a wet back. "Dammit.."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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"Yeah. Like I said, Creepsy," said Skip. He was about to take the janitor's offer for an escort when the drywall crumbled in the stranger's hand. "More messes," he noted, pointing--cheerfully, not condescendingly. Picking up some drywall was certainly somewhere he could be useful. It wasn't much, but with his conditioned psyche, any opportunity to be used was a thrill after his time in isolation.

"I'm Skip the Third, by the way," he chattered as he tiptoed around puddles toward the accidental vandal and the crumble of wall bits.

It was at that moment that he heard his name, followed by the bang of Caddie's dropped bucket. Skip looked up and beamed like he had just won a lifetime supply of sherbet.

Skip didn't share Cadriel's hesitation. The project could count on one hand the number of people who willfully accepted physical contact of any kind, and he was going to take advantage of it. The rubber soles of the yellow chucks half-slipping and squeaking in the water from his haste, he bounded to the smaller experiment and swept her into an almost too-tight embrace that could easily take her feet off the floor, glowing shaking a tad from the strain of not giving everyone in the vicinity cancer.

"I'm fine, I'm good!" he said, releasing her. "See? Granted. Stuff did sort of happen." His smile grew rather weak. He glanced at Edgar and Jack, not certain how much of what he was about to say was classified. But certainly there was enough base gossip around that they couldn't find it out anyway, if they asked. "They--well--they put a microdetonator in my head. I was supposed to--sort of kamikaze that Wanderer group for what they did to the base. But Eris didn't pull the, um, proverbial trigger--which was surprising, since I thought she hated me--and I was afraid so I told the Wanderers, and they got it out before somebody else could do the job, I guess."

He dipped his head briefly, pressing his lips together. A shaming internal sting like the zap of a dog's shock collar still accompanied the thought of his failure. His cowardice.

He stuck on a smile again and looked up, his face lightening. "Anyway--the Helton curse--it's a real thing, apparently. Who knew? It nearly got me dead--so I guess it means I'm still loyal or something. So here I am. Transport picked me up a few days ago. I've been in the labs until today. Eris--she put in a request to get some of my clearance back today. And, um, I came upstairs--and I met Second Tallest Guy I've Ever Seen and Odin, with the stitches, there--" He paused to smile and wave at Edgar and Jack in turn, just to make sure they caught their christenings. "--then you dropped your bucket. And I think we're officially caught up from my end."

He quieted for a second, waiting for her story, but blurted out again at the last moment, "Oh and one of the Wanderers Lolly helped me catch a pet bird. His name is Dan and he doesn't sleep in my room because of what happened to the puppies and the other birds and the cat and the lizard, but he's downstairs if you want to see."

Pause. A thoughtful crease of the forehead.

"Okay, now we're officially caught up from my end. What did I miss?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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The mention of friends in high places was not missed on Lulu, and and she sighed into a sympathetic frown. “It’ll work out for the better, Kora,” she said, nudging the food closer to her friend.



Lulu was not at all sure of her own words, but it was better to say something consoling than nothing at all. Kora was one of the strongest people on base— Her ability to go days with unattended wounds causing no more damage than extreme discomfort was a testament to that. Still, the front lines of the battle were no joke, and she knew many good men and women who had been lost to the barrage of gift-fueled violence.



“Varren isn’t wrong about you being suited to it, though,” she consoled, “You’d be a better field Commander than anyone on base right now. And it isn’t your fault this is happening like it is.” 



She pursed her lips for a moment, looking at the table as she tried to phrase what she would say next. ‘I’m going to use my impending sexual relationship with Nicola Varren to bring you back on base, and then hopefully convince you to help me in my plan to kill the King, and after that you’ll be top military brass, so stop worrying your little head,’ just didn’t seem like the proper words of comfort at the moment.



“I can maybe put in a word, with Varren?” she decided instead, “Convince him that Balthazar is out to gain some personal satisfaction from harming you? And then he’ll have to request you back.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Id Gormly Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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#, as written by Zalgo
Ed nodded to Skip, acknowledging his introduction.

He didn't need Skip to point out the awful mess the large oaf of a man had made. This just meant more work, more opportunity to get his ear talked off when it came time to report back. Before he could resume his mopping however the bang of a bucket hitting the floor brought his eyes off the strange rambling fellow over to the woman he had come across earlier.

From the moment she saw Skip he could tell they knew each other well. How well was questionable as Skip ran in for a big hug. Either the guy was an extremely touchy-feely sort of person, the kind of person who makes his skin crawl just being near, or the two were close. Regardless of who they were or who was sleeping with it was none of his business and he planned to keep it that way. It was getting way too crowded in this hall as it was. Two was company, three was a crowd and all of the above was more company than he appreciated.


Just as he was about to move on down the hall, hoping to avoid notice so he could clean the rest of the mess he made in peace, he found his foot would not move as though it were glued to the floor. Attempting to move the other foot he saw that it too would not move.

"Aw. Leaving already?"

He cringed. Hearing her voice never meant anything good.


Look, I've already made myself look like enough of a fool out here. You don't need to help.

He struggled not to speak aloud, a learned habit from past experience. He knew nobody else could hear her voice except for him, at least that is what he's been led to believe, and answering questions nobody asked would only make him seem like some sort of lunatic. He didn't need help becoming even more of a social pariah.

"Looks like you've made yourself some friends. Aren't they just adorable?"

Ed's back stiffened instantly as he felt a smooth, delicate finger trace down the right side of his neck. Sauntering up to his side the ethereal beauty that was his sister rested her chin upon his shoulder, lightly leaning on him as she looked over the group around Ed with a devilish smirk. He could feel her touch and her weight upon him but he knew she wasn't there. It was all a hallucination, a trick of his mind brought upon him by her. Sweat ran down his brow as he tried his hardest to ignore her presence.

No. I don't know these people. They aren't adorable either.

"Tut tut. You're too negative. You need to loosen up. Lets hang out with your new buddies."


She was so casual she spoke as if she had not a care in the world. The truth was she didn't have one. She was effectively unaffected by almost all forms of danger. No one other than her brother even knew she existed and Ed couldn't do anything to her. The most he could do to bother her was to keep away from things she might take an interest in. Right now however he was powerless to challenge the verdict. He wasn't going anywhere no matter how badly he disliked it and he disliked this situation plenty.

So there he stood, bucket next to him and mop in his hand. Having said her word she decided to vanish, leaving Ed's perceived world while he listened to what Skip had to say. He couldn't help but give a sigh of relief now that he didn't need to pretend there wasn't someone hanging off his shoulder now that she let him be. He knew better than to think for a moment she wasn't listening to every thought and watching every emotion that passed through his mind but at the very least he could suffer without her added torment for the time being.


At the very least some of what Skip had to say was of some interest. The fact that the military had put a micro-detonator in his head wasn't shocking news but it was still worthy of note. He wondered just how they planned to kill people with a bomb that small. There was also mention of some person named Eris but he had no idea who that was so he didn't care.

The most interesting thing to Ed that Skip mentioned was something called The Helton Curse. He didn't know anything about a Helton but from what he could deduce from what he said he figured it killed people who were loyal to Erebesco or something along those lines. Now Ed didn't wish death upon Erubesco or anything quite so strong but he definitely knew that he was by no means loyal. He served because he had no choice. Something with a curse that killed off loyal members of Erubesco would come in handy if he ever wanted to be left alone.


Not that there wouldn't be other ways the military could get him. If there was one thing he knew it was that there was always someone with something for the job. That was the irritating part about his fellow gifted. Thanks to their super powers it was a pure matter of fact that no one is born equal. He was born to be lesser than others. As far as his fellow gifted were concerned he was dirt. He couldn't blame them, he thought so too. To him he was just some one-eyed piece of junk that barely even understood his own ability. He'd never known nor did he ever want to know the specifics regarding his supposed 'Gift'. Quite frankly he didn't even care. He had had enough of people and their powers. He just wanted to be alone.

Of course she wouldn't like that very much. Far too boring for the likes of Id.

He wasn't amused with his new nickname. A name such as Odin's was well wasted on some rotten janitorial slave. He never liked nicknames to begin with and he was starting to really dislike Skip as well. Perhaps this is your plan. He wondered, thinking words knowing that Id would definitely hear them. You knew this would really get under my skin, didn't you. He accused her in a scathing tone of thought. Nothing answered back save a long period of silence. She knew he knew that she could hear his thoughts but she didn't want him getting the idea that he could just talk to her whenever he liked. She found his impotent rage highly amusing but too much of anything was never palatable.


Quietly he stood there, hoping his quiet participation wasn't drawing too much attention. He looked about, hoping they weren't staring. Given his odd behavior moments ago he figured odds were likely that he wouldn't escape this conversation completely clear. His trust in his own luck had been lost a long time ago.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Piper Kolert
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Nathan's mouth quirked upward at Piper's little joke, and he placed his tray on the table. He observed the recognition in her eyes as he sat down across from her, and nodded as she said his name. In response to her embarrassed apology, he shook his head. "No, it's fine. There was definitely a lot going on at the time." He replied calmly. He remembered the chaotic return to the base, and the shouting Kora had received from Piper. It wasn't something he expected to hear from her. Normally, she seemed sweet and calm.

Piper's question suddenly pulled him away from his thoughts, and he blinked. "Ah, my story?" He repeated, looking at her curiously. He glanced at his tray of food awkwardly for a second as he pondered the question. "There's not really much to say, to be honest with you." He replied. "I've been here ever since I was old enough to be trained. I took to sniper training and earned my title of a Knight that way. It's been just the same up until now." He thought more about it and frowned, rubbing his left temple with his fingers. "I have a few gaps in my memory because of an accident, so that's my story so far." He added, shrugging it off. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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After a good bit of fussing (and and even great bit of false smiling) over showing the ginger-haired Knight how to use the base navigation interface, Mel managed to send the woman on her way in (what he presumed to be) the correct direction. 



Having done his good deed for the day, the post-nightshift worker plodded back toward his apartment with his roommate in tow. He swung the door open with a heavy arm, trotted down a hallway that his eyes were a bit too strained to see in proper focus, and plopped down to sit on the bed with his boots still on. The uncomfortable not-sweaty-but-still-weirdly-clammy warmth that came with being awoken and forced out of bed in the midst of a heavy dream seeped through his body, and settled into his gut with an inauthentic impression of illness that he knew would not let him return to sleep.


Mel ran a hand over his shoulder, pausing to knead a stiff muscle and roll an ache out of his arm. He sighed with a weight akin to an air-mattress with a hole being jumped on, and proceeded to shove himself back to his feet with a smile. “Well, Coleman,” he said, “if we’re already up, may as well get on with it.”

He turned toward the mirror by the kitchenette and did his best to make sense of his sleep hair, and then back to his roommate. “I’m going down to the cafeteria to see what they’ve got, and then I’m off until tonight. If you want to tag along. Or not. It’s uh-“ he trailed off, losing track of his own tired rambling and stopping to inhale through his nose and clear his head. “I’m getting coffee and food, if you’re down.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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#, as written by Hyro
Drake found the situation with the red-haired Knight slightly amusing, what with her being lost in her own community and all. In light of his roommate's disdain over the whole ordeal, however, the boy did his best to conceal his amusement, despite how humorous it was to him. He didn't say much as Mel offered assistance to the directionally challenged Knight, simply opting to observe(and make note of) the latter's guidance in directing her around the Citadel.

After following Mel back to their room, he couldn't help but notice his company's haze and exhaustion. Mel seemed ready to get going despite this, but Drake wasn't buying into the forced demeanor.

"Are you sure you don't want to get some more sleep in before jumping into your day?" the boy noted, eyeing the other doubtfully. Drake wasn't even sure if Mel would make it to the cafeteria without tripping over himself or forgetting where he was half-way there.

"I mean, I'll come with you if you insist on going," he conceded, eyes looking Mel up and down, "But only because someone's gotta keep you from spilling boiling-hot coffee on yourself."

Drake's last comment was a small attempt to tease Mel. Or, perhaps, a minuscule insult; an attempt for the boy to remain cold and distanced from his surroundings, as this was his usual defense mechanism.

Even he wasn't entirely sure what his intentions were yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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Mel waved off the concern as he made for the door and held it open for the younger man to follow. “I’m up now that I’m up. And I’ll grab iced coffee, maybe. I guess.”

And then, with delayed reaction- “Oh. The hot coffee bit…” He laughed half-heartedly, nodding toward Drake, “That was a joke. Ha.” 


Moreover, he was looking for company that made him feel slightly less awkward. Even after several days of living with the new refugee, the idea that this boy had been held under the control of the very same people who had butchered half of his old unit made Mel uncomfortable. 



To make the understatement of the decade.

“But uh. Cafeteria may have waffles or something. So.”

Mel started off down the hall with Drake in tow, trying to make tired smalltalk by prodding at the first subject that wandered to mind. "Did you guys have like... Real food? Or... Do you remember, at all? If you ate waffles and stuff?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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#, as written by Hyro
Of all the questions Mel could have asked, his query over food seemed insignificant, but Drake would humor him. The boy's eyebrows furrowed as he squinted and tried to concentrate. He had spent all night trying to regain his memories to no avail, but maybe, just maybe...

A subtle headache started to form.

"I really can't remember much at all," he replied, frustrated, "It's all a blur-"

The boy paused as a memory flashed across his mind briefly. A flicker. There wasn't much context, just faint smells of sweat syrup wafting through the air and a warm, fuzzy feeling in his chest. There was a man holding a tray of waffles... Or were they pancakes? It was hard to tell, but the memory certainly wasn't negative. In fact, it brought joy to the boy and light to his eyes.
Like memories of home.

The man... That's...
It was Soren. He had baked a delicious breakfast for the Wanderers as he often did. There were others indulging in the home-cooked meal, their faces blurred but very clearly happy.

The memory had come quickly, and just as it had come, then it was gone.

Drake stood there for a moment before realizing he had stopped. He was swift to apologize and catch up. "Sorry. Er... We did. Have real food, I mean. Waffles, pancakes, the whole lot."

This was his first memory since he'd woken up... It wasn't much, but it was a start.
Finally, he was making progress.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Piper Kolert
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Piper nodded as he spoke, her strawberry blond springs of hair bouncing, a little surprised by the timbre of the information Nathan provided. Usually when she asked "what's your story" she got the answers to where people were from and a list of hobbies. Since he hadn't asked her a return question, and since she didn't feel up to volunteering her own "story," in detail, she simply replied, "Sounds like the classic tale. Mine's similar. Though I think I got Knighted because I'm good at paperwork."

Her curiosity was peaked about these memory gaps, so she added, "Was it a combat related accident? Or--sorry. That was rude." She was asked so frequently about her chair, and her disposition was such that it had never bothered her, so it hardly occurred to her that asking might be considered impolite until too late.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rick Ronin Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nicola Varren
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In events of a call to the emergency channel, the call was broadcast to both the highest and lowest commanding ranks. Transmission to any of the ranks in between were to be determined by the recipients.

Nicola Varren was one of those. Up with the sun, he’d already been working for a few hours, currently arranging schedules before anything urgent or necessary came up. From his behaviour when Fisher called in, one would have thought he’d been waiting for this very news, eyes closing for a moment while the man gave a resigned sigh, before calling up surveillance. From there, he was able to view the tapes and determine that yes, in fact, that was Rick Ronin.

Eyes narrowing, Nicola began to deal with the situation. First, a flag on all the guards around the perimeter, because Ronin had walked in and someone had missed it. Next, a message to surveillance for someone to go through the tapes and track Ronin’s path through their City. Third, alerts to Grand Chancellors and Chancellors, to be prepared to be called to deal with the high level threat posed.

Finally, as more of a precaution than anything.
“Good morning, Commander Botrelle.” His voice was a bit harder than he would normally use when addressing this specific commander, but then again, this was a serious call. “I assume you got the alert, Ronin is within striking distance of the Citadel. I’m leaving first response in your capable hands, while I organize a strike team if necessary. Your clearance for personnel request,” he worked as he spoke, and his words became true just before he said them, “has been brought to the highest level. You have access to any gifts currently stationed in the area. Glory to Erubesco.”

That taken care of, the Viceroy deigned to take a look at the Knight who had made the call, then swore softly as he recognized the name from a rather harrowing report.
“Miss Fisher.” He patched himself through to her earpiece, speaking in a soft soothing voice. “Thank you for your alert, and Knights are on their way to deal with the threat. Your orders are not to engage. With the first group, someone will be along to escort you to back to the Citadel. I repeat, do not engage.” Nicola sent through a request for a teleporter to pop over and bring the young lady to medical bay. The notes on her file were clear, and Saffir Fisher was not yet cleared to fight.

Nicola was paying especial attention to things like that after the mess with Botrelle that he had returned home to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Rick Ronin Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nicola Varren Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Lindsey Nightingale Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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  1. Exciting! I can't wait! But I feel I must inform that Rick isn't actually in the Citadel. I talked to Echo before I made my first post and she thought it would be best if Rick showed up at a location that wasn't constantly guarded like the Citadel is.

    by darkshadowolf99
  2. For clarity, he is in a small unnamed town near the Citadel which is also mostly surrounded by the Ash Wasteland.

    by darkshadowolf99
  3. Well, Erubesco is a country. So if its nesr the Citadel, it's Erubescan. They do have roadways and the like between towns.

    by scoundrelboots
  4. I mean my post did say that the town was covered with Erubesco propaganda which is a clear sign that the town is aligned with Erubesco in some way shape or form. The point is that Rick isn't specially in the Citadel. I don't want people thinking that Rick was able to slip into one of the most heavily guarded Erubesco cities without even trying and without anyone noticing. That's all.

    by Anonymous
  5. Alright. This is clear (:

    by scoundrelboots
  6. by scoundrelboots
  7. I think it's important to clarify, as well, that the city wouldn't just be "aligned with" Erubesco. If it's in view of the Citadel, it's definitely within Erubescan borders.

    by scoundrelboots
  8. by scoundrelboots
  9. And also (sorry for all of the footnotes- I keep trying to press "enter" to make a paragraph, and not realizing the issue this causes). BUT the term "The CItadel" refers both to the Citadel base as well as the surrounding city. If Rick can see the Citadel castle, chances are the town he's in is a suburb of the city. Likely outside of the heavily guarded city proper, but definitely close enough that the mailing addresses could list "Citadel City."

    by scoundrelboots

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The Erubescan Command-on-call system was neither complex nor refined, but it got the job done: According to Citadel policy, any Knight Commander not otherwise engaged or officially off-duty had to have their earpiece tapped into the system, and a minimum of one Knight Commander had to be available to take such calls at any time, day or night. 

Commander Botrelle happened to be the one tasked with covering Thursday mornings. 



So, when her earpiece buzzed with the double beep signaling the start of an emergency broadcast, her surprise was muted to little more than a slight flinch. She passed in whatever condolence she had been offering Kora, halting conversation with one raised finger and a gesture toward the communication device. 


“Emergency,” she mouthed, fingers already flying across the surface of her tablet to pull up the video feeds before Nicola could so much as grant staffing permission. The former softness of the Commander’s face and voice were wiped away in an instant, replaced by calculating focus. Her lips pursed as she worked, gears turning in her mind as she took in the angles and details of the situation: 

Ronin was in the West District Library— a building with a twenty-five current occupants, three of whom were minors, seven of whom were library staff. One main entrance, two emergency exits, and no roof outlet. There was a cafe across the street, a modern art gallery to the building’s left, and several other smaller shops. 



The civilian population at risk was massive; at minimum, the library would need to be evacuated before anyone could proceed. 



Her tongue clicked against the roof of her mouth with impatient frustration for a moment, and then she pulled up the Citadel’s available troop listing. 

She began flicking names on the spreadsheet open to profiles, swiping those she wanted to use to the right in a column labeled with the date and an urgent tag. Two teleporters, one sniper by the name of Nathan Chandler, and a (somewhat hesitantly added) Serf Cadriel had already been compiled when Varren opened her clearances to the entire on-call Citadel force.

She began flicking more names to the right: Sniper Makorai Saika, tank Jack Rousimoff, and the dual-gifted Lindsey Nightingale.

“Thank you, sir,” she said to Varren, “Our team will be on the ground in fifteen minutes, max.”

Her nail hovered over one more name, and she glanced up at Kora. Her friend was battered, bruised, and potentially still bleeding under her bandages. 
Ready to be shipped to the front lines, if nobody came up for a better plan. 

“Get dressed in something decent,” she ordered, “Ronin’s in the city. If you can’t fight, you’re pardoned.” The name “Kora Norrevinter” flew into Lulu’s right column.



She tapped on the list, setting the selected troops into “Alert mode.” A series of beeps would sound on their ear intercoms.

This is Commander Botrelle,” she said, speaking into her radio as she shrugged off her suit jacket and strode toward Kora’s door. She set off down the hall at a jog. “If you are reading this message, you have been drafted as part of an immediate emergency response team. Terrorist Rick Ronin has been spotted in the West District. You are to rendezvous at the teleport bay in five minutes. Civilian attire. This is not optional.” 




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Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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The corner of Mel’s mouth curled up on one side, and his expression scrunched into something between bemusement and disbelief. His thick brows furrowed so tightly they nearly became one. 



“Huh,” he replied, shoving his hands down into his pockets, taking them out, and then rolling one shoulder as if he could not find a comfortable way for his arms to rest. In fact, Mel’s entire body had started to crawl with a far more profound discomfort than he had expected at Drake’s response. 



“I guess uh- I mean…”



His stomach turned at the thought of the Schipper’s brothers washing Saffir’s blood from their dirty hands so that they could pick up waffles and shove them into their mouths. 



“It’s kinda just weird, you know? I- I should have assumed that they eat decent food out there. No reason not to… It isn’t like they’ve got anything to…” 



He shook his head, hoping the image would shake away with it. What had he been expecting? That the terrorists would eat rocks and sand, and drink blood? 



Mel swallowed the rising lump in his throat and pulled at the collar of his uniform before speaking again. “It’s just weird to think of them as being people, who eat normal food and do normal things sometimes,” he replied at last, “The whole 'the worst monsters are men' thing. With uh— Well, I mean. You got dragged through all of the stuff they’ve done. So it must be harder for you to… Well..” 


He stopped short, noticing that his fingernails had started to dig into the flesh of his palms. “Sorry. For bringing it up.”



The door to the mess hall was fast approaching, and Mel swung open the door to hold it for Drake with a strained, apologetic smile. “I uh— It smells like the coffee may not be crap today?”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Skip III Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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The force of Skip's embrace lifted the little experiment's feet clean off of the floor. She might have been rather uncomfortable by being seized in such a manner by most other people, but more than anything Caddie was overjoyed to see Skip, one of the only people she could unironically call her friend, back and safe. The smile on her face tugged at the stitches at the corner of her mouth, revealing some of her dreadful jagged teeth, but it wasn't much of a concern at the time.

Having dusted herself off a little and recovered her still-intact drink from the floor, she began listening to what had taken place.

With the experiment's revelation about a one certain knight commander, a number of things that had happened lately made far more sense. Though a number of other things made far less. Like the now troubling implication that Commander Botrelle had a soul and some sort of sense of decency. At least Caddie didn't need to feel quite so let down about helping her then. She'd always been feeling a little like her sense of empathy had rather ruined her opportunity for revenge. One time she had any measure of power over someone who'd made her life difficult, and she'd ended up offering first aid.

As far as what had happened... well Cadriel wished she could feel more surprised about the actions of the faction. Then again considering how she had been treated there weren't many things they could do to an experiment that would shock her. Even if it wasn't fair to do it to Skip, someone significantly less dissatisfied with things than she was. He wasn't a traitor, and if he had done something wrong it was more likely stemming from how they'd made him themselves. You couldn't create things a certain way and them blame them when it was flawed.

Still, he was back, and presumably no longer facing any kind of retribution. Things were looking up.
"Well I uh.. mopped a bunch of floors and occasionally got shouted at. Also I had to help out Commander Botrelle after Commander Avalon.... well she was hurt pretty bad and I don't know if she could've patched herself up so...I helped her get cleaned up. "

She decided to leave out the ''and then she attempted to kill me and then involved me in some kind of plot'' for the sake of expediency.

"And then this morning I was doing my usual stuff when one-eye-guy there told me I wasn't supposed to be there. But I was. Then I was going to take a break and get a drink....then I heard the wall being ripped open so..."

The large-sized knight had, by then, gotten to his feet and addressed the serf; with something she would regard as a bit of a disparaging comment. Even if she had been 'cute' she wasn't sure she liked being greeted like it...but looking like a marionette and a tub of medical waste had crashed into each other at high speed it wasn't hard to perceive such things as some kind of mockery. Sporting a lopsided frown Caddie was about to bring up the broken wall, and how fixing it wasn't part of her area of expertise, when her earpiece chirped suddenly into life. This was alarming as Cadriel could not remember the last time she'd been personally called up. Most of the time her interactions were rather a one on one basis...usually somebody shouting at her over a trivial matter. It had been an age since she'd gotten a call up.

The janitor fumbled with the device, stuffed into the bandages at the base of her neck, and clumsily pushed it into place. The large piece missing from her ear on that side made it sit a little awkwardly.

As Caddie listened, her grey eyes widened in alarm.

Emergency response team.
Civilian clothes.
Teleport bay.
Five minutes.

Trying to grip the intercom once again with her heavily bandaged hand, the little experiment spoke up in a small voice.
"Er...Commander...was I added to the list by accident? I....I'm not sure I was supposed to get this call..."



----


When Lulu suddenly broke off, Kora had been sat emptying about six sugar packets into her second cup of coffee, and morosely chewing on bacon and toast. She couldn't deny that she felt better for eating and drinking something sensible after days of not really taking care of herself. Still despite this, and despite her friend's assurances that she wasn't to blame, Kora could still feel the weight of accumulated shame rather heavily on her shoulders.

Regardless of the circumstances, people saw her as failure. An incompetent. She didn't want to be kept on in the Citadel out of pity. She was supposed to be an unstoppable warrior. The result of one hundred generations of breeding. It should not be this way. She had to prove it. Had to find some way to show people that she was no liability.

As if in answer to this silent request, Lulu spoke up.
All the knight needed to hear was 'Get dressed' and 'Ronin' and she was on her feet, narrowly avoiding covering half the room in coffee. As the commander departed to go and prepare, the redheaded erubescan tore through the remains of her clothes to look for some field gear that was both appropriate and moderately clean.

Civilian outfit, heat-resistor gloves in order to avoid her ability causing a great degree of collateral. No combat knife...seeing as she'd left Geri and Frecki behind. A long-sleeved hooded top top and a bit of adjusting hid most of the wounds and bandages from view. The gauze pad over her eye and cheekbone was still there... but at six and a half foot tall, with bright ginger hair and a distinct nordic accent it was not as if she was going to blend in either way.

From there, Kora was on her way to the teleport bay. That bastard again. Everything had started going wrong when she'd run across that ashrat brute. If this went well it was the perfect time for her to redeem herself in the eyes of the faction. If it didn't...well it would at least make her feel better to be against someone she had no complicated reservations about knocking out the teeth of.

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Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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#, as written by Hyro
"It's fine, really. It's not like I remember much, so..." Drake trailed off.

It was pretty hard not to hear the mood change in Mel's voice, hard not to see the expression drop on his face. And even without all the obvious clues, his aura would have given his discomfort away to Drake regardless.

"You know, for something that bothers you so much, you'd think you would have told me why by now."

A pause. An observation. A selfless thought, flashing through the boy's mind. Perhaps he would vocalize it. Try to be comforting, at least a little bit.

"It must hard. Seeing me all the time. Since I was, well... One of them," he hesitated, "Brainwashed or not... But I know these Wanderers or Terrorists or whoever they are bother you. I'm not sure what they did or anything... I'm just... Well... Sorry, I guess? I know you're sort of stuck with me at the moment and that can't be easy..."

This mushy stuff sounded way worse out loud. He kind of regretted voicing it now.

"Ugh," a swift pivot of subject, "Yeah. Hopefully the coffee's decent."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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Lulu arrived in the teleport bay with Kora in tow just minutes after making the call, and was pleased to find that at least a portion of her requested team had managed to report: Chandler was in, as well as the two teleporters, Schmidt and Quirk, and (obviously) Norrevinter had all gathered in a timely fashion.

“No mistake, Cadriel,” she said into her earpiece, not nothing to mask her irritation at the time-wasting question, “You should be here.”

She glanced around those gathered, and the severity of her expression possibly added a good five inches to her height. “Knights,” she addressed them, and then turned to a blank wall. A flick across the clear glass of her tablet cast her screen against it, displaying a video feed of Ronin on one side, and an aerial map on the other. “Your prompt response is as appreciated as well as it is necessary— we face a crisis on our hands. You all represent— and I do mean you all, including those of you who have somehow managed to not yet drag yourselves in to be briefed as of yet, — a first line of defense for the people of the West District.”



A few more gestures of her lacquered nails directed the satellite image to zoom in, and a building plan of the library was superimposed over its image on the map. “This is where Ronin is located, currently,” she explained, motioning toward a blue dot on the plan, “on the first floor. There are two floors, and a considerable civilian populace at risk. The building has three emergency exits, highlighted in red, here… And two fire alarm pull stations, one on each floor.

“Norrevinter, you’re on the north exit. Cadriel will take the west; Rousimoff is on the South. Quirk will drop you off at a corner block away from Ronin’s view, here. I will also be dropped at this point.”

Lulu paused for a moment, circling the point with a winding motion of her finger and checking to see that Quirk understood.

When Quirk gave a nod, she proceeded.

“Schmidt, you will deposit Chandler and Saika, wherever the hell the latter is, though presumably it is on his way on two opposing roofs, here, and here. They are to load immobilizing rounds— non lethal. There’s no room for error with this many civvies around. If Ronin makes it out the door, you shoot him. And you don’t stop shooting until you are out of ammunition. I hope you read that, Saika.” 



She flicked back to the satellite camera, offering a clearer view of just how many people were around. Families crossed the street from one corner to another, and children played in a park a few blocks off. The stakes were obvious, and the margin for error was non-existent.



“When everyone is in place, I will enter the building, locate Ronin and send signal to Norrevinter. Norrevinter, you will light a smoke bomb and roll it through the door to trigger a fire alarm. With any luck, the smell of smoke will be enough to convince everyone it isn’t a drill, and make sure that Ronin doesn’t suspect he’s been caught.



“Meanwhile, I will do my best to create a decoy for Ronin while people evacuate. I won’t engage him with civilians present, if it can be avoided. If I should fail in this, it’s the job of everyone at the exits to push him back in should he try to flee, and alert everyone on their com lines to engage. If he tries to smash out a window, Chandler and Saika— shoot him.



“With any luck, though, I will be able to hold him in the building. When it is empty, snipers are to maintain their posts while the rest of out team convenes on my location to provide backup while I engage him. You are all to take any action necessary, including lethal force, to preserve civilian life and ensure Ronin is contained, in that order.” 



With the briefing complete, Commander Botrelle pivoted on her heel to face her assembled unit. 

“Are you all clear on the plan?” she asked, the steel in her voice obviously not looking for any answer other than “yes.”

Almost as an after though, she touched her earpiece, “Everyone else, do you read?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Rick Ronan Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Lindsey Nightingale Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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As Commander Botrelle's briefing rang out in the teleportation bay and through the communicators of those absent, Lindsey's lithe figure was dashing down a hall. A string of curses was rapidly coming out of her mouth as she ran quickly to the bay. As she practically flew, she managed to avoid hitting people carrying paperwork or hot coffee. "I shouldn't be late! I am such an idiot!!" She thought angrily to herself as she reached the room. She hurried inside and quickly got into line with her comrades. "Yes, ma'am." She answered quickly, hearing her question.

~

Nathan looked to the door as Lindsey entered hastily. He held back a sigh and simply looked to the ceiling for a moment before nodding to Botrelle. "Yes ma'am." He responded calmly. His attention was since again redirected as Makorai entered the room. He watched the fellow sniper with narrowed eyes, catching his drunken slur. Hiding his disdain, he prayed that this wouldn't be a problem for their mission.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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Jack was standing there with the serfs when he heard a series of loud beeps in his ear. It startled him and jumped back, quickly covering his ears with his hands. This only made the sound louder as it echoed in his hands now. "Oh." Still jumpy, he realized it must of been from that ear piece he forgot about. He lowered his hands and laughed softly at his mistake. What could it be for? Was it for breaking the wall? Did they really know about it already? It wouldn't surprise Jack if someone higher up had seen the whole thing. He stood still and listened to what it could of been. This is Commander Botrelle, Uh oh. It very well could of been for breaking the wall. If you are reading this message, you have been drafted as part of an immediate emergency response team. Terrorist Rick Ronin has been spotted in the West District. You are to rendezvous at the teleport bay in five minutes. Civilian attire. This is not optional. It wasn't for the wall, but something much worse. A terrorist? Immediate emergency response team? Jack felt a sliver of pride. They wanted him? Someone wanted him to be with them? It also saddened him. It wasn't for the skills he favored, but for his more harmful ones. He would have to fight people, possibly kill. He didn't want to do that, but Erubesco, his home, was being attacked. Jack had a job to do, and civilians depending on him being there.

Civilian attire? Jack was good in that concern. Five minutes? That was more a problem. How would he get there quickly? And from where he was? Jack started to quickly walk to where he needed to be, but soon enough he heard another buzz over his ear piece about not being there still. Jack started to panic. Still startled by the initial beeps, and now being rushed, he became desperate. He didn't want to disappoint, or to let any civilian lives be in danger. He figured he had already broken one wall, so why not break another? Turning to the direction of the teleporter, he ran straight towards the wall, smashing into it with his shoulder. The same crashing sound heard not too earlier was now repeated, but louder than before. Instead of a small hole, it was a giant gash. After he broke through that wall, a second wall was soon in front of him. He punched his hand through and pulled part of it out, soon smashing through that wall as well. He kept running, pushing debris behind him as he kept running.

Bits and pieces of wood, drywall, and some split electrical wire were scattered on the ground. There he stood in front of the teleporter, ready to go. His hair ruffled, his clothes dusty. A trail of holes behind him. He stood with the others hoping not to be late. It never occurred to him that he might be doing more damage to Erubesco than he might prevent. "Everyone else, do you read?" Jack smiled. "Loud and clear."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Lindsey Nightingale Character Portrait: Piper Kolert Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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Nightingale and Cadriel were late, which was quite enough to set Commander Botrelle’s nerves on end: Lives were on the line, and this operation needed to run like a well-oiled machine. A hint of irritation flashed across her features as both came in a minute or two behind the start of her briefing, but she took no further action to call them out or draw attention. Minor mistakes were expected.

And then Makorai Goddamn Saika had the nerve to be late and drunk.

Her lips folded in on themselves and her irises locked onto the ceiling to avoid looking at him.

This was not a time to let her temper get the best of her.

“Knight Saika, what, might I ask, are you-“

Crash.

A chunk of wall was demolished directly where the Commander had been projecting the map, the teleport bay’s security alarm blared to life, and a puff of sealant foam sprayed out from the wall’s broken points to close up the gap, spraying both the opening and the backside of the man who had smashed it with a pale yellow snowfall that expanded on contact. Rubble and dust were cast up into a cloud, and nearly all of the teleport bay workers turned to stare in silence.

Now, some Supervising Officers would have been fuming at this development, but “fuming” was not something that Botrelle was known to do.

She was known to tap a sharp-heeled stiletto, or drum her nearly manicured nails, or perhaps draw her rosy lips into a disappointed purse.

But she did none of these.

Her posture was rigid, and she did not so much as turn to look at Rousimoff’s graceless form. The rise and fall of her chest ceased, and she was frozen so stock still that, were it not for an incredulous blink, there were about five seconds in which it looked possible that she had literally died from disappointment at the team that had gathered.

She touched her earpiece. “Knight Kollert, I need a soldering job on the north wall of the teleport bay. Gather a prompt reconstruction team. Please.” A quick flick of her finger across her tablet surface shut down the screaming alarm.

Lulu was going to kill them.

If a vein did not burst in her brain from trying to comprehend the level of unbridled incompetency in the room, she was going to fucking kill them.

She took a slow, deliberate breath— The kind so deep that it strained against the buttons of her button-up blouse as she held it before letting it go into a sigh.

“Twenty-two thousand, four hundred, and thirty-eight,” she said softly, her tone devoid of compassion or fury. There was an edge in its quietness, the kind that seemed to lower the ambient volume of the room with its demand to be heard.

“That is the number of civilian lives immediately at risk in the West District. That many men, women, and children are depending on nine upstanding military troops of the Kingdom they have pledged their allegiance to to keep them alive. They are counting on nine punctual, sober troops ,who are capable of following basic orders without causing major structural damage to sensitive, secure areas for no justifiable reason.”

Her pale green glare was fixed on the back wall, staring directly between the torsos of Nightingale and Chandler without actually looking at either of them.

“If you are not capable of fulfilling these requirements, or understanding the weight of these stakes, you will excuse yourself immediately.”She paused, letting the silence linger in the area for a moment, and then nodded to Quirk.

“Put our snipers in position,” she ordered, and with a nod Quirk moved first to Chandler and then to Saika. “Nightingale, you’re with Cadriel at the West entrance. Schmidt, move everyone. And stand by near the drop point for the withdrawal operation.”

Schmidt gave an apprehensive nod and began working around the circle, vanishing each member of the team off to the corner, ending with Commander Botrelle.

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Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
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Mel could hear his own blood throbbing against his eardrum, washing out the back half of what Coleman had to say. To say that it bothered him would have been an understatement, but it was not a tragedy he had any right to claim.

His right hand crossed his body to rub at the jagged scar on the opposite palm, the only physical trace left by the bullet that had shot his gun out of reach. Comparatively speaking, it was a very, very small price to have paid, given what had befallen the rest of his comrades.

“Doesn’t bother me,” he said as he picked up a cafeteria tray, putting on the practiced smile he had learned to use in front of his case counselor. “It’s in the past, anyhow. And there’s nothing that’s going to—“

Transmission from Knight Saffir Fisher

His hand flew to his earpiece, upon hearing the computerized butchering of Saff’s name, pressing the gadget in so that he could hear the transmission clearly.

“Hey, Saff. What’s—“

His face went pale.

The plastic tray clattered from his hands to drop against the cobbles, and Mel’s boots squeaked against the floor as he turned and pounded toward the doors. A waxy pallor blanched over his skin, standing out against the ring of cold sweat seeping through his shirt collar.

“I’m coming, Saff. Hold on. Are you sheltering?” Of course she was hiding. Stupid, stupid Mel. His raced down a stairwell taking the steps two at a time. He nearly took out a pair of Knight Squires on their way to training, but he paid them no heed as their shoulders clipped against his.

“What’s your 20? I- I’m going to the station now, okay? I’m going to grab the subtrain over—“

No. If Ronin were in the West District, incoming public transit would surely be closed, or rerouted.

“I’m coming, okay? I’ll grab a lift and be over there as soon as I can. Citadel response will be there before I am. You’re gonna be okay—“ His knees were shaking as he ran through the Citadel’s front entrance and over the wide wooden bridge across into the city.

The last time he had promised Knight Fisher that she would be alright, there was a case of lockers on top of her, and her blood was pooling in a slick puddle on the ground, which his boots slipped in when he tried to push the shelf up to free her. The ground had been wet from a burst pipe in the wall, and less than five yards away the bodies of Zhao and Lowy lay still with death. There was someone else coming down the hatch to the shelter, with quick steps and laughing conversation and—

He shook his head and began holding out his hand to flag a driver. “I’m on my way, Saffir. You’re alright,”

If Coleman or anyone else had followed his frantic flight from the building, he had not paid them any heed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Nathan Chandler Character Portrait: Makorai Saika Character Portrait: Cadriel Character Portrait: Lindsey Nightingale Character Portrait: Jack Rousimoff
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Kora, for her part, simply stood with her arms folded, regarding this arrival rather skeptically, before looking over to Lulu in a manner that asked 'Is this really what you've chosen for a squad?'

"We've got a door you know." she remarked drily, somewhat pleased, considering her current situation, that she was looking the best out of all of them. She was on time, sober, and hadn't broken any Erubescan property...well not recently anyway. And nothing as extensive as breaking through walls.

And it wasn't by lack of capability.

Kora was only down by about a foot in height on the other knight, and she had long been quite famous (or infamous) for destructive capacity.

At least at this rate she was not in danger of any of the team making her look bad.

Her skepticism was only reinforced upon seeing the small figure of Serf Caddie stepped through the enormous gap in the wall, with a look of exasperated resignation on er face at the destruction.

Caddie had arrived in time to catch most of the Commander's lecture, and was almost certain she was not exactly in favour either.. but in all fairness it was hard to be prompt when you'd neither had any civilian clothes, nor had any real means to purchase them, for years. She didn't get out much. Well, she didn't get out at all. Generally speaking the height of Caddie's social life was talking with Saika whilst she tried to get to the drain cleaner he was lying on top of.

Her current outfit had been stolen rather hastily out of a cart of laundry, and some things left in a locker room by the teleport bay, so consisted of a slightly faded mauve sun dress, a hoodie at least two sizes too large for her tiny frame, and a pair of sneakers.
The lack of uniform didn't seem to diminish the strangeness of her appearance. If anything it worked completely the other way with more grubby bandages left on show.

But it was the best she could do in a hurry.
Plus it was not like she really cared that much for Lulu's approval.
She wasn't even sure why she was here.
Why send a janitor to do a Knight's job?
Still, if her work told her anything it was not to bother asking why.
Hopefully she could just get this over with and not end up vapourized.

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Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Piper Kolert Character Portrait: Skip III
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Piper had no time to be confused by her lunch companion’s hasty exit, because she heard Commander Botrelle’s voice in her ear. “On it, Commander,” she said, one hand already starting the wheels of her chair away from the table and the other manipulating her tablet to contact the appropriate channels. The closest custodians and technicians pinged on the smooth interface.

“Chase Black, Edgar Gormly, Krystal Saturns, and Patricia Collin,” she said, practicing her best official-yet-cheerful-yet-no-nonsese voice, feeling very pleased and very official with her new rank to be organizing other people instead of being ordered, “please report to the teleport bay immediately. Gormly, bring soldering equipment and the Cabinet 3 reconstruction materials from the supply closet on your way. Thank you.”

She herself glided straight to the lift, and then to the site of the busted wall. She didn’t need any soldering equipment, herself. She was soldering equipment.
She could do this sort of thing. Battles and losing Knights on her watch, she wasn’t sure she was cut out for that. But emergency technical work? Cake.
Because she'd go real far in life on emergency tech work.
Yeah.
That'd make 'em all so proud and jealous.
Ugh.

---

Something was going on. There was some kind of emergency, probably. Everyone seemed to be involved. The tall guy went literally crashing away, and even Caddie received a summons. Even the other janitor's earpiece lit up. Skip waited for the a call in his ear that his help was needed, too.

He waited until he found himself alone, just standing. Just breathing in the corridor.

Skip was on probation.

Nobody needed him.

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Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Id Gormly Character Portrait: Piper Kolert
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"You do," said Piper, who was already busy at work melting and attaching damaged wiring, leaning forward in her chair until she looked ready to fall out. "All of you," she said as a few more crew members trickled into the teleportation bay. She barely looked up as she spoke; blinding pulses sparked from her fingertips as her Gift activated, lighting her face like an irregular strobe.

"There's an emergency situation going on and...these breaks occurred in someone's haste. The damages may be a threat to security. I think we all saw how catastrophic the results can be when the teleportation security is compromised," she said, detangling a pair of fat, sparking cables with a new determination as she remembered the attack, the fire...the being strapped to the emergency generator like a human battery.

She glanced at Edgar, where he stood hands in pockets, looking, in her opinion, a bit clueless. She vaguely recalled seeing him around the base. She remembered, because he had appeared to be rambling to himself. Piper knew she wasn't dealing with a specialist group; but they all should have received some measure of broad, fundamental repair training, and right now, close by with fundamental training would have to be good enough.

Piper's whole bearing seemed to change as she gladly donned the mantle of responsibility. Her soft voice sounded harder with her decisive orders. "Attach those cables, and those ones. If you don't usually handle electrical, consider this your first training lesson and grab an iron and ask me or Saturns where to attach, or use that adhesive from the supply cabinet to patch the wall over what's already fixed, like there, on my left."

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Character Portrait: Edgar Gormly Character Portrait: Piper Kolert
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#, as written by Zalgo
There sat the girl, welding wires with her fingers. A little blonde girl in a wheelchair no less. No real big deal to Ed. He didn't care if his orders came from a four hundred foot tall tarantula, work was work. It all sucked anyways.

"There's an emergency situation going on and...these breaks occurred in someone's haste. The damages may be a threat to security. I think we all saw how catastrophic the results can be when the teleportation security is compromised,"

"You mean this here hole the big guy left?" He retorted. He wasn't aware of the events prior to his transfer to this location. He had been working for a bit of time but not long enough to really know this place. He was never really good at remembering faces either. As far as training was concerned he was given basic routines for a select few duties. Patching up walls wasn't outside his scope of training.


"Attach those cables, and those ones. If you don't usually handle electrical, consider this your first training lesson and grab an iron and ask me or Saturns where to attach, or use that adhesive from the supply cabinet to patch the wall over what's already fixed, like there, on my left."

With a indifferent shrug Edgar took up the adhesive. It was an easy enough job and he was not keen to speak to these people more than was already necessary. Applying the adhesive he patched up the wall where needed. All the while he couldn't stop thinking of the town Skip had spoke of.

A place which spells the end of any loyalist who dares venture into the city, all except him of course. It would provide wonderful isolation, especially against more loyal folks Erubescor had.


If only I knew where...