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C. S. Finn

0 · 527 views · located in Beaulieu Street

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Saviarre

Description

Image
Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve got a tail. You can quit staring. You’re acting like you’ve never seen a guy with a tail before. Are you new to Wing City or something?

Name’s Finn… Yes, that’s my real name…. Oh yes, super original calling me ‘Huckleberry,’ I’ve never heard that one before… Alright, if you must know, it’s Clarence… But I’d much prefer you call me Finn… It is my real name. It’s my last name… Gee, do you need everything spelled out for you?

…No… I don’t like fish… why?... I’m supposed to? Look, buddy, isn’t that a bit stereotypical?

I’m not a freaking cat, okay?

Can you move? You’re in my light and I’m trying to read.

… Can’t you take a hint? This conversation is over.

(This picture is not mine. All credit for this incredible image goes to Coyox at deviantart. If the artist objects to my usage of this image, let me know and I will immediately remove it.)

So begins...

C. S. Finn's Story

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Finn watched her, the tip of his tail twitching curiously. As she stood, he moved to help her, but she seemed to have herself under control… or, at least, that was the vibe she wanted to give off. “Miss?” he called after her, moving forward a few paces, reaching to place his hand on her shoulder. “Miss, you’re hurt…” Way to state the obvious, Finn. He hurried to position himself in front of her, between her and the trees, his eyes shifting down to the patch of blood. He felt himself sway slightly. Blood was never his thing.

“My apartment is just over there…” he muttered, pointing off to the right. “About two blocks. I can help you.” Oh, yeah, Finn, that doesn’t make you sound like a creeper. Here you are between the woman and her intended escape route pointing out your apartment? Surely, she thinks you’re a rapist or something. “Or, I could… um… accompany you to the hospital?”

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Finn was taken aback at her adamancy at not going to the hospital. He was certain that a hospital would be better for her than he could be. “Ah, yes,” he replied, his ears twitching at the sound of the howl. Turning his head to scan the trees, he stood in front of her protectively. “It’s safe,” he muttered. “As far as I know, anyway. I live alone… well… with my cat…” He stopped himself, not wanting to explain. Most people thought it strange for someone like him to have a cat.

“It’s just this way.” He took a step away, turning to make sure she would follow him. “I… I wasn’t expecting visitors, so… it might be... well… a bit messy…” Had he put his laundry away?

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He led the way, turning to look behind them periodically, trying to keep a hurried pace that she could keep up with. She was hurt bad. He could smell it… so he knew she was putting on a brave face. As such, he pretended to believe her. Everyone has their pride, right? “Don’t mention it,” he waved a dismissive paw. “It’s… you know… the right thing to do.” He glanced at the wound, frowning slightly, mentally going over the contents of his medicine cabinet. Aspirin… bandaids… rubbing alcohol… Did he have gauze? Well, he could leave her there and go get some…

As she asked his name, he turned to her. “My name is Finn,” he replied. “I, uh, I’m not a rapist or anything. I’m pretty… normal… I swear…” He chuckled slightly. “I don’t often pick girls up from the park and take them home…” Hell, he hadn’t even had a girl in his apartment other than Jennifer, and how had that turned out? She couldn’t accept him as anything more than a friend because he wasn’t a freaking human. There was a tiny irritated twitch to his tail before he remembered himself. “What about you? What’s your name? What… what happened?” he gestured to the wound as they turned the corner.

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Finn’s hand snaked out to her arm as she stumbled, and pulled away quickly. He wasn’t sure he should try to help her. Maybe she’d think he was trying to do something to her… but really, he only wanted to help. As he noticed how unsteady she looked, he reached out again. “Lean on me,” he offered, digging his keys from the pocket of his jeans. “We’re almost there.”

But something about her story bothered him. Werewolves? He wasn’t too up-to-date on the stories and myths, but… didn’t a werewolf bite transform a person into a werewolf? Or was he thinking zombies? Or… or were the rules different for people like them? It seemed the stories were all written for humans… just like everything… made for humans…

The setting changes from Wing City Plaza to Gambit's Bar

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Cats hate to get wet… at least, that’s the myth… but because of that myth, C.S. Finn took his slow sweet time walking through the rain as he headed toward Gambits. Despite the newspaper tucked under his arm, he made no attempt to shield himself from the wet drops as they pounded down at him. He ground his teeth, his only display of discomfort, but for all intents and purposes, Finn looked completely content to be walking in the rain.

He wasn’t… but he wasn’t going to let on.

Finn wanted to distance himself from any of his latent feline characteristics. Hell, tucked into the pages of the book he carried in his pocket was information on “Discrete Tail Removal.” Yeah… because nobody’s going to notice the lack of a tail when they think you should have one.

With a sigh, Finn pushed his way into Gambits and glanced around. Empty. Good quiet dry place to read.

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Cats hate to get wet… at least, that’s the myth… but because of that myth, C.S. Finn took his slow sweet time walking through the rain as he headed toward Gambits. Despite the newspaper tucked under his arm, he made no attempt to shield himself from the wet drops as they pounded down at him. He ground his teeth, his only display of discomfort, but for all intents and purposes, Finn looked completely content to be walking in the rain.

He wasn’t… but he wasn’t going to let on.

Finn wanted to distance himself from any of his latent feline characteristics. Hell, tucked into the pages of the book he carried in his pocket was information on “Discrete Tail Removal.” Yeah… because nobody’s going to notice the lack of a tail when they think you should have one.

With a sigh, Finn pushed his way into Gambits and glanced around. Empty. Good quiet dry place to read.

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Cats hate to get wet… at least, that’s the myth… but because of that myth, C.S. Finn took his slow sweet time walking through the rain as he headed toward Gambits. Despite the newspaper tucked under his arm, he made no attempt to shield himself from the wet drops as they pounded down at him. He ground his teeth, his only display of discomfort, but for all intents and purposes, Finn looked completely content to be walking in the rain.

He wasn’t… but he wasn’t going to let on.

Finn wanted to distance himself from any of his latent feline characteristics. Hell, tucked into the pages of the book he carried in his pocket was information on “Discrete Tail Removal.” Yeah… because nobody’s going to notice the lack of a tail when they think you should have one.

With a sigh, Finn pushed his way into Gambits and glanced around. Empty. While it wasn’t empty, it seemed like a good quiet dry place to read. Brushing some water from the shoulder of his jacket, he made his way toward the fireplace, his tail flicking slightly as he purposely ignored everyone. Taking a seat, he crossed his legs as he’d seen humans do and opened the newspaper.

The setting changes from Gambit's Bar to Vargeras

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn
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With a shrill squeal of brakes, a fourteen foot moving truck with a familiar logo painted on the side pulled to a stop at the curb. The occupants inside sat for a moment, silent. Slowly, the hand of the female driver shifted to the automatic door lock button and pressed it. The audible clicking of the lock caught her passenger unaware, and he jumped, his lips pulling back from his teeth in a quiet hiss, the hair covering his neck tufted up.

“You sure this is the right area?” the passenger asked, a paw lifting to scratch uncertainly at his chin. He didn’t want to question his companion, but he had to admit, the area in which they found themselves was not exactly what the brochure had described.

The driver said nothing. Her jaw tightened in the dim light of twilight. Her brows furrowed. Lifting the cell phone from its cradle in the console, she tapped at it a bit. Her frown deepened and she lifted her head and squinted at the nearest street sign. “Yeah,” she said finally. She checked the directions one more time and bit her lip. “The entrance to the neighborhood should be right up there.”

The passenger’s tail flicked spastically twice before settling against the door once more. “It’s…” he started, clearing his throat. “…nice?”

The attempt at a compliment was met with a sharp bark of a chuckle and the driver turned her face to him. “Well, we wanted a new start, right? How hard can it be to start here?”

The paw was back to the awkward scratching once more before smoothing out his whiskers. “Do you have a gun?” It was meant to be a joke, but it fell short of being humorous.

Rather than crack a smile at the awkwardness, she nodded. “I have six.”

With that, she shifted the moving truck into drive once more and continued down the road. At the entrance to the Fontainebleau neighborhood, the truck turned a sharp right with a rusty groan.

The setting changes from Vargeras to Fontainebleau

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn
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The moving truck continued into the Fontainebleau neighborhood, its occupants’ frowns growing deeper as it wound through the streets. The passenger’s ears flattened against his head as he watched the seedy neighborhood move past the windows. Down one alley, he was certain he’d seen someone getting beaten or mugged. He’d already counted seven prostitutes and those were just the obvious ones. Beaten up cars passed with loud bass blaring out of their stereos. People standing on the sidewalk stopped whatever they were doing to watch the moving truck drive through the neighborhood, their attitude clearly indicating that the newcomers were not welcome.

“Old world charm…” the passenger muttered.

The driver was silent as they passed a house that had been condemned. When she spoke, her tone was amused. “I believe the ad said ‘old world elegance’.”

A shoulder lifted in a silent chuckle. “My mistake.”

After flipping on the turning signal, Meg waited for a group of rough looking individuals to cross the street before turning onto Beaulieu Street.

The setting changes from Fontainebleau to Beaulieu Street

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn
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The brakes on the moving truck squealed once more, a long reluctant noise as it pulled up outside of 11519 Beaulieu Street. From the passenger seat, Finn squinted at the dilapidated house. Behind the wheel, Meg checked the directions and address once more, comparing the picture on her phone to the structure outside the truck.

“This isn’t… exactly… how you presented this whole situation to me.” Finn’s discomfort was obvious and Meg almost wanted to comfort him, but she had to admit to being a bit unsettled as well.

“This isn’t exactly how this was presented to me either,” she responded.

There was a sudden burst of noise and both heads turned to the door of the house across the street. A handful of rough looking men had just exited onto the street, clapping each other on the back and laughing raucously. A scantily clad woman followed them out onto the sidewalk. Words were exchanged, more laughter erupted, money exchanged hands. The woman went back inside. The men eyed the moving truck suspiciously before making their way down the street, occasionally turning their heads to watch the truck as they moved off into the distance.

Finn blinked. “Is that…?”

A red lightbulb flicked to life over the door of the house. Meg couldn’t help the laugh. “Oh God, this just keeps getting better and better.”

“Well, at least I know that if I ever need… um… you know… I can just go across the street.” Finn tried to laugh, but his unease gave it a pathetic tone.

Meg couldn’t tear her eyes away from the door. She was fascinated. She’d never been this close to this sort of activity. “Well, now I have an idea of where to ask for a job.” She gave it a moment for the words to sink in before she turned to look at Finn. He was staring at her, jaw agape, eyes practically bugging from his head. “I’m kidding, Finn. Geeze. Seriously? You think that’s what I’m into?”

Finn’s jaw shut with an audible click and he shifted uneasily in the bucket seat. “I, um… Well, I… I don’t really know you, you know?” There was a sudden click as something Meg had said earlier finally reached him. “Wait, you have six guns? Why would you have six guns? Jesus, Meg, who the hell are you? What did I get myself into?”

A hand reached across the cab of the truck and placed itself soothingly on Finn’s knee. “Relax. We’re both just looking for a new start, right? And this is where we’re going to do it.” She looked once more at the house she’d purchased, sight unseen, from an ad placed online. “I’m sure we could make it work. But we will still need those roommates, you know.”

A quiet angry yowl rose from the cat carrier wedged between Finn’s feet. “In a minute, Brad,” he muttered, looking up at the house. He didn’t want to admit how much he enjoyed the feeling of Meg’s hand on his knee, so he cleared his throat and shifted away. “Yeah. Roommates. I’m sure we’re going to have the most upstanding applicants. At least you posted the ad in the paper. That way we know that our potential serial killer roommates would most likely be literate.”

Meg couldn’t help her laugh. She didn't mention that she'd also placed an ad on about four websites advertising the need for up to three roommates as well. “Come on, kitty cat, let’s go.”

“Don’t call me that,” Finn growled, his ears flattening against his skull. “It’s Finn. Just Finn. Brad is a kitty cat. Not me.”

“Right,” she nodded, waving her hand dismissively. “Let’s go check out our new digs.”

Finn opened the passenger side door and stepped out onto the sidewalk, reaching down to grab the cat carrier. “Maybe we should hire security while we unload the truck,” he suggested, only partially joking.

Meg didn’t think that was a bad idea.

-----------------

They managed to unload the truck into the new house in record time. One would stand outside guarding the truck and the possessions within as the other would take in a load. It was only as they were handling the furniture that they weren't able to keep an eye on the truck. Considering they came out of the move missing only a floor lamp, an ottoman and a queen sized box spring, Meg thought they did pretty good. But she had loved that ottoman.

Once the door was shut and locked against the night, they set about attempting to arrange their new house into a home.

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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The following morning, Arren was once again out on the prowl for somewhere to stay. The sun had slowly started to creep over the city's skyline as the morning radio broadcasts filled the cab of the truck.

"Good morning Lutetia, thank you for turning into 97.3 LTKQ, your go to place for the morning happenings!"

He reached forward and turned the radio down with the simple twist of the knob, before he shifted in his seat, his eyes scanning the neighborhood, a red 'For rent' sign catching his eye.

"Well it's not a terrible neighborhood... certainly good if we want to stay incognito." Arren commented to himself as he put the truck into gear.

"I'm not sleeping in this damn truck again, that's for sure..." He commented to himself before he started from where he was parked, slowly bringing the white truck across the street and towards the house.

"11519 Beaulieu Street" He said aloud to himself, letting his eyes scan the outside of the house. "Looks like it's a room mate situation, I hope the existing tenants don't ask too many questions, then." He said as he parked the truck in front of the house. It looked like some people had just moved in.

"Alright, well.. I better get cracking." He said, stepping out of the truck and smoothing out his pants.

Arren was a rather imposing individual, with his six foot stature, his muscled body, and faded Military fatigues, in addition to the tattoos that were strewn about his body. He looked downright menacing, which was good for a place like this. He made his way along the sidewalk, as the neighbors offered him suspicious stares, wondering to themselves if he was a cop or a well connected thug.

The fatigues themselves didn't have any emblems or seals that betrayed who he worked for, rather an old faded camouflage, and a green vest with a large knife strapped to it, free from any patches or insignia.

The white truck chirped twice as the alarm was armed, and he started up the stone stoop.

He eyed the door for a moment, before he brought up his fist, affording three audible knocks against the door, along with the freshly printed ad clenched in his other hand.

He quietly waited for an answer.

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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Meg and Finn worked throughout the night to turn the dilapidated house into something resembling a home. They set up furniture, unpacked the kitchen, filled their closets. Meg even put hand towels in the guest bathroom, even though she wasn’t entirely convinced that the toilet was completely functional. As she worked, her frown deepened. Here she’d thought she’d gotten a good deal on a century old house in the heart of a quality neighborhood. Instead, she’d been swindled and ended up with this ramshackle property in the midst of a neighborhood she once would never have set foot in. Still, she was trying to make the best of it.

Finn had taken up position for the past few minutes on the sofa in front of a large living room window. He was staring out at the house across the street, watching the coming and goings of a tough looking crowd. At first, the bars on the window had made the house seem like a prison, but as he watched the activity in the neighborhood, he started to resent the bars a bit less, seeing them more as protection than display.

“Hey Meg,” he called, his tone joking. “You think I should go ask the neighbors for a cup of sugar?” He waited for a response from the woman sitting at the table in the dining room, but none came. “You know, cause… it’s a brothel? Get it? Sugar?” Still no response. He sighed and turned his attention back to the window. The white truck that had just pulled up caught his attention, and his tail bristled out. The stranger was extremely interested in their house. Finn’s eyes narrowed. “Uh, Meg…? There’s… There’s some guy checking the place out.”

He hadn’t even heard her rise from the chair. The next thing he knew, she was beside him, her hand behind herself, peering out the window suspiciously. She watched as the man approached the house, her own eyes narrowed until she saw the paper in his hand. Relaxing slightly, she moved the hand away from the small of her back and placed it comfortingly on her roommate’s shoulder. “The ad,” she muttered. “He’s probably here about the ad.”

The knock at the door was firm and she turned to look at Finn to see if he would answer the door. It was clear by the nervous look he gave her that he would defer to her. Pulling the tail of her grey tank top over the butt of the gun sticking up out of the jeans she wore, she made her way to the door, muttering under her breath: “Scaredy cat.”

“I heard that!” Finn called after her before joining her in the entry hall to answer the door. They stood beside each other as they opened the door, a feline anthro in a plain white tshirt and jeans, tail twitching suspiciously behind him, and a human woman. Her eyes flicked down to the paper and then up to the stranger’s face, sizing him up distrustfully.

“Are you here about the ad?” Meg asked, her grey eyes shifting over the stranger on the porch. “Come on in.” She kept her right hand free as she held the door with her left, ready to reach for her weapon at a moment’s notice.

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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"Yes I am." He said, eyes moving to and fro as he scoped out the inside of the house. "I'm looking for a place where I can.. how do you say.. keep a low profile, Kyllä?" He said, his northern Sagittaron accent somewhat reminiscent of a scandinavian accent, but slightly different emphasis on other consonants.

Though it didn't seem it, he was watching their movements, her hand moving to her weapon, though he didn't see the weapon itself, he knew the gesture.

"Look lady, I'm just here about a place to stay, you can relax." He said, noticing the apprehensiveness of the room. "I come to rent the place for a little while, my associate and I are in town on business, she'll be staying here too; but right now she's out working." He added.

He paced a wide circle around the house, his eyes nodding.

"Zis is perfect.. what's your price?" He said, turning to face the pair. Upon close observation, the man didn't appear at all armed, save for the knife that was. He had taken stock of the security, and made a mental note to make some additional preparations. "Money is no object, you price, I pay. We keep to ourselves, you stay out of my business, I stay out of yours, Ymmärrätkö?."

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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“An associate?” Meg asked, a brow lifting in question. “I’m not sure I’m comfortable renting a room to someone I have yet to meet.” She stood with her back against the wall as the stranger moved through the rooms, looking around. “Would you be sharing a room or would you each want your own?”

Finn stood quietly by the door, letting Meg question the newcomer. It was, after all, her house. “We have three, possibly four rooms that could be rented,” Meg continued, shoving her hands in her pockets. “I’d charge $500 for rent and all utilities, however after moving in, I’m finding a lot of problems that I wasn’t expecting. I’ll need to have contractors in here to fix things. So, until that happens, I’ll only be charging $400. Consider it a ‘construction discount,’” she chuckled quietly.

His final words about staying out of each other’s business relaxed her slightly. Perhaps it was something about the possibility of someone else having their own things to hide that made her own secrets feel more protected. But there was something about him she couldn’t put her finger on that niggled at her defenses. Still, she held out a hand to shake with the stranger. “I’m Meg. This is Finn.” The anthro was mentally calculating how much it would cost to put a new lock on his bedroom door. The blonde indicated a furry blur as it ran past them into the living room, settling under the couch and peeking out with blazing green eyes. “And that is Brad, Finn’s cat. He’s really quite sweet.”

Her brain kept picking at her about something, but she still couldn’t put her finger on it. Deciding to let it go for the moment, she tilted her head. “That’s a very interesting accent, Mr…?”

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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"Arren, Arren Valaj." He said, taking her hand in a firm shake.

"Not comfortable renting a room to someone you've not met? Well, I can double your asking price, a thousand up front, how does that sound?" He said, reaching into his pocket to fish for his wallet. "And then I can pay you 800 monthly while we're here." He added.

"We'll be sharing a room too, my associate and I." He said, moving to lean against one of the couches. "As for your contractors, I have some very specific requirements for this house while we're here. Don't worry about your contractors, I'll pay for them, I just need a place to stay, let me take care of the rest." He said, offering a reassuring smile, as best as a 6' tatted up mercenary could.

"Oh.. my Accent... well, it's just something I couldn't quite shake from the old country." He said, brushing it off, but catching the apprehensiveness.

"I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable?" He said, moving to peer out the window.

"This doesn't look like a very good neighborhood... I hope you don't mind me moving in some hardware... my associate and I, and our Employers have some sensitive equipment we don't want stolen."

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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At the offer to double the price, Finn blinked. His tail twitched and his eyes grew wide. Double the price meant that they didn’t have to have a full house. Maybe he could claim one of the extra bedrooms and turn it into a library. The idea made his ear twitch and he absently lifted a paw to smooth over it.

Meg, on the other hand, tilted her head as she studied Arren. “Double the asking price?” she questioned, looking at the wallet as if she expected it to contain a hidden camera. She fell silent as he spoke. When he finished, she folded her arms over her chest and studied him, taking in the tattoos, the shape of his body, the knife, the fatigues. She was silent for perhaps longer than was comfortable for anyone. Finn shuffled from foot to foot, clearing his throat after a few moments, trying to make Meg aware of the awkwardness of her pensive silence.

When Meg didn’t respond, he stepped forward. “You’d pay to have the security improved around here?” He looked at Meg, but she didn’t break her silence. Her brows were pulled together in deep thought, but other than that, she continued to study Arren. Finn frowned, moving to stand beside Meg, resting his paw on her shoulder indicating that he would take over. “I think we can all agree that this place needs better security.” He looked at Meg once more, but she still said nothing. “I think it sounds like a good idea.” Still nothing. Finn looked back at Arren. “You wouldn’t be bringing any drama here, right? Nothing illegal? I mean, don’t get me wrong, but it sounds a bit fishy… But even if it is fishy, you wouldn’t be putting our lives or property in danger, right?”

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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"Double." He affirmed while still fishing through his wallet, the square shaped currency could be seen by the keen eye. "let's see.. I know there's a thousand in here somewhere..." He said to himself and then he nodded. "Ah!" He said with a nod. "Here we go."

He then withdrew a square shaped banknote, and then he handed it to Meg.

"This should cover the up front costs, I don't know what the exchange rates are right now, but that should cover your asking price." Arren explained, noticing that she was watching him, and he grimaced as she eyed him for an uncomfortably long period of time.

"Is.. Something the matter?" He asked, shortly before Finn took over.

"We have a lot of expensive equipment we'll be bringing in that I don't want stolen, equipment that's... well worth the price of this house." He explained. "But there'd be no danger, I just want all the bases covered in a place like this."

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Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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Finn watched as Arren pulled out the currency, his tail flicking. “Is that Aschen?” he asked, his eyes wide with excitement. “Man, Aschen money is so neat!”

Meg, however, didn’t seem to share the sentiment. She unfolded her arms and accepted the square shaped bill more out of habit than anything else. At the word ‘Aschen,’ her eyes finally left Arren and shifted to the currency in her hand. As soon as her eyes passed over the figure on the money, her lips tightened. Her hand began to tremble as she stared at the familiar currency in her fingers, the familiar figure depicted on it, but Meg didn’t realize it.

“So, are you Aschen?” Finn asked, oblivious to Meg’s subtle reaction to the money. “They’re the only ones I can think of that would have such expensive equipment that would need to be protected, and the money to protect it.” His paw lifted and he scratched his chin. “If there’s an invasion, Meg and I will be safe as your roommates, right?” He chuckled and looked over Meg’s shoulder at the currency. “That should be more than enough to turn this place into Fort Knox, right Meg?”

Meg didn’t answer. ’Relax, Elise,’ she thought to herself and forced herself to take a deep breath. ’There is no way he could identify you. You’ve eliminated every trace of Aschen tracking within yourself… You’ve had the barcode tattoo on the back of your neck covered with another… Plastic surgery…. Your fake papers can’t be traced to anything illegal. There is absolutely no way he could find out who you are. Besides… What do they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? If you don’t know what the Aschen are doing but you know they’re around, you’ll never relax… but if you have an idea of what they’re up to, you’ll know when to run. Everything is okay. They have no reason to suspect that you’re anyone other than Meg Sanderson unless you give them a reason. Relax.’

Slowly, her eyes shifted from the currency clutched in her shaking hand to Arren’s eyes. When she smiled, it seemed genuine, revealing slightly crooked teeth. “Welcome to your new home, Mr. Valaj.” She swallowed and moved to shove the money in her pocket. Noticing Finn’s questioning glance at the sudden change in her demeanor, she gestured to the stairs. “Finn, can you show him around? I’m suddenly not feeling so well. I’m going to step outside for some fresh air.” Without waiting for him, Meg turned toward the door. “And give him one of the spare keys.” At that, she slipped out onto the front porch, closing the door behind herself.

Finn turned to Arren and shrugged, his tail brushing the floor behind himself. “Well, that was weird. Women,” he chuckled. “Women are weird.” As Meg sat on the front steps, clutching her stomach and staring at the image on the currency she’d been given, Finn gestured to the stairs. “I’ll show you where you’d be living if you want to follow me.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj
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Arren couldn't help but stifle a chuckle as Finn mentioned an invasion. "Hah, not hardly." He said, as he pocketed his wallet after handing off the bill.

"I don't know the local attitude as far as our currency is concerned, it'd be prudent to get that exchanged into local currency for that to be worth anything, since this isn't Wing City." He said, watching Meg's reaction, and stroking his chin slightly.

"Yeah, we're Aschen." He said, answering Finn's question. "Well, I'm not ethnically, I'm part of the High Rock tribe, a native Langaran tribe, my associate is from Picon, though." He said, before quickly dismissing talks of invasion.

"There's not going to be an invasion, we work for Tech Con, we're here scouting out business opportunities for the company." He said, moving to lean against the couch. "The Empire's so pre-conceived with other matters, like war with the Avaeons." He commented. "I just don't want some of our survey instruments stolen, so we're going to take some measures to protect them. Afterall, Mr. Hagan takes all stolen property directly out of our paychecks."

He checked his phone a moment, noticing that Hagan had sent a text scrapping their initial operation. The orders were to sit tight until the Board could come up with something feasible.

He watched Meg some more, and then he tilted his head, watching her ever so closely.

"Though... I'd like to know more about my roommates..." He said as Meg started out of the house, and he moved to follow Finn.

"Your friend there... she always like this?" He asked, gesturing to the front door with his thumb. And then his eyes moved towards the stairs of the house. "She strikes me as a bit... odd.. the way she looked at me it's unmistakable... She must have some... Aschen issues... I wonder what the Empire did to her..." He said, canting his head.

"I can only imagine.." He said to Finn. "Aschen settlers nearly exterminated my Ancestors... but that was thousands of years ago."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meg Sanderson Character Portrait: C. S. Finn Character Portrait: Arren Valaj Character Portrait: Illara Carter
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Illara rounds the corner of Beaulieu St on her hoverscooter, a small brown cardboard box tucked under her arm. She pulls up onto the sidewalk and right to the front door of a neighboring tenement, leaning sideways off her seat to ring the bell. After a few seconds, she jams the button repeatedly, and finally knocks, her plastisteel knucklegloves rapping loudly on the doorframe.

The door opens a fraction and a growling response can be heard indistinctly from within. After a terse exchange, the girl hands the box over in exchange for a folded wad of bills. As she snatches the money from what seems like grey-furred fingers, her AI updates her accounts with a retro console-game 'coin' soundbite and bleats a tinny "Thank you for your business" as she rounds back toward the street.

Noticing the "For Rent" sign, she slows, looking over the run-down old manse it indicates. She speaks into a mouthpiece, and listens to some barely-audible reply from her AI before coming to a decision. Hopping off, she thumbs a lever to collapse her bike into a heavy but manageable carrying case and swings it over her shoulder to head inside.

She knocks and lets herself in, waving placidly at the inhabitants. "Yo. You guys have room for one more to crash? I can pay."

Remembering, she raises her dark goggles onto her forehead, exposing shrewd dark brown eyes decorated with triangle tattoos on the upper lids.