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Midnight Amelia Bravo

Fear not the monsters outside, but within.

0 · 400 views · located in Delegate Universe: Sequoia 2032

a character in “The Northern Delegates: Apocalypse”, as played by AsuraDeWinters

Description

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Name:
Midnight Amelia Bravo

Age:
537

Sex:
Female

Race:
Unknown

Relationship:
Separated from husband Dakota Bravo

Former titles:
Sleeper agent
Head of the Sleeper organization
Delegate agent
Delegate team leader
Leader of the Northern Delegates

Current titles:
Leader of the Northern Delegates
Chairman of the Sequoia council

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Abilities:

Predominant abilities; Shadow manipulation and Charm.
Secondary abilities; Unpredictable and uncontrollable if entered in a state of extreme emotion. Very rare occurrence.

Flaws:

Midnight is a living paradox; she’s emotionally handicapped to the extreme and yet is willing to cut herself and place herself in mortal danger to save anyone, friend or stranger. This being said she doesn’t emotionally connect with new people easily or at all for that matter. She doesn’t turn to others for support even if she’s broken. She doesn’t let others in anymore, doesn’t let anyone see her cry or weaken. Midnight can’t afford to love and more importantly be loved, those people suffer the most. This often comes across as her being a royal bitch but she has to push people away before they get too close, before anyone realizes she’s soft inside and she cares deeply to her core about everyone. She’s lived through so many horrific events she’s hard and cold to pain and suffering of others. Yet at times she appears incredibly compassionate and kind which can be confusing. She also has very little care for her own wellbeing, often working herself to exhaustion or throwing herself into dangerous situation to protect someone. Midnight doesn’t know what the word no means, she doesn’t give up on anything or anyone, and she’s horribly stubborn. Determination should be a good thing, but Midnight takes it to a neurotic level.


Description:

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Midnight is outwardly a stunning woman, tall, blonde, ivory skin, bright blue eyes, and a perfect body. This total physical package, which hides how ugly and dark she is on the inside. Partly because of her charm ability, she is unnaturally appealing to anyone that crosses her path. People can’t help being attracted to her, a fact she grown to dislike immensely. Her beautiful face is often cold and unflinching when no one is looking, her smile and laugh tend to be superficial. Old habits do die hard, even after the apocalypse so Midnight does still manage her appearance to a degree. She always looks put together, her hair in order and make up on. Her clothes are very toned down, tends to be tank tops and jeans, or athletic clothes and sneakers. She no longer owns a single pair of high heels, and only a couple casual dresses remain in her wardrobe. She does have a guilty wardrobe pleasure, Midnight always, always wears matching underwear. Lingerie is a comfort to her, even if no one sees it, which no one does. Another constant in Midnight’s wardrobe is she always keeps a weapon concealed on her, one can never be too careful. Often she’s seen with her bow, as that’s become her weapon of choice.

Training:
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A shorter list is what Midnight hasn’t been trained in. She’s so old and has been with the Delegates for so long, training is second nature. She’s been training since she was a small child with one goal in mind, disable your opponent as quickly as possible by any means necessary. She still trains though she can’t really spar with anyone, she would break them in half without breaking a sweat. She does still teach however, and can often be found in the arena training anyone that wants to improve her skills. She trains humans and immortals so long as they are equally dedicated to learning as she is to training them.


History:
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Midnight’s long history is tragic and beautiful, full of sorrow and love. Born into the Delegates the illegitimate daughter of the current leader Byron Alesten and Delegate agent Ann Winter, she was destined for a complicated life. Raised by her mother for a time, she was forged from loss and bloodshed when Byron murdered her mother and took control of his only heir. Midnight began her time at Delegate headquarters by flattening the building in an emotional fit over the loss of her mother. Not an ideal start to say the least. Midnight always had expressed strange traits for a werewolf, especially the destructive force of her emotionally fueled abilities. While physically she resembled a werewolf there was something else lying in slumber inside of her, something Midnight could only tap into under extreme emotional unrest. Midnight always knew she was different, she just didn’t realize how different she was.

Excelling in combat, she was selected to be a member of the new branch of the Delegates, the Sleepers. They were spies, infiltrators, assassins. They worked in the shadows sometimes lying undercover for decades. The Sleeper agents were mentally conditioned to be resistant to trauma, emotion, pain, and empathy. They were subjected to horrific treatment during their training, and the result was perfect killing machines.

Midnight was a different person back then, she was a killer, a murderer, a monster. She infiltrated the harem of a Middle Eastern prince to steal information and then eliminate his family and court. There she met someone that changed her world, Amirah, a slave in the prince’s harem. Slowly Amirah broke down Midnight’s walls, Amirah taught Midnight how to feel again and Midnight taught Amirah how to be strong. They grew close so when it came time for Midnight to dispatch the prince and his court, she spared the innocents, including Amirah. This was the first step to Midnight changing from the monster she was into the person she would become.

She stayed with the Sleepers for a time but it became impossible for her to be an effective Sleeper agent with her new found empathy towards others. She was quickly transferred to become a team leader back at Delegate headquarters.

Then she took on Shisou, a macabre and serious vampire child with a similar shadow ability to her own. She trained him, and raised him until the day he became the first member of her team. Grant joined next, a rambunctious fourteen year old that preferred chasing women and sleeping to training. The three were together for years gaining and losing new additions to their team. For one reason or another, no one lasted. Often they couldn’t handle working with one of the boys for one reason or another, occasionally they were killed in the line of duty.

A new program was created by the Delegate leader that changed Midnight’s life forever. To create the perfect assassins Byron created the breeding program to combine the best genetics and abilities of immortals. Midnight was selected and so was a member of her team, Grant, who had a very rare and unique ability. Not long after, they had a daughter named Jessica. They didn’t have long with her though, Byron took the child and entered her into the Sleeper program. To prevent Midnight from trying to reclaim the child, he told her he would kill her team and the child if anyone attempted to recover the baby. Midnight knowing Byron was a man of his word and more than capable of following through with his threat, told Grant the child had died. Secretly Midnight continuously worked to get her back, to gain some form of contact, and to keep her daughter safe but she was unsuccessful on all fronts.

Years passed and Midnight was to meet the final member of her team, Dakota Bravo. He was playful and cheerful yet very serious about his training, the perfect medium between Shisou and Grant. The teen fit in well, and unlike Grant and Shisou who viewed Midnight in the more maternal sense, Koda saw Midnight as a woman. They grew close, closer than they should have. But the sense of respect and duty prevented either from acting or revealing their feelings towards each other. Many years later, Koda was blinded in a training accident and was exiled by Byron and the second in command Aubrey Night. Midnight’s team mourned the loss as they were told he was killed in the training accident. Still they didn’t believe it to be true and in between missions, the three hunted for their missing member. Ten years passed and they did find Koda, in a sleepy town named Springside. There Midnight and Koda finally realized what had been hiding in their hearts for all those years. In Springside the Delegate second in command, Aubrey Night was killed by Midnight during a fight, and it was learned Byron Alesten had been assassinated. The team returned up North and Midnight took her place as the new leader of the Delegates.

The first year up North was marked with many struggles, byzantine laws, plots to overthrow the leader, alliances and trials. Arucan Night, the son of Aubrey Night, was hell bent on revenge for his father’s slaying, he schemed to destroy the leader and reinstate the violent and brutal practices that Midnight had done away with. He kidnapped Koda and forced Midnight to fall in a duel. He gave the defeated leader to an ally named Gabriel. Midnight was clinging to life and as she was fighting for her life, the Delegates were struggling to function. Chaos was happening and the delegates fell apart without Midnight to effectively manage the organization. Midnight wasn’t fairing any better, believed dead by her companions, she was living in Italy as the wife of Gabriel Castel. She had no memory of her former life and Gabe had carefully constructed a past for her. She had a son, Garrett, who was a prodigy in the way of computers and technology. Garrett wasn’t Gabriel’s child however, he was Koda’s. Midnight was unknowingly pregnant going into battle and somehow the child had survived. Gabriel was abusive and sadistic to both Midnight and Garrett but their lives weren’t without any joy. A girl was living with them, Stacy, a girl adopted by Gabe’s family. She was Midnight’s strength when she didn’t have any, and her guiding light when she was lost in the darkness. As the Delegates became unmanageable for Arucan, he recalled Midnight to the Delegates. It was a confusing time for all of them, Midnight came back without a memory, she was alive, and she returned with a child. A battle for power ensued, after a time Gabriel was defeated, Arucan stepped down, and Midnight regained her memory and reunited with her team and Koda. Things seemed to balance out for a time and Midnight devoted her time to rebuilding the Delegates and her new family.

Does peace ever last for a Delegate though? History says no. The Ex, a merciless group of vampire elitists, schemed to use technology to create the perfect assassins by reanimating corpses and endowing them with immortal abilities. Midnight’s daughter revealed herself to be living under the guise of Stacy. Grant took it hard, finding that his daughter was alive, but Midnight knew exactly what she had to do. After Stacy’s final mission, Midnight used her authority to dissolve the Sleepers for good and put an end to their practices. Amirah came to headquarters to live, and to help defeat the Ex. The group had reanimated Gabriel but they found they couldn’t control him. At this point Midnight was pregnant with twins, Jace and Selene. Gabriel used his ability to fake Midnight and Stacy’s deaths, which caused Koda to become grief stricken once again and attempt to take his life. This action tainted his and Garrett’s relationship forever. Gabriel turned his sights on his creators and destroyed them, but by the time he had returned to claim his prizes, Midnight and Stacy had escaped and were already plotting how to kill the monster. Garrett was the unlikely hero, he developed a device that sped atoms to the point where they collided and imploded on themselves. Midnight delivered her children safely, but was quickly called on to defeat Gabriel’s threat. She used the device and barely cleared the explosion herself. All associated with Midnight’s kidnapping, the Ex plot, and Gabriel’s sick plans were sentenced and executed. Then there was peace for a time…

For 18 years it was quiet as the Delegates rebuilt themselves and the chaotic world. Many settled down and had children, got married or paired up. It seemed the world had turned a new leaf, but as the running trend, things suddenly went to hell in a hand basket. This time the assault wasn’t from an enemy they could fight directly. The Delegates were pulled into an alternate timeline and they struggled to regain control of a world where the Ex had won in the war 18 years ago. They overcame their enemies and then turned their sights on getting home, which through many struggles they overcame.

This wasn’t going to be their last skirmish with magic and the spirit world. The Delegates had never been magically inclined and nor did they involve themselves with magic, gods and demons, but fate would see that they would be. Byron with the help of the goddess Eris broke into the mortal plane and attempted to use Midnight’s unique gifts to cleanse the world and make it possible for gods to walk this realm again. It was then that Byron revealed what Midnight was, a weapon designed by the higher immortals to keep balance and ensure no group, god, demon, mortal, or immortal gained an advantage in the world. The gods could not inhabit the physical plane, so they needed someone that could to do their bidding. It had happened many times in history and many immortals were given the powers of a patron deity. Midnight was only unique because so many deities donated abilities, it made Midnight powerful but also dangerous if her abilities were unlocked for the wrong reasons or by the wrong person. Midnight’s abilities would naturally unlock when the gods felt she was mature and strong enough to control them. Byron and Eris didn’t have time for that so they used what they knew to unlock the abilities, emotional instability. They killed Garrett, and the severing of ties between a mother and her child was enough to unlock a portion of her abilities. Enslaving Midnight they used her to begin their cleansing. The Delegates couldn’t let that happen so with heavy hearts they set out to stop their leader at all costs. They succeeded and broke the control over Midnight, who then turned on Byron and Eris and sent them back to the spirit world they belonged in.

The Delegates built a new headquarters and picked up the pieces but the family suffered with the death of Garrett. Suddenly though he came back from the dead, which perplexed everyone. They didn’t know that be had made a deal with the demon Leviathan to be resurrected. A deal that sealed his fate. That deal is what gave Leviathan permission to turn Garrett into a monster, and to steal his soul on a whim. By making a deal with a demon, you trade your soul, which can be collected at any time and they can do what they will with your body. This is how the Specters came into being, Leviathan removed Garrett’s soul and twisted his body to serve the demon’s purposes. Before all that though it seemed like many things were returning to normal, a few missions here and there, a few crisis averted.

Then Michael attacked headquarters with the help of a Djinn under his control and the reckoning began, followed by the blight. The remainder of Midnight’s children were trapped in the floating city, Garrett and Mia were killed at her hand, and her grief stricken husband left her. The world once again was plunged into chaos and disorder. The Specters have a larger populous than humans and immortals combined, nuclear fallout has made many places inhabitable, many oceans and rivers have been poisoned, and billions have died. The floating city remains in the sky protected by a barrier, and the Specters remain on the surface hunting anything with a pulse. Midnight and the Delegates built a city in the massive redwood trees of California to give shelter to those that have survived. Even if it appears the world has ended, the Delegates will not stop trying to protect and rebuild it, to make sure there’s a future worth living. Before the ruled the North, and now she rules Sequoia.

Midnight always was a second rate mother, often putting the wellbeing of the world ahead of her responsibilities as a parent. In her mind she was building a better world for her children to grow up in and that was the most important thing she could do for them, she didn’t realize it caused her to neglect her children and put them second. With Will and Stacy gone in the floating palace, she had to take care of their two children, Brady and Katherine. Midnight tried desperately to make up for the mistakes of the past, in a way she felt that her failings as a mother lead Garrett to his fate, so she tried to be the best grandmother to the children she could be. Annita was also left behind when Amirah, Arucan, and then Aubrey were trapped in the floating kingdom. Midnight raised the child no different than she had Katherine and Brady, not as one of her own children, but as a member of her family, in Midnight's line of thinking, all the children were family in a way. Hari, and Kat were also children she considered family, and she played a heavy role in helping Kora, and Reith, raise the children. The last child to be added to their little swarm was Claire's son, Chris, an active, fussy, vocal and tough little devil; even as a child he was a trouble maker that could talk his way out of or into anything, kid was smooth. Katherine, Brady, Annita, Hari, Chris and Kat were all raised together by the four women, each compensating for another’s weaknesses and using each other’s strengths. The result was actually quite impressive given the state of the world, the children were relatively normal and happy. Not one of the women had all the traits that made a good mother, but together they covered most of the bases and effectively parented the children. This form of community based parenting became the standard in Sequoia, with so many children without parents or family, it was the only way they would be able to raise well-adjusted children. It worked very well and it was one of the pillars of the great city.

Personality:
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Midnight has a strange personality. Outwardly she appears her normal self, laughing when things are comical, smiling when encountering happiness, frowning when faced with sadness. Yet she keeps most people at arm’s length to protect herself and to protect them. So many people that have loved Midnight have died or faced horrific fates. Midnight remembers each and every one of them and their memories weigh on her like the weight of a thousand worlds. She thinks about them often, getting lost is distant memories, and seeing them in the shadows. They haunt her, when she dreams and when she’s awake. Midnight questions her own sanity often, fearing that her mind is just as broken as her heart.

Though Midnight pushes people away from her for their own protection, she often can’t fight her caring nature. She has a deep soft spot for children, and often watches over them from a distance. The people that already held a place in her heart Midnight holds on to for dear life. Feeling like she failed her own children, Midnight refused to let her weaknesses destroy the people closest to her. They are the only ones she is emotionally close to and shows affection or love to. The children, the remaining Delegates, and a sparse few others are the only ones Midnight lets in at all. To them she was open and honest, kind and loving, compassionate and affectionate, many of the things she felt like she didn’t give enough to her own husband or children. Midnight knows she can never make up for her mistakes, never go back and make it better, but she can at least not make the same mistakes twice.

Midnight is fiercely protective of her family and close friends. Though it can seem that Midnight gives the children license to go out on their own, live their own lives, and make their own mistakes, Midnight is always watching from the shadows to ensure they are safe. She doesn’t do this to shield them from growing up or making their own mistakes, only there to make sure those mistakes or choices won’t cost them their lives. Neither herself, Kora, or Reith would survive anything happening to the children and Midnight is the best suited to keep an eye on the kids from the shadows so they don’t feel like they are being watched like children or are untrusted. In fact Midnight spends a lot of time watching people from a distance and doesn’t often interact with people outside of her circle.

Midnight is unpredictable at times, and always stubborn as a mule. She is determined and driven. Midnight doesn’t give up and would rather die fighting for something that mattered to her than let something that mattered to her slip away.

Midnight is also calculating and patient, she has a lot of foresight and intuition. This makes managing the city from the background relatively easy for her. No one goes hungry, no one lacks for shelter or clothes, medical attention, or proper care. The city is completely self-sufficient, and all of its inhabitants are treated fairly and equally. Management always had been one of Midnight’s strong suits, and it has truly shown in the set up and management of the city.

All around Midnight doesn’t seem like all that bad of a person, but she still thinks of herself as a monster. She carries a great deal of shame, guilt, and pain around every moment of every day and she is unwilling to let anyone see it. Though she tries so hard to keep it all under the surface, it occasionally finds its way out which can cause her to disappear for days, sometimes even weeks while she combats her inner demons and finds a small degree of release. Midnight once considered herself balanced, now she would say she is unhinged. But in this world, who isn’t?


So begins...

Midnight Amelia Bravo's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Claire Marie Straight Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Annita Night Character Portrait: Katherine Helling Character Portrait: Hunter James Neverwinter
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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Dawn was breaking and the pearlescent light of the sun was peeking over the horizon. Slowly it penetrated the leaves of the tall trees and fell on the sands of the arena. Midnight knelt down and plucked a handful of sand from the ground beneath her, the sand fell through her fingers to scatter on the surface of the arena. She looked at the deserted space around her taking it in. Only when she was here alone could she think, she glanced at her hand as the last grains fell. In a way they, the Delegates, were like grains of sand, all formed from different beginnings scattered together to create the foundation for something larger than its individual parts. To form the footing where titans would stand and bleed for ideals greater than them all.

The arena, the one place Midnight felt some remnant of her old self. The people had changed, the surroundings even, but not what it represented. Not the tears of blood that stained this sacred sand. To her, this place was where warriors came to fight and defend all that was dear to them. To her, it stood for hope, promise, and strength through hard work and devotion. In a way it stood for the future and a generation that would fight to reclaim this world. There were two kinds of people that bled on this sand, the worthy and the unworthy. There was nothing more pure or honest than the desires and motivations of those that fight out of love for this world and those in it and nothing more despicable than those that tainted these sands with the desire to fight for power or themselves.

The test of a true warrior, of a true Delegate was not in their position, birthright, species, technique, or ability; it was in their heart. And the arena is where the truth of one’s heart is revealed. She could train anyone to be a skilled fighter, there was no amount of training that would turn someone into a Delegate.

This was her Olympus, and here she stood a god of the arena. Always strong, her will unbreakable, and her purpose unwavering.
Her concentration was broken for a moment when she heard deft steps behind her. “You’re late.” Midnight said as she stood and dusted any remaining particles from her hands.

“I know! I know!”
Kathy said dropping her training bag and rushing to tie her shoes.
“I wouldn’t have been late but someone, ahem Annita, buried my training bag with all her damn medical papers and sent me on a wild goose hunt.”
Kathy said exasperated as she tied up her hair.
“She’s staging a hostile takeover of the house!”

“I’ll speak to her about the papers. Don’t be late again.” Midnight said distracted in thought.

“Sorry Grandma, it won’t happen again.”
Kathy grumbled.

“We have an hour before everyone gets here.” Midnight said staring down at the sand. Speaking those words brought her back, back to a time that seemed like ancient history. To a time when she trained Koda in the early hours of the morning before Grant and Shisou arrived. It was almost like the landscape faded and she was back in the old arena of the North, Koda standing there staring at her with those icy blue eyes. Those eyes that used to adore her, respect her, and love her. God if she could go back… If she could just stay in the memories her mind painfully brought her back to. She stared for a long while at the memory of Koda, every time she saw him her heart skipped a beat, and when he faded away it broke all over again. “What are we going to work on today boss?” The figure of Koda spoke. His voice, just as she remembered it, sent stabs of pain into a part of her heart she thought was long dead. Her memories, visions, hallucinations, whatever you called them, had never spoken before. “I… well… whatever you want today.” Midnight said slowly. “Are you ok?” The figure asked looking concerned. “You look pale. You haven’t been eating again, have you? You can’t do that to yourself, there’s more to life than training you know. You have to take care of yourself better, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Koda said smiling.

Midnight closed her eyes. It hurt, it hurt to hear that. “You would have been happier without me, I caused you nothing but suffering.” Midnight whispered. When she opened her eyes Koda was gone, she was back in Sequoia’s arena and Kathy was stretching and eyeing her suspiciously.

“You ok? You were kinda spacing out there for a minute.”
Kathy said finishing her routine.

“I’m fine Katherine… I just, nevermind, I’m fine. Choose a weapon, we’ll work with that today.” Midnight said running her fingers through her hair.

“Yes! I was totally feeling it was a weapons kind of day!”
Katherine said skipping over to the wall and grabbing two blades. She tossed one to Midnight and rushed at her, the blades colliding with a loud resonating clang as sparks sprung from the metal.
“I need to ask you something.”
Kathy said as she clumsily side stepped one of Midnight’s blows but was met with knee in her stomach which knocked the wind clear out of her. She tumbled to the ground with a thud.

“Push your thoughts aside. You’re not focused, you’re better than this.” Midnight said helping Kathy to her feet.

“I know.”
Kathy said coughing a few times as she caught her breath.
“It’s just…”
But Kathy couldn’t finish because Midnight was already attacking. Kathy blocked the best she could but was quickly struck in the face with the hilt of Midnight’s sword and knocked down.

“I said focus!” Midnight yelled. “You lose focus, you die or get someone else killed. This world is unforgiving, and a single break in concentration, a single moment you lose focus, can and will cost you everything. Is that what you want?”

Kathy picked herself up using her sleeve to wipe blood from her nose.
“No…”
She said taking a deep breath.

“When we fight, we fight with purpose, and that purpose requires all of our focus.” Midnight said. “Make no mistake, you are my blood but I expect the same level of dedication and focus that I expect of everyone I train. You are not special, so either focus or don’t waste my time. When we are in the arena, I am not your grandmother and I don’t give a damn about your feelings. I am here to train you, not coddle you so you leave whatever emotional baggage you’re going through at the door, this isn’t the place for it. If something is more important than perhaps you shouldn’t be here. So tell me Katherine, why are we here? Why are you here?”

Katherine dropped her sword.
“I don’t know anymore… I knew you’d ask that question eventually and I’ve been dreading it because honestly Grandma, I’m lost.”
She said staring at the sword in the sand.

“It used to be so easy, you know? I knew who I was, what I was and what I wanted to be. I knew my purpose and how to achieve it, and there was this fire in me that was driving me, this passion to fight for what I believed in, to protect what I believed in. But now… how can I? No one can touch me, and I can’t touch anyone else. How can I defend someone or myself? How can I, in that moment when I’m depended on most, be able to protect what every fiber in my body is telling me I need to protect? Everything that I have, everything that I am is useless when it really matters; I’m useless when it really matters… And I’m lost because I can’t do what I know I need to do, and I also can’t walk away from it and live some uncomplicated family life. Not only is it impossible but that’s not me, I’m not that kind of person, I’m a warrior not a lover.

I have no options and either way I’m stuck in this horrible limbo where I can’t meaningfully touch the world around me. I suffered for over a half century living in limbo between worlds, never able to touch the people around me. Not feeling or knowing the warmth I wanted and needed. Maybe this is my punishment for cheating death, to be damned in the world of the living just like I was in the land of the dead. When my Mom, Will, Jace and the others came I didn’t care if breaking that horrible cycle meant I passed fully into the spirit world or the living one; I just wanted it to end. And now when I feel like I’m a ghost watching everyone live, I wonder if I belong here at all. I don’t know anymore… if I’m supposed to be alive or dead but the one thing I do know is that I’m not living. It’s been years and every single moment I feel dead and I don’t even remember what it’s like to be alive anymore.

So why am I here? Why are you training me if you already know I will never be permitted to fight and if I ever do it could cost my own life or that of what I’m fighting for? What is the point?”
Katherine said wiping tears away from her cheeks.

“What a silly thing to say. Fuck, I’m sorry grandma… I’m just having a bit of an internal crisis I guess. I should have skipped training today and sorted my shit out before coming back here. I shouldn’t have unloaded all that on you, it’s just that here nobody can normally hear me. Brady tunes out the arena, and if he knew how I felt he would give me some heartfelt lecture and I would never get a moment alone because he would become my living shadow and I don’t want that. You won’t tell him will you? We both know what he’s like when he is worried.”
She said chuckling through the tears.

“I should just be grateful that I’m here at all when so many aren’t. There are a lot of people out there way worse off than me; I’m one of the lucky ones. I have no right to complain. I guess teen angst lasts into your twenties after all, so don’t worry about me a bit, a nice shower and a few hours of watching everyone suck during training will cheer me right up. Sorry for wasting your time Grandma, I’m going to get cleaned up. I’ll see you in a bit.”
Katherine said smiling and going to give her Grandmother a kiss on the cheek. She ran off for the showers quickly before Midnight could say a thing. She didn’t want her Grandmother to make her feel better; she deserved to feel like shit for being such an ungrateful brat. She just had to learn how to come to terms with reality and realize it wasn’t so bad. She was one of the lucky ones… Katherine reminded herself. One lucky son of a bitch…

Midnight watched Katherine run off and she was left with a lack of words. Katherine was also so cheerful and happy. She gave no indication she felt so trapped and alone. Midnight knew that Katherine’s inability to touch others would cause issues but she didn’t think it would make the girl question her existence. She should have predicted this, Katherine was like her mother in so many ways and Stacy would have lost her mind if she was cornered like that. Katherine was right, she couldn’t be deployed in her current condition, but Midnight was hoping that with time and once the Specter problem was dealt with that the Delegates would have the time and resources to find a way to correct or at least lessen Katherine’s condition. No wonder the girl couldn’t focus, her mind was all tied up on all the things she was blocked from doing and her heart was broken being so reminded of when she truly was a ghost. Something had to be done… Midnight couldn’t let Kathy suffer in silence like she’d been doing for god knows how long. Kathy shouldn’t have her life destroyed by this, no matter what she thought, she didn’t deserve this. The people that are gone would want everyone alive to live their lives to the fullest, and to be happy.

Stacy… I wish you were here… You would know what to do… Midnight thought to herself closing her eyes for a moment. “You can find a solution, Mom. You always could.” Midnight’s eyes shot open at the sound of her eldest son’s voice. “Garrett…” Midnight whispered looking at the cruelest vision yet to appear to her, that of her son Garrett. “Don’t look at me like that Mom. Guilt isn’t a good look on you.” Garrett said walking over to his mom and taking her hand. It was cold, not at all how she remembered it. “Kathy is the spitting image of her mother, and no one knew Stacy like you and me did. What would she do if she couldn’t touch people?” Garrett asked. “I can’t see her doing nothing about it. Being in the sleepers had its advantages; it made her untouchable in the best and worst ways. She would probably use that.” Garrett said looking at his mother. “But you didn’t need me to tell you that.”

“You’re not really here are you?” Midnight said sadly. “I wish I was Mom, I miss you and everyone. I can’t be here, can’t exist here, only in your mind can we be here at all. We’re just in your memories. We’re going to help you do everything you still need to do so you can come home, with us.” Garrett said smiling. “We?” Midnight asked with a sense of dread but she didn’t need Garrett to answer, the arena was filled with people, ghostly images from her mind of all the people that she’d lost over the years. There were hundreds of them, even images of those trapped in the floating city. It was terrifying and yet comforting to see them, even if they were just figments of her imagination. “We need you too Mom, don’t forget about us.” Garrett said leaving to join the others. “Garrett… wait please don’t!” Midnight called after the boy but it didn’t do anything and he was gone, they all were, the sweet sound of an I love you the last thing she heard before she was pulled back to reality by the sound of something dropping next to her.

“Daydreaming will get you nowhere; remember when you told me that boss?” Came the silky voice of Claire as she dropped her training bag on the floor. “What do we have left but to dream Claire?” Midnight said taking a deep breath, her heart was racing, her chest felt tight and her head was splitting. “Well that’s deep, Christ you look like you’ve seen a ghost. You alright?” Claire asked as she set out the training equipment. “No… nothing. I mean yes, yes I’m fine.” Midnight answered shaking her head. “Just a bit of a headache is all.”

From the darkened doorway to the locker rooms Katherine had watched her grandmother closely. Now Katherine didn’t know what was going on but she knew something wasn’t right. Midnight spacing out wasn’t normal and Kathy had noticed she was doing it more and more. Kathy wasn’t a doctor though and she doubted her grandmother would just talk to her about it. Kathy had to come up with a course of action to get Midnight to talk to someone that could find out what was going on.

“You’ve been having a lot of headaches recently, you sure you’re ok? I mean a trip to see Oren couldn’t hurt right?” Claire said going over to wrap an arm around Midnight. Claire recoiled suddenly. “Christ you’re fucking freezing!” Claire exclaimed. “I guess I don’t feel all that well… Can you and Hunter handle my training classes today? I um… I need to get some sleep.” Midnight said. “Now I know you’re sick, fuck you might even be an imposter. Midnight taking a sick day? I thought hell would freeze over before I saw the day.” Claire said. “Yea, go get some rest, we’ll handle everything and come up with some bullshit cover story.”

“Thanks Claire.” Midnight said smiling at the girl before heading out of the arena and home to bed. Katherine quickly got dressed in her typical attire, pants and a hoodie, gloves and sneakers, as little skin showing as possible as was the rule. She crept out of the locker rooms and hung close to the far wall trying to make it out before Claire noticed she was there. “Going somewhere Kathy?” Claire said turning around to catch Katherine attempting to leave.

“Yup, I uh, ripped one of my gloves, need to go back to the house to get another before I accidentally touch a stranger and die a horrible death.”
Kathy said chuckling.

“I see, well no one would want that. Proceed.” Claire said waving Katherine away. After a second she spoke up again though. “Kathy? Make sure you tell Oren what you saw but no one else, do you understand?”

Kathy nodded.
“You got it.”
She said slipping out of the arena. She passed the rest of the Delegate kids on her way to see Oren.

“Not going to be in training today?” Chris asked pausing for a moment.

“Nope, I have a lot of work to do, keeping this place running takes more than hopes and dreams ya know!”
Kathy called as she went on her way.

“Hey you gunna be at the Anevay celebration later?” Chris called after her.

“Yup!”
Kathy yelled as she waved and continued on down the bridge.

One by one the teens dropped down into the arena. “Hey mom, where’s Midnight?” Chris asked looking around. “She’s out for a little bit, had a lead to follow on a group of survivors.” Claire said. “Ok, well we should get to it then, I have a lot of work to do when we’re done.” Annita said.

The Arena was quickly filling up with people and training got underway. The arena was divided into namely three sections, the prize fighters which were immortals and humans that fought for entertainment, prestige, and standing, the Delegates, and everyone in-between. They didn’t interact much between the groups save for Hunter who often trained anyone that asked. “Hey Hunter, so there’s been a rumor Midnight is going to open up the Delegates to non-immortals, think there’s any weight to it?” Chris asked pausing from sprints.

“I dunno kid, we live in a different age now. You’ll have to ask Midnight.”
Hunter said.

“What are they going to do? Be live bait?” Chris said laughing. “I’ll take a human over you any day Chris. A couple hours in the sun and you’re dead as a doornail.” Annita said playfully shoving Chris as she sprinted by him. “Haha, Very funny Ann!” Chris said running to catch up with her. “Brady what do you think?” Chris yelled.

I think all species are gifted with their own strengths and weaknesses, and we should work together. Brady said mentally to the group.

“Blah, blah, blah, I didn’t even need to ask.” Chris said laughing.

“You’re not officially a Delegate yet Chris, none of us are, you’d do well to remember that.” Ann said.

“And at this rate none of you will be!” Claire yelled. “Less talking and more running!”

“Your mom’s grumpy today.” Ann whispered as she ran by Chris.

“Compared to Midnight, this is a vacation.” Chris whispered back. "A fucking vacation."

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Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo
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Midnight had briefly returned to her home after her episode in front of Claire. She sat on her bed pondering what was happening to her. A few weeks ago it started with headaches during the morning hours, then it progressed to strange visions which increasingly became more and more real to the point now where they were speaking and touching her. Maybe she was just finally losing her mind, had to be the stress or everything she'd been through. Over five hundred years of emotional suppression could take a serious toll. But there was something bothering her about that, if she really was going crazy then what triggered it and why now?

What was happening to her could be considered dissociative, which was a symptom of a mental disorder. It could also be quite disruptive in life, and it would make it difficult for her to do her job. She should talk to Oren, or Art even, it would make sense to identify what was happening and treat it before it got worse and she ended up comatose trapped in her own mind with all of her memories. Fuck that didn't sound pleasant. She should talk to Oren or Art... but... she had other pressing matters.

Midnight rose off her bed and went to the kitchen table to find a file Kathy left for her. Strange that Kathy took interest in an outsider, and a mortal one at that. Nonetheless, if Kathy believed in this boy, Midnight should at least check him out and see if he had any potential. She was restless so perhaps this would clear her head of her own demons. If there was one thing Midnight wasn't good at, it was relaxing. She felt normal now, better than normal actually. She was back to her radiant self and felt brimming with energy. She scribbled a note about where she'd gone and left it on the table.

File in hand she disappeared into the darkness only to walk out of the shadows in the Arena, but not on the side she normally was on.

Approaching Ziggs she smiled and gave the stern man a kiss on the cheek. Strangely even though they were the leaders of two very different groups in Sequoia, they were rather close. Friendly rivals in a way, yet that didn't stop them from taking shots at each other regularly. God forbid anyone else did though because underneath that rivalry was respect and if Midnight heard a bad word spoken about her respected rival, she wouldn't hesitate to set them straight or break their face.

"How goes it over on this side of the desert Ziggy?" Midnight asked with a charming smile. She looked around at Zigg's crew when she noticed this side of the arena was unusually quiet. Many of them had stopped training once they took notice she was there, to be fair to them it was hard not to notice Midnight for many reasons. She was... distracting... to say the least.

"I was approached by an immortal kid that wants to fight in the arena. He's young and green but I think he'll do well over here, he certainly has a love of this kind of sport. Told him I'd ask if you had any place for him the next time I ran into you. I don't exactly keep up with what your immortal roster looks like but I do know they bring in quite a crowd." Midnight said walking with Ziggs towards the edge of the arena and away from the fighter's prying ears. They could talk more honestly when they were alone, neither having to worry about their image. "There is something else, what can you tell me about this kid? Between you and me, do you think his heart is in prize fighting?" Midnight asked handing Ziggs Warren's file.

Midnight leaned against the back wall looking out over the whole of the arena. "Your ranks are always so full of enthusiastic fighters, I'm jealous of that Ziggs." Midnight said sighing. "So many want the glory and fame, the cheering crowd, the applause. It beats in their hearts and fires their blood. It's their calling and I respect that. Delegates, like all of them, have a calling too. There's just not many people that hear it, and even ones that do often have no desire to do what we do. Which by some standards is completely insane."

"Your standards if I recall correctly." Midnight said casting a fond glance at Ziggs. "What was it you said about us? I remember it was quite witty."

She enjoyed Ziggs though she wouldn't admit it. An unlikely friend. The two spent a few more moments catching up before the conversation turned back to business. "Back to the kid... He doesn't look like much on paper, but maybe there is something there. Mind calling him over here for a chat? You know I would never dream of giving an order to one of your boys." Midnight purred.

"I guess we'll see what type of person he is. If he isn't prize fighter material then he never will be and in that case he's just fodder to stuff matches. If he isn't Delegate material he never will be either and then there's always day jobs. Boring... regular day jobs. Can you imagine Ziggs? Working a 9-5. Now that's bloody torture." Midnight said laughing.

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Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Christopher Straight
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"You know...you could simply forfeit." One of the fighters told Warren as he took a drink of water, still in his original sitting position. His head was still pounding from the traumatic event of Barry's hand encompassing his entire skull.

"I kinda think that's what Ziggs wants." The other fighter stated, grabbing Warren by the arm and heaving him to his feet. "I mean, look at him. What do you weigh Slayer? 210 sopping wet?" Warren rolled his shoulders slightly, trying to get the kink out of his neck.

"I don't really think it's the weight difference that's the major issue." Warren stated. "I've faced bigger than Barry...he's just more...kill...people...able."

"You had an idea in your mind when you started that sentence, right?" The fighter on his right asked with a smirk.

"It must have died with several of my brain cells." Warren retorted, earning a small laugh from the couple of them. They patted him on the back, making sure he didn't have a concussion before moving on. Warren had just recovered his axe, having dropped it when he had been dropped himself, when Zigg's voice called out over the din of the practicing fighters.

"Slaton! Get your punk ass over here!" Warren was irritated at the whole ordeal, and wasn't in the mood to deal with any more of Zigg's shit.

"What fucking for old man?" Warren yelled back, thinking that his position in life couldn't get much worse aside from being thrown out of Seqouia.

"You got a visitor! Now get over here!" Warren paused slightly, before pushing through the ebb of fighters to get a look at who could possibly be asking for him. Connor was at work, same with Jessica even if she had wanted to see him of her own free will. His sister was most likely teaching the little masses about the history of magic, so who could it possibly be? When his eyes finally settled on the person in question, his heart skipped a beat. Midnight, the commonly called 'Queen of Seqouia'. He stood staring for a moment, before realizing that the entire prize fighting population had stopped to stare as well. He had been so preoccupied with his own thoughts he had failed to notice this.

Ok...no big deal, only the leader of the Delegates coming to talk to you. Could it be bad? Oh god, what if it's bad? Did I do something bad? Is this about the late night booze parties? Do they care? What if it's about the minor explosion near the construction site? I thought I had gotten away from that free and clear, and nothing was damaged! Warren took a deep breath as he started walking forward, his face as neutral as he could get it.

C'mon! You're 24 years old! Stop worrying about shit that a teenager would be dealing with! She's just a woman, a highly attractive, dangerous, authoratative and commanding woman, but a woman none the less. For the love of God, stop thinking! When Warren finally reached Ziggs and Midnight, he a gave a small breath before looking at Midnight.

"Midnight, Warren. Warren, Midnight." Ziggs stated, before crossing his arms and giving a slight step back. Warren only looked at him slightly before returning his gaze to the woman in question.

"You needed to speak with me ma'am?" Straight forward, respectful, neutral and purposeful. Damn straight, fucking nailed it!



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Midnight eyed the young man for a long moment. He didn't look like anything special, but then again, looks could be deceiving. She had to keep an open mind, if Katherine believed there was something worthwhile in the boy, then Midnight should at least give him a chance. "Ma'am? Come now you'll make me feel old. Midnight will do just fine Mr. Slaton." She said as she casually flipped through the file she recovered from Ziggs.

Closing the file she looked back at the boy. "You haven't the slightest bit of an idea why I'm here do you? Well Mr. Slaton, it's not the parties or the construction site incident that you thought you so cleverly concealed your involvement with." Midnight said smiling. "For the record there isn't a thing that goes on in this city that I don't know about."

"No I'm here because someone I trust very much, a fellow Delegate in fact, has told me that it would be worth my time to come and have a chat with you. I'm here to see if I can see what she sees in you; potential." Midnight said.

"So are you worth my exceedingly valuable time Mr. Slaton? Or are you a waste of it?" Midnight asked.



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They know...How do they know?! Spies? Ninjas? Ninja Spies? Why am I even thinking this through, obviously they have psychics...ninja psychics? Warren mentally slapped himself as he thought about the last thing Midnight had asked. Everything in his brain stopped for a few moments as a look of incredulousness plastered itself on his face. They were judging if he was worth their time? She was in person? The only reason for this would be a place on the Delegate team, but why would they come to him after a 3 game losing streak to ask of his worth? Odd timing if you asked Warren.

"Uhhh..." Warren stated, pausing once more to clear his throat. "Yes?" He stated with so much insecurity you could practically tell he was not ready for this particular encounter as his eyes went wide. "I mean no! I mean...uhhh...well..." Warren's mind started racing as he thought of ways to show her that he was ready. This could be his only chance. "Well, I survived for 8 years outside of Seqouia, although I was only 6 at the time so it was pretty much my sister. I've killed specters before, freaky looking things." Warren paused for a moment, his face dropping for the same amount of time. "I've killed people too, not that I wanted to but there was no choice given."

"You are aware he's on a 3 match losing streak, correct?" Ziggs spoke up, earning a very quick glare of death from Warren as the old man's face remained stoic as always.

"Well...yes, there is that...What else..." Warren immediately remembered his arm. Only a few people knew about it, the arena staff and members of the governing body, so she was probably fully aware of it. Still, it never hurt to be sure. "Oh yeah, and my arm explodes."



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Midnight listened to what was being said, her face giving away no hint of emotion or of what she was thinking. The kid wasn't very sure of himself, and Ziggs was right, his record wasn't all that impressive. But that didn't tell her what she wanted to know.

"That's all in your file Mr. Slaton. Those facts tell me a whole lot of whats, but they aren't what I need to know. I need to know who you are not what you are. The person that gave me your file didn't look at you and see a mediocre fighting record, your survival skills, or your fire ability. She saw something that isn't trained or learned, and that thing is the only attribute that I look for in my Delegates. Everything else I can teach, but I can't teach what's in someones heart." Midnight said as she put Warren's file down on a bench.

"I wonder what she sees in you, and I need to know if you possess what it takes to be a Delegate. So tell me very frankly, do you want to be a Delegate and if so, why?" Midnight asked.



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"O...K..." Warren stated, looking down at the ground slightly. He wondered if his reasoning was going to sound stupid to someone who's lived hundreds of years, or if it was the one that she was looking for. "Well to be quite frank, I don't have many memories of the world before it is now." Warren started. "I was six when the EMP wiped out society as you knew it, and it wasn't long after that the Specters came in and decided to start using everyone as their personal meal on the go...I guess I want to be a Delegate so that we can return to the world before all that happened."

Warren rubbed his face slightly. "Not even for me really, I mean you can't miss something you never really had, but I've seen the looks of people around here and how they view places outside of Seqouia with a mixture of fear and remorse. They miss it, my sister misses it, and for me that's enough to try and get it back. Maybe along the way I'll find what they want from it so bad, and hey, if I'm helping people then why not right?" Warren's confidence started coming to him in slightly. "The Delegates are the people in the best position to make that happen, and there's no way in Hell I could do it on my own, so that's that."



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"It isn't easy Warren. I won't lie to you and say being a Delegate is a dream job or even a good one. We sacrifice everything, absolutely everything for the world and the people living in it. We have all lost things we've cared about to our cause, and yet we keep fighting.

You would have a harder time than most being a mortal. I will train you, push you to your limits, and then I'll break you and build you into something greater. I expect only dedication and an unwavering heart. You will not get recognised, often no one but those amongst our ranks even know who we are, those you knew before may not recognize who you've become. You will be seen by the outside world only as what you are.

It's not glorious, there's a good chance you'll die, and it is guarenteed you will suffer. Your relationships with others will never be the same and they will suffer too. You will have to make choices that you live with your entire life. You will see things that will haunt you for life, do things that stick with you like your own shadow does. Being a Delegate isn't a job, it's a calling, a way of life, a purpose. We do not serve ourselves, we serve everyone else.

And if you think that all of that is worth it, if you know that you would sacrifice, and endure just about anything for the chance, and I mean the small chance that you could meaningfully change the world and save lives, perhaps I was not misinformed of your worth after all." Midnight said smiling slightly.

"No one would think less of you, if you were to stay the course you're on now. Honestly it's the smart thing to do but a Delegate knows when to do the smart thing, and when to do the right thing. We're all going to die someday, even immortals, and personally when that time comes I want to know I died for something greater than myself and that I gave the world something meaningful before I left it." She said.

"Taking into consideration all that, which isn't even the half of it, are you crazy enough to be interested in starting the long and grueling road to becoming a Delegate?" Midnight asked.



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Warren listened to what Midnight said with an attention that bordered on militaristic. It was like she was trying to dissuade him of joining something bigger than himself. To be honest, every threat she issued, every warning she gave, every statement she uttered was doing nothing to Warren but making him wonder how the Hell they even started the Delegates if this was the argument made to each new recruit. He knew it wasn't glorious, safe, or even entirely "good". Everything he did would be to the benefit of others and not himself, and to be quite frank he was alright with that. There was a good chance he'd die? He almost laughed at that one. For the 8 years that he and Maya were outside the safety of the city, every day was a blessing. He wasn't scared of death, he was scared of failing, there was a not so subtle difference in the two.

She was wrong though, when she said no one would think any less of him. He would of course, his opportunity was staring him straight in the face, most likely a one time offer. If he turned it down now, gave up without even trying then how could he look at himself in the mirror anymore? He wouldn't be able to push forward? What was the whole point of his arena fighting? He knew the job was tough, he knew it would most likely kill him, and he also knew that he just didn't care about that.

"I'd be an idiot not to." Warren said with a half smirk in response to her question. There was no fear in his eyes, more of a excitement bordering on childish. He didn't really know what he was getting into, not the nitty gritty details at least, but he had seen and done things before this point in his life that he wasn't proud of. Whether he would do something even worse than those particular events he couldn't say, but at least they would be towards the benefit of everyone, not just himself.



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Midnight smiled. "I like your enthusiasm Mr. Slaton, that'll be the first thing you're broken of. Believe me poppet, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into." She said in a tone that elluded to just that, he had no idea what he was going to be entering into.

"Alright then, well that was a nice chat wasn't it? Now the real work begins." Midnight said pointing at Chris over on her side of the Arena and beckoning him to come over. The boy responded quickly and jogged over to where Midnight stood with Ziggs and Warren.

Chris looked around the arena from this point of view and grinned when his eyes settled on the Delegates training on the other side. "So this is what it looks like from over here. Damn we look good. Must be nice having such a pretty view from over here." Chris stated chuckling. "What's up boss?" Chris said finally turning to Midnight.

"This is Warren, your new smithing apprentice and my new fixer upper. I will be entrusting him to you for the daily ins and outs of Delegate life, give him a taste of how we do things, go over the ground rules, and make sure he doesn't get into trouble. Warren this is Chris Straight, Delegate trainee and Smith" Midnight said.

"Whatever you want boss." Chris said looking at Warren with eyes filled with contempt and a grin that said he was going to make his life a living hell. "I'll show him how we do things alright. This actually might be fun."

Midnight looked over at Warren. "You finish your prior obligations first, then if you're still alive Chris will come get you here to get you settled at his shop. You are to be his shadow, when you're not here, you're with him. Before dawn every morning you will meet me at the arena for training, you're far too inexperienced to train with the others right now so I'll bring you up to speed before throwing you to the dogs. We'll go from there Mr. Slaton but remember this is a trial relationship for now. Don't fuck it up." Midnight said beginning to walk away. She paused though. "Oh and Warren, good luck." She said walking into the shadows and disappearing. She had to get back to the house, more pressing matters it would seem. Now if she could just remember where she put that stupid box. Guess she would just rip through the house till she found it.

"No goodbye, I'm hurt boss!" Chris called into the darkness before turning to Warren. "Well you and me are going to be best friends wannabe. I'll be by later to scrape you off the sands after you get destroyed in your little gladiator match. You're going to wish you never heard of the Delegates." Chris said as he jogged off back to his group to share the rather interesting news.



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Warren held back his instinctual need to gulp at the way Midnight addressed his enthusasiam. She made it seem like literal torture rather than a military group, but that still didn't phase him enough to want to back down. It wasn't until she beckoned somebody over that Warren started feeling the hairs on the back of his neck. Before he even started saying anything, Slaton could tell this was not going to end well for him. Midnight introduced them, and while Warren couldn't claim to know Chris, he knew 'of' him. Rumors of a 'private' party being held somewhere at sometime kind of dealings, the ones the normal humans weren't allowed to attend. Remember, Connor's coworkers gossiped like school girls.

The look Chris gave him after the introduction was enough to almost raise his fight or flight response then and there. It was something he hadn't seen in awhile, but knew all to well. The utter 'I'm better than you' look that some immortals seemed to have. Warren simply nodded at him as Midnight continued with her instructions. Of course, her saying for Warren to finish his prior obligations made him nearly jump a little. No, it's ok! Nothing really important, I swear! It's just a little fight...to the death...against Barry the Bare Knuckled Bruiser...Fuck. With a 'Don't fuck it up' and 'Good luck' from his soon to be boss, she left him in the company of someone who practically radiated arrogance in his presence.

Even the way he spoke made Warren want to break his teeth, but he held back. It would probably make a bad impression to try and start a fight with one of the Delegates so soon after being invited to join them. With vieled threats and enthusaism apiece, Chris jogged back to the Delegate side of the arena, leaving Warren letting out a breath he hadn't been aware he was holding.

"Doesn't look like you get out of shit kicking duty though." Ziggs finally spoke up, stepping forward. "I'll expect you in that match Slaton...and know that the Delegates will be watching you to get a gauge of who and what you are. No pressure, but I suggest buying several thousand dollars worth of life insurance." Ziggs gave a wicked smile, this entire ordeal working out better for him than he had initially hoped.

"Fuck off Ziggs." Warren stated as his mind started racing. How was he going to prove to a band of immortals that a human was worth even practicing among them? If they were all like Chris, he was going to have to live through two different types of Hell, not to mention he had to survive against Barry as well. Then, after that, go training with some dick who could care less if he was in perfect physical health or a recent amputee.

Today just kept getting better and better.

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Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Annita Night
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Once Midnight had made it back to her house she entered what would be the basement and began to go through boxes. How did she have so many boxes? Most of it was stuff from HQ, equipment, personal effects, documents. Pretty much everything. A lot of it came in handy around Sequoia, so the majority of what was brought back from HQ was in use in the city. There was just a lot of things Midnight couldn’t bring herself to throw away. “Why didn’t I label these stupid boxes!” Midnight lamented as she ripped open another unmarked box. She wasn’t exactly ready for what poured out, pictures, lots and lots of pictures of a life that seemed like it was someone else’s. Gingerly picking up the pictures Midnight put them away one by one, touching them as if they might crumble in her hands. She had gone through the majority of the boxes and there was only a couple large boxes left untouched. She eyed the two boxes across the room, she didn’t want to open them, and she didn’t know if she could. Boxes of her family's things and things from her house.

She sighed walking over and picking the two boxes up, she brought them upstairs and placed them on the kitchen table. She would open them, just not right that second. I have to clean this house first! Midnight thought. The house is a mess and no one cleans but me so I should just spruce up a bit, I’ll get to the boxes just as soon as I’m done cleaning the house, and cooking. I need to make something for the kids to eat; they’ll be hungry after training and work. Midnight looked around her spotless home which, to her at least, was a pit. Some women were stress eaters; Midnight was a stress cleaner and baker. The often result, an immaculate house bursting with expertly crafted sweets. It was like a soccer mom’s Pinterest wet dream.

She slid the boxes into the living room, spruced up the house, and was taking out the first batch of chocolate chip cookies when she heard the familiar sound of Oren. “Katherine went down to your lab?” Midnight asked poking her head out of the kitchen. “Cookie?” Midnight asked holding up the tray of fresh cookies and smiling. “No? Well I’ll pack some up anyway, I know Art eats them.” Midnight said resting the tray on the counter to cool.

She dusted her hands off on her apron and went to Oren. “I know Kathy’s worried but it’s probably nothing. I feel fine right now. It’s been in the mornings mostly, and occasionally in the afternoon. Just headaches and stuff.” Midnight explained vaguely. She couldn’t get things past Oren no more than Oren could get things past her. Midnight sighed and sat on the couch. “If it becomes disruptive or dangerous, I’ll take a leave of absence. You know me; even if I’m stubborn as a mule I won’t endanger anyone. These episodes started as headaches, then I would catch shadows out of the corner of my eyes, then I would see figures just standing there, then today it was like I was in a memory, if that wasn’t intense enough another episode after I saw Garrett and he didn’t just speak to me, he touched me and it was so cold.

I mean let’s face it; I’ve been through enough to be certifiable, we all have. But here’s the weird thing, I know they’re just visions or hallucinations or whatever. I don’t know how to explain it, I’m having no trouble distinguishing a hallucination from reality, yet I am hallucinating. I don’t know what’s causing it because honestly, nothing has changed. I have the same routine, and my emotions have not been all over the place. I know something’s wrong in my head, but it doesn’t feel like I’m going crazy, it feels like something is making me go crazy. Then boom, I’m perfectly fine like whatever was happening just stopped suddenly. Does that make sense?” Midnight frowned.

“Oh god you think I’m going crazy don’t you?” Midnight groaned leaning her head back on the couch. “You want to run tests don’t you? Stupid question… I’ll grab my shoes.”

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Chris grinned at the other teens. “Well she isn’t just letting in humans if that’s what you’re asking. She’s giving the wannabe a chance but I don’t think he’ll make the cut. I think wannabe is a fitting nickname, noob is too last decade” Chris said packing up his training bag. “He’s also my new apprentice over at the shop. Fucker is going to make my life difficult but not as difficult as I’m going to make his.”

What was the deal inviting the kid to join up anyway? How did Midnight even know he wanted to join, Chris had his suspicions she didn’t get the idea on her own. Someone prompted this, and he had a pretty good idea who. “So yea, new chew toy. Gotta come back here in a few hours and pick up our new wannabe, show him what Delegate life is like, go over the rules. I’m bringing a healer with me to patch him up before we hit the shop. He’ll probably be too destroyed to work if I don’t. And people say I’m unkind.” Chris smirked looking at Hari. “Tonight is perfect actually; let’s see how the wannabe can handle a real party.” Chris laughed picking up his bag. “I bet he’s passed out in a corner within ten minutes sucking his thumb and crying for his mommy.”

He slung the bag over his shoulder. “Well I better head to the shop and put away what I don’t want Junior over there to break.” Chris said with a wave. “I’ll catch you guys later.”

Chris began to leave the arena when Ann caught up with him. He smiled over at her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “What’s your take on this?” Chris asked.

Ann smiled at Chris and kissed his cheek. “Try not to break him before I get a chance to see what makes him tick.” She said giggling.

“Somehow that sounds way worse than anything I could do to him.” Chris said giving Ann a sideward glance. “Remind me never to piss you off.”

“Aww and I thought you liked when we played doctor.” Ann said as she climbed out of the arena.

“Yea, maybe when you’re not writing.” Chris replied climbing up after her.

“I guess you’ll just have to figure out some way to keep my hands busy then.” Ann teased skipping down one of the bridges. She squealed when Chris scooped her up and threw her over his shoulder.

“Challenge accepted.” Chris said.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Reith
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(Past.)

Oren raised a dark slender eyebrow at the offer of a cookie, that she was being offered such a thing.
"Don't be silly Midnight, everyone knows I exist only on human, blood black coffee and bitchiness." she responded as she stepped past.
"And possibly the souls of people who come into my lab without permission, or at least that was what your granddaughter looked like she suspected when she walked in."-

The vampress set some papers down and turned toward the werewolf woman, listening with her usual stony expression as Midnight recounted what she had been experiencing. Oren was quite hard to read most of the time (unless she was displeased, at which point she made sure everyone in the vicinity was aware of it) and she showed little emotional reaction. Still, the prediction was true enough.

"Got it in one." the researcher replied
"Get moving."

(Present.)

Oren, in her own, dark and spooky way, had made some effort to accommodate as far as the examination room in the laboratory went. That was, it was relatively free from jars of Specter heads and was comparatively light, albeit still gloomy compared to the outside. She was a vampire after all. She'd be happy to carry on working in total darkness, but some of the less...nocturnal inhabitants might be a little unsettled by the whole thing.

Oren had opted to run a few standard tests to make sure she wasn't suffering any health problems. Werewolf types usually had constitutions of steel and it was rare anything could get past their immune systems, but Oren could still remember the werewolf plague of about eighteen years ago that had claimed plenty of lives and had almost taken Dinah and Hunter. When Miss Tarzan had nearly ripped her head off and the Neverwinter boy had smashed her door. She didn't want another outbreak. She didn't want anymore werewolves throwing up on her shoes.

"So, waiting to see if you're certifiable yet." Oren remarked drily to the leader as she shook a sample of blood in a glass vial.
"Still, it's not as if it'd be home if someone isn't going crazy...someone has to do it since-"

She cut herself off in a rare moment of self-censoring. Oren was an utterly insensitive person, but she had enough sense to know what was permissible under 'bitch Oren' standards and what was seriously pushing it. Joking about dead kids was pushing it.

She had decided not to speak with one of her colleagues, Art, about the whole thing. Arthur, better known as Art, was a doctor, and having been bitten by a vampire at some time in the nineteenth century, had gathered a fair amount of knowledge on things. On the other hand, he and the hungarian vampress had been engaged in some degree of scientific rivalry that made them a little possessive over their cases. Besides, Art was a little less discreet about dealing with things. Oren very much kept what went on to herself. Mostly because she had no interest in talking to most people. She spoke to Midnight and had grudgingly grown to tolerate Rei wandering around her lab talking nonsense and occasionally knocking her sample jars over.

A crash. Sounds of splintering glass.
"Uh...sorry Oren."

Speak of the devil.
Maybe literally.

The woman gave a deep sigh, one that only decades of being mildly irriated at everyone could create.
"Come in Rei. I have some things to deal with. And in the name of all that is holy don't touch anything."

The skinny, silver-haired demon made her way into the room, a little surprised by who she found there.
"Oh, hey Midnight, everything okay?" she asked, sinking her hands into the pockets of her black coat in order to avoid touching anything, aware of the vampress's gaze burning into her accusingly like a hunting owl from across the room as she returned to the blood sample.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Annita Night
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Chris came down to the arena Annita walking beside him. The pair entered just as Warren’s match was over and the guy collapsed. “Well looks like he’s down for the count, no way he can do anything in the shop today. Looks like I’m off the hook.” Chris exclaimed walking to where the doctors were treating Warren.

“Yea… You’re not off the hook that easy Chris. I’ll bring him to my office and have a healer get all this patched up. He might be down for an hour or two but humans are a lot easier to heal than immortals. He’ll be in better condition than he has been in years.” Annita said examining Warren.

“Oh joy… Just what I need. I brought you so you could declare him medically unfit for work, not so you can fix him.” Chris scoffed folding his arms.

“Well sorry to break it to you Chris but while he is unfit as of right now, he won’t be after a couple hours of healing work. At least you won’t have to go easy on him.” Ann said. “Now grab him and let’s get going.”

Chris smirked and plucked Warren from the care of the arena doctors. “Funny you’re going to go through all the trouble of healing the punk and now I have to go through all the trouble of putting him right back in this condition. If you ask me, it sounds like a waste of time. Why don’t we just leave him here and save both of us the trouble?” He said throwing the unconscious human over his shoulder.

“I agree this is redundant but it’s what Midnight wants. You really want to be the one to tell her you left him in the arena?” Ann said leading the way to her offices.

“No.” Chris grumbled. “I just don’t know why she had to throw him with me! Did I piss her off or something? This guy is never going to be able to keep up with us. It just seems like a huge waste of time, this kid is a fucking waste of time.”

“Midnight never does anything without good reason and you know that. She assigned him to you for a purpose and even if you don’t know what that is, you’d better shut your mouth and deal with it. I’m sure her reasoning will become clear, or here’s a thought, ask her.” Annita said to Chris as they arrived in the hospital.

“I guess so…” Chris said not so gently dropping Warren down on an examination table. He looked down at the bloodied human with a frown on his face.

Ann went to speak to a healer momentarily before the two stepped over to Warren and Chris. The healer began to remove Warren’s armor and clothes to properly assess and treat the damage.

“Gross, I’m outta here. How long till I can pick him up?” Chris said turning away from the three.

“Well by the looks of it, healing will take an hour or so. However I’m going to give him a sedative that will keep him down for two hours. The extra hour of rest will do wonders for him.” Ann said.

“Fine, I’ll be back in two hours.” Chris said as he pulled the curtain on the medical bay so no one could see what was going down in there. He walked out and headed back to his house. This was definitely a need to be stoned situation.

Annita pulled a blanket up to Warren’s waist so the guy wasn’t lying around naked. Not that she was complaining but there were children that came into her practice and the last thing she wanted was some kid traumatized. She gave Warren a mild human grade sedative and the healer began his work while Annita documented information.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Midnight looked around Oren’s lab as she waited for the test results. A blood test could confirm or rule out a lot of things but Midnight had a strong suspicion the test would provide no information and perhaps even just create more questions. “I see you have some new specimens decorating your shelves, nice. They really give it a nice scienc-y vibe in here.” Midnight said as she looked around.

A crash came and Midnight turned her head to see Reith. Well she had some new specimens. Midnight thought.“I imagine if you were anyone else, they’d be on a one way ticket to ground level.” Midnight said chuckling. "Or would find themselves the newest specimen in a jar decorating Oren's lab."

When Reith asked if everything was ok, Midnight shrugged. “To hell if I know. Oren’s running some tests to see if some symptoms I’m experiencing are physical or if I’ve finally fallen off my rocker. Oh, and that information doesn’t leave this room.” Midnight said.

“So how long are these tests going to take Oren? Oh the good old days when you stuck your finger in a machine and it spit out everything you needed to know plus a whole lot of shit you didn’t. This must be an inconvenience for you Oren; I know you have a lot of important work to do. I’m sorry to take up your time like this and make extra work for you.” Midnight said. “I do appreciate it though. I really wouldn’t know what to do without you.”

Midnight looked back at Reith for a moment. “Kat is doing quite well in training. Her poise, speed and accuracy are unmatched. I think she would excel using Kyusho. It would give her better control and means to overcome an opponent’s strength.” She said. Midnight was sure that Reith was aware that Shisou was a master with Kyusho techniques. It was his main fighting style as a matter of fact. Like Kat, Shi was so nimble and precise. Kyusho felt very natural to him where as other fighting styles felt cumbersome. Midnight had been watching Kat since she was born and she knew that in combat she took very much after her father. Training Kat often reminded her of training Shisou. Kat got a lot from her mother in the looks department, but the way she thought, her movements, her grace, and her combat skills were her father's. It was unfortunate Kat had no way of knowing that since she hardly remembered Shisou. “What do you think?” Midnight asked.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko
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"You know me Midnight, I'm always discreet. Plus people are scary and I have no capacity for conversation so your secret is safe with me. " Rei responded as she stepped over, aware she was being scrutinized by the vampress.

"I don't dissect random people, you know that." Oren responded as she began taking out bottles and slides.
"They'd be of negligible scientific value. Anyway, it's more time consuming now, but don't forget I was turned in the nineteen forties, this is all pretty much old ground to me. Still, process of elimination. I need to rule out what's the most common causes first and work back. Toxins, disease, that kind of nonsense. I say 'common' in a loose sense of the word. Though coincidentally they're the ones mostly likely to see you suddenly keel over so that's helpful."

Rei hesitantly leaned on the bare wall and listened to what Midnight had to say about her daughter. The recommendation of the fighting style though created a bit of a lump in her throat.
"Like Shi, right?" she responded, with a wistful smile.

For eighteen years Kato had served as a rather bittersweet reminder of the person who was missing from her life. From the way she fought to he look she got when she was concentrating on something, to the way her and Hari were constantly goading one another in a way that was painfully familiar.

Shi would be so proud if he could see what sh had grown up into, she was turning into a beautiful and skilled young lady who might one day lead team or sit on the council. Still, Rei couldn't help but feel sad that she'd had to do so in spite of having no father to look up to, rather than thanks to his influence. She'd done he best to tell Kat about her dad, relay stories of who he was and what he'd done...but it was nowhere near the same. Memories couldn't be there for you, and in Rei's case, they couldn't stop you from sometimes feeling unbearably lonely. She had people in her life. She had Midnight. She had Oren...grudgingly. And she had Kat. Shi had been different though. They'd felt an understanding she'd never had with anyone else, and being without that even after all this time she still felt like she was missing a limb.

"I think it'd suit her perfectly. I can still remember Shi dropping Grant on his ass so many times in training with it. The boys aren't going to know what hit them." the demon chuckled.
"It's weird huh, how history repeats itself? Looked outside earlier to see Kat dragging Hari's half-awake ass down to training telling him to get his head in the game while he called her a teacher's pet. Remind you of two people we know at all Midnight?"

Rei would probably have joked to Kora about her youngest son's similarities to his father, but Rei had kind of got the impression with Kora that the whole family thing was a bit of a sore spot. Rei missed Shisou more than life itself, but smiling about it and cherishing the good times were one of the ways she managed to get through it. The scandinavian werewolf seemed to have other coping strategies entirely...
-----

The blade of the axe drove deep into the skull of the specter, cleaving it almost in two, splitting its gaunt, sunken face down a central parting before the thing's legs gave way beneath it and it collapsed into a heap with a wet 'thud'. Kora flipped the heavy waraxe back rather effortlessly in one hand and wiped the gore off on the dead leaves.

She'd found a small nest of the things quite close to town, four of them in an old shelter hiding from the sunlight, no doubt waiting until sundown to come and wreak havoc on ground level. Except then they encountered he berserker, and now four specters were more like twenty pieces of specters, and Kora, now marked with scratches and spattered in gore, was feeling a little better.

"Having fun there Red Sonja?"


The red-haired woman glanced round, catching sight of a figure sat on the low branch of a tree. A short-set young woman with wavy black hair and grey eyes.
"Is that a reference to something?"she asked.

"You need to read more comic books. "
Magdalene Neverwinter smirked and hopped down from her perch, jogging over to her aunt and engaging in just the same kind of awkward hug you'd expect a viking werewolf to give her undead niece.

Mags had been out of town for the best part of two months. Her ability, whilst it had some dubious privileges attached in some ways, did offer her a degree of immunity to the danger of the specters, and as a result, Mag did tends to make lots of trips out. To find things, to look for survivors and give them maps to Sequoia, or to search for information. If it went to plan she'd be gone a few weeks. If she ended up dead and trapped somewhere well...hopefully they'd never have to deal with that problem. Kora would much prefer to at least keep hold of the family she had left. Losing the immortal one would just be carelessness.

"So, what've I missed?"Mags asked, as they began to fall in step with one another, heading in the direction of town.

"Oh, the usual thing. trees, teenagers, the end of the world. Some of the kids had a party and someone had had the bright idea at trying to make fireworks which resulted in three trees on fire and Midnight on the warpath in night attire. Routine things." Kora replied, leaning the haft of the axe against her shoulder.

"Aw, shame I missed the fireworks. Almost like the old days."

Kora's silence in that regard caused the other Neverwinter to look round.
"You wanna talk?"

"Do I ever?"

"Point taken. If you do you know I'm around to listen, right? No judgement. I promise your scary viking lady reputation will remain completely intact."

The older werewolf chuckled a little.
"Nah, I'm good, I swear. Morning just caught me in a bit of a mood, that's all. I feel better now I've chopped some of those things into bits."

"That's what us Neverwinters do instead of therapy, haha."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Annita Night Character Portrait: Katherine Helling
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((Colab))

Midnight smiled and nodded at Reith. "Yes, history does seem to repeat itself." It was funny how the children were so much like their parents and yet so different. They were growing up in a time that was so different yet the bonds their parents shared seemed to continue. Life was funny like that. Even Chris, who outright rejected his father, was so much like him it was scary.

"I don't know how or when, but we'll get them back. I know they aren't gone from our lives forever, and I won't give up on finding a way to bring them home." Midnight said sadly. This she had promised silently not only to herself but to everyone. Maybe she would fail, maybe they never would come home, but Midnight would never give up trying. She would die before she gave up.

Time seemed to fly in the lab as the tests were run, causes of her illness were dismissed, some lead to more tests, others were dead ends. It was frustrating and looking more and more like a mental issue. Midnight just knew that it wasn't, she knew herself, knew her own mind. She was scared she was going crazy but something was telling her it was only a symptom of a larger problem. Perhaps that was wishful thinking, but Midnight's gut feelings were rarely too far off.

A couple hours had passed and Midnight finally looked over at Oren. "Any verdict Doc? Am I getting sent to the nut house?" Midnight said chuckling.

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

Katherine had zoned out for well over an hour sitting up in her treetop retreat before making her way down to her house to grab a few things. She walked along the sky bridges and pulled her hoodie up before finally dropping down in front of Annita's office. She walked in and gave a weak wave to Annita.

"How's he doing?"
Katherine asked quietly as she moved into a vacant room.

Annita followed Kathy and shook her head. "You shouldn't be here. If Chris finds out you're here, he's going to blow a gasket." Ann said.

"When is Chris not blowing a gasket?"
Kathy retorted folding her arms.

"He'll be awake anytime now, I wouldn't be surprised if he's already awake. He's behind that curtain behind me. The healers got done an hour ago, he's as good as new, better actually. Though it won't do him any good when Chris gets his hands on him." Annita said flipping through charts. "You know how he is."

"He's in this room?"
Kathy asked looking towards the curtain.

"Yes he is, naked in fact if you fancy a peek. I won't tell." Ann said giggling.

"There's something very wrong with you."
Katherine said.

"Oh come now, the guy's pretty... impressive if you ask me. For a human." Ann said smirking. "Well what are you doing here anyway?"

"I just wanted to make sure he's doing ok. I left something at Chris's shop for him, new armor. I finished it recently, it's unlike anything we've used before. I had a feeling he would need it if he was going to train with you guys."
Katherine said.

"You've known for months that this would happen, didn't you? Clever little psychic you are. But here's what I want to know, why? Why him? You've never met him and there's no reason that you would feel obligated to help him. Why are you wasting your time and energy? I don't understand." Ann said shaking her head.

"Does there need to be a why?"
Katherine asked leaning on the wall.

"There's always a why." Annita countered.

"He deserves a chance, and I know he has what it takes. He'll survive anything Chris, or you, or anyone else can throw at him. He may not look like it or act like it, but when push comes to shove he'll go to the ends of the earth or die trying. Somewhere, deep down in him, is a Delegate."
Katherine answered.

Annita looked up from her paperwork and her eyes settled squarely on Katherine. "You really believe that don't you? Enough to give up what little freedom you have left? Have you even considered what him being around means for you? Midnight's ordered him to stick to Chris like glue. Brady and Chris aren't going to let you anywhere near him, you're not going to be able to be near us like you used to. The clubhouse and the shop will be off limits to you, and what will you have left then? Our house, work and the treetops? Kathy, this is going to make your life hell, and more lonely than it already is. I can't see this guy being worth that, a guy that you don't even know!" Ann said sounding more concerned than she wanted to. "Please give this up, tell Midnight you were wrong. I don't want you to suffer like this. I-I'll miss you..."

"Look, you're my sister, and I know you're concerned but I'll be ok. I know you don't trust him, but trust me. I know what I'm doing. This is the right thing to do, and who are we kidding? Brady and Chris are already on the verge of locking me away in some far off tower for my safety anyway."
Katherine said handing Annita a bundle of stuff.

Annita sighed. "I hope you don't regret this Kathy." Ann took the bundle and looked down at it. "What's this then?" She asked.

"Clothes, for him. I assumed the fight or you being all pervy would destroy his. I guess I was right on both counts."
Katherine said laughing lightly.

"So you were... Don't you even want to see him? Or talk to him? This could be your only chance. I mean don't you want him to know who you are at least?" Annita asked walking over to the curtain and beginning to draw it back.

"No... Don't. I'm not doing this to get anything out of it. Not even recognition. Honestly, the guy didn't know I existed other than all those rumors floating around the city. There's no reason for him to know me now. It wouldn't accomplish anything."
Katherine said walking to Annita and removing her hand from the curtain.

"Kathy..." Annita started before she was cut off by Katherine hugging her.

"Don't get all sappy on me, I like you so much better when you're a stone cold bitch."
Katherine said pulling back.

"Yea me too." Annita mumbled, spotting Chris in the doorway. "Uh oh..."

"Katherine, what are you doing here? This is dangerous, you know what could happen!" Chris said stalking over to Kathy and escorting her towards the door. "You always have to play with fire don't you? This is why we worry so much! Your brother is going to flip a mental lid if he finds out you were on this level with all these people."

"I know, I'm going. And hey, I have to work really late tonight in engineering, so I don't think I can make it to the party. You guys have fun though, and try not to kill the new recruit."
Katherine said giving Annita a wave goodbye as she left the medical office and climbed back up to the sky bridges.

"Thank god she's working, I would feel like shit if I had to tell her she couldn't come." Chris said as he looked over at Annita and she was giving him that look, that I'm pissed at you woman look. "What?" He demanded. Annita slammed the chart down on the table. "You dense fuck. She's only told you she's working so you wouldn't have to feel like shit by not allowing her to go." Annita snapped.

"Well telling me defeats the purpose doesn't it? Because now I feel like shit." Chris said. "Good!" Annita yelled. "You deserve to."

Annita pulled back the curtain to find Warren, he appeared awake, for how long she had no idea. She tossed the clothes at him. "A healer has repaired the damage to your body, also some old damage. You might be a little groggy from the sedative I gave you, but that'll wear off in a few minutes. You're better than new, for now." Ann said shooting an accusing glance to Chris then immediately looking back at Warren.

"Your armor was destroyed, but to my account it was destroyed long before you stepped into the arena today. You have new armor waiting for you at the smith shop. Instructions are there as well I gather, since it's a new design. Chris I'm sure can answer any of your questions. You can come to me with medical questions if you have them, or if you need something healed. If there is nothing else, you can kindly get dressed and get the fuck out of my office." Annita said turning around and walking out without another word to Chris.

"Ugh... she's going to be a royal pain in the ass for the next few days." Chris mumbled. "Get a move on wannabe, you and I have long day ahead of us. First we take a real tour of Sequoia including the restricted Delegate zones, which'll take most of the day. We'll go over Delegate life along with any information you want. The shop will be the last place we go. You better think of your questions and ask as many as you can. If you don't ask, I don't tell and you probably die for some stupid mistake. Not like I would care." Chris snapped walking out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Ace Parker Banks
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((I'm about to feel super inferior for lack of words per post))

With his ear to the ground, any movement was heard. A hand present next to Ace's head helped push himself off from the ground.

Nothing was near him except for a few present mammals. He was starving, nearly to the brink of going over the edge. He needed something, at this point a squirrel would be sufficient.

He followed impressions in the ground left by what seemed to be a rabbit. The creatures didn't contain a great mass of meat, but thankfully he wasn't after that sort of nourishment. The large hind feet were more prominent, the front feet were hardly indented into the ground making it look as though it had a quickened pace.

Ace knelt down and held two fingers to the dirt, looking for the pulse of the animal. It was far away, but still evident. He quickened his own stride, keeping check of the prints and their direction.

In no time he had found the small beast and drained it of every bit of blood he could manage. It wouldn't last him very long, maybe a few hours before he would need to hunt again, but for now it sustained his need. He felt bad. Feeding always hurt him too. It mentally strained him to injure anything and to him it was selfish for vampires to survive by taking from others. Of course there were also the vampires, like his cousin, who lived for the kill. He momentarily wondered if his family was doing okay and if the Specters had made it all the way out to Springside, Washington.

He shook his head and focused back to the matter at hand. He needed to find Midnight. He had information that needed to be heard.

After running a few kilometers East, he eased himself to lay his head back down and press his ear against the Earth.

"Dammit!" He cursed pounding his fist in frustration. He felt like there was no end to this search. He craved a comfortable bed instead of bark from a tree under his head. He yearned for prepared human food and good company. He missed the few friends he had. He missed Oren and the other delegates.

Ace sighed and shook off his misery.

"Pull it together," he murmured to himself. "You can't continue to feel sorry for yourself." He was left talking to himself and once in a while felt mad because of it. He hadn't come across a town in at least two weeks, leaving only himself for company.
He grunted in distaste.

"Can I just get a sign that I'm somewhat close by?" He stared toward the sky, his arms open as if waiting to catch something large. He wasn't sure if there were a God, but he was asking whatever higher being there might be for some help.

"This is a little important so if ya could just give me a tiny clue that would be awesome."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Kato Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Annita Night Character Portrait: Brady Helling
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**Lots of stuff here. Sorry if there's errors, I've been patching this together piece by piece. Some colab, some not. I'll be getting up character sheets on our newest baddies as soon as I can.**





Midnight had gone back to her home after her lovely visit with Oren and Reith. No answers as of yet but it was rather early to tell, there were such a vast number of things her condition could be so the process of elimination could take a few days. She was brewing a pot of coffee when Kat walked in. "I know you have a party to be at so I'll be brief. I have outlined a more in depth training plan to maximize your effectiveness in combat. You're precise, nimble, dedicated, and accurate to a degree that I have only seen once before in a trainee. This person became a legend for their use in Kyusho, or the art of using pressure points as an attack and defense. To be able to paralyze an opponent with a single strike or render someone unconscious with a carefully placed blow is a considerable skill that not many possess. I think you would master this fighting technique and become a force even opponents three times your strength would fear. Your father was the best I've ever trained in this style of combat but I have a good feeling you could not just match his skill but surpass it. If you're interested, I'll train you as I once did him." Midnight said leaving the kitchen to dig through one of the boxes at the door.

This box that had been locked away for the last eighteen years was filled with random items from her family and friends; items that were stored at her place for safekeeping with or without her knowledge. People did have a nasty habit of leaving things at her house figuring it was the safest place to put them. Midnight pulled out a box and opened it to delicately pluck out an engraved gold locket. "Come here Kat." Midnight instructed. When the girl walked over Midnight brushed her hair aside and clasped the necklace on the child. "Your father is a remarkable man and he is one of my closest and most trusted friends. He is honorable, loyal, and virtuous; he never betrayed or abandoned a friend nor took unfair advantage of an enemy. He did not love easily but when he did it was the kind of love that became a part of him forever." Midnight said as she brushed Kat's hair back into place.

"He had this made for you before he left on that day, they must have delivered it to my house and it got packed away like so many other things during the chaos. Inside is a family picture of you, your father, and your mom on one side. On the other is a mirror engraved with Japanese characters that roughly translate to, whatever future there is for me, there is love in it because of you and to see yourself through my eyes is to see the beauty of the world in yours."

Midnight pulled something out of the box the locket came from; it was the full size picture the one in the locket was based off of. "I have never seen him so happy in his life. There are a lot of pictures in here of you three, and some of the rest of us with you too. This one is my favorite." Midnight said shuffleing to a picture of Reith and Shisou playing video games, an infant Kat in Shisou's lap, controller in hand. The most amusing thing of the picture was how into the game Kat appeared to be even though her controller wasn't plugged in. "Grant is a picture whore and he took a lot of pictures much to Shisou's distaste, the pictures actually get quite hilarious. You can really see how they were together from these. There's a series of them that Grant captured of Shisou punching him in the face and the last one is of a broken camera lens." Midnight said turning over the small box containing the pictures and the jewelry box. "Those two were always in trouble; well Grant was in trouble which dragged Shi into trouble. Like the time one of Grant's parties got out of hand and Shi went to get it under control and ended up being heavily dosed with acid which ended with both of them on my doorstep wearing those kiddie inflatable swimming tubes with the animal heads in front and flippers on their hands so they could clap like a seal... They were hollering about how they needed my help to save sea creatures everywhere from total annihilation during the next mortal kombat tournament. Every time I tried to get a word in they both just kept yelling 'fatality' at me." Midnight said laughing. "Never thought I would miss that."

Midnight shook her head and went back to the kitchen. "I'll talk your ear off all night if you let me. I could spend this whole century telling stories. You have a party, and I don't want to keep you any longer. You probably want to drop that stuff off at home since someone will kill you if you spilled beer all over it." Midnight said pouring a cup of coffee and making it the way she liked which was black, one sugar. "Be safe tonight Kato." She said giving the girl a kiss on the cheek. "And have fun."




Annita had left the shop and made her way to the party which was already thriving with the select people invited. She stepped over the immortals already passed out on the floor to make her way to Chris who appeared to be having the time of his life on the dance floor. "Having fun?" She asked smiling.

"Fun is an understatement!" Chris said over the music. "These amplifiers Kathy made are awesome and they don't even need electricity. The band sounds epic doesn't it?"

"They are rather good."
Brady chimed in mentally.

"BRADY!" Chris said giving his friend a bear hug. "You need a drink, or two!" Chris exclaimed wrapping his arms around the pair and leading them to the bar. He got his friends a drink and leaned against the bar.

"The strippers are a nice touch." Annita said laughing as she shot back her drink and ordered another.

"Exotic dancers Ann, stripper sounds so degenerate. These girls have some serious skills, it's an art form." Chris said.

"Skills? Please Chris they're grinding on a metal pole in their underwear." Ann scoffed finishing her second drink and moving on to her third.

"A metal pole isn't the only thing they know how to grind on." Chris said looking over to Brady. "Am I right?"

"When he's right, he's right."
Brady mentally agreed.

"Plus if you think it's so easy, why don't you give it a go Doc." Chris teased.

"Bet you morning patrol duty she says no."
Brady sent to Chris.
"You're on." Chris mentally accepted.

"I hardly think I need to lower myself to that kind of behavior to prove my point." Ann said shaking her head. But after a moment and two more shots, Ann rethought her position and smiled over at Chris. She always liked to show off a bit. "You know what, you're on Aquaman."

"Ha. Aquaman. Funniest thing I've heard all week."
Brady sent with a laugh.

As Ann pranced off and lost an article of clothing with each step Chris watched with a grin from ear to ear. "You know what's the funniest thing I've heard all week? You having my morning patrol." Chris taunted.

"Yeah, yeah… A bets a bet."
Brady mentally said taking a look around.
"Hey, have you seen Kathy?"

"Yea, she's working. Said she had some stuff to do that would keep her out pretty late." Chris said eyes still trained on Ann.

"I feel like I haven't seen her in forever."
Brady sent to Chris. He looked down in his drink before knocking it back and getting a refill.

"In what? Like five hours? Have some fun Brady! If your sister was here you know she'd be hitting up that pole with Ann right now having a great time. If she can cut loose, so can you." Chris said cheering on the girls with the crowd.

"A; no she wouldn't. And B; that's the most disturbing thing you could have said."
Brady mentally replied.

"But you don't ever have to worry about Kathy because even though these shmucks drool over her, she's a prude when it comes down to it so it's not like you have to worry about her running off with some random guy to fuck in a mildly uncomfortable position in semi-public place. She's not like that. She just likes to cut loose and dance. What's wrong with that?" Chris said getting Brady another drink. "Look she's not here tonight and you don't have to worry about a mob of guys eye fucking your sister so I think it's your turn to cut loose a little bit! Cheers mate." Chris said offering up his drink.

Brady smiled.
"Here's to the Delegates."
Brady mentally replied as he clanked his glass against Chris's.

"Here's to the fucking Delegates and man do I love being a Delegate right now!" Chris shouted out and raised his glass. It was met with raised glasses, cheers, and applause from the crowd of raving bodies in the clubhouse.

Chris shot back his drink alongside Brady and then decided he would jump in the pool. When he emerged amongst the sea of inflatable pool animals and colorful beach balls, he laughed standing up in the water. "House rules, bottoms only." Chris said pointing to a large sign on the wall. Much to his pleasure girls promptly removed their tops and jumped in.

"Dude, Marco Polo."
Brady mentally sent to Chris.

"Brady here wants to play a pool game! Whoo Marco Polo! Girls are Polo!" Chris called. "Girls we catch ya, we keep you for the night."

Brady quickly took his shirt off and dove in the pool along with a few other guys and a lot of topless girls hungry for a good time they'd most certainly regret in the morning.

Ann was off giving some guy a lap dance, the band was crushing it, mirrors were reflecting light all over giving the illusion of an electrically driven light show, the pool was filled with topless screaming girls and the men that were chasing them around with their eyes closed. The booze was flowing, people were dancing and laughing, and there wasn't a bad thought or care in the world. Every once and a while this was nice, to feel like normal teenagers that didn't have the weight of the world on their shoulders.




Fifteen miles from the perimeter of Sequoia a man sat in a tree stand watching the ground below. In one-hand binoculars to help him see and in the other a walkie-talkie to report what he saw. Leaning up against the tree next to him, the barrel of his sniper rifle was still smoking lightly after having emptied six rounds in succession. Below stood six armed men in tactical armor akin to SWAT gear around the body of the Delegate scout that had been sniped out of the tree.

"It's getting dark, switching to infrared night vision." The treetop sniper spoke over the walkie-talkie. The men followed suit and flipped down the goggles on their heads as they scanned the area for life signs.

"Level 5 hoard is headed your way primed and hungry. ETA thirty minutes. Status on phase two?" Inquired the stern voice of the commanding officer across the wire.

"H-FED2 is ready to lead the pack to target alpha as soon as H-FED1 arrives for the changeover Commander." One of the men on the ground chimed in across the radio as he tested the controls and video feed of the man sized remote controlled drone strapped with a High Frequency Energy Device that they used to lure large hoards of Specters to a single destination.

"Good. Team 2; rendezvous with Team 1 and prepare to carry out primary objectives." Ordered the commander.

"Aye aye captain." Said one of the guys on the ground team. The group switched on their body cameras and all but the drone pilot began moving towards the city.

Back at home base the commander monitored the video feed of the soldiers until the door behind him opened. A stocky fellow no more than 40 years of age appeared in the doorway, while he lacked being physically intimidating he more than made up for it with his presence. The air around him was still like it was trapped in a vacuum. Surrounding him was a cold, detached, unforgiving void of emptiness. He was a rough looking man with sandy blonde hair and hard eyes. His face was worn with age and crinkled from hardship as was his body adorned with scars from poorly healed wounds. He sat in a wheelchair that creaked when it rolled in the room, his body was crippled from a run in with an immortal that cost him his legs.

"Everyone is ready Sir. A few hours from now we'll be toasting to the fall of the greatest immortal stronghold in the world and the liberation of the human race from tyrannical immortal rule." The commander said.

"Don't underestimate the Delegates, Commander. Hubris has been the fall of many of their adversaries." The leader said as he lit up a cigarette and took a long drag.

"We've been planning this assault for years, Mr. Jones, and I've sent in my most loyal men. If their mission fails and the Specters overrun the city, they'll use the failsafe and take the city with them." The commander said turning back to the monitors.

"All or nothing; no middle ground. Now, that's how you fight a war." Jones commented taking another drag of his cigarette and flicking some ash on the floor.

"Yes Sir. We can remote detonate from here as a last resort." The commander said. "If we lose control it's better for the humans to die human than turn into those abominations."

"Good. Detonate at the first sign of struggle." Jones said watching the monitors.

The commander whirled around from the monitors to stare in disbelief at his leader. "Sir? That's hardly logical; they're going to have to engage the enemy at some point and it will be a struggle to overcome them but I believe our technology will win out over their immortal strengths. What you're talking about is the mass murder of thousands of humans without even giving them a chance. We have to give them a chance." The commander pleaded.

"I am giving them a chance commander. I am giving them the chance to be a part of taking down the largest, most notorious, and most dangerous immortal organization in the world. Their sacrifice will go down in history. Those brave souls should be honored, death is better than living under the yoke of immortal oppression. Surely, you understand that we cannot risk the immortals overtaking even one of our men. They have mind readers and would quickly disable the failsafe or escape the city; then they would come after us and butcher us like animals. They would hunt down our families to put an end to our lines as a show to all other humans what happens when someone opposes them. You have a family, don't you Commander Simmons? You wouldn't want a Delegate hunting your wife and little girl down, now would you? All because you couldn't push a little button to save them." Jones said as his eyes locked on to the commander's like a vice grip.

"No, Sir. Of course not, Sir. First sign of struggle." The commander conceded with a blank expression.

"That's a good lad, come get me when the fun starts." Jones said groaning as he pushed his wheelchair over the threshold of the door and wheeling down the hall.

Commander Simmons sighed deeply pulling his headset off as he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. He let it drop on the table as he looked back at the monitors wondering what was going to happen next. "God help us…"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Kato
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Kato had listened in silence, and left the house in it too, aside from a brief but sincere 'thank-you' to Midnight. She walked out with the things she'd been given feeling a bit wistful, and with some mixed emotions about a lot of things.

Her father was someone whom she couldn't remember knowing, and still he had a big influence on her life. It felt strange, and often unfair to her that she had been denied that in her life. It would have been different if her dad had just been an irresponsible jerk off that had run off...but no...he'd wanted to be there for her so badly and both of them had had that taken away. It was depressing really.

In that vein Kato wasn't sure she really felt like going to the party. Downing some shifty looking liquor, getting hit on, and casually threatening to castrate guys with a bottle opener for trying to get touchy without her consent was fun sometimes, and Rei was a pretty laid back parent to the degree that she'd happily look the other way when Kat brought boys back (or girls, Kat didn't like to rule anything out), but she wasn't really feeling into that.

Instead when she arrived Kato grabbed a drink, leaned against the wall and listened to the music, taking occasional amusement at watching Hari trying to talk to girls. And failing horribly, of course. Whilst he was fine interacting with her and Annita, having grown up up with them practically as his sisters, he invariably just seemed to freeze up when he was required to be charming. Still, Kato thought, he had werewolf genetics on his side and was Hunter the Heartthrob's younger, more available brother, so she imagined he would get some action by the end of the evening.

Even if she wasn't too into it, it seemed shame to totally waste an opportunity. Wasn't like they took a lot pf downtime. Still, her slender fingers slid around the locket, indicating there were a few other things on the young hybrid's mind.