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The Northern Delegates: Apocalypse

Delegate Universe: Sequoia 2032


a part of The Northern Delegates: Apocalypse, by AsuraDeWinters.


AsuraDeWinters holds sovereignty over Delegate Universe: Sequoia 2032, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Delegate Universe: Sequoia 2032 is a part of The Northern Delegates: Apocalypse.

16 Characters Here

Warren Slaton [12] "Fighting is easy, winning is difficult, but it's the ability to learn from our mistakes that is the hardest thing of all"
Annita Night [11] "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan
Christopher Straight [11] How can something so cold radiate such fire from within.
Midnight Amelia Bravo [11] Fear not the monsters outside, but within.
Katherine Helling [9] To live without freedom, isn't to live at all
Kato [9] "Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters."
Hunter James Neverwinter [7] What a world we live in.
Kora Neverwinter [3] Everybody needs memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Hunter James Neverwinter
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The Neverwinter house was much like it always was. Kora was not great in the domestic department and Hari was a teenager, so the place was never exactly tidy. It was made a little more distinct by the bloodied war axe etched with knotted designs leaning casually against the doorframe.

"That you Hunter?"

Kora stepped out from her room into her son's path as he went looking, drying her perpetually untidy hair with a towel. She'd thrown on a T-shirt, but it was easy enough to still see the bandages taped round her shoulder and wound down her arm. Spots of blood were starting to soak through in a few places.

This was nothing new of course.

Self-preservation was never her strong point, she was a berserker and having little concern for her own safety was very much part of it.However Kora had gotten reckless, more reckless than before as time had worn on. Mostly, if she was being truthful with herself, out of a feeling of redundancy. She wanted to feel she was still relevant, and when it came down to it a Neverwinter defaulted into what they'd been bred for for generations. War. Kora hunted Specters, that was what she was good at. And, in some small way everyone she killed felt like a bit of vengeance. That, in some way felt constructive enough that she didn't feel like she was going crazy every day, and, in that sense she could tolerate gettig hurt.

"Life changing,huh?" she asked, stepping up to the werewolf with a little bit of a smile on her face.
"So, if I'm gonna guess, you finally got your ass in gear and want to make it official with the Fox girl? I can't think of many things you'd actually talk over with me first other than that."

She went and took hold of the war axe, examining the blade and trying to locate a cloth to wipe it.
"If I'm right, then yeah I think this is a good idea. If not, damn you should hurry the fuck up. How long was it that it took me and your dad to get hitched? And that was factoring in attempted murder and a kidnapping. You get a little leeway for th end of the world, but still..."

She sighed, a bit wistful as she mopped the gore off. She missed him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midnight Amelia Bravo Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Kato 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…"

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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.

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Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Katherine Helling
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(I have to write Hunter later. I've been partying pretty hard and I leave for Pride NYC tomorrow morning. I'm celebrating! CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

"Yea... My family is... Well I can't sugar coat it, they're pretty fucking abnormal. But in my defense, biologically speaking, I'm not related to some of them. We were all raised together since we're all missing one if not both of our parents, so we all identify with each other as family. Yay for teamwork."
Katherine said placing down the bag and sitting on the desk. She honestly wasn't expecting him to have any questions but he did and the distraction was surprisingly welcome from the thumping migraine in her head.

A playful smirk crossed Katherine's face when Warren asked why she wasn't going to the party.
"I should think that's obvious. I'm embracing that whole socially awkward, nerdy, mysterious, shut in stereotype. I have an image to maintain after all. Just wait; someday it'll replace the girl next door cliche."
Katherine joked with a light laugh.

"Hmm, why I'm not going. Joking aside, it's a few things. This day of the year is rough for me. I have to deal with the armor issue before training tomorrow morning. And I'm not in the mood to be dealing with drunken horny immortal teenagers grabbing my ass. You know, the usual."
Katherine said smiling.
"There's also the issue of my psychic ability. There are a lot of people next door that aren't in their right mind. Psychics of my grade can handle drugs and alcohol so long as they're not psychedelic and hallucinogenic. Lots of people over there are tripping balls, which means that I'm picking on all the signals they're shooting off and my head feels like its getting ripped to shreds. My psychic ability can't pick up anything but static or screaming and I can only see a wall of vibrating colors. My guess is someone tossed acid in the punch bowl."

She hopped off the desk and walked over to the forge, taking note of the strangely shaped work in progress sitting in the fire. The fuck is that supposed to be? Katherine thought to herself as she took one of her gloves off and pulled up her sleeve to reach in the fire and pull out the glowing metal in her bare hand.
"Chris didn't give you much in the way of instructions, huh? Sounds like him, but don't worry, he'll come around sooner than later. If he doesn't, I'll give you some instructions."
Katherine said as she inspected the mystery hunk of metal.

"A couple tips for the party."
Katherine said tossing the metal back in the furnace and putting her glove back on.
"Wear the under layer of your armor under your clothes if you're concerned about being infected. In reality, it's a lot harder than people think to be infected with the immortal condition but that doesn't stop humans from worrying. It'll ease your mind, ya know? Plus it won't really stick out under your clothes so much, I made sure when I sewed them."

She moved next to a cabinet and pulled out a small strange looking square syringe that looked like the little devices they used to prick your finger. It was filled with a hazy liquid.
"This is vital to your survival and to that of people that depend on you. We keep them practically everywhere in Sequoia and often carry one on us. It nullifies the effects of drugs, alcohol, and a good amount of types of poisons. It's also mixed with a hefty dose of adrenaline. You can be piss drunk, stoned out of your mind, and virtually unconscious but when you inject this, in about thirty seconds; you'll be sober and feeling like superman. It also gives a bit of a boost for an hour or so. It works by binding to the various chemicals in the blood and eliminating them. The formula was designed long before the world went to shit so it's been tested rigorously and is safe, even for humans. Specters don't exactly attack on our party schedule so we have to be ready at the drop of a dime. I know there are plenty of these next door, but I thought it would be important to give you the tutorial before something happened and you had no clue why Chris was chasing you down trying to stab you in the neck with a needle. Might not, strengthen your relationship, you know?"
Katherine said walking over to Warren and placing it down in front of him.
"It's small so it's easy to carry around, and it won't deploy until you put pressure on either side. Hold it against your neck and squeeze the device. For uh, the first half minute you'll feel like you're going to die as it attacks the foreign chemicals and the needle feels like a bee sting but if you have to use it, that's the least of your problems."

Katherine went back to retrieve her bag.
"Have fun over there, oh and one more thing. If for any reason Chris is convinced to sing, might be a good time to step outside for a cigarette or something or you'll be left questioning your sexuality."
She said smiling back at Warren.
"You're welcome in advance."

"See you around Warren and thanks for the conversation. You know how to reach me if you need me."
Katherine said as she hoisted the bag over her shoulder.

She opened the door to leave but there was a person standing in the doorway on the other side of the door which made Katherine damn near jump out of her skin. Instincts kicked in more than anything and she grabbed his arm, twisted it behind his back as she maneuvered behind him and forced him to his knees in front of her in a single swift motion that lasted only a brief second.
"Jesus fucking Christ, who does that!?"
Katherine loudly demanded. She really wasn't used to having her ability down, and it was so fried she wasn't picking anything up. Not even the creeper on the other side of the door. When she got a good look at him, she breathed a small sigh of relief.
"Mr. Thompson! You're not authorized to be in this area."

Daniel Thompson, who had also looked equally surprised, jumped back and almost went off the railing before Katherine grabbed him and put him to the ground before he could blink. "Katherine? Oh, I'm sorry! I was about to knock when the door opened and I think we scared each other half to death." The man explained quickly. "I'm looking for someone that can fix something; my son broke his brace again. You know he can't get around without it and he's having a meltdown." The man said fumbling the words out quickly and unevenly.

"This is the fifth time this month. What did he do to it now? "
Katherine asked releasing the man and taking a step back.

"Got into a bit of trouble I'm afraid." The man said holding out a child's leg brace to Katherine. "I don't know how much more trouble a seven year old can get into. It's like he's magnetically drawn to accidents."

Katherine took the brace and inspected it.
"This isn't broken, it's destroyed. What happened to him? "
Katherine asked.

"Kids were playing around and a cart got loose and struck him. Luckily, the brace took the brunt of it, saved his life. He's got a few scrapes and bruises but he'll be fine." The man replied as he stood up and dusted himself off. "That thing can take a beating."

"The brace or your son?"
Kathy asked with a faint smile as she inspected the brace further. It was made with soft light metal since it was going on a child and wasn't expected to sustain heavy damage. It had to bend and expand as it helped support the child. She had been working on a newer design since the boy had destroyed this one more times than she could count.

"Both in fact. He just… tries to prove himself more to the other kids because he's at such a disability with his injury. The physical therapy and the healing sessions have done wonders, and I don't know how to thank you. I feel bad for coming down here and asking something else of you when you have already done so much for my son and I, and we have only caused you grief." Daniel said gaining a sorrowful and entirely over remorseful tone.

"It's not any trouble, you know I love that kid to pieces. Don't act like someone died, it's nothing. Really, this is not a big deal."
Katherine said smiling.

"It's not nothing to us." Daniel began before noticing Warren in the corner. "And you have company… how unusual. I mean not unusual like you never have company! Just not a guy that you're not related to that's in dating age range. I mean not any of my business what's going on here after hours. Oh my god that's not what I meant! Not like you're dating or anything, I mean you're a beautiful girl and any guy would be lucky!" Daniel blurted out like a socially inept highschooler.

"Stop talking, you're making it worse."
Katherine instructed.

"I'll do that. Shutting up right now." Daniel said making the motion of zipping his lips shut. His face bright red with embarrassment and his hands practically shaking, it was safe to say Daniel was hyper on edge and wildly uncomfortable. He just gave Warren a nervous half wave before rushing out the door and leaning against the railing like he was going to throw up.

"You know Warren… I'm starting to think it's you that is making people crazy. That or someone put something in the drinking water, because holy shit no one can be normal today."
Katherine grumbled.
"I'm really leaving now, and I'm taking the creeper with me. Have fun next door."

Katherine walked out bag over her shoulder and the kid's brace in hand. She smacked Daniel upside the head as she walked by him.
"What the hell was that? What's into you tonight?"
Katherine asked.

"I'm mortified! Tonight has been so stressful Katherine. I hope I didn't make you look bad in front of your friend!" Daniel said rubbing his face.

"Bad? No. He's probably just lumping me in with the rest of the crazy Delegates he's met today."
Katherine replied with a sigh.
"Let's just get to engineering and get this fixed, ok?"

"I'm sorry Katherine… I'm just so sorry." Daniel said choking up on the verge of tears.

"Seriously, what is with you? It's not a big deal! Nothing I haven't done a few dozen times."
Katherine said shaking her head. Man, people were super weird tonight.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Katherine Helling Character Portrait: Annita Night
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Warren listened to her explanation to not going to the party, and it made sense naturally. He couldn’t even imagine being able to hear everyone’s thoughts and doubted he would like that power at all. He wasn’t exactly mister popularity in the arena, more of a mixed bag with a hint of underdog and a lot of people had a lot of things to say about that. After all, without spare electricity to pump towards the more extravagant things, most entertainment had gone out the window. Arena fights were practically movies, and everyone had an opinion on every movie they had ever seen. Returning his thoughts to the matter at hand, he was happy to see that at least one of the Delegates that he had met wasn’t either a innuendo spewing doctor or amphibious bigot, so that set Warren’s mind at ease slightly. He might have been a little happier if she was going to the party, someone to ‘hang on to’ for lack of a better term so that he could feel the people out around him before going into it full tilt.

She moved past him, grabbing the same hunk of metal that Warren had been working on...with her bare hand no less. Did I miss something? Are you immune to fire and heat too? Warren thought to himself as she made a far more subtle jab at his smithing abilities than the others probably would have. He wasn’t offended, he knew it was shit. He only knew how to melt things, not make them look or feel like anything resembling a weapon or armor. “I...highly doubt that.” Warren stated in response to Chris coming around. He hadn’t known the guy long, but already he seemed like the guy who held grudges and didn’t forget slights against his character. By Warren’s judgement, his very species was a slight to Chris. “But hey, if you have time I wouldn’t mind a few lessons...should probably learn how to do this anyways should the worse come to pass.” The ‘worse’ in Warren’s mind being that of a crippling injury.

Her tip about the armor was appreciated if not needed, Warren had already decided he would be wearing it. Sure, she may think it’s harder than one thinks to get infected with the myriad of immortal diseases, but she was wrong. She didn’t have to worry about it, Warren did. True, he hadn’t seen many people infected with the disease, but the few that he did had made him overly cautious. Vampirism wasn’t too bad, or at least that’s what he assumed. The transformation appeared to be subtle, but he had seen someone transform into a Lycan once before...and it was not an easy thing to watch.

Next she brought out some needle thing. Apparently a chemical cocktail meant to ensure that he would be ready to go at a moment’s notice if he was somehow incapacitated either through drugs or alcohol. Granted, the drugs wouldn’t be a problem. He had done his best to remain clean of that stuff all his life, with only the passing second hand smoke sometimes getting him a bit more light headed than he would like to admit. Alcohol was another matter though, and while his tolerance was fairly high he was glad to have something like the needle to get him back to the land of the sober. He picked up the little tube and gave it a once over, with the comment of ‘feeling like he was going to die’ hanging in his mind with more than enough of an unwarranted sigh. That particular sensation was something he had gotten enough of today. “Thanks.” He stated, pocketing the needle as she moved away from him to gather her bags. He partially wanted to laugh condescendingly at Katherine’s comment about Chris singing, but then remembered his species and considered that a very real threat. He made a mental note to get the fuck out of dodge should that happen.

With a note to get in touch with her should he need anything, she made to leave only to literally stumble into someone just outside the door, grabbing the man’s arm and twisting it hard around his back. For most of the exchange, Warren simply stared at the two as if they had grown a third arm apiece. It was one of the most awkward conversations he had seen, and he had been in a few himself. Mr. Thompson gave a half wave to Warren, who returned it with his own hesitant wave that said ‘O...K…?’. With a note that maybe he was the one making people act weird tonight, Kathy left the building. “Not fuckin likely.” Warren whispered to himself as he peered around the armory once more. Part of him contemplated not going to the party, either staying here and working on something else or heading home instead. He wasn’t much of a party animal, leaning more towards small groups of friends hanging around and causing trouble. In the end though, he decided that he had to at least make an effort. It seemed like the other Delegates would be there, and he had to try to make some kind of impression on them.

Within a few minutes, he had donned the underlayer of his armor underneath his shirt and looked in the mirror. He appeared a bit bulkier than he normally was, but it wasn’t overly noticeable unless someone was explicitly staring at him for several moments. It would simply look like he had more body mass, with only Chris and maybe Annita being able to pick apart the subtle difference. If they found him and saw, he could already imagine the ridicule those two would give him. He would deal with it, it wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to downplay him to a crowd and it wouldn’t be the last. With a little bit of touching up and rubbing of his head slightly, a habit that had formed when he got a little nervous, he was out the door.

The music was heard long before he even spotted the building in question. A sizable place to be certain, with more than a couple people hanging around the open front door. All Immortals without a doubt, with eyes, fangs, and excessive body hair making it clearly obvious who was what. Warren could feel the tinges of social anxiety clawing at the edge of his mind as he strode forward. Normally he wouldn’t have a problem being around people, but it was the fact that they were all immortals and the people that he did know here were both people who he barely knew and were crazy in their own separate ways. He walked past the people hanging around the door, pausing only in their drug fueled sex crazed little actions to stare and sniff at the human as he passed by. They didn’t say anything, thank God, but he knew what they were thinking. What was a human doing here?

Making his way inside, he could see this was anything but what he would have considered a party. This was about eleven levels more than anything he could have thrown together, with a practical light show, strippers, open bar, and more than enough drugs to keep everyone’s minds several league above the clouds. It was awesome and somewhat terrifying at the same time. He paused just inside the place long enough to scour through the people there much like he would survey a potential ambush site, and spotted the two people he actually knew here. Chris was in the pool messing around with a bunch of topless chicks, and Annita was on the couch being somehow less subtle than before with a guy that Warren didn’t recognize.

I’m...going to need to get shitfaced for this one. Warren thought to himself as he practically beelined for the bar. He waited there for a moment, wondering if there was someone actually serving drinks or if it was first come first serve deal. After a couple seconds, Warren decided to simply screw it and worked his way around the counter. He opened the mini fridge underneath, giving a low whistle at the sheer amount of variety in the stores as opening up several cabinets revealed more of the same. “Jackpot.” Warren stated as he grabbed several different bottles and brought them up onto the counter. He snapped his fingers as he turned around, looking for glasses and quickly finding them. When he returned to his glasses, he saw that several people were now standing at the bar.

“I was wondering why there was a human here…” The man in the middle stated, a werewolf to be sure judging by his size and body hair, also the weird eyes although those were more in common with vampires. A burly looking dude to be sure, long brown hair and a thick beard. He looked a lot older than what he probably was, which didn’t stop the almost condescending smile he had on his face. “You must be the bartender!”

“I...what?” Warren asked, still holding the glasses in his hand.

“Well why else would a human be at an immortal party, one of Chris’s on top of that. You must be one hell of a drink maker for him to pull your ass up here! Well don’t just stand there humie, make me a drink!” The two girls flanking the man, topless as one would imagine, sat there staring at Warren expecting him to move. His eyes were naturally drawn to several places, but most notably the teeth as they licked at them. An obvious vampiristic intimidation that might have worked if their nipples weren’t rubbing against the counter. It was against Warren’s very nature to be surrounded by this many potential threats, but he suppressed it as best he could.

“I’m not…” Warren started, before giving a sly smile. “Of course, preference or house call?” The werewolf gave a shrug.

“Just pick the best you got.” Warren smiled, grabbing one of the bottles he had already picked out and pouring a shot for the werewolf in question. He slid it over to him, making sure to hide the name of the alcohol in question. The werewolf simply stared at him. “I thought bartenders were supposed to be flashy, make cocktails and the like.”

“I prefer substance over flash.” Warren simply stated, placing an elbow on the counter and resting his head on his hand. “But hey, if you can handle that then maybe I’ll make something else for you.” The werewolf stared at him for a second, a snarl almost coming out of him as the alpha male mentality started to rear its ugly head. Without a thought, he downed the shot in one go. He placed the glass back on the table, and wasn’t even able to get out two words before his eyes started to tear up and beads of sweat started to form on his forehead. The girls around him took a step back, wondering what exactly Warren had done to him, but before he could even say anything to him, Warren had place a large glass of milk in front of him. The man gulped it down like no one’s business before practically smashing the glass back on the counter.

“What...the fuck...was that?!” The wolf asked, looking at Warren who casually flipped the bottle around so the label could be read.

“Naga Chilli vodka my friend, or at least the closest we’ll ever get to it. Supposedly the hottest drink on the planet before the entire world went flip side up.” Warren stated as he started pouring himself a double shot of the drink himself. He gave a cheers with the glass to the wolf before downing the glass himself and smacking his lips slightly. He would never tell these guys, but a perk of his abilities also included the ‘heat’ from spicy foods...meaning he could never have something like what the wolf went through happen to him. “Care for another?” The wolf shook his head as he looked at Warren like he had just swallowed a ton of knives.

“How about...just making us different drink?” Warren was in the process of pouring himself another drink when he gave a small chuckle.

“Oh right, about that...I’m not a bartender.” Warren stated, sliding some whiskey down to him. “But help yourself.” Warren grabbed a couple beers out of the fridge before making his way to one of the couches in front of the stripper poles, or exotic dancers, or the hoo ha parade. He sat himself down, finishing another shot of the vodka and feeling his body get all fuzzy with the feeling of alcohol finally starting to kick in. He opened one of the beers as he watched the girl in front of him use the pole like some kind of sexy fire escape.

If he was going to be here, he might as well enjoy the view.

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Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Kato Character Portrait: Annita Night Character Portrait: Hari Neverwinter
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With time ticking on and the party in full swing, everything was going surprisingly well. Chris had gravitated to Hari and was being the good wingman he was to help a friend out. Brady had disappeared with a couple girls from the pool ten minutes ago and probably wouldn't be seen again for a while, if again that night at all. Chris always did wonder where Brady got his uncanny ability to make girls falls head over heals for him. He was like a passive, silent cupid that was universally loved by women and equally hated by men. Annita of course was with Kat gushing over something or other and fending off the advances of intoxicated boys that thought they were way more smooth than they were. Then there was his very own wannabe, who seemed content to sit back, get drunk, and enjoy the dancers.

"Hey, I'm going to introduce Kat to the wannabe. Make sure you head over there sometime to meet him." Chris said giving Hari a pat on the back as he left to join Annita and Kat for a moment. "Hey Kit Kat." Chris greeted giving the girl a hug and kiss on the cheek. "Don't look so blue, it's a party." He said with a smile.

"Hey, come on and meet the wannabe. He's been moping in that spot all night and the only one that really has talked to him is Trevor, and we all know how Trevor is." Chris said taking Kat's arm.

"Ugh I swear that guy has more testosterone than actual fluids in his body. He's always looking for a fight, especially when he drinks." Ann chimed in flanking the other side of Kat and taking her other arm. "A fucking devil in the sack though." She added.

"What was that?" Chris asked looking around Kat at Ann. "Uh, nothing. Said he's been eyeing your honorary student ever since he met him at the bar. Everyone has been talking about him. You know that spells trouble and a half when Trevor has that look." Ann said giving an innocent smile to Chris until he disappeared again to the side of Kat. "Especially since Trevor's been looking for a way to make you pay for fucking his sister."

Chris thought about it for a moment. "What? Booze is payment in some cultures. But I guess we should at least keep an eye on him. I can't make the wannabe do all my work if he's dead." Chris reflected.

"Then you uh, better do something because the incredible hulk is headed right for him with those two Rent-A-Cunts. Which pretty much means he's a gonner." Ann said a little too chipper about the subject as she pointed at the train wreck unfolding. "Dibs on his corpse. He's medically valuable."

"You're super fucking weird; remind me why I fuck you again?" Chris asked rolling his eyes. "Because I'm flexible." Ann replied giggling.

"Yes… Yes you are…" Chris said as a sly smile crossed his face and an idea popped in his mind. "Ok team, that wannabe is ours, not Hulk Hogan's over there. His group has given us enough bullshit in the past, and they're certainly not going to kill our human. If anyone is going to kill him, it'll be us. Let's show some support for our newest member and hopefully this escalates into some violence. Ready? Break!" Chris said laughing as they put their hands in and did the traditional football huddle break.

"Hari you're going to miss the fun!" Chris called over laughing as the three walked over to Warren. Thankfully, they arrived before Trevor and his Euro-trash made it through the crowd to Warren. Chris slid in next to Warren and wrapped an arm around the semi-intoxicated mortal. "Warren, this is Kat over there's Hari, you already know Ann. This is Warren. I just call him wannabe though; I'm pleased to report it's caught on nicely." Chris said pointing to the respective parties. "You still have to meet Brady. He's busy with some girls at the moment, but he sends his best."

Chris took a lengthy sip of his unmarked bottle of liquor as he waited for the immortals in question to approach. "Hey Trev, long time no see. Girls, looking perky as always." Chris greeted standing up between Warren and the group. "You come to meet our newest member?" Chris said motioning to Warren. Now this particular werewolf was large, he towered over Chris in height and weight class but that didn't bother him one bit.

"Doesn't look like much to me." Trevor replied steadying himself against the girls as a whirlwind of drug-induced hallucinations caused the room to spin and melt like someone was throwing cans of paint on everything. "I think he looks delicious, so kind of you to bring us a snack Chris." The vampress to the left said, running the tip of her tongue over her lips. "I think he looks like a pineapple. I miss pineapple… and kiwi, but mostly pineapple." The other vampire chimed in obviously already in her own little world. After an awkward moment of silence, the girl bounced off into the crowd leaving Trevor and the hostile vampress in front of the silent group.

"Ok, well that was fun. Now see you could try to eat him, but that won't go very well for you. He is neither a snack nor a tropical fruit. I suggest we all have a beer, get stoned and enjoy the party." Chris piped up pulling a bag of weed out of his pocket and shaking it dramatically. "Or if pills are your thing, I got just about everything you can chew, snort, inject, or pop. Pick your poison." Now see, werewolves leaned more towards things like alcohol, weed, and natural drugs while vampires got more heavily into man made substances. Chris had to cover a wide variety of preferences.

"For the love of god, no more drugs." Trevor exclaimed running his hands down his face as if it was melting. It felt like it was melting. "Whatever you put in the drinks has me tripping uphill. I don't even know what I'm doing over here. Where is here?" Trevor said forgetting the reason he was there in the first place as the drugs kicked in full tilt.

"You came over to congratulate Warren here on his new position." Chris suggested stepping out of the path between Trevor and Warren. "Oh man!" Trevor said relieved. He put his hand on Chris's shoulder and laughed at the crazy notion that had ran through his mind. "I'm so glad you told me that because for a second I thought I was over here to break his legs and then throw him over the railing to dispose of the body. Crazy right?" Trevor said with a goofy smile. "Nah, it was definitely not that." Chris said shaking his head and patting Trevor's hand which was surprisingly cold for a werewolf.

"No wonder it took them forever to walk across a room." Annita whispered behind her hand to Kat.

"Hey congratulations you." Trevor said pointing at Annita. Chris casually pushed Trevor's arm so he was correctly pointing at Warren. "Y-you… y-you… melted into the floor. Skills." He stammered. "Can I go sit down now?" He asked Chris as if he was a child that was way past their bedtime. Chris nodded and pointed to an unoccupied bench nearby. "Knock yourself out."

After Trevor and the girl left Chris stood there for a second wondering what just happened. He looked around the room realizing there were a lot of people in the same condition, a lot more than usual. "Weird."

"How could you spike the drinks like that Chris! I actually felt bad for the guy." Ann said sighing.

"I didn't spike the drinks, and even if I did it wouldn't be with psychedelics! That's a huge no no." Chris snapped continuing to look around the room to identify what everyone was drinking that was tainted.

The problem was not everyone had the same drink. "It's not in the drinks, it's in the cups." Chris concluded. That explains why I found the spare key to the supply closet on the ground outside my shop when I stopped in to check on it after Warren got here. Someone broke into my shop to take the spare supply closet key, went in and dosed the cups, locked it up, and then later accidentally dropped the key outside while they were trying to return it. That's a fuck ton of effort to get a bunch of teens high. Chris thought to himself. "I found a key to the supply closet outside the shop when I went to check on it after you got here. Had to make sure you didn't burn the place down, ya know? You must have spooked whoever it was and they dropped the key." Chris said to Warren. "You notice anyone?"

"That's a little too coordinated for my liking." Ann said sitting down next to Warren.

"Yeah… Party's over I think. Maybe we should just sober everyone up." Chris suggested.

Ann burst out laughing. "Why do you dick off so much in our medical classes? Our shots don't purge psychedelics like other drugs. Gotta just ride it out."

Chris held his hands out and the drink cups froze causing people to drop them from the sudden temperature drop. "I've pulled off some elaborate pranks in my day but never something like this." Chris said leaving for a moment to retrieve a few types of empty cups. "This is just fucking dangerous."

"Why aren't we bugging out like them?" Ann inquired counting out the number of people that were effected by the drug.

"Maybe because we use regular glasses instead of the disposable ones we make everyone else use. I don't believe in cups in general." Chris said swishing the liquor bottle in his hand. He checked out the cups and found the most popular type of cups had dried droplets in the bottom. "Well the cups made of glass are good, bottles probably are too, but the standard disposable drink cups are dosed. I mean, this happened before with the punch bowl but we just dumped it out when the first person started tweeking. And the kid that did it didn't put enough in to fuck people up like this. Most of the people here are laying on the floor babbling like fucking infants!" Chris growled knocking a drink cup out of someone's hand that was walking by. "You drink out of that yet?" Chris asked. When the guy shook his head and mentioned with a confused look that he just arrived, Chris instructed him to go around and pick up all the disposable drink cups and throw them away.

"We are so dead if someone jumps off a bridge." Ann pointed out. "Literally dead, Midnight will kill us."

"No shit, and with this many people if their trips turn bad this situation will get fucking out of control." Chris said.

Ann thought about it for a moment and then stood up with a smile on her face. "I got just the thing." She said as a blueish light sparked in her hands. Ann took the contaminated drink cup from Chris and stuck her hand in it to touch the dried drug in the bottom of the cup. The light changed from blue to red as it rose out of the cup and spread throughout the room bouncing from person to person in the club. One by one the people effected by the drug slowed down until they froze in place like perfect statues. A few people weren't effected by the spell and glanced around confused as the party came to a screeching halt. "Putting them to sleep would cause serious complications, so they're still awake but are paralyzed."

"At least they won't start a panic induced riot now." Chris said using his ability to pull everyone out of the pool before freezing it over entirely. "What a fucking disaster."

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"Blue?" Kato asked, as Chris came over. She'd hoped it wasn't that obvious.
"Just giving the dudes a hard time is all."

Of course it wasn't mch like Kat's usual behaviour, the hybrid generally revelling in the attention. (Though she was also known to have once broken the fingers of a guy who got grabby without her permission.) This evening she wasn't really feeling like it, though she felt less sad and more wistful, things being down to something she didn't understand enough to miss.

"Oh yes, how is the babysitting coming on?"" she asked, pale green eyes casting a surreptitious glance in Warren's direction.
As it turns out, it was going questionably, as it appeared Chris's new charge was a couple of minutes away from getting his skull caved in. As much as she didn't know the guy, and Ann seemed relatively unfazed (though really what did faze her?) Kato wasn't too keen at the idea of them losing a trainee the same evening the got one, and losing them to Trevor of all things.
"Okay, I'm up for some thrilling heroics if the rest of you are. Just don't kill Trevor, sounds like Annita might need him later." she gave a wry smile before starting to walk.

It was making her way over that Kat noticed something

It wasn't as if Chris's parties didn't have drugs going around. There seemed to be a LOT of people who were high though, people she'd never seen go for the stuff before. It seemed a little alarming.

Hari came to join them, and Kato gave him a questioning look, something he returned for different reasons, the young man having not noticed something strange going on. He was however observant enough to notice the fight potential.

Whilst Hari didn't have the muscle mass of his father or brother, he was a werewolf, and quite on the tall side. He could be intimidating if he was required to be, so the nordic were made his way over as well, if nothing else to repell anything. The two too the time to greet the new guy.

"Hi Warren, Kato, but everyone calls me Kat." the young hybrid greeted with a smile.

"Hari Neverwinter. If you see someone who is ginger and breaking stuff, they're probably one of my family." Hari explained.

As it turned out, the prospective fight never really materialized.

As it turned out, what was happening was quite a lot worse that a scrap.

By the time Hari had worked out why Kato was giving him looks, the rest of the group has discovered soemthing was wrong as well. He himself had been drinking from a bottle, and Kat from a glass cup, so neither was going to demonstrate any symptoms.

Kato herself was about to give Chris a smack across the head for doing somethign so irresponsible, but he'd admited it wasn't him...which actually made it worse. A lot worse. This seemed way too co-ordinated for a random asshole trying to pull a prank, and that made her nervous, not that it would be obvious at a glance.

"This is getting too serious."the young woman stated as they locked up the drugged partygoers.
"I think we should tell someone who knows what they're doing."

And by 'knows what they're doing' Kat meant both 'more experienced at dealing with this' and 'won't report us to Midnight in two seconds flat'. The contenders who would handle this discreetly she could narrow down to Claire, Hunter, or Dinah... and she'd guess that Chris would not be overjoyed at the idea of running to his mommy when there was trouble.

"I don't want to run to people the second stuff goes bad...but I am really not getting good vibes from this. It would have taken a lot of planning to get this together. Who would even do that? It's like someone has a real vendetta. People could have died. Don't think we can keep this to ourselves."

Whilst they'd handled this for the time being...what if they tried this again? Or had already put that stuff on something else? Kato didn't really want to spend weeks questioning if any public drinking source was going to make things go all 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'.

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"You had to guess didn't you?"

Hunter sighed sitting down in a chair. He should have expected his mom to figure it out but maybe a part of him thought she would be too distracted smashing specters to bits.

"I miss him too mom… I miss all of them. That's why I think I waited this long. It doesn't feel right that Dad and Lena won't be here. I know you don't like talking about them but sometimes it's nice. I know Hari would like to hear more about them, even the bad stuff because he can handle it. He's a smart, tough kid even if he doesn't look it; you did a great job raising him. I know Dad and Lena would think so too."
Hunter said with a sad smile.

Hunter looked at his mom and the wistful sadness dissolved.
"Dad's coming back, you know. I won't ever give up believing that. I don't know when or how, but I know Dad won't give up on of us. Plus I kinda want to see the universal ass kicking you're going to give him for making you wait around so long."

Hunter looked at the floor for a moment before getting up and going to his mom. He wrapped his arms around her and embraced her.
"I love you mom."
Hunter said giving his mom a kiss on the cheek. His mother had to be strong all the time now, there wasn't a moment when she could break down or depend on someone else to lend her their strength. It was a dangerous world they lived in, and Kora couldn't risk borrowing strength from her children that she was sworn to protect. His father was the only one that could do that for her, the only one she allowed herself to be weak with because she knew that Grant would always be strong for her. She could open up to him and show him parts of her she could never show anyone else. Hunter had to believe that his father was someday coming home, not just for himself and his brother, but for his mother so she would have someone to be strong for her at times, so she didn't have to be indestructible and untouchable all the time.

Hunter released his mom smiling.
"Well I better get home to Di before she starts to wonder if I got drunk and fell off a bridge again. I'll let you know how everything goes."
Hunter said with a wave as he walked out.

Walking down the path, he stopped in front of Midnight's house for a moment. He reflected a lot on how he felt losing his father and sister and Midnight was normally the one he was most open with about it. She practically lost everyone, even her husband abandoned her to this cruel world, yet she still believed in the world and found the strength to fight for it. She was like his mother in some ways, her inability to show weakness and her reluctance to let people in because she had no one left to be strong for her. It was sad and beautiful.

He lingered for a moment before continuing to his small dwelling. He opened the door and walked in looking around.
"Di you home? I know I'm late but what else is new."
He called shutting the door behind him.


Katherine and Daniel slowly walked along the tunnels that descended to the ground level where engineering was located. She might have questioned his silent and emotional state if she wasn't focusing so hard on blocking out the endless noise and confusion caused by the party. She had never experienced something so disorienting even with being so far away from the source. It posed a range of problems but the biggest was the disruption in psychic communication throughout Sequoia. They didn't have telephones or technology to communicate long distances and most of their warning systems were based on psychic and telepathic messages.

As her mind was so disoriented she didn't notice much on the walk to engineering, she couldn't see the warning signs she might have had her mind not been so consumed. They reached their destination and as she opened the hatchway, a hand on her back pushed her and she fell down into the dome.
"What the fuck is wrong with you!"
Katherine screamed as Daniel locked the hatch and climbed down.

Her mind may have been a cluster fuck of noise and blinding colors but her other senses were working just fine. Her anger faded as a more horrifying realization set in, the ground was wet and the smell of blood was thick in the air. Everything blurred together for a moment as she raised her hand slowly to confirm her worst suspicion. Her hand was red with blood, but who's? Not hers… Her head whirled around when Daniel started to scream and run for a small crumpled body on the ground. It was like watching everything in slow motion as her mind connected the dots. Inhibiting the psychics in Sequoia, Daniel showing up at the shop, the timing, his strange behavior, the body, the soldiers, the blood… Sequoia was under attack and engineering was where it was starting.

"You said you would let him go if I took down their defenses and brought you the engineer!" She heard Daniel scream as he collapsed next to the body of his son. Katherine flinched as a single gunshot rang out in the dome and Daniel's own body fell limp next to his son's. Katherine's head whipped back up to the hatch as the alarms sounded in Sequoia signaling a massive hoard approaching the city. No… Katherine thought. The older Delegates would immediately deploy to ensure the hoard didn't reach the city. That was protocol, the older generation deployed to deal with specters and younger generation always stayed behind to keep people safe and to make sure there were no access points for the hoard to make it to the city if the older Delegates fell back.

She wouldn't be able to warn the senior Delegates, they likely were already deploying but maybe she could warn the Delegates left behind. Katherine scrambled behind a large machine to attempt to contact someone left in Sequoia but no matter how hard she tried the only thing she could connect to was the garbled thoughts of the drug inflicted. She had to get out, had to warn someone but her only escape was the hatch above her and with an unknown number of armed individuals in engineering the chance of her making it were slim.

"Perfect timing." A soldier said. "Alright you four continue with the mission, Jasper and I will stay behind and deal with the girl."

Katherine grabbed the nearest object that could be used for a weapon. Four will be in the tunnels and two left in engineering. If I can separate the two down here, I can pick off the four in the tunnels one by one. Katherine thought as she silently moved amongst the machines. The four men climbed out of the dome leaving the hatch open to her surprise. They obviously had no doubt their buddies could handle her with ease, hopefully she would prove them wrong.

Katherine held the metal wrench in her hands and took a deep breath. These men may have weapons and equipment but that was their weakness, they were loud and encumbered. Now or never Kathy… she thought as she intentionally threw one of her inventions between two shelves. The noise was met with gunfire and Kathy took cover as bullets ricocheted through the vast shelves of mechanical creations. The men entered the labyrinth of shelves trying to track her down and they split up between the two main rows in the maze. Taking the small advantage Katherine threw all her strength and weight against a massive shelf causing it to come crashing down and start a chain reaction like dominoes. Shelf after shelf came crashing down around the men as they struggled to escape the collapse.

In the control room, the commander was watching his troops diligently, focusing for the moment on what was going on in engineering. The body cameras were proving useful, giving an in-depth inside look at Sequoia's design and structure. Everything was in place with team 1 inside and working to secure engineering while also setting up to blow one side of the tunnels giving the specters a clean ramp into the city. Team 2 was strategically waiting on the ground to launch fire that would down the bridges between the immortal and human districts once the specters breeched the city to limit human casualties.

"What's the score Commander?" Asked Jones appearing in the doorway. "I heard gunfire."

"Yes sir. Everything is going according to plan sir. The psychic network in Sequoia is down, the hoard is approaching and their alarms have sounded, most Delegate elders are already deployed to turn the path of the hoard while the younger generation left in the city are unaware our men are in position. Unfortunately, we hit a snag, the cripple human boy we procured tried to escape to warn a friend, and we were forced to eliminate him, once his father arrived the team dispatched of him as well. They are currently working to dispose of the city's engineer." Commander Simmons said.

"The men killed a cripple human boy? Damn shame, I'm rather fond of cripples Commander." Jones responded pondering the information he just learned. "Her? The Delegate engineer is a girl?" Jones bellowed in laughter. "Like Amazons, the Delegates are run by women and like the Amazons they will fall at the hands of men."

The men settled in watching the cameras intently as the loud crash drew their attentions back to the monitors.

In engineering, Katherine peered out to see one of the men was climbing out of the debris while the other was unmoving under the weight on top of him. Without hesitation, she ran up on the man that escaped the collapse. She swung the wrench in her hand knocking the man in the head and sending his headgear skidding across the ground. As she reached back to strike another blow the soldier shoved his hands into her chest causing her to stumble over some fallen objects. As the man went for his gun, Katherine kicked whatever was in front of her in his direction causing him to block instead of shooting her where she stood.

The soldier charged forward, slamming his body into her and taking her to the ground. Metal clanged around them as the two wrestled for dominance over the cluttered floor. She felt metal scraping against her skin as it cut through the layers of her clothing like butter. It was turning into a bloody affair as the soldier struggled to get her in a chokehold and Katherine grabbed whatever her fingers touched to bash the guy's head in.

With the soldier on top of her she saw his smug grin as he wrapped his hands around her throat and began to squeeze the breath out of her. Katherine was struggling but a panic came over her, her neck was exposed and if he had one rip in his gloves, she was done for. The contact would cripple her just long enough for him to finish the job. Was this going to be the end of her story? Suffocated in her own office, ambushed, and alone like some B horror flick. Kathy's head turned for a moment as things were starting to go dark and her eyes focused on the body of the child laying there riddled with bullets.

Her mind wandered as it felt like time stood still. She had saved the boy once when his family was fleeing to the city. She breeched protocol and descended to the ground level to rescue the boy that was separated from his father and running from his mother who was infected. Katherine threw herself into the middle of a sick game of hide and seek as Jake hid behind a tree and his mother hunted him. Katherine got to the boy before his mother could infect him but not before she practically tore his leg off, an injury he would have for life. In the fight, Kathy had killed the infected woman but she accidently touched the boy which caused near fatal consequences when they finally made it back to the safety of the trees. She looked over the kid ever since, Jake called her his guardian angel.

Katherine turned her rage-filled eyes towards the soldier. She wouldn't let the boy down, wouldn't let his story end like this either. Katherine stopped fighting back and wrapped her arms around the man's neck. Instead of pushing him away, she pulled him close and did something that surprised the man enough for him to loosen the death grip he had on her; she kissed him. He tried to pull away but Katherine was using every bit of her strength to keep him close. She was committing the ultimate taboo by unleashing her hidden command over life and death. It was ironic, the only times she could touch someone without injuring herself was when she was killing them.

A blinding light gathered from the every corner of the soldier's body into his core as he tried to scream and flee. Thrashing on top of her like a wild animal, Katherine drew the light from him. The light gathered in his chest and then fled out his mouth and into Katherine's as if she was stealing his very breath. When the light had been completely consumed, the man fell dead and limp on top of her in an instant.

Katherine, completely revitalized by the life she devoured, shoved the man off her and rose to her feet. The glow surrounding Katherine could be described as nothing but ethereal. It was like an energy swirling around her, passing through her and electrifying the air in the room. This was why she had to remain hidden, so no one knew she had abilities not of this world. Katherine knelt down next to the body of the boy and picked him up in her arms, placing a kiss on his lips the light flooded out of her just as quickly as it came. It was as if she breathed life into the boy and in only an instant, bullets fell to the ground and his bones creaked as his body was reborn without any injury and his soul crossed back over into the land of the living.

Jake was staring wide eyed up at Katherine as everything rushed back to him.
"You really are an angel."
He breathed quietly.

"Nah kid, furthest thing from it."
Katherine said setting the boy down and standing up.

While Jake had a moment of joy over his ability to walk, it was short lived when he recognized the body of his father. The child fell to his knees crying as he shook his father violently as if to wake him from a terrible nightmare.
"I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do for him."
Katherine said placing a gentle hand on the boy's shoulder.
"We have to move, we have to warn the Delegates left in Sequoia. There are more soldiers in the city."

The command center was buzzing after the dead soldier's body camera reported what it witnessed of the event. "Did she?" The commander stammered. "Did she just bring that boy back from the dead?" He finished.

"I believe she did Commander, I believe she did." Jones said smiling as he watched Katherine on the screen with horrifying intent. Salvation at last, a cure to the infernal curse of this infirmed body, Jones thought secretly. "I don't care what the boys have to do Commander Simmons; I want that girl, alive."

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The room before Hunter appeared to be empty, though the signs of Dinah's habitation were pretty easily seen. A yew longbow, unstrung, was leant up against the wall, alongside a quiver of arrows. An armguard sat on the table, alongside an aged leather sheath with a knife set inside.

A couple of rabbits, not long killed, had been hung by their back legs from one of the overhead beams, and a large deer skull with an enormous set of antlers, seemed to have had been deposited on the table. The skull in question seemed to have been half buried and retrieved, as it was leaving stains of mud and earth over the wood.

All pretty classic signs of Dinah activity.

Just then, almost silently, a figure dropped down behind Hunter, from a concealed perch over the door, in one deft movement wrapping its arms around his neck.

"What's the first thing you learn in training, Delegate?" it whispered, before leaning over and giving Hunter a kiss on the cheek.

"Never get...taken by surprise."

Dinah relinquished her hold and pulled round in front of the Neverwinter, an impish grin on her freckled face.

Some things never really changed. One of those things was Dinah. Whilst the young woman had taken on a lot more in the way of responsibility in the last eighteen years, and had lost many things, she still retained the same attitude to life she had once had. She also still hadn't learned much in the way of social graces and still skinned catches on the dining table. Not that it was as much of a problem not they lived in the trees.

Despite her apparent immaturity off-duty, Dinah was also one of the best advance scouts that they had. She had been able to connect to the forest itself in order to try and track intrusions heading towards their city. Her team has learned to pinpoint Specters moving in on the peripheries, and take them out before they became a serious danger. Moving out far beyond the boundaries of the city was, of course, one of the more dangerous tasks that faced the Delegate operatives, but Dinah was in her element. She had spent so much of her youth in the woods, she was probably as much at home slipping through the trees as she home.

"So, how were things? Heard they;ve taken on a human into the trainees. Almost wish I;d been there to watch that shit his the fan." she added, with a smirk. Di didn't have much concern. She'd never had any issues with humans on principle, though she had to wonder who this kid was that Midnight was so keen on him. Well, if he lived though the first day, she could go and check it out.

In the meantime she had other concerns, mostly Hunter. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling close. Di had gotten closer to him over the years, moreso than before. With little direct family left, she'd abandoned all attempts at being aloof. If nothing else, she had learned not to hold back on your real feelings about people. You could lose them before ever getting the chance to let them know.

The werewolf was about the speak up again, when she paused. Something flickered at the back of her mind.

Flocks of birds sighting from the trees in a panic.
Animals scrambling for their burrows.
Deer leaping away through the bushes, braying in panic.

"Dammit.." Di cursed, before raising her eyes to Hunter.
"I think we got company."

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Character Portrait: Warren Slaton Character Portrait: Christopher Straight Character Portrait: Kato Character Portrait: Annita Night Character Portrait: Hari Neverwinter
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Big parties were never a thing with Warren, or better put, he hadn’t been invited to any real big parties of this scale. This was his first, and to say that he was slightly intimidated would be an understatement. If it weren’t for the fact that he had somewhere to sit and a lot of liquid courage to consume, he may have taken off already. He knew he had been thinking this particular line a lot today, but he’d be more at home in the middle of a battle royal. The dancers were smiling at him as they worked the pole like an overly ambitious fire fighter. He finished off his beer and reached for another, realizing that he had downed quite a number already and Chris was probably going to make him pay for them in blood, sweat, and tears.

He hadn’t even noticed Chris and his crew until the man was sitting down right next to him. He looked over a bit slowly, rubbing his face a bit to get some more feeling into it as he set his beer down to prevent himself from looking more foolish than he probably already did. When Chris slid his arm around him, Warren visibly flinched from a mixture of pure combat reflex due to the man’s vampiric nature and also out of memory due to the whole ‘shooting at him to see if the armor works’ thing. He brought with him the crazy and incredibly sexually active doctor and a couple others he hadn’t met yet. Chris, Annita, Kat and Hari...also someone else named Brady who was off doing something else apparently. If he passed his probation, these people would essentially become his extended family, bound in the blood and fire of combat or something to that effect. Granted, if they kept calling him Wannabe, he was going to end up fighting every single one of them at some point or another. He liked to think he was a patient guy, but there were limits. He gave a nod to Kat and Hari as his ‘Hello’. It wasn’t long after the little introductions that the bear of a wolf with his two arm tramps walked up to them, more than likely with the intention of showing Warren what his insides looked like. Before Trevor could get close, Chris stood between him and the rest of their little group. Protecting what was his to break? His new play toy? Whatever, Warren was grateful for it. He was a bit too inebriated to fight to his full potential and he didn’t want to waste the super detoxifier thing on what was obviously a testosterone juicing werewolf with a penchant for picking fights.

The one vampire girl was trying to be tough and bitchy, as was the classism in this particular place since he appeared to be the only human in the entire party. Warren resisted the temptation to scoff at her and her massive escort. Contrary to whatever these people thought, just because he was human didn’t mean he was necessarily scared of them. He was cautious, possibly a little more than what was warranted but one could never be more careful. Warren started tuning them out the moment the one vampire girl wandered off after rambling about fruits. Chris could handle them, meanwhile Warren kept watching the dancers but found his gaze wandering to the rest of the party. Something wasn’t right, people were slowing down and some were just falling to the floor and drooling like little babies. Warren looked back over at Chris and Trevor, who had just started to wander away. It appeared the entire party had somehow become...infected by whatever was going around save for their little group.

“It’s not in the drinks, it’s in the cups.” Chris stated, and Warren looked over at the bottles he had been scarfing down like no tomorrow. He had gotten lucky it seemed, with his preference for glass over plastic. Warren stood up from the couch, slapping himself lightly to get some adrenaline pumping through his system to help with the distillation of alcohol in his blood. “You notice anyone?” Chris asked him, and Warren shook his head for a moment to clear his thoughts.

“Ah...well...Kathy was there and we talked and...uhhh...She ran into somebody on her way out. A Mr...Tombstone?, Thompson. Mr. Thompson.” Warren stated as the rest of them started questioning and wondering what was going on. The conversation seemed a little rapid to him as they sorted out what was happening. They determined the source of what appeared to be heavy duty hallucinogenics, and went to work trying to make sure that whoever hadn’t taken a drink out of them yet didn’t. Warren watched as Ann magically paralyzed nearly an entire room, and Warren immediately wanted to know a way to counteract that. With what personality he had been able to ascertain from her, he didn’t want to end up on the receiving end of some very embarrassing prank, although that seemed to be furthest from everyone’s minds at the moment. Chris pulled everyone from the pool and froze it, and Warren was left standing around questioning if he should use his anti-intoxication drug or not.

“Well what’s the…” Warren snapped his fingers a couple times trying to come up with the proper word. “Plan.” Warren finally answered. “Do we...tell someone? I’m not entirely sure what to do here…”