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Veronica River

" The hell man? I just want to go out and have a drink! With um I don't know, rave lights!"

0 · 312 views · located in Raven Institute for Speciality Teens

a character in “The Ravens Nest”, originally authored by GrimBones66, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Veronica River's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Augustine Character Portrait: Kayden Sirrel Character Portrait: Veronica River Character Portrait: Griffin Chapel Character Portrait: Jae Jun Chambers
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The psychological inflow of going into another’s dream was always the most terrifying for Roman. She could face any nightmare or situation she could be planted right smack in. Except for this. The blackness. She liked to describe it as what she imagines the void, or limbo as others call it, feels. The place you go after death where you just simply do not exist, except in this situation it’s the place you go while entering the mind link and it only happens when she fades into someone’s dream. She cannot touch or feel, taste, hear, see, or smell. All senses gone. It’s not very delightful to be left with your thoughts and nothing else. But the light of the dream always seems to bring her back to her center of being.

This dream had no light. It was still and black, yet she felt her senses come back to her. Was there anyone here? She could hear a sound. It was too intermittent, fitful even, to be her own soft breathing, yet she couldn’t make out what exactly the noise was. Even farther beyond her grasp was how far away it was. Tentatively, Roman started to walk forward, but as she proceeded the noise became softer. Turning, she walked in the opposite direction, and the soft noise grew steadily louder. After a moment, she could make out the familiar sounds of someone crying. She hadn’t heard anyone cry in so long. The closer she got to the soft sound, the better she could make out the figure that seemed to be lighting up the darkness. As soon as she reached close enough to be within a few feet of the boy, the darkness seemed to fade away into nothingness, and the scene around her changed into the familiar walls of the RIST, or Raven's Nest as she and many of the others called it. Tilting her head, she bent down to reach the little boy's level, and said in a soft tone “Hey, what’s your name?” The little boy glanced up, revealing his saddened face. He hadn’t been crying hard enough to show it. His eyes weren't the telltale red, and there were no streams running down the soft curve of his cheeks. Sitting down fully, cross-legged on the floor, Roman gave a smile that felt unusual. She hadn’t given a kind smile since she was a child herself. “My name’s Roman. What’s wrong?” She said curiously. “Nothing! I wasn’t crying or anything!" Roman chuckled, and gave him a small tap on the shoulder with her fist in a friendly manner. “Of course not, big strong kid like you could take on anything I bet. But even if you were crying, that’d be okay. When I was your age I was a big cry baby. I would sing this silly song I heard from a musical, called My Favourite Things when I was upset.” She smiled still, and continued on to sing in a small voice “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite thin-“ She stopped herself with an awkward laugh, “I don’t really do that anymore however.” She didn’t even like The Sound of Music, the musical the song was from, but her mom did, and as a seven year old that was the only thing she could really cope with. The kid gave her a look of confusion, but laughed a bit afterwards. Standing up, he wiped his eyes swiftly, smiled, and said, “Roman, come play hide and seek with me!” Roman seemed to be a little surprised, but stood back up none the less. Before she could even reply, he hollered with a deviously gleeful smirk on his face, “Close your eyes and count to ten!” The words had barely left his lips before he scampered off in the other direction, fading away into the distance. Roman was left alone again, baffled. She had never been in a young child's dream before, and it made her wonder if somewhere in the walls of the RIST those god-damned officials where harbouring a young child, which was a cruelty she would not stand for. Glancing around, she could hear the echo of the young boy's laughter coming from the left wing hallway to a place she was completely unfamiliar with. Following the sound of laughter and footsteps, Roman walked, albeit with no small amount of trepidation, down the unfamiliar and cold halls. As the corridors spiraled down into the depths of the RIST, Roman began to worry. She looked high and low for the kid, but his echoing footsteps and giggling laughter were always just ahead of her. Every time she turned a corner he was already at the next one. Roman began to worry. The feeling came again. The feeling of the lost senses that each dream began and ended with. “Hey where are you!” She called out in a hurry to catch him before the dream ended. No Reply. Even his footsteps had faded from the world, as if the boy had simply vanished. She called out once more, and then as if he had been there the whole time, the boy appeared in front of her, standing at the threshold of an extensively locked door she had never ever seen, or knew existed. Glancing down at the kid, he gave a wide toothy grin and said “Thanks for following me! No one ever comes down here anymore. My name's Kayden! I hope soon we can play again soon!” Before Roman had the chance to utter a single word of response, the dream ended.

In a sudden burst of vigour and attentiveness, Roman awoke in her bed, confined still by the physical walls of the institute. The day that passed after that dimly dreary morning was something she remembered every detail of. She hadn’t felt that fervent and enquiring since reading adventurous tales in her childhood. After feverishly nit picking through whoever’s mind she could, she came to the conclusion that it wasn’t hard to find memories, often of the bad sort, about Kayden. He wasn’t a little boy any more. Wanting to uncover more and more, she wanted until the dark night set, when The Parapsychologist left his room that acted half as an office. It would take about 5 minutes for him to inform one of the acting guards to stand at the door so keep the pests of subjects out. So that’s how long Roman had to open up his file cabinet to see if there was anything on file.Slipping through the door she scurried behind his desk, and punched in the six digit code that Roman, earlier that day, scanned through his thoughts and memories to find. As it gave a soft beep signifying that it unlocked, she yanked open the drawer that barely budged any more, and looked through the names. Flipping through names of familiar people to her, and of past subjects that have died, she came across the file labelled “Sirrell, Kayden.” Slipping the rather large file from in between the practically paper thin ones beside, she opened it and scanned through it as quickly as she could, taking it in. Photographic memories helped when doing such a thing. What she discovered gave her an unsettling quite rage throughout the entirety of her body. He had been there since he was three years old. “Bloody bastards.” She muttered quietly through her gritted teeth, the utter distraught disgust she felt in that moment was pure. Shoving the file back in place in hast, she closed the drawer, but it made a loud squeal that sent chills up her spine, and forewarning nudged into her thoughts. Not a second later, a guard stepped in, and without even questioning her reasoning’s for being in such a ‘forbidden place’, he jabbed her with the silly syringe that weakened their powers to barley any use. The shitty thing is, that when one was administered to Roman, she would also fall asleep; an odd reaction.

Many hours passed in quite slumber for Roman before she entered another person’s dream that night. It was that same black, just like before. It was the one that faded into the RIST when she approached where she was supposed to be. This time, she faced that same door that she had found out about, the door that the young boy had stood in front of the night before. Yet there was no young boy this time, instead there was an older male who now towered over the 5’4 girl. She could tell it was the same person however, despite not having the baby face any more. “You’re Kayden.” She simply stated, her British tone reverting back to the usual seriousness it displayed. It was quite the contrast from how she talked to the young boy the night before. “Roman.” He stated simply. She replied back with nothing, just glancing at him. He had quite a transformation from that young boy to now, but that came as no shock. After a minute of silence, she said, rather matter-of-factly, yet still in the common serious tone, “They think you're a monster you know.” He smirked, revealing elongated canines, sharp and white. Just as frankly, he replied, "And what do you think?" To which she replied back with, "You're not a monster.” She took a small pause. “I think they're the monsters, and that the universe is going to fuck with them harder than they have you in the long run." Kayden appeared puzzled for a moment, then threw his head back and laughed. It was a harsh, cold laughter. "The old, 'what comes around goes around,' eh? Not bad Roman. However, I think we're both a little smarter than that. We were born as gods among mortals, super humans, capable of pulling the world along on a little red string. However, in their jealousy and greed, the humans sought ways to bring us down to their level, and they found them. I burned their facilities into ashes, I vaporized entire buildings, killed countless people, and still, I'm trapped here in this hellish prison. As long as they pull the strings, you and I will never see the light of day again. In this world of ours, only power talks, and they hold all the cards." Kayden finished somewhat morosely, his eyes burning holes into the ground. Romans said nothing for a couple of beats, agreeing slightly in the silence of the moment that screamed louder than the words she could have spoken back. She broke it after feeling the mental tug. “The dream's ending,” stated Roman, glancing around the scene which seemed to slowly be draining out of color. “Hey... Could you bring me a book next time?" Kayden asked. Roman glanced back up at him, and after a couple of seconds, a small twitch of a smile crossed her and she said “Gladly,” before the dream disappeared.




A sharp intake of breath and a pounding in her head shot Roman up out of sleep. Groaning, she put her head down resting on her knees that she pulled up to her chest. “I dreamed of past dreams. That’s a new one.” She grumbled painfully through her migraine bent head. Reaching over to the single night stand beside her double twin bed, she yanked open the drawer and pulled out an opaque red bottle, a label on it reading ‘Tylenol extra strength.’ This was a daily routine. Pushing down and twisting the irritably child proof cap, she dumped out 4 of the pills in her hand, before sealing the bottle back up and putting it back in its place. Popping the pills in her mouth, she took a quick swig of the water resting on the table, and swallowed them down. Tylenol really stopped working for her after awhile which is why she took the way increased dose. She was probably going to over dose on them someday by pure accident. “Oh well,” she thought.

Despite her fuzzy thoughts still soaked in the drench of dreams, she had a hard time figuring out what made her dream what she had. It was the dreams in which she met Kayden, the boy locked up somewhere in the walls of RIST. She had been communicating with him for quite awhile, having read him multiple books and such. But only through dreams, never face to face. As far as the officials go, they still are under the impression she doesn’t know about that eighteen year old boy at all.

Shrugging it off, as she did most odd night occurrences, she slipped out of her bed and changed into clothes in which the ravens nest ever so kindly supplies to them. Despite the fact that they don’t treat them as humans necessarily, they do still get their basic human needs fulfilled. It was morning, time to start a new day that will always end the same.

Under the regular roof of this house, holds pain, torture, and death. Roman, so far, has been forced in getting blood tests, physical and metal tests which often are brutal, and trials to test her power. But everyone got those. Some of Romans favourite personal tests she’s had thus far are being forced into simulated nightmares where she has to go through mentally scaring situations around the basis of her fears, and try to overcome them. One they often liked to run her through was using the memory of her father cutting her with a beer bottle and breaking her arm, the only way to end it being to kill him. Every time they made the dream seem more real, and every time it was harder to get through it. But that is not the only thing they have put her through thus far. A favourite they do very often is electroshock therapy, voltage way above legal limit, to see if her brain waves alter drastically, if it heightens her powers, if it lowers her powers, or to see if her brain can fight off such physical pain or build immunity to it. They also bring in people, often new lab assistants or people from homeless shelters, and force her to spread the aching pain through their mind via the link. Roman, despite being a hard ass at times, does not want to put people who have done nothing through such a thing. The farthest they’ve made her go was giving someone around a 3 minute long seizure, but they keep testing her to see if she would be able to force someone into a vegetative state, and if so, force them into death; completely shutting off every part of the mind.

Tests were administered daily, but at all different points at the day. There was no fore warning; they would all just get simply called upon.

She really hated this place.

Yet, in all the darkness that surrounded this empty hearse of a home, she found ways to pass time. Walking out of her room, and giving a glance at the guard placed beside her door, she made her way down on of deaths hallway to the music room, as it was designated. The guard followed her only to take a rightful place to the right of the door. In a dark brooding voice, he said. “Keep the door open a crack so I can see you at all times.” Roman stared him down with hazel eyes, giving a dark look of abhorrence before slipping through the door, leaving it a crack open. Ever since the incident of her being in the chipper Paraphycologists room, she had been ordered to have an eye on her at all times.

Sitting with grace on the bench in front of the black piano placed center in the room, she rested her fingers on the correct key, and started playing a song the was ever so familiar to her. Her favourite song in fact. Some of her softly curled brown hair fell in front of her face, but she was to enveloped in playing the piano to care or to notice.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Augustine Character Portrait: Veronica River Character Portrait: Jae Jun Chambers
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Screaming was echoed throughout Veronica's room as she had just awoken from a nightmare. It was usual for her to have these nightmares every night, she hadn't had a nightmare free sleep since she was 10, litterally. The poor young woman could never shake these nightmares. They were not all the same every night, sometimes she would have a nightmare where she would use her powers to open a portal that lead to nothing but darkness. All she would hear in the darkness was piercing and terrifying screams that at one point didn't even sound human. Others would involve her tragic past that she seemed to keep hidden or at least from the other subjects she knew around the facility.

Veronica sat up in a cold sweat, her breathing fast and sounding as if she was having an asthma attack but instead she was having a panic attack. She stared down at her bed covers trying to calm herself so she can breathe again as it felt as if someone was squeezing her airway. " S-shit." was all that she could mutter out between gasps. 5 minutes went by and River could finally breathe again but it was still fast paced. As she looked over to her alarm clock a deep sigh escaped her lips as it read 3:30am. Veronica didn't want to go back to sleep so she stayed up just looking at the wall across from it. The darkness crept and consumed the wall she was staring a making her blink a couple of times to make sure she would stay awake but it didn't last long before her eyes began to get really heavy.

Without noticing, V was in and out of consciousness. when her head would fall and she would almost fall asleep she would quickly pick it back up and her eyes would shoot open. Dont fall asleep. Won't fall asleep. Can't fall asleep. The young woman was like that for the rest of the night before it was time for her to actually get out of bed. Crawling out of her bed, Veronica did her morning routine in the bathroom before it was time for her tests and all. Veronica walked out her room yawning big but was interrupted by a snicker that came from the female guard posted at her door. She looked up at her and the woman quickly got silent but when Veronica began to walk away she could hear the woman laughing quietly

"The hell's her problem?" she whispered to herself as she passed the music room but suddenly felt a breeze. The woman had a dead tired look on her face and was almost falling asleep as she walked but when she suddenly felt a breeze, Veronica looked down to realize that she was only in her invader zim underwear and tanktop still. She blinked at it a couple of times before it actually sunk in and with the same sleepy, expressionless face she turned on her heel and dragged her feet back to her room to get changed. As she passed the guard though she looked up at her with a slight glint of hostility in her eyes as she entered her room.

V came out now dressed properly and yawned once more as she headed down the hall but she stuck out her tongue at the guard who stood outside her room only to get a flirty whistle from the guard in return making Veronica huff slightly but then smile to herself. Blink was halfway down the hall when she heard music coming from the music room and thats where she headed with no hesitation. Entering the music room she saw Roman and Jae at the piano. Veronica picked up the guitar that sat in the corner and threw herself onto the couch that sat not to far from the two and began to strum to the piece Roman was playing. " Oh good morning guy~ How nice it is to see you guys~ " Veronica sang in a sleepy voice before she leaned her head back still strumming along and sung two words. " I'm so tired~"

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Character Portrait: Roman Augustine Character Portrait: Veronica River Character Portrait: Jae Jun Chambers
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Jae Jun Chambers

Roman told him quietly that she didn't mind, and J relaxed slightly. She was good. Probably the closest thing to a friend he had, and he needed to be grateful for that. He knew she tried to look out for him, which helped, but there really wasn't much one test subject could do for another test subject in a complex run by people whose only purpose in life seemed to be causing pain to them. They all suffered here. He coped with it by letting it wash over him without resisting, but that didn't fix the jumpiness or the anxiety. He would never be strong, only more broken as time passed. But he could deal with that, couldn't he. As long as there were still some good things to hang on to.

Roman shifted into another piece, one that he didn't recognize, but rang with a sincere sadness. He couldn't tell if it came from her or the music. He listened silently to rise and fall of the notes, trying to attach it to a source. He couldn't pick up a composer that it might have come from. If he ever summed up the courage, maybe he'd ask her to teach him. But he couldn't do that now. He wished he had the bravery to play when the others were around, but he couldn't. The only audience he'd ever had was his Nanny and music instructor who didn't really understand that a child's fingers have limits in stretching capabilities.

As the piece faded into an ending, Roman shifted. He turned his head from staring into nowhere just before she began to speak, watching her inquisitively. She asked him a question. He couldn't help but flush a little as he thought of a response. His fingers toyed the metal circlet around his wrist again. Twisting it left a slight burning sensation on his wrist. A somewhat smile curved across his face. "Do you know any of Chopin's Nocturnes?" He asked in a soft voice. He'd learned them for the cello when he was younger, but they were primarily piano pieces, and the little melodies sounded infinitely better on the keys. The melodic melancholy intensified twofold. Regardless of instrument, the pieces reminded him of a better time. He slid his hands into his pockets, turning slightly to face the piano.

And then he jumped, spooked, vanishing for a second, as Veronica entered the room. He wasn't sure what he'd thought to have entered, but it sent his heart racing in his throat. He turned to see the girl flop onto the couch, guitar in hand. He winced slightly, but the guitar made it out of falling onto the couch alive and still tuned, and she began strumming along, singing in a voice that sounded like a perpetual yawn. J let his shoulders relax, and then he realized that he was still vanished. He rubbed his neck with his bracelet-ed hand, which to them would look like the metal band floating in the air, and reluctantly reappeared from the feet up. He looked a little on the pale side, but it wasn't hard to make all the blood drain from his face anyway.

He sent a pleading glance towards Roman, as if asking for permission to leave, twisting his hands together. He didn't have anything against Veronica, she was nice and they were in the same situation, it was hard to hate someone who was going through something so terrible alongside him. But she was so loud. And he wasn't really. The constant movement and noise and action set him on edge, wired like a jackrabbit ready to run. But some sense of obligation towards Roman, most likely from the music, prevented him from just fleeing. He needed some kind of excuse to escape, and none were coming readily to mind. His hands clasped together, locking into a knot of anxiety and fingers. Through that he managed to smile at Veronica, he still had to be nice, still had to be friendly. It didn't matter if it felt like his heart was about ready to beat out of his mouth from the fright her entrance had given him. He hadn't always been so jumpy, but the tests had blurred the line between the testing environment and reality, and fright was always his instinct. Especially when it came in at that volume, unexpected.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Augustine Character Portrait: Kayden Sirrel Character Portrait: Veronica River Character Portrait: Jae Jun Chambers
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Bare feet padded across wooden floors and Kayden shivered with excitement.

As he walked, Kayden absentmindedly rubbed the raw spot under his jaw on the left side. The muzzle was made of a special heat-resistant ceramic, it had to be to deal with Kayden's extreme pyroclastic discharges, although it's purpose was to prevent such things, not withstand them. Either way, the muzzle had to be made from an exceptionally strong material, or else Kayden would have simply ripped it off, or melted it off of his face. Regardless, when they'd made the damn thing, they'd forgotten to thoroughly sand the edges, resulting in rough irregularities that chafed Kayden's normally smooth skin. Kayden winced as a twinge of pain coursed through his jaw and made his brain go temporarily numb. What was that Doctor up to?




There was a tenuous silence in the air.

As Kayden had asked his question, the good Doc Griffin, had closed his eyes. Judging from the measured breaths he was taking, and the slow, steady beat of his heart, Kayden could tell that the Doc was really thinking about his response. At least, that's what Kayden's ears were telling him. The longer the silence became, the more Kayden became... impatient. Finally, after what seemed to be hours, Kayden could take it no longer. "Well!? Are you gonna let me go or not!" Kayden shouted. Taking your time to think was all well and good, but in a situation like this, with Kayden's freedom on the line, the boy's patience was already stretched far too thin. At that, and seemingly in response, the Doc's head slumped to the side, and a huge fake snore rumbled in the small freezer. Kayden sighed, a calming hand rising slowly to knit his furiously twitching brow. Kayden knew better than to expect seriousness, in any situation in which the Doc was involved.

"Sure."

Incredulously, Kayden's eyes stretched wide, and his gaze came up to rest upon the smiling doctor. "You're seriously letting me go?" Kayden stammered. The Doc raised a hand, showing three fingers-- clauses --Kayden's raised hopes fell slightly. "Before you leave, however, I'll have you sign a contract that states the following," The Doc said matter-of-factually, as he produced a folded sheet of paper, with his other hand, from one of his lab-coat's many pockets. Slowly, the Doc walked over to the table at Kayden's bedside. As he did so, the Doc unfolded the paper and spoke. "1) You will submit, willingly and earnestly, to our testing and give real effort during the tests that require your participation. In short, try your best. If you do well, I'll have an easier time getting the guards here to leave you alone, so we won't, for example, need to have someone following you around when you go to take a piss. It's really in your best interests to try hard here. The better you do, the more personal freedom I can promise you. 2) You will promise not to harm any more employees, staff, or other residents of the RIST. Should any danger come to these individuals, you will even be held to the standard of protecting these individuals from harm, albeit to the best of your abilities. Obviously, we don't want you dying on us, but we don't want you standing idly by while the place burns to the ground. Mostly, just use your common sense. 3) You are to remain on the grounds of the RIST. Once again, obviously, we can't have you running away on us. Despite your best intentions, you are, Kayden, a dangerous individual. Ten of you would, probably, be enough to single-handedly burn any city on this earth to the ground, overnight. As much as I would like for you to be able to live off-site, that is no longer an option, not with your most recent incident on the record." As he finished speaking, and having made his way over to the small table, placed the paper, and a pen, there, as if it were no big deal.

Kayden sighed, as expected, his hopes were stymied. Escape, without blatantly breaking his promise, was impossible. However, a niggling thought played at the back of his mind. Even with those conditions, Roman was still here, same as him. Meeting her, who was probably the sole reason that Kayden had managed to stay sane, was slowing becoming more and more realistic. Even if kayden couldn't leave, she'd be here too. "That's all well 'n' good, but what's to stop me from smilin' real nice right now and killin' each and every one of ya when yer backs are turned?" Kayden asked snidely, a smirk on his face. The Doc, however, seemed to have already thought of this, and snapped back just as quickly. "The national government has been notified of your existence, and has access to all of our files on you. Any breaking of the stipulations of this contract will, most likely, result in your permanent imprisonment, if not an outright death sentence. If you thought it was hell in here, just you try it. Them government types are even meaner than us." The Doc said, challenging Kayden with an equally confident smirk.

Kayden only scowled, growling under his breath. Nervous, and just the littlest bit nauseous, Kayden began to pace, his eyes burning holes in the floor and his mind furiously running in circles. Obviously, with his record they couldn't just let him go, and yet, here they were; finally willing to let him out of the freezer. Thinking about it was agony. Live a life of false smiles and unjust imprisonment, or kill them all and be put to death. As if to make it even worse for Kayden, the Doc chimed in, "Provided you behave, I can even provide you with just about anything you could ask for. Food, clothes, or even entertainment, to a reasonable extent, of course. We aren't made of money here." Kayden hated that man. He was so infuriating. Just when kayden thought he had them all beat, there he was. That eternally smiling doctor, whose sole purpose, it seemed, was to make Kayden's life hell. Yet, even now, he smiled, as if... as if he actually cared about Kayden. The thought made Kayden stop in his tracks and slowly, his gaze lifted up to rest on the Doc, who was still smiling. Scowling, Kayden walked over to the table, picked up the pen, and deftly signed his life away. kayden stormed off towards the still open exit, but just as he was turning his back to leave, a small jingling noise caught Kayden's attention. Whipping back around to face the doc, Kayden's breath caught in his chest. In his left hand, the doc held a small silver key. Even just looking at it, Kayden could tell.

It was for his muzzle.




True to his word, the Doc had let him go. He even got to take off the muzzle they'd put on him. "Feh... as if I were some kind of beast." Kayden griped softly to himself. "I'll show you beastly..." Kayden trailed off halfway through his statement, stopping dead in his tracks. He'd already forgotten. Sure he was free, but, if anything, Kayden was, arguably, more chained up now than he had ever been before. This was made all the more vexing due to the nature of his bindings. As strong as he was, even Kayden couldn't break chains placed on him by responsibility and obligation. "That's right..." Kayden said to himself, he trailed off as he neared the end of his statement, his mind racing. Kayden absentmindedly padded in the direction that Griffin had sent him. Apparently he'd been given a room of his own, Kayden figured it would be a good idea to wash up before meeting Roman in person, after all, it wasn't everyday you met the girl of your dreams. Kayden chuckled to himself. "That joke sucked..."

As he reached his room, Kayden sighed. It was threadbare. Sure there was an attached bathroom, but the bedroom itself was depressingly empty. Just a bed, a dresser, a nightstand table with a lamp on it, and a single chair. They'd even given Kayden a room with a window. "Bastards..." Kayden growled under his breath. Sure being out of the freezer for a change was nice, but having a window, one without bars on it, which he could easily smash to leave this damn place, was just too much. Sighing, Kayden checked his dresser. Sure enough, extra clothes had been put into the drawers. Everything from underwear, to sweaters, to pressed and folded collared shirts was there. Kayden sighed. This was normal life, eh? Too bad his job sucked. Kayden chuckled again. "Much better."

Slowly, as he was somewhat out of practice, Kayden showered in the bathroom attached to his new room. The hot water, some 90, almost 100, degrees felt good on his skin. It was a welcome change from the constant embrace of the frigid air within his old -10 degree home. Kayden stood stock still for a short moment, dropping the bottle of soap in his hands.

He'd called it his home.

Kayden scowled as he picked up the soap. As much as he hated to admit it, he didn't have any other place to go. For now, this place was his home.

When he'd finished cleaning up, Kayden dried himself off and checked the cabinet in his bathroom. Sure enough, it had been supplied with deodorant, a toothbrush, mild medications for pain, allergies, and cold symptoms, like coughing or runny nose. There was even mouthwash and floss. Kayden brushed his teeth. He was sure, with his previously muzzled situation, that his mouth was in need of some serious hygiene assistance. When he was finally finished with his teeth, Kayden applied his deodorant and got dressed. It was weird wearing regular clothes. For the longest time, Kayden had worn nothing but, what was essentially, a hospital gown provided by the institute. As a dangerous Abnormal, he didn't need clothes. He basically spent most of his days poisoned and anesthetized anyway. Kayden chose faded, light blue jeans, black PF Flyers, ankle socks, and a plain white t-shirt with a black hoodie. Obviously he needed to chat with someone about the kind of clothes he liked to wear. However, that could wait. When Kayden had walked up to his room, he'd caught a whiff of a familiar scent. It was a flowery and warm scent. Kayden recognized it from his dreams. It was Roman's shampoo.

Following his nose, Kayden wound his way through the halls of the RIST. As his nose led the way, Kayden's ears couldn't help but pick up the sound of music. Someone was playing a piano, and rather well at that. Kayden couldn't tell what the song was, he'd never heard music like that before, but he could tell it was something beautiful. Kayden stopped for a moment, his heart twinging painfully. His right hand reached up to his chest, grasping the material of his sweater, as if to calm the wild beating of his heart. "Roman..." Kayden said softly. Kayden tripled his pace, nearly flying down the hallways, until he came upon a closed door with a guard posted outside. Upon seeing Kayden, and somewhat unfortunately, the man did as he was trained. With no small amount of fear, the guard's hand whipped up to his belt, and, holding the device to his mouth, shouted into the walkie-talkie he usually carried on his hip for situation such as these. "I have a code double red! Repeat, double red! Subject #04 has escaped from his containment, repeat, Subject #04 has escaped from containment!" Sighing, Kayden put his hands in the air. "Bet ya one hundred dollars that you stop shoutin' and just leave me be." There was no response from the device. Still, Kayden took a step back and kept his hands raised high. The guard only smirked, beads of sweat forming on his face.

The guard's mind was racing. He was new on the job, started up just a few weeks ago actually, but even he knew enough about Subject #04 to know that he was in some seriously deep shit. Subject #04 was, essentially, a dragon. A fierce predator of a creature that would kill a man as soon as look at him. Usually Subject #04 was placed in a freezer down in the depths of the Institute. Half a mile of concrete and steel kept that beast locked away, yet here he was, plain as day. There was still no response from the walkie. This was strange. The guard seemed to think, cocking his head to the side. Subject #04 was acting... compliant. There had to be something wrong. Was... was Subject #04 afraid of him? Perhaps... perhaps he could apprehend him! The man could get that raise he'd been after! Taking Kayden's unusual lack of resistance as a sign of cooperation, he advanced on Kayden, and reached for the ceramic cuffs on his belt that all the guards had on hand specifically for occasions like these. As the guard closed the distance between them, Kayden took a step back and shot the man a warning glance. "Yer dreamin'." Kayden said simply, snarling at the man. Kayden's hands came down, he stood fully, proudly, and poured all of his hatred out at that guardsman with nothing but his eyes. A smarter man would have balked, knowing he was in the presence of a mighty predator. This foolish man, however, didn't. "Jus' 'cause I can't kill ya, don't mean I gotta play too nice either..." Kayden said coldly. Resolutely not listening to Kayden, the guardsman strode forward confidently and placed his hand on Kayden's shoulder, in a misguided attempt to shove Kayden into the wall, as if to detain him. Within the time span of, roughly, 1.53 seconds, Kayden reversed their positions and was holding the guardsman's wrist behind his back, with the poor man pressed against the wall. Kayden dusted off his shoulder where the man had touched him. "I told ya, didn't I?" Kayden said coldly.

As if he were throwing a ball, Kayden's hand swiped to the left, throwing the full-grown man into a nearby chair. "Sit." kayden commanded. Weakly, the guardsman got up, dusted himself off, and sat down. With that, Kayden smirked, and turned towards the room where he smelled Roman. As Kayden began to walk towards his destination, he heard a rustling, and turned back around. The fool had stood back up, "Wa-Wait..." he said weakly, as if to tell Kayden that he had to do as he was told. Kayden's ire to skyrocketed. He'd only been out for two seconds, and here this man was, trying to put him back in his cage. "Yeh can't possibly be serious? Can ya?" Kayden asked furiously, nearly growling with anger. In that instant, all his anger at that man poured out of him, roiling off his body like waves of heat. The man's face blanched as Kayden approached him. He tried to speak, but all that came out was a jumbling, mumbled, stuttering nonsense. Kayden was just about to smash his face in, when-

"Operative TK421, until further notice Subject #04 will be given free run of the Institute. As long as Subject #04 is not harming any staff or residents, he is to be left unmolested."

"That's that then." Kayden said, stepping back from the guardsman and lowering his fist, which was steaming, just like the rest of him. Kayden's body temperature had risen significantly, due to his anger, and all the leftover moisture on his body from the shower had evaporated. Kayden smirked. That damn doc had actually meant it. To Kayden's chagrin, the walkie continued. "Be warned, Subject #04 has a wicked temper, and is prone to fits of anger." Here Kayden couldn't help but scowl. It was their fault after all, who do they think made him like this? "Do not, under any circumstances, make him angry. He could kill you as easily as you might squash an ant." Kayden actually chuckled. That was just about right on. Still the walkie continued. "In such an instance you won't receive back up, as our first priority will be to evacuate the RIST before the military moves in."

Whatever mirth Kayden had vanished. "He wasn't kidding... Damn..." By this time, the guardsman appeared to be lost for words, and in all other ways incapacitated. His eyes had rolled back into his head, and there was froth at the corners of his mouth. "Tch... Fainted on me." The staticky voice on the other end of the walki-talkie spoke up again, drawing Kayden's attention to it. "Operative TK421, what's your status? Operative TK421? TK421?" Kayden couldn't have them raising the alarm, not when he'd just gotten out. Kayden sighed, his fingers coming up to knit his brow. Suddenly, an idea struck him. Calmly, and with a smirk on his face, Kayden walked over to the unconscious guardsman and reached down, picking up the walkie-talkie. Pressing the button labeled, "speak," Kayden did as it instructed. "Everything's just fine over here. Just a minor weapons malfunction." "Affirmative, don't let it happen again TK421." Kayden smirked again. "Yessir." Turning his attention back to the guardsman, Kayden slipped his hand inside the man's pocket, finding his wallet. He pulled out some money and slipped it into his pocket. Having taken the agreed upon amount, Kayden returned the man's wallet. "We're square." Kayden smirked.

With that, Kayden finally strode into the music room, which, to his surprise, had more people in it than just Roman. He stopped in the doorway. Not saying anything, Kayden's eyes trailed across the room. There was another girl, her hair was blue. Kayden's senses devoured her existence. It had been so long since he'd seen anyone, in the flesh. Her smell, her appearance, Kayden relished each of them. His eyes found hers, locking for a moment. As interesting as she was, she wasn't the one he'd come here to see. As Kayden turned, looking for Roman, he stopped. There was another presence in the room. Kayden could smell it, even hear the way... its clothes rustled. Kayden's eyes swept over the room, trying to locate the source of the smell, when what should he find but a little, metal bracelet. It was floating. "Ahh... yer invisible..." Kayden said, directing his words at the shiny band. "Nifty. Either of you seen..." Kayden trailed off. His eyes found what he'd been searching for. Her hair, her face, her clothes, even her smell, all of it was just how she'd been in his dreams. Kayden's eyes locked with hers for what seemed to be an eternity.

"Hullo Roman." Kayden said simply, a rare real smile on his face.