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Time is Running Out

Time is Running Out

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A year after a worldwide blackout, relationships, friendships, and even rivalries are put to test amidst a battle between three groups for control of NYC. {Remake}

1,648 readers have visited Time is Running Out since Zoey26123 created it.

Scarlet Loup are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.roleplaygateway.com/roleplay/our-time-is-running-out#introduction

Introduction



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[ Put on your war paint ]


ImageOwner:Zoey 26123
GMs: Scarlet Loup
Original GM: Gentlemiss
All credit goes to Gentlemiss, these rules, the idea, the CS, and all the characters that are in this RP does not belong to me in any way except my own characters.
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You know time crawls on when you're waiting for the song to start
So dance alone to the beat of your heart

The end of the world is so last year. Now we have WW3 to worry about, with three groups fighting to control New York City.

Everything has finally settled down since the worldwide blackout that left everyone reeling. How are we supposed to live without microwaves and refrigerators? Our iPhones and computers? A year has passed and people are finally started to figure it out; the power isn't coming back on. Now everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Who is going to step up and take over? Who will lead us in this time of darkness? The first group to appear are the Youngbloods. They set up a government that not everyone is pleased about, but most follow because it's relatively orderly and made up of old-world officials, so they feel compelled to follow them.

Though some people really don't like the Youngbloods, and form a rebel group called the Maniacs'. This group is widely opposed by most people other than those that make it up. They are extremists, attacking anyone no matter their allegiance and have a act first, ask later attitude that often leads to bloodshed and innocents killed.

Now, there are rumors going around about a new group starting up, calling themselves Phoenix. Their main goal is to create peace and equality without needless killing. That is not to say they won't fight if you provoke them, but they aren't like the Maniacs' who attack recklessly, or like the Youngbloods' who prefer to stay behind their high walls and gates, hiding with their money and leaving their followers to suffer at the hands of the extremists. So now the question is,

What are you?


Role | FC
Brief description
Open | Reserved | Taken


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Winston Fields | 31 | Leader | Ian Somerhalder | Taken by Scarlet Loup
Has a crush on FC: Natalie Dormer and hates FC: Lights Poxleitner, has an obsession with trying to catch her and bring her group down. Is best friends with FC: Stephan Armell. Brother of FC Taylor Momsen


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Second in Command | Natalie Dormer | Reserved by LittleMissGeorgia
Used to be involved with FC: Ash Stymest before the blackout, now isn't sure how she feels about him. Knows about FC: Ian Somerhalder's feelings for her and isn't sure how to feel about it.

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Eliza Dallen | 21 | Advisor | Phoebe Tolkin | Taken by Lvdwilt2000
Was the one who brought in FC: Charlotte Free, does not like her at all. Sometimes meets FC: Dylan O'Brien in secret, as they used to be classmates before the blackout. Has a crush on him and FC: Stephan Armell.

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Jackson Wilkins | 26 | Leader's Best Friend | Stephan Armell | Taken by Dumisa
Is best friends with FC: Ian Somerhalder, is oblivious to FC: Phoebe Tolkin's crush on him, and is fascinated by FC: Charlotte Free.

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Hazel Luden | 18 | Maniac Prisoner | Charlotte Free | Taken by Sparrowluvr2
Was brought in by FC: Phoebe Tolkin and hates her, as well as the rest of the Youngbloods. Was in a relationship with FC: Ash Stymest but no longer knows where they stand, since she was captured.


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Katrina Lyons | 26 | Co-Leader | Lights Poxleitner | Taken by SaxyLady15
Brought in FC: Avan Jogia and was promoted to co-leader. FC: Ian Somerhalder has a thing against her that she's very aware of, and she's not sure if she hates him or finds him aesthetically pleasing. Or both. Is good friends with FC: Kathryn Prescott. Used to be good friends with FC: Tyler Hoechlin before he changed sides.

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Ares Bennett | 21 | Co-Leader | Ash Stymest | Taken by Scarlet Loup
Used to date FC: Natalie Dormer before the blackout. Is not the original leader of the Maniacs' but became so when he killed the previous leader. Was sleeping with FC: Charlotte Free casually before she got caught, now has a disdain for her, as he does all people who get caught. Now sleeps with FC Taylor Momsen, not knowing about her old relationship with FC Avan Jogia.

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Arabella Fields | 22 | Spy for Youngbloods | Taylor Momsen | Taken by LittleMissGeorgia
Used to date FC Avan Jogia before the blackout. Defied her brother to go see if the Maniacs had him after a Youngblood surveillance mission caught sight of him being moved between locations. She started sleeping with FC Ash Stymest in order to get in with the Maniacs and avoid suspicion.

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James Williams | 20 | Phoenix Prisoner | Avan Jogia | Taken by Zoey26123
Was captured by FC: Lights Poxleitner when sneaking out with FC: Kat Graham for some 'alone time'. Wants to get back to her more than anything. He used to date FC Taylor Momsen and isn't sure how he feels towards her anymore.


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Edmund Lucian | 25 | Leader | Brendon Urie | Taken by Gentlemiss
Original leader of the Phoenix and highly respected by most. Friends with everyone in his group, most notably FC: Tyler Hoechlin, his right hand. He and FC: William Beckett are in a relationship and have been since before the blackout, but with how busy he has been being leader he might be unintentionally neglecting his partner...

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Gert Thaddaus | 25 | Right Hand | Tyler Hoechlin | Taken by FullArmorNavy
Former-Maniac, before realising they only caused havoc and were not trying to bring peace. Joined Youngbloods not long ago but is very loyal to FC: Brendon Urie, and good friends with him as right hand. He had a crush on FC: Lights Poxleitner when in the Maniac's and used to be good friends with her.

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Caleb Smith | 17 | Diplomat | Dylan O'Brien | Taken by Zoey26123
Knows FC: Phoebe Tolkin well from school, they both were attending to be lawyers before the blackout. Sometimes meets her in secret to discuss plans to try and join the groups together, or at least create peace. Good friends with FC: Kat Graham and FC: William Beckett.

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Stella Markum | 20 | Hunter | Kat Graham | Taken by Blushing Bunny
Is dating FC: Avan Jogia and has become obsessed with trying to get him back from the Maniacs', thinking about switching sides just to be with him. Best friends with FC: Dylan O'Brien and is thinking about telling him her plans.

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Spencer Hughes | 24 | Youngblood Spy | William Beckett | Taken by An Edgar Allan Poet
A Phoenix at heart, he was caught by a group of high-ranking Youngbloods' not long ago and is being forced to feed them information in exchange for keeping his group, especially FC: Brendon Urie, safe (though he attempts to give them the unimportant stuff). He hasn't told anyone in fear of being shunned or worse. Good friends with FC: Dylan O'Brien and dating FC: Brendon, he has felt ignored lately with how busy his partner is.


Character Sheet


You may use yor own so long as it includes all the information in this CS.
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Rules


  • This is MATURE, so you have to be able to handle foul language, sexual themes, violence, and all that other fun stuff.
  • I need you to be literate, and when I say that I don't mean I want you to write a book. 500 word minimum on posts, can go below in situations that are sort of dragged out and you're running out of things to say. I like formatted posts, but it isn't required. Please no dialogue color, unless it's something bearable, like darker colors. (I can't see bright colors on my monitor). No super tiny text either.
  • This is not going to be first come, first serve. People may compete for roles after the majority of roles have been reserved already. FCs can be changed if asked nicely, but some I just don't like and do not want to see in my roleplay. :)
  • Please do not join and leave, that is very frustrating. If you make a character, stick with it! We love you! Don't leave us!
  • Reservations last 3 days, but I want you to have a WIP in within the first 24 hours.
  • Romance is encouraged, obviously, there are some preset couples and crushes but it doesn't always have to be that way!
  • Password is which group you would chose in this post-apocalyptic world.

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The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 9 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Stella Markum Character Portrait: Eliza Dallen Character Portrait: Winston Fields Character Portrait: Hazel Luden Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins Character Portrait: Edmund Lucian Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Ares Bennett Character Portrait: Arabella Fields Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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New York, New York


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As the city taken apart by the third world war progresses, factions build, relationships crumble, and being silenced is a constant fear. Each faction vies for the chance to be in charge, to be heard. In order to do so, the highest ups are put into situations where they must make decisions that can change themselves and the world. The people of New York City know something is coming and they know if they aren't careful, they can be caught in the crossfire.

The city's electricity is scarce, found only by the wealthiest who can afford the gasoline needed to run their generators. Everyone else is forced to use precious batteries and candles in order to see at night. Radios are a common form of communication because of the ability to use batteries, clothing and needed items are scavenged in the abandoned stores that occasionally line side streets of NYC. Money is hard to come by unless one has a job. Clothing stores no longer receive shipments as all gasoline for cars/trucks has been forbidden by most factions in order to save it for the electricity provides though of course, there are the few who bend the rules.

Though WW3 ravages the outside world, New York City has it's own problems to fear as it works out a dangerous battle of power, done by the three most prominent factions, the Youngbloods, Maniacs, and Phoenixes. Those who are extremely dedicated risk everything and in the end, blood can't help but be spilled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith
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Caleb opened his eyes to the light coming into his window. He looked over at his battery run alarm clock, knowing it was probably a waste to have one, but feeling the need to know the time of the day. It gave him a peaceful feeling. Sitting up, he rubbed his face, his eyes, then his neck. He felt tired yet relaxed and smiled at the wall facing him. Nothing was on it, it just made him happy to see a part of his life that was always consistent. The wall he always woke up to see in the morning, and stare at until he decided it was probably time to start his day.

Standing, Caleb pulled on a pair of jeans and a black jacket over his white shirt. He remembered a movie his mom once watched with him, of a bunch of guys in similar getup. It was called Grease... wasn't it? He sat down on his bed, looking down at his boots, not really wanting to exert the effort right away but sighing as he reached down and laced his shoes on. Standing, he grabbed his bag that held notes and slung it over his shoulder, grabbing the map he had been studying late at night, then his book he had read even later into the night. Caleb nearly forgot his glasses as he started walking out of his room, then noticed the doorknob was extremely fuzzy. Sighing, he turns, grabbing them of his nightstand before going.



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Walking out of his room, Caleb walked down the hallway, still feeling really out of it. He took the stairs up to the offices and walked into his only to drop his stuff onto the counter rather unceremoniously before sitting in his chair. He wondered what he'd be doing for the day. Only then did he remember that he hadn't had breakfast and was starting to grow slightly hungry. He shrugged it off inwardly, realizing he was too sleepy to get up and find whoever was giving out the food that day in Freedom Tower. Leaning back in his seat, he started spinning around. He loved his rolling chair. He tapped out some random tune with his fingers on the arms of his chair, letting his thoughts wander.

What could he do to feel productive? He could go out and try to find some information, but he wasn't likely to be able to protect himself if he needed to. Caleb hated that he couldn't do that but knew he would have to do a lot of training in order to make any difference in the Phoenixes physical work. He spun in circles, slightly slower upon starting to get dizzy. Caleb tilts his head back and closes his eyes, knowing he couldn't possibly go to sleep again after his thoughts already drifted to work.

Caleb stopped his spinning and took to looking at the nearby map. He had been searching for possible locations of the Maniacs but had yet to come up with anything. It was beginning to frustrate him. The United Nations buildings were already in ruins, Empire state building was taken by the Youngbloods, and there were hundreds, possibly thousands, of buildings standing in New York City. He knew they'd never be able to check every building before James was killed or too far gone to be James anymore.

Caleb sighed, slipping his glasses off and running his hands through his hair before replacing his glasses and looking down again. He made four marks with a red pen, hoping to try the old landmarks tourists visited New York for. He'd go check them out in his spare time, possibly bring Stella, then report back to her if she didn't join him.

He wondered if he had a meeting that day... What they'd talk about. Possibly about what to do to help people, to take down the Youngbloods, or finally the topic of the rescue plan Caleb was sure Edward was coming up with in order to help James out.

James looked at his desk, suddenly looking for a distraction yet again. His eyes settled on a photo he had taped to his window. His mother, father, and a younger version of himself were both staring at him with a smile. He smiled back briefly, then looked out at New York, his wanting a distraction was working as he looked out at the city he loved, a smile growing more by the second.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Ares Bennett Character Portrait: Arabella Fields Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
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She still couldn't believe this was the life she was living.

Katrina ran her hand through her hair, to get it out of her face, as she's done a million times now. She was sitting on the subway train that stood still on it's track, as there was no electricity anymore. She doesn't know why, but she kept her Iphone, instead of breaking it, or throwing it away like everyone else. It was like her one little artifact of proof, that this world they lived in now, used to be alive. The world now.. made her a Maniac.

She wondered briefly where Ares had disappeared off to, and wondered if this meant she'd been left in charge of whatever it was he was actually in charge of. In fact, where were the Maniacs today? She knew they were known for being the people in the shadows, but.. it was silly not to be seen by their own kind.

Her mind seemed to start slowly dwindle along, as she involuntarily opened her mouth, and stretched her whole body, in a yawn. Her body was tired physically, but mentally, she never slept. She didn't seem to sleep most nights, and ran purely on adrenaline when causing havoc with the others.

Seeing a piece of pipe nearby, she guessed from the inside of the subway car somewhere or other, she went to one of the train doors, and clinged it between two handrails inside the train. "Meeting! Now!" She yelled through the train, and hoped that was enough to wake up her little Maniacs, and get everyone's adrenaline flowing properly, for an excellent day of causing havoc throughout the deserted New York City.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus
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Gert opened his eyes to see a man caring a young kid with a knife to the kids throat. The man had slowly backing away when his arm nocked into the side of a doorway cutting the kids throat. Blood sprayed all over Gert, and in a panic the man throw the child at him. Catching the child whose blood was still spraying out, Gert looked the kid directly in the eyes as the life slowly drained from his body. As this ways going on a person sitting on the ground near him moved toward a door on the other side of the room. With the sudden movement and the panic the man, who had been holding the kid, quickly drew a pistol and gunned the person down. At the sound of gun fire Gert looked up and saw the body of a teenage girl holding a dead infant. The man with the gun started muttering, "I... I didn't mean it. This wasn't suppose to happen. I'm... I'm so so sorry." Then looked up at Gert with a sad hurt look and putting his gun to his head said, "I'm so sorry my friend, forgive me." BANG!! One gun shot and the feel of blood splattering on his face.
Gert woke up covered in sweat again. He sat up and turned so his feet hung off the side and rested his face in his hands. After he had spent a little while trying to clear the horrid images from his mind, he wiped his face with the towel he keeps next to his bed just for this. Then got started on his normal morning routine, which starts off with a warm up of 3 minutes of stairs, one minute of pushups and curl-ups, followed by a few quick stretches. Took a look around his room before going for a run, he ran up a few floors saying hi to everyone he saw. Looked into the offices, were he spotted Caleb looking out the window. Stopped and thought it would be fun to sneak up on him but decided to just walk in. With a slight German accent, "Hey brother. How are you this morning?" Took a deep breath, "Look, pending on what's goin' on this mornin' I'm going out to..." He trailed off as he looked around and took an other deep breath, "look for parts for my bike and maybe get some supplies, if you want to come."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Ares Bennett Character Portrait: Arabella Fields Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
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James sat in the room he had grown used to over the past... he wasn't quite sure. Six walls, one door. He was growing sick to his stomach from sitting in there without having anything to do really. He was tapping his fingers like crazy on his knees, the floor, his head when he felt the need to touch his hair, which was more often than anything else. He wasn't as beat up as he thought he might be if he was ever taken, but that wasn't to say he was in perfect condition. He sat in the corner, rarely getting up to do anything but grab food or get a change in view of the cell that didn't really have a real change in view...



Footsteps echoed down the corridor of the subway station as Ares moved towards the cell in which James sat. The beauty of the six-walled cell was that it was nearly impossible to discern one's true location from within. It hardly looked like something one would find on a morning commute. His black boots, polished to a sheen, made a tap, tap as he moved along, hands in the front pockets of his skinny jeans. Ares came to a stop just before James's cell. Following a nod from him to one of the guards, the door was promptly unlocked long enough to allow the Maniac to pass into the small space. The mundane space was enough to drive anyone insane. He might have pitied the man...but he really didn't.

Ares consistently stood taller than James, but now the difference was even more noticeable with the long-haired prisoner sitting on the floor. Still, James was roughly thirty pounds of muscle heavier than he. With guards outside, however, it worried him little. "You planning on talking now about where you were heading, pretty boy?" he sneered, scuffing the toe of one boot against the cement floor as he spoke. "Or am I going to have to get someone to beat it out of you?"




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James looked up from where he was tapping something absently at the floor upon hearing the door opening. James looked up, pulling his legs in to rest his arms on his knees, at Ares with a blank expression, then smiled slightly at the threat. "What, can't do it yourself?" He asks, knowing it probably wasn't the best thing to do in his situation, but really not caring at this point. He had to be careful, silence wasn't something that he expected to be accepted with the Maniacs. Witty and smartass remarks weren't likely to elicit a good response either, but at least it made James feel better when he was sitting around, hating life because of where he was. However, hearing a threat about sending someone else to beat him up seemed far off and empty to him because it did require other people. If he threatened someone, he did it himself.

James felt his heart race but schooled his features, loosing the smile as easily as he had allowed it to grow. "Do I plan on telling you where I was going? Well, let's see, I don't like you, you don't like me, you threatened me and keep me locked up in here, why would I want to, or plan to, talk to you about anything that could possibly help you? But let me do you a favor, I'll make your life a little easier because I am a nice person. I was heading out to meet a dealer for some ammo. Those guns I was carrying, I was in need of some more ammo when you idiots interupted." The lie flew out of James's mouth as if he just confessed to being out with Stella, which was really what happened. He had just barely gotten her through the door back to Phoenix headquarters before he took off again to avoid the Maniacs from finding their base, knowing he might not make it back that night.

He wondered if Ares would even believe him considering he had held over three magazines for each of his four guns. He tapped his fingers again, this time on his knees. He realized what he was doing and stopped, thinking he was picking up Caleb's habit. His face fell slightly as he thought of his friend, worried about him, but schooled his features yet again to avoid the attention he was sure Ares would give him.



Ares smirked and even gave a slight chuckle as though he were having fun with a friend. "I'd rather not dirty my hands with your blood," he sneered, knowing, as James did, that should the prisoner lay a hand upon the questioner, guards would be all over him in seconds. He nearly threw a kick at James, but Ares decided against it. Not because he didn't want to "dirty himself", but because he was, for a moment at least, genuinely concerned about James's strength.

"Well, do you think you would tell me anything if I let you walk off scot-free?" he replied. Ares didn't expect a reponse, and he truly didn't want one. James's sarcasm was already beginning to piss him off. He wanted to call bullshit on James's story, but frankly, he couldn't. It made sense to him, unfortunately, for he had wanted something more exciting. "Who's the dealer? I want to verify your alibi."



James wondered how long it would take him to choke the life out of Ares. Or better yet, whether or not the older guy had a gun on him, James could handle a gun much better than he could handle hand to hand fights. He did have a weight advantage though he was shorter. James didn't fear Ares, he feared the pain the guards outside would put him through. They would beat him until Ares was satisfied, possibly until he was dead. He had to get out without dying, if not for him, then those he knew. James tapped his fingers again in his anxiety, breathing deeply.

He nodded when Ares asked another question but noticed the anger coursing through the older guy. He was treading dangerous, extremely dangerous, ground. One step over line, fracturing Ares calm, he'd regret it, he wasn't an idiot. James watched Ares, smiling inwardly at the man being convinced. "Some guy named Damien. I've known him about two weeks. He got me three magazines and I started going to him. He's left lower manhattan. He's probably in upper manhattan or hanging out in the shanties set up in Central Park. Now do I get to walk out of here? Or how about some piece of sanity and give me something to do?" James asks, not expecting to get anything, but feeling like he should ask in case someone eventually asked himself whether his captors were hospitable. He could answer with a no, but some people would require evidence, and this was clearly that.



Ares nodded slowly, and he removed one hand from his pockets to adjust the scarlet armband that wrapped around his bicep and around the white, short sleeve of his shirt. He wanted to beat the truth out of James. It killed him that he couldn't. Perhaps he was telling the truth, in which case, he had no right to beat anything out of him. It would do him no good, for a dead man meant little. "Stay here," he said mockingly, smirking to himself as he exited the room, hoping to check if his alibi was valid.

Time passed. Perhaps it was fifteen minutes, perhaps it was an hour. Either way, the sound of Ares's boots on the tile floor sounded again, and the lanky male reappeared in the cell. It was obvious that he was not happy.

"How far do you think lying will get you here?" he snarled even before the door had shut behind him. His lips curled almost animalistically as he leaned down to shout in the prisoner's face. His fists clenched at his sides, making him look almost childish. "You underestimate us. I'll make life miserable for you...your family, your..." He knew little about James's personal life, but he had little doubt that a man such as he would have trouble with ladies, "...girlfriend."



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James knew the instant Ares left the room the lie would fall to pieces. He had sat in his cell, tapping, humming, probably looking crazy if the Maniacs still had working cameras. Upon being told to "stay here" though, James couldn't help but roll his eyes. Yes, he was going to take a walk before Ares got back, he couldn't even move around in his small cell comfortably yet this guy was telling him not to leave?

James waited, knowing Ares was coming back. James wasn't sure if it was smart to send out the lie of Damien. Damien was the name of his uncle. At least he hadn't used Caleb's name, Caleb was still alive. James knew right away he was in trouble when Ares entered. The guy must have really believed that lie through and through... the idiot. James shrugged in response to the question, looking at a corner of the cell closest to him, trying to stay calm and not freak. James felt his heartbeat increase as Ares yelled at him, too close for James to be happy.

James was about to make a comment about how his life already was miserable when Ares began the threats towards James's loved ones. His real family was dead. He had those back with the phoenixes that he considered family, but that was it. That was still an empty threat. James heard Ares threaten Stella and lost control. Rage and fear ripped through him. He'd die before this b*st*rd touched her. James moved faster than he had in a long time, faster than he ever had in this cell. Ares was so close, it wasn't difficult for James's fist to make contact with Ares's jaw. James kicked out in the small room, hoping to get a rib or two cracked in the idiot. James couldn't help himself, he felt blinded by the rage. Nobody touched his girlfriend, nobody threatened her.

Ares had goaded him into being so stupid, but James didn't care. In the small room, James braced his hands on the wall and shoved off to allow him to slide towards Ares, hoping to make contact with something that would hurt, a rib, a liver, his groin of it was a possible target. James just wanted Ares to hurt. He hated this side of himself, the overprotective side that would do anything to protect loved ones. It didn't matter what happened to him though, Ares wouldn't touch his loved ones. Maybe it was because the Maniacs had gotten too close to getting Stella too that James had freaked and lost his cool. He would regret it later, but it felt good then to let off some steam.



The fist to his jaw sent Ares backwards and upwards as he staggered away. Something made a soft crunch beneath James's fist, and Ares suddenly held a hand up to his jaw, trying to tell it something was broken. Before he could tell, a swift kick met his ribcage. His legs buckled, and he fell to his knees. The taller man gripped for James's hair as the shorter man sent another attack which connected with Ares's naval and, therefore, the flesh protecting his innards. He doubled over with a cry, hopefully pulling James down with him if he had gotten a grip on the long, dark locks.

James's face held no satisfction as he connected with Ares's body. When Ares grabbed his hair, it was all James could do to keep from automatticaly slapping at Ares's hand. He knew it would only make it worse. James went to the ground with Ares. One hand held onto the locks Ares held, trying to keep it from pulling while the other reached for Ares's throat. James brought his knee up to try and knee Ares in the liver with the leg not touching the grimy ground. "I will kill you if you ever threaten me like that again," James growls, anger in his entire frame. He hadn't lost control like this in years...



Ares, beginning to grow more aware of James's fighting style, suddenly kicked up a leg and pushed back at the prisoner's knee, stalling him until the guards came in. "I'll...kill you now," he shot back, making empty threats but hoping they would make some sort of impact. Salvation came soon in the form of black-garbed men and women who hoisted James off of Ares's body promptly. The long-haired male was pushed up against the wall and restrained by at least four of them.

Ares hefted himself up, refusing to grab the hand of a guard and appear weak. His jaw throbbed, his stomach ached, and his ribs burned. "Who the hell taught you it was a good idea to attack your captors?" he snarled. His usually well-groomed hair was now ruffled messily. Ares took a step forward, hoping that now he could redeem himself with the guards hoping James back, but then he heard the sound of a pipe rattling against something metal. Katrina was summoning a meeting.

"Leave him, Ares?" one of the guards asked. Ares paused, still rubbing his jaw slowly. "No...bring him with me. We'll make an example out of him." The guard who spoke nodded, and the group of them hoisted James up and out of the cell, restraining his arms and legs as Ares led the way towards the meeting. "Good morning, Katrina!" he cried with fake enthusiasm as the guards once more pinned James down, though they pinned him to the ground this time.



James gave Ares a look of hatred, his breath coming in short gasps. He hadn't had such physical activity for days. His head hurt from getting slammed against the wall, it had made a somewhat sickening crack when it connected, probably louder for him than anyone else. James knew Ares couldn't kill him, not when the Maniac leader knew James knew more about the Phoenixes than any spy could figure out. If only Ares knew James was one of the leaders, he'd be livid. James let the guards grab him, not fighting as much because he knew it wouldn't do much. Upon being shoved against the wall, James went limp. These guards could hold him and why should he exert energy making their lives easier?

James would have laughed that he needed four guards to hold him, but he was still livid. James saw a bruise forming on Ares and could even feel one for himself forming on his shoulder. He felt the pain now. He had landed on it wrong, very wrong. "Who the hell taught you to threaten someone better than you?" James shouts right back, straining agains this holders for a moment. James saw the punches coming and took a deep breath, ready for them to come.

He heard something that he never expected to save him. A ringing out of something metal on metal. Something was going on. James wished they'd leave him, but of course Ares was a mindreader and wanted to do whatever James didn't. James allowed himself to be carried from his cell. He watched where he was led, trying to figure a way out should he get a chance to leave his cell again. James felt like he was being paraded around like a prize. He hated it. Upon seeing an open door, James caught sight of a subway station. He was in the subway. He knew the subway from before the blackout. James got himself ready, he was getting out of here in three...two...one... He was pinned on the ground again. He wanted to groan but managed to keep it inside. He wasn't getting out of here for a while. James wondered if the floors had ever been cleaned with his face so close to it. He knew they hadn't. He kept quite as he watched Ares, wanting to borrow the bar Katrina held to hit him upside the head.

James watched Katrina, wondering how she would respond to seeing him and Ares, Ares a little worse for wear than him. James refused to make eye contact with those around him who watched him, but stared right at Ares and Katrina. He wasn't scared of them, he was scared of what they could do, he had told himself this for what... a week? Two?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Caleb Smith Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Stella Markum Character Portrait: Edmund Lucian Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Arabella Fields
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Stella awoke that morning out of recurring dream, like always, where she finally got to rescue James. This time, however, it was oddly different. Stella wasn't herself in the dream. She didn't know who she was, but she knew she wasn't herself... all she could remember was long blonde hair, and piercing brown eyes.

Arabella.

The pure thought of her made Stella sick to her stomach.

Stella laid in her makeshift bed for a few moments before pulling herself to her feet. It was evident to see that Stella had tossed and turned all night, due to her tangled hair and disheveled clothes. Stella sighed under her breath and found her way to the shower, peeling off her bed clothes. The water was cold due to blackout and no water heater, but Stella had pretty much gotten used to taking cold showers. They were quick and most of all, they woke her up.
Stella got out of the shower and changed into a simple t-shirt and jeans- something she'd grown accustomed to wearing- and tied her hair up into a ponytail.

Today was the day that she was going to try and reveal a plan to Caleb. Today was the day that she was getting down to business.

It'd been two weeks since James got captured by the Maniacs, and Stella could hardly stand the fact that James wasn't back already. Stella glanced in the mirror before she headed down the hallway and up the stairs to the offices.
Caleb was bound to be up there somewhere.

Stella passed by the empty rooms before spotting Caleb rolling away in his rolling chair. She nearly laughed at the sigh tof him.
"Morning C." Stella said softly, then she spotted Gert at the front of the room. Stella nodded slightly at him. Gert was Edmund's right-hand, but she didn't really know much about him.

Stella looked back at Caleb and motioned for him, "Do you have a second?" Stella asked softly.

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Character Portrait: Caleb Smith Character Portrait: Stella Markum Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus
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Caleb looked away from his window, catching sight of Gert as he entered the room. Caleb spun around to face his friend, smiling a little. "Hey Gert, I am rather sleepy and hungry. How are you?" Caleb asked in response as he picked up a nearby rubix cube he had found when he had pillaged the Toys R Us in Times Square. Caleb considered Gert's offer. Did he want to get out and go look for possible places James was? Yes, did he really want to do it alone with Gert? Maybe not so much. He thought the guy was cool, but it sometimes got awkward between the two.


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Caleb was about to respond when he caught sight of Stella. "Oh, hey Stell. Yeah, I got a sec," Caleb says as he stands, tossing his rubix cube in his comfortable leather chair. "Sorry Gert, I'm supposed to work on finding a way to contact the Youngbloods to give them our new offers without getting people killed," Caleb said apologetically. He didn't want to seem like he was just trying to avoid Gert, but he really wasn't all that into bikes, and he really did need to figure out a way to get a hold of Winston before the Youngbloods did something stupid again.

Caleb walked out of his office that he didn't like calling an office since he rarely did any work in there, preferring his room or the major meeting room. "What's up? Caleb asks, then notices the look on Stella's face. "Did something happen? Word about James come out?" Caleb asked, wondering why she didn't seem to happy.

Caleb leaned against the wall outside his office then thought maybe the conversation would be done better in private. He grabbed Stella's hand and brought her into his office, dropping her off by his guest chair, then putting his arm around Gert. "Hey man, we gotta talk in private. Stella's going through some emotional stuff, I gotta be her rock,"
Caleb says, more joking than anything, but also serious.

As soon as Gert was out, Caleb closed and locked the door silently. He moved back to his chair to sit. "Look, I've been trying to figure out where they took him. They might have a location set up in an old police station like the one by the United Nations Ruins. They'd already have cells built. Sorry..." Caleb knew he wasn't making anything better with him rambling and sounding so freaked out. color=teal]"Tell me what you wanted to tell me,"[/color] Caleb manages to state with a tiny smile that showed he was more concerned for Stella than anything else, even though he was concerned about James, greatly, too.

He adjusted in his chair, tapping his fingers on his desk without thinking as he did. He checked to make sure his medicine was on his desk, just in case the little tickling in his chest grew to be a sign of something bad. He breathed deeply, trying to stay calm though he knew it didn't appear as if he was doing a good job.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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Spencer was startled awake by the sound of his very own alarm clock. It was one of those disgustingly old ones where you had the wind it up with a small metal key in the back of it and the sound of the tiny metal hammer whacking away furiously from side to side was one of the most terrifying sounds to wake up to. Spencer blinked his eyes blankly, adjusting to the bright morning light with great discomfort. He let his eyelids droop closed again as his left arm wiggled around on the other side of the bed, trying to blindly shut off the racket that was echoing off of the walls and rebounding so it was like some hellish sensory overload. His arm felt its way to his end table next to where he slept and repeated began to slap itself down on the wood, missing the alarm every time. Eventually he let out a frustrated groan and pushed himself up, out from under the covers. He slid onto the floor a bit like a puddle and grabbed one of his shoes that were at the foot of the bed before whipping around to chuck it at the alarm which fell to the cold tile floor with a metal crash. After breaking a vacant gaze, Spencer let out a low, guttural groan, rubbing his eyes roughly as he leaned back to sit on his knees.

He could already tell it was going to be a long day.

Despite getting a full night of sleep, he felt groggy, that kind of gray fog that sets down around you when you wake up tired. Spencer knew that if he didn't get up right away, he was going to sleep in for far too long and he couldn't risk that; especially when they were bound to carry out a plan to get James back any day now. The thought of the man all by himself as he was surely forced to face the worst the Maniacs had to throw at him gave Spencer an uneasy feeling, an oily black pebble in the pit of his stomach. With a small sigh, the boy rose to his feet, curling his toes against the freezing tile as he stretched lazily, several pops emanating from his back.

Image"Okay, let's get this day on the road. Jeez I need some coffee," he told himself confidently, walking around to the other side of his bed to pick up his clock and shoe. The clock had a hairline crack in its glass face, Spencer noted with disdain before setting it down rather carefully on the table and tossing his shoe on the messy covers of his bed. Spencer changed into a simple white cotton tee shirt and slid on a pair of blue jeans, hopping around ridiculously as he pulled his legs through. Quickly, he snatched his sneakers, but didn't bother putting them on and turned to the entrance to his room. He ran a quick hand through his hair, brushing his brown hair to the right, before heading to the door of his room.

"Ow! Dammit!" Spencer cried out as his left foot crunched down on the sharp, tiny pieces of a motherboard from a computer. He hopped around on his other foot, cradling the left. After the pain subsided, he bent down to snatch up the blue motherboard, checking it for damage as he went over the terms for the parts in his head. Northbridge, CPU Socket, PCI Slots, he listed quietly in his head until finally deeming it perfectly fine and directing his attention to what can best be described as what looked like a cyborg junkyard. Old laptop shells, Optical Drives, and various other computer parts lay in piles, hardly organized at all. The mess slightly surprised Spencer, unaware that the mess had gotten so bad. Still, he slid the blue chip onto the end table, convincing himself that he'll take care of it later. he stepped out into the hallway before heading to the door that lead to the stairs, a part of him wishing that the elevator still worked. He trudged up two flights of stairs like a slug before throwing himself against the door to let him out into the hallway, heading into the office where Gert stood on the far side of the room. Spencer beamed brightly at the man as he walked in, attempting to meet the man's eyes.

"'Morning! Nice day to be in NYC, huh?" he stated amicably, gesturing to the bright sun peaking over the tips of the skyscrapers.

"Did you have any plans for today? I have nothing on my schedule," he continued, setting his shoes down on the floor. Spencer didn't know much about Gert that was for sure, but he knew the Ex-Maniac had to have some redeeming quality. He knew that the man wanted very much to protect Edmund and that seemed like a good a reason as any to get to know him.

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Character Portrait: Eliza Dallen Character Portrait: Winston Fields Character Portrait: Hazel Luden Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins Character Portrait: Ares Bennett
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Outfit || Theme Song
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’This is fucking stupid.’ Hazel Luden thought to herself, kicking one of boots across the floor. It’s not like she actually needed to wear them right now. She was stuck in this stupid prison. As far as she could tell, she was never getting out. Why did they even want her here? Sure, she wasn’t on their side but she didn’t do anything against them. It’s not her fault that the Maniacs were… not the most easy going group. She wasn’t even a part of their ‘inner circle’; unless you count sleeping with one of the leader’s on the inside. They didn’t exactly pillow talk. Most of the time she either fell asleep afterwards of he got up to go do something.

She sighed, walking to the opposite side of the room from the cot, towards the huge window. Was she on the top floor? She was high; she could tell that much as she pressed herself up against the window and tried to peek at the ground. That was an impossibility. She loved heights but she preferred to be outside, somewhere up high. Not caged like a bird. Rolling her eyes, she slid to the ground, scooting over to rest her back against the wall. The room was basically empty except for a glass of water and a half eaten tray of food. The only other thing in there was the cot that was anything but comfortable. She didn’t get much sleep on it.

’How long have I been here?’ She wondered silently. She tried to remember but everything blurred together. She slipped off her leather jacket and tossed it onto the bed. The chill she had felt that morning was gone. She took a quick sniff of her underarms and groaned. She wanted a shower- no a bubble bath Jacuzzi. Now that would feel amazing. She would love some new clothes besides her uncomfortable leather pants that were starting to chafe her. That wasn’t to say that she didn’t love her clothes, she really did. She was just used to fresh clothes, that she could launder. Well, if they wanted to keep her prisoner the least she could do was give them a headache.

Hazel stood up and stomped over to the door. ”I know you’re out there!” She shouted, beating her tiny fist against the door. ”I want to speak to the leader or someone important right now!” She continued, not backing down. Ares always said she looked so nice and innocent, even dressing in a punkish manor. But he had never seen anyone go from a sweet little pixie to a little hellion so fast.

”You took me because you wanna know something about me right? Well, fucking ask! Don’t just sit there and make me wait! You’re just fucking cowardly pussies!” She shouted, giving the door another pound. She stood back, her hands on her hips, glaring at the door. Oh they were there. She knew it. They could hear. She didn’t doubt that there was some sort of camera in this room watching her every move.

Holding up her hand, the pink haired girl flipped off the camera she knew was there. ”Come and get me! Either do something about me or kill me! I’m tired of this shit!”
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Character Portrait: Eliza Dallen Character Portrait: Winston Fields Character Portrait: Hazel Luden Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins
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He liked the way his car disrupted the silence in the eerily quiet city. New York had once been bustling with life, activity, but the turmoil that the city now lay in was easily reflected by the very few people who populated the streets. Most were either working or hiding from the public eye. He hoped, one day, to bring them out into the open, perhaps by imitating the telescreens of an Orwellian novel. To see those who watched his car go by follow his car with hollow eyes was, in its own, sick way, rewarding. No, he hadn't planned to oppress the people when he took it upon himself to take over New York. It had just happened. He could have taken precautions, he could have offered aid. But he didn't. He certainly didn't regret it either. To a certain extent, oppression kept them in line like well-behaved children. Still, there were exceptions to this stereotype.

His chauffeur, a man who had been his bodyguard since before World War III, slowed the car as they approached the massive Empire State Building. Once, it had been a symbol of America, a tribute to commerce, but now it was a symbol of control, the center of government in one of the only functioning portions of America. "I'll see you up there,"
Winston said, nodding to the man as he gathered up his briefcase in one hand. With the other, he popped open the door of the armored SUV. He had wasted no money on making that car, more or less, a tank.

Winston had a short walk from the door of the car to the doors of the building, and he took it quickly, a bit of a spring in his step to propel him forward. He was an optimist, yes, but he was not blind, and he knew many men and women would take it upon themselves to do anyway with him. Still, he had the peacekeepers milling about outside and inside. This was the only time he allowed himself to be vulnerable. It would take little effort to do any with him as he covered the few yards between doors.

As quickly as he had left his car, Winston entered the building. Now, without the walk to consume his mind, he could focus on the business at hand. The Empire State Building was easily one of the only buildings with a decent amount of electricity still surging through it. Winston was instantly met by a gaggle of flunkies, obviously vying to ask him questions due to the gleam in their eyes. The first two had simplistic questions that needed answering, but the third had a message.

"The prisoner from the Maniacs wants to speak with you, Mayor Fields," he said nervously, scuffing a shoe against the floor as Winston stepped into the elevator and beckoned with a swift flick of the finger for him to follow. "She's growing more violent, and the psychologists watching her said it would be best to act now. Her anger will cloud her judgement."

"I see." Winston replied simply, but within, he was thinking deeply. He did not often question any prisoners they received. Instead, the prisoners were recorded, and that footage was then shown to psychologists. Only then, if no breakthroughs could be made, would a specialist be sent in. Hazel, since day one, had been a difficult case. She was an exception to this policy. "I shall see to her. In the mean time, I want you to gather the Inner Party for a meeting in my office. Understood?" The younger man nodded quickly, a lock of hair falling in front of his eyes.

When the elevator reached the floor dedicated to holding prisoners, Winston got off and walked down the hall with his briefcase still in hand. He heard Hazel before he came upon her. Two guards stood at her door, and one of them accepted his briefcase before the other unlocked the door and allowed Winston in.

The pink-haired, punkish girl continued to shout, and he couldn't help but smirk to himself. "What a set of lungs you have," he teased, placing his hands into the pockets of his custom-fit trousers. "Rumor has it you were calling for me. What can I do for you?" He knew exactly what she would want, but he simply couldn't help toying with her like a cat might with a mouse.

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Character Portrait: Eliza Dallen Character Portrait: Winston Fields Character Portrait: Hazel Luden
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Eliza still can remember the time when she was able to text something to a friend. She remembers the time when it was fun to go out in public. She can remember it all. It may be a year ago but she remembers it like it was yesterday. Eliza woke up from a dream of the past. She didn't care too much about how things were.

She worked to help the Youngbloods. She just took in a prisonar the other day. She was a maniac and she knew that from just seeing her. The leader Winston was probably already awake and dealing with her. She was kind of an odd looking woman. But you shouldn't judge on looks. But then again she judged people for a living.

She got up and changed into a black mini skirt a push up bra and tank top. And grabbed a jacket. She also tied her hair into a pony tail.

She hopped into her car and drove to the Empire State building. It was a place of leadership and order. Well thats what they were trying to work on. World War III took that from them. She thought everything was going good but it changed it really did in the blink of an eye.

She walked up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. She walked to the floor with the office of Winston. She walked to his office and saw he wasn't in there. She knocked and walked right in. The desk had little stuff on it. She sat on the desk and crossed her legs playing with something on his desk that could be of importance to him. "What would he need this for?"
She thought out loud from time to time so it was totally normal for her.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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Gert turned to look out the window and smiled, "Would have been..." sighed, "Will be." Turned to Spencer, "Was going to go for a run in the city. Maybe pick up stuff for my bike and other supplies. Your more then welcome to come if you want, granted Edmund doesn't need anything." Looked at the office were Caleb and Stella were in, "You know what that's all... you know what? Never mind." Took a look around, "If your in meet me in the make shift garage down stairs." With that he ran to the stairs and descended as quick as possible. Once on the ground floor he ran to the back storage rooms, were one had been turned into a makeshift garage were he stored his bike. "Hi girl, how are you?" He said to his bike as he entered the room, closing the door behind him. "Sorry girl, with out power and world in hell, I haven't been able to treat you right. If it makes you feel any better I'm missing something too. Hopefully after today at less one of us will have what we're looking for." He then sat down in the darkest corner on the cold hard floor in the fetal position, and let his eyes close. Due to how dark the room was and the his dark outfit, he nearly disappeared into the shadow.

Once his eyes had closed, an image appeared, this time a young girl with long dark brown hair and eyes. When they meet she was a young rebellious teen, a lone wolf like him. She was the first girl in his whole life he could connect with, and she had a name of an angel, Katrina. Her name slipped from his mouth with a smooth happy relaxing tone, "Katrina" again it slipped out but this time in pain. With that he hugged his legs closer and with his eyes still closed rest his head on his knees. A few years later after the power went out she invited him to join her and her new group, the Maniacs. He loved being part of the group, it almost felt like a family, some thing he never had before. Their chaotic behavior and is his drifter life style seemed like a match made in heaven. Plus being around a beautiful girl who could relate and except his past was an added bonus.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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"Right, okay then,"Spencer agreed simply as Gert rushed out of the room with the urgency of someone being chased. It was really quite curious to be honest and it slightly alarmed Spencer, but with Gert's stony face it was hard to determine what the man could be thinking, whether it good or bad, virtuous or not. Spencer chewed on his bottom lip and looked over to the office where hushed voices were whispering. He furrowed his brow at the thought of Gert's words. It was a valid question; what was going on in there and his curiosity peaked, but he shoved it back down, knowing that whoever was talking had wanted to keep things a secret. Furthermore, he trusted everyone here so why should he know of anything and everything? He was in no position to demand information.
Besides, he reminded himself, Gert was waiting for him in the garage they had weakly constructed in the back of the Freedom Tower. Without a second thought to the murmurs, Spencer positioned himself behind his shoes and slipped them over his heels, humming melodiously to himself as he did so. After slamming his heels into the tile a couple times to get his shoes secure over his feet, he cleared his throat and walked out of the room at a brisk pace. He certainly didn't want Gert to leave without him and with the speed that he left, he could already be halfway there. Gert had the strength and endurance Spencer's wiry frame lacked. It was characteristics like this that Spencer wondered how he was with the Phoenixes. How his weaknesses weighed down on his own potential. Therefore, while he couldn't throw a punch very well or shoot a gun without risking the people around him, he practiced other useful trades such as auto mechanics. His mind immediately popped to Gert's motorcycle, one of the few things he had brought with him from his past life as a Maniac.
"Huh, well maybe I can think of something to bring up as a conversation topic. Maybe this won't be so bad. Yeah, this'll be great, we'll have a great day. Buy some supplies, get some stuff for his motorcycle, perfect day," Spencer babbled to himself stupidly, trying to hype himself up for the day ahead, hoping the positive words would demolish and wither up the bad feeling that swirled around his head and shoulders with the persistence of a swarm of starving mosquitoes, but the words fell flat and made no difference at all. With a frustrated sigh and a twitch at the corner of his mouth, Spencer continued down the winding stairs until he landed on the first floor and turned to jog to the back of the building, humming a cheerful tune to himself until he came upon the storage room that housed the garage. He swung open the door with a graceful flamboyancy and a grin on his face.
"Ready to go, Gert! Whenever you-." Spencer's words cut off as he looked around the dim room and saw no sign of Gert at all. In this pause however, he heard weak words in the corner, words from a voice of sorrow. Spencer furrowed his brows and walked carefully around Gert's sleek bike, looking for the source of the murmurs. When Spencer caught sight of the man in the corner, he had almost overlooked him twice. With his dark clothes, it was nearly impossible to tell Gert was curled up in the corner.
"'Ey, Gert, you alright, man? What's wrong?" he demanded as he strode over to Gert, his hand hesitating for a second before lightly shaking his shoulder. Spencer thought he almost caught what Gert was saying, it sounded like a name, but he couldn't be sure and decided maybe he shouldn't ask about it.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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Having been shaken awake from his day dream, Gert looked up to see Spencer looking down at him. "Oh, hi. Sorry just... day dreaming." Got up and dusted himself off, and sized up Spencer. "Look nothing against you or Edmund, but when your out with me. Pleeeease... keep your head down and do what I say, when I say, how I say no questions asked." As he said that he went to his work table, grabbing his backpack. He reached under the table and drew a 0.45 pistol, and checked the magazine, putting it inside his jacket. After that, he double checked his pack, making sure it was packed with tools, med kit, binoculars, white chalk and 2 more magazines. "So we ready to do this?" Gert looked at Spencer with a big smile that is trying to cover up something, possibly more hurt or something more.
Without waiting for answer he turned to his bike and wiped a spot of the tank. He hated leaving her in this make sift garage and not being able to drive her as much. He planed on fixing and cleaning her up so he could show his Maniac friend the only freedom he ever know. "Good bye girl. I'll be back with your gift as soon as I can. And I promise to bring the kid home to."

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Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Ares Bennett Character Portrait: Arabella Fields Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
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Arabella looked into James’ rich chestnut coloured eyes, filled with love for her. She was sitting cross-legged on the grass opposite him, the warm sun beating down on them and illuminating his pretty tanned skin. James smiled at her, his lips parting slightly to show his perfect teeth. Arabella reached a hand towards his face, running her fingers through his lovely, slightly tousled black hair, continuing down to stroke his soft cheek. He lifted his own hand to her cheek, brushing a lose strand of light blonde hair from her face, the two a mirror image of each other. Then he slipped his big, strong hand round the back of her head, pulling her face close to his. Then he kissed her, his soft lips melting into hers, like they were born to fit together. He tasted like maple syrup and happiness and love.

“I love you,” she said breathlessly, pulling back, her eyes locked intensely with his.

“I love you too, Bells,” James responded, his eyes full of sincerity and warmth.

Bella leant in to kiss him again. But something felt wrong. When her lips met his, they felt light, like they were barely there, and ice cold. She pulled back, shocked. When she looked at him, he was pale, like all the colour had been sucked from his image. The brown of his eyes, the grey of his shirt, the pink of his lips. He was fading.

“James?” she said fearfully. “What’s wrong?”

“Bella! Help!” he cried.

“James!” As he faded he was beginning to get further and further from her, as though the space between them was being stretched. She tried to run towards him, but no matter how hard she tried, she didn’t seem to get any closer.

“Bella!” he shouted “Bella help m-“

And then he was gone.

“James!” Arabella screamed again.


XXX


“Ja-“ Arabella’s eyes flew open and she stopped, mid-screaming his name, her voice dying in her throat.

Fuck, Bella thought, quickly turning over in bed, expecting to see Ares’ furious face. But instead, she was met with the sight of an empty side of the bed. Thank god, was Bella’s second conscious thought, if he had heard that, there would have been a lot of questions. She would have almost certainly been cast from the Maniacs, and knowing Ares’ temperamental nature, she may also have lost her life, had he been in the right mood. She knew she was only Ares’ casual fuck, when he was bored and needed entertainment. She was of no great value to him, and certainly not anyone he cared for. Yes, sleeping with him provided Ares with an incentive to keep her here, and prevented others from trying to get rid of her, for fear of angering one of their leaders, but she was certain that one slip would result in the end of her time as a Maniac, and possibly alive.

But it was still not enough risk to deter Arabella from being here. Nothing would sway her from that choice. No matter how much she was afraid, and missed her brother and the luxury and power of her life as a Youngblood, Arabella wouldn’t leave this place without winning back the love of her life and taking him back with her to live happily together again. Her brother and everyone in the Youngbloods would be proud of her for surviving as a Maniac and bringing back their secrets to help take them down. She would finally be as good as her brother and with her perfect James by her side. Or at least, that was the dream. But she was sure it would come true. James would fall in love with her again after seeing her save him, she was sure. Stella would be a thought of the past, just a fling, until he remembered who his true love was. They were happy once, just like in her dream, and they could be again, Arabella was sure. She just had to keep Ares sweet, as not to blow her cover.

Arabella swung her legs over the side of the bed. She went over to Ares’ dresser, opening a draw and pulling out a matching set of hot pink lacy underwear. She had begun keeping clean underwear in Ares’ room, since there were few mornings when she woke up in her own. She’d only been with the Maniacs a little over a week, but she had already learnt quickly. Besides, Ares seemed to like her keeping her things in his room. Perhaps it was a possession thing? With this in mind, she took one of Ares’ black t-shirts and pulling it over her head. It smelt slightly of smoke; the smell of Ares, and it had a tiny burn on the edge of one sleeve. Due to him being so skinny, it didn’t completely envelop her small frame, but due to his height it fell long enough to be decent, just. She pulled on a pair of her signature ripped black tights before turning to face the mirror. Here, she pulled her fingers through her hair to arrange her bleached locks. Arabella didn’t use hair brushes anymore; messy was definitely better in the Maniacs. Having learnt to keep makeup here too, she applied some red lipstick and re-darkened her eyes, blending in the smudges left over from the night before. A quick dusting of powder to her skin and she was done.

Arabella exited the room that Ares had commanded as his own, perhaps an old control room of some sorts in the subway, though she wasn’t sure. She’d never actually ridden the subway in her old life while it was in operation. Far too dangerous, her parents thought, and certainly beneath them. She hadn’t got far along the small corridor outside the room when she heard a sharp ring of metal. She wasn’t perfect on all the signals of the Maniacs yet, but she knew this one well enough. They were being summoned.

Arabella wasn’t entirely sure quite how to get back to where she knew the sound had resounded from. It was so confusing down here, and most nights she just followed Ares back, stopping at various points to be thrown or throw him against the wall to kiss him, her mind usually wrapped in a pleasant haze of alcohol. But as she joined one of what was obviously the main walkways, she saw a few others hurrying along it and followed them, eventually finding where they had been called to. As she entered the room where quite a little crowd was already beginning to form, she scanned the scene for Ares. She liked to take her place beside him, have him make some remark about the way she looked, or put a possessive hand on her back. Sometimes he would even take her hand and kiss it, in some big romantic gesture. Ares could play quite the romantic, as a tease, or as part of his image, Arabella thought. She felt safe beside him, none of the other Maniacs who didn’t like her for who she had been in the Youngbloods, or just didn’t trust her, couldn’t hurt her. And it gave her a sense of the power she’d felt back at home, stood beside her brother, bathing in his glow. But, as she scanned the crowds, her eyes fell on something else.

Bella stopped dead.

Hunched over, face almost to the floor, was a man. The back of his head was slightly bloodied, his hair messy and unwashed, his clothes torn and filthy. But he was still unmistakable. It was him. It was James.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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Spencer narrowed his eyes at Gert's behavior, especially when the man packed a pistol with him. He inhaled slowly as Gert gathered his belongings, still concerned about his '"daydream". It wasn't until Spencer heard his one demand that he pushed back.

"Not to sound insinuating or anything, but it seems like you are anticipating something dangerous to happen," he murmured stonily, crossing his arms defiantly across his white shirt.

"I'm not saying a being cautious is suspicious, but you seem to be... expecting something a little more than a few simple errands," he continued, hoping he wasn't sounding too confrontational, the last thing he wanted was to get on Gert's bad side, but if Gert expected him to follow orders like a good little toy soldier, he was going to have a wake up call. However, even though the request annoyed him slightly, he wasn't going to purposefully act out. That would be even stupider than picking a fight with the man across from him.

"But- I mean, I'll listen to your orders as long as they're something I agree with. I'll do what I feel fit and help you out while we do this, can you agree with my terms?" Spencer asked calmly, raising a dark eyebrow at Gert as he reached for his own bag, a red Swiss Gear backpack covered in black oil from a few cars he had worked on a couple weeks before. Inside, he verified that there were two plastic water bottles and a granola bar with a few screwdrivers, electric tape, and a hammer; tools he could use to hot wire a car if needed. He swung the pack over his shoulders and slipped his arms through the slots, ready to go if Gert was.

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Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Spencer Hunter Hughes
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Gert smiled, "If there is one thing I've learned living on these street, even before the world dropped into the ninth layer of hell. The world was already hell, and if you weren't ready for the worst case then most likely that's what you would get. Now that doesn't mean I want trouble I just like being ready for it." Looked Spencer over one more time as he walked out the door. "As far as your counter terms, sounds like a plan. I was just saying that, just incase something happens, you seem a little green. I think as far as parts go there should be a police station with bikes not to far from here if its still intact. If so we should also be able to get other supplies and set up a fall back spot should any of our trips out go sideways." He pecked through the shades next to the back door, and since he didn't see anyone he slipped out into the back alleyway. Gert tried to think of the city layout and best rout. Gert decided to get to the end of the alley and see what Spencer thought.

He moved a little ways down the alley, and looked back to make sure Spencer was following. Then he moved as quickly and quietly as possible, without losing his partner, to the end of the alleyway. He whispered to him once they were together again"So this is what I'm thinking. We could try the metro if the tunnels haven't collapsed or flooded. Then there was the back way, hit the chapel, curve south and around to the university. Problem there is who knows whose hiding in the builds and alleyways. Or the straightest path, head through the park to city hall to the station, but similar problem. Benefit of the straight path is we could raid what was left of city hall on the way."

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Character Portrait: James Williams Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus Character Portrait: Ares Bennett Character Portrait: Arabella Fields Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
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Katrina looked at the sudden arrival of Ares, and.. a prisoner? Someone must've brought him in lately. She looked in the prisoner's eyes, and saw the hurt, yet anger he probably felt towards the two of them. Katrina snapped her head at Ares as he told her good morning. She, on the inside, shuddered as she heard the prisoner's head hit the ground of the disgusting subway train. "Why, good morning to you as well, Ares." She matched his fakeness, and smiled, teasingly. "What do we have here this morning?" She walked to Ares side, and wrapped her lanky arm around his shoulder, as if they were old highschool friends, just hanging around.

Katrina saw the pain in his face, as the prisoner seemed to stare at her and Ares. She bit her lip to hide her emotions, as she remembered her own pain. There was the dreadful memories of her past, family, and... lost love. She wondered if perhaps the prisoner knew of her lost love, a Youngblood who used to be a Maniac. They'd run around causing mayhem as best friends, until... he left. He'd left the night they'd confessed their feelings, and he'd even kissed her, her first real kiss. But, he was never to return, and she didn't tell anyone, besides those that already knew. That whole part of her life, she preferred to keep as secret as she could. It made her seem weak, and petite. Katrina would much rather be seen as Ares's right hand woman, and do the dirty work.



Ares hardly flinched as James smacked the floor. Years in seriously unqualified foster homes resulted in years of hearing gunshots or screaming on a daily basis. Sounds failed to shock him anymore. He returned the sardonic smile, and the corners of his mouth quirked upward in a sickeningly sweet manner. Instinctively, his arm curled about her waist. Their actions were heavily laced with sarcasm, and it seems to permeate through the air.

”How are you on this fine day?” he asked before looking back down at James in a condescending manner. ”This prisoner of yours is a tough one. Too big for his britches if you ask me.” He dropped his arm from around Katrina as he started to move towards James again. Another presence, however, stopped him short.

Arabella had stopped on the edge of the gathering crowd, staring wide-eyed at James. Perhaps the sight of the bloodied man was far too much for her. Ares left the center of the group to move towards her. His long legs covered the space between them, and as he stopped by her side, he picked up one of her hands in his. ”Good morning, beautiful,” he said softly, brushing his lips along hers. Holding her hand still, he walked back to where he had been standing, pulling Arabella closer to the bloodied James. "Hey!" he spat. When James looked up, he made a show of wrapping his arm about Bella's waist. "You wanna know why she's safe? Because I have enough sense to pick my fucking battles."

He knew nothing of James's connection to Bella, but he wanted to spite the prisoner for his now-aching body. As quickly as he had busied himself with bothering James, he turned his attention back to Katrina. ”So, what are we meeting to discuss? Today’s mischief?”



It was him. Her beautiful James. Hurt and downtrodden, on the floor. This wasn't how it was meant to go. She was meant to have earned Ares' trust enough to be allowed down to see him alone, asked to check on him or something. And he would see her and his eyes would light up, recapturing the love he had once felt. And he would fall into her arms and kiss her, so grateful she was there to save him. That was how it was meant to happen. Not like this. Surrounded by strangers who didn't understand their love, with James hurt and no ability to tell him she was there for him now.

Suddenly, there was a hand taking hers. Arabella jumped, not having seen Ares coming outside of her tunnel vision, fixed on James. He greeted her, kissing her lips softly. She managed to gather herself enough to respond with a faint kiss of her own, before finding herself being pulled, pulled closer towards James.

No! He was going to see her and think she had betrayed him. He would think she was one of them. But there was nothing she could do. Ares was wrapping an arm around her, holding her there. And then he called to James, a vicious remark, and one that seemed to almost claim Bella as his. While Ares turned to Katrina, Bella remained transfixed, staring at James, just waiting for some sign of recognition. Waiting for his expression to shatter her whole world. Her hand tightened involuntarily around Ares', her whole body radiating tension.



James had stayed silent, trying to clear black dots from his vision. Had his shoulder ever hurt this much before? He couldn't feel where he had hit his head and figured it wasn't a good thing. When he heard Katrina speak, he was surprised. She was the more levelheaded of the two, yet here she was, wrapping her arms around the idiot who had basically just goaded James into a fight. James ignored Ares comment about being too big, and rolled his eyes in response. He tried to take the foot off his back by twisting a bit but found it useless after a second. He wanted to take a nap if he was going to be honest. He took in a deep breath, struggling under someone's foot.

James watched Katrina as Ares moved towards him, then away. His gaze fell on the older guy when he approached James again, this time with a girl. A girl with bleached blonde hair. James had seen her before, hundreds of times. He had held her when she was upset, she had consoled him when he was too. She was here, in the worst possible man's arms. James felt something crack. Sure he was with Stella, but it hurt to see someone you used to love with those who would kill you in a second.

James felt his stomach drop when Ares claimed Bella as his with his arms around her. "The guy who goaded the stronger one into a fight and needed guards to help him sure knows how to pick a fight, huh Ares?" James mutters loud enough for everyone to hear. He was pretty sure it wasn't too smart, but really didn't care at this point. His world felt like it was crashing down on him. He didn't show he recognized Bella to everyone, but said under his breath something only she would really understand. "Big brother ain't here to watch over, that idiot won't either," he muttered as Ares changed his attention. He knew she'd know he was referring to her brother, that she shouldn't be here, that he knew who she was. He wondered if all his feelings fit into the sentence, but couldn't really tell. He wasn't sure what he felt towards her, seeing Ares claim her like he did. What if Ares knew James and Bella were once a thing? One of them would probably be dead within the hour, and James was pretty sure he knew who Ares hated more.



Katrina didn't exactly know what her and Ares's relationship was. They seemed to be an odd pair, her hiding her sympathy to make herself 'a better leader' and he... Ares beating prisoners to a pulp. Almost like a.. mother and father partnership, except the father is drunk all the time. Katrina loved being sarcastic with Ares. However, she didn't enjoy Ares's latest toy, Arabella was it? Something just told her to watch her one day. To see how she really acted, because it was obvious to this.. mother, of sorts, that Arabella was hiding something.

Katrina studied Ares's movements towards Arabella, and sighed, running a hand through her thick hair as he brought her back with him, as if she was some trophy. Katrina snapped her head to Ares as he spoke. Upon which, she shrugged, as usual. "That's what I was hoping for, yes. To talk of today's mischief, and unruly things we need done around here." Katrina looked at the crowd that had formed upon her ringing that bar between the metal handles. A smile tugged at her lips, and she pursed them into a tighter grin, smiling to her people. The way they followed her and Ares so.. confidently. It gave Katrina's adrenaline a whirl, and her inner Maniac would show. "I suggest that you find your stations, Maniacs. I want this city crumbling by night fall tonight. " She paused, and turned to Ares for a brief moment, taking in his stance, before looking back at the crowd, as she stepped up on a subway seat, so they could see who they were hearing. "If you run into trouble, you know what to do. At least, I hope you do." Katrina snickered, then turned to Ares yet again. "Anything you want to add?" She raised her eyebrow in a seductive manner, and smiled wide, before meeting the prisoner's eyes again, and secretly feeling... awful.



"Katrina, you're making a mistake," James managed, feeling like his ribs were being crushed since he still couldn't get up. He wasn't normally so easily claustrophobic, but he couldn't help it right then. "If New York falls, everyone all over Manhattan does too. That's millions still Katrina, there are families," James began, not even listening whether or not he was speaking over Ares.

He did not sense her apprehension, but Ares could feel Bella's hand tighten around his own. He returned the squeeze as he brought her hand up to his lips, pressing a kiss into the back of her hand with a smile gracing his lips. For just a moment, he was calm. She did have that effect on him at times. James, unfortunately, made the mistake of speaking just then, shattering whatever good mood Ares had been in. The older man dug his nails into his palm, trying to hold himself back from throwing a kick straight into James's jaw. He told himself Arabella would be taken aback by it, perhaps disgusted by it, and he forced his foot to remain planted on the ground. Though he took care not to squeeze the hand that held Arabella's hand, she would most certainly feel a slight clench, this one out of hatred for James rather than love for her, as his nails threatened to break skin in his other hand.

Slowly, carefully, as though moving too quickly would set him off, Ares dropped Bella's hand and moved forward. Restrained now, James was easier to deal with. The Maniac took a knee beside James and leaned over slightly so that his face hung over James's. "All the more proof that I can choose them," he said lowly, his voice on that edge between mellow and threatening. Still, it was obvious towards which side his voice leaned. "For I refuse to waste my time on a cause as helpless as yours." Ares rose then, turning to face Katrina before James spoke again, therefore missing what James said. He knew who she was related to, of course. Everyone did.

He once more reached for Arabella's hand, enjoying the effect it seemed to have on James. He assumed it came from the threat he had made earlier in regards to an unknown girlfriend of James, for he did not know better. Ares nodded along in agreement as Katrina spoke, outlining the same plans he would have given out. They were the same plans they had given out for at least a month now. Oh, they tried to make the city burn, but there were always peacekeepers, and they were always better equipped than the Maniacs could ever dream of being. "You seem to h-," he began after being prompted by Katrina, only to cut himself off as James began to speak.

James's words fell on deaf ears at least in Ares's case. Suddenly, bringing him out here began to turn into an awful idea. Ares pinched the bridge of his nose to keep himself from exploding in anger. It didn't help. "God damn it!" he cried. "Get him the fuck out of here. Lock him back up. I don't even want to know he exists right now, you hear me?!" A moment passed, then two, as he tried to pull himself together enough to address Katrina. "Ignore him. That rat would gladly watch us burn. He wants us to sit around idly while the Youngbloods try to take over Manhattan, and I refuse to give him satisfaction."



Honestly, she'd be lying if she said she didn't feel worse as the prisoner pleaded to her. She cringed, but tried to hide it, as Ares blew up."Of course, Ares." She nodded as he spoke to her. Then, she turned back to the crowd, that was still formed. They'd made the usual oooh's and aahhh's as Ares demonstrated, yet again, his utter 'strength'. Katrina raised her left arm, her hand the shape of a ball, with her fingers curled into a fist. "Maniacs, you hear your leaders. Let us reign terror on Manhattan together, and destroy this sad city!" She roared towards the end, her fist raised high into the air. "Maniacs, roar!" She cried, and smiled as she heard the crowd's yelling, screaming, and even waving about pipe, or some object they'd had on them. She turned to Ares yet again. "I believe they're ready to be released." She pursed her lips into a cocky smile at him.



Bella knew she had to act, or she'd lose her opportunity to talk to James for who even knew how long. Maybe forever. She had to put things right. His whisper had cut through her like a knife through butter. His hatred and contempt. She had to tell him the truth. He had to know. He had to love her again.

"I'll drop the prisoner off in his cell. I need to head back that way to get my jacket from your room anyway, Ares," Arabella said, offering Ares a flirtatious smile as she mentioned the location of her jacket. She gave Ares a quick wiggle of her fingers in a wave goodbye, slipping from his grasp and motioning to the guards to follow her. They hauled James of the floor and began to drag him away along behind her.



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Character Portrait: Winston Fields Character Portrait: Hazel Luden
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Hazel's bright blue eyes narrowed as she watched the door open. The Winston Fields himself waltzed in. She could have laughed. What Ares wouldn't have give to be face to face with him. Then again, Winston might now survive that encounter. "The better to scream at you with." She said as if she were reciting the correct words of the wolf in 'Little Red Riding Hood'.

She stood up straighter, crossing her arms over her chest. Sure, she looked like hell, but she didn't have to look that way. She studied him as he spoke, considering what to say next. How could she get what she wanted from him? She pursed her lips for a moment then flopped down on the uncomfortable cot. She rested her hands on the mattress and crossed her legs. "Well, you are the one who kidnapped me. So what is you want from me?" She asked him.

She tilted her head to the side as she watched him. She could tell from the greedy look in his eyes that he wanted to toy with her. She hated being played with. She clenched her jaw but held her tongue so she wouldn't start yelling at him. That wouldn't get her any closer to getting out. She cleared her throat. "So what's your game plan here? Kidnap a random girl off the street and keep her locked up like this? Giving her a disgusting bed, feeding her disgusting food, and not even giving her some more clothes or a chance to shower?" She clicked her tongue in a disappointed tone.

"Now how is that supposed to win my sympathy and make me want to tell you all my deep dark secrets?" She asked him seriously. She shook her head and sighed. she tilted her head to the side as she watched him. She thought for a moment, her foot bouncing up and down. "Where do you think that leaves us, Mr. Fields?" She asked.


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Winston smiled to himself in a way that seemed greatly condescending. "Oh, you are a quick girl," he remarked, looking over at her as he smirked, rubbing his chin where a very light stubble had begun to form. He gave his temple a light tap, the smirk twisting into an even more condescending grimace as he did so. He provided her with his full attention as she flopped on the bed, evoking a squeak of protest from the rusted springs and frame.

"What do I want from you?" he repeated softly to himself, as if pondering the words, while he unbuttoned his jacket to sit down in a rigid plastic chair which he pulled close to the bed. There was little room between them now, and the way he leaned forward gave them the appearance of a therapist and his patient. Winston's brow had furrowed in a look of concern for her, but he once more laughed as she clucked her tongue at him like a disapproving parent.

"I can't imagine your life is much better than this as a...what is it called? Maniac?" He looked down at his hands for a moment, clasped before him in his lap. "What do I want from you? I want nothing in particular, love. Really, the question is 'what do I want to do for you?'" He looked up at her now, hoping to meet her gaze. His eyes looked pained, and he gave her a look of pity.

"I can liberate you," he said softly, in a fatherly manner. "I want to liberate you. What sort of life is the one you lead? You must have had a life before this, and I imagine it didn't involve creating such utter chaos. You are not helping New York, my dear. He scooted the chair a bit closer so that it leaned against the bed, placing him next to her without actually sitting on the bed beside her.

"Say the word, and I can give you what you want," he said, smiling now in a friendly, caring manner. "We can help each other, you see? It doesn't have to be one against the other."

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Use your INK to craft new artifacts in Time is Running Out. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Notable Items

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The Market

Buy, sell, and even craft your own items in this universe.

Market Data

Market conditions are unknown. Use caution when trading.

Quick Buy (Items Most Recently Listed for Sale)

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View All » Add Character » 14 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith
Character Portrait: James Williams
Character Portrait: Stella Markum
Character Portrait: Eliza Dallen
Character Portrait: Winston Fields
Character Portrait: Hazel Luden
Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins
Character Portrait: Edmund Lucian
Character Portrait: Gert Thaddäus
Character Portrait: Ares Bennett
Character Portrait: Arabella Fields
Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons

Newest

Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
Katrina Lyons

"Together we'll be unstoppable."

Character Portrait: Arabella Fields
Arabella Fields

"I had everything, opportunities for eternity. And I could belong to the night?"

Character Portrait: Ares Bennett
Ares Bennett

"It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."

Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins
Jackson Wilkins

{Personality WIP}"You Either Win Or You Die."

Character Portrait: Hazel Luden
Hazel Luden

I didn't ask for this.

Character Portrait: Winston Fields
Winston Fields

"Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Character Portrait: Stella Markum
Stella Markum

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This."

Trending

Character Portrait: Winston Fields
Winston Fields

"Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins
Jackson Wilkins

{Personality WIP}"You Either Win Or You Die."

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith

"I like to think I can make a difference in the world if I work hard enough."

Character Portrait: Stella Markum
Stella Markum

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This."

Character Portrait: Arabella Fields
Arabella Fields

"I had everything, opportunities for eternity. And I could belong to the night?"

Character Portrait: James Williams
James Williams

"Yeah, just because I haven't had the best luck doesn't mean I'll just give up."

Character Portrait: Ares Bennett
Ares Bennett

"It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Arabella Fields
Arabella Fields

"I had everything, opportunities for eternity. And I could belong to the night?"

Character Portrait: Winston Fields
Winston Fields

"Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Character Portrait: Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith

"I like to think I can make a difference in the world if I work hard enough."

Character Portrait: James Williams
James Williams

"Yeah, just because I haven't had the best luck doesn't mean I'll just give up."

Character Portrait: Jackson Wilkins
Jackson Wilkins

{Personality WIP}"You Either Win Or You Die."

Character Portrait: Ares Bennett
Ares Bennett

"It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."

Character Portrait: Stella Markum
Stella Markum

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This."

Character Portrait: Katrina Lyons
Katrina Lyons

"Together we'll be unstoppable."


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