Announcements: Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Nihilism » Strange Tales From Hadean » Art Gulag [ Come get this Commish! ] » Visibility of Private Universes & Profile Customisation » Presuppositionalism » Aphantasia » Skill Trees - Good, Bad & Ugly » In-Game Gods & Gameplay Impact » Cunningham's Law » The Tribalism of Religion » Lost Library » Game Theory » The Hidden Void » Removing CS From an Indy Universe : Solution » On the Matter of New Players and Orphaned Plays » STOP BLAMING US FOR RPG BEING SLOW! » Polytheism » The Game of Life » Just War » Science and Philosophy »

Players Wanted: Chat Plays 5E Stream Seeks Players, Little to No Commitment » Looking for roleplayers » A Fairytale World in Need of Heroes & Villains! » Are You a Crime Addict? » Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players » Here, At the End of the World (supernatural mystery drama) » Seeking Role Players for a TOG Based RP » so I made a Stranger Things RP idk why not come join » LFP - New Roleplay » Gifted/Mutant individuals escaping the gov »

0
followers
follow

Samael Barker

"The Vampire Samael", a Daemon mutant who may or may not be as sinister as his reputation...

0 · 236 views · located in Hallowbrook, Illinois 1925

a character in “Torture Circus”, as played by Animality Opera

Description

Samael Barker: Sam, 19, Male, Demisexual
    "The Vampire Samael", Mutant - Daemon,
    Major



    Image
   
{Appearance}
    At 5'10" and around 129 lbs, Sam is scrawny verging on underweight, with a rather slender, almost feminine build lined in only lean muscle. His facial structure could be described as handsome, with somewhat sharp features and a tantalizing jawline. His skin is very pale from being kept out of the sun, in contrast to dark, black-brown eyes that have a rather eerily hollow look to them and are frequently rimmed in dark circles. Sam's hair is perhaps his most distinct physical attribute, however - straight, choppy, and pure white. Its scruffier length - nearly to his shoulders - and the bangs that fall over his eyes make him appear overdue for a haircut. His back has some whipping scars from occasions he's misbehaved, and his hands, wrists, and arms also have scattered scars from the damage he takes in one of his acts. A deeper scar crawls in a line down through his left eye, which he tries to hide with his bangs. A "T" branded on the top of his left hand marks him as belonging to the Torture Circus.

Sam wears white dress shirts - almost all of which the circus has stained with animal blood to heighten his "vampire" persona - sometimes with an old, ragged, black blazer if it's chillier. His black slacks are equally battered and hand-me-down-looking, as are black leather boots. His wrists and forearms are frequently albeit haphazardly bandaged.

    {Mutation}
    As a Daemon mutant, Sam is equipped with the ability to not breathe for extended periods of time - for him, as much as four or five hours - and advanced strength and reflexes. He heals at a slightly faster rate than is perfectly human, and does not scar as easily. His stage name, however, comes mostly from a notable, double set of canines amongst his otherwise normal teeth - which he has been known to use in self defense, though he has no taste or hunger for blood as a "real" vampire would. His eyes are quite capable of night vision, able to see fairly clearly even in pitch dark, but as a result they are very sensitive to bright lights. Due to this, the circus is careful to keep Sam out of sunlight, not only for his eyes but to maintain his "vampire" stage persona; his display tent has especially thick curtains to keep out daylight.



    {Act}
    Sam is kept on display in a metal cage within a darkened tent. Throughout the day he performs a few different acts at certain times; in the morning he is trapped in a wooden coffin nailed shut, which he forcibly breaks out of, often cutting up his hands and arms on splintered wood in the process. In the afternoon he demonstrates his ability to prolong breathing by being stuck in a glass tank of water for half an hour, a ball and chain at his ankles keeping him at the bottom. Finally, in the evening the muzzle he is almost always equipped with is removed so his "fangs" are displayed, usually by force - that is, "handlers" hold his head still and pull his lips back by hand.


    {Likes} {Dislikes}
    o Darkness Bright light x
    o Solitude & quiet Being stared at x
    o Birds Being touched x
    o Classical music Most people x
    o Revenge Fireworks x
    o The clear night sky Very high-pitched sounds x

    {Quirks} {Fears}
    % Quiet enough to be sometimes mistaken as mute Phobia of fireworks @
    % Self-harms, usually by picking at the wounds from his coffin act Creeped out by cats @

   
{Skills}
    # A fast reader, though he can't write
    # Incredible reflexes; able to quickly detect movement and react on instinct
    # Able to sleep almost anywhere, often sitting up
    # Very observant, and a skilled judge of character

Personality

 

{Personality}
    Sam is quiet, to say the least. Even with his muzzle off, it's rare he utters a word, and when he does they are generally few and far between, at a volume just above a murmur. Still, he is not so much quiet out of timidity like is often assumed, but more so out of being the type to think more than speak. He is observant and calculating, and can be quite cold, even violent if pushed, though he is not without compassion. He is keen on any form of revenge he can get his hands on, not only against circus staff but against all humans, having a deep, vehement hatred of them that might not be expected from his typically calm demeanor.

Sam is incredibly self-loathing; he sees very little good in himself in any way, and sometimes seems to be lacking much sense of self-preservation. Though he is withdrawn and reserved, he does have a temper; mostly certain things or just the right words can set him off, but occasionally he'll get spontaneously impatient and also prone to bouts of violence. His words easily turn icy, and when feeling especially sour he may not always think them through.

History

{Biography}
    Though the circus will tell his white hair is due to actually being hundreds of years old, in reality Samael was born with it. His parents saw it as a bad omen, however, and as his teeth, nocturnal habits, and abnormal strength developed, they soon came to both hate and fear him. He was raised with enough verbal and physical abuse to quickly beat down his self-esteem, so that by the time he was sold to the Torture Circus at just 11 years old he had no qualms parting from his parents and thought nothing of being sold like an object. There, his birth name "Samuel" was altered to "Samael", that of an angel sometimes seen as evil, to suit his fair looks and dark stage persona.

His limits were tested for a few years before his acts were developed and he was put on display at 14. Sam proved a relatively obedient captive, though every time his volatile temperament came to the surface it was violently put down. Now many precautions are taken when moving him, including shackles at his wrists and ankles, and a muzzle he just about always has on but for meals and performances.

    {Relationships}
    Somewhat isolated from most of his "co-workers", Sam has always kept his distance and never seemed keen on making friends. His quietness and asocial behavior tends to put people off. ( May be edited in the future )

So begins...

Samael Barker's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samael Barker
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Samael Barker
[ Torture Circus - Aquatic Tent ]


The circus schedule and even the less than pleasant performances had become routine. Sickeningly routine - carried out with the enthusiasm of an automaton. Hell, that was probably something they could add to his reputation: emotionless. Samael wasn't, but he could easily be mistaken for such. He went through his acts like a trained dog going through the same tricks all its life. Obedient and passive as ever... but with no effort to hide the utter boredom coating his pale features. Or perhaps it could only be described as boredom for lack of any other visible emotion there.

Floating underwater in a tank was pretty easy, in itself. Sometimes Samael even found he almost enjoyed it, since it was a half an hour of peace and relative solitude - at least, it felt like solitude when water and glass kept him from everyone else. The water made the noise of the watching crowds just a murmur as if in the back of his mind, and whenever he opened his eyes, their faces were blurred, which was fine by him. He didn't like meeting people's eyes. They gave him all manner of funny looks when he did. He didn't like funny looks... or being looked at at all. But submerged in the tank, he could float effortlessly, shut his eyes, and just about fall asleep if it was quieter. It was being pulled out of the tank, when his legs were reunited with solid ground and his skin met the open air, that was the unpleasant part.

Outside the tank, circus patrons stepped close to the glass to peer in at him occasionally, but mostly milled around the rest of the tent. Samael's was not the only tank here - a couple of others, somewhat larger ones, displayed an aquatic mutant and a bizarre fish, neither of which looked much happier than him. With scales and fins and bright colors, they drew the eyes of the crowd for longer, though many patrons would turn to check on Samael periodically. After all, he appeared perfectly human compared to the other two on display - and most significantly, he was tethered to the bottom of his tank, unable to swim up for air as the other mutant did from time to time, and was even displayed shirtless so patrons could see his torso and throat were bare of gills. The fishier mutant didn't have gills, but considering the rest of her it certainly seemed a possibility.

The youth's bare top exposed a distinctly underweight frame - though not yet a skeleton, many bones could be made out beneath the pale flesh. A few faded scars crossed his back, and yet more lay concealed by bandages that floated about his arms. The cloth was dirtied and bloodied... but by the time his breath-holding act had rolled around, Samael's wounds from the morning coffin act had mostly healed, or at the least scabbed over.

Dark eyes flickered open to stare emptily out one side of the tank, causing some onlookers to jump slightly. While his eyes were shut, Samael could have been unconscious or already drowned for all anyone knew.... except for those brief signs of life that continued throughout the half an hour he was submerged. He was an eerie sight floating so serenely underwater. His fair skin and white hair almost gave off a glow in the dim lighting of his tank, giving him a ghostly, ethereal appearance, and his unnervingly hollow gaze only added to the look.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samael Barker
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Samael Barker
[ Torture Circus - Aquatic Tent ]


Samael had a rather poor sense of time. Spending much of his life sitting around doing nothing had done that for him; he could have floated in the tank for half an hour or three hours and it wouldn't have made much difference to him.

But considering he never looked forward to getting out, the half an hour he was submerged often went by quickly.

Two of his 'handlers' approached the tank. The circus employed a number of heavily-built men who helped with various tasks around the place, and a few of such men were assigned to move Samael around when the time came for it. One of the two now at his tank moved onto a small step ladder to open the top of the tank, tapping on the glass to be sure he got the mutant's attention, and then dropping the key to Sam's shackles into the water. Samael's gaze drifted to the key as it floated down before him, and he extended a hand to catch it with practiced ease. Using the shackles at his ankles as an anchor to pull himself down with, he crouched toward the bottom of the tank to unlock himself. A turn of the key and a distinct click that resounded underwater, and he was free to float to the surface, key in hand.

He did not gasp for air as might be anticipated upon breaking the surface. Breathing after going without air for extended periods of time was not easy, and the sudden use of his lungs where they had held still for so long was uncomfortable. As soon as his arms reached out to clutch the edges of the tank, the handler beside him on the step ladder grabbed him to haul him out; the handler being very strong and Samael being very light, it was an easy feat to sweep him out of the tank and carry him to the ground, where both handlers swiftly moved to grab onto either side of him - not only as a means of restraining him, but also to be sure he could stand and walk, as after not doing so for half an hour it took a few minutes for Sam to get his footing again. The muscles in his legs shuddered at the sudden pressure of standing, and they might've given out under him if not for the men holding him up.

He knew oxygen would help his muscles recover faster. Reluctantly, his lungs expanded with what felt like an audible creak, and air crept up his nose. His frame tensed at the ache in his chest of his lungs churning back to life, but again his handlers made sure he was kept standing.

Samael hated this part. The nagging pain in his chest, the weak feeling in his legs, the cold of the open air collecting across his bare, soaked skin. His hands were wrinkled with saturated moisture. His bandages clung to his arms and emphasized the chill of the water's absence. One of the handlers messed a towel about his hair in a haphazard effort to dry it somewhat, before draping the towel around his shoulders for him to dry off with in his cage later. But for now, the two held him before the tank while he roused his legs, so the patrons drifting around the tent could gather to notice he was alive after the promised half an hour submerged. There was only modest applause, but mostly hushed exchanges, often in regards to how unnatural it was not to have to breathe.

Samael gazed on emptily, like he wasn't really looking at the small crowd but more into some other plane of existence. His dark eyes were hollow, defeated, and utterly apathetic to the attention paid him. His frame was shivering with cold, and his breath was rough while his lungs grew accustomed to functioning again. The key to his shackles, which he still gripped absently, was briskly pried from his hand by one of the men at his side, before the handlers pulled his arms behind him to begin cuffing his wrists in what was standard preparation for escorting him back to his cage.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Happy Noko Character Portrait: Jack Kempton Character Portrait: Evangeline Davis Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Before responding to Avalin's question, Evie hesitated a moment to consider what their options were and to see if Jack would say something. When no one spoke for a moment, she quietly suggested, "We could go look at the various games and booths first, and then, maybe..." She paused, cheeks flushing, looking up at both of her friend's faces before continuing, "And maybe then we can go see the mutants and the acts?" Jack and Avalin did not object, so they started off going around to the various booths, laughing and having fun. It was the most fun Evie had had in a long time. She was slowly beginning to lose her awkwardness and was able to laugh more easily. She only tripped a couple times, skinning one knee, but she paid it little attention. Something like that had no power to dampen her mood. Soon, the cheery group of friends was ready to enter the various tents.

They visited the main freak show tent, which had a pleasant looking exterior that was only slightly faded. Inside, however, it was much darker, and Evie had to wait a moment for her eyes to adjust to the candle lit 'room.' When she was able to see clearly, she saw that all the mutants were locked in cages. She immediately wondered if any of them were dangerous people, but when she saw their weary expressions, she wondered if the bars were there to protect the mutants. Whatever festive air was created by the lights strung across the walls was dampened for Evie by the ugly cages. Were they supposed to look like caged animals?

She winced when she heard a young kid crying by one of the cages. The man inside, who had some sort of wings, stood staring coldly at the girl. Evie let out a small gasp when she saw the father come and kick the cage, and she hoped that he would go no further. Thankfully, the man was satisfied with that, and he walked away, dragging the crying girl with him. Evie shyly came closer as the mutant sat down and spread his crooked wings. He closed his eyes as if shutting out the world. Though her eyes were automatically drawn to his odd, bird like legs and wings, there was also plain concern on her face for him. Avalin, however, seemed even more transfixed. After a few minutes the man had not looked up, and Evie figured it was time to move on. Avalin merely waved them on and stayed with the bird mutant.

First, Jack and she headed to a tent that was connected to the main tent. Apparently, this was a tent for water based mutants. One of the mutants was tossed a key, and he unlocked the chains and floated to the top before he was dragged out by a large man. Then his arms were restrained, but it seemed like the men holding him were holding him up more than restraining him. A plain look of discomfort crossed the man's features as he took a shaky breath. People began to murmur about how unnatural he was, and Evie nearly winced. Her ma always told her that people were people, no matter what they looked like. She also told Evie that everyone should make themselves useful, usually accompanied by a scolding for dilly-dallying when she should have been working.

Sorrow and concern were plain in Evie's eyes as she looked at Jack and motioned that she was ready to move on to the next tent. They went to a tent with many young children, each with some unusual feature. For the most part, they were either tired and hungry, or as interested in the spectators as the spectators were in them. Soon after, Evie heard music starting, heralding some performance. She quickly followed the sound, and found herself in a performance tent that was already filling fast. She and Jack found a seat, saving an extra seat in case Avalin decided to join them, and watched as the woman began dancing with two snakes. Evie was amazed that the woman was blindfolded, yet danced so gracefully. She was tall, and she resembled a snake not only in looks, but also in how she moved. Evie was transfixed, as though she had been charmed along with the snakes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ezekiel Felton
(Torture Circus - Freak Show Tent)
15:30 P.M


The girl wasn't around for much longer; just as the noise from next door has gained his attention, it had done the same to her. Only in her case, she was free to get up and check it out, having the ability to go and see if anything was wrong and if there was anything to be done to help. “I’ve probably given you an earful… um… sorry! I guess I’ll see you around then.” He hardly nodded his head at her farewell, it wasn't like he expected to ever see her again. Ezekiel's gaze lingered at where she last stood, before he fell onto his ride side, lying down and looking out into the nearly empty display tent - aside from the other mutants that were caged, of course.

She was odd, a bewildered expression started to arise on his face as the previous moments replayed in his head. There were always children that were curious and unafraid of them, apparently not knowing better, but he hardly met anyone older that was like that. He had conversations in the past with normal human beings, most of them looking for the novelty of speaking to a mutant, more of them working for a newspaper, but they were the few that didn't look at him as if he was a bug, or worse. If he had to describe it, he'd call this a nice feeling. Even if she seemed a bit out there, and had said a couple of bothering things about his wings, Ezekiel guessed that this would become a fond memory of 'Times people treated me like I wasn't an abomination.' He would attempt to exclude the fact that she just talked to him for some sort of kicks, because that's just how people were.

A rattling sound came from the back of his cage, causing him to glance backwards. A staff member was unlocking him and opening the door, muttering something about 'Not getting paid enough for this'. Judging by how Ezekiel didn't recognize the man, he figured that this guy was only a temporary employee, someone Mr.Torture hired from a nearby town to work for the week they were in the area. The winged boy made his way out of the trailer and immediately stretched, not just his arms but his wings as well. The man who unlocked his cage grunted when one of the wings hit him in the face, yet the perpetrator made no effort to apologize. "Be back to the main performance tent in time for the next act." His voice was deep and rough, unlike his scrawny appearance. Perhaps he was the unlucky type of smoker who'd voice got damaged in the process?

"What? Are you yanking my chain?" He sounded irritated, with disbelief hinted in his tone. The other man rolled his eyes and replied that 'No, now get out of my sight.' before walking off. Ezekiel groaned and rubbed his forehead, briefly thinking of checking out the performance tent but deciding against it. By now it sounded like whatever had happened was long over and all was just dandy, there was no reason to draw attention to himself. He pinched the bridge of his nose momentarily before walking out of the display tent and back outside, startling a group of girls who were passing by. They scurried off quite quickly after they noticed his bitter expression, and Ezekiel was left to put the cigarette that girl had given him in his mouth, lighting it with the lighter he had found on the ground about a week ago. He usually wouldn't preform again so soon, it seemed like Mr.Torture had it out for him today. His mind went back to his actions of the day, it wouldn't be ludicrous for him to assume that he wasn't happy with the Fallen Angel's behavior with the customers in the display tent, it might be some sort of punishment.

After inhaling the smoke deeply, he exhaled the toxin into the air before walking down the path wedged between two rows of tents. He could hear people all around him, all the noise bleeding together to create a large presence that many people would call lively, although he would call it annoying. There was the noise of people cheering or gasping during performances, children yelling and crying, and teenagers snickering and gossiping. Sometimes he wished he would go deaf just so he wouldn't have to listen to it anymore.

He ended up finding himself back in the freak show tent, which was surprisingly still empty, aside for the commotion from the performance tent. They were starting to move around the mutants now, switching ones that had behaved badly or ones that had their break, or had an act coming up, with others that had nothing else to do. Ezekiel didn't stop wandering until he was outside of Samael Barker's cage. He knew the boy well enough, having being in this hole together for eight years. Sam was nearly silent and he was cold, paired with his white hair and pale complexion you had a person that easily put other people off. Ezekiel however never wavered because of this, he guessed it was just because they were both in the same situation.

The younger boy blew out his final breath of smoke before putting the butt out casually on one of the iron rails of the cage, soon discarding it on the ground without a care. There was no staff looking at them currently, they'd just assume it was a customer that littered. "You look unhappy, as always." He commented, not really expecting to get an answer out of the other, or any words at all. Ezekiel reached into his right pocket and pulled out a Baby Ruth, offering it to the other. The mask he often wore may prevent any consumption right away, though it could always be saved for later. "Do you want it?" He was always snatching up things, and with such a strong sweet tooth it wasn't an uncommon occurrence for him to have a bit of an overstock of candy. Apparently they would rot his teeth, but they tasted good and made him happy, kind of like cigarettes; Zeke figured it couldn't hurt to at least see if the daemon mutant wanted it or not.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Samael Barker
[ Torture Circus - Aquatic Tent, Samael's Display Tent ]


One of the handlers crouched to shackle his ankles, wide enough that he could walk but close enough that he couldn't run. Dark eyes drifted down toward the man kneeling at his ankles. He thought about kicking him. A quick kick in the face, and the front of the man's skull could be bashed in. It was something he thought about every time his feet were chained up; something he had attempted before, too... but something that had never gotten him anywhere, obviously. The only thing it had gotten him was beat up. And when he was beaten, circus staff didn't hold back, knowing he could heal better than most of the other freaks.

Next, a thick cloak was draped around him to guard him from the sun, followed by a bag of the same cloth being pulled over his head. No sooner had Sam begun to adapt to breathing again than the thick bag over his head smothered his access to oxygen. But he admitted it was better than his eyes facing sunlight, at least.

With the handlers still gripping his arms through the cloak, he was led out of the aquatic tent. The bag shielding his head did its job; Samael couldn't even tell how bright out it was with the heavy fabric on. Even the sounds of the patrons milling around was dull and muffled. A short walk later, and he could make out the chime of the keys for his cage. The cloak was unwound from him and then the bag was pulled off of his head. His eyes had no need to brace against any light because it was dim in his tent. Sam was unshackled and swiftly pushed into his cage, where the door was shut and locked behind him.

He stumbled in, shivering somewhat when the cloak was removed. It had helped to dry him a little, so he was able to pick his shirt off the floor of his cage and put it on without it being too sticky or difficult. He pulled his ragged blazer over his shoulders, too, for warmth before sitting down in a corner. His tent would open again now that he was back in it... so he savored the time of solitude he might have before patrons came wandering in.

However, that time of solitude was more short-lived than anticipated. The winged mutant, Zeke, drifted in just a couple of minutes after the handlers had left. Sam's hollow gaze lifted to him, albeit fleetingly. The other boy approached to offer a small candy. Samael eyed it; he was unable to offer much of a verbal response with his muzzle on - not that he probably would have anyways - but he gave a short nod and leaned forward to take the Baby Ruth from Zeke's hand. His motions were slow, almost as if he was old and frail. But for anyone who had seen Samael attack somebody, his languid manner of movement was unnervingly far from the reality.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu Character Portrait: Kraus Bodenstein
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ezekiel Felton
21:50 P.M


The girl's face was drowned in crimson color, and he had to admit that it was a nice shade against her slightly tanned skin. For a reason unknown to him, his own blood vessels broke under his cheeks, tinting them rose and causing a wave of confusion at the butterflies that tried to fly up his throat. Ezekiel glanced away, shut his eyes and furrowed his brow, cursing his teenage hormones or whatever people called them. So what if she was pretty? Who cares if she was vaguely interesting, she was a regular, human girl and well he, he was deformed, in all honesty.

His gaze switched back to a glare, though this time it was directed at himself. He didn't have time for feelings that were fitting of a school boy, romance was for the week and he wouldn't let fleeting attraction turn him into a flustered fool. Ezekiel looked back down at her as she cleared her throat, his eyebrows rising as the lock clicked and the door opened, no muscle headed boys walking in to give him a good beating. His mouth opened, wanted to ask her another question, wanted to know why she was risking her skin to play around with circus freaks, but then she answered him before he could make a peep.

"I’m trying to get you out of this joint.

For a second he was sure his heart ceased to function, that the air from his lungs escaped through his skin and left him but a hollow shell without thought or comprehension. He could feel himself blinking, lost, surprised, perplexed. His lips pressed together and he examined her, looking for any reason not to trust her, to tell her to get lost and never bother him again. Yet, he found nothing, just a naive, benevolent girl who had just given him what could be an opportunity at a better life. A life without the beatings, or scraping up cigarette butts, or walking across a tightrope several feet in the air as people secretly wished for him to fall, splatter onto the ground below.

He inhaled, reminded himself of all those times he tried to escape and failed. Without his permission one of his hands rose, his fingers traced over his shoulder, brushing against material that hid scars to prove it. Ezekiel's mouth turned into a frown, fighting off an inner debate between trying once again, or avoiding failure. New hope kindled inside of him, but if it was stomped out for the hundredth time he wasn't sure how able he would be to get back up again. Despite every thought that told him this was stupid, a pointless, useless attempt at freedom, he smirked and nodded.

"Well aren't you a bearcat?" The winged boy teased, but it was lighthearted, almost admiring. He stood from his spot and climbed out of the cage, touched solid ground, and fixed a few of the buttons on his short sleeve, white button up. If you can't beat them, join them. If they were going to go down, they would do so together, only she would be driven away in a cop car and he would have to face the wrath of leather. That was fine by him, it wasn't anything he couldn't handle, nothing he wasn't used to. As long as he could get a taste of adrenaline, a piece of the outside world, then he would learn to live with the result given to them.

Ezekiel walked towards an opening in the tent and glanced back at her, expecting her to follow. "There are some other people I'm going to try and get out here." He said, not a request but a fact. He felt like he owed it to them. Sam, who was miserable here and remained closed off, and Kraus who was new here and had a chance to get away from Hell before he descended into the deepest layers. He might not be able to trust this girl yet, but he could at least try and get along, she did just break him out of what might as well be a prison.

"I'm Ezekiel." He decided on giving her his name, at least it would prevent them from awkwardly wondering what to call each other. Carefully he stepped out of the tent, glancing down the empty pathways before he reached out, grabbed onto the girl's wrist and pulled her along. Ezekiel didn't let go of her until they were outside of a small sized trailer, standing on the top of his toes he peaked over, looked between the bars of the window and whispered, harsh and demanding. "Sam, Kraus." He hissed, sounding angry even though it was only the nerves that was twisting his spine. "I'm getting out of here. Meet me in at the south end near the oak tree, if either of you don't make it in time I'll leave the both of ya'." He warned, paused before speaking again. "I'm unlocking your cage but we're splitting up, it's too dangerous to sneak around here with these goons hangin' around."

Suddenly he reached towards the girl, snatched the master key from her hands and shuffled towards the door, making sure no one was around before he unlocked it. "Don't be stupid." He muttered, hoping that the two wouldn't manage to blow this for him, and snuck back towards his savoir. "You're not a first time caper, are you?" Ezekiel questioned, wondering how she got a hold of the key in the first place, but didn't properly ask. "Lets keep moving." With those hushed words being spoken they were headed past tents and small trailers that held sleeping misfits and supplies alike. It was all going well, and he had the feeling that it was too good to be true. That it was, because the closer they got to another that group that planned their escape, they closer they got to Mr.Torture, who was looking for some skin to break.

Ezekiel looked back to her, a smile on his lips, and completely unaware that behind the upcoming corner was the devil himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Samael Barker
[ Torture Circus - Daemon Trailer ]


Sleep came only in brief shifts, as light and fleeting as a butterfly indecisively grazing its perch. The fair-haired youth lay curled on his side in his cage, but for most of the evening, as always, his pitch dark eyes sat open, staring hollowly at nothing like the blank eyes of a doll. His head rested on his arm, and his coat was pulled overtop of him as a makeshift blanket.

His gaze flickered up to the small trailer window at a hushed, insistent voice, from which he recognized his name - and after the voice continued, he recognized its owner. The winged boy, Ezekiel, making another escape attempt. He hadn't tried in some time, as far as Sam was aware. Stupid shit. Yet, it was strange of the mutant to have invited him along. They weren't exactly close, and it was rare for Zeke to drag anybody into his escape schemes. Something must have made this one different. Deciding he would be indifferent to further punishment anyways, Samael sat up as he heard Zeke move around to the trailer door, and then the clinking of its lock. He pulled his blazer on and slowly moved to stand, in no rush despite Zeke's apparent urgency.

He overheard the other boy talking to somebody as he moved off, and vaguely wondered just how big this escape operation was. Still - with zero regard for the other Daemon mutant in the cage beside his - Sam pushed the door open and hopped down. He took a moment to stretch, his frame sore and stiff from lying perfectly still for so many hours, before trailing after his winged coworker. He spotted the boy ahead walking alongside a dark-haired girl... He didn't recognize her from his distance, but he supposed he would see who it was in time.

The notion did not cross Samael's mind that it could be anyone outside the circus - or even a human, for that matter. No human would ever be in league with their lot.

Sam continued trailing some ways behind Zeke and his companion, watching when the girl abruptly tackled the winged mutant behind some crates. Sam followed their cue, darting behind a food stand to his right. He crouched and peered around the corner of the stand to monitor the other two, and see if he could spot whatever approaching danger they had picked up on. He felt his muscles brace with the beginnings of adrenaline; it felt good to have the freedom to really put them to use. It felt good to break from routine... and the more he savored this freedom, the tougher the time he would give anyone who tried to take it from him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ezekiel Felton
22:00 P.M


There was no time for comprehension, just the expression that changed Avalin's visage from a pleasant rush to fright, then the way she pushed herself onto him in a way that made fear spread through his spine. It was disrupted by a crack that came from his wings, the snap of a few hollow bones that made him shut his eyes so tightly that wrinkles appeared on his young face. His lips parted to emit a sound of distress but it was muffled by his hand, and he began to wonder just how much on his side was she after all.

When he opened his eyes he saw spots of block, they blocked pieces of her body, hovering too close, and the heat of embarrassment mingled with the violent pain that caused his hands to shake. He curled his fingers, dug crescent shapes into his palms, willed it to go away. A few broken bones in his wings was nothing to him, he had felt much worse, and soon his vision was clearing, the red on his face growing when Ezekiel realized their compromising position. He glanced away, looked to the crates and heard the approaching footsteps that could belong to anyone, finally given insight as to why she pushed him down in the first place.

The boy shifted, trying to put less pressure on his wings and winced when his nerves brought him inflictions that forced him to bite his tongue. He raised a hand from the ground, took her wrist and pulled her palm away from his lips, and was frozen in place as the gap between them grew even smaller. At this position he could smell her, and she so unlike the people that worked here. She smelt clean underneath the layer of dirt and sweat, while he simply smelt of dirt and nicotine. Ezekiel's eyes narrowed, and he could just barely see the freckles of her eyes, and when his heart jumped he let go of her as if she had burned him.

A rock was lodged in his throat when he noticed that she was protecting him, of all things. Not herself, she hadn't ran off at the first sign of real danger, but her instinct had been to hide him as well. It was all too hot, both from the summer, the proximity, and the conflicting emotions that battled within him because it made him feel what could be considered more dangerous - thoughts that made him want to believe that she could be trusted, that she had only good in mind. He cursed himself for thinking that, it was too naive and he wouldn't fall back into the completely foolish person he once was. He may be a fool, but at least he didn't let himself get swept up in his feelings, didn't hold onto people because it was inevitable that they would eventually betray him - right?

Ezekiel looked away from her, tried to see through one of the spaces between the crates and out to the path, this time his heart was skipping a beat for a different reason. He recognized those boots anywhere, each scuff reminding him of the times he was kicked, or held down by a heel. Of course, it was none other than Mr.Torture, and Avalin must of saved him from a brutal beating because if he was caught trying to escape when he was already on the man's bad side he would be left so bruised that the general public wouldn't be allowed to see him for the rest of their stay. Underneath her he shuttered, holding his breath as minutes past by them like hours. The air was so thick that it felt like he couldn't breath, like his lungs had honey in them that kept them from inflating with oxygen.

Instead of peaking behind the crates that man yelled towards someone he couldn't see, but recognized the names of a couple of men that had been hired to walk through their camp to make sure no one tried anything funny. Most of the time they did nothing but smoke and drink beers and for that he was grateful, because Mr.Torture was angry and shouting and was going to be busy giving them an earful. Ezekiel stayed still, like a statue, the process so perfected from practice that it was eerie and he waited for the ringmasters footfalls to disappear down another path, away from them until his ears heard nothing but silence.

A long exhale escaped from him, a breath he didn't know he had been holding in, and he looked up at her, beaming with an ebullient smile that he was unaccustomed to wearing. The pain existed as nothing but a distant throb now when relief took him over, as now they had a real shot at getting out of here, and maybe for good. "Cash or check?" He flirted, drunk from the epinephrine that invaded his brain, the chemical lessening now and leaving him with false exhaustion and loosened inhibitions. The winged boy chuckled a bit, giddy as he tried to sit up, shaking his had with either amazement or from their dumb luck. "I owe you big time - oh, and you can get off of me now." Ezekiel added, face becoming scarlet when he looked back up, their faces only mere inches apart.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Skwidge
Avalin Seranu

Ava winced as she heard the crack, and cursed herself quietly for causing him pain. It was obviously his wings that had made that noise. If they got away, she’d definitely do her best to help correct it, but she honestly didn’t have any real medical experience. Maybe one of the other mutants would know what to do.

Avon easily heard the footsteps- they were impossibly loud, even louder than her own heartbeat. Her whole form tensed, and her eyes closed tightly, absolutely terrified that they would get caught and Ezekiel would be punished severely. However, her eyes opened almost immediately as she felt Zeke shifting underneath her and tensing. It only made her feel worse, because she knew he made the motion because of some sort of pain she had no doubt caused.

But the feeling passed rather quickly, as she was distracted by him grabbing her wrist softly and moving her hand from his mouth. Her gaze had quickly shifted out of natural reaction to see what he was doing, even though she already knew. But she suddenly realized just how awkward she had made their position, helping or no. She felt rather foolish, more-so embarrassed, for how she had reacted. A faint blush dusted her cheeks- ’from the adrenaline and awkwardness,’ Ava quickly supplicated an answer for her mind’s thoughts- and she blinked a little uneasily.

She wanted to whisper to him to let go of her wrist because he was sort of holding onto it a bit tighter than he had been and she was aware of it, when he let go rather quickly. The footsteps recaptured her attention, and her eyes flicked back over to the crates, holding a tight breath of panic. The sound was only getting closer, and the suspense was absolutely torture, when she felt the winged boy under her shudder, almost causing her to jump in surprise.

Luckily, she didn’t, but it did make the uncomfortable tensed position even worse. Lynn had a split second of just wanting to reveal their position just for the suspense to be over, but it was just as quickly passed over. A yell was heard from whoever it was near the crates, obviously being distracted by someone else. His boots picked up a bit more speed as whoever it was strode away from them towards the victims of his lecture, and Ava let out a loud breath of relief, her whole body going numb and limp.

Her gaze swept back to Zeke’s face, a momentarily exhausted smile on her face as she was recovering from the extra spike of adrenaline, to find him beaming up at her. The corners of her lips twitched up without her consent in reaction to the rare smile. She had never seen him smile- despite the fact she’d known him for less than a day- and she couldn’t help but flash an honestly giddy smile back at him. ’Gosh, what a lucky break!’ Avalin made the thought which went with the relieved smile.

"Cash or check?" The question caught her by surprise, but a laugh escaped her lips, taking it only as a joke. However, once she started laughing, she kind of couldn’t stop. It wasn’t loud laughter, mostly giggles anyway. She lifted her hand to her mouth quickly and clamped it over her lips, an embarrassed look scribbled on her face. Ava quickly regained her composure, a faint sheepish smile on her lips as she moved her hand a bit. “Uh, I swear I’m not crazy….” She tilted her head slightly with a faint, bold smile.

As she felt him move underneath her, she distractedly thought he was just trying to get into a more comfortable position, completely having forgotten about the more than awkward situation between them. Her gaze was focused on his with the only thing on her mind being the fact that they had gotten out of that situation unscathed, thus attributing to the momentary loss of wits. "I owe you big time - oh, and you can get off of me now." Her eyes widened and another blush flared up. “Ah, right, right!! Of course, sorry!” She stammered quickly, breaking the look without a second thought and then moving herself off of him the best she could in the somewhat confined space.

She sat next to him for a few moments with another sigh of relief. Afterwards, she picked herself up from the ground and stood up, stretching. “That was… exhilarating... and extremely terrifying.” Ava ran her hand through her hair for a moment before blinking and straightening out. She turned to Ezekiel and looked him over for a moment. “Everything Jake with you?” She paused for a moment before shifting from one foot to the other. “Never mind, you can tell me later,” Turning her head, Lynn looked over to where the man had disappeared, and a small shiver ran down her spine, “That man gives me the heebie-jeebies, we should probably get moving instead of talk…. I’m sorry about your wings, I didn’t mean to… y’know.” She added as an afterthought, despite having just said they should move rather than talk.

Avalin walked out from the crates back onto the path, sort of unsure what they should do now, whether they should keep going the same way, or take a different direction to avoid troubles.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Happy Noko Character Portrait: Mark Williams Character Portrait: Jack Kempton Character Portrait: Evangeline Davis Character Portrait: Ester Pradin Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ezekiel Felton
22:10 P.M


Her laughter came as a relief to him, at least he wasn't the only crazy one here. It didn't matter if she tried to deny it, they were both completely mad for this, absolutely loony, bonkers. For some odd reason though, and perhaps it was the lunacy or the adrenaline, but a tickling feeling was running up and down the inside of his stomach. Vaguely his mind was running through how he thought it was cute how she covered her mouth in her embarrassment and how she tilted her head with a smile, and mortified he tried to lock these observations away. It had to be the adrenaline, that's what made the most sense, it also must be what was making his face feel like hot coals.

Ezekiel found himself back in reality as soon as she moved off of him, the two of them sitting side-by-side in momentarily silence as their bodies processed that danger wasn't so imminent. Even if they were apart now the previous proximity still lingered, his skin still tingling from where her breath had landed, remembering each touch. He furrowed his brows as he stood, brushing the dirt off his cloths fastidiously despite not caring about getting dirty. Being incredibly hygienic was never a habit someone could really form in a travelling circus, no matter how well they were treated. Silently Ezekiel told himself that he could remember it all so clearly because of the rush, along with all those years that he went without close physical contact, being in a cage most of the time did that to people.

He found himself only nodding in response, stretching out his wings and wincing as his nerves delivered pain to his head. There were some spots that would need to be put into a splint, but it wasn't anything he couldn't manage for now. "Copacetic." His voice was quiet and his wings folded again, as if to demonstrate that he would be fine and that there was nothing for her to worry about. When they had a real shot of getting out of here alive he found himself hardly thinking about the pain at all, and it wasn't as if his wings were special to him, not to mention that he probably would have never been able to use them for flight in the first place. Rolling his shoulders Ezekiel stepped forward and onto the path, looking both ways before gesturing to where Mr.Torture had come from on that assumption that he wouldn't head back that way anytime soon.

Again was their world filled with nothing but the sound of their own footsteps. There was no time for his body to relax, everything felt tense as they walked through the circus, stopping to check pathways before advancing, avoiding brutes and guards alike. Every one of his muscles felt tight, wound up and ready to spring at the slightest noise or hint of danger, anything that would jeopardize his own freedom. Yet he still stood close to Avalin, keeping her in grabbing distance in case they needed to run. While she could most likely run faster then him (Thanks to having normal feet and all), she didn't know the layout of the circus. After all that she had done for him, leaving her behind was the last thing on his mind, and both of them would get out of this in one piece if he could help it.

It wasn't far now, and he would have kept on going if it wasn't for noise, voices, and he turned to Avalin with a perplexed countenance. What was with that racket? Even if it was hushed the noise was such a contrast to the stillness of the circus, and it obviously wasn't from anyone that they should be running from. His wings twitched as he recognized a couple of the voices and he changed his course, walking towards the sounds rather than away, thinking that if it was what he thought it was then there was nothing for him to worry about.

He wasn't wrong, but he wasn't quite right either. He saw Ester and Mark, as suspected, but there were two other people that he didn't recognize, and then another who he didn't expect to be there at all. "Well, aren't we a bunch of eggs?" He questioned, making their presence known among the others as he walked closer, specifically approaching Ester and Mark, who he was more comfortable with. For a few quick seconds he looked between the two that were foreign to him, and then glanced back to Avalin, his eyebrows raised. Maybe she hadn't come here alone after all? "Are they with you?" He whispered, hoping that it was true, because if they were her friends then at least he could trust them a little bit.

Ezekiel stopped beside Ester, and in his surprise he was unable to force himself to smile, only managing a nod. So this was a full blown operation? He had to admit, he was impressed, and perhaps they would have a better chance at breaking out of this joint with more people, more minds. He tried to not think of the possibility of all of them simply being a bunch of saps. "Hi." He greeted her bluntly and looked over to Mark, the skinny boy's hands still tied and his own eyes widening. If this was going to be a group effort they should be getting out of her soon. The longer they stayed in one spot the more change they had at getting caught, and he would fight tooth and nail to see that they didn't meet with such a wanweird.

With this in mind he stepped forward without a word, avoiding vocalization as a means to not draw more attention to themselves, along with hoping that logic and nonverbal communication would do. He pulled out the key Avalin had nicked and quirked one of his eyebrows, curious to know if it would work on the chain lock as well. Figuring there was only one way to find out the winged boy sent a brief look over to the other male before knelling down behind Mark, his eyes squinting in the dark shrouds of the night, searching for where the lock was. When he found it he reached forward and grabbed the shackles, not giving any verbal warning. Really, he didn't know how to act in this kind of situation at all. Ezekiel bit the inside of his cheek as he placed the metal shaped by heat into the lock, holding his breath as he turned it, awaiting a click or a dreadful resistance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Happy Noko Character Portrait: Mark Williams Character Portrait: Jack Kempton Character Portrait: Evangeline Davis Character Portrait: Ester Pradin Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Skwidge
Avalin Seranu


Avalin looked up with an alert look to her eyes as he whispered a question into her ear, and she nodded quietly with a grin. She stood a ways off to the side as Ezekiel strode over to a man who was obviously in chains, and inserted the pick into the lock in attempts to free him. It opened rather quickly, but the reaction the man had was far from gratefulness at that precise moment.

It looked as if Ezekiel had tortured the poor fellow and then shot him. It was not a pretty sight. A feeling of sympathy wrenched Avon’s insides, but she refrained from doing anything- obviously he had freaked out by the close proximity, or, at least that’s what Lynn deduced. He began writhing and sobbing, and finally, his form went completely limp, and for a moment she thought he might have had a seizure or passed out or something.

And then he sneezed, to which a huge grin couldn’t help curl into her lips. ’Aww, he’s just like a little cat!’ After that traumatic experience was over and the man seemed to calm down and get up, and smile at one of his friends, she took a small breath of relief.

His friend then spoke up, reminding Ava of the situation once again, ” "Is there any more of you? We need to regroup and get a wiggle on if we ever plan on getting out of here." Avalin joined the group, making sure to stay away from the strange man as to not upset him again. “Nope, this is all of us. Let’s get going.” She smiled, though it faltered when Jack came on the scene with the snake-girl Evie had told her about, and she said that there was someone coming.

With all that had happened tonight, she most definitely was not going to question anything, and she set off once again herself towards the direction of where the three had come in. She paused and turned around with another good-natured smile, and called out to the others. “Well, you guys coming?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Happy Noko Character Portrait: Mark Williams Character Portrait: Jack Kempton Character Portrait: Evangeline Davis Character Portrait: Ester Pradin Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by slcam
Ester began to answer Evie's question, but she was suddenly interrupted by the voice of a man. Evie whirled on him, an almost dangerous look in her eye, though in reality, it was more comical than dangerous. Her face, not to mention her personality, was not suited to show any sort of truly threatening expression. The odd look on her face quickly faded when she realized it was another mutant, accompanied by Ava. Evie gave them a short smile, her thoughts quickly moving on to their escape route. Her mind inevitably came again to the thought of being caught, but this only made Evie more ready to get out of the circus grounds.

The new mutant who Ava had brought, however, seemed to have one more priority before they left. Evie noticed him approaching the bound mutant from behind. She raised a hand to her mouth, concerned and uncertain as to what he would do, but since Ester made no move to stop him, Evie decided to stay still. With a sudden movement, the chain was unlocked. The mutant's reaction was almost instant, as he fell to his knees with a horribly pained expression.

Evie let out a near silent gasp, pressing both hands hard to her mouth in an attempt to stifle it. As the poor man writhed on the ground, debris from the ground rising around him, Evie quickly realized that his pain was probably caused by the new mutant's sudden proximity, though the why entirely escaped her. She had done something similar without this extreme of a reaction. She could not figure out why it was different this time.

Slowly, her eyes filled with tears until she could hardly see the man. He was in such apparent pain, and so obviously struggling against it as the quavering pebbles around them seemed to indicate, that Evie could not help but feel for him and wish for any way to help him, any way at all. Finally, a single, large tear fell, releasing the dam until tears fell silently down her cheeks.

Finally, the worst seemed to be over, and Evie composed herself a bit better, stifling an urgent desire to gather the man into her arms and comfort him. What if something was different from before and she caused another horrible reaction? She could not risk that. Suddenly, he sneezed, giving Evie a start and jarring her from her thoughts. He slowly rose, giving a shaky smile to Ester. Perhaps he was alright for the moment?

Taking this as a cue that it was time to leave, Ava began to set off, calling softly back to them. Evie fave a resolute nod back to her friend and followed after. There was no time to lose, morning would come swiftly and they had to be far away by then.

The group quickly hustled to the edge of the grounds, a few close encounters, but nothing terribly risky, though Evie managed to fall a couple more times. Finally, they reached the edge of the grounds, and Evie peered out into the night. Her heart jolted when she saw the large, mostly open ground they would have to cover. She quickly spotted a large thicket of trees not too far from where they stood, which would be a good place to hide for a moment and regroup. She pointed and whispered softly, "There!" She scanned around the group, making sure everyone had seen the area she was indicating.

Hoping they would all follow, and make it, Evie set off first. She carefully scanned the circus tents for any watchful eyes as she hustled, but it was too late into the night for that. All the time they took gathering the various mutants seemed to have placed them at the time when the 'watch' was sleepiest, though it was purely by luck rather than planning.

Finally, Evie made it, quickly turning and counting to herself as the others entered the thicket.

One...

two...

three...

four...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ezekiel Felton Character Portrait: Samael Barker Character Portrait: Happy Noko Character Portrait: Mark Williams Character Portrait: Jack Kempton Character Portrait: Evangeline Davis Character Portrait: Ester Pradin Character Portrait: Avalin Seranu
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Ezekiel Felton
22:10 P.M

There was nothing he could do but stare as Mark reacted, seized by the tortures effects of his powers, and though his stomach twisted in guilt the boy with wings kept his visage steady, void of all emotions aside for the transitory expression of surprise. He should have been more careful, but they needed to go, and the others seemed to be on the same page as him, feeling that danger was nipping at their ankles. “Let’s blow this joint already, good riddance.” He replied, following where one of Ava’s friends had pointed to, smartly into the walls of plants that would gladly conceal them. However, his wings twitched, as if possessing a mind of their own that resisted being trapped in such cramp places, but he silently told them how useless they were and forced the feathered limbs to fold, lest he injure them further.

They complied into a state of inertia as he walked into the branches, the only sounds being inhales, exhales and cracking branches, leafs that crunched underneath their footfalls. Ezekiel almost wanted to hold his breath, fearing that if he made a single noise that was too loud it would travel, shatter their bad luck in a single act of respiration. His fingernails dug into his palms, and he pictured the edge of the circus. All they had to do was continue to head south, past there was what he perceived to be a quiet part of the city, and in it was a train station. They were getting closer to freedom, only feet away, and he made crescent indents in his skin.

Then his nightmare thoughts came true in the form of dogs barking, and the signals echoed into the night, shaking it and sending ice cold water through his blood.

“Shit.” He swore in a hushed hiss, his mind paralyzed for a second before his spine shot up straight, the adrenaline digging claws into his bones, fittingly triggering a reaction of flight. Nevertheless, his true instinct wasn’t selfish, and his first priority was to turn his head to the others, and of those that hadn’t made it to the thicket, with his eyes wild and fierce, more awake than they have been in his entire existence. “We have to run, now.” For some reason, perhaps he felt responsible or was simply indebted, Ezekiel reached for Avalin and grabbed her wrist, stepping out of their cover and into the camp, which wouldn’t be empty for long. “Run south and don’t stop running.” This was all he could manage, unable to add where they should meet if they were to become separated in the rush. It was all happening too fast, and with his heart pounding he looked towards Ava, seconds from running for his life, and hoping that they wouldn’t be caught, or worse, killed.