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Matthew Ashton

Searching for something lost

0 · 294 views · located in The Inside

a character in “Ultimate”, as played by ArhaHitomi888

Description


Matthew Ashton

Image

Nickname:
Ash (Rarely Matt)
Age:
20
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
English/Swedish
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
163lbs
Eye Color:
Maya Blue
Hair Color:
Burnt Umber
Complexion:
Wheat


Image


Defining Features/Interesting Features?:
He has a long, white scar running from just under his right pec across his stomach to stop at just above his left hip. He has a tattoo on the underside of each wrist, the left being a bass clef and the right being a treble clef.

How you got to the community:
Desperately trying to find a place to hide away from dangerous streets, he tried to hide in the overgrown park, but stumbled upon the community. So then, he begged to be accepted into the community, wanting somewhere safe to be and perhaps people to talk to that he didn't need to be afraid of.

Personality: Matthew is a naturally kind person, born with great empathy and compassion. He grew up in a very pleasant, middle-class family. His mother was a History teacher and his father worked at a call-in customer support service. His family was kind and loving, and he never had his shortage of company due to his two younger siblings (brother and sister) and his older brother, so he naturally gravitates towards groups, even if he does hang near the outsides of it. He doesn't like to be the center of attention and is more than happy to just smile, listen, and agree with another's ideas unless he genuinely feels that it isn't the right way to do things. He is extremely generous and enjoys cheering people up who are hurt or upset, easily empathizing with them. However, he does tend to be rather shy at times and isn't used to compliments, usually just shrugging it off with a little smile and a quiet thank you, since he is an extremely modest man. Matthew also believes that if you do good in your life, even if you die young, you would know you made a difference in someone else's life. Often times, he will try to listen a heavy, dark mood with some music or some jokes, but will avoid doing so if he knows that the air is tense and serious for good reason.

History:
Matthew was born in Manchester, England. From an early age, he proved to be talented in music and sculpting. He nurtured this talents in his years at school, schedule heavily leaning on Art, and a tad bit less on music. Doing his best in school, he was on honor roll, but was constantly picked on because he was a 'nerd' and was smaller then most people his age, although he coped by spending time with his new, kind girlfriend, Emilia. Matthew graduated early from a Private School when the Ultimate craze began, and being the child he was, was curious about it. He and Emila searched around for somewhere they could try out this new drug, but they had trouble finding it. Two years or so after, they managed to get their hands on Ultimate, despite how they show it was ruining their society. They both tried it, and before they realized it, they were at each other's throats. Once the drug wore off at the end of the horrible week, Matthew approached Emilia, proposing that they never do such a thing again. However, Emilia was affected by the addicting effect of Ultimate. While Matthew tried his best to avoid it again despite his body's yearning, Emilia quick gave in, actively searching for more and more. Soon, Emilia disappeared. Matthew was soon driven out of his home by a gang and was put on the streets while they raided and destroyed his home looking for Ultimate and things to sell. He lived in anywhere that he could find shelter and moved frequently, paranoid and afraid. As he tried to hide in the overgrown park, he found the community, he begged to enter, afraid of being attacked on the streets. He still tries to search for Emilia, still very much in love with her and being very worried about her.

Strengths: Matthew works well with others and has magnificent aim with anything that requires it. He is defensive of people in the community and has a moderate level of knowledge in medical care. Matthew is very smart and is good with coming up with plans and strategies. The thing he is best at is being crafty and sneaky, able to move about without many people noticing.

Weaknesses: Matthew is a fairly weak individual when it comes to endurable. He cannot run for long periods of time and can't lift things that are very heavy. Matthew is an overly compassionate person, and finds it extremely difficult to hurt someone or to even insult them, and killing them would practically destroy him. Matthew has fragile health, and will easily get sick and become useless.

Other:
He has a light swedish accent mixed in with his Mancunian british accent. Matthew is left handed. When he is stressed, Matthew falls back on smoking marijuana to calm himself down - Despite his better judgement.

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So begins...

Matthew Ashton's Story

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Rita sat with her feet up on the table - something very few others at the Base could get away with - and was digging out a groove in the table, glaring at the newbies across the room. There were always people in the dining room; they used it as a meeting place, a hangout and of course, a dining room, but it was also the first place the newbies met with everyone else. They were always over-friendly or too shy or simply incompetent and Rita didn't take kindly to incompetence. There was a ginger girl across the room that was too pretty for Rita to believe she was much use. That, and she was smiling. Rita rolled her eyes, almost embarrassed that there was anyone girly still left on the Inside. There was another guy too, with a mask clasped over his face. It made Rita uncomfortable, not being able to see his face: he could be anyone.

She glanced around for Joe, to confront him about letting a masked guy in, but she couldn't see him. First thing in the morning he was usually feeding the chickens or something like that. She sighed and pursed her lips, flicking a chip of wood from the groove in the table. Matthew was sat not far from her. He'd only been around a few months, but she liked him. He wasn't pathetic like some of the newer guys, or too smiley. She swung her feet down from the table and lent towards him. "Hey, Matthew." She ignored the surprise on his face - she wasn't usually this friendly - and nodded over to the masked guy. "What d'you think, trustworthy or not?" Not that she'd trust anyone before getting to know them. She didn't even really trust Matthew, but she at least felt safe with him.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Matthew looked down at his hands which rested in his lap. Where he sat was only a short distance from the other people in the base, but he sat alone. idly, he examined every little line in his palms before clenching his fists and looking down at his tattoos. Music. It had been quite a while since he had heard a live orchestra or a live choir, which saddened him. The only music which he seemed to hear were from the instruments that very, very few people had or songs people sang - While they were wonderful, he missed that fullbodied sound of a group. Sighing, he laced his fingers together and looked up at the newcomers. He was always very wary or newcomers, a couple turning out to be bad apples a couple times now - Oh god, how he hated hurting people. However, he reminded himself that one must do what they could to survive and what must be done must be done.

His analytic, blue-eyed gaze was locked on the newcomers. There appeared to just be two, a red haired girl and a masked man. A mask? Really? It seemed to him people simply became more and more bizarre as time went on. Recently, less and less newcomers had arrived, and he assumed that meant nothing good was happening outside the small sanctuary they called The Base. Hearing his name, he looked up to see Rita. A slight look of surprise crossed his face, it wasn't often that someone spoke to him, and Rita was known for not being a 'buddy-buddy' kind of person - Not that he could blame her at all for that. Sparing her the 'Call me Ash' response, he listened to her question and glanced over to the masked newcomer. His lips pursed into a thin line as the man seemed to size them up or observe them before fetching himself some bread. As he tore the bread apart and pushed it through the mask instead of simply taking it off, Matthew frowned. He didn't have a degree in Psycholoogy, but since his father was a psychologist before he was a customer service provider, he knew a bit, but only body language - Couldn't read into anyone further than that.

"His hands are rough, judging from how he is clearly a fighter, ye rarely meet a fighter with soft hands.." he spoke very quietly. "And the mask is clearly crafted, so i highly doubt that mask is of his own doing. Shoulders are squared and he's standing tall in an unfamiliar environment, meaning he is confident or feels self-superiority, and since he has not approached any of us, it's likely that he's used to working solo. His unwillingness to remove his mask also suggests distancing, i don't think he's good with being in groups or would prefer not to." he finished quietly before swallowing. "Personally, I wouldn't trust him, at least, not yet... A guy like that can survive on his own, so there's little he'd need us for. It'd be easy for him to split if he wanted to." His lips then pursed together tightly, as if he was silently apologizing to going on and on with explanations that she probably would have gathered anyway.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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"His hands are rough, judging from how he is clearly a fighter, ye rarely meet a fighter with soft hands.." he spoke very quietly and Rita stared at him, surprised at the detail of his evaluation. She'd never really spoke to him before. "And the mask is clearly crafted, so i highly doubt that mask is of his own doing. Shoulders are squared and he's standing tall in an unfamiliar environment, meaning he is confident or feels self-superiority, and since he has not approached any of us, it's likely that he's used to working solo. His unwillingness to remove his mask also suggests distancing, i don't think he's good with being in groups or would prefer not to." Rita almost smiled, but not quite. Apart from the creepy mask, he could be describing her. "Personally, I wouldn't trust him, at least, not yet... A guy like that can survive on his own, so there's little he'd need us for. It'd be easy for him to split if he wanted to." Yeah, he could definitely be describing her. Matthew folded his lips and Rita narrowed her eyes, trying to work him out.

"You can tell all that from a glance?" She asked, impressed, but not allowing herself to show it. As a result, her voice sounded a little sarcastic. She picked up her knife and moved to sit opposite him. "What about me? What am I like?" She knew it wouldn't be as impressive because Matthew had seen her around the Base since he'd got here. Or maybe that would make it more accurate. She dug the tip of the knife into the table so it could stand up on it's own.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Matthew was quiet, fidgeting as she went quiet, feeling like he had showed off. Just before he could apologize, Rita spoke, asking if he could truly tell all of that from a glance. "Well... It may not all be accurate... but yes." he replied with a very slight smile. "Before my father was a customer service worker, he was a Psychologist - Got laid off when they had cuts." he shrugged, but wondered if she was actually mocking him, due to her sarcastic tone. When she challenged him to analyze her, he hummmed. He flinched a bit when she dug the end of the knife into the table. "Well... That gesture i'd say suggests a willingness to intimidate very all else, as well as a show of strength." he said quietly,

After a moment, he looked up at her, observing her. "All your scars show you've been in your fair share of scuffles, but that'd be obvious - However, due to your youth and attitude, it'd be safe to assume you've been in them alone before. It's very obvious that you've discarded the usual, stereotypical feminine aspect of your gender for practicality - So you've also made adjustments for survival instead of falling apart like others have, which clearly shows high levels of intelligence and determination." he said quietly, unsure of himself at this point, not able to read someone he's known for a while without incorporating when he already knew. "This is more simple noting, but the gauntness of your face is covered with a fair level of form, so it'd be safe to say that you're used to hunger as your body has placed itself into starvation mode, meaning it is used to small amounts of food. When you walk, your head is held high and your hands stay at your sides, but your hands remain open as if always ready to take action, indicating pride, confident, but with a touch of caution and preparation."

Then, Matthew stared at her long and hard. "However, your distancing from others seems to suggest a prefer to be a more enigmatic individual. Your tough attitude also suggests you would be more likely to dislike someone of... a softer personality type." he added with a small nod. However, he stopped. "I apologize. That's the best i could do. It becomes extremely difficult to do such things when you've known someone for a while. Body language is best for observing at a distance someone who don't particularly know, or your knowledge of them could skew observations and judgements."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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"I apologize. That's the best i could do. It becomes extremely difficult to do such things when you've known someone for a while. Body language is best for observing at a distance someone who don't particularly know, or your knowledge of them could skew observations and judgements."

Rita watched him with her head slightly tilted and her eyes flicking between his. He had got her spot on. She smirked. "You're so damn polite, Matthew." She swung her feet up onto the table, embracing her willingness to intimidate, but also because it was comfy, and flicked a small chip of wood from the table with her knife. "You shun't apologise so much."

Before she could dig her knife into the table for another go at carving out the hole, it was snatched from behind. Rita cursed under her breath and rose slowly to her feet, knowing that in this place, it would be stupid to attack her. Joe would kill whoever it was, if Rita didn't first. Concentrate, Rita, you idiot. Don't bloody act like you want to be killed. She tightened her jaw and fisted her hands, her back still facing the thief, but she knew they wouldn't hurt her, at least without first seeing her face. Effing newbie, thinks he can prove he's stronger than me?

She whirled around, her plaits flying and arm raised. She'd had enough practise on the streets to know how to block someone wielding a knife with her eyes closed. Their arms collided and the knife spun to the ground, but Rita wasn't done. She twisted, sure her pigtails would whip his face, and elbowed him hard in the stomach. She wasn't stronger than most men, but she was fairly strong, and with the element of surprise (she doubted he'd expected her to attack to so quickly) she could easily bring him down. With a final stamp on his toes, she twisted back round to face him.

She almost laughed.

Instead of an embarrassed newbie, she found a red-faced, out of breath Joe. She smirked, knowing that Joe wouldn't mind the wrath of her reflexes, he'd deserved it. "Maybe you should find your own knife next time."

"I just wanted to get your attention," he replied and Rita snorted; he'd got that alright. "And point out," he glanced at Matthew, "there's nowt wrong with apologisin' too much." He picked up Rita's knife and handed it to her, handle first. She took it and sat down opposite Matthew, ready for a lecture. Joe's lectures weren't long, but they were boring. "You should learn from 'im instead of tryin' to bring 'im down to your level." Joe glanced at Matthew, trying to measure his reactions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Something was happening, finally. The couples conversation was broken up by an old guy. It was the guy who had let him into The Base, he seemed like a nice guy. Too nice and old to survive out here alone. Figures that he would be the person to overlook a place like this. The girl didn't seem to like her knife being taken and so she flipped and elbowed him in the stomach. Something that no one of his age could take, but it seemed like he could. Maybe this Joe, wasn't as vulnerable as Zer0 had first thought.

After their little scrap the girl sat down and listened to what he had to say. They seemed to have a good understanding of each other, since he hadn't gotten angry at her. Perhaps she was his daughter? It wouldn't of surprised him since he did look about the right age to have a daughter like her. Zer0 wasn't sure but he didn't care all that much either. They were just more people in this world that he had no reason to care for. If they can prove that they should matter to him then they would, but for now they hadn't even met.

Time for that to change. Zer0 stud up pushing the last piece of bread through his mask. He glanced over at the group as they spoke and begun to walk over slowly. Once he stood by them he spoke, "Hello." Not exactly a social king his speech was slow and tended to be short. Without invitation he sat down next to the younger man and waited to see what they would ask him. Many questions had been thrown at Zer0, mainly whilst he was walking down the dark streets of the Inside, also mostly about his mask, so he was ready to give answers. It's true some of them would be lies but they seemed to keep people happy and of his back. Once there questions where out of the way it would be time for him to do the questioning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Rita rolled her eyes. "Alright, Joe. Whatever: I'm sorry." Joe smiled and Rita turned away. Joe was one of the few people she trusted round here. They had an easy relationship: they respected each other, trusted each other and understood each other. Joe didn't know Rita's complete history, but he knew more than anyone else probably ever would. He'd been the one that had found her and taken her in. Back then, there were very few people at the base and it was a lot smaller than it was now. They didn't have the animals for a start. "You smell like chicken crap," Rita said and Joe chuckled.

"Lovely as always, Rita." He put a plate with a fried egg and bread down on the table. He took a mouthful. "I've got a friend on the edge of the city," he said and Rita folded her arms. She was Joe's spokesman and trader and general navigator of the streets. He knew her history and he knew she could survive out there and get things done. "He'd got a few bits that we could really do with here. Extras pillows, duct tape that kind of thing." Rita nodded and tucked her knife into her belt. She was about to respond, when the masked guy stalked over.

Rita stared at him and that creepy mask. She hadn't seen him approach anyone since he got here, let alone speak. She glanced at Matthew wondering if he had something to do with it, but he didn't seem to have an answer. "Hello." A voice came from behind the mask. Without another word he sat down beside Matthew. Under the table, Rita took out her knife.

Joe swallowed his food and, for a second, no one said a word. But then Joe swallowed his mouthful and held out his large, rough hands. "Nice to see you again. This is Rita and Ash." Rita clenched her jaw, noticing that Joe had called Matthew by another name, and narrowed her eyes. Before any more pleasantries could be exchanged, she cut in. They needed to get a few things out of the way before they could be civil; she didn't trust guys that felt the need to hide their identity.

"Why do you wear a mask?" She ignored Joe's eye rolling; she already knew he didn't always approve of her say it straight attitude.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Rita and Ash, names that Zer0 would remember, they could be useful in the future. Joe seemed like he knew these two well, then again he did give of the vibe of liking to knowing everyone here. While he didn't seem to mind that Zer0 wanted to keep himself to himself, Rita was quite the opposite. The first question she asked was the same as everyone else however. "Shouldn't you ask my name first?" He asked following a quiet laugh. "Oh, and a knife isn't a very nice gift, is it?" HE said before laughing again. Sure, he came across as arrogant but it meant that he would know if Rita wanted to know him or just the mask. Someone who is interested in mystery is not useful on the Inside, as they tend to get into all sorts of trouble. Yes, this thought could be seen as hypocritical but Zer0 knew that he could handle trouble, by himself. Trouble however did not seem to be something that would make you welcome in somewhere like the Base.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Rita pursed her lips and rolled her knife between her fingers. If this guy thought a happy comment about her knife would make her put it away he had another think coming, besides, she didn't like him avoiding the question. Trust wasn't easy to get round these parts, let alone if you chose to wear a creepy mask. Maybe it was some kind of statement? But all it did was draw attention to him, or maybe that was the point. "Sorry about 'er," Joe said, shoving another mouthful of food in. "Rita's suspicious of everyone, just takes some time for 'er to get settl'd with newbs." Rita scowled and kicked Joe under the table. If he felt it, he didn't react.

"What's your name, then?" She kept her eyes on the two holes in the man's mask and, without waiting for a reply, said, "And why'd you wear the mask?" She ran the tip of her knife under her fairly stubby fingernails, cleaning out the grime.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Matthew was quiet as he waited for Rita to speak. He had wondered if she would be offended since he got something wrong, or perhaps shrug him off like most others did. However, her reaction pleasantly surprised him and he chuckled lightly. "Is that a bad thing?" he asked, keeping his very slight smile. Matthew didn't give a bright smile much, the brightest smile having been when he was accepted into The Base. Since then however, simple, tiny smiles - Nothing too cheery. "Ah, i see." he said, wondering if he really did apologize a lot. "I'm sor- ... I'll try to work on that." he added with a nervous chuckle.

He had been just about to speak again when Joe grabbed the knife out of Rita's hand, causing an automatic reaction from Rita. He had been expecting it after being in The Base for a few months. Rita's reflexes were clearly a fighter's reflexes. He felt almost like he should perhaps stop Rita, but knew that Joe wouldn't be upset about her reaction - It was only to be expected after all. He smiled lightly when they began to sleep. simply staying quiet as not to interrupt their conversation. However, at the advice Joe gave Rita, he looked down at the ground and shook his head, as if to say it wasn't necessary. Rita was a tough one, and he was sure that it would do nothing but aid her in this kind of environment.

When Rita began to speak, he remained quiet, listening to Joe closely. Matthew looked up to Joe to be honest. He was certainly older and had the strength to keep a base like this, and in these times he was still kind enough to let people into his safe zone. It was wonderful, really. He also had quite the web of connections around the inside. When the newcomer approached them and spoke a quiet hello, he smiled and nodded in greeting to him, although kept his suspicions. However, he flinched, noticing how Rita narrowed her eyes and clenched her jaw when Joe called him Ash. Keeping his voice down, he spoke to her. "I spared you the pleasantries, i didn't want to waste time. Matthew works fine with me, Ash is just what i'm still used to my nickname being. I apologize." he said, tone very sincere.

However, at the newcomer's reply to Rita, he frowned. "Forgive us if we withhold our enthusiasm. We are more inclined to hear names and attach it to a face rather than possibly an alias attached onto an arts and crafts project." he said. He didn't mean to come off rudely, it was well known that Matthew was very cautious around newcomers - He wouldn't challenge them or be violent, but he'd be very untrusting for at the very least a day or so after. Matthew felt The Base to be his home, and the other people their barely less than family, so he wanted to make sure nothing could harm his home or new, almost family. "Also forgive us if we do not find your overwhelming confidence charming in these parts and times." he finished quietly, looked down at his hands once more. Slowly, he tilted his head up just high even to send him a sideglance. As Rita asked his name, he added afterwards. "What do you call yourself?" It could be noted that Matthew didn't ask for his name, or ask his name - But rather asked what he called himself. He knew there was no sense in asking about the mask, knowing the man would answer as little as possible.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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"This ones smart." Zer0 commented as he pointed his thumb towards Matthew. "Zero is what I go by, I have no reason to tell you my name. This mask..." Zer0 paused as if to taunt them. "I got this mask from a stupid gang who decided they wanted to take my knife." Zer0 looked at Rita and although she couldn't see it he smirked. He had avoided the question again, he didn't really want to tell them the answer. He hoped that Joe would tell them to lay off asking as it was his own business but he wasn't too sure if he would.

They seemed like good people they just needed to stop asking so many questions and maybe they could get along. Zer0 was knew that there was no point in showing anyone his face or telling them his 'real' name. He was no longer John Adams, and so no one should know him by that name. He was Zer0 and everyone knew him by that. All of John Adams friends and family were now dead anyway.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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"I spared you the pleasantries, I didn't want to waste time. Matthew works fine with me, Ash is just what I'm still used to my nickname being. I apologize." Rita ignored Mat- Ash's - response. She wasn't fussed that he hadn't corrected her, it was just the guy with the creepy mask that was doing her head in. When he finally got round to explaining the mask, he barely answered the question. She hadn't asked where the mask had come from, but why it was on his face. She pursed her lips.

"Zero," Rita repeated, wondering where the name had come from, but fed up of asking questions he wasn't going to answer. She didn't trust him and she was sure he knew it. She folded her arms, keeping the knife in her hand. "Nice to meet you," she said with a forced smile, making it obvious that their meeting was anything but nice. Zero did look muscular though and, if the story was true about the gang (whatever the rest of it was), he seemed like a decent fighter too. Might be useful.

They sat in silence for a second before Joe found something to break the tension. "Don't know 'ow much of this place you've 'ad a chance to see yet, but we've all sorts here. If you're planning on staying, we do expect you to lend a 'and here an' there." Rita glanced at Ash while Joe was talking, if she hadn't got such a disliking to Zero, she would've agreed with the comment he made about him. Ma- Ash, did seem smart and he talked strange too. Rita grew up on a rough estate where if you talked like that, you wouldn't survive a week. She was surprised he'd made it three years on the inside talking so... posh. But then again, there must be other people round here that talk strange. Joe's was nothing if not multicultural - well, as multicultural as they come. "We have chickens and cows, to keep the meals bearable when they ain't much food about. There's a big greenhouse out back, so if you're into plants an' stuff you could lend a hand there." Rita smirked, not imagining Zero as an into-plants kind of guy. "We need help cooking, cleaning, keeping guard. Whatever you think you'd be best at."

Rita was quickly bored of Joe's job listings and her mind wandered to his proposition to her. Being around a while had it's good points, at least she didn't have to clean or cook or feed chickens. While the Base gave her a safe place to sleep and decent meals, she was a street girl and had been brought up around the very gangs that now run the Inside. That's why Joe trusted her to go on his little expeditions and now she'd been doing it so long, she knew what stuff was always in demand and what stuff she rarely needed to scrounge of people. She'd always half wondered if Joe only took her on because he needed someone to run errands for him now he was getting old, that and she was a girl in need of a decent meal.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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"How about, I go with her?" Zer0 questioned Joe as he leaned forward onto the table, his eyes moving towards Rita. "I he-overheard you talking about some things you need picked up." Zer0 felt like this would be a good way to get on the good side of the overseer and the tough girl. She may need some help carrying all that stuff anyway. You can only carry so many pillows at once.

I seemed that Zer0 wasn't going to get anyone to trust him with taking of his mask, or at least telling them why he wears it. These people just didn't seem to want to take a risk in the unknown. It would be much easier for him if they did however. Maybe, it was just a case of spending time with them, then they may trust him or he might have to save their lives or something stupid like that. Whatever he had to do, he needed trust in this place otherwise he wouldn't be able to stay here for long.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Rita's eyes went wide. "No. No, it ain't gonna happen." Rita pressed her hands against the table, trying to emphasise her point. "I don't need some guy in a mask slowing me down. Besides, you'll just draw attention to us and that is precisely what I avoid." She swallowed, but kept her eyes cutting into Zero's mask.

"Rita," Joe warned, not looking up from his plate. Rita swallowed. "Do us a favour and get off yur high horse." She looked at Joe now, with a scowl tight on her lips. He was like a dad to her - not like her real dad, but a father-figure all the same - but sometimes he could be a real pain. "I know you could do it on yur own," he said with a glance at Ash and Zero, like he was saying it just to keep her happy. Her scowl deepened. "But I think it's 'bout time you let someone else share the work. You'd get more done after all."

She narrowed her eyes, knowing from the tone of Joe's voice she wasn't going to win this. Besides, Joe wouldn't let her argue much more. She growled, letting her frustration known. "Whatever. Just not with him." She nodded to Zero, knowing full well he could hear her. She didn't like his mask; she couldn't bring herself to trust him, least until she knew for sure he wasn't going to corner her and kill her or rape her.

"Zero is strong. And 'e'll..." he stopped himself before saying, take care of you, knowing better than anyone that Rita could take care of herself and wouldn't take kindly for someone saying otherwise. "'e'll watch your back. Even you don't have eyes in the back of ur 'ed." Rita pursed her lips, knowing she had lost, but not ready to admit it.

"You know I don't trust newbs, Joe. Especially when they've got something to hide." She didn't want to be alone with Zero, especially on the streets where he could easily say someone else hurt her. She sighed, searching for ideas - an idea at least. "Ma- Ash will come with me." Rita looked at Joe, but Joe looked at Ash. Joe didn't mind Ash going, but he might mind. Joe gave them safety and it wasn't a habit of his to force them back out onto the streets.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Matthew stayed quiet, watching them as they had their verbal conflict. While he listened, his mind whirred, thinking of all the possible stories behind the man who confirmed his suspicions of an alias. Perhaps he was a gang member in search of food, which is why he seemed to jump at the opportunity to gain their trust. That would certainly explain plenty of things for him. Perhaps he was simply another man in search of a short term stay and some good meals before moving on? He forced himself to stay logical, but many crazy ideas came to his mind - And all because of that mask.

When Zero offered to accompany Rita, Matthew's eyes narrowed a bit, untrusting and cautious. However, he felt almost bad being so cold. Perhaps he'd see for himself and take this... Zero fellow out of the base with him as he did some recon, check out how the gangs have been moving, any differences inside, and those kinds of things. He was quiet and stealthy, so it was one thing Matthew was good at at. Then he'd see if he could trust Zero or not, it would be a simple kind of test. Hearing his name, he looked up to Rita, catching the phrase just after involving him joining her on her supply run. Matthew seemed to think for a moment, but nodded and stood.

"Alright. One we get back and get everything moved into The Base, i think i'll take Zero here for some recon - See what he's good for." He said, but he gave Zero a cautious glance with something else, another message behind his maya blue eyes. This is your one chance, don't try anything[. "I gotta see if there are any changes out there anyway, more eyes the better." he suggested, his tone open to counter-ideas.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Joe and Rita looked at Matthew, almost surprised he'd agreed. Rita wasn't known for people wanting to hang out with her for any length of time. It was Joe who spoke first. "Okay. 'Ed down to the beach and they'll be a guy waitin' for you. Or 'e might just leave the stuff an' get out of there. He's not one to take risks." Rita knew the routine anyway, she'd done a few beach pick-ups for Joe in the last few months. She looked at Joe, checking there was nothing else and stood up, bracing her hands on the table.

"I'll take you, on the conditions neither of you wander off, think you can boss me around, or worse," she looked at Zero, still not ready to trust him. "If you decide to take a walk of track, I'm not gonna wait. We go to the beach, pick up supplies and come back. And just in case any of you feel inclined to break the conditions," she slammed the knife into the table and heard the wood crack. Joe sighed and muttered something about having to find tables out there if she didn't stop destroying them. Rita ignored him and looked at the eye holes in Zero's mask. Of course, she was talking to Ash too, but Zero was the suspicious one. She pulled the knife out, tucked it into her belt and marched out the room, not checking if the others were following. She couldn't be doing with stragglers or being slowed down, so if they weren't behind her she was leaving without them, no matter what Joe said.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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It seemed like Rita still didn't trust Zer0, not enough to be alone with him anyway. Ash however was quite the opposite, even suggesting that they did some recon together. At least he wanted to trust him, Rita didn't even seem to want that. Anyway, the plan was there, Zer0 would go with both of them to get some supplies from the beach. Sounded easy enough since Zer0 knew where the beach was anyway, not that he had any doubt in Rita. She seemed like she had been spending more time out there than in the Base.

Zer0 got up and followed behind Rita and slightly behind Ash. As they walked through the Base to get to the exit Zer0 quickly departed to take his crowbar out of his pack, that he had left where he was sitting last night. Once he had retrieved his weapon he caught up to the group and continued to move. "I know you wont trust me until I show you my face but below this mask isn't my face. That is not me any more, nor do I want it to be." He said once he had noticed that the area was empty of people, as they were all eating breakfast. They would properly pas it of as bullshit but at least Zer0 had explained why he wouldn't take the mask off. It was his identity, with out it he would be John Adams which was not someone he wanted to be.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick Character Portrait: Joe
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Matthew was quiet, listening for what Joe told them to do. Of course, it was like every supply run - Straight there, straight back, don't dally, be quick, and don't be stupid. He had been on a supply run not too long ago, but certainly didn't like going out on his own. He was just glad he seemed to have some sort of gift for sneaking about and moving without being seen, or he was sure he would've been in big trouble. As Rita began to speak once more, Matthew raised his eyes from the ground to her, not even having noticed how his eyes had flicked down to his feet. He nodded understandingly as she spoke, looking over at Zer0 occasionally.

Matthew stood, ready to leave for the supply run after checking his pocket for the items he carried with his at all times; A lighter, a switchblade, and a fresh piece of bread wrapped in the cleanest newspaper he could find lying about. "Understood," he said as he followed Rita, keeping up to his pace. A quick glance at the table and he wondered if there was spare wood for him to maybe make a table. Sapphire eyes then settled on Zero, still not trusting him completely, even if he wished he could. "Like promises from a serpent, even a Siren's song is sweet." he said in reply to Zero's comment, meaning that Matthew was wary that his attempt to explain could be false as likely as it was true - Except, in Matthew's fancy talk. However, once they left safety, Matthew's lips pursed tightly together and it was clear that it was unlikely that another sound would escape him.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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"I know you won't trust me until I show you my face but below this mask isn't my face. That is not me any more, nor do I want it to be," Zero explained and Rita listened, still skeptical. He must've been scarred, she thought, which would explain his reluctance to show his face. Rita didn't answer though, but instead walked on. They moved through the trees that had once been the park, but now provided perfect cover for the Base. Not many ventured into the trees, for fear of bandits hiding out amongst the branches.

"We need to stop of and get some Heal," Rita said, glancing around, with all of her senses hyper-aware. They always needed Heal down at the base, whether it was for a child's scraped knee or a knife attack. "But we'll do it on the way back, in case there's some in the pack we're picking up." They walked through the park until they came to the iron fence that surrounded it; Rita knew from experience it was too dangerous to go out through the gate. She jumped and grabbed the bar across the top, almost a foot above her head, and pulled herself up. She glanced at Zero and Ash and motioned with her head for them to follow, before jumping down to the pavement below. The stone tiles that had once made up the path were cracked, with weeds and grass pushing up between them. The street seemed deserted, but Rita knew - as she suspected the others did too - that there could be at least a dozen eyes on them right now. Fortunately for them, the gangs weren't usually subtle so they'd know when they were being stalked by them. But the gangs, as dangerous as they were, weren't the only threat.

She glanced up at the windows of the houses lining the streets, most were broken and some were just frames now, over a few, there was cardboard or dirty, stained material blocking the drought for the poor people that were trying to live inside. She swept her gaze up and down the street. There was a stray cat, just skin lining bones, running across the road to her far left and closer, there were four crows pecking at a dog's carcass. At least, she hoped it was a dog. The street was just about quiet - at least from noise that could signify danger. With a glance over her shoulder at Zero and Ash - she wasn't used to being on the streets with anyone other than herself - she turned right, towards the beach.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Ash didn't give him a real answer. "Like promises from a serpent, even a Siren's song is sweet." Zer0 had no idea what Ash was talking about, so he decided to ignore it and instead listen to Rita's answer. Rita however, seemed to refuse to give an answer, staying quite apart from mentioning that they needed to pick up some heal while they were out. Zero nodded and continued to follow them to the outer fence of the Base. Rita began to climb on the fence and signalled for Ash and Zer0 to follow.

Without allowing time for Ash to climb Zer0 walked past him and leaped up to the fence, before jumping over the top half to meet Rita on the other side in the empty streets. Zer0 scanned the streets with his eyes noticing a man down a small alley way, lying down next to a suspicious looking bag. Animal carcasses could be found on either side of the old road mostly eaten by ravenous birds, bigger animals and sometimes humans. Knowing the way to the beach, Zer0 decided it would be better to just follow Rita as if he didn't she would probably just get all up in his face. He did however know a nice short cut that they would probably pass. It involved jumping over a wooden fence and cutting through a small back path that brought you out by the beach. Maybe he would just see if Rita knew of it, to test her knowledge of the streets.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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They moved down the street in silence, weaving round piles of rubbish left dumped outside buildings. There were alleys cutting off the main street that stunk of dead animals and urine, where prostitutes and pimps hide out at night. It was too early in the day for them though, so there were just empty drink cans and the wrappings of Happy and Awake. Rita knew more about that than she wished. She used to sleep round here and spend the days down at the beach. She cast a side glance down one alley that provided a short cut, but sped up as they moved past it, hoping neither of the others suggested they go down there. She hugged her leather jacket tighter round her shoulders and kept walking through the street, her senses hyper aware, listening to each rustle of birds in the empty window frames and groan of a drunk slobbed against a wall.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Matthew followed Rita, careful of their surroundings. He was often the one who did recon, so he knew every turn of the area and what was going on there most of the time. He didn't know what was going on that particular day, but if it was the same as yesterday, he could remember every detail. The way to the beach was one often traveled, so he simply followed, not caring much about the particular route. Looking around himself, he felt his heart sink. What had happened to the world? Just five years ago, he had been happy with Emilia and his only big problems were tuning his instruments and making it to work on the time due to his sleeping in. Now, it was finding food, finding supplies, survival. A shiver went down Matthew's spine and he looked away, not wanting to stare at the carnage around him which used to be a glorious, well-loved city.

Noting the route Rita decided to follow started to run towards a dangerous area he had spotted in recon yesterday, he thought back. He looked up at the broken and weathered street signs, half of them missing along with their posts to use as weapons or building supplies. Trying to remember the street names, he thought back to when he would wander the streets during his afternoon jogs so long ago. Yes, he knew he was prone to reminiscing like an elderly man, but usually kept such things to himself so no one noticed.

"There's been a lot of movement in this area, a recent spike of gang occupancy." he spoke up, keeping his voice at a level below audibility for anyone other than he, Rita, and Zer0. "I suggest to avoid any complications with the supplies, we should go be careful around Mayfair, St. James, and Bloomsbury. There had been some kind of constant traversing back and forth from Bloomsbury, to Mayfair, to Belgravia, and back in the same, reverse manner, a day in each place. There'll probably be a large group occupying around Mayfair, moving to Belgravia later tonight." he stopped speaking there, not wanting to babble on and on. He said what was necessary, chit-chat could be saved until later.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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Once Zer0 had been alerted by Ash about the gang activity in the area ahead, he began to laugh quietly. "Excellent." He said in a small break from his chuckling. After he had got himself together, Zer0 took a deep breath as he felt he should explain himself. "I'm sure we can handle them, unless you have a better idea?" Zer0 almost made it sound like a challenge. Not a challenge of power but a challenge of the mind and street knowledge. As he issued this challenge he waved his crowbar around a bit as he checked it over. It was still lovely and rust, just how he liked it. It would infect any wounds on his enemies but his gloves would save him from any damage the rust could do.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Ashton Character Portrait: John Adams Character Portrait: Rita Roldrick
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"At this time in the morning, there won't be too many around," Rita said, knowing gang members were mainly nocturnal. This wasn't, of course, a rule and she was sure they'd be a few hanging round ahead. If she was on her own, she'd be fine. She could stick to the shadows and keep out of their way and even if they did spot her, they'd probably be too busy battling with hangovers to bother her. Maybe wolf whistle or shout a few comments, but nothing she couldn't handle. Although, it wasn't too long ago she'd come across one high on Ultimate. He was dangerous and her knife wasn't much of a match for him. In the end, she'd managed to stab him in the leg, but only after she'd received a nice load of bruises, but she felt lucky that was all he had given her. She knew of too many stories of girls going out and being raped, sometimes even being taken back to wherever the gang was staying on that occasion.

For at least the second time that morning, she wished she was alone, but maybe the others would prove useful if they came across a handful of people. Especially, if they'd been using Ultimate. The only way Rita could get through them completely unscathed was if she wasn't noticed.

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Matthew pursed his lips together, noting that the information was brushed off fairly quickly. Even though most gang members were nocturnal, they had been a bit erratic recently as more Ultimate had been passed around and had jacked up lots of the gangsters, although most of them stayed to their usual routine, keeping active at night. Although, that made it a bit dangerous as well - The ones being out during the day now probably hopped up on Ultimate. Matthew shuddered and he sighed. He needed to get some other patches, perhaps some Happy and Sleep for himself, but only if there was any they could spare - He wouldn't take what others needed. Matthew glanced head before gesturing.

"The street here to the left is a bit of an erratic area, just as fair warning. There may be a couple daywalkers out here." he said, before falling silent. He got the impression that the less he spoke, the better - Which was usual. Despite the information he had to offer, they probably didn't need it after all. Matthew looked about uncertainly before continuing to silently follow.