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Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight

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a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight, by Shi-chan.

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Shi-chan holds sovereignty over The world, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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The world is a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight.

9 Characters Here

Timothy Arden [5] Deadly both up close and from a distance
Anna Hellsang [3] A strong but shy girl, who is very talented when it comes to melee combat with weapons.
Quinn Glanz [2] A Trigger Happy, Joke Cracking Guy with a Love for Weapons.
Viktor Lucair [2] [Spoiler Alert!]
Callen McDugal [2] A funloving and quirky girl with a strange origin.
Old Man Hellsang/Hellsang House [0] A man who is no longer seen, and a house that speaks with his voice
Gilliam Blake [0] "Call me Gill....you don't mind if I smoke, do you?"

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Viktor's mood fell when his conversation was broken with Callen. He was trying to get something serious done, masked in light banter and idle conversation. At least he knew what weapons to give her...
He sighed and looked up at Timothy. He shrugged. "I don't mind. Go ahead." A robot came buy and grabbed the empty cookie plate. "A double batch for a double-date? Mr. Arden, you seem to be lacking the company," it chimed and stamped off again, persistent in trying to add awkwardness to a perfectly fine nothing. "Freak."

Viktor sat up and stretched. "So..."

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Right then the dinner bell rang, Anna looked up, as a reflex action, and then begun folding the papers so that it could fit in her inner pocket. "We better hurry, I don't want to miss out."

Theo shrugged. "You're the one that wants to talk about sex, Anna. Don't look at me like I'm the fre-" he realized his poor choice of words before he finished with them. His voice dropped. He slid his hands back in his pockets and looked away. "I've already read it. All of it. A lot."
Theo followed her to the library, getting his nose nipped by cold again. He waited for the librarian to bring the book out, and chuckled at her reaction. "Anna, it's a... saga. There's eight books in here, and a short-story. It's well near a thousand pages. Ma'am, if we could get everything pre-The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, that'd be great." That ended in an infinitely smaller book, only two-hundred some-ought pages. "Thank you." He nodded. She nodded and went back to her clerking post.

Theo stuck the book in one of his pockets. Only half of it it. He had to keep a hand on it to keep it in as he followed Anna out. "We'll be sitting with Ruskie, Crazy, and Linebacker, right? Uh... t-those were codenames I thought of, on the way here... You're Agent Steel. I was thinking we could get a cat, name it Biggles."

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"Ooh, I get 'Agent'? Neat." Anna said, already liking the code name. "We should call it Captain Biggles, then we can all go 'Look, it's the Cap!'" She pointed down the hall, faking a surprised look as she said the last part, pretending that some hero dressed in tights and wearing cat ears had just jumped out from around the corner. Even in her mind it was ridiculous, but rather amusing. A second later, it morphed into a really fat cat with a cape. Both ideas made her giggle. She then began counting on her hand, trying to match the other names with the rest of the team.

"I think I get the others too, but what about you? If we get code names, we can't have someone with a regular name. Unless it's very misleading. Like calling you Beatrice, but that doesn't fit at all. Got any ideas?" Just as she asked, they reached the dining hall. Many of the students had already found places, and the room was alive with chatter and even the occasional burst of laughter. "This isn't like him..." Anna muttered, before she spotted the others not so far away. She raised a hand as Callen looked up, and caught the eye of the head haired girl who instantly waved them over.

As they walked to them, she noticed how some people stared at her, and when she looked back, they simply turned their faces and acted like . She didn't realise why at first, but then it dawned on her that she probably looked a lot scarier now than when she'd worn bandages to cover it up. A part of her wanted to just walk by and ignore them, but she couldn't stop herself from turning around on the spot, brushing hair in front of her face. Was it really that easy to notice? She was going to have to show her face to people for the rest of her life, how was it going to make it easier to do so if she was scared of what they'd think?

"Head up, chest out, shoulders back. At least look the part." She told herself, before taking a long breath of air.

"You gonna sit here or what?" Callen asked, as she leaned a little away from the table.

"Yes, of course." the other girl replied, finally moving closer to sit down.

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Timothy somewhat smiled back, and took he seat across from them. He did like her genuine welcome from her and he didn't expect one from Viktor. Things settled into place nicely, and he was comfortable in the seat. He didn't shrug, a little too casual. The uniform did seem to have some influence on him. His posture was strong, straight back, orderly. Like he had used to be before everything. Except this time Arden had more people to sit with. Impending doom had a way of mixing things up. He agreed with Callen's conclusion, things were getting mixed up.

"We tied." He responded to her question about Anna's whereabouts "She said she was going to wind down. Don't know where she went." He looked around, partly trying to spot the girl but also taking stock of the set up. Maybe it was a party. Certainly it was some sort of event. He noted a few things, particular the people already here seemed close, if not exclusively couples. He looked back around at Callen and Viktor, although nothing showed in his face, He didn't think it was like that. Except when the robot turned up. That made Timothy curious and somewhat surprised, he didn't show though. He didn't know robots could be so presumptuous. Still, he managed to smile at the pair. It was obvious they weren't and as was said, Timothy didn't have a companion.
"Dates are good ways of taking your mind off things." He said grinning at first but it dropped away quickly. Looking around the room as it began to fill "There is a lot on peoples minds. A party would be nice."

He saw Callen wave at people behind him and turned. The first thing he noticed though was the silence that spread from her entrance. Like oil across water. He frowned at the reaction. He had still manage to treat her like things were normal, even with the scars. He supposed it could never be normal and she couldn't expect people not to be shocked. More he was just worried about she was coping with it. Her father seemed to despise her because of it. Yet he watched what she did. Taking in all the stares, almost showing off. For a moment it seemed tough for her, enough that concerned Timothy. Yet he couldn't help but be impressed. She was tough, capable.

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If Timothy sat like a gentleman, Viktor was his opposite; his back was bent, shoulders over the table, elbows on it. "A hot one, maybe. Party or date." He shrugged. Robots aren't supposed to have personalities, right? Is Mr. Helsang trying to make me fuck Callen? Goddamned pervert's worse than my dad! How the hell is Anna not a freak in a metal box? Probably because they don't talk much. He looked at Callen, and wondered, in hypotheticality, Mr. Helsang would wish for them to procreate, minus the creating. I bet he pokes holes in condoms and give them out like Christmas gifts. Motherfu... ugh, I don't want to think about it. I wonder how the Orly's doing back home. Probably shooting people, KGB wannabes. Orange Movement, assholes; get with the times!
Then the room got quiet. Viktor sat up and looked over his shoulder at Theo and Anna. If there was laughter following, it meant it was Theo's fault; there was none, so the only other source caught his attention. It's not that bad... I knew a Soviet Vet that's missing a fourth of his head. Crazy blind old man never missed his wallet... "Hi, Anna. Theo." He nodded and scooted closer to Callen so they could sit on either side of him.

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"I didn't think of a name for myself, Agent." Theo shrugged and watched his feet as he walked behind her. "Maybe... uh... um...huh...Well, what makes me different from the rest of the group? I'm the shortest, I think. We could call me Finn... Like Finn the Half-Great? He's better than some but less than others?" She didn't read; she wouldn't get the reference. "He's famous. But obviously not real. His dad was a giant but his mother was a human. So he came out half-giant. And that's kinda like me... I'm smart, right? But if I beat Viktor in a game of Chess, he might attack me. And I cannot bodily defend myself; the best defense is to run. As far as you can. Or keep punching until they realize you don't know what you're doing."

Then they got to the luncheon hall. Tables got quiet as they passed. Theo sighed and looked at Anna. "Ignore them," he mumbled and put his arm up around her shoulders like a comforting hug, the way she touched him in the stalls. "I think you're still beautiful." He was surprised at how sincere he sounded, and that he said it at all.

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She stared at him like he was crazy. She didn't even try to hide that she was now completely convinced that this boy was batshit crazy, and she had no idea what to say to him. His arm was still around her shoulders, and even though his words confused her, even to some point made her feel angry, she still felt that it would be too rude to shake it off. He was just trying to make her feel better. He was just being nice, that's all.

"How dare you?"

The thought just popped up in her head as she looked at him, trying to get a better understanding of him. It contradicted what she was trying to tell herself, but it was much stronger than the other thoughts. She had a much easier time believing that he was some prick trying to play her for laughs, rather than he was actually being sincere. "How dare you tell me lies straight to my face? Have you forgotten who you're talking to? Make me mad and I will crush yo-"

"Ahahah, Theo, the charmer!" Callen yelled, halfway standing up from the table to greet them. She reached out to ruffle his hair, which made Anna step back so as to not get punched aside by the other girl's enthusiasm. "You're such a cutie-pie, do we need to talk about rubbers again, eh?" she continued, while Anna sat down between Viktor and Timothy, quickly nodding a hello to both. This left the final seat between Callen and Linebacker.

A lovely smell had spread in the hall, bringing memories of roasts and sauces, big family dinners. The other meals had been somewhat luxurious too, but nowhere near as personal as this. Looking around, she got the feeling that for some reason, this evening was special. They were using the silverware, custom made from her father's factories. Several sets of expensive plates ordered from only the best craftsmen. Crystal glasses. She knew these items. They were used for when important people who had money showed up.

Why was it being brought out now?

"Vik's gettin' me a taser," Callen said, trying to start conversation as she once more sat down. "And bear mace. I'mma be a regular force of nature out there. We've been talking about our assignment, aight, and we've got the best plan. Ever."

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Viktor watched Theo and Anna make their way over, his arm around her and her explosive response. He tried to hide his amusement. Then Callen got up to greet them. "Careful; you wouldn't want to make me jealous." They sat without incident; people slowly went back to talking, in two's and three's, but not all of them. You'd think an "Army" that fights the undead would be better mannered. "You think your dad, Anna, has anything nonlethal? I quite like the idea of meeting Mr. Sorcerer with a Hornet." It took him a second to realize they likely didn't know what that was. "It's a little grenade full of tungsten balls, used in Russian prisons. When the canister explodes, hundreds of little metal objects go flying around, bouncing off every surface, until everyone in the room is on the floor and crying." He shrugged. "It's effective."

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Theo didn't look at her until her head suddenly whipped around, one good eye wide. His arm fell off like it died. "I'm so sorry." He blushed and stuffed the hand back in his pocket. He kept his head down while Callen ruined his hair. "N-no, I d-don't think we do..." He shook his head and decided to sit across from Anna, next to Timothy. He swallowed and avoided eye-contact. "Uh... w-what's the plan then...?" Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I shouldn't've said anything. I'm an idiot. I didn't mean to hurt her feelings... I don't even know how I did. What the fuck is wrong with women?

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Timothy was a little taken aback at Theo's actions, so forward and bold. Not to mention his compliment sounded so similar to Timothy's own during their spar. He quickly suppressed the expression. It was nothing to bother with, he told himself. The way he looked away, in thought, was a little obvious though. No, he didn't blame Theo for tying to help her feel better. It was none of his business but he still felt a little bit of dislike for the kid. If Theo wanted to move on Anna that was his freedom yet he ought to do it in a slightly less obtuse way. Timothy could figure that Anna wasn't so happy, though not to what extent. He had never tried to patronize her and guessed that's what got on her bad side of her. Timothy had admitted she was attractive, not beautiful, and that was when she was still wearing the bandages. True beauty was in the eyes of the beholder but he didn't think you could count facial scars anywhere near that. He might want to consider his own opinions more carefully though next time and not let them slip out like earlier.
No.
He couldn't start disliking Theo, they were a team and there would be no loose links. It was a roundabout route of thought but he came to the conclusion, one of many. Another was not to confuse his promise to protect Anna with his own feelings. He wasn't an older brother or a father to be so overprotective with everything. She already had an awful dominant parent and he certainly didn't want to relate to Mr. Helsang.

Arden quickly continued watching as Callen boisterously interrupted, thankfully that she could sense the situation better then he could. Probably knowing if or when Anna would snap. Theo, for his part, seemed to be incredibly ashamed by his mistake. Timothy did feel sorry for the younger boy, a lot of people could make that mistake even if they had known her better. He assumed they were new acquaintances. For some reason he couldn't help but thinking to of the newest addition to their group as 'the kid'. Even if Theo wasn't that much younger than Timothy he acted so nervous to make himself look diminutive. Timothy gave the American a reassuring pat but otherwise didn't pay too much attention. Instead he smiled at Anna and looked the the pair across from him curiously. When he first sat down he really didn't think much of them together. Yet those two comments from them he looked at them in a different light. Perhaps. Callen did seem to speak quite eagerly about the idea of a taser. It was odd because Timothy could pick Viktor as rather more violent. He didn't dwell on it, joining in the conversation but glancing at Anna. She seemed a bit distracted.

"Non-leathal? We can't afford that can we? Yes, we can't use explosives or LMGs in the middle of London..." The idea was preposterous. Unless somehow they could get by the authorities. Even then it wouldn't be effective. "but a taser wouldn't stop a werewolf quickly, certainly not a vampire. We could use tear gas and water cannons too but that's not the point. We're dealing with monsters here." He was surprised at himself, getting somewhat riled about this. The memory of the ambush; the slaughter at the academy; They weren't half-hearted attempts. He knew that they had to be completely committed to this if they wanted to pull through. He managed to keep his anger down. Sitting back in the seat, straight-backed and business-like. He sighed, trying to calm. "Lets hear the plan then just make the most of whatever is happening tonight. There will be time enough on the trip."

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"Discretion is key." Callen said, agreeing with Timothy that explosives were completely out of the question. "If we're in mid-London and make something explode, not only are innocent people going to get hurt, but we'll be treated like terrorists, people will call the police on us, and I'm pretty sure we don't have any official authority outside these walls. Remember the subway incident? Everybody's still affected, just like the towers, y'know." She paused, lowered her gaze and then cleared her throat. Most people didn't like it when these things were brought up.

"We're going to disguise ourselves as tourists. Backpackers on foot. Travel around via buses and the tube. Anna's been through there a couple of times," The longhaired girl looked up as her name was spoken, until then she'd been staring over her shoulder at the nearby table. She hadn't been in the city for the last two years or so, but she'd been there on vacations and business meetings (Or rather, had been deposited in a hotel while her father conducted business), but nothing much could have changed in that time. Callen continued, "It's just going to be a wee bit confusing the first couple 'o times, but we'll get the hang of it. So far we have no evidence to substantiate that our target is anything but human, so we should focus our attention at ground level. I mean, why would he be jumping 'round on rooftops, aight? He ain't no burglar, and so far he's just kept his head low. If anything, I'd expect him to do the same as us, hide in the crowd. His role has been as a spy of sorts, Mr. Hellsang said that he'd been at the academies and any village or similar attacked within the last month, so if we're real good now, there's a chance we could save London."

To her it seemed like the next logical step. Take out the special forces who had a chance of killing you, then move on to a bigger city (preferably in Europe, since Europeans can't seem to agree on anything unless America tells them to,) and then just expand the operation. If they were fast enough, they could have entire countries in days. And that was just the beginning.

Anna hadn't said much, after all, she was a soldier. Muscle, not brains. She also just happened to agree with Callen, so there was nothing to object to. The doors to the kitchen opened, and waiters wheeled out, carrying food on silver trays. They divided into smaller groups, one serving each table.

"Excuse me," Anna said to one of the robots as it presented her with a tray of fish. It both looked and smelled delicious, but she couldn't help the nagging feeling that something was wrong. "Are we celebrating something? Are there special guests tonight?"

"No, Mr. Hellsang simply wants to show his gratitude towards you all. He's very thankful that you are willing to lay down your lives for his cause."

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Viktor waited for Callen to stop speaking before doing so himself. "As we're in a city, suppressors and hollow-points are our best bet. A weapon that can fire both, at man-stopping power, is the Vektor forty-five ACP by Kriss. Package standard equipment includes an adjustable folding stock, top and bottom Picatinny Rails, ambidextrous fire-select controls, custom flip-up iron sights, mini-cleaning kit, light receptacle cover for optional Surefire Executive Series lights, cable lock and one Glock 21 13-round magazine (limited to 10-rounds in certain localities)." He smiled. "And that's just every-day American shopping. We'll be using thirty-round magazines. The forty-five ACP is not a heavy round; the kind we are using are hollow points, so when fired the head mushrooms and reveals a spear-tip inside. For the suppressors, we'll also be going at half-load subsonic rounds. They will not go through walls, but they will shoot through fences, clothing... people. Just no body-armor. If such a target is seen, such as the Sorcerer who very well may be wearing Kevlar, aim for the legs or head." The two soldiers should know most of those words... "As for our sidearms, I selected the Colt M1911, fires forty-five. Same hollow-point, but without the possibility of a silencer and no subsonic ammunition."

The waiter robot came around. Viktor looked up, to see what was for dinner... "Smug fucking bastard." He didn't care that Anna was next to him, not that she likely minded anything. "Pass the pike."

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Theo took a wary glance at Anna. He looked back at the table when she looked up, Callen having mentioned her. He knocked his finger tips together nervously, listening to Callen and Viktor. Kriss made... the Kriss system... no recoil. M1911 made famous by WWII... Subsonic ammunition... doesn't make as much noise. Hollow points... useless on armor... Good on flesh... He cleared his throat when Viktor finished. "And I-"
Then a plate chinked to the table, porcelain and fine China carrying fish fillet, fish mongie, fish allimo... "Tres bien! Le poisson sent ce que ma mère a essayé de faire. Tourné merde suédois en..."* He swallowed. "Uh... you guys don't speak French, do you? No? Okay..." He sighed while one machine started to serve him. Too bad my one skill isn't useful where we're going.

Then the thing spoke. He felt blood drain from his face as he looked up. "Eh? Well, that doesn't quite put's'n'a great mood, now dusit? Ye'd think 'e'd'a told'a robots'ta be just a tad bit'r optimistic, 'eh?"


*Very good! The fish smells like what my mom tried to make. Turned Swedish shit into...

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Nobody got his point it seemed, but he had let it go already and wasn't about to bring it back up. He simply listened, agreeing with most of the plans getting delivered. Backpacking was the best way to go, practical and unassuming. Not to mention the packs would be essential for carrying the equipment they needed. He had been to London himself some time ago, although not extensively using the public transport. Callen's revelation was new to him, probably accounting that he wasn't present for their initial briefing where the sorcerer's presence was actually explained. So it was even more pressing than previously. It made Timothy uncomfortable now, if the existence of a city as big as London was under threat why were they hnere in such exquisite surroundings. He nodded in appreciation of Viktor's rather methodical and straightforward description of their weaponry. He had his own preferences, of course that couldn't really be taken into account when the alternatives were far better in terms of teamwork practicality. The pure information did help to ease the soldiers rather angst mind.

He let his shoulders uncharacteristically slump for a moment, rolling his neck with a silent sigh. Easing the tension out of him as the delicious scent of food drifted through the air. The droids whirring around and serving every table. He straightened again as it laid a meal before him. Fish wasn't his favorite kind of food, often he almost felt nauseous while eating it. Sushi was a complete no go. Anna's question caught his attention. It was quite a bit of effort being put into the meal and setting. Arden assumed it was to deliver a reprieve from the building shadow ahead. The girl's worried voice did suggest that maybe it wasn't what he thought. In the end it turned out it was. Not in the way he expected it to be explained and not in the way he liked. It was a show. Maybe there was genuine encouragement in there but from what the young man had experienced Mr. Helsang was not one for sentiments. He didn't like it but most certainly he didn't like the last comment. Jaw and fist clenched his grey eyes locked on the dish before him, starting to brim with anger. 'His cause'? Was Mr. Helsang so arrogant to think that he was who they were going to die for. They should be fighting for the world. For the lives and happiness of millions entirely unaware of the threat. There was no other cause or any way for a single person to claim to direct it. Sure as the very real hell-on-earth there no other agenda.

Timothy could see why Anna could hate her father so much. Maybe the near-adult soldier was a idealist. Often enough he got angry but this was still different to the other times where he merely taken refugee in the predictably of brooding. He pushed his seat away from the table, trying not to let his feelings show as he quickly gave a contrived reasoning. Voice surprisingly calm as he excused himself.
"I'm just going to wash my hands."
Immediately he strode for the exit, actually heading towards the nearest bathroom and sink. He had said he would wash his hands and he didn't lie like that. The path was automatic, his thoughts too caught up elsewhere.

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"Maybe he doesn't like fish?" Callen said, as she looked after Timothy when he left.

Anna shot a sideways glance at the other girl, a kinder look in her eye than before. "Maybe he is just washing his hands. Sometimes people do that. Not everything needs interpretation." Her tone was that of a teenager who believed they knew better than everyone else.

"When did you become such a sour-ass bitch, luv? I liked you better when you hardly ever spoke." Callen answered, a smile on her face. It was clear that she didn't mean anything by what she was saying, and Anna didn't seem particularly struck by it. This was obviously pretty normal for the two girls. Anna's eye widened, and she sucked in air, puffing up her chest like a rooster about to get into a fight.

"You fat cow." She cleverly retorted. An argument of this magnitude had never before in the history of the world been presented, and for a moment time stopped, every star in the sky twinkled and no one posted kitty pictures on the internet. Callen erupted into laughter, for a few seconds forgetting how serious they had all just been. Even Anna cracked a smile, and shot Theo a shy glance, as if to apologise for getting so weird about him. Callen looked around, placing a hand on both Viktor and Theo's shoulder.

"Let's enjoy this, it's probably going to be a while before we get anything as good as this, don'tcha think?" She said, the wide smile still on her face. In the meantime, Anna looked to their waiter, who had ignored all comments regarding it's boss (They were probably recorded whether or not it said anything), and put on an attitude she knew from her father. She spoke in that tone, and that look, those things that meant a kind, but firm order was being given. "You may bring us the bird, I'm not in the mood for fish."

"I want that too!" Callen chimed in, quickly raising a hand to mark herself. The robot seemed to nod, and then wheeled off back into the kitchen. It was not the robot that returned, however, but a tall dangly man in a chef's outfit walked out instead. He had an elongated face, and a thin, thin moustache. He looked almost like a cartoon character, and he was heading straight for their table.

Anna looked at him with confusion painted all over her. "There's never been humans working here." She whispered to the others while he walked towards them. He held a platter with what seemed to be turkey cut into bits in his arms, and had a lively bounce in his steps. "Who are you?" she asked, suspicious of him already.

He smiled at all of them, and hummed a short note, like the end of a song, before presenting the bird to them. While he did so, a crayon appeared between his fingers, and Callen instantly noticed. "That's mine. I gave it to Clive. Is that you again?!" She whispered the words as she leant forward, a little too eagerly, almost knocking over several glasses. The chef nodded, "Yes it is," he lowered his voice "Take something or they'll notice! Where's Timothy? Why does he always run off?! It's so hard keeping track of you all, you have no idea what I must go throu-"

"Clive, please." Anna interrupted, her suspicions all gone. She began taking meat from the platter, doing as she was told. The Clive-chef sighed loudly, before handing Callen her crayon back. "I didn't think you'd recognise me in human form without something you'd remember." The redhead girl took it, and buried it in her pocket, thinking that he was right.

"Listen, I heard your plan, it sounds good. I'm very proud of you, but..." He held a dramatic pause, Anna still piling onto her plate, becoming more and more worried that it all wouldn't fit there. She'd had more than her share now, but Clive completely ignored her when she signalled for him to move on. In panic, trying to look natural, she began putting it on Timothy's plate. She was just saving him some for when he got back, anyone could see that. Clive kept speaking.

"There's rumours in the kitchen, you wouldn't believe how these guys can gossip, it's like watching daytime-telly! Anyway, they're talking about emptying the stable when everybody's gone to sleep, and one of them asked for something to cut wires with. That's just weird because they all have that gear installed. I know, I was one of them. And, some came in covered in dirt, they'd been digging. Why would they be digging, and more importantly, where? Any of you know anything?"

Callen and Anna both shook their heads, and Callen held out her plate to have Anna serve. It didn't seem like the boys present knew anything more.

"Well, I'm trying to find out more about this, I can tell they're keeping something from me, I'm getting really worried that something's up. I'm getting you out on your mission tonight, not tomorrow. I couldn't find out what the problem with your ride was, but it's ready none the less. Does anyone want something special to drink and when can you meet me in the hangar? Wait until most are asleep, we have to be a little discrete about this. I think that we're in-fil-tra-ted."

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Another coed post!

Viktor started to eat, ignoring the so-thought "Unwelcomed guest" they had. He ignored Anna and Callen's banter when he realized it was in good humor. He ignored Timothy leaving. He ate quietly, hardly stopping to taste his meal.
"Hi Clive," he mumbled when the man identified himself. "You don't taste very good." Viktor shrugged and got down to a half-plate. "You have fries or something salty in the kitchen? Fish isn't much without 'chips,' as I'm sure you'd say."
--
Theo blushed just a shade when Anna ventured to look at him. He shrunk on himself when the two girls "Argued," geniunely scared of catching a stray fist. But it settled, and Turkey came out to make a real feast. Theo abstained from the bird, sticking to the plate of fish he already had.

Then the man said he was Clive.

Theo sneezed impulsively, barely catching his nose and mouth with the crook of his arm. "Oh, h-hi Clive. Uh... Been doing alright?" He looked at Viktor, who seemed rather excitedly uninterested. "The hell?" he mumbled. The fish wasn't good enough to be unconcerned with infiltration!

Viktor looked at him. "What's wrong?"
"Well... Eh-"
"Cat got your tongue, Theo?"
"N-no."
"Hairball?"
"Wouldn't these jokes be better for the former cat, Viktor?"
"You're the one with apocalyptic allergies."
"Yeah well..." Theo couldn't find a good argument against that.
"Besides; mom always told me not to play with my dinner."
Theo stared at him. What the fuck is your goddam problem? This thing died to save and warn us, and you're just going to make fun of it-him? His left hand balled into a fist. He leaned against the table and swung his arm, but the fist became a slap that knocked some herring from Viktor's mouth. Viktor stared at him incredously, too surprised to be angry. "Your mom did a shit job of teaching you manners." Theo sat back down, picked up his fork, and went back to eating.
Viktor raised an eyebrow. He looked at Callen, wondering if he had imagined that. His cheek kind of hurt. He looked back and swallowed... "Uh... well." He set his fork and his knife down, then looked at Clive. "Someone missed the litterbox this morning..." Theo didn't slap him twice.

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It was almost like having been in the audience for a talkshow. One of those shows that are all about getting in a fight and throwing around insults. One of those things where you get captivated by the sheer amount of strange, and then hardly notice when someone throws the first punch. In this case, both girls hoped that the first punch would be enough to last the evening.

They locked eyes for a moment, both looking equally confused. "What the hell...?" Callen finally mouthed, as Viktor looked at her. No one seemed to see where the fish had landed. "This was not what I meant by 'enjoying the evening'."

"You make it so difficult to like you." Clive said, a big smile on his slender face. It made him look very distorted in a slightly upsetting way. He returned Viktor's stare, "I'll consider leaving you behind. After all, I gather that you don't even care about these people, you just want to go home to your sister. There's nothing wrong with that. If you're going to be a little bitch about this, I'll stop intruding in your life, and no more cookies for you. Yeah. The cookies were my idea!"

Callen looked up, suddenly worried, and reached out a hand to grab Clive's sleeve. "I liked those, can I still have some?"

Clive sighed, and rubbed his eyebrows in a frustrated manner. His shoulders hang, and more than anything, he looked old and ragged. He reminded her of a tablecloth that should have been retired months ago. She thought that is had to be stressing to be him. They could sometimes relax and kick back, but Clive had to be on guard all the time. Not only did he have to seek out every bit of info that could be useful, he also had the threat of death hanging over him every second.

"Yes, Callen, you can." He looked around at them, for a moment pausing by Timothy's open seat. "You tell this guy what I've said when he comes back. Potatoes and sauces are coming out now."

And with that he left. Anna finally spoke up, and said something very out of character for her. "Can we agree to not insult and slap each other in the future. Unless it's really necessary? Including Clive, he doesn't deserve being talked to like that." With that last bit, she looked directly at Viktor, not seeming angry or like she wanted him to feel guilty or sad, she was simply just stating something.

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Viktor shrugged when Clive spoke to him. "Eh... I'm here getting ready to help 'these people,' aren't I?" He went back to eating, thinking the potatoes should have come before the fish. His jaw stopped hurting. "I'm not hitting anyone, Anna. Theo's the one that blew his top."
Theo really felt like hitting him again. He abstained, drowning his troubles in fish instead. "I won't hit anyone..." he mumbled like a berrated child. Even though he deserved it. "Um... sooo... what do we know about Senor Sorcerer, guys? He's, uh, a guy, right? And he's in London?" Wonder if he cuts necks like Sweeney Todd... Benjamin Barker... "So... uh... If he's in London, then we know he's... uh..." What does that teach us about him? He doesn't mind bad teeth? He's European? He thinks he can fit in well? Theo mumbled to himself. "And uh, Callen? Can I have one of Clive's cookies?" He looked up at her, hopefully. "I uh... I like cookies too." He nodded, then looked around their table. A few people were still making sideways glances at Anna, though their conversations had resumed. "Fucking assholes..." he muttered.
Viktor put his fork down when he was done. "We know he's concerned with firearms, security, the police, and people, Theo, if he's holed up in London. He took a dent to his forces when they attacked the schools, right? So when you're week, do you go charging into Thermopalye, or do you start recruiting on the coast of Greece?" He sat up. "London's police force doesn't care firearms or tasers, as far as I know. It's all billies* and spray."
Theo looked at him. "That's all extrapolation and guess, Viktor."
"Well do you have a hypothesis you'd like to test out, genius?"
"As a matter of fact-" he looked at Anna, then down at his plate. "-no. Not really." I said I wouldn't hit him again. I also don't think I'd live to hit him a third time.

*Billies is slang for "Billy Clubs," or "Nightsticks," or "Police Batons."

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Anna chose not to say anything about how she thought that slap was well deserved. Theo had been right, Viktor's mother apparently hadn't thought much about teaching the boy good manners. She looked at Callen while he spoke, carefully gauging how the other girl looked at the boy, any body language that would suggest... infatuation. With all the problems they were having, she still found time to worry that her friend would go and choose to do something stupid.

The redhead was listening, but seemed to care more about her food than the things Viktor was explaining. When the waiter carrying side dishes and such showed up, she was more than happy to speak with the robot, even going as far as to thank them and so on. Anna herself had never done so. They knew she was Hellsang, and they knew that she had the knowledge to shut them down for good. Or, they assumed she did. It was to be expected that her father had passed down this knowledge. It mattered little if she personified them, gave them names and whatnot.

Clive was no longer among the servants, and Anna was quite sure it was because he'd been greeted so rudely. Looking back at it, she remembered it as a awkward situation, where no one laughed at the apparent jokes. Exactly why Callen had chosen to spend time with Viktor, Anna didn't understand. But that was probably also because she'd been at the receiving end of a threat from him, and while it had not been particularly frightening, she knew that it took very little before the boy became... Unstable.

She chose a baked potato from the tray of sides, not sure why. There was no room left on her plate, but she still felt that it wouldn't be enough. Even though she was hungry and her stomach roared for food, her movements were controlled and slow. It came with the cutlery, it made it impossible to eat like a barbarian. Small pieces, slow chewing. Eyes down, don't speak. It was like those horrible dinners with the beautiful dresses and lovely music her family had hosted so many of.

"What shall we do to pass time when we're done here?" She asked, out loud. They had to do something while they waited for everybody else to fall asleep, it might as well be fun.

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Viktor took a potato, cut it open and slipped in a slice of butter. He let it close so the butter would melt quickly. He also accepted a drink that looked like champagne but tasted like applecider. He was less reserved when it came to his cutlery; the potato was eaten by hand. He'd always considered baked potatoes a finger-food.
Theo ate slowly because the sudden anger had flooded his stomach, killing his appetite. He also did not wish to look rude in front of Anna, who he had already offended once this evening. "Someone pass the salt, please?" One of the robots shook some out of an appendage in its arm.

When Callen posed his question, Viktor looked up. "Texas hold'em? Blackjack? Strip poker?" He shrugged. "Bones? Dice? Craps? Mintopry? Gin? Gui?" He listed the various gambling pasttimes that came to mind. "Roulette? Vian? Bullshit?" Those were some of the few ways he had tried making money as a kid. None of them were particularly lucrative against life-long gamblers, and most included debts to less-than-nice cardsharks.
Theo looked at Viktor. "Why roullete?"
"Because one dollar can make me fifty-two?"
"Yeah, but a one-fity-some-ought chance is... Slim, isn't it?"
"Math's never been my strong suit, if you'll excuse the pun."
"Betting black doesn't even give you a twenty-five odd, though. There's always two green slots, zero and one-hundred."
"Bet on one of them for one-twent-six, though. Take some risks, Theo."
"I'd rather not waste money like that. I'd stick to cards; their odds are constant."
"How so?"
"Well, you see, with roulette, you can play the same number fifty-two times, right? If you lose every single time, don't you expect the fifty-third to be the winner? Well, statistics don't play like that; every spin there is a new one-to-fifty-two chance of winning. With cards, the cards don't get shuffled back into the deck until a hand is over, right? So you know, with increasing clarity, the chances of every outcome. Which is why you always call Dealer on-"
"Texas Hold'em and Blackjack, I know. The house always wins."*

*Viktor said the last line in Russian, however this PC can't handle multi-tab, copy-pasting so... :(

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None of the girls found the conversation particularly interesting, and for the moment ate in silence. Anna looked at her friend every few seconds, now seeing that expression she knew very well from the last couple of years. The smile had been replaced with the look of someone deep in thought, and her motions were mechanical-like, as if she didn't even taste or care about the food.

Anna was aware that Callen only looked like this when she thought about a special person, and she knew it didn't come unprovoked. The other girl preferred to never think about it, thus the constant smile and cheer. Her gaze became more intense as she wondered about what had happened. It couldn't have been a nightmare, although that was the usual trigger, Callen would've mentioned it earlier. Whatever it was, it would have to wait for a more private moment.

"Perhaps we should take care of those calls before anything else? If we have to leave later tonight, there's no saying when you get another chance."

Callen was finally brought out of her trance, and for a moment just stared blankly at all of them. "Calls. Yes. We should do that." Her smile returned, just as false as always. The redhead looked to the empty place by the table, and then spoke again. "Should one of you guys go and check if he's okay? He's been gone for a while."

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"We should not stay up too late; lots of work to be done tomorrow and all." Viktor looked at Anna and Callen. "And I'm sure Timothy is old enough to change his own diaper by now. Unless Theo want's to play bathroom-ambulance."
"N-no, not really..." Theo decided then was a good time to hide his face in food.
"Maybe he's allergic to fish?" Hopefully he's got an epi-pen on him. "No, Helsing would know that... unless he didn't want Timothy with us. Weird way of saying stay home."
Theo yawned and pushed his empty plate away. He ran a hand through his hair and looked at Callen. "What calls? Who're we calling?"
"Моя сестра Изабель." My sister, Isabel. "And I'm sure Callen has family she'd like to say hello or goodbye to, before tomorrow."
"Uh... c-can I call someone too, then? I... I'd like to talk to someone." He smiled and looked down at his hands, twitching his fingers nervously. "If that's okay..."
"As long as you aren't using our phone time, that's fine with me." Viktor shrugged. He doubted anyone else would have an objection.

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Timothy lent over the sink, staring down into the white ceramic surface. His breathing was heavy, ordered. Hands clenched into fists as they supported him on the counter. He had already washed his hand and face, it had done little to calm him at first. Now he just paced his breathing, trying to avoid thinking about how wrong this was all turning out to be. Their 'leader' seemed to care nothing about the continuation of the human race, or his own daughter. Anna had been gravely wounded, disfigured and handicapped. Hundreds of them had died; His friends; People he had hardly known, like Quinn. The last few of them were sitting enjoying a meal that many families, ignorant of this world, would never have. All so wrong. He knew what he had to do but did anyone else in charge, or even among the students. Theo seemed terrified, Viktor could hardly appear to care less. Something had to be done, sooner rather then later.

He sighed, it took a while but he managed to calm. Most likely the others were wondering how took long it would take for him to wash his hands. Had he known what he had missed he probably wouldn't be so recovered, always he seemed to miss the important stuff. Through his own actions as well. It meant he had to get second hand information, not to condemn the people who told him but he often saw the small details people passed over. Yet he didn't know and eventually wandered back, almost as if nothing had been wrong. He was a little surprised when he saw his plate loaded with more food, even a bit excess. He looked at the others curiously, not knowing who it was who had served him more.

"Umm, thanks." He commented as he sat down. He didn't offer an excuse and he certainly hoped the others wouldn't ask. Instead he tried to catch up on where the conversation was going as he started eating. He tried to keep himself orderly and polite considering the circumstances but it was difficult when his mouthfuls were quite large.

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"Clive was here." Anna whispered when Timothy seemed to have adjusted himself to the mood by the table. She allowed the rest to speak over their conversation, something Callen picked up on instantly, as she raised her voice a little and pretended to be very interested in the current topic.

"He suspects infiltrators among the staff. He mentioned that there had been digging, someone had wanted wire-cutters, which is installed in the robots, but he wasn't sure what, if anything, is happening. Then he left because Viktor was being an ass, making dead cat jokes and such. Also, if you see a french chef, that would be Clive. He's shipping us out tonight, he told us to show up in the hangar when everybody else is asleep. Another late night adventure. Are you all right? I didn't injure you earlier, did I?"

She paused for a moment, taking another bite, before pointing to his plate. "That was me, I panicked. I hope you have an appetite."

"Calls for everybody!" Callen said, taking her volume down a little. Anna had specified that she didn't want the word out, since she could sneak a few calls through, but not forty. Mr. Hellsang hadn't provided calls for a reason, he didn't want them contacting their families. Why, none of them knew. At least Callen assumed so.

Pleasant music provided a constant background noise, and Anna recognised them as old classics. Evergreens. Memories of times passed.

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Viktor looked at Timothy's plate. Callen is really a spas, he thought. If I'm going to be killed in this, I really hope it isn't because she does something stupid... or Theo. He looked at Theo from the corner of his eye.

Theo was looking at Anna with a weird mix of "Oh my God this food is great," and "Yay! Mai mother will be super bien!" Then he noticed the music... "I can't say I appreciate the choice, but... Beethoven isn't that. Overrated, for sure." He mumbled to no-one in particular. Cool just because he's deaf.
"When can we make our calls?"
Viktor seconded his question. "Isa-my sister should be in bed by... someone got a watch?"
Theo looked over his shoulder. "Shit! My phone was in my jacket when we all evacuated. Mr. Helsang took my phone! What the hell? Are we not supposed to talk to our families?"
"You really are slow, Theo."