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Jonathan Moore

"We deserve a place in the world."

0 · 298 views · located in New Boston

a character in “What Is Human?”, as played by ViviOrunitiaFF9

Description

Image


Accessing Subject Registration File....



Name: Jonathan Moore.

Alias: Pack Rat or just Rat for quickness

Age: 19

Gender: Male

Threat: Minimal Threat

Known Affiliations: Stray

Appearance: Image

Despite the difficult times, Jonathan's long brown hair is usually quite tidy and decently cut. Due to where he lives in New Boston, keeping his hair, and body, clean all of the time is a tough challenge, but one thing he is determined to maintain is his dental hygiene. From the little that he could find while searching New Boston, he found enough to keep an average level of dental hygiene. His clothes however are a different matter. Jonathan has hazel eyes and surprisingly tanned skin. Always tall for his age, he stands at 6' 3", but he is a little thin due to a rather bad diet. He has tried to stay in good physical condition over the years and because of this has some muscle to him, though he is better at using an opponents strength against them than his own strength. When seen on his own, those who know him have noted he typically has a sad and worried expression, but he can change this quickly. He has a warm smile and a kind face, the look of someone trustworthy and honest which he uses when needed.

He tends to wear very similar clothes, mostly due to his lack of variety, but always has the same trench coat, messenger bag and work boots. Not much can be said for the condition of these clothes however. Preferring to blend in, his coat and boots are dark brown, and his bag is black. The bag is old, worn and fraying at the edges. There are several areas of damage, and many signs of repair. But its a survivor. The coat is is in better condition, but has seen better days. On his left shoulder, he has a group of large scars from a disagreement with a fellow psi that ended badly. There is also a scar down his right palm from when he was a child and grabbed hold of a kitchen knife.

Criminal Record: Theft, failure to register and assault (in self-defence).



Equipment Proficiencies: Basic electronics, some practice with cudgel weapons (improvised batons essentially) and is particularly skilled at making improvised weapons, but lacks skill using them.

Skills: Above average lockpicking, decent climbing skills, some tactical skills, he's a natural leader, basic fighting skills, a photographic memory, some first aid and is exceptionally skilled at cooking. He also has some knowledge of electronics and repairs for both small electronic devices and clothing. Good at making improvised weapons, has a decent aim and is quick on the draw (particularly with his powers).



Psi Level: 4

Known Abilities: Molecular Control - Primarily concerned with molecular speed, he can speed up and slow down molecules He uses this ability through his hands by putting up his hands up and opening them flicking his fingers out.

-Molecular Deceleration: He can slow down molecules in the area around him, slowing down any object in his range though he has to concentrate on only slowing them down and not immobilising them. The molecular complexity of an object and an object's speed (including humans and psi) determines for how long this effect will remain active on the object. It is generally an area effect, but he can target single objects or areas. This power remains even after he has left the area if the ability still has time remaining.

-Molecular Immobilisation: An advanced form of Molecular Deceleration, although this ability came first and is easier to use, Jonathan can slow down molecules within an area to the point of "freezing". He slows down everything within his range to the point here it looks as if it has stopped moving. An object's (including human and psi) complexity and speed determines how well this ability will work. Due to their complexity, it has a weaker form on some humans, though generally "freezes" most, but has little to no effect on Psi. Reavers are also completely unaffected. Occasionally, depending on the objects frozen, he can cancel the momentum of the object so that when the effect of the ability runs out the object will simply fall to the ground where it had stopped. Again, this power remains after he has left the area.

-Molecular Acceleration: Not only can he slow down molecules, but he can speed them up, though this ability takes concentration to speed up the molecules only to the point of ignition or melting, and not combustion. This is a weaker form of the ability but can be used for more uses. With this ability he can speed up molecules until they lose cohesiveness and the object essentially melts, or to start fires. This ability is primarily offensive and as such is a targeted effect ability.

-Molecular Combustion: An advanced form of Molecular Acceleration, he can speed up molecules to the point of combustion and shattering. As with Immobilisation, he gained this ability before its weaker form, and comes naturally when he uses his abilities without much thought. Similar to Acceleration, it is a targeted affect ability that also works on humans and psi. The extent of the damage to humans and psi varies depending on many factors, though primarily molecular complexity. Higher level Psi are harder to hurt, but serious burns and damaging to the area hit will still occur (though he has never tried against a level six or seven). for humans, it can do anything from severe burns and serious damage to the area affected all the way to lethal strikes. Once again, there is little affect against Reavers who are just far too complicated and unstable for Jonathan's ability.

-Limitations: For Molecular Acceleration/Combustion, and the targeted aspect mostly of Deceleration/immobilisation, he must not only see his target, but must be able to use the hand gesture that he uses for his ability. If he can't see the target, or if they move out of the way, his power will hit the next thing directly where he had aimed. If his hands are bound, he cannot use his power.

Not so much a limitation, but he is not immune to the shrapnel and debris created from his combustion power, nor the flames of acceleration. Nor is he immune to his own acceleration/combustion power (but he is immune to deceleration/immobilisation).



Personality: While cautious, Jonathan's curiosity can often overrule this smart way of thinking. A natural born leader, Jonathan will take charge if the situation calls for it and there is no one more willing for the position. If he feels something is not going as it should, or a situation is unfair on one side, he may enter into whatever it may be to help move it along or keep it fair on both sides. Jonathan tries to view everything objectively as best he can, but has been known to have his selfish moments. He is sharp minded and intelligent, often remembering facts that other have long forgotten. Along with all of this, he can be kind and compassionate, though he has trouble trusting people.

A major flaw of his personality is that he can occasionally be a little naive concerning his views of people. Stubborn to a fault, if he knows he is right, he will not back down. These, and his sarcastic tendencies, often push people away. Jonathan also has a fiery temper, but it usually is mostly controlled. Despite all of this, Jonathan is trustworthy, mostly honest and hard working which he uses to gather information on his required subject.



Role in story: For several months he has been making his way through the tunnels of New Boston in search of the Priory of the Free Mind, getting further and further in each day. While he would prefer for the world to find some peaceful way to come to terms with the Psi and accept them, he knows that he will have to fight those who will never see reason. Most of his time is spent in the tunnels. While it is to find some indication that the rumours floating around about the Priory are true, he also uses the tunnels to stay out of the way of the Blues who are looking for him.



History: Born in Seven Oaks, Texas to David Moore and Olivia Moore (nee. Hart), Jonathan Moore, the youngest of three, had a twin sister who didn't survive the birth. Jonathan also faced some complications during, and after, the birth that kept him in hospital for several weeks, but he recovered quickly. The death of his sister had a huge impact in his family and was the key reason behind the split of his parents. Within a year of his birth, his mother and father had divorced. In the court case that followed, Jonathan's mother won custody of all the children - Jonathan, Sam and Chris. The next two years consisted of long hours working and unpaid bills. Sam dropped out of school to support his family while Chris remained.

The day of the Dawning destroyed Jonathan Moore's family. Jonathan was three when his brother, Chris, who had been at college in England became a fallen star. The whereabouts of Samuel Moore is still unknown. Having just barely survived the Dawning, Jonathan's mother took him to the nearest place of safety and chaos ensued. People were disappearing around them, being dragged away at night, never to be seen again. Death walked the streets and most answered his call. Despite the madness and destruction, Olivia and Jonathan lived. Their life was not comfortable or fun, but they lived. When the registration system was put in place, they went into hiding as best they could. Olivia had become paranoid and mad from her experiences of the Dawning and losing her two sons.

The next few years until Jonathan reached puberty they spent on the move, never settling for too long. They moved constantly around the few safe cities they could find. When he finally came into his abilities by freezing a street outside his mother smacked his across the face and yelled at him, pleaded, screamed, begged for him to never again use his abilities. Every time he broke this promise he made she would smack him again and again and force him to make the same promise. When his combustion ability nearly revealed their location to the rent-a-cops, she dragged him away to a new place to stay and beat him again. He was 14 when he finally fought back. She came to hit him but he blasted her back. He warned her that if she ever raised a hand to him again, he would do much worse. She never hit him again from then, but found other little ways to hurt him.

He lost his mother a year later. The madness had become too much for her to handle, and so, while Jonathan slept, she took off into the night and he hasn't seen her since. For the first few weeks he was lost. He had come to rely on his mother to keep him safe for far too long and now he had no clue how to survive in this harsh existence. Eventually, after much trial and error, he picked up on the running of the city. For over two years his life was uneventful. Difficult, with danger all around, but comparatively uneventful. The next big thing to happen in his life was when he was 17, a man pulled him aside with a knife to his throat. His intentions were to freeze the man the first chance he got and run, but it was not going to be that easy. The man pulled his knife back to stab Jonathan and, in a panic, he raised his hands to use his abilities. He only just hit the man by because of the restriction of his hand movement space but it was enough for him to be reported to Psi-CON.

The next year was spent staying out of the way of Psi-CON. They considered him a low threat, an he preferred it that way. When he arrived in New Boston, following the tradition of his mother of moving from place to place, he decided to stay for as long as he could manage. Before long, whispers of a rebellion group made up of Psi and their supports reached him. It wasn't the first he had heard of the Priory of the Free Mind either. He toyed with the idea of going to find them for a week or two before finding out information about them and their sewer system maze. He had wanted to help in gaining Psi their rightful place in the world for years, and this was his chance to do it. He gathered his supplies and began searching the tunnels every day since then for not only the Priory but anything he can scavenge for himself.



RP Sample: With every step a dull thud echoed off the cold stone walls around him. The distant drumming of dripping water filled his mind and pushed him on. Jonathan closed his eyes in an attempt to recall the plans he had made of the sewer systems he now traversed. Right, left, left, right, straight, right, straight then... Jonathan stopped in his tracks. Beads of sweat began to form as he once again went through the plan in his mind. Panic rushed through his body. Had he made a wrong turn? He was sure that this was the wrong way. The teen looked back. Darkness obscured his view of the way had had just come. A frown creased his brow. Jonathan turned from the taunting shadows, shook his head and took a deep breath. 'These sewers are just making me paranoid,' he thought to himself with another lungful of air. He ran his fingers through his hair before opening his tattered bag and removing the hand drawn map. He'd put it into his messenger bag that morning in case he got lost again.

Taking a moment to get his bearings, Jonathan went through the map in his head and followed it on the scribbled lines in front of him. When the journey he had taken reached where he should be on the map, he breathed a sigh of relief and gave a quiet chuckle to himself. shaking his head, he replaced the map and continued on through the winding passages. Without his map, Jonathan would have become lost in the labyrinth of the tunnel system. His first few times down there, chasing the whispered rumours of a Psi rebellion group, had been exhilarating. Even when he had become lost. Although, the ever present fear of a Priory Psi appearing out of nowhere to murder him for looking into them remained at the edge of his mind taunting him.

Several more turns brought him to his first piece of good news all day. Half concealed in the the smothering darkness stood a sturdy door. The hinges showed no sign of deterioration and it generally looked near immaculate, albeit filthy and disgusting. He grinned broadly and reached for the handle. Something was telling that it would be locked, that he would never see the wonders hidden behind it, but a spark of hope burned hot within and drove his hand further. Twisting the handle, he pushed. The spark flickered out. Giving a quiet groan, Jonathan rammed his shoulder into it. The solid door barely reacted to his attempts.

The teen stepped back from the door and sighed. He knew what he would need to do, but the sound would alert anyone close enough to hear that he was here breaking into whatever he could find. Deciding to take that chance, he stepped forwards again. Biting his lips, Jonathan quickly looked over his should, his old companion - paranoia - making him even more nervous. Seeing no one, and nothing, Jonathan turned his eyes to the handle and lock, lifted his hands and threw them forwards, opening his hands with a flick. A resounding crack, followed by a boom, echoed down the tunnels. He once again looked behind him, but the tunnels were still void of any and all life. An icy hand slithered down Jonathan's spine leaving chills in its wake. He entered the room.

Inside the room was a disappointment. He had encountered these kinds of things before, hidden storerooms and unused storage. The last three he had searched through were almost empty. He had barely been able to gather anything from it. Jonathan took one last quick look around the entire room before heading for the door. As he looked out into the tunnel system, he had to press a hand to his mouth to stifle a gasp before throwing himself back first against the wall beside the door. His heart threatened to burst from his chest. Just as dizziness began to wash over him he remembered to breathe. He pulled himself to the door and peered around the frame before pulling back instantly. Two figures were closing in on his location.

Jonathan took a moment to control his breathing and calm his pounding heart. His stomach was twisted and knotted into unnatural positions and threatened to spill its contents on the stone below. He cursed silently at his idiocy for not using the lockpicks inside his bag. Jonathan swallowed to wet his throat and straightened, readying his hand to stop them if needed. A deafening silence followed. It felt like hours were passing in the time it took for the figures to reach him. Distorted voices reached his hiding place, but it was several seconds before his brain could make sense of the words.

"...telling you I saw someone," whined one of the two. A harsh bark of a reply followed.
"A'right! Jesus!" Their footsteps drew closer. Jonathan couldn't tell if the pounding in his ear was the echo of their feet or the beating of his heart. "Don't go worrying, "Princess". Whoever it may be," he said with obvious scepticism, "they'll come quietly enough, one way or another."

"The hell I will," Jonathan said with venom before he could stop himself. His body stiffened. As the hurried footsteps drew closer Jonathan threw out his hand around the door and opened his hand to the two coming to get him. All noise slowed to a tranquil silence. He hesitated before stepping out to face the Stiffs he had just frozen. He breathed a sigh of relief that they were just regular Blues. He moved forwards and had to both turn and crouch to avoid bumping into them and cancelling his ability early. He held his breath as he passed mere centimetres from one.

Finally free of them, he began to walk away quickly when something caught his attention on one of the rent-a-cop's belts. He turned and stared at the object first with a confused frown, then with awe. Swallowing again, Jonathan began to reach forwards and carefully, ever so slowly, pulled the stun stick from its holder. Conscious of time, he considered leaving the other's, but chose to disarm him also. Jonathan walked backwards watching them like a hawk while he deposited the weapons into his bag. The first corner called to him, and he threw caution to the wind, charging down the stone sewer and to freedom.


Password: Deifier

So begins...

Jonathan Moore's Story

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Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Beneath the chaos of New Boston's corrupted streets, down in the depths where thieves and strays dwell, a Psi scurries with the rats. Through the twisted, broken tunnels he travels, scavenging what he can. Constantly searching, the dark tunnels are his only companion. He will look for as long as he is able to find what he searches for. Or until what he is searching for finds him.

Jonathan slipped through the small opening in the broken wall into the tunnels running parallel to the previous. A weak stream of light from the opening cut through the darkness around him. But deep down, further into the tunnels, the shadows engulfed it. Taking a deep breath the teen started down the left, fumbling with his bag to find his flashlight to illuminate the space. With a click a stream of light ripped through the shadows which cowered in fear from it, lingering on the edge where the light was faint, ready to once again claim the space when the light was gone. The tapping of his boots echoed in the narrow walkways, matched only by the dripping of water further below. But from this near silence, a growl sounded. The growl of hunger. He put his hand to his stomach and continued with another deep breath.
'Soon. I'll eat soon. I just need somewhere out of sight.'

The tunnel ended with a rusted metal door, warped somewhat by the pressure of collapsing stone from above. He gave the wall an appraising look, then decided against trying to break through. A quick glance back down the lonely, crumbling pathway he had come from reassured him and he opened his bag to finally get something to eat. The improvised wrapping he had made sounded worryingly loud between the narrow walls, but another look back calmed his agitated mind. He bit into his food, holding it in his mouth as he lifted the flashlight up high, released it, and then froze it so that the light was directly on him like a spotlight. Being marked out by the light in a shadow infested labyrinth unsettled him, but he pushed all thoughts on it aside and found a dry patch to sit. After a moment of searching once again in his bag, Jonathan removed a small, burned and decaying hardback book that he had found in one of the hidden rooms down in the Bones. The title on the front was too far gone for him to read, but it was printed again inside. It read, "A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." Opening to where he had left off before, Jonathan continued to read.

"Holmes had taken out his watch, and as minute followed minute without result, an expression of the utmost chagrin and disappointment appeared upon his features. He gnawed his lip, drummed his fingers upon the table, and showed every other symptom of acute impatience. So great was his emotion that I felt sincerely for for him, while-"

Jonathan jumped as the sound of a thud moved down the tunnel. The light shifted as his power's influence ran out on the flashlight. In a panic as his only light source fell to the ground he threw up his hands with a gasp, launching the book, and the area around him once again froze. He dropped his hands with a huff and plucked the items from the air, switching off the light quickly as another sound echoed off the stone. A harsh cough found his ears. His stomach turned.
"Shit..."

Breathing heavier, so heavy he was sure whoever was there would be able to hear it, he replaced his book and flashlight back into the bag. He stopped to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything when a scuff far in front made him freeze. Lifted his eyes up to the sound, three pairs of eyes looked back. Three men, all with a more intimidating build than himself, watched him closely with just as much fear on their faces as he was showing them. After a second, he realised why. From the right hand of the leading man a light was shining down towards Jonathan's waiting form, frozen like an animal in the man's light. Slowly, carefully, he lifted his hand slightly and opened it is his usual gesture to bring forth his power. The dripping slowed quickly to a stop, but the men continued to move, flinching as he moved his hand. Psi. Jonathan retracted his fingers slowly and pulled his hand back.
"Yeah, that's ugly."

The tallest of the men, on the right, stepped forward and threw his hand out towards Jonathan. The air distorted in a stream towards him becoming hotter the closer it came. He threw up his hands to freeze it, an instinct by now, and the heat came no closer. Concentrating on the desired effect, Jonathan closed his hands and the momentum of all he had frozen ceased. The distorted air cleared. He threw out his hand again but this time Jonathan used his power for a different purpose. Halfway between them the air broke apart as he attempted to blow it up. Straightening, Jonathan stood to his full height. All three looked between themselves sending silent signals in an unspoken conversation. Looking closer, the third man had his eyes closed tight concentrating.
'A low level Psi?' he wondered to himself.

Before he could wonder any more they turned their judging eyes back to him. He waited as they took in every detail of him and judged whether it would be worth it to try and fight. In his head Jonathan thought to them "no, it's not" and "turn around, don't be stupid". Unfortunately, his powers did not affect the mind. As the fighter of the trio readied to fire heat again, Jonathan cut in. He threw his hands out and fire exploded from the man's chest throwing him back. While the others were distracted with their downed comrade, Jonathan threw his hand back towards the door gesturing. A explosion on its surface broke it nearly in half and blew it from the hinges. In the same movement he froze the stone from above that followed in his power's wake. Glancing back at the men once more wondering how bad the damage to the man was, he shook hi head and sprinted through the large opening. The echoing thud of his boots on the hard ground below faded away before being beaten by the sound of falling rubble.

After several minutes of running, Jonathan stopped to finally flood his deprived lungs with air. He had been running not from the men, but from what he had done. For all he knew he could have killed someone back there. His first murder. Although, he had his doubts. It was true that his abilities had been growing stronger the more he practised with them but his powers had never shown true lethal force. They could potentially be used for killing but currently it would require hitting them in the right area. Shaking his head again, Jonathan ran his fingers through his hair and checked the room quickly.

Only one of the walls showed enough damage to break through. He lifted his hands and opened them with a flick of his fingers. The wall exploded in a shower of rubble and dust. He waited for the dust to settle a little before starting forwards with caution. While running, he had taken many turns and lost track of his current location.
'Let's hope this leads to the surface,' he thought with a sigh and stepped through the improvised pathway.

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Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Tailing someone. It was such an old art. Sneakily following someone or something through dark and foreboding alleyways to discern information or some other fact. Other times it was a game. A game that kids played, running back and forth on a play ground trying to outwit and out-hide each other. The principle was always the same, a silent step and an avoidance for the all-knowing glare of light.

Samuel pondered this as he moved and shifted amongst the broken stones an decaying metal that made up the labyrinth of the bones. He had been keeping tabs on the same man for the past couple of days, a tip from Xiaoyan that someone had been gleaning about the lost and forsaken tunnels that made up the Priory's hiding web. They were like spiders these days, mingling with the interplay of the tunnels and channels to avoid the gaze and watch of their enemies and better defend themselves from usurpers, reavers, and other such hostiles.

At this point, Samuel had reckoned that this man was no foe nor any threat to his organization. He was far too lost and far to worn and weary at this said point. It was interesting, however, that one would spend so much time underground as this one had been. So Samuel kept up his pursuit, slowly treading shadows and pathways above, around, or behind the traveler until he felt an appropriate point to reveal himself and intentions; if a point were to ever surface.

Each time Jonathan would look over his shoulder, Sammie would find some way to duck or avoid detection. He even blended in! His black frock coat and slacks fading into the shadows with ease; it helped that he was also no slouch at treading shadow and knew much the Bones like the back of his own hands. Even the halls he didn't know where marked at some point with particular ticks and graffiti leaving a code or trail for any other members of the Priory to know where to move and where they were. It was a neat and organized system akin to the systems that French Resistance Fighters used whilst hiding amongst the vast sprawl of Paris in the 1940s.

It wasn't long however, before Jonathan stopped and took a bite to eat. Samuel actually did the same. He took the brief moment to pull out wrapped piece of bread from his coat's inner pocket. Silently eating and resting; that is until the noise of boots and others came down the below Sam's location. He quickly stood and looked across the hall. There was a broken section that lead into a small filtering chamber. He quickly and silent slid into the crevasse. The three thugs walking right past him in the dim light and dust filled air.

He had to move if he wanted to stay with Jonathan. Across the room as an access ladder to the next chamber above him. The stench in here was atrocious; musky water and sewage waste heading down to bigger pipes. Samuel moved across and took the ladder, climbing up it as silently as possible. Upon reaching the next level he'd disembark and make his way through a gate that gave access to the other side of the tunnels. Now he ran opposite to Jonathan. However, the noise of a combustion and men falling and couple shots allowed him to get back on course. He was curious to as who was winning but made no attempt to find out.

The pathway turned and sloped downwards and then cut a corner. Samuel was now jogging to keep pace as the sounds of combat slowly dissipated as he drew further away. By chance the winding and twisting of the many pipes and sloped tunnels soon lead him right into a room parallel with the one Jonathan was in. At a slower pace; Samuel moves into the center of the room. Drawing and failing to locate which way leads where and which way leads towards Jonathan. That is until a wall too his left suddenly collapsed and on the other side of the improvised pathway was opened and low and behold there was Jonathan.

"Oh fuck... Well! Fancy meeting you here!"

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Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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As he emerged from his makeshift entrance amongst the rubble and destruction, Jonathan froze. His blood ran cold like liquid ice. It flowed through his body and solidified until he couldn't move a muscle. A figure stood in the clearing dust. A figure he did not know. Clarity returned with such intensity that it thawed the chill locking his body instantly and he took a step back swallowing several times to wet his dry throat.

"Oh fuck... Well! Fancy meeting you here!" the mystery man spoke to him. In ordinary circumstances he would have said something against the rather cliche phrase, but this situation was far from normal, though it was starting to become repetitive. He couldn't seem to go anywhere in the Bones anymore without running into another prospective scavenger picking the bones of this once great place. It was for this same reason he had gained, and taken, the nickname Pack Rat. The teen gave the stranger an appraising look quickly, judging whether he would be a threat. At first glance he would say there was an equal chance of either coming out the victor in a fight. However, when taking into account their location, he thought otherwise. He hadn't met very many stiffs who would travel into the Bones willingly unless they were rent-a-cops - or worse. Jonathan shifted his stance, ready to fight or flee at a moments notice.

He didn't want to hurt two men in one day, but with all that was happening he was seeing little other choice. He began to raise his hands, but then stopped. Something inside him, a voice deep within, whispered in his ear, warning him against hurting whoever the stranger could be. Jonathan paused. When he raised his hands again the same warning flashed in his mind. This wasn't entirely knew to him. He had always had a particular knack for avoiding too much trouble whenever he followed his instincts, despite being against the idea of trusting something so unpredictable.

A friend from years before had told him many times to trust more in his instinct, that it would likely save his life one day. He hadn't really believed in his friend's words, despite the fact that his friend was a low level Psi with some basic precognitive abilities. He didn't think that his friend could really "see" that far into his future to predict it. It was only after he had ignored his instincts a few months later, which resulted in the death of one of the few friends he had ever had in his life, that Jonathan began to listen to his own voice within. Since then it had come in handy, though it sometimes made him overly cautious, almost to the point of paranoia which was something he wanted to avoid at all costs. He had seen, and experienced secondhand, the effects that paranoia could have on someone. The fate of his mother was still unknown to Jonathan, but he tried not to dwell on it. He pushed all thoughts about his mother away into the dark corners of his mind were the wild things inside him scurried like rats.

Taking a deep breath and swallowing again, Jonathan glanced to the side at a wall not far from the two. He lifted up his right hand to it and opened it with a flick of his fingers. A resounding boom bounced off of the walls around them and echoed far into the distance. Huge chunks of the wall he had just blasted a near three feet wide crater into were hurled past them. A few of the smaller pieces patted against him and the dust began to creep closer before dispersing. his hazel eyed gaze lingered on the crater for a moment as the thoughts of his brother Chris clawed their way out of the deep pit they had been left to rot in. His brother had ripped a crater just like that into the Earth on the day of the Dawning, the other had just disappeared. He pushed this all behind a door and locked it away somewhere far from him conscious mind where it could do no damage. His display over, Jonathan turned his eyes back to the new man.

"I'm gonna give you this one chance," he started slowly, his accent holding a slight southern sound, "walk away - now - or I'll do the same fucking thing to you." Jonathan readied his hands at his sides. More than anything else in that moment he wished that he would not have to harm the stranger. One possible death was more than enough for him to deal with in one day. But, that is not to say he wouldn't fight if his well being was threatened. His hands were at his sides, but he could draw his "weapons" quick, quicker than a good number. He was ready for the stranger if it came to a fight as most of his encounters down in the Bones with other Psi had, he just prayed he wouldn't have to harm another stranger.

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Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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The man stood there as the rubble cleared. He adjusted his jacket and grinned; not at the situation beforehand but Xiaoyan's comment within the recesses of his mind and the knowledge of her presence. It was fleeting, however, and Sammie made no response other then a brief chuckle.

His attention snapped back towards Jonathan as needed though. He observed the male getting into a defensive stance. He could see the distrust that could possibly lead to aggression in the younger male's eyes. And by all accounts Samuel did not want this meeting to end up anywhere near as violent as Jonathan's last. Samuel himself placed his hands behind his back and straightened himself out similar to a stance of Parade Rest in a military formation. Every motion from a flick of his eyes to even his breathing was calculated to seem as non-aggressive as possible but still maintain a pose to seemingly look vigilant.

Even as the other Psi raised his hands Samuel held his ground. He was nearly unflinching. Though as a precaution Samuel placed a telekinetic barrier around himself. It gave a faint shimmer in certain patterns against the dim light of the Bones. It would undoubtly be visible to Jonathan at one point or another. Sooner than later actually; as Jonathan shattered the wall near to them rocks and dust were visibly deflected by the moderately powered shielding. The debris fell harmlessly to the ground and Samuel chuckled and then looked over at Jonathan as he spoke.

"I'm gonna give you this one chance walk away - now - or I'll do the same fucking thing to you."


He'd actually give a laugh at that. It wasn't a cruel or mocking laugh, it was however genuinely amused. He'd pause quickly enough though and focus his eyes back on the younger man once more. He though for a good moment before opening his own mouth to speak. He had accent of his own and it most definitely of English origin it was slight bred in with the local however.

"Relax... I'm not here to hurt you. Hell, if I were it would have happened along time ago back in the tunnels when I had the drop on you."


With that the barrier about him would drop and Samuel would give a relaxed sigh as the weight of holding the energy was released. He moved his arms to cross them under his chest and actually gave Jonathan and friendly if not careless smile.

"I've been following you through the tunnels, you've been taking some odd patterns if you ask me. I'm curious to as why. But for now I'm here with two choices. I can deliver you unto safety or I can take you to the surface. No charge, no tricks. I'm on your side. If you fail to comply and chose the latter will be decided for you."

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Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Every instinct in his mind told him to run, run fast. To run so fast that no one could follow. But he stood his ground. The man's now obvious shield had worried him at first when the chunks of wall had collided with air, but he refused to be afraid of a simple shield. For all Jonathan knew that could be his only ability, his only way of fighting back. He adjusted his bag and coat slightly, thankful the dark, fraying fabric only fell to his knees, and shifted his stance. He was prepared to run, but tried to keep it as subtle as possible. His new "friend" had the decency to portray benevolence, he might as well show a little less distrust, though he was considering choosing against this after the man's reacting to his, admittedly, weak threat.

"Relax... I'm not here to hurt you. Hell, if I were it would have happened a long time ago back in the tunnels when I had the drop on you."

The faint shimming of his shield faded from the air before him as the man, Jonathan assumed, lowered the barrier blocking all from reaching him. Logically he knew that this was suppose to be a sign of trust and that he should reply in kind some way. However, he also knew that revealing you had been following someone and could have hurt them at any point was not the best way to inspire trust and good feelings between people. Despite this, Jonathan reluctantly relaxed his stance, though a familiar wariness lingered. While the man had his arms crossed casually, Jonathan's remained mostly at his sides with his hands closed over slightly, still ready to be used when needed. The stranger's smile was not matched either. Jonathan still held his usual expression.

"I've been following you through the tunnels, you've been taking some odd patterns if you ask me. I'm curious to as why. But for now I'm here with two choices. I can deliver you unto safety or I can take you to the surface. No charge, no tricks. I'm on your side. If you fail to comply and chose the latter will be decided for you."

Giving a gentle sigh, Jonathan nodded. He took a moment to think it though. Firstly, the information about following Jonathan had revealed a lot more than the teen had first realized. The man hadn't just been following Jonathan, he had been managing to remain hidden despite the careful measures the teen had taken to avoid getting noticed. So, either he had an ability that involve knowing a location, or - more likely - he had an intimate knowledge of the Bones and its many pathways. Second, the stranger himself had seemed different to Jonathan since first seeing him when he broke through the wall into the room he know stood within. He was too confident, too bold, to be a simple tunnel dwelling Psi. And too clean.
'Nothing makes sense about him. Unless...'

"The Priory...?" Jonathan said to himself softly, barely more than a whisper. It brought sense to all of the points about the situation, and it would make his life so much easier. He considered for a second longer, then nodded as he decided on what he would do. He turned his eyes back to the stranger.
"Alright," he said before clearing his throat quietly, "lead the way to your 'safety'." The only way to see if his theory was right would be to get on this ride and go wherever it may take him. He once again fixed his clothes and hesitantly took a step forwards, waiting to be escorted.

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Character Portrait: Cecilia Wolfe Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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After the Brute had chosen a girl, Jack Dog turned back to Cecilia.
Sorry about him.” He apologized but Cecilia merely shook her head.
“Don’t worry about it.” She smiled before turning around to make her way back into her office, but Jack Dog stopped her, grabbing her wrist, his skin was rough yet his touch was gentle. Cecilia turned slightly to look at him.
Thank you.” He whispered, Cecilia smiled at him.
“I don’t think it’d be fair for me to share your secret with anyone.” She told him, reassuring him that his sexuality would most definitely be one of the few secrets she would keep.
Well, since you’re helping with that, I think you should know about another broker.” Cecilia spun full around to look him in the eyes, her head tilted slightly as her eyebrows knotted.
“Excuse me?”
There’s another broker in the slums, I heard that he’s part of the black market too…” Jack Dog told him and Cecilia knew exactly what he was going to say after that, so she said it for him.
“And guns are more important than girls.” Cecilia sighed, before walking into the office, beckoning for Jack to follow her.

Cecilia took her seat behind the desk and placed her elbow on the desk, resting her head in her hand, running a finger over her cheek nervously. “What else do you know about him?”
Well, I’ve heard people call him the Salesman, although I’ve heard it’s just an anagram of his name, I’m not sure how true that is. He’s also a member of the Priory, so he’ll have their support if you go after him.” Jack Dog told Cecilia but it didn’t help her in finding him.
“You don’t know where I’d be able to find him?” She asked, looking up at him, her eyes were full of worry. Not only was this her live, but it was only place these girls could feel safe, Cecilia made a habit of making sure each girl was protected by teaching them how to fight and also acquiring them each a body guard. Here the girls were safe and cared for, if she lost her broking business it’d be very hard to keep the standards up and a lot of the girls would have to be let go and sent out to fend for themselves.
I’d check the sewers, if you can’t find him there, I’m sure the people in the markets would be able to tell you were he is.” Cecilia nodded, the sewers would be her last resort, she’d check the markets and see if anyone there knew him, send her girls out to find him as well and then if both failed she’d go after him, down into the sewers.
“Thank you.” She finally said after a few moments of silence. Jack Dog bowed his head and left the office.

Cecilia stood in her room, by the window, she had pulled the curtains open and was now staring out over the slums. Right now, she was losing business because she didn’t provide her clients with guns just a few girls and she knew her clients would all prefer a gun rather than some fun. Cecilia thought about it for a moment, she could easily project and go down there now, but if he’s a member of the Priory, he’s obviously a Psi and will most likely detecting her presence, especially if he has telepathic powers. Cecilia turned to look at her bed and let out a deep breath, before calling the young girl from earlier in. “Alana?” The young girl poked her head in through a crack in the door.
Yeah?” She asked, smiling at Cecilia.
“Can you send out a few of the girls to find a man who uses the alias of Salesman, get them to check the markets, someone down there is bound to know him.” Alana nodded but didn’t leave the room, she looked nervous.
Thank… Thank you.” Cecilia looked up at the girl and smiled, she then opened her arms for the girl to hug her and Alana ran into her arms, Cecilia felt her squeeze and she rested her head on the teenagers head.
“It’s okay.” Alana pulled away from the hug and ran from the room. Cecilia let out a shaky breath and wiped a tear from her eye as she striped down to her underwear and threw a loose fitting shirt on before lying on the bed and letting herself drift off.

Cecilia sat up and looked down at her physical body, lying so still as if it was dead, if she was in it right now a shiver would crawl up her spine yet when she was projecting she could feel very little in the body. Cecilia looked at the window, there was a slightly reflection that only she could see, her entire form was a ghostly white and translucent, she could be mistaken for a ghost, if only they existed. She was in a white dress, it was held up by two traps on her shoulders and stopped just above her knee and her feet were bare, her hair was loose and down, touching her shoulder blades and swaying slightly. Shaking her head, she quickly lifted herself from the bed and ran for the window, phasing through it and plummeting down towards the fast approaching ground, but she felt nothing as she merely fell through it as if it was air, she stopped as she was in one of the sewer tunnels and followed the mazelike structures and made her way through the sewers, hoping she’d find him soon, she might be invulnerable to physical attacks in this form but the sewers still creeped her out none the less. After a while of searching the sewers, she could hear voices.
"Alright, lead the way to your 'safety'." She heard someone say, assuming they were talking about the Priory she assumed she’d find the Priory by following them, hoping they weren’t telepathic Psi. She quickly hovered after the voice, coming across two men, both exceptionally tall, one blond and the other brunette.

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Cecilia Wolfe Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Samuel stood there as the boy thought. He was waiting, patiently, and mostly still. His foot however, inside a penny loafer dress shoe, continued to tap the stone floor with soft echo's that filled the silent with Bones with a resounding tap. It even had a rhythm to it, but that was beside the point. While they waited there was that noise alongside the silence of a Bones making an eery orchestra.

"Alright, lead the way to your 'safety'."


The man would come straight back to attention and give yet another one of those smiles. He'd clap his hands together and nod once before turning into the slanted pathway that he entered from and walking toward it as he spoke. The English voice filling the empty room.

"Right-o. Follow me then. I promise I'll be quick. Whats your name by the way? You can have mine. I'm Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn, you may have seen it about."

With that he'd enter the tunnel and towards the top he'd pause. It was more like a jerking and startled pause than anything. He felt something nearby. Moreso, someone. Samuel was a moderately powerful telepath. He couldn't quite find out where this entity was or what it was but he knew something was there. He stayed paused and grinned; a plan soon in mind. Then he carried on into the darkness that was the Bones.

Samuel would lead Jonathan and his follower through the tunnels if whatever was on his tail continued to follow. It was a pathway that took many ups and downs through many broken and beaten tunnels. There were heaps of broken steal and concrete and the occasional gunshot and scream that echoed the labyrinth. Now and then Samuel would stop and noticeably scan the corners of the walls as if peering at something. Sometimes he'd go down these halls and other times he'd avoid them.
It was a long journey. Three or four hours passed by as Samuel tried to make idle small talk and discern small things about the male accompanying him such as age, place of birth, more notably if he were chipped.

That would all cease however as up came the sound of rushing water. Now Samuel's trap would come into place if the entity was still on his trail. They were now well-within the confines of the Priory's haven which was like a telepathic hornet's nest. Xiaoyan and many other telepaths of various levels had a constant watch on the place. Samuel was visibly grinning as he jumped from the tunnel onto bridge of pipes that ran over a chamber of water. Voices were heard below and coming towards them in the tunnel on the other side as well as torch light. Samuel picked up the pace; jogging across the bridgeway before leaping into the tunnel full of light. There he'd wait for Jonathan to meet him as a few people appeared behind Samuel.

"Welcome to the door to of the Priory, friend."


He then quickly thought a message to Xiaoyan. Nearly praying she'd hear it, not out of fear but more out of amusement than anything.

"Hey, boss. I'm home and have a guest... Maybe two..."

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Character Portrait: Cecilia Wolfe Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Cecilia watched as the blond man smiled and clapped his hands, before turning on his heels and leading the other man up a slanted pathway, like he knew it well.
"Right-o. Follow me then. I promise I'll be quick. Whats your name by the way? You can have mine. I'm Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn, you may have seen it about." He finally spoke, his accent English, making Cecilia feeling slightly nostalgic and homesick, a slight smile spreading across her face. She then listened as the two said their names, not really paying attention to the brunette, from the sounds of it he wasn't affiliated with the Priory just yet. She listened to the conversation and continued to follow them until she stopped. Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn, Cecilia stopped for a minute, calculating the name in her head. She used her finger as a pencil and wrote the name in the air, moving the letters to spell out Salesman. Cecilia immediately wiped the letters away and flew up to the two men, whispering into Samuel's ear.
"You'll find me where men seek comfort, women too. God forbid, that anyone follow you." She whispered cryptically, implanting images of the hotel and an image of her turning around to look at someone, it would show her frame and face, hair and a simple red dress. The image would be blurry but if he managed to find her, the image would clear up and if he ever thought about the image after meeting with her it'd be clear as day, well as clear as day for the people in the shiny buildings.

Cecilia then flew through the sewer roof, spinning like a dancer and flew straight back to the hotel, returning to her body. She opened her eyes slowly and sat up, her head ached a little, something it did when she was detected. "Slimy bugger." She whispered to herself, knowing that he was trying to lead her into a trap. The Priory, most likely full of telepaths and detectors who would have ripped her to shreds because they would have been threatened by an intruder. Cecilia made her way to the wardrobes and changed into a red dress. She then put on some shoes and a necklaces to match, before leaving her room and leaving the room, Alana was still standing at the door, Alana was a low level telepath with some mind wiping capabilities and idea implantation abilities.
"Where did you go?" She asked Cecilia as they walked down the stairs, Alana managed to keep in step with Cecilia as they made their way briskly down the stairs to the lobby. "I felt you projecting." She admitted.
"I went to find him, his name's Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn." Cecilia told the young girl, how arched an eyebrow.
"I've heard that name before." Alana looked as if she was trying to think, but the thought just seemed to flow from her mind. One problem with her mind wiping and idea plantation, it all muddled into one and she never knew which were her own memories or which were someone else. "I remember now! I remember reading about him in a Psi-CON report, I was meant to arrest him but I never found him. It's like he just disappeared." Cecilia looked at Alana with a confused face, the memory obviously wasn't hers but it was clearly from a Psi-CON operative and he's clearly wanted.

Alana then ran off to try and remember the thought, leaving Cecilia to plan for her guest, he'd obviously be awhile but she needed to plan ahead, she needed to get her girls and her guys ready for a possible fight. Cecilia made her way to her office and called the four girls that guarded the office to come in and asked one of them to gather Cecilia's personal body guards.

Once the 7 had gathered, Cecilia stood in front of them and spoke,
"I'm going to be having a guest coming within the next few days, his name is Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn. So from now on, every male that comes here must have his name taken." Cecilia paused for them to process this. "If his name comes up, he is to be escorted straight to my office, one of you will come inform me as soon as he is led to you." Cecilia said to the girls. "You can go now, decide amongst you how will do what." With that Cecilia let the 7 guards leave before she opened her weapons drawer and lifted out the claws, placing them onto her fingers, they just looked like rings but they were her best and most discreet weapons, her Colt Junior 25, placed in the thigh holster under her skirt and a dagger in the sheath under her skirt on the other thigh, she was ready for a fight even if their wasn't one, at least she was prepared.

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Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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Jonathan flinched back and slightly lifted his hands when the man moved, then mentally slapped himself for being such a coward. He stood at attention giving one of those almost carefree smiles yet again. Then, with only a quick clap for warning, he turned from the teen and began their journey for what Jonathan could only hope was the Priory headquarters. Jonathan closed his eyes, took a deep breath to try and extinguish the panic burning inside of him, and lowered his hands before following the English voice.

"Right-o. Follow me then. I promise I'll be quick. Whats your name by the way? You can have mine. I'm Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn, you may have seen it about."

His step faltered at the name and a pained grimace spread on his face.
"J-Jonathan. Jonathan Moore." Shaking his head, he continued after the stranger, all the while thinking on that name. Samuel. It had been a long time since he had heard it. The Dawning hit when he was three years old. Because of this, he had very few memories of his brothers, but the ones he did have where something that he had already fought one telepath to keep. They were one of the few things in his life he held close to him. Chris had been a college student, and he traveled to Europe to pursue his dream. To England in fact, the exact same place this man seemed to come from. He had become a Fallen Star - the name given to those whose power was too strong to contain within their own boy during the Dawning, but his older brother Samuel had stayed with the family, looking after them. When the Dawning hit, in the confusion and destruction, they lost him. To this day, he still had little idea where his brother was.

Lost in thought, Jonathan nearly walked straight into his guide who had stopped mid step. With confusion, he watched the man. He remained unflinching, unconcerned almost with the dangers the tunnels could hold. His face however revealed a lot more. His expression shifted while his eyes viewed the empty space ahead in the shadows. Jonathan had seen it before with telepaths. Filing this little bit of information away in his mind, the teen hesitantly lifted his hand after a moment to tap Samuel's shoulder.
"Uh..." he started as his fingers got closer. But before they they reach him, a grin spread in the blonde's face and he continued forwards as if nothing had happened. Jonathan lifted his eyebrows questioningly, then shook his head, dismissing the curiosity.

The two men took a winding path through the Bones, occasionally stopping and then starting again when Samuel had observed a walkway or an area of a room, as if searching for something. 'Way markers, maybe?' Jonathan asked himself. He attempted to look also subtly but nothing seemed to stand out. Giving up, he followed his guide. He jumped as a gunshot rang through the tunnels, a scream following before dying away, like the sound of an animal becoming prey deep within the Bones of the old city. Memories of the man had attacked clawed their way from the dark corner he had shoved them in, but they disappeared whenever he tried to focus on them. They were taunting him, mocking him. In a vain attempt to ignore them, Jonathan began to recite the sequence of pi that he had remembered, a habit of his whenever he didn't want to focus on anything that would bring him pain.
'3.14159265358979323846264338...'

The questions of the guide, Samuel, pulled him from his reciting. Deciding it was better to humor him with answers, Jonathan told the truth as far as he was willing for each question. 19 years old. Born in Texas. Unchipped. Along with many more as they continued their idle chat down the seemingly endless tunnels in the Bones. It was in the middle of answering one of these questions that the sound of pouring water, a somewhat uncommon sound, reached them. With a grin, Samuel jumped onto the makeshift bridge of pipes across the water beneath. Reluctantly, Jonathan followed him across. Halfway across, his blood ran cold as the sound of voices drifted into the space and the light of torches shone onto the walls of the tunnel ahead. Samuel jogged further ahead, leaving Jonathan behind as the voices and light drew closer still. Finally off the bridge, he stood before the tunnel of light where Samuel now stood waiting on him, a group waiting behind him. Jonathan swallowed away his nerves, a hesitation in his next step, then straightened his back to feign more confidence than he was feeling and stopped jyst hort of them.

"Welcome to the door to of the Priory, friend."

Jonathan nodded slightly, his breathing a little rushed and shaky. He had been right all along. After all this time he had finally found the people he had been searching for all this time, for so long. Days. Weeks. Months.

"So... what happens now?"

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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"Hey, boss. I'm home and have a guest... Maybe two..."

Xiaoyan heard it. As soon as Samuel brought up her face in his mind, there was a tickling in her own. Like a sneeze that couldnt get out. Setting her paper down, she listened to the sensation, and Samuel's chuckleing amusement bubbled through.

She reached out, and saw them. Two on the fringes of their home. There was a whisp of leftover -something- around them, but it was long gone cold. Xiaoyan frowned and tapped Samuel.

'You know better than to bring projectors this far down.'

The proximity to the Dead Zone and its energy fluctuations kept Psi-CON's many attempts to follow Priory agents mentally with their own projecting Psi, but that made them no less paranoid. Xiaoyan often said the biggest threat to the security of the cell was the laziness that had infected it before she'd arrived and taken the helm.

Done chiding her agent, she turns her attention to Jonathan, watching over his shoulder gently.

Smiling slyly, Jonathan would be aware of a brief impression of something small and bright fluttering passed him, disappearing as soon as his eyes tried to focus on the movement, but he could swear there'd been a bird down here.

'3279'.

The next sequence of numbers to his mental recitation pops up, unbidden.

Xiaoyan returns to Samuel,

'He's hungry and cold and scared. Get him some food and show him around. I might pop up.' She chuckles with the mental impression of a completely innocent smile.

Half of the Priory knew someone with a bird projection was in charge, but most never knew Xiaoyan as more than a mild telepath that wandered around the Priory grounds in her worn jeans and sweaters. She preffered it that way; it gave her a clearer picture of what went on in her home, and it made meeting new people a clever little game for her; one Samuel knew she was very fond of playing.


----
Kayla
----

A Kinetic, a Displacer, and a Seer walk into a bar....

Sounds like the start to a bad joke, and the night was seeming like one to them. They were running for their lives, one of them already so exhausted from using his limited powers that he stumbled on the loose gravel, and a Psi-CON security unit was eager for their blood.

When the shots fire, they fling themselves to the ground, certain that they'd made it as far as the universe would let them. But none of them are hit, and the sounds of chaos behind them reigns. They turn, and sit on their asses in cold alley muck, watching as the scene unfolds with mouths agape.

One of them finally reaches out to slap the shoulder of his compatriot, jolting them out of their daze and getting them moving again as they scramble to their feet and put distance between the fight and themselves.

At the sound of persuing footsteps, they turn, but find their rescuer, and continue a weary jogging slog into the factory district.

"Saints alive, where did you even come from?!" The displacer asks

"Hell itself could've spat her out for all I care. Thanks for that intercept or we'd be paste." Replies the big kinetic, still red in the face from fatigue and being supported on the shoulder of the third, who shoots her a long, calculating look.

"Yeah. Pretty freaking convenient you just -happen- onto a psi-CON ambush..." Trust the Seer to be the paranoid one.

The displacer argues back, and the kinetic drops in his two cents, which the seer shoots down with cold logic. The gist of it - despite innoculous phrases and 'inside info' looks - seems to be that they're debating wether SHE is a Psi-CON agent, and wether or not they should even be letting her follow them.

Finally, as they reach a particularly nondescript drainage ditch in a particularly nondescript construction yard, they stop in the entrance and turn to her.

"Fine. You can come along, but you do what we say. No questions, no 'why this way' or 'where are we now's. And if you're a CON snitch... well.."

"She'll know. And she'll kill you." the seer's grin is a nasty one, as if he's seen the results personally.

Without further invite, they help the Kinetic into the black mouth of the drain, and down into the Bones they go. She'd need to hurry if she wanted to keep sight of them in that horrible maze. From that heated discussion and the deadly threat left hanging over her head, Kayla may have stumbled onto more than just three unchipped Psi trying to make their way in the world...

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'You know better than to bring projectors this far down.'


Those were the first words he heard in his mind, he paused right about as he was going to speak Jonathan. He'd turn from the male again and send a message back, communicating with Xiaoyan. To him it would feel like minutes bu it the waking world it was less than a few seconds.

Aye. I know Boss whatever it was set upon me in the tunnels and I had no defense but to return and I didn't want to endanger the boy with me. Regardless... I think it left before it got far enough to know our location exactly. It was curious though felt like something whispered to me. I may take D3d Ly3T and investigat- I take that back its likely best to go on my own."

With that his summary ended and he soon got his next set of orders before snapping back to reality. He'd once again twist and look at Jonathan with that nearly careless smile that set well upon his face.

"So... what happens now?"

"Now? We get you some real food and water and then I show you 'bouts while I send out a couple lads to find you a place to sleep for the night."

Samuel would then turn about again. He'd wave over his shoulder for Jonathan to follow as they passed through three people. They'd go down a torch lit tunnel and at the end would be a large atrium. The home of the Priory. They were on the second floor of the area. In front of them was a catwalk which linked to others and wooden platforms that held up small makeshift huts and buildings. Samuel took none of those however, instead he'd drop down a ladder that led to a concrete platform. It was another maze like the Bones except this was much less long, far more warm, and far better lit. Along the way Samuel would point out key structures. At the end of this maze was a large shack with several mismatched tables.

"This is the Mess Hall of sorts... Stay right here, I'll be back Jonathan."

After such Samuel vanished into a flap at the end of the small building. There were one or two people eating or drinking at the tables but most in the complex seemed to be at work with various tasks and jobs. There were voices here and there and a laugh once or twice. In a couple minutes Samuel would wander back out this time bearing food. It was a hearty stew in a wooden bowl with water in a metal can. He'd set them down in front of Jonathan with a soft clink on the wooden table.

"Eat up and then I'll take you to your quarters when you're ready."

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A strange sensation came over Jonathan as the words left his mouth. It was as if he would hear something behind him, but couldn't, but could also feel it. Like his mind was connected with it in some way. He resisted the urge at first to turn and find what was causing the sensation. But, after a couple of seconds, his curiosity got the better of him. As subtly as he could manage give the fact that a group of vigilant men watched him he peered over his shoulder. There was nothing. The sudden feeling, like a fluttering around him, caught him to the side, and he shifted his eyes in that direction. Despite feeling it, he again found nothing. Jonathan closed his eyes and turned to Samuel to just catch the end of his sentence.

"...while I send out a couple lads to find you a place to sleep for the night."

Jonathan gave a quick nod in thanks to the group in general, then addressed Samuel personally.
"Thank you..." Jonathan faltered ever so slightly on the name, but tried again to cover up his failed attempt. "...Samuel. That's very kind." Jonathan had been told before his unneeded manners would end up getting him hurt by his mother, but it was one thing he couldn't give up no matter how hard she tried to break him.

Jonathan began to follow as Samuel started into the illuminated tunnel. The smell of the damp tunnels began to fade slightly as he began closer towards the men. All of a sudden, the fluttering soared past his eyes again. Deciding not to pass it off as nothing, as he knew there was something messing with him, he turned quickly, his entire body, and stared into the dark abyss. And he was surprised with what he saw. The teen's eyes widened in disbelief.
'Is that a... a bird?! In the Bones?' Jonathan pulled his eyes and thoughts away from it with a quick raise of his eyebrows and followed beyond the men, giving polite nods to each as he passed them.

The pathway led to a large atrium, at which point Jonathan stopped. This was the Priory. This was everything he had been searching for all these months. He could finally try and help people like he wanted to do. Psi, and humans too if he could. He had been at the end of prejudice towards his kind before, but he still didn't believe that every human being was entirely against them. Regardless, it didn't matter what he wanted to do at in the future. He had found what he had been looking for, and he was content with that for now.

Their journey went down a ladder, through some well looked after tunnels, past key structures (which Sam was kind enough to explain about each time they passed) which ended in a shack, big enough for a good few people. Tables were lined up in order in as best condition as they could find them.

"This is the Mess Hall of sorts... Stay right here, I'll be back Jonathan."

Unsure for a moment, Jonathan finally sat down on the uncomfortable seat after Sam left. A minute of relative silence, only broken by the hushed whispers of the few people who kept looking over at him. They were in no way mean in their observations, merely curious. Most didn't pay him any attention, from what he saw, but there had been a few on the way too who had. His mind began to become focused with his worrying and panicking. He tried to resist, but soon found himself reaching for his bag. Pulling out a hand sized metronome, he placed it on the table and started it up. The movements and his muttered counting soothed his raging sea of worry. By the time Samuel arrived with his food, Jonathan had started showing signs of impatience rather than panic.

"Eat up and then I'll take you to your quarters when you're ready."

"Thank you, Sam," he said with a small smile, his southern accent starting to come through stronger again. He tried to avoid using his real accent and names when making transactions. Pack Rat, from New York before the Dawning, was a lot safer than Jonathan Moore of Seven Oaks, Texas. Unless, of course, he was up against a telepath. He had little ability to prevent them getting information like that. Thankfully, he was too low a threat to even be noticed in the city of New Boston. Tapping the metronome again to keep it going strong, Jonathan pulled the wooden bowl closer and began to eat slowly.

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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"This is your stray, Sam?"

A light voice announces the arrival of a tiny asian woman with long black hair and a soft, bright smile. Old jeans and a worn sweater two sizes too big made her seem like a child wandering in a grown-up's world. She had dainty fingers wrapped around her own bowl, cradling the warmth out of the soup that steamed within.

"Do you mind if I join you? The fire always reaches these tables best."

She would wait quite politely for Jonathan to mumble or nod an assent before taking a place across from him, as if he were master of the house and not merely a new guest fighting back the panic of the uncertain. Speaking of, rythmic counting and metronome asside, everything about the woman encouraged a sort of calm to descend around her. Like they were chatting at a cafe in the sun before the Dawning; warm, friendly, safe, and - dare I say it - like home.

"Sam, are you aware you smell like a sewer? Again?" She says with an amusing expression that required her to scrunch her upturned nose and turn sideways to the taller Brit, before looking at Jonathan as if for help, "Please tell me he didnt bring you through the cistern? He'll roll around in that sludge every chance he gets, I swear it's like a puppy in a trash can!"

Wether it was true or not didnt matter; the good humor was infectious. There were no questions. No interrogation or threats. The woman just stuck her tongue out at Sam and lifted the bowl with enough manners that you'd think it was fine china to sip at the stuff within.

'D3d Lyt3 still hasnt come back yet, but his boy is here.'

Xiaoyan didnt open her eyes or betray any other hint that she had just reached out lightly to Sam to communicate in silence.

'We can expect another, too. One of the teams got into some trouble, they're bringing the one who helped them. You're a better judge of fighters, could you intercept her? I'll stay with these two until you return.'

She sets the bowl down with a satisfied sigh and a smile, "It's not exactly haute cuisine, but at least it's filling, yes? I imagine you have questions, though. Ah! There you are!"

She looks up, seeing Thomas backing out silently from the flap that almost rattled with the snores of a very large man. Lifting a pale hand, she beckons him in a friendly manner.

"Thomas, Jonathan. Jonathan, Thomas." The woman hadnt asked their names, and yet there was the introduction. "Come, sit. I'm here to help with all of the confusion you're probably dealing with right now." She laughs sympathetically, "It isnt every day you find a place like this and get invited in for soup. My name is Xiaoyan. I'm Psi, and so are you. That's why you're here."

She continues the soft smile, hands folded neatly around the bowl, "Welcome to the Priory of the Free Mind."

----
Kayla
----

They move at an easier pace once they're underground. Through abandoned pipes to abandoned buildings and down abandoned stairs they descend deeper and deeper into the Bones. Occasionally, they stop and listen; waiting until the coast is clear of Reapers and the occasional scavenger.

They speak very little to her, except for the off 'Watch your step' or 'Here, use this cable'. It's all very clandestine and hush-hush. But eventually, after it seems like even THEY might be lost in the maze of the old city, they stop.

It's an old school courtyard. Bent and rusted playground equipment provides an exceptionally eerie backdrop to the faint light filtering in from random sources in the levels above. Trash and a good foot of dirt choke out any attempt at growing vegitation where children once screamed and laughed. A cold, dead reminder of the way the world had once been as 3 grown men shiver in the shadows of broken bleachers.

"He aughta be here.." Grumbles the Kinetic.

"He is." Says the Seer after grimacing and closing his eyes.

Turning and pointing across the courtyard, a dim flashlight flicks on and a shadowy figure beckons them all across the street and into a leaning apartment building.

"You guys are late." This strange new gatekeeper says; a tall man in a black coat that was full of dust. He looks at her with the same cautious mistrust before the Displacer just waves him off and helps him move a book case away from yet ANOTHER hidden tunnel.

"You're going down two levels and into the old Blue Line subway." He tells them, clearly guiding them along a safe and ever-changing path to get wherever they were going. This was a terrible lot of trouble to hide their destination. "Someone's gonna meet you there about her." Here he kicks his chin in Kayla's direction.

The Displacer pauses in the opening and looks over his shoulder at Kayla with a shrug,

"Last chance to back out, chick."

But I imagine that Kayla is no coward. All of this secrecy smacks of adventure. Down here in the Bones, shuttled amongst these secret byways and suspicious characters, one could imagine that even Psi-CON's gaze couldnt find them. She may begin to feel more free now than she ever did huddling in the shadows of the street; playing hookie from the Law itself.

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore
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While he ate his meal slowly, the teen tried his best to clear his mind. For a while now he had been trying to improve his abilities, and find new ways to use them. Recently, he had started to make some progress, which was the reason he carried around the metronome. Slightly hunched over the table Jonathan had his hands round the bowl set on top of the table, absorbing all the heat he could from it, while he stared at the pendulum swing left then right, left to right, left and right, his focus entirely on the motion and ticking. For a moment, he let the world fade away from him. He left all distractions behind, including Sam. All that mattered was the metronome. His gaze intensified as he attempted to use his abilities. Nothing happened. He tried again, putting everything into it. His gaze, now more of a glare, was fixed on the swinging. His breathing was becoming heavier as he attempted once again to use his abilities. A throbbing began in his head from the effort. It seemed as if it wasn't working at first, but Jonathan soon noticed that the swing was slower. Triumph washed through him. A grin spread on his face, his concentration broke and the metronome returned to its initial speed. Jonathan sighed and gave the device another tap to keep it going before continuing with his meal.

"This is your stray, Sam?"

Jonathan jumped slightly and looked up to the voice. A small Asian woman, around a foot or more smaller than him he would guess, stood before him holding her own bowl. She had long black hair, perfect skin and one of the warmest and most inviting smiles Jonathan had seen in a long time. He looked straight up, unable to pull away from her dark eyes that just seemed to draw him in, and couldn't help but smile back slightly.

"Do you mind if I join you? The fire always reaches these tables best."

Jonathan shrugged and reluctantly pulled his hand away from the heat to gesture to one of the seats.
"By all means. I am your guest after all." Jonathan viewed the woman with uncertainty at first, but there was something inside, deep within, that encouraged him to trust her, to feel safe in this place. His instincts told him to run, as they always did, but everything just seemed so calm and peaceful. How could he run from it? It would have almost felt like home, if Jonathan had ever known what a home truly was. Due to his powers and mother, he had never stayed anywhere long enough for it to feel like home. He had a few questions that were playing in his mind, but before he could even open his mouth, the new woman - who must have been at least mid to late twenties or early thirties - she spoke to his guide into the Priory.

"Sam, are you aware you smell like a sewer? Again?" She crunched her nose playfully and turned to regard Sam, before returning her bewitching eyes to Jonathan. "Please tell me he didn't bring you through the cistern? He'll roll around in that sludge every chance he gets, I swear it's like a puppy in a trash can!" Before he could stop himself, Jonathan joined in on the humor and chuckled quietly. She merely stuck her tongue out at her friend and drank from the bowl. Jonathan stopped eating his own to watch as she lifted it with grace and elegance, as if this were a pre-dawning fancy dinner and it was fine china.

He looked down at his own bowl and sighed quietly. Having to spend every day eating when he could, often on the go, without any need for manners of any sort, he hadn't had much practice stopping himself from looking a little like a slob when he ate. But, he kept it clean and didn't do anything overly strange when he ate, so the few people he had eaten a meal with hadn't had any reason to complain. His eyes caught the movement of the metronome and his eyes widened slightly. He stopped it with his hand before returning it to the fading heat of the now practically empty bowl.

She placed the bowl down and sighed, which urged Jonathan on to finish his soup and place his down also.
"It's not exactly haute cuisine, but at least it's filling, yes? I imagine you have questions, though. Ah! There you are!" His mind had begun to go through the different ways he could have improved the meal - cooking was one of the few skills his mother had taught him, which she had learned from her own mother and with experience - when a man around his age was beckoned over.

"Thomas, Jonathan. Jonathan, Thomas." Despite the calming aura she was giving off, Jonathan's body stiffened and a vague panic went down his spine with a chill. The fact that she knew their names gave one unappealing suggestion. Jonathan viewed her with a new light now, but still felt the pull of her powers. She was a telepath. Since he was very young, he had always had a slight distrust towards telepaths. His powers were only able to affect the physical world, he had no control of the mind. And, therefore, no defenses against intrusion. The idea of someone looking about his head, scagging the information they could, like he scavenged the items within the Bones was disconcerting at best. He nodded to this new man, Thomas, politely.

"Come, sit. I'm here to help with all of the confusion you're probably dealing with right now. It isn't every day you find a place like this and get invited in for soup. My name is Xiaoyan. I'm Psi, and so are you. That's why you're here. Welcome to the Priory of the Free Mind."

Even as she chirped on, and the happier side of him remained, a slight distrust lingered. Jonathan brought his eyes back to the woman and focused directly at her. He didn't have a clue if this would actually work or not, but he was going to try. Concentrating, he tried to direct a thought within his mind at her.
"Stay out of my head." It wasn't a threat, but nor was it a joke. It wasn't aggressive, but nor was it playful. She seemed like a nice enough person that he was managing to get along with better than most, but he didn't like having people in his head. He was protective of his thoughts and memories, guarded to a fault.

Despite this message, Jonathan had questions that he wanted answered and this seemed one of the chances he would get. "When I met," he hesitated again at the name, old memories of his missing brother resurfacing, "Samuel in the tunnels, he said that he had been monitoring my whereabouts. That he wanted the reason for my particular routes. If you don't mind my asking, how long exactly have you been tracking me?"

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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"Thank you, Sam,"


Samuel gave a nod at that and waved his hand politely as the boy ate. It was a simple and non-verbal way of saying your welcome or its nothing. However, Sam himself was busy eating and looking about the area. That is until he saw the metronome. His own eyes narrowed on it in focus as he noted Jonathan trying to. Eyes slowly tracked the metal bar swing back in forth on its gentle arc, his sense of sound consumed by the tick-tock-tick-tock. Then the note-keeping device suddenly slowed as if it were jammed. His gaze once again feel on Jonathan. That was interesting. However before he could express in thought in word all that hit him was a voice from behind.

"This is your stray, Sam?"


"Jaysus!" It was almost a yelp, and the Brit jumped as well. He had been so focused that Xiaoyan had managed to sneak up on him and he didn't even sense her presence. "Don't go scaring a bloke like that! Bloody hell man!" While he spoke his hands were busying themselves readjusting his suit to save whatever was left of his dignity for the moment while mumbling something about not getting any soup on himself.

"Do you mind if I join you? The fire always reaches these tables best."


'D3d Lyt3 still hasnt come back yet, but his boy is here. We can expect another, too. One of the teams got into some trouble, they're bringing the one who helped them. You're a better judge of fighters, could you intercept her? I'll stay with these two until you return.'


Those were the last words Samuel heard before plunging himself into another mental conversation. It was interesting. The man couldn't actively interact with both "worlds" when he spoke telepathically. He could hear both at the same, he could sense both, even feel. Something made him have to have to concentrate while he spoke though and during those times everything else cut out and he'd stay in place like some kind of signal receiver with clouded eyes.

"I can check it out briefly, I have my own business to go abouts today. By the way, another food shipment should be showing up in the tunnels a bit north of our location. Send a couple to go out and retrieve it, would you?

After that he stood and dusted himself off before looking between the two. He had his orders, his own agenda, and his stomach was now full so it seemed the perfect time to get a move-on. "I have a few errands to run abouts," he always added an unneeded 's' to about, "Xiaoyan don't terrorize the boy." He'd grin and actually give her a friendly pat on the shoulder before twisting on his heels and taking leave.

Right as he exited he nearly ran head first into Thomas. "Sorry." He'd mutter simply and carry on. He'd never seen the boy before and he concluded that it was the straggler that D3d Ly3t had dropped off. It was none-the-matter, Samuel would introduce himself another time.

Samuel was rather fast when he wanted to be. He hastily followed the blue telepathic line in his head that Xiaoyan was leading him to the new girl's location with. Upon arrival he paused and took a deep breathe, composing himself from his jog through the tunnels before peeking out at Kayla and the three men. He stepped out from the shadows with a grunt. All of the men turned to him defensively but they'd soon turn into faces of recognition and even a small amount of confidence. Samuel was indeed well know among his fellow rebels. He was nearly the Priory's public outreach face...

"Top of the Day, gents! And lady." He nearly bowed but more so inclined his head politely. He then feel silent, just standing there as he had a mental conversation with one of the Priory boys. Attaining all the information he could before turning and gazing at the female. He placed a hand on his chin in thought as his eyes squinted. She obviously had some kind of martial skill to get down here and cunning too. Her stature and just everything about her was deceptive of those facts too. It hit him though, if she were Psi-CON though she'd know who he was. But he had a nagging feeling that was far from the truth. In the end he waved her along, speaking to the three she was. "Take her back to the base with you. Follow the lower tunnels and avoid the Styx. I saw quite a bit of Reaver activity on my own way though."

He'd then relay back to Xiaoyan.

"She's most certainly a fighter and I doubt she's a Con-man. I'd have D3d Ly3t take her out on a trial run. Make sure he goes easy on her. For now I'm waving her through with your goons. If this comes back to bite us in the ass, I'll deal with it."

It was a risk every time they let someone new into the Priory.

The three men would all make various signatures of acknowledgement before waving at Kayla to follow them back to the head quarters. Samuel would say one thing to the female before she took off though. It was a low and underlined threat for security purposes. "We're your friends and you'd better return the favor."

"Right-o! Its done Xiaoyan. Now while I'm out I'm going to investigate something... I'll be back by supper hopefully!"

Samuel hoped that Xiaoyan had set this meeting place close enough to the base that she could pick him out. He was about ro span a good distance. Nothing like her however, not even close. He'd stand and watch as the four dwindled into shadows in a nearby tunnel before leaving once more.

It was a couple hours hike to the surface entrance that set him near to the image that was beamed into his head only hours before. Or at least he thought it was nearby. Samuel had to be careful on the surface even as an unchipped Psi. There were other ways to track a criminal with a half a million dollar bounty on your head and he know. Its why he kept his head down and remained as inconspicuous on the surface as humanly possible. The supper thing was completely false. On the surface it was already night again. The cities' massive skyline danced like the aurora on the horizon and the stead hum of vehicles was in the air. The air was worse than down in the Bones. It reeked of carbon pollution and even human suffering. He wasn't in the best part of town either. He noted something as he went down the rode the image he drew into his mind got clearer and clearer as if it were a puzzle- then it struck him. He knew exactly where he was going. He had never been there himself but he'd heard of it. It was a brothel. There had been whispers among the underground market of the place. In fact one of Samuel's clients frequented the place. Sam himself tended to avoid brothels. He'd only stepped foot in one once. That ended in a shoot-out the local law enforcement that he barely escaped from. Either way his pace quickened.

It wasn't long before he managed to sniff his way through the backstreets of the district to the brothel in question. Give or take another hour or two. Something about the hotel unnerved him and he made sure that both his knife and old M1911 where in the suit pockets under the blazer. The gun was a relic but it was a damn good piece of equipment and was damn reliable. Sure everything was in order he stepped around the building and then into its front doors. Closing them as silently as possible before trying to sneak up the stairs, checking around until somebody popped up. He was here for the meeting he didn't even have knowledge about.

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Thomas, after what wasn't even an hour, jumped to his feet from what he could only imagine to have been a loud roar from the next room. Of course, it was Laurence. Thomas was still very much on edge, and the cool draft that made its way into the shack only heightened the chilly feeling. Perpetuating through his mind was the nightmare he had experienced earlier. The feeling of dread was not one easily shrugged off, and its effects permeated deep into the mind. The scariest part of his reflections wasn't the telepathically induced fright fest, it was his encounter with the one reaver. Particularly, it was the conclusion of the encounter. It was murder, that's what it was, and it was not something Thomas could become accustomed to. With a shiver of fear, or maybe just cold, Thomas backed out of the shack. Before he had even cleared the sheet that covered the doorway he was being beckoned by Xia. With her was two others, one more middle-aged man and the other a kid about the same age as Thomas. He didn't bother to take the stairs, and instead just dropped down onto the rickety wooden platform, surprisingly not making a sound. Thomas then walked over, his obviously guarded posture relaxing as he came into Xia's presence.

"Thomas, Jonathan. Jonathan, Thomas."


Jonathan nodded to Thomas, to which Thomas responded with silence. He had not been around people for quite a long time, and the current circumstance didn't give him any more desire to interact with them. Xia gave a warm introduction to the Priory once more. The other man, Samuel, walked right into poor Thomas. Well, really, Samuel walked towards Thomas, and then Thomas seemingly teleported a few feet to the side. Thomas faded back into what dark he could find, staying still close to the conversation at hand, but not taking any attempt to participate in it. For a little he would stay and listen, but should nothing hold his interest or nobody address his directly, he would find a nice shack rooftop to spend the rest of the night and catch up on some well needed sleep.

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Xaioyan's smile never faltered, but a tilt of her head puts it in a sad light as she looks to Jonathan.

"I only heard that because you thought it 'at' me, if that helps you make any sense of anything." She confesses, unwrapping her fingers from the bowl to splay them in a gesture of honesty, "As for knowing your names? Yes. I'm a telepath. But even as I understand your paranoia, you must understand mine." Xiaoyan sighs wistfully, and her words are matched by an earnestly apologetic expression.

"This is our home, and many of us are unchipped, or on the run, or just too dangerous for Psi-CON to let us live. They know Psi are finding a haven somewhere under their feet, and they are not content to simply let us escape the fate they have planned for us. Every day an agent works to get closer, every day a scavenger sells his knowledge of some piece of graffitti he thinks marks a path. We are constantly /afraid/ of people around us, and that's no way to live for people who have done nothing more wrong than to be born."

"That's where people like me come in. I know /you/ were looking for us, if only for the sake of your own freedom." She smiles and nods at Jonathan, "And I know /you/ were in trouble with no place to go." She turns the smile to Thomas. "That's all I know. I did not poke around into your pasts or look for secrets, because I didnt have to. I know you are not Psi-CON, and that is enough for me."

Smoothing the front of her threadbare sweater, Xiaoyan sighs, "It's a necessary sin, in times like this. But I know that is the excuse of every dictator through history. So, as long as you are here and as long as you give us no reason to think that you would bring the authorities down on our heads... I will go no farther without permission, and nothing I know leaves my lips."

The smile returns as bright as ever and she laughs musically at Jonathan, letting Thomas slip back ingo the shadows since he's clearly exhausted, "Asside from you thinking knives at me. I cant help but hear it if you're -throwing- your thoughts at me, so that is YOUR mind intruding into MINE."

Turning the tables on him in teasing good humor, she answers his next question with a shrug, "Only long enough to realize you were looking for something in particular. That's when Sam was sent to see what you were about. We have eyes in the Bones just like Psi-CON does. It's sort of a constant chess game that very few people are aware is even being played, with very real lives the pieces on the board. If you'd =kept= looking, Psi-CON may've taken an interest in you, which is why we acted first."

She folds her fingers into her lap, "I'm sorry to say that, in forcing /our/ hand, you may have Psi-CON's interest too, now. The man you killed made his money bringing in rogue Psi in the Bones; whether alive or a corpse. His friends will be quick to report his death. It may not be safe for you to return to whatever life you were living."

----
Kayla
----

Vetted, in a way, by the handsome Brit, Kayla's escorts wouldnt be long leading her down -one more- set of impossible to remember passages. The air grows damp and cold, the sensation of being watched by the ghosts of the Dead Zone almost palpable. But through a tunnel and across a rickety bridge of scavenged wood and old cable... there it is. Her destination.

Buildings above the waterline crowd and tilt under the pressure of the Bones above. Platforms and bridges and ramps link around and through them like the messy constructions of drunken ants. Fires beat back the darkness, and the sounds of Life echo dully in this artificial amphitheatre.

The three men sigh almost as one with expressions of relief, and disappear quickly into the maze of doorways and balconies. The men that had escorted Kayla after Sam's introduction eye her momentarily before pointing her down a particular walkway and to a clearing of tables and fire barrels from which the smell of food wafts.

Sitting at one of those tables, in the middle of the fires' heat, is a young American boy and an older Chinese woman chatting in a friendly manner. Xiaoyan looks up at Kayla's entrance into the circle of bright light, and beams an inviting smile along with the wave of a hand to join them.

"Ah! Good! I was beginning to think you'd gotten cold feet. Please! Sit! My name is Xiaoyan. I am told you helped someone.... May I ask why?" Her curiosity contains no hint of the suspicion and malice Kayla has been met with thusfar. The tiny woman carries herself and her conversation with the utmost care and grace, making the shabby constructions around them seem like the finest halls.

As if on cue, another hot bowl of assorted somethings finds its way in front of the newest guest, steam curling up from the chunky stew.

"I think this is the busiest I've been with new people in ages." Xiaoyan ponders aloud, smiling with such an infectious joy that it's difficult to prevent oneself from smiling back.

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Jonathan lowered his head slightly as she explained. It all made sense why she would go inside his head, why she would pry into his private thoughts. For all she knew, he could have been there to infiltrate the Priory and destroy it from the inside. He gave a quick glance around. Considering that the majority of the people there were likely Psi, he was almost glad he wasn't trying to destroy them. Xiaoyan seemed lovely, but he had seen respected mothers, who helped Psi and human alike, kill to save the ones she loved. Jonathan gave an apologetic look and thought the word "sorry" towards her. Though, he instantly regretted this when she joked about him intruding her own mind. Giving a light chuckle, he looked down into the empty bowl in front of him.

'If this woman is a higher up in the Priory then she might just be able to help me find Sam, or at least might know someone who can find my brother.' Jonathan looked to her with an appraising look, trying to determine whether r not she could help him, or if he could even trust her. Everything told him to trust her, but he knew that now was not the time to ask favors of her. Jonathan was more than used to the favors system, and still had a few to redeem himself. He didn't overly wish to have an obligation to someone he barely knew.

"I'm sorry to say that, in forcing /our/ hand, you may have Psi-CON's interest too, now." Jonathan's eyebrows pulled together in confusion as Xiaoyan spoke. "The man you killed made his money bringing in rogue Psi in the Bones; whether alive or a corpse. His friends will be quick to report his death. It may not be safe for you to return to whatever life you were living." Jonathan froze. His mouth hung open for a second, before he closed it and looked to the side trying to regain his composure. He had hoped that the man in the tunnels had lived, Jonathan hadn't realized that he had hit him that hard, but had expected him to have died. It didn't make it any easier to hear however. This was his first kill after all.
'He died by my hands...'

Jonathan closed his eyes, a pained expression on his face, and drew in a shaky breath. He released it in a steady flow, and returned to the conversation only to see that someone new had entered it. Jonathan's hazel eyes scanned her athletic figure, making his way up to her face and then large eyes. Her pale, and strangely almost glowing, skin was emphasized by her dark wavy hair. Jonathan's eyes remained for a second on her seemingly colorless eyes before he drew them away, realizing he was staring. "I think this is the busiest I've been with new people in ages." He smiled at Xiaoyan's words, and looked down to the table letting the two women speak. He had a lot to think about.

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Xiaoyan can see the pain written on Jonathan's face, but it'd been a calculated reveal. Shielding him from the truth of his actions would've just hurt him later on if he'd felt safe enough to leave and been run down by vengefull Psi hunters. So she lets him have his silence and holds her attention on Kayla for the moment.

"Well, I'm grateful you decided to 'have their backs', then. You're right, helping eachother out a little bit is probably the least we can do in times like this." She nods in agreement.

Then she chuckles again and spreads her hands to them both, "What I plan on doing with you is letting you go sleep. I've been here yammering on and you're about to pass out in your bowls."

Lifting a hand, the slender chinese woman points at the catwalks above them where leaning building doorways have been closed off with curtains or makeshift doors. While precariously perched; they all seemed sturdy and secluded. A few had lights burning low in them, some had crude scrawling marking them with owners' names, but many were open and invitingly silent.

"Up there are what passes for our living quarters. You can go ahead and pick whichever is your fancy. The farther out you go, the colder but quieter it gets. It's all quite safe as long as you dont leave the catwalks or the last lanterns. You can always find the kitchen here, there'll always be -something- edible available, just mind your manners around our chef Laurence."

Swiveling, she points at the rest of the clustered lights in the underground amphitheatre, "The rest of the place you can wander when you're feeling right. We have a few meeting spaces, but unless there's someone there to shoo you away, you may feel free to explore. If you want to help out before anyone asks, try your hand at fishing. We do get some down here that arent contaminated."

And then she stands smoothly, still short enough that she couldnt loom over them if she tried, but she motions her hands in a 'shoo' gesture. "I've kept you too long for my own entertainment. Just stay inside the lanterns. We arent far from the Dead Zone, here, so if you wish to leave we'll have to get you an escort. But now? Rest. Go on. Get."

Motherly command thus issued, Xiaoyan smiles again and makes a slight bow out of her oriental heritage before leaving the would-be cafeteria. Stopping to chat cheerfully, briefly, with others on her way, she breezes out and is gone.

Beyond that ring of warmth, cheer, and food, Xiaoyan sighs and rubs the bridge of her nose with a delicate finger. Sleep sounded wonderful, but would have to wait. Three new mouths to feed. With luck, one or two might stay on and prove willing to help. Two of her best were still out there, somewhere. And now three others were waiting in her office to give her such a grim report that she could -feel- their dread hanging over her head like a wave waiting to crash down.

Sometimes she envied others their ignorance.

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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Jonathan gave a tired half smile at Xiaoyan's motherly dismissal and pushed himself up from his seat, his body swaying slightly because of how long he had been awake. He gave a quick glance up to where he would sleep for the rest of the night and sighed with relief before turning his eyes to Xiaoyan as bowed and began to turn.
"Thank you," he said quietly, though loud enough for her to hear. He had learned the hard way that it's best to be polite in these situations, even if he didn't completely trust those at the receiving end. He watched her small, retreating form then lifted his hand to cover his mouth as a yawn crept up on him.

For a silent second, Jonathan stood looking down at the dark haired woman still there with him after Xiaoyan left. She looked exhausted, as if she'd fall asleep right there on the spot. His eyes lingered for a moment, drawn in by her ethereal glow, before he turned away, conscious of the fact that he was now staring. Focussing on the light from the makeshift houses above them, he cleared his throat softly.
"Well, uh..." he swallowed to wet his throat and started to take a step back. "Goodnight." Nodding, happy that he could at least manage words, he turned slowly and started for the empty house of his choice, a small makeshift hovel with a door in between two already taken homes. The idea of being near the end of the lanterns where it was cold and isolated brought a sense of wariness to the teen. He ran his long fingers through his hair with a sigh and ascended to what he hoped would be a comfortable sleep.

The pungent tang of dampness assaulted his senses as he pushed open the door to the dark dwelling. Jonathan cast an appraising eyes across the walls and floor and gave a tired smile. It wasn't anything special, it wasn't a luxury room, but it didn't matter. He had found what he was looking for. The Priory was everything that he had been looking for all of his life. He lifted the messenger bag from his body and dropped it on the floor, pulled off his boots and threw his coat beside them. He crouched down to the bag and searched through it for the nearly finished candle. The flashlight would have been preferable, but he only had a few batteries to replace it yet. He balanced the candle on the bedside table and stretched with a yawn.

As his eyes fell on the wick, an idea came into his head. He hesitantly lifted his hands. Jonathan's abilities weren't always entirely reliable when he tried to use them in a more refined form. The possibility that he could blow a three, four foot wide hole in the wall was a very real danger. He drew in a breath, and pulled back his hands. He opened his hands in the usual way to use his power but with a twist of his hands. A crackle and flash burst from the wick and a flame came into existence. Jonathan smiled, before lifting the candle and dropping wax to the table and putting the candle into it to add to its stability. Dropping to the surprisingly comfortable bed below him, the teen closed his eyes and let the darkness engulf him, the lingering memories of the day before slowly corrupting his dreams within.