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Kayla Mackenzie

"Don't touch me, not unless you want to get hurt."

0 · 207 views · located in New Boston

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

Description

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Accessing Subject Registration File....


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Name: Kayla Mackenzie

Alias: Fury, Hellion,

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Threat: High, known to them as extremely dangerous

Known Affiliations: Stray,

Appearance: Kayla is 5"4' and weighs approximately 120 lbs, she is petite and at first glance appears young, pretty and harmless. She has a long thin face with a slightly pointed chin. Her eyes are large in her face and slightly almond shaped, they are a dark brown but in most lights appear almost black, when she is using her abilities her pupil seems to completely absorb her brown irises. Her skin is a stark pale colour which gives her either a sickly pallor or ethereal quality depending on the light. She has a long, delicate nose and rose coloured lips with her intact, though somewhat grey, teeth showing through the gap between her lips. Her hair is a mass of thick black locks which are naturally wavy and almost impossible for her to control.

She has an athletic figure with small hips and breasts, her arms and legs are toned but not overly muscular. She has no extra fat on her anywhere with her body made up of just muscle. Due to this she looks thinner than is healthy and most underestimate her strength believing her to be as frail as she looks. The various scars on her body and dark shadows under her eyes show the strain her abilities and how she lives is taking on her body. She has spent over half her life fighting for survival and freedom and at least half her body is covered in various scars and marks from the battles she has fought. Overall she may appear weak and fragile but she is anything but.

Criminal Record: Theft, Grand Theft Auto, Murder, Assault of law enforcement (specifically Psi-Con}

Equipment Proficiencies: Kayla has learned several forms of martial arts and uses a mixture of them in her own unique style, she is also an expert with long knives one in each hand. She can use firearms when needed but prefers not to as they are too loud and attract too much attention. The only exception is sniper rifles as she uses them when wanting to take a target out from afar.

Skills: Stealth
Assassination
Shooting
Tracking
Martial arts
Minor computing
Basic understanding of French and German from childhood lessons

Psi Level: Six

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Known Abilities:

Physically Enhanced For reasons unknown Kayla was affected on a much more physical level than most other Psi, the energy slammed into her and seeped into her cells, muscles, bones and organs. As a result Kayla's senses, stamina, agilty, strength, speed and durability are much greater than that of regular humans. This is the first of two abilities she possesses that makes her such a threat to Psi-Con as she is very difficult to hit and when they do manage she takes a great deal less damage. However she is not invulnerable and can be injured or killed if enough physical damage is inflicted.

Kinetic absorption This is the second ability that Kayla has that makes her dangerous, she is able to absorb the kinetic energy of an object or force aimed at her. She has to concentrate to do this and therefore if she is distracted or fighting for example it becomes much harder for her to do this. She can then store the kinetic energy she has absorbed and turn it into a defensive shield to protect against incoming forces or an energy blast that pushes the force back at someone or something with often lethal consequences. The amount of kinetic energy she can absorb is dependant on the object/forces size so she stops bullets with ease as they are only small but things such as explosions or large objects are much more difficult for her and she is often unsuccessful in stopping them.

Regeneration Kayla's body naturally heals injuries she has received and makes her immune to poisons, diseases and viruses. The larger the injury the longer it takes her body to heal and thus this ability varies between days and months depending on the severity of her condition. Her healing is also dependent on her having enough food to fuel this ability as her metabolism burns that much faster when she is healing an injury.

Aura This is one of her defensive abilities and basically means she can exude pheromones from her body creating a variety of emotional reactions in her chosen targets. She can intimidate, frighten or seduce with this ability.

Teleportation Kayla can teleport from one place to another though she finds this exhausting and cannot take anyone with her. She also has to have seen where she intends to teleport otherwise she could end up anywhere including inside a wall.

Telepathy As with all Psi Kayla has telepathy and is of sufficient strength to read surface thoughts and communicate with others telepathically but comparatively this is the weakest of her abilities.

Personality: Kayla is blunt and abrasive, she says what she thinks and doesn't try and soften it no matter what the subject. She has a chip on her shoulder the size of England and generally switches between being angry or numb with nothing in between. She is prickly, defensive and downright impossible to get to know. She has a nasty temper and it doesn't take much to set it off, basically she acts like this to push others away and its worked on most people so far. Yet even with all this you would still want her on your side in a fight, she will fight to the bitter end with a recklessness that suggests she doesn't care about her own life. She is not suicidal but equally she doesn't value her own life like she should. This behaviour earned her the names Fury and Hellion by those who have known her over the years.

The only things keeping her going is a steely determination to gain freedom and acceptance for who and what she is and the sheer size of her barely suppressed rage. You do not want to mess with her in a fight as she will be mean, vicious and show absolutely no pity whatsoever. She will not hesitate to kill you if she has weakened you enough to do so. She is a loose cannon and as such she always works alone as most others won't work with her, this mostly doesn't bother her however as she prefers it that way. No one to judge her when she goes too far or does something they see as wrong or evil. To Kayla the lines between right and wrong have become blurred to the point where she would be willing to do just about anything to achieve her goals.

She rarely interacts with others on a social level any more, instead she avoids close relationships for the fear that they would make her vulnerable or would eventually betray her. She only interacts with others when she is targeting a member of Psi-Con or police officers for death. Other than that she keeps moving from one place to the next and avoids others. She is however lonely, though she would never admit this, and desperate to be with others like her Psi who hide from the system and live each moment in fear of their lives.

Role in story: At beginning of story she is alone, but I would like her to be recruited into the Priory at the stories beginning.

History: Kayla was born in the north of Scotland in a remote village community, her father was the priest of the local church and her mother a housewife. She grew up in a very strict household as her father had a high standard for what he considered good Christian behaviour and expected his family to adhere to his rules. They were allowed no television or modern books or magazines as he believed they were a bad influence and they were expected to pray every day and read from the bible every evening. Kayla had no friends growing up as her parents believed they were a bad influence and the local kids thought she was stuck up and shunned her. Despite all this Kayla loved her parents and accepted her lifestyle as proper and correct.

Then everything changed when she like so many others was hit by the strange energy that changed her life forever, her parents had always been particularly zealous in their beliefs and this only worsened after what had happened.
They believed she and the others affected by the phenomenon was possessed and did everything they could to cleanse her soul, she received beatings and was locked in a dark room and starved regularly. They attempted to exorcise her on several occasions and all of this torment badly scarred Kayla to the point where she began to believe what they told her. Things reached boiling point several years later and had suffered her parents misguided attempts to "cure" her for years. As they were dragging her towards the dark room, which she feared more than anything else, she panicked and her body already in hormonal imbalance from puberty reacted by exuding pheromones. As fear was what she was feeling at the time this is what she made her parents feel, they experienced full blown terror and fled. Frightened by what she had done and desperate to escape she fled her house and never looked back.

She has been on the run ever since, she fell in with several gangs and rebel groups over the years and she used these groups to learn the skills needed to survive such as martial arts and knife fighting. One such group helped her escape England after things got too hot for her and she instead went to America. By this time she had learned how to stay off the Psi Con radar and keep a low profile. Not long after she arrived she met a human man who was an ex soldier and surprisingly not hostile towards her. She lived with him from the age of twenty to twenty four and during that time she honed her skills, he also taught her how to kill silently and stealthily and how to use her abilities to their best advantage.

One year ago she was set up by someone she was working with and the safe house she and the soldier lived at was compromised, he was killed but she survived and escaped but not before killing many of them. Since then she has worked alone targeting anyone she thinks either works for Psi-Con or helps fund them or sympathises with them. She has been a thorn in their hand for years but as yet they have never been able to find her or capture her. She is currently living in New Boston though sleeping rough most of the time is a more accurate description.

RP Sample:

One year ago

The young woman ran through the streets her feet pounding against the ground splashing water over her body, the rain poured down in a deluge soaking anyone and everything. Most people had sought shelter from the downpour but not her, she ran through the streets uncaring of the rain that had soaked her through to the skin, uncaring that her feet were wet and her body numb with cold. She moved with a single minded purpose aware of nothing except how much further she had to go. The few people she passed, huddled together in raincoats and umbrellas, muttered surprise at seeing her pass but she ignored them just as she ignored the homeless curled up pitifully in whatever shelter they could find.

Please She thoughtplease let me be in time
The thought continued on and on becoming a mantra that was in time with the pounding of her feet, the harsh sound of her breath and the drumming of her heart. She was exhausted, even with her abilities, she had pushed herself to the limit and was now pushing past that boundary not caring that she would suffer for it later. All that mattered was that she reach her destination in time. She knew it was most likely a trap, that they would be waiting for her and that the safest thing would be to never return there again. But she couldn't do it, she couldn't abandon him not after he had done so much for her.

Finally she reached the dilapidated buildings that were her destination, the outside was deceptively clear of Psi-Con officers but she knew that meant nothing, they could be hiding in any number of the buildings surrounding the one she was focussed on. Even with that knowledge she didn't slow, she ran through the old front doors and up the stairs the journey feeling like an eternity. Eventually she reached the door of the apartment she shared with him, the door was open and her heart sank. Slowly, her heart pounding and her lungs burning from her exhausting sprint, she edged into the hallway listening for any sound. It was eerily quiet and she hoped that meant he had gotten out.

The apartment was a mess, broken furniture and holes in the walls greeted her as did the scent of blood, the iron coppery smell filled her nose and she followed it to where it was strongest. A body was slumped against a wall, bullet holes around it and going through it to the wall behind, the head was down the face obscured but she knew it was him. With a strangled sob she fell to her knees beside him and lifted his head. Unseeing eyes greeted her, the spark of life of intelligence gone from them. He had put up one hell of a fight and she felt a fierce sense of pride at how he hadn't gone down easy. He had died as he had lived, as a soldier, a warrior. Gently she closed his eyes uncaring of the blood she now had on her hands, it was her fault he was dead and blood already stained her soul. What did it matter if a little more got on her hands.

"Goodbye Merrick." She said softly, there were no tears not yet. Those would come later once she had found the bastards responsible for this and made them regret the day they were born. She pictured one man in particular, short with stringy brown hair and watery blue eyes, he had betrayed her, set her up and for him she would save the worst. A sound of footfalls behind her made her raise her head, they were here, they had obviously waited in other apartments out of sight. They were trying to be quiet, every movement careful and precise but they might as well have shouted for all the good it did them. Even if she hadn't heard them she would have smelled them, the smell of sweat and body odour strong in the air. They were nervous and she smiled then and rose slowly making no attempt to escape. Let them come vengeance started now.

Password: Deifier

So begins...

Kayla Mackenzie's Story

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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#, as written by Belynta
Kayla Mackenzie crouched low atop the building watching the scene unfold below, it was an event that occurred here on a nightly basis, a young woman barely out of her teens was being harassed by several large dirty looking men. Kayla had done nothing as yet as she felt the girl deserved to be frightened a little for foolishly wandering around alone in such a dangerous part of the city. No one walked alone in the slums, no one except Psi who could handle it or cops and Psi Con, everyone knew that they were likely to vanish in a rush of violence if they risked walking here at night in a group never mind alone. Kayla examined the girl carefully, her enhanced vision having no trouble seeing her even in the darkness though thankfully the moon was out otherwise even Kayla would have trouble given the lack of street lights, but saw nothing to suggest that the girl was anything other than a very young, very vulnerable person.

As the men pushed the girl up against the wall her high pitched, frightened voice reached Kayla's ears and the girls reason for being out this late was suddenly clear.
Bloody hell Kayla cursed in her head She's out here for a bloody prescription, is she mad? No meds are worth your life you silly bint!
The men were laughing clearly confident that the girl was theirs for the taking and that no one would intervene to save her. Kayla's lips twitched into a sardonic smile and she stood slowly, quietly stretching her muscles. She was no hero and normally didn't save hapless people from criminals, it was sheer luck she had been in the area at all, but her target hadn't showed so she was spoiling for a fight. Besides she had a real problem with bullies of any kind, and the men below were definitely bullies. After listening a moment more to ensure no friends were coming to assist the men, she dropped from the roof landing in a crouch on the street below.

"Do you really want to be doing this in this weather?" She said, gaining the men's attention. "I mean your dicks are likely to freeze off before you can do anything."

One man, the leader of their little group, glared at her. "Fuck off, this is nothing to do with you!" He looked her up and down and he licked his lips clearly liking what he saw. "Actually I changed my mind, stay, you can be dessert."

Kayla shook her head. "Too much sweet stuff is bad for you. Now please leave the girl alone and walk away, then I won't have to hit you a lot and make a mess."

The leader didn't like that, not one bit, he turned fully towards Kayla with his two goons following suit and Kayla grinned showing her teeth. She had their attention now and even better they were completely ignoring the girl. She waited as they approached her aggressively and grinned again. This was going to be fun. They came at her all at once trying to grab her but Kayla easily avoided their clumsy attacks using her speed and agility to always be somewhere else. They must have realised they were not going to succeed in grabbing her so they changed tactic, trying instead to hurt her enough to get her off her feet or at the very least stun her. Kayla caught the fist swinging at her and delivered a few swift punches to the man's face, he crumpled, she then caught the second in the groin with a sharp kick and the third she grabbed and smacked his head against the alley wall hard enough to knock him out.

Satisfied that none of them were getting up for a while she looked to the girl, she stood frozen eyes wide and flinched as Kayla stepped towards her.

"I'm not going to hurt you idiot!" Kayla said irritably. "Go home before someone else decides to try it on. And for christs sake stay off the streets at night."

The girl nodded her head quickly and then turned and ran flat out, presumably towards her house. Kayla glanced down at the men and sighed. She decided she had best make herself scarce before the cops or Psi Con decided to come and investigate the noise. She quickly climbed up to the roof of the building she had been crouched on earlier and began to head away from the alley using the roofs and fire escapes as her walk ways.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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"The...the bird, that was you?"

Xiaoyan didnt have to answer as the boy's curiosity took him and ran. The questions couldnt spill out of him fast enough, piling on top of eachother in the rush to get out. She waited, patiently, taking another drink of the stew in her bowl until Thomas finally had to come up for air, so to speak, and the silence settled again.

"This place is Home. I wish we had a more creative name for it, but there you have it. We live here. I imagine Psi-CON knows of it. They'd dearly love to find it. But no. They dont know where we are or how to get to us. You know how the Bones can be. So many tunnels that shift and collapse and never quite get you where you need to go..." She smiles knowingly, perhaps with some small ammount of sly pride.

"It's only a prison if you want to see it that way. Like it or not no matter where you go as a Psi you are a prisoner." She shrugs with a wistfull sadness.

"You're welcome for the food. There's more of it when you want it; we try to keep a hot pot on at all times. People come and go at the oddest hours down here. No sun to keep a rhythm, I think."

Finishing the last of her stew, she takes his empty from him and stands, comming up to his nose if she's lucky. She smoothes her hands over the wash-worn sweater and jeans she wears as if maintaining a fine silk suit - and honestly she makes the ratty garments -seem- like upscale attire - and peels back the curtain to show him the vast space outside of his tiny room. It's all catwalks and balconies built into leaning pre-Dawning masonry. A maze of activity.

"You can follow your nose to our 'kitchen'. Just ask Lawrence for food. I'd say the man's a teddybear, but he isnt. Mind your manners." She laughs brightly, "You're free to wander anywhere the fires are lit and no one's there to shoo you off. Get to know the place, I dont mind. If you feel like you could pay us back by staying on as an extra hand around the place, we've always got a warm bunk waiting."

With a wink, she slips out, catching the cloth before it falls a last time and sticking her head back in.

"Oh. Before I forget. I say stay within the light as a warning. Not because we want to keep you here, but because if you leave without an escort... we're very close to the Dead Zone. You dont want to be there in your condition. Or any condition, really."

And just like that she's gone again, leaving him with the mental image of being lost, alone, inside the resonance-drenched crater that lurked just outside the warm and cheery atrium. If that wasnt a good detterrent to wandering off alone, I dont know what is.

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Elsewhere
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"How long is this going to take?" A harsh whisper in a dark alleyway between two cramped buildings.

"How long until you shut the hell up and let me work?" Ungloved hands run across the cold metal door.

"Jesus could you be any louder? Just get us in and let's get this done! I hate being up top this long." Someone fidgets at the end of the alley, watching the occasional passing car with an intense scrutiny that went beyond mere suspicion.

Finnaly, there's a click, and the telekinetic's teeth flash in the dark as he grins at his fellows, "We're in."

This small pediatrics hospital on the edge of the buisness sector might seem like an odd target for a midnight raid, as the three men pile inside. The pharmacy wouldnt have the kind of powerful drugs that an adult could find much use for. There were no expensive computers worth stealing. But there was a prize here, nonetheless. They didnt risk flashlights. But, clasping the fidgety man on the shoulder, they let him lead them without fail.

"You sure this is it?" His comrade asks, fumbling against a door.

"Records, plain as day. I'll know what cabinet when we get the hell in there."

They ease the swinging doors open, but there is no one inside to greet them. One of them flicks on the lights, startling his two fellows who curse him unto five generations in harsh whispers. It DOES make their search easier, though, and it isnt a minute later that the Kinetic has broken open the lock on the files they now flip through.

"June.. July... August.. Holy fuck, man, they must've been tagging Psi-likely births for years."

"Wait a minute.... Hey Paul that August one, kid named Lillith?"

"Yeah. Died at birth. Why?

"Says in this one Lillith was 'transfered to Bravo for special consideration'. Doesnt say shit about being dead. No name on the place, though. Just 'Bravo'. The fuck does that mean?"

"Fuck.. Does that mean what it sounds like it means?"

"Sounds like CON is telling parents their kids are dead when they aint."

"Jesus... this isnt just testing, guys. This is heavy shit! We've got to -"

Boots ring down the tile hallways. Several pairs. In a panic, the three grab what they can stuff into their jackets and burst back out into a stream of flashlight beams. No one bothers to yell 'Freeze'. They just shoot.

"Look out!" With a yelp, the skinny man throws out his hand, and the rounds intended for them 'blink' out of existance as the trio runs with everything in them for the doors. The bullets return a flash later, facing the opposite direction, and delay their attackers momentarily. Lights blaze on as psi-CON security teams respond to the silent alarm in this otherwise nondescript little hospital.

"Are there any outside?!"

"You know I cant See on the run! Just open the door!"

"Oh fuck! They locked it!"

"The hell they did! Get out of my way!"

With a great noise of grinding metal, the Kinetic blows open the doors, staggering out of them with the effort as his comrades help him stumble into the alley. They run for the factories with the sounds of pursuit behind them. And above. A lanky CON mech vaults the rooftops overhead and lands with a sickening THUD only a few lengths at their heels.

Luck is looking in extremely short supply for the already tired Priory team...

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Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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#, as written by Belynta
Having silently followed the young girl and assuring herself that no further harm came to the small scared girl on her way home, Kayla was at a loose end. It had been a disappointing night all round, except for the girl of course, and Kayla was not impressed. She fully intended to find out who had given her the false information and make them pay for it as she had been sent on a wild goose chase and there was little she liked less than having her time wasted. She was turning for what would settle for home that night when she heard the sounds. Quiet at first and she guessed it was several blocks away at least, though with her hearing it sounded like it was on the street below her, but getting louder. Sounds of feet hitting tarmac mixed with the distinctive sounds of gunfire.

Knowing that it would be in her best interest to simply ignore it given that she was already wanted for various crimes and avoiding more trouble would be the sensible option Kayla hesitated. She tried to listen to the voice of reason telling her to head the other way but her natural curiosity won out as it often did, urging her to see what was happening. She stood on a rooftop above the streets and so it was no trouble for her to make her way towards the sounds via roofs close together or the fire escapes still attached to run down buildings. She slowed when the noise was almost deafening realising whatever was happening was right below her, she looked down over the rooftop crouched low to avoid detection. A group of men were fleeing what was clearly Psi Con and it was obvious to Kayla that they were in trouble.

She sighed to herself realising that for the second time that night she was aiding others, not that she disliked doing so per se but simply that it was out of character for her. She wondered for a moment if she were going soft but then when she saw the mechanised form chasing them she decided if she was going to aid the fleeing men she would have to do so now. She had realised quite quickly that they were Psi like her and therefore she found a reason to justify her actions to help them. Psi were family, no question, as they had to look out for one another since no one else would. Kayla examined the distance from the rooftop to the street below and judged it to be within her body's tolerance level.

She stood and after a deep breath dropped from the roof, after mere moments in the air she landed in a crouch her enhanced muscles absorbing much of the impact. Enough remained however to make her stagger slightly and wince at the shooting pains in her ankles and legs. But it was tolerable and she was soon on her feet standing between the fleeing men and those chasing them gun in hand. Seeing her land they instantly saw her as another target and aimed at her, this close they wouldn't miss and yet Kayla stood still and waited for them. She was not looking forward to using this aspect of her ability as it was by far the most exhausting but she saw no other option. She just hoped she managed to stop the enemy before the exhaustion overtook her.

The weapons fired and Kayla watched as a stream of projectiles flew towards her, thankful that the bullets had very little force physically, she concentrated bringing her offensive abilities to bear. As the bullets reached towards her she drew the energy powering them into herself, rendering them harmless and filling her with powerful kinetic energy. The bullets, deprived of the force that moved them, fell to the ground at her feet. Whilst the men stared in surprise Kayla wasted no time in finding a target for the excess energy she now held. With concious effort she shaped the energy she had absorbed into a mass of energy focussed into her hands, just as it reached the point she felt she would explode from the inside out she released the force. It blasted away from her in a focussed kinetic energy mass and mowed straight into the mechanic vehicle pursuing the fleeing men.

It hit it's legs and was strong enough to blow one leg completely away, now without balance the machine wobbled clearly trying to compensate but unable to do so. It staggered for a moment longer before lurching violently to one side crashing into the adjacent building and for the moment it meant the mech was out of commission. Satisfied Kayla looked back at the men, a wild grin on her face, they still stood watching her until an officer barked a command and they responded raising their guns. Unsure she had the energy for another kinetic absorption Kayla changed tactic choosing to attack them directly, she broke into a run using the parked vehicles for cover as she charged the men. When she judged she was close enough she leaped from the car she had landed on, landing in the middle of the men.

She was now too close for them to fire without risking their own and so they lowered their weapons but they were not fast enough. They were only men whereas Kayla was enhanced, her speed and agility put them in the shade and she moved among them using feet and fists to carve a hole in their ranks. She used quick, efficient moves designed to use the maximum force with the lease amount of energy as she knew she was rapidly running out. She might be enhanced but such enhancements came at a cost in her case an incredibly fast metabolism that burned energy a hell of a lot quicker than normal people. By the time the last Psi Con was on the floor, unconscious or dead, she was breathing hard and felt unsteady on her feet. Knowing more Psi Con would no doubt arrive soon and in no shape to take on any more just then she turned and ran following the men. Even tired her speed outmatched most others and she managed to catch up to the men in question.

"Hi there." She panted a wry grin on her face. "I managed to disable the men on your tail and the oversized tin can following you. Don't worry you can thank me later." She breathed hard for several minutes knowing she could not maintain this pace for much longer.

"More is no doubt on the way, you boys know somewhere we can hole up? Being caught by Psi Con is not high on my bucket list."

Setting

Characters Present

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.


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Kayla
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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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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Samuel Maccabeus Hawethorn Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny 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: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny 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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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Thomas Kenny Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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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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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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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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Character Portrait: Xiaoyan Jin Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Kayla Mackenzie
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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.