The Dead Savant

Discussion in 'Campfire Stories' started by Zemelci, Aug 25, 2015.

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  1. Autumneverlast

    Autumneverlast Well-Known Member

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    Harper winced as she watched Giles slip and slide to the floor, visibly shocked and panicked. Giles had apparently taken things pretty hard, considering that he was stuttering and stammering through questions and confusions. That combined with the memories that still didn't quite fit together and way more blank spots than she was comfortable with... Harper sighed and scooched her way over to Giles, settling up against him with a weak hug. Having him there gave her better things to focus on than the mess in her head. "Honestly? I don't know. Things are still pretty jumbled and I kinda..." She winced and shivered hard. "I guess rumors of my death were uh... exaggerated, I guess. And apparently someone whammied me, that's fun... But I'm here, at least." Harper wasn't sure what she should say to comfort Giles. What could she say, really? "Uh... sorry for disappearing on you, I normally leave a note, but I um... couldn't find any paper or a pen and uh... at least I'm not telling you I'm pregnant?" she trailed off lamely. Great job, very funny, tension diffused. Five out of ten thousand. She let go of him and focused for a moment before shifting to the same blonde form she'd used on her first day on this godforsaken mission. Which was a mistake, given that she now felt like someone had scrubbed her brain with sand and had to resist scrambling for the toilet again. Tamping down that urge, she flopped back against Giles. Sweaty, exhausted, wearing clothes that were way too loose for her now, and too tired to explain to the ex she was cuddling with why she hadn't contacted him at all for months. Smooth, Harper, smooth.
     
  2. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Giles' first instinct to Possibly-Harper shifting towards him was to get out of there, but he repressed it. He'd made his bed, now he merely needed to lie in it. However, his worries that this was a trap dwindled as she simply moved to hug him, his arm more or less moving on its own over her shoulders. She looked like his sister, after all...it was only natural. She proceeded to talk somewhat without purpose, acting...awkward. Off her game. Not like her at all, but at the same time it wasn't too surprising given the circumstances. Especially since the bracelet had somehow been messing with her head enough to lock her into Nicole's form and without any memory telling her she wasn't the form she was taking on. Before he had a chance to respond she shifted to a form he recognized, confirming that this was in fact the shapeshifter he had watched be shot dead, since she had explicitly mentioned to him that this woman was dead. The odds of one of the other form changers in the world having that form were minuscule. Without having any real say in the manner, the former aristocrat started crying, though he kept it as quiet as possible.

    "It wasn't a rumor...I watched you die. Watched it..." It was his turn to shudder. "Shapeshifters can't survive that kind of trauma...I'm not dumb. I don't know how...how you survived. If the last three months could all be a dream...but no, I can still feel the...the perversion...that's felt real from the moment the pieces revealed themselves." He was talking more to himself at this point than Harper, muttering as best he could through the quiet sobbing. "I...I don't know. I really don't. But you're alive. That's the important thing. You're alive. I'm so glad...it was all my fault...shouldn't have left you alone, should've taken the other uniform and changed my hair to match...not doing so was stupid, and I've regretted it ever since...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." Was this what Toby meant by sucking chest wounds? The feeling of guilt and sorrow ripping into him? It seemed fitting, really...now that he'd had time to think about it...
     
  3. Autumneverlast

    Autumneverlast Well-Known Member

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    Giles started shaking as Harper lay against him, eyes still closed. He'd... He'd taken her supposed death pretty hard. That was a little bit surprising to her, she wasn't used to being missed quite that much. They'd been together... What, a week? Less? And he was... Was he crying? Then again, the guy had been pretty quick to get attached to her, and admittedly, her to him. It made her want to give him some sort of complete explanation, an answer, something real, but... "I... Giles, I can't remember much about what happened," she started, her speech slurring a little. "I kinda have these... holes in my memory and there's some weird overlapping stuff. Maybe it'll come back, but..." Harper sighed, wiggling and shifting herself into a more comfortable spot against her lover. "Not right now..." she muttered sleepily.
     
  4. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    (Harper’s actions cleared with Autumn)


    Harper’s memory was too shot to remember what all had happened, which Giles couldn’t blame her for. She’d survived something that should have absolutely killed her...he could let the mystery go for now. The important thing was she was alive. Somehow. Alive and acting like she was going to fall asleep against him on the bathroom floor, which...he doubted that Ashley would give them that much time. Thinking along those lines, he hesitated long enough to pull himself together, then shifted a little. “If you’re going to sleep, let’s at least get you back into the bed. I’ll handle the others...and if you want I’ll come back in and take the chair or something, keep watch, make sure no one does anything while you sleep, keep them from waking you up...” A sleepy nod prompted him to help her up and assist her over to the bed in the room, acutely aware that as they left the bathroom anyone on the cameras would be able to see that the woman he was exiting with wasn’t the same one he’d gone in after. He got her situated in bed with an almost nervous touch, as though a part of him was afraid she’d shatter with too much force.


    After a tentative movement to brush her hair from her face, the former aristocrat turned towards the door. “I’ll be back in a moment,” he murmured, before heading to exit the room. His appearance snapped back into place as he left, hair stabilizing, tear streaks vanishing, showing he’d finally noticed that he’d let his control over it slip. Once outside the room, he looked over at Ashley, emotions clashing on his face. “You got it wrong. Again. My little sister is still stuck in whatever hellhole she’s been in this whole time. But I’m not inclined to shout or rage because despite the screw up, that’s Harper in there, somehow, trying to get to sleep after whatever the hell that bracelet was doing to her stopped. She’s drained, and her memory seems to be a mess. So no questioning her or examining her for now. I’m staying with her to make sure that she’s left to sleep in peace. Are we in agreement?” Giles’ tone and expression both broadcast that he was fully prepared and ready to defend his stance. The woman he had thought he’d failed to protect was alive, and he wasn’t about to let anything happen to her now. It was time to start making up for his failure, and this seemed like as good a place as any to start.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  5. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    As Ashley stepped outside the room she closed the door behind her, leaving Giles in peace with the woman she hoped was Nicole. With no way to see what was going on in the room, the group simply stood there awkwardly for about a minute or so, Ashley hurriedly checking her phone to ensure that there weren’t any pressing crises that she was supposed to be dealing with which, thankfully, there weren’t. As the door slid open and Giles stood in it, Ashley saw the conflicted emotions on his face and her mind went through all of the possibilities as he opened his mouth. What she had not expected was… “Harper?!” The shock was apparent in the operative’s voice and her face displayed a range of simultaneous emotions. As she realised that she’d still not responded to Giles’s requests… no, demands, Ashley blinked, snapping back to the situation at hand. She was a commander, she had to deal with this, emotions could wait. “I’ll make sure you guys get as much space as you need, I promise. I’m sorry it wasn’t Nicole, I’ll find her for you, I swear. For now, take care of her, and of yourself. I’ll handle Carlo."
     
  6. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    With Giles disappearing into the rather small room to speak with who they thought to be his sister Nicole, Dante would casually put his arms about Tonya and lean up against the wall facing the now closed door to await the verdict. Aside from gently murmuring to Tonya to see if she was still ok, Dante would remain silent for the entire time, having no desire to talk with any of those waiting in the corridor with him. They weren't his friends, they were at best team mates or in the case of Giles friend, complete strangers, and with the plan already hashed out he had neither the need or the desire to speak with them.

    When the door finally opened to reveal a conflicted Emerald, a surge of panic would course through him as he revealed the identity of the woman inside with Dante waiting until the door was once again closed before speaking in a shocked voice "Harper...as in shot in the head Harper? Publicly executed in front of us all Harper?" Dante asked, looking to Ashley for some kind of confirmation that that was indeed the case before speaking again "ok time to go Tonya babe, there are too many people coming back from the dead here" Dante stated as he moved his arms from around her to take her hand in preparation for a jump "deals off English, I'll save her myself!" he angrily snapped at the woman before stating his reasoning for suddenly bailing "Giles turning up out of the blue I can just about buy, I mean he and his friend here just blindly wandering into your supposedly secret base is a major security breach, but hey that's your problem...but this...this has Raypool's stink all over it! So unless you have a very good reason why we shouldn't we're getting out of here before this Trojan horse crap takes place" he snarls with the look in his eyes saying that she'd better make it good.
     
  7. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    Trixie
    As Dante flipped out at the news of Giles’ return, Trixie stood there, shivering. It appears the others hadn’t… They hadn’t known. They’d never found out. Of course they’d never found out but she should have… She… “Dante, I… uh… It’s not a trap.” As several pairs of eyes turned to stare at Trixie, she found her hand interweaving with Liu’s for emotional support. “I know how Harper survived and I know her escape wasn’t a trap. I… It makes sense for me to explain this in order, so just… please, hear me out.”

    The room where it all went wrong. Where Harper “died” and the Savant Crisis began. Giles, Ashley, Quill, everyone is strapped to the vertical gurneys with the television in front of them. Harper has entered the room disguised as the guard. But there are two figures who cannot be seen. Standing in the room, silent, Trixie and Damon. Trixie is invisible, her limp hand is held firmly by Damon. A notification pops up in the phone in his right hand, the plan begins. Damon extends his presence into the mind of everyone within the room, with no warning that he’s there, their mental defences have no chance and he takes over, just inserting himself subconsciously into the room. Harper is called out of the room. As they step out and the door closes, a smack to the back of the head knocks them unconscious and they are dragged off to be imprisoned and studied. This, however, is not what the others see. For them, Harper returns to the room, and carries on, their subconscious doing the work to convince them that all that they are seeing is real. Raypool enters the room, walking down, Damon extends the manipulation into his head so that he can see where the rest of the room thinks Harper is. Raypool draws the gun, Damon making it look more sleek and clinical at Raypool’s request, and the group hears the gun, their heads seeing the bullet that slams into the wall instead pierce Harper’s head. The scene continues, the impression firmly planted into their heads that their friend, their lover, is dead as Damon and Trixie remain standing there, silent, until the group are all finally wheeled out, none of them any the wiser that the pair was ever there.

    “I didn’t know that you didn’t know… I’m sorry. I… Those memories, of being under… under his control. I try not to think about them, they’re still raw. As for her escape… I didn’t put it together until just now but… that’s thanks to Killian”. Killian shifted uncomfortably as Trixie mentioned him. “Can I… May I explain your power?” With a subtle nod allowing her to continue, Trixie did. “Killian’s power, his main power, is water teleportation, and Raypool and his allies, they wanted to know how it worked. So they were testing on her, sorry, him, in the base, constantly. I saw the reports because they never expected me to be able to remember. He was between testings when Harper tried to make her escape. Raypool had been messing around, giving her brief windows of freedom to taunt her with before bringing her under his control again and making her “be” other people, and she used one of them to implant the idea into her subconscious to escape. She ran into Killian, and got him out, but she was still stuck as “Nicole” and, I mean, I don’t know how they got here, but I know their escape wasn’t planned. I know you don’t want to trust me Dante and I’m sorry for not bringing this up but I… what Damon did to me, it’s hazy, and I get flashes of my memory, but I didn’t realise… I didn’t know. I’m sorry. To everyone”.
     
  8. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Trixie’s story lit a burning fire in Giles, and he had to make an effort to not explode on the girl. She had nothing to do with it, he knew that. But it was so hard reliving that moment, and then getting a brief overview of what happened in the interim...it was rage-inducing. Death was too good for that...no, no, that was his father talking. He wasn’t his father, and never would be. Still, he wanted to run for an hour. He wanted to hit something, train, fight. Something, anything to burn the excess negative energy he was feeling from the explanation. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, he didn’t have any options, which meant channeling it into another manner. How dare that ass do this. How dare he, how dare he...


    The former aristocrat snapped himself out of it and looked over at Dante. Being productive might help. In a tone that betrayed his emotional state, he muttered, “I can confirm it’s her, too. Remember how exceedingly rare shapeshifters are, even among our kind. The odds of the enemy getting two are minuscule. And even if they did, the form she’s in now...she told me that the person whose form it is is dead. And shapeshifters can’t acquire from other shapeshifters. So unless the woman encountered two of the very, very few shapeshifters in the world, it’s her. You’ve got that test to confirm you’re not under control, yeah? Run it on her when she’s rested, if you haven’t already. She clears that, there shouldn’t be any issue as per her agency.” That had helped. Some. He still wanted to move, to work off energy. But to mention that, to ask for a space, was doubly betraying his current goals. It wasn’t worth it. He’d stay the course, work off the energy how he could, keep Harper safe, and get them both out of the base as soon as he could. Toby too, since the poor guy still looked uncomfortable just being there. Get them out, and stay low again. Challenging the ass wasn’t possible. Trixie’s story cemented that more than ever. All they could do now was wait for the storm to pass.
     
  9. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    Listening as Trixie told them her tale concerning Harper's supposed execution, it was clear by the look in his eyes that Dante could quite happily strangle her around about now, with her use of the mind control amnesia card doing little to help her cause. However before he was able to either vent his frustration or point out the little fact that her story proved nothing that they didn't already know, Giles would speak to him saying as how he could also confirm that it was Harper in there "I never said it wasn't Harper" Dante growled, not particularly liking the tone of voice Emerald was using "but think on this...they found the love of my life and used her against me, hell I was this close to killing her! So why not Harper too? How do we know she even escaped! Raypool had us all believe she was dead so having her accidentally escape should be a breeze compared to that!" Dante snarled, hoping that even if Giles was too love struck to see what was right in front of him that Ashley and the others would realise the potential for betrayal with Harper's sudden reappearance "...and besides I'd sooner trust Raypool than anything that traitorous tart says" he continued, jabbing a finger in Trixie's direction before snatching hold of Emerald's suggestion of her taking the test only with one minor alteration "she takes the test now! If she's clear she can sleep for as long as she wants and I'll happily leave the two of you in peace... but if she's not we need to deal with this now!"
     
  10. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    Ashley
    As tempers flared, Ashley attempted to remain cool. She’d planned on mentioning the test herself, so when Giles brought it up, she moved to speak, but Dante got there first, demanding the test be carried out right away. “We… uh, we did carry it out on her when she first arrived. Same with Killian, we had to be sure that they weren’t a trap. And, I mean, no. Raypool might have the resources of a small first world country at his disposal but he’s a bloody idiot sometimes. Whatever his reason, Nic-, Harper… she didn’t have the nanomachines in her. Instead, he just used a mental manipulator, though we aren’t sure who. My first suggestion would have been Damon, but given that you weren’t there Trixie, that rules him out. Anyway, the point is, Harper’s clear. If you really don’t believe me Dante, I’ve got a tester kit on me, always do. I can go in there with Giles, redo it now, and show you that she’s still clear, if you really need me to. Then we leave the two of them alone. Giles, is that okay to you?” Her voice was firm, but her expression was soft. On a personal level, she was glad that Harper was still alive, though how Carlo was going to take the news was anyone’s guess. Still, she just needed to get Dante off of Giles’ back for now and give the pair some peace. Things were about to get complicated enough without her various ‘allies’ kicking off as well.
     
  11. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    "Stop stalling English and test her" Dante snapped, finding himself unable to trust anything anyone was saying right now, there's too many damn secrets! his mind snarled in a feral voice that even to Dante sounded like it wanted to rip people's throats out like an animal "also I think it's time we heard laughing boy's story and how he found his way in here, I'm assuming you weren't dumb enough to let him and Emerald wander this deep inside without being tested" Dante continued, jabbing a finger in Toby's direction how are these people still alive!? their security is a complete joke!

    "Go on then, spill the beans, how did you find this place?" Dante demanded, giving Toby a look that said that any explanation he gave had better be a good one else he was liable to see what Dante was capable of when he got really upset.
     
  12. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Giles scowled as Dante blew off the fact that Harper had already been tested, insisting she go through it again. All this just reinforced why he didn't want to be here...why he was going to get out of here as soon as he could. "Fine. Let's get it over with so she can sleep in peace," he muttered, wincing as his headache flared. He turned to open the door to Harper's room, only to hear the conversation turn to Toby. Now this just wasn't fair. Now he had to choose again, and once more he knew he'd be unhappy with what he had to do. With a heavy heart, he opened the door for Ashley, stepping inside with her and closing the door, before murmuring, "I trust you'll be gentle with her...she just needs rest right now. But right now I need to make sure his paranoia doesn't wind up in a full scale fight, and knowing what I do about my escort, the explanation he gives Dante won't be 'enough'." Once he received any kind of affirmation, the former aristocrat returned to the hallway. Toby had been his friend, never giving any reason for doubt, and he'd be damned if he was going to let Dante hurt him. He'd let the guy stand up for himself, but if it wasn't to the older man's liking, he'd step in...what else could he do as a friend?
     
  13. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    Ashley
    As she stepped into the room with Giles, Dante turned his attention to the man Giles was with, Toby, and the woman sighed inwardly, exclaiming “Of course they were bloody tested, that’s how I was alerted that it was Giles in the first place”. Giles realised the situation and, as he asked her to handle it solo, she smiled gently and nodded. “I’ll be quick and gentle, promise”.

    Toby
    As Dante turned his attention towards Toby, the young Asian shrunk back slightly, uncomfortable to be the centre of attention. He knew that lying, even by omission, would only make the man, who seemed to have the mother of all hair trigger tempers, angrier and he didn’t want to see the man and Giles, who had clearly been friends, come to blows. On the other hand, he didn’t want to talk about himself more than he had to, especially not here. “As for how we found this place, whilst you lot have your own things like throwing people around the room, which I’d personally rather avoid, I just… get feelings. I had a feeling that I ought to come to this town and that I ought to bring Giles, who I felt when I first met him was interesting, and important, with me. Sometimes they’re precise feelings, like whether to go left or right at a crossroads, or whether the shady alley is better than the main road, but sometimes they’re much… vaguer. This one was vague, but I just… felt it was important. I know you might not like that, but I get the feeling that the truth is the best option I have, and that telling you that I know that you’d spot me lying otherwise is a good way to demonstrate that those feelings do work”. His piece said, Toby realised he’d talked for a mite longer than he’d intended to but that it felt appropriate. Now he just had to hope that his feeling that this might go some way towards pacifying the man was right.
     
  14. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    After slowly piecing together the snippets of vague and cryptic information within Toby's explanation as to how he had found this place Dante would begin to relax a little as he reached a conclusion that he could live with "Your a precog...that's cool, I can live with that" he responded as he lent back against the wall beside Tonya; closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. It was clear that there was still way too much stress and tension within the large Southerner but he now simply appeared to be tired and burnt out as opposed to homicidal "Thanks for being up front with me Boy, there are too many secrets and lies in this place and it's driving me insane… and I wasn’t exactly stable before...all of this" Dante wearily replied as he tried to use a vague hand gesture to encompass his life since joining the FBI task force, God how long ago was that? It feels like years! His mind silently exclaimed, wondering whether he wouldn't have been better off if Radar Love had thrown him into a military prison for desertion like he'd threatened to do.

    Taking slow deep breaths, Dante would try and clear the thoughts within his head that seemed to shout and scream as they searched for monsters lurking within every shadow. This wasn’t right, he knew he shouldn’t be reacting this way and yet he was finding himself flying off the handle at petty little things on an increasingly regular basis and this line of work this…war…wasn’t helping, he’d left the military in order to escape this madness and mend the fraying edges of his mind and yet here he was, far deeper and he’d ever been before “This is worse than Singapore…so much worse…damn you Quill, burn in hell” he quietly growled to no one in particular before opening his eyes and turning to look at Toby “So boy…what do they call you? I’m Dante and this lovely lady is Tonya…oh and I don’t shake hands so don’t even try” he said with a weak grin before turning his attention to Giles “I’m sorry I overreacted I haven’t been quite right since…yeah…anyway it’s good to see you again, and I truly hope Barbie will be ok…too many of us have been damaged by this damn war already without adding another” he said placing a comforting arm about Tonya’s shoulders as he made his apology though whether it was for her benefit or his was certainly up for debate “Damn it! I need to get out of here! Lets go to a bar or something and talk like human beings for a change without god damn spooks and G-men looking over our shoulders…there’s a little place in the village near where Tonya and I lived in Chile, the beer ain’t great but it’s the kind of place where you can just sit back watch the world go by…”
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  15. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    The Corridor
    As Dante slowly pieced together from his description what Toby had wanted to, stating the name of his power aloud, Toby quietly breathed a sigh of relief. The man was emotionally unstable, but his anger seemed to have receded for now. His next move, however, was to offer Toby a drink, to which he softly shook his head. “I go by Toby, and whilst I could join you for a drink, I’m under age I’m afraid, plus I’ve already got enough going on up here”, he pointed to his head, “without throwing alcohol into the mix”. It was as he finished speaking that the door to the room with Harper opened and Ashley slipped out, the operative quickly gauging the situation in front of her. “Dante, in case you needed proof, here it is.” She held out what looked similar to an epi-pen with the needle out, the top of which had a small LED screen that displayed two words: ‘Subject clear’. “If Raypool had Harper still under his control, this would tell us, so, are we good?” Things seemed to have cooled down for now, a fact for which Ashley was grateful. She wasn’t sure what Toby had said, but if it was enough to make the man’s paranoia subside, it was good enough for her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  16. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    Toby’s response seemed good enough for Dante, and the tension in the area eased drastically. Giles rubbed his pounding head, glad he hadn’t needed to step in. Ashley’s return, proving that Harper was clean, only furthered his relief. He had known, of course, but now there was no room for anyone to doubt. “I’m out as well, Dante...would love a drink, but...I don’t think I would be able to enjoy myself knowing I was leaving Harper alone here...no offense, Ashley...” he added, a guilty expression flashing across his face. “On the subject...I’m going to stay here, obviously...but what about Toby? I can take the floor in there if you want the armchair...I trust you enough. Otherwise...can’t say I know my way around here...” or care to learn, seeing as we aren’t staying long... he added internally. Staying would be bad. It had upended most of his life the last time he spent too much time around operations from Ashley’s group. Harper didn’t trust them. Toby was uncomfortable just by being here for reasons of his own. They needed out, and once Harper felt up to traveling he was going to do everything in his power to ensure they left and were left alone. They’d put their time in...now was the time to stay safe and wait for the world to realize its insanity...
     
  17. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    As both Toby and Emerald rejected his offer of a drink due to varying reasons Dante would roll his eyes wondering when they'd all become old and boring "Suit yourselves, but I need to get out of here before I kill someone" Dante stated before leaning in to speak with Tonya, who had been remarkably quiet as of late "Come on babe lets go somewhere and unwind for a bit, you choose, anywhere's good so long as we can unwind" he quietly spoke. The way he saw it there was no need for them to be here; the mission had been planned, Harper was resting and he wanted to spend as little time as possible with Siri and English who were the epitome of the Spook G-men he wanted to escape.
     
  18. Zemelci

    Zemelci Well-Known Member

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    (OOC: First off, apologies for how long this post has taken to get out. I’ve kinda been on an extended absence due to a combination of mental health and university and so I’ve either been too busy to write, or just not in a place to. That said, I’m hoping to get things back up and running. With that in mind, having agreed this with everyone, I’m skipping across the night to the morning and Giles’ character actions have been agreed with Regal)

    With things seemingly having settled down, the groups dispersed their various ways. Tonya wrapped her arm around Dante and vanished with him, the pair appearing in a bar in Windhoek where they had their ‘evening’ drinks under the mid-afternoon sun. Tonya was midway into her third beer when she spoke. “I’m not going to ruin these beers by starting an argument, but I’m going to say this to you now. If Ashley asks me to run missions for the Resistance, and I figure she will, I’m going to say yes. I know you don’t trust me in active combat yet, and that’s… fair, but I caused… this”, she waved her hand at the TV screen in the corner of the bar, detailing a series of protests in South Africa over a government blood register of all Savants, “one way or another, and I can’t sit in Chile and ignore that.” Swigging down the rest of her beer and putting up her hand for another, she didn’t bring the topic up for the rest of the evening and several hours later, the two of them stumbled tipsily out of the bar together, teleporting first to a street in Quito, Ecuador, before finally appearing back in their safehouse, with her collapsing in bed next to Dante, with only one midnight panic attack. As the next morning came, the pair stumbled out of bed at 11 and, a short shower later, they were ready to go for the day. “I presume you want to see Harper and Giles today? We’re an hour ahead, so they’re probably just getting up, shall we?”

    Ashley, just glad that things appeared to have worked out, headed out from the corridor and, speeding up rapidly, arrived at her quarters in under a minute. She knew she was going to have to have a meeting with Carlo about the events of the day and pinged him a message on the base’s Intranet. Searching through her closet, she found what she was looking for, and pulled it off of the clothing rack, throwing it on the bed before she headed out. The next hour or so was spent running over a summary of the events of the last couple of days with Carlo. She was glad the Kasumi mission had worked out, that had been part of her argument for expanding the external ops for the Resistance. A solid ten minutes were spent okaying the run through of the Angel and Markus rescue mission, which Carlo agreed on the proviso that Kasumi didn’t leave the base. Ashley’s next plan, however, took a full half an hour of argument. “Correct me if I’m wrong Carlo, but our best chance of beating Raypool is by making sure that the people who support him don’t get back into government on November 3rd, am I wrong? So, if we’ve got something that could show Turner has been blatantly lying, and we can prove Sandra Meadows right, just imagine”. The argument continued, Ashley threatened to cancel every operation until after the election, Carlo threatened to kick her out of the base and take all her resources, and the two finally reached an agreement. Their meeting concluded, Ashley left the room and that was that. Just grabbing a quick dinner and informing the caterers that they were serving two people rather than one in Harper’s room, she headed up to her room, reading over reports from several field agents, advising a confrontation avoidance plan in New Mexico for the next couple of days, and deciding which sites to attempt to infiltrate in California to lift prison data on Savants. This was her life now. Read reports, send orders, run the occasional field mission. Planning operations had always been a favourite part of her time in the SAS, organising field provisions, less so. As she finished her self-mixed G&T, she spotted the time and slowly rose from her chair, sighing as she swiped down her computer interface, pulling her top off as she collapsed into bed, wrapping herself in her duvet before drifting off to sleep.

    It was shortly after breakfast had been delivered when there was a knock at Giles and Harper’s door. Whoever answered the door would find Ashley, casually dressed in a tank top and leather trousers, holding two suit bags in her left hand. “May I come in?”, as Giles gave his assent, sword in hand out of a seeming distrust, Ashley sighed internally. “I get that you don’t trust me, but I promise I’m on your side. I spoke to Carlo and I’ve convinced him to leave the two of you in peace, so long as you don’t go out of this wing alone which I figure you won’t have much of a problem with. Anyway, I come bearing gifts.” Ashley placed the suit bags on the table and opened one up, pulling one of Giles’ suits from the bags. “After the incident, we had a fair amount of your clothes still at the base. I didn’t know if you’d made it or not, but I kept them, and our seamstress had a look over them. Her power allows her to strengthen materials beyond any normal limit whilst maintain their previous form and structure. It feels the same, but you could take a couple of bullets to the chest and walk away barely winded. I don’t know if you’ll want to use them, but I don’t need them, and I’d rather you had them than didn’t.” Slowly offering out her hand, Ashley smiled, a sadness in her eyes. “I know we’ve done wrong by you and I can’t fix that, but I want to try and help give you some peace and some help, to make up for what's been done.”
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  19. Lord Regal

    Lord Regal The West Team Sheriff

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    The night was spent restlessly, with Giles unwilling to put his swords away, leaving them in quick reach as he dozed in the armchair. Ashley he trusted somewhat, the rest, especially this mysterious Carlo person who Ashley kept apologizing for and claiming she could keep him under control...he wanted nothing to do with. It was little surprise to him, however, when he was woken by food deliverers. His immediate reaction was to prepare for attack, but he felt foolish once he had time to look around, wincing as his head reminded him why he generally didn’t leave his blades out overnight. He gently woke Harper, adding a “good morning” and a gesture at her food once she was conscious, still a little ill at ease about the whole situation. She was alive, he didn’t question that anymore, but...he didn’t know where he stood with her. The last while had been hard on them both, her more than him. Who knew if she even wanted him around anymore, let alone in any romantic capacity?

    The former aristocrat was just about done with his meal when a knock occurred at the door. He grabbed a sword and headed over, opening the door to see Ashley in surprisingly casual clothing, and bearing suit bags. She noted with some distaste his weaponry before coming in, and after ascertaining she was alone he let the both of them fade out, groaning in relief as the pressure in his head lessened slightly. He really needed time to not have them out to feel better, but at the very least the source wasn’t exacerbating the issue anymore. He did note that the shadowy Carlo had agreed to leave them alone, which...the more he heard about this man’s way of doing things, the more he thought he recognized Quill’s boss, the one who refused to let the man tell them crucial information because, as a former Anders, he couldn’t be trusted. Someone to get away from as soon as possible then.

    It didn’t take long for Ashley to explain why she was carrying a couple suit bags, pulling one of his own outfits out. Giles moved in to take a look as the former government agent explained that it was one of the ones he’d been unable to retrieve after the worst day of his life. He was about to thank her for bringing it back to him when she explained that the entire thing had been reinforced by their seamstress, and he could take ‘a couple bullets’ with it and barely feel anything. He paused, frowning. Did she...did she not realize what this was to him? He thought back to when he first applied for the community outreach program that had led him here in the first place. How had he described his powers? He couldn’t remember for sure, but he had a feeling he’d just said he could make his appearance pristine. Which meant...she didn’t know just how far that went. This reinforced suit...if the extra fibers went along with how his power worked, which he had no reason to be worried that they wouldn’t...

    He’d been quiet too long, frowning at the suit. He shook himself out of his thoughts and nodded. “I dislike that the world has come to the point where I’d need something like this, but I’d be a fool to not accept it, and inconsiderate if I didn’t thank you for it. I really appreciate this. Means I won’t need to worry quite as much if I’m ever found out...wherever I end up.” He accepted the garment, talking a glove off with his teeth to feel the fabric. It truly didn’t feel any different or any less flexible...whoever their seamstress was knew their stuff. He slipped his glove back on and placed the garment bags over the armchair as a temporary holding location before turning back to Ashley. “Thank you again. I...if I could trouble you for something to help with a headache as well...I’ve got a nasty one right now...” He figured that would be as good of a way to guide the subject away from his thoughts about the suit as any...especially because it was true...
     
  20. braetwalda

    braetwalda Well-Known Member

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    The evening had been pleasant with the beer they'd drunk together in the mid-afternoon sun going a long way to calming Dante's frayed nerves, with him pushing all thoughts of Ashley, Kasumi and the war in general from his mind. Not even Tonya stubbornly insisting that she was going to remain on active duty, something that Dante thought was foolish at best, could ruin the evening with Dante merely muttering something about her doing what she needed to do as he continued to drink his beer seemingly oblivious to the scenes playing out on the TV, or more likely he just simply didn't care enough for it warrant any of his attention.

    He would groggily awaken the following morning with his arms still wrapped around Tonya , her head gently resting upon his chest from where he'd taken hold of her during the night when she'd started to whimper and cry in her sleep as she was tortured with yet more nightmares. Dante wanted to help her with all his heart but knew there was simply nothing he could do, or at least not by himself. In truth she needed to be off the front lines and in therapy where someone far more qualified than he could talk to her about what she was experiencing and perhaps even put a stop to it once and for all. But alas there were no helpful shrinks available, or at least none that wouldn't toss her into one of those glorified concentration camps the moment they learn of who and what she was meaning that all Dante could do was wait until the final few threads snapped and he lost his beloved Tonya forever.

    After a quick shower and a bite to eat from the rather sparse farm house kitchen, reminding Dante that they needed to go shopping at some point were they to continue using this place, that Tonya would ask if he wanted to go and see Giles and Harper "Sure...it'd be nice to catch up with them before they go on their way" Dante replied, hesitated several moments before speaking in an uncharacteristically quiet voice "Listen Tonya about what you said last night...I know you can't just sit on the side lines, and I know there's no way in hell I could make you do so anyway but...I...I need you to promise me that you'll be careful and not push things too far as I couldn't bear to lose you...you're the only thing in this world I really care about and the idea of you not being in it..." turning to look across at the Chilean mountains in the distance Dante would let his voice drift away to nothing, neither wanting or needing to finish what he'd been saying. Holding out his hand for her to take, he'd smile warmly at the girl of his dreams as he spoke in his usual Southern drawl "ok, lets go and see Emerald and Barbie before the spooks get to them"