ARC Dawn

Discussion in 'NEVER NORMAL' started by CloudyBlueDay, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Patrick O’Malley
    Freedom

    Hardly as a metaphor, Patrick felt a weight lift from his shoulders as Leo stumbled away, trying to gain some semblance of cognizance amid the chaos of destruction. Paddy turned toward him, hesitating a moment in as he considered going after him. But no; for those who refused to risk coming into conflict with the scientists, he was their way through the madness of surprise and water and sand to the other end of the impromptu hallway.

    So he waited, giving as good as he got to any lab coat that seemed to want to disrupt his concentration. A kick to the knee, a fist to the diaphragm, and an elbow to the throat held his position, and after a few moments, anyone who had opted to travel via Gate had done so. And he, seeing little point in feeding the indignation that seethed in his brain, followed, closing the Gates as he passed through them. Relief began to flood his heart that maybe they were in the homestretch.

    But a glance to the left at the top of the stairs was enough to shatter that hope.

    “Shite. Crow! Cass! A bit ah help!”

    The guards approached with frightening rapidity, and the foremost began to level their weapons. Some of the prisoners were already outside; the Irishman heard their voices through the doorway. But if the guards caught up, all their efforts would have been for naught. So, putting conscious consideration aside, Patrick trusted his gut. A Gate flashed to life on the floor below him, and he fell through. He travelled horizontally out of a Gate that appeared on the wall, and his feet, bare though they were, impacted the front guard’s head with enough force to knock it against the opposing wall. The first guard slumped, unconscious or at least dazed, and Patrick yanked up his gun as the others trained their own on him, training kicking into gear at this unanticipated threat. The barrel of the stolen gun dropped to the floor, and his free hand came up in an act of surrender. A tiny Gate, barely larger than the diameter of the barrel, appeared on the floor below it, and its partner appeared on the wall to the guards’ side. Patrick pulled the trigger.
     
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 3
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Snack Time
    Part #1 of A Collab With @CloudyBlueDay and @Doctor Jax

    Austin’s eyes fluttered open: he had been on the verge of a much anticipated nap before Hang began knocking at his door. He made no immediate move to get up, having only just managed to find some solace. Unfortunately, despite his inclination to stay put, Hang’s mention of food triggered an audible rumbling in Austin’s stomach. He had used his abilities, and though the exercise hadn’t lasted overly-long, he felt more than a little peckish.

    Austin stood up off his bed, and was in the process of slipping his shoes back on when he heard another voice behind the door--and not one he recognized. The surprise seemed to freeze him in place; despite having actively avoided social confrontation for four days, Austin seemed surprised by the notion there was someone else in the base he didn’t know. After a quick shake of the head, he lurched forward for the handle, and opened it to both Hang and Mirra.

    “I-I haven’t cooked anything yet, but…” Austin turned to look at Mirra, his grey eyes rapidly taking measure of her wounds. He might’ve continued staring, but Mirra seemed to be looking at them expectantly. Austin’s brow furrowed in confusion for a moment, before the realization caused him to blush.

    She was introducing herself!

    “S-Sorry, didn’t mean to, uh, cut in.” Austin gave his best shot at a genuine smile, despite how he felt. “I’m Austin. I’m new.”

    Obviously

    Austin gestured to Hang with his offhand--the discomfort written plainly in the look he gave her.

    The Asian girl looked less than impressed, but going off Austin’s cue, she said, “Name’s Hang. Where’s the stash?”

    It was obvious that she was not interested in chitchat or pleasantries. The laconic answer seemed to underline the sour look on her face.

    “Austin, Hang.” Mirra echoed their names. “I’m technically new, too. Anyway. Snacks.” She looked down at Percy and gave a short nod, meaning he had to let go in order for her to lead the way. Percy sighed, and instead decided to rush up to Hang, holding his stuffed toy tightly. He gazed up at her with big, curious eyes, but said nothing. Hang, to her credit, only glanced down at him with some discomfort before turning her eyes forward to follow Mirra.

    Archer’s room was one of a set of two, totally separate from the hall of dorms across the base. What seemed important about this, however, was the separate bathroom. It was clean, and housed nothing special, except a floorboard that Mirra kicked loose, to reveal a bin of every name brand snack or candy thinkable. “Dig in.” She said with a snort.

    Austin’s jaw dropped at the site of Archer’s hoard. The impressive stash looked flush enough to fill a vending machine, and Austin couldn’t help but wonder about how Mirra had happened upon the hiding place to begin with. Austin looked at the girl with a mix of curiosity and apprehension, but the grumbling in his stomach called his attention elsewhere.

    “Do you think he’ll notice things are missing?” Austin bent down, his eyes trying to make sense of all the options before him. Reluctantly, he pulled two granola bars from the bottom, opting for a safe choice. He was about to stand back up, but an unearthed corner of lime-green plastic wrap caught his eye. A brief look of longing crossed his features before Austin—against his better judgement—snatched the packet of sour skittles out of the box, his anxious eyes trained on the bathroom door despite the knowledge that Archer was long gone.

    Austin shoved the granola into the front pocket of his sweatshirt, before ripping into the candy. In between handfuls, he looked over at Hang and sheepishly offered up the open packet.

    “You, ah, want some?”

    Hang stared at the stash with a mildly impressed expression, as if lauding Archer on his snack choices, and to her surprise Austin manage to get there before her. She stared at the outstretched hand with furrowed eyebrows, eyes flickering up to search his face, before she grabbed the handful of Skittles.

    “Not my favorite, but sure,” Hang griped before tossing the handful into her mouth and leaning down to look through the rest, making faces at stuff like Gardetto’s rye snacks and instead going straight for Ruffles plain chips. She popped open a bag and savored the bag.

    “How the heck you know all this stuff was in here?” Hang asked Mirra around a mouthful of chips.

    Opting for a Musketeers bar, Mirra glanced off to the side as Hang proposed her question. “Went exploring. I wasn’t so trustworthy at first either. Had to poke my head around. Snacks in the floorboard seemed unlike an SPME establishment.. And then Archer caught me, said I could have whatever I wanted of it. Granted, I was half starved to death at the time,” She shrugged. “Whatever gets me a chocolate bar. Don’t tell Darius, though. Archer’s not supposed to be getting this stuff.”

    Austin regarded Hang and Mirra’s discourse with little interest. The day had plied him with stress after stress, but the sour-sweet rush of candy provided a delightful—if temporary—distraction. Gleefully, Austin scooped handful after handful into his mouth with little regard to his fellows’ concerns. He would’ve continued to do so if not for Mirra’s own account of her introduction to the Protectors. It was background noise to him, and yet loud enough to shatter the frail complacency he’d desired. Of course, It shouldn’t have been a surprise: there were few true enemies for super-powered creatures like him. Still, he couldn’t turn away from her, or the subtle implications of her own suffering. Without warning, the candy in his mouth became too sour to be palatable, and--for just a moment--he felt sorry that he’d been so quick to enjoy it.

    “So, uh, they rescued you from an SPME base? Like they’re trying to do now?” He’d noticed how banged up Mirra was before, but once it was clear that the Protectors had saved her, it was near impossible to ignore her traumas. An unease fell over Austin’s stomach, though he tried his best to ignore it. Austin was well practiced in subduing his feelings, but he couldn't help but feel empathy for her. There was a renewed softness to the way in which the boy regarded Mirra. For a moment, he desperately wanted to ask her why she looked so frail--what the had done to her to leave her so--despite knowing better than to pry.

    Instead, Austin managed to restrain his curiosity: he chose not to press the matter any further. After all, if Mirra wanted to talk about it all, she would, elsewise Austin would be more than satisfied to ignore her past if it meant revelling in the moment.

    Likewise, Hang was interested, but for far less empathic reasons. She had continually heard of this ‘SPME’, and from the way this girl looked, they’d put her through the wringer - though it was hard to tell whether this was a recent occurrence or from one of their ‘practice runs.’

    “What, they the ones who bang you up?” Hang asked tersely, cutting right to the chase, regardless of feelings.

    Mirra nodded slowly, taking a thoughtful bite of her chocolate bar as Percy sat down cross legged and reached for a bag of miniature cookies. “Experiments.” She said slowly, posture visibly tense. “They treat you like a lab rat. Snatched me from the street, walking home from school. I can’t go back.” She muttered. “You’re lucky.. that the Protectors got you to before they did. I wish the same had happened to me.”

    There was a sudden rumbling past the bathroom, sounding like it was coming from the common room. Shuffling, creaking, and a strange almost burnt smell wafted in the air. Mirra’s eyes widened. “S-someone.. someone is here.”
     
    • Love Love x 1
  3. Snack Time
    part #2 of a collab with @CloudyBlueDay and @radiojelly

    Hang’s eyes flickered out the bathroom, and it was as if her whole body had contracted. Her eardrums seemed to scrabble about, her pupils dilating into pinpricks as her skin danced rather suddenly with aposomatic colors in vibrant blue and black. The hairs on her arms stood up on end, and she stood from her crouching position, tossing the chip bag onto the floor carelessly.

    “I’m gonna guess you don’t get many visitors. Stay here,” Hang ordered, cracking her knuckles and her neck. “Since no one else is here, guess I get to be the welcome wagon.”

    A crackling of fire could be heard in the distance. A latch, creaking open, accompanied by the smell of fire. A look of deep worry came over Mirra as Percy whimpered and clung to her leg. “I don’t know how they could have gotten in.” She whispered, inching closer to the common room where the wafting smell of fire came through,trying to decide if she needed to tell Percy to run and hide.

    Glancing around the common room was a being of fire, just larger than the size of a taller human, familiar eyes glowing red. This entity of fire was clearly recognizable as the monster from the North Star Mall.

    “Oh. Oh no.”

    Austin was the last to enter the common room after Hang and Mirra, deliberately following them at a reluctant pace. After all, he didn’t want to abandon the temporary peace and quiet he’d earned, despite every instinct telling him he’d have to. Nonetheless, he hoped for the best: perhaps someone had left a candle burning, or burnt something in the microwave. Hell, he’d have even settled for an electrical fire.

    Instead, he shuffled into the common room only to come face to face with the same monster that had nearly killed them all four days ago. This time, the protectors were gone, he was tired, and his teammates were Hang, an injured stranger, and a child. The absurdity of the situation would’ve made him laugh if it didn’t seem so imminently fatal for everyone involved. Austin’s eyes flickered over to Percy, and he grimaced.

    Would this thing actually hurt a little kid?

    Though his legs shook uncontrollably, Austin dashed forward, positioning himself at Hang’s flank, and in front of Percy and Mirra. At the sight of the human inferno, Austin lifted both trembling hands, and his eyes began to glow.

    “I-I’ll hold the..uh, the smoke. Try t-to keep you breathing.” He paused for a moment, his face contorted in what was obvious discomfort, before quickly blurting out, “Uh, ki-kick it’s ass, Hang!”

    The quiver in his tone failed to convey the encouraging confidence he’d meant it to, but the message was true: if Hang couldn’t at least hold back the beast, they’d probably all perish. He tried not to think about it, and, instead, focused on pressing the roiling plumes of smoke back down into the hatch.

    Hang, true to her nature, had taken up the forefront, and the sight of the fiery abomination standing in the common room filled her with a strange sensation - apprehension. The last time, she hadn’t necessarily been….conscious for their confrontation. But she did remember a bit of what had managed to get her to back off…
    Of course. This cocksucker again.

    “Mirra, Percy. Get Darius. Turn on the sprinklers. Now, scram.

    Hang’s order was short, clipped. Her eyes were firmly fixed on the thing in the common room. Austin said he’d keep her from suffocating on the smoke - but that gave her a different idea entirely. She didn’t know how long they’d have to chat.

    “Austin - try to keep the smoke around me anyways. She can’t see me - but I might still be able to see her,” Hang suggested as she shook out her hands, as if this were the beginning of a race, not a meeting of titans. Her skin began to morph and harden, hard horn-like projections growing across the surface of her body in an attempt to fight the heat.

    Austin bit back the urge to complain; he had little experience directing smoke with precision beyond simply push and pull tactics. Even then, his control over the movement of smoke particulate was lethargic—quick enough to keep someone breathing in a fire, but not usually quick enough for precise movements in battle. He would’ve continued to second guess himself, but instead he took a shaky breath, and steadied his focus.

    If you can’t do it, you die anyway.

    Austin’s brow furrowed, and his eyes closed. As he inhaled, he drew his arms back above his head. In response, the smoke that he had been fighting to keep out suddenly came rushing back into the space—this time propelled both by its very nature, as well as by the boy’s power. He hoped the sudden re-entry would momentarily daze the attacker, but he didn’t wait to see: Austin tried to visualize the same dome he had seen Makoa make with her shield’s, and with as much concentration as he could muster, he began to draw the smoke in circles around both Hang and himself.

    Every so often the field would start to unravel—his control scattered across a variety of directions instead of just the one. Whenever it did, Austin would quickly try to pull it back together. Already, beads of sweat began to form at his temples and across his brow.

    Between increasingly belabored breaths, he remarked, “I think—I think I can hold on. C-Can’t… Can’t do… too much more.”

    Though she retained a form of flame, the fire person’s stance seemed somewhat unthreatening. If anything, curious. Glancing around the room, evaluating. The carpet beneath her feet sizzled, but she seemed not to notice the small group viewing her, until a strange ball of smoke came inching towards her..

    By then, Mirra and Percy had already scampered away to find the switch that would turn on the sprinklers, but the metahuman before Hang and Austin only inched closer with apprehension, uncertainty.


    A fist suddenly appeared out of the smoke as an uppercut to the jaw, a muscular forearm propelling the punch.

    The girl of fire stumbled back, a low, almost inhuman sounding growl came after the hit as she once more stood tall. Flaring, form getting hotter, she trudged towards the cloud of smoke once more, glowing red eyes burning, fists of fire raised as she swung blindly.

    The fist connected with a shoulder, sizzling as Hang dipped, grunting at the sudden pain shooting through her arm. Hang staggered backwards, the smoke swirling around her to engulf her again.

    Knowing her attack had landed, the girl stepped closer. If it wasn’t Miss Monster who was propelling the smoke, someone else was here, keeping her cover. And she intended to smoke him out. Plunging into the smoke, fists of fire waving it away as best as possible. It didn’t matter which one of them she got her hands on..

    From behind, a foot kicked out, a keratinous heel jamming into the inflamed figure’s back with the heft of what little body weight Hang possessed.

    Finding herself on the floor after being harshly kicked, the girl of fire hissed, propping herself up on her elbows and preparing to jump up, when all of a sudden the sprinklers flicked on. A broken yell came from the fiery meta as her frame shrunk and curled into itself until it was just a soaking wet girl on the floor.

    “You hit harder than I thought you would.” She croaked.

    “I’ll take that as a compliment,” the nimbus of smoke said. “Why the hell are you here?”

    Through the smoke, Austin could make out Hang standing over their quarry. With an exhausted huff, he let his arms drop limp at his sides; his peach glow sputtered out, and was replaced by a dull, empty stare. The exertion of trying to maintain cover for Hang had practically wiped Austin: he had stripped off his sweatshirt to cool down, and plied the sweat-slicked curls from his brow one hand before leaning back against a nearby table-leg.

    In between shallow breaths, he called in Hang’s direction. “Do you… have her…?” Austin wondered as to why the fire meta would be so brazen as to attack them alone, but also as to how she managed to find them in the first place. He took a deep breath and glanced in the direction of the soggy stranger, before shutting his eyes. It was a curious intrusion, but the ordeal had left him with little immediate interest.

    Shivering, the girl looked up at Hang with clenched teeth, eyes flaring with anger. “Are you the Protectors?” She growled. “If not, then I’ll be outta your fucking hair.” She pulled her gaze away and looked towards Austin as he just about collapsed on the floor, eyes narrowed. He seemed strangely familiar.

    “Depends - who’s asking?” Hang said, her voice muffled through the mask of horn she wore, her eyes the only visible part of her face. She crossed her arms defensively. “You didn’t exactly knock on the door and ask nicely.”

    “I’m.. I just…” She grumbled and struggled to her feet, brushing wet hair out of her eyes. “Looking for safe haven. I escaped the SPME.. I have information.” She muttered.

    Hang’s eyes narrowed significantly as she stared at the girl, tapping thick, armored fingers against her equally armored forearm. She looked the girl over, before extending a hand.

    Blinking in surprise at Hang’s extended hang, the girl took it and pulled herself to her feet. “Th...anks.” She mumbled, voice significantly quieter before she cleared her throat. “Are you.. All that’s left? Did the SPME get to you first?”

    With a slow start, Austin pushed himself off the floor, and snatched his sweatshirt up off the ground. While sliding back into his hoodie, he listened absentmindedly to the two girls’ discourse, but only directed his full attention towards the stranger at the mention of her escape. Something about the new girl’s voice set him on edge, though he couldn’t place why. Still, Hang seemed to be giving her the benefit of the doubt and, sensing the danger had passed, Austin cut in.

    “S-some are here now,” Austin gave Hang a tentative look, as if to warn her against saying too much—there was no telling if the new girl was being totally honest in her intentions. “… but, um, some of the others are coming back from a quick outing soon.”

    Doing his best to be discreet, Austin shot furtive glances in the stranger’s direction, trying to gauge her intent best he could as he zipped up the front of his sweatshirt. The sooner he and Hang delivered the new girl to Darius, the sooner he could go back to napping, and—after going all out for Hang’s strategy—the promise of even an hour’s rest seemed like a luxury to him.

    “You, uh… you really should talk to the big guy in charge. He’s, um, pretty busy, but I’m sure he’d want to know about you and all that.” Austin looked to Hang, awaiting either her validation or disagreement.

    “Don’t really care whichever way. So long as you don’t set anything else on fire,” Hang stated dismissively, cocking her head to the side and coldly staring at the girl who’d intruded on the compound. “I’ll let him handle leading you to good old Darius.”

    She jerked her thumb at Austin, her last few words more derogatory than admiring.

    If Austin was affected by her tone, he didn’t show it. Instead, he pushed himself to his feet, and looked in the direction of their newcomer. A small, but exasperated sigh escaped his lips, before Austin turned towards the door. Of course, he thought Hang would be better suited to escort duty, but, despite his misgivings, Austin didn’t protest. Letting the Protectors go without him had left a bitter taste in his mouth, and though the label didn’t often bother him, Austin wasn’t in the mood to prove himself a coward to a total stranger.

    “It’s, uh, t-this way.”

    Without bothering to make sure she was following him, Austin pulled open east-most door to the common room, and began walking into the hallway. Luckily, Darius’s office nearly adjacent, which meant that he wouldn’t have to escort the stray around for long.

    Though he didn’t look at where she walked behind him, Austin spoke aloud to the new girl as they walked, “How did you even get in here? This place is… like supposed to be off the grid, or whatever.”

    The girl glared at Hang with arms crossed, trying to seem imposing despite looking like a wet rag. Despite her distaste for her fellow metahuman, she preferred her to the wimpy boy. “It was pretty secure,” She mused. “I followed you here. I’ve been watching and waiting. So Darius, he’s in charge?” The girl took her hands to her wet hair and wrung it out onto the floor. Raised voices came from inside the office, presumably Mirra and Darius.

    “How do you know the SPME didn’t follow you, then? And you didn’t just let ‘em right in through the front door?” Hang asked in a monotone, her voice still muffled by the keratin mask covering her face. Her eyes narrowed, and she looked over her shoulder.

    Or worse…

    Austin glanced sideways at the new girl, but didn’t voice his agreement. They still hadn’t the slightest shred of proof that the interloper had broken in for the reasons she had given them. Austin wanted to believe that it truly was some kind of misunderstanding, but he wondered whether or not they were making a mistake in leading the girl directly to the head of the entire organization.

    Then again, Darius was the only person Austin knew who actually seemed to enjoy stray meta-teenagers.

    “Door’s just here,” Austin wrapped his knuckles against the door, waiting for some signal from Darius to enter. If there was a worse time to tear Darius’s attention away from the mission, Austin couldn’t imagine it. Inside, he could hear a distressed Mirra, and he did his best to mentally brace himself for what he imagined to be a tense conversation at best.
     
    • Love Love x 2
  4. You Can’t Fight Fire With Fire

    Gaze darting uncomfortably between Alex and Hang, the girl of fire shook her head and stood in front of the door they’d lead her too. “No one followed me.” She muttered, shaking her head at them before pushing the door open herself, without waiting for a signal to enter.

    This didn’t seem to work out so well for her, as she was immediately pinned to the wall by Darius, arm against her neck, with more ferocity than the new recruits had ever seen him exhibit. The girl sputtered under his firm hold.

    “Who are you?! Who sent you!?” Darius shouted, and Mirra flinched from where she stood behind him. Despite Darius’s angered questions, he didn’t allow her the room in which to breathe so she could answer. Soaking wet, she was powerless. Percy, after the initial grimace, left his place clinging to Mirra’s leg. His eyes glowed a gentle magenta hue as he walked towards Darius, and stared up at him with a shake of his head.

    Darius let go of the girl, and Percy’s glow disappeared. She choked and gasped, clutching her throat as she regained her bearings. “Jesus,” She said after a moment, but Darius only crossed his arms, a fire ignited in his eyes rather than in her palms.

    “Mirra,” He muttered. “Get the power dampening cuffs. And you, start talking.” He growled.

    Opening her mouth to first protest, she closed it and recalculated her choice of words. “Alright. But can we do without the cuffs? I’m powerless when I’m anyway..” She muttered, but Darius showed no signs of changing her mind. The girl sighed. “My name is Alexis.. I just escaped the SPME, alright? I’m not with them. And I know things you need to know.”

    “Oh, is that so?” Darius huffed. “Like what?”

    “Well I know you’re supposed to be the fucking Protectors, right? The people who just so happen to protect people like me?!” She snapped.

    “We don’t take kindly to intruding visitors.” He snapped back.

    “Oh, please. My apologies. Sorry we all just have to wait for your rescue, huh? Sorry I’m not fragile or whiny enough to fit the bill.” She jabbed a thumb in the direction Mirra had gone. “Is there a waiting list? How about a Superpowered Make a Wish foundation?”

    “Enough!” Darius yelled. Percy flinched. “What is so goddamn important?!”

    Even Alexis had jumped a little. She gritted her teeth. “They’re making super soldiers.” She muttered. “And they’re aerating the solution. They’re making it into a bomb. And any metas in the area will be under their control. They think.. They think they’ve perfected it.”

    Mirra returned, cuffs dangling from her outstretched hand. “Well, shit.”

    @Radio Jelly @Doctor Jax

    Fasten Your Seatbelts

    Casey let out a low grumble at Alex’s choice. Even the tiniest of smirks fell on Sapphire’s lips at her dismay at the partnership, while Archer smirked and winked at Joan from his place on the jet.

    Sapphire pondered on the questions thrown in the air a moment before answering. “Willow.. Straight, long red hair. Bright red. Freckles. Thin, tall, narrow. Hazel eyes. Her glow is purple.” She tapped her chin in thought. “The lab coats.. No, god, they don’t have powers. They’re sadists. All of them. And they all see metahumans as less than human. That’s what makes them so dangerous. You’re a piece of meat to them. A lab rat to pull apart, to understand what makes you tick. Stay away at all costs.” She said firmly.

    “Ayla unfortunately didn’t see how many inmates there might be, but I’m expecting at least ten per cell block. Hopefully, there isn’t more than one cell block. So we’ll say around there. As for other threats.. They’ve always got something up their sleeves. Stay vigilant.”

    “I remember that hill!” Ayla shouted from the cockpit. “We’re getting close!”

    Sapphire nodded, collapsing her staff. “We’re going to land soon. Buckle up.” She said, and turned back to the cockpit.

    Archer inched closer to Joan, nudging her shoulder. “I hope you don’t get dizzy easily,” He hummed. “We’re supposed to play watch.. But when you’ve got powers like mine, it’s hard to resist doing just a little bit more than that when these guys deserve all the payback they can get.” A mischievous look danced across his different colored eyes. “We’ll go all the way into their base… see what we can dig up. You in?”

    Meanwhile Casey bared her teeth at Alex with the ferocity of a rabid animal. “Don’t even think of distracting me.” She barked at him, and said nothing more. Sapphire reemerged just to glare at Casey, who averted her gaze from the wrath of her team leader.

    @Sairento @Joan

    A Race For Freedom

    As Aaron squeezed the life out of a scientist who happened into his path, Mason stumbled out into the sun. The moment his feet hit the sand his glow sputtered out of existence, letting out a strained laugh as the warmth he had forgotten rained down on his skin. But it was too early to celebrate, as Hedieh climbed out of the thick with a shivering Willow in her arms. The smile on Mason’s face dissipated as he rushed back to Hedieh, trying to assist her in carrying Willow’s dead weight. Well.. hopefully not dead yet.
    He realized now the SPME base was only partially underground. Before him was a large structure, half immersed in the sand. Luckily, it was fairly noticeable from above, allowing the Protectors to prepare for landing a ways away.

    Meanwhile Parker heard Dakota cry his name from above the stairs. He’d been behind Patrick and had watched the boy dive into the fight. Parker watched with awe as his gates appeared all across the hallway that felt as if it were closing in, guards pouring out in a seemingly endless stream. Patrick’s capturing of a guard allowed him to send tranq darts into a few others, but there were too many.

    “Get back!” Parker yelled as a guard readied his gun in Patrick’s direction. Parker lifted his hands, blue electricity crackling between them, and released a current towards the guards. Hopefully Patrick wouldn’t be standing in its way.

    Those above the surface would feel a strong wind falling upon them, tussling hair and stirring the sand, as the jet landed in the unoccupied sand a few metres away. As the door opened, revealing the motley crew, a speaker blared from the SPME base.

    “OPENING FIRE UNLESS ALL PRISONERS RETURN TO CELLS IN 10, 9, 8…”

    Though a head of shock blue hair meant to step out first, someone else tumbled out before her. Eyes glowing a lavender blue, Makoa ran out as fast as she could, boots kicking up the sand, rushing out past any inmates who had managed to climb out into the sun, and forming a forcefield to cover them from the ominous machine gun-esque constructs that had now appeared on the sides of the building. Her translucent shield stretched as far as it could, preparing for the imminent attack.

    Seems this rescue mission wasn’t going to be so simple.

    @Red Thunder @HerziQuerzi @Shizuochan @Elle Joyner @rissa @Eru @Sairento

    AND, BEGIN
    So, other than those hangin’ out with an angsty fire gal, you’ve now entered SUDDEN DEATH! Which means, anyone who isn’t on the plane by the end of this round will face some dire roleplay consequences. However, this round is a little bit more freeform. You can post more than once, and I am open for collabs and anything in between (giving bits of info, mini collabs), including letting you know whatever will happen if you decide whatever thing. When writing a post, come to me if you’ve got ideas for interactions with any of the Protectors, any oncoming scientists, or anything in between! Try not to get left behind..
     
    #184 CloudyBlueDay, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 4
    • Love Love x 2
  5. h a n g || d a o

    For all her callousness and general sour attitude, Hang let out a sharp "Jesus H. Christ!" as Darius slammed the newcomer into a wall by the throat, shoulders bunched and hands tight. For a moment, a shiver passed over her as memories shoved their way to the forefront of her mind, the keratin shield across her body rattling unconsciously in distress. She had hardly noticed that she'd ducked a bit, as if to evade a searching hand looking for her own throat.

    Yeah, we're all family here, right, Victor?

    Darius called for Mirra to go get the power-dampening cuffs, and Hang huffed, "We have those? That would've been useful." She had somewhat regained her composure, warily standing up from her defensive posture, glancing at Austin as she realized that she'd flinched. Shame took distrust's place as she attempted to recover, standing up tall and crossing her arms over her chest. She stood dead still as she watched the tense conversation between Darius and the newly-named Alexis, her eyes drifting down to Percy standing behind Darius.

    And he's doing this in front of his kid, she thought with bitterness. 'Oh, it's nothing, my dad choke-slams teenage girls into walls all the time.' Yeah, that's not gonna do a round on his psyche.

    Oddly, the thought bothered her. She pushed it away. Not her circus, not her monkeys. She was getting out of here when that week was up.

    Or, so she thought. Her eyes widened as Alexis dropped a proverbial bomb on them about a very real counterpart. Controlling us... and all those morons are right in the middle of their territory. Suddenly, she was glad that she had stayed behind, but at the same time, there was a pang of realization that if this was the case, going aboveground - going free - just wasn't an option. She'd lived too much of her life under someone else's control, and she wasn't about to swap one prison cell for another, smaller one. At the mention, the keratin that covered her body broke and spiked up, giving her the appearance of a very angry, very defensive lizard.

    Mirra summed up their collective thoughts in two words as she came back with the cuffs.

    "Where did you come from? And where are they planning on using this... thought-control bomb? How do you know?" Hang asked. "You were in San Antonio at the mall when we were kidnapped, and we've been here four days. If you're a runaway, you didn't come from too far. Where are they?"

    This SPME was starting to piss her off. The beast on the inside seemed to purr as it rubbed against the inside of her ribcage with the thought of tearing them apart. Heaven knows, it'd be a great stress reliever.

    @CloudyBlueDay @radiojelly
     
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  6. Alexander Summers - A SPME Base

    Co-write with Cloudy, with Herzi making a cameo

    Alex grimaced as he heard the rapid fire of bullets strike the shield. “Can she keep that up?” Alex asked to Casey as he stood up, nodding in Makoa’s direction as he already started planning in his head. He hadn’t just yet left the jet, as he didn’t want to step out if Makoa’s shield was about to be ripped apart like a piece of paper. Actually, on the note of the jet…

    “Can the jet handle this?”

    Grimacing at the onslaught of bullets, real bullets, not tranqs, Casey grit her teeth. “Yeah. She’s pretty good with her powers. The jet… Basil’s reinforced it. It should hold well enough… don’t know for how long.” Casey muttered. “Any ideas?”

    Alex clicked his tongue out of habit. “Stop the turrets,” he replied. “Better than risking letting bullets fly around, even if they’re being repelled away from us. So either make sure they miss or disable them. Can you melt them?”

    Casey cringed. “It’s not likely… I don’t think my spit is even poisonous enough for that.” She muttered. “Got anything else? Phase through it and short it out?”

    Alex shrugged. “I don’t know the inner workings of a turret. I could try, but if I can’t short circuit it, then we’ll need a plan B. The turrets probably work off…vision or heat? Can you make a cloud to screw with that tracking?”

    She snorted. “Not without poisoning everyone here… damn, if only the smoke kid had come, huh?” Casey shook her head. “Let’s go help the kids into the jet, alright? Makoa’s got our back for now. Maybe one of them has powers that will help.”

    Alex nodded as he ran out after Makoa, glancing up as he looked at the bullets ping. “For now…better make sure Makoa doesn’t get hit,” he mumbled as he glanced to the door and the people running out. “No labcoats means good,” he thought. “HEY, OVER HERE, GET ON,” he called, running towards the one who was being carried. She looked an awful lot like what Sapphire described…

    “Is that Willow?” he asked to Casey. “She looks…unwell.”

    Casey nodded grimly, and watching the turrets, slid out of the jet towards the few scattered inmates, clothed in hospital gowns. Alex first rushed to a girl carrying a fellow prisoner, always a bad sign, but Casey reeled at the sight of the shock red hair.

    “Fuck!” Casey exclaimed, rushing towards the two, Mason’s mouth falling open in shock as he saw people emerging from the jet that had seemingly come to their rescue not far from where he stood. “Willow!” Casey cried.

    In Hedieh’s arms a pained smile fell on Willow’s face, letting out a grunt as she strained to see the familiar face. “Casey… I knew you guys would come.” She wheezed. “Quick, let me help you get on to the jet. How many more are there?” Casey insisted, nodding to Alex and gesturing to the jet, standing close to Hedieh to offer support if she asked.
     
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  7. “Shite. Crow! Cass! A bit ah help!”

    Cassia could feel the surging annoyance, the onset of a groan threatening to make headway; an almost Pavlovian conditioning to the mere prospect of self-sacrifice or the lowest microcosm of altruism. Her self, however, had become less and less centered as the days went by. A flicker of worry colored Cassia’s gradient of lethargic and morose. Her burgeoning annoyance was repurposed and aimed at herself. Patrick was in danger.

    Wrenching her gaze away from the tantalizing sight of freedom, she doubled back…

    My Lord… boys: that’s beautiful.

    Vestiges of strength returned to her as she rode upon withered legs, graced by the images of Patrick’s golden lights, and Parker’s crashing lightning burnt into her eyes. For brief moments, she allowed the glimmer of ecstacy to show upon her face before quelling its uprising, plasting it with a determined frown. Certain habits demanded permanence.

    What guards that miraculously remained would be better equipped for her recently discovered trick, their bodies layered against the boiling heat of her waters. Then again, she was in a mood for learning, she found - learning by feel, playing by ear. She clasped her palms together before pulling them apart, slowly, as if wrangling some substantial mass from the nothingness. Some shimmering force emerged in the space between, bundled rope of agitated particulate.

    She swung it outwards towards the first guard, and in its brief, transient existence, it sliced. The flux bubbled for a brief instant against the guard’s uniform, before dispersing into a gash of red. She broke off, eyes jumping in their sockets to capture a glimpse of Patrick in the wake of the storm. Her hands smoked - and Cassia realized that they were cooked, raw and pink

    That’s.. interesting.

    It was then, that the jet descended, and the speakers sounded, and bedlam… continued.

    Show Spoiler
    @Red Thunder didn't know how Patrick was gonna evade Parker's shooty-bolts, so I didn't directly have her go to him. Is the intent though, and you "pilot" Cassia there if wanted
     
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  8. As soon as Darius's door opened, every expectation Austin had about the rendezvous was confirmed. With a surprising speed and ferocity, the Protector's father figure descended upon the stranger. Darius locked the soggy interloper beneath his choke-hold, her breaths ragged and wild beneath him. Austin almost felt bad for her, flinching at Darius as he began to shout questions at her struggling face. Besides him, Hang--for the first time in the few days he'd known her--looked caught off guard.

    No, not off guard. Scared.

    Of course, Hang had every right to be, and Austin didn't dare say anything to the contrary. Truthfully, he didn't want to have to watch the interrogation--couldn't watch it--so instead he averted his gaze and prayed she'd answer the questions quickly. Nervously, he began to knead the fabric inside his sweatshirt pockets between his fingers, but despite not wanting to be involved, Percy's curious use of his abilities drew Austin's gaze. Something about the fearlessness with which he sauntered over to his dad placated Austin's tic, and the boy become suddenly enraptured by whatever it was Percy could do. It was over in a moment: Darius seemed to back off immediately at the child's signal despite there being no obvious expression of his abilities. Austin's brow furrowed as he began to wonder at the nature of Percy's powers.

    Did he read her mind or something? Austin unconsciously took two steps in the opposite direction of where Percy stood. Great, more creepy children metas is just what this bunker needs.

    The intruder's powers were terrifying in their own right, but at least with her it was painfully obvious what was happening. Still, despite her ferocity in the mall, and her battle-sense in the commons, she looked more nervous than anything: standing back to the wall, her face matted with sprinkler-soaked hair, she was a far-cry from the monster they had engaged minutes before. Now she looked just like an ordinary, scared girl.

    Now there is a familiar look. Austin smirked softly, but the smile quickly faded from his features. A very familiar look.

    Something had been bugging him about the stranger since she'd arrived, but the smoke and action had drawn his attentions elsewhere. Now, trapped mere feet from her, and free of all obfuscation, the reality began to dawn on him. This girl wasn't a stranger. At least, not to him.

    Impossible.

    “My name is Alexis.. I just escaped the SPME, alright? I’m not with them. And I know things you need to know.”

    He tried not to stare--to divert his gaze--but he couldn't help it. Purposefully, he rotated in place, subtly shifting on his feet until most of his back was turned in Alexis's direction. On the outside, he settled into his prototypical, unassuming stance: in a moment, he was the same, disengaged Austin who remained quiet because he was quiet. Inside the pockets of his hoodie, he once again plucked furiously at the seams. His panicked mind was working on overdrive to find some excuse, any excuse, to leave. Unfortunately, the predicament was lose-lose: Austin couldn't stay, but even if Darius didn't want him there, running out the door wasn't exactly subtle.

    Alexis was almost as fiery as he remembered: it took all of five seconds for her to begin taking jabs at Darius, the man who's forearm had been inches shy of crushing her windpipe moments ago. She was brazen--too brazen--given her position, which meant she was either stupid, or had something a whole lot worse than Darius to be afraid of. Austin reluctantly bet on the latter.

    He was not disappointed.

    A mind control bomb? Aerated solutions? Fuck.

    For a second, his mind drifted to the others who'd embroiled themselves in an SPME rescue mission, but just as soon as it did, he banished the thought. Austin scowled in the direction of his sneakers, and a hollow complacency settled over him. He had tried to stop them, and they had made the choice to go anyway. It was their own fault if anyone failed to make it back. Austin doubted Darius would be so callous as to deploy them from the bunker now, and Austin was relieved by that thought. Hang, evidently, was not.

    "Where did you come from? And where are they planning on using this... thought-control bomb? How do you know? You were in San Antonio at the mall when we were kidnapped, and we've been here four days. If you're a runaway, you didn't come from too far. Where are they?"

    Austin's head whipped in Hang's direction, his eyes wide. Was she planning on finding them? The thought was maddening, and (against his better judgement) Austin began to laugh. Everything was falling apart: first Alexis had arrived on their doorstep, and even with the nightmare-fuel she'd provided--no, because of it--Hang looked poised to go running into their grasp.

    "It doesn't matter. If they have a chemical weapon that only affects metas, we are screwed. We shouldn't be looking for them," Exasperated, Austin turned back towards Darius and Alexis. The thought occurred to him that their resources might've been better spent fleeing the country, but, knowing the SPME, they would be running all their lives. Even if she was wrong, it didn't matter what Alexis said about the SPME; Austin would've agreed with her anyway.

    It was going to be a gamble, but one worth taking. After all, it was only a matter of time before Alexis remembered him too, which meant he risked everything if he failed to get in front of her.

    "Besides," Austin cleared his throat, trying his best to brace himself for whatever reaction Darius would have, "Funny thing is, I, uh, actually know Alexis. D-Didn't recognize her 'til now, but any information she has about the SPME..." He trailed off, his eyes settling on the damp interloper. "We can trust it."

    @CloudyBlueDay @Doctor Jax
     
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  9. .
    As Dakota left Leo's side and raced back towards the doors, she neared the opening to the facility in time to see Parker racing up the stairs shortly behind Patrick. A sense of relief opened like a flood gate, even as the two of them (shortly joined by Cass) went toe to toe with the guards. They were strong, and the guards weren't prepared, it seemed, for anyone to fight back. And Parker... He was alright. He was alright. They were all alright. They were going to--

    A sound, like a garage door churning open, drew Dakota's eyes to the side of the building, as machine gun turrets revolved towards the crew of escaping youths. These, she doubted, would spit out friendly fire. The mechanical voice echoed its warning... a warning none of them could afford to heed. Heart pounding, she looked back inside, electricity and gates and water, like some sort of twisted magic trick or science fair project. The sound of the plane behind them called to her - rescue, it seemed, but the others hadn't made it out yet... How long would the plane wait? How long would their scummy captors wait?

    "Hurry up!" She cried over the broadcasting threat, hoping they heard her, hoping they would have time. No one could get left behind... not after all they had been through, not after finally, finally getting out, "Oh, please hurry..."

    Turning on her bare heels, she raced back, and her hand snaked around Leo's forearm, tiny fingers bruisingly tight. She had not forgotten that apart from the little bit of strength she'd been able to give to him, he had been a pretty big mess not too long ago, and if her powers wore off, there was no telling what state he'd be left with, "Come on! We have to go!"
     
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  10. h a n g || d a o

    The Vietnamese heiress' screwed her eyes into sharp slits as she heard the sound of giggling nearby, and she shot a wicked glare at Austin, her metaphorical hackles raised. She hardly saw what he found funny, and the idea that it could be her drove her wild with anger. So she wanted to rip these people apart from throat to groin? What exactly was so hilarious about that. Her fists balled up as she tried to contain herself.

    "It doesn't matter. If they have a chemical weapon that only affects metas, we are screwed. We shouldn't be looking for them," Austin challenged, and Hang scoffed at the idea. They had that Basil kid. She could whip up something to give them immunity. Whatever.

    Not another cage. No more bars, no more chains, no more gilt prisons. She wanted none of it, and she'd rather die than go back.

    "Besides..." The spineless boy cleared his throat, and Hang felt an overwhelming desire to cut him down at the knees, verbally if nothing else. "Funny thing is, I, uh, actually know Alexis."

    Hang's long and sharpened fingernails threatened to break against her hardened skin, and suspicion turned her glowing eyes a sickly shade of yellow-white for a moment, pupils dilating into slits. She'd nearly killed them once, and managed to try and get the drop on them twice. If he knew her, then that meant a history, and suddenly she felt uneasy.

    "D-Didn't recognize her 'til now, but any information she has about the SPME...We can trust it."

    "Spill your guts already. What the hell are you talking about? Quit pussyfooting around it and spit it out," Hang snarled. "What, were you with them too?"

    She pointed in no particular direction, at no particular enemy, just an all-encompassing sensation of being trapped.
     
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  11. Patrick O’Malley
    SMPE Escape

    ”Get back!”

    The warning was heard almost too late. Even as blue-white streams cascaded through the air from Parker’s outstretched fingers, Patrick slipped downwards through a Gate, and the electricity passed harmlessly overhead. Through pressure came refinement, and in such a short time, the Irishman’s power was becoming second nature to the boy.

    Becoming, being the operative word.

    Paddy’s legs buckled beneath him as he hit the ground beside Parker, the fall distance from the Gate underestimated. Breath hissing through his teeth, he stood up, fists raising in defense; the tranquilizer gun had shaken loose from his grip as he’d fallen.

    “Fuck,” he muttered, eyeing their opponents with no small amount of trepidation. “Yah shoulda jes ran, Park. Not sure how many we-“

    With a sharp cry of pain, a guard collapsed, red spurting from a deep chest wound that had appeared suddenly. But Patrick didn’t have time to see who had done such a thing. Involuntarily his hands went to his ears, the piercing whine of the closing jet drowning out anything else briefly as it touched down. He glanced back, eyes wide and mouth hanging agape. Who...who the hell was this?

    Just as the jet engines powered down to idle, a cold tone took its place, issuing an ultimatum in no uncertain terms. And suddenly Patrick understood: this was a response of panic; the scientists didn’t want to risk losing their guinea pigs to whomever it was had come to rescue them. Which meant they needed to load onto that jet, and fast.

    “Sorry, Park; time teh go!”

    As it’d done to him a few seconds before, a Gate flashed to life beneath Parker’s feet, its brother Gate spitting him out at the base of the jet’s loading ramp. Tranq darts began clogging the air, filling the emptiness where he’d just been and clearly aimed at the Irishman. The guards were getting desperate. He turned, about to flee, when he noticed-

    “Cass! Shite, woman; ogle later! C’mon!”

    Grabbing his friend with the toughness of terror, Paddy slung Cassia across his shoulder in a fireman carry and leapt through a new Gate. This time at least he landed with a bit more dignity. A kind of shimmering field was between them at the attackers, and he breathed a small sigh as he set Cassia back down beside the ramp, catching a glimpse of her raw hands as he did.

    “Cass- Ya okay?”

    @Shizuochan @CloudyBlueDay

    In memoriam (open)
    For Cloudy: in memoriam of her death by heat exhaustion
     
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  12. Hedieh Redding // Weak Knees

    Hedieh took full advantage of Casey's silent offer of help, not only using him as support but also fully forcing Willow into his arms. She did her best to remain gentle, to not cause Willow more pain, but it was hard to focus on such through her own.

    The glass shards had only dug further into her feet during the brief journey, splintered further. Hedieh had never been a rough and tumble girl, had never been one for intense sports or picking fights. Her worst injuries had been limited to scrapping her hands and knees on sidewalks, small cuts from picking up shattered plates or twisting the lid off obstinate cans of food.

    This was worse than any of that, and Hedieh had been pushing the limits of her tolerance from the very first step.

    Weak. She couldn't help it, could she, resorting to self-pity? Willow still had a chunk of glass embedded in her stomach, one Hedieh had fused into the other girl's very flesh. Others had fought their way out, and Hedieh only walked.

    Taking advantage of Casey's support, one hand gripping his shoulder as Hedieh doubled over and choked back gasps of pain, she looked around, getting a view of the surrounding situation proper for the first time. People still fighting, using their powers to ward off bullets, and Hedieh could only whine to herself about her damn feet.

    But she didn't try to take Willow back, didn't make any further efforts to contribute. She only fell away from Casey and continued making her way to the jet, doubled over in guilt and pain.
     
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