Life Is But A Stage (IC Thread)

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Camleen

I'm going to be my own kind of princess
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#1
...and we are all slaves to the performance.


Arlington, Virginia. Sometime in the year 2018. 6:00 PM eastern.
The quiet little house sitting at 616 Hickory Branch Lane had previously been occupied by a friendly family. They were sort of celebrities in the neighborhood. After all, the head of the household is one of the core members of the Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes. He moved into the house with his family, his wife and the twins (a boy and girl). A family he, himself, had constructed. He is known simply as Vision, a synthezoid. Not an android, not a robot, not a cyborg, not an augmented human. Something completely different. An artificial life form, and one of the mightier beings on this little world in the middle of nowhere. And even though he has fought for this world (saving it about 37 times if you’re counting) and fought in so many different galaxies… he is now trying to just live a ‘normal’ life. The synthezoid had his family, the family he had built with his own two hands. A job in Washington working for the White House.
It’s a nice story, isn’t it? One of Earth’s greatest of heroes seeking out a life without having to fight an intergalactic menace or maniac wanting to detonate the planet every other day. It’s something we all can hope for. A good life, with those you love.

But it wasn’t meant to be.
The house now is barely illuminated, everything perfectly organized and clean. Impeccable. Vision emerges from the kitchen wearing a pair of comfortable slacks and a turtleneck sweater. He sits down at the living room table, his eyes staring at his folded hands upon that table a moment.

6:01 PM eastern.
Another synthezoid enters the room, having come down the stairs. She tries to move quickly, a small frown upon her lips.
+Daughter, you are late for our evening gathering.+ With a sigh the girl moves to the opposite side of the table, sitting down at it as she speaks. +I apologize, father. My conversation had taken more time than I had calculated it would.+ She scoots her chair in, smiling now to him. +Are you sure you were not delaying your arrival here so you could focus on your game more?+ She feels herself slink down slightly, unable to bring her softly glowing eyes to him. +I wished only to speak with my friends a bit more, father.+ Vision watches his daughter without emotion, no anger in his voice. +I trust you can better plan in the future for our evening gathering.+ She nods, looking up to him now. +Yes, father. I will arrange my schedule better.+

The conversation then moves to how their perspective days went. Viv tells her father of the new classes she’s in at school. All of them advanced classes, of course. And Vision tells her of his day, of his meeting with the President of the United States, the meeting with the ambassador from North Korea. They get together like this every night. They don’t eat, so this is as close to being ‘normal’ as they can manage. The daughter, Vivian, has suggested they do eat during this time. Just so they have an actual meal during dinner. But Vision didn’t see the point, since neither of them required food for sustenance. He thinks it would be a waste of resources.


At 6:30 PM eastern precisely, they both get up from their chairs as one, and without a word move towards the living room. He looks towards the television, and it switches on as it receives a signal from Vision’s mind. He sits down on the couch, and Vivian sits next to him. The move with precision and efficiency, exactly what you would expect from people with supercomputers for brains. The television turns to a movie Vision was told of… the Godfather. He knows of it, of course. +Carol Danvers told me of this movie, and she recommended it for us to watch.+ Every week like clockwork they watched a movie together. Vivian just sits there silently, staring at the screen. +Daughter, please stop communicating with your friends. We are conducting family time.+ She looks to him with a scowl, and stops the conversation she was having wirelessly in her head with her friends. She then looks towards the television, huffing a little. +Yes, father.+

About an hour and a half in, Vision wonders why the hell Carol Danvers would recommend this movie for their movie night. Vision knew it was violent.. but he had no idea it was this bad! But as he is pondering that, he suddenly feels his daughter closer to him. She leans against him, her legs tucked under her body. Vision finds himself smiling a little, and he puts his arm around her as they continue to watch the movie. +I feel bad for that pretty horse. He had done nothing wrong.+ Vision finds himself smiling a little more. +No, he did nothing wrong, daughter.+

A few hours pass, and it’s now time for bed. Of course they don’t need to sleep. But wanting to try to get into a routine of ‘normal’, they do lay in their beds and shut down many of their systems for the night. It allows their minds time to collate the data from that day. A sort of rest for them. It’s the middle of the night… and suddenly Vivian is no longer in her room. “She some kind of robot?” A voice in her room that doesn’t belong to her or her father. Another voice… “I don’t know. They don’t pay me enough to figure it out. They tell me to fetch, I fetch.” 2 alien looking beings lift her unconscious form from her bed, and she does not stir. She has been, in fact, sedated. Just by changing the atmosphere in the room, she’ll be unable to act for a good hour or so. They step away from her bed with her, and one of them clicks a small button on his belt. And they are abruptly in another place. A metal corridor with a stand in it, odd contraptions hanging upon the stand. One of the men holds Vivian up and the other puts a collar around her neck. It starts to glow softly, effectively deactivating whatever powers she would have. “We’re not supposed to grab anything else?” One of them asks. The other shakes his head as he affixes gauntlets to her arms, her hands concealed in them. He attaches shackles to her feet, and then bounds her arms against her body with what look like cables. A click of a button, and parts of the apparatus now start to glow “Okay, confinement achieved. Huh.. what’s wrong with her?” They both look at her face, and it almost looks like she’s having a bad dream. “Her robo-circuits or whatever is gettin’ interference from the dampening collar. It’ll pass. Probably.” They both shrug and now drag her unceremoniously by her hair into a different chamber. “If she doesn’t get a contract, maybe she’ll be one of them sex-bots.” The other laughs as he lifts Vivian up “Can’t ever have to many of those!” They both laugh as he throw Vivian into the room, her body landing with a low thud.
It’s a large room, about 30 feet wide and 30 feet long. There doesn’t seem to be a ceiling. The walls are black and polished metal with seeming no seems. There is no door visible… no windows… no cameras… no features along the walls at all. While they see nothing along the walls, doesn’t mean they aren’t being observed.
Once the other ‘participants’ are gathered and ‘processed’ (power dampening collars and body shackles), they too will be put into this room.

But for now, Vivian just lays there on her side. Her eyes flutter open, those eyes just black. No glow to them whatsoever. She speaks softly, a tone that one uses when begging for help. Her voice is weak, almost sounding unstable.
+Father.+
+Father.+
+Father.+
+Father.+
 
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Ms.Ezra

Innkeeper of The Enchanted Suites
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#2
No. 17 has been gone for a week now. 18 hovers above the ruins of the third city she has decimated since then, trying her best to not think about that fact as she watches a group of humans mount what can only be a useless last stand against her. Rifles are loaded with armor piercing rounds, and grenades packed with the highest grade explosives they could muster. People had witnessed her brother's death by that lone young man named Trunks, and it had given the remains of humanity the first flash of hope in years. It didn't even matter to them that their apparent savior had perished shortly after, pulverized by her hands. If she had been thinking clearer, 18 might have killed him more publicly instead of snapping his neck in a dark cave where he now lies rotting. Killing that flash of hope was not on her mind. All that she wanted to do was end the life of the one who had taken the only person she cared for.

They aren't aware of her up here at all. It's night time, and they no longer have the technology to detect her. They are only waiting for her to make one more sweep of the ruins. The pair always did this, to have the sick satisfaction of killing survivors of their first salvo individually. And they hoped this time, they could end her. End the terror and rebuild their city. 18 looks down at the city with her cold blue eyes with no intention of doing that. She is going to hit this planet with everything she has in mere moments. Maybe her immense well of power was enough to end the planet in an instant. Or maybe just enough to crack the mantle and start a slow agonizing death for all that remains on this rock, herself included. Her clothes had not been changed since that fateful fight. She hasn't cared to replace them. She hasn't cared for anything since.

After some time brooding in the dark of the night, 18 decides she has waited long enough. It was time to end this planet and herself. Even ending life held no meaning for her anymore. Not without 17. Therefore her life no longer meant anything. By all means she could self-destruct and be done with it, leave the Earth to its own devices.

But why leave them with a future at all? Life has no meaning. She had the whole of the world by the neck now and nobody could stop her from snapping it.

18 is ready to unleash her cold fury when fate it seems spares what remains of the world, and 18 herself. Lost in her own thoughts of genocide and suicide, she did not detect a single bullet coming at her. She feels its bite in her abdomen, curses at the actual pain it inflicts on her, and suddenly falls limp and plummets to the ground. She makes a small crater on impact with the ground, and lies there the most vulnerable she has been in years. That bullet was full of nanobots, and they had made quick work of her relatively primitive body to suppress her powers and render her unconscious.

The ones who had come for her were not taking any chances with No. 18 at all. They've seen what 18 is capable of if given an inch of leeway. She is unconscious from the point of her collection, through her processing, to when she is left in the same strange room with stranger beings. Someone somewhere flips a switch, or presses a button at that point, and 18 bolts upright from the floor. She whips her head around frantically. "What the hell!? W-where am I?!" She questions, not the least bit afraid. Her otherwise pretty face is contorted in a snarl, baring her perfect teeth. "I swear if this is you again Gero...I'm gonna do so much worse than kill you!" She threatens the only person she knows would know how to subdue her as she strains against the apparatus she's been affixed with, and feels none of her strength. Her energy is also gone, or else she would have blown this whole place upon waking up.
 

Shiki

Mystic Eyes of Depth Perception
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#3
Shiki Ryougi’s apartment, Mifune City, Japan - June 23, 2001, 9:04 Tokyo Time

Mifune City was boring. There! She said it. Yes, she cared for Koukutou - and Shiki was going to use that name until the very day he took her more ancient surname - and she enjoyed going shopping with Azaka. She even found a perverse sense of fun in hating Aozaki. But Mifune was boring. All Garan no Dou got these days were puppet making requests, and Azaka was the only one who could help Touko out with that.

It payed the bills. That’s what that place did. Sometimes, she wished for those days when Araya was still out and about. The blood pulsing in her veins, lives dangling like threads in her vision... It was a pity. With the recent dearth of supernatural crime - there was a True Ancestor over in Misaki, so most of Japan’s Moonlit crowd was getting the heck out of Dodge - there wasn’t much for her to do. Even the occasional upstart precog who thought he was the only magic person alive had enough of a magic sense to smell the pungent odor of Gaia’s servant.

Maybe she should get a PI license. Those exist, right? She’d check with Koukutou tomorrow - he’s a nerd, he’d know that kind of thing. She sighed, tapping her chopsticks against the side of the plastic bowl she was holding. Just some rice. She couldn’t cook, and her manservant was still on his way back. By the Root, Aozaki was a coward - sending a lackey to the Clock Tower, rather than doing it himself? At least he wasn’t magically-raised. Magi would probably crash the plane from a passenger seat.

Ice cream or no ice cream, that is the question. After a moment, she shook her head and tossed the bowl at the sink, the metal chopsticks clanging against the steel rim of the sink and the wood countertop. Sugar would just fight off sleep, and frankly, she wanted this day over. Nothing interesting was going to happen tonight. She sighed, before grabbing the pillow lying next to her. She tossed it at the wall at the head of her bed, and yawned. Before she could lay down, however, the phone rang.

“Shiki?” She allowed herself a smile. It was good he was checking in on her. She could admit, she did like to hear his voice. London time was, what? Nine hours behind?

“Koukutou. Your flight hasn’t left yet?”

“No, it’s not supposed to leave until two. Good thing, too - apparently she’s being sent a full-sized puppet to mend.”

“Carrying a body-bag through customs?”

“Close enough. God knows how many people have given me strange looks.”

“When’s your plane supposed to arrive?” She didn’t even try to figure out the math. Time zones gave her worse headaches than Araya’s Death Lines.

“Tomorrow morning, your time. I’ll probably be in before you wake up, sleepyhead.” If anyone else said that to her, she’d probably kill them. And not with her Mystic Eyes, no. It’d be a painful death. But when he said it, she just felt a strange fuzzy feeling she wasn’t sure how to react to. Maybe that was just part of being engaged?

“Come by before you stop at Aozaki’s, will you?”

“You haven’t washed any dishes since I left, have you?” She didn’t deign to answer that. “Of course. I’d be happy to. I’m sorry for calling so late; didn’t get a chance earlier.”

“I was still awake.”

“Then get some sleep! It’s, what, nine?” Such a pansy. Probably still stuck to his grade-school bedtime. But...yeah, she’d listen.

“I will. Fly safe.”

“Sleep well! Love you!” Root damnit, yes, her heart did flutter when he said that. And yes, she knew he said it just as a pleasantry. Root damn that man.

“Goodnight.” A thought of SHIKI crushed any possible echoing response like a bug. He wouldn’t want such soft-hearted actions from her. She’d decided, sure, not to live solely for him anymore, but she’d be damned if she didn’t take him into consideration.

“Goodnight!” And with that, she hung up the phone. No need to drag it on any longer. She sighed. Believe it or not, she did actually want to talk to somebody about her confusion. But the only person who could help her was Touko Aozaki, and she’d rather become some deredere romantic like she’d heard the Moon Princess became before she’d entrust her emotions in Aozaki.

She slumped over, her head against the pillow. She blinked twice, before realizing that she hadn’t tried to fall asleep. What the- Finally, as if crawling up her nerves, she felt a sting on her leg, like a bee. Prana rushed to her eyes, her Mystic Eyes turning on like a flash of lightning. Death Lines swam into her vision, but she focused on one in particular - right next to [NOTHINGNESS], nearly masked by [NOTHINGNESS] that made up her [NOTHINGNESS], she saw a tiny Death Line, making up the neurotransmitters that the bullet was releasing into her body. Through the mist her mind was falling in to, she realized that she wouldn’t be able to cut a line that faint fast enough. The world went black.

As reality reformed around her, the first thing she saw were Death Lines. Well, that wasn’t quite true - she saw herself, eyebrows raised in mild interest - but that was the first thing that made sense. They were strange, bizarre. They weren’t faint like Araya’s, no. They were clear as day - but they spun in strange shapes. Twisting and spinning in a strange dance, a mockery of life that only could be compared to a Dead Apostle’s Death Lines. Death made sense for them, but it was a death of “no,” not a death of “yes.”

What was she saying? Was she crazy? Probably. But the Lines didn’t make sense. And, as the rest of her senses came into line, she realized that she was shackled. And not together, alas; she could cut the handcuff’s lines with a fingernail after enough tries, if that was the case. No, it was far enough apart that she’d have to cut both at once, and she doubted she could focus enough to do that. Especially as - a glance revealed - the metal hadn’t so much as been touched by a living thing before now. How did that make sense?

A glance around revealed several other people in the room - for a certain definition thereof. One was silver, the other an orangish-pink. There was a normal-looking human, thankfully. They all seemed as restrained as she did, and several were unconscious.

She’d have to wait, she supposed. If Koukutou was here, he’d probably try to gather as much information as he could before he acted. Normally, she’d just brute-force her way through problems, but that wasn’t going well at the moment. If she was going to be getting a PI license, she supposed, she’d need some practice. She took a deep breath, before reaching out to feel the Mana around her. A decent amount radiated from the human in front of her, confirming her theory; the others were an affront to death itself. Aside from the human, there was a trace of it wafting in from outside the cell, like a breath of spring air. Faint, though; too faint. Not the ambient level even a house built underground would get. Not Earth, then, or at least not a normal one. The Reverse Side, maybe? She wasn’t under Gaia’s dominion, which was a scary - but freeing - thought. But there was something, or somethings, alive around here. Good.
 
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The Wanderer

Mysterious Stranger
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#4
Zer0
0utskirts 0f Sanctuary
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Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

The sounds of Zer0 tapping the hilt to his sword filled the night air. As he sat down on a cliff that was shadowed by the floating city of Sanctuary. Making the night even more dark where he was currently sitting.

Or at least the hologram of Zer0 was sitting. The real Zer0 was pacing back and forth nearby. He didn't know why, but having his hologram activated while not in combat helped him relax. Which is what he needed right about now as he was facing the greatest challenge yet.

How to get pass his now unshakable boredom.

It was something that had yet to be bested, one challenge that Zer0 wanted to defeat ever since he was created. Sure, there were some challenges or some thrill that had sated this hunger.

Handsome Jack, The Warrior, and a handful of others had managed to quell the thirst for a good amount of time. But then it returned, wanting more and more. Something to surpass those challenges. None of the adventures that had followed the defeat of Handsome Jack and his controlled Warrior by the hands of the Vault Hunter Group even came close to sating it. Not even when he buried his blade in Piston's chest, or had landed the killing blow on the Son of Crammerax or gone on the hunting venture that Sir Hammerlock had invited them on.

A part of his mind turned this to his colleagues. As they all would've provided more than a worthy challenge. Especially Maya with her siren abilities. Not to say Axton, Salvador or Krieg and that Technomancer wouldn't also be worthy prey.

Yet, he stopped himself. The ragtag group were family in a sense. They had all joined together to defeat Handsome Jack. And went on a multitude of adventures after that.

Infact, he felt guilty about this. And that perplexed him.

Why would he feel guilty?

He had killed so many people, some of whom didn't deserve what came to them, and yet their collective deaths had little to impact to his consciousness or whatever counted for it. Hell, some of the deaths were remembered fondly as by the challenge they provided in the moment. And yet, when debating on if he should turn on his comrades fills him with enough guilt that he seeks solace in the shadow of the floating city far away from his friends. As if he were some teenager embarrassed with their changing body.

This train of thought brought him back to where he started.

What challenge was there left to surpass? And what if there was no ultimate challenge anymore?

What if Zer0's dream of one day facing an equal foe, and perhaps dying to a worthy enemy if victory wasn't guaranteed, would never come to pass?

The thought filled him with a cold that could only be mimicked by the corpses he had left behind.

And then there some odd sound, like a high-pitched whistling.

The sound of a something fast and small traveling through the air. And before he knew it, a needle had pierced his suit and injected a liquid that his system identified as some sort of tranquilizer. The impact instantly turned off Decepti0n, and the hologram vanished while his cloak was disrupted. The nano-machines in his body fought this liquid's effects as best as they could, but his vision began to blur and his muscles began to weaken. He made out what seemed to be extremely alien looking organisms. Their details blurred by the drug in his system, he could barely make out. "Don't fight it, it'll only make things worse."

To hell with that.

If he was to be captured like some animal, he was going to kill someone. At least take a life down with him.

Taking hold of the hilt, his partner materialized into a glowing cyan blue blade and he lunged with what strength he had at the closest pair of blobs, his senses not seeing the rest of them surrounding him. One had dodged gracefully, but the other was unfortunate. As evident by how his neck was clean severed from his body with just one swing.

"Leaves falling from trees/Snow drifting onto the ground/Life leaving your corpse." He slurred, as the drug began to finally overpower him. The blade returning to digi-storage and the suit as a backup feature, stored the hilt away as well.

As he fell unconscious. The group of otherworldly kidnappers slapped on a neck device that quickly turned off most of Zer0's abilities and locked access to his digi-storage, not that he could tell in his current state. And they grabbed the Assassin and their fallen comrade, they made their way back to whence they came.

Leaving the cliff side as barren as the hearts of most of the inhabitants of Pandora....
 
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#5
Prologue: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Life Is But A Stage.

It was a quiet day in Gamindustri. After defeating the notorious villain known as Rei Ryghts who turned out to be the Ancient CPU of Tari, Neptune and the other Goddesses were going about their regular business, working on their nations and keeping their citizen's faith strong. Well, most of them anyways. Neptune was doing what she does best: Relaxing.

rsz_background.png

"Yaawn... Mmm, taking a nap in the warmth of the Planeptune Sun is the best! ...Although, I kinda feel like I had some really creepy dream..." Neptune exclaimed as she stretched her arms and readied herself for the day. Until of course someone or some people approached her. "Hey, sorry, I'm not taking any autographs today. Your dear Goddess is off on her break." The two soldiers simply looked towards each other. "This the "Neptune Girl" we were supposed to capture?" "No doubt, she definitely looks like a child." "And this is supposed to be a goddess in this world? Please. At least we did some research beforehand." "Heey, I'm right here!" "Quiet. We're taking you in." "Me? What exactly have I done? I was just napping here." "We were just told to fetch this "Neptune" person, and you fit the bill. But don't think we didn't do our homework, kiddo." And the two brought out a device with them which they activated. "W-wait a minute... Oh come on, are you seriously using that technology? You're not in with that Arsnore person are you? We've had enough games involving her now, which is something I need to talk to the writers about because she is really boring." "..." "..." "Let's just take her." "Yeah." And so they proceeded to knock her out when she was helpless to act. They utilised a piece of technology created by Arfoire to seal the CPU's powers, making them almost powerless in combat.

And so they took her away, without her even being able to stop them...

  ​
"In you go, kiddo!" A soldier shouted as they chucked her into the cell with everyone else. It appeared to be quite a large room and appeared to already have a few people inside. What an odd situation for the Protagonist of Protagonists to be thrown into. Dusting herself off, she walked towards the group.

416cd9be0ddff137614b14fb195fafa8.jpg

"Hey hey, what's going on ladies? And... Cyborg? Uh... Where are we, exactly? I was relaxing in Planeptune when these two muscle-heads knocked me out. I'm supposed to be the Protagonist here, and this is how I'm treated?! I blame the writers."

The Wanderer The Wanderer , Shiki Shiki , Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra , Camleen Camleen
 

Camleen

I'm going to be my own kind of princess
Posting Speed
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No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Depending on the RP, I can be either. But most of the time I'm passive. I'll help you direct traffic, but I don't like to be in charge usually.
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In no particular order: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Modern, Magical, Romance, anime, comic books, cartoons, video games..
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Yaoi, furry, horror/gore (there are very few exceptions there)
#6
For another few moments the light red skinned synthezoid lays there on her side. Others begin to fill the large room, seeming to come out of nowhere by her perception. And as she lays there, she tries to break free of the bonds she has found herself in. But they will not bend to her will, nor can she move through them.

Now confusion starts to grow in her mind.

With a soft grunt she rolls onto her back and then promptly sits up. She looks towards some of her new cellmates, her eyes now starting to glow softly once more. A quick diagnostic of her major systems show only a few small anomalies. When the collar was first affixed to her slim neck, something in it reacted to her biomechanical structure. Now pushes one of her legs more under her body as she leans forward, and she pushes herself to her feet. Silently she observes the others… especially the 2 of them speaking. One very angrily and the other in more of a confused fashion. She tries once again to strain against her restraints, but her strength is gone. So is all of her powers. She shakes her head a little, looking down to try and think. She went to bed, she had just gotten off of the phone with Kamala. They were planning to go see a movie in the morning. That might have to wait. Slowly her softly glowing eyes move towards the others once more, and she notices they’re all wearing very similar restraints. The coloring of the shackles is slightly different from one to the other. The power dampening collar they wear all glow a soft orange color, looking just like thin pieces of metal wrapped about their necks.


It’s about then they hear a voice that seems to come from everywhere around them. Not overly loud, more subtle. But the excitement is obvious.

“Welcome new aquisitions! Welcome to your new lives!” There is applause and cheering from somewhere, but it only lasts a few moments. It was obviously just a sound effects track. “My name is Kolo, and I am the vice president of your new employer, the Zabava Broadcasting Network!” More cheers, and they are suddenly cut off. “I wish I could be there in person to greet you, but you know how it is running a galaxy’s worth of talent! But have no fear, we’ll be meeting soon! For now I leave you in the very capable hands of” this part is suddenly cut off, and somone else’s voice is heard. “Yanoro.” that voice cuts off, and once more Kolo’s voice is heard. “Just one of my favorite people in all the galaxy, that one! That person will address any questions or concerns you may have! Once again, welcome to the team!”

Vivian turns in a slow circle, studying the walls and floor. Looking for where the voice might be coming from, looking for any seams or any indication of weakness. But she finds none of these. +I did not apply to work anywhere.+ She says very matter of factly, almost to herself.

And then Yanoro’s voice fills the room. It’s not a booming voice, conversation level. As if he were standing righ there with the group of prisoners. “So here’s what it is. You’ve been drafted from your realities to work for the Zabava Broadcast Network. Billions of people get our signals. You all are going to become stars. Livin the good life, you will. You’ll be signing your contracts soon, ya will. Because while you were out, you’ve all been injected with a few things.”
When he says that, Vivian looks down at herself, trying to find any irregularities.

“Translator microbes, first. So when ya hear someone talkin, it sounds like your own language. And also been injected with thousands of Expander Droids. All in yer blood streams. Size of molecules now, but if ya misbhave they’ll expand at once to 10 inch diameters. While inside ya. So yeah, you’re signin contracts.”
A pause, and he continues.

“These are just initial thoughts… so don’t get all offended if I get things wrong. We got Shiki Ryougi… probably the type for some kind of supernatural detective elimination show. Zer0… lone wolf type. Guys wanna be like that, girls want to be with that kind. So you’ll be in some kind of team concept, and be the loner. Lucky you. Number 18.. angst angry strong girl. You’re a delight, aren’t you. You can be the villain in someone’s story. Maybe against Zer0’s team! Vivian Vision. The puppet that wants to be human. That’s cute, and done to death. You’ll be 18’s partner in crime. And finally Neptune. Cutesy unintentionally funny girl. Not good enough for your own series… you’ll be in an ensemble cast, maybe with more serious color coded teams.”


As he speaks, Vivian has just been standing still, staring down at herself. Consider, if you will, the gravity of the situation she finds herself. She has, what is effectively, instant death devices inside of herself that she can’t isolate. She’s been kidnapped, rendered harmless and helpless. And all she can think… she doesn’t want to be human! But she doesn’t voice that, she’s just insulted by it.

“Okay give me questions and death threats.”
Yanoro continues. “Because at least one of you are gonna tell me how you’re gonna escape and kill us all. Like millions have before. But you should know, no one’s ever escaped from here. You’re going to be signing contracts soon and working for us. Either a very very good, famous life. Or digging rocks. Questions?” His tone a pleasant one.

Vivian silently looks along those trapped with her. The glowing collars they all wear, that must be what is neutralizing their powers. How could she know that? The shackles they are all held in that prevents escape… they serve a purpose. And they all have similar ones. The glowing collars, that is also something they all have on. And it serves no outward apparent purpose… so they must be what is rendering them powerless. But she has no clue how to negate them.

Yet.
 

Shiki

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#7
Truly, it was a pity they had taken her and not one of those hoity-toity Clock Tower types. They’d manage to destroy the precise electronics in whatever was injected in her bloodstream via sheer proximity. And no, not through “magical distruption of technology,” whatever that is; no, just through concentrated technological incompetence. Alas, she was here and they were not. Not, of course, that she was any more trapped than they would be. She was no Magus, but she’d picked up a few tricks from Touko and Azaka. Various Prana manipulation should work - she wasn’t entirely sure, what with the bizarre chokers, but she was pretty confident. Reinforcement, primarily, would be the key - she wouldn’t have stood a chance against Araya without it. Oh, sure; it would hurt, a lot, and she wasn’t going to do it, as escaping...wherever she was...wasn’t really on the menu at the moment. No, she thought to what Koukutou would do in her situation. Observe - obviously. He rarely did anything other than think things through.

The handcuffs were her biggest enemy. Her Mystic Eyes weren’t blocked by their choker - mostly because, if they’d work even if she gouged out her eyes, it would be truly stunning for something around her neck to deal with them. Mystic Eye Killers could block them, maybe - but the Blue destroyed those, apparently. Anyway, seeing Lines was of no use if she couldn’t cut them. Obviously, her captors knew that - and probably took perverse pleasure in her trapped nature.

“Unless you have some very interesting villains, your television show is going to be awfully anti-climactic.” She kept her face utterly impassive. “Not to mention, your unions might object to the death count.” Frankly, saying she didn’t see any appeal in getting a job killing people would be a lie, but...Root, Kokutou would be disappointed. And despite herself, she didn’t want that. Ever. “If you’re fine with that, then I’ll take a look at this contract of yours.”
 

The Wanderer

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#8
Zer0
Shared Cell
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As consciousness returned to him in a painfully slow crawl, Zer0 could make out various voices that were muffled by his senses that were still recovering from his drug induced rest. And for a split second, he thought he was back in Sanctuary, stirred awake by the usual morning argument between his fellow Vault Hunters.

But to his surprise, when the voices got clearer, they were none that he recognized.

Within moments, he was standing and ready to fight once more when he realized that a vast majority of his suit systems and cybernetics were down and the lack of his blade forming in his grasp. The only things working were basic health monitoring by his suit. But everything else was met with an error, including when he tried to summon his hologram decoy.

Just before he could ask any form of question to his fellow cellmates when a disembodied voice began to relay to them what their newfound "jobs" were. Seemed that Zer0 was to be a loner in a team on some show. Not very different to how he operated with his fellow Vault Hunters.

While the voice went on, Zer0 kept a calm and collected posture, while on the inside he was fuming with anger that could only be matched by the time that Zer0 and his comrades were betrayed by Piston during Torque's tournament. A voice in his head tried to divert this inner anger to not lashing out right away, instead it suggested that Zer0 play along. Or at least until he could turn off whatever was preventing his suit and cybernetics as well as his gear from working properly. And personally gut the one responsible for kidnapping him.

The thought soothed his temper and made him feel a bit euphoric.

With his mind clear and a newfound goal secured in his psyche. Zer0 turned his attention to his cellmates. They were each interesting in their own regard. Some looked to be average, while one looked like she came out of a comic book that Gaige would read in her spare time when not out on a mission or tinkering with her own personal murderbot.

Coarse, Zer0 thought of each one as what type of challenge they could bring to a fight. Which was very reminiscent to his first encounter with the other Vault Hunters. They were safe for now. As they were all in the same boat, and it would be harming to attack potential teammates. Or at least until they were free of this. Then it'll be a different matter when that happens.

Before Zer0 could go down memory lane or continue to muse in his thoughts, one of the girls had spoken up, criticizing what sort of challenge would this bring. Which in turn made Zer0 speak out as well.

"I agree with her/No challenge not worth my time/Need to see challenge." Zer0 acted with the intent of appearing like he wasn't interested in this until he would be shown what challenge was to be gained from agreeing. Playing up his known obsession for a worthy challenge. All in order to see what he was up against, both in terms of who was on his kill-list and what he would be facing in this show.
 
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#9
Neptune Shocked.jpg
"Not good enough for my own series? Not good enough for my own series?! Now you listen here, buster!" Neptune exclaimed as she jumped upwards and looked towards where she thought a camera was. "I am the Protagonist of Protagonists! Heck, every game in my franchise has my name in it! Maybe only a few others getting their own games but the majority of the titles are Neptunia, not Noiria or Blancia or Vertia. Let's just get that straight, okay? I'm the Protagonist of Protagonists, Neptune, defender of all~" She then relaxed herself a bit before responding to his more pleasant tone of asking questions. "So, what's our jobs then, big mysterious guy? Fighting a couple of bosses? Taking on a bunch of weak minions to level up for bigger threats? Oh oh, are we going to be fighting each other? And famous you say... Will this be broadcasted across every world!? All the shares I could gather for Planeptune would be immense! Histy would stop lecturing me knowing I single-handedly gathered the faith of numerous universes! Alright, I'm in! So, what kind of stuff will I be doing? Fighting some level 1 monsters? Most games start off with some tutorial for the players and how the fighting works and bla bla bla, Ooo, maybe I'll be fighting this strange Haiku Sword guy?"

She then whispered to herself. "I got myself into quite the situation, huh... So many death flags it's like someone's hacking our lives and ordering us around. At least it's not like Sadie... I shudder to think what would happen if I'd be experiencing Plutie transform again..."
 

Camleen

I'm going to be my own kind of princess
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#10
“I’m pleasantly surprised, gang!” Yanoro’s voice comes ito the room once more. “No one exclaiming how they’re going to get out and what not. Good for all of you!” A soft chuckle is heard, and then he continues. “Okay Neptune, this isn’t a game. Yet. We have a few competitors that are stronger than you ever could be, so we’ll maybe start you off there. If you live, well then maybe the next step is a cameo somewhere. Doubt you’ll get that far though.” A brief pause, as if he were thinking. “Zer0 I love the weird sentences, forgot to say. I’m seeing you in a team, tough guy. But first we’ll give you a common enemy. So you’ll kill Number 18 or Vivian here. And then they’ll be your team’s villains!” As her name is said, Vivian looks up towards the ceiling, and then she looks in Zer0’s direction, a small frown upon her lips.

“Aw Shiki, you don’t understand, sweetheart.” Yanoro says in an amused tone. “You WILL take a look at the contract. And either you’ll sign it or go into the labor force. This isn’t a negotiation, this is me informing you of what’s going to happen. Love your spunk though!” He chuckles softly. “And that’s the end of question and answer! I have some paperwork to take care of, so you guys just relax for now. Our wranglers will be along shortly for you. And remember, you belong to the Zabava Broadcasting Network! We can make your lives more amazing than anything you could imagine. Or make things bad for ya. Talk to ya soon!”

Vivian looks towards 18, and then Zer0… and then the other girls in the cell. Her softly glowing eyes look down as she shakes her head slowly. She doesn’t want to be here. +I can not be here. I must get home, I do not want to be grounded.+ She does have a curfew and all. +There must be a way out, I do not wish to be emplo--+ Vivian’s head suddenly flicks upwards, her long green hair falling along her shoulders. Her eyes go dark, save for small glowing pupils. +I..+ She says softly +I am downloading…+ She continues to stare into nothing, and without her noticing… the collar she wears stops glowing abruptly. Everyone else’s collars continue to function, but Vivian’s deactivate. Her eyes flicker back to normal, softly glowing, and she looks towards the other as she speaks in all seriousness. +I am escaping. Do any of you wish to join me?+ It would be rude for her to just free them and not ask if they wanted that. But she shouldn’t be able to escape, right? That’s the whole point… but maybe she’s suddenly getting help from someone…
 

Ms.Ezra

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#11
This place and that girl, Neptune, must be designed to piss me off. Number 18 thinks as she listens to the different voices explain what they were doing here. The second was worse than the first. You could feel the smug just under the surface. 18 imagines his face and clenches her fists as she wishes she could punch it into paste right now. Only her eyes move when this Yanoro talks about each of the others individually committing names to their faces. In the case of Zer0 name to helmet. She takes offense at his suggestion that Vivian was going to be her partner in crime.

“I don't need or want a partner.” She says quietly keeping her eyes trained forward as she backs against a wall and doesn't dignify his invitation for questions or death threats. She's already posed the questions and made the threats that matter to her. Her rage has subsided, left her with only a simmering anger. Here she was in a weird place with weird people, that supposedly had no means of escape.

But then again Gero had been so confident her and 17 wouldn't have done what they did.

“Give me the contract and get me the hell out of here.” 18 voices her decision. She looks over at the one named Neptune. “Preferably away from her. Unless you're going to have us fight. Then by all means..” She cracks a small smile at the thought and says, looking at Zer0 next “Your challenge is right here. Name's Number 18. Men bigger and stronger than you fell dead right under my foot.” She makes a small laugh “I'll try not to kill you too quick. You look fun.”

18 is so focused on those two she almost doesn't see what's going on with Vivian but her attention is caught by her saying she didn't want to be grounded. Meaning this one was a kid. 18 almost feels sorry for her. Then things got more interesting when she said she was 'downloading' something.

So this one is more like a machine. She thinks, and to her surprise as she looks at this young looking girl, the collar said girl is wearing is no longer glowing. 18 looks down at hers. Still glowing. And then this girl offers to help them escape?

Maybe they wouldnt need to go along with the contracts after all..

18 makes a 'sushing' motion with her lips at the girl and nods that yes, she does want to escape.
 

Shiki

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#12
Sweetheart? Sweetheart? There was going to be blood today, and it wasn’t going to be anything Kokutou could make her feel guilty over. If SHIKI wasn’t already dead, the sheer audacity of it all would have killed him. “Don’t be so sure. If you’ve looked into my history, you’ve heard of Souren Araya. He became one with a Budhisvatta - that’s how invincible he was. And his bones lie in respite a few blocks from my apartment. I can kill anything; you’re not any safer than he was.”

As she stated simple facts - no bravado or bragging involved, she’s never had much respect for it - she saw Robo-girl (the one with the Root-awful Lines, not the augmented one) deactivate the choker, and offer it to them. Without anything to limit Prana flow, over-Reinforcing the tiny bots in her bloodstream would be easy, and without the current risk involved. But...handcuffs. Quietly, she raised the cuffs into the small robot’s line of sight, trying to make her thought process clear. Reverse Side, one hand free would be enough; she could do the rest herself.

“This is a negotiation. Don’t misconstrue my politeness for submission, or I shall be informing you - and anybody else in this building - of your time of death.” Let’s see what little miss insult to the cycle of Samsara’s got up her sleeve.
 

The Wanderer

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#13
Zer0
Shared Cell

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The more and more he heard, the more vivid the thought of killing the owner of the voice became.

As the voice droned on and on, it seemed the robotic girl turned off her collar with little to no problem.

Seems jail-breaking was going to be occurring a lot sooner than Zer0 had thought. He made a motion to his own collar, signalling for its deactivation. The sooner Zer0 had access to his gear and suit abilities, the better. Hell, even being able to pull out and wield his one true friend in his hands and strike down whoever crossed its path would be fine. He had enough skill with a blade to hold his own against ranged individuals.

When 18 spoke up, and eventually to him. He turned his head to face her. And stare for a little bit before a red sideways smiley face flickered from his helmet before suddenly vanishing in more flickering red lights. Seems the collar was impacting every system in his suit to the point the emoticon hologram display was malfunctioning.

Zer0 could only hope that the damage was only there as long as the collar was active. Otherwise, he's going to need to do repairs, which would then need supplies he didn't have access to at the moment.

While the aspect of a challenge was more than alluring, Zer0 wasn't the type to attack potential teammates that could have skills essential to the now occurring jailbreak.

That wasn't to say that Zer0 was comfortable with his current roster. Infact, he wished he had anyone of the Vault Hunter group here with him. Hell even Krieg with all of his completely insane and psychotic mannerisms would be fine. Not that he disliked the others in the same cell with him, part of him was cautious, telling Zer0 to tread lightly and never let his guard down around them.

Hopefully things will go smoothly....
 
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#14
"Well, bring them on! I'll Nep you all up!" Neptune shouted as she prepared herself to transform into her Hard Drive Divinity form, but then was immediately blocked by the collar placed on her. "Oh... right. You're in leagues with that Arbore... I swear, these writers just looove to bring her back in every game. Seriously, she's the most boring antagonist you could ever meet. She shows up soo many times it's honestly a chore to deal with her." She stated in an irritated manner. Clearly they must of either figured out how to manipulate the technology Arfoire used to seal away the Goddesses powers or they had other methods of doing so. Either way, it's quite the hassle.

"Oh this just sparked soo many death flags." Neptune exclaimed as she witnessed Vivian somehow deactivate her collar, eyes wide open for a moment but chose not to speak this time around, just in case the voice was listening in still. She looked towards Vivian and nodded in response. "Honestly, I could just fight whoever I need to fight with the almighty Wooden Sword buuut, I kinda need my Goddess Form in order to really take on big opponents..."
 

Camleen

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#15
Somewhere that isn’t here, sometime that isn’t now…
“Are they sure this will work? It didn’t end well last time…” Voices over a communications line speak to one another in hushed tones. “Is different this time, it is. Ol’ Jas has seen the picturey pictures, read the reports he has. Girl like none b’fore in with ‘em. Key to locks, she’ll be.” “I don’t Jas. But I got the sensors all rigged, though. Just like you specified. If you got the restraining collar sabotaged…” “O’coursey course. Jas’ plan, Jas’ workin, Jas’ win! Win for Jas means win for Zabava, means win for you, Baudry.” “You’re rarely wrong, Jas. Hope this is one of those… they’re bringing them in now. Baudry over and out.”


Here, now
Vivian’s softly glowing eyes move along her fellow captives as they all consent (in their own ways) to going with her. In her attempt to escape. Her hopefully successful attempt. She now pushes herself to her feet slowly, standing all of an unimpressive 5’4”, and she speaks softly. +Vox populi, vox Sahida.+ All of them would feel a warming surge of energy run through their forms, and the harnesses holding them are suddenly nullified. The latches along the back of each harness unlocks, and the harness falls away harmlessly, along with the shackles. Vivian then half turns, her glowing eyes looking along the walls as she speaks in the same calmed, soft tone. +The microbombs within your systems have been neutralized. But not the translator microbes.+ She glances back to them +Please help one another removing the collars.+ She reaches to her own neck and grasps the collar, and with a metallic snap she tugs it off of herself. +Your collars are still active. If you can not remove them before I return, I shall remove them.+ She drops her collar and moves towards the wall in front of her. Her stride doesn’t slow when she reaches the wall, and she walks right into it. Not.. up against it. She actually disappears into the wall, passing through it as if it were nothing. But should any of the others try, they’ll find the wall quite solid.
A minute or so passes, and abruptly a panel along the wall opposite of where she stepped through slides up and open. Vivian is standing in the doorway, her hand on the control console of the door. +The sensors and sentries along this route have been diverted. I know where your gear is, whomever has gear. We shall retrieve them, and then flee.+ She says very matter of factly. While she does keep her voice calm and even, the expression upon her red hued face betrays the fact she is very frightened. And worried she may not be able to get home…
 

Ms.Ezra

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#16
The moment the shackles and harness fall from her form, 18 grabs the collar on her neck with both hands and tears it off like it was an ugly scarf. She clenches her fists, loving the feel of her power coming back. Her first thought was to blow the roof off this place and get the hell out immediately. Leave the rest of these people to either perish in the resulting destruction, or get out on their own. But with her rage gone for now, she thinks clearer now. If these people had been able to neutralize her once, they could do it again. So she doesn't. She looks around at the others, her ice blue eyes falling on the one named Neptune. She gets a devilish smile on her face and raises her hand.

"Hold still." 18 gives the one warning the instant before she blasts off Neptune's collar with a small burst of ki. The collar cracks, falls from Neptune's neck to her feet. Only a little bit of the girl's hair is singed as a result. By design

18 chuckles. "There. Anybody else need a hand?" She asks, anticipating nobody would take her up on the offer.
 

The Wanderer

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#17
Zer0
Shared Cell

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The second the collar deactivated, Zer0's suit and its systems went through the standard start-up.

Going through the basics: Compass, physical health, suit status. Most importantly, his ability to send out a hologram decoy. Which he tested out almost immediately.

Staring at his own hologram decoy and at his own cloaked body. The decoy seemed to look like a perfect replica of Zer0 and his cloak was somewhat transparent. Though the collar had somewhat affected his systems to the point that while cloaked, he had a somewhat blurry outline, which of course reminded him of that alien hunter that was part of a movie franchise that Axton had forced him and the others to sit down and watch simply for the reason of "You guys haven't seen it, so why not watch it together for the first time."

His systems were going to need time in order to be once more at their full capability. But they would suffice for now.

When someone mentioned gear, Zer0 instinctively reached for the box that served as Zer0's personal digi-storage and was surprised to find it missing. This was bad. As that box held most of Zer0's his gear, which included his guns, shield, sword. Things that he was going to need in order to last long enough to not only kill the group's shared kidnapper, but also to return to Pandora.

"Lead the way to gear/I plan on having revenge/In a bloody way." He said. While having his gear would help a lot, he could handle himself in close quarters or until he got his hands on a firearm.

He could only hope that his gear hadn't been tampered with...
 
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#18
Neptune could feel in an instant when the Collar was deactivated that all the shares (despite them being the lowest out of the four nations) were returning. However she could still feel the collar itself but 18 decided to help her get it off. "Okay~! I'm holding still, la---" Neptune exclaimed but was cut off when she decided to fire a projectile out of her hand towards the collar, both breaking it off and singeing a bit of her hair off. "Hey! Watch it. I need this hair in order to stay true to my name as a Protagonist. Every Protagonist has strange looking hair, you know." She exclaimed, crossing her arms as she spoke.

"Oh yes, of course. Need my trusty Wooden Sword in this form, but maybe since the Collar was removed... Let's try this." And she concentrated for a moment before she began to engulf in a bright light, but then immediately stopped. "Damn it... They must still have a few Skill Jammer Pods around... I can't access any of my skills or HDD. Well, I guess since it's the start of a new game, It's understandable that they seal off my Goddess Form in order to make the enemies look tougher. Can't have me going around one-shotting everything you know?"
 

Camleen

I'm going to be my own kind of princess
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#19
Vivian’s softly glowing eyes move along those still within the cell, making a few observations to herself. She now remembers where she has seen 18 before. Rather… where the inspiration for her outfit is from. It doesn’t once occur to Vivian that 18 is actually…. the 18. Rather, she is in the mindset it’s someone dressed up like 18. Why would she have reason to think otherwise? But whatever the reason, whatever her actual powers might be.. she’s trapped here like everyone else.

She takes a small step back from the door as she speaks softly, nodding to them. +I have been given very precise instructions that will lead us to your gear, as well as an escape route.+ She now turns, and she goes into a light jog down the now empty corridor. Now that they are out of the cell, the corridor isn’t so dissimilar from anything one might expect. Fairly spartan, bare for the most part. A console every few 15 or so feet along the wall. Very clean looking, very sterile. She speaks over her shoulder as she leads them down said corridor. +I do not know whom gave me the directions, or why they have instructed me as they did.+ She knows that doesn’t sound good… but to her it wouldn’t make sense for this to be some kind of a trap. Within a trap, within a prison.

They go down a ramp, and then another, and then come to a wide sealed door. Vivian steps up to the door, and it slides open slowly. The interior of the newly opened room looks like it could go on for miles. Crates, cases and displays scattered along the room, filling it. She once more glances over her shoulder towards them to make sure everyone is still with them, and now she leads them deeper into the room. After walking for almost a minute, she stops at what looks like a cabinet with an electronic lock on it. Her red hued hand raises, and she taps in a specific pattern upon a darkened display on the lock… and with a soft click it unlatches itself. The cabinet opens, revealing whatever gear they would have had with them. Any gear, basically, that they would use in their every day life or in combat. Vivian now steps aside, motioning them towards the cabinet. +We will not have much time for our escape.+ Her eyes move to Zer0 as she continues +Fighting them here for your revenge would be utterly folly, I think.+ Her eyes move along to 18, then Shiki and then Neptune +The beings of this place are very advanced, and numerous. This building alone is the size of a small city. I…+ she cuts herself off, her eyes closing a little as she then continues. +I can not tell you what to do, really. But I am choosing to flee, to prepare a better strategy. And to perhaps find a way home. If you all wish to attempt your revenge now, please do as you wish.+
 

Ms.Ezra

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#20
"Every protagonist has strange looking hair." 18 repeats Neptune's assertion, somewhat confused. Why was she always going on about this Protagonist-Antagonist and other stuff like this was a game? Now she and her brother liked to treat life and death as a game, but something about how Neptune does it is just annoying to her. The cheeriness was probably the main thing.

18 flips her hair out of her eyes and shrugs "Glad I'm not a protagonist then." She goes to the other girl, and wordlessly rips off her remaining restraints, tossing the junk aside. Then she turns to Vivian and follows her out, keeping pace with the girl with ease and looking aside at her now and then. Seems suspicious to her that they'd be getting directions from an unknown source with equally unknown intentions. She looks around the stark mostly blank corridor as they go and wonders aloud "What if this is our first show?" As she looked for any visible cameras that may have been recording them as they run. She stops on a dime when they get to the door, and had half a mind to blow it open before Vivian opened it up herself and stands outside while the others get their things.

"Small city, huh." 18 looks around again and weighs her options at a higher speed than most normal human beings.

Best thing for me to do is stick with this red girl. Seems she's in touch with someone who can play this system for us to get this far.

"Then I'm running with you." She says to Vivian. "If you got us this far, I'm willing to see how much farther this can go until I find a way home."

But in saying that, 18 thinks as well What's there even to go 'home' to? and that almost triggers a series of responses she shuts down completely before they make themselves more visible than a slight twitch of her lower lip, imperceptible to most.