Mistakes of Days Past

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ravenbelle, Jun 26, 2016.

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  1. 12:59......1:00 PM on Friday afternoon in late autumn. The large clock chimed behind her as X-23 let herself down from her handstand at the edge of the roof. She took a deep breath, looking out at the Concrete Jungle from the ceiling of a tall corporate office building she didn't care to remember the name of. Though she had a near perfect memory, there were a few things she could dismiss every now and then. Just not the things she wishes she could forget. While looking out at the city with no awe in her expression, X-23 turned, long hair flying in the wind as her stomach growled irritatingly. She knew she should have slept longer. The more she sleeps, the less often she feels hungry. However, the trade-off is nightmares so it's not like she often has a choice in the matter, especially given the hideaways she chooses to sleep in most nights.
    Laura sighed. It was about time she found some form of breakfast, or rather..lunch, according to the time. She dared to hope that the new information she'd recently garnered from Spider-Man would further aid her in her self-assigned mission soon. Not that she could exactly walk around New York and ask if anyone knew a Logan/Wolverine. To find something to eat though, she did have to get to ground-level.
    So the man-made teen gave herself a running start and leaped from reachable building to building, occasionally flipping for the heck of it or performing a rolling land on particularly steep drops. She was graceful in her task. Powerfully built and not to be underestimated despite her youth and size. That much was obvious by the way she moved now. But most did not notice, too busy with their own daily activities of the day.

    X-23 swiftly reached a few low roofs and hopped down into an alley before melding in with the crowd on the streets of the Big Apple. She had never been all that good about acting normal, but as long as she didn't have to talk to anyone, she was fairly good at acting the part of an ordinary girl who knows her way around a big city. And today, she was as ordinary as anyone else, shouldering an old gray messenger bag and wearing a loose, black tank top under a dotted denim overshirt and simple scarf with tattered blue jeans and combat boots. If anyone happened to look close enough, they would notice a thin line broken into the front of the scuffed up boots where her claws escape, one in each foot. She also wore fingerless leather gloves that were coated with dry blood on the inside and ripped where her claws slice their way out of her skin whenever she needs them. So yeah, for the most part, she didn't look too different from most rebellious teens on the streets these days. At least not today. X-23 walked with a purpose and she hardly ever walked without one. Slow and steady wasn't exactly her motto and she doesn't often stop for detours.
    Unless her curiosity gets the best of her. As she turned the corner a block or so down from a store called The CoffeeBean, her heightened sense of hearing picked up an interesting sound she would normally have to strain for in the echoing subway systems. Now though, among the usual din of cars on the streets, people walking along sidewalks, honking horns etc., she listened closely to the sound of an acoustic guitar being played with considerable skill. Unable to resist following the soothing music along with the promise of a baked good, Laura followed her ears and walked into The Coffeebean.
    The mutant was immediately engulfed in the strong scent of espresso, but as she ordered a small croissant (all she could afford at the moment), the smell faded while she grew acclimated to it. She couldn't get used to the guitar or its player though. Taking little bites of her bread to make it last longer, Laura took a few steps closer to the barely-there stage in the corner of the shop and watched, eyes focused on the guitarist's skilled fingers plucking the strings to create an unfamiliar, but gentle tune. She had to admit he was talented and if she had any money to spare, she would add it to the tip jar by his guitar case like it seemed many others had done before she'd arrived.
    Honestly, she should have gone by now. She'd obtained what she needed, though it hadn't appeased her ever-annoying stomach one bit. But his music seemed to evoke in her a sense of peace she rarely came across, if only temporarily. And his performance truly was too temporary as the song came to a close and the man stood to begin packing up his things. Laura threw away the paper her meal had come in and prepared herself to leave as well, but just as she started to pass the stranger placing his guitar in its case, her sensitive nose caught on to something she was afraid she'd never come across. A switch in her mind set her heart racing as it recognized the faint scent on the man, not his but...hers. Or rather, some close variation of her own scent. Which had to mean this compelling young guitarist had been in recent contact with...Wolverine. X-23 snapped into a mental state she reserved solely for missions and walked swiftly out onto the blustery streets again. The nearest alley allowed her enough coverage to climb onto a roof of a store that fixed electronics, just two doors down from the CoffeeBean. Wherever that guitarist decided to go, she would inevitably follow.​
    #1 Ravenbelle, Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
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  2. Keeping track of the time was never his style. Recently trying out life on his own, the CoffeeBean had become Jasper's go to place since moving to New York City. The joint had coffee to die for and had open mic night's every Wednesday and Saturday. The musician's life was everything Jasper wanted. The scandals was something he could do without. He just wanted to make music, make a decent living, and maybe strike it big like some of the groups he listened to.

    Sitting on the CoffeeBean's small makeshift stage, Jasper strummed his guitar to the rhythm of his tapping foot. Taking a quick breath, he sang the lyrics to a slow dance song he'd been working on. The roots of it came from his unknown origin. He didn't know his parents. He never really had a family. The Institute was the closest thing to it, and he was grateful. But there was something about really knowing where he came from. What would life have been like if he grew up normal? The emotions of uncertainty, fear, of being alone were all elements he poured into his rhymes and lyrical devices for the song. He'd let the listeners interpret it as they would. His SoundCloud following was already pretty sizable.

    Having grown familiar with the color scheme of his audience, a new color melded into the crowd. His eyes were drawn to a brunette who ordered a small croissant. She stopped to listen to him. Even if she was a stranger, Jasper felt satisfaction knowing his words could reach another person. What intrigued him more was her color. It switched. That never happened. Not so quickly anyway. As he neared the end of the song, however, her color changed to a calming hue. Smiling to himself, he sang the last few words and ended the song on a final chord.

    The room filled with applause. He smiled and leaned into the mic. "Definitely a first class audience right here. I'm Jasper Johansson. Next up is Skywalk. Stick around."

    Packing up, Jasper looked around. The brunette was nowhere to be seen. Shame. She was cute. Saying his last goodbyes and giving folks info to his SoundCloud, Jasper walked out into the busy streets of NYC. He needed a nap from the late nights leading up to this performance. Contrary to popular belief, a musician's life was not all fun.

    With his guitar bag's strap slung over his shoulder, Jasper swung his room keys around his finger. Doctor X was generous setting up his apartment for him. Before Jasper left, he promised to pay him back. Doctor X simply told him not to worry about it. Even so, Jasper intended to keep track of the rent owed. Debts never sat too well with him.

    When his apartment building came into sight, he stopped swinging his keys and pocketed them. Pulling out his phone, he looked at the picture he took of the apartment building when he first got there. He looked at the picture then to the building. The picture. The building.

    "Right on. Didn't get lost this time," he said to himself. There were several notifications waiting for him to open, but he opted to do it later. Putting the phone away, he grabbed his keys and started to make his way up the stairway to the apartment's entrance.
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  3. It was't long before her target left the building, (thought she was far too impatient for him to emerge) toting his guitar case over his shoulder without so much as a glance behind him. He wasn't aware of her eyes on him at all. She would have thought someone with any contact with her clone would at least be cautious about his surroundings but the brunet did not seem concerned whatsoever. X-23 took the roofs and alleyways in pursuit of the stranger, memorizing his scent as she followed it diligently. The expert tracker fell right back into her near-robotic state of following orders, even if these were orders she assigned herself. She doesn't know how to live without a mission and now that she was finally back on a lead to resume it, she was almost too eager to complete her task. There was a part of her, more human any other part of her, that was afraid to feel like this, numb to anything but her given goal and all too desperate to finish so she could reap her reward: one that went against all her survival instincts combined.
    But it was minimal and she could ignore it, ignore any thoughts but those of logic and planning and cold calculation. Eventually, the target stopped at an apartment building, so she would wait until he was in a slightly more secluded area before initiating contact. In the meantime, she swiftly got closer and dropped off her bag in a shrub before she climbed the side of the building with her claws and listened to his footsteps on the stairs. Laura's heart was racing, but her expression stayed blank as she waited with bated breath for him to step onto the flat area between staircases. As soon as both his feet touched down, X-23 leaped over the railing and landed right in front of the taller man. Giving him no time to register or even recognize her, she tripped him, shoved him back, and turned his body in midair so his chest collided with the brick wall previously behind him while she sliced the strap of his guitar case and held the guitar within its case over the railing. If it she threw it down, the damage would be irreparable. And of course he had no way of stopping her because her left knee kept a dangerous pressure on his spine, pinning him face-first into the wall while her left hand kept his wrists together behind his back, rendering his arms useless. There was no physical way out of her hold on him and of course she could extend her deadly claws at any moment. Prey captive, X-23 leaned forward and spoke low into his right ear.
    "There are 18 unique ways that I could end your life this instant. I refrain simply because you have information I require. Tell me all that you know regarding the individual you may recall as Wolverine or Logan and I will spare your life and retain the welfare of your instrument."
    #3 Ravenbelle, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016

  4. Jasper heard about NYC muggings. He just never thought it'd happen to him. Especially when it was still light out. Especially since it was the brunette he saw from earlier, her color calming, was doing the mugging. Her colors now, however, was colorless. He'd never seen that before. That scared him.

    He found himself facing a wall in massive discomfort. He yelped when the pressure came on and his guitar case disappeared from his back. It was silly he didn't want the guitar to get stolen. Common sense dictated that he give the brunette whatever she wanted. The deal, however, was that she wasn't trying to take and ditch. She pinned him against the wall. She wasn't going anywhere. He certainly wasn't going anywhere. Did he take a bad hit and piss her off? Jasper didn't take to drugs though. Christ, he'd been here for only three days. That wasn't enough time to make enemies. Worse yet, he couldn't see her color. The fear and intrigue remained as strong as ever.

    His captor whispered into his ear. He felt his heart beat faster than it should've been. He believed every word the brunette said. She wanted to know about Logan? Why? He didn't know what to do. He didn't know anything sensitive. The guy was someone he knew from the Institute. That's it. Surely there wasn't any harm? But humans. Humans never liked anything to do with mutants. That's why he lived incognito. To blend in.

    "You could've just asked. Christ!" Jasper said. He didn't move. There was too much pressure. "I know Logan. Not close, but I know him. What do you want with him? I don't make a habit of putting people I know in danger."
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  5. X-23 smirked just slightly as she heard the target's heartrate increase exponentially. It wasn't because she was cocky about how well she'd done or anything like that. It was simply a sign that her mission was going well and the fragile male in her grasp was very likely to be telling the truth.
    However, the first words out of his mouth sounded rather aggressive for someone in his position; at least he didn't try to escape. That would have been a bad choice indeed. Either way, she figured he was stalling. If she had simply asked him without intimidation she would likely end up with useless information, if any at all. X-23 concluded that this stranger had little to no knowledge of how interrogations proceed. Sure, he was correct in assuming Logan was in danger, but she wasn't about to let him know anything about her intentions.

    Her knee pressed just slightly further against the discs in his lower spine, but otherwise she didn't move. "In case you weren't aware, I'm asking the questions." She growled low in her throat; a warning to keep him from addressing her with anything but the information she needed. "And answering them is the best way to raise your chances of survival at the moment. So tell me where Logan is. Where and when did you last encounter him?" she hissed. Despite her captive's racing heartbeat, he should be grateful. This was one of her gentlest interrogations. Under the laws of The Facility she would have already maimed him in some way or another. But the years she's spent outside those cold white walls had taught her much more than she could have ever imagined, especially thanks to the library and its section full of books on psychology. If she kept him alive and well, he should be more likely to give her what she wanted. Besides, he may prove useful in the future. He was her only lead after all. If he gave her false information, she'd simply track him down again and force him to tell the truth then. She wouldn't get that opportunity if she hurt him too badly now.​
    #5 Ravenbelle, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  6. Jasper grunted from the increase of pressure. That was definitely not something that happened to him everyday. The bullies back from when he was a kid gave him the good ole' kick and punch. Maybe wrestling but nothing like this. He had no idea what the woman was pressing into, but it hurt like ... like something unpleasant.

    Not being able to help himself, Jasper rolled his eyes. It wasn't the smartest thing to do in this particular situation. "Out of all the possible scenarios, definitely was not expecting this. When you walked into the cafe. You seriously bring a whole new meaning to 'don't judge a book by it's cover'," he said. Then there was the question again about Logan. Why was she so keen on knowing where he was. What Jasper knew about him? Knowing Logan was kind of like trying to figure out Pandora's box. There wasn't a simple answer. He was an enigma. His colors were always true though. "Snark and joking aside, but you could definitely use some, I have no idea where he is. I saw him a couple of days ago before I came to NYC. If you don't believe me, that's your issue."

    Not the smartest way to act as a hostage, Jasper knew. Contrasting to his normally quiet disposition, he'd developed a sarcastic side. He wasn't entirely sure how it came about. Perhaps it was from Jessica, a girl back at the Institute. She always called his powers stupid. That was until Jasper made her spontaneously freak out. That shut her up, but the feud between them was so tense he could feel it whenever he walked past her. He wondered if she was still mad at him. Probably.

    Sighing, he closed his eyes. "Why don't you try not to break my back? I kind of need that."
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  7. Again, the idiot stalled, mentioning instead that he'd noticed her enter The CoffeeBean and wasn't expecting this sort of encounter. She huffed and narrowed her eyes, wondering why the hell he wasn't more fearful towards her. She could do anything she wanted with this defenseless human and he had the audacity to avoid the subject she was questioning him on! What was he waiting for? A savior? She could take down anyone he thought might save him, but right now he was his own worst enemy. Maybe he was trying to hint at some information he has on her? Ugh now he was just confusing her; he was probably hiding sensitive intel by stalling to come up with a lie. She should have hung him over the balcony instead of his guitar. She needed a free hand though, so it was about time she encouraged him a bit more.

    He did offer a slice of detail but it was hardly helpful because he didn't fully answer her question. Foolish mistake. She grew tired of his attempts at getting out of this situation and pressed just a bit harder without meaning to.
    His response made her sigh and tap the guitar's neck against the balcony rail with a bit of a twang just so his poor senses understood what she was doing when she then simply dropped the instrument. Shame. It was delightful the one time she heard it. However, the lack of a crash gave the girl pause. Her eyebrows furrowed as her sensitive ears caught a rather strange noise instead of the destruction of the guitar. It sounded like the buckle on the strap of the case had caught on something...probably some sort of hook or--the lamp sticking out of the apartment building. Really, of all the dumb luck. X-23 growled and pulled him away from the wall with her now free hand, stepping out of the way so she could face him again for less than a second, only to strike him to the ground with a well placed heel-kick to the chest, which she quickly replaced with her right hand to hold him down while her right foot pinned his left wrist and his left arm over his head with her left hand. Her left leg allowed her to kneel and display her ferocious gaze. As well as press her right hand's strong fingers around his exposed neck and carotid artery, enough to scare him, but also allow him to speak...softly. She hoped now that it was abundantly clear she was not to be trifled with. "You are not at all amusing, especially when you do not fully respond to my inquiries. In fact it is possible your memory is damaged. Allow me to remind you of the first half of my previous question. Where did you last meet him?"
    #7 Ravenbelle, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  8. Jasper winced when he heard his instrumental abused so. It wasn't the most expensive guitar out there, but it had sentimental value. He had it since he was still in the orphanage. Scraping together enough money, he purchased it. It was the first time he knew he could be good at something. It certainly wasn't sports, and he wasn't Mr. Popular either. He found friends in the music world. Music was one of the main reasons why he could openly talk to people now. How he could connect with people where he couldn't in other ways. Now here was some beautifully stranger treating it so harshly. Behind the snark, Jasper's control over his emotions, his powers, was beginning to fade.

    Not knowing the state of being of his guitar, Jasper was once again manipulated until he found himself on his back staring straight into the woman's eyes. If it weren't such a hostile situation, he would definitely be stuttering up a storm in hopes of finding out more about the girl. The fierce accentuated many features he found attractive. He just didn't have the confidence to believe he could ever land a girlfriends with looks like his assailant. He mentally eye rolled. Why he was thinking about things like that, now, was beyond him. He really was an odd soul. Odd indeed.

    He felt the woman's hands wrap around his neck. He listened well this time around. "You are not at all amusing, especially when you do not fully respond to my inquiries. In fact it is possible your memory is damaged. Allow me to remind you of the first half of my previous question. Where did you last meet him?"

    His memory wasn't damaged. He just opted not to answer. Where she was colorless before, Jasper saw something now. A faint color outline. Faint but very much there. Desperation. Worry. Excitement. That was all he could see, but he dared not share. His desire for talking over, he wanted her gone. This whole thing was crazy. Fear. He felt it. She would too.

    Concentrating all that he could, he stared into the woman's eyes. Feeling his skin crawl, he saw the woman's aura and reached out to it. Whatever she was feeling before, the color changed to the color representing fear. With all his concentration, he amplified it to a level he rarely went to. A level he hardly felt comfortable inflicting onto another. But this was a special case. He could die. He saw it in on she looked at him.

    The color radiated from the woman's body as it flared to such brightness that he was getting a headache. What she should've felt was a fear so crippling, she'd do everything in her power to get away from it. To seek refuge from what would feel like imminent death. He wished it on her in hopes she would leave him alone.
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  9. The seriousness of the situation finally seemed to seep into her prey as her fingers pressed against his trachea. However, just as she presumed he was going to answer the question she'd been asking for years, he gave her a look, staring at her with a concentration that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. The danger she felt suddenly increased exponentially, like he'd turned a dial of with levels far too quickly. X-23's limbs began to shake holding down her captive. Her usual response to fear was fight, not flight, but then she blinked and her prey was no longer the brunet guitarist. For the briefest of moments, the sadistic face of Dr. Rice smiled from beneath her. All at once, Laura felt like the prey, gasping and leaping off of the male with no thought to where she would go except away before she hit the wall ~the red light flared above while metal clamps ripped out bone claws~ and collided into the corner as adrenaline flooded her system and all of her claws escaped simultaneously ~the sticky coating of blood dripped off her claws into the snow~

    Laura's heart was racing under her ribcage, expanding and contracting far too quickly with her shallow breaths as her arms and claws crossed over her head defensively while her eyes shut tight ~bones snapped under her fingers~. She whimpered, curled up in the corner ~"help! please don't-"~ and feeling much too small as her mind conjured brief flashes of the things she was most scared of. Tears began to trail down her cheeks as the flashbacks began to fade away until the last image of her mother's eyes stared lifeless at the gray sky above. Laura panted and her heart started to slow only when her eyes flickered open, revealing no immediate danger. She was still tensed, trembling and disoriented, but swiftly remembering why she was where she was and who was responsible, focusing on the man on the other side of her crossed arms with her with slightly frantic hazel eyes, still misty from whatever the hell she'd just been subjected to. "W-what..?" she whispered, still a bit confused but beginning to place the blame where it belonged with a suspicious and horrified expression.
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  10. The woman was certainly feeling fear. Swimming in it from Jasper's perspective. Bathed in its color, the woman stumbled back while he went to the wall of the far side. He figured the assaulter was strange. Stranger than the average New Yorker in this peculiar city. What he wasn't expecting, however, was finding that the woman was a mutant. It dawned on Jasper why she sought Wolverine out so tenaciously. Getting information on him by any means necessary. She was the female version of him with a volatile attitude.

    It was scary to watch. From all claws out, from her feet as well, Jasper felt his heart quicken. Running from the woman was the smartest thing he could've done. The guitar was replaceable. Money gained from his music revenues could buy another one. Just as quickly as the claws came out, his attacker fell into an episode of pitifulness and crying. This was precisely why Jasper restrained from using his powers. It was too much for people, depending on the amount. It was true that he used it sometimes, but it was a small dose. The colors that he saw were slowly returning to normal. The large dose he gave to his attacker affected him in different ways. He couldn't leave her.

    When she started to normal out, he sighed. Jasper fought the impulse to run. He pointed at her claws. "Those aren't genetic. At least I don't think so. I wish you showed me those before," Jasper said. Sighing, he still stayed at the opposite side of her. He didn't want to be anywhere near the distraught woman. "Long story short: I felt threatened, and I fought back. No details. I don't know where Wolverine is. He doesn't tell people that. I know where he might be. Have you heard of the Institute? The professor's hella smart. I'm sure he could help you."

    Jasper pointed at the claws. "You should put those away. We're not exactly alone out here."
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  11. She heard his voice from a further distance then before, then stood, facing him more cautiously now, hands still locked in razor sharp fists and analyzing every word he spoke. The inflection he used when he mentioned her claws seemed to imply the fact that he thought it was a bad thing they weren't genetically inherited or even that she hadn't shown them to him before. In a sense, they were, but not really. She didn't understand why any of that was relevant, but perhaps it would be at some point when she met Wolverine. Her infallible memory might serve her well for once.
    X-23 glared at him, leaving the maximum amount of distance between them while they both had their backs to brick walls. She had no idea the extent of his abilities or how he used them and he seemed determined to leave it that way, to which she narrowed her eyes, feeling the tears dry on her cheeks. She refused to acknowledge it, but there was a lingering fear that he could launch her back into her memories in an instant and if she'd be honest with herself, there was no individual she had feared this much since Dr. Rice, given only this fact that he had power over her.

    Especially with the information he wasn't giving up. She had never been this close to accomplishing her mission before and this interrogation was starting to grate on her nerves. He should have told her all of this a long time ago without raising more questions than she'd already asked. What Institute? What professor? What is 'hella'? If only he'd turned out to be as human as he smelled. Just as she opened her mouth to continue, he interrupted and suggested she 'put away' her claws.

    She curled her upper lip at him and growled softly, but taking notice of the footsteps throughout all the rooms and hallways of this building, she did as he said and her claws snapped back into place among her bones with a small snikt.

    Without taking a step forward or even uncurling her trembling fists, X-23 released another slew of questions, calm and cold as if she hadn't just curled into a completely vulnerable child in front of this newfound mutant. "What institute and professor are you referring to? There are all sorts of both around the world; why would Wolverine frequent this place?"
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