ARC Sanctuary

Discussion in 'NEVER NORMAL' started by CloudyBlueDay, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. VICE​

    "Hmm. To an Elite, I suppose Upper and Lower makes little difference. We're all helpless prey." Vice's voice held a calmness he didn't feel, carrying no weight behind his words. He was merely stating the truth. A much more cynical and unprompted response than he would normally give voice to. Dangerous, that. He was having a hard time differentiating between unrestrained freedom and filterless impulses. That would require time to learn.

    The drink he had chosen had some serious kick behind it, something he had rarely allowed himself to enjoy in public. Another rebellious behaviour, childish and insignificant, but to him it felt right, and deserved. The alcohol tasted foul on its own, and even worse combined with the lingering taste of the cheap cig he smoked outside. Vice resisted the urge to spit, instead dousing the odious concoction in his mouth with more alcohol.

    "Relax," he told the girl, Zuri, noticing the expectant look in her gaze, "...we had a business transaction, not slept together. I'm not going to hold it over your head every time we talk." Not when I don't need to, he thought. A debt is much more than its payment. A debt is having the position of power for as long as it is not called. Vice knew the true value of favours. It was why he was nearly broke, a fair price in exchange.

    The spokeswoman's speech failed to impress him. In fact, it sounded as empty as the speech his Captain gave during mandatory training segments about the importance of serving the people, which is to say he didn't mean a single word of it.

    "Sounds like a load of crap to me." muttered Vice to no one in particular. "It's always about money. Either that or they're bored." His resentment for people in power was speaking, not him. Logically there could be many more possibilities, even humane ones, but those he chose not to believe or consider.

    "What do you think? Care to find out?" Zuri struck him as someone who would have conclusions of her own. "Care to find out Matrikt's real intention? You always seem to be drawn to mysteries, especially when they seem the like worst idea to be looked into."

    Interaction: @Kuno , @anyoneelsewhowantstotalkidkgoaheaditsyourchoice
    #21 Jays, May 1, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  2. Moll Rockard

    Moll almost jumped when Lyn addressed her, the massive girth of her hands further ruining the immaculately arranged cheese-mosaic. There was no scorn in the young man’s voice, no sardonic mirth, yet she felt as if she were little more than the common thief, admonished by this lower-classmen with the muddied shoes and the bruised nose. She relinquished her hold on what now seemed like forbidden-fare, leaving the thoroughly-molested bits of cheese and crushed cracker on the plate; a germaphobes’ nightmare.

    At the very least, he hadn’t the spark. The look of recognition that seemed almost predatory in its unwanted suddenness. The others hadn’t the look either, in fairness, but then they had never spoken to her. That was always the threat, that conversation would birth the sudden epiphany that killed the perfect stranger. Moll reached back unto the cheese-plate, making sure to retrieve the ones that bore her touch.

    She decided she’d try talking to this one.

    “So what’s your guess?” She wore a wide-eyed grin, before deciding she donned it poorly, casting it off almost immediately, “... why are you… special?”

    Oh, she sounded like such a goon.
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    ROOM 509, BIG BUX CO.

    Ritly slouched low in her seat, feet pushed out in front of her and one arm wrapped tightly around herself while she propped her throbbing skull on her other hand. She rubbed gently at her aching temples with her fingertips and kept her eyes clenched tightly closed to block out the intrusion of light and activity. Unfortunately, it was less simple to block out the sounds of a few scattered conversations and people moving about the room.

    “Hello,” came an artificially amplified voice, likely raised to a comfortably clear level for the majority of the room’s occupants. That one simple word split through her skull and she winced. If not for the fact that an authority figure being present in the room brought with it an inherent increase in her self-awareness, she might just have slumped all the way down to the floor and started to cry.

    Instead, she took a deep breath and straightened up, affording the minimal respect of at least looking at the woman while she talked. When the brief speech concluded with an open invitation to ask questions, she stared aimlessly at the back wall trying to think of something relevant. After what may have been ten seconds or two minutes, she gave up. Any capacity for inquisitive thought was being viciously destroyed by the aching throb in her brain.

    With a soft grunt, she pushed herself up to her feet and shuffled over to the food tables, shoulders drooping and a distinct listlessness accompanying each step. She snatched up an apple and swiveled away, triggering a momentary wave of nausea and instant regret. She grimaced down at the shiny red fruit in her palm, a tantalizing delicacy on any other day. The thought of eating suddenly seemed much less likely to be helpful than it had a moment ago.

    Ritly meandered back towards her seat, but paused and took a step towards a young woman clad in a baggy, mismatched array of clothes. “Hey, you like apples?” she asked, lazily holding out the fruit. In retrospect it was probably a stupid question, but at the moment, she could hardly care less about what came out of her mouth.

    Fae Cie (@Sairento)

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  4. Fae Cie and Ritly Veldasian - Room 509, Big Bux Co.
    Co-written with Starlighter

    Fae blinked a few times, glancing over her shoulder before looking back at the fashionable girl in front of her. More fashionable than herself at least, by far. “Uhm…” she started, blinking a few times more. “I’ve never actually a…tried so…” she mumbled. “Are you really offering?” she asked, eyeing the apple again. She could almost smell it…

    “Yeah yeah, of course - you’ll love it, I promise.” In her eagerness to be rid of it, Ritly extended her hand to somewhat aggressively push the apple into Fae’s grasp. With a guttural moan, she sank down into a seat next to Fae, slouched with her foot braced against the back of the chair in front of her. “Hope you don’t mind if I park here for a few?”

    Fae shook her head as she bit into the apple. “Onne aha aaah,” she said, biting clean through before putting a hand over her mouth to say it again. “None at all,” she mumbled, sighing happily as she chewed. It was so sweet, yet also a little sour at the same time…but it wasn’t overpowering or anything. It just worked.

    Giving the girl beside her side-eye, Fae made sure her left eye was closed as she used her powers briefly. “What’s got you s-DEAR GOD THIS HEADACHE,” she thought, flinching as she cut her powers off again before giving the girl a sympathetic look. “Uh…are you okay?” she asked tentatively. “…nevermind, bad question. Is there anything I can do to help you feel better, Ms…?”

    “Ritly,” she mumbled in answer, sinking lower into her chair. “Nah, s’all good; metas are somethin’ like an actual legit headache for me; can’t do much but go sulk on my lonesome.” She heaved a mighty sigh, daring to open one eye halfway to peer at her companion. “Thanks for the offer though, ‘preciate it.” She took a deep breath and released it slowly, managing a half-hearted, lopsided grin. Maybe a little chit-chat would help keep her mind off the pain.

    She started talking quickly, without so much as a pause for breath in between. “So, what’s your name? What’s your thing - your powers, I mean. Anything fun? Where’re you from? Whatcha do for a living?”

    Fae raised a hand to try get Rity to stop talking for a moment as she finished chewing and swallowing her apple. “Too many questions,” she mumbled, clearing her throat before she choked. “Uhm…my name is Fae…my power?” she said, nervously nibbling her bottom lip. “Uh…its sort of fun? Yeah. Uhm. Sorry, it’s just a little personal. I’m from the lower districts, 157 Zinxia Street. I helped my run my family’s shop there.”

    “And uh…you? What do you do for a living, Ms. Ritly?”

    Ritly propped her elbow up on the armrest of her chair, just enough to flap her hand dismissively. “Oh, ya can just call me Ritly, if you want; I’m not real huge on formality.” Personal, eh? Okay then. She resisted the instant temptation to probe outwards and copy the girl’s power just for the sake of satisfying her own curiosity about what it was, but refrained. It would be rude to invade Fae’s privacy, and more than one mishap had taught her the price of copying a power without knowing what to expect.

    “Uh, I work with her,” She raised her arm and gestured towards Milk, “Lady in the pink blouse over there; we’re business partners. Most of the business is in fashion accessories like jewelry,” she tapped one of her bracelets with a fingertip, “Handbags, et cetera et cetera, but I mostly help her out with making perfumes; she does the formulae, and I design the bottles. Very fancy, custom work for posh-posh folks who have more money than they know what to do with.”

    She tugged her purse onto her lap, and started rummaging through it. “I have some samples kicking around here somewhere…. Aha, here we go.” She fished a delicate bottle out from the depths of the bag, shaped like a leaf with the stem as the stopper, and no more than half an inch tall. She glass glittered under the overhead lights, sparkling in multifaceted shades of green. Pinching it between two fingers, she offered it to Fae. “If you like earthy flowery plant-ish scents, this is a super nice one - if you’re into that kinda thing anyway, I guess. How d’you like the apple, by the way?”

    Fae blinked at the bottle that was offered to her, frantically waving her hands, reeling slightly at the situation as she did. Was this real life? She’d have to pinch herself to make sure.

    Ow. Yup, real life.

    “I-I couldn’t,” she said quickly. “I really do appreciate it R…Ritly,” she said, biting her tongue on the middle. It was just…odd to address her without some formality. She was upper class! “And I never have had the chance to really…appreciate flower-y plant-ish smells,” a semi lie. All the chemistry and biology classes she’d been piggybacking, she’d gotten quite a lot of earth-y smells. “But uh…really, I can’t accept this from you. I-It must cost a fortune! The design alone…”

    “Oh! And the apple was delicious, thank you,” she said, beaming cheerfully as she did. “Thank you very much for it.” Glancing over to the woman Ritly pointed to, she chewed the inside of her cheek for a moment. “So did you two come here for a business opportunity or…?”

    “Nah, we got sent invitations. We talked about maybe bringing some stuff to showcase, but ended up not doing that - obviously.” She snickered quietly. “I pretty much always carry a sample or two with me though; never know when you’ll meet someone who might take an interest.” She flashed a beaming grin at Fae and clasped the girl’s hand tightly, barely restraining an excited squeal. “I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Apples are really great.”

    As she rattled on, she pressed the small vial into Fae’s hand, hoping to railroad her way over any further objections. “Also, I insist that you hold onto this and give it a try sometime. Call it a….. new friends gift. I absolutely refuse to take it back, so you might as well enjoy it. Oh that reminds me - what brings you here?”

    Fae blinked, happy at the prospect of making a new friend like Ritly, before sighing quietly as she just pocketed the vial. This was a fight she probably wasn’t going to win, after all. “I’m here because I was looking for a business opportunity,” she said with a small smile. “Anything to try help my family get some more money. We all figured there’d be something better in the higher classes, and…well, this is my chance to try see it through.”

    Ritly giggled softly. “That’s so great!” She gave Fae’s arm a gentle pat. “Let me get you in on a little secret, though; don’t spend all your time working, yeah? If you bury yourself in work and aren’t around to come out and have fun with me, I will come unbury you and drag you along.” She smiled, eyes sparkling. “I really do hope the whole business thing pans out, though! I’ll be rooting for you the whole way - you can bet on it.”

    Fae smiled cheerfully. “Thank you! Having someone support me means a lot…uh…if you’re going to unbury me, should we exchange…?” she asked, pulling up her holocomm. “…contact info?”

    “Yeah, yeah definitely!” Ritly sat up a bit straighter to cue up her own device, then swiped it past Fae’s. Her expression widened into a broad grin, and she fidgeted in her seat. “This is gonna be a wild ride. I can hardly wait!
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  5. Mykill Tawmuz

    "Um, like, the invitation didn't really say, but what are we actually gonna do in Sanctuary? Like, why do we gotta start anew and all that stuff?"
    @Doctor Jax

    The kid had a point. Mykill looked over at him, noting the oddly normal appearance: medium length haircut, probably only trimmed to keep from being annoying, baggy if unassuming clothing, and something of a cautious and vaguely scared nature. On the street, Myk would never have looked at him twice, but here, he let shine a brief but distinct flash of intellect.

    It seemed as though there were previous connections between many of these individuals, or at least, many that seemed overly comfortable merely stepping up to complete strangers and making friends. He frowned, surprised at suddenly seeing something recognizable. The woman in the mask was speaking with some rugged guy who looked a bit too self-righteous. The man was unimportant, but that mask … it looked familiar. Maybe from Madam’s place? The Aug leader had done some work for Madam some time ago, and though this particular girl was a stranger, her aesthetic most definitely wasn’t. He made a mental note to keep an eye on her.

    But for now, there were more pressing things happening. Myk, too, wanted to know what the hell this whole endeavor was supposed to be about, and he was honestly looking forward to meeting this maniac who had set all this up. Though it seemed that’d happen later. He raised a hand lazily, careful to not expend more energy than needed, leaving his elbow resting against his chest.

    “And how can Matrikt be so sure everyone present has something to offer? At this big a scale, the tiniest miscalculation will screw him over royally.”
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  6. Big Bux Co

    As the questions began to roll in, Maval’s lids drooped, somewhat bored. She looked off to the side and snapped her fingers, and out came Amina, pushing a plush couch on the stage. Maval lowered herself with a harumph as Amina disappeared.

    “It’s Pyeck, darling. Pie-eck.” Maval snapped at Fae. “No.. as long as you stay in the area assigned to you. Cafe is open all night. Just try not to miss the train in the morning. But lord knows we’ve got a million more.” She huffed.

    “Why do you need to start anew? Darling.. How could you possibly want to continue to live in the filth you currently live in? Look at you, you poor thing.” Maval said, sitting straight up in her seat, almost astonished at Obi’s dainty sincerity. “You’re going to live an actual life. You’re going to work, and when you finish your work you’re going to enjoy life. Simple.”

    “What’s my guess?” Lin echoed, a sadness creeping into his gaze that seemed unfitting of him, but he matched her own toothy grin. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    Turning towards Mykill, Maval sunk back into her seat. “I’ve come to trust Matrikt’s intuition. He had his pick of the litter, dears, and he chose you. So you must be able to do something.”

    After Maval finished her sentence, the lighting in the room changed, becoming a bright, flashing red. Maval rolled her eyes, and clapped her hands, but the lightning did not change. “Good lord… AMINA! Take them to their quarters.” Maval hissed, standing up abruptly and rushing out of the room. Once the door closed behind her, the flashing red lights stopped.

    Amina stepped back onto the stage. “If you’ll follow me.” She said quietly.

    Amina lead them out of the room and down a hallway, and at the end of the hallway was an elevator. It was an elevator big enough to fit all of them even comfortably, and the ride seemed long. They went up. And finally the elevator let them out with a ding.

    They walked into what looked like a lavish sitting room. The walls were covered with comfy looking couches, sofas and coffee tables, including TVs available from every seating point.

    To their left and right upon entering the sitting room were more hallways. “There are rooms down both of these hallways enough for everyone, each with their own private bathroom. The Cafe is one floor down. Lyris and Maval politely request you do not visit any other floors this evening. If you need any assistance, you can ring this button here for me.” Amina said, gesturing to a button below the elevator buttons with a telephone icon.

    Each room had a delicious king sized bed, a mini fridge with snacks and drinks, a TV, and dresser with silk pajamas. Each bathroom had a bathtub big enough to be called a jacuzzi, especially because of its numerous jets. Lining the sides were lavish soaps, bubble baths, and even scented candles. The drawers of the bathroom had all sorts of hair products, skincare, and makeup.

    “I hope you all have a wonderful evening and get a good rest for tomorrow’s journey.” Amina stated. Then she stepped into the elevator and left the chosen few to their own devices. As the elevator doors closed on her, the lights flickered. For a moment, they were plunged into darkness. But the lights came on quickly after, and never flickered again.

    “Quaint.” Lin stated.

    Looks like a wonderful evening is in store. Nothing ominous, except for the lights flickering. You can end this round of posting with your character heading to bed.

    @Elle Joyner
    @Doctor Jax
    @Madman in The Attic
    @Red Thunder
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  7. Fae Cie - Room 509, Big Bux Co.

    Fae had a good heart. Truly, that was all it was. When the bright flash red lights came on, she was nervous, and when Maval was exiting the room, her nerves just grew. What was wrong? What did the light mean? Were there intruders or something? Was it even possible to have intruders?

    It was just…

    Fae quickly snapped onto Maval, pretending to rub at her left eye as if she was tired or it was itchy or something to hide the glow. Years of doing this had meant she'd gotten lots of practice on how to make it look natural to hide and use her powers. "At least this way, even if trouble does come, I can report it to someone…one of us is bound to be able to help," she thought, glancing around at the others in the room. Consequences be damned, she was going to keep at least someone safe.

    Maval was tall. Felt tall. The heels too actually. If it were Fae, the heels would be all kinds of discomfort, from how she'd be tripping over them or how her feet would feel unnatural not being in flats and…the list would go on. Maval, unsurprisingly, did not suffer the same fate as Fae, and her steady steps were sent over to Fae as well.

    This sort of feeling was always so surreal. For one, her left arm and leg were numb. If she tried, she'd probably be able to move them, but she would probably trip. A lot. That and it was like she was feeling…1.5 of a person. Half of herself, all of someone else. Which again, was weird, but she had learned to manage it.

    Anyways, as Maval walked, Fae put a lot of focus on her own attention to Maval's senses. She had to notice things at the same time, and if it were possible even before Maval did if she was going to try report if she were in danger. "…velvet feels nice," she thought idly as Maval went to speak in her earpiece.

    …the few lines she heard were enough to unnerve her so much she cut the connection immediately, trying to calm her racing heart as she stood up shakily, her sudden clumsiness nothing to do with the numbness from using her powers. Was…was that all they were? Shaking her head as she followed the others into the elevator, she stayed silent and tried to at least pull herself together. If things went bad because of her…

    "…talk to someone," she thought, waiting until Amina left before she tugged on Ritly's sleeve. "We need to talk," she mumbled quietly, pale and shaking slightly as she did.
    #27 Sairento, Jun 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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    ROOM 509, BIX BUX CO.

    The striking pain piercing through Ritly’s skull had gradually eased to an aching throb. Far too caught up in the companionship of her new friend, she hardly paid any attention at all to the process of questions being asked and answered; perhaps later it would occur to her that paying attention when information was being shared might be important, but at present, her concerns were caught up with far more interesting matters.

    All too abruptly, the lights changed to flashing red. Caught of guard, Ritly let out a sharp squeak of surprise and dropped her head into her hands to protect her eyes. She groaned. “And just when I was about to start getting over this migraine. Ugh.” In her discomfort, whether a result of the air of irritation with which Maval reacted to the change or simply a lack of useful instinct, the prospect of being concerned about why the lights had become so aggressive failed to cross her mind.

    Ritly gladly hopped to her feet and snatched up her bag to hurry after Amina. “Rooms. Yes. Excellent,” she murmured to no one in particular. Once safely tucked into the elevator along with the others, she sagged against the back corner with her eyes closed and fingers pressed to her temples. The quantity of metas being sardine-packed into such a small space hardly had a soothing effect, and she wore a sickly frown upon stepping off.

    Fae’s soft words might have escaped her entirely if not for the tug at her arm. “Mmm? Oh, sure! Of course!” Her expression flickered just a smidgen brighter, and she reached over to link arms with Fae. “Let’s go pick a room where we can chat, yeah?”

    Fae Cie @Sairento

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  9. [​IMG]


    The young boy watched Maval with the same gaze of amazement he had carefully cultivated in such new situations. While his appearance was that of the innocent street rat, straight from the school of hard knocks, his mind was whirring along at a dangerously fast pace. The paranoia had spiked as Maval began to answer questions to each, chastising the Girl-Who-Looked-Like-Nobody-And-Everybody on a last name and explaining the housing situation. So we can say goodbye. Train leaves in the morning. Good thing I have no one to say goodbye to.

    A face flashed in his mind, of sleepless eyes, a lined mouth, graying hair. It lanced his heart like a scalpel does a cyst - yet the cyst refused to break. Too calloused.

    Then, the answer to his own question. With sick pleasure, he delighted in the astonished expression on the condescending woman's face that he'd even deign to ask such a question. Of course she would, though - what sort of idiot questions the words of the great Lyris? If he says he's taking you to Paradise, he's taking you to Paradise, seventy-two virgins and all.

    “Why do you need to start anew? Darling.. How could you possibly want to continue to live in the filth you currently live in? Look at you, you poor thing."

    For a moment, Obi felt the urge to wrap his busy hands around her skinny, well-nourished neck. But pity would serve him better in the long run. God how he hated that.

    “You’re going to live an actual life. You’re going to work, and when you finish your work you’re going to enjoy life. Simple.”

    Obi resisted the automatic squint that followed, if just barely. An observant person watching him - and more importantly his hands - would notice the twitch of the eyes into a wary hooded stare, his hands having frantically finished the massive Rubik's cube and now re-arranging it back to chaos. The meter labeled 'Bullsh--' inside his cranium began to tip towards the red. A job. He wants us to do... a job. At this 'resort'. And then we just get to 'enjoy life'. He could have laughed. That was never how it worked, not for people that high into the stratosphere. They didn't think in terms like that. 'Job'. 'Employment'. 'Compensation'. And rewarding? Not likely.

    But what else did he have to do these days? Life expectancy for a grunt like him probably topped 40 by a hair. He was middle-aged already. Might as well.

    Maval answered other questions, all which Obi logged away for later analysis when in the comfort of his own space. Suddenly, the question-and-cryptic-answers session was abruptly interrupted by a brief flash of red lights, and Obi's hands gripped the chair between his legs hard enough to almost dent the metal. He shook out his hands with a wince as they were quickly herded towards an elevator, and Obi obeyed like a good little sheep, all while staring after Maval as she left, talking into a headset.

    Trouble even in Matrikt's Paradise.

    Once in the elevator, they were taken to an exceedingly fine sitting room and series of dorms, and Obi ran to the couch with gusto, throwing himself onto it without so much as looking at Amina and her spiel as he put his feet up and leaned back. Even he had to admit that their internment for the time being would at least be comfortable. Above, the lights flickered, but Obi was careful not to break his facade of giddy excitement.

    Everyone seemed to be dispersing, and so Obvaerd began his trek to a room, finding one quickly to claim. Ensconced in its finery, he never the less did not trust that he was not under some sort of surveillance. He was, after all, a low class idiot boy, and low class idiot boys were not known for respecting other people's property. He headed to mini-fridge, fetched a drink from it, headed to the bathroom, and started up the tub. Enjoy it while you have it, a small little voice said, as he sank into the luxury of both room and heat, sipping his drink with both hands around the bottle.

    What was all this going to be about? Lights flickering, lights reddening, all the secrecy, all the hubbub. Something was happening alongside Matrikt's project, and it was concerning. Yet, he couldn't seem to find a reason to tear himself away from the prospect of finding out what. His curiosity outweighed his natural instinct to survive, tooth and nail, and somewhere in the back of his mind he was aware that such curiosity scared him. For the first time in a long time, he'd felt intrigued by the prospect of a challenge, of something bigger than the humdrum of pickpocketing the wealthy to line his own coffers, of fencing and playing the game.

    These were the thoughts that filled his mind as he began to drift off, his bathwater growing cold.

    TAGS || @Sairento \\ code courtesy of Elle Joyner​
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  10. [​IMG]

    The conversation with Kol had been... curious, to say the least. It had been years since she'd spoken to anyone outside of the Hanamachi that knew her before she was Hex, and even longer since she'd spoken to anyone who knew her before her parents had 'gifted' her to Madam. Admittedly, it was difficult to focus entirely on what the HR woman was saying, Hex's mind revolving back to that time all those years ago... He had shown her immeasurable kindness, but did he know what she was, now? Did he know the price of a soul was more than that lost little girl could afford?

    When the lights began to flash, however, Hex was drawn from her thoughts by a sense of confusion.. and curiosity. The reaction of the HR woman was, to put it mildly, surprising, and they were ushered swiftly from the room with a punctuated note of urgency that suggested, perhaps, things had not gone entirely as planned.

    A brow lifted as she followed the receptionist along the hall and in time, to a recreational area of sorts, leading to a corridor filled with rooms they were instructed to choose from. A moment later, the receptionist swept off to the elevators again, and they were left alone. The lights flickered once more, then returned to normal, and as she looked around the room, Hex shook her head.

    It wasn't her intention to stay the night... and Madam, certainly, would have something to say about it... But the older woman had been right to suspect there was something more to the city's new Paradise. Just what that something more was, Hex couldn't say, but she intended to stick around long enough to find out.

    Moving across the room, she headed for the hallway to find an unoccupied room, and once inside, she slid the door closed and carefully, peeled off her mask, setting it on the table nearest the entry. Rubbing her hands over her face, she turned her eyes up and slowly, scanned across the room itself... downloading the images taken each time her eyes blinked shut. If there was anything here, at least, she'd be able to get the bottom of it...
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  11. Kol Oberyn

    Focus had returned to the meeting for its culmination, Kol absentmindedly nibbling on the rest of the food that presided on his plate. It was so rare to taste something so fresh and so sweet given the state of the world they lived in. If he decided against staying in Sanctuary, this would possibly be his last breakfast of indulgence.

    The internal debate to become a citizen of Sanctuary still warred within him as he silently prayed within his mind. He asked for a sign or guidance towards the right path since he could not discern his own desire to go back home. It was ether due to unease or due to feeling uncomfortable in such opulence. And there was still an underlying feeling of guilt that tapped his mind as a reminder.

    Red flickered within the room in a sudden change of tone that caused the man to sit more rigidly in his seat. He looked around the room with uncertainty and followed the crowd down the halls. Everything felt pristine in its lavishness that made him feel like a film of grit despite his cleanliness. By comparison he was drab, his clothes an ill fit and as scruffy as the facial hair that threatened a peppered beard.

    His room felt far too big for him complete with a bed that would swallow him whole. It was all becoming too overwhelming, and now that he had the gift of isolation away from all the strangers’ eyes, he sat down on the edge of his bed and heaved a sigh to release the unease from his being. None of it made sense.

    How could you possibly want to continue to live in the filth you currently live in?

    The words were not directed at him, but still resonated in his mind on repeat. The elite and opulent paid no mind to the squalor outside their veil and yet here was a handful offered the opportunity of a lifetime. Why would they offer it to only a handful? Why not more? It didn’t seem like charity due to how few were even present.

    Shrugging off his coat, Kol’s arm lingered in the air as he debated on where to hang it. The tattered garment looked dirty despite having cleaned it himself more than once before its wear. “God, help me,” he muttered airily, and carefully draped the jacket on the back of a chair.
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