Shattered Time Capsule

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by The Mood is Write, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. [Starting post will be by CrystineLucarnia, and I'll put setting and plot deets here later. Crystine, please go ahead and describe where Lizzy will be found. ♥]
  2. She slept peacefully in her glass case, separated from the world only by a layer of cloudy glass. Her pale hair was drifting in the green-tinted liquid that surrounded her, providing her with air and allowing her to remain in her slumber, and her chest rose and fell slowly as she dreamed.

    Curled like a newborn babe, she rested in the capsule that glinted faintly in the dim and dusty light that came through the cracked windows of the long-abandoned building.

    Slowly, as though trying not to wake her, they began to grow. Pushed apart, the floorboards creaked as tendrils of green emerged, winding around her case like a protective cocoon. Once she was wrapped in green, color began to emerge as small buds burst forth. Not faded color, like the photographs strewn on the floor in the next room or the dusty blue of the daytime sky, but true colors. Bright and beautiful against the near-white of her skin and hair. The kind of colors never seen in this dying world.

    A miracle, and no one there to see it. Not a single soul.

  3. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

    Heavy boots carried the wide-shouldered man forward. His long, pocket-covered coat hung a few sizes too large from his shoulders, and kicked up behind him, blown back by the man's movement.

    Dead leaves shattered under his feet. Bits of glass and other debris ground into the floor, or were crushed by the man's weight.

    He wound his scarf tighter about his neck and stuffed bandaged, dirty hands into his jean pockets as he called into the abandoned halls: "Auntie!" Every breath fogged in the chill air. Outside, the cracked, dry ground looked like it belonged in a hot desert, but it felt cold enough to snow.

    His face, covered in scars and silver piercings that left burn scars on his skin, grew dark as his brows furrowed. Again, no sign of the Lady. He clicked his tongue against his teeth and came to a stop. Before him, a metal door with a key pad at the side and warnings of being 'top secret'. With a shift and a lean, he turned his head to look behind him, in the direction from which he had come.

    It was strange, that on the highest level of a laboratory still in possession of a roof had so many dead leaves and vines, while the other levels had been clean, save dust and broken glass, and the occasional bloated and leathery mummy.

    Regardless of anything else, this was the last door. He couldn't smell the Lady, but something nagged him.

    Michael touched the door. It had no knob or lever, only a security pad on the side with numbers, card reader, and what he assumed was either a fingerprint scanner or a retina scan. Neither a red light nor a green light shone over the pad, so he assumed it without power.

    He could only assume this place—the world from which the fragment came, at least— had been dead a long time already, spared for some reason he couldn't fathom. Typically, the fragments each held something important: farms, fresh water lakes, cities, and more.

    If he could find the reason for this dead place's existence, he might have an edge over the Unifiers.

    Tired eyes twitched slightly shut with a restrained smile, and his fist thrust suddenly through the security pad, to the other side, before he withdrew and shook his hand with a few choice curses.

    After a quick inspection of his bloodied knuckles, he grunted and shoved his fingers into the new hole. Carefully, he reached deeper and deeper, fingers seeking the latch mechanism, hopeful he could simply undo it and use friction to push the door.

    Nothing but wires. The latch was elsewhere, likely to counter this exact plan.

    "Dumbass dead fucks." He spat to one side, then withdrew his hand and licked the blood from his untouched-seeming knuckles.

    He took a few steps to one side, then leaned one shoulder against the wall as he regarded the door. This was the only place where its walls met any others, if he recalled the layout of other rooms.

    He clicked his tongue repetitively, then suddenly turned away in an over-dramatic arc that set scarf and jacket billowing for a short moment. He knew nobody was watching, but he had to let vent the urges that came to him now and then.

    Drama finished, the young man started to run toward the stairs. Above the landing, he kicked off and used momentum and the railing to jump around to the continuation of stairs before he charged through the swinging doors and onto the floor just above the top. Strong legs carried him to the far back: some meeting room where a few corpses sat at the head of the debris-covered table, facing the door. Each corpse was still dressed, save where their bloated, gas-filled stomachs distended and tore the fabric. Each head lolled off to one side, the other, or forward.

    All of the bodies had wide open mouths, and some had open eyes with the shriveled remains of eyes within.

    Not a half ago, Michael remembered shrieking at the sight, but now, his curiosity overcame the revulsion, and he leapt onto the table. The cheap wooden laminate groaned under his weight, and he bent at the knees. A powerful thrust cracked the table, and he leaped upward, to the hole from which the rubble had come.

    His arms caught the floor above, and he kicked furiously with his legs as his arms pulled. A broken piece of the floor snagged one of the buttons on his shirt and ripped it away, alongside several inches of cloth.

    Another kick brought his foot up beside him, and he pulled with both arms and the leg, until suddenly he rolled up and away from the hole.

    Calloused, scared fingers rubbed at his torn shirt as he panted.

    His stomach snarled, but he didn't rise. From one of his many pockets, he drew a granola bar and began to stuff the too-small stick of seeds, nuts, and chocolate chips into his mouth.

    Chewing slowly, the man looked around the dark room, eyes half-lidded with tired disinterest until an explosion of color grabbed his gaze. Illuminated by the only functional lighting in the entire place, a girl floated, surrounded by plants.

    His eyes remained on the child, then followed the plants. They wound around the floor, and through even the smallest gaps in the metal.

    The plants, he assumed, had broken the hole between he floors.

    Careful to avoid stepping on them, Michael approached the tube. With a sleeve, he wiped at it and carefully pried plants out of the way for a better look.
  4. Inside of the glass, floating in a green-tinted liquid, was a girl. She was slender and small, her coloring hard to tell thanks to the color of the water surrounding her. However, small bubbled drifted from her lips, showing that she lived. Long lashes fluttered slightly as she dreamed, loose dress and and long hair floating around her form.

    She was beautiful, and seemed gloriously fragile, like a flower bud just beginning to open. A delicate piece of life that even the lightest frost could destroy. Something that had to be protected.

    When he touched the glass, the vines around the capsule shifted, seeming to tighten around the glass in an almost protective way, as though they had a mind of their own.
  5. Curious reaction. He touched a few more places on the smooth surface, until he was satisfied that the vines would shift to protect her. His first instinct was to simply smash the glass, but she was breathing the liquid. Either it was a very specific chemical that was dyed green and she would wake up thinking she was dying as her body adjusted to air, or she had to breathe that stuff to survive. In the case of the second, he thought it would be more merciful to kill her as painlessly as he could before she had a chance to wake, but if it was the former, she could at least have a couple years to pretend to have a normal life...

    He turned from the tube and began searching for anything that might have information about her. To him, it became a matter of life and death: the choice between killing a child and freeing her to maybe find her a family to live with until the end of the worlds.

    Then again, the end result of both was really the same, wouldn't it? His brows furrowed as the thought intruded, and he shook his head until his piercings shifted. Fresh burning filled his face as the silver came into contact with more of his skin. He hissed quietly, then renewed his search. Notes, a working computer, anything. A quiet growl of frustration escaped his lips.
  6. Finally, he would find a tattered notebook. It was faded, waterstained, most of the pages were useless, but a few recurring words and phrases could be made out, written in a scribbled, hurried hand.


    Successful tests.


    Last hope.

    Running out of time.

    Last surviving sample..... artificial sleep.


    And then a name. If he looked, wiping away the grime from the silver plaque on the capsule, he would see it there as well, carved under the serial number.

  7. Useless! He tossed the notebook aside, uncaring whether or not the remaining pages were destroyed. He turned to look at 'Lizzy' for a moment before he began to search for another source of information.

    Before he could, a noise came from outside. A car's engine approaching—no, multiple cars. The engines sounded familiar.

    The Hunter jumped down and gripped the edge of the floor. Through a window, he caught a glimpse of teal. "Fuck."

    A few minutes of struggle found him on hands and knees, crawling toward Lizzy. He couldn't leave her here, not with those sick fucks outside. Now or never, he'd find out if she could breathe air. Without thought, he ripped a fire extinguisher from the wall and smashed it in an upward arc against the glass that sent it flying at him.

    He gave no outcry as shards cut at his face, and threw the heavy metal tin aside. Instead, he reached quickly into the tube, ignoring the vines he'd surely angered, and wrapped an arm tight around the girl's middle as he pulled her from her rapidly-draining resting place.

    If the Unifiers took her, alive or dead, he could only imagine bad news as they tried to figure out what they could use her for.

    At the best, they would interrogate and maybe torture her before giving her to some sort of foster family.

    He held her tight against his body, then tucked her against his chest as he held her cradled with one arm. "Sorry for the sudden wake-up, but life's about to get interesting." He murmured, uncertain about whether she could understand at all.
  8. As the glass shattered, two intensely green eyes flashed open, and a startled gasp left her as she was pulled from the capsule. She coughed, clearing the fluid from her lungs as it dripped from her small form- she was tiny in comparison to him, as delicate in person as she had looked inside the case. The vines attempted to cling to her protectively, reaching out to twine around her limbs and prevent him from taking her away.

    As she coughed, one small hand clung to his shirt, and she looked about in a confused way, wet hair and dress clinging to her slender form. Small panting breaths left her lips. She seemed very dazed and not quite awake.
  9. Ignoring the plants, he secured her tightly within his jacket and adjusted her so she was upright. He let her head hang forward, so she could cough out the liquid. "It's ok—It's ok," he urged the small girl. She looked even tinier huddled up against him as he shared his jacket with her. "Just hold on tight, ok? It's going to be bumpy and scary, but I'll keep you safe."

    Michael reached under his coat and cupped her cheek with one scarred and calloused hand. He held her like that for a moment before he patted her cheek gently and withdrew his now-wet hand. He wiped it on the outside of his jacket, then walked to the hole. He wasn't master over his powers enough to trust himself to carry another person through a wall, not yet, but he could ram through if needed: carefully, of course.

    Without any further hesitation, he jumped down through the hole and began to run through the halls, seeking the stairs. All was uneventful until the pair arrived at the ground floor.

    "Fuck!" The exclamation came from the front, followed by the loud pops of guns.

    A second voice shouted. "Whoever gets a bullet in his head gets a goddamn medal!"

    Heavy boots gave chase as Michael dove to one side, rolled, caught himself in a crouch, then launched forward and through the door. His own heavy boots slammed the ground as he began to run. One bullet grazed his shoulder. The silver burned him, but also cauterized its own wound.

    "Cunt!" He grunted as he nearly lost grip on the girl, but caught her and continued to run.
  10. As the liquid drained away from her it was revealed that she had beautiful silver hair and snowy skin, in sharp contrast to rosy lips and intense emerald green eyes. She clung to him tightly, confused and frightened by the noise and not sure where she was- this didn't look like where she had been when she went to sleep. Her slim arms wrapped around his neck and hugged, and she curled into a ball as best she could. The vines shrank away and stopped trying to grab at them once she accepted his hold, seeming to have been reacting to her fear.
  11. The man continued to run, even as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're safe. You're safe." He murmured as he shifted his grip to hold her more securely. "Good girl. I'll get you somewhere safe." It was impossible to know if she could understand him, but he hoped his voice was gentle enough to soothe, even as he ran toward the crossing.

    A tremor in the ground below him and a roar of engines from behind warned that not only had he found the 'center' reason for the place still being intact, but this fragment had absolutely nothing left of value enough to be sustained. The pounding of his feet on hard dirt changed suddenly to heavy feet on thick metal. Ahead, soldiers in teal trained guns on him.

    "Don't shoot! I have a kid with me! She's hurt!" The last part was a lie, but he only had to get past them, to keep them from shooting at his chest, where the child rested against him.

    To the front, soldiers glanced to either side, but didn't stand down.

    "Stop or we'll shoot!," one soldier shouted.

    Michael's feet stopped, and he nearly toppled.

    "Prove it!"

    Michael looked down at the girl, then opened his coat, careful so he didn't drop her.

    "Where'd you find her? There isn't anyone living on that fragment!"

    "This is the short cut to the hospital. She fell into a pond a fragment back and something bit her." More lies, but they came as easily as breath for the young man.

    The leading soldier began to approach, but the bridge shook as the tremors hit it, and the Unifier vehicles roared onto it, and the crossing's soldiers scrambled out of the way as the trucks sped by. Michael closed his jacket around the girl once more and ran.

    "Wait!" One soldier gave chase. "We have medical facilities!"

    Michael didn't answer, save under his breath. "Yeah, like I'd trust you bastards..."

    A sudden curse shot from Michael's lips as pain shot through his leg. He stumbled forward, but caught himself and glared back before he turned forward and continued. "Hey, Lizzy. You understand me? If I fall down, you keep running. Look for the letters 'BC', and they'll help you and they'll come help me." He tried to control his grimace as every step dug the searing bullet across more of his flesh. "Just... just find them, ok? Don't worry about me. I can't die. Do you know Casper the Friendly Ghost? I'm like Casper." He smiled at her as he ran forward, slower now with the obvious limp.

    Behind, he could hear the Unifiers giving chase. If he could just...
  12. Lilly stared out of the coat at the men with wide, frightened eyes. She held on to him tightly, having apparently imprinted herself, and shook her head hard when she thought that he was going to give her to him, a small mewl of "No," emerging in protest. He was the only person she knew right now, and he was kind. They had guns, they scared her.

    She hid her face in his neck when he talked about her running without him protesting again. "No! I don't- cough- want to!" Her voice was a musical wail, and she shivered, her wet body taking on a chill.
  13. "Ssh. It's ok. We're gonna be fine. If I fall down I just need you to get my friends," Michael assured. "You can be my hero, can you do that for me?"

    The Hunter didn't think he would fall so badly he couldn't get up, but he couldn't let the Unifiers get to her. She was an innocent. She clung to him like she trusted him, and by breaking her from the glass place she had slept, he chose to take responsibility for her safety.

    For now, he wrapped his jacket tighter around Lizzy and continued to run. Bullets zipped by, and he took shelter behind a tree. "Why the fuck are they shooting!?" The question came out in a harsh whisper as he took a chance to peek back behind them, then paused as he realized that wasn't quite... kid-friendly. "'Scuse the French."

    He looked around, then grinned. "Oh, good. They are here." Weak laughter escaped, and he grinned at the girl. "Look, look ahead." He pointed forward, to a large building with BC on the corner. There were other words, but the way the C hung off the lower hump of the B was enough: Michael knew they'd be safe on arrival. "Those are my friends there, in that big building. If you have to go get them, tell them I'm Kindall's son. They'll know what that means. Ok?" He beamed at her, his scarred and pierced face splitting like clouds after a rain.

    "Almost there."

    WHAM! The tree shook. Michael hissed through his teeth and glanced back, then shook his head. "Away we go." And he began to run again. "We're gonna get there, and maybe get something to eat, get you clean and some new clothes." The man felt out of breath, but forced his brightness to remain as a distraction, to keep her mind away from the scary situation.

    A brief image of Vicky doing the same for him when the entrance of the cave closed for the first time came to mind, and his throat closed as, all unbidden, he remembered how hard it was to wake her in the mornings and how sluggish she became the longer they all lived in that horrible ice cave.

    He sniffed and blinked his tears away as a bullet nicked his ear. He could hear it sizzle.

    "I bet they even have stories about heroes who fight the bad guys and save everyone. My dad, he was a hero like that. Those people in teal were scared of him." He forced himself not to think about how he couldn't remember anything about his father from his own recollections, how he'd felt each time the others said with choked voices that he looked just like him. "Maybe when we get to the hospital, I can tell you about it."

    He hoped that didn't come up. The idea of telling his father's story frightened him, and he didn't understand why. He knew only that his dad died a hero in the war, and his sacrifice ensured that...

    They ensured that the Hunters who remained lived in an ice cave for a few years before the Multiverse ripped apart. Michael's thoughts trailed off.

    Was that really heroic?

    Did any of them really need saving, at this point?

    He slowed to a stop, then looked back. A bullet grazed his cheek, and adrenaline kicked back in, alongside survival instinct.

    Fuck that shit, he was out of here. He could debate heroism, morality, mercy, and that stuff later, when he was done running. His legs pumped, even the bullet in his right leg threatened to send him toppling.
  14. Lizzy hugged his neck, giving little hiccuping sobs and the occassional cough as she held on, listening to his voice and cringing into him every time a shot whizzed by. She gave a startled cry of pain when one nicked her upper arm, thankfully not going through it, and bright red blood began to trickle from the wound.

    She stared at it with a mixture of fear and fascination- she had never seen her own blood before. She had been kept so carefully swaddled in ignorance and safety inside of that lab.
  15. Michael glanced back, and grey-blue pale mist leaked from them. He held the girl tighter. "It'll be ok. The place we're going has doctors, some of the best."

    He couldn't really say why, because he'd only heard about them. He knew the symbol though, and the word 'hospital' on the building was a pretty big indicator. Unless somehow the word changed meanings or Biological Cybernetics Corporation stopped being allied with the Hunters after they were wiped out, they had not only safety, but medical attention right in front of them.

    Ever-forward he went, until confronted by a high wall around the hospital. "Oh, hell." He looked back. The unifiers still pursued, bit it was all vehicles now. At least the firing stopped momentarily. He looked between the girl, the wall, and the pursuers, then smiled at Lizzy. "Here." He carefully pried her from his neck and set her feet on the ground. "I can't climb with you on me, so I'm going to lift you up over the wall first, and then jump over after you. Can you handle being apart for a few seconds?"

    He removed his coat and secured the top button around her neck. "This is my favorite coat, so no matter what, I'll come for it." With that, he scooped her up, lifted her, and released her legs on the other side of the wall before he let go of her top half. It was a drop of a few feet for her this way—the safest possible.

    Michael glanced back, then yelped and jumped atop the wall as he saw machine guns atop the trucks. "Oh, fuck this whole..." Someone started shooting again, and he dropped to the other side and scrambled to his feet. "Almost there." He grinned and pointed at the building just in front of them, just as a man with greying red hair and stubble appeared.

    "What's going on out here?" He stormed over to Michael and the girl, then paused as he saw the jacket. "Which one of you stole that jacket?" His eyes narrowed. He himself wore a long coat, but his was white cloth with a name tag that said 'Montgomery McKenzie'.

    Michael frowned and wrapped his arms tighter around the girl. "It was given to me by my mom, Yazmin. I'm Kindall's son, Michael Zippo Shears."

    Montgomery stared, then crouched and grabbed Michael's face. He inspected it slowly, then fell onto his rear. "What happened to them?" He asked quietly. The rumbling of vehicles outside stopped.

    "I'll tell you, if you keep her and I away from those Unifiers outside." Michael glanced back. The eerie silence worried him.

    "Alright." The doctor nodded, then helped Michael to his feet. "Let's get you two inside."
  16. Lizzy hesitated, but nodded, hugging the jacket around her. A small yelp showed she had hit the ground, and she stumbled a bit before falling down, not exactly coordinated after having not used her legs in so long. She watched nervously for Michael to come over and smiled when he did, going immediately back to cling to his side like a little limpet. She eyed the newcomer distrustfully, cringing a bit when he grabbed Michael's face, but relaxing a bit when he let go. Her posture seemed to say Mine, which was somewhat adorable considering her size and how she was shivering, wet hair dripping all over the borrowed jacket.
  17. Michael nodded and picked the girl up before he followed Montgomery as the old man led the way inside.

    He was forgetting something.


    "This is Lizzy. Just woke up from stasis. She's injured," Michael explained.

    "So are you, kid. I'm Monty, by the way. Used to be one of the medical generals, back before your great grandma..." Monty shook his head. "Nevermind. I helped when your dad was born. I was the gyno. I run this place now. Got a few people around who will be curious about you."

    He held the door for the pair and looked at the girl.

    "Lizzy, huh? Is Mr. Shears taking good care of you?" Monty smiled, his face worn, but he only looked about forty five at the oldest.
  18. Lizzy blinked those brilliant green eyes up at him without answer, and then hid her face in Michael's side with a small sneeze. "M'cold," she mumbled childishly to him, not feeling very much like conversation. She was confused, tired, her arm hurt. She didn't want to answer questions, she wanted someone to tell her what was going on.
  19. "Ah." Monty nodded and straightened. He turned his attention to Michael. "Take that elevator to the top floor." He pointed at a pair of metal doors with a pair of buttons at the side. "Take the hall to the left, all the way down, and go on the second to last door on your left. If you see a winged blond in a bed, you went too far."

    "Thanks, Monty." Michael nodded as he held tight to Lizzy.

    "I'll send a nurse to take care of the worst while I deal with your lil friends," Monty assured with a lopsided grin, then limped away from the pair.

    Michael watched him go, then looked at Lizzy with a smile. "We're safe now," He assured with a nod.

    The young man pressed an elevator button, and the doors slid open before them. He stepped inside and pushed the button with the highest number, and the door closed.

    The elevator began to rise.

    "Lizzy?," Michael asked, "You holding up alright?" He didn't look at her, but at the rising numbers above the door. "Today's been really scary for you, hasn't it?"
  20. "Mm," Lizzy murmured, leaning onto him with a sigh. She looked completely worn out. "You're... Michael?" She looked up at him, blinking. Her lashes were not dark but pale as her hair, shards of moonlight brushing her cheeks. She shivered, wet dress and hair clinging to her thin form. "Thank you. Are you okay?"