Swords and Starships IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Elfie, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. GM Post

    For hundreds of years the galaxy has known peace. The Elves, Dwarves, Humans, and Orcs have managed to live together and not only live, but thrive.

    The Exodus will always be looked back on as a dark point in history, but these races have managed to make something more than what they had on Earth.

    However, recently a strange and powerful force has brought a disruption to this peace. The rogue human faction that calls themselves The New Order have started attacking settlements of varying sizes on nearly every planet. They are a racist group that vyes for human supremacy across the galaxy; and they are willing to do literally everything in their power in order to make that dream realized.

    Their leader Redorak Faulknen has made himself known to all without fear. A large amount of non-human races see his views as exactly what they are— racist propaganda. Redorak emphasizes unity over all else, and will welcome any and all people who want to help him.

    Redorak's actions have left the galaxy in a state of panic, slowly he's gaining supporters and slowly he's becoming more and more untouchable. In order to combat Redorak and hopefully reach a common ground The Council on The
    Apex has invited him to discuss the future of the galaxy. They hope to solve their problems peacefully in this way so as to keep hold of peace.

    Only a few moments ago was Redorak seen in the Nucleus of The Apex, making his way inside the council chambers with a small heavily armored entourage.

    For now, The Apex is operating normally despite the tension in the air. Everyone could tell that this day is when everything changes. For better or for worse, they'd know within the next few hours.
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  2. Nolan sat uncomfortably on a bench within the inner ring of The Apex. That sinking feeling kept pecking at his mind and he found himself shifting uncomfortably. The Kellisni Instinct was often a blessing, it had saved Nolan's life countless times; right now, it felt like a curse, but Nolan knew that just because danger wasn't obvious doesn't mean that it wasn't there. What bothered him, was that danger was somewhere, it could even be on the other side of The Apex. It felt like when somebody is standing behind you, and you can feel them looking at you which then causes you to turn around. Uneasy, Nolan hushed these feelings and continued to read his holographic newspaper.

    "No new offers, huh? I might actually have a real issue here. With no work, I'll be broke in a couple of weeks." Nolan often though out loud to himself when he was alone, and though the Inner Ring was quite a busy place, it was likely no one was paying any attention to Nolan. Though The Apex was home to a diversity of life, Nolan looked quite out of place in his robes and would occasionally get a stare or two. Today was different though, everyone seemed occupied with their own business and simply left Nolan to himself. He liked it that way, but often felt as if something was wrong when busy places were quiet. Nolan payed it no mind, closed his eyes, and began meditating silently.
  3. Xugaa stood guard outside the Warleaders ship, rifle in his hands and scanning for threats. Warleader Terrorspark was inside the council chambers. Xugaa would rather be there, but someone still had to protect the Warleaders jagged, gun filled yacht. He stood at attention at the end of the boarding ramp alongside a fellow guardsman, who carried a large flamethrower on his back.

    This was so boring. This place was too quiet. The crowds murmured and spoke softly to eachother. The killing fields were more exciting than this. In Xugaas opinion it would be better to just bludgeon The New Order to death, rather than talk to them. All it would take is a nice artillery shell right to the center. "Peace through strength."His uncle always told him. He glanced at his fellow orc. "I'll bet the Warleaders tearin' the humies a new one roight now. In a few hours that Redorak fellow will come out cryin' for his humie mummy." The two chuckled before returning to attention.
  4. "Fucking lazy pricks!" This pharse and a few choice words could be heard from a very pissed individual that carried some shopping bags in his arms as he angrily made his way through the market district of the Apex. James was currently very livid as he was the unlucky bastard who was chosen to go out and buy supplies for his merc band after having his name drawn from a hat, which in his opinion was completely rigged from the start. "I signed on to serve as an escort to the king not some fucking errand boy at everyone's beck and call." Grumbling his frustrations to himself James made his trek back towards the embassy where his team would be waiting on him, but was distracted when he looked at a screen.

    The images flashing across were the local highlights in Apex breaking news with the main topic being the peace talks currently going on between the council and the first order. "Heh! If they were smart they'd use this as a great opportunity to off the bastard, and end this coming war right at the head." James had always been an expert when it came to predicting when a storm was on the rise, and right now that place was a whirlpool of negative energy he really didn't wanna deal with. Figuring he had spent enough time predicting the apocalypse he turned on his heel and began his walk back towards his crew once again.
  5. Tarathiel, better known as "Tara," navigated through the crowds with some difficulty. She had been to The Apex numerous times, but she'd never seen it this crowded. It was undoubtedly the peace talks that had everyone buzzing. She didn't care much for the talks. While she hated the supremacist group, Tara knew that there would be no real peace--even if the talks ended without The New Order taking immediate control. The violence would only worsen; she knew that from her own experience.

    So, in her opinion, the peace talks were a waste of time. No one could reason with racist bigotry, especially when that bigotry was open to committing acts of violence to further its agenda. Sighing, she finally pushed her way to her destination. A dwarf nicknamed Pike stood behind a stall, selling various trinkets that were probably overpriced. Pike was a dwarf of honor, but he was still a bit of a con man. But, in his defense, he was always open to negotiation.

    "Tara! Look at you! I haven't seen you in, what, ten years? You haven't seemed to age a day, of course. Whereas I..." Pike trailed off, letting out a boisterous laugh that might have shaken the entire infrastructure. Many turned to see what the commotion was about, but it wasn't long before they became disinterested in the two. Tara smiled warmly, embracing her friend.

    "It's good to see you, my old friend. Did you receive my message?"
    "Of course! Though I don't know if I can be much help, I'm afraid. I haven't seen a glimpse or heard a whisper of your parents, but I'll let you know if I do. For now, I have a gift for you. It's a little invention of mine, free of charge!"

    Tara smiled sadly, thanking Pike for his trouble and for the gift. It was a simple invention: a modified compass, for lack of a better term. From his explanation, it had all the functions of a regular compass plus a holographic map of nearby terrain, as well as track her recent movements. It was just a little smaller than the palm of her hand, and she was glad for it. Being nothing short of a nomad, she couldn't carry much.

    Putting the invention in her pocket, she kept moving, her eyes searching for any familiar faces--especially those who knew her parents more personally. Though Pike made it his business to know everyone he could passing through The Apex, it was impossible to know everyone. Especially since she doubted her parents would have ever spoken with a dwarf merchant, making it even less likely that Pike would know their faces or names.

    "I'll just have to keep looking."
  6. @Nekurokasume "Pardon, is this seat taken?" An elf approached Nolan with a quizzical look on his face. The stranger had a cybernetic eye, his elven ears stuck out amidst a mess of dark-blonde hair. He waited only a couple moments before taking a seat anyway, ignoring whether or not Nolan wanted company. He shuffled through a dark brown satchel and pulled out a laptop, the elf flipped it open and started typing furiously. "So what brings you to The Apex? I haven't seen anyone like you in quite some time and I know everyone." he spoke quickly with a scottish accent, "Ah, wait, the peace talks of course! Aye that's what's getting everyone on edge isn't it? Well if you ask me there's little hope for peace with those humans, aye?" Not that I have anything against humans..." He rambled on to himself, often answering his own questions. After a few more moments of talking to himself he reached his hand out to Nolan and smiled a big goofy grin, "Where are my manners? I'm Bishop, nice to meet ya!"

    @Xytheus Grom, the Warchief's second in command, approached Xugaa's charge in full battle regalia. He hated being without either armor or a weapon. His most recent favorite weapon happened to be an Orcish plasma rifle. He face Xugaa with his usual bitchy stare, "The Warchief has sent me to relieve you, Xugaa. Report to the Nucleus." He looked at a note and read, "Have a damn good time and watch me destroy this stupid human." Grom seemed thoroughly unamused by the warchief's note. He sighed, "Just leave."

    @Blitzfang43 "The hell took you?" Bill shot James a disapproving look, "If you took any longer Carla over here would've broken through the damn door by now." Bill dipped his hat lower to block out some light that was getting in his eye. To his left, a woman could be seen with her head close to the door of the council chambers typing on a holo-pad. Carla waved at James dismissively, "Yeah yeah, did you get my circuit board?"

    @kimsim12 "Excuse me, ma'am..." a dwarven woman tapped Tarathiel on the shoulder, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation, but are you looking for someone?" The old dwarf shuffled around her bag and pulled out a card, "A few years ago I'd lost my husband and after visiting this place I found him a few days later on the wrong transport ship!" she chuckled, "But here maybe they can help you." She handed Tarathiel a card with a sweet smiled before disappearing back into the crowd. The card read...

    Madam Vitriella's Psychic Emporium
    All-seeing Eye
    Techno-magic Professionals

    The address wasn't far from where Tarathiel was.

  7. "Shove it Bill." James responded by placing the bag at his feet and took a spot by leaning against the opposite wall. About the only person on this team that didn't piss him off was Clara, and that's mainly because she wasn't a big talker as was expected in most techno types. Bill on the other hand was simply begging to get dropkicked off that high horse of his whenever they spoke or just looked at each other in general. "This job better be paying as good as they say it is. I mean we're just playing babysitter to a door!" This was another unfortunate task he had gotten stuck with as instead of being on of the lucky few to actually guard the inner chambers, he was placed outside to play bouncer for anyone seeing to get in. "I just hope this council knows what their doing, or else we'll be on the ass end of a barrel when Redorak switches gears."
  8. Nolan continued sitting quietly, his mind clear and his thoughts calm as he listened to the people around him. The things that everyone else were talking about were none of his business, but Nolan hoped to pick up on somebody needing a hand. Any money was good money to Nolan, and though he didn't define himself as greedy, money was a requirement for survival. Nolan didn't open his eyes as the person approached him and took a seat, but by the sound of it, this person knew quite a bit about what was going on.

    "Nolan Kell Kimbal, it is a pleasure to meet you, Bishop" Nolan replied when he could finally get a word in. Bishop seemed friendly enough, though Nolan kept himself collected and distant. "What brings me here? Well... I dont really know, I guess you could say I had a feeling I might be needed." Nolan did not try to deflect attantion fron who he was. The last surviving Kellisni had no reason to live in hiding, if someone was going to kill Nolan, they'd do so no matter who he was.

    ((Sorry for the short post, Im out and on mobile right now))
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  9. Carla sighed, "I take it that is a 'no' on my circuit board... Great." she fussed with her holo-pad more, drowning out the sound of James. Her device was sporadically cutting in and out of what sounded like a radio frequency, "Almost!" she muttered to herself. Bill dug through the bag a bit before placing a circuit board at Carla's feet, "Here's your damn tech." He sat down and leaned back against the wall. Bill rifled through the bag and pulled out a very important looking container. "Good, you managed to not screw it up." Slowly he unsealed the jar. Fog leaked out of the opening and he raised in front of James, "The best potato chips I have ever had!" Carla gave a sigh and took her circuit board. Bill patted the floor next to him, "Here, take a seat."

    "Oh, very nice to meet ya!" Bishop shook his hand furiously, "It isn't often we get a lawful one on here on the Apex, no sir." He typed quickly and efficiently on his laptop. "Now tell me Nolan," Bishop grinned widely, "Do you know anything about computers?" He adjusted his bionic eye, "How would you feel..." he turned his laptop around to show Nolan, "About watching these her talks?" His computer flicked and security footage blinked to life. The video was of the council chambers. Redorak sat opposite to the council members while they traded words back and forth. There was something evil about Redorak; his smile seemed to hide much and his calm demeanor was almost unsettling. Armed guards were stationed at every entrance. "It's a shame, though. I couldn't get the audio, but hey It's better than nothin!"
  10. @Elfie

    Xugaa straightened his helmet when the Warchief approached. He accepted his orders with glee. "Aye, sir. I'll report immediately." With that, Xugaa moved quickly in the direction of the Nucleas. Before entering the crowded area he stowed his weapon so as not to cause a fuss, and rudely pushed his way through, his armors sharp spikes poked more than a few beings. He couldn't be more indifferent to their displeasure.

    It wasn't long before he reached the Nucleas and the chambers where the discussion was taking place. He took a moment to observe the room and memorize the layout.

    (What would the negotiation room look like? Also, sorry. My posts aren't usually this short. My mind is frayed because I've replaced my blood with Just Cause.)
  11. A little weary on Bill's change in tune James accepted his offer none the less, as he joined them on the floor. "Your lucky I had to pay a higher price than usual for those things as some dwarf wanted to buy them out from under me at the counter." To be honest those things smelled awful, but then again he had never really liked that flavor in particular in the first place. Sighing as he took out one of his pistols and began to give her a checkup wanting to make sure they stayed in good shape. "Anyway we still just waiting for something to happen or what?" He asked as he pulled a bullet out before replacing it as he had a feeling that was just a jam waiting to happen.

    Times like these were what kept James calm as he always felt a sort of peace come over him when he worked on projects. Of course he didn't have that much time to simply drop everything with his demanding schedule, but breaks like these were always nice. Seeing that Lana was probably good to go he placed her back before focusing back upon Bill and Carla.
  12. Hearing the offer made by the elf, Nolan began to actually pay attention to what he was saying. Though he had just met Bishop, Nolan felt there was something off about him. He felt there was mischief afoot, but nothing sinister. But perhaps it was just the tension that seemed to loom everywhere today. Nolan looked to the computer screen and studied the figure in the room. It all seemed fairly normal, though Nolan had never seen a peace talk happen.

    As he layed eyes on Redorak, that feeling in his stomach grew even more intense. It was almost like his instincts were screaming "DANGER!" at him. There was nothing good about that man, and his calm appearance was even more off putting. Nolan leaned toward Bishop and quietly whispered "I think those people are in danger. Redorak's guards outnumber theirs, it's almost like... Like he's going to stage a coup.." Nolan's eyes grew wide as he spoke, realizing the grabity of the situation and hoping he was wrong. "I could be wrong, and let's hope I am because there's nothing we can do if that is what's happening."
  13. ((That's fine! :) But it was a superior who gave Xugaa orders, the warchief is in the council chambers, and you can't get in so the farthest you can get is the square right outside of the council building. So I'm just going to say he's in the square, is that alright?))

    The large crowds surrounded Xugaa everywhere he looked. The Apex was essentially a melting pot for all of the other races and their culture merged and twisted into something new. Half of the things he saw would be frowned upon in the Orcish settlements. Few children crowded the pathways with largely adults solemnly going about their business; shopping and talking. There was a weird smell in the air, something that one could only describe as anxiety. All manner of races were stiff and worried, no one knew how the talks were going to go and nobody had any say over the matter. Finally, the Orc made his way to the nucleus square. The huge council building stood tall in front of him, with various people watching the monitors anxiously for any news that might occur.
    "Well Carla here's been trying to break into the council chambers for about two weeks for some audio thingy?" Bill looked to Carla with uncertainty, "Eh, whatever. It's a waste of time if you ask me." He shoved a couple chips in his mouth, "I just can't wait to get paid and get off of this rock."Carla gave an agitated sigh, "I'm trying to get an audio stream from inside the council chambers which is very difficult and annoying with you constantly forgetting everything I tell you." She fumbled about with her holo-pad some more, "How can you not want to know what's going on in there? History is going to be made!"
    Bishop looked to the screen and was instantly surprised at Redorak, "Aye..." the only word that came to mind was "evil". Bishop took what Nolan said about the guards and dismissed him, "Nah those are council guards, see the symbol?" he pointed to one of the guards's helmet that had a symbol of an earthen falcon. However, for each council guard was another one in black and red sporting the symbol of a tree. "Oh." Bishop realized why Nolan mentioned it."Well... It can't be that bad, I'm sure it'll all be fine." Though Bishop didn't quite believe it himself.
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  14. Nolan sat back, relaxing himself into the uncomfortable bench. "Let's hope you're right, honestly, I'm sick of hearing about this guy. Plus, he makes us humans look pretty bad, we're not all power crazed supremacists. This guy, with his following, makes us look awful as a species. I'm sick of it." Nolan was truly hoping that nothing bad was going to happen, though his instincts were telling him otherwise; on the other hand, they had been wrong before. "Anyway... What brings you here, Bishop? What made you decide to take a seat next to me?" Nolan's voice was much more relaxed now, as he was less guarded and simply trying to enjoy the day. The flow of people seemed to be dying down around Nolan and Bishop, but it was likely they were just moving to a different spot on the Inner Ring.

    To Nolan, Bishop seemed like an okay guy, nothing too out of the ordinary. Cybernetics were fairly common now and though he seemed antsy, plenty of people were, especially on a day like this. Nolan was truly curious about why Bishop had approached him though, as most people only came up to him if they were looking for work or trouble. Bishop didn't seem like the kind of person that was looking for trouble, and he hadn't made any hints that he was looking to hire someone; this left Nolan incredibly curious, and though it took away from his meditation time he was enjoying trying to figure out what Bishop's objective was.
  15. "Honey I couldn't give two shits about history being made. I'm more interested in our checks being payed to be honest." James replied making a show of rubbing his hands together at the phrase. This meeting was just full of bad decisions on the councils part in his head as he couldn't just wrap his head around inviting the least peaceful person in the galaxy to a "peace" discussion. Pulling out a small coin from his back pocket he began to simply toss it into the air, making a game out of how many heads or tails he could rack up.

    Carla in his opinion was just one of them to smart and curious for their own good types. Sure he wanted to know what's going on a tiny bit, but not enough to follow it up completely all things considered. "Ya might as well stop trying Carla besides its not like we won't hear about what happened afterwards." Still tossing his new form of entertainment up and down James focused on this a bit more before it fell to the floor which made he put it away.
  16. Tara stared at the dwarf woman, perplexed by her lack of tact. In fact, the woman seemed to think it was perfectly alright to distract someone from their task, especially when it was obvious distractions weren't necessary. As the woman rambled on, Tara did her best to keep her attention away from the crowds around them. While she was a bit frustrated by the woman, it was rude to ignore people.

    Suddenly, a card was thrust into her hand, and the dwarf woman disappeared. Tara hadn't quite caught everything she had said, so the entire situation was even more confusing. Even so, she had seemed rather confident in this "Madame Vitriella." With a sigh, Tara decided there wasn't harm in trying her luck. In this crowd, there was no way she'd spot anyone useful anyways.

    It didn't take her long to find the establishment, as it wasn't very far. It was rather elegant, with cashmere drapes allowing one to see the shadows inside but not the details. She opened the door, a bell ringing softly as Tara stepped in. The interior was lavishly decorated, the vibrant colors meant to distract the eye. The elf wouldn't fall for such tricks, so she remained passive as she waited for Vitriella to show herself.
  17. Bishop looked surprised, "Oh, nobody's cared to ask me that before!" He gave a nervous laughter, "Well I suppose I'm here merely on a whim..." He started mumbling to himself again, "I used to work for the council and well today's my uh..." a distant stare glazed over his eyes, "Vacation." His bright disposition dimmed somewhat as he turned the monitor back to face him, staring at something on the screen. His shoulders drooped as he said, "I suppose I only wanted to be here and see history be made, ya know?"
    Bill laughed out loud, "You heard him, Carla! But that shit away and come have..." he reached into the bag that James brought, ", a beer!" he took a chug of the alcohol. The site was honestly something disgusting to behold with chip particles and fluid splattering everywhere.

    Carla shot Bill a death stare that would send any other man running for the hills before turning back to her holo-pad, "You two are a bunch of idiots. It'll do me well to get off of this planet, if I never hear your names again It'll be too soon." More white noise came through the holo-pad and she managed to catch a couple words, "Redorak" and "Star". "Did you guys hear that?" Carla asked Bill, "I think I almost got it!" She turned the device over in her hand quickly, making a few last tune ups.

    Bill dismissed her with his hand, "Turn on some music or somethin', I'm bored." to which Carla paid no attention.
    The shop smelled heavily of earthen "Pine". A scent a few elves missed from the homeworld. The closest they came to replicating it was a Castinian iron bush. But it burned just the same, though one could pick out a pungent smell that wasn't too far from earthen mint.

    "Ah! A customer!" a gangly Elven lady appeared from beyond a veil of curtains, "Welcome! Welcome, my dear to Madam Vitriella's Psychic Emporium!" The woman was dressed head to toe in various rags and silks and a surprising lack of sandals. "How can I, Madam Vitriella, assist you today?" her voice was kind and she sounded genuinely enthusiastic to help Tarathiel. Vitriella had an apparent awful eyesight, shown by her abnormally large glasses. Her frizzy hair framed her face as she smiled.
  18. "You worry too much Carla i'm sure whatever goes on in there won't be affecting us too horribly...well at least not me." James said while flopping onto his back to get into a more relaxed position. Sighing as he kept busy by counting the tiles on the ceiling, and taking mental bets on which race would be the first to declare war. "Heh I bet it'll be the elves vs the dwarves again. Those two go way back to even before we stepped onto the final frontier." He then went into deep thought on just how such a fight would go especially with two definite powerhouses like them.

    Deciding that he couldn't stay still with his mind now running at full capacity, James did a little kick-flip up to quickly get back upon his feet. "I'm wonder just how antsy the populace is about the news here. As it stands this meeting could either make or break the rep of Apex depending on who gives in first." He took to pacing in a small area to keep himself on high alert should anything go wrong in the next few minutes or so.
  19. Location: Mango's Pub - The Inner Ring - The Apex

    "They're servin' bread sticks again!" She pursed her lips in disgust. "They aren't even good bread sticks! They taste like sh-" Stella's words were cut off short by a glare of the chef who made the bread sticks in question. That look cut right through her, and she shut up promptly, walking to her seat with the bread sticks. Hal followed behind closely, avoiding any kind of eye contact with the chef and instead looking down at his tray. It had a white substance on it in the corner, green circles in the center and a dark brown slab in the larger section. 'Mashed potatoes, peas and meat' he remembered Stella saying. He liked the mashed potatoes, but peas were not his thing. He ate them though, they were supposed to make him strong. Was he strong?

    "Damn, why are we eatin' in a dive like this? We deserve class!" She whispered in an energized tone, making faces of unhappiness at her tray. When they were seated, the silver-haired woman glanced around, checking not only the place but the people out. "Not that bad.." she mumbled, returning her gaze to Hal. "Make sure to eat most of it, okay?" The girl began to dig into her meal, eating it like she hadn't eaten in awhile, and to be frank, she hadn't. Not a lot anyways, just snacks here and there. Hal looked down and began to cut his food into smaller pieces. A long time ago Stella had told him that if he ate in large bites and didn't chew he could choke, so he was instructed to always cut his food.

    As he slowly ate, Stella looked at the expression on his face, and spoke as if she could always read his mind. "Don't worry, we're just here until the end of the council session. Once those aristocrats are done with their politics meeting, we're gonna transport them back to the outer ring and be done with the transport business. I know it's been shitty the past few weeks but it'll get better soon, I promise." Stella patted his hand, reassuring him of their plan. For some reason or another, Hal was uncomfortable inside the Apex nucleus. Something about being in the center of a space station told him "No." She felt it too, to some degree. Something wasn't right about the center. But hey, a job is a job and they had to do it. This last transport was going to get them enough money to hop aboard a starship and leave. They tried to avoid jobs on the Apex as much as possible because of heavy traffic regulation and simple population alone. There were so many people that the two of them felt unsafe to have Hal there, and would be better suited somewhere else.

    He nodded and ate his food quietly, not ever really making any noise at all. She finished first of course, bread sticks and all, and sipped the tall red glass of her favorite drink: Sniggs. When it first enters the mouth, it creates an unpleasant sour taste. But if you hold it in your mouth, you are rewarded with a sweet, nutty taste that lingers for a long time. It was unusual to say the least, but delicious. "Hey, Hal.." She leaned forwards a little, voice dipping down to quieter proportions, "I've been thinking... How'd you like to find a crew to join? A starship crew, so we can just.. travel with them wherever they go. It might be nice to have friends right? And it would really save us money." The thought had been crossing her mind for awhile. If they could find a captain who needed extra hands, that would mean never having to find room and board, or paying for trips on ships. Plus, a crew would be good. Somebody to watch their backs.

    Hal stopped his eating and nudged the peas on his plate. He didn't know what to think of that, of being around more people for extended periods of time. That might have been what he needed, but he had no idea. "As long as we stay together..." He whispered, same answer as always. Stella laughed and nodded, "Yeah yeah, you know that wont change.."
  20. Tara blinked rapidly when she saw the woman, quickly becoming apprehensive when she realized Madame Vitriella was an elf. She pursed her lips, pushing past her own prejudice to be civil. The whole thing seemed to be a bunch of bullshit, in her opinion, but she'd decided to give it a try. And that's what she was going to do.

    Taking a breath, she stared the woman in the eyes as she said somewhat slowly but not quite condescendingly, "I'm looking for my parents. I've received word they were spotted somewhere in The Apex, and they're here for the peace talks. That's all I know, and my first contact had no valuable information." She hoped against reason that this woman would actually be able to give her the answers she needed. There wasn't even a guarantee that her parents were here, but she was fairly certain they were. They had never really attempted to be inconspicuous, so it would be relatively easy to recognize them after a couple glances.
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