Devastation. It had been everywhere. There had been no escaping it, no pretending it didn't exist, no way to fix it - or so it had appeared in the depth of the situation at hand, when the extent of the damage had been revealed. It had been massive, enormous...it had been worldwide, the worst earthquake in history. It had rocked the entire planet and all that was left had been the rubble, ruined homes and desperate souls searching for relief from lives that had been turn to shreds in the blink of an eye. And then a savior had risen up, proclaiming peace and the promise of order in the chaos, rebuilding and prosperity for all. The world had flocked to him, searching, gullible and Neal Blackthorn had become the most powerful Other alive seemingly overnight. The Others basked in his every word and even the humans in positions of power themselves had come to support him, so deceived were they by his charms. And for a while, the world HAD known some version of peace and people had started to breathe a bit more easily as they started to clean up the world. It hadn't lasted long, though. It had started out as rumors at first - about how the human government had submitted to the Others, something not done in hundreds of years. There had been stories that grew about how humans were starting to disappear, slowly at first, but soon everyone had started to hear about it and the world had been thrown into a new kind of chaos; one of whispers and unease, secrets and subterfuge. It came to light soon enough that something was happening to the humans and the Others were to blame. It was only a matter of time before all out war broke out. Or such would be the case if there had been any military power not under Neal's control. Frankly, Alex doubted there was anything the new dictator didn't have some kind of hold over and as the world slowly started to crumble around her again, she found herself observing it in a detached sort of way for the longest time. She'd lost everything in the earthquake. Her flat had been decimated along with everything in it under a mountain of rubble and the blond had been living in the shelters provided after the quake, working where she could, scraping by and trying to get back on her feet in a society that was still teetering under the aftershocks. It was a literal aftershock - something that had been going on for months now and keeping everyone on edge - that seemed to wake her from the stupor she'd fallen into for she literally fell into a body on her way to meet the ground in an alleyway on her way back to the shelter from work. The sight of the man sent a scream tearing up her throat, but it didn't find more than a strangled voice as she swallowed the sound down, scrambling away from the prone form even as the ground continued to vibrate. She stood shakily, feeling the wet feeling of blood on her hands, staining her clothes like an old, familiar touch and Alex resisted the urge to shudder, resolving herself to walking away...and then the figure on the ground groaned. The blond stilled and slowly her black eyes trailed to the man, taking in what she'd been too startled to see before: he'd been shot. She could see where the blood had soaked around his shoulder, too near his lung to be safe, but if he'd been bleeding into them then he'd be dead by now or bubbling blood and neither appeared to be evident. Still, he needed medical assistance...but to be seen with a human was to be listed as suspicious and many of those Others went missing just as the humans themselves did. But could she really leave this man to bleed out?