What You See Is What You Get

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Fluffy, Feb 6, 2014.

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  1. This wasn't her idea of a summer vacation. Time could be better spent elsewhere on a lovely evening in July. Then again, this was better than the last two years she wasted in captivity. The company of the rats was far more comforting than those men in lab coats, stylish suits, and camo...

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present our latest success: Lola! With her around, we'll get work done in half the time, or less!"

    Lola... That sounded like such a fake name. What she wouldn't give to find out the name she was born with. She scoffed at the memory, shifting where she sat so she could hug her knees to her chest. The position would be more consoling if it weren't for her armor. Her knee caps, feet, hands and wrists, torso, and shoulders were protected by silvery blue armor pieces customized to fit only her. To complete the set, she wore a helmet that hid her face, with a cord extending from the back to a slot on the back of her neck. Underneath all that, she had on a navy blue latex suit. She wished she would have been allowed to wear normal women's clothing instead of this. Nothing about her was allowed to be normal.

    All she ever did was sit in her "room." A small room with four walls and no window. One bed, a shelf of books, a table set with one chair, a television... None of the books were of her choice, though. Nor the TV channels. Everything she had for entertainment was chosen for her. They kept her locked up, and fed her by sliding trays of food through a little door in wall.

    They were afraid of her, that was why no one talked to her. They were the ones who injected her with that serum, were they not? Her job was just to be safe and be quiet, and to cooperate when they had more information to store, tests to run, or presentations to rehearse for. Sometimes she was good, sometimes she was bad. They could never predict when she might grab one of the staff members by the throat when they tried to touch her.

    Lola got tired of it. She got tired of being an object for the government to store their dirty secrets. They had much more planned for her. Breeding super soldiers started with her. In the meantime, all she was to them was their special little toy.

    Upon hearing the voices of two males, Lola looked up. She stood to her full height while they babbled about wanting all her money, one of them armed with a fixed blade. Money? She didn't have a cent on her.

    Panic rose in her chest. She'd hurt people before during field tests, because she was ordered to. Now, there weren't orders to follow. What was she supposed to do in this situation? She was already so tired. Dried blood and dirt was all over her from the past couple days. She'd gone without a shower, or any good rest, plus only scraps of food in between. The poor girl had no clue who to turn to for help. Now, she had these two to deal with?

    Lola dodged him when he lunged with the knife, and made a dash for the end of the alley. She ran as fast as she could, but the armor always slowed her down. The fact she escaped "home" was a miracle to her. Heavy breaths fogged up the tinted surface that hid her face, her body gradually getting more tired.

    Flashlights, hounds, vehicles, and armed soldiers were after her. She barged through the door of her bedroom, which was just a small section of a top secret laboratory. After knocking out the scientists responsible for her well being, she ran through the building for a way out.

    Her memory of those couple days ago was still fresh. She was meant to be government owned weapon, but that weapon turned on them. Lola let her powers take full control that day, resulting in gallons of blood and a mountain of broken equipment. The mess was carelessly left behind as she ran, barging through a wall instead of looking for a door.

    Tasting her freedom already, she went rolling down a dirt hill and ran for her life to someplace she could hide. For a while, she stayed undetected in a patch of forest. Then, she made her way to the nearest city of people. That was a perfect place to hide, even though every human being filled her with fear. Any one of them could be tasked to bring her back where she belonged.


    'I. Don't. Belong there.'

    Lola stopped running, her gloved hands curling into fists. The sudden burst of emotion numbed her aches and gave her just the motivation she needed to restore the peace of this night. The inside of her helmet lit up suddenly, data scrolling across the screen in her helm. Nothing could be seen on the outside until she started "uploading" some data related to self defense. As the information streamed to the data slot in her neck, her armor began to glow with stripe patterns of light blue, showing that her powers were active.

    The pair of juveniles were motionless, awe struck by the events unfolding. They didn't snap out of it until Lola sent a hard punch into the stomach of one of them, forcing him to collapse and spit out a glob of blood.

    "Agh, you bitch!"

    Lola found herself being tackled to the ground by the other guy. They wrestled for dominance there in the street, rolling across the way until a vehicle blocked their path. If that wasn't already attracting attention, the car alarm certainly would...

    'Dammit, I need to hide!'
    #1 Fluffy, Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    • Love Love x 1
  2. [​IMG]

    Stumbling through the street, Travis latched to the wall with his free hand, keeping his wrapped around the nearly empty bottle of whiskey with greedy fingers. "Ugh..." he groaned heavily, and then took another pull from the bottle. Promptly throwing up on the sidewalk. After a few minutes letting his head settle, he took another pull, and swished the liquid around before spitting it out, and taking another step forward.

    The street was spinning, and it wasn't helping him any. Spinning wasn't a method of transportation to most, but to the young man... spinning was the only way forward it seemed at time. "Fuck!" He then yelled out, and grabbed his head as a dull ache rolled into his skull. The alcohol did wonders to keep headaches at bay until the morning, but it felt like this one wouldn't be going away anytime soon.

    Finishing the bottle, he spiked it on the ground.

    "Agh, you bitch!"

    "Hah." he muttered, and rested his himself against the wall with his forearms. It had been another shitty show, and the money had gone straight to booze. The life of a starving artist didn't have to be a thirsty one. "Fuckin' assholes. Don't know music at all!" He yelled, as two people came rolling past him into a parked car.

    Turning he bloodshot eyes to them, he yelled "What the fuck!?" as he took a step back, tripping over a brick, and landing squarely on his back. His head bounced off the cement, and he groaned again as he slowly rolled onto his side. This night sucked.

    "Watch where you two are fucking you damn hobos!" Focusing his eyes on the two, the blurred haze eventually settled enough to see a cyborg ninja wrestling with some kind of hoodlum. "I died, and got sucked into Metal Gear Solid?" Noticing the knife, his eyes widened, and he leaped to his feet, and reached to the back of his belt, wrapping a hand around his own knife, and walked forward.

    "Drop it, asshole, or I'm calling the fucking cops!" An empty threat considering his service hadn't been active in weeks. Plus, the threat hadn't been entirely forthright. His attention was more so on the robot that seemed like it had just left a movie set.​
    • Love Love x 1
  3. "What the fuck!?"

    Someone else was here too? That made Lola instantly assume there were more members to this ambush. Gritting her teeth, she pushed back against the knife wielder while he was distracted by Travis. It looked like he was about to threaten this other stranger, so he must not have been friends with him. She disarmed her attacker by grabbing his wrist and bending it in such a way that he had to release the weapon. The grip on his wrist stayed tight while she stood up, ignoring his desperate mumbling.

    Panting behind her helmet, she eyed the drunken man who said something about the cops. That was one of the words that alarmed her. Anything related to the idea that she would be taken back to her "room" was a cause for panic. Her foe was release from her hold so he could leave. He tripped over his own footsteps while he ran, pulling up his pants along the way because they were too baggy.

    Not much longer after that did Lola look to the car, whose security alert was still triggered. The car alarm was making her nervous, mostly because of how loud it was screaming. With a dramatic shriek, she tackled the vehicle and punched it until it silenced. The armor allowed her to be this reckless, otherwise she would have failed to make a single dent. Whoever owned the car would be pissed, for lack of a better word. There were easily hundreds of dollars worth of damage when Lola was finished with it...

    When her violent episode passed, she rushed passed Travis to hide in an alley across the way. There were echoes from garbage cans getting knocked over, which she had clumsily tripped over. While the lit up patterns on her armor dimmed down, she crawled crawled over to one of the brick walls where she huddled over and shivered.
  4. [​IMG]

    Seeing the guy get Judo flipped or some shit, Travis lowered his hands, and watched the robot proceed to truck fuck the parked car, and his jaw dropped. "What the fuck!?" he yelled again, and took a step back with wide eyes. His heart was racing in his chest, and he felt his throat go dry as emotion took over. He was scared. Fucking scared.

    Travis didn't know what to do. If he pissed it off, then he knew he'd be a paste on the ground, but then again... he didn't know what pissed off aliens. All the images of the X-Files, and Twilight episodes that he'd watched began to rush into his head. 'I'm gonna get fucking probed!' He thought as he took a step back. The adrenaline pumped, and burned in his veins washing away all the drunkeness he'd collected before leaving the bar he'd performed in.

    Then the thing ran past him. He threw his arms up as it ran past him, and he felt himself get knocked over. Falling backwards, he grasped at the air, and landed with his head hitting a loose brick. He went limp. Eyes rolled in the back of his head, and he landed his keys, with his phone skittering along the ground from his shirt pocket. It had all his information on it. His name, the address of his Boat, and his bank account.. not that it was worth anything. Blood slowly began to pool from the cut that ran along the back of his head matting his messy blonde hair.

    It was then that his breathing began to go deep, and irregular. The signs of a concussion, or worse. ​
  5. The dead silence returned to the area. No one even showed up to see what happened to their car, so that must have meant they were off drunk somewhere. Lola couldn't help but notice she was in the "bad" part of town. It was no wonder she was such a mess, and in so much danger. She would have to hide somewhere else before more hoodlums showed up.

    Timidly, Lola peeked around the corner so she could see how safe it was. Her helmet allowed her to see in the dark, for reasons exactly like this. The government must have known she would get lost someday and need some tools to help her along. They wouldn't want their precious filing system to get killed, after all.

    An infrared shape caught her attention, suddenly. The shape of a man...who wasn't moving. Biting her lower lip, she slowly stepped towards him. By the time he was within reach, she knew for certain he wasn't conscious. She dropped to her knees, the armor pieces making a sharp noise when she did. There was blood spilling out, but he was still breathing.

    She breathed out a sigh before searching his pockets for any clue as to who he was. Nothing. There were keys, some napkins, and a bottle cap. Beyond him, however, there was a cell phone. The armor on her right hand was removed then so she could hold the phone in her bare palm. She delicately moved her fingers over the buttons and watched the screen light up with the exact information she needed. Lola could communicate with any device, no matter how obsolete or how knew. Through a genuine touch, the whole digital world was hers.

    When she got his name and address, she was then told by the phone what happened to its owner. Instantly, she switched her brain into computer mode and researched remedies for concussions, in case that truly was what was happening. A hospital was more ideal, but she needed to help him now. By the time she got him to a doctor, it could be too late or he could suffer much worse trauma.

    Lola decided she would help him. Whether or not he was a bad guy, it was her fault he got hurt. He didn't technically do anything, either. To not waste anymore time, she swiftly scooped the man up into her arms after reattaching her glove. To keep his wound from dripping, she pressed a handful of crumpled fast food napkins against it. Travis had no money, but he had a few napkins to spare. Hopefully he didn't mind her borrowing them.

    Her heavy footsteps clunked down the pavement. She was following the directions of a GPS application she had installed, the whole map transparent in her helmet so she could see where she was going. The location she reached was a boat, which she assumed he lived on? Shrugging, she hurried over. He had keys on him, so getting into the boat's quarters wouldn't wouldn't require any collateral damage.

    Lola was breathing quickly while she scrambled about, turning on a light and then setting him on a bed. She had to kick through messes, and noted the collection of booze bottles. Eventually, she came across a medical kit. She knew there had to be one; what boat owner would neglect something so important? Along with that, she had a cloth of ice cubes. Lola was going to get his head fixed up, complete with some ice to keep the swelling from getting bad. The information on concussions was left on in her helmet. There was mention that he should be babysat for at least twenty-four hours if he showed other symptoms of this... Also, there was still the matter of whether or not she should contact 911.

    #5 Fluffy, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  6. [​IMG]

    In the inky darkness, Travis found himself coughing, and cracked open his tired eyes. It was then that the dull ache hit him. "Ugh... my fuckin' head... Someone beat the shit out of me?" he asked himself outloud, and stirred to sit up. As he did his head throbbed even more, and he decided against getting up. "The hell am I?" he then said looking around. Seeing the various band posters, and musical instruments along the walls he realized he was home. The smell of an open Vodka bottle confirmed it.

    "Right... must have busted my ass climbing in..." Oblivious to the events earlier. But then he recalled something. Some fight where someone wearing something like a motorcycle helmet was wresting with some guy. Travis decided then it was a good idea to sit up, and as he did, he felt something wet against his head. Reaching a hand to his hair, he pulled it away seeing a small amount of blood, and shuddered. "What?"

    Looking around he noted the Cyborg was in the room as well, it's armor streaked with blue. "Look, man. Take whatever you want! I don't have any money! Take the guitars, they're worth like fifteen grand." Scampering towards the head board of the bed, he tried to get as much distance between them as he could, and then slid a hand behind his back. The lack of a handle made him grit his teeth. It had taken his knife.

    Looking to the door, and seeing the Cyborg between himself and it, he decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to try and relax. Considering he was fucked.

    "So... before you kill me... what are you?"​
  7. Lola was staring straight at him through her helmet, relieved to see he wasn't going to attack her. The lights in her armor turned off, and she let out a fatigued sounding sigh. These past few days had been horribly taxing. She was perfected with decent stamina, so it said a lot when she was out of breath.

    "Please, just..." He voice was shaking, and her throat hurt. Lola barely talked at all for any reason, mainly because people avoided conversation with her at the lab. She could give them all their answers through pictures and recordings, so why bother with cheap words?

    This man was afraid of her. She was afraid of him too, though. Him not trying to hurt her didn't mean he wouldn't try again later. Her paranoia irrational, and a result of her fear for being captured. She knew they would be harsh when they got a hold of her again.

    "I-I don't like to hurt people. Not unless they de-deserve it," her metallic voice continued. She wasn't going to take off any of the armor, that would make her too vulnerable. As a show of good faith, she showed him his knife and cell phone. They were set down at the foot of his bed, then she took a step back. And then a few more, for good measure...

    "Don't tell anyone you've seen me, or where I am. I'm begging you." Lola's gloved hands joined together while she made her plea, her head bowing down respectfully. "A-And take it easy, because...your head..."
  8. [​IMG]

    Listening to the voice, Travis felt like as if the Cyborg wasn't exactly what he'd expected. The metallic rasp of the words were certainly deceitful, but the young man had a natural gift for gab, and began to analyze the tone, and delivery. It sounded like... a woman? Focusing harder, he listened to the tone, and delivery, and felt good on his assumption.

    "Hurt those that deserve it? What do you mean girl?" He then asked bluntly deciding to go for broke. "No cops would listen to me anyways, so if you're worried about me narking, then you're fine." Putting his hand back to his head, he felt the bandage, and napkins that were pressed to the wound. "You did all this? Patched my busted head, and hauled me back to my house?" He asked in confusion, but eventually pieced the idiocy of his statement together. Of course he'd been brought here. He wasn't in any shape to really go on an hike or the like.

    "Uh... well... If you don't kill me... or if you do... this place isn't set up for someone else, but I guess you ain't going anywhere anytime soon right? So... make yourself at home?" Reaching towards the knife, and the cell phone, he put the knife on his night stand, and pocketed his phone.

    "How'd you find where I live?" Watching the person intently, Travis noted how she asked for him to take it easy with his head wound. Something about it stood out, but he wasn't sure on why it did. It was just reminiscent of something someone he once knew did. Almost like habit, but who was it?​
  9. All of the man's questions were intensifying an ache forming in her mind. A headache, she remembered it being called. Normally, this didn't happen to her. She was always given time to rest before computing some more. The armor had been functioning nonstop for a few days now. Needless to say, she was tired as all hell.

    Upon hearing the words 'make yourself at home', she sat down right where she stood. With a heavy sigh, she criss-crossed her legs and let her posture slouch. Both hands dropped onto her lap, and the streaks of light showed up again. Even though she should be sleeping, she decided she would answer his questions. The easiest way was to show him.

    On the helmet, around where her forehead was, there was a blinking yellow light. It was a signal that she was about to project an image. On the final blink, a rectangular image appeared in front of Travis. There was a picture of Lola on the left; the armor blinked on and off over the picture so viewers could see the before and after. A woman with light brown skin and a short haircut was underneath the sci-fi themed armor. To the right, it showed some information on her. It said her name was Lola, she was twenty-eight years old, showed weight and height, and explained she was the first out of forty to survive the experiment that gave people powers. She was part of a project called the Superman Experiment, which involved a serum that took years to perfect. There was nothing on her life before being kidnapped, however.

    The summary of her origin had an optional video listed underneath. Lola didn't intend to play it, unless he expressed curiosity. It was brutal to view, though, even for her. The whole process of turning her from ordinary to extraordinary was on camera.

    Some of his questions would be answered by this. Others, she addressed with her voice: "Your cell phone told me about you, Travis. I talk to machines. Your phone also told me it...lives in your pocket...and--" She bit her lower lip, hoping none of this would make him freak out like he did on the street. "I know, it sounds crazy, but... Well, no one knows what's really going on in our country..."

    Lola wanted to tell him everything. All the secrets she knew, all the horrors she witnessed and been through herself. She held her tongue, though. Focusing on what was happening now was much more important, plus she didn't want to create more drama. Not now. The image projecting from her helmet moved a little when she lowered her head. "Anyway... Yes, I helped you. I felt bad about what happened. Those men you saw, they attacked me!"
  10. [​IMG]

    Listening to the words that she spoke, it was all instantly drowned out when the image came to view. Seeing her without the armor, Travis' eyes widened in disbelief. It was Lola, but she had been missing for years, and thought dead. At least by her parents, and Travis. He remember visiting with her parents during the investigation as they had been friends since middle school, and her disappearance had thrown them all into disarray, and then grieving at the idea that she would never be found.

    Moving closer to her, Travis looked at her. "Lola? Lola Thompson!? Oh my god you're alive!" Racing forward, he dropped down beside her, threw his arms around her, and buried his head against her shoulder. Tears welled up, and began to stream down his face, as the emotions that had been locked away for years flooded forth. "I thought you were dead! What happened? Where have you been? Are you alright?" He asked in a blur of concern, and confusion.

    Was it practical to make the assumption that a lost friend would show up out of the blue? No, but in Travis' defense he wasn't exactly in a right state of mind. The years after she vanished had been hell for him between his parents, his attempts at a career, and just about everything else. Jumping the gun, sure... but if this was what he thought it was. He needed it. The man needed some good news, and this person was her... he'd take it. No questions asked. ​
  11. When he hurried towards her all of a sudden, the image turned off. She tried scooting back to avoid his clutches, but he snatched her up faster than she could get away. Lola tensed up in his embrace, clearly confused about what was going on. As far as Lola knew, she'd never been hugged before. She had no idea what affection felt like, or even the simple pleasure of holding someone's hand.

    "Thompson? Dead? Me, you, I--... What!? Nonono, my birth name couldn't be Lola, that name's so--" She stopped stammering when she listened more closely to his voice. There was a shakiness to it, and... Was he crying? That was an emotion she was familiar with. During her times of solitude, she did a lot of weeping. Every time, she wished there was someone there to help her through it. The lab coats only told her to tough through it, though. Then they would give her chocolate, assuming that would be a sufficient remedy.

    With those melancholy reminders, she hesitantly set a hand on his upper back. He was suffering from head trauma, which she preferred to help him with. In this case, she felt like she made it worse. There wasn't a single machine or website that could help her with this, either. For once, she didn't the the answers...

    "I'm...afraid I don't know what you're talking about," she said slowly, making a sympathetic look in her helmet. Right then, lifted a hand to the back of her neck so she could unplug the headgear from the slot. She'd been waiting a long time for a good opportunity to free her head of that prison. Being on the run, she couldn't afford to be without all of her means of attack and defense.

    The helmet was set down next to her while she filled her lungs with air. She had a short haircut so the helmet would fit perfectly, and her sapphire eyes showed tiny scrolls of 0s and 1s that moved across the irises. There was moisture building in her eyes as well, but she kept herself from completely falling apart as best she could.

    The armored gloves were removed from her hands hastily so she could set them on his face. Her fingers were cold as she tilted his head up, a look of concentration on her face. She studied him closely, hoping that this would jog her memory somehow... Nothing, though. "Do you really recognize me?" she asked quietly, letting his face go. Her hands dropped pathetically onto the floor, making a solid clunk. "I don't know who I am."
  12. [​IMG]

    Taking her hands in his, he squeezed them gently. "What do you mean 'Who am I?' It's Travis. Travis Almoor! We've known each other since middle school. We went to Alderise High School. I helped move you into your dorm at the college." Seeing the numbers stream across the lenses of her eyes, caught his breath, and he looked her up and down. "What the hell... happened to you Lola? You've been missing for almost ten years! Then all of a sudden you show up in Baytown!"

    The look he saw on her face, made his heart drop. She seemed as if she was entirely lost. But how could someone not remember who they were? Amnesia was one thing, but she couldn't possibly have that. She had always been to damn smart for something like that to ever have the chance of happening. It seemed too cruel.

    Then something dawned on him, and he quickly stood up. Looking around he lightly scratched at his head. "I know it's fucking here some where... Don't you go anywhere again, Lola! I'll be right back." Running down a hallway, he quickly rounded on his heel, and ducked into a closet where he began tossing clothes, and random boxes out into the hallway. Travis had an old photo book that he kept. It had a bunch of pictures from his highschool years, and he knew there was a bunch of pictures of Lola, and their friends in there.

    "GOD DAMMIT! WHERE IS IT!?" He yelled out angrily, as he dug through the closet, and then he found it. Pulling out a black leather bound binder, he tripped backwards, and bounced his shoulder off the wall, continuing to stumbled back into the main room. Dropping down to the floor, he unzipped the binder, and began flipping through the pages of old photos.

    Landing on the page he was looking for, he pulled the picture out from the binder, and held it out for the woman. "There's no way in hell you don't remember this! This was when you got that acceptance letter for college! Remember?"​
  13. The farthest Lola went was to the nearest wall so she could put her back against it. She dragged her equipment along with her, the helmet going to her lap. The darn thing got uncomfortable after a long time, but it was the most important item she had on her. The other pieces of her armor needed it to function, plus there was information stored in it. Sometimes, she needed to move data between that and her brain. Everything had limited storage space, after all.

    Travis returned to her with clumsy footing, after shouting and scrambling at the other end of the home. She jumped when he landed at her side, the tiniest gasp escaping her. Lola still had to get used to his enthusiasm. The most excitement she saw was a crowd of intellects who applauded her when she was showcased at a private convention of some sort. Even then, she was a safe distance from them.

    The person in the picture he showed her was... Her? She accepted it from him so she could study it closer. A pain started knocking in her skull, then. The longer she analyzed the photograph, the worse the headache got. With her free hand, she rubbed at her forehead. "College? Me?" She had no memory of college, her scholarships, her academic achievements...'They' told her she volunteered to be an experiment; experiments didn't leave anything or anyone of value behind. All along, she thought she was crazy for thinking that was a bold faced lie. Now, her suspicions were confirmed.

    What use was it, though? Lola couldn't get a single clue about this event he kept in this book. Suddenly, she remembered how long Travis said she was "missing." "Ten years?" The photo was dropped from her fingers and she leaned back, those two words echoing in her head. Was that true? That meant...

    "Was I...kidnapped? They said my family was dead, they said--they said so much..." This was a lot to take in. She kept denying it, but deep down she knew this was true. "This didn't really happen, it couldn't--I mean--... Come on, my name's not really Lola... I--"

    Feeling her lower lip tremble, she covered her mouth with one hand while using the other to rub her tears away. After spouting all that denial, she suddenly felt so... Angry. These photos showed her a wonderful life. Why would they rob her of that?
    #13 Fluffy, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  14. [​IMG]

    Watching her reaction, Travis didn't know what to do. He wasn't a shrink, and he did his best to stay out of people's heads... but this was his closet friend. The girl that he regretted never asking out before she shipped off to school. His first love, though hidden. The man knew he wasn't ever going to be a knight in shinning armor, but he was going to do something dammit. If that was to stay the fool, then he'd do it. But perhaps he could be a sellsword of hope.

    "It's ok, Lola." Slipping an arm around her, he rested his chin on her head gently. "We'll figure this out, but your folks. They ain't dead, and whatever happened to you. It's over now. I won't let anyone take you away again." His tone had lost most of the shakiness to it. In it's place was a slow building sense of confidence. Travis knew that this was over his head, but he'd be damned if he didn't do something about it.

    "Whoever did what to you won't find you here. I promise. No one is going to hurt you again." Having gone from a head wound to self imposed savior, Travis hugged her tightly, and looked over to the nightstand. It was just after three in the morning. She had to be exhausted... she looked like hell, and that meant something considering it was Travis who was worrying. "Look... This has to be you. Why would I lie? I don't look like someone who can do much of anything right? Let alone lie."

    Then in one of his lack luster moments of brilliance. He decided to try, and change the subject. "Are... you hungry? You look like you haven't really eaten anything, or gotten any sleep."​
  15. Lola wasn't doubting him even a little bit anymore. The sincerity in his voice was the most honesty she'd heard in a long time, apparently. She let him hold her as he was, her ears taking in his words and refusing to let them go. The people he swore to protect her from were way bigger than he was, yet here he was making her a promise she longed to hear. After hearing they wouldn't find her here, she let all her weight collapse against his. There wasn't any reason to stay so tense. Up until this point, she was behaving like an abused house cat who just got out of a fight with a feral one.

    She was relieved to know she had family, too. One of these days, she would have to seek them out. In order to do that, she had to solve the problem with her memories. The first idea, and possibly the only chance she had, involved computers. But for now, all she could think about was recovering from the nightmarish escape she made. Who knew it would bring her here of all places?

    "Thank you, Travis..." Lola's arms gave his torso a squeeze, giving a hint to how vigorously her body was worked during her absence from home. She developed an athletic figure from hours of exercise and healthy dieting, because they wanted their prized possession in top condition. They never let her have anything that actually tasted good, so when he asked if she was hungry, she was quick to respond with a quick "Yes." There was nothing she wanted more than a good meal, a shower, and something different to wear. "Are you sure you don't need to see a doctor?" she then asked, the concern clear in her voice.
  16. [​IMG]

    Feeling her relax, Travis sighed in relief. He didn't know just how she'd take all his jabbering, but he was glad it went as well as it had so far. She felt stronger than before. Remembering she had been in track before graduating Highschool, he chalked it up to have having seen her for so long. Certainly it couldn't be that strange. She already had brought a truck load of it with her. "There. See? Little chunks, and we'll figure this out."

    When she asked about a doctor, he shook his head. "I don't have any insurance, and I scrounge to get by, but I won't rob a hospital. I'll be fine... I think. I mean I didn't die when those guys stabbed me last year, and all I did today was rock my head." Grabbing a towel from the small table that sat against the wall, he dried her eyes. "You always were much too pretty for tears. Now. I'll go get you something to eat, and I hope you like fish... cause I think that's all I got for the most part. One thing dad did right was taught me how to live off the sea."

    Standing up slowly, he leaned back cracking his back to clear up the cramp he'd gotten. "You don't have any clothes either do you? Well you can't stay in that cyborg getup or you'll stand out... and it can't be comfortable." Walking over to his closet, he rummaged around through the hangars, and fished out a grey t-shirt, a pair of worn jeans, and some socks. "Hope this works... I don't have any girl clothes, but we can figure that out later. The shower's through there..." Pointing a thumb behind him to a small door that lead to the left of his bed. "Water's salt free. Rigged the purifier myself, but now for that food I said I'd make you."

    Walking down the hallway, he ducked through a doorway into the cramped kitchen. He pulled open the fridge, and took out a paper wrapped bundle, and set it on a cutting block. Peeling the paper open, he took out a Sea Bass, and began to fillet it, cleaning the bones from it at the same time. Another thing his parents had done right was taught him how to cook. Dialing the stove on, he took a skillet off of the wall, and set it on the burner, pouring some lemon juice, salt, and pepper into it.

    As the mixture caramelized, he rummaged through the fridge, and pulled out a jug of water, and the last bottle from a six-pack of Coors. "Jesus... I need to do better than this..." he murmured to himself, seeing just how meager his kitchen was stocked. The man had never really cared for what he got, just as long as he could afford it, and it wouldn't kill him. The development of a mediocre lifestyle just now became apparent to him. Not surprising considering the amazing discovery he'd made tonight. Those kind of things really showed where priorities should be.

    Being gone for nearly a half hour, Travis came back in with a plate of seared fish, and some bread rolls with what looked like butter packets. Setting it on the table, he set a glass of water down next to it, and took a swig from his beer. "Foods, ready... hope you like fish. Wait... I said that already. Must be the concussion." He said the latter to himself out loud more or less.​
  17. Lola stayed sitting on the floor the entire time he was gone. She was rocking back and forth with her arms around her legs, her knees providing a comfortable spot for her chin to rest. Now that she had a safe place to be, what was she supposed to do next? Going out to live amongst regular people... The idea terrified her. Yet, she'd done it before. According to Travis, she lived a successful, normal life.

    'I have to stop...thinking.' With an irritated grunt, she rubbed at her forehead. That was mostly impossible with her, though. The doctors who kept her healthy would sometimes give her sleep aids, or they would spread cannabutter on a slice of bread to help her relax. They didn't like her staying up all hours of the night with so much going on in her head.

    An aroma wafted in her direction, making her stomach ache terribly. She whimpered at the pain, surprised at how much it hurt her. Her survival was so precious after her escape that she couldn't begin to think about food. The upside of the starvation was now, food was all she could think about. That was a big improvement from her depressing thoughts.

    He announced that the meal was done and set it on the table. Timidly, she poked her head around the corner to watch him. Like a kitten easing its way out of a hiding place, she crawled over to the table, her fingers wrapping around the edge as she stood up. The food looked amazing. Her birthday and the holidays were the only times she got treated to finer dishes. It was only a fish to some but to her, it was a feast.

    "I don't know if I like fish," she admitted, hesitantly taking a seat in the chair. Lola didn't hesitate to start digging in, though. With the utensil provided for her, she smeared some of the butter onto the bread. After scarfing one down, she got started on the meat. It wasn't until the meal was halfway gone that she ate at a normal pace. He stomach was already starting to feel better. Color was returning to her face, including a light pink that tinted her cheeks. "I do like fish," she confirmed with a smile of approval.
  18. [​IMG]

    Watching Lola damn near inhale the food, Travis was about to tell her to slow down, but after blazing halfway through it, she settled her pace. "Jesus... you act like you haven't eaten. You haven't have you?" Taking another pull from his beer, he then took a seat at the table, and looked at her. Leaning forward, he looked her in the eyes directly "I still can't believe you showed up... this feels like some dream..." leaning back, he kept looking at her, and then shook his head.

    "Let's hope that if it is... I never wake." he finished, and leaned back into his chair heavily. The alcohol was doing a good job of dulling the ache at the back of his head, and he knew that tomorrow it was going to be even worse. That didn't matter now though. What mattered was that Lola was alive, and that she was here. Counting that blessing, Travis felt infinitely better, and breathed a sigh of relief for the first time in years. Despite the best news he'd heard, and seen today, the years had weighed heavily on him, and it showed.

    Though he was healthy, and in good shape, the signs of depression, and self abuse were apparent. The man hardly slept, and when he did it was in a dunken stupor. With her disappearance, Travis had literally lost his drive. Had things not have turned out the way they had, he might have worked up the courage up to ask her out, and been tried putting a ring on her finger by now. Time however... had set them on this path though.

    "So, Lola... you don't remember anything? Not even me?" He had hoped that the question didn't seem loaded, but he knew for a fact that between all their friends, Lola, and himself had been the closest in their group. The idea of being a face without a name tugged at his soul, and piled more depression on him.​
  19. The poor condition her friend was in didn't go unnoticed. Even though he was stolen from her collection of memories, she could see what he was going through. The evidence of the alcohol bottles, his exhausted looking face, and the tone of his voice... This man was lonely, and deeply troubled. So was she. On some level, she knew exactly how he felt. The big difference was she had people to take care of her. 'They' would never let her have access to booze or anything else that could destroy her.

    Lola finished the meal quickly, in case she might lose her appetite from the growing emotions and confusion. Sure enough, as she swallowed her last bite, he asked again about whether or not she remembered him. She dabbed her lips with a napkin then, hiding the small tremble they made. This was all too much for her. This was bad enough without her not knowing how to handle the situation. She suddenly missed wearing her helmet, where she could hide her teary eyes and look up information on how to deal with sadness, or a funny Youtube video to cheer her up. Her helmet and powers were all she had, so she was naturally dependent on them.

    Still, she felt like she owed Travis something. If nothing else, to let him get some sleep. She was still concerned about his head injury; he needed to rest. Lola was looking down at her empty plate, moving crumbs around with the fork. Even before she was kidnapped, she toyed with whatever was in her hands while she was deep in thought. Her memories were hidden away, but her personality didn't change a bit.

    "I need to go someplace with a really powerful computer. I might be able to lift the password they set on my brain. That's really all my brain is now, some sort of computer..." Lola was explaining what was on her mind the best she could, knowing this probably sounded absurd to him. He needed to know what was holding her back. That was not all she had to say, however...

    "I may be able to get...something, about you, Travis... In my solitude, I made files about dreams I've had. Because I suspected maybe...they might not be dreams. That's why I might not remember even a little thing about you. My "dreams" folder isn't in my brain right now, it's in my helmet." That was what rose her suspicions at first. The scientists told her she couldn't have dreams, yet she saw these moving pictures when she slept. What she saw could have been data all this time. Amongst the random displays of conferences she documented, and other sorts of events, she saw and heard some things that were...out of place. Some of her memories "leaked", so to speak. Not necessarily fairytale dreams, she supposed, but it was still fishy to her.

    Lola stood up then, looking to the direction of his bathroom. "Let me use your shower real quick. I know it sounds strange, but my brain has limited storage space. I have to delete some things, move some things around, and then I can transfer my dream files over." Offering a small smile, she made way to the shower with her helmet tucked under her arm.
  20. [​IMG]

    Spinning his beer bottle in his hand, Travis stayed deathly quiet as she mentioned that she had no memories of him. Taking a deep swallow, he lifted his eyes to the ceiling. 'Figures... no one remembers Then she was talking about computers and the like. Those things were something that he never cared for. Yeah he had a cell phone, but that was about the extent of his use of machines. At times he felt like he was the only person who didn't have a Facebook account, and he was completely fine with that.

    "Well... there's the University of Houston." He murmured in response, though his voice was almost a whisper.

    "I may be able to get...something, about you, Travis..."

    "Yeah..." Taking another large swig from his beer, he looked back to her as she mentioned deleting files from her brain. Watching her walk towards the small bathroom, he fished a cigarette from the pack of Marlboro's that were on the table, and lit one. Cracking a window, he exhaled it out into the Baytown night sky. When she left site, he looked down at his beer, and squeezed the glass neck for a moment. So easily did a moment of hope, and happiness begin to turn into a moment of rage.

    Here she was. The girl he'd grown up loving. She had no memory of him or of herself, and had everything robbed from her. Travis wanted to just start throwing punches. Standing up, he walked towards the door, and stepped out onto the deck, letting the sea air wash over him. That mixed with the rocking motion of the gentle waters did wonders to settle his nerves, and finishing the last bit of his beer, he threw the bottle onto shore, lifting his cigarette to his mouth.

    "I'm gonna kill those mother fuckers..."​
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