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Old September 7th, 2013 (6:51 PM). Edited September 8th, 2013 by Legend.
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Nathaniel Calaway- Atlantean Royal Mansion, Boston, England


With a groan, Nathaniel forced his shoulder back into place. His face twisted in pain, but it was something he was willing to bear. After all, holding his shoulder in an uncomfortable sling was something Nathaniel was not going to deal with any longer even if the doctor advised against such barbaric treatments such as popping a joint back into place. Truth be told, Nathaniel had suffered through far worse shoulder injuries during his younger days as an avid biker. Also, he strangely felt as if he was healing much faster than normal anyway.

After popping his shoulder into place, he had almost full movement right away. Pain and discomfort was still there (naturally), but it was hardly as crippling as before. Breathing, however, was still a struggle as his ribs did not enjoy the same fast paced healing. But he was safe. That is what Leo and the other Royal Family leaders promised. Their word was to be trusted. So why did Nathaniel not feel as safe as he did back with the Librarian? Why did nothing feel right? One could easily jump to conclusions that the Royal Family was an evil empire, especially for someone as prone to the occasional conspiracy theory in Nathaniel. The Librarian pulled Nathaniel away from them and wanted he and a select few others to investigate them as if someone as old and powerful as the Librarian couldn't figure out what they were up to himself. And now that he thought about it, wouldn't someone like the Librarian be associated with them anyway? Did he leave because he didn't trust them or something? It was an interesting theory now that he thought about it. Combine such thinking with Nathaniel's own predisposition to not trust anything resembling a bureaucracy and it became even more unlikely that he would grow to trust the Royal Family with anything more than his training. The hardest part was he wanted to believe their message and buy into what they were selling. Could anyone be that corrupt to manipulate vulnerable people in a turbulent time? Nathaniel had to shake his head at his own naivety. Of course someone would. Nevertheless, Nathaniel desperately hoped to be wrong. For once, he wanted to be wrong.

He sat on his bed trying to make sense of everything, burying his face in his hands. Over-thinking everything was not good for his health. Nathaniel knew that much and desperately wanted to cleanse his mind, but the voices in his head, all the stray thoughts, memories, possibilities and realities swarmed him in a sweeping wave, bleeding together and causing a riot. It was enough to drive a man mad, but with a deep sigh Nathaniel simply chuckled. I just need some sleep. Nathaniel threw himself back into his bed. He was physically exhausted, so he knew that falling asleep wouldn't be too difficult.


Nathaniel thought wrong. Without the painkillers provided by the doctors, Nathaniel found himself tossing and turning with the occasional sharp pain stirring him awake. No amount of desperation, exhaustion or frustration aided the situation forcing Nathaniel to accept the one hour naps scattered about the night. His quest for sleep was further deterred by the sudden surge of voices filling the mansion. Nathaniel wanted to drown out the voices with his pillow, but he knew from experience that it hardly worked. His roommates back in London have had a few too many loud nights. Against his better desires, Nathaniel rose from his bed, put on his shirt and walked over to the door with a miserable groan. However, as he crept ever closer to the door, the voices sounded more like screams. Not screams of joy or excitement. Of terror.

The screeching of the door could be barely heard. Students were trying their hardest to protect themselves, flinging their abilities in every which direction as they stumbled away in a panic. But from what? Nathaniel stepped out of his room and some sort of stray bullet flew past his head. Looking in the opposite direction, Nathaniel peered into the darkness to see a small group of armored soldiers equipped with assault rifles. So much for safety.

Nathaniel raised his hands in the air, hoping they would accept his surrender. "I suppose this is the part where you say," Nathaniel paused. "Freeze." The small group of soldiers that stood before Nathaniel froze in place with ice creeping up their legs and their guns crashing to the ground, being too cold to the touch for the soldiers to maintain their grip, despite gloved hands. As the soldiers were disarmed and stuck to the floor, Nathaniel tackled and attacked the soldiers with the help of a few of the braver students, prying them from their frozen prisons and knocking them unconscious. Once the final solider was dealt with, Nathaniel turned to the small group of students. Most of them were a little younger than he was and from what Nathaniel could tell never been through an experience like this. Nathaniel wanted to investigate the situation and try to figure out what was happening. But he couldn't. Not in his condition (considering his injuries, a series of fights was probably a bad idea). And not considering the other students who could be captured or killed without his help. "Alright. All of you are with me, we are getting out of here!" Nathaniel yelled to other students. "Is there any place designated as a safe zone or something like that?"

The panicked students turned to each other murmuring to everything, hoping one would speak for the group. "Uh, I'm not sure. They'll probably meet in the one of the rooms in the basement," said one student, his voice cracking in nervousness.

"Yeah, it's the only place that could keep all of us in one room," another student said, trying her hardest to be helpful.

"And would be easy enough to guard," finished Nathaniel, nodding his head. "Right. We'll head there then. Worst case, we can keep each other safe until we think of a better idea." Nathaniel turned towards the opposite direction from which the soldiers came from moments ago. "I'll take point. The rest of you stay close." Nathaniel tried his best to lead the group of students through the maze that was the Atlantean Royal Family mansion, taking cues from the students that followed him. Nathaniel tried to smile off his own cluelessness, but the innocent lapse of judgement in taking lead seemed to ease the minds of some of the students. That or perhaps they were happy that hope was within their grasp. As they reached the staircase that lead down to the lower levels, Nathaniel heard a scream echo through the hallways.

"More students…" Nathaniel said, under his breath. "Do you think you all will be okay without me?" Most of the students nodded, though others did not seem as sure. "Good. Go then! I'll catch up! Just head straight for the basement! Don't look back!" Nathaniel ordered as he ran into the direction of the scream. Just hold on. I'm on my way. He hoped that the other students could handle themselves well enough. It should be a straight shot, so if luck was on their side they would be fine. It was a big "if" but at this point, in this situation, everyone would have to rely on "ifs."

The scream was faint, so Nathaniel had to accept he was running into a situation practically blind. On top of that, the screams were muffled and brief, making it difficult to trace exactly where they were. Nathaniel soon decided he was better off trying to listen for something else. Battle. Gunshots, panic, and pure chaos would be far easier to listen for. He closed his eyes for a short moment, hoping dulling out a few of his senses would strengthen his hears. With a deep breath, Nathaniel relaxed and hear a few gunshots. "There," he said.

His shoulder ached as he ran, forcing him to slow his advance though it was a blessing in disguise. It reminded Nathaniel to not leap into the situation blind and make a terrible situation even worse. The gunshots became clear to his ears and he could hear bodies crash into ground. Audible grunts and moans of pain became even clearer. Nathaniel crept around the corner, slowly peeking out to size up the scene and plan out an approach. Unlike James, Nathaniel seemed to prefer a calculated approach. Risks, while not a foreign concept to Nathaniel, were not safe. He much preferred a calculated risk. It was safer and despite boasting an excellent poker face, Nathaniel was not to bluff.

From what he could see, a young woman, probably about Nathaniel's age, was doing her best to fend off a few soldiers, kicking, flipping and dancing around a few of them. Nathaniel couldn't tell if she was running away or making a last stand, but nevertheless he knew he had to act. Now. As the woman came closer to the corner that Nathaniel camped around, he slide into the middle of the hallway the soldiers seemed to chase down the woman. "Get down!" Nathaniel yelled. Seemingly in a daze, the woman dived down on cue. Nathaniel launched a series of ice spears at the pursuing soldiers. A few whizzed by the heads of a couple soldiers, while others impaled soldiers through the armor, planting them on their backs or on the walls through their arms, shoulders or any non-vital part of their body. Nathaniel gritted his teeth in frustration due to the poor accuracy. His bad shoulder off set his aim and trying to not kill them made it even harder.

The final two soldiers in the company slowed their advance noticing their friends hanging on the walls as new decorations, while another two were planted on the floor; all of them screaming in agony. They looked at each other, raised their guns and took aim. As they fired their guns, Nathaniel crafted a small ice wall in front of him and the woman, providing cover from the rain of bullets. Once the attack slowed, Nathaniel grasped a piece of his ice wall and molded into a shield. "Stay behind this wall. I'll be right back," Nathaniel said with a reassuring smile. Nathaniel charged down the soldiers, using his shield to block any stray bullets. Lucky enough, the soldiers were panicking as he reloaded their guns and the idea of a large Atlantean with ice powers running at them may have instill some degree of panic. Nathaniel didn't really mind and frankly didn't think any of these things through. Once within "range," Nathaniel felt his instincts take over. He launched the shield at one of the soldiers, knocking him off his center of gravity. As the one solider was taken aback, Nathaniel charged down the other one, sidestepping around the solider as he attempted to take a quick shot at Nathaniel. Nathaniel kicked the solider straight in the chest, launching him into the nearest wall. Nathaniel then froze the solider in place with an ice beam, coating the solider completely in ice. The other solider regained his composure, making an attempt on Nathaniel's life, but Nathaniel grasped the gun, freezing it completely watching it crack and shatter from the sudden change in temperature. The solider was further taken aback, but only for a moment, having the training to keep his cool. The solider then took a swing at Nathaniel, engaging the larger man in a fist fight. The two exchanged blows and the superior training of the solider gave him a number of good hits on Nathaniel. The solider delivered a crippling blow on Nathaniel's shoulder with a double axe handle to it, bringing Nathaniel to the ground. As the solider went for a coup de grace, Nathaniel coated his good arm in ice and planted a powerful punch to the gut. He followed it up with several strikes to face, until the guard fell unconscious. It was a brutal affair and quite gruesome, but fights were never pretty.

Nathaniel took a deep breath and heard further commotion in the distance. "More soldiers…" he said under his breath. Nathaniel raised his hand to the ceiling and slowly crafted a thick ice wall, sealing off the wing from any other soldiers, guaranteeing himself and the woman an escape route. As he did this, the woman burst out from behind the small piece of cover he created.

"No! What are you doing?!" she screamed, running into the wall as Nathaniel finished sealing off the hallway.

"What do you think? Getting us out of here."

"B-but the students. They are more out there! We have to help them!"

"Right now, we can't help anyone. We need to regroup with the others." The woman looked distraught and angry, but part of her agreed with Nathaniel, against her better wishes. Nathaniel looked away and then back at her, placing one hand on her shoulder. "I want to go out there and save them too, but in our condition we can't. If you go out there right now, you will die. You can't save anyone then. But I can promise you, we will. In time. But right now, we are better off if we regroup and figure what the hell is going on." She only nodded in response, acknowledging Nathaniel's plea. "I'm Nathaniel, but you can call me Nate. What's your name?"

"Antonia. Antonia Costa."

Nathaniel smiled, remembering what Austin said earlier about her. "Well Antonia, let's get out here." Nathaniel lead the way, running back, doing his best to retrace his steps. In due time, Antonia took the lead, finding her way to the staircases, leading them to safety. Now it was just a matter of time to figure out what exactly attacked the Royal Family. Then, and only then, could Nathaniel live up to his promise.

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Old September 7th, 2013 (10:45 PM).
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Pyrrha Kozyrev – Common Cell

It had been countless days and nights that she spent in this cell, arms shackled tightly and strung up like some puppet above her head as she knelt on the cold steel floor. Weary from a combination of sleep deprivation, starvation and thirst, she bided her time with the patience her father taught her; the perseverance which would help her to last longer. Then again, why was she listening to the advice given to her by the bastard that had sold them out? Biting her lower lip, she buried that and every other feeling, hiding in the husk of her skin. Eyes closed, and she could vaguely hear the commotion from outside as the heavily footsteps dragged something, several some things, locking them in their own cells before retreating out of earshot. She only wondered what horrors they had to deal with.


“Ah, mother f*ckers!” She heard the Russian call out from the cell next to her, the sound of breaking bones sounding too unpleasant.

“Daemon, are you alright?” She shouted back in Russian at the wall connecting her cell to that of her brother’s.

“Buuuuh,” was all the response she got, but her heart skipped a beat as, despite the lack of response, it meant that her brother was still holding it together. She was the prodigious older sister, she felt obliged to care for and help her little brother, despite him being able to take care of himself.

Rattling the chains strung to her right hand, she succeeded in making it bang against the wall, hoping to stir whoever had been lucky enough to be stashed beside her. “Hey, are you alright?” she tried asking in English, understanding the stupidity of the question itself. They were being held captive in some freaky dungeon cell; of course they would not be ‘alright’.

Wyatt Cale – Syndicate HQ, Birmingham, England

Jeremy teleported into the conference room only seconds after Wyatt, Adrian and the Directive did, teleporting right into his favourite chair as it swung around with momentum. One look at the Directive’s face told Wyatt that this next mission was a little more than pretending to be a hero. He wasn’t bothered by the fact that it had been less than twenty-four hours since his last mission, but sitting around watching television or October and Adrian hook up wasn’t exactly as exciting.

“Early this morning, the Atlantean Royal Family was attack by an as-of-yet unnamed military force operating within England. We believe they are some sort of task force created to deal with any possible Atlantean threat.” Voice deep and to the point, the Directive was definitely leading towards something.

“So then why didn’t the ARF doing anything about it? They do have some of the best abilities don’t they?” Adrian asked, the Brazilian folding both sets of arms across his chest. Wyatt knew that Adrian had his own beef with the ARF, and wasn’t too keen on helping them out.

“They were taken completely unaware, and unlike us, don’t quite have the same resources at their disposal. They play by the rules; we don’t.”

“Then why are we inevitably going to help them? Last I heard they tried to out us, reveal the location and completely destroy the business.” It was Jeremy’s turn to ask the question. Wyatt knew he had been here a while, but still didn’t know what kind of stakes he held in the company.

“Our agent within the ARF was taken as well; ultimately we need to restore them back into the ARF as well as this giving us one over the competition, so to speak.” Jeremy and Adrian murmured in agreement as Wyatt continued to focus on the Directive’s words. He wasn’t too sure he really wanted to trust the Syndicate yet, but just being here to take what he could, would suffice for now. “A favour for the Royal Family would mean them being indebted to us. Something you can’t put a price on.”

Behind the Directive, the projectors buzzed into motion, creating a small, three dimensional layout in the middle of the table consisting of some shipyard with only one ship docked. “This is Portsmouth Harbour, a medium sized shipping port on the south shore of England. The bottom level of containers here are welded to the ship’s deck, while all others stacked on top are mostly for cosmetic appearance to hide the bottom level. Jeremy will teleport you two into the harbour where you’ll take out three guards and wear their clothes as disguise. Once done, you’ll board the ship,” the ship now replaced the shipyard in the projection, providing a closer view, “Once on, you’re to secure enough of the ship to release the prisoners and aid their escape.”

“How many?” Wyatt finally chimed in.

“About twenty odd, maybe more, maybe less. No matter whom they are or how many there are, you’re to get them all off that ship. Once the ship passes outside of the English Channel, you’re on your own, so make sure everyone is off the ship by then.” With a slap of his hand on the wooden table, the projector ended and so did the meeting. Taking the elevator back to their quarters, they boys stood in silence, parting ways to get changed into their Syndicate-issued Kevlar uniform before meeting back in the common room.
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Old September 11th, 2013 (1:03 AM).
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    Charlotte Hunter - White Cell

    Charlotte stared at the wall where the thump had come from. It had been a little while since the slit in the door had clicked shut and bar that Charlotte had not been aware of a single living soul near her, bar of course herself. So when the thump sounded and the muffled question followed, Charlotte didn’t quite know how to grasp the situation.

    Part of her remained hopeful. The fact that she was not alone in this dreadful place was comforting. Yet the flip side to that was that the other person was being treated in the same manner she was being going through. Shivering at the memory of the needles and deliberately ignoring the remaining metal splinter in her right hand Charlotte tried to think.

    Her power had begun work on her other injuries now, though Charlotte made sure that the slow pulse of power never reached her right hand. The memory of pain was good enough to satisfy her curiosity. The other withdraw needles trailed blood from their points, the sicken pit pat of the droplets colliding with the floor every now and then. Each time Charlotte would feel a shiver run up her spine.

    But she forced these feelings down and focused on the present. The thump had come from her left from an equally unremarkable white wall. Of course she could see nothing, but it was enough to give her hope. The dark side of her sub-subconscious however toyed with the idea of it being a hallucination. A simple symptom from the shock her body had just under gone.

    Ignoring this though, Charlotte continued to stare, not knowing how to reply.

    She was not, by and definition, fine. But the British side of her was only able to muster up that response. She was too tired for sarcasm and besides it probably wouldn’t help her make allies. She needed this, Charlotte needed someone else there, someone to help plot elaborate plots of escape with, if only for a little while.

    “I’m fine.” Charlotte finally replied. Wincing at the sound of her dried cracked throat. The screaming had left it raw and tender.

    “Who are you?” A whole stream of questions swelled in her chest but she held back. She did not want to over load the person with questions for fear that they might believe her crazy and ignore her.

    Her neck was beginning to hurt again now but she ignored the prickles of pain which ran through her muscles. Regardless of her not be able to see the person, she still wanted to look at the wall. The thought process which followed this pointed out that Charlotte may have lost a little bit of her sanity. After all, she had never thought people would be able to do this to one another. She had read it in the papers of course, but her mind had always put it down to stuff of bad dreams, something that would never really happen to her. Always someone else, someone distant.

    “What is this place?” Charlotte asked without meaning too, the question slipping over her tongue before she could stop herself. “I feel like a lab rat…” At last, she risked a glance towards the needles and her limbs. At each hand, a halo of blood pooled around her fingers, while the needles hung above them, poised and ready to bite again. The one remain needle had burrowed straight through her hand, touching the mental arm rest below and gave off a small scrapping noise, each time she accidentally shifted.

    Her stomach heaved at the every thought, all of a sudden becoming all to aware of the feeling of cold metal penetrating her hand.

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    Old September 11th, 2013 (10:06 PM).
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    Justin Evans – Atlantean Royal Mansion, Boston, England

    It was fast closing in on ten in the morning and despite being holed up safely in the below ground Recreation Room, people seldom slept as they waited for the inevitable wave two that would come for them. Yet it never came. At just after eight in the morning, Justin and the other Atlantean Royal Family members scouted the mansion and grounds but found no traces of the black troops. Even the ones taken down by themselves and students had somehow been spirited away, the only remains of their existence was the cosmetically damaged mansion they’d left behind. Students began filing out of the Recreation Room, heading upstairs to their bedrooms or over to the Dining Room to get what little food Barbara could churn out to the best of her ability.

    “River, did you get anything from the soldiers?” dark rings circled around Leo’s eyes as the five of them sat around the table in his room.

    “Sorry Leo, I was more focussed on getting the kids to safety,” she hung her head in shame, Justin didn’t have to be a mind reader to know that she was worried about where her nephew had been taken.

    “That’s understandable, River,” he sighed deeply before turning to Edward, “Do we know anything about who attacked us? All my political contacts are silent…”

    Out of everybody in the room, Edward seemed like the less melancholic person almost as if he enjoyed the situation they were in, “As luck would have it, I’ve found a number of broken shells from the tranquilisers used. Doesn’t say much, but should be easy enough to trace.” The Welshman lay back in his chair smiling as they looked at the four casings now sitting on the table.

    “So ve hav to go see Techno, yes?” the usually quite Katerina broke the silence.

    “Correct, Justin Edward and River, you three will handle things here, keep the students busy and make sure families know they are still safe here,” Leo, being the leader of the group, was always the one to give orders, but Justin always felt like Leo was especially disdainful of himself due to his age, “Katerina and I will go see Techno. Shouldn’t take us long.”

    The meeting didn’t last too much longer as they finished up discussion the rest of the politics of keeping the Royal Family going. Edward assured them that their treasury was going strong, but then Justin wasn’t too sure if the man was telling the truth or not. He was a Welshman after all. River assured them that most of the students were feeling calmer than they were last night, and she was already helping some students through the stress. With meeting concluded, Katerina and Leo left in one of their many cars they had stored in their garage, leaving the three of them to run the mansion.

    “Right, night guys!” Was all Edward said as he left Justin and River in the room together.

    Antonia Costa and Marilyn Turan – Atlantean Royal Mansion, Boston, England

    The room was starting to feel cramped with the seven of them arranged on any furniture they could sit on, but their room was the only semi-private place they could assemble to talk. With the leaders of the Royal Family holding their own meeting, it was the perfect time to do the same. Garrett and George each sat on the desks with Rebecca and Oliver taking the chairs leaving the slightly younger Kaido standing in front of the door.

    “Right, now that we’re all here, we need to come up with our plan to rescue the others,” Antonia was the most proactive of the bunch, and also most caring about the other students. She would go to the point of making sure everyone else was safe above her own safety.

    “Wait, hold up, we can’t go running off now,” the short, sandy haired Garett spoke up, pushing his glasses further up his nose, “we need to stay here and help out, plus the leader’s will probably catch us and stop us from leaving.”

    Marilyn quickly came to Antonia’s defence, “You’re right, but also wrong. Royal Family won’t let any students out, they’ll do it all themselves. By the time they get round to it, it’ll be too late. We need a plan now.” Antonia could almost see Marilyn struggling with her English, but smiled gratefully at the fact she had backed her up.

    “Like Marilyn said, we need to work this out now, before it’s too late.” Everyone in the room seemed serious enough, but Antonia wasn’t an empath, so couldn’t tell what they were feeling, “we’ve all lost team members, some more than others, it’s better we band together and fight that sit here huddling like weaklings.”

    The tall, blonde Ukrainian, George, lifted his hand in the air half-heartedly, “I-I can’t, I hav to catch plane tonight. I sorry guys, really, but I need to go home.” Sliding himself off the desk, George waved a quick goodbye to the others before he left, Kaido glaring at him as he left.

    “Findo zeir shatsu, I can sniffs zem.” Kaido was one of the other international students, hailing all the way from Japan. He was currently studying abroad in Manchester, until the Royal Family found him and decided to take on his scholarship and train him at the mansion. He was a close Rival of Nix’s.

    “Thank you, Kaidomaru,” Antonia used the nickname she had come up with during their sessions of him teaching her Japanese and vice versa. “So we’ve got our lead, and we can borrow transport, anyone else want to leave?” she asked the remaining students, Rebecca, Oliver and Garrett all shaking their heads in agreement. They had comrades to find and Antonia would make damn sure she rescued them all.
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    Old September 15th, 2013 (1:22 PM).
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    Legend Legend is offline
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    Nathaniel Calaway and James Hazen - Atlantean Royal Mansion, Boston, England

    By the time James had caught his breath, he decided to look around the recreation room to find Nate, who he hoped hadn't gotten captured in the mess above. The room was packed with students, some of them hysterical, requiring some of the others to calm them down. He actually didn't blame them for reacting like this, either. The Royal Family had been preaching that this mansion was supposed to be a safe haven for all Atlanteans, yet just like that, a good portion of them were taken or killed. If anything, James believed this attack might have been good for the younger students, who would have begun to realize. Perhaps no place was truly safe.

    James let out a deep sigh of relief when he spotted Nate at the far side of the room, getting medical attention. Judging by the condition of his injuries (and by the obvious signs of battle James noticed earlier in the hallway), he'd guess he confronted the black ops men rather than ran from them. At this moment, James envied Nate a bit, wishing he would have gotten a chance to test his own abilities out against them.

    "Hey!" James yelled, approaching his friend. "You've...looked better. Had some fun?"

    "Loads...ow! Watch it!" Nathaniel protested, as he sat shirtless surrounded by people James did not recognize, at least at first. From a distance, they appeared to be poking and prodding at Nathaniel's body like a lab experiment.

    "If you stop moving, it won't hurt as much," a mildly attractive nurse said, rubbing the number of cuts and bruises that damaged Nathaniel's face with a cotton pad doused in alcohol. The "treatment" made Nathaniel's face twitch every time. Any false signs of toughness were lost at the mercy of the nurse's medical talents.

    "And if you listen to my professional opinion, you wouldn't be here in the first place," a doctor piped from behind Nathaniel, wrapping the torso with bandages and medical tape. The binding was tight and as the doctor was wrapping up, Nathaniel gritted his teeth not expecting the doctor to be as rough as he was. Then again, Nathaniel knew he deserved it.

    "And I elected to ignore your opinion because it was a dumbass one," Nathaniel said before turning back to James. "Glad to see you are doing fine. It's crazy out there."

    James chuckled, pleasantly surprised to see Nate not talking in a rigid manner. He knew he was capable of that, but not always. He wondered if had to do with the pain he was under, making him more unrestricted, or if James had something to do with it. He hoped it was the latter. A little bit of Nate rubbed off on James too, after all. He pulled up a chair close by and sat nearby the group patching up his friend. He turned the chair around and sat on it, resting his arms on the spine of the chair as he watched the apparently painful procedure. "Sure is," James replied, grinning as he said so. "I wish I had a crack at them. From what I see, it would have been worth it."

    Nathaniel's eyes widened, surprised at James' new disposition. Perhaps James matured from his belligerent nature. "You mean you didn't go out and fight them?" Nathaniel half expected James to go out of his way to fight to be completely truthful. He always did. The way carried James himself, he seemed the type to fight for the glory of the moment. To test his strength, his mettle, his pride. Fighting perhaps even confirmed his existence. Nathaniel could only hope that James had matured a bit, at Nathaniel's insistence, to learn to choose his battles more wisely. "They were plenty to go around. We could have used your help."

    James continued to grin back at Nate. "Nah, I didn't want to," He said plainly. In reality, James would have wanted a chance to fight the goons too, but he knew if he had in his state, he would have most likely been captured because of his poor state. However, he didn't feel like sharing this to Nate. Perhaps it was a certain bit of pride he had not to show any weakness in front of his friend. "Besides, I would have taken all the fun away from you!" He laughed, mocking his injuries.

    "Most of these--ow!" Nathaniel said, flinching and his face twisting in pain and frustration. "Are from you know who. Those soldiers are only responsible for this," Nathaniel pointed as his face and it's small cuts and bruises that the nurse had patched up relatively well, if a bit roughly. James' aversion to fighting was a bit strange. The man never ran away from a fight before. So why now? Nathaniel's eyes narrowed ever so slightly in suspicion. "Hey, Doctor. Nurse. Do you mind giving my friend and I some space?" Both nodded and said "Sure," in their own respective ways. Once they were out of earshot, Nathaniel faced James with his face ever stern and serious: "So, what do you think about this?"

    James watched the two the entire time while they left the area, and once they did, his grin dropped to a stern, thoughtful demeanor. "I think...I dunno," He wasn't sure what to make of the attack. It all had just happened, and it happened so fast, he couldn't quite grasp what the purpose was behind it. "They were human, I figured that much," He replied. "They wouldn't have used bullets otherwise, I think. But...they also dragged away bodies after they shot them, so that's weird." He looked at the floor, focusing on a particular spot he noticed while he thought of possible explanations. One was killing Atlanteans, maybe in order to study them, or maybe they wanted to dissect their bodies after they disposed of them to see what made them different. After a moment of silence, his eyes shot back up and he joked to Nate. "So much for the 'safe haven' for Atlanteans, huh?" He said as he made air quotations.

    "My thoughts exactly," Nathaniel said solemnly. The fact this place was said to be safe not six or eight or whatever hours ago felt like a distant memory. A crude joke pulled on Nathaniel and all the other Atlanteans in this very room. "My first thought was this was done by one of the other factions that the Librarian mentioned, but it doesn't feel like it was done by the any of them. It doesn't in character for the AUP, seeing how they want unify Atlanteans. And it doesn't very practical for the Syndicate. At least from what we know about the Syndicate, it doesn't seem practical I should say. The Librarian may have little to no information on them, but they are secretive and probably have plenty of resources. So why attack the Royal Family? Plus like you said, the attackers appeared to be human. And dragging bodies back, that is weird now that you mention it..." Nathaniel leaned back and scratched his chin. "Want to know what I think?"

    James did little besides nod silently at Nate's points. He still had his arms crossed on the spine of the chair, but now he rested his chin on top of them as he contemplated. "Yeah, what?" He asked, curious of Nate's opinion on things.

    Nathaniel leaned forward again, trying to get close enough to keep his speech at barely anything more than a whisper. "An anti-Atlantean faction attacked us. They knew that the Royal Family have collected a large number of Atlanteans and I doubt this location is completely unknown to the public. This group probably only had to do a Google search to find us. They organized the attack to capture as many as possible. Maybe they are doing experiments. Maybe they are simply trying to pry information out of us. Whatever their motives are, they attacked. They don't trust us. They fear us."

    James listened to Nate's theory on the attackers. He himself had a similar idea, so there was no real point to argue. He began rocking the hind legs of the chair, back and forth, balancing the chair on two legs as he leaned forward. James smiled at his mention of Google, realizing how truly easy it was now becoming to find people, even if people claimed they were hidden. He wondered if the Royal Family had any way of preventing this, though. Surely they did in some way. "Fear us..." James repeated to himself. "They should fear us," He said to Nate, moving his eyes from the floor to his friend.

    "It is attitudes like that..." Nathaniel paused to re-collect his thoughts. "By thinking that way, James, that will continue...this. Whatever this is. We need to prove that Atlanteans can co-exist with humans. probably won't be the same way it was before."

    James chuckled a bit, holding back the fact that he wanted to ask Nate what was so wrong with, as he said, this. "Well, you're right about one thing," He began to say, continuing to rock back and forth in his chair. "It won't be the same. It shouldn't be. Never again," He leaned off the spine of the chair and placed his palms on his thighs, looking around the room. "But really, can we co-exist with...humans?" He said, putting emphasis on the humans part. It seemed both he and Nate had accepted that as Atlanteans, they no longer were human. He looked intently at Nate. "Can we? I don't think we can...I don't think we should."

    "I think there is a way," Nathaniel said with a surprising degree of confidence. "I...I just haven't figured it out yet." Nathaniel forced a smile. "But we owe to them and ourselves. The other option would be all out war. And contrary to history, war has no victors."

    "We don't owe them sh*t," James responded bluntly. "If this was just the start of what's to come, then sooner or later it might come down to us picking sides. Us or them. Hopefully it won't come to that, but something tells me that's where this might be headed."

    "It's their world first and in case you've forgotten we were humans until only a few weeks ago," Nathaniel fired back. "There is always a better way. If it comes down to an all out war, you can count me out. I'll be finding a way to prevent it in the meantime." Nathaniel rose up from his seat, grabbing his shirt and throwing it back on. He had enough of this senseless debate and needed space from his more belligerent friend. With that, he nodded and simply walked away. He had no destination in mind really. Maybe he'll find some food. Or a drink. Whatever came first.

    " pooper," James said after Nate as he walked away with a nod, leaving James alone with his thoughts. Maybe there was a better way, but James was starting to think he didn't want a better way.

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    Old September 18th, 2013 (8:59 PM).
    Retro Bug Retro Bug is offline
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    Dominique Bisset, Delta Mayor, and Oakley North

    Hmphf. Dom sat in the many chairs provided for this too-early-to-be-up-right-now greeting. The AUP was quickly becoming too "let's do things together!" for him; the dinner last night was bad enough. Good food, but he could do without the speeches. The same thing went for this unannounced early morning briefing. He was tired, too tired, and last time he looked at a clock it was close to six in the morning, maybe it was six now. Whatever time it was, it was the wrong time, especially for the sh*t they hauled him out for. Admittedly, Dom didn't quite know what the entire briefing was about since he immediately blocked everyone out when he heard "help" and "ARF" used in the same sentence. Yeah, no. Not gonna happen.

    The people around them rose with unenthused groans when that tailed Atticus fellow told them to "move". Dom wasn't going to move anywhere. He stayed in his chair, ankle on his knee, and looking what was describe for now as unhappy. Across the way Atticus was approached by a black-haired woman Dom wasn't fully acquainted with either because he hadn't met her or wasn't paying attention when she was introduced. Reactions alone, it seemed like Atticus didn't like her. Dom rose from his seat, half listening, half not. From what he could hear, the woman sounded uppity.

    "You think they'll notice if I just left?" Dom asked Delta beside him. The woman brought up something to Atticus, something about his family.He frowned. What a b*tch.

    "I'll follow you out," Delta replied quickly, what they wanted of her was... outlandish.

    This whole being interrupted while training wasn't Delta's idea of a good time. She had "accidentally" fired a round that whizzed passed the head of the person they sent to fetch her. Not to mention she had to suffer through last night's sappy dinner while everyone acted all cheery or drunk in Misha's case. Delta preferred having her meals alone and she only got to them after she finished her allotted training for that time period, which was late at night/early mornings. So she had only picked at the food on her plate not paying any attention to the individuals around her, especially Agnes.

    The moment Atticus opened his mouth to tell them what was in store for them Delta wanted to march right back up to her room. Were... they serious? She knew ARF was pathetic, but now they couldn't even manage their own safety. Let the ARF collapse under their own stupidity, as this is a prime example of why you didn't tell the world where the mansion that held all your "students" and "facility" was located. Whatever, she still wasn't helping them. Delta was more interested in talking to Imogen after what Julian had said to her, but she had walked directly up to Atticus and begun a rather intense conversation. She was brutal, moreso than Delta imagined.

    Delta snorted and commented rather loudly, "I'll tell you the last thing I'm doing, helping ARF."

    "Have you maybe considered that these people we're going to help don't want to be with the Royal Family?" Devon came up from behind, Oakley standing next to him. His face was just as tired and bitter looking as the next member, but seemed a little different since the last time he had met Delta. Maybe it was the absense of his father, or the presense of Oakley. He just seemed less... sour.

    "Hi Del." Oakley gave Delta a kind wave. "And hello... sorry, I don't know your name," she said to Dom with a small smile. "I'm Oakley."

    "Well good thing the Men In Black came to rescue them, huh?" Sounded like a pretty good reason not to go to Dom. Along with the kid who was clearly on board with this "help ARF" insanity was a girl that he recognized from yesterday as being a member of a particularly annoying group, as told by Delta. He braced himself for some unbearable Hell from the mouth, but instead she just introduced herself and waved, something that Dom could cope with.

    "Dominique. You can just call me Dom," Dom introduced himself, shaking her hand. He remembered Delta pointing out Oakley to him before, but he didn't know who she was at the time. She had a friend with her too, which he didn't recognize as part of the Pep Squad, but he didn't introduce himself right away.

    Oakley noticed the French accent right away. "Enchanté de faire votre connaissance!"

    Dom grinned. "Tu parles Français? Est-ce que tu vives ici à Toulouse?"

    "Oui! J'habite à Londres en ce moment, mais j'avais l'habitude de fréquenter une école près d'ici." Oakley always felt a little more at home when she found another who could speak one of her three tongues. It felt the same with Devon, though he was much more comfortable speaking English than French. Dom felt the same, though he didn't have a third language under his belt yet. He continued his conversation with Oakley, no longer much concerned with the one who didn't introduce himself.

    An unknown voice responded to Delta's comments, she couldn't quite place it, but that did make it any less annoying or make her roll her eyes any less. Before she knew it another voice, this one more familiar, greeted her. Except before she could open her mouth or turn around Dom was already on top of everything, he was quick. And then there was more French, again. Delta curiously watched Dom and Oakley interact before she set her sights on... De-Ev-Evan? No, it was Ev... o. Evo. The unknown commentator. Not like it mattered since she hadn't seen or interacted with him since Paris and here she had hoped to keep it that way. She addressed his presence instead of his comment, "I'm sorry, do you even have your dad's permission to be over here with the big boys?"

    Satisfied she turned her attention on Oakley, who for the most part she had only seen in glimpses since Paris and that was okay. Taking a quick look at Oakley she noticed the usual annoyance she had with her wasn't glued to her side. Unable to remain silent on the matter Delta inquired, "Where's your other half, Oakley? Haven't seen you two apart since we left Paris. Did you ditch her for this pip squeak? Major upgrade, but do you want to be dragged down to his level? You'll be stuck on the plane the rest of your time here."

    Oakley gave Delta a sad-looking frown before her eyes went to her shoes. She... she just said hello. What was with the attitude? And what was wrong with Agnes and Devon? They had just as much will to learn how to shoot a gun and control their (well, only Agnes in this case) powers as Delta did. Devon, however, didn't back off. Only giving her a look of disbelief mixed with anger.

    "What did you just call me?"

    Delta couldn't help but laugh, a lot. "Please kid, you're like twelve. Don't make me waste any more of my breath of on you. Run away, off to Dad now, I'm sure he has somewhere safe for you to be." And with that Delta dismissed with a wave of her hand and turned her attention back towards Dom and Oakley.

    "Or what? You're going to cut off my head with a roundhouse kick?"

    "Devon... Del" Oakley made a face. The air here was getting all too thick with hostility. "P-please don't fight." Of course, her words were too quiet to actually be acknowledged.

    Immediately Delta tensed up, her body language shifted in order to display her range of anger. Delta's fingers curled inward gripping the arms of the chair with her teeth tightly clenched, her breath turned into short in-and-outs, the outs being more audible, and her eyes trained to the floor before her. It was true she had done that. In fact, she was going to do it again, right now if Devon, Evo, whoever the hell he was didn't step away. Was this what it was going to be like now? A constant stream of people bringing up the fact that she was a... a... murderer.

    Spoken words were officially over between them, but Delta still had her fists and she intended on using them without considering any of the possible consequences. She stood up from the chair with so much force that it had tipped over, without a second thought Delta pulled down her gloves and her fists had already crystallized the moment her anger had boiled over. It didn't take long, seconds really, before Delta shifted her weight into delivering a fast-pace punch to Devon's facial region like she had been trained to do on enemies.

    Devon saw the punch a mile away. He could practically smell the emotions that were bleeding off of her. Her cool attitude had melted away to something a lot more raw and Devon wasn't sure if he liked it better this way or not. At least he knew she had actual feelings. Was she hurting inside, like he was? Or was she just some cold and hurtful person that could step on his fingers just because he didn't look like he was up to the challenge? So, he took it. He just stood there, watching the fist fly towards him with not even a blink. He felt the crystal fist smash his nose, the crack echoing through his skull. He felt the crystal butt into his teeth, cutting his mouth and tasting blood. He was thrown back a little, falling into the seat in front of him, stabbing into his back. That would probably leave a bruise. Oakley made a small gasp and made an attempt to help him up but he flicked her off, probably a little more rudely than he intended. He stood up, wiping his nose on his shirt.

    He didn't just seem unsurprised, but unimpressed.

    "Does that make you feel any better? Do you need to do it again?" He spat at the ground, trying to get that ugly, metallic taste out of his mouth.

    "Devon!" Oakley piped up a little louder this time, but he brushed her off again.

    "You can't just call someone names and insult them to their face and expect them to heel at your feet." He kept his eyes trained on hers, moving only once to flick over to the dark-haired, bespectacled woman leaning against the wall, watching the entire argument. She smirked at him, before Devon's eyes flicked back to Delta. "Don't be a b*tch."

    Something had unlocked inside of Delta, unleashing the rage, the anger into a punch just felt... natural. Primal. Scary thing was, she wanted to continue until she hadn't the energy to continue any longer and Delta felt like she could go for days. An appeased grin sat on her face. It wasn't because she had hit her target, but whatever she was feeling right now was great... she didn't want it to end. The swing was sloppy, as it should've been a clean break. The critiques she would've given herself if there weren't more pressing concerns were endless.

    "Again?" Delta repeated, gladly was what her brain immediately thought. No, he, despite his words, wasn't the enemy. He was a sixteen-year-old boy that she had punched... in the face. Definitely a low moment. "Look, just run off to Dad and get yourself looked at, he wouldn't want his little boy bleeding all over the place." For the first time Delta actually looked at the kid's face, she hoped she had broken his nose for all the trouble he had caused her. "Leave and bother someone else with your weakness. That's all you'll ever be, alone and weak."

    "As alone as you are?"

    "Who said I'm alone?"

    "Your mum did."

    "Where's your mum?"

    "Same place as yours."

    Unphased by the comment, as Delta was more interested (and concerned) on how he knew. "And you came across this information how exactly?"

    "Perks come with being the boss's kid."

    "Oh." It wasn't much, but it was all Delta had.

    Of course, their kerfuffle had attracted the attention of the higher ups, Julian the first to stride over with a "what's going on?". Imogen shrugged, leaving the scene and the rest to Julian. He noticed the blood immediately, inspecting Devon's face as Oakley made inaudible wimpers behind him. He gave Delta a cautious look before pulling the young man away. Devon left Oakley with Delta and Dom, keeping his eyes trained on the Polish girl until she was no longer in his sight.

    "There are some things that shouldn't be brought up," Delta said out loud, but it was mostly her trying to convince herself. She hoped that one sentence explained it all, as she picked up her chair and sat down in it once more as if nothing had happened. She slouched into the chair inspecting the fist she had punched Devon with, "Still not helping the Royal Family."

    The passed moments were not only interesting, but personal. The innocent greeting from Oakley turned into a miniature battle in mere seconds. He had learned a few things--true-- like how that kid's name was Devon and that, not only could Delta punch breakfast tables, she could kill people with her feet. He thought it was a joke at first, but her reaction made him think otherwise. If he was supposed to feel admiration or disapproval, he hadn't figured that out yet.

    The fight had died down, Spectacles had taken Devon away, and the mood had changed from exhausted and sour to angry, exhausted, and sour. Dom noticed there was a trend with AUP members bringing up the issue of family, something that he personally didn't like. He made a note to avoid most people, or at least the ones who had connection with the staff, or whatever they wanted to call themselves. He, at least, had two people to talk to: the crystal-fisted lady with deadly feet, Delta, and the surprisingly pleasant and French-speaking Oakley. He looked down at the mentioned Oakley, feeling that, not only did Delta need a few seconds to herself, but that it was time for a change in subject.

    "So what can you do?"

    Oakley stared at the empty spot where Devon had been for a moment, but shook her head, pretending what just happened didn't just happen. She smiled, pulling up her arm to show Dom.

    "It's like... a protective armour. Similar to Del's ability," she said before trying to control her breathing. Within a few moments, pimples began to form, with armour protruding out of the top of her palm. Soon, it had covered her entire hand and stopped just after her wrist. "See? Um, but Dev-- um, Evo, sorry, he said that it's rude to ask other people what their ability is so just be, um, wary when asking the older people."

    "I'm sorry, but when did we start listening to every word that comes out of his mouth? You really believe everything he tells you?" Delta couldn't help but scoff, it would be ridiculous that Oakley believed that kid. The fact that she was so... enamored by him also bugged Delta. Oakley was strong, why would she allow herself to be around someone who could hold her back?

    "Um." Oakley bit her lip. She wasn't sure if Delta was insulting her, like she had Devon, or trying to encourage her. Oakley wasn't one to take offense that hard, so she tried to see it in the best possible light. "Well, he was showing me the library and there were books about Atlantean history and I thought it would be best to know about customs since... this is us now and I don't want to offend anybody by looking ignorant. But, it's too bad I can't look at the Librarian's books anymore though. The AUPs collection seem like children's stories compared to his." She let out a little laugh. She definitely wasn't telling any lies about that. Before the Librarian, she probably would have been dazzled by the AUP's books. Now, it was all rather underwhelming.

    "The Librarian?" Dom raised a brow. That seemed like a rather... vague name for a librarian. There were plenty of librarians out there and even if this was the librarian it didn't clear much up. "He doesn't have a name?"

    "Well, the Librarian was his consistent name. He changed it every day when I was with him." Oakley shrugged. "I don't know. He's a really nice man."

    "So you guys coming or what?" A voice from their left crept in. Oakley turned her head to see Imogen towering over her, a sly smile on her face. She hadn't properly met Imogen but Oakley had a feeling that Imogen wasn't one for polite introductions. "Planes all packed up so the grunt work is taken care of. Best seats go fast so there's no use squabbling out here."

    Dom wondered if the librarian would change his name to something like the cook or the mailman from time to time, but before he got to ask they were asked to board the planes for the second time. It was that black-haired woman who really liked to discuss family trees. He didn't know her, but he was sure he didn't exactly like her.

    "You know I think I said something about not going earlier, but I might have a short memory. What do you think?"

    Imogen faked a gasp. "Not go? And miss out on breaking some Atlantean hatin' skulls and have Royal Family rats delivered to us in little dog cages? I'm not sure you read the invitation properly, honey." She gave Dom another one of her sickly sweet smiles. Oakley had a strange feeling to suddenly throw up wash over her.

    "I didn't read it," Dom replied with a growl. He didn't like that she called him honey. He didn't know her and he didn't like her. Whoever she was supposed to be, she didn't make an effort to make a good impression.

    After the argument with Devon Delta was itching to knock some individuals into the next millennium. That feeling she felt... it was astounding and if this was the way she had to do it, so be it. Why shouldn't they have the Royal Family begging on their knees? "I'm in, let's show the Royal Family what real Atlanteans can do." Without another word Delta passed Dom, Oakley, and Imogen with excitement showing more and more on her face as she took each step.

    Dom raised a brow when Delta walked passed. Her mind was changed for reasons he didn't know, but it changed all the same. He still didn't want to help and thought about staying behind, but the thought of being alone with the rest of AUP made him think otherwise. Oakley was going too. The trip had two upsides and two huge downsides, dealing with ARF and dealing with this woman who seemed like she'd annoy him the entire trip. He tried to make the bright side a little brighter. Maybe he could see this as some kind of training. Yeah, training.

    "Well, Oakley, after you."

    "Alright." Oakley blinked at Delta's behaviour. She had been rather forceful, even so much as to punch Devon in the nose for it but because Imogen told her to go, it seemed like a good idea? It was a little, well, hypocritical. Oakley went along anyways (she had intended on going in the first place), following Delta and passing a sneering Imogen, pressing her glasses up to her nose. There was something about that woman that Oakley really didn't like.

    Oakley had not been in a private jet plane before, and it was cosy and comfortable looking. But not much could have prepared her for the surprise onboard.

    "Oakley! My dear girl, how nice it is to see you!" The Librarian sat towards the front end of the plane, a plate of sweets sitting in front of him, which he seemed to be slowly munching on. Oakley was a little speechless, but did notice he was missing a key person by his side. "And you've made new friends, how wonderful. It's great to see you're fitting in so well!"

    "H-hello!" she stumbled a little with her words, still rather confused. "Wh-where is Adeline?"

    "She is previously engaged with other arrangements, but don't worry, she's fine." His smile was just as bright as she remembered from only a few days ago. That and his British accent... It was somewhat comforting to Oakley. "Please! Introduce me to your friends!"

    "Um." She turned to Delta and Dom. "This is Del and Dom. Del and Dom, this is the Librarian. My, uh, mentor?"

    "It's a pleasure to meet you both. But, please, call me Franklin." He beamed back.

    Uhh. "Nice to meet you," Dom greeted with a handshake. When Oakley described "the Librarian" or Franklin earlier, he imagined that he wouldn't be seeing him in the next ten minutes. Maybe he misunderstood what she was saying? There was also an Adeline person, but he decided not to ask about that. "So do you like to stick with English names or do you mix it up a bit?" Maybe it was prying, but after Oakley told them about the Librarian's, or Franklin's, identity crisis, he was curious.

    "Interesting question! Nowadays, I stick to English since it's one of the most widely spoken languages on this Earth but way back when, much before any of your grandparents were born, I spent a great deal of time in Europe, in this dear country, and in Germany and Spain, under the guise of the 'Mr. Florian Schäfer', travelling dentist extraordinaire!" Oakley did notice something with the absence of Adeline; there was no one to stop the Librarian from telling his stories. She could do it herself, but would that seem rude? "I met many a teeth during that time, even inspecting the bicuspids of Otto von Bismarck on a regular basis. We did share a laugh now and again, but he wasn't too happy with me when I told him he needed a tooth or two removed. What a man!" He laughed, his memories seemingly flashing before his eyes. It was like watching a Grandfather recount his stories of old.

    Oh, well. He sure was talkative. "Oh, really?" Dom smiled and nodded, but the kind of smile and nod you used when you weren't quite sure the person you were talking to was alright upstairs. Bismarck, huh? Was Franklin in need of some help or did this just go hand in hand with recent Atlantean weirdness? He really wanted to go with the first option. He also wanted to ask Oakley if this kind of thing was normal, but he didn't have much of an opening.

    After boarding the plane some bizarre man had started jabbering on, but Delta had already started to ignore all those around her. She hated being in the plane just as much as she hated being in that helicopter the first time around. It was an awful experience and the less Delta spoke the less she would have to worry about spewing over everyone. The ground was naturally where she felt more connected and to have all this conversation going on around her was quite distracting. Her delayed reaction to the words "The Librarian" was more apparent as she grinded her teeth and opened her mouth.

    "The Librarian? You know Ice Boy and James Hazan then, right." It wasn't a question, well, at least not the way Delta said it. She was confirming what James had told her in Paris and it had to be the same guy seeing as Oakley and James knew each other. "Why do you have a little trio of your own?" She was referring to of course Oakley, James, and Nathaniel. Delta wasn't sure if he had others under his influence, but Oakley seemed to think highly of this man. That didn't mean much to Delta considering the company Oakley kept. "What's that about? Trying to start your own faction? Using them as bait to gather information while you stand in the background ready to absorb it all?" Despite her stomach churning Delta wanted answers no matter the cost.

    "Y'know, I was wondering the same thing," Imogen said, her voice growing louder as she entered the plane.

    "Well aren't we a nosy nelly?" The Librarian crossed his legs, picking a small chocolate from his pile of sweets and popping it into his mouth. He took a moment to suck on it before he swallowed it. "I wish no ill will on anyone. Mr. Hazen, Mr. Calaway and Ms. North here are my students and I will not put them in harm's way unless I am sure they are capable of handling it. As for the rest there, I'm afraid what I do is not much of your business." The Librarian kept his politeness consistent, despite the hostility in Delta's words. Oakley wasn't surprised, since James had been much of the same, though the Librarian had answered all their questions truthfully, as far as she could tell. Maybe it was because they and the Librarian shared an 'agreement' that he was so generous with his information.

    "Let's get a move on then, shall we." Cooper came through the door, and one by one, followed by what looked like the rest of the AUP that Oakley had met and some she hadn't; Emilio, Atticus, Misha, Frederick, Natalia, Devon (whose nose was suspiciously much better than it had been not too long ago), Julian, as well as other members of the AUP to fill the rest of the chairs.

    "I thought I said he wasn't to come?" Emilio looked at Devon warily, giving Cooper a frown.

    "I'm not staying behind, I'm not a kid!" Devon said, his voice dripping with the amount of angst a teenager his age would have.

    As if on cue Delta couldn't help but snicker at the words that were exchanged.

    "Don't worry, Mr. Bernot. I'll make sure he doesn't get into trouble." Julian took his seat next to the teenager, giving him a disapproving look. He said something quietly at him, but it wasn't loud enough for Oakley to hear.

    "So," Cooper approached the cockpit, stopping just before the old Atlantean, sitting snugly in the corner sucking on his chocolates, "what pleasure do I have to call you today?"

    "Franklin it is today. I almost went with a David or a Joseph, something more biblical but Franklin just seemed right today!" he beamed at Cooper, who seemed a bit sour at his guest's presence. He ignored whatever the rest of the conversation they were meant to have, pushing the curtain aside to get into the cockpit.

    "You'll have to introduce me to all of these chaps later on, dear Oakley," Librarian gave her an affectionate nudge as she sat down next to him. "They all seem like such wonderful people!"

    "Alrighty then," Atticus said, speaking into a walky talky, "let's get going."

    The plane rumbled as the engine started. Not a lot of time was wasted and Cooper had already started moving the plane onto the runway. Everyone took their seats and buckled up as the plane took off into the sky, towards whatever fate had in store for them.

    "I'm ready for a nap..."

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    Old September 21st, 2013 (6:19 AM).
    Lt. Col. Fantastic's Avatar
    Lt. Col. Fantastic Lt. Col. Fantastic is offline
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      Austin Tseng - Cell

      No one replied. No one ever replied.

      Austin strained pointlessly against hid leather bindings. His muscles ached; he hadn't moved in a long time. On top of that, he was hungry, and his chest hurt from being shot, and, was it just him? Or was it getting colder in the cell? And worst of all, they were there.

      Austin's mirrors. The looked at him. No matter where he turned his head, Austin looked at them too. Everywhere, the same person, strung up to die on a metal frame. Okay now you're just being melodramatic, Austin. Why would they kidnap Atlanteans just to kill them? If they wanted you dead, those bullets wouldn't have gone through your shoulder muscles instead of heart. Still, this sucked complete ass, and it was starting to demoralize Austin.

      How long had he been hare? Days? A week? No, not that long. Maybe 24 hours. Maybe. What do you think, Austin #4?


      He thinks you're stupid. This is stupid.

      Oh, well what about Austin #17?


      Austin #17 can't talk right now on account of being a dumbass. What about Austin #2?


      He says he's pretty damn hungry. So is Austins #3-18.

      Austin #1 sighed. So did every other Austin in the room.

      ".....Copycats," said Alpha Austin. And suddenly he couldn't stop laughing.

      "Oh me oh my, oh my oh me. I'm super funny. But wait, there might be more to see. I can rhyme as well, if I please!" And suddenly he stopped laughing. But Austin #7 went on. Austin #9 picked up shortly after. Austin #2 got up to get a snac- Oh wait what the hell. Why does Austin #2 get to leave?

      Austin's head started to droop. Vision blurred, he could sorta make out all of the Austins, all 17 clones, start doing things they shouldn't One stretched his arm. Another scratched his itchy leg. Alpha Austin tried to comprehend, but he was too fatigued and sleepy. He feebly tried to pull on his restraints, but they stayed in place.

      Now the other Austins were laughing again. They were laughing at him.

      "Sucks to suck," said Austin #whatever.

      "C'mon dude, just pull them off," said another, "yank on 'em."

      "Yeah, Austin, be like us!"

      "Tk tk tk, Austin can't even keep his head up."

      "Bro. You're blowing it dude. Stop embarrassing me here."

      "Austin-" "Austin-" "Austin-"
      "Austin!" "Austin?" "AUSTIN!!!" "Austin I-" "Hey, Austin-" "Dude, Austin."

      The real Austin screamed. And screamed and screamed, trying to drown out his friend's voices.

      Mr. Aladdin sir! Have a wish or two or three!
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      Old September 22nd, 2013 (4:22 PM). Edited September 22nd, 2013 by Swolligator.
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      Wyatt Cale – Portsmouth, England

      As soon as he grabbed hold of Jeremy’s shoulder, bow in his other hand ready, Wyatt tightened his stomach muscles, ready for the jump to be made. He didn’t need to be reminded about the stomach clenching feeling in the gut every time he teleported with Jeremy. It made him wonder how the boy coped with the feeling each time he teleported across the room, let alone across kilometres of distance. Before he knew it, the world around him seemed to blur as if his vision was stretching backwards, the edges of his vision slowly creeping in, replacing the Syndicate common room with the midday docks of Portsmouth. It took a while for his eyes to adjust to the sudden change in lighting, but Jeremy had teleported them into the shadow of some stacked containers, giving them time to get ready for their mission.

      From there they moved out, practicing like they had made up only an hour before hand in the training room and scouting for anyone they could take out. Jeremy stayed in back while Adrian flanked right with Wyatt taking left, bow fully draw in front of him. It didn’t take long for them to take down three black clad guards that came marching past, Wyatt taking one out with his bow while Adrian literally cracked skulls with the other two. So while Adrian stood guard, Wyatt and Jeremy suited up, putting the uniforms on over top of their Syndicate issued Kevlar suits, and then swapping to guard while Adrian suited up and hid his second set of arms. The only problem remaining was Wyatt’s bow and arrows, which they stowed in the crook of two containers for later use.

      Ready, they set off marching, Wyatt taking the lead with Adrian and Jeremy following closely behind. Up ahead the ship loomed, docked in the port, as they marched their way towards the large cargo ship that held their Atlantean brethren. It was a straight walk there, one they shouldn’t have been bothered on, except for the large figure, larger than Adrian that approached them from their right.

      “Privates, where do you think you’re going?” The man stopped with his arms behind him, straight back and the others struggled to quickly salute him.

      “Sir, just reporting to the ship, sir,” Wyatt took over, Jeremy had no experience with any sort of army personnel and Adrian needed to stay as much in the shadows as possible.

      Despite his effort however, the man seemed furious at their current objective, “Privates, you better be pulling my leg or I swear you will regret it! Now report to the right area or I will have your guts!” and with that, he walked off in the other direction, leaving the boys sweating profusely.

      They waited for the senior office to walk out of sight before they continued on marching forward; they needed to get on the boat before it left. “Geez, that was close,” Adrian bent down to whisper in Wyatt’s ear, loud enough for Jeremy to hear as well.

      “Let’s just make it on board, we’ll worry about that tool later,” Wyatt whispered back as they began to march more quickly towards the boat.

      “So, we get on the boat, then what?” Jeremy more than whispered over his shoulder, causing the other two to quickly hush him before any of the hard faced, straight back military men that walked past them at breakneck marching speed.

      “We get on the ship. Rescue these others. Get off. Simple.” Adrian ordered from the back, Wyatt and Jeremy both trusted Adrian enough as the leader, but Wyatt wasn’t quite sure he would follow Adrian into battle like Jeremy.

      “Yeah, simple.” Wyatt muttered under his breath as they neared the looming ship.

      Once on board the ship, the boys tried to keep out of the spotlight as much as possible, standing on the fringes of groups, hiding in shadows, trying to find out what ever they could about where the captured Atlanteans were held and how to get them off the ship with so many guards wandering around staunchly. Jeremy wandered around on deck while Adrian scouted out the back half of the ship leaving Wyatt to wander around the front half. It didn’t take long for Wyatt to stumble on the guarded door, the two muscled personnel looming over him.

      “Private, you should return to the deck with the others. No other personnel have permission to go beyond here.” The one on the right said almost robotically.

      “Okay, okay, uh yes sir!” Wyatt stammered as he spun on his heels. Once out of sight, he lifted his hand to his ear, activating the tiny receiver that allowed him to communicate with the others. “I’ve found it; meet me on deck by the containers.”

      It didn’t take Wyatt long to find his way back, much less the hulking figure of Adrian awkwardly standing by the containers, trying to look busy, but also trying to hide his extra arms uncomfortable beneath his shirt. Jeremy stood just off to the side, arms folded and trying to look intimidating despite his shorter stature and also as if he didn’t know Adrian. Wyatt slid in between them, looking forward and talking to them as if he didn’t know either of them, but in reality, they looked way too conspicuous.

      “So the entrance is right below us, guarded by two guards,” he manage to sputter out before the deep roll of a fog horn swept over them.

      “Sh*t, looks like our timer just starter,” Adrian recovered as the boat jutted beneath their feet, slowly pulling away from shore and heading out into the English Channel.

      Jeremy moved closer to the two after making awkward eye contact with a female officer passing by, “We need to get them off of here before the ship leaves the English Channel, or we’re stuck with nowhere to go,” he began sweating, looking around nervously, “I can only teleport so many people so far.”

      “Let’s do this then,” Wyatt spoke with a nod of his head, leading the other two away from the containers and down into the hull of the ship. After their little meeting with the Directive, Wyatt had been informed that he didn’t want to focus on recruiting people, rather keeping everyone in their place and also gaining a favour from the Royal Family. As far as he was concerned, Wyatt was just a little pawn in a game of chess, he didn’t understand why favours mattered so much to the Syndicate, but then again, they only told him so much.

      Pyrrha Kozyrev – White Cell on board NYK Atlas, Portsmouth, England

      ”I’m fine,” was all the girl next door seemed to be able to say through her raw and tender sounding throat. Pyrrha closed her eyes in a silent prayer, thankful that the girl was fine ad didn’t sound too badly injured. “Who are you?” was the first question she heard, followed by “What is this place?” by the sounds of it, the girl wanted to ask Pyrrha a whole lot of questions, most of which she herself didn’t even know the answer to.

      She was about to reply when another comment came out of the girl’s lips, this one a lot softer and spoken more lowly, “I feel like a lab rat…” This made Pyrrha shiver, she was lucky in that her ability was only one that was straight forward, but this girl sounded like her brother; being tortured to see what the extent of his ability truly was.

      “I’m Pyrrha, it’s going to be alright, we’ll get out of here soon enough!” Even though she spoke the words, she barely trusted them herself. It was a lie, but a necessary evil that would hopefully keep them both sane until they were able to free themselves. “This seems like some sort of prison, where they keep Atlanteans,” was all she knew on where they were, something told her they were in some sort of moving fortress, being carted from place to place, but there can’t have been a plane or truck big enough to fit all these cells.

      “Tell me, where are you from?” If she could get a sense of distance, then it would make it easier for her to figure out anything she could about the place. Before she could get an answer, she heard shouting, and the all too familiar stomping of boots as an ensemble walked past her door, stopping at the cell next to her. “Nyet!” she yelled hoarsely as loudly as she could, “Astaf eyo fpakoya, oorod!”

      As she yelled, she heard a single set of boots march over to the door to her cell, immediately she quietened down, fearful of what the person on the other side might do to her. She heard the flick of a switch, immediately regretting her decision to yell at the person as electricity ran down the chains, shocking her through her handcuffs. Now, Pyrrha could only yell in pain as the electricity set her nerves on fire, her brother going wild in the cell on her other side. It only stopped when Pyrrha’s head bowed forward, the pain overcoming her threshold and making her black out.
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      Old September 24th, 2013 (3:36 PM). Edited September 28th, 2013 by Swolligator.
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      Antonia Costa – Atlantean Royal Mansion, Boston, England

      As Nix was one of their teammates, Antonia felt both obliged to be in his room, but also invasive despite their reason to save him. Only Marilyn and Kaido were in the room with her, out of respect for Nix’s privacy, but she still felt guilty about sifting through his stuff. “Kaido, can you be quick? Surely his scent is dissipating by now.” She asked frustrated. All she wanted to do was to get on the road and track down the people that had hours on them, and every minute they spent mucking around was another minute they wasted looking for them.

      Kaido looked up from the draw he had been smelling, his eyes wide and puppy like with his mouth and nose stretching from his human face into a dog like snout covered in a beige and white fur. “I doingu my besto, alumosto…Yatta!!” pushing past the girls, he began sniffing the air around the walls, pulling in every fibre of Nix’s scent as he followed the trail.

      Excited, Antonia and Marilyn quickly followed behind him as Kaido moved from wall to wall heading down the stairs and out the front of the mansion. With nose held high in the air, he furrowed his brow, “we hav to leabu soon, his scento fadingu quickly.”

      Antonia whistled and from the garage, the three of them heard the familiar roar of two cars; Oliver driving his cobalt blue Ford F150 pickup truck with Rebecca sitting in the passenger’s seat, and Garrett having borrowed one of the royal families’ red Mazda evo, the window wound down. “Kaido, jump in boy,” he smiled at Kaido’s sour look at Garrett treating him like a dog, but he still got in.

      “Marilyn, you travel with Kaido and Garrett,” Antonia said as she opened the door to the Evo for Marilyn to get in the car, “I’ll go with Oliver and we’ll follow you…” Antonia stopped talking as she noticed Nate and James walking past a window in the main foyer of the mansion, her cheeks starting to glow red, “I’ll be right back.”

      The others looked angry about Antonia’s rapid leaving of them, much less making it even more late to getting out onto the road. However they all could use both Nate and James’ help on their expedition. “Nate, James!” she called out as she sprinted in through the main door, running over to them and waving her hands furiously in the air. “Will you help us? Please?” she asked, pulling at Nate’s hand.

      Leo Cabrillo – Sheffield, England

      It had been a while since he last met with the Atlantean known as ‘Techno’, the man barely sane enough to stay out of a mental asylum. Leo and the others tried to give Techno his space, but it was times like these in which he provided a much needed asset; if he was willing to help. Years ago, Leo had been one of the first to recognise Techno’s awakening to his Atlantean heritage, and promptly recovered him from behind shipped away to some government facility. If anyone were to know exactly where the bullets came from and who used them, it would be Techno.

      Approaching his apartment, Leo held his hand out, slowing Katerina and forcing her behind him, “The guy trusts me, let me do the talking,” he spoke with a grave face. Techno was more than fragile, the wrong statement could set him off and they would get nowhere quickly. Clearing his throat, “Leo Andre Cabrillo, Panthero Morphology, Atlantean Royal Family,” he spoke looking directly at the camera hidden in the dark crook above the door.

      The camera made a sound as if it was sighing before a small click echoed from the door, Leo pushing the handle down and bringing Katerina into the crowded apartment quickly before he shut the door. Around them, cables, screens running codes and games of pong lined the walls and floors all around the apartment. Even the kitchen had been converted into a single computer, all linking together via the central hub set up in Techno’s bedroom. Leo brought Katerina through, sitting on the only couch in the whole place that was free of computer stuff, waiting for Techno to return. From the bedroom they heard a bloody cough as a rather thin man dressed in nothing but a bathrobe emerged, eyes circled with dark lines.

      “Leo, my old pal,” he embrace Leo in a tight hug, almost as if he was leaning on him to support his weak frame. The man was nothing but skin and bones, and seemed a lot worse with Leo wrapped around him.

      “Jason, you look even more unhealthy,” Leo responded concerned, “but it’s good to see you too.” He rested his hands on Jason’s shoulders, saddened by the state the man had fallen into.

      Techno/Jason paused, looking at Leo for a brief moment; Leo had been the first person in a long time to call him by his human name. He had discarded that name long ago, preferring the name ‘Techno’ as many of the people referred to him as. “So, I can understand this to not be a social call, then?”

      “Unfortunately not, we’ve something we need you to look into for us,” Leo queried, pulling the small tranquiliser bullet out of his jeans pocket and handing it to the frail man. As he dropped it in Jason’s hands, he could see the man almost struggling to hold the little weight up much less straddle it between two fingers as he examined it.

      His eyes gleamed, twisting the bullet over and over, rotating his head at odd angles to find any underlying markers that would give him a clue as to where to look. “This wouldn’t happen to be from last night then,” Jason raised an eyebrow at Leo.

      “Figured you of all people would know,” Leo left one hand on Jason’s shoulder, partially holding the man up, and buried his face in the other, “I f*cked up, Jason, I need to get my kids back before anything happens to them.” The only other time Katerina had heard Leo curse was at his brother’s funeral, and she didn’t need River here this time to tell her what Leo was feeling.

      “Alrighty then,” Jason said somewhat cheerfully, his sunken, baggy eyes brightening up, “”just let me jack in….” Jason began fumbling around on the floor, messing with the multitude of cables that hid beneath the coffee table… “found it!” He revealed to them both, a female USB port connection to one of the many computers around his apartment. He sat down on the adjacent couch to Katerina, pressing his thumb down on the USB port as the colour in his eyes vanished and his eyelids sunk.

      Katerina was shocked, she had seen many abilities in her time, but the man seemed to almost will his soul and existence out of his body and into the USB cable he held firmly in his hands. She now realised how much time this man must get lost in the web, surfing, watching and playing with streams of data, all the while his body sat here, rotting and decaying. She shuddered at what might become of him if his body simply withered away while he was out experiencing the world from inside a computer. Would he be stuck there?

      Leo placed a hand on her shoulder, “This is how he chooses to live his life, who are we to tell him otherwise. He made up his mind long ago; it’s just us that’ll have to live with the consequences once he goes.” A small tear curled at the edge of his eye; Leo knew full well his friend wasn’t going to last long at all.

      “Leo!” Katerina called out as Jasons body began to convulse, his eyelids moving rapidly and sweat starting to drip from his brow. Holding her fingers to his neck, she could feel his pulse racing, his body burning up as something began tearing him up inside. She tried holding his shoulders to steady the convulsing, looking around for any sign of anything that could rapidly cool him down. Leo rummaged through the fridge and freeze, but both were empty and turned off, rotten food piled inside of them.

      Suddenly, all around them the computer terminals and screens burst into life, all displaying a series of numbers, some flashing them and others running the numbers rapidly across the screen like some sort of matrix.

      “50.8167 N, 1.0833 W”

      When Katerina finally lifted her fingers off of Jasons’ body, his pulse had stopped beating altogether and his body sunken in as all the residue air was let out and hung immediately in front of them. All around them, the computer terminals began making sounds, all data being erased as Jason, in his final moments of life, deleted his very existence.

      Leo crouched down, his hands dwarfing Jasons’ spindly fingers beneath his. Everything had been going great, but ever since Berlin, Leo had been losing on every front; his brother, his students and now Jason, when was enough going to be enough and things to actually start looking up for him. Katerina placed a consoling hand on his shoulder, feeling slightly dejected at the situation at hand.

      “Leo, ve have to go, the students’ lives could be in danger. I’ll drive us back to the mansion and ve can send someone to deal with his stuff. Right now, ve can try and save the students, and let his death not be in vain.”

      Leo go to his feet, wiping the tears from his eyes, “Katerina, we better hurry,” determination filled the words and rage burned in his eyes. Truth be told, Katerina was scared when Leo got like this because he became reckless, but it was always this willingness to push on during adversity that fortified his position as their leader and what really made her respect him.
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      Old September 29th, 2013 (3:08 AM). Edited September 29th, 2013 by Skymin.
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      The Members of the Atlantean Unficiation Project - Somewhere over Europe

      The plane ride had been all kinds of different for everyone. Atticus and Natalia had been catching up; apparently Natalia had been away for a while on a mission of somesort and the two had not spoken since she had left. Their discussion was much like between a mother and child, with Atticus playing the part of the rebellious child and Natalia the disapproving mother. Oakley and the Librarian were also
      'catching up', but it was mainly Oakley pointing at members she knew the names of and summarising what she knew of them, Dom adding in what he could. Emil and Cooper were in the cockpit, hardly making a sound from the outside. Julian and Devon were sitting at the back of the plane, quietly conversing. Misha was reading aloud a book, City of ... something, by the look of it, Frederick next to him, listening. Imogen was pretening not to listen in to the Librarian and Delta was gazing out of a window, trying not to throw up.

      The signals had led them, under Annie's instructions, to a harbour in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England. Under inspection, the port was mostly empty, aside from a large ship, with large cargo containers stacked on top of it. They couldn't stop and land here, instead flying over and around to avoid drawing attention to themselves (their plane was too small to draw up on radars and even then, Annie had them hidden. They flew over and landed at the nearest airport, with cars ready to take them. The drive to the dock was as quick as the drivers could take them, within speed limit and without drawing attention to themselves. Only a few cars were on direct route while others had to double back to avoid detection.

      The ones en route? Emil, Cooper, Devon, Julian, Atticus, Natalia, Misha, Imogen, Frederick, Oakley, The Librarian, Delta and Dom.

      When they arrived at the dock and scrambled to the boat's port, it came to more than a shock to discover the boat had left port. Not by a long while though, it was only a kilometer or three off the dock. Emil swore, but gathered everybody quickly for a plan.

      "Alright, we'll have to move quick if we want to catch the boat. Huddle together now." He raised his arms and the gravity around them became muddled. Slowly, they lifted off the ground.

      "Whoa, whoa." Atticus held his arms out trying to steady himself, but he started to flip around, as if he was weightless. Even his tail popped out of his pants, trying to hold himself steady, but everyone but Julian, Devon, Cooper, The Librarian and Emil seemed to be in a similar boat. In fact, the Librarian was having a whale of a time. When they were high enough, Emil pushed his hands back and the ball of anit-gravity moved forward. Julian's wings burst from his coat and he flapped them as much as he could, trying to help Emil push the bubble towards the ship. The Librarian offered his own help, covering the group with a cloak of invisibility. Soon, they were hovering over the end of the boat, keeping up with it. Emil dropped the bubble as low as he could to the ground, then broke the bubble and invisibility, the group dropping half a foot on the iron floor.

      "Alright," Emil said, keeping his voice low. "This boat is heavily guarded. And as far as Annie has told me, they're trained for Atlantean combat. So don't do anything rash. We're unsure where the captives are, only that they are on this boat somewhere. Split into groups and search for them. Radio in when you've found something."

      "This sounds exciting, doesn't it?" The Librarian whispered to Oakley, his tone a little giddy, as if he thought this was a game. Oakley gave him a small frown, but didn't object. He may seem silly, but he was more powerful than anything Oakley had ever seen, TV or not.

      "Check the boat's lower levels, check the containers at the front of the ship, check wherever you can, but stay out of sight. This is a stealth and rescue mission. Killing anyone here is unnecessary. We're not murderers. Knock them out if need be, but keep it quiet. We get in, find them, and get out. Nothing more."

      "Devon, stick with me, alright?" Julian put a hand on the boy's shoulder. He turned to face the winged man, Oakley catching his face for the first time since he got on the plane. She blinked. Oakley could have sworn that Devon's face didn't even look bruised.


      "Oakley and I will accompany you." The Librarian nudged Oakley forward, giving her a wink.

      "No killing." Imogen gave a wink to Delta.

      "Alright." Emil nodded. "Let's move."
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      Old September 29th, 2013 (3:34 AM).
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      Antonia Costa, Nathaniel Calaway and James Hazen - Atlantean Royal Family Mansion, Boston, England

      Nathaniel blushed as he was caught off guard by the approaching Antonia. She pulled at his hand, pleading for his help. Normally, Nathaniel would probably hyper analyze the situation but he was distracted. Nathaniel's cool skin had felt warmth for the first time in a while. He couldn't help but be slightly embarrassed by the whole display as his pale skin was fairly flushed. It didn't help that Nathaniel was confused. What could she need help with? Why approach him?

      "Uh..wha," Nathaniel said, struggling to compose himself. He shook his head a bit. "With what?" He finally said, his face still flooded with a mix of emotions.

      "Okay, so bunch of us got caught last night by the mysterious black men and so the rest of us, and I mean the six of us decided that we would go on our own adventure to find and rescue the others before it was too late and they were tortured and had their bodies exhumed, so we have two cars out front ready to go as well as a tracker so we can track them and we could really use your help." The words seemed to just come out of Antonia's mouth like some sort of word vomit, falling from her lips until she had pretty much summarised everything. She was blushing, flustered and excited to finally be doing something as well as defying the Royal Family, fueled by adrenaline. "So what do you say, are you guys going to help us?" she asked hopefully.

      Nathaniel's eyes widened out of shock and confusion. He probably wouldn't have worded everything in that manner. It sounded quite grim; more grim than it needed to be. However, she was probably right. The mission was of great importance and likely the Royal Family would debate and try to figure out what happened before risking anyone to investigate. And truth be told, that is what Nathaniel would probably rather have done. But that would risk so many innocent lives. Lives that were told they were safe. Lives that had been now lied to. Lives that are now in danger. Emotion rarely got the better of him, but Nathaniel had been on edge for some time. He had not thought logically unless he was over analyzing something (which was a lot to be fair). Now it was time to think with his heart: "I'll help. What about you?" Nathaniel said, before looking over to James.

      "Uh...No," James responded plainly almost immediately after Nate finished asking. He didn't have a reason to go. He didn't give a damn about any of the people that were captured. He didn't even know any of them. His eyes shifted between the girl and Nate, and then he shrugged. "Unless one of you can give me a good reason why I should."

      Nathaniel shot back a glare at James. He should have expected as much as apathy as James just displayed. Empathy was not a strong suit of his and simply put he believed James needed some sort of personal gain or stake in anything to motivate him. "I am sure there will be one hell of fight at some point. There may be a chance to fight those guys you wanted to take a crack at," Nathaniel said. "But then again, we could use some muscle back here in case they come for a round two if you rather wait around twiddling your thumbs."

      James crossed his arms as Nate spoke, and grinned when he finished. It was surprising what a few words would do to switch his mind in the opposite direction. Going after the other captured students to help was out of the question, but going there to take on the bastards who went looking for a fight was open season. Essentially, he was doing the same thing. All it ever mattered was the wording. Funny.

      "...I'll drive," James responded almost immediately after, not wasting anymore time talking about it. He got up off his chair and proceeded on. As he began walking through, James lifted his hands up in the air and charged himself with the surrounding electricity, mostly from lights and devices. As he walked through the corridor, each lamp burst apart after he gathered the necessary fuel from them. He could feel the energy swarm through his skin and into his system. It was a feeling he was slowly getting accustomed to, but one which he was quite fond of. It was almost indescribable, like being pumped full of pure adrenaline to the heart, or grams upon grams of sugar. It was like drugs was pumping through his system to provide comfort and pleasure, and at the same time, power. This time, James would be prepared.

      Ecstatic that both were in on the plan, Antonia lead them over to the waiting cars, holding her hands over her head as sparks showered down on her from James' collection of energy. She wasn't exactly fond of the guy, but there was still that saying about hands and light work that made her accept him for the time being. As they approached the red Evo, Antonia looked at Garrett, eyes pleading with him, softening him up for the question she was about to ask.

      "Alright, alright," was all he said as he got out of the drivers' seat, the car still running, before jumping into the back seat of the car. He wasn't so happy about having lost the privilege of driving, but he could tell by Antonia's eyes that she would make it up to him later.

      "James, you can drive the Evo, go wherever Kaido says, Nate, we'll follow behind with Oliver and Rebecca. Try not to lose us, please." She half-heartedly asked James before the three of them would split. Her heart began racing faster as she just realised she had practically asked Nate to sit next to her in the other car.

      "Nice," James said, taking his spot at the driver's seat. He moved in and made himself comfortable, adjusting everything he needed and taking a look at what he would be working with. He couldn't help himself from grinning. Driving was one of the few things he enjoyed back home. "Don't worry, I'm a great driver."

      He wasn't. In fact, among family and the few friends he had, James was known as a recklessly fast driver. In fact, few people ever drove with him before this whole Atlantean thing began because they were frightened of him. He had been in multiple accidents, and had a literal stack of speeding tickets. In fact, the reason he had not taken his own '91 Nissan 240SX was because the week prior, it had been wrecked in an accident which James was responsible for. Of course, he could deny any responsibility himself. It was perhaps lucky that James had gotten his Atlantean abilities by then, as he may not have came from that accident unscathed otherwise.

      James began to rev up the engine, testing the car while waiting for everyone else to be ready.

      "Yeah, sorry. I don't do cars," Nathaniel said rather bluntly, before looking around. For a brief moment, his eyes glowed and separated from the pack of Atlanteans. He lightly jogged over in a seemingly random direction, disappearing. A few minutes later, a roaring engine echoed in the air and Nathaniel rode in on his bike parking beside the cars. He took off the helmet and shook his head, enjoying the helmet hair. It has been a while. "I prefer bikes." Nathaniel threw the spare helmet to Antonia. "I'll need directions in case I get too far ahead. Hop on," Nathaniel smiled and chuckled a bit. He had a habit of speeding.

      Antonia smiled, her lips glowing red as she blushed, thinking of riding shotgun with Nate. Hooking her iPhone speakers in, she ran the cable around to her mouth so she could speak into the microphone before placing the helmet over her head. She flung her leg over the back of Nate's bike, moving in close and wrapping her arms around his midrift tightly. She dialed Garrett and Rebecca on her iPhone, bringing the two into a three way conversation.

      "Garrett, you guys and James head out first, Rebecca, you and Oliver follow behind them and then Nate and I will back up you guys. Everyone try to stick together, it's going to be a long ride, and we all need to make it there." Up ahead, she heard James rev the car before pulling out of the drive, soon followed by Oliver and then Nate flicked his bike into gear, following them.

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      Old September 30th, 2013 (7:13 PM).
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      Wyatt Cale – Onboard NYK Atlas, Portsmouth, England

      Adrian took the lead as soon as they made it below deck, back straight and chest pushed out, ready to knock some skulls together. Their plan was simple; Adrian would take out the guards at the door while Wyatt and Jeremy snuck beyond the door. Jeremy had already teleported back to the dock to grab Wyatt’s bow and quiver and so the three of them were ready to fight. When they approached, the guards stiffened up, one hand each flicking to rest on the pistols at their sides while the other rested straight by their side.

      “Privates, turn back now,” the one on the left ordered, unclipping his belt, hand hover over it ready to shoot, “I warn you Private,” he continued but Adrian merely ignored this warning. Walking up to them, he got within arm reach, his top pair of arms coiling around the guards’ necks, while his bottom pair of arms ripped apart his stolen uniform, crushing their other hands against their guns with his palms.

      Wyatt and Jeremy followed through, opening the door and leaving it slightly ajar for Adrian to hide the bodies behind once he had knocked the guards out. They continued moving on, crouching low and scouting ahead trying to discern any potential guard threats. Around them they could hear tortured screams and dull moaning echoing from the cells, the hairs on the back of Wyatt’s neck standing on end. It was far too cruel to have all these people holed up here like this, like some sort of sick experiment as if they were animals. Jeremy tapped Wyatt on the shoulder, point to the guard standing with his back to them at the junction to another corridor running perpendicular to theirs. Crouching, Wyatt swiftly made his way up behind the man before pushing himself straight up, pulling his Bow over the man’s head. With the bowstring against the man’s throat, Wyatt pulled back, stretching the string until he could twist it around, choking the man as he clawed as his own throat.

      “Wyatt stop!” Jeremy hissed, now standing next to Wyatt, hand placed on the bow handle.

      Wyatt continued to choke the man, even though he had long since passed out, going for the full kill. He was furious at the man, taking all his anger out on this complete stranger that was caught up in all of this madness. But the guy was just a grunt, a guy trained to do his job; it was the higher ups that had to pay. Slowly, he unwound his bow, pulling it from the man’s bleeding throat. It wasn’t deep, the bleeding would stop soon enough, but the man wouldn’t wake up until well after that. Adrian joined them from behind, turning down the corridor and moving forward past another corridor full of cells with small panels next to the doors until the came to a staircase leading up into what they thought would be the deck.

      Jeremy went first, creeping up to the top of the stairs and then teleporting to them at the bottom with what he saw. “It looks like it’s a corridor that loops around, with cells in the centre. There are more soldiers up there.”

      “So the directive was right, the containers on bottom are false walls to hide this place. Okay, so what now?” Wyatt asked the other two, looking mainly at Adrian as he had been the leader of their team and usually came up with the best scenarios.

      “I’ll flank right, you and Jeremy flank left and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle. If there are too many, Jeremy is to pull the both of you out of there, got it?” Both nodded in agreement and on the count of three, the headed upstairs, splitting off.

      Jeremy followed close behind Wyatt, never letting him get more than an arms width in front so that he could grab him quickly in an emergency. He stopped as Wyatt peered around the corner, hastily pulling his body back before mouthing the word ‘three’ to Jeremy. Jeremy was all too ready to grab Wyatt and teleport out of there, but Wyatt seemed adamant that he could make the shot.

      “Teleport us closer when I’ve taken the shot,” Wyatt whispered to Jeremy before notching his bow with two arrows, drawing them back before leaning around the corner. He took two breaths, slowing his breathing then holding it for a second before letting go, relaxing, and then took the shot. Wyatt heard two cries of pain before he felt Jeremy wrap his arms around him, teleporting him closer to the scene.

      As soon as they had teleported to within arms’ reach, Jeremy teleported the unharmed guard, leaping forward with arms splayed and attaching himself to the man before they disappeared, with only Jeremy returning a couple of seconds later. Wyatt used his low position to sweep the legs out from under the scientist and remaining guard as Jeremy hung back. He then planted a boot in the scientists’ chest, knocking the wind out of the man and dazing him. The other recovered, arms raised up to fight before delivering a striking blow to Wyatt’s ribcage. Both heard the snap as pain shot up Wyatt’s side as he cried out, lashing with his left foot, only to have it caught by his opponent. He tried to shift his foot, but the man’s grip was strong, so he could only watch as the guard brought his other elbow down, striking Wyatt on the side of the knee.

      From behind them, a yelled echoed as a man flew into the corner of their corridor and the one that ran perpendicular. It took the man by surprise, allowing Wyatt to push through the pain and launch himself at the surprised guard. Wyatt collided with the man, sending him sprawling back as Wyatt ended up on the guys’ chest. From there he began striking hard and fast at the man’s head, blocked by his elbows raised to protect his face. Wyatt grew fierce and animalistic, driving harder and faster as the shooting pain pushed him, egged him onwards to inflict the same pain the man had inflicted on him.

      Wyatt felt himself lifted up as four pairs of hands gripped his back, while Jeremy seemed to slide underneath him, grab the guard and teleport him away before making his way back to them. Wyatt felt one had let go with him, only to feel it again collide with the back of his head, “snap out of it, Wyatt!” Adrian roared at him before dropping Wyatt to the floor.

      When Jeremy returned, he slung Wyatt’s arm over his shoulder, helping Wyatt to limp as they began to inspect the cells. Each had only about a two to three meter cell inside, with only a small slit in the door to peer into the room. Beside each door was a small console and touchpad; above it was a simple name plate with the inhabitant’s ability. The first door Adrian rushed to, he punched the console in; the screen going black and sparks flying from it. The brute force seemed to work as Adrian was then able to slide the door open and rush into the room. Handcuffed from his wrists to his elbows, the boy sat slumped over, tied to the chair by thin wire that almost seemed to cut into his skin. From his dazed vision, Wyatt could see what looked like bones sticking out from his arms.

      “Kieran, Kieran!” Adrian called as the boy, dazed, woke up, his sight focussing on the tall brute in front of him. With all his might, Adrian tore at the bindings holding Kieran, his hands ripping slightly before he worked his way to the forearm bindings.

      Jeremy dropped Wyatt off at the door as he began running along the corridor, searching for a specific name plate he hoped would be there. Once he found it, Wyatt watched him disappear, presumably into the cell, only to bring back a young girl, chestnut hair falling over her face with skin beginning to heal from what looked like needles that had been jabbed in her arms. Jeremy then brought her over to Wyatt, sitting her opposite him and rubbing her back, trying to bring her back to life.

      Adrian brought the kid named Kieran out and into the hallway, propping him up against the wall next to Wyatt as he set off to release as many individuals as he could and bringing them out into the hallway to wake up. Everyone seemed to have been held captive in different ways; some to stop them using their abilities and others obviously having their abilities being tested. Slowly, the people Adrian brought out began to regain consciousness, a couple jumping up to help Adrian out.
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      Old October 2nd, 2013 (2:57 AM).
      Lokiepie's Avatar
      Lokiepie Lokiepie is offline
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        Charlotte Hunter - The Ship

        Charlotte listened as the voice introduced it’s self as Pyrrha. It was a small piece of normality against the stark medical room. Yet as hope began to burn brighter within the small girl, it was quickly smothered.

        It began with synchronised footsteps that thudded against the floor and made it shake ever so slightly. Charlotte could feel the vibrations travelling up her chair. They grew stronger as the boots came closer. Pyrrha then shouted something but over the rushing of blood which sounded in her ears, she couldn’t tell what was being said, as the footsteps stopped outside her door.
        A single pair of boots moved this time, answering Pyrrha’s voice with a worryingly lazy efficiency. They moved away from her door. About three or four steps down the corridor then stilled. Then the screams began to sound. Charlotte snapped out of her panic stricken state, her mouth wrenching open in gut instinct to help her friend.

        “Stop it! You sick bastards!” Her voice was raw, brittle and sang off the walls of her cell like sandpaper rubbing against metal. But of course, the people behind the door didn’t listen. “Cowards! Too afraid to take us on in a fair fight!”

        Pyrrha’s screams continued and Charlotte became more frantic with her insults, until the shutter on her door slid open and a small canister was pushed in. The metal tin hit the floor with a heavy thunk, and began to hiss. A thick smoke flooded the room, filling it with a choking gas. Against her better judgement Charlotte screamed and struggled, breathing in the gas before realising her mistake. Pyrrha’s screams were with her till she fell asleep.


        When Charlotte awoke, it was to the realisation that her head had been placed into a metal brace. The cage encircled her head like a bird cage, keeping her head up and her neck straight. At her neck, she could feel the small sting of another needle puncturing the skin at the nape of her neck. Her hair had been pulled back and kept out of the way.

        Panic set in again. Pyrrha’s cell was silent.

        The shutter of the door slid open and the pair of eyes appeared in the slit. Charlotte shuddered slightly at the sound of the shutter opening, but forced her revulsion down. Instead she simply stared at the pair of eyes as they watched her once more. Hatred no longer burned there. Instead she replaced it with an emotionless watch of her watcher.

        The eyes however, remained indifferent and the scratch of pen against paper sounded, then stopped again. Recalling the happenings before, Charlotte braced herself for the needle at her neck to bite deeper into her spine, but instead, a small hiss of air sounded.
        At first she did not understand what had happened. What that hiss had meant. But when pain suddenly began to burn down her spine, realisation came with a sharp clarity. Poison. This time they were injecting her with chemicals.

        Her veins burned with intensity as the poison melted her flesh, seeping into her organs like wild fire. Her power burst into action but Charlotte blacked out as the poison reached her heart. All the while, the sound of the pen scratching against paper accompanying her to the blackness.


        It was a gentle pair of hands against her back which brought her out of her sleep. She was weak and her head was heavy, but she tried to focus on what was happening.

        She was no longer in her cell now. She was in a cold grey corridor and the sound of feet moving around her confused her. Opening her eyes, she blinked back light as she focused on the people. She recognised no one. Even the young boy stroking her back.

        Instinct made her jump up with surprising force and brush off the boy’s hand.
        “What the fu..” She began, adrenaline kicking in. That was, of course, until she spotted Kieran propped up against the opposite wall.

        Glancing up at the people around her, she finally understood. Rescue. They had been saved. Though she had not realised Kieran was here. “Oh my god, Kieran!”

        She darted forward, ignoring the guy with the bow and the young boy for now. She grabbed Kieran’s hand and without thinking, she let her power branch across her skin and onto his, absorbing his wounds without a seconds thought. The familiar burn of wounds ebbed across her body, but she no longer felt the intensity of its pain. She did not realise this of course. Not now anyway. Too much was going on.

        She watched feverously as the wounds disappeared from Kieran until the last of his skin was clear. It was only then that she allowed herself to breath out a steady, long breath. Kieran was fine and now uninjured.

        Turning, she now focused on the guys whom stood close by. “How many of us are there? And who needs healing?” She did not bother with thanks. It felt wrong to say thank you right now. The timing was off and there were other more important matters to attend too.

        (my replacement while a new sig is made )

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        Old October 5th, 2013 (1:31 PM).
        Retro Bug Retro Bug is offline
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        - Delta Mayor (featuring Imogen Green)
        Portsmouth, England -
        Whoever had the thought of riding a big, metal contraption into the air should've been crushed underneath a thousand bricks and Delta wanted to be the one who did it. The non-stop nausea she felt was overwhelming, her appearance remained neutral even if her stomach was upset. It took a lot more than this to make Delta to give away hints of weakness. Despite all their efforts their arrival on the dock had proved to be too late, as the boat they were apparently looking for had already taken off, but hadn't gotten far. Emil's manipulation of gravity came in hand and coincidentally the Librarian had the power of invisibility, which would most certainly come into use for those that needed it. Progressively Delta got the hang of balancing herself while the gravity was being manipulated unlike Atticus.

        Per usual Emil gave his spiel once they landed where he insisted they weren't murderers. Delta had a strong feeling that almost everyone here had taken a life and whether they wanted to rehash those memories or not was up to them. The way Imogen slid in her comment was unnerving and only further reminded her of the conversation she had with both Atticus and Julian. If there was one thing she could do it was to at least get the story from Imogen who wouldn’t be so tight-lipped, well, Delta hoped.

        "So, Atticus and Julian act like you kill kittens for a living..." Most of the others had taken off in various directions when Delta approached Imogen, who seemed to know to wait. "What did you do to make them go out of their way to tell me to stay away from you?"

        "Aw, they did that? Those boys certainly know how to make a girl feel loved," Imogen said, turning her head to watch the others quietly dart off to god knows where. Imogen had no plans in following Emil's orders. She had other plans. In any case, in reply to Delta, she added a fake sigh to pretend to feel a little grief. "I guess it must have been that mission that his brother was on with me. I did nothing. It was Julian's brother and his friends actions that got them killed. They just blame me for it because it was my orders they disobeyed. You know teenagers, always raging against the man. Or woman, in this case." Imogen shrugged. "Really, Julian should blame himself for not teaching his brother that he should do what he's told."

        Julian blamed the circumstances of his brother’s death on Imogen, that’s why he didn’t like her. Delta wasn’t too sure she was getting the entire story, "Is that all?"

        "I could have made out with Atticus’ ex in front of his face once? But that wasn't an accident." She smirked, trying to recall the girl. "Clara? Rebecca? Max...ine? Nope, that's not it. Oh well, who cares?"

        A frown creased Delta's face, "Is that something you do often?" She fidgeted with the keys that hung from the lanyard around her neck. Completely unsure of how to advance to the question she really wanted answer without seeming interested. Softly she mumbled, "Kiss girls?"

        "Not really." She shrugged again. "I just wanted to show Atticus that I'm better at picking up girls than he is. Why's that?" She added a sly grin. "You need someone to practice with?"

        A mixture of disgust and curiosity muddled Delta's mind. It seemed like for a second she was actually considering it, but no she wasn't like that... was she? Instead Delta became something she knew she was well versed in, being defensive. "Excuse me? I’m not, I’m not like that.”

        Imogen smirked again in reply. "Let's move. Do you want to get left out on all the fun?"

        "I do fine all by myself," Delta retorted and took off as her comrades did earlier.

        It was a lot to think about and Delta intended on doing that thinking alone. Like Paris she had no plans of traveling around in a group where someone would keep an eye on her. She slid her gun from its holstered position, loaded it, turned the safety off, and attached the silencer to the end of it. With only three clips Delta had to remind herself to keep track of how many bullets she fired. Before Paris they had given her stealth training, Delta didn't understand why one needed stealth when there was brutal force. For now she stuck to the shadows like it was an old friend welcoming her back into its reach. The difficulty of this was hard considering the time of day and the amount of guards she had glimpsed.

        Did Delta have a plan? No, that much was clear by the way she dashed across the deck in heels. The various noises that came from her shoes scraping across the deck was sure to bring on some sort of unwanted attention. Delta turned her head as she leaned out of the cramped space she had found herself tightly tucked into. A large number of containers, where she could easily remain hidden and check out what was inside, were just ahead if only she could reach it. There was a stretch of just open deck ahead the area of containers, based on an assumption she supposed these is where patrols might increase and be more attentive.

        Two guards passed by chatting, Delta swore when she heard that one of them said he thought he had saw something although the other argued it would be a waste checking. It was time. By crystallizing her hands and with mainly upper body strength she was able to get a firm grip in each side and climb herself upwards just enough to not be spotted. The guard entered the small crevice with his eyes trained ahead of him with his gun positioned in front of him ready to fire if necessary. His steps were heavy as he turned around to leave, but at the last second he swiveled his head upwards and caught sight of Delta's silhouette. Two bullets lodged themselves into Delta's bicep simultaneously as she launched herself downwards with her legs fully crystallized. The amount of weight caused the guard to buckle underneath it. The combination of adrenaline and shock had subdued the most of the pain from the two gunshot wounds Delta had received. She delivered a fist to the guard’s head, if she wasn't Atlantean she doubt that would've done the trick. Unable to finish the job because Delta heard the other guard calling out for their comrade. With her good hand Delta dragged the unconscious guard inward, a task made that much easier by the strength she gained through crystallization.

        Upon entering the guard let down their guard for half a second as they saw the body of their comrade lying there. It was all Delta needed to get the jump on the guard and she had to do it fast. She knew if she let them radioed back up then the whole mission would backfire. Two bullets whizzed out of her gun and impacted the chest of the second guard, which caused them to stumble backwards. Of course the guard happened to be wearing some sort of advanced Kevlar. Delta ran forward shifting the crystallization so that both arms were, her elbow made it into the stomach of the guard before the butt of their gun slammed into her head.

        Stunned by the blow Delta staggered backwards, the nonstop ringing and blurry vision virtually incapacitated her. Desperately she swung out, Delta soon realized she had hit the side of the crate instead of the guard. Before she knew it she was struggling to breathe, the guard held his gun horizontally across her neck squeezing as tightly as possibly. It seemed as if the guard wanted to take her in alive… The ability to breathe was becoming more of a battle with the guard’s weapon crushing her windpipe even more. She would’ve sworn the guard was an Atlantean by how much strength the guard had. At this point panic settled in, Delta felt helpless, as she was losing the fight to hold onto consciousness. By actively clawing she was able to get a firm grip on the gun and having not have lost her crystallization the gun crumpled under her might. Delta erupted into a coughing fit and sucked as much air as was allowed.

        Then repetition of past actions was played out, Delta elbowed the guard in the stomach then swung her other arm backwards to bash the guard in the head with her other arm. Doubled over in pain the guard was easy prey for a predator. The thought of the guard radioing in backup was on the forefront of Delta’s mind, which influenced her next move. Utilizing both hands she slammed him against the nearest crate with both hands still wrapped around the guard’s throat. She felt his pulse beat under his skin as she applied more pressure to the guard’s trachea. Graciously just giving him the same sensation she had just received.

        The more she pushed in the more Delta could feel his windpipe wanting to give way, if she didn’t stop now there was no going back. Was that something she wanted? Emil had said they weren't murderers so she didn't have to do this, but she wanted to. That confirmed her decision and no one would be the wiser, Delta had to know if she could get that rush again. Would it feel as great as the first time? The compression of the guard’s throat happened faster than Delta realized, sometimes she misjudged her strength. Sensation flooded through Delta the same feeling that had happened in Paris after Matthias, it felt right, but its dosage was short-lived. There was a cough, which caused Delta to smirk. Dropping the body she held in her hands without a care for where it landed.

        She picked up her gun, walked over to the origin of the cough, put the muzzle underneath the guard's chin and stoked the underside it. Something inside her had triggered after the first kill, a beast of some sort had been unlocked and its hunger was insatiable. All thoughts that told her not to do it were silenced by the overwhelming thoughts that commanded she do it, she wanted to do it, and she must do it. There wasn’t any going back now, no, Delta had already whet her appetite. She pulled the trigger in haste, two bullets, like the two that were in her arm left the gun. Delta closed her eyes and let the feeling wash over her, caught up in the moment Delta almost missed the crackling of the radios. More commotion came and went from outside. A plan was a must if Delta was to survive this ordeal and by chance she thought of one.

        "Two guards down, approaching bodies." A guard whispered into what Delta assumed was his radio or another nearby guard.

        "Take care of it, private!" A voice answered back, Delta was unsure if it came from the radio or from outside the passageway.

        "They're dead, sir. One's neck was crushed, it looked like the took two bullets under the chin."

        "Find who's responsible immediately. Don't let us be compromised."

        A minute later Delta untangled herself from underneath the weight of the bodies. Blood was smeared across her face, though thankfully most it wasn’t hers. She knew the guards wouldn't bother checking under dead bodies, especially if she kept herself arranged in a position that hid most of her. It certainly helped that the source of lighting shining in was limited and space they were in was cramped. Acting in complete haste Delta grabbed a radio set and secured her gun before poked her head out Delta put the guard’s radio set in her ear. As quickly as she could Delta dragged out a body before she moved further down the line away from where she area she previously occupied.

        Before she began Delta deepen her voice to sound hoarse. “Emergency in the southern crates, I repeat emergency in the southern crates top deck."

        There was a five second wait then Delta leaned into the radio and talked as loudly as she dared. “AHHHH STOP AHH HELP”

        Shortly after the radio was smashed to bits by Delta as she watched the group of guards flock to the area and assess the situation. Their attention more so focused on their dead comrades and with that Delta darted across the open area to the container. Carelessly Delta climbed the containers using the same method as earlier. She bypassed the bottom layer, as it was hard to get a grip into those particular crates like they had been reinforced. Once she stood tall she was able to get a better vantage point of ship. There were loads of guards walking beside the crates and they only increased around one specific post. It was clear that this had to be where they were keeping the prisoners, but it made more sense for them to keep their hostages below deck. Emil had said check the containers... Delta went to work with both of her hands. It took her a few minutes before she pierced through enough of the surface of the metal for her to open it with brute force.

        What she found inside however was quite disheartening, a few metal rods, spires, and other various junk that even the worst fence wouldn't sell. Angered that she wasted time Delta let out a huff and made the decision to check out the bottom deck. The guards seemed to be on high alert, as if something had triggered them. A couple of them rushed stairs that led downwards. Delta followed suit, she slid down the crates with ease. Her mind, for once since the incident, focused on the pain or rather the lack of pain. The rush had long since faded and there was a small amount of adrenaline running through Delta's system, but the shock had long since passed. There was currently two bullets stuck in her arm, had Delta not been staring at the crystallized wound she wouldn't have believed it. There was nothing, no pain, no aching, not even a numb feeling in her arm. The more she thought about it she recalled that the entire arm had remained crystallized since the accident. Atlanteans felt pain, why wasn't she now? Whatever was happening it must be related to her power or there were some seriously damaged nerves.

        At the base of the stairs were two guards, reckless as ever Delta launched herself downwards crystallizing both her legs bracing for impact. The second her feet hit the ground she ducked down and whirled one leg out knocking one guard over. Unfortunately the other had a faster reaction time and moved well out of range. Bullets pelleted the area where Delta landed except she was well into another attack on the lone guard that had tumbled over. Punch for punch she was matched by the guard, the way Delta and the man fought made it hard for the other guard to take a shot. Blood sprayed out of Delta's mouth onto the guard, his second punch had surprised her. What happened next was the most astonishing of all, a gunshot was fired but not at her, at the guard she was fighting. Shock barely had time to register before the bullets returned. Launching her gun with one hand, Delta held the other firmly in front of her. Those days she had spent practicing her crystallization allowed her to do it at an alarming rate now. Delta's injured arm remained crystallized while she switched thoroughly between two other body parts. Three was the maximum amount she could handle without feeling nausea.

        An on slaughter of bullets was enough for Delta to bare pushing through the prolonged pain. It didn't come without repercussions, a cough triggered more blood to come pouring out of her mouth and the dizziness became worse. Fingers trembling Delta shakily leveled the gun, but the one guard had split into two blurry versions. Four rounds were fired, two at each image. Sick of this gunfight Delta shot the next four were shots while she ran towards the guard, her crystallized arm stilled raised. In response the guard backed up and swung his gun outward. It had little effect as it caved on impact with her arm, which she used to block the blow. His takedown wasn’t going to be simple; Delta had wrestled away his gun and be wary of his fists that were still plenty powerful. He caught on quickly that Delta hadn’t once crystallized her facial region and aimed the majority of his blows there. It was a physical fight and Delta loved every moment of it.

        She purposely slid her gun away to focus on the fight. It was a test, he was highly trained on Atlantean combat and she was a newly trained Atlantean. Delta tried old tricks, trying to sweep his legs from underneath him, use her heels as weapons, but he had a counter for each of those moves. There were news moves, trying to grab hold of the guard’s arm and flip him over or overall just gain a hold on him. The guard was too squirmy and too bulky for any of the moves to work effectively. Repeatedly Delta aimed at the man’s stomach, she hid her intentions by aiming blows to the rest of his body as well. The lanyard around her neck bounced with each move, the beads in her hair clinked together as Delta went into a fury. Her strongest punch she landed was to the stomach and his were too her face. The ground beneath them had slowly been dyed red and every spat added more.

        Anger fueled Delta she delivered one last punch to the stomach where her punches had been able to cause wear to the guard’s clothing. Her fist had become embedded in the man; his flesh gave way and blood puddled on the floor beneath them. A sigh was released from Delta, the guard was still struggling, but eventually they slumped over. Gradually Delta slipped her hand back out as she laid the guard on their back, she didn’t have to finish the job if help didn’t come soon the guard would bleed out. She was worn out, her breathing was heavy and her body had lost all its tenseness. It took Delta a few moments to find her gun as her movements were much more sluggish. This is not what she had been expecting today, it was much better. A smile breached her otherwise neutral face. Her crystallization was moving forward that meant power growth and she had taken down four guards. Could any other new recruit in the AUP what she did? No. There wasn’t any better than her, not at this stage of the game.

        For the first time Delta had a chance to survey the area. It was dank, the air was now not only smelling of the ocean, but sweat and death. Bullet holes lined the walls, she was leaving her own shoeprints in blood every time she walked. Something stuck out from behind the door that led to the next room. Delta took the slow approach, mostly because she was still catching her breath. She gripped the door in her hand and swung it outward; as soon as she did that she jumped backwards. Two bodies fell from their place behind the door. On closer inspection Delta noticed that they were unconscious not dead, the almost opposite of the bodies she left down here. Someone had been here before her, but who? Had Imogen beat her down here? Grinding her teeth Delta tried to banish the thoughts of Imogen out of her mind. It wasn’t like Delta, ever since Paris something inside her had surfaced and she had almost allowed it to become common knowledge. The idea of kissing…

        Delta shook her head vigorously and made her way through the door. The tranquility of it all was a bit unsettling. Another body was strewn on the floor, this one had dried blood on their neck, but unfortunately still alive like the others. Whoever these people were they were weak, never leave an enemy alive. The trail of bodies led Delta to a staircase, where she took two stairs at a time. Perfect timing. A guard had his back against the corner and was looking around it at who, she assumed, was the people who left all these bodies.

        Relying on the stealth training she had received Delta was able to sneak up on the guard. She secured her arm around his neck, the guard struggled and grunted but Delta’s arm was crystallized, it was pointless. Predictably the guard tried to elbow her in the ribcage, but Delta had already expected that and crystallized her torso. She dragged him out into plain sight, “This is why you don’t leave them alive.”

        Using her other hand she snapped his neck without a second thought; his limp body fell to the floor and fully revealed Delta to the rest of the people in the room. Now, they would never forget her face, these people would fear her and that brought on a greater feeling than the killing did. There were many people congregated before her, a multitude of them were in terrible conditions. Two from the mass were dressed in guards uniforms, but they weren’t posing a threat, they were actually assisting. Delta wanted to do her own inspection. A cell remained closed, it had what it looked like to be twenty-odd something mirrors in the room and ‘Lumokinesis’ written on a nameplate. She spotted a busted console on another cell and decided to do the same. It was easy enough to slide the door open afterward. Noises came from the center of the room as Delta moved around the mirrors, why there was so many she'd never know. At the center hung a shirtless boy handcuffed by his hands and feet like he was on a crucifix on a metal frame. If he was conscious Delta couldn’t tell but there was a slight glow that radiated from him, whoever did this deserved death.

        Thankfully breaking handcuffs was easy enough to get through when one could crystallize their body. With the handcuffs that held the boy’s feet in place broken Delta put her arm carefully around his torso before she did the same to the last set of handcuffs. The extra strength she was granted through her power easily allowed her to carry the boy. She remembered seeing a boy light up in Paris, she wondered if this was the same kid. Never did Delta think she would help the ARF, but she couldn’t stand the sight of Atlanteans being treated like this it thoroughly enraged her. Though that didn’t mean this dissolve her hatred for ARF since they now had a common enemy.

        Delta stayed in the room a bit longer because there was one thing she couldn’t put off for much longer. "I'm in, below deck. There’s a trail to follow and some stairs. Some guy with a crossbow and another with four arms beat us here. “ Delta radioed, hoping everyone in the AUP would receive the message just incase things got a little hasty when she went back out there.

        After she exited the cell Delta leaned the boy against the wall and walked up to the one with the crossbow.

        “You don’t seem like guards or the Royal Family to me, who are you?” In typical Delta-speak the question wasn’t a question, it was a demand.

        "I'm ready for a nap..."

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        Old October 5th, 2013 (10:24 PM).
        Swolligator's Avatar
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        Wyatt Cale – Onboard NYK Atlus, Portsmouth Harbour, English Channel

        Wyatt’s vision blurred slightly as Adrian dumped a kid with what looked like bones sticking out of his arms next to him, only to have a girl rush over to him a second later. He watched, as if his vision was a television within his own head as the girl locked hands with Kieran, a faint white glow illuminating as she healed him. Without thinking, Wyatt willed his body forward, sliding down the wall until only his right arm held him propped up, and with his other he wrapped gently around her ankle. As soon as he made skin contact, he felt his body fill with warmth and the sharp pain of his ribcage realigning back together as his knee simultaneously healed from the guard’s kick. It didn’t take long for Wyatt to be back to a state where he could walk and move again, letting go of the girl before she let go of Kieran. She didn’t seem to have realised his tagging on to her ability, and he made a note to thank her when they got out of here, but they needed to get out first of all.

        Adrian darted in and out of rooms, bashing in the control panels for quicker access and bringing the captives out into the hallway before moving on to the next one around the centre while Jeremy popped in and out of rooms around the outside. They had already released quite a few captives, some now helping others to escape, so Wyatt moved off, heading for a door near the other end of the corridor. He replaced his bow to its holster on his back when he got to the control panel, tapping on the screen a few times before the door automatically swung open, revealing a young boy around the age of sixteen. His arms and legs were splayed out as he stood in the centre of the room, arms wrapped in steel cuffs with chains leading to a pulley system embedded in the wall. Anytime he moved, the chains seemed to tighten as his face contorted in pain. He spat what sounded like curses in Russian, scaring Wyatt a little, but what really set him off was the drill, centred at his solar plexus and slowly drilling through, not skin, muscle and tissue, but rather and exoskeleton matching the human frame. The exoskeleton meshed together tightly in the middle, but it didn’t seem to be enough as the drill was slowly but surely making its way through.

        “P*ss off, monster!” He yelled at Wyatt, making Wyatt take a step back before realising he was still wearing a guards uniform.

        Stripping off the shirt, he revealed his Kevlar shirt beneath, emblazoned with the Syndicate’s logo above his left breast, “I’m here to help,” was all he said before wrenching the drill backwards; popping it out of the guy’s exoskeleton. Wyatt watched in amazement as the kid’s exoskeleton withdrew seemingly into his body, disappearing through four holes on either side of his abdomen which soon coagulated and healed, leaving four red patches along his side.

        The kid let out a sign of relief as Wyatt pulled out a Swiss army knife the Syndicate had provided them all with in the uniforms, fiddling with the lock on the kid’s bindings before they fell off one by one. Rubbing his wrists the kid looked up to Wyatt, his sunken face and bony features making him look like some sort of vampire. “Thank you, собрат,” he responded , grabbing Wyatt’s hand and bringing him to the cell next to his own, “сестра” was all he said, but Wyatt guessed by the sound of the word that his ‘sister’ was being held captive too.

        Wyatt did the same thing as with the kid’s door, tapping the touchpad in a way that felt strangely natural before the door clicked open. The kid rushed him, dropping to his knees to hug his sister as she sat on her knees, arms chained similar to her brother. It didn’t take Wyatt long to unlock her wrists either, but when he had she looked at him, eyes full of tears, “thank you, we owe you,” she said to him in English, hers vastly better than her brother’s.

        He ushered them out and into the hall which was now full of more kids milling around unsure of what to do. He watched them stumble over to the opposite wall before collapsing on the ground, whispering madly in Russian to one another. Wyatt felt a smile extend across his cheeks, happy that he had been able to help these two escape. From behind him he heard someone else rescue a kid from the cell next to her, Wyatt recognising the kid as Austin whom he had met and teamed up with back in Paris. Before he could make a move to see if the kid was okay, he was verbally assaulted by the Skrillex-esque Eastern European girl whom seemed rather angry, “You don’t seem like guards or the Royal Family to me, who are you?” she practically demanded.

        “Who died and made you queen?” he retorted before pushing past her, aggressively hitting the touchpad only to have it fail a couple of times before the door slid open, Wyatt ignoring the girl to help the poor, trapped soul escape from their own personal torture. Wyatt figured one of the others must have rescued her from a cell, slightly annoyed that she wasn’t grateful for them rescuing her. He brought the young girl, around the age of eleven out into the hallway to find the Skrillex wannabe still standing there, “are you going to help or just stand there, Skrillex?” he spat at her before moving onto the next cell.
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        Old October 9th, 2013 (2:44 PM).
        Lt. Col. Fantastic's Avatar
        Lt. Col. Fantastic Lt. Col. Fantastic is offline
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          Austin Tseng - Portsmouth, England

          Austin hung limp, tired, sore, mad, and above all, hungry. He absentmindedly tried to remember what a double-bacon-cheeseburger tasted like. He licked his chapped lips.

          "Mmm..." he hummed, trying to stay focused on the sandwich. But his mind drifted again...and snapped back to reality when the door suddenly opened. Was it a door? It was plated with a mirror on the side facing him, so for all he knew he could be tripping again. It had been a while since he was last drugged, and he was starting to come back to his senses...but he was so damn tired. And hungry. God, could he go for a Hot Pocket right now...Suddenly he was free; strong, dark arms lifted him from the frame, and took him too the door. He overheard some talking, but not much of it was processed. He was the set on the ground by whoever had saved him. A woman, judging by the way her heels clicked the ground as she walked.

          "Mrrph mrrph blah blahblah Skrillex blah blah," he heard from a man's voice.

          " ass," Austin mumbled. Austin 17 stared at him, incredulous. Oh no, not Austin 17. He's a dick.

          "Skrillex sucks? Dude, have you lost your mind? Or have you even heard Bangarang? Its so catchy."

          "Shut up, you're stupid," Austin muttered, "and go away I know you aren't real."

          "Tch. You wish I wasn't real. I'm about as real as Kraft Mac N' Cheese, bro, realer than Robert Downey Jr's accent in Sherlock Holmes."

          "Both of those are incredibly fake, dumbass," Austin retorted.

          "Yeah, I know that dumbass, that's the joke." Austin waved his hand through Austin 17 as he dissipated into the air. He shakily stood up. Was that...was that that guy who was at the thing? What was his name...Wyatt or something. Yeah, it was Wyatt. And her...the woman with the crystal arms. She was in Paris too. Does this mean the Syndicate had saved Austin? Why would they save him...?

          "Hey, hey Miss," Austin said a little louder than he intended. He lowered his voice and said, "Uh, hey. Thanks for, uh, saving me? Am I saved yet?" He started to look around, wondering if the situation was any better. Well, his arms didn't hurt as much. But he was still..

          "Do you perchance have a snack or something? I'm starving."

          "Wow dude. Way to blow it. This hot chick saves your ass and the first thing you do is ask her for food. What a pig." Austin 8 stepped out of the room, chastising him.

          Get the f*ck out of here, and Jesus Christ stop being so thirsty. She isn't even that hot...

          On second thought, this woman was pretty gorgeous. But something was off about her, and Austin couldn't quite put his finger on it...


          Mr. Aladdin sir! Have a wish or two or three!
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          Old October 21st, 2013 (4:59 PM).
          Swolligator's Avatar
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          Delta Mayor and Wyatt Cale - Onboard NYK Atlus, English Channel

          Delta didn't like those who thought they could approach her in such a manner. If they were weak they deserved to be crushed, all this guy had was a simple crossbow. She had already taken two bullets to the arm, several punches to the face and body if he could do better she'd like to see. His evasion of the question made Delta think that perhaps if she engaged him that would change his mind or in the very least she would get to see the extent of his powers. No one would've made it down here to free Atlanteans alive if they weren't Atlanteans themselves. The only downside was that he seemed to actually have teammates while Delta was on her own... Which only made for a more interesting arrangement.

          Before he slip passed her into the next cell Delta delibrately blocked the entrance to the cell after she had marched around of him. "Excuse me?" Delta questioned, glaring at him. "I said. Who. Are. You." After the 'who' and each following word Delta forcefully shoved boy with the British accent.

          Wyatt felt the Skrillex wannabe shove him much harder than he thought a girl could, pushing him backwards and into the wall behind him. A sharp pain ran up his spine as something not quite fully healed struck something solid. Despite having piggybacked onto the healing girl's trick, he had rushed off too early, to let her fully heal him, and was now fully aware of the still sore injuries he had.

          He let out a grimace, "I'm the mailman, *****," he swore sarcastically, starting to get frustrated with the girl trying to impend his mission, "and that hurt, so do ya wanna get out of my way so I can save this poor soul?"

          Wyatt walked up to her trying to stand menacingly in front of him, blocking the entrance, until he was little more than an arm's width away. He looked her in the eyes, trying not to break contact, but also trying not to realise how attractive her eyes were as they stared daggers back at him. This girl was definitely Atlantean, there was no other reason for her being here and in this sort of situation, so Wyatt had no doubt that with her demenour, he would find out about her ability soon.

          Delta grew tiresome of his pathetic insults, he was like a kid from her primary school. The same type of kid that led to the reason she got kick out of primary school because she bloodied them over and over again. She wasn't the least bit intimidated. "They've suffered this long they'll live." Delta smirked as a high pitched scream cut through Delta's last words. "Or not."

          "Really, it's up to you. Tell me who you're with and are, and they won't die in this hellhole. Simple."

          Wyatt rolled his eyes, this girl just never gave up, it was useless them bickering here like two preschoolers over a toy. Obviously she wouldn't let it go until he told her his name, but he wasn't ready to share any sort of information like that with this stranger. "The name's Ethan, Ethan Cross, I work for AIM: Atlantean Information Management, we work closesly with the ARF." Wyatt pulled up the training the Directive had him go throught, taking on the identity of a known worker in a known organisation to prevent the releasing of his own information and that of the Syndicates.

          "Now, can you please move so I can return these kids to the ARF?" he asked politely, arms folded across his chest. Next to them, the kid named Austin swung in and out of lucidity, muttering half hearted phrases. Wyatt just hoped to god that the kid didn't burst the lie he had just told.

          Delta had never heard of this AIM faction and if they worked closely with the ARF who was all about publicity, why weren't they well known? If Delta was in his shoes she would fabricated a story, perhaps lying came as easily to him as it did her.

          "Look here," Delta moved her hand like she was grabbing for her gun, but instead went in her back pocket. "This is a radio I nabbed off that guard." She pointed to the body of the guard she had killed on her way in. "I don't like being lied to and I'm pretty positive that these people don't like that you've busted out their prisoners. You tell me the truth and I won't radio in, you've got one more chance." It was a big chance she was taking, but Delta never trusted anyone. How would she know when he was telling the truth? Hopefully putting his life in closer danger would do the trick. She slid the radio back in her pocket just incase he had some blasting power.

          Wyatt rolled his eyes, this girl was not going to give up anytime soon and they were rapidly running out of time. The others should have nearly finished freeing the rest of the captives, and he stood here arguing with this girl. "Look, believe me or not, but I work for AIM, feel free to call up and check my credentials after we get these people off the ship. So are you going to help us or not?" Wyatt eyed both the gun and radio, hoping like hell the radio was nothing more than a taunt to get him to break. The gun on the other hand, he would be powerless to stop.

          "So what's it going to be?" he asked impatiently.

          "I... don't believe you, sorry." Delta relayed with a shrug.

          Her naturally distrusting nature had kicked in, but regardless of if she believed him or not the mission was to get the Royal Family members off the ship. She didn't like helping the Royal Family, but if she called the guards that would not only put herself in danger but everyone on the ship. Decisions like this wasn't something she was used to, back when life was simplier there wasn't decisions that would end up in Delta being dead. Why shouldn't she let them all die? They deserved it. No, if they were going to die it would be by her hand. To watch the life drain out of their eyes as she put them through excruciating pain killing them ever so slowly would bring far better pleasure. It would be a massacre, and all of it orchestrated by Delta. Yes, that was to be their fate Delta decided.

          "I will, however, find out who you are and who you really work for." Delta commented as she stuck the radio back in her back pocket, but settled her hand back on her gun as a reminder she still had power. "Before I let you save this miserable soul tell me one thing: How are you getting off the ship with all these Royal Family members and not getting captured? There's too many guards for you to handle especially given the conditions these ones are in."

          Wyatt rolled his eyes, this girl had some nerve, not to mention a death wish. Regardless, she was going to cooperate with him anyway and for the time being, it was all that he needed. "You'll see soon enough, sweetheart," he said as he walked into the room she had been blocking, unlocking the poor soul from their constraints and setting them out in the hall to recover.

          The two of them alternated between doors, Wyatt's fingers rapidly darting over the pinpads while Delta simply busted her way through. He couldn't help but admire the brute strength she possessed, slightly captivated by the glimpses of shimmering diamond her skin transformed into each time she used her ability. It didn't take long for them to finish rescuing everyone, many of the students on their feet with the last couple who struggled to stand were being aided by their comrades. From the opposite side, Jeremy and Adrian came shepherding their line of recruits.

          "I'm going to need them topside to get them off the ship," Jeremy said looking around at the multitude of Atlanteans congregating in the halls, "so Adrian, I need that distraction, and Wyatt I need your cover. I can only take five at a time..." Wyatt trailed off as he noticed Delta standing behind Wyatt, almost towering over him.

          Keen as always Delta registered the fact that this guy, who was still nameless, had named his comrades, which didn't include the name Ethan. From her position Delta leaned in purposely making any personal space between them nonexistent. An intense chuckle was let loose before she asked, "Wyatt or Adrian, which is it?" Delta wore her famous smug and continued on, "Seeing as you don't look like you could cause much of a distraction and four arms here does... I'll say you're Wyatt, correct?"

          "Correct," Wyatt replied sarcastically, somewhat annoyed that Jeremy had busted their cover, but now it was time to get out of here, and they didn't have time for pleasantries. Ignoring Delta, Wyatt continued down the stairs, Jeremy close on his heals and Delta no doubt closer. It was all clear leading up to the door, Wyatt briefly gancing at the half strangled guard he had taken out on their way in. He was momentarily relieved that he hadn't killed the guy, having someone else's blood on his hands wasn't quite his style. Unlike Delta who had a look of gratification as she stared at the dead bodies she had left in her wake. To her it showed strength, Delta was willing to do what it took to save her life and if that was killing someone then so be it. It was her life or theirs and Delta wasn't ready to give up hers yet.

          Adrian and Wyatt moved up, everyone following them as they made their way down the hallway and up the stairs, stopping just below deck. Adrian proceeded forward first, creeping up the stairs and then climbing up the side of the cargo containers. He worked his four arms faster, pushing himself up the side quickly before anyone caught him doing so. Once on top he pushed his fingers into the small space between two crates. No matter how much he tried to push, they just wouldn't budge, but then again, neither would he. Using one of his hands, he delved into his back pocket, retrieving a small syringe filled with weirdly yellow liquid. Injecting it into his thigh, he roared as the adrenaline pumped through his veins, his muscles growing to almost twice their size as he again roared, finally toppling the crates over as they crashed to the deck. The crates now created a wall around the entrance, one blocking passage from the back of the ship while the other blocked the pathway across the middle, leaving the front of the ship the only way around. Delta hadn't a clue why remained teamed with the group who still hadn't revealed their name and hadn't even bothered asking who she was. She watched intensely as the four armed man injected himself with some sort of fluid in a needle.

          It didn't take long for the bullets to start whizzing by, Adrian scrambling on the tops of the crates, drawing all the fire up at him while below, Jeremy began ushering the kids out 5 at a time, grabbing them close on deck before teleporting them back to the docks. While Delta had found herself gearing up, despite her bravado preformance earlier she was still worn out from the earlier fights, not to mention wounded. Off to the side, Adrian could see Wyatt settling himself into a nest, arming his bow with arrows before sending them flying at the soldiers. The arrows seemed to barely make it through the vests the soldiers were wearing, but Wyatt's aim had improved considerably, and he managed to fell a couple by aiming for the insides of arms and legs. It was all a distraction, all for show really, drawing all the attention upwards so Jeremy could escape with the kids. If it was a distracted that wanted, well, Delta wasn't one to let them down. She secured the gun in her hand and twisted off the silencer. Instead of the taking the careful shots that secured the life of the guards Delta's were more to the neck and head regions.
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          Old October 22nd, 2013 (10:13 PM). Edited October 22nd, 2013 by Kikpanther.
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          Kikpanther Kikpanther is offline
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          Dominique Bisset-- NYK Cargo Ship

          Getting here wasn't fun. Just like with the ride with Spectacles, the gravity-thing didn't need to be discussed. He didn't like it and that's really all that needed to be said. Dom only enjoyed flying when he had a thousand ton airplane around him rather than absolutely nothing. The landing was tolerable though slightly irritating. Yeah this whole thing wasn't going the way he'd like so far. The only pick-me-up was seeing Emil put his son in a very uneventful post (something that apparently happened often). But other than that? Yeah... No.

          Everyone split up pretty quickly. Emil said to go in groups but Dom decided to ignore that. He didn't need to be in a group, it would have been nice, but he was no longer in the mood. Sleep teased under his eyelids and he cursed himself for making conversation instead of ignoring everyone like Del had. He may have gotten some sleep, but now he was just more tired than he was before he came here. It didn't help that it was cold either. He was fine under his jacket, which was only slightly a good thing since every other part of him was cold and getting colder by the second. That was just annoying. So yeah, he was already irritated, maybe even passed irritated, it wouldn't help being in a group right now.

          Dom could hear the guards' footsteps on the stel floor and their was no doubt his could be heard too. Whenever he would cross into the open, he'd look back to see if any guard decided to stop and look around after hearing him, but so far they had all just walked by. Either they hadn't heard him or they took him for another guard. However it was, Dom wasn't going to start posing questions now. He squeezed his way through a space between two crates and looked out the other side. Ahead of him was a large, white, tower-like structure that stretched to either side of the boat. It was impossible for him to see around the entire thing. Dom didn't have much of a choice but to go in blind. He groaned and, after waiting for two guards to pass, he went to the tower. Dominique pressed his back to the wall and when he looked around the corner he saw no one. Just like he liked it. Dom started his sprint through the passageway, but as he did the heavy, steel door in the center swung open. Dom stopped hard to keep himself from slamming into the metal door and ducked under the circular window. Just as he did, two guards walked out, one stopping in the doorway and the other just outside. The two of them were in conversation, probably ending it before they split off, but was it worth waiting?

          "Yeah, Pete's a f*cking dick," the first guard, a woman, said, "but don't worry about it. He's going to be down below all day."

          "Yeah, still. Did you hear what he said? I should have thrown that *sshole off the goddamn ship!" Dom could hear the second, a man, slam his fists together. The man's voice was deep and gruff and the woman's only sounded a tone or two higher. The both of them, of course, wore those heavy, black uniforms with the poorly selected scarf and hat, the Batman-style utility belts, and held over-sized guns. These ones, however, let their guns rest by their shoulder straps instead of keeping them in-hand and ready to fire. He'd have to act while they were distracted.

          First Guard laughed. "Hey! Maybe you can get a favor from that portal kid!"

          "A one way ticket to Hell would be nice." Dom could hear the sound of Second Guard checking one of his many uniform pockets and utility packs. Dom concentrated, focusing his power from his body and into his hands. The action was harder than it sounded and he felt his body heat up before his hands did. Keeping his frustration down was harder than telling his fire where to go. Dom had to force himself keep calm until the right moment. The Second Guard let out a mixture of a sigh and a heavy sigh. "Goddammit. You got a light?" That would have to do.

          Dom sprang up from behind the door and rammed into Second Guard. The man was big, but surprise took his feet from under him. The guard collided into his partner and the two of them went falling and stumbling backwards. It was then that Dom noticed the set of stairs behind them. His eyes widened when the woman shrieked and fell backwards. There was hard, metallic slam! when her head hit the low archway down. Two more impacts came after followed by a third and final slam--this one deep and hollow on the floor.

          Sh*t! The man on the floor groaned, the strap of his gun now twisted around his body awkwardly. Below them Dom could hear the voices of more people responding to the shriek, mostly "what the hell"s and "what the f*ck"s that were too close for comfort. The now blood-covered letters of the already red WATCH YOUR HEAD sign told him that wasn't a good time to offer the guard a light.

          "What the hell?" The guard below him groaned and looked back at Dom, his eyes widening once he did. Immediately he scrambled to right his gun. By the time he could grab it, Dom set his hands ablaze. His nerves were still high after that fall and the fire burst from his hands came with more power than he intended, sending small flecks of fire into the air that made both him and the guard flinch.

          "Don't even think about it," Dom said as menacingly as he could in hopes of hiding his momentary weakness. Below them the voices and footsteps of men and women stopped at the bottom of the stairs, each of them sharing a gasp or interjection.

          "Someone radio this in!" A guard below them shouted. Whoever they asked didn't get much of a chance to start before Second Guard started shouting to them, waving his hands and gun in the air.

          "Hey, hey! Up here!"

          "Is that f*cking fire!?" Sh*t! Without thinking, Dom kneeled down and grabbed the tattle-tale guard by the legs. The guard cried out in pain just as bullets flew over Dom's head and the sound of combat boots and metal came off the stairs. He lifted the guard by the legs and flipped him forward. The guard yelled out as he fell down the stairs, flaming pants and all, into his comrades ascending. He didn't wait to hear the commotion, without a second wasted Dom jumped out of the stairway and and slammed the door behind him. He grabbed the door's locking wheel and turned it to close, but before he got far there was another voice.

          "The hell!?" Another guard. Why were there suddenly so many guards? Just like the other ones he was ready to shoot. Dom put up his hands to send his own attack, but the guard shot first. Before he knew it there were what felt like two explosions in his arm. A wave of intense pain shot through his system, followed by a second wave of heat. Dom grabbed his arm reflexively and cried out in pain. As the feeling spread over his body, so did the heat-- hottest where it was the most painful and cooler in the others. The guard ahead of him stared with his eyes wide. At what, Dom didn't ask. He lifted his good arm and pointed it at the guard. Dom shot out a blast, a blast that was, admittedly, larger than he intended. Either way, it had gotten the job done. The force of the blast was enough to push the man off of his feet. Dom walked backwards passed the door. Passing it worked like a trigger and in a second the window exploded open, bullets shooting out of its new opening. Dom's good arm went up to his face automatically, his heart beating faster than it was a moment ago and the left side of his body feeling hotter than before. The guard across from him was getting back up. Would he be able to fight off all of these guys? The wheel of the ship's door started to turn and Dom took that as his answer. Probably not.

          Dom turned and ran full speed from the scene. Behind him he could hear the metal door swing open and the guards shout things or make radio calls. He used crates and small openings to shake the guards off. Turn this way, turn that way, squeeze through this small hole. He was surprised that the guards decided to chase him rather than shoot him, well, that was until he heard one of them say something about tranquilizers. They seemed to stick to him where he went. Whenever he thought he was safe, another one seemed to find him. His hands didn't make it easier to hide either; they were still aflame. Shaking off the flames or telling his own hands to shut off didn't work. Concentrating didn't work. He didn't have time to stop, drop, or roll, but he was sure that wouldn't work either. The flames wouldn't go out, it made an even bigger problem when he found a moment to rest and saw exactly why else he was so easy to find. His hands weren't just on fire, his arm was--the left one to be exact. The flames had been concealed for a time under his jacket, but had now burned holes through his clothing and displayed themselves proudly to the world. They weren't little small flames either, but big noticeable ones. Not huge, just big. It was not only a problem, it pissed Dom off. His clothes were ruined again.

          Dom knew the guards were coming again, they were behind him when he stopped. He was tired of running though. Out of breath and out of patience, these guys had successfully gotten on his nerves. They had guns, and that was pretty intimidating, but this cat and mouse game was too much. He'd have to fight and he knew he'd have to fight, one armed and all. Dom readied himself for the guard's eventual appearance from around the corner. He'd have to try and make this quick.

          Except he'd be delayed. To the side of him was a roar and right after two thunderous booms. They were loud, extremely loud. It sounded like metal slamming on metal and it scared the living hell out of him. At the far end of the line of crates he hid by, the opening to the other side of the ship was now closed. A crate from above had closed off the entrance, and from the sound earlier, a second one must have fallen too. Dom searched the tops of the crates and saw two bodies standing at the top. Who is that? One was fairly large and the other one was smaller, but he couldn't figure out which AUP members those two actually were.

          He took a step forward to get a better look, but as he did, he could hear the footsteps of those same four guards running this way. Dom turned around and saw the men burst out from behind the crates. He reacted immediately, raising his right arm and shooting fire from his palms. The shots came out large, but he couldn't stop to care at the moment. His blast hit one of the guards with full force and sent stray flames towards the others. The guard hit by the large blast was taken by fire instantly. The flames blew him back and clung to his hat, scarf, and clothes. The guard may have tried to get off the garments if his hands weren't clinging to his face. Dom's could only feel momentary concern. The guard's comrades, who were less concerned than Dom was, still advanced on him despite the screaming in the background.

          Dom quickly found himself running and shooting at the same time. He could only go so far, it was a dead end here and the guards seemed intent on backing him in a corner. He was going to have to make one big hit if he was going to try and get out of this. Dom charged a blast as he ran, focusing as much heat as he could to his hand. It worked, partially. The heat dominating his left arm seeped away, but instead of collecting in his hand like he wanted, most of the energy spread itself to his body. Something he didn't want at all. Still, it gave him a fairly big amount of energy. The flame on his hand didn't grow like the other times, instead it felt like energy packed under his palm. He didn't pay much attention, though.

          Dom turned and faced the guards that ran at him. Thrusting his arm forward, Dom sent out a blast of heat. Except... It was bigger than he intended. It wasn't even a blast. Before then all of his shots had been in nice balls of fire, but this one came out like a stream from his hand. A flamethrower, and it caught Dom off guard. He didn't know what to do, and in his shock didn't notice the man he hit. Yeah, it hit. Hit straight on. When Dom finally noticed he hit something, he dropped the flamethrower, but by then it was much too late. The guard had been burned and deeply. The shot had hit the guard directly in the face and now there was nothing left. The hat, his hair, his face, everything gone. The only thing left on the man's head was black, red, and disfigured. Dom felt sick looking at the thing that used to be or may still be a person. The more he looked, the more Dom was sure he made it to the bone. The body of the man collapsed where it stood and all four of them--Dom and the remaining guards--stood still for a moment. It wasn't hard catch the smell of burning flesh and, mixed with the sight of the man, Dom couldn't top his stomach from churning. It wasn't until one of the guards spoke that he could take his eyes away.

          "You Atlantean sh*t!" The guard closer to the burned man yelled, raising his gun to Dominique. Dom couldn't do much but stare at the guard. He was just too... Too... It was bad, bad. Even if he wasn't looking at the man he still saw him. How could he do something like that? It wasn't on purpose, was it? Of course not! But he did build up the energy for it, didn't he? Yeah, he did. The other guards lifted their guns, but Dom didn't even see them, not that it mattered anyways. He had nowhere to go. He never killed anyone--never even dreamed of it!--until he entered AUP. Was it going to stay like this? How long had it been? Two days? What about the girl on the stairs? One person for each day, was it going to stay like this? No, it couldn't. He wouldn't see death like this again, he couldn't make himself.

          But what are friends for? Dom jumped, startled out of his daze, when three gunshots exploded over his head. Before he knew it the three guards in front of him were on the ground around their burned teammate; one hole for each head. Maybe he spoke too soon...

          Dom looked above his head his head to find his apparent savior. It was Del. She looked down on him from on top of the crates, gun in hand and a victorious grin on her face.
          Anya Odile // Bae'd to Quest // The Frozen Gate
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          Old October 22nd, 2013 (11:58 PM).
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          Swolligator Swolligator is offline
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          Antonia Costa, Nathaniel Calaway, James Hazen and others - Portsmouth, England

          Antonia had been riding shotgun on Nate’s bike for well over two hours, but up ahead, James and Oliver still seemed to be driving on. She wondered how much longer it would take them to catch up to where the others were being held, much less where they were being held. By the looks of it though, they were already far from Boston, and would probably be passing Portsmouth soon enough. She hugged Nathaniel tighter, trying to sustain her heat from the cold wind around her, but the closer she pressed herself, the more she realised that Nate was nearly just as cold as the wind chill. She shivered, it was just a side effect of Nate’s ability, it couldn’t get any worse, could it?

          Her thoughts were abrupt as Garrett spoke in her ear, “Guys, Kaido says to head into Portsmouth. I think we’ll be arriving soon.” Her heart skipped a beat, they were finally getting close to finding the others and she was more than anxious to help them out.

          “Okay guys, stay together,” Antonia ordered into the mic, “James, get us as close as possible without raising suspicion, we’ll have to think of a plan when we get there.” While she spoke the words, she was already slowing piecing together a plan in her head. The only problem was that she could easily account for the others, but she had no experience fighting alongside James, and only once last night with Nate. She felt a sense of duty as the one who put this rag tag group together to become the leader, but she wasn’t quite sure she was leader quality, even thinking that she should hand over the leadership role to someone like Nate.

          Nathaniel had found himself at the end of the train of cars, leering down the road. Part of him wanted nothing more than to speed ahead and take the lead, leaving the others in the dust. He loved to ride fast on the bike, enjoying cutting through the wind. However, for whatever reason, he forced himself to stay slow. He wanted to tell himself it was because he didn’t know where he was going, having only memorized the streets of London. He wanted to tell himself it was because it was important to stay calm, stay safe and stay focused on the task on hand. But there was a filling, a pit in his stomach that caused him to become nervous. Whatever they were getting themselves was a lot bigger than everyone was making it out to be. They couldn’t fall victim to the sense of eagerness that resided within them. It was no time to get impulsive. Nathaniel hoped he wouldn’t have to remind them of that. But with James around...

          James had to get used to driving on the left side of the road, being in England. It was a bit bumpy for him at first, the man almost getting into an accident close to the beginning of the journey. Once he got the hang of it, however, he was fine. Although he did almost veer off the road multiple times, and also almost hit a pedestrian. The key word in James’ book being ‘almost’, which in his eyes defines that they arrived at their destination without any trouble whatsoever. The others might disagree, but he didn’t really give a sh*t about them anyway.

          “We here!” Kaido barked in Antonia’s ear, only to have Garrett reiterate it two seconds later. Tilting her head to the side, she looked past Nate at their destination, seeing the looming containers and warehouses of Portsmouth Harbour towering just up ahead. Suddenly her heart beat faster, they were finally here and it was time to get into action, but the confidence she had built up on the way here rapidly diminished. What if they failed, got caught or even worse, someone died? She couldn’t deal with that, but she felt that the others looked up to her as some sort of leader, and she now more than ever had to live up to that reputation.

          They had stopped just up the road from the port, the entrance at the middle of the T-intersection crawling with two guards monitoring the gate and three others walking the perimeter. Antonia got off the motorcycle just as the others got out of their cars, mulling around on the sidewalk as they all stood around wondering what to do next. She looked at all their faces, making a note of who was here and what abilities they would be able to utilise. In all honesty she wasn’t quite sure on how this was going to play out, nor what they would do, but a good leader could think on the spot and come up with a good plan.

          “James, how much juice do you have?” Antonia asked, he was the only one that really relied on external power for his ability to function.

          “I filled up before heading out,” He replied, taking in a breath to ‘feel’ the energy flow through his body. He was powered, much more so than he had ever been before, probably due to his body slowly adapting to be able to take in more energy as time went on.

          “Works for me,” Oliver said, walking up behind James and putting his hand on James’ shoulder. Antonia reeled as there as a spark between the two before Oliver sucked in a bit of the energy that James had stored up from the Mansion. He could feel his extremities tingle as the power surged through him; he definitely had enough to keep him going for the rest of the day. He smiled at James before crossing his arms across his chest. James cocked an eyebrow, feeling a bit of his energy leave him. He never allowed him to take some of his energy, so he made a mental note to deal with that later.

          Antonia began formulating a plan in her head, “So we have our three heavy hitters, James, Nate and Oliver taking point; Oliver in the middle clearing what’s ahead of us while James and Nate minimize interruptions from the sides. Kaido is the most important, so he’ll be in the middle, with me in front of him giving directions to you three. Marilyn will take point left and back, Rebecca right and back with Garrett bringing in the tail end of the group. You three will make sure no one surprises us from behind. How does that sound, guys?” Antonia could feel sweat beading down her forehead as her heart raced faster, but was glad to see almost everyone nod, “what about you and James?” he asked Nate, looking at the both of them.

          “I have no objections. Let’s just be quiet as to not alert their friends that we are coming,” Nathaniel said with a smile. “The element of surprise is still on our side.”

          James rolled his eyes. He had been agreeing and nodding for the time being just so they could get on with the engagement already, instead of sitting around squabbling. He really didn’t give much thought to going along with any plan. “Yeah, yeah whatever,” James rushed, ushering them forward. “Let’s just go.”

          As they drew closer to the docks, they slowly fell into the formation that Antonia had described, Oliver puffed out his chest slightly, the energy he had stolen from James getting him excited and pumped for the inevitable fight ahead. With James and Nate on either side he felt very important as they arrived at the gate.

          The two guards at the gate converged on Oliver, handguns by their side and stern faces, “What do you children think you’re doing here? Shouldn’t you all be in school? Now beat it!”

          Oliver smirked, he didn’t need Nate and James at his side to take out these two goons, his hands striking hard and fast, gripping their necks tightly as his golden yellow aura sparkled in the sunlight, shimmering like a thin blanket. They scratched and grabbed at his wrist, but his aura seemed to reflect any damage and their grip simply slid off. Oliver didn’t muck around, lifting them up, he then slammed them into the ground, breaking through the wooden barrier that barred their way. Only wheezes escaped from the men as they slid out of consciousness.

          Without much hesitation, James charged forward over the down guards and proceeded past the gate, immediately abandoning the formation and going on ahead. He powered up his arms with energy and started a rampage, firing bolts of electricity at absolutely anything and everything that moved. Any guard in his way was quickly hit with the lightning-quick shock of energy. If there was anyone else around, they were also fired upon. It was pure action, with no regard for planning or missions anyone had. Just the way he liked it.

          Nathaniel's approach, however, was more calculated. He took his side in a measured manner, taking whatever cover he could as he tried to clear his side. "Minimize interruptions," Nathaniel said to himself. "Sounds easy enough." Nathaniel hoped to be slient, but his large frame would make it difficult. That and he didn't have the cover of darkness. Being stealthly was just about impossible. Regardless, Nathaniel did what he could and choked out a guard. But the second in which he did, he heard the chaos of James and his more belligrent approaches. He sighed in frustration as he dropped the guard and a few more popped out of the cover, possibly trying to flank Oliver and/or James. "Seems being silent is out of the question. Better cool down the situation then!" Nathaniel placed his hand on the ground and unleashed a wave of ice, overwhelming the guard's position. More than a few guards were caught up in the new ice formation that consumed that part of the dock. Nathaniel sighing, went back to creeping from cover to cover, knocking out guards or encasing them in ice when they approached as he made his advance.

          Seeing Nathaniel and James race ahead of him into the fray, Oliver immediately became jealous of the two breaking rank and having all the fun to themselves. He looked behind him at Rebecca, then Antonia, and could see the look of disapprovement cross their face, "New plan! We'll distract the guards and draw them here, you guys find the others!" he yelled back at them.

          Turning forward, he could see James and Nate speeding ahead of him, getting further and further away; something he could not have. His body tingled as the glow around his body strengthened, his arms glowing with feathers and the outline of a beak sticking out from his mouth. He started running forward, pelting at a fast past, he eventually lept forward, speeding through the air as his wings kept him aloft just barely off the frozen ground. In moments he had past the other two, screeching forward and bashing into a guard who was raising his gun to shoot at James, knocking the guard back several feet and turning up into the sky. He returned to the ground moments later, his aura flaring out around him. He blocked as a new guard tried to strike him in the side, fighting the man strike for strike. Despite Oliver being Atlantean, the man seemed to change his tactics anytime Oliver decided to introduce his ability to push for an attack.

          James continued to fire wildly at anything that moved, which for the moment was restricted to the guards around. He expected them to be a fight, and they seemed well-trained enough to entertain him, but James had recently had a taste for fighting Atlanteans. Whether against the fire manipulator in Paris or Oliver, he had a taste for a heightened level of battle, something regular humans couldn't offer. He hoped to run into more Atlanteans here instead, but before he could, he decided to blast away these guys as fast as he could. He sucked in a deep breath, closing his eyes and letting an enormous amount of energy pour into his arms. Then, he fired the built up energy, which came as two singular yet powerful bolts, both of which fired at two separate guards. It was unlikely that any human body could take that level of electricity surging through it so unnaturally and sporadically, which is why James didn't doubt that his two opponent were likely knocked out, if not dead.

          Again, the fact that he realized this then didn't deter him from repeated the act. He fired again at two more guards in the same way. After doing in this second time, however, he became aware of how much energy it costs to release such bolts. If these really were the small fish, he figured he should save the bulk of his energy for the real fights.

          Nathaniel meanwhile continued his measured approach throughout the docks, though as he fought the guards, he was curious of the actual reasoning behind fighting them. Wasn't they supposed to find out where the other Atlanteans were being held? Senseless fighting was, well, senseless. Truthfully, he was kind of sick of all the fighting he has been doing as an Atlantean. Nathaniel found himself cursing under his breath with every guard he confronted. Most of them he attempted to sneak up on, taking advantage of the attention that Oliver and especially James had gained from their more elaborate displays of power. He could see the flashes of electricity that James had fired extensively, and many were drawn by it. This allowed Nathaniel to subdue a guard or two with a sleeper hold. A couple of guards had discovered Nathaniel as he did this, forcing Nathaniel to leap into cover. A stray bullet nicked his arm, causing Nathaniel to wince in pain. He coated the ground in a sheet of ice, causing the guards to lose their balance and as he sent a bolt of ice at the one guard, knocking him out with concussive force and fired ice beam at another guard, freezing him in place leaving his head exposed for air. Eventually, the guard would go into shock, but Nathaniel had hoped some other guard would awaken and tend to his friend. It should be easy enough to thaw him out.

          Antonia Costa – Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, England

          She wasn’t particularly happy with Oliver’s sudden disappearance to go prove his masculinity to the other two by showcasing his abilities, but with the three strongest of them creating a diversion, it meant the rest of them could sneak away and find the others. Antonia motioned to the others, darting to the left behind one of the warehouses that lined the central access point. With nose held high in the air, Kaido lead them around the building sniffing at crates and by doorways.

          “Zey smell close, buto itzu bery hardo.” Kaido said, his dog mouth forming weirdly as his accent became thicker. He had a furrowed look on his brow, like they were standing next to them. Kaido hadn’t been at the mansion for long, about half as long as Antonia, but she knew him long enough to know that he often found things difficult culturally, more than anything else.

          He took them round containers, alongside buildings, Antonia was now thankful the boys were drawing the attention of all the guards. She was slowly beginning to get frustrated though, running around in circles and not getting anywhere when they seemed to be just so close and yet so far away. The dock was large, they didn’t have the time to be running around the place trying to find these other students, but neither did they have the abilities to pinpoint their exact locations.

          A cold wind blew their way and instantly Kaido spun 180 degrees on his heels, sniffing at the breeze that had just come their way, “Don’t worry Kaido, it’s just Nate…” Antonia said, pushing for Kaido to continue his search.

          “Matte…” he took another sniff, his brow furrowing further before he darted off, back in the direction of the fight.

          Antonia signalled to the others to follow him, running back between the crates and buildings until they arrived just ahead of the fray in which the guys were fighting. Behind them, the guys were being rather reckless with their fighting, lances of ice hurtling into the crates and electricity crackling in the air. What was most surprising was the students Antonia recognised from the mansion suddenly appearing in lots of five on the edge of the docks. Kaido was already there, circling around the group of kids only to yelp as Nix appeared behind him magically.

          “Marrilyn, create a barrier, keep the fighting away from the kids!” Antonia ordered as she pelted forward towards the group of kids, a shimmering pinkish curtain of telepathic energy creating a two storey psychic wall between them and the fighting.
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          Old October 23rd, 2013 (3:40 AM).
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          Skymin Skymin is offline
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          Imogen Green - NYK Atlus, English Channel

          Imogen sneered as Delta disappeared. She was a soldiers of sorts. Willing to serve the cause, but in her own way. She was strong, courageous, cunning. The only thing that Imogen wished she was less was curious. She was too sceptical for her own good. It wasn't a big deal though. Imogen could work with that.

          Her fellow members around her skipped off, Imogen waited a moment, then hid herself into the shadows that she could. Her ability was best suited for this kind of thing; sneaking, pretending to be someone else. It didn't take long for her to stick to the walls and find a lone guard loitering. The guard had the equipment to take her out no problem but she didn't really look like she wanted to be there. That was the problem with paid guns. No motive. No real commitment. Pathetic.

          He turned her head for a second and Imogen moved, sliding across the ground and kicking up, colliding with the guard's chin. She felt her jaw push upwards, knocking her out instantly. She caught her as he fell to avoid drawing attention to herself. She quickly stripped her down, pulling off the necessary items she needed to pose as one. Imogen threw the rest overboard, but not without spending a moment to study her face. Then, like if her face was made of clay, she moulded into the ex-guard's face. It was lucky the guard was female, otherwise Imogen would have a hard time adjusting her voice. She had had her powers for a while now, and she had managed to mould her face, hair, neck and could even adjust colours. With more time, she could probably adjust her vocal chords, maybe even her body and limbs. The face would do for now.

          She flicked her hair, kept her glasses on but her lips a bright red, as if she had put lipstick on. She also rubbed at the end of her ponytail, as if the tips had been dyed the same colour as her lipstick. It was the tell she had told Emil and the team to not attack her or confuse her for a guard. Small stuff. Hopefully none of the other guards were too intimiate with this woman (though, in saying that, she was a woman among a majority of men). Speaking of 'this woman', Imogen pulled at one of the tags under her jacket. 'Private Ashley Thompson'. Geez, what an awful name. Whatever.

          Imogen set off, walking with confidence to the communication tower in the centre of the ship. She passed a few guards on the way, some who looked up but went back to their "guarding" as she kept walking. The communication tower was also guarded by a man, who stopped her as she approached.

          "What's your business, private?"

          "I need to speak to the captain, sir."

          "You know the captain said that he must only be contacted in emergenc... Are you wearing lipstick?"

          "So? What's it to you?" he gave her a furious look. She rolled her eyes and added, "sir."

          "Mind your tongue, private."

          She sighed, giving the area a quick check. Nobody around. Great.

          "Mind your step, sir." She thrusted her fist forward, jabbing the guard in the throat. He gasped, inable to shout out for help. A knee to the balls and another jab to the jaw and he was out for the count. She stepped over his body and through the door.

          The inside was fairly empty, aside from a few men. They looked at her, a little puzzled, but let her through (perhaps they thought the doorman had let her through) without holding her back. The door to the captain's was fairly obvious, making her way through without knocking or an invitation.

          "Yes, private?" the captain turned to her. She didn't recognise him, which she wasn't sure was a good or bad thing. A new group? So quickly? It certainly was odd. But it would be over soon enough.

          "So, you're running this party?" Imogen rubbed at her face, moulding it back to the usual Imogen. The captain went a little wide-eyed, but didn't go to attack. "Listen, buddy, I know what you're doing. We know what you're doing. And I have a proposition to make. Either you stop this embarrassing charade you've got going here or... you team up with us. Combine our research. I'm sure we both have sources that could be... useful for eachother." He stared at her, as if she was suggesting some heinous proposition. "I'll give you a minute to mull it over."

          "Who are you?"

          "That really doesn't matter right now. What matters is that you make this decision now."

          He gave a laugh, shaking his head. "What can one Atlantean do against an army like mine?"

          "So... that's a no then?"

          "It's impressive that you made it through the door, but you can't take on everyone. What are you going to do now?" He sneered at her. She sighed back.

          "I'll take that as a no, then." She jabbed at his throat like the last guard, rendering him breathless. His hands went to his throat as she grabbed his head, a gun to his temple. "You're going to tell me where all your research is and then, I'm going to take it and then shoot you and the rest of this army shaped toilet. That's what I'm going to do. Questions? Queries?" He gasped back at her. "No? Good."

          Oakley North - NYK Atlus, English Channel

          "We better go save some of those poor souls then," the Librarian looked excited and gave the small group of Julian, Oakley and Devon grins and thumbs-ups. The rest of the members sulked off and the Librarian took it as his cue as well, almost skipping ahead further into the boat. Julian gave him a careful look, but walked with him, keeping Oakley and Devon behind him. The Librarian seemed to take no care into keeping quiet, Julian growing a little upset with him.

          "Are you... are we?" He whispered at the Librarian. "Are we protected by... something?"

          "I am and you are, yes," he chirped, "but I think this would be a lovely training exercise for the young ones, don't you think?"

          "But, what if they--"

          "Do not worry, my friend." The Librarian gave him a warm smile. "We are here to help them if that happens. Surely you have a little trust in them?"

          "Yes, but--"

          "Then let them show us what they can do!"

          "I... suppose."

          "Then what are we waiting for?"

          Devon gave an understanding nod, to which Oakley seemed to cling to him as soon as he started to move forward. He had far more training than she had had, especially in protecting themselves. She just knew how to get some kind of hold of her ability. Some kind. A lot of it depended on the crystals on the pendant around her neck. She would hate to think what would happen if she lost it.

          "Shh." Devon pushed her back as they hit an intersection of sorts, a guard visible in the distance. "We need to knock him out. Can... you do that?"

          "What?" Oakley whispered back in disbelief as if he had asked if she could kidnap the Prime Minister or something.

          "Just let him pass, Devon." Julian stepped forward, also whispering despite the Librarian's 'ward'. "You can keep moving once he's gone. What if he overpowers you?"

          "Now, now. Let the children make their own decisions. I'm sure they're mature enough." The Librarian was rather immersed in the situation, as if he was watching his favourite TV show and the lead characters were about to make a life changing choice. Julian made a face, but obliged and stepped back next to the Librarian to watch. Devon gave them both a thankful nod and continued.

          "Can you?"

          "Um, maybe? But it's not that easy... Don't you have a gun? Can't you just... do that thing with the gun? Hit them on the back of the head?"

          "Maybe." Devon gave a little frown. "But I'm not as strong as you. Didn't you say that you knocked out your friend with one punch?"

          "Yeah, but that was an accident. I didn't... mean to hurt him so much. I don't really know my own strength yet. I don't want to accidentally kill someone." Oakley shook her head. Devon made another face, growing a little impatient. The guard was getting closer and they didn't have much time.

          "Oakley... okay, I got another idea." Devon looked around, the guard almost at them. "I distract him and you hit him on the head?"

          "Are you trying to get us all found out?" Julian stepped forward again and this time, the Librarian held a hand out to hold him back.

          "Do you not trust him, Mr. Morales? Or is there something else you're not telling us?" He held his gaze on Julian for a moment, Devon shooting a look back at the both of them. Oakley couldn't figure out if he was worried or furious. Maybe it was both? Oakley had to make a mental note that his temper and patience were rather short. Was it the stress of the situation? Or that Julian seemed to be handling him with the same hands that his father did?

          "I can do this! Let me do this, okay?!" his voice was a little too loud, the guard approaching stopping and looking around. Devon took this as his chance, coming out into the open for the guard to see. He took a few steps back, still facing the guard, so the guard would turn to face him and away from Oakley and her invisible guardians.

          "Hey! What are you doing?" The guard shouted at Devon. Oakley, her nervousness getting the better of her, gave a yelp as the armour creeped to her elbow, much faster than she anticipated. The guard turned around to face her, his eyes landing on her arm and his hands reaching for his gun. "How did you get out?"

          "Oakley!" Devon threw something, knocking the guard on head. He turned around, aiming his gun at Devon to fire, but not before Oakley squeezed her eyes tight and bonked the guard on the head with her fist. His eyes lolled up into his skull and he collapsed to the ground. Devon quickly stepped back over to Oakley, but not before he tugged the gun from the guard, hanging it by the strap from his shoulder. "See? I said you could do it."

          "What if he shot you! What if I hit him a second too late! You could have died!" Oakley whispered furiously. Julian's face basically read what Oakley had said and then some. The Librarian on the other hand still looked rather excited.

          "Maybe my power is immortality?" he gave her a proud smile and a pat on the back. "Let's keep going."

          "What if it wasn't?!"

          "The drama! This is so intense, don't you think, Mr. Morales?" The Librarian's grin was much like a child's in a candy store. Julian again, did not reply, his frown hardly fading from his face. "Cheer up, won't you? You are witnessing progress from the both of them! It's so wonderful!"

          The four of them progressed, clearing some ways to the front of the ship before Julian, Devon and Oakley heard a voice from the radio in their earpieces; it was Atticus by the sound of it. His voice was quiet, but still understandable.

          "We found something." His voice was a little huffed as if he had just ran a ways or lifted something heavy. "Me, Freddie and Misha found some of the captives on the port side. What's everyone else's position? If you can speak, that is."

          "Towards the centre, heading towards the front with Julian, Oakley and the Librarian," Devon replied on behalf of them.

          "Starboard side with Cooper and Natalia," Emil's voice replied. "Nothing yet. We'll head over to you if you need help. How many are there?"

          "Maybe a dozen or so. It's hard to tell. They're all pretty beat up. One of them managed to say that there were more towards the front somewhere. We might need a hand getting them off the boat."

          "We'll give it our best. Anyone heard from Dominique or Delta?"

          "They might be busy right now."

          "And Imogen?"

          "Yes, I saw her go to the lower levels." Cooper's British accent was easily recognisable.

          "Awesome," said rather sarcastically. "Julian, you might wanna come down here to help with these kids' injuries. And ask the Librarian to give us a hand since he has a fair few talents we don't."

          "I would be happy to help!" the Librarian's voice echoed through the radio, despite his lack of one. "Be there in a jiffy."

          "Be careful, everyone." Natalia's also recognisable Russian accent came to their ears. "It seems that we are not the only ones here. It could be the ARF, it could be someone else. Stay vigilant."

          "Alright. Roger that. Over and out or whatever." Atticus signed out, the radio crackle ended, signalling their conversation was over. Oakley and Devon turned to the Librarian, who gave a little shrug.

          "Guess I better go help those poor sods. Would you like a lift over, Mr. Morales?" The Librarian held out a hand for Julian to take. He looked hesitant, exchanging looks with Devon and Oakley.

          "We have to take these two as well!"

          "I'm sure that they have displayed more than enough that they are capable on their own." The Librarian gave Oakley a warm smile, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. "We have some children to save."

          "Atticus said that there were more towards the front. We'll head there." Devon nodded.

          Julian looked at the two of them for a few moments before sighing. Something was bothering him, something more than their safety. He had been on edge about Devon the entire time, defiant that he take every obstacle the safest and most thought out way. Of course, that was not Devon's style. It might be the separation from his father that was giving the boy confidence or the fact he was with someone he now considered a friend. Whatever it was, it helped Oakley bit by bit with her own anxiety.

          "Alright. And Devon," Julian pointed a finger at the boy and taking the Librarian's offer with his other hand, "watch it. Just don't."

          "Lovely to meet you Devon, my boy. Toodle-doo!" And with a pop, they both disappeared, leaving Oakley and Devon by themselves.

          "Don't what?" Oakley turned to him, confused. He shook his head and shrugged, the gesture either meaning he didn't know or telling her not to worry. Of course, she wasn't very good at not worrying but she left it alone and made a mental note to ask him later.

          Devon seemed a little more excited now with the lack of adult figures, nodding his head and gesturing to Oakley to follow him. He was silent for a bit, using hand signals to tell her to move and stop, but looked back occasionally looking back to give her a smile or a nod. He seemed... comfortable. Like this was what he was good at. Oakley couldn't really say she was surprised, since Devon had lived within the AUP a lot longer than a lot of the senior members. Not just that, but as he had told her, his father insisted that he be trained in every physical way possible. He was fit, knew how to handle a weapon, strategic (probably moreso if he wasn't so adolescently rash) and was confident with his body. It was like instead of having an Atlantean ability, his father had made him earn one. She admired his spirit. It was a shame his father was so protective of him. He'd be like one of those teenage soldiers from the young adult books in Oakley's old school library.

          Guard activity suddenly became a lot more heated, and it was suddenly obvious why. Now at the front of the boat tucked between two crates, Oakley spied two familiar faces; Delta, on top of some crates with some other people and Dom on their level. Her attention turned back to Delta and those on top of the crates, making quite a bit of noise. She squinted at them. They weren't immediately recognisable, but the boy with the bow had... something about him. She swore she knew his... something? The way he held himself?. He was so familiar, but not close enough for Oakley to actually tell. She was so lost and mesmerised in the familiarity, she instinctively stepped out of the protection of their crates to get a better look.

          "Oakley? What are you doing?" Devon hissed at her, but it was too late. It took less than a second for her to grab the attention of an already trigger happy guard, who raised his gun at the sight of someone without the heavy armour that the guards all wore. "OAKLEY!"

          Oakley turned, the gun aimed directly at her face. He raised her arms instinctively, her left arm rippling with armour for her own protection. She held the wrong part of her arms out though, her larger-than-normal un-armoured palms exposed, and the guard taking his chance to open fire. She braced for something, but what she didn't expect was the searing pain that now burned through her hands. She screamed loudly, louder than she had ever before, suddenly feeling very dizzy as her palms now felt not only like they were on fire but now very wet with her own blood. The guard emptied the half the clip, his bullets also ricocheting off her armour and flying back at the guard. He and Oakley seemed to drop simultaneously, Oakley from the pain and the guard to avoid the bullets bouncing back at him. Devon pounced (pounced?) at the man as Oakley fumbled with her shaking hands, her armour growing as she felt her anxiety and panic pivot out of control. Her armour grew, the pain of it invisible compared to her hands, up her shoulders, now two thirds covering her torso: the gear covering her shirt now destroyed from her exploding armour. Now fully aware of the situation she had just walked into, Oakley tried to do what the Librarian had told her; calm down. She tried to slow her shaky breathing, taking 6 or 7 deep breaths before the armour had stopped moving. The pain in her palms still burned, but she no longer had the element of surprise itching at her anxiety.

          She turned back to the guard, her eyes widening at the situation that was presenting itself before her. Devon was... it was hard for Oakley to comprehend, much less explain. She watched in silence as her friend's body jerked and the yells that were falling from his mouth became less than human. He was no longer relying on his knife or gun to counter the guard, his teeth and hands now the preferred option. But it wasn't teeth, but fangs. And not hands, but claws. His skin seemed to ripple as he was suddenly twice, maybe three times the size he was before. He was... something different. Something Oakley could only describe as a bear-wolf. And the guard was now quite torn to shreds.

          "D-Devon! Wh-what are you doing!?" The bear-wolf looked up at the sound of his name. Oakley thought for an instant that he was alright, but things seemed to take a turn for the worse when he growled menacingly at her and charged, fangs bared. He leapt at her as Oakley raised her arms yet again and caught hold of the armour instead of her bleeding palms. Instinctively, Oakley shook her arm and when he didn't let go, she punched him with her other. Like she had Nate. Pretty hard.

          Devon went flying, landing and sliding across the floor on the other side of the boat. He went to charge back at her but was intercepted by guards, which he changed his attention to. Oakley glanced at the arm where the bear-wolf had gripped on with its teeth; the armour was not broken but indents of a full set of teeth had clamped on. And she could feel it too. It didn't hurt, but it throbbed. She looked back at her attacker, who had become very busy tearing apart 3 or 4 guards at once, their bullets doing nothing to hold him back. Oakley didn't feel so confident in her ability anymore, though her armour seemed to be popping the indents out on its own. She was scared now. Scared of what this bear-dog could do to her and anybody around her.

          "D-d-dom!!" She turned to the closest person to her that she knew and screamed out. "D-d-del!! P-p-please!!"

          There was so much going on right now; her burning and bleeding palms, the aching pain from the sudden armour growth, Devon's sudden change, both in his physical form and his personality, the commotion that was going around Delta and the fear of the incoming guards. She had almost forgotten about the familiar boy until her eyes had found him again when searching for help. With so much going on, Oakley was just so confused what to think or feel or do, especially with the amount of red that had pooled around her.
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          Old October 31st, 2013 (5:11 PM).
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          Dominique Bisset, Delta Mayor, and Oakley North--NYK Cargo Ship

          It took more energy than he expected to walk passed those bodies. Dom blamed it on the way his stomach turned or the headache he had. He leaned on the large, red crate next to him, not only to catch his breath but to compose himself. The bodies were behind him yet Dom could still see them clearly. Too clearly. It was suddenly hard to believe that Del could decaptitate someone with a kick and not want to saw off her feet the same way he wanted to extinguish the fire out of his system. Maybe she did? Then again, that thought seemed foolish. By the looks of her grin, he could surmise that she wasn't too pressed over killing those people. Maybe she's done this before--before AUP.

          Dom lifted himself off the crate. His thoughts had mostly drowned them out, but there were still bullets flying and people shouting. As much as he didn't want to do it, he had a job to do and it would be sad--no, a disappointment--to quit now. Dom took a deep breath. He pushed back the bodies, pushed back the fatigue and forced himself back into the scene. His body, which felt cold inside before, warmed itself. It was like sipping hot chocolate, except it spread from the inside out. When Dom let the air out of his lungs, he was ready. He walked to the end of the crates and took a cursory look around. There was a guard there, which was very convenient at all, but his back was turned and it looked like he was busy with something, so Dom didn't worry about it too much. Other than that small detail he was clear to go. Dom pushed off the crate and made a dash. He had no intention of being down this way when the guard turned around, so getting around the overlong curve was top priority. As he ran he could feel the fire come back to him like timber thrown into the furnance. If they had gotten this far and he could refuel this quick then this mission was going to end quickly. Yeah, Dom was feeling pretty confident right now. Until...

          That scream.

          Dom skidded to a halt and looked back. It was loud, real damn loud. Behind the scream was the sound of bullets, a lot of bullets. The busy guard from before was on the ground and a moment later another figure was on top of him. What the hell was going on? Who was that? Dom turned around and went towards the commotion, first walking and then running. That scream echoed inside his head, and boy did it sound like someone he knew, but the name on the tip of his tongue wouldn't come out. Whoever it was he couldn't see them past the animal on top of the guard. Wait, animal? He was sure he saw a person before, but that was clearly no person, more like a dog. The closer he got to this dog the bigger it got, naturally of course. The only problem was that its growing didn't exactly look natural. In fact, the more he looked at it, then more this animal didn't look right. As it ripped at the guard below it its frame increased and its greyed skin looked as though it was getting greyer. Dom thought his eyes were doing something when its dark, brown mane seemed to grow before his eyes. Weirder than that? What was on it. Clothing. Dom knew clothing when he saw it. It was nothing spectacular, in fact, the most notable thing the animal wore was a vest. A vest? Hadn't he seen those before? Yeah, he had. He'd seen a bunch of them. On the AUP members when they landed here. Dom slowed down to a stop. Wait a minute...

          The dog kept growing and changing. As it grew in size, its skin got greyer and its mane got longer. In no time at all, the clothes and vest the animal wore ripped away and its attacks on the guard, who cried and screamed below it, got worse. Before his eyes Dom watched a man be mauled to death by a growing beast. A beast with a bear's body, a wolf's head, and human's hands. A beast that attacked without mercy or conscience. Before long the guard looked nothing like a person, but the man-beast kept attacking. It didn't stop until it was called out to.

          "D-Devon! Wh-what are you doing!?" Devon!? That' was...!? No, it couldn't be. But the beast reacted, turning around to the voice that called him--the voice which Dom noticed now was Oakley. Devon growled at Oakley and then charged and bit her arm. There was a struggle and an attack by Oakley sent Devon flying back. It was then that Dom noticed the armor coving some of her body and he sighed in relief. It didn't deter Devon at all though. He got back up and charged at her again, he may have even gotten her this time if Oakley didn't have the luck of guards getting in the way. The sight was just a repeat of the first guard's death, but with four bodies instead of one. Dom didn't want to stay to watch that, but Oakley's call for help--help from him and Del specifically--kept him there against his will.

          A rush flooded throughout Delta each time she squeezed the trigger of her handgun. Another once the bullet infiltrated the head of the guard. The last rush was when their body fell to the floor in a slump. The corners of her mouth turned ever so slightly upwards, her body position grew bolder and this gave more evidence to the enjoyment she was having. Distraction, which was what she was meant to be doing, but instead she found herself being drawn back into that place. The same place she had visited earlier where all of this felt natural, where the morals of society were unraveled, and where no one would stop her. Everything else faded, it was just Delta, her gun, and the targets that were in her way. It felt like a breath of fresh air and Delta wanted more of it. An unsettling hunger gnawed at her conscious and she had already feed it. Each bullet brought another chance to soothe the famishment she felt.

          A repetitive clicking noise came from her gun that signaled the magazine had run out of bullets. It took her a couple of seconds to fish out one of the clips she carried in the pocket of her leather jacket. The Atlantean Unification Project had taught her so much about weaponry and guns were most certainly her favorite. A gun had power and if there was one thing Delta was attracted to it was power. Instead of joining the action again Delta sighed and wondered when had her life gotten this complicated. She threw a quick glance over her shoulder, as being on top of this container made her a bit weary, and by chance Delta caught sight of a launching ball of fire. Well, technically it was more of a stream of intense flames that left the recipient of it more than a little charred. Delta eyes were wide as she saw the incinerated remains of what she assumed was a guard. There was only one person that she knew was remotely capable of such a feat and she locked her eyes on him.

          Dom. He was frozen but the angry guards in front of him weren't and they looked ready to charge. Without a conscious thought Delta raised her gun as she had done time and time again and fired three rounds, one for each guard. Four bodies now lay on the floor by Dom. She grinned because she had won and met Dom’s gaze who wasn’t nearly as happy as she imagined he would be. Delta turned her head back to Wyatt; perhaps he had seen what she had done. If he had he wasn’t pressed to tell her. Delta went returned her focus on Dom except he had disappeared, where could he have possibly gone to? A high-pitched noise grabbed Delta’s attention. Locating the source of the sound immediately overrode her need to find Dom. Even after several blinks Delta couldn’t believe what she was seeing there was an enraged beast ripping the limbs off a guard. The strength it possessed was mesmerizing; Delta couldn’t help but keep her gaze onto it. It was the size of a bear, but had the mane of a lion. Whatever it was it most certainly wasn’t friendly or human… but was it Atlantean?

          A sentence caught Delta’s ear and she couldn’t help but repeat it over and over. "D-Devon! Wh-what are you doing!?" She saw the creature react. "D-Devon! Wh-what are you doing!?" That kid was powerless. "D-Devon! Wh-what are you doing!?" No, no this wasn’t happening. How? The origin of the sentence was from someone familiar as well: Oakley. Devon and Oakley. A second later they were entangled… He couldn’t control himself, the boy--no--the beast. There wasn’t any denying he held power but he was an amateur when it came to the utilization of it. He was rabid, a risk and it was no wonder his father kept him at home.

          Delta had to do something not only for the fact that Oakley had screamed out pathetically pleading for Dom’s and her help. He was there; she briefly caught his silhouette before she looked back at the monster. The mission was at stake. Why did she care so much? The ARF deserved anything and everything they got. If she was needed to show what true strength was then it was best to do it now. What she was about to do was risky; reckless in fact, it was just Delta’s style. Those guards that now laid in a pool of their own blood had fired plenty of bullets at it, at him and they hadn’t done a damn thing. While remaining on the top of the containers Delta put herself in the most manageable position. It wasn’t easy but at the same time it wasn’t impossible. There was little time to relay what she wanted to do with Dom and Oakley was about as useless as the bodies of the guards.

          With the gun secured in one hand Delta jumped off the crates and onto the back of the beast. Its attention had been fully focused on disemboweling its victim that it almost failed to notice the extra weight on its back. Delta fastened her hand in its mane, which was eerily like Devon’s hair when he was human. One buck and it had sent her toppling backwards. Delta laid in a daze, a mistake she soon figured out. The eyes staring back at her belonged to a boy not the beast that towered over her. It snarled fiercely as if to warn her she was going to end up like the guards who were previously in the same position she was currently in.

          “Tell me something Devon,” Delta began, hoping to keep its attention focused her face instead her body. Her gun had been switched from one hand to the next and that had been easy enough, “Are you ready to see your mother again?” Rage. Delta had expected as much, it’s the emotion she would’ve turned to. A set of jagged teeth clamped down onto the arm she had placed in front her at the last second. In its crystallized state there was no pain to be felt. Thankfully she had shrugged off her jacket in time. In her other hand the gun went off twice, which was embedded a bullet in each of its paws instead of its muscular abdominal area. Delta rolled away from the gray fiend.

          Delta panted as she stood up, “Dom, I need your clips. Now.” There wasn’t much time she was its prime target. “Time to open up the belly of the beast.”

          His clips? The image of hair clips flashed in Dom's mind before he remembered he had a gun. He pulled the weapon out of its holster and handed it to Delta. He may have taken the clip out himself, but he vaguely remembered how to and this wasn't the time to fiddle with things. Out of his pocket came two spares. That was a lot to hold, though. Maybe he shouldn't have given her the gun? This really wasn't the time to fiddle with things.

          "Wait, you're not going to kill him are you?" It felt a bit stupid to ask since Devon had no qualms over killing them, but he was in some sort of "beserk" mode. Besides, killing Emil's son seems against the rules somehow.

          "Don't worry, the second time is always better." Delta responded, though whether or not she was joking couldn't be told by her tone. It took a bit more time than she wanted but Delta holstered her gun and grabbed what Dom gave her in haste. A fully loaded gun and two clips. She turned off the safety and test fired two shots at the deck of the ship. She watched as it recovered rather quickly from being shot at point-blank range. They were dealing with something that needed to be put down. As it looked up Delta fired two shots only one hit its mark due to the sudden change in nature, which led to it charging forward toward the duo. Her best bet was to jump to one side or the other so that's exactly what Delta did.

          "What do you suggest we do, cuddle him?"

          Oh God. Dom had to ignore that first comment. "No, but--" Dom made the mistake of looking away from the beast, but when he heard Delta's shots he saw the thing charging towards them. Sh*t! Dom jumped out of the way, going the opposite direction Delta had. Okay, okay! Fine! All things considered, Dom wasn't trying to get killed, not today. "What's the plan then?" His first thought was doing something about Oakley. It wasn't safe nor convenient for her to sit back there, bleeding and attacked while they try and fend off Devon, but getting around him just to do that was not going to be an easy task. The boat was big and there was enough room to run around him, but he was quick and powerful, he could easily snatch either of them up and rip them to shreds. Dom shuddered when he remembered the first guard. "We have to get Oakley out of here first."

          "We? Pfft," It was a terrible idea but still the right one to make. "I'll leave that to you. I'll take care of Fluffy with minor assistance." Delta watched as the prowling animal watched them branch off into different directions. Firing another round had brought its attention right back to Delta and that wasn't necessarily a good situation to be in. Here she was risking her life for a comrade who couldn't even stand up. In Paris she saw Oakley launch Ice Boy quite a far distance and today she had done the same but what was Oakley doing now? Crying for help and sulking in her own blood. It was pathetic, weak, and made Delta's stomach churn. A single bound was all it took for the oversized creature to land directly in front of Delta.

          "What are you going to do with her? Clean up her injury? Nurse her back to health?" Delta rushed aggressively toward her opponent as she spoke. Foolish was one word for it. She used her upper limbs as battering rams until it latched onto one then she struggled to free herself before it sank more than just its teeth into her crystallized areas. Delta managed to twist herself into a position that allowed her to knock the creature in its long snout, which in turn loosen its grip enough so she could snatch her arm back. If it there was one thing she had been grateful for it was that the AUP had been insisted on her physical training instead of solely focusing on her ability.

          Watching Delta fight the Atlantean beast was no fun. Just watching the attacks made him wince and all the more glad that he only had to deal with Oakley for the moment. Still, even while she fought, Delta managed to maintain the sarcasm she had when he first met her yesterday morning. "Get her to help out, maybe?" Oakley did just punch Devon earlier, didn't she? It wasn't a little gentle touch either. She'd be more than a little help in a situation like this. Dom looked away from the battle to make a quick check around for Oakley. She was still on the ground where she was before, right behind the ripped through bodies of the guards. Honestly, Dom didn't want to go through there. Not just because of ugly, mutilated dead bodies, but because of the pure grossness of it. He'd take getting grabbed by a strange, dirty hobo-conman over wading through blood, guts, and bits any day. It was the lesser of two evils. Dom didn't have a choice in this situation and just the thought of going through that... that mess made his stomach want to crawl out of his throat. There wasn't a shower close enough for this kind of situation, but what choice did he have?

          Dom backed up, keeping his eyes on Devon until he was sure the beast was distracted enough. It didn't seem so much like the two of them, Delta and Devon, were going to pay him much attention, so he turned towards the blood bridge and Oakley. The way Devon killed those guards, it left no space to just walk around the blood and avoid all troubles. No, it was everywhere. Gallons of it had spread from the boat's edge to the crates and in many other spots besides. There were limbs and insides detatched from bodies or hanging off something it shouldn't be. It disgusted Dom completely. It took effort to keep the food in his stomach. Dominique took a deep breath, forcing his resolve, and took a step into the blood.

          It took Delta a moment to recuperate from using herself as live bait. To resort back to her original plan was looking like a better option. At least she wouldn't be getting Atlantean dog slobber all over her arms. Unfortunately she was given the wrong ability for an instant kill. It healed too quickly for Delta's attack to be anything more than a headache. She wondered if it could swim? Two bangs produced two bullets. It wasn't easy keeping something so large and powerful at bay. Again, the Atlantean shape-shifter sprang forward and Delta walked backwards giving Dom and Oakley enough space.

          Delta grunted, "You know what, how many times do I get to shoot Emil's son at point-blank range and both of us walk away unharmed?" She raised the gun as she finished her question in order to unload the rest of the clip into the chest of the beast. As expected the bullets hadn't penetrated nearly deep enough for the damage to be permanent.

          "Any luck?" She shouted, hoping Dom was at least doing something with his time.

          The smell of fresh death was strong and nauseating. Dom had to use his sleeve to form some sort of protection against the stench, but it was a fuitile effort. He'd just have to bear it until he got across the carnage which, unfortunately, took a bit of time. The ship's steel floors were smooth already, and with the gallons of blood spread all over the floor, it became extremely slippery. Let Hell rise from the Earth if he falls in this sh*t. Dom could already see it happen in his mind now. It made his skin crawl. God, why him? Behind him he could hear Del's fight with Devon. He wasn't sure if the number of shots behind him was a good thing or a bad thing. Something told him it wasn't and he had to fight the urge not to look back in check. Del's call sounded promising. Dom lifted his good arm to single his very good luck.

          "Yeah, I'm fi--" Dom was interrupted when, under his foot, something on the floor gave way and his body lurched forward. It took only a second, but for Dom time slowed down and he could see each frame before his eyes. Shades of red and pink sped towards his face and all at once pain hit his body, the most explosive in his chin and in his left arm. Dom screamed behind clenched teeth as the nerves in his arm went haywire. The fire that burned silently under his skin wanted all at once to burst from his body with new energy. His fire's need for freedom went unfulfilled though, dampered not by willpower, but by the tidal waves of disgust that rushed over him. Dom didn't want to move, didn't want to speak, didn't even want to breathe. The feel of the wet, sticky blood made him cringe. It felt like every disgusting corner of the world was seeping--soaking--into his skin and clothes. Dom could barely think. Mechanically, he lifted himself back up, enduring the pain of his early injury. The blood was like warm slime between his fingers, on his neck, and under his chin; he could feel the stuff of body fluid crawl over his skin. He crossed the blood path and stopped before Oakley who sat in front of him, dazed--at what? Dom didn't pay much attention.

          "Oakley," he said tonelessly, "you're okay, right?"

          Oakley jumped at the sound of her name. She had been watching the chaos take place in front of her, but her brain had gone quiet. Like someone had turned off the lights inside and stepped out for a bit. She could see and hear but she didn't register it, just staring off into space. Instead, a little voice spoke to the Oakley that had shut herself off into the far corner of her head.

          Useless. Weak. Pathetic. Unnecessary. Feeble. Not needed. Not wanted. She knew that her breakdowns were inevitable; it had been so long since her head had just... turned off. She thought that she was past this terrible anxiety that shadowed her, but it seemed like she was the fragile little blonde girl that everyone had poked and teased. The one that her brother had protect. She was no knight with this armour. If anything, it only made her feel more useless.

          "Dom," she wheezed, her face dirty and wet, smudged with literally blood, sweat and tears. "I c-can't, I don't, I can't... It hurts too much." She lifted her armoured arms weakly, the pool of blood they sat in dripping quietly. Her hands were exposed but the wounds on her palm had started to clot. She probably should have wrapped them to stop an infection but it wasn't as if that was the biggest thing on her mind right now. "I can't do anything." She gulped for air, the tears dropping from her face again.

          A half-assed answer wasn't what Delta was looking for especially when she had to deal with the Atlantean hound from hell. The beads in her hair swung with her every step. As much as fun as emptying the clip had been now she had to reload her weapon. This task was made nearly impossible by the amount of times Delta had to duck and dodge an oncoming attack from the beast. Tiresome. That's it she was done. The next time she loaded her gun she would feed her crystallized arm to him and pull the trigger from inside his mouth. Then she would gut him, pull the heart from his chest, and shoot that too. The chances of it surviving that was much, much slimmer.

          No... No... What he heard could not have been true. It hurts? She can't? No, no, she wouldn't say that to him. Never. Dom decided to ignore whatever Oakley had actually said to him and contiue on, but that meant that this--what was supposed to be a moment's conversation-- was taking too long and his patience was wearing thin. He could hear the caged fire roar inside his body. It raged and crackled and burned inside him; if he didn't know better he would think a forest was aflame inside his own body. The monster fire behind his ears made it hard to hear even the gunshots behind him. Before it was cold, but now it felt a little warm out here.

          "Oakley," Dom's voice shook with supressed anger, "I need you to get up and go help Delta with Devon, alright?"

          "Dom, I will kill him," Delta yelled out as she crashed her body into brutish animal. "Final. Chance." She angrily howled.

          "I can't," Oakley wailed. "Dom, I can't. I can't. All I can d-do is just get in the way and hurt p-people and then I, I, I," she gurgled a little and sniffed, raising her hands again. The little voice in the back of her head seemed to repeat those series of insults again, adding some other colourful words. The voice was right though, she had no place being here, with friends like these. She had no place as an Atlantean. She should have never left her house in the first place. Just stayed at home with her father in the safety of his arms. "I can't do anything, I can't."

          The more Oakley talked the less Dom wanted to hear. He realized now what she said before wasn't just a trick, but the real spoken bullsh*t she expected him to listen to. He still couldn't believe her. She couldn't be serious, could she? And yet she was, totally completely serious. If Dom weren't angry, he'd be shocked, too shocked for words, but he was angry and he had a storage of words.

          Ferme ta gueule!” Dom yelled, his voice loud and superheated. “S'il te plait! Tais-toi! I can't listen to this anymore! Do you even hear yourself?!” It was painful--painful--to listen to her! “What the hell is wrong with you!? That bullet didn't give you brain damage too, did it!? I don't care if it hurts, I didn't ask if it hurts! You know what hurts!? This hurts!” The heat that came off of him were intense and to anyone not looking, it would feel though he had caught on fire. “And don't tell me you can't, I don't want to hear that sorry bullsh*t! You just punched him a second ago, didn't you? I know you did, I f*cking saw you do it, so don't tell me you f*cking can't!” Dom growled. His anger stole his ability to speak in English and since the beginning his words spilled out in French. “Is this going to be a regular thing?" He continued on, "Because I'm telling you now you need to stop. We are not here to hear your excuses about why you can't get your *ss up and help the rest of us out. It hurts!? God I should--!” He cut himself off. This wasn't the time, this wasn't the place. “Look, this is a mission and if this is too damn hard for you then don't come to the next one, but you're here now and while you're here you're going to do something , got it!? Good, because I'm not talking about it anymore! If you want Devon to die over this stupid sh*t then fine, otherwise you need to stop complaining, get your *ss up, get back there, and help Delta so we can wrap this up and get home!” Dom was seething now. His anger had risen so high during his speech that the fire in his ears had gone wild. At this point there was nothing anyone could say--nothing anyone could do--to get his anger down now. The heat inside him had spread to every inch of his body and the cool air outside, to him, felt thick and humid. There was sweat on his brow and the fabric of his clothing smelled like it was burning, but Dom payed no attention.

          Oakley blinked back, quivering slightly as Dom shouted at her. She had never considered that anyone else had felt the same physical pain with her power like she had. After Dom had said that, she immediately felt guilty and selfish. As his language slipped from English to French, Oakley sniffed, wiping her face on her cold steel shoulder. She then stared at Dom, trying to use his words to snuff out the little voice who thought she couldn't. He was right. She couldn't just sit back and cry and let someone else fight her fights. She had a power, so that meant she had the responsibility to do something good with it, right? When Dom had stopped, she wiped her face again and wobbled her way to her feet. She would have said something about the astounding heat coming from Dom but she wasn't sure if it was just her face feeling hot from being yelled at or if it was Dom, that he was probably already aware of it.

          "Que dois-je faire?"

          Oakley's cooperation brought Dom back to his senses, but still did nothing for his anger. He sighed and winced, "Jetez-le hors du bateau."

          Oakley gave a small wince as well, but nodded sadly. She had grown to become his friend over this past day but Oakley had to tell herself that her friend was not there right now. Devon might have been the one to save her but he had not been the one that jumped at her and grabbed her arm with his teeth. Of course, throwing him off the boat didn't necessarily mean he'd die (she was sure dogs could swim) but she had to tell herself that getting him away from all these people was not only saving them, but saving him as well.

          "Vas bien."

          She ran past Dom at Devon, who was currently sparring with Delta. It was an odd fight and not one that Delta would be too happy about breaking up (Oakley liked Delta, but she was sure that she would have rathered kill Devon than what Oakley was about to do) but Oakley grabbed the dog by the throat as it lunged at Delta.


          Her hand was big enough that it could clasp his entire neck but she couldn't hold him too long, not with his legs and arms swinging wildly out of control. She gripped his body with her other arm, feeling the sting and her heart beat throbbing in her palms. The bear wolf snarled at her menacingly, which seemed to only cement her decision even more. Was Devon even still in there?

          "Je suis désolé pour cette." She gave him a final nod and lobbed him like a football, as hard as she could throw him. Over the boat and back towards the shore, hoping that his dog or human self, whichever had the brains, would swim back to land. "S'il te plaît es bien."
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          Old November 2nd, 2013 (2:46 AM).
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          Swolligator Swolligator is offline
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          Wyatt Cale – NYK Atlas, English Channel


          The air around him seemed to fall still as that one name echoed in his ears and seemingly across the channel. Bullets whizzed around him, striking and pinging against the metal containers like angry hornets, but Wyatt kept his bow drawn. He was frozen in place as the name hung in the air like a mist, surrounding him in its paralytic grasp. It had been years since he had ever thought about the little sister he left behind, but as far as he knew she was still in school in Southern France. Just like his drunkard father, Wyatt had left any semblance of a family behind when he left for boarding school. He hadn’t thought about either of them in years and for it to start now was just unbearable timing. Something quizzical inside him stirred, the name was far too uncommon for it to be a mere coincidence but he also wanted to have a look in case it was her being called.

          “Wyatt!” Adrian roared breaking him out of his stupor as a bullet caught Wyatt in the shoulder, pushing him backwards. Seeing Wyatt crumple to the floor, Adrian bolted across the tops of the containers amidst the flying bullets.

          Immense pain flooded his system as blood began blossoming between the Kevlar and his skin. Instinctively he clutched his shoulder tight, trying to squeeze the pain away as he scrunched his body into a foetal position. Around him guards shouted and bullets rebounded off of containers. However on the inside, his body was screaming loudly. Never before had Wyatt felt so much pain, not even after a long day of training under the gaze of Doctor Meier. It took the entirety of his energy just to sustain the barrier to stop himself from crying out in pain and alerting the guards as his vision danced all around the place.

          Despite the pain surging through his system, he still held onto a single thought of his sister when they had been younger. They had been on a family vacation in Cairo, their parents mulling around the packed Bazaars as they bargained with the tillers over cheap souvenirs, as Wyatt and Oakley lagged behind. Head cast down and music blaring, Wyatt ignored the culture around him in favour of the punk rock culture on his iPod. On the other hand, Oakley went from stall to stall, quizzically inspecting the differing merchandises they had on offer. Wyatt continued on ignorant of the world around him, eventually losing both his parents and sister in the crowd. When he looked up, he noticed them gone, casting his gaze around to find where they were. From out of the corner of his eye he saw Oakley being dragged away by a cloaked man, wrestling against his strong grip. Wyatt acted out on instinct, bolting for the man as he dragged his sister into a nearby alleyway.

          Anger surged through his system as Wyatt leapt at the man, digging his fingernails into the folds of the man’s clothes and elbows pummelling into soft flesh. The man fought back just as hard as Wyatt did. Wyatt’s own ferocity and wild behaviour became his downfall as Wyatt soon found himself held up against the alley wall, the man’s hand wrapped tightly around his throat while Oakley sobbed in a ball by the entrance. As Wyatt’s vision faded, he caught a glimpse of the man’s face contorted in anger, shortly before the man was knocked out by Wyatt’s fire.

          As he snapped back to reality, Wyatt looked up to find himself darkened by the hulking shadow of Adrian crouching over him. One of Adrian’s hands was wrapped in cloth, pushing down on his pulsating wound. He raised a hand to his ear, activating the mic as he yelled at Jeremy, “Jeremy, we need a ‘port to shore, Wyatt’s been shot.”

          “Where are you guys, I can’t see anyone,” Jeremy replied frantically

          “Still on top of the crates, behind an overturned one, hold on,” Adrian grabbed his gun with another hand, tossing it in the air and watching as bullets struck it, pushing it to land out of reach.

          “Got it, I’ll be up in a…” was all Jeremy said into the mic, causing Adrian to panic that he had been caught, only to have Jeremy finish in person a second later, “second.”

          Jeremy grabbed them both by the collar of the shirt, gripping tight so he didn’t lose either one on the way. Concentrating, he could feel his insides churning from the constant back and forth teleporting he had just performed and was about to again. Squeezing his eyes shut, he focussed on teleporting them just off to the side of the rescued Atlanteans as not to scare any of them with Wyatt’s condition. Once arrived, Wyatt collapsed to the ground; exhausted from all the weight he had teleported and currently nearing the end of his capabilities.

          “Helicopter is ten minutes out.” The Directive’s voice echoed in their ears as all three became thankful for the man’s timing.
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          Old November 8th, 2013 (7:03 AM).
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          Oakley North and The Librarian - NYK Atlus, English Channel

          A few moments passed as Oakley watched the water, half expecting Devon to bound down the ocean as if it was ice and launch himself back at her, teeth bared and snarling like a beast. He didn't though (thankfully) and Oakley jumped a little as a gentle hand and voice pulled her from her gaze.

          "It's time to get going, it seems." The Librarian gave her a small, sad smile as she turned to face him. She looked back at him, her lip trembling a little as she tried to understand what had happened and what she had done to stop it.

          "Sir, I... Devon is--"

          "I know, it's alright." He gave her a little pat. "But it's time to go. Don't worry, he'll be fine." Oakley gave him a nod and he gripped her shoulder in comfort. "You did the right thing, dear." She nodded again to which he gave a sigh, then teleported the two out. He reappeared a few moments later, giving Delta and Dom a short warning before teleporting them back also.

          It seemed they were last to be returned (par one) to the airport where the small jet planes had originally landed. The Librarian gave a wave before disappearing again, but it didn't take long for him to return with a very wet (and thankfully very human) and unconscious Devon. It took an even shorter time for Julian and Emilio to notice Devon's sudden return.

          "My son!" Emilio actually used his gravity manipulation to get to the Librarian faster, whereas Julian merely used his legs (bumping into people with his lack of sight and concentration) to get to point B. "What happened to my son?!"

          "It's alright, he's fine." The Librarian passed the boy over to his father, who lifted him out of the Librarian's hands before he had even reached him. "Just a bit shaken, that's all. No need to stress."

          "No need to stress?!" As soon as Devon had reached his arms, Emil was checking for the more obvious signs of life: pulse, breathing, asking for some kind of response. "Look at him! Julian!" He turned to the blind bat man, his eyes piercing him accusingly. "Where were you? You said would look after him! What happened?!"

          "Now, now. I understand that tempers are high but everybody is just fine. See? There's not a scratch on the poor boy! The mission was a success! No casualties! Well, for this side anyway. Poor unfortunate sods, hurting those poor children." The Librarian looked over at the Atlanteans who had been captured, now much looking much better and were being loaded onto one of the small jets.

          "And you!" Emilio, Devon floating in his arms, thrusted another accusing finger at the Librarian. "Where were you? Why weren't you protecting him!? He could have died! Why weren't you there?! This is all your fault!" The Librarian's face went from calm and positive to suddenly furious as if Emilio had thrust some kind of bad smell under his nose.

          "Now listen here, Mr. Bernot." The Librarian's voice rose, with obvious hints of anger. Surprisingly, he kept his manners. "You will not accuse me of something that I have not done. If you remember correctly, I was assisting you already with these abused Atlanteans whilst your son was in trouble. I may have a wide arrange of abilities at my disposal but there is only one of me and I can not be everywhere at once. And I will not be disrespected like this after what I have done for you." Emil glared at the Librarian for a moment and opened his mouth to form some rebuttal but the Librarian was not finished. "If you ever wish to make use of my assistance again, I suggest that you leave now and go cool off and apologise properly later."

          Emil exhaled loudly through his nose, his eyes fixated on the Librarian before leaving him, taking his unconscious son back to one of the planes to be taken home, Julian following behind before splitting off to take care of other injured patients. The Librarian turned back to his younger audience, his rage disappearing as he gave them a bright smile.

          "Now!" He turned to Dom and Delta specifically. "Thank-you very much for assisting dear Oakley here. I think your encouragement was just the right ingredient she needed to help find her strength. Oakley, dear!" Her eyes perked up at the mention of her name. "Can you show me your arm please?" She lifted her armoured arm automatically, not questioning what he wanted, though she wasn't sure herself. He put a hand on her shoulder and gestured to the blue gem on her arm. "May I?" She nodded, again unsure but her question was answered quickly. The Librarian pulled at the gem, managing to pull off a small chip. She felt like it should have hurt, but it was probably the Librarian's arm on her shoulder which stopped any kind of pain. The Librarian then showed the chipped off gem to the three of them.

          "I'm not sure if you have realised yet, but these gems are in the same family of Atlanteanite, a crystal which when in close proximity to any of our heritage, can help put a tap of sorts on the ever flowing rivers of our abilities, so we can control when the water stops and goes instead of them annoyingly gushing out unexpectedly. Of course, taps can burst but a better quality tap of better quality will hold that river better, if you know what I mean." He gave them a wink, somewhat proud of his analogy. "Of course, this kind of Atlanteanite has no effect on Oakley and isn't as powerful as the real stuff but it is still an amazing thing!"

          "For a reward for helping my dear Oakley, I will bestow these gifts onto you. For you, Dominique," he cupped his palms together and opened them in front of Dom, his broken watch now mysteriously gone from his person and appearing in the Librarian's hands like magic. He waved his hand over it, giggling (and imagining that he was indeed a magician), and the watch was fixed and looking identical to what it was before the odd man in France had broken it. "Julian told me an interesting story about this watch and as soon as I heard the end of it, I just knew I wanted to do this for you. I infused the cogs with some of Oakley's Atlanteanite. I wasn't sure if you wanted it showing or not but... here you are." He handed Dom the watch and turned to Delta. He also cupped his hands but when he opened them, it was a key this time, with three, small gems on the handle. The key was cut, so it had to open something. He then handed it to her, smiling slyly. "Perhaps once you have mended your first impression of yourself, I will tell you which lock matches it. Oh and Oakley," he turned to her, handing her a blue necklace on a chain, "please give this to Devon when you see him next. I suspect he will need a little more help than he thinks he does." He then sighed and stood up straight. "Alright!" He clapped his hands together, smiling brightly. "I will be off! Toodle-doo, children!" And without another moment to spare, he disappeared with a pop.

          Atticus came striding over to them once he had noticed the Librarian had disappeared, nodding and beckoning them.

          "Alright guys, better load up, we've got some quick briefing we wanna fill you guys in with before we take off. C'mon."
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          Old November 8th, 2013 (9:50 PM). Edited November 20th, 2013 by Swolligator.
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          Swolligator Swolligator is offline
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          Jeremy Fisher – Portsmouth, England

          Every muscle in his body felt like it had been stretched from end to end, every fibre of his body screaming out in pain. He collapsed to the ground as he teleported the bleeding Wyatt from the ship, exhausted from teleporting all the kids beforehand. There was a limit to everyone’s ability; even Jeremy’s teleportation had its distance and weight before it started to affect him in a negative way. He closed his eyes and laid his head against the hard concrete, his head spinning like a turntable as he felt strangely out of body.

          His moment of relaxation lasted barely a minute before one of the Atlanteans Wyatt had rescued came running up to him, “Dude, you amazing!” the young Russian boy exclaimed in rather broken English, “There was a kid, in cell opposite me, they took him to back of ship.”

          Jeremy groaned as he pushed himself back up, first sitting on elbows then pushing himself to his feet. He knew exactly what the kid was asking him to do, and as much as he felt incredibly exhausted, he could not forgive himself for leaving any Atlantean kids left caught by people like that. As he put one foot forward, he felt himself become unsteady, trying not to give too much away to the others. Knowing full well they couldn’t really stop him, Adrian would probably knock Jeremy out if he knew what he was about to attempt. Remembering the layout of the ship, Jeremy focused on the crates above the back of the ship, thinking about appearing on top of them.

          Down below guards were running frantically around the boat trying to decipher what to do next and what the hell had actually happened. It took him a little to get his bearings together before he could move on, panting heavily as he worked himself down between the containers and dropping quietly to the metal deck. With everything in chaos and guards running around rampantly, it make it hard for Jeremy to sneak around, causing him to teleport often out of sight. Taking twice as long as it should have, he soon made it below deck without been caught, making his way carefully around.

          When Jeremy found the kid, he had been release from his cell and hiding in a dark recess, too scared to come out. A couple of guards were hanging around the cells, trying to figure out how exactly the kids had managed to be freed while the majority of them were sweeping the deck and lower levels for any remnants. Jeremy could see the kid hidden in the corner from his position behind the door, his shimmering brown skin keeping him hidden more so as he shook uncontrollably. He was about to teleport to the kid until he felt his head began to spin, his vision swimming as he almost collapsed in the doorway. Even simply thinking on teleporting was enough to make him feel like he was at the end of it all, but he had to get of this ship, he needed to rescue this kid.

          Opting for the second option, he decided to bolt for the kid. Leaping out from behind the door he began sprinting towards the kid, pushing all his energy into closing the distance. Once there he would run into the poor kid, using the momentum he built up in his running to power him enough to effectively push both the kid and himself through the teleportation. It would have worked too if one of the guards did not notice him bolting for the corner, yelling and alerting his friend whom grabbed Jeremy just as Jeremy grabbed the kid’s outstretched hand.

          The guard whom had yelled raced over, grabbing the Atlantean kid as Jeremy clutched on tight to him daring not to let go. As much as he kicked and screamed at the guard, the grip he had on Jeremy was too tight and he could easily feel is connection to the younger boy beginning to slide off.

          Suddenly, electricity jolted through his system from the base of his neck, causing Jeremy to spasm uncontrollably. As he spasmed within the guards grip, he felt the familiar sense of nausea was over him as his body began teleporting both Jeremy and the kid. However this time something felt wrong. He could see it on the kids face, the look of terror, not just at being handled by the guards. Before Jeremy could yell ‘Stop!’ or ‘No!’ his body rippled as he tore through space, teleporting the kid back to the docks.

          As they tumbled to the ground, arms still gripping one another’s forearms tightly, they had a moment of relief before Jeremy screamed out in pain. The feeling was as if his entire being and soul had been set alight as his body was ripped to shreds down to the tiniest molecule. There was a sharp ripping sound and the boy screams drowned out as the Taser in his neck ripped him back aboard the ship.

          Jeremy fainted in the guard’s grip, the boy’s arm severed at just below the elbow still clenched around his wrist. As the black mist swirled around him and his consciousness faded into the backwaters of oblivion, he felt his body being moved, carried until it was dumped in a cell. Finally within the folds of darkness Jeremy could sleep, letting go of all his worries and happy that he had managed to get everyone safely to shore. In the back of his mind, he fought to stay conscious so he could make it back to Fletcher to tell him the good news, but he was sure that Adrian would be able to deliver the news just as effectively. Content, he rested, knowing that eventually he would have to wake up again and would need as much rest as he could get.

          Adrian Santoro – Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, England

          Adrian saw the last kid appear out of thin air with a faint form that looked like Jeremy holding his hand a few feet away. When the faint form of Jeremy broke apart, Adrian had to cover his ears as the boy’s voice ricocheted between the containers. Even though he had hands jammed against his head, in his ear he could hear Wyatt scream through the mic; both shouts echoing in his skull. With Wyatt out of commission and Jeremy more than likely in the hands of the guards on the boat, he was on his own until the Directive got here with the helicopter.

          “Sir, Wyatt’s been hit, Jeremy is assumed captured and everyone’s off the ship. What do I do?” As much of an air of confidence he exuded, this was the first time in a while that Adrian truly felt out of his depth.

          “Hold position, helicopter is two minutes out.”

          “Sir, I don’t think you understand; they have Jeremy! What do I do!?” he asked more urgently.

          “I repeat, hold position.” His voice was blank and emotionless.

          “We can’t lose Jeremy! You have to help him!” Adrian was becoming more frantic, this was the first time they had actually lost someone in the line of duty. Adrian had been with the Syndicate long enough to know their procedures and protocols, but he didn’t have to believe in them.

          I don’t have to do anything,” the Directive snapped back angrily, “Jeremy is lost, we can’t recover him. The Universe’ll guide him back, for now we stick to the mission protocols. The helicopter has landed west of your position.” Communications broke, the Directive most likely on board the helicopter and would address him when they got there.

          Wyatt cried out as Adrian scooped him up, holding him close to his body with three of his arms. As he went to leave, Kieran broke out from the crowd, making his way past the girls fussing over the kid with half an arm, gazing at Adrian intently.

          “Tell the Directive my cover hasn’t been blow…” Kieran spoke as he turned away to make it look like he wasn’t talking to Adrian, “…and tell Fletcher I’ll be home soon.” Once Adrian nodded his head in agreement, Kieran took off, walking around the strut holding up the crane as if to look like he had taken a walk; their meeting slightly hidden from the majority of the group.

          With Wyatt in hand, Adrian began ducking behind crates and checking around corners as he made his way over to the helicopter waiting patiently on the pad. Behind him he could hear two sets of footsteps, nothing heavy set like the thud of military grade boots but rather the soft steps of bare feet. Turning around, he locked gazes with the Russian kid from before whom had asked Jeremy to save the kid from the cell opposite him, and a girl that shared many similar facial features with the boy.

          “Scram kids, go back to the mansion with the others,” Adrian cast them aside as he continued on making his way stealthily between containers.

          “We don’t know of a mansion, we came from Russia.” The older girl spoke, her voice soft and accent sounding more British than eastern Europe.

          “We want to join yous.” The boy spoke up, blood still slowly seeping from his palms as if he had been crucified.

          “You can’t, now leave!” Adrian whispered furiously. It was evident to himself that he held the kid accountable for Jeremy’s capture, yet was unfair for thinking that. Unlike him though, they were still teenagers and should be growing up with the other kids at the mansion; not playing spy with himself and the others.

          They were almost at the helicopter when the Directive’s voice crackled over the in-ear speaker, “Adrian, what’s the hold up?”

          “I have two kids following me. They want to join and won’t go back to the others. They don’t seem to be from the ARF.” He replied angrily, casting a scowl at the two; no doubt they understood him clearly despite their broken English.

          “Bring them aboard, they could prove useful.” The line cut again.

          When he repeated that they could join them, both children were elated, looking at each other like they had just been saved from the apocalypse. It didn’t take them that much longer to make their way to the helicopter, strapping Wyatt into the on board stretcher and clipping themselves in as the helicopter lifted off the tarmac. Leaning his head back against the seat, he refused to put the headphones in and let himself be taken away to the farthest recesses of his mind as he relaxed. As much as he disliked Jeremy’s pacifistic ways, the kid was still a part of their team and had been in the Syndicate as long as he had. He let himself be taken away in the roar of the propellers as the setting sun cast little warmth on his massive body.

          Kieran Davis – Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, England

          Kieran was in one of the first groups to be taken off the boat and teleported ashore. Along with Charlotte, a delusional Asian kid and a couple of other students whose names he had forgotten, he took it upon himself to help keep everyone together. As they teleported in, they were first greeted by Antonia and Garrett as the two made sure none of them were hurt before sending them over to huddle with the others. He hadn’t realised until now that the outside air was cold, almost freezing until he turned around to see Marilyn holding up a giant barrier of psychic energy. The barrier drove off the frost and burst of electricity that pervaded the area beyond it. The air seemed wrapped in some sort of fog, obscuring the battle raging on the inside, but Kieran was sure he had caught a glimpse of the Vulture-like form of Oliver.

          More children joined them and Kieran watched as Charlotte did what she did best and nursed some of the slightly more injured students back to health; taking on their wounds as if they were her own. Kieran went around the remaining children, making sure the rest of them weren’t going into shock by keeping them preoccupied. He reunited friends and siblings more so giving himself something to do other than stand around to ruminate in his thoughts. A few faces he knew, a couple he did not, but for as short of a time as he had been here he knew many faces and their names and abilities.

          Turning around he saw Antonia suddenly dart off to the side leaving Garrett and Kaido to deal with what looked like the last of the students. He followed their path which took them to a student lying on the ground crying as a slow puddle of blood began forming around him. He winced as on closer look it seemed as if they boys forearm had been wrenched in half. He continued his gaze until he could see a familiar four-armed hulking figure bent over someone else. At first thought he imagined it had been Jeremy whom was injured, but the bow in the guys’ hand was not something Jeremy would even dare to pick up.

          As Adrian heaved the body upwards, Kieran caught a flash of the boy’s face; that of someone his age whom the Directive had had his profile lying on his desk for well over a month. Catching Adrian’s eye, Kieran made his way over to him, standing just offside as to talk to Adrian without looking like he was doing so.

          “Tell the Directive my cover hasn’t been blow…” Kieran was glad that he could use this capture as evidence against his involvement elsewhere, but also that it meant he would be able to finish his mission quicker than originally planned. “…and tell Fletcher I’ll be home soon.” He hadn’t seen Fletcher in nearly two months and everyday he felt the pain of not being able to look after his little brother.

          Kieran continued on his walk around the strut holding up the crane to make it look like he had taken a walk to stretch his legs. When he looked back, Adrian had already disappeared between the containers. Not long after Kieran saw the jet black Syndicate helicopter take off north overhead as he waited with the rest of the Royal Family students for their rescue to arrive. He returned to Charlotte, resting his hand against her shoulder blade, “We’re safe now.”
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          Old November 9th, 2013 (1:32 AM).
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            Charlotte Hunter - Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, England

            Charlotte turned as Kieran’s hand appeared on her shoulder.

            “We’re safe now.” The sentence echoed in her ears like a soft but confident lie as she continued her work, the gentle hum of her power trickling down her finger tips and into the patient before looping back. The kid was no more than 13 and had numerous cuts around his ankles. From their escape she had tended to as many people as possible gaining her several broken ribs, cuts, bruises and a large amount of blood loss, but still she did not feel the full extent of her absorb injuries’ pain. Finishing up on the kid’s cuts and giving the boy a gentle smile, the boy thanked her and moved back towards a group of his friends.

            “Safe?” Charlotte repeated, now sure that the kid was out of ear shot. “After what we have both just been through?” She stood and turned to look at Kieran, settling her eyes onto him as the skin between her brows puckered in a frown. “I don’t think anywhere is safe for us. I mean look this” she gestured towards most of the kids whom lay on the floor or huddled together. “They are just kids. Hell I am just a kid!” She sighed then shook her head. “And now, because of us, that boy, Jeremy is stuck in that hell hole and we are sat here. Helpless.” Charlotte kept her tone steady, maintaining eye contact with Kieran despite the anger she felt bubble inside.

            “I can heal the physical aspect of this Kieran but the psychological side of this is way out of my area of expertise. I will be surprised if most of them will be able to sleep without night terrors for at least a year. Just look at Austin!”

            Here she pointed towards the boy whom they had accompanied to Paris. Since getting him out of the cell Charlotte had manage to inspect him from a distance and as far as she could tell he had no physical injuries but mentally, even from across the small clearing they stood in, she could see not everything was right in Lightlad’s head. Shuddering at the sound of her own voice’s softness, she finally looked away and studied her own wounds. Blood bloomed across her t-shirt like a bad tie dye pattern, her knuckles were bruised and on the palm of her right hand the puncture wound still stood proud. Breathing hurt too and she could taste blood on her tongue.

            “I didn’t even get to see if Pyrrha made it out alright.” Her voice shook now and she moved her eyes back to Kieran, her mouth a thin line. She felt dizzy and pain, even though it was not as intense as it should have been, still ebbed through her system. Even venom she had been injected with had taken it’s toll on her organs.

            “I didn’t even know people were capable of such barbarity. We were all once considered the same. We are still human. But do you know what is horrible? When we were escaping, I wanted to hurt the men who did this to us. I wanted it so much…” She finally trailed off, again shaking her head as if trying to rid it of her thoughts.

            “What was your cell like?” The query was asked in more of a whisper, but when her eyes returned to Kieran’s they were cold and unwavering. “I didn’t even know you had been taken.” Charlotte finally asked, pulling her arms up and hugging her against the cold chill of the air.

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