Perched high above the city in his own personal loft the shrewd business man kept his fingers tapping upon the desk of his as he sat in the lap of luxury. It seemed as if all he ever wanted was at the tip of his finger tips. Being spoiled and working hard had according him opportunities which the ordinary man could only dream of, yet he was hardly satisfied with all which he'd built. Indeed, there was one thorn which prodded him, one being the leader and the other being Marcus Thorn. If there was anything the male detested more than anything else, it was the poor. The rebels, those on the lower level, all were leeches that were sucking dry the food and resources that belong to the upper lot, and with that Bitch ordering the high realms to open their doors to those who had been effect by the most recent rebel activites.. that had been the final straw to break the camel's back.
Oh!! How he would love to wrap his fingers around the neck of the world leader ad snuff out her light, however certain powers at be prevent him from being able to without being. Caught till now.. He'd just been minding his own business, till he saw the frail form of a lady appear on television. And as he heard her voice, that unmistakable voice which had cause nothing but ire for him speak he couldn't help but shriek in laughter. "How the might have fallen!!" He laughed out lot to no one in particular but himself.
He often entertained plotting to overthrow the vile woman and take over as ruler of the world by himself. But, atlas. He was simply a messenger for a man who had schemes much darker than he himself could've mastermind. And with himself being one the most wealthiest man in all of the city, he was no longer why he was sought out and ask to help. Though the thought process of who he served was almost impossible to decipher, he was an enigma to all who had come into contact with him and the very first thing which he had to do was contact him...
Only question was how? No one had seen him for the better half of eight months and he was always going and coming whenever and wherever he pleased. After all, Lilly herself had given him diplomatic immunity and so he acted with impunity. Not that it matter, mostly everyone who was apart of the elite acted as if they were above the law.
The thorn clan were the only group of the noble four which tried their best to governed the world and keep all within check. A Damn shame that they were strangely massacred twenty odd years ago and the only survivor just happen to be off at military school.. Damn Bitch. As long as Lillie kept Marcus within her grasp, Atticus Finch would forever have to worry about staying within the lines of the law. A thing which hopefully, he would soon see ended within the end of a week.
[b "Excuse sir!"] A voice called out to the male as he turned upon his heel. [b "Here's the reports from the last month's ship-"]
[i "Why fucking bother? We all know those low level scum steal from our shipment. Hoarding it and lying saying that their starving I never pay any attention to it.. instead, do you have any information on Him?"]
Snapping his hands, the male spoke slowly [b "I believe that... He's on his way back.. our resources say he has a stop to make and than he'll come here."]
[i Good. Leave me now."]
Dismissing the servant the male smiled as he could practically send change coming.
Sitting back down in his cell, the male could still somewhat here everything which
Lyric was saying but he was barely registering it at all. Instead he was leaning against his jail cell and slowly debating on what to do. As much as he enjoyed playing prison and staying away from the supreme commander the threat of razing everything to the ground if he didn't return didn't sit well with him. Along with the fact that he had given the rebellion all that he had to give it was almost time to make his escape..
All he needed to do was wait for them to make a mistake and once that came he would be on his way towards the supreme commander. Unaware of the final act which was coming for them all,
[b “No, you are the one who is not listening! I just said you have given me exactly no reasons to trust you or your words.”] It was like talking to a brick wall, though as persistent as he was he might just be telling the truth, like he said. And it was telling that he had Barret on his side. She actually did trust him, but this and that were two different things entirely. [b “You literally make a living manipulating people, so excuse me if I am not chomping at the bit to cling to every word you say like it came straight from the mouth of god.”] Lyric rolled her eyes.
[b “Yes, I know now how much food we need. What do you think we do all day in the resistance? Sit on our hands? It takes a lot of food to get a full district by, but I know for a fact the central district is getting five times what they need.”] That wasn’t even to survive, that number was based on comfort. And considering they were a larger and more populous division, that was a great deal of wasted resources when you had people literally starving in the streets. [b “I cannot understand how you can be so proud to be the one who put that system in place.”]
[b “Well, maybe people wouldn’t be murdering one another for food if someone managed humanities resources a little more wisely.”] Lyric moved quickly passed her snide quip. He did have a point, at least with the sex trafficking. [b “Fine, if you can’t pull back, how about you get some more trustworthy people down there. You know, the ones who don’t just let their men frolic about drunk in the middle of town.”] He’d mentioned working on it, but obviously it wasn’t enough. Especially if whoever who was hauled off was just replaced with another corrupted individual. As far as she would tell it was a revolving door of suffering.
When Black finally lost his cool he was almost pitiable. It was definitely a lot to be placed on a single person’s shoulders. [b “I do blame you… and I am going to keep doing so until something changes. There may not be a perfect solution, but things can be better than they are right now... If not, we might as well just give up and burn everything to the ground.”] If they were all going to die, Lyric would rather do it on her own terms. [b “Although, I will give it to you, that old bat is one hell of an obstacle…”] The words almost tasted bitter coming off her tongue. Was she sympathizing with him? Gross. [b “If I were in your shoes I would have tried to off her by now.”] He must have had an opening in all those years as her dog.
He went on to spill his actual motivations. She caught the drive with a single swift motion. Examining it closely, she listened to the rest of what he had to say without looking his way. [b “Yeah, I know Parker.”] Not extraordinarily well or anything, but she knew who he was and had spoken with him on more than one occasion. It was strange to think that he was capable of working both sides effortlessly enough to work directly under the supreme commander, though he’d always come off to Lyric as the sort who would be important one day. She had the same feeling about Cade, but apparently that importance was because he was a traitorous twat… well, if Lillie was telling the truth.
[b “He sort of pops in and out of existence. I’ve heard a couple of different reasons for it, some say he goes between working for his family in another district and others say that he is on specialized missions. I haven’t ever met anyone who was able to confirm it either way. Your guess that he is going outside of the barrier is as good as anyone else’s.”] Walking over to the metal table at the corner of the room, she picked up a tablet device. Inspecting it, she made sure it had a suitable port. When she found it, she plugged the drive in to have a look at what he was going on about.
Lyric swiped through the information as she tried to think of anything else she knew about Ryan Parker. [b “I know I have seen him in the last two years. So, if is going out there to try to find a cure, then he had been coming back intermittently.”] She tried to think of a more precise estimate of the last time she’d laid eyes on him. [b “His appearances in the lower sectors have been getting further and further apart though. It has to have been at least eight months since I’ve personally seen him.”] Or heard anything from a source she considered reliable enough to take for truth. [b “But you know, I’ve been confined to an apartment for god knows how long, so…”] Her eyes caught something interesting on the screen and Lyric’s brain completely switched focus.
[b “Your numbers are off.”] She pointed to the screen she knew he could not see. [b “I’ve been in the distribution centers when they get their shipments. We’re barely seeing a third of this.”] These numbers were a lot better. Sure, it wouldn’t perfectly sustain them, but at least they could get food in to the mouths of children who were still developing and really shouldn’t have to worry about that sort of thing. [b “If this is honestly what you have been sending out...”] Her dark eyes shifted over to him, letting him know she still wasn’t really on board with taking his word for anything. [b “Then some things are falling off the truck.”] Aka, there was someone who saw fit to do something with all that food other than give it to them. And she had a feeling who it might be.
[i "everything you said was true.."] Black spoke softly as he saw the little woman stand before him and confront him like no other had done before. It wasnt with violence but with facts and numbers and as the male saw the form of the supreme commander on the screen, he bit his lips. Her obsession with had always been perverse and sometimes cross the lines of pure abusive in ever sense of the word. However, this was a line she cross which went to far and for that, Black turned towards the nearest wall and slammed his fist into it. Even with the chains, it was evident the amount of power he possessed and for a moment he let out a snarl before composing himself and closing his eyes. [i "Damn you Lillian Thorn, you've gone to far."]
Turn his eyes towards the rebel, he spat on the ground and he spoke. [i "Didn't you listen to anything me or Barrett said? Or anything I said on the way to the supreme commander house? You're talking to the youngest chief in commander of the, ilitary police there was. For almost sic years or so, I lived fighting the rebels, I even helped them on some occasions. But I never, once, lied to them. As I never once lied to you."]
Letting out a breathe he spoke [i "While it's true I hate the rebels for a personal reason.. I never once let it interfere with my job. Rations.. military police? Do you know how many pounds of rice or bread or meat an average district consumes on and daily basis? Do you know why the military are order to undergo alterations? All of us can and do go days or even weeks without eating so that the lower levels can have more food. If you're angry at the rations, you're looking at the man responsible for it."]
He spoke as he looked at her with those eyes slowly before he brushed back a lock of hair. [i "And pull back the M.P? Yeah. Do you know how many arrests I've had to personal made where civilians killed each other for food? Or force people into slavery or prostitution? Do you know how many corrupted police officers I've personal seen imprison, or just what do you think I did when I was away from the house? I was interrogating corrupt police officers, or going to the food distributors and seeing which section need food and more due to the population number, and how much could be spared."]
While his voice had been calm. It was now shaking a little bit, and without a second thought he shouted. [i "I TRIED! But you as first hand how crazy miss Psycho can be. When you're handling everything from a distance, because some bitch threatens to have you locked up for treason if you try and get to close to the lower levels. That's where Barret comes in, he's always feeding me as much information as he can. I'll take the blame for people starving. I'll take the blame for the M.P. killing children, but goddamnit. I won't take the blame for not trying to do anything. Cause sometimes you just have to face the fucking fact that sometimes nothing works. There's no fucking solutions for some things Lyric. I'm a numbers guy and that's all I've ever been."]
For a moment all he could do was shake before he balled his fist up and stop shaking. Clenching his fist, he shook his head from side to side before he spoke. [i "And the reason why I wanted you on this expedition was to help us find someone you may or may not know. The Kyle's had a son who was a double agent working in the rebellion.. I just got the file the morning before I was kidnap by the rebellion. He was Lillie's left hand man.. Turns out he was also immune to the toxins and we think he left the city walls to find a cure. No one's seen him in over two years and we were hoping that, maybe, a rebel might of heard of him. His name was...."]
Sighing, Black just reached into his pocket and held open a file drive. Tossing it towards Lyric he spoke [i "Ryan Parker. That file, is a back up of my work I always carry it with me. You can verify everything I've said if you don't believe me. I gotta prepare.."]
Lyric shook her head. He must have thought her much more naïve than she ever could have believed. [b “I’ve always seen it, and in a lot closer quarters than you. Society has been shriveling away for as long as I have been alive… Where exactly do you think that first becomes apparent? Because it sure as shit isn’t up where people have money.”] It was down in the dregs, where the poor and destitute lived. [b “And who cares if it would have been easier in five years, we don’t have time like that. People are dying [I now]. And in droves.”] He went on talking about plans and the like, as if they did not have people looking ahead to the future and how to shape it into something viable for themselves. [b “First things first, we need to preserve as many people as we can. Resources will be redistributed. After that happens we can work on the issue of getting out of here. If that means taking up the mantel at whatever research has already been done, then so be it. But we plan to draw from more than just the privileged few. There are many brilliant minds down below, all so stuck trying to survive that no one ever noticed.”] That experience surviving off little to nothing would also be helpful in the long run. The thin woman had the feeling that was how it was going to have to be for a while, even after they got out of this city.
Somehow, they made it back to the expedition. [b “I fail to see any part of our relationship that would give me reason to trust you about something like that.”] It was almost laughable. A lot had happened in the time she had been stuck in his care, there were even times she almost saw him as human, but the woman still couldn’t bring herself to believe him. With the good there was also the bad. [b “You have imprisoned me, beaten me, and admitted that you thought that I, and anyone who thinks like I do, should be hunted down and executed. So, excuse me for not having the utmost faith in everything you say.”] She was shaking her head again. There was a moment’s pause. It was quiet as she thought. [b “And I still don’t understand why you want me on this excursion so badly.”] Her being immune to the toxins out there might be helpful, but it did not do a whole lot for anyone besides herself. She couldn’t test the safety of things, her limits were completely different than the average person, technologically enhanced or not. She supposed they might have devices to monitor things like that, but then again, someone else in a protective suit could do the same job. Why did he want it to be her, or rather why did Lillie want it to be her? There were still many pieces of the puzzle that Lyric was missing.
In the corner of the room, a screen flickered on. It displayed the Supreme Commander’s failing form. [b “Looks like five years was generous.”] The offhand sarcasm was little more than that, as the bright haired woman went quiet again to listen to the message. And what a message it was. Lyric practically scoffed. [b “If she wanted our trust, there were easier ways than instigating a war. You know, actually rationing the food to her citizens, or pull back the military police that have been terrorizing us!”] Those were the two main problems, at least that she had faced growing up in the underbelly of civilization.
[b “You are a numbers man…”] Her eyes were cold on him, dark and hard like obsidian. [b “I’m sure you have seen the stats. Only one in four children down in the lower levels are making it to adulthood. Two starve to death, one gets murdered by the MP,”] those bastards were never happy to be stationed down there and they took it out on the people they were supposed to be protecting. As if the only way to continue to feel superior to those around them was to exert power over them. [b “And one lucky soul gets to live. But yeah, this was definitely easier. Pushing people to the brink so that they do your dirty work!”] More likely than not all the murder was being covered up from the higher ups, but if anyone at any point had cared to do their jobs and actually went down there, they might not have been able to get away with it. Lyric was seething.
It was exactly as the man predicted. Leaning back against the wall in the interrogation room, he sat before her and she before him. Even whilst he was in shackles he appeared a menacing figure and his presence still had shook some of his other interrogators. It wasn't that Black was unbreakable, it was just that none knew how to break him more than he had already been. Yet, those days of abuse had long since passed and he hardly recalled them. Though, the flashbacks did come sometimes when he wasn't focus on the present. Sleep was the most terrible thing the man could endure. [i "Are you enjoying your freedom?"] He asked her softly, before he continued to look at her.
It was an obvious question by the look in hear eyes that she really wasn't truly free at all. And the more that they tallied together. The more time was spent outside trying to get the ability to turn back on the power. Or rather, it was a hunch the male had. He was as lost and oblivious to the outside world as his captors were he guesses. P
Looping his fingers together he let out a sigh before he stood up. The chains which bound him rattled and he spoke in a voice he'd use while he was training her. It wasn't the overly cold or stotic. Tone, but one that was warm and full of yearning. Yearning for her to see what he and Barrett, and those who had volunteered to escape by going on the expedition had realize.
[i "Don't you see it now? This city, our world, is dying along with our supreme commander. If you had been able to wait another five years, than you would've had one dead dictator, and an easier chance overthrowing the government with out all these theatrics... but, than what. How would you lead a people while the world continues to die all around us? No matter how many times power shifts, no matter how valiant the effort, we can never be free here. Not In this city, not bounded by what roles we were born to play.. eventually, stability will be restored. And than what will happen? An all out world, a culling of the poor and rich? Put resources would last is longer, but eventually we'd run into the inevitable problem, that we would all starve to death."]
[i "When I said in a years time you would be free, I meant it. Free to come with us, free to return home to the rebellion, or freedom to stay. Though why you'd ever want to stay is beyond me.. you'd be left doing all my paper work or running my military staff. But, that's beyond the point I'm trying to make. Freedom, true and honest freedom exist out there in a world without borders. In a world are everyman, woman, and child are able to, make their own choices and dreams come true.. so please, please, please, when this comes to pass. When I'm freed, and when it comes time to decided to stay or come with us. Choose the last option.."]
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Barrett had been no where near the fireworks when the explosions went off. However, about and hour or so after the party, his neck of the woods were soon engulf in darkness. That, and he got the last message sent out by Alex Kyle. Of course, some of the plants he farmed from out in the wasteland gave off a crazy greenish blue glow that slowly illuminated his office. If he'd known what a firefly was,he had compared it to that.
"I got a bad feeling.." he spoke. Hustling up the stairs he nodded his head in suspicious as he saw a fleet of nearby military ships landing in the poorest district. Soldiers came lining out and a young man step out holding a megaphone.
[center [b "Attention!! There has been a rebel attack and all power is done. By order of Lillie, our supreme commander, we are to evacuate as many people to the upper levels as possible."] ]
A murmuring rumbled through the crowd.. of course, there was skepticism adjust the people, and had not the man acted quickly perhaps they would've been a riot. People down here didn't take kindly to the military or anything that revolved around the government. So. The bulking figure of the dark man stood between the crowd and the young soldier and once he'd confirm that what the soldier had said was true the tension was easier.
Meanwhile, another man came walking towards Barrett. Behind him were s group to five soldiers who were wearing casual clothing. Only their standard issue pistol and badges gave them away to be more than just civilians. "Barrett, it's been a long time."
"Jesus Christ! Little Johnny. I remember you use to work under me, and now you've been promote to leader of a police unite." He spoke surprise before he beamed at the youngster who was now a grown man. "I guess we got work to do uh? Y'all ready for some cave exploring?"
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It took them roughly a eight days and 12 hours before th came across the underground generator. Crystals hidden deep beneath the cave Illuminated the path way that lead to a set of carved out stairs that lead down towards. The generator. It had been a good thing that the back up was ready to be turned on. Walking towards the bright red level that would give power to the whole city the male nodded is head. "Well, let her rip!"
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As soon as the supreme commander was getting ready to lead a team down into the caves. The lights above her had flickered, before power had been restored. For a brief moment, everyone around her looked befuddled. To her knowledge, she hadn't sent anyone down there to turn on the power generator. That, and it was hurried deep beneath the city. Even though she was located at the heart of it, it would take at least three days to reach the generator from her entrance point. But than it hit her. With out wasting any the, she order her men to fix the cameras and within the hour, he face was see on every screen in the capitol.
As she appeared on screen, those who had been in the middle of what there were doing had stopped. There was silence not because of sudden intrusion, but because of how the supreme commander looked.
She seemed frail, and fragile. The beautiful black locks had turned into steely grey, and she was sitting down instead of standing proud. Weakly she murmured.
"I... apology to you alll.. As, leader, I take full blame for the lost of life. And the inconveniences you have experience.. I had agreed, to let the rebellion open up my address... Because, I thought, if they told you about the foot shortages.. than, than.. you would understand how... severe a crisis we were in... I know... most of you, don't believe in me... see me... as a tyrant. But, after the events of this week, after opening up the upper level for you... all.. I hope.. you would come... to see in your hearts... who truly has the best interest for you..."
Suddenly she coughed violently, and off camera a voice called her name, but she lifted a hand.. "We... were. Plannimg... am.. excursion outside of these walls.. as a chance to... find.. food.. And shelter.. I do not wish to fight a war.. give us back Marcus Arelius Thorn, and all actions the rebellion has done will be pardon.. we need. Capable people ro.. lead the next generation beyond these walls... cause I know... I wont.. make it.." And with that the broadcast was shut off.
Despite the rather charged and foreboding message that went out, there was no immediate move from the resistance. Sure, operations kept up and they put up a fight when the military came around, but it was sparse. Even in invaded camps, they were spread thin. Which did not help their nerves, especially when Lillie herself was dancing through their encampments and thoroughly trouncing them as she went. Though, those who managed to survive such encounters were left with a flame of hope in them. The supreme leader, in all her usual composer, looked frazzled. None of them were close enough to the situation to know her fits of rage and mood swings weren’t all that uncommon, but as an enemy who had never let them see they had gotten under her skin, this was a nice consolation.
The week passed in that manner, that being that little to nothing was done on their side. But on that seventh day, there was some action, albeit minute. Papers began spreading around the city, fliers sprouting propaganda meant to illicit distrust in the current regime. Most of the information was based in truth, though some of it exaggerated. With systems down for communication it would be very difficult for people to fact check. On top of that there were voices in the crowd making sure to stir the pot. The rebellion had been off the grid for years so that they wouldn’t be caught, so they already had word of mouth networks in place. Working under these conditions was next to normal.
A few days more and a more substantial move was made. It was in the dark of the night when there was less visibility. Not that it really mattered with the guard on high alert, but the rebels were going to take any advantage they could get. The reason they were spread so thin was because through all that time most of their forces were relocating. And they weren’t going just anywhere, they were taking up position on farmland.
There were seven farms that produced the bulk of humanities food supply. These expanses of land sat somewhere in the middle ground. They were not completely destitute, but it was a far cry from the wealth and splendor of the upper rung. Though, with that said, the farmhands had it worse than those who actually owned the operations. That being said, it was not entirely difficult to sway them to the side of the rebels. Five of the seven hubs were on board for the plan.
And so, that fateful night, the final wave of allotted resistance members sneaked their way into compounds. There they worked until the sky began to lighten. And at the break of dawn, the fun began.
The sun's rise being the signal, barriers rose around the five farms forming domes not unlike the one that surrounded the entirety of the city. These, however, were updated. They used tech that was actually modern with some of their own modifications. There were plenty of technical minds aligned with their side, so they were confident the barricades would not be coming down any time soon, and no one would be getting in or out without their say so.
No demands were made. This was going to be a waiting game, waiting for desperation to set in.
As much as Lyric had been looking forward to having her freedom again, this was not quite what she imagined. She still could not come and go as she pleased. Sure, there were people to talk to, all of whom were friendly enough, but they made it clear if they got Black on their side she would be going right back to central city with him. It wasn't exactly thrilling, though at this point she almost preferred it. At least at his apartment there were windows to see outside. Aside from that, though, she thought it was a shitty plan. All he had to do was fake being on their side and he got off scot-free. It was not really hard to believe that Marcus Black, the military mastermind, would do something like that. Not to mention there was a good chance that the bitch would be able to override any ground they gained in him with the childhood trauma she had so obviously inflicted on him. Whatever they were doing, it was not going to work.
But in all her boredom and feeling like there was not a much she could contribute, Lyric did pass one thing along. That Cade was not to be trusted for the time being. She didn't know if Lillie was lying, but it was better to be safe than sorry with that sort of thing. Plus, it did fit with all the things that had happened. Whatever they had in the works was big and she didn't want it all to come crashing down because she kept her mouth closed when it came to someone she had considered a friend. The bright haired woman would rat him out a hundred times if it meant the world would finally change for the better.
Eventually a time came when they seemed to be at their wits ends with Black. Lyric was impressed with their persistence up to that point. In their shoes she probably would have given up by now, but that was why she wasn't in their position, nor did she wish to be. Though it seemed they didn't quite pick up on that. Landon, one of them gentlemen who was working as an interrogator sat down with her. He wanted to know if in all her time stuck as his slave she noticed anything that might be useful.
She took a couple minutes to think about it. There was really only one thing that came to mind, but she was not particularly down with telling them how uncomfortable he was when Maria had hounded him about his sex life. God knew what they would do with that information, nothing good. And as much as she didn't like the guy he didn't deserve that. Nobody did. [b "Not really, I was really just stuck in his condo the whole time. I mean, I did my best to give him hell when I could."]
[b "Did that work?"] His voice was desperate. It made her wonder who was breathing down this poor guy's neck to get Black to play double agent.
She shrugged. [b "Only as much as you'd expect... though I did get him to break orders once."] A proud moment for her now that she knew that was the case.
Landon perked up a bit at that. [b "So it is possible..."]
[b "Yeah, I guess, but that was under some extreme circumstances."] It took her damn near escaping for him to get to that point.
[b "You don't think this is extreme?"] He lifted a brow at her. They were locked underground and his life was completely and utterly in their hands. That was about as extreme as it got. Lyric went to shrug again, but Landon continued before she could say anything. [b "I think what we need is someone new to tag in.."]
[b "Oh no, I am not an interrogator. That would be a complete waste of time."] Suddenly she regretted saying anything at all.
[b "No one cares about that, just go in there and annoy the crap out of him for a little while."] She was beginning to think he was just looking for a break. Admittedly dealing with Black for any extended period of time was grating. The woman did not blame him, but she still really didn't want to do this.
The man continued to goad her on and it became apparent that he wasn't going to take no for an answer. He all but picked her up and threw her into the interrogation room. Thankfully she was able to grab a few things along the way, she wasn't about to sit there and have Black be her only form of entertainment.
Once there, she sighed as the door slid closed behind her, it really made it feel final. Before her was Marcus, the first time she'd seen him in over a week. [b "You're a real pain in my ass, you know that?"] He was in their custody and he still managed to inconvenience her. Still, she did not approach him. Instead she took a seat against the wall across from him. There she looked over the book she snagged. It looked dull. [b "It was stupid to send me in here; I can't make you do anything. And it's not like I care if you listen to them or not..."] As long as he was detained it was probably fine. [b "And as soon as they give up on you I am free to walk, so I almost prefer it that way."] Not that she didn't want to help the cause, but Lyric really wanted a little time to herself before she got thrown back into it all.
Being a leader she always pride herself on trying to stay several steps at ease of the game. Everything she had planned hinged on the fact that the Illesian Towers wouldn't be directly destroyed. However with the falls of the towers, the whole world was plunge into a darkness social wise. They didn't just destroy communication lines, power was through the entire realm of the upper elites was gone. Darkness would fall over the world as a blanket and once night fell panic would surely begin to fall all over the world. Of course there was a back up generator which would restore power to the city but that was buried deep within the depths of the city. Only a few had access to it and and reaching that in total pitch blackness was a dangerous task in of itself. Underneath the city were entire maze-like structures that was built thousands of years before by desperate people who needed a way to escape the harsh environments of the unforgiving land scape. Only one man would be able to lead a team through the underground tunnels and yet he was completely off the radar. But most importantly...
[b They had taken Marcus Black.] She had trained him to be punctual and after all the years she's known him, he was never late for whatever occasions. For Christ sakes, this was the same man who survived his own execution planned by the rebel and still was able to make it to the schedule meeting as commander of the population police. Everything about her was tense in this money and as she brought a palm to the hilt of her sword, she let our a slow breath. There would be complete and utter hell to pay. Setting down the vial of blood, the woman slowly unsheath her sword and held it closely to the light. "Bring me my wetstone." Her voice came out low and as she waited for the soldier to return with what she had asked for. Brushing back the locks of hair she slowly let out a sigh.
[i "This is war. Those rebels really fucked with the wrong one. I was reborn in darkness, raised with out the light of the sun.. And this will be the second time I've led a war and the last war was much more brutal than this.. First thing is first, deploy every branch of the military to protecting the people.. Everyone is to be treated equally. Order the elite to open their homes to the people below... Open up all military basis, evacuate as many people to the upper realm as possible throughout the entire city. I want this done within a week. Meanwhile someone track down Barrett. Tell him to lead an expedition towards the back up power grid located beneath the city... When the sun sets, our world will be plunge into total darkness.. And anarchy is the last thing which this world needs. I worked to Damn hard. To Fucking hard to loose everything I've built!!"] Her voice rose intensely as he brought her sword down onto the oak desk..
He had tried his best to prevent as many casualties as possible but things looked bad and were going to get worst before they could her better.when the first. Explosion went off everyone was treated to the deafening sound. Debris and rubble exploided all them. However if that wasn't enough, the gardens which floated above the city had explosions somehow planted within the very thing. It was the one thing which he hadn't been expecting, and before he could call for his men to hold on, the garden began to start hurling towards the ground. It was an unexpected twist, the garden had stood has a proud testament to the ruler of the world. It was only right that such a thing built to owner the tyrant would fall alongside with tower which provide the military with its biggest weapon over the people.. that was the ability to communicate in privacy.
All Alex could do as he fell towards the ground along with the people screaming and waiting for the inevitable end was almost give up hope.. almost till without thinking he scream one world.. and instantly his soldiers were able to spring into actions.. it was as if God was on his side because the very last thing every soldier. Throughout the world heard, before the communications completely went down was "ship."
Instantly flying military plans came towards the falling gardens, but for the man he watched everything on slow motion. Metal claws were deployed to snatch people up and carry them to safety. Those who weren't killed or hurt by the initial blast or falling debris were now suspended in air as soldiers fought quickly to save as many people as they could.. in truth, it took three minutes before the gardens fell to Earth. But in the eyes of the man, it seemed as if those three minutes lasted years.. As some people fell off, he pointed towards them hoping they would be seen. In the end, roughly four hundred and seventy lives were saved during the crashing of the garden. Even thirty civilians where killed all thanks to the desperate plea to help by captain.
And as he fell along with the gardens he laughed softly.. "Is this enough to atone.. For the sins of that day.. when I stood by, and watch innocent women and children be massacre.. or God, will you still send me to he'll? Despite all I've down.. It doesn't matter, be with them.. Save as many lives as you can during this war.. and I'm sorry that your faithful servant couldn't do more."
Falling backwards onto the ground, he let watched as everyone left before she spoke.. whispered "Sorry Johnny boy, but it seems I can no longer watch your daughter for you. I leave her with My wife."
Somewhere, A woman stumble awake and looked out toward the window and a single tear fell for she felt in her soul that her other half had slipped into other realm. But it would be okay. She would see him again by the gates of Pearl. She firmly believed so but that didn't stop the crying..
[center [b One week Later.] ]
Rebel blood splatter onto the streets, as the woman ran her blade through the chest of a soldier. Her speed was unprecedented. And the armor which she wore was light weight and was molded to fit her body. It was like tight leather. Gold shimmered in the dying twilight, before she ran towards the bullets which were fired at her. Like a ballerina, she danced through the rain of bullets, before her metallic arm, grabbed the barrel of one gun and her other brought down the sword hacking off the arm which dared shot at her. There was no mercy shown no quater shown. Towering over them the fear was seen clearly in the eyes of those who had chosen to take up arms against them. A smiled formed upon her lips before she purred. [i "What's wrong Rebel shit? Didn't you want to kill me? Liberate the people and burn what I've built to the ground. Shoot me.. right here in my chest.. STRIKE DOWN THE WOMAN YOU HATE!]
[b SHE'S BATING YOU DON-]! before the other rebel could warn his friend. He was already opening fire into her chest, and the bullet ricocheted and killed him. And frantically, the other male aimed for her chest, but before he'd the chance his chest was impaled by her sword. [i "Listen here YOU shit fucks! I don't enjoy slaying insects. Drop your weapons and after we've finish interrogating you, you're lives will be spared."] There was a pure hatred in her eyes as she stood among the tower of the dead and the intimidating glaze made all loose aight and weapons where thrown at her feet.
In the past week less than a 1% of the entire military were taken to lead the assault on rebel basis. Walking through the city, she herself was bait, and those foolish enough to launch an attack on her were met with the same fate time and time again. Death and suffering.. She looked like a beautiful angel of death with locks of long midnight black and golden armor hugging her body tightly. Those clear dark eyes penetrated those who were frozen with fear and as she marched onward she only had one goal in mind find Black.. regardless the cost.
Leaning forward, she cover her mouth as blood was puked out. It felt like a red hot iron was slowly penetrating her stomach and swirling the insides. Leaning against the building, she gasp for breath before once more puking and the pain intensified. A whelp escape her lips as she fell towards the ground her arm wrapped around her lower body and her hand pushing against the building.. As the captivated were loaded unto ships and taken to a base for torture, a male came walking towards her.
"This is madness. The Znine pills were only meant to be taken in desperate situations. Out of the whole military force, only sixty men where able to endure it's side effects. If you keep on going like this you'll die. Superhuman ability isn't worth your life. And if you die, the rebel win."
A painful gasp escape her lips as, Lillie struggle to breath. But the pain had moved upwards and it felt like her entire chest was caving in. Each breath was even more excruciating than the last. Biting back tears, she could only nodded her head to show how she understood. But she had no care or concerns about her body. If it was destroyed in the process of finding Black than she would consider it a worthy trade. He would make an excellent ruler.. She felt it deep within her.
[i "How.... far.."]
"According to the tracker you implanted in Black's brain. Impossible to know. They must have taken refuge underground. At this rate our best plan is to stop attacking random rebel basis and help lead a team underground. We need power. Lillie. Black is a fucking soldier at the end of the day, Its time you stop throwing your goddamn tantrum and do what's best for the people. It's is own fault for getting caught."
If she had the strength she would've killed him on the spot.. But everything hurt to moved. The last thing she wanted was to go back underground after fighting so hard to stay above. But [i "Let me rest.. And I'll..]
Before she could finish she collapsed Out of exhausting.
"I gotta say, I enjoy getting the shit kick outta me for a change.."
"Yeah. Though, you're techniques all wrong. You want to inflict maximum pain and, maximum suffering but minimal harm and minimal damage..."
"Okay smartass, you just lost another fingernail."
"Nice.. this, ooohyeah.. that hurt.."
"Enough. We're getting no where with him.."
Marcus Aurelius Thorn let out lifted his head upwards. He couldn't see the face of his interrogators, nor could he get a sense for how long he'd been held captive but despite the beatings and the terrible interrogations methods, he enjoyed it here. There was no reason for him to eat, so he didn't get to eat the shit food, and he was still technically doing his Job since Lyric was still somewhere in the same place, area,and whatever the fuck he was.
He had no knowledge of the outside world and that didn't matter to be honest. He was content with being a captive and as he was thrown back inside his cell, he removed the blindfold and sigh looking at the same walls he been looking at.
If he was up to it, he was positive he could've escape. He been train how to endure interrogation by the supreme leader herself. Of course that had involved electricity clamps and fire, and beatings that lasted twice as long and were twice as painful but at he perhaps that was because he was fully human instead of metallic.
As he leaned against his wall, he closed his eyes and hummed. He was kept under guard twenty four seven and he admire that they didn't underestimate him.
"So.. what are you guys going to do? Join our military exploit outside of the city.. you know this is just a game for us? This, coup de et. Rebellion, war whatever. I heard you expose our food shortages congratulations.. But, as soon as communications are back up, the people are going to turn on you.. want to know why? Because you little Lyric probably didn't tell you about how we planned to explore the outside WORLD to find food.. let me talk to your leader.."
"And why the fuck should we believe you!?"
"Because unlike some people, I've never lied to a rebel. Not even once. Ask anyone that's dealt with me, they can vouch. I didn't lie then, and I'm not going to start now. So let me talk to your leader."
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/236x/55/36/89/553689f2cc30086008f33d352ce106f2.jpg] ]
/ 1y 106d 17h 58m 31s
In the car, it was difficult to tell just how much time had passed. Lyric was not sitting in a place that she could easily view the clock built into the dashboard and she did not much feel like leaning over the gentleman on her right to try and catch a glimpse. So instead she sat in ignorance to both the time and where they were going. Sure, they told her it would be a base, but that really did not give her a lot to go off of. Especially since this group was a different branch of resistance against the government. From what the Kyles said, they were currently working together with her rebel group, but the bright haired woman didn't really know what all to expect out of the bunch.
Even if Lyric couldn’t tell it, thirty minutes passed before the car turned off the road. They were a ways out of the main city hub, so the surrounding area already took a dive. Farther out like this, there were a million streets. They spider webbed out from the capital; splintering off from one another, though many were left unused. It was another fifteen minutes before they stopped altogether. Apparently they were to walk from there.
Black was still out, but these guys were not taking any chances. A large man took out a small wooden case. Inside was a syringe and a couple of vials of clear liquid. The thin woman watched him curiously, she didn’t have to ask before he was answering the question running through her mind.
[b “It’s a sedative. Don’t want ‘im wakin’ up before we get there.”] He made quick work of setting up the injection and poking Marcus’ arm. The man was just as fast at putting the needle away. After that he hoisted the general up and over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. It seemed like an effortless motion, he didn’t even grunt or anything. Lyric was impressed. She had spared with Black before, she knew he was a pretty sturdy guy.
With that out of the way they continued on. At the hour mark, a rumbling could be heard in the distance. Lyric stopped in her tracks. She looked back toward the city. From this distance, nothing was visible, at least not yet. The captive woman didn’t have enough intel to know exactly what was going on, and that was frustrating. But she did know that there was going to be a lot of destruction. Hopefully they didn’t hurt too many people. It was not that she was entirely opposed to violence, in fact she wished they could knock some of those rich assholes around a little more, but mass murder was a little far for her. She was not so optimistic to think they could make a change with no bloodshed whatsoever, but there was a limit. Attacking random citizens would not help. It was exactly what they were doing to the poorer districts below and she did not want to stoop to their level. They needed to hit the root of the problem.
All these worries stayed on his mind as they walked and even after they stopped. Trenton crouched down and brushed some dirt around. Soon a handle was revealed. He grabbed hold and lifted. A hatch hinged open. There was a set of stairs before them, and with no hesitation the small group began filing down them. It was dark and kind of damp, but as soon as Trenton let the door come down behind him, he clicked on a light for them. The steps went on a long ways. They must have gone down fifty feet before they came to a door. It opened as they approached. A woman was waiting for them, she ushered them in.
[b “Looks like everything is going as it should.”] She had a low voice; it was smooth and soothing.
Trenton was the one to respond. [b “So far so good… let’s hurry up and get him put away somewhere. I am worried he is going to wake up.”] Normally the man was not so paranoid, but knowing what kind of monster this guy was, he wouldn’t be surprised if he popped right awake even though they had filled him with enough tranquilizer to knock out a horse. [b “Has the broadcast gone out?”]
[b “No idea, we are completely cut off down here.”] They couldn’t risk Black getting a message in or out, so they dug themselves so deep and wrapped the place in metal so that no signals could get through, even with all those enhancements of his. [b “They are supposed to send Marina in with an update later.”]
Outside, things were lighting up. It was going to plan. The gardens were first. The beautiful mixture of glass and metal was left devastated by blast after blast that went off in timed succession. It started at the far end, less populated by those who came to see the address. The creep toward them gave time for people to escape, but was not so slow that it left them completely safe either. It was a matter of minutes before the building was basically leveled. Smoke rising in the sky made it clear this was not the only place hit.
Then, screens around the city flickered on. Every monitor, hologram projector, and cranial advancement capable of taking an incoming broadcast lit up and the image of a man cast onto them. He was thin, had wild brown hair, and looked very, very tired. His unassuming face stayed stony for a drawn out moment before he started to speak. The gaunt man did not give his name, but he announced what he was a part of: a widespread and very organized resistance. His face did not display very much emotion, but even without this there was a blazing fire behind his eyes. He was determined.
In the prerecorded feed, he went on to announce the prevalent food shortage that the government had been covering up. It was backed up with information. numbers they had stolen from books not meant to be seen by civilian eyes, and footage of the suffering that ran rampant down in the lower circles. To many it would be obvious, but to who lived in the lap of luxury, it might be their first time seeing or even hearing that what remained of their fellow man was living a life of torment.
Despite how much information and images they managed to pack into the video, it only lasted five minutes or so. It continued uninterrupted until he gave a final message. [b “We have been beaten and abused in every conceivable way, but no more… We will not stand for it any longer. There will be change, so this is a message to the people, all of them. Be prepared, because things are going to get worse, much worse, before they get better.”]
With that the transmission came to a close and the very second it did, there was another explosion, this one larger than any of those before it. Its epicenter in the heart of the city, it was Elysian tower. A single blast rang out as it took the base of the construction with it. With nothing to hold it, the tower collapsed in on itself, rubble flying in all direction creating a cloud of dust and debris.
And with that single stroke, the center of humanity’s communication was gone.
[i "Anima Vestra." ]
The Latin phrase lingered on the lips of the senior as he stood by watching the crowd which had gather to watch the annual address of their lordship. The power matriarch which, all though had been built with good intents, had stray to far from it's precious noble ambitions and goals. And originally he had entered as a youthful lad hoping to change it from within but how old age had told him that such a powerful entity such as this would need to be topple from the outside. He'd no wish to cause anarchy such as others amidst the the rebel fraction did, nor did he wish to rule it as some of his friends had said he should. Instead, if he could see an era of peace and justice ushered in before he went to meet with the Lord and apologize to all those he slain in the name of the supreme commanded than he would consider it a worthy atonement for his sins.
Still, the words of his wife ring clear in his ears. She'd had begged him not to go. Not to head into danger, for he would be right where the bombs would go off and be in the midst for the catastrophe. But unknowing sheep would be with among him and what would he be, to abandon them all.
"For I am the good Shepherd, and I will lay down my life for the flock... I wondered. How harder it is for a man to go willingly to his death when he knows he deserves it not?" His voice came out slowly before he turned towards those underneath his commanded. Underneath the uniform he moved rather stiffly but he could still sprint when needed. Pointing towards one of the buildings he looked at the crowd of people gathering and turned towards those beneath his commanded. [i "Make sure you steer people clear of those buildings.. And over there.. I have a bad premonition about what's to come." ]
Nodding their heads, the soldier directed the people away towards where the bombs where unknowing of the dangers of death which surely awaited them.. Walking around the Alesian Gardens, he took a deep breath. It was about thirty minutes before it was time to start the the address and so far the convoy of the supreme commander hadn't been seen. It felt as if something was off, but be kept his mind at ease. Placing a hand upon his temple, he dialed the medic team line and requested that they were able to deploy to the garden as soon as he reached out for them again.
With all the preparations down, Alex returned to his post and watched in horror as five minute were left and still Lillie hadn't arrived. The crowd behind him were buzzing and as he looked around, confused one of his soldiers tapped him on his shoulders. "You ready to see this hologram projection."
Caught off guard a little bit, Kyle simply nodded his head and spoke "Of course. It's the first year were using this."
"Yeah, apparently our supreme commander got sick and-" before he could finish the sentence Lillie's voice appear loud and clear and instantly everyone stood at attention as the crowd had a mix reaction of cheers and boos.
And so it begins
[b "He's late.."] The voice of the supreme commanded filled the empty room before he hands touch the wooden desk. It wasn't like her to be so stressed out, yet the anticipation of the imminent end to everything sent butterflies sparing in her stomach. So much so that once again she was relying on the taste of nicotine to calm her anxiety and prepare for the upcoming style. All around the city the police were sent our in squads of a hundred more searching for any suspicious levels. Even the military had been ask to pitch a hand in to help with what was sure to be casualties. Now, all she had to do was wait in this little room for an hour to go by and watch along with the world.
Besides, she had just gotten the lab results the day of the speech and as usually her suspicious were right on. One single vial of blood held the survival of mankind, and with the clock ticking down the months into the excursion outside of the walls there was a wonder if, and in what ways Black was able to convince Lyric to join them in their outter world. Adventure...
[Center ~☆~☆~☆~ ]
[i It was weird seeing her figure being project out into the world like that. She'd never seen herself like this, standing proud and confident. As the hologram moved, the woman began to clear her throat before she began her speech to address the crowd. It was time that the plan began.. [b [#86e869 "Welcome ladies and gentle to the annual address. As you all know I am Lillie the supreme commanded and now so would like to begin updating you on a few things..] ] ] And now it was time for everything to commence. Opening up her second pack of cigarette, she sat back and waited to see what it was that the rebels had been planning ever so slightly. So far it seemed as if everything was going off with our a hitch but the fact that Black himself, who had a personal vendetta against the rebels, wasn't here still heighten her anxiety. But through that cold demeanor she remained and solid and steel hard as ever.
Rising up from her seat she extinguish the cigarette before grabbing her sword and placing it on her hip. Reaching for the vial of blood, she murmured "Let's get ready to stream once the fire crackers goes off." Standing in front of four cameras that shot her at just about every angle she swirled the vial of blood and wait till she heard the far off sound of the rumor explosions that were set to be going off today.
Waking at a reasonable time, the first thing Lyric noticed was that she wasn’t being hassled to get ready. Looking to the clock it was well past the time she would have expected Black to be in here bothering her. Slightly curious as to what was going on, she left her room, dressed as she normally would. Making it out to the living area, she caught sight of the dark man rushing off to the ext. He must have changed him mind about taking her along. She was sure that would put a dent in whatever Maria’s rebel friends were plotting. The thin woman was still somewhat bitter that she hadn’t been kept fully in the loop.
Shrugging it off, she headed to the kitchen to get something to eat. After that she would probably watch the event public broadcast. It was going to a shit show and Lyric wouldn’t miss it for the world.
There were eyes on Marcus just as soon as he left his condo. Dark brown, almost black irises blended into the pupils of Trenton, the traitorous guard. What he did not see was black’s captive, Lyric. He was told that she was to be coming with the general for this event. With them separated, his job became all the harder. Groaning, he pulled a touch screen device from his pocket. Deft fingers ran along the sensitive display. He needed to move a few things around.
The explosives had been set to go off on his command, but now that he had an extra errand to run, it would need to be automated. Trenton set them to such then was on his way to the top floor of the building.
Sitting on the couch, plate of food in hand, Lyric was not expecting to hear the transporter fire up. Had Black forgotten something? God, she hoped it wasn’t her. But as she watched the entrance to the room, it was not the dark haired man that appeared. This man was shorter and had chestnut colored hair that was pushed back. He was also in a guard uniform. Immediately, the woman sighed. [b “What do you want?”] The sentinels here were usually dicks, so she was preemptively in her response to that.
[b “Come with me.”] He didn’t really have a lot of time to explain, but because she was looking at him like that wasn’t going to happen, no way in hell, he caved. [b “I am on your side, we need to get out of here, hurry.”]
Lyric really wasn’t sure if this was a trap or what, but she was going for it. Jumping up from the couch, she practically threw her plate down. She was following after the guy as he readied up the transported. There was a buzzing from his pocket.
[b “The explosives went off. They should have Black apprehended before we make it down there.”]
Explosives? What were they trying to kill him? It shouldn’t really bother her, but it kind of did. Not wanting anyone to think that she might have any kind of loyalty to the man, she kept her mouth shut tight. She followed the brunette through the halls; there were no other guards along the way. And sure as can be, there were a bunch of men in battle grade armor, a pair of them holding a semi-lucid Marcus Black. Holy shit, these guys had actually managed to do it. They might have obliterated a limo, but they had the general. Impressed, the woman followed them out. There was a car waiting. The lot of them fit in and they were off.
The man who had come to get her spoke up once they were making away from the complex. [b “Names Trenton. Nice to meet you, Lyric.”] He offered his hand to shake. She took it.
[b “Lillie’s speech starts in an hour or so. That is when the real fireworks will get started.”] It was a hint at the plan. Though, Lyric knew that much. There was going to be a widespread attack. Apparently, it was to be done with explosives.
[b “Where are we going.”] She hoped that it wouldn’t be too long till they got there. The police and military were going to be all over Black’s disappearance and she did not want to get caught.
The man kept it kind of vague. [b “One of our bases. A heavily fortified one, we cannot afford for Black to escape. Once there we are going to give him a taste of his own medicine. See how he likes to be tortured. The goal is to get him on our side, though so I doubt it will be too brutal.”]
Lyric didn’t really understand how beating someone to within an inch of their life got them on your side, but she had never really been broken that way. As terrible as she found her stay, the infamous general didn’t, or wasn’t allowed to, touch her. Save that one time he broke orders, but that was not the same. He also didn’t play the mind games with her. Not like he was known to do. All in all, she couldn’t picture it. But Cade came to mind. She wondered what they must have done to him to get him to switch side. Lillie claimed he was in love her with, but she doubted it.
It felt good to be home once more in his office. Tomorrow was the day when once more Lilly gave her address to the crowd at large. Bleary eyes stared blankly our across the distance before his hand tapped upon his oak desk. At the very last moment things had been switch; he couldn't help but feel as an ominous feeling was hanging in the clouds. Am intangible feeling of dread that once more, something was going to reach out and try to snuff the light from his eyes. It came with the job description. Despite the outer appeared of plush luxury and wealth it was anything but safe. A target had been planted on his back ever since the time he stepped our of the academy and into his service as a military figure. [i "At this rate Black, you weren't live to see retirement. But it's all dandy."] He mused to himself before he stood up. Now was the time he looked over his military equipment and made sure that all was crisps and prep for tomorrow's big deal.
Heading towards his bedroom,he stopped briefly to look at the room which held the sleeping captive. He had to admit. Deep down, despite her being a massive pain in the ass, it was nice to have someone break the solitude in his lonely life. Perhaps a thanks was in order for all the times she help amused him. But for now, it was time to get serious. Honestly, he had no intentions on bringing her with him. If the rebels were planning something sinister than he doubt that she would no part know. A smart lass would've found a way to stay in contact with the outside. And so with all that being said, he head towards his room to prepare for the coming morning and the feeling of dread which couldn't abate from within his core.
By the time the sun would rise, Marcus had already descend the elevator and was heading towards the car garage. A holster was rest beside his right leg and his uniform was crisps and perfect. A black hat decorated with ribbons showed his rank and his hair had been cut shortly before he'd walked out the door. Deep down in his he couldn't help but feel a heighten sense paranoia surging through his body. Even when he got the the limousine which would take him to the park where the holograms were set up, the fact that Lilly herself decided to now show up in person for the first time in over twenty five years didn't sit well with the tactician. The moment he inched towards his car was the moment he stepped back and turned towards his driver.
He was already busy getting in the driver's seat. Right before he was about to turn the ignition Black screamed out. [b DONT TURN IT]]
And time slowed down to a halt. The flames that exploded our from the car and the sensation of flying backwards towards the air seemed to take place over several minutes. He felt something sharp penetrate his skin, and as he landed upon his back and stared upwards, he couldn't help but see hands out stretch grabbing his body and lifting it up.
Before he blacked out, all he heard was a voice speaking to him which sound familiar and yet at the same time foreign all the same...
It was quiet, but Lyric could hear a bit of the gentlemen's conversation. She almost felt bad for black, almost. At the very least she understood the concept of not having the freedom to live life the way you wanted. Her empathy ended there though, as he was very much the one who was impeding her autonomy. It might have been under orders, but he was an instrument in her slavery all the same.
He finished his ramblings and miraculously he seemed in a better mood. Better than he had been anyway. She was not exactly thrilled that she was going to be stuck in a car with him for several hours, but so was life. All in all, she was impressed with Barrett. The man had been able to elicit what almost resembled human emotion out of the general, things besides anger and hate... nice to know that was possible. Though, truthfully speaking she had probably seen it before and not thought anything of it. But still, the large man was a perfect mediator. Perhaps that trip out into the world would not be so bad as long as he was there.
Nodding, her bright hair swayed as she accepted Barrett's offer to walk with her back to the car. Seeing as Black was well on his way there already. That man waited for no one.
The pair kept pleasant conversation the whole way back, which made the walk feel that much shorter. If anything the rebel woman thought it was too short. They said their goodbyes at the car. The bulky man even managed to pull her into a hug. Lyric really hadn't been expecting it, and she was not the touchiest person, but it was not unpleasant overall.
When she did pull back there was no resistance. [b "See you next time."] Then with a little wave, she finished her goodbye and got into the car. Black followed shortly after her. He started the car and they were officially off. Lyric watched out the dark tinted window as their host’s figure disappeared. Off he walked back to his home and office.
[b “Well, today was one hell of a roller coaster…”] She thought back on all that had transpired. They trained, both armed and unarmed, he did some sort of perimeter check on the gardens, they saw Lillie’s crazy ass, and they came all the way out here to visit with an old friend. Half of it was work related for Marcus, even if it was supposed to be his day off. Lyric didn’t know how he kept sane, if he did. All she knew for sure was that she was exhausted.
There was silence. And in that lull, Lyric began to nod off. Eventually passing out against the passenger side door. The soft sounds of her sleeping came intermittently beneath the noise of the car and infrequent traffic. While it was not the most restful sleep, she was out until they made it back to the complex they called home. Transporting up to the apartment, the woman went straight to her room and fell fully to sleep. She was not looking forward to tomorrow, but she was too tired to stay up and fret about it.
It was the heavy hand upon his shoulder which brought him back to reality. Seeped deep into the days of an oppressive youth, the male had forgotten for a second what it felt like to be jovial. A tense smile formed upon his lips as he faced his old friend and school mate. Placing a hand upon his, he took it off before he nodded his head.. It was best if he didn't sit around outside, but he couldn't help it. Further down from where they were was an alleyway. It had steps that led further down into an open ring area that had benches where people could sit on. A little bit of gayness amongst the greyness of the world below which was steeped in poverty and corruption. Sighing softly the male continued to stare down towards the sector of the of his young adulthood. If he closed his eyes he could still see a long hair black walking about in that population police uniform. Whistling to himself and taking a break from his duty.
[b "You know what I miss most about of all? This place. Before I became captain or the population police.. No one knew who I was. So I would wear civilian clothes some days and sneak out of our barracks and head down towards that alleyway. There were marble benches in a circle and during noon the sun would shine right down in the middle of the spot. I'd eat my lunch there.. or read a book and no one would bother me. And even when I was on duty, I'd still make it my personal mission to sit down and enjoy some time in the open air. "] Closing his eyes he turned towards the male and gave him a serious look.
[b "Some days. I feel like the world will catch fire and end. We have this false sense of peace.. and I'm the only whose pressured the most into making sure everything goes according to plan. I have to study the movements of the rebel and suggest where to put the heaviest concentration of soldiers at. I have to study the food supplies and male suggestions as to where to put more rations at. I have to make sure the those who are station outside the city limits at the gates are taken care of and our rotated properly. I have to assure the wealthy people that their security is State of the art, So many fucking choices I have to plan and make.. I miss having time to breathe."]
Letting out a slow sigh shrugged his shoulders. Turning his eyes towards his wrist he let out a slow sigh. He'd used up the warp drive on his way here which meant the drive back was going to be a doozy. Rocking on his heel back and forth,he extended a hand towards Barret and let out a soft sigh.
[i "They really got you stretch thin don't they old friend? I never knew it was that bad. But the salary isn't to bad right? The five hundred thousand makes up for it right?]
[b "I got a pay raise two years ago. It's seven hundred and fifty now. Though most of that goes to housing and security and transportation. So I only see seventy. Mist pointless honestly. I never have any days off so I don't see the point in having that much money lying around."]
[i "Yeah well shit. How about donating it to us poor people."]
With that they both laughed. Playfully he punched his friend in the chest before smiling. With that Barret turned towards Lyric and rustled her hair smiling as he did so. [i "Guess i ought to let you guys go? You guys got a lot of driving to do on the way back to the house."]
Shrugging his shoulders he nodded his head. [b "Hey. What can I say I'm a busy man. We can still make it before sunrise if I break all the speeding rules."]
[i "Yeah. But you know that crazy bitch would never let you hear the end of it.. sheesh. That's the only thing scarier than death is facing her."]
[b "that's an understatement."] Laughing once more Black started heading towards the parking deck. Meanwhile Barret turned towards Lyric and smiled.
[center " Come on. I'll walk you to the parking deck.]
Listening, Lyric was a little surprised that Barrett was some easily convinced to give her a look into the secret life of Marcus Black. At least what it had been when the two of them were younger... though, admittedly, she thought it was pulling her leg with that first story. Showing up to class in nothing but his skivvies? Almost seemed too stereotypical to be true, but upon noticing Black almost spit his tea across the room, there must have been at least some modicum of truth to it. Sure, she wasn’t all that interested in seeing him any more naked than she had to, but the rebel might have paid to see that. The mortification on his features alone would have been worth it.
She laughed at the second tale, and even more so when Black protested. [b “Really, out the window?”] It was likely on the ground level, but she imaged it to be from the second story. The whole thing played out rather comically in her mind, almost like a cartoon rather than reality. Which helped explain the giggling that kept bubbling up from her. [b “If he was using tricks like that he must have liked you. At least enough to try and prepare you for real life outside of a classroom where there are rules and regulations.”] In her experience, those who were hard on their students, especially when it came to combat, left a lasting impression. One that just might come to mind when you needed it most out in the field.
What came out next was something the teal-haired woman had already basically put together. Between how he acted around the supreme commander and what Lyric had heard while stuck in the upper levels, much from Lillie’s own mouth, she had a decent idea of the long standing toxic dynamic between them. It was sickening, almost enough for her to pity him, but not quite.
Black exited shortly after that. It seemed her fun was through for now, as Barrett put an end to the stories. Though, she doubted there was much else to tell. [b “I guess you are right, I’d rather not expose those poor souls to his shitty mood.”] Just because she had to deal with him today didn’t mean her fellow resistance members should have to. Still, she wasn’t in any hurry to finish her drink.
When the time did come, the bulky man was the first to stand. Lyric sighed, but she followed after him as they walked the path out of the jungle-like room. Honestly, from there the woman had nary a clue which direction the general could have gone, but it seemed as though Barrett knew each twist and turn to take. She couldn’t help but wonder if he knew his friend that well or if he was just guessing.
The pair made it from the workshop and then the house. Outside, the bright haired woman was strangely refreshed again by their surroundings. Incredibly different from the luxury she had been surrounded by for the last several weeks, this was decrepit in comparison, but it reminded her of home. It was refreshing, almost liberating. As she Lyric took it all in, they headed off in the direction of the military headquarters for the lower level.
It wasn’t too terribly long before Black’s well-toned form came into view. Luckily, it didn’t appear as though he had crossed paths with anyone as of yet. Surely there would have been a trail of violence if that were the case. Well, maybe not if it had been a soldier.
Lyric fell back while Barrett came forward to his companion. From him came a quiet sound to announce their presence. There was no doubt in his mind that Black was aware they were there, but it was always better to err on the side of caution. Especially with these doggedly trained military types.
Once at Black’s side, the man placed a large hand on his shoulder. [b “I’m sorry, my friend… I got carried away reminiscing.”] A large, apologetic smiled displayed on his face. [b “If it might make you feel better, you can share something embarrassing about me next.”] This was spoken less seriously, but did not quite make it all the way to playful.
The thin woman just watched the two from her spot. She felt a little bad as the one who had started all this, but she tried to convince herself that the feeling was pointed at Barrett rather than Black.
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