From the dust of the Rapture, humanity rises again to wander their shattered world and lament at history lost to the war that collapsed their society. Dead spires acting as corpses of former industry that put humanity on the top of the food chain now without power, those that have awakened when the dust cleared now strive to survive in a land who's domination is sought by the primordial entities who have slept since before Genesis. What remains of mans legacy is the tale of the greatest of them, the one who conquered Amon and sacrificed himself along with many others who conquered the primordial entities like him to harness their power. His legacy continues with the Children being the few among humans that can overcome possession by these bodiless forces and fuse their essence into their being but retaining their hearts.
200 years later stands a settlement called Resolve by it's limited inhabitants sits upon a land known only as The Steppe. The Steppe being a massive chunk of urban ruin raised far above sea level by drastic tectonic upheaval. Doing what humans do best to adapt, those of Resolve with the few Children they have must routinely come face to face with their doom as the altered land and beasts of it attempt to ravage them to sate their primal desires.
Overview: a post-apocalyptic adventure with a focus on action and pointing towards human flaws as major plot points. A lot of disturbing beasts and disillusioned men and Children to encounter. Looking for a decently literate co-host for this gratuitous-fest. 2000 characters minimum. Romance is encouraged but not without trials and tribulations, this doesn't have to be a tragedy but it shouldn't be so easy considering the situations and setting. The setting so far is general and I'll expound more to those that show interest and talk about their character idea. I'm keeping the description limited as I'd like both me and the other player(you!) to build the shattered world back up mutually.
1. Appropriate grammar, no abbreviations. Clear distinction of character speech.
2. Anime-style character portrait to be approved for appropriate aesthetic.
3. As stated above, 2000 character minimum.
4. Must be able to post at least a couple times a week, certain circumstances withholding.
5. While the violence is R-18 keep the lovey stuff to PG-13.
6. PM me to show your interest/ask any questions!
Waking much later than normal, Dinah sat up in a state of confusion. Why wasn’t she in her bed? It took no time at all after that to remember what had happened. Standing from the thinly upholstered chair, she stretched. Her back was killing her, but she expected it would fade once she moved around some more. Peaking into her room through the open door, she saw her bed empty. Jabin must have gotten up and left… well, that or someone had sneaked in and stole him, but that was unlikely since she remained unharmed. Instead of worrying about it, she chose to focus on returning to her normal life for the time being. The first stop being the bathroom. There she took a brisk shower. It helped to wake her further. More likely than not this day was going to be long like the last. With any luck this would help jumpstart the rest of her late morning.
Ready and neatly dressed in all black, the woman meandered towards her small kitchen. On the way she finally noticed the note that was left for her. Eyes scanning quickly over it. She hadn’t inspected her bed, but from the sounds of it, it needed to be cleaned. Sighing, she chose to let that take precedence. Turning back to the bedroom, she stripped the bedding and threw it in a basket to the side. The blonde switched to her extra sheets. That way if she came home exhausted later she would be able to pass out immediately. A trip to the dry cleaners would come eventually.
Finally she was able to get a light breakfast in her. Dinah had snacked the night before at work, but hadn’t had time for a proper meal. And so her stomach was not exactly agreeing with her at the moment, but she ate something all the same.
Then it was off to the roof. Grabbing a bag that hanged from one of the coat hooks next to her door, the red-eyed woman exited her apartment, locking it behind her. In the pause waiting for the elevator to climb to her floor, she felt uneasy. There was no reason for it, but an anxiety filled her stomach. The ride in the lift did little to help, as there was nothing else to focus on. Not until she made it to the final floor. There was a single flight of dingy stairs to reach the heavy metal door that lead to the top of the building.
Despite the height of the complex, there were plenty of equally tall or even taller buildings neighboring it. Still, the rooftops Dinah could see were vacant. People rarely came up here, probably because of how hard the wind blew at this height. And while she didn’t consider it dangerous, it was chilly.
No sooner than the door clicked behind her, the blonde began to whistle a simple tune, clean and clear the notes were carried off on the gusts of wind. Within a few minutes a couple of pure black birds landed on the concrete floor. Opening up the bag she’d brought with her, Dinah tossed out a couple of handfuls of cracked corn. It was an inexpensive filler in most bird seeds, but they seemed to like it alright. It was loads better than leaving the city and running the risk of getting picked off by whatever was out there. One of the crows cawed out loudly and the rest of the murder greeted them. She watched as they happily hopped around. A genuine smile came to her face and the woman allowed herself to enjoy the moment for the time being.
The sense of peace that she had didn’t last long, as eventually Dinah began to feel uncomfortable again. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it felt as though she was being watched. And while she looked in all directions to try and locate the source of it all, there was nothing. It wasn’t until corvids sporadically took flight again that she really began to worry. In attempts to avoid panicking, she slowly, and calmly as she could manage, headed back to the elevator. The anxious feeling persevered until she made it home. Even then it seemed to linger. It was off for her paranoia to persist to this point. The red-eyed woman busied herself with menial tasks until she left for the bar again. Rand never mentioned when he wanted her in, so she figured she’d show up for opening again. Hopefully she’d get home earlier that way. If not she was setting herself up for another double shift.
Bringing her heavier jacket this time just in case, Dinah locked up and started on her way. She only hesitated slightly when leaving the building. Looking around, she didn’t see anyone, but the feeling that she was being watched continued. Her feet moved faster than normal until the crowd in the street grew thicker. She felt sufficiently covered; blending in with the throng of people trying to get from point A to B. Dinah did the same, making it to work in a timelier manner than usual.
In the bar, there seemed to be a thin semblance of normalcy. Rand was already there. He made an offhand comment about her making it home and she called back. “Yeah, barely. You’re body attracts trouble.” Looking back on the incident, she was somewhat confident they both would have been better off on their own. From that she had to elaborate to some extent, as her boss was kind of nosy when it came to that sort of thing. Still, Dinah kept it pretty bare bones. Everything thing had turned out all right in the end, there was no reason to worry him any further than that.
As the afternoon and eventual night wore on, things got rowdier. There was something of a chaotic atmosphere within the establishment. There were whispers of some other event going on. Perhaps they were all getting blitzed there and wandering back this way after that. Dinah wasn’t sure, but it was her best guess. Whatever had gotten into people, she’d had to break up more tussles and cut more people off than she’d had to in a long time. There was plenty to do and it was keeping her busy. Still, she noticed when Jabin came in. It was a relief to know nothing had gotten ahold of him after he left her place.
Again mention of a party came up. A pair too inhibited to realize she was in earshot, muttered back and forth at the edge of the bar counter. Dinah lingered there, curious what was going on. Even if she had no intention of going, it was good information to have, even if it only led to her avoiding the location later that night.
“… A little bit of haven...” She caught a snippet of the ramblings. Haven, wasn’t that code for some new drug that was sweeping the outer rings? In order to know if that is what the man meant, she would have to hear more. The thin woman took a small step closer.
Just as she thought she would actually get a lock on what was going on, a much drunker elderly woman burst through the two. She shouted at Dinah to refill the glass she was waving about. Sighing, the blonde took the mug from her hand, doing as she was asked in a passive aggressive manner. It wasn’t like anyone here was actually sober enough to notice.
Feeling the soft fabric against his face Jabins eyes flickered open. He sat up in a suddenly alert posture, "What?..." he said aloud as he gazed only at darkness. He touched his feet the floor and pulled a personal lighter from his pocket to hopefully illuminate his unknown surroundings. No sooner did the dim light up the small apartment did Jabin notice Dinah sleeping on the nearby recliner. He sighed and shook his head in disappointment. "Two times in one day.." he thought but reminded himself of his prowess. He stood up and gazed out the window, still noticing it was dark out.
Grabbing a napkin, he wrote a short message onto it before setting it on the nightstand close to her chair. "Thanks. Now we're even." he scrawled onto the absorbent tissue. He contemplated setting her on her own bed, but thought against it realizing his blood had stained it. Tilting his jaw he sighed as he reached into his jacket retrieving two batteries. He expounded upon his message, "Also, for the dry cleaning." he wrote just beneath his first message. Nodding in affirmation he quietly exited, making sure to lock the door before slipping out.
Jabin poked his head out of the entrance of the complex in hopes of spotting anyone possibly awaiting to ambush him. He waited patiently for approximately two minutes before his suspicions subsided allowing him to traverse the street. He walked briskly still having a creeping feeling that he was being followed but wasted no time in leaving the market and towards his abode, the junkyard. The immense heap of rusted metal and discarded relics from the past piled up high revealing itself above the thin walls around the grounds.
Coming to a large mountain of busted vehicles, Jabin began to climb carefully up to the top where a van devoid of wheels sit as the crown of the peak. While as a guard he had the option to reside in one of the barracks around Resolve, Jabin preferred to sleep alone and chose the junkyard due to it's foreboding nature. It was on the edge of the safe portions of resolve where most of the merchants resided and more likely to be a stomping ground for Pockets, those who cared not for unity and sought only to take from their fellow man.
A ringing squeak whispered in the night as Jabin turned the handle of the vans back doors. He opened it to look upon what little of a room he had, the seats had been taken and replaced with a wide bed that left little to touch the floor. He climbed in slamming the old door behind him before shuffling to the dashboard. In the ignition sat a screwdriver that had been forced into the opening meant for a key which he grabbing and turned making a near muted click. This activated the battery causing the radio to light up, the thin screen displaying a sign that said "No signals found." in bold letters. Taking out the disc from before Jabin inserted it gingerly into the slot making the machinery whir briefly inside.
Playing the song he had performed at the bar earlier that day he adjusted the volume before laying down. He felt slightly guilty for ditching Dinah before telling her he was leaving. However he also didn't wish to feel like a burden and would rather avoid the awkwardness of waking up together. Confident with at least thanking her and paying for soiling her sheets he closed his eyes. The exhaustion of the day making falling back asleep that much easier.
The sun flashed through the sunroof causing Jabin to recoil from the light piercing his eyelids. He sat up, his already wild hair even more so a mess as he looked at his reflection in a hanging hand mirror strung up with simple wire. He fixed what he could with his trusted comb which he made sure to keep disinfected in a jar of alcohol solution. Spraying himself with what little fragrance he could find, in this case some lavender air freshener, he pushed open his back door with the sole of his foot. Hopping from car top to car top on his way down the mound he thought to himself, "Think I'll stick to patrol duty today..."
Greeting and waving off the typical rabble who felt the need to do so every day, Jabin planned out his route lazily. He mostly planned to stick around the bar and residential areas though he was almost sure whoever the group that had attacked him the night before was they would not do so in broad daylight. Whistling as he waltzed about Jabin overheard something that was untypical of Resolve, news. "It's supposed to be in one of those warehouses near where the pockets hang out." an enthusiastic girl said to a timid sounding man. "I don't know....sounds a little too risky." he responded to which she wrinkled her forehead. "Whatever, I'm going. Rom and his friends have guns, so I'm not worried about pockets."
Jabin decided to close the distance between him and the gossipers in an attempt to gain more insight to their conversation. "Sorry, maybe we can get a drink later after it's over?" He tried to coax her into accompanying him. "If you're gonna be so afraid of everything, then that's fine. But don't be upset when I tell you stories about it and you regret not doing something. Again." she emphasized the last word. "The parties as the Broken Bolt are boring, and that's where everyone goes so that includes old people. I'll see you later then." She left him in the dust while he could only stand with a raised finger to object again.
Due to his position of authority Jabin went against his original idea of confronting them about a party. Which sounded harmless enough even with the mention of guns, something that were not often used due to the scarcity of ammunition. The name the girl mentioned Jabin did not recognize thoroughly, just enough to know that Rom was a former scavenger agent for the city before turning rogue and taking to the outer circles of Resolve to hoard his findings for himself and his minions. A party sounded harmless enough however Jabin decided he would attend simply for the experience.
Taking what little information he had he went back to the bar in hopes of catching more information on the gathering. Since after all the place where everyone gathered to get drunk was also inevitably the place they came to spill their guts, both verbally and literally.
Still not completely right in the mind Dinah looked up at the woman garbed in black. She had a terrible expression on her face. One that displayed her intent to kill, but before the witch could move forward with it, both of the women’s attention was grabbed by an unexpected voice. It, of course, belonged to Jabin.
From there things unfolded quickly. The dark haired man took a few hits, but he came out victorious in the end. Enough so, that the entire party who’d come for him was backing off. Dinah guessed she had worried over nothing. Feeling a little foolish, she saw her chance to exit the situation. What she didn’t see was yet another assailant coming this way. So, just as she was about to get back to her feet and slink into the complex, Jabin had ahold of her. The child was warm to the touch, probably residual heat from the power he’d been putting off before.
They were in the elevator before she knew it; he was inhumanly fast. The blonde watched as he hit a random number on the contraption and they were off. Hopefully they wouldn’t be followed. She was not up for so many houseguests; her apartment was small. But when Jabin relaxed, she felt as though she could do the same. Although, she could have done without his nagging.
She knew he wasn’t entirely wrong. Dinah should have focused on saving her own neck, but unfortunately she felt the need to do something even if it was small. “Well, I was going to, but there was way too many of them.” Even if he had all that power, there was no telling what a group like that had up their sleeves.
She flinched at the idea of being taken hostage and becoming a hindrance. Such things did not sit well with her. “So, it’s not like it’s…” She started up, but cut off as he teetered off. Oh no. The slightest urge to leave him there to be someone else’s problem in the morning cropped up, but after he saved her ass only moments ago she knew she couldn’t do that. Not in clear conscience.
Quickly, Dinah was back at his side. She checked if he was breathing and other basic vitals. His pulse was there, but slow. “Come on,” she patted lightly at his face with her hand. “You are not dying in my complex’s elevator.” From there she took a closer look at the darts in him. Often times it was best to leave things like this where they were, but whatever was in there hadn’t fully been injected so she took a chance and pulled the nasty things out. Taking off her jacket, she wrapped the syringes in the cloth. Dinah wasn’t about to leave them here in the elevator for someone to get into.
When she was confident he wasn’t going to keel over right then and there, the red-eyed woman got up and pressed the correct button to get to her floor, 34. The contraption was on its way to 54, so she’d have plenty of time before they got where they were headed. Turning back to Jabin, she sighed. He wasn’t a big guy, but she wasn’t looking forward to dragging him down the hall. Her only solace was that it was late and it was unlikely anyone would be out to question what she was doing. As the elevator found the upper floor, and started its decent back down, she situated herself next to the golden-eyed man. Grabbing tightly, Dinah pulled him so that most of his weight was on her back. His head slumped over her sore shoulder, but she would manage the short walk to her door.
No sooner than they were in her cramped one bedroom apartment, did Dinah feel any semblance of safety again. Something about a place called home put her at ease. It was like the company of a good friend. Maybe that was why she never felt lonely there, even if she was the only inhabitant. Well, aside from this moment. She was kicking herself for not getting a couch or something. Knowing she couldn’t very well leave an ailing person on the floor, she dragged him to her bed where she laid him out begrudgingly. This night really wasn’t turning out like she imagined when she woke up.
Once she was sure he was in a somewhat comfortable position, she rechecked his pulse and everything. He seemed to be stable; at least it hadn’t gotten any worse when the last time she checked it. All that she could really do from here on out was wait and pray he woke up since it was too dangerous to try and take him out of the building. There was no telling if that gang had stuck around.
After a couple of boring minutes of waiting around to see if he miraculously got better, Dinah headed out of her bedroom with the coat wrapped vials. Unwinding the fabric from them, she saw they’d leaked onto her jacket. Worried about what the mysterious green liquid actually was; she concluded she would have to throw the whole garment away later. For now, she examined the strange syringes. Maybe Jabin would know what it was, if not, perhaps he would know where to take them to find out. After all it would be in his best interest to find out exactly this florescent stuff was since it was currently coursing through his bloodstream.
Content with looking over the darts, Dinah was feeling her exhaustion once again. However, her bed was taken. The next best thing would be one of the chairs in her tiny living area. So after checking up on Jabin one last time, she grabbed one of her blankets and nested herself up in a recliner before passing out confident that if he woke before her she would be within earshot.
As his eyes darted between the cloaked figures, Jabin clenched his fists in frustration upon seeing they were not up for negotiation. He hoped that the bar snacks would be enough calories to get him through the encounter. Noticing none of them were changing shape or exhibiting some strange ability but instead simply rushing at them with simple knives. "Very well, if that is blood you desire you shall witness your own!" he shouted, drawing a serrated combat knife stained with the blood of the beasts outside the walls.
Below his feet the ground seemed to heat up at an exponential rate, the rubbish around him melting into grotesque puddles. Jabins skin expelled a steady flow of steam, the high temperature transferring down his arm onto the wicked blade. It's black iron curve swiftly became a glowing scarlet blob from his hand, causing it to melt with his fist before creating a cruel red-hot gauntlet bearing a spiral spike that was once the blade. A blur from his readied position, Jabin rushed forward driving the spike deep into the stomach of an assailant. He screamed in pain as one could hear his blood boiling and his tissue sizzling from the intense heat.
"Yah!" an aggressive yelp rang from Jabins throat as he struck his target squarely in his shrouded face with a swiping elbow strike. A cracking noise pierced the commotion the figures blood splashing on the rough gravel. Before falling to the ground Jabin inserted his weapon underneath the chin of his opponent, impaling his skull from under to keep him from falling to the floor. He gurgled as Jabin lifted him off his feet, "Witness!" he proclaimed before tossing the man who was engulfed in flames before being tossed into two of his fellows causing the fire to spread to their clothing.
Despite this the others refused to flee and re-positioned themselves around him though Jabin was offered more opening to escape their flank. However upon seeing the white haired woman slam her foot into Dinah's ribcage causing her to be pushed into the stone walls of the complex he acted quickly. He leaped high into the air leaving a trail of steam behind him, winging his now white hot spike which detached from the gauntlet. The ivory light whizzed through the steamy haze and struck true into the clavicle of the unfortunate cloak causing him to drop his knife. Upon grabbing the spike in hopes to remove it he was only met with more pain as the skin on his palms was fused like hot glue to his clothing and the remains of the projectile.
"It's me you want, so face me!" Jabin demanded as he tumbled his way in Dinah's defense. "Indeed it is so, sentinel!" She cackled back before she flung her hand upwards tossing several strange black darts which struck Jabin in his chest and arms. "Weak!" He barked in response to her attack as he thrust his iron fist towards her face. Her visage was briefly obscured as though she became a shadow and reverted back in less than a second. "Huh?" Jabin thought as his target that was her grinning face was suddenly inches from where he had originally observed.
She chuckled as her hands waved about, rapidly inserting several more of the darts into Jabins torso. "Urgh!" He growled, anticipating her next jab in his direction and grabbed her wrist. Bringing himself closer to her he turned his body harshy, yanking her arm over his shoulder using the momentum to bodyslam her flat on her back. "Aaahh!" Jabin roared as he lifted his heavy plated boot above her skull bringing it down in a malicious stomp making a loud thump as her dome was bounced off the hard ground.
The woman squirmed to get to her feet but was met with a mighty soccer kick to the stomach forcing her to roll and tumble away roughly from Jabin. "Stay on your feet. Lest you return to the ground where you came, worm." He warned. "I don't need to, little hero." she said with an devilish smirk as she sunk into the ground. The flat form was difficult to spot in the dim colored lights of the streets, giving her the perfect opportunity to appear in front on him. Reaching up with catlike nails she snatched his collar before sinking back into the ground causing Jabins face to smash into the concrete. He curled into a ball as he gripped his nose, grunting in pain as his boiling blood steamed on the battlefield.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha!! That's all?" She inquired as she laughed boastfully as she trotted towards him in a mockingly slow manner. "There's more...." he said quietly as he scraped his hand against the ground in the small pool of his blood. Flicking it towards her in a desperate attack, it splattered on her face and in her eyes forcing her to scream and cover her face in burning agony.
Noticing the others starting to lose their mettle but another not afraid of Dinah, Jabin saw his opportunity and ran towards him. He thrust himself forward in a flying knee strike hitting the assailant on the rear of his cranium. His head snapped downwards as his body fell forward, his mug cracking against the wall next to them. Jabin wasted no time and swiped her up on his shoulder then proceeding to kick open the door to the complex while he felt he had time as the witch tried to purify her eyes.
Jabin panted as he ran down the hallway, "The elevator.." he thought as he turned a corner looking behind him every so often. He felt blessed as the elevator just so happened to be on the ground floor, open and inviting. He entered their bastion of escape and quickly pressed a random button on a high floor, not bothering to ask her the proper floor.
Knowing the building was at least 100 or more stories high Jabin slid his back down the wall slumping into the floor of the elevator with a relieved sigh. He looked to Dinah sharply before leaning forward in a sort of squat and putting his hand on the wall next to her head in an aggressive posture as his eyes peered into hers. "You should've focused more on getting away. Drawing their blood only made them angry. What if they had used you to make me surrender?" He said in an ominous tone. "If you were to have died what would that make.....me?...." his speech slowed down as his head wavered about.
Jabins eyes rolled back as his knees gave out and he was reduced to a stupor, some spittle foaming in the corners of his mouth. The darts that had been inserted into him were pulsing with a strange green light, appearing to be pumping his veins with some mysterious substance.
As if his obvious disinterest wasn’t enough to put her off to trying to talk to him further, Jabin’s pompous rambling was. It was growing quite clear he was looking down on her. Why did people flock to him? And even though she hated the silence ever so much, she now planned to drive the conversation back to just that. That was if he gave her half a chance.
Her red eyes went to his well build frame; she looked over him with scrutiny. Normally she felt like she would have been able to pick up on at least small imperfections, but the woman was too tired at the moment to notice even the most obvious traces on his face. In that moment he looked flawless, and it kind of pissed her off.
When it seemed as though he was done, she just nodded. There wasn’t really anything else for her to say. Dinah was content to go back to how things had been in the beginning. However, he piped up one last time to offer her a little warmth. It was incredibly nice of him, but she was, unreasonably, stuck with a sour taste in her mouth from before. And she clung to it arbitrarily. “Ah, thanks.” She gave her appreciation begrudgingly, but with a unblemished external smile. Leaving no room to betray her feelings.
And there was the antagonizing sound of nothing once more. But it didn’t last. Instead, the air was filled with his Jabin’s melodic tune. He used it to fill the void and drown out those who called from afar. A tactic that would shorten their journey, even if they had a few followers. Dinah appreciated that at least. Finally able to calm herself down some, she went back to taking advantage of the situation. She looked back up at the milky way that was peaking out of the dark blanket above. However, something else caught her eye. Had it been a person? It’d moved so quickly, she hadn’t gotten a good look, but she was forced to assume that’s what it’d been. It have the blonde a bad feeling. Only those with ill intent hid like that.
Her worry must have shown, because Jabin commented on it. However he seemed to think it had to do with his affectionate display to the masses. Not wanting to confess that she was spooked from the specter before, she covered it up. “No, I suppose I haven’t.” God, she didn’t like that smug expression, but in a moment that would be the least of her worries.
It was the snowy haired one, and she had the same condescending air to her that Jabin seemed to tote around, albeit amplified. What was with all these people? Did all that power go straight to their heads? Had they been regular human being’s she was certain she could have taken any one of them. Despite this confidence, when he mentioned arming herself Dinah’s heart skipped a beat. This was going to turn into a fight. Her hand went deftly for her concealed weapon, but he moved to stop her.
The white haired woman chose to completely ignore Dinah’s presence. How dare she? Absolutely seething, the woman’s red eyes narrowed into a steely glare. The situation only worsened when Jabin pointed out that she was there. Now he seemed to be taking the opposite stance, that regular humans were important, even though he’d been so haughty before. She guessed it had all been for show.
The pair went back and forth before he turned to her, expressing his wish she would leave. Dinah had no qualms with that. Nodding, she turned toward her building, eyes not leaving the figures that seemed focused on Jabin. The ringleader called the others to action, and they began to circle like predators with silver fangs. A sinking feeling pulled at her stomach. It was guilt, and the farther she got the stronger its pull was. Normally it wouldn’t bother her, but the only reason he was out here was a favor Rand had called on for her sake.
Making it to the entrance of the complex, Dinah shifted her weight between feet as she unlocked the door. With Rand in mind, she knew there was no way he could take losing two friends in twenty-four hours; she was going to have to do something. But what? Glancing back at the situation unfolding, she quickly learned that was a mistake. Even though it had been no longer than half a second one of the hooded figures had not only noticed but saw her intent. They were way too damn perceptive!
With inhuman speed, one of them was at her side. She didn’t even have time to swallow the lump that was forming in her throat before a hard hand was at her neck. In a flash, she had her knife in the man’s elbow joint. Her reflexes had caught him off guard. He screamed, both in surprise and pain as he released her. Dinah held tight to the handle of the multipurpose knife when he stepped back, causing the blade to run farther down his arm and sleeve.
Now thoroughly enraged, she knew there was little time before he engaged his powers. This was going to come down to her or him, and if she let him use her powers it was over. Knowing this she was fast to make her next move. Dinah released her weapon and grabbed his thick wrist. Immediately, she wrenched it back and maneuvered her legs between his to bring him down to the ground. Still close to the building, she used it to her advantage, bashing his head against it as they went down. There she faced a dilemma. Just how far should she take this? She didn’t have much time; there was no telling how long he’d stay dazed from that hit.
Over with the other cloaked characters, the colorless haired woman made a last ditch effort. Calling out in her icy voice for him to come with them peacefully one last time. When he did not comply she motioned her head two times. The first sending two of her lackeys in closer to deal with Jabin and the second to send backup to the incompetent fool who was having a hard time with the lesser girl.
At that point, Dinah was so focused on the task at hand that she didn’t hear the other enemy come up behind her. It wasn’t until she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up on end that she turned around to see perfect features looking down at her. A twisted white smile flashed from the darkness of the hood and she knew she was in trouble. There was no more element of surprise to help her, they’d seen what she could do and there was no guarantee she’d be underestimated again.
Swift as lightning, the woman in black’s foot came hard against Dinah’s side. She was sent flying into the dingy brick wall. Her shoulder was the first thing to hit, taking most of the blow. A searing pang ran through her body with the jolt, and then radiated from her shoulder from there out. It was a sharp, distracting sort of pain. The kind that made it difficult to formulate a proper plan when one was in a life or death situation such as this.
Stepping through the beaded curtain that served as the door to the Broken Bolt, Jabin exited out into the streets that were kept lit for at least some semblance of security. Bringing in a breath of fresh air to expel the lingering smell of the stagnant stench of the bars interior was accompanied by brisk steps. Nothing her attempt at small talk he reciprocated, albeit in a stale manner. "As it does the rest of us, innocent." He spoke as though he held some dominion over those who did not share in his simultaneous gift and curse to give an air of superiority. As though he was somehow separate from his fellow men, though he only did so in hopes of inspiring others despite their human shortcomings.
"Well.....how can I say? Is it because I live another day? If so then I would say yes. If it is pertaining to desires being met I could ask for more but I'm not so low as to put myself first despite my able position." He boasted through a display of endearment to what he made it seem to be "lesser beings". He made his sentences longer than necessary in an attempt to appear eloquent. As was his way to attempt to impress anyone, and with his audience only being one he felt the efforts should be focused. "Be concerned not for me. If I am to be a weapon I shall be the first to be broken in this battle we call existence." He pushed off any points towards his real feelings, which was that despite all his accomplishments and appreciation he still felt like it wasn't enough. Feeling like others expected the best of him, so its what he gave with utmost conviction.
Truly he was overwhelmed, it could be seen on his face underneath his eyes. Dark circles had taken up the lining of his eyelids which were particularly sunken from his long trek combined with the stress of his altercation with Asher. "All in all, it could be worse." He laughed with feigned indifference. He noticed Dinah's vigorous rubbing of her arms. "You should've said something. I can spare a bit more.....I think." he whispered as he finished his sentence. He exhaled slowly as the air around him rose in temperature as it had before though of a much more controlled variation. "I suppose I make a good torch, for more than one purpose." He laughed as his messy hair floated from the updraft of the heat.
After his long-winded rambling Jabin seemed to be spared any more questions, to which he responded with random singing of songs he had previously preformed. He was ecstatic when he was joined in his song by some passersby who's night was nowhere close to over for the time being. What was expected to a boring, typical walk home turned into an innovated parade of sorts. Any speech directed towards Jabin who led the march was muffled by his song. Despite the crowd, Dinah couldn't help but feel like another pair of eyes stabbing their backs. Though upon trying to inspect she could only see a swash of white threads slink around a corner. The strange was to be expected given their circumstances but an air of uneasiness churned among the voices of the march.
As the followers routed off on their merry ways, Jabin saw them off with exaggerated embraces and handshakes. After all, he had to maintain a positive image lest people start to suspect him of being possessed by whatever entity inhabited his body. "Whats with that look? You never have sudden inebriated musical numbers in the streets?" Jabin said to Dinah with a cocky smirk. However ahead of them as they approached her domicile a group of several cloaked figures came into her line of sight, one standing in a middle a tall female with white hair. Her silver locks were not unlike those of the specter she had seen before during their walk.
Upon further inspection, Dinah recognized the woman as one of the stragglers from the bar that were politely but promptly urged out by Jabin. "You have a utility blade, right Dinah?" he asked in a grave tone as he spread his legs out apprehensively, bending his knees in a forward stance. Their march halted as the womans did, "Don't.....not yet..." She said in hushed words as she placed her hand upon one the cloaked figures shoulders. "I just noticed you walking all alone Jabin. Would you like to join us?" Jabin seemed confused, "Why would I walk with those who's pockets are filled with pilfered sustenance. If you are not such why do your fellows obscure their faces?" He jabbed his finger in their direction.
"I know not know what you point towards. I am followed by one, that is more than alone." He assured her. She laughed haughtily, "Forgive me, I did not notice your ordained shadow. How irritating it must be to ward over the lesser." She spoke down to Dinah, flipping her hair out of her face to better reveal the dark circles around her eyes not unlike what Jabin bore. "You are a fool to think you are any more or less than those who do not share. You are ungrateful if you think those you call "lesser" are not the pillars that hold our platform of remaining community above stagnant waters below!" He barked at her. "Leave us, or face my burning indignation..."
The shrouds were silent before the ringing deafness was cracked by a wicked cackle from the witches mouth. "What I seek cannot be taken, only earned. You will see, Jabin. Now cool your veins and just come speak with me. That is all I wish." She pleaded, though her expression showed a diabolic malice. "I am deaf to your serpents tongue, dissenter." He snapped back at her. Their words were filled with outlandish almost medieval flavor not unlike what was found in pages of old tales pertaining to mystery formulated from the dreams of men. Most who could be called a Child spoke this way to each other, giving them a strange otherworldly disposition to those who witness them speak.
Jabin dug his heel into the ground, "Dinah. Whatever they seek comes only from me. I assure that you are safe to walk to your complex. Stride past them as you would dust on the dead earth." This strange speech pattern bled over to his promise to her. "Don't feel like you have to do anything for m...." his sentence was interrupted by the cracking echo of a small, smooth stone bouncing off Jabin's skull. "Argh!" he gripped his head in pain and leered towards his assailant. One of the cloaked figures had an intricate sling device strapped to his arm, with which he pulled back the elastic wire to launch another makeshift bullet. The white-haired woman stepped back as he waved her hand to the others, who brandished gleaming blades from under their dark cowls proceeding to walk in a steady circle to entrap Jabin.
People seemed to clear out a place for Jabin when he came up to the table. At least those coherent enough to still have an iota of human decency. He looked a little different than he used to, but she wasn’t sure if it was just her memory failing or what. Either way, it wasn’t important. She finished up the drink she was mixing before coming up to him to see what he wanted.
He paused in his greeting, obviously remembering her face, but fell back to something more general when it came to her name. Perking a brow at him, she wondered if he’d been hit in the head a few too many times outside of the walls. “It’s been alright. What’ll you have?” The conversation was fast paced as he gave rather vague instruction as to what he wanted and moved on to his payment. The woman nodded. “Sounds good to me.” In reality it sounded great to her. The ever-flickering lights had been giving her a headache for the past week or so. It was about time they get the goods to fix it.
Being rather practiced at her trade at this point, Dinah had his drink ready and to him in no time flat. It helped that it was almost as simple as they come. She set the order in front of him, “here you are.” And then she was off to the next patron, albeit the pace was finally beginning to slow.
It wasn’t long after that when Jabin caught the attention of Asher, and not in a good way. His frustration at striking out was showing when he verbally lashed out at the other man. For a moment she thought that it might end with the belligerent one accepting another defeat, but things took a quick turn for the violent. All eyes were on the pair of men who were starting up some sort of brawl, even Dinah’s.
Normally she hated this kind of thing. Having to break up fights was a huge pain in the ass, but since Rand was here she would leave it to him this go. So with a quick glance over to the man, she made certain he was watching before turning her attention back to the person she was getting an order from. It was brief however, as the woman would not take her eyes from the altercation a short ways away. Sighing, she knew she’d have to wait. Her impatience was short lived as her eyes were drawn straight back to the men as soon as Jabin started to light things up. This might have been more serious than she first realized. Rand must have seen it too, because he was there in a flash.
Everything deescalated right quick from there. Asher and Jabin seemed to play off the confrontation. Her gaze stayed on Jabin though. No sooner than the sea of people turned their attention from him, his expression changed. It was one of irritation, not completely unlike the one he’d wore a few minutes prior. She’d known the wrathful look in his eye had been more than mere play. He disappeared shortly after.
Not much later, Dinah actually got to sit down for a moment. Rand was handling the couple of people who returned to the bar for refills and she was able to relax a little bit. She didn’t leave the bar, just in case, but it was nice jus to have a dedicated moment to not serving others. It was around that time that the music stopped. From the looks of it someone was gearing up to sing. Ugh. Here we go. There was always someone too drunk to hold a tune, but determined to try anyway. It left the rest of them suffering, at least those who were sober enough to care. However when the voice came she was pleasantly surprised. Enough so that it got her curious. Craning her neck to see who was on the mic, she saw Jabin again. She hadn’t known he sang. Oddly enough, she thought she’d learned more about him in the past hour than the entirety of their school years together. He was a lot flashier than she remembered.
The crowd was eating it up. A man at the bar even went as far as striking up a conversation with her about the singing man. “Better than most, I’d say.” It was the truth. Not a lot of vocal talent came through here. She found herself laughing at the description of Jabin. “It is a little unexpected,” she admitted. But at him being a child, that was only half a surprise. After that argument gone wrong, she was certain it was the case. However she didn’t remember it from when they were younger. Either she had been dangerously oblivious to this guy, or it had happened since then. She was banking on the latter, lest she have to forgive him for forgetting her name.
The rest of the night was uneventful and she was glad for it. They even got Jabin to kick the stragglers out somehow. It was nice, because she was practically dead on her feet. Seated firmly on a bar stool, she yawned widely as the two males went back and forth about something. She didn’t really start paying attention until she was brought into the equation. “Huh?” Dinah furrowed her brow, a look of displeasure on her face.
“Come on, Rand. I’m a big girl, I can walk my own self home.” It wasn’t even that far, but the older gentleman wouldn’t have it. She was settled with Jabin for the entirety of her way home. Despite what she had said, Dinah was glad to have the escort. The birds didn’t come out at night and the dark only acted as a catalyst to intensify her fear of solitude.
The raven-haired man made a comment calling back to their childhoods and she stared at him expectantly. “Oh joy.” Except her voice was empty of any of the aforementioned emotion.
As they were leaving Rand called out his goodbyes, “See you tomorrow, Dinah!”
She groaned, as she wasn’t scheduled to be in tomorrow either. “Fine, but you better hire someone ASAP... Good night.” The thin woman pointed at him accusingly, but it fell into a smile before she let the door fall behind her.
Outside, there was a bite to the air, one that it took more than the light jacket she’d been wearing to cut. Rubbing her arms vigorously, she tried to warm them, even a fraction. It worked to some degree. When she was satisfied with that, she looked around. Anyplace that lacked artificial lighting to stain its surroundings in a myriad of colors was pitch black. There was no moon that night. The only good that came of it was how pristinely the stars stood out against the black void of a backdrop above them. The blonde stared up at them from between the tall nearly hollow seeming buildings that lined the street.
The silence was unsettling… well, less the silence and more the fear that she’d hear something she wished she wouldn’t have. This instilled with the want to fill the quiet before someone, or something, else did. “So,” she started, somewhat blandly. “Looks like life after school has done you well.” Normally she would have taken a peppier tone, as that’s probably how he would have remembered her from back in the day, but she didn’t for two reasons. The first being that she simply did not have the energy, and the second that he’d definitely seen her being sassy most of the night. A shift in personality and tone like that would look unnatural. And so it was a flat tone and stating the obvious from her, straight from her stock of bland small talk to get the ball rolling. To her it didn’t matter what they talked about, so long as the conversation didn’t come to an immediate halt.
Upon hearing the usual greeting of him by his fellow men, Jabin smirked and put his boot upon the nearest bench in a heroic pose despite his less than well condition. "Yes yes, it is I your gallant protector and guy you all come for your minor problems." he waved his hands about in a display of boastful display of confidence "While I may fall I do not stay down, I had again today survived another attack by a foul creature who curses the sky. But no longer shall it divebomb our children and mock us with it's droppings!" He swung his fist about as the drunks drunkenly cheered him on. "Now! Kindly get the hell out of my way so I can sit at the bar where I belong!" he said to the men who were trying to give him a hug of manly camaraderie.
He received their pats and friendly if invasive embraces before swiftly leaping up on one of their shoulders, "Woah! Hup! Still there, boy!" he said to the man who's shoulders he sat upon who's balance was faltering. Just before the drunks equilibrium was lost Jabin saw the opportunity to use the tips of his shoulders as a pushing point, jumping gracefully past the others who stared at him in awe. They stared at each other before cheering again in an off-key rabble of hoots and hollers. "Yeah, yeah. It's all good and fun but let me buy a drink at least before you smother me to death." he said to the men who started to disperse.
Jabin huffed and fixed his hair as he swiveled the bolted stool around to face the blonde bartender lady who appeared slightly annoyed. "Hey.....you. How's it goin tonight. Good I hope. Let me get an old fashioned orange juice and some of that clear stuff I can't read the name of." He pointed at her awkwardly as he faked paused his greeting as though forgetting her name with a goofy grin. He did not forget truly, but he seemed to do this with everyone as to not give them the impression he was any closer to one person over another. "Found a few fuses that are clean, these should be worth anything I get tonight. You look like you could use a few, the lights are flickerin'." He stated and aimed his eyes up at the fluorescent light above them.
After her response and subsequent serving of him, he turned to a couple of slightly younger female patrons who's words seemed to jumble over one anothers. "How did you do that?" "I bet your legs are really muscular!" "Can you pick me up with one arm, you think?" they prodded him with questions. He brushed them off with short, quick answers of false approval and interest. This went on though he was unbothered as he ordered more of his preferred and simple concoction. He shuffled through his coat momentarily before pulling out a flat, shiny disc in a transparent case. He moved it back and forth in front of his face, watching the colors of the embedded code of the disc shift and reflect the numerous lights of the bar.
His brief blocking of outside noise was interrupted with hoarse chuckling and slurred babbling. He peered at the older man called Asher, who brayed his desire in a vulgar manner to the bartender. A smile cracked in the side of his mouth upon hearing her barbed retort. Shaking his head at the fools lack of dignity he contemplated embarrassing him as he stared from across the bar. Ashers hazy vision just so happened to lock with Jabins inquisitive gaze and he was silent. "What's yer problem, huh? You tryin' to start somethin, Jabin? Tryin to flex yer fancy monster bullshit to me?" He pointed with his bottle, sloshing some of it on the floor.
Jabin blinked slowly, keeping his eyes steady on Asher until he seen Dinah walk away from the obnoxious ramblings. "I don't need to exert myself to stomp what is already low to the ground. You should really watch your mouth, Asher. If you could your eyes would able to see why you are also alone in your bed." Jabin mocked him, but keeping his icy glare. The others around Asher laughed at Jabins comedic crucifixion of his pride. "Shut up!" Asher shrieked as he threw his nearly empty bottle at Jabin's face. Having the opportunity to avoid it, Jabin chose not to in hopes of intimidating the old man. Blood leaked from his forehead as the stained glass shattered in a cloud of sparkling shards and glistening spirit.
"Ow. That got in my eyes, asshole..." Jabin growled as he rose from his seat and wiped his face of the shrapnel. The girls next to him yelped at seeing their object of admirations visage sullied and stood to comfort him. "Don't touch..." Jabin said as his back proceeded to expel an intense heat, distorting the air around him like a desert mirage. "Pain begets pain, innocent." he said as he stepped towards asher slowly, his finger red hot igniting the oxygen around it frequently in short bursts of hellish flame.
"I'm not scared of a little hot air! That's all yer full of! Hot air!" Asher said picking up another bottle before trying to smash it into Jabins nose and mouth. His attack was all for naught as the aura around the Childs skin melted the glass and dripped in a glowing hot puddle on the floor. Asher trembled and started gibbering pathetically as Jabin slowly reached his finger towards his opponents forehead. "Blood for blood." He whispered as Asher screamed, his pants becoming wet and soiled with fear. He could feel the flesh stretched tightly against his skin from hours in the hot sun being seared. He closed his eyes and prayed that at least his life would be spared.
"Jabin! Leave em alone! He can't hurt you, you know that!" Rand stomped to interrupt the commotion. The smell of burnt hair that formerly hung lazily over Asher's forehead filled the air before Jabin turned to Rand with a smile. "Oh calm down, pops. I wasn't really gonna mark him. You should know that." he spat back at him whimsically before standing up straight. "Good throw, but you wasted your drink there buddy. Let's get you another one, how's that sound?" He said helping Asher up. Asher crunched his burnt hair between his fingers before chuckling nervously, "Yeah....yeah. Ya really got me, there Jab." He said with a stupid, tooth-missing grin. "Don't call me Jab." Jabin said, his smile turning upside down into a cold stare like before. Asher was without words before Jabin smiled again. "You should really control your temper. I forgive you, though." to which Asher nodded and accepted his drink respectfully.
Others patted and congratulated Jabin on his restraint and tactic of dealing with Ashers ridiculousness. He seemed content and empowered by their coddling, but as the excitement died down once again Dinah could notice from the back room door where the various glasses and bottles of drink were stored that Jabins stance was deathly still, almost statue like. His eyes peering into what seemed to be absolute nothing as his eyelid twitched in a disturbed manner. He gripped the bridge of his nose in frustration before briskly walking to the small restroom and shutting the door abruptly.
"What was I thinking. Was I really going to mark Asher for that? I could've just punched him or tripped him....that didn't even hurt that badly." He looked down at his hand, slightly stained with the blood from his forehead and still leaked down his face. He licked his lips and spit into the sink, wiping his face with a cold, wet towel. Staring at his reflection and the small cut on his head he could feel his body temperature rising again. "Stop.....It's not that bad....you can't do that....." he said to himself, pressing his face into the glass causing it to crack. "How dare he..." he thought. "A man such as him trying to embarass me!" He shouted this aloud. He stopped himself and was thankful the music drowned out his anger. "What am I worried about.....I've been through worse. I just need another drink and I'll forget all about it....right?" He said aloud again. "And here I am, talking to myself in a bathroom.....again..." he sighed and laughed preceding his exit back out to the impromptu festivities.
Again reaching into his jacket, he pulled out the disc that contained his beloved sound. "I risked my life for this.....so you better be the fire I sought..." he said to himself. "Hey! Jockey! My turn!" Jabin said swinging the disc about at the skinny man operating the strange contraption connected to the sound system. "What kinda weird shit did you find this time, Jabin? Alright let's see.....has lyrics on it. Alright. Mic is on, go for it. " He gave Jabin a cheesy thumbs up as he lowered his sunglasses he had no business wearing.
"I just found this today. Just another piece of our past we have regained, no matter how small." He said trying to sound inspirational but really just saying so to be dramatic. Everyone soon quieted as Jabin looked to the fuzzy, blue screen which words displayed as the bass rumbled both the floor and the eardrums of the tenants in a slow, melodic beat with tapping hi-hats to accentuate the low pitch vibration. Jabin sung in a melancholy, but higher range tone in a sort of mesmerizing half-whisper that was clear and enticing.
"Feel the vibe, won't you?
Lose your mind with me.
It's the time can you hold my life, baby?
Feel so wrong with you.
Lock the door for me."
He sang the chorus, the ballad being a sensuous profession of physical perfection and adornment. Descriptions blurring the lines between pain and pleasure. Abstract and confusing as the tune was, the patrons were enthralled by Jabins performance. He accentuated his pea-cocking with the occasional pointing gesture and eye contact. This only seemed to intensify his presence, though his eyes appeared blank as he lost himself to his own indulgence.
Whistles and claps followed the songs conclusion, with Jabin bowing artfully to his audience. "That song didn't make a lick o' sense!....but it was still pretty good." One of the men by the bar stated while Dinah was near. "For a guy who get's nearly eaten a lot he sure is a fruity bastard with all this singin'." he croaked and his fellows laughed with him in their making fun of Jabins mannerisms. "Don't let him hear ya say that though, he might cry and throw a fit." one of them snickered. "If he wasn't a child he wouldn't be half the man he is. Lucky brat." They mumbled to themselves in their envy.
As the night went on Jabins pain was numbed even further with his consistency in having a drink in his hand. After others cleared out, or were forced out by Rand, Jabin was the last that remained with a few female patrons. One of whom did not speak to him directly, only listened to the others conversation. "I'd love to stay and chat, but Rand wants ya'll to go home." He said to which they objected, "No, no. I don't work here so I don't make the call. Sorry, sorry." He politely escorted them out.
"So ya gonna..." "Yes! For the earth's sake, yes I'm going to get it off!" Jabin interrupted Rand. He grumbled as he heated up his hand to reform the puddle of glass he had made on the floor into a flat piece as to avoid anyone being tripped by it. "There, you big baby. I fixed your floor can I go home now? Or do you need me to get the extra large jar of pickles down for you so you have enough for Ass-her tomorrow to stuff down his rotten gullet?" He prodded Rand who responded in turn. "No! But you do gotta do something when you leave." he told Jabin. "Don't give me that look! All you gotta do is walk. I'm stayin here tonight to make sure it's rats stealin' the chips or if it's some damn kids."
"Uh.....alright. Walk where?" Jabin raised an eyebrow. "Not where is the thing, it's with who. It's later than we usually go so I dunno if any of the Pockets are out heavier right now. So just walk home with Dinah." He waved his hand at her objection. "I don't wanna hear it! Jabin's a guard so it's his job anyway. So be safe dammit or you're fired!" he demanded. Jabin shook his head and laughed.
"Looks like it's "safe walk home" program like we had in basic school all over again." Jabin said to her beyond the bar.
The day had started off well as far as Dinah was concerned. At the very least the infernal banging and shrieking of metal wasn’t the first thing she heard as she woke. There had been some sort of construction going on next door to the snug place she rented out of a complex. It’s been the bane of her, and the other tenants, existence for some time. And while she wasn’t sure whether someone made a mistake and they had to start late, or they finally chose to stick to quieter tasks in the wee hours, the woman was glad to have the extra peace.
Not till after she arrived at the bar to run the opening shift did things take a terrible turn. Exactly five hours into her shift her boss came in, a mess. The bear of a man that owned the establishment, while not always the sharpest dresser, looked absolutely disheveled.
“Dinah, could you possibly work a double?” He had a rough, deep voice. The graveled tone enhanced by his downtrodden-ness.
The red-eyed woman looked him over. She had plans that evening, but with the state he was in she was hesitant to immediately turn him down. Instead she opened up an alley for him to vent what was wrong. “What’s up?” It wasn’t an answer but it would get her more information on whether it was the sort of favor she could refuse or not.
He ran a hand through his salt and pepper hair. “It’s Micah.” That was all he had to say and she knew something had happened. “Something got ahold of him, the details haven’t come in though… I’m on tonight, but it’s going to be busy. We need two people.”
“Jesus,” well, it was definitely not the sort of thing she could turn him down for, nor did she want to. “Yeah, I’ll stay. Don’t worry about it.” Dinah hadn’t been particularly close to her coworker, but it was clear Rand was taking it hard. That was the sort of guy he was.
For the rest of the night the place was more crowded than normal. The usuals all stopped in to get and give run down on what had happened to one of their favorite establishment’s workers. It wasn’t until late afternoon that the gruesome story fully unfurled. A particularly loud, and half blitzed, man was apparently friend to one of the guards who stumbled upon the mess that was Micah’s death. He told the story in full gory detail. Tale of how the young man had been eviscerated, how his intestines had been dragged in every direction from his body. Everyone’s attention was on him. The drunkard reveled in the feeling, but Dinah butt in before he could complete his colorful retelling of the story. It wasn’t forceful; she just distracted him for a bit before launching him off on another topic after he’d forgotten the last. There were more than a few relieved faces in the crowd.
Night set in full and the atmosphere changed, the bar was in full swing. She seldom worked this late, prone to taking the early shifts, as the rest of the staff was full of night people. It kept them happy, but in the here and now she was tired. A fact that made her a little snappier even if no one really seemed to mind.
“Jabin!” The name echoed across the room, starting from the door. Most everyone seemed pleased to see the dark haired man who walked in. He was a little beat up, but she recognized him from school. Well, she thought she did. He hadn’t really been on her radar back then. But none of that really mattered now. So instead of dwelling on it, she went back to the task at hand, tending to the rather needy droves at the sleek metal counter. From afar one might say they looked like a dense packed nest of featherless baby birds, calling for their mother. However instead of their cries being for food, they desired spirits. For the most part she obliged them, although there were a few she was beginning to consider cutting off. Namely those sprinkled through who were calling for her attention and nothing more. Clearly she didn’t have time nor interest, and if they were too drunk to see that then they really didn’t need any more.
But there were always those who really, really, didn’t get it. “Come on, Dinah sweetheart, you haven’t had a break all night. Why don’t you sit down with me, we can have a drink together, eh?” As he spoke his words slurred into one another haphazardly.
The blonde turned on her heel, a sickly sweet smile on her face. “I don’t know Asher, maybe because you can’t have more than two shots at a time. Hit me up when you can hold your liquor and a woman’s attention.” It was a tad harsher than she usually went, but just when it looked like he might get embarrassed his buddies started laughing at him. It ramped up his energy as well.
“Oh man, she got you.”
“Yeah, that one plays a hard game, but I’ll get her one of these days.”
The small group continued on like that and Dinah excused herself from the situation. As she turned back around, she caught sight of Rand and made a face of mock disgust. The homely gentleman broke into a smile, laughing heartily. It wasn’t the first time that night, but this time stood out to her as genuine. There was a lot on his mind.
Overlooking the horizon, the sun sets beyond crumpling skyscrapers and distorted Earth. A whistling wind the only voice of the wasteland among the frequent distant screech and bloodthirsty caw. A lone winged scavenger scours above sand and rubble, it's three eyes spotting a still black dot resting amongst the ruin. Swooping down in anticipation of it's first meal the creature swiftly descended upon what it seemed to be one of the hairless beasts that walk with their organs exposed. The opportunity proved right for the plumed hunter as he sunk his wicked talons into the soft flesh of the fallen man, burying his spearlike beak into his doomed dinner.
"Uuughhh...." the seemingly helpless one groaned as he was awakened by the ravens feasting of his blood. Teeth and facial bones smashed against the hard concrete slab below them as the monstrous bird held him down to prevent his escape. "Aaaaghh! Not like this!" he screamed as his adrenaline rose before sinking his teeth into the leg of the raven who shrieked and clawed desperately at his neck. Though in a rage, the mans strength was wavering from hunger and exhaustion from hours of scavenging.
"Would this really be how I get taken out...." he thought to himself as his perception of time was nearly halted momentarily from his panic. "It's too bright....." he squinted his eyes as his mouth leaked of blood most foul in taste. He gagged, feeling his stomach exhume what little fluids he had left. His eyes opened as his heart jumped from it's sudden stasis, beating intensely as he continued to rend what little he could manage with his teeth. A loud metal twang rang out along with a pained screech from the raven, "Get away from him, dirty flying rat!" bravely demanded a young boy holding a salvaged pipe bearing the beasts blood.
Shaking and cooing weakly, the battered creature looked down at it's cracked beak that nearly hung from it's bruised face. "Go on I said, get! Before I have to do it again!" the boy swung the pipe in defense of his elder. Defeated, the raven retreated pathetically, hobbling off leaving a trail of blackened life essence. "Jabin! Please don't be dead!" he begged as he dropped his mace. "R....Reuben? What're you doing out here?.....you're supposed to be tending the well..." the one known as Jabin spoke weakly to the boy exposing his teeth in a bloody and pained grin. "Screw the well! I told them you were gone too long." Reuben said with lament, peering off to the side at the bare ground.
Stuffing a golden brown roll into his mouth, Jabin sat up and devoured it ravenously. "Well, I guess that'll have to do." He said with disappointment. "Hey! That was my last one so you're lucky I even gave it to you. Now why were you gone so long, you know that it's not good beyond the wall when the light is sleeping.." Reuben told him. "Whatever, That's normal. He just got the jump on me that's all, but thanks anyway." He brushed off Reubens concern. "Just stay quiet as not to attract more so we can get back in one piece." Jabin warned, wagging his finger. Reuben opened his mouth as if to say something, but sighed and nodded to his elder in agreement.
The city, or what remained of this slightly more hospitable area, of Resolve stood in the center of the Steppe where the concrete and iron maze was most thick. The gate stood tall above all men and many beasts, it's name which inspired hope to it's inhabitants lie engrained with white hot flame on a hanging plate that swayed gently in the wind above the spiked steel gate. Layers upon layers of folded metal and plastics cover the fragile wall beneath it with bolted force with warnings such as "Peace Only", "Unite or Die", and "Purge and Replenish" painted hastily on it's exterior. "Finally, you walk too slow to be out there Reuben. You'd get caught." Jabin mocked him. "Shut up.....I didn't want my legs to be short..." he squeaked with reddened cheeks.
The streets were lined with lights where lights could be found, festive bulbs strung about in random colors giving the ramshackle stalls and huts beneath them an odd kaleidoscope effect as one peered down the alley. Implements of both preservation and protection lined the sheet-metal counters as Jabin ignored the offers of the merchants. "Finally, now get outta here. You know there's no little kids in the bar, Reuben." Jabin said looking down to his diminutive friend. "Fine, you're welcome by the way. But why is this always the first place you go to at night all the time?" He asked.
Jabin shook his head with a dismissing chuckle through his nostrils, "Because I can, kid. Thanks for the help, but I'm not buying you a drink." He said before laughing out loud, leaving Reuben outside. Reuben stood in silence with a sour look on his face before scoffing loudly, "Acting like some lame old man sitting around at the water hole. Fine!" He screamed into the door that was drowned out with loud greetings of Jabins name before stomping off into the alley.
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