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With Issac’s question Belladonna looked at Irina before answering. The only reason she wasn’t attacking him was because Irina said not to, though her fingers still itched to fight. After a moment she decided to go ahead and keep talking, taking a more friendly approach. That was a lot easier to do looking at Irina, which she did, while also keeping alert for whatever Issac was doing,[+purple “I’ve been here… Oh, at least a week. Yeah, I’ve got a place, come on. We could totally take the cops, but it’d be a pain so we better hurry.”]
She hesitated before turning to lead them. She didn’t like the idea of turning her back on Issac, but with Irina there it seemed to reassure her. Irina followed behind, staying closer to Issac. Irina wanted to hold his hand or arm or something, but when she looked at him got too flustered to actually act on the impulse when her mind unhelpfully reminded her what he looked like wearing a lot less. Her cheeks flushed and instead she rubbed her arm like she was cold, even though she really wasn’t anymore. Things were a lot less chilly in clothes now, even if she hadn’t exactly bundled up. Some kind of pants she’d have called exercise pants or yoga pants and something like a t-shirt.
[#a31200 “Glad that went well. I somehow doubt everyone is going to be so easy to talk down.”] Irina said somewhat quietly to Issac. She looked at Belladonna, who seemed pretty focused on leading them. She took a couple of turns that led through alley shortcuts, and then into another alley that took them behind a building. Belladonna kept glancing back though, like she expected Issac to change his mind and attack.
Irina was disliking the tension, and tried to cut through it,[#a31200 “So it sounds like after a week you’ve pretty much got the hang of things.”]
Belladonna nodded,[+purple “Oh yeah. You either learn fast or you die. Works best if you have a partner or something.”]
Irina was guessing that Belladonna was hoping to partner with her, not Issac. Wanted it bad enough to make an uneasy peace with Issac for it. Belladonna led them inside the back door to the building, which was in pretty bad shape. Irina thought the building was probably abandoned since the halls were littered with trash and not all the units had doors anymore, but it was some sort of apartment building. Belladonna started up the stairs,[+purple “Have to use the back, the front is boarded up. Mine’s on the third floor.”]
The elevator was probably broken, since they had completely ignored it. Belladonna’s place had a door and even locks, when she had to open before letting them in. [+purple “Careful what you touch. Not everything is… safe.”]
Inside was the main room, which was crowded with shelves and old furniture. Everything was a bit of a disaster, like Belladonna hadn’t bothered to clean. Clothes strewn about, along with all sorts of pieces of devices and the kitchen had food, but was as messy as the rest of the place. There was a couch at least, mostly clear except for a few pillows and a couple of blankets.
The blazing cool calm that Issac had disappeared again with Irina's compliment. [b “Uh, yeah, thanks. You too.”] He said and then literally everywhere else became more interesting. So he was kind of relieved when his would-be partner went and looked for clothes, killing the tension that was smothering the room. After taking a steadying breath, he follows suit and begins rummaging through the clothing that was available to them with haste.
Now, Issac was never a fashion guru, nor would he ever admit he was one. He had a pretty good system back at home; jeans and a t-shirt or dress shirt and dress pants or black jeans. He looked either casual or business casual on any given day. But these clothes, and although they functioned much the same as they did back on their world, they were [i different]. Not [i too] different but different enough where Issac was kind of floundering on what to wear. Why did he have to be stuck with the cute girl from billings and not some random person who didn't have an effect on him?
With a soft groan, Issac picks out an outfit very reminiscent of jeans and a t-shirt and quickly follows Irina out of the store. Like her, he believed they couldn't exactly stay here, but they'd need to find somewhere to hole themselves up until they figured this all out. However, it seemed they wouldn't have much time to figure things out when another member of Chaos comes out of nowhere, and someone he didn't recognize. Sexual tension wasn't going to save him this time it seemed.
When propositioned to kill Issac, his shoulders flared up and his hands went up in front of him, palms up. He regarded her with the same cool stare he afforded the man in the shop earlier.
This woman was Chaos. She had powers like they did, and Wolverine nails might be what they were or part of it. Long sweeping motions would need to be employed for them to be effective. Tall and thin, but not waifish. Apparently was prone to talking out loud about plans, so the element of surprise was lost.
However, there was a brief exchange between the two Chaos girls and it seemed Isaac wouldn't need to do any fighting for the moment. That being said, Issac wasn't just going to trust Little Miss ObviousAlias to not stab him in the back when she had the chance. He honestly felt that urge too, especially now that there was someone part of Chaos who wasn't Irina near him. It was like the fight or flight instinct was on over drive, and the fight portion killed its other half. It seemed like at some point they were going to have to do some fighting, it being very doubtful that all of them could keep their cool. It was difficult enough already and working in the legal department has given him lots of self-control.
[b “I'm Issac.”] He tells the woman more as a formality than anything. [b “It'd probably be best for us to get off the street.”] It was more than likely Belladonna had done less than moral things to get herself some clothes as well. [b “How long have you been here? Do you have a place that you're staying?”] If so, it'd be a start, but Isaac didn't much like the idea of sleeping with his back to the wall.
So he was armed with a gun that looked as foreign as everything else. Issac reacted quicker than she did, and Irina watched quite impressed. Wow, he was really hot. She had to look away, or else she’d just be staring at him and it would get really awkward. More awkward than it was already.
[#a31200 “Right. Clothes. That was really good there. You were great.”] Awkward compliment. At least she hadn’t stuck her foot in her mouth. She started to look through the racks of clothes. Fashion had indeed moved on, but it wasn’t totally unrecognizable. There were the ever present ugly patterns, and thankfully solid colors too.
Irina had to drop the cardboard to get everything she needed. They even had underwear. This little hole in the wall place had everything she needed, including a tiny section for shoes. It was possible this was one of the only places to get clothes in this neighborhood. One thing Irina was noticing as she got dressed was that she was somehow in better shape than usual. Not that she was in bad shape before, but she skipped out on the gym a little more often than she should. It hadn’t taken away any of the feminine smoothness or curves, but just sort of made everything a little bit better. Presumably some kind of bonus from Chaos to make the fighting easier. She felt stronger too, somehow tougher. Yes, Chaos had not only given her power, but enhanced her body to handle it all better.
Once she was dressed Irina went to the door,[#a31200 “Ready to go? Not sure where we’re going yet…”]
But they couldn’t stay. Irina stepped out onto the street and saw another woman walking along. She had dark hair with purple at the ends, and looked a little taller and thinner than Irina. Irina recognized her in a moment. Not individually, but as another marked by Chaos. The woman made eye contact and recognized Irina the same way and went over with a smirk.
The trouble started when she saw Issac. The woman held up a hand like she was ready to attack and Irina noticed her nails were unusually long and looking wickedly sharp,[+purple “Well well, lucky me. I’ve got your back, we can take him. Two on one, I like it.”]
Irina stepped forward, putting herself firmly between Issac and the woman,[#a31200 “Nope. Not going to let you hurt him.”]
The woman looked confused, but didn’t lower her hand. Why would another Chaos girl be protecting anyone from Order? It didn’t make sense, and the woman flexed her fingers a little,[+purple “Are you serious? What, don’t want to share the kill? It doesn’t [i really] matter which of us kills him as long as he’s dead.”]
Irina shook her head,[#a31200 “No one is going to kill him.”]
The woman looked at them both for a moment before lowering her hand slowly. Now it was two against one in a way she [i didn’t] like. She was still wary, but shrugged,[+purple “Alright, fine. I won’t fight you over this. If he attacks me though, he’s dead. I’m Belladonna, by the way.”]
Not her real name. What fun was something boring like Anna when she could pick any name she wanted? No one knew her here to know otherwise. As for the Order guy, Belladonna figured maybe the Chaos chick had a plan somehow. Manipulate him to betray his own side, maybe. If so, she really didn’t want to screw up the other girls plan. In fact, she wanted in on it, it could be interesting. Way more interesting than just killing him on the spot.
Irina didn’t move from her spot between them. She really didn’t want her crush to get killed, especially if this was for real,[#a31200 “I’m Irina. Iri for short, if you want.”]
When Irina speaks, Isaac nods and follows along just as instructed. He made a conscious effort to keep his eyes at head level but he felt them drifting every now and again and had to do his best for sobering thoughts. It seemed Irina had spotted a place where they could get clothes that Isaac had initially dismissed. Good thing she spotted it because he was all out of ideas on that end.
They burst in to the clothing shop and the attendant behind the counter began to curse at them. He couldn't exactly blame the guy for his reaction considering it was late in the night and they were naked, holding cardboard to cover their shame. However, as the guy demanded they leave and motioned aggressively in tune, that strange calm came over Isaac again and he followed the man's movement with his eyes. There was no other way they could do this, they would have to use force.
[b “I would take her advice if I were you. You're at a disadvantage.”] And not just because their were two of them and they had super powers. The man was stout and aging while both Irina and Isaac were young and either in or close to their prime. Not to mention Issac felt in the best shape he's ever felt in a long time. He was a relatively muscular guy regularly, but right now his muscles were rippling, and his abdominal muscles were in flux, any stubborn stomach fat he might've had beforehand seemingly vanished. Not to mention his ass looked tight.
However, it didn't seem the man took any of the glaringly obvious advantages and disadvantages in to account. He quickly reaches back and pulls out what appeared to be some kind of pistol that looked like it belonged in a sci-fi TV show. He pointed it at them and Issac scowled. Apparently they ended up in a rough part of town. But they just got here and apparently had a war to fight. They couldn't let some punk with a gun get in their way.
The cardboard in hand suddenly flips in to the air like a paper airplane. Issac watches as the man's eyes follow it and the barrel of the gun goes off centre. And immediately once they're out of the line of fire, Issac was suddenly in front of the man, swatting the gun from his hand and chopping him in between the neck and clavicle. The man crumples on the ground unconscious upon impact. Any harder and he would've killed him.
[b “Alright, lets get changed and then get the hell out of here.”]
[#a31200 “Yeah. I really don’t want anyone just wandering by us like this.”] Irina followed behind Issac. It was distracting. Not so distracting that she couldn’t think though, thank goodness for the cardboard. They didn’t have money for clothes, so she figured they’d probably have to steal some. Not ideal, but better than being naked.
Irina took a little longer to look up. Something about the way he said he hoped it was a dream made her look. That explained the sounds of people and traffic. [#a31200 “Oh. This is… different.”]
Cars flying, glass walkways above the streets, and the fashion was a bit different. It certainly looked like the future, but Irina doubted they had gone traveling through time. It didn’t feel like a dream either. The bright side was they seemed to be alone down here for the moment. She looked from side to side at the shops. She could read the signs, which was a relief. There were a bunch of shops, none of them looked especially nice. This wasn’t a great part of town, evidently.
No clothes shops right near them. Damn, she’d been hoping one would be next door or just across the way. That meant they had to walk a bit, either right or left. She took a moment to decide and see what she could read of the signs. To the left she saw more shops and neon lights. There was mostly food, pawn shops, smoke shops, and a few others not worth her attention right now. To the right there was more of the same, neon stretching all the way to a dead end where a building obstructed her view. One thing looked hopeful though, one seemed to advertise some clothes. Bingo. It was their only shot, unless they wanted to try some of the secondhand shops.
[#a31200 “Come on, this way. Follow my lead.”] The street down here was empty for [i now], but it wasn’t guaranteed to stay that way. Irina hurried out from the alley and rushed toward the lone clothes shop on the street. It was a longer dash than she would have liked, but no one showed up to make things more awkward. She darted into the store, still holding the cardboard tightly in front of her. Her entrance, and probably appearance, startled the man behind the counter, which was glass and full of accessories like jewelry and sunglasses. His eyes were wide. The shop was small, but tightly packed with a pretty wide variety of clothes. Good, this would work if they could just keep the shopkeeper from calling for the police, or whatever they had for police around here.
“What do you think you’re doing?” The guy moved from behind the counter,”Get out of here.”
[#a31200 “Not gonna happen. Have a changing room?”]
The man ignored her question and started to gesture aggressively, pointing to the door,”Get out. Nothing but trouble at night. We’re closed!”
Well, things weren’t going great. The door was unlocked so either he forgot to lock it or was lying to get rid of them. They [i were] trying to steal afterall, but she didn’t want to back out and be stuck wandering around naked. Irina clenched her hand. The power Chaos gave her. If it was real it would come in pretty handy. She had a feeling it was. She didn’t want to overdo it and kill him though, so for the moment she glared at him, her tone low and threatening,[#a31200 “I’d back off if I were you.”]
[b “Yes.”] He snaps one his fingers and points. [b “Clothes would be a good idea.”] Cardboard wasn't really fashionable or warm. Finding clothes would be another problem though: not only did they wake up naked, but since they didn't have their clothes, it meant they didn't have their wallets, so buying clothes was off the table. They were also in a city he's never seen before so its not like they could just run home and get dressed.
Issac shakes his head. [b “I wish this was a dream. Or we were being punk'd. For now lets worry about clothing and figuring out where exactly we are.”] He says and then motions for her to follow him. It was night time so there'd be less traffic they would have to contend with, but the fact that he hasn't seen anyone or even a vehicle on the streets behind them hasn't escaped his notice.
As much as Issac would've like Irina to be the one standing in front of him, he leads the way and pokes his head out of the alley, sweeping the streets with his eyes. It was brightly lit from street lights, neon signs, and spotty light overhead. He glances up at the lights, and that's when reality came crashing down. The sounds of traffic was still evident despite clearly not seeing any cars on the streets, but once Issac looked up above, he saw strange car-sized vehicles gliding overhead, as well as glass walkways where people were walking in scores in strange clothing. What the hell? Were they in the future or something?
[b “I, uhh... really hope this is a dream.”] Issac says in astonishment. The silver lining in all of this was that there wasn't anyone on the streets below with them for the moment, and the levels Issac and Irina were on now there were still entrances in to stores and buildings. They'd just have to figure out where they'd like to do their 'shopping'.
Irina crawled out of the box. She was in a city, she could tell from the sound. Chaos had mentioned fighting, and as she looked up with her arms crossed the knowledge came to her. Order, she was supposed to fight Order. Or more accurately others chosen by Order. Then she’d get whatever wish Chaos promised. If she failed, she knew death was death.
She heard something and turned to look. Something in her head clicked. Order. He was moving forward with purpose, then she recognized his face and her own flushed a deep red. Oh no. It was that really attractive guy from legal. And she was [i still] naked. And so was he. That panic pushed away all of those other thoughts about fighting Order.
Her hands and arms weren’t doing a very good job preserving any sort of modesty. There was just too much skin to cover. Irina was too gifted for her attempts to cover her upper body to work, it was hopeless really. His cardboard idea looked pretty good. He looked pretty good. Not what she should be thinking about right now. Irina picked up a folded up box and held it in front of her. That was better. She was still having trouble meeting his eyes.
[#a31200 “Issac? Yeah, um, it’s really cold. I mean, it’s me. What are you doing here? No, wait, stupid question.”] Somehow she knew. There was just no way she wanted to attack him though. Not the guy she’d been sneaking looks at during work, and the reason she jumped at every chance to take papers to legal.
[#a31200 “Clothes. I think we need to get some clothes first. Figure out where we are. I thought this was a dream at first… It’s not, is it?”]
It was a late night again for Issac. In all honesty though, it was no surprise; a lot of what his job entailed was fire fighting claims that patients had made towards their doctors or nurses. A lot of them was just a bunch of hot air, but there was the occasion when a lawsuit being filed was reasonable... But tonight, it didn't seem like there were any of those. It was quite obnoxious, but they unfortunately had to be dealt with.
It looked like for the most part he was going to go home a little late, currently glued to a desk. Which was kind of a shame; he usually was done around the same time that cute girl from billing did as well. And this new restaurant had opened up close-by and he was hoping to ask if she'd maybe want to check it out. He lets out a bit of a huff. There was always tomorrow, right?
A few hours after he was supposed to be done, Issac was finally done. Eyes strained, wrist cramped, ass numb, and back sore, he made his way home. He had every intention of eating, but the second he walked in to his apartment, he bedroom beckoned him like a siren of the sea. It was a miracle that he didn't pass out at his desk. The second he entered his bedroom, his clothes flew off and he face planted on to the mattress. He didn't even need to make himself comfortable before sleep took him like a tsunami.
But the second his eyes closed, it was almost like there was a jolt of adrenaline. It forced him back awake and he was immediately upright and on his feet, and... He had no idea where he was. The space was dark, save for where he stood. The floor below his bare feet was cold, and when he looked down, it appeared he was standing on some kind of brass flooring.
“Issac Collins, you have been chosen as a Champion of Order.” A voice throughout the darkness called. Clearly Issac was spending [i way] too much time at work.
[b “I've been working too much.”] He confirms in his outside voice. Maybe it was time for a vacation.
“You must have no end of questions, but believe me when I tell you this is not a dream.” The voice tells him and that kind of struck him. And freaked him out. “The forces of Chaos mount against me as they have since time immemorial, so I must choose those I see as worthy to fight back.”
[b “How am I supposed to do that? And why should I?”]
“You will be rewarded with what you most desire and you will be given instruments to combat the forces of Chaos. Powers beyond that of any mortal will be granted to you to aid in your victory. And you will not be alone.” Suddenly there was some kind of church bell noise and after a brief pause, the voice begins again. “Time runs short, Issac Collins. I must send you to your destination. Go forth, and claim victory for Order!”
And again, Issac felt the same kind of tired he did earlier, and leaned forward, slowly falling on to his mattress again. However, again, with a jolt of energy, he was upright again, and just like last time he was in a place he didn't recognize. He was in between two buildings that reached in to the skies and disappeared in to the clouds and night. He could hear traffic, but when he turned around to look out on to the strange streets, he couldn't see any cars. Where the hell was he? ... And why was he still naked?
This was all so strange, obviously, but Issac was expecting to freakout. He woke up in an alleyway wearing no clothes. People literally had nightmares about this. But he felt a strange calm. Almost detached from the situation, and then suddenly, his mind was flooded with information that he processed like it was a memory. He knew what his powers and abilities were, and that Chaos was going down.
He walked through the alleyways, and it seemed no one was occupying them... Until he stumbled upon some else in the alleyway. And they bore the mark of Chaos. His purpose became clear to him once more and he began to move toward her... But then he saw her face, and became sort of a sputtering mess. Okay, now this [i had] to be some kind of dream. Or a sick joke. In front of him was Irina, the cute girl from billing. His 'purpose' suddenly went limp and the strange calm he had seemed to fade.
[b “Irina? Is that really you?”] He asks, approaching her quickly... However, he stops when he realizes again he wasn't wearing any clothes. Immediately, he grabs a piece of cardboard from the ground and does his best to cover his lower body. His face flushed and he didn't look at her in the eye for a moment. If the two of them were ever to end up naked together, this was not how he had imagined it. And she saw his...
[b “In my defence, its cold out here.”]
Irina was packing up to leave for the day, in the middle of pulling her bag out of her locker when she heard someone behind her.
“Hey, Iri. Going home? I’m on lunch now, want to come to the cafeteria with me? Lunch for me, dinner for you?”
Irina turned around and shut the locker door. It was the cheerful new girl from the pharmacy that had been trying to make friends with her, for whatever reason. In billing Irina was one of the ‘gofers’ that tended to run around the hospital hunting down errors. She got to meet a lot of people that way. Irina started to tug her hair out of the bun she kept it in for work,[#a31200 ”No, thanks. I’ve got some shopping to do tonight.”]
“Aw, that’s too bad. I’m working tomorrow, so maybe we could hang out then.”
[#a31200 “We’ll see,”] Irina answered vaguely as she walked past the girl to leave. Keep things friendly but professional. She ruffled her dark hair into something a little more fluffy as she walked out of the hospital and into the parking garage.
Irina did have some shopping to do, and after picking up a few things from the grocery store headed home to make some dinner and get some sleep. She probably [i could] have stayed for dinner at the hospital, she didn’t have any other plans.
The one thing that was odd was that she was so tired today. She didn’t remember doing anything that should have made her so sleepy. No staying up crazy late, no changes to diet or routine. Regardless, Irina just wanted to eat and go to bed now that the day was winding down. Maybe she was coming down with something. If she was, rest would do her some good.
It was after she fell asleep that the really weird part started. She was asleep about as soon as her eyes closed, and floating in a dark place. She could see herself, completely naked, but everything around her was pitch black. She tried to look around and move when she heard a voice that seemed to come from all around her.
[b “I have chosen you. I am Chaos, and you will fight for me.”]
[#a31200 “Woah, what? What kind of crazy dream is this?”] She was aware if was a dream, for starters. Everything felt pretty real too. Real and cold. She crossed her arms, a little chilled. Was the fan too high?
[b “It is only a dream of sorts. You will no longer dream unless you are victorious. Then any wish is yours. I give you power, and shall send you forth.”]
The voice was pretty creepy. It was deep and smooth, and while it almost sounded kind she couldn’t help but feel it was also sort of sinister,[#a31200 “Power? Fight? I don’t get it. I’ll just wake up now.”]
[b “You will understand. If you desire to wake, then so be it.”]
That was all the warning she got. Her stomach dropped like she was falling and she shut her eyes. She didn’t feel herself hit anything, but she was suddenly aware that she wasn’t falling, but laying down on something very much not her bed. It was cardboard. She was in some huge box laying sideways somewhere. Still nude. Great, this was that kind of dream. [#a31200 “Shit. What happened?”]
She had to still be dreaming, she was sure of that. Because how else to explain the sudden new knowledge in her head? Somehow she just [i knew] what power that voice had given her. She supposed it was the same way you just knew things in a dream, even when they made no sense.
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