{Into the depths below}

/ By Mr-X [+Watch]

Replies: 16 / 81 days 14 hours 55 minutes 41 seconds

[Size40 [b [center [http://rp.eliteskills.com/r.php?r=148497 PART I ] ] ] ]
[center [b Story thus far] ]
[I [center The rebellion against the matriarch was successful, although with it came the reveal that humanity is on the brink of a growing food shortage. Face with humanity facing another threat of dying off from mass starvation, and the inhospitable terrain outside the city. Humanity's only option is to go below and scavenge outside for humanity's final hope.] ]
[center [pic https://www.scifibloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/zion-Matrix.jpg] ]

[center [b Marcus Aurelius Thorn] ]
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/236x/9c/14/a8/9c14a83fc23e5bb9f8eecc9471a90b28.jpg] ]
[center [b Swayer Lyric Barlow] ]
[center [pic http://i.imgur.com/K4tNPEd.png?1] ]

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To be quite honest, Lyric had expected more of a dialog here, but it seemed Ryan was going to need some time to take this all in. She also hadn’t thought he would be returning to town. As far as she had known this was just meant to be a rendezvous. Somehow she was never given all the details. It was frustrating, but by this point she basically just accepted it as a fact of life. Her life, anyway.

Nodding to confirm what she had said and answer his likely rhetorical question, the woman stayed quiet for a while longer. She did not see the need to ceaselessly fill time with words, not when someone else was trying to process life altering news. So, Sawyer’s silence persisted until he spoke first. [+teal “Alright,”] she did hot hesitate to take the slightly warn journal. [+teal “It’s been nice meeting you. I am sure we will run into one another again, so until then.”] No doubt this sounded like nothing but pleasantries, but Lyric really did mean it to some level. It was interesting meeting someone else like her, or kind of like her. It seemed he had his own set of quirks to deal with.

Double-checking that her new package was wrapped tight and tucked securely in the pages of that journal, she reached out to touch it. With how bright it had been, she almost expected it to be warm, but it was cool through the cloth. It was odd to her, but definitely interesting. Now satisfied that it wouldn’t come loose, the vibrant-haired woman tucked the book away into her inner jacket pocket and started on her way back into town. It was a long trek, not so much that a vehicle was required, but getting back to anyplace considered inhabited was going to take a bit. And considering her first stop was slated to be Barrett’s once again, that was only going to add time to her little jaunt. The sun would set by the time she made it. But until then, she spent her time thumbing through the book. Reading details here and there about the foreign place that Ryan described. It was nearly unbelievable.

Not bothering to knock, as she seldom did, she walked right in. Her first stop was the study that the botanist spent most his time in. He practically lived in there, so Sawyer was not surprised to see the man sat at his desk, just where she left him earlier. He seemed surprised to see her though. Normally she wasn’t in the habit of visiting more than once in a day. If she had business, she’d normally take care of it all in one fell swoop.

[+teal “You were right.”] Her opening statement was vague at best. But considering how serendipitous it was that his crazy hunch turned out to correct, Sawyer was okay in letting him sit in suspense for just a little while. Or at least for as long as it took for her to wiggle the journal out of her pocket and take out the crystal. She didn’t want him blinding the two of them on accident. [+teal “I met with someone who has been to the underground. They’ve lived in that city you were imagining. Here, this has all sorts of details for you.”] Stepping forward to his desk, she offered the book to him, keeping the gem herself for the time being. Lyric would spring that on him after he had a chance to read through some of what was written in there.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / loxi / 1h 8m 23s
[b "Lilly died..."]
Those words echoed in the distance between them as he stood there. His face had a look on it as if he were frozen in disbelief. It seemed almost improbable that such a vicious and vivacious woman would suddenly die. Moreso, before her goal was realize which was to be reunited with her home after training Marcus to be a successful ruler. It seemed as though the plan to do so ended to going to ruin. Yet, the even more shocking twist was that now his very own Mother was the one who was holding the keys to the city. At least the silver line was that democracy had been establish. He wonder if fairness was something that had come about as well. Or was humanity still quick to discriminate and assume that those from the lower crust were unable to ascend to greater heights? Those in the rebellion prove that such notions were wrong still. Stepping forward, he slowly closed his eyes.

[b "Here.. Take this.. We've got quite a trip back to the city ahead of you. I'll take my time. I'd rather walk it back."]

Passing by the Woman he left the crystal in the journal within the hands of Swayer before heading towards the city which loomed in the distance. In his walk of solitude he knew that dusk would probably set in before he would arrive. He welcome the darkness nevertheless. Spending all that time wondering the maze of tunnels had made him use to the dark but know he wanted to see how much the city had change truly for himself. He remember the rebels always running away and clashing with the military police. Down below there was a sorta secret civil war which the Media tried it's best to keep hidden from the people of the upper realms. Best to not have they blissful stupidity interrupted by the fact that death fester and consumed.

By nightfall as he enter the city he saw that the lower streets weren't as dangerous as he'd remember. For starters, the military police weren't as heavily arn. Instead of wearing bullet proof vest and helmets they wore sleek black uniforms and kept they guns holster. The skittishness which the poor normally had towards the officers weren't as well pronounced. If anything it seemed as if they were able to coexist. As for the food lines, it seemed as if he saw less people begging for food on the streets.. That heaviness which always pervaded seemed to now be lighten up

As he continued walking. He looked to the screen which was on and he saw what looked to be w familiar figure. Yes. It was Sawyers father pausing for a second he watched his voice speak and tried to take in his words. [i "Contrarily to popular belief, even before I found out that my daughter was raised in the slums. I've always wanted my gift of architecture to benefit the people. And now in times of peace, I think it's time that this comes to fruition. I do indeed plan on unveiling the elevator which will connect the bottom center of the city to the top. It'll take fifteen minutes in total but I believe it to be worth it."]

He had no idea what he was talking about. Only that he was lost in a world which had change for the better. Yet, instead of feeling happy about it he was even more lost. As he kept on walking around the city, he'd eventually found his way to traverse the upper levels and as he did so he knew exactly where he need to head to. For some reason a boiling anger was growing inside him. The sensation of loss and change all colliding into one. The plans which Lily had carefully laid. Ironically they came to fruition. But she wasnt there to see them. So someone had to pay.

He'd wonder around the city for a total of 26 hours before stopping at the place of the goverment building. Of course due to his size and childish statute one of the guards smiled as he saw him approach. [b "Hey there kiddo! I'm Luke! Luke fairway, and I was wondering would you like the tour of this place?"]

Underneath the hood, Ryan had almost forgotten how childish he was. Pushing back the hood he slowly cocked his head. "Is Black here?"
"Black? Of course we have black people working here. Do you think we would be racist?
"Is Marcus Black Thorn working here.."
Blinking. Luke look at him before laughing.
"Holy shiy! Black didnt tell me he had a [I nephew] yeah right thus way."

Taking his hand which was offered to Him Ryan slowly followed the male who led him to where his old partner was. That anger which rose him kept on rising and rising before once he saw him, he couldn't take it anymore.
[b "Hey Black! Why didn't you tell me you had nephew?"]

Turning around, Black looked at Luke with eyes filled with nothing more but a coldness. "All my family is dead."
[b "But.. this kid was.." ]

Letting go of his hands, Ryan suddenly threw off his Cape revealing a nicely toned body. Without warning he looked at Marcus before shouting.
[b [#b62711 "You were suppose to be her right Hand man. Yet, you let her die."] ]

Instantly, Marucs squared up. "Luke.. you need to leave now."
Confuse Luke just stood there. Taking the whole scene in he watched as Ryan kept on growling. [b [#b62711 "First, I'll make you bleed. Than I'll kill you for~"] ]
"What's going on.. Marcus?"" The voice of Maria filled the room as she walked around the corner, stepping in she froze as she looked at the scene.. instantly Ryan turned and look at the mother only to widen his eyes. Before he'd the time to react she was throwing her arms around him and weeping. "My baby.. Oh my God."
Standing there still he slowly wrapped his arms around her before whispering
[center "I 'm home...mom.."]

Shifting from one foot to another Marcus slowly spoke "I didn't.. want Lily to die of old Age. It just happen.."

Letting go of his mom he turned towards Black. [i "You didnt Kil her?"]

Blinking Marcus looked at him. "Why would I want to kill her?" He asked
[i "Because, in order to force you to step down from the military Police, she had me tell the rebels ambush you."]
  Ryan Parker / Mr-X / 5d 9h 16m 59s
Despite her eyes being shut tight, she could tell the world around her had become excessively bright. It was an odd feeling, as though someone had brought a flashlight right up to her eye as she was trying to sleep, but still not quite. This was more foreign than that. Normally light came with warmth, however, this had none. It was a cold brilliance, one that did not linger on her skin as the sun might. Lyric was unsure how she felt about it. That being said, it was strange to judge something without having seen it. She grew curious, but was sure to keep her eyes closed until she was given the okay to open them again. Even after having them shut, white spots temporarily danced across her vision.

In silence she listened to his explanation, her eyes stayed trained on the darkly wrapped package. Sawyer was having a hard time wrapping her brain around the fact that this crystal of sorts that made all that light fit compactly in the palm of this man’s hand. Though, regardless of her not fully understanding it, she found it fascinating. This little rock was the answer to the question Barrett had been seeking. No doubt he would be ecstatic to hear his hypothesis on the mole people was confirmed. She almost didn’t want to be the one to tell him in fear that she would never hear the end of it, especially after she had been such a doubting Thomas.

The woman listened carefully to everything else he had to say. She was trying to commit every last detail to memory so that she might bring it back to the others as wholly as possible. That was the reason she was here after all. But then he asked how the world he left had changed and she froze. How long had he been gone again? Some years before he rebellion, right? That meant he was unaware of anything that had transpired regarding the political system… Sawyer wasn’t entirely sure how to break it to him. Why wasn’t all this relayed to him in the correspondences that brought them together?!

[+teal “Things are… different.”] She tread lightly, even though she saw everything she was about to say in a positive light that didn’t mean he would. [+teal “Around four years ago the rebellion that had been growing in the lower levels rose up. They didn’t entirely take power, but they forced Lillie’s hand into cooperation, at least for a moment… she died shortly after that.”] Sure, when she said it like that it kind of sounded like an assassination, but she only wished that had been the case. Still, she watched his expression carefully here since she was unsure of his opinion of his previous boss. Lyric found it was difficult to read his youthful face and pressed on despite it. [+teal “She set to leave Marcus Thorne in charge as the next supreme, however he quickly stepped down in lieu of a more democratic option. After a carefully monitored election, Maria Kyle was named president. And under her, things are getting better.”] She would leave it at that unless he wanted more precise details. But really it was more that humanity had been brought together to survive as a unit, as opposed to letting the few thrive while the rest shrivel away. [+teal “She has about another year in office before the process renews itself.”] The dark eyed woman kind of dreaded having to go through the whole process again, but such was the price of progress.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / loxi / 12d 9h 23m 5s
[b "Good. I must warn you, this crystal is extreme bright."] Words weren't able to properly convery how bright it truly was. Down below they had shaded glasses which helped those who mined the crystal not go blind. So as be put on his own pair, he exhaled before he unwrapped the bright crystal and exposed its light to the world. Its brightness shone and could've been seen from miles and miles away. Like a homing beacon in the dark, lifting it upwards he watched as the light radiated and shone down on both of them. Surely, even with her eyes closed she'd be able to see the brightness shine through. He was insured whether it'd be enough to blind her. Yet, he'd rather not take any chances exposing her to it any longer than he'd had to. Wrapping the crystal back up, he spoke to her again. [b "You can uncover your eyes now. This, this crystal is what they use to create an artificial sun of sorts down below. They've manage to mine it and use it to make plants grow."]

As he explained the whole thing to her, he now took of his hood revealing his true youthful features. He was well into his thirties. He'd be the same age as Marcus truth be told, but he still looked like a teenage boy. As he tied the black cloth back over the crystal he held it out towards her. Asking her to give it to Barret he'd reached into his cloak and pulled out several journals which always went with him where ever he went. It contained several of his notes whilst he was held underground by the over zealous people.

[b "These journals contain detail maps of my journey throughout the underground. But more importantly, I'm curious. What's happen in my absence. I've planned on returning.... I know that we were suppose to meet sooner but certain thinks kept me from making it."] He spoke those words again softly before he looked at the girl and once more that bitter look grew on his face once more. He resent how he looked like a child and wish for more than anything that he'd grow.
  Ryan Parker / Mr-X / 23d 15h 46m 51s
No matter how much time she spent out here, which to be fair wasn’t much, Sawyer never really got over the feeling of being so far removed from society. Back home, at least in the lower levels she hailed from, there was always someone nearby. Never a moment’s peace without someone shouting about something or making some sort of fuss. But out here, out here it was eerily quiet. At least in a way that was devoid of human life. There were other sounds, the kinds you find in nature. Or what nature had become since everything turned toxic, but either way it was strange to her. As she walked alone, she hoped things would be different on the expedition since the others would be with her.

Eventually, her dark eyes spotted something different amongst the scenery. What was definitely the silhouette of a person. And given the fact that there were only two people she knew of who could stand to be out here without some sort of artificial help, the woman knew it must have been who she was looking for.

He called out to her first and she nodded. Sawyer wasn’t sure who else he expected it to be, but she kept all sarcastic comments to herself for the time being. Parker did not feel the need for such formality. She shrugged at his resentful comment. [+teal “I wouldn’t know.”] Obviously she didn’t remember the doctor responsible for changing her biology and this was her first time meeting anyone else who had survived Jaeger’s trial and error type research.

Continuing forward but still keeping a reasonable distance between them, she had a better look at him. His cowl covered much of features, but even still she could see the blond of his hair. She found it strange, knowing the vibrant teal color that she donned to be the telltale sign of genetic tampering. Still, what was even stranger was how youthful he appeared. Wasn’t Ryan Parker supposed to be older than her? Or at the very least her age? Sawyer wasn’t entirely sure on the logistics of it off the top of her head, least of all with him right in front of her.

Onyx eyes watching as his hand went to his pocket; she wondered what he was after and was surprised to see him retrieve a cloth. After that he spouted off something about closing her eyes. He framed it as proof, but it seemed odd to her. [+teal “Weird trust exercise, but okay.”] Sawyer couldn’t help the quip before following his instruction and covering her eyes. In reality, she wasn’t worried about him attacking her or anything like that. If this guy really was Lillie’s left hand as she claimed, he wouldn’t touch her. She still remembered the time Marcus had gotten in trouble for stepping out of line that way. Though maybe the rules with Parker were different, since he was the same as her… and now that his old boss was gone... Either way, Lyric didn’t dwell on it.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / loxi / 24d 18h 6m 4s
[#37a462 [i "I m giving you a top secret mission that I can only entrust to you. Mostly because you've been immune to the toxins.. Your my Left hand man, so therefore I know that I can trust you with this extremely important task. Out there, beyond the wilderness, is my home. Long ago, there was a civil war that broke out. A fraction between two families. The Thorne's and the Branches. You see, we lived in a society govern by religious superstitions and fear.. ] ]

[#37a462 [i My father had predicted the apocalypse, and thus froze his teenage daughter in a capsule hoping that she would survive. However, he didnt anticipate how long I'd be frozen. Over a thousand years I laid asleep and when I awoken there were those who believed that I was a messenger from the Gods of old. That, that. I was a sign that humanity should continue to stay beneath grounds. They had lost records of human history, and believed that humanity began underground. Of course, when i told then that this wasnt true and that humanity had lived on the surface.. this threaten to upset the balance. And so, eventually there was a divide between the two powerful aristocratic families. Should they remain underneath ground, or should they venture out into the toxic waste land and strive to reclaim humanity's lost footholds. ] ]

[#37a462 [i Julius Caesar Thorn, Marcus's great, great, great, great, grandfather... and my first and last love... decided to venture out and lead a group of people to the promise land. Of course. This was met with opposition from the others and eventually war broke out underground. Its...something I still see in my nightmares. Dying bodies and screans fighting underneath.. eventually, we were able to escape and we wonder aimlessly for years.. and years...till we finally found a cavern that led up ground.. somehow, we this we found land that hadn't been pollute. Fertile soil, and we began to follow that cavern up to surface and that was when we started building this city.. I never told anyone that story. I kept it locked away in my heart. But, underneath my library, is a secret tunnel that leads underground. Follow it, and find that lost city. Maybe, just maybe, they've change and are now willing to join the rest of humanity above ground.] ]

And so, that's where the mysterious Ryan had been the past decade. Looking for an "El Dorado" through the underground mazes of tunnels which went deep beneath the waste lands. It took him three months using his military grade cycle to find that which had been lost. And once he found what he'd been looking for.. well, let's just say that the previous supreme commander was extremely naive. People like that, who pass down superstitions after superstitions aren't easily sway regardless of the passage o time. And so, he'd been force to live among then in the underground city. Told that he'd been delusional and that he'd been lucky that the ancient one saw fit to deliver him into the arms of the righteous.

Truth be told, Parker was shocked at how far advance they'd been. They possess technology powered by underground water falls that produce electricity and even though the population was small and only a few hundred people lived in the under ground city food was plenty. They'd figured out how to create an artificial sun using gems that produced light in the darkness and thus were able to provide plant life that flourish. If it weren't for the literatelly ever present rock ceiling that hung above head, he'd assume that he'd just gone to a crazier, more religious side of the city. Eventually, he figured out that by claiming he heard voices from the ancient ones, they were more than willing to let him go. And let him go they did. But not before dying his green hair blonde. It was, as they put it, "To purify his soul."

And so, here he was three months later waiting to find another one of Jaegar's bastard experiments. He had on an elaborate robe and hood which was design by one of the priest and given to him. So, as he sat waiting for the arrival of the young girl, he slowly pulled down his hood and started walking to meet the figure which he saw in the distance.

[b "Sawyer?"] He spoke. As he looked at her, he gave her a look of disbelief before he sighed. [b "Seems as if he made improvements since the last time he experimented in someone."] Those words came out bitter.

The real reason why Ryan wanted to stay away from his parents was the fact that he looked and sounded like he was still 14 years old. Despite not seeing his parents for nearly 19 years, he hadn't age a bit. And as the boyish male looked at his counterpart he wonder how seriously she'd take him. Digging into his pocket, he pulled out a small crystal wrapped in a pitch black cloth. Of course, it was impossible to tell it was a crystal underneath the cloth but yeah it was. [b "I brought proof that I've been underground. But before you come in closer, I need you to close your eyes and cover them with you hands. Least you go blind from the brightness of this crystal."] He spoke to her softly wanting to show her what he'd discovered before continuing on they're conversations any further.
  Ryan Parker / Mr-X / 27d 2h 12m 13s
While that bit about plants creating oxygen was true, the fact that they needed light was also important. But hell, for all Lyric knew these people could have set up some sort of artificial light source strong enough to keep the vegetation alive enough to provide them with air. It seemed like a bit of a long shot, since that would take a lot of power, but she didn’t want to rain on Barrett’s parade. Besides, what was the use trying to debunk it when they had no idea what sort of tech these people might have had? They could be using something beyond their wildest imaginings that changed the game entirely. There were too many unknowns to say anything for sure, so she let her friend hope. He moved the topic along soon anyway; it was back to giving Black shit for the time being, an activity that she found could only be made better if the man himself was present. Overall, it made for a nice visit before she decided it best to be off for the night.

Despite wandering desperately around town for something to do for the day, Sawyer had crystal clear plans set for her evening and night. She was setting out of town. Way out of town, beyond the slums she had grown up in even. The woman was destined far outside the hub of humanity entirely. It was the one and only surefire way to know no one would overhear the conversation between her and the one she was meeting. Ryan Parker. Marcus had asked for the rebellion look into his findings, and they had, but they took it a step further and found a way to contact him out in the wilds. Somewhere along the line after that, she had been selected as the one to act as a point of contact. Sawyer didn’t know if Black knew she was the one talking with him, or if he knew anyone was talking to him for that matter… neither of them ever brought it up. But that was just as well. It probably didn’t matter anyway.

After everything was said and done, it was kind of nice. Not that she cared for more responsibility with everything that was already on her plate, but Lyric had never met anyone else like her. And now that she knew who Ryan really was, the son of the Kyles, they had more to talk about than the times they had met before the uprising. They were getting closer. Which was why she too kept Ryan’s intermittent returns from his search a secret from his parents. That was what he wanted and, at least for the time being, she would honor that.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / loxi / 29d 3h 28m 50s
As she spoke on her skepticism Barrett nodded his head in agreement with her. Closing his eyes he rubbed his chin thoroughly before murmuring. "Plants, specifically Trees, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the hair. If enough trees where planted down below, it is reasonable that they'd have a renewable source of oxygen as long as they kept the population to a low. I've been experimenting with taking the oxygen produce by plants and concentration it into breathing apparatuses." With the last part the Male was doing more thinking aloud than he was conversing with her. Clapping his hands together, he let out a sigh before he looked at his friend and spoke softly. "So, where were we? Talking about how much of a clueless fuck my buddy was right?" He grinned even though right now he was desperate for another break.

Letting out a sneeze, Marcus his nose the back of his palm. He was in the midst if helping Maria do more paperwork. With years of being Lily's second in command he'd plenty of experience doing paperwork. It wasnt something someone could get use to no matter how long they'd been in office. And since Alex was getting some rest in he felt like he'd return favor with to his friend. All the while, Maria kept on getting Staring off into space, she barely flinched when the strict Task Master cough trying to get her attention. Whatever was on her mind was vastly more fun than the obnoxious amount of paper work which they'd to be done and so he bite. As he asked her what's wrong she turned towards Marcus and she sighed.

[b "My child. I know.. I havent spoken much about him. But this.. whole idea of exploring the outer world. Its bringing up memories of my child and how he was... he's.. alot like lyric, both are immune to the toxins and... he's been gone for the past years saying that he'd go exploring the outside world. But. I. I have no idea if he's alive or dead. Sometimes I've wonder why did I try so hard to have a child if my heart would ache al the time."]

With that, a sudden gear clicked into place. All this time, Marcus had assume the playing the part of an elder sex craze couple was to hide they're involvement with the rebellion. But it served a deeper purpose. It was one of the few ways that they could distract themselves from what happen. Slowly, Marcus shifted before he spoke softly [i "When.... I was captured by the rebellion. I had just received a message from him and asked the rebels to look into hi-]

[b "You what!?"] Instantly Maria jumped up and looked at him. There was something burning in her eyes as she twisted her lips before calming down. [b "Why didn't you tell us? Why keep it from Alex, from ME these past years?]

Casting his head downward Thorn spoke softly "Because he asked me to."
  Marcus Aurelius Thorn / Mr-X / 35d 3h 3m 49s
Sawyer huffed lightly as the historical scientist made excuses for his friend’s obliviousness. It was more a front to continue her cathartic rambling than any sort of serious annoyance. But it didn’t really matter; she had managed to say most of what she wanted, so she allowed Barrett to move the conversation along. His mention of being overworked stuck out. The man really needed a vacation, but with the trip looming so close on the horizon, that wasn’t going to happen. Though, at the very least he did recall that this was supposed to be a break of sorts for both of them. The young woman had hopes that meant he would springboard into more shit talking Black, especially when he mentioned a secret, but alas, this was something else entirely. It was interesting. In fact, Lyric would call it borderline unbelievable. But then again, so was all this nonsense behind her brightly colored hair and invulnerability to toxins.

[+teal “I mean, there had to have been something down there at some point for these drawings to be in there.”] Her dark eyes ran over the faded lines in the book. She had not had a lot of time to dwell on this idea like Barrett had, but even so she was not nearly as optimistic as him. [+teal “I can’t see how people could live underground like that for so long and survive. Even with a clean water source and potential unknown plant life to sustain them, what about light? And clean air?”] There was a great deal more humans needed than water and food. Still, she was not looking to entirely rain on the parade. [+teal “But I guess if they are down there, they must have technology to get around all that.”] Admittedly that could be useful to them. [+teal “And if they aren’t, then I am sure there is still plenty to be learned from their infrastructure and whatever else has been left behind.”] Humanity on the surface had learned a whole lot from the little resources they had been able to scrounge together, a place like that would be a treasure trove filled with knowledge more precious than gold.

In all her murmurings about this, Sawyer had managed to avoid his question. She put an end to that now. [+teal “Overly optimistic, perhaps, but crazy, no…. dreamers like you are necessary if we ever want to make any progress. There has to be hope.”] After all her time in the rebellion, grasping onto nothing but the chance that things [i might] get better, she was confident that this was the truth. No hope meant no action, and no action meant humanity would stagnate into its own decline.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / Loxi / 50d 4h 48m 31s
[i "Yeah. That sure does sound like Marcus. I tell ya. That man can have a one track mind for days. Its absolutely crazy how much he misses out on when it comes to social cues. Bit, thata what you get for constantly overanalyzing. Though, I'm starting to feel like I'm becoming a Marcus 2.2 What, with me pouring over all these underground maps that were hand drawn. They're so damn old and ancient that the language and writing sometimes doesnt even make no sense. It's hard translating then. Ah well, that's enough o' that! This is suppose to be our fun time!"]

Barret let out a rather hearty laugh as he picked up his cup of tea. So far, everything that he'd had in mind had successfully come to fruition. It was a beautiful thing as well. Seeing the hope of future generations beginning to swell. What was more is that during these past four years, he'd safely mapped out an underground route that they could follow. It was hundreds and hundreds of miles long, yet it seemed to lead to something. Standing upwards after finishing his tea, he moved to reveal an ancient book before setting it down on the table. Opening it up, he slowly looked over the weather beaten pages and the ink which had been slowly fading from it being several hundred years old.

[i "There's... something I've been hiding. Mostly because It taken so long to decipher it. But this is Lillian's old journal. Before she became our supreme commander. Look at this, it's a drawing of.. some kind of underground city.]
Turning the book upside so that Swayer could see it right side up he peered at the drawing of the city.

Above the city was cave like ceiling. Yet, the city was design in a somewhat modern fashion despite it being under ground. A numerous buildings spanned the pages and far off in the distance was a wheel which wires of some sort attached to it. It looked to be some sort of power wheel of sorts. [i "I'm thinking that when.. the world ended several hundred years ago our ancestors when underground. It look like that where able to sustain themselves for years and years before our former tyrant establish this little city. If they're still there. Than maybe, just maybe, they can help share with us the secret of ending this food crisis that's facing our civilization. Or maybe, they can give us another way of fighting the toxic wasteland that exist far beyond our borders. I had long theorize that any toxic plant can be made nontoxic with pure water and soil. I've proven it to a small extent here.. so imagine if somehow, there was an underground river with clean water. If we could somehow use it to purify the upper lands than humanity might be able to once again spread throughout the far corners of the world like our ancestors did long ago.. do you think I'm crazy to dream like this?"] He asked her.
  Barret Wallace / Mr-X / 61d 2h 12m 39s
It was difficult to stifle her laughter at the face Luke made. He was not subtle and the contrast between his mild panic and Marcus’ serenity was hilarious. Still, she managed to keep most of it in, only letting out one airy breath that might be considered a laugh if either of them was paying close enough attention.

Somehow or another, what came next was almost more laughable than their combined display. The one time general had somehow managed to completely overlook her hint. That or he was willfully ignoring it. Lyric couldn’t help but think Black’s pessimism was making him stupid. Or maybe she was too trusting of him now and she did not see he was simply trying to give her a hard time back? He looked as though he was being truthful in his comment though, so the bright haired woman was unsure. After all this time, she still couldn’t read him as well as she liked. But she doubted that would change. For now, she just nodded her farewell to him, told Luke it was nice to meet him, and watched the unlikely pair continue on their way to the president.

This being her day off and having just finished her own personal visit with Maria, Sawyer was not actually sure what to do with the rest of her day. That usually meant a stint of boredom at home, but she told herself she needed to do something with her time. Here in two months she was going to be stuck in an exploration camp without much of a choice in how her free time would be spent, so she needed to enjoy this relative freedom while she had it. It was going to be over before she knew it.

After some aimless wandering, both on foot and newly established public transport, the teal haired woman wound up at Barrett’s place. She was not even sure he was there at the moment, but that was where she went. By some dumb luck, he happened to be there, which was good since she went ahead and let herself in. The man was pretty used to it at this point, and greeted her as usual even though he was not expecting a visit. Despite there being plenty else to talk about, Lyric ended up complaining. Mainly about how dense his friend Marcus Thorn was. Barrett stood up for him some, though mainly just laughed at the woman’s antics. He knew her criticism was all in good fun.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / Loxi / 59d 16h 5m 37s
[i Changing gears?] Was that a hint to suggest that she had actually decide to.join them on the exploration outside of these walls? It wasn't something that Marcus would dare hope to count on. Nevertheless, he gave her a brief smile before grabbing Luke behind the neck. Instantly he stood up and as he felt those fingers squeeze into his neck he gave a grimace acting as if the simple act was hurting him. When it was simply reminding him that sometimes, he shouldn't get to comfortable around peopl he just met. Still, the two were indeed polar opposites. It was as clear as day that the twere as opposite as Yin and Yang. Still, they were able to work together to complete a common goal once they're mind was set to it. Giving Lyric a slight bow of his head, the Thorn smiled at her before simply speaking. [b "Well than, whatever it is you have planned for the future. I wish you luck. I sincerely do."] There was no hint if sarcasm in his voice. It was a serious moment. He did wish her the best of luck for the future which laid ahead. Seeing as fate was always twisting and turning and unforeseen by mortal eyes.

Maria looked well for her age. Despite the fact that grey had been seeping into that formally bright red hair. She didn't mind that her age was showing. After all despite the fact that she was beloved by all, the memories of the past ruler still overshadowed the future. It permeated thickly and followed where ever she went. Giving Black a smile, she looked at the young boy named Luke and grinned as he snapped to attention and saluted her. He'd been training with Black closely the past three years and a half years. Now with there only being a short time before the election, he'd be in charge of protecting the next successor and leading the head security team.
"At ease Luke... and Marcus, I've been thinking about whether I'd want to run for president or retire... and I've finally decided that I'd like to spend what few years I have left in peace away from the spotlight. I do believe that... with our growing stability the future will be left in capable hands."

To that Marcus had his doubts. Meanwhile Luke said nothing taking everything in silently and respecting the heaviness of the situation. Turning towards him, Marcus slowly smiled before shooing him. This was going to be quite a long talk and he was sure that a young boy like him had better things to do than spend his time talking politics. Plus, Luke Fairway had his favorite place to run off to whenever he'd time and that was the gun range. With his pistol by his side, he was easily one of the deadliest and sharpest shooter Blacks seen. Even those which formerly been in the rebellion that joined the new protection squad were envious of his skills.. Thus. Like had a small class he taught on his off days. He wouldn't miss it for the world.
  Marcus Aurelius Thorn / Mr-X / 74d 16h 48m 52s
She could tell he was thinking, desperately trying to discern and draw any sort of conclusion from her, just from the look on his face. Sawyer debated whether she should just let the poor man in on her secret. She had come this far already, so she might as well. However, before she could open her mouth to do so, someone else popped up. The face was vaguely familiar, as in she had seen the guy around before, but she was half certain they had never been introduced. Though, it was soon apparent that he knew her, even if she couldn’t say the same.

He was nice enough though, so she smiled back. [+teal “No, no he doesn’t.”] Dark eyes flickered to Marcus with amusement. She knew from experience he didn’t pull punches and no doubt Luke here was the same. So, she gave him a polite nod and turned back to the older man she had been talking with before, as it seemed he had something else to say. She smiled as he gave his spiel, looking for a time to cut in and correct him, but as he went to ask something Luke decided it a fine time for an introduction. Her smile became more begrudging at that point, but she managed to keep it on her face as she took his extended hand to shake. [+teal “It is nice to meet you. I am sure if Marcus is training you then President Maria and her successor will have nothing to worry about.”] It was niceties, but Luke hadn’t really done anything wrong, besides be a little rude, so there wasn’t much point in holding it against him. She had forgiven worse. [+teal “Yeah, going into it I always saw our food resources as one of the most pressing issues we are facing. Not to say all the rest of humanity’s problems pale in comparison, but as you said you can’t survive without food.”] Or water for that matter, but that was slightly more under control than the food shortage. Though, even that was stabilizing now that they had been putting more of a focus on it. They weren’t out of the woods yet, but things were getting better. [+teal “That being said, it does seem like there is someplace I am needed more. So here in the near future I will be temporarily changing gears. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.”] It was tempting to give Marcus another look, she wanted to see the expression on his face, but she also didn’t want to seem overly interested. The last thing she needed was rumors flying around, because Luke here seemed the chatty type.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / Loxi / 74d 21h 53m 31s
For a moment there was nothing but silence between the two. He studied her for a moment trying to see if her emotions could betray whether or not what she said would work out in his favour. Afterall, he knew that she and Barret spent quite some time together and talking. It was only natural since she'd been helping with the food distribution. Other than that there was nothing to be known whether the answer would be a yes or a no. Before he could linger a moment longer dechiphering her answer, he felt a tap on his shoulders and he suddenly turned around to look at the bright eyes of the young boy who stood before him. Perhaps "boy" wasnt a right way to describe him since he was only a year or so younger than Swayer. He had a rather strong build and a sharp wit about him. Giving a wave to the young lady behind Nlack he gave her a grin before returning back to Marcus.

He'd been the one in the spot light the last two years and a half. The nephew of a once high ranking member in the prior dictatorship, Marcus had seen his combat skills once and was thoroughly impressed. Not an easy feat. And so he was chosen to be the next head of security for the president. A lot of learning and training had to be taught but he excelled in everything. Afterall, he came from a lineage of soldiers. So it wouldn't surprise Marcus if it was chalked up to be lucky genetics.

[i "Sawyer! I didnt think I'd be seeing you around here! Geez, I'm surprised you were able to live with Marcus for so long. This guy doesn't like pulling his punches."] He spoke grinning as he gave her a smile. Even though he was well known in the papers and seen with Maria whenever she went out, Luke hadn't the chance to actually sit down and talk with the former captive turned freedom fighter, turned member of the food administration. Or team. Whatever best floated you boat.

[b "One surprise nuisance after another. I really wish you'd come with us. But. It cant be help can it? I needed to talk with Maria about something, what about']

Cutting hin off, the male excitedly reached out his hands towards the female before smiling. [i "I'm Luke. Marcus has been training me to be the head of security for our president. Also, thank you for all your hard work. It's really appreciated around here since y'know cant really survive without food."] He joked with her smiling.
  Marcus Aurelius Thorn / Mr-X / 76d 19h 29m 20s
The time following the election had been... interesting for Lyric... or Sawyer. After years of going by her “surname” while in the ranks of the rebellion, and people in the upper ranks calling her Sawyer because of her connection to Jonathan, the woman did not really care either way. She would respond to either, there was not much of a preference. She was still the same person and after Maria came into office, that person spent a great deal of time trying to decide whether or not she wanted to just fade into the background or not. Which, she did try to some extent, but it was never fully allowed, not with her being hounded by scientists and doctors. And on top it there were the reporters and tabloid writers that threw a target on her head. Jonathan Barlow having a long-lost daughter who was drafted into the resistance and captured by the government was one hell of a story. And that did not even account for those who wanted to try and get a look into the life of the elusive Marcus Black. So, needless to say, her life was a hectic one for a long time. However, through it all she was able to build a relationship with her father. She decided against living with him, opting to keep her independence, but she did visit often. He was a good person, despite being filthy rich.

Besides all that, the woman took up a position in the team in charge of food production and distribution. Having helped with something similar while in the resistance, it only made sense to her, though to be honest she didn’t know a whole lot about the production side of things. Her focus was the distribution, like it had always been, her the biggest concern was making sure things got where they needed to go. But over the years she got to know a little of everything. Barrett was a godsent with all his knowledge of plants and the like. She met with him regularly, both for work and because after much deliberation, Lyric decided she was going to go on his little excursion... not that she told Marcus that. It was part of their banter for her to hold her indecision over his head. Because even after separating, it seemed their paths refused to stay parted. And while she did not mind it, Lyric was not about to admit it, especially when he was willfully insufferable, much like how he whistled at her now. [+teal “Can it, Thorn.”]

Coming up next to him, she did look a little different than before. Things like her hair being cut short, adding a couple of piercings for the fun of it, those were superficial, but along with it there were more notable changes. She was no longer sickly thin. That was something that began to change with her stay with Marcus, but with all the changes, most people were eating a little better and her father saw to it she did as well. There was not much of a choice in it. So, while she was still thin, the woman had filled out and looked healthier overall. Hence the catcall, though the conversation evolved into something more normal after that.

Straight to what he wanted, so like him. The dark eyed woman let silence fall after that, mentally debating whether she should finally let him in the loop. It might be fun to turn down the offer and see what he gets up to in those remaining couple of months to try and change her mind, but in the end, she decided against it. He was the sadistic one, not her... though that didn’t mean she couldn’t dance around it just a little first. [+teal “The decision’s already been made, has been for a while now.”] She stared directly at him, face not betraying any leaning one way or the other.
  Sawyer "Lyric" Barlow / Loxi / 79d 1h 48m 55s

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