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This is all merely a draft and will most likely be changed.
[size12 [font roman Akiho was quiet, for the most part, and completely content with staying on the sidelines of the village whilst her partner did his usual shtick, mostly haggling with the few traders or chewing off the ear of some bored local. Akiho wanted no part and didn't want to engage with anyone, leaving this stuffy place behind was all that was on her mind, but with the way, Banta was completely out of sight and out of mind, leaving this damn place was going to take awhile. She supposed getting used to the mud pulling her feet further into the sloppy floor was going to be vital, having no hope for Banta's speedy return.
Sneering at the stench of manure and cattle, swatting away the nats that buzzed around her ears, and brushing off the dust that clung to her clothing, Akiho loudly huffed with obvious frustration. How could anyone live in this filth? She could've sworn that pang in her chest was regret for leaving the clean streets of the Capital behind. Though, Akiho just shook her head and crossed her arms, thinking like that wasn't going to help anything at all.
She'd just have to relax and enjoy the 'pleasant' outdoors as much as she could, it wasn't like Banta was going to rush things for her. She couldn't let her frustrations take over anyway, the risk of letting her emotions run high was too much. Akiho kept her eyes on the caravan just to concentrate on something other than herself and her discomfort, but mostly looked through the worn-out thing rather actually concentrate on anything particular, but the sound of rustling and supplies knocking together garnered most of her attention. Akiho didn't expect much from the noise but decided to investigate anyway, the caravan did hold some important items, after all, mostly her old clothing and a few family heirlooms that held sentimental value Akiho couldn't bear to let go. Anyone who messed with her belongings would surely make her more than just annoyed, but Akiho didn't really account for that.
She slowly approached the caravan and peered around the side, her eyes pulled into a suspicious squint and her eyebrows pinched into a frown. She caught the perpetrator right away and just glowered at them angrily, an itchy-burning sensation in the palm of her hand in-tune with the anger boiling inside her. If one took the time to notice, the air around the caravan became quite hot and stuffy, as if the weather had suddenly changed to that of a very sunny-muggy day. She stepped closer to the prankster, leaving a smoky charred footprint in the dirt, and let out an authoritative 'ahem'.
[#f05c64 [b "What do you think you're doing, you thief?!"]] Akiho demanded, mistaking the young girl for a looter. She stood straight, arms tightly crossed to her chest, and kept her 'brow raised, waiting for an answer. Though, Akiho did relax slightly, feeling her anger grow a little more. She was just a few pushes away from turning herself into a living flamethrower, and that surely wouldn't sit well with anyone. [#f05c64 [b "Get away from here, you filthy little thing. Didn't anyone teach you simple manners? You farmers are all the same."]] She grumbled, hands placed upon her hips which jutted out to the side, giving her a sense of superiority and sass.
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This is all merely a draft and will most likely be changed.
[font roman [size12 [b "Are you sure you've packed everything? I've asked Ashuna to prepare an extra batch of seal jerky for the journey. You know, hunger is the biggest killer on expeditions like this!"]
It was the same nagging concern that Poallu had heard many times before if one foot was stepped outside of the village borders, but this time the concern was genuine, at least more genuine than the others. It almost made Poallu frown with inner doubt at the thought of leaving her family behind, but at this point, staying behind in the village wasn't an option anymore. She had made the daring choice herself to leave and seek out the Northern Tribe within the faraway North Pole and had filled her people with enough hope to make chickening out an incredibly cowardly option, and already two within the village had set out on a similar journey to Poallu, an action that had inspired her immensely to do the same thing and follow her own course. It was almost her destiny, to prevent the war from getting worse and protecting her people from the Fire Nation's wrath, at least that's what her naïve little brain thought.
Her journey had taken a few days, borderline a week, until the frustration of constantly traversing in the middle of nowhere as her food supply ran low and her exhaustion high took a massive toll on her. She wasn't about to perish with barely any progress in her mission, not now. Poallu really should've of just caught up with the other two from her village instead of even attempting to do this alone, the thought nagged her almost every few hours, but her positivity tried to outshine that speck of negativity. But without much skill in the waterbending department and no true experience outside the village, Poallu's choice to be one of the few to reconnect the tribes was slightly overzealous and risky.
It was a short walk until the unmissable impenetrable walls of a very large city entered Poallu's view and the girl was left slack-jawed at the mere sight. She had never known anything but igloos and shoddily built walls of ice and snow in a very small and compact village. This was like a whole new world to her and even just staring wide-eyed at the walls of hard rock overwhelmed and astonished her enough to imprint the memory in her brain forever.
She had heard of such a city before whilst listening to stories around the campfire back home; Ba Sing Se? The description of the fortress-like walls matched perfectly. The capital city of the Earth Kingdom and the largest city in the world, a supposed haven for refugees displaced by the Fire Nation's raids, but Poallu wondered if that merely applied to those of the Earth Kingdom or everyone else. Either way, this city seemed like a staple in her journey to the Northern Tribe and a place to tucker down for a few days to replenish her energy, and getting inside was a lot easier than Poallu thought.
It wasn't long until she had found herself stood in a small crowd of peasants and the common folk, in the ring where the poor citizens called home. She felt incredibly alone despite being surrounded by masses of people, but being an outsider would do that to anyone, she rationalized to herself. Still, it felt quite awful to be the only [i one] of something, which she had convinced herself she was. She kept herself on the sidelines for most of the day, out of sight and out of mind. She was only here to wind down for a few days before everything picked up again.
A small teashop caught her attention though, standing out amongst the other buildings as if it was the most important place in the world in Poallu's eyes. It looked quaint and quiet, exactly what she needed, and a teashop was rife with enough peace to forget about the chaotic world outside. Even if the sun was going down, Poallu just wanted a few moments to herself, and besides, she had never actually seen an actual teashop before. She walked towards the entrance, careful and slightly insecure, and pushed open the door with a slight smile on her face, an almost apologetic one as if she felt guilty about disturbing the owner and people inside.
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[font roman [size12 There was no time to even look back at the store and sadly grimace at the horde of undead completely destroying any sentiment of what the store once stood for. Both of them had to leave this gross massacre behind and find safety as soon as possible otherwise they would surely join the horde that craved for their flesh. Cassie wasted no time in speeding down the back-alley towards the open streets in front. It all felt uncomfortably claustrophobic; the slimy brick walls slick with blood and rain, the split trashbags carelessly threw into stinking heaps of more garbage, and the bits of flesh and bone strewn across the pavement that threatened to slip the two of them up if they even dared step out of line.
It was all too much. It was all becoming too much. Any inch of confidence that Cassie held was only because of the gun firmly grasped in her hand. She was still absolutely terrified and anxious about everything surrounding her, but knowing that she wasn't experiencing this nightmare alone was almost reassuring, and the fortress aptly called the 'Police Station' made her heart flutter with relief. Though, Cassie was already ahead of Wes, standing in front of the alleyway as if waiting for him to catch up, but also using the time to really survey the overrun streets and waiting for an opening. It was almost as bad as the street before, if not worse. She had to swallow back the panic attack that was building up inside. She made sure to ready her gun as she looked back at Wes for desperate guidance on what to do next. She had no clue where to go from here, everywhere was completely overrun by the bloody bastards, and a faint symphony of completely inhumane growls in the background just made her trembling even worse.
She nodded her head, had to stop herself from nodding too hard, at Wes' affirmation about a way into the station and lifted her gun up close to her chest at the ready, keeping a nervous eye out for any of the monsters leering about. She jetted out into the street with him, weaving through the rubble and wreckage, stepping over torn corpses and spilled entrails, but as they made their way to the gate only to discover it was locked, Cassie couldn't hold back her bottled frustration, letting out a stifled yell of what could only be described as hopeless anger as her foot kicked against the gate. [b "You've got to be fucking kidding me! We're gonna be torn to shreds."] She firmly believed that, but kept her gun aimed at the advancing zombies, ready to shoot any that dared near them. She only managed to shoot one dead until the gate was finally opened and she was ushered in, which she wasted no time in doing.
For once, being surrounded by walls pricked with barbed wire that looked as if they belonged in a prison camp, mostly because they did, never felt this good before. The situation was far from under control, but it gave them at least a few seconds to catch a quick breather, Cassie bending down and letting out large sighs of relief, trying her best to block out the sounds of banging against the gate. It felt safe, if only for a little bit, but still being outside was no less nerve-wracking. [b "You think anyone's inside? Preferably alive and not... hungry."] She responded, staring wide-eyed nervously at the main entrance. [b "Maybe the police might have an explanation for all of this. I mean, they've got to know something, right?"] She doubted that deep inside, but asking the question out loud made her feel a little relaxed at the possibility of it being true.
She looked back at the gate, the doors pulsing forward with each slam for the monsters, and back to the entrance. This was a one-way ride, no doubt. She just hoped that nothing was inside that wanted to tear them apart, and nothing worse than what they had already encountered. She jogged up the steps and cautiously placed a hand against the door, glancing at Wes as if looking for the go-ahead before pushing the door open to be greeted by the police station. It was... almost empty. [b "Fuck. This place looks untouched. What the hell?"] Everything organized and clean, save for the trails of blood and medical supplies strewn all over the place. It was clear this was used to house the citizen of Raccoon City, but for how long? Nobody was around, at least not here. Cassie turned to look at the east side, a grate was pushed half-way down with a crudely written note that ominously read,[b KEEP OUT!] It was all too telling, to Cassie, it was obvious what was behind that grate that 'warned' them to stay away. If the survivors weren't here, then they had to be somewhere else. [b "This can't be all that's left, the warning thing is still going off. We gotta check... something."] She just hoped Wes had the same idea.
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[font roman [size12 [b "Chin up, Lady Akiho. This is all for a good cause, you know that, right? We are merely trying to help the other nations realize that firebending is the only way to restore our world. There's no need to be upset."]
The soft and honey-glazed words of her former nursemaid echoed in the back of her mind as her fingers weaved through the ragged ringlets of her own messily braided hair. It had been almost a week since she had snuck away from the safety of her family home and ventured outside the security of the Capital's walls on the back of a merchant's caravan, but Akiho was still questioning her own decision to leave. It wasn't like there was any specific goal in mind, Akiho had no destination nor actual reason to leave her former life behind, but the constant rumblings of the Fire Nation's actions against the other nations were becoming too much. Her family was well acquainted with the military personnel and heavily wrapped up in the Cult of Personality ideology, even Akiho had her mind warped by their endless propaganda.
She felt guilty for a crime she didn't even commit, but sitting back and letting the atrocities happen, allowing her fellow firebenders to invade and oppress the other nations for practically nothing; Akiho was just as bad as everyone else, at least in her mind. In the middle of the night and away from the prying eyes of her family's servants, Akiho had contacted her friend Banta; a Fire Nation [i traitor] who disguised himself as a merchant to smuggle deserters outside of the Capital, to do just that for her. It wasn't an easy task and the back of his caravan was never the cleanest place in the world, but Akiho had found herself outside of the walls for the first time since her early childhood and on the move.
But, thinking back on the night and the few days of seemingly aimless travelling, Akiho was beginning to doubt her rather crass decision to abandon everything because of a guilty conscious. She had practically thrown her whole life away, no doubt her family had already branded her as a [i traitor], but maybe this was the beginning of something even better. What that was exactly, Akiho quite didn't know.
[b "Gotta make a pit stop real quick, I'm starving!"] There came the constantly grating words of Banta upfront of the caravan, pulled by a rather peculiar ox-looking creature lazily slugging itself towards a small village closeby. Akiho just rolled her eyes in response, but she wasn't quite content with the idea of entering an Earth Kingdom village.
There was still a sense of superiority and prejudice in her mind against those of the other nations, and the fact that she [b was] both a Fire National and firebender already garnered her a bad reputation even if nobody knew. Banta was a nonbender anyway and regularly disguised himself as anything but a Fire National, but even with the disguise gifted to her by Banta that made her look like an average trader, Akiho had no true control over her power; anger, happiness, sadness, and any emotion that could be considered extreme, [u [b fire]works.] She had to keep her cool for as long as possible.
[b [#f05c64 "Banta! We have a whole stock of nuts at the back of this stupid thing. Can't we just wait and eat them?"]] Akiho nagged with a frown as they weaved through a very small crowd and finally settled near a stall. She knew Banta wouldn't budge, but getting out of this village was her main priority. [b "I'd rather have you blast me in the face with your weird magic hands if I'm being honest. Just stay here if you're so nervous, worry-wart. It's not like this village has much to offer anyway."] Banta just droned back but in his usual cheery tone that only succeeded in lightly infuriating Akiho. She sneered at him before sliding down the back of the caravan and onto the floor, bringing the hood of her robe up to cover her features, just for extra precautions. She didn't exactly want to spend any more time in the back of that stinky old thing, getting a bit of fresh would be nice.
She stood on the sidelines of the village, her feet sinking into the mud with only a small grimace on her face to indicate such. The earthbenders sure loved their dirt and farms, Akiho couldn't understand.
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[size11 [Kurale Naomi had stayed splayed out on the couch with her phone loosely in hand, her pounding softly within her chest as the anxiety of the incoming text from John messed with her emotions. This felt wrong, messaging him after all these years, especially with Oliver in the picture and only in the room above her, but this was all Naomi wanted, at least right now. Once upon a time they had both slipped away from each other, grasped by adulthood, and changed into two barely functioning adults, but now they had been given the opportunity to reunite and reignite their relationship once more, to let this opportunity slip away would be foolish, but not necessarily wrong.
She could feel the lull of sleep starting to drag her eyelids down, but having the chance to finally converse with John kept her sluggishly awake, and Naomi didn't exactly want Oliver to find her curled up on the couch instead of in their bed. Her blue eyes were fixed on her phone, eagerly waiting for a response, and once that screen had lit up the whole room with the text message displayed on-screen, Naomi swiped her phone and almost immediately began her answer.
[i Neither can I!! I haven't left the house in forever, not for stuff like that at least.]
Her stomach fluttered with butterflies and a warm smile shamelessly crept up on her face. She felt warm and safe for the first time inside her own home in forever, just by texting her almost lifelong friend. It was a strange feeling, to say the least, to feel this excited and anxious for another man besides the one you're engaged to, but in the moment, Naomi didn't particularly care, Oliver wasn't in her thoughts until the question of his identity was asked. The butterflies in her stomach dropped, replaced by a deep and cold pit, and Naomi almost felt quite hopeless. She hoped they could've skipped that question completely, but that was impossible. Damn, of course, Johnathan would be curious.
She hesitated to reply, typing her message before deleting each word until the words completely right. She couldn't just tiptoe around the subject, perhaps acting if this was nothing would do, but then would John think that the relationship was viable and warm? Naomi nibbled her lip with uncertainty and uncomfortably fidgeted.
[i Oh, just someone from our old high school. U remember Oliver Whitman, right? I met him at the old school reunion, and u know, the usual.]
Perhaps that was slightly too laid back and ignorant, Naomi almost deleted the message completely, but settled for doubling texting instead at least to try and pat down the cool casualness that hid her dissatisfaction.
[i Idk, it's nothing too serious. What about u? Got anyone special in your life?]
And perhaps that was even more obvious, but Naomi wanted to know, more than usual. She took an interest in all her friend's life, at least, the small number of friends Oliver allowed her to have, and it wasn't unusual for her to be overly curious and numerous with the questions, but this was more than just mere curiosity and Naomi knew that but couldn't, and wouldn't, admit it to herself, at least not yet.
[hr] [size10 [b OOC:] [i Extremely sorry for the awfully long wait, life had taken a rough turn for me, but I think I'm alright for now. I shouldn't take long at all with responses and I will be a lot more active.]
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[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Kurale] [size11 [kurale She stared at the man almost crestfallen at the mention of the police station but merely kept her mouth shut to keep all her focus on the undead nightmares shuffling through the smoke and haze towards them both. It wasn't like the police station was a bad idea at all, in fact, Cassie thought the police station would be one of the safest places in the entire city, but the vast majority of other survivors that would crowd around the police station desperate to find safety and solace within those station house walls; Cassie knew by now that the monsters were hungry for flesh, whether living, dead, or even their own kind, they were starving for flesh and blood, and a large crowd of humans would be like a whole buffet to them.
It was too risky and everything, asides from the small voice inside her begging to get to safety, was telling her that the police station was just going to be one giant feeding frenzy, one that neither of them would likely survive with just one handgun loaded with five rounds and a fire ax. She wasn't exactly willing to risk her life, but Cassie would take her chances. For now, though, they both had to figure out what exactly they were going to do about the smashed up store smeared with blood and gore. She didn't get very far with her thought process as her arm was grabbed and dragged into the store by the man, Cassie didn't bother getting angry or even annoyed, this was undoubtedly better than being devoured by a horde of ghouls just mere meters away. She quickly moved away from the closing shutters and any spot that could potentially be an entry for the zombies outside, and her eyes cautiously wandered across the store as did her feet.
There was a strange sense of calm at being surrounded by sturdy walls and toppled cans of produce, but the stench of already rotting flesh and metallic blood filled the entire trashed store and the smeared line of gore leading to the backroom roused some suspicion and dread inside her chest. She walked towards the counter and rested her hand on top and kept her eyes glued to the shutters that jutted forward each time the horde outside slammed savagely slammed their fist against it.
She couldn't think of anything to say or do in this situation, just a few seconds of being away from the horror outside overwhelmed her brain with belated thoughts of trepidation for everything around her. She couldn't even really mutter her appreciation to the man who practically saved her, but Cassie was most definitely thankful. She turned to lean her back against the counter and weighed her gun in her hands, deep in thought, until the sounds of the aisle crashing to the floor and the distinct loud snarls of a zombie filled the room.
For a split second, Cassie thought the man was done for, seeing him nowhere with just the sounds of his yells drowned out by the zombie screeching indicating he was still here, but after rushing to the crashed aisle and seeing the struggling, Cassie's relief was overshadowed by her desperation to do something. She held the gun ready in her hand, trying to ease her growing nerves and bite her tongue, but her apprehension was clear, Cassie seriously doubted she could even do this. Leaving this man to be torn apart and killed though wasn't allowed to be an option, that was beyond inhumane when the opportunity to save him was at the ready, but her hands trembled as her gun slowly rose to aim at the zombie grappling the man and trying to gnaw away at his throat.
She tried her best not to close her eyes, keeping her sights steady on the zombie and bent her elbows to prevent them from locking. This had to be just right or they'd both be in serious trouble. Her fingers squeezed the trigger and -
Sounds of a gunshot echoed through the room, causing the undead horde outside to grow silent for a few seconds in time with the silence instead of the store, before growing even more aggressive than before and trying even harder to break into the store. The attacking zombie's skulled was cracked clean open from the back, rotten blood oozing through the bullet hole and dripping on the floor. It twitched a few times, even trying to futility make some last attempts at attacking the man again, but the zombie slumped over like a dead fish and Cassie took that as the monster being dead, or about as dead as these things could get. God, that thing looked incredibly familiar; the uniform, the hair, the backroom keys dangling from its pants.
[b [i No, don't think about that, just focus.]]
Her breath was unsteady, hands still trembling and slippery with sweat, but Cassie lowered the gun and treaded cautiously towards the man, bending down slightly to his level before crashing glass and torn metal swiftly gripped her attention. Fuck, those things were starting to get through, and here they were unprepared with only one way to go. Now wasn't the time for 'thank yous', first-aid, or pats on the back; if they didn't leave now, Cassie shuddered at the thought.
[b "Fuck, they're getting through. We've gotta move now unless we want a repeat with twenty of these goddamn things instead."] She grabbed his hand to pull him quickly to his feet and whipped herself around at the back entrance. She had no clue if there were any other nasty surprises waiting for them back there, but this was their only chance to escape. At least the back alley lead straight to the street close to the police station, even if Cassie was still hesitant to the thought. [b "Come on, that alley leads straight to the station. I've got us covered."] She sounded confident enough, but she was almost entirely insecure about the idea. She was ready to make a beeline for it.
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[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Kurale] [size11 [kurale The local drug dealer was someone that you could probably expect in a small, shitty suburban town like this. A going-nowhere, shitfaced, aimless, but not without potential high school dropout who somehow everyone knew but had forgotten at the same time. Embarrassingly named Augustus but pitifully nicknamed 'Auggie' by practically everyone who knew him.
He was quite a strange one. Stupid, but smart. Sincere, but perfunctory. Kind, but awful. Basically the embodiment of all contradictions that Eliana just couldn't get enough of; mostly for all the drugs in his stocks. They had both known each other since Auggie's schooling days though, with only a three year age gap between them, and they never truly parted ways. Eliana was the only customer who Auggie would let haggle him until the purchase was completely free, but never in front of anyone else, reputations were reputations after all. They would've been proper friends if Auggie wasn't as professional about his drug dealing.
He could see Eliana coming from a mile away. He didn't have to turn around to see her shining face grinning at him with both happiness and hidden desperation. Auggie just leaned on the side of a pick-up truck pulled into the gas station with a freshly-lit cigarette stuck to his lips and didn't even bother to look at Eliana waiting expectantly behind him.
[b "Thought you died in rehab."] He bluntly said with a slight chuff. Eliana brought her bike up towards the truck and rolled her eyes with sarcastic amusement."
[b "Oh hardy fucking har. Turns out they don't actually murder the helpless fuckers like me."] Eliana leaned her bike up against the truck and stood beside Auggie with her arms crossed. She didn't even have to ask the question anymore, Auggie just knew.
[b "Too bad I didn't save you a [i home sweet home gift]."]
[b "What?"] Eliana's voice was about as flat as ever.
[b "Yeeeah. Fresh outta handlebars. Sorry, Mitch."] Auggie casually lied without even looking at Eliana and trying to make any kind of eye-contact with her. Eliana looked as if someone just shot her dog right in front of her; the devastation was real.
[b "[i Fresh out?] What the fuck. You didn't even try to save any for me? Auggie, you're fucking useless."] There came the suppressed anger and irritation that came out whenever Eliana was denied her much-needed fix. This was beyond stupid. How could the local drug dealer be fresh out of fucking drugs? The most popular kind as well. She sulkily stared at her shoes as Auggie just nonchalantly shrugged as if none of this mattered to him at all.
[b "Way to talk to your only supplier, Mitch. Anyway, you owe me, like, $300. Don't push your luck."] He just grumbled full of attitude and inner spite for Eliana's drug-fueled rage, but all of that came from his absolute care and love for her; Eliana was his only true friend in this world, but that was something Auggie just couldn't admit to himself. He couldn't supply her with the same toxic pills that almost took her life three months prior; Auggie already felt incredibly responsible for her overdose, and god forbid that would ever, ever happen again on his watch.
But Eliana would never understand, Auggie knew that the soured and vexed look pervading her features was quite telling. He wasn't going to just give in to her vices and allow her those drugs, thinking that this one time wouldn't hurt, no way. He wasn't going to be responsible for the death of his closest friend no matter how much Eliana bribed and begged him for a taste of those narcotic beauties.
[b "Fuck you, that was all your fucking choice. Keep your shitty zanies and skunk buds; I'll just find someone else who's actually reliable."] Eliana angrily shouted; graciously flipping him the middle finger whilst grabbing her bike to leave the gas station and him behind. Auggie just glared at her; nothing would come out of him humoring her or even defending himself, but the notion of her finding another vice to keep her filthy habit sustained troubled him more than anything in the world right now. Eliana was already halfway down the road towards the abandoned warehouse before Auggie could even collect his thoughts and advise her to stay with him.
The abandoned warehouse Eliana had overheard her friends talking about in college a few weeks back; the place where not even counterfeit pills and lines of heroin were off-limits. She didn't think of herself as that hardcore but the addiction and hunger for stronger stuff loomed over her every single day, and her will was gradually cracking over time. She hadn't had a single taste of anything remotely illegal for three whole months; even after the withdrawals had passed, Eliana felt fucking terrible still. This warehouse was her only saving grace if Auggie wasn't going to budge.
The journey wasn't long at all and Eliana had soon found herself parking her bike outside on the sidewalk before cautiously walking towards the back entrance of the warehouse. She was pretty confident in herself, enough to be brave in social situations, but Auggie was trustworthy and kind enough, other drug dealers weren't. She felt nervous but mostly ignored her aching angst and continued her short walk towards the back before noticing another girl and her truck waiting too. Fuck, this wasn't about be awkward, Eliana hoped.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/6I4wTpL.jpg]] [google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Kurale] [size11 [kurale Elza Ripley wasn't exactly the one for a cushy, quiet, idealistic life filled with love and intimacy since the very beginning of her passion and enthusiasm for motorcycles and racing; a potential career path that sucked up nearly all her free time and snuffed out her desire for relationships and dating, but her friends thought differently; tired of seeing Elza engrossed in the world of motors and grease with no time for the more simplistic gifts of life. Perhaps the idea for Elza was pretty selfish and unwarranted, but Felix wanted to see his best friend happy with someone to call her own, and besides, there was nothing wrong with juggling your career and love life hand-in-hand if you knew what you were doing, and Felix knew Elza was resourceful enough for that.
As the two of them sat inside his car, Elza heftily sighed and stared conflicted outside the window at the gleaming neon sign of the restaurant ahead; the destination of Elza's blind date with some unknown man. Felix just shook his head dismissively and patted her shoulder with some sense of encouragement as an attempt to ease her nerves. She hadn't really dated anyone since high school, a few flings in college and some in university, but nothing too important or lifechanging; Elza just didn't want to mess this up and Felix knew that more than anyone. She turned her body to stare outside the windshield window instead, but there was still an uncertain look upon her fair features.
[b [#A2C4CF "Come on, Elza. Everything will be fine, you're a natural. Besides, who in their right mind would reject a hot, blonde, bombshell like you? I mean, you race motorcycles; you can't get any sexier than that."]] Felix tried his best to appear as reassuring as possible in both face and body language, but Elza wasn't too convinced. She sunk back into her seat and huddled into her leather jacket, like a cowering turtle shielding itself from danger. She didn't want to leave this car at all; the light of the restaurant's sign was taunting her.
[b [#B9899E "I can't do this, I don't have time for dating. Felix, I've told you this a thousand times. Please can we just go? Just say that I got sick or something. We can go get an extra-large cheeseburger together instead; that'd be ten-times better than this."]] She whined with clear agitation almost begging for Felix to rev up the engine and speed away, but there was no moving nor leaving. Felix just rolled his eyes and shook his head in response; shrugging his shoulders as Elza loudly moaned in irritation, falling back into her seat and refusing to even look at him.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/bxRuSBj.png]] [b [#A2C4CF "Wish I could but I can't, that'd be just plain rude."]] He joked with a mischievous giggle. [b [#A2C4CF "Come on, Elza. The time will pass really quickly, and before you know it, you're either in his sheets, or, you remain a free woman with your motorcycles and shit."]] He pattered her leather-clad shoulder once more and cranked open his door readying himself to leave. Elza looked up and just grumbled in defeat; this was happening whether she liked it or not. She took the time to quickly fix the impurities in her appearance and patted down her clothing before leaving outside her own door.
[b [#B9899E "Please don't mess this up."]] She whispered to herself as her fingers crossed behind her back; praying that everything would be alright and that the date was successful enough. She couldn't bear looking directly at the restaurant standing proudly before her; the mere sight of the double doors made her feel sick with worry. Felix walked beside her and squeeze her hand reassuringly, trying his best to calm her down. He bumped his shoulder against hers which made Elza lightly smile with slight amusement; successfully easing her nerves enough to brace this blind date.
[b [#A2C4CF "Come on, I'll walk you to the table. Evolet should be around here somewhere."]] He gently said before Elza inhaled deeply to gather some courage and pride and the two of them finally entered the restaurant. They both searched for the designated table, weaving through the small crowds before the table was insight. Elza took one last look at Felix who just smiled brightly in response, and soon Elza was alone to face this blind date.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/LdxNAwE.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale Whatever glue was keeping her stuck to the floor without any indication of melting away, was steadily bringing Cassie closer and closer to her doom as the looming undead threats slowly shambled towards her, arms outstretched and ready to tear her flesh apart. She had managed to lift her arms enough to point her pistol at one of the zombies, but her fingers just couldn't pull the trigger. Her whole body was in lockdown and there was nothing she could do to pull herself out, as her blood ran coldly through her veins and her eyes widened at the agonizing horror of realizing her own ruin at this very moment.
Explosions, death, fire, destruction, and ruin all went by ignored as her brain was too preoccupied with reverting back to its instinctual side, even the truck smashing into the side of her house barely made her body jolt in surprise, but as her finger quivered on the trigger something pulled her back into the land of reality, effectively waking her up from this momentary coma and making her aware of her chaotic surroundings. She breathed in a hefty amount of sulfur intoxicated air and her quivering arms fell down in front of her thighs as a singular voice rang through her ears. She became aware of the hellscape surrounding her once again but her eyes purposely averted the crumbling buildings and congested traffic in an attempt to preserve enough sense and sanity to get the hell out of here.
Though, the voice that had woken her from the shock had appeared to have awoken the 'dead' as well, literally, as the zombies that were feasting on their human delicacies were now eyeing Cassie up with clear intent to move onto her as their next meal. Their dead, milky white eyes stared lazily through her own, and the torn flesh around their mouths stretched and ripped as gurgles and groans rumbled through their throats if they even had their throats still intact. She quietly whimpered in fear as they brokenly shambled towards her, but dying was not on her agenda, neither was letting them rip her to shreds. Throughout the entire thing, Cassie had the man who called out to her in her mind as a means to escape this hellish part of the city, whilst mentally vilifying and harshly reprimanding him for his mistake of alerting the zombies, Cassie would shake away those thoughts and follow him anyway downtown towards the convenience store.
She had enough sense now to listen to herself and her surroundings, but her body was still trembling with fear and anxiety, and the flickering streetlights and roaring fires reflected off the glistening sweat coating her body; hair damp and face already slick with dirt. She kept the pistol in her hands throughout the entire descent towards the convenience store, but never raised her gun once out of pure fear. There was no telling what would happen if she shot one of these things, and there was no telling what they actually were.
She ignored them as best as she possibly could until she stopped dead in her tracks before the store; the bright, neon blue lights of the shop's sign illuminating through the dark night showered Cassie and the surrounding area in a bright blue hue, and the shop windows covered in advertisements, sponsors, and product placement was smashed and soaked with crimson blood. Fuck, Cassie had worked at this exact store for a few months and didn't even want to think of the possible bloodshed inside. She swallowed hard and slightly turned her head to see the man from earlier standing nearby. He looked normal enough, and Cassie still in a slight daze, couldn't open her mouth to properly speak, her throat still dry from terror. She couldn't just run away though and risk falling right into one of those monsters, or maybe even worse.
[b "Wha - What the fuck is going on?!"] She finally found her voice, albeit, slightly demanding and riddled with panic and agitation. She could hear the groaning growls of the zombies shuffling closer and closer, a few banging their bodies against the gates that futilely shielded them all from death, and some even daring to crawl right over the rumble, cars, and roadblocks blocking their path. They were very persistent in such an inhumane way; they willingly threw themselves into the fires just to get the people on the other side, impaled themselves on the jagged glass of car windows just to crawl through, and powered through the occasional bullet that lodged deep into their skulls. They weren't normal, but Cassie couldn't tell what they were at all. She just knew that they meant death and that their very presence caused her whole body to feel cold and nauseous like nothing else ever did before.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/GFTowUk.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale So, they were finally paying this quaint little village a 'visit' to do as they please and wreak havoc, this was something Caen could finally get behind in mere seconds. It was nice to be given such gifts as an entire room within quite the elaborate castle, but being given the chance of running free with pure chaos and strife in their mind was so much more fulfilling that they couldn't contain their childish laughter at the meager thought, hopping from one foot to the other as they imagined the confusion, fear, and terror in their victim's eyes.
That would all come soon, very soon, but for now, they settled for happily conversing with their sibling whilst sadistically, but playfully, messing around with Mister Impy, who in-turn appeared to be almost getting used to the torment, just sat there stone-faced and wishing they were somewhere else entirely. It was a routine that was destined to remain the same once all was said and done, Mister Impy would just have to learn to get used to Caen's erratic nature.
It was soon time to leave and tend to business, or really, wreak havoc on those that didn't really deserve the torment. Caen was more than thankful for this opportunity, after all, all the pent of energy from laying stagnant inside a dusty old coffin for centuries wasn't good for their mushed up mental state. They couldn't just stand around all day waiting for sanity to catch up to them. Caen turned to Mister Impy and lifted him in their arms for the thousandth times, but slightly gentler this time, almost cradling him like a small, fragile puppy. They faked their sadness behind their mask, sobbing their goodbyes through a shaky, unsteady voice supposedly rife with tears. Of course, all fake, but they knew deep inside they'd probably miss Mister Impy if something were to happen, they weren't completely heartless after all.
When they were all traveling to the village it wasn't long until Caen had completely deviated from the group to do as they very well pleased, without much thought of their fellow comrades traversing to the same tranquil settlement. They ignored most obstacles and distractions, mostly hellbent on causing as much discord as they possibly could within their power until their time ceased within the village, and the mayhem they caused was nothing short of traumatic and disastrous.
They began in the gambling dens disguised as the dealer where they purposely sabotaged each and every game until all the players turned on one another, knives and daggers in-hand ready to slash at each other's throats in this event of trickery. And then they came the happy little families that were quite quaint and cushy with their life, all soon to come to a heartbreaking end once Caen had pulled them all apart from each other, yanking at all their strings like some puppetmaster as their relationships were broken and destroyed, reduced to mere dust. Throughout everything that they did, Caen felt no remorse or sadness for their poor victims, nothing at all but joy, happiness, and amusement at their predicaments, even those who were being tormented and brutalized by the other archons. There was slight competition in their mind, purposely trying to cause as much havoc as possible before the others, but it was all really the same to them in the end, they were just enjoying the view and adding to the mayhem.
Whatever you could really imagine the supposed embodiment of chaos could do, Caen very much did and most likely worse, all these silly little humans were the same in their mind and they were all just little puppets and toys they could mess with on a whim. They sat upon the crumbling roof off one of the once humble homes of a villager, crossed legged in the same fashion of some perky child, and outstretched their arms to the sky with happiness and merriment.
[#cf0722 [b "I haven't had this much in years!"]] They joyously shouted, tipping themselves back onto the roof until they were laid out flat, arms spayed out, and their face staring towards the sky. Even without their powers and full potential, they still found fun in the little power that they had. Unlike the others, there was no sense of vulnerability or shame at the idea of being this powerless, they were ecstatic either way, nothing could truly stop the chaos, even after they were gone.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/LdxNAwE.jpg]]
[size13 [Caveat Hey, sis!
How is everything? Has the city eaten you alive yet? I'm stoked that you've decided to come visit us all again! We all really miss you. October 5th, right? You should totally stay for Halloween, Henry's finally grown into his costume from last year. Anyway, off-topic, I hope the city's treating you well. I get moving out on your own can be difficult, but you said you were fine in your last letter so we're convinced, but I worry about you sometimes. I just don't want you to get hurt. Stay safe, alright? Don't leave your bestest best sister hanging, OK?!
P.S: Call me when you get this letter, post to and from Raccoon City is slow as hell.]]
[center [size11 [Kurale Jesus. Since when did her sister worry this much? Cassie sat at her desk re-reading the letter over and over again until the scrawled out words almost melded into one, and the late-night tiredness started to overtake her drooping eyelids. With one hand flat against her cheek, elbow sat on the desk propping her arm up, a small sigh of utterance blew past her lips and Cassie kicked off the ground to lean back in her chair, using one foot to gently swivel the wheels from back to forth.
Just a couple more days and she could kiss this forsaken city goodbye for a few months back in Illinois, a state almost equal in shitheads and assholes but somehow a whole less suffocating and claustrophobic. She only moved here to get away from her family for a bit, they weren't anything bad or even annoying, but independence was something Cassie always craved, maybe a little too much, and the hasty decision to pack up and move to this small, industrialized city had been made before anyone could convince Cassie otherwise, but after just spending half a year here, Chicago and her family home started to sound quite inviting.
There was something about this city, something that made her skin crawl in the most uncomfortable ways, but in an almost subtle fashion. It was like everyone was on surveillance 24/7, even walking up the street from the downtown convenience store to her shitty small townhouse wedged between an alleyway filled with trash and another townhouse felt like some sick, but incredibly boring, reality show, but either nobody cared or they were just all ignorant. Maybe her sister had filled her head with too many conspiracy theories, a way to deter her from moving away to R.C. Though, Umbrella was everywhere over here, at least from what Cassie had seen, and any pharmaceutical company that dabbled in the food industry was just plain bad news. Alright, maybe that was just another conspiracy theory fed to her by her sister, but Cassie didn't exactly think she was wrong.
Thinking about all that now was just giving her a headache, it was way too late for any wacko theories about the scrupulous deeds of some boring company Cassie didn't even really care about. Her forearm flat against her face covering her tired eyes with her other arm falling limp at the side of her desk chair, the flickering light of the tiny box T.V in the background sat upon a makeshift stand made from books was all that kept Cassie from letting tiredness completely take over, that and all the police activity outside her bedroom window on the street kept her awake enough. R.C wasn't really known for its criminals, maybe the odd kidnapping and missing child here and there, but this amount of sirens was quite unusual, to say the least. She was curious enough to peek an eye out from behind her arm and turn her body in the chair to watch the flickering T.V in the corner of the room.
The usual late-night broadcast, at first glance, was playing but something seemed off. The reporter looked frazzled and disturbed, a blaze of fire licking up the street behind her as civilians rushed past screaming their heads off at some unknown pursuer. Emergency vehicles of practically all kinds, smashed up cars, debris, roadblocks, and more were strewed across the street that looked way too familiar. It was enough to make Cassie pay enough attention to finally remove herself from her chair and stare at the T.V in disbelief and worry.
[b [i "God, what the fuck is going on out there?"]] She thought as her eyes slowly moved to stare outside the window just beside the T.V. This looked way too major to be a simple robbery, heck, even some massive crime. Even on the tiny, crappy T.V screen, the street resembled armageddon. She bit her lip tight and stood up to cautiously walk to her window and lean on the sill to stare out at the destruction below, she couldn't even describe what her poor eyes saw.
Fuck, fuck, [i fuck.]
This was too much, this was way too fucking much. How could she have just noticed this? She had heard the screams much earlier on in the night, the blaring sirens, the anguished cries of the damned, but that was all mistaken from some wild party on the other side of town, not this hellscape. She couldn't stay here, locked up inside her room, who knows what could happen and the thought of her friends - Fuck, her heart thundered in her chest, and the urge to vomit nauseated her at the mere thought. She had to leave, no sensible destination in mind, but staying here felt like suicide, and she wasn't even aware of the cannibalistic terrors literally tearing through the streets.
A thousand thoughts were rushing through her mind, sweat glazed her forehead, her fingernails dug deep into the palms of her hands, and her body trembled with anxiety. This was happening way too fast, a simple broadcast just potentially showed the destruction of an entire city, all in one night as well, and Cassie had no clue how long this had been going on for. This was way too much, but Cassie couldn't afford to freeze up, her instincts were telling her to [u leave] right now. She didn't waste any time, violently rummaging through all her drawers for her most prized possession, a small pocket-pistol her father had gifted her a couple of years ago for her birthday, just for protection. It wouldn't do shit in the worst situations, but Cassie wasn't exactly expecting the worst, just the riot destroying her street and potentially the city. Shoving the small gun in the waistband of her jeans, snatching her shearling jacket of the hook on her closet door, and rushing downstairs of her tiny 'house' like her life depended on it, Cassie suddenly stopped at her front door.
What was waiting for her outside? [i Who] was waiting for her outside? Just from her door, she could feel the heat of the flames swallowing up the streets, smell a sweet, metallic scent pervading the air, and hear the horrifying screams of the people racing through the streets, an extremely faint squelching noise in the background like tearing flesh combined with the screams.
Pandemonium waited for her outside, bloody arms outstretched to envelope her in the worst night of her life, and suffocate her more than R.C alone ever did. She wasn't ready, who the hell was? Her hand hesitated to even twist the doorknob, she had to swallow back her fear just to face the annihilation outside. When faced with the terror, Cassie felt as if her whole body nearly shut down, but kept enough composure to keep her calm and step past the doorway to make a run for it. Finally, the [i 'monsters'] that she had yet to see had made their appearance in the form of feasting upon the deceased corpses of those who couldn't escape in time, a fate that would've held her had she not gathered her senses and brisked through the street when an opening was seen.
The alleyway beside her house registered as the most sensible escape route in her mind, even with the tightly enclosed space that would sure taunt her when one of those [i 'things'] turned around the corner, teeth-gnashing with gushing spittle and bloody claws outstretched to claim her as their own. She didn't think about it, all that mattered now was running away, and the alleyway was her only choice. She pushed straight through the gate, stepping over all obstacles that obstructed her escape, and luckily wasn't presented with anything to take a chunk out of her throat, but now at the end of the alleyway presented with the exact same image of the street from behind, Cassie was at a loss for thought.
Those monsters were everywhere, they looked like people but worse. They were crazed, ravaged, and horrifying, and they were devouring any living, and dead, human they could get their rotting hands on. She stood there watching, a hand slowly reaching for the pistol in her jeans. She was stuck, fight or flight wasn't being prompted, freeze was, but inside Cassie knew that she wasn't dying tonight if only her body would fucking listen to her.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/VGu3kZf.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale This was something Naomi really should've been used to by now, being ordered around by Oliver constantly every day until her head ached with exhaustion and her eyes stung with tears, at least that's what she thought. But the abuse was always fresh in her mind and the mental and emotional pain never subsided. She was always in a state of upset and misery when around Oliver, even during their better days. She wondered if this was deserved or not if something had happened between them that caused their relationship to derail, but there was truly nothing.
She blankly stared at their gloomy bungalow they both called their home and a small sigh pushed past her lips as if already tired by the hurtful words that were yet to come. She didn't bother looking at Oliver with a faked smile of happiness to be home, just cranked open the car door and grabbed her luggage from the back to walk down their driveway to the front door.
[b "What the fuck have I done now, Naomi? Jesus. All I have to do is exist and you're miserable. Isn't being home enough to be fucking happy for once?"] Oliver spat from behind, words filled with venomous aggression, and all Naomi could do was grimace to herself. He was such a contradiction to the point where even Naomi was frustrated with him and his constant mixed messages, and his supposed ignorance of their previous interaction caused some anger to bubble deep inside her, but Naomi just said nothing and pushed through the front door, muttering the usual apology to him before setting her luggage within the hallway and making her way to the kitchen.
[b "So, now you're just gonna ignore me? Typical. Just typical. You know, I'm the reason you have everything in this goddamn world right now. You'd be nothing without me. Why can't you just understand that?"] Here we go again. It got to the point where his voice melded into the background and his words were mere white noise to her ears. She leaned against the kitchen counter whilst removing her coat and shoes, prepping herself to 'relax' in the house for a bit, all with John in her thoughts. Nothing, in particular, just the thought of him comforted her enough to make her not break and cry, at least the thought of his number in her phone made her feel pretty relaxed.
She'd message him, once the storm inside this godforsaken 'house' blew over, once the coast was clear and Naomi felt safe. The night dragged on as per usual with the arguments, harsh words, cold-shoulder, and more that was the norm for this relationship. Naomi always stayed up late after Oliver went to sleep for the night, using this as an opportunity for some much-deserved peace and quiet, away from him for a few hours before the morning. It felt like her only escape sometimes, apart from work.
Sat by herself on the couch, hair messy and resting on her shoulders, dressed in a light pink and pajamas, and her body outstretched into a comfy position, Naomi fingered the keypad on her phone. She knew that she'd see John soon, but that wasn't enough, Naomi wanted to talk to him now, at least for a few minutes before tiredness took over. She wasn't sure if that was a good idea though if there any consequences with doing that. Surely everything would be alright, for a moment at least. Naomi was desperate.
She let her fingers hover over the words, hesitant and uncertain, before finally typing out her message.
[i > Hey! srry it's really late, I couldn't sleep. how r u doing? i can't wait to see you again.]
She didn't bother reading the message over again, and let her hand slide down her side and rest her on the couch. She didn't feel much better, but there was a hope spot inside her. She just hoped this wasn't too much.
[center [google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Kurale]
[size11 [Kurale It was supposed to be a short break for Oliver, a short break away from work and time for himself outside of the city, but a frantic call from his superior shoved him back into the real world and Oliver had found himself driving to the populace city once again, a simple and innocent mind focused on the current job at hand. There was nothing that could've told him that the once-bustling and charming city had been completely overrun by horrific monsters, now completely perilous with no hope of ever recovering and thriving once again.
But his radio, tuned into the nightly broadcast, showed a few questionable things. At least things Oliver never thought to question or think about before. It was usually just dumb stuff about game shows, quizzes, and all that superficial bullshit, but tonight's interview with some stuttering, antsy youth frantically trying to convince the amused radio host into believing his story, managed to interest Oliver enough to actually listen.
"You should've seen her face, man. It was, like, rotting, and her eyes were just, empty, just fucking empty. I mean, what're supposed to do in that fucking situation? I swear, you can't freeze up around these things, they'll sink their teeth into 'ya. I saw one -"
"Alright, I think that's enough for tonight." Interrupted by the barely muffled giggles of the host and radio interference from the rainstorm outside.
*Fuck. It was just getting good as well.*
That was fucking strange. The radio was filled with conspiracy theorists and panicked citizens every single week, but that just seemed too real, way too conspicuous. No doubt all within the city, the only place for miles apart from the usual pitstops and one or two motels. This was just drugs, right? A drunken night gone wrong, drug abuse, hallucinations. This couldn't be anything else.
It all weirdly corollated with the frantic call from the police station that started this journey. Nothing outright told him that they were related at all, but something inside him told otherwise.
*Fuck.* This better not be his new assignment tonight. It was too fucking late for that bullshit to start.
Soon, the city lights melted into view, lighting up the night for everyone around to see, a sight that comforted Oliver for once instead of filling him with the frustrations of work. Something felt wrong, though. There was *no one* around, no cars, no nothing, not even hitchhikers. It was all just *quiet..*
It was eerie, foreboding, ominous, but turning back now wasn't an option inside Oliver's mind. It was just *quiet*, nothing else, that wasn't enough to just give up now. He had soon entered the city and drove through the empty streets, filled with abandoned cars and road blockages, smashed glasses from shop windows scattered across the street, and puddles of crimson fluid spread across the pavement.
"What the hell?" He quietly muttered to himself, forcing himself to pull onto the side and actually investigate. He slowly exited his car, reaching for his gun tucked away into the glove box, and stared disgusted at his frenzied and derelict surroundings. It was like one giant crime scene stacked on top of another.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/smysOkV.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale Okay.
The local drug dealer was someone that you could probably expect in a small, shitty suburban town like this. A going-nowhere, shitfaced, aimless, but not without potential high school dropout who somehow everyone knew but had forgotten at the same time. Embarrassingly named Augustus but pitifully nicknamed 'Auggie' by practically everyone who knew him.
He was quite a strange one. Stupid, but smart. Sincere, but perfunctory. Kind, but awful. Basically the embodiment of all contradictions that Benji just couldn't get enough of; mostly for all the drugs in his stocks. They had both known each other since Auggie's schooling days though, with only a three year age gap between them, and they never truly parted ways. Benji was the only customer who Auggie would let haggle him until the purchase was completely free, but never in front of anyone else, reputations were reputations after all. They would've been proper friends if Auggie wasn't as professional about his drug dealing,
He could see Benji coming from a mile away. He didn't have to turn around to see his sullen face grinning at him with both happiness and hidden desperation. Auggie just leaned on the side of a pick-up truck pulled into one of the gas station with a freshly-lit cigarette stuck to his lips and didn't even bother to look at Benji waiting expectantly behind him.
[b "Thought you died in rehab."] He bluntly said with a slight chuff. Benji brought his bike up towards the truck and rolled his eyes with sarcastic amusement.
[b "Oh hardy fucking har. Turns out they don't actually murder the helpless fuckers like me."] Benji leaned his bike up against the truck and stood beside Auggie with his arms crossed. He didn't even have to ask the [i question] anymore, Auggie just [i knew].
[b "Too bad I didn't save you a [i home sweet home] gift."]
[b "What?"] Benji's voice was about as flat as ever.
[b "Yeeeah. Fresh outta handlebars. [i Sorry], Jonesy.] Auggie casually lied without even looking at Benji and trying to make any kind of eye-contact. Benji looked as if someone just shot his dog in front of him.
[b "[i Fresh out?] What the fuck. You didn't even [i try] to save any for me? Auggie, you're fucking useless."] There came the suppressed anger and irritation that came out whenever Benji was denied his much-needed fix. This was beyond stupid. How could the [i local] drug dealer be fresh out of fucking drugs? The most popular kind as well. He sulkily stared at his shoes as Auggie just nonchalantly shrugged as if none of this mattered to him at all.
[b "Way to talk to your [b only] supplier, Jonesy. Anyway, you owe me, like, $300. Don't push your luck."] He turned his head to look behind him as the sound of someone else approaching was heard. Another day, another customer. [b "Besides. I can't give you any freebies right now."] Auggie nudged Benji out of his vexed brooding and into attention. He barely got the message as his head turned to also stare the newcomer approaching them.
[b Oh. I bet you're gonna magically fucking conjure up some zanies when this chick asks, huh."] He angrily whispered through gritted teeth, all of which went by mostly ignored.
[b "For someone who's fresh outta Motel California, you're pretty damn desperate. Now, be a good little boy, and go to fucking school."] Auggie shoved Benji away enough to make him stumble and the kid just angrily huffed whilst reaching for the handlebars of his bike. This wasn't over yet, but Auggie wasn't the kind to budge.
[u [i Juliette Romano]]
Juliette wasn't without her innocent, virginal, and starlet reputation that followed her around everywhere in her life. Raised in an extremely conservative household who valued their religious ideals more than anything in the world. Nothing could destroy that reputation for them, at least they tried to snuff out any behavior that could, but they missed a spot.
She had the exterior of a sweet, kind, respectable young woman who everyone loved and praised, but the interior of some crazed, wild, overly sexual, and drugged-up party animal that was just begging to be released with every single minute. Juliette was exactly the kind of person her family feared and hated, but they didn't suspect a thing. Nobody really did, apart from those who were close enough to Juliette to see through her cutesy mystique.
She surrounded herself with a mixture of people in high-school. A slice of everything this hellhole had to offer at least. Being the popular girl, that was easy enough, and having different people around you every day kept up the darling act without fault. She didn't think anyone in high school would really care about her true personality if anything did slip out, but word spread fast and her family was always on high alert. Them finding out would be practically detrimental.
Juliette never really thought too deeply into that, though. It was pointless to scare yourself like that, and Juliette kept her mind preoccupied with *other* things. Things that usually didn't come for free, but one could substitute their body for money pretty easily around here. That was another story though.
The rhythmic noise of a nail file scraping against her manicured nails melded into the endless chatter of students as Juliette had sat on a table full of most of the people in her current designated classroom. She chatted, listened, stared, bitched, moaned, and laughed with them as the latest gossip was thrown around the room like a game of hot potato, but her eyes were always fixed on her nails. She didn't pay attention to anyone around her.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/e0aJJbO.jpg]
[size11 [Kurale [i [u Danuja]]
It was always amazing to merely hear her mother's soft words cooing in her ears, and Danuja could melt away into the same petals that slowly encircled the room, but her brow was lined with focus and confusion and Danuja placed her bowl on the floor. She hadn't seen or heard from her mother in nearly centuries. She only appeared when something important was going to take place, and that hadn't happened for a long time. What was about to transpire now?
"I suppose living through the years can do that to you. But, mother? I don't understand. Why're you here?" She questioned. Her stomach fluttered with anxiety and her heart thudded fast inside her chest. There was something brewing in the air.
[i "It's nice to see you too, flower. Alas, I suppose this is surprising after all these years, but you must listen to me, dear. This will be your only chance."]
How important could this be? The Earth's unnatural threats had been eradicated and Yamanashi was peaceful and undisturbed. Her mother's words confused her even further but also intrigued her heavily. She leaned forward on her knees and kept quiet to hear what the minor goddess had to say. Her heart was filled with dread and fear at what was about to come.
[i "You know that there are others out there like you, who have protected our Earth for hundreds and hundreds of years. But, after the humans' memories of us faded and the world was left untouched once more, they filled themselves with hatred and scorn for humanity. Danuja, I know you're not like that, that you can rise above all threats like our mighty mountain. Danuja, you must protect the humans no matter what, no matter the cost. You must. This is my mission to you."]
And suddenly a small, elegant scroll apparated on the floor in front of Danuja where the flurry of cherry blossoms slowly began to settle. Her mother's light began to fade until there was nothing left, and Danuja was alone once more without any time to speak up and ask any questions. But her mind desperately wanted her to shoot up and demand an explanation for whatever that was. Her grey eyes were wide with shock and doubt at the news and mission given to her. She wasn't ready at all. Suddenly the humanity was placed into her palms once more, but this time Danuja wasn't given the tools to do anything. Perhaps the scroll held something inside.
She slowly grabbed the parchment and unraveled the fine paper in her hands. Each word was written in kanji and clearly stated what Danuja had to do. [i You can't do this alone. Find more demigods and team up with them to defeat humanity's new threat. They mustn't refuse. Use force if you have to.]
Alright, that was weirdly specific and foreboding, but the message was received. There were countless of demigods in Japan just sitting around doing nothing in their endless amounts of spare time, but Danuja knew them all too well. Practically any demigod in Asia was quite the lost cause, even the ones in China. [i Use force if necessary], but at what cost. She wasn't about to waste time on any of them.
It was time to travel the world... [i again.] Danuja prepared herself for the journey that was to come, grabbed the essentials and made sure what little power she had left was enough for the first half of the mission. A boat was needed and the dock held many, but where exactly did she even plan ongoing. She didn't even know where to start. And did anyone else even know about this new [i crisis?] She kept the scroll inside her saddle bag just in case and made her way to the local dock. Perhaps waiting until night time would've been the smarter idea, but this seemed really urgent.
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