ARPers: Winter_Cherry (Al, Shiba, and Argeno)
"Real wood?" Daniel gasped. He hadn't laid hands on a real wooden pencil in a while - he was too lazy to go to town on most days, so the duty was left to his roommate, a Scribz named Jim. Jim only ever bought mechanical pencils, saying they were more precise, so there was rarely a bonafied Ticonderoga around. Thanking Argeno profusely, he started to draw again. He didn't like to draw with others around - it made him feel self-conscious and antisocial - but it was either that or be jumpy and nervy until he could get out of the truck. He began to doodle aimlessly on his sticky notes, wondering if he should be trying to make conversation. He was about to make some sort of passing remark about the weather that would have made him sound utterly backwards when Shiba screamed, "Kari! Kari!" and the car jerked slightly to the left.
"What's the matter?" Daniel asked, confused. At the same time, Shiba was talking, saying something about Grant's Pass. The name rung a faint, rusty bell in Daniel's mind, but he couldn't place it. He leaned forward. "What on earth are you people talking about?"
Ambiguous WAE Base
ARPers: Sabi (Acursio), Winter (Nova and Ryza), and narphoenix (Michael)
Teri remained impassive as Acursio mulled over her request. Finally, he said, “You may. Do be careful, the younger the age, the more weapons they have at hand. You may be dismissed.”
Teri suppressed a thrill of excitement, forcing herself to nod seriously in affirmation to Acursio's warning. This would be the most intriguing challenge of her life if she succeeded, but the thing that broke her if she failed. She was about to turn and walk out of the room when she heard Ryza speaking to her in a venomous, cold voice, advising her to drop her confidence because it led to bad things. How sick she was of the WAE thinking they could control others. Blah blah blah; it was nothing Teri hadn't heard before. She thought about making a ripping remark, but she didn't think that Acursio would take particularly kindly to that. Toning it down to a level that was just barely pushing what she assumed was Acursio's tolerance, she said, "Thanks for the tip, sweetheart." With that, she walked out of the room.
She gave orders for Mikulak to be escorted into one of the interrogation rooms, then walked toward the appropriate wing. The escort had beaten her there, but he was still hanging around when Theresa arrived. 'Room #44,' he'd told her, and she followed the numbers, breezing in as if she was going to be interrogating a frightened, elderly Paletz. The kid was sitting on the nearest chair, his back turned. A sort of shortened muzzle-like apparatus sat on the floor; when attached its purpose was to keep Mikulak's mouth shut. But in Teri's experience trying to interrogate a mute was a pretty pointless way to spend time.
Teri took the chair opposite Mikulak, pausing to examine his features before she decided how she wanted to proceed. He was just a kid, twelve at the most. He was tiny, too; his prison jumpsuit was baggy on him and the cuffs on his wrists were just barely tight enough to keep him from slipping his bony wrists free. His dark hair was a wild mess. His dark eyes seemed hollow, like he wasn't all there, but Teri knew better than to take any of this child's tricks at face value.
"Hello, Michael," said Theresa in a more or less pleasant voice. "My name, as you may have heard or presumed on your own, is Theresa Maverick. Listen, Michael, I think we both know that there's no point in opening with false pleasantries?"
Highway 5, USA
ARPers: Sabi (Amiel) and narphoenix (Doc)
Simon decided to make himself useful while the two strangers talked - or stared at each other, or whatever the heck they thought they were doing. He walked into the gas station, which someone had been considerate enough to not board up. He walked through the dusty, dimly lit interior, hoping to find some tools. Much to his chagrin, however, he could only find several bags of beef jerky and a package of old, probably expired batteries. He took the jerky and left the batteries, hoping he would get a chance to eat the jerky soon. He was still upset about missing that delicious bread.
Without further ado, Simon walked back to the others, ready to do... something. He had only been standing for a second when something flew at him from the side. Simon caught it, finding out that it was a set of car keys. Simon looked up at the lab-coated man in confusion.
"Listen up," said the man sternly. "I am giving you the keys to the car that is now MINE. You are going to follow that motorcycle all the way to Grant's Pass, Oregon. You are going to drive this truck, after I put your motorcycle in, of course, with such precision that a chauffeur would be jealous, because if we or this truck dies, I swear I will kill you. Am I clear?"
Simon was a little startled, and a small part of him resented being given orders like this, but this was a good way to get himself a ride, so he nodded his assent. He would need it if he was going to go to...
Seattle! Hellfire, I forgot about Seattle!
Simon sighed. He didn't want to just abandon a lead about the mysterious Deviant whose Sona was the superweapon, but all things considered his chances of survival were better around masses of Deviants. Besides, pursuing rumors and whispers into one of the rainiest cities on the planet sounded a little less appealing than hanging around fellow Deviants for once. So he climbed into the driver's seat, starting up the car and following the girl on the motorcycle. He had driven a car exactly once - he found it was a lot easier and quicker to dodge WAE on a motorcycle, which was far less cumbersome than a car - but he remembered a lot, and he was pretty darn good at operating machines. After a minute or so, Simon asked the man in the passenger seat, "So, if you don't mind me asking, who are you, and who was she?"
ARPers: Sabi, Winter, Nar, etc. You know the drill people!
Cyrus waited for the mammal to return, faintly concerned about Daniel. What was he doing now? He could sense calm from his Deviant. Calm. And Cyrus had run off most of his adrenaline from the fight... He was pretty calm, too. Maybe this would be a good time to contact him. Cyrus's black-and-orange eyes closed in focus, but it was no good. Cyrus's words bounced off of his Deviant's mind like water off of a duck's feathers. It's just no good, he thought miserably. Then he sighed, shaking himself angrily. Now was no time for self-pity. There was never a time for self-pity.
He found himself looking into the water-woman's ocean blue eyes, his gaze riveted by the color. There was something familiar about the kindness in those large blue pools but Cyrus would be damned if he could pin it down. He was so scatterbrained of late that he really couldn't keep track of mostly anything, and most of his remembering was done by accident. So he just let himself stare into that rich hue. Suddenly he was transported into another time, another place.
Deafening sound. Dazzling color. Everything was moving about, everything was shifting. Rocks were flying out from the land and into the ether, replaced almost immediately by new ground. The sky turned to a dazzling, rushing blitz of colors and noise - mostly blue, mingled with blacks and whites, like a glowing, neverending ocean. The edge of Nexen. The unbridgeable gap between it and the humans' reality.
Then the moment was gone and Cyrus was thrown into monochromacy again. He looked up to see the mammal returning; he was saying something about a 'Grant's Pass.' Nothing that concerned Cyrus; probably nothing that concerned Daniel. However, after that, 'V' the gargoyle did the unexpected - revealing herself as the former WAE super-weapon. Immediately the shrieking water-woman and the girl with the tattoo cried out with shock.
Cyrus twitched his ears. He wasn't the least bit surprised at the gargoyle's dramatic revelation. He was, however, a bit surprised at the others' shock - but then again, they'd never had the honor of meeting this gargoyle before, whereas Cyrus had certainly seen her. Her grand escape had provided the Lumanx enough of a distraction to escape the WAE who'd been holding him. As soon as Cyrus could get the dragon alone, he'd thank her. In the meanwhile, another conundrum was bothering him. That woman really was familiar. Maybe he should ask Daniel, if he could, where-slash-if he'd seen her.
Energy Sona, now in convenient feline form
ARPers: The Antivity-thwarters
Fury's ears twitched with surprise as she heard the gargoyle claim to be the Sona who'd been WAE, but had thrown off her chains of anti-creativity. She knew that Domini had suspected as much, but she hadn't expected it to be the truth.
I bet he'd love to know that, Fury thought wryly. Unfortunately for Domini, however, it wasn't information that Fury was going to divulge.
The Immortal rose to her paws. Looking into the gargoyle's eyes, she could suddenly believe that this Sona was powerful enough to escape from anything - even the WAE. A desperate hope suddenly flared in her chest: could a human, once a Deviant, become free from the WAE as well? She wanted it to be true more than she'd ever wanted anything. She gave the gargoyle time to address the blue sphere who'd in turn addressed her before stepping forward.
"You say you've escaped from the WAE," Fury sounded very bold for a common housecat who was addressing a monstrously big metal dragon. "So tell me, could a human do it? Could a human break free from them - or is such a thing hopeless?"
Stalking those in Umecite.
ARPers: Anyone with sharp eyes and ears.
Katherine had been obedient to her WAE and had continued to listen in on the Sonas' conversation, flying down to the ground while the great metal dragon had been distracted and skulking in the shadows of an alleyway to listen in. And so she, too, heard the dragon 'V' reveal her true identity: the Sona who had escaped the WAE. Katherine reached out for her WAE immediately, revealing to her what she had guessed the whole time. Then Katherine slipped farther into the darkness of the alley, hoping to pick up other useful tidbits.
ARPers: Winter (Aerys and Thirteen)
The Engineer returned to his forge, satisfied that his sentinels would monitor those two travelers and report any problems back to him. However, the huge griffon barely had time to start stoking his smelting-fire when he heard Lancel's voice.
"Chemilo is back, and he brought two Sonas with him!" the little boy cried.
The Engineer blinked with shock. What was Chemilo thinking, bringing two strangers here when they were so close to Velvod? Maybe they were the two Sonas from the tunnels. The Engineer thanked Lancel for bringing him the news before heading out to greet the Sonas. Chemilo was leading them across the plain, looking very subdued. From this distance, The Engineer could see two humanesque shapes. He walked toward them slowly, his eyes narrowed in suspicion. The two humanoids didn't look WAE-ish, but it was hard to be to careful.
"Greetings," The Engineer said coolly in his deep voice. "I am The Engineer, the smith of this village. Do you walk with peaceful purpose - and are you WAE, or are you true Sonas?"