Xanthe moved out of the shadowed alley into the light. She had been exploring every inch of this place since they first brought her here, and rather than risk any of the buildings being inhabited, she took to sleeping in the alleyways and occasionally basements. She hadn’t seen a soul since the beginning, which was four days ago. Maybe they lied, and I am alone in this place…I guess it means less people to waste time watching.
Jason dashed through the eastern area of the city. The REN had piqued his interest, which was why he had allowed himself to be taken, but he was starting to get over that interest. There was nothing, and no one, everywhere he’d looked. They said there would be others. More ‘special’ people. Whatever that meant. They were probably a bunch of liars working with Chaos to take everyone down. Get the high-ranking officers out of the way, yet keep them alive for entertainment and bragging rights. Pathetic.
Zak knelt in the upper story of an old building that resembled a three story shack. The outside of her building was beat up, the inside was worse, the floor's sagging the staors only half useful and the other half death trap. That's what she liked. She'd hear anyone who'd try and come up the stairs. She peered out of the window, pushing the raggedy curtain aside a to look out. She'd been here for about a month and had neer seen another person. Though Zak wasn't exactly purposefully going out to look for people. She remained kneeling by the window put the let the curtain fall back into place. Zak had been thinking, she still wasn't sure what she was here, or what the REN was. She wanted to figure it out, but couldn't, she'd been trying the whole time she'd ben here!
Sabien walked quickly through the alleys of the east part of town. His hands were shoved in his pockets and he was looking around, he'd caught glimpses of people here a fe wtimes, but the glimpses were so fleeting he wans't sure if he'd imagined it. Sabien didn't actually mind being alone, he wasn't sure why REN had placed him here, but at least with no one around there wasn't any chance of him having one of his...episodes so to speak.
As she walked out into the open, Xanthe noticed movement in the corner of her eye. She tensed up instantly. It was a curtain. There was no breeze in this underground labyrinth, so that meant it was either an animal or a person. She wasn’t alone. Should I disappear, or investigate? I would like to know what threats are present…but do I risk them realizing my presence? She tucked a loose strand of white hair behind her ear. If it came to it, she would just kill the thing. It was that simple. She entered the building through the first floor window.
Jason rounded a corner as he reached top speed. Then, he stopped as abruptly as he possibly could. Another person. An enemy. He doesn’t look like a Naviendan. He looks like…Xperime. Yeah, that’s it. Jason straightened and eyed the new person intently. He shouldn’t kill until he knows what’s going on. This person might know more about the REN.
Zak heard a noise down stairs, she swallowed and looked around the dinghy upstairs loft. There ha dto be somewher eto hide. She moved across the room and opened a door into a tiny room that used to be a bathroom. The marble tub, toilet, and sink were chipped and rust stained, the floor, which were tile was tile was stained and splotched with age. She shut the door softly, the room went dark, she didn't dare try to turn the light on, it probably wouldn't work anyway. She wished the tub had a curtain, but it didn't, there were signs where the curtain had been ripped away for soem reason. Zak pressed her wall against the back wall adn faced the door, her hands and finger shaking at her side.
Sabien saw a man, probably a bit olde rthan he with dark brown hair brushing his ears. He had airy silver colored eyes. Sabien crossed his eyes and spread his legs slightly so the were shoulder width apart. He glared at the man, wondering who this guy was, was he with the REN? Did he know what the REN actually were? He frowned and continued toe glare, stayng quiet adn impassive.
Xanthe looked around the ruined building cautiously. She wasn't stupid enough to advance up the stairs without surveying the lower levels. That's how you get cornered and captured, or killed. Of course, the floors were actively warning of any movement. She heard the footsteps upstairs. She knew she was dealing with a person now. "I know you're here," she said quietly, taking the steps two at a time.
Jason watched the other man carefully, taking note of his unkept hair and impassive stance. Of course, it was strange to take note of the man's hair. It's not like his own was faring so well, at this point. He eyed the enemy from head to toe. He wasn't one of the REN. You could see the same wariness in his eyes. Jason widened his stance. "Are there any more of you?" He said commandingly.
Zak heard the stairs creaking, she took a few step to the bathroom door and tried the lock, it broken, of course. She then back up again, pressing her back to the wall. Her eyes flicked about the small dark room, wishing she could see a weapon. The person was climbing the stair fast, maybe she should go to the top of the stairs and se whoever was coming up, and maybe she could get in a good kick and shove them down teh stairs. No she wouldn't do that, and risk being pulled down the stairs? But it was the only way, she'd be cuaght and cornered her. Zak stared into the blackness of the darkened bathroom, trying to decide what to do.
Sabien didn't like this guy, he as too commanding, probably a military sort though so Sabien couldn't exactly blame him. He listened to the guys question and thought about lying, but then again he had no reason to lie, what could this guy do to him?
"No." Sabien said, he trie dto see if anyone was behind the man, but couldn't tell people could be hiding in the building for all he knew,
"Anyone with you?" he asked his voice cold, calm, and yet dangerous, like it was when he was commanding his guard squad or when he was dealing with rowdy patients.
Xanthe stopped to survey the second floor before continuing on to the third. Now knowing that she would encounter the person, she strode up the stairs at a slower pace. She could sense a hint of fear. That was never good. You corner an afraid person and they become unpredictable. She hated that. So, her only course of action was to calm the person down...be it by their will or hers. She'll try the prior option first. "Hello? Did...did the REN take you, too?" She said, keeping her voice calm and innocent. "Please, is anyone there?"
Jason relaxed his muscles slightly. The man didn't seem to be lying. At least, his body language doesn't seem to indicate it. "No. I have seen no others," he took a second to scan the area and look for any movement to indicate another's presence. Nothing. "Much like yourself, it seems." Jason mounted his staff on his back and shoved his hands into the pockets. If he could show the enemy that he was not a threat, then he could potentially get the other man to relax and spill what he knows. Though, it seemed they were both equally in the dark. He couldn't take the chance, though.
Zak stayed quiet from where she was, she heard a girl's voice call out. She sounded gentle and innocent, but Zak wasn't taking the chance, her muscles tensed, though her fingers were twitching adn trembling. Please, go away! she thought, she didn't want to deal with people, people were hurtful, angry, and untrustworthy. She waited, knowing her hiding place would be discovered soon, ready to launch into a fight if nessicary. Zak stayed perfectly quiet, the situation reminding her of when she wa slittle and would hide in the kitchen cabinets, or in a closet from her parents, they always found her though.
Sabien relaxed his stance slightly to show he wans't going to attack. This guy was probably some sort of element controller, he looked like a Navienda, so this guy probably was very intelligent, maybe not the best at hand to hand combat though. Sabien wasn't going to risk fighting thhouugh, he didn't want to accidently shift, plus this guy might be powerful. He was still studying the man as he thought,
"I'm Sabien." he said, a name was a good thing to start with he guessed., he needed to gain this guy's trust, at least enough to see if the guy had anymore information about the REN and their purpose here.
Xanthe shook her head. Nothing. She was probably going to have to do it the hard way. Well, it would be hard to not cause any permanent damage; it wouldn't be hard to enter the other person's mind. She sighed inwardly. Was this worth the energy? "I'm up the stairs now, and I'm going to start looking around." She said gently. She hoped keeping the other informed of her position, would lower the chance of hostility if they're cornered. She moved loudly through the room, ready to use her ability should it come to that.
Jason was somewhat amused. Exchanging names seemed too normal a thing in this circumstance. Especially considering that had this been any other place, he would've just killed the outsider instantly. Well, as soon as his nationality was confirmed. "I'm Benj--" he cleared his throat. "Jason. I'm Jason." It wasn't any use using that other name. The REN already knew his identity, and should they inform Sabien of it after he stated his name as Benjamin, it would crush any false trust created between them. "Captain of the 3rd Unit in the Navienda lightening division." He saluted out of pure habit and perhaps pride. "Honor to meet you, sir."
Even though neither were in uniform, and they were both from different countries and services Sabien snapped to attention and saluted Jason out of habit too,
"Honor's all mine, sir." he said like he was supposed to, "And it's Sergeant." he added Ex-Sergeant, but whatever, that's irrelevent. He thought. As an 'enlisted' gaurd he didn't go by sir, he went by his ranks, sir adn ma'am were reserved for officers, which wa slike it was in the military too. He then held his hand out, hoping that Jason knew what in his cuntry was called the 'man's handshake' or teh soldier's handsahek'. Which was basiclly a fore-arm grasp.
Zak heard someone moving loudly around in the room outside of the bathroom. Either this person didn't know how to be stealthy, or didn't want to be stealthy. She still didn't move, maybe teh person would give before she found her, maybe she would just go away. That didn't have a high chance of happening though, whoever this person was wouldn't have climbed thos erickety, potentionally deadly stairs fro nothing.
Sabien, out of habit copied Jason movment, snapping to attention and saluting. THe guards of teh instituions were given military training and could be called to active duty on the front lines, so the guards' rank structure was also very simialer to the military and had alot of the same customs. Though he wans't sure of the exact customs of Jaosn's military,
"Honor's all mine. And it's sergeant." he said, as an enlisted guard he was addressed by his rank, only officers were adressed by sir or ma'am. And techniquely he was an ex-guard, but Sabien really didn't care.
Zak heard the person moving loudly in the outer room. She heard her speak again. Zak knew she'd found, it was only a matter of time, just like when she lived with her parents. THis person sounded gentle, but Zak no longer truste dhow people sounded, looked, actually she didn't trust people in general. This is just stupid, she'll find me no matter what. If I leave here I'll have more of a fighting chance. she thought.
Zak slipped to the bathroom door and opened it, stepping out into the big room. She was tense and ready to fight, sh elooked the girl in the room, the one who'd come up the stairs.
The girl was much taller than Zak, making her feel even more childishly small than she was. Zak's muscles were tense, her eyes flashed with a dangerous combination of fear, and desperation. She had that hunted looked about her. Her fingers were shaking and she was trying to still them, this new girl was adefinetly a threat, Zak tensed even more reayd to spring and satrt a fight if the new girl so much as took anotehr step.
Jason, having an odd respect for almost any soldier despite their country, relaxed fully. He always had an awareness of his surroundings, so his guard was always up in a way, but he wasn’t tensed up or on edge. He wasn’t worried. In fact, a smile had appeared on his face. “Of course, sergeant.” He ran a hand through his lengthening hair. “I can guess what’s on both our minds, so let’s get to the point and do a little Intel exchange. The REN. What do you know of it?”
Xanthe turned to see the person. It was not as she expected. She looks like a younger child. Of course, this new information did little to change Xanthe’s opinion on the situation. She did not perceive threats by appearance. She herself was incredibly weak bodied and frail, yet she could take down even the strongest of men. Looks mean nothing. She quickly observed the girl’s manner. The girl was astonishingly tense, with shaking hands and feral eyes. She seemed almost desperate in her terror. Calm her, now. Xanthe slowly moved her left foot back, easing away from the girl. She then lowered herself to a sitting position on the creaky floor, eyes calmly on the girl and hands in her lap. It was a psychological tactic. You get lower than the other to give them a sense of power. “I have no intentions of hurting you. You needn’t be afraid,” she spoke softly. “I am called Xanthe, or Xan. I was taken by the REN, just as I assume you were?”
Sabien dropped his hand reaching up tried to make his mess of curls look more military, but it never did anything he wanted. He thought about the REN for a few moments, trying tp eice toegther the information he knew, eventually he just shrugged,
"DOn't know much, a recruiter came to me and told he had a good job for someone with military training and I agreed. I needed a job so I agreed." he said, "I wa sbrought here at night, in a palne of some sort, but I blind folded so don't really know where we are." he said. It was basiclly all he knew except for a few minor details like the recruiter promising he'd never been found here and could lay low until his little incident blew over. Sabien didn't think those details nessicary and didn't want to disclose them.
Xanthe. Zak repeated in her head, trying to figure out this girl's nationality. She didn't look like she came from Chaos, though Zak couldn't be sure. The girl sat down and spoke calmly. Zak watched her still tense, her desprate and fearful. Xan said she wans't going to hurt her, how could Zak be sure though? What if she was lying? Zak backed up so she standing as far away from Xan as possible. She swallowed, last time she'd interacted with someone it had landed her here. Zak still wasn't sur eof that was a good or bad thing. She leaned against the wall and shoved her hands in her pockets, trying to relax and stop them form shaking. The girl was too close to the stairs for Zak to be able to make a run for it, she may as well cooperate a bit, hopefully the girl wouldn't get mad,
"I'm Zak." she muttered, she wasn't sure how to answer the question, she'd short of been threaned into coming willingly with the REN, which made no sense at all in her head.
Jason let out a deep sigh. He was right. “Looks like we’re both equally in the dark, then. ‘Cept I was approached a little more…hostilely. They told me about a special military unit formed by people of all three countries and asked me to join. I refused, and I’m pretty sure they ended up knocking me out cold. I woke up on a street 23 blocks over. That was two weeks ago… The memory itself is a bit sketchy,” he explained. Now that Sabien has proven himself useless as an informant, Jason had the choice to kill him. Eh…I’ll leave him be, for now. Xperime isn’t as horrendous as Chaos.
Xanthe didn’t move as the other girl backed against the wall. She put on a small, reassuring smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Zak. What country are you from? I’m Xperime. From the part that isn’t as involved in the war.” All this talking was certainly out of place for Xanthe. But she had to calm Zak down, and she didn’t want to risk the freak out that usually occurs when she enters another’s mind. So, as of now, talking it is.
Xan seemed nice, but Zak's suspicious nature and her past expeirences refused to allow her to trust the girl fully, or at all. She wondered if she shouldstated her country of origin, most people hated Chaos though becuase of their violent ruthless tendencies. Maybe it'd scare the girl away though if she said she was from Chaos, it was worth a shot,
"Chaos." she said in response, she still wans't calm or relaxed, she didn't just relax around people, it was stupid and dangerous to be relaxed.
Sabien nodded, it hadn't taken to much convincing to get him to agree to come here, they'd pretty much offered him a job and a safe haven and he'd agreed. He hadn't really thought about, but now he wans't sure if it had been teh brightest ide ato except, he'd been thrown into what looked like a ghost town and had only come across one person, and that person from a different country. This place had better not be some game or sick joke...he thought looking around,
Xanthe smiled an actual, genuine smile. The girl had plenty of scars, but she didn’t particularly look as though she came from Chaos. Xan had thought that she might’ve been a lab rat like herself, just with a less…skilled, experimentist. She laughed. “Chaos, huh? Nice. I root for ‘em against Navienda,” she said honestly. “Have you learned a fighting discipline?”
“I still have half the city to search for other people,” Jason said, as he retrieved his staff. “Better get going…” He started walking past Sabien. This is the only person you’ve seen thus far. It might be worth it to keep a general location on him at all times…so the easiest way to do that? He paused and glanced back at the man. “You’re free to join me, if you don’t have anything better to do. Unless you’re more of a lone soldier.”
Zak frowned,she'd never techniquelu been given a 'fightng dicipline'. But her best on was martial arts and then knife-manship. Zak wondered what she should tell Xan, probablt martial arts, she had no knife with her, so knife-manship wouldn't be believable.
"Martial arts." she said stiffly. and still stayed tense and backed up against the wall, her eyes still had the hunted animalistic look in them, she was just answering and hopefully would catch Xan off guard enough to be bale to make a dash for it.
Sabien shrugged, whatever, he could follow this guy around he guessed. At leats keep an eye on him so he couldn't be snuck up on and killed by this guy. The thought made him sound paranoid to himself, but he didn't care. This place gave him the creeps, REn gave him the creeps. The whole situation was just odd.
“You must be stronger than you look, then.” Xan mused. She was getting a little tired of playing the sweet, innocent, trustworthy act. She decided to gradually move out of it. Or maybe not so gradually. There was an obvious change in the room’s aura as her power traveled through it. A few strands of hair fell to cover her eyes and she involuntarily gained a darker look. “You want to catch me off guard so you can dash down the stairs and out the door,” she whispered, rising to her feet. “If I had wanted to hurt you, I would’ve already done so. But, if you want to dash out there and risk finding someone a little less friendly, be my guest. I won’t stop you.”
Jason shrugged nonchalantly back at him. Then he started running again. Not anywhere near full speed, but it was still running. He scanned the alleyways, building windows, and street corners as he passed them. He would continue this for about 7 blocks before stopping for a breath.
Zak's eyes widened, she stared at Xan, how had she done that? Was she a mind reader. She then glared angrily, this girl had no right to go into her mind! Her hands shookw ith anger, and now the feeling that she was in danger and being threatened was very prominent in her mind. On a quick, not thought through decision Zak flew at Xan, her hands clenched into fists, she kicked the girl in the knee and punched towards the girl's stomach.
Sabien sprinted to catch up with Jason and then stopped as the guy caught his breath. Well this doesn't seem very thought out, just run around until you find someone. he thought, but he didn't say anything. He just waited, his arms crossed on his chest, watching.