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{Into the depths below} fin

By Mr-X

Story thus far

The rebellion against the matriarch was successful, although with it came the reveal that humanity is on the brink of a growing food shortage. Face with humanity facing another threat of dying off from mass starvation, and the inhospitable terrain outside the city. Humanity's only option is to go below and scavenge outside for humanity's final hope.



Marcus Aurelius Thorn


Swayer Lyric Barlow

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Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

[I How is it that we're always bumping into each other. Despite the fact that we completely find each others company loathsome?] It was a playful jest that came out the mouth of the rigid man as he stood in the hallways of the newly constructed presidents mansion. Even though he was no longer the right hand man of the dictatorship, he found that he was still playing it close to those in power. For the past four years, He'd his successor and creating a security team. (A rather refreshing change of pace for one who was formerly in the spotlight.) Democracy was fragile, and even though many improvements had been made in the pass years since the rebels attack, it still didnt change the fact that they'll always be those vying for power. And that people were still hesitant to trust this new "democracy" A reminder that Marcus wore on his face.

It hadn't been long after Maria had became the new president that it happen. Another soul was consumed by the fires of the pass. When old wounds continue to fester and grow theres no telling what'll happen or who the blood would spill our on. It came out of seemingly nowhere, a group of people who were aiming specifically to kill the new president. Rumors had spread that despite the fact that the rebels had been at the forefront of making sure that the election was fair and the people's voices could be heard it was all a conspiracy. That as long as Marcus "Black" was around he was manipulating the new president That once again the people were being decievednbynthe treacherous tactician. Afterall how could the second in command be so willing to give up his right and power to rule?

It was a knife attack that he should've seen coming. But, he'd grown soft and he ended up getting slash from his cheek down to his throat. That was when his instincts kicked back in. Thar was when he efficiently became the killing machine people feared him to be. Likewise, that was when he decided that he would fade into the back ground and be the one to create the security team. Now, he worked in the shadows. Training and preparing those whom he trusted to protect the future leaders of democracy and freedom. Whilst this was going on he'd been consulting with his old friend preparing for the exploration out of the city and into the unknown. There was much to get done, and after the four years it had come. Maria only had one more year left in office, it was decided that the president would have half a decade to remain in power. They were still kinks and things in the system they had to work out, but never the last they were getting better and improving with each year.

Looking at the girl whom once upon a time had been his enemy, he let out a low whistle. She'd grown to be quite the attractive women. Having done well with herself, not to mention that her father-who was one of the wealthiest people in the city-wide always making sure she was doing alright. He'd had half expected her to live in the lap of luxury and take a break.. She'd done an entire life time of work in such a short time. Not only that, but inside of her was proven that her blood was immune to the toxins that the outside world possessed. So Marcus was sure that she had grown tired of the many scientist that tried to harass her and see if she'd be a live guinean pig. Along with that, there was still the eventual into the unknown that Marcus and Barett were insisting she'd go on. Originally, it had been play for thre years ago. But with the certain adjustments made, they were able to slow down the food crisis. But that still didnt mean that it was fully averted at all.

[I "Any rate, its nice to see you'll still around kicking. The dates been set, as soon as winter ends in the next two months, were setting out. Sixty days to prepare. I hope you've finally decide to join us into the unknown."]
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

The time following the election had been... interesting for Lyric... or Sawyer. After years of going by her “surname” while in the ranks of the rebellion, and people in the upper ranks calling her Sawyer because of her connection to Jonathan, the woman did not really care either way. She would respond to either, there was not much of a preference. She was still the same person and after Maria came into office, that person spent a great deal of time trying to decide whether or not she wanted to just fade into the background or not. Which, she did try to some extent, but it was never fully allowed, not with her being hounded by scientists and doctors. And on top it there were the reporters and tabloid writers that threw a target on her head. Jonathan Barlow having a long-lost daughter who was drafted into the resistance and captured by the government was one hell of a story. And that did not even account for those who wanted to try and get a look into the life of the elusive Marcus Black. So, needless to say, her life was a hectic one for a long time. However, through it all she was able to build a relationship with her father. She decided against living with him, opting to keep her independence, but she did visit often. He was a good person, despite being filthy rich.

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

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

Straight to what he wanted, so like him. The dark eyed woman let silence fall after that, mentally debating whether she should finally let him in the loop. It might be fun to turn down the offer and see what he gets up to in those remaining couple of months to try and change her mind, but in the end, she decided against it. He was the sadistic one, not her... though that didn’t mean she couldn’t dance around it just a little first. [+teal “The decision’s already been made, has been for a while now.”] She stared directly at him, face not betraying any leaning one way or the other.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

For a moment there was nothing but silence between the two. He studied her for a moment trying to see if her emotions could betray whether or not what she said would work out in his favour. Afterall, he knew that she and Barret spent quite some time together and talking. It was only natural since she'd been helping with the food distribution. Other than that there was nothing to be known whether the answer would be a yes or a no. Before he could linger a moment longer dechiphering her answer, he felt a tap on his shoulders and he suddenly turned around to look at the bright eyes of the young boy who stood before him. Perhaps "boy" wasnt a right way to describe him since he was only a year or so younger than Swayer. He had a rather strong build and a sharp wit about him. Giving a wave to the young lady behind Nlack he gave her a grin before returning back to Marcus.

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

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

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

Cutting hin off, the male excitedly reached out his hands towards the female before smiling. [i "I'm Luke. Marcus has been training me to be the head of security for our president. Also, thank you for all your hard work. It's really appreciated around here since y'know cant really survive without food."] He joked with her smiling.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

She could tell he was thinking, desperately trying to discern and draw any sort of conclusion from her, just from the look on his face. Sawyer debated whether she should just let the poor man in on her secret. She had come this far already, so she might as well. However, before she could open her mouth to do so, someone else popped up. The face was vaguely familiar, as in she had seen the guy around before, but she was half certain they had never been introduced. Though, it was soon apparent that he knew her, even if she couldn’t say the same.

He was nice enough though, so she smiled back. [+teal “No, no he doesn’t.”] Dark eyes flickered to Marcus with amusement. She knew from experience he didn’t pull punches and no doubt Luke here was the same. So, she gave him a polite nod and turned back to the older man she had been talking with before, as it seemed he had something else to say. She smiled as he gave his spiel, looking for a time to cut in and correct him, but as he went to ask something Luke decided it a fine time for an introduction. Her smile became more begrudging at that point, but she managed to keep it on her face as she took his extended hand to shake. [+teal “It is nice to meet you. I am sure if Marcus is training you then President Maria and her successor will have nothing to worry about.”] It was niceties, but Luke hadn’t really done anything wrong, besides be a little rude, so there wasn’t much point in holding it against him. She had forgiven worse. [+teal “Yeah, going into it I always saw our food resources as one of the most pressing issues we are facing. Not to say all the rest of humanity’s problems pale in comparison, but as you said you can’t survive without food.”] Or water for that matter, but that was slightly more under control than the food shortage. Though, even that was stabilizing now that they had been putting more of a focus on it. They weren’t out of the woods yet, but things were getting better. [+teal “That being said, it does seem like there is someplace I am needed more. So here in the near future I will be temporarily changing gears. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.”] It was tempting to give Marcus another look, she wanted to see the expression on his face, but she also didn’t want to seem overly interested. The last thing she needed was rumors flying around, because Luke here seemed the chatty type.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

[i Changing gears?] Was that a hint to suggest that she had actually decide to.join them on the exploration outside of these walls? It wasn't something that Marcus would dare hope to count on. Nevertheless, he gave her a brief smile before grabbing Luke behind the neck. Instantly he stood up and as he felt those fingers squeeze into his neck he gave a grimace acting as if the simple act was hurting him. When it was simply reminding him that sometimes, he shouldn't get to comfortable around peopl he just met. Still, the two were indeed polar opposites. It was as clear as day that the twere as opposite as Yin and Yang. Still, they were able to work together to complete a common goal once they're mind was set to it. Giving Lyric a slight bow of his head, the Thorn smiled at her before simply speaking. [b "Well than, whatever it is you have planned for the future. I wish you luck. I sincerely do."] There was no hint if sarcasm in his voice. It was a serious moment. He did wish her the best of luck for the future which laid ahead. Seeing as fate was always twisting and turning and unforeseen by mortal eyes.

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

To that Marcus had his doubts. Meanwhile Luke said nothing taking everything in silently and respecting the heaviness of the situation. Turning towards him, Marcus slowly smiled before shooing him. This was going to be quite a long talk and he was sure that a young boy like him had better things to do than spend his time talking politics. Plus, Luke Fairway had his favorite place to run off to whenever he'd time and that was the gun range. With his pistol by his side, he was easily one of the deadliest and sharpest shooter Blacks seen. Even those which formerly been in the rebellion that joined the new protection squad were envious of his skills.. Thus. Like had a small class he taught on his off days. He wouldn't miss it for the world.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

It was difficult to stifle her laughter at the face Luke made. He was not subtle and the contrast between his mild panic and Marcus’ serenity was hilarious. Still, she managed to keep most of it in, only letting out one airy breath that might be considered a laugh if either of them was paying close enough attention.

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

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

After some aimless wandering, both on foot and newly established public transport, the teal haired woman wound up at Barrett’s place. She was not even sure he was there at the moment, but that was where she went. By some dumb luck, he happened to be there, which was good since she went ahead and let herself in. The man was pretty used to it at this point, and greeted her as usual even though he was not expecting a visit. Despite there being plenty else to talk about, Lyric ended up complaining. Mainly about how dense his friend Marcus Thorn was. Barrett stood up for him some, though mainly just laughed at the woman’s antics. He knew her criticism was all in good fun.
Mr-XBarret Wallace   2y ago

[i "Yeah. That sure does sound like Marcus. I tell ya. That man can have a one track mind for days. Its absolutely crazy how much he misses out on when it comes to social cues. Bit, thata what you get for constantly overanalyzing. Though, I'm starting to feel like I'm becoming a Marcus 2.2 What, with me pouring over all these underground maps that were hand drawn. They're so damn old and ancient that the language and writing sometimes doesnt even make no sense. It's hard translating then. Ah well, that's enough o' that! This is suppose to be our fun time!"]

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

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

Above the city was cave like ceiling. Yet, the city was design in a somewhat modern fashion despite it being under ground. A numerous buildings spanned the pages and far off in the distance was a wheel which wires of some sort attached to it. It looked to be some sort of power wheel of sorts. [i "I'm thinking that when.. the world ended several hundred years ago our ancestors when underground. It look like that where able to sustain themselves for years and years before our former tyrant establish this little city. If they're still there. Than maybe, just maybe, they can help share with us the secret of ending this food crisis that's facing our civilization. Or maybe, they can give us another way of fighting the toxic wasteland that exist far beyond our borders. I had long theorize that any toxic plant can be made nontoxic with pure water and soil. I've proven it to a small extent here.. so imagine if somehow, there was an underground river with clean water. If we could somehow use it to purify the upper lands than humanity might be able to once again spread throughout the far corners of the world like our ancestors did long ago.. do you think I'm crazy to dream like this?"] He asked her.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

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

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

In all her murmurings about this, Sawyer had managed to avoid his question. She put an end to that now. [+teal “Overly optimistic, perhaps, but crazy, no…. dreamers like you are necessary if we ever want to make any progress. There has to be hope.”] After all her time in the rebellion, grasping onto nothing but the chance that things [i might] get better, she was confident that this was the truth. No hope meant no action, and no action meant humanity would stagnate into its own decline.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

As she spoke on her skepticism Barrett nodded his head in agreement with her. Closing his eyes he rubbed his chin thoroughly before murmuring. "Plants, specifically Trees, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the hair. If enough trees where planted down below, it is reasonable that they'd have a renewable source of oxygen as long as they kept the population to a low. I've been experimenting with taking the oxygen produce by plants and concentration it into breathing apparatuses." With the last part the Male was doing more thinking aloud than he was conversing with her. Clapping his hands together, he let out a sigh before he looked at his friend and spoke softly. "So, where were we? Talking about how much of a clueless fuck my buddy was right?" He grinned even though right now he was desperate for another break.
[center-*-]

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

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

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

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

Casting his head downward Thorn spoke softly "Because he asked me to."
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

While that bit about plants creating oxygen was true, the fact that they needed light was also important. But hell, for all Lyric knew these people could have set up some sort of artificial light source strong enough to keep the vegetation alive enough to provide them with air. It seemed like a bit of a long shot, since that would take a lot of power, but she didn’t want to rain on Barrett’s parade. Besides, what was the use trying to debunk it when they had no idea what sort of tech these people might have had? They could be using something beyond their wildest imaginings that changed the game entirely. There were too many unknowns to say anything for sure, so she let her friend hope. He moved the topic along soon anyway; it was back to giving Black shit for the time being, an activity that she found could only be made better if the man himself was present. Overall, it made for a nice visit before she decided it best to be off for the night.

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

After everything was said and done, it was kind of nice. Not that she cared for more responsibility with everything that was already on her plate, but Lyric had never met anyone else like her. And now that she knew who Ryan really was, the son of the Kyles, they had more to talk about than the times they had met before the uprising. They were getting closer. Which was why she too kept Ryan’s intermittent returns from his search a secret from his parents. That was what he wanted and, at least for the time being, she would honor that.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

[#37a462 [i "I m giving you a top secret mission that I can only entrust to you. Mostly because you've been immune to the toxins.. Your my Left hand man, so therefore I know that I can trust you with this extremely important task. Out there, beyond the wilderness, is my home. Long ago, there was a civil war that broke out. A fraction between two families. The Thorne's and the Branches. You see, we lived in a society govern by religious superstitions and fear.. ] ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

The real reason why Ryan wanted to stay away from his parents was the fact that he looked and sounded like he was still 14 years old. Despite not seeing his parents for nearly 19 years, he hadn't age a bit. And as the boyish male looked at his counterpart he wonder how seriously she'd take him. Digging into his pocket, he pulled out a small crystal wrapped in a pitch black cloth. Of course, it was impossible to tell it was a crystal underneath the cloth but yeah it was. [b "I brought proof that I've been underground. But before you come in closer, I need you to close your eyes and cover them with you hands. Least you go blind from the brightness of this crystal."] He spoke to her softly wanting to show her what he'd discovered before continuing on they're conversations any further.
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

No matter how much time she spent out here, which to be fair wasn’t much, Sawyer never really got over the feeling of being so far removed from society. Back home, at least in the lower levels she hailed from, there was always someone nearby. Never a moment’s peace without someone shouting about something or making some sort of fuss. But out here, out here it was eerily quiet. At least in a way that was devoid of human life. There were other sounds, the kinds you find in nature. Or what nature had become since everything turned toxic, but either way it was strange to her. As she walked alone, she hoped things would be different on the expedition since the others would be with her.

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

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

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

Onyx eyes watching as his hand went to his pocket; she wondered what he was after and was surprised to see him retrieve a cloth. After that he spouted off something about closing her eyes. He framed it as proof, but it seemed odd to her. [+teal “Weird trust exercise, but okay.”] Sawyer couldn’t help the quip before following his instruction and covering her eyes. In reality, she wasn’t worried about him attacking her or anything like that. If this guy really was Lillie’s left hand as she claimed, he wouldn’t touch her. She still remembered the time Marcus had gotten in trouble for stepping out of line that way. Though maybe the rules with Parker were different, since he was the same as her… and now that his old boss was gone... Either way, Lyric didn’t dwell on it.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

[b "Good. I must warn you, this crystal is extreme bright."] Words weren't able to properly convery how bright it truly was. Down below they had shaded glasses which helped those who mined the crystal not go blind. So as be put on his own pair, he exhaled before he unwrapped the bright crystal and exposed its light to the world. Its brightness shone and could've been seen from miles and miles away. Like a homing beacon in the dark, lifting it upwards he watched as the light radiated and shone down on both of them. Surely, even with her eyes closed she'd be able to see the brightness shine through. He was insured whether it'd be enough to blind her. Yet, he'd rather not take any chances exposing her to it any longer than he'd had to. Wrapping the crystal back up, he spoke to her again. [b "You can uncover your eyes now. This, this crystal is what they use to create an artificial sun of sorts down below. They've manage to mine it and use it to make plants grow."]

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

[b "These journals contain detail maps of my journey throughout the underground. But more importantly, I'm curious. What's happen in my absence. I've planned on returning.... I know that we were suppose to meet sooner but certain thinks kept me from making it."] He spoke those words again softly before he looked at the girl and once more that bitter look grew on his face once more. He resent how he looked like a child and wish for more than anything that he'd grow.
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Despite her eyes being shut tight, she could tell the world around her had become excessively bright. It was an odd feeling, as though someone had brought a flashlight right up to her eye as she was trying to sleep, but still not quite. This was more foreign than that. Normally light came with warmth, however, this had none. It was a cold brilliance, one that did not linger on her skin as the sun might. Lyric was unsure how she felt about it. That being said, it was strange to judge something without having seen it. She grew curious, but was sure to keep her eyes closed until she was given the okay to open them again. Even after having them shut, white spots temporarily danced across her vision.

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

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

[+teal “Things are… different.”] She tread lightly, even though she saw everything she was about to say in a positive light that didn’t mean he would. [+teal “Around four years ago the rebellion that had been growing in the lower levels rose up. They didn’t entirely take power, but they forced Lillie’s hand into cooperation, at least for a moment… she died shortly after that.”] Sure, when she said it like that it kind of sounded like an assassination, but she only wished that had been the case. Still, she watched his expression carefully here since she was unsure of his opinion of his previous boss. Lyric found it was difficult to read his youthful face and pressed on despite it. [+teal “She set to leave Marcus Thorne in charge as the next supreme, however he quickly stepped down in lieu of a more democratic option. After a carefully monitored election, Maria Kyle was named president. And under her, things are getting better.”] She would leave it at that unless he wanted more precise details. But really it was more that humanity had been brought together to survive as a unit, as opposed to letting the few thrive while the rest shrivel away. [+teal “She has about another year in office before the process renews itself.”] The dark eyed woman kind of dreaded having to go through the whole process again, but such was the price of progress.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

[b "Lilly died..."]
Those words echoed in the distance between them as he stood there. His face had a look on it as if he were frozen in disbelief. It seemed almost improbable that such a vicious and vivacious woman would suddenly die. Moreso, before her goal was realize which was to be reunited with her home after training Marcus to be a successful ruler. It seemed as though the plan to do so ended to going to ruin. Yet, the even more shocking twist was that now his very own Mother was the one who was holding the keys to the city. At least the silver line was that democracy had been establish. He wonder if fairness was something that had come about as well. Or was humanity still quick to discriminate and assume that those from the lower crust were unable to ascend to greater heights? Those in the rebellion prove that such notions were wrong still. Stepping forward, he slowly closed his eyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blinking Marcus looked at him. "Why would I want to kill her?" He asked
[i "Because, in order to force you to step down from the military Police, she had me tell the rebels ambush you."]
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

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

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

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

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

[+teal “You were right.”] Her opening statement was vague at best. But considering how serendipitous it was that his crazy hunch turned out to correct, Sawyer was okay in letting him sit in suspense for just a little while. Or at least for as long as it took for her to wiggle the journal out of her pocket and take out the crystal. She didn’t want him blinding the two of them on accident. [+teal “I met with someone who has been to the underground. They’ve lived in that city you were imagining. Here, this has all sorts of details for you.”] Stepping forward to his desk, she offered the book to him, keeping the gem herself for the time being. Lyric would spring that on him after he had a chance to read through some of what was written in there.
Mr-XBarret Wallace   2y ago

He’d just doze off for felt like a second. The daily ins and out of working on this “project” had a habit of making him tired at times. So, when Sawyer had come in barging in, he found himself taking a little tumble from his chair. That was surely enough to wake him though. Shaking his head from side to side and giving himself a little pat, he blinked once and then twice. Taking a moment or two to get orientated he heard her words but processing them was a whole different thing. It wasn’t till she brought the journal which he’d never seen before his face lit up. Like a little kid getting his favorite toy for Christmas, Barret eagerly accepted the gift before giving her a huge smirk. [b “I’ll be.”] His voice came out softly, as if, as if he didn’t want to believe it to be true. Taking the leather-bound books, he slowly started flipping through it before turning and looking up at the girl. This! This was the clue which could potential lead to saving the people who were now inevitably facing extinction once more.

Opening the book, he started flipping through the pages. Detail drawings of underground cities and descriptions of mechanism and machinery. Facial features flickered from incredulous, to giddy, back to concerning, and back once more to normal. For a moment he forgot that friend was sitting across from him. Hazel eyes stared into the eyes of his friends before he allowed a moment to compose himself. He was never one to toot his own horn, yet he as if the desire to do so was almost overwhelming. He was above that of course. Afterall more pressing concerns were of the matter besides him being immature and gloating over the fact that he was right. [b “So, who was this guy you met?”] he asked looking at her with those eyes. [b “Was it Ryan?”]

He had a feeling that it was even without her telling him. Which made him more uneasy. Hopefully the loose cannon didn’t decide to overreact after learning the fate of their once “beloved” ruler. If so the only thing which would come back was a burning shit show and disaster. One of potentially catastrophic proportions. There was a reason as to why Black wanted to find Ryan, the reason going back years and years ago. It had been right after the ambush, when Barret found Marcus. The shape he was in was horrific not to mention that the dead rebels that laid around him gave him a rather bad hunch.

[i “Marcus! Marcus, come on buddy, don’t you die on me. Don’t you die!”]
[i His screams came out frantically before he heard sirens wailing in the distance. He’d done his best to administer first aid but his old military buddy was in horrific shape. Bordering between the line between alive of dead he had a sickening feeling that he’d be burying him soon. “Where’s the goddamn Medic!” Where’s the fucking Goddamn Medic!”]

[b “Sawyer, we need to go right now.”] The normal Jovial expression which was on his face suddenly turned dark. But before he had a chance to say anything, his phone suddenly rang. Answering it, he paused listening to the voice on the other in. Nodding his head once then again, he nodded before sighing. [b “Okay Marcus, see ya in thirty.”]
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

It was satisfying to see Barret so elated. He often had his little breakthroughs it seemed, but they were getting fewer and farther between as they approached the natural limitations set by the barriers they lived in. This journal though, it was massive. This was validation of everything he’d worked toward and Lyric was happy for him, even if she caught the brief glint of smugness in his eye when he glanced over at her. He could have this one, she wouldn’t even complain.

Then came the question, or questions. The first being who she met with. Her orders were unclear if she was supposed to divulge that particular bit of information, so she began to shrug, but there wasn’t time to complete the gesture before he guessed. Somehow he managed to hit the nail squarely on the head. Mouth dropping as if to ask how he could have possibly known that, nothing came out. Her expression would be enough of a confirmation though. Or it would have been if he had noticed it. Her dark eyes caught a far off look in his gaze. Head tilting slightly, she wondered just where it took him. The urgency in his voice as he popped back to reality revealed it was no place good.

[b “Yeah, sure, let’s g-“] she was unable to finish before the sound of his phone interrupted. The conversation, or half of one she heard, was brief before Barret bid farewell to his friend. His sign off gave her a general idea of where they were going.

She kept any questions for when they were in the car, which she hopped into the passenger side of when the time came. It had been a while since she’d been in an actual car like this. Generally she took public transportation. Sure, she’d taken the test to officially get her license, but it felt like a waste to have a vehicle all to herself. Besides, she was used to getting around other ways. Still, there was a time and a place and right now it was next to her friend as he drove them into the central part of town. [b “What’s going on?”] Shifting slightly in her seat so that she could better look at the scientist, she continued before giving him a chance to answer. [b “Is it Ryan?”] It was just a hunch since his intuition went off right after mentioning the other altered human, but she thought it was a pretty fair assumption. She would have never guessed Marcus would have immediately gotten tangled in whatever mess was already made.

Contrary to the time estimate given, the pair made it to their destination in about twenty-five minutes. Barret wasn’t driving like a madman, but it would have been a lie to say he was following every rule of the road. That was fine by her, Sawyer was anxious to get where they needed to be.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

[i “Where are your parents little one?”]
[i Eighteen-year-old Marcus had been sleeping underneath a tree comfortably before someone decided to wake him up. Freshly shaven and baby-brown eyes, he’d been used to his own men making accusing him of being a child. It was no secret the vitriol that the older commanders had for him. Frankly, his ears and arms were tired from listening to and giving floggings to those who had disobey his orders just to spite him. The position of Population police Chief was not something he had asked for. Just like the supreme commander’s perverse obsession with him and her nonstop consistent insistence that he was more than adequate for the position. Her point well proven whenever his fellow officers decided to start a hand to hand confrontation with Chief Thorn. So far, not one person had been able to lay so much as a finger on him.]

[i So when the voice came to try and raise him from his sleep, the male simply just rolled over. ‘Not in the mood for your bullshit.’ He muttered. That was when the voice who’d woken him had reached out for him to shake him. It was honestly, mere instinct. His body reacted on his own, and within seconds he found himself atop of a redhead whose eyes were staring directly up into his. Hands pinned to hers, his sleepy eyes looked down at hers before he blinked. “What the hell?” he muttered still half asleep as his hands moved downwards. That was when he found himself being throw about and then it started. He’d had mean to start a wrestling match but, there he was wrestling with a female till he was somewhat out of breath and once he found himself pinned for the umpteenth time, that was when she started screaming at his face. “Chill the fuck out!”]

[i “I would chill the fuck out, but you didn’t answer my question. Where the fuck’s your uniform!?”]
[i “Who the fuck do you think you are giving your commanding officer questions little boy?”]
[i “Fucking Christ, this shit again? You know goddamn well I’m the chief of the population Police. Now, why aren’t you in uniform?”]
[i “Oh that’s bullshit! We’re not training here! What the hell do you think we are back at our base?”]
[i “Fuck no.” Full awake not, Black was once again found himself in control of the match. It didn’t take long for him to get her in a triangle chokehold. “Tap out soldier, tap out! I’ll break your goddamn neck, I swear I will.” It was than that he felt her hands tap and that was when he released her. Gasping for breath, she suddenly started breathing heavily. “Where… did you learn that?” She asked him.]

[i “Don’t be stupid, we learnt it at the academy. Now hand me my uniform, it’s time we both went back out on patrol.” He spoke looking at her. That was when she stood up. She came up to his chest. Despite her being shorter than her, she was admirably adapt had grappling. In truth, he hadn’t had to fight that hard since facing his Jiu jitsu instructor back at the academy.]

[i “What academy? And what is this uniform you keep on going on about? We’re both rebels, we don’t have…. Holy…. Shit.” The look on her eye widen as she reached for the black jacket which was unmistakable. Snatching it from her, Marcus started to dress before her before he turned and looked at her and then it clicked. ‘You’re not a police office?” he asked her.]

[i “You’re not a rebel? Holy shit! You should totally join us!! This is the first time I’d ever been tapped out, and you’re fresh out of the academy. This is a god sent! We might actually be able to pull off this coup d’et! I’m Penny, current Leader of the rebellion and you are!?”]

[i As soon as he got done dressing, Marcus looked at her with a smirk. “You’re kidding right Penny?” It was then that several police officers came rushing into the garden where Black was sleeping. Among them was a young Barret who was wearing a red-cross showing that he was the designated squad’s medic. Stopping before the young Marcus, the offered a fresh salute before Barrett barked out. “Police chief Marcus sir! We’ve believed to have found one of many the rebel’s bases we’ve come to get you to lead our attack sir.”]

[i Turning around looking all smug at the girl, he reached out and grabbed her chinned. “What are you~” before the girl could finish, Marcus was firmly planting a kiss upon her lips before throwing her to the ground. “These elaborate pranks are getting out of hand. Sending a prostitute to try to sleep with me while on my break honestly. Just because I look twelve, does not mean I am twelve. Let’s roll out.”]

Back in the present day, thirty-six-year-old Marcus was waiting outside just when Barrett and Sawyer had pulled up. Ryan was standing right beside him. Before Barrett could get a word out, Marcus was on him and swinging a right hook towards his face. Stumbling backwards, Barrett held his jaw as Marcus shook out his hand. He held himself back. Otherwise Barrett would have been having a broken jaw right now. [b “Did you know? Is that why you quit?”]

“Marcus..” Barrett groaned as he held his jaw before spitting out some blood. “No… I didn’t have anything to do with it. But Marcus, you brought it upon yourself! We had the rebel leader right there! Right There! And you let her go. What else was Lilly supposed to do! She saved your life.”

[b “At the cost of my subordinates. At the cost of half of my internal organs! And… at the cost of the only woman I loved.”]

Stepping up, Ryan was badly bruised yet he was still able to speak. [i “If its any consolation. You did my job a hell of a lot better than I did. Then I ever could.”]

Looking at Sawyer, Marcus gave her a grim smile. “I’m glad you’ve made it Lyric. Remember the dinner we had at Lillie’s house? When she mentioned her left hand? Turns out that all this time, Lillie had a spy in the rebellion. All because the rebellion knew the secret routes underneath the city. What was Ryan’s job as her spy? To help bring down the rebellion. Oh no, no. That’s to much to ask. It was to simply map the underground passageways and once that was done he was to leave to go exploring. But I wonder, was this before or after Lillie had you use the rebellion to orchestrate my faux assassination?’
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Oh great. They were here to stop one of the most powerful men in the world from throwing a tantrum. And it did not start well as he hauled off and hit Barret squarely in the face. By the way he was cradling his jaw with his hand, it had been one hell of a hit. But surprisingly he was still on his feet, taken aback and with one hand on the car, but he was upright. Lyric was impressed. She was less so with the feral one who started up his shouting. There was that excuse again? Why did people, especially those who were used to being in charge, think they could do whatever they wanted just because they lost someone they loved? It was selfish, and quite frankly the young woman was tired of it. It wasn’t her problem though, so she stayed out of it at first, coming about the car, in case she did need to help jump in at some point. Not that she thought she would be a ton of help, but something was better than nothing.

Well, that was her plan before Marcus turned on her. Narrowing her eyes, she glared at him, not one shred of sympathy in her dark gaze. [+teal “I am well aware she had a spy in the rebellion, Black. It was obviously Cade. I thought you had put two and two together by now.”] He was what linked them all together. Given how things had gone with the resistance's coup they let him off, or rather never bothered to look too deep into his affiliation with the late supreme commander, but Lyric knew damn well it was him. Lilly had all but confirmed that at their pleasant little luncheon. He’d tried to get in touch with her over the last couple of years. She’d done her best to avoid and ignore him though. The woman was still bitter about being traded over as a pawn, plus she already knew what he wanted to say. [+teal “That petulant bitch had a hand in everything that was going on. I don’t know why it’s suddenly a surprise to you. She’d use anything and anyone to get what she wanted. You were on that list too.”] That woman was the devil and when Sawyer got to hell she was going to make sure to spit in her damn eye. [+teal “And I am sorry to burst your bubble, but I had very little to do with your kidnapping. Even if you want to project that onto me as my brilliant plan so you can have someone else to blame, I think you will recall I was rather tied up.”] She was another gear in the cogs, just like him.

Lyric wasn’t really sure if she was helping or just riling him up more. He always was difficult to read. But she stood her ground with arms crossed in front of her chest. It was a stubborn stance. They’d argued a million times before and she was sure they would do it a thousand more times. All she knew for sure was if he came over here and tried to hit her like that she was going to kick him in the balls. Anyone who sucker punched their friend straight out of a car deserved at least that much.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

[b "I'm not talking about my kidnapping!"]
Marcus exploded as he threw his hands up in anger. [b "And I sure as fuck am not talking about Cade! Cade was Ryand replacement when he went awol..I'm talking about..] Marcus closed his eyes as he balled his first together. Gritting his teeth he tether on the age of snapping and not but he had to remain calm. After all, it had been a long sixteen years ago when it had happen. Sure enough Lyeic had been a child and hadn't even known what had happen. So he exhaled and slowly spoke those words together.

[I "Lyric, There is a reason why I hate the rebellion. When I was commander in chief of the military police force, I met the leader of the Rebellion. She was a girl name Penny who was older than me. The first time I met her I mistook her for one of my soldiers and since I had been taking a nap without my military outfit on.. she mistook me for a a rebel. At the time, I didnt believe that a woman could... was capable of leading a rebellion so I let her go and continued my search for the rebel leader.."]

[I It was the winter of my first year as Military police chief when a tragedy had happen. The weather had turn unpredictable and it brought with it a snow storm that wiped out the power in the lower sections of the city. Without food and without heat many of the people face both starvation and freezing to death. I, couldn't.. I couldn't stand to see many women and children suffer at the this turn if events. I knew that the rebels were more than likely to get the people to cooperate than we were.. so. I order my men to help the rebels save as many lives as they could during the winter.]

[i "Of course, many rebels assumed that I would abuse the power outage and use this as a means to snuff out the rebellion for good. And, many of those in higher position as mine ordered me to do so. But, I couldnt. I went directly to Lillie and told her that I had order explicit orders for my men to offer temporary pardons of the rebels to help with the winter cold. I didn't give a damn what anyone said. I had a duty to uphold the peace and serve the people. So, my police officers and rebels enter a temporary truce. It was during that time that I came to learn that Penny had been telling the truth when I first met her.]

[i She was indeed the leader of the rebellion. I had unknowingly let her escape in front of my entire platoon. Once the winter had pass and as many lives that could be saved had been saved, I was sentence to a public beating in front of the military. It was so severe that I ended up being hospitalized for almost four weeks. During that time some of the rebels who had worked with me decided that...to start planning my assassination. Because during the time in the hospital I was given an order to bring my girlfriend in. So, I swallowed my feelings and did it. I led raid after raid wanting to prevent as many causalities as I can in repayment for the rebels who had help earlier. But...]

[I Then... ] Black turned his head as he felt himself tense up. [i then... the day came. It was the second anniversary of tragedy that had cause so much pain and suffering. Me and the rebels had agreed to a cease fire because it was to be for the people of the city to grieve love ones. It was to show that the goverment cared about it's people. That peace could be obtain. I told my men to ignore the rebels and leave them be. To not raid the places because I was sure that our truce would hold up. But...]

[i The rebels hid themselves in the crowd. I was giving a speech to when shots ran out. The rebels started killing people indiscriminately. We knew that the rebel were planning a meeting that day. We just didnt expect them to betray our truce. I ordered my men to shield the people to evacuate as many people as they can. A child had fallen down, to save her from being trample I decided to carry her. It was while I was carrying that child that a rebel shot us both.]

[i I... I always wondered how they rebels knew I would be the one giving the speech. It was never announce that I would be unarmed and leading the celebrations. I always wondered when they knew precisely to attack and precisely what my orders were.. my exact orders were to protect the civilians and not fight back. The rebels knew and attacked without any hostility. It was that very event that led to the people betraying Penny's and publicly lynching her. She was the only rebel leader to be killed by the people she swore to protect."]

Barrett slowly spoke up again. [b "I had been given the day off by someone higher up in the food chain.. They had forgotten that I lived in the same section of the city that the speech was given. When I went outside to explore, I found Marcus bleeding out and... I tried my best to save him. The... the higher ups.. thought that Marcis got off light with just a beating and were furious that he'd agreed to pardon rebels just for helping out during a snow storm. They were planning on lynching Marcus themselves. But.. Lillie thought this surprise ambush was a safer alternative."]
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Her eyebrow twitched slightly as she stared at him still irritated. He was being insufferable. Black was the one who brought up his kidnapping in the first place, but now it wasn’t what he was talking about. Still, she remained silent as he launched into his story. Over the years she had heard bits and pieces. At least when it came to him being pit against a woman from the rebellion and their seemingly complicated relationship, this was Lyric first time hearing all the details though. Still, even with all that, there was nothing monumental. Just another story about losing someone you care about in this horrible world. Sawyer had heard a million of them, so for her this was not much different.

When it came down to it, it all sounded exactly like something Lilly would do. She had a hard time seeing where Marcus was experiencing disconnect? Whether his commander was pulling the strings or not, what happened still happened just the same. Even if it was some big incident, it was so long ago. She vaguely remembered hearing about it at the time, though really it wasn’t anything that concerned her. It would be another year or two before she joined the resistance herself. As for him though, maybe this was just making it fresh again and resurfacing old feelings he hadn’t really laid to rest. Sawyer had her own things like that. Sure they were in the past, but they still shaped her and her view of the world. So in that regard, she did feel a bit sorry for him.

Then Barret jumped in to say his piece and she sighed. Exhaling took a lot of her irritation with it, but as always some remained. [i ‘Safer for him, maybe.’] The thought crossed her mind, but she narrowly avoided saying it aloud and making everything worse. It was difficult for her to think about all those lost lives and think of it as the better option. Black had grown on her, but the dark eyed woman’s mind always went to what was better for the many. Individuals came second. [+teal “I know it’s irritating, but do you really think you would have been any better off knowing the truth before now?”] What would he have done differently? Would it have changed anything? Lyric doubted it; still the words weren’t said in a patronizing way. At least, they weren’t meant to be. [+teal “Stupid as it is to have kept quiet this long…] she glanced over to the scientist, [+teal “seems like Barret had your best interest in mind. No doubt you’ve been in the same position.”] He was basically second in command over humanity until a few years ago. Secrets were a part of the game. This was the same thing, just on a smaller scale. And that was assuming the dark haired man hadn’t outright lied to his friends to protect him. He was known for his manipulation skills, after all.

[+teal “So can you like calm down a bit so that you two, or three…”] Lyric looked over to Ryan unsure whether or not he should be included. [+teal “Can actually talk about this instead of beating the shit out of each other.”] She didn’t know why she was trying to mediate. This didn’t exactly involve her, but she would prefer if she didn’t have to watch her friend get too beaten up. If she could help it.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   2y ago

When did lyric become the voice of reason? Now, there was nothing but a blush that came over the face of Marcus. Of course he'd reacted the same way had he'd know sooner. He'd even gone out and acted recklessly and ended up getting himself. Needlessly killed for throaing caution to the wind. Turning his head away his eyes. Closed for a brief moment. Shard of memories flashed through his mind before dissipating and now he was back to his normal calm headed self. Shifting around, Ryan slowly moved his hood back now revealing his youthful face and he slowly muttered an apologize before that was echoed by Thorn and now everything had gone back to seemingly being normal for the time being at least.

[b "In hindsight, I should've handle things better instead of quitting the military after finding out. I just.. I lost all trust that what we were doing was helping people after that."] Barrett spoke up as he slowly got use to the pain that was coursing from his jaw. Nodding his head Black slowly closed his eyes before opening them and shook his head. "No. You were right to leave when you did.. the population police started getting corrupted around the time we both left "

It wasnt something that the man didn't like to admit. But they'd had found the people responsible for it and they've been punish severely. Thorn had overseen the punishment for all parties involved with them. While it had been more humane than what would've happen during the reign of Lillie, it was still pretty damn brutal. At this time, Ryan interjected himself with a cough before he moved to stand before then. [i "I think it's time we went inside so that I can fill you guys in on all the missing events that happen." ] His voice came out softly and as the two looked him Barrett blinked.

It was his first time ever seeing Ryan. While it was obvious that his hair was dyed blonde the same couldnt be said about him. Ryan was older than both Marcus and Barrett yet he barely looked like he was old enough to vote in the election. No doubt it was the side effect of that mad doctors experiments. Dr. Jaeger was a bastard. Turning upon his heel the male slowly led the way towards the building and paused to look at them all.

[center [i "Well come, I got alot of explaining to do".] ]
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Lyric wasn’t sure she’d ever seen Black embarrassed about anything that wasn’t graphically sexual in nature, so it was more than a little surprising that this call to reflect brought it out of him. What’s more than that, she hadn’t expected her words to have any effect on him. The bright haired woman really wasn’t a part of this, her opinions were probably close to irrelevant, but she was glad to see him come more to his senses.

With a breath of relief, she let them kind of come to their conclusions on things. However, she could not stop herself from making comment when talk of the military’s corruption came into play. [+teal “I’d say.”] Sawyer had lived through it getting worse, though to be honest she was so young before the transition that her views on that were radically skewed. The conversation didn’t stay there, of course. Her snide comment would go without retort as they were ushered back to the building so that Ryan could go ahead and brief them.

She had thought she had seen the last of him, at least for the night, but fate was a mysterious thing. So here she was again. Albeit this time they weren’t out in the middle of bum fuck nowhere, so that was nice. Believe it or not, just because she could meet up with strangers outside the confines of the rest of humanity, Lyric wasn’t exactly a fan of it. Even if they were relatable or interesting to her.

Coming to a conference room, there were seats enough for everyone. Taking the one next to Barret, the dark eyed woman waited for the others to settle so the ball could get rolling. She wanted to know just what it was Ryan had to share with them.
Mr-XLuke Fairway   2y ago

“Finally.”
The voice of Ryan came out softly as the all filed into the meeting room. Sitting at the top of the table the male closed his eyes as he rubbed his temple not sure well or even how exactly to begin. Afterall, this all started with the madness of Dr Jaeger and his awful infant experiments. In one sense, Ryan felt as if he were partially to blame. Seeming as the was the very first infant which Jaeger experimented with and he was successful at making him immune to the toxins despite it having a serious side effect. He couldn’t help the fact that he was well in his forties and still looked as if he wasn’t a day pass 13. Tapping his hands on the table Ryan slowly spoke up as he started to go into it.

“Dr. Jaeger, as we all know, was a madman responsible for the infant experiments. But, what you guys might not know is that… Originally, he was task with working on an immunity to the toxins outside of the city. He spent years formulating chemicals and vaccines that could help Lily with humanity’s survival. After.. what happen, the doctor’s death was publicly executed. Or at least that’s how it when down on Paper. We all know that Lillie was always scheming and doing whatever she pleased, so, she had Jaeger locked in a special prison cell in one of the underground tunnels. It was there that he’d continued, under supervision, to experiment with immunities with the toxins. I… he… used my blood as a base for it.. But while I was gone, I heard that Lillie need another blood sample to replace mine. I guess she got that from you?”

Here the male slowly reached into his pocket and pulled out several vials of what seemed like red substances. Swirling it around the male slowly set it down on the table and slowly spoke. “Jaeger ended up dying, originally that was the reason why I came back here. To check on his research labs and see if he was able to come close to cracking the case of immunity to the toxins. Before I came here I stopped by his prison cell and this was what the guards who’d been station there had told me he’d left me. An untested solution.. Jaeger hypothesis that the people, were lillie was originally from, not have built up a higher resistance to the Toxin outside of the city. Mostly because there’s no way that some of there food wouldn’t have been 100% free of contamination. After generations and generations of eating slightly contaminated food, it’s possible that they would be able to have a stronger resistance. Jaeger’s finally hypothesis is that with this vial and the blood from one of the villagers… We might finally be able to synthesis a cure and humanity would be able to be finally once again be saved and thrive out there in the toxic waste. Though admittedly it’s a long shot.”

Looking at the group which gather there he sighed as he finally told them all that had been hidden from them.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Though everyone was quiet and waiting, it took Ryan a moment to speak. Sawyer wasn't sure what the hold up was. He seemed rather eager only moments ago, but eventually he did pipe up. His words were a double edged sword. The thought that the despicable doctor Jaeger had been left living and to continue his work was horrifying. Not unbelievable, because as mentioned before, the woman would put nothing past Lillie at this point. It wasn't even really surprising, just unpleasant. So, she sat with a scowl. However, on the other side of that, there was another possibility for humanity to step back into the light. It was a shoddy theory at best, considering this guys other brilliant ideas, but it was something. And it was more than just the blood of two people who happened to survive his experimentation. Though, if this pocket of people was half as hokey as the artificial blonde seemed to think, it wasn't likely they were going to be chomping at the bit to test this theory out by coming to the surface, or give blood samples to their doctors to try and come up with a cure for the surface dwellers as well.

[+teal “It is a long shot.”] But so was just about everything else she bet her money on up till this point. It was something, so she had to let some hope in. [+teal “But it is still worth looking into. We are running out of time, so even if this option isn't guaranteed to be viable, we should still put some resources into it.”] Not all them them of course. It was stupid to put all your eggs in one basket. Figuring out just how much effort should go forth would have to come later though. There were more things that needed to be sorted out. [+teal “What do think is our best way of convincing them to test this theory?”] The question was directed back to Ryan again, as he was the only one to experience these other people and their culture. He may have made contacts down here that were willing to go the length they needed, but as of right now she wasn't even sure how much he had told them about the surface.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

[b "I knew it."] Marcus muttered underneath his breath as he sat back after hearing everything that Ryan had to say. Though now wasn't about him at all. It was about the future of humanity and advancing it forward so that they wouldn't starve to death in the city which. Shifting to one foot to another, Ryan let out a sigh before placing his hands in his pocket. Sure; he'd been down there before and the they were hard press to let him go again.

"When I visit them below, they thought that I was a god. So they tried to keep me lock up so that they could praise me and do all sorts of crazy stuff. They're extremely superstitious.. If we can somehow convince them that they're blood could be used as a sacrifice for the God's above it could work. Only problem is, I'm sure that some of them saw through the ruse and could see that I'm an ordinary human."
As much as he'd like to be able to solve all of humanity's problems to simple and easy he couldn't. There was a long way to go before all the damage that had been done could be fix.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

The plan didn't sit well with her. Not only were there too many uncertain variables, but that sort of manipulation was a little too conniving. Accepting blood sacrifice for what looked to be a child god was twisted at best. The plan was something she could see coming straight from Lilly, which made her skin crawl and reminded her just how closely the blond across the table had worked with the woman. That was a worry she doubted she would be able to squash. It would continue to nag at the back of her mind. However, with that said, if it came down to humanity surviving or slowly starving off, certainly she would go with this unorthodox plan. But there had to be another way, though she had some other concerns as well. [+teal “How confident are you that you would be able to get out again?”] He said they had tried to lock him up. [+teal “You got out once, but usually that means they up security afterwards.”] Sawyer knew that from experience. Getting out of that condo had been a bitch, but it became downright impossible after that.

[+teal “Though I suppose, if we set up a predetermined line of communication we could send in a team to extract you.”] Lyric was sort of just thinking aloud. [+teal “Not sure how they would react to a whole group of people from the surface, so that would be a last resort. Unless you think they might hear us out as a diplomatic group and help us?”] That was a long shot. From how he spoke of the people down below it wasn't likely they would take well to a slew of strangers. And if they were truly that paranoid they would neither believe their story of where they came from nor attempt to confirm anything they said.

Shaking her head, the vibrant haired woman attempted to set her mind to a different line of thought entirely. She wanted to come away from the deity rouse if they could. [+teal “We just need one right?”] Her dark eyes looked back across the tables to the other modified human. [+teal “Can you think of a single person you met that you think you could convince to leave? If we could bring someone to the surface, confirm that they hold an immunity like we do then maybe we could also convince them to help us willingly.”] Clarity and consent were both important. Plus that seemed the most direct way, at least to her. She hadn't seen the underground though.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

The male closed his eyes as he took in everything which said to him. Indeed it was actually very risky to try and go the false deity route. He’d been trapped underground for such a long time that he’d missed out on several key important things. Including seeing his own mother become president. Now there was the whole thought of trying to guess whom would help him. They’d been one whom he could think of. A little girl that was from whose family where the had the role of being the “priest” to the underground cult. She had been extremely skeptical of him being a mortal and constantly asked him if he was from heaven like her parents told her or from some above ground. Of course, he’d met plenty of conspiracy who had assume the truth about him. Most people didn’t pay them any heed but he had an idea that perhaps could work. Opening back up his eyes he turned to look at Lyric and gave her a brief smile that showed that he had a plan.
“Now that I’ve come to think of, not all of them bought into the whole deity thing. There underground is ruled by two families, apparently one of them left centuries ago to build this city. That second family….. they.. don’t hold the same beliefs. They were always skeptical and most of the other people who followed the priestly family tried to keep them away from me. I think, if we prepare a group to wait outside of the underground city… and if I can convince them to come with me than we’d be clear. The only problem is that I had to bring proof that I’m not the only from the outside world.. Sawyer, would you mind coming with me to the underground city?”
They both were genetically modified so he figured that it’d be safest if those immune to the toxin weren’t down below. Sure the underground caverns had safe parts but others were filled with toxins that the male was immune to and didn’t know how it’d affect the other. “As for communication devices, we could wear ear pieces to keep in contact.. and use a code word if anything goes wrong so that way a team could come in and extract us. They’re weapons are pretty limited. They don’t have any guns just melee weapons… But, still, if we can do this without any bloodshed that would be more than idea.”
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

The sudden shift in Ryan's expression hinted that he was onto something, but Sawyer wasn't entirely sure that was a good thing. Ever the skeptic when it came to serious things like this. However, as he opened up to speak, it didn't sound half bad. Well, mostly. The idea of going down there and being potentially trapped because she got caught in this whole weird ass religion was not great. It was a little to familiar. Going into enemy territory, and while maybe not in the greatest of danger, it still sucked. Still, this, like what came before, was more important than just her. So, after a moment of thought, the woman agreed with a nod. [+teal “Yeah, I am willing to go along with that.”] Having a two person team upped their chances of success and it wasn't like she could send anyone else down there. If things went sour, it would be infinitely harder to get the others out of the cave systems. Taking time to suit up for safety against toxins in uncertain areas would really cut into escape time, when or if it came to that. She hoped it might not, but seldom did anything go so smoothly in her life.

Having already agreed, more and more of the details of what this would take to get done came to mind. It was a little overwhelming. Make Lyric nervous to have so many unknowns, but they had to start somewhere and comfort may never come. [+teal “We need to start preparation immediately though. The expedition out is currently on track for being ready, but that was without this extra step.”] Who knew how long it would take to get that entirely sorted and what extra provisions they would need. [+teal “Like you said we need a code system and I don't imagine I speak for just myself when I say we should have multiple contingencies just in case.”] Having firearms would be a huge leg up, but keeping this peaceful as possible would hopefully take priority.
Mr-XRyan Parker   2y ago

Luke breathed out a huge sigh of relief. Now that he has Lyric and the others on board he knew that things were going to go better than how he'd thought it go. Running reaching for his hood he covered it up so that his youthful appearance could be hidden just like before. Convincing a whole group of people to go along with his plan was the easy part: now he had to face his mother. That was anothimg thing which he wasn't looking forward to. Atterall he'd been away for what several years. Many things had change and yet things still tended to stay the same. Turning his head towards Barrett he spoke to the male.

[b "Barrett, I trust that you were already ahead when it came to planning for the expedition? If you'd like me to help plan out the final details let me know. Also, Sawyer.. thank you. I truly appreciate all which you've doing for us and humanity.] His words were completely sincere and as he took a deep breath he sighed.

[b Time to talk to my mother...]
loxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

Lyric nodded back to acknowledge his thanks. The conversation seemed to mainly wind down after that. At the very least, the woman was fairly certain there wasn't anything more she was needed for. At least nothing that needed to be figured out right this second. She was getting tired. It was getting late and it had been a long day for her. Well, it had started out sort of leisurely, but these last several hours had been taxing. So, leading her seat she did a bit of a stretch before excusing herself. [+teal “If there is nothing else you all need me for, I am going to head out.”] Pointing at the door, she signaled her intention with the motion on top of her words. She'd come in with Bartlett, but he seemed distracted by the new changes that needed to be made and Sawyer did not want to distract him from that. It was just as easy for her to catch public transportation like she usually did. Plus, Jonathan's place wasn't too far from here. She might just crash there for the night since it was faster. With work calling back to her tomorrow, the ex-rebel was looking forward to a decent night's rest.
Mr-XBarrett Wallace   2y ago

At the end of the Day Barrett was thankful that he wasn’t the only mind which was in charge of facilitating the underground exploration. As soon as the meeting was gone and Parker had gone off to meet with is mother the two ere fast at working scheming and coming up with ways to make the trip underground successful. In that room with plant life and water flowing it seemed to be a peaceful existence and the male knew that it as soon as it was time to head below they’d be hard-press to find sunlight if any at all. He’d tried to get as much sunlight as he could between work and consulting the man but at the end his work was more important.

Preparing vials for blood samples and oxygen mask that would convert poisonous gas to clean air for a few hours was helpful. All the while the former left-hand of Lillie was charting out pathways that had the least amount of risk. It was true that he was somewhat confident that these path-ways had less chances of being expose to poisonous gas. But by the way things where shaping up this exploration would end up taking them around three or five days to the city which was when the pair would find themselves dropped off and amongst those religious fanatics. Shifting upon his feet Barret slowly looked at the work which the pair had been doing and he turned to give Parker a pat on the back which he shook off and muttered something about not patronizing him.

[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/236x/ef/4e/89/ef4e89638af793c16380db0e0ac85667--character-concept-character-ideas.jpg] ]

His family had been vying for power against the Thornes for quite some time. Several hundred years ago quite a few of them had left. For a moment that lead to his family having control over the people. Yet that time was waning, and many were growing anxious. He couldn’t blame them either; there were many mysterious to be unlocked. As the male strolled towards the cathedral where the priestess was in the midst of bowing and whispering to the God’s above he halted. The behemoth of a structure was the most holy place of holies. To desecrate it and disrespect said place was an insult which couldn’t be taken lightly. So he found himself waiting to see what the priestess had to say. Turning upon his heel he hummed a moment before he heard the doors open and the young child walk out.

She was barely 16 winters old and yet she carried herself with poised and dignity. Her head was held high and those eyes of hers seemed to hold wisdom and truth in them. Interlacing her hands together she turned to look at the man as he shifted from one foot to another. [i “You’ve a question?”] she asked and he nodded his head to which the girl nodded and turned to face him. Lifting up an index finger and her middle she pointed towards the one in the middle and spoke.

[i “The longest finger symbolizes familiarity. One who has left us will return. The index is which is used for point. It symbolizes that with the one returning another will come to point us in the right direction.”]
Opening his eyes the male grinned as he stroked his beard.

[b “I, personally, do not agree with my family’s foolish power struggle. I think that it’s time we united and head upwards towards the surface.”] His voice came out and as he gave the girl a grin she nodded her head. [i “I agree. When the time comes we will leave her. But it’ll not come without opposition.”]

[center [pic https://gbf.wiki/images/5/54/Npc_m_3991053000_01.jpg] ]

Ryan himself was surprised at how well the man had been prepared to lead said expedition. He’d had expected planning to last for a least a month more but the two were able to hammer out all the details within a week. Sitting underneath a tree the male sighed as he looked to Barrett who was also soaking up as much fresh air as he could. The underground slums had undergo drastic change and the people here were happier. But it was time for them to take back the world and tame the wilds beyond the city walls. First was to go underground. The pair were ready.

“I guess it’s time to call Swayer and Marcus together. We have a few more as a part of our expedition party but I’ll be fun.” Barrett spoke as he looked up towards the sky and grinned. Watching the clouds, he felt a fair wind blowing. He dreamt of one with strife. And that was exactly what they were going for.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   2y ago

While in the midst of boredom, Sawyer was looking over some files passed her way for work. She had gone over them before and already come up with a solution, but the woman was dragging it out. She was trying to get things set up to work without her, which admittedly wasn't that hard seeing as she wasn't exactly a crucial member of the team handling food distribution, but she did handle a lot of the miscellaneous tasks and problems that cropped up. Really it wasn't too different from what she did when she was in the rebellion, which the woman found somewhat ironic. However, now that the trip was looming on the horizon and she had delegated most her work away, she was left to make the most of what was most likely her last assignment. A fact that was confirmed when she received the call to meet for the expedition.

As always Barrett was on it. If anyone else had been ironing out the details, she was certain it would have taken at least twice as long, but here he was a week later with his ducks in a row. She almost felt bad for Parker, but then again she didn't know him well enough to know whether or not he was accustomed to such a whirlwind of a week. There was no telling, so she did not dwell on it. She needed to focus on wrapping up her few loose ends here, which was mainly saying her temporary goodbyes to her coworkers.

The designated meeting place was an old military outpost on the edge of the city. No one usually came out this far, except for maybe the occasional bored youth, so it was ideal for storing supplies and equipment for the expedition. Not to mention it was kept under stringent lock and key, so even if someone did get a funny idea they wouldn't get very far. The building itself had seen better days, rust was creeping its way up many of the walls, but it was still structurally sound. There was no doubt in Lyric's mind this place could take quite the beating before it even thought of giving way. It wasn't really a comforting thought as she walked in some fifteen minutes before the designated meeting time loaded with the personal things she would need for the trip.

She was pretty close to being the last one here, at least out of everyone she knew for certain was coming. No doubt half of them had been here for hours double checking and triple checking everything was in place. And while that was a good idea, with all these incredibly anal people here to do it she didn't feel the need. Maybe she was being too trusting for something this important, but the bright haired woman was also much less at risk if something went wrong or malfunctioned. She could survive out there, they could not. So, it did not bother her to see Barrett and Black checking through the equipment for what was certainly the hundredth time since they conceived the idea of leaving the hub of humanity.
Mr-XBarrett Wallace   2y ago

This was it. He’d been dreaming off this day since he was a little boy. Standing tall against the building, the male was nervous as he waited for the others to arrive. Black and Ryan were the first pair to arrive and instantly they started checking their supplies. The male had a device which enabled him to detect when they were getting close to poisonous gases and he’d be sure to take extra batteries with them. Along with the oxygen mask which he’d design, and he was sure that this expedition would be one which would test them in more ways than one. Reaching for his right arm he slowly held the metal limb before breathing in and out He had faith in himself that everything was going to be alright.

Others arrived soon after and as he saw the group grow it was time that he and Black did one last walk through. Ryan himself was heading towards the hatch and going other the maps which were left to him by Lilly. It’d been quite the while he’d travel with a large group of people so a part of him was nervous about making sure that he led them the right way. He couldn’t allow any to be led astray. It was almost an hour before Sawyer showed up; she wasn’t necessary late everyone was just super early. Once she’d come Ryan raised his hand and gather them all in the center of the of building.

The rusty military post loomed over them. Looking upwards at the sky the youthful male pulled down his hood revealing his childish features before tapping his foot on the ground. He wasn’t the one who had been planning this expedition for years. In truth Barret had been. Yet, he was the one who gone into the depths below and had experience the claustrophobic tightness and the seemingly endless dark that came from the depths. And so; as he slowly open up his mouth to speak he started to explain how this was going to work.

“This expedition outside the wall was planned by Black and Barrett. I have absolute faith that this will be successful. We should reach our destination within three weeks’ time. Two and a half if we really push ourselves. These tunnels are…. Well, their filled with both our wildest fear and our greatest imagination. At the end of the tunnel we’ll find our way out, now, I’ll hand it over to Barrett.”

Nodding his head, Barrett started to hand out glasses to everyone before he spoke. “In order to save oxygen and electricity; we’ll be using this stone that Ryan brought back to us. It’s extremely bright but is able to illuminate the darkness and has an infinite light source. Its important that we wear these glasses while heading down there. Also, those glass have a built in monitor system. By pressing the buttons on the side you can check your vitals. Oxygen is limited, but that’s why we have monitors to detect when we need to put on our mask to help us against the poisonous gas.”

With all that said Barrett told them that they had another twenty minutes before it was time to head out.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   1y ago

Taking up her set of glasses, Lyric fiddled with them. It was strange having the extra weight sit on her face, but she sure didn't want to lose her sight because of that blinding little rock. She didn't need them right this second, however it was important to get used to them before she actually needed them. Her dark eyes scanned over her vitals. They were normal for her. Given her mutation, some of her numbers set naturally high or low compared to the others, but everything seemed fine for her. Once she was done with that, she turned them off and brought the device to rest atop her head in her hair. This was also effective in holding her bangs up and out of the way.

The final time remaining came and went quickly. Most were bustling to get everything in line, but considering how much preparation had already been done, there wasn't actually all that much to do. Everyone was just excited. Admittedly, Lyric was too. She was ready to set out. Though, when they did, it didn't feel all that transcendent. Not like she thought it might. She had been out this far before, in fact, just a week prior as she met Ryan. But for many others in the small expedition this was their first time setting foot out of the perimeter. And it was on foot. Given the fact that humanity had been gone from the world so long, plant life had overrun most of the surface. At least in this area. Getting vehicles through it would be a waste of precious energy and resources. Besides, they would have to leave them behind once they made it deep enough into the cave system anyway. It was fine this way.

As they ventured out farther, around them, the plant life grew large and chaotic. It was a slow, but steady change throughout the day. Unlike humanity, everything here had evolved to live in this new world. The toxins acted as supplemental nutrition. It allowed for the flora to expand and grow beyond what was possible in the past. And so this new world was foreign to them both because they had never been there and because it was so starkly different than anything they had read or been told about the old world people originated from. At least for those who were not a part of past expeditions into this place. Sawyer found herself wondering if humans had toughed it out a while longer before fleeing to the underground if maybe they too would have found a place in this new order. Probably not, she wasn't that kind of optimist.
Mr-XBarrett Wallace   1y ago

The first day of adventure led them out towards the wild vegetation which was overgrown and wild. The overgrown cave-according to Lillie’s diary- was hidden beneath some several miles outside of the city and Barret was sure that they’d find it by the second day of exploration. Still, as dusk settled around them and they set up camp the male looked around at the plants which had grown and were wild. Somehow the soil surrounding the city for about three miles was clean and pure; it didn’t have any sorta contamination like the outer worlds did. But, further out the planets that grew were so poisonous that just one touch and the oils would start to burn the skin of whoever touched it if not out right killed them. In the years after which he left the military, he’d had done some minor exploring to the outer world; that’s how he’d discovered that some of the plants themselves weren’t the problem but it was the soil which had become toxic. Now; he’d hope that if they’ve found a way to cure to help humanity survive the toxin then he’d be able to lead a team to purify the soil. That was his hope at least.

Turning his head towards the team the male let out a yawn before he found himself snuggling into his own sleeping back and writing in his own dairy about his own adventures. He’d thought this would be best to help him in the long run. As soon as his journal entry was complete, he blew out the lantern which illuminated his writings and closed his eyes for tomorrow would begin there descent down into the darkness.

An hour before daylight the male was up and pouring over the maps with Ryan as made sure that the route was accurate once they started their descent into the cavern systems. Barret had on his sunglass and was checking his vitals to make sure that he was all healthy and set; along with Marcus who was anxious about what was going to happen once they enter into the cave system below. The cave was just exactly where Lilly had said it would be; behind a cluster of fallen trees. It’d taken them some time to move the trees out the way, but there it was with its gaping mouth inviting those to come deeper and deeper into it’s warmth and dark abyss. As the group converge at the entrance of the mountain, Barrett turned to everyone “Make sure you guys have your glasses on at all time from this point on. Things are about to get bright..”

Nodding to Ryan, Ryan pulled out the crystal and led the way down into the dark abyss which was lighten up by the bright crystal. Deeper and deeper they went downwards, the colder and colder it go strangely. It was sure that the opposite would happen, but looking on ahead, there was ice and what looked like snow which covered the cave grounds. The deeper and deeper they got, Barret could start to see his breath in front of him and Ryan spoke out.

“Yeah… I was confused to. The next twenty miles or so is cover with ice and snow.. But as soon as we get pass this part; it heats up and becomes a warm the rest of the way.” He assured them as he led them on through the first part of the tunnel.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   1y ago

The first day of the trek was uneventful, which was for the best. It's not like any expected to find anything out here that would cause them any trouble, aside from the toxic environment, so it was to be expected. The plants that made for a soft, almost hopeful, sight on the eyes eventually thinned more and more until they finally gave way to a barren wasteland. It was a shame, as Sawyer quite enjoyed seeing the abundance of life. It was welcoming in the way it surrounded them. Despite that, the bare terrain they came into felt more like home somehow. It was strange, but most everyone in the party still seemed unnerved. Being out of the safety of humanity's hub was bound to stir fear in a person, no matter how excited they were to journey into the unknown. And they were excited. That should almost go without saying.

When it came time to enter the cave system, Lyric wasn't particularly looking forward to it. Normally confined spaced didn't bother her, but this was a little different. She trusted metal and stone constructed and up kept carefully by man to stay in place. The Earth had already forsaken them once before. What was to stop it from giving way again and letting the ground shift and trap them all? The skeptical woman couldn't think of a single thing to stop it, so she was more anxious pressing into the down below than she thought she would be. Pushing those feelings down and bottling them up, the woman put her glasses in place and continued on with the others just as before.

The foreign cold almost felt unnatural, Sawyer didn't usually mind the cool temperatures, but this didn't feel right to her. The woman was unable to identify exactly what about it was different to her, maybe that the crystal used to light their path didn't hold the same warmth the sun did? Who knew, certainly not her, but thankful Ryan informed them that it wouldn't last forever. She could withstand twenty miles. However, twenty miles dragged into multiple days journey. The ice here made their decent especially dangerous. The moderate pace they kept on the surface was a nothing but a pipe dream here. Had it been only one person perhaps it would go faster, but with so many bodies and machinery, one person's slip up would ripple to the rest of the group. And they could not afford the injuries that would bring. So, it was gruelingly slow going for them.

After the second day on ice, and they found a flat shelf large enough to stop for the night, bundled explorers sat in groups. Many conversations echoed against the cavernous walls. Sawyer was sat with the party's leadership, though she was far from considering herself in charge of just about anything. Barret was really the one masterminding most of this with the help of Black and now Ryan. But thankfully by this point, the conversation had settled into topics other than their excursion. Not that Barret wasn't one hundred percent ready to jump back into that conversation at any time. A little worried she might be the one to set him back into that tirade, Lyric's own conversation was sparse. However, now was one of the times she took the chance on speaking, albeit directed at Black. [+teal “So, what exactly do you plan to do while Ryan and I are “infiltrating” underground society?”] Her fingers moved in air quotes to emphasize her speech. [+teal “You bring a good book?”] Sarcastic as she was, the dark eyed woman was genuinely curious what everyone else was going to be up to.
Mr-XMarcus Aurelius Thorn   1y ago

Of all things the male had prepared himself for mentally the shift in temperature and the blistering cold was not one of them. The descent into the icy caverns of the tunnels was a dangerous and he huffed and puffed as he followed the way which Barrett and Ryan treaded. He found it quite annoying that the light which they followed produce no warmth. However, that did not surprise him since after all it was a faux sun. Still, he continued on and when night came and they found a place to rest Black sat along the fire with everyone else. As he sat on the flat shelf and found himself once more close to the girl formerly in his captive he rolled his eyes at her.

For once, her sarcasm remark was spot on. He did indeed bring a book for him to read. It was his first time diving into it and as he looked off into the ridge the male started to speak softly. [b “In truth, a part of me wanted to explore this city with you and Ryan.. Afterall it’s where my family came from.”] Marcus hardly ever talk about his family or his past. So much pain came from it that was truly the reason whWy he was so hate filled and angry. Looking out into the darkness of the underground tunnel he slowly begin to open up to the girl. He had a feeling that if he didn’t share what was left his life that his name and his family history would disappear from the rest of the world.

[b “I was raised by my grandfather till I was around eight. That was the first time I met Lillie, after that, I was placed in her care. My father was a scientist along with my mother who were dedicated to improving the military enhancements at the time. Not many people know about it; but there were four great noble families that had the most influence. The thorns control most of the Military exploits, the Finches trade, the Kyles and your family which oversaw communications. That was how it was till my family was massacre. I was around ten when my family was wiped it. Lillie feared that the four noble houses were being target and so she ask them to step down and she began to redesign how our government worked. But the four noble families still operated from the shadows..”]

[b “I was never close to my family. So I’d be lying if I said I felt sadness or sorrow about being the only surviving Thorn.. but, when I read the diaries of my ancestors it makes me wonder…….. why were was my clan so obsessed with science. And why was I raised strictly to be military? The secrets died with my clan and I doubt I’ll ever rediscover them. But, I’ve brought several volumes of my family’s history. So I’ll be reading those.”]

As he finish speaking he sighed. It was the most he ever spoke about his past and growing up on the constant watch of the Supreme Commander. He’d been free of her for the past four years but still he felt her influence in everything and anything he did. Blinking his eyes he reached for one of his ancient dairies and started to read it. There was something hidden within the pages and as he blinked he shrugged his shoulders before closing his eyes and sighing.

[b “I can’t wait till it warms up again.]

Luckily for Marcus he didn’t have to wait long. Halfway through the next day the Ice started to melt and the underground Tunnel started to get very, very warm. As a matter of fact by the end of the next day they ended up making camp by a spring which had fruit trees growing. Blinking his eyes, Barrett took out his radioactive gear and started to test the fruit. Curiously he was caution but as he measure the radioactivity of it he signed and spoke to everyone.

“Don’t eat the fruit. Even though the radiation in it is low; its still dangerous to eat and can cause cancer.. But I have a feeling that we’re getting closer and closer to clean soil.”
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   1y ago

When he admitted that he wanted to come along, Sawyer nodded. It made sense. She was certain half the people on this journey would give an arm or a leg to get a look at this society living parallel to their own. But it seemed he had more than curiosity to drive that desire. It was a longing to connect to the past. Perhaps that was what launched him into all this about himself, or really his family and their demise. The bright haired woman listened intently. It wasn't that she found history particularly fascinating, more that she was genuinely interested in knowing more about the mysterious Marcus Thorne, even if at times she found the man insufferable. Albeit less and less as time went on. And what's more, by the way he spoke this almost seemed like something he [i needed] to talk about. One of those secrets that burned a searing hole inside of you the longer you held it all on your own? There was no telling for sure. Not without asking, and it didn't seem the time.

After hearing such personal stories, normally one might show camaraderie by sharing one of their own, but once again it didn't seem the time. Black fell nearly immediately into his books. She chose to take that as his way of closing the conversation and obliged him with a nod of acknowledgment. Though she did give a short response to his final comment. [+teal “Yeah, me too.”] It wasn't long after later that she stood and settled herself into bed for the 'night.'

The appearance of food was a surprise, even if it was irradiated. It begged the question of whether it was a natural occurrence or if these were planted here long ago in a sort of trial and error of where was fine and where was no. Along with that Sawyer couldn't help but wonder what levels of radiation her altered body was capable of withstanding. Fortunately, she was smart enough not to haphazardly test that on a whim, but she did wonder enough to inquire to Ryan offhand. [+teal “You ever try eating something like that out here?”] He was more in the know about this sort of thing, seeing as he'd probably been given access to Jaeger's research and findings at some point. Though that didn't guarantee he'd tried it, nor that it would be the same for her considering there were some pretty stark differences in how their bodies handled what was done to them. Still, she was curious to know.
Mr-XRyan Parker   1y ago

The question came as a surprise to the male. He’d had thought that she would’ve known that he’d been prepared for his first trip out here. However, as he shifted his weight from one side to another, he slowly turned towards her and spoke. “I wanted to; but I didn’t. I couldn’t take any risk, and Barrett was right. By the end of tomorrow if we keep up with this good pace we’ll come to clean soil. I can’t believe tomorrow marks the end of our first week into this cave..” he spoke that as he nodded his head. He had a feeling that things were going rather to easy and as he went to check his map which he had made he looked ahead.

It was impossible to tell whether it was day or night. The artificial crystal was their only light source at times. Other times bright crystals illuminated they’re path and as they broke camp the next day they started to head down deeper into the cave. The next 48 hours were uneventful. However upon the third day things started to change. One such thing was the presence of animals. Specifically the appearance of birds which looked odd. These birds had mutated in some way and had sharp claws upon their wings and feet and long becks with slits in them. Amazing Barrett was tempted to study and those weren’t all. Reindeer-like creatures with noses that seemed to glow a dark red in the light appeared as well. It seemed as though several animals had developed adaptations to help cope in the darkness. Not only that but at long last on the third day, they found an underground river that was following and as Barrett went to examine it he grinned and then he laughed.

It seemed as if they’ve finally headed further enough down into the cave that there was clean vegetation and water as well. The soil here was practically radiation free and the animals were easily eating fruit off the ground. [b “This is amazing! I was right. I knew it! I knew it! This clean soil; it somehow gets rid of the toxin in the planets and make them editable!”] It was a cause for celebration and nodding his head Ryan quickly gather the group and spoke to them all.

“I wanted this to be a surprise; but we’ve finally reached the three-thirds part of our journey.” He spoke looking at everyone before pressing on further. At this point we’ve finally reached the part in our journey where the water is clean. So; not would be a good time to refill our water supplies. I haven’t tried the fruit personally. but I have tried some of the animals. The birds honestly, taste like chicken..”

[b “So what? You prepose we feast tonight?”] Black joked as he looked at Ryan and the male grinned.
“You’re words not mine.”

[center [u else where] ]
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/0c/d8/7c0cd8d886d767155562d2660d56dc1c.png] ]

[i “Anti’oc, zen’lo Tah. Anti’oc, Zen’lo Tah.”] The voice of the young girl filled the temple as she sat before the statue of a hooded figured. Her face was shrouded in the hood and as she rose up she turned towards three men who stood behind her. Lifting up her hand she slowly turned around and lifted up her pinky with her left hand. With her right she made a thumbs up sign and spoke.

“The pinky is the shortest finger.. Meaning that our wait is almost over. The thumps up normally means to go; meaning we are to wait at the entrance of our village for arrival of our lost God.” She smiled as she turned towards the statue once again and bowed.
LoxiSawyer "Lyric" Barlow   1y ago

Lyric wasn't really expecting an affirmative answer out of Ryan, but it was still just ever so disappointing when he admitted he hadn't tried the food here. Her curiosity would not be sated, however she understood why. This was neither the time nor place to be taking risks. Though, she still found it a shame as their conversation ended and she stared at the greenery speckled with deep crimson berries. They would remain undisturbed for the time being.

Being out of the cold was a nice change of pace, but days later, an even nicer surprise would come. The expedition finally made it to a pocket of soil untouched, or perhaps absolved, of radiation and other such toxins. It was a joyous moment for all of them, but most of all Barrett who exclaimed his vindication to the others. Lyric was happy for him. This moment was a long time coming, and he deserved every second of it. She didn't even mind his ranting and raving as everyone set up to eat a meal much grander than most of them were accustomed to. And for once, that theoretical night, she didn't feel so bad about eating her fill.

The final third of the journey through the caves went much quicker. Their decent was not nearly so steep as before and the lack of ice sped things up immensely as well. It seemed like easy sailing, but the closer and closer they got, the more nervous Sawyer began to feel. She wasn't entirely sure what was causing her to feel that way, other than maybe the sense of the unknown, but there she whether that was the case or not. The woman reassured herself it would be fine. She'd fought her way out and survived much bleaker situations. Everything would be okay. And so, with that mindset, the day came when she and Ryan were supposed to make their way into what to her eyes looked like a strange rendition of a city. Everything was foreign to her. Even from afar, the architecture was unlike anything she had seen. She wondered what Johnathan might pay to get a look inside and spark his imagination with all these new ideas and themes to bring back to the surface. The same went for just about everyone else she knew. Before them sat a whole slew of knowledge, cultivated alongside their own.

After some final preparation as to Ryan's plan, she got a few final questions out. Some were broad, like what should she expect upon entering, while others were of much less consequence, such as if she might have to dye her hair as well. Then the others sort of gathered around the two who would soon split off to venture out on their own mission. It was not a tearful parting, as there was too much excitement running through everyone's veins, but still, Lyric found the whole ordeal bittersweet. [+teal “See you guys when we find who we are looking for.”] She spoke with a smile and a nod. Of course there was more to it than that. Ryan and she would also need to convince whoever he had in mind to come along with them, but how hard could that be?

With that, their farewells were finished and the pair split off to sneak their way back into the city Ryan had so narrowly escaped from the first time.
Mr-XAlyssa   1y ago

Of course; there were multiple ways to get into the city which was known by the common people. However, the most secret of passages were revered for the priestess and those that attended her every whim. The air around her was filled with anticipation. She'd been perpetually preaching of new arrivals and how it was their duty to assist in any them in any way possible. So; as she led a small congregation of followers to one of the secret passages a hush silence fell over them.

Alyssa was the name of the girl whom would be greeting the foreigners from above ground. To those who believed in superstition and religious folklore, they'd would be seen as Gods from the heavens. Proof that the rumors of old that claimed that all of humanity upon the surface had been wipe out
And only those who dwelled on the surface still existed. But; deep down the girl knew better. Being a priestess she wasn't allowed to voice such blasphemous out loud. However, it was so much harder for her to allow herself simply believe in some higher purpose. After all her premonitions weren't psychic at all. It was something which she couldn't explained.

Turning towards the group of people that had follow her she spotted a man whom hadn't been invited. A thorn which stood out ready to prick those which got to close. A part of her had expected him to show regardless of if he good permission from the governing body or not. Afterall, his family held just as much influence as the ruling ones. [b "Do you hear the footsteps coming closer and closer? These are not the footsteps of deities coming to beg for our worships. These are the steps of mortals from above which bring indisputibale proof that humanity survived. It was a sin to doubt the resilience of humanity and its ability to survive despite the insurmountable odds, it was a sin to go into hiding and shut ourselves off from the land given to Adam and Eve, but these sins were necessary to fulfill an even greater purpose."]

As the priestess spoke those around her didn't know how exactly to take her words. Indeed, as she turned around and took pulled her hoodie down tighter around her face she sighed and waited for those to arrive to finally press forward and descend. But this anxiety! It could not wait it calls for her to go. And so, without explanation or warning, the girl found herself soaring towards the upper levels.

Laboured breathing fills the air as the girl and a group of men dressed in white followed after all. They'd been running uphill for quite some time and as soon as the girl stop, she lifted up a crystal to find light coming towards them. With a little more push, the girl found herself pushing forward only to crash into two strangers. One of them a boy and another girl. Embracing the two she let out a happy sight before looking down upon them. [i "Ah! Rye you've returned to us. And you've brought with us a girl."]

Turning towards the girl she looked Lyric up and down before smiling. [i "Ah! You must be... I'm not sure who you are. But the Gods told me to be of assistance to you so there's that! Come Miss, let's get you a bath you must be weary from your travels."]
Loxi     1y ago

Lyric followed Ryan along the path he determined. There were certainly more direct paths into the city, however, they seemed to be going the road less traveled. That was fine, though the walk did seem to take some time. Eventually, keen ears picked up the sound of footsteps ahead of them. The woman wondered if they were coming closer to a street of some sort, but as they pushed on she realized the sound was coming at them more directly. It seemed someone was on the way to meet them, though she hadn't a single clue how they knew they were here... unless Ryan had set out to be so. That thought made her a touch nervous, but she continued to move forward all the same.

It wasn't much longer before contact was made. It was a whole pack of people, all hooded not unlike Ryan. One woman stood out though, she spoke to her companion in familiar terms. There was no anger in her voice, so Lyric took it that she was not the one determined to stop the blond from returning to the surface. Or maybe not, appearances, especially initial ones, could be deceiving. All these things ran through her head, but there wasn't time to dwell, as she almost instantly became the topic of the conversation.

With a nod of her head, the woman greeted the religious figure who approached her. Lyric knew nothing of their customs or niceties here, but things seemed to go on well enough without any proper introductions. The topic of gods came and went before she was offered a bath. After their weeks of travel, that was a luxury she would not pass up. [+teal “Yeah, that sounds nice.”]

From there the pair were almost corralled along the thin path that traveled, down, down ,down. Lyric would be glad to step upon flat land when this was all said and done. However, they finally came to a dead end, or so it seemed. The woman at the lead touched a wall, pressing upon it, it opened to reveal a room. It was an inconspicuous sort of room, but it led to what looked to be a sanctuary. The high walled room was lavishly furnished and brightly lit with crystals similar to the one they used to light their decent. Now that she looked at it, even though this building was dug into the cave walls, it seemed the walls were lined with a finer stone slabs that did not match the surrounding area. No doubt it was mined elsewhere and brought here to inflate the grand, almost ethereal, appearance this place wished to display. It was beautiful, as much as she hated to admit it.

Split off from Ryan, the unnatural haired woman was lead to a bathing room. The basin was deep and wide in the center of the room and the walls lined with shelves that held an assortment of oils and salts. It was a strange sight to see such a large space dedicated to such a simple task, undoubtably this would be one of many differences she found between this place and the surface. As attendants drew the water, adding some concoction of oils as they went, Lyric walked along the walls, taking a closer look at all the finely labeled bottles and bobbles. When the water reached the top of the basin, they left her to wash up. Letting out a sigh of relief, the dark haired woman was glad they excused themselves. She was not accustomed to her baths being public events.

Sinking into the water, it smelled sweetly divine. She couldn't place a single one of the scents, given where she was, but it did seem floral to her foreign nose. Nearly scalding hot water was warmly welcomed after such a long and stressful journey. Sawyer nearly felt bad enjoying it while the others stayed camped outside the city. However, the guilt did not plague her long as she steeped her muscle aches away. The water was just above lukewarm before she finally decided to drag herself from the bath. Met with clean clothes, the woman dressed herself in the robe-like attire, all the while wondering if everyone down here dressed this way or if it was simply a custom of the church. Glancing at a mirror, she thought it suited her very ill and hoped it was the latter. But with such carefree thoughts came a more serious one. With such a warm welcome, why exactly had Ryan wanted her to accompany him in his return?
Mr-XRyan Parker   1y ago

There where Alot of things which the Male was expecting to happen. However being greeted so warmly was not one of them. As the priestess took Lyric to the bath house to bath Ryan remain skeptical as he was lead back to the another part of the temple. It seemed as if they had a guess waiting on him, someone whom looked a tad bit familiar in the face. His moustache was short and his eyes were cold and distant. Standing before the male he clapped his hands as he waited for Ryan to take off the hood and reveal his boyish features once again. Disdain came across his face as he saw the male breathing the word "interesting" before he moved to sit down before him.

[b "When I last help you escape I was sure that you'd never return again Afterall. I never took you for being a God in the first place. But now. It seems as if you've finally brought witness that you aren't the only survivor out on the surface. This might finally he enough to convince the council to let us leave this wretched place. And help you save the rest of humanity."] The males voice came out slowly before he stood up and stretch out his body. The man who currently was head if the council was none other then Octavius Thorne and he was as stubborn as they came. The wizened old fossil was a decrepit relic from the past whom 2as convince that it was impossible for humanity to survive anywhere but below ground.

As Ryan let our a sigh he figured that this would be the case. Afterall the words from last year still lingered in his ears about then requiring proof that this would not spell their doom. Even with the priestess and her body guard on their side, without substantial evidence the council would not budge to help. Worst of all the food crisis was apparently getting worst so it wasn't as if they had all the time in the world to linger and wait for help to come..they needed it as fast and as soon as the could receive it.

[i "That's why I brought the girl Lyric. She can be a testament to how humanity has struggle and fought back to try and win and prosper above ground. We're so close to finding the cure from the toxic waste. All we need is blood from those who have fully become immune to the poison."] His voice came out softly and the male nodded his head. It was still such a crazy idea to him; that all.this time there had been a massive city surviving on the fringe of the toxic wasteland.

Humanity tenacity for survival had been great and wonderful and as the proud male stood before Ryan he nodded his head. [b "However, do you have a back up if things go wrong...?"] The male ask as he looked at him. Turning his head Ryan sigh. He did have a backup, however he rather not use that trump card seeing as how unpredictable he was at times. Holding that thought In to himself, he turned upon his heel and started to head towards the door which led to his own private chambers. The council would surely call them the day after tomorrow or at the very least, soon. And he knew that priestess was making preparations as they spoke together.

[u The council room]
Octavius sat upon his high chair with his eyes close and his breath coming out slowly. His age was well advanced in years and he was several years older than the priestess whom stood before him. While most on the council look at the girl with a licentious leer which was because of her unnatural beauty, the old men looked at her with contempt. Afterall, the enemy of his clan had been the ones who were chosen to protect and guard the wretch child. Who knew what impossible and foolish dreams that man Willliam had been filling her head with.

"Oh great Elder, Ryan has returned and with him he also brings a girl from the upper world as well.."

[b "Bah! We're not the only city that's survive underground. Surely the man could've easily have found another city like ours."] The old man spoke as he huffed and looked at the girl

"I doubt it sir. I feel it in my bones, they hold the key to all of humanities survival. We must come with them annd... "

[b "Survival!?. Bah don't make me laugh. Two and a half centuries ago members of my clan left with a mysterious woman to travel to the surface....and do you know what happen to them? They were never heard of again. Has they survive do you not think they would've been able to send word of their survival?. There is not cure for humanity, our Gods have blessed us with safety and sanctity underneath the ground of the pollute earth. You, are priestess, should show piety and strike the thought of leaving our city!"]

"But the gods show me another vision!" The girl protested.

And at once another member of the council stroke his bread and murmured. [i "Why not humor the girl... afterall, she is well endowed.... with the gifts of our Gods. I say let us listen to Ryan plead his case."] And with that the other men agree and seeing as Thorn was out number he fell back into his chair and grumbled.

[b "Fine! So.. be it."]
Loxi     1y ago

After refreshing herself, Lyric was lead to another room, one less ornate, but by no means barren, to sit with her thoughts. There were plenty of things to look at, though nothing to get into or snoop about in. Which allowed Sawyer, as she took in the strange architecture of it all, to supposed a few things. The first being that she was intentionally separated from her other party member. The second being that he must be off doing something of at least mild importance if that were the case. Knowing very little of this place, the woman couldn't surmise quite what it was, though she was fairly certain it wasn't something as mundane as taking a bath. Still, despite being temporarily left out of the action, there was very little to no disappointment building in her. A bit of nervousness not knowing what was going on, but she was content to take this moment of rest and let it be. No one knew when she might get this chance again if things when awry.

Time passed slowly, as it often does in silence. But eventually someone came to her. It was time to move on, and with little conversation she followed along. Sawyer managed to get it out that Ryan was in a meeting of sorts and her presence was also being requested. He must have been setting the stage for something with these religious types, though she did wish he had given her a little more information before they came here. Though, it was completely possible that he too was flying by the seat of his pants.

Ushered into another waiting area of sorts, Lyric stood impatiently. Two thick ominous doors stayed shut tight at the other end of the room. She assumed they lead to the conference room, however she couldn't make out a word of what was being said on the other side. The buzz of Ryan's speech made it though, but nothing more. He was going on about something and she wished she knew just what it was. Then as if in response to her thoughts, the door slowly opened and the thin woman was called in.

There were more people in the room than she expected, and despite what she had previously thought, it didn't seem they were all a part of this church. At least, not in the way that the priestess before her was. Looking across each of their faces, one in particular caught Sawyer's attention. She'd never met him in her life, yet hints of familiarity ran through his features. At the moment, her dark eyes could not place them. So she moved on. Noting both hard and curious gazes on her, she realized why she had been bathed and changed. It was an attempt to make her a bit more palatable here in front of these judges. What she needed to say, if anything, wasn't clear to her just yet, but all the same she thought it best not to rile these people if she could help it. [I If] being the defining particle. Lyric wasn't exactly known for going with the grain if it didn't suit her or her ideals. However, for now she kept silent, waiting for her call to join in.
Mr-XRyan Parker   1y ago

There was a deafening silence as Ryan stood before the council with his hood over his face. All eyes were on him and it did nothing to make him feel anymore at ease then before. Clapping his hands together the male had done his best to give the speech in hope that those whom had listen would understand where he'd had been coming from. However he knew that often times words fell on deaf ears when hearts were already tone to stone. As he pleaded his case to those who stone face old men he felt his anger slowly rising by each second as none of them seemed to truly comprehend what was out there. However, before he could feel himself one of them stood up suddenly.

[b "Thorne!? Did you say this.. Lyric girls knows a Thorne!?"] The voice of one of the council men lept and taken aback Ryan nodded his head. It seemed as if the very thought of a meeting another person who bared the name Thorne excited him. Before Ryan could finish going over everything he was waved away and the Lyric girl was called in.

Octavius was the oldest member of the council. This winter, if he would live to see it. Would mark the one full year of being alive after living an entire century. Deep down he'd had always one wish and that was to find out the truth of his family which had left all those many many years ago. So when the girl was ushered into the room he couldn't help but give her a smile which seemed to be a mixture of a sneer but also kindness of some sorts.

"Child.. Ryan tells me an interesting story.. that I can't help but ask if its true.. tell me; did you encounter a man who, by any chance, whose last name is Thorne? Do tell me if he is of this world?" His voice came out slow and softly "if you can produce this man and bring him to me then perhaps, I'll agree to what it is that you've come here for."
Loxi     1y ago

Strangely enough, it was the man with familiar eyes that spoke to her. Normally, she might resent being called a child at her age, however, if this guy was half as old as he looked Sawyer would let it slide. Once you hit a certain age, just about everyone was a kid to you. Seems he was well passed that threshold. Good for him, there weren't many on the surface who lived that long... at least not without enhancements. Did they have something like that down here? She kind of doubted it, since from what Ryan said they didn't even have proper firearms.

When he mentioned the surname Thorne, Lyric was finally able to place his features. They were different, but there threads of Marcus in him. Or vise versa, it did not really matter. But she realized there must be some relation there; albeit distant at this point. These thoughts while prevalent in her mind, did not distract her from his words. He wanted to meet Black.

Pausing a moment, the dark eyed woman kept her gaze locked with his as a bird might an old house cat. She wasn't scared of him, but she still felt the need to air on the side of caution. Her arms folded in front of her as she went to speak.[+teal “I don't see why that can't be arranged.”] Marcus had already expressed interest in coming into this settlement. This could be his chance, however she wanted more information. [+teal “But before I convince my friend-”] it felt odd to call him that, but the bright haired woman wasn't about ready to go into their rather colorful past with a bunch of strangers. [+teal “-to come and meet with you, might I ask just what exactly you want with him?”] It wasn't like she didn't think he could fend for himself in this den of wolves, but it would be best to have some idea of this old man's intentions before throwing Black in here. He deserved as much of a heads up as she could give him, so she would pay very careful attention to the answer she received. Sharp ears listening for any sign of untruthfulness or some such similar thing.
Mr-XRyan Parker   1y ago

Ryan and all the others in the room tenses as they heard Lyric speak to the elder. Most people, knowing the power he had, weren't ones to question his orders. At his age the male was more then use to having his orders followed without questions. But hearing a young girl raised questions as to why he needed to speak to Thorne pleased the male. Leaning forward he laced his fingers together before giving the little girl a warm smile. "The thorne have a distinct look which is almost unmistakable. I want to see if this man has the same look as I remember those of us having.." His words came out softly.

Octavius wasn't one to often show his soften side. The fact that he was doing so was proof that he had a rather good feeling about this in his soul. Clasping his hands together, he turned towards the priestess who had been the one who suggest they'd hear the new comers out. "Alyssa, you know where they make camp at? Why not fetch this Thorne fellow why we keep Lyic girl here? So as we can make sure that we are not being duped." His voice came out rather calm and collected as he leaned back into his chair. "It shouldn't take no more than an hour?" He asked and she looked back at the pair apprehensively before nodding her head.

[center [u Outside the city.] ]

"What's going on?" Barrett and the rest of the campers had been waiting outside of the city for the past day and a half waiting on an update from Sawyer and Ryan. So when the maiden had come with other men in white they'd assume that they had an message which would be favorable for them. However with one look on the young woman's face they could tell. Something amiss was arising and as Marcus head towards the little girl his eyes start to analyze what was going on. The hood shrouded the girl's face in shadow and as she turned upon him, she threw back her hood revealing that of a youthful girl's face. Stone eyes stare back at inquisitive ones before she spoke up in a surprisingly commanding voice.

[i "Instead of trying to pry answers from me; come with me and see them answered. You truly are the spiting image of the old crone bastard.'] Her voice came out softly and Marcus was taken aback by that declaration. [b "Old crone bastard?'] Marcus spoke, before closing his eyes and then opening them again.

No, no, this simply could not be. However, it seemed as if there was truth in the Lillie being long lived and what not. [b "Fine; lead the way.."] He spoke as he watch the girl cover her face and turn upon her heels. As he did so, Barrett reached out and grabbed him by his arms, "Marcus... Don't be rash.." He caution and the male turned to his friend and simply nodded. "Rash? Me, of course not..."

[center [u the trail room.] ]

As Alyssa knocked upon the door to the trail room, a voice on the other side bade her enter and as she did so Marcus was right behind her. Already, he could feel the tension in the air and as his face turned towards those whom he assume where the inquisitors, he cocked his head back before he saw a face that for some odd reason looked familiar... To, familiar.. Stopping in his track, his eyes widen before he turned upon his heel and looked at the old man. [b "It's not possible.. It simply isn't possible.."] He affirmed to himself as he stare at Octavius, and likewise the old man was leaning forward from his chair, before he stood up fully. It was as if one where looking at the same person split into two. The entire council grew silent as the two men slowly walked towards each other.

[b "If I were not a man of reason; I'd question if you were my grandfather brought back from the dead. I say the resemblance you share to my deceased caretaker is uncanny."] Marcus spoke.
[i "Yes, and I see that there are things different about you. You're left eye, is fake.. It's... to... mmhm.."] The old man fell silent.
[b "You're the first person to tell.. Yes, it is a cybernetic eye.."]
[i "Mmhm, you and this Lyric girl.. I want you to tell us everything from the beginning... Leave nothing out.."] the old man order as he moved backwards to take his seat.

Turning towards the girl whom he held as a former enemy he let out a sigh before blinking. [b "I guess, If we should start anywhere.. It should be on that rainy day we first met.."]
Loxi     1y ago

It wasn't that Sawyer couldn't feel the tension in the room; she simply did not care. Authority figures, especially ones she hadn't seen prove their worth with her own eyes, weren't so high up the list of people she respected. But what else could one expect? The rebel in her hadn't died as of yet and she didn't expect it to anytime soon. Not that anyone in this room knew that, as she doubted Ryan had gone deep diving into her past over their short acquaintance. If he had, there was a good chance he wouldn't have brought her along.

When the old man answered her, she wasn't particularly happy with what he had to say. She could have confirmed that for him herself, but it didn't look like that was what he wanted. What's more, she was going to be stuck here waiting. The extent of it was unclear, but Lyric was captive once again. It was unfortunate, because she really did want to give Black at least the little information she had before sending him in here. Letting out a long sigh, her expression of discontent was displayed clearly on her face.

Time moved as it is wont to, which was just a hair too slowly for the woman. Conversation was at a standstill once the robed woman from before took off. The dark eyed woman entertained herself as best she could taking in both the details of the room and the people in it. She doubted it would give her any real advantage to the current or near future situation, but there was little else to do for the moment. That changed eventually though, as the priestess returned with Marcus in tow.

The couple of Thorns marveled at one another for a bit, but it was a far cry from being some touching reunion of kin. In fact, the whole thing came and went rather quickly before the ancient man pulled her back into the situation. Staring at him with a confused expression, she failed to grasp what she had to do with any of this. However, Marcus seemed all too willing to lay their story out for this likely very distant relative of his. Sighing yet again, she left the stop she'd been standing to join her friend to at least make sure he was telling it right.

Looking at him as he weighed his options of where to begin, the tall man settled at the beginning as he looked at her almost as if to ask for help. [+teal “I mean, if we really have to tell this story, that would make sense. Though as far as I am concerned, it was a horrible day that I'd rather not think about.”] Between remembering signing her life away to a tyrant and now knowing she did it for some double agent bastard, she wasn't exactly thrilled with that moment of her life. [+teal “I guess we should preface this with the fact that until recent years our society has been run by a dictator whom a lot of us weren't exactly happy with. I was a member of a resistance against her faction. This one here,”] she motioned toward Black, [+teal “was on the opposite team.”] Her ability to trivialize this came from the fact that she had gotten over much of it.

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