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Futuristic Chronicles of the Cyberverse [RP]

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. Cyberpunk
  4. Dystopian
Background Info

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble
The Cyberverse


Centuries ago, there occurred a mysterious event known commonly as the Enigma, named such because few are truly aware of the details of it. Essentially, all that most people know is that someone somehow devised a way to link data to the fabric of the universe itself, and whether intentional or not, managed to impose this transcendental bond onto the cosmos as a whole. As a result, cyberspace and reality essentially became one, leading to the age of what is now known as Integrated Reality.

Though there was much initial confusion, humanity was quick to realize the potential of this change. Now that matter and data shared a permanent intrinsic link, a whole new world of possibilities was revealed to us. We were no longer fully constrained by the laws of physics, and technological progression would only serve to boost humanity to new heights far beyond what we could even imagine.

Now, the year is 3023. In the current day and age, human civilization has advanced to a near-immeasurable extent. Ailments such as age and disease have been done away with thanks to advanced nanotechnology, and many now possess biological implants that help to enhance mental or physical capabilities beyond what is biologically possible. Additionally, humanity is now scattered all throughout the universe - now commonly referred to as the Cyberverse - with most spending their time in one of the countless dataspheres located all throughout space.

These dataspheres, known as Domains, are areas in which the ambient data of the universe has been collected and arranged into a personalized space at the whim of the Domain's owner. They vary extremely in size, purpose, and nature, ranging from small spaceborne taverns to massive videogame-type realms large enough to encompass a planet. They more or less resemble websites, with their own unique rules and appearances, and the diversity is such that each individual Domain can seem like an entirely new world or universe in and of itself. Travel between them is accomplished via Digital Transit, a form of FTL space travel involving the conversion of the body to data, and the subsequent transportation of that data to a given coordinate or Address.

Digital Transit, as well as a wide variety of other capabilities, is achieved using a small watch-like Personal Supercomputer (PSC) now owned by the average person, allowing nearly anyone to travel wherever they wish, as well as alter their clothing, store physical items in data form, and send messages, among various other things. However, most people are limited in exactly what they can do, with only certain authorized personnel such as Digital Engineers or illicit figures like certain Black Hat Hackers being capable of doing more.

These limits are imposed by Solence Technologies - also referred to colloquially as the Mainframe - a monolithic organization based on Earth that manages the digital aspects of the Cyberverse, essentially acting as the overall authority regarding such matters. What they do includes authorizing the creation of Domains, appointing Digital Engineers to manage the glitches and viruses in the universe, and dealing with Hackers and other Cyber Criminals who plague the Cyberverse.
The Blood Domain
History
Created by accident, the Blood Sphere used to be a place very much like earth, just smaller. Technology advanced very fast and the greatest invention that was made was the Omni Printer, a technological wonderwork made of a network of millions of Nanobots that could create anything and everything from nothing but matter. By directly influencing the atoms it would convert matter into any kind of necessary material and print it into whatever it was programmed to create.
The Sphere witnessed an era of prosperity, but it came as it was bound to happen -
The Omni Printer was used to create weapons that ultimately destroyed 90% of the Sphere and turned it into a barren, dead wasteland. The remaining 10% were quickly secluded by an enormous wall and turned into a city where only the rich and influential would be welcome. The majority of the population was left to fend for themselves.

When the City started to run out of resources, they built the Death Garden, an enormous arena containing an ever hanging landscape, from mountains over forests to deserts, and hosted the Blood Harvest.

The blood gathered in the games was used as resources for the Omni Printer, and the winners of the Blood Harvest would we provided with money as well some other basic necessities for life.
Participation is voluntary, but many people don't have another choice if they don't want to starve.
The Blood Harvest
In this game of death and life, four people, called Runners, enter the arena to gather blood from five pillars located across the arena and take it to the closed exit. As soon as the five tanks by the exit are filled, the door opens and the game is won.
However, the heavily armed Hunter is roaming the arena, too, and they only have one task: kill the Runners to win the game.

A Runner's equipment includes-
  • A mask or helmet for basic protection. Not required, but recommended.
  • A vambrace, able to extend two arms and form a bow to propel printed arrows that work as mild stun grenades. The arrows are printed as the electromagnetic bowstring is drawn back and will create a bright flash of light upon impact. A blunt cannula can be extended from the inside of the vambrace to pick up blood from the pillars, which will be stored in a small tank strapped to the upper arm.
  • Clothes made of sturdy yet flexible fabric that provide slight protection. Not required, but recommended.

Runners that meet a certain quota of wins in the Blood Harvest will become Champions and allowed to live in the city. From that moment they won't participate as Runners, but as Hunters, potentially forced to kill their previous friends or even family if they happen to be a runner in the Harvest they are scheduled for.

If a Runner happens to kill a Hunter (which almost never happens, as the Runners are unarmed while the Hunter is heavily armed and protected) they will be called a Predator. They become famous, are regularly provided with all kinds of necessities and knickknacks, but are forbidden from ever entering the City and will be called to participate as a Runner in the Blood Harvest again whenever the heads of the city see fit, mostly as an attraction.
The Adventure Squad
Auryn
Auryn Crynn
A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

Name- Auryn Crynn
Alias- Demyze (As a hacker)/BeyondEternity (As a civilian; often simplified to 'Eternity')
Nickname- Ryn
Age- 24 years
Gender- Male
DOB- October 13th
Occupation- Part-Time Beta Tester for Gates of Infinity, full-time traveler of the Cyberverse; also secretly a member of Crashing Skies under Cory Lightner, making him an insurgent of sorts

Species- Transhuman
Height- 6'3
Build- Mesomorphic; Tall, athletic, and broad-shouldered, but not overly bulky
Hair- Jet black and straight; variously styled, but usually kept close-cropped
Eye Color- Deep green; through his mask, they glow white
Theme Color- Black. Screens are irregularly shaped, akin to shifting clouds of smoke, but vaguely circular. Text is white and set in a gothic-style font not unlike New Rocker. Data Sight is also black, with lines colored white for easy distinction.
Skin- Unnaturally pale, akin to a corpse. Covered with a web of tattoos like branching rivers of sand

Notable Alterations-
  • Omega Enhancements - Allow for Peak Human capabilities
  • Delta Enhancements, obtained from the black market and equipped only when operating as a hacker. Allow for Enhanced capabilities; seems to focus particularly on strength and stealth, with added abilities like invisibility.
  • Toggleable tracking. Basically, if he doesn't want to be tracked by the Mainframe, he won't be. Used most often when doing illegal shit.
  • Also known to utilize the traditional hacker ability of 'glitching' - manipulating one's own code as in Digital Transit, but for short-term bursts of movement. Dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, but useful for getting into places you shouldn't.
Equipment- Varies depending on where he is and what he needs. Obviously, he has his PSC on him at all times, but he also has quite a bit of stuff stored within it as well, up to and including various tools and weapons adapted from certain other Domains that he's been to. When in combat in particular, and he's not just going in with fierce, powerful hand-to-hand strikes, he seems to prefer the use of large guns including cannons and the like, as well as large blades - which does indeed include scythes, but he seems to have a preference for claymores and the like.

Some say that his inclination towards large weapons is because they're flashier, while others claim that it's for the sheer destructive output. In reality, it's honestly both.

Lastly, on top of all of the above, he also wears a mask when going undercover as a hacker, so as to maintain his identity. Often comes with a hooded outfit like in the photo, only a fair bit more hi-tech. The mask itself is ash-gray, or darker, and the eyes glow white whenever it's worn.

Personality-


At a glance, one might look at Auryn and think him to be the grim, humorless type. After all, he can certainly come off that way, what with all the dark coloration in his outfits, the imposing stature, and the rather stoic way in which he often carries himself. However, anyone who hangs around him for more than a minute is likely to find that this is not the case whatsoever.
Indeed, in spite of his appearance, Auryn is actually quite friendly, with a proclivity for jokes and puns and a surprisingly social disposition. Often light-hearted most of the time, even in situations of high stress or danger, he's keen to talk to pretty much anyone about anything, and is just as likely to lean towards dark humor as more normal jokes. On top of this, he's also known to be something of a thrillseeker, with a strong sense of adventure driving him to explore new places and try new things - particularly if such things happen to be a little less than safe.
It's also worth noting that in combat, if he's taking a fight seriously, then he practically shuts down and behaves in exactly the opposite way. In this case, he will remain almost dead silent and purely logical; whenever he does speak, it's to say whatever's necessary, as quickly and concisely as possible. Warm as he may be normally, he tends to go quite cold when on the job.


Freesia

Freesia Res
There's no fear when you're having fun.

Name- Freesia Res
Alias- Shockwave (As a hacker)/HunnyB (As a civilian)
Nickname- Sia, Stormie
Age- 23 years
Gender- Female
DOB- June 21st
Occupation- Part-Time Beta Tester for Gates of Infinity, and also a popular dancer and performer; also secretly a member of Crashing Skies under Cory Lightner, making her an insurgent of sorts

Species- Transhuman
Height- 5'4
Build- Smol, but lithe and sylphlike
Hair- Golden blonde and wavy; variously styled, but often kept in a short ponytail
Eye Color- Somewhere between amber and hazel
Theme Color- Orange-yellow, a color akin to honey. Screens are formed of hexagonal grids, akin to honeycombs. Text is set in a cheery handwriting-like font similar to Architect's Daughter.
Skin- Soft, honey brown skin tone. Yes, I went there.

Notable alterations-
  • Omega Enhancements - Allow for Peak Human capabilities
  • Delta Enhancements, obtained from the black market and equipped only when operating as a hacker. Allow for Enhanced capabilities; seems to focus particularly on speed and agility. Comes with really quick reflexes and wall-crawling.
  • Toggleable tracking. Basically, if she doesn't want to be tracked by the Mainframe, she won't be. Used most often when doing illegal shit.
  • Doesn't glitch much, but comes equipped with a pair of summonable wings like an insect's. These are good for hovering and high-speed flight.
Equipment- Varies depending on where she is and what she needs. Obviously, she has her PSC on her at all times, but she also has quite a bit of stuff stored within it as well, up to and including various tools and weapons adapted from certain other Domains that she's been to. Her favorite by far, however, seem to be a pair of black-and-yellow shock-gloves that can emit an adjustable amount of electricity, from small bursts to full-on surges to all-out shockwaves - hence her hacker name. These also come with a gleaming yellow-orange blade form that has a similar function, but a much deadlier disposition. Combined with her fast-paced fighting style, these can be useful for quickly incapacitating or otherwise dispatching foes.

And of course, she also wears a mask when going undercover as a hacker, so as to maintain her identity. In her case, hers is built into a hi-tech suit.

Personality-


With Freesia, what you see is largely what you get. And what most people see when they meet her is a cheery, energetic young woman who borders on hyperactive. Those who know her personally can absolutely confirm that this is how she is, too, with an indefatigable sense of optimism as well as a general preference and desire for fast-paced, physical activities like dancing, fighting, or racing. She also happens to be quite social, being entirely willing to talk to anyone about anything, and in fact, probably more likely to start a conversation than have someone else start one with her. During her downtime, one may find her messaging like a dozen people at once, and with how active she is, don't expect her to not zip around just as much.
That said, a fact that's also apparent, but less so, is her own intelligence. Sia doesn't show it as much, but she's got quite a lot of brainpower even for a transhuman - not quite on the level of someone like Cyrus or Corey, but enough so that her problem-solving skills are nothing to scoff at.


Ryatt

Ryatt Wells
There are secrets everywhere. It's just a matter of finding them.

Name- Ryatt Wells
Alias- IntoTheWells198 (Often just simplified to Wells)
Nickname- Ry
Age- 26 years
Gender- Male
DOB- November 2nd
Occupation- Part-Time Beta Tester for Gates of Infinity, full-time data miner; also secretly a member of Crashing Skies under Cory Lightner, making him an insurgent of sorts

Species- Transhuman
Height- 5'9
Build- Somewhat stocky.
Hair- Light brown and short, styled somewhat neatly. Also comes with a five o'clock shadow.
Eye Color- Dark gray.
Theme Color- Orange. Has simple rectangular screens with the 'default' font. He's not a particularly extravagant guy.
Skin- Tanned.

Notable alterations-
  • Omega Enhancements - Allow for Peak Human capabilities
  • Delta Enhancements, obtained from the black market and equipped only when operating as a hacker. Allow for Enhanced capabilities.
  • Toggleable tracking. Basically, if he doesn't want to be tracked by the Mainframe, he won't be. Used most often when doing illegal shit.
Equipment- Really just his PSC, though he does have plenty of things stored in there for convenience. As a data miner, he doesn't really need much to do his job. For combat, however, he's content to just resort to using a blaster, originally a basic model from a higher-tech Domain that was upgraded by Corey himself.

Personality-


Rather unlike most of the company he keeps, who tend to be high-energy in at least some way, Ryatt is really about as down-to-earth as you can get. Mature, pragmatic, and level-headed, he thinks himself a fairly simple man with a simple goal: To look into the very code of the world and see what secrets he can extract from them. This he does with dedication, patience, and skill, often with a side of simple, casual music and conversation. Of course, while not as liable to put it on display outside of his own profession, he's still pretty intelligent - or wise, even - and one may find him willing to delve deep into even the most personal topics shall he feel inclined to. Combined with his general stability, and it should be no surprise that he's the one many of his own friends like to consult for advice. He may not be as openly amiable as they are, but he's still deeply loyal toward the relative few friends he has, and more than willing to at least talk to someone new.


Minerva

Minerva Dyson
You know you can't deny it-
the world's a little more fucked up everyday.

Name- Minerva Dyson
(The surname of her 'father'(creator).)
Alias- Ve1
Nickname- Minna
Age- 26 years
Gender- female
DOB- September 15th

Species- Android
Height- 5'7 ft
Build- hourglass
Hair- jet black
Eye color- blue, changing to red in 'Vampire mode'
Theme color- vibrant red. Screens are roughly circular and fading to black towards the bottom, with small, red spheres floating around and a font like Tangerine. Data sight is an electric, bright red.
Skin- pale

Notable alterations-
  • Artificial high-class body with high density tactile and temperature sensors
  • Selfmade, retractable 'fangs' to suck plasma of other androids and implement it into the own cycle
  • visual and cognitive implants


Equipment-
Of course, she keeps her PSC on her at all times. Stored within is a wide variety of tools and spare parts needed to repair herself or other androids, cyborgs and the like, as well as medical equipment in case a human will need aid.
The only weapons she carries with her are a pair of dual blades mainly meant to incapacitate but not kill an enemy.

Personality-


Minerva is a rather cool and calculating type. She never really seems to be fully invested, like she's always keeping a distance between her and the rest of the world and often appears to be unsettlingly indifferent, which more often than not makes her politeness seem almost scary. She could make an insult sound professional.
Despite not liking to be called a machine, Minerva often comes off as disconcertingly inhuman. When asked about it, she will explain that she indeed does have feelings like everyone else, but won't let them affect her decisions and actions. It doesn't show the way it would show in others, but she loathes unnecessary violence and does care a lot about her- very few- friends. She won't make big confessions but rather show it in the way she always has an open ear and will never refuse to help. It'll take some getting used to, though, to recognize her intentions and emotions.

Frequency
Frequency
And I searched hard only to find
there's not a single thing that's wrong with my mind.

Name- Hayley Bennett
(Looking up her name she's officially dead.)
Alias- Frequency
Nickname- Quinn
Age- 22 years
Gender- female
DOB- November 21st

Species- Transhuman
Height- 5'4 ft
Build- nimble, wiry
Hair- ash blonde-ish
Eye color- /
Theme color- cloudy white. Screens are contained within one circular hologram giving off faint electric impulses that are translated into pictures in her head by her Lorenzini Implants. The screens she sees are vague, ever-changing shapes, with a font like Reenie Beanie. Active data sight is shown by two eye-shaped, white holograms appearing on the screen of her mask.
Skin- fair, covered in scars

Notable alterations-
  • High precision audio implants
  • Implants closely resembling the ampullae of Lorenzini commonly found in sharks for electroreception.
  • Cranial implants to enhance reaction time and precision
  • Biomechanical left-hand Model "eagle"
  • Face shield capable of recreating expressions via holo projection

Equipment-
She carries her PSC with her at all times, of course. Stored within is a wide array of poisons and antidotes, meant to induce pain, hallucinations, paralyze, kill or harm an enemy in a hundred other ways. Her go-to weapon is a whip sword with a thin channel made to spread poisons from small vials that can be inserted into the handle through the entire weapon. As the name suggests it is a sword that can expand into a bladed whip at the press of a button.

Personality-


Quinn is a chameleon when it comes to her personality, adapting to whatever is the most useful in the situation at hand. So much, actually, that she seems to have lost the connection to her own emotions and real self. The only thing that seems to be consistent about her is the fact that she has major difficulties dealing with serious conversations, always trying to ease the situation with a sarcastic comment.
She's suppressing it, but there's a deep, burning wrath hidden somewhere behind all that sarcasm and crazy upbeat behavior, showing only during fights or when pushed too much. Her favorite pastime (though she'd never openly admit it) is to paint pictures of sound and electricity only she and others with implants like hers can see.


Hela

Artemis Jupiter
One voice in the crowd is small
but if it speaks the truth
then it speaks for all.

Name- Artemis Jupiter
Alias- Hela
Nickname- Ari
Age- 24 years
Gender- female
DOB- April 13th

Species- Transhuman
Height- 5'6 ft
Build- athletic, runner's build
Hair- dark brown, almost black
Eye color- bright gray
Theme color- bright yellow. Screens (once obtained) are standard rectangular, with a clear, simple font like Poiret One.
Skin- honey

Notable alterations-
  • Visual implants to enhance eyesight
  • Auditive implants to enhance hearing
  • Cranial implants to enhance reaction time
  • Biomechanical prosthetic legs capable of switching between regular feet and running blades to compensate an inherited genetically disorder that caused her to be born with her legs ending just above her knees, like her father.
  • Arm implants capable of creating plasma blades to be used either as arm blades or claws


Attire-


Equipment-
Since she got her PSC she won't go anywhere without it. Stored within is a mess of equipment needed for survival, little knickknacks, books, even a portable gaming console and her weapons.
As her melee weapons are basically built into her, the weapons stored in her PSC are mainly range-focused, like a compound bow, a crossbow and her personal favorite- a pair of chakrams she uses with a lethal precision.

Personality-


Straightforward and hands-on, Artemis can come off as intimidating at times. She won't let anyone tell her what she can and can't do, but does have a tendency to perceive simple statements as challenges, which she won't hesitate to take. She's rather serious, with a rare, wry sense of humor, and very driven to end what her father begun- put an end to the Enclave's power.
She's a legend in the Deathgarden, known to be a great strategist and effectively use every participant's talents to either get out of the arena in record time or kill the hunter. Having grown up with the shadow of the arena towing over her, she is a careful and rather distrustful person, she won't just go and check something out without making sure that there's a quick way out. It's close to impossible for her to just relax for a while, but she does enjoy music very much and is curious by nature.
Deep down, she somewhat had a Labrador personality, always trying to keep the group together and making sure they'll be okay.

The Artists
Zaiden

Zaiden Greer
Creativity takes courage.

Name- Zaiden Greer
Alias- Audiosurfer (Often simplified to 'Surfer')
Nickname- Zay, Z
Age- 24 years
Gender- Male
DOB- September 2nd
Occupation- Digital artist and musician, as well as a member and Moderator of the Gates of Infinity development team; also secretly a member of Crashing Skies under Corey Lightner, making him an insurgent of sorts

Species- Transhuman
Height- 6'0
Build- Lean, healthy, but not too muscular.
Hair- Black, or at least a really dark brown. Short and very very curly, grown out into a little bit of a 'fro.
Eye Color- Depends. He alters them according to whatever outfit he's wearing, so the term "X really brings out your eyes" pretty much always applies.
Theme Color- Amethyst purple. Screens are irregularly shaped with a sort of iridescent tinge to them, akin to shifting pools of paint, but vaguely circular. Text is white and set in a more artistic font like Julee.
Skin- Dark, somewhere between milk and dark chocolate. Adorned in some places with vivid, soulful tattoos that he might've made himself.

Notable Alterations-
  • Omega Enhancements - Allow for Peak Human capabilities
  • Delta Enhancements, obtained from the black market and equipped only when operating as a hacker. Allow for Enhanced capabilities; seems to focus particularly on sight and hearing, allowing him to better distinguish the nuances within sound and color.
  • Toggleable tracking. Basically, if he doesn't want to be tracked by the Mainframe, he won't be. Used most often when doing illegal shit.
Equipment- Really just his PSC, though he does have plenty of things stored in there for convenience. As an artist, he doesn't really need much else to do his job. For combat, however, he usually resorts to using variants of weapons used in Gates of Infinity; his default being a pair of gloves that can fire soundwaves like concussive blasts. Also, for short-distance transportation (i.e., not far enough to warrant Digital Transit), he often uses a sleek, stylized purple hoverbike, which is as quick as it as agile.

The guy also seems to have on a pair of futuristic headphones or earbuds all the time. With the press of a button, these can shift into a visored helmet, not unlike a cross between DJ Sona's Ethereal and Concussive forms.

Personality-


If there was one word that could be used to describe Zaiden, it would be laid-back. A pretty chill guy all-around, Zaiden is a creative soul who really doesn't ask for much, as he much appreciates what he already has. Open-minded and go-with-the-flow, one is most likely to find him either jamming out to a tune he's made (or is making), calmly crafting a piece of art, or doing both of the above at once - sometimes while casually upholding a conversation. He's a man of whim and wonder, and doesn't seem to worry much about most problems until they're actually upon him.
However, with all that said, one shouldn't mistake this general chillness for weakness. It's not apparent at first, but when push comes to shove, Zaiden is always willing to forgo his usual fluid nature and stand his ground for what he feels is right.


Ceana

Ceana Codix
People are complex. But that's also what makes us all so unique.

Name- Ceana Codix
Alias- CeCe289 (Often simplified to just 'CeCe')
Nickname- CeCe, Ana
Age- 22 years
Gender- Female
DOB- February 15th
Occupation- Member and Moderator of the Gates of Infinity development team, and skilled developer of bots and AIs; also secretly a member of Crashing Skies under Corey Lightner, making her an insurgent of sorts

Species- Transhuman
Height- 5'6
Build- Slim and somewhat curvy, but not particularly fit
Hair- Black, with streaks of hot pink. Straight and reaches down to her shoulders
Eye Color- Light blue
Theme Color- Hot pink, or fuchsia as she prefers to call it. Her screens tend to take on the typical rectangular shape, but are adorned by a white font in a style akin to that of Delius Swash.
Skin- Fair, soft and unblemished

Notable alterations-
  • Omega Enhancements - Allow for Peak Human capabilities
  • Delta Enhancements, obtained from the black market and equipped only when operating as a hacker. Allow for Enhanced capabilities.
  • Toggleable tracking. Basically, if she doesn't want to be tracked by the Mainframe, she won't be. Used most often when doing illegal shit.
Equipment- Really just her PSC, though she does have plenty of things stored in there for convenience. Generally, she doesn't need much else to do her job, since she utilizes a certain program on her device to handle the creation of AIs. For combat, however, she's willing to use weapons from Gates of Infinity itself, mostly of the "magic" variety - though she'd sooner create a few bots to do the fighting for her.

Personality-


Bright, bubbly, and a little rebellious at times (illegal shit notwithstanding), Ceana is a vibrant young woman with a certain fondness for people both new and familiar, real and artificial. Because of this, she has a pretty active social life, and is generally known to be kind, helpful, and upbeat, although she also has a bit of a spunky side that also comes out if ever the situation calls for it. She's also a strong, vocal advocate for individualism, appreciating both other people's unique qualities as well as her own, and should these beliefs - or really, any beliefs of hers - be challenged in some major way, she's likely to push back with some intensity. She's hardly the meek type, after all, even if she is quite nice.


Halo
Altair River Hellstørm
Fill my cup with endless ambition
and paint this town with
my very own vision.

Name- Altair River Hellstorm
(Actual surname unknown)
Alias- Halo (stage name)
Nickname- Riv
Age- mid-twenties (actual age unknown)
Gender- neutral, but goes with male pronouns
DOB- unknown

Species- Transhuman
Height- 6'3 ft
Build- slender, wiry
Hair- blue black
Eye color- electric blue
Theme color- black. Screens are inconsistent, circular shapes with twisting outlines that make them resemble black holes. Font is Miss Fajardose. Data sight makes the standard blue glow of how eyes change to white.
Skin- mocha, often with an electric blue glow

Notable alterations-
  • Cosmetic "glow" implants with Internal generator, altered to work more effectively and produce controlled lightning and electricity

Equipment-
He often doesn't carry his PSC with him as he doesn't really need it living with the circus. Some might call him old-school for that, but he's just never been as into it as most.
On the rare occasions he does carry his PSC with him its inventory is close to empty, save for a pencil and a drawing pad, for which he more often than not receives odd looks. He's tried to draw digitally a couple of times, but prefers the traditional way. The only other stuff stored in his PSC are constantly varying bags of sweets and cups of instant cappuccino.


Personality-


Halo could best be described as an individualist. His biggest fear is to get lost in the crowd, become like everybody else and lose his 'self'. Other than that he's probably one of the calmest persons you'll ever encounter. He has a sweet, delicate sense of humor but always seems to be drawn into the unknown. He can't stay in one place for longer than a couple of weeks without starting to feel caged and on edge.
He's a dreamer who feels more at home in the worlds in his head than in the real world and often appears to be distraught, 'somewhere else'.
He has the worst sweet tooth and enjoys barely anything as light shows and good food.


 
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Entry One: Into The Blood Sphere

Wilder28

The Wild One
Into the Blood Sphere
WipeOut10_07_2021_121010.611000.jpg

Entry One of the Chronicles of the Cyberverse
Location: The Gates of Infinity HQ
Time: N/A (Pocket Dimension)
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Zaiden, Ceana
It seemed a pretty typical day for the Gates of Infinity development team. With the Domain as popular and as active as ever, things were very, very busy, and so it came as no surprise at all when Auryn Crynn and Freesia Res turned up to find the Domain's headquarters positively bustling.

As with everyone else who came in, they arrived in the lounge, their appearance heralded by the telltale of sight ambient data - which manifested as clusters of random numbers and symbols that matched their primary colors - coalescing to reform their bodies. Once they had fully materialized, they stood upon one of the many Transit pads (devices upon which people appeared whenever they arrived via Digital Transit) that lined the front side of the room. If they were to look to their left and their right, they would see that many others were doing the same on both sides; but neither of them bothered, since they were both familiar enough with this place that they already knew what to expect the moment they set foot inside.

Instead, the moment they could, they began making their way forward without skipping a beat. Auryn led the way, striding through the room and weaving his way around the diverse array of people who crossed his path, while Freesia stuck close by his side and followed along at a somewhat quicker pace, to make up for their difference in stride length. As they went, they each exchanged more than a few greetings with some of the people they passed by, even at times waving over to others they recognized who were farther away. Nearly everyone here was a developer of some kind, as there were restrictions but on this part of the Domain that prevented most other people from entering. As Beta Testers, though, these two were among the exceptions, and they were both considered by many to be honorary members of the crew at the very least. The fact that they associated directly with the Lead Developer, Cory Lightner, didn't exactly hurt either.

And speaking of Lightner, there was something that the two of them would've very much liked to talk to him about. But he had sent out a message just a couple of Standard Days ago that he would be away for a time. So far as most of the development team was aware, this was simply because he wanted to take some time off; however, Auryn and Freesia knew better. He and the other Grey Hats of their little crew were notified that apparently, there was trouble going on in some of the further sectors of the Cyberverse. Something about an attempt at resurgence by the Fractals, which was currently being combated by the Mainframe in an attempt to stamp it out before it could balloon into something major. Corey, being knowledgeable as he was in the ways of a cybercriminal, had chosen to join the fray at the request of Digital Engineer Cyrus Vaughn, who was also on the case alongside his usual squad.

Auryn and Freesia would've been more than willing to join as well, of course, but according to Corey, there was no real need for them out there with so many others already on the case; they would be better suited to hanging back and taking care of things back at the Domain. It was a bit disappointing, but they understood his reasoning behind it, so they didn't bother arguing.

Now, though, they couldn't help but wish that he was with them still; they had another mission in mind, and having him at their side definitely would've made things a little more fun. As it was, the most they could do was shoot him a message detailing the situation. He sent back only one response: "Good luck. Keep me posted."

So that was what they planned to do.

"Are you sure they'll be willing to go with us?" Freesia asked now, as they made their way toward one of the hallways that branched off from the lobby. The HQ was a pretty sizeable complex, so much so that there were maps available for guidance. But these two knew their way around like the back of their hands, so they had no problems with it.

"I think Ry will, if I can convince him," Auryn replied, flashing a wave at another developer who exited the hall as they entered. He stood at a towering seven feet, making even him look short, though that was nothing truly unusual in a universe where one could easily modify their own appearance. "Z and Cece, though? I doubt it. You know how they are. This type of operation ain't really their style."

Freesia pursed her lips a little, but nodded a couple times in assent. "Yeah, I have to agree with you there. And none of them are really fighters, either. I mean, I know Ryatt can defend himself if it comes down to it, but like, we'll be in unfamiliar territory. Who knows what we'll find in there? I know we aren't weak or anything, but without Cory, there's still only two of us, and I don't think Ryatt will add much firepower to the team."

Auryn just casually waved off her concerns. It wasn't like him to worry, and really, to wasn't like her either; she was just pointing out what needed to be talked about. "I wouldn't worry much about that. I think I've got that part covered," he assured her. Hearing this, she immediately whipped her head around to look up at him, eyes wide. "You do?" She repeated, surprise and excitement both evident in her tone. He nodded in confirmation. "You know it. But you'll have to see for yourself what I've got in mind." He gave her a teasing wink, and her excitement quickly turned to exasperation as she let out an exaggerated grown. "Damn it, Ryn, I swear."

He just gave her a smirk. "Oh come on, now. It won't be that bad. It's not even that long of a wait; watch, as soon as we grab Ryatt, or whoever wants to come, I'll get right to it. Alright?"

Freesia huffed, though it was all playful. "You better."

The two continued to chat and banter for the next couple of minutes as they made their way through the complex. Normally, they might've headed toward the Rec Room, where many other developers tended to spend their off time hanging out with one another; but, considering the topic at hand, they had both figured it to be a bit too confidential to be discussed in such a public space. So they'd sent out a message ahead of time to the others, urging them to convene in a more discreet meeting spot so they could discuss this. Said spot was only accessible through the back of the HQ, which they reached in no time.

Unlike most rooms, getting inside was just a matter of opening up a door and waltzing in, believe it or not. Instead, there was a very particular trick that had to be done, one that required a bit of skill in hacking and the like to pull off. Once they got to the point they needed to - a space in the back hallway where the wall seemed to be blank - Auryn took the lead from there. Taking Sia's hand, he stepped forward and, with practice ease, glitched his body in such a way that he, and both of them by extension, was able to pass right through the wall.

On the other side was a fairly small hidden room, which looked more akin to some sort of casual hangout space than a formal meeting room. Which was fitting enough, because they tended to use it as both; sometimes they just liked to hang out as a group, away from all those who weren't part of the whole Crashing Skies operation. And while they didn't have Corey there to kick back with them now, they were greeted by the sight of three other faces, who had no doubt been waiting on them to show up.

The first was a stocky man clad in a rather casual outfit, who sat at a desk on the other side of the room. Ryatt Wells had a trio of holographic screens raised around them, which depicted various instances of text, numbers, graphs, and images, indicating that he was probably well into a datamining operation. He was sitting upright in his chair himself, looking between all three of the different screens while munching on a bag of chips - particularly a brand that Auryn had gotten him hooked onto, he noticed with satisfaction.

The other two were hanging out in a different part of the room. Both were seated by a large, broad window on the far side, which usually depicted some kind of landscape. Being that this wasn't an actual world, it was really only a simulation, which meant that the view could actually be altered at a whim. And that was exactly what Zaiden Greer was doing at the moment, seated in a custom-made hoverchair and quietly jamming out to music while he focused on remaking the world beyond the window. Or, at least, they figured he was listening to music; he did have his headphones on, and he unconsciously nodded his along to some beat that no one else could hear.

Beside him was Ceana, who was mostly turned in the other direction and seemed to be busy designing the look of another AI that she was in the process of creating. Like the others she seemed pretty focused on her work; however, since she was the only one facing the way they came in, she was the first one to notice Auryn and Sia's interest. When she saw them, she perked up, and with a gesture, she minimized the half-a-dozen pink screens that she had floating up around her. "Oh, they're here!" She announced, catching the attention of the other two guys.

Or, well, she caught Ryatt's attention; while he turned in his seat to face the new arrivals, she had to tap Zaiden a couple times on the shoulder to get his attention first, prompting him to turn off his headphones and do the same. He greeted the two with a smile and stood up to come and meet them. Ryatt, however, stayed right where he was, looking not quite so happy to see them.

"There you are," he stated, looking between the two of them as they strolled in. Ceana and Zaiden met them in the middle, and the girls greeted one another with a hug while the guys stuck to a friendly handshake followed by a pat on the back. "Hey! How was the performance?" Ceana asked as she pulled away. Freesia bounced back with a grin on her face. "It went really well! Probably one of my best yet." She looked up at Zaiden and added, "That song you made for me was killer, too. I think everyone loved it!"

Zaiden gave an appreciative smile in return, but Ceana was the one who answered first. "Oh, I'm so glad to hear that! I'm sorry we couldn't attend; I think we were all a bit swamped with work." She laughed sheepishly. Freesia just shrugged. "It's alright, it's not like it'll be my last one." She nudged Auryn in the side. "Besides, it's not like you're as bad as this idiot here. His definition of work is basically running around doing dumb shit."

Auryn couldn't help but snicker at that. But before he could shoot a retort, Ryatt's voice cut into the conversation. "I'll say. That's why we're all here, ain't it?"

He was still over in his corner of the room, tapping a few things on his screens before swiping them aside and turning back to them. He leaned against his desk, looking over the others unenthusiastically. Clearly he wasn't as fond of having his work interrupted. "So what's the occasion? What'd you need us to meet up for?"

"Up-front as ever, aren'tcha?" Auryn's image shifted and broke apart, and he blinked from view only to reappear right beside the data miner. Ryatt remained unfazed. "Well, don't worry, it's important." Ryatt let out a huff, as if not quite believing him, but he said nothing as Auryn gestured for the others to come gather round. Freesia came dashing over first, and she hopped up to take a seat upon a clearer part of the desk whole the others followed her over. Only when everyone was close did Auryn begin to explain the situation.

"Alright, so I'm going to try and keep this simple: Basically, while I was out 'running around doing dumb shit', I heard about this weird rumor from some of the other Grey Hats about this one place in the Dark Sector. They call it the Blood Sphere."

The ensuing explanation wasn't a long one; he just spent the next five minutes or so explaining how he'd decided to try and find out if the rumor was true. And, big surprise, it actually was. He'd managed to find a way to slip in, but so far, he hadn't really done much exploration beyond the point where he arrived at. As Freesia had pointed out earlier, it was unknown territory, and if he went in there he'd be more or less on his own. So, tough as he was, he figured he should try and get some backup before delving in any further.

That was where everyone else came in.

"No." Ryatt's response was immediate, and his tone brooked no argument. "I've got better things to do than go gallivanting around on some thrill ride through unregulated territory. That's your job. I'm a miner, not a fighter."

Auryn, who'd clearly figured he would say something along those lines, was quick to counter. "Yeah, we know that. That's why we want you to come. We won't be expecting you to do a lot of fighting; I've already got someone else in mind for that. We just need you to help us learn more about the place. Dig into the code, see what you find. You know, like you usually do."

Ryatt pursed his lips, not looking to be entirely convinced. So Auryn pressed on. "Besides, think about it: Clearly something's going on in there, and you know we can't trust the Mainframe to take care of it themselves. That's why Lightner went to go take care of with the whole Fractal deal. Chances are, we're going to have to handle this ourselves. But it's gonna be kinda hard doing that if we don't have someone around to gather information for us. I know you're probably already working on a lot right now, but think about it: How much of that is really all that important?"

Ryatt glowered at him, but after a moment of silence, he just closed his eyes and let out a sigh. "Alright, fine. I'll go with you. If only because I know you won't get far on your own," he muttered. Auryn just gave a small fist pump, and after giving Freesia a quick high-five, he turned to the others. "Alright, and what about you guys? You think you can come along too?"

Ceana glanced aside, a little uncertain. "Well, um... We can't really come either. Zay and I are planning to have a night out soon," she told them with an apologetic shrug. "And besides, I don't really think we'd be of much use anyway. There's a reason we don't go in the field much."

Zaiden gave a nod in agreement. "Right. I could be wrong, but I don't think there'll be much use for a musician where you're going. Besides, I think Corey would appreciate it if at least a couple of us stuck around and kept watch over this place while he's out."

Ceana gestured to him. "Mmhm. But, hey, maybe I can send a few bots with you guys to make up for it! You know, for support."

Auryn smiled at the offer, but shook his head. "No need. Don't worry about it," he tokd her casually. "We'll probably be better off on our own anyway. You guys just have your time off. We'll be able to manage, I'm sure."

Freesia nodded quickly in agreement, hopping off the desk and onto her feet. Hesitantly, Ryatt closed his screens and stood up as well. "Yeah, we'll be fine," she said optimistically. "Besides, you did say you had someone else in mind, didn't you?" She looked up at Auryn with a curious, eager look. Ryatt did the same, but his expression was a lot more apprehensive.

Auryn grinned, and with a thought, called up a screen from his PSC. It was the Digital Transit screen; there was a bar where he could put in the coordinates of the location he wished to go, and unless it was somehow restricted from him, he would be taken there. "I do. And I think I know just where to find her."
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble
Nothing is normal in this town. And we're all a part of it.


Location- city domain 3.36
time- early morning
Involved- Quinn, Minerva


It was one of the calmest nights Quinn had been having in a whole while. Usually, her work did only start when it was getting dark, but when Icarus had called her to give her the details for the next job, all he had said was that something big had come up and he wanted her to get some rest before meeting their client. It was odd to say the least, customer service usually was Icarus' job. The rest of their small team of mercenaries- Jonathan, Yugo, Fenric, Allister and herself, normally never had to do with those people, only when a customer specifically asked to meet one of them.
Something was definitely going on; and something could mean great payment as well as it could mean something going just completely south, so she was more than a little weary.

The claws of her metal hand were making a silent ting-ting-ting-ting as she drummed her fingers on the glass table she was sitting at.
It wasn't a life in luxury she was leading, but her job was payed well enough to afford a humble apartment with decent furniture, her favorite probably being said table. Of course she couldn't directly see it, at least not like others did, but the glass reacted rather beautifully with the faint electricity in the air. Her furniture in general was a wild mix of styles, colors, patterns and materials, for once because she couldn't see how that atrocity of a dark red and pink, heavily patterned couch clashed with the dark green, almost victorian-looking shelf, and secondly because she could see how they reacted to her faint, electric impulses.
And so her apartment looked like her interior designer had been on a bad cocaine trip...or LSD...or both, while it looked perfectly fine for her.

...And still.
While she usually would've just curled up on her couch with a hot chocolate, something within her was unable to calm down. Her gut feeling was beyond bad, and it was getting worse by the minute.

"Come on, Ica...", she grumbled towards her PSC. "You should've called fifteen minutes ago..."
Fifteen minutes probably wasn't that long for most, but everyone of their knew that Icarus was never late and expected the same from his team. It was so unlike him...

She waited for another fifteen minutes and tried to call him three times, with no success, before she decided to take matters in her own hands. This was way too weird to be right, even in her life that had turned into one big freak show since she had lost her face.
... The electroreception was cool though...
Shaking her head she tried to get her messy, chaotic head straight. Most of the time her mind was a hurricane of millions of little snippets of a billion thoughts, a nonsensical super highway, so it more often than not proved to be a little difficult for her to focus.
Now want the time to get lost in craziness, though. If something had happened to Icarus...

As she was still wearing her comfy shorts and crop top, she took a moment to change into some black leather pants, oversized camo hoodie and her favorite black leather jacket, slipped into her combat boots and took the elevator down to the ground floor. The light on the left was flickering as always, but the unrhythmical tinkling of the lamp with the loose contact, paired with the monotone buzzing of its working counterpart did give her a feeling of home. Probably because it had been like that without anyone trying to fix it for the past five years.

Down on the ground level, after the elevator doors had opened with a silent hiss- the right one giving off a tortured, high-pitched screech- she took one of the rentable motor bikes an elderly man was offering just on the other side of the street. She never paid, but brought him food from her favorite restaurant once or twice a week. It was an arrangement both were happy with, or at least she assumed it was, after all the man never complained.

Luckily Icarus home wasn't far away from her own apartment, a building looking very much like the one she was living in, just a couple of years older. But no matter how often she rang... the door remained closed.
"Dammit, Ica... where are you...", she cursed silently under her breath while her bat-like ears were flicking around nervously, trying to catch a hint of his voice, but to no avail.
She did hear another familiar voice, though.
Minerva?
Weird... the siblings rarely ever went anywhere without each other, as far as she knew they were the only family they had left. Minna was constantly worried about her brother and often enough was the voice of reason when he was getting a little out of hand again, while Icarus was your typical, overprotective older brother.

"Frequency!"
Quinn's bat ears shot forwards at the sound of Minerva's voice. Usually, even when she was trying to prevent her brother from going overboard, she always had this unsettling way of sounding as indifferent as a concrete wall, but right now her voice was loaded with sorrow.
What the hell was going on? To make her show worry this openly...
"Minna, what's going on?"
Her ears flattened when the unmistakable, sharp scent of android plasma crept up her nose. "Oh dammit, I can smell it. Guess Ica had some late night snack, where is he?"
"... sobering up in our old-... at the old workshop."

The only reaction Quinn showed was a flick of her left ear, but internally she was wheezing. She didn't know the entire story of the siblings, but what she did know was that they had been created in that old workshop, lived there with their father... until he had been murdered, also there. Icarus would be everything but happy to be there, especially when the effect of the plasma would wear off.
"He's gonna kill you for locking him up in there, you know that, don't you?", she said wryly, but Minerva looked as impressed as a rock.
"Who cares, I'm so done with constantly having to save his addicted ass!"
"Wow." Now, she hadn't expected that. Usually the android was so calm, almost stoic, really, but right now she sounded like she was contemplating to shoot her brother to the furthest domain possible, probably without his PSC to return.

"Whatever..."
Minerva's unnerved sigh woke Quinn from her daydreaming of Icarus trying to hitchhike back home. She couldn't suppress a little grin that was creeping across her face at the image of the man trying to convince a stranger to help him out. Icarus was as proud as he was pigheaded; a combination for big trouble; or great comedy, depending on perspective.
"While I was tracking him down to save his stupid ass, I found this. Looks like he has a job for you."

Quinn took the note Minerva was holding out to her to unfold it dramatically...
"Interesting...", she mumbled, acting overly mysterious before she handed the piece of paper back to the android. "Looks like paper. Now will you tell me what's written on it?! It's not like I can read it?"
Minerva facepalmed upon realizing her mistake, causing Quinn to grin ironically.
"Ack... sorry Quinn, I'm... a little out of my element today, for obvious reasons... it says that some guy asked about you. Apparently he wants to talk to you, but didn't mention why. Seems like Ica arranged a meeting at noon, near the main Transit station." She scoffed silently. "I'm jealous, you get to go and take care of another job while I'm stuck here to cover my brother's killing sprees..."
Shrugging, Frequency nodded her head in the rough direction of the Transit station in a few miles distance. "Maybe they could use some additional support, why don't you just offer your help?"
"I can't just do that and leave Icarus behind... can I?", the android pondered hesitantly. Quinn just shrugged once more. "Your choice. But maybe it's the kind of wake up call he needs. Plus, you sound like you really need some time without him."


And so, the android and the cyborg arrived at the main Transit station about an hour later, to meet their clients, Minerva back to her ever so indifferent self and Quinn playing around with her PSC's hologram.
 
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Wilder28

The Wild One
1620211816568.pngLocation: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva
When the trio finally turned up at their destination, they found themselves materializing upon within a Transit station - a technological construct much like Transit pads except on a larger scale. They shared the same purpose of rerouting those who arrived through D.T. to a chosen point decided by the Domain's administration, in case they didn't want people just being able to pop in at any point of the datasphere at any time. Most Domains had this sort of thing, though the exact nature of it tended to vary. In this case, it seemed to be a general public entrance, as indicated by the sheer amount of people constantly arriving through this way. This Domain, classified as the Residential sort according to Auryn, was clearly a popular one.

They weren't really planning on joining the crowd, though. Given the type of business they were currently about to deal in, one might've thought that they wouldn't want to come this way at all; indeed, Auryn, like many hackers, knew how to access dataspheres in ways that he was absolutely not supposed to. But he chose to avoid doing that sort of thing for two main reasons: One, it was less work this way. And two, they had a substantially lower chance of getting caught. All they had to do for right now was blend in with the crowd and go with the flow; clearly whoever he was looking for didn't live in some Dark Sector hide out or anything, so it wasn't like that would be too hard.

Now, after having literally just left the HQ following a series of hugs and "Stay safe", the three of them had all touched down in the center of an everchanging throng of people, of all shapes and sizes. Looking around, they made sure that no one among them was missing, before Auryn set out almost immediately, walking out of the station and taking a look around. He seemed to be searching for someone, though neither of the others knew who since he'd never actually told them who this mysterious person was that he was looking for. Freesia seemed content to wait and find out, but Ryatt wasn't quite so fond of surprises.

"So," Ryatt spoke up, having to raise his voice so that he could be heard over the people around them, "you say you know this person?"

Auryn didn't look back at him. "Well... less that I know them, and more that I know of them," he correct simply, seeming to spot someone. It was a local official.

Ryatt let out a groan in exasperation. "Of course. How is it possible that we've only just left, and I already want to drop this mission?" He asked, mostly to himself. But he didn't complain any further, simply following along a little grumpily as Auryn blatantly ignored him and led the way over to an official. Catch the man's attention with a wave, he lean forward (and down a little, since he was a fair bit taller than the guy) and murmured something that neither Ryatt or Freesia could catch. After what seemed like a brief exchange between the two, the man nodded and promptly raised his PSC to send out a message. When it was out, he lowered his wrist and announced, "She should be with you shortly."

"Great, thank you," Auryn said politely, before stepping away to let the man speak with some other visitor. He looked around, and decided to try and pick out a more open place to stand. Somewhere where they could pick out whoever he was looking for, and vice versa. "Alright, seems like she's on the way," he announced as he went, leading them to a spot just outside the station. From here, they had a pretty good view of the area around them, including the distant city, which was about a hypertrain away it seemed like.


"Oh, so it's a woman? Is it anyone I know of?" Freesia asked as they went alone, stepping up to his side. Auryn gave a small smirk in return. "Maybe. Whether you do or don't, I'm sure you'll like her just fine. She's pretty cool."

Ryatt snorted, showing how much he trusted that opinion. "Let's hope so."
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble
Location- city domain 3.36
time- early morning
Involved- Quinn, Minerva, Ryatt, Freesia, Auryn



It was a funny sight, Minerva and Quinn standing side by side waiting; the cyborg looked like a stern businesswoman with her black hair in a tight bun and dressed in a pair of black jeans, white dress shirt and gray blazer. Black dress shoes freshly polished, she stood with her hands clasped behind her back, her entire posture still like she was frozen in time. Not even her hair dared to move in the light breeze. The only thing about her that was in constant motion were her eyes, flicking from person to person as they passed her by.
Quinn on the other hand couldn't stand still to save her life. Her ears were restlessly turning left and right as she was eavesdropping on about a dozen conversations at once. And as that wasn't occupying her attention enough, she played around with her spheric hologram. To everyone else it looked like was just poking it with her finger, but she could see how its electric field sparkled and wobbled every time she touched it. It was oddly satisfying.

"So... Do you have any idea who asked to meet me personally?", Quinn asked after a while, the curiosity finally getting the best of her. Holograms of a pair of big, blue eyes popped up where her actual ones would've been, if she hadn't lost half of her face, and looked at Minerva curiously. They did look impressively real, and while they did nothing to improve her nonexistent eyesight, she had learned that it was easier for most people to have a pair of eyes to look at while talking.
The Android just shrugged, however.
"I don't know, Icarus barely ever involves me in anything having to do with customers. Says I'm too stern."

Quinn was well aware that politeness demanded her to say something against that last statement, tell Minerva that she could be quite funny now and then, or something, but in all honesty, yes, from what she had seen Minerva had the sense of humor of a brick wall and was just about as open and talkative.
"Oh, uhhh..", she still tried to find something, anything, to say to say. "Ah! But I bet he wouldn't be able to handle our group of misfits without you!"
Nailed it!
She proudly ran one hair through her hair, her ears flattening against her head in the process.
It actually made Minerva chuckle, just the faintest bit, but it was there, though probably undetectable for everyone who didn't have highly enhanced hearing. Beaming with pride of her accomplishment, she momentarily considered treating herself with some street food from one of the stalls nearby, but on second thought...
Meeting a mercenary munching about as they were taking about a job... Probably didn't come off as very professional.

That's when her PSC gave a signal, a short tune of ascending notes, and sparked to life to display a new message from a local official.
Huh, weird...
Her PSC translated the message into electric impulses, which again were translated into a visual form in her head by her Lorenzini Implants.
"Ah, seems like our mysterious contact has arrived!", she announced excitedly. Minerva reaction was, as expected, about as energetic as the curb they were standing on. "Come on you grinch!"

It didn't take a lot to spot the group of people; their body language clearly suggested that they were looking for something, or someone, and people waiting for each other by the transit station of course were quite common here, she could feel the energy inside the tall man focusing the second she came into view.

"Hey", she greeted them, going from playful kitten to canny, professional mercenary in 0.1 seconds.
Minerva... Not so much. She was silent as ever.
"You must be the mysterious someones Icarus asked me to meet. I'm Quinn." She pointed over her shoulder at her motionless companion. "And she's Minerva."
The Android clasped her hands in front of her and did a very japanese, small bow. When it came to manners she couldn't hold a candle to the woman, but she honestly didn't really care.
 

Wilder28

The Wild One
Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva
Auryn was an impatient man. He knew how to wait, and was fully capable of doing so when he needed to - but seldom was he ever happy about it. Even now, as Freesia gave Ryatt a rundown of this new world they'd discovered, Auryn took to constantly scanning the surrounding area for the person he was looking for. Having just sent out the message that he was here, he wasn't really sure how long it would take her to arrive; but he figured that there was no harm in searching just in case.

Luckily for him, he wouldn't have to wait much longer.

With so many people around, one would think it difficult to pick out a single person from among the masses. But through Digital Sight, it was actually rendered a lot more manageable; it allowed him to discern everyone's individual theme colors, as well as whatever personal information they had chosen to display. And in this case, it allowed him to locate his target in no time.

So unique was Frequency's appearance that he knew her the moment he saw her, even before looking at her information. Previously, he'd only ever gotten to see her in a few pictures, courtesy of some of his friends and associates Underground. But now, seeing her in person, she appeared every bit as she thought she would - slight stature, white-ish blonde hair, and of course, the odd one-of-a-kind cat-like helmet that she was known for.

"There she goes," he announced, cutting the others' conversation short. As if on cue, they turned and faced the direction he was looking in, and caught sight of the incoming pair of women who were now coming up the hill they stood on. This left them fairly out in the open, which allowed Auryn time to look them both over. And as they approached, he noted inwardly that for a woman with only hakf a face, Quinn was really quite pretty.

As for the woman beside her, well, he didn't know her. According to his Data Sight, however, her name was Minerva, codename 'Ve1'. He'd never heard of her before, but he assumed her to a friend or partner of Quinn's that he simply wasn't familiar with.

Either way, once they arrived, he greeted them both all the same with a broad, friendly smile, and stepped forward to meet them. "Hey," he said once they introduced themselves. "Frequency, right? My name's Auryn, and these here are my partners Freesia and Ryatt." He gestured to the others, who in turn gave a friendly wave and a terse nod in greeting. "It's good to meet you both. We're just dropping by because we'd like to know if you'd be interested in joining us in this new... undertaking we have planned." He gave a wink, insinuating that whatever it was he had in mind, it probably wasn't exactly legal.
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

One thing Quinn loved about her Lorenzini implants was how she could see way more than other people, or at least things they weren't able to see.
The way Minerva was suddenly building up more energy in her head and extremities, for example. It told her that the Android was nervous, close to anxious, really, and would be glad to escape the situation right then and there.
But why...?
She didn't want to address it in front of the others, so all she did was irritatedly flick one ear in her direction, while her holographic eyes wandered across the man in front of her and his two companions.
This was a downside of not not being able to see normally- expressions didn't affect the electromagnetic field the people emitted, so seeing those was off the table for her. Sure, often enough it was easy to hear the current mood of someone in their voice, and the places in which energy pooled inside their bodies was informative, too, but subtle changes, like mild irritation or amusement often enough escaped her perception.

Freesia. Ryatt., she mouthed soundlessly, pointing one finger at the woman, then at the other man, like she was trying to memorize their names.
"Auryn", she lastly spoke out the name of the man who seemed to be the leader of this 'undertaking'. "Good to meet you all. An undertaking, hm?"
His tone had been clear enough, even with her being unable to see that he had winked at her. "Intriguing."
"Ah-... Quinn?", Minerva spoke up for the first time.
"Mh?"
"Icarus mentioned that this is something rather big. So-..."
"Something big? Possibly dangerous and risky?"
"Yes..."
Turning back towards Aurynn, a small smirk crossed her face as she rested one hand on her hip and cocked her head. "You had my curiosity. Now you have my attention. Why don't you tell us a little more?"


Meanwhile, far away in another domain-

The forest was eerily silent, when all of a sudden, a shadow raced by, far faster than any normal person could ever run. Bullets were whizzing past the runner left and right, she dodged one, ducked away and made a beeline for the deep, yet narrow ravine splitting the forest in two. It would've been a challenge for an untrained and poorly equipped person to jump over, even more so for the heavily armed hunter with their weapons and armor weighing them down, but for someone with prostethic legs that worked like those of a kangaroo, who had trained since their childhood to run faster, jump farther and be more nimble than a gazelle, it was the perfect opportunity to lose the killer on their tail.

She looked back one last time, the scarlet skirt of her lightweight armor trailing after her like fire, when her hood slipped off a d revealed the mane of curly, dark brown hair framing her masked face.
The hunter was close behind, reloading his gun-
Her vambrace expanded, the printer producing a blinding arrow as she drew back the electromagnetic string, and fired. A bright, white flash momentarily hid her from the hunters view as she raced the last few feet towards the edge and jumped.

Landing safely on the other side, she rolled off her shoulder a d pulled her hood back up with a quick glance back, before she dove back into the greenery.
While the other runners were busy collecting blood from the pillars and filling up the tanks by the exit, her job was to distract the killer; which was quite easy, honestly, as killing a Predator like herself was sure to improve the status of a hunter. She was the number one target for every single one of them...
And they were hers.
 
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Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva
Auryn glanced between the two women as they carried on a brief exchange before his trio, and his grin seemed to grow larger still seeing how Quinn ultimately took it. Risk and danger were indeed part of the job, he'd been pretty clear about that. And yet, she was quite clearly up for it anyway. He'd come to her for a reason, and this was it. Behind him, Freesia, too, seemed to approve of her daring demeanor; only Ryatt didn't seem to share the sentiment. He seemed more exasperated than anything, probably from having to deal with such chaotic people all the time.

"Gladly," Auryn responded, without skipping a beat. "So it goes like this: I was traveling the Cyberverse recently, hopping from one Domain to another as a way of staving off boredom. In doing so, I caught wind of some rumors about this one unauthorized datasphere that supposedly exists somewhere in the Dark Sector. A place that a lot of people like to call the Blood Sphere.

"I still don't know too much about it myself, but word in the Underground is that it's some kind of post-apocalyptic city Domain. Apparently there used to be an off-the-grid society there that's since collapsed into dystopia," he explained. "Now, I hadn't really heard of it before the rumors, but once I learned about them, I decided to try and see if this place was actually real. Just to kill some time, y'know?"

This time, Freesia picked it up, cutting in unexpectedly. "And it is! He found an entrance somewhere in the Dark Sector," she exclaimed excitedly.

Auryn didn't seem to mind her intrusion, nodding in agreement. "More like a breach, but basically! I haven't explored much of it yet, because I didn't want to go in further without some backup. That's why I'm here: I'd like to know if you two would like to assist us in checking out a potentially-very-dangerous uncharted Domain. And maybe topple a dystopian regime while we're at it."

He spoke of it like it was just your average night out. Which, for him, it probably was.
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

While Quinn's expression was mirroring the excitement on Auryn's face, Minerva was looking like she was about to team up with Ryatt in thinking that these people were completely insane. However, oddly enough, after looking back over her shoulder for a couple of seconds, apparently contemplating her options, she turned back to let her gaze wander across the group in front of her with slightly furrowed eyebrows.
Her left hand wrapped around her right wrist as she nodded faintly.
"We're in."
There was nothing in her voice that would give her emotions away; and she seemed as cool and collected as ever, though Quinn, with her exceptional hearing, did notice the faintest of quivers in her voice, most likely too subtle to be heard by most other people.
The energy was building up around the android's shoulders now, she noticed;
while she had been uneasy before, now she seemed to be terrified. Why would an android that had been built to be a living weapon, be so scared of something?
Automatically, Quinn's head turned into the direction of whatever Minerva had been looking at. It couldn't be seen from here, but... Wasn't the old workshop somewhere there?

"So, Blood Sphere, eh?", she recalled, somewhat to distract herself and everyone else from Minerva's unusual behavior; although, of course, these people didn't know that the hint of emotion the android had just shown basically was an outburst compared to how stern she usually was.
"Why would a whole society fall off the grid...?"
"Power", the android remarked. "Think about it. If the people knew that there's a whole cyberverse of possibilities out there, the government would have a hard time keeping them in check. Who would stay in a broken world if they had a chance to escape? But a bunch of unknowing people, depending on their government as the only thing to keep them alive? What easier way is there to become a god?"
"Assholes", Quinn grunted under her breath before she accessed her inventory to change. After a tight, black suit with faint, electric blue energy pulsing across it, had materialized on her, her whip sword appeared in her left hand and she wrapped it around her hip like a belt.

"She... Has a bit of a problem with authorities", Minerva tried to explain.
"Is there anything else you need to do here or would you like to set off right away? And, I suppose you'll get us in? Because frankly, we're both clueless when it comes to hacking."
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

If Auryn, or really any of them, had picked up on Minerva's spike in emotion, they sure didn't show it. After all, it did take a certain skill or an ability like Quinn's to notice such a thing, and all of them seemed much too preoccupied with what she said to even consider it. Auryn in particular grinned like a madman, clearly very eager to have the two on board. "Awesome."

Freesia, too, seemed to share in his excitement. Only Ryatt seemed skeptical - mostly because he picked up that Minerva was at well. The way she looked about and regarded them all skeptically seemed to hint at that, although that also could've just been how she always behaved. This much didn't escape his attention even when Quinn attempted to draw attention away from it, though Auryn and Sia were certainly all ears. Her question would've been answered by the former in short order, but Minerva ended up beating him to it, drawing all of their attention.

And by the time she wrapped up her explanation, Auryn could only nod in assent, more or less. "Right. Basically," he agreed. There really wasn't a better way he could've put it. The situation she described wasn't an isolated sort of incident, either; there were instances where people attempted to create a Domain purely to subjugate those who would stay in it. Of course, such places never lasted long in the mainstream Cyberverse since the Mainframe cracked down on that sort of thing, so the Dark Sector was their best bet. And while most were still shut down in relatively short order, whether by the Mainframe or by more independent forces like Crashing Skies, there were a select few that manage to evade detection. This must've been one of them.

"Oh, that's alright. We're the same way, so I wouldn't worry about it," Auryn assured Minerva in response to her warning. He and his crew were agents of Crashing Skies, which was practically built on authority issues, so he was certainly used to the type.

Turning to Quinn promptly afterwards, he addressed her question in short order. "We can head out now, if you're both ready. We've got nothing else on our plates," he told her energetically. "And of course I'm getting us in; I'm the one who found it." With that said, he turned and gestured for her to follow as he made his way back to the Transit Station. His companions followed close behind. "Wicked suit, by the way. You've got style."
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

On their way back towards the Transit Station, when given the compliment by Auryn, Quinn beamed at the guy, grinning from ear to ear while radiating with an energy and enthusiasm that did bear some heavy resemblance with Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat.
And why wouldn't she?
A new job, a whole new Domain to discover, and, although she wouldn't mention that in any way- a chance for Minerva to distance herself from her brother for a while. It had always been... difficult, for her to understand the deep connection between the two androids, and although she owed Icarus big time- he'd saved her life, given her a new home and purpose in life, after all- she'd never go out of her way as much as Minna did to save that idiot's ass over and over and over again.
She was by no means a psychologist, but that this relationship was toxic was clear even to her.

"Thanks!", she replied, cheerful as ever, and pointed one thumb over her shoulder towards Minerva.
"Though the one to compliment is her, really. Minerva made it. 'S not like I can see color anyway. I only see energy."
There was a short moment in which her expression softened to something more gentle. "She made sure to built it in a way that would look good for both, people with eyes, and me."
She didn't say it out loud, but she was thankful for how considerate her colleague, no, friend, was.

Upon arriving at their destination, Quinn was about to tell Auryn that they were ready to teleport, when she noticed that Minerva was still in her office attire. She was the last person to judge other people's choice of clothing, but considering what Auryn had just told them about the Blood Sphere, jeans, high heels and a blouse probably weren't the most practical attire...
"Uh, Minna...? Might be time to cut the office look", she murmured as subtly as she could. Sighing, the android accessed her inventory and had a very simple, jet black suit with a deep hood materialize on her. Her electric blue eye were glowing through the shadow it cast on her face as she opened the bun her hair had been tied into and crossed her arms.
"Ready to go", she said, giving a short nod.
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: City Domain 3.36
Time: Early Morning
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

Auryn gave a nod at Quinn's response, glancing back at Minerva as she was brought up. While he wasn't too familiar with the details and intricacies of it, he had at least heard of Quinn's condition - it was actually quite unique to the point of being almost iconic, despite the sheer amount of variety that naturally occurred in a time where anyone could look pretty much however they wanted. He personally found it pretty cool, and by extension, he thought the same of her in general.

"Well, that was nice of her to do," he remarked, giving the android in question a smile of clear approval. He had to admit he was a bit impressed with it, too; creating something like that took some skill, whether it was done by hand or by code, and in either case that was a level of skill that he probably didn't have.

He wasn't the only one that felt that way, either. Just behind him, and walking alongside Quinn, Freesia nodded quickly in agreement. "Totally! I don't think there are a lot of people who'd do something like that," she said. "Especially while making it look anywhere near as good." Indeed, most people in Quinn's situation probably would've just opted to get their injuries repaired in full - a very viable decision in this day and age - or at least compensated with a pair of cool shades or something. Not many would've gone the way she had, hence why it was so unusual.
"I'm curious, though," Sia continued. "What's it like seeing the world that way? Does it have any perks?"

While she asked that, going on to chat with and question the other woman, Auryn finally brought the group to a stop in a small, clear space within the Station, where the crowd wasn't quite so dense. Once there, he brought up his navigation screen off his PSC, upon which was displayed a space to input the coordinates of the location he wanted to travel to. Had he been looking to travel to a normal Domain, all he'd have had to do was put in the name, and maybe search for it if there were others that were identical in some way. However, since Blood Sphere was situated solidly within the Dark Sector, direct travel wasn't possible; it wouldn't show up if he searched for it, and just putting in raw coordinates would only result in him being quietly denied access and redirected to a different location. That was just the way things worked with a place like that; there had to be some level of secrecy.

Fortunately, Auryn was experienced enough to know a way around that. Every pocket of the Dark Sector had its cracks to slip through; it was just about finding them. In this case, the entrance he had found happened to be one of them. And to get to it, he had to take them over to a specific location in the mainstream Cyberverse first. Tapping the bar, a list of recently-visited locations dropped down, and he selected the one he was looking for.

At that point, he glanced back at the others to see if they were ready. Ryatt was standing on the peripheral of the group, hardly interacting with the women in the group while he waited to get moving; and Freesia watched as, per Quinn's reminder Minerva, shifted into an outfit more fitting for what they had planned. Not really necessary at the moment in his book, but no one was going to bat an eye at the change unless they happened to be especially familiar with these two. Altogether, though, he counted the group as ready.

"Alrighty, then. Here we go," he announced, before turning back to the screens he had up. First, he sent out an invitation to join to all the others in the group, causing them to receive a confirmation message on their own PSCs. This was necessary for group travel, since he couldn't just take them all at once; if that were possible, it'd be way too easy to just transport someone against their will.

Once that was done, he finally went on to tap the big 'Travel' button that was on the screen, and while the others were just pulling up their own screens, he was already dematerializing into data, his body dissolving into countless black digits. Just seconds later, he was on the way, and the others weren't too far behind.


1634715300698.png
Location: Arcadian Domain 9.83 - Forest Variant
Time: Early Afternoon
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

One core benefit of Digital Transit was that it was quick. In most cases, any trip from point A to point B took a few minutes at the most, even when crossing distances that would otherwise be considered inconceivably vast. This particular case was no exception; after what felt like just twenty seconds of shooting across the universe in abstract digital form, Auryn and co. would materialize at their destination: A lively forest. All around them were towering coniferous trees and scuttling wildlife, and the skies above were mostly clear, with two bright suns positioned at different points high up in the sky.

At a glance, there didn't actually seem to be anything particularly strange about this place - except, perhaps, for the towering stone cliffs that seemed to border the forest on one side. They weren't far off from where they were standing at all; in fact, it was only a couple minutes' walk to get there.

"Alright, here we are," Auryn announced once everyone wwas present, allowing them some time to adjust to their reformation and the new environment. "This isn't it, obviously; this is just where I found the breach. It's off in that direction." He pointed toward the cliffs. "Those cliffs mark the borders of this Domain. The Blood Sphere is somewhere on the other side."
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble
1634715300698.png
Location: Arcadian Domain 9.83 - Forest Variant
Time: Early Afternoon
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

Quinn had just been about to answer Freesia's questions when Auryn started the digital transit. In what felt like no time at all, they were in an entirely new world. Both Frequency and Minerva seemed to be utterly awestruck by their new surroundings.
There just was a beauty to the way that the energy danced off the swaying leaves of the trees and flowed upwards through their trunks like giant columns of pure life that was deeply humbling to the cat-eared mercenary.
The wide, wondrous smile spreading on her face however paled in comparison to Minerva's expression-

With her eyes wide in wonder, she pulled the hood off her head and turned once, taking in her surroundings like she'd never seen a forest before. Well, it had been such a long, long time. So long, honestly, she wasn't even sure whether the faint memory she had of a forest weren't just of a picture or something.
Quinn finally explaining to Freesia how she perceived the world completely passed her by.

"I don't see color, obviously", she said. "I see energy, but not the way you'd see a painting or something... It's more like... if you close your eyes and imagine something, you 'see' it, but in a different way, right? I guess that's kinda comparable."
She took another look around before continuing her explanations.
"It's silver reflections on something otherwise invisible. But it's super useful to spot life; electric fields pass through solid materials easily, so walls don't block my sight. Plus- 360 degree perception."

She turned slightly, into the direction in which she felt a weird ripple in the air.
"I...think I can feel it?", she noted curiously. "The electric fields are completely messed up over there."
Meanwhile, Minerva had her PSC screens up and was quick to bookmark the recent domain. Once they'd be back home, she hesitantly promised herself, she'd make sure to regularly have some time for herself and come here.

"Okay!", Quinn exclaimed excitedly as soon as Minerva was done, "Mighty leader Auryn-" a playful grin crossed her face as her left, holographic eye winked at the man, "lead the way, I'm dying to see what's on the other side!"
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: Arcadian Domain 9.83 - Forest Variant
Time: Early Afternoon
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva

Beautiful as the realm was, neither Sia nor Ryatt appeared to be especially impressed with it. It was excellent work on the part of the Domain's creator, certainly, and they wouldn't deny that. But they'd also been around the Cyberverse quite a bit, and in that time they'd been exposed to such a wide variety of different worlds and settings that it took quite a bit more to amaze them nowadays.

Still, though, Freesia couldn't help but admire this Domain for what it was, taking in her surroundings with a smile on her face. She'd seen some pretty scenic locations, up to and including sprawling megalopolises and fantastical kingdoms, but Arcadian Domains tended to have a sort of quaintness about them that most other places lacked. It was easy to see why some preferred to reside in realms like this. They were peaceful, idyllic, and typically very high on hospitability.

It wasn't quite Sia's style, since she was more like Auryn in that she preferred places with more in the way of action and adventure, but she could certainly appreciate it.

As for Ryatt, he was less focused on the world they were in and more focused on why they were here, turning toward the cliffs as Auryn pointed them out, and studying them for anything that might've looked out of place. So far, he found nothing, but he may well have just been too far to see much.

While he did that, and eventually went to join Auryn, Sia heard Quinn speak again, and she turned to face the other woman while she went on to answer her previous question, which she'd almost forgotten about by this point. All things considered, she seemed pretty interested in hearing it, judging by the way she nodded here and there while she listened. It was certainly an interesting explanation, and not too hard to visualize. "So you can literally sense, like, every lifeform that's around us? Without even having to actually see them? That sounds handy," she mused. Though she felt that might've been an understatement.

At any rate, before long, the topic turned back to the matter at hand, and Freesia turned toward the direction of the breach while Quinn sort of felt it out. That meant they were definitely on the right track here.

Hearing Quinn call out to him, Auryn turned back to face the others, having just been talking with Ryatt about who knows what. Presumably something related to the mission. He looked over the three of them, then gave a grin of his own in return. "I was wondering when you'd be ready. Come on, let's out then." He gestured for the others to follow as he turned and proceeded on toward the cliffs, with Ryatt following suit. Sia quickly went up and joined him at the front, so that she was roughly at his side as they trekked along through the forest.

The trip itself was a short one, and fairly uneventful. The most that happened during this time was that Auryn and Freesia suited up, their PSCs respectively emitting a brief white or yellow-orange glow before their armor materialized over their bodies, appearing first in colored holographic form before solidifying into tangible matter. By the end of it, this left Ryatt as the only one who wasn't dressed for action - not that he particularly seemed to mind.

At any rate, it was just a few minutes that passed before they came upon the base of the cliffs, which now towered incredibly high above them. So rough and steep were they that climbing them by any conventional means wasn't likely to get one far - although even if one did manage it, they likely wouldn't find much at the top, since nothing really existed in this Domain beyond this point.

"Alright, team. This is it," Auryn announced as they stepped out of the treeline. Courtesy of his mask, his voice was now scrambled, and thus rendered unrecognizable. Ahead of them was the sheer face of the cliff wall, which on the surface didn't look all that unusual. However, studying it more closely would reveal a few visual discrepancies here and there, as if the universe itself were bugging out; and viewing it through Data Sight, as Auryn now did, revealed a ruined mess of digits and data, where there was otherwise meant to be a well-structured lattice.

"All we've got to do now is glitch through here, and we'll be right there on the other side. I've been over there once; the area seemed to be clear, so once we arrive, we should get some time to adjust and settle in." He turned back to face the others, looking them all over. "Just to be sure, I'm going to ask this one last time: Is everyone ready?"

Once he received confirmation, both from his own group and the others, Auryn nodded and turn back toward the wall. "Alright then. Sia, you take Quinn. Minerva, you'll be heading through with Ryatt and me. Sound good?" There was a small chorus of assent, and though it couldn't be seen, he gave an audacious grin. "Good. Then here we go."

The process that ensued was surprisingly simple. It started with contact - Freesia went up to take Quinn's hand, and once that was done, she went right up to the wall and set her free hand upon it. Beside her, Auryn took Ryatt's arm in one hand and Minerva's in the other. Once they were all in position, the two shared a glance, and gave a nod in sync, before facing ahead and walking through at once.

For those not used to glitching, the sensation felt quite strange. Beginning the moment they would have hit the wall, the code that made up their own bodies began to break down, losing structure while maintaining some cohesion. This was visually represented by the sight of the body shifting and fragmenting into bits of color and code, and while it wasn't painful, it sure did feel unusual having your body fracture apart.

Thankfully, the transition was also a quick one. Glitching was a near-instantaneous process, and so once they had stepped into the wall, phasing through it as if they were ghosts, hardly a second had passed before they departed from the blackness that followed and touched again on solid ground, fully whole again.

At that point, Auryn let go, as did Freesia, and the two looked around as they began to walk forward and take in their new environment, scanning it both normally and digitally for any threats.

"Alright everyone, here we are," Auryn announced. "Welcome to the Bloodsphere."
 
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Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble
While Minerva just ran one hand through her hair to stroke it back, out of her face, Quinn shuddered a little as she felt her body reassemble after it had fractured during the glitching.
Yikes...
Sure, as a mercenary, the authorities weren't exactly fond of her, but Icarus and the whole team made sure to stay in the... Gray areas of the law, so they didn't really need to use any means of travel like this. So this had been her First time glitching, and it felt weird.
The cyborg, on the other hand, didn't seem like the odd sensation was disturbing her in any way. She was looking around like nothing had ever happened and they had just casually as ever travelled here without basically falling apart.
Her only reaction was the slightest movement in the plates that made up her face, like she was trying to arrange them back into their respective positions.
This woman had always weirded her out, one way or another, but especially in the way she acted so ancient sometimes.

Her attention was drawn from the group as a bright flash of silver entered her field of perception.
"Someone's coming", she announced and swiftly moved to rest her hand on the handle of her whip sword.
Minerva reacted just as quickly, but subtle as ever- the only detail hinting towards the fact that she was on alert was her ice blue eyes gaining a dangerous, red glow.

While her eyes were seeking their surroundings, Quinn was focusing on every single impulse of her Lorenzini implants;
This person was quite a bit taller than her- which wasn't hard to achieve, honestly- and just a little shorter than Minerva.
The energy she was emitting suggested that rhey were neither sick nor weakened in any other way, but rather pumped like they had just been through something quite thrilling.
Their signature was overall normal, human, with a few enhancements... at least mostly. Everything down to their legs was a human signature, but it changed halfway down their thighs; everything below was reflecting Quinn's own electric field like...
Kind of like Minerva. And like her own head and hand.
Something was off about their legs, that much was obvious.

Suddenly, her vision was blinded by something... She could only describe as a halo whizzing right towards the group.
The next second it dug into the tree behind her just an inch away from her neck and another was aimed at her, spinning around the index and middle finger of a on unknown, armored and masked woman who was undoubtedly ready to release it into her face at any given second.

"Who the hell are you?", the stranger growled, her stance suggesting that she was ready to fight if she had to.
"Ey, what did I do to you, eh? And who are you?", Quinn asked, sounding ever so casually as she removed the razor sharp ring from its target and threw it back towards the girl, who caught it and fixed both weapons to a small hook on her armor.
After a moment of hesitation, she lifted one hand to remove her hood and mask and fixed it to her shoulder by another hook, finally revealing her face, framed by a mane of curly, brown hair.

Eyebrows furrowed, she distrustfully eyed the group.
"Hela, of course", she finally said and had her prosthetic legs transform back into their regular shape. She still didn't trust them, of course, but it didn't seem like she needed to be ready to dodge and run right now, so hopefully her running blades weren't necessary at the moment.

However, something was definitely off about these people. A whole group, all equipped with way better gear than anyone outside the enclaves could ever afford or even get their hands on, and not looking malnourished and half starved?
At first glance she would've expected them to be very successful Runners or even Predators, just like her, but Predators were rare, very, very rare, maybe two or three not counting herself, and she knew everyone worth knowing.
But she didn't know them.
For a moment she considered them being spies sent by one of the Enclaves, but it was highly unlikely that a whole group of them would've managed to fly under the radar of the Rebellion's own spies...

... Just what on earth was going on here?
"You didn't yet tell me who you are", she noted cautiously.
Her distrustful expression made space for surprise when the bat-eared, faceless girl answered her question like they were old friends meeting up.
"Hela? Alright! My name's Quinn. And-"
"...Wait. Wait wait wait-", she interrupted her, "...you don't know me? At all?" Shr narrowed her eyes like she was trying to unveil the mysteries of the universe.
"You don't know the pantheon? Hela, Ares and Janus?"
"Doesn't ring a bell." Turning towards the rest of the group, Quinn lifted her shoulders as Hela eyed them like they had all gone completely mental. "Anyone of you guys know them?"
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

Being more than accustomed to the brief transition they had just gone through, Auryn, Freesia, and even Ryatt were by no means disoriented. On the contrary, the moment they materialized, they were on high alert, as was usual when first setting foot into a potentially hostile environment like this one. Fortunately, as Auryn had predicted, the area was clear; there didn't seem to be a danger in sight, environmental or otherwise.

At least, not at first.

However, well before either of them could've picked up on anything, Quinn alerted them to a new presence in the vicinity. And so, just when they were about to relax a little, the trio immediately upped their vigilance, tensing up a little as they now began to search their environment for any sign of another person. "Where?" Auryn asked, his voice made much more threatening by the effects of his suit.

Luckily, that question ended up being answered for him. Before Quinn could get so much as a word out, a certain bladed projectile came flying from practically out of nowhere, just narrowly missing the mercenary and embedding itself into the tree beside her. Had they been closer, Auryn or Freesia might have intercepted it; but as it was, with their companion yet unharmed, they promptly turned in the direction the weapon had come from and locked their sights upon its owner.

Standing not too far from them now was a strange woman with odd bladed legs, clad in a mask and a set of armor that, to the hackers of the group, seemed to indicate a Cybercriminal. Around her finger spun a second chakram identical to the first, and though her expression obviously couldn't be seen, it was clear that she was ready to use it. And the feeling was mutual, too - the moment they saw her, Auryn was quick on the draw, swiftly raising up his arm to aim a black one-handed blaster that was about as large as it reasonably could've been, which materialized into his hand from code even as he moved. Beside him, Sia clenched her fists, triggering a burst of yellow electricity that around the Shock Gloves she had built into her armor. Ryatt might've taken out his own weapon had it been clear that he probably hadn't needed to.

Overall, it was clear that they were just as prepared to throw down if it came to it. However, neither of them made a move, allowing Quinn the opportunity to talk with her. Because of this, though things were tense, that tension never came to a head. Instead, the woman answered Quinn's question by taking off her hood and her mask - to the hackers' surprise - thus revealing her true appearance underneath. Naturally, none of them here recognized her, nor did her name ring a bell when she announced it. But her willingness to lower her weapons first compelled them to do the same, Auryn's gun dissipating back into code to be stored in his inventory. The threat of a fight seemed to be past them now.

"... I've heard the names," he answered eventually, after sharing a brief look with the others. They seemed similarly clueless as to who this was. But if Auryn had to take a guess, she was either some hotshot Hacker who'd gotten here first, or she was a local. So far, he was inclined to believe the latter, but he couldn't be sure yet. "They're gods. Old gods, the kind that were worshipped thousands of years ago. You hear their names used for practically everything nowadays." Not many people really knew that now, just because it wasn't usually relevant knowledge, but having spent a lot of time roaming more fantastic dataspheres certainly taught him a thing or two. "Guess the same's true here."

And with that, he turned back to face Hela. "Call me Demyze. Now, I need to know: Are you from here?"
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

While she'd been able to put the questions regarding these strangers' weirdly elaborate gear on the back burner, the tall guy's oversized weapon just materializing and dematerializing like it was no big business was a little too weird. For a moment, she considered nanobots; if this man had manged to somehow replicate the bots that made up the omni printer, maybe something like this was possible... but despite the things being quite small, they by far weren't too small to be seen with the naked eye; plus, only a handful of people, the highest ranking leaders of the Enclave, knew how exactly they were built.
Directly asking about it didn't seem like her best option, though- in the end, she had no way to determine whether or not they were just flat out lying.

And anyway, the most important thing to find out for now was their intentions.

Her brows still furrowed, she took a moment to really assess each member of the group;
A rather stocky guy in the background, unarmed, who somewhat reminded her of a very unimpressed bear, two short women, one looking weird and one looking normal, the tall guy with the freaky weapon and a woman just a little taller than she was, who somehow sent a cold shiver down her spine for reasons she couldn't quite put her finger on.

The dark guy's question just added to her bewilderment. From here? Heck from where else should she be, this whole damn world was one big wasteland!
"From where else should I be?", she asked back, eyebrows furrowed, but Glowy Ears was quick to answer her question with another question.
"Well it's not like this d-... place... is the only one in the world, is it?"
What kind of a question was that? "Have you been living under a rock all your life? Of course the Enclave is the only city left."
Had she had eyebrows, Quinn's expression would've mirrored Hela's; instead, her ears flattened against her head to drown out sounds as she fully focused on her electroreception;

The trees around formed pillars of silver energy, yet it was weak, no comparison to what she had sensed back in the forest domain. And beyond the sparse joke of a forest... Nothing.
Barren land, cracked, dry earth heated up by the scorching sun above, ramshackle buildings lined up like rows of jagged teeth, like the land itself was just about ready to open its maw and swallow the people walking it.
And behind all the misery- a constantly moving, blinding glow, like a swarm of hornets buzzing about at an insane speed, giving her headaches.
"Christ...", she muttered quietly to herself, rubbing her temples.

Hela, meanwhile, had moved on from her irritation to answer Black Suit's guess regarding the Pantheon.
"Well... Yes, and no", she said. " Yes, the names are those of ancient gods. But they are aliases. Of the most deadly Predators and Runners in the Bloodharvest of our time, mind you. Janus, the god of beginnings and ends, a Runner famous for having his eyes and ears everywhere, Ares, the god of war, a genius Predator who could turn a leaf into a weapon, and, well, Hela, goddess of death, the Predator with the highest count of killed Hunters. How have you never heard of us?"
Maybe she sounded arrogant, but it had absolutely nothing to do with anything like that; she just was genuinely confused about how someone couldn't know them, with how much of a spectacle the Enclave made every Bloodharvest in which they participated.
The more Glowy Ears' comment confused her when she flatly admitted "You lost me at 'Runners and Predators'."

"Seriously, what in all world is it with you people?"
By now she just sounded completely done.

Meanwhile, Quinn tilted her head to the side, towards Auryn.
"Dis gonna be fun... You wanna break it to her?"
 
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Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

Well, that answer certainly confirmed it: This woman was a native. It did seem a fair bit more likely than the alternative, especially considering her evident confusion and whatnot, but he just had to make sure. It was entirely possible, after all, that some other Hacker had discovered the breach while he wasn't around, thus managing to slip into this datasphere and do more or less as they pleased without anyone outside the realm noticing. If that had been the case, then depending on their alignment and their intentions, he would've been inclined either to ally himself with them, or take them out.

Fortunately, at least one of those clearly wasn't necessary.

However, while things may have been made easier on that front, it also did bring up another issue: What exactly were they supposed to tell her? According to Hela, this city was the only place there was left. And this whole group of strange people stepping out of seemingly nowhere probably clashed against that belief. She obviously wasn't aware of the wider universe, and while they could just break it to her now, he got the distinct feeling that it would probably be a lot at once.

At the same time, however, it was too late to just blend into this Domain, since they'd made it pretty clear by now that they weren't from here. So the way he saw it, telling her was inevitable.

Maybe that didn't have to be a bad thing, though. After all, while she might've been ignorant of any realm besides this one, she clearly knew a lot more about this one than any of them did. Maybe that could come in handy.

"... I can explain it to you," Auryn spoke after a moment, addressing Hela directly rather than answering Quinn. "But first, it might be best if we found somewhere safer to talk. Somewhere less... exposed." He took a look around as he said this. Sure, Quinn technically could've just picked up on anyone else who might be approaching and warned them ahead of time, like she'd done with Hela, but he'd really rather not have to deal with that at all. "Do you know of a place like that?"
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

Hela's gaze flicked between the five members of the strage group for a moment, still trying to piece everything, but, with a frustrated scoff, gave it up soon. Nothing of this made any sense, and while she knew everything about the Blood harvest and was unmatched in taking down even the most heavily armed Hunters, her focus had always been rather... narrow, so to say.
When she wasn't training or taking out Hunters in the arena, she was strategizing with the leaders of the rebellion or improving her gear; there really was no time to look left and right. And even if she did- there was nothing but destruction and hardship, be it left, right, or straight ahead.

"...Fine...", she sighed after a moment of contemplation, sighing deeply.
She turned on her heel, without even looking back at the group. "Follow me."

It only took about a minute's walk until the gnarly, half-withered trees made space for an ocean of half dilapidated buildings strung up at the sides of dusty makeshift roads. A few hardly running shops sat at the edges of a center square that could barely call itself so; the ground probably had been paved, long ago, but most bricks were missing, torn out to be used as makeshift fixes for the holes that littered every house's wall. Where once must have been a sparkling fountain sat now a cracked stone basin with an agel- one wing and an arm missing- pouring sickly milky green water out of a half broken pitcher.
"Wow...", Quinn muttered quietly, her voice for once void of any cheerfulness.
" It's getting worse by the year", was all Hela answered in return; there wasn't much to be said.

Even Minerva's endlessly stern expression showed a hint of discomfort as she pulled her black coat tighter around her tensed shoulders. "What happened here?"
By now, Hela wasn't even surprised by that question; whatever is was with these people- it was clear that, for whatever reason, they had no idea of what was going on.
"I know how this must look for someone from the Scorched Lands, but rest assured, the Enclave is doing everything they can to support us", she said hollowly without looking back. Only the look she gave them was a clear signal tu shut up.

The path soon became even more unkempt, as it led up to a wide, circular space littered with tombstones standing lopsidedly in a sea of gray, withering grass.
A circle of five iron arches protruding from a low cubble wall surrounded it like the fingers of an enormous sentinel protecting the place.
As soon as the group had passed the massive iron pillars, Hela turned around with a sharp look.
"The walls have ears in the Outer Districts, so be careful what you say. Here it's okay. To answer your question properly-" she vaguely waved one hand in Minerva's direction.
"The Enclave locked their gates on anyone and everyone who would need their help when the world went up in flames. They hid in the safety of their walls and let us die in the rubble. At least until they realized they needed food for their machine. That's when they decided to support us- by forcing us to participate in their death game and providing those who survived with the barest necessities."

Turning towards Auryn, she quirked one eyebrow. "Your turn. What the hell did I just see back there?"
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

Auryn and the others waited silently for a response while Hela looked them all over, clearly attempting to figure out what was going on here. And as they would've expected, she didn't have much luck. How could she? If all she knew of was this one ruined Domain, then no way could she even imagine that they were from another place entirely. That certainly left them with a lot to explain.

Luckily, they had plenty of time for it - or at least they would, once they got to wherever Hela was taking them. After trying and failing to piece things together, she had consented to lead the group, and so as soon as she started walking, they started following. They all trailed behind at a reasonable distance, keeping conversation to a minimum while they looked about and took in their new environment. Out of all of them, Auryn was the only one to have previously gotten so much as a glimpse of this world, but even then he hadn't gotten to see all that much. It wasn't until now that he got to witness the sheer scope of the desolation that ravaged it. He'd been to realms like this before, both in and out of the Dark Sector, where things were a lot rougher than they would be in a more ideal Domain. But this? This had to be the worst.

There was one upside, though. With the surprising absence of locals in the area, for reasons that he hoped weren't as dark as he was starting to fear, their presence was apparently going unnoticed. It was standard procedure when visiting certain Domains - particularly some residential ones - to adopt the local attire so as to better blend in. One could go without doing this, especially if they worked for the Mainframe as a Digital Engineer would, but to do so was often frowned upon. Here, it was preferred because if they didn't conform, they would stand out, as Hela proved. And that would be a problem.

The issue was, he didn't know what the clothing here was like, and he couldn't just assume that what Hela was wearing was the standard, given her apparent status. Best he just waited until the proper time to ask her himself. Until then, he could just try to cloak them if need be.

Fortunately, no such need arose. The next few minutes passed by without incident, allowing Auryn to fully take in the surroundings as they made their way through the town... such as it was. Altogether, with the buildings and the road, and even the fountain, which held his attention for a good ten seconds as he regarded the water coming out of it, it was definitely the worst residential area he'd ever seen, and he was certain his companions agreed on that front.

It wasn't long before he found out why, either, courtesy of Minerva's inquiry which she had only just beaten him to. The answer they received was enough to warrant a look from him, and he could tell both by her tone and the look she gave afterward that what she was telling them wasn't the truth. She'd been told to say that, or at least, she was saying it because she'd had to. He'd seen it before, and he was sure the others recognized it as well.

On that note, none of them spoke another word until they came into a stop, whereupon they stood within a rather morbid-looking area filled with graves and dead grass. After briefly scanning the area with his gaze, he finally turned back to face Hela, moving a little further into the center before coming to a stop. Listening to what she was saying, it all made sense - why she wasn't so keen on speaking out there, and of course, why the world looked the way it did. It all disgusted him, the latter part especially, and he was sure his fellow Hackers felt the same. More than anything, it told them that they were right to be here.

He wanted to ask about this 'death game' she mentioned. Learn more about what it was. But she addressed him first, and he figured it was only fair he get that answer out of the way.

"... It's complicated," he told her after a moment, speaking slowly as he considered exactly how he was going to tell her all of this. "And you might not believe it at first. But hear me out... What do you know about space travel?"
 

Isthill

Perhaps short of a marble

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

"...Space travel?", Hela repeated Demyze's question. Space travel?
Why would he ask about a science that's been given up centuries ago?
She eyed the group once more, and the gloomy lady caught her attention by looking around like she was seeking for something, but she ignoring it for now. There clearly were more pressing matters at hand than her personal inner conflict, or whatever was going on inside her head.
"What does- nevermind."
Asking about what space travel had to do with the situation at hand wouldn't get her any further; and Demyze would hopefully make a sensible connection himself. Not to mention that one more weird question was ignorable with this elephant in the room.
"Not the most, I guess", she answered his question.

Taking a couple of seconds to recollect what her father had told her about it- mostly as bedtime stories- she opened two latches on her armor's shoulders and two at its sides to remove it.
Underneath the sturdy yet lightweight chestplate she was wearing a slightly holey, sunset orange crop top that looked like it hadn't started out as one.
Outside the arena, armor wasn't really necessary, after all people didn't kill each other out here. Quite ironic, really, how the rejected people, hiding in houses that could collapse above their heads at any moment, were still way more civilised than those Enclave Bastards.

"Let's see...", she finally spoke up again, used the next tombstone as an armor stand and leaned against another.
"As far as I know, it was a big deal centuries ago. Scientists would make their experiments in zero g, others were looking for new planets to colonize because even back then everyone knew they were biting the hand that fed 'em. Didn't stop 'em, apparently."
She vaguely waved one hand in the Outer District's direction. "Then, - hey, you okay, Gloomy?", she interrupted herself upon noticing how the tall woman was still looking around the place, but by now, with an absent look in her eyes, like she was reliving some distant memory.

"Absolutely", Minerva said hollowly and straightened up. Hela raised one eyebrow at her, but didn't bother inquiring further.

"M'kay? Well, then the war broke out. These days there just arent enough resources for space travel; not if the Enclavers want to keep up their lifestyle, so it's no longer a thing."

Grinning a little, she looked up at Demyze- admittedly somewhat bothered by the fact that his mask was hiding his face- it just reminded her of the Death Garden a little too much- and pointed one finger towards the sky.
"Why this question, though? What, you're gonna tell me you're aliens? Looking a little too human for that."
She had made it sound like a joke, but had failed halfway, when her voice had grown a little too weary.
But, no, just considering that was ridiculous. Their technology was way beyond what they had out here, but the reason for that wasn't a lack of knowledge on their side, rather than resources.
Except Glowy Ears. Unusual design aside, her prosthetics looked like they could've come straight from a skilled engineer from the Outer Districts.

Speaking of her, her ears had been flicking forth and back restlessly ever since they had entered the graveyard.
"Nervous?", Hela asked, but Quinn shook her head.
"Nah. Just- could you give us a minute?"
Hela's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but she did as Quinn asked and headed over to a half broken crypt in a couple of feet distance, waiting with her arms crossed for the group to finish their private conversation.

"Guys I don't wanna judge anyone too quickly, but you should know we're in a bubble", Quinn said, keeping her voice low. "There are electromagnetic fields between all these pillars and right above us. Minna, try to radio me."
The android closed her eyes, trying to reach the radio transmitter in Quinn's helmet, but it was interrupted by a constant, loud static.
She shook her head, frowning a little.
"Nothing."
Quinn nodded. "So she led us into a black hole. Not saying this is a trap...but it looks like one."
 

Wilder28

The Wild One

Location: The Blood Domain
Time: Early Evening
Involved: Auryn, Freesia, Ryatt, Quinn, Minerva, Artemis

Auryn nodded as Hela gave her initial answer. That was about as much as he'd expected. A society like this wasn't likely to dedicate much focus to space travel. Not when it was a struggle just trying to survive. He wasn't expecting her to be very knowledgeable about it, though; just familiar with the concept. That way it'd be a lot easier for him to get across what he was going to tell her.

He probably would've started his explanation then, but it was also at that moment that she began taking her armor off. This he paid attention to, because what she wore underneath gave insight into the general clothing style of the area. And from what he could tell, the overall vibe was modern, with a worn, weathered look. Perhaps even crude or make-shift. Fitting of a society that seemed to have only scraps to work with. When he was done here, he and the others would just have to adjust accordingly.

Until then, he watched as she hung her armor up, then looked back at her as she spoke again, beginning to explain the history behind the concept. He didn't necessarily need to know this much, but he listened regardless, since it offered information on the history of the Domain. Somehow, he wasn't surprised to hear what he'd heard so far; it was pretty clear that civilization here had once been pretty advanced, and apparently still was, to an extent. What he was more interested in hearing was how it all went wrong.

Before she could get to that part, though, the topic changed, and he and the others looked toward Minerva as she was suddenly addressed. Auryn watched her for moment as she was questioned, noting the way in which she was looking around, but said nothing of it himself. Now wasn't the time to address such a matter; it seemed like something personal. So with that in mind, once they were back on topic, he turned back to Hela and continued to listen as she went on and concluded her account. It sounded about right to him; even the higher-ups in this society couldn't have had the means to leave, otherwise they would have.

Ultimately, though, that wasn't the point. All that he could have easily figured in the first place. More relevant was what this had to do with their origins, which the conversation finally looped around to as Hela quizzed him once again. She couldn't see it, but he gave a slight smirk of his own. Even if her joke fell a little flat, tonally, it still resonated a little with his sense of humor.

That in mind, he made to respond - but he was beat to it when Hela spoke again, this time to Quinn. Turning to look at her, it now occurred to him that she did look pretty nervous. He hadn't even noticed, so focused was he on the woman before them. Now that it was brought to his attention, he was a bit concerned, enough so that he was more than willing to engage in a private discussion at Quinn's request. He watched as Hela headed off, then turned back while Ryatt and Freesia stepped in a little closer.

The rest of the group was quiet for a minute as the mercenary filed her in on her observation, and after Minerva's little test, Freesia furrowed herbrows, and tried a similar thing with her PSC. She pulled up the messaging screen, as if she was going to try and contact someone... but, peculiarly, she was receiving no signal. Usually not an issue unless one was in an area that specifically inhibited it. "... Oh."

Auryn's expression couldn't be seen, but judging by his demeanor, he was pretty unmoved by this revelation. "They're under constant surveillance here," he pointed out. "I wouldn't be surprised if they'd set up a little dead zone like this to escape that. It's possible that she brought us here with some ulterior motive, but I don't think it's likely. We're only here because I technically asked to be."

"Yeah. I don't think there's any malicious intent here," Freesia agreed. "She seems like she's been pretty straightforward to me. I mean, she might be suspicious of us, but who wouldn't be? From her point of view, we practically came out of nowhere. All we have to do is prove that we mean her no harm, and I think we'll be good."

"And if not," Ryatt added, "Then we'll deal with it. We're all still together, we still have our gear, and we came in expecting to be on our own anyway. If she's got something planned, I doubt it'll be anything we can't handle."
 

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