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Futuristic FROSTBITE | A Frozen Post-Apocalyptic Adventure

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  • Welcome to the main IC thread for FROSTBITE!
  • Posting Rules: Aim for a minimum of one paragraph per post - no one-liners, please!
  • Round-Robin Style: Keep the flow smooth by allowing everyone a chance to interact without sifting through pages of dialogue.
  • Roleplay Injuries: This harsh world demands that injuries be roleplayed out realistically.
  • Clarifications: If you have questions or need more information, check the lore.
  • Communication: For absences or questions, don't hesitate to use the OOC thread. Real life takes priority, but let's keep the story moving.
  • Post Starter: This post will kick off the story. Let's dive into the frosty adventure!

Garrick "Reaper" Thorn
35 | Male | Free Roamer
Location: Communal Area

Garrick Thorn's return from the surface was never a straightforward affair. The massive door that separated the underground tunnels from the harsh, frozen world above was heavily guarded from the inside, and for good reason. It was the only barrier that kept the dangers of the surface at bay - raiders, bitter cold, and all manner of threats that lurked in the darkness. Garrick knew the guards on the other side well, their faces blurred by frost-covered gas masks, their voices gruff and cautious.

Using a mobile communication device, he signaled his presence to those guarding the door from the other side. A brief exchange of identifiers and a few moments of tension followed as they verified his identity. Only when the heavy metal door creaked open, revealing the dimly lit tunnel beyond, did Garrick breathe a sigh of relief.

He stepped through, the door closing behind him with a resounding thud. The transition from the unforgiving cold of the surface to the relatively stable temperatures of the underground was always jarring. His breath, which had formed icy clouds in the frigid air, now slowly dissipated into the tunnels' chilly atmosphere as he removed his gasmask.

With his bag filled with scraps and materials slung over his shoulder and his rifle slung on the other, Garrick made his way through the labyrinthine of tunnels to the bunk he shared with his fellow survivors. The tunnels were his home, their narrow passages lined with makeshift homes and shelters. The sound of quiet murmurs and the occasional cough echoed through the underground, a testament to the bustling community that thrived in the depths of the frozen world.

Garrick approached the bunk, the dim light casting long shadows over the sleeping figures. He gently shook the shoulders of his bunk mates, rousing them from their slumber.

"Rise and shine," he whispered hoarsely, his breath forming a small cloud in the cold air. "Got something to trade in."

Sleepy eyes blinked open, faces etched with exhaustion, as his bunk mates processed his words. They knew the routine well - scraps and materials from the surface could mean food vouchers, a precious commodity in their world.

With a few groans and grumbles, his bunk mates reluctantly pushed themselves out of their makeshift beds. They knew the importance of Garrick's scavenging trips, how it kept them fed and alive. As they dressed in layers of clothing to ward off the underground chill, Garrick shouldered his bag of scavenged goods, ready to make the trek to the communal trade area.

The journey was not long, but it was a passage filled with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. At the entrance of the trade area, mechanics and traders bustled about, exchanging precious materials for vouchers that could buy everything from food to warmth.

Garrick approached one of the mechanics, a grizzled man with grease-stained hands and a perpetual scowl. He emptied the contents of his bag onto the makeshift counter - scraps of metal, electronic components salvaged from long-forgotten technology, and other odds and ends. The mechanic examined the haul, his fingers deftly calculating its worth.

As the transaction was completed, Garrick received a handful of food vouchers in return. It was a meager amount, barely enough to feed their small group, but it was a lifeline in a world where resources were scarce. With vouchers in hand, he made his way to the eating area, where the soft glow of lanterns illuminated the simple meal offerings.

With a sense of weary satisfaction, Garrick settled into a seat at a communal table, his fellow survivors scattered around him, each clutching their own vouchers. They exchanged tired but grateful nods, acknowledging the harsh reality of their existence and the bond that held them together.

As he sipped a lukewarm cup of broth and nibbled on a piece of dried meat, Garrick couldn't help but wonder about the surface world he had scavenged. It was a place of unforgiving cold and ruthless dangers, but it held secrets and opportunities that beckoned to him. The thought lingered in his mind as he shared a silent breakfast with his comrades, a reminder that there was more to their world than the tunnels that sheltered them...
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Lena "Gearhead" Tannenbaum
27 | Female | Chisel Clan

Location: Common Area | Interactions: None yet

Among the ruins of an old subway tunnel trekked a group of 5 individuals, a woman with long ash gray hair and jade green eyes leading the way. Their steps were careful and meticulous, as what looked like an ordinary subway tunnel ruin was chock full of traps laid to deter and punish raiders stupid enough to charge into the Chisel Clan's territory.

After a few minutes of carefully following the entrance route they had practice dozens upon dozens of times, they reached a heavily fortified gate that separated sub-zero hellscape that is the outside and the relative safety of the underground. Lena produced a short range radio from her pockets, alerting those on the other side of the gate to their presence. After a routine thorough identity verification back and forth with the voices on the other end, the gate began to rumble open.

Lena and her 4 party members stepped into the subway system proper, being greeted by a group of heavily armed guards as the gate slid close behind them. The head guard stepped forward and spoke as the group set down their scavenging bags. "Whatcha got for us this time?" "Just look through the damn bag instead of having me tell you." "Alright, alright. You don't need to be so stiff all the time, Lena." The ash haired woman clicked her tongue as the man began looking through her bag. That's the last thing I want to hear from someone who hasn't left the tunnels to say! Her scavenging party comrades took the time to take off their masks, Lena opting to leave hers on as the guards sorted their salvage.

The group's haul was organized into 2 piles: valuable components, such as electronics and hard to come by mechanical parts, and salvage that is comparatively more common to come across. The former was loaded onto transport bound for the Clan's established areas of settlement to be used in construction of machinery while the latter pile was returned to the group of scavengers to exchange at a communal trade area. Sure it wouldn't fetch as many vouchers as the stuff being shipped back home, but it's definitely better than giving it to some random person who might use it to come after them.

The group of 5 made their way through the tunnels towards the nearest trading area, bags of salvage strung over their shoulders and weapons at the ready only relaxing after coming into sight of their destination at the end of the tunnel. Lena, though, remained a bit more tense than her comrades. The hustle and bustle of merchants wasn't something that Lena disliked or found particularly uncomfortable in itself. No, it was the sea of unfamiliar faces that kept her on edge, any one of them being a potential threat to her and her comrades.

The ashen haired woman let out a sigh. The faster they turn in their salvage and get their food, the faster they can get out of here. The amount of vouchers they got for the scrap they brought in was to be expected, the volume of their haul doing most of the heavy lifting without more valuable materials. Well, at least it was enough for all of them to grab a meal so they won't starve.

The Chisel Clan members entered the eating area with trays of lukewarm stews in hand, taking their seats at a table a bit further away from where most others gathered. It was only when it came time to actually eat did Lena take off her mask, her jade green eyes scanning over the other people in the room as she and her comrades ate.
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Zera 'Whisper' Kingston
Mentions: Triangles Triangles
Location: Communal area.

The bitter cold greeted her once again as Zera opened her eyes. She woke up, to live another day in this frozen world. A nearly inaudible sigh escaped her not that anyone could hear it. The people milling about in this subway turned reinforced bunker shuffling around, huddling together, or trading with one another. The amount of people never sat well with her and made a huge pit open in her stomach filled with all her roiling nerves and anxiety. She felt eyes on her and she looked up to be met with a child that couldn't be more than ten, maybe younger had approached her. A slight tilt of the head was all Zera did as she stared back uncertain as to what she should do about the child's gaze. Shifting her eyes to the people near the child, when her eyes returned to the child they were much closer to her holding her stomach and having a unspoken question being asked. A question she knew very well and she couldn't leave the child hungry and it wasn't like she didn't have one to spare at the moment after all the jobs she's done recently. Reaching into her coat she dug around for a moment and with her other hand she gestured for them to come closer. Following her directions they found a voucher put in their hands. When the child looked up seeming about to say something, Zera shook her head putting a single finger over her own lips and made the motion as if saying shhhh. The child scurried off under Zera's watchful eye until she got the promised food from the people at the counter.

Now that she looked around a bit more it seemed like there was quite a few more people here than when she fell asleep. Lifting herself from the floor she shivered a moment before going to get some food for herself. There was plenty of things she should be doing today other than sitting around. The faint chatter of conversations, the light banter of people playing cards, and the wary gazes she caught people giving one another. It only cemented even more why she didn't like staying anywhere for very long. Up in the harsh cold ruins was lonely, but at least she didn't have her nerves playing a symphony in her stomach. Upon receiving her meal if she could call it more than scraps she wondered for a few moments until she found a space near a group that had a grizzled looking man whose eyes wondered around the room which seemed to be searching? Zera wasn't sure but she settled herself near them her back nestled in a corner so she could see the entire room as she nibbled away at the food, her nerves not allowing her to eat normally. Even if more of the people in the area seemed more tired than anything it didn't stop her own wary eyes from watching everything around her.​
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N "The Nightstalker"
35 | Male | Merceranry
Location: Communal Area

The frigid wind howled through the desolate subway tunnel, carrying with it a biting chill that seeped into his bones. His breath, visible in the cold air, was filtered through the grizzled gas mask that concealed his features, leaving only his steely eyes visible behind the frosted eyepieces. His military coat, adorned with patches and insignia from the old war, rustled faintly as he moved with purpose through the eerie silence of the underground. His gloved hand clutched a severed piece of flesh with a tattoo on it, a gruesome proof of the contract he had just completed. As well as the man's makeshift dog tags just in case the finger wasn't enough.

As he pressed onward, the dim glow of a flickering overhead light revealed the foreboding sight ahead. At the end of the tunnel loomed a massive, heavily fortified gate. Its cold, metallic surface bore the scars of countless battles, and it stood as the threshold between the darkness of the tunnels and the treacherous surface world.

Two guards, bundled in thick, weather-worn coats, stood sentinel outside the gate. Their breath, like twin plumes of smoke, swirled upward in the frigid air. One held a rusted rifle, its barrel pointed downward but ready, while the other clutched a handheld device, likely a scanner to verify entrants.

He approached the gate with deliberate steps, the crunch of his boots against the frozen ground echoing eerily in the silence. His masked face gave nothing away, but the guards, seasoned and wary, sized him up with watchful eyes. As he drew nearer, the guards exchanged a brief, whispered conversation, their voices muffled by scarves and the relentless wind. Their tension was palpable, but they did not interfere with his approach.

Seeing as though it wasn't wise for him to have this tension in the air, his gloved hand emerged from beneath his heavy military coat, clutching the contract he'd completed on the surface. The paper was crinkled and stained, with what was either some red wine. But let's be honest it definitely wasn't that. Holding it up for the guards to see, he stepped cautiously toward them. The two guards exchanged wary glances, their grip on their weapons relaxing slightly as they took in the contract. The insignia of The Citadel on the document confirmed his association with their faction. A tense silence lingered in the air as they examined the document to make sure that he was legit.

After a seemingly endless moment, one of the guards grunted in acknowledgment. "Nightstalker," he rasped through his own mask, his voice muffled. "You're clear to pass."

With a curt nod, the other guard stepped aside, allowing him to approach the heavily fortified gate. Navigating the labyrinthine subway tunnels, he began to make his way to the trading hub. Hoping to turn in his contract to earn the payment that was owed to him. After, a bit of what felt like endless walking he finally arrived at the bustling heart of Frostbite's trading hub.

The area was filled with activity, with traders, scavengers, and survivors from various factions haggling and bartering for goods and information. The trading hub was a makeshift marketplace, especially compared to the Citadel. With tattered tents and makeshift stalls set up against the subway walls. Piles of scavenged goods, from canned food to ancient relics, were displayed for trade. The air was thick with the smell of burning fuel and the sound of distant voices echoing off the cold, concrete walls.

Garrick "Reaper" Thorn
35 | Male | Free Roamer
Location: Communal Area
Mentions: Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic Absollover77 Absollover77

Around Garrick, conversations buzzed with low intensity. Some survivors discussed their latest scavenging hauls, while others traded information about potential dangers lurking on the surface. It was a constant exchange of knowledge over meals shared with one another.

Garrick's eyes scanned the room, observing those who had returned from the surface like him. Each had a story etched into their worn faces, a tale of survival in a world that had grown hostile and unforgiving.

His thoughts briefly shifted to a woman and her group, frost still lingering on their clothing, indicating their recent arrival back to the tunnels. He had seen them come in, their haul of valuable components promising a fruitful exchange. Their presence in the trading hub did not go unnoticed, and Garrick respected those who could navigate the dangers of the surface with such finesse.

As he observed the woman and her companions, Garrick couldn't help but wonder about the dynamics within their group. Was this woman the driving force of their group? The strength of their pack that propelled them through the dangers of the surface, or was she merely a cog in their wheel?

His curiosity, however, was soon drawn to another unfamiliar face. A woman who had quietly slinked to the corner of their table, nestled in a way that allowed her to view the entire room at a glance. Her demeanor radiated a nervous energy that Garrick could relate to all too well.

Setting aside what was left of his meal, Garrick leaned in slightly, "Care to break bread?" he asked, a gesture of camaraderie in a world where trust was often in short supply. "I'm Garrick."

Before she could respond, his focus shifted again as he overheard hushed whispers from a nearby table. It was a conversation about a secured weapons cache on the surface, hidden away in the remains of an old military outpost. Garrick's eyes darted around, ensuring that nobody else had caught wind of this potentially game-changing information.

His heart quickened with the prospect of such a find. In this world, firepower was often the difference between life and death. But he also knew that such opportunities were rarely left unexplored for long. He filed away the location of the cache in his mind, ready to act on it when the time was right.

Glancing back at the woman who had joined their table, Garrick couldn't help but wonder if she had overheard the hushed words as well. He looked at her, curious to see if her expression gave any indication of having caught wind of the conversation. Then, his gaze shifted to the other woman and her companions, wondering if they too were privy to this potentially vital piece of information...
Zera 'Whisper' Kingston
Location: communal area.
Interaction: Triangles Triangles

Zera had made her way through about an eighth of her meal when the grizzled guy had his eyes locked on her. She forced herself to stay still as he spoke to her. 'Break bread?' Her mind whirled for a few moments unsure of what this Garrick guy had just said to her. At least that was until she remembered something Shun told her when talking to someone he didn't get along with. A phrase he'd use to cause a release in the other people's tension. She did remember eating after and they parted ways without any fighting. 'Maybe... this guy wanted to get along with her? But why did she have something he wanted?'

When Garrick's attention snapped to another table's hushed conversation Zera's own flickered to them as well, there was a resounding fact and a well known one Shun had told her about. Only stupid people talked about huge scores like that in the open. Usually they ended up one of three ways, and all three of them resulted ultimately with the one who spoke it ending up dead. Given that Garrick's eyes flicked from the group to herself and to another woman who Zera had now decided to keep a close eye on a short distance away definitely would have heard that. A possibility at a score of that magnitude a loaded up old military location means durable tech and weapons. It'd be something she could live off of for years even if she had to split it. Also the weight of grave tragedy if the Citadel or worse the Raiders caught wind of it and got there first. She could in turn use what she found to secure herself the ability to never have to scavenge again. He could be the one paying others to find Shun for her.

A quick moment of contemplation crossed her face before making a quick and snap decision. She reached out her right hand much like one would for an arm wrestle towards Garrick. If she remembered what Shun told her this was something he would do when offering to work together. She'd never teamed with anyone other than Shun, so doing this wasn't necessary. She couldn't remember what he used to say but said the first word she could think of while tilting her head slightly as if gesturing at the clearly dumb people who spoke about the weapons cache.
Her voice was soft, small, gentle, and barely able to be heard with how little her voice was but she hoped that Garrick could hear her even with how much louder the rest of the room was compared to her.
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N "The Nightstalker"
35 | Male | Merceranry
Location: Communal Area

His boots echoed against the cold, unforgiving floor of the subway tunnels as he headed towards the designated meeting spot within the bustling trading hub. The eating area, if it could be called that, was a dimly lit section where makeshift tables and benches had been arranged, and scavenged stoves emitted feeble warmth and the promise of a hot meal. Most people paid for their meals with food vouchers from the scrap they managed to scavenge up. Hours of tracking through the harsh cold, risking your life with each and every step all in order to get a warm bowl of soup that tastes like piss.

Amid the scattered groups of survivors, he spotted a figure sitting at a secluded corner table. The man, dressed in Citadel insignia and a heavy coat, was unmistakable. He was hunched over a bowl of steaming soup, the scent of which mingled with the sharp tang of cold air and distant coal fires. He approached the table, his gas mask and helmet giving him an imposing air. The Citadel agent looked up from his meal, his expression hidden behind his own mask. Without a word, he placed the leather-bound pouch containing the contract payment and the tattered bit of skin onto the table.

The agent nodded in acknowledgment, his gloved hand reaching for the pouch. A subtle exchange of gazes beneath their masks conveyed more than words ever could in this world of survival. Their business was concluded, and he turned away. The contract was done and the payment will be brought to the useful payment spot. That is of course if they hold up their end of the deal. But the Citadel folks were trustworthy. Well for the most part anyway.

But considering the fact that his work was accomplished for the time being, he found a quiet corner to sit, far enough from the hustle and bustle of the trading hub to enjoy a brief respite.
As he sat there, he couldn't help but eavesdrop on snippets of conversation from nearby survivors. It was the usual stuff one might hear while listening in to people's conversations. The talk was a mix of the usual rumors, whispers of hidden stashes, and warnings about the dangers of the surface.

While he was listening in, he retrieved a worn and dog-eared notebook from a pocket within his heavy military coat. The notebook was his reliable companion, a warehouse of valuable information, contracts, and personal notes that guided his actions in the unforgiving world in which he lived. He flipped open the pages, revealing meticulous lists of completed contracts, contacts, and cryptic references to hidden stashes and potential opportunities.

As he reviewed the recent contract entry, his gloved finger traced the words detailing the mission's location, objectives, and the expected payout. He then pulled out an old worn-down pen from his coat pocket as he wrote in big bold letters. CONTRACT COMPLETED.
It used to be that living in the subway was reserved for bums and world wars. Apparently, some things take on new meanings ten years into an ice age. A dingy passenger car now counted as a five-star resort, AA batteries suddenly became the gold standard, and to Vincent, a rumbling generator sounds a helluva lot like opportunity knockin'.

"Fifteen cards."

"Fifteen?! That's highway robbery!" A balding man accused Vinny through gritted teeth, hunched over a tray of patented Unity Syndicate Nutrient Slop®.

"Keep your voice down, Mr. Boyd, you never know who could be listening." Vincent leaned back in his seat, nonchalantly waving a finger around the crowded cafeteria.
"That's my price, take it or leave it. I've got twenty customers who'll pay top dollar, no questions asked."

"Oh, come on- ten!" The gentleman pleaded in a whisper.

"I don't have time for this, have a nice day, Mr. Boyd." Vincent swung his legs to leave, prompting Mr. Boyd to interrupt him by frantically grabbing his forearm.

"Okay, alright, fine! ...Twelve."

Vincent slowly turns back, and the man releases him.

"Vin, you're killing me-"

"Final offer. Thirteen."

The man briefly deliberated, cursing himself and furrowing his brow so hard it looked ready to pop right off, then conceded.

"See? That wasn't so hard." Vincent reveled in a rare dash of condescension, retrieving a sandwich baggie from his coat and exchanging it for no less than thirteen ration cards. The man, Mr. Boyd, released a bittersweet sigh of relief, inspecting the contents of the bag - two vials, each labeled Humalog, and a pack of safety syringes - as Vincent counted his pay.

"Eleven, twelve, thirteen, yep, that's it!" Vinny carefully stored the cards in his pocket, making sure not to fold or crease them, extending his hand across the table to seal the deal. Mr. Boyd shook it reluctantly, staring daggers at the young man.

"A word of advice, son; Greed is not cohesive with a long life. Don't slaughter your golden goose." The man warned, stashing the product in a leather pouch.

"Ah, Mr. Boyd... Again, you're mistaking supply-and-demand for greed. I've got bills to pay too, you know." Vincent finally stood and pushed in his chair. "I'll see you in two weeks. Enjoy your meal."

With his food for the week secure, Vinny made his way across the dining hall, smiling and waving here and there to familiar faces on the way until he reached his destination: a table of two near the corner.

"Good morning, Mr. Thorn. I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Vincent kept his hands in his pockets as he greeted the pair, only recognizing the man by name. He turned to the stranger with a tilted head.
"Excuse me, ma'am, I'm not sure I've had the pleasure." He held out his hand once again. "Vincent Jean-Wallace. I was just informing Mr. Thorn here that our business arrangement was conducted smoothly - with quite a desirable outcome indeed!" He vaguely boasted, not yet revealing a dollar - or, rather, a card - amount.

"Have I come at a bad time, or shall we discuss our gains?"

Interactions: Triangles Triangles Absollover77 Absollover77
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Lena(Without Mask).png
Lena "Gearhead" Tannenbaum
27 | Female | Chisel Clan
Location: Communal Area | Mentions: Triangles Triangles Absollover77 Absollover77 | Interactions: None

Lena brought a spoon full of whatever kind of broth they served her up to her mouth. The taste was fairly standard to what's she's used to down here. Of course that is to say it tasted like crap, but it'll keep you from dying of starvation. While they were eating, the 4 other Chisel Clan members began discussing their recent journey to the surface to while Lena remained silent, barely even listening as she continued to look around the room. It would be a lie to say that she wasn't at least a little glad to see that her friends were able to wind down a bit after being out in the freezing wastes for a while, but somebody had to make sure they weren't gonna get jumped.

The figures in the room ranged from sorry husks barely scraping to get by to intimidating looking fellows who looked like they've seen enough shit for several lives over. Her eyes were drawn to a particular table, mostly because some imposing looking guy at the table seemed to take a glance at them. Lena got a bad feeling in her gut as she looked him over. Was he eying them up as potential targets? An ambush perhaps when they left the common area?

Before she could go down that thought path any further, he seemed to strike up a conversation with a random person at a nearby table. How could people be so trusting of complete strangers to just casually approach them, especially in this hell hole? One minute you're having a friendly conversation and the next they're robbing you blind.

Well, so long as his attention was drawn off her she decided to keep looking and listening around for anything interesting, and as chance would have it she wouldn't have to wait long at all.

"Still, if those damn raiders didn't show up..."

"I doubt those pests even have the brain power to make anything substantial, right Lena?" The ash haired woman didn't respond, her attention being taken up by a hushed conversation a few tables away, eying them from the corner of her eye.


"Hello? Earth to Lena."

"Jenny, David, shut it."

"Got something on your-"

"Just pipe down for a sec will ya? It's hard to think with you yapping about."

Her 4 comrades look at each other with a hint of worry before they resumed their conversation, albeit at a much lower volume than before. Lena returned to her stew, contemplating what she just heard. If what she heard was true, it was a big opportunity, almost too big to just pass up even with the risks. With that weapon cache, the Chisel Clan could really bolster their forces to better safeguard their community from outsiders. If nothing else, that cache can't end up in the raiders' possession, who knows what those animals would do if it did. "Oi, we should get going soon, finish up." She said to her comrades as she finished up the last of her stew. Lena was already itching to get out of this place as soon as possible and return back home, but the news of that cache only served to strengthen that desire to leave.
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Garrick "Reaper" Thorn
35 | Male | Free Roamer
Location: Communal Area
Mentions: Absollover77 Absollover77 Hard Boiled Hard Boiled Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic

Garrick nodded appreciatively as the woman, who had silently nestled herself into their group's corner, extended her hand toward him. It wasn't a conventional handshake, but the gesture was clear enough for him to understand. In a world where trust was scarce, this was her way of expressing interest in collaboration. She murmured the word "Comrade," her voice barely audible in the bustling eating area.

His lips curled into a faint smile, acknowledging her unspoken offer. "Comrade indeed," he replied in a hoarse but sincere tone, completing the unorthodox handshake. It was a small step, but in these tunnels, alliances were forged in unconventional ways.

Before they could delve further into their potential partnership, Vincent, a familiar face in their trading circle, approached their table. Garrick greeted him with a nod of recognition. It was clear he had done business with Vincent before, his reputation as a resourceful “Trader” was well-known to Garrick and his companions.

Vincent's introduction was polite, and Garrick inclined his head in response. "Vin, meet our new acquaintance." He gestured subtly toward the woman who had joined them, respecting her preference for a more discreet presence.

Vincent's mention of discussing their gains piqued Garrick's interest. He was curious about the potential opportunities Vincent might have uncovered during his dealings in the tunnels. In this world, information was as valuable as any physical commodity.

"And no, you're not interrupting anything," Garrick replied, gesturing for Vincent to take a seat. "Have a seat, let's talk business." He was eager to hear what Vincent had to offer and whether it might align with the whispered rumors of a secured weapons cache he had overheard earlier.

As their introductions unfolded, Garrick couldn't help but notice the green-eyed woman at another table. She seemed to have caught wind of something important, her jade eyes sharp and focused. With a subtle gesture to her companions, she indicated that it was time to wrap up their meal.

Garrick's instincts told him that she had overheard the whispered conversation about the weapons cache. Her body language spoke volumes, and it was clear that she was a woman of action. He wondered about the capabilities of her group and whether they would be potential allies or competitors in the pursuit of this valuable cache...

Parker "Hero" Kaneko
Communal Area

Parker sat at one of the tables in the communal area. The bare, concrete ceiling cracked under the reality of disrepair as rebar poked from within the scattered wounds in the stone. Warmth was a foreign concept to the ramshackle town choking the old subway tunnels; sure, it was warmer than it was outside-- that wasn't hard, but it was never warm-- if that made sense. It always felt like a tease. It always felt like --just when you could forget about the world for a second and disappear into your bunk, the cold would rise above the heat and bite at your cheeks just to remind you that the world was fundamentally broken. No matter how hard anyone tried to cure the virus-- the temperature was something they could NEVER fix.

So, Parker sat at a rickety wooden table surrounded by dozens of strangers doing their best just like him and poked loosely at some gruel with a poorly whittled spoon. The watery broth separated from whatever chunks floated in the bowl as he withdrew the spoon from the substance and watched as it trickled back down into the unsatisfactory meal. It was a meal that was hardly worth three ration cards, but it was a meal nevertheless. The Scavenger pulled his left hand up from the table and balled it into a fist as he rubbed absently at his sleep-bitten eyes-- bags heavy under their bloodshot whites; Parker didn't sleep well when The Citadel came poking around.

Some agent had been turning stones in here for days trying to figure out if anyone had seen him, but consistently came up short. Sure, most people knew him as 'Hero', a proclaimed badass-- or fool depending on who you asked, that always extended a helping hand to the needy. Bullshit. It was, sadly, bullshit. The world wasn't the kind of place for such lofty idealism and the thought that people believed he was some altruistic messiah made his stomach churn worse than the meal for a moment. Yet, it was true he had saved that one man-- one time. He guessed that all it took these days, a small glimmer of hope and good. Frankly, Parker just couldn't stomach watching another person succumb to the cold like his mother even if it hadn't been directly in her case.

People didn't know Parker. No, right now, separate of his equipment-- save his machete, he was just a normal man draped in some warm clothes. Of course, that hardly applied to a Citadel agent who likely had extensive information regarding his appearance and other sensitive information hence his hodgepodge disguise; Parker was wearing a poorly tailored attempt at a hoodie with an oversized hood and loose patches of fabric that hung just above his knuckles. Right now, he was the same as everyone else.

The Scavenger brought a spoonful of the horrid substance in the bowl to his mouth and slowly sipped without much reaction-- the liquid tasting like a mixture of grease, spam, and saw dust. However, his attention was sat firmly on the agent who seemed to be waiting on someone to show. That someone did end up showing, and after a brief interaction involving payment the scav split off and went to his own corner. Good. That worked.

Parker snagged the bowl from the table and feverishly drank down the pungent liquid and swallowed the following giblets before setting it down on the table with a noticeable food-induced scowl on his face now. He stood-- the chair legs scraping along the floor with a teeth-chattering shriek that was drowned by the local conversation, and made his way over to the the corner where the scav had elected to sit alone. Without invitation, Parker sunk into the chair across from the coat-and-mask clad man and kept his head low that the hood would shroud his face, "Suppose I was looking for work with The Citadel. What kind of jobs are they offering right now?"

It seemed innocent enough, a query regarding potential work before he approached the agent directly; a tactic like this was classic information gathering and prep before you presented yourself to a potential client. However, Parker's actual purpose was to see if the man had been hired to look into him.


N "The Nightstalker"
35 | Male | Merceranry
Location: Communal Area

His gaze flickered beneath his gas mask and heavy helmet as he watched a young man approach his corner. He had an innate sense that this man was coming to him for something, but the question was what exactly for. The man didn't seem to be the usual beggar as if he was he would have been kicked out long ago. It didn't appear either that he was a loved one of one of the people he had to deal with. Because the man would have already been shouting at him at the top of their lungs, stating that "He'll be burning in hell" or that they'll "get their revenge" on him. You know all of the usual sort of gargle that he's heard come out of their mouths a thousand times before.

As the young man decided to take a seat in front of him, he had casually closed his worn notebook and tucked it away between his heavy coat. He wasn't exactly sure whatever the man in front of him wanted, but whatever the case may be he knew that it was going to be a headache to deal with. As most people are in this winter wonderland he lived in.

As the man settled into the chair across from him and inquired about potential work with The Citadel, it certainly was an interesting question. But it was a question that definitely raised a few concerns in his mind. As it was apparent that the man either knew who he was or at the very least knew the type of people he worked for. Or that he had been keeping an eye close enough on him to deduct that he had some sort of engagement with the Citadel.

Well, whatever the case may be he also had no reason to trust this newcomer, and his instincts told him to proceed with caution. The question about Citadel jobs could be a simple inquiry, or it could be a carefully crafted ruse to determine his true intentions. Especially considering his line of work. And especially considering the type of people that this world likes to breed.

However, he maintained a stoic exterior, his eyes hidden behind the visor of his gas mask, betraying no hint of emotion or suspicion. "I'm not exactly sure why you've decided to come and speak with me of all people. Especially considering the fact you could have clearly seen I was in the middle of matters that pertained to myself. However, if you are intrigued by the field of work that the Citadel provides, I'm sure there are various posters laid about that could provide you with that information. Which makes it especially odd you'd ask me of all things."

He let his words linger in the air for a few moments. As his hidden gaze remained fixed on the man in front of him, the layers of his gas mask and helmet concealing any hint of his true emotions. It was like he was staring at a blank slate. Emotionless, cold, and hardened by the cold.

Aegis Aegis
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"Splendid!" Vincent sat at the table beside his colleague, interlacing his fingers as though he were at a business meeting.

Though he wasn't familiar with the woman across from him, he was confident that Mr. Thorn wouldn't converse with any character too unsavory. Besides - trust is as hot a commodity as any drug these days, and the woman didn't seem desperate enough to kill him over thirteen cards, so confidence would have to suffice.

"Now, I don't want to raise any eyebrows, but let's just say I scored us - no, we scored us - somewhere between twelve and fourteen ration cards!" He reported to the scavenger, giving the older gentleman a pat on the shoulder and immediately regretting it.

"If we had beer, I'd buy you one, Gary. I can't seem to keep that 'shine from the apiary down, and you do not want to hear me yack!" Vincent chuckled alone beneath his words, looking between the two survivors before him.

"What, are you two planning a funeral? Why so grim?"

Interactions: Triangles Triangles Absollover77 Absollover77
Zera 'Whisper' Kingston
Interactions: Triangles Triangles Hard Boiled Hard Boiled

A small smile was on her lips when Garrick had called her a comrade. At least there was one, until someone new arrived. He had offered his hand in greeting and introducing himself. She retracted her hand from when she offered it to Garrick a few moments beforehand and she wasn't entirely sure she should trust the new guy taking a seat and she eyed him with a slight hint of wariness. Her hands busied themselves by picking up her food once again and nibbling at it while keeping her eyes locked on the two. They way this, person spoke was rather peculiar. Correcting himself to articulate inclusion, seemed manipulative but then again everyone had different means of surviving even if it seemed shady and manipulative she had no right to judge how others carve their way.

The way this Vin guy structured his responses wasn't the only thing that caught her attention though. It was the way he held himself at the table. She was reminded of an old cartoon she used to watch where the important business men would sit like that. Ironic, now that she thought on it. However, it's not like a few people would be enough to use all the guns found in a cache like that should they go after it. They'd need a fence, someone to trade off the access or sell the tech and get the maximum out of the deal instead of getting scammed by a stupid high fee.

A few moments of mental debate went on as she managed to actually finish the food in her hands before digging around in her jacket and producing a old and weathered leather bound book. She wrote in it for a few moments before nodding to herself at the two new names in it.

// Garrick = Comrade. \\
// Vincent = Business aquiantence. \\

Closing and binding the book again she ran her hand over the cover for a moment before replacing the book in her jacket. A gun glinted in the low light if one knew what they were looking for. The Glock looked well maintained and loved with a silencer attached to the front. She couldn't exactly tell Vincent anything herself, so she looked to Garrick then nodded slightly in Vincent's direction.​

Parker "Hero" Kaneko
Communal Area

As one might expect, the man was taken aback by his sudden approach. Parker had certainly lacked subtly in this case, but it was all part of the greater act that he had planned to evade as much suspicion as possible in the long term. The Scavenger shifted his body to allow his right forearm to brace against the table and his left hand to rest on his thigh while he clicked the tips of his fingers in a nervous tick; of course, nothing about this conversation had particularly shaken him, but he wanted his counterpart to think otherwise. He wanted him to think he was nervous. He wanted him to think he was inexperienced.

"Oh-- I'm sorry to interrupt. I figured it would be the only chance I've got," Parker gave his voice a meekness by lowering the volume that undulated in response to a fictious excitement he wanted to provide, "I've been keeping an eye on the Citadel agent all day, but I just couldn't work up the courage to approach him. Then, I saw you, and-- I thought, maybe you could give me some advice on how to approach them and what I would be getting myself into."

The Scavenger even gave the stoic man a slight raise of the head to let the dim light illuminate his lower jaw-- a faint, curled smile forming on his lips as though he just looked to the man with admiration or awe. It was clear that The Scav had some kind of experience in the field based on his rugged demeanor, and it wasn't hard to guess what kind of things he got up to out there based on the fact he continued to obscure his face with the dreaded mask even indoors; most people-- including himself, were desperate to tear the suffocating thing from their face the moment they got indoors. Parker hoped that by stroking the man's ego and subtly hinting he acknowledged him as his senior, in some capacity, he would let his guard down even slightly, or just answer the damn question.

Even if things got out of hand, it wasn't as though Parker was defenseless. He was acting weak-- showing his belly so to speak, but in reality he was far from defenseless. Parker had his machete, hardly an elegant weapon; It was meant to chop, cleave, rend. The Scavenger liked how it handled, the reach, and, ultimately, what he could do with it. The Machete was close-quarters, messy, and intimate in the worst ways, but it was quiet. He liked that, quiet.

Regardless, he made no play for his weapon nor did he betray any intent toward The Scav. Parker was the embodiment of ignorance as he made his plea.

"I just-- you seem like you know what you're doing. Ration cards are getting scarce..."

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Lena(Without Mask).png
Lena "Gearhead" Tannenbaum
27 | Female | Chisel Clan
Location: Communal Area | Mentions: Triangles Triangles Absollover77 Absollover77 Hard Boiled Hard Boiled | Interactions: None

"Eager to get home, eh Lena?"

"Just shove it David and eat." Lena started lightly tapping her foot as she sat and waited for her comrades to finish up their "food," continuing to look around the room as she waited. Her eyes were once again drawn to the table the man who glanced at them earlier was sitting at. It seemed that he have a bit of connections himself. Either that or at the very least he has a habit of trying to get on the good side of most people he meets as the woman from earlier and an entirely new guy, seemingly holding himself like the businessmen of the pre-shit hole world, had joined his table.

By no means is teaming up with other people a bad survival strategy, but the rate at which this guy seemed to expand his connections could be considered reckless at best. Expanding your net too wide too quickly can have fatal consequences, a lesson many don't seem to learn until it's too late. Lena turned back to look at the faces of her 4 comrades. It's best to be surrounded by those you've spent years, decades even, with, at least then you'd know what kind of person they actually are and have a solid foundation of trust, unlike teaming up with some randos.

"You all ready to go?"

"Sure." "Yep." "The stuff back home ain't gonna maintain itself." "You could say that again." Lena nodded in response to her comrades. The group began packing up their things, getting up and putting the trays and utensils back where they belonged. The Chisel Clan party did one final check of their belongings, making sure they didn't lose anything they came here with, before starting to make their way towards the eating area's exit.


Garrick "Reaper" Thorn
35 | Male | Free Roamer
Location: Communal Area
Mentions: Hard Boiled Hard Boiled Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic

Garrick acknowledged Vincent's energy and the haul of ration cards he had brought with a small, appreciative smile. It was always good to have friends with valuable connections, but his thoughts were elsewhere. He couldn't let the woman and her group slip away to the surface without some form of intervention.

As Vincent chuckled and inquired about their somber demeanor, Garrick leaned in closer, his voice low. "No funeral plans, Vin," he replied, "At least, not yet.” He smirked, “Just some... interesting rumors floating around, you know how it is down here."

Garrick wanted to keep Vincent engaged but knew he had to find a way to subtly dismiss their conversation. The weapons cache was too enticing, and he couldn't afford to let the woman and her group head to the surface without at least attempting to divert their attention.

"So, about those ration cards," Garrick continued, "Anything specific you have in mind for them? Or-"

Before Vincent could respond, Garrick glanced in the direction of the woman and her companions who were now making their way toward the exit. He leaned back slightly, his voice taking on a sense of urgency. "Excuse me, Vin," he said, "I just remembered something I need to check on. We'll catch up later."

Without waiting for a response, Garrick stood and made his way quickly toward the group. His heart raced as he realized that time was of the essence, and he needed to create a diversion to keep them from heading to the surface too soon.

His instincts told him that she was determined, and if she had overheard the conversation about the cache, she wouldn't waste any time in investigating it.

If he allowed her and her group to venture above, they might beat him to the cache. Plus, he had his own interests in the loot, and he wasn't about to let someone else claim it without a fight.

Approaching her near the exit, Garrick cleared his throat to get her attention. "Heading back to the surface, so soon?" He asked in a low voice, not wanting to broadcast their conversation to the entire room.

He knew he needed to create a distraction or cause some commotion to convince them that it might not be worth their time to chase after the cache, at least not right away. Garrick had no intention of letting this opportunity slip through his fingers, and if he had to delay her and her group for a while, he would do so strategically...

Lena(Without Mask).png
Lena "Gearhead" Tannenbaum
27 | Female | Chisel Clan
Location: Communal Area | Interactions: Triangles Triangles

Lena let out a sigh as she and her comrades approached the exit to the eating area. She was just glad to be almost free of this melting pot of unknown factors, any of which could spring at them any second. Unfortunately for her, that's exactly what happened as the man who was watching them earlier up and approached them. It wasn't a spring like an outright attack or robbery, but nonetheless it was something that only slowed them down. She stopped in her tracks and turned to face him when he cleared his throat.

The man's words and tone, no, this entire confrontation gave her a bit of a bad feeling. It seemed that she was right on the money earlier with her guess that he was eying them up as a potential target. There's no other explanation for it, especially since neither she nor anyone in her group knew who this guy was. And then there was that entire thing about returning to the surface. She didn't say a thing about going back up there out loud, so why would he assume that they're going back up? Unless... perhaps he overheard that other group too.

Lena clicked her tongue and placed a hand on her hip. "And what business do you have in our destination and motivations?" As she spoke, she glared up at the man, not showing any hint of intimidation despite their height difference. All the while this was going on, her 4 companions briefly looked at each other, a hint of confusion in their eyes, before turning their gazes to the man as well, silently throwing their weight and support behind their ashen haired friend.

The group's demeanor broadcast a message that should be loud and clear to the man: if you start shit with us, you're gonna regret it.

Dimitrij "Shroud" Moroz
32 | Male | Ghost Network
Location: Communal Area | Interactions: Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic , Triangles Triangles
Shroud's return to the underground was always eventful albeit not a straightforward one. The massive doors separated him from the underground system of tunnels that sheltered people from the harsh frozen wasteland. The doors are heavily guarded as always to keep the dangers of the surface from invading their place of peace.
Not wanting to spook the guards again and being nearly shot at Shroud called out to them via a mobile communication device, signaling his arrival to the guards. After a quick exchange of info, and a refusal from Shroud to take off the mask to verify his identity, which luckily ended up not causing trouble as one of the guards knew him, he was let off easy with just an inspection of his loot.

Now being inside the tunnel system Shroud headed to the trade area of the tunnels. The walk wasn't long but Shroud couldn't keep this one feeling out of his head that he would meet some familiar people today. Upon arriving at the trader's Shroud haggled with them for the scrap and electronics he had finally reaching a bit of an upper hand and getting two vouchers more than he was normally given, his scrap and electronics weren't all that good especially since he already gave the good stuff to the Ghost Network base, leaving himself only with stuff they did not need.

Having finished their transaction Shroud left the contents of his bag on the trader's table, took his vouchers, and left towards the communal area, now visibly happier than when he came inside, albeit most of it was hidden behind his gas mask. Although he had already eaten at the Ghost Networks base before leaving for this place he still decided to go as one could easily gain information there with just a good ear and being patient.

Once he arrived there he saw a familiar face from his time with the Chisel Clan It was Lena, She and Shroud were acquaintances back then, and the thing binding them together the most were face injuries, sure Hers was earned outside during combat, but his were earned when he discovered someones botched job of a maintenance and repair on a machine, which spewed liquid on his face burning it a bit leaving scars all over it. When he saw her turn around and place her hand on the hip he knew something was up, and even if to pay back her for the time back when they were in the same faction he approached her slowly and silently which truthfully wasn't much use in this place but it was something he was used to.

Once he was close he telegraphed through his movement to those close to her to play along, whether they received the message or not was on them. After doing so he began the play.
"Lena, where have you been? I was looking for ya'." Said Shroud as he approached the girl with arms wide open as if to hug her, which he didn't do but it's the intentions that count.
Shroud looked first at Lena, then her entourage, at the old man who was saying something to her that might have upset her, so trying to sow some seeds of chaos he spoke once again.
"Is that your new friend Lena? Am I being replaced? Don't tell me you forgot the good old me. Shroud."
Of course, with his flair and and movement of the hands his coat moved a bit revealing his weapons strapped to his belt or hanging on his back in the case of his shotgun.
Zera 'Whisper' Kingston
Mentions: Megilagor Megilagor Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic Triangles Triangles Hard Boiled Hard Boiled

Zera watched Garrick leave the table with hustle in his movement. Clearly he wasn't too keen on the girl and her group leaving just yet. She wasn't too sure if the girl had heard the conversation about the military locale as well but Garrick was taking a precaution. It would be better if he found out. The posture of the woman was wary, a good and practiced reaction one Zera herself could appreciate.

She quietly left her seat giving Vincent a look and pressing a finger to her lips telling him wordlessly to keep his trap shut as she moved through the people. A stealth lesson Shun had drilled into her head, measured steps, calm breathing, and appear uninteresting. She blended in as she approached like she was going to pass by aloof to the situation. Halfway there she redirected herself to lean on the wall and adjusted her coat as if fastening it to keep the warmth in. The reason for her action was the arrival of Shroud. She picked up his way of speaking and her eyes locked on to the man from her hiding spot in plain sight, thankfully his back was to her. Due to his gesturing drawing attention their focus was split. Taking the chance she moved once again to place herself near the exit careful to draw as little attention as possible pulling up her hood as she leaned right next to the exit, keeping up with the conversation. Now that she was in her desired spot she could think about the new person. Shroud, she's heard that name. The Spooks in the Network threw that name around nearly as much as they did with hers if not more so. Though now it seems she could match a face or mask with the name. She'd just have to watch from here now. Not like anyone would listen to her with her voice or near lack of being so quiet.​
“Just some... interesting rumors floating around, you know how it is down here."
"Don't I just... Rumors are like ass holes, you know - Everybody's got one! Or is that opinions?" Vincent inquired rhetorically as Gary excused himself from the table.

"Yeah, no sweat, we can talk later...!"

She quietly left her seat giving Vincent a look and pressing a finger to her lips telling him wordlessly to keep his trap shut as she moved through the people.

Vincent furrowed his brow unimpressed as the woman, who still refused to introduce herself, shushed him and followed suit in leaving. Clearly, this was a highly important individual with appointments to keep, something a plebe like him could never understand. He snickered at his internal mockery and, finding no other option, got up as well and joined the stranger across the room.

"Hey, here's a tip, lady: If you want to look less suspicious, maybe don't stare at people like you're trying to explode them with your mind." He teased her, aligning his head with hers to see what she was looking at.
"What, those three? I know them! That one there calls himself Shroud, he's with those Ghost-people." Vinny pointed directly at the survivors before him. "I once heard that they could take down the whole power grid if they wanted, but I don't know why they'd want to do that, seein' as they live off of it too and all." He rambled, crossing his arms. "I don't know that lady's name either, but I recognize her face, she's one of them Chiselers or what-have-you. That last one's Gary, but I think you know him already-"

"He-hey, Vincenzo!" A man about Vincent's age approached from the side with a smile. Vincent whipped his head around, holding a polite finger to the woman to speak with him.

"Yo, how do it do, my man?" The two dapped each other up, and Vincent put an arm around him to whisper. "Look, I tell you what Rod, I might be in the middle of something hot right now, but I'll check with you later, yeah?"

"Oh, my bad, bro, I's just saying hi. Good luck, brother!" Rod gave Vinny a half-hearted salute and continued down the line.

"Peace, man. Anyway," He turned back to the stranger. "What are we waiting for? Is there going to be a signal?"

Interactions: Absollover77 Absollover77 | Mentions: Megilagor Megilagor Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic Triangles Triangles
Garrick "Reaper" Thorn
35 | Male | Free Roamer
Location: Communal Area
Mentions: Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic Megilagor Megilagor Hard Boiled Hard Boiled Absollover77 Absollover77

Garrick maintained his composure in the face of the standoff with the woman and her group. The tension in the air was palpable, and he knew that one wrong word or gesture could escalate the situation into violence. He glanced back briefly to where he had been seated with Vincent and his other companions, hoping that they would recognize the need for a subtle intervention if things took a turn for the worse.

As a newcomer addressed Lena and introduced himself, Garrick remained focused on Lena, hoping to steer the conversation back toward the weapons cache. He needed to find a way to convince her and her group to follow him for a more private discussion, away from prying ears.

"Fair question," Garrick replied evenly. "I overheard a conversation that might be of interest to you." He emphasized the word "overheard," subtly confirming that he had picked up on the whispers about the weapons cache. "I thought we might discuss it before you head out. It's a matter of mutual interest, you see."

"I don't want any trouble," Garrick said in a calm but earnest tone, raising his hands slightly to show that he meant no harm. "I'm just offering information, information that could benefit all of us, Lena."

He smirked, hoping that his words would be enough to diffuse the tension and get Lena and her group to consider his offer. The underground was a place where alliances could be made and broken in an instant, and Garrick knew that he needed to be persuasive if he wanted to secure their cooperation.

But deep down, he couldn't help but worry about the unpredictable nature of the tunnel's factions. And while Vincent and his new acquaintance had been eyeing the situation from a distance, there was no guarantee that they would step in to assist if things went south. Garrick knew that he had to rely on his own wits and negotiation skills to navigate this precarious situation.
Zera 'Whisper' Kingston
Interaction: Hard Boiled Hard Boiled
Mentions: Megilagor Megilagor Clockwork_Magic Clockwork_Magic Triangles Triangles

Forcing air out of her nose, showing her displeasure at Vincent's stupidity. Clearly he didn't understand that the advantage she just gained for them was now tossed throughly out the window. They had three points of fire now decreased to two if things came down to a shoot out. She was tempted to stab the man for his lack of tact and she was definitely in the range to do so. Getting control of herself releasing her hands from the fists she had unconsciously had clenched at his ignorance. She inwardly swore to kill the man if he blew her cover again that she'd find where he sleeps and put a bullet between his eyes. At least that was if that ever happened again. She just gave a shrug seeming to scratch her face giving a subtle gesture to her eyes and nodding towards Lena, Garrick, and Shroud.

Her arms hugged around herself her hands finding what they were looking for with practiced precision her right gripping her pistol, the soft click of the safety. Her left finding her knife as she pressed herself nearly flush against the wall her eyes half lidded as if she just going to rest there for a bit but it was a tactically structured ruse a very noticeable one if people knew how Whisper operated. She was posed and ready for a fight provided on did indeed break out.​

Lena(Without Mask).png
Lena "Gearhead" Tannenbaum
27 | Female | Chisel Clan
Location: Communal Area | Mentions: Hard Boiled Hard Boiled Absollover77 Absollover77 | Interactions: Triangles Triangles Megilagor Megilagor

Lena continued to stare the man down, waiting for what he had to say for himself. Unbeknownst to her, her 4 companions had seen a certain someone approach Lena from the sides.

A look of surprise appeared on the 4's faces for a second before they returned their attention back to the stand-off at hand. Two of the guys in the group, David and Yuki, wore smirks on their faces, surely looking to poke a little fun at their "jumpy" ashen haired friend, as they sometimes called her. The third guy, Lloyd, decided not to get him self involved in whatever the other 2 had planned. Jenny, the only other girl in the group besides Lena, was about to reach out and tap Lena's shoulder to let her of the newcomer but was beaten to the punch by Shroud himself.

Lena had a slight feeling of who the new voice belonged to, her suspicion only being confirmed when she turned to look at the newcomer. It's been a good while since she's heard that masked voice. His demeanor hasn't evolved much since he left the Clan either, not reacting much to his gesture for a hug not really expecting him to actually go through with it. Though if he did, she'd would have evaded the last second. She let out a sigh "Oh, shove it Shroud."

"Damn Lena, is that a way to treat an old friend you haven't seen in a while?" Lena's eyelid twitched at Yuki's remark.

"Yea, I thought you guys-"

David never got to finish that statement, with Lena turning on her heel and giving him a jab to the gut, having to be propped up by Jenny and Lloyd for a few moments. "Three strikes..." "What'd you think was gonna happen, dumbass?"

Lena let out a heavy sigh at the antics of her friends as she turned back to the man. Just because she treasured them doesn't mean they can't get on her nerves from time to time. The tension in the standoff was now thoroughly depleted, although not completely gone as she still remained alert and wary of the other guy's intentions.

She scrutinized the words that left his mouth. So he did overhear that conversation after all. Before she could respond properly to his "offer" a commotion from behind prompted her to look in that direction, where stood the woman and business guy from the man's table now near the exit. Lena turned back to face the man, an icy glare on her face.

"Is that so huh..." She moved her hand that was on her hip slightly and subtly downward, her grip now on her holster, ready to draw at a moment's notice. Her companions noticed the gesture, subtly shifting their postures and readying themselves to draw weapons if the situation escalated any further, David and Yuki keeping an eye on the two near the exit. "How about your friends over there go back to where they were and then maybe I'll hear you out."
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