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Title: Reprimand


Roaming Shadow - August 5, 2009 02:25 AM (GMT)
Sablen had a fair amount of time to think on the trip back. It seemed he was developing a habit of disobeying orders. It started at the TXS, with not reporting certain things. Then there was the incident with Morgana, of which he would have been executed had anyone found out. Then he went AWOL. Now, he had disobeyed Symphia, by entering the city without authorization. It made him wonder where the TXS went so wrong in his creation.

By the time the APC stopped, his aches had lessened considerably, though the headache was still irritating. Before he could be offered assistance, he made it to his feet, intent on walking out under his own power. However, he did not turn away the proffered help, as it made staying upright easier, though it made him feel weak. That’s what allies are for, he thought, and friends.

They were barely out of the APC when he saw Symphia heading their way. It seemed that life could be a cruel mistress, as he’d heard. She had every reason to be angry with him though, but he resolved to explain his actions truthfully, and hope she could understand.

There’s that word again, he thought. Then a smile crossed his face. Now I think I understand what Morgana was talking about.

Symphia - August 5, 2009 02:37 AM (GMT)
Symphia watched as an APC pulled into the garage from the workshop where she was in the middle of reassembling the scoped .44 magnum she'd pilfered from Serena's collection. She holstered it and sighed as Sablen, looking much worse for wear, stepped from the APC with Mutio and Devon's aid. She walked quickly from the workshop to the garage, shoving aside a fox-girl along the way.

"Welcome back, Mutio, Devon, I hope your mission went well," she said. Devon laughed and Mutio just shook her head. "And Sablen... what am I gonna do with you? Maybe I should let them feed you to whatever did this," she said, putting a hand on his shoulder and pulling him down to her height.

"What the hell were you thinking!?" she yelled, "You obviously ran into Sigma, but did you actually think you stood a chance against her!? I'd punch you, but you seem to be in a lot of pain as is...." she growled, turning away. "Ah, what the hell..." She spun with a powerful right hook that caught the project in the upper left portion of his chest, swatting him from Mutio and Devon's grip and throwing him to the floor.

"SYM!" Devon yelled, before kneeling and helping the wounded project to his feet.
"Get him outta my site... I'll speak with him more later after I've cooled off..." she growled, walking through the workshop, shoving the same fox-girl, and into the gun range where she made head shot after head shot on the paper targets.

Roaming Shadow - August 5, 2009 03:08 AM (GMT)
Sablen didn’t say a word, knowing he deserved it, waiting until she finished to explain himself. He wasn’t expecting the punch however. The blow punctuated the chest wound, and the fresh shock dazed him a moment, causing his head to hit the ground hard. Had that shrapnel still been there, that punch could very well have been fatal. And she didn’t even care, he thought. She could have killed me without thinking, and she didn’t care.

“Need some help?” Sablen heard a rough voice from behind. He saw a black furred wolf man approach him from the pit mine’s entrance, as black as him namesake even with his gear. “I know where the infirmary is, and it looks like you could use the help. Name’s Shadow, by the way.” Shadow carefully supported Sablen, taking his care away from Devon. “I need to patch myself up a bit anyhow, and I think you should talk to Symphia, Devon, as I think she has some facts wrong, as usual.”

“I’ll give you my report when I get back from the infirmary,” Shadow called over to Symphia. To Sablen he said quietly, so that no one else would hear, “Don’t mind her. She’s a real bitch at times, but her heart’s more or less in the right place. Just remember that you’re not fighting for her; you’re fighting for the Resistance, and the future. That’s what I tell myself.”

“Thank you,” he replied. “Though I would like the chance to explain my actions before I leave for the infirmary.”

“Don’t worry,” Shadow said, not looking at him, but rather towards Symphia, “I’m sure you’ll get your chance.”

Symphia - August 5, 2009 09:54 AM (GMT)
Devon, once he'd helped Sablen into the infirmary turned to Shadow. "So, what have you gotten yourself into this time, wolf-boy?" he asked, joking as he usually did, Symphia's behavior out of his mind for the time being. "Another run-in with Upsilon, or perhaps just a simple slip and fall?" he asked, laughing softly. Mutio smiled lightly and began tending to the injured project.

"Dr. Caltyl is always so kind," she smiled, gently unwrapping the bandages she'd helped Devon put on Sablen. There was a very large bruise forming on his chest, however, after a little gentle feeling around, she deduced that nothing had been broken. "It seems that, although Ms. Askella wanted to hurt you, she didn't intend to give you any last injuries," she said, gently hooking an IV into Sablen's left forearm and taping it down.

"I'm guessing you have a number of questions about my arm, don't you?" she asked, trying her best to seem chipper. Talking about anything related to Upsilon was always a sore topic for the young healer. She'd lost one of her best friends, and an arm, to that nightmare and wasn't sure she could handle losing someone dear to her again.

Roaming Shadow - August 10, 2009 10:33 PM (GMT)
Shadow gave Devon an annoyed glare at the ‘wolf-boy’ comment, but didn’t comment. “Upsilon again? Hardly.” Shadow knew Symphia wouldn’t keep it quiet like he wanted. He’d been reluctant to tell her in the first place, but she’d pressed. It hadn’t helped that she wouldn’t buy his story that he hadn’t come across anything, especially with the fresh bandages on him when he’d returned from the supposedly abandoned portion of the sewers. Still, he had thought to keep that particular incident a little quieter, and hoped Devon would get the hint. “I had to use most of my supplies as distractions. It seems that military units are joining the TXS down in the sewers to assist in quelling the ‘rebellion’.” As he talked, Shadow had been cleaning his wounds. Nothing worse than a few cuts from combat knives, but they still needed mending.

As that exchange was going on, Sablen addressed Mutio, returning her smile as she worked. He did not believe the IV was necessary, but he kept silent. “I know she didn’t mean me any true harm. I am well aware of the reputation of her…temperament.”

“That’s putting it lightly,” Shadow muttered, spreading some fur on his shoulder to get at a worrisome cut.

Now Sablen lost the smile. “But had that shrapnel still been in there, she very well could have killed me.” Here he paused, again thinking of his mortality, of how many times now his life had been on…thin ice. “But there is no use in dwelling on the past. One like myself learns that quickly enough, at least when I got here. As to your arm, I will admit that I am curious, but if you do not wish to talk about it, I will not press. There are enough things in my past that I do not want to discuss myself.” At the last, he gave Shadow a look. Only now had he recognized him: an escaped experiment of a rogue scientist. It was to Shadow’s credit that Sablen had never had him in his crosshairs, having been briefed of his existence in the sewers.

“What I am curious about is what you were doing in the city Devon, and what a healer was doing alone in the sewers.”

Symphia - August 22, 2009 02:24 AM (GMT)
Devon laughed but continued attending to Shadow. "You'll be fine, just take it easy for a few days," he finally said, turning away and heading over to Sablen. "I suppose an explanation of my mission would be a good place to start," he said after a few moments. He started working on the injured project.

"Mutio, local along the gash, I wanna get that closed up first," he said. The healer nodded and pulled out a needle and a vial of local anesthetic. "This might hurt at first, just try to relax, Mutio and I are trained in this." With that, the healer gently injected some of the anesthetic, taking care to not push the needle too deep.

"Anyway, I was there looking for someone in the city, someone that Symphia wanted found," Devon said. "I was chosen because I used to work for TXS and can blend in quite well," he explained, sitting down and relaxing while the anesthetic worked its magic. "I'm not sure what Mutio was up to though," he added with a chuckle.

"I do suppose it's my turn then?" she asked, receiving a nod from Devon. "I have special permission from Ms. Askella to visit the tunnels whenever I wish to search for wounded mutants so that I may bring them back here," she explained. "I am not being a "lone wolf," if you'll excuse the term, Mr. Lupus," the healer added.

Roaming Shadow - August 22, 2009 03:08 AM (GMT)
“None taken,” Shadow replied, knowing full well that he was a ‘lone wolf’ in nearly every sense of the word, and had accepted that. “And just Shadow, please. Mr. Lupus just sounds…well, it’s just not me.” To his ears at least, calling him by his surname like that just sounded silly. Besides, it wasn’t as if he had a real birth certificate or anything.

Moving to the door he said, “I’ll be back. From the looks of you, it seems you could all use something to eat. I know how I felt when…I lost the fur on my back,” he finished with a mostly forced chuckle. The incident was still sensitive for him, and he quickened his pace to try and dissuade further comments from halting him.

Sablen, having braced for the warned pain, wasn’t bothered in the least. After what he’d just been through, the medical aid was hardly felt. He listened silently, as was his nature. Mutio’s explanation was already something he had already guessed. Devon’s was still a little surprising to him. He would have thought that an important individual such as Devon would be more easily recognizable. Then again, he recalled, it wasn’t as if the scientists of TXS were public figures, thought the risk of a former coworker recognizing him seemed too much of a risk to Sablen to have him venturing into the city.

“I would think the risk of a former coworker recognizing you might offset such advantages,” he decided to comment. Now that he was lying down, calmed, and receiving full treatment, his aches and pains were fading, and so was his headache. With his clearer mind, another thought came to him. “If you were looking for someone, why were you so eager to draw me aside? Surely Symphia had not yet noticed my absence, as I’m barely seen around here anyhow.” Of course, most of the time I don’t want to be seen, he thought. He sighed heavily, knowing that he was yet still now truly a part of the Resistance, and leaned back to rest his head. I still have so much to learn, he thought, some of his old depression returning and, without his realizing, showing on his face.

Symphia - August 22, 2009 06:30 AM (GMT)
Both Mutio and Devon laughed. "Former coworker, that's a good one. Symphia wiped out practically the entire lab staff when she escaped and Sigma and the mutants that rampage in the labs have likely taken their toll on the remaining staff," Devon laughed. He chuckled softly before speaking again. "I escaped Symphia's wrath by simply hiding in a broom closet," he admitted.

He gently prodded the area around the gash and smiled. "Feels like everything's nice and relaxed now." He set to work, talking only to Mutio as he worked. Once he was finally finished, Devon smiled at his handiwork. "There you go, Sablen, good as new," he smiled. Mutio set to work bandaging the project's chest, her mechanical left hand tracing its cold Telium skeleton over his chest as she smoothed out wrinkles.

"My mission was to find out what happened to Cerdii, the bard that helped direct those that wished to escape TXS's madness to us," he explained. "My mission priority was specifically to find her grave, we already know that Sigma killed her, she had something that Symphia wanted. I was actually on my way back from a failed mission when I ran into you, Sablen," the doctor clarified. His headset clicked and an emergency message came through it.

"Mutio, watch him, someone's hurt in the garage," Devon said, grabbing a medical kit from a rack and running off. The healer sighed and seated herself next to Sablen.
"You complained of a headache when we first bumped into each other, do you happen to know what caused it, Mr. Perser?" she asked softly.

Roaming Shadow - August 28, 2009 12:22 AM (GMT)
That’s not how I heard it. But, that should not surprise me. It was not as if everything they told me was the truth anyhow. But he didn’t comment, only gave a smirk at Devon’s ‘good as new’ comment. He certainly didn’t feel like that, but he did feel far better than he had.

Then Sigma wasn’t after me. Well, she recognized me easily enough. I wonder what TXS will think when they hear that their vanished ‘unstable’ project has shown up within their very city. He didn’t give Devon pause from leaving, Mutio’s question interrupting his thoughts framing his own question.

“It has something to do with…my creation. I don’t know the details, but I overheard enough to know that the process did not go as planned, that there was some sort of, malfunction. Incidentally, that’s why I was branded with this tattoo.” He indicated the black skull tattoo on his shoulder. “I was supposed to be an expert in manipulating cold, taking advantage of the sewers moisture, freezing runners in their tracks. Instead, what comes most naturally is darkness, in a way I believe they have yet to duplicate. That’s why I was not executed immediately; I was still potentially valuable to them.”

“I can still freeze things, but it’s difficult. The more I try to do, the more painful it becomes. I suppose it’s just a flaw in my creation.” Here he paused, thinking on how that was perhaps the single longest speech he had ever made to anyone. Even his reports at TXS had been briefer, at least on a continual perspective. In fact, it was also more personal than he usually spoke. But, Mutio had quite possibly saved his life; she deserved the truth from him. And it was about time he told someone other than another project.

He took a deep breath, glad that it only caused a dull ache in his chest. He felt he should be out of bed after a good rest. “Nobody is perfect I suppose. That’s part of truly being alive. You don’t suppose that Symphia’s temper got the better of her, do you?” he asked, tilting his head towards the door.

Symphia - August 28, 2009 02:01 AM (GMT)
"Oh no, Ms. Askella would never attack someone like Sigma does," Mutio said instantly. "While her short temper seems to have fallen on you briefly, she's very careful to not take it out on those not directly involved in what she's upset about," the healer explained. Gently, she smiled at him.

"There are many mysteries in life, Mr. Perser, how and why we are created is often the most puzzling," she explained. "Perhaps Ms. Askella would be able to help you control your ice magic, she is rather unskilled, at least in terms of a project, but has a certain degree of mastery of her magic that others can only dream of." Mutio shifted, tugging up her sleeves, revealing more of her mechanical arm without thinking.

-Meanwhile-

"Where the hell is Devon!?" Symphia shouted, her right hand locked over the severed wrist of an unfortunate mutant.
"I'm right here!" he said over the mutant's screams. Symphia placed her hand over the woman's mouth and a muddled smile crossed her face at the silence that followed. "What happened?"
"There's a reason the Radial Arm Saw is referred to as "the radial arm-cutting-off saw," she answered. Devon chuckled and bandaged the bloodied stump. He checked the mutant's pulse and sighed, shaking his head lightly.
"Died of shock..." he said. The gun mage swore and stood, taking her hat off and holding it over her heart. Challa, who had been ready to help, put her arms around her mother's shoulders.

"Challa, inform the burial crew that there's been another death," she said. The fox-girl nodded and ran off. Symphia turned toward the radial arm saw. Slowly she walked over to it and with several well-aimed strikes, reduced it to scrap metal. "Get it out of here," she said coldly. Several mutants began dismantling it to salvage the motor and switches.

Roaming Shadow - August 28, 2009 02:30 AM (GMT)
“I’ve met another project here for whom ice was her specialty. Her name, as she told me, is Anne, though at TXS she was known as Subject Psi. She was the first person here to be really open with me, other than Symphia herself I suppose. But I do not believe my…disability is due to lack of control. I believe it is simply a defect, like how a frayed wire sparks. Some power gets to the source, though perhaps not enough to power the device, while sparks are created, potentially doing damage to what is nearby. But that is only a theory. I just know I never have such problems when dealing with darkness. But I agree that I should bring this up with Symphia when she has called down some. It is not something she should be surprised with in battle.”

This time he shook his head and chuckled. “Honestly, I think I have spoken more with you than I ever spoke while within the TXS, even if most of my time was…spent outside its walls.” Exactly what he did, she didn’t need to know. That was something he would rather not go back to. And it wasn’t a detail that really needed to be said; that he was with TXS should be enough.

At the end of that statement, Shadow walked in, a tray with four bowls of stew balanced a bit precariously on it. “You’re certainly more articulate than I thought you would be, for a man of your skills,” he commented, setting the tray down on the first available level surface. “And you’re not even looking too much worse for the wear.” Looking to Mutio he asked, “Where did Devon go?” After asking, he moved to hand out food.

Symphia - August 29, 2009 09:57 PM (GMT)
"There was apparently an accident in the garage, Mr. Lupus," she answered, turning back to Sablen. "I lost my arm to Subject Upsilon rescuing a companion of mine that had wandered into her territory... that wolf-woman... she took my arm and my best friend..." Mutio, who had never risen her voice in the entirety of her life, never lost her temper, never so much as told someone off, swung with her mechanical arm and smashed an unfortunate table to splinters.

She looked down and sighed. "I apologize for my actions... Subject Upsilon has left several lasting scars on me..." the healer said gently. She knelt and began picking up the scattered bits of table that littered the floor, tossing them in a nearby waste bin. She stood and took the bowl of food Shadow was offering her. "Thank you, Mr. Lupus," she said gently, sighing as she looked down at the thin stew. "Perhaps it would be wise to consult Ms. Askella on this matter, we're running low on supplies again..."

-Meanwhile-

Symphia grumbled silently over the loss of her comrade and turned to Devon. "See to Sablen, I'll finish up here," she said. He nodded and headed off. "The rest of you, get the rest of that hunk of junk out of here!" the gun mage snarled. Several mutants set to work, gathering the remaining bits and carting them over to a trash pile.

Devon returned to the infirmary and set the medkit down. "Kasumi is dead," he sighed. Mutio, who has just finished her stew, dropped her bowl and fork. He gently put his arms around her and held her for a moment. "I know, Mutio... I know..." he said, rubbing her back. The healer collapsed and sobbed into his chest.

"Kasumi was very close to Mutio's heart," he explained, rubbing her back.

Roaming Shadow - August 30, 2009 04:53 AM (GMT)
Shadow didn’t bother to correct Mutio as to the ‘Mr. Lupus’ thing again, and remained silent as the woman described her interactions with Upsilon. I suppose I was lucky, he thought, his face a mask of neutrality. I suppose her curiosity saved her life. It’s as well I could not convince her to come here. She would never have received any kind of welcome that didn’t include a twenty one gun ‘salute’. Instead, he ate his own meal in silence.

Sablen knew only rumor about Upsilon, the only formal thing he had heard was to take her out if given the opportunity. He wondered a bit at Shadow’s sudden lack of any emotion. He had seemed quite at ease and in a good mood before. Sablen was about to ask about it when Devon entered the room, the cheer he had left with completely gone.

When Devon broke the news of the mutant’s death, a new pain stabbed through him at Mutio’s reaction. This was a different pain than the ones he had known. He knew instantly that this was emotional, and that this, this was part of what being alive truly meant. Unbidden, without him even realizing it, tears began to make their way down his cheeks. How many times has this happened? How much pain and grief have I caused with one emotionless bullet? How many times has this scene repeated itself with one trained pull of the trigger? He wanted to speak, but it was all he had to keep from sobbing. The floodgates were open; all the things he’d been programmed to suppress came forward. There were so many conflicting feelings that he did not even know where to begin.

Shadow showed surprise at Sablen’s reaction, but held his tongue and turned to Mutio. “I know what it’s like to loose someone close,” he said calmly and softly to Mutio. “It’s a feeling I know all too well.” That last he hadn’t meant to say; they were out without conscious thought. He did not approach the pair, but kept a respectful distancen niether advancing nor stepping back. She already had a shoulder to cry on; now she just needed to let her emotions run their course. It seemed today was a black day, and he fervently hoped that it would not get any worse.

Symphia - August 31, 2009 03:55 PM (GMT)
Mutio stood after sobbing for a few moments, wiping the tears from her face. "I'll be okay..." she said, kneeling and picking up the shattered bits of the clay bowl she'd been eating from. The healer placed them in the trash and placed the fork back on the tray Shadow had brought the food in on. "It was an accident, no one wished her harm before her death," she said, seating herself on the edge of Sablen's bed.

"Mr. Perser, please don't be saddened by Kasumi's passing," Mutio said, handing him a handkerchief. "She wasn't killed by TXS or by Subject Upsilon, I only pray that she didn't suffer before death..." she said, turning to Devon, who looked away. She said nothing and looked down at her mechanical hand. "I want TXS to disappear..."

The healer stood and walked out of the infirmary, heading back to her room so she could grieve in peace. Devon watched as she left. "She's never said anything like that before..." he said, a look of deep concern on his face. "Mutio is the type of person that should she snap, there's no telling what she'd do," he said after the door swung shut.

"Shadow, what do you think? You've known people that have been... well... let's face it, much like Symphia. Do you think there's any danger of that with Mutio?" he asked the wolf-man.

Roaming Shadow - August 31, 2009 05:31 PM (GMT)
Shadow gave a soft snort of laughter. “I’m not a good judge of people. But…” and his face grew serious, “I don’t think there’s anything to truly worry about. She has people she can turn to, and she shows her emotion. It’s the one’s that don’t show anything at all that you need to worry about. Just ask anyone who knew me when I arrived here. There’s few enough that can say they ‘knew’ me.” The smirk that followed was all for himself. Surely Devon knew his reputation.

It wasn’t until after Mutio left that Sablen got himself fully under control, though he had managed to nod his thanks for the handkerchief. “She has a right for her anger,” he got out calmly when Shadow finished. “All of my weapons have been well used, and my primary objective had been to eliminate unwanted and renegade persons. Most often, that meant mutants. It hit me when I saw her crying, the number of times that scene must have repeated itself because of me. Because of one bullet fired, simply obeying orders.”

Shadow muttered something under his breath, then continued aloud, “I share Mutio’s feelings, even though I know it won’t make the pain go away. But I’ve lingered long enough. I need to give my report to Symphia, if she’s in any frame of mind to hear it.” With that, he left, quietly closing the door on the way out.

Sablen managed a laugh. “It seems that being alive and having free will means that one is inherently broken in some sense.” His grin was all humor.

Symphia - September 1, 2009 11:38 PM (GMT)
((Replying under Vista! Pity me!!!))

Devon laughed some too. "Broken? Sablen, having freewill means that you're human!" He turned to Shadow, "well, mostly anyway." He chuckled lightly and checked Sablen over before walking into his office and closing the door behind himself. Mutants, TXS's rejects, I find myself thinking back to my days at TXS, but it's different now, they won't break out of their cells and attack me anymore...

Symphia walked in and pulled open one of the cabinets, taking a roll of gauze from it and wrapping her left forearm. "Yes, I'm hurt, what of it!?" she snarled. The gun mage finished wrapping her arm and taped it off. "Sorry... I'm kind of upset over Kasumi..." she apologized, walking over and checking and Sablen. "You okay? I'm sorry I hit you..."

The gun mage next turned to Shadow. "You however! You need to get it through that canine skull of yours that I'm the leader of the Resistance!" the small girl yelled, summoning Devon from his office. "I'm past my self-centered, emo phase. So either accept me, or get the hell out!"
"Christ Symphia! This is a hospital, not a gymnasium!" he shouted, ducking a chair Sym had hurled at him. "Okay... you win," he closed his door and waited for her to leave.

She stormed out, slamming the door hard enough to knock it off its hinges. The doctor exited his office and walked over to Shadow. "You certainly know how to push my daughter's buttons, don't you?" he asked, missing his faux pas. "You okay?" he asked the wolf-man. He next turned to Sablen, who looked rattled, but otherwise okay.

Roaming Shadow - September 2, 2009 12:27 AM (GMT)
Symphia’s entrance halted Shadow’s departure, and he took a few steps back, thinking he could give his report here and now. He showed only a moment’s surprise at Symphia’s snap, then couldn’t help but grin at her through the rest of her tirade, much as he had faced her down on her ‘miraculous’ return. It seemed her ears were far sharper than he thought they were, especially with how quiet he knew he could speak. But he found humor in the fact that not even death had removed her hot-headed attitude. If anything, it apparently enhanced it. But he’d already said his piece to her, and it would be to her detriment if she forgot that. So he said nothing as she ranted and stormed out.

“I suppose so,” he replied, to both of Devon’s questions. “It seems your daughter doesn’t take criticism well, even when justified. What she needs to learn is that a leader is nothing without their troops. Though, perhaps my remarks might be considered insubordinate. Well, I’m off to get some rest. There’ll be more work to do when I wake up.” Hoping for no further interruptions, he left the infirmary.

Sablen had little chance to get a word out through the ordeal. Not that he had much to say anyway beyond nodding answer to Symphia’s query. It was, to say the least, a strange interchange in his mind. “Does this happen often?” he asked. “If so, I can hardly understand just how you people have managed to defy TXS this long. It seems all you have is salvaged equipment, a place to hide, and force of will. How is that a match for years of training, vast resources and territorial control?” Sablen was honestly confused. Having only recently accepting the emotions he’d suppressed so long, seeing the chaos of emotional outbursts sent him to new levels of uncertainty.

Symphia - September 2, 2009 12:50 AM (GMT)
Daughter... crap... Devon thought, sighing slightly. As he listened to Shadow, he found himself wondering if Symphia really knew what she was doing. She'd always been a fire cracker, even when she'd been in the labs. That had been what had drawn Melissa Askella to her. With another sigh, he check Sablen over again.

"She goes off on Shadow on a regular basis because he still won't fully accept her return to leadership. He feels she's unfit for it, I, however, am glad that she's back. Sym knows what she's doing, and she's changed since the incident at the orbital station. She protected everyone by willingly blowing an airlock and getting ejected into space," he explained, "Shadow still doesn't agree with her for obvious reasons though," the doctor added.

Mutio showed up with Symphia in tow. "Mr. Perser, please explain your condition to Ms. Askella, I'm sure she'd be very willing to help," the healer said with a smile. She had been drawn from her room by the gun mage's shouting and the crash from the door being slammed. "Mr. Caltyl, could you please adjust my replacement again? The shoulder is malfunctioning uncomfortably..." she sighed. He nodded and the healer seated herself, taking her shirt off, revealing the ugly scars left over from Upsilon's attacks.

"Well, Sablen, what's this "condition" Mutio was going on and on about?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

Roaming Shadow - September 2, 2009 01:46 AM (GMT)
The reason wasn’t so obvious to Sablen, but he decided now was not the time to question that. He preferred going to the source for information. He was surprised at Symphia’s quick return, though Mutio’s comment quickly cleared up that little mystery. The scars on Mutio’s body also told him that the scant rumors he had heard at TXS about Subject Upsilon were quite possibly true, but again, now was not the time to ask for details.

“I do not believe it is a condition so much as a defect. As I explained to Mutio, though I am capable of manipulating cold, doing so is very taxing to me. This is the first time I have ever…overexerted myself. I’ve never had so many instances where freezing things was a useful tactic over such a short period.” His smile was completely self-depreciating. “It was the first time I had been in direct conflict with another project however, and a situation I am not likely to forget.”

Sablen brought his shoulder tattoo into view. “The defect stems from an incident that occurred during my creation, and why I was branded with this mark. Potential early termination. But enough scientists persuaded that there was something to be learned from my…unexpected proficiency manipulating darkness. Neither my deficiency nor my abilities were truly explained to me, and I kept my thoughts to myself, which also kept me alive. I can assure you that this will not happen again.” By that he meant both his use of ice and his dereliction of duty going to the city. He now knew everything he had gone to the city to learn.

Symphia - September 2, 2009 02:07 AM (GMT)
The gun mage listened silently before she spoke. "Learn to fuse your dark magic with your cold magic," she said. "I can barely cast my ice spells, they're really just limited to just beyond my fingertips," Sym added, a icy-blue aura appearing around her right hand. "Were I to touch you, the area I contacted would instantly and very painfully frozen. Mother taught me to use it like that when I failed to destroy targets in the labs like other projects were able to do," she explained.

"Since you're proficient with your dark magic, mix it with your ice magic. I'm sure you could conjure a shield just as powerful as Sigma's," Symphia said, her hand returning to its normal color. Mutio yelped as her replacement's shoulder actuator was adjusted painfully. "Anyway, once you're feeling well enough to use your magic again, come and find me, then we'll train further," she explained with a smile.

The healer screamed in agony as Devon detached her replacement from her shoulder. She bit her tongue and sobbed into a pillow until the pain subsided enough for her to rest somewhat comfortably. "Upsilon did that to her... I found her bleeding to death in Sector 10, that wolf-bitch only left because she fears me. It was a miracle I was able to get her back here alive. Devon was forced to amputate what was left of her arm and install that replacement because Upsilon had ruined too much of the connective tissue..." the gun mage explained, tears welling up when the healer screamed again as her arm was reattached. "I can only imagine what she's going through..."

Mutio collapsed onto the bed she was sitting on and sobbed into a pillow, refusing the painkillers Devon offered her. He placed a blanket around her and gently rubbed her back. "It'll wear off soon, hang in there..." he said, walking over. "I don't know why she refuses painkillers... Neubia's death wasn't her fault..." he sighed. Symphia shrugged, plunking down in a chair, which promptly gave way under her weight. A smile crossed Devon's face that soon turned to laughter. "You should know better than that..."

Roaming Shadow - September 8, 2009 03:26 PM (GMT)
((Sorry for the delay; labor day weekend.))

Sablen listened as he would a superior officer, which, for all intents and purposes, Symphia was. It was still something he was getting used to, having lived much of the last three years of his life without any orders, and having resented the idea when he was with TXS. But what she said also intrigued him, as it was the first he had heard anything like it.

“I had not thought of that. It had always been led to believe that my abilities were mutually exclusive. But I suppose that my superiors wanted to keep my abilities isolated for research purposes. Thank you for the offer. A few ideas have already come to mind that I would like to train when I have recovered.”

Sablen couldn’t find the words when he heard Mutio’s scream, but managed to find his voice when Symphia commented on the pain. “I can not either. I have only heard rumors of Upsilon’s prowess, and there were those who seemed to even doubt her existence. But I believe I can understand how pain can be welcomed, almost like a friend. Even pain is more comforting than nothingness, because it tells you that you are alive.” Sablen’s face clouded, remembering those lonely years he had wandered the sewers, aimless.

He managed a chuckle as Symphia hit the floor, breaking the solemn mood that had descended. He continued his train of thought, “But from what I have heard about you, Symphia, as well as seen, I would have thought you were no stranger to pain. I was there the day the Advanced Guardian was first released. Perhaps you remember me.” He motioned a bullet whizzing past his head. “I saw what happened, but I have yet to understand it. Perhaps you could offer some insight.” He knew this was not the first time she had been asked, but he had yet to hear the tale and bring himself to believe it.

He glanced over to Mutio, briefly wondering what it must be like to know you were slowly dying, as she surly had that day. To feel your life slowly slipping away. Sablen shut his eyes against he fresh wave of emotions triggered by the thought and brought all of his attention to Symphia.

Symphia - September 9, 2009 06:48 PM (GMT)
She started laughing as she was questioned about the day she supposedly died. "Oh, I did indeed die, but according to The Worms, the Tribelings possess the ability to resurrect those that have fallen," she explained, standing up with from Devon. She pulled off her right glove, revealing the scarring left over from that day. "This is my reminder of that day," she explained. The gun mage pulled her glove back on and flexed her powerful yet lithe body then seated herself on the edge of his bed.

"I spent over a year wandering around in Upsilon's territory... I taught her to fear me, although, to this day she doesn't seem to understand it. Well, I suppose that's just how she is," Symphia explained, scratching her ear. "I do suppose that we'll end up being taking her into our ranks at some point, but I don't think someone that dangerous would be good to have around..." she sighed.

Mutio moaned softly on her bed, rolling onto her back then slowly getting up. She pulled her shirt back up and closed it with a slightly grimace. "Don't you dare think about bringing that horrible woman here!" she snarled. The healer had never once taken a life in her entire lifetime, but something about her tone of voice told Symphia that should Upsilon appear at the mine, the healer's hands would be stained with blood.

Roaming Shadow - September 21, 2009 12:40 AM (GMT)
((Sorry for the delay, it’s been a little crazy around here.))

“If Upsilon is truly that violent, it may be best to just let her be. Subject Sigma is incredibly violent, and there have been times I have wondered why they tolerate her. I realize she is powerful, as my being here partially attests, but I can’t help but feel it is a matter of time before the situation gets beyond what the TXS can handle. I do not believe it is worth the risk to invite that scenario here.”

Sablen took a moment to readjust his position, and he cringed ever so slightly as the movement sent a fresh stab of pain from his chest. Patched up he may be, but he was far from healed. The movement brought his eyes to the bowl of stew, forgotten in his emotional upheaval of the mutant’s death. He took it off the little table and took a spoonful. It had cooled some, but it tasted all right.

After swallowing, he continued. “I realize that I am in no place to offer advice, but those are my thoughts on the matter. Has anyone other than yourself, Symphia, or you, Mutio,” he said, nodded to both respectively, “met Subject Upsilon?”

Symphia - September 21, 2009 01:25 AM (GMT)
((It's fine, things come up in ppl's lives))

Symphia laughed softly and leaned against the wall. "There are others that have met her, but Upsilon has killed them," the gun mage said, folding her arms. "More than once I watched her kill someone with her bare hands," she explained, grimacing slightly as she remembered watching the wolf mutant tear a soldier limb from limb. "She was truely a terrifying woman, but if we could tame her, she would be a-"

"Enough, Symphia! Subject Upsilon will only kill everyone here!" Mutio screamed. "It's her fault that Neubia's dead and it's because of her I lost my arm!" Symphia's nose twitched but she calmly took the healer's verbal abuse.
"It's your fault you lost your arm, you're the one that blundered into her territory," the gun mage said cooly; Mutio was speechless as Symphia strode off.
"I..." she collapsed and stared at her replacement.

My fault...? It's MY fault I lost my arm!? she thought, standing up and breathing heavily as tears rolled down her face. "Symphia!" she screamed, running after the gun mage. She went out the doors for the infirmary before flying back into the room and skidding across the floor. Mutio closed her eyes and laid back on the floor.

Roaming Shadow - September 22, 2009 09:49 PM (GMT)
“I would recommend you not press her any further Mutio. She does not seem to be in a very receptive state of mind,” hr said calmly, lightly rubbing his chest. “I’ve seen the like before, though usually more extreme. Give her time to calm down, and I would suggest you do the same.”

He gave Mutio what he hoped was a warm smile, having smiled so infrequently in his life. “Don’t let your emotions control your actions either. From experience, it has gotten more than a few people in bad situations. Let them guide you, but not control you. Otherwise, you may end up fighting your own allies.” He added emphasis to the last. “I’ve seen it at TXS, and now here as well.” He smothered a chuckle at a comment he thought would not be appreciated.

“I am curious as to where you obtained the arm however,” he said, hoping to change the subject before she turned her emotions on him or his comments. “I have not seen the like before, and I had not thought the Resistance had the capacity to utilize them.” He gave a glance to Devon before returning his attention to Mutio.

Symphia - September 28, 2009 02:10 AM (GMT)
The healer looked away. "It was a gift from Ms. Askella..." Mutio sighed. "I... I haven't been fair to her... she saved me that day..." She stood, brushing her hair out of her face. "Please excuse me, Mr. Perser," she said with a short bow before running off. Devon sighed.

"Mutio's mind has been kind of scrambled since she lost Neubia as a friend. She's still kindhearted, but..." he paused to take a sip from his canteen, "she blames things on Sym without thinking about what she did for her." He stood and walked over to the injured project. He pulled out this stethoscope and pressed it to Sablen's chest. "Sounds like your heart is recovering fine," the doctor smiled.

"My wife always told me that Symphia would be a great leader in her life, I never believed her until I found my way out here," he explained, pausing. "TXS killed her for naming our daughter, and every day that Symphia goes out, I hope that she'll come back with good news. Instead she brings back rejects or escapees..." he sighed, sitting down.

"Melissa Askella was my wife, Adam was my brother-in-law, and Samuele was my father-in-law..." He took a breath. "Symphia is my daughter, related by blood, and Melissa was her mother... It was never taken down in the records, but it's true," Devon paused again. "You're the only one I've ever told, keep it to yourself," he said, clapping the project on his shoulder and walking into his office.

Roaming Shadow - September 28, 2009 02:41 AM (GMT)
“I will,” he told Devon solemnly. “After all the trust the Resistance has given me, a trust I am not sure I deserve, I could not betray your confidence. Your secret is safe with me.” Sablen meant every word, and was sure Devon knew that. It was a lot to take in, and there were even more questions on the tip of his tongue, but he held it in check as he’d learned to do long ago. Now wasn’t the time, as Devon did not seem to want to discuss it any further. Besides, both his body and mind needed to rest.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” he said to Devon’s back. “And if I’m not here, you’ll find me on the firing range. Now that I have something to fight for, I have a reason to keep my skills sharp.” He meant every word of that too, as he had no intention of being in bed any longer than he had to.

Making a few last adjustments, he settled down for sleep. With a soft chuckle to himself, he made a little band of darkness over his eyes before closing them. You could shine a halogen in his face and he wouldn’t notice. It had been a long day, and he planned to get all the sleep he could. Tomorrow was truly going to be the first day of the rest of his life.




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