The First Age

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<<Nika. Jacinda doesnt leave people behind. Not her MO. Nika agreed.>>
(12-29-2018, 09:12 PM)Rune Wrote: [ -> ]<<ooc: Yup.  What she said.  ;P  It's Nika.>>
<<thanks! That clears it up.>>
Her skin prickled like they’d trespassed on the ground of another pack when the girl dropped back into the tunnel. Not a civilian. And Athari rarely reacted well to intrusion. Tenzin’s hands fisted claws, the grumble in her throat bitten free now there wasn’t no one to hear it. She didn’t have a firearm. Plunging into the dark would only add another meat target; humans did not share the instincts of her brethren. Her tongue swiped over blunt teeth. You’re human too. But her hackles hadn’t stopped shivering over the emptiness that set her apart. Her senses strained, desperate. But there was nothing to find.

She choked down the itch to run; run until there was something to find.

Jacinda emerged with a body. The blood was familiar now, the stench of it overwhelming even with other distractions. No smile surfaced at the joke, though she did stalk forward to take Amy’s body -- at least after affirming a pulse, lest Jacinda had lumbered them with disposing of a corpse. Her sense of this rag-tag pack resettled. Though she doubted Amy was going to appreciate the effort.

“Leaving now,” she said, pointedly. They’d made enough racket. Then her dark eyes levelled on the other stranger. Athari or no, she had not blinked at the monsters. That made her sister enough. “You too. Stink. Need bath. Come on.”
Rune dipped her fingers into the murky water just to wash the sludge, mud and blood off her knuckles. She was covered in filth, between flung through the air, sloshing through sewage, and crawling through culvets. She likely DID stink.

Too bad the air was putrid with anger and violence for Rune to even notice. Perk of being a furia - ignorance of your own body odor?

Amy was hauled out over Tenzin's shoulders like a sack of potatoes. Though she looked more like a drowned rat than tater. GAWD would Rune EVER get those french fries?!?!?

But the police was coming and like good little Atharim they were, the exterminators needed to run away like the rats they sought to eradicate.

"You follow and I'm on your heels." She gestured for the dark haired girl to lead the way. Meanwhile, she hitched her bandanna up over her nose and pretended to not want to gag.
Thank god Ten was on the ball. Course even though she crouched down enough to sling this little mess gently to the bottom of the pipe where Ten would take hold of her, her lower back spasmed. She stayed in that position, breathing through the pain until she became used to it. It usually took a minute.

And of course she caught Ten's eye and winked. The girl had a sense of humor, she knew. But only at home. Or at least not on hunts. When they were bulls on parade, she was all business. Which only made Jacinda more playful with her. When she broke through and got that toothy grin, well that was all kinds of nice.

"Oh come on, Ten. You know you didn't want to go to the concert." Playfully she eyed the other waif in mock suspician. Not that she could see much of her, between the water and mud and blood and....well grime. Give what both of them clearly seemed t be, it was a natural joke to make. "Was this a set up? Is that why you had us walk this way?" She shook her head in disapppintment, feeling the last of the pain drain away."Coulda just said no." Another grin. They both knew all of this was on her.

Finally, she could climb down and together they slogged through the mess until they hit the path. What a sight they must be. Yeah, cops would be here. She looked at the woman. "She's not kidding, girl. You definitely could use a bath. We have food too, sister". Innocent look. "Got loads of tofu and rice cakes at our place." A smile.

She walked near Ten, ready to help, tho her back prayed (like seriously) that Tenzin suddenly turn into the Hulk so she could continue without let up. The woman was slim, after all. Still, Jacinda would do her part, if she faltered. For both of these girls. They had taken out a nest of harpies, after all. That meant something. Something worth celebrating too. Later tho.

Finally, at the house she palmed the door. Security scans logged their faces. Slinging her now dirty (bitch harpies!) leather coat to the ground, she let Ten take the girl to the couch. She had a gentle hand.

She pointed to a door at the beginning of the hallway. "Bathroom's right there. Ill bring you a towel and some clothes while you get cleaned up." With the bandana over half her face she looked a fright. She looked her up and down, considering. She had fallen far, obviously. "Anything else you need too," she said softly.

She smiled reassuringly. "You're with family. Be at ease. I'll fix you something to eat, too."
The stranger fell into pack like something natural, and its effortlessness soothed Tenzin in some small way, like she had been prepared to wrestle with a human argument against instinct. Instead she nodded and turned her attention to taking the burden of Amy’s body. The sticky scent of blood buried into the back of her throat. That and something sharp and medically astringent. Fortunate, maybe, given the suspicion of the gravity of her injuries. Her gaze bounced skyward for a moment, remembering those drones, but saw nothing against the night sky.

“Didn’t want to traipse through sewer stink either. Even if preferable to the Katy Perry.” Tenzin was aware of the spark of Jacinda’s pain, though she gave no indication. “Always with the bad jokes,” she said. “But get used to it.” Then, a moment later, as though the clarification was necessary. “Eat real food. Not tofu.”

Relief met return to the den. Amy was small as a child, but her muscles were ready to ease their burden by now. While Jacinda accomodated their new guest, Tenzin laid Amy down and shrugged the feeling back into her shoulders. A little curiosity burned at the ill repair of this new skull-robed sister, though for now she only took in her scent and let Jacinda do the welcoming. She was surprisingly good at it. In the meanwhile Tenzin filled a bowl with water and headed back to the couch.
Soon, the adrenaline of the night emptied like blood from open veins. The scents of violence faded also, though never completely absent in a city as large as Moscow. Unless particularly pungent, she ignored it. Thankfully, the apartment that she was led toward was stink-free.

Amy was deposited on the couch like a sack of bloody potatoes. The women scattered like exhausted, half-drown rats, and Rune sank against a wall as soon as she could. Her legs were jello, belly empty. Thirst pinched the back of her throat. A long, forlorn look studied the bathroom door. Things deposited (Baby included), she cupped a palm load of water from the sink and drank greedily. It wasn’t French fries, but her stomach accepted the clear liquid happily.

Rune came back out with a slightly cleaner face (except for the smudge around her left eyebrow), hands wringing dry with a towel. Those kitchen cabinets probably held something edible, but despite Rune’s longing gaze, she instead went to Amy’s side. “Shouldn’t we take her to a hospital? Or I know a guy that might be able to help.” She didn’t want to go back to him, but he’d help a dying girl if one was dropped in his lap.

None of them yet admitted their allegiance, but Rune wasn’t going to spill the beans first. Mmm, beans.
The girl wasn't much for talking, which was understandable. She didn't know them, for one. So that made sense. And the fight had been pretty gnarly. The little form still lay on the couch, Ten went off for med supplies or whatever. They had pretty good facilities, after all. One shoe still blinked on the girl's foot and Jacinda idly wondered if it was paired with the other left in the tunnels.

She smiled. Always a draw for certain types of people. She'd met one not long ago. Not a hunter. IT. But good for all of that.

And some were just quiet. Ten was like that. Always a lot going on, but happy with the silence. And Jacinda did live a solitary existance- or at least had. Days and weeks speaking to no one were very common. But when she was around people....I don't know, she just liked to talk. Natural as breathing.

So Skull girl headed into the bathroom and Jacinda went to the kitchen. Food. They all could eat, but she looked like she was starving. She pulled the container of lasagna from last night, all meaty and not quite as cheesy- despite her appearance, Ten was no vegan. Jacinda had adjusted her recipe to include far more ground beef and sausage than normal, until she'd found the right combo- snd popped it in to be heated up. She also got some mugs and the hot chocolate and milk. And a bottle of Kalua or whiskey in case some wanted them Irish.

She knew Ten would take care of the girl. And if not, well, they had other options. Contacts. Not that she'd seen Hood since they'd taken care of those moron Atharim who'd decided to earn some street cred taking out American Atharim. Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumb Ass. She smiled at the memory. Morons.

Both had died the night she led them against Nox Durante. And she'd been hurt. The night she met Tenzin in this very safehouse. A good memory.

Yeah, this was patch up central, as far as she was concerned.

She came out with a tray, plate of lasagna steaming on top, fork, and three mugs, and some water. The spirits would come with the next trip.

Her voice was calm and friendly. "Hey, your friend will be ok. Trust me. Ten is good at what she does. And if she needs more help, we'll get it for her." She put the tray on the table next to the chair Ten was always sitting in. "You're gonna pass out too. Eat. Then clean. Your partner will be ok with us."

Even as she spoke, thogh, something caused her scalp to itch. Not physically. Just....there was something familiar about all this.
Black hour extended due to being moved, Amelia Pond was but a gentle metronome of warm breath on Tenzen’s back during the trek.  Her head still leaked blood, though unfortunately on her kind mule now.  Sharing was caring.  For once she was the model traveling companion, neither protesting, stirring or making a peep at being handled.  First time for everything.  Last time too.  The couch became her new home and her head continued marking its territory.  At least the leather would be easier to clean than clothing.

Then, finally knit back together again, Satan's nanosnakes released a concentration of epinephrine into her system with absolutely no preamble.  As if a massive switch was thrown, Nika went from zero to a thousand in a fraction of a second.  Her inert form snapped awake and was combat ready seemingly faster than humanly possible.  There was no flight in her being; Nika was all fight and always had been.  Some people were just hardwired like that.  The training fine tuned it.  God, the things they used to do to her...

She was standing nearly in the hall now, by the front door, having shot there like a cat thrown at water.  Her pupils were huge from the explosion of adrenaline, the hormone reduced her to the most basic of her conditioned responses.  Her split-second assessment of the people around her was clear if one knew how to read it between pounding heartbeats.  Who they were didn’t matter.  There were only two options.  Threat level, who was armed, order of execution...all at a cold glance.  1-2-3.

A blink brought her up from base mode.  Feral Nika stood down, bi-colored eyes now hooded and wary.  She could reroute the adrenaline to energy for something else, like not falling over.  This only from a lot of previous experience.  Several deep breaths did just that.  Silence from her as she regarded the women around her.  Nika knew them, or at least they were familiar but she couldn't quite recall names.  She was able to put two and two together though and figure out they were responsible for her being here post-bioraptor battle.  The how though...that could wait until later.

She was shaking imperceptibly, but that would change.  How quickly she didn’t know.  There were not-so-tasty gelatinous cubes of post-procedural nutrients she should be taking right effing now.  Those were in her medkit which clearly she did not have.  Not that she was bitching.  The detonator cylinder could tell her how long she had too before exhaustion would make life exceedingly more difficult.  That was also missing.  Everything would be best-guess then.  Seat of the pants.  Alright.

Her handlers, the priests, used to tranq her and leave her in random places as part of her E&E training.  No idea where she was, no resources to start off with, naturally in hostile environments both populated and otherwise.  It was a year before the first time she’d made it free and clear; they were superb hunters.  She’d learned a lot about being captured and mistreated during that time too.  It was no wonder she’d never gotten close to them, come to think of it.  Assholes.  Still, it certainly set a firm foundation for situations like the one she found herself in currently.  Easy peasy.  Just had to focus.      

Her new, non-lethal expression could have meant anything.  The corner of her lower lip curled under an exploratory tongue.  She was thinking.  Calculating.  Running numbers and probabilities then turning the answers around and around from every angle for vetting.  The conclusion was that she had to get herself to the medroom.  Now.  It would never occur to her to ask for help.  It was not even a concept in her mind.  You either pulled yourself along by your bootstraps or you died...saved yourself; figured it out.  Endure and survive.  

The two free fingers of her casted hand rose to her dark-stubbled hairline and came away red.  The cut was still leaking and had become a steady line down the side of her face now she was upright.  She’d glue it later or stitch it up, whatever.  That made her glance down though and the glance became a mildly alarmed closer look.  She was covered in blood.  Right.  Her own, she knew.  The puddle.  Damn it.  She didn’t bother to run the new numbers.
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