Walled In


samantha_icon.gif teo2_icon.gif

NPCs by both players.

Scene Title Walled In
Synopsis Ghost comes to see a woman about revenge for crimes she has yet to commit. Confusion is understandable— and her anger proves to be, too, and both wear worse as the games continue.
Date June 5, 2009

Brooklyn — Side Street

With the order for her original assignment having been put on hold by Humanis First, Samantha Tanner has been handling a few other odd jobs, plus doing her fair share of personal tasks when she gets around to it. Her hit count has started to attract the attention of the local media — though they haven't yet connected the murders because she doesn't do them all the same. Using different weapons, even different guns — Sometimes she leaves the weapon behind, sometimes not. Nothing that can be traced back to her of course. She's slit the occasional throat as well, using different types of knifes.

Tonight, a raincoat substitutes for her typical hoodie sweatshirt as the rain pours down in bucket-loads from the sky and the occasional lightning strike decorates the sky along with a soundtrack of rumbling thunder. Of course, rainy weather is perfect for what she plans for tonight.

She almost feels sorry for the petite girl that ducks from doorway to doorway as she is caught in the thunderstorm without much to wear. Of all the pro-evolved movements that are springing up, this little tart belongs to one of the smaller groups out there — unfortunately, she's one of those who's ability allows her to listen in where she doesn't belong. In fact, she was coming from a location where she was more than likely listening in to something she wasn't supposed to be.

Sam let her get her listen on, and then followed her as she headed back to spew everything she heard. Unfortunately, the poor girl is not going to make it back. Even with her gift of hearing, the additional sounds of the storm all around her, she fails to hear the wet footsteps of Samantha as she walks towards her.

Rain slakes the thirst-riven walls, chapped brick and rotting concrete, floating dust on the bones without providing any illusion that anything is about to be washed clean here. The sky rumbles. Samantha's rain-slicker is an unobtrusive color of rubber, not yellow, which might provide a worse challenge still for the man discreetly following her skilled navigation through the labyrinthine hive of urban ghetto and shit for visibility, but it is going okay.

After all, Ghost is cheating. As bigots go, Samantha's biases aren't totally off-base. There are more than enough mutants out here abusing their superpowers. It's proof, if nothing else, that they're human.

And it doesn't bother him all that much, that he's probably coming up too slow behind the dragon to save the princess.

Though it's quite a pauper princess the little girl makes. Her hair is weighed down in mop-string twisted and slicked down on her skin, there is a scab the shape of a stair step on her left knee, and her cotton shirt came out of a bargain bin from Marshall's or something before she dragged her suitcase full of newspaper clippings and optimistic intentions over to New York City. She lifts her fringe out of her eyes with a ginger forefinger. Grimaces, and then lets it go in order to grind her pinkie into her ear, instead, trying vainly to correct the waterlogging of her hearing.

Hands tucked into the slick jacket, gloved fingers surround a bunched up piece of black plastic. A 'Hot Topics' bag from someone else's recent clothing purchase that she found inside a garbage can at the mall — hell, the moron even left the receipt in it. This will be quiet the misdirection, everything falling perfectly in place. She hurries up next to the girl who ducks into the neck doorway out of the rain.

"Not a good night to be out without a jacket." Sam says as she looks like she might be going into this building.

"I wasn't expecting it! Totally caught me off guard." Even though the forecast all day as noted nighttime thunderstorms. Someone doesn't watch the news, it seems.

The black bag is pulled from her pocket, the receipt tucked nicely inside as she opens it up, the rain concealing the crinkling of the plastic as she tucks a gloved hand inside to open up the bag. "How far do you have to go?"

The girl is looking out into the street, totally oblivious. "Just a few more blocks really." The girl is soaked to bone as the bag is tugged over her head and tightened around her neck. Sam is far stronger than most would give someone of her stature credit for — and this girl is no challenge for her whatsoever — much to Sam's disappointment. She at least likes a little bit of a challenge.

The girl's face is concealed by black plastic with red lettering that sucks in as the girl tries to struggle for her breath. Sam will not let this woman make it back to report what she overheard. Not in the least. She falls to her knees as Sam stands over her, literally making her gasp for every breath that is not there for her.

Asphyxiation is one of the worst kinds of deaths to die, Teo knows: from recent experience and familiarity with the working principles behind water-boarding and the like. Great sucking breathes. Plastic caving into her little round mouth before blowing back out again with force as great and pointless. She's panicking, using up the oxygen available to her and her box even faster than the constraints of murder needed ask for.

It requires but a thought, one subtle keystroke of his ability, and the ghost switches cameras a moment for no other reason than because he can. From inside the bag, the world is black and red instead of black and blue. Wrinkles and crinkles and undulates in dragging syncopation with the desperate bleat of her lungs.

Another blink, and he slides back in behind Samantha's eyes. Feels the tension humming through her hands, the startling strength of her arms rending back.

A third, and he washes fluidly back into the house of his own head. Discovers, pleasantly, that there's either no one in here but him, or his counterpart is mute from desperate approval or dumbstruck horror, possibly some theatrically dramatized combination of both sentiments. Ghost steps out from behind her quick and seamless as a cutout separated from a same-stencilled figure. He slips his arms underneath hers, brushing past rainslicker to clamp his grip down, backward, wrenching the blond woman's elbows to grind the joints and sockets of her shoulders, torquing her away from her prey in some strange, silent, and violently sudden parody of spooning.

What the..? Sam thinks as she feels something behind her. Her gloved fingers slip from the plastic and the woman is able to inhale a large amount of breath. She doesn't look back, she doesn't wait around to be finished off.. her feet splash the water-drenched sidewalk as she scurries on, leaving Samantha with her 'ghost'.

She reacts first by using the wrenching momentum and throwing an elbow back where his head should be, swinging with all she's worth. Without waiting to see if it hits its mark, she uses her legs to try and rush the figure backwards against the door.

She's ready to spring out of that doorway, if she can at least loosen his grip around her arms.

Abruptly, the ghost becomes a tangible thing. He brakes against the asphalt but not quick enough, swivels with the axis of her throw. His torso slams hollowly into the bricking behind her, squeezing a gust of twingy air out of his lungs; the warmth cycles around the cartilaginous spiral of Samantha's ear. Her elbow glances off— something: bone, a curved plateau, turns out to be the edge of his forehead, lowered against retaliation the way all good Italian boys know to butt footballs out of the air.

That's all, though. She's clenched close for an instant, the shape of her checked for weapons in that one rough, callus brush of bruising pressure, before he springs his hands, suddenly. Shoves her away, doubling the momentum of her leap, even as he staggers back. Catches his balance on a scratch of concrete, his breath in a whistling through his teeth, enamel bared in a hyena rictus, almost a smile.

She's seen this face before.

No additional weaponry is found on Samantha. She doesn't care 'spare' anything when she goes out on a job. Just the weapon she plans on using. Additional 'anything' could change the condition of the encounter and the possibility of the tables being turned on her. So she doesn't risk it. As her elbow hits bone, she is relieved that at least her attacker is tangible.

It's quite the acrobatic maneuver by the assassin as she is assisted with a push. She springs forward, her hands glancing off the bottom step as she flips mid air to land on her feet, skidding back on the wet cement of the sidewalk, as she crouches down in a three point stance, head ducked down only for a moment as she lifts her head to peek at her attacker.


Her face peeks through the slick dark vinyl of her raincoat hood. Locks of blond spill out and matte against the jacket as the rain showers down on her — a streak of lightning flashing over the buildings behind her followed by the rumbling of thunder close by.

The pitter patter of rain hits the sidewalk around her as she stands up straight.

"What do you want with me?" The question is simple, the answer — that may not be quite as simple.

Cartwheeling, the soles of Samantha's shoes flash up at him like fish sliding underneath the creased sky reflected on water, that swift and that agile despite the thick medium of water. He admires that, in a manner that is equal part vanity; he moves in almost the same way. Less often now as he had a month ago, but the principle is there. He can recognize it: her balance, the hook of her ankles and apportioning of weight across her feet, training and programming encoded deeper than either muscle or memory by themselves.

"Cooperation and understanding," he says. He isn't exactly lying, but the words without context are macabrely meaningless by design, and context isn't something he plans to provide anytime soon.

You know— it's the strangest thing, seeing Samantha Tanner with all of that yellow hair. In the photographs, they had been forced to cut it off, out of fear she would use it to hide unimaginable weapons.

The next instant, he tumbles down the stairs to meet her in a playful two-by-two galumph down the stairs that looks more haphazard than it is. Higher ground offers enough initial advantage to open with an axe-kick flippantly flipped at her head, though it folds into recoil too quick and off to the side, a feint. A knife blinks out of the operative's damp black sleeve, as ectothermically cold and sleek-swimming as the spin of her retreat had been, and he drives it toward her ribs.

Dodging the kick, she scampers back into the middle of the alleyway. It's far too late for much traffic through here. The hood keeps the rain from moving down her back — she doesn't need to be weighted down any further.

"No fair. Big tough boy like you fighting a girl with no weapon and needing a knife to do it." As she speaks, she's already scanning the area for something to pick up. Of course, his words to her have no meaning and she's not going to spend much brainmatter dwelling on them just now.

She's never been much of a talker, at least while she'd on a job, but she's at a disadvantage. There's a dumpster, but she doesn't have the time needed to be digging through. She creates some distance as she begins to sprint down the alley, not fleeing necessarily but needing — something.

Her feet splash with each step as the accumulating rainfall pours down the drainage along the sidewalks. She finds an old rusty chain and picks it up. It's only about four feet, but it could be enough as her hands turn a brownish-red color from handling the wet old metal as she spins around to face her attacker.

Looks like old blood scabbing on her hands, if you think about it. Ghost decides not to.

He skids into the alleyway a split-second after her, slides an inch before the tread of his shoes snarl a grating halt against the concrete. Pallid eyes switch down at the thing in her hands. His hoods keep rain out of his eyes and off his back as well, though his raincoat, as it were, is a less substantial thing, a breakably thin skin of translucent blue plastic slipped on over the plain scruff of his college student wear; made for one-time use, and fragiler for it.

"Li'l one," he points out, demonstrating with a wave of the knife, just once. It is serrated down two inches of the edge facing her, before it gives way to a smooth, trailing edge. Probably cost somebody an arm and a leg. He gauges the chain in her hands. Knows he's better with a knife than anyone short of a magnetokinetic would be with that ragged, hitchy mess of momentum, but it's due cause for wariness, anyway. Couldn't be much more fun than getting caved in by a cop car.

And warily, Ghost proceeds. From above this time, again, laying out his odds against the unhappy weight of the chain link in the woman's fingers. The knife extends, sinewy swerve of arm with it, entering the radius of Samantha's rust-riddled viper as if it's going for the heart. With almost anyone else, it is a maneuver that would be guided by the steeled intent to take life. She won't let it.

The rain mixes with the rust on her hands as a small river of 'blood' colored liquid runs down into her sleeve as she holds her hands up, fists wrapped around on each end of that chain. She snaps the chain straight as she waits for him to make his move.

She has no desire to swing it wildly around like most of her male counterparts would do, trying to scare their attacker away — thus getting it snatched out of their hand at the first grab. She is going to use this mostly for defensive purposes. She wraps a strand around each hand, making a chained-fist. Of course, if she can punch his lights out, all the better.

As he moves in with the knife, she attempts to wrap the chain around the arm before it actually gets to her heart and wrench the arm — hopefully causing the knife to drop.

If he's fast enough, he could probably pull free without losing that knife, but Sam is going to do her damnedest to keep that knife away from her body. She doesn't need any identifying scars on her body, thankyouverymuch.

Beautifully, the chain coils and rakes Teo's arm like an ungulate's tongue picking out a tuft of grass, though optimistically, there wouldn't be enough torsion there to actually uproot his limb from its socket. Ghost decides not to hang his limb into there and find out for sure. His elbow bends as the links begin to cycle in and winch tight, steeling against the painful constriction of metal, resistance despite its entrapment. Not to prioritize overmuch on the knife, though. No, that's a little misleading.

He reaches in with his other hand. Fingers flattened and metacarpals rigid, a knife-edge chop aimed neatly at the unprotected ulnar nerve underside the woman's extended arm. The application of pressure is almost surgical, leveled to short-circuit the grip of her fingers with a jolt of numbing pain. At the same time, the disarmament is already coming out mutual: the blade is stopped short of her chest, very suddenly. Is tossed, absurdly, backward over his shoulder with an easy end-over-end of his thumb and forefinger, literally dismissing out of hand.

Glitters a little, in the rain.

The knife is no longer her concern, however as that chop hits her arm, she releases the chain with that one hand and the momentum of the blow causes the chain to slip from her wet fingers and clatter down the alley.

She considers going after it, but isn't about to turn her back on her attacker. She's not entirely sure what this is about. The familiar figure from before — but why is he after her?

She's made herself entirely unobtuse — unnoticeable — stealth, if you will. She has intentionally kept herself from standing out so there couldn't possibly be any reason that Humanis would have send this one after her. Do they no longer find use for her? Highly doubtful. They are just getting started. So — what?

Both are disarmed, so she does what she trained to do. Hand to hand. She starts off with a kick towards his midsection. "Why did they send you after me?" She sends a flurry of fists towards him, trying to drive him back.

Braced for the impact, the kick rebounds off Ghost's torso with a little less cost to the air in his lungs and coherency of his skeletal structure than he'd actually expected. Having been most recently broken by a rifle-butt, accidentally shockwaved by his own explosive, and then hit by a car, he's been sort of underestimating his own sturdiness as a matter of compensation.

The punches collide with his forearms, raised to block. Her fists meet repaired bone and tensed muscle with a noise like a mass suicide off a balcony, thump-thump-thump. Makes his teeth rattle.

Though she can't hear it, when he replies. "Didn't." Pale eyes narrow around a smile, glinting bonespurs set in the hollows of his head. He drops, movement blurring a vicious smear of color around his limbs as a leg sweeps past low against the ground, racking hard into the doubled pillars of Samantha's legs. There's a crackle of raincoast plastic as he does it, a flit of his jacket panel. She's afforded a glimpse, improbable, brief—

There's a fucking gun under his arm.

If Samantha hadn't rolls with the blow to her legs, there would probably have been a broken bone or four, but she lets her legs be kicked from underneath her as she lands on four points in a front leaning rest position before she spins out and kips up to her feet again. Her knees throb from the blow, but she remains crouched.

"Didn't, huh? Then what? What/ //do you want?"

Her eyes sweep the area. The gun worries her, only because she's not armed herself — of course, if he's not her side, then something is definitely wrong because this is the same person with whom she did that last big job with. Which means — either he's part of the group and they want her down — or he's not and she's been made.

She lets her mouth curl up into a grin — perhaps to come across as less alarmed than she truly is. She /should/ probably remain on the offensive, but then again — either way would be foolish at this point. She has no idea at which point he'll go for his weapon.

The small, brute-black ugly shape of the gun— stays where it is. Holstered, safed, despite that it could end this in one brief, bloody spate of fire. Man and woman crouch in the narrow choke of the alley. Stare at each other across the span of concrete while rain needles down hard between them. Didn't. Her grin is reciprocated with a bright white exposure of teeth, but there's no mirth in the look on his face. Wolves smile like this. Wolves don't smile.

Sometimes, they snarl. Other times, they're just being careless about keeping their mouths closed. "You killed my friends," Ghost answers. It is three quarters of an explanation.

He imagines that she can provide the rest. Revenge is a concept older in the vocabulary of the human psyche than 'Evolved' or 'justice,' and it probably comes as quick to Samantha's mind as the man comes at her with his fists, now. An uppercut hurtling at her brow, even as he pivots on a heel, swipes his elbow around a brutal arc at her throat.

"Oh." That's the simple response. Really it's all that she has time for as he pushes at her again with that uppercut. She dips back — had it been a clear day out, she might even feel the breeze of the force of that blow that just barely misses her chin. She springs back and leaps up onto the closed dumpster nearby, still crouched down.

So it's revenge. Understandable. Except for one thing.

She's certain no ones knows about any of the jobs she's done since she's gotten to the city. None that can be traced to her. Except..

"The only ones you know of that I killed are the ones you helped me with." She hasn't made any move, and as long as he doesn't go for the gun, then the only thing armed about the two of them will be those grins. "If those are the ones you are talking about, you're as much to blame as I am."

In a Utopian future that grows ever further beyond the reach of this history, Samantha Tanner stands to trial as memory after memory that was telepathically and psychometrically cut from her mind and flesh is trotted out. The media circus is fantastic. Teo had watched it on the news from Deckard's couch.

He could have attended the trial itself, probably, but at twenty-eight years of age, he'd still thought it was a bad idea to shoot people in front of a judge and the temptation would have been too great. In lieu of justice or fulfillment, he's left with this, then. A murderess who has no idea what he's talking about, a stomach full of rotten bottlefly hate where there might have been butterflies, once.

There's something horribly sad about all this.

A rough-fingered hand closes on the edge of the dumpster. With a clanking thud of boots across metal, Ghost hops up and joins her at the other end of the great squat receptacle, evening out the advantage of higher ground— however pointlessly. She isn't up for a fight, now; she's asking questions, even if they aren't phrased as such. He flicks rainwater off his arm like a prude skims dust off a sleeve, and deigns to answer. "I know a fuckload more about what you've done than that," he answers, in an oddly mellifluous voice. No pretty accent, nor even a musical register; just self-assured. "And what you will do."

If Samantha Tanner knew that in 10 years, she'd be the answer to a trivia question — she might actually be proud. Of course, the circumstances regarding that answer might give her cause for alarm.

She's a patriot. A soldier. A killer for her country. This is what she does — what she was trained to do. She's fucking proud to do it.

What she will do?

What the hell? Maybe he's one of those freaks with powers. Can see into the future or something. Whatever it is she does, she must do it well — well, except for the getting caught part, which only makes sense if he knows who she is.

For the first time since this encounter began a look of concern crosses her face. She watches her footing on the polyurethane lid as the rain makes it slippery. She leaps backwards, landing on the blacktop of the alley and — well, she runs. The opening of the alleyway ahead is quite the temptation as she makes her getaway.

And the boy, of course, chases her. Even for such a nightmarish waltz, this must qualify as a misstep and unexpected. There isn't even any blood running on the ground yet.

Gracelessly, Ghost tackles her.

Catch-up takes about two seconds, his advantage in the difference of their heights and the residual tremor in the legs he'd kicked out from under her moments ago. She hears him coming, the rapid scuff of shoes on asphalt. They collide in mid-air. There's a slithering thwap of arms and twisting torso echoed by the skidding crash to the asphalt. Water gets into everything. Eyes, ears, teeth, tumbling, still no blood so it's like some ridiculous parody of play, though really, it's mostly because ground-work and grappling aren't either of their areas of expertise.

It ends very abruptly and without real crescendo, when the long nose of his pistol, deftly unsafed, shoves into the white hollow of her neck, alloy composite cold against the adrenalized train song of her jugular pulse and body temperature. They stare at each other for a moment. His finger twitches on the trigger, but the bullet does not come.

Instead, he pierces her mind. A gout of psychic energy shot through her head where no one can see or here, sending her arms and legs tossing into a blackening, blissfully brief seizure. He is one of those: freaks.

Chances of escape for Sam were dwindling by the moment as she could actually feel the percentage dwindling by the millisecond before she's tackled. She manages to spin around mid-tackle as her back takes the brunt of the fall, as the two forms slide across the slick asphalt coming to a halt at the opening of the alleyway.

The gun felt at her neck and she knows she's fucked. It's only then that she feels the intrusion to her brain as she shrieks out with all her might, much to the chagrin of the girl who's hearing got her into trouble in the first place — even a safe distance away the scream penetrates her ears. As for Sam:


Somewhere Else — A Dark Room

Something too solid to be merely water flops around in her stomach; the first thing to impinge on Samantha's reawakening consciousness, followed shortly by a racketing thunder of headache through her temples. Until Samantha's eyes adjust, the ceiling is a nondescript smear. After that, she can make out a chaos of smudges, grime in flecks and wider liquid patches, discoloration and old filth rendered scentless by some recent application of antiseptic.

That— smells bitter, and little else.

This room is cold and its sides cramp in close to her, form a cuboid in almost the exact contours of a shoe box. There's a door without light underneath, a drain on the floor and a lamp seated beside it, plugged into the sole available socket at the base panelling. Walls as hideous a ruin of paint and age-scarring as the ceiling was, sharp-angled sections as large as paintings peeled loose, but the floor swept clean of flakes or residue. She isn't alone. There's a cot at the other end of the room, the same make and model as hers. A human body lumped up over it, silent.

By the measure of the residual muscle strain and aches in her body— and Samantha is intimately acquainted with how her favorite weapon works— she's been here less than a day. Absurdly, her hands smell of soap and there is a band aid stickily stiffening the mobility of her neck.

Sitting up on the cot, Samantha glances around. Each intricacy is taken in as she attempts to figure out where she is, what has happened to her, and how long she's been here. Of course, her stiff muscles definitely tell her she hasn't been here long. She doesn't remember cutting her neck, though she did black out.

She reaches up and peeks the bandage from her neck and runs her finger over the spot. Injected? Was she given a shot? Did they take her blood? What the..?

She does notice the figure in the other cot and slips from her bed. If that's the bastard who drug her here. And maybe drug her literally.

She stands and starts to walk only to get /very/ queasy and she places her hand against the wall until it decides to stop spinning.

The room completes a few merrily-go-'round revolutions before teetering musically to a stop, along with the ringing of fluxed blood pressure in her ears. It's no cocktail of tranquilizers swimming in her system, however.

Samantha knows what NyQuil feels like, can recognize any number of listed poison symptoms. Her limbs are heavy from sleep, her mind groggy, and some bizarre one-note frequency squeaking against the permeating quiet in her ears, but it isn't getting worse. She can tell. Under the band-aid, there are two pinprick scabs, but a pulse-check shows a healthy quickening, cobwebs burning off under the growing bushfire of adrenaline in her veins. She's going to be okay.

The same can't be said for her supine companion.

He's alive, it seems. His eyes are open between lamb-bleat blinks— wide with something like error, pupils dilated further even than the ambient darkness would invite. Breath comes in and out of his lungs in throaty gurgles, subdued by a lack of strength that might have something to do with the bandaging wrapped around his head. His face is familiar, and she's thought about the day that she met this man recently enough that the circumstances sieve easily back into her recollection.

He had been their driver. A pair of eyes in the rear view, a pass-code exchanged aloud, two varicose-veined hands on the wheel. Not much one for conversation; she hadn't been, either. More's the pity, perhaps. He looks like he wants to say something. Can't.

Weak and sore.

That's how she feels at this very moment. Her eyes fixate on the other man in the room as she pushes herself away from the wall and starts towards the door. Of course, it isn't going to offer her an exit. She checks for any sort of weakness before she turns around and leans against it. Just moving across the room is a struggle.

She eyes the other in the room, then the lamp. She knows that if he is here, he's trapped as she is. As long as he doesn't try anything funny or get on her nerves, she'll probably refrain from killing him.

She slowly lowers her self to the floor, sitting with her back against the door before she finally finds a tongue to speak with. "Where is this place? Do you know?"

And her erstwhile driver wheezes inward, burbles a small sphere of saliva out of the left corner of his mouth, draws deep inside himself into a well of strength of will and — does not answer. Strains hows in lines on his neck and around his eyes, effort and some level of emotional pain registering despite the total absence of voluntary muscular movement.

Something is wrong with him.

He breathes and it circles in the air above him like flies on a stain, despite that he's as immaculately soaped and scrubbed as she had been. An accumulation of drool thickens the crease between his lips. From underneath the thick white of bandaging, he blinks haphazardly. At least, it seems, that he heard the question.

If she were an outright killer, he'd be dead already. Or at least when she could stand and not feel all vertigo'd. But she's not. She's a soldier. She only kills when required, to he's safe now that she knows he's a victim here too.

She still has no idea what was being referred to when he said that she killed his friends. Her targets have all been singular, except for that one instance when he was with her. And he made sure they were dead in the end.

Not that she needed anyone double checking her work. She is a perfectionist.

She remains seated against the door as if her body weight would push it open at some point. She doesn't bother to pound on the door, make noise or any of that other stuff. First, it would probably do her no good. Second, she has a headache. And third — well, she does have her pride.

Though, the feeling in the pit of her stomach — is it literal or figurative? That's something she would like to know. Did they feed her something?

For someone who likes to be in control, this is probably going to drive her nuts.

They had. Fed her something. Stuck her with two syringes too, though she has no way of knowing with what, yet. The fact remains startlingly clear, if on somewhat less intrinsically moralized terms: her attacker, stranger though he had been, had cheated. Spied. Used super powers. All tactically efficient, none of them particularly compatible with Samantha's worldview.

Time passes. The man in the cot seems to be calming down, slowly, insofar as that he's had enough time to come to grips with the fact that they're fucked; he more than his companion, likely. He turns his eyes toward her. They are a striated stone shade of gray. His gaze carries an uncomfortable algid weight to it this time, pointed with undeciphered meaning, the manner in which one might imagine the dead might try to speak with the living.

He blinks once.

Those eyes that watch Sam are starting to bother her. It's like he has something to say, but can't speak.

She stands, slowly pushing herself onto her feet and walks over to the bed. She stares down at him for a moment — as if looks could literally pass information. It can't.

"Do you know what's going on here? Why they have us?" He can nod his beady little eyeballs for yes or move them from side to side for no. She doesn't care.

Her hand moves to the back of her neck. Sore, she rubs there, trying to loosen the knot that's developed.

None of this makes a damn bit of sense.

Yes. He tries blinking, first. Randomly firing off a machinegun spatter of them, pointlessly, before he quits. Slowly, jerkily, clues in to his other options, limited as they are. Eyeballs rock inside their pits, up and down. His breath seams out through his nose unevenly, something that might even be construed as relief. It's something, however little, to know that you're not alone.

Even if your companion happens to be every inch the killer as whomever put you in this place.

"The one who brought us here — is /not/ one of us? Yes or no?" she asks. Meaning, Humanis First, of course.

He blinks once, before swiveling his eyes wearily from top to bottom again. Yes.

Her head tilts to the side at that answer. It was expected, but also unexpected. "Did he accuse you of killing his friends?" She turns and walks over and sits on the edge of her cot.

Side to side, this time, haphazard partly because of confusion, and because this is making him dizzy. He subsides, after a moment, into two terse blinks that grow dangerously dewy at the inner corners. The next breath he takes is different. Ragged.

Reaching up to run her fingers through her hair, pulling it back, she stands again. She is starting to get somewhat claustrophobic in this small room with this man who almost appears to be dying right before her eyes. This isn't going to get her anywhere. She walks over to the door, placing her hand on the doorknob, she turns around to face him. It's only then her hand turns the knob and the door opens.

As if a snake had bitten her, she leaps away from the door — just in case someone is on the other side. "Did you know that door was open?" she asks the other man in the room.

Again, a single blink of gray eyes. Yes. Knots of tension work uselessly within the limpid confines of the man's body, unresolved movement chugging his throat. His eyes close again once, hard, but this time it bears no vehicle to any answer. No; instead, a glister of moisture ekes out between the creased compression of his eyelids. It might be a plea, or a simple, helpless manifestation of fatalistic misery.

He isn't dying. He wouldn't, if they had healers for this sort of thing, but as the cruel if not intentioned twist of irony would have it, they are simply what Samantha had said and meant. Humanis First! —and, it seems, last.

There is a hallway outside. Concrete and exposed plumbing overhead. Further above, the faint bustle and clangor of traffic seeps through.

It's a debate that will probably bother her for sometime. There's no way for her to take the man — and be able to protect him if she's caught. She's better off on her own.

She walks towards the door and peeks out, then turns back. "I'll try to come back with help." She will try, but there are no definites and no positives.

Sam disappears out of the door.

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