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PostPosted: July 16th, 2010, 6:48 pm 
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[@ Will: Thankyooou! :D]

Every time she gave an answer, Adrianna felt the doctor's eyes upon her face, searching for doubt, fear, guilt - she wasn't entirely sure what - and, every time, she felt herself look pointedly away so she wouldn't be pinned down by his dark gaze. Before she'd arrived she'd assured herself that, while the man was locked safely away, she was in complete control of his life; shortly after entering his cell, she'd found herself to be wrong. She did not have a single particle of control over anything the doctor did - nor would she, until he agreed to her ‘plan’, and even then, he could quite easily choose to ignore her. The realisation unbalanced her trail of thought and, afterwards, she found it hard to piece things back together.

The probing eyes of the doctor shifted suddenly and Adrianna was reminded of someone reminiscing, which she thought unlikely; though the doctor was facing seemingly insurmountable challenges ahead and certainly didn't have time for daydreaming. Not daring to interrupt his contemplation with a petty grievance, she simply surveyed him carefully, the smallest hint of a frown creasing her brow, and wondered what exactly the man intended to do once he'd gained some measure of freedom. Already she knew he knew enough not to attempt to contact friends or family members for help and aid; they would be arrested as he was then sentenced for conspiracy and aiding a fugitive. What kind of life could it possibly be for anyone, out there?

Not much of one, the voice in her head whispered to her.

“Alright, I'll do it.”

The sudden announcement startled her, and it took a minute for her to dispel her surprise and speeding heart. After blinking a few times, Adrianna looked back at the doctor and nodded mutely, not trusting herself to speak without her quavering voice revealing how startled she'd been. A moment later the doctor continued; she listened and picked apart every word he said, analysing it then working out how she could put everything into action.

“... need a map of this maze. Speed and my orientation will do the rest. If you take care of your keys of course...”

A map would be easy enough, she figured; she could, if all else failed, draw one herself and mark things clearly upon it instead of stealing then replacing one - it also meant the doctor would be able to burn it easily if he needed to dispose of it quickly. Keys... keys could be an issue. It'd take some doing, rearranging shifts so no-one saw her taking and replacing keys not to mention avoiding bystanders - she would, for the most part, have to rely on luck to get her through things. That part of their plan didn't appeal to her in the slightest, but she'd make do; after all, she'd committed to this, and she had no way out. Already tracing routes through her head, Adrianna wondered how many maps she'd have to draw up to get him safely out of the Wardens' patrol area. They were currently on level two - there weren't many floors in between them and the ground floor, which meant getting out of the building itself would not be a problem; it was getting firstly, out of the stone passages and secondly, staying out of the sight and reach of the Wardens who patrolled some of the closest streets at night.

Eyes fixed on a far-away point, Adrianna nodded again, absently, conceding that this plan was still, indeed, doable. It transpired that she was not the only one lost in thought, for the doctor had started pacing, and voicing passing ideas in low undertones. It seemed that plans were forming in the man's mind, plans that circumvented obstacles that Adrianna hadn't even spared a thought for, things like search parties and reward notices. The city was sure to be littered with both if the doctor escaped of his own accord - however, if he was pronounced dead...

The thought wasn't pleasant, mostly because it was easy to visualise such a future coming to pass. Adrianna felt a shiver run down her spine and resisted the urge to hug herself in an attempt to banish the cold. The doctor's words didn't help; as he continued to speak, her feeling of unease grew steadily larger and more troublesome. he proposed not only to purposefully hide relevant information from the government but prove to them that he had so little to offer that he was better off dead. The logic was sound, Adrianna knew, but that offered little respite from the idea that the man before her actually intended to persuade one of the most influential Governors to kill him. It was absolute madness.

Bloodstained, frowning and intimidatingly tall, the doctor already looked the picture of what ninety percent of the city's inhabitants would call a ‘renegade’. The young woman observed him with a mixture of grudging respect, curiosity and trepidation. As she'd reminded herself so many times tonight, she was breaking countless laws tonight merely by discussing such things; she'd face life imprisonment, at the very least, for her crimes if she were ever found out. Closing her eyes briefly, she hoped that that day would never come.

“Nylander will not bother himself with the dispatch of useless prisoners. No...”

After the silence, the doctor's words jumped out at her, but this time she didn't regard them with such surprise; she looked at him and caught his eye, then found herself unable to tear her gaze away. It wasn't the fact he'd broken the intense silence that alarmed her, no, it was the nature of his words. Already she felt she knew what was coming and desperately wanted to turn away, for the meaning carried within the words to come would certainly make an impact.

“He will have you take care of it.”

Sure that she had felt her heart stop for a moment, Adrianna had to stop herself instinctively reaching to cover her heart with her hands. Taking a deep breath of musty air the held the doctor's gaze as steadily as she could and tried to accept his words without uprooting the little calm she had managed to retain.

The doctor had closed the distance between them quickly and rocked back on his heels, his face level with hers. All the time fighting the impulse to draw back and away, Adrianna watched him cautiously, both trying and failing to disguise her disquietude as mild surprise.

“You'll have to make sure that I died In the records, so to speak,” he told her quietly. The grin he displayed so openly scared her almost as much as that he proposed; he wanted her to fake his death. Earlier she'd puzzled out that he'd be safer if they suspected he was dead, but she hadn't thought that she would have to be the one to personally assure everyone that the criminal they were worrying about was dead. Before he'd added the latter part of his statement, she'd blanched. When he'd amended his sentence, she felt a little less uneasy but it didn't banish the overwhelming feeling of panic that had washed over her seconds before.

When her breathing had returned to normal, she realised he'd offered his hand to her in a gesture of something like mutual understanding. She wouldn't call what they had trust, for it was nothing close to it; right now, though, they needed to be able to rely on one another, and they would - however reluctantly.

“My name is Dylan,” he told her as she took his hand hesitantly, “I want you to know to whom the life belongs which you're saving. And you will hear more of me, when I get out... I'll make sure that they will...”

Her, saving a life. That certainly wasn't something she heard every day. Considering the circumstances, she couldn't bring herself to feel pride in this, she just half-heartedly hoped that it serve as some kind of penance for a few of her misdeeds in the past.

As for the last of his words... she hadn't considered that he might attempt to turn back and hinder the government once he'd earned his freedom. It made sense, now she thought about it; they wouldn't be able to pinpoint the criminal and the doctor himself was supposed to be dead - they couldn't possibly blame him. She hasn't thought that he'd risk contact with her after breaking free, either, but he seemed to think that knowing someone who sat, day after day, in Nylander's pocket would be someone worth keeping in contact with. After all, she'd been co-operative once.

Nodding to his statement, she looked anywhere but his eyes until she spoke. “If they haven't found me, then I'll still be here. Watching,” she added, hoping to prove in some small way that she wouldn't simply forget about him once he'd disappeared into the bowels of the city. Her statement also said something else, thought it was much more subtle: she had no intention of leaving this job of her own accord. The doctor wouldn't know why, naturally, but Adrianna would never leave this if it gave the Governor cause to go anywhere near Cameron or Garnet in an attempt to persuade her otherwise. If an action meant putting them in danger, she'd avoid it, at all costs. They meant everything to her and their lives were two things she would not jeopardise, on pain of death.


“I have to leave,” she told him softly, avoiding his gaze again. “The things you need will find you perhaps sometime after the Governor's visit and sometime before I return.”

All they had now was each other, a fact that still scared Adrianna. Trust didn't come easy for someone as insecure as her anyway, but in this sort of instance she couldn't help but feel entirely... alone.

<center>- - -</center>

As he had been unsuccessful in his attempts to deter, distract, and undercut his sister, Lucius figured that, eventually, he would simply walk away and allow her to continue to play her little games and she walked behind him - where she belonged. It was likely she had already deduced that he was playing games with her, but he didn't care; she could do as she pleased, he already had a firm enough grasp on society as it was that he could smother any competition and make it look as if they were ganging up on him. Control was something he excelled in and something he took pleasure in administering, especially to those who resisted to readily. Allegra fit into that category perfectly.

His younger sibling raised her eyebrows at him, but he ignored her. This petty routine of masked insulted and veiled threats was beginning to get tiresome; if only she did something a little more bold she might start to entertain him again. So petty, he thought, for someone so well-liked.

“...red wine? I'm simply desperate to know.” Allegra's voice drifted in between his thoughts, interrupting his trail of thought. He looked up at her carelessly, pausing for a moment, so he remained with a piece of paper held aloft in one hand and the other poised above he desk, having just moved a carefully stacked pile of folders aside.

“I'm sorry, did you say something?” he asked her, feigning polite sincerity. The Governor knew all too well that his sister enjoyed these little sessions they had; how they'd each take turns to insult or inhibit one another, each stab more pathetic than the one before it.

Elegantly dressed in grey with shades of confidence, Allegra was the kind of person that attracted the rich and the high-born; she was a pleasure to behold, a joy to engage in conversation and the someone you could boast about talking to. Lucius, however, attracted darker, crueller minds; those who sought power rather than nights indulging in meaningless chatter.

“Your intentions I care nothing for,” Lucius informed Allegra bluntly, “It is your actions that concern me.”

Honestly, Allegra's list of ridiculous ‘stunts’ she insisted on pulling when he was around or when she found his office empty - leaving clouds of smoke, littering the floors, generally making a mess - was getting long, amusingly so; she seemed to think that it actually irritated him when he had to simply call for someone to clear away the mess. It made no odds to him whether she kept out of his was or stood adamant that she should hold him up for five minutes with her nonsense. He'd let her play her little games if she wanted to, he had far bigger things to be thinking about that were not restricted to what he should wear to make a statement. He suspected that Allegra had spent so much time with petty children of nobility as she was growing up that she'd lost her edge, her ability to control those who held power like he did. Poor woman, she clearly was losing her touch.

“Call it what you wish, sister, I hardly care.” he said absently. “You yourself are hardly an angel; you subvert and manipulate people without them realising that it is so. One of your greatest grievances is that you've been, as yet, unable to sway people against me enough to give you firm footing to take a public stand about my governance.”

Looking up, he surveyed her with the smug smile he used when he was certain he was right. It wasn't something he used often; he knew Allegra hated that trait in him, and so used it against her when they were in the quiet safety of his office or when she had come by to his residence. Infuriating his sister was one of his favourite sports, one he lived for.

“I didn't expect you to be so well informed,” he said in mock surprise, smiling. “I carry out much of my work quietly, and by myself, sister, I'm shocked that you're in the dark about such a thing. Aren't you one of the best rumour mongers around nowadays?”

Leaving the room to fall into silence, Lucius took advantage of such a time to take out the envelope Adrianna had left and open it. The unmarked envelope itself he dropped to the tabletop, the folded pieces of paper, marked with small, cursive handwriting he held at an angle so the light caught the letters and the black in shone. It confirmed that he'd guessed at earlier; the task he'd set had been completed, and his prisoner was awaiting interrogation. It was a simple report, a courtesy, for the official report would have to be re-written in greater detail and include dates and times for the records.

Had Lucius know that Allegra was thinking of her spies in his ranks, he might've been a little less concerned with his letter and a little more concerned with analysing his sister's expression to see if he could extrapolate anything from it. Infiltration was not something he worried over; there were very, very few people who would dare to defy him in such a way - especially if they endured his presence frequently. As it was, he finished the letter, folded it back up again then slid it back into the envelope and locked it away in a drawer to his right.

As conversation turned to Whittaker, the doctor that was currently locked away in one of the cells on the second floor, Lucius wondered vaguely if he had any chance of losing Allegra in the winding passages that lead there. He doubted it; she would likely either find her own way or get someone to take her, someone who would no doubt be stunned by her mere presence. Lucius did not think he could stand such improper behaviour so early in the morning.

“Yes, yes,” Lucius interrupted impatiently. “It is, of course, generally acceptable to overlook a person's lawbreaking tendencies if they're making your conscience rest a little better at night.” His voice was scathing, his words loaded with a sting that would not dissipate quickly. “Your compassion for the man is a weakness he will exploit if given the chance. I expected more of you, Allegra.”

It was a small jibe, but one he enjoyed, nevertheless. She wouldn't consider his expectations of her to be worth anything, but it would irk he when she realised he had called her weak. Inwardly, he laughed to himself as she feigned compliance and agreed with his previous points.

“Oh, Allegra,” he laughed and strode out from behind his desk. “It's never been about what people see me doing. I don't need their approval. I'm enforcing the law; that requires objectivity, something you certainly do not possess.”

Still chuckling to himself, he ignored her last question and headed out of the door without looking backwards, except to turn out the light and leave Allegra alone, the only light source being that that filtered through the crack of the open door. There was no chance he'd be free of her, tonight, but at least he could leave her behind him, following, just like she ought to be.

<center>- - -</center>

[[s]Eeeek, long post. I'll get Cameron and my other bit up tomorrow, when I have a little more time to think and it's not a quarter to midnight.[/s]

I'm hereeeee. :teehee:]

<center>- - -</center>

As soon as everyone entered the house, Cameron moved quickly inside and shut the door, blocking out the night and everything that came with it. The key he put back into his jacket pocket, which he hung on a peg by the door. Realising, now that he could relax, that he was ridiculously glad to be home, he smiled at his surroundings. It'd been a quite; he'd spent some months away from this place and hardly ever got as much as a day off, so returning to see Garnet and Adrianna regularly was out of the question. Speaking of which...

He'd paused, listening intently; the storey above them was completely silent, which meant that Adrianna hadn't yet returned from whatever task she'd been sent off to complete. It saddened Cameron somewhat that he likely wouldn't see his sister until the morning, but he reminded himself that this wasn't anything unusual, and he'd have to - once again - get used to the fact his sister came at went at unconventional times.

Still, Garnet was lighting the heated, and soon the room would be awash with warmth; there might be quiet conversation or contented silence, depending upon the moment, and everyone would, for a minute, be able to forget the horrors of the world they lived in and simply drift away with pleasant thoughts.

Smiling at Lilly and Garnet as the latter handed out blankets and cushions, Cameron was surprised when she spoke directly to him.

“Hm? Oh, yes,” he nodded with a serious face but there was a glint in his eyes that suggested humour. He rolled his eyes and then heaved an exaggerated sigh. “Ridiculously so. She practically runs my house, y'know.”

Garnet's small laugh echoed softly in the room and Cameron couldn't help but smile. At that moment she'd sounded self-conscious, and seemed to be trying to break whatever tension she felt with her natural heart-warming personality. It was hard not to like such a genuinely sweet person - not that Cameron had ever found himself trying.

“You two have a love home,” Lilly commented gently. “It's so cosy and friendly. But you probably will be used to it...”

Cameron's look changed to one of surprise and he felt something inside him catch, then he felt an awkward smile curls his lips. He wasn't sure how to correct her without sounding callous or embarrassed, so he paused, hoping that Garnet might be able to help him explain.

“I'm not here often,” he confessed. “This is supposedly mine and my sister's house, but her job is demanding and mine requires me to be away for weeks and months at a time.”

It would have surprised him is Lilly had said she hadn't noticed the distinctly ‘empty’ feel the place had to it that wasn't disappearing, despite the warm glow that painted the walls and the comfy furniture. A part of him felt as if he and Adrianna were, unintentionally, neglecting the house of their parents; they'd died naturally, an honour in this accursed place, but neither of the two siblings had been ready to lose the anchors they kept their feet on the ground. They'd grown closer, after that, both with one another and with Garnet, who'd lost her own parents some years previously. All that had ended abruptly when Cameron started training for his career - long periods away from home that tested every part of his practical mind. The tests he'd enjoyed, the company and the distance from those he cared about he had despised.

“I want to thank you for your kindness,” Lilly piped up after a pause. “Most people seem to avoid me nowadays, like I'm some ticking time bomb.” The face she pulled and the laugh that escaped her both made Cameron himself chuckle; the young woman had such a lovely spirit that he thought it ridiculous that anyone should want to avoid her.

“I seem to scare them away..” she ended. It was a somewhat sad ending to a sentence that had made her laugh earlier, and Cameron found himself wanting to assure her that that was definitely not the case.

“I wouldn't worry,” he said in an off-hand way and he picked up his own hot chocolate, “I've seen much scarier. Much scarier.”

Raising his eyebrows, Cameron found himself fighting to keep a straight face as the atmosphere enveloped him and fuelled his good mood. Soon he found himself laughing softly without quite knowing why. It might've been the good company, it might've been that he was back home; it could, simply, have been that for the first time in a dreadfully long time, he actually felt perfectly, blissfully happy.

<center>- - -</center>

[Other bit will be here sometime later. I figured I get Cameron's part up ASAP while my inspiration is still going. :P]

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PostPosted: July 17th, 2010, 1:50 pm 
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When the light flicked off, and Lucius made his grand exit from the dark room, leaving his words hanging, Allegra remained where she was for a few moments, smiling to herself. In the darkness, the small chink of light from the hallway illuminated Allegra’s elegant features. There was something almost feline, predatory about her expression, and if Lucius had seen it, seen her usual social, mocking smile give way to this expression of pure cunning, he might have found a reason to fear her at last.

She ran over his words in her head. You yourself are hardly an angel… Your compassion for the man is a weakness he will exploit if given the chance…. I expected more of you, Allegra… I'm enforcing the law; that requires objectivity, something you certainly do not possess… Oh, how delightful he found it all, being so certain of himself, so secure in his power. Ever since childhood, Lucius had loved getting the last word in. Allegra didn’t care much for such a petty form of point-scoring. She would find ways to get back at him, whether directly to his face or behind his back.

Slowly, Allegra made her way towards the doorway, taking her time. If Lucius thought she was going to scurry after him like a good little girl, an anxious follower, then he was wrong. She clasped her clutch bag loosely under one arm, and opened the door with the toe of one of her stiletto heels. She could hear his footsteps up ahead in the corridor. In a leisurely manner, she strolled down the hallway, reaching his side with a graceful turn of her head and a sideways smile, which had replaced the sly look she’d worn only moments before.

Lazily, she rested her hand on her brother’s arm, a gesture she knew he would despise. Lucius hated any form of close contact with his sister. Her footsteps matched his in swiftness and measurement. Anyone who had passed the siblings in the hallway would have remarked silently to themselves how very alike they were, and yet how completely unalike at the same time. They were both very tall, with elegantly carved features; there was a good deal of family similarity between them. The Nylanders had always been a stylish, ambitious clan, well known for their good breeding and deportment.

And yet Lucius and Allegra contrasted each other in so many ways. Lucius was dark, whereas Allegra was fair. They were as different as night and day. Allegra sparkled beside Lucius’s starkness, resplendent in her shimmering grey gown, rich fur shrug, diamond droplets fixed at her ears, her blonde hair hanging in soft waves about her shoulders. Her fondness for attending to her appearance was one of the things Lucius hated about her, she knew. And yet he had no idea that she would gladly hurl all of her diamonds, her rings, her bracelets, necklaces, furs, out of her bedroom window if it meant that she would gain her liberty, freedom from her brother’s tyranny.

Allegra had allowed silence to reign for a while now, and so at last she spoke up, as if an interesting thought had just occurred to her. “You know, brother,” she said, “it strikes me that your love for law enforcement is somewhat of an addiction. You’re so very dedicated to your career, and I daresay such a passion requires a good deal more than mere objectivity – quite the opposite in fact. If a neutral stance towards lawmaking is what is required, then I’m afraid I don’t think you own such a trait.”

Her hand still on his arm, she drummed her immaculately manicured fingernails against his sleeve, apparently absent-mindedly. “No indeed,” she continued, “the need for control over everyone and everything about you requires craving, a fired obsession. Now I don’t mean to indulge in armchair psychology, but I can’t help but wonder where that came from. Some psychologists believe that the desire to rule over your fellow man stems back from childhood events.”

She did not so much as glance towards him, smiling ahead of her. It was true that Lucius’s craving for power was a direct result of his parents feeding him all of the family’s ambition from a very young age. The way the Nylander parents had treated their two children had given Lucius and Allegra very different character traits and personalities. Allegra had been deprived of expectations, whereas Lucius had been loaded with them.

“How lucky for you that you’ve always had me,” Allegra remarked good-naturedly. “I’ve always served as a little reminder to you, have I not? A reminder that you can’t always control those about you. All our small feuds and disagreements are of good service to you, remember that, brother.”

Her words seemed harmless enough. Her smile had not faltered. As they reached the end of the corridor, Allegra slipped her hand off Lucius’s arm, so that she could snap open her clutch bag and light yet another cigarette. Exhaling gusts of silvery smoke, Allegra could not help but note to herself how harmless her nicotine addiction was compared to her brother’s crazed need for power. In the end, she believed that it would do him a great deal of harm. It was only a matter of time before the world he had assembled so carefully for himself came crashing down, and Allegra hoped that she would be a key player in his destruction, when the time came. Hopefully, such a time wasn’t too far away.

~~~

Having settled down on the sofa, the woolen blanket wrapped about her shoulders for warmth, clutching one of the mugs of hot chocolate in her chilly hands, Garnet felt more at peace than she had for a long time. She was unimaginably happy to be back here again, in the Hart’s home; since Cameron had been gone, she’d had to keep to her own company far too much. And since Adrianna was much occupied with her work, the chance for visits had not really been there. It was a shame, since the two young women had always been very close friends. Sitting here, in the front room, Garnet felt as if she had been transported backwards in time, to a time when she’d been happy.

She raised the mug to her lips and took a sip of the warm drink, listening as Lilly spoke, complimenting her and Cameron on “their” home, as she assumed it was. Suddenly, Garnet’s cheeks flushed fiery red, and she ducked her head quickly, clearing her throat, not wanting the others, particularly Cameron, to see her blushing. Lilly had mistaken them for a couple. Of course, Garnet would have liked it to be true, but as it was, it wasn’t.

She raised her head as Cameron made somewhat of a correction, stipulating that this was his and Adrianna’s home. Garnet still felt her skin burn with embarrassment, though she had no idea why such a small misunderstanding should affect her so much. She could tell that Cameron, too, felt a little bit awkward. As well he might, Garnet thought sadly. I’m not anything more than his friend.

Not wanting to stay silent and increase the discomfort, Garnet brushed a few strands of her fair hair out of her eyes, whilst balancing the mug on one of her knees. “I live across the road,” she said to Lilly, gently. “I’ve spent a lot of time here, since childhood. Cameron, his sister and I grew up together.”

Adding to that correction made Garnet feel undeniably sad, for a moment or so, though she tried her best not to express it. She took another sip of hot chocolate, feeling relieved that she had something to distract herself with. She badly wanted it to be true, that she lived here with Cameron and Adrianna, safe, and without loneliness. But at least she was staying here tonight; that was something. She could spend one night in peace, not fearing the thud of wardens' footsteps or a hammering on her front door… not dreaming that they were coming to get her.

Her thoughts were interrupted when Lilly spoke again, expressing her gratitude for their kindness. Garnet felt a pang of pity for the girl; she was someone who had so obviously been betrayed by her own society, looked down upon, ignored, simply because of her pregnancy. As Cameron answered her words with one of his jokes, Garnet leaned forward, placing her mug back on the table.

“You’re not a ticking time bomb,” she told the girl softly. “You’re a lovely young woman who’s carrying something precious, a new life. There’s nothing remotely scary about you.” A smile formed on her features, her grey-blue eyes filled with compassion and honesty. She felt for their new acquaintance, and sympathised with her situation. Garnet did not have many friends, due to the fact that her work was so limiting, and glued her to a desk, scarcely allowing her any breaks or time to form friendships. She saw in Lilly someone who she could be good friends with, and was glad of it.

She looked towards Cameron, leaning back to rest her head against the sofa. She could not help that her smile was now widening, seeing how happy he looked. When he was happy, she felt happy. She felt her former discomfort draining away, giving way to a peacefulness that matched Cameron’s exactly. Not wanting to be caught looking at him for too long, especially since Lilly had jumped to the conclusion that they were together, she made herself look away, diverting her gaze to her hands folded on her lap.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2010, 10:03 am 
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[ I had a sudden burst of inspiration for Lilly and her past and I made a kind of flash-back in the post, which I hope is not too confusing. Dylan's part will be up soon! :) ]

A blush once again coloured Lilly’s cheeks as Cameron and Garnet both hinted on the actual base of their relationship. She felt foolish for assuming that intimate friendship was indeed love, but the look in Garnet’s eyes could not deceive Lilly: the two might be friends, but Garnet did feel something more..

Silently she sipped from her hot chocolate and Lilly wondered if it was just modesty why they had not asked her about her partner, or that they already expected as much. Wandering alone in the city at night was not usual from pregnant women, especially as their husbands would often accompany them.

Tears filled her eyes at the sweet and encouraging words of both Cameron and Garnet. She could hardly believe that they both could be so kind to her, without even knowing her, or her situation. She had been condemned because of her pregnancy. She had found out as a wave of morning sickness had hit Lilly a few times at work, questioning her about her assumptions and the identity of the father. Lilly had not been able to come up with a plausible answer. She could not tell the truth and therefore she had assumed that she did not even know the father.

W-hore and Jezebel she had called her; her snobbish face looking down at Lilly in disgust. He had been standing next to her, his expression threatening as usual, with a devilish smile lurking around his lips. He only stated coldly that such disgracing behaviour was not tolerated in their household and that she was dismissed…

Lilly’s thoughts went back to that one night that had changed her life so much.

She was back in that luxurious dining room which was lavishly decorated with the most beautiful furniture. Thick, bordeaux coloured curtains concealed large windows from sight, while authentic paintings of the days before, when people could still enjoy sunlight, were displayed on the walls, which hinted at the infinite wealth of its owners. A crystal chandelier and many candles shed a light on a large dinner table where only the remains of an abundant dinner and empty wine glasses were left.

The dinner party had just ended; the large pendulum clock just struck ten and nothing remained for Lilly to tidy up the place before she could go home. She had left for the Rotary Club and he was undoubtedly preparing for another glamorous party or for a rendezvous with a mistress, something of which she was still ignorant.
Lilly was wearied; it had been a long day with a lot of stressed preparations in the house and kitchen for that evening. She pushed a strand of blond curls, which had escaped her untidy knot, behind her ear and started to pick up the dishes to bring them to the kitchen.

Suddenly he had appeared in the doorframe, blocking her way, while he said: “Miss Tash, could I have a word?”
Lilly nodded, replaced the dishes back on the table and followed him to the study. She did not come there that often, just to clean it once in a while. It was the place where he worked on matters of the state and other affairs. Involuntarily Lilly shivered, but whether it was from fatigue or the invisible power which seemed to surround him, she was not sure.

“Here, take a drink.”

Although Lilly did not drink, she thought it he would probably consider it as an insult if she refused, so she took the glass that was offered to her. The dark liquid burnt in her throat and only one sip seemed warm her tired limbs. Lilly looked at him, questioningly. He was not sitting behind his desk as usual, but leaned against the foreside, finished his drink in one draft and now took a few steps closer to her.

“My wife and I are very content with your services. How long have you been with us?”

“Thank you, sir” Lilly replied, still feeling a little uneasy. “I think it has been three years now..”

There was a pause in which he took another few steps closer to her before asking: “And you are still alone?”

Lilly was taken aback by his boldness and wondered what purpose his inappropriate question could have. Still this was a man whom she could not refuse an answer. Not only was he her employer, and shamelessly rich, but he was also a man of power. Although his rank was not that of the Governor, his influence over their doings were great. He could make and break a man’s future.

“I’m not seeing anyone, sir..” Lilly finally answered after some hesitation. She wanted to leave the study, finding that the conversation had taken an unsettling turn, feeling too tired for useless questionings while some work still waited for her before she could go home but she did not dare to leave.

“What a shame,” he murmured, while his hand stroked the blonde’s cheek. “that so much beauty remains unnoticed.” Suddenly his lips were on hers and he had pulled his strong arm around her waist, to keep her in his grasp. Lilly leaned back and struggled to get loose but his grip was too strong.

“Are you going to cause trouble Lilly?” His voice was now cold and his eyes full of greed.
His tone was threatening and Lilly, although she was in panic, conceived the full meaning of his words. She could not only loose her job, but also her house.. her life.

With his arm still tightly around her waist, he turned to lock the door of his study. Then his hands were on her body, his mouth again on hers. Lilly was numbed by panic, but could not do anything. She closed her eyes, while things got way out of hand…



She just managed to blink away her tears, and a small smile was still on her lips. The others, fortunately, were lost in thoughts as well.

“What a shame that you and your sister are not at home very often. I know that feeling quite well. I hope I can meet her one day. What for job is it, which keeps her from home so often?”

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PostPosted: July 20th, 2010, 9:18 am 
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[ I know this is a double post, but if I edit the thread will not be bumped up the list.. ;) ]

As Dylan spoke, Adrianna remained awfully quiet, only once affirming that she would be able to provide him with a map. Her features seemed to cloud when his voice continued to echoe in the silence. His plan obviously worried her, if not scared her, yet she nodded once in a while in agreement, proving that she did not back out of her promise.

She often looked at him; curiosity but also misunderstanding in her glance, perhaps because she was unable to grasp his ability to fight.

When the doctor introduced himself she shook his hand after a short hesitation. Their pact was sealed now. The point of no return was already far behind them, but Dylan was somehow relieved that she, as only person in this dreaded place, was still on his side. The life of an outlaw was a lonely one, and Dylan would have to get used to it. Those he knew, thought him to be dead, there was no way to contact them. If he ever was to get out of here, he would have to renew his identity, to make sure he was alone in the world.

“If they haven't found me, then I'll still be here. Watching.”

There was some doubt in her voice, as if she was suspecting that all of this could go very wrong, but also determination. Although she was freeing him from captivity, she would remain. Stay in this dark place of ill-used power and fear, to be the puppet of the Governor. After those words she suddenly seemed to be in a hurry and left him in the darkness.

Dylan slumped down on the thin mattress, resting his head against the wall, and thought that the darkness and cold was even more oppressing now Adrianna had left. Doubts and fear once more lurked in the back of his mind now that light had faded. All he could do now was wait until the plan was set into action, save his strength and fight every hesitation in body and mind.


[Yuck, sorry for the bad post guys.. I had a bit of a writer's block for Dylan :confused: ]

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PostPosted: July 31st, 2010, 4:59 pm 
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[Jeez, I'm so late posting for this. :closedeyes: I'm sorry for the wait!]

The door swung shut, and as it did the electronic system that kept it bolted shut made an ugly clicking noise that made Adrianna's heart skip a beat. It had already been racing, for not a moment ago she'd been sat not a pace away from the imprisoned doctor, agreeing to a plan that seemed, at best, hopelessly futile. What was she to gain from this if all went wrong? Nothing but a lifetime of suffering, she was sure - she'd seen it happen before; it was one of the reasons the tried so hard to evade obstacles and decisions that would flag her as dangerous the the current government. She worked too closely with the people involved in the governance of the remnants of the human race to go unnoticed if her loyalty swayed, and she knew if she faltered, even for a second, they'd know, and they'd hunt her until she was either mad or dead. Neither was very appealing.

There was a chance - a slim one, but still - that this could succeed. That was the only reason she'd proposed it, and the part of the reason she hadn't point blank refused to have any part in this madness. The meeting of the Governors presented a unique opportunity, one she could turn to the doctor's advantage, given a little time and a lot of luck. One chance was all she had, and she'd give everything to make sure this went as smoothly as planned. The sooner everything fell into place, the sooner she could resume her life of doubts and petty grievances - a paradise that, from where she stood then, seemed a world away.

Regaining both her composure and a regular breathing rate, Adrianna started down the long passages, determination laced with fear in every step. Plans, contacts, resources and useful snippets of information wormed their way into her mind one after another, all forming a part of her larger plan. On her way out of the passages that led to the cells, she posted two Wardens outside - just in case. If she was to play a part in this, she might as well embroider her story, act the part of the concerned subordinate. If those around her truly believes that she wanted the doctor locked away, sealed in a cell for the rest of his life, then she might be able to save herself from superstition and speculation.

Taking longer, more circuitous, routes through the Tower, Adrianna managed to pick up a small, roughly hewn wooden box, a few documents (‘for a report’, she'd told the clerk) and, most importantly, a single key. The latter didn't look like much; it wasn't shaped like a conventional key, it was shaped like a tear drop and had a pattern covering its metallic surface - like the trails on a circuit board. Adrianna knew it to be part of an electronic key system, similar to that that controlled the cell doors, but one that would grant access to the front doors of the Tower - the ones that opened up onto the square in the centre of the city. Doors that would grant the freedom of the man waiting upstairs.

For the next hour or so, she intended to spend her time drawing up accurate diagrams of the floors between the doctor's cell and the exit - that, and creating plausible lies she could conjure at short notice if she was pinned down by an overly curious Warden or politician. There were plenty of dark corners she could hide while she plotted and schemed, and most would conceal her completely from any onlookers.

Not for the first time, she felt the wait of another human soul on her conscience. If she didn't succeed in setting this up, she'd be condemning an innocent man to a fate he did not desire nor deserve.

<center>- - -</center>

If was, of course, inevitable that Allegra would catch up eventually, and as such Lucius had slowed his pace enough to allow her to think she'd gained ground quickly enough to annoy him. Her social graces and elegant style did, indeed, outdo his own, but the dark, immovable person his manner and dress painted him to be suited his character much better. Outwardly she could be as dazzling as a queen, inwardly she would still be his inferior in almost every way - and that was not entirely his doing, either, though he would take the credit for it without hesitation. No, her upbringing and the way she'd been treated for years meant that Allegra had been limited in many ways, and those were the areas she excelled in. Clever though she was, it would not help her in a world she knew little or nothing about. This gave him immense satisfaction, and as such helped him get by the indignity of having to suffer her presence in public.

Clever, vain and hypnotic, Lucius mused dryly to himself. Those were three words that best fit Allegra, he thought. There was no chance that he'd tell her so, because already he knew that she'd simply shrug and reply with a seemingly idle comment that would sting - no-one but him would be able to decode such an insult, though, she even amongst peers his struggle against his sister's infernal war for control would go entirely unnoticed. Both siblings had learned to conceal both their dislike for one another and their jibes by subtle, idle conversation that was ambiguous; two conversations would then take place simultaneously: the meaningless platitudes that were clearly and sincerely voiced and the underlying meaning of apparently innocuous words. During their younger years, the sport helped them to both express dislike of one another without their parent's knowing anything. Secrecy always had been their greatest weapon.

“Oh, indeed?” he inquired, his tone light and unconcerned. “That is interesting, though I cannot say I set much store by your opinion. For instance, you have made several errors already,” he paused both for effect and to wait to see if she had a passing comment to make. For that moment of silence he watched her with a more than patronizing expression before looking away and continuing as if nothing had happened.

“Firstly, calling my duty an addiction is a gross exaggeration. I was appointed this position; I am carrying out the task entrusted to me, nothing more.
“Secondly, there is a subtle difference between neutrality and objectivity. I suggest you look it up.You have the best of everything, I'm sure you've a decent dictionary.”

Allegra seemed not to have heard him, or perhaps she was simply thinking; he didn't particularly care at that moment. When she'd finished her analysis of him, he left a polite pause before chuckling to himself, still pointedly not looking at her.

“I'm sure you came by this because you have first hand knowledge of such things,” he told her, feigning a gentle compassion. “Your subtle,” he stressed the word, exaggerating the irony, “manipulations of those around you is exactly the kind of thing you're talking about, is it not?”

Smiling idly, he faced his sister again, physically stopping and turning to look her in the eye. This was both unhooked Allegra's arm from his and served as a sufficiently dramatic distraction “Sister, if I am flawed, then that is proof that you too are not as perfect as you would have your superfluous friends believe.”

It was true, of course. Every word she'd spoken of him was correct, and he was not ashamed of it; the aim of his words was to provoke his sister, to irritate her, and, last but most definitely not least, to wound her pride. It gave him pleasure to see her distaste for the pleasantries they exchanged in public. Admitting his flaws took nothing, for he had no illusions about himself, other than that that told him he had a right to claim governance over the entirety of the population in the underground city. He cared nothing for Allegra's nor anyone else's opinion of him; they were irrelevant, meaningless, and he could persuade them to make their view a little less well known should he have to. The world he'd lived in growing up - a bubble of hopes, ambitions and almost limitless opportunities - had taught him that time was swift, people were pathetic and fear was endlessly useful.

Though he was aware of words spilling from his sister's lips, Lucius paid them no attention: it was doubtful that there would be anything there that he hadn't heard before and he had more pressing matters to think about, the foremost being the man sat in a cell two floors below.

“Oh, enough,” the words were sharper than before, though it was more because of boredom than irritation. “if you continue in such a manner, I will doubtless be asleep by the end of your monologue. A persuasive speech ought to grab the attention and give the audience something to ponder, rather than act as a sleeping remedy. Remember that, sister.”

With every passing second Lucius became even more eager to start his interrogation of the doctor, despite the fact that Allegra would likely be lurking in the background. For all her faults, he had to give her something: the woman was consistent.

<center>- - -</center>

As Garnet backed him up, Cameron nodded warmly. Glad as he was to have someone reinforcing his assurances that Lilly was indeed not at all scary, he also felt a little strange: Lilly's assumption that he and Garnet shared this house was unexpected - for the two involved, at least - but an oddly pleasant thought. He doubted very much that it would actually happen, especially if what they'd said tonight about exploring the idea of the surface was put into action, but it was something nice to distract him from the petty, everyday thoughts that had been cluttering up his mind since he'd returned home.

Observing the two young women, Cameron felt himself seeing them almost from an outsider's perspective. The two were very similar and, given time, he was sure they'd become good friends - neither seemed to have many people to depend on, and were both searching for the same thing: a comforting presence that would block out part of their harsh reality. All of them knew what it was like to feel completely alone in one way or another and it was an experience he'd bet a months' salary that no-one wanted to experience again.

Content for the first time in months, Cameron felt his muscles relax and felt himself sink back into the cushions. The outside world was cold but here, for now, he was safe, and for now, the fire was warm, the sofa was comfy and the company was enjoyable. Tonight he'd make a point to forget all of the disagreeable parts of life and focus solely upon the good things that were happening. It didn't at all mean that the bad things hadn't happened and it did not mean that it would stop them happening in the future; what it did mean was that, tonight, he could laugh, joke, and maybe sleep without being haunted by authoritative men in uniforms.

Lilly's eyes conveyed her gratefulness as Garnet reassured her. She was a sweet girl, Cameron had judged as much quickly, but she wasn't a fool. From what she'd said she seemed to have a realistic view of the world, which hinted at intelligence, but it was not the cold, calculating intelligence he was used to. It was refreshing to see the characteristic in such a different light, and he appreciated that fact. Once again he reflected upon how rare it was to find someone else who was openly kind and friendly to strangers. He counted himself lucky, firstly to have Adrianna and Garnet, and secondly to have been given a position where he could appreciate this kind of act.

“What a shame that you and your sister are not at home very often. I know that feeling quite well. I hope I can meet her one day. What for job is it, which keeps her from home so often?”

Lilly's question was gentle, curious and, at face value, harmless. The nature of it gave Cameron cause for concern, though, for just as he was about to answer, he realised he was about to tell the woman that his sister worked for the very establishment that had sent armed men out into the streets in the dead of night for some reason that escaped all of them. He didn't want to frighten her unnecessarily, especially because Adrianna was not the usual heartless wretch who signed up to gain power and the respect of the wealthy.

“You'll likely meet her sometime. She has a habit of turning up when you least expect her.” he laughed softly, suddenly lost in childhood memories. Sobering, he put them aside and started to answer Lilly's question directly, still attempting not to be distracted by the vibrant memories that had been stirred up by the thought.

“She was recruited a few years ago by one of the Governors.” he told her honestly. “The description she was given says that she's his ‘aide’, but I think ‘secretary’ would suit a little more.”

Cameron had managed to pull off the news in a casual and matter-of-fact way. His expression wasn't overly serious or alarmed in any way, and he seemed perfectly at ease until he frowned abruptly, changing his features entirely, moments after speaking.

“... Don't tell her I said that. She might be short, but I'd end up with bruises.”

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[ No problem Melda! I've been gone for a long time as well :P I think we just missed each other, when you came back I went away.. ;) ]

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2010, 7:26 pm 
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[ Has teh Melda disappeared ? :( ]

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PostPosted: September 21st, 2010, 4:03 pm 
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[Indeed she did. The new school year's just started and 'cause I've finished high school and moved onto 6th Form, I've little time to myself. :swoon: Crikey, it's all a nightmare. This place hasn't been forgotten, however! :)]

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2010, 7:04 pm 
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[ Yay for Melda still being alive! And it does not really matter that you're busy hun, we all are.. ;) Besides.. it's Goldy's turn to post I think? :hide: ]

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PostPosted: October 5th, 2010, 4:50 pm 
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[Just to get this moving along... and because I've missed it so. :P]

[font=Times New Roman, serif]<center>TWELVE MONTHS AGO</center>[/font]

As it turned out, he'd not been far wrong; Alexander's young, mysterious visitor did indeed bring news of a decidedly disagreeable nature.

For your crimes against the government of the survivors of Aerlon, she had said in that voice he despised, you are sentenced to death. Your sentence shall be such that in your final moments you can contemplate and marvel at the destruction your careless words could have caused - destruction that carelessness has caused in the past. You will be offered no forgiveness.

You have the right of a few final words. If these are not of a hazardous nature, they will be kept, on file, with your name and sentence. You will not be permitted a last request, nor will you be allowed to leave a Warden unattended. Within a fortnight I, Adrianna Hart, shall return to a reiterate this sentence in front of witnesses before you meet your fate.

As she'd read these words aloud, the trail of thought that had passed through his mind disintegrated and he focussed on nothing other than the low, quiet voice of Adrianna. She gave voice to the words that ordered his death with no particular conviction or satisfaction, but she didn't seem to feel regret or any other emotion he could have played upon: had she, he would have pleaded with her conscience, her humanity, to see how this entire situation reeked of madness. Unfortunately for him, though, no matter how hard he looked, no matter how firm a grasp of the personality beneath that mask he though he had, he saw nothing. No concern, despair, hope, longing or love. That alone put more fear into him than his own death sentence had.

As she'd read out what could only laughably be called his “rights” he'd had to strain to keep an expression of deepest amusement from entering his face. How could she - or anyone else in this place - be serious? Handing out such a sentence shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did, but hearing it put so simply, so frankly, without any room to be misunderstood was both enlightening and terrifying. It would have been impossible to convey his feelings at that awful moment. What could possibly be more fear-inducing than being told that you're about to die because of your stand for justice?

Fear doesn't fade with time; if anything, it solidifies and plagues the heart of anyone who holds it. So it was with Alexander. He found it impossible to think of anything other than his own impending doom, as selfish as that might have been. Not a second was spared for his old life, for the people he'd known or might have known - his head was full of flashing images and a gripping, creeping terror. Inch by inch it was grasping, hard, onto his heart and he knew beyond a doubt that it would not let go.

Two weeks had gone by in a blur. He didn't remember anything other than the visit from the Governor, which had been short but definitely not sweet: the man had accused him of attempting to undercut the proper chain of command and thereby inspire treason in the population. It was important, the conceited aristocrat had told him coldly, that the bulk of today's society remain calm and harmonious, otherwise the community as a whole was doomed only to a slow and inevitable demise.

Perhaps an hour ago, he'd been fetched by four Wardens, each wearing his rank on his sleeve: none of them were below the 3rd rank - so they had not been assigned lightly. It almost pleased him to know that he'd troubled the men who were to execute him.

Two minutes ago, he'd laughed as a man had entered the last room Alexander was to remember. The man, old, perhaps mid sixties, was trembling something terrible, and seemed to have lost all coordination; he made eye contact with no-one, nor did he speak. After handing over a piece of paper with not even as much as a small flourish, he all but fled from the room.

At present, the room is silent, Alexander is stood in the very centre of the room, shackled and watching the jumbled collection of people before him with a critical and sceptical expression. How these could act as a functioning government was entirely beyond him; most looked as if they'd never worked a day in their lives - which, he reminded himself, was not only possible, it was likely. Abruptly overtaken by recklessness, he began to attempt to stare down any who looked at him, which was a surprisingly small number of people, considering he was to be the main form of entertainment.

The room they were in wasn't lavishly furnished, nor did it seem to have been in regular use at all; there were cobwebs in each corner of the ceiling and dust covered the floor, albeit unevenly. There were a pair of large, bolted metal doors ahead that looked like nothing he'd ever seen before; they looked as if they were supposed to keep something out rather than in. A strange practice, even for someone who might want to keep the souls of the dead at bay.

When Governor Nylander arrived - silently, though he seemed to be casting a shadow over the entire party - swiftly followed by the girl Adrianna, he nodded once to the Wardens flanking the wrought metal doors, who exchanged anxious glances before holstering their weapons and throwing their weight behind them in an effort to pull the enormous doors forward. Far from what he'd expected, there seemed to be little more than another pair of doors, equipped with a thin pane of reinforced glass, and a small box-like room. He'd barely have room to turn in a circle with his arms outstretched. What was this supposed to be?

As he was prodded forward, his sentence was read. Even though it was only the second time he'd heard it read aloud, he wasn't listing to the coarse male voice; it made him feel nauseous to even think of the words. From all sides he was assaulted by disgusted looks from those of “noble” birth, all but one; the look of a frightened child was captured perfectly in the eyes of Adrianna Hart, who found herself wishing she had the strength to turn away, to cover her eyes, or simply to run and not stop. Despite this desire she remained rooted to the spot, swaying ever so slightly with a dizziness that clouded her thinking processes.

Alexander found himself being, not unexpectedly, ushered into the claustrophobic interior of the glass box. His wrists were unshackled - at gun point, lest he get any ideas - and then left, facing the drab room, a dead man.

“You will now have the opportunity,” a throaty voice rumbled, “to say a few words. What say you, Alexander Marcus, outlaw of this great nation?”

“I've nothing to say to those who'd see the end of justice,” he spat back without hesitation.

“Very well,” Nylander drawled lazily. “Enjoy your contemplation, criminal.”

The Governor seemed to savour his own words, pleased with the taste of them on his tongue. Alexander laughed bitterly, and was still laughing when first the glass doors then the metal doors were heaved closed. Somewhere beyond the room, an order was barked, a lever was pulled, and Alexander felt himself been jerked upwards, so hard he lost his balance. Laughter failed him, so he began to shout, loud, wordless cries; no-one heard him, though, for the walls were thick, and every second he moved further away...

After near enough minutes upon minutes of creaking, non-stop movement, all came to a standstill. There wasn't any more than the sound of Alexander's breathing until the doors opened with a a quick whoosh of cold air. Something sharp and acidic hit his lungs and made him splutter; he didn't recognise it, and for a while it was almost impossible for him to even begin speculating. Stumbling forward without looking where he was going, he hit a wall - a rough wall of stone, that looked as if it had been carved by water - but the cave the city lay in, way down below him, man-made tunnels, cut by need for fossil fuels and the like.

The answer to his endless questions didn't hit him until he took one last, choking breath, collapsed to his knees, and realised that way ahead of him in the distance, there was the tiniest flash of sunlight and an opening into the intensely poisonous atmosphere.

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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2010, 8:53 pm 
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(Sorry I've taken so long to post, guys! :hug: )

Lucius had wanted silence, so that was what Allegra had given him: complete and utter wordlessness as they walked side by side, descending two floors down towards the tiny cell the doctor was kept in. Allegra remained cheerfully wordless as she floated along in grey silk, her stiletto heels tapping, her strides just as long and purposeful as her brother’s. For someone as talkative and naturally social as she was, this was slightly daunting behaviour, even though a smile remained constant on her features. As she went, she only lit one cigarette, exhaling the smoke in one expert spiral. Her game of silence was beginning to transform into genuine reflection, as her thoughts drifted away from Lucius, and onto the matter of Dylan Whittaker. What to do about him?

If she took too apparent an interest in him, then Lucius would grow suspicious. As long as this appeared as nothing more than an entertaining way to pass the time, all could be well. But she could not simply stand by and watch as the man was destroyed. He was a good man, she knew, and her professional involvement with him had been sincere. She’d wanted to help him with his cause, to provide everyone with satisfactory medical treatment. The amount of money she’d given him to purchase all those medicines and equipment would have made a governor wince with physical pain. She had given the money gladly and with good will; she certainly had cash to spare. Now she would see this man in a cold, dark cell, awaiting any manner of gruesome fate. Her conscience couldn’t allow her to do nothing.

There had to be a way of getting him out. But how? Such a plan was dangerous, with any amount of risks attached. If Lucius discovered that Allegra had been plotting to free a prisoner, a traitor of his government, then he would never forgive her. However, it was not his forgiveness she sought. It was his mere tolerance of her existence. She was confident in the fact that he would never attempt to remove her, as he had done with so many other traitors, but he could certainly make her life uncomfortable. He could not take away her fortune; it was hers in her own right. Nor could he evict her from her luxurious house. But he could make sure that her name was sullied forever as that of a scheming conspirator against the state.

Subtlety was required, a trait Allegra certainly possessed. She had many means at her disposal, in particular her network of spies and moles. She could possibly buy a warden to plant somewhere. As she thought the situation through, her serene expression never altered. Her smile did not waver even as she and Lucius walked along through the dark, winding corridors leading down to the cell blocks, separated by ominous wooden doors with a warden at each post. Naturally, they were allowed to pass. Not even a warden could refuse a governor, and Lucius was infamous for his cruel nature. There was no objection made to Allegra’s presence at his side as they neared cell Fourteen B. Finally, Allegra decided that she had remained silent long enough, and she turned her head towards Lucius, raising a slim brow.

“Shall we go and visit this despicable enemy of the state?” she enquired, neutrally. “I’m sure you have some pressing questions for him.”

~~~

Garnet was in the kitchen, standing at the sink, carefully rinsing out the mugs she’d used to serve the hot chocolate. Everyone had drained every last drop of the warm drinks gratefully; Garnet in particular had enjoyed the change it made from the usual stale coffee the library canteen specialized in. Her brow furrowed slightly as she thought of those tiny breaks her busy schedule allowed her, when the exhausted book keepers would shuffle into the canteen, their eyes bleary, their backs aching. She had never exchanged a single word with her “colleagues” – the book keepers were always too tired to socialise. She always quickly purchased her cheerless coffee, and then locked herself back in her small room, trying to regain a last drop of energy.

Not for the first time, Garnet reflected on how utterly dull and lifeless her job was. If it had paid well, then the dullness would almost have been compensated for, but as it was, her salary wasn’t much at all. Her hands were now shaking slightly as she left the three mugs to dry off on the draining board. Standing here, alone in the room, she felt an odd mixture of emotions that she couldn’t properly comprehend. She badly needed to find some source of freedom. More than anything else, she needed Cameron to follow through as quickly as possible with his promise.

“Please,” she mouthed silently. “Please, please, please.” Taking a deep breath, she tried to steady her nerves. She was tired from a long day of work, but she still had things she needed to think about – such as, where would she sleep tonight? She had planned to sleep on the sofa, but since it looked like Lilly was staying, surely she would need it instead. Or perhaps Lilly could sleep in Adrianna’s bed? No, Adrianna would be home soon, Garnet was sure. Frowning, she resolved that Lilly could have the sofa, and Garnet would simply sleep on the living room floor with a couple of pillows and a blanket, and that would have to suffice.

Softly padding out of the kitchen, she went back into the living room. It was getting late. Her brow smoothed out as a rush of warmth hit her; due to the gas heater, it was far warmer in here than in the cold kitchen. But this was not the only reason for her smile. Looking at Cameron from the doorway, she hesitated before going forward. He looked so happy tonight, perfectly at peace with the world. She loved it when he smiled.

Finally, she approached the sofa and sat down next to him. She glanced briefly at her watch, checking the time. It certainly was late. She directed a friendly smile at Lilly, indicating that she was still very much welcome to stay. “We’re a bunch of night owls,” she remarked. “I’m thankful I’m not still locked up in the library. Sometimes when I’m on night shifts I don’t get back till three in the morning.” Giving her arms a small stretch to ease her still aching muscles, Garnet then rested her hands back down on the sofa. Only, to her surprise, her right hand did not settle on the soft fabric of the sofa, but the warm skin of Cameron’s hand. Surprised, Garnet almost flinched.

After a moment’s pause as she considered whether she should move away, Garnet finally decided it was no harm done. Hoping that Lilly wasn’t observing too closely, Garnet tucked her slender fingers around Cameron’s hand, her palm brushing against his. She dared one small smile up at him, hoping that he would see it simply as a friendly gesture, yet at the same time, hoping that for once he would see it as something more.

~~~

It was a dark, cramped cell, and only just adequate. Dylan was lying slumped down on the mattress, his head turned away from Lucius and Allegra. Allegra, in a rare occurrence of luck, had entered the room ahead of her brother, meaning that he’d had to follow her in. This was the kind of thing that Allegra always appreciated and triumphed in, but the situation at hand was one too serious for such thoughts. Standing near the doorway, Allegra watched the doctor silently, careful not to let her expression waver from one of vague curiosity. Lucius could not discover that his prisoner and his sister were acquainted with one another already.

The tap of Allegra’s heels was abnormally loud on the cold floor of the cell as she approached the mattress. “Doctor Whittaker.” Her voice was soft, but impersonal, reverberating on the walls of the tiny room, as Allegra alerted the man to their presence.

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2010, 11:38 am 
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[ Sorry for the long wait guys..! :hug: ]


Dylan was chilled to the bone. Although he had tried to, he had not been able to get any sleep. The mattress was so thin, that he as well could have been sleeping on the floor and his severe headache felt like someone had been working his brain with a sledgehammer. He did not know how long it had been that Adrianna had left, but it seemed eternity.

Nervousness and, occasionally, fear seemed to overwhelm him. He hated himself for that; he thought himself to be stronger than to succumb to fear, but Dylan couldn’t help it. Now he was here in this dreaded place, everything seemed even worse than the tales had suggested. He felt degraded, hardly human anymore, as he was here only a number; another traitor of the state, counting down the minutes he’d left to live. How had this come to happen? Hadn’t he only been wanting to save lives? Been trying to do good? And he was to die for that?

Dylan didn’t care about dying; he hadn’t for years.. No, but he did fear the moments that would come before that. He wasn’t sure what they had accused him of, but if they wanted information they would do anything to make them confess.

Shivering violently, Dylan tried to block all those gruesome thoughts and to empty his mind. That had always been a good practice whenever he’d come home, still full of the tragedies that occurred in the hospital. It helped him to focus on his task at hand and to find peace with everything he had not been able to fix.

Slowly, sleep started to overwhelm him. Greeting a moment of not thinking gratefully, Dylan gladly gave into the exhaustion. Yet only seconds later a metallic sound was heard, as the door was unlocked with a soft click and swung open; creaking loudly. Soft footsteps, and then a melodious voice called him from his slumbering.

Dylan slowly sat up, leaning against the damp wall of his cell, and watched the two visitors, who’d entered his cell. One of them was, without doubt, Governor Nylander. Dylan had never met the man before, but Lucius’ appearance completely fulfilled Dylan’s expectations. Nylander had a shrewd look in his eyes and a cold and calculating appearance, like a vulture, ready to finish off his prey. The other visitor was quite unexpected. Dylan’s heart seemed to skip a beat when he realised that the elegant woman, who was now pacing through his cell, had assisted him in purchasing large medicine supplies for some time. She was very pretty, obviously of noble blood, that he already knew, because of her fashionable looks and her attitude of being used to get what she wanted.

For a moment Dylan was puzzled as to what this woman was doing here. Had it all been a set-up? Had she betrayed him to the officials? Dylan couldn’t believe that; she had always seemed genuinely concerned with the fates of those they helped nor did she seem to be a pawn of the Governor. The doctor glanced again at the man and the woman in his cell, but was then suddenly struck with the facial resemblances between the two. Although the Governor’s hair was dark and the woman’s hair was fair, they shared some characteristics which undoubtedly made them relatives. Dylan’s bewilderment was not visible on his face, as he tried to conceal his emotions with great effort, but decided that he had to speak up, but without giving away the conclusions he’d just made.

“ Governor Nylander, I suppose?” the doctor asked. He’d summoned all his strength to let his voice sound unconcerned, jokingly even. “And you brought a most charming visitor..” Dylan directed a crooked grin at Allegra. “Welcome to my humble dwelling. I would have asked you to sit down, but I fear that the furnishing in this establishment is not that satisfying..”

-------------

Lilly wished that the night could last forever. She felt warm, underneath a blanket on the comfortable sofa and in good spirit after meeting Cameron and Garnet. She realised, though, that it was late already and tomorrow she would have to get up for work early. Suspecting that both Garnet and Cameron would not let her walk home at this time of the night, Lilly gratefully laid her head back against the pillows of the sofa, enjoying the fact that she would be in their company a little longer.

When Garnet entered the living room again Lilly asked shyly: “Could I perhaps stay? I mean, only if you have enough beds.. I could easily walk back home, I’m quite fond of walking..”

With smile she looked at the couple on the other sofa, but she was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of bitter loneliness. She felt miserable even of thinking of the next day, that she would have to turn back to her empty and lonely life, which probably soon would be her empty, lonely and unemployed life as well. She was sure that she would be fired, as soon as she would give birth to her baby. Lilly shuddered, only the thought of giving birth scared her. What if it happened during work? What if she couldn’t get to the hospital in time? If she was all alone?

Lilly tried to swallow the knot in her throat, fighting the tears that threatened to well up in her eyes. She shifted her position underneath the blanket and sighed. “I do not want to go to work tomorrow” she murmured softly, venting a part of her worries. “I just don’t want to..”

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PostPosted: November 21st, 2010, 4:14 pm 
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After maybe an hour of toil, frustration, subterfuge and seconds that seemed to pass so agonisingly slowly, Adrianna thought she'd put most of her plans into place. She'd managed to either find spares or duplicate the keys she needed, and replace the originals; she'd found the blueprints she'd need to construct a comprehensive map, and, most importantly, she'd organised the Wardens so that they'd be easily negotiable for anyone getting out, but their forces would be impenetrable to anyone considering breaking in - not that there were many depraved souls contemplating such an act.

For the past hour or more, each heartbeat had been painful, each breath a calculated risk, each move a precision strike. Whenever she heard a sound, fright racked her small frame and almost paralysed her; it physically hurt her to be stood anywhere but amid complete silence where she felt secure and could compose herself. She supposed that it wasn't the fact she could get caught so much as the idea that the penalty, death, if she was lucky, would not be waived simply because she was employed here. In fact, the penalty would likely be harsher... but it didn't do to think about such things. Not at such a crucial moment. Not when there was so much at stake.

Inhaling deeply, Adrianna pulled, more roughly than she intended, the door to the cubicle she'd occupied open. There was no-one outside, still, she froze, just in case. Pausing only to regain her wits, she closed the door quietly, and swiftly moved to exit the building.

The ‘night’ air was cold and bitter, she shuddered and she plunged herself into it, her lungs drowning in air that felt more like cold water. Her lids slid closed and for a moment she was lost in a swirling trail of thought; it was a moment before her subconscious took over and her feet were taking her, swiftly, homewards.

Vision seemed a thing of the past; she saw in a series of blurry patterns rather than distinct shapes, objects - she felt light-headed, almost delirious. Had she been more aware, she might've heard soft, meandering footsteps or seen a shadow that moved independent of the others; as it was, she felt fit only to observe that which directly concerned her, which was a mistake.

Something sharper and colder than the air she breathed jabbed the base of her spine and fingers - calloused, hard-working fingers - wrapped themselves around her face, muffling her cry and startling her so much she could've lost her balance, had she not been held so firmly. Already terrified by the prospect of impending death, the encounter frightened her less that it might have ordinarily, which lent a strange, reckless element to her personality that did not belong there.

“Pray, tell me,” a sharp male voice hissed in her ear abrasively, “what proceedings could have the nobility so atwitter?”

The world was brought into sharp focus, so stark a change that Adrianna gasped involuntarily instead of answering. No doubt as a reward for her ignorance, a lancinating pain jarred her system and she winced.

“I know nothing of it,” she managed to whisper half-heartedly.

Liar,” came the immediate response. “I'd commend your loyalty, but such loyalty has almost killed me in the past. Now, remain still and you may still find yourself conscious in a few minutes' time.”

Soon all she could feel was the throbbing of the smallest nick in her skin, and the absence of strong, threatening limbs holding her aloft. She hadn't noticed or heard his disappearance but she already felt weak at the knees, in danger of succumbing to both exhaustion and fear. Stumbling forwards automatically towards home, she felt rational logic return to her slowly but surely. It was just a shame it had come minutes too late.

<center>- - -</center>

Ignoring Allegra required a level mind and patience, and Lucius was more than proficient at it. He had to be, to be able to block out all the sentimental noise of the world and focus, single-mindedly, on the task he had set out to accomplish all those years ago. Tonight, however small an achievement, the imprisonment of the doctor meant that he was one infinitesimally small step closer to his goal. That made him proud.

He stepped across the threshold into the cell, electing to ignore the appalling state of the place, tall and cold, not the least be curious as to how the doctor had found his last few hours. Indeed, all he did care about was that he suffered the discomfort he deserved for messing with his chain of command. Already he'd rearranged - or rather, had someone else rearrange - the hospital shifts so that there'd be no gaps, other than those the doctor had filled outside his allotted work time. There'd be no vacancy, no sign of his disappearance; it'd be a perfect, seamless transition. No-one would contest it, because it was meant to be that way. That made him powerful.

Allegra introduced herself neutrally, portraying elegance and poise in the face of such a heinously immoral situation. Under the circumstances and considering her viewpoint, Lucius almost found himself admiring her stolidity. He knew his sister, and she had no mind for the crimes, the politics and the intricacies of the command. She might be subtle and manipulative, but you had to be so much more than that to be able to juggle the authority of the position he held. She'd never get to know, however, because she would get his command, he'd expressly told his closest inferiors, over his dead body.

When locked had been withdrawn minutes before, the click would likely have woken the man who sat, back against the wall, opposite them. He didn't seem particularly happy to be in this predicament, but he didn't seem too perturbed by it, either. Dark eyes darted from Lucius's own dark form, to his sister's rather less sinister one and back again. The expression he wore was impassive and his eyes were hard, but they gave the distinct impression that there was a sombre train of thought progressing through his mind at present. This interested Lucius, but not enough that he endeavoured to ask.

“You presume correctly,” he answered curtly without looking at the doctor. His eyes hovered significantly higher, wandering from side to side, almost insinuating that the Governor had no interest in this lowly creature at all. That was partially accurate, but it gave no hint of the annoyance he felt at the doctor's continued defiance.

“If this place was supposed to be satisfying for the occupant, you wouldn't be here. You ought to concern yourself more with the fate that awaits you rather than our comfort.”

The slightest hint of a nasty smile warped the Governor's pale features into something that inspired fear in the bravest of hearts. “Speaking of which, have you any will to try and prolong your short life, speak now. I haven't much patience.”

<center>- - -</center>

Warm and comfy, Cameron felt a world away from all the cares that had, only a few hours ago, seemed to run his life. It was strange to feel so happy, so content, so at peace with the world. The hot chocolate and gas heated had contributed to the pleasant drowsiness everyone felt, but the most relaxing of all was the atmosphere. All were very aware that no-one needed to say anything; if the moment was appropriate, someone might speak, and someone might answer, but there was many a time when silence reigned, but it was simple silence, full silence; it wasn't cold. There was no danger there.

Garnet had taken the cups away a minute ago, quietly, with her own kind of air about her. Cameron found it hard to stop watching her with a small small upon his face; she seemed so much in her element tonight. If he'd seen the Sun before, he'd have made a comparison, because to him, she was radiant.

Blinking several times in quick succession, Cameron managed to pull himself out of his sleepy mindset enough to begin thinking about the rest of the night. It was late, and Adrianna hadn't yet returned - by no means an unusual circumstance, but by no means something he was comfortable or happy with - and it was so dark outside that Lilly would have little chance of making it to the end of the street without either bumping into some unsavoury character or losing herself in the darkness that awaited like a patient predator. He decided swiftly that he wouldn't let either Garnet or Lilly walk home under such conditions, and so began to, slowly, make plans as such. If nothing else, Cameron was certainly practical.

Sitting forwards, Cameron rested his hands on the edge of the sofa, balancing easily on the edge, poised on the cusp of action. Garnet walked back in then, with slow and gentle footsteps. Pausing so she could sit down before he said anything, he was slightly startled by a soft touch. Garnet's hand rested upon his, seemed to simultaneously try to remain where it was and pull away, then relaxed. A moment passed and Cameron became convinced that he was simply imagining things, and so, unconscious of his smile, faced Lilly with a gently inquisitive expression.

“Could I perhaps stay? I mean, only if you have enough beds.. I could easily walk back home, I’m quite fond of walking...”

She seemed so shy, so awkward, and didn't seem to want to be any kind of imposition. Cameron almost laughed; he didn't think he would've minded had she asked when he was in the darkest of his moods; finding such a genuine person was an exceedingly rare stroke of luck. You just didn't turn away such an opportunity for friendship as this.

“Don't even think of it,” he told her gently. “It's too dark, too cold out there. This house is big enough, and it's the warmest it's ever felt with such agreeable company. The warmest in a long time,” he paused, momentarily distracted by the thought of his own parents - it seemed that Garnet wasn't the only one to reveal firm roots in the past tonight - and their unceremonious deaths. They hadn't been killed, thank goodness; they'd caught a sickness. Medicine was scarce, and they simply hadn't made it. That was life. He had to try and live with what he couldn't change. When they'd all been kids, young and free, life had seemed so much brighter, so much less full of sparkling magic and opportunity. It was saddening to see such change.

“I wouldn't think of sending you away now.”

Minutes passed by slowly, quietly, and eventually Lilly whispered of her wish to forget about work for a while. Surprised, Cameron wondered why she hadn't been put on maternity leave; he then realised that even the most logical procedures had to be scrutinised by those in power to see what they could gain from them, if they could gain anything at all. Saddened, Cameron found himself wanting to be able to say something comforting, the way he'd wanted to comfort Garnet when he'd seen how awfully overworked she'd been.

“Tomorrow's another day entirely,” he told her, a small bit of his usual cheer back in his voice. “You never know what might happen.”

Speaking of unpredictable circumstances, the door opened, just then, and for a second the dark night howled at the warm comfort that lay hiding inside the house. Next to the soft warmth, the night was cold, alien and hostile. It wasn't hard to guess that none of them had a desire to enter that world again tonight.

Looking windswept and more than a little interesting, Adrianna looked upon the little group, surprised. She was carrying a small, heavy-looking paper envelope, stuffed almost to bursting with some kind of documents that caught the eye. No writing was evident, and the envelope itself was unmarked, but as soon as Adrianna adjusted to the unexpected company, she tucked it into her jacket pocket and slid it off her small frame and hung it up on the small, metallic hooks that Cameron had attached to the wall years ago as part of his “remodelling” plans. They didn't get far due to his work, but he'd managed to make a few minor improvements to a place that, otherwise, would have barely deserves the word “functional”.

“Hello,” the slightly dishevelled Adrianna greeted the room, flashing smiles at friends, relatives and strangers alike. The atmosphere of the room was infectious, and Adrianna, emotionally inhibited as she might have been, felt instantly more at peace, so much so it surprised her more than Lilly's being there had.

“Adrianna?” Cameron raised an eyebrow at her. “How'd you manage to escape?”

[[OOC: I love this RP so much. I get so excited. :teehee:
Hopefully with Christmas coming up I'll get a little more free time, and so I should be around a bit more. Hello plotting timez! :P]]

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PostPosted: November 24th, 2010, 2:06 pm 
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(Okay guys, prepare yourself for drama! Allegra becomes very sneaky and slightly scary in this post. Darky, it’s very important that Lucius doesn’t discover what Allegra’s up to ;) I know he’s a clever-clogs, but it’s important! Eeeeee, I'm excited! :-D
In the mean time, Garnet is not happy. :lol: )

Allegra coolly observed Dylan as his gaze strayed to her face, meeting his look with the indifferent glance of a stranger. She hoped that he knew that she was keeping up the pretence for both their sakes. If Lucius discovered that they were familiar with each other, had worked together, no less, then he would have both their heads – so to speak. Looking away again, she took a few steps across the room, and leaned against the wall as the doctor queried Lucius about his identity. Even though the man’s tone sounded casual, joking, she could sense how his jollity was forced. Lucius wasn’t looking at him, as if he was a superior form of life altogether. Beneath her calm veneer, Allegra’s blood was boiling with anger at the injustice of this scene. She would have quite happily slapped her brother’s smug face and then stamped a stiletto-heeled foot on his toe, if she’d been the kind of person to allow herself such bad-mannered whims.

Her light gaze flickered upwards as the tone in Dylan’s voice indicated he was referring to her. She allowed a dazzling smile to twitch up the corner of one lip, hinting almost at flirtation, which she knew would annoy Lucius. She had to make him believe that this was just a game to her, a vaguely amusing way to while away the hours of night. “Flatterer,” she retorted, lazily, letting the statement hang in the air before turning her head to regard Lucius. The hazy light in the room fell upon her taut jaw line, her flower stem neck. She didn’t look at all as if she belonged in here, in this excuse for a prison cell – she somewhat resembled a caged lioness, lying placidly in wait for her prey. A slim eyebrow quirked upwards at Lucius’s words.

“Brother,” she said, loosely folding her arms. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it standard procedure that a prisoner should be allowed legal advice if he or she so wishes?” She could have almost laughed at this sentence. The idea of Lucius’s prisoners being allowed anyone to be on their side or defend them, or anyone in fact daring to, was laughable. There was a law department somewhere in the Tower, but it’s use was more for getting the governors out of sticky situations. “No, I think I’m mistaken,” she corrected herself. “Heinous criminals such as he aren’t afforded those little luxuries.” She turned a blaze of a glance towards Dylan, speaking lightly, sounding almost bored, as if nothing depended on this. “But I believe he would be advised to say nothing – and so nothing can be held against him.” Another smile, wider. Almost laughing at herself. “How I wish I’d pursued that law degree.”

Or been allowed to.

Unfolding herself from against the wall, she opened her handbag, looking at neither of the men. Her brain was working fast. There could be nothing more frustrating than this, having to stand by and watch the inevitable destruction of someone she had called friend. Think! Too many innocent, good-hearted men like him had simply disappeared, been eliminated. Too many people had been dragged from their homes in the middle of the night, leaving their children screaming and terrified… she remembered the story about the Smiths. They’d been teachers – excellent teachers, in fact. But they’d committed the ultimate crime by teaching the next generation of workers the concept of freedom. Reflecting upon stories such as these, Allegra’s determination to topple Lucius from his throne of tyranny only increased. One of these days it would happen. And he would never even see it coming.

A sudden flash of inspiration. Strolling towards the door, Allegra laid her hand on the handle, throwing a comment over her shoulder to Lucius. “The addiction calls. I’ll only be a minute.” Exiting the room, she closed the door behind her. For one moment, she leaned her head against it, closing her eyes. And then her eyes snapped back open, her expression of friendly ice slipping away from her features, to be replaced by a look that could only be described as malice-fuelled.

First, she lit up a cigarette, drawing from it out of real desperation. After a few puffs she dropped it on the floor and grinded it under one heel. And then she ran down the corridor, towards the first partition of the cell block, where, predictably, there was a warden waiting. He scowled at her, gripping his gun; his face seemed drained of colour. Allegra, in her own sunny way, was just as frightening as her brother. The wardens were instructed to tolerate the governor’s sister, and her tendencies to go walk about, but they didn’t like it.

“Suppose the governor’s letting you through,” the surly man grunted. Allegra flashed him a smile, delving a gloved hand into her bag. The look on the warden’s face was priceless; did he think it was a gun? But no, it was a crisp fold of money. Quite a lot of money, but a mere handful to Allegra. She folded it into the warden’s free hand, and suddenly his pale skin flushed red. He now resembled a rabbit in the headlights.

“You’re going to abandon your post,” Allegra stated, matter-of-factly, her voice pitched below a whisper, “and then you’re going to send a radio message to the head of your category. There’s been a security alarm on the next floor up. Extra backup is needed. You will search the entire floor, and then you will notify your superiors, who will go on to notify theirs… and so on.”

“But… but… that’d cause an utter catastrophe,” the man spluttered, still shocked by the amount of money he held in his hand. “Utter chaos. Havoc. The building would need evacuating…”

“Exactly. And while you’re at it, set off a fire alarm too for good measure,” Allegra said. It wasn’t a request, it was a command. “The money I’ve given you is more than you’d earn in four months. Make all of this happen.” She leaned in. “If you don’t, I will ruin you.” Her voice was so soft, so sweet. “Do it, and you can keep your job. Tell anyone – and you’re a dead man.”

His response was satisfying. Immediately, he nodded. “Alright.” His voice shook with fear; Allegra looked upon him with jovial distaste. Obviously he was new to the job, certainly not one of the wardens of terror one heard so much about.

“Ah ah,” she reproved him gently, “first, give me the money back. You’ll get it, every single note, afterwards. Do this for me and you’re rich instead of deceased.”

She was a persuasive actress. Reluctantly, he handed the money back, and she folded it back into her bag. “You promise?” She nodded smilingly, and he darted through the partition. There was the sound of his radio crackling, and his hurried voice. Walking in the opposite direction, back towards the cell, Allegra was more than satisfied. Even from this distance, she could hear the rising shouts, the clattering footsteps, the calls for backup.

Ah, sweet chaos.

She walked back towards the cell, slipping in, her expression suitably shocked. “Lucius.” The tone was perfect. It was real, human, manipulation supposedly melted away by alarm. She took a few steps towards him. “Something’s going on out there – I was having a smoke and suddenly…” she shook her head in exquisite confusion. “I think you’d better go and see.” Right on cue, two shrill alarms of slightly different pitches filled the room. The door was still open. She held it ajar for Lucius. Outside in the corridor was her crushed cigarette, proof that she’d been there, and not threatening a warden.

Her brother’s absence could afford her the chance to speak to Dylan. Let him know that she was going to help him. Maybe even give him the opportunity to run, right now – though that sounded far too rash. No, this was a chance to speak alone to him, to put into place a more polished escape plan. She’d freed about three prisoners before, friends of hers who’d got mixed up in trouble, and each operation had gone according to plan perfectly.

~~~

When Cameron didn’t respond to her touching his hand, Garnet’s spirit was immediately filled with a cold, unpleasant feeling, something akin to frustration. Was he truly oblivious to her tentative attempts to hint at her feelings for him, or did he just not care? Her hand still on his, Garnet had started to shiver slightly, her fingers trembling with suppressed emotion. She was over-tired and over-worked, and it was getting late. One supposed slight was enough to push her over the edge. Struggling to keep her feelings in check, she listened to Lilly’s troubled words. The sound of potential tears alerted her from her own inner turmoil, and her expression softened with sympathy. Opening her mouth to speak, she wanted to say something comforting, to help the girl. She knew how she felt. She didn’t want to go to work tomorrow either. But she had to, she had to… every day. Just knowing that the next morning, she’d be sitting at her desk again, stitching together pointless books, made her want to cry. Slowly, she slipped her hand away from Cameron’s, feeling cast down and rejected. Turning her attention fully towards Lilly, she echoed Cameron’s words. “Of course you can stay,” she promised. It wasn’t her home to promise, but she did it anyway. She wanted so much to be kind, to be friendly, even though her exhaustion was beginning to make her feel ill.

When the front door opened, Garnet flinched, as if expecting someone altogether more sinister than Adrianna. The dark-haired young woman looked slightly untidy, and as if she had something on her mind. Sliding up from the sofa, Garnet went towards her friend to greet her. Her feet were beginning to feel slightly unsteady. “Adrianna!” She embraced her in her usual friendly fashion. Pulling back to survey Adrianna’s face, Garnet’s brow furrowed a little. Something was definitely wrong, way behind the surface, but she didn’t like to say anything. No one liked to bring their work troubles home with them. Stepping back, she indicated Lilly. “This is Lilly. Lilly, this is Adrianna.” Cameron had already spoken his sister’s name, so there was really no need to make the second introduction, but she felt it was necessary.

The empty feeling in her stomach had disappeared, only to be replaced by a strange, sick feeling. Her fatigue was only increasing as she further tried to pretend that everything was alright. She knew that the tiredness was due to her long day, having worked the day shift and the night shift, both without breaks, but in her faint-headed state, she also associated it with what she assumed to be Cameron’s rebuff.

Her eyes were hazy now as she stood by Adrianna. Without knowing she did so, she put her hand on her friend’s arm to steady herself. “Sorry…” she muttered, shaking her head. Even to her own ears this word was incoherent. Her vision was beginning to swim gently, and her hearing was muffled. Suddenly it was very dark, which was beyond her comprehending. She did not know it, but just in that moment her knees had given way underneath her, and she had crumpled into a heap before Adrianna’s feet.

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PostPosted: November 24th, 2010, 8:08 pm 
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[ Lovely posts! I'm going to comment later in the discussion thread, but I just wanted to ask whether I could post for Dylan first, before you're going to post Darkeh.. :) I had some things in mind which Dylan is willing to share with Lucius before he disappears.. :teehee: ]

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PostPosted: November 25th, 2010, 3:09 am 
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[[^Sure! :teehee: That's fine by me. The interaction between the two of them is much too exciting to miss. :D
In the mean time, I shall sit and squee quietly in a corner. :P]]

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