Atticus Anoethite and Marshall Rooke
Marshall looked at the nearest source of audio, which happened to be a large television screen on the side of a shop, directly outside the alleyway. "We're screwed."
Atticus looked over in shock at the television screen. "That means Chris is in this city. Do you think we should try to find him?" While the broadcast from Alchemilia Corporation was certainly not good, he was relieved to hear the name of one of his other companions again.
"The police are probably already looking for us. We'd be sitting ducks," Marshall looked down the alleyway. He noticed a backdoor was open. Inside of the building, he could make out a barber pole. "I'm going to check that shop out."
"But we have to find Chris. We can't just leave him to be fetched by Alchem again," Atticus then noticed Marshall heading towards the backdoor and started to follow. "Damn it, listen to what I'm saying instead of running off after some nonsense."
Marshall entered the backdoor of the barbershop. He looked around to see if anyone was there. No one was in sight. He then noticed Atticus had followed him in. "Atticus?"
Atticus, following behind Marshall, stopped upon hearing his name. "Yeah, what is it?"
"I didn't mean for you to come with me!" Marshall paused. "I came here to check this place out, but there's no one here. I'm going to break into the cash register and see if we can get some cash." He started towards the cash register as he finished his sentence.
"Well, too bad, I'm here. Was I supposed to just wait outside like a 'sitting duck' or something?" Atticus said, stepping into the building behind Marshall. Upon hearing the rest of Marshall's sentence, he facepalmed. "What the hell are you doing? Was not stealing from the café enough? Do we have to face more possible trouble from the law?"
"Relax. No one's here. We should be fine." Marshall took a pair of rusty scissors out of his pocket and tried to open the register with them.
Atticus was baffled as Marshall continued with his plan. He quickly walked up to Marshall and grabbed his wrist in an attempt to prevent him from opening the register. "Stop!"
Marshall tried to break free from Atticus' grip. "We need the money. I'll only take as much as we need. Atticus, we can't stay on the run."
"We can't stay on the run, sure. But robbing stores will ONLY lead us towards more trouble. We need to leave before the shop owners come back." Atticus began to walk back towards the door, pulling Marshall with him.
Chris Wellington was feeling very tired. He slowly trudged towards the nearby park, where there was a huge screen playing a television broadcast. To Chris' shock, the broadcast was about himself. He was now a wanted fugitive. Out of shock, he glanced around for a convenient hiding place, finally spotting a dumpster poking out of an alley a few blocks away. He ran as fast as he could, hoping he wouldn't be seen in that period of time. Finally, Chris made it to the dumpster, and opened the lid, only to notice two dark-haired boys arriving at the backdoor of a shop in the alley. The hairstyles added up perfectly with Atticus and Token. It could have been a coincidence, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe his companions really were in the city.
"Atticus? Token?" He called out, though in a somewhat quiet voice.
With them not responding, Chris inched away from the dumpster, having no idea what to do. On one hand, he was a fugitive, but on the other, he had seen his companions, though they paid no attention to him. He decided that maybe reuniting wasn't a top priority.. He had to escape the city. So what if he never saw his friends again? Chris walked past the building, a moment's hesitation happening as he wondered if following Atticus and Token was a good idea after all.
Eventually — he decided it was best to run. Chris ran through the city, so fast that his journey was a blur in his memory. Before he knew it, he was crossing streets and making his way around crowds of people. Eventually he flew past a small gate marking the city limits.
Now on a hilly road, he noticed small houses lined by each other in a row, leading down the hill and stopping at a forest.
Noticing someone coming up the trail, Chris developed a plan.
Hiding in some bushes, he waited until the man was near him and then walking past. Springing out of hiding, he grabbed the man from behind and kicked him in the back. The man let out a surprised scream and began thrashing around, trying to get his assailant off.
Feeling bad about his actions, Chris continued anyways. "Stop fighting this!"
He placed his arm around the man's neck and continued his hold on him, ignoring the man's struggle as Chris kept his arm in place until he felt the man grow limp and into unconsciousness.
Letting out a heavy breath, Chris dragged the man behind one of the houses and exchanged clothes. Walking out from behind the house once finished, he looked around the scene and continued running down the hill.
Melissa and Steven Devlin
"It's me, Steven," The man said to Melissa. "Your brother...?"
Processing these words, she looked at him confused. "My brother?"
The sound of giggling filled the air as the room was spinning. A voice she knew as Steven suddenly spoke, "Okay, I think that's enough, Mel, before you make us both sick." She realized her arms were around his neck as she was against his back. They were both quite small, around the age of ten. He had been twirling them around. She giggled, sliding off her brother's back. "Awe, Stevie. You poor-sport!" She pouted.
Surprised at the flashback, she continued speaking. "I t-think I remember you a bit."
"What?" Steven asked, looking towards Richard. "What does she mean?"
"She is suffering from amnesia apparently," Richard replied.
"What? What happened?" Steven looked back at Melissa.
"What happened to me?" Melissa repeated the question.. "My friends. They're gone and it's partly my fault. If I had told Chris to remain with us, if I had fought Marshall instead of running, if I just stayed with Savannah..." At this moment, she began to cry, releasing all the stress she had been keeping in.
Steven hugged Melissa tightly, and this time, she let him do such. "Don't worry, you're safe here. Just tell me everything that happened, okay? There's a chance your friends are fine. I can help you find them."
She looked at him surprised. "You can?"
Steven gave her a comforting smile. "Yeah, there is. I promise everything's going to be alright."
Melissa sat near a glass table in one of the corners of the laboratory's main hall with Steven across from her. As the two sat in silence, she watched Richard place two cups of hot chocolate on the table, one for herself and one for Steven. The man nodded to the two of them and left.
After their attempts at small talk continued to result in silence, Melissa thought of a new topic. "So, we're really... twins?"
Steven nodded. "Fraternal, but yes, we are."
"Ah, I see..." Melissa looked away, taking a sip from her drink.
"So," Steven began. "I never told Uncle Richard, by the way."
"Told him what?" Melissa asked, placing her drink on the table.
"About the Ackerman Militia. We had an, erm, argument before you left. Due to the demons and angels making gains in the war, you wanted to leave here and join the militia in Skipton. I tried to stop you and you got angry. After Uncle Richard asked you to go to the store and get some candles, you never returned. I didn't tell him why you left, I didn't think you'd want him to know."
"Wait," Melissa spoke up. "Militia? Demons? Angels? A war? What are you talking about, Steven?"
The realization hit Steven hard. Steven was already coming to terms with how little Melissa remembered, but the fact Melissa did not know about some of the planet's most important aspects disappointed him.
"Well, it makes sense you wouldn't know. To keep it brief, a few centuries ago - demons and angels invaded Euclid. As part of our work here, this laboratory researches demons and angels. Not just research on weapons for the war — but their history, religion, biology, all sorts of things. Despite everything that's going on, Richard has taken a keen interest in them."
As Melissa continued to listen to her brother's explanation, a girl approached Steven. She appeared to be slightly older than the both of them, taller than Melissa, and had long dark red hair, which contrasted against her pastel clothing. She softly spoke to Steven. "Uh, Steven? You have a moment?"
Steven looked up from his seat. "Oh, Beth? What is it?" he asked.
"Just a few network problems after Alchemilia's announcement."
Savannah Whitesmith and Alchemilia Corporation
Though he had made the announcement, Baptiste was not the center of attention as his group of nine entered into the Silivian Metro District. Shortly after the broadcast, about one hundred and twenty Alchemilia officers arrived and scattered throughout the city. People lined up outside the city's only Alchemilia building, questions about the increased activity and the search for the android overwhelming the workers. Infrequently, hummingbird aircraft flew across the sky.
The ten men smiled to themselves as they walked down the sidewalk. There was no need to appear frightening or imposing, for their rifles did that for them.
"Why are we here again?" one of Baptiste's troop said, sleepily. "Victor's group just made it, and the guys from the Alchem building here are trying their hardest to report leads. Let's call this off."
"And then that would be procrastination," Baptiste affirmatively said. "I don't do procrastination. We're getting this over with, today. If you really need a breather, we can stop here." Baptiste pointed to a nearby pastry store.
The guards were quite amused. "Well then," one began, "A break is always nice."
Baptiste's group entered through the building's glass doors and strolled inside. The cashier inside stood fearful when he saw the brigade of armed men approaching the front desk. When Baptiste finished giving his order, the cashier, as instructed by the owner, did not charge the purchase. As the Alchemilia men took a table with their order of donuts, Baptiste began to speak. "Only a matter of time until the android croaks, everyone. Trust me."
Taking a stroll through the city, Savannah felt riddled with anxiety due to the announcement from Alchem. They were only searching for Chris, but she still had the incidents of the previous day in the back of her mind. If they saw her, she knew she could be very well detained if they recognized her. In addition to all of this, she felt guilty about leaving Melissa behind.
To try to ease her mind, she decided to visit a Silivian pastry shop. Warren had given her some pocket change, so she hoped to get something small. Unfortunately, as she walked in, she noticed an armored crew seated at one of the tables. Nervously, she returned to the door. She wanted to leave, but still had a slight curiosity about their conversation. She decided to hide behind a stand, hoping to gather possible information about Chris.
"Did Victor let you know anything else, Baptiste?" asked a guard.
Baptiste shook his head. "After that, nothing much. He said the city police would be on the lookout, but I don't think they care. That's why making the announcement was important. His force is pretty disorganized right now, but once they're together, this will be over before you know it. I expect them all to be in the Metro soon." As Baptiste finished, his crew began to shuffle and get up from their seats.
As the men began to rise, Savannah's heart raced wildly. Fearing that she would be recognized, she walked out of the pastry store and decided to run elsewhere. During her nervous walk, she noticed two boys seemingly arguing within a barbershop, a long window revealing them to the outside world. She stopped her walk, for two seemed familiar. Wanting to get a closer look at the two and have an easy hiding spot from Alchem, she quickly ran behind the building and down an alleyway.
After a short period of questioning the civilians, John Fontaine headed out of the central part of Silivia.
No leads on the location of the android...Fontaine thought to himself. He slipped his pistol back into its holster under his arm, symmetrical with a second one, and slipped a long blade into his boot. That made two concealed knives, easy to remove and use in a fight. He pulled a tight, dark mask over his face, concealing all but one eyehole which was filled with a red glass lens.
Looking towards a pastry shop, he noticed familiar figures heading out of it. That's the director himself. I won't interfere with him, per Gabriel's orders. Fontaine proceeded to scan the surrounding area, the red lens scanning for increased heart rate and sweating. Quickly, he spotted a girl running behind an alley at the sight of the Alchem crew. "Bingo," Fontaine whispered, quickly increasing his walking speed until he was in the alley and behind the girl. Once he was within range of her, he reached out and grabbed her by the shoulder.
"Get off me!" The girl instantly spat, jumping around and facing him.
Fontaine looked over her. She was tall and looked worried. Her heart rate was through the roof and she was avoiding eye contact.
"You're scared. Not like the others in the shop, who just fear the soldiers sitting down. Anxious... That's what you are." His words were barely muffled by the mask, as he spoke with a clear and concise tone.
Now that Savannah was close, it was obvious that this man was far more professional than the average Alchemilia henchman. He was draped in a black trenchcoat, though it was fitted in a way to avoid constricting his movement, and two guns could be spotted under his arms. She instantly recognized him as the man the group encountered in Alchemilia Corporation and then again on the road. "I haven't seen someone here as worried as you. Hiding something? I'd like to ask you a few..." For intimidation purposes, he moved his head right next to hers. "...questions. Is that okay?"
Savannah's hands started to shake wildly. Her eyes blurred slightly, she felt lightheaded, and she was sweating from her temples. "Okay," she managed to whisper.
Fontaine moved his gloved hand from her shoulder onto the back of her head, forcefully turning her towards a different nearby and less visible alley. He swaggered towards a dumpster where he shoved Savannah to the ground. A cold, metal object made contact with the back of her head. "Chris Wellington. You're hiding him, or you know where he is. I want answers."
The men drew their rifles as they exited the pastry store. They prepared to march through the streets once more, their goal clear.
"Here we go again. Let's go."
Silivia, now, could be described as relatively dull. The tension from the initial broadcast had mostly subsided, but there were noticeably less cars and people on Silivian streets. Some confident people believed the announcement to be a great amount of nothing and remained outside. Alchemilia officers were steadily entering the metro, some of them giving out photographs of Chris Wellington to passerby.
The troop of nine stopped at a barbershop. They took a moment to notice the two boys inside.
Most guards were disinterested, though a few, along with Baptiste, chuckled at what was happening. "Look," said one. "Those two don't know where they're going, so they resort to robbery. A shame, isn't it?"
"Certainly — Wait, hold on a second. Aren't..."
Baptiste had a revelation as he made out the faces of the two through the glass window. It was not hard to immediately notice them. Atticus Anoethite and Marshall Rooke were Alchemilia criminals, ones that might have led Baptiste to Chris' capture.
"Well," Baptiste announced. "We're killing two birds with one stone today. I think you all know who these kids are."
"C-Chris? I haven't seen him since before we left Alchemilia Corporation, I swear," Savannah answered in a terrified voice, trying not to think of the object she felt against her head.
Fontaine pulled back his gun. "You don't sound like you're lying...I don't need you anymore." He slipped one of his two chrome knives out of his boot, quickly dragging it across Savannah's pale neck. His free hand held her mouth shut, staining his black glove with blood from her throat.
With the body hidden where no one would look, Fontaine stood up. His red lens detected movement in the distance, though no human body heat. Smiling, he pushed a button on his wrist. "Dr. Alchemilia, I've dealt with one of Wellington's associates. But that's not what I'm calling you for. I've spotted the loose android."
|Season One:||Awakening • White Room • Bare Trees • One Night in Gladea • Divided we Fall • Hide & Seek • Exit Music • Reunion • In Somnis Veritas • Carpe Diem • Ticking Clock • Primo Victoria (Part I • Part II)|
|Season Two:||Until Dawn • Roaming King • Safe Haven • Silver Lights • Marked Map • The Less I Know the Better • Riding the Wave • Centuries of Damnation • House of the Rising Sun • The Master|