Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Long Night Of Solace

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    Ayalah Levi
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    Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:10 am

    26th December 2012
    2200hrs



    For some this was Boxing day, for others perhaps, it was St. Stephan's day, but it was none of those for one Levi. Who had earlier finally gotten around to inviting Barney to see the cave, it wasn't much still, but it was something... She had met him out in the coast, as usual, and taken one of the nodes here, she was relaxed... calm, and showing a bit more of her human side tonight...

    She looked bak at him with a lgiht smile as she walked from under the waterfall to what remained of the ontainers, she had flattened the two of them, using the metal to amke a clean, solid floor, and some form of energy shield to make do for the wall and cieling, blue in colour, the place did sort of look like a home on the inside, neat and tidy, filled with 26th century technology, and contianed quite a few weapons and other auxillary military equipment, the view was certainly much nicer than that of the inn, but consisted of just one room, it wasn't lavishly furnished, but it looked nice enough.

    "Welcome to my home here". She stepped inside, and turned back again to Barney. "Bet you it's a damned sight prettier than your place"
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:00 am

    For Barney, it was just the day after Christmas. Before the Combine invasion, he'd been a true blue Yank. Hell, he hadn't even left the country until a few years after the collapse of society. Once upon a time, back in the good old days, he'd vaguely known about 'Boxing day', but it was one little tidbit of knowledge that had been shuffled out of his memory in favor of something more pressing for survival.

    Today, though, was not a day to think about the necessity of survival. Nope, today was a day to relax, in as much as he was able lately. (By this point, he was still clinging grimly, if rather inconspicuously, to sobriety.) Ayalah might have been more relaxed, but too much had happened in the last month for him to completely let go of his cares. But, at the very least, he could put down his guard.

    "Don't let Link hear you say that," he drawled, with a bit of a grin. Though, he had to admit, it certainly was. Mind you, his place was a fairly blank apartment, decorated only with the small mountain of paper cranes, the remnants of his boredom. "But, yeah... This's a real nice place you've got."

    The grin broadened, and he added, nodding to the waterfall, "I wonder if I can get one of those for my room."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:17 pm

    She smiled a bit, smiled. That was an odd one, and it wasn't one of her twisted grins that arose at the possibility of killing something she hated, it was just a smile, innocent and true... enough.

    "Link couldn't be any further away from here... ". She turned to face the desk and drew her small pistol, the very same one she'd used to pepper him all those months ago, but where did she draw it from, it wasn't quite clear, and was quite confusing. She released the Magazine, but didn't clear the chamber, or even bother checking, putting both down on the desk next to eachother. even with the suppressor, the pistol was impressively small. She then followed up with something else a bit odd, untying the back of her hair, jut letting it loose.

    "Looks are a secondary reason I chose. I needed somewhere quiet, discrete, removed from the world. hard to find, so I could work efficiently".

    But she had made sure that the actual depth to the work she had done remained unclear, even to Barney. Spying on such primitive and outdated technology that resided in most of the land was a simple task, but she did not waste large amounts of time on it. The highest priority was having somewhere to call home while she waited for any possible route back, anything, any hope at all. As Barney looked around more, the general theme of green, white and grey kept recurring, but it was to be expected given it was nearly all military assets. Though, two specific logos were present on many items, but the second was far less common, and usually much smaller.

    "Shouldn't be too hard, just punch a hole through to the bath of the tenant above you? Tea, coffee, anything? I got plenty."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:15 pm

    Now, see that? She really, really needed to do that more often, if you asked one Barney Calhoun. Smile. Maybe someday he'd get one out of her, out where there were witnesses, but for now he'd settle on just getting to see her smile at all. He chuckled at her suggestion, taking a casual look around, paying less attention to the natural formations of the cave now and more towards the ones Ayalah had added, herself. That was a lot of boxes, and he couldn't help but wonder what all she had in 'em. "Somehow, I don't think that'd go over well. I'll keep it in mind, for a day I'm really bored."

    Wandering over towards the desk, less for a destination and more to keep from standing around awkwardly in the middle of the room, he shrugged. "Coffee'd be fine." And then, because he was frankly curious, "What kind of work?"
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:45 pm

    Yes, it was crates, crates everywhere. Welcome to the future. ((Though, the Half Life universe was far from free from the omen of crates it's self)).

    "Small shaped charge will get through that no bother.". She seriously sounded like she had actually done something to this capacity before, almost as if using explosives was like some old wive's cure.

    There was a nod as she moved from the desk to the machine that made the coffees, and put under it what seemed like two metal glasses, of sorts. Once both were full, she turned and handed one to him, unlike one would expect of a hot drink in a metal container, when he held the drinking vessel, it wasn't hot, it was that just right level of warm. but the coffee was still nice and hot. The taste was a bit finer, and a bit stronger than what one would usually find around.

    "Barney, don't you know it's not wise to ask a spook about her work?". Her face was deathly serious for a moment before lightening again, "A bit of everything; Surveying the regions, Spending time going over documentation I have on AIs, and scanning the stars... ". Of course she left a thing or three out, but it wasn't like she was lying or anything. "...And leaving out a navy specific beacon incase anymore end up our way. It's not the first time I've been... abandoned somewhere". Granted, the last time had life changing reprecousions. Arguably the starting point of the frosting of her heart...
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:58 pm

    If crates were the future, then Barney wanted a refund. (He'd gotten enough of 'em in his own world. Those, and exploding barrels. Seriously, where did they all come from?)

    "And when I need to make a hole in my ceiling, I'll know who to call." He accepted the mug, a little gingerly at first---because, yeah, metal cups plus hot beverages should, he knew from experience, be treated with care. But it wasn't as hot as he was expecting, and the coffee itself was nice and strong when he took an experimental sip. Even before the Incident, he'd taken his coffee black. Afterwards, on the occasions they could get the stuff, cream and sugar was usually out of the question anyways. So, lucky him, really.

    "Right, right. If you tell me, you'd have to kill me." It was said lightly, with a grin, but he wasn't honestly expecting her to divulge secrets. She might trust him more than most, but he didn't think she trusted him quite that much. (Whether there'd be a "yet" at the end of that sentence remained to be seen.) When she gave him an answer, he assumed it was the cliff notes version, and didn't pry. "Standard procedure for gettin' stranded. Get a sense of your surroundings, and leave some kind of sign for your friends to find you."

    He considered the cup, thoughtfully, before adding, "I'm not sure you could call it getting abandoned... Seems to me like we weren't the ones who got left behind."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:16 am

    Exploding barrels had nothing on Fusion Coils and Plasma Batteries, those things were an accident waiting to happen. At least the Plasma Batteries had pretty bluish explosions..

    From another unknown area she procure a small capsule. "If I were to be bluntly honest, the whole 'If I told you, I'd have to kill you' thing is grossly impractical. I much rather prefer these. Odor-less, Tasteless, dissolvable. doesn't kill but you sure as hell won't remember why you woke up in some hotel room on another continent... Killing people is wasteful.". She may as well be some bit honest, but she had done this before. And surely Barney could of easily worked out by now she'd committed darker deeds, if he had any memory of how the CIA operated, but about ten tones shadier.

    She then nodded, "Standard procedure, just following protocol. And I suppose, but I wasn't exactly alone the last time either...". She knew that could be taken multiple ways, and frankly, didn't care. She wandered over a bit to the largest of the crates, and opened it, there in could be seen her armour, in three distinct layers, the simplest and folded looked like a fancy undersuit, next to it was battle suit. and to top it off on the very right were all the various armour plates, including the helmet, there was several other things in there, but it was difficult to tell what things did. In her spare hand, she picked up one of the bracers, "Did I ever tell you how heavy this thing is?". With the way she was holding the bracer, she didn't seem to be having much trouble with the bracer, she put it out to him, but taking it. It did feel really heavy, surprisingly so. Odd how much less effort she put into holding it.

    She was a bit more open now, surely there was some questions tingling around there?
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:20 pm

    "Always figured it was just a line for the movies," Barney agreed, and took another absentminded sip from the mug before adding, "Your way sounds a lot more practical. Less... mustache twirly, maniacal villian...y." He had certainly assumed, yes. From everything she'd let slip thus far, and just the general way she regarded the world, assassin wasn't a big stretch. And it should probably have bothered him more than it did. But he knew better than most... the kinds of things you did in the name of the big picture. Nothing like her record, sure. Just, his own hands weren't sparkly clean. He was hardly going to go around pointing fingers at hers, or trying to dig up the skeletons.

    So, her change of subject didn't go entirely unnoticed, either, and he let it drop. She'd missed his point, but that didn't matter, not really. It was obviously a bad memory, and while he was curious... Barney didn't like poking his nose into other people's business. He was uncomfortable enough when people did it to him. Instead, he reached out to accept the offered bracer, and raised a brow at the weight of it. A hell of a lot heavier than an HEV suit, that was for sure.

    "Don't think you ever did, no." He hefted it, thoughtfully, in one hand, and then added, "Must be a bitch to carry around the whole suit."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:57 pm

    "Not really, I known it to happen, I just don't like doing it. ontop of everything else, there's a body and heap of paperwork with it. What's the point in adding more grief to an already shattered civil population?". But flat out calling her an assassin flatout wasn't accurate, but neither was calling her a soldier. Her work was far too varied, working with multiple sections of ONI and the UNSC. She was highly trained, which allowed her to be useful in various fields. That and some arm bending to get her where she wanted to go, or where she didn't.

    "Half of what I'm about to tell you is classified, but I severely doubt this will have serious repercussions. I can assure you that if you tried to use this thing, it would kill you, there is no doubt. It's why they were reserved only for Spartans. They have to undergo augumentation in order to be able to wear the armour, and improve combat capability in general. They are the best the UNSC has to offer... That bracer is one of the lighter plates too, the Cuirass is the heaviest, without a doubt...", She never once associated herself with the spartans not before, and not now. She pointed to the mentioned Cuirass, he could try lifting it if he wanted to. She doubted he could break it, so it didn't bother her that much.
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:43 pm

    Ayalah Levi wrote:"What's the point in adding more grief to an already shattered civil population?"

    Well, if you were trying to grind them into the dirt, demoralize them and make them easier to brainwash. But, let's not get into that. There was every reason to believe the Combine were long dead, one way or another, and Barney didn't particularly want to give them more than a second's thought. Especially not right now.

    He was genuinely curious about the armor. Not so much because he could have used something like that, himself, and more just because it was something intrinsic to Ayalah that he really didn't know much about. He could count on one hand the number of times he'd seen her without that armor on, after all. It was more than just a suit of armor. From what he could tell, it was a piece of equipment she'd spent considerable time with. Know more about it and you'd know more about Ayalah, herself. Not terribly surprising she wasn't shouting the schematics from the rooftops.

    "I'll take your word for it," Barney replied, easily, handing the gauntlet back. His imagination was more than up to the task of imagining what it might weigh, and he and his back weren't on such good terms that he wanted to abuse it when he didn't have to. Though, that just emphasized her point, really. And, something she'd said hadn't gone unnoticed. "So... you're one of these Spartans, then?" A politer way to ask about those augmentations she'd mentioned...



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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:12 pm

    As much as it was used here, she didn't live in it nearly as much back home, primarily because back home she operated in the civilian populace mostly, where one needed to fit in. But here, things were different, the armour almost felt mandatory here, as protection, as safety, she didn't have the safety of being in UNSC controlled space, or in an ONI facility. No, here was more dangerous, and if the only thing between life and death was living in a suit of armour, then she would do it, as she had.

    Putting the bracer back into the box, she shook her head, "If I was, you'd be looking up to me. I should of been, should of known ONI would intervene the moment word had blown up-wind. You see, I'm great, amazing at working with the crowds, working in civil areas. But I also knew how to put up a fight..."

    "I finally got permission to continue training to a certain extent afterwards, most of the augumentation processes were allowed under fierce scrutiny, watchful eyes. Didn't make it any less excruciating. So that I would be enough to actually wear the damned armour, and at least keep up with the Spartans, but when in civies, I looked no different from anyone else. So, that left only two possible ways to easily tell that I'm not just another human. you've sort of seen the first just there..."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:50 pm

    Ayalah Levi wrote:As much as it was used here, she didn't live in it nearly as much back home, primarily because back home she operated in the civilian populace mostly, where one needed to fit in. But here, things were different, the armor almost felt mandatory here, as protection, as safety, she didn't have the safety of being in UNSC controlled space, or in an ONI facility. No, here was more dangerous, and if the only thing between life and death was living in a suit of armor, then she would do it, as she had.

    Which spoke volumes about Ayalah, herself, if you felt like reading into it. It was a matter of perspective. Barney, for one, considered Portal Breach safer than his home world, for all the wild, craziness that went on, whereas the ONI agent wore a piece of her home like a shield. Or, maybe it was just practicality---Portal Breach wasn't a walk in the park, after all. There was plenty of danger to be had. Sometimes a cigar really was just a cigar.

    So, yes to augmentation, and no to Spartan. Good to know. Barney nodded, a touch reserved. He wasn't entirely sure what he thought about the idea of augmentation. From what she was telling him, it sounded too much like the crap that the Combine had done to their Overwatch. But, at the same time, entirely unlike. At least they got to keep their memories, their humanity... at least, probably. And, he'd seen her... well, hell, he'd barely been here a month when he'd seen her without her armor, or much else. Whatever augmentation she had, she still looked human.

    "Super strength," he noted, tone neutral. This was Ayalah they were talking about. Would it have really mattered that much to him if she hadn't looked human? No freaking out, here, Calhoun. The lady was extending her trust just by bringing the subject up. He was quite aware that his opinion was one that she cared about, and he wasn't inclined to take a thing like that lightly. "What's the other?"
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:14 am

    Well, Augmentation projects for the Spartan(or ORION) program had already passed three generations of trial and error, with plenty of time for each to be drastically improved. She didn't, and probably would never know about the frankly scary failure rate for the Spartan II program, even trying to imagine the cost, though, the coverup was admirable, in a strange sort of way, the lengths they went to... Frankly, it impressed her, though she did disagree with the whole kidnapping children deal, sort of.

    This augumentation process didn't involve ripping half your organs out and replacing it with who nows what, for the most part, it was done through various concoctions that she knew nothing about and put her faith in the scientists for. but she'd never forget that pain.

    "Coupled with reflexes, but yes, the amount of glasses and mugs I broke in the weeks after...". She paused for a moment, how best to describe it? explain first? no, show first, "The other is this:". She moved her hands to her face, and gently removed what looked like two contact lenses, closing her eyes after, she had contact lenses? and they weren't completely clear either, she turned around for a moment, reaching for a small case to put them in, before turning back, blinking a few times. Her eyes weren't green anymore, nor were they any natural colour, they took the colour of a pink, pinker than that of her armour. But not only that, but there was something odd about them too, so much harder to look away from, almost as if they were glowing in some fashion. But to actually call it glowing would be wrong. You weren't expecthing that, were you?
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:13 am

    ...No, Barney couldn't say that he'd been expecting that. Not exactly. It sort of made sense, though. A good way to hide, uh, upgrades, without being too obvious about 'em. Said the logical part of his brain, absently rationalizing in the background, while the former freedom fighter considered this revelation, thoughtfully.

    He was a big fan of the human element, was Barney. Considering what had been done to his people back home, it was safe to say he'd never be real fond of the idea of augmenting human beings, willingly or otherwise. Sure, humans on average weren't super strong, or physically durable, or quick as a cat. They couldn't toss Volvos, or crush someone with a hug, or outrun a cheetah, or see in the dark. That was the thing, though: They got by just fine without all that. Give him good old fashioned human ingenuity and stubborn determination over just about anything else, any time. When humans were willing to cut away bits of themselves to stick in upgrades, it seemed like they were giving something up.

    But, his thoughts on whether or not ONI, or anyone, should have been augmenting human beings wasn't actually important, right now. Whether it had been her choice or not, Ayalah had... upgrades. And, y'know? That was alright. It didn't make her any less of a person. Maybe the folks who'd made her like that... but not her.

    The next move was simply impulse, not so much a conscious decision. He reached up with the hand not holding the coffee mug, and lightly brushed her hair back, out of her eyes. You could argue just for a better look, except his hand lingered on her cheek for another moment or two more. "They look good on you."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:12 am

    Whereas for her, she believed things a bit differently, she understood the value of being human, just being normal, but when you grow up into a world(as opposed to have a world fall apart on you), that thought you, that assured you that there were monsters out there that wanted to kill us, and you didn't stand a bloody chance against them, that's when instinct comes in, and ethnics take a questionable nose-dive shrouded in propaganda and the will to survive.

    Personally she believed that not having the Spartan Program, or other similar efforts (if they existed, which she didn't doubt her employers to do), be full scale, conscription, and a global thing. The choice she had made to attempt to sign up to the Spartan IV program, she made willingly, she had been burnt to a crisp emotionally, and considered herself better put to use ensuring that humanity don't fall back down the food chain. Never have so many owed so much to so few, was a phrase that she'd heard about it, A phrase that she agreed with. If the sacrifices she made to her own humanity meant that kids could play games, or that killer deli in Moscow could still make it's amazing sandwiches, without having to worry about another invasion, then she was happy, content. To know the people blissfully unaware of her sacrifice could live care free.

    As ironic as it is, it was ingenuity and stubborn determination to live that had led to this augmentation in the first place. But without that augumentation, everything was fine and handy until you realised the things you are fighting could, and wouldn't hesistate to break every bone in your body with a single kick. Ther ehad to come a point where you could do the same back.

    The agent did flinch ever so slightly at the action, but that couldn't be called anything more than pure muscle memory. A defensive mechanisim. As the hand stayed there, a genuinely heart-warming smile grew on her face. she blinked, degrading to an unusual shyness, speaking up quietly, gently putting a hand on his wrist. "... Th-thanks"

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