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


    Long Night Of Solace

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    Barney Calhoun
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:50 am

    He couldn't knock its effectiveness, sure. It was definitely practical, if you possessed the technology to do it properly. Hell, if they'd had a couple of Spartans on their side, the Earth might have lasted longer than 7 hours in the initial fight. Maybe it wouldn't have taken 20 years to unseat the Combine, if they'd been able to give the rebels extra strength and reflexes. So, yeah, Barney could definitely see the logic in it. You had the technology at hand to save yourself, it was too tempting, too practical not to use. The lengths humans went to survive, when they saw extinction, personal or world wide, looming on the horizon... It was ruthlessly logical, and he couldn't deny the desire to survive. But, still.

    On the whole, he preferred moments like these. He liked, clung to, the moments that still made them human. Maybe it was different for Ayalah---her invading aliens weren't trying to take away their humanity, the Covenant just wanted to wipe them all out. But, the Combine hadn't wanted to kill them. Just turn them into mindless, obedient slaves. To remove, sometimes with a scalpel, all the things that made people people. It had made those same things that much more important. If they wanted humanity's soul, they could take it out of his cold, dead fingers.

    Which was, maybe, at the heart of why he liked Ayalah. That smile. Barney found himself echoing it with one of his own. "Hey, its the truth." It really was. The eyes were unusual, sure, but... pretty. And, with Ayalah, could they have been anything but pink? He left his hand where it was for a few moments more, reluctant to let the moment end, and added, "You should show 'em off sometime." After all, it might have made her stand out at home, but here? Here they could just be pretty.
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:24 pm

    Dealing with flat out extermination attempts over attempting to enslave changed the playing table quite significantly. at least attempted enslavement gave greater chance of a dues ex machina. Not that she could deny humanity's survival wasn't due to this.

    But Barney had touched off something, off someone, a shy, quiet little 11 year old girl, buried deep within woman that stood infront of him. That eleven year old girl hadn't existed since she was adopted, since her foster parents turned out to be working for ONI, that used her, trained her. They hid that shy little girl away, and made of it a child they could use to spy, to work, afterall, who would suspect a small girl to be the one spying them? They had taken a little girl, and made a killer out of her. Ontop of that there were the things he might of heard of, namely Mombasa, Voi, and the Ark. All that, everything between the moment she left the orphanage(okay, we'll say an hour, that was a lovely ice-cream they bought her).

    And for that one, small, moment, he'd found her, that shy little girl. She didn't, she couldn't think of a response to the first statement. Other than to look at him, with those luminating pink eyes. However that second statement, she did reply to, but quietly, still a bit shyly, "I ... don't know... they can be ... our secret, for now?". He was the first person to learn in years of her true eye colour. She was just so used to hiding it, the idea of suddenly showing up infront of the others one day without those contact lenses seemed... odd. At the moment, she'd rather keep the knowledge to him only...
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:13 am

    Oh, you can bet Barney would have had a thing or two to say to those "parents" of hers... But, then, Barney couldn't help but want to place himself between the people he cared about and the rest of the world. Even when they were perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Even when he wasn't any better equipped to survive than they were. It had been a hard lesson to learn: Restraint. To learn that sometimes the best thing he could do to help was not get in the way. Hold down the fort, while somebody else did the heavy lifting.

    Didn't mean he stopped wanting to rip apart the "bad guys" with his bare hands.

    Yeah. He would have loved to have some words with those two... If he'd known about them, that is.

    But, it would have been some reassurance to know that, despite their efforts, that shy little girl was still in there. She was a tough lady, was Ayalah. He only had a vague idea of the details of her past, but it couldn't have been easy. Maybe the scars were worth it, maybe the sacrifice was her own choice. Either way, he was glad she was able to let her guard down, every so often. It was a gesture of trust he wasn't about to take lightly... Or, take advantage of, either. He knew she cared about him, and he knew he cared about her. Beyond that? He was... uneasy about rushing things. Maybe he was just getting rusty in his old age, but it had been a long time since he'd... well, done anything like this. "Sure..." He replied, sincerely. "I wont breathe a word."

    He let his hand drop, but caught hold of hers on the way down. "....what were we talkin' about again?"
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:48 am

    But had that happened, she could bet, had he even found out, he'd be detained or dead before you could say classified. ONI didn't like civilians snooping around in their business. Hell, they didn't like anyone snooping around in their business, even if it was other employees.

    Perhaps one of the bigger differences between the two, the reason for her state of being, was the way things happened, Barney got the chance to grow up, get a job, family perhaps, friends. Whereas Levi grew up in that world. she was deprived of a childhood beyond that of a little girl in an orphanage. While he knew a life beforehand, she only knew life after. Not too different from Alyx in that regard, but what she hadn't experienced was the loss, the pain (not yet, to him, at least).

    And if one were to look closely, The lack of scars was a scar in it's self, no unique, identifiable marks. All scars she bore were on the inside. Physical scars were one thing she did without. The sacrifices however, were a strange thing, To send someone on the downward self-destructive path never requires much, only a simple little push, and they would do the rest. Those years after the war, after those she'd lost, she'd lost her will, her motivation to just carry on like that. But still she was no fool. She was a competent fighter, still a valuable asset. Which is why she let them poke needles and chemicals, and training instructors at her. Which is why she applied for the SPARTAN IV program. Though she never quite made it the same way as the others. It was still enough, She had bought back her chance of going down with a bloody fight for the good of everything she'd stood for so far. The sacrifices she made were her choice, but only after being pushed off a bridge, down into the valley of metaphorical emotional hell. It was a horrible place, she really wouldn't recommend it. The food down there was like sandpaper.

    "Thanks...". She smiled again, naturally letting her hand join around with his, her eyes went back up to his again, those luminous pink eyes looking at him again, "Umm... I think we were talking about...". She grinned for a moment, and rolled forward on the balls of her feet, to get a bit more height, and gave him a quick little kiss. He's had his moment test a bit of water, see if the cracken would notice the boat that was being pushed from the shore. "-This".

    Before much longer, one of the laptop looking things beeped a few times. She looked over "Forgot about that.".
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:38 pm

    The kiss took him wholly by surprise. Then again, Ayalah always did surprise him. And this one... this was definitely a good one. Not that, in hindsight, he really should have been surprised, just... It had been a really long time since he'd thought about anybody like that. Or had somebody who thought about him like that. The idea of having somebody was nice, but Barney really hadn't been sitting around, pining for a soul mate or anything. Love, or even just a relationship, hadn't been high on his list of priorities. Hell, it hadn't even made the top ten. But, that had been before, when his whole life had been about keeping the freaking world from ending---not even saving it, just hanging on for a few more years. Now, though...

    ....Y'know what? All that stuff he'd been thinking about not rushing things could just go screw itself. Maybe he wasn't as rusty as he'd thought. Giving her hand a gentle squeeze, a crooked grin found its way over Barney's features. "...That's a good subject. I like-"

    -talking about 'this', was what he'd meant to say. Until the laptop beeped, and interrupted him. Barney would have been perfectly happy forgetting about it again, but considering all the survellience stuff she had running in here, maybe Ayalah'd have other ideas. Trying to resist the urge to give the nosy piece of technology a death glare, and mostly succeeding, Barney quirked a brow at her and added, quietly, "Something important?"
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu May 09, 2013 11:26 pm

    What use would she be if she couldn't pull surprises? She wasn't exactly clueless. Her own scars from the past had made this difficult. They had turned her away from such intrest, they had ruined her.,B ut she was strong willed, and quite determined. She needed this. Those skeletons in the closet could take a long walk off a short pier.

    There was though, a crucial difference between not rushing and getting the pacing right, she liked to believe it was the latter. Sometimes the Right pacing requires fiddling and throwing up the gear-stick every so often.

    That device was calling her, it had summoned her, she looked at it for a moment, stepping away from Barney, and over to the machine, before closing it, and moving back. "No. it's not.". Whatever it was, it could wait. She ran her own schedule here, and that could be thrown down the list a good while.

    Taking a hold of his hand again, idly. She thought for a moment, sort of pulling him toward the bed, which was almost perfectly made, nice and neat like everything in this place. She sat down, and shuffled over a small bit for him. "It might be a bit of an odd moment for this... But you've never quite told me of your past to any great deal...".
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:04 am

    And that was Ms. Levi, earning a few points. Mister Calhoun, let's be honest, was pretty used to putting himself just about last, as far as priorities went. The big, dumb lug had a martyr complex a mile wide, its true, but the few occasions where someone decided he ranked higher on their list of priorities always caught him by surprise. Pleasant surprise. He was usually so intent on making sure everyone else was alright, when someone returned the favor?

    Yeah. They earned brownie points.

    Barney was not at all reluctant to be led over to the bed, settling down beside her, and leaning back a bit to rest on the hand that wasn't being held. "Haven't really talked about it much, t' be honest. To Ty, way back when, and Thomas... maybe Terra a bit, but that's about it. I always figured, most of the people here all have their own horror stories... Half of 'em make me feel lucky, and I was fightin' a rebellion against evil alien overlords." He shrugged, trailing off, then continued. "Anyway. Uh... I guess I got some stories I could tell. Anything in particular you're curious about?" Not the most romantic fare, yeah? Swapping tales of alien invasions, the impending end of humanity... On the other hand, there was something to be said for having somebody you could open up to, right?
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:29 pm

    Right now, there wasn't a reason to not have him put high up, or even at the top, The world wasn't falling apart, there was nothing better to do, they had a moment, alone, together, with not possible chance of interruption. Was it really hard to think she wouldn't put him first right now?

    Laying back on the bed as opposed to just sitting, feeling quite lazy enough to, for once, she listened, "Well, it might be good to talk about it to a few more then? Even just one. I mean, if I can share what I've been through with you, you can surely do the same?". She took a moment to think, "Well, I guess... start at the start? You mentioned you used to be a guard, so you were around before the aliens arrived and took over? How did it start?".

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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:18 pm

    He opted for remaining sitting, just for the moment, as he collected his thoughts, and absently rubbed his thumb over her hand in his. "The how I didn't actually find out 'til later. It was kind of above my pay grade, y'know? I was working at this science facility called Black Mesa, out in New Mexico. Just, y'know, security grunt. We had guns, and vests, and helmets, but we were pretty much rent-a-cops, really. Not some crack security force, y'know?"

    "I mean, heck, half the time they had us running IT work, too. When all hell broke loose, I was actually tryin' to fix a stuck elevator for a couple of scientists."
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:44 pm

    "New Mexico? Never been there, hell, only been to North America once. To Boston to be precise... Though, I see the rent-a-cop style is something that stuck with you". She smirked a bit. "Science Facility, with basic security detail? With all my time working with ONI, i have to say, that sounds... odd, really odd. I've been deployed on science teams as a Spartan escort before.". Mind you, that was on a artificial alien planet with plenty of big scary aliens wanting to kill them. But even research facilities in regular space were well guarded.

    "Doing IT work too? Must of been thrilling before. Do you have any idea what exactly they were, well, doing science with?". Maybe things were different in UNSC space, but she still found it almost bizarre.
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:57 am

    "Hey, what can I say. I'm a classy guy." Barney grinned, and then elaborated. "They went cheap on the man power 'cos almost all the security was automated. Reinforced doors, eye scanners, heck there were even some freakin' turrets. Might not have been anything you'd consider cutting edge, 'course, but it was high tech at the time." And, of course, all that automated security was a blessing and a curse when everything went to hell. On the one hand, it turned out to be at least a small speed bump for the invading aliens. On the other hand, it was one massive nightmare for anybody trying to escape, as they wandered into areas they didn't have the proper clearance for, or were just going haywire...

    But, that was getting ahead of the story. Settling back to stretch out next to her, Barney addressed her second question, "The ones that got us into trouble were workin' on teleportation technology. I couldn't tell you the technical stuff, but they discovered this... border dimension, and figured out how to open up portals to get there and back. Picked up samples of these crystal things they found there..."

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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:33 pm

    "Clearly... Eye Scanners? Auto Turrets? for your era, yes, that would of been crazy expensive...".With security like that, it was easy to think it was a two way system. She'd seen a few security systems designed to keep people in as much as others out, but those were rare, and outside of public knowledge" ... You're right, I've seen higher security on civilian freighters, then again, space is a bit more dangerous than new mexico, no offense.".

    "Teleporters? Dangerous business. Border dimension? I'll hazard a guess and say it's not like what we had. Slipspace is what we called it, mainly used for FTL, The teleporters I have here probably use slipspace, they're forerunner tech, but nobody in the UNSC can fully understand how they work. I should probably stop using them before they backfire". Though, she didn't particularly like the idea of humanity learning how to use them proper. Teleporters made things just a bit too easy.
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    Re: Long Night Of Solace

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:37 pm

    Barney mock-cringed. "Oh, jeez, don't tell me you're messing around with teleportation technology that y' don't understand. Great. Well, if I start seeing head crabs running around again, I'm gonna know who's responsible…" His tone, however, made it clear that he was not at all serious. Hell, even if the Combine showed up, it was more likely Portal X or Alpha's fault than Ayalah's.

    "Anyway… Before crap went down, I'd probably agree with you on that… Afterwards, though, I think ground zero to an alien invasion and a government cover up would give space a run for its money." Okay, you didn't have to worry about explosive decompression or running out of air, or anything like that. But you did have to worry about practically everything you met, trying to make your way to the surface and then to safety, either trying to eat your face, electrocute you, or fill you with bullets.

    Damn, but he really hated those soldiers. He hated them the most. The aliens had been bad, but at least the Vorts hadn't had a choice in the matter, and even the freakin' head bumpers were just doing what they were made to do… But even now, even after all these years, thinking about those assholes who should have been there to help them…

    "Anyway… I guess, long story short, I managed to meet up with a couple of scientists and help them escape before the government nuked the place… We thought the portal had been closed, but the way Doctor Kleiner tells it, it left some kind of… hole, or something, that the Combine could reopen." He shrugged, all signs of joking having vanished. "Afterwards, everybody called it the Seven Hour War. You can probably guess why."

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