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


    No Reason To Panic!

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    Livewire
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    No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Livewire on Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:42 am

    Time: 01:47AM
    Date: 3/1/0006
     
     
    Something was wrong.




    It was true that Livewire would stay out late most nights. It was so difficult to pull herself away from the quiet sanctuary of the library's many shelves. Of course she could check out her current tomes of interest and bring them back with her, but that had its drawbacks. The quiet lull of the air conditioning system was much better suited to read to than her home was. Animals needed attention and affection which was often served by lap-space whenever she sat down. Guardians could be...excitable, when they got together. Not in a bad way, but it was difficult to concentrate around them when they got going. There were sisters to sit and read with, to plan breakfast for, and to entertain their dogs with. She loved all of these people and animals dearly. She also loved to sit in a place with only mild background noise and delve into the information printed on the pages held within her hands. She always returned, after all! Each night or early morning would find Livewire taking the well-traced steps back from the library to their little suburban home. She would unlock the door, quell the excited tail-wagging of Penny and then walk with the dog back up to the guest bedroom to find her sister still sleeping with Butch happily drooling on their comforter at the foot of the bed.
     


    Last night she followed the same routine, as per usual. She read about the migration of butterflies and the data collected in order to study this phenomenon. She left at 1:30AM and arrived at the front door by 1:47.  She had no problem with speed-walking when there weren't people on the sidewalk to run into. She opened the door, scratched behind Penny's awaiting scruff, shut and locked the door, wiped her feet on the rug, and made her way up the stairs. Fear had been gone the past few nights and she was starting to miss the hushed conversations they would have about what she had spent the night studying.  Instead, she worked on being quiet. She did not want to wake Kev or Skyler from their slumber. She especially didn't want to wake up any of the animals which might take it upon themselves to announce her presence.  The stairs were navigated easily and the door did not prove to be any real obstacle to the femme.
     


    There was the room, in all of its glory. Pretty and clean and filled with two, now three, big dogs. There was the bed with its covers unmade.
     


    There wasn't a sister.


     
    Now, of course, Skyler was her own person. Her own adult, even. It was perfectly natural that she would be home late and there was no obligation for her to be home at a certain time, especially considering that there was CERTAINLY no such obligation for the younger sister.  It was silly to even be worried a bit!  Quiet as she tried to be, Butch had awakened. His big black head shot up from its place on the bed, instantly awake, as his eyes looked to the door. 

    The budding excitement seemed to bleed off. The rottweiler huffed and whined softly as the metal child went to him. Her fingers sought out the nerves along the base of his ears as a sleepy tongue lapped at her arm, undeterred by the sweater's sleeve as it was.  Her fingers massaged the dog before he once more laid his great head back onto the comforter. Typically, Butch would wait on the bed in the evenings until Skyler returned home. Afterwards he would go and playfully harass the other animals content in the knowledge that his most favorite cyborg was safe at home and would never, ever leave again.  This notion made each weekday morning a bit of a tragedy for the rottweiler.
     


    Butch settled back down and Penny leaped her massive, fluffy girth onto the bed to join her brothers. Livewire let her hands pet against Penny's brow as she huffed. Sam, too, was so attended as the mutt sniffed and kicked a few times as a result of his, most likely, energetic dreams.  The child turned and looked at the multiple connected cat-towers that she had installed for Tiresias and Shally. There, where she expected them to be, glowed the blind eyes of her kitten. Hardly a kitten now, though. He was over a year old and his frame, once small and bony in the snow, had filled out to a spoiled plumpness. His lack of sight did not at all disturb his awareness of the child as his neck stretched out to meet her fingers.   A gently hitching purr drifted through the air as Livewire's metal fingers were readily welcomed by the charge she had so willingly accepted. She couldn't much feel his soft fur against her metal fingers, but that was fine. She was used to it.
     


    Something sick was coiling inside of her. A swell of panic was starting to stir within the child's mind.  Skyler should be here, she usually was. Was she at the apartment? But on the days that they would go sleep there as opposed to the house, usually they would take their four animals with them.  Skyler had never gone there before without telling Livewire, either.  Maybe she was just..."out"?  Maybe Skyler had simply decided to go see a movie or two after a long day at work and had simply forgotten to tell Livewire. That was normal, after all. Livewire realized that staying in a massive library most of the day made her a bit hard to find. It just hadn't been a problem until this very instant.


     
    Comforters, sheets, and a mattress all dipped beneath the weight of Livewire's frame as settled into the bed. There was no reason to cause alarm.  Skyler would not stay out all night, she had work today!  Skyler was sure to come home in an hour or two, sleep for a few more, and then get up in time to go to work.


     
    She would just wait here for her.
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    Re: No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Livewire on Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:16 am

     Time: 08:24AM
     

    She had not moved.
     
    It had only taken a few minutes before her lap was occupied by Tiresias. The gentle rise and fall of the skin just below his ribcage had worked to calm her fears as the seconds, minutes, and hours ticked by. She had stopped petting him at the request of his tiny teeth on her finger so that he could sleep peacefully in the solid warmth of her lap.  It had been six hours and thirty seven minutes and the space beside her was noticeably absent of one cyborg.  Skyler needed to be at work in less than two hours.
     
    She must have gone to the apartment. She must have just stayed out too late for whatever reason and decided that it was better to sleep in the bed that was closest to work instead of walking all the way back to the house. That made complete sense.  Tiresias huffed in annoyance at being moved from his rightful place to the comforter beside Penny as the child stood and quickly left the room. Skyler would be in the apartment, safe and sound, and Livewire would keep telling herself that until she damn well believed it.
     
    The femme made quick work of the stairs and door until her metal feet were clicking down the sidewalk as she walked, even faster than she had that night, into the city.
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    Re: No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Kev on Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:22 pm

    Time: Noon
    Date: 3/1/0006

    Today had been an early shift at the City Noise, from opening to noon, and he would return later to handle the last couple of hours. Kev's days at work were usually pretty predictable. A comforting predictable, there was nothing about it that was out of place. The advantage of schedules! Nyreena would be at work, or Fear, or Skyler, and they would work together until their shift was over. It was enjoyable, even if Kev had no real passion for music. But...

    The scaly alien unlocked the door and stepped inside, greeted by all of the dogs in the house. From Penny to Oscar, even the ghostly Cujo yipped at his feet with a toy for him to throw. Kev chuckled, and obliged, grasping the plastic squeaky toy and tossing it down the narrow hallway. The glowing green dog yipped and gave chase, crimson eyes narrowing as he leaped upon it. Teeth gnashed upon the toy, coating it with ectoplasmic drool as squeaks filled the air. The alien's hands were busy, roaming fur that was either coarse or soft and rubbing behind ears. Being here with the dogs almost made him feel at ease, and yet the sight of Penny and Butch leaning against his legs with all their weight created a pit of dread in his chest. Slinking around the mob of dogs, Kev glanced around the foyer, peeking first into the living room. Soothing green walls, and furniture that had been picked with Livewire's help. Shally and Marvin were curled in the couch cushions, but neither were exactly what he'd been looking for. The robot glanced up, sensing Kev's appearance, and gave him a wave.

    "Good morning! How was work?" Marvin asked, tone casual and gentle as he thumbed through a book of Shakespeare's works.

    "Work was...good! Somebody came in and bought a lot of CDs by a guy named David Bowie." The mouthless alien walked into the room completely, coming around to Marvin's side. He reached down to stroke the calico who'd made herself at home, nestled against Marvin's cool metallic 'skin'. Shally purred as his fingers rubbed the bottom of her chin. Try as he might to hold onto this nice feeling, that dread came back once again.

    Work had been a bit...stranger today. Skyler was supposed to open up with him, both of them covering the morning shift. The cyborg...never showed up. But! But, there was no reason to panic! Maybe she just felt sick... Yeah, maybe she didn't feel up to working...? Except... When he'd left for work that morning, the girls' bedroom had been empty. It was easy enough to shrug off at first. Skyler probably left for work early, Livewire to the library as she had made it a second home. Particularly after her birthday, looking up information on construction, cats, and magic.  If Skyler was too sick to work...wouldn't she be in bed when he left?

    "Mmm..." Kev pulled his hand away from the cat, clasping it together with his other hand and desperately wishing he had his knitting supplies handy. The robot quirked his head at the noise but Kev gave no answer or explanation. He stood there with his thoughts, not daring to voice anything lest he be overreacting.


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    Re: No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Fear on Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:24 pm

    Clik, clik, clik!

    There were just some things ingrained into a person, regardless of their current profession and doctrine, that never died. Tidiness, a stickler for consistency and detail, an urge to kill; no matter how many centuries had passed, the imprint his training had left could still be felt on this day, in this moment. For hours his hands were consumed by the same repetitious movements over and over, skeletal fingers occupied with intricate golden pieces and cloth. Another set of ten, he told himself. Another set of ten that would gradually become twenty, thirty.

    Down in the house's basement sat Fear, the superfiend engaged with the numerous interlocking parts of his firearm. He must have taken apart and rearranged his gun well over fifty times that morning. Sometimes he timed himself, sometimes he took his time and cleaned each piece with immense care and attention to detail. It was busywork and little else, but the ghoul enjoyed the routine all the same. In his judicial opinion, and after having been familiar with numerous firearms in his past, it was good practice to become intimate with one's primary weapon. To know every trick, every characteristic, every flaw... It was perfection.

    But things were far from perfect.

    For the umpteenth time in his cleaning, Fear's hands lapsed into a rigid stillness, the fiend's mind elsewhere. Something was... wrong. He knew it, the animals knew it. One of the girls had not returned home last night. It was Skyler, the cyborg who helped Kev man the shop in the city. He knew it was Skyler because her thoughts were mysteriously absent, and in their absence blossomed an unmistakable dread from a fractured mind that already couldn't handle too much.

    Livewire.

    Livewire had come home late at night as she was wont to do, this time having learned about butterflies and their migratory patterns. There wasn't a topic left unscathed by the femme's starved intellect. She had come from the library and walked through the front door just shy of 02:00; a perfect time, as every living thing in the house had been dozing off or fast asleep. Not him, however. The dead needed little in the way of shuteye. But whereas Fear was downstairs in the basement, reading a book well into the dark hours of the night and morning, he had not been ignorant of the trouble brewing upstairs, in the girls' bedroom. It was then that his book was exchanged for the gilded gun resting soundly in its locked safe, the fiend unable to ignore its siren's call any longer. Something was wrong. He knew it, the animals knew it, Livewire knew it. And his immediate reaction was to arm himself and sit in his chair quietly, thumb teasing the safety back and forth repeatedly. Old habits, new nerves.

    By the time the sun rose and it was almost half past 08:00, Livewire had left the house to search for her missing sister. Kev naturally wasn't awake to see the femme off; he had to be at work for an early shift and was sound asleep when she left. The house sunk into a brooding silence for the hours to come, Fear never once leaving his spot in the basement. Something was wrong, something was wrong... but what?

    Eventually, noon rolled around and familiar voices entered the ghoul's ears.

    "Good morning! How was work?"

    "Work was...good! Somebody came in and bought a lot of CDs by a guy named David Bowie."

    Ah, Marvin and Kev. He glanced at a nearby clock and noted the time. Had it been that late already? Seeing how Kev was home and would inevitably discover the unsettling quiet, there wasn't any point longer in staying down here, isolated with only his thoughts and anxiety. Fear rose out from his chair and set his firearm aside, bare feet stiffly marching up the basement stairs.

    "Kev, there you are," he spoke aloud, otherworldly voice carrying. The dogs were, as usual, excited. Marvin probably less so. "Good afternoon, Marvin," Fear greeted the machine. He could worry about Marvin's dislike later. For now, there was something important that needed discussing. "Kev, have you ssseen Ssskyler lately? Ssshe didn't come home lassst night and Livewire isss worried. Methinksss ssshe went to check up on her sssissster back at the inn, but neither have returned sssince." This could go one of two ways, and something told the fiend that it was going to be the least favourable of the two.
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    Re: No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Kev on Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:27 am

    Aside from Kev's own feelings of dread, he could feel something brewing beneath his feet. Dread? Trepidation? It was a deep, lurking, churning feeling that something was wrong, horribly wrong. It made him more anxious, because he knew what the likely source was. If Kev felt scared about something, well... Let's be honest. There was a chance that he was overthinking things, overreacting, or just plain mistaken. It happened to the best of people, but it was true. It was better to be cautious in that case. Keep calm until all of the facts had been collected. But if Fear was feeling anxious... Soon enough, the ghoul soon joined them up on the first floor. Heavy footfalls sounded, and a deep mental voice reverberated from downstairs. "Yes sir." Kev answered in the affirmative, turning to face the corpse as he entered the room.

    Marvin's head swiveled in turn, nodding his beak shaped head back at the corpse. "Good afternoon." After nearly a year, it wasn't so strange to have the Judge as a 'roommate', though it was definitely not a friendship by any chance. Still, he seemed to make Kev happy...

    As soon as Fear asked about Skyler, the alien seemed to lock up. If Kev was worried about something, it may be an idle worry, or an overreaction. But if Fear was worried like this...asking where she was... Kev steeled himself before looking up into the great iron helmet and shaking his head. "She wasn't at work, and I didn't see her when I left this morning." Not only was Kev scared, and Fear, but Livewire too... Another pang of dread, alarm bells ticking like an ambulance. Wrong, wrong, something was very wrong. "I-I haven't seen Livewire since she left for the library yesterday. D-do you want to go check their room at the Inn?" If they hadn't returned, what could that mean? Could be as benign as a nap, or... The alien winced, and began to fidget. "Can I come with you?"


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    Re: No Reason To Panic!

    Post by Fear on Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:09 am

    "She wasn't at work, and I didn't see her when I left this morning."

    And just like that, Fear was already heading for the front door. "Come," he instructed, walking past the alien. Nothing else needed to be said, for they both knew how grave the situation had become. There was a chance, though slim, that the girls had simply gone to their room at the inn and crashed. It was likely, but what was the probability that neither of the girls had bothered to check in with Kev? The dogs were antsy, there had been no communication, and the last time anyone saw Livewire or Skyler had been the evening prior. Something was indeed up, and the ghoul was going to get to the bottom of it.

    By the time Kev thought to jump on Fear's heels and follow, the fiend had already strode across the lawn and was well down the sidewalk. One could only hope that the least of Livewire's and Skyler's troubles would be a stern talking to and a proper grounding.

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