CERES Between an asteroid and the hard space

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Lukas Forgrave, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    The fine motors of critical thinking had escaped the normally level headed detective. In its stead, it was entirely muscle memory. Stumbling as he held Mamen's limp weight, he moved to lay her down out of angle of the stained window. The punch holes showed shots coming from high on left, so he moved to the left to allow the window sill to block any more shots. Assuming it was just one person and if it wasn't, well then they were fish in a barrel.

    His breath drew hard, tension across his body was easy to see with the way his jaw clamped shut. There was a look in someones eye as the soul drifted from them, like a door shutting and taking with it all the light that once flowed through. And he could hear it creaking now behind the flutter of Mamen's grey eyes.

    Taking the fabric from Mamen's loose grip, Luka held her head with one hand and jumbled up the cloth into an in-situ pillow. Placing it beneath her, he laid her head down gingerly on it - and suddenly he heard Levi's words, despite them occurring so long ago. His shaking hand moved over Mamen's forehead, fingers and knuckles coated in blood.

    ::This is Officer Forgrave. We have shots fired at my position. One casualty, we need a bus here...No it can't wait. No! I don't give a fuck what the Captain said. Send it now...and back up as well...Yes. Rodger.:: The terminal clicked off.

    "Come here..." He looked over his shoulder at Levi. There was a distension of his emotions, something dormant until now. The last step before anguish jumped from the cliff face, anger the only thing to survive. "Hold her hand..." For as long as you can.

    His free hand withdrew the canon from the small of his back and with a smooth movement, he flipped open the cylinder to check the rounds. There was enough there to do some damage. His expression changed as his brow furrowed, running his thumb delicately over Mamen's hairline. Her breath was ragged and labored. And Luka was preparing to do something stupid.
     
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  2. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    She watched their figures fold behind the stands of material, disappearing from her immediate view until he laid Mamen upon the floor. Watched him bundle the length of shimmering green and fold it beneath her head. Watched the dark pool ooze from beneath her mother's figure.

    "...Luka..."

    Watched it all in slow motion. So slow she could feel the moment of pause between the beats of her heart, and that's where she stood suspended in time, all color draining from her face. Seconds slowed to stillness as the world around her fell away from the tunnel vision of her mother's pallid face, red speckling her lips.

    Mamen.

    "Come here."

    Her legs felt like ice stone carved from the asteroid belt but they were moving on their own. Somehow, she would never remember how, Levi's body made it through the store to her mother's side while her spirit remained frozen to the spot.

    "Hold her hand..."

    Had she run? Had she walked? Had she stumbled to her knees? Had she dropped to her mother's side? Her mother's name was leaving her lips, but she wouldn't recall if they were whispered or cried or screamed. Her mother's hand was in her hand, was it cold? Was it squeezing? Mamen was below her gaze, eyes drooping, body trembling, lips moving, words ... desperate words forming. Levi couldn't hear them beyond the roar of her own heart in her ears.

    Mamen was in her grasp for mere moments that felt like hours.

    And then she was gone.

    Levi felt her soul crumble and her world slip through her fingers like shards of glass - it was the only sensation she would truly remember of the event. She wouldn't remember the tears flooding her vision or the warmth of her mother's blood soaking her clothing. Wouldn't remember wailing so strongly into the frail body that her throat went raw and voice failed her.

    Gone.
     
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  3. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    The gun didn't feel like a gun in his hand. It had, moments ago. But when the chamber snapped shut, when he was sure he could have done something stupid in the here and now, there she was. Watching, feeling, knowing in the deepest parts of her chest that Mamen was truly gone. That gun, it became a limp paper weight in his hand.

    There was a place somewhere in the future, a place so unclear it was hard to imagine. But all he could think of was where Levi would be, where a stupid thing had gotten him, and who would be asking her about that tattoo. The one that would memorialize this moment, or all the moments that led up to it. Happy as they might be, there could be only tears for this particular tragedy.

    How much worse could things be if he did his typical thing, if he ran with a gun leveled towards the rafters? Maybe he'd hit the assassin, maybe he'd be gunned down in the plaza by whoever it was. And whether he stayed here or he ran out to die trying his hand at revenge, he couldn't understand which was more selfish. The sinking feeling in his stomach, likely felt ten thousand fold beneath Levi's once hardened exterior, planted him to the ground. Next to Levi, next to the body where Mamen used to be, he didn't have the strength he did moments ago.

    The gun slid out of his hand, clattering across the floor, as he reached forward and pulled Levi to him. It wasn't the sort of hug he needed, he wasn't sure it would help her either. But he had to do something. He couldn't just sit there and watch her cry, hear her screams from so far away. And if that sound could be aimed at him, if that grief could be pressed across his skin, maybe he could find the strength to not scream as well.

    "I'm so - I'm sorry. Levi..." He wondered if anyone could ever call her Adi again. He felt tears well up and he steeled himself, hoping he could keep them back. The pain in his chest felt like a scar reopened, first formed with a child thudding lifelessly against the hull of a station. "I'm sorry."

    The door to the shop crashed open and Detective Hartigan entered and if Luka could have seen him, he wouldn't have imagined an expression like that could cross the man's face. Outright awe, on the verge of utter disbelief, as he screamed at all lookers to get the fuck on. "Go! Fucks!" Luka couldn't hear the man but his shaking breath would have been apparent. "Oh God...Lillian?"

    The threat was passed, there was no shooter in sight. It was the same old story in Ceres. Someone died. And life went on.
     
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  4. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    The hours following the incident were a blur that Levi's mind could not commit to memory beyond the image of her dying mother seared before her mind's eye. The drunken stupor of tragedy left only brief glimpses of harried faces, bloodied knuckles, a pool of vomit. The flashing of trams, the pinch of a needle, the burn of bright hospital lights.

    Levi awoke in a private hospital room, the certainty of how she ended up there lost within the fog of overwhelming grief and anger. Head pounding, stomach an empty, painful knot, vision glazed from the smear of black makeup.

    "How are you feeling?" a Nurse spoke from the doorway. Levi looked to her but said nothing. Words refused to form. She had no desire to speak to anyone.

    "I suppose that's a bad question ... you feel awful. Why wouldn't you?" the Nurse might've looked familiar to her if she gave her a good and proper look. Soft footsteps sounded as the woman closed the door behind her and stepped over to her bedside, "Your husband is in recovery now. Just came out of surgery, got him all stitched up. You had a panic attack. Hit a few people, including the doctor, gave him a good shiner."

    She watched Levi carefully before electing to pull a chair over and take a seat just out of reach, "You hit your head on a railing when you lost consciousness, so you're here for observation."

    Levi's gaze connected with the wrist shackles tethered to the bed. The sort you see on crazy patients who like to lash out.

    "But you're going to be fine ... physically speaking."

    There was a long, pregnant pause during which she could feel the Nurse staring at her.

    "I know you. We went to Uni together," frowning, the Nurse leaned forward, "your name is Adra."

    Levi looked up at her, a sudden flare of anger glinting across steely brown.

    "I'm Anne. Anne Dutlenner. Do you remember me? Your mother was my language tutor. I'm ... I'm very sorry, Adra."

    "Don't call me that."

    Anne fell silent again, concern deeply etched into her expression as her gaze slowly surveyed the woman on the bed before her, "You're so different from what I remember. You didn't have any tattoos in school. Your hair, your clothes..." she took a shallow breath, frowning, "what happened to you? You just stopped coming in one day. You wanted to be a teacher. You were going to teach languages to Belta children. I don't understand Adra, we used to be friends-"

    "DON'T CALL ME THAT!" Levi did not repress the urge to strike at the woman, thankfully the tethers did, but the action was so sudden and violent that it scared Anne backwards out of her chair.
     
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  5. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He let out a heavy breath, dragging his tongue across his chapped lips. It felt dry and coarse, like licking the shaggy bark of a tree that was persistently shedding paper thin wafers. It occurred to him, through the darkness of the sedation, that he had never seen a real tree before. At least, not the sort that wasn't planted in the mezzanines down at the plaza for the joy of the paying stake holders.

    "He's awake."

    Luka's eyes fluttered open, flooding his senses with the pallid yellow of the overhead hospital lamps. Despite the connotations of sterility, their color system left quite a bit to be desired. A machine next to him beeped on repeat like an incessant relative who wanted to get his attention. Adjacent pumps moved up and down with a crescendo of plastic against metal, filling the vinyl tubes attached to his nose with a cold stream of air. He didn't hurt, as was always the case, but he felt tired and his throat was sore. "Did you intubate me..." He heard the rasp as he spoke and reached upwards to feel his throat. But his arm didn't move. "Am...am I under arrest?" He blinked as his vision came to. Canvas colored velcro straps extended twice across his chest, his arms were cuffed against the chrome metal railing.

    "Why, you want to be?" That thick Russian accent came from the corner. The tall figure was bouncing between inhaling from the cigarette and blowing the smoke up into the air filtration vent above him. "Hartigan...fucking uncuff me."

    "No can do amigo." Even with the blur still on overdrive, Luka could see that shit eating grin as Hartigan aimed the lit coffin nail towards the small Asian doctor. "Doctors orders. Seems like every time you get hurt, you fucking run off and cause more damage. Not today."

    Luka let out a heavy sigh as he rested his head on the pillow. The small doctor approached and felt at Luka's bandages. "We're going to have your slurry brought in. Drink it all and we will assess your recovery."

    "Doc..." Luka rolled his head against the pillow as he looked at her. "Where is Levi?"

    "The girl?" The doctor replied. "Yeah. Lillian's daughter..." Hartigan replied as he stubbed out the cig on the window sill.

    "She's in another room. Hurt quite a few people to get her restrained. You can't see her right now, Luka. But she is being guarded as was your request."

    "My request..." Luka moved to touch his head, forgetting that his hands were restrained. Flexing, he pulled his arms inward to try and break the cuffs. "I need to go...we need to go!"

    The small doctor moved around and pushed a dose of sedative. "See, like I said. Handcuffs a must." Hartigan quipped as the blur set in, Luka watching the faded image of the Russian as he approached. "Don't worry. They won't get to you here."
     
  6. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Anne picked herself up off the floor, visibly shaken by the outburst.

    "I don't know what happened to you, but I'm very sorry."

    Muscles pulled taught beneath the canvas of color on Levi's arms as she strained against the shackles, an angry snarl carved across her face.

    "Your mother was a wonderful woman. She didn't deserve to go like that..." keeping her distance, Anne stepped around to the monitors at the side of her bed, frown deepening as she watched Levi's anger melt into pain, tears freshly streaking her cheeks with black again.

    "The Doctor told me to sedate you if you lashed out. Maybe this is better. You can get some rest," the Nurse nodded to herself before helping her slip back into a listless sleep.

    ~~~

    "I'm her Godfather. Gilarik Haymes. You saw the records."
    "No visitors."
    "She just lost her mother for fuck's sake! I'm the only family she's got left, let me see her."
    "No visitors."
    "By whose orders?"
    "Detective Forgraves."
    "Well he knows who I am, tell him I'm here! Tell him Gil wants to see her!"
    "The Detective isn't available to speak. You'll have to wait in the visitor lounge."
    "Blimey..." Gil passed a hand over his flushed face. It was much easier to beat down someone else's door when you had a gun or two at hand and when the someone else was part of a nameless, faceless, rioting crowd. He nodded with a huff and turned to make his way back down the hall, jostling a Nurse pushing a man on a bed along the way.
     
  7. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Mikoff rattled around in his pockets, pulling out a packet of crumpled cigs. There were two left in there but based on the shape of the box, he imagined they were no good anymore. He made a mental note, rubbing down his mustache with a thumb and index, to pick up another couple of packs later. He didn't used to smoke like this, but the times brought it out of him.

    Strolling through the hallway, he made a brief stop by Adra's room. Based on the report he got from the beat cop, seems like there was a whole array of problems going on. Here getting rough with the nurse was the first issue. Mikoff almost smiled at that. Had the circumstances been different he might have made a joke.

    Adra, not everyone can take a beating like Luka...
    Adra, keep that sort of thing in the bedroom...
    Adra...

    But there wasn't any place for a joke like that. The second bit of news was someone stopping by to see her. That piqued Mikoff's interest, it was one of those things Luka told him to look out forward - back when Du Pomang was lucid. Luka the Lucid.

    "Eh, sometimes..." he uttered as he thought, chuckling. The cop gave him a confused glance and the Russian rebutted him with a dismissive wave. "Nothing, nothing..."

    Jamming his hands back into his pockets, he made his way down into the waiting array. Not a lot of people in there. A couple of women, two kids that looked like they moonlighted as sewer rats or water tank fiddlers, and a man that looked seemingly irate. He'd put his next bank statement on it being that one.

    Taking a seat next to the man, Mikoff clicked his tongue. "You know Adra, huh?"
     
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  8. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "What?" Gil blinked at the man from behind the remnants of sweat and grease. He smelled like an engine block and looked like he'd just crawled out of one. It was no small wonder he sat all by himself at the far end of the waiting room.

    "Oh, you mean Levi," the man shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He was a large man - built like a brick shithouse was the saying, though those sorts of things didn't exist on Ceres. An easy guess was he'd been a muscular and fit man in his youth, and though he kept active and maintained his strength age had slipped in there over the years.

    "She don't like people calling her Adra - yeh should keep that in mind ... " he squinted his eyes at Mikoff, spying the badge, "Detective."

    Gil heaved a tired sigh. He'd worked all day and only just received the news. Heard the news, more like it. The media had covered the sniper scare with as much fervor as rats to garbage. Names were leaked, photos, too. Hard to miss a picture of a woman covered in tattoos frantically trying to bludgeon those trying to separate her from the body of her mother.

    "I'm her Godfather," he said, staring at the set of ruddy hands in his lap, palms up, all manner of grime and callous exposed, "I should be in there with her."
     
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  9. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "Ah..." He nodded, eyes trained down the hallway towards where the guard was waiting. "I should warn you. I don't give two shits what people like..." He looked towards the greased up mechanic. Mikoff had smelled worse, often times staring back up at him from the bottom of a bottle. Granted, the mechanic was no dime perfumed up at the end of the bar-top, putting on her best show for all the boy birds to see. But Mikoff had seen worse.

    He chuckled. "I hear it's part of my charm. I do what I want, don't take no shit from on one...keeps things simple."

    The fact that this man knew what Adra preferred, by name, was enough to convince him that he wasn't a threat. The only thing he really seemed a threat too was a well kept bathroom, leaving prints and stains everywhere. He thought it might be funny to release this godfather into Forgrave's hole, really muck things up.

    "For example..." He pulled his right leg up, crossing it over to his left, and opened up a digital magazine on his terminal. "Forgrave says to me..." Mikoff puts on an absurd southern accent. "Listen, pardner...I ain't looking for no cowpoke to see my lady. Not until I fly this here angola and see her myself." Mikoff smirked and shook his head, it was funnier there. "But I say...Fuck you Forgrave. What's he gonna do about it, he's cuffed to a bed...Doctors orders."

    He chuckled to himself as he fidgeted. "The word on the street is that this beat cop..." Mikoff pointed down the hall. "Is going to take a piss break in about a minute. Maybe less." He shrugged. "And a particularly handsome Russian detective, who doesn't give a fuck what Forgrave says, is watching guard." He opened his eyes wide and stretched his mouth. "A godfather should be with his goddaughter...especially now. Eh?"
     
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  10. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Gil made a face at the man, his difficulty in deciphering his words over that awful accent pretty clear. He took a few moments to digest all the words, and perhaps his slowness in comprehension resulted from his failure to get an educational degree - either way, he thought he got the gist. The man frowned, heavy brows furrowing, and then offered Mikoff a nod of understanding.

    "Thank you, Detective." He supposed there aught to have been something a bit more heartfelt in there, but he was a working man that just put in a long day and he'd just lost one of his best friends if words were to be believed.

    Gilarik sat there in silence as, just like Mikoff said, the guard stationed at Levi's room motioned for the Detective to cover while he disappeared off to relieve himself. Waiting just a moment longer, Gil slowly pushed himself up from the chair with a grunt and ambled down the hall, watching for any gestures from Mikoff for the all-clear before heading into the room.

    The moment he got inside and locked his gaze with Levi's, his eyes welled up with tears.

    "Tell me it ain't true, Levi. Tell me it wasn't Lil."

    Levi's expression was one of stone - grief, pain, and fury all etched into an amalgamation of something dour. She was glad that Gil was crying because she hadn't any tears left to cry. Brown eyes slowly turned away from him. It wasn't the confirmation he was hoping for.

    "Oh, Gods, Lillian-" Gil lifted a large, ruddy hand to his face to cover the grimace forming there, streaks forming where tears rolled down through dirt and grime. He managed to make his way over to the chair beside Levi's bed, garnishing several tissues from her bedside to wipe his face. For several minutes he said nothing, instead muttering things under his breath, shaking his head, pushing more tears from crinkled eyes before he managed to pull himself together.

    "I'm sorry Le, she didn't deserve it. She deserved to go with dignity in the comfort of her bed. Are ye hurt?" he reached up to take ahold of her hand, realizing shortly after that she was tethered to the bed.

    "No."

    These weren't handcuffs and they didn't require keys to undo, so he began to pull the locking mechanism open.

    "Don't."
    "What they got ye shackled for? Ye just lost your mother, this is insane. Ye should be with Forgraves."
    "Don't."

    Gil looked up from where he fussed with the velcro, leaving grimey fingerprints all over the thing - there'd be no covering that up, "Le?"

    "Because I'll leave and I'll hunt him down."
    "Hunt who down?"
    "The one who did this."
    "...you know who killed your mother?"
    "Benton Kahir."
     
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