Aberrant: A New Beginning

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:33 pm

The stitching didn't bother Jade in the slightest, she'd become quite accustomed to pain, and had learned how to numb herself so she barely felt any discomfort at all. As Ezra spoke about the boy he knew, she poked at the food still unsure and incredibly suspicious, but if he poisoned her what was the big deal? If she died she wouldn't be missed, and she wouldn't have to suffer anymore, or be on the run.

"That boy.." She turned her head slightly, glancing over her shoulder at him, "where is he now? Does he still feel that way? That there can be someone to count on?" Jade was still pissed, of course, she didn't like being spoken to that way, but logically there was no reason to hold on to such feelings. Especially if they were directed towards the only person who was able to help her. Ezra had been the only one in a long time to even offer assistance. In the beginning she had come across humans and Aberrants, begging both for help, and receiving none from either. It was refreshing and equally frightening to encounter someone who had not only offered to help with her wounds, but to take her to a safe place. Permanent or not. Even still, companionship was awkward, and made her uncomfortable; how was she supposed to know how to act or what to say? The last time she was around other people she never had a chance to speak.

In the Ring there was no time. In the Ring it was either kill or be killed.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:34 pm

For a moment Ezra remained quiet. He finished the stitching, tied off the thread, then clipped it and put a simple bandage over it to keep it clean until it closed. He scooted back a bit, then set to work cleaning everything up and placing the reusable items back in the med kit. "He's dead. Went crazy and vaporized a large group of humans." Ezra's voice was soft, almost a whisper. To an observant person, it would appear that the boy's death had a profound effect on Ezra. "Please... eat. You'll need your strength for the days to come." Quietly the young man stood and pushed his chair up to the table, then disposed of his garbage in a small bin next to the kitchen counter. His soul burned within him as he remembered those moments before he lost his sanity replayed in his mind. It was all he could do to keep himself in check. Ezra could tell, however, that his body temperature had spiked dramatically, so he decided to move away from the girl, hoping she wouldn't notice.

Stand next to a window that shared a wall with the front door, Ezra looked out into the night. Nothing was visible, but it seemed like the best thing to do, given the circumstances. Finally, once he began to calm down, he spoke again. "He had friends though, people he trusted and they trusted him. He dedicated his life to them and found new purpose. I don't know what happened to the rest of them. Some died, others disappeared. But I think he felt like it was worth it." Ezra closed his eyes for a moment, then reopened them and moved deeper into the room, pulling one of the cots from the corner and setting it up so he would have a place to sit down. He kept his eyes off Jade, unwilling to risk that she may know who he was really speaking about.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:34 pm

Jade re-positioned her shirt, her gaze following Ezra as he moved through the room, silently reading him. The way he walked, the tone of voice, the words he said. He seemed too invested in this 'boy' he spoke of, too connected, like he knew what the boy had felt; there was something else in his tone that she couldn't place. Still picking at the food on the plate, she tentatively began to eat, her eyes never leaving him. Before he had moved away she noticed a temperature change, half wondering if it were because of him. She dismissed it however, and shifted her thoughts to the boy he spoke of.

It was obvious to her that he was bothered, but there was no logical explanation as to why. Did one person really have such a profound effect on his life? It intrigued her, but at the same time, she did not like the way this conversation was going. Was he trying to get her to accept companionship and change her ideas that some could be trusted, or was he just solidifying her fear, her apprehension of getting close to anyone? "This... boy... wouldn't happen to be you.. would he?" Jade may not be the smartest person, but she was logical, and the way he was acting, turned away from her, the sadness in his voice, as undetectable as he thought it was, his posture. While to a normal person all of that would seem like he missed a dear friend, Jade was not a normal person by any means. When the possible is ruled out, and the impossible is the only thing left, perhaps the impossible is the truth.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:35 pm

Ezra's face darkened, though he kept it out of sight. He had been far too transparent, and was about to pay the price. A great debate began inside him, a conflict of intention. If he ever expected Jade to trust him, he would have to trust her. But doing so would let another person in, and up to that point it had not worked out well for him.

"It was me. That part of your life is over, and what you see the all that remains. Without the help of others, I'd be dead, most likely. They have me what I needed most. Now I am in a position to reciprocate." Ezra then turned to face her, his child, unfeeling expression having cracked ever so slightly.

"You don't have to face the world alone."

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:35 pm

Jade watched him, her head inclined to the right. She was unsure of what to do, of how to feel or react. Instead she just stared at him. "They will come after you, too." She murmured. She had escaped the Ring, she'd gotten away and they wanted her back. They followed her everywhere, and their attempts to capture her were getting more brutal, reckless. Jade was their cash cow, she was undefeated. She was put against normal humans in the Ring, they were given weapons, she was not. They always underestimated her because of her size. They always died. "I cannot drag anyone else into this. They will find you. They will kill you."

It was a miracle that she had survived on her own for as long as she had. Jade may not have been made for having friends, but she knew when not to drag someone else in on her problems. Especially if they could be in danger.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:36 pm

Ezra shrugged indifferently. "I've heard that before. People had tried to take me before, and all have failed. The only way to stop me is to kill me, and that obviously has proven unsuccessful. I can't guarantee that you will be perfectly safe where i am going, but I can promise that I will do whatever I can to insure that those who haunt your past will not haunt your future."

The young man ran his hand through his moppish hair. It was quite a mess, but still clean from his lack of activity. He then pulled off his boots and his over shirt and placed them neatly at the foot of his cot. Pulling his legs up underneath him, Ezra watch Jade carefully, trying to read her body language.

"You don't have to answer now. Just think about it."

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:37 pm

"You don't know them like I do." Her voice was so soft, if he wasn't listening, he'd miss what she said entirely. Jade glanced out the window, her eyes scanning the darkness. She wasn't sure if she was trying to find something or if she'd actually seen something but the leaves of the tree just outside shifted. Her expression did not change, but her muscles tensed, until she heard the wind, and she sighed. Always on edge, always looking over her shoulder.. looking at Ezra again she considered his offer. Could he really keep them away from her? Was she free from the Ring forever?

"I'll consider it." Her tone was not as brisk, or indifferent as it had been before, it was distant. She was trying so hard to remember their faces, their voices, but all she could remember was a paralyzing fear, screams, and pain. She shook her head. No, she didn't want to remember anymore.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:38 pm

Watching the girl reminded Ezra of his own past, constantly looking over his shoulder for fear of what he might find. For years he slept with one eye open, always waiting for someone to strike. He didnt allow himself to let his guard down often, and when he did the results were disastrous.

"That is all I ask." The wind was picking up outside, signaling to Ezra that a storm was on its way. He rather enjoyed storms, so he hoped he was right. Thunder and lightning always made him feel at peace, which was ironic when one considered what they were.

"You can rest if you want. I will stay here and keep watch."

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:38 pm

Rest? Jade looked to Ezra, then back to the window. It had just been the wind, which was quickly growing more fierce, she had nothing to worry about. He said he would keep them in the past so they could haunt her no more, but should she believe him? As far as she could tell he hadn't poisoned the food, and he was being quite open, and conversational. Or he had been before Jade pointed out that he had, in fact, been the boy he was speaking of.

"Don't underestimate them.. if they show up." Jade was trying to not let her fear and apprehension leak through. "There are many of them." Who 'they' were exactly, she wasn't sure. She just knew that it was a big organization and they didn't take to their 'property' being taken or escaping. Not until they were done. Jade turned and walked towards the stairs, she was going to sleep, or try to, in one of the rooms up there. The second floor felt safer than the first, if only because they would have to pass Ezra before they could get to her, and if he survived as long as he had then maybe she had a chance.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:39 pm

"I won't. But I won't let them get to you, not without a fight. We should leave early tomorrow though, so try to get some rest." Ezra propped his back against the wall and dimmed the lantern he had brought with him. No sense in making it easy for anyone that might want to threaten them. He would not give up the watch, even if she had to drive the next day.

Ezra pushed his hand through his hair again as the pain of old memories began to subside. It wasn't fair. Not to him. Not to the others. Not to her. But whatever he could do to make it right was worth it. Every drop of blood and every sacrifice would be made with pride knowing that he stood in the face of hate and defied it.

After watching Jade disappear up the stairs, Ezra turned back to the lantern and extinguished it. After a few seconds, his eyes adjusted to the darkness, giving him better vision than he had before. He leaned back against the wall and watched dutifully, his eyes never leaving the windows.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:40 pm

The upstairs was dark but it did not hinder Jade's ability to see. Her eyes had adjusted quickly as she made her way to the room where she had gotten the clothes. Quickly scanning the room for shadows that should not have been there, she entered and shut the door behind her. Making her way across the room she checked the window latch to make sure that it was secure, and she closed the curtains blocking any trace amount of light from getting in.

With a soft sigh she sat on the bed, bracing herself on her arms, letting her eyes close. The silence was broken moments later when the clouds opened up, releasing torrents of rain. Jade barely noticed as she had fallen back onto the bed, sleep creeping up on her. Only the thunder, loud and booming, tore her out of her near sleep, and her eyes snapped open. Was that a crash? No, it was just thunder.. it had to be.

Lightning lit up the sky and just outside the window, the second story window, Jade saw a man standing on the roof. Thunder crashed again, but underneath it Jade heard a loud bang from the first floor that could only be someone trying to get in the house. Quicker than she thought possible, Jade jumped up and was halfway to the door when her window was smashed, and she fell to the ground. The man had broken through the glass and tackled her to the ground.

"Ezra!" Jade cried out, trying to warn him. "They're-!" Her words were abruptly cut short as the man on top of her slammed her head into the floor.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:41 pm

The sounds of war filled the air around Ezra. Bullets sliced through the air like a hot knife through butter, followed by the terrified screams of those caught in the crossfire. Ezra, himself, stood off to the side, facing the middle of the conflict. Neither side seemed to be gaining any advantage over the other, but countless innocents were gunned down just for being out of place. The madness didn't seem to have an end, until the very earth around him finally erupted.

His eyes snapping open, Ezra sprang to his feet just as something smashed through the window nearest to him. Bouncing around the wooden floor was a canister leaking a cloud of what the young Aberrant could only assume was tear gas. Immediately he took off into a run for the stairs, an action stopped momentarily as the front door suddenly caved in under the weight of a police-grade battering ram. A hail of bullets followed the oak door, one of which grazing Ezra's thigh, while another made a fleshy tunnel through his right side. He stumbled against the stairs, falling hard against them as he turned about to face the attackers. Unable to see them, he made his best guest and fired. Green beams of light left his body and pierced the door frame. While he could not be sure that he hit anything, he had succeeded in buying them a few seconds at the very least. With his strength fading quickly, he finished climbing the stairs to find Jade.

On the second level, he heard Jade's voice crying out, only to be silenced with a dull thud. His body temperature spiked wildly as he built energy in his torso, preparing his next volley. Downstairs an explosion rocked the entire building, the result of an RPG impacting the kitchen area and blowing out the wall behind it. The force of the blast knocked Ezra forward, sending him through the door where Jade was being attacked. Off balance and injured, he was unable to act first against the assailant, but still was resolved not to allow anything to happen to her.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:42 pm

Jade heard the blasts, and felt debris from the now busted door fall around her. In a panic, not seeing that it was Ezra, she flung the man off her body as a surge of adrenaline kick started her body. Leaping to her feet she whirled around, kicking the assailant in the chest, hard enough to send him flying through the busted door, slamming into the opposite wall. It was then that she saw Ezra, injured, and without thinking she grabbed him and yanked him towards the window.

"We have to go." They couldn't fight. They wouldn't win. Logically she knew that, and the only way to survive was to run. Pulling Ezra with her was like nothing; she'd lifted heavier things before and supporting him was easy. What was not easy was jumping out the second story window into the nearly tree and grabbing a branch with one hand. Holding onto him with one hand, she was able to shimmy them out of the tree and into the ground, but she was forced to leave him for a moment when she grabbed a fallen branch from the storm and impaled a guard standing outside the house while it was ransacked by the others.

Once the guard was taken care of she returned to Ezra. "Where are the keys?" She whispered harshly. They needed to leave. Now.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:43 pm

Ezra grunted and growled quietly as Jade vaulted them out of the building and down to ground level. Though he was in pain, he knew well enough to keep it to himself until they were in a safer situation. Around the corner he could see a lifeless body laid out on the front steps. Happy that he had gotten at least one but knowing that there were still plenty more, he pushed himself against the tree to assess the damage. The graze on his leg was deep but not life threatening; another scar on a body that wore many more. The wound in his side was low, just above his pelvis, but made no exit wound.

'Shit...'

"Inside... but there's a spare in the glove box," he whispered. So was their supplies for the trip. It meant no food, no medical kit, no drink, not even a magazine to keep one entertained while the other drove. Normally he would not allow anyone to drive his car, but this was a special circumstance. He couldn't be relied upon to drive, so she was the only hope they had. Gritting his teeth, he pushed up from the ground, but only barely managed to get to his feet, using the tree to keep him steady as the world swirled around him like a toker's dream.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:44 pm

Jade took one more glance around the house, before she went back to Ezra. "Let's go then." She hoisted Ezra up as gently as she could and quietly went to the garage. She saw no one but heard movement in the house. Things breaking, a man was yelling. They needed to move fast. Jade opened car backseat and unceremoniously laid him out. She closed the car door and went around to the front, fishing the spare out of the glovebox.

The car was quiet, she knew that from when Ezra had found her, so when she started it and backed out of the driveway with the lights off, she was relieved to see no one watching from the house. Shifting to first gear, Jade eased off the property, then once they were out of sight she hit the gas and sped off.

"We need food, water... A medical kit..." She glanced back at him and frowned. "Nearest store.. Where?"

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:46 pm

Sliding into the coupe was not easy for Ezra, and there was no time for being careful. They needed to evacuate as quickly as possible, which meant rough handling and muffled groans of pains. Once Jade had gotten them on the road and punched it, he started to relax, though his temperature was through the roof. The road was becoming blurry, signaling the onset of shock. Forcing himself to stay conscious and in the moment, Ezra turned about to view the damage more closely. He didn't believe that anything important was hit, but the bullet needed to come out. The leg, while incredibly painful, was not a priority concern.

"Few miles up. It's a small place, one person on crew at night. I.. I can't go in. You'll have to get what we need." It suddenly struck Ezra that not only were his keys and supplies in the house, but so was the money he had taken with him for supplies. Unless Jade had money, they would have to pilfer the goods, which meant the involvement of local law enforcement. While he was not afraid of what they could do, he was anxious about who the would alert when the evidence was viewed. "I'm going to need some supplies... cloth, alcohol, sewing kit, and a big set of tweezers."

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:47 pm

Jade kept her eyes on the road, her grip knuckles white on the steering wheel. She wasn't legal to drive, not that she didn't know how, but she was speeding immensely. Once she saw the sign for the store she slowed, turned in and parked. Glancing at Ezra she frowned. Without saying a word, she stepped out of the car and went into the store.

A few minutes later she emerged, opening the trunk of the car. Placing two cases of water inside she opened one and pulled out a couple, stuffing them in the bags she carried. One had the medical supplies he needed, the other had snacks and now water. Jumping back into the drivers seat she handed Ezra the medical bag and pulled the car to a darker area of the parking lot.

"Do you need me to do it?"

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:48 pm

"Well considering the hole is in my back..." More distressing to Ezra than the blood leaking from his body was the heat that slowly poured from the open wound. The sooner he could get it repaired, the better. Already the seat was burning hot. If unchecked it would start to melt a hole in the interior, and present some unpleasant side-effects in Jade. He hoped that her strength also augmented her fortitude, for her getting sick because of him was simply unacceptable. "Just get us somewhere safe and we can take a look at it from there." Ezra rested his head on the rest, watching the dark world pass them by. He then turned and watched Jade drive, studying her features and everything else he could see about her. Analyzing her was the best way to keep his brain occupied, to prevent other thoughts from worming their way in. His gaze was soft, despite the tension racking his body from the injuries.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:48 pm

"Safe? There is no safe. They know I'm not alone now. They have only lost me for the time being." Jade believed that she would not be safe anywhere on the planet. She drove for a little while, then pulled over on the side of the road. "Here is safe as anywhere." Turning to face Ezra, her expression was blank. Void of fear, of paranoia, of any emotion. She had shut off her brain in order to take care of his wounds. Grabbing the medical bag, she opened it and took out the alcohol, tweezers, gauze and sewing kit.

"Roll over. This is probably going to hurt." Jade wasn't new to patching wounds, or sewing up someone else. In the Ring there was always a need to help someone else heal.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:49 pm

Considering the gravity of the situation, Ezra did not protest. He did as instructed, rolling to the side and pulling his shirt up. It was soaked with blood and stuck slightly to his body as a result. "Just make sure you get the shell out. I'm not worried about the pain." He actually hoped that he would pass out, but he was rarely that lucky. That occasion, however, was uncommon, for just as soon as he rolled over and laid his head down, he promptly dropped off into a restless sleep.

Visions of fire filled his subconscious. He stood among a crowd of people, though none of them seemed to notice him. The crowd hooted and hollered, welding bats, crowbars, and firearms. Then, slowly, a shape began to rise from the middle of the throng.

Ezra would not wake until well after she had completed her work, but would vocalize a sound similar to a whimper, and occasionally would mumble a word, though it was inarticulate enough to be virtually unrecognizable, though one might guess it was a name.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:50 pm

Jade doused the tweezers and wound with alcohol to sanitize as best she could before she went to work. She was glad Ezra was out cold while she worked because she was, in no way, gentle. Prying the shell from him was a notch and required some digging, but once she got it out, the rest was fairly easy. When she was finished sewing the wound closed she wrapped him up, and moved on to his leg. It wasn't bad, but infection would be. So she sanitized it and wrapped it, too, before taking off again.

She didn't know how long she'd been driving, or how far, she couldn't tell. Didn't even know if she was going towards Ezra's original destination. Honestly she didn't care. It was the middle of the night and she hadn't seen a single car in either direction. But the longer she drove the more adrenaline wore off, and her fear began to creep in, it's inky black tendrils of paranoia slithering through her mind like a parasite. Jade couldn't shake the feeling that there wasn't enough distance between her and them.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:51 pm

Ezra awoke with a start, suddenly as if being pulled drowning out of a lake. Immediately the pain in his side flared angrily, causing him to groan quietly. It was intense, and certainly handicapping if he was not careful. Ezra took a moment to look around and realized quickly that he was still in the car. Having no idea where they were or how much time had passed was troubling and more than annoying, but he also felt quite a bit of gratitude. The young man knew that it could have been much worse. He could have woken up in a bag.

Slowly he angled himself into a more comfortable position, then turned to his partner in crime. "Thank you," he said quietly. He wanted to make sure that her efforts were acknowledged. In Ezra's experience, something as simple as recognition made all the difference. Of course, in others it made no difference at all. But it would not be said that he did not at least offer some kind words.
"I appreciate what you did. Where are we now?"

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:52 pm

Jade nearly jumped out of her skin when Ezra woke up. Her muscles were tense, eyes wide as she diligently watched the road. Her mask was slipping. Being on the run for so long had her paranoid, and she wasn't used to company; in the silence she forgot Ezra was there.

"Uhm.. Mississippi, I think. Crossed the state line not that long ago." Jades voice was shaking, and though her eyes were wide, every time she blinked it was long and slow, like she was having a hard time keeping her eyes open.

Reaching behind the seat, Jade grabbed a white prescription bag with Percocet inside. She'd "bumped" into a man who had a few of the bags like them, and took that one. "Here," Jade handed him the bag and a bottle of water. "It'll help with the pain."

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:53 pm

Ezra studied the driver for a long moment, analyzing her expression and body language. Though he couldn't remember which rule it was, he was certain that his father had taught him that the truth was usually written in the body, not in the words. Jade's face practically screamed with fatigue, though she seemed to be holding it together enough to keep them safely on the road. He watched her chest to observe her breathing, not occurring to him that staring could make him appear dubious in the eyes of his companion. Then he watched her hands and her legs. The grip she had on the steering wheel told him that she was not calm, likely still trying to deal with what had happened.

Taking the white bag from Jade, Ezra took a look inside, considered his options, then finally decided to let the pills stay in the bag. "Not yet... I'll burn through them quickly, but they'll hit me just as fast. Need to be alert until we can afford to relax a little." After a long draw from the water bottle, Ezra turned back to Jade, but with soft eyes. "You should rest... you look exhausted. I can drive for a while." He was genuinely concerned about her well-being, even if they had only just met. Aberrants needed each other to survive in those times; going off alone tended to get one killed... a lesson Ezra had already learned.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

Post by Danry on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:53 pm

Jade glanced at Ezra, but shook her head, turning her eyes to the rear view and side mirrors. No cars. Darkness. They were still relatively safe. "I'm fine. If I stop.." She hesitated, again looking in the rear view. "If I stop there could be an ambush." The probability ran through her head, and logically she knew it was incredibly unlikely, but she didn't want to take that chance. Her grip on the wheel tightened, her breaths coming out in ragged gasps as panic and fear bubbled beneath the surface.

It had been so long since she escaped captivity. The thought of going back, of being subjected to that torture again made her quake.

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Re: Aberrant: A New Beginning

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