#Adrasteia – May 23, 2016

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Yan Sun remains standing, a little bit behind Jessica, looking down at her, and the hole in the floor. She winces slightly at the stench, but her attention is quickly diverted when Jessica speaks again. Her frown only deepens as she goes on, a disturbed look on her face as she stares with an increasingly distant expression into the pit. She's at a loss for words, and at first she starts to reach out towards Jessica again, to put a (Tyranniac)

hand on her shoulder, but she reconsiders, folding her arms across her chest instead, looking down at her in silence as she struggles to imagine being in such a situation - although she knows she can't, for more than one reason. Her gaze inevitably travels to Jessica's scars, or what little is visible of them, but soon returns to the hole. (Tyranniac)

Jessica continues to stare down into the hole, giving a dismissive shrug with her shoulders. "But it wasn't possible. I remember laying-... right here." she glances over to her side, staring at a random spot a few feet away from the hole, "Just waiting to die. But then I looked over at my mother, sure that the last thing my eyes would ever see was her climbing into that hole. The way it should have been, but no... She wasn't (Dante)

moving. Just-... laying there." she continues to just stare at a random spot on the floor. A few silent moments pass before a small smile tugs at her lips, "You know, my father used to-... He was always at odds with himself, mmm? Trying to-... trying to justify the things he had done and the lives we had lived. Mmm, no. Not justify, just-... I don't know, find purpose in them? Not to anyone else." she shakes her head, (Dante)

"No... Just to himself, I think. And when times were hard, he would always say to me-..." a small chuckle escapes her as she deepens her voice, attempting to imitate her father's voice, "Jessie, sometimes we must struggle. We must fight. We do it in this life so that we may find peace in the next." Despite the bleekness of the story, recalling her family seems to bring some amount of happiness to her and she finally turns to (Dante)

look at Yan Sun. "Now-... I don't know. I never believed in any of that. Just-... not for me, mmm? But when I saw my mother? Lying there motionless? I knew there would never be any peace for me. Not unless I fight, mmm? Just a little bit longer. So I-... I get up and-... and I drag her. I drag her into the hole and-..." she grunts and groans as she speaks, as if pulling something heavy, "...and I drag her through the (Dante)

tunnels. I just-... drag her. Through the piss, and shit and-... and filth. Me and Martin and some of the other children used to play in the tunnels when we were younger, so I knew my way around down there, but I was just operating on instinct at this point, you know? I don't even know how I got her out of the tunnel. I just remember dragging her through the doctor's back door and-... then this itchy feeling on my wrist and (Dante)

I-... I pull at my sleeve and my skin began to peel back with it. And then everything went black." She gives another shrug as she looks Yan Sun over. "It was six days before I woke up..." she says, "Doctor said it was a miracle I survived." (Dante)

Yan Sun doesn't meet Jessica's gaze, looking still into the dark hole to the sewer. She tries to temper the increasingly horrified look on her face as she continues to listen, the awareness of the once blistering heat in this very place somehow making the cold seem all the more biting. Her eyes briefly dart back to the burns on her face at the mention of skin peeling, but it's not something she dwells on long. The big, obvious (Tyranniac)

question is all she can think about, even if she's dreading to ask it. After the silence starts to grow too long, she looks back to Jessica again, searching out her gaze and asking quietly, reluctantly. "Your mother...?" (Tyranniac)

Jessica stands back up at the question, breaking her gaze from Yan Sun as she looks back at the hole. "She-... didn't make it." she says, doing her best to sound unphased, but her tone gives her away. It's a fact she struggles to cope with every single day whether she admits it or not. "I never owned a hardsuit. I didn't know just how damaged it had been during the shootout with its original owner." she continues with a nod, "The (Dante)

doctor was a close friend to all of us. Patched us up when we needed it. He told me she had already long passed by the time I brought her in. Without the hardsuit's systems to protect her and keep the suit cooled, the plating pretty much just-..." she stammers, finding it difficult to get the words out, "...just cooked her alive. He said she was probably already gone by the time I even saw that she was on the ground. I don't (Dante)

know how I didn't notice. But there was so much screaming and-... shooting and-..." she lets out a deep sigh and shakes her head, looking back at Yan Sun once more. "I was so angry. It should have been me in that suit, mmm? But, what should have been and what is aren't always the same thing, and that's my burden to carry, I suppose. So it will be." She sucks in a deep breath, folding her arms across the chest as if just (Dante

now realizing once again how cold it is since she began her story. (Dante)

Yan Sun closes her eyes and gives a barely noticable nod. The sheer awfulness of what Jessica describes is more than she can deal with, and her face contorts in horror and disgust before she chokes it back, letting out a long breath through her nose. She opens her eyes and looks to Jessica's face again, studying her in a new light yet again. She has nothing to say in the face of such horror, and it is not long before she lowers her (Tyranniac)

gaze, looking back at the hole, mind spinning. (Tyranniac)

Jessica breaks her gaze away from the hole to look back at Yan Sun, catching her reaction. "A year is a long time, kitty cat... Was a lifetime ago, mmm?" she offers, trying to play the whole ordeal off as if she has long since gotten over it despite her recent break down. "I'm fine. Really. Is just-... a lot to take in, being back here..." She steps away from the hole and places a hand on Yan Sun's shoulder, "Let's go upstairs. I'll (Dante)

snap a few photos and then we can go, yes?" she offers, forcing a small smile for Yan Sun's sake. (Dante)

Yan Sun snaps out of her stare, looking back to her. She mirrors her smile, even though it's just as hollow. She quickly realizes the ridiculousness of Jessica trying to make her feel better, and gives a small nod, placing her own hand over the one on her shoulder and stroking it gently while glancing back at the hole. She removes Jessica's hand as she looks back to her, scanning her expression in silence for a moment before (Tyranniac)

speaking up. "Whatever you want, Jessica." she says with another nod, reaffirming her faint smile. (Tyranniac)

Jessica's smile grows into something more genuine and she leans in, planting a quick peck on her forehead and bringing her other hand up to Yan Sun's cheek. "I never tell anyone about this, mmm?" she says, searching Yan Sun's eyes with her own, "I-... I just-... I don't like people knowing my business, yes? Is-... Is uncomfortable-..." She tilts her head to the side, her expression gentle, a strange departure from her usual self as she (Dante

lets out a sigh. "What I'm trying to say is-... you-... I-... I'll kill you in your sleep if I find out you told anyone about this, mmm?" Her hand gives Yan Sun's cheek a quick pat in the obnoxious way she tends to do. "Really kill you. Until you're dead, yes?" (Dante)

Yan Sun 's smile grows as Jessica struggles to express herself in the most endearing of ways, but the sadness in her eyes remains. As her cheek is patted her face briefly contorts in annoyance, but it is almost immediately replaced by relief at seeing her back to behaving as usual. She gives another small nod. "Won't tell a soul." she promises before looking around for a stairway. (Tyranniac)

Jessica casts one last glance back at the hole, holding her silence for a few moments before giving a quick sigh and turning back to Yan Sun. "Is this way." she says, starting towards the hallway that was to their left as they entered. "My home was on the second floor. Now I know jusssst how much you like elevators, kitty cat." she teases, "But I don't think it will be working. We can take the stairs." (Dante)

Yan Sun rolls her eyes and follows after Jessica, not dignifying the remark with a response. (Tyranniac)

The hallway has numerous doors on both sides. All of the panels are unlit, signifying that the power to the building is off, but many of the doors are wide open and, in more than a few occasions, the doors are completely gone. From the view afforded from the hallway, it seems as if the fire washed away nearly everything. Although, given the distinct lack of corpses, it's obvious that someone- most likely the Enforcers- cleaned this place up at (Dante

some point. The stairs are visible through a doorway at the end of the hall before it turns to the left. If there was a sign indicating the stairwell, it was turned to ashes long ago. (Dante)

Jessica continues towards the stairwell, looking into any open doors as they pass by. "This was Amarea's home." she says, slapping a hand against the doorframe as they pass by one of the apartments, but she doesn't bother stopping. "She was my good friend. Me, her and Martin would spend hours just sitting up on the roof, talking about all sorts of bullshit." she says with a chuckle as she steps into the stairwell. "He had such a (Dante)

crush on her-... Martin, I mean. Seriously, it was pathetic. But he was always too big of a pussy to tell her." She glances up, assessing the condition of the stairs before deciding whether or not to tempt it. "I told him over, and over, and over to just go for it. What's the worst that happens, mmm? She says no? But he was such a chickenshit when it came to women." she shakes her head, her shoulders bouncing with laughter as (Dante

she talks about her brother. (Dante)

Yan Sun looks in silence at the devastated interior of the building, a haunting sight to her. But as she listens she starts to smile slightly, glad to hear her remembering something positive. The end of her little rant, and Jessica's subsequent laughter brings out a chuckle of her own. "Not like you, huh?" She says with a smirk before turning her gaze to the stairwell as well, a skeptical look on her face. (Tyranniac)

The stairwell is quite scorched. The first set of stairs snake up to a landing between floors. The handrails completely melted in places, missing in others. The windows at the landing are blown out and a detail oriented person might notice the telltale sign of gunfire riddling the stairs and walls beyond the window. (Dante)

Jessica takes a tentative step onto the staircase. When it doesn't collapse, she seems confident in proceeding. "Mmm. Poor Martin. I got the brains, the looks, the charm, and all he got was father's nose." she jokes with a chuckle as she begins ascending towards the landing. "And his temper. I swear, he was always getting in fights when we'd go out. No night of partying was complete until Martin had found a way to get his ass (Dante)

kicked." She glances out the window briefly before turning and starting up the next set of steps, testing to make sure it can carry her weight once more before committing to it. "But, for all of his faults, he was a good brother." (Dante)

Yan Sun follows after Jessica, happy to let her walk first in the interest of avoiding any stumbles. She lets out another quiet chuckle as she listens. "I used to wish I had a sibling, wonder what it was like. Must've been nice." she says. (Tyranniac)

Jessica reaches the top of the stairs without issue. "Mmm. We had our ups and downs, like any family. But we were always there for each other when it mattered." she says, her mind suddenly wandering to Yan Sun's family. "You talked about-... you know, your father before. Seems like a fucking asshole. But what about your mother, mmm? How does she feel about all of this-... this 'disowning', mmmm?" she asks with little regard to the (Dante)

sensitivity of the topic. "Why didn't she stop you from leaving?" (Dante)

The view through the doorway is much the same as it was downstairs: Charred, blackened walls. Melted fixtures. A few holes pepper the floor, allowing a view right back down to where they just came from. Blackened ash covers the ground in places, forever staining the floor. Perhaps remnants of things left in the hallway that burned to nothing. Or shadows of those who died here, their final moments frozen in a flash freeze of fire. (Dante)

Yan Sun gains a faint frown, considering her answer as she heads up the last of the steps. She gives a shrug as she looks out at the second floor. "I loved her when I was little. She spoiled me. I got anything I wanted. I-... she loved me. Yeah. I loved her too. But... it wasn't right, the way I was raised. I realized that when I got older. I was taught I deserved it all. That I was... better." She sounds almost disgusted as she (Tyranniac)

speaks, frustration seeping into her voice as well. "I believed it. I was-..." she shakes her head, shooting Jessica a glance. "Well... I don't think you'd have liked me much." she says with an unamused chuckle. "She took it better than my father when I started questioning the way we lived. When I started... breaking away from the plans they had for me." She looks out at the corridor again, the sight of the ashes haunting to (Tyranniac

say the least. "I fought a lot with my dad before leaving. She didn't like to get involved, but afterwards she'd always come and talk to me. Justify his lack of understanding. Try to convince me to see things his way. That he was stressed from work. That he only wanted the best for me. Took me a long time to realize she was just as bad as him, she was just nicer about it." she finishes with a sour frown, but it soon fades as (Tyranniac

she continues to stare down the hall, quickly regretting complaining about her own family after what she was just told. (Tyranniac)

Jessica continues down the hall as she listens, a couple of steps ahead of Yan Sun. "Oh, don't worry, kitty cat. I don't like you very much as you are, either." she teases, giving a quick glance back over her shoulder. "It must've been difficult for her, yes?" she says, slowing her pace as the door to the place she once knew as 'home' grew closer and closer. "She must have loved you, otherwise why would she even bother trying to bridge (Dante

the gap between you and your father, mmm? To be caught between two people you love with no chance at reconciling their differences-..." she gives a shake of her head, "Is a sad existence, mmm?" As she approaches the door, she comes to a complete stop, turning to face Yan Sun. "In life, I've found you usually only have a few options when it comes to differences so large that no common ground can be found. You either cut all (Dante)

ties, as you seem to have done. You stab them in the eye and be done with it-..." a slight smirk tugs at the corner of her lips, "...Or you forgive them for their imperfections and understand that just because they may be a fucking asshole, it doesn't mean that they're not worth having in your life, mmm?" she says. It's not delivered as advice, or as if it should be some sort of revelation to Yan Sun, just as if 'this is the (Dante)

way it is'. There's not a hint of judgement in her voice. It's something Jessica clearly hasn't dwelled on, it seems as if it more or less just came to her without much thought. "Like-.... sometimes I wanted to strangle my father, mmm? Because he was definitely a fucking asshole. And-... oh, well I did stab him once at dinner, but for the most part, I restrain myself, yes? Because-..." she shrugs, furrowing her brow, (Dante)

"...Because he was my father, mmm? I didn't have to agree with everything he said-... everything he did. Everything he stood for. Aside from me, nobody is perfect, mmm?" She gives a big grin, "Sometimes you just-... I don't know... Accept the good with the bad, yes?" (Dante)

Yan Sun frowns as she listens to what Jessica has to say. It's quite clear that it's not something she particularly wants to hear, but an unmistakable look of guilt crosses her face at the suggestion of how it may have been for her mother. She smirks briefly at the oddity that is Jessica explaining her struggle to restrain herself from stabbings, but it fades just as quick. By the end she turns her head back towards Jessica, her (Tyranniac)

tone immediately a defensive one. "I-... I tried." she claims, not sounding entirely convincing. "I tried to stay. Tried to tolerate them. But they wouldn't let me live the life I wanted. They didn't understand. My father kicked me out! That was his choice! And it's not like she stopped him!" (Tyranniac)

Jessica folds her arms across her chest as she listens, eyebrows furrowing as Yan Sun begins to grow defensive. "I don't-... Eh-... They were-... shitfucks." she stammers with a nod as she realizes Yan Sun may be confusing her random chit chat for judgement. "I didn't mean you should give them another chance. Or that-... you didn't try hard enough. No. You know far better than I do, yes? I'm just saying-..." she shrugs her shoulders, (Dante

"...They probably have a whole lot of regret, mmm? Who doesn't? Is maybe not good to hold so much anger for people who love you. Even if they are a couple of fucks. Maybe-... Maybe losing their daughter has made them see their mistakes, mmm? Or maybe they will never change, but is maybe worth finding out...?" She shifts her weight from one foot to the other, "Personally? I'm considering sending your father a message of thanks. (Dante)

Because if he would have never kicked you out, then I wouldn't have gotten laid during that entire trip." she says, her grin returning. "Mmm. Well, maybe is not true. But still." (Dante)

Yan Sun raises an eyebrow at Jessica's initial reaction, and for a brief moment it almost looks like the stammering is going to bring out a smile, but as she continues her frown returns, and she stares down at the floor. She lets out a sigh and is about to offer a response when she hears Jessica's final comments, causing her to completely lose track of what she was going to say. "Wha-... 我的天阿 no!" she exclaims, adding with a mutter (Ty

and a light shove that "You're the worst...", but a faint smirk inevitably manifests. (Tyranniac)

Jessica gives a snicker, her own grin returning. "A fact I take great pride in, I assure you." she says. She gives a glance back towards the door at her side and lets out a deep sigh. "How about we get this over with, mm?" she asks, "This place is beginning to creep me out." She glances up and down the long, empty corridor before looking back at Yan Sun. "Is definitely not the place I used to call home..." (Dante)

Yan Sun 's smirk fades once more as she's reminded of their surroundings. She looks down the corridor and nods. "Yeah..." she agrees quietly. "Lead the way." (Tyranniac)

Jessica steps inside the door at her side and disappears through the doorway. (Dante)

The door, like many others throughout the building, is partly open, stuck in place once the mechanisms were scorched and the doorway warped by fire. Jessica has to turn sideways to shimmy inside through the gap. On the other side is a small apartment, but anything that may have been here at one time was lost in the fire. Dark scorching marks areas where furniture once was, but what must have been a rather intense fire has reduced it all to ash (Dante

aside from bits and pieces. (Dante)

Yan Sun follows Jessica through the half-open doorway. After slipping through she takes a look around the empty, abandoned apartment, remaining silent as she stands near the door, a slightly uneasy look on her face as her gaze travels between the various scorchmarks. (Tyranniac)

Jessica removes her omni-tool and begins poking at the interface. After a few moments, she raises the omni-tool and begins rotating in place, snapping what's sure-to-be more off-center photos. She only gets through a few before she gives a loud sigh. "I don't know why I thought this was a good idea." she says, sounding quite dejected as she lowers her omni-tool. "I'm sorry, kitty cat. This was a waste of time..." (Dante)

Just inside of the doorway is what was at one point a living room. Beyond it is an open kitchen area with a counter against the far wall, the only piece of furniture in the place that's still mostly intact. Off to the left is another open area with a pair of beds, the shattered ashen boxsprings all that remains to tell what they once were. Two doors are along the left-hand wall beyond the open makeshift bedroom. The apartment would have (Dante)

undoubtedly been cramped with four people living here. (Dante)

Yan Sun watches Jessica silently from the edge of the room, but frowns when she speaks up. She hesitates for a moment before walking further into the room, gaze still darting off to what debris and ash remains. She stops next to Jessica and flashes a brief smile, brushing a hand against the arm with which she's holding the omni-tool before turning to look around the room. "Tell me what it was like. Before." (Tyranniac)

Jessica sucks in a deep breath through her nose and out through her mouth, giving Yan Sun a sidelong glare. "It was less burnt." she says plainly, her spirits clearly damaged by seeing her home in such a state. After a few moments, she gives a sigh and turns towards the open room off to the left of the front door, gesturing towards it with her omni-tool. "That was mine and Martin's room." she says, "I-... I think it was supposed to be (Dante)

a dining room or something. Aleenin helped my parents get a place here, but they couldn't afford anything big, so we just hang up a curtain-..." she looks up at the ceiling, pointing out the warped rod that divides it from the living room, "...And then? Is bedroom. Clever, mmm?" She seems to hesitate for a moment before crossing the threshold into her former room, but once on the other side the grin returns to her face. She (Dante)

points to the burned boxspring furthest away, against the wall beside a window. "Was my bed. I don't remember when we first move here, but I do remember Martin always complaining about having to share a room with me when I was little. In time, it just became a way of life for us, you know? And now? Looking back, I wouldn't have traded those years stuck in this cramped little space with him for anything..." She doesn't dwell on (Dante)

that last statement for too long before a chuckle escapes her. "You know, he always hated the fact that I had the bed next to the window. He swore that I only took it because he wanted it." (Dante)

Yan Sun follows Jessica into the 'bedroom', a faint smile forming as she shares her memories. Her gaze wanders over the remnants of the two beds, and then to the window, trying to picture what it might have been like. She walks up to the window, trying to see what the view is. She says nothing, not wanting to interfere with her recollection. (Tyranniac)

The view from the window isn't great. It just looks into the area behind the apartment complex, as well as seeing the backside of the other complexes along the block. A small metal shack- a toolshed or something along those lines- stands about 20 yards out, door caved inward and completely roofless. Another 15 yards from the shack are what remains of the roof. (Dante)

Jessica gives a shrug, lifting her omni-tool up to snap a couple pictures of the room. "He wasn't wrong." she admits, "He wanted it, so it must have been the better choice... So I wanted it, mmm? You see, you are smart, kitty cat-..." she begins, but suddenly frowns at the possibility of accidentally complimenting Yan Sun, "Eh, I mean you're alright... When you're not being a fool. But you learned very quickly that I always get (Dante)

what I want, so no use fighting it, mmm? Martin? He was not so smart, so it was a veeeery long lesson for him. A lifelong lesson." she snickers, "One he never quite seemed to understand." (Dante)

Yan Sun smirks slightly as she notices the shack, making note of the displaced roof. She keeps looking out the window as Jessica speaks, a soft, quiet chuckle eventually escaping her. "Mm, what can I say... I'm a fast learner." she says before looking back over her shoulder to her and then nodding out the window. "You didn't mention you never fixed the shack." (Tyranniac)

Jessica gives a shrug. "Was an old piece of shit, already falling apart long before I touched it. Besides, nobody used it." she says, snapping a photo of Yan Sun near the window once she glances over her shoulder, "When I was like nine or ten, I went inside and cut myself on a jagged piece of metal." she continues, lowering her arm to her side and rubbing at the side of her right leg with a frown, "But I got the last laugh in the end, (Dante)

mmm? Booom!" (Dante)

Yan Sun seems a bit caught off guard by Jessica's picture-taking as she's in the middle of brushing some hair out of her face. She snickers quietly at the comment and nods. "Mmm... the shed was a fool to incur the wrath of the mighty Bam-Bam!" she says with her most theatrical voice before she raises her left eyebrow, the light of her cybernetic eye, which has been active ever since they entered, flashing brighter briefly. (Tyranniac)

Jessica frowns at the nickname. "I told you not to call me that! Is stupid fucking name!" she insists through a scowl. She gives one last glance around the room and returns to the living room area, bringing her omni-tool back up once again and snapping photos in all directions as she turns in place. Her scowl remains as she looks up and around to all corners of the small apartment. "I'm sorry I dragged you all the way out here, kitty (Dante)

cat." she says as her scowl begins to fade out as she lets out a long sigh, "Was a stupid idea." She brings her omni-tool down in front of her and begins to look through the pictures she just took. "Is like I tell you before... Home isn't a 'where', mmm? Is 'who'. And this place...?" she looks up from her photos, casting a quick, disatisfied glance about the room, "...It isn't 'home' anymore." (Dante)

Yan Sun 's amusement is quick to fade. She follows Jessica back into the main room, studying her with a faint frown. She walks up behind her and wraps her arms around her belly, giving her a light hug. "It wasn't stupid. You just wanted to... remember." she says softly while taking a peek at the pictures from over Jessica's shoulder. "I'm sorry you didn't find what you were looking for..." (Tyranniac)

Jessica gives a soft shrug as she looks at the pictures with Yan Sun. "They're shit..." she says as she scrolls through the mostly off-center and occasionally lopsided photos. "I don't even know what I was looking for. I just thought-... I thought it couldn't all be gone, mmm?" She gives another quick glance around. A long silence passes before she speaks again. "I don't have any photos to even remember them by, kitty cat..." she (Dante)

says, her voice uncharacteristically soft, "It has only been one year and already, there are times when I wake up and-... and I am afraid that I don't remember them right. What happens in five years? Mmmm? Ten? In time they're just going to be names..." Her left hand lowers and moves to the outside of her left thigh as the omni-tool interface dissipates, causing the photos to fade from view. (Dante)

Yan Sun 's frown deepens as she hears Jessica's worries. She lets out a quiet sigh and squeezes her lightly again, her chin resting on her shoulder. "I won't pretend to know what it's like... I don't. You still have your memories though... the stories you've told me." A faint hint of a chuckle escapes as she recalls what Jessica has told her. "It doesn't sound like you'll ever forget them..." (Tyranniac)

Jessica lets out another sigh and pockets her omni-tool, a slight nod her only response. Her other hand moves briefly to carress atop Yan Sun's before she wrenches herself out of the woman's grip unceremoniously. "Whatever." she says dismissively, that layer of ice returning to her tone, "Let's just get out of here, kitty cat." she continues as she slowly starts towards the front door. "I suppose it doesn't matter whether I remember (Dante)

them or not. They'll remain dead either way." she says coldly. (Dante)

Yan Sun remains in place as Jessica pulls away, almost stumbling slightly. She follows after Jessica in silence, studying her with a sad frown, even though the reaction isn't entirely unsurprising. (Tyranniac)

Jessica leads the way back downstairs, careful to avoid any holes. She remains a few steps ahead of Yan Sun, offering absolutely no conversation. It's quite obvious that seeing her home in this condition has soured her mood and dredged up painful memories. She doesn't stop walking until she reaches the window they entered from. She climbs outside and, for a moment, looks as though she's just going to keep walking but instead turns (Dante)

back. She lets out a deep breath as she reaches through the broken window, offering her silent assistance to Yan Sun. (Dante)

Yan Sun follows Jessica in equal silence, knowing better than to prod her at the moment. She shoots scorched walls and melted floors of the building a few final glances as they pass through, and once she reaches the window she climbs outside with Jessica's help, nodding slightly in thanks and using her pants to wipe off some ash from the hand she used to climb out as she looks out towards the street again. (Tyranniac)

No sooner than Yan Sun's feet hit the ground outside, the sound of a voice rings out. Male. Passing by the courtyard along the sidewalk is a human. Matte charcoal grey hardsuit. A blue-and-red armband around his bicep. Adrasteia Enforcers insignia emblazoned on his armor. He's helmetless and looks to be in his mid-20's, light skinned with a neatly trimmed goatee and short dark hair. "Hey!" he shouts, "You two can't be inside there!" (Dante)

Jessica visibly tenses up, her back still towards the street. She winces, giving Yan Sun an apologetic look. A soft muttering of "Shit." is all she says. (Dante)

Yan Sun , of course, tenses up as well. She crosses her arms as her implants light up, hiding her hand so that only the cybernetics on the side of her face are visible. "Why not?" she calls out across the courtyard. (Tyranniac)

The Enforcer starts in the pair's direction. His attention keeps darting to Jessica, who remains with her back to the man. "What do you mean 'why not'!?" he snaps back, "It's dangerous! You're not squatters, are you? If you're squatters, I'm gonna have to take you in, so just tell me you're not squatters..." he says with a sigh, sounding as if the idea of dealing with that sort of paperwork sounds incredibly unappealing to him. As he notices (Dante)

Jessica is in no rush to turn to face him, his demeanor changes and his hand moves to his side, hovering over the pistol holstered. "You two armed...?" he asks, "Come on. Turn around." (Dante)

Yan Sun is sure to depower her omni-tool before lifting her hands briefly, turning them over with a shake of her head. "No weapons here! We were just... exploring a bit! Didn't realize this place was off-limits, sorry!" (Tyranniac)

Jessica shuts her eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath before rotating in place to face the man. "We're not squatters, Daniel." she says, giving a brief glance back in Yan Sun's direction. (Dante)

The Enforcer furrows his brow at Yan Sun. "Have you looked at it? You're likely to get yourself killed going in there. And then who gets blamed for that? I do-..." he begins, although he trails off as Jessica turns around and addresses him by name. Once again, his demeanor immediately shifts. "...Bam Bam?" he says softly as he studies her face. "Holy shit, Bam Bam!" A big grin crosses his face but he quickly reigns it in and glances (Dante)

around, as if worried someone else may be around. Once sure that isn't the case, he rushes up and wraps Jessica up in a big hug, which she makes no attempt to return. As a matter of fact, she just looks downright confused. Once the hug is released, he takes a step back and studies her face. "Daaamn. I heard they fucked you up good. None of us were even sure if you were still alive! You didn't reach out to anyone after-...." his gaze moves (Dante)

past Jessica and to the building behind her, causing his grin to fade away. "...Shit, I'm so sorry Bam Bam." (Dante)

Yan Sun blinks, quite confused herself. She takes a step back, slowly relaxing as it becomes clear that Jessica knows the man. She opts to remain silent as she studies the two of them, her eye still glowing. The last remark causes her frown to return and her gaze to flicker back to the window for a moment. (Tyranniac)

Jessica seems a bit overwhelmed. She grips the brim of her hat, lowering her gaze slightly and pulling it down a bit further as he comments on just how 'fucked up' she is. She opens her mouth to interject a few times, but winds up remaining silent until the Enforcer identified as Daniel finishes. "I-... Why would I? Mmmm? Why would I contact any of you!?" she suddenly snaps back as the shock of not immediately being arrested (Dante)

wears off. "Look at what he did, Daniel!" she continues, cocking a thumb over her shoulder towards the building. "You, and Aleenin and-... and the rest of you fucking cowards abandoned us! You joined him! So go ahead. Do whatever you feel you need to do. Call your friends. Take me in. Shoot me. I don't give a fuck. But don't-... none of this hugging bullshit. Acting like nothing has changed between us, mmm?" She folds (Dante

her arms across her chest defiantly as she stares him down. (Dante)

Daniel looks genuinely cut by her words. His gaze lowers slightly, as if ashamed. "Bam Bam it wasn't-... It wasn't like that. You know that. Aleenin just wanted the best for us. She cut a deal with Cross for us." he says. "She didn't know you guys would-... would-..." he trails off, gesturing towards the building with a gauntleted hand. "I'm not going to try and convince you that the man ain't so bad. Not after what you've been (Dante)

through. But shit... He's rebuilding our district. He's letting us police it." he says, gesturing to the armband, "Just like we always wanted, you know? Peace. Real peace. He's even putting a bunch of people up in that expensive fucking hotel of his during the construction." he continues, giving a humorless chuckle after the last bit but immediately regretting it when Jessica shows no reaction. He lets out a long sigh as it (Dante)

becomes obvious that she's not being swayed. "I'm not gonna take you in, Bam Bam. You're [family]." he says with a shake of his head, using a common asari word, "But you stirred up a lot of trouble before you left. They're offering a pretty big reward for you, ya know? So just-... Get out of here, alright?" he advises, his words lacking any malice. Just advice, sounding as if it's more for her sake than his. "I don't wanna see (Dante)

anything bad happen to you. Please." He casts another glance towards the building. "I reall am sorry about your mom, Bam Bam... And Martin... And Omar... They didn't deserve that..." he offers softly. (Dante)

Yan Sun doesn't seem surprised by Jessica's reaction. Her frown remains as she crosses her arms, standing to the side of both of them. She still doesn't say anything, not keen on intruding. (Tyranniac)

Jessica's frown deepens. "Don't. Say. Their. Names." she instructs through clenched teeth. She stares him down for a few moments longer before tugging her hood back up. "Now, if you don't plan on taking me in to your master like a good little dog-..." she taunts, "...then I have nothing more to say to you. Mmm?" She pauses, waiting to see if he has changed his mind about handing her to Cross. When he remains quiet, she simply begins to (Dante

walk past him. "If I never see you again, it will be too soon." she gets one last dig in before stomping off. (Dante)

Daniel clenches his eyes shut as Jessica walks by, her words clearly hitting their mark with him. After a moment he rotates to face her once more. "Don't do anything stupid, Bam Bam." he says, "Please? Just-... just get out of Adrasteia. For your own sake." he reiterates. When it's clear that she has no intention of responding, he turns to face Yan Sun instead. "Look, I don't know who you are, but whatever she came back here for? It's not (Dante)

worth it, alright? Please, if you care about her at all, just get her out of here, okay? I don't want to see anyone else get hurt." He casts a glance in Jessica's direction, who is slowly making her way down the block by now, obviously trying to move slowly so Yan Sun can catch up to her while still trying to make a point of walking away from Daniel. (Dante)

Yan Sun 's gaze follows Jessica as she starts to walk away, but as Daniel adresses her she glances back to him, frown still present. After a moment she nods faintly before heading after her, jogging to catch up. She shoots another look back at the enforcer, before following Jessica with a sigh. (Tyranniac)

Daniel merely stands in place, watching the two walk away before turning his attention back to the building beside him. (Dante)

Jessica continues down the block, quickening her pace as she hears Yan Sun behind her. "Fuck him." is all she says as she stomps onward. (Dante)

Yan Sun glances back at the building one last time before leaving alongside Jessica, her gaze falling to the sidewalk as she hears her. She doesn't respond. (Tyranniac)

Jessica continues in silence for a bit. Very clearly not heading back in the direction they came from. (Dante)

It's not long before construction sites and abandoned buildings give way to recently renovated homes and buildings. The closer they get to the center of the city, the livlier it gets, with people freely walking about, as well as more Enforcers. The Enforcers in this area are still wearing the matte charcoal grey hardsuits, but they lack the armbands of the previous ones encountered, although a few seem to have customized armor of varying (Dante)

degrees. One in particular has the entire left arm of her hardsuit covered in what appears to be graffiti. Another has his chestplate outlined in a bright pink color. The citizens of Adrasteia don't seem to pay much mind to the Enforcers, only interacting with them as needed. Outside of a small grocery store up ahead, an asari Enforcer in the standard grey hardsuit with a chrome left gauntlet is helping an older human male put groceries into (Dante)

the back of his car. (Dante)

Yan Sun is starting to look a little uneasy as they head further into the city. Her gaze wanders around to some of the Enforcers, but it's not long before she puts an arm out in front of Jessica and steps up partially ahead of her. "Hey, uh... what-... where are we going?" (Tyranniac)

Jessica gives a quick glance around, her gaze not settling on anyone for too long until it finally returns to Yan Sun, her encounter with an old friend still weighing on her. "One more place I need to see, then we can go. Is not problem, yes?" she asks, shifting uneasily. "You will like this place, kitty cat. Promise." (Dante)

Yan Sun lets out a sigh and nods, still looking a little uneasy as she glances around. "Just-... we're not starting any trouble, right?" (Tyranniac)

Jessica stares at Yan Sun silently for a few moments. "We-... What? Do you-..." she trails off, looking almost offended for a moment before glancing about and lowering her voice. "Do you think I would bring you with me if I was going to 'start trouble'? Mmmm? Is that what you think of me? It is, mmm? That I'm just-... just some piece of shit that goes around dragging the people I care about through the mud, yes?" she says, doing a (Dante)

little bit more projecting than she'd like, "That I would be okay with possibly getting you hurt over my problems?" Her nostrils flare as she sucks in some air, looking pointedly at Yan Sun. "No. We're not going to 'start any trouble', okay? I just-..." she scoffs, giving a shake of her head at even having to explain herself, "...There is maybe somewhere I can find a picture, okay? Of Martin? I just-... Is fine. If you don't (Dante)

trust me? I can go alone. You go back to the shuttle." she says, both feeling a little stupid for going so far out of her way for something so trivial, and a bit offended at Yan Sun's lack of faith in her. (Dante)

Yan Sun blinks, her initial confusion quickly turning into regret. She winces slightly and lowers her gaze as Jessica lays into her. Once she finally responds the guilt is clear in her voice. "I'm-... I'm sorry-... I didn't-... I'm sorry." she blurts out before meeting Jessica's gaze again. "Of course I'll come with." (Tyranniac)

Jessica shakes her head and steps past Yan Sun. "Come. Don't come. I don't give a shit." she says. "I can't-..." she begins, but stops herself, realizing that most of what she's feeling right now isn't a result of Yan Sun. She bites down on her tongue, lest she say something she can't take back. "If you're coming then hurry the fuck up." she mutters, quickening her pace. (Dante)

Yan Sun remains in place for just a moment before hurrying after Jessica, following slightly behind and to her side. She shoots her a worried glance but says nothing, her gaze eventually returning to their surroundings, taking in the sight of the unfamiliar city. (Tyranniac)

A couple more blocks pass without so much as a word from Jessica. The city itself seems quite functional with people moving about freely. It's mostly a mix of apartments and shops this close to the center of town. The Enforcers continue to be a presence everywhere they turn, but they don't seem too interested in the pair. They just continue on their patrols. To the right, a small store receiving deliveries from a local farmer. To the left, an (Dante)

asari and two turians sitting out front of an apartment building having a chat on the staircase. It's a large departure from the sort of stories one would have heard of Adrasteia in the past. It's not until a small building on a corner comes into view that Jessica slows her pace. It's an old prefabricated building, in stark contrast with the obvious renovations all around it, causing it to stick out like an ugly, stubborn, sore thumb. It's a (Dante)

single story, with a sliding door on the front. "Burd's Art & Shit" is on an obnoxious neon sigh above the door, the words flanked on each side with the depiction of a bird with large X's for eyes, implying it's dead. (Dante)

Jessica looks up at the sign and a small grin tugs at her lips. "This is it." she says, still a hint of ice in her words as she addresses Yan Sun. "Is good place. I will try and be quick, mmm? Wouldn't want to get you into any trouble..." She starts towards the door. (Dante)

Yan Sun looks over the indicated building, the sign seeming to amuse her slightly, but when she hears the tone of Jessica's voice her frown quickly returns. She follows her towards the door, shooting a brief glance at the nearest Enforcer. (Tyranniac)

The nearest Enforcer is a rather tall turian patrolling away from them on the opposite side of the street. Decked in full armor, helmet included, the only addition he seems to have made is a custom paint job on the frills of his helmet, making it appear as blue flame. (Dante)

Jessica taps the interface to the door and steps inside, giving the place a quick look around. She takes a deep breath, placing her hands on her hips as she waits Yan Sun to join her.

The inside of the building is just as run down as the outside. Opposite of the door they entered are numerous tattoo stations. To the far left, a human male with a bald shaved head is manning the first station. His entire body, including his head, is covered in tattoos of all sorts. He's tattooing a woman's left shoulder and she appears to be in a bit of pain, eyes shut and jaw tightly clenched.. Text, it looks like. His station is old (Dante)

fashioned. A gimmick of sorts compared to the rest of the equipment in the place. An option for those looking to experience something a little bit more retro. The other stations are equipped with more modern technology. The next station over is manned by a drell with large, hooped piercings adorning the entire length of his brow ridges. His eyes are an unnatural, icy blue to match his skin. He's shirtless, black boots propped up on his (Dante)

station's table as he assesses his most recent addition to his modifications, a large metal square along the right side of his ribcage. It looks fresh, but there's little indication as to what it actually does. The third station is manned by an asari. Light blue. She's wearing a sleeveless red top and her face is framed by an elegant, light grey tattoo that travels down her neck, continuing onto her arms. She's currently talking with a (Dante)

customer that's seated beside her, another asari. Large holographic photos line the walls of all the different tattoos and 'art' they've handled. The photos vary in sizes, flashing between tattoos, implants, and all manners of body modification. (Dante)


Yan Sun follows Jessica into the building, her attention immediately drawn to the tattoo stations while inside. Her gaze lingers on each of the artists for a moment before travelling along the wall of photos. (Tyranniac)

Jessica bites her lower lip as she gazes about, memories rushing back to her. She tries to fight the smile that's coming on, willing herself to remain upset at Yan Sun, even if she's not the real reason for her frustration. It doesn't take long before she loses the fight and her smile reappears. "Is where I spent allllll my credits..." she says, but still refuses to give Yan Sun the satisfaction of looking in her direction. (Dante)

Yan Sun looks over to Jessica, a small smile forming as she's adressed. She glances to her arm, even those she can't see the tattoos underneath through the jacket. "Suspected as much. Did you get all of them here?" (Tyranniac)

Jessica gives a shallow nod, still studying the rapidly-shifting pictures. "Mmm. Of course. Is the only place to get them that I know of. Even when I didn't have credits, I would just come here and sit for hours, watching them work. Thinking about what I would get next. I wanted my entire body covered." she says, "Like-... one big art canvas, mmm?" She glances down at her left arm, turning it over as she studies her own tattoos for a (Dante

moment before giving a shrug. "Is the only piece of me left that still feels like me...." (Dante)


Jessica gives a shallow nod, still studying the rapidly-shifting pictures. "Mmm. Of course. Is the only place to get them that I know of. Even when I didn't have credits, I would just come here and sit for hours, watching them work. Thinking about what I would get next. I wanted my entire body covered." she says, "Like-... one big art canvas, mmm?" She glances down at her left arm, rolling the sleeve of her jacket up to her elbow and (Dante

turning her arm over as she studies her own tattoos for a moment before giving a shrug. "Is the only piece of me left that still feels like me...." (Dante)

Yan Sun 's smile widens slightly at the image of Jessica sitting and watching the tattoo artists. Her gaze wanders across the tattoos before going up to her face. "I get that." she says with a small nod. "I guess what I have isn't too different in some ways. For the record? I think they're awesome." she says with a small grin, brushing her hand against Jessica's arm. (Tyranniac)

Jessica rolls her eyes at the compliment, still trying to do her best to remain angry at Yan Sun, but her smile gives her away. "Don't try and suck up to me, kitty cat! I'm not that easy..." she says. (Dante)

The back door slides open and a thundering voice booms out from it. "If ya don't like it, then get the fuck out of here. Now. While you can still walk, ya wormy lil' pyjak!" roars the telltale sound of an annoyed krogan. A short, thin human male backs out through the door, hands up as if surrendering. "I didn't mean annything by it, Birdy! Really! I'm so-..." The krogan cuts him off, stomping through the doorway and reaching a large meaty hand (Dante

out to grab the man by the shirt. He's a big'un. Even by krogan standards. The upper ridge of the plate atop his head seems to be some sort of metal alloy. Whether a replacement for battle damage or just an aesthetic choice is unclear. Numerous purposefully inflicted, deep scars adorn the sides of his face, almost in a tribal-like manner. "What did I tell you!? Don't you ever call me that!" the krogan demands, giving the man a little push. (Dante)

Of course, a 'little' krogan push is more than enough to send the man onto his ass. He quickly scurries backwards and hops to his feet, rushing past Jessica and Yan Sun and out the front door. The other employees, and customers, give a glance at the disturbance but it gets little more attention than a few laughs. He dusts his hands off and glances at the two new arrivals just standing around near the door. "Whaddya want? This place ain't here (Dante)

for your amusement. Drop some credits or get the fuck out." (Dante)

Yan Sun lets out a quiet giggle at Jessica's reaction. "Mhm, of course-..." She startles at the commotion, and takes a step back as the krogan stomps into the room, her eyes wide as she stares up at him. "Uh-... we-... uh-... hello. I-... uh-... w-... i-... Jessica!" she blurts out rapidly, almost shouting the name. (Tyranniac)

Jessica's eye lights up at the sight of the krogan. "Birdy!" she says enthusiastically as she reaches up, tugging her hood off. She approaches the krogan in almost a jog, opening her arms. (Dante)

The krogan grimaces at the nickname, but his features immediately soften as Jessica's hood is removed. "Jessie!? Well, shit, kid! Didn't think I'd ever see you again!" He wraps Jessica up in a hug as she gets closer, lifting her straight up off the floor as if she was little more than a toy before setting her back down. He seems to realize something and casts an uneasy glance around the room quickly. "Come on, come on-..." he instructs, (Dante)

waving her towards the door he just entered from, "...You and I got some talkin' to do. She with you?" he asks, nodding back towards Yan Sun. Jessica casts a glance back towards Yan Sun and gives a nod of her own before disappearing through the instructed door. "Come on, ya little shit." Birdy calls out to Yan Sun, waving her over, "Don't just stand there like an asshole, you're blocking the doorway." He looks her up and down, assessing her (Dante)

small stature and giving a clumsy, krogan shrug. "Sorta." (Dante)

Yan Sun is quite obviously intimidated by the krogan, the first she's ever seen in person, and as he lifts Jessica into a hug she looks on with fascinated suprise. She startles to action when adressed, quickly following after Jessica. (Tyranniac)

The doorway leads into a hallway just wide enough for the krogan. There's two doors on each side, all closed, and one at the end of the hall which is wide open. He corrals them towards the door at the end. It seems to be a living quarters of sorts. Nothing fancy, and a bit cramped for a krogan. It has a large, krogan-sized couch and a screen mounted on the wall opposite of it which is currently displaying an Armax Arsenal Arena match, a (Dante)

coffee table sitting between the two. There's a small kitchenette area behind the couch and two doors to the left, one wide open and leading to a visible bathroom, the other closed. The only other thing in the room is a terminal in the corner. (Dante)

Birdy gestures towards the couch. "Go on, take a seat." he instructs. (Dante)

Jessica gives a nod and takes a seat on the couch, feeling quite small in the krogan-sized furniture. She parks her butt down on the edge of it and leans forward, elbows-to-knees. She looks to Yan Sun with a big smile, as if already having forgotten her previous tantrum. "Sit!" she encourages enthusiastically, patting the area beside her. (Dante)

Yan Sun barely has time to take in the apartment before asked to sit. She joins Jessica in the oversized couch, shifting as she struggles to sit down comfortably. She looks around with no lack of interest before shooting Jessica a glance, unable to keep from smiling at her enthusiasm. "Friend of yours, huh?" she says quietly. (Tyranniac)

Birdy snorts loudly. "Friend? That's one way to put it. 'Pain in the ass' is more like it." he says, slapping a chunky palm against the door's interface, causing it to slide shut. "I remember when Jessie was no bigger than my knee. Came in with Martin to get his first tattoo and then I couldn't get rid of the little shit. She just kept on comin' in. Askin' all sorts of questions. Had more ink than Martin by the time she was sixteen." he (Dante

says with a hearty, krogan laugh. (Dante)

Jessica rolls her eyes at the krogan, but her smile persists, although it breaks briefly at the mention of Martin. (Dante)

Yan Sun looks up at the krogan as he responds, chuckling slightly at the thought of a young Jessica obsessing over tattoos. She looks to her with a grin, not having missed the break in her smile. (Tyranniac)

Birdy catches the break as well. "Shit... Sorry about all that, Jessie." he offers, "Martin was dumb as a sack of bricks, but he was a good kid. Salma, too. I don't know how she ever got involves with a little piss-ant like your dad." he says, although a good natured laugh soon follows. "Eh. You live long enough, you're bound to start outlivin' the people close to you. Take it from me, kid. Just hold onto those memories and know that your (Dante)

brother loved the shit outta ya." he says, surprisingly tender given that he's-... well, a krogan. He looks to Yan Sun with a big toothy grin, "You ever meet Martin? I swear, toughest human I've ever met. Couldn't fight worth a damn, and some days I wondered if had enough sense to spell his own damn name. But he could take a beating all damn night." he bellows out another laugh, nudging Jessica, "He had a new bump or bruise damn near (Dante)

everytime I saw the little idiot. But he wasn't about to let anyone bother his sister. And this one?" he nods towards Jessica, "Just loved stirring up shit, so he had more than enough chances to get his teeth kicked in." (Dante)

Jessica's smile turns a shade more genuine as the krogan continues to ramble about her departed brother until a chuckle escapes her. "Mmmm. He was an idiot, wasn't he?" (Dante)

Yan Sun chuckles briefly at Birdy's description of Martin, and glances at Jessica with a smile, glad to see her have someone to reminisce with. Her smile fades as the krogan addresses her, and she shakes her head. "I ha-... no, I, uh... I only just met Jessica two weeks ago." she says with a slightly awkward stumble to her words. (Tyranniac)

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