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EARTH Castle on a Cloud

Discussion in 'Open Roleplay' started by Mariko Harper, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Mariko Harper

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    77
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    Protogen Research Facility
    Paris, France -- Earth

    Thunder rumbled over the city in the distance, lightning arcing through the dark sky. Rain pattered softly against the window that the young assistant was seated next to. It was a soothing, peaceful moment. She glanced up from her work, pushing her glasses a little further up her nose with the side of index finger.

    It was already late in the evening, most of the office had gone home hours ago. The cleaning crews were still in the building though, she could see them setting off the motion sensor lights every so often as they moved through the halls. This was the time she preferred to get most of her work done, anyways. It was quiet and the chances of an unwanted visitor stopping by her desk were severely diminished.

    With a soft sigh, she leaned back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other, watching the storm slowly make its way across the sprawling city below the lab. She had to admit, the facility was built in a beautiful location. It allowed her one of the best views of the entire city skyline -- a lovely sight with the overhead lights dimmed. Another indication of how long she had been seated at her desk, the lights hadn't picked up on her movements for some time.

    She tucked the pen she had been writing with behind her ear and stretched her arms out in front of her to crack her knuckles. Moreau, her employer, had asked her to review the notes for his next board meeting. As usual, that meant she had to write the entire summary report herself. It would have been nice if he had at least stayed long enough to review the initial findings, but she could hardly expect the Chief Executive of the branch to read over every last report that came from the research division. That's what she was here for.

    One of the janitors shuffled into the room and the blinding luminescent lights clicked on. The view outside now obscured, she was left gazing at her own reflection. She looked tired. Mariko turned her attention back to the work that was laid out in front of her and sighed. "Oh! Miss Harper, I didn't know that you were still in here! I'm sorry." The woman started to profusely apologize.

    Mariko's sharp grey eyes snapped over towards the short woman, but instead of scolding the woman, she offered a slight smile. "Don't worry about it, Rosa. I am here a bit later than usual. I put the trash by the door, everything else is in order."

    "Okay. We'll be locking the building in about twenty minutes, Miss Harper. Should we set the alarm?"
    The little woman asked.

    "No, it's quite alright. I can get it when I leave. Have a good night, Rosa."

    Rosa nodded a few times and quickly grabbed the bag of trash by the door and ducked back out of the room, leaving Mariko alone once more. If the crew was finishing their rounds, she must have lost track of time. She glanced at her hand terminal that was sitting on the desk. 830. Shit. The tram back to the train station in the city would only make a few more runs.

    Looks like it would be another night of working from home. Again. She gathered her old notebook and hand terminal. While it was generally faster to take notes by typing on a terminal, she preferred the tactile feel of writing with a pen and paper. She tucked everything into her bag and slipped it over her shoulder, striding towards the door with her hand terminal in her palm.

    As she made her way through the building, she thumbed through her messages. Like always, there were a plethora of waiting emails, but she was looking for one message in particular. It had been days since she had heard from her brother, who had recently transferred to a research station in the Belt a few months prior. The lag time had been difficult and frustrating to get adjusted to, but they had made it work. Until he simply stopped responding.

    Frustrated, she refreshed the list of messages a few times, arming the alarm without really looking at the keypad. She had locked this building up on her own more times than she could count over the years. Part of her wondered if anyone else was still in the building and she looked up from the hand terminal briefly. She punched in the code to give a five-minute warning to any employees, still within the building, that the alarm would be set and the doors locked shortly.

    While she waited for the timer to tick down, she went outside and stood under the overhang. The storm was still ongoing, rain pouring over the edge of the building and the occasional roll of thunder grumbling overhead. She returned to browsing through her messages. A few last minute meetings needed to be worked into the schedule for tomorrow. The final summary report would need to be submitted. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    She glanced to the time at the top corner of her hand terminal again. 840. Three more minutes for the alarm to set, ten minutes to walk to the tram stop. She should make it in time for the last run, at least. Unfortunately, she realized that she had left her umbrella at home on the kitchen counter. She would be walking through the rain then.
     
    #1 Mariko Harper, Dec 23, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  2. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    36
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    Bio
    “This is what you give me….for that?” the contempt in her voice was clear. The woman was dark haired and brown eyed, a standard look for the Mediterranean. She held the bag with disgust and swore at the fishmonger, shaking the bag for emphasis. Its contents squelched. The discussion was fast, half in quick fire gutter French, half from body language. “Ah putain!” the woman said, making a rude hand gesture. She ignored the angry fishmonger as she stalked outside with a manner befitting a queen.


    Marianne swore to herself as she left the shop. The weather was getting worse and the woman had worn only a light jacket to work today. “Merde” she said, ducking under a walkway. She strode fast towards the stop, not wanting to miss the last train for a while to the centre.


    She risked a look. The security guards were looking the other way. Quick as a flash she slid under the barrier and on the other side. Humming to herself, she confidently walked towards the platform, skipping onto the train with the grace of a ballerina. She pursed her lips and blew a raspberry in the direction of the unaware security.


    It was packed with late evening commuters but it was rare you ever had space in anything. Bony and all elbows, Marianne shouldered and wormed her way through the crowd, looking for a seat. She had no intention of standing all the way to the city.


    “Mariko!” She saw the woman @Mariko Harper hunched on a seat looking absolutely sodden. “‘Ey, ca va? ‘Ow are you?” she asked, switching to understandable if accented English. Stepping forward, she somehow managed to wedge herself in between Mariko and the man sitting next to her. Marianne continued to weasel her way in, making sure to get digs of her elbow and knock the fish bag off her neighbour as much as possible. "Did you 'ave a nice day at work?"


    The man muttered something. The change in her was instantaneous. Marianne rounded on him, hands turning palm upward and head jutting forward. “Quoi?!” she demanded, looking like she was about to pounce. She kept up her glare until he dropped his gaze. Mollified, she flashed a smirk as she looked back to Mariko. The picture of tranquility again.


    “You are ‘eading ‘ome late mon ami she beamed “And quite-” her finger prodded Mariko’s shoulder experimentally “Wet”. Sighing theatrically, she slumped backward on the seat, letting her shoulders sag. “I. ‘Ave. ‘Ad. The worst day!”. A groan escaped her and her hand came to her forehead in a move worthy of Shakespearean drama.


    She shot back upwards and looked at Mariko “Et toi?”. She didn’t even wait for an answer but hefted the bag in her hand. Mariko would have surmised its contents even if her nose had been chopped off. “But I ‘ave some fish now. Are you ‘ungry?”. One hoped she wasn't about to hand it out to her right now on the train.
     
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  3. Mariko Harper

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    Railcar Transit Terminal, Paris, France

    Nestled in her seat, Mariko had been busy working on her hand terminal to notice anyone nearby. It seemed as if there was always another message waiting to be sent out, and just when she thought that she had caught up, another one would pop into her queue. The nice thing about the work is that it kept her distracted enough on train rides that she didn't have to pay any attention to anyone else.

    Droplets of water dripped from the ends of her soaked hair that framed her face, splattering against the screen of her hand terminal on occasion. It had been a long day. The heels she was wearing were killing her feet and her clothes were drenched from the walk through the storm. Her brother had ignored another one of her messages, and she still had another two hours worth of work to do. She wondered how it could have gotten any worse.

    "Mariko!" A familiar voice barked out her name and she looked up from her screen, her two worlds colliding for a brief moment.

    She blinked at Marianne and the bizarre interaction that she had with the man she had plopped herself down next to. It brought a faint smile to her lips and she arched a delicate eyebrow towards the eccentric Frenchwoman.

    When the woman finally paused to catch her breath, Mariko was able to get a word in edgewise. "Is that even... edible? It smells like you dug it up out of a storm drain. Did you pay money for that?"

    Afraid that Marianne was going to start divvying out the repulsive meal right there in the middle of the crowded train, Mariko reached over and pushed the bag back into her friend's lap. "I think I have some chicken and rice left over in my apartment that I need to eat before it goes bad." In reality, she knew that her refrigerator was empty, but she didn't want to hurt her friend's feelings by refusing to eat whatever it was that was in that bag.

    She leaned forward and smiled apologetically at the man that Marianne had nearly picked a fight with, then looked back to the woman. "Back to your first question, however, I've had a fine day. Just another day at the office. Why was yours the 'worst day ever'?" She forced a strained smile and shrugged her slender shoulders. The return question was asked with mock air quotations.

    The train shuddered into the next station, their stop, and the doors chimed open. Mariko shuffled through the tight crowds, grabbing ahold of Marianne's hand to pull her along, and slipped out the doors onto the platform. It was still rumbling thunder overhead, but the rain had at least stopped trying to drown the city.

    Her hand terminal dinged softly and she looked down to the message, a little over eager. She had hoped that it would be her brother, but it was just another message from Mr. Moreau.

    > Be at the office at 0600 tomorrow morning, I have a video conference with the board of directors. Have my talking points ready.


    Mariko gave a dejected sigh and tucked the device back into her pocket, shaking her head.
    "You want to get a drink or something, Marie? I could use one."


     
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  4. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    Marianne was marginally less sodden. Soaked to the skin but she wasn’t dripping everywhere like @Mariko Harper . She was dressed a lot more casual, a string top, light jacket and tracksuit bottoms. She managed to pull it off but she wouldn’t have gotten in to too many classy establishments.


    Her pause for breath was all that Mariko needed to jump in. She almost looked affronted as Mariko gently enquired as to the status of the fish. She’d gone from wanting to fillet the fishmonger to defending the fish like it were her firstborn.


    “Of course it iz!” she snapped, looking absolutely appalled, “But ah must cook it first!” Shaking her head, she looked at Mariko like she had two heads. “First I cut, cut, cut” she mimed the motion with her hands, “Zen ah just” she flicked her hands open in a dismissive gesture, “I cook!” as if that was all there was to it.


    She did brighten at the mention of Mariko’s meal, completely misinterpreting it. “Oh merveilleux, a fantastique idea!” she declared. “'Ow do zey fit such a brain in such a small ‘ead?” she asked the sky, tapping Mariko’s skull for emphasis. “I have too much fish and I think it will go..bad tomorrow too. We can cook together” she looked delighted at the prospect.


    She rolled her eyes and snorted. “People in this city. They are-” another typically Gallic shrug and exhale from her mouth. “I just wish to-” she mimed throttling someone. The Frenchwoman would have talked on and on if Mariko hadn’t realised they were nearing their stop.


    Taking the lead, she tugged Marianne through the crowd before she could start another argument. She half tilted her head as Mariko made her proposition. “A drink? I don’t know…” for all her protestations there was no way she could feign being a teetotaller. “I suppose I could ‘ave one?”
     
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  5. Mariko Harper

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    The two women walked through the streets of the Residential District towards their compound that they called home. They shared a flat together with a common bathroom and access hall that branched off into two separate apartments. The two rooms were physical manifestations of each woman's personality. Mariko's was tidy and simple. Marianne's was... not.

    Every time Mariko set foot into her friend's living space, she was genuinely concerned that she was going to have some sort of anxiety attack. Whenever Marianne was in her flat, however, she was terrified that the woman was going to break something. Or start rearranging the room in a fit of inexplicable energy.

    Her heels clicked softly against the sidewalk with every step she took. The sound was irritating to her ears, a constant reminder of just how badly her feet hurt.

    Part of the reason why Mariko enjoyed her eccentric flatmate as much as she did, was because of how free she was with her emotions and thoughts. It was so refreshing to be around someone who simply told you what they meant outright, or what they were thinking.

    "We should probably drop that fish off first. I'm fairly certain that any reputable place will take one whiff of that bag and send us packing." She paused for a moment, wondering if her friend would cut her off before she could continue. "Besides, I need to feed Canelé. Poor thing must be famished." She snuck the last sentence quickly before Marianne could interject. Canelé being her cat, of course. She loved the little creature more than most people.
     
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  6. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    Bio
    Marianne followed a simple regime of lateral design. It featured such innovations as the floor wardrobe, making navigating from the door to any other point within the apartment a matter of some considerable risk. She also hadn’t quite clicked on to how Mariko would find any excuse necessary to bar her entry to the other apartment. Five minutes alone in there and she’d probably have it alight. Marianne could never sit still, she enjoyed wandering, picking up things, examining them, moving them. Their shared bathroom was headache inducing for Mariko.


    She glared at Mariko but on second thoughts grunted assent at her comment about the fish. There was not a chance they’d be let in anywhere with her lugging that about. Like it or not, Mariko was right about some things. She opened her mouth to speak but Mariko slipped in one last piece.


    Marianne groaned and looked skyward. Quoi!? That feline? It is descended from beasts, the tiger, the lion, it should ‘unt for its food!” curling her fingers like claws. She could not understand Mariko’s attentiveness to what the Frenchwoman viewed as a clear and present danger to the well being of their flat.


    “Merde!” She hit the button but no reaction. The lift was broken. Again. The stairs, tried and tested, were not. “It also leaves ‘airs around the place” she said primly, as if she were a paragon of housekeeping. “And it smells” a very rich comment considering the bag she was carrying.
     
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  7. Mariko Harper

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    "She does not smell!" Mariko declared indignantly, though she had a smile on her lips, amused that Marianne was trying to accuse something else of being unclean. "If anything, Canelé is cleaner than you are, madame."

    It wasn't exactly a surprise that the lift was broken. Things rarely ever worked they were supposed to around here. Still, the two women were fortunate enough to have a means of employment at all. It allowed them to afford this place, instead of dilapidated Basic income housing. Refusing to walk up twelve levels of stairs in heels, Mariko kicked off the uncomfortable stilettos and gathered them in her left hand. "Your fish is going to be rotten by the time we get up to the flat." She muttered lowly, pushing open the door that led to the stairwell with her right hand.

    A drink was now a matter of utmost importance.

    "I wonder if Mr. Moreau would even notice if I showed up to work tomorrow hungover." She mused, glancing over her shoulder towards Marianne. Her mother would have scolded her for taking up with such a spirited young woman. A bad influence, she would say. Mariko rolled her eyes at the very thought of the imaginary argument.

    By the time they reached their floor, however, Mariko's wet clothes had dried enough to be classified as damp. It wasn't much, but she took small victories where she could.

    She tapped her hand terminal against the lock to their suite, the door clicking softly and sliding open.
     
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  8. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    Marianne's mouth dropped open. "Zat-that creature?! O mon Dieu" she said. She trudged after her friend upstairs while muttering to herself half in French, half in English. "Does it even pay bills? Does it contribute? And to wound your friend so, after all I have done for you. Putain!".

    The ordeal of taking twelve stair levels after a full day working quietened her down somewhat. "Ah 'e will probably be 'ungover 'imself" she snorted, half tumbling through the door after her. She kicked off her shoes and leaned against the wall with a sigh of relief. "Our fish" she said for emphasis, raising enough concern whether she intended to adopt it as a pet, "You are cruel to bad mouth it so".

    Another groan as she opened her door. "Why is it so messy?!" she demanded, tearing at her own hair. "It was your cat. She was 'ere. I know it!"
     
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  9. Mariko Harper

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    Mariko chuckled softly in the back of her throat without parting her lips, the corner of her mouth turning upwards in a warm smirk. When the door to her own quarters slid open, a quiet "mrow" and the soft jingling of a tiny bell came from down below and she felt the soft fur of her beloved cat rubbing against her legs. She bent down and affectionately pat the cat on the top of the head, then slid her fingers down to scratch beneath her chin. Canelé purred happily. "You would never do something so nefarious, would you darling?" Mariko cooed, scooping the long-haired tabby up into her arms.

    She looked over her shoulder to Marianne and smiled sweetly. "Let me get changed and feed her, then we can head out for drinks? I'll pay, my treat."

    Leaning slightly to the side, Mariko could catch a glimpse of the mess that was Marianne's apartment and she raised a brow. How had the woman not tripped over something and broken her neck yet? She gave a quick kiss to Canelé's head and let the cat jump out of her arms into their own apartment. The nice and clean, tidy, apartment.

    Once inside her own little sanctuary, Mariko quickly pulled off her damp blazer and hung it up by the door and set her heels down as well. After feeding the persistent tabby, she changed into a simple blouse and jeans with a more comfortable pair of boots. This time, she remembered to grab her umbrella and stuffed it into her bag. Pulling her jacket on as she stepped back out into the communal hallway that she shared with Marianne, she called out to the woman and shut the door behind her. "Let's go, chéri!"
     
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  10. Evan Barnes

    Messages:
    84
    Discord:
    Antumbralite
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Evan sat at a corner table in the dimly-lit bar called Choisis Ton Poison. It was sparsely occupied -- just the way he preferred. He was seated with a clear view to all entries and exits to the room; a habit picked up from his years of security work. His eyes would scan the room about twice a minute to pick up on suspicious activity, but Evan did as much on a subconscious level now. After all, he was here to relax.

    Taking a sip from his amber ale, Evan reflected on the past few days. His employer, Moreau, was being a more abrasive prick than normal. He had a tendency to get that way when he had some big conference or project or sale or whatever-the-hell to focus on. Evan could not care less, it was simply his job to ensure no one tried to harm the spoiled dandy. Still, he felt the strain of work stress just like anyone else.

    Evan scanned the room again. As to be expected, it was peaceful and the few patrons were behaving themselves. His server approached the table with a warm smile. "Another ale, monsieur?"

    Evan nodded, giving the woman what passed as his smile. The scar that ran along his left cheek saw to it that his smile could never be too extravagant. "Oui, that would be lovely." As she walked off to retrieve his beverage, he stretched out, resting his head against the wall behind him. He wasn't in the mood to face Moreau tomorrow, but such was the price to pay to set oneself apart from the drones on Basic.

    He scanned the room again.
     
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  11. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    "Un moment!" was the muffled cry from the other side of the door. Half stumbling, half falling, Marianne came into the hallway, her foot catching on a discarded shoe. "Merde!". She tugged at her jeans and shrugged her jacket more on before shutting her door. "Oui, I am ready" she affirmed. She looked marginally less disheveled and bedraggled.

    "Where are we going to?" she asked, following after the other woman. "Ah don't even know what I want to drink."
     
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  12. Mariko Harper

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    "I was thinking that we could go down to Choisis Ton Poison, it's just around the corner after all." Mariko offered as the two women stepped out into the stairwell that led down to the entrance of their apartment complex.

    The rain had stopped while they were getting changed, but the dark sky overhead still looked as if it could change its mind at any given moment. Fortunately, the bar was close enough that they wouldn't have to catch a cab or take a train; they could just walk a few blocks down and they'd be at their destination.

    Stepping inside, Mariko glanced around at the sparsely populated bar and sighed with relief -- she wasn't up for dealing with crowds at the moment. She walked over to the bar and ordered herself a glass of red wine, gesturing to Marianne to let the bartender know that she was paying for her drink as well. "I'll take a long pour of red moscato please, and whatever she wants as well." She said, pressing her hand terminal against the pad in front of her to start the tab.

    Turning in place to look around, she caught sight of a familiar face tucked away in a back corner of the bar. Evan? She quickly covered the side of her face with her hand looked away from him, her cheeks turning pink with a slight blush. What was he doing here? She was just wearing a pair of jeans and a simple jacket, and her hair was down instead of pulled back -- maybe he wouldn't recognize her?

    She risked another glance in the man's direction as her drink was set down in front of her. Why was her first reaction when she saw the man to hide? It wasn't that he bothered her or got on her nerves, in fact, she found him quite enjoyable to be around. Normally, she was so well put together, but when Evan was in the room she felt off-kilter.

    Her fingers curled around the bottom of her glass and she raised it to her lips, taking a small sip of the sweet wine.
     
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  13. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    Marianne shrugged at the suggestion. "Oui, c'est bon". It was as good a plan as any, anywhere within walking distance was acceptable for her. "Chartreuse sil vous plait" she said to the barman, letting herself lean on the bar with a weary sigh. She stifled a wide mouthed yawn before looking concerned as she saw the sudden distress in her friend. Marianne didn't wait to clarify anything, she kicked right into action.

    Violet seemed to have flushed, "Ey, ca va?" she asked in concern, "What's wrong cherie? Was it the wine? It was the wine wasn't it? Ey, putain!" this last was directed to the barman. Marianne began to gesticulate and fired off a burst of rapid fire French, too quick for Violet to follow. Much of it could be inferred by her repeated gesturing at Violet, the wine, along with the occasional skyward look of exasperation. The barman was giving it as good as he got. An arrangement seemed to be made and Violet's glass was snatched off her to be replaced with another.

    Marianne appeared satisfied. "Italian wine" she said with disdain, "They probably put antifreeze in it, a French one will serve. Ah will not have my friends poisoned"
     
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  14. Evan Barnes

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    84
    Discord:
    Antumbralite
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Just as Evan had his next ale brought to the table, two young women entered from the far side of the bar. Distracted with thanking his server, Evan had missed the face of one of them; it now obscured behind her companion, which he did not recognize.

    Identifying faces in a crowd was another habit of his, and when there were people he did not have the chance to commit to memory, he tended to single them out until he could. Despite not being able to see the second woman's face, Evan thought she had a familiarity to her in the way she carried herself.

    He shrugged internally, taking a sip from his new glass of ale. It was probably nothing, and as much as he disliked feeling so on-the-job when he was not, his mind was tuned that way, and with no switch to turn it off.

    Evan removed his coaster from under the glass and set it on top, signalling that he would return. He stood from the table, crossing the room towards the facilities. As he passed by the bar, he caught a glimpse of the woman. It's Mariko. That would be why she seemed familiar.

    He pushed open the door and went about his business. Mariko was a coworker of his -- they both worked very closely with Moreau, and had met on numerous occasions. She was a very bright, kind person, and Evan enjoyed speaking with her when time permitted. He did not know the other woman she was with, but thought it would be a nice gesture to say hello and offer to buy them their next glasses of wine.
     
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  15. Mariko Harper

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    As Marianne proceeded to make a scene, Mariko's went from a soft shade of pink to a vivid crimson. She tried to interject into the fast-paced bickering of her friend and the barkeep, but she couldn't get a word in edgewise. Her glass of wine was swiftly taken away and replaced with another that was just as full as the first, though she suspected that the bartender would have spat in it if Marianne had given him the chance.

    She caught sight of Evan moving towards the restrooms out of the corner of her eye, likely running away from the rather boisterous disagreement at the bar.

    Clearing her throat, she looked back to Marianne and took another sip from her glass. It was a bit drier than the original glass she had ordered, but it was still palatable.

    "Don't forget to breathe, Maria."
    Mariko finally chimed in with a small smile.
     
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  16. Marianne El Mokrani

    Marianne El Mokrani Tres Chic Anarchiste

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    Bio
    "I am breathing!" Marianne said, her tone indignant. She took a sip of her own drink and nearly gagged "Argh, it burns". She took another sip, this time a bit more controlled. "Ah 'ave 'ad a long day and then we come and get substandard drinks...well this one is fine" she allowed "I was calm, I was controlled" she claimed.

    Another groan, "Excuse me though. I feel I must visit la toilette" she said, straightening up. "Ou sont les toilettes?" she demanded, of a random passerby. Receiving a point, she patted their shoulder amicably before moving on. "Try not to take all my drink Mariko!" she warned.
     
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  17. Evan Barnes

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    84
    Discord:
    Antumbralite
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Evan heard shouting from the bar room. He could not make out the words, but there was an angry tone to the voices. Quickly washing his hands, his senses went into high alert. Danger gave him a prickly feeling in his extremities.

    Checking his handgun, he tucked it back into a hidden holster under his shirt and proceeded to investigate the yelling. He passed the woman that came with Mariko in the hallway. She looked flustered. Evan nodded a greeting, though he was unsure if she noticed.

    Emerging back into the bar room, everything appeared normal. Perhaps Mariko's friend was the source of the commotion. Regardless, nothing was setting off Evan's alarms, so he spied Mariko at the bar and made his way to her.

    "Bonjour, mademoiselle," Evan said to her quietly, sinking onto the stool next to her, opposite her companion. "How are you?"
     
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  18. Mariko Harper

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    Mariko had taken out her hand terminal once Marianne sauntered off to the restroom as well, leaving her with a brief moment of peace. The message queue was starting to quiet down now that it was getting late, but she still didn't have any pings from her brother. She frowned and refreshed the page again, as was her daily ritual now. Still nothing.

    She hadn't even noticed Evan approaching the bar and didn't realize he was seated next to her until he spoke up. The sound of his low voice made her jump and she nearly dropped her hand terminal in the process. Cursing quietly, she set the terminal down on the counter and looked up at the man who had startled her. Of course, it was Evan. Why did her throat feel dry all of the sudden? She took a quick sip of her wine to stall for time. Her expression remained fairly collected and composed once she had looked up at him, miraculously.

    At work, she and Evan got along rather well, when they had a chance to actually speak with one another -- a fairly rare occurrence given the nature of their work; but they were often in the same room together. Sitting with one another at a bar, without their employer to dominate the entire interaction, she wasn't entirely sure how this conversation would go. She hoped for the best.

    "Monsieur Barnes, it is good to see you." She replied with a matching low tone of voice. Mariko was well aware that neither one of them was from France, but when in Rome... Stay focused, she internally chastised herself. The man had asked her a question, though the answer should have been obvious enough. It was late on a weeknight and she was out drinking, but then again, so was he.

    "I'd say that I'm about as well as can be expected."
    She answered with another soft smile. Her cheeks still felt like they were on fire from the scene her friend had made before she absconded off to the restrooms. "I trust you are well?"
     
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  19. Evan Barnes

    Messages:
    84
    Discord:
    Antumbralite
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Evan nodded at Mariko, feeling slightly guilty for having startled her. "Much the same, I'm afraid. I imagine you've felt the tension in the air all week long."

    He scanned the area behind Mariko; all normal. Snapping his eyes back to her, he could not help but consider her striking features. He had thought as much since the first time they had met, but their respective positions did not allow for much eye contact. Moreau would frown on that sort of thing, anyways. Best not to cause complications.

    Evan gave her a slight smile. "Apologies if I startled you. I don't want to intrude, but I thought I would offer you and your friend another glass, when you're finished. I know tomorrow is a big day."
     
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  20. Mariko Harper

    Messages:
    77
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    She noticed the way that he scanned the room behind her, though it didn't bother her -- he was always on the lookout for any sort of trouble. When his eyes flicked back to her own, she smiled warmly at him and took another sip of her wine. It was rare that she ever got to see the man smile, normally he looked so serious or had a scowl etched into his features, usually because something Moreau was doing that irritated him.

    "No, you don't need to apologize, Mr. Barnes. It was my fault for not paying closer attention to my surroundings." She waved a hand lightly through the air; as if dismissing the notion that Evan was any trouble. Was she smiling too much? She felt like she was grinning. Resting her glass back down on the counter in front of her, she forced her features into a carefully held neutral expression.

    His offer to buy her and Marianne a drink gave her pause, her brain scrambling to decipher every last word that he had uttered. "Big day tomor-? Oh! You mean the conference with the board of directors. Are you being dragged into that? I hardly see a reason for Moreau to force you to be there... it's just a video conference."
     
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