CERES Those Returned

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Alric, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Alric

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    Ceres - Dock A64

    How long had it been?

    The seconds had bled into minutes, the minutes into hours, and the hours into weeks. Time had held no meaning for him. Day and night even less. He couldn't remember how long he had been in that cell, couldn't even begin to fathom the amount of time that had been stripped away from him like an animal in a cage. Nothing seemed real.

    Nothing.

    Not even the passage of time.

    They told him that it had been five years, that they had stuck him inside of that cell for five years. It didn't seem right. It didn't seem long enough. Surely it had been longer? Surely he had spent decades within that tiny room, confined within a crate that seemed smaller than the space one needed to breath.

    Alric had no idea how long it lasted, how long he'd endured their tortures. For days at a time they would surround him with flooding lights, and then for months it would be nothing but darkness. All sound had been taken from him, all sensation that he could hang on to.

    Even the food, the taste of things had been stripped away. He had no idea if they had done it on purpose or if they'd simply been too cheap to pay for real food, but the effect had been all the same. Alric remembered nothing of even the smallest luxuries. Red Kibble seemed a distant memory to him, a wisp of something that he could barely understand.

    They had beaten him.

    Tortured him.

    They had done their best to drive him to the edge of madness.

    A few times he had been close. He had been so near to falling over the cliff. More than once he'd been tempted to embrace it, more than once he had wanted to simply let himself go. It would have been so easy, so simple to just lose his mind.

    His sense of time had been taken. His consciousness had been stripped from him. Sleep came rarely and a second to think on his own time was all but unfound.

    Yet he was still here.

    Wasn't he?

    He wasn't sure if this was another trick, wasn't sure if they were serious. The Soldiers, the men that had tortured him and broken every bone in his body, had told him that he was being released. It was a trick they had played before, offering false hope, offering a vision of what might come...yet this time was different than the last.

    They had moved him, put him on a shuttle. After all this time he knew what that felt like, the press of acceleration on his bones, the drugs in his veins. They were moving him...he'd known that, felt it.

    Then...then it happened.

    Others had been brought onto the shuttles. He'd recognized none of them, though all of them wore the branding of the OPA. There had been a surge of invigoration when he'd seen that, a hardening of his heart, a pride even.

    He'd wanted to speak, to urge them on, to force a rebellion right then and there.

    Yet before he could open his lips he found that his throat was raw, and any words that he might have spoken turned into less than a croak.

    He thought that some of them had recognized him. That a whisper spread across the small shuttle. A few looked at him as though they knew, though most seemed to ignore it. Alric did not question, he did not try to speak, he knew it would be in vain, knew that it might still be a trick. A trap.

    An execution.

    All of it was still a possibility, all of it was still what he expected.

    It only became real when he stood on the ramp to Dock A64, when the UN Marine stood in front of him and undid his cuffs. When his voiced echoed in Alric's ears.

    "Can't believe they're letting you go after what you did."

    His disgust was clear, but to Alric it was a sweetness he could hardly comprehend.

    The former terror of Io stood on the ramp of the UN shuttle. He was half hunched over, his clothes were naught but rags, more cuts and brusies lined his body than should have been possible, and his beard nearly reached his chest.

    He had been bent, he had been beaten, yet he'd never broken.

    He stood, breathing in the air that had been given to his people so long ago.
     
  2. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    Ceres - Dock A68

    "No. Absolutely not."
    Chloe's stern voice cut into the conversation that was unfolding between the two men who were in the conference call with her. Until now, she had listened to them prattle on about unnecessary expenses and crew manifests. It wasn't until George Bander, the notoriously cheap businessman from Earth, suggested both reducing the number of engineers on the crew to three, down from six; and extending the time frame for changing air scrubbers to cut costs on air filters, that Chloe decided to interject her opinion on the matter.

    "Excuse me?" Bander blinked, turning his large eyes in Chloe's direction on the screen. "I am covering the expenditures on this little venture; and I feel that as one of the primary investors on the project I'm entitled to--"

    Chloe interrupted him again, "You're entitled to your opinion, Mr. Bander. But the fact of the matter is that it's my crew and my ship that will actually be traversing an unknown system. You can either pay for an experienced crew and a reliable ship, or you can take your money and throw it at any spacer with a rock hopper for all I care."

    She glanced up from the terminal that she was carrying, checking to make sure that cargo swap was going smoothly. There was another ship that had recently returned from an expedition through the gate, and it had returned with plant specimens from a promising new planet. The cargo was being transferred from the newly returned ship, to another vessel that would complete the journey to Luna to deliver the goods. Chloe was overseeing the process, and trying to deal with the bickering antics at the same time.

    "Why you haughty--" Bander started to retaliate, but it wasn't Chloe who stepped on his transmission this time.

    "Enough, George." The speaker was Victor Petrov, another Earther though younger than his compatriot. He was the moving force behind the potential expedition. It was his shipment that Chloe was currently overseeing the cargo transfer. Him and Chloe had worked closely together for two years now, and he was well aware of her ability to get results. This wasn't the first time he'd brought another investor into the mix, but it was certainly the most annoying instance so far.

    "I told you, if you want the best crews with the best results, you have to pay the price. How many times have you had items go 'missing' during shipment? Or had pirates just so 'happen' to know where your ship was? Those amateurs cost you far more than payroll or some air filters would in the long run. We use Espero Freelance or you fund this on your own." Victor warned, his tone brokering no argument.

    "Mr. Petrov, I trust you to sort this out. I only need to know when to have my crew and a ship ready. You're well aware of my fees. Now, your shipment is currently being transferred and will be underway soon. I have matters that I need to take care of." She said, her tone bordering on exasperation.

    "Of course, Chloe. I'll call you once everything is in order." Victor replied, then she disconnected from the call without another word.

    Shaking her head, Chloe then pulled up the cargo manifest from the Tiny Titan, the ship that was currently being unloaded. So far, everything was going rather smoothly, all things considered.

    With a sigh, Chloe tucked the terminal into her jacket and then fished out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from a side pocket on her trousers. She tapped a cigarette out of the box and was in the process of tucking it back away when the loadmaster from Tiny Titan approached her. The martian had a lazy grin on his lips as he sauntered over.

    "Could I bum one, boss?" Rowan, the loadmaster, drawled as he gestured to the cigarette in her hand.

    Rolling her eyes, she handed it over and then plucked another from the small box, quickly stuffing it into her pocket. She lit both cigarettes and then tucked the lighter away as well. From what she could see, his job was finished now that the cargo had been unloaded.

    Now, it was just a matter of the dock workers taking inventory and securing the crates to be moved on to the Lackluster, the transport ship to Luna. This was when the process was at its most hectic. There were two crews, dock workers, security, and the ship maintenance team, all scrambling around in a rather confined space. And that was without the traffic of the other docks nearby which were also unloading passengers at the same time.

    It was crowded to say the least.

    Rowan didn't linger for long, he had money burning a hole in his pocket after all. He lightly nudged Chloe's shoulder with his fist and grinned, cigarette dangling between his lips. "You'll have t'come drink t'night. We ain't been on Ceres in ages!"

    Chloe laughed and shook her head, relenting. "I'll think about it. That is, if you lot aren't too far gone by the time I get there."

    "No promises!" He shouted over his shoulder, already striding off into the crowd.

    There was still a small smile on Chloe's expression as Rowan vanished from sight, then she turned her gaze back to the miasma of people working in front of her. It had taken her years to rebuild her life, but the Gate opening provided her with an opportunity to move forward. She dismantled her connections to the OPA and consolidated her assets that remained available to her from Icarus, and created Espero Freelance company from the ashes of her hold life. 'Wren', as she had once been known, was dead. Per rumors, that she'd instigated herself, Wren had been tossed out an airlock after Icarus collapsed.

    But Chloe endured.

    She took a long pull from her cigarette, held it for two beats, and then slowly exhaled the smoke out of the corner of her mouth.
     
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  3. Alric

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    He remembered Ceres. He remembered the docks, the walls, the ships. All of it. Just a short while ago it had all seemed a distant memory, something that might have been a figment of his imagination wrought by the edges of madness that had plagued him.

    Yet standing here now, watching it...everything came flooding back.

    The sights and sounds of Ceres. The milling masses, the scent of oil and fuel in the air. Everything flooded into him and for a moment he felt his vision blur, a hand coming to his head as he steadied himself. Alric felt a hand against his shoulder, a stranger that had come up behind him. On his neck was an OPA tattoo, but his face was as unfamiliar. For a moment Alric half shrunk away, the touch on his shoulder almost painful. His mouth was still a dry rasp, but before he could attempt to speak the boy said something.

    "Stand tall, Beratna. Some have not forgotten."​

    Alric didn't respond, he only allowed himself to stand a little bit taller. Was this another trick? Another 'friend' to make him feel safe? Someone he would talk to and get close to?

    No.

    There was an earnestness in the boys eyes, a look of true adoration. It was something that Alric had not seen in...he did not know how long. It was different than the ones they had sent before, the Earthers playing at being from The Belt. No this boy was the real thing, someone like him. Did that mean the rest of this was real? It had to be.

    Slowly Alric nodded, reaching a hand up to clasp the boys shoulder.

    Then he smiled.

    He did not know how long it had been since he'd smiled, he did not remember the last time.
     
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  4. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    It seemed like she was always working these days, keeping herself busy made it easier to focus on the present. Nevertheless, she allowed herself small breaks like this to enjoy a cigarette and reflect. She was still watching the crowds, keeping an eye out for anyone that might have their eye on an ease case to grab. Relics, artifacts, and specimens were all worth a small fortune; and it wasn't uncommon for thieves to make a go at the cargo that came off the ships that returned from the Gate.

    Her thoughts drifted to the small clinic that she'd left back on Io. How long had it been since she treated a patient? It was like that part of her life had been closed off entirely. Now that she wasn't running a smuggling sect for the OPA, it was remarkable how few injuries there actually were. She hadn't seen a gunshot wound in nearly a year. Broken bones, lacerations, and illness were still prevalent; but all were easily dealt with by the doctors here on Ceres. There was no need for her to treat them, when the injuries came from a legitimate line of work.

    She'd left the clinic for her daughter, Sparrow, to run. Things there were calmer now and Sparrow led a happy life. Chloe wondered when she would receive news that Keith had finally proposed. The lad would surely be getting around to it in the near future. She wondered if she'd be able to pull any strings and get them both a position on Ganymede, just in case.

    A hint of a smile touched her lips at the thought.

    Chloe had adopted Sparrow when the girl was young teenager; and she couldn't have been more proud of the woman she'd become. She knew that Sparrow would make an excellent mother.

    At least I did one thing right. She thought to herself.

    Her attention fixated on a man slipping through the crowd. He was tall and slender -- clearly a belter. Though he was trying to be subtle about it, she could see him gradually making his way towards some of the crates that had yet to be loaded on the trolley. His face was hidden by a mop of dirty blonde hair, hands stuffed into the pockets of his oversized hoodie. It was suspicious, but he hadn't done anything stupid yet.

    She pressed her free hand to the discreet ear piece she wore, muttering. "Gavin, keep an eye on Blondie there to your three o'clock."

    The security guard once worked for Victor back on Earth as a security chief; but after he worked a rotation on one of Chloe's expeditions, he opted for more adventurous employment. He was a staunch professional, but rumor had it that he and one of the belter researchers had hit it off quite well on that trip. It was common for him to volunteer for rotations where she was involved.

    "I see him." She heard the gruff voice in her ear, and she watched the guard shift his stance slightly.
     
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  5. Alric

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    It was real.

    Alric did not truly accept it. Not for minutes. Not until the UN ship had disappeared behind him and the faces in the crowd had blended into nothing but belters. He stared at them, each and every one. Eyes switched from one face to another, to the lengthnh of their hair, the gauntness of their cheeks. Each key detail he searched out, and each time he picked out a belter.

    It was real.

    His legs felt weak. His heart began to race. Emotions flooded over him.

    It was real.

    He did not know how far away he'd made it from the UN ship. He knew that he was weak, that his legs barely worked, but he'd made it far enough to be away from them. Belters stood around him, his people. Not the frauds supplied by them. Not the lies that he'd been told over and over again. He saw the marks, the tattoos, the sigils of the OPA.

    Tears welled in his eyes.

    He was free.

    By some fluke, by some small chance what the Officer had said was right. His mind raced for the words, what had been said to him as they dragged him out of the cell. He struggled to pull the man's face from the abyss, forced himself to remember what had been told to him on that moment. All of the pain, the torture, the words blended it one. Yet somehow he managed to pull that from the ethos of his mind.

    "You're a terrorist. A murderer. Scum. I can't believe they're letting you go. Amnesty is amnesty, but this? There'll be blood on the hands of whoever signed your release."

    It had seemed another taunt, a clever way to let down his guard. Even the other prisoners on the shuttle, the other Belters had seemed part of some elaborate fraud.

    But it was real.

    Joy ran through his. Bittersweet mirth that flowed through his veins as tears welled in his eyes and began to flow down his face. Alric's entire body shook, his legs gave out and with no way of stopping himself he fell to his knees.

    Heavy wracking sobs shook him, his hands grasping at his clothes as he desperately tore away at the rags the earthers had given him.

    Alric looked a mad man, on his knees, sobbing, tearing at his clothing and revealing his tattoos bit by bit.

    He didn't care about the crowd around him. Didn't care about those that looked at him. He was free. Free of them. Free to feel, to think, to finally reach out and take what he wanted most; revenge.
     
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  6. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    While Gavin had his attention on the blonde belter that was creeping towards the crates, he failed to notice the second belter sneak past him from the other side -- a young woman, perhaps in her early twenties. Chloe only caught sight of her as she was snatching one of the smaller pieces of cargo.

    The girl was already darting for the crowds, Chloe was moving after her but she couldn't run as quickly; thanks to an injury she'd received many years ago -- a knife blade that had been stabbed into her thigh just above her knee. It had never healed right.

    "Girl in a blue hoodie just snatched a case off a pallet."
    Chloe growled into her comm.

    Gavin's voice responded first, barking in her ear. "I'm on it. Nunes, Roberts, you stay put in case someone else gets any ideas."

    Moment's later, the earther was at Chloe's side. He was younger and didn't have a bad leg. Once he caught sight of the girl in the crowd, he chased after her. His boots thudded loudly against the floor and Chloe could hear the rattling click of his equipment as he ran past.

    The slender thief glanced over her shoulder at the sound of the large earther chasing after her. Instead of having to fight his way through the crowds, like she was, the people moved out of his way, afraid of being trampled. He was gaining on her rather quickly. "Tch..."

    Not paying attention to where she was going, the girl ran straight into the kneeling Alric. She hadn't seen him huddled in the crowds and by the time she realized someone was there, she was already falling through the air.
     
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  7. Alric

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    There was no heroic moment where he caught her. Even if he'd wanted to Alric was far too weak for such things.

    He had been starved, beaten, his bones broken. Most of his body was a mess. He had not half the strength that he'd had before being captured and interred on Luna.

    So he did not catch Chloe.

    He hardly even seemed to recognize that she was there.

    Around him lay the half torn rags that was the jumpsuit he'd worn in his prison. Chest and arms were fully bare, tattoos gathered over a lifetime on full display. He had started in on the rest when Chloe came barreling into him.

    His hands came up to brace, to stop her, but the momentum she carried with her was too much for him to stop.

    Without the strength to keep himself even on his knees Alric went flying over onto his side.

    He landed with a loud metallic thud, the crack of a bone breaking ringing out as he hit the floor. Pain should have lances through him, a cry of agony should have torn from his lips.

    Instead he laughed.

    Inbetween those odd wracking sobs laughter erupted.
     
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  8. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    The young woman that had collided with Alric skittered and tumbled wildly across the floor, landing in a tangled pile of loose clothes and limbs. She dropped the box that she'd snatched during her fall and it slid several feet away from her.

    "Pashang..." she cursed, trying to pull herself free from the hysterically laughing belter who had been in the process of tearing off his own clothes.

    Gavin caught up to the scene a few seconds later. He stopped with a confused look on his face, not quite sure what he'd stumbled into. The belter girl was scrambling to get to the small crate that was at the edge of the crowd that had spread around the pair of belters on the ground. He was quick to intercept her, snagging the girl by the back of the neck just as she found her footing. A powerful hand grabbed her wrist and twisted it around behind her back, bending the girl over at the waist as he pushed down on her neck. The pressure was intended to force the thief back onto her knees so that he could restrain her.

    Chloe could hear the commotion up ahead as she shouldered her way through the crowd.
     
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  9. Alric

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    The crowd was now gathered around them, but Alric paid no mind.

    He laughed.

    His chest was exposed, the letters of the OPA cut deep into his chest and flame of Prometheus brazenly displayed upon his shoulder. Dozens of other markings lay ingrained within his skin, a map of language that marked him as a nationalist and leader. The Belters around him would be able to read it, though few would know the meaning behind it all.

    All save for one.

    The Tattoos were something he'd always had, something that had marked his body long before he'd ever been imprisoned.

    Alric had played the friendly Belter, he had put on a kind face, but he had always been one for his people. There had been a front, but to his heart Alric had fought for the belt, had killed for the belt.

    He would continue to do so.

    Even as he laid on the metal bulkhead, even as he cried and laughed, Alric knew he would get up.
     
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  10. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    Chloe finally reached the edge of the crowd, shoving a jeering woman aside with a scowl on her face. She bent down to pick up the box that happened to be by her feet and she pushed her long hair out of her face as she straightened. Her dark eyes swept over the scene and her brow furrowed as her scowl deepened. What a mess.

    Gavin seemed to have the would-be-thief under control, so she turned her attention to the bearded man who lay laughing and weeping on the metal floor. His clothes were in tatters, shredded around his body, leaving his chest and shoulders exposed... Weird. His tattoos are just like...

    Something painful clawed at the back of her mind. A part of her that she'd buried several years ago. The reason why she left Io, why she started her life over, and dedicated so much of her time looking as far away from Earth as she could.

    "A-alric?" She stammered the name, the box clattering loudly to the floor when she dropped it in shock.
     
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  11. Alric

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    That voice shattered him.

    A year on Earth. Five years on Luna.

    Six years tortured in every possible way the inners could imagine. Dragged around corners, bones broken and healed, eardrums shattered, heart brought to near failure. All of it he had endured. All of it he had managed to survive. He'd always considered himself strong, had always thought he could last through anything.

    Alric had survived through all of it whole. All of it.

    That voice though.

    The sobs stopped, the laughing stopped. His entire body seemed to suddenly convulse. His heart did not skip a beat, instead it seemed to seize. Every muscle in his body tightened, every little bit of him seemed to suddenly lose control. Eyes popped open, and with what strength he had left the old man pulled himself to his knees.

    Bright blue eyes met hers.

    That was what would give him away. Beneath a layer of new scars, beneath a beard meant for a hermit, beneath everything. It was still those same eyes.
     
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  12. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    It was like seeing a ghost.

    Chloe froze, her dark eyes locked onto Alric's brilliant blue gaze.

    How long had she desperately wished to lose herself in their icy depths? She still saw them in her dreams, a phantom of a shattered heart haunting her memories from beyond the grave. One of her best agents had been lost trying to get information on his whereabouts once he was moved to Luna. When they found out that Alric was alive on Luna, Nick had gone off in a mad attempt to rescue him. He insisted that Chloe stay behind. She never saw him again, just like Alric.

    She took a hesitant step towards him.

    I'm dreaming. He's not real. She thought numbly, taking another step closer.

    It hurt too much to hope. It's just a dream...

    Everything else fell away into a faint buzz.
     
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  13. Alric

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    His heart thundered in his chest, he could feel every vein in his body struggle to keep up. His head began to hurt, but all of his focus was on her.

    On looking at her.

    She looked different than he remembered. Her hair had changed, the lines on her face had changed, even the way she dressed was different. Yet she still held that same beauty. His lungs filled with air, a hand came up from the floor, still shaking, still moving without him telling it to.

    His palm gently placed against the floor. Alric's left arm dangled uselessly at his side, the bone broken and likely shattered from his fall. Yet it didn't matter.

    Slowly he pushed himself off the floor, his body still weak and struggling to stand.

    He was smaller than he had been, none of his muscle remained and there was an emaciated gauntness to his face that spoke of years of starvation. Still, he was himself. He was Alric.

    The crowd around them now stared, a few even held their terminals up to film the scene.

    He didn't pay them a single ounce of attention.

    Instead he stepped forward, a shambling step that nearly saw him fall back to the floor. A breath filled him, his throat ached and his tongue felt as useless as a brick, but somehow he managed to croak out a single word. "Chloe."
     
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  14. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    When he nearly stumbled and fell, Chloe hurried to close the distance between them. Where his strength had diminished, Chloe's remained unchanged. Her arms caught him just as he uttered her name.

    The sound of his voice, hoarse and broken as it was, brought tears to her eyes. If this was a dream, then it was a good one, she decided. All she had wanted for years was to see him again. Life had moved on in his absence, carrying her along for the ride, but the jagged tear in her soul had never healed after he vanished from her world.

    Steadying him with one arm around his waist, she cupped his face in her palm, staring into his eyes with tears running down her cheeks. She couldn't remember the last time she'd cried, perhaps back on Io when she said her last farewell to his empty office.

    "I've got you." She said, her voice cracking as she struggled to speak. "I've got you."
     
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  15. Alric

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    Six years of pain and torture took a lot from you. Much of his strength was gone, some of his memories, even his temper had been changed. He could feel it, the control that had been stripped away, the fact that once he had managed to smile and create a facade.

    It was gone.

    Yet what remained was all the more important. He remembered his sisters. He remembered his brothers, but most of all he remembered Chloe. He remembered the short time they'd had together, the life that they had tried to live. The Opportunity that had been stolen away from them by the inners.

    Rage burned inside of him.

    Rage mixed with utter joy.

    He had never expected to see her again. He had never expected to see anyone at all ever again. Alric had accepted death long ago, had welcomed it in fact. Every day had been a lesson in attempted suicide. What ways would work, what ways wouldn't. He had given up on freedom long ago.

    Had given up on Chloe.

    Yet here he was, standing on Ceres, his arms too weak to even wrap around her. "They took you from me."

    He croaked the words, tears in his eyes, rage in his chest. His weight pressed on her, far less than it should have been.

    "I'm so sorry." It was all he could say. He could taste the blood in his mouth.
     
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  16. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    His words nearly cleaved her heart in two. What had they done to him?

    He was so frail in her arms, his voice strained and weak. His body was battered, scarred, and broken.

    But he was here.

    He was alive. That was the only thing that mattered in that moment.

    She pressed her forehead to his, tenderly running her fingers through his hair and cradling the back of his head to hold him close. A choked sob escaped her lips, but she couldn't stop smiling. Nothing else mattered. Her chest felt as if it would explode from sheer joy. Elation. She dreaded the moment when she would wake up and find herself alone in her bed, surrounded by emptiness... but it never came.

    In the distance, she could hear someone saying her name, but she didn't respond.

    It wasn't until the heavy hand fell on her shoulder and tugged that she looked away from Alric. Gavin was standing next to her, shaking her shoulder slightly. "Chloe. Christ woman, what the hell..."

    He had the thief in one hand, holding her by the cuffs that were now clamped over her wrists. The box that Chloe had dropped was at his feet. It seemed that he had carried it over, set it down, and then grabbed her shoulder before she even realized he was there.
     
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  17. Alric

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    Rage boiled in him, anger that would have snapped almost immediately had he the strength.

    There was no semblance of control left him, no ounce of weight that held him back. The only thing that stopped him from lashing out was his own body, the terrible damage that had been done to him.

    He did not know this man, he did not even realize that Chloe did. The only thing Alric knew was that he had interrupted their moment, that he had pulled her away from him. He couldn't stand it, couldn't bare it. He wanted to grab the man, choke him, beat him to death and leave him bleeding on the ground.

    The rage was there, simmering, burning.

    But he could do nothing with it.

    Alric could barely stand, so he looked up at the man, a fire in his eyes that would have made a Martian Marine take a step back.
     
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  18. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    Gavin took his hand off of Chloe's shoulder when he saw the raw fury burning in Alric's gaze, but he looked questioningly to her. It was rather obvious that he wasn't sure about the wild looking belter, who looked more than half crazed.

    Chloe never took her arm away from Alric's waist, supporting him as best she could.

    The guard had pulled her out of the state of shock she'd been in, and immediately her mind kicked into gear. Alric needed immediate medical attention. That was her first and top priority. She glanced between Gavin and the girl, then to the box. "Have Nunes take her to Star Helix port authority, I don't care what happens from there. Get the box back to the Lackluster crew, and make sure that shipment leaves on time." Her tone made it clear that she was giving orders.

    "And him?" Gavin asked, nodding towards Alric.

    "I'm going to take him St. Lucia's Center." She said sternly, already moving forward as she wiped the tears from her eyes with her free hand. There would be time for crying later, once she'd gotten Alric somewhere safe and had his injuries treated.
     
  19. Alric

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    333
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Alric said nothing.

    At this point he couldn't.

    As sad as it was this was the most he had moved within months. It was the most that he had done in...in perhaps years. He couldn't remember the last time he'd used his own two feet, the last time he hadn't been dragged from place to place. He felt weak, but that fire was still there. The need to push on.

    His fingers tightened slightly, and as Chloe spoke he only nodded.

    Memories returned to him as she spoke. Star Helix. He knew them, knew what they were. He'd once had a contact among their ranks, was she still there? Still alive?

    How much time had passed?

    "How long?" He croaked softly, his anger already forgotten as Chloe turned him around. "How long did they have me?"

    Decades? It had felt like it.
     
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  20. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    Chloe walked slowly so that Alric didn't have to strain himself. It wasn't comfortable for her to support his weight due to her leg, but she managed to help him along.

    When he asked her the question, she wasn't sure how to answer. She was quiet for a few moments as she pieced together an answered. Alric had never been one for sugar-coating something, and she knew he wouldn't want her to coddle him. "Six years and roughly seven months. My intel on when you were caught exactly wasn't clear. From what I was able to figure out, you were on Earth about a year and then transferred to Luna. Any trace of you went dark for six months, then I got word that you were alive. That... was the last I heard. Which was five years ago."

    Her answer was given in a soft voice, it pained her to talk about those memories.

    There had been several times when she wondered if it was possible to die from a broken heart. She'd come close, that was for sure.
     
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