Home Forum Wiki The Rules Newbie Guide Roleplay Guide Plot & Setting Wanted Characters Aedolis Teinar Edanith Libra Cancer Thanatos Inc. Contact Us Copyright Affiliates Advertise Us Advertise You Donate! Playing a Leader

Author Topic: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]  (Read 283 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Lion

Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« on: August 06, 2017, 10:37:47 PM »
[M just in case]

Sometimes he dreamt of Kincaid. Thought back to the way they used to touch, a life that was a thousand years ago and a million light years away. Maybe not that long ago. As distant as they were, wherever they were, if they still even existed.

Time was odd that way. After a while, everything seemed to blend together. Normally, he could put the pieces together just fine. He wasn't picky. The bad memories were always much more coherent than the good ones, the synapses maintaining connection for much longer. When he concentrated really hard, Nero could focus long enough and the flashes persisted. And he sustained the thought of his old friend. Remembering the touch on his skin. 

They were gone now, or dead. Or both. Didn't really matter now. Hindsight was always clearer, more focused, and right now all Nero Foretti wanted to do was crash and burn on the tail end of an ecstasy that could do little more than leave a slow burn in his veins. That was what he liked most.

The only thing burning right now was the cigarette at the end of his lips. And he took a long drag. Nothing fancy. In fact it was a classically rolled smoke that he had grown accustomed to doing himself out in the Frontier. One of the only good things he learned to do on that bloody red rock. No pun intended. Fingers idly scratched at the scars on his arm, where he could stil sometimes feel the points of teeth tearing into his flesh.

He’d been careless then, even he could admit that. Very little had changed in that thirty years. Or was it forty? Another thoughtful drag on that smoke and Nero adjusted the hood over his face.

There would be a crash and burn here at some point. Maybe. But not tonight. The light down here suited him just fine. Artificial and didn’t make his skin all tingly. That was always nice. He couldn’t say he was fond of Aedolis. But he had a few contacts here. Just the ones that could tell him when another like himself came through, or if there was a decent job to be had somewhere. This time, he was here because the going had been rough, and the vine had been dried.

He just needed one good lead. Point his nose in the right direction so it were. The hooded jacket was scuffed from use, the leather worn out and he stuffed his hands in his pockets, lips playing at the smoke’s end, coming up the steps to this end of an upper level line. The train. That rush of adrenaline, it made his hair stand up on end. It was so tempting, how all it would take was one little step off that platform and he’d become mush against those tracks. Little more than a mark of red paste. That would solve so many problems.

It was little more than a temptation. And there would always be another time when he would get that opportunity. Night time now, he always felt a little more alive. He would still meet with his contact. Find out if there was anything worth looking for, then buy his way back off this damn toxic wasteland.  Maybe to Cancer, maybe to Libra station. He’d flip a poker chip. See which one the fat lady landed on.

Nero sniffed the air, and his hair stood on end again. There was no train coming…..  It was something else. Juice box.  Gaaawds…  Don’t jizz. Not here, not in public, he quietly told himself. But nothing could still the shiver that coursed down his spine. Nero blinked those heterochromatic eyes and he licked his lips. That psychic aura, strong deep and fluid, was so utterly tantalizing. How on this godsforsaken rock could he resist.

“Well ain’t I a lucky boy,” he murmured quietly to himself and quietly let some distance gain between his and his target. He didn’t need them to be in immediate visuals for him to tail them. He could follow that scent anywhere. It didn’t take long for it to become embedded into his memory.  His focused realigned itself. Double vision coming together at last.

Oh….what was this.  Another one?

Yup, this was his lucky night after all.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 06:09:16 AM by Lion »

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 11:26:15 PM »
Some stupid bullshit.

Cinna closed his eyes and scratched the kitties heads before he planted kisses to either of their chins. Boop and Beep had become good excuses to not go anywhere but it was nice to go out sometimes and... There would be people there he liked to see. Chewing on his lower lip he finally fixed his outfit - a simple shirt and a pair of jeans. Nothing fancy. Nothing weird. Even kept his newly purchased elephant thong in it's secret place in his drawer. Eugh. Terrible idea. 

Must have been something in the air when he got those.

There was a glass of whiskey consumed to calm his nerves before he left and with enough food to last a day or so, he left his apartment.

It was an easy night, a loose sweater on to keep away the constant chill the metal gave him. He was constantly warm so anything below room temperature made him shiver.  Finally, out of the Citadel on his way to meet Havanah. Silly shenanigans and... Eugh. Stupid. Cinna pushed a hand through his hair before he pulled the hood of his hoody up and over his head, ears tucked back. Maybe so many people wouldn't notice him if he tried to blend in? If they didn't look at his weird feet they'd just see a strangely tall buff man. It would be fine.

Maybe if he hung out with... People... More he'd be less inclined to attach himself to them. And get jealous. And grumpy and .... A somewhat familiar scent caught his nose and someone in a puffy coat rushed passed him, elbow dragging along his chest for a moment. Confusion flashed his features and he remembered an alert that had gone across his com briefly. Chip found. AWOL Pilot. To be taken into custody when found.

Hardly prepared. Still, she was just an echo. CO but not in a squad. He looked at his com for a second to read the brief profile while he followed her, tail swaying while he moved to keep up.  Just a quick follow, see if she stopped anywhere and then alert the seekers - or whoever - that he'd seen her. There was no time now. Not if he didn't want to tip her off. An idea that seemed good to him, head fuzzy as it was.

He didn't notice or scent anything odd around him while he quietly followed the woman who was walking briskly somewhere. Just the regular people smell of Haviah. Regular people sounds. Then, the lights started to go dark and he knew he'd been spotted. Shit. He held back, frowning. Shaking his head, he moved a hand to his chest and then his head. Hand going to a wall.

That was a new feeling.

Cinna had done drills feeling sick before. If he was good at one thing it was pretending to be fine but now right now. Cinna leaned heavily against the wall, stance wide so he could keep his balance. The fuck. What the fuck. Of course he knew he should call for help. Cinna knew he should have immediately called for back up, but his head was fuzzy and his eyes were dizzy and he opened his mouth to speak but all that came out was a croak.

Finally he turned around, vision blurry. "Can I help you?" Maybe he just needed to sit. They had the Pilot on cameras. He'd be able to tell them when he saw her and they could track her, right? Right. Right. Cinna closed his eyes for a moment before he leaned heavily on the wall. "Keep walking, Civilian," He instructed the man, frowning deeply, plucking his hood off his head so that maybe, just maybe they'd recognize him for who he was - Cinnamon Rook of the Haviah Harpies - and carry on their way.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 12:03:25 AM »
Nero was hungry.

Maybe that was underestimating it. He wasn't hungry. He was fucking starving. That source of energy was drawing and Nero couldn't help himself. He wanted to get closer, hone in and have a taste. Would they be tipped off? Probably. It would taste like raspberry jam, he decided. Yup, definitely. That reminded, him, he probably needed to pick up some peanut butter on the way here. He had that itch again, and the only thing that seemed to soothe it was peanut butter.

The stuff on Libra station was awful. He made a point of trying out different brands of peanut butter whenever he had a chance. And it'd been so long since he had a proper jar from Haviah. It'd be a little itty bitty thing. Nobody would miss it.

"Sorry, there," Nero wobbled, moving in closer to the big one that now revealed himself to be so large in that same artificial lighting. Oooooohhh.  Nero shivered again and sucked in a deep breath.  Somewhere ahead of them he heard the feet running of the one in the fur-linned jacket. Running off. He didn't know where, but he had her scent. He'd find her again. They never did hide for long.

Ooooh pretty hair. And even pretty eyes. And holy shit that mouth. Nero blinked slowly, eye-lids falling halfway and he grinned a wide smile, canines a little pointier than normal, but the hunger for the raspberry jam hadn't quiet set in just yet. Not quiet like the one for this guy's aura. Cinnamon Rook.

"I bet you taste like it too," he murmured. "Hey there. Come on, let me help you up. You one of those fancy Pilot guys? I can tell. I like you already." A harmless gesture because why not. Nero dipped down and pulled him up. Hmmm, the guy was taller than him. Maybe it'd be better if Nero did most of the leg work or Mr. Cinnabutter would topple him over.

"Lookie lookie, this'll be easier if I carry you, big guy." Nero in that same tucking motion, he puled his arm up over and curled the Pilot's body over his shoulders, lifting him up steadily in a fireman's hold. And carried on down the platform steps.

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 12:20:56 AM »
"Stay where you are," Cinna demanded, voice tinges by a rumble. Sent his voice funny. He was supposed to be intimidating but the damn person kept talking and he kept getting more dizzy. Another step and his knee buckled. His head felt empty. His eyes were heavy.

The fuck. The fuck. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to contact Leoru. Tell her something was serioisly wrong. But nothing. Leoru wasn't there. Cinna let out a whimper of distress while he slowly started to crumple, shoulder pressed heavily to the wall.

One lsst shuffle away from the interesting person. Cinna felt a tired purr in his throat. A laat ditxh effort to calm himself down. It wasn't being worried for himself, while he tiredly tried to move away, one shuffle at a time. Cinna could only think of the kittens, his hand went to his sweater where he pulled it off and held it for a moment.

The intention had been fo leave enough of a psychic residue so they could see what Cinna saw. However, the only thing anyone would se was how worried he was about his kittens and who's chest would they sleep on of he was gone? "Please," he sighed, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

The last thing he remembered after tossing the sweater was seeing the world move. This guy had picked him up like he weighed nothing. He really was fucked - but then everything was peaceful and black and Cinna was passed out. Limbs limp.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 01:32:12 AM »
What could he saw? He felt bad for the guy. Really. If only he'd decided to go somewhere else for the night, none of this would have to happen. And maybe it didn't, something about hindsight always being twenty-twenty. Or fifty-fifty. No, no. That was trade deals. And even those  were more prone to go 20-80 in the blink of a fucking eye.

People just had no honesty these days. No class.

This wasn't any such deal, even if it seemed like Mr. Scaley here had gotten the raw end of it. It was nothing personal. He was just in the way. Collateral damage, was what they called it. When unnecessary repercussions occurred. Nero didn't like to bother with technical terms. Already he could feel part of himself restoring, as he moved quickly down.

The weight on his shoulders wasn't anything new. Back in the red dirt towns, he'd been raised to wrangle some of the meanest goddamn beasts known to mortal kind. The meanest one got him, yeah, but he was still kicking. Somehow. That thought made his arm itch uncomfortably.

He didn't think anything more of it. He just wanted to get down. So down they went, in the corners were the cameras didn't catch the light so well, down further where people were scarce. Something creaked behind Nero and he ducked into an alleyway. It was an alley he knew before. Some time ago, but they weren't friends.

It had it's uses, to be sure. In this case, it had a hole, enough to get them further down. And down more.  And that was where he found where he needed to be. A mangled, half-rusted jungle gym, underneath the cracking roof of an abandoned building was where he carefully set down Mr. Scaley. He was a lot bigger in the dark, and he could see how he could be scary to some people. Nero propped him up against the bars and crouched in front of him.

His hand came up to carefully push at the Kulshedra's face. Nope. Nothing quite like anything back on that red rock. But his mouth was a little bit like his, maybe just a liiiiittle bit less wide, but it was enough to open up and catch a man's throat and shred. No, he didn't want to shred this one's throat. He didn't do anything other than be in the wrong place in the wrong time.

"No hard feelings, mate. But when you make the quarry get away, you need to be punished my friend," Nero explained to Cinna, and cracked his knuckles hard against his face. Maybe that would wake him up.

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 05:51:58 PM »

His head hurt.

Cinnamon Rook was very rarely taken by surprise by big things. Little things like cat nipples sure, but not head splitting surprises. He'd dreamed of floating. Watching the alley ways move until they became a run down broken park. It took so much effort to look.

When, blessedly, they stopped moving, he was propped up like a doll. Cinna was slow to come to, head swimming in an emptyness its never known before but, suddenly it knew everything. Pain.

Pain and then all he could taste was blood, his teeth having sliced his tongue. Cinna gasped a breath, trying not to choke. He let the blood slip from his mouth to coat his chin. "Who the fuck are you?" He ground out, moving to stand up and ignore the pulling empty sensation in his head.

It was like trying to fight off the long fingers of sleep. Eventually they got you. "I'm Cinnamon Rook," he said, voice slurred from the cut tongue, "you have ten seconds to fuck off before I burn you to a crisp." A bluff, his limbs were so weak he leaned heavily against the jungle gym. There was an attempt then, to do it anyway.  To call upon his pyrokinesis and make this stranger burn.

Nothing though. There was no fire in him and Cinnamon was chilled to the core.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 09:27:04 PM »
Ahhh there it was then, raspberry jam. Nero licked his lips and reigned himself in for a second. First it was that psionic energy of his, just radiating off of him like dust storms over dirty badlands and swanky stretches of endless red. He brushed his hair back, pushing away the loose strands that had fallen into his face. For the most part they would stay drawn back, and he kept his eyes honed in on Rook's.

"Cinnamon Rook. Is that kind of cereal?" Of course he knew it was his name, but he just wanted to sound like a smart ass. These Pilots were useful in that way, good for talking, not much for listening so it didn't really matter what he said. "Actually, maybe more like the bird right? Or were you talking about one of those chess pieces. Either way, it's a cool name, man. Where you from?"

Nero's eyes narrowed as he gauged the blood coming down his lips. His finger reached out to swipe at the cheek and his blood roared in his ears, just long enough. That red, bright and vibrant and sweeter than sugar. He brought it too his lips and plopped it into his mouth, gently sucking on it until the flavor rolled around on his tongue.

"I think ten seconds passed, Cinnamon," Nero quipped softly and reached up to examine the other side of Cinna's face. "I'm not crispy yet."

"Just as stranger, passing through. Don't worry your head about it too much."  And another fist flew against Cinna's face.  That aura, he kept pulling at it and Nero felt his own strength coming back to him. Had it really been that long since he had a decent meal like this? Probably. He had to remember to eat more often. More blood came out and Nero didn't hesitate this time.

He reached out to hold Cinna's face and leaned in to gently lick at the blood on his chin.

"So, you're one of those fancy Pilots huh? You uhh, can burn things you said? That's cool man. What else can you do? You're not human, obviously. What are you exactly?"

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 11:09:08 PM »
There was nothing.

Cinna was still psychic. He could feel it. But when he tried to do anything it was just sucked aaay. Sliping from his metaphorical fingers. Feeling anything was tough. He listened to the stranger talk, watched him lick blood and Cinnamon winced.

He was so drained of anything. Fear wasn't paramount and he knew he should at least be angry. Then, there was another unexpected fist fto the otherside, another sharp toothed gash to the tongue. More blood.

Oh fire.

Cinna's breath picked up a bit and just watched. "I'm none of your business," he panted out, voice slurred eyes hard. He swallowed the majority of blood in his mouth habitually before turning his head and gagging. "The fuck are you?" He hissed, trying to slyly grab his com and tell someone where he was.

The draw was getting more and he could feel himself growing tired, pain heavy in his mouth and eyes heavy on his cheeks. "Some kinda spooky vampire?"

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 11:29:39 PM »
Nero was hoping for the Pilot to do something interesting. Anything. But no, he just sat there, all drunk. Oh, man, yeah this guy was just a loose hair on an itchy jockstrap now wasn't he? Huh, that scary mouth certainly hinted at otherwise. Nope no... wait.

There was anger underneath all that delirium. Reinvigorated now, Nero's eyes darted to Cinnamon Rook's shifty hands, the ones that slung loosely at his side until he saw something shiny flicker from the corner of his vision. Reflecting very faintly in whatever little lighting managed to get through the cracks of that playground.

"Ahhhh, ahahahahaha," Nero laughed. "No, no no. I don't think so." And his hand shot out to grasp Cinna's wrist gripping it in a vice and twisting it so that he dropped it.

"Trying to call for help? Tsk-tsk, Rook," he mumbled. "Look, man, you understand that there's no other way around this. Wrong place, wrong time. No hard feelings. But you have to be punished. No matter how sweet you taste. It'd be a real shame to waste you."  Nero reached down and gripped Cinna up by the neck, lifting him clear off the ground and holding him up high.

And planted him up against the rusted monkey bars. "This spooky enough for ya?"

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 10:55:30 PM »
Cinna felt any sort of confidence ebb away. He'd done most of the texting by muscle memory. Hadn't looked to make sure he'd written words. Just hit the send area before the weirdo got a hold of it.

All he managed to do was send a simple 'llppp'. Maybe it was odd enough for them to suspect. Today was the day with no scheduled drills. Nothing to make anyone suspicious of his not being around. A home body.

A surprised gasp and his hands went to the arm that lifted him. His air cut off and he gave some kicks of his feet, just high enough to be lifted from the ground. His tail lashed out behind him for purchase and his golden eyes were staring at Nero's eyes.

Spooky? Cinna gripped the arm, trying to dig his nails in while he gasped for air. How was this happening. Why was this happening. Cinna desperately gasped for air before his eyes started fo roll into his head, quickly being sapped of anything. A futile punch to the arm before he felf the world lose colour.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 12:25:31 AM »
There was no telling how long it would be by the time Cinnamon Rook would wake up, but when he did, it'd be strapped to that jungle gym with the dregs of old ropes and rags that Nero had scavenged up from around that old abandoned playground. Nero's eyes flickered up to where moss actually grew on the walls just aside from where there was a crack in the ceiling. A sigh and he cracked his neck.

"Weird huh?" he commented idly, looking around and holding Cinna's phone rather calmly in hand. The device itself was off and would remain that way until further notice.  He knew he'd gotten a message out before he could completely snatch it away from the Pilot. Whatever he managed to send, it wasn't much and in that brief moment of time Nero considered destroying the device.

But he stopped himself short of throwing it onto the ground and crushing it underneath his heel. Nope, he might still need it. He was just being punished, he reminded himself. No need to be childish about the whole ordeal.

"This place was probably crawling with children at some point. But people are so forgetful. They take things for granted, and forget them, and they fall into disuse. Into ruin. I won't let that happen to you, Mr. Rook. You're very sweet. That kind of thing can't go to waste."

And he turned on that com. Oh...it needed a chip passcode.  Right, his own was fake, one of the many he interchanged here and there. The digging it out wasn't ever the problem although his wrist itched here and there after a while. He was a fast healer and the wound was smoothed over soon enough.  Nero crossed over that small distance to check Cinna's wrist for that chip, and pressed his finger to the scanner just in case and unlocked the phone.

Just to check what was what. A few pictures on there. Some of other scaley people much like him. Yeah, that was pretty odd but kind of cool. He didn't seem to have anything that wasn't worth looking at. A blue guy, Indigo, it said. With a doofy smile and a carrot up his nose and Nero actually snorted. "Nice."

He flicked a few more apps, until he opened the camera. "Okay, Mr. Rook. Smile."
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 12:26:07 AM by Lion »

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 07:41:39 PM »

Cinnamon jerked his head up and felt a world of pain. Nothing else hurt - yet- but his head was a pounding beacon of it. A croaking noise was all his now bruised throat could make and he did his best to keep his eyes open despite the head pain. Just barely did he lift his head before heard something akin to a photo being taken.

Oh no.


Was this guy documenting before he killed him? Cinna willed himself to stay calm. His jaw hurt. his tongue throbbed. He probably had a split lip and his eyes burned and all he wanted to do was go home to his kittens but... No. Stoic. Strong. He was a Harpy.  Quietly he pulled against the restraints but all it did was make the jungle gym moan in protest . The bonds held true.

"Let me go," He hissed, jerking his hands again before he just froze and winced. What was he supposed to do? The constant drain of whatever it was just by being near him made his eyes roll into his head again. "Please," Maybe begging would work. Minimal begging. Cinna gasped for breath, head rolling.

"What are you?" He finally breathed out, fighting to keep his eyes open.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 08:29:34 PM »
Nero sighed and after he took the picture, sending it to the Pilot Chat with a random array of emoticons. Did he want to mess with them? Yeah, probably. Even if most of it would be pointless. He was stupid, but he wasn't that stupid. He was just a snake in a pit of pit of needles and even if he could glide across a few of them, sooner or later he'd get pricked. Besides, he just needed a pick me up.

And getting caught and pricked at in some Aedolian lab wasn't Nero's idea of a good time. "I just need a top up, brother. I don't mean anything by it," he carefully explained and continued to look through Cinna's phone, making a mental note of the contacts, of the responses. And how quickly the picture was taken down.

Oh shit, they didn't mess around.

"Me. I don't really know what I am. Not the finer details anyway. I used to get these weird dreams way back when I changed. They call themselves Eldritch vampires. The things that make me all hungry for your psionic energy. You Pilots make excellent juice boxes. Far be it from me to squander a good thing when it comes my way. But like I said, this ain't personal. I'll make sure they find you."

At the sight of blood dribbling down his chin again, Nero licked his lips, and reigned himself in. Wouldn't do to be an animal. Already he could feel his limbs radiating with energy and he flipped the phone around in his hand. "Any more questions?"

Online Draconian

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 11:30:37 PM »
Cinnamon was confused.

This guy seemed so normal and if Cinna hadn't felt himself slowly growing cold he might have not paid this guy anymind. Every time he tried to focus on the face nothing was there. Well it was but it was a fuzzy confusing mess and he couldn't remember anything.

Voice was forgotten. Tone. Mannerisms.

Cinnamon had so many more questions but everytime he thought it was a black hole. Everything just got sucked away. He could feel the numbing pressure of Leoru tryibg to contact him but he had nothing to reply with.

A lick of his lips with his bloodied tongue swiped beads of red across his lips and he gave a tired exauhsted look to the stranger. They trained to be resilient. Trained to be tough and bad asses.

Cinna couldn't think of any training that involved his very psyche being consumed. Cinnamon knew he had a name and an age. Dislikes and likes. He knew math and.how to read. Couldn't do any of it. But he knew he could.

Not wanting to swallow so much blood he let it drip from his mouth and down his front before his eyes closed again and his body went lax, unable to sustain himself beyond the basics. He wss going to die. And the state he was in, Cinnamon just knew he was sleepy. So he slept.

Offline Lion

Re: Not Bad for a Roach Motel [M] [Draccu!]
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 02:25:03 AM »
It was kinda funny, he'd never seen a Pilot pass out so fast. But then again they were potent fonts of that delicious psychic energy. Nero gripped the phone in hand and wiped it the screen off gently with the end of his shirt. The poor guy. What the hell was wrong with him? Why did he have to get in the way? Why couldn't he just move along, keep his head down like everyone else.. Then it'd be that other juice box reclining there against that jungle gym instead of him.

Her scent was still strong, potent, and he could follow it if he went back there, kept it strong in his mind. The ache in his back, the emptiness in the pit of his belly would still be there, the small reminders that he was still somewhat alive would stay there. He pressed his tongue against the inside of his teeth, where the sharpened ends could prick at his tongue.

This wouldn't be long. The font would stew for a day or two, think about what he did and then he'd be free to go. And then.

"No, no no!" he hissed and rushed forward. That delicious red. That ache inside grew and Nero instinctively licked out to catch it.. The hunger was abated, slowly and surely. Although the taste was no less sweet. Not just because it was there, to be consumed, but because if the Pilot lost too much of it, he'd be decommissioned. Useless. "That raspberry jam doesn't grow on trees you know. Nothing grows much around here."

Right, no hard feelings.

He didn't come here to kill anyone. The throat was easiest for that. He needed to meet a contact, needed a name to go with a face he'd seen before, and he'd find it one way or another. In a pit of that psionic energy, it was too tempting to go feral, to let loose. That was the fast track on living a short life. He had important things to do, and the  sensible calm wouldn't last forever. Sooner or later, the life he'd left behind on Edanith would catch up with him. What was more, he'd need something to trade for that information. There was a give and take for everything.

There wasn't much to it afterward. He'd had enough, and there wasn't any point in taking any more. Before long the scent of the other juicebox would grow cold and be gone. That was the one he wanted. Nero shook himself, rubbing his brow as he turned that phone back on, using Cinna's print again.

"Look, sorry again. Maybe there won't be a next time," Nero admitted, raising the phone to shoot the live video. The link to it was sent to Deego Rook. The only other Rook in there wasn't named Ma or Pa, he reckoned. Brothers were more reliable than mothers and fathers. He'd find him. He'd make sure the Pilot didn't die.

Nero palmed the geode cluster he'd carefully carved out of his throat, and stopped it up with rags and backed away, placing the phone down and keeping it level with Cinnamon.

With a toss of that hoodie, he rolled it up over his head and pocketed that red cluster, zipping his jacket up and leaving the door slightly ajar of that indoor playground.