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The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

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The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by 7 on Sun May 19, 2013 1:45 pm

January 28, 2012
Between 7 or 8 PM





She never felt rain before. It surprised her. The cold wetness on her face and how quickly it slid over her skin. In the past, she'd always try to stick her hand out to grab a handful of water droplets from her window, but she'd always fail. Now, here she was, almost six years later, lying flat on her back on the top of an abandoned factory. It was a peaceful rain. The type that would lull a child to sleep or set the mood for a long night of studying. For a moment, the scarred girl felt as if she could fly. And in that same moment, she closed her eye and tried to imagine (or was she remembering?) a time she felt rain.

She was smaller then, no older than five or four, as she was led, hand-in-hand to a small beach. The sky, while grey and almost ominous looking, still did not sway the people who traveled there. It was still a lively place, filled with children and families that ran against the shoreline to pick up rocks or shells. The woman that held her hand, scooped her up to her hip as the thunder began to roll ahead. This frightened her, but the woman consoled her, "There is nothing to be afraid of," She felt a hand ruffle her hair, "...it's just rain."

Her eye opened again. She was back in the present. Her hair wet, and her dress now see-through, she felt only a questionable regret. She had never known these people in her thoughts. She was sure of it, "...but, still..."

私は私が私の本名を知っていた{ 71;とを望む。
"I wish I remembered my real name."
she thought.

7. Nana. That's all she was known as. A number, or someone's code for a mere science project. Did she even understand the basic concept of a name? Maybe she never had one to begin with. She was probably always Nana, and would eventually die as Nana. The water began to flood her face and nose and for a second, she began to remember. And this time, it was a memory.

"Strap her in." She distinctly remembered being around eleven or twelve at the time. She got in trouble for biting a guard and was subsequently punished for it. They stripped her down to a hospital gown and placed on a metal table. It was freezing. The chill of her breath turned white each time she exhaled. The vices they placed her in were far too tight. They said nothing to her as they began to dump cold water over her face and nose. And if she dared to close her eyes, they'd only strike her. They did this for twenty minutes, but this was not the last, nor the first time they performed it on her. But the one thing that made this moment so poignant...was the fact, that afterwards, she was carefully dried and bathed and given a newer, cleaner looking uniform to wear. They put salve on her sores and they actually let her eat in peace. When asked why, she was only told that it was a, 'special day for her, January 28th.'

Eventually, she realized that every January 28th, they seemed to be less cruel to her. Even when enacting a punishment, they were more civil and less coarse and the Doctor would be nowhere to be found. On her special day, she felt a little more normal.


Normal. Another state of being, if it even existed, she had certainly never felt. Her body twitched (she felt that odd sensation of falling, which immediately jerked her awake). She sat up, the rain, unrelenting, had waterlogged her hair, making it appear loose and stringy. Her eyes could see more clearly and her dress, originally white, was now transparent. This began to bore her. So, she straightened her body, took a runner's stance and bolted across the roof, to the edge and jumped down to land on her feet. The neighborhood that surrounded the factory was more or less, abandoned. Most of nature had taken up what were homes, businesses, and even schools. Squinting into the darkness, she saw some light up ahead. And where there's light, there's people. And where there's people, there's opportunity. D.C. had food and easier ways to get to said food, even without money. She bolted into the unknown, not watching out for anyone (or anything) that may jump at her.


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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by Pan Weilong on Sun May 19, 2013 4:41 pm

Darkness had fallen across Washington D.C. For many restaurants, this was closing time; even though a large portion of them would continue for business sake. Donny Ha! Ha!, a popular Chinese/Asian restaurant towards the southern end of Washington D.C., was one of those businesses still open and likely would stay open for another two hours yet. It was a favorite restaurant of many a D.C. citizen, who often had to make reservations weeks in advance. Hard to believe it happened to be owned by the single most secretive man in all of the Oriental world; Asia's equivalent of the Kingpin, and Paladin of the Templars.

Pan Weilong stood outside of his restaurant now, just having finished speaking with his head-manager who he often left in charge while he was away. He hardly ever had time for his restaurant, but whenever he did have time he wanted to make sure that it was run by a man he could trust. Otherwise he'd be the one running it; it had been a dream of his as a boy to run his own restaurant.

He reached into his Han robes and pulled out a Cuban Cigar. Lighting it, he puffed on it a little, enjoying the flavor as the smoke filled his mouth. Puffing it out, he sighed and looked across the open area outside of his restaurant, watching as people drove by and made their way about the city in the cold of late January.

He looked up. It was starting to rain. He smiled a little. The dark clouds, rain, and the hustle and bustle reminded him of his time up in one of the mountain villages in Japan around this time of year. He enjoyed Japan during this time of year and during the spring, when all of its colors were most splendid. Sure, he was not native to the land of Japan, and where he was from most still hated the Japanese for what they did in the second World War to China, but though he was first and foremost Chinese at heart, he was still Asian...and his cause was Asian.

He finished the cigar and tossed the remnants an ashtray. He looked around. It wasn't too cold. Tonight was a perfect night for wandering around for a little while...

He pressed a button on his pager, letting his private guards know that he was not to be disturbed. Heading off into the alleyway by his restaurant, he walked up to a nearby door in the next building and knocked once. The door automatically hissed open, and he ducked inside.

It didn't take long for him to change into his stealth garb. Modeled like the suits worn by the Ninja of Japan, with his own personal Chinese flair, it carried slots for some of his favorite gear. Of course, he wasn't going to go out with any of that now. He trusted his own body as a natural weapon enough. Tonight he didn't plan on going to chase anyone down. This was a leisurely run for the night. He didn't plan on killing anyone, not on a night like this.

With the agility of a wild cat, he climbed up the side of the building. It wasn't long before he was on the roof. Using his agility thanks to countless hours of physical training, he moved across the rooftops; careful to keep his footing through the rain. If anyone saw him, they'd only think he was a stray cat. Tonight, he was the lord of the night...

----------------------------------

It took him some time before he reached a destination he liked; the old industrial district of Washington D.C. It was a sufficient distance from the main city, which gave him a good view of the world around him. With the city lights sufficiently far enough behind, he had a feeling that he'd be able to have a good view of the sky this way. Choosing a rather good spot high up in what he assumed was likely the manager's office of a factory, high up on a tower, he lay himself down on the roof and took a moment to relax. His old bones creaked, and his fingers and toes felt sore, but it left him feeling good inside.

As he lay there, waiting for the clouds to part, he noticed movement below. Cautiously, he peered down from the tower to the main roof of the factory below...and low and behold he saw the most peculiar sight.

Well...you don't see that everyday, he said to himself.

There was a girl, lying there on the nearby roof. She had been lying there for a good long while. Her white dress was damp and transparent from the rain, and she had an eyepatch over one eye. But take everything else away and he could still know an Oriental woman when he saw one. She definitely looked Asian to his old eyes.

He remained where he was on the roof, unmoving. There was a good chance that he wasn't the only one who knew she was here. He'd wait and see what she'd do first before he let himself be known. After all, there were those who would love to set a trap to catch the famed leader of the Dragon Lotus...

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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by 7 on Sun May 19, 2013 5:43 pm

So, she ran. She had her thoughts set on food, and nothing more. Her limbs were small, but they were also powerful and swift. "Ah!" She made a turn into an alleyway; which only held a frightened cat (that nicked her cheek) and a weak halogen light, that, despite after years and years without any type of formal maintenance, stayed on. She held her face. The feline that attacked her was nowhere to be seen.

Nana was upset for a small while. But once the pain on her face subsided, her curiosity got the better of her.

She sensed that there was another presence, another person, nearby. Personally, she wasn't the type that seemed to be bothered by such things, but for some reason, she wanted to reach out.

"I know you're here." she said, as calmly as she could (she was actually excited), "Come out. I will not harm you."

The rain had slowed down into a small sprinkle, which gave her some clarity. She saw the imprint of a figure on a roof, somewhere. Unfortunately, it was still...fuzzy. But she wanted to give the other person a chance to introduce themselves. Maybe they just wanted to talk?

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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by Pan Weilong on Sun May 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Weilong watched as the girl suddenly got up and ran off into the open, heading for the city. Curious, this girl. When he had watched her, no one had showed up. It was likely that she could probably not be a trap after all...

Or she could have seen him...

He tapped into his beeper and pulled up his mic. "Keep tabs on my position," he stated, "I'll beep when I'm ready to be picked up. I might have a passenger."

Placing the microphone back, he leapt from the tower down to the main rooftop. Rolling to keep his legs from breaking, he used the momentum and performed a neat frontflip down, landing with two legs and one hand on the ground, the other out and holding his balance. Keeping track of which direction the girl was headed, he followed.

-----------------------

It didn't take much for him to find her. After all, not many people run around in the rain with only a white dress that was practically transparent from the rain. He had long since taken to the rooftops again; it was easier to follow her that way, where less people could see him. Although with a young attractive woman practically announcing...what was the American term? A...wet t-shirt contest? Yes, that was right...a wet t-shirt contest in the middle of a cold day out in late D.C., he doubted he'd attract much attention even if he was wearing his Lotus Armor in the middle of the road.

The girl turned and ran into a nearby alley. Weilong quickly followed, but stopped when a cat attacked her, causing her to falter in her footsteps. He stopped and peered over the rooftop, watching carefully.

She stood there for a little while, likely addressing the pain on her body. Rather odd; one would think that she'd be feeling frostbite from all of this bitter cold. He then watched as she looked around, peering through the alleyway. At first he thought that she was simply looking for danger, but then it had occurred to him...the way she was searching was like the way the deer would look around once he strung the arrow to his bow...

She knew he was there!

"I know you're here." she confirmed, "Come out. I will not harm you."

Incredible. Either this girl had a very good sense of danger, or she was trained. Trained well. Perhaps this could have been a trap after all...

No...it wouldn't have been. He recognized that language; Japanese. If it had been a real trap, or at least one made by those he assumed, then she would have been speaking Mandarin or Cantonese. Many officials had suspected that he had a connection to the Triad thanks to his father's discovery back when he was still a boy. The Triad primarily worked in China, and few would suspect them working in places beyond where Chinese drugs were in high demand. Of course, even fewer credible people (outside the Templars, of course) knew of the existence of the Dragon Lotus, which operated not just China, but all of Asia and the Orient.

No, this girl was much different...and potentially useful.

Deciding he'd take the risk, he slipped over the side of the roof and slid down the wall, keeping himself pinned to the side to slow his descent. About part of the way down he leapt off and did a flip to slow himself down even further before landing perfectly on the ground, crouched on all fours. He then stood up and regarded the woman through his old eyes and looked her over.

Oh yes...very useful...

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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by 7 on Mon May 20, 2013 5:11 am

Silence. She said nothing when he appeared, and she seemed to be a bit...unimpressed by his feat. Of course, it may have had something to do with her not knowing exactly how he looked like or how old he was, but she merely regarded him with a wet nod of her hair and a question.

"Why were you watching me?"

It dawned on her. What if the stranger was one of them? "If you're trying to take me back to Hokkaido, I will kill you first. So, answer wisely." She regarded the other with distaste, but she wanted to give...whoever this was.... a chance.


"Well?"



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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by Pan Weilong on Tue May 21, 2013 3:38 am

"Why were you watching me?"

Weilong realized it must come across as being rather awkward, watching a young girl who appeared of African and Asian descent wandering around in the rain by herself, especially from the rooftops. It wasn't exactly something that happened on a regular basis, especially in the United States. Pan Weilong met her gaze with his own, though he remained silent, pondering as to how best answer this.

"If you're trying to take me back to Hokkaido, I will kill you first. So, answer wisely."

Hokkaido? He knew that name. It was one of the islands in Japan. What did this girl mean? He realized that she must and most definitely must be worth something to somebody if she went about threatening to kill. However, she appeared smart; she didn't specifically mention which city in Hokkaido she was from or who she was trying to escape. That would make the job of finding out who wanted her so bad a problem...

Of course, it wasn't always a problem for the Dragon Lotus.

"Well?"

The old man looked at her. He lifted his hands to indicate that he was unarmed and had no intention of harming her. He then slowly approached her, keeping his hands up and pointed in her direction. Though he didn't have any weapons, he knew that if she had hostile intent he could hold his own; he was relatively safe. Once he got up within arm's distance of her, he reached back slowly, unfastened the cloak of his travelling costume, and draped it around her person.

"You'll catch cold," he said, "Not good to go out in the rain with just a dress."

He looked at the girl, studied her features. The eyepatch was a large one and appeared almost like it was applied as a temporary bandage rather than a permanent feature. Of course, compared to the traditional patch of old, that was probably a good thing; she would look rather comical walking around with an eyepatch like those used by the actors in pirate movies.

"I am not from Hokkaido," he said, "What is your name?"

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Re: The Stars Come Out [OPEN]

Post by 7 on Tue May 21, 2013 6:59 am

Her face still stung. The blood on the angry lines of her face had either coagulated or was washed out by rainwater. Either way, all was left was her scratches and the dull pain of her face. The figure held out its' hands (or his? She was quite certain this was a man) and began to move forward. Which only made her jump slightly backwards. What was he up to?

He didn't even answer her questions. 'Not yet.' 7 thought, 'Don't attack.' Oh, but it was tempting. She was the type to keep most strangers at an arm's length. Anyone had a potential to harm her. Those that attempted to speak with her, that is. Ever since she's left the facility, all she's met was either more confrontation or was avoided entirely. It was one of the reasons she's lived her life as a type of scavenger. She'd scrap up food, old clothes, anything that make her life more easier. And she had no complaints. After all, stowing away and scavenging helped her across the pacific ocean. Still, she wouldn't recommend riding through air mail.

People rarely sent fresh food in packages.

--

Once he was close enough to touch her, she noticed that he was older, but still carried himself with great finesse. It was rare to see someone his age perform a back flip, that's for sure. He was wise to not come near her any faster than he had, she would've either fought or fled if that were the case, so she was personally relieved that she didn't have to fight an elder. He was of Asian descent, although, he definitely did not appear to be (at least, a full) Japanese man. He was definitely taller, most men at his age would have been more squat and thin after years of working. No, he appeared to be more solid, plus the angle of his nose definitely suggested that he was possibly Chinese or Korean. There were subtle differences, mostly in skin tone and facial features, that set even the most related of those of Asian descent (people from India and parts of Russia also qualified as such) apart.

She was so lost in her own thoughts, that she nearly jumped when he covered her.

"You'll catch cold," he said, "Not good to go out in the rain with just a dress."

She stared.

"I am not from Hokkaido," he said, "What is your name?"

"..."

"I can tell. Your Japanese is not completely flawless."

She hesitated when he requested a name. All she had was a number. "Nana." (Trans. "Seven"

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