Gavin de Luc

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51 Setting the Bar High

About Gavin de Luc

  • Rank
    Feet Wet


    Fergal Devitt
  • AGE
  • RACE
    Empowered Human
  • JOB
    ARMA Shield Sergeant
  • 'SHIP:
    Married to Rebekah Lynch
    New York State
    Gavin stands at five feet, ten inches and weighs in at between 165-185lbs depending on health/motivation, though has recently been on the lower end of that due to lack of alcohol abuse and lack of proper eating. Even before the first Resonance he was always fit, but he has fluctuated in and out of peak physical condition over the years due to various factors. He has absolutely no physical enhancements whatsoever, so it has always been a point of pride that he could somewhat keep up even with the physically empowered humans. Even ‘somewhat keep up’ might even be a bit of an exaggeration, but he’ll stand by that one regardless.

    What is noticeable, especially in New York, is the rough and hard style of dress compared to Gavin's comrades in ARMA outside of his native Shield Division. He isn't seen often without his unshined and often dirty array of combat boots these days, nor without his trademark leather jacket which is about the only piece of clothing he maintains regularly. In regards to maintenance outside of weapons, he does the bare minimum he's allowed to skate by with and it really shows by the present day. Drunk, dirty, and angry are pretty consistent words to describe Gavin at this point in his life.

    His gait and mannerisms are nonetheless still very military, and Gavin is also known for the intensity that he carries around with him that makes it damn near impossible for him to relax these days. He lost the 'off' switch for that when Rebekah went missing, and finds it extremely difficult to be casual even in demeanor anymore. Sure, he’ll crack jokes and be funny sometimes, but his physical stance doesn’t shift from combat readiness to the point where he even has immense trouble sleeping or relaxing even when completely alone these days.
    Excerpts from two evaluations. The first comes from May 2018, when he was officially under review for Sergeant. The second is from February 2020, the most recent one which has put Gavin temporarily stripped of command pending review that will likely result in demotion. These range from official remarks to which Gavin has seen, to unofficial remarks and verbal conversations made by his superior officers that he was never privy to.

    Attitude/Interpersonal Skills

    “Operative DeLuc has one of those attitudes that is always positive while remaining completely committed to the mission. He has a natural rapport with others, and has a knack for making people feel important when speaking to them. Even when separated from his partner, he is routinely selected to by his peers to be their representative when disputes or other things happen to require it.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc has had trouble adjusting after the disappearance of Lieutenant Rebekah Lynch. He is much more abrasive, and there are routinely a flurry of complaints and concerns voiced whenever he is back in New York City for that fact. His group seems to still be loyal and protective of him, but cracks in that have started to show recently. Counseling has proved ineffective and self-awareness seems to be going down steadily. There are also several documented instances of excessive intoxication on record since November, enough to be a concern moving forward.”


    “Operative DeLuc has shown satisfactory organization and time management skills, but his planning skills leave much to be desired. He is very much the type of person to ‘wing’ things and make adjustments on the fly rather than come in with a workable plan in place from the beginning.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc’s lack of skills in this entire area is cause for concern. Being a good fighter isn’t near the entire job of a leader, and DeLuc seems unable or unwilling to realize this fact. His selfish desire to cowboy around this job puts himself and everyone else he works with in danger, and needs to be addressed and quickly.”

    Knowledge of Work

    “Operative DeLuc has an exceptional knowledge of most practical aspects of his job in Shield division due to his extensive military experience and service in the Dragon War. He is noted to teach more inexperienced operatives on his own time to improve overall unit readiness on a consistent basis to supplement pre-existing training.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc has more than satisfactory knowledge of all aspects to his duties in the Shield Division.”


    “Operative DeLuc is a superb informal communicator, but seems to have a problem when it comes to formal communication. Slang and enough irreverence to be a problem slips through way too easily, and he appears to respect authority noticeably less than most of his peers with the exception of when he is in the presence of Lieutenant Rebekah Lynch.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc has proven unsatisfactory in nearly all categories since November when it comes to communication with anyone. His subordinates, his equals, and his superiors have all suffered because of his inability to do this aspect of his job. He can hide behind excuses all he wants, but at some point a soldier needs to press forward and stop wallowing in self-pity.”


    “Operative DeLuc is the sort of individual who puts forth maximum effort but seems to even prefer other team members getting the credit of that work over him. He has been noted to talk other teammates up in front of superiors and even give them credit for work that he did on more than one occasion. He has even refused to be put forth before the promotion board previously, but the likely reason why was because any promotion would have separated him physically from Lieutenant Rebekah Lynch until now.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc has come back with a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas and does not delegate effectively anymore. He takes on too much responsibility, likely as an effort to ‘prove himself’ that if allowed to continue will grow into a danger to both himself and any men under his command. Just because this dangerously fast and loose style has worked so far does not mean it will continue to do so, and some kind of change needs to occur soon.”

    Decision Making/Problem Solving

    “Operative DeLuc is rarely the main problem solver, but he has shown to be extremely decisive and has absolutely no hesitation in trusting orders and other operatives even in the most stressful of situations. Even though, especially separated from superior officers, the plans may not be the best the quality is made up for with the quickness.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc is an arrogant decision maker who routinely goes out without taking proper time to plan and instead relies on his experience to ad hoc solutions to problems as they arise. His decisiveness is still there, but what little problem solving ability he had before is gone now. Whether it is because of a death wish or because he is incapable of thought without Lynch there to hold his hand is for a psychologist to decide.”

    Independent Action

    “Operative DeLuc, to be frank, looks lost when asked to complete simulations and other training exercises alone more often than not. It is clear he’s used to taking orders, and when not given even general ones he seems to flounder more than nearly any other soldier.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc has been focusing on this aspect lately almost to the exclusion of all else, but it has improved. His drilling and simulation times are all personal bests and he has finally seemed to grasp what he needs to do without any direction.”


    “Though his rank does not afford official authority, Operative DeLuc has managed to get quite a bit of unofficial authority even when separated from his partner. He seems to be a natural leader, and is always seen leading after-work activities and even workout schedules for other operatives to improve readiness, morale, and team cohesion. Other soldiers look up to him, and by all accounts he takes that responsibility very seriously.”

    “The foundation of trust and respect Sergeant DeLuc has built up has been crumbling since November. Cracks are starting to show, and confrontations with coworkers crop up now where it never had before. If the Sergeant does not shape up soon and get back to his former form, his abrasive nature may prove to be more of a detriment in a leadership position than is worth keeping.”

    Managing Change and Improvement

    “Like we find in many career enlisted, there is a resistance to change present in Operative DeLuc particularly when people he views as inexperienced are conducting the training. He very much thinks he knows the ‘right’ way of doing certain things and was initially very stubborn about it. This stubbornness seems to only be present when away from Lieutenant Rebekah Lynch, but over time this issue has been partially corrected as he has seen firsthand the effectiveness of some of the tactics employed by ARMA. He is very much an individual that will default on what he thinks is correct rather than what he has been trained on when the going gets rough, which is a detriment that should be noted. He will give lip service to new techniques, but his actions have shown his dismissiveness to adaptability as a useful asset.”

    “Routinely refuses new trainings that are not mandatory. Stuck in ways and unwilling to adapt as times change. Started off seemingly trying to copy what Lieutenant Lynch would do in situations, but after experiencing failure in doing that is very reluctant to deviate from essentially one base plan for every situation. He has an inflated sense of his ability to be a tactician on the field, and just does things his way regardless of training when it comes to actual missions for the most part.”


    “Operative DeLuc is often the first one in and the last one out of any work assignment. He has a perfect attendance record and has been satisfactory in everything he has been asked to do since joining ARMA.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc is on the edge for this category. He shows up at the last possible second to be considered ‘on time’ and more often than not refuses to do work that isn’t strictly mandatory. His appearance has deteriorated and he has lost some weight. His depression and instability have not gotten better, and seem to be impacting his work ethic more and more as time goes on.”


    “Operative DeLuc is a safe and methodical worker until it comes to situations involving noncombatants or other individuals he considers as friendlies. On the field generally he is fine, but careful monitoring should be done whenever he deploys to assist Knight Division. He seems to want to play hero a bit too much and talk people down, and that attitude poses a danger to himself and everyone else working with him in those situations.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc is a safe worker only in the most technical and limited sense. He and his men are generally put in safe positions, but everything around them tends to be a wreck after they go through an area. Excessive force seems to be the new normal for DeLuc, and the mandate to keep him away from working anywhere near the Knight Division is upheld due to the likely public relations nightmare that would result.”

    Additional Notes

    “Operative DeLuc is a good soldier in his own right, but when paired with Lieutenant Lynch both of their performances raise noticeably. He lacks the command presence of his partner, but is a great enforcer. There has to be a certain level of professional distance between commander and soldier, and someone like DeLuc is extremely useful in bridging that gap. One additional concern that needs to be brought up is the fact that Operative DeLuc gets more attached than is healthy for a leadership position. He gets emotionally invested enough in people that if he is ever the one calling the shots, their lives might very well go above completing the mission.”

    “Sergeant DeLuc needs a strong leader with command presence to get him in line. He needs someone to follow, and until he gets that his problems are likely to never go away. As long as DeLuc works in Shield Division, that leader needs to come with experience that matches or exceeds his own as well. He has shown ability in the past to completely and totally undermine any authority an inexperienced leader had when he did not respect them or agree with their decision on the field. Just because he waited for a moment where he could justify doing so in the past does not mean that the intent was not there and he was not waiting for that moment to undermine that authority he did not respect. While in hindsight he was mostly correct in his assessment of [REDACTED], that does not mean that the assessment was not made for all the wrong reasons. His ego has only increased as of late, and a change of scenery to take him down a peg or two might be needed if that leader cannot be found.”


    November 14th, 2017. Mandatory Counseling session. Audio and Video.

    The camera is focused on a brown, cloth couch where a man and a woman sat close enough that their shoulders touched but seemingly focused on a conversation with an off-screen interviewer. They were holding hands at the time, and seemed to just be getting over a bout of laughter. The woman, Rebekah, had long orange hair worn in a waterfall braid and was dressed in a leather trench coat and jeans. Just by reading body language it was clear she was the dominant one, the initiator. The man, Gavin, had short brown hair in a crew cut style and wore a leather motorcycle jacket along with jeans. His body language tended to copy and play off of Rebekah’s throughout the entire session. Both were on the shorter end, with Rebekah being 5’6” and Gavin being 5’10”. Both were on the more lithe and fit side than towering in stature as well. Rebekah weighed in at around 135 pounds steady, and Gavin jumped around between 180-190. The video feed doesn’t start with any specific question, but instead in the middle of one of the answers.

    “Now picture this, if you would.” Rebekah started, freeing her hand from Gavin’s grip and leaning forward on the couch. Her tone is absolutely deathly serious, like she was about ready to reveal some sort of horrible secret. “You’re in your kitchen, kind of in a rush because who isn’t these days? You need to eat something before you go out to work, so you decide to make something simple, y’know? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sound good, nothin’ fancy or anythin’. You get a couple finished, and since you’re on an all-you-can-eat diet you take the first bite. You’re expecting the nice, smooth goodness from some good protein peanut butter but there’s somethin’ wrong. Somethin’ just causing this vast disturbance in the Force, like some inconsiderate eedjit left broken up crackers in your peanut butter jar for the express purpose of sabotagin’ your life.”

    Gavin at this point was leaning back on the couch and stifling laughter with his hand with mixed success, but Rebekah continued in irritation that was partially real but also purposely exaggerated: “Now, yah might be askin’ yourself who in the right mind would do that sort of thing. Just breakin’ up crackers in a perfectly good jar of peanut butter like that, ruinin’ the entire experience for someone they claimed to love and care about.” At that, she paused for a few seconds to lean back to meet Gavin’s posture and allow a smile to cross her features.

    “I don’t have any actual, ARMA needs to know complaints, though. We make a good team, and most of the issues we’ve had were already ironed out by the time we got to America. I mean, he’s still kinda useless as a spotter even this many years later but we can’t all be perfect. Maybe I like ‘em a little bit scrawnier and weaker.” she finished, just off-the-cuff like but that last comment got an immediate and gratifying response from Gavin.

    “Just because I’m like a hundred pounds behind you on bench or whatever—“ he started, but was immediately corrected by Rebekah with the most smug grin on her face. It was obviously a sore spot for Gavin that she enjoyed picking at every so often.

    “Two hundred. I have all of our PRs on my phone if you wanna check.”

    “—Y’know, it’s hard to go to goddamned superhuman levels of pickin’ shit up when you’re just a normal dude whose cool ‘post-Resonance power’ is throwin’ shade! That shit is tiring to practice too, okay?”

    There’s a timeskip in the video, and when it comes back both Gavin and Rebekah are postured at the edge of the couch and leaning forward at the counselor.

    “What are some things that Rebekah does that annoy you?” the counselor asked, in as neutral a tone as she could manage despite what was undoubtedly one of the livelier sessions she’d had that day.

    “The toaster.” Was the immediate response, almost as if he had been waiting for the opportunity to talk. Rebekah started laughing almost uncontrollably, then, but Gavin kept talking completely deadpan without missing a beat: “I got her a gag gift one day ‘cause I saw this ridiculous thing through a shop window one time, it was a toaster. Now you might be thinking -- that’s a shitty gift but wait… it’s a defibrillator toaster. You might wonder how that is annoying and life-altering, but Becks has a routine. Go ahead, Becks, show the good counselor what you screech every mornin’.”

    Rebekah put her hands out like she was holding the defibrillators while stifling her laughter as best she could right then, grinning ear to ear, and then just started in the most hyped Irish voice imaginable. “Oh no! We’re losing them, jam it! BEEP BEEPBEEP! Nurse, we need 20ccs of cream cheese, stat!” Gavin was just staring forward at the counselor with the most deadpan and mildly irritated expression as Rebekah turned towards him and tugged the sleeve of his jacket before starting to speak again but with a much more overdramatic, sad voice: “He’s bread, Gavin. Time of deliciousness,” she paused only momentarily to flick her wrist up so she could see the current time, “5:24PM.”

    At this, Gavin just cups his face in his hands in mostly over-the-top exasperation. The counselor was stifling back giggles from the absurdity of what she was witnessing. Rebekah put an arm over Gavin’s shoulder and looked up to the counselor and with the most deadpan tone added “I’m sorry, ma’am. He’s toast.” as she pulled him tight for a one armed hug.

    Both the counselor and Gavin started laughing at that one, with Gavin muttering a “God damn it.” As he did so. Eventually, everyone in the room regained their composure and Gavin spoke up again, just giving a defeated gesture in Rebekah’s direction while leaning into her a bit more on the couch: “You see what I have to deal with here?”
    SIG P210-6 Heavy Frame 9mm Luger with wood grips (everyday carry)

    Tango 51 .308 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle (rare mission carry)

    Enchanted to ARMA standard Osburn and Gunby Pattern 1796 light cavalry sabre ~32 inches (common carry)

    Enchanted to ARMA standard Emerson Fixed Blade Combat Karambit knife x2 in shoulder harness (everyday carry)

    Schott Perfecto leather jacket (non-combat mission/everyday)

    Silver Thread Waxed Motorcycle Jacket (combat mission/uncommon. Reference picture: )

    Array of basic silver thread normal clothes

    Customized Portable Ward Package (2 Repulsion, 2 Dispelling, 3 Obscuring when first equipped, but often in the field Gavin has an incomplete set due to lack of frequent Ward shipments.)
    APPROVED - FEB. 24, 2017
    APPROVED - FEB. 24, 2017
    APPROVED - FEB. 24, 2017


    Umbrakinesis (As a general rule the more shadows/darkness in the area = more cool stuff available and less shadows/darkness in the area = less cool stuff available. Core limitations is power gated by amount of darkness/shadow in area and being unable to create darkness/shadow with magic with the exception of the limited and taxing shadow mimicry, only to manipulate already present shadow. In relation to this, all shadow constructs dissipate within seconds when the shadows used to create them are gone. For example, if floodlights were suddenly turned on in a previously completely dark building all umbrakinetic constructs Gavin created would immediately dissipate in all areas the light touched.)

    Low Drain

    Cloaking while already in deep shadow like at nighttime or in a dark room

    Offensive Shadow solidification while already in deep shadow like at nighttime or in a dark room (Offensive uses most common. Slashing/Piercing trademark.)

    Night Vision

    Enhanced healing while in darkness (3x normal human healing under conditions of complete darkness.)

    Noise dampening (More darkness = more noise averted with less energy spent. Ranges from low to medium drain depending on darkness present and what noises are being covered up.)

    Medium Drain

    Cloaking with limited but still present shadows such as shadows from people and other objects nearby such as most urban areas with tall buildings nearby or alleyways even in daytime.

    Manipulating intensity of shadows. (Basically turning an already present shadow/patch of darkness into vision denial to the point where you can’t see outside the shadow while you’re inside of it unless you have some form of night vision.)

    Offensive Shadow solidification with limited but still present shadows such as shadows from people and other objects nearby.

    Defensive/Non-offensive shadow solidification while already in deep shadow such as nighttime or in a dark room. (Usually in the form of a wall or makeshift shadow armor like a gauntlet for punching hard thngs or even the form of a human being for a distraction.)

    Mass offensive shadow solidification while already in deep shadow.

    High Drain

    Defensive/Non-offensive shadow solidification with limited but still present shadows such as shadows from people and objects nearby.

    Cloaking with little to no shadows present (such as being in range of floodlights or in an empty field at high noon or any situation where the only shadows present are his own and a small number of other humanoid ones or the equivalent.)

    Mass offensive shadow solidification with limited but still present shadow nearby.

    Short range Umbrageous Teleportation (Only within 100ft, limited to connecting shadows, and can only be used when the user is in contact with a shadow – even if it is his own. Regardless of distance traveled only has energy for use once an hour.)

    Shadow Mimicry (Able to turn up to 40% of his body into shadow for a brief period of up to 3 seconds. Drain ranging from medium-high in optimal conditions of total darkness to immediate incapacitation in low darkness scenarios.)
    Fluent in English and Gaeilge languages from upbringing and Rebekah tutoring respectively.

    Proficient in interrogations from time as a 35M in the United States Army

    Extensive dragon fighting knowledge/experience from service in Dragon War

    Extensive zombie fighting knowledge/experience from European excursions.

    Average in Modern Army Combatives hand-to-hand.

    Proficient in Georgian style sabre fighting drawing from Rowarth's Art of Defense on Foot from tutoring from Rebekah.

    Skilled marksman with a variety of firearms from US Army/Dragon War experience

    Proficient sniper from tutoring from Rebekah.

    Proficient in tactical driving from years of experience and sticky situations in Europe and domestically. Is typically the driver in his Shield unit.

    Mechanic skills picked up mostly from time with the Silver Wings onward. Someone needs to keep the damn wheels turning.
    Becks Birthdate November 15, 1989

    Gavin Birthdate July 25, 1990

    2008: Joined US Military out of high school. Assigned 35M, HUMINT collector. 31 weeks of training between Basic and Advanced Individual Training.

    2009: Graduated AIT and began work. Reported to 10th Special Forces Group. Was part of the group support battalion in Fort Carson, Colorado.

    2010: Resonance event in May. SFC DeLuc.

    2011: Dragon War involvement. Enlistment in Irish Army. Meets Rebekah Lynch.

    2012: Dragon War

    2013: Dragon War ends. Help in stabilizing Western Ireland. Sergeant DeLuc, Company Sergeant (Equivalent to 1st Sergeant) Lynch. Ranks held when exiting Army Ranger Wing and moving to general Army.

    2014: Stabilizing Western Ireland. Marriage.

    2015: Stabilizing Western Ireland. Toward end of year Lynch ‘retires’ as a Battalion Sergeant Major (NATO OR-9) due to frustrations and not being able to do nearly as much as she hoped to help people. Deluc retires as an Sergeant (OR-5) at the same time. Cons to not being a war hero and native.

    2016: Across the pond trek. Welcome to the Silver Wings.

    2017: Silver Wings merge with ARMA. Goes better than expected.

    2018: Resonance wave v2 in November. Probably somehow linked to the mythical promotion to Sergeant a few weeks before. ARMA service continues. By end of year Beck is officially MIA. Downward spiral.

    2019: An exercise in futility and insanity.


    January 25, 2017. Snippets from one of the initial interviews with ARMA. Audio and visual recordings in an office room off-site.

    “What can you tell me about your time before you enlisted in the United States Army?”

    There was a momentary shift in expression from Gavin, and regret and anger passed through his face all at once. This change lasted only for a second, as did the silence it came with. He played it off as just fixing his leather jacket, well enough so that the interviewer seemed not to notice. He seemed somewhat disheveled, with bags under his eyes from the lack of sleep from the rough schedule he’s had for the past few days. Apparently he was quite a way’s out before coming to New York City for this. One thing that was notable from the second that he opened his mouth was the exceptionally weird accent mix he had picked up from his time across the pond in Ireland that was a weird mix of southern drawl and Irish brogue.

    “Nothin’ particularly interestin’ happened then.” He started with a laugh, continuing to adjust his jacket for a few more seconds before lacing his fingers together to stop the fidgeting. “ew up in a place in Fayetteville, Georgia. Did te usual shit in high school, played some sports like most any kid there. The fuckers ended up winning the state championship the year after I graduated.” At this point Gavin leaned forward in his chair with an exaggerated expression of disappointment while extending his right hand with his index finger and thumb only an inch apart with the rest of his hand clenched like a fist. “I was this close to being a state championship winner and havin’ my name etched in the school record forever. Ugh! Life isn’t fair, man.” he finished with an almost comical sigh, leaning back to his previous position and lacing his fingers once more.

    “Tell me about your time in the United States Army.”

    “Nothin’ much to say here. I got in, went through basic and AIT and got out. Got assigned to my unit, em, just started to get into the groove of things… and started to feel pretty confident that I knew what the fuck I was doing and bam – global apocalypse. Just like that.” The man shrugged his shoulders after that and silence filled the room for a period of about ten seconds. “I don’t know what else to say, honestly. I’m sure you have access to my service record. I got a few expert Marksman badges, the fuckin’ physical fitness badge, my jump wings, and fuck if I remember what else. I don’t even have ‘em with me because they were worthless by the time I went across the pond. Uh, after the Resonance happened, there was fuckin’ nothin’ left. We had no goddamned command structure. So I left, because there wasn’t a damn thing I could do stateside and I thought, em, it was a different story across the pond – and I was right.”

    The flash of anger and regret washed over his features again at the end, but was gone just as quickly as the first time. There was a certain tenseness that crept into his posture while he answered the question, though it quickly dissipated once he was finished. It was subtle, but the movement was definitely there.

    “Tell me about your decision to go over to the United Kingdom to fight in the Dragon War.”

    “Now, I don’t want you to think this is a knock on how the States ran things before the Resonance… but we were caught so off guard by the damn thing we weren’t able to tie our own damn shoes for a while. There was so much shit going on, the fucking zombies coming up and magic springing from the goddamned heavens and shit. I still don’t understand what the hell happened, and I don’t think anybody ever will.”

    Gavin’s demeanor was more relaxed at that point, and the fidgeting had gone away completely. His steel gray eyes did not waver from the interviewer’s like they did previously. It seemed like this was a much more comfortable topic for him, and a happier one despite everything that had happened.

    “All this shit goes down, society crashin’ around ya… I just felt like I needed to DO something, y’know?” the man paused for a moment and let a smirk cross over his features before continuing in a lighter tone: “Plus, we all killed dragons in recess as kids didn’t we? I figured, fuck, I could become a real life dragon slayer out there. How hard could it be?”

    There was another pause before he added a lot more seriously, “Apparently, it was pretty damn hard. Lost a lot of friends to those damned lizards. Once you see one field of fire, ain’t nobody in the unit taking it less than deathly serious no more.”

    “You noted on your papers you were part of the Army Ranger Wing, can you elaborate a little on that?”

    “By the time I got over there, em, the government forces were still reeling from what had happened in the initial strikes. I got off the boat in Ireland, and they were taking any warm bodies they could muster to fight against the damned things. Whereas in the States my, em, abilities were seen as… freakish the Irish fucking loved me for ‘em. Americans saw a freak, but the Irish know damn good resources when they see one and won’t turn back the help. I got fast tracked in the unit because they were the ones coordinating the most with the British forces on the front line trying to find effective ways to kill the damn lizards and they figured shadowcastin’ was worth a shot.”

    At this point, Gavin reached into his jacket and pulled out a green beret that he laid on the table so the interviewer could see. “I figured this would be proof enough, but if it’s not I still have my old uniform with the uh unit patch identifiers and worst comes to worst you can always just contact the Irish government and they’ll confirm everything. I know I’m not as famous as my partner, but if you look really hard on some of the pictures she’s in, you can catch my ear or something in the photo. Em, the only times my face is ever fully in the damned frame I’m wearing a fuckin’ mask, though.” The man did his best to suppress a chuckle, then, and only partially succeeded. “Life is unfair, I’m tellin’ you. If I was just a little bit better looking and a lot more Irish, I could ‘ave been the one on the news and talk show radio circuit for the last few years. I dunno how much news you get from across the pond over here, but if you get anythin’ you should at least recognize her.”

    He paused for a moment, failing to suppress a smile, as he added: “The promotion potential was a lot better in Ireland, too. I only got to specialist in the United States, but Sergeant in Ireland. They had so much faith in my abilities, along with, em, the dire shortage of able bodied fighting men that was completely and utterly unrelated to my promotion prospects, that they pushed me in a solid leadership position pretty quick.”

    “How did you meet Rebekah Lynch?”

    Even at the mention of her name, Gavin’s face absolutely lit up. “She was my first commandin’ officer, actually. She’s different, too, though her changes are more on the physical side. Like Captain America if he was a permanently hyped Irishwoman. She was in the first group of women to ever join the Army Ranger Wing in Ireland, uh, along with I think three others that cycle right before the Dragon War started.”

    He paused for a few moments and leaned back in his seat, allowing a certain smugness to wash over his features as he continued, more prideful by a country mile listing off her accomplishments rather than his own. “I did pretty good by the end of my service term, but what she did was unreal. National hero of Ireland. Holder of the most senior NCO rank in the whole goddamn army in only, what, nine and a half years? Demolished army or not, that’s gotta feel pretty goddamn nice to put on a resume. Awarded the Military Medal for Gallantry with Distinction, along with kickass title in The Angel of Connacht and most famous female soldier in Ireland since Grace O’Malley or Anne Bonny while bein’ twice as good. Hit a one in a million shot with a .50 cal right in a lizard’s eye as it came to turn a city into a field of flame which ended up savin’ hundreds of lives. I’m not on her level, fuck, I don’t know if anybody is. But I think it’s a goddamned testament to my ability that I’m even able to kind of keep up.”

    “Tell me about what you did after the war.”

    By this point, Gavin was upright in his chair and it looked like some time had passed since the last question on record. He was really relaxed by this point, and accordingly he slipped into even more slang and casual speaking than previously. What little façade of professionalism he had before was gone, and for now he was talking just like he was shooting the shit with a friend at a pub. “Towards the end there, em, Becks got frustrated. She got the title, she got the fame, and… she got at least what looked to be influence. She found that with the limited resources left, uh, that didn’t amount to a whole lot no matter what she tried. She found that being a legendary military commander didn’t translate to a lot politically with the military so wrecked with lack of funding and early retirements, and got really frustrated. I couldn’t really help, because I was an outsider anyway and since my, uh, differences were so much more obvious once the war was over I was kind of seen more as a freak instead of an asset again. Becks was untouchable, but I wasn’t and when she started pissing people off her enemies started gunning for me instead. I’m not an Irish citizen, and was threatened with deportation because the refugee crisis was so big more than once. Wonderful way to repay the service I did to the country, y’know, but it was just part of that political game the big wigs like to play.”

    Gavin shook his head, then. “Eventually, it just became too much of a strain and we decided to give something else a go. Becks always had too much integrity to be a politician, and wasn’t willing to pick her battles when lives were at stake. She also wasn’t willing to start a rebellion or anything, because it would just mean more people would die and fuck if we knew if it would even work in the first place… so we left once we realized we could not achieve the goals we set out to accomplish in Ireland. The powers that be simply would not let us. Fuckin’ gombeen aristocratic bastards in charge that they are. Pox bottle cunts, all of ‘em. Only out for themselves and lookin’ after their own power. We lost so many fuckin’ men in the damn war our voices were drowned out by the massive influx o’ refugees and the politicians could safely ignore us for the most part as long as they made sure their dirty dealin’ was kept under wraps and away from the public.”

    “Tell me what you did once you left Ireland.”

    “Well, funny story actually, em, we originally couldn’t even decide what the hell we wanted to do. We knew we wanted out, but not the nitty gritty details of it all. Me, bein’ the masterful strategist and forward planner that I am, uh, wanted to basically run blind into Europe proper and… see what we could do there. I figured, y’know, what’s the worst that could happen? Becks got some commo with some of the lads we served with in the Dragon War about this cool opportunity with the Silver Wings over in America. I naturally absolutely hated the idea of fucking with dragons again so soon and was super against it. Becks, being the manipulative genius that she is, never really discouraged my shitty idea, but forced me to make a plan on how we were going to do this cross-country trek across Europe. Once I sat down and, em, got to thinkin’… uh, the Europe trip was fuckin’ impossible. Hordes of zombies, rumors of shapeshifting fucks runnin’ around every which way and shit. Ridiculous. I swear most of the ideas I come with are better than that one, honest.”

    He paused for a moment, making a dismissive hand gesture before continuing: “Right when I’m frustrated and about ready to give up, Becks comes over with a game plan for going over to America to join the Silver Wings. Has this giant list of positives like the leadership core looked solid, uh, we know a lot of the blokes over there, the existing infrastructure and shit, and it was real hard to come up with an argument to not go at that point, so we did.” Gavin paused, then, to give an exaggerated exhale of frustration. “Typical woman, ‘eh? Watches you flounder and fail for just long enough to come up with all this stupid stuff like logic and facts and reasonin’. I just wanted a cool European adventure, dammit. Now I’m back in Yankee central and can walk across a city block without shoving through a crowd but can’t go three steps without some form of kill yourself store hailing from the great state of obesity bein’ in my face. Shit’s still weird to me, man.”

    “Tell me why you decided to join with ARMA.”

    “Well, haha, truth be told, I was against the whole trip.” The man confessed with a laugh. “I thought it was a lie at best and a trap at worst, em, because no offense… but I’ve had nothing but bad encounters with the Order of dry shite maggots. Always so damned uppity and superior, lucky I’m able to pass myself off as a normal shithead human so they didn’t really get too interested in me. T’be completely honest I’m still half expectin’ some creepy old dude with a sea captain level beard to walk through that there door,” Gavin started, pointing to the door behind the interviewer, “And throw some sort of goddamn fire in my face while screamin’ some incoherent religious shit at me. That was the reason I was walking so damn slow on the way here, it’s not because I’m a langer or anything – just memorizin’ the space between the lights in case I was right and y’all tried to murder the mudblood or some shit.”

    February 20th, 2018. Snippets from an internal morale check within ARMA. Audio and visual recordings from an office room in-site.

    “It’s been a little over a year since you joined ARMA, how do you feel about the experience so far?”

    Gavin had put on some weight since the last video, and looked healthier. Steady access to food and a safe place to rest did wonders in that regard. He was wearing a black suit without a tie, sitting down in the chair with his right ankle sitting on his left knee and leaning back in the chair. He was in full business attire except for the black combat boots he still wore.

    “It’s been fuckin’ great. I admit, I was, uh, a little bit skeptical at first but I haven’t felt this at home in a while. I get to go back to civilization a lot more now and feel useful doin’ so sometimes helping out the Knight Division and the integration in general went better than expected. I’m not super enamored with all of the guys I’ve interacted with from your organization, seem kinda green and uppity for my tastes, but the ones that are good are not just that but exceptionally good. Like we were great on our own as the Silver Wings, don’t get me wrong, but ARMA has some really fuckin’ great resources and innovation to work with and it has only let us become even better than we were – barring the random pox that slips through every so often that happens with any unit. It’s amazin’, and without the immediate threat of getting burned to death every second of every day I think I enjoy this a lot more on the day to day than the Dragon War. Now it’s more like once or twice a month. Becks will be more jumpy and excited about it, I’m still sore so I’m more than happy to just sit on my ass and rest a bit. It’s hard, but holy shit does it feel great to be part of the scariest motherfuckers on the block for once. None of this ducking for cover when a lizard flies over, y’know, it’s the rest of the goddamned world that ducks for cover when Shield rolls up with the big guns. It was a little tiresome in the beginning when all of the Dragon War guys wanted an autograph from Becks, like holy shit guys… I did stuff too, damn it! Why don’t anyone ask for my autograph? Same shit as when we first joined the Silver Wings, except with fuckin’ nerds this time instead of soldiers.”

    Gavin laughed, then, and adjusted his leg so both feet were now on the ground while doing so. His tone was not bitter at that last part, and if anything it absolutely reeked of amusement. “It’s a bit of a challenge, but I’m up for it. I’m not the most rough and tumble guy in the squad, but I’m used to not being the top dog. Uh, it’s not an adjustment for me, and I fit right in with my role. It’s comforting having so many ex-military guys in the same division, along with so many Dragon War veterans to lean on even when the spooks from Cloak come through askin’ weird questions about the condition of yer buddy’s butthole or the mages that come and do their rounds lookin’ like they had never seen a goddamned uniform before let alone a firearm. They understand, man, and it’s fuckin’ great to have everybody on the same page and firing on all cylinders when the bureaucracy is away. Our ranking system is a little weird and I’m not a hundred percent sure where I stand right now, but that’s to be expected with all the changes coming through the pipe. The responsibilities we had all transferred over, thankfully, and last I heard I’m under consideration for Sergeant. With the all-star lineup we have, I’d be more than happy to sit on that for the duration if I can manage to get the damn spot. If it’ll force me to move, though, I’ll probably just turn the damn thing down. I’d rather just stick with the solid group we have now rather than go off to whereabouts unknown only to find out I’m in a unit with a bunch of goddamned Yanks or mages or someshit. No offense.”

    To: [REDACTED]
    Cc: [REDACTED]
    Subject: Update on Sergeant Gavin DeLuc, 11/28/19

    Subject took the news of LT Lynch's disappearance bad enough to cause a psychotic break and lashed out violently when we told him at 0900. The precautions you originally suggested, [REDACTED], were all followed and prevented a much worse outcome. With an inability to use his powers, the subject instead managed to re-open his wounds in a fight to escape the room. Three of our personnel, which are again not combat trained, received injuries in the confrontation.

    [REDACTED] suffered a broken jaw from an elbow to the chin. [REDACTED] suffered a broken arm. [REDACTED] suffered numerous bite wounds to the hand and a concussion from repeated headbutts. Equipment destroyed included: [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], which will take some time to replace. Subject was taken down by a taser and was then tied to his bed at 0930 to prevent further injury to himself or others during this period and the preventive measures have remained in place. At 1000 the subject partially broke free of constraints and nearly managed to knock over one of the lights, and by 1015 was re-secured to the bed and two armed guards were posted in the room to start 24/7 in person surveillance to ensure the subject does not break free.

    I recommend that the subject be taken to a more secure facility, because sleep will be very difficult with the [REDACTED] in place and that will likely only further increase the violence displayed. Physical recovery time will be increased slightly to 2-3 weeks. Natural recovery recommended because it is unsafe for anyone to be near him right now without intense preventive measures in place. Further recommendation that the subject, Sergeant Gavin DeLuc, is not cleared for duty until a full clinical assessment is made into his mental state to ensure that these violent outbursts will not appear again.

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    Gavin de Luc
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    Gavin de Luc
  • Typist's Role Play History
    Started on the Adventure Quest forums in 2005 and progressed from there to run the gamut of forum software and sub genres at least in fantasy.
  • Role Play Sample
    [color=4000FF]”You're welcome to give it a shot, but I make no promises that I'll actually try it more than once.”[/color] Gavin replied honestly to Cressida's mention of a possible insomnia cure. [color=4000FF]”The dreams are often worse than the actual sleeplessness, anyway – in any case, do not consider it a priority.”[/color]

    Down in the hold, the pirate lord simply nodded when the witch swore that she would not look through his documents. In truth, there was nothing held there aside from repeated and failed attempts to craft a letter to the very woman that the witch had identified in presence and void rather than name there was very little that the outlaw was afraid about her seeing even if she did rifle through his possessions. That was the real reason he was so comfortable doing so, because she already knew damn well his fatal flaw – and keeping her happy so that she did not spread it around was the least that he could do strategically speaking.

    When she called him generous, Gavin snorted despite himself for the second time during the tour. [color=4000FF]”You may have a different opinion the first time you see how demanding I become when there's imminent threat.”[/color] he warned, though his tone was lighthearted. [color=4000FF]”The other captains don't call me a tyrant for no reason.”[/color]

    A brief flash of disgust at the word tyrant told Cressida just how much he personally agreed with that assessment. If this was any other new crew member, the Mad Dog would not have let that slip – but since she knew so much else anyway things like his own personal feelings to the things that others said about him was nothing in comparison. She would either prove herself a valuable addition to the crew, leave of her own accord, or do something that forced him to kill her relatively quickly anyway he figured. If she went out on her own accord, it was likely that she would go back to the same woods and live in harmless isolation as well – and even if she didn't the witch was not the charismatic type to go spreading the word far and wide.

    When Cressida made a face at the explanation at how cooks were chosen, the smile returned to the pirate lord's features. [color=4000FF]”Sure, but you're not just any fresh pup. You won't be gunning for their job, and they know damn well that since you can't help them when things get a bit turbulent that their jobs are safe regardless. Generally speaking, I'm not going to turn away anyone who bleeds and nearly dies to keep my standard waving that still wants to sail under the black. If there's no room on the ship, soft landings can be arranged elsewhere with trusted fences. One thing you have to understand... is that as long as you serve those papers that you signed faithfully and don't go rogue from my own or Alfie's orders... I will murder and maim in your defense in an instant. I've served with a lot of these people for nearly a decade, and as long as you prove yourself a trustworthy member of the crew they will accept you with open arms.”[/color] Pride seeped into his voice at times, here, and it was mostly because the man was not lying. Whatever his faults, Gavin treated the men who sailed under him with the utmost respect and care and had razed entire villages to a man for daring to assault one of his crewmen.

    When the witch talked about herself being the source of gossip normally, Gavin allowed some of his amusement to creep through. [color=4000FF]”That will remain true for a while, because as you yourself said – Cressida Ravencrest is the new and shiny thing upon the ship.”[/color] he paused for a moment, but then continued on: [color=4000FF]”And then by the time the next edict is to be written and sent they will debate furiously again my reasons for doing some of the stupid and outlandish shit that I do – and some of them are even at least partially correct. I trust that the conversation that we had in your place of residence will stay between us?”[/color] his tone was pleasant enough, but the hard glint in his steel gaze let the witch know quite well that he would not look kindly on her spreading her soul reading out to the others, even in jest.

    To be honest, the exaggerated swaying and rocking that Cressida did to overcompensate for the passive moment of the ship amused Gavin to no small degree. It would last only a few days to a week or two at most, but he would enjoy every second of watching her stumble around to remind himself that at the end of the day – past all the magic tricks and implications she was still just a human without any sea legs. When she asked if there was anything else major, however, the pirate lord just cocked his head to the side in a nonverbal way to tell her to continue because he was not quite sure what she was getting at.

    When she continued, however, especially with the mention of Alfie's distrust of anyone close to the magic ability of the Mad Dog himself let alone someone who was very possibly more powerful... Gavin let his amusement shine through at that, because there was no use hiding what was already obvious. When Cressida made the implication of turning the pirate lord into a beast, the man actually allowed himself a laugh. [color=4000FF]”Careful if you try, I might end up as diseased as my moniker.”[/color] he responded playfully, before pausing and letting the facade reclaim his outward countenance.

    [color=4000FF]”As for any particular things to avoid, don't touch the flag. The standard of a ship is one of battle, and like all battle standards even the spare ones are to be treated with the utmost respect on any vessel whether it be military or outlaw... for subjects, I suppose anything to do with anybody's life before becoming a pirate should be avoided. If they decide to tell you of their own accord, that's their business – but oftentimes the reasons for any man to turn to this line of work are rather painful and there are a lot of men and women who try their best to just forget the time that came before.”[/color] his tone had turned to all business at this point, and he continued as such. [color=4000FF]”For the first few captures, I would also avoid having a public opinion on who saw a vessel first. When the sightings are particularly close or even simultaneous there is a lot of fighting that goes on about it and that's up to Alfie or me to deal with. Having an opinion and siding with one man or another just gets them pissy, especially when it's a newer crew mate. If you have any particular talent for medicine, assisting Doc Harvey in dealing with the day to day medical needs of the crew would be the fastest way to get them to accept you. Heal a rash here, a sleeping problem there, and a broken bone or two and these men will cut down hundreds in your defense without a second thought by the time a month has passed. If you decide to help the cooks out as well and do a good job, the same holds true as well. I doubt they will want to go back to what we have now when they realize that things can be different.”[/color]

    Gavin at this point clapped his hands together as he took a breath, and finished: [color=4000FF]”Now, the last thing I want to do is keep you from your sleep so if there is nothing else?”[/color]

    Truth be told, the pirate lord would have to continue the fortnight long internal debate on what he was going to do from this point forward, because the presence of Cressida opened up so many doors in regards to prizes that could be taken that would have before been impossible – and cities that before may have been impenetrable that now could be burned to the ground. He might only have access to the talents of the witch of the woods for a small time frame, so he had to be damned sure he did not waste the opportunity.
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  1. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    This was odd. This entire setup was off, the entire atmosphere of the event was not the typical. Not that he was typical, given the fact that he was a jaded drunkard past his prime trying to keep his job and pay grade… but he expected a little more hostility, to be frank. When Lieutenant Walker made the quote, Gavin just nodded his head sharply without committing to a verbal response. The next words out of the Cloak’s mouth were equally off, because if that wasn’t the purpose of this meeting… Well, Gavin had no idea what the hell this was about unless it was some wacky ass Cloak recruiting mission given that two of their officers were sitting right in front of him. Seeing Halliday knocked down a peg was also a great feeling, because if Walker wasn’t here to fuck him the soldier was safe… at least for now. This meeting became more and more surprising by the second, and when the Lieutenant continued the soldier again visibly stiffened as he was caught completely off guard by the direction the conversation had taken. He had been with Shield from the beginning, and was part of the initial merger of the Silver Winged and ARMA to begin with. Rebekah played a much bigger role, but he was at least present during the entire affair. The entire division was his wife’s baby, essentially, and she had gone above and beyond early on to help Aura make the transition as smooth as possible. It wasn’t Gavin’s baby, though. He had lost all emotional connection to that branch the day that Rebekah went missing, because she was the only thing that tied him to that job in particular once all of his original group either fell in battle or got promoted out of the squad along with getting alienated by his alcoholism and depression in the years after her disappearance. This was not the meeting he had expected when he came in, but he was not going to waste an opportunity like this because he was all but being asked to switch. He had a position of some leverage here, and he was more than willing to at least test the waters. He forced his body language to relax as much as he could physically force it to before continuing, but it was admittedly very difficult to do so when caught so off guard. His intense gray gaze locked with the mentalist’s before he started speaking, trying to gauge what the hell sort of game that he was playing. The officer had access to his file, which meant he had full access to the soldier’s vast array of deficiencies as well as his skills and power set. It was extremely risky to offer someone like Gavin a transfer, and Walker had to know that. There had to be some ulterior motive or critical need, which would complicate things if he was indeed suggesting a move to Cloak Division. If that was just to butter him up so he would accept a swap to another division as well as a demotion and pay grade drop with it, the mage could go straight to hell. If it was an actual offer, though, that would just be ill-advised from any practical perspective. Also, internal work? If everyone hated him anyway, he supposed nothing exactly changed on that front even if he did swap over to the rat hunter division. ”If that million dollar question came with a million dollar offer, I’d be willing to hear about a job swap to just about anywhere.” he joked drily as he bought himself time to both think of an actual response and to force his body to stop being so damned rigid. ”In all seriousness, as long as the pay grade remained the same I would be willing to take offers from anywhere in the organization provided I could be at my house at least enough of the year to keep it from falling apart.”
  2. Old spectres and new phantoms

    ”There has to be a better way of fixing your dead people issue than drinking yourself blind… You could always see if you could get your powers curbed or whatever. You might even be the first person who actually wants that shit, seeing as how they seem to have no use that I can ascertain.” The soldier had made the mental judgment that the woman was harmless, so his tone was almost overly friendly and comfortable. Words were slurred, but only a small amount due to the practice that he had in covering up his drunkenness to the authorities when needed. Her power set, frankly, sounded absolutely fucking atrocious and he couldn’t understand how she managed to live day to day with life that bleak. With his attempt to influence the spirits an utter failure, there wasn’t exactly a lot else to do other than drink and just ignore the man at this point. He couldn’t help in any way, shape, or form so as shitty a situation as it was it wasn’t like there would be any point in communing with spirits or whatever the fuck. When she mentioned practicing her shooting, the soldier’s head cocked to the side as he thought out loud for a bit. His intense gray gaze bore through the woman as he inspected her like a piece of meat instead of a human being. ”Cop? No, too timid.” he paused for a moment before continuing, ”Security guard? No, too pretty.” Another pause, ”You also don’t have enough mods and excessive gear to be a competition shooter. Too soft to be a vet…” The man ended up just shrugging his shoulders and just stopped guessing. When she mentioned if he had any more booze, he had binged enough alcohol to not care about a convenient use of his power and ended up just gesturing to a patch of land about ten feet away from the woman and just used the shadows around the dirt to violently eject dirt into the air and quickly create a hole around the sack of rum and whiskey in that larger stash. Most of those bottles were at least half empty, but it was a sight better than nothing. ”There’s a good chunk of booze in that hole over there, Casper. Guns and fresh booze back in the truck, if you want something a little bit more powerful than the sidearm you have on now. Melee stuff, too, more effective in alleys and spots like that.” his tone remained friendly and casual throughout, but at this point his eyes were completely off the woman as he sauntered towards the last spot the spirit was located. ”I told you that we could have stormed Ireland together.” he murmured, underneath his breath. The words were coming out with a clear disappointment and a particular type of venom. ”But your dumb ass decided to take your chances with the fucking Vanguard instead. You knew damn well we would never be able to recreate the armed forces, not with that fucking rabble. The cutthroats rise to power in the fuckery, like they always do, and they shove it down the throats of the projects like they always do. You knew that, you fucking idiot.” There was a small pause as the soldier collected his rage and his balance before continuing, but he did continue in a voice too low to be overheard by anyone. ”You were my brother, but you also never made an attempt to make contact. I did, God knows that I did but you know how fucking unwelcome someone like me is in the South. You’re dead, and I can’t help you figure out whatever dumbass quest you need to accomplish in order to leave. That’s between you and God, and God knows I’m too broke to help myself … let alone you. Good luck, but I think it’s time you went back home and stop haunting random women. I realize you’re a horndog, but holy shit dude… you’re fucking dead and couldn’t do anything anyway. You have to understand that running around with your throat slashed chasing after women who aren’t dead is creepy as shit.” With that, the man stalked off in the direction of the young woman once more. He adjusted his leather jacket to cover up the fact that he was adjusting his balance on the fly with mixed success as he hollered out to her: ”At least this spirit should be leaving you alone now, if he has any human decency left.”
  3. Drinking Buddies [02.25.2020 7PM]

    The cold night air outside immediately made him regret not bringing an actual shirt or a jacket into the bar itself. Each step was unsteady, but despite all appearances he seemed to keep his balance just fine and more than prevent himself from taking a spill onto the pavement. He would have normally driven to the bar, but he couldn’t exactly be seen breaking the law at this point and it was kind of hard to miss an armored truck in the streets of New York City. Drunk Gavin, however, was not the most reasonable of individuals in the world. He ignored Cruz’s question for the moment to fumble out his phone and make a phone call. He rose the device to his ear, shivering slightly due to the fact that his beater shirt covered very little and barked out the address of the place immediately before continuing in a tone of voice that was much more giving orders rather than pleasant conversation. ”One extra large meat lover’s with barbeque, roll it in with two things of breadsticks and a two liter of Mountain Dew. Paying in cash.” he all but yelled into the phone, not giving a single damn about keeping his volume at a reasonable level with all the people around him. The soldier was not the best planner to begin with, but the more trashed he got… the worse his grasp of the future outside of immediate wants and needs was. Which is why the second phone call was to a taxi service. He made absolutely no attempt to move to a more convenient location, and seemed more than content to loiter right outside the bar he had just left and continue shivering right by the door. He had left the establishment, so it had ceased to exist in his vision and thus his mental state at the time. After the phone call and explicitly calling the cab to the location outside the bar, he started pacing back and forth while continuing the shivering. ”I should’a just fucking drove here.” he breathed, frustration clear in his voice. ”Fucking hell, it’s not like the truck would get damaged even if I rammed it into a power line anyway.” The pacing continued for another thirty seconds ago until he seemed to remember that someone else was with him and actually turned his attention to Cruz once more. ”Hey,” he started, then shook his head slightly in a brief moment of lucidity. ”Sorry. Just a bit fucked up right now, I just need some food in me and I should get a lot better. Sorry you have to deal with,” The brief pause was caused by a momentary loss of balance where a violent lunge to a nearby parking meter was the only thing that prevented a full on fall onto the concrete. ”This shit. I should probably just go home,” he started, but completely lost the train of thought when the most timely delivery of pizza occurred, mostly because Gavin didn’t realize that the pizza he had ordered had a building not even two blocks away from the bar he had holed up in. This was not a part of the city he exactly frequented, due to the fact that police tended to get angrier about people flaunting the law in the higher income areas. If a little drunk driving and a little fighting happened in a poorer area, the chances of the police being called were much lower. Once the conversation left his immediate field of view, it was forgotten. That was a sign of enough drinking that at least this point of the night would be a complete blackout by morning, and only happened when he drank an excessive amount even by his standards. At the moment, though, Gavin just stuffed a hundred dollar bill into that confused teenager’s hand as he grabbed the entire order and sat down at the edge of the sidewalk without a word. He tossed the order to the ground, opened up the breadstick containers and just started sloppily devouring the food as quickly as possible to satisfy the momentary craving for food. Back in the old days, he would never allow himself to get this wasted. He had not gotten quite this bad in months, though, because things at least seemed to be getting a little bit better. Now, with the possibility of everything that he had worked for crumbling before his eyes… he was right back to match the worst alcohol abuses that he had ever done.
  4. Drinking Buddies [02.25.2020 7PM]

    Trust was a funny thing, and recent events had a way of changing his perspective on things. God, it just felt so bad to be completely powerless over your own life… but here he was, drinking himself half to death waiting for a decision that he no longer had any control over. Worst case, they cut him and try to dampen his powers before letting him go due to the instability. Quite frankly, he would rather die fighting than survive a neutered shell of his former self. He had no illusions of actually making it out of the headquarters building alive if he decided to try and fight his way out, but he could do a good bit of damage before the top shelf mages came and snuffed the life out of him. If they just released him, he would have to try some new line of work. He wasn’t cut out for much more than fighting at this point, and having to stay in New York lowered his options considerably. Maybe he could set up a mechanic shop or something, but his pride was too high to go to a customer service job after all of this time. He was a soldier, and would continue to be a soldier regardless of the organization or cause that he ended up fighting for. That was a fact of life, and if that fact could not be true…. He would die fighting before it was taken away from him. It was all he had left, for better or for worse. ”None of our people died, so at least there’s no personal guilt.” he admitted, tone flat as he took another long drink. ”And yes, ‘administrative leave pending investigation’.” he almost spat the phrase, the distaste and anger clear in tone and expression. Shoulders and right arm tensed for a few moments before relaxing back to normal as he briefly considered chucking his glass against the wall in frustration, but thought better of it at the last possible second. Cruz, with a laugh, asked him what he was going to do when he was on leave. She knew him well enough to know that fleeing to maintain some level of control was something that he had thought of… but he just stared back at her coolly with a blank expression and unfocused gaze and a completely rigid posture before speaking again. ”No felonies, destroying my liver, the occasional shooting range day… you know, the usual.” he said, his tone matter-of-fact and voice low. It was almost as if he was talking to himself, and maybe he was. In an instant, his eyes refocused and his body relaxed just a tad bit more as he seemed to regain awareness of where he was. ”Fuck.” he hissed suddenly, getting up from his seat abruptly in a way that made it pretty obvious how much he had to drink already that night. ”I need some air, you up for a walk?” Using one hand to steady his uneven feet, he started meandering out of the building without a response. His pace was slow, because he knew damn well that if he moved quickly the chance of falling or getting into another fight were relatively high. He had already paid his tab off, because he paid after every drink to give him the freedom to just wander off whenever he damn well pleased. It was a habit that he always had, because in the old days he never used to get more than comfortably buzzed at these places and certainly not to the sloppy drunk level that he routinely descended to these days. He had done a great job at training his voice to not slur in a manner that made it obvious to others, but the body movements and glassy eyes always gave it away.
  5. Old spectres and new phantoms

    Huh. This was an odd experience, to say the least. He wasn’t drunk enough for this shit right now, but luckily for him he knew a spot that should have some alcohol left. The soldier stuffed his sidearm back in his jacket pocket and let the shadows go back to their normal state as the woman talked. He took his intense gray gaze off of the woman for the first time and walked off in a seemingly random direction and kicked at the ground a bit to unearth a small shovel buried approximately an inch into the ground. Gavin let her continue to talk and only kept her at the edge of his vision as he pulled up the small shovel and started digging in a seemingly random spot in the ground. After about a minute of digging in silence, the man unearthed a small sack that clinked as he lifted it up from the ground. He quickly undid the string on the small sack and pulled out a half-full bottle of Fireball whiskey that he had left there maybe a month or two ago and set the rest of the sack down with another audible clink. The American unscrewed the cap of the bottle and tossed it to the side before taking a long swig of the stuff as he turned back to face the stranger in his shooting yard. ”Sorry,” the man said halfheartedly in between gulps of the drink, ”I’m not nearly drunk enough to deal with this shit right now so I am trying to rectify the situation.” The bottle emptied completely, and he tossed it carelessly to the side as he pulled out a three quarters full Jameson bottle out from the same sack and unscrewed the cap to that as well and started drinking. Once he had gotten about a fourth of that bottle down, he stopped drinking so quickly and cocked his head to the side slightly and exhaled heavily. ”So, does the spirit know what stupid task they need to complete or is the spirit ignorant to the reason why it is trapped and creepily following around young women in New York when you clearly died in Georgia you fucking shit how did you even get here?” His voice was extremely calm until the end, where the insanity of the entire situation finally caused him to raise his voice up an octave in frustration and confusion. There was another long exhale and the soldier allowed himself to close his eyes for a few moments and forced his shoulders to relax if only for a moment before the next words came out: ”To answer your earlier question, I wouldn’t have killed you regardless. Worst I would have done is fired a few warning shots to get you off of my property and then get shitfaced like I was planning to do in the first place – without the haunting.” With that, Gavin did a small test. He had seen where the woman kept glancing, and decided to try something out. He pushed – hard with the shadows on one side where the spirit would have been. It would not have touched the woman, but she would have likely felt some amount of wind from the speed at which the shadow had moved. If that moved the spirit, he knew he could affect it – and if it did not… Well, Gibson was fucked because there was no way in fuck the soldier was going to ditch everything he had in New York to go plant flowers on some idiot’s grave or something. Another swig of the Jameson and the man met the stranger’s gaze once more. ”Alright Casper, I guess I’ll overlook the trespassing just this once.” the soldier started, his tone deathly serious. ”But if I see you corralling any other dead people to my land again I’ll shoot you dead because I do not want to be haunted like you for the rest of my life. God knows if I had your power, I would’a done the deed myself and been done with it. Hell, purgatory, or whatever has to be better than waking up every morning to a fuckin’ corpse every day when you roll over in the morning or when you curl up at night.” A shadow of a smile crossed across the man’s face as he said that last part, just a part of the gallows humor that he had grown so accustomed to over the years since the Resonance. With that last barb, he tilted the bottle of Jameson back and downed the rest of it before tossing that bottle aside as well. Fucking hell, all he wanted to do was get drunk alone in peace and he had ghost whisperers come over and disturb his tranquility. At this point he might have just preferred the pack of lycanthropes, because he could have just killed them all and gone on with his day with a clear conscious. Gavin couldn’t just kill someone with a worse life than he did and feel good about himself afterwards, that would just cause that awful emotion of guilt and quite frankly he had enough of that in his life as it was. So here he was, getting drunk while this woman was staring at him like he was a fucking idiot. Because he was an idiot, and he needed a drink or twenty to deal with this shit.
  6. The ability to use sites like when it came to profile pictures and have it be functional. What it does basically is it piles a number of images in, ideally the same exact size and randomizes the image on every page load so that the same profile picture is not used every single time and you do not manually have to change it for it to be different, just a refresh. A small thing, but for people like me who like to change up the images every so often it would be a nice convenience change.
  7. Drinking Buddies [02.25.2020 7PM]

    It wasn’t public knowledge yet, but it would be soon. Within a few days, likely, and maybe even before then. Fuck. The incident that finally caused senior leadership to strip his command was smaller, by itself. It wasn’t public yet, because all of the witnesses were just now coming out of their interrogations. They had come across an odd caravan, and Gavin had taken the lead in interacting with them. They were suspicious of ARMA, and the soldier did very little to assuage those fears and ended up searching the caravan. It became apparent that at least a part of the group were lycanthropes, and tensions rose until fighting broke out. All of those travelling with the caravan, mostly humans and lycanthropes with the occasional Outworlder besides were killed, and three of the American’s men were injured. The sticking points were whether the conflict could have been avoided, and the giant elephant in the room being the fragmentation grenades being thrown into one of the caravans that had the transformation cages inside which ended up having a few humans inside that seemed to have little connection with the group aside from being servants or basic hired help from the initial findings of the investigation that was still taking place. There had been some banging noises inside, but they were the help trying to hide from the fighting and not a hostile entity as Gavin had assumed when he gave the order to let loose the grenades. With four lycanthropes already shot down and only a small group to work with against a larger force, the soldier made a decision that kept everyone alive. If there had been hostiles in that caravan and someone had walked in instead, they would have died or been critically injured before anyone could help them. He stood by his decision, but was stripped of command while the investigation was to run its course. Gavin had just gotten back in the city two days ago, and spent most of today defending himself and getting the entire line of events as accurately and consistently as possible for his superiors. He was on administrative leave that started as soon as he left work, and thus had some time to kill while the investigation ran its course. The soldier had hoped to remain unseen here in this place, but fate had other plans for him that night. Melissa Cruz was a fellow 35M back in the United States Army, which made her really good at reading people even outside of her power set and predicting what people would do under stress. Gavin always thought she was an idiot for enlisting in the first place, because she was the clear cut definition of someone who should have gone to military academy and been an officer. She was smart, more educated than any other grunt in their class, and capable of independent and useful thought in a group setting. She was always a cut above the rest of them, and quite frankly it showed. They had never gotten particularly close until she managed to find herself across the pond for the Dragon War, and to be frank Rebekah was always closer to Mel than Gavin ever was. They were both smarter than the grunts, and both were ambitious and competent women in a subculture that was very male-dominated. Quite frankly, back in the day they made one hell of a team. Cruz was a thinker who would provide a lot of input on the big picture stuff, and Rebekah colored in the lines of that big picture with her larger than life charisma and tactical adjustments when the situation called for it. Mel grounded Rebekah and brought down those ideals into something workable, and Rebekah drew Mel out of that shell and gave her a purpose beyond just following orders. After Lynch’s disappearance, Cruz was one of the only ones who this far out from the event had not just abandoned him. He didn’t know why, truth be told, because she had little reason to not leave like the rest of them had. Excessive loyalty was an admirable trait, but she was always closer to Rebekah than to him. It made no sense, and worked to her detriment in advancing at all when a main associate was as big a fuckup as the former Sergeant DeLuc. When she walked over, casual as a cucumber he knew that she had no idea what had happened yet. He knew that she had no idea how precarious his position was and just how bad it would be for her to be seen with him in any sort of setting at the moment. Steel gray eyes surveyed the room around them, noting that he didn’t recognize anyone else in this establishment. That wasn’t foolproof, but it was a start and a good sign. ”Normal? No.” he responded flatly in his weird blend of acquired Irish brogue and his native Southern drawl. ”But then again, I guess most wouldn’t feel normal less than 48 hours after being accused of war crimes by senior brass.” Shoulders rolled back, but his tone and facial expression were both dead. Gavin in recent years had become a lot less of a joker and a lot more blunt with things, and this day was no different. He could be completely fucked in about a week, and he had no control over the situation unless he wanted to flee the city at this point – which aside from being rude would also mean he’d have to go hoofing it in the wilderness outside of the city again… alone, which wasn’t exactly high on his list of priorities at the present. He’d take most things over being forced to live like an animal again in that great wide nothing outside of civilization once more at this point. It wasn’t fear, exactly, just realizing that his chances of survival in this state and this mindset were much lower than the same man five years ago.
  8. Old spectres and new phantoms

    Gavin looked a hell of a lot different than before he had left for Ireland, and not in a good way. He was older, for one, and visibly more haggard from his years of combat tours since then and at this point years without a routine and healthy sleep schedule. His demeanor was also completely different, because that wide-eyed idealist that sailed across the Atlantic to go out and save the world was long dead by now. What was left was some sort of monster wearing human skin and trying to masquerade as a great man who had long since left this Earth in spirit if not in body. When the woman said that she wasn’t part of the Vanguard, Gavin’s entire demeanor changed in an instant. Shadows visibly pulsated in the area around both of them as the soldier slowly but deliberately pulled out his sidearm from his jacket pocket in complete silence as his eyes carefully studied the woman for any sudden movement. The woman kept glancing at something that the soldier couldn’t see, and while her next words were not exactly surprising the American had gotten his hopes up given the circumstances that he would be able to see his friend again. The shadows continued pulsating as the soldier slowly and deliberately pulled the barrel of his sidearm to point directly at the woman’s heart as she continued talking. If she wasn’t part of the Vanguard and knew Gibson and the fact that he was dead – it was a logical conclusion that she had killed him. If she had killed him, it meant that she was part of a hostile faction or a bandit, which meant that a gun pointed at her was a perfectly reasonable measure. It didn’t click until the woman continued talking and said those last words, and suddenly the glancing made sense. Or the woman was a goddamned liar and loved fucking with people. But she didn’t seem the killer type if the soldier was being honest. Her posture was all wrong, and her demeanor was too resigned. ”So you see dead people.” Gavin said, more of a statement than a question. The pulsation of the shadows lowered to almost imperceptible and the soldier lowered his sidearm so it was pointed diagonally towards the ground rather than directly at the woman, but he did it slowly. ”Which means that either you summon them, or they’re wandering around.” he continued, again a statement rather than a question. ”Which means that either heaven is a lie or my best friend before this conflict is stuck in purgatory back here in Earth, and is standing right there where you keep glancing.” Another pause occurred, and the American cracked his neck slightly while keeping his eyes locked on the woman in front of him. His tone was casual, a complete contrast to the actual words coming out of his mouth. ”I’m not much of a holy man, but I’m real good at making things die. Is it possible for me to kill him and send him on to the afterlife he deserves? I can make it quick and painless if you point me to the brain. Sorry to hear the dogs got you, friend. That’s a terrible way to go, and our people have suffered greatly at the hands of those fucking monsters as well up north. I’m not going to lie and say I’m going to visit your shitty grave back home, but I am willing to try and kill you better than that lycanthrope did.” He paused for a moment, and letting his eyes refocus and meet the woman’s gaze rather than watching her hand. ”Happy as shit I didn’t get your power. Seeing corpses all the time is a real shitty way to live your life.”
  9. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    God, he hated these damn things. Gavin had felt stagnated and trapped in Shield Division, and here was his opportunity to get out without leaving the city or the organization. Being real, there was no way someone with a track record of instability and a power set like his would just be allowed to fuck off when and how he wanted anyway. It was better for both parties if he stayed in ARMA, and he had managed to stay on so far despite his depression’s best attempts to the contrary. Still, he couldn’t quite shake the urge to regain that freedom and be done with this shit for good. He knew that he had all of the tools and skills to survive wherever in the world he decided to fuck off to, regardless of the circumstances of how he left. There was very little tying him down at this point that was actually still present. He still had his property here, sure, and his possessions and the money that he didn’t piss away on alcohol and the occasional donation to a charitable organization when guilt and self-hate got to him really badly. But material possessions were never extremely important to him aside from a small assortment of things he could carry on his back if he needed to. He used to be a person who put a lot of stock into teamwork and team cohesion, but to be frank at this point he was no longer capable of leading in that manner. The soldier was no longer the emotional and inspirational enlisted officer that he used to be, and that was a fact. Gavin these days was a cold, aloof, and brutal man who still looked after his men but had lost that human touch that was present in the past. Hesitation to use violence was as good as a character trait before, but his shadows have tasted more blood these past few years than most mages spilled in their lifetimes. Today was the first day in months where the man had given any care to his appearance, so he had to trick himself into getting into the frame of mind that would allow him to actually make it through this without fucking it up. One of the first things he did when he got back to America the first time was to ensure that he got a new set of United States Army uniforms so he could always trick himself into behaving a certain way when he needed to. The Irish uniforms served the same purpose, but he was all out of field uniforms and had not pulled out the formals in years. Gavin strode into the interview room with his Class B Army Service Uniform on, consisting of army blue trousers along with a white shirt and black combat boots. The shirt was unadorned with ribbons, and was worn entirely within regulation otherwise with three notable exceptions: the combat boots, the unit insignia, and the rank. The soldier had never earned the right to wear the green beret in America, but had done so in Ireland and thus audibled and wore the combat boots. The unit insignia, in turn, was for the Army Ranger Wing of the Irish military instead of his unit in America, because he had spent far longer in the former than the latter. The rank tab was also his Irish and ARMA rank of Sergeant rather than his American military rank of Specialist, which meant both epaulettes bore the three bar chevron. None of these differences would even be noticed by a civilian, but Gavin did them deliberately more to show himself that he still had that attention to detail more than anything else. Gray eyes surveyed the room as he walked in, knowing that a large part of a performance review was the panel that was put forward to examine each soldier. When an unfamiliar voice rang out that instructed him to take a seat, he resisted the urge to physically react with the realization that quickly dawned upon him: there wasn’t even an officer of Shield up on this damned panel. Halliday was a Tower representative, and quite frankly his very presence made Gavin quite sure that this would not be the most friendly review he had ever had. They had never gotten along, especially because the officer thought that Gavin was a danger to himself and others and had made his opinions quite clear to him in the past. Even in the good old days they had always been frosty with each other, because Shield tended to break things and need the most enchanting and ward resupplies out of any division due to the skirmishes that they got in semi-frequently. Some Shield members saw Tower as basically their gear dispensers, and Gavin was one of them. He never thought it would bite him in the ass quite this hard, though, especially because he was already temporarily stripped of command earlier this year and was in danger of losing it again with an official demotion this time around. There was no changing Halliday’s opinion of him, and his employment would be terminated if it was up to him. Merval was a Cloak representative, and the only one of the three that the soldier knew would not fuck him over without good reason. He was a Dragon War veteran and English Army Officer before the Resonance. He and Rebekah used to be good friends, and they had served together during the war more than once. The past few years, though, the officer had wisely distanced himself from Gavin and was more than likely on the hostile end as well at this point. Lieutenant Merval was a man that Gavin respected, which made the fact that he didn’t know which way he would lean even worse. He was fair, but strict and was actually on the last panel that reinstated his command and rank. He had shown improvement in most areas, but whether it would be enough and whether his admittedly unorthodox style would be a negative or a positive in the officer’s eyes would influence how the Brit would lean. The third man was the one that Gavin knew the least about, but he had recognized the name for sure. Alec Walker was a man who Rebekah always considered pleasant enough, but more than a little distant and aloof. To Gavin’s knowledge, they didn’t know each other very well and the Shield Sergeant certainly never had any interactions with him. He was a mind breaker, though, that much he did know. How exaggerated or true the rumors of the mage’s skill set were, the American had no idea, but either way the soldier figured that it would be worse than useless to lie because he didn’t know the triggers for Lieutenant Walker’s power set and had no way of knowing whether he would be put under some magical damned lie detector… or if he already was. He was running through the possible scenarios of what could happen here, and few of them were positive. The soldier was tense and stressed almost as a character trait at this point, but his posture and movements were stiff even for his standards as he moved to stand in front of the chairs rather than sit and instead stood at parade rest in an attempt to make sure he didn’t start any nervous fidgeting. He was unarmed, which was something that should not have a mental effect on him but did due to the fact that he was so used to the weight and feel of a sidearm somewhere on his body that just amplified an already stressful situation just a notch more. ”I’d prefer to stand, sir, if it’s all the same to you.” Gavin said in his odd accent that mixed acquired Irish brogue and native Southern drawl, making eye contact with Lieutenant Walker and steeling himself for a rough ride ahead. He forced his body posture to relax for a moment, before allowing it to stiffen in as picture perfect a posture as he could manage at this point. When he continued speaking, he shifted eye contact between the three of them but noticeably looked at Halliday the least because he knew that no amount of polish would change that man’s opinion of the soldier in front of him. ”As for willingness to lead, I think that it is fair to say that I am not the most excited man in the world to be in charge of other people’s lives when we go down range, or even when situations occur like the incident at the Harbor bombing with the virus exposure.” He paused, then, and looked to Merval in particular before continuing: ”There are risks that we take every day out there, and even a routine call can turn into a life or death situation for the entire squad. Since my last performance review, I have been in multiple life-or-death situations that you all have the after action reports for and have kept all of the men under my command alive and uninjured through all of them. While leading others on a day to day is not my favorite task in the world, I recognize that it helps keep our guys alive out there in that great vast nothing outside of the civilized world and for as long as I am allowed to maintain command I will continue to keep my track record of routinely making sure the only casualties suffered on the field are our unfortunate adversaries who threaten the Eastern American Alliance’s safety and security.” He was never the best at these inspiring messages, and the fact that he was even trying to do it was a sure sign that he was extremely concerned about his position getting axed, and promptly. He also chose to leave out the parts about the tiff he got into with a Shield Lieutenant on that Harbor assignment, as well as the fact that he underwent that entire scenario by inserting himself in command and up-jumping the chain of command due to his belief that it would be much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission in a scenario like that – and safer for everyone involved too. Safer for everyone but him, anyway, because the rung above him on that chain of command was staring back at him now. He still believed wholeheartedly he did the right thing, because that zombie and contamination could have killed quite a few people if he had not intervened and killed the damn thing… but whether these officers would agree was an entirely different issue, and one that the American had zero confidence in at the present.
  10. Drinking Buddies [02.25.2020 7PM]

    The Derby was a rougher dive bar that attracted all sorts of the more colorful types from society. It was a hole in the wall place that opened up into a pretty vast establishment, perfect for illicit deals and violent enough where the police generally just leave the place be so long as it does not spill outside. This was all well and good, especially when Gavin had a tendency to become rather angry at various points throughout a drinking night... which was every night for a while now. This was especially true if the day he had at work was bad, like today. He went outside the city and vented his frustration a little earlier, exhausting himself to get all the rage and energy out of his system so he couldn't do anything stupid tonight. Anyone walking through that particular section of woods anytime soon would swear that a pack of monsters with claws as sharp as swords cut a path through the trees. He felt more and more trapped in a role that he should be a perfect fit for but just wasn't anymore. Patience was wearing thin both on ARMA's end and his own, and the goodwill he had gathered in his initial run had run out months ago. There was nothing else for him to do, though, not if he wanted to stay in New York State. The government wouldn't have him, he was too violent and erratic for a cop, not charismatic enough for a public official, and too prideful to take a job he deemed beneath him. He couldn't turn criminal, because once upon a time he had sworn an oath of allegiance to his country - and even though the name might be different the land was still the same. He couldn't go private sector because he had no civilian skills, and he couldn't go executive security because he had no connections. He was stuck, for better or for worse, with ARMA until he finally gathered the guts to finally leave the state for good. As it stands now, though, the ex-soldier was on shot number twelve and had already been in one fight tonight that secured him a back corner to himself in the establishment. He was dressed in attire more fit for a homeless man than a soldier, with a white beater shirt that while still dry retained the stench of sweat being the only clothing on his torso. He had a beaten up, red Atlanta Falcons cap turned backwards on his head and a visibly damaged pair of carpenter jeans and dirty, unshined black leather boots on to complete the urban trash ensemble. The boots and jeans also had small flecks of dried blood on them from when he had kicked a guy in the face earlier when he had dared catch a kick to the stomach during an earlier scuffle. Nobody would recognize him like this from a distance, which was just how he liked it. The more separate this piece of shit was from Sergeant DeLuc, the better. It was the reason why the initial few months of group drinking had degenerated to drinking alone and at home more and more as time had gone on. At this point, Gavin needed the alcohol to function as a normal human being and certainly was not proud of that fact. So here he sat, in a dark corner of a rough'n'tumble bar to make sure the shaking stopped and stayed away. To calm him down and make sure he could sleep at the end of the day. So he could eat without vomiting and actually feel his entire body instead of having bouts of numbness. This was life, now, for better or for worse. There was no need to get anybody else caught in this shit, especially in this day and age. Even if he did have a problem, it was minor compared to what most people dealt with. So what if he would die of liver failure when he was 50 or 60? It wasn't as if he expected to get that far anyway, he would die young like all the best did. Because despite his shortcomings and his challenges the past few years, Gavin still considered himself to be in that elite tier. He had proven himself time and time again, and while he may not be at his peak anymore he had certainly not fallen to the level of only hitting that above average mark when push came to shove and shit hit the fan. He was still useful, damn it. He could still do things, if only that wretched organization would give him the latitude he so craved.
  11. Old spectres and new phantoms

    The evening breeze was still chilly, and the soldier suppressed a shiver as one gust hit him right in the face as he made his approach. Carbine forward, stance tight and sweeping left to right with the barrel and his eyes both to ensure that he didn’t get blindsided. On one of the scans on his way up the hill, he saw a the top of a car parked on the opposite end of the hill as Gavin was with the damned lights on. It was hidden from view from the spot where he had parked, and the lights were pointed up the hill presumably to make it easy to spot if someone tried to steal it. He moved closer to the car to make absolutely sure that nobody was lying down in the damned thing, extremely careful to avoid the lights and being ready to move in case the car started moving unexpectedly to maintain his cover. His finger was off the trigger the entire time, mostly because if it was an actual threat he would use his powers first and the bullets second and also because by the look of the car it didn’t seem to be a bandit – or maybe a very poor or new one. Just as he initially suspected, there was nobody in the car. It was well maintained and much cleaner than the inside of his, but unremarkable otherwise. Lycanthropes tended to not be on the richer end of society, though, and lots of mages were not wealthy either. Just because the car was basic did not mean that the person occupying it was not a major threat to Gavin’s physical well being. From there, again avoiding the front lights of the vehicle but no longer concerned about them moving the soldier moved up towards the top of the hill and onto the field on the top. He thought he was ready for anything at this point, and for physical threats he was probably right. What he was not expecting, however, was to find an unarmed young woman raising her voice to call out to him while also staring directly in his direction. That on its own was odd but not entirely unexpected, but the content of that hollering was. She called out his name, for one, and also relayed that Little G was wondering why the soldier was still wearing his Atlanta Felons cap. At that, an uncommon thing happened. Gavin completely froze, because he had absolutely no idea what to do. The woman had a smaller concealed carry in a holster on her side, looked like a Glock, but no other visible weapons. What was clear, however, was that she had magic. How much, he had no idea, but judging by the fact that she saw him pointing a rifle in her direction and still chose to keep her firearm holstered he had to assume it was formidable. What the soldier could not understand, however, were the words that came out of her mouth. Gibson was not here, of that Gavin was almost certain due to the layout of the area making it pretty impossible to hide once you were on top of the hill, but she knew exactly what to say to cause him to doubt everything and freeze. Which meant at the very least that she was likely part of the Vanguard, and was likely one of the altered that joined up that cause. Which meant that he needed to lower his rifle before he got blasted with whatever that woman preferred to use instead of her sidearm. If he was completely sober, he might have stood his ground here, but seeing as the woman wasn’t even flinching… he decided to at least outwardly yield for now. He lowered his rifle barrel to the ground and walked forward enough to where he would not have to raise his voice to talk before deactivating his cloak and noise dampening. Immediately upon deactivating both, the soldier crouched down to place his M4 on the ground and let the woman see both of his hands as he got back to a standing position. It was a mostly placating gesture instead of a full disarming, because he still had full access to his powers… which the woman would probably know if she knew his name and had contact with Gibson, but he wasn’t getting blasted with whatever it was that she had yet so that was a good sign. Gavin had not had contact with Gibson, his best friend during his entire stint in the United States Army since he had left to go to Ireland. Honestly, he had thought the man was likely dead due to his tendency towards stupid bravery. They had fled Colorado together, right after the Resonance hit and everything went to shit. Gibson had joined up with the Vanguard after the two of them proved themselves by dispatching a lycanthrope in a nearby village… and Gavin decided to board a shipping freighter on its way to Ireland to fight. They embraced at the docks, both fighting back tears, and never saw each other again. The soldier had absolutely no problem showing a bit of deference in order to have the opportunity to see his old friend again, though he couldn’t help but wonder why the hell Gibson wouldn’t come himself if he was in the area. ”Sorry ‘bout that, ahm not used t’ seein’ te Vanguard in plainclothes.” the man started, his accent an odd blend of native southern drawl and acquired Irish brogue. His tone was neutral, even slightly deferential as he moved to clasp his hands together slowly in front of him before he continued speaking again. ”If Gibson sent yah, shit must be real bad. Fucker isn’t te best at keepin’ in touch, so what’s the situation?” The woman obviously wasn’t here to kill him, because if she was here to do that she would have at least attempted to do so already. With that out of the way it meant that she was here for another reason, and since his old friend’s name was invoked it probably had something to do with that idiot. Gavin had never gone back to Georgia since he left for Ireland, and had been avoiding any notion of going back since he came back. There was nothing for him there but hate and persecution, but it also meant that he was cut off from everyone that he used to know that survived the event. He could have tried to get back in touch, he supposed, but after his return from Ireland it just seemed like too much time had passed. Gibson apparently didn’t think so, which was odd. Why now, of all times? Why Gavin in particular? Why here, and in this inefficient manner? Waiting in a random shooting range outside city limits wasn’t exactly their style, but he wasn’t about ready to say anything verbally when he still had no idea what or who he was dealing with. Steel gray eyes scanned the area around him as discreetly as he could manage to find concentrations of shadow that he could use in case shit hit the fan. If she was Vanguard, she sure as hell was not a lycanthrope or a magus so that left her as an altered with strong enough abilities to see through his cloaking and to be confident enough to keep her sidearm holstered this entire time. With those conditions being true, Gavin needed to be ready to unleash absolutely everything that he had on a moment’s notice. He had always considered himself one of the strongest Altered when it came to combat ability, but if someone knew him and his skill set and was this unafraid and casual about it he had very good reason to be cautious.
  12. March 25, 2020 After that close call at the Harbor a few days ago, Gavin finally decided to use some of his vacation hours to clear his head and attempt to recenter himself. It was the first time on the field in a long time where he had been put in a position where he could not perform up to his standards. He made it out alive, sure, but that was entirely too much risk for his liking. He needed to be better than that, but such a close call with death meant that he had deserved a few days off to just relax and do whatever he wanted. Today, doing whatever he wanted meant he was headed for a short trip out of town and he had loaded up his armored Toyota Land Cruiser with enough alcohol to kill him and a few firearms so he could just shoot, practice his powers, and then get shitfaced away from any police or innocent bystanders. The last thing he wanted to do was get into a confrontation with the police at this point over something as stupid as intoxication, especially after that near-death encounter with the CDC putting him even more on edge with the government types. He was dressed in what was for him pretty standard attire when he was pretending badly to be a civilian. Dirty, unshined steel toed boots, carpenter style jeans, and a black leather jacket over a flannel shirt. The brim of a black and beaten up Atlanta Falcons baseball cap saved his eyes from the worst of the remaining sunlight from the sun that had just started setting in the distance. He hadn't fully gotten the orange decontaminate out of his hair, yet, so small traces of the orange gunk still stubbornly remained glued to his skull. He had only drank enough today to stave off the craving for the stuff, so he was also more sober than normal at least for the moment. Portable ward package and an M4 carbine with 2 filled magazines adorned the passenger seat of the vehicle as he drove, because his growing paranoia made him wildly uncomfortable without some sort of firepower within arm's reach. Especially when night fell, it would not be the first time that he was attacked outside the city and he would definitely rather be overprepared for nothing than dead in a ditch somewhere for the maggots and crows. He had a once professionally created and maintained shooting and training range built on a field a few miles out of town, out of the way of anything else and purposefully so. These days, it was still professionally built... but the maintained part had gone by the wayside years ago. Old whiskey bottles littered the place from the times he had drunkenly driven over to shoot at ungodly hours of the night and shell casings lined the ground. Looters had found the place and made off with a lot of the casings and a lot of the lighter targets and ammo boxes along with the occasional misplaced weapon, but there was still spare ammo and litter around to account for quite some time of neglect. He wasn't exactly trying to be subtle when he drove in towards the bottom of the small hill the field was on, mostly because he was not expecting anyone else to be there. As he was pulling up, though, a gunshot rang out and the soldier immediately lowered his head and reached for the carbine. Still keeping his body low, he loaded the damned thing before putting it back in the passenger seat. He was still out of sight of the hill, but that cut both ways. His windows weren't broken, so the shot didn't hit the vehicle. He could take the safe route and scare the intruder off by being loud in the armored truck, or he could get out and physically confront them. Fuck it. He turned the key to turn off the vehicle and locked the damn thing before putting his keys in his jean pocket. He was going to go for it, because damned if he wasn't going to do something else needlessly risky this pay period when the opportunity presented itself. Gavin grabbed his carbine and pulled a Springfield Armory XD .45 out of his glovebox for a sidearm since the rest of his were in the back of the vehicle and not worth getting at the present. He also still had his karambits, but those wouldn't see any use unless he got desperate. He put the small sidearm into the right jacket pocket of his leather jacket and put the one point sling of the carbine over his shoulder before opening his vehicle door and immediately activating his cloaking and noise dampening abilities to mask the door closing and his approach up the hill. Carbine in hand, the soldier marched forwards in the direction of the shooting range fully expecting the worst. It could be anyone or anything up there, and with his luck it would be a pack of lycanthropes or something equally unfortunate. Since he was dampening the noise he was making to almost imperceptible levels, Gavin was not concerned about anything but speed and making sure he would not be blindsided. If it was a human, he would be effectively invisible and silent with all of the growing shadow around with the sun halfway through setting in the distance. If it was a monster, he would know immediately just by virtue of the fact that they had noticed him and could react accordingly. It was a gunshot, so chances are that it was a human or magic user. Gavin liked his chances at remaining unseen against a human or magic user until it was far too late for them to do anything about it. And who knows, maybe it was just a random person who had happened to find the place and was not out to kill him and take all of his stuff. But he doubted it, because with his luck lately it probably was the pack of lycanthropes. Or more CDC agents, which was a somehow even worse option.
  13. Not all is what it seems......

    Detective Psycho was an appropriate name for that woman, God bless her insane little heart. She called the bluff of the CDC men who she knew somehow would not shoot her and took out the damned spotlight. As soon as that spotlight was gone and darkness returned to the area, Gavin wasted absolutely no time activating cloaking to ensure that his less connected self would not be shot in the confusion. It wasn’t complete invisibility, but it was pretty close. A very attentive person could see a faint outline of Gavin’s form, but other than that the active camouflage was close to perfect. Infrared devices would still pick him up, but as long as the shadow wasn’t completely gone from the area he was standing in the desk jockeys pointing firearms at him seconds ago would not be able to see a damned thing. The detective was talking, but the soldier was not paying much attention at this point. The police officer was not a threat to his life the way the rest of these idiots were, and if necessary he was willing to kill a few or all of them to get his sidearm back. Hopefully it would not come to that, but planning for that possibility made it much easier when and if his hand would be forced. His metal was lifted down, and the soldier deftly moved around the eggheads surrounding it to pick up and cloak each individual piece of equipment that he put back on his body. His leg holster and sidearm, his shoulder holsters and karambits, and his phone and radio were all stuffed on his person. The extra magazines he just left on the table after replacing his sidearm magazine with a fresh one. The last action he dampened the noise of to make sure the jumpy desk jockeys nearby did not jump at the metallic noise, and with that the man headed off in the direction of the detective and back to their people. The dampening was in constant effect on his footsteps, because the cloaking did not cover noises and he knew damn well he was being noisier than usual due to balance issues caused by the triple antiviral. On the walk back, Gavin took his own way to carefully avoid the lights that were starting to come back on behind him with the CDC group and any artificial lights in general to conserve energy. Once out of sight of the goddamned eggheads, assisted by some convenient buildings, he decloaked and stopped the noise dampening almost immediately, it was a waste of energy and the last thing he wanted was the Detective shooting at him because she saw a ghost when he got within earshot of her again. Bare feet smacked against the pavement, and the orange shit had already seeped into almost every crevice of the end of the shitty clothes he was now wearing as well. The first order of business when he regained enough sense to drive, because he was going to have to be the one to drive all of those fucking idiots back, was going to be to get a change of clothes and get as much of this shit as possible off of him. It was a disgusting semisolid that stuck to your body as well as feeling wet and just generally unpleasant. He needed to call his superiors back at some point, but that could wait. If he recounted what had just happened this soon, he would just get angry and the retelling would trigger a massive homicidal urge he wasn’t quite sure he could contain at the present. If he couldn’t contain it, that would cause a … diplomatic incident and he would be back to where he started before he started this whole fucking mess – on the run with no allies with everyone trying to kill him. ARMA was annoying to deal with, but staying in the same place was the best option for him right now. When Rebekah returned, she was going to come back here expecting him to be there and ready – which he would be. When Gavin made it back to a place where he could see the previous area, he saw that his men were starting to at least sit up and cradle their carbines. That was a vast improvement over before, but none of them were up and walking around yet. Gavin noted the location of the Detective talking with her own people before grabbing his own M4 carbine, mostly so he would not forget the damn thing when he left, and hobbled over to the police powwow. ”Anytin’ else ah need’a do on yer end right now, or am ah jus’ good to fuck off an’ scrub tis fuckin’ orange shit off?” Normally he would not give this courtesy, but anyone willing to throw a fucking knife into a searchlight with a dozen or more firearms pointed in their direction deserved respect. Maybe not for their intelligence, but at least professional respect for having guts. And getting him an escape route by knocking out the light, but mostly the guts.
  14. Finding your faith

    February 22nd, 2011. 2200hrs. ”Aren’t I supposed to be the dumb, reckless one?” a masculine, amused voice teased while drawing out each syllable a little longer than needed. There was only an irritated grunt in response, as Gavin continued to replace bandages to the burn wounds sustained by his superior officer. He had already bandaged her legs, and had moved on to her torso and arms at this point which were also pretty wrecked from her act of heroism earlier in the day. Rebekah was a hardass, to be sure, but the longer he had stayed here in this unit… in this war, the more humanity started to slip out. More willingness to go against orders as stated for the purpose of saving more people and reducing the loss of life for not just the military, but for the civilian population as well. How could it not? This was not a conflict of humanity against humanity, but instead a conflict between humanity and a new species that was intent on seeing humanity burn. Sometimes they got there fast enough to stop widespread destruction, but more often the monsters were only repelled or killed after the damage was already done. After so much death was already dealt that their presence made no real effect. They were both trained for one type of war, and were both conditioned for it pretty well. The reality was an entirely different beast, both literally and figuratively. Earlier today was slightly different, because the advance of the monsters had some forewarning and there happened to be some heavy weaponry stationed nearby. A lucky hit with a rocket propelled grenade stunned and disoriented a dragon well enough to get it close to the ground, and once it was near that point it was much easier pickings for follow up shots, shadow blades, and elimination. The beast had managed to set fire only to a neighborhood, and while the rest of the team worked to stop the fire from spreading, their fearless team leader went into the flames to save who she could. Rebekah—Sergeant Lynch managed to get out and save eight people from burning to death in that small neighborhood. She suffered pretty significant burn wounds in the process over a good chunk of her body, and was still just disappointed that she couldn’t save everybody. Not that she was the only one running into the fire, willingly jumping into a needlessly life-threatening situation – mind you, the exact thing that Gavin himself got yelled at for more than once. No, not that. That she was not able to somehow become even more superhuman and save literally everyone by herself. The American, for his part, was generally pretty happy to just be alive at the end of every day at this point. He was never part of a combat role before, and sure he got the same basic training that every other soldier got… but he had never seriously expected to be using it very often. Combat in his old line of work generally meant that something had gone pretty terribly wrong, which wasn’t exactly untrue in his current line of work either. Being on the open field made for weird situations like this one, a random non-medic trained private patching up a Sergeant in the medical tent. Their medic had been killed in an engagement about two weeks ago, and the new one who was supposed to arrive yesterday had not quite come yet. So here he was at Rebekah’s request, trying to apply his minimal training medical assistance to someone who could spasm and break his neck at any moment by accident. Distinct lines between superior and subordinate were still there, but became more and more blurred the longer they were out here. They became much closer than any of them had ever expected, turning into friends and maybe something—no, just friends. Which is why she had requested Gavin to come and bandage her up in particular, because she for whatever reason trusted him to do a good job with it. Lynch started squirming a bit, likely in pain from the fresh burns being messed with. She healed faster than anybody else, but she was not spared the agony of the fresh wounds themselves. Her form was muscular, but still lithe. At roughly five feet, six inches nobody would really expect her to be the powerhouse of not only the team but basically the entire Special Forces wing. Red hair clipped exactly to uniform length shifted slightly with each movement, and Gavin laid a gentle hand on the Irishwoman’s bare shoulder for a moment for what he hoped to be comfort. ”Jus’ a lil’ longer.” the American breathed out as calmly and reassuringly as he could manage. The squirming stopped almost immediately, which was something considering that the pain of having a human being only a few brain cells away from being an actual monkey fiddle with numerous fresh second and third degree burns must have not been the most pleasant experience. “Yuh never did tell me, DeLuc.” Her voice all but mumbled, much lower than the American was used to. He knew what she was getting at, and he had told her. She was bugging him from the first day about it, on and off. Why an American would abandon their home, their chance to reunite with family, and their way of life to go volunteer to join the Irish military in the biggest active warzone of the planet. A country which he had never been to and had absolutely no ties to whatsoever. ”I told you, I just thought it was the right thing to do,” he started, but was interrupted quickly. “Don’ gimme tat shit, Gavin. Nobody’s gonna over’ear yuh in ‘ere. Ah don’ give a shit if yuh tell me, jus’ don’t fuckin’ lie to me. Ah’d tink we’d be past tat by now.” Rebekah’s tone was not accusatory or even irritated, just matter of fact. Silence hung over the room for what seemed like eternity, with Gavin continuing to replace the bandages all over his superior’s body and Rebekah closing her green eyes in some form of meditation. Eventually, however, Gavin spoke up once again. ”I’m not gonna die where I was born.” he started, and then trailed off. He was not interrupted or questioned while he gathered his thoughts to talk more, which he eventually started doing. ”I did manage t’ make it back, close t’ where home was. Lots of… ex-military, ex-police, would have fit right in if… If I wasn’t effected in the… event.” He trailed off again, and he noticed a slight nod from Rebekah but no verbal response. There was another long silence in the room before he continued once more. ”There was a new group that took control of the area, the ‘Humanity Vanguard’ or something. Pure human supremacists, basically. Only made it through them because me’n’my only surviving coworker killed some lycanthropes for them. He got acceptance in their ranks, and I got put on a shitty cargo ship here. If I had stayed, I would have probably died in some alley and there was no way I was turning back towards Colorado. Not after making it so far.” That was the most he had said about his recent past since coming here, and he knew damned well that Lynch would memorize every word of that to ask questions about later in quiet moments. She was exceptionally good at putting those questions to words at a time where her subject was most likely to respond positively to them, a trait which Gavin wished he had. It wasn’t that he was trying to hide anything, moreso that he thought his own recent past was nothing in comparison to what every soldier on the British Isles and Ireland have fought through in recent times. A few lycanthropes and zombies and anarchy spreading throughout the country pale in comparison to a full scale monster invasion and a fight for the right to exist in the new and changing landscape of the world. “Lycanthropes, are those…?” Rebekah trailed off, most likely intentionally, knowing that Gavin had gotten the essence of the question. ”Apparently. We killed ‘em before seeing them transform, but good God were they tougher than normal even still. If we survive the dragons, I’ll see if I can’t introduce you to some. You might finally get a decent sparring partner.” he said, noting that some humor had finally returned to his previously toneless voice. “When we survive the dragons, you mean.” Rebekah corrected, with some forcefulness. Almost as if she was trying to convince herself as much as Gavin. The American did not reply, and instead finished cleaning the wounds and swapping the bandages. He might not have been practiced, but he was careful and while it did take longer for the task to be completed it also meant that no major mistakes were made and the chances for infection were next to none unless they were crawling through mud or other mildly to moderately disgusting semisolids tomorrow. Which unfortunately was a distinct possibility. He just hoped it wasn’t sand this time, because by God Gavin had learned that he absolutely despised sand during his time here. It got literally everywhere on your body and was impossible to get completely out of clothes. ”All done, Sergeant. Anything else?” Gavin asked, as Rebekah was already pulling over a shirt and her uniform jacket over her torso once more. “Jus’ a few more tings ah’d like t’ make yuh aware of.” Lynch responded, standing up with her jacket over her shoulders and already starting to head outside. “If it’s all t’ same to yah, ah’d like to talk’n’walk.” The American needed no other motivation to bolt up and follow after his superior, because even with extensive burn injuries she was still much faster than Gavin was and he did not want to be left in the metaphorical dust, again. Thankfully, once outside it was not hard to miss the indominatable redhead walking across the camp like absolutely nothing on the planet could stop her forward march. It took a little jogging, but in short order the American fell in step beside Rebekah’s admittedly brisk pace and awaited further instruction. One of the pleasant things about his new… abilities was the ability to see in the nighttime as clear as day time. Gavin was taller than Rebekah, but not significantly so. He was put down at a charitable five feet, ten inches… which was true, if you rounded the number. And things were so hectic that nobody really bothered to check an inch or two here or there, which was just dandy for the American who had always been a little self-conscious about his height. Rebekah’s green eyes met Gavin’s steel gray for a moment before she stopped walking and started talking, gauging his response no doubt to what she would say next. They were a decent ways away from the camp, far enough that there was no chance of being overheard by anyone. “Firs’ tings firs’,” she started, her tone betraying absolutely nothing. “Ah’ve signed papers to field promote yuh to Ceannaire, or Corporal. I’ll tell te rest of te team tomorrow, but you’ll be acting as my second for te rest of tis deployment.” Her tone was completely neutral, with only a bit of smugness leaking through that quite frankly confused Gavin more than he was already confused. Why him? There were more qualified people to take that spot in the squad, especially because it wasn’t that long ago that this same group of individuals didn’t trust the American interloper as far as they could throw him – which in at least one case was pretty damned far, admittedly. He must have done a pretty terrible job hiding that confusion, because a smile spread across the woman’s features at the response, and just that simple gesture made Lynch’s face light up and Gavin’s flush. It was a good thing the darkness over their camp did a great job at hiding the latter, for both of their sakes. “And tat’s why. Most soldiers would be hootin’ an’ hollerin’ by now.” Rebekah said with a low laugh. When she continued, though, her tone was much more serious. “We’re both not human anymore, at least not completely. And tese effects are too new fer me t’ know much about ‘em – ahm doing this partially because ah tink your winning personality and cautious style clashes with mine in a way tat will help us become more successful… an’ partially because nobody else knows what your limits are but you. DeLuc, much as I hate to admit it, you seem to be at least somewhat competent at simple tasks such as putting on your pants on one leg at a time or cutting up wing membrane, and I want to empower you to do more of that when you think you can. If we’re gonna save this place, we’re going to need everyone to be contributing at max potential and to be frank I’ve realized I have no idea how to use a shadowcaster.” This was the first time Gavin had ever seen this happen: Sergeant Rebekah Lynch admitting that she did not know what to do. It made sense, because this was not the type of war either of them had ever trained for. She was trained to engage in close quarters combat with enemy human soldiers and destroy them. He was trained to interrogate humans and get information from them. Neither of those things were particularly helpful when your enemy happened to be swarms of giant, fire breathing lizards in the sky who were heavily resistant at worst to small arms fire and people who were not quite human were starting to crop up more and more. Who would know how to use a shadowcaster, for example? Gavin sure as hell didn’t, and he was the shadowcaster! Umbrakinesis wasn’t exactly a new and emerging field in military strategy or tactics a few months ago, so there wasn’t exactly a wide base to draw from when generating ideas. Noting the silence that had fallen, Sergeant Lynch spoke up again. “I also told you early in case you wanted to refuse. I didn’t want to force you into a position that you think you would do poorly in.” Her words came in slow, enunciating every word clearly and her tone was soft and reassuring. It was clear that she believed in him, and the only question that remained was if Gavin believed in himself. Which was a good question, to be fair. One that the American was not sure he could answer at the moment, but as was normal in the military… decisions had to be made very quickly, and he figured it was worth a try. ”I trust your judgment, Sergeant. I accept.” “Ah tink yah misunderstand.” Rebekah said after a pause, her tone neutral. “Ah wan’ your judgment. Do you trust that?” ”If the other option is O’Quinn getting the spot,” the American responded with a laugh, ”Then I trust in my judgment a heck of a lot.” With that, Gavin threw up a salute that was quickly returned. The Sergeant tried to make her face neutral, but a smirk escaped her features anyway. It was obvious she was pleased with that answer. “That’ll be all, Corporal. You’re dismissed. It’ll be a long day tomorrow, rest up for it.”
  15. Not all is what it seems......

    The orange decontaminate was probably the most disgusting thing Gavin had been covered in for years. It wasn’t quite liquid, but it also wasn’t quite a solid. It stuck to hair and skin pretty thickly, and was quite disgusting to the touch. It didn’t make sense, because the rinse was just as uncomfortable and painful as the decontamination box, but the damn water just wasn’t enough to get off the orange shit. The soldier made absolutely no attempt to get the gunk off of him with his hands, and instead was more than content at the time to just raise his head slightly to get it out of his eyes and face as much as possible. When the water finally stopped, the man was again the second one to make a move to the next station. Partially because he was absolutely exhausted, and partially to center himself to ensure no more violent outbursts came out until he was in a position to not be shoot and killed instantaneously for the offense. Death would come for him, probably sometime soon. But not here, not in New York. Not in Yankee country. Not by the fucking Center for Disease Control. A lycanthrope or similarly dangerous monster, sure. A soldier of the Vanguard or the Order of the First Light, sure. A death to be proud of when all was said and done, not euthanized by bullet like a diseased and rabid dog. ”Not today.” he muttered under his breath as he finally opened his gray eyes and forced his aching legs to move into the next room. Shitty clothes were already laid out for him, and he put them on over his orange-coated body without a word. When the cop spoke up about the ‘Viral Wars’, Gavin remained quiet and instead finished slipping clothes on that were entirely too big for him and adjusting at least the pants so they would not simply fall off as soon as he moved two steps. He was too damned old to learn another kind of war. He would stick to organic targets until his inability to change killed him, and that would be that. He opened up the door to the outside without hesitation, to find many more lights were shining in the area, mostly directed at the exit. Well, at least the fuckers respected his ability a bit more since he had just almost destroyed their truck. Gavin raised his hands in an effort to lower his chances of getting shot at and walked out with a very deliberately slow gait. He took the time to look back and get a good, long look at the truck behind him to locate the engine and get a rough idea of where things like the fuel tank were… just in case. Head turned back to the front to avoid looking too suspicious, with hands still up in the air as he continued his slow walk forward. He had no idea the procedure for shit like this and should have probably let the cop lead the way out, but thinking before stupid actions was never exactly Gavin’s strong suit.