Gavin de Luc

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34 Showing Real Promise

About Gavin de Luc

  • Rank
    Fresh Faced


    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. “I grew up in Belmont, down in Nor’ Carolina. Went tah a little place called South Point 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. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.
  4. Not all is what it seems......

    In and out. In, and out. Breathe. Avoid panic. Avoid losing control. Gray eyes closed to focus on the sensation of hearing slowly coming back and his own hand scoured his body for any signs of blood. There was none, but the first thing he heard when his hearing started to return was sirens. Not emergency services though, it was probably the CDC to clean up this entire mess down here. All the blood and the body parts to prevent people from getting contaminated with the virus. Like Gavin might have been. He had never been sloppy enough to go through this process, but there was a first time for everything. Up close and personal generally meant up close and dead, so the soldier generally stood far enough back to where contamination was never an issue. Not today, given that the triple antiviral was still giving him hell. Still on the ground, he turned over and vomited. Mostly spit and water at this point, but vomit nevertheless. The detective was still standing, somehow, so Gavin was more than content to keep lying there until he was eventually dragged off. Unfortunately for him, the men in hazmat suits and bright, wide lights on their helmets weren’t going to assist in getting him up. Unless four eggheads pointing sidearms at him was supposed to be assistance. He briefly considered making a fight out of it, but the headlights on their damned helmets would make it difficult at best. Even though he couldn’t see their body types, their movements told him all he needed to know. Fucking civilians making sharp, jerky movements in accordance to whatever stupid handbook or two hour training they had on this shit. He didn’t need his powers to kill these fucking animals, but he did need ammo. He couldn’t remember how many shots he fired off at the zombie, but it had to have been at least five. Shaking hands and arms pushed the man’s body up, and as he was being led by the eggheads he worked out an escape plan if it came to that. The CDC men were not disciplined, and did not keep the headlights pointed at him in particular at all times in a way that would prevent him from doing a lot with his power. They left a decent percentage, and at some times a large percentage of shadows nearby and very easily accessible. It would have been so easy to just cut their legs out from under them, especially when he would have had the element of surprise. But he needed to keep his shit together. They had a semi outside, which was… disturbingly fast for an event like this. When exactly was this shit called in again? Two business days was fast for most government agencies, but this was like what, an hour? Two? He was so disoriented with the antiviral he didn’t know, but it seemed suspiciously fast that the damned CDC were here in force so damned quickly. Maybe he should just kill them all and get out. Was that the paranoia talking, or was that just an honest assessment of the situation? If he was completely healthy and focused at that point, he might have just tried fighting his way out. In his current state, however, there was no way he could efficiently make sure that every armed hostile was killed or at least not in a position to shoot and kill him as soon as he started to make a break for it. There was also the fact that there was no way he was running particularly fast or particularly straight at the moment, given that his walk was pretty wobbly as it was. Up the creepy looking stairs and into the truck it was, then. Worst comes to worst he was damned sure he could blow up the damned truck out of spite and at least make sure there was some level of revenge if they didn’t kill him instantly. None of the egghead bastards he had seen were capable of doing that, so at least he had that in his back pocket for now, especially with the complete lack of floodlights. There was a locker on the side, with a voice over some sort of sound system telling them that metal went on one side and clothes on the other. The metal was the first thing that he stuffed in the locker. Extra magazines, his sidearm, and both karambits along with their respective holsters. He also put most of the things in his pockets in the locker, like his phone and radio. For the clothes, he first tossed in his vomit-stained scarf and quickly realized it was in fact an incinerator. There was a noticeable hesitation once that became obvious, mostly because this was the last Irish Army field uniform he still had. If it was the fancier service uniform, he would have rather died than give that up… but since it was ‘just’ the field uniform he was willing to toss it in after roughly thirty seconds of internal debate. Once the decision was made, the contaminated material made its way in the incinerator in short order. Gavin didn’t feel good about it, but he did it and walked into the next area. Darkness was no impediment to his sight, but nevertheless he kept staring straight ahead with his mind was off in space. Old battle scars littered the soldier’s body, mostly old burn markings due to the nature of the conflict in Ireland. Remnants of old gunshot wounds, slashing wounds, and knife wounds also made their mark across his naked form. Lean and muscled, his form was one of someone who was physically active to an extreme but did not go that extra step in making sure their diet was not up to par. When he stepped into the next room, he was not prepared. When the orange liquid shot out and swept the man off his feet and onto the ground shoulder-first, his first instinct was to get the hell out of there. Shadows coalesced and solidified into massive blunt force trauma to the side of the truck. The metal of the side bent noticeably, and some of the hosing mechanisms broke and started spilling the liquid down instead of in a steady stream outwards on the side of the semi next to Gavin. The entire truck shook slightly, and the harsh admonishment coming through the speakers forced the soldier back into reality long enough to not instinctively do it twice to try and bust the side of the truck open. ”I fuckin’ hate civvie pox.” he grumbled to nobody in particular as he forced himself back to his feet as another admonishment over the speakers came out threatening some sort of retaliation if cooperation was not given. Death, Gavin assumed, but attentive hearing to something he didn’t care about while in extreme disorientation and pain was not one of his strong suits. Finally, the stinging orange spray was done and he wobbled into the next room after a small delay. Focus came back unexpectedly, but for the first time in a while he was fully aware of what the Detective was saying to him. This one was just a rinse, but the damned orange stuff was not coming out anytime soon. ”Fantastic.” was the only word that came out of his mouth, slow and enunciated especially clearly. The paranoia and energy of earlier was reduced to just a cold demeanor, with most of his focus now directed at making sure his powers didn’t manifest out of instinct again and get them both killed. In and out. In, and out. Breathe.
  5. Not all is what it seems......

    So this was the way the world ended. He always thought it would be more poetic than this, retching on the ground trying to maintain breath control and to avoid rolling into his own vomit pile. Not that he had ever really cared about getting himself dirty, but damned if he was going to fuck up that old Irish Army uniform he had on. He still cleaned and ironed that thing like he was still in training and had uniform inspections every day, it was one of the few things he had kept his pride in even after everything. It was fitting that it seemed like he was going to die in it. His sense of hearing was muddled, but he heard the words infected and Z, and it came back to somewhat normal in time to hear that something wasn’t supposed to cross FDR and that it needed to be destroyed. Awesome, literally immediately after he and his entire squad took debilitating injections that rendered them completely worthless in combat they were needed for immediate combat. The soldier tried to maneuver his hands to stand up, but only managed to retch and vomit more along with losing his hearing for a few moments once more. It popped back to normal quite painfully just in time for him to hear his name get called by that damned detective. Fuck, he was really going to have to do this, wasn’t he? ”O’Connor.” he managed to gasp out, but only got pained groans in response. The same pained groans that a blurry eyed gaze around saw that all of his squad was doing and that he was likely doing just moments ago. ”Fuck.” he muttered to himself, trying and failing to get up once more before just creating blades on the sides of his wrists to dig into the ground and get him up. Efficient or clean it was not, especially because he put more force and energy into it than needed but it at least got him up on his wobbly feet. His first instinct was to grab for his sidearm inside of his leg holster, but his shaking hands had issues taking it out quickly. His sabre was still in the truck, he didn’t think to bring it out for a detail like this so he continued pulling on his sidearm until he miscalculated again and ended up pulling on it hard enough to not only get it out of the holster but also drop the damn thing on the ground. He stumbled to the side and clumsily crouched down to retrieve the weapon, eventually grabbing a hold of it and getting himself upright. The handgun was the most important thing he held on his person regularly, much more important than other, replaceable weapons and even more important than the old Army field uniform he wore now. Even if it ended up killing him, he was completely unwilling to leave the handgun lying there on the ground. From that upright position, one shaky foot moved in front of the other for now as the soldier fought to stay upright through the intense pain coursing through his veins and the physical disorientation of that came as a result of the injections. The shadows of the structures he was now passing in between and the general dimming of light present as the sun was setting didn’t bother him at all, due to the ways his eyes unnaturally adjusted to any darkness. Ordinarily, a zombie would be a trivial threat to him. In this state, though? 50/50 at best if the thing made it within 10 yards, if he declined to use his powers to slice in half the first thing that tracked across his field of vision… and make one hell of a cut into the building behind them because he would almost certainly default into stronger than necessary rather than weaker. That left the issue of likely killing an officer, which left just the handgun he couldn’t really aim with. In his current state, 50/50 was probably a bit too generous in hindsight. Maybe 30/70. The man was so focused on staying upright and keeping his gun pointed in front of him that he ended up bumping against someone before noticing they were there. Steel gray eyes flickered upwards as his shoulder backed off the… wall. He had bumped into the wooden exterior of a building. Great. The soldier shook it off and went back to putting one boot in front of the other, but in his dazed state he found out firsthand how vulnerable he was in this state when a body slammed into his side and threw him into a damned window to someone’s basement. Gavin’s first instinct was to press the muzzle of his sidearm into the aggressor and fire, which he did before they ended up hitting the floor. In a normal human being, that would have disoriented them enough for an easy kick off or execution. For a zombie, however, the damned thing didn’t even flinch. Two more shots rang out at that point blank range and attempted to kick the damn thing off of him while he lashed out with shadow in the general direction of the monster. He could hear parts of the damned thing falling down on the ground, but still the damn thing persisted. One more powerful kick with both legs sent the damn thing off of him, and the soldier raised his pistol immediately and fired off three shots. The first went past the zombie’s head and into the ceiling, the second hit where part of its skull used to be and embedded itself into the wall behind the thing, and the third hit the damn thing in the one remaining eye it had. From there, Gavin summoned enough focus to decapitate the damned thing with the more than abundant shadow around and crawl backwards until he hit a wall so he could claw his way up and assess the situation. The basement was pitch black, but the Resonance gave Gavin a handy way to just ignore that. The stone walls were cut up several inches deep, and the wooden ceiling was cut clean through a disturbing amount of times. The zombie itself had at least a dozen different parts hacked off of it, including most of both arms and large portions of the head and torso region. The basement itself seemed like it had seen use somewhat recently, which meant that the house was likely occupied. The lack of screaming meant that either nobody was home or this was a multi-story house. Or that the cuts in the ceiling were deep enough to kill someone above it, which wasn’t likely. Probably. Who would even live in this area anyway, wasn’t it all supposed to be abandoned buildings anyway? A quick pat down revealed that the damn thing did try to bite him, but didn’t get through his jacket. That was nice, but now that his adrenalin was starting to wear off the soldier realized he couldn’t hear his own footsteps. He was at least temporarily deafened from the discharges in such a small area. What a fun day at the office. He still couldn't really keep standing without assistance and God knew he couldn't see straight at this point. Gavin always did get the fun missions.
  6. Not all is what it seems......

    There would be a lot more anger in Gavin’s tone if the reluctance to trust him with something major had been completely unwarranted. He was a bit of a black sheep at this point, and despite his frustration at that fact he couldn’t deny that at some level he deserved that status. He had gotten much more loose with his leadership style over the years, and had circumvented chain of command more than once to the detriment of all involved. His arrogance bled through more than ever before, and frankly so had his selfishness. He had grown more and more comfortable completely ignoring standard operating procedures, as he was doing now calling a higher up he had absolutely no business having the personal cell phone number of at the drop of a hat. He thought it made sense for the situations, but he doubted others would agree when he got back to headquarters. The whole threatening someone orders of magnitude higher up in the chain would probably come back to bite him relatively soon, for one. He heard the detective say that if he followed through with his threat to broadcast the infection over that channel ARMA would never work in the city again, and to that his steel gray gaze flickered over for a few moments before staring back forward into space. When the detective produced the spares, Gavin turned to his men for a moment while still holding the phone a few feet from his face. Noise was coming from it, but he was ignoring it for now and had the input on mute. ”Alrigh’ boys, ah ‘ave good news an’ bad news an’ bad news again. Te bad news is tat we’ve all been exposed to a virus tat will kill us pretty quick. Te good news is that we have triple anti-virals sittin’ ‘ere so y’all will be fine. Te bad news again is that we gon’ be stuck ‘ere for a while, and that yer gon’ be puking yer guts out as soon as yah get the shot. An’ yah might shit yourself, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Y’all are takin’ the police triples, and me’n’O’Connor are takin’ the singles. Unless ye like shittin’ and pukin’ all over yer equipment, I’d take most of it off or at least position yer head. Now, ah’ve never taken te N-virus anti, so tese nice officers are gonna do us all a favor an’ drill a few rounds in my skull if ah end up panicking and losing control of myself. Understood?” With that, Gavin pulled the phone back up to his ear as he fully trusted his squad to follow directions. He unslung his rifle from his shoulder and put it on the ground nearby but away from his head and positioned himself so that he was facing the greater city and absolutely nobody else. Now all that was left was to take the anti-virals for himself, and God was that going to be a shitty experience. Three shots, one right after the other, and one that he had never taken before. The Lycanthrope anti-viral was one he was most familiar with, and it caused generally at least for him a massive fever and made the insides of his veins feel like lava was rushing through his veins. It was familiar, and he was prepared for the sensations which is why he took that one first. The fever would not be immediate and he would not be debilitated from the experience the second the syringe was emptied. He muted the phone for a brief moment after the first shot to update his superior, but put the damn thing right on mute immediately afterwards. ”Sir, te entire squad is takin’ antivirals now an’ whoever comes to first will be yer point of contact for te rest of our stay here in infection city.” The next one taken was the M-Virus anti-viral, the one that turned you into a goddamned zombie. Gavin normally reacted to that one by shaking uncontrollably and emptying the contents of his stomach on the ground. It inhibited his motor function to a moderate degree by itself, but since he didn’t know what the last syringe would do to him he took that one second and immediately vomited on the ground in front of him afterwards. The shakes were already starting, and he could feel that fire coursing through his veins in the most painful and wretched way possible as he took the last syringe and plunged it inside of his arm. The N-Virus Anti-viral, which he had never injected in himself before today was rare. He managed to control the shaking from the previous injection long enough to complete this one and drop the damn syringe on the ground. Immediately after injection, his field of vision narrowed severely and what he could see was so distorted it was barely useful. He also had this sensation of being unstable on the ground, which the shaking did not help at all, and ended up falling backwards and only instinctively catching the fall with his elbows. The sensation of falling down triggered another vomit, but Gavin was able to get most of it on the ground instead of his right arm. Most of it. The phone was dropped involuntarily after the third injection to the ground, still on mute. For someone like him, who was conditioned to use powers basically only when some levels of stressed the act of controlled breathing was extremely important. If he did not do this correctly, Gavin would fall into a panic spiral and end up using his powers to try and make the pain and suffering stop. This would be extremely dangerous, and if someone hesitated in killing him once he lost the ability to control his powers people would die. Probably a lot of them, since his powers were by far offense oriented so even if random manifestations of shadow were manipulated the vast majority of them would turn into tools of killing. He just needed to ride this out and not panic, just like getting pepper sprayed in training. Vision would return, along with motor control. All that he needed to do was not panic and things would be fine… eventually. Probably.
  7. Not all is what it seems......

    At the mention of taking all of them, Gavin tilted his head slightly in confusion. The only way that would ever be needed is if someone was infected with a virus but didn’t know what virus it was. There was basically no way for that to happen, unless you were horribly unlucky and got in combat with a bunch of different infected at once or it got airborne somehow, but that was silly. If that happened everyone would be dead already. When the detective mentioned that they had already been here, Gavin followed her gaze but admittedly as pretty slow on the uptake. Once the hospital and the outbreak was mentioned, however, Gavin’s jaw locked as he started to understand what exactly was going on. He turned back his gaze to the detective, head and posture now completely straight as he was processing the new information. Messing with a virus strain in the middle of New York City was insane, for anyone, and he couldn’t imagine any faction that he knew of doing it. They might have their differences, namely most of the other factions being militant xenophobes or religious zealots, but even those have a sense of self-preservation. He didn’t know about the hospital incident other than the fact that something weird happened there, but that made sense if it was a near outbreak that he wouldn’t know the details. He was able to put the pieces together fairly quickly when the location was mentioned. The airborne part, though, that was new. When the woman was finished speaking, gray eyes widened visibly for a moment as he remembered another detail. ”We need four, and if everyone at the site might be infected I need to make a few calls.” First off was flipping on his radio to the personal channel of his main subordinate. ”O’Connor, ah need yah to bring everyone over ‘ere. Te entire squad is takin’ triple anti-virals. Te rest are takin’ combined and us two are taking the six in the truck individually. ‘ave Reed bring ‘em over.” His voice was urgent, but not panicked. Next, he pulled out his phone. He wasn’t supposed to have the current shift supervisor’s personal phone number, but he got it from Rebekah’s old phone anyway and just saved it in his own. He never had a real use for it until now, because nothing needed this sort of immediate attention before. His face shifted from one of surprise with a mix of panic to one of irritation before the call even started, like the man knew the call was going to be unpleasant before it began. His tone also shifted, from a sharp and fast style to a subdued and seemingly intentionally slowed style so his words were more enunciated. ”Emergency call. If I do this over our emergency channel everyone will panic an’ people will die. Operative Forrest and everyone on his squad needs to have all three antivirals administered to them immediately. There has been an incident of possible airborne viruses near the Harbor…” His men were starting to get into earshot at that point, with Reed holding the toolbox looking container of the antivirals that they did have and certainly did not like the sound of the tail end of that last sentence. ” …Yes, sir, I’m fully aware of what I’m doing.” There was a short pause, and the look of irritation intensified. His words slowed even more, the irritation now clear in his tone as well as his features. ”The alternative is me calling out the same message on the emergency, public channel and it causes a panic. A full review can be done afterwards, once we prevent people from dying.” A pause of roughly ten seconds of silence, and then the phone was pulled away from the soldier’s ear and his steel gray gaze turned to his subordinate, Reed, and he physically took the box filled with the serum that they did have and opened it. ”Detective, did you have enough extra or are we going to have to improvise and call some in?” he asked, the irritation from his tone gone and replaced with a certain tiredness. Just weary acceptance of the current, shitty reality before them at the present.
  8. Not all is what it seems......

    Definitely something off. The detective was grabbing at some box or other that jingled a bit like glass. He hadn’t caught on to exactly what was happening, but figured since guys were running to their cars it meant danger was pretty close and if they ended up hauling ass that would mean something that could kill was close. The question that came out of the Detective’s mouth was weird, too. They were in the city, with nary an infected in sight and she was asking about anti-virals. Usually the police weren’t this damn squeamish unless there was something in their face, so that was weird too. Make fun of the police all you wanted before the Resonance, but especially in recent times it took a tough person to do that job with all the nonhumans, altered, and infected running around. “We keep a few fer ahmergincies, but Shield don’t usually need tem inside te city. Tere was no reason to believe there were any hostiles in the call but ahm sure…” He was interrupted by the second part of the woman’s question, and shrugged. “Two of each anti-viral in te truck.” When the woman flipped open the lid and showed the triple anti-virals, Gavin shook his head slightly. “None like that. Rarely ever need ‘em, we’re just supportin’ Knights most o’ te time. We’re real good at not getting bit, ah wouldn’t worry ‘bout it too much. Ah jus’ need t’ know what’s gon’ come out.” The soldier shot a glance over to the horizon to track the sun’s steady progression into the horizon before turning his attention back to the cop. It was down enough for Gavin to be solid in a fight now, but if the conflict could wait for another hour or so then things would get a lot easier. The shitty part about being on the harbor, especially a recently exploded one was that there were only pockets of shadow to run around in. Inside the city, it was much easier to get around that issue… but water past the docks didn’t exactly provide much shade.
  9. Combat 101

    “Nothin’ tat either wouldn’t be limited use or ah ‘ave no experience doin’. Could do fightin’ certain species or melee weapons, but I’m only good at the former. Te Resonance spoiled some guys, myself included, pretty hard so ah never had to learn a lot o’ stuff. Tank God ah dinnae turn out to be a mage, ahm too stupid to figure out tat shit. Fire away wit’ yer sidearm.” Seeing some kind of movement out of the corner of his eye, Gavin turned his gaze down toward the road. He had noticed the movement before the sound became audible, at least to him, of the car cruising down the road. As it became closer, the white and gunmetal gray colors became pretty distinctive – Vanguard colors, a patrol coming back to the city more than likely. His outward appearance didn’t change, and he just stood there lazily like he previously was. His gray gaze was following the car as it passed and did not waver from it an inch once he caught sight of it, but otherwise there was no other indication outwardly that there was anything amiss. To be honest, the soldier wasn’t sure that the other man would even know what the Vanguard was so there was no point in bringing it up. There was a reckoning that would happen with the Vanguard at some point, but hopefully that reckoning would occur long after Gavin was dead and gone because fuck fighting the Vanguard. His phone vibrated, then, with a text message so he opened up his phone while he kept tabs on the patrol cars passing by and started typing up a storm.
  10. Not all is what it seems......

    A quick glance backwards led to a slight body shift to get a better look as Gavin happened to notice some odd movements by some of the police out of the corner of his eye. Before he could piece together what was going on, he heard his name getting called out by the Detective and started the walk over. Something wasn’t right, that much was pretty obvious. His left hand was on the forward grip of his weapon, and while the rifle was now slung across his chest his right hand was resting on the back grip as well. Especially for an Altered like him, the physical action was basically useless. In most cases of physical threat, his powers would be strictly better unless circumstances were extremely unfavorable. In cases of non-physical threat, there was no point to the rifle anyway. What the feel of the grips in his hands did provide, however, was familiarity and stability. It was much easier to get into the mindset one needed for dangerous situations when you had particular habits that you did every time. You wore similar gear, carried similar weapons a uniform way, rode similar vehicles and rolled out with similar people. It was very rare to find someone who could wake up cold and rush from complete safety into life-threatening situations with not even mental preparation. Hell, Gavin could never really do that himself. Not really. In situations without adrenalin rushing through destroying all conscious thought he was only brave when the alternative was death or things he valued more than his own life were in danger. His self-preservation instinct had dulled since then, but had far from completely gone away. If the cops were running around scared, it meant that something pretty bad was about to happen. A bunch of civilians could go around screaming and crying about how the local elementary school didn’t put anyone on the honor roll for all anyone knew, that wasn’t really an indicator of much other than they found something new to complain about. Trained and armed, career men and women though? That’s when you knew something bad was about to drop.
  11. Not all is what it seems......

    ”…Fuckin’ great. Why te fuck should off-worlders not ‘ave t’ register? Ah’ve ‘ad Uncle Sam take my fuckin’ pay since day one an’ Ah’ll be damned if ahm lettin’ some freeloadin’ little shitheads come an’ take te same goddamn benefits ah had to pay intuh. Fuck, havin’ unregistered people runnin’ ‘round with no prints, no birth cert, no ID is fuckin’ ‘ell to deal wit’. Now don’ get me wrong, ahm not on board wit’ the burnin’ and lootin’ and pillagin’ tat’s goin’ on, but the idea behin’ the change was solid.” ”Didn’t they know that putting in the law would cause violence, though? Isn’t the entire place run by warlords’n’shit now? It’s not like the police can actually do anything and the military was gutted a while ago with everyone moving across the pond.” ”Don’ hit me wit’ tat hippy dippy bullshit, Reed. We left ‘cause tere was no fuckin’ opportunities and tey wanted t’ do teir own damn ting. Anythin’ over tere would cause violence – I mean yah got a shitton o’ off-worlders and magic in a place where the fuckin’ Vanguard provide most of the shit! Te people who ‘left’, went to only a few groups if they were smart enough to get the fuck out of that shitshow of a military – Silver Wings, Vanguard, or makin’ a merc company. Te only people who know how t’ fuckin’ tie their goddamn shoelaces over there with any kind of power is the Vanguard now – an’ it’s too fuckin’ late fer te outcome t’ be any different. If dey wan’ a purge? Guess fuckin’ what, dude, nobody can stop them!” ”Aren’t OFL over there, too? I mean, the Vanguard aren’t the ONLY ones.” ”Give me one random Vanguard an’ one random Order, an’ the Vanguard’ll rip te fuckin’ spine outta the Order member at least seven outta ten times. Gimme a choice an’ ah’ll take te fuckin’ Order member erry time. Huge chance that they’re a clueless civvie punk who flipped burgers before all of tis. Vanguard are fuckin’ killers, same as us.” ”Speaking of civilians, Gavin, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the hobo that Eric pointed out earlier seems to have wandered over here. That’s weird.” No, Gavin hadn’t noticed. Whereas before he was more than content to just sit around and shoot the shit with Reed, one of the more quieter guys that would just let the soldier talk and make whatever assertions he wanted with little argument, now he was actually forced to pay attention. They were actually on the opposite side of where the ‘hobo’ was first spotted. At this distance he just seemed like an older man in the most disgusting clothing Gavin had seen all week shambling around, but he was circling the entire perimeter for some reason. Reed was right, that was weird. He was too far away to really approach without making it obvious or wasting a lot of time and energy, so Gavin refrained from moving at the present. ”Yer right. Tat is weird. Call it out over comms an’ keep an eye out fer ‘im. If ‘e’s still ‘ere in five ah’ll make a field trip. Prolly jus’ a homeless guy wit’ nowhere t’ go, though.”
  12. Combat 101

    The pain of getting the shit kicked out of you when the fight was actually going on wasn’t too bad because of all the adrenalin that went through the body that served as a pretty efficient distraction. The immediate aftermath, though, was when the pain really started to kick in. Civilians tended to not know when to stop the fighting, so after the tackle Gavin made sure to keep holding the other man down so as to prevent him physically from getting up and to catch his own bearings. No blood was dripping from him at least that Gavin could notice, which was great. Most of the hits to the body that Gavin sustained didn’t really hurt, which was also great. His jaw, however, was pulsating with pain from the repeated and solid impacts to the area. A quick check inside saw that no teeth were missing or noticeably cracked, which was another upside. Probably a sprain, and there was the potential for some hard to explain bruises in that area but other than that it seemed to be fine. His right hand was hurting, too, but that was likely because he got a little excited and messed up executing that last punch more than anything and likely got more wrist impact than was strictly necessary. Energy wise, though, Gavin was more than fine. His conditioning was top shelf, and it was all too often that his body gave up more quickly than his actual will to continue. Sharp movement came from Dika and Gavin’s first instinct and what he ended up doing was shoving down with force in response. When the other man started speaking in what Gavin could only assume to be Spanish, Gavin had a noticeable pause before getting up due to not understanding what was being said and just keying off the tone. The pause was enough for the other man to push to help soldier get off, probably thinking he was disoriented and not simply misunderstanding. Gavin’s didn’t fight the push, and instead scooted away to give the other man space before getting back up and rubbing his jaw with his left hand. Steel gray eyes trained on the other, older man as he got up with a moderate amount of amusement. The other man was happy as hell for some reason and kept speaking that other language, but at least slipped back into majority English for the moment. ”It’s goddamn unnatural t’ be tat ‘appy after getting punched so much.” the soldier stated, but with amusement instead of edge in his voice. ”Yah got pretty decent instincts, an’ tere are a lot of fightin’ gyms around te area wit’ pretty frequent class. A few months wit’ a decent teacher and you’d fuckin’ crush me and most other guys ya’ll meet since yer fuckin’ seven feet tall an’ ‘ave the reach of a fuckin’ football field.”
  13. Not all is what it seems......

    If that shot at Gavin’s jaw was thrown with a little bit more force, by someone who could keep their temper in check enough to throw with technique his jaw would’ve likely been broken. It turned out pretty fine, sure, but it could have gone a lot worse. If one of those idiots would have actually fired off a round or if the punch would’ve actually broken the Sergeant’s jaw this entire situation would have gone to shit really quickly. Sloppy is what it was, and Gavin looked back for a moment to see a mountain of a man come to haul the youngster away. The phone number of the supervisor at HQ was already dialed and ringing, but a certain paranoia was still present since he was still in the midst of what was for all intents and purposes hostile territory at this point. He was damned sure his voice was low enough to where nobody should have been able to hear what he said, but with so many altered humans walking around these days there was absolutely no way to be sure. This tenseness, however well he hid it, was why he heard Detective Psycho call out that he could have the honor of representing ARMA on the scene. Gavin responded by throwing his thumb up in the air and raising the arm with his free hand and continuing to walk to the outer perimeter. He could represent ARMA away from the crime scene, because God knows his powers were completely worthless in an investigative context and he didn’t have the training not to fuck up evidence anyway. Plus, as long as nobody hostile showed up he got to just sit around and shoot the shit until the police decided it was time to go home. If he was really lucky, there might be time for some donut or pizza runs in between if it was really quiet. Those were the best goddamned shifts, the ones where he could just there and pig out on junk food and nobody could make him do a damned bit of work. You want a monster or twenty dead? Call Gavin. You want a person or group of people dead? Call Gavin. You have someone so important that anyone who comes near them dies? Gavin’s your man. With any other tasks, almost anyone else at this point would be a better option unless it involved a vehicle. A far cry from his earlier versatility, sure, but work had become little more than a legal outlet to vent anger in a violent manner these past months and years. During his time in the military before, he had always felt sorry for the men who would be nothing but felons in any other job – but Gavin had slowly morphed into that very type of individual since the incident. The desk jockey finally put him on the line with the supervisor, and a twisted grin spread across the soldier’s features as he went out to the perimeter with his men at a slow, casual pace. ”Hello, sir. Tis is DeLuc again, but fer once the shit that went down had nothin’ to do with me…”
  14. Combat 101

    Hand to hand was something Gavin probably should not have mentioned at all, partially because the other man was probably a good six inches taller and certainly a good chunk heavier and partially because the soldier was always fucking terrible at it. Still, it was worth seeing at what level the new guy was at to see who to send him to for further training if that was where he wanted to go with it. Wordlessly, the southerner pulled out his sidearm from his jeans and set it down on some of the closest duffel bags. He also withdrew both of his karambit blades and tossed them beside his sidearm, leaving the shoulder harnesses for the knives still on. His instinct in any fight was to grab and abuse weapons, so he sure didn’t want one on his person for this. He also tossed off his shooting glasses to the same location, and as he walked slowly to where the other man was waiting he considered his options. Dika’s arms and thus his reach was also significantly more than Gavin’s, which meant that unless the other man was an idiot and rushed in to negate that reach advantage the soldier would have to close the gap and eat some hits in the process. If he tried to turn this into a grappling contest, there was a very real chance he’d be put to the ground before he got in the clinch. If he got that far and discovered the very real chance that he was not the stronger of the two due to being both shorter and lighter by a decent margin he was just fucked. That meant his only real option was striking, and avoiding that danger zone where Dika could swing at him but Gavin could not swing back because of his shorter reach as much as possible. The mostly flat open space was an area where he had served as a training dummy before, and the ground was sloppily patched back together after every time two pairs of boots absolutely ruined it. Well, mostly his boots being slammed into the ground with enough force to make holes, but y’know. The little things. The soldier but his hands up as his steel gray gaze met the other man’s and silently counted down from three using his right hand to indicate when the bout was going to start. When he hit zero, both men just stood in their stances and stared at each other for about five seconds. So, Dika wasn’t going to rush forward and blow literally every advantage he had. It was worth a shot waiting, at least. To use a boxing analogy, Gavin was a slugger style fighter. He was very strong for his size, but lacked finesse and mobility but making up for it in sheer one hit power. The Irish in particular were known for this type of style, taking a slow beating and missing telegraphed single punches until they could land that one punch that would end the fight instantly. The soldier moved in quickly, and rolled with the punches both figuratively and literally. The initial move inside was met with a strong right to the chin that thankfully did not hit fully due to a good head movement to take the edge off. Still, it was a solid shot and would have probably dropped someone who couldn’t take any pain. Dika had longer legs, and seemed to realize he needed to keep his distance. Gavin had some difficulty hitting anywhere up high, so he just kind of absorbed hits to the face to counter with body and arm punches. None of them were the type of knockout blow Gavin was trying to throw, mostly because he was constantly too close to the other man for him to get the proper kind of arm extension for a bomb. There were some perks with being smaller, chief of which being that once the smaller one absorbed the hits to come inside he was at an advantage because he needed less space for a full extension of the arm and had less area to protect. There was no way that up close and inside Dika could protect his entire torso, it was impossible. One thing Gavin noticed, though, is that the other man seemed for some reason very wary of when Gavin got in close enough for a takedown and moved noticeably faster to avoid the possible grapple. It meant that the civilian thought that the soldier was better than he was, and as soon as he realized this about forty-five seconds into the fight he decided he would take advantage of it. Overestimating your opponent was just as dangerous as underestimating them, especially when the time for a reaction was a split second at best. So far Gavin had taken probably more than a dozen punches to the face with about five solid hits, and given roughly two bomb shots to Dika’s torso and one on his leading arm near the bicep. While the shots he gave Dika wouldn’t take most reasonably determined people out of a fight, they would hurt like hell and make it harder to move around and breathe. Neither of them connected fully, so there was no knockdown yet. The shots the other man had given Gavin, however, especially all of them combined would have dropped the average person pretty easily. The soldier’s advantage here was simply that he was pretty experienced in getting the shit beat out of him and was much more used to absorbing punishment than the average guy off the street, so while he did stagger with some of the more solid hits he always kept his guard up and recovered by moving aggressively inward as fast as possible to prevent another punch with force. His plan would require taking a pretty solid hit because he was not precise enough to execute it cleanly enough to prevent it, but Gavin was completely fine with that. He lunged forward with a left jab and ate a return punch to the cheek as he crouched down to trick the other man into either reaching down or punching downward at him. While the soldier crouched, he looked at the feet of his opponent and threw his head down to throw every ounce of momentum he had for an overhead right. Against taller guys this sort of thing was particularly effective, because the punch started from under their immediate line of sight and ended above it swinging downward. A semicircular, vertical bomb to the chin that was damn near unavoidable if the enemy’s lead hand was extended in some way like Dika’s was, and if you could keep your shit together long enough to set the damn thing up. It was one of those moves that unless the user was a real professional, the fight was ending one way or the other very quickly because it was hard to recover with grace after putting your entire body weight behind it for any sort of timely defense. It also left the user so open to a counterattack that if it missed the aggressor was just fucked. If it connected, the opponent would either be knocked out instantly or dazed enough that the football style tackle to the ground that Gavin attempted immediately after throwing the punch was almost certain to be successful in ending the fight.
  15. Not all is what it seems......

    One of the male police officers damn near lunged at him for dare calling his boss a name. Neither Gavin nor his men reacted visibly, because with any interaction with the police and ARMA the blame always fell upon the side that went to shit first if things went south. Justifiably so, because they were at least in theory supposed to be allies and working toward common cause. In the past, it was more true, but while there were wonderful and competent members of both ARMA and the police forces left… the still far too recent casualties from violent events have left their toll and lowered the quality overall of both organizations by a noticeable amount. Still, there was supposed to be this fundamental understanding that within city limits the police had primary responsibility for all mundane activities and ARMA was supposed to play a supporting role. The opposite was true for supernatural and magical threats, and outside the city Shield Division generally took primary command. It would take a special breed of moron to not understand that a bombing was not a supernatural threat and the police had primary command by default. Assistance was all well and good, but when push came to shove the officer in charge of the police forces could order ARMA to vacate the premises and ARMA would have to obey the order. Gavin had originally suggested that the police take the outer perimeter, but Seiko amended that for Shield to be out of the debris zone and presumably to avoid fucking up their crime scene. That was fair, quite frankly, and had he been in her shoes he likely would have done the same thing. ”O’Connor, set up Fireteam 1 and 2 on te outside perimeter. Fire second.” he barked, not raising his voice in volume but instead in intensity. His men were moving out when the special breed of moron made his move, and while they turned back to see what the commotion was Gavin just waved them off to go do their jobs. He could handle this, and if there was any bloodshed it was easier to do the paperwork if he was the only one involved in it anyway. Forrest was no longer his concern, but when the rest of the green as grass Knight Division idiots unholstered their sidearms Gavin physically moved in between them and the police forces and just lost his shit. His voice raised slightly, but only slightly, but his voice was dead calm despite the amount of barely suppressed anger being present in the voice and his face when he pulled away his shemagh so when he turned to the Knights they could see how close he was to that edge. His hands left his M4 entirely and he shoved it to rest in the sling towards his back so it was out of easy access, ensuring the cops he had his back turned to had no valid reason to shoot the man with no weapons in his hand. ”Can one of you fucking degenerates please explain to me why you tought it was a good idea tah point yer goddamn guns at the New York City Police Department?” At that, the remaining Knight members sheepishly started lowering their firearms. Gavin had lost his shit previously with most of them, but that was screaming and yelling. This was a new kind of anger, because it not only jeopardized the life of himself and his men but the entire working relationship ARMA had with the police department that was absolutely fucking vital to anything at all getting done. There was no yelling and screaming now, just the most aggressive calmness that was possible for him to output. ”Now, since all of you apparently ‘ave too many fuckin’ chromosomes tah remember basic fucking jurisdiction, let’s have a brief refresher course. Mundane threats – which includes fucking everything not supernatural in nature are te primary jurisdiction of te people you were just pointin’ yer goddamned guns at. Knight Division has primary jurisdiction over supernatural threats.” he paused for a moment, and raised his left hand slightly to about his neck level like he was particularly bad at raising his hand in class. ”Now, can someone please fucking explain te last time a lycanthrope bombed a structure in the city. Anyone? How about a zombie. Any zombie bombings happen recently, or ever? Dragon bombings? Troll bombings? Anyone? No?... You’re all fucking dismissed. Get the fuck out of here and back to base, I’m going to radio HQ and let them know you’re coming and what happened. Tat’s a direct order, you braindead civilians.” The only time he raised his voice in the slightest from his original tone was at the end, where he raised it significantly when he saw the hesitation in the movement and eyes of the other Knights. They ended up leaving, though, for whatever reason whether it was the yelling or the fact that Gavin had made it damn clear Shield was not backing them up in any altercation with the police. With that out of the way, Gavin turned back to the fuckery that was happening behind him and walked up briefly to Seiko to say briefly: ”Ah’ll act as friendly witness an’ sign whatever papers are required t’ process Operative Fuckup down ‘ere.” With that said, the soldier crouched down to get eye level with the pained Forrest and said in a low voice that Gavin thought only the other man could hear: ”It’s a good thing yer parents are dead, because tey’re spared te knowledge tat teir only son grew up to be te biggest fuckin’ failure in New York City.” The younger man lunged at Gavin with the punch that ended up getting the soldier pretty solidly in the jaw, then, and got a hard headbutt to the nose in return which sent the younger man reeling. Blood was coming out from his nose, and the soldier had definitely tried to break the damn thing. The older man stood back to his whole height and made a show of dusting off his chest before turning back to the detective. ”Add assault an’ battery t’ a private citizen t’ te list. Apologies for te fuck up, I ken assure yah tat it will be taken care of, severely.” With that, Gavin turned away to head out to join the rest of his men and pulled out his cell phone to make a quick call to Headquarters. He had memorized every identifying unit of the Knights that had come down before they left, so even if they tried to weasel their way out of it discipline would come down fast and hard.