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Aberrant: Dead Rising - Chapter 8b: Scythe


Dawn OOC

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The crowd that had watched the entourage to Dallas slowly dispersed, leaving the rest behind. The refuge quickly returned to its morning rhythms.

Simon Bell was restless. He'd wanted to go to Dallas, but they wouldn't take him, not until he was a bit older. Twelve-year-olds didn't get to go on missions, not unless their dads were pirates. He knew that technically, they were scavengers, but he liked pirates better.

Screw it, he could do his own mission. He couldn't leave the compound, but there were old buildings around here, right? And the silo itself; maybe he could sneak in there.

Twenty minutes later, he determined that he couldn't get in that building. Wandering around the back of the silo building, he sighed and kicked angrily at a clump of dirt and rocks. "Everyone else gets all the f- ugh."

The smell of rotten meat turned his stomach, and he took a closer look at the stuff he'd just kicked. What he saw made him pinwheel backwards, shrieking. "Zombie! Zombie!" he screamed as he turned and ran from the unmoving human hand sticking out of the dirt mound.

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When Courier arrived, he found a few others who had answered the call to arms. Fortunately for them, it was no zombie, but a corpse. Old habits from tv movies die hard; no one was touching the body. They were all waiting for some kind of medical person or security figure. Some of them eyed him suspiciously.

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James almost flinched at the smell, this was the first corpse he'd run into since Violet had upgraded his senses. He held out his empty hand ready to create his blade... and no one tried to kill him or anyone else. Everyone just stood there watching each other.

*Either we have a new species of passive zombie or these are all defenders like me. I'm still not sure if I'm 'seeing' outlines, if those are outlines, or just 'smelling' them or something else. Wait, none of them smell... where is that smell coming from? Ah, there. What is that?*

James ran his fingers over the object which proved to be a hand. *What are we dealing with here? Murder vic? Zombie in the process of reanimating? Sure, right after he died he buried himself.*

James brushed away dirt from the corpse. After he cleared enough away from his(?) face James asked, "Does anyone recognize him?"

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James paused. They had a point. On the other hand CSI wasn't likely to show up either. Also on the other hand... he had a feeling he knew who this was. Or maybe that was, 'who this wasn't'. Or maybe that was 'who this now was'. crazy

And if he knew whose face this was... then he still wouldn't be able to pick it out in a crowd. mad

James stood up and said, "Yeah, point. Darn it I wish I could see. OK, I need someone to run and get Jules. She's Fox's rep while he's gone. She needs to see this."

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Violet was helping out at the wall and keeping an eye on James. She was slowly getting used to the work and even though there were stares and looks people were appreciating her help. At least as long as James was around there was no indecent approach and people in general tried to act ‘normal’ around her.

She had just finished with one section when she noticed that James was gone. Violet stepped out to the open looking out for James and saw him kneeling down and investigating something. By the way people were talking to him something strange was going on and she decided to head over to him and.

As she arrived at the scene she asked, “Hey… what’s going on?”, she obviously hadn’t noticed the dead man’s hand and the half wiped face in the dirt.

Reaching down to put a hand on James' shoulder she saw the dead man’s face and recognized him as one of the workers on the site but she couldn’t recall his name. “How did that happen?”, she asked no one in particular and hoping that this was not a sign of another Zombie attack.

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James replied, "That's what we're trying to figure out."

James stood and asked Violet quietly, "Do you recognize him? Have you seen him around today? Before when we were dealing with that crazy nihilist, she was a shape changer."

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"I can't recall his name but he was one of the regulars at the construction site I think.", Violet said holding her breath at the end realizing she really did saw him just recently and now he was dead.

"But if he is not been bitten by a Zombie then we're looking at murder-scene here? - it sure doesn't look like an accident.", the thought of murder unsettled her and James being one of the first on the scene would surely raise unwanted questions and attention and that was something she tried to avoid at all cost.

"We should contact Jules - this doesn't look good, James.", she tried to pull him away from the corpse hoping he would let her.

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As if Violet's words had summoned her, Jules showed up, stepping from behind Ger's stout form. "What the hell?" she muttered, kneeling next to the body. After a moment, she looked up at Ger. "Get people back, but don't scatter them. Get one of the doctors so determine cause of death."

She stood up and approached Violet. "Violet... can you sense any... I don't know, guilt or signs of someone being a murderer?"

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Originally Posted By: Jules WhiteElk
She stood up and approached Violet. "Violet... can you sense any... I don't know, guilt or signs of someone being a murderer?"
*I doubt it. She's with me and I've considered myself a murderer since Z-day.*

James said quietly to Jules and Violet, "An accident where he buried himself afterwards? The part that interests me is whether or not someone was walking around with his face after he died. But I'm pretty sure the person I knew who could do that is dead so let's not start a panic."
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Originally Posted By: Jules WhiteElk
She stood up and approached Violet. "Violet... can you sense any... I don't know, guilt or signs of someone being a murderer?"


Violet blinked a few times appalled by Jules’ request. She half opened her mouth but didn’t know what to answer while her thoughts started to spin around the consequences. They’ll burn me like a witch if I could and I’m useless to them if I can’t. If someone asked the right questions to the right person I could try to look for any unusual reactions but that’s no proof. I wish I could just point at someone and know he was guilty… but what would that mean in the end? They would banish me because of fear of what I can or can’t do. This is soo fucked up.

Slowly it dawned on her why everyone’s been going crazy around her. It was not only her looks, it was lack of knowledge of how far she could go with her powers. No one really knew how much she could sense or not and they are all assuming the worse.

Originally Posted By: Courier

James said quietly to Jules and Violet, "An accident where he buried himself afterwards? The part that interests me is whether or not someone was walking around with his face after he died. But I'm pretty sure the person I knew who could do that is dead so let's not start a panic."


James saved her again and spared her the answer… for now. „Do you mean that strange woman we’ve met a few days ago on our way to Lawton?“
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Originally Posted By: Violet
"Do you mean that strange woman we’ve met a few days ago on our way to Lawton?“
James snorted and said quietly, "Turned out 'she' was a guy. Made that end of the world preacher look sane. But he should be dead now. I checked for a pulse after wards, then tossed the body to the zoms and watched them do their thing. But we've got another super hot female super running around without us noticing, so I guess it might be a common power." *Especially since I've seen Violet do similar things.*

James continued somewhat ironically, "I'm probably mis-thinking though. Chances are this is over money or someone's wife. Let's be honest, we've been expecting this."
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That was something she didn’t pick up on. „There is another super around here who can change his appearance?“

This was not good – she could change the way she looked if she wanted. She couldn’t impersonate someone but she was capable of making changes and adjustments to make herself unrecognisable – at least for someone who didn’t know her in the first place. Any rumor which could be linked to her was just another complication for her and her lifestyle.

If she didn’t pay attention someone could accuse her and what was she supposed to do then? All of a sudden she found herself a possible suspect. Violet was getting scared and looked nervously around while she closed in to James holding on to him for protection. She was expecting the worst and hoped she was just making stuff up.

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James forgot that officially they weren't a couple and put his arm around Violet's shoulders anyway. It might have been taken as a non-sexual attempt to offer comfort if Violet weren't who she was and if James wasn't who he was.

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Violet looked at Jules as if to say 'I'm sorry' but only her eyes transported that message.

James' arm around her shoulders did a lot to ease the tension she was building up. Physical contact of this kind had always a soothing effect on her and she almost rested her head against his shoulder.

"Jules... I'll help you with the investigation of course but if it is really murder I can't do what you requested - not just like that. All I can do is tell you how someone feels about his death everything beyond that is interpretation."

Violet carefully withdrew herself from James and stared into the distance. She felt conflicting emotions - part of her wanted to help directly but she was also scared of the consquences. Murder was something she didn't want to get involved with.

She'd share her thoughts with Jules and the others once they were in private and not out in the open where everyone could eavesdrop on their conversation.

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Dr. Singh eased his way through the crowd and knelt next to the man. With the help of some staff he'd brought with him, they began to clear the body. To anyone looking, it was apparent what had probably killed him: his throat had been cut. Beyond that, more time and effort would be required to determine what had happened to this man.

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There was a morbid fascination with watching people deal with a dead body. James idly wondered if there was some instinct at work. He knew he wasn't being productive, the wall wasn't going to build itself, but murder was fascinating. It wasn't entirely a waste of time, he met a few people, he connected a few 'scents' to voices and to names. Maybe he'd be able to track them later if he needed to, or then again, maybe not.

Eventually James decided that this was actually a waste of time and asked Violet, "Back to the wall?" *I'm not getting anything done here, are you?*

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Originally Posted By: Jules WhiteElk
Jules nodded. "Do what you can, Violet," she said, her voice ringing with natural authority. "That's all anyone can ask of you." She looked from her to James and said softly, "PDA, folks. If you need a shoulder, Violet, I can offer one."


Violet nodded briefly to the beautiful native american and just like that took her offered shoulder leaning against her and watching the Doc do his thing. After a short examination of the body it was obvious that the man was killed - so it was murder. The thought of having someone in the refuge who was willing to kill just like that gave her the chills. Somehow Violet always assumed that people only killed Zombies these days. Killing eachother seemed pointless to her.

Originally Posted By: Courier

Eventually James decided that this was actually a waste of time and asked Violet, "Back to the wall?" *I'm not getting anything done here, are you?*


Sometimes she hated James' bluntness but maybe he was right? There wasn't much she could do but Jules did ask for her help and working on the wall wouldn't solve the case.

"I'll stay with Jules, James. Just in case she wants to interrogate some people I'll help her out.", she briefly shook her head knowing that James couldn't see that gesture but the message was clear nonetheless.
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James could 'see' that Violet was shook by this but he didn't point out the obvious. Most everyone still alive had stayed that way by being willing to kill. The first few days the zoms had been insane people and not undead monsters.

James nodded back, unknowingly mimicking Violet, and said, "Well then, I hear a wall calling my name. Take care." Although James said that last lightly there was an undercurrent of concern. For obvious reasons Violet was a trouble magnet, and this was going to be trouble.

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Jules led Violet around to the first man there, and casually started to ask questions. Most of the men were tongue-tied around the two women, but when they managed to speak, they were very free with their information. It was clear that they were eager to impress the ladies.

Click to reveal..
Violet, I need a Emotion Manipulation roll, please.
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*You're doing something stupid.* James listened to the voice inside him, stopped and 'looked' ('smelled'?) back at everyone. *Now what's wrong with this picture?*

*Violet and Fox's girlfriend are going to play Nancy Drew... on a murder. Neither or those two are what we'd call combatants and you suspect super involvement. It's a small base so their chances of actually catching whoever 'done it' are pretty high.*

*You weren't going to get much done on the wall anyway.*

James reversed course and decided to 'hover' or 'people watch' for a while.

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Violet stepped closer to Jules and carefully whispered to her. “Most people are agitated – I’d say a that's a natural reaction except for those three men.”, she tried to subtly use her eyes to “mark” said men.

“I’m not sure but at least one of them feels guilty about this and the other guy is angry – maybe he was his friend? The third one is not even upset – but maybe he’s seen one corpse too many lately. If you want to start an investigation I’d start with the angry one.”

Violet casually put a strand of her long auburn hair behind her ear and remained close to Jules waiting for her to make the next step.

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James "watched" Violet talk with Jules. *Nancy Drew with empathy wins again. I wonder who feels guilty/pissed/glad/whatever?*

James took a step closer to Violet. If someone tried to act before "Mrs. Fletcher" tattled he'd jump between them. In the real world the villain would just shoot her in the final scene.

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"Ger," Jules said, getting his attention. "Those three - take them to HQ and get them set up in rooms so that we can talk to them separately."

"Are we taking her word about their guilt?" Ger asked, his eyes hard.

"Nope," Jules said, "but I'd like to talk to them further." She studied the other man. "You going to do it?"

He stared at her and finally nodded, stalking over to the men. As he talked to them, Jules said to Violet, "You'll come with again. Do you need to see them to work your magic, or can you do it through a wall?"

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Originally Posted By: Jules WhiteElk


He stared at her and finally nodded, stalking over to the men. As he talked to them, Jules said to Violet, "You'll come with again. Do you need to see them to work your magic, or can you do it through a wall?"


Violet kept close to Jules and answered quietly, "I need to see them unfortunately - or maybe fortunately? I don't want to know what would happen if I could effect your emotions without seeing you. Sleeping and dreaming could turn out to be a living nightmare...", Jules could tell that Violet was ambitious to help although there was a brief hint of fear in her eyes. Her powers seemed to have a strong feedback on her.
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The three men had to be cajoled along, but they all came. There wasn't much they could do to protest; there was no judicial system, only Fox's Word. And Ger was Fox's right arm - all he did was in Fox's name, or so they assumed. They might have gotten upset if they'd know that the Camp Whore and Fox's bedmate were the reasons they were being detained.

Jules gave Ger time to put them each in a room, then asked Violet, "Ready for this? It could get ugly."

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James had been tailing the girls and was a bit surprised it hadn't gotten ugly yet. He walked over and squeezed Violet's shoulder and said to her gently,

"A better question is whether or not you're up for this. First rule of super folk Violet is 'know the limits of your power'. Know when to walk away, know when to run. If you think this is dangerous for you, don't play this hand and we'll find a different way."

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Violet nodded at James and gave him a reassuring smile which he very much felt and didn't have to 'see' to notice.

"I know - but I want to do this. I want to prove I can do this.", she looked at Jules and bit her lips nervously.

"Ready... but I'll need your help and slow down if I give you a sign. Lets do this step by step, ok?"

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Jules gave James an irritated glance. "I'm not putting her in danger," she snapped. "I plan to be there with her, and if there's an danger at all, I'll take care of it until she can get away."

She nodded to Violet. "No worries, we've got a moment before Ger gets me what I need anyway. But if you get overwhelmed, just leave the room. Just try to leave like you've thought of something important to check on, ok?"

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James replied to Jules evenly, "Neither of us understand what it's like to crawl inside a mind that might not be all that sane. I don't trust my intuition..." or yours* "...to tell me whether it's hard, easy, or dangerous."

James added flatly, "It's not your call."

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"Yeah, and it's not yours, either," Jules said, her voice hard. "It's Violet, and she's willing to try. I won't ask her to do anything she's not willing to do, and I won't bar her from helping, if she tells me she can do it safely. I trust her to know when she's had enough, so you can save your macho posturing for your bedroom."

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People were giving James a hard time and all he wanted to do is watch out for his loved ones. Jules only saw the sex-crazed grunt in him and Violet couldn't blame her for that. Violet knew James was going through a rough time - almost like herself and they needed each other more than ever now.

"It's ok, honey. I'll be fine.", she said to him reassuringly and wanted very much to give him a kiss to show him how much she appreciated his intentions to protect her. Instead she just gave him that feeling using her powers and decided to make it up to him later on.

"Ok, lets do this.", she said less nervous and more determined now.

Click to reveal..
I hope it's ok I haven't rolled for that use of Emp. Manip. I consider it to be a minor thing and wanted to add flavour to the scene. I can of course make a roll to keep things "straight"
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