The Inner Circle

His eyes returned to the healer and he sighed hard, not sure whether or not he was happy to be made better or not. He started to nod at the female before realizing she couldn't see him anyways. "Thanks for healing me... it's fine that you heard my thoughts... if you can't help it." Sliding up to his feet, he ignored how exhausted he still felt and moved down the hallway. Moving around the corner, he spotted Darius and felt himself relaxing a bit.

"Hey..." Orion choked out, immediately starting to cry as he sat down beside his handler. He had no idea why he was crying, but he was and once he realized it, the tears wouldn't stop.
Darius had started dozing when he heard Orion's voice. He blinked and looked up. "Oh, hey kiddo." He said. He frowned as he noticed the kid was crying. He was a bit too doped up to fully process things at this moment, but he let out a sigh and gently reached out for the kid. "Hey now, no need for that. Come here." He tried to pull Orion into a hug. "What's the matter, kid?"
Feeling like a young kid again, Orion easily went from his seat over to Darius, hugging onto him gently. He bit back a whimper though he was still crying. He really hated his emotions sometimes. Resting against his handler for a few minutes, the redhead finally sat back with a sigh. "I was... I..." He frowned, trying to get his words out.

"I am... there's something wrong with me. The whatever that attacked me said things and now I'm doubting everything. I was so angry... Morrigan the Bitch was shooting at me... I swear she was. The attacker wouldn't fight me... kept throwing ice at us... then, you wouldn't let me stay with you. Beck was bossy and pissed me off. Then... I was calm... I got mad again today and destroyed the pool room and hallway." Orion sighed, clenching his fists.

"Another collared... Zade... made me clean it up... after thrashing me."
Darius held the boy close and listened to him as best he could. It was hard, being hazy through the meds and exhausted from the sleepless nights he'd experienced. But he cared for the kid. People called him soft for this. But the collared weren't animals or things to be tossed around and used. They were people too, and they were all being punished for the actions of a few. He gently patted Orion's back with a sigh. "Life can be tough at times, and even more so for you. You're young and unfortunately put in a situation I don't wish any kid your age. There is nothing wrong with you, kid." He said quietly, soothingly.

"I can't prove or deny anything Morrigan did or didn't do." He said quietly. Something troubled him with that girl. "I couldn't let you stay with me at that time. I needed to get you safe. I care about you, kid, and you've already had quite the thrashing.. If.. If I hadn't had made it back in time, I would have 'wolfed' out and none of us would have been in a good position afterward. A newborn werewolf pretty much can't tell friend or foe for the longest time. Its why we have to keep them separated from everyone for a while." He explained. "I needed to be sure you were safe, not just from everything around but.. From me too. That's why I kept Zieg. He would have.. Been able to handle me. I hope you'll be able to forgive me for being selfish eventually."

He patted the boy again. "You know destroying the pool and the hallway won't do you any good, kid. You're lucky they only sent Zade.. And in my predicament, I wouldn't have been able to go and protect you from any wrath of the other one they could have sent.." He sighed. "Please, promise me you'll take your anger out on more constructive methods from now on..?"

He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. "What did the attacker say to you? I've not gotten a report with details yet. They seem to be holding it up for some reason.."
Orion silently listened to Darius, knowing that the male was only looking out for him, like always. It still hurt, but he did understand why he had been sent back with the others and why Zieg had remained. He still felt like something was wrong with him, but maybe Darius was right. Relaxing more, he finally smiled, head shaking just a little bit, not liking that Darius thought he wasn’t forgiven.

“Already, forgave you… I was just incredibly worried.” He managed, smiling faintly before the smile faded into a deep frown when told how lucky he was that only Zade had been sent. His gaze shifted down towards the ground as he wondered just who else they might have sent. Would they have terminated him for his actions? Surely not… right? Not so sure, Orion kept those thoughts to himself and instead focused on what to tell Darius about the attacker, though he did respond to put Darius at ease, “I… I promise I’ll be angry more productively next time.”

Closing his eyes a moment, he thought back to the fourth ring and honed in specifically on the memories of the attack, his anger rising yet again. His jaw clenched tightly while fingers curled back up into fists, hating how weak and useless he felt during the attack. Grimacing a moment, he groaned, head shaking.

“Well, I hope this isn’t in the report, but I called Morrigan an ignorant bitch… out loud while she was shooting towards me.” Head shaking, he once again started to focus, needing to recall the words spoken to him. “Said I was refusing to fight back… that I could fight and wouldn’t. Said I was a coward for not using what I am.” Taking a breath, he growled softly, fingers clenching even harder. “Called me a poor ignorant soul and said I know nothing… then said they would leave me alive this time, but I needed to find the truth. That I needed to find out what was really happening and that I needed to question what I know and what I think is the truth.” He frowned, jaw tightening harsh enough to grind some teeth. “Fucking bastard never once showed their face. Just used ice to thrash us…” He fought to gain control of his anger, not wanting to do anything stupid again.
Darius was silent for a bit, his eyes still closed as he processed what his ward had told him. "I wouldn't worry too much about what you called her. From what I've heard, she has amnesia and doesn't remember a single thing from the event. She's been here down the hall causing all sorts of ruckus." He murmured. "As for what the attacker said, they were trying to get into your head. Rattle you. Perhaps things do need to have answers to them, but leave that to me kid. I'll get the answers. I promise." He squeezed the boy gently.

"Unfortunately, I'm not getting any answers at the moment, and I'm thinking something they've given me is supposed to be a sedative or something as I'm slowly falling asleep.." He murmured. "Is there anything else I can help you with right now..?"
"Oooh... well, hope she doesn't remember... she'll do bad things to me." Orion sighed shakily, his fingers running through his red hair. Maybe Darius was right in that the attackers were trying to get into his head. Or maybe he wasn't right. Frowning, he wished he could say he was surprised that no one giving any answers, but he wasn't.

"Alright, I bet you're right. They probably were just trying to get into my head." Orion smiled wistfully before sliding to his feet when Darius said he was slowly falling to sleep. "No, that's it... just needed to make sure you were okay. Get some rest." With that, Orion moved out of the room, slowly walking down the hallway and to his room. He slammed the door behind him once in his room and dropped down into his bed to attempt to sleep.
After a few days, Darius was up and out of the infirmary with nothing more than a slight limp to his walk. Considering how damaged his leg had been, he was lucky it was only a slight limp. And he had not slowed down as soon as he was released, trying to find answers.

He had called in every favor he knew of. Everything about the mission before seemed off. From the lack of information, to the fact it felt almost a set up for some of them to be taken out. Hell, one of the teams had been wiped out, and there was still no final report released on any of it. But what information he had begun to unravel some of the mysteries and it had him very concerned.

It was that concern that led him to Alaska's room alone. He gently knocked on the door and waited to be let in. He felt nervous and confused all at the same time, but he had to have answers. Things weren't adding up.
Zieg passed most of his time away in his room, staring at the wall or reading the occasional book. It wasn't very often they called for his assistance to begin with, and even less so surely now. But in an unusual move for Zieg, his curiousity was peaked and he began to roam the campus during the day. Unlike the rumors of vampires bursting into flames once the sun hit them, it only really weakened them terribly.

Well. If you were as old as a vampire as Zieg was, that is.

Eventually, it led him stalking Beck from the shadows, shifting in and out of the shadows and melting into them as he needed to stay out of sight of his temporary 'master'. Even if Beck wasn't as experienced as he was, he'd still feel the prickles down his neck of being watched..
In the days that passed since her handler's attack, Alaska had kept largely to herself. She'd yet to decide what to do with this new information, but she also didn't want to risk running into Morrigan. Who knew what would happen. Thankfully, there hadn't been any more violent visits to her bedroom, but that hadn't put Alaska much at ease.

When Darius knocked on her door, she was in the middle of pacing the length of the room. Blinking a little, she cracked the door open to see who it was. At the sight of the other handler from that night, she cracked the door further. "Lost?" She arched a brow.
Darius gave her an uneasy smile. "Uh. Sorta, but more in the metaphoric sense than in reality." He rubbed the back of his neck with a sigh, looking tired and old at this point. "You doing okay? I was hoping to talk to you for a bit. Only will take a few minutes of your time." He looked around, as if trying to see if anyone else was around. Cameras were everywhere in the hallways he noticed.

"I wanted to get your account of what happened the night we were attacked." He said quietly, barely above a whisper. He seemed concerned and jittery. "Can I come in? I have something to give you."
Alaska pulled at her turtleneck. It was uncomfortable and suffocating, but best not to walk around with the bruises left by Morrigan. There was a slight pause as she assessed Darius, before sighing and stepping back to let him in. "Alright, then," she allowed seeming unhappy about it. It wasn't like she really had a choice. She was collared and he wasn't; if he wanted in, she had to let him.

Still, she appreciated that he seemed to make her feel like she had a choice. Wandering into the kitchen, she leaned on the counter. "You look like shit." Was there a touch of sympathy in there?
He muttered his thanks, giving one more good look around before he stepped in and shut the door behind him. "I've had better days.." He admitted, a sigh accenting his feeling. He walked over to the window and looked out of it before shutting them completely too. He seemed a bit paranoid about something.

"How are you feeling?" He asked, pulling out a small device and putting it down on the counter where she was leaning and turning it on. It made no noticeable difference, but it lit up and had a dial that kept moving up and down. "Just ignore that.." He said. "I've a feeling I'm getting myself deeper than I care to be.." He murmured before reading into his leather jacket and pulled out a couple of tools and laid them down on the counter. It looked straight out of a professional thief's toolkit. Couple of picklocks, and a few other odds and ends that were quite useful if you knew how to use them.

"You were a thief once, right? I'm sure you'll make use with these." He gestured to them. "But I need information first, kiddo... What did you feel the night we were attacked? Did something seem off other than the obvious?"
All the questions and comments about Beck keeping up at his "advanced age" from the beginning of the first mission would be answered to Zieg as he kept tabs on the soldier while waiting for new orders. The training facility offered to the military personnel was just as much Beck's home as the spartan quarters he otherwise kept. Rigorous training and recovery regimen put him in performance condition and turned back the clock constantly out of pure effort and will more than any other factor. His only allowed vice, it seemed, were cigars, often puffed in the dark corners of the world in complete silence.

It was in such an occasion, on the shadowy outdoors outlook as the sniper sat in quiet contemplation, that enough was enough for the time being.

"I can think of far more interesting specimens," he gruffed into the darkness on a hunch.
She said nothing, watching Darius move around her room. She did, however, make sure there was a distance between her and him. Morrigan had always been a bitch, but in Alaska's short time here, she'd never expected Morrigan to attack her. Darius may seem kind, but he was still a handler, and she was taking no chances.

The tools, however, did pique her interest. She eyed them the way a small child might eye a piece of cake. "I'm sorry, you want me to offer you information in exchange for..." she gestured at the items, surprise evident. Then, very primly she said, "I could get in a lot of trouble for having those." Was this some kind of trap? Would he give them to her and then inform someone she had them? Would he lord it over her head that he knew she had them?
Zieg slowly melded from the shadows, his blue hues glowing in the darkness well before his shape fully formed. "Perhaps to humans, you may find it so. But for a man such as myself who's life never changes.. Even the most mundane is seen with interest." He said quietly. "I live long years, yes but.. At the cost of the every day to seem the same as the last. Like a rock stuck on the side of a stream, I'm cursed to sit here and watch life flow by as I ever remain."

He leaned against the wall and look outward. "And before you respond with, 'why don't you end it then..?' Because I am a man of my word and I intend to make sure I repay the costs." He muttered glumly.
Darius raised a brow. "Only if you get caught. Then again, I believe I'd be in even more trouble if they found out I gave you that stuff." He rubbed his neck and then groaned. "Then again, I'm pretty sure if they know what I know, I'd probably end up in a jail cell by the end of the night, or worse.." He murmured out loud.

"Anyway. Back on track. Do we have a deal? If so, I need to know what you know. Any weird out of place detail you can tell me, I want to know."
As right hand crooked a finger to cradle the carefully wrapped cigar in its trips to and from parched lips, the left -- closer to the wall and away from his new charge -- cradled the syringe given to him by Darius before.

"Lived all these years, think you'd learn no one likes that poetic speech crap," Beck gruffed back, not turning his head fully toward Zieg. "If I were to ask about that debt, would I get a straight answer?"
A smirk rose on the vampire's lips. "Perhaps I'm just old fashioned." He said quietly. If he had noticed Beck's unease, he didn't make it obvious. The vampire turned his gaze away from the man and stared out from the shadows.

"Everyone here only wants a straight answer. The short and sweet of it is, a mistake was made and I'm paying the price for it. A debt owed to you humans despite the way you've turned in recent years.." He murmured. His face shifted and contorted with an unspeakable sadness. "You still don't trust me." He said murmured before tapping at the collar wrapped firm around his neck.

"Did you know, this is the third collar they've had to place on me? Apparently, vampires are rare enough of a catch they've not fully tested all the bugs and kinks out of it for us. Fortunately, I've heard the tiny sound it makes before it exploded both times before that I was able to force my head and upper body into the shadows in time or else I wouldn't be standing here today. Or maybe I would be, who knows if I can die at this point." He murmured. "I can do the same for people, too. Pull them into shadows, that is. To protect them from harm. It drains me quite a bit and rather rapidly though." He seemed to be in the mood to just chat.
"No," the soldier state matter-of-factly, "I don't." There appeared no malice in his voice in the cold and brutal statement that no trust flowed from his heart to the shadowy one attached to him against both their wishes, just a plain declaration in response to Zieg's statement.

"But Darius does. He may be a fool, but an old fool means that he's got an annoying habit about being right enough about things to stick around." Another puff of the cigar created a pause. "And if you're part of the reason why he's still around, we can work together. But also know that if the order comes down to make sure whatever spiritual mumbo jumbo keeps you walking and talking doesn't work anymore, know that I won't hesitate to pull the trigger."