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A nuclear war has brought the earth to near destruction, the year is 2215 you are now thrown into the cruel world of EASurvival. Mutants, raiders and all sorts of apocalyptic nasties wait to shred you to pieces. Can you survive in the new world?
 
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 The cat's out of the bag

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PostSubject: The cat's out of the bag   Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:02 pm

The knock on Nari's door was soft, but insistent. Melanie knew what she was doing was essentially the exact opposite of what Soraya had asked her to do earlier, but it couldn't be helped. She needed the extra hands, and Nari was her only "on-call," worker left to do the few tasks that wouldn't get done otherwise.

Well, at the least, Narissa would have managed to get a few hours' sleep. Hopefully that would make her halfway functional. Besides, the task she had in mind for the girl was hardly something that needed much thinking. All it required was the ability to walk and push a cart at the same time. And perhaps a sense of direction.

"Nari!" Melanie called, getting annoyed with the lack of response to her knocking. If that girl had begged out of her duties and then taken off for some escapade, the cook would certainly have words with both her and any higher up that tried to contradict her.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:58 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:19 pm

Melanie bit back an angry retort at the girl's impetuous tone, doing her best to heed Soraya's earlier request. She hoped this whole thing wouldn't breed an attitude of rebellion in the girl. Such things could spread to the rest of the kitchen staff, and she feared accidents could become rampant, especially at the more hectic meal times.

Still, Melanie bit her tongue.

"Gendry's sick with some flu or other and can't work, Pashal got hung up helping out with one of the cows' birthing, and Louisa's nowhere to be found. Seems the fool girl decided to finally run off with one of her two even bigger fool suitors," she said, sighing in exasperation as she absently fussed with the nest her hair made. "I'm down three hands, and on top of the usual dinner rush I have a request from the family for a special delivery." She assumed Nari knew who the family was. "Anyways, the whole thing's being prepared now, all I need is someone to deliver the cart over to their private quarters, but I really don't have any hands to spare, except my benched team." Meaning Nari. "I'm wasting precious time even standing here talking to you, when I really should be there overseeing the whole thing, with dinner to be served in less than an hour. It'd only take a few minutes to bring it over once it's ready, then you could get back to your nap."

She shifted her weight, regarding Nari quizzically before shaking her head. "Never mind. I'll get Cybil to do it," she groaned after appraising Nari's current state. With a wave of the hand, she turned to leave Nari's doorstep.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:06 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:01 pm

Eventually, Radu has to bring Naitachel back to the Family's quarters...

The Seraph can't help it but feels slightly puzzled when they do return. He is an empath, after all. There's a hidden flurry of activity in the background of the Family's section, some tension in the air, but nothing unpleasant--almost anticipating something. Silently, Naitachel racks his brains, trying to think of what holiday this might be, or whose birthday or anniversary... but nothing comes to mind.

Well, then again, he has no idea when Brianna's birthday is. So that's a distinct possibility.

Looking about uncertainly, Naitachel's wings rustle uncomfortably under his concealing robes as he fidgets a little at the tension in the air.

"It was nice to have a bit of quiet time, just to ourselves. Would it be so terrible if I return there on my own, to stretch now and then? I fear the rest of this complex, pleasant as it is, at times leaves me feeling rather... enclosed," the Seraph asks wistfully of his mate.

For a creature used to being out in the open sky, enjoying nature when not visiting his mate during daylight in the life before this catastrophe, to be trapped underground is eventually rather stifling. Not to mention, being captive indoors so long, and with his wings injured--he really hasn't had a chance to take to the air until this, and he hopes to strengthen his wings back up with a bit of practice.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:25 pm

Melanie sighed, rubbing her hands absently across her apron. "I know you're not," she comforted the girl, her voice softening. "But tired's tired, and I wasn't going to have you hurt yourself because you were falling asleep on your feet." The older woman smiled at Nari, gesturing she should join her in the walk back to the kitchen. "I /do/ feel bad for interrupting your sleep, but I couldn't right see another way to go. Thanks for stepping up," she commended the girl, making a series of turns as she talked and walked.

"I hope you slept well," she teased. "I hear Michael's taken a shining to you, and you to him." Yes, word got around quickly in a place like this. "He might try to keep you up past your bedtime, if he sees you delivering the food."

With that, Nari opened the door into the kitchen area, where Cybil was loading up the last few requested items for delivery to the family.

"D'you get the popcorn, too?" she asked the mousy brunette who's elongated nose and large front teeth even resembled a rat. Despite her quiet demeanor, however, Cybil was a friendly young lady who smiled brightly in greeting at Nari.

Once satisfied it all was there, Melanie gestured for the younger woman to join her at the cart. "Straight to them, then. Don't let anyone try to steal anything off of it, and if they try, tell them they'll have my wrath for it." Those in the know knew that at best, it would mean a steady diet of porridge for the next few days, and at worse, no food at all served them for a few meals.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:22 am

"Of course you may, beloved," Radu answered as if it should have been obvious. "It is yours, well." He strokes Naitachel's hair gently. "I should love to see you fly here."
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:11 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:08 am

Naitachel simply beams at his mate--and hugs him. "I shall have to strengthen back up for that. I fear I am a bit out of practice after all this time... But it is a good place to practice for flight again--even my songs, perhaps. Thank you ever so much!"
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:09 am

<We are not ready yet!> Soraya told Radu as she hustled to put the finishing touches to the decorations. She had awakened from her nap at least partially refreshed and with enough time to make herself presentable and supervise the final arrangements. It seemed the vampire had brought Naitachel back a little earlier than she had hoped, and now they would have to find some way of keeping him out of the common areas. She hoped Radu could manage that as well as he had managed keeping him out of their hair the rest of the day. So far they had avoided detection, and she would hate for the surprise to be ruined now.

"Mommy, I'm hungry," Brianna moaned, distracting the redhead from her task at hand. "Can I go eat?" she asked, setting down the cups she had been charged with placing on the table.

"Yes, Sweetling," Soraya agreed, stepping down from the chair on which she was standing to put up streamers carefully. "But make it quick. We all want to be here when your Uncle Naitachel arrives," she instructed her daughter, hugging her tightly and kissing her atop the head before sending her off. "I think Emmy was ready for you," she called after her daughter's retreating figure.

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

Emmy had indeed been ready for her and was quick to acquiesce at the sight of Brianna.

"This way!" the little girl called, leading her to an alcove just off the main hallway she favored, for some reason. With an exasperated sigh, the plump woman strove to keep up with Brianna's ever-present energy and enthusiasm, reaching the alcove only a few minutes as the girl jumped up onto the seating there. "I have your cushion ready," she told Emmy cheerfully.

"Oh, good," Emmy answered, smiling despite herself as she sat in her usual seat and offered Brianna her wrist. The young vampire, of course, made quick work of taking it, and gently bit into Emmy's wrist, sending the servant into a daze of ecstasy.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:00 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:07 am

The little girl ignored Nari's question a few moments as she finished her meal. Thankfully, she was nearly done when it was interrupted, and she released a contented Emmy gently.

"Hi Nari!" she exclaimed happily, wiping a bit of dribbling blood from her chin absently, then licking her finger. The two had met on a previous occasion in passing, introduced to each other by Michael and Soraya, and the ever cheerful Brianna showed every indication of having taken a liking to Nari. "This is just Emmy," she explained. "She was my volunteer today."

Brianna gently placed Emmy's head down onto the pillow she had provided. The woman always seemed to fall straight to sleep after being a donor, even if the amount of blood taken was minimal. "Don't worry, she always falls asleep like this after a feeding," the girl informed Nari in a nonchalant manner. "She'll wake up in about twenty minutes. Oh, hey, is that the food for the party? Mommy and KC were waiting for that! This way!" she said, jumping up and moving to the human's side cheerfully, though she stopped dead in her tracks when she finally appraised Nari's expression fully.

"Nari?" she asked, "Are you okay?"

<Mommy? I think something's wrong with Nari> she called to her mother. Her sudden anxiety, however, had already been enough to draw Soraya's attention, and likely others' as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:34 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:04 am

"No, she is not dead," Soraya's voice answered as the redhead crouched next to Nari. Brianna's call and Nari's sudden spike in emotion had roused her, and the scene before her was a bit concerning. "She is asleep," Soraya explained gently, waving absently for one of the other servants who had followed to remove the food cart and bring it to be arranged for Naitachel's party. The servant in question was obviously reluctant to leave the scene when gossip could be had, but did so without protesting.

"Nari, perhaps you could put your head between your legs a moment," the redhead suggested, hoping to keep her from passing out completely. "When you are ready we can chat more." If Nari didn't get better soon, Soraya would call for Lindsay, or at least KC, but she thought things hadn't escalated quite that far yet. Or maybe Naitachel could be of help....

Movement in the corner of her eye indicated that Michael had appeared, and Soraya shifted to the side a bit to allow him access.

He took the chance to move to Nari's side and spoke to her softly, though he didn't touch her for fear she would react adversely. "Hey, you okay?" he asked. Brianna, for her part, stood where she had when she had realized Nari's reaction, looking as though she was about to burst into tears.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:34 am

The surge of fear and panic, so near, is like a blast of cold air to the Seraph's empathy, and makes him stiffen and pull away from Radu, distracted. Naitachel looks about, mentally reaching to find the source.

"Miss Nari?" he breathes, surprised--both at her presence here (though on second thought, that shouldn't have surprised him at all), and the intensity of those emotions. What on earth could have scared her so, with so many of the Family around?

With a bound, Naitachel heads for the young woman's location, concerned--and knowing Radu is not about to leave such an incident unvisited, either.

Within a moment, Nari is in sight, with Soraya crouched near her, Michael standing over them both--the two both radiating worry. Poor Brianna stands nearby, on the verge of tears--and still showing hints of having dined recently... the meal likely having consisted of the servant sleeping in the alcove.

Catching a handful of his robes to keep from getting entangled, Naitachel kneels beside Soraya and Nari, not hesitating to reach a slender hand and rest it on the girl's thin shoulder. The poor thing really should eat more...

<What happened?> the Seraph asks, even as he uses his empathic and spiritual skills to calm and soothe through that touch, much like mental balm against the trauma.

"Miss Nari? Stay with us now, try to stay awake and breathe slowly, deeply...," he suggests, gently yet firmly, pressing some of his singing skill into the words to give them a musical ring and stronger impact. "Focus on my voice, child... Deep breaths now... Clear your mind and simply concentrate on your breathing... You are safe and well and need think only of slow, steady breathes--in--then out..."
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:05 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:28 pm

Radu knelt next to her, speaking softly and calmly. "We are no threat to you child. Please don't be afraid. "
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:13 am

Grateful for Naitachel and Radu's arrival, Soraya allowed room for both to approach Nari, lest they overcrowd the girl. Instead, the redhead stepped back and collected her sniffling daughters in her arms, hugging her tightly and comforting her, though her attention remained on what was happening with Nari.

<She walked in on Brianna's feeding,> she responded to Nait tightly, kissing the top of the young vampiress's head soothingly. <Your assistance, I fear, might be integral to keeping her sane and receptive until we can explain everything to her, if you are up to it,> she went on.

Michael's face was taut as he sought the words to begin. The cat was, after all, essentially out of the bag.

"Well..." he tried, looking over questioningly at the others, "have you ever heard of vampires?" he ventured with all the subtlety of a thrown brick.

"Michael," Soraya hissed, exasperated, though now it truly /was/ too late to be gentle about sharing this information, if there was such a thing as being gentle with this.

"Nari," the redhead cut in, keeping her voice soothing and steady, "What Michael is indelicately suggesting is that several members of our family are, indeed, what you consider to be vampires. But they are not the dangerous, evil creatures popular lore has made them out to be." At least, this family wasn't, she thought to herself, though that commentary remained for herself only.

"They are certainly no threat to you. I am human," she imparted quickly, hoping that would make her more trustworthy in the girl's eyes and a better source of information, "and I have lived with them for a long time now." About a thousand years long, but there would be time to get to that later. "I can attest to their gentleness and assure you that no one they feed from ever suffers for it. Nor is anyone fed from involuntarily. I myself have served as Vlad's main source of food since our meeting and am quite well." True, there were interruptions to that, such as during her pregnancies or other extenuating circumstances, and she had had to bulk up on iron and red meat on a regular basis, but that was a minor price to pay in her eyes.

As though to confirm Soraya's words, Emmy moaned and raised her head. "Fell asleep again, looks like," the plump woman said sleepily, rubbing her eyes.

Michael's eyes remained locked on Nari, waiting for her reaction, grateful for the seraph's assistance in keeping her subdued and calm.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:07 am

Naitachel nods slightly at Soraya's explanation, and firmly keeps his hand on Nari's shoulder. <I think I can do that. Though, if it is difficult for her to handle, it may be best to sing her under, let her sleep a bit, and let her subconscious mind process the shock. We shall have to wait and see--but I shall monitor her carefully... Is Brianna well?>

The Seraph continues to emphasize calm and soothe the young woman's emotions, humming softly under his breath. He pauses in his work to add quietly, gently, "Soraya is right--the majority of the Family are of a vampiric nature, but not as the world thinks of it... You might consider it more, say...an inherited medical condition? Nothing you might catch, and controlled by those with it to do you and others no harm. They are otherwise still the same people you have already met."
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:01 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:44 am

Soraya smiled encouragingly at Nari's questions. "No, Naitachel and I are not vampires," she confirmed again, "and feeding /is/ natural for them, just as eating a meal is natural for you." As if on cue, Emmy sat up fully, now interested in the conversation taking place before her, alert and awake, and obviously unharmed. Soraya hoped that would help alleviate some of Nari's misgivings.

Then Nari stood and made to leave...

"Nari, stay," Michael pled, standing with her and taking her elbow to steady her. "There's no need for you to go," he said, trying to meet her eyes. He was obviously worried about her reaction to this news, worried she'd turn tail and run again, that she would spurn him for what his was without knowing the truth of their nature.

"Michael is right, Nari," Soraya said, releasing Brianna, who went to her Uncle Radu instead. "I have no doubt Melanie would prefer you stay and get yourself together rather than go back to the kitchens in your current state." Indeed, Nari still seemed rather unsteady on her feet and green around the gills. "I can speak with her, either way," she promised.

A sudden stroke of inspiration hit her. Why not show Nari that the family was essentially normal? Well mostly. And what better way for her to see than than to join them for their festivities? It was about time to surprise Naitachel with them anyways.

<Do you think you can manage her emotions for a little longer to get her calmed?> she asked Naitachel, hoping to ensure he wasn't exhausting himself.

"Nari, why do you not join us for dinner?" she suggested, hoping the preparations in the main area had been taken care of. "Perhaps we can discuss things further then."
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:43 pm

Radu gathered Brianna up in his arms, holding her gently but firmly, kissing her on top of the head. He'd seen this reaction in humans before, though less often since the bombs fell than before. Most humans were willing to overlook this little oddity in them in return for having a family of very strong, very fast protectors looking after them, venturing out often to help provide for their needs and keeping them safe from mutants and other dangers while they slept.

Nari, however, wasn't most humans. She was the young woman his nephew's heart now clearly longed for. Where he could easily enough turn his back and walk away from others who would fear and judge them as 'evil' because of their accursed blood, he could not do that now. Not to her. Not to Michael.

"Please, child. I vow no harm will come to you, and none shall prevent you from leaving should you decide to go. Only consider remaining a short while before passing judgement on my family for that which we cannot change." Radu asked quietly, in part to avoid frightening her further, but also to avoid alarming dear little Brianna further, as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:33 am

"No, Nari--Soraya is correct that she and I are not vampires, yet still members of the family. Please, do stay for dinner, as surely a bit of food to your stomach will help you feel better. I assure you, they do eat normal food a such a time."

<I may, and it seems the wisest choice, I agree. I... did have a bit of rest a short while ago,> the Seraph admitted a bit shyly. A glance showed him Brianna in his mate's care, and he felt reassured for the child's sake, knowing Radu would have her well in hand. Helping his mate handle this emotional upheaval, however? Well, that Nait may see to himself, later. <Perhaps if we have somewhere quiet for her to calm down further, with fewer people, at least until dinner, to let the shock fade a bit more?>

Offering his free hand to help Nari up, the Seraph smiled gently--but kept his other hand on the girl's shoulder to keep her calm still.

"Come, Miss Nari, let us leave the cold floor and find you a chair, like civilized folk, and perhaps a cup of tea to hearten you until dinner is set. I find most things in life are better understood when tea warms one's palms... even if one does not drink it." Naitachel glanced about, looking for the nearest quiet room where she might sit for a bit.

(OOC--Any room will do, and anyone's welcome to tag along... Michael... Hehe.)
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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:00 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The cat's out of the bag   Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:57 pm

"You are not intruding. We would love to have you for dinner," Soraya assured Nari one more time, hoping the fact that this would not strictly be dinner wouldn't turn her away. "Michael and Naitachel can show you to a quieter area until it is ready. I am sure you will have many questions, and Michael can help answer them for you, as well as Radu, if he chooses," she said, raising her eyebrow in the vampire's direction, unsure of where he would choose to be. She smiled fondly a few moments at Brianna, still huddled in Radu's arms, relieved that she seemed to have calmed, at least for now. She would, of course, tend to the girl if she needed further comforting, but Brianna had a quality of unwavering high spirits and was always one to bounce back quickly. The redhead didn't think her presence was further required there, either.

Soraya stood on tiptoes to kiss her middle son's cheek quickly in encouragement before making for the door. "I will see that tea is made and sent for you," she said, looking to Nari quickly to ensure her departure wouldn't send her panicking.

Michael had been standing stock still, holding Nari's hand and looking down at her with an expression of mingled relief, cautious optimism, and perhaps a bit of apprehension all at once. Soraya's peck seemed to rouse him from his contemplative daze, and he squeezed her hand before glancing at Naitachel, knowing full-well the seraph would have no idea where to take them. "Glad you're staying, Rabbit. You won't regret it... This way," he said with a grin, pulling at Nari and assuming Nait would complete the train by walking behind with his hand still on her shoulder.

Clearly avoiding the common room, Michael took a series of twists and turns, bringing them to a small, quiet room lined with old books and nick-nacks rescued from the outside world. They had obviously been carefully tended to, even if they were a vast array of mismatched styles, eras, and colors; if nothing else, they were small treasures left to them as reminders of times past.

"This should do," he said, inviting Nari to have a seat in his favorite chair, a large, overstuffed chaise. He quickly grabbed one of the strategically dispersed stools and set it next to the chaise for Nait's comfort, then perched himself on a high-backed chair nearby.

<Still all good?> He asked Nait with a raised eyebrow, watching Nari for signs of fainting or other possible hysterical response.
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