Actions

Work Header

Gathering of the team

Chapter Text

Imaged a world where the Great War, better known as the First World War never happened. Instead of plunging into a senseless war, the European countries decided to form allies between each other. Forming a world power strong enough to stand beside Russia and America in strength, but never really used it against either as they would rather form allies with the surrounding countries. That was fine by the two other world powers along with anyone else. It kept the peace and that was so far the common people cared about these three world powers.

However this world couldn't avoid the next war, it didn't entirely start for the same reason, though. This war started because of the Church, an organization that controlled most of Europe. Not in a cruel overlord manner, many liked being part of the Church.
But many failed to realize how strong of a grip the Church have around people and made sure every man, woman, and child shares their philosophy of the nature of daemon. To believe that the form their manifestation of their souls settles into in their adolescents reveals who they are for the rest of their life and thus their role in this world has been set.

People in Europe didn't mind the Church's teaching, it has been part of their lives for what seems like forever. Also, the Church teachings didn't harm anyone and it did help a lot of people figure out their role in life by these teachings. In many ways, it helped people to know where they would of best use for the world just by looking at their daemon settled form. If a dog, then they would suit best as a servant or a soldier, A snake; the person would be best as a spy or cunning businessman, a cat and this person was the best option as a designer or sociology. A person with a bird - depending on the species would either become a tracker or a person knowing exactly how to communicate with their voice.
A child might not like in the start that their daemon will settle into, but over time they will accept that is just how it is and will come to appreciate whatever form their daemon take.

However, not all people liked this teaching- this lack of control over their own lives and would rather have their own belief in the nature of daemon.

The arguments among the countries were at first small, nothing worth worrying about. Especially for two brothers in America, there have started their own war against one another over land their father left them after his death.
The third brother was made to fight over this worthless land as well, but he left his land to his brothers, went to join the Church and aid them in making the fast approaching war turn in their favor. His two brothers barely noticed his departure, too busy pitting their nine mercenaries against one another. These two brothers never saw the start of this world's Great War, they died as they lived; fighting against one another over completely worthless land. And because neither of them had any heir, all the land, all the riches of their father's company went to the third brother, or rather to his daughter, who; like her father was a powerful supporter of the Church and would make sure everything went to her family's favor and made sure her own son would understand how to turn everything into their favor like her own father taught her.

Unlike the war you know where Germany, Italy, and Japanese fought against several countries such as France, USA, and Russia and lost because they got themselves surrounded from each side. The lack of the first war and the Church cleverly creating allies instead of forcing themselves into other countries, France joined them and a big chunk of Russia as well thanks to the that world's equivalent of the Spartan people: the Tatarian: powerful and brutal people there knew little else but conquest. The Tartarian did not live by the same philosopher like the Church, but the world power made sure to stay on very good terms with these warrior people, promising them they will get Russia if they aided them in the war. The Tatarian agreed and since they already have conquered most of the East already, the Chruch did not have to worry about getting attacked from that front and could, almost calmly turn their full attention on the United States of America, the final world power standing in their way of world domination.

The American's were strong, strong enough to keep the war going for seven long years, but in the end. The great power of the United States of America could not overpower the European world power and lost the war. The Church was swift with their retribution of struggling against them. Any man of Congress, any general refusing to promise their loyalty to the Church would be executed and those civilians there was set on stay as a true patriotic American would mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again. When certain that the USA was completely crippled, the Church allowed France and Denmark to claim America as their own as thanks for the many supplies the two countries gave their soldiers during the war but also ensures they would stay loyal to the Church. The upper part of America's states became New France and the middle became New Denmark. Thus the USA was no more and only a few books and stories about this once this great world power would remain, over the years, the fall of USA would become the reminder of what would happen if a country went against the Church.
Texas and Mexico weren't touched as the people from there have been smart enough not causing too much trouble and thus the benevolent Church left the only remnants of a once great power alone, however, did enforce their laws and belief onto these two countries.

With the fall of USA and Russia too weak to fight thanks to the Tartarien, the Church have free reigns spreading their belief onto the world and how they believe is the best way of life, and no one can stop them.

Well, almost no one. During the war, a resistance sprung up very suddenly. At first, it was small and more of a nuisance than a threat, but quickly became a painful thorn in the side of the Church and would continue being so for the next one hundred years. No one knows how this resistance started, except from the nine people that were the first resistance members, they were very good at their job and that inspired a lot of people to take up arms against the Church as well. This resistance group spread like wildfire the Church could not contain as more and more people joined the ranks and kept on messing up the Church's plans. So much so that the world power created a army fully made to fight this growing thorn bush: this army soon got known as the Magisterium and would do anything to stop this fire of the resistance members— or terrorists as the Magisterium and most people would call them since this growing army of common people has ever since its creation destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed countless of soldiers. But for those who believed in a future where the Church did not have a say what they should believe in, have a say over their role in life, only one name suited this crazily brave resistance group and along with the resistance itself always will call them this name to either the day they defeat the Church or they will get eliminated like so many before them.

 

 

They are the Brothers and Sisters of Team Fortress.

Chapter Text

A heavy rain cloud is hanging over the city of Boston, everyone that can have sought cover from the rain; no wish to get wet this early on the day. One person did not have the luxury seeking cover for the rain, though; he is late enough as it is. Nathan runs as fast his legs can carry him, water splashing around them from each step he takes through the streets he has called home ever since he was born.
His daemon; a grey-brown wild rabbit and like him completely soaked to the skin from the heavy downpour. "This sucks!" She complains loudly up to her human, trying to avoid the bigger pools of water but eventually just gives up and runs through them to keep up with him. "I told you drinking Bonk before bed was a bad idea!"
"Yeah yeah." Nathan huffs down to her, not really in the mood hear her complaints or rather his own mentally complaining.

Every person has a daemon; it is a manifestation of one's inner self and will take shape of an animal that is closest to their human's personality. When a person is young, the daemon can take many forms but when their human reach maturity they will settle into one permanent shape. Whatever that shape might be will reveal to both their human but also the world what kind of person they are and that makes it easy to appraise what that person is best suited for in society.

"It's also your fault and you know it." He tells her after all Nalini was the one who kept delaying their departure.
Nalini takes shape as a seagull and flies up before him. "Come on." She whines playfully. "Tom Jones was on the radio! So what we're coming a bit late?" She flies a bit beforehand, only stops when she feels the discomfort from the limit of the invisible bond between them. She turns around in midair, remarking. "It is only a one in a lifetime we might hear one of his speeches."
Nathan grins, so right she is. "Yeah, I admit it was awesome hearing him call out to his fans."
"Like having him talks directly to us." She agrees and lands on his shoulders, taking shape as a bull frog in hope the rain will bother her less. Nathan continues running through the rain, not wanting to risk losing this job.
Dell hasn't said anything but Nathan will not risk losing practically the only place that has accepted him as who he is. Nathan might look like any other person but he's not, all because of his daemon.

See, Nathan has long reached past the time period where a daemon should settle into a permanent form but that never happen to Nalini, even in the age of nineteen; she continues to change form like a child's daemon.
For Nathan get in contact with people, that's no problem. The problem is keeping the contact with said people. Every time people realize that Nalini can still change forms, they start to shun him away. Wondering what is wrong with this young man and hoping the Magisterium might be able to help this poor soul so he can be like anyone else.
Nathan was at first not really bothered by it, but as he got older and had trouble supporting himself, and practically unable to live a normal life because people was unable seeing a person instead of some kind of freak; well he began to wish Naline would settle.
Only one person has been willing to give him a chance, and that's the same man he works for.
Nathan arrives at the factory he has been working at for about two years, relieved seeing that his boss is too busy melding a metal frame that he hasn't noticed his assistance has been running late.

"Trouble getting out of bed again, eh boy?" The man's daemon, a golden brown beaver remarks from her spot on the floor, putting down the wires she has been braiding together.

Can't say the same about Naira. Nathan flinches from getting busted and Nalini turns into a moth in embarrassment. He tries avoiding further embarrassment with a cheeky remark. "Oh no, the freaking rain made it terrible to move."

"If you say so." The golden brown beaver rolls her eyes with a light chuckle. Her human, a bit short and stocky man from Texas stops his welding and turns to face Nathan, he doesn't bother removing the welding goggles from his eyes. "What matters that you are here." Dell says with that southern drawl of his. The man gets up and leaves the metal frame he has been working on, gesturing for Nathan to come over. "Let's find you some dry clothing, can't have you get a cold."

"You're not making me walk in your clothing." Nathan tells him right away, he would look twice as skinny that he already is, not to mention ridicules since he's a head higher than the Texan.

Dell turns to him, giving him a look behind those welding goggles. "Good thing your mother thought ahead then." He walks into his office and returns with a small box filled with old clothing Nathan recognizes, some he has been searching for.

"So that's where it went." Nathan takes his favorite t-shirt he bought at a baseball game. It is worn but still has several years lifetime of worth. He takes the rest of the clothing, then stops, realizing what his boss had just told him. His mother did this for him; she must've known that he might one day get to the job wet and cold. He's lucky having such an awesome mom.

"Be sure thanks her when you get home, string-bean." Dell remarks and leaves the room, allowing Nathan to change. "When you have changed, come to me. I got a few errands for you."

And he's lucky having such an understanding boss. Nathan does not like working this place at all; he finds construction too boring, always the same thing going on. But he likes Dell, he's cool. Although Dell can be a bit boring as well, a trite man to the almost blissful extent. The man knows exactly how his day— hell probably his life is going to be and seems completely okay with it. Nathan has trouble understanding that, if that has been him he would have gone insane, but he respects Dell enough not to try to change the man's boring way of life.
"Better get dressed before he throws a wrench after us." Nalini remarks.
Of course, Dell would never do such a thing, but Nathan does quicken the pace changing from cold wet to the dry and comfortable clothing and hurries over to the worktable where Dell is currently taking out a huge sheet-like bag that one day will be filled with gas for the zeppelin he builds. "So what do you want me to do?" Nathan asks the Texan.

Dell doesn't even stop his work when he says. "I have some tanks I would like you to move over to the pumps."
His daemon nods towards the place where the gas tanks are located. "When you're done and have the energy for it, I would highly predicate it if you could give this letter to a client of mine."
"He doesn't trust the mailman delivering it in time." Naira remarks amused, Dell in the other hand aren't and scowl to the smug beaver. "That's not it you silly girl, simply making sure he's getting a little out from this old place." He smiles to Nathan.

Did he mention that Dell is a cool guy? He is and that is why he can deal with working this boring place. "I can do that." Nathan says and leaves to do the first task. The tanks in the storage room do not look like much, and with them merely holding gas which does make a zeppelin fly; Nathan guesses they probably won't weight too much. He grabs the tank and pull— okay they are a LOT heavier than he estimated! Seriously, how can mere gas weight like a barrel of water?! He lets go, takes a deep breath and tries again, this time bending his knees like his oldest brother once taught him. "Alright, I can do it." And lifts it. He almost topples over by the weight. How can Dell make it look so freaking easy?! Nathan has seen him carry these like they are nothing.
"Never mess with the guy who can lift these with ease, huh?" Nalini remarks from his shoulder, taken the form as a field mouse.
Nathan just nods and carries the first gas tank to the pump that fills the huge balloon looking things lying around the workshop.
Dell glances up from his work for a moment, watching Nathan straighten up and sends the man a grin that says he shouldn't worry. No way in hell he's going to show Dell that carrying a single gas tank has him winded. Dell gives him an encouraging nod and returns back to work. Nathan lets out a breath, claiming as much air he can get as he returns back to storage for another tank. After placed the second and going for the third, he wonders out loud to his daemon. "I wonder why Dell wants us to deliver that letter?"
Nalini rolls her eyes, she turns into a cat and jumps onto one of the tanks. "He does it as sign he trusts you." Both turn to where the man and his daemon beaver work. "You know how important he considers his work."
"Yeah, still weird he trusts me with such a thing" Nathan muses and grabs the third tank. Of course, he is flattered by the gesture but he hasn't exactly proven himself being the most reliable person.
Nathan does have bit of a problem keeping to a schedule and his record isn't exactly clean either. He and his seven older brothers are almost like a gang in these parts; they often get into fights with other gangs that try to take over their home terms and sometimes Nathan and his brothers even fight the police. That is also one of the reasons why people doesn't trust him and why he haven't been able to keep a job for long, so yeah; he's lucky Dell has been so patience with him.
"Bigger reason why not to screw this one up." His daemon says, and he cannot agree more. He might dislike working at this small factory, but he has it a lot better here than any other place. With the last tank placed at the pump and regained his breath. Dell hands him this important letter and where he want it delivered.

"Don't lose it." The man tells him in his rare harsh tones. Clarifying just by that how important this letter is.

"I won't." Nathan promises and puts the letter deep into his pocket, Nalini even turns into a mouse and crawls down the same pocket in the sign she will not allow it fall out.
Satisfied Dell explains that the letter needs to get directly into the hands of his client; a man with a horned owl as daemon before he shoos Nathan out and the young man runs once again down the streets of his home city, and the young man is happy the rain has finally stopped.

Nathan loves running, he enjoys the feeling of the air passing over his skin, how his entire body reacts to each step he makes. He prides himself being the fastest runner in the area and takes his own speed and agility very seriously. Nathan is the youngest of the gang of seven brothers, the runt of the litter actually and he learned at a very early age that if he wants something, then he better be the first to it. So he began running, and his speed has saved him out from many nasty situations he from time to time gets himself into.
Nathan arrives at the fancy building Dell wanted the letter delivered, not even winded from the run he checks his pocket and when sure the letter is still there. He walks over to the door and knocks three times, a moment later a man in a black suit with a dog as his daemon arrives, looking at the young man as if he's some homeless dude. "Whatever you have, we aren't buying."
Okay, THIS is why Nathan does not bother to strike up a chat with rich people; they always look down on the common people like they are not worth their times. He takes the letter, almost squeezing Nalini in the progress and angrily shows the fancy-pants the letter. "I'm here to deliver this, dumb-ass."

The man sends him a glare for the name-calling but does take a look at the letter from the now pissed young man. He frowns. "Oh, so you're Mr. Conagher's delivery boy?" He says like it comes as a huge surprise, the man reaches out for the letter. "I take it from here—"
But before he can take it, Nathan puts the letter back into his pocket.

"He prefers being called Dell and he specifically told me to give this directly to the client." Nathan tells the man, getting the feeling this jerk-face is just a butler. Wouldn't surprise him since this guy's daemon is a dog, servants and soldiers always has dogs as daemon for some weird-ass reason. It makes him wonder how rich these people are.

"No way I'm letting some street-rat into—"

"Garrett, who is it?" A female voice question interrupts the butler, unbeknown saving him from a punch to the face.

The man named Garrett turns his head away from the fuming Nathan and into the house. "It's nothing miss, just a delivery boy."

"Oh, Lenard has been waiting for that." The voice replies and commands the butler; much to his dismay. "Let him in."

"Yes, miss." The butler replies dully, he steps away from the door, allowing Nathan inside, but does stop him by pointing at the young man's shoes. "Take those filthy things off."

Nathan sends the man a glare, then smirks from an idea of small revenge popping into his head. "Nah, I think you need do a little work around here." And leaves the butler, making sure to step extra hard so the dirt and water from his shoes fall off, making the butler fume in rage but cannot do anything about it.
Grinning, Nathan walks into this mansion of a house, forgetting the ass butler by the view of this place. This room looks like something coming out of those romance movies his mother likes watch so much, darn these people must earn what his family scrapes by in their lifetime every single day. He passes by an oil painting of a beautiful garden; its frame is made from oak, Nathan whistle at the sight.

"This way please."

Turning around, Nathan's eyes lands on the prettiest girl he has ever laid his eyes on. She looks to be around his age, except she is dressed like a million in that purple dress, her black hair braided into a ponytail, allowing her beautiful green eyes to stand extra out. Beside her stands her daemon, a middle-sized and snowy white dog with bright blue eyes. Okay, he is in love with this gorgeous—a sharp pain at his left-hand snaps him out from his daze and shoots a glare to his daemon; the one there has bitten him.
Still, in her mouse form Nalini returns the glare. "Get a move on dumb-ass, you look like a fool."
Oh right, Nathan follows the angel through the room. At a door down a small hallway, the angel knocks and a man, probably her father appears. Nathan notices the owl on the man's shoulders, this is the guy. He takes out the letter and hands it to the client.

The man takes it and reads the message. Whatever Dell wrote apparently pleases the man since he nods. "Ah, I knew I could count on him. Could you return my answer?" He asks, catching Nathan a bit off guard.

"Eh, sure?"

"Wonderful, wait just a moment." And the man leaves, going back to his room to write his answer to Dell. Leaving Nathan and his daughter alone.

"So..." Nathan starts but before he can come with any good lines, his dream girl leaves. Much to his disappointment. He wishes he can follow but that will probably be a bad idea, he won't be able to pay if he accidentally breaks anything. So that leaves him to stand really uncomfortable while he waits for the man to write his answer.

"Hi."

Blinking, he turns around, spotting a child around the age of five. Like his new dream girl, this young one has green eyes, her hair is brown, though. Her Daemon on her shoulder has currently taken shape as a squirrel.
"Are you the street-rat Garrett speaks about?" The little girl asks.

"Um.. yeah." Nathan replies but does quickly recover, he does spend a lot of time around smaller children. They rarely get uncomfortable around him and his unsettled daemon. "Don't listen to him though, I am not no street-rat. He's just angry I made him look bad."

"Okay, I'm Clovey and this is Acario." The girl point at her daemon which now has taken the shape as a shaken mouse, saying with just as shaken voice to his human. "Y-You shouldn't talk with strangers."

Nathan smiles, kneeling down so he is at her eye level. "Names Nathan, Nate for short, now you know my name so I'm no stranger." The girl smiles and her daemon stops shaking, heh, works every time.

"You wanna play a game with me, Nate?" She asks hopefully.

Glancing back to the door where her father is at the moment, Nathan decides he might as well keep the kid and himself entertained. "Sure, as long it's inside this room, alright?"

"Okay, let's play hide and seek." Clovey says and tells she will be the one hiding. "You count and no peeking!"

Grinning he cover his eyes and start counting out loud. Listing to the girl scrambling around for a good hiding spot. He finishes counting and calls out. "Ready or not, here I come!" And uncovers his eyes. Nalini crawls up on his shoulders and leaps off, now in shape as a hawk. She scouts the room for the girl before landing on a table with a nod towards the out folded curtain. Nathan smirks but does not go over to Clovey's hiding spot right away, he will let the girl have some enjoyment first. "Now where can she be?" He asks loudly and walks over to a table, making sure the girl can see him from behind the curtain. "Are you... here?" He looks under the table, smiling at the giggle Clovey tries but failing to hold back.
"What about here?" He checks the lamp.
The giggling gets louder.
Nathan walks over to the curtain, acting like he's lost and unable to hear her. "Wow, she is really good." He tells his daemon who grins in return. "Maybe I should give up— wait, you hear it?" And he turns around and removes the curtain, cheering. "There you are!"
Clovey squeals before bursting into laugher, her daemon takes shape as a sparrow and flies chirping around Nalini who joins him in the air.

"Now you hide." Clovey says and runs over to count.

Nathan sends one glance to the door, but when Clovey's father shows no sign of coming out, he starts looking for a good hiding spot, not too good since he does want Clovey to find him. He hides behind the bookshelf with Nalini taking form as a rabbit, curling down and looks like a fluffy rock.

"Ready or not, here I come!" And a very happy Clovey runs into the room, searching for her playmate with a squirrel Acario skipping around to help his human to find Nathan. The moment she spots Nathan, she runs over with: "Found you!" And the two Daemon leaps around each other in a small game of tag.

And just about there, Clovey's father walks out from the door. "I hope I didn't make you wait for too long." He hands Nathan the letter.

"Aww, does Nate has to leave?" Clovey asks sadly. Her father blinks a bit confused so the girl explains. "We have been playing hide and seek, he's very bad at it."

"Nah, you're just too good." Nathan remarks grinning, making the small girl beam. But he can't stay and play with her anymore; he has a letter to deliver. "Sorry, but I have to go."

"Will I see you again?" Clovey asks hopefully.

He doubts that. He never has any reason coming to this part of the city. But he can't tell the girl that so he just smiles and waves goodbye. She returns the wave, although with a sad look on her face.
Nathan leaves the area and just as it begins raining again he returns to the zeppelin factory, handing Dell the letter.

Dell blinks but does take the letter, remarking as he opens it. "Man's always replied no matter how many times I tell him there is no need. Recon he didn't even offer you anything to drink while waiting?"

"No, and would've been bored out of my mind if his kid hasn't dragged me into a game of hiding and seek." Nathan replies while going over to the water tank in the corner of the workshop, pouring himself a glass of water.

"How was the kid?" Dell asks.

Nathan shrugs. "A little shy but nothing my charm can't handle. I'm practically her best friend now."

Dell laughs hearing this, although not surprised; Nathan does have a talent with children. He throws the fancy thanks-for-informing-him letter from his client out in the trash and asks Nathan if he can help carrying the newly repaired gas balloon over to the rest.
The young man does and with that done, Dell honestly sees no need for Nathan to stay as the rest he can do on his own. "That's about all the help you can do for today. Remember your wet clothing and I will see you tomorrow."

"Alright, see ya Hardhat!" And Nathan runs home. All the way thinking of that beautiful lady he met today, but knows— with Nalini reminding him as well, that him having any chance with that woman is practically zero.

Chapter Text

'riiiiinnnng- click' Nathan turns off his alarm clock more asleep than awake, yet having no wish running late this early after the first he grumbling sits up, making the rabbit shaped Nalini fall off his chest, he doubts she even noticed it. He leaves the bed and has to carry the still asleep rabbit daemon along with him to the bathroom since apparently that part of him refuses to wake up. He does wake a bit more up after have gotten water on his face, yet not enough to wake Nalini. Too tired to be bothered by it, he places his daemon in the bathtub while he washes the last sleep dust out from his eyes.

"Ey Nate! Move your ass out, I need the bathroom more than you!" One of his older brother's shouts and appears at the door.

Nathan barely reacts, too tired to come with any good comebacks to his least favorite brother other than; "You get it when I'm done." He reaches out for the brush but forgets all about getting his messy hair under control when he feels pain- as if someone has pieced a giant needle right into his thigh.
Nalini probably feels it way worse for it is her who got stung by his jerk brother's wasp daemon. She jumps a half meter up in the air, turns into a feral cat and whacks the wasp right the same time Nathan shouts furriers at his brother. "What the hell man?!"

The wasp daemon lands on her human's shoulder, letting him do the talk. "I told you to move it small-fry, or Keelea's next hit will hurt a lot more."

Nathan knows that Bernard's threats are rarely just that, he might be the third youngest but Bernard surely is the most aggressive of this pack of brothers. Still did not mean he has any right threading him like this. "I was here first! If you want it, get up earlier!" Nalini jumps onto his shoulder, hissing at Keelea that looks ready to strike again.

"And you should be a little faster changeling!"

"Stop calling me that ass-hole!" Nathan snaps, he hates getting reminded that he is not like anyone else. Any daemon will take a permanent form when a child reaches puberty, showing they have become an adult and know who they are. People call it Settling: its part of growing up and will happen whatever the child wants it or not. But for Nathan, well... he's now nineteen and still waiting for his daemon to get a permanent form.

"Then get a move on!" Bernard snaps back, he didn't really mean calling Nathan that hated nickname but Bernard isn't known to be the most thoughtful. There is a reason why his daemon settled into a wasp: he strike first and thinks later. In truth Bernard is a bit jealous that Nathan's daemon is still able to change forms, he often misses having his Keelea turn into bigger animals than a wasp.

Before this fight can escalate, the oldest of the brothers still living in the house steps between the two. "Cut it out Bernard or I'll promise you I will step on Keelea!"
Bernard snorts and stomps back to his room, closing the door with a loud bang. The third oldest brother; John rolls his eyes at this before turning to Nathan. "Ignore him, he has no idea what he's talking about."
His daemon, a basilisk lizard walks over and nudges the cat at Nathan's feet but Nalini sends her a glare and walks away.

"Yes, he does..." Nathan muses, not hiding the hurt and anger over what Bernard has said and leaves John at the bathroom door, only finding a little glee hearing his older brother lectures the crap out from Bernard the moment he thinks Nathan is out from hearing range.
Nathan walks into the kitchen and pours himself some cereal, he's not in the mood for food he knows he will regret it later if he doesn't eat. His mother, a small, yet the one most strong willed person he knows turns away from her cooking and asks as she hands him a piece of toasted bread with butter on. "Isn't it a bit early getting into a fight?"

"Bernard's the one who started it..." Nathan grumbles, he lets out a sigh and asks something he has asked himself so many times. "Ma, why am I so different? Why haven't Nalini settled?"

His mother stroke her favorite son through his still bit messy hair, of course, she loves all her sons very much, but Nathan and his father have a special place in her heart. "I honestly don't know." She tells him, turning to Nalini there has taken shape as her favorite form; a brown wild rabbit. "Whatever she settles or not; I will always love you."

Nathan nods slowly, watching his daemon getting nuzzled by his mother's which has the form of a cat that looks a bit like a lion. His mother often tells him this and how much she still loves his father. His brother's- especially Bernard remind him that he is only their half brother, unlike his seven other brothers; Nathan has never known his father and even when his mother keeps saying she still loves the man; she doesn't really talk much about him. It makes him wonder why he left in the first place? But in all honesty, he doesn't really care as he has bigger things to deal with than thinks about a man he has never seen in his life.
Checking the clock he realizes he better leave before he runs late again. "Crap, I need to go, can't get late." He kisses his mother goodbye and leaves the house, but not before he spots Bernard sends him a glare. Usually Bernard's words do not bother him, usually, he just picks on him only being their half-brother, but getting reminded being practically a freak... that really bothers Nathan.
He arrives at the workshop, grunting a hello to Dell and heads straight to work. Not really in the mood for a chat.

___

"Alright, what is wrong?" Dell asks after about a half hour into work, the man leans up against one of the huge frames to the soon to be Zeppelin.

"Nothing."

"Boy, you haven't been your usual chatty self." Dell remarks with his daemon adding with eyes on the gloomy rat lying beside Nathan. "And Nalini looks like road kill."

Nalini shoots the beaver a glare for that remark, yet not in the mood coming up with a snarky comeback. Nathan lets out a sigh, not really seeing any reason not telling Dell about it, he is a very understanding man after all. Yet he does not expect anything coming out from this. From what Dell has told him; Naira settled to her form awfully early. "It's about Nalini, why she hasn't settled."

Dell blinks, looking a bit confused for a moment which does surprise Nathan. No way has the man been unaware of Nalini constantly changing forms. Not even Dell should be that narrowed sighted. Then Dell starts to chuckle. "That's what's bothering you? Shucks. There's nothing wrong with your daemon, that's just how she is."

"What do you mean?" Nathan asks rather confused, nodding to Nalini who still lies gloomy in her rat form. "Every Daemon settles after puberty." Every book about daemons and every person keep saying that.

"Almost every daemon." Dell corrects him. "It is rare but there does exist people whose daemon keeps the ability to change form. So you shouldn't worry what people say about your daemon, instead be happy she can change form."

"But a settled daemon tells you who you are." Nathan argues. People keep telling him that and from how easy he can see people's personality in their daemon's form he believes them. "What you suppose to do in life, right?" Nodding to Dell's daemon. "I mean isn't that why Naira settled very quickly with you?"

The other man chuckles. "True, but her form is sort of a family tradition. My father and grandfather both had beaver daemons as well. But isn't that a bit boring?" Nathan blinks at this, so Dell explains by gesturing to his own daemon. "People don't see me; they see my old man and grandfather. They expect a Conagher, a great inventor, nothing more." Dell explains in a somewhat sad tone and yet he is still smiling.

That does explain why Dell refuses to let anyone call him by last name. Still, doesn't explain why the man isn't bothered being stuck in his family's shadow. "Doesn't it bother you? If it had been me I wouldn't like it if people saw my father instead of me." not that anyone besides Ma knows who the heck his father is.

The man chuckles but it is not him explaining, it is his daemon. "It can be irritating from time to time, but the constant reminder shouldn't put a cog into our job. What Dell is trying to tell you that you should be happy Nalini still can change forms." Turning her black eyes to Nalini, now in form as a sparrow. "With Nalini not having a permanent form, people cannot judge you from her shape; they have to learn who you are by actually talking with you."
"Do you understand what we're trying to say?" Dell asks him calmly.

Well, what they are saying does make sense. He has noticed people is judging his personality a bit too hasty from what form Nalini chose when he meets them, yet every time people realizes her form is not her permanent shape, it always makes them uneasy and never sticks around long enough to know who he is as a person. "I know what you're saying, except the world doesn't really work that way." he muses to the only two (except his family) that has been around him long enough to learn who he is without looking at his daemon. "No one wants to know who I am because Nalini hasn't settled. It scares them."

"It's their loss, then." Dell simply says.

Nathan cannot help but laugh, grateful having such an understanding man as his boss. "Yeah, thanks."

"You welcome."
And the two returns back to work.

______

After Dell has closed up shop for today, Nathan decides not heading home right away. He would like having a few hours for himself before going back and getting into another fight with one of his brothers- mostly Bernard about his constantly form changing daemon. He runs through the streets of Boston, not worried he might get lost, he has run through the area so many times that he practically knows every street and can easily find a shortcut home if he stays out for too long. Nalini takes shape as a pony but only after five seconds has to take a smaller form, a big animal such as a horse drains her too quickly. So she chooses the form of a swallow and flies around her running human. Nathan watches her fly gracefully around, thinking of what Dell told him today, and is happy having that man as a friend; otherwise, he might still feel depressed about having a daemon that hasn't settled. Now with a calm mind, Nathan is not sure if he wants Nalini to settle, there are so many of her forms he likes and doubts he can settle with only one form. So yeah he can see what Dell mean he is quite lucky having a daemon that hasn't settled.
He heads out to the water and runs as close he can get to it without getting into the water. Nalini uses this opportunity to change into a salmon, following her human in the water; occasionally leaping above the surface. Nathan has a lot of fun watching her, but this blissful moment breaks when he suddenly hears people laughing and not in a good way. He stops and turns towards the shop used by many teens and young adults as their meeting ground, he spots a group of people, some of them he recognizes as those he and his own gang of brothers have kicked their asses when this gang has dared to move into their territory. And what do you know, these morons still haven't learned their lesson. The shop they hang around is part of the seven brother's territory.
Nathan is smart enough to know that if this gang spots him without any of his brothers, they will certainly beat him to a pulp— if they can catch him of course.
"We better leave." Nalini says, landing on his shoulder as a falcon. But instead of being the reasonable guy and listen to his daemon, Nathan walks closer as he is curious what amuses these morons that much.

"Back off, I'm warning you!"

Oh boy, it seems like someone has been caught by this pack. The gang merely laughs at their victim's misery and the leader of them: a roguish man with a fox as his daemon steps out from the circle, grinning. "ohh the little pup knows how to show some teeth. We can back off, but that depends on how much money you have underneath that fancy dress of yours, toots." He grabs the victim's arm, forcing the same woman Nathan met a few days ago closer to towards him as if he wants a kiss from her. The purple dressed young woman does look really scared, although her daemon is growling at the red fox rather fearless.

Nathan gasps, startled seeing a rich girl like her in this part of the town, then he feels rage; how dare this guy threaten such a fine thing as her like this?!
"Hey!!" He yells at the group, making everyone- daemons included turn to him. "What about you pick someone your own size moron!" He challenges them, although he is far from being their size when it comes to muscles and the gang knows it.

The leader laughs at him mockingly. "And who would that be? All I see is a pipsqueak and his freakish daemon!" The gang laughs at his taunt but stops when a stone hits him square in the face.

"I'm sorry what was that?" Nathan asks grinning to the currently down leader, he is not afraid of this guy; especially not now when he can save a girl. "Couldn't hear you from how much you suck!" And he laughs mockingly at the fuming gang leader.

"Get him!"

"Oh crap!" And Nathan takes the run for it, however, he cannot run too far away since he still needs to get the rich girl out from this. He lets the gang of morons chase him a bit around, pissing them more off by throwing stones at them and Nalini annoying their daemon in her swallow form. Then with them far enough away, Nathan speeds up and runs between the not at all coordinated gang and right back to the stunned girl. "Let's go!" He grabs her arm and pulls her away from the approaching gang. She follows, much to his relief. However, he does not get very far with her. The gang leader's daemon suddenly appears out from nowhere and grabs the rabbit shaped Nalini around the throat, forcing her to the ground. Nathan gasps, falling to the ground, struggling for air. The young woman and her daemon stop, but he does not want her to see what will happen next now that he is caught. "Go!" He gasps, waving her off.
She hesitates but after a nudge from her daemon, she leaves the area and him to whatever the gang leader has in store. Nathan struggles to get back up, but it is hard with the strong sensation of getting strangled. "Cheap shot man!" he shouts, paralyzing someone by daemon is really low in his eyes.

The gang leader kicks him in the stomach, sneering. "You should've stayed out from this, Freak!" Another kick. "But no, you just had to play the hero!" He goes for the second, but gets interrupted by the rulers of this area,

"Hey, Lokk!" The middle of Nathan brother's appears from the alleyway with his coonhound daemon close behind, she is growling in sign of her human's anger. "What did I tell you not picking any of us?!" Dean demands the gang leader that still has the youngest of his family trapped.

"fight one of us, and you fight us all."

Lokk's daemon almost lets go of Nalini when two more of the gang of brothers appear beside Dean. The second youngest with a spotted turtle in a side bag crosses his arms with Bernard cracking his fits in a sign he is more than ready to fight; his wasp daemon flicks her wings in the same eagerness of a fight.
Lokk have no trouble fighting one of them, especially not the youngest but against the whole gang is a death wish. If he was alone that is and he is not going to let this freak off the hook for letting that girl get away. The other gang leader smirks, just as his own pack appears. "I could say the same for you... get them!" Lokk's gang attacks the three older brothers, keeping them busy from saving the youngest of the gang. "Now where was I?"
But Nathan and his daemon did not have in mind being the weakling that needs saving from his older brothers.

Nalini changes into a big lizard and although still held around the throat, she can at least now get free by whacking the fox over the face with her tail. The fox let's go with a startled yelp, releasing Nathan from his paralyze and kicks Lokk right over the leg, he could've broken it if he has been at full strength but his still recovering from the daemon strangulation. The red haired man shouts in pain, however quickly recovers and punches Nathan right in the head, almost knocking him out. Stunned and very much in pain, Nathan does not have the time to recover and get away from the upcoming kick. Didn't have to for Bernard tackles Lokk down and punch the red haired hard in the stomach.
Nathan recovers and joins his brothers fighting the opposite gang, like Lokk's group, the brothers do not have much unity or tactic other than punch or kick everything not on their side. Only a few times aiding one another.
Nathan runs over to one of the boys of the other gang and tackles him, stunning the one long enough for Dean to punch him in the head, knocking that person to the ground. One by one, the gang of Lokk has gotten enough and flees the area.
The pack of brothers shouts after the fleeing people they better not see them in the area again before Ken turns to Nathan and whacks the youngest over the head.

"What the hell man?" Nathan demands, caress the now also sour back of his head.

Ken shoot him a hard look. "That's for making mom worry you little shit." Turning to Bernard there says. "She would've called the police if John haven't stopped her."

Nathan freezes for a moment, he didn't realize he has been gone for that long. Glancing to fourth oldest of his brothers and probably also the one who tracked him thanks to his daemon keen sense of smell. "How long have I been gone?"

"About five hours, you missed dinner two hours ago." Dean replies with crossed arms, he seems more relieved than angry they found their youngest brother picking fights with one of the local gangs.

"What the hell kept you this long?" Bernard asks, he sounds angry, then again he always does around Nathan.

"None of your business." Nathan retorts, shooting a glare to Ken forcefully checking his swelling eye. He slaps Ken's hand away "I'm fine, it's just a bruise— argh that hurts!" He cries when Ken pokes him hard on the stomach.
Nathan shoots the three others a death glare when they start laughing "Shut up..."

Ken crosses his arms, not amused by this one bit. "That's what you get fighting Lokk and his goons without backup. Nate, be a little more stupid the next time." His spotted turtle daemon shoots the wildcat shaped Nalini a disappointed look, making her wince in embarrassment.

"Yeah, I mean Lokk is not really that much of a threat." Bernard grins at Nathan's torment, he nudges Ken in the side. "He's slower than you in the morning."

Ken pushes him away for that remark, completely ignoring the others laugher. Every one of brothers knows that if they do not get to the bathroom before Ken, they might as well give up as Ken can spend a full hour in the bathroom and will not speed up for anyone. There is a reason why his daemon is a spotted turtle. That and he can take hits like no other, Nathan and the other of the brothers often consider him the defense of this pack as he can get beaten by four and still shake it off like it was nothing.

Nathan and his daemon send the third youngest a glare. "His gang had caught a girl, alright." Crossing his arms with a very amusing scowl on his face, which does not really help him getting more respect from the older brothers. "Who knows what that bastard would've done if I haven't stepped in."

Alright, that makes so much more reason why the fastest of them got caught by Lokk. Bernard learns up against the nearby wall, his daemon for once calm. "Was she pretty?" He asks with a goofy smile on his face.

Nathan grins. "Yeah, the prettiest thing I've ever laid my eyes on."

"So how did she thank you? A little one-on-one?" Bernard winks, grinning widely when Ken starts laughing loudly while Dean rolls his eyes while his coonhound daemon hides her face with a paw.

"N-No! I told her to run when Lokk caught me." Nathan explains angry and embarrassed by what Bernard has said. But he's mostly disappointed, not from he didn't get the so called one-on-one as Bernard so fancy calls it. He's disappointed he couldn't speak with her; maybe get a thanks for his noble sacrifice.

"How did Lokk catch you anyway?" Dean asks, both worried and confused how the youngest but fastest of this pack got caught by someone like Lokk, that guy is slow even for his standards.

"His freaking daemon caught Nalini, bit her around the throat hard enough I could barely breathe."

Bernard whistles. "Dang! That's low; even for him." And three others nod in agreement. After a moment of silence, Ken breaks it with. "We better get home before Ma throws a fit her little baby haven't gotten home."

"Shut up! I'm not a baby!" Nathan retorts angryly and attracts Ken who easily throws him off.
Bernard and Dean merely laugh at Nathan's whiny behavior and they slowly heads back home with the satisfaction they both found their brother so their mother doesn't have to tear up the city just to find her little baby, and also got the chance to remind Lokk and his gang that this part of the city are their turf.
They leave the alley way. No one of them sees a figure dressed in a blue suit with a ski mask covering most of the face appears out from thin air behind them. The person watches the gang of brothers for a moment before he disappears once again, leaving no trace of being there in the first place.

Chapter Text

"I told you I'm— auch!" Nathan jerks away from the sharp pain Dell unintentionally did from touching his sour sides from the beating he got yesterday.

The older man gives him a look. "Sit." He tells him sternly, not taking no for an answer. Nathan lets out a groan but does what the man tells him. He sits down in the chair while Dell fetches something to sooth the pain around his stomach. The mechanic returns with a bottle of special oil. "What in sam hill were you thinking boy?" He asks Nathan harshly as he pours some of the bottle content onto a cloth and places the surprisingly cold oil onto the sour skin.

Nathan flinches from the sudden cold feeling, but quickly welcomes its soothing effect against the painful swelling. "I got a reason this time." He defends himself towards Dell's look of disapproval; he hates when the guy does that, always makes him regret picking a fight even they deserved it. "Those guys were hurting someone else."

Dell keeps his blue eyes locked to Nate's for a moment, then break the stare with a sigh. "In that case, I shouldn't blame you for doing the right thing." He lets Nathan hold the cloth and leaves the young man for a moment, voice saying from the deport room. "But I would prefer if you were a bit more careful in the future."

"I'll try to remember that the next time some ass-hole decide to torment some defenseless girl." Nathan remarks dryly.

Dell returns, rolling his eyes, but it's Naira there speaks. "Keep up the cheek and we'll make you work regardless the pain."
Nathan shuts up quickly after this. The man chuckles and returns back to work with: "Wish it would be that easy with your old man."

"You know my father?" Nathan blinks, this is the first time Dell has ever mentioned his father.

"Yeah, I know him." Dell replies, not even stopping his work while he speaks. "We go way back."

"Why did you never tell me about him?"

"He asked me not to."

That catches Nathan off guard; his father didn't want him to know about him? "Why?"

This time Dell stops his work and turns so he can fully see the young man, and to Nathan's surprise, the man is grinning. "He didn't want you to live in his shadow. Does that sound familiar?"

Yeah, almost his exact words from yesterday, but it also strikes him if this is the true reason why Dell hired him. "So you only let me get this job because you know my father?" Nathan asks, angry and hurt about this conclusion.

The man shakes his head. "He only asked me to look out for you, not offering you a job. In fact," Dell starts to laugh, much to Nathan's confusions. "He strongly suggested I did not give you this job. He didn't want to owe me more than he already did." And that man owes him a lot.

"Oh." Nathan honestly has nothing else to say about this. What he has to asks about: "What can you tell me about him? How did you meet?"

Dell chuckles but before he can speak any more about Nathan's father, the doorbell to the shop chines; signing they got a customer. Dell gives the old teen an apology shrug and leaves to service his customers.

Nathan feels very disappointed in this interruption, oh well; he can always ask the man later.

"He's in here."
Turning to the shop door Nathan spots, much to his surprise the beautiful girl he helped last night.

She walks carefully over to him with her white daemon dog close beside her. "I never got to thank you for saving me." She says, giving him a weak smile. "So... thank you."

"It's nothing." Nathan brushes her off, straighten himself up to look a bit tougher than he feels at the moment. "I beat knuckleheads like them for—" He winches from a bolt of pain go through his side, completely ruining his heroic image. Dammit....

"You're hurt." She points out sadly, knowing it is sort of her fault. The mentally kicks herself. "Ugh. I shouldn't have gone there without support!"

Nathan blinks, not entirely sure what she means by this.

She quickly changes topic though. "How old are you? You look about my age but that can't be since I clearly saw your daemon change shape last night." Her daemon eyes the cat shaped Nalini with a bit of a deadpan look as she is trying to impress him.

Oh, here we go again... "I'm nineteen, and yes I know it's not normal my daemon hasn't settled..." The last he grumbles, this subject wasn't funny the thirty time someone pointed out the fact and it still isn't. Nalini proves his words truth when she changes into a raven and flies up to his shoulder, much to the young woman's shock.

".... How's that possible?" She asks with her bright green eyes wide of what she has just witnessed.

"The hell if I know."

"Oh, touchy subject?" She asks.

Nathan shrugs. "It just sucks people keep asking me about it." He briefly explains, lifting his hand up to his raven shaped daemon and she nibbles it affections in a hope it will lighten up his mood.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you." She muses, still caught off guard that this young man has a daemon that can still change form. Glancing to where Dell works. "So, do you like working for Mr. Conagher?"

He shrugs, glad for the topic change. "Eh job boring as hell but Dell's cool. And don't call him Mr. Conagher, that was his grandfather's name." He adds to her since he knows how much Dell dislikes being called by his last name.

"Oh okay, I have heard about his grandfather. He was the one who invented anbaricity, Mr. Co- I mean Dell is using his grandfather's invention for the Zeppelin right? Oh, and is it true his father has invented all the machines the Magisterium are using? Is he planning to make anything for the Magisterium as well?" She asks him, her green eyes wide in curiosity. Her daemon in the other hand display only a mild curiosity about the subject, he's more interested in the now swallow shaped Nalini.

Okay, Nathan can now see why Dell has such big problems stepping out from his families shadow, he knows the man is smart but this is a lot of pressure. Everyone that knows his name must expect him to invent something that can change the world while Dell pretty much only wants to build zeppelins. And to her questions. "No idea, all this technology crap goes right over my head." He only continues working here because Dell isn't bothered by Nalini constant form changing and treats him like a normal person. Something he highly appreciates, being seen as a freak is annoying as hell.

She blinks, now getting confused why this strange one works here in the first place. "But aren't you his assistance?"

"More like my helper." Dell replies, walking past the two; he startles Nathan, making the young one jump while the woman did notice the man and gives him a confused look from his words. Dell sits down beside them, giving the two his well-known smile. "And to answer your question miss, yes, my father did do that. I'm using some of his old blueprints for your boss's zeppelin."

She turns to him. "Have you put some of your own inventions into it as well?" She asks with eyes filled with curiosity, probably of what new technology her boss; the man with the horned owl Zeppelin might get, Nathan thinks.

"Nope." Dell replies still smiling which turns into a grin from her look of surprise. "Sorry to disappoint you miss, I just build what Mr. Sharif wants; nothing more, nothing less."

"Oh okay." She muses, having a bit strange tone in her voice. Turning back to Nate. "Thanks again for yesterday." And back to Dell. "Have a good day Mr- I mean Dell."

"You too miss." Dell tips his yellow hardhat and she leaves the two. With the young woman gone Dell claps Nathan on the shoulders, and returns straight to work.

Nathan watches the beautiful woman leaves and like Dell— although reluctant goes back to work as well.
Near closing, they get another visitor; this one catches Nathan's attention for this man does not look like he's from here.
This man's skin rough and tan- Nathan has a strong suspicious this fella spends most of his time outside and from the scars, he can see, he's pretty sure this man is a hunter. He wears a brown slouch hat that has a band of crocodile teeth around the crown, and he also has a teeth necklace slightly hidden behind that brown skin shirt of his. Nathan is curious if this man has bought those teeth or gotten them by killing an actual crocodile if it's the latter; then this guy is seriously bad-ass. The man eyes him behind his yellow-tinted aviator making it is hard to say what his eye color is, all Nathan can say that they have a very intense gleam in them like nothing goes past this one's sight. On the man's shoulder sits his daemon, it's a small bird of prey; a falcon maybe, Nathan is not sure. It is rare to see any people with that sort of bird daemon in these parts, but this reddish bird is just as interesting as the man himself. The red falcon gives them a look— Nalini shifts a bit uncomfortably on his shoulder by this daemon's intense gaze.
The man turns his eyes away from Nathan and walks over to where Dell is working.
The bird of prey leaves the man's shoulders, flying over to where Naira sits and from how the beaver greets the bird; it is clear she knows the other daemon and has a good relationship with her. Dell turns around and like his daemon; smile and greets the seemly hunter with a firm handshake. "Long time no see Down Under."

"It sure has." The other man replies, his accent sounds to be from the Kingdom of Auister. That does explain why Nathan did not recognize the daemon, people's daemon's do have a tendency getting a shape from their home country.
The man from Auister learns up against the worktable in a relaxed manner. "How has work been faring?"

"The usual, the rich think I'll give them more than they pay, expect I give them something mind-blowing; you know how it is." Dell replies with a casual shrug, "But enough about me, how are you doing? Been a while since we last spoke." He remarks in an eager tone Nathan hasn't ever heard him use with any of his employees.

The man grabs the tip of his hat with a sigh, hiding his eyes underneath it. "The prey seems to know exactly where we are, been difficult staying hidden and hunting even harder."

oh, so this man is a hunter, Nathan thinks, proud of himself that he made the right conclusion about this guy. Still, doesn't explain why Dell is somehow friends with this guy, Dell is not exactly an outdoor person.

"That sounds very bad." Dell muses and no longer smiling. He lets Naira jump onto his lab and asks while stroking her back. "Anything I can do to aid you with the hunting trip?"

The man glances shortly to Nathan, his eyes sharp and suspicious, he quickly turns back to the Zeppelin engineer. "Can the kid be trusted?" He whispers, nodding to Nathan.

Dell nods. "He can, Nathan." The man turns to the younger one. "This is one of my friends." Gesturing to the Aussie who gives him a single nod.

"Sup." Nathan simply says, honestly not sure how he should react to this man. He seems cool and all, which does confuse him why someone boring as Dell would hang around a bad-ass looking hunter like this guy. Okay, now he just has to know. "Are those real crocodile teeth?" He gestures at the necklace and crown of teeth.

The man touches the necklace with a smirk. "Yeah, killed the bastard with my own two hands. But not after he took a bite out of me." He pulls up his right side of the pants, revealing a huge ragged scar over the leg. Nathan swallows hard at the sight, he's shocked this man has fought a crocodile and lived to tell about it! The man hides the scar again with a satisfied look on his face, but it fades when he tells Dell seriously. "Scottie and Kreel are death."

"How?" Dell asks hard.

"Ambushed, the enemy knew exactly where they were, rest of the teams are gone as well." The man replies and crosses his arms. "Spook thinks they have found themselves a new alethiomist— after we got rid of the last one." The man smirks proudly.

"Y-You killed someone?" Nathan asks. He's getting a strong feeling that this man did not speak about animals when he mentioned prey moments ago.

The man glances at him. "Yeah, I kill people. It's part of the job, mate" He says awfully casual about killing people as if they're just another form of hunting game.

"Easy Sniper, I haven't told him everything about the Resistance." Dell tells the man with the title name Sniper.

Nathan blinks. Resistance? What resistance is Dell speaking about? And how does a zeppelin worker have any part in it? "What are you talking about?" He asks his boss.

Dell turns to Nathan, he let out a sigh and takes his yellow hardhat off before he speaks. "Sniper, I and your father work for a resistance group called Team Fortress. This group has for many years been fighting against the oppression of the Magisterium. I have been aiding the group with my inventions." Dell proudly smiles.

"After the Great War, the resistance formed and has over the decades forced the Magisterium into a sort of stalemate, one that ensures safety to people those wankers otherwise would've eliminated. That until recently." The Sniper growls, he moves over to stand up against one of the Zeppelin frames. "The Magisterium has changed tactic, they have begun kidnapping children from their families, and in big scales. We do not know where they are been taken or what they are doing with those kids. Some of the teams tried to track them down but this whole year we're forced on the run; somehow the enemy always knows the teams' locations." Sniper lowers his head, hiding the pain in his eyes with his hat. "We have lost a lot of good people in such a short time..."

All of this does, unfortunately, sound a bit farfetched for him, if the Magisterium is at war with someone, then why haven't they said anything? Tried to rally the people against this Team Fortress Resistance? Sure there is the occasional news of terrorist attack but the Magisterium keeps ensuring those terrorist are more of a nuisance than anything, so hearing the world power is also dealing with a resistance. Well, he has a hard time believing that Dell, this guy— and his father is part of some kind of group that fights the juggernaut that is the Magisterium. "Is all of this for real?" For he's more than ready for those two to start laughing and say they were only joking. But they don't.

Dell nods seriously. "Yeah, it is."

"Is this why my father left ma?" Nathan asks, not sure who he aims the question at.

Again the man nods and the Sniper says surprisingly somber. "Leaving you behind was the hardest thing he ever did."

So his father left out of love, just like ma always told him. It does make Nathan respect the man but also makes him wish he can remember anything about him. Meeting him will probably never happen, so he guesses he can only do the second best. Nathan turns his brown eyes to the Sniper. "Can you bring him a message if you see him?"

"I can." Sniper replies, looking a bit surprised by this.

"Can you tell him that I... don't hate him for leaving us." Nathan scratches his neck sheepishly from the two men's question stare. "My older brothers hate their dads for leaving, even hate mine for leaving ma, so... yeah. Tell him I don't hate him."

Sniper gives him a friendly smile. "I'll be sure to hand him that message— crikey did that daemon just change shape?" He asks both surprised and amused when Nalini turns into a peregrine falcon in try to copy the Sniper's daemon's form. Tilting his head at the bird on Nathan's shoulder before he lets out a barking laughter. "Nice shape there Sheila!"

Nathan blinks, this is the first time anyone but Dell has not shown discomfort or fear when realizing that Nalini is still able to change form. "You- You're not scared?"

Sniper grins. "Me? Scared of a form changing daemon? Nah, I actually find it rather interesting. It's like finding a blue tiger among all the reds."

"Thanks.. I guess." Nathan muses, not sure if that had been a compliment or not.

The clock chimes makes all three look at the work clock inside the office.
Dell stretches his arms. "Well, I got enough work for today. You better head home, boyo." He tells Nathan, adding with a wink. "Can't have your mother calls up half the city in search for you again now can we?"

Muttering a incoherent reply, a red-faced of embarrassment Nathan shuffle out from the workshop, leaving the two men alone. With him out, Sniper glances to Dell. "He seems like a good kid."

Dell smiles with a nod. "That he is."

Nathan has many thoughts on what the man calling himself Sniper and Dell had told him not long ago, it's clear this is not something he should speak about at home. He doubts his brothers would believe him that his father and boss are working for a super secret organization that fights against the Magisterium. His ma will believe him but he does not wish to worry her about what her lover is doing. She might already be aware of this, he doesn't really know. Speaking of father, this is the first time he has heard anything about his old man from others than his mother.
Nalini changes to a small dog form, walking beside him. "You should ask Dell more about him tomorrow." She suggests with her tail wagging in excitement knowing more about their father and his daemon.
He nods in agreement, he will definitely ask Dell about his father; if he's lucky the man might share a few stories or even tell him how he met his father.
Nathan is so deep in thoughts that he does not notice three suspicious looking people walks right behind him, if he had then he might've run and gotten away. But because of his deep pondering, he did not have a chance and is knocked out before he can react.

The three men, hired to take people and bring them to certain places for the Magisterium takes the unconscious young man and drags him away from the home he knows, unaware that people that has seen his ever changing daemon has snitched him to the Gobblers in hope the people from the Magisterium could fix this young freak show and maybe help him to become like one of them. All of them blissfully unaware that what the Magisterium did to some people they take suffers a fate worse than death. But the people didn't know and neither would care when a certain mother and seven brothers would search the town far and wide in search for their son and younger brother.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile and unaware of Nathan's kidnapping, Dell has invited Sniper back to his humble home to share some of his Texan home cooked food.
"Thanks mate." Lawrence smiles to the shorter man, he has over the years come to trust Dell enough to share him his real name. The Aussie take a bite of the Texan barbeque, happy to get something else than can food he mostly lives on when traveling.

Dell smiles and takes a seat on the other side of the table, they eat in silence for a moment, only broken by Lawrence saying. "The team down in Mexico asked if you could make more of the portable sentries."

"Can't do, it will just give me unwanted attention." Dell replies serious, but adds with a smile. "But I can give their Engineer the blueprints in returns for some of her inventions blueprint." He has never met any other of his fellow Engineer's, a few of the teams really has but still every team across the world are somehow united. Dell likes to think they work together towards the same goal: defeat the Magisterium. Many of the members in the Resistance has a reason to fight, from what Dell has heard of the Engineer stationed in Mexico, it is because she lost her husband to the Magisterium soldiers when he demonstrated against them. Even though he has never met her, he still admits that female Engineer has guts and someone the other Engineers around the world can look up to.
Not many in the Church consider women worth anything other than make babies and support their husband, but Dell and any other males in the Resistance knows that is a lie; women can be just as strong and deadly like any man. The female Engineer is a prime example on that.
Dell doesn't really have a reason to be part of this secret war, his family has in fact been very loyal to the Magisterium for generations and in return the world power has granted them access to rare resources. Dell only turned his back on the Magisterium after he'd met Lawrence and Nathan's father and saw the horrors of what the world's so called protectors does to people that do not live the way they want. Even though he is granted the title Engineer and is partially part of the Team Fortress resistance, Dell does not fully consider himself a part of the resistance, he merely builds and sell weapons and blueprints to his fellow Engineers who are— unlike him out there fighting.

"You are aware all her blueprints are stuck in her head?" Lawrence remarks dryly, but realizes that Dell actually doesn't know from the deadpan look the Texan gives him.
The Sniper smirks. "Oh right, I forgot; not official in the battle." Pointing his knife at the man. "I'm sure she will do an exception and draw some blueprints- or just hand you one of her machines in return for –"
A buzzing alarm interrupts him, making his daemon fly up in the air from his bit startled reaction. "What the bloody hell is that for?" he asks, turning to the other man. He fears the worst with the face the Texan has.

"Someone is in the factory." Dell replies and abandon his food, going over to claim his jacket. "It's where I have all the weapons to the resistance."

"Ah bugger..." The Sniper muses and leaves the food as well; his daemon flies over to her human and returns onto his shoulder. Lawrence reaches out for his submachine gun and kukri. "I'm coming with you."

"Predicate it, cus Dell doesn't know how to aim." Naira remarks up to him and runs out from the open door as Dell takes a simple gun from a shelf.
Hearing that makes Lawrence happy the passive Engineer got his factory robbed the same day he decided to come on visit.

___

The two men hurry to the factory that show clear signs that someone is in there, the lights are on and a car and a truck the military uses is stationed outside. Lawrence frowns seeing that. "What kind of robbers brings an armored truck?"

"One that knows what else I have stashed." Dell points out tense and is a bit scared on who is inside. He sneaks up to the door, Lawrence is right behind him, or Dell thinks he is. The Sniper is incredibly stealthy and makes this Texan footsteps sounds very loud in comparison. But the short man hopes that the intruders won't hear his footsteps or heavy breathing. They sneak up to the broken door; here they hear voices from inside the small zeppelin factory. One of them is wheezing in pain.

"Shit I didn't expect he had a sentry gun as security." One of the intruders speaks tensely near the door.

Lawrence blinks at this but he cannot hold back a smirk that even a none fighter such as Dell can be deadly when he wants to.

"...Help..." The wounded wheeze, but the only help he gets is a bullet.

Dell freezes on the spot, whoever these intruders are; they mean business.

"He was death anyway." The shooter says like shooting someone is like throwing out worthless trash. "Keep an eye out, I don't want waste any more bullets."

"...Never thought he had it in him."

"I have shot a lot of people."

"not you fool, I mean this guy; Conagher. I always thought he was a wuss, always staying out from politics and never wanted any inclusion with the Church. Some excuse that he build zeppelin for personal transport, not war machines."

"I call that bullshit. He clearly knows how to make weapons from that sentry gun that just shot Mike. Of someone who can make ships out of scrap metal, he isn't very smart. Only a fool would turn Grey down."

Lawrence did not like the sound of that, he is aware that Dell's family has through three generations been working for the Magisterium and he got a target on his back by leaving, they should have known the Magisterium takes a Conagher leaving this personal... after all, if they cannot control something, they will destroy it.

"Hey! Less talking and more searching!"

"Alright, alright... what are we looking for anyway?"

"Blueprints, prototypes, anything we can use against the terrorists."

The voices are growing distance, meaning they are moving away from the door. By a sign from the way more battle experience Sniper, the two men sneak inside the factory, hiding behind the half finished Zeppelin. Here Lawrence signs Dell to keep his head down and gun ready, his daemon fly high up and watches the oblivious men with her sharp eyes. From their outfit it is clear these men are the Magisterium soldiers.

"Can't we just take him instead?" One of the men asks annoyed.

"No, the boss was very specific of what should happen to Mr. Conagher. " The bit more fancy dressed replies- sign he is the commander of this small platoon. He is having a evil smirk over his face and his dog daemon looking ready to tear something apart.

"Hey guys, I think I found something!" Someone from the office calls, making the three others turn towards the room.

"They found the entrance." Naira informs Lawrence horrified from her spot.

The sniper nods and tells Dell: "Aim at the chest." Before he moves out from hiding and shoots the one at the door right in the head, his daemon disappears like a light has been blown out before he hits the ground. The shot and seeing their death comrade makes three of the men leave the office room.

Here Dell takes a shot and hit one of the Magisterium goons, however due to his lack of combat skills and never really has used a gun before, the shot does not kill the man, only causing tremendous pain as the bullet embeds itself into his left lung. The second and third shot kills the man though and the bulldog daemon disappears by her human's death. His comrades quickly retaliate and the two freedom fighters seek cover behind one of the frame works of the zeppelin with bullets flying past their heads.

Lawrence's daemon Laraine lands on one of the roof frames, away from harm yet still very able watching the whole scene and aids her human and their friend. Her sharp eyes quickly catch what the Magisterium soldiers are trying. "To the right." She warms them and Lawrence moves to shoot, the man gets out of the way the last second and his daemon glares up to the small falcon watching them from the metal frame. She is not really worried though, there is an untold rule that humans should never touch or harm another person's daemon. Only other daemons may make physical contact. However, the Magisterium has apparently forgotten this world wide rule. A shot and Laraine falls to the ground, paralyzed from the electric shock that have hit her. Lawrence let out a cry of pain, stunned by the hit on his daemon.

Dell, in anger of these people committing a taboo about hurting someone's daemon moves out to shoot but sadly he is not fast enough. The only lucky thing in that that it's not a bullet that hits him, no it is a bolt of lightning, powerful enough to send him flying.

"Engineer!" Lawrence cries but before he can move over and help the man, another shot of lightning sends him sprawling through the room.

The man that had shot them laughs, looking at the shotgun he found from the hidden room the two resistance members have tried so hard keeping them away from. "I'm in love right now." The man from the Magisterium says and points the gun at its creator. "I'll think I keep it."

Dell and his daemon glare at the man, somewhat relieved that this fool haven't yet realized that the gun hasn't been sat on lethal mode, if it had then his inside would've been fried. He wants to but can do nothing but watch the other soldier loot his hidden room for any of his inventions, all of his years of inspirations made to aid the resistance is now turned against him.

"Thanks for the business" the one holding the lightning gun against him smirks and shoots him again, but all that does is knocking the air out from Dell and giving him a numb feeling as if he has been hugging an electric fence for too long. The goon blinks to then glare angrily at the gun. "Useless piece of crap, should've known you made your guns none lethal!"

Naira jumps on Dell's chest, hoping to protect him from another possible blast. Even if the shots are none lethal, getting hit by several can cause severe damaged against the muscles and in a worst case scenario cause a heart attack.
Of course the man wouldn't know that, nor check the gun and see the switch that will turn the shots deadly. Instead the man improvise and after have left he send three shots to the ceiling, making the whole place fall down on the two men.
The men from the Magisterium leaves, thinking that these two from the resistance won't survive something like that.
That has been their mistake.

about ten minutes after the soldier have left, Lawrence emerges out from the debrief of the fallen roof and destroyed zeppelin, his aviators is completely broken and half his body is filled with blood from the many cuts he got from digging himself out, but other than that; he is alright. "Now this is downright embarrassing." He grumbles while brushing dust off his hat that has fortunately not gotten damaged by the collapsed ceiling. To think he almost got killed by getting a building down on him. He would've prefered going down in a fight or by an animal, not some snotty soldiers that didn't even know how to shoot a bloody gun! He hear Laraine voice under a piece of metal and removes it, his ruffled up daemon flies out from the hole she was trapped under and looks really offended she got shot by that dimwitted soldier. He strokes her head before going out to search for his comrade.
"Dell?" He calls, scanning the destroyed factory for any sign of the Engineer.

"...Over here..." Dell replies weakly.

Laraine spots source of his voice and flies over to the spot.
Lawrence follows and fears the worst as Dell has gotten almost half the zeppelin down over him. He removes as much as he can, slowly but surely digs the other man out, then he's forced to stop. Removing the last part will make one of the frames fall down over them both.
He carefully moves over to the trapped man, a bit taken aback that Dell is conscious but also happy he is since he do not want make the choice himself of how to get the man out from this situation. Dell's right hand is trapped, one of the frames has fallen over it and there is no way Lawrence can lift or remove the huge metal frame without making the whole thing drop.
Lawrence turns frowning to Dell, but from how deadly serious the shorter man eyes are; it is clear Dell has come to the same conclusion.

"How sharp... is your knife..?" Dell asks him through his pain from both getting electrocuted and has his hand crushed by a metal frame.

Not even going to bother correcting the man, Lawrence sheath his kukri. "Sharp enough for this."

"Dell no..." Naira whispers and climbs on her human's chest. "There must be some other way." If he do this then he won't be able to do what he loves doing so much. Dell shoo her gently away. "...It has to be done..." He tells his daemon and eyes the Sniper. "...Do me the favor... and clean it..." He says and the man from Auister cleans it by pouring the remaining oil Dell had used on Nathan earlier this day, also fetching some clothing he can use to stop the soon to come bleeding.

With the now disinfected blade, Lawrence crawls back into the cave of metal. "You ready?"

Naira learns up against his chest in sign of support and Dell wraps his left arm tightly around her. He nods to Lawrence, readying himself for what is about to happen.

Lawrence nods as well and with a swift move he chops the blade into the arm, Dell tries but the pain makes him let out a scream. The Australian did not stop; he continues cutting the flesh and bone. Blood flushing out, painting the floor and most of Dell's clothing into a nasty pool of red.
With the last flesh cut, Lawrence just as swiftly wraps the clothing tightly around the stump that once has been the lower part of an arm. With that done, the Sniper grabs the barely conscious man and half drag- half carries him towards the nearest hospital.

___

hours later, Dell wakes up in the hospital, he takes a moment to realize where he is and when does he turns to his right arm, or what's left of it.
"Dangit!" He growls, angry and hurt that he has both lost his inventions AND his hand to the Magisterium. What did he do to deserve this?! Sure he is working against the Magisterium, but never in a way to get the attention. Did they really take his decline working for them this bad? If that's the case then those people has issues! A knock on the door gets him back to the present and Lawrence walks inside.

"How are you feeling?" He asks. His daemon lands beside the curled up Naira, giving the beaver a sorry look of what has happen to her human.

Dell tries to sit straight up but a jolt of pain stops him, grimacing he answers. "Feels like I got run over by a combine." He holds his remaining hand on the stump that once has been his right hand.

"At least you're still alive." Lawrence says, he glances to the stump for a moment before turning back to the man's face. "Live and fight for another day as they say, mate."

Dell simply nods although he isn't happy that he has lost one of his hands, working on his inventions will be hard with one hand. Wait a minute... hand. "Aw hell... How could I have forgotten about that!" Turning to the now confuse looking Sniper, grinning. "Before his death my grandfather invented artificial limbs. If those sons of bitches haven't taken them as well..." His excitement drops a bit by that thought for he doubts he can recreate his grandfather's work.

Smirking Lawrence crosses his arms. "I'll go check for any artificial limbs in your workshop after this visit. Before I do;" The smirk disappears. "We need to figure out the next course of action for you."

"Yeah, I doubt this attack will be the last." Dell muses. No matter; this just means that he now has a good reason getting into the fight. He eyes the Sniper with a cocky smile. "Consider this my official inscription to the resistance."

"You're going to fight?" The sniper blinks.

"Yup, the Magisterium should've known not to piss off a Texan; we do not fight unless provoked and when we fight; you'll get hit twice as hard."

He believes that, Dell might not look like much but Lawrence knows that this man can be very deadly if provoked and the Magisterium definitely succeed doing that. "They're gonna need a lot of coffins when you're done with them."

"I pay them with bullets." The Engineer grins and moments later they both burst out laughing.
___

 

Nathan hates to admit it but he is scared, the men who took him away from his home has brought him to an old decayed school and thrown him into a classroom where four kids in the age of ten are trapped, all having the same scared look in their eyes of being torn away from their families. The men leave Nathan and the children alone in the room. With his captures out, Nathan checks the windows for a possible escape but quickly realize why the men haven't bothered boarding the windows; the room they are trapped inside is on the third floor where jumping will be suicide and if he survives, he wouldn't be running anywhere since such a fall will definitely break bones. He leaves the windows with a hand on the swallow shaped Nalini for some much needed self-comfort, never thought he would realize what Sniper said about kids getting kidnapped first hand.
Speaking on kids, Nathan turns his attention on the four kids; all of them hugging their daemons and look ready to burst into tears. Poor kids, Nathan thinks. He is a bit luckier being older and having enough experience dealing with sticky situations to keep himself from panicking. These kids doesn't have that small luxury, all they know and think about is that some men has taken them away from their loved ones. "How long have you been here?" He asks the scared kids.

At first none of them answers him, too scared and probably also thinking him being one of the gobblers. Then one of them, her daemon taking form as a terrier says. "I've been here three days... Lucy and Ben came yesterday." Pointing at the girl and boy standing very close to one another. Nathan presumes those two being siblings. The girl speaking then points at a girl hiding in a corner, struggling holding back her tears. "She came this morning, has just stopped crying... Are you one of the g-gobblers?" She asks him, trying but failing sounding brave.

"No." Nathan shakes his head. "Got taken just like you. Names Nate." He adds, thinking that them knowing his name will ease up their fear just a bit.

"I'm Heather." The girl with the terrier daemon introduces herself and after some hesitating she walks over to him, asking: "Do you know where they will take us?" Hoping an adult might give them some answers.

But unfortunately Nathan has no idea, nor that will these people do to them. All he knows for certain that he won't let them succeed and since he doubt no one will come to his aid; he has to use his own wits in try getting out along with these kids. "No, but I'm not going to stick around to find out."

"You going to escape?"

"Yeah, will you help?"

The girl nods and turns to the three others. The two siblings eye one another, then to Nathan with a united nod. The girl in the corner leaves her spot with a weak "I-I try..." still in shock from being taken away. They all are but having someone older and determent to get out comforts them.

Nathan is glad his presence can ease up a little of their fear. Barely ten minutes after his arrival his and the kids capture return; telling it is time to move.
Nathan is the only one who got cuffed and his daemon held down by the gobblers jackal and vulture daemon, he isn't really surprised though. The kids are too weak to put up any fight, all they can do is try and resist getting shoved outside the building and toward the truck waiting outside. The gobbler pushes them into the truck and leaves them into complete darkness. The kids start crying, overwhelmed by fear of this suffocating darkness now surrounding them. "Daemons, turn into night animals." Nathan voice breaks through the darkness and the kids calm slightly down now they can see just a little thanks to their daemons forms. His own daemon has taken form as a barn owl, holding her wings over the three bats and one firefly daemons. The kids sit closely around Nathan who is admittedly just as scared as them but does his best staying calm for their sake and also needs a clear head if he should have any chance getting out.

Chapter Text

Back at Boston, Nathan's mother has just told Dell that Nathan hasn't come home and feared the worst. Dell does as well; many from the Magisterium will be very interested in Nalini's ability in continuing changing form even after Nathan has passed pubescence and become an adult. He wants to save the kid but sadly; no one knows where Gobblers takes those kidnapped children. The many teams around the world would've made Gobblers stop, but they can't, all thanks to this mass genocide that has eliminated many of the teams. Still, it won't stop this small team of friends. "Don't worry Saffira, we will find those sons of bitches and get your son home."

Nathan's mother; Saffira smiles, happy someone wants to help her. "Thank you, the police wasn't much help... bastards." Her daemon Adrastos lets out a sneer, angry that the men supposed to help did it in a very halfhearted manner, as if they didn't dare enrage the Magisterium or just wanted Saffira to leave so they can get back to work and helping the Gobblers taking more innocent people. Turning back to the wounded man. "But wouldn't it take a while before you can leave the hospital?" She asks, not wanting Dell to get more hurt than he already is. "Isn't it best you ask someone else to do this?"
Saffira is aware of the secret resistance the Magisterium has been fighting for several decades from her lover, he never told her the name of this resistance though, for fear it might endanger her and her family further; but he did tell her that Dell is part of it.

"I will be leaving the hospital very soon." Dell says, glances to the missing arm; it still bothers him seeing a part of his body missing and looks forward getting the gunslinger attached. Much to his luck, the Magisterium goons hadn't found his grandfather's inventions. "It's only matter of time before they realize I'm still alive." His bright blue eyes meet her bit duller blue. "And I'm not planning going down easily."

She can understand that, unlike his father who has never questioned the world power and just did what he was told. Dell might look like a laidback and docile Texan but like her lover; that is all a ruse. Dell is a fighter and will not hesitate to use his smart brain to build machines that can wreck a whole army if that army has been stupid enough to provoke him. "I know, and when you find Nathan." Saffira places her hand on his remaining, giving it a small squeeze. "Tell him to kick those men asses."

Nathan's mother is probably the only woman who does not try and stop her boys fighting against the police and local gangs. Dell did once ask her about it and she came with the explanation that she will not stop her boys fighting for what they believe in, so long they do it with good intentions. That way of thoughts had mixed effects on the boys.
He smirks. "I will ma'am." Nathan is one a fine proof of that belief of hers. He will fight if he sees injustice even if he will get in trouble for it. "And I will bring him back home safely." He promises.

"Bring them both back home."

She doesn't need to say who the second person is, Dell already knows. Sadly he cannot make the promise that he can reunite her with her lover. That choice has to be Antoine's and his alone.

Early the next morning and after having taken a stash of painkillers and antibiotics, Dell leaves the hospital without the doctors knowing in case they decide to inform the ever watching Magisterium. He heads back to the now destroyed factory, here he finds the Sniper, looting the place for anything useful and placing it in the middle sized airship hidden behind the building.
Dell cannot help but smile when he sees that airship, unlike the ones he makes to those rich people this airship has a lot more of his personal touch. This airship is made so it both light enough to fly in the air and strong enough to sail on the water. The mast is made so the owner of the ship can change it to either sea or water. At the middle of the ship are the helium tanks, having enough gas to let the ship fly for about a week, then it has to replenish. The deck is mostly free and open, allowing people to walk freely around and need little worry falling over board with the high glass railing. Below deck Dell builds a small kitchen, which is the hallway to the sleeping quarters and machine room, above the machine room is the storing room; big enough to transport supplies to the many teams stationed around the world. This ship was made as a sign of friendship to Lawrence and Antoine, both have been using the ship to its fullest potential over the years.

"Don't worry." Lawrence comes up beside the creator of this airship, carrying a box filled with food supplies. "I have taken good care of her."

"You better." Dell says smirking. "Cus I would hate bashing your head— oh did you find my grandfather's secret stash?"

The sniper nods, gesturing with his head towards the airship. "It's in the living quarters. You can look at it if everything is there before we take off. Oh, and your official class uniform is on the table."

With a nod, Dell walks up to the ship and heads downstairs to see if everything he's going to need will be there. The living quarters has a very roomy feeling with its tree coated walls, the kitchen is located just a bit further down, not far away from a long seat with soft light brown pillows; giving it a feeling being a sofa people can find back at their homes. Before the seat is a table made out of tree as well, and on it is the box with his grandfather's last inventions. Dell sits down on the sofa and empties the box. He smiles seeing the gunslinger, a robotic hand that can move just as well as a real hand but ten times more powerful. Dell takes the wondrous machine, remembering how excited he felt when his grandfather showed him the gunslinger for the first time and how he actually considered chopping his own hand off just to try it out. But both his parents talked him out of it, so he merely had to admire it from its shelf.
"At least one good thing came out from all of this." Naira remarks besides him. He smiles, still with his eyes plastered on the metallic hand. "Remind me to thank those people."
"With a handshake or a bullet?" She asks dryly, jumping onto the table and eyes the gunslinger. "Heck, with the gunslinger you can give their heart a handshake."
Dell cannot help but laugh at his daemon's remarks, putting down the metallic hand. "Let's us not go too much overboard with ideas." Or he might follow her suggestion, which does often end up with him hurting someone terribly bad, he doesn't really know why, but his daemon really has a twisted sense of humor which he somewhat lacks.
Naira grins. "Alright, but you shouldn't try and attach it without help." She remarks calmly, yet her tone has the hint she's worried what might happen if he tries do it on his own.
Dell hates to admit it but she got a point, it would be best he has another engineer or and medic around when he attaches this machine to his arm.
The gunslinger is made to read the nerves system and that means he has to cut open the wound in order to attach it, and he doubts he can do it with one arm and in his currently weaken state. "Alrightly then, I will wait."
"Good." And his daemon turns to two shirts, one red and one blue. They do not look very special at first glance, but Dell knows how important these shirts are for the resistance. His gaze lands on the icon on the shoulders on one of the shirts. It's a round and yellow, having an icon of a wrench. Dell picks up the blue shirt; still remembering the day Antoine gave him a red shirt when he invited him to join Team Fortress Resistance, but back then he had declined it; saying that he will help the resistance but did not consider himself a true member.
Naira looks up to him, but she does not need to speak, a simple nod is enough. He returns the nod and put on the blue shirt, looking a bit proudly at the logo for a moment and the Engineer heads back to the deck.

"You got everything?" The Sniper asks, like the Texan, also has a shirt on. His red shirt has a sniper scope logo on the shoulders.

"Yes." Dell answers, nodding towards the stairs. "Predicate it."

Lawrence smirks. "No worries." And after he has put the last crate's contents to their proper places, he starts removing the ropes and with the ship leaving the ground he explains to the Engineer that they will be heading to the team in Mexico. "They were the last who saw Spook, not to mention they still want those portable sentries from you."

"Of course." Dell nods, he can see reason in that but he still would've preferred if they tried to find Nathan and his kidnappers.
Sadly Dell knows that sometimes people have to sacrifice one person so several can survive, especially in a war like this...
After having reached the needed altitude and dressed to the colder weather but also protect them against the sun's rays; the two men can do little but wait to get to their location. Lawrence put the ship on auto pilot and kills the hours cleaning his weapons to once and a while look up to watch his daemon fly around beside the ship.
Dell spends the slow hours drawing an easy to understand blueprint to the Engineer in Mexico, or at least he is trying but soon has to realize that drawing anything with his left hand is practically impossible. He groans; reminded that how worthless he has become without his dominating hand, and how happy he is that his grandfather invented the gunslinger. Without it, he might as well been dead since an engineer is not much worth without his ability to build.

A day plus a couple of hours of travel, Lawrence put the airship down in the middle of the desert, but from what Dell can observe the Sniper has been here before since he packs the ship and makes them both push it into a cave located nearby. With the airship hidden, Lawrence brings the engineer to the nearest city which is located about an hour walk from the cave where the Sniper loans a vehicle in form of an old truck, drives back to the cave, fill the truck with supplies and then finally taken them to where the resistance is at the moment. Lawrence stops the truck near what looks for Dell a mining town- or rather what is left of it. Many of the buildings have been burned down or blown to bits, sign there has been a battle here. "Wait here." Lawrence tells the shorter man and jumps out from the truck with his sniper rifle drawn and daemon on sharp lookout on his shoulders.

Sniper scans the area briefly and when at least a little certain the place is safe; he runs over to the destroyed buildings that were the Mexico's teams headquarters a week ago. Inside and to his horror he finds several bodies of fallen comrades, from the looks of it; they have only been dead for a day or two. He knells down before one which has been the teams pyro and a good friend of his. "I'm sorry mate." He muses to the body, taking off his hat in sign of respect; noting himself that if this place is safe then he should give these people a proper burial. He leaves the body to check on the rest— from what he can tell from the building's destructions and how close the bodies are to one another the Mexico team got hit very fast and very hard, barely giving the survivors a chance to recover. That is bad news since this team has been known to be very good hiding their tracks as they have specialized in the hit and run tactic. The only reason he knows about this place is because the team told him and if he know this team right; then they won't be here anymore. He leaves the base, but jumps back inside when Laraine makes one of her warning sounds. From his hiding he scans frantically the area for what she spotted, there, on the roof. That's a sniper's scope reflecting the sunlight. Lawrence draw out his own rifle and aim to shoot, then he stops when he realizes who it is. He smirks and steps out when the other sniper realizes they are on the same side, the same aged man on the roof straighten up, pulls down his hood and waves which Lawrence gladly returns.

Moments later the other sniper dressed in blue joins Lawrence on the ground and shakes the other sniper's one's hand with a chuckle and his bobcat daemon playfully whacks out after Laraine. "I'm sorry about that, glad you spotted me; might have shot you otherwise."

"That wouldn't have looked good on your record mate." Lawrence smiles, he does not know this blond sniper's name but he does respect this man and consider him a friend. Before joining, this Canadian spends his time hunting out in the wild and like Lawrence; knows the beauty of it. When meeting they do share some of their hunting stories, but now is not the time for playful bragging: now it's time to figure out what happened to the team. Lawrence nods towards the base where half the Mexico team is. "What happed?"

The blue Sniper frowns deeply and the hash sun illuminates four long scratch marks over his face he got from a fight with a cougar in his youth. "We're still trying to figure it out. The enemy arrived so darn suddenly it was like—"

"Like they knew exactly where you were." Lawrence finishes for him, he has heard that one before and he hates admitting it that they are losing too many people because of this. "You are not the only ones who got attacked like this. The team from Florida and Colorado got ambushed as well."

"How many survived?" Sniper asks.

"None, Florida's Medic survived just long enough to tell us about a new alethiomist from the prisoner they interrogated before they got attacked." Lawrence explains, he and Antoine found the man more dead than alive and yet he used the last of his strength to give them this crucial information. "My partner: a Spy is currently following on the lead. Last I heard from him that he was here." Eyeing the Canadian. "Did he pass through lately? He's dressed in blue and has a ladder snake for a daemon."

The older man nods. "Oh yeah, a spy with such a daemon visited us only a week ago; warned us of an attack so we fortified the base and planned several escape routes." Eyeing the remnant of their former base. "Probably what saved the rest of us."

It's nice seeing some of the teams are still alive, speaking of team. "Where is the rest of your team?" Lawrence asks and guides the other sniper to where he left the truck and Dell. "I have supplies, weapons, and someone your engineer might want to meet."

"I'll take you there." Sniper says, he jumps into the truck and makes a polite greeting to Dell, noticing right away that this engineer is wounded and missing half his of his lower arm. "Your team got attacked too eh?"

"No, just me." Dell explains him, holding his left hand over the stump. "The Magisterium does not take no for an answer."

The other Sniper narrows his eyes slightly by this, he does not fancy the thought brining a Magisterium main target to their current base. Besides, for all, he knows this one could work for the enemy.

"You can trust him." Lawrence tells him, eyeing the man deadly serious. "I trust this Engineer with my life."

The blue dressed Sniper blinks, coming from his Aussie co-worker who is bit of a lone wolf; that's saying something. "Alright, and sorry about this, but I have to keep an eye on you." He warns Dell with his bobcat daemon staring suspiciously at Naira.

Dell blinks how this sniper said it, not many people warn him about such things. Glancing to Lawrence he notices the Aussie is struggling not to laugh. "Um thanks?" he says, but does not blame this blond sniper for being suspicious of him, no need seeing what's inside the buildings to know this Sniper has lost co-workers and friends.

The other sniper guides them to this team's new base which is an old gravel mine, inside the Canadian asks Dell. "You got the uniform?"
A bit confused the engineer nods and remove his jacket so the sniper can see the blue shirt with the wrench logo on.
That seems to satisfy the man. "Good, otherwise you will be shot." Just as a familiar bibbing sound echo's through the underground hallway. Dell and Lawrence turn, spotting a sentry placed at the second hall at the crossway. The machine's scanners did spot them but never turn hostile against any of them. The engineer smiles seeing one of his inventions have been put to good use.
The Canadian sniper blinks a bit baffled seeing this engineer look at the sentry gun in calm, almost proudly way; like he has seen it before. But only the Team Fortress Resistance has this kind of machines, so how in the world would this new engineer know to it? "How do you know this machine? I thought you said you are new."

Dell turns to the sniper, still smiling. "I invented it."

That catches the sniper off guard. "You.. invented the sentry gun eh?"

"Yuep."

"Told you, your engineer wants to meet him." Lawrence smirks, many of Dell's machines have been very popular among the other engineers, everyone has blue prints to a sentry gun and boy has those machines made life hell for the Magisterium soldiers.

Sniper scratches the back of his head, a bit shocked that he actually would meet the man who has created the portable sentry guns and a load of special weapons, hell his favorite weapon is made by this guy. He grabs the bow hidden behind the old rifle and after it has unfolded itself, he shows it to the engineer "Recognize this?" The man's face light up as if he just received a million bucks.

"The Fortified Compound." Dell takes the metallic bow, it hasn't been the first bow he has made, but it is the first made out of metal. He's still proud of how it came out, though. "I recon you're the fella Sniper spoke about; he said one of his fellow snipers preferred using a bow instead of a rifle and asked if I could build a stronger bow which can be hidden very easily as well." He draws the bow as if he's aiming a none existence arrow at the wall. "It doesn't shoot as far as a sniper rifle, but I'm sure the incendiary arrows I made will make up for it. It's firing well I hope?" He asks and returns the weapon back to its owner.

Okay, this is diffidently this bow's creator, for he hasn't told anyone about those perks; not even his Aussie counterpart knows about the incendiary arrows that came with this weapon. Sadly he can't set people on fire anymore since he has already used up the last incendiary arrow and cannot get more since it had been their Pyro who made him those arrowheads. "It sure is." He puts the once again folded bow back on his shoulders, this time smiling and trusting this fellow a bit more. "But I do have a few... let's say suggestions I would ask you could do. Can you build arrows that can hold tear gas eh?"

"I can, but I would need two hands for it." Dell replies, gesturing at his missing right hand. "And I would need your engineer or medic's help for that." Hoping one of those two has survived the onslaught.

Sniper blinks, not sure what this Engineer means but he is sure he will find out. He takes the two into the base. At the entrance of the base stands a man with as much bulk as he has fat, he wears a pair of brown pants, covering over his military shoes. His blue shirt is covered in dirt and blood, yet the yellow logo with a fist can be clearly seen on his shoulders. Besides him stands his boar daemon, narrowing her eyes at the beaver which makes Naira quickly seeks cover behind her human.
Sniper greets the man with a hand sign before introducing him to Dell. "This is our Heavy."

The Heavy fits his right hand and put hit left flat on top on it, bowing towards the engineer and sniper with "Ni Hao." They both return the gesture by the other sniper's suggesting them doing the same. The Heavy seems satisfied with it and returns back to his guard duty.

"He's still learning our language." Sniper explains the two, leading them away from the Heavy. "It's bit hard. This big guy is quite the stubborn oak learning English."

"Where's he from?" Dell asks curiously.

"China, don't know his story of why he's fighting, though." Sniper replies with a shrug. "Spy was the one who found him, but I can't ask him since he's dead... I might not have liked him but Heavy did, so... yeah... this way." He leads them through the base, and it is clear that the team hasn't been here for long since as is pretty nothing down here. The only place having any sense of this place being a base in is a shaft where several tables filled with papers, machines— most of them are broken lies around. Before these tables stand two people, a male and a female; both in a heated argument.

"— I don't care, he's my brother!" The darkly skinned woman snaps, glaring at the man in the ruined and bloodied blue shirt before her. She has a red shirt with a wrench logo on; both her hands are covered in black gloves, looking ready to fall off when she makes an angry hand-move against the male. "No way in hell I am letting him get eaten by vultures, he deserves a proper burial!— they all do!" Her daemon, an Aardvark digs his powerful claws into the dirt in sign of her frustrations.

"Don't you think I want that too?!" The man retorts, besides from being quite muscular, this man is very normal looking, and by first glance most would mistake him for another class by his attitude and his daemon which has the form of a gray fox with a bit deformed face from a huge scar. But his class logo reveals what he is. his dog-tags starts swinging from side to side when he begins pacing around before the enraged woman. "They were my comrades— my friends as well! But—" The two newcomers notice that this man has a small limp. "We cannot return before Sniper says it is safe, I do not want to lose any more people and you will stay fucking right here until I say otherwise!" He steps over to the woman, giving her a stare that dares her to defy him. "Do I make myself clear?!"
They glare at one another for several moments, with the gray fox barking at the aardvark to stand down as he looks ready to charge out from the base. Then the woman's daemon backs away and seconds later she does as well with a hash. "Fine!" And she stomps deeper into the mine. The man lets out a long tired sigh and drops down onto the makeshift table, right that moment; looks older than he probably is.

"Scout." Sniper calls, the man with the title Scout snaps his head up and notices right away the two other people behind him.

"Who are they?— wait I know the Sniper." He points at Lawrence, before turning with a frown over to Dell "But I don't know this one, who are you?" He demands in a tone that clearly reveals he is the leader of this group, explains why the engineer backed down when he commanded her and why the sniper went to him after having returned.

"I'm Engineer." Dell replies he does remember Antoine once explained to him that no one in the resistance calls each other by name unless they truly trust one another. The reason why people use title instead of name is a way to make sure that if one of the groups gets a traitor then that person cannot snitch the others by name.

"He's the guy who builds us all our weapons and invented the sentry gun." Sniper explains the Scout.

Scout nods slowly. "I see." But unlike the Sniper he does not seems to calm down and for some reason, his eyes are plastered on Naira who sense something is wrong and steps closer to her human. "It's nice having all your inventions and all, but..." The Scout turns his blue eyes back to Dell. "I do not fancy having a Conagher in my base."
Dell eyes wide of this man knowing his last name, the Scout looks at him with eyes filled with anger and before anyone can really react: Dell has a gun pointed straight to his face. "So you better give a fucking good reason not to blow your goddamn head off!" The Scout sneers and his fox daemon jumps at Naira, quickly dominating her and keeps her down onto the ground.

"Scout! What are you doing?!" Sniper demands in disbelief of their boss is aiming at one of their own, his comrade; the Aussie Sniper clearly does not like this one bit and proves how much he cares for the other man as he is ready to shoot Scout with his submachine gun. The Heavy and Engineer both come over to see what all the fuss is about, however; like Sniper not drawing weapons as none of them are certain what is going on.

"This man is not one of ours." Scout sneers and completely cold he has a gun pointed at from Lawrence, he keeps his eyes right on the startled Dell. "His family has been working for the Magisterium for generations! His fucking father tried to kill me!" Nodding down to his daemon large scar across her head. "We still deal with migraines from that— surprisingly how deadly a beaver's teeth is when used against someone, especially when she was just as nice and calm as yours is this very moment."

Even when forced down by the fox daemon, Naira stays calm not to enrage both further. She only moves so she can speak to the fox's human. "I'm awfully sorry you had to go through that, but I and D- I mean Engineer is not like his father and I'm not like his daemon." She feels the fox loosen her grip for a moment of the surprise she actually spoke directly to her human, but she does not use it to her advantages and overpower the other daemon in fear the Scout will shoot Dell. The fox places a paw onto her head so she can let go with her jaw. "And why should we believe you?" The gray fox asks, baring her teeth at the beaver, Naira tries her very best not to show how scared she actually feels towards this other daemon.
"Because I am not like him." Dell answers calmly, all the time keeping eye contact with the Scout in case he decides to shoot. "But I do not think words can convince you."

"Darn right you are." Scout snaps.

"Then use me." Dell says, catching the man and his fox by surprise. "Tell me what you need and I'll make it."
"You're forgetting something." Naira muses, and points to his missing hand.
"Oh right, well..." Dell turns sheepishly back to Scout. "After your Engineer has helped me install my new hand, then I will build you whatever you need."

Scout only removes his eyes from the man to look at the missing arm, then he turns his attention to the still gun aiming sniper. "From how you're treating to shoot me I say you trust this man."

"I trust him with my life." Lawrence answers calmly, yet his eyes and how his nankeen kestrel is angry glaring at the fox shows what he truly feels about this situation. "And I would appreciate it if you didn't smear his brain over the walls and I have to return the favor for it."

After what feels like hours, Scout finally lowers his gun. "Fine... but I want eyes on him all the time. Heavy; you're guarding duty." He looks to Heavy and points at Dell to which the big man nods, understanding the order just by the gesture.
Scout turns to the female Engineer. "Help him with this hand, whatever the hell that means. I'm allowing you to shoot if you feel threatened."

"Aren't you just a bit paranoid?" She asks him unconvinced that this new engineer with apparently the name Conagher is any threat.

Scout snorts annoyed over her question. "I think I'm not paranoid enough with this man. For all I know he can turn our weapons against us with a switch of a bottom." Turning to Dell with a glare of pure disdain. "Don't let his amiable demeanor fool you; I got a bullet shot into my stomach and my daemon half her face chewed off the last time I let my guards down around a Conagher. If he tries anything: kill him." To then turn to Lawrence. "If your words are true; then it won't come to that— Sniper how is the status at the former base?" He asks dumbfounded Sniper, and leaves the others while the team sniper explains the situation from their former and now destroyed base.

Lawrence stares pissed after the Scout. "And that's why you never should make a Scout the boss. They let their emotions control their action."

"He has kept us alive so far." The female Engineer points out dryly to him, glancing to where Scout and Sniper left. "Even if he can be infuriating at times."

Dell can't help but chuckle. "Reminds me of someone else I know, not a Scout mind you." He smiles friendly to the other Engineer there now looks a bit confused at him. "He's a Spy."

"Oh, well spies are a pain in the ass, ours was especially, never knew where he was half the time." She remarks with a smile and adds a bit apologizing. "I would like to shake your hand but well, Scout's orders."

"I understand." Dell simply says, he can't say he blames this Scout from being suspicious of him, or rather at his father. Ever since he left the family business of serving as a head engineer for the Magisterium to "build" zeppelins, he and his father no longer see eye to eye. He can't say they hate each other; no in fact they both still care for one another. It's just... well their relationship was never strong to begin with and now with their so different point of views on the world has slowly torn them apart. Dell actually had a stronger relation with his grandfather than his old man, kinda sad now that he thinks about it. But now is not the time to dwell on the past. "If your boss would allow it, I would like you to help me attach one of my grandfather's invention onto me."

Engineer blinks. "Depends on how complicated it is. I'm more specialized in radio waves than the machine itself." So without the aid of other engineers, she wouldn't have been much of an asset for her team.

That explains why the sentry hasn't attacked anyone with the blue/red shirts on, Dell is confident that this lady has used her talent in radio waves to convert the "shield" he made to keep his sentry from shooting anyone on the team by putting a smaller vision into each teams uniform. Very smart of her. "I recon you used my contraption on the wrench I send you to keep the sentry shooting anyone on the team."

She nods. "That's right- with the help from another Engineer stationed at Colorado, we built a smaller vision of the shield you made and Cypher made sure each uniform has it in each class's logo." Pointing at her own wrench logo on her red shirt. "Every team has it now, even those stationed in Europe."

"Impressive." Dell says sincerely, he has been working together with the Colorado Engineer to several projects, such a pity they lost him... but who this Cypher is she talks about? That sounds like an important person. "Who's Cypher?"

The female Engineer smirks. "He's the Elite Engineer— do you know the Elite?" Dell nods, yes he has heard about those guys from other members. "Good, means I don't have to explain. Well, Cypher asked me and the Engineer from Colorado to do the same thing on the guns but..." Engineer's proud smile fades away, replaced by grief. "After we lost contract with the other teams and from how we barely survived that attack... I fear the worst..."

Lawrence lowers his eyes. "They are all gone." He tells her somberly, not seeing any reason keeping the truth away from her or anyone else. Truth is an important factor that keeps the teams from falling apart.

Engineer's head drop. "I see... thank you for... telling me." She steps away from the two, staring out to this far from perfect hideout. "The spy that warned us refused to say anything but I knew something terrible had happened to the other teams. He only promised he would put a stop to it." Her daemon places one of his front claws up against her leg in hope to comfort her. She scratches his head.

"And we will." Lawrence promises, she turns back to him and he nods towards the still limp missing Dell. "But right now we need your help."

She gives them a determent look and fully back to business again. "What do you need?"

The female Engineer did voice her concern that she might not be able to help Dell install the robotic hand, but Dell is confident she can and he is proven correct. After a couple of hours of explaining and attaching the gunslinger; Dell can finally look at his new hand and move it with relative ease. It is not fully functional yet as his body is trying to reject it by giving him a fever. He would need to spend the rest of the day and maybe also the next to recover from this small surgery.

Engineer does her best speeding up the recovery by keeping the skin around the metal clean. She watches the hand flex slowly and must admit that her inner engineer is really intrigued by this piece of machinery; not enough to attach one to her own arm though. "Your grandfather must've been really smart if he could build machines like this." She remarks with a smile to the fever stuck man beside her.

Dell nods slowly, flexing his new hand a bit. "That he was." Eyeing it with a smile. "I always wanted to be able doing the same; invent machines that will blow people away."

"I say you succeed that quite literal." Engineer giggle on the thought what this one's sentry gun can do to an enemy soldier. "I have met a lot of smart people in my lifetime but never one who can build a sentry that can pack itself up and be light enough for travel, yet strong and deadly enough keeping the enemy from steamrolling a team of nine. From what I heard you also are the one who builds most of our weapons, and not many can make weapons as fast or effective as you." Her Aardvark daemon gives Dell beaver a friendly nudge as his human tells him. "So I am happy you are on our side. You could be a dangerous but spectacular enemy and if your father is just a fraction of what I see in you: I fully understand why Scout is wary around you."

"Ah shucks." Dell looks away, he is not used to this kind of praise. Most people just praise his work on the zeppelins he has made, but they never gave him any sort of joy. This Engineer, however, did not really praise his work, no she praises his abilities to build said machines. "I appreciate your kind words and—" Turning back to her, no longer smiling. "Hear your warning. Do not worry ma'am, I will keep my head down."

"Good, Scout's not a bad guy." She says and glances with her dark eyes to where Scout stands and speak with Lawrence about the situation of the other teams. "He just... really does not trust the Magisterium. He was once a soldier for them."

Dell blinks, it does not really surprise him hearing that this Scout has a dark back-story with the Magisterium; that is the only reason why his old man would've tried to kill him. What does surprise him that if Scout has been a soldier and actually gotten away, then why is his daemon not in the shape of a dog? For some reason he still cannot wrap his head around: all soldiers in the Magisterium has a dog daemon. Clearly, the world power doesn't go around and pick out any person that just happens to have a dog daemon. He is about to ask her about it but decides that question should be asked to the Scout instead; if the man ever comes to trust him that is. What he can ask her though. "How did he get away? The Magisterium does not take someone leaving very nicely." Nodding down to his right arm.

Engineer shift a little uncomfortable. "I am not sure I should be the one telling you... only that your father attacked him because of his desert."

"I see." Dell nods, that small explanation has been enough. He needs to be careful not to accidentally enrage the Scout, for if he knows his father correctly then his old man attacked the Scout because the scout did something to piss off the Magisterium.

Chapter Text

In middle of the ocean, on a ship of the Magisterium is Nathan and although he is trapped and don't have any way getting away from his captures: he sure hell aren't making life easy for them. The crew quickly figured out that locking this young man into a cabin like the other kids and leaving him alone is just asking for trouble, in his life as the runt of a gang and often gotten into trouble Nathan knows how to get out from tight spots. So getting out from a cabin is child's play for him. At first he used the door, unlocking it by homemade lock picks and when out he kept on trying to get into the radio room in hope he could call someone. He did get caught and the Gobblers put a guard on the door but that did not keep this one down for long and in matter of days on the sea, the crew can be sure that the young adult is most likely out and annoying the shit out from one them.

The man that has been guarding the door checks and lets out a tired groan when seeing the room empty once again. "He's out again!" He calls out to the ship, more annoyed than actual worried about this. His daemon, a komodo dragon starts searching for Nathan's scent with her fogged tongue, leading the tired guard outside.
Another man hears the guard's warning and starts searching as well, muttering to himself. "You must've thought this brat soon will—Argh!" His complaining gets rudely interrupted by Nathan who has landed right on him.

The young man grins. "Look up next time chucklehead." And throws the knocked out man into one of the life boats with Nalini traps the man's Grey hound into a pile of ropes. That will slow the man down when he finally comes around. With that one out, Nathan easily sneaks past the guard who is still following the fake trail he left behind and without much trouble gets into the control room. One of the Gobblers is in there but it does not worry him too much. Nalini turns into a small bird, flies past the huge man, elderly man and starts reading the reports they have received from the place they are going. She does not find much of interest at first but does read further on the message of a stash of weapons they have received from Boston. She removes a paper to read on the next but is stopped when a pair of jaws appears in the corner of her eye. Nalini react by mere instinct and takes off, barely missing the huge wolf daemon teeth.

"Don't you ever learn?!" The man roars furies although he haven't yet spotted Nathan, but know this little pest is near with his freak of a daemon. The man spots Nathan when the young man takes off like a cannon ball with his swallow daemon right behind him. The man and his wolf follows but have no chance catching up to the swift Nathan. "Get back here you little freak!"

"Catch me if you can pancakes!" Nathan taunts back, yes he is aware that sooner or later he will be caught but until then he will make life hard for these thugs, them having their attention on him means they will leave the kids downstairs alone. His door guard jumps out from a corner but the only thing that guy gets is air as Nathan spotted the guy a mile away. "Too slow! Try sneaking the next time if you know what that mean!" And he's gone, much to the two's men's great frustration. More so as they cannot shoot him. Nathan learned from his last visit at the control room that their boss wants him alive and unharmed; giving him the advantages being a huge jerk to them.
"Are you even trying?!" He mocks another Gobbler and just to be a bit more annoying he uses the man's head as a ramp, getting on the roof of the control room. "Come on guys! I'm not even winded!" He taunts the men with spread out arms like he owns the ship— in his eyes he practically does. One of the guard follows him, but in a incredible clumsy and that is hilarious for this speedster, Nathan kneels down with his hyena Nalini grinning at the poor sight. "Nice hustle chucklehead, you really know how to make someone feel nervous." And with Nalini in her hawk form, they both take off in a carefree manner before the man trying to catch him can even get near. However just when he dodges the big man with the wolf daemon; a jolt of pain hits him and sends him sprawling to the ground. His whole body hurts, reminding of the time when Dean dared him to grab an electric fence, except this is way more painful than the fence.

"Did you kill him?" The huge man asks, almost sounding hopeful it has been the case.

"No, merely stunned him." Someone Nathan hasn't heard before says but accent does sound awfully familiar. He just can't place where he has heard it before because of the shot he took. "Take him back to the room."

Nathan feels the big guy pick him up and he's too much in pain from the attack to do anything about it, not even throw a snarky remark when the man says. "Pity, wouldn't mind if you had 'accidently' killed this nuisance." The man carries him back to the room where he gets thrown down onto his bed.

"Leave, I got it from here." The voice of the one who shot him command the bigger man there snorts in return. "You? Don't make me laugh Conagher."

And just by that name, Nathan knows why that accent sounded so darn familiar, it is a southern accent but there is no way he would shoot him! Dell would never work for the Magisterium nor shoot him like this!

"Get out, now." The man— Nathan refuses to believe this is Dell says with a dangerous low tone. This man is dead serious, even Nathan can say that. The other man's wolf daemon growls but she and her human leave the two alone. The man with the same last name as Dell let out a sigh and asks the slowly recovering young man. "What in Sam hill were you thinking boy? Are you trying to get yourself—"

"Shut up!" Nathan snaps; he can't take it! This guy even speaks like Dell! He gets his weaving sight under control and can finally see this man's face, to his relief it is not Dell; this guy is way too old. "Don't you lecture me like he does!"

The older man blinks. "Like who?" His daemon— much to Nathan's shock is also a beaver, except this one has the natural brown color like a real beaver compared to Naira's golden brown fur.

"No one." Nathan grumbles, as if he's going to tell this man about the closet thing he has gotten to a father figure.

"Your father?"

"Mo!" He snaps again which makes Nalini turn into a fox, sneering at the beaver who only gives her a leveled stare. "He's a friend, my boss actually." And kicks himself from screwing up by revealing this.

The older man takes a seat before him, eyeing him with his blue-grey eyes. At least this guys doesn't have Dell's brighter blue for if he has then Nathan would seriously has thought his boss and friend somehow has gotten very old very suddenly and turned evil. "I presume your boss has a beaver as his daemon as well?"

Nathan nods slowly, still glaring daggers at the man although the turns into a shocked one when the man let out a sigh and says tiredly. "Then Dell didn't do a very good job, if he had then you might have stayed in the cabin instead of going out asking for trouble."

"How the hell do you know him?" Nathan asks but he has a very strong feeling who this man is, the age and his last name sure are good evidence. "You're his dad or something?" The look in this man's eyes is proof enough. Nathan throws up his arms in disbelief. "Great! Now I'm held captured by Dell's old man— why the hell are you working for the enemy?!" He demands the man.

Mr. Conagher stays calm under the young man's small temper tantrum, only a small frown appears on his forehead. "Who to say I am the enemy?"

"You're working for the Magisterium, right?"

"Correct-"

"Then you are the enemy, your own son and his friends are fighting against the Magisterium." Nathan tells the older man hard.

Mr. Conagher's frown deepens. "I had hoped Dell wouldn't join the terrorists but," he let out a sigh. "It is to be expected; he did spend a lot of his childhood around my father no matter what I said."

"What's wrong with your old man?" Nathan asks, thinking that the Conagher family history is a bit more complicated than Dell ever let on. When speaking about his family Dell always praised his grandfather being a genius with a strange spark in his eyes while he always made only faint explanations about his father.

"Dell has probably already told you about my father's genius mind, even I admit; the man can build wonders but like my own son... he was too much of an idealist. A dangerous thing being in the world we live in-" Mr. Conagher explains very calmly that it is almost scary for Nathan.

"But aren't you like them?" Nathan asks slowly but from how he has seen so far; Dell's father might act very much like his son but his ideals is completely somewhere else.

"Every Conagher is the same boy." He replies, unlike Dell who merely shrugs it off with that sad smile of his. His father seems to fully believe that just how it is. "We are the builders, the greatest inventors the world has seen and the Magisterium has always cherished that talent and paid us well. Our ancestors have helped the Magisterium to rise and that's a title I proudly stand by like anyone else in the family has. My father and my son are unfortunately the exceptions and I fear that if Dell doesn't soon remember his place in the world; then he will get killed."

Nathan stares at the man, completely in disbelief that Dell's own father sounds like he has accepted being a mere tool for the Magisterium, worse, that he doesn't seems to mind that his son will be killed! "How can you say such a thing?" He asks the man, not hiding his disbelief. "He's your son for crying out loud!"

Mr. Conagher nods sadly. "Yes and my heart ache knowing he might get killed because of my own father's silly ideas of how this world should work. I can only hope that he will see reason and leave the terrorists before it is too late." His tired eyes lands on Nathan. "The same goes for you. Remember your place, stay in this room and no harm will come to you."

"Is that a threat?" Nalini asks, baring her teeth at the man in her cat form.

The man does not pay her any attention. "A warning and boy." He gets up to leave. "Daemons shouldn't speak to humans, it is very rude you see."

Nathan snorts. "Naira does it all the time." He remarks dryly and he admits that he kinda misses hearing the beaver's wisecrack comments. He eyes Mr. Conagher's daemon who is acting more like living ornaments than actual part of the man's soul. "Doesn't your daemon ever speak?"
He gets no answers for that and he is once again left alone in the room.

Nalini turns into her favorite form: a wild rabbit and jumps onto the bed with: "Have you noticed none of the daemons speaks?"
No, he haven't really. Nathan turns to his own daemon, frowning at her small observation. She continues, "I wonder why they don't speak, has their humans forbidden them doing so?"
"That's stupid." Nathan snorts, he lies down onto the bed, staring up to the ceiling. "It would be like making a part of yourself shut up." Why would anyone make their daemon stop talking? He won't make Nalini stay quiet; her quick-witted nature has helped him several times, not to mention that she has more than once talked him out from doing stupid stunts like bashing someone's skull with a baseball bat just because the guy pissed him off.
Nalini lies down beside him. "Maybe they don't wanna hear what their daemon has to say?" She suggests.
Nathan doesn't know and thinking about what these people doesn't want to hear about makes his head hurt, so he decides to drop it. "Well I am not going to listen to that old geezer." He declares.
"Good." his daemon says and adds much to his amusement. "If you did I might settle into fly just to piss you off."

Chapter Text

Scout has been running a lot in his lifetime, very few out of joy. First he ran away from his family, for a time stopped beside his fellow Magisterium soldiers, later he ran away from them to now running with a new kind of soldiers, except this time he is not running away. Scout admits that his life hasn't been the greatest and he has very little experience on how to be genuine happy, but the feeling he has towards his fellow team is the closest thing he has ever come to it and that is more than enough to make him stay and fight alongside them. Scout cares for his team, they had become like family, and so losing six of this new family of his has been incredibly hard. He felt like he failed his team, they chose him as their leader and he let them down.
"Jack, it wasn't your fault." His daemon tells him softly. Hearing her voice again after years of silence by that stupid yet clever Magisterium rule is such a pleasure and a kick to those bastards' balls.
Still not even her voice can make him stop feeling like an utter failure. "I could've done more." He tells her, still running through the desert they currently are in. He needed to do something, so he does what his class is so darn good at: scouting the area while running. "If I had just been more vigilant, set stronger protections up around the base, maybe... they would still be alive." He stops, finally stops after have run for so long and it's not physically running. Jack collapsed onto his knees, with only the creatures of the desert and his own daemon as witness he weeps for his fallen comrades. The reality of what he has lost has finally hit him.
Adara sits down beside him, gently licking his arm. "You did everything you could." She tells him softly and this time, he listens to her words. After what feels like hours of finally letting his bottled up emotions out, Jack dries off the last of his tears and gets back on his feet. "I know..."
He eyes his daemon, once a dog like he was to the military, but now she represent the broken chain he got free from the Magisterium by using his cunning and quick-thinking. When she changed he felt like he has stepped into heaven, like he finally knew who he was. It was a change he welcomed with open arms. The Magisterium hates change, those people wants to stay as they are; people fully believing that when a daemon settle in their teenage years, its shape dictate the person's whole personality and thus destiny.
Jack once believed in that as well, but now; when he saw and felt his own daemon change when he called for it, he knows for a fact that daemon- people cannot change is utter bullshit. And that is why he joined the Team Fortress Resistance: he wants the world to know that daemon does not dictate their personality or destiny in life. The person does and no one else should tell them otherwise.

Of course the resistance cannot attack the world power such as the Magisterium head on, his own time working for those fuckers has made that clear. So he has trained his team in guerilla warfare; hit hard and disappear before the enemy will realize what has happen. But now, with most of his comrades are dead, Jack cannot satisfy himself screwing with the Magisterium soldiers stationed here in Mexico or blow up some buildings as they usual did. Those that made that possible are dead and this Scout want vengeance, but where can he and the others hit where it can be felt with so few of them? "Question; what would be the best 'fuck you' to those bastards?"
Adara scans the area for a moment, her eyes swiftly lands on the nearby city or rather what is outside the city. She smirks and turns her head up to her human. "What about using their communication against them?" Nodding towards the mildly guarded radio tower.
Jack grins. "That'll work, but it won't work if they know what we will be doing it." He remarks, for if the enemy figure out they are using their tower to their own need, well they just take it down.
"We have two engineers: use them." His grey fox daemon tells him and that is exactly what he is planning on doing. This will be a good opportunity to see if that Conagher is truly on their side, the man has so far proven friendly but Jack's past experience has taught him that family is like a sleeping giant that can and will kill if someone is stupid enough to underestimate them.

Jack returns back to the base, all the time making sure he is not followed. Back at the base and winded from the many detours, but not wanting to waste time his whistles loudly out to the other members.

His team knows right away what it means and gather around the table, the two others follows after a moment of hesitating.
"Alright people, I know some of you are still grieving." He does his best not looking at Engineer, he have no wish letting the men think her weak. Took him a while getting that line of thoughts out from his head thanks to the Magisterium considering women below men, but back to business. "But I need you back on duty and let those fuckers know that no one— and I mean no one screw around with us!" He looks at the three remaining of his team, happy to see they too seek vengeances with that fire in their eyes. "Since we are low on people we cannot do our usual work, so instead we are going to take something of theirs." He takes out a map and points at the location where the antenna is located. "This antenna is one of their main communication sources, and we are going to use it for our own."

"You mean strengthen our own communications?" Engineer asks.

Jack nods. "That and listen in on what those fuckers say to each other. So, Engineers," he eyes the two of the same class. "You think you can build us such a thing?"

"If my fellow engineer can build a long ranged antenna, I can build the perfect disguise for it." The Conagher man says with that eerie calm smile of his. Of course Jack refuses to let this guy know that he is wary around him.

His team's Engineer grins confident. "That I can!" And she's off with the other engineer not far behind.

Jack turns back to the rest. "Right, while they are working; I want the rest of us ready for the distraction." He point at the map where the city is. "The Magisterium has one of these Mann's iron factories, before the attack we kept stealing their melted iron and used it for ourselves. Now with us pretty much out of the way they are spitting out trucks of ammunition to their soldiers. I want us:" eyeing the two snipers and one heavy, "to attack this factory, cause as much havoc as we can so our engineers can install that radio right under their nose."

"Sounds like a good plan, but I don't like how you make the teams mate." The Kingdom of Auister Sniper remarks.

"Then what do you suggest?" Scout asks, in his time in the Magisterium made him loath being corrected , but in his time with people that was a far cry being a trained soldier and having different viewpoints on things, he came to appreciate their output.

The Aussie Sniper glances to the two working engineers. "Let me go with you engineer, I can protect her while she installs the antenna. My Engineer friend should go with you." Turning to Scout. "He will be most useful there."

Jack is hesitant having this sniper's engineer fighting besides him, but as he can't really come up with a good argument. Only a lame one that his teams engineer might need help installing the antenna which would just insult her abilities. He turns to his two team members, silently asking for their opinion.

"We could use a sentry gun for this." Sniper points out, after all only an engineer can activate that machine for some weird reason. Not to mention that Sniper has come to trust that Engineer enough not to be shot in the back.
Heavy merely nods with a few words in his own language.

Well, the team has spoken. Scout let out a sigh. "Alright, he's coming with us and you will keep our engineer safe."
The Aussie Sniper sign he will.

when everything is ready, the teams head into the city and after been split up they go on foot the rest of the way. Lawrence and the female Engineer sneak over to the guarded tower, hide and wait for the other team to make their distraction.
They have to wait for a while since the other team needed to go further. When Scout's team reached the goal, he signs to Sniper and the man leaves to find a good place where he can nest and pick out the enemy by bow and arrow. Then the Scout turns to Heavy and gives him a wave of hand signs as the only way to communicate with their language stubborn man. With the order of not being too reckless has been signed, the Heavy frowns but nonetheless nods as sign he got it. Lastly the leader of the Mexico team turns to Dell there already has sat up a sentry gun. "That thing better not shoot any civilians." He tells the man, the Team Fortress Residence has a few rules: one of them is not to harm innocent people as that would make them just as bad as their enemy. People consider them bad guys enough as it is.

Dell takes out what looks like a gun with a handle on top and instead of a barrel of a gun is a radar satellite. He activates it and the sentry gun moves to where he is pointing this strange object, he grins to the baffled looking Scout. "I and my fellow engineer came up with this beauty last night, let me pick any target I want." He admits that working with someone sharing his joy inventing and is specialized in something he only has a mild knowledge about sure can create some cool new toys as this sentry remote control.

Heavy whistle impressed on how quick this guy came up with a new invention. Scout in the other hand, well this did not help on his vigilant on this guy. "Great," He muses and with a sign to Heavy they move. They run to the factory. Inside, the Scout aims his shotgun at the ceiling and sends a waves of shot, Heavy does the same except he aim his dragon shaped minigun towards the huge containers that hold the lava hot iron. As hoped their attack scares the factory workers, making them flee the building and away from the two shooters. Completely unaware of the third and fourth members watching them on top of two buildings and should be happy these people are not out to harm any of them; if they were then a lot of people would be dead by now. It did not take long before the Magisterium guards arrive; trying to get the situation under control and make the workers return back to work. But all they got from that is a bullet or arrow to the head by a remote controlled sentry gun and a bow. The Team Fortress Resistance is back once again.

Back at the radio tower Lawrence and Engineer watches the guards have begun to move tensely around, clear sign that they know of commotion the other team is doing. Waiting about ten min and half of the soldiers have left to aid their fellow soldiers against the distraction team. The rest that stay behind are easily to snuck past by the Sniper and Engineer.
Engineer swiftly climbs the antenna with the bug she and Dell had made. Lawrence places himself so he can watch the confused soldiers without them seeing him and also be able to protect the female engineer if it does come to a fight. So far no one of the guards have noticed anything from their side, while at the distraction team is struggling with the waves of Magisterium soldiers coming at them.

"Sentry down!" Dell cries and pulls out his shotgun, he kills one of the men that succeed destroying the sentry and the rest backs away; allowing him to seek cover with Sniper who does his best but is having trouble keeping the soldier's off; only keeping them at bay and barely able keeping heat off Scout and Heavy, he takes out an explosive arrow and shoot at the approaching soldiers. With the soldiers either killed or thrown to the ground by the explosion, Sniper activates the radio. "I and Engineer cannot aid you anymore, we're about to get overwhelmed!"

Scout hears the message and commands everyone to pull back. "Hopefully Engineer got the bug up by now." He muses and along with Heavy leave the well tattered building, shooting everything that stands in their way. They join Sniper and Dell and the four leave the area, planning on disappearing as they have arrived; without a trace. However one Magisterium soldier somehow succeeds to follow and got a lucky shot. Scout lets out a gasp of pain and surprise from the hit in the leg he received and the man tumbles to the ground; unable to draw his gun in time.
Before the soldier can shoot the Scout though, Dell arrives and slams the man into a wall with his new robotic hand, it did not kill the soldier but that one wouldn't get on his feet right away from that concussion. With the soldier dealt with, Dell helps the wounded Scout up on his feet.

Scout hesitates but does accept the offer to help, only one truly on their side would've done something like that. "Thanks." He muses and lets the man support him back to their hideout while Sniper keeps an eye out for any other soldier there might be coming for them.

Back to base, Scout is relieved that everyone has gotten back with only a few scratches. He's being the only one with a serious wound but nothing Heavy can take care of.
With the big fella cleaning the wound, the two engineers turn on the radio and cheer when they hear reports from the Magisterium soldiers, in sign this mission has been a complete success. "Nice work everyone!" Jack tells the team proudly to then winch slightly from pain as Heavy dress the wound in a very roughly manner: that big guy is very good at his job but is not known to be the careful type, not even when it comes to injuries. Scout turns to the Sniper and Engineer that is not on the team. "Thank you. We couldn't have done this without your aid."

The two nod with a smile on their face, fading when Lawrence asks the Scout. "Did the spy tell you where he was going?" They still need to track down Antoine.

Jack shakes regretfully his head. "Sorry, he never told us." But all hope is not lost and Scout now trusts these two enough that he will allow them to their equipment. "But he did take a long ranged walkie talkie with him. You can call him over the radio— if you know his frequency that is." He adds.

Lawrence thanks the man and leaves to make the call as he is the one who knows that spy the best. Dell turns to leave as well but to his surprise the Scout stops him. "Could we speak in private for a moment?"

The engineer nods and the rest of the team leave them alone. Dell walks over to the Scout there ask him a bit hesitantly. "Any chance you have information about the Magisterium we can use? I know your family has been working for them for generations." Everyone who has been working for the Magisterium knows that, the leader of that world power has never tried doing anything keeping that knowledge hush hush.

Dell takes out a chair and sits down before the man, frowning slightly. "I think you know more about that place than I do." He admits, after all he turned his back on that family tradition before he ever got a job in that place. "I didn't see much of the place beside the few times my old man brought me. And after I met Sniper and Spy... well I never wanted to set my foot into that place ever again." What they saw is still burning in his mind, feeling him with a rage and that's saying something since he is hard to anger.

Scout nods. "I see; I presume your old man wasn't happy of you leaving?"

"Nope, but he accepted my excuse I rather would build zeppelins than being the Magisterium's head engineer." Dell replies and cannot help but chuckle. "When he realizes I have joined the resistance; I can only hope our family bond means something."

Scout frowns at this it seems that even that man's son knows how deadly he is around the enemy. "What would you do if you had been in his place?"

Dell's smile drop, in fact he might one day end up in a familiar situation since he does have a son. If his son joined the Magisterium and one day forced to fight him, Dell honestly cannot make the shot; he would rather die than harm his own son. And it does not matter how little that kid knows of him thanks to his ex. However there is a huge difference between him and his father. Frank Conagher is incredibly loyal to the Magisterium, enough to make him turn against his own family, Dell still remembers the fights his father had with his grandfather about that subject and no matter what his grandfather said; his old man would not budge when it comes to the Magisterium's ideals, not even for his own family. "I couldn't make myself harm a loved one." Dell replies after a long silence, taking off his welding goggles as he explains the Scout. "You see, I have a son, he will turn eleven in about three months. But well..." He let out a sad chuckle. "I'm not really allowed seeing him after the divorce— my ex and I has very strong diffidence point of views about certain things, one of them is about what would be best for our boy..."

Scout stays silent, both taken aback and intrigued that this man is sharing his back-story with him.

"Maybe it will get better over time." Dell finishes, hoping that will be true. His former wife was very loving in the start of their relationship but the moment she realized he was abandoning his job as head engineer for the Magisterium; she showed him her true color that she only wanted him because of the wealth being a head engineer for the Magisterium, including the fame followed by it. Only one good thing he can take out from that messy affair is Logan. Even in such a young age, the boy is very smart, but does not have much interest in the mechanic. Dell doesn't really mind though, in fact he encouraged the boy's interest about animals the few times he gets the chance to see him. He does not want his son to grow up with the same pressure he got as a kid, in fact he want that cruel family tradition of every Conagher shall work for the Magisterium as an engineer to stop. A child should decide their own fate, and their parent's job is guiding and preparing them the best they can. That's what he believes in anyway. Turning to the man beside him. "Do you have any kids?"

"No," Scout shakes his head. "Right now, I'm merely trying keeping the rest of my team alive and finishes this war. Then," he smile glances over to where the female engineer works. "Maybe then I will make a move."

The look did not go unnoticed for Dell but he chooses not to stick his nose into Scout's personal life, if the man wants to share then Dell is sure he will say it. Beside; there is something he much rather want answers on. "If you don't mind me asking," his eyes lands on Scout's daemon. "I have been turning my brain on why your daemon is a fox if you have been a soldier for the Magisterium, I might not know much about this philosophy but I do know every soldier's daemon is a dog."

Scout's tense and eyes narrow slightly. "Who told you?" He does not like getting reminded about that past, especially not by someone who isn't on his team.

"Your engineer." Dell replies, taking his hands up in defense. "You don't have to answer if you don't want to." Although very curious about this Dell knows not to step over the boundaries with this man.

Scout watches the shorter man for a moment, trying to see anything that might points out that this Engineer wants him any harm. But all Jack sees is a sincere curiosity, a need to get a better understanding. Letting out a sigh, the scout lies down on the poor excuse for a bed. "She was a dog once, a shepherd actually. It was the form she settled into in my teens... the form she stayed in for six years."

"How did she change?" Dell asks, he only thought Nathan's daemon could change after puberty but he always saw that as a lucky genetic defection.

"She changed when I finally realized that I'm not a fucking dog of the military." Jack explains and without really thinking he place a hand on his daemon's scarred head. "The feeling when it happens... there is no word explaining that feeling, only it made me thinks: this is who I am. What the Magisterium— what everyone says that daemon will not change when settled is utter bullshit." Eyeing the man hard, someone who, like him and many other people fully believes that when a daemon settles then it will stay like this; showing anyone what kind of person the human will be to the day they die. Jack always hated that fact, that his teenager self, how his personality was as barely an adult will determent who he is as a person for the rest of his life. As if no experience after that will change that person. "People changes all the time, we get wiser by experience or whatever the hell we see throughout our life. And yet people keep saying that our daemon- our soul will stay in a form from when we only faintly understands the world we live in. no, daemon should change alongside us."

What the man says does makes a lot of sense, Dell has seen elderly people walking around with a daemon that still act very much like they did in their youth. But like anyone else; he paid that little mind for it was normal. And yet maybe a daemon that never does change is the true defect. Eyeing the fox beside Scout, he must admit that he has a hard time seeing her as a dog. Naira scratches her chin before asking the fox daemon. "Are you agreeing with him?"

The fox daemon and her human send Naira a startled look, letting a daemon do the speaking is very frowned upon by most people, but Dell's grandfather often told him that a daemon always speaks the truth of what their human feels, and he saw people very stupid if they do not listen to what their animal voice of reason has to say, but it's not like they should agree with their daemon. If Dell listened to Naira all the time, then a lot of people that has annoyed him would've been turned into grated cheese. His daemon has a very twisted sense of retribution.

After a moment, Adara glances up to her human before she finally speaks to the beaver. "Yes, I find this form way more comfortable than my former."
And Jack cannot help but comment on the second time that beaver has spoken for her human. "Does your daemon always speak out like this?"

Dell smiles. "Yup,"
with Naira adding teasingly. "He's too soft to correct me"

Jack can't help but smile at this although he still has to get used to having his own daemon— let alone someone else's soul animal talking, but it is nice be around someone who doesn't treat that part of their soul as something that should be quiet all the time. He lets out a small chuckle of this small irony, only yesterday he distrusted this man like a snake lying in the grass, and now they are sharing small life stories after a measly battle. There is some truth in what people say about soldiers on the same team becomes like brothers in arms, too bad the Magisterium soldiers never understands that; he might have stayed if they did. "You're not such a bad guy." He muses to the other man.

"Neither is you, partner." Dell smiles and gets back on his feet, he and the other engineer has still a lot of work to do.

Chapter Text

The jungle of South America is one of the few places where the Magisterium has little to no influence, it has allowed the tribes living in the beautiful but hash jungle to form their own tradition and gotten quite unaware on how other people see the nature of the animal spirit people call a daemon. To any newcomer; there only know the Magisterium's teachings will get quite the culture shock coming to this frontier. That what is was for a certain ex-spy for the said world power. Antoine regards himself as a very composed man, someone who can keep his emotions in control no matter the situations. And so far that has been the truth, very little can rattle him out from this composure... been a piece of cake from two things. One of them is Lawrence; ever since their first meeting that bush-man to a man from Auister has always been able to get a reaction out from the spy, which still to this day frustrates and yet intrigue Antoine. The other thing is the Facilities, although he can quickly come up with a name better suited for these buildings; like Gates to Hell. The Facilities are buildings made by the Magisterium, hidden away from the public eye and for a darn good reason. People were taken and going into such a place never gets out and if they do, then they no longer should be called human anymore.

One of these Facilities is here; in the middle of the Andean Nations jungle. And the former spy can only dread whatever the Magisterium is doing to the locals. The thought sickening him— sure Antoine can make himself get over it, see it as another part of the terrible things he has to watch but he doesn't want to see this as another thing on terrible things he has seen or might do such things himself. He wants to be engrossed and reminded of why he turned traitor to the Magisterium— why he never should let the thought of going back cross his mind, no matter how more comfortable his life can get off doing it.
Watching the Facility from a distance, Antoine considers if he should risk infiltrating the building and accidentally warn the enemy that even here in the middle of nowhere the Team Fortress Resistance exists.

Usually, that question would've been piece of cake, getting the Magisterium aware makes the people tense, easy to mess up and makes a good sabotage so much easier, which in turn will take months, maybe even years of work go up in smoke for the so-called indestructible world power. However, as things stand now, one wrong move and the Magisterium will use their new secret power: using the truth device called Alethiometer on him. Usually, the Magisterium spends more time destroying these rare objects as they despise having someone spewing out the truth they have so fiercely tried to hide away from the world— unless the reader of this object is on their side, then it suddenly is okay. Having an Alethiometer is not the problem as not everyone can read the darn thing. The last person Antoine knew could read it had been a pencil pusher of an old man who spends all his waking hours reading the truth device to find the leaders of the resistance— that until a certain spy and sniper cut open his throat. But that old man had been nothing compared to this new Alethiometer reader.
That old man took weeks to figure out just a single team's location, and unless the team has been incompetent and never moving to another location, or if they never tried changing their tactics, then the old man's readings had been useful. In fact, dealing with that man had been more annoying than dangerous since no big plans that could take months to prepare would be made. That has been the reason why the Team Fortress leaders asked Lawrence and Antoine to deal with that person. They did and with him gone; three teams united to blow up one of the Magisterium's headquarters which did allow the people get way more personal freedom. Although they did not realize it at the time, since most consider the Team Fortress resistance as mere terrorists. The people of the area only realized the truth when the Magisterium tried seizing control again. The resistance got a lot of new members from that. And Team Fortress Resistance wasn't anxious when the news the enemy has found themselves a new Alethiometer reader a year back, but that all changed when this new reader showed to be quick and impossible to hide from. They have lost so many teams because of this person... Antoine doubts that the Mexico team survived even with his warnings. Eyeing the Gates to Hell, the ex- Magisterium spy can only ponder if the Alethiomist knows about his presence but he can hope the reader hasn't as the guards haven't shown any sign searching for a man that can hide in the shadows.

"A car is coming."

Antoine's trains of thoughts break by his daemon's words and turn his full attention on the car coming down the only route to this place, and from how expensive that vehicle looks: this is one of the big guys. The hiding man raises a brow when a way to familiar person steps out from the car, and this place might be more what it appears to be if she is here. For why else would the administrator of the Magisterium be here? Surely not just to watch some helpless sods getting their heads blown off, no, that woman is after the same thing as Antoine: the Alethiomist. His daemon turns to him, asking, "Will she compromise the mission?" After all, if the Administrator moves the Alethiomist to the capital, the source of the Magisterium's influence, then Team Fortress can kiss the decades-long fight goodbye. Having her here is bad, so whatever he likes it or not; he has to move.

Antoine leaves the area; he needs proper equipment if he will have any changes infiltrating that building. Back at his current base, Antoine takes out a bluish colored suit along with what looks like a regular watch but like him; looks can be deceiving. This withholds can "disappear" by copying the colors from the surroundings; it is not perfect as he can catch get revealed if someone bumps into him or if the watch that activates the suit's disguise will malfunction. The dampness of the rainforest has made that small issue into a big one; hopefully, the suit can survive just long enough for him to get a proper disguise on. He dresses up and checks the watch's power level, relieved to see that his safety precautions has saved it from any further damaged it got from when he arrived. One thing he can praise the Magisterium: they know how to make quality equipment, then again, the Elite are just as good- at times better making equipment for a spy like him. After he joined and shared this technology with the resistance. Every Team Fortress spy have this cloaking ability, making them even harder to find... If there are any more spies left... he kinda hopes there are, for if he's the only one left; well that means he will have to train new spy recruits and he would rather not being the one doing that as he doesn't consider himself a good teacher. Hopefullys they haven't killed Shade, if they have then there is no hope for the spy class anymore and the resistance can call that class extinct.
His ladder snake daemon slithers over the table, raising her head towards the walkie talkie which light keeps flashing as if someone is trying to communicate with them. She titles her head in wonder, only one person knows of this frequency. "Lawrence's calling."
Blinking and bit taken by surprise of Sabrina's words Antoine grabs the walkie-talkie, replying the one calling. "Took you long enough catching up to me, Bushman." he drawls taunting his partner. Last time they saw each other was when they separated in Boston with Lawrence meeting up with Dell while he... watched how big his son had gotten but still unable to speak with him. No, he can't think about that now, he and Lawrence did actually split up so he could track down the new Alethiomist, which is why he is here.

"It would've been easier if you told the Mexico team of where you were going— hell the Headquarters would too now you're at it, you bloody snake." Lawrence's voice retorts back.

Ignoring most of the Aussie's words, Antoine is relieved that the Mexico team survived, that's good news "I presume my warning saved them."

"Some of them," Lawrence replies hesitantly. "The Scout, Engineer, Sniper and Heavy survived."

Better than the whole team dead like the two others he and Lawrence came across. Still a bit too bad the Medic perished, he has come to like that man. The Engineer of that team must be grieving the hardest; after all, she is the older sister of the now deceased medical man.

"So, where are you?"

"The Amazons, the coordinates are..." He checks the map to be certain and tells them to the sniper. To then glare daggers at the walkie-talkie when the said sniper starts laughing.

"Crickey, how have you succeed survive that long without me in a bloody jungle?!" Lawrence howls in laughter; he is one of the few people who know how bad Antoine is to survive out in the wild. He saw that first hand when this spy was paid to kill him but ended up almost dying when the hunt went out to the outback. It was so hilarious and sad that he couldn't make himself kill the bloke, probably one of the reasons why the spy is still alive today.

Antoine chooses not to answer that. "If you are done, I will cut this conversation short and do my actual job. Hopefully, the Alethiomist has yet to know about my whereabouts."

"How good are they?" Lawrence asks, serious again

The Spy glances down to his daemon who returns it with her worried look. "Too good, the Administrator is very interested in this person. I spotted her about ten minutes ago."

"With that old Crow on the prowl always ends up bad. You better move then, mate."

Antoine cannot agree more; he turns off the walkie-talkie, lets Sabrina hide under his sleeve and leaves his hideout to see what horrors lies behind those walls.

Getting inside the Facility proved rather difficult but nothing he can handle. With one disguise as the now retired guard, Antoine tracks down his former boss. He finds her not far inside; being guided by another guard. The Crow- as Lawrence so nicely named her stops at the section that reminds a bit too much about a prison. He did expect to hear the prisoners cry for help or out of distress but no such thing come from the cells and that disturbs him greatly, in his head that shows the people are already dead or worse. But no time thinking about that, he keeps moving and passes by the Administrator and her guide, all the way making sure to know where they are going when they decide to move again.
A doctor passes by him and out from the corner of his eye watches the man very zealous greeting the Administrator, but he's too far away to hear what he is saying. The doctor gestures for her to follow and when they start moving, he does the same; acting like he is on patrol.

"— The progress converting these lost souls has proven highly successful thanks to our new set of tools." Antoine hears the doctor explains after he gets the chance to move in close. The doctor shows the Administrator a small army of dark-skinned people, all having signs of torture and yet standing like loyal soldiers with their Doberman daemons by their side.
"These have chosen to accept the truth of the Church."

She walks over to one of the "converted" people, eyeing them with such a cold stare it would make most tremble, but not these people, and it is like they are not aware of her existence. Her cold dark eyes land on the dog daemons, and scoff of how weakly they stands, "Their daemons are in a pitiful state."

"Ah, that is one of the... unfortunate side effects from Intercession." The doctor explains briefly, adding quickly from the disapproval look the woman's daemon sends him. "B-But the people are 100% loyal to the Magisterium; they will not turn their back on us."

She turns back to the more zombie acting people; a smirk appears. "Good. Now, I would like you brought me to the real reason of why I am here."

The doctor makes a small bow, "of course, right this way." and takes her away from the zombie people. Antoine does not follow right away; he sends these people a look; their whole behavior is bothering him to the utmost, but something else about them straight out disturbs him and that's how their daemon is acting. He has seen this — heard the word intercession before. He, Lawrence and Dell saw the same thing on their very first mission together in Dustbowl, however those people back there did not survive the procedure for very long. It seems the Magisterium has refined this horrible art.

He leaves the people, knowing far too well that there is no hope for them anymore and follows the Crow to whatever she is truly after. He spots them going into a room with a guard steps out from the room, closes the door and finally stands firmly between the hidden Antoine and his goal. The spy rolls his eyes, walk casually towards the guard their first eyes him a little suspicious but lets his guard down when Antoine gives him a friendly wave. The guard opens his mouth to speak but no word never leaves his mouth as Antoine slice open his throat with his knife hidden inside his sleeve. The spy quickly blocks the blood with a cloth and hides the body into the closet room— which is an empty office before he takes the guard's spot. Here Sabrina comes in; she slithers down and under the door, hiding underneath it with eyes and ears fully out to the scene before her. In the middle of the room sits a scarred woman, signs that she too has been going through some kind of torture. The most horrific of all those scars is the one on her right arm: which is completely mangled from a burn, starting at hand and ends near the shoulders. The face also has signs of burns, but not as bad as the scar on the arm. Sabrina turns her head to the corner of the room when rapid movements catches her attention; she withhold a gasp of the sight that meets her. Trapped inside a cage; a very big otter squeaks angrily up to the two humans from the Magisterium.

"Quiet!" The doctor snaps and by a push of a button sends a jolt of electricity through the cage and with a cry of pain the otter collapses on the button of the cage. The woman flinches from it, yet still, manages to send him a glare with her amber colored eyes.

"Feisty one aren't you?" The Administrator remarks almost amused.

She gets no response and Sabrina doubts the Crow expects one. The woman places one of her hands onto the table and her daemon: a crow (reason why Lawrence calls her that) flaps and lands before the scarred woman, eyeing her with his piercing yellow eyes. "You know what to do." The Administrator says, removing the hand and reveals what looks like a compass made out of pure gold, but Sabrina knows better. This object is the Alethiometer— also known as the Golden Compass: a device that can tell its reader anything they want to know and that what makes it so dangerous.

The scarred woman at first refuses but another jolt against her daemon makes her reluctantly takes the device.

"Good girl, now tell me: which Rebel leader causes most trouble by now?" The Administrator asks gleeful.

The woman opens the compass, revealing several small pictures that encircle four needles, three of them small and able to be moved. The fourth and the biggest cannot be moved by hand. The woman hesitates, but from another shock against her daemon makes her turn the three needles. The first goes to the angel, the second to the horse and the third on the helmet. With all three needles in place, the fourth begins to move. Sabrina eyes wide of the realization that this woman is the one who has caused so many teams death, this is the Alethiomist. But unlike the last one; this woman is an unwilling subject for the Magisterium, but it still does not change the fact how dangerous it has her around. To the snake daemon's bigger shock, the scarred woman does something even the smartest people take years to learn and weeks to translate the answer from big books: she does it in a matter of moments, like an instinct.
"The leader currently in Britain is going to gather more people in Durham: many will join him." the woman replies, pain and anger evident in her eyes.

The Administrator smirk widens. "I never thought I would meet someone who can read an Alethiometer without any books for translations." and the smirk is gone. "Pity you won't use your gift willingly." Her daemon moves closer up to the scarred woman while his human says softly. "The Magisterium can offer you so much."

"All I want is my people's freedom."

"That's all?"

The woman nods, "yes, you leave them alone, let them continue their way of life and I will answer your questions."

The Administrator takes out a cigarette and after have inhaled the smoke she replies. "Of course dear, we will leave your people alone." Of course she is not planning on keeping her words; the people living in the Amazon are filth that needs to be purged from the purity of the Magisterium.

Sabrina decides that now is the time to leave; she slither back to joins her human there takes her up from the floor.
"This is worse than we thought." She tells him in his hands. "The woman the Administrator is interested in can flawlessly read an Alethiometer." And Antoine would have gasped is not for their years of training. Instead, the man simply leaves the spot, letting his daemon walks beside him in form of a white wolf while continuing up to him. "And she will read it in return Helen will leave her people alone."
"A promise that woman will never keep." Antoine sneers, he knows from personal experience that the Magisterium does not keep their words against people they consider heretics or below them. He stops, saluting a higher ranked officer before moving deeper into the building. He needs to figure out a way to sabotage this place, enough to create a panic so he can move in and get rid of that woman without getting seen.
"What are we going to do with that woman?" Sabrina asks him. "She did not look loyal to the Magisterium, and she could be a useful asset."
She has a point, getting such a talented Alethiometer reader on their side will surely help the resistance. And if she's refuse, well he can always kill her.

Chapter Text

"Steady, steady" Lawrence muses as he steers the airship down towards one of the many rivers of the Amazon. The moment the ship touches water, Dell deactivate the helium tanks and let the balloon fall back into the cavity where it will stay until it is time getting up in the air again.
Lawrence activates the motor to the underwater rotor and sail the now water ship towards the coordinates Antoine gave them. About a half hour later, the ship steers towards a small dock and with it properly strapped to the dock, the two men head towards the town; dressed as civilians. And a good thing too for this seemly backwater town sure has a lot of security. Lawrence glances over his aviators towards one of the Magisterium guard's armed to the teeth watching the completely unarmed civilians. "This is some shonky business right there; those wankers are practically prepare for war."

"Yeah." Dell frowns at the scene of the many guards walking about, "question is now: who are they expecting to cease war against?" Hopefully, the Magisterium hasn't yet realized about three of the resistance are already here, if they do then he, Lawrence and especially Antoine will be screwed.

Lawrence opens his mouth to answer but stops when his eyes catches a familiar shimmer at one of the buildings, he nudges the engineer on the shoulder. "Over there." He leads Dell over to the spot where he saw their third member. At the place, a man dressed in a bluish colored suit and face hidden by a balalaika appears, on his shoulder is a yellow logo of a knife. "Gentlemen." Antoine greets them both before turning Dell, noticing the still apparent wounds from the attack back at Boston. "I see the Mexico team didn't hesitate putting you to work-" he remarks and pulls out a cigarette from his chest pocket.

Dell chuckles lightly. "They sure did but these scratches are not from Mexico: I got them in Boston." The Frenchman eyes him but shows no sign of what the man is thinking. Dell's smile drops, he hates being the one giving the man this news but... "You're right; the Magisterium does not take punishment toward traitors lightly." He removes the top of the glove over his right hand, showing Antoine what now lies behind.

Antoine's eyes wide for a moment of what he sees, Dell's hand and part of the arm has been replaced with a robot hand. Clearly, he has missed a lot after he and Lawrence split up, but asking such questions out in the open can compromise everything. He signs for the two to follow and leads them into his small hideout of a rented house. Inside and away from prying ears, he asks Dell. "What happen?"
The Texan tells him about the attack, how the guards' primary goal had been stealing all his gear. Antoine dread the thought of facing the enemy carrying Dell's weapon inventions but knows it will only be in matter of time before all Magisterium soldiers will carry guns that shoot bolts of electricity instead of bullets. And when Dell tells him about how Lawrence had to cut his hand off, the spy find himself impressed of how well the engineer dealt with the whole situation. In fact Antoine has the suspicion that this "incident" saved Dell from doing it himself and thus gave him the perfect excuse installing the gunslinger. "I'm glad you survived the whole ordeal." He tells the Texan sincerely, losing one of the few who actually knows his name and he considers a friend would be a huge blow. So yes, he's glad Dell survived and jumped back into action this fast.

Dell smiles, but it quickly fades; for now, it is time for the bad news "there's more, and... well, you're not going to like it." The spy sends him a look, Dell would've like to ask him to sit down, but he doubts Antoine will do it anyway. "It's about Nathan he—"

"Was he with you when they attacked?" Antoine interrupts, already fearing the worst that Dell will say his son is dead.

"No, he's still alive so far we know. Someone took him the same night under the attack." And Dell stops the Frenchman from interrupting him again by lifting his right hand. "Let me finish. We have the suspicion it is the same people who take the other children."

Antoine feared this would happen; he had hoped that his son wouldn't get the same anomaly. "His daemon hasn't settled."

"Nope," Dell replies and Lawrence adds with a grin. "She changed as often as you change your fancy suits."

It's not like the bushman who walks around in the same clothing for over a month would understand the word 'hygiene,' Antoine takes a slow drag of his cigarette; thinking- more like worrying what the Magisterium will do to his boy. God, he hopes they won't put Nathan the same thing he went through when they trained him to be their spy. And the situation here isn't much better. It seems that they need the Alethiomist alive and on their side, whatever she wants it or not. "We are in luck; the Facility nearby holds an Alethiomist under their custody."

Dell blinks, the word Alethiomist sounds familiar, but he can't exactly say what this person does. "What kind of person is that again?"

Another drag from the cigarette. "It's a person that can read an Alethiometer; a device that can tell the reader anything they like, what I hear the device cannot tell lies. Not everyone can get the message out from the Alethiometer, and those few who can have to spend most of their lives studying how to read it."

"Ah," the shorter man nods understanding, he has never seen an Alethiometer but he sure would like to tinker with one and see how in tarnation it is able revealing practically everything the user asks it about.

Lawrence leaves the wall he rests up against, handing the spy a big piece of paper, "show us what you know." Letting the other man draw the building's layout from his sharp memory. While Antoine does that, Lawrence glances to Dell but none of them speaks as they do not wish break the Frenchman's focus.

About a half hour later, Antoine has made a rough blueprint of the building, the masked man points at specific points he found the most interest. "This building is very alike to the one we broke into at Dustbowl" the two others frown deepens, the mere mention of that name brings up bad memories but the mission in hand makes them all push back the memories and focus on this issue.
The spy points at the section filled with cells. "The prison cells are located here, however," he straightens up, taking a drag of his cigarette, his mask hiding a deep frown of what he witnessed in there. "I'm afraid they have refined the horror, none of the prisoners made any sounds."

"You're sure they were still alive?" The sharp-shooter asks after all the ones they found at Dustbowl were dying from whatever those bastards did to them.

"I'm sure" Antoine replies, pointing at the room placed nearby the prison cells. "I encountered a small platoon, very much alive-"
"but something was terribly wrong with them." Sabrina finishes for him, the feline shudders of what poor state those people's daemon was in.

Dell and Lawrence did not like the sound of that, less so when Antoine's daemon actually shows discomfort of the situation. Like her human, that daemon is incredible good hiding emotions so when she finally does, then they know it is a big deal.
Tthe engineer turns his attention back to the map. "What's in here?" He asks, pointing at one of the biggest rooms, Antoine has made a rather poor drawing of what looks like a machine.

"That's, my dear toy-maker is the placement of their generator." Antoine hands Dell what looks like very colorful sphere glasses. "I took a few pictures of it for you to study the machine." The engineer takes out a small and bit strange looking projector from his backpack and puts one of the glasses into it. Lawrence turns off the light so all three can see the picture of a spinning generator appearing from the stone. Antoine glances to the engineer already intensely looking at this machine. "From what I could tell; this machine powers most of the facility. Sabotage it and the whole building gets thrown into chaos."

"It looks like the one we found is Dustbowl" Lawrence remarks, wondering why Antoine hasn't slapped one of the Sappers onto it like they did to the one in Dustbowl. Eyeing the spy, "run out of Sappers Spook?" He asks the other male with a smirk.

Antoine rolls his eyes and opens his mouth, but Dell's voice stops him. "I'm glad you didn't, this machine might look like the other one, but it holds a lot of power compacted into such a small frame. If damaged incorrectly, this thing would've taken more than a building with it— Why would they have such a powerful machine- let alone an Anbaricity generator in the middle of a jungle?" He wonders out loud.

"Do you think you could short-circuit it?" Antoine asks the engineer.

Dell looks at the pictures again, Anbaricity generators are powerful but so darn unstable that if the engineer did not know what he or she is dealing with, then they can kiss their behind and the whole area goodbye. Luckily Dell is one of the few people who know how to work with these Anbaricity generators, in fact, he's put something like this into those weapons that got stolen— except they were way more stable that this big mother hubber. Scratching his chin, he replies. "I reckon I can- at least there's a smaller chance I blow up the darn place."

Lawrence frowns but does not say anything that he did not really fancy the thought of Dell going inside the facility, sure the man can fight and all but that is by using his machines. Going in there means he has to be undercover as a mere Magisterium engineer and he cannot bring any big weapons inside and this Australian has seen his friend shoot. It's not something he would brag about. He isn't sure if Antoine is aware about Dell poor aim, he probably did so that only means that the former Magisterium spy would not ask Dell doing this if it wasn't important. The man might not show it, but this Aussie knows that Antoine cares very deeply for those he call friends. "I'll go with him."
Dell gives him a surprised look while Antoine simply nods.

"Alright, but you can't go in there as the rugged bushman you are."

"Thanks for saying the obvious you bloody piker." Lawrence retorts dryly; he doesn't like doing the dress up game Antoine does on every mission they have been on over the years. Admittedly this Australian is not very good acting like someone else he's not. But he will make an expectation this time. Glancing at the spy. "Do you have some guard uniform lying around?
Antoine smirks, and Lawrence knows that whatever the masked man is thinking will not sit well with him or his pride. "I was thinking on something else more useful."

**

Early the next morning, after having spend all night planning this. Dell and his now blond and pale-skinned 'apprentice' heads towards the facility.
it takes a lot from the disguised Sniper not to scartch his itchy skin from whatever that Spy put on to pale it. This is why he hates doing dress up. "I'm going to strangle him when we're done," Lawrence grumbles beside the both amused but also highly nervous engineer.
Dell feels almost naked not having any of his weapons or machines on him and he does not feel comfortable having merely a small hand pistol if— or rather when it comes to a fight. The Aussie notice the tension coming from the shorter man and his anger towards Antoine fades "breathe Truckie, it will be fine-"

"Easy for you to say..." Dell muse back, almost tripping over Naira who stays incredibly close to him and wishes he can take her up in his arms, but he knows that the Magisterium guards will just find that suspicious. The higher-ups from the Church doesn't see daemon as someone closest friend, mere a sign of the person's personality. "You at least have a weapon you are comfortable with."

True, the submachine gun hidden on his back might not be as great as his beloved sniper rifle, but Lawrence still knows how to make head-shots with it. "You can always use the hand." He suggests with a smirk before he shifts into his persona being the actual apprentice and thus not the one coming with advice.
His usual stoic Laraine pretends to be nervous by tipping around on his shoulders, which did make the guard turn his attention to them instead of the real danger.

"What's wrong with him?" The guard asks, nodding to the disguised sniper.
The Texan smiles at the guard. "Never mind him, it's his first time on the job." And hands the guard the papers Antoine gave him to enter this facility as the engineer. He is not going to question how the man created these pretty much flawless counterfeit documents this fast.
The guard accepts his explanations, turns away from the now pretending to be curious looking around Lawrence and looks at the papers.

After a few painful moments, the guard nods and returns the papers. "I didn't know the generator needed repairs." He remarks in wonder why he hasn't heard of this.

"The last guy didn't like the noise it made," Dell says and is happy he for once can speak about something he feels comfortable speaking about. "And trust me, if your generator makes other noises than a soft humming, then you're lucky this place haven't blown sky-high."

The guard eyes wide and his bull terrier daemon lets out a small whimper, the man shift a little nervous. "Th-then I won't keep you waiting; go on inside." And he moves so Dell and Lawrence can go inside.

"Nice touch." The sniper muses, very certain the Texan did not lie about that last part. Dell is not a spy that's for sure.

Dell lets out air he did not know he held, "thanks." Happy they have gotten so far without much trouble. Another guard meets them and leads the two down a long hallway, filled with metal doors that reminded Dell about a prison, but as Antoine said; no sounds comes out from the doors. He tries not to think about what had happen to these people; it would just make him unfocused. Halfway down the hall, two other guards guide a awfully calm and almost blissful looking man into one of the cells. Dell glances at the man, trying his best not get grossed out at this disturbing sight that meets him— or rather what he doesn't see anywhere around this man. Naira lets out a whimper, he wants to comfort her but can't in their current situation.

"Here it is."

The guard lets them inside the room where a big generator stands and if Dell hasn't been so preoccupied about that person they passed on the way, he might have been more fascinated in this fine piece of machinery. Instead he merely nods to the guard and begins packing out his tool box; pretending he is repairing the machine. With the guard out, Naira no longer can hold herself together and jumps onto his lap in desperate need for comfort. "That person didn't have a daemon." She says, pressing her body against his. Dell wraps his arm around his beloved beaver. "I know." He is horrified and furies of why someone in their right mind would try and remove a daemon from a person. A daemon is the soul of a person. Removing it would be like removing a part of someone. He hugs Naira tightly, not afraid to admit he still does that from time to time as an adult. In Dustbowl the people didn't survive for long, but they were very aware of that they had lost. The man they met in the hallway wasn't aware. Dell cannot call these people alive anymore. "Why would they do such a thing?" He asks, not really aiming the question to anyone.

"I don't know, mate," Lawrence replies, also trying to wrap his head around this gross discovery. He cannot comprehend living without his daemon and it angers him knowing what these people do towards the locals, just because they have a different living style. "But at least we can make sure no one else in these parts meets this fate."

Yes, that they can. Dell lifts his own and still scared daemon on his shoulders and says with a hand on the side of her head. "Darn right, so; let's blow this place up." She nods in agreement, sharing his determination to stop anyone else losing their daemon. The man takes out a very big wrench and with precision only an engineer of his caliber can, he whacks the machine hard; breaking it beyond repair. The generator's former soft humming transforms into a loud screech with sparks flying around. That's not enough for them though, Naira jumps off his shoulders and with her powerful teeth; sever several wires, making the generator blow up and send the two men flying into the nearby wall.
Dell laughs at his handiwork. "I like to see them repair that!" It's the first time he's actually happy destroying a machine.

"Reminds me never to piss you off." Lawrence remarks and gets back on his feet, a ruffled Laraine lands back onto his shoulder as her human eyes the screeching machine. "You sure you didn't go a little overboard with this?" He asks a bit disrupted by the sound it makes. He would like if it didn't blow up and take their asses with it thank you very much.

"Nah!" Dell laughs.

"Right, better get out before—" but before Lawrence can finishes his sentence, the door to the engineering room slams open and three guards storms inside. Only one look at the scene of the half-destroyed machine and the two men standing before it tells them everything of what made the whole building run out of power and thus control of the building.

The guards pull out their guns, "kill them!" one of the shouts, but before they can Dell cries; "Don't! One shot and the whole place going to blow!"

It made the men hesitate, which gives Lawrence just enough time to pull out his own submachine gun and fill the three men with bullets, he only stop when the three dog daemons disappears; the clear sign these men are death. Dell walks over to the three dead guards, searching them briefly for anything useful. He let out a small grunt in disappointment and pulls out his small handgun.
Lawrence leaves the room. "Stay close." He tells the Texan and takes the lead down the now red flashing hallway; their job is done; now they merely need to check the place for possible survivors and kill every guard they meet on their path so their third member can get their true objective out..

Meanwhile and a bit deeper inside the building, one of the guard's fall with a bleeding throat, the daemon gone before he hits the floor. Antoine retreat his knife back under his sleeve and moves on with a snake shaped Sabrina wrapped around his left wrist. Even with the alarm of intruders ringing and people on high alert he still keeps to his cover. A small flock of guards, unaware of the cloaked spy of the Resistance and pass by the hidden man. They head towards one of the hallways; probably going to where Lawrence and Dell are at the moment. Antoine lets them pass before he pulls out his gun and shoots all four of them right in the head. The recoil of his weapon makes the cloak shimmer for just a moment. With them dead, he restarts his cloaking device when again hidden, moves over to the cells. With the lack of power, it is easy getting the doors open, he calls for the people to get out, they follow his command, but none of them shows any awareness of the situation, merely waiting for another order... Antoine lets out a sneer; all of these people have been lost to the Magisterium. He shoots the prisoners right in the head and moves on.
That woman the Crow was interested better not be another Interception victim or taken away already.

Through his memories from yesterday's visit, Antoine easily finds the room where they held the woman but just to his luck; she is not there. Great. He starts searching for her, hoping this woman hasn't gotten herself killed.. or worse. Down at the laboratory section, a scream made from pure terror catches his attention, and he moves over to check. He finds a pitiful excuse for a doctor crawling over the hospital room floor, unable to run thanks to the scalpel stuck into his leg. Still he does a worthy try getting away from his former victim; the same woman that can read the Alethiometer. And the look in her eyes is straight out disturbing.

"No, no stay back!" The man cries up to the person but is completely ignored by the sinister— by being too joyful of this situation woman. The woman's daemon appears from behind a table— to Antoine's shock and surprise finding it in a different form. Instead of that big otter Sabrina descried to him, he is now in form of a... well Antoine can only describe that as a monster- a hellhound perhaps. This... hellhound is about the same size as a shepherd; covered in black scales, revealing a red-fiery glow underneath the raised scales on his neck and back, the eyes and inside of the mouth has the same fiery color. He lets out a demonic snarl before lungs at the man's daemon. The rat daemon tries to get away but she has no chance getting away from this terror and soon caught in between his jaws and trashed around like a real terrier would've done to a real rat. The doctor screams in pain his daemon suffers through, begging for the human to stop. But all the former victim does it watching him suffer from her daemon's ferocious attacks on the rat while humming some happy melody with that almost joyful yet terrified look of hers. The cheery humming woman reaches out for a fire ax placed on the wall in case for fire, but she is clearly not planning on using it on what it supposed. She plays a bit around with it for a moment in her scarred hands. Then with a ferocity equal to her daemon; swings the ax right into the man's face watches fascinated half of the head rolls away from the body, and to Antoine's dumbfounded shock; she starts poking to the body like a child poking to a shored jellyfish.
The hellhound shakes his body like a dog just gotten out from water, and in a moment shimmer, he is back to his big otter form. With softer chatter walks over to his human who seems to snap out from this eerie joyful behavior and behaves closer to how a normal person should be acting by taking her daemon up in her arms, hugging him tightly in the form of self-comfort.
However the second she realizes they are not alone, the otter begins making aggressive squeaks and shimmer like he's ready to turn back into the hellhound again in her arms.

Antoine decides that he better make his intentions clear that he mean her no harm before he get an ax to his face. "I mean you no harm—" but before he can explain, the woman let out a battle cry and attacks him, forcing him to action. Seeing this one is not up for talking, he moves in, easily dodging this woman attempt on putting that ax into his face and hit her over the neck, knocking the woman to the floor but not unconscious.
Her daemon cries seeing his human down and when Antoine gets too close to her, the otter; without a second thought turns into the hellhound and lungs at the spy, completely ignoring the untold rule that daemons shouldn't touch another human. But this soul beast is too upset that this man might hurt them like the others did to bother about that taboo and lashes his sharp teeth into Antoine's arm, shaking his head and only the spy uniform spares a large chunk of flesh getting torn off.

Antoine lets out a yelp; both in pain and shock this daemon broke the taboo for his human's sake. He did not try getting the dog off by hand though; he is too professional for that.
Sabrina quickly steps in, she lungs at the pissed daemon, biting him in the head and forces him off her human. The two daemons land on the floor, hissing at one another. The dog jumps a bit back and forward, eyeing his smaller opponent up for a moment, then attacks Sabrina. Sabrina's superior agility makes her dodge his first attack and bite him in the face again, but one jerk from him makes her slip up and he does not hesitate put his teeth into her scaly skin. Sabrina hisses in pain and to the other daemon's shock she changes shape and throws him off. Now he is facing a bigger daemon in the form of a sneering white wolf. The dog stares wide eyed at the other daemon; a typical reaction when people realizes that Sabrina is not like any other daemons. With the other one no longer in the offensive Sabrina can finally speak to him "We're not your enemy!" She tells him hard.

The hellhound hesitates for a moment, then shimmer and is back at his otter form. He quickly returns back to his human who has recovered from Antoine's defensive attack. She sits up, stroking her sour neck with her amber eyes warily on him. "What do you want?" She asks him, her daemon barring his teeth at the man.

"The same what the Magisterium wants," Antoine answers her, thinking it will probably be for the best being honest with this one, whatever those people did to her clearly made part of her snap; hence why her daemon can take such a grotesque form. The woman shoots him a death glare and he does not really blame her. "However for a different reason."

"They all say that!" She snaps, getting back on her feet, still glaring at him. "I'm sick and tired being their puppet, so you better kill me before I kill you!" Her daemon grows and from how he shimmer it is clear she means her words.

He has fought people like this woman before, people that has lost everything, even part of their sanity. Those people are very unpredictable and just as deadly. Better play nice, for he seriously cannot risk either of them dying. "I merely want to know where my son is and then you are free to go."

"Bullshit!" She snaps. "You're not much different from that woman I met yesterday. You have the same coldness in your eyes."

"I ensure you, I will keep my words."

But she does not believe him and after have reclaimed the ax, she leaves the room. Every part of Antoine wants to stop her but he restrains himself from doing it as that will only prove her point and her daemon looks ready to pond him again if he tries.
He does slowly follow her out from the room, and to his relief, she stops.
"...if I survive this then I will consider helping you." and with those words, she runs off.

Seeing that there is no way persuade this woman unless he wants to risk a fight there probably going to end with one of them dead, the spy leaves the area to find his two other teammates.
It did not take long before Antoine find- or rather hears where Lawrence is.

"You bloody piker!" A wave of shots, followed by a bark of laugher; "Thanks for standing still wanker!"

Antoine heads towards the yelling of an Australian that enjoys the situation maybe a bit too much. And Lawrence calls himself a professional. "Sniper," He calls near where his two comrade are, sneaking up on Lawrence is usually a bad idea since the Aussie will punch or shoot someone right in the face if getting startled; he learned that the hard way.

Lawrence and Dell turn to the corridor behind them and smile seeing their French friend, the smile fade slightly though when they realize he is alone. "Where is the Alethiomist?" Lawrence asks frowning.

"She has major trust issues," Sabrina replies sullenly.

"Oh, doesn't that remind you of someone." Lawrence smirks,

Ignoring that allusion, Antoine continues, "and since we need her fully cooperation, I was forced to let her go."

"Where is she now?" Dell asks worried.

The Texan did not have to, though. That demon of a woman has shown she is more than capable protecting herself. "My guess; she is killing everyone who has held her prison in this place." Taking out a cigarette from his chest pocket. "Do not worry, she is not defenseless." He lights the smoke and after a brief drag he suggests they should leave." She will join us when done steaming off."

"Alright, but it doesn't feel right just leaving her." Dell muses, leaving a comrade behind doesn't sit right with him.

Lawrence glances to the spy, reloading his submachine gun with a grin the other man knows far too well. The spy groans but gives in, "fine..." and pull out his own revovler. "Might as well clean up while we're at it."
And that is exactly what they did, tThey kill everyone on their path even those who has lost their daemon; they saw it as a mercy kill more than anything since these people did not have a life worth living anymore.

"This is too easy. I'm actually feeling I'm getting worse." Lawrence remarks after have killed three soldiers with barely no effort. Glancing to the spy. "Are all Magisterium soldiers this easy?" For if they were then he is surprised why the resistance; who train their newest members has so much trouble defeating the world power.

Ignoring the insult to his own training, "I do not think the Magisterium trained these people." Antoine gives one of the dead guard a extra glances; noticing that he looks very much like the local population. "My guess: these guards were former farmers and fishermen that couldn't say no to a good paycheck."

"Don't make us feel bad for killing them..." Dell muses darkly, he would prefer not thinking about what family these men are leaving behind.

Taking another drag from his cigarette. "I won't, only the reminder what war does." The former Magisterium spy reload his revolver, "and how far our enemy is willing to go." Which does kinda makes him happy that the past generation of the resistance made unambiguous rules of what lines Team Fortress never should cross. One of them is dragging unaware civilians into the battle. Every member that joins will get the cold hard truth of what the resistance is doing and fighting with them can get them killed.

Lawrence eyes the hallway filled with people he and the two others has killed, slightly wondering if these people truly knew what has been going on in here? Unlike the two others, he hasn't ever been part of the Magisterium so he cannot really say if this is normal for those people. It didn't really matter in the end for him though, "we should get moving." He tell the two others. Dell and Antoine merely nod and they head deeper into the buildings.

However they cannot get much further, they have to stop when they find one of the many hallways engulfed in fire. A guard flees out from one of the room's, he turns and shoot at something which quickly reveal itself being the woman. The guard falls with a gaping hole from the ax in his chest, one gurgling sound and his daemon disappears. The woman leaves the body in search for more she can kill, She walks through the fire in a way it's like not even there.
The spy clears his throat, catching her attention. She stares at them for a moment, but when it's clear they won't follow because of the fire she turns and walks down the on fire hallway.

"Wait!" Dell calls, wanting to go after her but he won't risk his life going through those flames.

The woman's daemon notices that the masked man hasn't tried to follow themand mutters up to his human. "He seems to keep that promise." She stops and turns her attention back to the three men in the middle of the burning hallway. The scouring heat does not bother her, fire in fact made her feel safe. Gives her control she hasn't gotten for years. This fire will help her take this hellhole down. "You better leave." She tells them, the first people who has shown her just a gram of humanity after what felt like a lifetime being imprison and tortured. "I'm going to burn this whole place down."

"I can help you with it." Dell offers, much to his friends and the woman's surprise, ignoring the odd stares from the three, the Texan points over his shoulder. "There is a generator that can make this place blow sky high: nothing will be left behind."

The man sounds sincere but she has been lying to for so long that she does not trust people's words anymore, the woman narrow her eyes. "And why would you do that?"

Dell can't help but chuckle. "Well, I want this place gone as much as you miss. Also.." His smile grows wider. "It's not every day I get the chance see a Anbaricity generator overload. I hear it can make quite a spectacular fireball"

Lawrence laughs, thinking people underestimate how destructive Dell can be when he really wants to. "As long I'm not part of that fireball." He eyes the wary woman. "You coming Sheila?" and leaves with a face palming Antoine close behind.

Dell gives her a weak smile. "If not, then you better get out." Before heading back to the generator as well.

The woman hesitates, not sure if she can trust these people. Her daemon returns to his otter form and takes out the only thing she has from her bit more innocent childhood: the Alethiometer. "Ask it." He tells her hard. Again she hesitate, she does not find the same joy asking the truth device as she did back when her family were still alive. Before those Magisterium bastards took her away, forced her to watch them slaughter her family and to asks the Alethiometer anything that will strengthen their grip around the world. Yet, her need to be around people again and her curiosity about these three override her dislike using the device. She takes it from Dahanain and turns the first pin to the anchor, the second to the hourglass and the last on the caveman. With the question: 'can I trust these men' in mind the needle begins to move, giving her the answer.

'They need your abilities if they wishes to save more people who soon will meet same fate as your friends and family. Joining them is your only chance for survival. Trust can come with time if you let it.'

"A simple yes would do." She grumbles that the device always needs to make a whole speeches. Still the answer calms her wariness and makes her follow the three men. However, she does not leave her weapon behind as the Alethiometer did say between the lines that she cannot trust them fully right away.

**
The remaining soldiers still in the town and not heading towards the Facility all flinch when a huge explosion followed by a bright fireball appears right where they know the Facility is located. All of them know it can only be the terrorist, only those people would be insane enough to blow up a whole building and murder everyone on their path. A few of the soldiers have fought and survived an encounter with the terrorists and knows that if they do not kill these people, then they soon will have a bigger problem on their hands as the terrorists have a habit staying where the Magisterium is trying to spread their influence. The bit more experience soldiers command the rest shooting at everything that moves, yes even at the civilians. The terrorist will try getting the civilians on their side, and the chance many from this village will is too great for the soldiers. They just can't risk having their enemy raise their numbers.
The soldiers start shooting at the terrified civilians, one of them chases down a mother and her two children; completely ignoring her begging not to kill her children. He aims but before he can shoot, his head explodes, and the scared mother spots the person who did it. A bit oddly skinned man with yellow glasses and crocodile teeth decorated hat. "Run Sheila!" He calls with a strange accent, aiming his rifle again and another soldier ends up dead.
He did not have to say that twice, the woman and her children run past the man, but stops when she sees a familiar face. The scarred woman with the otter daemon gives her a weak smile before telling her to leave. The mother thanks her and with other survivors; flees into the forest with the cries of dying soldiers.

When the backup from the Magisterium arrives, only a town filled dead people will greet them. The survivors, terrorists and most of the useful supplies will be gone.

Chapter Text

Nathan is frustrated, ever since Dell's old man shot at him and he accidentally revealed that he worked for his son. Mr. Conagher has refused to leave him alone. He visits him in the room at least once per day, asking Nathan innocent questions about his life. But Nathan is not stupid, he knows the man is trying getting information about his family, but unfortunately; Mr. Conagher is smarter than him and knows exactly what he needs to say to make Nathan slip up. It frustrates Nathan, he doesn't want the man around and yet... he does. Mr. Conagher is the only person he sees and can speak with throughout all the day, Nathan is not used to be alone or surrounded by silence for so long; having a house full of brother's; silence is a rare thing. The hours of silence is putting both him and Nalini on edge and thus more willing to talk when the old man comes for a visit... and they both hate him because they both know what the man is doing.

"You look troubled boy." Mr. Conagher remarks in his always soft-spoken voice.

The tone always reminds Nathan of Dell and how he could tell the man everything that was bothering him. Like when he had been troubled by Nalini ability to still change forms. Dell's soft-spoken voice coming with good pieces of advice and Naira's sense of humor always would him cheer up, however, this man before him does not share the same sentiment. "Because I am." He tells Mr. Conagher short, refusing to look at the man.

"What troubles your mind?"

He does not answer the man, giving Mr. Conagher words to play with has proven again and again to be a huge mistake.

Mr. Conagher watches the boy for a while, Nathan has been giving him much information he could use if the boy try doing stupid stunts again. Yet he might have underestimated the boy a bit too. After Nathan told him that Dell did not hire him because he knows about engineering- in fact, this boy can't even make heads and tails at this ship's motor which would've been child's play for his own son. Mr. Conagher didn't consider this boy very smart. Yet it seems that Nathan is smart enough to know what has been going on between them as he has over this week has gotten very carefully of what he speaks about. Yet Mr. Conagher here has dealt with enough people over the years to know what action is best to get this one talking. "Do not worry, you will see your family again very soon." He ensures the boy, over the time he got Nathan talking has revealed that this boy really cares for his family. As expected the boy turns his attention fully to him; he is tense and past conversations with him have taught Mr. Conagher that it is unwise speaking badly about those he cares about since this boy has grown up in a place where fighting has been something of the daily. "Every child will be returned back to their families after they have helped us getting a better understanding regarding the nature of daemon."

"Why didn't you inform the families then?" Nathan asks suspiciously with Nalini glaring at the man in form of a hawk.

"We do, but not all share our need protecting the youth from the terrors in the world. So sometimes we are forced to take the children away without informing the parents." Mr. Conagher explains softly as if speaking to a naïve child. "And we sincerely hope for their forgiveness when we return them back home: we do only want the best for the next generation."

Nathan is not sure what the Magisterium wants to protect the children from and he is not sure Dell's old man knows fully the details himself if he did; he will probably never tell him about it. "You going to do the same to me?" He asks slowly, admittedly afraid what the world power wants to do with him.

"Yes."

"What will you do to me?"

Mr. Conagher gives him a soft smile that says he shouldn't worry. "Make your daemon settle." He turns to Nalini who freezes at what the man has said. Disliking the sudden attention from the man she turns into a wildcat and hisses at him. Mr. Conagher is unfazed by the daemon's behavior and turns back to the boy "It's about time you become a man."

Placing a hand on his understandable very upset daemon, Nathan asks: "Is that's why you keep calling me boy?" Even after he told the man his age and how he is practically adult, Mr. Conagher has kept on calling him a child.

"Only children's daemon change." The older man explains, glancing down to his own daemon who hasn't moved from her spot ever since he got in here. "When a child's daemon settles they are ready to join the adults' ranks and embark on the goals life sets before them. Did Dell ever tell you about his daemon's settling?" Eyeing the boy in a curious manner, wondering if his son did share his personal life with this one.

Nathan nods. "Yeah, he told me Naira settled really early. He never told me how old he was though but I guess he was about thirteen or something close." That is early for a daemon to settle but not completely unheard of either. Usually, a daemon settles in the age of seventeen.

"He was ten when she settled." Mr. Conagher says proudly.

Okay, that is REALLY early, Nathan thinks shocked, how in the world would a ten-year-old know who he is?! He sure didn't in that age, way more occupied keeping up with his brothers and throw rocks at bullies in school than thinking what he would do when he grows up. "How—"

"Dell has always been interested in the mechanic and obedience doing his duty in society." The father of Dell explains still in a very proudly manner. "We all knew his place in this world when he got old enough, he did as well and that's why Naira settled so early." The smile he has on the lips fades. "It's a pity that all those years of study, all that talent wasted on building mere Zeppelins... and now playing war with his so-called friends." He should've known something had been amiss when his own father made Dell goes on that two-week long trip and how different Dell began acting after he returned. Something big must've happened that made Dell decline the offer the Magisterium gave him to become the new head engineer for a measly job such as a private zeppelin builder. Eyeing the boy before him. "Hopefully you will be smarter, it would be such a waste disposing of one of our future."

Nathan tenses from Mr. Conagher words, if this hasn't been a warning that this man can and will kill him if he did not stay in line then he don't know what would. The beaver daemon finally moves and the before hissing Nalini literarily shrinks under the dark brown daemon stare.

The older man sends the boy a smile. "We're reaching land soon, if you behave, then I will allow you on deck. Can you do that?" He asks, still smiling but the former warning still hangs clear in the air. Nathan is too afraid of the warning to argue with him and merely nods. Satisfied Mr. Conagher raise from his chair, opens the door and gesture for the boy to leave the room.

Nathan does and only briefly glances down to the floor where Mr. Conagher's daemon is holding a sparrow Nalini in her mouth, so even if he wanted to; there is no way he can run so long that beaver has his daemon trapped. After having been stuck in that small cabin for a whole week, Nathan admits it is nice being out in the fresh air again. His body feels rather stiff and Nathan would like move around but didn't dare in case Mr. Conagher's daemon did not like him moving too much and will chomp down on Nalini. He follows the older man over the deck, they pass by the guy he landed on under the last escape and Nathan just cannot help himself seeing how crouched that man walks. "How's the back?"

The other man shoots him a glare. "You be thankful they want you alive." He sneers with his greyhound bare her teeth at him.

Getting death threats from this guy doesn't have the same impact on him as Dell's old man has, in fact hearing this one doing it amuses him more than anything. "Uhh I'm so scare—" his taunting gets interrupted by a sharp pain thought his back, the scared and hurtful tweet coming from Nalini makes it clear what that beaver did to her.

"Behave," Mr. Conagher tells him still in that soft-spoken tone of his, but Nathan is very aware of the warning behind that soft voice. "You too, this boy is part of our future after all," the man says to the soldier who stops grinning at Nathan's predicament.

The soldier salutes. "Yes, sir." And quickly leaves.

With the soldier gone and acting completely unaware of Nathan's discomfort having his daemon held prisoner by his own. Mr. Conagher begins telling him of what will happen when they reach land. "You and the rest of the children will be lead to one of our Facilities, here a doctor will give you all a quick check up on your mental health. Being taken away from loved ones is always hard." He signs to Nathan to follow, again seemly unaware that the boy doesn't really have a choice in this. "But fortunately they always get used to the situation and willing letting us help them without the distraction from their parents. The testing you will go through is harmless and from what I hear: it hurts as much as when you need a vaccine. You would need a bit more testing though as you are the first "adult" with a child daemon, but don't you worry; I'm sure the doctors can fix your little problem."

"What happens after the tests?" Nathan asks carefully. He does not want to anger this man again.

The older man eyes him, smiling. "After that, we will help the older children get a better knowledge about the dangers we wish to keep them from. When they understand, then a team will send them home. We will of course check up on them to make sure none of the tests has any long term symptoms."

"The same going happen to me?" Nathan is not sure he likes having people from the Magisterium checking him like some kind of big brother that does not know the term of privacy.

"Correct, that doesn't sound so bad now does it?"

"I guess not..." Nathan muses, of course he won't deny that forcing children away from their homes is really bad, but he must admit that from how Mr. Conagher explains everything he cannot see the danger in what they are doing. The only danger he can see in all of this is the people doing it. Mr. Conagher is a prime example; the man is very friendly when people behave or share his sentiment but the second someone (like Nathan) tries to counteraction him then he will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to stop them and that what makes that man so dangerous. And Nathan fears that most people from the Magisterium have the same worldly interaction, it does explain why it has become such a powerful organization.

Mr. Conagher is very satisfied with that answer.

The ship docks just as the sun begins to set, the Magisterium soldiers take the children very calmly off the ship which calms the before scared children significant down as they did not feel they are in much danger anymore. Under the trip the soldiers have been very nice to them, even letting those most well behaved up and play on the deck. Of course, the children still miss their family and often ask when they will see them again. The elderly man with the beaver daemon has told them more or less the same thing he did to the oldest of those they have taken. The children slowly stopped asking for the parents, trusting this man that reminds many of them of their grandfather they soon will see their families again. Back on land, the children begin looking almost awestruck around the new place they have ended up at, most of them have never left their home country so being an in a completely new environment of another country is quite enthralling.

"Don't wander off." The soldier with a wolf for a daemon tells the group of children a bit harshly and those that have been trying to explore this new place quickly returns back to the group. The big soldier turns his grey eyes back to the ship where Mr. Conagher leaves with that boy there has been a pain for everyone ever since they caught him. Well, at least the old man has dealt with that one so he doesn't have to worry chasing that brat down. The two men from the Magisterium give each other a small nod before the big soldier tells the children to follow him. They do, all the while looking wide-eyed around the area.

Nathan can't help but do the same, from how long they have traveled and the diffidence in the city's architecture he can easily say they are no longer in New France, heck he doubt they are in America anymore from how long they have been on the sea. "Where are we?" He asks Mr. Conagher.

The older man smiles. "Bristol."

He has heard about this city before, the teachers told him about this place when they taught him and his fellow students about other countries. "Holy crap, we're in Brytain!" The hopes someone he knew would come for him drops drastically. No one from his family has ever left America, and even if they wanted to; his mother nor his brothers would be able to scrape enough money for a ship or a zeppelin traveling over the sea. He wants to get away but Mr. Conagher's daemon has complete control over Nalini like the old man has over him, so for now he just has to follow the soldiers and hope for the best.

They walk for about an hour and when most of the children have gotten tired, the soldier with a Komodo dragon as daemon calls someone over his radio while the one with the grey hound daemon hands each child a sandwich and a bottle of juice, Nathan gets the same. While eating the lunch, Nathan realizes that the soldiers purposely made them walk so none of the children would do much resistance when the trucks arrived. In fact most of the children are happy to drive and every one of them steps into the back of the truck, a few of them needs the big soldier to lift them. Nathan admit that is rather clever, and although he is far from being as exhausted as the kids and actually can take the run for it because that blasted beaver has finally let go of Nalini. Well, Nathan can't make himself leave the children, pretty sure the soldiers know that as well since they only expect him to head into the truck when the last child has been seated.
Frustrated, and feeling like a dog dragged around by a leash, Nathan reluctantly joins the kids in the truck. Only barely biting down a snarky lash when the soldier with the grey hound asks taunting. "Now that wasn't so hard was it?" Before closing the door.

The truck starts driving, reminding Nathan on the first time he and four other kids were stuck in a familiar situation a few weeks past. Except for this time the truck is fully lit and builds more like a bus than a vehicle made to store furniture. He glances to the children he met in that abandon school, watching them sleep peacefully.
"It's like this whole situation doesn't bother them anymore." Nalini remarks on his shoulders, the swallow daemon turns to her human with a frown. "this whole situation smells like rotten fish."
He didn't like this either, the soldiers are just too nice for him to call it natural. Magisterium soldiers has always been known to be a fearsome elite that will strike anyone down who is a fool to cross them, of course the media always say they did that for protection but after what Dell has told him and watching how these soldiers are very determent to get the next generation on their side, Nathan is certain there is more to it. He just isn't sure why.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

After about an hour of driving, the truck stops and the soldiers take the children out, again they are met with no resistance. Nathan jumps out from the truck as well and before he can even think about pull off a stunt he did on the ship, Mr. Conagher's daemon grabs Nalini around the neck and the man gestures for Nathan to follow him and the rest of the children. They head towards a huge building, it is entirely made out of tree yet it somehow still success looking like something from the future. Above the double doors is the grand Icon of the Magisterium: an M with a cross behind it. Even the youngest of the children know of that sign, for no matter where people look they will see the banner and thus influence of the Magisterium. Yet none of the children are scared seeing that sign, in fact, it made them calm down further as most of the adults have told them that the Magisterium keeps them safe. The double doors open and out walks a small middle-aged man with sleek brown hair and unusual green eyes. On his left shoulder sits what Nate can guess is a rat but he is not sure as it does not look like any rat he has seen before. Her snout is longer than a rat, and most rat daemon has black or brown fur, this one has grey fur and a white head. He wonders what kind of species this one is.

The man with the strange rat smiles eerily cheerful down to the children. "Ahh, I am happy so many of you could come." He opens the doors for them. "Come inside, you must be tired from such a long journey."
The soldier with the wolf daemon leads the children inside and with the last one gone, the rat daemon man's eyes lands on Nathan, his smile falters slightly. "And who might you be?" Eyes to Mr. Conagher. "Your new pupil perhaps?"

Mr. Conagher shakes his head with a chuckle. "No, the boy is with the rest." He places a hand on Nathan's shoulders just as his daemon lets go of Nalini. The young man's daemon turns into a wild rabbit and runs as far away the bond between her and Nathen would allow her, glaring daggers at the beaver who completely ignores her.

"Fascinating." The man muses, moving over to the rabbit daemon. Nalini snaps her attention over to him and turns into a terrier, growling a warning of getting too close. The man clearly did not get the warning since he kneels down painfully close to her; only thing saving him from getting chewed on is the taboo of daemon is not allowed to touch other people other than their own human. "I wasn't aware daemon could change after maturity, I wonder what caused such an abnormally?" He turns to Nathan, unfazed by the death glare the young man gives him. "Yes, this requires some testing. Come." He waves them to follow and heads into the building.

Still, with a firm grip on Nathan's shoulders, Mr. Conagher leads the young man into the building, only letting go when the doors have closed and locked behind them. "Do not worry, he is only going to help." He ensures the boy.

Nathan is not sure he will let that rat person help him, but as it stands right now; well he doesn't really have a choice.

Chapter Text

"Frank, you got a moment?"

Mr. Conagher turns away from repairs he is doing on the security turret and his blue eyes lands on a person he can go so far call a friend. They do not have many secrets between them at least. "What is it Vigil?" He asks, already taking off the work gloves since his comrade would only interrupt his work if it important.

The thin man before the Texan motion for him to follow, Frank does. Away from possible listing ears Vigil speaks; "We got reports from the facility in the Amazon. The terrorists found it."

And here he had hoped they wouldn't find that one, Frank thinks dryly and annoyed. He has put so much effort on that generator, well if those terrorists have been clever they would've left the Anbaricity alone. If not, well at least he can relish in the thought the overload would've taken the terrorists with it. "How much damage did they do this time?"

"The whole building is gone" Vigil replies.

"So they went for the generator," Frank concludes, sighting he dries off any remaining oil on his hands. "I worked so hard on it... at least it took the intruders with them" after all, not every man who knows how to use a wrench can work with an Anbaricity generator.

"Not quite." And the thin man hands him the latest report from the Amazon Facility, along with a security picture of the intruders.

Frank's brow furrow of who he sees in that picture. "Dell." Knowing his own flesh and blood destroyed one of his generators fills him with icy cold disappointment. If it was his son who sabotaged the generator then he and the others of his "friends" would've gotten away. Dell knows how to work with an Anbaricity generator and can make it blow with himself and the others out from the blast radios. Returning the papers back to Vigil. "Does anyone else know of this?" Why does Dell have to be so disobedient? He was such a dutiful child, even looked forward becoming the head engineer for the Magisterium, to then suddenly change his mind after that trip. All this is his father's fault, that man just couldn't put his silly ideals to rest and realize that what the Magisterium did for the family is for the best. Because of that old fool, Frank might have to kill his own son.

"Leonard and Paul know, neither doesn't like the situation. Paul suspects you're on their side but Leonard knows you are loyal so he doesn't blame you having such a wayward offspring. It made Paul back off." Vigil explains their team's engineer, he put the papers back into his chest pocket. "Still, he does expect you to report this, he said it would be best you report about it than someone else; so Grey would know you are loyal."

"Well, better get this over with.." Frank sighs. The two men head to the debriefing room, inside, two bulky men awaits them, the biggest and having a wolf as a daemon; the same guarding the children on the ship is standing with crossed arms and a deep scowl over his face. Besides him is the boss of this group, he is the expert in explosives but just as much as a soldier like the rest. His Rottweiler daemon shows that. Frank gives that man a small nod out of respect. "Leonard," who returns the gesture with his own nod before turning on the video link between them and their boss.

The figure of a man appears on the screen, face completely hidden in the dark room he resides in. No soldier knows the face of their boss, only those with the privileged will be allowed and that is seen as a huge honor. Frank is actually one of those few people who has seen Gray's face. The man on the screen moves slightly forward. "Report." He commands in a very direct manner, this man does not like beating around the bush; prefer merely getting onto the point.

Frank gives Grey a small bow in form of respect before saying the report. "We have gathered fourteen children from New France, all of them are children of rebellious parents but soon will see the Church's way. The men found a very special case in Boston; a young adult with a child daemon."

"Elaborate."

"This young man is nineteen years old, yet his daemon still changes shape as it would to a child. Our doctors are currently investigating the reason for such an abnormally."

Grey muses to himself for a moment, he leans back in his chair. "Good, such an abnormally is best getting fixed than left alone. Anything else Mr. Conagher?"

This time Frank hesitates, brazing himself for the possible punishment from his disobedient son. He does notices that Paul is watching him very suspiciously at this moment. "Yes sir, latest reports from the Amazon Facility reveals that the terrorists have located and disposed of the facility. No survivors."

"That is unfortunate, but at least not waste of time." Grey muses with a hint of annoyance that yet another building destroyed thanks to that blasted resistance. "The doctors from that estate did not die in vain, I have already sent their work to the doctors located at Bolvangar."

"That's good to hear sir, but..." Frank lets out a sigh before he explains. "It saddens me to say this, but I think it was best I reported it." He can literally feel Grey's eyes bore into his, he swallows but does continue. "My son, Dell was the one who caused the destruction," and with that said, his three co-workers awaits quietly for what Grey has to say about this matter.

"So, you own flesh and blood have turned against the Church?" Grey asks, his voice icy cold. The four men daemons shift uncomfortably.

"I admit I am hoping the terrorists have forced him to work for them." Frank inquire, letting himself have this spark of hope his son can be persuaded that what he is currently doing is foolish and needs to stop if he knows what's best for him. "He is one of the few people who can sabotage an Anbaricity generator without getting killed in the progress, and he has been very absent minded lately, making him a perfect target for the terrorists lies."

"And you think he can be turned around?"

"I am hopeful yes."

"And if he doesn't see reason?" Grey asks calmly, but Franks knows the man is considering something sinister towards him if he doesn't prove his loyalty. "Are you willing to do what needs to be done?"

"Yes sir," Frank replies, only slightly hesitant, this is after all his own son but... he will do anything to prove his loyalty to the Church.

"Good," Grey seems satisfied with the answer, for now at least. "Commander," turning to Leonard who salutes and awaits his orders. "I want you and your men at Durham, the last reports from our Alethiomist revealed that the terrorists are trying to gather people there. I want the rebel leader alive, but don't hesitate shooting those who resist the capture. Bring them to this base."

"Yes, sir."

"Dismissed."

Frank and Vigil salute, only lowering their hands when the screen turns black. The thin man glances to his comrade. "Well, that went better than expected."

"Agree." Frank muses and turns his eyes up to Paul from the man's words: "For your own sake, you better not hesitate with the trigger like you did with your words."
Frank sends the man a leveled stare, replying him calmly but now with a greater certainty of where his loyalty lies. "If diplomacy does not work, then you don't have to remind me of my duty." And with that, he leaves the room.

...,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...

Being at this place is not so bad, boring as hell and a bit unnerving, though, but he could've been through worse he guesses. However, Nathan is getting tired of all the testing this particular doctor keeps putting him through. "Yo, you done already?" He asks the doctor impatience, he could do better things that sitting on his ass and letting Nalini do all the work. Her changing form every second does drain his mentality quite a bit. The doctor is very interested in that little fact.

"A few more." The doctor replies and takes up another picture, this one of a cheetah. "Make her take this form and tell me how it feels."

Rolling his eyes but complying, Nathan turns to his daemon, who like him is getting annoyed by this stupid game. The mouse turns into a cheetah and the doctor gives Nathan a curious look. The young man takes a moment to feel what this form gives him. "It feels good."

"Elaborate bitte?" The doctor asks with that strange accent of his.

The testing might be annoying but it did teach Nathan something he did not know. Every form Nalini takes affects him in some way. Example the wild rabbit form- her favorite could very well have been her settled form as that shape has most of his personality traits, but since she is unable to settle, other forms are taken when a certain emotions dominate Nathan; such as the wild cat when he's angry and ready for a fight and the swallow or mouse when he's scared and just wants to escape a situation.
Nathan shifts his position, contemplating his emotions this form brings up. "Well, it makes me angry- no feeling powerful, like I can run circles around some chucklehead and get away with it." That form reminds him of the wildcat, just bigger and faster. He thinks he will use this form the next time some moron asks for a bat to the face. He's sure the flimsy guard he landed on wouldn't mind a quick fight.

The doctor writes it down, his whole face brightens up like it's early Christmas, his excited scribbling almost makes his white dove daemon fall off his shoulders. She lets out a 'coo' and flies over to sit on a chair's backrest. "Fascinating, it seems this form suits your personality better than the mouse. What about this one?" He shows a picture of the straight opposite of the cheetah: a tortoise.

Again Nalini takes the form, but like many other forms, the doctor made her take, Nathan did not feel comfortable with this form; it's too slow. Sure he wouldn't mind if she takes this form if something takes a bite into her but that as far this form goes, only useful for a quick defense, although he and Nalini can easily pick other forms that suits that situation and be more comfortable about it, besides, a tortoise form suits Ken better. Nathan briefly explains the doctor his thoughts and asks for probably the tenth time. "Are we done? I have better things to do than this freaking boring test." And finally, the doctor lets him go.

Nathan leaves before this crazy man changes his mind and runs to one of the rooms where the children reside. The huge white painted room did not really have anything interesting, some paintings on the walls, two boxes with random toys the children could play with and a long line of tables where the doctors or teachers would make them sit under their lectures. Nathan hates those lectures, all the teachers spoke about is how awesome the Magisterium is and how they made world peace under the terrible world war that happened almost one hundred years ago. He read that in school along with anything else the teachers says. But besides from that; everything seemed right, so why does Nathan smell something fishy? Why do he keep getting the feeling that something is wrong with the picture he is staring at.

"Nate!"

Blinking, the young man turns to one of the kids, her name is Heidi, sweet girl.

"Do you want to play tag with us?" She asks him, behind her stand a small flock of children, waiting and hoping his answer will be yes. Having him in the game always makes it a bit funnier.

Nathan smiles, "sure" and ready himself as the chaser. "Ready or not, here I come!" and he begins chasing the squealing children. Playing with them always lighten up the boring atmosphere of this place, Nathan is pretty sure that's why the children keep asking him to play with them. He always got a knack for lightening up the mood.

"Nathan, come over here if you please." Mr. Conagher calls interrupt the game. Of course, someone always has to ruin the fun... Nathan reluctantly leaves the children and walks over to the man, well aware that going against Dell's old man will only mean pain to both him and Nalini.
"I would like to introduce you to Viper." The head engineer a gestures to a simple black dressed man beside him, his face has very sharp features, which makes him look quite intimidating. Even though he is older than Mr. Conagher, the way he looks at Nathan makes the young man uncomfortable as it reminds him how a hunter would look at some prized animal. His daemon did not make it any better, she's a huge black snake, looking ready to swallow the fox-shaped Nalini.

She quickly changes form and seeks protections on her human's shoulder as a swallow. Nathan glares at the man named Viper but he doesn't feel as confident as he would like around this intimidating man.

Mr. Conagher did not seem to notice the tension in the air between the two and continues somewhat cheerful. "Viper has been send by Grey himself, he would like to test and see you're worth training."

"Training in what?" Nalini asks warily on her human's shoulder. Flinching from the cold stare Viper gives her.

"Do you always let your daemon speak for you boy?" Viper asks in slow and calculated tone. His daemon turns her own piecing stare at the other daemon, making Nalini shrink in fear.

"N-No," Nathan replies, he tries to sound tough but all his confidence has left him from this man's unnerving aura.

"Good, a daemon should be seen, never heard. Now come." The calm but very intimidating man gestures for Nathan to follow. "I would like to see if you actually have skills worth my time."

Nathan hesitates but after a nudge from Mr. Conagher, he follows the other man. Too intimidated to ask why this Grey has found him enough interesting to send probably one of his best men to train him.

Viper leads him into an empty room, he walks into the middle of the room. "Attack me," he says.

"Wh-What?" Nathan blinks, not really seeing that one— before he can even finish his own thoughts, Viper slams hard him onto the floor.

"Lesson 1: never hesitate." Viper lets go of him and with Nathan back on his feet, repeat his former command, "attack me."

This time Nathan does not hesitates, he charges at the man who easily dodges his fits and a single kick to the leg sends the young man back onto the floor. "That's all you got?" the man snorts, "pathetic."

Growling Nathan gets back on his feet again, he has been taught by his mother and Dell that picking fights with people for no reason is what only a fool or a coward would do. But this man is so asking for a fight, and he has been pent up with nothing to do for too long. Nalini changes into a cheetah and he jumps on his feet, this time out to hurt for real. He charges at the man, but this time he does not merely go for the punch as that clearly does not work on this guy. Instead, he changes direction just the last second and when behind he can with satisfaction watch the other one land on the floor from a very well aimed jump-kick. The man does quickly recover though and unlike most who would be pissed getting kicked by the runt of his gang of brothers, this man is actually smiling. "Ah, that's much better, good. Thought I had to force you." And he attacks in such a graceful manner that it startles Nathan.
Nathan did try defend himself but to his frustrations Viper's old age is barely slowing him down, and his years of professional training dominates Nathan's occasional gang fights back at Boston— only his speed made him able to get a few hits in.

The young man let out a cry of pain, again on the floor, this time with a dislocated shoulder. No surprise, he gets no sympathy from Viper. The man merely knells down beside him with a almost predatory smirk. "I can make good use of you." And with those words he leaves Nathan on his own.

Nathan slowly gets on his feet, not sure what Viper meant, only that he doubt he is going to see his family for a very long time. Cradling his at the moment useless arm, Nathan limps over to the door, he does not reach far before the same doctor from earlier comes for him. The man gives him a scowl of disapproval over what he is seeing. "It seems Viper has gotten his fun." The doctor muses dryly with that strange accent of his and gestures for Nathan to follow. "Come along."
Nathan follows the doctor into an infirmary, it looks like the one the doctor with the strange rat daemon has, except this one is filled with white doves. Does explain why this one has one for a daemon.
"Take a seat junge." the doctor says.

"What did you just call me?" Nathan asks in a wonder he should be offended or not, but when he gets not response and answer on what the word meant, he merely takes a seat.
The doctor grabs the dislocated shoulder, sending a jolt of pain through his body and Nathan let out a cry.

The doctor's sharp steel blue eyes shows no sign of sympathy, in fact, he seems to enjoy watching Nathan in pain a bit too much. "Yes, diffidently dislocated. Hm, that's too bad." And with a quick move; snaps it back into place.

"Fuck that hurt!" Nathan cries, glaring at the man and actually wishes the one with the rat did this, he was annoying to listen to as he wouldn't shut up about the Church but at least that guy would be gentle. "What kind of doctor doesn't warn their patients first?"

The doctor keeps smiling but suddenly looks very intimidating. "Welcome to the Magisterium." He says coldly yet cheerful, making Nathan feels a cold shiver down his spine. The man leaves to find something in his medical closet. "Now, anything else that hurt?" Again back to his more friendlier self.

Nathan does not answer at first; he is too much taken aback by the sudden change of demeanor from this seemly cheerful doctor, he only snaps out from it when the doctor sends him a questioning look. "Oh um, my neck hurts a bit." Gesturing at a certain spot where Viper hit him.

The doctor returns, now holding a bottle with some reddish liquid inside, only taking out the substance after have checked the neck. "Your neck's going to be fine, but do tell me if you starts having trouble feeling your feet." He chuckles in such a manner that it makes his patient very nervous. "But don' you worry, I have fixed severed nerves before. Now where did... ah, here it is!" And he takes out a huge needle.

Okay, Nathan doesn't care what will happen to him if he tries to escape, he rather gets his ass kicked by Viper again than wait and see what this mad doctor is going to use that thing for! He leaps away from the doctor, but just as he reaches the door, a sharp pain in his back followed by an unnerving drowsiness, Nathan drops to the ground.

"Dummkopf," the doctor muses as he put down his personally made syringe gun and walks over to retrieve his patient, he places the half conscious young man onto the table. Why did they always have to run away? Oh right, he isn't exactly the most sane doctors. Chuckling the doctor takes out the big syringe, take out some of his own made liquid medicine and stick it into the boy's arm.
With that done he merely waits for the medicine to do its job.
'coo' the white dove on his shoulder says, he pets it with a small hush before turning his gaze out the window, allowing his mind to wander for a moment.

The world returns back into focus and after a while of recovery, Nathan sits up from the bed, blinking he realizes that his body does not hurt at all anymore, in fact he feel great. Checking his arm, he realizes that the cut he receives there is completely gone, not even a scar can be seen. Okay, how long has he been out? Nathan turns his gaze away from his completely healed body and over to the crazy doctor. He is about to speak but something stops him. The doctor is staring almost longing out at the window while petting his dove daemon. It makes Nathan wonder what the doctor is thinking about. He shift position and the sound of his move snaps the doctor back to reality.

The man smiles widely to him. "Ah, you're up. How do you feel?" In a long stride is back to his side and checking his before battered body for any wounds.

"Um, I feel great actually." Nathan muses, he glances down to the strange liquid. "What the hell is in that stuff?"

The doctor laughs, "Oh a lot of things, this is quite fascinating. First time I used it on anyone— oh don't give me that look." He brushes the horrified and quite angry looking Nathan off. "It worked as expected and if it didn't: I am sure it wouldn't have killed you."

"It could have!" Nathan shouts with Nalini growling at the man in her terrier form.

"Then I would have revived you." The doctor points out as if it's that simple. Pushing his glasses back on his nose the man adds. "I do not kill people on my operating table, I am a doctor after –" the doctor suddenly flinches, jerking his right hand over to his left. For a moment Nathan fears the doctor might have a seizure, then slowly realizes that the doctor has flinched because of another reason, but that's impossible; the doctor's daemon is perfectly fine.

"Doc? You..." Nathan hesitantly steps over to the doctor whose eyes is wide of shock and horror. "You alright?"

The doctor turns to him and smiles. "Yes, I'm fine." And suddenly is very eager getting him out. "If you'll excuse me, I have other patients I should attend to."

Nathan leaves, wondering what has made the man flinch as if something has harmed his daemon.

The Doctor locks the door and returns back to his desk, flexing his still hurting hand. He did not like this one bit, something terrible must've happen to her.

'coo'

"I know Archimedes." He muses and gives the white dove and its other friends a handful of birdseeds, watching his beloved pets eat happily. He smiles yet he still can't help but worry about what is causing him pain in his hand and feeling him with such dread, looking out the window; he just knows that something terrible has happen to her.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile, out on the Atlantic ocean, a small airship flies towards the continent of Brytain as that is where the Alethiometer told where Nathan would be. Lawrence, being the best navigator on the ship does spend a lot of time watching the weather for any changes, well most of the time. At the moment the sniper is taking a nap, much to a certain Spy's irritations. Usually, Antoine can deal with Lawrence taking a nap on the job, as the sniper spends most of the day and night keeping watch and steers the ship when on the go. But that patience and respect that Lawrence needs his rest cannot be found this very moment. Being a former Magisterium spy, Antone knows what those people are capable of, not to mention being a father searching for his kidnapped son is not a good combination for the usually stoic spy.

"Now's not the time for a catnap, Bushman!" He snaps and would've taken control of the ship if that blasted sniper doesn't keep on stopping him.

Lawrence looks up from below his hat, the brown eyes behind the aviators have a gleam of annoyance, sign this isn't the first time the spy has snapped at him this day. "Now is exactly the time for a nap." He huffs, pulling the hat over his eyes again. "I won't get much sleep the next hours." At the railing, Laraine ruffles her feathers once before going back to her own nap.

"And why's that?" Dell asks, looking away from the new revolver he is building for Antoine.

The sniper doesn't even look up when he answers, merely waving out to the sky. "Storm's coming, and it's a big one."

The two men blink and start scanning the so far cloud-free sky for this apparent storm the other man speaks about. But the only change in the weather lately has been the wind has gotten slightly colder. The spy turns back to this seemly weather expert. "You have been too much out in the sun; clearly you're starting to hallucinate," he remarks dryly.

"Says the wanker who couldn't even survive a week out in the outback." Lawrence retorts, sending Antoine a glare which the spy happily returns. "Trust me, mate. A storm is coming and I wants some rest before we get thrown around like bloody ragdolls by the sea."

Dell blinks from the Aussie's last comment. "Sea?" Already getting uncomfortable where this is going. He doesn't like sailing on the ocean.

"Yeah, gonna put this girl down unless you can make her immune against lightning, in a matter of a few hours."

Dell can do a lot of things in short among of time, but he hasn't yet been able to make a rod that actually can make a flammable airship survive against a lightning bolt. "Even I aren't that good..." Dell muses and again looks around for this upcoming storm. "You sure there's a storm coming?"

Lawrence nods.

"How do you know?"

"The air has changed and Lareine's feathers keep raising." The sniper explains, pointing at his daemon who again ruffles her feathers from the tension in the air. He leans down to return back to his power nap. "That's signs a storm is coming- or we heading towards it. I would've preferred going a detour to avoid it but I rather face a storm head-on than listing to Spook's nagging for one more day."

Antoine shoots the man an offended glare. "I do not nag!"

Mostly annoyed he won't get his nap, Lawrence retorts back to the spy. "Oh, yes you do! And you nag worse than my mum and that saying—"

Seeing where this is going, Dell decides to leave before he gets trapped into this upcoming fight between Lawrence and Antoine, he can always return when they are done beating each other down to a pulp. Getting downstairs is a strange relief, the quiet and homely atmosphere is always predicated. Heading into the living quarters, Dell finds their newest member sits- more cowering in the corner of the sofa, hugging her otter daemon tightly. She does not look comfortable- in fact, Dell dares to say that she is scared, which he does finds a bit odd. This woman- she hasn't yet told them her name, showed to be a fearless and straight out deadly fighter back at the Amazon. She wasn't fazed at all by leaving everything she knew behind and go with them, but the moment they boarded and left her home, the woman has been cowering in the living quarters like a scared little child. "You alright there, miss?" He asks her kindly, finding this sudden change of behavior a bit offputting.

Hugging her daemon tighter "...No..."

Dell sits down, keeping a polite distance from her and waits patiently for her to explain.

The woman sighs. "It's just... I don't like small spaces... or heights." She muses almost sheepishly.

Ah, that explains why she hasn't tried getting up on deck. Can't blame her for it, though. He has the exact same feeling when the ship is on water. Speaking of water. "Sniper said we're soon going down to the sea."

"Because of the storm, right?"

How did she...? "How do you know?" He blinks. She gestures at the Alethiometer and everything makes sense. "Ah, does water bothers you?"

She gives him a deadpan look "I have an otter for a daemon, what do you think?"

Dell takes hands up in defense, "I didn't try and offend you miss." He chuckles weakly. Naira appears from below the table with; "Especially when he doesn't like the ocean one bit."

He friendly kicks her, "hush you."

That catches the woman off guard, she might not know the name of the species of this man's daemon but she can see this thing has many features like an otter such as wet feet and waterproof fur "Why the hell do you have a water-based daemon, then?" She asks, her yellow eyes filled with confusions.

"It's a family thing." Dell shrugs.

"So everyone in your family has..."

"A beaver." Dell finishes for her and nods in affirmation. "Yes, my grandfather and my father both have beaver daemon."

"Oh."

Silence.

"That's dumb."

Dell raises an eyebrow and she explains. "Your daemon is supposed to be who you are, not something going down generations. Bet your father and grandfather were engineers as well." She adds with a toothy grin.

And for the first time, Dell actually feels a little embarrassed confirming that. "That's right, runs in the family." He has gotten so used to people praising him following the old family tradition that suddenly been told how stupid it actually feels- well pretty odd. And in a bit pathetic try to regain some of his broken egos. "But a beaver is an interesting animal, they can build a dam in a matter of days and topple even the strongest trees with their teeth." He doesn't have much interest in the animal kingdom, but his son is and Dell's happy Logan taught him this little fact about his daemon's form.

"Yeah? Well did you know an Amazon otter sometimes hunt alligators?" She returns now smirking.

Dell blinks about this small fact. "I thought otters only ate fish and shellfish." Eyeing the big otter now towering in an intimidating yet playful manner over Naira who put him down a perk with a small headbutt, as he remarks with a smile. "But I'm sure you know more about animals that I do. I'm more into the mechanical myself."

"So I can see." She smiles, gesturing to his mechanical hand partly hidden by his glove, she only spotted it by accident. "How did you end up replacing your hand with that fancy one?"

Returning the smile. "I tell you my story if you tell me yours." Pointing at the large burn scar on her right arm. Dell must say that he isn't really surprised seeing it after she showed her use of fire inside that Facility.

She eyes the scar, frowning slightly. It's not like she feels bad or regret having this scar, no she just really dislike people paying it so much attention and thinks she needs pity. But this man, this Engineer doesn't look interested in knowing if it still hurts or anything like that. He's merely interested knowing how she got it. "I think I was around the ten or so, doesn't really remember. Only that my family was having this party and decided to make this huge fire. It was the first time I saw fire that big. So beautiful, unlike some crappy small fireplace. That huge fire was dancing; showing such a personality. I remember I wanted to join its dance and stuck my hand into the flames, didn't even hurt when it burned my flesh." She laughs at the memories what happen afterward, absently touching the huge scar."Everyone was so scared of what happened, all except me. All I could think about was how beautiful the fire was... how beautiful the mark it gave me is."

Guess that was when she realized she has a thing for fire, Dell thinks. He does find her fascination with the fire a bit disturbing and yet he does also recognize a bit of himself in that fascination. Except his fascination is when it comes to building something new. She looks at him, waiting. He smiles and tells his story about his new mechanical hand. "Not long ago a couple of the Magisterium goons came and ransacked my workshop for weapons and any of my creations. I and Sniper tried to fend them off, we got a couple of them and they retaliated by sending the whole darn building down over our heads. My hand got stuck under a big mother hubber piece of metal; so Sniper had to cut it off. Losing the hand wasn't funny let me tell you, but it did give me the excuse installing this beauty." He removes the glove and flexes the gunslinger's metallic fingers. "My grandfather designed and build it just before he died."

"Do you miss him?"

Dell nods, feeling no shame or reason not telling her this. Lawrence and Antoine might still distrust her, probably being in their line of work does that, but Dell has always wanted to give people a chance, even if it meant being seen as a bit naive. "Yeah, he was the one who taught me everything I know today. You see, my father wasn't much around when I was a kid... What about you?" He asks a bit hesitant, so far the woman hasn't been willing to tell anything about herself.

The smile drop instantly, replaced with pain and anger, but the anger is not pointed at him "...I'm not ready telling you such a personal thing..."

And he can respect that. "Alright. I am sorry if I stepped over the line."

"No, it's okay... say;" yellow meets blue and how she titles her head with those curious eyes remind the engineer about a child, which is really ironic since this woman can chop a man's head off with a single swing with an ax. "Could you tell me more about the group you're working with?"

Dell blinks, taking a bit by surprise of this question. "You haven't asked the Alethiometer about it?" She can know anything with that thing, which is a bit unnerving really.

She shakes her head. "No, I don't like asking it such questions. Prefer getting them the old fashion way."

He can respect her for that. "Alright," leaning back in his seat, the engineer begins explaining her. "We are working for a group called Team Fortress Resistance, according to the few people I knew within this resistance, it has been around the last 100 years and that's also how long we have been fighting against the Magisterium."

"How did it form?"

"There are many origin stories about our founders." Dell shrugs, pretty sure Lawrence and Antoine have heard them all from the other teams scattered around the world. "The most popular is that they were ex-soldiers that got sick of the Church's rule and rebelled. Whatever they were, one thing is for sure though: they were nine and each had a class."

"Engineer, Sniper and Spy are three of them, right?"

Dell nods. "So right you are, the rest is Demolition—Demo for short, the Scout, the Medic, the Heavy, the Soldier and lastly the pyrotechnic or Pyro for short, but many are seriously considering renaming that last class."

"Why?" She titles her head along with her daemon.

Again struck by the thought that this woman is more a curious child than a fearless killer is incredibly amusing, but Dell restrains himself from laughing at the thought as he does not want to offend her. Instead, he continues explaining her. "Unlike the other classes, not many people can do what the Pyro class is meant to." He glances to his daemon, seeing Naria lying comfortably beside the otter, already looking like friends. It struck Dell a bit strange how quickly their daemon seems to have gotten a liking to one another, maybe because they're both water creature? The heck if he knows, he's no expert when it comes to the daemon. Where was he? Oh right, the Pyro class. "As you probably can hear from the title. The Pyro class fights with fire, and those few we have is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. But over the years Team Fortress has accepted people into that class even if they don't use fire, I've heard Sniper met one who sprays his own chemicals at people. Guy calling it Jarate." He nods towards the closet where the weapons are locked inside. "Sniper has a small stash of the stuff. It is mostly used for crowd control and when hit: people look as if they've ticked off a beehive and smell like they gotten sprayed by a skunk, but I must admit it works."

The woman cringes slightly hearing what these people are using to chase people away, then again that jarate stuff surely is better than her choice of keeping people away: setting the whole place on fire. "Better than how I would've done it, people mostly end up dead when I do crowd control." Engineer winches slightly from her words, and honestly, she does not blame him. but back to the subject at hand. "So, how does a person join the Team Fortress?"

Dell blinks, a bit taken aback by the question, but still answers her question. "Usually the teams track down small pockets of resistance and offer them among the Team Fortress Resistance where they can get proper training and a team they can count on. However, people cannot join the ranks just like that. For all, we know some of them could be on the Magisterium side."

Both look back to the stairs when a muffled yell can be heard, however, what is going on deck is quickly forgotten.

"How do you sort them?" she asks, her daemon still staring towards the stairs to the deck.

"Well, I'm not sure how other teams do it but in my case, I became a candidate to join when I... when I helped Sniper and Spy destroy a base very alike to the one we rescued you from," Dell explains, the memories of that place still haunt him, unfortunately, he thinks the one from the Amazon now will replace those dreams... quickly shaking away the thoughts. "But I didn't fully join right away, found it too dangerous- not for myself mind you." He quickly adds, he never stayed away from the resistance because of his own safety, if that would've been the case then he wouldn't have joined when the goons took his hand.

She is not fully certain what he means and yet she thinks she understands what kept this Engineer away from the battle. "Your family, right?"

Dell nods sadly. "Yup, have a son back at Texas. Haven't seen him as often as I would like..."

"Why?"

"His mother and I don't agree with a lot of things— I rather not talk about it."

He respected her wish to keep something private and she will do the same. "Alright," turning her eyes back to the metallic hand, she wonders... "Can I touch it?"

Dell blinks, not sure where this question comes from, then again; it's not often anyone meets a person with a fully functioning robotic hand. "Sure." And he reaches out but stops when she flinches away. "You alright?"

She doesn't answer his question, too busy trying not make Dahanain attacks this man. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she asks, "can you place it on the table?" He does; a bit confused, though. She reaches out and lets her hand touches the cold metal, any sign of her former fear is completely gone, replaced with a genuine curiosity. "Can you feel anything from it?"

"No, I do get a few signals when I grab something with it, but it's nothing compared to the sensitivity of a real hand," Dell explains, eyeing the woman carefully touching the gunslinger, not feeling anything like he would if he still had his real hand. However; "but it was a sacrifice I was willing to pay."

"I know the feeling."

He eyes her with a questioning look, she nods to her burned right arm. "The doctors told me my nerves would never heal correctly, so I cannot feel much when I touch something... unlike the rest of my body." Her eyes change into something way more sinister, mixed with an unnamed fear... it scares Dell.

"Miss?" He calls, with Naira backing away from the other daemon there has turned into a growling demon dog.

But she doesn't seem to hear him, she stares at the gunslinger with that empty but very sinister look, almost like she isn't really there. She only snaps out from it by a sudden shock to the whole cabin, closely followed by the sound of waves. She notices how tense the man beside her has become while she actually begins to relax. "Not much water in Texas, huh?"

"Nope, only been at a few lakes," Dell replies with a strained smile, glad she's back to normal. And yes, the ocean mere size makes him feel at loss and also not in control when it starts showing teeth. So knowing they soon will be stuck out in a storm... yeah he does not look forward to that one bit. But dealing with the ocean seems like the least of his problems now, whatever happened to the woman moments ago really scared him. He has some ideas what she meant before she went into that phase, but he thinks it's best not poking to that subject, at least not until she is either ready or really need to speak with someone about it. But he would like to know what can trigger it so none of them will accidentally make her go into that phase and probably kill them like those Magisterium soldiers from Amazon.

"Truckie!" Lawrence voice suddenly calls from the stairs and a bit battered sniper appears, drying off some blood from a small cut over the left hand; "Gonna need your help packing the balloons."

"I'll help with that." The woman interrupts before Dell even can open his mouth, she gets up from her seat. "Engie should stay down here, maybe make sure the motor doesn't die under the storm or something mechanical."

Highly appreciate her way of help, Dell is happy to tell his friend "Been a while since I last took a look at that beauty, never know what it might do under a storm."

"If you say so, mate." Sniper smirks, well aware that the engineer is trying to avoid the 'big scary sea' outside. Still, with the Sheila finally offering a hand, he can let Dell stay down here, eyeing the woman. "You better not be afraid of the sea Sheila, it's getting feisty."

"Then the sea and I have one thing in common," she remarks with a grin and heads upstairs, laughing loud at what she sees on deck. "Holy hell what made you try to kill each other?!"

"...minor disagreement." Antoine's irritated voice replies.

The sniper and engineer glance once to each other before Lawrence heads back up on the deck just as the minor battered Spy remarks to the woman. "Glad see you joining us for once."

The woman huffs "Being on a ship with three men is scary you know." She looks serious but only a moron wouldn't hear the sarcasm in her voice.

The spy sends her a 'yeah right' look, well aware that if anyone one of them has tried anything, she would've used that ax on them or sat the whole ship on fire. Besides, this unruly fireball of a person is not his type, he prefers women with class; like Saffira, of course, he likes when she shows the lioness in her too. This woman before him, however, is too much of a wildcat for his taste.

The sniper laughs loudly at her remark but doesn't comment on it, like the spy well aware that this woman is more than capable handling herself. His amused smile quickly drops though when a hard wind almost blows his beloved hat out to the sea. "Crikey...alright mate— and Sheila, better gets packing before this storm tears it to shred."

The two stop their small glaring contest and goes straight to work, Lawrence does as well- after he has thrown the hat downstairs where it wouldn't get blown away, he would really hate losing that hat.

Lawrence was right, none of them got much sleep that night. Everyone too busy keeping the ship on course and fighting against the monster waves that kept trying sending them to the bottom of the sea. And how the four people dealt with the constant danger was a bit comically to say the last. Lawrence and Antoine kept bickering and yet somehow still succeed doing their job keeping the ship afloat. Dell cowered down in the machine room, only snapping out from his fear and gets into a deep concentration when the machine began complaining about the stress a certain Frenchman is putting it through, the engineer wasn't complaining about it though, he's just happy he has something to do instead of shaking in fear like some scared child. And the woman, well, she was actually having a lot of fun being thrown around at the huge waves, her only complaint was that water wasn't really as fun to play with as fire was.

Chapter Text

"Where are we going?" Nalini asks her human. He hushes her and keeps sneaking down the empty hall, listing intensely for any sound other than his own breathing. The guards do not like when someone sneaks around in the middle of the night, especially not the guy with the wolf daemon, but Nathan is willing to take that chance. Nathan sneaks into the dove doctor's room, and after he has made sure, the coast is clear Nathan begins searching the room for any clue that his suspicious is correct.

'coo'

A white dove lands on the medical shelf Nathan is rummaging through. The young man looks up, it takes him a while due to the darkness, but he is certain this bird is the doctor's daemon as it is the only dove with blood on the feathers. Nathan does not want to think about how she got that on her, no he's more worried that she will alarm her human as it is clear she is aware he is here.
But to his bt surprise; the dove takes flight and lands right on top on his head, cooing in a very curious manner. Looking up at the dove sitting on his head, he voices his thoughts out loud. "You're not a daemon are you?"

'coo' the dove replies.

"But if that bird isn't his daemon, then where is she?" Nalini asks nervously, the human and rabbit both freeze on the spot when the light gets turned on and at the door stands a very pissed doctor.
Still with the dove sitting on his head, Nathan gives the doctor a sheepish smile with Nalini musing nervously; "we're so screwed..."

The doctor locks the door behind him, his steel-blue eyes filled with rage and with a surprising speed slams Nathan up against the nearby wall, holding a bone saw against his neck, the white dove takes flight and joins its friends at the big bird cage. "Schweinhund! You just had to stick your nose where it doesn't belong!" The doctor sneers with bared teeth like a very angry and deadly wolf.

"Wait! You- you can't kill me!" Nathan gasps startled and horrified this man looks ready to put that saw through his chest. "Viper wants me alive!"

The doctor's eyes turn slightly distance. "Hm yes, I must come up with a reasonable excuse for your untimely demise." And they are back to full homicide mode again, but the hint of fear did not go unnoticed for the trapped young man.

"Is because you don't have a daemon?"

"Dummkopff! Of course I have a daemon! I wouldn't have a soul if I didn't!" The doctor snaps angrily.

"Please..."

The doctor snaps his eyes down to Nalini, her eyes wide and on edge to tears from the combined fear of death and the helplessly of being unable to save her human. "Please let us go... "
It is rare Nathan hears his daemon beg like this, and when she finally does, she is scared enough to bite down her own indignity. To be honest, he is more than ready to throw away his pride if it means not getting killed by this man "I promise, we won't tell anyone."

The grip around his neck loosens, but only slightly. The doctor feels conflicted, in one hand the boy does look as he means it, but on the other hand, this one is getting trained by the master spy to Viper, so this can all be an act. No, he can't take the chance. "I cannot trust the apprentice of Viper." The young man's eyes wide in horror.
The doctor slightly lowers his gaze, killing children is not a line he thought he ever would cross. "I'm sorry..." and he readies the saw for the strike.

"I'm with the Resistance!"

"What?!" The doctor blinks, truly taken aback by this proclaim, then again a person facing death can say so many things.

The doctor's thoughts are not much far off, but right now Nathan just hopes his small knowledge about the resistance will save his skin. "I'm part of the Team Fortress Resistance." He tells the man, unable to hide the quiver in his voice from the fear he feels.

"Of all the..." The doctor tightens his grip but at least he drops his 'weapon' "Of all the things you could say, this is your best excuse?!" He growls this child cannot be part of the resistance that has been a thorn in the Magisterium side for decades, he's too young and from how uncoordinated he is it's clear he hadn't been trained like those few Resistance members he has encountered. "Do you have any idea what you just said? If anyone knows you're part of the resistance. Trust me when I say; you wish I would've killed you!" For he would've at done it quick.

Okay, maybe not such a good idea saying this. However before Nathan can redraw his proclaim, Nalini speaks before him; "Exactly, if this information leaves this room, we both will be in big trouble."
Oh, he wish he can make her shut up by now...

"I see."

And to Nathan's big surprise the doctor lets go of him. He scrambles away from the man who is now smiling rather insanely. "I don't believe you are part the resistance, but that doesn't matter. If I say you are part of the resistance; they will torture and kill you." Turning to the dove that disguises itself as his daemon, the man starts petting it in a very loving manner. "The same they will do to me if you reveal my lack of daemon, so junge." He looks back to Nathan the creepy smile widen. "There is a saying; 'if I die, you'll come with me', ja?"

Nathan thinks he get it now, boy is he happy having such a quick-witted daemon. "Y-Yeah, but none of us will tell right?"

"I won't if you don't." The doctor smirks and offers him a hand.

Nathan hesitates but does nonetheless takes the hand and let the crazy doctor help him back up on his feet. The doctor puts down his former weapon and starts feeding his doves. Nathan curiosity overrides his fear from almost getting killed, "So, uh... where is your daemon?" He asks, for that mystery still hasn't been solved and this doctor did say he has one but not where she happens to be at the moment.

The doctor laughs. "Mein gott, you're cocky asking such questions this quickly" It is in a mocking tone and yet something in the man's tone tells Nathan that this man won't try and kill him anymore. Still chuckling the doctor gestures for him to sit, which he does. The doctor heads to his desk and starts heating water. "I do not know where she is. Haven't seen her for almost two years now."

Not having a daemon by his side for two years? First, he has never heard of such a thing and second. "Isn't that lonely?" Nathan has his daemon and yet he still feels lonely from time to time without his brothers or friends around.

"It is. Tea?"

"Uh... sure, but how did you get separated from her?" Nathan asks, looking down to Nalini in his arms, remembering all the times they got too far away from one another; how much it hurt. Oh, right. Nathan turns his eyes to the doctor. The man doesn't seem to be in the pain he knows comes from being too far away from ones soul. Sad yes, but not in pain. "Doesn't it hurt?"

The doctor stops midway in his tea-making, he hesitate with the answer. "The separation was pure agony." He admits and put the leaves down the boiled water. He returns back to the boy with the tea and two glasses. "Over time, the pain sustained."

"And you haven't seen her since? Why aren't you searching?"

The doctor hesitates again, getting asked these questions about such a personal topic feels wrong and yet he cannot admit it is also kinda nice having someone talk without the fear getting thrown in the fire for his heritage. Eyeing the child, the doctor contemplates on how to explain this small fact about himself. "Well you see, I can search for her as long as I want and yet never find her. She will return when she is ready."

"That doesn't make any freaking sense at all," Nathan remarks, causing the doctor to laugh.

"Neither does a daemon unable to settle."

Okay, the doc got him there. Speaking of his daemon. "Hey doc, figured out why my daemon is unable to settle?"

The doctor's eyes light up, as if he just got told he has won a million. "Ah yes I did actually, very interesting. It is the cause of part of your genetic. The gene where the daemon is created reveals that the switch is missing"

"The what?"

"Switch, that's what I decided to call a certain protein that helps the DNA- a person's genes do whatever their purpose is. With most people- like myself, this switch is not activated when they are children. So when someone reaches maturity, the switch gets turned on and thus this is why the daemon is stuck in one form when it settles into what suits out personality best. However, according to the research on your genetic code from the samples, I got from you. I was unable to find that part- the switch in you is completely lacking." The doctor explains like this he is telling his friends about some awesome vacation he has been on.

Most of what the man said has gone right over Nathan's head but what he did get does make one thing clear to him. "So it in my genes?"

"Correct, it is a very strong genetic abnormally." The doctor nods, having a very excited- almost freakish smile on his face. He takes a sib of his tea, remarking. "Wouldn't surprise me if half your family has a none settled daemon."

What did the doctor just say? "Hold up." Nathan takes his hand up to stop the man from continuing his speech. He wants to be sure he heard that comment right. "Are you saying my parents should have a daemon like mine?" Nalini turns her eyes back to the doctor, having a very baffled look on her dog face.

The doctor nods enthusiastically. "Ja, your siblings as well- if you have any. Granted only one of your parents need this genetic abnormally for the offspring to get it, high chance your children will get a daemon unable to settle as well, that gene seems to be the dominating-"

Nathan did not listen to the doctor anymore, his mind too boggled with this newsflash. His mother did not have a none settled daemon that's for sure, also explains why none of his brothers has one either since it is not from her side of the family. "Dad's daemon is like mine." He realizes. His father must have this strange gene the doctor keeps rambling on about. He can't help but laugh at this, never thought all of this would come to genetic. But he's glad he knows what causes this 'abnormally' as the doctor calls it. it puts some relief on him. "Thanks, for telling me this"

"You're quite welcome." The doctor smiles, adding after have taken a sip of his tea. "It's been a while I last had so much fun running tests on people, which reminds me; can you give me a skin sample from your daemon?"

Nathan and Nalini blink, none of them really saw this one coming. Nathan is the first to respond. "Eh.. sure?" He can't really see anything harmful in it.

"Wunderbar," and the doctor hands him what looks like a hand held grater and a glass. "A few hair samples will be appreciated as well."

With a small nod, Nathan carefully removes the top layer of skin on his hairless cat daemon, the feeling he got from that act is weird, but fortunately it did not hurt. "What are you planning with it?" He asks the doctor after have finished this small task. He hands the man the skin and rabbit hair from Nalini.

The doctor eagerly takes the samples. "I've always wondered if daemon's has DNA like us." He explains with that creepy wide grin of his. He heads over to his desk and begins doing experiments on the samples right away. "Would've done it sooner but I did not have the equipment back when Silvia was by my side and none of the soldiers or other doctors would let me do this project. Say it waste of their time, bah." He grumbles and put some liquid Nathan is certain is not water to the skin sample. "And they call themselves docto..." he stops midsentence, blinking at the reaction he gets. "Huh, not the reaction I expected..." and the smile is back. "Interesting."

"What?" Both Nathan and his daemon ask at the same time.

"I do not know if this is the case for any daemon, need run more tests, but-" the doctor turns, still smiling that creepy smile of his to Nathan "-this sample points out that daemon's are indeed the soul of the human, a construct of our inner self."

Nathan cannot see why this got the man so excited, everyone knows that. "I know, everyone knows that."

"Yes, but no one knew for certain!" The doctor cries grinning, his pet dove flies startled away from its master and lands back on the hospital's bed, already forgiven its owner. "This proves that the daemon is the soul, the body you see beside you is a genetic construction of who you are. It explains why she prefers certain forms and why she changes when you are in certain moods!" and as if someone has turned on a switch, the doctor's huge smile drops. "It explains why the Magisterium is taking children away before the daemon settles..."

"Huh?" Nathan blinks, no longer sure what the doctor babbles on about now.

And the doctor does not want to share this with someone who can easily ruin everything, true he will stay quiet, but for how long? In a couple of years, this young man might be enough important for Viper that the master spy is willing to look past the silly boy's proclaim being a resistance member. "It's nothing." Speaking of the boy, why did he even let his mouth run wild around this nosy kid? No matter, it was fun as long it lasted. Getting up from the chair he signals the young man to follow. "Better get you back to your room before someone sees you out from bed, you will get enough beating from Viper tomorrow."

Nathan does not look forward till tomorrow, why does he even has to be trained by this Viper anyway? "I rather want to go home with the rest of the kids," He remarks.
He did not notice the look of pity from the doctor.

Chapter Text

A routine has come over Nathan's life inside this building of the Magisterium. He would wake and eat with the rest of the kids, then gets dragged to the so-called training with Viper- although he would closer call it 'beat Nathan to a pulp ' kind of game. The man did enjoy beating him up a tad too much for his taste and that reminds him of Lokk; and like that rival gang member, Nathan does not like Viper one bit. After that the doctor with the lost daemon would then fix him up with that strange medicine of his, and then Nathan will go to lunch before a new round of beating from Viper will commend. And before bed, the doctor will fix him up again.

Nathan is happy the doctor keeps healing him even if it's just part of his job. But what he is most happy about is that this bit crazy guy wants to listen to him.

"Mein Gott! Do you know the word quiet?"

Although Nathan is sure he does drive the man crazier with all his chatter, but what can he do? The doc is the only one he can talk freely without worrying about getting in deep trouble for saying something bad about the Magisterium. The doctor does not kiss up to the world power like the other people at this place, in fact, Nathan has the feeling this doctor hate the Magisterium. Why? Nathan has no idea, not that he cares.

"Nope." He grins to the exasperated doctor, "but what do you expect from someone having seven brothers?"

The doctor lets out a huff. "I guess you could be worse." And 'accidentally' sticks the needle with the healing serum too deep into the young man's arm. Nathan lets out a cry of pain, followed by a wave of swears, the doctor smirks at the very creative words coming out from this one's mouth. "Clearly your mom did not wash your mouth often enough."

The young man shoots him a glare, but that only amuses the doctor. He does not want to say it out loud— mostly because he does not want to stroke this hyperactive and rather obnoxious kid's ego, but he does enjoy the company this chatterbox offers him. Returning the equipment back to the shelf, the doctor notices a sad look appearing on the young man's face. He can ignore it; it will be so easy and save him from yet another night without sleep thanks to troubled thoughts, but... ugh, blast his own need having company and that stupid high curiosity of his. He lets out a sigh and turns back to the boy. "What's on your mind junge?"

"I miss ma— I mean I miss my home, my brothers, friends ... you know what I mean, right?" Nathan looks hopeful up to the doctor, the only one who has so far actually gives a darn about what he feels and not trying putting his own ideals into his head like any other adult in this freaking place.

The doctor hesitates, unbeknown for Nathan, this question has brought up some bad memories. No, he shouldn't be thinking about that now. Shaking the crawling memories away, the doctor replies surprisingly softly. "Ja, I know the feeling wanting to go home but unable."

"You think they will let me go home soon?" Nathan asks the doctor, many of the kids that got taken has already been taken back home according to Mr. Conagher.

Again the doctor hesitates, not sure if it's in his right telling this boy the hard truth of what the Magisterium is planning for him- for all the children. Then again, he hasn't really followed the rules- always done things his own way. So why should he start now? Now the question is: what will the boy do if he knows the truth that he will never go home?

"Doc?"

It will be interesting see the reaction, but Viper will know it has been him telling the boy and he prefers keeping his windpipe intact. No fun stitching it back together. "It's nothing." He smiles at the boy. Deciding it might be better keeping this little info for–

suddenly the alarm starts ringing through the building, startling the young man and makes the doctor snap his attention towards the door.

"What's going on?" Nathan asks confused over the sudden alarm.

The doctor does not answers, without a word he heads towards the door and checks for the reason of commotion outside. It did surprise him seeing those people here, yet he can't help but wonder if he has the 'honor' doing a few experiments on them. He better checks, but one thing first. Turning back to the confused boy behind him. "You need to go back to your room." He fetches his black lap coat, whistles, and Archimedes; reacting to the whistle flies over and lands on the man's shoulder.

"Doc, what's going on?" Nathan repeats his question, he does not like this one bit, less so when the doctor is in his incredibly serious mode.

He figures the boy would learn this one way or another, the doctor eyes the boy. "They've brought people from the Resistance."

Nathan's eyes wide, the Resistance is here? "W-What's going happen to them?"

The doctor hesitates, telling the boy the hard truth that every member of the resistance will be tortured for any information's of their comrades before cruelly executed. He might have a very loose sense between experimenting and torture, but even he will admit that what Rahul does to his victims is not something he wishes, not even on the enemy.

One of the guard's- Paul; the biggest and meanest of them all steps through the door along with his wolf daemon and the man did not look happy. Then again this one never did.

"You're still here? Get a move on!" The huge man snaps with his wolf daemon glaring at Archimedes that starts flapping nervously on his shoulder.

"Right, right." The doctor replies Paul and gathers his medical equipment, but before he leaves. He stops and turns to the still very horrified Nathan. "Go back to your room- I mean it boy." He tells the young man hard. He doesn't want this one see what fate awaits him if he ever says this one is part of the resistance.

Seeing that the doctor means it, Nathan leaves the room. Outside the medical, he spots several guards dragging four badly hurt people with them. One of them, a man with probably most blood on him screams at every guard in rage and Nathan can't help but think that one does look a bit mad with the crazed look in those blue eyes– somehow still able to struggle against the four men restraining him even though he looks close to dropping dead any minute. "You think you have us beaten?! Ha! I have fought against bigger odds than this you cowardly maggots! And if you think I will let you destroy the rest of my team you are dead wrong! I will fight to every last man if that what it takes!"

His shouts of being more than ready to fight the Magisterium soldiers dies slowly down as he gets dragged away. Behind, a woman who struggles just as much as the bloodied one; although her words are in another language so Nathan has no idea what she is saying. Like the mad-angry man, she has the same strange icon of what looks like a rocket on her shoulders. Beside her walks the biggest daemon he has ever seen, it's a tiger, but he only knows this species from books so its size startles him. Nathan always thought tigers were the same size of a cougar, but boy was he wrong. In the Komodo dragon's jaws is a bald eagle, presumably the screaming man's daemon from how it continually struggles against the Komodo dragon and dog biting her right wing in an attempt to keep her in check. The tiger doesn't struggle, but he does make the pack of dog daemons surrounding him very nervous with his death-glares and snarling, and Nathan can see why the Magisterium daemon are scared of these bigger daemons; wouldn't surprise him if those two humans have been free and not wounded, then the tiger and eagle would've eaten the dogs and Komodo dragon as breakfast. The last member is a lanky man, but unlike the two others, that one is too wounded to walk so he is getting dragged by two men with their dog daemons dragging a deer daemon behind them. Just as they pass by the man raises his head and makes eye contact with Nathan, the look is filled with pity, as if he knows what will happen to Nathan in the near future.

That look confuses Nathan, and he turns away from that one's eyes, his own eyes then lands on the icon on the man's shoulders. Like the two still able to struggle, this icon is yellow but having a key difference that it did not form a rocket but a winged shoe.

"Nathan, what are you- oh, never mind." Mr. Conagher walks over to him smiling proudly over this whole scene. He places a hand on the stunned Nathan shoulders. "Today is a good day for us, we finally caught us some of those blasted terrorists alive; they have a silly tendency fighting to the death." He explains in such an amused manner that is actually freaking Nathan out further. What kind of person is willing to fight to the death like these guys? And Dell is part of it? What are they fighting for? "Do you know why they keep fighting?" He asks the older man carefully.

Mr. Conagher chuckles as if he asked some silly question. "People like the terrorists thinks they fight for the greater good, but all they do is destroying buildings and killing people for no real reason. And that's why we need to stop them." the man eyes Nathan as if he's asking Nathan to help him fight against this threat there is the terrorists or Resistance as Dell and that man from Auister called these people. But that only makes it so much more confusing. Dell and that other man said they fight against the Magisterium to help people, while the people from the Magisterium says they do nothing but killing people for no reason. Who is the right one? He wishes Dell was here to explain this for him, that man has always been good at making complicated topic simple to understand.

"What's going happen to them?" Nathan asks Mr. Conagher, for whatever fate awaits these people, Dell will face the same consequence if he ever got caught.

Mt. Conagher eyes him softly. "One of our people will interrogate them for any information's. he's... very good at his job." Maybe too good but he shouldn't be complaining, Rahul effective at his job and that's what Grey excepts from everyone.

"And after that?"

"... Then we will throw them to prison." The older man responses just as the doctor passes by. The doctor sends Mr. Conagher a crossed look, unlike Nathan he knows that reply is one fat lie but before he can say anything, Paul shoves him off and towards where the terrorists will spend the last days of their lives. Mr. Conagher seemly didn't notice the doctor's look and continues his small speech. "Of course they will never be released from all the people they have killed, but that's only fair."

"I guess..." Nathan muses, but he isn't fully convinced. Looking down he notices that Nalini wears an expression that she does not believe the man's words. He must admit that something about how Mr. Conagher explained it sounds a bit fishy, those people are too wounded to get such a tame punishment.

"You're lying." Nalini speaks, much to Mr. Conagher daemon's annoyance. The beaver tries to stop her, but she escapes her grasp by turning into a small hawk and flies up to Nathan's shoulders, up there she eyes the still soft-eyed man. "You're going to kill them."

Nathan thoughts exactly.

Except the slightly tighten jaw, the older man's expression hasn't changed "I thought I told you daemon shouldn't speak." Mr. Conagher lectures Nathan, getting annoyed he refuses to listen.

"No offense sir." Nathan says but all respect for this man is practically gone. "But I prefer your son's pieces of advice. He at least doesn't try stuff his ideals down my throat."

The hand on his shoulder tightens. "Nathan." Mr. Conagher still smiles but it is forced and the tone of his voice has gotten slightly darker, clear signs for Nathan that he is pushing it. "I think it's about time you go back to your room."

Nathan hit the hand away and leaves, he may not know which side to side with, but he refuses to be on the same side as Mr. Conagher.

"I'm only doing this for your own good."

The young man has gotten about enough with these people keep seeing him as a confused and lost child. Nathan stops and calls angrily back. "Screw you!" Before turning his walk into a fast-paced run. He needs get away from that man. He wishes he could speak with the doctor but he is busy doing who knows what on the resistance. Can he even trust that man? He doesn't know, he just doesn't know anymore...!

"I trust him more than Dell's old man." Nalini says on his shoulders and Nathan cannot agree more. The doctor might be crazy as hell and maybe not telling him everything but so far the doctor has been honest with him. He does not return to his room, instead, he heads back to the doctor's personal quarters, keeping the small flock of white doves company.

Later that night the doctor finds Nathan sitting with a small pile of seeds in his hands, watching the doves eat with a very troubled look on his face. The doctor is very aware of the conversation between the boy and Mr. Conagher, but he honestly did not think this one actually had the guts going against the head engineer's command. Just to feed his birds. He closes the door, watching the boy snaps his attention away from the doves when the bloodstained Archimedes joins his brethren. The young man stares for several moments at the bloodstained dove.

"Did you hurt them?"

The doctor doesn't answer, not sure if it's his place revealing such things. The boy eyes him with a strangely serious gleam in his brown eyes. "Come on man, don't be like anyone else..."

"Do you really want to hear the truth." The doctor asks although it sounds closer to a statement, is this why the boy trusts him? Because he tells him the truth? Well, at least most of the times. He takes off the also blood-stained lab coat, it is hard to see the blood because of the coat's dark coloration. "The truth is not pretty."

"Better knowing the god-awful truth than living in a freaking lie."

Nathan snorts and offers the remaining seeds to the only dove he knows the name of, Archimedes is more than happy to rid him of the seeds.

So true, the doctor cannot help but smile at that statement. Now the question is: can this boy handle the truth? Well if the boy doesn't he can always put that memory removing theory to the test. "Alright." He takes off the once white gloves, throwing them into the nearby trashcan. "I did not hurt those people, I kept them alive for the one who did hurt them." But he could very well have been the one hurting them. He can be quite creative if he needs people talking, unlike those three prisoners current torture. All Rahul wants is to see people in as much pain as possible, that man has no style. Glancing at the boy, the doctor cannot help but smile watching him stiffen up from his short explanation. Is that enough truth to him he wonders.

"Do I wanna know what that other person does to them?" Nathan asks hesitantly.

The doctor starts the kettle so he can brews himself a can of tea. "It depends on how curious you are about what a man who enjoys watching other in pain can do to another person. Tea?"

Nodding for the question, Nathan is quite startled that this doctor is willing to actually tell him what is happening to those resistance members "You... You really willing to tell me about that?"

"You asked for the truth ja?"

"Yeah, but everyone else keeps telling me off, even you do."

The doctor rolls his eyes, sometimes this kid is just too dense. "Because you are still not loyal to the Magisterium, and well, most here still consider you as a child."

"Do you?" Nathan asks while trying not show how annoyed he is being considered a kid.

"It depends on the situation." The doctor admits with a small shrug. At this very moment, he will consider this one a young man, while other times- he will consider this one an annoying child. "You do still act very much like a child, but sometimes— like now you let the adult in you show." Putting the leaves into the water. "Most others, like Mr. Conagher, sees you as a child because of your daemon." He heads over to where the young man sits and hands him a cup and the tea,

Nathan pours himself some of this leaf tea, not the best but certainly not the worst he has tasted either. "Will they ever see me as an adult?" He asks the doctor.

"Only the day your daemon settles." The doctor muses, Nathan looks up from the tone is has been said. "Are they trying to make her settle?" he asks the older man.

The doctor nods and smirks amused at Nathan's next question. "And you?"

"I would prefer she stays like this." Gesturing to the now grey pigeon shaped Nalini teases the real doves. "There are still so many tests I would need, oh and a few experiments to see if it's possible making the daemon change after it has settled, think of the possibilities of it!" The doctor giggles at the mere thought how useful such a thing would be for people. Nathan's daemon can pick whatever form she wants and never has to worry about losing them because of a stupid settling. The possibilities of having such a useful ability in one's daemon are endless.

"Eh...?" okay the doctor is creeping him out again.

The doctor realizes he has lost the young man and chuckles amused. Nathan calms down again now the creepy phase is over, but he prefers been crept out by the truth than being frustrated by lies.

And now the topic is on the daemon, Nathan still has a lot of questions about the doctor's. He just hopes the man wouldn't mind getting asked, for he really doesn't want that bonesaw near him again. "Uh if you don't mind, I.. um was wondering if I could ask you about your daemon?"

The doctor eyes him, he steel-blue eyes have gotten very hard and serious. This has always been a fragile topic for the doctor so Nathan knows he needs to be careful what he says.

"You see, I... I'm curious about the bond you have with her, in some ways you are special like me."

And to his surprise, the doctor starts laughing.

"mein gott, noch nie gehört, dass man vor!" The doctor laughs, usually when people realize the truth about his daemon they will get scared. But not this one, this young man only sees a fellow comrade. It is almost touching. Getting himself together, the doctor decides that maybe this one can be trusted with this secret of his. "This never leaves the room, understand." He warns Nathan, for if the others know about this, then he is a dead man.

Nathan put his hands up in scout honor. "My lips are sealed."

That's good enough, if the boy does spew out his secret then he will make sure to test his new bonesaw before the guards capture him. "Have you ever heard about witches?" He asks the young man, wonders how much he has to explain.

Not exactly what Nathan expected to hear, getting an answer to a question. Well, might as well humor the doctor. "Teachers told us a bit about them in history class, only women can become a witch I hear, and they can fly and use magic. Deadly towards humans so the Magisterium decided to declare war on them- they won of course and now the witches are only part of the myth."

"Ja, the Magisterium did win per say, but the witches are still very much alive." The doctor remarks, he turns his eyes towards the window. "Now they live in remote places of the North, a place where humans cannot live for long. Of course-" He chuckles to himself. "Some humans do encounter witches if they didn't then I wouldn't be here today."

He wouldn't be alive if humans did not encounter witches... Wait what? Is this man for real?! "You're a witch?" Nathan asks dumbfounded.

"No, as you said; only the female offspring becomes a witch. The male always becomes human— with a few magical abilities." The doctor explains in a matter of fact, he blinks when Nathan leaps up from the chair, and his still dove-shaped daemon startles the doves when she takes flight.

"You- You... holy shit! Does that mean you're not human?" Nathan doesn't even know how to think about this. Yes, he did expect something weird, but never would he be speaking to a male witch!

The doctor cannot help but find this whole reaction amusing, there is no fear in the young man's eyes. Only utter confusions and desperately trying to wrap his mind together from his possible biggest mind blow. "oh, I am as much human you are mein freund. As I said, only the females become a witch."

"Is that why your daemon can be so far away from you?"

"Oh no, that was part of the witches coming to age ritual, granted I spend years working up a healthy relation to the clan lived with. " The doctor shakes his head and while pouring himself a new cup of tea, he explains. "Witches doesn't trust humans as you might understand from the history books. Only two years back I was permitted going through the ritual, but before I could rejoin Silvia..." His smile drops, the happy memories of studying with the witches get replaced by the horrors of what the mercenaries of the Magisterium do to anyone they do not consider worthy. Sighting he admits. "I do not wish to relive those moments again, maybe one day. But for now, all I can tell you that day: I saw the true side of the Church."

If he saw the true evil of the Church, then why the hell is her working for them? "Why did you join them?"

The doctor laughs, not the amused one from before, this time it is dark, like's there is actually nothing to laugh about. "You clearly do not understand the world junge, if you do not side with the Church; you are against it." He takes off his glasses and starts to clean them in his sand-colored shirt. "And no better off than the prisoners." After having put the glasses back on, the doctor eyes the young man before him. "The question is now; which side are you on? the Church? those who control the world and so long you agree, you are safe. or the terrorist? people there cause millions of deaths for a future they might never reach."

Nathan cannot answer that question, and from how the doctor looks at him, he doesn't think the man expects an answer from him. Instead, he turns the question back to the doctor. "What about you?"

The man smiles, not the creepy smile, this one is a genuine neutral smile. "Whoever is protecting my daemon."

Nathan blinks, not sure what the man means.

The doctor chuckles. "It's hard to explain, all I know that someone has been taking care of Silvia this past year. I can from time to time feel their hands touching her."

But touching someone else's daemon is the biggest taboo of all, it's a rule everyone knows and respects. Not even Nathan's own family touches his daemon, for touching someone else's daemon is like touching that person's soul. The thought of that's happening to the doctor is something Nathan has trouble to comprehend as his mind keeps telling him that it is wrong on so many levels. "That person is—"

"I do not think they know she's a daemon." The doctor interrupts him, nodding to the still pigeon shaped Nalini. "A daemon can hide as an animal, we only know which is which when the daemon reacts to their human's worldly reactions and vice versa. Whoever has Silvia is someone I can trust, I can feel it." He takes the empty cup from Nathan with; "So whoever side that person is on, that is the side I am."

"Isn't that a bit hypocrite?" Nathan asks.

The doctor laughs. "I never really been the one following the rules."

Nathan can't help but join the crazy doctor's laugh, yes the doctor is crazy and dangerous when he wants to but Nathan feels he can trust this guy. He just hopes that whoever has the doctor's daemon is not some psychopath who kills everything on sight and just has a soft spot for critters- or whatever form the doctor's daemon has.

Chapter Text

Trust is not something that comes easy for Antoine. His training in the Magisterium had made it very hard for him to show genuine emotions and open up for people. So accepting complete strangers he knows nothing about and trusting a pyromaniac woman's words that these people will help them rescuing his son does not sit well in his head. "Absolutely not."

Of course, both Dell and Lawrence are not surprised by their friend's reluctance. Letting their fourth ship member join the ranks of the Resistance and if circumstances have been different, then Lawrence would've been on the Spy's side on this one. Said that she needed to go through the introduction training like any other new member, but at the moment they do not really have that many options. "We're going to need all the help we can get." The sniper tells his old friend, nodding towards the horizon where they can see the city of Bristol where Nathan and the other kidnapped kids should reside inside this city's Magisterium Facility. "No bloody way this place will have as crappy security as the one in Amazon." He locks his eyes with Antoine. "We have to trust her." Like the spy, Lawrence is slow to trust others, but unlike Antoine; he does know when it is the time to give someone the benefit of the doubt and take a leap of faith that the person will keep their words. If he couldn't then he would have taken the shot on spy's head that day instead of taking a chance with him which became the starting point of their friendship.

"No, we're going alone." Antoine snaps at Lawrence in a very controlled tone, no need raising his voice to show that he is angry by this mere suggestion. "I will not let some crazed gunmen and a pyromaniac compromise the life of my son." He doesn't care if she says those people will help them. For all he knows; those people will mistake Nathan for the enemy and shoot him on sight. He refuses to take that chance.

"Going in with only three men is suicide!" Lawrence retorts back. In case this dimwitted spy has forgotten. "Snipers does not do well in close proximity and spies are only useful when the enemy is unaware of their presence. And don't you dare tell me this will be like the Amazon and Dustbowl." Angrily, he pokes the spy's chest hard. "It's not! This time they have numbers on their side. Not to mention a bunch of human shields which includes your own son!"

Antoine glares up at the taller man, asking. "And you trust mercenaries keeping their trigger happy fingers in check?" Lawrence opens his mouth but a robot hand stops him. Both turn to Dell who has so far kept to the sidelines and not joined the conversation, merely listing to them with crossed arms. It seems their engineer finally has something to say. Dell eyes the two hard, reminding a certain spy about a parent lecturing a child.

"Arguing won't solve anything." He starts and before Antoine can start an argument with him, he continues. "You both have a valid point. Going in just the three of us will be a death-wish and I am still planning to visit Logan this Christmas. So as I see it:" Lowering his right hand now he's certain the two won't start yelling again. "I suggest we check out these possible 'allies' Pyro spoke about, see what kind of people they are."

"She hasn't earned the right for that title." Antoine snaps, yet lower his gaze from the disproving glare the usual soft Texan sends him.
"She will soon enough." The engineer ensures him calmly. Still, the hint of impatience can be heard behind the softness. "And I would predicate having her around when the enemy destroys the sentries."

"If they destroy them." The sniper muses.

Engineer glances at him but chooses not to correct the man. Seeing his creations get destroyed is never fun but a sacrifice he is willing to make for this upcoming battle. Turning to the stubborn spy. "You might not trust her, but I trust her enough that she will not put an ax through my skull."

Antoine does not like it but he can see the reason why Dell wishes the fireball's assistance, he and Lawrence cannot protect his back properly in the middle of the battle with their skills set. "Fine... She can come with you." Antoine is reluctant but he can accept her. The woman has proven to be willing working together with them and genuinely trying to gain their trust. Although her at times odd behavior and love for fire make him wary, he only knows she means them no harm because of her very genuine attitude and disability hiding her true emotions through her expressions. He gets the sense that she isn't even trying to hide what kind of person she is. In some way, he respects that in her, especially when it is so hard for him to show— as Lawrence calls it; his human side. She, he can accept but that doesn't mean he will let a bunch of mercenaries or whatever the hell those 'willing to help' people she spoke about aid them in a very sensitive rescue mission. Why couldn't she have been more specific in the details? Right, because the Alethiometer did not want to tell her. As if that gold covered object has a will on its own. That woman is more unhinged than he thought. "But I refuse to let any other into this, too many lives are on the line." And one of them is his son.

"Can't we at least—" Dell tries but gets rudely interrupted by their fourth member. "You stupid piece of monkey shit!!" And the priceless truth device gets flung through the air and hits Sabrina right in the face which makes both daemon and man sneer in pain. Rubbing the throbbing head from the pain Sabrina sustained from that sudden assault, Antoine glares to the one who caused him this embarrassing pain. "And what might I ask is causing you such... destructive distress?" He asks her with a voice filled with venom and is honestly not in the mood for this sort of crap coming from her. The Sniper and Engineer both blink when Sabrina, in one of the rare moments changes into something else than the small ladder snake, white wolf, and clouded leopard. Now she is in the form of a highly pissed king cobra, seeing the new form in the sign of how angry the spy is and that is pretty scary. The two take a step back, wary if Antoine will start a fight with her.

Of course, the woman does not seem to notice Antoine's anger or how close she is to get a knife stuck in her spine. She continues to grumble curses on her native language against the Alethiometer as if it has offended her.

"Femme!" Spy yells, ignoring the hand of Dell on his left shoulder.

"What?!" She snaps at the spy there points at the golden object in his daemon's mouth, now in shape of the white wolf. "Why did you throw it?" He asks with a trembling voice, having trouble keeping his anger under control. The woman blinks, staring at them for a moment like she didn't even realize that she has thrown the Alethiometer moments ago. "Oh" And her anger is gone, although she is still very annoyed at the object in the wolf's mouth. "It refuses to tell me anything! I ask it what we can expect to meet inside the building and it tell me that unless we find those allies in Gloucester; we will all be killed. I can take such answers just fine, so I asked it about those people we are supposed to ally ourselves with, but all it tells me that we share the same goal!" She throws up her arms. "Yeah sure, the same goal killing Magisterium scum, wouldn't be a problem but what about the children or Spy's son?! Did you forget about that detail you useless piece of junk?!"
The three men do honestly have no words for that, all staring blankly at her. The woman lets out a sigh, sits down and starts playing with a lighter she got from the spy. "Sorry I couldn't be more of use..."
It has been so long since she last has been part of something, even longer where people weren't afraid of her small quirks. She likes these guys, they are interesting in their own special way.

Dell turns to the two others, taking his welding goggles off to give them a look. Lawrence hides a smirk by covering his face with his hat and Antoine lets out a sigh of defeat before saying. "Fine, let's see what who those people are." He claims the Alethiometer from Sabrina's mouth, putting it into his pocket. "And I will be keeping this." The woman did not seem bothered by it and lets him keep it 'safe' from doing any further harm.

"Right, let's get moving then." The sniper declares and takes control of the rudder, steering the ship towards their new goal and hopefully, the detour will raise their chance storming the Facility and save the kids without casualties.

They arrive in the city of Gloucester near nightfall, a good thing too since Europe holds the capital to the Church and thus Brytain is one of the places littered with people loyal to the Magisterium, making it extremely difficult moving around.
"Should we go civilian?" Lawrence asks the three others after once again have avoided another Magisterium ship.

"No, you have to wear your uniforms." The woman says before the two others can say anything, the three men turn to her and she shrugs to their confusions. "It's the only way you can get the supporters of your side."

"Alright, you heard the lady." Lawrence says and steers the ship toward a good hiding spot underneath a glade of trees. With the ship hidden underneath the low hanging tree branches, the three men each take their weapons, ready for a fight for whatever is going to face them in these next hours.
The woman sits on a barrel, watching them with a titled head. "Wish I can join you." She muses wishfully.

After having exchanged a look with Dell, the sniper turns to her, thinking she better not make them regret this. "It's your lucky day, then."
Dell fetches one of the class uniforms from the storage room, offering the woman the uniform to the Pyro class. The woman let out a squeal of delight, jumping like a school girl gotten the honor being the prom queen. She takes on the fireproof suit, boot, and gloves. The suit is a bit too big for her but that didn't matter, in fact, the woman is happy the suit hides certain curves. She takes the gas mask but hesitates taking it on. "This might sound strange to you." She muses.

"Sheila, most what comes out from your mouth is strange." Lawrence remarks in a joking manner, earning a smile from her. She chuckles but says her wish. "I would like if you did not reveal who I am while in this uniform." She eyes them seriously, showing them the mask. "With this mask on, I'm the hellhound the Magisterium created." And she takes on the mask.
The three men's eyes go to the otter there shimmer and change into the hellhound. Just like that, the playful woman they got to know under the weeks of travel is gone, replaced with the killer they watched inside the Facility in the Amazons.
Pyro takes the ax she got from the Amazon and awaits the next course of action in such a calm yet deadly manner that it is kinda freaking them out.

Antoine is the first to snap out from the sudden personality change and explains the team. "I have been in this city before, it has an underground black market. I suggest we check there first for information and perhaps get ourselves some extra supplies."
The three others nod and let him take the lead.
Thanks to Spy, they find an entrance to the underground market, a good thing since they did stand out in their uniforms. Two of them carrying a sniper rifle and a shotgun on their backs and the two others are dressed up like they are about to do a robbery.

The group walks through the labyrinth of the old sewer system, but thanks to Spy's sharp memory arrive at the underground market, unlike the city above their heads, the underground society is more active under the cover of darkness. Many of the people in the market are all dressed up to hide their faces, so seeing Pyro and Spy did not cause any suspicion. No, the sight of their class logos do.
Several of the people stop what they are doing when they realize that four from the organization called Team Fortress is here. Their view of that organization are all different, some see them either as a bunch of hooligans and killers of soldiers. Others see them as freedom fighters and the only organization crazy enough to fight the world power. But all agree on one thing: when the members of the Team Fortress are around; trouble always follows. Many of the people back away from the four, a few watch them with a wonder of what they are doing here and then there are those thinking they can earn easy money from the pasters the Magisterium has up against this infamous group.
Ten people start to surround the four, many of them craving to spill their blood and the money they can get handing them to the Church, something these people down here all need. A few of these people are smart enough to be extremely wary if picking a fight this is a good idea. After all, there must be a reason why the Church yet haven't been able to destroy the organization of Team Fortress like it has with many other terrorist groups.

"Did you little toy tell you about this?" Spy asks Pyro dryly, of the ten people now surrounding them all have makeshift weapons such as a pipe and a bat filled with screws, one of them has a gun, but he isn't really worried about these punks. Pyro turns around to him, but that emotionless mask does not show what she is thinking, only her low growling daemon shows what she will do if these people decide to attack.

"We're not looking for trouble fellas." Engineer tells the group surrounding them, he doesn't want to spill blood if they can avoid it, but they will if these people do not back down. He slowly flexes his right hand underneath his yellow glove.

Sniper easily spots one there is shaking in his pants, like Engineer, will much rather avoid a fight if they can help it. "So you better head home before you end up dead."
Pyro's daemon lets out a demonic snarl with Pyro weighting her ax, chuckling sinisterly. The mask makes her husky voice sound deeper and whole body language dares these punks to pick a fight with them.
The threats make four of them back out. Rest of them is either too stupid or overconfident as they do the huge mistake attacking the four.
Pyro does not hesitate for a second and embeds the ax right into the gun-wielding thug's chest with her daemon using a second as a chew toy, Engineer does that guy a favor by breaking his neck with the gunslinger.
Sniper and Spy both pull out their guns and shoot the remaining four before they can get in close and use their makeshift weapons on them.

"Anyone else wishes to waste their lives?" Spy asks out the market street. Every person cowers away from them, the four has made their point and now most people just want them gone.

Except one.

"Depend on tiny men." A deep and rumbling voice of a man speaks with a thick Russian accent. The four turns around and takes one step back from the huge and rather broad man, skin littered with scars walks up towards them. Behind him stalks his daemon; a huge brown bear. The man's brown/green eyes lands on each member's shoulder icon, the eyes narrow slightly. "Why little men here?" He asks them in his broken English.

"We're looking for some people." Sniper replies, wondering if his submachine gun even can kill this daemon-bear of a man if he decides to attack, the man does look fairly hurt but it doesn't seem to slow him down one bit.

The huge man shifts his eyes to each person, then removes his jacket, revealing a red shirt with a yellow icon of a fist. Sniper, Engineer, and Spy gasp seeing it. This man is part of the Resistance and no surprise; he is a Heavy.

"I wasn't aware there are members this close to the capital." Spy admits and along with the three others, lowers their weapons. Pyro hesitates but follows the three others example. This Heavy must be what the Alethiometer spoke about.

"No team here. Everyone but few dead." Heavy explains the four sullenly.

"Ambush?" Sniper asks.

"Da."

"You're not the only one big guy." Engineer tells the man before anyone can discuss further Spy cuts in. "Let us speak without so many prying ears around." the people in this marked all stare scared at them, the chance they will get attacked again or one of these people will alarm the Magisterium is great.

Heavy nods in agreement with Spy and heads down a side alleyway. "This way." He leads them through the sewers, out to the edge of the city and into a ramshackle house. Inside they find another member of the resistance, a black man with his left eye covered by an eyepatch and from the icon on the red shirt; this man is a Demoman. Not a useful one right now as this Demoman is sleeping heavily up against his scarred wolverine daemon, surrounded by a pile of whiskey bottles. The Heavy gives the Demoman a small kick and man jerks awake and starts yelling like the drunken man he is "You're not getting me alive you bastards! I show them what a black Scottic—"

"Relax," Heavy says and Demo calms down almost right away. "other team here."

"Wha... ohhh." It dawns on the Demoman and he turns smiling at the staring four. "Never thought I would see another friendly face again. Bloody bastards have been hurting us for weeks- but they aren't getting us!" He let out a battle cry before falling over one of his bottles and ends back on the floor, his daemon isn't much help as she has already gone back to sleep. Spy and Sniper stare in disbelief at the man, both wondering how a drunken fool could even join the resistance. Engineer is suddenly very interested in the house and Pyro is staring straight at Demo, looking as if she is wondering if she should attack or leave him be.

Heavy turns back to the four, explaining them. "Demoman not bad, very good fighting enemy babies."

"Perhaps but where we are going, we can't have anyone blowing up the whole place." Sniper remarks, giving the completely wasted Demo a disapproving glance.

"Why not?" Heavy asks frowning.

"A lot of children has gotten kidnapped these past months." Engineer starts explaining the big man, although unsure if this Heavy knows enough English an. Hopefully, the man is not as stupid as he sounds. "We have been following one of them to Bristol, but it is too fortified for the four of us."

"Heavy and Demo can help team get children out." Heavy says. Down on the floor Demo raises his half-empty whiskey bottle in agreement.

Spy does appreciate the offer but a heavy and a demolition man is not exactly what he has been hoping for. Sure having some of the resistance is way better than of a bunch of mercenaries, but those two classes are known to cause a lot of destruction and noise. Not good at careful attacks as this one needs. "We appreciate your offer but we sadly have to decline."

"And why is that?" Demo asks, his eye narrowed and suddenly he seems a lot more aware than before. "We can help."
Heavy simply nods in agreement.

"Perhaps but this is a rescue mission." Spy explains the two. "There are a lot of children, fiercely protected by Magisterium soldiers."

"We know it's a rescue mission, we have been doing something very familiar before our team got destroyed." Heavy says, suddenly his English has improved, although the thick Russian accent is still there. He eyes the four hard. "And if what you say is correct then there is a big chance some of our team are imprisoned there as well."

So that's what Pyro meant they shared the same goal, Sniper glances over his aviators. "How come you were faking your knowledge of English?" He asks, not really taken aback by this, but it did surprise him the sudden improvement in Heavy's English.

Heavy let's out a sigh and crosses his strong scarred arms. "I wasn't sure if I could trust you. The ambush that killed most our team members was too deliberate."

"Like we had a traitor among us." Demo adds in, taking a swig of his bottle he wonders out loud. "But that doesn't explain why they got fooled by our leader decoy, anyone on the team knew about that."

"Leader decoy?" Engineer asks. He hasn't heard that one before from any of the other teams.

Heavy nods. "Da, our spy learned the Magisterium wanted to capture the leader of the team, perhaps trying to force the team into disbanding. She was the one who suggested we made a decoy in case we got attacked. One of our Soldiers is currently acting out as the decoy, keeping the Magisterium eyes away from the real leader and the rest of the team." Heavy eyes Demo sadly. "What's left of it, anyway..."

Spy takes out a cigarette from his case from his chest pocket. "Let me guess;" he lights it and takes a deep drag, eyeing the Heavy. "You are the true leader of the team."

The big man nods again. "Yes, the team chose me after the Magisterium bastards killed our former four years back. It has been hard but I managed. If you do not like I will be the one bossing you around; I am willing to let someone else take the spot." Heavy explains, ignoring Demo's objections for his possible step-down.

"Come on Heavy, I am not letting some newcomers give me—"

"This is their mission." Heavy interrupts the black man, he did not even have to raise his voice to quiet the other one down. "And we will follow them. So who is the leader of your team?" His eyes back to the other four.

Engineer, Sniper and Spy glances to one another, Engineer steps forward but not because he considers himself the leader of this group. "We don't really have one." He admits.

"I and Spy have been part of a team but that was ages ago." Sniper explains, him, Dell and Antoine have kinda been their own team with them doing small side missions for the other teams in America. None of them were really planning on staying as a full-fledged team more than necessary. He figures when they are done saving Antoine's son, they will find a new place to hide the spy's family and Dell will again work as their bodyguard. Sniper gestures to Engineer and Spy "I, Engie and Spy aided other teams in America our own separated way; we only came together when the time called for it." Turning to Pyro. "Under the last mission, we encountered Pyro here."

Pyro gives the two a hello wave, letting her true personality shine slightly through.

Demo asks them something on the floor, but no one understands what he is saying and before anyone can ask, the man passes out and fast asleep. Heavy doesn't look surprised, in fact he has a amused gleam in his eyes. "The weeks have been hard on him, we have been doing a lot of running." Turning back to the four, the amusement in his eyes are gone. "So you have been nomad members. We had a few of those."

"Are they still alive?" Spy asks.

Heavy shakes his head with a sad expression on his scarred face from all the fighting he has been doing over the years, his bear daemon lowers slightly her head in their thoughts of how many they lost in a matter of hours.

Spy takes another drag of his cigarette. "Cutting off your supplies lines, it seems they finally learned something from all the plans we have put a cog into over the decades."

Putting off his own regret of what happened to his former team, and turning his full attention to these four's mission. "Agree, so what is your plan?" Heavy asks them.

Straight to the point, he likes that. Spy thinks and trashes his smoke on the damp floor. "We're going back to Bristol, you may accompany us but rescuing the children is this mission first priority."

The heavy nods, he does not like the thought sacrificing the remaining of his team but they all knew the risk becoming a member of the resistance. He signs the Spy to continue with a single hand motion and the spy do so. "I will infiltrate the building, learn the layout and possibly figure out where they hold the children. Sniper will scout the area outside while Engineer-"

"I usually spend that time checking our weapons for any malfunction." Engineer takes over, he smiles. "and preparing the sentry gun for battle."

Again Heavy nods, he can see these three men have been working together for a long time. They know their role in this deadly game of chess, but what about their newest member? He turns to Pyro who is absentmindedly pokes the sleeping Demo. "What about him?" From what he has gathered with this man; Pyro will be a wildcard so long he hasn't any clear role among the team. Heavy admits that having a wildcard member can be good but with the wrong person it can be a disaster. Demo is a wildcard member and with his wide versatility of how to fight, he will continue being one.
The three men look to one another, Heavy can see they have not really thought about it. Yes, these men are indeed a nomad team, but unlike those he knew; these four seem willing to give the whole team thing a try.

Engineer lifts his hardhat to scratch the short blond hair underneath, after some quick thoughts, he says. "Pyro is going to stick close to me. I figured he will be useful keeping me safe when the sentry gets destroyed."

Heavy ponders a bit about that, it does not take him long seeing a huge flaw in this plan. Sure, that tactic would work very well, but only if it's only the enemy around. A sentry gun is designed to shot at anything that does not have the special Team Fortress uniforms on. Heavy will admit that what that his former Engineer told him about this went mostly over his head but he did gather that the team logos have a special signal that both will make Headquarters aware of their location and keep the sentry gun from accidentally firing at a friendly member. Anything else is dead meat, which includes a bunch of children. "Do not bring the sentry gun." He tells Engineer, catching- in his eyes the hilariously small man off guard.

"Pardon?"

"The sentry gun doesn't know different from an enemy soldier and an innocent child."

Engineer feels really stupid not thinking about that. "Oh, right..." He has been used to place the sentry and let it mold down the enemy without the fear it shooting a civilian because they had already been moved out of the way. He could use the Wrangler to remote control the sentry though; he explains that to the Heavy. And the bear of the man agrees that it is better than letting the sentry gun kill everyone on sight.

"How do you wish I and Demo can aid you?" Heavy asks.

"A good distraction is always appreciated." Sniper remarks.

Heavy nods, he and Demo can do that, not sure how much it will work against an enemy with enough soldiers that splitting the army into smaller parts won't weaken them much. But he decides to keep quiet, this is these men's mission. Heavy does somewhat hope he can take the weight of leadership off his shoulders, he does prefer being a mere grunt and following someone else's orders but his many years in the Resistance and fighting alongside countless of different people has made him one of the most experienced Team Fortress members and that has made people turn to him for advice. "Very well." He heads into the room he has claimed as his in this measly house. "We rest for tonight, tomorrow you leads us where the fight will happen." And he closes the door behind him.

Sniper turns to his two old friends, not sure if they noticed it too;
but that Heavy is way smarter than he gives out and from how he made that last command, it is clear he has a lot of experience keeping a team function. He can see why the former team chose him as their leader, in fact, most of the best leaders of the teams are chosen that way. It's not the one who can yell the loudest, the smartest or most aggressive, that kind of leaders most often gets the team killed. In most cases, the one who gets things done and can gather the team behind them like the Scout from Mexico. Or like this Heavy: one who listens and takes the team's words into consideration but aren't afraid to put his foot down when needed. Those are the people who make the best teams. Eyeing Engineer and Spy, Sniper sees they have realized this too. The Australian reaches his hand up to his shoulder and his daemon jumps onto it as he asks. "Anyone up to take big guy's place?" He sure hell won't, he is a bit of the lone wolf type. Lawrence doesn't mind working together with people, but he has trouble being around too many for long extended of time thanks to having been living out in the Outback for so long.
Spy has more or less the same issue, although he is way more social with his huge natural curiosity, but his great distrust and reluctance to share his knowledge do often make him seen distrustful towards others. Now that Sniper thinks about it, he hasn't met any team with a Spy as their leader. He presumes it is because of their working style of always has to be hiding in the shadows.
Engineer is the best choice actually, he listens to people, rarely afraid speaking his mind and effective getting things done. However his calm and hard to anger personality makes it hard for him getting louder people's attention and Dell also has that issue that he often gets so caught up in his work that he completely forgets people around him.
Sniper glances to the two last people in the room but both Demo and Pyro are out of the question. Whatever that drunkard to Demoman says he will not take seriously and he doubts the explosive expert does either. Pyro is a nice, though strange Sheila, she is dangerous and could easily get people's attention but she is a follower through and through, she listens to commands and does them with little fuss if she sees reasons in them.

"Well, this is getting awkward." Spy dryly remarks when no one replies on Sniper's question, going about without leader with just the three of them have been fine. they know each other after years of friendships and even though they argue a lot, they do get things done. But now, with Pyro, Heavy, and Demoman. He prefers having someone around to give them clear orders, much rather want a bossy leader than dealing with a constant squabbling team. "My suggestion? Let the Heavy keep his role, it's not like we're permanently joining his team." They only need the Heavy and Demo saving those kidnapped kids. After that they will go their separate ways again. Engineer and Sniper can agree to that and slowly begins searching for a good spot to rest in this ramshackle building. Noticing them leaving the room, Pyro follows the three men like an obedient dog, wondering how the rescue mission will be now with the Demo and Heavy on the team.

Chapter Text

Three knocks on the door snap the huge man out from his deep thoughts about these four new members and the mission they brought up yesterday, must admit the part about the children was troubling.

"Heavy?"

"Come in Demo." Heavy replies, gently stroking a wounded but very tame magpie's back with his huge hand. Behind him Demo steps through the door, he still looks drunk but Heavy knows better. His wolverine daemon's eyes have a tense gleam in sign nothing goes past her.

"So, we're going to blow up one of the big building now, eh?" Demo remarks grinning, leaning up against the nearby wall with crossed arms. "And with new teammates, that's outta be interesting."

Heavy doesn't consider himself a smart man. He did not have to be most of his youth. His people only needed his strength and loyalty. But after the conquest, after having watched the Tartar's- his own people eliminate innocent with the only reason to do it because they can. It made him think, a lot. So much thinking that he lost weeks worth of sleep, thinking about his father's and his clan words that they deserved the lands they claimed, that the people they killed were weak and lucky the Tartar's put them down before the weakness would spread as if it was a sickness. For so long he never thought about it, but that fateful day; he did and after months of thinking and watching his people's way of life in a different light. He came to realize that he did not want to be part of it. He only acted on his thoughts when his father died during a conquest. With the simple thought that his family mattered more than the clan; he took family and left so his mother and sisters at least didn't have to be treated as simple pawns with the only purpose to keep the men fed and birth more soldiers. His choice made life very hard for them, but his mother often told him he did the right choice. It gave his younger sisters the chance to become more than simple farmers and birth machines. His oldest sister became a warrior; strength worth any man, the middle an amazing keeper for animals and his youngest a clothing designer, none they could do if they had stayed.

When he joining the Resistance he back then thought he could stop trying wraps his head around something he barely understood. Oh, how wrong he had been. The years working with different people in the resistance has forced him to think about a lot of things, like the difference of culture and how it is best not let the history of each country get in between him and his comrades. He fairly quickly learned that if he did not think about those things; then he would've gotten into fights with his comrades as well, and it wasn't like he could just kill them like he would back in his home country. He and Demoman would probably have killed one another if he wasn't self-conscious about all those facts. People of Brytain and Europe are still very bitter from all the times the people of Tartary has been attacking and stealing land from them. So the moment Heavy heard that their newest member in form of Demo joined, he made it clear for dark-skinned Scot- like he did to anyone who showed signs they had a problem with him being a Tartar that he left his clan behind to fight for the Resistance alongside them and will not let his country's ideals compromise his own moral. Unlike most new members, Demo had accepted him fairly quickly and over time the two supposed enemies have become quite good friends. "Perhaps, this mission is going to get tricky, though." Heavy answers the possible only member left of their old team. "We are after all going to save a flock of scared and possibly brainwashed children." He tells the Scotchman in a matter of fact.

"And our team?" Demo asks, his remaining eye narrow ever so slightly.

Turning away from the wounded bird, Heavy glances back to him, he hates to say this but he knows that at times... sacrifices must be made. "Thet won't be our first priority."
Demo looks as if it doesn't bother him, but they both know it does from how his daemon is sneering. Heavy admit that this really bothers him as well. "I'm sorry." But they all knew what they were getting themselves into when they joined and... the laws of the Resistance command they take the children as their first priority.

"You better." Demo snaps, he's not even going to try hiding it anymore. He does not like this plan one bit. "Are we really going to let our team- our friends die for a bunch of people- that for all we know already are on those bastards side?!"

Putting the magpie back into its cage, Heavy slowly gets up from his chair and turns fully to the only member of their former team. The black man glares up at him, one of the few not intimidated by Heavy's size and strength. Heavy returns the glare with his own, asking hard. "How do you think I feel about this?" Unlike Demo, he actually has a family member among those there were captured.

Realizing his mistake Demo lower his gaze.

Heavy let out a sigh. "We all knew the risks." If it had been different, Heavy would've done anything in his power to save them, but he knows that if they try saving their trapped members first, then they might lose the chance saving the children and perhaps lose even more members by trying saving the others.

"Doesn't make it feel better..." Demo's daemon; Taipa growls up to him. And Heavy's Sasha nudges the wolverine gently with her snout. "We know." She says with her own thick Russian accent.
Both man and daemon anger deflate and replaced with a cold dreaded feeling of the fact what has to be done. Demo does not like it one bit, but like Heavy... he understands why they have to put the children's safety first. Unlike their trapped members, those children did not choose this and have no way defending themselves against the Church's soldiers. "I hate every ounce of this, but... I understand." He admits reluctantly and turns his gaze back up to Heavy, determined to make those scum pay for forcing such a choice on them. "Every soldier I kill will be for our comrades."

"Da, our enemy will pay with blood." Heavy agrees, he too wants to kill every single Magisterium soldier for what they have done to their team as much Demo would. They might not agree on anything but they can agree on who is going to die by their weapons. Speaking of which, better see what the four has been discussing this team-up. "Did the other team say anything interesting last night?"

Demo grins, oh how many strange conversations he has heard over the years by fooling people he has been too drunk to understand or sleeping. "Not much, only they agree to let you keeping the leader role-" Their Pyro however almost broke that facade of his, though. Stubborn little bugger that one was. And good god, what kind of person has a hell-hound for a daemon?!

Heavy nods and returns back to his working table, he figured they would do something like that. Not sure why but he would've been surprised if one of these Nomad members had stepped up and taken the role as the team leader. Nomad members rarely have the leadership qualities, if joining a team again; a former Nomad works better as a self-sufficient member, one there not always needed to be told what to do. He had kinda hoped one of them would, though. Being the one everyone looks for answers is hard. It is so much easier just being the dumb muscles. Fewer days without a headache. But if everyone wishes he keeps the role, then he will do it and they better not complain about it; for he did give them the chance to claim the title for themselves. "Tell them we will leave in ten minutes."

"Ay, I can do that." And Demo leaves the room.

Sasha turns her eyes up to her human, once again worried for him. "|At least these people aren't incompetent.|" She tries to cheers him up in his mother language, but they both know that's not really his problem. Mikhail eyes his beloved daemon, however both his thoughts and upcoming words get interrupted by another voice.

"I have no idea what you said mein leibe teddybär, but I am sure it's the same what I am thinking." The magpie says with that chiming voice of hers and jumps out from the cage but lands incredible ungraceful on the table thanks to that wounded wing of hers. Heavy quickly moves over to help her back up. She gives the huge man a thankful smile. "Danke." And walks onto his huge hand with: "True you are not the smartest person I have known, but you sure make it up in strength and heart."

Mikhail smiles at her, Silvia always has been good getting his mood up in her own sassy way. He sure hopes her human is just as straightforward and witty as her. Finding her is probably one of the best things that have happened in his life. At first, he thought she had been an ordinary bird and had taken her home so his sister could take care of the wounded bird he found. That until she suddenly started talking to him. Boy did that catch him by surprise, and he has fought enough witches to recognize a witch's daemon. Only a witch's daemon can be so far away from their human. He did find it a bit strange she was female, having a same-gendered daemon is rare but not unheard of.
She could've easily have left him when she recovered, more so when he showed her he can and will kill witches, but she told him that the weeks he took care of her had made her feel safer than she and her human ever have felt before and did not want to leave him. He smiles fondly down to the bird. "Having a nagging witch daemon on your shoulder do that to you." He teases her, and she peaks his finger for that remark. Silvia really likes to tell people what she thinks about them. It is rather funny seeing such confident behavior in a bird daemon.

"I do not nag you, big oaf!" Silvia exclaims greatly annoyed by his words, but do know he meant it in good fun.

"Good at persuading men to do your bidding then?" He suggests, chuckling at her bemused look.

Silvia rolls her eyes but cannot help but laugh as well. "You silly bear."

Still chuckling he strokes her wings, it's her favorite spot to be touched he observed. Apparently, her human is often dealing with sour hands from her work, which confuses him. What in the world is a witch doing to make her hands hurt? Granted he does not know anything about what it takes being a healer witch, he only knows how to stop bleedings with a rag. He doesn't fancy witches the slightest, but he does hope Silva witch will join his side. He has grown quite fond of her daemon.
"How's the wing?" He asks, gently taking her right wing out. It still looks as bad as when she got hit by that shrapnel when the Magisterium soldiers ambushed them.

"It still hurt, but I'm healing." She replies softly.

Mikhail nods solemnly, even with his (own opinion) low brain capacity he can see that she will never fly unless her witch fixes her up. The only problem is that he does not know where her witch is and Silvia doesn't want to tell him for some weird reason. He has the feeling her witch might be from one of the warrior clans. They do have a habit killing first and ask later, and that is bad news for the both of them. Unless her witch allows a moment to talk and willingly join— which he highly doubt, Mikhail will be forced to kill her and that means the death of Silvia too. He does not look forward to the day where he returns only to find the room empty. "Good, now be quiet." He tells her, Silvia sends him a look but do what he told her. Sasha walks over to the corner of the room and grabs the minigun lying there and Mikhail's puts it onto her back before reclaiming his own: a shotgun he got from the black marked onto his own back. After have put on his class's armor in form of a bulletproof vest, Heavy takes the birdcage and leaves the room where the five others are waiting.

"You're taking that bird with you?" Spy asks, giving the magpie a bored glance.

Heavy nods, eyeing the others he asks with his rumbling voice. "Everyone ready?" They nod and by his words, they leave the house. Heavy and Demo follow the four back to their hidden and a very interest looking ship, it does not look anything like the Magisterium ships his team often stole when they needed to get around by water.

"Where did you get this beauty?" Demo asks wide-eyed at this beauty of a ship. Engineer grins and explains that he build it from scraps, both the Demo and Heavy are impressed hearing this. Their former engineer was good, but never in the league of this one. He had been more the kind of guy repairing and upgrading stuff he found lying around with all the roaming he often did. Boarding the ship, Demo can't help but ask Engineer. "What can this lassie do?" Being a man who has sailed a lot of ships are always fascinated when he comes across a new one. Engineer gives him a tour of the ship while Heavy merely listens with a half ear. Ships do not interest him.

"First time I have seen anyone weaponizes their daemon."

Heavy glances over to Sniper, giving the man a smirk. "Sasha likes to hear the gun sing." Talking about weapons interests him way more.

"Did you make that gun?" Sniper asks, interested knowing more about this man. Yes, he has met many Heavies but none of them had a daemon in that size. Seeing a daemon bigger than a wolf is practically unheard off and if the old Australian tribe's stories about daemon's size reveal the inner power of a person are correct, then this guy is not one who will go down easily. Hell, it wouldn't surprise him if this guy would keep on fighting even with his body filled with bullets.
The heavy nods. "Da, made the gun just for Sasha." He explains proudly, adding with a sternness in his voice that he is deadly serious about this. "And she does not like others than I touches it." The man's daemon bares briefly her teeth's before going back to her nap.
Alright, Sniper will not touch the gun and anger the bear- man or daemon.

"Where are you from?" Heavy asks, mostly just to be polite but also to learn what topics he shouldn't pick up around this man.

"I'm from the Kingdom of Auister, but I do consider myself more an Australian." Sniper replies, apprehensive watching his own daemon fly just above the water.

Heavy frowns, he does not know much about that country. Not even what their daemon usually takes form as. "I haven't heard about that country." He admits and asks mildly curious. "What is your country like?" He has always been fascinated by other countries and their way of life even though it is often very confusing, to be honest.

Sniper learns back in his chair. "It's not much different from Brytain inside the cities, except it rarely rains."

"So Magisterium way of life." Heavy muses, then notice something the sniper has said. Eyeing the tall but scrawny man. "What do you mean by 'inside the cities'?"

"What my lizard eating comrade is trying to say." Spy cuts in the conversation, his comment earns him a glare from the sniper and raised an eyebrow from the heavy. He ignores both their reactions. "Is that out in the wilderness lives small tribes of people."

"The Australians." Sniper says.

"Yes, these tribes moved away from the Church's teaching and created their own belief about the nature of daemons."

"Such as?" Heavy asks, this does perk his interest. Listing to others belief of the nature of daemon has caught his interest ever since he found Silvia but it is a conversation not many want to talk about. The philosophy about their manifestation of the soul is a very sensitive topic.

Spy claims a cigarette from the case inside his chest pocket, however, he does not explain further, instead gesturing to Sniper he has the spotlight again. So the Sniper explains for the big man. "Well, before a daemon settles, the child- along with a few hunters heads out into the outback where the child has to go out a spiritual journey while surviving the wilderness. They call it the Walkabout. The hunters are only allowed to help if the child's life is in danger. They will be out in the Outback for about a month and the main goal for the Walkabout is to teach the child they cannot take anything for granted, not even the form their soul companion will settle into." Sniper explains calmly while looking up to the sky where his Nankeen Kestrel daemon is flying around. "I may not be born into one of those tribes but I respect their way of life and the lessons the Outback taught me every time I went."

"My people have similar teaching." Heavy points out, although there is a huge difference between the Tartar's coming to age from these Australians. "When the male child's daemon starts showing signs of settling, the clan send the child out to find and claim the form they want their daemon to settle into. Most chooses to kill a wolf and reclaim its strength and form for their daemon."

Sniper and Spy give the man a bemused look. "So... why is your daemon a bear then?" Sniper asks hesitant, he has a guess to why but he would prefer to hear the answer from Heavy first before he jumps to conclusions.

The heavy smirks wryly. "A wolf was too weak for me, so I killed a bear. He gave me a good fight." He pulls down his red shirt, revealing four long and deep claw mark scars covering most of the chest. "Almost claimed my life but I was stronger, so I took his form to my Sasha."

Sniper whistle impressed and decides to show Heavy the bite scar he has on his left leg from the crocodile whose teeth he wears. "I know everything when it comes to a good fight with a mighty beast. Got this from a crocodile there mistook me as prey." He explains grinning, still remember how scared and yet deadly calm he was when he fought that beast and how relieved and proud he felt when his kukri snuffed out that crocs life.

Heavy found himself respecting this sniper for surviving a battle with a river monster. "We should go hunting together someday." He suggests.

Sniper laughs and is curious what kind of beast he and this heavy can take down.

Pyro says something but no one understands the mumbling speech coming out from the mask. So she instead swings her ax like she is killing something.

"You wanna join us, mate?" Sniper asks, well aware she has been living a place with a lifestyle very similar to the Australians. Pyro replies with jumping up and down with an excited giggle.

Heavy frowns at this. "Your Pyro is very strange." He remarks and has trouble getting a proper read on this one, not sure what words might send this person into a rage or make them jump like an excited little child. "No offense." He adds when this wildcard of a Pyro sends him what he can only guess is a crossed look. He does not want to anger someone who has a demonic dog as their soul animal, no matter how innocent they seem to be.

Spy, on the other hand, finds himself wondering if France is the only sane place in this godforsaken world. Then again he's not really in the position to judge as France's beliefs on daemon are the same as the Church and he has a daemon who is unable to settle into a permanent form, which has automatically made him an outcast towards his own people.
Engineer and Demo soon join them which ends up with Demo sharing a crazy story about him fighting a monster there took his eye inside a cave before he blew it up.
Heavy and Sniper bursts into laughter of the story with Pyro applauding as if it's the best thing she has heard in her life. Engineer simply chuckles before turning to Spy who asks the probably only sane person on the ship besides him. "What do think of this rabble?"

Engineer turns his gaze back to the two new members, watching Heavy gives Sniper a friendly pat on the back— which sends the Aussie sprawling to the ground, to Demo telling Pyro another of his crazy stories. "Well," he might still be wet behind the ears when it comes to being out in the field but with those of the resistance he has encountered so far: "I find their bombastic personalities rather endearing." The engineer replies the spy whose brow disappears underneath his mask. "Is that so?"
Engineer grins at his friend's response. "Sure beat building zeppelins and listens to a bunch of stuck up rich people demands." Turning his gaze back to the spy, smile's still there but the serious tone does not pass over the ever observant spy. "I feel like I belong here— not wanted, I could get that working for the Magisterium. I mean to be around people who see the person and not just the family name."

Yes, Spy can see why. Dell has been struggling a lot with the weight of his family fame inside the Magisterium; back when they first met him. Dell was like a younger clone of his father. All that changed after their first mission together and Antoine must admit that he is happy Dell succeeds tearing himself free from his family's tradition of working for the Magisterium. Maybe when this war is over and people can do what they want without the Magisterium constantly breathing down their necks, the man can make a proper name for himself. This spy here sure would like making the fantasy of being a family man into a reality. Of course, he doubts he ever can put the spy thing down. But being a secret spy with a loving family by his side doesn't sound so bad either. He throws the smoked cigarette down into the water. "I know what you mean, the Resistance does have a strange way attaching people."

Engineer laughs from that remark and silently watch their two new team members share hilarious and maybe not so real hunting stories with Sniper and Pyro.

Chapter Text

Arriving at Bristol, Heavy suggests that Engineer and Demo should go civilian and check the surrounding areas for possible escape routes to when they will leave after the attack on the Facility. "It's always best having such a plan." The big man says. He can't do it himself due to his very recognizable daemon and a lot of people of the Magisterium here in Brytain know he is part of Team Fortress Resistance.
But it should be fine. Engineer and Demo should be able to catch some information from the locals, Heavy thinks Engineer's friendly demeanor might lower a quite few people's guard and loosen their tongue. Demo, on the other hand, is in very good terms with the local gypsies from his well-rooted trade from his family and can get information from them by simple appearing before them in person.
"Spy and Sniper, you do what you said yesterday." Heavy tells the two others, they nod and is off doing their own recon of the Facility itself. Demo leaves as well, but when Engineer moves out, Pyro stops him.

"What is it?" Engineer asks the firebug a bit confused, Pyro stare intensely at him behind those emotionless goggles, making it hard to see what the person behind is thinking.

Heavy turns his gaze to the Pyro, still not sure if he feels comfortable around that one. "Do you know what Pyro wants?" For all he knows, Pyro just wants to world around him to burn. He has seen how fascinated that one looks when playing with that lighter.
Pyro nods down to their daemon, blinking Engineer knells down to the demon dog's level and listens to what the daemon has to say. No matter how much Heavy tries he cannot hear what the demon dog is saying, only that whatever she said the Engineer jerks and gives the hellhound a bemused look.
"What did she say?" He asks the man.

Dell is both surprised by this request and yet he can also understand why. Scratching his neck he replies the big man. "Pyro wants to come with me."

"Is that good idea?"
Pyro gives the big man a long empty-eyed stare, the only time the bear of a man actually shudders. The masked turns back to Engineer; whole body language just begging for him to say yes.
Engineer let out a sigh, then smiles. "Alright, you can come."
Pyro cheers and runs downstairs, only to come up and say something to Heavy he did not understand, but Engineer somehow is able.

"Oh, right." Dell remembers their agreement and turns to Heavy "Pyro... strongly request you do not look at him when we leave."

And he is sure Pyro will turn him into a crisp if he does. Heavy nods and for good measure put a blindfold on both himself and his daemon Sasha. Moments later he hears- presumably Pyro returns from downstairs since Engineer asks. "You ready? Alright, let's go." And they are off. When sure the two are gone, Heavy takes off the blindfold and heads downstairs to be with Silvia; if he's lucky she might have seen what is underneath that mask.
Turned out she hasn't, the magpie had been fast asleep.
___

It feels strange being out from the uniform of the resistance, walking around in a grey-blue shirt and dark brown trousers, his welding goggles and hardhat left behind back at the ship, even his working glove that usually hides the robotic hand is off. Of course, Dell can't walk around as a civilian with a metal hand that can break a man's neck. So in cases like this, he made a skin colored glove, completely hiding the fact his right hand is not out of flesh, so long people don't shake his hand course. Pyro, on the other hand, looks happy being out from her suit, skipping around in that pretty fire colored dress Antoine brought her. Dell is sure it's the spy subtle way saying he did not predicate her choice of clothing. Of course, none of them can really blame her looking like someone has been living in the wild- or in her case, just gotten out from a prison. The clothing she wore in the Amazon's has been ragged and more than ready to be thrown out.
She stops at each shop they pass, staring fascinated at the many new things and indeed enjoying her newfound freedom. She might not, but Dell sure takes notice at the stares her scarred body received. Sure the burn scar on her arm does look nasty and he admits he did stare a bit as well on that one but her scars aren't that bad when getting used to them, in fact, he actually finds the burn scars rather intriguing. Not many people wear scars like that with pride; it reminds him a bit of himself wearing the gunslinger.

"Engie, can we go in here?"

Her question snaps Dell out from his thoughts, turning his gaze to the shop she points at. It's a food store proudly calling itself 'Foreign Food Market' the outsides decorated with exotic vegetables. From the looks of it, he is sure that some of it could come from the Amazon's jungle, probably the closest thing she will come to home. So why not let her check it out? "Sure, why not?" He shrugs and can't help but smile at her happy cheer and follows her inside. Barely three steps inside, she has already claimed a bag filled with blackberries. "You want something, Engie?" She asks him, looking at the shelves where the vegetable is. "Pretty sure I can make something even Spook would like, he's kinda picky isn't he?" She asks with a giggle.

Dell chuckles in agreement. "He sure is." Lowering his voice for only her ear to catch. "You shouldn't call me Engie out in public, we don't know who would be listing."

She gives him an apologetic look. "Sorry but it's the only name I know." She muses, turning back to the vegetable, picking up a mango. "Would Tex or Truckie be better then?" She heard Sniper and Spy use that to Engineer when they notify him.

"What about you just call me Dell?" He trusts her enough with his name, and he's also not as reluctant as other members letting people know what his real name is. Dell doesn't think she is going to turn their back on them. In fact both her daemon's original and battle form points at her loyalty to the 'pack'.

She looks startled at him for a moment, then after a second of hesitating says. "Keahi."

"Nice meeting you Keahi." Dell smiles and offers his hand, she giggles, takes it and they shake hands like it's the first time they actually meet instead of being traveling with one another for weeks. With the reintroduction over, Dell turns his attention to what Keahi is getting from the selves. "Anything special you're planning?"

"Not really, just wants something else than crappy can food." Keahi shrugs, giving the man a smirk. "The food the Magisterium gave me was better than what you serve on that ship."

Yes, he admits the canned food is not the greatest, but it is kinda the only thing staying fresh in a long period of traveling time, but maybe they should try and buy so they can get some real food for a change. Dell sure wants to make one of his Texan dishes and certain Antoine wants the same with his home country food. Ah, what the heck. "You know what, buy whatever you like. When we get back I'll build a proper storage room for it." He throws up his arms laughing.

Keahi grins and returns back gathering all kind of stuff, much of it Dell is sure Antoine can use. Well, except one thing, he takes up the bag in question. "I don't think Franchise eats this." The man eats weird stuff such as frog legs but Dell doesn't think even Antoine will go this far.
Laughing Keahi snatches the bag out from his hand. "It's not for him, silly. These are for me."
Dell blinks at her comment, never thought her being that kind of person who eats this kind of food. Then again, he guesses living in the Amazon's you can't really get picky. He smiles at the thought of the others reaction seeing Pyro eats this kind of candy.

The two leaves the shop with three bags filled with food.
"Should we return this or what?" Keahi asks, however before any of them can make a decision, two Magisterium soldiers, presumably off-duty pass by them, one of them is complaining about someone sounding a bit too familiar. "I don't care what the boss says. If that freak just as much swings a bat around me again; I'm going to put a bullet through his head."

Dell watches the two soldier heads towards the nearby bar and gets an idea. "I'm going speak with them."
Keahi blinks at his words, however, unlike most she does not consider it crazy or stupid, that word doesn't really exist in her world. "You think they will tell you anything useful?" Won't stop her from worrying about her friend's well being, though.

Dell shrugs. "Only one way to find out, wait here." And he heads inside. Finding the two Magisterium soldiers is not hard, those two has practically has taken a whole corner of the bar. At least these two doesn't demand respect from the people around them like some others might have done. Dell takes a seat, close enough to hear them if they raise their voices but also far enough that he did not look suspicious. Can't have they realize a member of the Resistance sits near them. The bartender walks over to him, he gives her one of his iconic soft smiles. "Would like a beer, thank you." She returns the smile and moments later hands him the beer. "Anything else you need?" She asks him smiling, clearly appreciating his friendly demeanor.
"I holler if I do." Dell replies and she leaves him to tend to her other customers, letting him eardrop on the soldiers while enjoying the beer; it's not like the one back home but he has tasted worse.

"I don't understand the higher ups." One of the soldiers suddenly exclaims, like any other soldier he has a dog daemon. Dell can't say what breed it is, though. Only it looks like it has gotten its legs pulled and hasn't gotten proper food for years, giving it a very slender and speedy look. He does wonder if that guard is just as scrawny underneath that jacket as his daemon. "Why invite rabbles into our ranks?" The soldier asks the other, clearly annoyed.

"What are you on about?" The other one asks somewhat confused. He has a small stocky dog for a daemon, again Dell cannot say the breed is, only that it looks kinda stupid with undershot bite.

"The children, I'm talking about this cache of children. All of them are picked up from the streets; why do you think they keep misbehaving? They don't give a crap about the Magisterium." The soldier with the scrawny dog drinks some of his beer, grumbling. "We should just have sent them to Bolvanger and get over with it." He points at the other one annoyed. "And don't get me started on the freak. I had hoped he would stop misbehaving with Conagher around."

What? Is his dad here? That is not good, in fact, that its really bad news. His father has machines that can detect Antoine's cloaking device. Also, why is his father so interested in who he can presume is Nathan? His guesses are that the old man wants to force Nalini to settle.

"You mean that young man with the child daemon?" The one with the bulky dog asks, the other one nods and the other one asks confused. "What's the deal with that anyway? Did that quack doctor experiment on him or something?"

"No, the daemon could change form before we came here. Trust me; I had to watch it all the way back here. The doctors are supposed to make it stop, though."

"Good, watching it change like that is creepy. Say, do you think that's why he keeps causing trouble? Even seen him pick a fight with Paul."

"The hell if I know." The one with the scrawny dog shrugs. "Wouldn't surprise me, though. Children always seem so darn rebellious to me. Only calms down after the daemon settles."

"Do you think that's why the boss wanted us to train those children?"

"Don't know, don't care. I just want their daemon to settle." The man with the scrawny daemon massages his forehead. "I did not sign up to babysit a bunch of rebellious brats."

"Reminds me of my own kids." Dell speaks up, making the two soldiers turn, both stare at him with anger of him ear-dropping on them. He gives them both an apology smile. "Ah, sorry about that, just couldn't help but overhear you having trouble with some kids."

"Yeah, and what it's to you citizen?" The soldier with the bulky dog asks suspiciously.

Dell did notice the man is reaching out for his baton but acts like he hasn't seen or felt the tension in the air between them.
He shrugs casually. "It's nothing really, just reminded me of all the times I got help from that sweet neighbor of mine. He really knows how to make kids behave, even that nasty one you just wants to-" He chuckles to the soldier with the scrawny dog. "Well, I'm sure you know what I mean." Naria, just as calmly as her human walks over to the two growling dogs, pretending not to notice the tension between them.

The soldier nods. "I sure do, but this isn't exactly a daycare"

"Of course not, but my kids aren't exactly kids anymore." Dell smoothly lies, good thing Antoine taught him a thing or two about this. He is not a good liar if he has to come up with a completely new backstory, so Antoine taught him to bend the truth to suit the situation. "The misbehaving one I told you about, well, he is actually going to join the military all thanks to my neighbor." Glancing down to Naira who does her very best being friendly towards the two still growling but fortunately not attacking dog daemons. "He got this way teaching kids the importance of the Church."

"Really?" The soldier with the scrawny dog muses, not even noticing his daemon is getting played by Naira's friendly behavior and thus making him more agreeable to persuasion. Dell found is strange and yet hilarious how the Magisterium seemly has forgotten how important daemon interaction is between people.
He nods to the guard. "Yeah, I could get in contact with him if you ever need a proper daycare." He checks the clock on the wall, acting like he just has noticed the time. "Boy time flies, better get home before the wife gets home." He pays for the beer and leaves by giving the dumbfounded soldiers a polite nod. "Nice speaking with you, keep up the good work."
Naira leaves the two now curious dogs and follows him out from the bar, outside and safe from prying ears she asks: "You think they fell for it?"
"We will see in a few moments." He replies back.

"Mister, wait a moment!" The soldier with the scrawny dog trots out from the bar.

Dell and Naira send both each other a smug look before Dell turns around to the soldier like he is completely unaware why a soldier would call for him. "Yes?" He asks curiously. Naira looks away so the dog daemon can't see the smug look on her face.

"I was wondering if your neighbor was interested in a job for the Magisterium." The soldier suggests, nodding towards a huge facility between the many other buildings of the city. "Of course I would have to request my ranking officer and do a background check- I'm sure everything is alright, but you know; just in case."

"Of course, but my neighbors aren't the best in English." Dell says, he is still not sure who will take this role but he presumes Antoine will be the one. He is a master of disguises after all.

That comment did make the man frown. "Where're your Neighbor from again?"

"France, I sure hope that wouldn't be a problem."

"... We see, well if he is interested in the job, tell him to come here as soon as possible- here." The soldier hands him a number to call before he leaves.

With the soldier gone, Naira looks up to Dell. "We better tell the others about this." Dell nods in agreement and after has found Keahi, they head back to the ship.

___

"The gypsies have agreed on bringing ammunition and helping us to move the kids if we succeed with the infiltration." Demo explains the same evening after the first day of recon. Taking a swig of his Shrumphy he continues. "Some of their own kids have been taken as well, so they see them helping us out with the rescue as a fair trade."

Finishing writing down the last note of this good ally outcome Heavy turns to Sniper and Spy. They have not been so lucky.

"It will be almost impossible getting inside without help." Spy explains coldly, Sabrina is curled together around his arm, glaring at anything getting near her human, the sign of how irritated he is about this observation. "I could get in if we had a couple of weeks watching their patton—"

"Don't." Dell interrupts the spy. "You'll be spotted the second you get close to the building." His blue eyes harden, he hates revealing this, especially after how Scout from Mexico reacted on this revelation. "My old man is in there." God, why did he has to have a father who works for the enemy? Right, because he chose to join the other side...

Spy and Sniper blinks, both very aware of Dell's relation with his father. Sniper snorts but this reveal do explain a lot. "So that's why this facility has such a ass-tight tight security."

"I don't understand." Heavy turns to Engineer, frowning. "Your father is working for the Magisterium?"

Engineer shrugs helplessly. "It's a family tradition..." Already branching himself for an upcoming attack by either Demo or Heavy, Heck maybe Keahi might feel betrayed by this, she had after all been imprisoned and gone through horrific torture by the hands of the Magisterium. But to his surprise, nothing happens. Blinking behind his welder goggles, Enginner scans the three. Keahi- it is impossible to read her with the mask on, but from how both human and daemon title their head, Engineer presumes they are actually more confused than angry.
Demo at first doesn't look like he has much care for this news, but his true emotions are revealed by how tense his daemon is. And Heavy keeps staring at him like he's trying to figure out what the best choice of action should be.

Well, this is quite the dilemma. This Engineer has family inside the Magisterium and Heavy here knows from experience how hard it is turning against family. "What made you turn your back on him?" He asks Engineer, for it is clear that Engineer has made his mind about this for quite some time. So, Heavy doubts this one will betray them on a whim.

Engineer lowers his head. "It's a long story..."

"Tell us anyway." Heavy says, true he does try to keep the Elite point of view of not caring about members background story, but sometimes knowing such things is important. He feels he needs to know about this story.

Dell eyes his two friends, Antoine and Sniper nods slowly and with a sigh, the man begins the story that started it all for him.