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Hello, and welcome to Stars Within our Reach. We are a fantasy role-playing forum that have aspects of Steampunk technology within our world. Here, Guardians and Travelers work together to bring Shards of the Utopian Core back to the Eye of the Gods. Strange things lurk in the shadows, proving survival to be difficult in an area so prosperous...

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 Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)

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Imelda

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PostSubject: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Sat Jul 08 2017, 23:52

A busy marketplace was the last thing that Imelda expected the end of the damp alleyway to lead to.

The portal had opened in her realm, something that had been happening with increasing frequency. Guards that had already gone through the previous ones never came back in time and they were down to the last several dozen, the people having to rely once more on the animals they had trained to protect them from thieves, aggressors and basically anything which would make them unsafe. The majority of the people too scared to inch forward to touch it, to see if anything... Bad was on the other side. They had had their fair share of beasts enter through it to their realm through them. Some were human-like, some with great black wings, some that the Chains decided to haul through.

She almost shuddered from the memory, before dashing it from her mind.

Even against the fear of her people, Imelda pushed forward. She almost laughed at their cries to get her to stop. Hell, they almost sent forward their own animals to force her to stop. But she was quick, dashing through the portal before they even had a sliver of hope to stop her. Thankfully, her little pet made it through with her, but the poor critter, Zane, didn't get through as fast. Currently, she was holding the weak little fox in her arms as she stood there on the other side. The only thing which protected her through her journey was a small bright green talisman, hidden underneath her shirt that rested against her chest. The fox didn't have something like that to protect it, after all... The talisman was the final gift that Zale had given her before he was torn from her grasps.

Admittedly, she had more hope in this place than any other that she'd seen. Most of the time, they were deserts, forests, places that lacked people. Holding the fire-like fox in her arms, she walked forward, the black jacket billowing as she moved. Emerald green eyes watched and searched for the blue that she knew  belonged to him. Her eyes didn't see any signs of that and she almost felt her heart drop. Over the shouting tenders of the stores, Imelda carefully pushed past them, her eyes meeting that of an older lady, sitting there while she created jewelry. Out of what seemed to be raw materials that wove under her hands and at her will. Imelda did a double take, seeing the magic glowing from her fingers. Never in Tyr had she seen something so gorgeous!

Shaking her head and noticing that she was staring, as well as feeling a few worried glances at her back, she gave her a bright smile. Hopefully they would be able to pick that she had no ill intentions, but she knew that the worry would sound in her voice. "Sorry about staring, I just haven't seen anything so talented like that before." She began, knowing that her tone was a little off. The old lady slowly nodded, before glancing at what she had, "Is there anything you want here?" She asked rather simply, before Imelda blinked and shook her head in a negative fashion.

"Well, I'll be honest, no, but I was wondering if you'd see-"

"I'm not here to be messed with. Go bother someone else." She snapped, Imelda's brow lightly pulling into a frown. The younger female inclined her head, her eyes shining with worry. "Please, it'd just take a few se-"

"I. Said. Bother. Someone. Else!" The older lady rebuked, standing so rapidly that the stool she sat on tipped over behind her, clattering to the ground. She leaned forward, her finger jabbing against Imelda's chest. "Not everyone has the time around here to go gawking at others, so bugger off! You're the type of person we don't want here!" At the comment, Imelda quickly took a few steps back, her free hand going over the muzzle of her fox to stop it from jumping free from her arms and biting the old lady.

As fast as Imelda could, she uttered her apologies to the rather hot tempered old lady, before turning away from her. Without a sound, she quickly tried to vanish back into the crowd. Imelda never had long on other planes, and this... Wretch of a woman just ate her precious little time with the sole purpose to insult her. Dammit, she just wanted to find out if Zale was there, was that something so evil?
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Sun Jul 09 2017, 02:24

A river of sightless tranquility melted into the body of a man who sat at the corner of the outdoors café balcony. The seamless calm snaked through his half lidded eyes and wrapped around his psyche; a tap on the ash tray and a bundle of black snow tumbled into the miniature bucket perched on the grated table.

Enforcer Flynn Argall exhaled with expressive force, a cloud of ashen fog escaping his lips, and then replaced the lost breath with a heavy intake of pure, fresh, Utopian air.

It tasted like cinnamon.

The hours had passed without even wave to rock the boat. The steady pit-pat of the pedestrian peddling in pertinent prospect unified the Enforcer's attention capably. The sea of wandering minds, each with their own diagram of their limited, two-dimensional world, yet coalescing into a nearly literal ocean of manifest and reason. Within every minuscule measurement of life, there existed a darkness. Within every darkness, there lies a wolf waiting to be fed with turmoil. With a lethargic flicker of awareness, Flynn's charcoal-gray eyes scanned the masses below him. He had to find which poor souls were feeding the black wolf inside their hearts, and stop them.

With another puff of his cigarette, Flynn hoped his wolf like tobacco.

"What a day to be on the force.."

Maybe it was alright today. Just for a few moments to rest his eyes..

..

"-bother someone else." A shrill, audibly aggressive voice penetrated the solace of Flynn's attempt at a relaxing nap. Another voice, one much softer, responded without mirroring the sneer of the latter. With a groan of impatience, Flynn's mind quickly offered a rather impressive display of excuses as to why he could leave it alone.

"I. Said. Bother. Someone. Else!"

With a tone borderline threatening, it was clear he needed to at least purview the situation. Flynn voiced his concern in way of an aggravated sigh, and lifted his weight off of the seat. He smeared the end of his lit coffin nail on the ash tray and promptly tossed it into the disposal. He tossed a rather strong mint gum into his mouth to kill the scent of tobacco and began chewing. It didn't take more than three seconds.

He thrust his head over the stained wood balcony and kept his focus open, hands gripping the sun-warmed railing.

It didn't take more than a few practiced eye strokes. Almost directly below him, at a shop neighboring the base of his casual cafe, stood a young woman in near conflict with an elderly shopkeep. Flynn grimaced. Had it been any other keep, he could have left the situation to its own, repetitive devices. But with the old crook downstairs, it was best handled with a badge. The old widow had a history of getting physical with clients she deemed unappreciative.

Ah.

The young woman was taking her leave, and with all limbs intact too. "Thank the glorious sun.." There wouldn't be a third time of having to arrest a furious old lady in public. With a lingering gaze, Flynn assured himself that all was right and well enough.

...But..

The young woman who was just at the shop kept his attention. The way she looked wasn't anything special from what he could see, but.. It was the way she moved. Her shoulders stiff and legs clearly off in their pacing-- as if without destination. Her head didn't shoot into various directions, but instead, made little nods this way and that. A clear indication to any practiced eye could tell exactly what this young lady was. Somebody who shouldn't be here. But why?

A gentle swish and clatter as Flynn emptied the contents of his pockets onto the table as payment for, whatever he had ordered. He didn't remember. It was probably enough. His coat flew across his shoulders and draped down over his body, obscuring most of his being from sight. He quickly reached the base floor thanks to the muscle memory of ascending and descending them a few hundred times, and he cast himself out into the sea of lives.

A fiery wisp bobbed through the forest of people. A relaxed stride kept his haste well in hiding as he pushed toward the flare. His long legs crossed the distance while keeping himself natural. Weaving through the concrete jungle was nothing new, but it served a volatile experience nonetheless.

After almost four minutes, he was close to his mark. He knew had to find out which wolf the lass had fed recently, and make sure this obvious stranger to Utopia was kept well in line. If she was a thief or a mugger, this would be easy pickings. But... The creature with her, the fiery wisp, was of concern too. Flynn had seen his share of magical beasts, but are is a little thing like that. If any lethal force was involved, Flynn would do well to keep his presence concealed from the creature as well. Even with pinpoint attention and precision, scoping out a follower would be near impossible for the girl and her furry companion. The hum of everyday life coupled with the kaleidoscope of movement and sensory invasions would do well to hide a natural fitting piece such as the shadowing Enforcer.

He kept close, and chose to wait for her to enter an area much less populated before confronting her.
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Sun Jul 09 2017, 06:48

What would be considered gentle glows of the stalls quickly became sore to Imelda's eyes, the white light unnatural and almost blinding to her. The female, instead of spending her time investigating and conversing with those gathered in and around the stalls, she somewhat stayed away from the crowds. Apparently they didn't seem to enjoy her company. She devoted her precious little time and her complete attention to the massive search before her. She scanned the crowds, occasionally making eye contact and nodding to those she saw. Speaking with others was an activity which she had the ability to halt without any consequence for herself. However, that was mainly due to the fleeting position she was in.

Imelda wasn't going to be there for much longer, the carved emerald which was weaved onto leather necklace already faintly glimmered.

Imelda's now more earnest and almost desperate gaze wandered through the crowds, her partially staggered stride carrying her through the streets. The quick strides were only hindered by the deliberate yet subtle hesitation with every few steps. This would have been expected by anyone who knew her, others which saw would probably just guess she was curious about something, a foreigner looking through the marketplace around them. Surprisingly, that was close to the truth. In her heart, Imelda held a desire and love with exploring foreign realms. Her eyes were gleaming with this curiosity, a curiosity which could never be satisfied. But that small spark helped her to conceal the secondary purpose in her dire and, ultimately, fruitless search. No matter how hard she looked, the single thing that was revealed was that Zale certainly was absent. Even though the place she was at had seemed so much more promising than anywhere else she had been. A look of uncertainty crossed her face as she paused, glancing behind her to the alleyway, her thoughts correcting themselves.

Whatever realm that Imelda was currently on... Zale seemed to be absent from it so far. She'd only seen a small portion of it, he could still be there! But the time restraint that she had to stick to would prevent her from searching the entire thing before she was called back.

Inwardly she sighed, before beginning an arc which would allow her to return to that alleyway that held her way home. She needed to approach it for the first and last time to vanish through the Waterway. However, as she continued to walk, a sound startled her.

Within the crook of her arm and beneath some of the folds of her ebony jacket, the fox's subtle whimper came. The sudden sound rang in her ears, alerting her instantly to her surroundings. Being someone who adores the wildlife, Imelda was naturally more sensitive to an animals call than that of her fellow mankind, so it's soft whimper cried louder than the shouting and bartering around her. Instantly it snapped her from her thoughts. Somewhat figuring out what the creature desired her to do, a small frown formed on her face. Subtly, she lowered her head in a silent nod. In the next few steps, her form lowered into a sweeping motion, like she was about to snag something from the ground. Instead, Imelda released Zane. Instantly the rather brightly coloured fox was alert as it walked beside Imelda. Larger than the average fox, it reached up to her knee in height. Despite the height, it remained close to its keeper. She kept a close eye on it as they walked through the crowds, her frown deepening as it's ears were slowly twisting to lay flat against its head.

Something had set Zane off, triggering the hyper alert state from the fox.

Swallowing, Imelda swiped the fox from the ground once more, whispering words of encouragement to the stressed animal. Her head turned, noting the distance till her alleyway. She was close, just a few dozen more steps! Casually, Imelda raised a hand to flick her hair from her face from the motion and in the same movement, she looked over her shoulder. Memorizing what she saw in mere moments, she ensured to keep her bright smile on her. One thing stood out to her more than anything else. They seemed to be rather odd. A man, slightly rugged looking hair, unkempt. Strange marks near the collar of his shirt, the somewhat formal appearance that he had. But what shocked her was how close he was behind her. She shrugged to herself. He probably was just going to go past her anyway when she went into the alley.

There wasn't any problem with that, right?

Imelda was already in the mouth of the alleyway, the charm almost burning against her skin with its own heat. The fox even curled away from it. Their time was running dangerously short as she quickened her pace. She needed to get home- before that waterway closed and stranded her there. She absolutely had to get there, the faint glow already blooming- signaling its closing form.
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Tue Jul 11 2017, 03:43

"These are dark, narrow alleyways, miss. They stretch from street to street, connecting all sorts of strange passageways." Flaxen beams of cascading light glistened down from the dimly visible firmament. With the aging of the day nearing its conclusion, the sunlight shifted its passing. A breaking dawn at his back, Flynn Argall appeared a shade in the growing afternoon. Formally perceptive now, with his eyes set on what was now the only other entity within the confines of the attenuated back lane.

The fiery luminosity accentuated the young woman's already crimson lit locks.

His body was staunch and unfaltering-- stoic in its presence. The drape of the Enforcer's coat fluttered in the coming gusts with an audible whipping. The wavy foremost of his disheveled hair played over his eyes, giving the impression of a deep glower, but the lazy softness of his glance was nonetheless unmistakable.

"You never know what sort of hazards you might bump into if you don't watch your step. Rocks on the floor, littered glass. The occasional misplaced tool."

Flynn heightened his gaze and shifted his jaw set. His left hand sprouted from his trench pocket and shaped an "O", which he placed close to his eye, and looked at the uncertain lass through the scope.

"Perilous strangers who keep to the shadows with intentions as dark to match. Intentions to cause harm to those around them."

A beat of tacet tune. Silence.

"The last thing I would stand to see is anybody getting hurt in this fine city of ours. If you wouldn't mind coming with me for a moment, I have a few questions I need to ask you."
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Tue Jul 11 2017, 04:39

A voice sounded behind her. Her foot faltered in her stride, heart leaping into her throat. Swallowing hard, she turned to face the owner as his cape cracked in the wind, shafts of fear pulling through her soul.

A somewhat nervous smile blossomed on her face to hide the dark worry that swirled in the depths of her being. Instantly Imelda had to restrain herself from bursting out into a lengthy speech, her breathing slightly controlled to keep herself even. But she knew that he'd be able to see that stress which all but gleamed in her eyes. Despite her bright smile, her stance took that of someone trying to find a way to escape, almost anxious itself in how she stood. She searched, trying to find a way to resolve or get away from the situation.

But there was none.

"Look, I honestly, if you saw it... Well truly, I really didn't mean to cause trouble back there, it wasn't my intention. And I really am sorry- but I cannot come with you. I'm not here to cause harm. I'm not here to be disobedient. I'd give you my word on this, but truly, it's not going to matter soon- I need to get home!" Goodness, she was running her mouth again. Taking a deep breath, she took another step back from this man who stood there, his daunting figure the only thing that burned into her mind. Her fox even quivered in fear, feeling the sense of power from him. Imelda swallowed hard, glancing back over her shoulder. She was going to run out of time if she stood here like an idiot, but if she didn't speak or try to explain- that man would probably chase her down before she could get close.

"I truly am sorry. I'm not here to hurt anyone. I don't want to. I want to- okay, I'm running out of time here. I'll be completely honest with you, truly I will. Just don't take me away from this street. If you do, I'll be stranded here, in a world foreign to my own. You see, I am just searching for someone, that's it- that's ALL. I lost them a few years back, they were pulled through the Waterway. But you see, they were chosen by the Chains, forced to have to go through against their will. They were LITERALLY torn from my hands. No matter what I did, I really couldn't stop it. But you see, this, he is the reason why I am here. The fact that I'm searching for my partner. If I am trapped here- I will never be able to find him again. You see, the Waterway has been opening back up again, it has been for several months now, with increasing frequency. Anyway, history is history, but today... Really, if I were genuinely up to no good, well, I'd let my little Zane go and attack something. Probably that rude old lady from before!"

The redhead paused for a few moments, calming the desperation that was building in her tone with every word. She knew that her sentences weren't stringing together cohesively to get her message across, the blinding panic from the suddenly appearing figure making her shake in her shoes. His daunting, imposing figure that basically was daring her to decline what he had said. But truly, she didn't have a choice!

"I just need to go home. Let me go home. Through the Waterway!"Imelda wasn't able to hide the worry which had almost morphed into panic in her voice. Her time slipped like sand through her fingers, the carved artifact burning against her skin. Imelda glanced behind her again, the gentle glow green shining around the bend which was only a few dozen feet from her. The glow made her even more anxious as it was the sign of the murky green, grey, black and red Waterway was beginning the preparations to shut itself. Imelda's feet were already shuffling backwards again, her arms covering the fox from his view. But her movement was towards the Waterway, her ticket home. But shuffling backwards like she did also served to keep a distance from the stranger before her. Away from his daunting figure and towards safety.

If he made any signs of aggression towards her, her hand would be forced and she would have to turn and make a run for it.

Imelda just simply couldn't risk him keeping her here on this foreign plane.

Tyr was her home.
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Wed Jul 12 2017, 04:29

The air within the alleyway was beginning to twist and wring itself into a frenzy. Perhaps it was his usually devoid imagination, but the seasoned Enforcer could see a wispy glow emerging some paces behind the anxious young woman. With his already exposed left hand, he bundled his fingers into a lazy grip and rubbed at his eye, feigning weariness. With his right, which lie deep in his coat pocket, he gripped a pill-like capsule the size of his thumb.

A cold sweat broke out on his skin. This girl's level of threat was particularly through the roof now. Her demeanor and actions, rigid body language and obvious desire to flee. Now, the miasma of disfigured nothingness was definitely some kind of magic, he had decided. Its power was permeable, and Flynn Argall swallowed in fear.

His previous undertaking of intimidation tactics had obviously made ground, but the girl's... Her eyes lacked focus and her body looked ready to spring.

That glow.. What if it was...

Flynn Argall's mind raced through the possibilities of treachery. Without wasting another moment, he hastily threw his hands up in capitulation. "Alright, alright. I surrender. I won't keep you here any longer than you can spare, young lady. I don't know what this.. Waterway is, but you obviously need to be on your way."

The capsule, now resting in the crumpled fold of his sleeve, stood ready to be used.

Mimicking the girl's agitated attempt at a smile, he offered a grin of his own-- comparably shiftless. With his hands still up in an attempt to placate her, he chuckled softly; the Enforcer's eyes flickered from the woman's hands, to the alley stretch bending behind her.

He couldn't look at her eyes, for fear of his life had a grip over his psyche. With every little shuffle step she took backwards, Flynn resisted the urge to run. Instead, he kept his momentum forward, as if insisting a step forward.

Breathe, he told himself.

"I don't mean to hold you any longer, but I know this city like the back of my hand." Without meaning to, Flynn looked at the back of his hand to reassure he truly did recognize it. "If you need to get somewhere, I'd be happy to show you." An unintentionally wry smile. "If you want to reach the waterway, it's not far from here" A sad bluff, well knowing there was no waterway within Utopia's common grounds. But, he banked on the idea this girl was a stranger to this city as she claimed. "If we can step out of this alley behind you, I can point you down the right road."

He clicked his mind and body into reaction; his left foot lifted less than an inch off the ground, almost impossible to notice the action. He began an excessively, painfully, and audaciously cautious step forward, every moment keeping his eyes on her's. His expression calm, but his body poised to leap away; his motions gratefully hidden by the reach of his coat. Flynn's Contender pistol slept in the left inner pocket of his coat, loaded and angled for reaching. The safety was on, he solemnly realized. It would take at the most, two full seconds to reach into his pocket, aim, flick the safety, and fire. Hopefully less.

The glimmering shadow of light around the corner had become evocative and brisk. It shimmered like the rays of sun across the ocean, and he had a hard time pretending he didn't see it. Whatever spell this girl was casting... It was probably just about ready. In the narrow confines of this stone-set alley, his chances of escaping a magic spell were.. Less than optimal..

"What do you say? If we can just exit the alley behind you, I can show you the way."
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Wed Jul 12 2017, 06:30

As he spoke, the light from her pendant burned against her skin. He was claiming to know the Waterway, that he would lead her to it. At that comment, she glanced over her shoulder, directly at the building light. He didn't mean her Waterway. Imelda wasn't a fool, she knew that they two were speaking of two things which were completely separate with no relation between them. She swallowed, slowly shaking her head with his statement. The female didn't care where this places 'Wateway' was, hers was right behind her...

The strange man was suddenly stepping forward, a motion that Imelda initially missed. The only way she could pick it was that the finer details of his face were becoming more obvious, the tossed and unkempt becoming more refined. A rather odd smile which reflected how calm he seemed to be had risen onto his face. Annoyingly the coat hid her attempts to try and figure out his stance, instead, she disregarded it and returned her attention to his face. He'd come closer. Her heart caught in her throat as she noted the detailed, her recoiling step becoming more obvious- she wasn't going to let him close to her. With every step forward, she made the same one backwards, forever keeping the distance between them.

Even on a good day, Imelda wasn't a fighter- she was a runner. Having the worried fox in her arms didn't help her position either.

Upon his request, Imelda allowed her own smile to come onto her face, her eyes betraying how she felt. It was safe to say that she was more than terrified that he was coming closer to her. He was going to stop her. Restrain her and force her to stay in the realm that neither her nor her fox belonged. The foreign female shook her head, her grip around the fox tightening as it whimpered, nuzzling its way deeper into the jacket to hide itself from both the mysterious mans gaze and the heat from the pendant.

"I'm sorry, but you so clearly aren't surrendering. You're trying to get close to me, want me to lower my guard! I'm sorry, but I truly am NOT interested in your waterway. I have to get home. And my home is through MY Waterway, which is just past where I stand to you. Through that alley behind me, where you attempt to prevent me from going. I don't want trouble, I want to go home- I want to be safe and not to where you want to take me." Her tone was becoming desperate as she noted the glimmer of light to the right of her, creeping forward from the passage as it shined from the moist stones.


"Try not to take offense from this, but I don't trust you, especially when you want me to leave the only thing that will take me home- leave the alley so that my trip back closes and strands me here on these foreign planes. I'm sorry, but no!" Her grip tightened around her Zane, her arms holding him firmly against her chest. "I'm not going with you. I'm going HOME!"

That was when she showed how quick she would be.

Her right foot pushed onto her toes, her left foot pushing her forward as she turned around rapidly. The portal began to dull in the magic power. She would run, breaking into a sprint in mere moments to clear the last dozen feet before her right hand shot forward. Her hand and arm slammed into the corner of the alleyway to  absorbed a significant amount of momentum and slow her for a few moments. With a grunt of effort, she pushed her way free from there and around the corner, her intentions clear as she desperately closed the distance, stupidly and blindly ignoring the man behind her.

Whatever he did wouldn't stop her.

Her heart jumped to her throat, a white and cold fear flashing onto her mind as the grey within the portal began to collapse in on itself. A minute. Her feet carried her forward, desperately grabbing traction on the damp stone floors, springing her forward to reach the Waterway before it collapsed entirely.

Imelda only just vanished through the Waterway as the reds were beginning to vanish from existence. It'd only be just over 40 seconds before it would seal shut once more...
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PostSubject: Re: Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)   Thu Jul 13 2017, 23:05

-- --She ran. Almost leaped away, really.

Flynn's body lurched after her on instinct, his hand extending forward without his consent as he watched her slip around the corner. A step forward, but his mind reeled back in cognitive awareness; why is she running? Should he be running? What is the actuality of whatever the hell is going on? Had that girl? set a bomb? Is that was she was here to do?

The way she was acting.. A flicker of memory passed through him. Wide eyes, shooting in various directions as if worried about her surroundings. Fidgeting hands, inability to stand still. Her body poised to move at a moment's notice.. Everything about her said criminal. Not even mentioning the ethereal glow she appeared to be conjuring.

..

Stifling his inner think tank took a measurably uncommon amount of effort, but every one of his five senses screamed a chorus desperation. He had to move, and he had to make a decision.



Run away?
Progress forward?




His decision was too slow, as every variable took its time clawing throughout the Enforcer's mind in an attempt to decipher this definitively bizarre circumstance.

He shook his head in disbelief.

Flynn chose to run.

And so, he ran forward. He thrust his foot against the stone brick, the sudden force of volatile motion forcing a rush of blood to his head. Flynn sprinted with abnormal effort, and tore around the corner with the force of a slide. He nearly tripped over his own momentum, but managed not to embarrass himself quite yet. He immediately scanned the open alley mouth for the potential terrorist but found nothing but empty air and scattered, tiny debris.

Nothing, that is, aside from the brightly fluctuating warp portal that flickered in and out of conceptual existence. He blinked once, and his shoulders drooped. A portal.. There's no mistaking it. She had to have gone through here, but, why? Was she escaping the area? Had she really set a bomb? Most of all, how could a single person conjure up a god forgiven portal?! Flynn exhaled measurably, his cyclone of thoughts manifesting in the form of a migraine. Simply by the experienced eye, Flynn could clearly tell the lifespan of this gateway was nearing its end--quickly. He had.. Minutes? No.. Seconds only. If that. The inner turmoil of debate gave away to a strand of curses.

Flynn looked everywhere, anywhere, for assistance or resource. Down the alley. He peered above, to his sides, behind him. Nobody here, or anything worth utilizing."Of all the times.. This is ridiculous." He had a powerful desire to light a cigarette, but the urgent death of the door before him prevented his relief.

A revelation pierced his thoughts. Flynn snagged his Contender from the pocket of his coat and checked to ensure it was loaded. He removed the safety, and settled it back into its hidden holster. If he was going to do this, he had to be prepared. At this point, there wasn't any choice left. If that girl had really left a bomb.. He had to find her, and figure out its location, her motive, disarming.. And communicate that to the Enforcers in Utopia. Taking the time to search the multi-mile wide radius now could take hours, and even then, there was zero guarantee that there was a bomb.

What had that girl spouted off? She was speaking frantically, not making any sense. She sounded, frankly, full of shit. But, that was not an assumption Flynn could afford to make.

"Waterway.. Home.. Foreign Plane.. Partner? Zane?"

He glanced at the portal again. "I'd better start working on a new resumé." the seasoned young Enforcer determined solemnly, adding a cynical smile.

With a final curse of his own luck, Flynn took a deep breath that filled his lungs to capacity, and let it out with gusto as he yanked his combat knife from its sheath on his side and held it beneath his coat.

A final look at his beloved Utopian sky gave him the courage of intention. Without another moment to waste, Flynn slipped through the portal that spliced between echelons just as it sealed itself off to the world.
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Ties Between Realms (Private, Flynn)
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