{SE} {open} take that, you little shits
open! (defending a building)
Cameron Davis
Artist

Age: 26 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#15


"I noticed," Cam said, their voice teasing. Then they clammed up a bit, realizing that they didn't really know Mabel well enough to tease her like that. She didn't seem like the type to joke around a lot. "I mean, I talk enough for at least three people, so I definitely don't mind."

The silences did feel a little awkward, though, and part of Cam's urge to talk was to fill them -- to ward off the anxiety that bloomed when they couldn't tell how someone was reacting to them. And Mabel was a closed book; they had no idea whether she liked them, or hated them, or just didn't care.

"Has it always been like this?" The words were out before Cam realized that they risked insulting Mabel's home. "I mean, there aren't a lot of people here."


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Mabel Occidendum


Age: 18 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#16
MABEL

Cornering a few against the stone works of the building, Mabel shrugged her shoulders at Cameron’s statement. “It doesn’t bother me.” It filled in the range of silence anyway, in between her slashing and clawing at sentient creatures – though the crowd of them seemed to be thinning. Another attached to the sole of her shoe, and she kicked it away, sneering as it elected not to give chase again.

But she lifted her head at the notions of the Hollowed Grounds – like this - empty and deserted. “No,” and she shook the cranium in response, grabbing at a few gourds and their vines, intertwining them into a knot for amusement. “When the barrier was still up, everyone was here. But then it was taken down, and there were more choices.” Some far better than this world. The Greatwood. Torchline. Halo. The Wilds. Were the remaining pieces of her family not here, the young Ascended wasn’t certain she’d still be in these ruins either. “Why do you stay?” An inquiry towards them, because many didn’t.
I bare my teeth
and stretch my claws out
Cameron Davis
Artist

Age: 26 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 8 - Int:
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#17


"Good," Cam said, but they couldn't help sounding a little uncertain, unsure of how much Mabel actually meant it. Then again, she didn't seem like the type to lie to spare others' feelings, so maybe she did. But "not bothered" wasn't the same as liking Cam's chatter. They kicked at a vampire gourd, still feeling a bit self-conscious.

"Oh, right, the barrier." Cam had almost forgotten about that element of the Hollowed Grounds' history, since they hadn't been here when it was up. They supposed they could see why, once it came down, people had scattered to the rest of Caido -- the cheerier parts. But as for them -- "I guess I just never really thought of leaving. I mean, everyone I know is here, and this kind of seems like the place for Ascended to be. Torchline is definitely too sunny ... Guess I could go to Halo, but why? There's nothing really drawing me there."


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Mabel Occidendum


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#18
MABEL

She grabbed hold of her knotted assortment of gourds and swung them around, amused by the panicked grumbles, contemplating what to do with the rest as Cameron spoke. “I think that’s okay then.” If they didn’t want to leave, then they didn’t have to. The Grounds afforded some measure of protection – from the Order – and everything else that seemed to be shifting and changing around them. “Then you can build something for yourself here.” Like so many had tried to do, before temptations and other matters seemed to entangle them further and further away.

Mabel shrugged her shoulders, briefly lifting her head to stare over buildings and ramparts. “I keep trying to think of using the farmhouse for something.” No sense in farming, with the majority of the inhabitants not requiring food, she wasn’t certain what was supposed to be done with it, other than providing shelter. Her brows furrowed briefly, and then she moved, bowling the pumpkins away, watching them roll listlessly.
I bare my teeth
and stretch my claws out
Cameron Davis
Artist

Age: 26 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 8 - Int:
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Posts: 204
MP: 1245
#19


"Yeah ... yeah." Cam smiled at the idea of sticking around, of building something in a place that needed the investment. All their life, they'd lived in places that were just sort of indifferent to them -- to people in general -- bland suburbs repeated a thousand times over, stretches of highway and parking lots. Anonymous chain restaurants. But Caido wasn't like that; the Grounds weren't like that. They could actually take initiative and make a difference here.

"Hmm ..." They tried to come up with ideas for how Mabel could use her farmhouse, pretty much ignoring the pumpkins at this point, since Mabel had proven so much better at dealing with them. What kind of facilities did the Ascended even need. "What about ... a workshop? For tech and stuff? I mean, I know we get most of that from the Voice, but it would probably help if we could learn to craft some of it ourselves. Just a suggestion," they added hurriedly. "I don't know if it's a good idea."


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"Cameras" by Ennev is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Cameron uses they/them pronouns
Mabel Occidendum


Age: 18 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#20
MABEL

The bigger the world, the more lost they might’ve felt in it – but Mabel was bound and determined in such an asinine, tenacious, obstinate way that she didn’t truly care if her footsteps were merely echoes or they only left sanctions of dust and decay. Her eyes stayed and strayed on the pumpkins, as they rolled onward, seemingly done in with how their excursion here had gone. When the last one finally meandered out of sight, she turned her attention back to Cameron; the piercing eyes flickering back to them as she put her daggers away.

She hadn’t considered a workshop. Or being able to craft any of the tech – they did largely rely on the Voice, or how she’d found hers in the Spire…surmising the deliberation with another set of furrowed brows and a lengthy pause. “It’s not a bad idea. And…” here she drifted, not allowing the residual wrinkle to her nose to arrive. “I’ve been meaning to go to the Voice soon anyway.” With a number of questions and concerns. “I can ask. Thank you.”
I bare my teeth
and stretch my claws out
Cameron Davis
Artist

Age: 26 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 1 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 8 - Int:
Played by: Bees Offline
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Posts: 204
MP: 1245
#21


Cam smiled at Mabel. They personally had very little faith in the idea they'd offered her, though if the Ascended did build a tech workshop, Cam would be happy to hang out there and help however they could. But for the most part Cam thought Mabel was just humoring them by accepting the idea.

"I'm glad I could help," they said anyway, just to be polite -- and even if she was just humoring them, they appreciated that she cared enough to do so. "I hope your shrine visit goes well."

They felt confident that the Voice would have answers and comfort for Mabel -- if she could reach the Voice. As Cam well knew, that wasn't always a given.

But maybe she'd stored up some karma by helping to defend the Temple. Nodding at the departing vampire gourds, Cam said, "Good work. I'll see you around, yeah?"

- FIN


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"Cameras" by Ennev is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Cameron uses they/them pronouns


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