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Sins of the Father



23rd October, 2282 | Mariner's Pier, Far Harbor




"Far Harbor. What a dump. And here I thought the ruins of Boston were bad..." she sighs despondently, "Let's just get this over with quickly. The sooner I'm done here, the sooner I can be home and enjoying the longest shower of my life. I just hope it will be enough to wash the stench of fish out of me..." an idle sniff at her pristine coat followed by a distasteful turn of the lip and audible whimper did not inspire confidence in this. Sliding a hand into one of her coat's side pockets, she withdrew a long and elegant cigarette holder which she perched delicately between her lips while retrieving a fresh prewar cigarette from a pack in another pocket. She steadied the cigarette in it's holder while lighting it and took a deep puff before exhaling a mix of smoke and sigh, then - with a final small adjustment to her equally pristine fedora - she strode towards the unsuspecting settlement.

Unsurprisingly to the pier residents, this morning was like any other behind the protection of the Hull - a reinforced battlement surrounding the pier, and constructed by it's true owner 'Mariner' - Captain Avery was once again arguing with Allen Lee. Whilst Avery was ever the voice of reason and moderation among the Harbormen, Allen was notoriously volatile and possessed a greater distaste for everything not their own, than even the most twisted rumors of typical Harbormen would typically portray. The traditional morning argument was gratefully interrupted by appearance of a figure walking through the town gates; heralded by the clack of heeled boots striding purposefully across the old tarmac road which formed the approach to the pier. Allen looked around with a suspicious and defensive scowl, but could not see anything clearly through the fog, "You see Avery?! this is why you don't leave that damned gate open! Get it closed, quickly!". Avery also squinted as she tried to make out the source of the approaching footsteps, "Now hold on a minute, Allen. Does that sound like a Fog Crawler to you? It could be a friend. Hello?" she called out, "Who's there?"


Still, the footsteps drew nearer with no further response, even when Avery called out a second time. Soon though, the figure drew near enough to first form a silhouette through the fog. Then shape and form came into focus as she continued up the boardwalk of the settlement towards Avery and Allen. It was a woman, slender and athletic. Of all the visitors to the settlement over the years, none had seemingly made more effort to appear out of place there. Her long black coat and crisp fedora were as clean and sharp as many imagined their clothes to once have been, back when they were new in the days before the Great War. If the outerwear wasn't enough to misplace this visitor, the neatly pressed pinstripe suit visible beneath the coat, coupled together with the jewelry which glistened in the hazy sun surely made the fact abundantly clear. Drawing right up to the arguing pair, the delicate features of a young woman were undeniable. Delicacy only surpassed by how untarnished they were. Flesh as immaculate as her attire and adornments, hair that looked shiny and healthy falling softly across one shoulder where it was seemingly tied back beneath the rim of the fedora - right down to the finely manicured nails trimmed atop each delicate finger - emphasized as she finally came to a halt and paused for a relaxed puff of the elegantly held cigarette, which rested in one hand and out to her side as she stood with her weight leaning towards the opposing hip, where her free hand rested.

"Great" Allen growled, "Another mainlander, just what we need". Avery scowled at him, "Now Allen, clearly this mainlander has come a long way to be here. And in case you failed to notice, she didn't just arrive here by boat. She walked in from the island... from the fog". Allen snarled back, not daring to take his suspicious gaze off the visitor for more than a fleeting moment, "Exactly! If she ain't with those crazy rad-lovers then she's gotta be one of them robot-people" he narrows his eyes further on the visitor, who continues to simply observe the back and forth with wide emerald-green eyes and an entertained smile as the pair continue. Avery attempts to interject, "Synths Allen, they're called Synths an-..." Allen cuts her off, stepping right up to the visitor and standing imposingly in front of her, "You hear that synth? You ain't welcome here. So get your little robotic ass back up that hill, you hear me?!" The visitor holds a sweet smile, raising her cigarette holder for another puff which she calmly enjoys, even allowing her eyes to close with apparent enjoyment as the long lashes flicker lightly. Then she exhales and happens to direct the small cloud of smoke right up into Allen's face, causing an involuntary cough while his hands came up to rub his eyes. They did not reach however, as he suddenly found them being wrenched painfully behind his back.


The visitor was suddenly behind him, so fast that he did not even perceive the movement. He screamed out painfully as his arms were both forced in a direction they were never meant to move, even rising on the balls of his feet in an effort to counter the unnatural movement his upper body was being subjected to. Avery panicked at the rising situation - a sight regrettably familiar to her when Allen came into contact with visitors to the pier, "Please! Don't hurt him, he doesn't mean-..." Allen again cuts her off with a viciously growled, "Damned straight I mean it- aaargh! Let me... go y-... you crazy robot!". The visitor again smiled, effortlessly holding him at her mercy while she enjoyed another puff of her cigarette before she forced his arms that bit harder in the wrong direction to entice another yelp of admission from Allen, "Alright, alright! Whatever, just... let me go already..." Though she relaxed her grasp of his arms it was not enough to release him. It was however enough to accommodate the swift delivery of a heeled boot to the back of his knee, forcing him to the floor. She followed him down, making sure he hit the ground with sufficient momentum, yet also switching her grip to hold both his hands with one of hers while her free hand could turn his head before it hit the deck. With a single step, she rose to her feet and forced him over onto his back after releasing her final grip on his pinned arms. His freedom was too short lived to enjoy however as he immediately found his throat pinned under the arch of her heeled boot. The slender figure now towering over him as he cowered on the floor. He pawed desperately at the boot, only to encourage increased pressure from it, before finally submitting and relaxing his arms to his sides before he completely lost the capacity to breath, "What's..." he coughs, "...what's wrong with you...?" his voice now croakier than ever, and audible only to the few harbormen who had been drawn close enough to now stand at the front of the small crowd surrounding them.


The visitor took another puff from her cigarette, again lowering it to her side in a relaxed grasp. She ignored Allen and looked to Avery, "Isn't it funny how men are so quick to assume that any greater strength than their own brute force must something evil? But we are not so neanderthal now, are we. We know that size certainly does not matter - at least not in this context - and that just because one is agile enough to exert greater force through intelligent application, does not automatically imply black arts" she holds a smile as soft as her features; her voice dripping with honey against the beaten husky voices of the average harbormen. Coupled with the unusually eloquent speech, this only served to further entrance the gathered crowd. Though Avery remained suspicious of such an unusual character, even she could not deny a soothed feeling from honeyed tone, "Could be you're right, assuming I actually understood half of what you said like I think I did. So if you're finished with your footstool there, as much as I hate to admit it... he probably makes a better fisherman than he does a footstool". The visitors smile brightened, emphasized by the sun catching her eye for a glint. She seemed to approve of Avery's firm stance, and quite likely her choice of words regarding Allen. With a final glance down to the still squirming harborman beneath her boot, she held him a moment long and gave just the slightest twist to apply a little reminding pressure to his larynx before pulling her foot back and allowing him to squirm backwards, resuming his aggressive threats as he backed away through the parting crowd, "You'll regret this, Avery. Mark my words, you'll regret this!"


"So uncivilized..." the visitor idly comments, taking another puff of her elegantly held cigarette as she turns back to Avery, "So you're in charge here? Do tell me more about these... 'robot people', was it? They sound absolutely fascinating!". Avery observes the gathered crowd of uneasy harbormen from her peripheral vision and silently gestures for the visitor to follow her. She returns to the ramshackle shop which she can arguably call her own space on the tightly packed pier. As the visitor follows, the crowd slowly begins to disperse. Following a few steps behind, the visitor entered the timber building husk just behind Avery - an entertained smile persisting as she watched the dispersing crowd over her shoulder. As she stepped inside she looked around the room, visually exploring every detail of the storefront so typical to the world as it was now. Once inside her own domain, Avery turned to the visitor with a newfound confidence, "Look, I don't know what your business is and I don't care. I just want you off this pier before anyone else gets hurt, so you tell me what it'll take to see that happen, and we can all be about our business. Sound good?"


The visitor slowly encircled the open area of the storefront, continuing to take in the details, as she listened to Avery's plea. A delicate finger even daring to brush across the rough surface of a sideboard as though inspecting it for cleanliness. Once she deemed a sufficient pause has been left for Avery to wait on a response she stopped and turned on her heel to face the Captain with an exaggerated faux pout, "Aww, so eager to part company so soon? And here I thought we were becoming fast friends". Avery's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly with disapproval, "Stow your silver tongue, stranger. You're here because you want something, so the sooner you stop playing and get to it the sooner I can breath easy for all of us". The visitor smiles and steps towards Avery, pausing halfway across the room to dispose of cigarette in an ashtray sat on the store counter, "Like I said Captain, I'm interested in what you know about synth's here"


"Why?" Avery was quick to snap back with a challenging tone, inviting a chuckle from the visitor which - in the context of the interactions so far - only served to portray her a more deadly adversary if she so chose, "Why, you ask? Why because you said you wanted to know what I want so that we might cut short this flourishing friendship." as her gaze turns back to Avery in full, her tone - though remaining ever calm and eloquent - took a distinctly cold shift, "So tell me where all the synth's who flee to this quaint little island go and hide" a flicker of her bright green eyes accompanies the sudden confidence-inspiring bright smile that effortlessly reappears across her lips. "Fine..." Avery eventually concedes, having to avert her gaze from the inviting wide eyes of the visitor, "...not like it's a secret around here anyway. I don't know exactly what goes on and where anymore; since this damned Fog swallowed up the island and forced us all out here, it's not so easy to keep track. But there is a place, a little way's inland from here towards the heart of the island. But look... whoever you really are and whatever you want, I ain't telling you a damned thing until you make me a promise" her gaze forces back to meet the unwavering eyes of the visitor, who simply tilts her head from one side to the other, "And what might that be?".


Avery steps up to the stranger, knowing that her action was not entirely dissimilar to the approach that saw Allen get pinned not long earlier, "There are good people there, stranger. Innocent lives. I won't be responsible for sending harm their way. So you have to promise me that you don't intend them any harm. The visitors smile widens into an almost wicked grin, "You need not worry yourself. I have no interest in your 'innocents', I seek but one who I know to have come here; one who presents an escalating threat to your friends if she is permitted to remain. Once I find this girl, I will take her home - to her family - so you see... I am only here to help you and your friends". Avery found it difficult to believe the visitors words, no matter how soothing and honeyed their delivery, but the visitor had obliged by meeting her requested guarantee and so she felt her own obligation of a harborman's honesty to do as promised and point the visitor the right way, "Fine..." she steps over to the window and begins pointing out a route, "...the place you are looking for is called Acadia, a short distance down that road there, past the old Super-Duper Mart, then just follow the spur that goes up the hill. And don't blame me if the creatures of the Fog get to you before you reach the top"


The visitor smiles sweetly again, lighting a fresh cigarette which she had been preparing as she patiently listened to Avery's instructions. This time as she exhaled, she made a point of exhaling away from Avery's face as a show of courtesy, "Your assistance is greatly appreciated, Captain", and with that she turned to leave. "Wait..." Avery called after her, almost hesitantly, "...you obviously know about the synth's, and you're sure as hell odd enough to be one. But you ain't like none I ever saw before, so tell me - really - who is this person to be such a danger to us all?". The visitor paused in the doorway, taking another puff of her elegantly held cigarette, "You barely see the world as it is around you. You say you know these synth's, if this is true then does the word Courser mean anything to you?" Avery tensed up, the mere mention of such things being enough to strike terror into the few who knew enough to fear them - which for most was little more than the name itself. The visitor's tone suggested a smile, though she remained facing the door, "I'll take your silence as a yes, then you understand why I said this girl is a threat to you and your synth friends". Avery considered the visitor and the context which she was implying, "If you're saying this girl you are looking for is one of these Coursers - one who is here to hunt they synth's for whom this island is sanctuary - then who... or what... are you...?" her wavering tone indicating that she almost dares not ask such a question, though curiosity clearly got the better of her. The visitor turned, holding that sweet smile beyond a downward tilt to her fedora, "I'm the one who hunts the hunters" clearly satisfied with a response as cryptic as it is terrifying to Avery, she proceeds to exit the store and stride purposefully out of the town gate from whence she came.


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