Closed Ultramarine

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Neb

The VILEiest VILE to ever VILE a VILE
Known Aliases
Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) Ullyss (formerly Kid Kidman), Kitty, Seryy Pripyat
Color #
323E4F
Neb rested in the arms of the smoke-haired woman. She’d never felt this safe, this loved before, but then again, she had. Recently. Her memory of Carmen holding her on the MAMBA came back. It was so similar that she had to make note of it.

“You’re so much like her,” she said hazily to the smoke-haired woman as she gestured in the direction of the single moving light below them.

The smoke-haired woman nodded approvingly as she followed Neb’s gaze. “I’m happy you found someone like me in your world.”

Neb furrowed her brow as a thought occurred. “Was I...looking for you? In her? You’re not her, right?”

“No, dear. We’re two different people.”

Neb’s memory of Carmen began to falter. Every vision now seemed to have the ghost of the smoke-haired woman overlaid upon her. All this time it hadn’t been Carmen that she’d longed for, but a combination of both women; seeing one while expecting the other. Slowly she peeled the two apart, only to find she didn’t really know either one of them.

“But then, if you’re you, who is she?”

The smoke-haired woman seemed to sense Neb’s growing distress and gently ran her fingers through her hair. “She isn’t who you thought, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know her at all. Go ahead, think back. Remove your wants and your thoughts from your memories and see only her.”

Neb bit her lip and closed her eyes to replay what she knew, from both this life and the last. There was little in this one; she’d taken care to avoid Carmen for fear of getting attached, but what was there was now painfully precious. “Oh Carmen, I’m so sorry…”

“No judgement. Just think.”

The girl sniffed back her tears and thought further back, into her past life. Carmen hadn’t abandoned her, Carmen hadn’t just handed her off. There had been bigger things in play that she still didn’t fully understand and had honestly never sought to understand. Even when she was aiding her boss, it was her sense of a mother she was really trying to save.

As if able to read the girl’s spiraling guilt, the smoke-haired woman sought her attention. “That’s not what I’m asking you to look at. Tell me, if I were to ask you who Carmen is, what would you say?”

Neb looked up at her, teary-eyed. “I-I would….” Now she really thought, again taking care to keep the two entities separate, and after a few moments she answered. “Carmen is the smartest, wisest person I know. She’s strong but she’s gentle, and she seems to be able to take care of everyone. She’s super responsible and just tries to carry us all and protect us all. And she likes to stay happy. She likes to hide and run around. And she’s brave and funny and knows lots of stuff.”

As she spoke she could feel herself getting younger and younger, past the hardened, jaded version of herself to the all-too-innocent adult-child she’d been when she’d first heard of Carmen. “And is super strong and can speak a million languages and…”

The light below stopped moving.

“Carmen?”

The years returned in a rush and she was an adult once again. “I’m sorry, but have to get to her. Can you get me out of here?”

“I’m afraid not,” The smoke-haired woman answered. “But maybe he can.”

Suddenly a man appeared from nowhere, at once oiled and buff, yet somehow also dressed in 19th century clothing. “Chase? What are you doing here?”

“Hey… good, you can see me,” he said, “I have a way out, take my hand.”

It made about as much sense as anything else, but Neb looked back at the smoke-haired woman for assurance.

The woman nodded. “Go with him. He will help you on the journey ahead.”

“But...are you coming too?”

The woman laughed, the sound filling Neb’s soul with the chime of a thousand tiny bells. “I have, am, and always will be wherever you are, but perhaps you need a more visual representation.”

With that the smoke-haired woman embraced her fully and Neb suddenly found herself floating in a sea of stars. Slowly the night sky contracted around her, pressed against her, through her. Chase became visible again as it sank into her skin, and then, only she and he remained.

Neb looked at her hands in wonder, still glowing faintly with a splash of stars. “I feel her…” She murmured, then looked up at Chase. “Okay, lets go.”
 

Eugene

Airfield Staff
Known Aliases
Euge, Earl Jr.
Color #
003366
Instinct told Euge to fight, that his life was on the line, and the voice of hard drilled and honed instinct was not to be denied now. Euge quickly backpedaled as he raised his pistol, firing several rounds even before being in any position to aim. His attacker took advantage of the confined space, vaulting over the desk and connecting with Euge, forcing his firing arm wide. The two slammed against the wall, the pistol spilling out of Euge’s right hand as his left found his attacker’s throat. A knee found his attacker’s groin, loosening his grip on Euge’s throat for a heartbeat. It was all the opening Euge needed to roll his attacker to the side, dislocating a shoulder with a satisfying crack in the process. A stray fist found its way to Euge’s nose, causing him to stagger backwards slightly.

Somehow his adversary had found the dropped pistol, forcing Euge to duck as the muzzle swept his direction. Stepping inside of his grasp, Euge forced the hand holding the pistol up as his combat knife slipped into his other hand. Pinning his attacker against the wall, Euge hammered the blade repeatedly into the man’s side. Eventually forcing the man to the ground, Euge wasted no time planting the blade into his attacker’s neck.

Panting from the weight of the situation and adrenaline still coursing through him, Euge leaned against the wall to steady himself. Timing a slow blink with a steadying breath, Euge flicked his eyes towards the discarded sidearm before picking it up and checking its condition.

I fired at least six rounds, yet this magazine is full…

His pulse quickened at the sound of a knock at the door, and Euge slammed the magazine home, moving to cover inside the swing of the door.

Two men entered, both attired in similar long grey jackets, and Euge wasted no time. “Hands up. Stay facing the wall and walk slowly towards it.” Keeping the pistol steady on the interlopers, Euge kicked the door shut behind him. “Both of you, turn around slowly.” As they did so, Euge met both their gazes and a name spilled uncomprehendingly from his mouth. “...Chase?

Euge dropped the pistol to a low ready as memories began to dimly illuminate. A cancelled fishing trip, a mysterious call, an ultimatum from a madman. Euge looked to the fresh body in the room. Gunnar Maelstrom. He was able to put a name to the face.

Could you kindly explain what’s going on?

"That's... not bad," Devineaux glanced down at the body and gestured slightly towards it. "I take it you know you're hallucinating. We're here to lead you into that guy's head, so we can attack him there."
 
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Color #
6a99a6
“Is it weird at Alexander Pushkin was killed at 37, same as Chase?” Nevon said to Zack. They were looking over some timelines. Zack held a tablet that was acting like a virtual board. The links with red strings that the boys used to play with as younger sleuths became something they were now drawing as detectives. In front of Nevon was a computer with a database of Chase Devineaux’s old files.

Did you just google that?

“After our meeting, I did,” Blair took out his phone and looked over the notes he made in an app.

Chase’s cryptic last words bothered him, and since no one was really looking into it, he thought he’d do some research. And then true to the buddy-system, Zack got in on it too.

Two weeks after they heard that audio, the teams were divided on different levels of work. Mikal and Eugene were in Moscow, and Ivy was going to join her husband there later. For now, Zack and Nevon were following the ‘Pushkin’ lead to Pushkinskiye Gory, Russia, where the poet was buried.

We should go visit Svyatogorsky Monastery today and see what we can find,” the Monaghan brother suggested, “better get it done early in case we want to check back.

Nev agreed and they both grabbed their backpacks and headed out.

“How does it feel to be part of Mikal’s family?” Blair looked at his friend.

Zack shrugged. “You know I never thought we were missing out, but having a big family is a huge difference. Ivy’s even learned some Israeli to communicate. Big props for Mikal.

“Wow, he got her to do something off her bucket list,” Nev chuckled when he said that.

Not that I haven’t tried,” Monaghan laughed along, “but I’m her brother, she needed some other push.

It was a bit of a hike to the monastery grounds and the grave of Alexander Pushkin. The site was a white outdoor monument with a short fence around it.

Nevon had the feeling he was being watched, but he couldn’t see anyone else.

“Hey, you think we’re being followed?” Nev asked.

What are you looking for, Blair?” The voice that spoke wasn’t Zack’s, and then when Nevon turned to look for its source, he saw Chase walking towards him. There was blood on his shirt where he’d probably been shot. Next to him was another man, shorter and shadowy.

Nev looked back to his friend and saw nobody with him.

“I’m really freaked out right now,” he said, “How are you alive?”

Chase reached out and Nevon put his arms over his face as protection, but then he only felt a grip on his shoulder.

You’re hallucinating, buddy,” that calm voice made so much sense. Nevon looked again. There wasn’t any blood on Chase’s shirt, and the detective remembered that he was still at the temple.

“Oh man, I tripped,” Nev said, “Captain Meiru and me, we were going to go help Carmen, she went to see Maelstrom," he paused, "It’s… Wow, it's good to see you survived the crash, sir.”

Thanks, and both women are fine,” Chase reassured, “Right now I need you to focus, and come with me.

Nevon nodded. He blinked, and then he was in a different sort of dream...
 

Ivy

Commander
Known Aliases
Iv', Ives
Color #
008080
Hustling up a half-story to the master bedroom, she did her usual knock-and-open without waiting for a reply.

“Mr. Collins, I’ve got som—Oh—you’re not dressed.” She turned around to give him some privacy. It was weird enough being around this place like she knew things, but walking in on her supposed friend’s fiancé was next-step awkward.

Seriously, why?” she heard him mutter. Is that an American accent?

She stayed quiet.

Monaghan,” he called her in a very Chase-like way.

“Yes,” she wasn’t sure how else to respond, with her back still to him, “So I think Gunnar Maelstrom has Nadia, and it feels like I’ve been through this kind of scenario before but--”

Who’s Nadia?

“Carmen,” she answered before she could fully think, “Wait, Chase?” Ivy turned around and blinked. He now had clothes on but she suddenly smelled incense and sandalwood. “Why am I smelling ‘spa’?”

You’re hallucinating,” he explained in two words, but she wasn’t sure she believed him.

“Why would I hallucinate you smelling like a spa day?” That was followed by an awkward silence that the man thankfully didn’t seem to notice.

I mean all this,” when he gestured to the room around her, it got darker until objects disappeared from view.

“I knew it!” Ivy snapped her fingers, “I didn’t fall into some kind of parallel universe.”

No, but Maelstrom has us trapped. We’ll need to—

“I’m ----ing in,” she interrupted him, “just lead!”
 

Carmen

Queen of Crime
Color #
850000
[Partly co-written: Chase/Carmen]

Back in the stillness of the temple, Carmen contemplated. Warmth lingered on her sigh, and she smiled briefly--an ode to follies.

Translucent vapors formed as she exhaled. Temperatures had dropped since she was last aware. This cold fog followed her from the throne room. The Professor’s influence must be either growing, or he was becoming more focused.

This worried her, significantly more than she would consciously acknowledge.

Silent wings moved in slow rhythm around her. It was now obvious to the observer that these were not creatures that evolved to glow in the temple’s pitch darkness. They were entities that became visible for the purpose of guiding her towards a goal.

She was also becoming more aware that this goal may not be hers, but their own.

When she was seated on throne, she recalled seeing much more than she could readily comprehend. The temple turned her questions into answers, and she felt the draw would be particularly strong for someone with obsessive tendencies. That was why she put Gunnar Maelstrom in the chair. Now, of course, he had used that position against her.

She needed to release her friends. Certainly, the temple knew what she wanted… Why hasn’t it complied?

What point was it in relaying her to Acton? The more direct route would be to dethrone the madman.

As if understanding her frustration, the moths reacted.

Silently, a winged atlas perched upon the bridge of Chase’s nose, covering both his eyes. Within the next breath, she saw what he saw. A dark desert stretched beneath fiery skies. Black sands at the detective’s feet sparkled under light as if he stood upon a field of red stars. The drumming of his heart followed and she heeded its rhythm.

I’m in your pocket,” she thought the words, “of all the places.

Where else would you be?

His response was unexpected, but welcomed.

Do you think you could keep him distracted, for me?

While you get him off the controls? How?

You’ll be my proxy.

Several beats passed.

Is that hesitation?

Just making sure I’m ready,” he said and her vision followed his eyes to surrounding team members. Immediately, she felt marginal regret that she would not stand with them.

You’re in good hands,” she commented at the sight.

I know,” her proxy affirmed, “go do what you need, we have this.

Tell them, that when they wake, I’ll be waiting.

Keep safe.

Her vision faded and the woman stood alone. In frigid silence, an encroaching fog swallowed her exhaled mist. She must now leave another slumbering friend, and head once again to the throne room. History had quite a habit...
 

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*has some hot chai tea, naan bread, and chicken mulligatawny that she ordered from Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry House, because they deliver.* ;)
Neb
is attempting to start a fight for the ages.
Lincoln: Know why I never get into trouble?

A: I'm in a cent.

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