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 we can make it // TOGETHER, allie // shen
meili hua wen
 Posted on: Apr 3 2017, 09:07 PM
mulan
❝ You said you'd trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different? ❞
mulan
25
5'6"
heterosexual
single
23

sam



open

outfit | notes
sam
"We need to rest."

For a moment she stared at the person across from her; gaze taking in the other's appearance. Then flicking past her to look at the small crowd of refugees. She'd be blind not to see the truth behind that statement, it was written across every bedraggled and wasted face. The shadowed eyes and sunken features, the torn and muddy clothing. Honestly Mei was surprised to have found the group wandering through the darkness infested lands at all. She'd been almost certain that most of those who hadn't been outright killed by the encroaching darkness had already made it to one portal or another. Yet there they'd been; huddled in a cave on her scouting mission. Surviving just barely on cave water and whatever they could scavenge from the area around them. They'd been so far from the nearest portal location; days of walking already behind them and still more stretching on ahead. She couldn't imagine how they must feel, her own exhaustion was there of course, but not to the same extent as theirs.

Yet, there was hesitation in her features, and her eyes couldn't help but turn to their surroundings. Open, wide open space stretching in all directions. No cover, no shade, no place for them to hide if danger rained down on them. They were the literal definition of sitting ducks and as much as she'd love to tell them they could sit and rest, she wasn't entirely sure they could afford it.

"I'm not so-"

"Please."

She could feel the breathe slip out of her in a sigh. Her shoulders sagging and her hand moving to the sword she kept at her hip. Fingers tightening on the hilt and mentally praying to anyone who'd listen; her ancestors, her father. Someone to tell her whether or not she was making the right decision here. After a moment spent chewing on her bottom lip, she finally nodded. "Alright, but no fires." The person looked relieved ( if a bit disappointed at the idea of not getting warm anytime soon. ) "Everyone stays close together and quiet. Understood." She got a nod in return, and the person went back to the group. All of them practically collapsing to the ground with a sigh of relief.

Which left...

As much as she'd love to rest, she couldn't. The fact that they were out in the open had her nerves bundled tightly in the pit of her stomach. The fact that she was alone and hadn't meant to be rescuing a small group of people didn't help matters. She'd only come out here to scout, nothing more. If something happened, if they were attacked. She was almost certain she wouldn't be enough to keep everyone safe.

^
shen tao wei
 Posted on: Apr 3 2017, 10:06 PM
li shang
❝ I don't need anyone causing trouble in my camp. ❞
mulan
26
6'1
heterosexual
single
23

allie




if i could face them, if i could make amends
but i feel it burning like the winter wind



He grunted as hit the ground face first. The impact knocked the air from his lungs and he laid there a moment trying to get it back. The momentary pause in was good for him. If by good it meant time for his idiocy to make itself clear to him. A series of poor decision-making had led him to this point, after all, and it was better to face that now than to continue this foolish streak of impetuousness before he got someone killed. If he managed to survive long enough to make it back to camp. Really, this sort of recklessness was more John's style than his own. He knew it and, in his current miserable state, would readily admit it. Of course, when he was back on his feet and sitting in front of a warm fire in a few hours time, things would be a little different. Alone and hurting in more ways than just physical, however, he was content to kick himself. Repeatedly.

A huff escaped him as he flopped over onto his back, careful not to upset his already injured ankle. His ribs, still knitting themselves back together after weeks of light activity, groaned in protest. He shouldn't have come back from San Francisco so soon -- both his logic and his body told him that. It wasn't as if he didn't have a place to stay there, to rest without worry. It wasn't as if the resistance wouldn't carry on without him. Some part of him felt the sting of that truth and struggled against it. They needed him. Of course they did. They had so few fighters as it was. But they weren't his army. They weren't going to fall apart in his absence. Yet, like a fool, he'd let that worry draw him right back to the fight too soon. Well, that wasn't entirely true was it? Shang slung an arm over his eyes. It was an excuse to run away, ironic as it seemed. Only he would run straight into danger to avoid having to face the grief he'd been dodging for three years now. Xia had his father's sword. She'd been there...at the battle on the mountain. Did he want to know the details? Yes, but he wasn't sure he could swallow them as easily as he had swallowed his own pride just a few moments ago.

Those feelings had been placed in a secure and well-labeled box a long time ago and he wasn't quite ready to open it just yet. Nor was he going to lay here in a self-indulgent grouse session. The stupidity of self-pity could get on killed just as easily as being caught off guard and both things at once made death almost certain. One day death would come for him, that was certain, but it would not be today and it would not be because he tripped over an animal's burrow in clearing that was wide open and vulnerable. Rolling back onto his stomach, he braced his arms beneath his body and moved to hoist himself up before he paused. The sounds of voices and unsteady feet made him pause. Though, on his feet, the land had appeared virtually flat, prone as he was on the ground, he noticed the subtle rise and dip of it. It was like peering out over a sea of grass and he was caught on a wave. Fortunately for him, the small rise he had landed on kept him from immediate view of the straggling group of travelers that had paused. Raising only onto his elbows, he did the math. A dozen or so -- maybe less, maybe more. Fifty yards maximum between his position and the closest of the group. They didn't look dangerous but neither did they look familiar and that was what made him hesitate, giving himself another swift kick for being out here on his own.

Crawling forward slowly, excruciatingly slow, he observed the group. The way the seemed to slump to the ground in relief further cemented the idea that they were likely not dangerous or looking for trouble (though their choice of location pressed serious doubt on the latter). It was obvious from even this distance that they were exhausted and, yet, one lone figure still stood among them. He recognized the militaristic diligence in their stance though he couldn't distinguish much else about them. The decision to stop their group here was a foolish one; the openness of the land aside, there were no water sources nearby, no shade to cool their bodies. The group would likely be weaker for the rest. These were all elements that made him feel more comfortable in approaching though he continued to do so at a crawl rather than announcing himself. Danger came in all forms -- that was a lesson he'd learned from the Darkness and he'd learned it well. Whether or not they appeared weak to him, they had the advantage of numbers.

When he finally neared the group, it was the standing figure, who he determined to be the leader, who was closest. They had their back to him and he took advantage of the opportunity. Swiftly and as silently as he could, despite the screaming protest from his ankle, he unsheathed the knife from his boot and rose swiftly to his feet. A flicker of surprise ran through him as noticed their difference in heights but he did not hesitate. Pressing the tip of the knife to the small of their back, he did not move otherwise. "Don't move, don't alarm your companions," he said in a low voice. "If you do, we won't hesitate to kill you all right here." Two lies. Like poison, they were bitter on his tongue, but (in this instance at least) it was better that the threat he presented was overestimated. "What is your business here? Answer honestly or it'll be worse for you." Guilt sluiced through him; it was clear to him upon closer inspection that they needed help but...he had to be sure.

meili hua wen - #sorrynotsorry I hope this is okay?

^
meili hua wen
 Posted on: Jun 2 2017, 10:33 PM
mulan
❝ You said you'd trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different? ❞
mulan
25
5'6"
heterosexual
single
23

sam




outfit | -screams- idk
The longer she stood watch, the less she liked the area they'd chosen to stop in. Even if it hadn't really been a choice. Just looking at her charges was enough to see that many of them wouldn't have made it another step. There was too much open space here, too many places where her eyes needed to be and not enough of her to go around. No matter how quickly her head turned and she scanned each direction, she was just one woman. A trained soldier and experienced fighter, but not a miracle worker. Her entire body felt anxious and exposed like a live wire crackling against the air. She'd ask for help but there wasn't really anyone in the group fit enough to stand watch. One glance back at them was proof enough of that. Those that weren't slumped over in exhaustion had outright fallen to sleep in the short span of time since they'd stopped walking. As glad as she was that she'd found them, and that she was getting a chance to help, she suddenly wished she hadn't been so hard-headed about coming out on her own. Even having Khan would have helped.

Rubbing nervously at her arm, she tore her gaze away from the group and focused on the opposite horizon. Scanning where they'd come from, before turning her gaze one direction and then the next. Not entirely sure if she should be grateful that she could so readily see in all directions from this one vantage point, or if she she should just add that to the list of mistakes piled up against her.

There was an eerie silence here. A symptom of the darkness or the disruption of their presence. She hated that silence. Hated how it made her ears strain in desperation for each little sound; the shuffle of the refugees, a cough, or the scuttle of some insect. Anything at all that would fill the void left behind. Weighted and heavy, like someone was holding their breath in anticipation for the oncoming disaster to strike. She knew she should be keeping a level head, shouldn't let her mind sink into catastrophes that had yet to occur, but it was difficult. She didn't just have herself to protect way out here in the middle of nowhere, she had people to look after. Desperate, tired people, who'd been living in caves for ancestors know how long.

She was alert, but it seems not alert enough.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

The point of a dagger was uncomfortably familiar against her back. Like an old friend she didn't want any part of anymore, and it took all she had to school her expression. Keep herself calm so she didn't scare the others. The last thing those souls needed was panic, and the last thing she personally needed was for that panic to get her killed outright.

Fear was the familiar curl of a serpent in her belly, ready to strike up at her heart if she let it. Yet practice made her voice steady and her body stiffen only the slightest bit. Muscles tightening more like she was ready to strike herself. Lips parting, fully ready to snap back- but she stopped herself.

Familiarity ticked at the back of her mind. Nagging until everything else seemed to slip away.

"Sparing my life, and now threatening to take it away? Someone needs to make up their mind." Her head ducked down, and to the side. She couldn't see back to him but she was sure. Almost sure. A huff of air past her lips, and her body relaxed hands lifting slightly away from her sides in a non-threatening gesture. "No one here is dangerous Shang, least of all me...unless you don't put that dagger away."

^
shen tao wei
 Posted on: Jul 6 2017, 12:57 AM
li shang
❝ I don't need anyone causing trouble in my camp. ❞
mulan
26
6'1
heterosexual
single
23

allie




if i could face them, if i could make amends
but i feel it burning like the winter wind



Shang had never believed in ghosts before the darkness. He had been too practical for such things, preferring to place his faith in things that could be proven over what could not. Tangible things that did not require some extrasensory perception to detect. Unlike many of his countrymen, he had never put much stock in the shamans and the priests that served shrines to people long dead and demanded ridiculous rituals in their honor. He had lit incense and bowed to his ancestors only because it was expected of him not because he had truly believed they held some sway over his life or that preparing a feast for them would actually do much more than become food for insects. As a boy, as those around him prayed, he would imagine battles and run through lists of memorized strategies. Pious, he was not. Save for the areas that promoted self-improvement, Shang had never cared for religion very much at all, much less the spirits that were touted to remain behind once their living selves had perished. For much of his life, he had kept his beliefs to himself and simply went through the motions, empty as they had been for him.

He could remember a time when his father had spoken of a particularly violent battle in which the general had lost a number of his friends. A look had entered his father’s eyes that could only have been described as haunted. It was an expression Shang would only come to understand much later -- beginning with a kneeling girl on a snowy mountainside. If it were possible for ghosts to exist, the realm of their dominion was one of dreams. Nightmares, really. The life of a warrior was one exalted. Envied, even. A soldier in their polished armor and bright plumage had only ever been celebrated in art and song. Yet, no one ever spoke of the dark, bloody baggage that came along with it. Shang had seen only honor in the pursuit of his goals to follow his father’s footsteps. He didn’t know that he was signing up for a life spent avoiding sleep so that he might not hear echoes of the screams of people he had failed, might not see their faces. Since the night the Imperial City had fallen to the creatures, Shang had lost count of just how many faces haunted his dreams.

He only knew that it had begun with the girl -- the first one he’d condemned to die without ever bloodying his hands. He might have spared her life then with his indecision but he had damned her just the same. At least, he had believed so in the years that had passed. Every instinct and and everything he had been taught had deemed it to have been impossible to have faced such creatures as attacked the city that night and survived. The assumption had been that they had come from the mountains but...what if he’d been wrong? Never, not once, in all this time had it ever occurred to him that he might have been wrong. Arrogant, perhaps, but also a logical self-preservation technique. Too many other lives had been dependent on him to consider going in search of the soldier he had begun to think of as a friend. No matter how angry (and confused, if he were being honest) he had been over the revelation of her gender, he would have gone if he had believed there were even the smallest chance. Effectively abandoning everything he had sworn himself to.

Now he had to wonder if he had forced himself to believe such a thing because it had made the decision to do what he had done easier than it would have been otherwise. Once she had spoken, he could tell it was a woman’s back to which he held the point of the dagger. That voiced triggered memories of snow and anger and fear and the glinting of the steel blade of sword being thrown. Though he heard that same voice in his dreams, it had been so long that he couldn’t be certain it was the same at all or just some trick of the darkness, no matter how familiar she seemed to be with him. ”Threatening someone with a weapon angled to kill,” he mused, voice still low so as to not alert the others of the party. ”That’s either very stupid...or very brave.” Shang chose his words carefully, prodding for a reaction -- some evidence that what he suspected could be true and not a trick at all.

Still gripping the dagger, he retreated a step, schooling his expression against the natural wince that accompanied the twinging of his injured ankle. ”Then again,” he silently willed her to turn around so he could see the truth for himself. Within his chest, his heart pounded erratically, making it difficult to breathe as he forced himself to continue. ”Recklessness has always been your style, hasn’t it, Ping?” Those words came out softer than he'd intended, less acerbic than they had been in his mind. They were almost...sad.

meili hua wen - oops <.<

^
meili hua wen
 Posted on: Aug 27 2017, 03:00 AM
mulan
❝ You said you'd trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different? ❞
mulan
25
5'6"
heterosexual
single
23

sam




outfit | -screams- idk
For a time she'd considered, and even attempted, to find her way back to the Imperial city. If not so that she might hopefully find her family again, then at the very least to see what damage had been wrought by the monsters she'd barely escaped. Each time she'd returned from her search feeling no less a failure than before, but still hopeful. Trying her best to ignore the mental images of destruction and death that had become an integral part of resistance life. Most days she hoped ( how ever futile that hope might have been ) that the city was safe. That the monsters had not survived their self made rock slide and avalanches, or that at the very least Shang and the others had been able to get everyone evacuated on time. It was a lot of faith to put on such a small group of soldiers, especially when they'd only just finished nearly dying mere days before...to a wholly human enemy. In fact she hardly knew or really understood where her optimism came from. It's not like she had any signs to shore up her faith, and as much as she wanted to seek out the men she'd once considered her friends. The fact that she'd been abandoned on a snowy mountain top after all she'd done to save them and China- well it still stung.

She understood the decision, and she knew that leaving her on the mountain had been the kinder of two evils. Yet understanding was a far cry from acceptance. There was still pain, still hurt, still the specter of her near death experience hanging over her head like a dark cloud.

Mostly, she was just mad at herself.

For believing she could hold up the charade for so long...and for this moment right now. Not just for letting her guard down, but for the strange mixing of emotions that coiled inside of her once her suspicions had been confirmed. Hearing that name...the one she hadn't heard or even spoken since the mountain. It made her body flinch, barely perceptible but there nonetheless. Eyes closing like she could somehow will the flash of memories to halt before they buried her like the mountain of snow that nearly took them both.

When her eyes opened again she let them scan the area around them. Watching the perimeter for all the good it did her with a knife to her back. "I've learned a few things since then...who's to say one of them isn't getting out of this exact situation?" She could be bluffing, or not. Her mind was certainly racing through options and possibilities, moves and tricks she could pull to get the knife out of his hand if she needed to.

Thankfully she felt the point draw away, and some of the remaining tension seemed to slip out of her muscles with it. Though she didn't turn around right away. She needed to center herself first, breathe in and out before she faced- she honestly didn't know what she was expecting to face.

Slowly, she let herself turn, doing her best to school her expression into something calm, an easy smile. Even if her insides felt anything but easy. "If I recall we'd both be dead if it wasn't for that very same recklessness." Shoulders straightening, chin lifting in something like defiance. Or at the very least trying her hardest not to feel so...small. "It's Mulan now."


^
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