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 Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)

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PostSubject: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:04 am

A few days after the completion of his latest operation, Ethan Kelly found himself wandering through the well-lit streets of Librium City proper. He found he enjoyed quiet walks through the city at night, and tonight was no exception, despite the mild throbbing in his left hand. Rubbing his hand softly, he concentrating on suppressing the pain.

Lesson learned then. The Terran Guard is more resourceful, or lucky, than originally evaluated.

Sitting around at the Paladin medical lab over the past couple of days had gotten Ethan thinking about his next steps until the next job came around. Curious, he asked a lab technician what most people did when they were bored and off the job. From that, the idea that he should "live a little and go to a bar" got in to his head. Changing in to a new suit, Ethan left the facility to find a place where he could find a cold beverage and possibly conversation or socialization.

That really was the main purpose of this excursion: interacting with people. As a general rule, Kelly didn't have much interaction with other humans. It had really stunted his social skills, especially considering his loss of his childhood memories from his initial implantation surgery. Learning from a para-military organization at the time didn't help, but he was slowly developing skills, and this was the next logical step.

Walking for easily over an hour, Ethan finally stopped at a bar he found to be acceptable: The Hulking Rubble Tavern. While the name itself didn't sound all that appealing, Ethan had seen a couple of well-toned people who he inferred as soldiers walking inside.

"If it’s good enough for them, it can be good enough for me." He mused to himself as he walked in the door.

The place was loud, and a thin veil of smoke wafted throughout. The majority of people who drank, laughed and played at the various games were larger than Ethan physically, and their faces left much to be desired. It was at that moment he realized he stood out pretty good in the bar, being completely overdressed and all. The looks shot his way were not completely complimentary or good natured as he found a table and ordered a generic beer.

Ok...so I've ordered a beer. Let's see what's so fun about these places.

==Tag==
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:52 am

"How do you do that?!" This voice was met with a raucous of laughter from off to the side of the bar. Standing around a group of tall tables were a couple of men, soldiers from the look of them and one slightly better dressed merchant. "I aim for the middle," responded a woman dressed all in black leather, closer examination would reveal that her outfit wasn't just leather, but a mix of leather and kevlar to form a light weight body armor. She held another red feathered dart in her nimble fingers, and they were all focused on the dart board on the wall, which proudly displayed two other red feathered darts very close to the center. While Artemis was more then capable of hitting the bulls eye every time, she was here to make money not show off. Her long dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and everything about the woman would set off even the toughest brutes internal warning bells.

"I bet you a hundred credits you can't hit five bulls eyes in a row!" Proclaimed the rather intoxicated merchant. Vanessa tilted her head to look at him, her left eyebrow arching as she studied him, perhaps the only amount of emotion she ever showed. Then her lips curled into a soft, yet cunning, smile. "Make it 500, I don't get excited for anything less." She reached out and picked up a mug sitting next to her elbow and finished off the last of it. Her response was apparently what they wanted to hear, because they all laughed again. She may not have had the greatest people skills on the face of the planet but one didn't need such things around others of your kind. Vanessa was a soldier to the bone, and it showed in the way she strode forward to collect her darts from the board. Her boots might not have been the most tactical pick, but she walked in them as if there was nothing wrong with it.

Returning to the line, she brought a dart up level with her right eye, her back to the room now. None of them would see the slight robotic turning of her right eye before she moved her hand forward, loosing the dart to watch it sail through the air and hit dead center on the board. This was her talent, perfect aim. To those with a sharper sense of smell, she might have smelled of Were, though none in the room had made any mention of it if they noticed. Her eye was a closely guarded secret, it wouldn't do for everyone to know her strengths and weaknesses after all.

The next three darts quickly followed the first, each one hitting just far enough away so as not to upset the others in the process. At this point the men around her seemed to be holding their breath. She paused a moment and then glanced back at them. Anyone else care to join the wager?" she asked with that same, sly smile to her beautiful face.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:37 pm

A chuckle came from the far end of the bar as Lisette made her presence known to the little gathering. Nails drummed against the bar as she turned to look at the wagerers and of course, Nessa. "Come on now… make it worth while, gents. Any woman dressed in black is sure to hit a target. Try to use your head. she said as she strolled towards a man in a business suit. She leaned her slim body against him and purred, " I'll wager five hundred, along with my virginity that she can't hit them all with one eyes closed… Smirking to Nessa, she added, "And I get to pick which eye. Was she a bitch? No… she just knew a few things about Nessa.

She knew that Nessa was a human among weres. She would never be as strong or as fast, or as 'in tune' with her senses, but there were things that she had to help, and it had nothing to do with her robotic eye. She was special even without it, and even though Lisette would never say that out loud, she needed to convey it.

"you see gents… you have to think with your head, not your dick. She's all dressed up in leather… but think about it. Lots of people can hit a target… you just have to make it interesting for her. Now… if Nessa hit them all, Lis would give her a smirk and say no more. She wasn't here to win or loose any money, she was just bugging her. If Nessa missed, well, Lis was $500 richer and would share with her pack mate who would, no doubt, be a bit PO'ed after this whole ordeal.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:12 am

Trying his best to be a fly on the wall, Ethan watched the happenings over at the gaming area, especially the ruckus that seemed to follow a woman in leather. Not being completely familiar with the game, he watched her form as she lined up shots and let the pointed ends since deep within the cork dartboard's multicolored surfaces. It seemed easy enough; and quite lucrative for the woman, who seemed to be cleaning up the other patron's wallets of their credits.

Taking a short pull on his ale, Ethan grimaced as the bitter liquid hit his tongue and flowed in to his gullet. It seemed obvious at that moment the tavern's selection of fermented beverages may have used some sort of industrial cleaning solution in its recipe, but it didn't matter. Slowly standing, bringing the mug of slurry that passed for ale here, Ethan walked towards the group of dart players.

"… but think about it. Lots of people can hit a target… you just have to make it interesting for her."

Another woman had entered the group and was seemingly taunting the crowd to interest her friend. For all Ethan knew, it could have been a ruse for his credits, but it wouldn't matter in the end: he had plenty to spare. The interactive competitive nature of the game intrigued him, and while the woman in leather had obvious skill, Ethan felt he had a pretty good chance to win.

"How's about one thousand credits for the best of six darts? Does that interest the lady enough?"

With a challenge issued, the group quieted moderately as he took up a dart, stood behind the line, and fired a dart directly in to the bullseye. Going to retrieve it, he took note that the needle was fully embedded in the board, and reminded himself of his strength. Strolling to the woman in leather, he handed her the dart.

"Your shot."
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:32 pm

Vanessa somehow managed to suppress the urge to roll he eyes as Lisette made her entrance. Nessa had been hoping she stayed at the bar but no, of course not, that just wouldn't do for the cheetah to keep her nose out of everyone's business. It's like she made up for her lack of literacy by talking all the time. Sure Nessa had a soft spot for her, but even Nessa had days where she wanted to throttle the woman. Not that that would have been smart on Nessa's part no matter which way she looked at it. Getting in a physical confrontation with a Were was like asking to have your liver handed to you on a silver platter. Managing to keep her face calm, Nessa listened to the cat's words and almost smiled. While her right eye did make things much easier, it was meant more for allowing Nessa to hit targets that were far away. At this distance, her left eye would work just as well. She'd been one of the best snipers long before her operation, hell, it was why she'd been picked for the program.

She also knew...win or lose...she'd be getting paid tonight, either from the gents at the table or from Dash later on. It was a win/win for her, so she kept her mouth shut and let them deliberate.

A knew voice entered the fray however, causing Vanessa to tilt her head slightly, the iris of her right eye spinning slightly as it focused in on the man. Only those looking directly into her eyes at close distance would have been able to see the slight robotic movement. The male looked familiar, though she allowed none of the emotions to cross her face. She'd known a lot of soldiers during the war, and seeing as she was a bit of a "super" soldier herself, she tended to get grouped with other "super" soldiers on missions. That was how she'd met Malik after all.

If she'd been less of a soldier and more of a woman, perhaps her first thought about the male would have been something sexual. Unfortunately, Nessa was a soldier, and her first thought was Finally, some competition. She didn't respond until after he'd thrown his first dart at the board. With her eye she was able to see just how far it had embedded into the cork...so the rumors were true about him. If she was remembering correctly that was. She let none of her thoughts reach her face however.

Glancing down at the dart he held out to her for a moment, she brought her face back up to his and gave him a soft smile. Curling her lithe fingers around the dart, black nails glinting in the dim light of the bar, Vanessa took the dart from him. "Challenge accepted." Her leather and kevlar outfit barely made a sound as she turned to face the board, bringing the dart up level with her right eye so she could position it properly. It only took a moment before she moved her hand forward, letting the dart fly free. It hit home perfectly center on the board.

Turning over her shoulder she glanced back at the original male who'd bet her she couldn't make five in a row. "That's five, Donman," he groaned in annoyance and then began to fish around in his pockets for the appropriate credits. She then moved to retrieve her dart, holding it out to Ethan as she returned.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:17 am

[[Skip Me, Lis is just watching and smirking from the bar, leaning against it.]]
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:10 am

Ethan watched as the woman who had been the center of attention for that brief interlude slink back to the bar while the dart throwing woman considered his offer and the dart in his hand. It was something about how she walked, almost as if she stalked like a cat, that caught his eye for a moment longer before turning back to the woman who was removing the dart from his hand with a smile. He returned the smile, noting that her eyes spoke of determination and focus, not flirtation and intrigue. The smile on his face widened at that thought, thinking she meant to bring fierce competition and not just an excuse for his number.

Darts was a game that can be as complex or simple as you make it. The players quickly agreed to simple scoring rules, with each currently holding fifty for a bullseye apiece. Therefore, with the majority of the bar watching the tense game, hushed whispers, gasps, and sighs filled the room with each thud of a dart landing in the cork. For a brief while, thanks to a slightly miscalculated shot by the woman and a spot on triple-20, Ethan led for a little while. However, when all was said and done, Ethan folded to the mysterious woman, 270-310. While it seemed like a large margin, it apparently was a small one my darts standard.

A smile and a strong handshake later, Ethan was one thousand credits poorer. There was something mysteriously familiar about the woman, but Ethan couldn't pin it in his mind. Taking a brief step away, he stopped himself, and decided he was going to figure out what was bothering him about this woman. Walking back, he spoke quickly, trying not to sound suspicious.

"So, I was wondering, since you so swiftly destroyed my ability to think I can play darts, could I buy you a drink? I feel like I know you from somewhere. I'm Ethan, do you have a name? Or do you prefer the strong, silent, and unbelievably good at darts type?"

It wasn't his best line, granted, he wasn't good at lines in general. Besides, he was simply trying to start a conversation. Ethan waited for her response patiently.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:34 pm

Vanessa Sirnos found herself experiencing an emotion she only ever got while hunting Rift Beasts with the Pride out in the Wastes: Fun. Usually these games were just a way for Nessa to make a bit of extra money on the side to help support the Pride's needs. Not all their jobs panned out correctly, despite their best efforts, and everyone did what they could to make sure they didn't go hungry or run out of ammo. Which, on Nessa's list of priorities...would be worse. She was also incredibly glad that Lisette took her leave, as much as she doted on the girl, Lisette could be very grating on the nerves.

Nessa had no issues if Ethan wanted to leave, and made no movement to stop him when he seemed about to. It surprised her that he came back to ask for her name, most around here never asked. She knew she could be incredibly intimidating, but that was the way she liked it. If any man was brave enough to come up to her after dealing with the fact that Nessa could snap most of them in two, then he earned her respect. That Ethan would lose to her at darts and still want to know who she was and buy her a drink, yeah, he earned the right to know.

"Vanessa, and trust me, you can play darts...just not against me." She said this last with a hint of a teasing smile. "Seeing as you came so close to beating me, I'd say that has earned you the right to buy me a drink. This place should have some Dwarven Ale on hand. I'll be over there." Vanessa motioned to a table off to the side, out of the way, with very few patrons nearby to listen in. She'd purposefully picked Lisette's bad ear, and purposefully picked a table where they could both watch the majority of the bar.

Old habits were hard to break.

She barely let him agree before moving off in the direction of the table she had indicated. While she would never, ever say it out loud, the knife wound she'd sustained earlier that week was throbbing and she needed to sit down or risk tearing her stitches. The pain she felt never reached her face, nor did she walk with any indication that something was wrong. That would have meant showing a weakness to a bar full of strangers and that wasn't going to happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:00 am

It was an odd feeling, that waiting for a response in a social situation where the other party can simply shut you down or give you the time of day. In the service, Ethan would bark orders and get the respect and responses he requested; the social world of the post-war world was a completely unique experience. The seconds it took Vanessa to respond seemed to take forever, making Ethan almost uncomfortable under her stare.

Is this was people normally feel in social situations? Is this....anxiety!?! Who would do this to themselves?

Finally, with a hint of a teasing smile, Nessa replied, "Vanessa, and trust me, you can play darts...just not against me." Ethan smiled in return, thinking that a rematch was soon forthcoming. Nobody was that good twice...right?

"Seeing as you came so close to beating me, I'd say that has earned you the right to buy me a drink. This place should have some Dwarven Ale on hand. I'll be over there."

Ethan nodded as Nessa walked over to the aforementioned table and then proceeded over the bar to procure beverages. After purchasing the Dwarven Ale for Vanessa and a microbrew for himself, Ethan found his way to the table, placing the warm, frothy mug on the unfinished wooden surface. The one impression Ethan got of the ale while he took the mug to the table was not in the least bit favorable. The most accurate way to describe Dwarven Ale is through smell which, mildly speaking, is an atrocious blend of Dwarven body odor, horse excrement, and the combined storm drain contents outside of Librium's seedier establishments. The worst part was that the Dwarves, this bartender included, insisted on serving it warm, only adding to the heinous cloud of noxious fumes that emanated from its vessel.

Sitting at the table, Ethan slid the large mug slowly across the table for fear that the spillage might eat through his body in some way. Settling in and taking a long pull from his own beer, he smiled at Vanessa his typical confident smile.

"You know, after all the money you won off me, you should have bought me the drink for consolation," chuckling to himself, Ethan rose his beer in the air. "So, Vanessa. Do you come here to this place often? Do you normally frequent bars with such...color?
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:03 pm

Once she'd sat down, draping her black, fur lined coat across the back of her chair, Vanessa Sirnos found herself admiring the man who'd agreed to buy her a drink and not said one word about the drink she'd asked for. It had been a test of sorts, and Ethan Kelly seemed to be passing all of her tests with flying colors. It wasn't easy to earn her respect, much less her admiration. From the way he moved she could tell he'd been raised a soldier much like she had. She knew no other life and suddenly finding herself ousted after Enlightenment had left her feeling a tad lost. Of course, she had Malik to pick up the pieces but what did this man have? What did he do with his life now that Peace had rendered them both obsolete?

Her right eye studied his face, but more aptly the veins that ran along his forehead and down his neck. She could judge a man's heartbeat that way, deduce if they were lying. She doubted it would work properly on Ethan however, she herself had been trained on how to pass such simple tests, but usually that required knowing you were taking a test. As he sat across from her, Vanessa leaned forward and wrapped her lithe, black nailed fingers around the mug of warm ale. Most people were put off by the smell, but it tended to be a case of judging a book by it's cover. The taste of Dwarven Ale wasn't nearly so bad as the smell would indicate, though it was still considered a required taste. A taste she'd picked up a couple of years back when the Pride had done some work for the local Dwarves.

The best part about Dwarven Ale was that you didn't need to worry about being cold while drinking it, it was served warm on purpose and Vanessa allowed herself a moment to enjoy the sensation as she drank from the mug before answering his question.

"I rarely come to this bar, usually when I'm looking to fleece the locals or possibly for some entertainment. Nothing like a good bar fight to get the blood flowing." She said this with a completely serious face. "I am not sure what you mean by the word...color. One must assume you don't mean it's actual color considering the owner apparently likes browns." It might be hard to judge whether or not Vanessa was joking, but honestly his use of the word had gone right over her head.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:26 am

Ethan sat quietly, taking quick notice that Vanessa seemed to be sizing him up. He ignored it, taking it for the ever-increasing evidence that Vanessa had been a soldier at some point. Maybe that was where he knew her from...it would make sense. It bothered the Paladin agent that he had begun noticing holes in his more recent memory, Vanessa being no exception. He was sure that he had met her before, yet he could not place her. While that would not be completely uncommon for most people, it was the complete opposite for Ethan. It bothered him beyond words, especially since, up until recently, he had remembered literally everything since waking up from the initial implantation.

Holes in his memory notwithstanding, he watched his table partner regard her warm beverage with comfort before taking a long drink. Just the memory of the smell of the warm Dwarven Ale made him want to gag, especially considering what something that smelled that badly might taste. Thankfully, Ethan knew that visibly gagging over what a conversation partner was eating or drinking was considered a social faux pas, and held back his more primal bodily urges.

"I rarely come to this bar, usually when I'm looking to fleece the locals or possibly for some entertainment. Nothing like a good bar fight to get the blood flowing." Vanessa's straight face caused Ethan to raise his left eyebrow in inquiry as his hypothesis about the mysterious dart player. "I am not sure what you mean by the word...color. One must assume you don't mean it's actual color considering the owner apparently likes browns."

"No, not at all...I meant the term more of the demeanor of the people in this place. You don't see a lot of women amongst the crowds in bars down in this section of town."

That being clarified, Ethan took a long pull from his beer, placing it softly back on the cracked wooden table. It was time to test his theory.

"Vanessa, I have to say, I didn't expect to find someone like you here. Then again, we all have to find some kind of excitement after the Treaty. What do you find yourself doing?"

That was it...Ethan played his hand and hoped for the best. If he was wrong, he wasn't going to be making a very good impression.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:55 am

She found herself smiling lightly as he talked about his observations of the female species. While it was true that most women didn't frequent such places, there wasn't really anywhere else Nessa felt comfortable. When all you'd known was violence, you tended to seek it out. "Well then it would be safe to assume that I am not most women." she responded, leaning back in her chair and stretching her long legs out before her. While it would seem that it was just to get more comfortable, it was a way for Nessa to take some of the weight off her leg. While her armor had protected her from the worst that knife could have done, it had still managed to make a rather nasty wound she'd had to stitch back together herself.

She thought on his question a moment, masking that process by taking a drink of her ale once more. "I find myself doing anything that pays well enough, there is always need of some violence. Peace is just a facade, there will always be war on some scale. Besides, lets face it. There is no room for the likes of you and I in a world of peace. We've become useless, monsters, no better then the common murderer they'd like to lock up and throw away the key. Usually I pick up the contracts from the research facilities, hunting Rift Beasts and the like out in the Wastes. Not the most glamorous work but I highly doubt I'd make a very good secretary. I've heard the way those people talk, makes me want to puke."

Their contact for their most recent contract had been one of the worst, her voice was so high pitched and cheerful Nessa wouldn't have been surprised if she'd exploded into a million rainbows that covered the world in happiness. Disgusting. But then again, she supposed she'd fought a war for so long just so that people like that could keep their happy little lives.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:21 am

Ethan found himself waiting with bated breath for Vanessa's response. It had been a long time since he had taken such a calculated risk...and in a social environment no less! Shield would be proud; she always said Ethan needed to get out more. Either way, he was hopefully making a friend, friends were always good. When Vanessa finally spoke, he found himself listening intently on the words she used.

What makes us monsters?

Ethan smiled at the thought of people with way too much peep in their step...err, voice. Whatever the expression, they were too damn cheerful! It was always so funny to see the concern in their face at the office, his cover, when he came back with scars or cuts. They'd never know the truth, but it kept the company's best interests in mind...which, in turn, kept them safe. Paladin worked for human interests, which included Vanessa, it made Ethan proud of his job.

"Violence is a necessity of bad decision making, and the people who make the bad decisions don't have the power to fight their own battles. It doesn't make us monsters. Monsters kill innocents for fun, or sport. A bar fight here in there is entertaining, nobody gets hurt if they don't deserve it.

I feel like I met you before Vanessa, but I can't place you. I'm sorry for that...I bet you're a hell of a soldier, nursing a wound like that in your leg so non-nonchalantly."
Ethan smirked and winked at her, amusement clear across his face.

"I can't say my job is glamorous, but I do it for a purpose. Plus, it can be good exercise every once and a while. You should let me know when you're in town again....I could always use backup."

He slid his card across the table with his index finger, leaving it in front of his new friend, and sat awaiting her response to his proposal.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:35 pm

At the mention of the wound in her leg, Nessa's cold eyes turned up to meet his gaze, staring directly into his eyes as her right eye studied him. She didn't seem offended that he'd managed to figure it out, if anything she looked impressed. As he slid the card across to her, she reached out with her lithe fingers to pick it up off the table and slide it down the front of her leather and Kevlar top. "Perhaps you would know me under a different name then, during the war I went by Artemis. Truth be told I'm a tad insulted Ethan, after all the fun we used to have." She said these words in a decidedly teasing way, leaning forward to let the black nails of her fingers trail along the back of his hand in a way that would suggest they had known each other rather intimately. If her call sign sparked his memories, he would probably recall a sniper who's mission record held no failures. She had been bred to be a soldier, much the same as the New Breed Weres had been, though her genetic make up didn't hold the genes necessary for that program.

In truth, her actions were another test, Nessa was impressed by Ethan, and she could care less whether or not he remember her. How he reacted to such a forward suggestion would be the real test. Ethan and Nessa had only ever had a business relationship, though they'd never gotten the chance to work closely. If anything what she knew of him was mostly rumor and what she'd read in personnel files during the war. "It's just a flesh wound, be healed in a few days I'm sure." She told him with a wink as she settled back down to take another drink of her ale. If Ethan decided to continue the intimate behavior, Nessa wouldn't stop him...emotionless robot she might be, but she was still human and she still had needs.

"So tell me Ethan, what is this unglamorous job you speak of? If you need me as backup, I have a feeling it's something the general populous would frown upon." Lis made a motion to her over Ethan's shoulder, and Nessa returned with a motion of her hand beneath the table where Ethan wouldn't see. The cheetah shot her a grin and a thumbs up and then sauntered out of the bar, most likely to find her own form of fun. Vanessa liked to use the time the Pride spent in towns to get a break from all of the Pride mind mentality. Sure she was a part of the Pride, but she was a human, and could ever truly understand them like they could. Being a human made it aggravating at times, as she needed a life of her own. That was why she picked up side jobs, to make sure she didn't begin relying on the Pride too much and form a weakness she couldn't afford.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:08 am

Ethan smiled as Vanessa plucked his card from the table and deposited it on her person. It always helped to have a second pair of eyes on jobs and, the fact was, Ethan didn't trust many of the operatives Paladin employed. There was something about Vanessa, that unspoken bond between soldiers, that made Ethan instantly trust her to a small degree.

When she used the call sign 'Artemis,' he instantly recognized it. While his actual memory was accumulating holes, he did have one distinct advantage when it came to items pre-programmed in to his cybernetic brain. When his brain was overlaid with neuron stimulator units and his skull has a processor core added, certain information was hardwired in to Ethan for ease of use. This included humanity basics, weapon skills, survival training, military history and tactics, as well as a slew of social etiquette programs should he survive the war.

"Artemis? I remember you! You were a sniper with the Special Optical Task Force, yes? I fought with you during the Elven Campaign, you saved my ass a couple of times."

Thinking on the "fun" Vanessa seemed to keep alluding to, Ethan consulted his social etiquette training. It could be some sort of fun social activity that we shared back during wartime. But what could we be doing? Darts? I find it highly unlikely to get a darts game set up when the Elves keep hitting us with mortar rounds. Smiling at the thought, his mind keep processing thoughts. That was a fun time...they fired so many shots, but for having superior vision they couldn't hit a thing. Wait...could she be flirting? It does say that physical touch eludes to flirtation...NAH. Besides, she's a soldier! I know what fun was to people like us...

"Fun? Of course I know about the fun we had! defeating our enemies and completing our objectives! To old fun, and old friends!"

Raising his beer in the hair in celebration, Ethan finished off his beer and slammed the bottle in to the table with a refreshed exhalation of breath. Not realizing his strength, the bottle shattered in his hand, and he left a fist-sized impression in the table, shooting a deep crack across the broken wood. Ethan's eyes shot open in surprise, and his hand recoiled in pain, blood dripping from three small cuts.

"Damnit! Ow...sorry. Uh, maybe we could talk about my job outside? The local color doesn't seem all that friendly anymore."

It was true, the bar had gone nearly silent as Ethan had nearly destroyed the table. The bartender was grumbling and reaching under the bar for something, presumably a weapon. Rising slowly, being watched from every pair of eyes in the place, Ethan knew a bad situation when he felt it. Offering his left, uncut, hand to the crowd, he dropped a small credstick on the table and offered Vanessa the hand.

"My lady, would you care for a slum walk? I fear I may have overstayed our welcome."
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Tue May 08, 2012 6:34 am

Nessa could literally see the moment of clarity as it dawned on Ethan that he did indeed know who she was. There weren't many in the special ops units that hadn't at least heard of Artemis, the sniper who never missed. At the mention of saving his ass, she chuckled. "Saved a lot of asses during that campaign, those shamen of theirs can be brutal in close quarters. My unit used to compete with how many we took out on those missions before the ground units moved in." Memories of her fallen comrades played in the background of her mind, not many had survived Enlightenment to see the peace they had fought so hard for. Though perhaps it wasn't quite the peace they'd always dreamed of...usually in war you figured you got peace by winning, not by a forced stalemate by the very planet you were fighting over.

She was not surprised that her attempt at flirtation had gone right over his head, from what she could recall of what had been done to Ethan Kelly, it was rumored that he was more machine then man now...a man after her own heart perhaps? All the fun and none of those crap emotions she always seemed to find in other partners. They always wanted to 'fix' her, make her more human, more like them. That just wasn't possible for her. Vanessa Sirnos had been trained to do what she was ordered to do, and if that had meant shooting an Elven child, she wouldn't have hesitated. Nessa knew that in the eyes of the civilians such a thing would make her a monster, but someone had to do it.

As he lifted his mug, she did the same finishing off her Dwarven Ale and slamming her mug back to the table much the same as she had, though she lacked a lot of his strength, which was unsurprising. Her laughter rang out at the sight of the broken table, she didn't laugh much, not even these days when she had so much more to laugh about. Glancing about to check his observation Vanessa smiled at the onlookers as if nothing was wrong. As he offered her his hand, she did something unlike her. She set her smaller hand in his and allowed him to help her up. "A slum walk? Goodness, don't you just know how to treat a lady?" she teased him.

Continuing the facade of the two of them leaving together would throw off anyone who was watching her, she usually left the bars alone. Snagging her fur lined coat off the back of the chair, she shrugged it on. Keeping up the act, she stepped up to Ethan, perhaps a bit closer then even she would have liked, and wrapped her hands around his forearms. She let him lead her outside, her boots barely making a sound on the paving as she moved. As a sniper, she had been taught to 'walk soft'. Stealth was a skill that made up a snipers bread and butter, a skill that had kept her and the hundreds of soldiers she'd saved with each bullet, alive.

Once they got far enough from the bar, she reached into one of the pockets of her coat and produced a small med kit. "Alright, let me see that. I figure they probably threw in some nano technology to increase your healing factor but we could be tracked by the smell of your blood and I don't feel like dealing with what tracks using that method." Before he could protest she pulled some gauze from the med kit and snagged his cut hand in her own. Leaning against the wall, she made quick work of wiping away the excess blood before applying bandages to the cuts to stop the blood flow and allow it to clot. Returning her med kit to it's pocket, she retrieved a lighter from another and lit the bloody gauze on fire to be sure nothing could find it and perhaps use it against him. Living with Weres had taught her an entirely new way of looking at the world most people rarely ever dreamed of.

All finished, she wrapped her hands around his forearm once more so they could continue their walk. "So tell me about this job, I'm always interested in a bit thrilling heroics."
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Wed May 09, 2012 4:58 am

Ethan was happy to find Vanessa's smaller hand in his as they began to exit the bar. Her presence certainly assisted him with the now minimal use of his good hand. She laughed and smiled as if nothing was the matter while they proceeded out of the bar with no other circumstance, no further issue. Ethan found that he rather enjoyed having Vanessa hold his forearm as such, finding it disappointing when she removed them, even to cleanse his wound. He noticed she took care to not directly scrape across the cuts, almost being tender as she worked with focus in her eyes. "Thank you...for the bandages, and the med skills. Why would you ever think I had nanobots for healing?"

Vanessa Sirnos turned her silver eyes on him for a moment as they walked, before turning them back to their surroundings. Even while out for a walk, her right eye was always scanning the tops of buildings and the shadows of the alleys for any sign of danger. "I have no idea what all they did to you when you underwent the procedures to make you a so called super soldier." She shrugged her shoulders, as if it didn't matter to her what had happened to him. "I believe you didn't answer my question Ethan, tell me about this job."

Ethan smiled as Vanessa expertly moved the subject back to the job he had mentioned before. Watching her from the corner of his eye, he saw how alert and focused she was: scanning the surroundings and rooftops, making little to no noise as she walked...in a soldier, all very impressive. Especially considering Ethan barely watched where he was going and her soft footfalls made his seem like a garbage compacter without any lubrication. "No, I didn't about the job...and who said I was a super soldier? I wasn't talking a job in particular....its more like an...Olympics for mercenaries. You sign up to either safeguard the delivery of a package, or to prevent that package from making its destination. It is quite lucrative....plus, I always was hoping someone could watch my back."

Vanessa Sirnos turned her eyes back on him with a look that told him: 'I am not a moron, don't be stupid.' She then turned her attention back to their walk. "An Olympics for mercs huh? That could be entertaining, I have some friends that might be interested in that." In her head she saw Lisette running circles around the other mercs. "I'm sure I could be persuaded to watch your backside." this last she said with a teasing lilt to her voice.

Ethan nodded as he walked slowly with her, "It has its merits. The more the merrier...but I wouldn't advise being on opposing teams. The games are no-holes-bared, and casualties do happen." They turned down a nice, well-lit side street that had boutiques and other high life items in their stores, all dark and ghosted by the late hour. Nessa's last comment stuck in Ethan's head until his eyes widened in surprise and he rounded on her. "You're...flirting with me, aren't you?" his particular comment could've been more suave if it wasn't nearly a full minute after she spoke, then again, Ethan wasn't exactly social savvy.

Vanessa Sirnos smiled to herself at the thought of Malik being on the opposing team, that had happened in the past a couple of times and it had never turned out good. At his sudden outburst she couldn't help but chuckle. "You just now realized I was flirting with you? That has to have happened before, look at you. I can't be the only woman on the face of the planet to want a peace of that." she arched a brow and crossed her arms in front of her with a very serious face.

The serious look on Vanessa's face confused Ethan beyond normal understanding. Typically flirtation was a sign of positive feelings, and yet her current stance was one of frustration and anger. "Yes, I did. I'm sorry if that offends you Vanessa...I am not exactly...well versed in social etiquette. My Social Interactions protocols do not do a very good job of relaying real life examples." The notion that he may have compromised some of Paladin's secrets about his programming and the super soldier program he was supposed to be denying never crossed his mind. "If you are talking about people making somewhat crude yet flattering comments...it has happened before, yet now I understand it. Oh...and what did you want a piece of, exactly?"

Vanessa Sirnos rolled her eyes in amusement, the half smile returning to her face as she reached out and took his arm once more. "Ya know, for all the brains they gave you, there is a lot of things you still don't know." She clicked her tongue and pulled him along ,forced him to walk with her. "Think on it for a moment, I'm sure it will come to you Handsome."

Ethan walked with Vanessa coiled around his arm, his own half smile to match hers. "They didn't give me brains...they gave me protocols, training manuals, firearms training. They built me to be the perfect weapon. I can fly a helicopter, you know that? I've never sat in a pilot's chair or a simulator, and I know I can fly one...but I can't dance. Or realize innuendos for sexual intercourse until minutes later." He chuckled, placing his bandaged hand on hers for a brief moment before wincing and pulling it away. "This is fun, I'm so glad I hurt my hand and broke a table to do this."

Vanessa Sirnos noticed how he winced, and was curious as to why he showed such signs of weakness. Her leg was throbbing in pain but she never let herself miss a step not did she let the pain show on her face. "So you're book smart but not life smart, how curious. Don't worry, I don't dance either. Dash keeps trying to take me clubs and raves and it never works out the way she plans. I always manage to get in a fight, who knows, maybe I do it just to make her angry." she laughed. "Well, next time perhaps you'll remember your strength and not harm yourself hmm?"

"Dash? Is that your friend you kept locking eyes with in the bar? Or some other person I haven't met?" Once again smiling at her laughter, Ethan sighed, "Perhaps I will...you'd think I'd remember after nearly 13 years of this?" He rubbed his bandaged hand, straining the pain away with tightness in his muscles of his face and neck. He could've easily willed it away...the cybernetics had its benefits...but Ethan liked the pain to a point, reminded him that he was human. It was something he didn't want to forget. "So, since you know so much about me....what did they tell you back in your unit about me...and my team members?"

Vanessa Sirnos inclined her head to his question. "Yes, that's Dash, be careful with that one, she's got an attitude." She warned him. Something off in the distance caught her attention and she turned her head slightly so her right eye could zoom in and get a better feel for it. "I never cared enough to learn more. If we had needed to work together more closely I would have taken the opportunity to learn more but I had more important things to be doing during the war."

Ethan nodded at the warning. "She seemed a little feisty from the dart game." Vanessa seemed to be mildly distracted for a moment before coming back to the conversation. "Ah, that makes sense. I guess my old identity isn't as much of a secret as it used to be. You definitely did have important things...they always rumored the number of men you save, the HVTs (high-value target) you took out. Artemis was impressive, very impressive indeed. If I only knew then was a swaying walk she had....we would probably have had more missions together." The smirk on Ethan's face flashed excitability for a moment...if she could flirt, he[/] could flirt....well, he could try anyway.

Vanessa Sirnos snorted at his words of impressive. "Oh yes, Impressive. So impressive they don't need me anymore." She heaved a soft sigh, though his flirtatious words had her coming out of her annoyed thoughts and giving him a smile as she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. She had purposefully put him on her left side so that her right eye wouldn't keep getting distracted by looking at him. "I'm glad you like the view."

Ethan sympathized with the sniper, he felt the same way sometimes. "I know how you feel. Trust me, I do. I put Elias Grove away...but you never heard that, and here I am, nursing a cut from a beer stein. Those Elven shamans nearly stabbed me straight through the chest, and I wince at a superficial cut. Soldiering is different now." Repeating her sigh softly to himself...he watched her for a moment. "So, the walk was the best plan I had so far. Would you like me to walk you home? Or we could steal a helicopter and I could fly you home...social convention states a man brings a woman home from social engagements."

Vanessa Sirnos shot him a look beneath her dark hair, when the light hit it, her unruly locks turned red. "Social convention also states that it requires I have a home to go back to now doesn't it?" she asked him, though her tone was decidedly teasing. "Although, stealing a helicopter is probably the most romantic thing anyone has ever offered to do for me." The fact that romance usually made her want to vomit went unsaid however.
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PostSubject: Re: Drinks, Deliberations, and Darts (Vanessa)(Complete)   Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 am

Ethan Kelly chuckled as Vanessa stated how stealing a helicopter might be considered romantic. "I hate to ask, but I'm not good at this whole flirting thing....but does that mean you want me to steal a helicopter? Because I'd much rather stay with you in this capacity." He smiled and patted her arm, still enveloped with his, softly. He honestly had no idea what he was doing, and based on the copyright date on his "Courting and Flirtation" protocols, he was quite outdated. Hell, he didn't even know what a "hootenanny" was, how was he supposed to find one to flirt with her at?

Vanessa Sirnos seemed to actually consider his offer for a moment and then shook her head with a soft smile. "No the fact that you offered shall remain enough, I generally save running from the authorities for the second date." well, that was only true about half the time but Nessa wasn't about to tell him that. Vanessa Sirnos wasn't exactly the typical woman, he might as well throw his flirtation protocols right out the door. "I am perfectly capable of walking the streets of this city on my own, I don't need protection."

Ethan Kelly nodded his head in acknowledgement as they walked, nearly in step with one another as they turned a corner and headed along another broad avenue that criss-crossed the sprawl of Librium. "Does this make this excursion our first date then? Or do I actually need to beat you at darts for it to count?" Laughing softly as Vanessa defended her ability to strike out on her own, he squeezed her arm just slightly. "I never said you couldn't. You were a great soldier...depending on what you do in your spare time, you're probably better than I remember. Unless, of course, this is your way of saying you'd prefer me to take my leave?" Ethan hoped not, he was getting used to this whole "flirting" thing.

Vanessa Sirnos couldn't help herself, she laughed, something she rarely ever did. "Dating was never my forte, so yes this counts." His ways were a tad old fashioned, and Vanessa liked to blow up the old fashioned. Stopping on the sidewalk, she turned to face him entirely. "I would prefer that you take me some where more comfortable and let me have my way with you, what does your programming say about that?" she asked him, turning her silvery eyes up to him, a completely serious look on her striking face.

Ethan Kelly smiled as Vanessa confirmed this being a date...he might actually be getting the hang of this. Stopping as she rounded on him, he met his blue eyes with her silver and listened to her words. His mouth gaped for a moment before he regained his composure...he didn't expect that. "In...uh...that case....Vanessa..." Not truly understanding why he stuttered while he spoke, Ethan attempted to find some semblance of continuity for his voice. "Would you like to walk or drive to my place?"

Vanessa Sirnos gave a triumphant grin as he agreed to her offer. "Whichever way you believe would be faster, I have a feeling I'm gonna be teaching you things your programming couldn't possible compensate for." She stepped up into him, pressing against the length of him as one hand came up to twirl around the collar of his jacket. "Don't keep me waiting now..."

Ethan Kelly looked at her stunning face for a moment with disbelief. "Do you really think I am some sort of robot? I don't have programming for most things...I just have reference material than most." Pressing a key fob in his pocket as she played with his collar, he smiled at her, not really knowing what to do next. He let her play with his jacket and make snarky little comments about the time as a vehicle pulled up. Ethan opened the door for her and motioned her inside, climbing in right behind her, he motioned the drive to proceed to his apartments.
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