Welcome to a city full of infinite darkness and delights. The cultures a bit different here whether you're walking on four legs or are shooting lasers from your eyes. Whether you're an unsuspecting human or a thing beyond scientific explanation there is much to explore! Step into our world of creative desires and ideas!
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Mary flipped out her white 60's sunglasses unafraid by the direction of Kelly's car. She knew enough that hunters didn't hunt other humans because that would be called being a serial killer. Which was apparently different from being a hunter, but she never used to try to understand their logic until now. She leaned back in her chair and turned around in it just in time to watch the cameras collapse. Kelly probably didn't know what an SD card was. Alik didn't seem like he was going to tell him about it so neither was she. RIP university equipment.
She motioned for Kelly to drive straight before offering a hello to Alik. She sat back against the chair again before she smirked, her gaze flicking back to Kelly, "I always loved your destructive side."
Mary's hand lifted up and turned on instinct expecting to turn the volume up on the radio before letting her hand fall to her side, "It's like I lost a limb, I swear. You'll go straight for a while by the way. And since where we're going might be overwhelming to you, I'm going to prepare you. When you pull up to the building there will be nothing else around. Tara's plushies are everywhere and unarmed. Interestingly her creations each have their own unique personality and memories, you could actually befriend one and turn it against us, they all have free will like that so try to be respectful. But just one ground rule, neither of us wander off without the other. The deal is I'll let you explore wherever you want, but please don't try to sneak off? You know how Phantom is, he's probably the only mutant that on instinct hunts humans and I mean, honestly anyone. But you'll be okay! Cause so long as you stay by me he wouldn't dare, I promise."
(Mary was me three weeks ago when I realized that everyone still led normal lives for the most part, so a lot of people must go missing on the news…)
Kelly met her gaze evenly before focusing again on the road in front of him. “I’m not really sure that’s a compliment, coming from you, but thanks anyways,” he responded. He watched warily out of the corner of his eye as she lifted a hand, but listened to her complaint.
Alik spoke up then, saying “I know what you mean.” He still hated to think about the time he was left powerless, largely because of Mary, but hey. He only held grudges against people who enslaved him and forced him to use his powers. At the mention of plushies, his eyes seemed to light up and he leaned forward to address Mary. “Would Tara let me take one?” he wondered aloud. “Actually…maybe not. I kind of destroyed a bunch of them…”
The proxy glanced between the two, letting his eyes linger on Mary. “Fine,” he told her, agreeing uncharacteristically easily to her proposal. “On an unrelated note, Alik… Keep your guard up while we’re out,” he added. Not to say he didn’t trust Mary. He was…working on it.
"Of course you can take a stuff animal, they all have different personalities though, so make sure it's one you like," Mary said, looking back at Alik with an excited smile, it brought her pride to be able to give away her products to people she knew and the plushies were definitely one of them.
When they arrived it was just as Mary described it, a place with absolutely nothing around it for miles and at some point the road had just up and vanished. When they did arrive the road returned to a smooth pavement, the toys inc building was right up ahead with a modern look and much of the walls made with glass. Outside were dozens of plushies, some wearing hard hats and others wearing lab coats walking about. One even got run over by the tires of the car before getting up, brushing itself off and continuing onto the next building it was trying to get to. It didn't come off creepy, it looked pleasant with wheelchair accessibility paths, doors that opened on their own with key cards and beautiful gardens all around.
"You can park at the front, no one really comes here except for shipments," Mary explained, "So any last commands before we step out?" Mary watched Kelly curiously, she knew he had pocketed the remote to her collar when she had walked back into the room. Her dad didn't trust her, which was annoying because he was accurate. Their first mission was going to the MDO base, but still she was hoping Kelly wasn't going to spazz out and shock her at any plushy that bumped into his leg.
Kelly took a moment to appreciate—er, survey—the area as he pulled into the parking lot. “Wow,” was all he could say for a moment, watching as the stuffed animals went on with their business. “Mental.”
Alik leaned towards the window, his face nearly pressed against the glass in awe. “This place is beautiful,” he mumbled, finally tearing his eyes away from the sentient stuffed animals and back at Mary.
“Last commands?” the proxy repeated dully, then seemed to snap out of his stupor. “Right, uh, if we run into any of the MDO members, don’t ask to talk to them in private. I don’t necessarily trust you yet enough for that.” He paused, clearly thinking it over. “That’s pretty much it other than the obvious, ‘Don’t get them to try and kill me’ or ‘Don’t run away’.” Kelly smiled wryly, then turned the car off. Opening the door, he quickly addressed Alik. “I don’t know if I want you taking a stuffed animal, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt just this once. Don’t make me regret it,” he warned.
“Only because you want one, too,” Alik deadpanned, watching Kelly judgmentally.
The proxy scoffed. “What would I even do with one of them? Now get out of the car,” he ordered, rolling his eyes as the familiar scrambled out of his seat eagerly.
"Understood and yeah I don't know if I could ever run far from you," Mary admitted with a small smile. She had thought about exit plans if she ever did want to run away. But running away from Kelly, as easy as it would be to momentarily distract him would never last long. For one there was the collar situation, but even if that wasn't a factor he was way faster than she ever would be and towered over her. It would not be difficult task to drag her back over. Although it was too bad her dad couldn't have made a disguise collar like he promised sooner. Tara was a hot head... Actually Tara was as observant as Finn, it was about 50/50 of her noticing the collar.
Mary exited the vehicle stepping onto the walk way leading up to the building. Usually she could hear the familiar clicking of her heels, but now she was stuck wearing sneakers, she had lost about six inches of her height, which made all the difference. She had suspicions that her dad didn't let her wear high heels at the base just so he wouldn't be the shortest anymore, but at the same time it was probably nice to not abuse her feet as much.
The plushies walked around the three going about their day, but all at once the plushies seemed to slowly take notice Mary's presence and began actually parting and stopping in their tracks for them to walk more easily up to the doors. A chubby blue elephant waddled over to Mary holding a clipboard thick with papers, which Mary quickly took before Kelly could take interest and take from her.
"Pen," Mary said as a pink tiger with glittery angel wings opened a small door off to the side and walked over to her with a pen. Mary signed three sheets of paper before handing it back to the elephant, "Please place these in my office, I'll be there shortly, thank-you Rainy Daisy." She placed the pen on top of the clipboard for the elephant to balance and walked up to the door and was about to hit the intercom button when the door immediately opened for her and Tara quickly shoved her inside and closed the door.
"We did it! Wow that was such an easy win!" Tara smiled brightly giving Mary a tight squeeze.
Wow, I could not even follow a single one of Kelly's rules for a minute.
"That is so thoughtful, but we're actually going to open that door for them," Mary said in a compressed voice from the tight hug.
"Oh... Okay!" Tara said letting go of Mary from her death grip and swung the door wide open , "Hi, welcome to toys inc, I'm Tara Melaina, nice to meet you," She said in her typical bubbly tone, stating her usual greeting rather than adjusting it since she knew exactly who Kelly was and had at least seen Alik around.
A few plushies could be seen crowding around a corner watching while Skylar nonchalantly stood in the center watching what was going down.
"That ones not for sale," Mary said gesturing at Skylar, "Although he wishes he was."
The entrance space was wide, all around them were sculptures of toys sculpted into the walls showing off the various different brands they had. Further down they could see a candy looking jungle theme against the walls with pink and cotton candy blue colored ivy. Tangled into the ivy were actual lollipops and surrounded in the ivy, mounted into the walls was a massive chocolate fountain on either side of the hallway with marshmallow, cereal, and fruit options, just down the hall they could make out a massive indoor tree that stretched beyond what the hunters could visibly see.
Kelly lingered a couple paces behind Mary, keeping a watchful eye on his surroundings but never letting his gaze linger on any one thing. Now that they were in the open, he couldn’t afford to be distracted by kiddie paradise, no matter how...enticing its appearance.
Meanwhile, Alik watched with a slack jaw and open-admiration. “Oh my,” he mumbled, excitedly following trails of stuffed animals and darting back to his place behind Kelly. Unlike the proxy, he couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away.
When the trio reached the door, Kelly turned to admonish his familiar, only to whirl around as Mary was tugged into the door. He rushed to wedge the thing open, but was forced to retreat lest his fingers get smashed beyond repair.
“Alik—” he started, but before he could finish his order, the door was swung right back open.
Kelly listened warily to Tara’s greeting, reluctantly allowing the tension to relax from his shoulders. Ignoring Tara entirely except to shove past her, he beckoned for Alik to follow and stood next to Mary, sending a glare her way more out of annoyance than anger. “Really?”
The familiar rolled his eyes and offered an apologetic smile at his fellow mutant. “Nice to meet you, too,” he replied to her, following Kelly before suddenly stopping in his tracks.
If he was slack-jawed before at the outside of Toys Inc., that was nothing compared to him now. He looked like a kid in, well, a toy factory. He was so speechless, in fact, that he didn’t even remember to respond to Mary.
Mary looked reluctant to apologize to Kelly again, but glanced to the side, "I'm sorry, I'm used to being powerful enough to handle any situation. I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm helpless now, but I'll walk at your side."
Since being human everything was an inconvenience. She used to have full control of her body, capable of regulating her hunger. That and while the hunters knew her for throwing objects at them with her power regularly they were extra hands. She hadn't even realized she couldn't open a bottle of water without her powers because that was how heavily she used them. The feeling was... Almost what a human would describe if they suddenly became a mutant. It didn't feel right or comfortable, like she wasn't in her own skin or at least a modified version of it.
Alik's comment made her smile, "I designed this when I was a little kid. I'm not self made though, I was left with my families entire inheritance. When I met Phantom he took over an adults body in order to do boring paperwork that I couldn't legally do at that age, it's how I have this."
"Phantom and I aren't talking," Tara said stiffly, "He infested one of my plushies."
"What?" Mary said, at first in a moment shock before almost feeling dizzy as the gravity of it weighed on her. Tara's power was almost limitless, anytime she brought a plushy to life it took a piece of her sanity. Each plushy had a piece of Tara's soul so the fact that Phantom would take over a plushy was almost equivalent to taking over part of Tara's mind. He would know that too.
"He just said that Dimple Darling Doggie was too cute to resist!" Tara exclaimed in frustration, "You should go talk some sense into him, he's by your office as usual."
Mary's stomach turned, she didn't want to say that Phantom was... A little bit different in the way that there should be a healthy amount of fear towards him. As a human it would be far more easy for him to take over her if he decided to. Most mutants had a human mental state of mind, but Phantom always had more of a primal instinct about him. At the same time she did need to get to her office. "Will do," Mary smiled.
Kelly accepted her apology with a slight nod, shoulders loosening in a way that suggested he wasn’t angry at her, and turned his accusatory glare to the next nearest moving thing, which just so happened to be a blue giraffe plush.
He half listened to Mary explain the details of her company’s creation, and he was about to ask how old “little kid” meant when Tara spoke up. He glanced between the two with poorly concealed curiosity. “I thought Phantom could only possess people? You’re telling me they can possess objects, too?”
Alik rolled his eyes at the proxy and quickly apologized on his behalf, half in defense of the plushies and half out of fear of angering Tara. “Apparently this idiot can’t tell the difference between sentient creatures and, as he so eloquently put it, ‘objects’,” he accused, laughing semi-nervously and casting a particularly rude glare in Kelly’s direction.
“I will shock you,” the proxy threatened automatically in return, already losing interest in the conversation as he sensed Mary’s sudden change in mood. She seemed more tense than before, he noted. Because of Phantom? he wondered.
He ‘accidentally’ knocked an elbow into Mary’s arm and blinked at her, as if to remind her that he was here (as much as he didn't want to be) and she was his responsibility (unfortunately).
"Well?" he prompted, arching an eyebrow. "Lead the way. The quicker we finish up here, the quicker we can leave."
Tara smiled at Alik, accepting the apology before stomping her foot angrily at Kelly’s threat, “You be nice to him, he helped you catch Mary.”
Mary rolled back her shoulders withdrawing a breath, she was in control so long as she believed she was. Walking forward she led them up a flight of stairs, the building was completely open, it was easy to see everything from all corners given that many of the offices had glass surrounding them. Upon approaching a second stairway it looked out of place, narrower than the last and the walls were closed in. It was a small set of stairs that led up to what looked like a hallway. The stairs were covered in mud and grass like someone cleaned up after the mess on the second floor, but hesitated to clean up whatever was ahead.
Stepping up the stairs there was the sound of something being dragged across the floor. Staying true to her word she walked in pace with Kelly, but when they both rounded the corner they could see an entire hallway of bodies slouched over leading to the doors of her office. Mary let out a gasp that could have been confused for fear, but it was immediately followed with, “PHANTOM STRIDER, have you been hoarding hive members again?”
The slumped over bodies suddenly stirred standing up right, almost like marionettes, their heads still rolled to the side as their bodies got up stiffly. “Mary?” each lifeless looking person spoke in a wobbly whispered tone. Almost like a set of soldiers they all stiffened standing up straight as each backed up against the sides of the wall.
Mary lifted the hand of one of the hive members, their nails were long and when she let go of their hand it flopped back to their side. “You’ve gotten more control over your hive since I’ve been gone,” She observed before looking back at Kelly to make sure he hadn’t lost his nerve yet.
Alik cast a smug glance in Kelly’s direction in response to Tara’s defense as if to say ‘This is how you make friends, not...whatever you’re doing.’ His expression quickly morphed into one of confusion as he followed his gaze to the giraffe plushie, and then to his more common look of exasperation at the older hunter.
He followed the group up the stairs, still giving the place his cursory look of awe although the feeling quickly faded at the sight of the bodies. He almost made the mistake of asking, but was thankfully interrupted by Mary. Hive members…? Cool.
Kelly was very unnerved, but he met Mary’s glance with a slight tilt of his head indicating he was fine. He'd seen some pretty weird things in his time as a hunter, but Phantom was definitely on the upper end of that scale.
"Yes," The bodies said, standing up fully with the same sideways smile, "They don't talk back to me as much anymore, plus my friends joined the collective!"
"Your vampire friends? I thought you liked hunting with them?" Mary asked cautiously.
"I did! But then I realized that they would be happier as a collective. Now they're never hungry and they fight in unison effectively. They live very good lives, happier ones then before," Phantom promised Mary as his chosen puppet walked over to hold her hands, but the moment he touched her he stiffened. Leaning uncomfortably close to her face he peered into her eyes, "You're different now," his eyes flashed to Kelly almost like he was trying to compare two things before staring back at Mary, "You're a human now," He said lifting her hand with curiosity before smiling with sincere excitement, "Aren't they the greatest? I just want to be them all," He said, his eyes turning to Kelly with interest, yet his head never turned to him.
"Hey!" Mary said snapping her fingers at Phantom.
"I wasn't..." Phantom pouted.
"Yeah you were," Mary said tauntingly, "Listen, your bodies your choice, but to me, it seems pretty lonely if you don't give them freedom of will and I don't think they like lying on the ground like when I found them," She said stepping past Phantom and guiding Alik and Kelly into her office. Inside the room was small, but the ceiling was incredibly high. There was a fire place with a big rug and a large wooden desk on the other side with a few cabinets behind it. Picking up a brief case with a big bow on the front of it she began stuffing binders, files, and albums into it.
Phantom drummed his fingers against the door eyeing Kelly, "So have you ever been interested in joining a community of like minded individuals?"
Kelly and Alik slowly exchanged a freaked out glance as the conversation between Phantom and Mary continued. Alik shrugged, and Kelly turned back in time to see one of the hive members’ eyes flick to him.
“Uh uh, no way. Don’t even think about it, with any of your minds,” Kelly said, his nose crinkling in disgust at the thought of being turned into one of them.
Alik leaned over to whisper to him, “I don’t think that’s how a hive mind works. It’s not plural.”
The proxy shot a glare at him, then sidestepped past Phantom to follow Mary into the office. Alik reluctantly followed, thanking fate that he wasn’t technically human and that the hive mind didn’t seem interested in recruiting him.
Kelly quickly made himself at home in the small space, leaning against the desk since there weren’t any other seating options and reading whatever he could over Mary’s shoulder. He didn’t even look up at Phantom’s question.
“Oh absolutely,” he responded distractedly. “How do you think I got to where I am today, fighting freaks of nature like you?”
Alik glared at him, but the proxy paid him no mind. Idly the aerokinetic mutant wondered how the man had survived this long with such a crappy sense of self-preservation.
One of the binders in particular that Mary had grabbed was labeled Hunter Records while most loose files seemed to be important documents that needed to be held onto. Inside the binder there was a thick history of past and current hunters with either photos taken from afar or in most cases taken off of social media pages. Each profile was detailed right down to what hand they were dominant in to their weaknesses such as allergies or unable to detect someone's presence quickly. But Kelly's view of the documents was immediately disrupted as she placed another binder down, this one labeled mutants, most likely with the same useful information
Phantom gasped at Kelly's comment, "Really!?"
"Is that what you count as permission?" Mary asked Phantom as she pulled out a few curled up blueprints that she couldn't fit in and placed it onto the desk before lowering herself more to look through more drawers before looking satisfied. Sitting back down she leaned across her desk with her same pretty please smile at Kelly, "Hey Kells, can we stay a wittle longer? Pleeeease? I just want to see Sivik before I leave," She said, dragging her finger over the mutant binder and pulling it back towards her and away from Kelly's prying gaze.
Kelly’s eyes flicked to Phantom, narrowing into a glare at their exclamation. “No,” he snapped at the same time Mary asked, “Is that what you count as permission?”
Alik shook his head in disbelief at the hunter, asking himself how the proxy hadn’t seen it coming, before walking over to the table curiously to see if he’d be able to read anything before Kelly stopped him. The answer was no.
At Mary’s question, Kelly made a face of disgust. “Um, no,” he answered immediately, not even pretending to think it over as he ignored Alik trying to break out of the hold he had on his collar. “This isn’t a social outing—we got what we needed, and now we leave,” he continued, finally letting go of Alik’s collar as the familiar made a panicked, half-choked sound.
“What is...wrong with you?” the aerokinetic mutant gasped, rubbing his throat and glaring through watering eyes at the proxy.
“Oh stop being dramatic. Next time maybe don’t try to read classified information directly in front of me,” Kelly suggested, crossing his arms and standing as he prepared to leave.
"Kelly," Mary said sternly, but her voice remained even despite the warning in her tone. Her gaze flicked back to Alik with a worried expression. She used to be able to defend Alik in moments or really, she could protect anyone, but now all she had was her voice... Well that and her taser ribbon wand that the hunters didn't know about. "It's fine though, I brought out the profiles as a present to you, Kelly. The mutant ones are for the fire, but since you're curious..." Mary reached into the supernatural binder retrieving Alik's profile and pushed it towards him.
Alik's Profile First Name: Alik Last Name: Unknown Power: Wind Manipulation || Level 4 Likability: - Curious nature - Peaceful mindset - Interest in learning
Danger - Is Kelly's familiar - He can create his own pressure of airflow at will - Is an elemental type
Notes - Unlikely to chase after you - Seems resistant to obeying commands - Likely needs focus to perform at his best - Does not have the training needed to get past a level 5 threat
"We moved to an online database, so my gift to you Kelly is knowing how much we know. A gift to display my gratitude for today, if you two have any questions about you can talk to me," Mary said before throwing the rest of the supernatural documents to the flames in the fireplace, but hung onto the hunter profiles for the time being. After all if anything were to go wrong Kelly would need his hands free and by the way Phantom was looking at him he might need that. Mary led Kelly and Alik back out the door and to the stairs before looking back at Phantom, "And Phantom, Tara's plushies are off limits."
"They are free!" Phantom whined, gesturing to a crowd of plushies that all seemed to be off their work break, enthusiastically chattering with tiny squeaks.
"Fix it," Mary said, tossing her long blond hair back before stepping down the staircase. She was already down the stairs, but Kelly and Alik would be able to see one of the cream and coffee puppy plushies lean forward and tear off one of the flower crown cat plushies ears. The flower crown cat plushy began to squeak in terror as the other plushies dropped their files and papers in a panic. The hive mind plushy tore open its own mouth, the fabric flesh hanging on just by the seams as it seemed to secrete some kind of dark cotton candy textured substance into the plush, infecting the rest of its stuffing with the cotton sticky material. It shivered before straightening up before the two descended on the rest of the plushy crowd to infect them too.
Phantom had stopped at the stairs, watching Mary go down before turning his head to give an icy stare to Kelly and Alik, one with a clear message for them to say nothing.
Kelly narrowed his eyes as Mary pushed a file to Alik, but ultimately decided not to comment on it. He could read the name from where he was, and he figured the mutant couldn’t do much harm with his own file.
Alik tilted his head at Mary in a gesture of thanks, quickly turning his attention to the folder. It was odd to see information about himself laid out in front of him, but at the same time he couldn’t help but admire how neat the notes were. I want to see Kelly’s ‘likability’ section, he thought to himself, stifling a laugh at the thought. He only looked up from the folder at Kelly’s muffled sound of protest as Mary threw a stack of them into the fire.
“I don’t see why you’d keep those if you’ve moved to an online database,” he grumbled mostly to himself, begrudgingly following Mary out the door and pretending to ignore the exchange between Mary and Phantom.
He paused behind the latter as nearby motion caught his eye, zeroing in on the plushie apocalypse not too far away.
Alik followed his gaze, expression morphing into one of horror as the plushies struggled to escape threat of infection. He turned to glare accusingly at the hive mind, only to falter somewhat at their steely gaze. He couldn’t recall ever seeing the entity with such a serious expression and he hesitantly looked to Kelly to gauge the hunter’s reaction, only to find him meeting Phantom’s unrelenting stare.
After a moment Kelly brushed past them and began to follow Mary down the stairs, clearly not keen on starting a fight over a bunch of, what he viewed as, unimportant stuffed animals. Alik, however, had other plans, despite the warning look Kelly had given him on the way down.
With reckless abandon he ran over to the plushies and punted the nearest infected one into a window, then covered his hand with his hoodie sleeve and picked up the other one. After a moment of deliberation he threw it into the first, knocking it back over before it could finish getting up.
With that he began scooping up as many of the terrified plushies as possible, only whirling around to face Phantom with a defiant look when he was sure they were relatively safe. He tried to ignore how he probably appeared with two armfuls of plushies and one trying to climb on his head.
“Alik, what are you doing?” the proxy demanded loudly, having retreated back up the steps when he realized his familiar hadn’t followed.
“Saving them,” the mutant replied, determinedly stubborn.
"Scary," Phantom replied, but unlike Alik's stare, Phantom stared right through the mutant, like he was nothing, non existent. "You stare at me like a hunter would, that accusatory look, like I'm a monster. I bet you find your power to be beautiful, you would love to use it whenever you want, for your own purposes, don't you?" He moved closer to Alik and as he did Alik and Kelly could tell that this human was he had was damaged. Almost like a child's beloved teddybear, abused over time, but never let go of or cleaned enough. "That's all I want, to be able to use my power, whenever I want, for the purpose I want. Why are my wants identical to yours, yet mine are evil enough to make you stare at me so defiantly like what I'm doing is awful?"
Mary had watched Kelly go back up the stairs when Alik hadn't followed after them and waited at the bottom of the steps. However after a few moments past she leaned over, looking up the stairs, but couldn't see past the door. "I swear if Phantom took over Kelly and Alik I am going to be the only twenty year old that gets grounded into my forties..." She mumbled under her breath as she walked back up the stairs finding Kelly staring at Alik with an annoyed expression, while Alik stared down Phantom stubbornly, and Phantom seemed to be returning the same stubborn look.
"Uhh, did something happen?" Mary asked cautiously.
"Alik and I were just talking," Phantom said casually.
Alik refused to back down, keeping up his glare despite every atom of his being wanting to concede so he could leave. “I don’t use my powers to needlessly injure or kill others,” he hissed, a warning current of wind sweeping through the room and parting around him so none of the plushies risked being dislodged.
“Mary said you’ve learned to exert more control over your hosts. That means you can choose to return their will to them, their lives. Instead you use and destroy them like they’re...I don’t know, batteries! That is what makes you a monster, not your power,” he responded, his voice low as if the weight of his anger was the reason for it.
Both he and Kelly broke their respective glares when Mary spoke up, the former of which quickly responding with “Nothing important,” at the same time as Phantom replied.
Alik, relieved not to be locked in a staring match with the hive mind anymore, only mumbled his agreement as he waited for everyone to head down the stairs again. There was no way he’d be turning his back to Phantom, or Kelly, while he was at it.
"Alright, then see you around, Strider," Mary smiled at before turning around to the stairs once more.
"Hey Mary," Phantom called back out to her, "Everything's going to be okay. You always told us that and you should feel comforted too. See you around hunters, miss Hel," Phantom said watching them as Mary guided them down the stairs.
"Sooo, you taking all those fellas home?" Mary asked, looking at the giant armful of plushies Alik was carrying with him. She led them down the same route they came in, but stopped at one of the break rooms, "I can grab us some water bottles for the hunt and anything else you want you can grab," She offered. Opening up the door, the breakroom had a cozy feeling with a wooden kitchen layout, small cafè tables and an icecream parlor in the back. The kitchen area had an assortment of snacks such as cereal dispensers and some crackers and homemade ricekrispies. In the fridge were largely fruits and vegetables, a surprisingly healthy selection given that some of the walls in the building had literal fountains of chocolate coming out from them.
Alik begrudgingly followed after the group when it seemed apparent Phantom wasn’t coming with them, something for which he was both relieved and cautious of. ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,’ he thought the saying went. Before taking the first step he paused one last time to look at the hive mind, several emotions flickering across his face.
He decided against saying anything else, instead quickly joining the others at the bottom of the steps. At Mary’s question he glanced up in confusion, before realizing he still had all the plushies. Looking around to check that the coast was clear, he crouched and let them down with a small frown. “I don’t have anywhere they can stay,” he explained, standing back up to face Mary again.
“Thank God, there was no way I was letting you walk out of here with those,” Kelly mumbled, waiting until Mary wasn’t looking to shoot Alik a steely glare. It was one that clearly meant, ‘we need to talk later’.
With that out of the way, he followed Mary into the breakroom and stood off to the side, not trusting himself to eat any of the food in case someone like Phantom had spiked it. Alik clearly didn’t have any of those reservations, immediately heading for the ricekrispies and sparing a curious glance at the ice cream parlor on his way over, before suddenly backtracking several paces and looking at the ice cream parlor again.
If it weren’t for the shock of blue partially obscured behind some books, he would’ve completely missed the person fast asleep at one of the tables. He glanced back at Kelly, checking that the proxy hadn’t noticed yet, then slowly crept over to the mutant’s table. When he got there, he stood awkwardly for a moment, then cautiously reached a hand out to tap the blue-haired man’s shoulder.
In the time it took for him to blink Sivik had him completely pinned, one arm looped around his throat and the curve of a spoon poised less than an inch from his eye. “Leave Mary here and get lost, or Alik loses an eye,” the mutant threatened, his voice somewhat raspy, indicating that he had just woken up.