please do not post if you are not Edera or Popee The Performer! feel free to watch, however :)
Each character in the story has a significant amount of financial debt. Whether it be from fraud, medical bills, or anything down the line of gambling, each of these unlucky souls recieved a sort of "invitation" one day. These "invitations" were posted up as advertisements around the city, were sent through digital means, and those who have no phones recieved the advertisement through a messenger/scout.
1. HeinoAliona - Male - Cocky, egotistical, hard to please - Scrawny, tall, olive skin tone - Construction worker - Roughly 35
2. Kyou Jun'ichi - Demi-girl - Confident, ambitious, selfish - A bit shorter than average, tan skin, choppy back-length hair, Japanese - High school student - 17
3. Calleen Drew - Female - Patient, introverted, empathetic - Pudgy, pale skin, curly brown hair and eyes - At-home mother - 43
4. Solomon Ponce - Male - Agreeable, open, cooperative - Stocky build, average height, dark skin - 67
6. Ember Pike - Female - Efficent, responsible, philosophical - A tad chubby, light skin, green eyes - Professor - 40
7. Garrett Walters - Male - Neurotic, anxious, impulsive - Average height, looms forward, tanned - Unemployed - 25
8. Caio Koch - Androgynous -
"Oh! I love pens! They're my favorite thing to take apart."
[ pronunciation ]
[ Jeremiah = God is high ]
[ Hiep = Unknown ]
[ age ]
[ September 2nd ]
[ pronouns ]
[ sexuality ]
[ job ]
Crime Scene Investigator
[ personality ]
Offbeat - Clumsy - Perceptive
Jeremiah has always been demure and kept to himself. He is very much an outsider to others, being very awkward in conversation and unable to notice social cues. He can be polite if he fakes it, but otherwise, he has no control over what he says and ends up starting a lot of fights because of it. If you're wearing an ugly sweater, he'll point it out. He is completely unable to lie, the same with acting, unless he is forced into doing so, but you'll get something half-assed. Jeremiah is also impulsive, but it depends on the situation. If there is something that he wants to do on a whim that he knows is stupid, he's unlikely to do it. If he's told to do it by something else, you better grab your popcorn and video recorder and set up a place to watch. This makes him a prime candidate for manipulation, since he is an easy target and tends to fall into any prank.
He's actually very quiet and refuses to talk with anyone he isn't familiar with. Jeremiah probably has Selective Mutism, but he neglects to get diagnoses and it goes away easily after the first few times of interacting with someone. He was never taught how to act in conversation, and it's the most obvious thing about him Jeremiah still tries his best, however sometimes it's doesn't even come close to wonted. Besides his eerie mannerisms, his way of speech is usually garbled and warped. He sounds like a mixture of Yoda and Shakespeare when talking, resulting in some very odd conversations. Besides that, most of the time he can be caught just talking to himself out loud as if it was any other normal conversation.
Jeremiah is on the edge of unstable, if not considered that already, because of his quick-changing emotions and temper. Being around him is like always being on edge, since his next action is unknown. Even if he seems like a sweet character, he's usually detached from the conversation and lacks a good deal of visible empathy. Although he seems quite unaware of his surroundings and of those around him (allowing him to come off as 'not the sharpest tool in the shed') he still has a hyper-awareness factor that is hidden below the surface. Along with this, Jeremiah is also quite intelligent, despite his very childlike personality and inability to recognize others' emotions. He can devise a plan in what seems like a split second, when it really had just been stored in the back of his mind for times of use. He can easily recognize when something can possibly turn into a bigger situation, and always creates a last minute plan just in case he needs to use it. This includes what he says in conversation, how he acts, ect.
Jeremiah's not completely void inside, though. He's as loyal as a dog once he's let his guard down, which has lead to him being easily manipulated in the past. Being his friend is kind of a dangerous game, since he'll obey your every word but his annoyance and anger is built up overtime, leading to a volcano of emotion. When Jeremiah's anger has boiled up to the point of it letting loose, it's something close to an eight year old's tantrum. He can't seem to get a grip on his emotions, and usually lets them roam at will. His mannerisms depending on his moods are quite unusual as well. He is seen pulling out his hair when he's stressed, angry, or in those rare moments where he's melancholy. It's his go-to tic, though every now and then he can be caught scratching the skin off around his knuckles. It's a bad habit, yes, but it was never like he was taught better.
Jeremiah's autism has generated a special interest with the circle of life, especially concerning what happens afterwards--death. It's the entire reason for his choice to become a crime scene investigator, and he's actually very good at it. He managed to finish school a year early with online classes and tutoring, and he would go back to take more classes if he had the funds. He personally isn't keen on working with the police, due to a small fear of them, but he likes his job and he likes having an answer to give to grieving families. His savantism is the reason for his incredible solve rate. Give him an incredibly vague murder story, he'll most likelysolve it. It's really incredible, and he's made a bit of a name for himself on the task force.
[ appearance ]
Jeremiah is the living embodiment of the balance between "fit" and "malnourished." He’s a tad bit underweight but still with a good bit of muscle on his arms. His skin is warm ivory color with a beige sort of glow to it. His skin is pretty clear, despite a few scars every here and there. The largest cicatrix on him is a thin, lengthy scar going down the side of his left forearm. It’s an unusual peachy color, emphasizing the fact that it was sure a painful wound when he had gotten it, otherwise it would’ve been just a shade lighter than the rest of his skin. He doesn’t even really try to hide it and marks it off as a childhood memory, in which it practically is, but with a deeper meaning underneath it. It stretches down a few inches from below his wrist to the crease of his elbow.
Jeremiah stands at 5’10, though can seem a few inches shorter because of his consistent slouch and just all-around bad posture. Even in chairs with straight backs will he find a weirder way to sit, just causing even more problems for his back. Other than that, he’s of a pretty average height and is at least glad he’s taller than most females he’s met in his small amount of social life. He can become jealous when he meets someone taller, especially if it's a woman. Jeremiah knows he's considered tall, but has never felt comfortable with the way he looks and is very self conscious.
Believe it or not, he can throw a mean punch. He grew up being the fighting-type of kid, because of how often rude things would fall out of his mouth and the situation would spiral into a bloody brawl. He's got a surgical scar on his stomach from the ER, right after he got himself into a fight and had internal bleeding. Jeremiah also has a slightly crooked jaw, also from another extremely painful punch that offset it. His fighting skills are a bit terrifying when they come into play, considering he's just a walking nerdy sweater with the sweetest personality ever.
His eyes are glintless but have an unusual faded ring of blue around the pupils. Jeremiah's hair is jet black as well and is tussled to the side. He tends to wear "nice" clothing, his favorite outfit being a baby blue sweater, a button-up shirt underneath, and a pair of tan dress pants. His work requires that he wear mainly solid black or white colors underneath his scrubs, so that's what the majority of his closet looks like. He has many more sets in his closet and his car. He actually has a pair of thin-framed rectangular glasses that he wears to work, but otherwise, he puts in contacts.
[ hobbies ]
- Touring morgues. Jeremiah enjoys the eerie solemness of morgues, and enjoys being a helping hand around there for the embalmers. He finds it helps him with his job as a coroner, though one day he'd like to be able to be an mortician. He has a good bit of knowledge on mortuary science, having a degree in it an all, but before he'd get a job at a funeral, he at least wants some bigger education in the medical field.
- Organizing. Jeremiah's a kook for organized lists, rooms, and a life overall. His apartment looks like a neat freak lives there, since everything is sorted down to the very pieces of dust. If the slightest thing is out of place, he'll go into a frenzy and see what else has been moved. This is all ignoring his messy appearance, for which he couldn't care less about.
[ education ]
Associate's degree in Mortuary Science
Bachelor's degree in Forensic Science
[ pets ]
Huyen / Cat / ??? / Black
[ It's not actually his cat, just a stray that lives around his apartment and feeds. ]
[ likes ]
- The ocean and large bodies of water. He finds the scenery oddly soothing and an immediate chill pill. There's no feeling like a picnic out by the pond, watching the sun set over a bronzing reflection, or even a day of just fishing and doing nothing else. The only thing that prevents him from fully loving water is the fact he doesn't know how to swim. He was taught once, but that ended up pretty horribly.
- Sundown scenery. Despite being drawn to darker colors, he loves fiery ones like oranges, yellows, and warm reds. He also likes just watch the sun go down because it signals the arrival of night, a long moment of time where he has all of this peace to himself. Jeremiah tends to collect lots of postcards of sunsets or sunrises, just because.
[ fears ]
- Jeremiah has Aphenphosmphobia, the fear of being touched. He can handle a pat on the back or shaking someone's hand, but hugs and being uncomfortably close to another person gives him unexplainable anxiety. If it is someone he's comfortable with, such as a love interest, family member or close friend, he'll have no problem giving affection. But more distant friends and acquaintances have a major trouble getting within even three feet of him. Jeremiah will just step back and continue to do so.
- Jeremiah's other fear is Hemophobia, the fear of blood. The terror in his eyes when he sees blood is much more overwhelming than the aforementioned one. He simply cannot stand the sight, causing either a recoil or just for him to completely shut down. There's no telling where this came from.
[ mannerisms ]
- When Jeremiah is troubled or anything close to that, his immediate response is to start pulling out his hair. It's not a physical response he willingly controls, and rather just lets his body take over for him in that instant.
- Jeremiah also has the habit of bringing his hands to his face and just putting his palms on his cheeks. He feels it's a good way to calm himself down, and if someone close to him is troubled of sorts, he'll usually bring their hands up to their face and rest them there until they keep them there themselves.
- Jeremiah's most noticeable and most heavily relied on mannerism is the fact he talks to himself and to other things around him. He could be talking to a mirror for hours and not even be in the slightest bit bored. Hell, it's probably and incredibly deep conversation about life he's having with himself. There's no telling what he's saying most of the time, as he tends to fluctuate between Vietnamese and English, and also mash the words together.
[ intelligence ]
[ Jeremiah's intelligence is undoubtedly above the average, but mainly only in problem solving and plan-making. He usually sticks with the first idea that pops into his head, which on rare occasion, is actually helpful. Next to that, his mind is most often clouded and without thought. Jeremiah's childlike traits can easily cover up his intelligence, especially with the erratic changes in emotions he present. ]
[ social ]
[ Jeremiah's social skills aren't the best, but aren't the worst either. he can spark up a conversation without hesitance, though it tends to crash and burn in the end. His ability to know when or when not to speak is lacking but he is at least good with recognizing social cues. Jeremiah can at least try to initiate interest in what the other is saying, and most of the time, actually works. He mainly just asks questions to keep the conversation going. ]
[ strength ]
[ Jeremiah is pretty average when it comes to how much strength the average man has. He has never been particularly interested in upping his ante when it comes to working out or anything muscle related. He's pretty content with his body currently, and makes sure to eat well despite the lack of exercise. The most he can lift is probably a little over his body weight, that being with his back thrown into it. ]
[ nurturing ]
[ Jeremiah just can't seem to get a grip on what the word "consolation" means. He's extremely uncomfortable when he's around someone who's crying, mad, or frustrated, as he doesn't know what to do at all. The most he can is give them a hug and physical affection, but his knowledge on helping one who isn't in their right mind stops there. If he were to open his mouth and try to soothe them, his attempts would fail miserably. ]
Edited at October 11, 2021 10:53 PM by Popee The Performer
Attenuate, dark brown hair falls in soft waves down the sides of his face, just below his chin. Styled similar to that of curtain bangs. In the right shaft of light, his head can seem nothing but a cap of auburn flames. Yuriah has a hooded shape of the eye, an iris devoured entirely in a captivating dark green. And beneath his lower eyelids resides faint but still evident bags, an appearance which makes him seem more tired than what he actually feels. His lashes are short, but they do not fall straight. They curl delicately above and below, thin and hard to see. But at least they’re there right? With a thick, s-shaped brow to boot, the man has appreciative features, something that he can at times take for granted. He has wide ears, the tips pushing through his locks at times, well-- all the time.
Yuriah has warm beige skin, smooth but not unblemished. He has a few common moles on the left side of his neck and shoulder, like an array of dark dots. He has slightly plump, downturned lips. Inside his mouth, canines which can be deemed sharper than usual. The man doesn’t have any “pearly whites” His teeth are tinted a visible yellow, faint in appearance but over all, a natural color. Frankly, he doesn’t understand how one can have perfectly dove pale teeth-hmph. Yuriah’s head can resemble that of a rectangle; a cutting jaw which holds dark stubble, all along his chin and top lip. Its slightly faded but still present nonetheless. Some of it trails subtly down to the top of his neck, and..it's spiky, not good for cuddling.
The man had a straight nose. Emphasis on “had.” Now it's crooked, though not dramatically, it can seem noticeable when close enough to the face. The end is raised just a bit, the bridge long and firm. Yuriah has an adams apple, something that bobs softly whenever he speaks or swallows. When he smiles, a simple smile, his mouth tends to stretch particularly wide, almost in a peculiar manner. Similar to what one would wear in a moment of crazed desperation. But not to worry, it's harmless. Yuriah has a muscular physique, broad shoulders, thick thighs, an okay, four pack of abs..-Though its not all that defined, a softer version one could call it. When tense, streaks of protruding veins make a quick appearance throughout his forearm and knuckles. His chest is slightly elevated, small hairs swirled lucidly atop and above.
Yuriah has a prominent v-line, as well as a slightly curved waist, but nothing more than that. The man has a height of 6’0, nothing impressive, and nothing small. Yuriah has a relaxed, pliant gait. The type of walk where he sways his arms carelessly with each step. Long strides which are quick and smooth, but not effortless. There are more than enough times where he’s stumbled over nothing but air, clumsily lifting his feet from a puddle he’s trudged in absentmindedly.
He has nails, clipped short and polished in sleek black paint, well his index finger and thumb at least. One thing that might never change about Yuriah would probably be his scent. A refreshing smell of wintry breeze and a cordial, fragrant spray of slight blossoms. It's not sourced from any average cologne, but something homemade, a “family recipe” of sorts. And he’ll gate-keep it however long he feels. Hah. At times, Yuriah will have his hair tied in a minnie ponytail or bun, maybe even slicked back--just to appear well-kept. He most certainly cares for what he wears. One will never find the man looking like a mess. Yuriah is nearsighted, unfortunately. So whenever something from afar captures his attention, he’ll almost always have a pair of circular glasses on hand, put on briefly for the sake of his own sight; and any headaches, should they appear.
He has only one, a small scar behind his ear. Boring right?
His left ear is pierced. The lobe and a helix piercing. A specific silver in color and rather simplistic.
Yuriah has an ass tat. An embarrassing image of kermit the frog that he had committed himself to in his idiotic youth. He wishes to rid himself of it soon.
His voice is sort of deep but youthful.--Could be described as boyish. It’s slightly raspy as well, like he needs to clear his throat.
Yuriah prefers baggier clothing. Graphic tees, simple jeans, ripped jeans, large puffy jackets..Thats more so his style, a factor would be the comfiness, and the main reason would be that he sweats, like a lot.
A good smile
His mother and father abandoned him and then died, and then abandoned him again as ghosts when he was a boy because they thought he was a cursed child. He was then passed onto his uncle who was an alcoholic and would neglect him when it came to parental duties. He had no friends and had a blue eye which would glow whenever he got mad. The rest of his family is dead including his older sister who died trying to save him from his own immense, huge, undefeatable power. He scared everyone away and is now a sad loner. His other eye gets red when he gets really sad..
Mom-Eleanore Wilstone, a strict but polite woman
Dad-Kyle Wilstone, an arrogant but kind man
Sister-Naudia Wilstone, a clever, prissy brat
They all broke
Naudia will sort of be my second character. But she’ll be described and stuff in the rp.
“So you’re up for it.” It was more of a statement than an inquiry, like the initiator was merely authentifying rather than questioning. Which was true. He was. Sat on dusty concrete, pressed comfortably against a neighboring presence, there came a soothing sort of breeze, passing by their ankles and ruffling their pants leg in a refreshing sitting. She cocked her head at him expectantly, shoving her hands in the fuzzy pockets of her jacket, all the while a graceless grin would wrinkle her rose brushed cheeks. “That way if you get picked off too easily, there’ll be another Wilstone to secure our chances. You always gotta have back up.” The soft utterance of an insult had not gone unheard, but if anything solely focused on. His ears had perked, eyes slanting into a look of ambiguity. “Dummy huh? Can you not go one day without slandering your big brother?”I shouldn’t be allowing this..Naudia thrown into this crazed loop..But, I can’t muster up the feeling to properly care.Was he a bad brother? Had he become so blinded by his desire, his hunger for riches that he’d let his sister put herself in harm's way? --A scoff that was supposed to be inward, silenced and suppressed within his mumbling thoughts, extracted itself from his lips, presented in a small puff of visible cool air.
A chilly pair of eyes locked onto his peripheral, enticing an uneasy stiffen to shape his slumped physique. But there was no contradiction. The movement helped, for his ass had begun to feel numb, pressed heavily against the hard, cold cement; on the very edge of a curb in which the dark road stretched what seemed to be infinitely past. Naudia grumbled lowly, crashing a swift fist against her palm. “Scoff at me again and I’ll jump on your back and put you in a chokehold!” He knew she was serious. Nothing that falls from that rotten mouth is a joke after all, and if so, it’d be humorless, void of any evicting laughter whatsoever. It's why he feels the need to coach her. Provide information on the funny and not funny, you know, keep her up to date.. But she’s hopeless, thus why he had long ago given up.- Devising brief lessons on humor with uncertainty, and mostly on impulse.. “And you think a weakling like you can accomplish such a feat?” Yuriah jeered, his knuckles crackling in a satisfying pop with the additional pressure of his hand. He knew how this would go, for their brawls were not few and far between.
There was a sudden, but then again not so sudden weight which slammed against his back, slender fingers hooking roughly into his wind tousled hair, and then finally, skinny legs clamped tightly around his waist. But he didn’t give her the chance to shoot her arms across his neck; standing albeit a bit wobbly with her aggressive wave of the body, but nonetheless seizing her thin elbows in his clutch, an irascible chuckle pressed ruthlessly throughout his throat. If this fight had been in the comfort of their own home, he wouldn’ve dipped his head forward and slammed her on the couch, mercilessly twisting her arm so as to keep her from diving at him again, but it wasn’t. In fact, he could almost taste the questioning looks the both of them were collecting like eager children would do on an easter morning. But he didn’t care. And by her fierce cry, neither did Naudia.
“If you get to scratch, I get to punch you in the face.” Puffed the victor, his green glazed eyes inspecting the small slicings of his arms with a wary spark. The thick fabric of his jacket had been rolled up past his elbows, and his body jostled softly with each long stride he took down the sidewalk, his sister in obvious tow. She muttered a response, coating her chapped lips in stored saliva, though it had quickly dried in the glacial air, leaving nothing but her lengthy locks to tickle her parting mouth. “I’d like to see you try.” And there, their carefree vigil would finally come to an end, for the crisp buzz which rumbled softly in the both of their pockets had decided it. The siblings cast each other a look, but only one reached in to grab the vibrating phone. And after a quick, flighty scan, Yuriah would raise his eyes, snapping the device shut concurrently to a nervous exhale blown between o shaped lips. “Let's go get ready.” And there would be a breath and a sharp inhale at the same time. Their uneasy words left unsaid..for they already knew. Oh yes they knew.
Yuriah’s hand came down hard against his left thigh, inconspicuously keeping his limbs from sloshing away like shaken jelly. His clothing was something else entirely now, a long sleeved shirt detailed in uncolored, thorny vines which wrapped meticulously across the arms. The base a milky white in color. And he wore a washed out pair of blue shorts, chunky in size. The man's hair had been curled delicately along his face, long slim bangs accompanied by the rest of his slick, slightly waved locks. Thick dark straps were pinned flatly across his chest and shoulders, the backpack which only fools would think was an accessory, had been weighted with an assortment of objects and materials he would be sure to put to good use. His feet were sheathed in tight white socks, openly visible due to the weathered down slides that were slid upon them, perhaps a poor choice in shoe wear. Why waste my sneakers? The justifications would be cut short, for the front door had swung open with a soft jingle, and from there, Naudia pranced cheerily from the glowing gas station, the building casting almost eerie shadows upon his gaunt expression. Knuckles pressed quick against his lips, pursed in the almost euphoric presence which had a body dressed in dull green sweats. “What's with the act?”
“If you're scared, just say that.” She snapped, tossing her shabby looking braid behind her inflated head. Their light brown skin was readily illuminated by the streetlamps they had passed, flickering in a manner that resembled his increasing doubt. Perhaps this was all a sham. A trick to gather all the desperate fools and have a merry laugh at their ridiculous preparation. His suggestion of retreat had almost passed his chilled lips, brows furrowing in mild contempt, but not before a shaded blue car tumbled down the street, screeching to a swift halt that had the frail wisps of his hair blowing softly against his eyes. He knew this was their ride. Either that, or he had misunderstood and was now in the process of becoming a missing persons case. They’d find out soon enough. Yuriah crawled into the backseat with a small huff, clenching his fists with rattling unease. Once Naudia’s body knocked into his and the car door slammed shut, the ride veered off. He had tried to lock eyes with their chauffeur a number of times but instead got small, unsatisfying glimpses of their pale ivory flesh which would flash at the edge of the wheel every now and then, turning sharp corners or gyrating the car in a rocking motion. Still, he eagerly digested every piece of information, memorizing every detail of the car as if it was second nature.
“Spooky, huh.” His sister brazenly commented, her voice hushed and low. He knew what she was referring to..after all, his gaze had been latched onto the person's movements for a while, occupying his aimless stare because of the night's clouding. He left his sibling unanswered, the car's headlights milking away at the obscuring darkness, gradually revealing the large warehouse that they had begun to pull into. He took the lead, hopping out of the vehicle with the rusted walls encompassing his frame, his vision blurred with the black night which had worsened when the entrance had scrolled down with a tired bang. For a moment, it was silent. And then the next, the lights shot on in each tall bulb, beaming down on his tight-lipped expression. --A soft voice would echo about the walls, almost soothing to the ears. “Please make your way to the doors.”
And as soon as they pushed through, a team of unfamiliar faces flocked their sides. Plenty hands hooked swiftly onto his left arm, and Naudia was dragged away by her right. Smoothly, they were cracked apart, but none looked too worried..If this frightened them then they’d have no place here. They both knew that. Yuriah allowed himself to his guides, his legs stretched forward in efficient strides which kept in pace with the strangers' speedy walks. His gaze had wandered though, leaking onto the cold looking floors and the rather..nice decorum which loomed delicately over each white laced table and counter which inhabited gleaming silver platters. Would those be filled soon? Once tucked securely inside of a sturdy booth, a small, gloved hand would push through the cloth screen, a sandwich of clothing in hand and something rather interesting on top, like a crown. Except it wasn’t.A mask..?As he began to unravel the freshly ironed clothing, he noticed the color scheme. He had been given a dark top, button up, and an equally dark tie, though it had flecks of brilliant orange embroidered in a serpent like design. There was a toned down blazer to match, a shaded citrus exactly like the designs on his tie, in color. It was solid and relatively long, a bit past his rear. Next was a pair of black slacks and then the dress shoes which mimicked the snake like appearance. And finally, his mask.
It could be classed as simple. Devoured in a shady black which even the night sky would grow envious of. This was all...playing out a bit differently then he had imagined, but if they insisted on dressing him up nice, who was he to object? He’d play along. But this little masquerade party, whatever it was meant to be, perhaps a welcoming of sorts, would not distract him from his goal.I’m not here to make any friends...I’m here to win
"Jeremiah Hiep," announced a voice sharply. "What's happened to you? Get yourself back together. You used to be a no-slack typ'a man--I except more from you."
Jeremiah stood awkwardly before his superior. He stood with his back hunched forward, and gaze glued to the ground, like a child getting scolded by his father. Hands behind his back, he twisted his fingers together and apart, cracking them quitely, and fidgeted them closer to his pants pockets and away. When faced with the scorn of his superior, Jeremiah didn't know how to act. He didn't know how to act, overall, but especially under the scrutiny of those who he looked up to. Unable to keep eye contact or remain in the presence of the older man, Jeremiah said nothing, pursed his lips, and turned sharply on his heel. With one twist of his foot, he stepped away gloomily. "I need to fix this unlucky streak of mine," he concluded internally, "but… Nevermind."
Jeremiah's head lifted, craning upwards to scan the landscape. It was barren, in the middle of nowhere. A desolate forest with a singular, termite-infested cabin that moaned when gusts of wind blew through the trees. Pine needles blanketed the ground, and more continued to fall from the coniferous heavens with each minute. Roughly two dozen law enforcement, crime scene investigators, with some journalists sprinkled in, had all gathered around the area. They pooled together in groups like herds of sheep, poking about the scene. A dim, blue light settled across the region, plunging the forest into a dark night. Light was freckled across the scene with flashlights and police cars with their brights on. And yet, the cabin itself was shrouded in a quiet darkness, as if were to remain untouched.
Jeremiah was deployed to the scene earlier that night, awoken by a concerning message on his buzzer that told him to arrive to the area given. Very little context was given to him, other than a suspicious call had been traced here, and a body was soon found afterward by law enforcement. It was Jeremiah and his team's duty to collect the evidence, report back to their superiors, and turn in an approximation of what they had found to the law enforcement. Jeremiah collected multiple DNA samples, whether it be a strand of hair or fleck of blood, and bagged them each up. Alongside the aforementioned evidence, his coworkers had also found (presumed) cotton fibers, dirt that had been tracked into the cabin, and the messy outline of a muddy foot print.
One of the investigators collected a wad of resin-glued termites, which had been coughed up by Jane Doe soon before her death. This sole piece of evidence was the one thing that stumped Jeremiah, and he found himself brooding, alone, and standing before the cabin. Five paces forward, five paces back, five paces forward, five paces back. No matter how many times Jeremiah marched around in an circle, attempting to come up with even a smidgen of an idea to what had happened, nothing popped up. Even after recieving scrutiny from his superior, the investigator found himself hollow on creativity for any ideas. Removing himself from the porch of the cabin, Jeremiah sluggishly made his way down the steps and up to the lead investigator.
For the past few months, Jeremiah found him on a downward spiral of mishaps at work. It started off as small things which were soon fixed, like misidenitifying a blood type or a shoe size. It steadily grew to things of more importance, like names of victims and proper work wear. He started to receive more unhappy notes from his superiors, almost always mentioning that Investigator Hiep had his head above the clouds, and his heart in his throat. He found himself unable to come to terms with some gruesome murders--and empathy was never a trait of his beforehand. The days were growing blurrier, and as expected, he found himself on less cases. Unable to collect enough money to make ends meet at this point, Jeremiah pushed himself to take this call, as he desperately needed it.
Although this case could certainly be a grab at getting back to his old level of importance, he found himself unable to concentrate and think well. Jeremiah used to be the "top dog" of his team, the incredible savant with a knack for putting the pieces together when his job didn't require him to. He found himself able to get off certain tasks easier because of his positive history, and would use it to his advantage. Jeremiah, the socially inept investigator, was always one to spend all of his time dwelling on cases instead of communicating with his coworkers or others outside of work. He dedicated his life, and all of his time, to each new Jane and John Doe. He was more than dedicated. Or, at least he was.
Jeremiah dipped his head down instinctively, unabled to meet the other man's eyes. "Please, give me tomorrow to work on this. Investigator Woods--she told me she would take this night for me," he pleaded solemnly, crossing his arms before his back and darting his gaze across the pine-covered ground. There was a moment of silence between the two, as the other thought, and then a stern, "Do you think what you have found is sufficent?"
"Yes, yes I do. See, I foun-"
"It's alright," the superior lifted his hand to interrupt Jeremiah. "I know it is, Hiep. It's always sufficent."
Jeremiah let up a clumsy, lopsided smile. He met the gaze of the other for a darting second, then dipped his head in appreciation. "Thank you, sir. I--I won't mess up again." Lifting his hand, Jeremiah waved the other off as he started towards his vehicle. Digging that hand deep into his pocket, he conjured a singular car key, pressing his thumb into the top button to unlock the vehicle. A couple meters in front of him, a set of lights flashed and lowered themselves to a milder setting. Within the same timespan, Jeremiah had driven off, and although he had left the scene of the cabin, he felt a welt of bad luck growing in his stomach.
The turn to Jeremiah's home was a sharp U-turn on the highway, but he curiously passed it, crusing down the road until arriving.
Something more than the cabin was taking up his thoughts. Being unable to concentrate at work was one thing, but for once, it had a reason behind it. Jeremiah had received an odd little advertisement the day before, something about "reclaiming debt." It was almost perfectly catered to him--a pop-up ad on his phone, promising money back in the exact amount that he needed it, and a sly little promise that the reader's work would take their disappearance to "reclaim debt" as a vacation. Jeremiah was prying at the idea earlier that night, chanting it over and over in his mind until he was interrupted by his buzzer that called him to the cabin scene.
He had finally bit the fish hook. A last second decision was made when he entered his car, taking a moment to think over what he was doing, and decided to give in.
A robotic voice read off street names through the GPS, directing him all along the way to address given in the "reclaim debt" advertisement. It took a bit of a drive, considering he was just exiting the middle of nowhere, but it was silent, and oddly serene. When arriving to his destination, Jeremiah pulled into a car parking lot, parking above to first floor to avoid having to pay. The rest of the way, he just decided to walk, and directed himself using a digital phone map.
When he felt like he had memorized the pathway well enough, Jeremiah clicked off his phone and tucked it into his pants pocket. He rolled his shoulders forward, hunching his back once again as he made his way down the empty sidewalks of the city. The blue hues that had once consumed the scenery of the forest developed into rows of copper-orange streetlamps bent overhead. The world was silent--almost too silent for night--besides the occassional clicking of pebbles that Jeremiah kicked over as he walked.
When he found himself before the doors of the eerie warehouse he was led to, the doors opened, almost instinctively, when Jeremiah appeared before them. A crew of unidentifiable members dispered from the inside of the building, pooling around Jeremiah to lead him forward into the warehouse. A shiver slid up his spine, causing a full-body tremble that only enhanced as Jeremiah and the workers plunged deeper into the building. He eyed each of them suspiciously, gaze darting between one to another, studying each for a few seconds and anxiously moving onto the next. I've made a horrible mistake, Jeremiah whimpered to himself, and yet, he found himself too anxious to speak and request to go back.
He was led to a booth off the path, to which he was placed inside. Jeremiah was given a wad of clothes, adorned with a mask on top. When the booth door was closed and Jeremiah was shut off the from the rest of the world, he slowly looked down to the clothes he was given, and with a trembling hand, began to unfold them. He had been given a black button-up shirt, one with a frilled design that folded down the chest portion. Alongside the shirt, he recieved a velvety textured, dark brown dress jacket. His mask was one that resembled moth wings, spread outwards at the cheeks with pointed wingspan. The wings themselves were mainly composed of black, with white, freckled stripes nearly the base and head. In the middle was a brown symbol. Something that reflected… a skull. Or, at least looked like a skull.
Jeremiah held the mask up, taking a closer look, before realizing it was supposed to realize a Death's Head Hawkmoth… native to his homeland.
The inner frames of the mask felt almost cold against his face, bordering his eyes and singling out the color of his sharp stare. The clothes nestled comfortably beneath his arm shifted ever so slightly, his previous clothes. His comfortable clothes. While they weren’t spectacular or anything, at least they felt nice; harboring resilient strands which as a whole, made the attire perfectly durable. He hadn’t expected this. If he had only known this would be their first activity then he wouldn’t have wasted such clothing. It would’ve been wrapped nice and neat in the depths of his closet, not in the arms of these strangers. Yuriah had stepped out with dutiful eyes peering intently back at him, the pale glow of artificial light highlighting his uncomfortable smirk. With brisk movement, his backpack and previous garments were snacthed from his person, the two offenders gliding off with silent retreat simultaneous to the feel of hands pressing gently against his shoulders. The workers' costumes were simple milky white robes, thin and rough, similar to that of cardboard but loose like a fluffy blanket. He felt it with just the brief brushes against his swaying arm, legs wrapped in the formal set of black trousers shifting in a slow, curious walk.
Despite the blazer snug against his black button up shirt, Yuriah still felt the cool air pooling along his skin, gliding up his pants leg and chilling his dark socks. Irritation melted and saturated the tip of his tongue but he bit it back, deciding against a fruitless argument. Not that they would speak to him anyway. Their faces were shielded by a papery shade dark wrap but judging by the look of their hands, he was being directed by two women. --Their fingers pressed further against his cased flesh, a wordless suggestion which he had little problem completing.How much faster do I have to walk?A compressed sneer gently furled his lips, but it hadn’t been very long until he was released. It was sort of funny, experiencing the feeling of what a mere prisoner would obtain when their guards escorted them down a hall. But then again the word “escort” might be too soft of a use.
A curious hum would vibrate throughout his throat, eyes taking in the new setting while he ran an aimless thumb across the back of his left hand; a calmed fidget. It was the same space he had peeked at before, but in such a short time, the ceiling had been draped with a sparking chandelier, the simplistic tables from before capsulled in a thin but beautiful blanket of heavy black, contrasting against his orange theme. It was a fanciful atmosphere, spacious too. Immediately, he was drawn to the plates of edibles which were sprawled carefully across each top and counter. A soft creak of classical music kindled something odd inside of him, a feeling of subtle unease. But he resumed his nimble hands instead of a tentative pause, piecing a squared saltine cracker between his index and middle finger. The man would turn, nibbling and soaking his tongue in the savory taste whilst numerous footfalls reverberated about the paint peeled walls. His gaze flicked casually from figure to figure, all dressed nicely, and all briefly driven by the pale clothed people residing in their very shadows.
Huh. There's so many.It hadn’t occurred to him until now that he and his sister weren’t the only ones in a bout of struggle.--Futile enough to be driven to this position, exactly where he is now. Really, he had nothing to lose. No special possessions, no memorable relationships, no job. “Hmm” There had been a slight lift in his voice, a spontaneous incitement of failed laughter. But it was bitter. Not to be mistaken as joyous. He had no job. And because of it, here he was, partaking in this almost unbelievable experiment which he could possibly never be seen walking out of. Gradually, the empty spaces about the dining area slowly became populated, and yet the only sound thrumming throughout the building were the taps of shoes and the spectral coo of music. It was less of a party and more of a silent feast. And he almost chuckled at the compromising demeanors which sharpened everyone into quietude. Yuriah stepped away from the crowded tables, swallowing his cracker and tapping a finger against his mask in a smooth check of security.
Bzztt...bzzt..bzzzzt. The noise had not only come from his pocket, but everyone elses as well. It was a quick conclusion but the offbeat buzzes were a dead giveaway. People hesitated, others did not. Yuriah was one of them. He delved into his pants pocket, retracting his gifted phone and eagerly reading the message which had engulfed the entirety of the screen. Those who reveal their identities will be disposed of…That's pretty curt for my tastes. The man commenced in an intimate mumble, cocking a brow in small surprise. There weren't even that many participants here. Only thirty or so. Who knew these people, these puppeteers were willing to sacrifice their small numbers over something so trivial. They’d all get to know each other later on anyway. Even still, Yuriah settled his mask further over his eyes in a manner of diligence. It had begun to ride up his forehead a bit. And there was no way in hell he’d be eliminated so easily because of it.
“Yuriah.” Eeeh. His initial reaction was a spike of starlement shooting dangerously up his arms, but then his body had calmed at the familiarity, groomed over various of years to recognize such a watery voice. He’d turn on his heel, stare fastening onto Naudias slender physique; clothed in a fine gown which appeared soft in silk..Orange in color. Her mask would be a copy of his if it weren’t for the ring of carrot tainted beads outlining its frame. He shuddered. “They made you my look-alike.” Yuriah made a gentle proclamation, placing his hands on his hips with dramatized vexation. Naudia nodded, crossing her arms with realization. “Maybe they have a thing for matching siblings. Look, there's another pair over there.” He followed her intent stare, analyzing the ruby red twins with scrutiny. Both female. If what his sister said was true, then besides them and those other two over there, everyone here was an only child. Lucky bastards. Or maybe their whole family just isn’t broke
Body stiffening abruptly at the sound of a rough crash, Yuriah felt nails dig irritably into his skin, Naudias body leaping clumsily into his own. He’d began a critical stare on the unfolding scene just feet to his left, taking in the tapestries folded in a messy pile on the floor, ripped from the neighboring table by desperate, clawing hands. The man warily watched the loud spectacle, shooting his gaze between the two, quiet staff members and the shrieking man who tried his damn best to get away from them. Yuriah saw his face. His face! Immediately, he searched for the mask, only halting his speedy vision once he caught sight of its tattered remains being peeled from the spilled food and plate which lay on the floor, in the hands of a third worker who arrived on the scene. “H-he took it off himself! I would do no such thing!” A nearby voice rang through the stunned crowd, blaring over the resisting participants' accusations and pointed finger. “He did it! He did it!” It was like a broken record at this point. Although Yuriah had a sneaking suspicion that the maskless man might be a victim, he couldn’t summon up any shout of sympathy. Just an annoyed furrow of the brows and a silent wish for this...process to be quickened, however it may be. They were both fools. The man who’d been dragged from the room for letting his guard down, and the other for committing such a precarious act in the first place.. “What’d you think will happen to him?” The clutch on his arm hadn’t weakened, and he detected the slight fear in his sister's voice with shocking ease, and taking that into consideration, the man slackened his voice in a soft soothing whisper.
Jeremiah took his precious time clothing himself. He felt like he needed a breather from the whole situation, as he could feel his pulse racing and thumping from his head, down to his tightened chest, and to the veins curling around his arms. His hands sweat profusely, while the rest of his body developed a mild tremor. Jeremiah’s anxiety was undefinable, yet he soldiered on and clothed himself. After removing his clothes and replacing them with the outfit he had been given, he slipped back on his shoes and the mask he had been given. The wings of the mask stuck out awkwardly over his cheeks, tickling his ears, so he covered them with his hair and repositioned the mask slightly lower on his face. Jeremiah felt a tad silly as he tilted his head down to admire the outfit, never being one to dress up extravagantly. He dressed professionally for work, but a tie was as far as he would usually go. Slipping his fingers under the breast folds of his copper-brown jacket, he slid them down and pushed them out to fix it. - Jeremiah pushed the door of the booth open, and he was immediately met by two more of the workers, standing poised outside of the booth. They were dressed in eerie white robes, ones that made Jeremiah uncomfortable with how… much he stood out from them. Nevertheless, they tucked their hands around the underarms of Jeremiah and pulled him forward into a fast pace forward. He nearly tripped over his feet once as they started on their descent down the hall, barely managing to keep up with them at first. Yet, he felt a tad more calm than before, as if the fact he wasn’t able to take a breather now forced him into docility. - The man’s gaze continued to flicker between the two workers, twisting his head right and left to view and study their obscured faces. The workers led him into a large, hollow room, one that they had passed by before, decorated with a crystal chandelier and many plate set ups. It was breathtaking! Jeremiah careened his gaze upwards, gazing over the glittering chandelier and he felt his mouth pop open to let out a soft, amazed gasp. As he entered the room, soft classical music played, each beat in tune with his steps. Step, key, step, key, when the cacophony of sound. There was something so charming about the appearance of the interior that struck a cord in Jeremiah’s heart, and he felt almost… at peace. Despite the obvious danger ahead and yet to come, he could feel the shiver in his spine settle, and his mind come to a blank ease. - The two workers guided him over to a chair at the long table, where he found himself seated beside a small woman, and an empty seat. He turned to her, speechless, and stared blankly, unable to bring himself to talk. He stared for many moments until the woman felt his gaze on her, and returned it harshly. Jeremiah turned away, ashamed and embarrassed. How could he possibly participate in whatever challenges were to come, if he could barely bring himself to communicate with others? He dropped his head down, gazing into his lap where he fidgeted with his hands as they grazed over and picked at one another. He shuffled multiple times in his seat, feeling the uncomfortableness from before grow back. Dozens of questions filled his anxiety-ridden head. Who were these people? Did they experience debt, too? How were they feeling? Were any of them scared as well? Jeremiah despised feeling alone in his emotions, and he at least wished another person felt fear crawling up their spine, too. - A startling bzzt-bzzt from his pocket caused him to slightly jump out of skin. So lost in his thoughts, he was unable to reconnect to his grounding on Earth. Snaking a hand into his pants pocket, he hooked his fingers around a phone that had been planted there, and retrieved it. On the illuminated screen read a chilling warning. - “Those who reveal their identities will be disposed of.” - Jeremiah picked up his head, slowly tilting his body forward to check out the rest of the table’s reactions. Some were frozen, dead silent as they bore their eyes into the message on their screen. Some were nonchalant, either bottling up their fear, or simply not feeling anything at all as they shoved their phones back into their pockets. Some started to murmur to their neighbors, discussing things under their breath Jeremiah could not hear, and it caused him a smidgen of anxiety. Gritting his teeth, he shut off the phone and placed it screen down next to his plate. As soon as he lifted his head, Jeremiah caught sight of a spectacle just happening in the beginning stages. A man was stood over his table, lifting his hands to rip the blanketing fabric forward, and a crash of food and plates soon followed after. Jeremiah leaned forward in his chair, lifting up his fork to take a bite of the peas placed in the corner of his plate, and bringing it to his mouth. He watched the spectacle as if it were a movie, eyes boring into the man as he let out a song of shrill screams. - Proclamations of other players concluded that he had taken off his mask himself, or that was at least what the common verdict was. Jeremiah lowered his fork, watching the workers close in on the man. His seat mates at the table, specifically one, continued to shout biased verdicts against him, wiggling a finger in his direction. - He could barely peel his eyes away, or at least until a certain sentence rang out from behind him. “He’ll be disposed of,” the masculine voice said, and Jeremiah turned his torso to glance behind him. Well, it was more of a blank, socially inept stare that took place, and he only turned away when he realized what he was doing again. Dipping his head back to his lap, he folded one hand over the other and clenched them tightly. He no longer felt hungry.
“This really is crazy huh.” The clearing of a throat followed by withdrawing hands, Naudia huffed softly, cracking her knuckles in a habitual fashion. He’d take a moment to watch as the sharp indents in his skin; a replica of her long, curved nails, slowly puffed back up, leaving nothing but short thin creases as an aftermath. Ouch. His tongue would fall comfortably between his teeth, a gentle gnaw that’d have his jaw in a leisure chew. It was how he dealt with his concern, something that could be called a quirk, one of many perhaps. That man's failure seemed to have brought the both of them to reality, like a wake up call of sorts. In this place, there was no room for mistakes. If he slipped up, then it was over, all over. Still, Yuriah ironed himself out, lifting his shoulders in a casual shrug. “No turning back now.” And despite his low mutter, a residential ear perked in his direction, Naudia’s similar green eyes narrowing with what seemed like determination. For a moment, he thought she’d say something motivating with how she clenched her fists and all; resembling some type of hopeful hero, but of course, she failed his expectations. “You tryna say I’m scared or something? What's that supposed to mean big brother”
“Weren’t you just clinging to me like some type of baby sloth?” With a twitching lip; cause of supple irritation, Yuriah would pull his head away in a condescending tilt, his sleeves flexed stiff against his arms while ambling in a disgruntled cross along his chest. As his sister began a series of agitated insults, The man, by chance, focused his jaded vision onto an opposing pair of somewhat dopey eyes which seemed directed by a curious peep, staring back at him in a moment of heedlessness. His breath hitched uncomfortably in his throat, an expression of partial odiousness pulling at his face. Was he being targeted? Could it be plausible that this man, at this very moment, was concocting some sort of quick ploy?
For a couple of heartbeats, he studied the back of the man's head; jet black waves slightly ruffled by the thick strap of his mask. He’d remain tactful, taking note of the ring of vibrant blue which encompassed a dark pupil, the lean tall build and warm ivory hands, he’d make sure to engrave it all in his processing mind. Who knows, he might just be analyzing his first enemy. Once the unserious pummeling of his side had ceased, Yuriah turned to face his temperamental sibling, pushing his hands in his pockets with an unimpressed glare. While her behavior wasn’t exactly gratuitous, he knew that it’d be in their best interest to dull that fiery disposition here and now--before she got the both of them an early..retirement. “Why don’t you have some food? Shouldn’t you, of all people, be the hungriest?” He’d tuck his stubble brushed chin between his index and thumb, sticking a thoughtful expression onto his narrowed features. -Then inching his perusal stare about her angular frame, though he allowed it to linger on the arms which protruded naturally from the slick straps of her dress, a brief motion as to signify the lack of brawn.
“Don’t be such a jerk, jerk.” Emitting a small grumble in response, it would be beyond hard not to notice the extensive pout that outlined her lips, but only her brother could tell its artificial sweep. “So you don’t think it's poisoned or anything? I didn’t see you eating so I just followed your lead.” She looked almost ashamed to admit, and as close as he was to a smile of complacence, Yuriah knew better than to start something up now. “ ‘Course not. You see everybody else right? Are they falling to the floor coughing up blood?” With that water-downed heckle, Naudia would jutt out her tongue, child-ish but effective nonetheless, before skipping over towards the throng of goods, strangely on beat with the resounding tunes spitting softly from above. Turning away after a moment of observation, the man not only began an official sweep of the room, but also released the stored up tension in his limbs; a smooth stretch which shot gradually above his head. His jaw would stretch in an impertinent yawn, teeth beginning a gentle glisten in the glowering shine of light which highlighted every detail of their surroundings. “Hey man. You seem like a tough guy.”
A voice that put the phrase “smooth as honey” to shame spoke lowly into his ear. Yuriah, instinctually, he sprung back, lifting his rather flaccid hands to hover above his chest region; a guarded pose. But it didn't last very long, for his arms dropped. Well, one did, and the other flew to his ear in a protective cup; fingers curling tentatively past his pierced lobe. “What the hell..” He murmured, taking in the opposing appearance with reticence. The other man was of course, ornamentally clothed, bathed in an ocean blue suit, adorned in a dark, glowing mask which was frilled with equally colored feathers along the bottom. His hair was a rumpled dirty blond, sliding inconspicuously across his covered brows with nearly every move he made. Green met brown, their eyes locking in a momentary inspection of the other. But unlike his own, the man's gaze twinkled with charming devilry. “You seem like a tough guy.” He repeated. “Me and those others over there are thinking of taking some masks. To you know.., lessen the competition. Ya wanna join up with us? It’ll be funnn..” His voice had raised in a puerile fashion, his sharp elbow nudging playfully into Yuriahs side. Oh..
“...Alright. But the other orange is off limits..” Anyone who thought he’d be noble, all kind and overly considerate, disgusted?, well they were grossly mistaken. This proposition..it’d only be of benefit to him, nothing else. Was he really expected to muster up even a fragment of care for these strangers, these rivals? Yeah, no. He’d have no problem ridding himself of any one person who’d prove to be an obstacle. This team up would be smart. -Yes, he’d be a complete fool to pass it up. The other man almost appeared taken-aback by his lack of hesitation, but a beat later and his devious smirk would stretch his thin lips once again. “Oh-ho ho! You couldn’t wait for this opportunity could you? I knew you’d be a good pick.” Despite being on the receiving end of this stranger's jocular nudges and lively hum, Yuriah composed himself, deciding in a quick moment that voicing his dislikes would be of little use to him. He’d put up with this..buddy-buddy facade for now..just for now. He’d pass a slow hand through his wave of locks, brushing back his fluttering bangs with a sigh. A sigh of preparation. Afterwards, the man began a leisure stroll across the floor, over to the small herd of expectant men whose eyes were glued curiously on his shifting frame. Blue jacket kept pace beside him, knocking his knuckles against Yuriah’s forearm in a friendly manner. “Names’ Venn by the way.”
Not that he asked, but okay. He tilted his sparking gaze towards the shorter man, only by a couple of inches or so, and stuffed his hands into his pockets with a brusque huff. Blue jacket, er--Venn seemed to have caught on, locking his hands behind his head in an indifferent stance. “Ah, I see. You’re the guarded type. Can’t trust us bums with your name I suppose?” Yuriah could tell the difference between contempt, and just sardonicism. And even then, it was a deal more lighthearted than the original term. He’d shrug his shoulders, slowing his walk as they advanced upon the group of men with subtle ease. “You said it yourself.” Immediately, Blue jacket broke out in bellowing laughter, slapping one of his pals shoulders in just one swing. “Ha, you’re pretty funny. Look cool too.” Turning to the rest of the men, he’d then announce. “Guys, meet Orange. Orange, meet the guys.” They all took each other in, their breaths coming out in crisp spells of cold air. But before any of them could make a move, the party was over. Their vibrating pockets a mere declaration.