Wings of a Raven

Part Four: Murder City Maidens

Age - Sixteen years old

A duet of whistling noises ring through the air of the overcast sky above as a pair of shadows faintly form in between increasingly elusive rays of sunlight. Not long after does a third, taller form follow behind them at a rather leisurely pace to say the least. Within the many city streets that stretched and forked off inside the high walls that surrounded the Compound, much had changed over the past couple of years. There had been plenty of fresh new faces to meet, developments to see, and juicy rumours to hear right off the presses. Some had complained about the very nature of being kept within this city, musing that in choosing to come here they'd merely traded one prison for another. Others found themselves in a perpetual and constant state of stressed paranoia, feeling lured into a world of constant danger under false promises of easy money, thrills, and recognition. To them, Kuber's Compound loomed over their very existence as a nightmare they could never dare of waking up from.

How boring and wrong they all were.

These walls housed not only a gigantic playground, but a wealth of knowledge to those who let themselves take a moment to become immersed in everything going on around them. As far as Delta was concerned, she had every intention of soaking it all in. Life inside the Compound could be whatever you wanted it to be, a creation shaped by your own desires. Losing her aunt and uncle when she was thirteen felt like she'd lost much of her direction, leaving her with next to no idea of her path forward. Little did she know however, just how freeing being on her own with Maya and Emilio would prove to be. As much as Uncle Grenn and Aunt Sofiya tried to help teach Delta about the ways of the world, she'd realized over these past couple of years just how wrong that approach was. This wasn't the outside world, this had never been the outside world. These streets, the walls surrounding them, the cameras watching her every move, and the smells of blood and gunpowder were a part of her world. All of them. Since she never knew the world outside, she'd never been restrained by any sort of preconceived notions about how things 'should be', and it wasn't only her either. While Maya spent a lot of time outside, she'd made it no secret to Delta just how much she preferred being inside this very city. Even Emilio, who had barely spent much time in the Compound, opted not to challenge Delta's ideas, simply letting her get her way when she felt like it.

"Something on your mind, Delty?"

Maya's upbeat tone teases Delta as she stops to peek her head inside of a broken entrance-way. The wooden door barely hanging on by the last screws of the latch as the last remnants of dark green paint peel off. Steadying the uzi that hangs off of his waist and shaking his messy hair out of his face, Emilio keeps it prepped up as Maya ducks back out and returns her focus to Delta.

"Oh, it's not a super big deal, you know. I just kinda was thinking on how people are all weird. Like, it makes no sense at all."

"Aww, but you're usually so good at reading people and all that. Is this about that whole outside thing people keep talking about again?"

As Maya gives a poke into Delta's mind in response to her friend's answer, she can't help but notice her give a small, almost sheepish smile momentarily. It wasn't like her to get so concerned over such things. Sure, they both loved studying people from afar and seeing just what made them tick, but it wasn't really something that gave either of them worry. Seeing Delta as she presently was made Maya ponder and tap the bulge in the pocket of her long grey coat, causing it to produce a rattling noise as she waits.

"Kinda, but just kinda maybe?" Delta taps her chin as she searches for the words, stepping back from the door. "I can tell if people are like gonna do something from it, and I guess they only know their own little rules, but is it sooo hard for them to get it doesn't work that way here? It's just super rude, you know? This city's our home, and they just wanna go like things work their way? All they gotta do is listen and we'll all have a better time, but we know they won't! They don't even try! Why can't they be more like you, Emmy?"

"Ah, I'm nothing special, really. All I did was figure out you gotta roll with the punches to get the most out of here."

The somewhat lanky young man that was Emilio casually scratches the back of his neck and shrugs. He knew his place in all of this, anyway. Over the past couple of years, the main thing he'd needed to do was be able to let the other two do what they wanted. Sure, they wanted his opinion occasionally, but in some ways, he'd found himself essentially playing chauffeur. Not that he was inherently broken up about that though, considering that was a far more preferable role than being a corpse. It was a simple case of give and take at the end of he day. They'd given him a team to stick with, so he just had to make sure not to rock the boat too much so that at the end of the day, if things came up like this that made Delta wonder or uncertain, then Emilio would be able to calm her down through simple reassurance like he was attempting to do now. True, he was the oldest one in the group, but he wasn't going to pretend that he was the wisest one when it came to the ways of the Compound, even after these last few years. After all, if he had been, then he probably wouldn't have been in a panic and trying to escape from a bunch of goons when he met Delta and Maya.

With a quiet sigh, he wonders if his simple downplaying would be satisfactory to her this time, in spite of what their history together had told him. If nothing else, it didn't seem as if he'd upset her anymore, even as he could see the gears turning behind Delta's blue eyes while her cheeks puffed out slightly. Maya, on the other hand didn't seem quite as convinced and satisfied, in spite of his answer not being directed to her. She was always a little more difficult for Emilio to read than Delta was. Sure, Delta had spent all of her young life inside these walls and certainly had a tendency to lean more towards the erratic side of things behaviour wise, but there were certain parameters to those that he was beginning to get a grasp of. Maya was different. Unlike Delta, she'd sneaked in from the outside entirely by her lonesome when she was just fourteen. Even at such a young age, she'd taken to this city like a fish to water and was now so comfortable that it disturbed him a little bit. While Emilio knew he could be seen as enabling Delta to keep walking down her path in life, it was Maya who fanned the flames and fed her curiousity for more. The two of them had become quite close, that much he knew was clear to see, so if it ever were to come down to who Delta would go and listen to, it certainly wasn't going to be him. As Maya walks over and playfully pats the head of the shorter girl, his suspicion is only reinforced further.

"I know, I know, you just wanna have some fun, but it's hard finding people to play with us, right?" She ruffles Delta's hair, before resting her hand on the pocket of her half unzipped convertible pants. "We don't have to go try with those stuck up mob guys, or even those military guys who popped up if you don't want. There's that doctor guy or the other team that just came in too!"

"You told me the doctor kept arms and stuff in jars, Maya! Just because we like, you know, make people dead bodies sometime, doesn't mean I'm all weird and think it's fun to play with them after! You're just being silly. I guess we can try to find that new team again since they were all rude and blew us off. As long as we don't like, run into another new group for those mob guys with them getting all angry like always."

Delta perks up a little bit at Maya listing some of their options. She still could find something knew if she took the time and had the patience to look. After all, one thing her young mind had learned over the years was that the chase could be almost as fun as the end result was. Be that as it may however, there was occasionally a bit of a lull that she felt going from one escapade to another. As much of a sandbox as the city was, not all corners of the city were created equally, of that all three members of the Crimson Ravens could attest to. Delta's fingers fiddle with her overalls as they hang down on both sides of her while the trio returns to their routine scavenging. The red t-shirt she wore had faded more lately, and she'd taken notice of a tiny hole here or there to accompany a recent tear by the knee on her overalls too. There was a lot more to be found within the streets of the Compound than people would think, yet finding clothes that fit Delta, let alone anything in decent condition that agreed with her was far from the easiest of tasks. Ultimately, her choices for finding things were either to go and try to see if the people at the market had anything passable, or to just take them from those who weren't going to be needing them anymore. It was a practice she'd learned from Maya after all, and such acts were hardly uncommon. Yeah, some thought that taking things from the recently departed was 'disgusting' or 'disrespectful', but Delta thought it was simply practical. Whatever food, supplies, or clothing they had was surely better spent in the hands of the living though, so she figured they'd have been happy.

Maya playfully hums to herself from a few steps behind Delta, continuing to tap her remarkably spacious coat pocket, as it jingles. Every few steps, she gives a nudge to the end of its contents, pushing it back inside slightly, as it attempts to peak its way out. Seeing Delta's mood improve again was nice. After all, the two of them had almost always been able to find ways to entertain themselves throughout the years, so seeing her frustrated was a rare sight indeed. What she'd stumbled across earlier and been keeping hold of was something Maya initially considered holding onto for herself, but she'd been beginning to wonder whether it actually suited her or not. She had her own style and even some trinkets she'd brought in with her when she sneaked in a few years ago that was essentially tailor made for Maya herself. Delta, on the other hand had had to make due with whatever she'd stumbled across. Even her clothes had once been Maya's, and those were beginning to look as if a replacement was in order. The only thing that, from Maya's perspective, had truly seemed as if it were Delta's, was the pistol that she'd had with her from before the two even met. The story of how it was handed down to her from her mom so Delta could defend herself was one that she'd heard a couple of times before. It was cool Delta's mom knew how things would be, and honestly speaking, Delta was almost as good a shot with her pistol as Maya was with her own revolver. She knew Delta always liked the idea of something unique that could stand out on its own, so maybe this would prove to be just the very thing she needed in order to get back in the swing of things again. With her hand going inside the pocket of her coat, and her footsteps stopping in their tracks, Maya whistles and calls out to Delta.

"Hey, wait up, Delty! You don't gotta go off in such a rush now! Not when I got you a little something to play around with!"

"Really, you did?" Delta turns, her eyes lighting up. "You didn't have to, Maya! What kinda thing is it?"

Excitedly, her gaze turns to Maya's arm as she carefully draws something shiny out from her coat. The pocket was already bulging to unnatural proportions trying to simply carry it, but Maya was having to take great pains and care to avoid tearing the inside, or cause a giant hole to form in the process. A rattling sound lingers in the air as the handle peers out, with the sight of an attached chain not far behind it. Delta couldn't quite make out just what it was at first. Even she hadn't really seen anything quite like it before in her time in the city. She could see a small curved blade at one end of the short handle, but it was far different from any sort of knife or switchblade that she'd come across. At the end of the chain looked to be some sort of weighted clip, as if it were made for attaching to something and helping to hold things in place. The shine in Delta's eyes grew almost tenfold just from thinking of all the different possibilities and how she could show it off to those who would dare to come across them.

"Do you like it, Delty? I thought it'd be just the perfect kinda thing for you, you know?"

Maya asks her question, even knowing full well just what the answer was going to turn out to be. There was no doubt in her mind that Delta was absolutely ecstatic. From the second that the girl had laid eyes on it, she'd been completely elated to the point of near speechlessness. It was a rare thing for Maya to see her friend that way, and truth be told, she could feel her heart beat just a little bit faster in relief knowing it was well received. While people thought Maya was crazy or weird for wanting to come here of her own volition, by herself, no less, Delta had never once judged her for it. In fact, she'd been quite open about how cool she thought Maya was for not wanting to live her life listening to other people's rules. Seeing Delta overjoyed made her rather content and was something she quite liked almost as much as people watching and other kinds of playing around had. With that in her mind, it was of little surprise to her when Delta bounded over before she could even begin to hold it out, with a smile that extended well past her lips.

"That's so cool!'re the best, Maya!"

Delta was almost bouncing as she wrapped Maya up in one big hug of thanks, her arms wrapping around to Maya's back. Fortunately, the hand holding the weapon had been away from her body when Delta made contact, so when she looks down, her eyes meet Delta's blue ones as they look up towards her. Slightly teasing, Maya pats the shorter girl's head, pleased that she was actually able to both make her day just that much better, and give her something else to focus her attention on than remaining annoyed at just how stupid and ignorant the others were. For a few seconds, Delta squeezes her just a little more, before finally opting to let go and back away in time for Maya to actually be able to hand her new gift over. With the handle in one hand, and the connecting chain in another, Delta stares in awe, as she tries to get the hang of the feel and remarkably light weight of what she now found herself holding. Having primarily kept to his thoughts throughout the conversation, and mainly trying to keep a look out to ensure they weren't being followed, Emilio found himself looking towards the weapon himself. Had somebody actually brought it into the city with them before Maya came upon it? Or did someone actually manage to construct something like this inside the Compound itself by adding the chain and clip to it as an aftereffect? Either way, he couldn't entirely be sure, but even as Emilio's right hand held his uzi, he remained intrigued nonetheless as he recognized the blade section.

"Huh, so it's a sickle? Can't really say I've normally seen one handheld like that too often. And I sure as hell don't usually see them with a chain stuck to the bottom of the handle for...well, I'm no sure for what yet."

He scratches his chin trying to think about the thought process the sickle's original owner or creator must've had, but nothing was immediately jumping to mind. Studying weapons wasn't exactly something Emilio had taken up as a hobby prior to coming into the Compound, so he couldn't just go and narrow things down by scouring history or anything like that. Hell, he wasn't some blacksmith, and the only things he'd really put together were way back in shop class in high school. Those few years back felt like forever ago now, and he was pretty sure seventeen year old Emilio would've never guessed that his twenty-one year old counterpart would be in this position right about now. Still, he could think of worse situations to be right now. Like the fact he'd probably be six feet underground if he didn't literally bump into Delta's uncle, for one.

"So like, how do you use this thing?" Curiousity crosses Delta's face as she ponders, clipping the chain to the left side of her pants after failing to find a spot in the front. "This bit goes on the side I guess, but do you choke them with the chain and then go stabby on them?"

"I didn't really think too much on it yet, but I guess you can just stab them or strangle people if you want." Maya's words show she wasn't much less in the dark than Delta. Still, another idea does come to her mind. "'s like one of those rope things? Or something? Like, if something's far away, you just like throw the sharp bit at them and then you can just pull it back? You could try that?"

Delta hums as she looks around for something to go and test Maya's suggestion on. She didn't want to go for anything concrete or brick, just since she knew that never worked out well for knives in the first place. Eventually, she sets her sights on a small bush that had formed in part to the overgrowth that had become prevalent over the years. Unsure of how exactly she's going to attempt this, she plays around with the sickle's handle, before drawing her arm back to throw it in a horizontal arc.

"You mean like this?"

With an exaggerated cry, Delta flings her arm towards the bush, trying to release the sickle's handle right at the end of her swing.


The sickle hits the concrete below her, soaring off to Delta's far left and missing the bush by a rather exceptional margin. Sheepishly, her eyes dart left to right in embarrassment as a small "uh..." sound leaves her lips.

"Wow, that throw...kinda sucked."

Only half suppressing her ever rising urge to tease Delta relentlessly, Maya can't help herself from poking a little bit of fun at her. Sure, she didn't exactly expect Delta to be dead on the money right away, but she'd figured that if nothing else, she'd be somewhat close to where she was aiming for. Or at least throw it in the right direction. In spite of her embarrassment though, Delta didn't seem particularly deterred by the setback.

"Hey, don't be so mean." Delta sticks her tongue out as she reels the sickle back towards her. I just gotta keep practising."

"I mean, you've gotta be a little daring to try and learn something like that, boss."

Emilio looks down at the sickle as it approaches Delta's feet again. On one hand, he wanted to make sure she wouldn't just get bored with it and try to make him learn it, but another thing that concerned him was whether or not he'd accidentally wind up getting cut up from her trying to figure out how to throw the damned thing. It probably would be in his best interest to at least learn exactly how long that chain was in a hurry. At least, that way he could keep out of its range when she did want him to watch.

"Daring, Emmy? But I really like it already! It's just so cute. It's almost like 'darling's a better word, you know?"

"I mean...I guess? As long as you like it."

Unsure of what else to really say, Emilio cranes his neck up to the sky and sighs. Maybe he shouldn't have said anything after all, he wonders.

"Hey, maybe 'Darling' is what I should call it?" Delta carefully taps the sickle in her hand with a grin. "We're gonna have so much fun when I get the hang of you! Just you wait!"

Emilio could hear voices in the distance as the Crimson Ravens continued walking towards the southern end of the city. After the discussion earlier in the day, Delta had been beaming over her new toy to where her and Maya had spent the first hour of their walk doing nothing but talking about it and all the different ways to try and use it after figuring out how it worked. They'd decided to go and search for one of the newer teams that had hopped in as of late. While Delta and Maya had one on their minds, they weren't digging their feet in. When it came down to it, that was probably for the best. They liked their pleasant surprises, so Emilio wasn't about to try and pinpoint them into looking for any specific one. Besides, it wasn't as if they knew each and every team that had come into the Compound and were just instantly told all there was to learn about them. There was no notification on their wrist displays that told them "Hey, these guys are a new team in here, go and say 'hi'!". After all, why would there be? True, a number of people that showed up were starting to be aware of who they were before even stepping into these streets, but surely there would be no favourites getting played. That was why so much of their research on other teams had to be done through good old fashioned legwork or get obtained via second hand information.

As it turned out, it was as a result of that second hand information, that he was able to quietly surmise that whoever they were approaching wasn't the team the others had discussed. Sure, even as he gripped his uzi firmly, he still couldn't actually see the people whose discussion seemed to be taking a rather foul turn, he could still hear them. The group that Delta mentioned that first blew them off and got fussy over introductions, was a team comprised of women, and Emilio certainly didn't hear a single female voice among any of the voices that he could make out, let alone multiple ones. Thinking on things more, he doubted that it was going to end up being a couple of the people that were supposedly fans of what the Crimson Ravens had been doing. From what he'd heard, they were younger than he was. He wasn't about to pretend to be an expert in dissecting voices, in spite of all of their time spent observing and learning, but if he was forced to guess, he'd say that the people talking were likely around their thirties.

Delta and Maya push past him, his walking having unknowingly slowed, and duck down behind what had at one point been part of a brick wall. Almost immediately, he hears Maya groan upon seeing them, as she rolls her eyes in frustration. Emilio hadn't gotten line of sight on the group just yet, but he had a relatively good idea of what was bothering Maya before she even opened her mouth.

"Well this sucks, Delty. It's looks like it's probably just some Pacinotti people again. I don't get what's so big and scary that people have to go and listen to what they say, anyway. We can just ignore them, or like, take 'em down for their stuff if you want."

"Nah, we're here anyway. We wanted to people watch and do stuff, so we should at least try and see if we can get something kinda fun outta it first, right? If we get bored, then we can always pop up and give people a little jolt of excitement today!"

Having to crouch down behind a taller section of bricks to the left of where the two girls were lying down on their stomachs, Emilio spots the group ahead of them through a small hole. They were indeed a group of men in anywhere from their late twenties to earlier forties. There looked to be about five of them, although one of the men, one with red stubble and a grey cap on, appeared to have the focus and ire of at least two of the others. He was busily pointing his baseball bat in frustration, at who looked to be the oldest of the group. The other man had a double-barrelled shot gun in his hands, and greying hair that unfortunately only existed on the very back of his head. He adjusts the sleeves on his beige sweater before wiping a hand on his matching pants as the trio opts to listen.

"I'm already getting sick and tired of going on goddamn supply runs for that arrogant jackass!" The man with the cap yells, his foot angrily kicking a rock away. "We go around and go his work, while he just sits on his ass, and you wanna just stand here and tell me to be thankful when he shovels more shit our way?"

"Just calm the hell down, Gareth. We brought you into the group so that you'd have somewhere to go. You should consider yourself lucky, you've got it way better than a lot of people in here do."


Angrily, the man named Gareth smashes his baseball bat against a nearby wooden pallet at his feet, shattering the wood as he glares a hole through the other man.

"That's BULLSHIT! The ONLY reason I even got caught up with this is because they decided I'd been in solo hell for too long, and were going to kick me out of the whole city if I didn't go with someone. You knew I literally didn't even have a choice, so don't give me that!"

"So what, you're gonna tell me you would've rather been kicked out of this city altogether instead of working with the boss? Or what, are you gonna go running to those army guys begging for help? The boss is going to be running this entire city once everything's said and done. I'd think you'd want to be on his good side in case people try to start something."

The other three men keep quiet, although they appear to be siding against Gareth and standing with the man opposite him more than he would like. This whole thing just absolutely pissed him off to no end, and worst of all was that he couldn't exactly just go and get out of his group assignment now. There had been plenty of time for somebody, anybody to come up and offer him some sort of deal to be a part of their team, but nobody even bothered. He was starting to feel like one of those old dogs at animal shelters that keep getting passed over again and again because everyone thinks it'll just be too much of a hassle to bother trying to adopt them. Gareth knew he was more than capable, especially when compared to these jackasses that he was stuck running with, so for them to have the audacity to try and talk down to him and act as if he was just capable of doing grunt work and saying "yes sir" this and "no sir" that was beyond insulting. They always rubbed their shit in his face, when they weren't even working directly under one of the boss's family members. Hell, they were just a new offshoot group, sent out to work a level below that, stuck firmly at the bottom of the "working under someone" scale.

"If we were on his good side in the first place, then we wouldn't be stuck out here carrying shit like some goddamn pack mules. Just because you're supposedly 'in charge' here doesn't mean he's going to give a damn about what you think, so how about you finally get that through your thick skull by now?"

"You're talking an awful lot like someone thinking of turning against the group, Gareth. Remember what we told you about the last wise guy who tried that? They never even found his head."

Another man, this one behind the leader, speaks up, his grip tightening on the rifle in his hands. As he looks over, Emilio can see Delta and Maya poke their heads up a little more in anticipation of what might come.

"What the hell are you even...? Oh for shit's sake." Gareth sighs in frustration, He knows damn well that he's right, but he's not exactly fond of his current chances here. "Okay, okay, you made your goddamn point, Francis. I'll back off for now."

Emilio can almost hear Delta pout from beside him as she turns to Maya and grabs her pistol, leading to Maya readying her revolver. He knew what was coming. Even though the three of them all got along, Maya and Delta would rather observe people doing quite the opposite. It was, to them, part of learning more on how people reacted in the more tense and hostile situations, so having things suddenly cool down and go back to seemingly normal meant that there was little more that they could learn. Gareth would seemingly fall back in line, the group would scrounge up whatever they were sent to collect, Gareth would probably just complain, and then things would go on as they had before. Emilio couldn't see any particular surprises emerging as Maya and Delta exchanged words.

"Okay, so Delty, I wanna go first this time, okay? I'll like get Mr. Leader guy's attention and stuff, then you can just pop out from behind me all 'surprise'!"

"Awww...okay, fiiiiine. Just let me get a shot in too, before we go get the others!"

Maya nods back and looks over to Emilio, seeing if he'd heard or if she needed to explain the situation to him. Silently, he nods to signal his understanding, opting to wait until the two of them did their thing so he wouldn't jump his cue. Knowing them, they'd handle most of them before he even got a chance to properly act, though. Quickly, and intentionally noisy, Maya rises to a knee, purposely knocking a brick over as she does so and whistling loudly.

"Hey! Who do you think you are being all pushy like that? You mob guys are all totally the same."

Francis turns his attention from Gareth to Maya, agitated and incredulous at the fact he just got randomly told off by some seventeen year old. Even as he starts putting two and two together, he still foregoes raising his gun, as if she were simply a minor nuisance that wasn't worth his full attention.

"So you must be one of those little brats I hear about that always think it's fun to keep sticking your noses in the boss's business! You should screw off before you even think of trying it here. After all, I'm-"

"Oh, I know just who you are, mister!"

Maya's brown eyes flicker in the beating sun as her curly hair settles down over her ears. The smile that crosses her face is one of both excitement and a near hunger that desired satisfaction. Her hand keeps t the revolver hidden just out of view as she grips the trigger.

"Hmph. Then quit wasting my time with your damn games, I'm a busy man."

She laughs back at him in response.

"No, no. I think we'll stay. We can just do what we want. After all..."


A shot from Maya's revolver rings out, catching Francis in the stomach, and causing him to drop his shotgun and stumble back. In that moment Delta jumps to her feet with her pistol at the ready.

"...You're just no fun!"


Delta's shot catches him flush in the chest, downing him in an instant as he collapsed, his body crumpling like a puppet with its strings cut. Gareth immediately dives for the closest cover he can find, knowing a baseball bat isn't going to do him many favours at the moment.

"Shit! Hey!"

Another man turns to aim his machine gun in Delta and Maya's direction, but Emilio was ready. He pops out from the left side of the broken wall, spraying a quick burst of uzi fire in his direction.


The third man mistakenly hesitates for a moment, jumping in surprise at seeing his friend fall and being left uncertain of where to focus his attention as he turns to look at Emilio. Quick as the wind, Delta and Maya hop the section in front of them and charge him from two different directions as he far too slowly goes to raise his weapon.



Maya fires a quick shot to his leg, dropping him down to one knee, only for Delta to run in, Darling in hand, and give a quick slash across his throat with the sickle. Pausing for a moment after to take it in, Delta can't help but laugh to herself at just how good the weapon felt in her hands. She'd had it for less than a day, but from the moment she first held it, she just couldn't wait to break it in.

Noticing that the fourth man appeared to be nowhere present, Emilio steps out from behind the wall, before heading over to Delta and Maya's location. He could still hear Gareth present in the area, as the man was busy grumbling to himself about how much of a "shit-show" things were and that he'd told Francis and everyone that they'd just wind up dead if they didn't listen to him. Honestly, Emilio was surprised that he hadn't run off, but considering he didn't seem to have much in the way of a connection with his late teammates, maybe he figured it was better if he just pretended to be dead and didn't report back.

Passing a group of stacked barrels, he sighs as he haphazardly scans the area in front of him, simply out of habit and to give himself something to do while Delta and Maya finished up whatever it was they were doing and got their things together. Those Pacinotti types really were absolute killjoys, and he didn't just mean because they didn't want to play along with Delta's games. Any sort of interaction with them felt like a negotiation or some kind of shady transaction was taking place, even if you just tried saying "hello". He figures they could use a hobby or something, like construction. Hell, they'd probably have enough wood for a big cabin if they used all the sticks they kept up their asses. Emilio stops to laugh at his own joke when he feels something cold against him.


It was the barrel of a gun. "Well", he thinks to himself glumly, "I guess I found the fourth guy". Clearing his throat calmly to alert Maya, who was currently physically closer to his position, Emilio slowly raises his hand in surrender as he hears a voice behind him.

"All right, jackass. No sudden moves. We're going to go for a nice little walk until I'm in the clear, so don't even think of trying to get your little friends to follow us."

"Yeah, yeah, I get it, fine."

Even though he didn't really have much room to bargain, or anything else to say to his attempted captor, Emilio admits that he doesn't actually feel overtly scared or worried. Maya and Delta were pretty good shots and could probably pick this guy off before they got too far, and even if they didn't then he figured he had at least a 50/50 shot at figuring something out on his own. With that in mind, he obliges by taking a step back.

"You really have to be stupid to mess with the family." The man continues. "After all, everybody knows that we're all-!"


"A bunch of stuck up assholes, that's what".

The sound of a baseball bat meeting skull at full force fills Emilio's ears as he soon finds the feeling of the barrel against his head has disappeared. To his surprise and amusement, he finds an un-phased Gareth before him as he hears the sounds of Delta and Maya making their way over. Strangely enough, Emilio's first instinct is to chuckle to himself.

"Well, can't say I thought that'd happen. I guess I owe you one."

"Look, I've been wanting to do that since I got scooped up by them, believe me."

Considering Gareth had just taken out his former teammate in a single blow, Emilio figured it checked out. People usually don't go bashing their friends' heads in.

"Yeah, I can see it."

"Then hopefully you can see why I want to cut straight to the chase on things now. I don't exactly have the most time to spare right now."

Gareth taps his wrist display, drawing attention to the newly initiated timer. It didn't exactly take long for any of the Crimson Ravens to figure out what he was getting at. As much as he might have thought his old squad and their employers were absolutely annoying and unbearable to be around, they were still his team. Without them, and now being on his own, it was only a matter of time before Gareth was disqualified and kicked out of the Compound entirely, to be left with nothing.

"I dunno..." Delta replies, thinking to herself as she does. "I mean, you did get him pretty good..."

"I'm just gonna be outright blunt with this. I've got no team, I saved your buddy's life, he owes me one, and it's better to have more than three people instead of just hovering around the danger number. Plus, I just really don't like the Pacinottis, so if you've really been giving them a hard time, then I kinda want a piece of that. Hell, I'll even do the heavy stuff if you need it."

Delta turns first to Emilio, as he shrugs. He was the newest person on the team so far, so it wasn't exactly like his vote held weight. Either way though, it was true he did kind of owe Gareth his life on this one, much as he wasn't entirely sure on how well they'd potentially get along.

"I mean, he did kind of save my life, so it'd be kind of a dick move for me to vote 'no' against him, boss."

"I guess, yeah. It'd be pretty boring without you around anyway, Emmy. What do you think, Maya?"

Maya crosses her arms and tilts her head, sizing up Gareth as she does so. He looked to be a good ten years older than Emilio, but he was also bigger than any of them by a fair margin, so perhaps having some extra muscle around wouldn't be so bad. Besides, if they ever needed something especially risky done, then they could always just send him instead of putting Emilio, Delta, or herself in danger, so that was always a plus.

"Having a big, strong guy could be useful. Like, if we need to be intimidating, or rough people up a bit more, he can help us with that, right? Plus, we can carry more things if we have him, so like...that's gotta be good. Just think of him as a bodyguard for us or something."

Admittedly, Maya had been tempted to just agree about the 'extra number' part to see how Gareth would react, but she also wanted Delta to see some of the different ways he could help too. She couldn't be entirely sure Delta would've agreed without a couple of examples from her anyway.

"Hmm...all right, Mr. Big Guy. I guess you can come along. Don't let us down, 'kay?"