So, so cold.

A chill that wraps around my heart and claws its way into my soul holds me in eternal perfection. I can't feel anything, but I am conscious of the passage of time, if only just. I couldn't tell you the exact date, or even the year, I just... know I've been in this state for a really long time.

Frozen. Immobile. Stasis.

There's not much I remember, beyond that. I don't know if the time spent frozen has erased my memories, or if I ever had them to begin with.

I know very few things, but I remember a kind voice, teaching me how to look after myself on the streets. There's no face to go with the voice, or memory of a name.

I'll probably never hear it again if I've been in here as long as I think I have.

All I know is that voice is the only thing that's kept me from losing the rest of my mind, and if I do somehow get lucky enough to find it again, I'm never letting it go.

Sometimes, vague memories of masculine hands bracing mine around a pistol, or teaching me basic self-defense float to the surface, but they always disintegrate before I can really latch onto them; like trying to catch a sunbeam in my hands.

What I wouldn't give to remember his face. I'd double my sentence in this frozen hell just to remember what he smelled like.

Not that I remember any particular love for that voice, I don't think it was special in that way, but it's associated with a very fond feeling now, peace, comfort... home.

If not for that voice, I don't think I'd remember what home feels like.

I.. I'm tired. All this trying to remember wears me out. I guess I'll just... sleep.

"Damn it all, Skinny! When are you gonna cut to the chase and let me out of here? You know I didn't come here for you. If your dame hadn't run out on her father, we wouldn't be in this fix! How long you think until she runs out on you the same way?" Nick bangs against the thick glass of the round Overseer's window with his metal hand, a grimace baring his teeth as he glares out at Skinny Malone's pudgy, half-amused face.

Skinny watches that hand a bit more carefully than he'd admit to later, only relaxing from the nervously sneered smile once Nick gives up the ghost on the assault. He re-focuses on Nick's eyes, taking a step closer to the glass as he snarls, "You had your chance, Nicky! You could've walked away, but you just had to insist, didn't ya? Darla only did what she thought was right, and I gotta agree with 'er. She's with me now, Nicky," he insists, pointing to himself emphatically, "She don't wanna go back to her daddy. An' I can't just let you leave, Nicky. I like you, but a man's got limits, and my limit is my girl gettin' took, capiche?"

Nick tosses his hands up in an obviously exasperated gesture, turning from the window and stalking back to the desk, shaking his head. When he turns back after a moment, it's to the sight of Skinny giving him a sympathetic look. Nick huffs at the mobster, and lifts a battered pack of smokes from his breast pocket, shaking the pack to slide a cigarette over to the open side and plucking it from the hole with his metal fingers. He looks back up at Skinny as he lights the smoke with practiced movements, the glow of his eyes piercing the light of his lighter sharply. Inhale... exhale. Pressing his mouth into a thin line of disapproval, he shakes his head again. "Mark my words Skinny, that dame's more trouble than she's worth. Watch your back with her."

Skinny chuckles, a knowing smirk on his lips. "Maybe a little trouble's just what I need in a girl, Nicky. Anyway, keep your nose out of it, she's my business now."

Nick continues to give Skinny an entirely unimpressed look, and before long, Skinny scoffs and leaves, calling back, "Have fun in the tank, Nicky!"

Nick rolls his eyes at the insufferable man, settling in to wait. The comparatively soft glow of his cigarette's cherry flaring before him is a comfort, one of the few he can still enjoy—to a point—from his old... well. From Nick's life. He sighs, reaching up to fiddle with the brim of his fedora, then lower, to shake out his coat a bit, sniffing absently and leaning against the desk behind him. Another drag, as he eyes the door he's already tried to unlock a hundred times in the week he's been here. They were utterly fruitless attempts, as it turns out; the terminal outside being the only means to open the door. A click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth is the only verbal indication of his frustration, though if his stance didn't make it clear enough, his expression conveyed plenty.

He knows Ellie has to be worried sick, not to mention Darla's father. Nick's disappearance isn't entirely unusual, but he's usually back before a week's passed. He wonders if Ellie's managed to find anyone willing to look for him. "Ah, who'm I kidding? Nobody's gonna go lookin' for this bucket of bolts," he murmurs, tone self-deprecating as ever. He lets his brow fall to his open hand, fore and middle fingers extended to keep the embers of his smoke from burning his hat. A deep sigh fills the silence that follows.

"Yes! Oh, fuck! Mayor Hancock! Yeah, just like that, just like that!"

John watches as the woman bounces on his cock, his hands gripping her hips and tugging her down every time she rises up, thrusting just enough to hit that spot she keeps screaming for. Much as he truly appreciates the effort she's putting into it, he's getting more from the jet canister he just huffed than from the girl practically riding him through his couch.

The sheer number of people who just want to 'try ghoul' truly astounds him, and has ever since he jabbed himself with that syringe of neon-green glop that gave him the stunning 'King of the Zombie Pirates' look he now rocks. The one currently having the time of her life on his lap is no exception.

He'd be lying if he said he didn't enjoy sex anymore—shit, if anything, he enjoyed it more now than he used to, despite the er, other issues that being a ghoul comes with. But he'd also be lying if he said he enjoyed being used for what he'd become. Hell, it's not so much that he minds being used for his body, even, it's just... he can't help but feel a little... dirty, after these encounters, and not in a good, deviously self-indulgent way.

Still, an occasional event like this helps maintain his reputation, so he sometimes lets a random, particularly insistent human have their fun. Besides, as long as he's high during the whole thing, does it really matter who's fuckin' him? Long as it's at least a little fun, right?

"Oh yeah! Fuck yeah, Mayor; fuck this little molerat's cunt!"


Seems like this one has more than just a ghoul fetish. Well, fuck it, long as the little molerat keeps her teeth off his Johnson, he'll... survive. Grudgingly.

"Oh wow, you're... an especially ugly individual, aren't you? Yes you are, yes you are!" He baby talks at the photo in the case file, much to the chagrined stares of his fellow agents. The boss just rolls her eyes at him, and continues with her briefing.

"..Anyway, if anyone sees him, avoid at all costs, and report his position. This is a top priority. Him being on the move like this is... unsettling. I shouldn't need to tell you what could happen if he discovered even one of our safehouses. Don't get sloppy, or cocky. He's too dangerous for us to tangle with right now. Understood?" Desdemona peers at the agents surrounding the large desk, meeting each of their gazes—or, as much as she can, at least, with Deacon's insistence on sunglasses.

She looks to him last for confirmation, and finds him raising a hand, a slightly smug smirk on his lips the only indication of his mood. She utters a deep sigh, eyebrows askew in a skeptical expression. "Yes, Deacon?"

He lowers his hand, the smile becoming more apparent as he opens his mouth to ask, "What if he attacks first, boss? I mean, I dig the non-confrontational thing, I really do; but, much as I'd love to say otherwise, I can only run so fast. Even a synth has its limits."

He watches the sagging of her shoulders, just before her head droops down to her lifted fingers, which pinch at the bridge of her nose harshly. Maybe the synth thing was too much.

She lifts her head with a deep breath and levels a look at him. "Avoid at all costs, Deacon. Are you saying you're not capable of staying out of Kellog's way?"

He wrenches his hands up in surrender, brows lifted in mock surprise only his eyes would really give away. "Hey now, boss, no need to bring out the insults! I got this!" his defensive posture turns childish, hands forming finger guns which he promptly aims at Desdemona, tongue clicking and eye winking, despite her not being able to see that last bit.

She rolls her eyes and closes the folder in her hands, upending it and tamping it to straighten the papers within, even though they were already perfect. "Fine. Everyone knows what to do. Unless there's further business, we're done here." She pauses, looking at her agents, giving anyone the chance to speak up. When none do, she nods. "Dismissed."

Everyone scatters to their own station or particular corner of the room. Deacon saunters toward the exit, already reaching for a cigarette. Time to go check his dead drops.


Gasping, coughing, 'oh god, what is—'

I don't get to finish that thought, as my hands and knees smack to concrete, my stomach's contents barely a second behind them. I want to do my best to keep the vomit off of me, but I can't be sure how successful I am, as the only impulse I can fathom right now is purge.

More desperate gulping of air, between what's become dry heaving; my now aching stomach was empty about five seconds into it all. The dragging of cold air across a raggedly raw throat is small comfort, with stomach acid still searing the flesh all the way up. Tears pour down my cheeks as my body reacts to the forced purging, and I can see red from what can only be blood vessels bursting from the pressure of my retching.

It takes time—I'm really not sure how much, exactly—before I'm able to take proper, deep breaths, uninterrupted by hacking, nausea, or phlegm. I'm still shivering violently from the cold, and if I weren't sweating from the ordeal I'd just experienced, I'd swear I was still in the tube I'd just... fallen... out of.

Finally, I lift my head from the view of my vomit, and begin to take in my surroundings. Pods, or tubes, as I originally thought, surround me in neat rows to my sides and opposite me. What the hell? Are they all... do they...

I struggle to stand, my still thawing muscles reluctant to cooperate, but with some considerable effort, I manage it. I feel like I'm slogging through a swamp of skeletons, whose hands grasp and pull me down, inviting me unto death with every step I force myself to take. Finally, I make it to the tube next to mine, peering in with trepidation.

Yes, there is a person in it, and after some tinkering with the controls next to the pod, it blares the the pod's status: "Pod malfunction. Partial power loss in sector A-3 leading to termination of life support six-hundred and forty days, three hours, sixteen minutes, twelve seconds ago. Subject deceased. Recommend storage in pod until corpse disposal is possible."

I blink at the dead occupant, then stumbling a bit, I move back from her pod, only to turn and see yet another pod; its occupant shares a similarly slumped, yet still frozen appearance. I listen to the report for each pod as I move slowly around the room, giving myself time to acclimate, allowing my body to warm itself as I move. I check every pod, hoping for even one other survivor.

Not a single pod contains a live person. One man's pod listed a baby with him, but upon closer examination, the man was suspiciously shot through the head, and the baby absent. Perhaps there is hope, then; hope that I'm not the only person to survive this catastrophe. Finding a record of that child's name, maybe even the parents, that would give me all I need to start looking.

I... Christ. Am I really hinging all my hopes on a baby? It's not like it could tell me what happened. No, no, that's pointless. But... maybe I can find out what the point of us all being frozen was, at least? It's better than trying to swim through the sludge gunking up my mind right now. I can't remember... even.. who am I? Shit.

I've got to find those records.