Who: Daryn & Paul (NPC) What: Opportunity knocks When: After midnight, Monday, October 28, 2019 Where: Daryn’s apartment Rating: Talk of violence Status: Complete
Despite it being long after curfew, Daryn was still awake. The sun had set and darkness settled over the island, along with a bit of a chill that was normal for this time of year. Sitting near the window in her bedroom, she stared out at the empty street below and listened to the relative silence that accompanied nighttime. She’d often hear people’s dreams, but aside from the occasional nightmare, it was almost peaceful at night, even with the din of voices. That was what she needed right now, peace. Her health was failing rapidly these days, and she knew that things were not going to get better simply with rest. She needed to find another way, before it was too late.
She must have started to drift asleep, or just got lost in her own thoughts, but the sound of knocking at the apartment door genuinely startled Daryn. Ignoring her sudden rapid heartbeat, she moved to answer, unconcerned about someone seeing her in her night clothes of sweatpants and a t-shirt that were both at least three sizes too big. Checking the peep hole, she was surprised by the familiar face who had never once visited her at her home. Frowning, she pried open the door and tried not to make a face when hit with the stench of garbage. Swallowing hard, she spoke quietly. “Paul… good evening.”
Once the door opened, Paul pushed his way inside unceremoniously. “So what do we do now?”
Startled, Daryn blinked and stepped back before closing the door behind him. “I’m sorry? What are you talking about?”
Turning to face her, the man watched Daryn in confusion. Knowing it wasn’t safe to speak out loud due to the cameras and audio equipment in each apartment, Paul stepped closer to ‘think’ at her. “Haven’t you heard? Diane admitted to ordering Faction members to attack guards. Apparently when the government pointed the finger at us for the girl’s death, one of the members responsible for the first guard attack started talking, thinking he could save himself. It took off like wildfire after that. The whole Faction is in shambles, no one wants to listen to Diane anymore, people are talking about giving up, or a few others want to start their own independent groups. So what do we do now?” He moved another step closer to her and grabbed her arms, speaking out loud again. “You’ve got to tell us what to do now.”
Daryn winced at the rough touch, still taking a few moments to process the information. She wasn’t shocked. She’d gone herself to Diane just a week ago, asking about a Faction response to the allegations. While the woman’s reply was a curt directive to mind her own damn business, Daryn knew that since she’d been shunned from the group she wouldn’t really get a straight answer anyway. But now things were in shambles, it seemed.
Gently prying the man’s hands off of her arms, she patted them lightly in reassurance although her words were not a help. “Why me? Why come to me now?” When Diane had given the order for Faction members to keep their distance from her, Daryn was struck and hurt by the amount of friends, people she once considered family, that abandoned her. They weren’t all responsible, but it was enough that she had grown weary and suspicious of the group as a whole. And now they… or at least Paul, wanted her guidance once more. Daryn wasn’t sure she could just jump right back into things so easily. Her imprisonment had changed her, and the loss of her friends, her job, and her respect left her more bitter than she cared to admit. Besides, she was hardly in the physical shape to take her of herself, let alone take the lead in a revolution once more.
Paul took the hint and backed off slightly, but kept the intensity in his whispered voice. “You led us before, you can do it again. We need you.”
Daryn smirked, shaking her head as she replied telepathically. “You need a leader. Someone that everyone will listen to, trust, and respect. That’s not me. Not anymore.” Looking down, she sighed, but reluctantly continued. “Tell everyone to just keep it together for a while, give me some time. I’ll find someone who can help you, if I can. But I’m in no shape to do it myself alone. Despite everything, I’m not going to set the Faction, or whatever remains of it, up for failure.”
Satisfied with that answer for now, Paul took another step back, actually looking at Daryn this time. “You look like shit. What is wrong with you?”
Smirking, Daryn shook her head but spoke honestly in his mind. “The guards aren’t the only ones that Diane sent people after. I’m just glad people finally see how she’s changed. But cleaning up her mess is going to take a while.”
Paul frowned, about to protest, but considering everything that had gone down in the last few days, he knew that it was very likely that Daryn’s words were true. She’d never lied to him in the past. “Yeah. Okay. You need anything?”
Daryn shook her head no slightly, keeping the conversation silent as she motioned to the door. “Just for you to get back to your place before guards catch you out after curfew and haul you in. Until the Faction tightens up again, you have to stay out of trouble. All of you.”
“Right, yeah. Sorry to wake you.” Taking her direction, Paul moved to the door and left without a glance back at her.
Watching the man leave, Daryn shook her head a little and finally breathed completely as the scent of rotting refuse dissipated as the man left. Locking the door behind him, she turned slowly to retreat to her room. Sleep would come later, she needed to come up with a plan.