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Computer's Talk
Katya was pulling an all nighter. She didn't have to but she was doing wasn't exactly legal either. Despite her day job, Katya still tried to hack places she shouldn't all in the name of security she told her boss. Nathaniel was a good man. He trusted Katya. Though she didn't exactly know why. Then again she didn't know why he'd brought her on when she was only 14 either.

But beat going to jail, or worse working for the government in one of those hacker dungeon's she'd heard rumors about. The places where they lock the cyber criminals up to do their deeds for them and not get paid a cent. Their life sucked. At least Katya got do do what she wanted now. If she actually hacked into one of those no-no places it was all in the name of the job. But in reality it was for the pure challenge.

The WHO had notoriously high security measures, and Katya was trying her damnedest to get into that place. She didn't care about the secrets or anything. But where there was a firewall Katya wanted to try to gain access.

Her computer terminal blinked furiously at her as she typed. He little brother once told her it sounded like a machine gun, but that was on the old peice of junk she had when she was little. It was archaic then, now it was silent and actually not even there. The holographs of most modern wallets were based off of the very thing Katya was using. The holographic keyboard resonded to her finger movements. The computer itself could even respond to voice commands. But that was for the novices. Katya saw the 1's and 0's that the computer spoke. She couldn't translate it persay, but it was what she dreamed of. The computer's talked to her in her sleep. That's what Katya wanted to beleive. But it was just her subconscious processing her thoughts into what she wanted to see.

It was all in those 1's and 0's. There was a pattern, a way in. Katya knew it, but she couldn't find it. No security algorithm she knew or knew how to crack was what the WHO was using. She had to think outside the box. She had to 'think' like a computer.

The sun was starting to come up and Katya hadn't stopped. She was trying permutation after permutation of things to hack into the WHO network, nothing was working.

Katya covered her mouth, sleepiness was setting in, but her mind was still running through the code and the ideas in her head. She got up and notices the mess of her room. Things were not where they were supposed to be. It's like they had legs and got up and moved around when she wasn't looking. She shook her head, figuring it was the tiredness of her mind playing tricks on her.

Katya stretched her hands over her head as far as she could. She needed to get up more often. But any motivational attempt to stop her hacking always was deemed an interruption and she stopped it after the second or third time. Even Nathaniel stopped bugging her after a while.

The clock on the wall said it was still early. Katya was going to grab a cup of coffee but decided bed was a better option. However the universe had a different plan, there was an electrical pop and all but the power to Katya's computer went dark. Katya moved to the window and split open one blind, the block wasn't out. It had to be the building. She hoped it wasn't because of her again. She sighed. Before it became light Katya wanted to have the power back on or the super might throw her out. That would be bad.

Katya grabbed her key and a flashlight and started down to the basement where the circuit breakers were. Hopefully it was just a matter of flipping the switch back on.
Pops crackled through Jensen’s apartment. He frowned and leaned around the shower curtain to observe the damage. Yeah, the whole place was dark. He hung his head and rivulets of water streamed down his face. He had seconds before-

There it was.

The water turned ice cold.

He yelped and quickly fumbled with the knobs to shut down the streaming torture stabbing the front of his body. The hot water tank was electric, and when it came to electricity, the Ascendancy wasted none. Which meant even the ghettos were required to have tankless water heaters. Texas had no such laws. Natural gas fired traditional tanks were the norm back home; the state left homeowners with the freedom to make such decisions. That, and, gas was cheaper than electricity.

The remains of soap and wash coursed down the drain, and Jensen stared at the shadows of his feet. What I’d give for barbecue right now.

With a sigh, he stretched out into the chilly air for a towel, snagged the closest one, and managed to get out of the shower without falling and breaking his neck. The bathroom was a tight squeeze to be sure, but busting his head on the porcelain sink was not his preferred activity for the morning.

Of course this meant a trip to the basement. Again. Though it was probably best to not go down in but a towel. Digging around the basement buck naked and dripping wet probably sent the wrong kind of signals, after all. And it’d be cold.

So, with wet hair dripping droplets from the ends of every curl, the undershirt he’d tugged on quickly pebbled with water spots across both shoulders. At this time of morning he was unlikely to run into anyone, at least anyone who’d give him a second look. It's not like he needed a suit and tie to flip a breaker. Good thing, too. He didn't even own a suit anymore.

He bypassed the elevator doors in favor of the stairs. Which was simply prudent planning. The inspection papers were so old on that thing that the date had rubbed off. Which was not a good sign of safety. The cables were probably all chewed to twine by rats, too, Our Father feeds the birds of the air as well as the rats of the ghetto. He smiled to himself as the verse from Matthew came to mind. At least the rats had something to eat.

Speaking of eating, his stomach rumbled, a mini- thunder in the darkness as he reached the basement.

The space stank of mildew and rat droppings, and probably feces from a much larger animal as well. Dogs he told himself, heart sinking at the thought of homeless that had burrowed their way into these corridors to escape the elements. It was the duty of the church to care for the needy, but the church’s presence was thin at best in Moscow. Then again, he’d lifted no hand in aid either. Who was he to judge?

Shone by the light of his flashlight, the breakers were unguarded by man or beast. He flipped open the first panel and leaned in close to seek out blown fuses. Droplets from the shower streamed tiny rivers down his neck, continually soaked up by a now soggy collar.
The elevator was a piece of crap. Katya didn't even try to push the button. It really should just be roped off. It was a bit of a journey to the circuit breakers down in the basement. 5 floors down, plus the basement level. Katya strolled down the stair case with the flash light in front of her. Sometimes, homeless joes stayed in them and in the dark she'd fall over them.

The basement was disgusting but it was better than getting kicked out of the apartment. It wasn't much, and she could afford alot better. But those better places also had rules. And Katya didn't think she could stick to the rules. Rules were meant to be broken. At least that was her philosophy most of the time.

The narrow beam of light fell on a man in front of the boxes. Katya sighed. He didn't look like the super, the super was a fat, bald man with a bad Russian accent. She hated talking to him, and often preferred to pay her rent in the wee hours of the morning and slide the payment under his door. He was a slimey and weasily little man. Katya shuddered at the mere thought of him.

There was plenty of places to hide, but was it worth hiding from a stranger in the deep dark basement of solitude. Katya laughed, she was scaring herself more than the situation. The man had to live in the building. She hoped.

Katya mustered up the strength to go flip the right switch. She was sure he could handle it, but she wanted to know if it was her apartment that had flipped it all off.

The man was dripping wet. She smiled as she walked up to him. "Cold Shower?" She raised her flashlight to look at the breakers, finding hers was not tripped. She smiled wider, it wasn't her fault, this time.
Going row by row was painstakingly slow. The air was heavy down here as though smashed by the weight of the building above, and soon a bead of sweat was trickling among the cold rivulets down the back of his neck. A swipe across his brow with the back of his hand did little good, and he lamented not taking the extra time to scrub the towel more thoroughly around his hair.

Sighing, he briefly looked behind him and placed the flashlight on the ground to free up his hands. Light oriented away, he more keenly felt the cavern of darkness around him, and held back a shiver at what his imagination placed in the corners. Kids 'round here talked about the building being leftover from a converted Soviet-run housing complex, and from former field trips through the basements, he was aware of certain... anomalies that regular apartment complexes lack: oddly placed bolt holes in the ceilings, bricked up doors, irrigation canals in the sub floor. Creepy stuff; he believed the rumors. He shuddered to think what happened here in the dark days of communism, nor the sorts of hellish figures that liked to possess such places to lure those on into the abyss of which their souls were perched.

With such thoughts in the back of his mind, he froze mid-way through shaking out his hair at a noise in the distance: the clinkling sound of ice in a glass of water being walked by a rough hand. He greatly doubted someone was sipping iced tea alone in the dark. Shrill shivers ran down his spine. He stood upright and immediately flung his mind toward a familiar dark corner of his soul and via snapped fingers an orb of light winked into existence. The snap echoed in the space now illuminated by an other-worldly orange glow, a freehanging lamp above his palm. It was like grasping the power of God in his hand, and if he were damned for a marble of light, he might as well make it useful.

He threw his arms wide apart and a brilliant flash strobed the room so bright that it burnt his eyes, but in that moment, he scanned everything.

And found nothing. To be honest with himself, he hadn't expected the demons that followed him around would sit up and wave merrily from the corner - though jovial they were likely to be. He chastised himself for being jumpy, cupped the light with his palm and smothered it back to a manageable glow.

Then another noise. A real one. The door.

By the time the young lady arrived, Jensen was once more a mere man holding a flashlight to the breakers, though he'd moved on to the second box and was standing upright and nightblinded until his eyes finished adjusting.

At her approach, he turned and shone the light below her chin as to not sting her eyes with the beam. It was probably hard to tell, but he smiled grimly at her question, which reminded him of the more earthly problems of the last few minutes.

"It got a little cold at the end," he answered with the long, Texan drawl for which he was famous. Otherwise, he turned and tapped the box with the rim of the flashlight that he'd just finished inspecting before the previous... distraction interrupted. "I checked this one. It's good. Split up? You take those, I'll take these?"
It sounded like a plan. But should he really be touching the circuit breakers dripping wet? Sure it was only his hair, but one good run through of the thick locks and then a touch of the breakers would lead to a powerful jolt. Katya didn't want to tell him what to do. Katya was all of the mind to leave the lowly person who tripped the entire building without power. It was spiteful, sure, but it's exactly what happened to her the first time the power went out.

The main power switch wasn't in the boxes. "It's probably the main switch." She pointed her flashlight in the opposite corner, "It's over there." Katya smiled in the darkness. "I'll go check that real quick." It wasn't that far from the stranger. She didn't like strangers, but she also didn't have many friends either. The computer was far more interesting, and the internet provided so much easier socialization for Katya. "By the way, I'm Katya."

The main breaker wasn't like the others, it was more a manual switch like you saw in the old movies. Things that say don't touch, and caution and high voltage. Katya sighed. "You may want to see this."

The wires leading to the smaller individual apartment breakers was gnawed on. "I can't fix that."

((OOC: Sorry didn't know where to take it))
The young lady moved away and Jensen paused in his own search, impressed with her knowledge. Since she knew what she was doing, far more than he did, apparently, he finished examining the otherwise ordinary breaker box, and followed her across the way. Just before arriving, he side-stepped around the blunt end of an old, capped off sewage pipe. Only having known it was there from formerly flashbulbing the space. In fact, it was with a bittersweet regret that he decided it was best to relinquish grasp of that source of power, before someone got hurt.

With the combination of their flashlights, he determined she was far younger than what he had originally estimated. A child. One whom he would serve as much as protect simply by virtue of some self-imposed role he no longer had the audacity to claim. Old habits die hard, after all, and far back in the beginning, he had once cared about taking care of people. Of course, therein was the absurdity. He was far too deeply flawed to be worthy of such a task.

He tried to displace such thoughts from his mind and focus on the task at hand. He peered close to the wires, and his grim expression flattened into utter confusion. "That seems safe," he murmured while scratching idly at his throat. It was time to trim the beard again, though it was likely to be at least a few more days until he cared enough to get around to it. A far cry from the clean-shaven man he once was. Then again, so much more was different than simply facial hair.

"I'm Jensen. Its a pleasure to meet you, Katya. But perhaps this is over our heads. Maybe we should--"

The earlier clinkling sound cut him off. Unlike before when it seemed to originate everywhere all at once, this time, he was sure the noise radiated through the other side of the wall itself. He thought of that lured source in the back of his mind, but before an innocent child, he staved off the temptation to fling himself into the pit.

He put his arm out that Katya step back and whipped the light head on toward the brick and shone the light up and down the length of the wall from floor to ceiling.

Carefully, he flattened his body and pressed an ear to the cold morter to listen. Vibrations thrummed through from the other side. He turned to look back at Katya, horrified as much as he was concerned, "I think someone," or something, "is on the other side of this wall."
Katya wanted to run. But Jensen was being brave, or at least he seemed so. She hated that she just wanted to go. Something that could eat through the cable and not die was something Katya did not want to ever meet.

Maybe it was just a homeless person who got lost. But there were rumors and Katya's parents beleive that strange furry little men lived in their house. It had been tradition. You treated it like family. It was family for her grandparents. They left it little presents, which were always gone the next morning.

None of those things were real, Katya told herself. Surely they were not real.

The noise faded away, it was gone. "Is it gone?" She tried to peer around Jensen but she really didn't want to know. "I think we should go now."

Katya shown the flashlight in the direction she had come. It was the only way out. It was fast and Katya thought she must have been seeing things, but she could have sworn she saw something run around the bend as she turned the light. "Did you see that?"

Katya sighed and started forward, "This place creeps me out."

A rumbling noise started and Katya wanted more than anything to leave this place. It had not been this bad the last time.

Katya started walking faster, her flashlight bouncing as she moved quickly. The beam of light bounced up and on the ceiling was something. Something furry. Katya feel backwards as she saw the green eyes reflecting back at her from the flashlight beam.
Jensen need not turn to appreciate Katya's hesitation. His faith in their safety was quickly dwindling as well.

A frosty chill crept up and down his body which had little to do with the damp shirt clung to his back. He urged himself to flee, but that damn self-entitled sense of righteousness kept his feet glued in place. Katya swung her light to and fro, seeking the demon that Jensen knew had come to torment him while he stared into the abyss and sent a silent dare plunging to the depths of hell itself that the creature to come for him face to face and leave the girl alone.

No such thing occurred. Like the coward it was, it flit from shadow to shadow, taunting with just enough glimpse of its form to freeze a full grown man with fear.

Jensen's chest heaved with frustration. At himself for drawing it to him, but if he were the cause of such infestation of horrors, he would be the one to cleanse it. Casting out demons required one pure of thought and faithful in the Word to wield the name of Christ with the power due it. Unfortunately, Jensen's faith was far from what was needed, but the sword given him could protect his friends as easily as it slain his enemies.

Katya was frozen, shining her beam of light toward a black hole drawing in all the darkness around it. At the center twin jewels of green reflected the heat of its master itself. There was no more time for thought, only action. Damning himself a little further, Jensen drew deeply upon the same fire that spawned this creature and meant to turn it on its master. The hellish ecstasy writhed his body from within, and in one fell moment, he sprinted to Katya's side, "Look away!" he warned her and threw the flashlight in his hands at the thing with all the force his arms could muster. It hit something solid, lamp and glass shattered, and he unleashed what fire and light formed from his mind in that same moment. A brilliant white light popped a single, painful flash. So pure he winced and threw his face away from the epicenter lest he be blinded forever.

Moments later, he blinked away the sting from his eyes. The flash was gone, but the white ghosts of afterimage replayed the scene over and over on the inside of his eyelids. He thought he'd seen the creature: squat and dark, green eyes widened with shock before it fled.

Breathing heavily, as though having thrown a car across a parking lot, he scrubbed a hand through damp hair and searched the room for eyes. Illuminated only by the sole lamp of Katya's flashlight as his was now broken, thrown both as a weapon and as an excuse to perhaps explain away the strobe effect when the lamp shattered, there was little to see. Though, in their situation, nothing to see was exactly what he hoped for.

"You okay?" He confirmed her safety then followed through with them doing as she'd suggested earlier and get out of here. "Let's go before it comes back." He was confident the thing was gone for now, but the horrid truth about demons weighed his conscious with all the more guilt he carried around: they always come back.
Katya didn't do as asked, though she probably should have. Her eyes stung as if she'd stared into the sun. WHAT the hell was that? It was like, like nothing she'd ever seen. She blinked and the creature was gone. But she still really only saw dots and lines and flickers of light in he vision. Had she really she either the creature or the blinding light.

She took a deep breathe and hurried up the stairs to safety. Surely it would stay away at least that long. Katya almost fell climbing the stairs she was in such a hurry.

The lights were still out. The darkness was everywhere in the hall that they entered from the stair well. Katya flashed her light one direction then the other. The sun had to be up now. Her fear struck her into an anxiety attack. She panted with fear. There was no light anywhere. Katya clutched the flashlight to her. Now that the basement was behind her, the halls seemed less likely to frighten her.

A woman came out of the nearby hallway pushing a stroller with a crying child. Katya nearly jumped out of her skin. The woman strolled passed them in the dark like nothing had happened. Like the lights going out was part of the daily routine. Katya smiled, it actually was. But how long had they been down stairs. Katya's panic changed from fear of her own life to her computer equipment upstairs. It was going to crash any minuite now. She should have turned it off. But here crunching would have been all for nothing. The entire night wasted because of that stupid creature. It had to be the one to chew through the wires.

Katya turned to Jensen. "Um. Thanks. I...", she didn't know how to explain, "I have to go turn off my computer."

It was all she could think of. She didn't elaborate. She could imagine any number of questions he could be asking. Katya ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

(OOC: feel free to follow her. She'll tell you how to get free wifi for your wallet if you want lol.)

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