Well, I've found myself in another mess.

I hadn't really started my evening planning on being held at gunpoint by an adorable little death machine, next to the rotting hill of grey ogre carcass, in the rain, but I suppose things just sort of worked out that way.

"Well, get talking. I don't exactly have all night, although I suppose my evening did just get a bit more interesting." She said out of the corner of her mouth, muttering to herself more than me, it seemed. She's stressed, then, which makes two of us. I don't like telling people about myself, but I didn't really see much option here, seeing as I came here intending to join her team? Help her out? Jeez, that's assuming a lot. Oy, I hadn't really thought this through very well. Still, I'd decided, and I'd rather not back down now.

"Okay, easy now. I'll explain, but you might not believe me."

"Try me."

Well um. Where to start?

"Well, first off, I'm not entirely human, which I'm sure you've guessed, due to the whole knee to ogre elbow thing," I said, receiving a snort from my captor "but you um, obviously know that there's inhuman junk running around, I guess." I said, glancing to the ogre body. She rolled her eyes and made a sort of 'get on with it' gesture with her gun barrel. "I uh, don't suppose we could, um, not do this whole 'interrogation scene' in the rain, please? And if I promise not to um, try anything, I guess, can I please put down my arms?" I asked, wiggling my fingers a little bit to emphasize their proximity to my ears. She snorted again, a very masculine sound, actually. Sort of contrasted with the outward appearance of the little lady, but by now I know very well that outward appearances mean fairly little. "How about a cup of coffee? My treat…" I said, my voice trailing off hopefully.

She clenched her jaw, and a tense moment passed, an uncomfortable tense moment, before she sighed, looked unbelievably tired for about half a second, before lowering her gun. "Fine, but I pick the place, and I'm watching you. If you so much as twitch an eyelid in a threatening manner, I swear to god I will gut you like a fish." I would have smiled, if I wasn't deeply afraid of this tiny, blonde, adorable wrecking machine. Hey, she executed an ogre. An ogre that was like, 3 times bigger than I was, and about 6 times as mean, and she did it like it was nothing. I think some healthy fear was warranted.

She led me to this little bar not too far away, a nice little place, one I'd somehow never noticed before. It was the kind of bar you walked down into, which was a little unsettling to me personally, but I can ignore a mild case of claustrophobia on top of everything else. Don't want to make a bad impression, heh.

The bar had a low ceiling, with a lazy fan spinning right as you entered. I felt a little bit like I would need to duck here, but I knew that if I did, it wouldn't be long before those walls started to close in, and I'd be gasping in a corner. I stood up tall, refusing to give my quirks, my fears, my idiosyncrasies a single inch.

This made it hurt just a little more than it would have otherwise, as I hit my forehead on a rotating fan-blade. Luckily it was an old wood model, not an industrious steel type, so instead of a terrible gash or a deep cut or something I just got a bruise for my trouble.

"awww, ow." I muttered to myself, rubbing my forehead and bending my knees a little bit, not too much or anything. I wasn't crawling or anything. I wrinkled my nose to avoid grinning in response to the disparaging look the little woman gave me, before rolling her eyes and walking to the bar. Hey, little woman. Until she tells me otherwise, I hereby label her "badass Jo." But only in my head. I'm not suicidal enough to call her that to her face.

"Hey Mac. Do you sell coffee?" she asked the bartender, a bald man who really pulled of the bald look well. He grunted at badass Jo, reaching beneath the bar and producing to cups of coffee, steaming and fully prepared. How'd he know what she was going to order? Hell, she hadn't even seemed to know that he sold it at all!

But badass Jo looked grateful, and not in the least bit surprised. "You're an angel Mac." She said, grinning at him, before wiping it off her face as she turned, brushed past me and walked to a table in the back, hesitating, and picking a different one. That's sort of weird… but oh well, everyone's got little issues, like how I twitch every time anyone says "angel." But we're about to get to that.

She sat down with the coffee while I payed. Money wasn't super tight or anything, but I still got a little thrill when I heard his price. I'll just say it beats star bucks by about half the price. I followed badass Jo to the table and sat across from her, thanking her as she passed the coffee to me.

She looked at me for a moment, while I examined the able we were sitting at very closely. Mahogany. Good wood, good name for a band. "All right, you're clearly terrified of me." She stated without preamble. "This isn't how I should be going about this. After all, you did help me out there. Let's start over. Hi there, I'm lieutena- err, sergeant Karrin Murphy, S.I. and you are?" she said with a polite smile. It was easier to talk to. Sergeant, so she's a cop. That actually explained quite a bit. "Heh, I can get behind a fresh start. Hi there Miss Karrin, I'm Artanas, but most people call me art, and that's how I like it." She kept that smile on her face, giving me an impression that it was a fake one, a fake smile she wore often. Eh, I choose to ignore that it was fake. "Okay art, howsabout telling me what you are and where you come from?"

I scratched the back of my head nervously. I don't tell people about myself, as a rule. If knowledge is power, then I'd rather not supply the knife that ends up in my back. But I'm here to build bridges after all, so the trust train has to start somewhere.

"Well, first off, you've got to understand that I had a pretty crappy childhood, what with my earliest memories in a lab. Actually, have you ever read the maximum ride series?" she raised an eyebrow. "When I was about twelve or so. They've been out for a while now. Didn't really stick around till the end of it, why?" I grimaced briefly. "Well, because it's very similar to that. I was never in a dog crate or anything though. No, I was important enough to get my very own prison cell. Scientists sure know how to make a guy feel special and appreciated, now don't they? Poking, prodding, needles, syringes, treadmills, dumbbells, endless testing, forever puzzles…" I said, not really realizing my voice was trailing off as I slowly descended into memories, terrible memories. *memories of the past. It's over now, does nobody any good to dwell on It.* I thought to myself, shaking my head. "Anyways, that's where the similarities ended. In the max books, a man in a coat kidnaps them, well, re-kidnaps them I guess, and sets them into freedom. That wasn't my fate. I was kept in my cell under strict guard, until I was about 15, when they ran out of funding. Turns out maniacal laughter doesn't pay the bills quite like it used to or something. Once they realized there was no money in examining me, they set me free, unceremoniously kicking me out of the only life I'd ever known, and disappearing. Believe me, I looked for them, but I never really found anything solid. Only rumors and what-not." I said.

She frowned as she listened. Once I was done, she calmly stated, "you have told me nothing about how you did what you did, nor why you where there in the first place." Oops. "Oh, um, well you see, you remember how I said I wasn't wholly human?" she nodded, cop face firmly in place. Jeez, she thinks I'm crazy. Heck, wouldn't really surprise me to find out that I am, I suppose. "Well I was still not wholly human ever since I can remember. You see, the boys in the lab weren't what made me what I am. And before you ask, what I am is stronger than your average bear, faster than your average tiger, and so on. I could flip a car if I needed to, but I try to avoid it if I haven't stretched first. Talk about your pulled muscles." She nodded with a calculating look on her face.

I got the feeling that if I hadn't kicked an ogre hard enough to shatter his elbow right in front of her; I doubted she'd even consider what I was saying. As it was, I still had one ace in the hole to prove myself. "And also, I share one more similarity with the maximum ride gang…" I said, glancing around to see the bar. Nobody was around, what with the bartender having gone into some hidden storeroom or something. "May I show you?" I asked politely. She nodded, but I noticed her hands move towards her gun a little bit. Oh yeah, surprising her, bad. Sudden moves = no no. I stood up at a measured pace, not too quickly, but trying not to be slow enough to make her suspect anything. I lifted my shirt off of my shoulders, revealing my smooth chest. Closing my eyes, I relaxed…

And extended my wings.

Yep, mentioning maximum ride in the first place probably gave it away. I like the idea of the character, but I'm saying it now, in this universe here, maximum and her gang are strictly fictional. I have no plans on introducing a max\art crossover thingy. Partially because she and Murphy wouldn't get along very well, but also because dealing with isolation, being the only one of his kind is something I want to flesh out with this guy. I think it's gonna be fun on a bun introducing him to butters, specifically. Then I can flesh out the details of anatomy and whatnot. Still open to suggestions, critiques, anything like that. You got something to say, I'm all ears.