Who We Are (Mature)

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Who We Are (Mature)

Post by Ghost »

Who are we? The question burns through the minds of thousands of beings with unique abilities every day. What is the purpose of our lives and why were we blessed with the gifts that we have been given? As always the answers become clear when a side is chosen or a war breaks out and villains and superheroes alike battle it out. When it came down to it, Allyson had picked her side..a very long time ago. The Shadowblade being of a unique alien origin which had essentially fused with her on an almost molecular level, had given her many talents some would kill for...and now some will obviously attempt to kill her for them. There wasn't any going back at this point, it was acceptance for what she was doing..normal was no more. Tonigtht though would attempt to be one of those exceptions to the policy of the superhero life, she would try to act normal..atleast for Matthew's sake.

Allyson stood before the mirror and examined the long gray dress which Matthew had purchased for her. The flowing gown had small glittering beads in an intricate design around her stomach and waistline. Although she felt it was a bit tight around her chest, showing off a bit of cleavage, she knew Matthew wouldn't mind. The excess trail of the dress had light ruffles which gave it a bit more of a formal look. She sighed softly and adjusted herself once more before examining the curls in her soft brown locks, the remainder of her hair was in an intricate bun with soft curls. Overall, she looked extraordinary within a matter of a couple hours of getting ready for this event. Everything appeared to be perfect. Her earrings resembled angel wings, slightly dulled so they wouldn't stand out, whilst the single thing she wore close to her hands was the bracelet which was the "connection" to the Shadowblade. Another sigh pressed from her lightly painted lips as she gently reached over to her bed and picked up the small matching purse and gave herself a nod in the mirror before saying "Showtime". She felt odd in the heels she wore, it was as if she was walking on ice, again another thing she would have to get used to. She quietly exited her room and made her way to the top of the stairs and peered down below at Matthew who was adjusting himself in his attire. "You know you don't have to look any better than you already do...atleast not for me.." She gently placed a hand upon the railing and with her purse in the same hand managed to grab a handful of her dress and lift it as she walked down the circular stairs towards him.
Last edited by Ghost on Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Well it seemed the least that I could do, considering you're doing it for this party." Matthew said, looking once more in the mirror before finally turning and looking at her. Years of smoothly navigating the treacherous waters of the female world and working the field alongside his friend Isaiah Muir translated into no visible facial expression when he saw Allyson. "Though since you do it a lot better than I do, perhaps I'll just throw on my casual clothes and call it a day." He said with a smile. "You look stunning."

"I figured I'd try for it, you said this party had something to do with me." Allyson said.

"Yes, it's part of the cover." Matthew said with a small smile, trying to hide the fact that it was for personal reasons as well. "S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents do have to keep up with that, you know." He added as he took her hand and helped her down the last few steps. They headed over to the elevator and he let her in first before pressing the button for the ground floor. Knowing what he thought might happen, he waited until the doors to the elevator opened and they were walking out the front door, with the black town car waiting for them to mention it. "Incidentally," Matthew said in a non chalant manner, "as part of the cover, Francesca will be there tonight. Luckily for you, coffee won't be served for a while."

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson could only smile at the mere mention of the coffee incident, how convenient he had mentioned that. She could feel that he had wanted to mention more than "stunning" and the mere words coming from him gave her the boost she needed to make it through the hellish night that was sure to come. Matthew gently pressed ahead of her and opened the door for her, and made a gesturing motion with his free hand. "No doubt things will be interesting..." She offered him a soft smile as she gently slid into the vehicle.

Matthew slowly began to shut the door and Allyson quickly brought her hand out to catch the handle, looking up at him with a bit of concern on her face. "I'm not doing this for anything or anyone, but for you..let's get that clear ok?" Her tone had a sense of seriousness to it, yet a slight hint of concern that he might think otherwise. With a slight sigh she shifted in the seat as he closed the door behind her. "Well, I wouldn't want it any other way..." Matthew mumbled slightly, smirking slightly as he moved around the backside of the car and quickly entered in the opposite side of the vehicle.

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Re: Who We Are

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As the car pulled off the curb and started driving, Matthew turned to Allyson. "One thing you should know though, you're going to have to get used to events like these. It's kind of a thing for photojournalists in the city. Second off, it is going to be part of maintaining your cover. You're going to soon be known as the newest photojournalist on the block, and because you're going to have such a glowing endorsement, you're going to have to prove yourself. Part of that is going to be going to all of the events, and not really showing any selectivity yet." Matthew said.

"Why? That's a little retarded."

"Because every one before you paid dues and kissed ass, and just because you're coming out towards the top of the group doesn't mean too much. You don't have the track record to be eccentric or to be selective. Not yet, at least." He said.

Hunt turned and looked out of the window. It was starting to rain slightly, small little droplets that splashed harmlessly against the windows of the car. "I still goes to these kind of events, but for me it's a personal thing. Townsend Media was owned and controlled by my family and by my parents. I had to go through a lot to get it back into my hands after I lost it. So I value it a lot, probably for more personal reasons than I do for S.H.I.E.L.D. reasons. It just so happens that I've melded both of those lives together." Matthew said. His fingers moved as he stretched them and then pulled them back in. "Maintaining a cover is one of the hardest things that an agent has to do. I know you're up to it though." He added, as he looked back at her.

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson frowned slightly at the discomforting feeling she got from not only Matthew's attitude but the direction in which the current conversation was headed. She simply shook her head and gently allowed herself a bit of distance, well as much as possible from him while he wasn't looking. A difficult task considering the size of the vehicle and both of them together, considering the fact he wasn't paying much attention to her of course played to her advantage. She didn't care for arguments with him, much less any discussion which would lead to them, atleast not in the capacity that they were in now. She was trying to be normal, for his sake. She heaved quite a heavy sigh before composing herself, not allowing him to see much less get a sense of discomfort or displeasure from her. "I'm sorry if I offended you. I will do what I have to do maintain my cover...and remember this is just a job."

Right there, that ought to do it. If anything she didn't want to really hurt him. She knew he did so much to get his family heirloom which was in the form of a company back, but was he just blind or that stupid? This wasn't just about S.H.I.E.L.D or her being a photojournalist covering some fancy party. She wouldn't be running around in a thousand dollar dress all primped and proper to photograph the rich and mighty of New York City for nothing, this was about her doing something to try to be close to him, atleast in a social manner. He was right though, as the ping of despair and hurt hit for the first time in ages, business came first. She took a deep breath as the car came up to the main stage of what would no doubt become the center of hell for her this evening, she again composed herself and put a smile on her face.....but deep down she heard the whisper of the Shadowblade, reassuring her that it wasn't wrong to feel the hurt the way she did and that he would one day see why she was trying to do what she was doing.

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Re: Who We Are

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He wasn't entirely sure what had happened, but something had shifted in her. Hunt knew that there was something between them, but he also knew that tonight they needed to push it to the side. This was one of their first events together, one of their first jobs, in a sense as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents working together. it wasn't of huge importance, but it was in a way, as their first test. He hadn't meant to be as harsh as he had been, but he was trying to convey a point. Allyson had to make sure that she didn't do anything to make waves when it came to Francesca. It might make her happy personally, but it would draw attention to what was going on with Townsend Media and their new photojournalist. They needed to show off a unified front tonight, because there could be no look at Townsend that would make people want to give it a second look. People needed to accept Allyson as their new photojournalist. Townsend was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best fronts. It wouldn't work if that was compromised. It was possible that Matthew was being a bit paranoid, but there was nothing wrong with that sometimes. Maybe there was in this instance. But Matthew was just doing what he knew to do. He had a bead on everything in his life. Allyson was bringing soemthing new into that, so he knew that he was going to react in a defensive way.

"Allyson, I know you're going to be great tonight. You've got the appearance part down without a problem. I'm pretty sure that it was effortless from the looks of it. This is going to be easy, you have nothing to worry about." He said, reaching a hand out, slowly, for hers.

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson merely listened to the words coming out of Matthew's mouth, but they literally fell on deaf ears. The only response he got was a solemn nod as they pulled up to the entrance of Grand Hyatt Hotel. Of course this event wasn't something that was broadcast nationally, so media attention was limited to local news sources. She sighed as the door opened on her side and the driver reached inside to gently grasp her hand and assist her out of the car. "Thank you." She gave him a soft smile before turning to look inside the vehicle at Matthew as he exited, a few snapshots were taken as Matthew exited. The devilishly handsome and charming CEO of Townsend Media would indeed take the spotlight. Allyson being prim and proper in events such as this casually extended her arm out for Matthew to take and she began to briskly walk with him towards the entrance.

The annoyance of the flash photography was something she would have to get used to one of these days, but she didn't show her discomfort. The doors to the hotel were opened for them and they were quickly met by one of the ushers? She presumed so, she couldn't tell half the time during these type of events. The young man quickly escorted them towards the Grand Ball room entrance, and that is where Allyson caught her breath. The devil was waiting for her. It was as if it were a message the night was just going to go downhill from there. "Francesca" she growled underneath her breath.

The other woman couldn't help but smirk as she saw Matthew walk up with Allyson, the perfect time to excuse the new girl and make her move. "Matthew..and..Allyson was it?" She eyed Allyson quickly, almost as if she was examining her for a weakness or perhaps a flaw in her dress.

"Yes ma'am..It's a pleasure to see you again Ms. Bryant." Allyson gently let go of Matthew's arm and extended her hand out to Francesca, the other woman merely nodded before quickly taking up Matthew's now free arm and gently pulling him towards the entrance. "We have some very important guests waiting for us.." She stopped for a moment to look back at Allyson, giving her a smirk before saying "Oh, don't forget to take some pictures.." With that, she continued to usher Matthew away from Allyson.

She was fuming, internally of course. No words could express the sheer hatred she had for that woman. "Oh..You'll get your pictures alright..." She took a deep breath and quietly entered the Grand Ballroom, still holding a tight smile on her face...despite the flames burning away at her soul.
Last edited by Ghost on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who We Are

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As Matthew was taken away from Allyson, there was someone who was watching everything that was going on. His name was Jared Chamberlain, and he was a wealthy businessman in New York City. There was something about the woman in front of him that had caught his eye. They were in the Grand Ballroom, and he had a scotch in his hands. The business suit that he wore wrinkled perfectly, just as it was supposed to as he walked towards her. The dress that she was in was marvelous and his eyes roved appreciatively. "Hello there." He said, his voice a mixture of whiskey and honey. "And just who might you be? I saw you outside with Hunt, but Francesca took him away. Interesting move there. My name is Jared Chamberlain." He said.

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Re: Who We Are

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There was a powerful presence in the room and she could feel it approach her. She turned her attention fully to Jared as he spoke, she offered him a soft smile as she extended her right hand. "Allyson, Allyson Parks." For a moment, she could feel her face flush at the mention of Francesca whisking away Matthew but it quickly subsided. She merely chuckled and gave him a slight shrug. "I suppose it's what she is best at you know?" What else was there to say about the woman, that she was a sniveling little she-devil who deserved to be at the end of a pike? Oh yes, that would be fun.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Ah you're the new photojournalist that they were talking about." Jared said with a smile. "Townsend apparently scored quite a coup in picking you up from what I understand. You'll have to forgive me, I don't work in media. I'm the CEO of Irons International. We're a technology and manufacturing company. I only deal with the media causing me problems, actually" He said, ending it with a laugh. "May I get you a drink?" He asked.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Ah, yeah I was told about your company." She paused for a moment in thought before nodding gently. "I think a drink is in order, I'll take a strong appletini for the moment." She placed her arm around his own, it felt odd at first but then it felt right a few moments into it. She looked down at the ground as they approached the bar area, speaking up quickly in an attempt to keep her thoughts in line. "So, your company as I said, I've heard you got quite an operation going there, might have to do a story on it one day." She looked up from the ground and to Jared, smiling softly. This was indeed a unique situation to be in. While Matthew was off with Francesca, she was here with a key player in the financial sector of New York. It was odd how things worked out, maybe Matthew would see this and it might trigger some jealousy..No, it wouldn't. Their cover was of the utmost importance right now.

"You're being watched..." The voice echoed in the back of her mind as she gave a quick glance around the room to catch a few people glimpsing at this young, fresh face of Townsend Media, attached to the CEO of Irons International.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Nothing bad, I hope." Jared said with a smile as the bartender fixed Allyson her drink. "These are interesting little parties. I have a feeling that Matthew enjoys them. I know a lot of people do. I don't. I'd much rather prefer being at home, with my dogs." He added with a small smile. "But things like this are necessary. Necessary evils, to keep up appearances. Something we all have to do." Jared said. "Tell me about yourself, Allyson, I'm all ears."

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson turned away at the mention of keeping up appearances, something didn't seem right. It was as if the bait was being set and the hook was right there infront of her. She raised a slender eyebrow as she gently let go of his arm and leaned on the bar gently and let off a soft chuckle. "I'm sure, someone of your caliber already knows what they need to know about me, even before I stepped into this room." She gave him a wink before chuckling again and turning to the bartender as he handed her the drink which she order. "Thank you." She gently grasped the glass with her right hand, bringing it to her lips and taking a sip of the sour liquid. She grimaced slightly as she brought the glass back down and gave both the bartender and Jared a nod. "Good enough for me.." She quietly moved away from the bar, walking towards a more suitable place to have this discussion.

"I'm from a relatively small town on the coast of Georgia, Savannah..is the name of it, if you must know." She waved her left hand softly. "I mean, I'm not really good at these things..so what exactly do you want to know Mr. Chamberlain?"

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Re: Who We Are

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"Well, for one, I was wondering how you came to Townsend. The press release on you touted you to be fairly well known and recognizable, but my people weren't able to find out anything besides that. No prior employers or that sort of thing." His smile took a slight edge. "I figured it would be worth it to look up one of the guests of honor of this party, I'm sorry if that seems rather forward. We've also been looking for someone to help us cover this new project that we've been working on at Irons, so it seemed like a good fit. I'm glad that I was able to run into you, Allyson."

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Re: Who We Are

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A question in which she had no real answer to, now it was time to lie. Let us hope this man wouldn't be able to read through her lies. "Well, Matthew and I don't have a history like he and Francesca do, but that is how I came about to Townsend Media." She paused for a moment, bringing the drink to her lips and taking a harsh swig now instead of a sip. This man was pressing her for information, no doubt and for some reason, like Matthew he was hard to resist. "My previous employers was the U.S Government, I did press release work for them in Afghanistan and Iraq." She chuckled softly. "It was nothing special to be honest, mostly public relations you know?"

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Re: Who We Are

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Jared nodded slowly. "You worked with the military? Interesting. I have a few contracts with the government actually, but most of Irons International's work is with medical technology and things of that nature. Nothing overtly designed to hurt, more designed to help." He said. Jared looked out at the dance floor that was present, with a few couples here and there swaying to the music, that was Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in feel and sound. "Would you care to dance, my dear?" He asked.

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Allyson could only smile at the mention of the military. "If you only knew." She thought briefly, but her thoughts were quickly interrupted by the sudden invite to dance. Her face flushed slightly red as she coughed briefly and gently set down her glass onto passing waiter's tray, giving Jared a brief nod. "I'd be delighted to.." This was different, Matthew had never asked her to dance, not even in the loft. Jared extended his hand for her to take and led them out to the floor, her face continued to brighten red a bit more in the cheeks, but only for a moment before she regained her composure. She assumed the position of the basic style of Foxtrot. Foxtrot is a smooth and progressive dance which was characterized by a long and continious flowing movement across the dance floor. Overall, it was elegant and beautiful when the two partners were in sync with one and another.

She gently placed her right hand within his left hand, and gently brought his right arm around her waist and placed her left arm around his neck, gently grasping the back of it. She modified the stance of Foxtrot a little bit to be a little bit more comforting than the earlier versions. "I see we know our forms of dancing?" Jared mused as began to lead, placing his left foot forward slowly, soon followed by his right. She followed suit, letting off a light giggle before giving him a soft nod. "Too many military balls in which I had to attend." She said.

They moved seemlessly together, moving forward and then reversing. He gently began to put them into a hesitated right turn, followed by a right box turn. She glanced around the room briefly, watching the people dancing and enjoying themselves. She could feel Jared looking down at her, but she wasn't paying attention for the moment, she was searching..and there she found what she was looking for. There are the bar, casually sipping away on a some brown liquor, was Matthew. He had a blank stare upon his face as he watched her dance with Jared. she couldn't help but turn away and look up at Jared, offering him a hesitated smile.

"Is something wrong?" He inquired.

She simply shook her head, a stiffled laugh attempting to press out of her. "No, of course not."

"Good, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable." His left fingers began to touch her wrist, slowly at first but then the tips of his fingers managed to touch the cold metal of her bracelet causing her to spit out a question to catch his attention. "So, is there someone special in your life?"

"Seriously, did you just ask that!?" She could have smacked herself in the forehead at that point, but the question had been asked.

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Re: Who We Are

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Chamberlain laughed congenially. "Well, no, at the moment." He said. "I'm divorced." He said, explaining. "My wife left me five years ago, it was a pretty interesting divorce. I've moved on from the relationship, we were together for a good period of time, she helped me with Irons International when I first took over the company. But since she left me, no, there hasn't been anyone special in my life." Jared said with a small smile. "What of yourself? The question begs one of itself asked of you, Allyson." He added, a larger, mischevious smile replacing the smaller one. "Is there someone special in your life?"

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

He wasn't entirely sure why, but seeing her with Chamberlain brought an inordinate sense of jealously into his system. Matthew's grip on his glass tightened. He and Allyson weren't together, far from it, so he wasn't sure why he was upset with what was going on. He didn't see anything in her eyes that told him that she was attracted to Chamberlain. There was something on the man's face though that told him that he was attracted to Allyson. A slight shot of anger coursed through him, and Matthew lifted his drink up for another swallow. He had just entered the room after meeting with a few of the members of the board with Francesca. They had discussed a few quick things after saying their hellos. But he had wanted to get back to Allyson as quickly as possible to make sure that she didn't feel overwhelmed or anything like that. ONly to find her apparently happily engaged with Jared Chamberlain of Irons International. Because that was exactly what he wanted. Well, in a way it was. She was working the crowd.

Just hopefully not in a way that was going to make him even more jealous.

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson shrugged slightly as she continued to dance gracefully with Jared. "I can safely say, I am currently not taken but not putting myself on the market..not yet anyways.." She chuckled softly. "There was someone I thought to be special but business comes first, especially for me." She smiled gingerly before gently taking a step back from Jared and gracefully extending her arm out. "And right now, I have some other business I must attend to Mr. Chamberlain." She gently let go of his hand and turned away slightly, but only for a moment. "I appreciate the dance, and the opportunity to meet you." She paused for a moment. "But now I have to go introduce myself to the rest of the high society in New York." With that she quietly turned away and pushed her way through the crowd, a sigh escaped her lips as she made her way into the secluded hallway where the restrooms were located. She looked around for a moment and quietly made her way into the woman's restroom, gently pushing the door open.

She sighed heavily as she came upon the counter and stared into the mirror, her face was lightly flushed. "It wasn't from dancing...there was something about him." She couldn't place it, that man was powerful.

"Beware."

A vision flashed through her mind, motorcycle ride across a bridge. The sound of something beeping, an explosion. S.H.I.E.L.D teams searching the waters...

She closed her eyes tightly and took a deep breath, slowly regaining her composure. With that she took one more glance in the mirror, attempting to put a smile on her face. "Showtime..." She quietly exited the restroom and made her way back down the secluded hallway.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Hunt, you should have gotten in touch with me earlier about this find."

Matthew looked to the direction of the voice, having been watching different people from the bar. He watched as Jared Chamberlain walked towards him, getting a fresh drink from the bar.

"We decided to keep news about the acquisition under wraps for as long as possible." Matthew said.

"Acquisition? She's a human, you know, quite a beauty too, and talented, I'd bet."

"You're looking to replace Catherine?" Hunt asked, a bit of a sarcastic smile coming over his face.

"Maybe, but not at the moment. No, I'm much more interested in what she can bring to the table when it comes to Irons International." Chamberlain said, swirling his glass for a moment before taking a drink. "She needs something interesting for her first project, and I know that Irons International's new piece of technology is going to need a big name reporter doing the major field work on it. My PR department already has a few things cooking, but we need a big name reporter to help cover it." He said.

"So we're on to business." Matthew said, the smile changing to a more normal one.

With a laugh, Chamberlain set the glass down on the bar. "Hunt, that's what we're always here for. I don't come to these damn parties looking for anything other than business and neither should you." He looked away for a moment, and then back at him. "Besides, I have a competitor here. I'd much rather make sure I can get a potential asset like Parks on my side before he does. You know how these things go."

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson couldn't help how she felt at the moment, a sudden influx of emotions had slammed into her like a brick wall. The vision didn't help things either, just made them more complicated. She quietly made her way down the hallway and was suddenly intercepted by Jennifer Gold, Matthew's secretary. "Ms. Parks, I was asked to give you this by Ms. Bryant." She looked down at the bag and glared. The audacity of this woman was indeed something she would have to deal with.

"Thank you Jennifer." She offered the woman a smile and took the bag from her, she watched as Jennifer quickly took off back towards the Grand Ballroom, leaving Allyson and no doubt the camera bag alone. She opened it slowly to reveal her Nikon D-3 and the extended lense. She simply shook her head and gently lifted the camera from it's case and brought the lanyard around her neck, both hands coming up to grip the edges of the camera. Despite everything, she loved taking photos and writing up stories on events and happenings around town. It was time to work, so despite how much of a bitch Francesca was, she was right.

Allyson re-entered the Grand Ballroom with a slight smile on her face as she began positioning herself to take photography of the surrounding area, the chandoliers and various artifacts which glistened and sparkled at this grand event. She quietly pushed her way through the crowd, taking pictures of groups casually mingling and talking until she heard the bitter voice of Francesca speak up. "Allyson, come here." She turned slowly to see Francesca with her arm around some man dressed rather well. "Take a picture of Marc Jacobs and myself, if you would be so kind.." The words came out of her mouth like venom. Allyson only gave her a smile and brought the camera up, allowing them a moment to compose themselves before snapping the image.

Allyson gave Francesca a quick nod before dissapearing into the gathering crowd, looking around for Matthew. There she fund him, and of course he was still at the bar but with Jared? How interesting. She quietly approached them and brought the camera up, taking a casual but quick photo of them both. "Now boys, don't we think we should get into a more proper and business like pose?" Allyson smirked as she brought the camera up again to take another photo.

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Re: Who We Are

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Matthew smiled congenially and looked over at Chamberlain. The other man gave a similar smile and it was obvious that while they might have been friends or at least respected each other, their smiles were the practiced smiles of businessmen often times forced to do PR with people that they didn't like or didn't respect. Appearances were everything, both in business and in the spy world. There was another man in the room, one who watched Hunt with a particular interest. He was nursing a glass of white wine. The asian man was talking to a few people, but his eyes stayed on Hunt as much as possible. His name, at least the name that he had given to the people here was Daniel Chin. His actual name was something far far different. It wasn't something that he would share with these people though. Hunt, maybe. Matthew Hunt was possibly a worthy adversary for a man of Chin's stature. The asian looked at the woman who was taking the pictures and his eyes narrowed imperceptibly. There was something about the woman. He wasn't sure what it was, he just knew that something was odd.

He could sense her chi being strong. Not as strong as his, but she was definitely powerful. A tiny smile creeped to the corners of his mouth. Maybe Matthew would indeed be a worthy adversary. Time would tell. He just knew that there was information that Matthew had that he wanted. And there wasn't going to be anyone who would and could stop him.

Meanwhile, Matthew had finished with the photo opportunity, and he turned to Allyson. "I didn't know you brought your camera with you. That purse of yours must have deep pockets." He said with a smile.

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson offered Matthew an obvious sarcastic smile before saying. "Ms. Bryant was courteous enough to take it from my desk at work and bring it here.." Nothing else to be said, the icy chill in her voice was more than enough. "If you gentlemen will excuse me." She turned quietly and moved away from both Jared and Matthew, a sigh escaping her lips as she made her way back over towards the table they were designated to sit at. Obviously, Francesca had something to do with the seating arrangements cause she was nowhere near Matthew. She simply shook her head and gently opened the satchel where her camera normally rested and placed it within, gently latching it down before closing it and then stuffing it under the table.

"Something isn't quite right, someone is examining you, I cannot pinpoint who. Stay on your guard." The entity within her had just begun speaking to her fully, instead of a few words here and there and at times it had been comforting. Then there were times where it just was outright annoying cause it made her paranoid. As much as she was "enjoying" herself, she couldn't help but feel it was right for once, something didn't add up. She wouldn't allow it to bother her though, now it was time to enjoy a drink and perhaps get some air. She watched as a waiter walked by with a tray full of champagne and quickly snatched a glass off the tray and without stopping made her way out to the new addition to the Grand Ballroom, a private balcony which had nice and quiet view of Central Park.

Much of the damage the giant plant had done was well fixed by now and the stares were bright in the sky tonight, despite the bright city lights. She sighed heavily as she brought her arms down to rest upon the cold metal railing. She gently brought the glass to her soft lips, taking a sip of the sweet liquid before bringing it back down and gently twirling it back and forth in her hand. "Some life..."

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Re: Who We Are

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Matthew Hunt couldn't shake the feeling that there was something wrong. He was sitting at his table, with Francesca next to him, waiting for something. It just wasn't obvious what it was, and that bothered him. Shaking the feeling off was almost impossible, and Matthew wasn't sure what was clouding his judgment. He couldn't tell whether it was with Allyson or something else. It was clear that there was something wrong when it came to Allyson. Anyone could tell that she was trying her best not to snap at Francesca. Words would have to pass between him and the other woman. She needed to know that she couldn't do these things to Allyson, it was wrong. He wasn't too sure on why she was doing it anyway. It didn't make much sense to him. He was rather happy that Allyson had been able to keep a clamp on whatever she was feeling towards Francesca though. Professionalism was what they were striving for, especially with tonight. As bad as it seemed to be, if Allyson could manage to not go after Francesca, it would be a good thing.

While he had a feeling that whatever was wrong had to do with Allyson, he had a sneaking feeling that there was something else wrong with what was going on around him. There was someone or something here that made him think that it wasn't safe. The exact cause, well that he couldn't point out. But there was something. Thinking that it was probably just what was going on between Allyson and Francesca, Matthew just tried to concentrate on what was going on.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Daniel Chin walked out on to the balcony, following the woman.

"You're a stunning beauty, ma'am. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist." He said, his voice, calm and gentle. "I was wondering if I could inquire as to your name and who you were escorted here with?" He asked, his Chinese accent obvious in his voice.

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Re: Who We Are

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"It's obvious, that everyone has a question and is targeting who I came with." She turned slightly to look at Daniel, offering him a gentle smile before turning back to gaze upon the small lake, glistening with the backdrop of the city lights against it. "I actually, didn't come here with anyone tonight. I am just a photojournalist for Townsend Media." A lie, but one that was needed for the moment. It would seem as if too many people were too curious about who she was, what she was doing and even what size her bra was. Annoying? Yes, but it also made one get on edge a bit more than they needed to be.

She looked to her left as the man approached and leaned against the railing, looking out to the same view that she had been gazing at. "He was the one, be wary of this one. I am unsure what his intentions are." That made sense, obviously she was being eye-raped by every man in the room, but certain ones had taken more of a deeper interest in her than sexual feelings such a lust. "My name is Allyson by the way..and thank you for the compliment."

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Re: Who We Are

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"I'm sorry. I'm just a financial person. I don't claim to have much knowledge of how these things happen and take place. Honestly, I'm the guest of someone here. Happened to be in town and my friend suggested that I accompany him to this event." Daniel said. "My name is Daniel, Daniel Chin." He added. "I was wondering, then, if you're a journalist, what do you know about that horrible thing that happened in Central Park? It seemed like a lot of people were hurt. I heard that one man was actually killed, but that it was unconnected to the Central Park situation directly. Do you know anything about it? It seems a little scary that something like that could happen so close to people."

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Re: Who We Are

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She frowned slightly and looked away from him. "I don't really know, I was busy covering another story at that time..." Another lie, but again a well needed one. In actuality, at that time she was fighting Grayson. She simply shook her head and took another sip of the champagne, and quickly decided to down the rest of it before placing the glass gently down on the ground next to her. She grasped the rails tightly and looked down at the ground for a moment before standing to her full height. "I'm sure the heroes who were there did their best to prevent what causalities might have been and things like that just happen that close to people."

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Re: Who We Are

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"It just seems interesting that Central Park has started to go back tot he way that it was already. Time will be needed to heal all of the wounds." He said. Chin smiled then. "Tell me something, Allyson. Why do I feel a weird presence about you, and why do I have a feeling that you will impede my ability to get the information that I want out of Agent Hunt? It's something that I've been wondering for a little while now, to be completely honest with you." Daniel added, his eyes and facial expression giving him a predatory look.

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Re: Who We Are

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A chill ran down her spine and she could feel the beast within her knocking at the door. Her guard was slowly coming up as she chuckled softly, acting confused at his question. "I don't know what you're talking about?" She showed limited signs of nervousness as she turned to face him and even took a small step backwards. "There it is, this man is powerful." She could feel something about him. The look in his eyes was all too familiar to her. "Agent Hunt? You mean my boss? I don't think he has any information but stock figures!" She said sarcastically and yet again another lie.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Don't play coy with me. I know who Hunt really is. He's one of the highest level S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents there is. He practically helped rebuild the organization along with Nick Fury and Christian Sommers. He has information that I want and I will get it from him. I want to know whether or not it has to be with your unconscious form nearby when I get it from him. Hurting you is not something I wish, Allyson." Daniel said, and his features while still predatory, seemed almost gentle then for a few moments. "I only want what I want, and while I will do what I need to, to get it, I don't want to have to do anything unecessary in order to get what I want."

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Re: Who We Are

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There wasn't any fooling this man and the seriousness of the situation had become obvious. The two of them were alone out here, luckily enough. She had limited experience with people she couldn't exactly read off the bat. His demeanor was that of a tiger ready to pounce it's prey but he was attempting to be subtle and calm through his threats. Almost on a cold and calculating level, and he had managed to press the one button which he shouldn't have. "I don't think you'll hurt me..." She tossed aside the typical cute personality, she could feel the Shadowblade coming through. It at times gave her a more smartass personality and a badass attitude in these types of situations. A smirk curled at the edge of her lips as she spoke. "And I don't think you'll be getting within any range of Matthew to get any information you want, cause if we all got what we wanted in life then the world would be a different place now wouldn't it?"

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Re: Who We Are

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"It would indeed. You're an interesting one, Allyson." Chin said, the ruthless smile coming back. "I'm sure that our fight will be incredibly interesting. However, it won't happen here, not now. There are too many witnesses. Besides, you'd blow Matthew's cover and whatever cover it is that you have. That's something that would be a shame and I don't want to happen. Never let it be said that I wasn't a gentleman to my foes." He added. He deeply bowed then. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Allyson. We will see each other again. Soon, of that I have no doubt." Daniel said.

Turning, he started to walk away, heading not towards the rest of the party, but out of the building itself.

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Re: Who We Are

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"Interesting." Allyson watched as Daniel walked away, she could only wonder what information was so important. She sighed heavily and brought a hand up to brush away a few tendrils of hair away from her face. Her gaze fell upon the lake for a moment, and then she looked inside to see Matthew sitting next to Francesca. She frowned heavily before walking back inside the Ballroom, she couldn't believe what was happening. Obviously, Daniel was someone powerful and someone with evil intent. Matthew had information which the man wanted and he would do whatever it took to get it. She didn't bother stopping by the "High Council's" table, instead she made her way to her own table and grabbed her camera from underneath the table. She gently placed the satchel around her shoulder and quickly walked back to Matthew's table. "There are some pressing issues which I have to attend to Mr. Hunt."

Matthew looked at her questioningly and went to speak but was interrupted by Francesca. "Thank you for informing us Allyson, and great job with the pictures."

Hatred. Nothing else, it was purely competition for his affection and she was displaying her dominance in her position over Allyson. "You're welcome Ms. Bryant." She said nothing else, only offered a smile before she moved out of the Ballroom.

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Re: Who We Are

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As she walked away, Matthew's sense of urgency peaked. He started to rise, but stopped, turning towards Vanessa, when she reached out and put a hand on his wrist. She gave him a confused look, easily conveying the message that was in her mind. Despite this, he waited until she vocalized the thought. "What are you doing?" She asked. "You have to stay here, the dinner is about to start, Matthew." Vanessa said. Her eyes told him that she really wanted him to stay where he was, blinking at him.

"I need to see what's going on with Allyson." He said.

A bit of annoyance mixed with anger shot through Vanessa's otherwise impeccable features. "What's going on?"

"Precisely what I'd like to find out." Matthew said.

"No, I mean, what's going on with that girl?" She asked. "You're not like this with all of the employees." Bryant said.

"I'll have to explain later." Matthew said, shrugging her hand away and heading towards Allyson, as Vanessa's eyes narrowed, strategies and plans beginning to formulate in her mind.

A few moments later, Matthew had stepped outside of the dining hall and saw Allyson. "Allyson, what's going on?" He asked, increasing his pace to catch up to her, easily done due to the height difference. "Is everything alright?"

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Re: Who We Are

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A simple shrug is all he would get, she kept her head high as she briskly pushed the doors open to the entrance and walked outside. "It's nothing, please just go enjoy your party." She offered him a soft smile before waving her hand in the air to attempt to catch the attention of passing by taxi's. One quickly pulled up infront of her, tires screeching to a halt. "I think, you also need to be a bit more careful and be mindful of your surroundings Matthew." She gently opened the door and began to slide in. "You're being watched more than you will ever know."

The taxi driver wasn't one for patience, simply stating. "You coming or going?"

She simply gave him a look which made him turn around and face the front, fingers gently tapping on the steering wheel. Her gaze fell back on Matthew and a sigh came out of her mouth. "I need to take a ride, so just call me later." She gave him a gentle smile before shutting the door. "14th Street, Crandale Apartments" Nothing else could be said, the driver simply nodded and drove off, Allyson looked back at Matthew for a moment and then back to the front.

No doubt when she got home, she'd go to her garage and get on her bike and take a nice ride through the city and out to the Manhattan Bridge. She just needed to get away, and hopefully lure away whoever or whatever was after Matthew or her.

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Re: Who We Are

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Daniel Chin hadn't gone too far. He was standing close by to the Grand Hyatt, watching the two of them. He had guessed that she would attempt to leave, either with or without Matthew Hunt. Even if she hadn't come out with Hunt, it would still have been worth his while to wait. The man smiled, watching the taxi leave. His thought process had been that she would have convinced Hunt to come with her, in order to keep him safe. It appeared as though keeping him safe was something that was high on her list of priorities. The fact that he hadn't gotten into the cab had been an interesting turn of events. Something that Daniel had seen as a possibility, but not one that he had given a high probability. At least he had a plan for it. The man headed towards the Grand Hyatt. Hunt was unprotected at this point. He couldn't afford to reveal his second life in front of all these people. They were integral to keeping Matthew Hunt as a man of the people. Also, they were integral to keeping Townsend Media as part of S.H.I.E.L.D. It meant that Hunt needed to be on the ball when it came to what would happen next.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Four Hours Later

The phone rang a few times before she picked up. He wasn't sure why exactly he was calling her, but he was. "Allyson Parks?"

"Yes?"

"This is...Jared Chamberlain. Matthew, h-he told me to call you. I'm...afraid something's happened. Matthew's hurt."

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Re: Who We Are

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Allyson leaned the bike gently on the kickstand, staring out into the distance at the lights of New York. "I understand, I'll be there shortly..." She gently tapped the bluetooth on her ear, hanging up the call. A gloved hand grazed the silver and black helmet that sat in her lap, her plan had failed. "Daniel" The Shadowblade knew as much as she did, it had to have been him. Then again, it could have been Grayson, or someone. "Or some god forsaken person who just doesn't give a damn!" She cried out, her voice echoing in the distance. She had stopped her bike on the side of the road, one of the few spots you could see New York for all it's nightly beauty.

Anger wasn't the word, she was beyond that. Her plan had failed, and in turn, Matthew got hurt. She should have warned him better, brought him along. "I could have protected him."

"You don't know that for sure young one. You too could be injured and we would be in a very bad situation." The entity within attempted to calm her more basic emotions. "We will find him when you return and make him pay for his doings, for now we must go."

She nodded softly, gently grasping the helmet and sliding it over her head. With a quick slap of her gloved hand, the visor was closed and she leaned the bike back up. She quickly turned the ignition on and brought a swift foot down to start the Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. With a loud roar the bike came to life as she pulled the throttle. She engaged the clutch and brought the kickstand up and within a split second, she shot off into the night.

The bike was roaring through traffic across the Manhattan Bridge at a brisk 70 plus MPH, in and out of traffic she weaved. Occasionally taking the speeds up to 95 and then having to break suddenly. Traffic was relatively light, mostly due to the time of night. She was attempting to get there as fast as she could, and hopefully she would still have night on her side to find Daniel.

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Re: Who We Are

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He watched as she rode her bike through the night. She was coming to rescue Matthew Hunt and Jared Chamberlain. How predictable. Daniel had figured that if given the chance, Matthew would call Allyson. It just so happened that Matthew hadn't really had the ability to talk when Daniel had left him. And if he recalled correctly, Matthew hadn't been in a talkative mood either. Interesting. This meant that it had to have been Chamberlain. The CEO of Irons International hadn't had too much done to him, but that was because there was no reason to. Chamberlain had been taken in order to keep some semblance of a dampener on the night's activities, at least to the eyes of the general public. The last thing that Daniel wanted was for Matthew's cover to be blown. That wouldn't do, it wouldn't do at all. He had brought with him, when he had come to the States, a small team of people who worked for him. Once the taxi had left, he had given instructions that they were to follow her. They had found Allyson's apartment and had then proceeded to go through the apartment's registry until they had found what they were looking for.

There was a little surprise waiting for her. He hadn't known for sure that she would take her motorcycle, but Daniel had been willing to hedge his bets, once he had found out about it. He had had a feeling that she would try to move as quickly as possible to get to Matthew. So he had had his people attach something to the motorcycle. Something small, nothing deadly. Just enough to give her a taste, so that each could see what they were working with. She would be able to see that he indeed meant business and he could see what exactly he would have to do to make her a non-factor in the little negotiations that were currently underway.

He pressed the button, thinking nothing of the people around her. They were immaterial in his game of chess.

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Re: Who We Are

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Time seemed to slow for the moment as she hit 90 MPH, pushing the bike well into fifth gear. She could make out a faint beeping noise, it was close. For a moment she thought it was her bluetooth, but she was wrong. Her instincts and abilities hadn't even had a chance to kick in as the device planted beneath the rear of her bike exploded and in a chair reaction caused the gas tank to explode beneath her. The speed in which she was launched off the bike was something a normal human would have been knocked out clearly by the g-forces that hit them. The large explosion caught the taxi next to her and sent it reeling into the guard rail. Time seemed to catch up to her and suddenly everything was a blur, the moment of impact against the asphalt sent her vision into darkness.

The sound her body made when it hit the road, bounced and slid across the pavement was horrible. The bone crunching noise of her helmet shattering as she impacted the side-wall of concrete and came to a stop about 200 feet away from the remains of her bike. The sound of horns blaring and people yelling was barely audible to her, she could taste blood in her mouth and feel it running down the side of her face. She brought her gloved right hand up to examine her arm, it having a bad case of road rash. Her left arm felt numb and even ackward, she could barely move her head as she looked down at the limp arm and frowned softly.

Her right hand was shaking as she touched the shattered visor and busted helmet. With a loud groan, she gently pulled it free from her head and examined it. It was as if at that moment she was struck with awe. She felt as if a tank round had hit her full on and the Shadowblade hadn't had a chance to even save her ass from hitting the ground. She didn't dare move, she just remained still for the moment, staring at the helmet. Her body cautiously leaned back fully against the concrete barrier, listening to the sounds of the flames and the third explosion from a vehicle which had the bike driven up and underneath it. Or atleast what remained of the bike. She gently tossed the helmet aside and took a deep breath in, trying to get her vision to focus.

One of her greatest weaknesses was not being trained and attuned to her own powers...and tonight it got the best of her.

"Get ahold of yourself..."

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Re: Who We Are

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There were idle screams here and there from the people on the bridge. They were drowned out, it seemed, by a group of people riding motorcycles. The two yellow motorcycles raced towards where Allyson lay. There were two occupants per motorcycle. Each motorcycle's rear rider let their grip loosen on the person driving the motorcycle, revealing that each carried an Uzi. More than a few slugs were sent Allyson's way as the bikes came towards her. Their intent wasn't to wound, it was to kill. Four people, all exceptionally prepared and trained in the art of killing. To say that this was going to be tough, was an understatement.

Daniel watched impassively, his eyes affixed to the situation through his binoculars. This night was going to be one with a very good show. Of the fact that his people were well trained, that he had no doubt. What remained to be seen was how well trained this woman was. He didn't know what made her special, what made her feel as though she could be a threat. For sure though, he was going to find out now. He would be well prepared in the off chance that Allyson made it to him. It was time to talk to Jared Chamberlain and find out if he and his wounded comrade had figured out where they were and had conveyed that information to the woman who was in severe trouble. There was nothing like making sure that all of one's bases were covered.

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