No title! Introducing Wynn and Howl to the folks in an RP that.. I don't think I ever made an honest post in. But I don't feel too bad. It died pretty fast. (By the way, there are three versions of Howl, and this is um. .. one of them. Her least villainous one, by far!)

Looking out the window, all she could see was a skyline of craggy hills and scrubby brush, occasionally broken by a moving object in the form of a military vehicle. She fidgeted. I suppose it's to be expected from a war zone, but really. The large crate she was seated on twitched slightly, and she thumped it with her heel. Patience, love, patience. It wouldn't do at all to be discovered this late in the game, especially after pre-submitting her papers to the Hunters -- or whatever they were -- and slashing through all that red tape.

Wynn sighed and checked her internal chronometer again. Why are they treating me like a criminal? A defector is naturally suspect, but all the same ...

Just as she was about to give the whole thing up and go find a job at the local car wash, an unnecessarily loud voice sounded outside the door. "Right, right, I'll take care of it, Sam." It redirected itself generally toward her as the door slid open, rattling off formalities before its owner had even had a look at her. "I'm Vincent Majors, Port Security, and I understand you -- Winnie? Is that you?"

Wynn brough her head up with a jerk. "Vince!" She sprang off the crate in a burst of enthusiasm, opening her arms to return an enthusiastic embrace. "Of all the people I never expected to see --"

"You should talk! Finally decide to join the ranks of the angels?"

"Very funny, I seem to recall you were quite a trooper, yourself, back in the day."

He met her comment with a roguish grin. "Well, times do change, and so did I."

"Amazing," she said drily, pulling away from him to take her seat on the crate. "So, what's the hold-up, Vince? My paperwork should all check out, and I don't think I scuffed anybody's shoes on the way in."

He laughed, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "Everything checks out all right, but the burning question on everybody's mind seems to be 'What's in your crate?'"

Wynn froze -- it was only for a split second, but she knew he'd caught it by the way he leaned back with a sigh and crossed his arms. She sighed and slumped slightly, running a gloved hand through her ruddy hair. "This office bugged?"

His mouth quirked, and he shook his head, glancing behind him to double-check the door. "That's not exactly the most encouraging thing I've ever heard, I'll have you know."

She rolled her eyes, dropping to the floor and fumbling with the electronic latch that sealed her cargo. "You're paranoid, too." She paused, glancing up at him. "Listen, Vincent, you're going to get the wrong idea the minute I open her up, so let me tell you from the start that this is why I'm here." That said, she swung the hatch open before he could answer.

Much to her irritation, the first thing that flopped free was a slender arm, the stubs of its fingers replaced with platinum claws. The claws convulsed once, clacking uneasily together, and the Reploid caught them gently and set them straight.

"What the hell --" Vince began, but he broke off in mid-sentence as his old comrade began to murmur to whatever-it-was inhabiting the box.

"Come, love, I know I woke you up early.. shh now, there's just someone you need to meet." As she spoke, she drew the arm -- and what was attached to it -- farther out of the crate. The occupant seemed largely reluctant to emerge. "He won't hurt you, I promise."

Vince bit back a shout of revulsion as more of the crate's creature became visible, fingering his handgun reflexively. It was the size and shape of an ordinary person, but it looked and moved like something out of a horror flick, masked and swathed in bandages from head to toe. Even more incongruous was the long wave of golden hair that flowed over its shoulders, which Wynn was stroking in time to her comforting murmurs. After a few moments of dead silence, Vince cleared his throat.


Wynn's gaze flicked up to him, and her grip on the frightened animal -- or something -- tightened very slightly. The animal itself ducked its head against her with a soft sighing noise.

"I.. uh.. I see what you mean." He cleared his throat again. "Who.. er.. what is.. it?"

"She," Wynn corrected him brusquely.

"She," he conceded with a sigh, a second observation noting the small swell of what were undoubtedly breasts underneath the bandages.

"I don't know her proper name, so I've just been calling her Howl." The girl-creature's head jerked slightly as she spoke the name, and she patted her shoulder. "They were doing experiments where I was assigned last, and she's the result of one of them." Her short, clipped tone belied the momentary pang of fury and guilt that washed through her, remembering.

"I... damn." He dropped into a squat next to them, peering at the girl, who shrank away from him. "Well, I can understand why you didn't want to open the box, anyway."

"Really." Her tone dripped.

Vince held up his hands placatingly, then drew one back through his shaggy, dirty-blond locks. "So, what do you want me to do?"

Wynn's expression cleared immediately, then grew fierce. "I need full authorization. I want to get into the military with as little fuss as possible, and I don't want to have to parade her around at every step as proof of my sincerity. She deserves better than that."

The she in question was observing Vince warily now, occasionally tilting her head closer, then backing quickly away. Vince smiled a slightly crooked smile at her, extending a hand for inspection, then returned his attention to the other Reploid. "I don't know if I can, but I'll sure try." He looked at the girl again, startled when she patted at him with her claw-hands, curiously gentle. "I can't guarantee you won't have to show her at all."

She nodded. "I know that. Anything you can do is better than nothing."

He rose, gently unhooking Howl's claws from his hand. "I'll work on that. Right now you better get her back in that box, though." With a slightly truncated salute, he turned and exited the office as quickly as he felt would be polite.

Howl's masked face turned up to Wynn questioningly, and the Reploid nodded. "It's all right. It won't be much longer now."