Assessment. Reassessment. Conclusion? The man beside him definitely wanted to be else where. He'd introduced himself earlier, not by name, mostly by presence, but he could tell that it had no effect and they were likely stuck at a stalemate. Who would speak first, he wondered. Jhin appreciated the silence. Unlike most of his other pairings, this one seemed to be unsure of how to fill it. Jhin however, knew just how to wallow in it. Keeping stride with his partner, while his head stayed turned in the opposite direction, scanning the corners and cracks of the Aventa Quarter. It wasn't exactly known to be the most 'happening' of places, but nonetheless needed patrolling.
Something in the air shifted, giving Jhin an icy shiver down his spine while forcing him to cross his arms under his cloak. It seemed a bit unfair that he'd spoken to children, but not even huffed in the direction of his partner. "Oi," he breathed, his tone lifted a bit more than it had with the children. Uncrossing his arms for a moment to fish a few of the flyer-based scripture he had stashed beneath it. "This place doesn't usually get out of hand, does it?" His arm extended, offering the pages to his partner. "It's this or preaching," Jhin shrugged, the pages slightly wrinkling in the wind. He didn't take this man to be much of a speaker, he'd held out against Jhin long enough to force him to be the one who bridged communal contact. But that wouldn't last long. Jhin wasn't one for more than one attempt, because if you had done it right the first time there would be no need for a second, and the only time he would ever accept second attempts, was if it were the rounds coming from his pistol.
Jhin shrugged his shoulders, following a few steps behind with his arm outstretched, allowing his fingers to glide against the stone of the buildings as well as over the papers his partner was taping to the walls. "Mmh. I suppose you've got a point." Elite's were a foreign thing to him. Renowned as a bunch of powerhouses' but were used as glorified right hands. They were a subject Jhin didn't care to discuss, mostly because there wasn't much to discuss. It felt like an century had passed until he had finally run out of papers. 'What now?' his brain searched for other possibilities of work they may have missed while mindlessly taping up the flyers to any standing structure they could find. A figure, or two? Jhin stopped, reaching forward to grab and tug on his partner's cloak. "Look." Out of the corner of his eye he spotted what looked like a group from the distance he was standing away from them down a large, but darker set of side street. Not that it wasn't uncommon to see folk standing around and chatting among themselves, but he could of swore he saw something. A glint, something metallic shining near the back part of the alley. 'Now, what would someone need with something like metal?' His lips began to slip into a smirk beneath the mask as his body fully turned, his attention focused on the figures dipped in the shadows.
Unlike his partner, Jhin wasn't exactly prone to chatting when it came to the more, threatening part of their occupation. He was more of a, act first, chat about it after kind of guy. So while Acton moved forward without hesitation, Jhin himself hung back a bit, stalking closer to the walls of the alley as they made their approach. From what he gathered by analyzing the area was that there wasn't many places to run, and even less places to swing a saber around. One of the figure's facing the two Abbey men glanced up, a mixed of fear and confidence leaking into his facial expression. His hand's froze in place, the whale bone charm clutched in his filthy hands. The man opposite, Acton's saber placed against his back, shook slightly but it didn't seem to be out of fear. Was he.. laughing? Something made an alarm in Jhin's mind ring so loud it almost deafened him, slightly irritated he tried to quiet the sounds in his head when his eye caught the movement. Almost like a snake, the third man's hand curled around the blunt end of the whale bone he was holding, and in slow motion, or at least in Jhin's eyes, his arm began to swing upward with plans to connect to Acton's chin. "Probably not." A low, primal growl ripped through Jhin's throat as his pistol flew into his hand, a warning round releasing from it's chamber and closing the distance between the man's pinky, ring and middle finger. The sound of the pistol firing covered the cracking and ripping of the bones and flesh that made up the three phalanges. Blowing them clear off the man's hand in it's entirety.
Jhin watched the motions eagerly, waiting for his opportunity to strike. He knew he had to be more careful now with Acton on his side, the man, although a very skilled fighter, took up a lot of room to show those skills. The bodies around him dropped like flies, leaving only one figure left to defend himself. The man didn't look like he could do the pair of them any great harm, but heretic's weren't to be handled whether there were 10 of them, or one. Blood pooled around his dark leather boots as he stepped forward, tracking what was left of the two men's life forces under his boot as he moved. "You'd be wise t-" No time for reasoning, Jhin's pistol took aim but this time, there wasn't going to be any more warning shots. One sharp inhale, and he'd blown a hole in the side of the man's shoulder, pieces of flesh and muscle ripping from it's owner and hanging wide open. A shriek rippled through the small space within the alley way as Jhin drew closer, his hand gripping Acton's shoulder to pull him back a bit. "Say goodnight." He laid the end of the barrel to the man's forehead, his finger gradually pulling the trigger, his body still ever unflinching.
Jhin's hand slipped back beneath his cloak, tucking his pistol into the holster kept underneath it. He wasn't sure if he had done the right thing in that moment, or if he'd possibly rubbed Acton the wrong way. But that didn't really matter. He did what he came out here to do, and that was to destroy any hidden links to the Void within the walls of this community. "Well, if we're going to be partners for now, I won't just leave you hanging." He shrugged, picking up the pace as he gathered the three whale bone charms that the eliminated figures had been working on, keeping them for disposal once they had returned to the Abbey. Silence resumed as the pair scoured the streets, speaking to a few of the residence around the area they'd seen the figures and the charms to make sure there were no further connections than the bodies that they'd left behind.
The rest of the rounds within the Quarter were far less exciting than the little scuffle they had found themselves in earlier. All of which made Jhin a bit more irritated with every block they walked and corner they turned. Of course he'd never voice this, and as quick as the stress came it would leave, courtesy of the Abbey's training trials, the man knew never to fuel anything besides his passion for keeping the Void at bay. "With your life, huh?" Jhin mused lightly, beginning to let his usual cold exterior fall away as they returned back to the fountain in the middle of the Quarter. This spot in particular made Jhin a little uneasy, sure it wasn't a big deal to walk near the fountain, or speak to the children that usually played there as he had done earlier today. But when he moved close enough to visibly see himself as a reflection on the water's surface, it made a squeezing sensation take over Jhin's chest and stomach. Pulling him back away from the fountain as a whole.
Jhin kept a healthy distance between himself and the fountain now, almost missing what Acton had said to him. "Mmh? What? No." He shook his head, his arms defensively crossing across his body. "That would be ridiculous." He poured more confidence than he was really feeling into his response as he his fingers began to gently crawl across upper arms as he watched his partner relax back into his place. He didn't bother making more conversation, becoming stuck in his own little world something inside of him squeezed and twisted in a heated type of way. "Should we not keep moving?" His tone dropped again, his face barely holding any expression as he turned his back to the fountain, as well as Acton. He didn't have anything against the guy, or the question he asked. He just couldn't bring himself to start spitting up his life story to someone he'd just become acquainted with.
Jhin was unsure for a moment, something dancing inside his mind as he tried to make sense of it. Had he met his Elite before? Well, it was possible. They both seemed to be of the same age, by what Jhin could guess at. So that would have meant they went through the trial's together. Could he have remembered him from there? His spine began to crawl thinking back to the trial's. The only memory flooding his mind was all of the running water."I'm sorry, what?" Ice laced through his tone as his body went ridged. What did he mean he knew him? This had to be some kind o- That face... Jhin's head began to pound as his eyes vigorously scanned the face in front of him, the eyes, the jaw line, even the man's nose was all painfully familiar. 'No.' Jhin told himself internally. There was no place for this, especially not now."I think you've mistaken me for another." His breath trapped in his throat for a few moments afterwards. He'd learned his lesson well enough before.
If he could form a real feeling, and force it through his already rigid body, he would have. But alas, years of slowly losing touch with everything besides the hauntingly immediate consequences that plagued him well throughout his childhood, and adolescence. Years of chronic fear had molded him into something a few notches below human and thus far, nothing has ever pulled him out of that hole. Today in itself had been a rather odd experience for Jhin. The way he came to his partner's rescue without letting him finish the job himself. Or even the way Acton had thanked him afterwards. All of it wasn't what Jhin had become accustomed too working with out militants, as well as his few meetings with other Elite's. Jhin could feel the air around the two of them grow just a bit to warm for his tastes. He took a step back slowly. His mind still furiously at work with processing. There could be many reason's Acton had shown himself like that. He had been given multiple warnings about the way he handled the street work, or the way he spoke with not only his colleges but witnesses too. Jhin had allowed himself to marry nothing but his job, making him a real risk to their organization if they couldn't keep him under wraps. Could that have been the reason Acton had shown himself? The possibility of being put under the treatment he had in the trial's resurfaced in his mind, and suddenly it felt like it was a little harder to breathe. Like liquid was beginning to fill his lungs.
The closer Acton got, the more the imagined liquid poured into his lungs. 'Just get away..' the words ached to leave his lips but Jhin could only muster to part them slightly. Air slowly slipping into the opening and causing him to panic even more. Water. Black, murky water. Flooding over his body, in his body, through his vein's. It was so cold. His skin crawled once Acton's hand touched his shoulder. Even through the many layers of clothing, he wanted him further away. There was no protection if Acton was closing the gaps.No time for thinking. Quickly, Jhin's hand fumbled with the holster under his cloak, his pistol sliding out with ease. In one quick movement, it was planted firmly in Acton's rib cage, as Jhin's free hand flew up and grasped the wrist just off of his shoulder. "God. You're so fucking loud." He seethed, pushing the barrel into the other man's rib cage just a bit more, as his feet firmly planted themselves in place. "And you obviously don't listen. I said, you have me mistaken for another." He flicked the safety off of the pistol, as much of his eyes as could be seen from under his mask iced over. It had been years since he'd been this close to Acton, and there was a tugging sensation threatening to rip him apart. Either he was going to fall, or Acton would.
Jhin's vision was slowly tunneling, he could feel his fingers beginning to shake as they held the pistol in place. Acton was right. This wasn't the place for conflict, and even if it was, Jhin wouldn't be able to dig himself out of the hole he'd already semi-dug for himself. A bitter tasted filled his mouth as he released his partner, flicking the safety back on the pistol and then holstering it. He could see that the small crowd around them began to disperse, muttering among themselves as they did so. If Acton wasn't going to report what just happened, he could sure count on any of those who saw that display. His body began to ache as Acton stepped away, finally coming back down from whatever part inside his brain he had rushed himself into. Jhin knew how stupid a move he just pulled, and there was no way to save him now. His shoulders hung a little lower as he stood, his head tilted to the side studying his partner. It would take way more time than Jhin really wanted to wait for, but he'd find a way to rid himself of Acton. Whether it be by pure will, or force.
Jhin arched his shoulders forward slightly, following along behind Acton. The streets were practically as dead as they were before now. Not counting the few children and adult's still peeking through their curtains as the two of them made their way down the streets once more. Was he going to be able to survive this single outing? He'd gotten physical with other partner's before, but not to that extent. Mostly just a quick jab or punch and they'd be on their way. This time thought, it was completely different. Would he have actually pulled the trigger? He hadn't the slightest clue. It was beginning to become apparent to him that there was a huge side of himself that, he just couldn't get in touch with. "Where are we going..?" When he finally spoke, he could feel the aura around the both of them freeze up. Not to say he blamed Acton for it. He knew he was the cause of it now. They'd been circling the streets, not so much as glancing at one another before he'd finally pushed himself into speaking. Exhaustion was slowly washing over him, not yet sure if it was from all of the excitement or just a long day of work.
Following along, Jhin let all of the pressure in his limbs slowly defuse themselves. He thought about long nights he spent walking the streets of Karnaca, and how on the nights it wasn't busy, he would just find himself a tree or a bench to rest against or on. Those nights were peaceful. Mostly because his old partner's never really stuck around after the initial search. They'd always head off to the Golden Cat, or other pleasure based establishments to 'check' for mischief. Which, actually, was still part of their job. But Jhin knew it was for more than that more than likely. "Walking is fine, I guess." He could feel his breaths becoming even again as the two of them walked on, gaining side-ways glances by the night community in the quarter. Finally, a time of day where he wouldn't have to think about children possibly popping up in the middle of their work. "Here. Follow me." Jhin picked up the pace, getting in front of Acton and leading the way. There was a little side street with a small garden that he would usually waste time at if he were with anyone else, but maybe it would help the situation he put them in.
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