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Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by saltmummy626 on September 11, 2019, 07:36:59 am »
Branches and Roxanne talked long into the night before Branches finally left satisfied and more at ease with herself. Roxanne was prankish but kind, and very professional when the subject of their talk came to her upcoming court date. She had someone in mind to defend her in court, so Branches would be called upon only if that option fell through. The fact that it was just a simple hearing for an unpaid traffic ticket didn't seem to matter much to Roxanne. It was the principle of the thing that mattered. Now Branches found herself, the next day, sitting by the lake thinking of her prospects with a clearer head. She just needed the right clothes and that was it. There wasn't enough room on her face, or so Roxanne had said, to gussy up much. Her eye swiveled around to look at the lines she'd run across the clearing with the clothes hanging on it. Plenty of choices there, she just needed to pick something that suited her. Standing covered and waiting to be moved into her hut was the standing mirror she would try different combinations in front of, miraculously unharmed by the cloud of metal that had turned her home into a bloody mess a few nights before.

"First," She said to herself decisively, "Finish your house and get those herbs. You forgot remember? Maybe I'll visit the farm later and... No, it's too soon... Roxanne said to wait a few days..." Branches huffed and kicked her feet a little. Her yard was still a mess and she felt exhausted just looking at it. She still felt light and airy, but if not for Roxanne she would probably still feel like she'd get blown away at any minute. Like Roxanne had instructed, she closed her eye and cleared her mind to meditate. The lap of water on the new shore, the rustle of leaves and pine needles, the gentle warmth of the sun, and the wind carrying with it the smell of coming autumn. It worked, to her surprise. She felt heavy again, anchored in place and ready to start the day.

Minx checked the bolt like Catnip had shown her. For the job ahead, the faceless woman had gone to the mechanic and had been loaned her side arm. The cut down hunting rifle had been infuriating to the Shattered helm and especially the Shattered Helms quartermaster, Billy-Jean, at first. Then Catnip had been taken out of The Regs and placed in the Bleeding Eye, and the weapon had been an example of exactly what the scouting arm of the Shattered Helm needed it's people to use.

"Do you think I'll have to use it?" Minx asked. She'd only ever fired a gun a few times in her life. The last time had been well before the cataclysm, and it hadn't been a gun like this. Medeina scanned the gun for the third time, recording all the small pains that had been taken to make sure it was functional and reliable.

"Honestly, I don't recall. It is safe to assume that my lab is home to one or more of the creatures which I once possibly observed, but it is also possible that they have fled or died off." Medeina wondered, then had another thought, "Or the staff. Perhaps the staff is still present? Maybe... Maybe they can answer my questions."

"Hey, that's a thought. Keep your chin up robot." Minx said, then raise the rifle heroically, "We will find the answers that you seek!" She sat like that for a long awkward moment before lowering it again.

"Maybe." Medeina said simply.
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by RedVulnus on September 11, 2019, 02:07:38 am »
G and his crew had walked over to where Isaac had told them to meet him. There they saw him sitting on the back of an old truck with the doors opened behind him.  And behind that was a few dozen racks of guns and armor. G was genuinely impressed as he and his boys waited.

“This is going to be dangerous so I’m giving you a last chance to back out. We’ll be dealing with some very unsavory people so if they’re about to capture you..just shoot yourself. Oh and to be clear, a single shot to the head may not kill these bastards so double tap.” Isaac said as he sat there inspecting his rifle.

The response to this was G and his crew stepping into the vehicle as Isaac told them they were free to take what they needed. And that they did. Each misling emerged with a rifle, vest, plate carrier, bag, pistol and holster, ammunition, magazines, grenades, a few even grabbed grenade launchers and one an RPG.

On their way out the Shattered Helm pulled Isaac aside while they questioned the mislings, with G getting an especially rough questioning. For his part Isaac answered the questions asked with no small amount of annoyance that they were questioning him for dealing with these men. But after he explained that he’d hired them to help him deal with some people that had been responsible for the death of his friend and the mislings corroborated the story the Shattered Helm were finished and let the group pass.

On the other side of the bridge Sokolov greeted them and told them the destination. From there it was a few hours travel. When they arrived Howard greeted their new comrades and Isaac paused. Staring at the man in front of him his mind wandered back a year. Snapping back to reality he said “Hi, Howard I take it?”

Howard nodded as he adjusted his grip on the rifle in his hand “That’d be me.You ready?”

Everyone voiced that they were and the group got ready. Sneaking up towards the bank they readied their weapons with two of the mislings having set up a heavy machine gun. Then Isaac gave the signal.

The burst of machine gun fire tore through the first group of cultists as the other rushed forward. Sokolov sprayed his customized AK as he and Howard ran to cover and Isaac fired the belt fed rifle he carried with him as he rushed forward. For their part G and his men moved forward and into cover before starting to pick off targets as they could between having to duck back into cover from return fire.

Isaac spotted a pair of cultists prepping a machine gun and sprayed the pair down as Howard picked off a sniper on the roof of the bank. Before that man’s body could hit the ground G slid a new magazine into his shotgun before blowing a hole in one cultist’s chest and stabbing a second with the bayonet before squeezing the trigger.

Removing the bayonet wasn’t a problem after that as he turned and fired at a third cultist. At the same time another misling ran up beside him and started rapid firing his semi automatic rifle. Already between the two men themselves they’d killed seven of the cultists.

That was when one wearing a suit of kevlar stepped out of the bank. The only weapon he had on him was a metal baton as he walked towards Isaac. One of the mislings was in his path and a single swing of the baton sent the misling flying through the air missing his jaw as bullets poured into the armored man’s chest plate and helmet. And at that point Isaac realized the bullets were going through the helmet as the man swung and knocked the rifle from his hands.

Ducking the follow up swing Isaac pulled out the sword Alice had given him and swung for the man’s neck. It stuck in the man’s neck and before he could pull it out he felt the man’s hand wrap around his wrist. “Shit.” Isaac managed to say before the baton hit him in the side of the head and he felt his legs go weak.

The man was about to try and break his skull open again when Sokolov jumped onto his back and stabbed a knife through his helmet. The man stumbled back and tried to pull Sokolov from his back as Isaac collapsed to the ground. Ripping the helmet off Sokolov dropped to the ground as G dumped three rounds into his skull and evaporated his head. “Holy shit, someone check Isaac!” G nearly screamed over the gunfire as he dropped the shotgun to it’s sling and pulled his pistol. “Pull the fuck back!”

One of the Mislings grabbed Isaac and dragged him away from the bank as more of the cultists came out to fire at them. Stopping at the next bit of cover he could find G and several of the mislings returned fire with Howard as the rest moved behind them and prepared to cover them. From their G and his group bounded back and the group continued the pattern until they were clear.

Sokolov knelt down and checked Isaac once the gunfire had died and they’d made some distance. “That’s going to bruise badly, nothing broken though. No telling if any brain damage.”

Starting back the group carried Isaac on a makeshift stretcher. After a couple of hours they’d returned and crossed the bridge with their wounded comrade still unconcscious. While the others took him to the community center to see what Alice wanted them to do G moved off to the side and into an alley before throwing up. “Fuck..I need a cigarette.” He said as he started back to the area where the street rats tended to congregate.

Meanwhile as they walked through the door Alice spotted Isaac and stopped. Staring at Sokolov she asked “What happened?”

“Severe blunt force trauma to the head. I don’t think he’ll die but..well I don’t know if he’ll wake up.” Sokolov said as they took him to one of the cots in the building.

Alice watched as Howard produced some medical gear from his bag and sat down next to Isaac. “I was trained as a combat medic and chaplain, no matter what happens I’ll take care of him.” Howard said as he started working. Alice thanked him and sat down on the other side of Isaac trying to process what she’d just been told.

Elsewhere a man sat on the top branches of a tree staring at a little ball of light he’d taken to calling a fairy. “Oooh you found another one? Really?” he asked with no small amount of excitement in his voice. “Are his eyes like mine?”

The fairy shook up and down and generally swirled around in the air as he watched it. His smile turned to a frown as he said “Wait, he was always this way? As in since he was born? So he’s not quite like me but similar enough.” Adjusting his scarf he jumped to the ground and continued “I’ve never heard of a human having this condition in the first place so this is going to be so exciting. I finally get to meet someone who’s got the same problem as me!”

The fairy seemed to roll it’s eyes as it followed him as he began to walk. It informed him of something else as he walked and he frowned “Oh? Surely they wouldn’t hurt me..well maybe. I’m not sure. I always  liked to create but they were always destroying things. I mean..maybe because I used to be one of them.”

He seemed deflated for a few moments as he walked but he kept going. The fact he wore mostly magically imbued clothes would help him hide from the sight of their masks but if they remembered what he looked like that could be a problem. If they’d ever known him in the first place. But only time would tell if he’d be attacked or left alone. Though he had to admit the amount of magical items he had would probably be a problem in and of itself.
Rec Room / Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
« Last post by Chaosvolt on September 07, 2019, 12:55:14 pm »
(( Written with ideas and feedback from Wilson and Noctifer. ))

Timeline: Roughly 2 years after the cataclysm, a couple days before The Shifting

Characters Involved: The preceding world's versions of Helen and Lucian

Fate twisted and turned, in ways mirroring a path others walked though the cataclysm, yet diverging down other peculiar paths.

A holy order was crumbling, rife with schism. Foundering as strife tore them apart, and the heterodox grasped for fresh blood only to come up empty. With their slow march into extinction, barely even witnessing the true End of All, the Cleansing Flame had focused much more of their efforts upon the very mission that first brought them together.

Yet some paths still took a familiar shape, facing unfamiliar consequences...

There was an old lumber yard, deep within parts of New England now steadily succumbing the reclamation by the wilderness. The axes had gone still, all but one. A daily routine of blade meeting wood, but not by hands of its original employees. A stranger lingered, limping and bearing each day's hardships, far from cities still infested with horrors unlike any the world had seen before.

Another had followed a trail. Standing at the crest of a hill, overlooking the brush-choked dirt path that led to the logging camp. A woman, tattered leather cloak hanging heavy upon her shoulders, a patchwork of scratched, bent iron scales adorning it. Only a few flecks of gold and brass hinted at its purpose, but the mask of iron and copper over her face remained in far better condition. Through pinpricks of eerie red light, obscuring green eyes, she stalked her prey.

He was in one of the cabins, the one farthest from the entrance to the camp. His aura put her off guard, there was an unnatural taint to it, but it was weaker. Dull, as though he had been out of practice. Strayed from The Path, even so close to the cursed Appalachian, where abominations haunted every peak, where the temptation to exploit them would be unavoidable.

She found the door unlocked. He was waiting there, sitting at a table in the single room. A woodcutting axe was propped up against the wall by the doorway, well out of reach. A crude firearm, likely more duct tape than metal at this point, was left open and unloaded on a dresser by the bed, several feet behind him. He was looking her right in the eyes, a thousand yard stare evident. He looked as worn down as her, wearing a long coat that had been torn and patched countless times, mixed with long-inert scraps of hard leather armor, once bearing the mark of sanguine craftsmanship. The only weapon he had in reach was a cane, a stout length of hickory.

"Hunter..." he said in a voice that seemed barely audible, weak and hoarse. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, a hammer resting over her shoulder. It was weather, tarnished, the wood cracked and only held together by the langets. The footfalls of armored boots seemed especially heavy on creaky old wood, moreso from the weariness evident in her gait. "...shrike."

"What are you waiting for? Gloat if you'd like, see if I care...if I wanted to fight you, you'd already be dead." he said, briefly managing the faintest hint of a smile. She cast that gaze over him, augmented by the sight beyond sight of her mask. "If you could fight, you mean." she answered, lowering her hammer. It wasn't into a combat stance. In fact, she seemed hesitant. "You...were the one who killed my father, weren't you? Thomas McKinnon..."

"That...was the last one I killed." he answered. "You've already figured it out, haven't you?" he said. She simply gave a nod in response, her mask deactivating. She could tell. She'd spied his movements entering the building when she first got in range, the way he heavily favored one leg. Barely able to walk, only managing through what little magic he still practiced. Only way he could even stand, at least for long enough to tend to daily tasks like chop firewood and gather food.

"This is what I find when I seek my father's murderer? After losing everyone, everything but revenge, what do I find...a cripple who left the Order. You and I are the only ones left of our conflict, aren't we..." she said, her grip on the hammer tightening. She was glaring at him under the mask, yet she couldn't bring herself to take another step forward. She looked like she was already about to collapse, not from anger or sorrow, but from simple weariness. The way the shrike simply looked back at her, fully accepting of his fate, only made it that much harder to advance those final few steps, to bash his brains out like she'd set out to do.

He seemed to be sizing her up, a reflexive appraisal before he reached for an old kettle, to pour a cup. "More or less. Tea?" he asked, and she nearly dropped her hammer outright. She set it down, grumbling to herself as she finally stepped forward, taking the other seat at the table. "I'm going to regret this...alright."

"Hungry?" he asked, taking a sip of tea first, to show it was safe before offering her a cup. She gave a little nod, lowering the torn hood of her cloak. She didn't even have her helm anymore, only the mask still concealed her, red hair tied in a short ponytail. "I...a bit. Not much left to scavenge from the cities these days." she admitted.

At that he nodded, leaning over a bit to the wood stove by the wall, to get a pot of stew left simmering on it. She was still wary, yet soon enough the allure of a hot meal was enough to convince herself to let her guard down a bit, and remove her mask to eat.

They sat and ate in silence for a few minutes, at first exchanging nothing more than names. Helen, Lucian. She was the one to finally break the silence. "How long had it been? Since you left them..." she asked.

They way he gazed back at her seemed to betray the discomfort that his memories brought up. Of staring down at an old man, crawling for his hammer with his last ounce of strength, final breath an attempt to say his daughter's name in the delirium of blood loss. Abandoning the Sanguine Order to rot, infinitely more shaken by all the bloodshed than how the conflict would play out a whole reality away.

And the bitter memory of what happened, barely making it to the very boiling point, the end that the magi had long preached of, when the only person who stuck with him had succumbed to the relic they stole from the Order. The agony of a leg wrenched out of place in a frantic struggle, kneecap split open by an unholy blade, and soon enough watching his best friend bleed out at his feet, a final spark of humanity evident in his eyes during that final moment.

"A...a long time. Years." he answered, after a moment's pause that felt like an eternity. "Before this shit started, it was after...him, the last one." he muttered. "After all this time, I..." she said softly. It was clear she was struggling with something. She came here to exterminate the Sanguine Order. It was the life she was born into. The only thing that kept her going, even as she lost everyone she ever knew, one by one. There was no final hunt of Shadows of Arcana, no dramatic clash to shake her to her core. Instead, there was only a slow burn. Worn down yet unrelenting, only to find out too late that the Sanguine Order was long gone, and she had spent the past year following the trail of a broken man.

He stood, unsteadily and clutching the cane, his other hand leaning heavily on the table. "I-- One moment." He seemed to focus his resolve, unsteadily steps making his way to a corner, where an old steamer trunk rested in the corner. Somehow, he mustered the strength to drag it closer to the table, nearly falling onto it as he knelt to open it. A hammer, and a mask. Copper adorned iron, decorations in the form of an impassive face, a bright red beard of metal trailing down so that it would cover the throat of its intended wearer.

"Those from my former order said I left behind 'a trophy'. I don't know why I kept it." he practically spat out, Helen standing to draw close, seeing him struggle she found herself compelled to help him stand, before he placed the items on the table. "Still makes me sick. It's yours." he added, nearly falling into his chair afterward.

She sat back down, and the way she was tearing up a bit, despite the grimace that crossed her face as she examined the mask, was evident with hers not being on at the moment. She could only look at it for a moment, before glancing away, forcing herself to regain her composure. "Thank you. We'd normally inter them with the fallen, or at least enshrine them if that was all we could recover, but...there's nothing left."

Lucian simply shrugged at that, breathing a heavy sigh. "I don't want it. You can probably do something with it." he answered, and she gave a nod. "I will. I'll find something to do with it..."

She would stay the night, making use of one of the other cabins, before planning her next move. He'd slept in, setting plenty of wood in his cabin's stove before going to bed nearly as soon as she'd left him alone, even though the sun was only barely beginning to set, and she'd find he slept in well past morning.

She'd gone into the main office of the old site, finding that he used the space as a workshop and pantry, to have a simple breakfast rather than disturb him. Then she walked. A simple hike, closer to the foot of the nearby mountains, where overgrowth gave way to twisted, dead plants across cold, rocky ground. Far enough from the camp that the thunder of a hammer, that hadn't resounded in several months, didn't so much as stir Lucian from his rest. Weary though she'd been, there was still fight in her, and the chittering of some chitinous abomination was silenced in a flurry of hammer blows.

She made it a short way up a mountain trail before overturning a few stones that had fallen across the unused path, fumbled to dig a small pit. Carefully, she lay the mask and hammer that Lucian had given her to rest, a short cairn the only grave marker she'd been able to give her father. They never recovered a body, so this was the best she could manage. The gear of a fallen hunter, somewhere free from the threat of scavengers finding it.

She'd return to find him still asleep, even though it was now past noon by the time she returned, groggy and answering her brief spark of concern with only a bitter smirk. "Come on, let an old man sleep..." he grumbled, Helen taking a seat at the table. "Odin's eye, you don't look any older than me. Don't tell me this is what a shrike does for half the day."

"Well I feel twice your age, so there. Besides, got firewood and stew on for the next two days, twice that depending on how soon you're leaving." he remarked. "I'd give it a bit though. There's a storm coming in...I can feel it. One advantage to having your best friend come within a few inches of taking your leg off."

At that, Helen gave a little sigh, then a nod of agreement. "You're right. There is a storm, but not that sort. How long have you been out here? The Veil itself is being torn apart..." Lucian just shook his head. "Not long before it all went pear-shaped. This area has been a mess of Veil...things, since that very day. No idea if it's any better out there."

At that, she picked up her mask, and before the shrike could raise a hand to object, she made him don it, activating it with the tap of a gauntleted finger. All around, it seemed like there was the glow of endless portals, endless holes in reality, piercing the haze limiting the mask's sight range. Brighter than it ever was before, even during the very peak of zero day.

If he had the strength to, if he wasn't already so worn down physically and mentally, he'd be laughing mad at the sight of it all. All he could manage was a tired chuckle, trembling hands fumbling blindly to remove the mask, blind himself to a clairvoyance he'd never experimented with before. "They were right, weren't they. Cultist bastards knew this would happen..."

Helen sat back down. The energy had left her, as the reality of what she had been seeing over the past month in her mask's vision sank in properly, adrenaline and resolve faded at last, her final mission ending without the blood-soaked closure she couldn't bring herself to obtain. "I don't know. This seems so much worse than what the Keepers were claiming, but...there's nothing we can do."

Lucian glanced at her, so weary and yet lacking the roughness, the scars he'd picked up along the way. Cloak kept her from staying too beat up for long, he figured. Finally, he was managing something close to a genuine smile. "Came here to kill me, and now you're spending your final moments with me. If I didn't feel another 30 or so years older than I am..."

"Wh-n-not like that, that wasn't what I was implying, gods damnit!" she said, sitting up straight with a renewed spark of fury. "It's just, we're not going to finish what's left of our past like this. Might as well just...wait it out. If we survive, whatever survival means when reality itself is falling apart...we'll see. Go our separate ways, stick together, I don't know..."

"Heh. Fine then. If we survive, and we don't find ourselves dumped on the surface of Mars or something, an extra pair of hands would be nice. Working set of legs too, for that matter." he remarked. "Pleasure meeting you,, Helen."

Across a hundred thousand realities, a dozen hands pulled at an ever-more-threadbare patchwork of worlds. Each pulling the fabric of reality in every direction, lesser powers clawing at decaying threads in a scramble for purchase. Some worked deep and close into this growing hole in existence and risking their own destruction, some working at strings from a less precarious distance. All unknowing or uncaring about trillions upon trillions of galaxies within these strands, planet upon planet suffering uncountably infinite armageddons in the process.

Distant powers exerted influence of their own, steady hands weaving a hundred worlds at a time as they worked their machinations. From far above, ever so distant, a shrouded figure worked to steady fraying strands. From far below, yet of the same origin as the stranger above, a treacherous thing sought his own hold on the cosmos, working a thousand gambits against a thousand unknowable, distant plots of his rival. And in the abyss all in-between, with neither origin nor end, a hungering darkness awaited the feast as reality unraveled and frayed, already sending the least of their endless host to gnaw upon untainted threads.

And woven all within a particularly-thin patch of the tapestry, caught up in scarcely a hundred universes, a broken four-fold thing slumbered. If awakened, it could effortlessly contest all but the most distant of the powers warring over these crumbling realities. But if it awakened, the fraying of reality in its wake may well cast all the powers present into the abyss, then drag the abyss and its lurking hungers into depths even the immortals feared.

Just as another thread frayed and snapped, the dreaming thing stirred. Those all in between looked on with both fear and hunger, and all within paused. Shimmering fragments of a destroyed reality scattered over and all throughout its sleeping expanse, disturbing its dreams for but an instant. But it returned to its rest, tangled within one less timeline.

But as these motes of broken existence drifted off its body, the dreamer's movement denied the hungering darkness their table scraps. For much of the cast-off reality settled on another thread the dreamer was a part of, and two realities became one. Other pieces of the destroyed world settled, adrift among the tapestry to settle all throughout.

And one tiny mote of reality found its place, far from those closest threads, yet with a faint hope for a new future...
Creative Endeavors / Re: Spinning Sightlines: A Bizarre Adventure
« Last post by Wheel-Son on September 05, 2019, 03:30:19 am »
Stephan Cero-Meido

   A man found himself with a bag over his head and his hands bound, with a pair of men chattering amongst themselves and the sound of a grave being dug.

   “Look who’s waking up, what’re you waitin’ for?”
   “Maybe you don’t like to look a man in the face when you’re takin’ out loose ends. But I owe ‘em that at the very least. Take the bag off.”

   The burlap sack was torn from the man’s head, revealing a bald man with a thick, grey beard ending in a knot. The older man looked the thug in the eyes, “Kch, Coward. Couldn’t take me face to face, huh?” The man spat at his captor, “Pansy.” He mocked, as his captor wiped the spit from his face. “From where you’re kneeling- it must seem like it’s an 18-carat run of bad luck, right? It ain’t nothing personal, but--” He dug out a percussion cap revolver from his harlequin pattern suit jacket. It had two large golden rabbit brooches on each breast pocket.

   “Your lil’ trail here? It’s runnin’ cold.” He uttered coldly, as he put two in the older man’s chest. The aging man fell backwards into the shallow grave, then he blacked out.

   ‘Stephan Cero-Miedo’

   'Cero Miedo…'

   ‘“No fear”, 'eh?'

   A chuckle rang in Stephan's ears, it was a wheezy, unpleasantly sharp sounding voice.

   'You may be… Worthy. But will you accept being worthy?.'

   'Will you stand up after taking two lead slugs to the chest.'

   'Who you were before was old, aging.'


   'Who you will be now will be inconceivable'

   In the back of Stephan's mind he scoffed at the offer, "Y'damn spook, who in th'hell d'ya think y'are?" He grumbled, as the voice scoffed right back.

   'Moron, I am You.'

   'And you--'

   'Are Me.'

   'Payback is what we're owed.'

   'At the very least.'

   'I am the Hombre De Trapo y Hueso'

   'Or-- The [Rag 'n' Bone Man]'

   'Now get up.'

   'Spit out that blood--'

   'And go spill theirs.'

   Something dug itself from Stephan's 'grave' and let out a loud, piercing screech. It has a deer skull for a head, dark navy blue skin with 'Cero-Miedo' tattooed over and over down the length of its arms and legs and across it's back. It's hands had long, bony fingers ending with claws unlike sickles with limbs that nearly reached it's calves. It was nearly dusk already and the thugs' footprints were still fresh. The '[Rag 'n' Bone Man]' followed their tracks.

   Benji, the man that shot Stephan, holed up in an old desolate cabin for the night. One of his goons, a skinny, weaselly man. "Hey-- uh- Boss. Y'sure we should be stayin' so close t'where we buried--"

54   Benji brushed him off, "It's fine. No one knows what happened to him. He usually works alone anyways, yeah?"

   The droog gave a shrug, "I suppose, yeah…" He scrunched up his face, "Still can't shake th'feelin' like we got a 'bad omen' or somethin'."

   Benji rolled his eyes as the goon walked off to keep an eye out of the window. Unbeknownst to him and the rest of his goons.

   There was something on the prowl.

   Suddenly, a clawed hand snatched up one of the goons through the window with a crash. It dug it's curved, sickle-like claws into the man's skull as it left as suddenly as it appeared.

   Panicked shouts and sounds of cleared leather filled the cabin. The group of five drew their cheap blackpowder pistols. Dragoons, patersons. One kept a sawed down lever-shotgun.

   It was dead silent as the goons watched the windows, the doors, any way that beast could get in. Before they could get comfortable there was another crash, the snatchee's upper half was thrown through another window.

   The corpse's face was mangled, almost mush. One of the goons let loose his supper at the sight, another began to cuss and pray. Benji kept his cool, gesturing towards the back room and the man with the scattergun. "You! Make sure it won't go after the young'n!" He barked, before he noticed something in shattered window.

   A stag's skull, with a pair of dark brown eyes with a large, black iris in it's sockets. "CHRIST-- THE SPOOK!" Benji hollered, as he worked the hammer clumsily to fire at the beast. The woodwork was torn to shreds as the remaining four open fire. It was silent once again, the goons glanced around just as the beast reached deep into the cabin as one subconsciously backed up. Benji shouted at him, only to dodge too late and the sickle-like claws ripped a chunk of the man’s neck.

   He fell to the floor, clutching at the gushing neck wound as he gurgled. Slowly bleeding to death, he squeezed the wound in a vain attempt to stop the bleeding. The [Rag ‘n’ Bone Man] climbed inside-- And Benji worked the hammer of his pistol, firing the last shot in the cylinder. The beast barely even flinched as it screeched, and everyone’s ears began to ring. The beast gripped a weathered end table, bashing open another goon’s skull. The piece of furniture broke into splinters as [Ran ‘n’ Bone Man] took another shot from a pistol, before the beast skewered the thug with a piece of the splintered end table. The monster took in a deep breath and let out another deafening screech, as it descended on Benji as he struggled to reload his pistol.

   The beast dug its claws into Benji’s chest, before ripping the man’s body into two seperate pieces. The creature huffed, and wheeze.

   And it began to calm down, somewhat. It’s eyes went from dark brown with a large iris to a more human-like green, with a smaller iris. The creature stumbled towards the back room, only to open the door. Inside was a young child, a little boy. The beast stared at it. It stared at it for a while.

   Before it simply stepped out of the way and pointed towards the front door.

   As soon as the little boy skittered out of the cabin, the beast blacked out. Soon, Stephan woke up to the slaughter. He got up, a couple of new pains ached from his excapade. He groggily looked around, it was already morning and he spotted a box of cigars.

   Grumbling at that, he picked up a fresh cigar from the box, snatching up the lever-shotgun. He walked outside, sat on the wet grass, and lit up the cigar. It was already morning and the stench inside the cabin was overwhelming.

   Someone walked up, someone dressed in a maroon gothic waistcoat, a dark blue puffed shirt and houndstooth pattern pants. He had bright blonde hair, and bright blue eyes.

   Stephan knew him as Edward Blutsauger, he worked with him often. He was a close friend.

   Edward let out a “Christ, old man. I thought you got yourself killed… You look like shit.”

   At that, Stephan let out a simple, “Feh. That bastard couldn’t kill me with my hands tied behind my back. Did’ja find the kid?”

   Edward nodded, “Yessir, brought’im back to the sheriff. Got a pretty penny for it.”

   Stephan let out an amused snort, “Good. Ah need t’get a new coat…” He grumbled, as he stood up with a groan, walking back to town with Edward.

To Be Continued
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by Chaosvolt on September 04, 2019, 04:30:26 am »
"Jeez, how much classical music you got in this collection..." quipped a voice over the crew radio, the first sign that a comparatively short scouting trip would feel quite a bit longer. At least to Hector, Medeina's proxy momentarily too busy digging spindly legs into the gunner's seat to interrupt with any remarks.

"Classical, not a lot. Most of it's based off older historical stuff." Hector answered back, glancing into the cameras as Minx lifted the hatch up a bit. "So how do I change the channel? I know you've got something from this century in here, Medeina's already told me the one about you chasing some spy around to power metal and all that." she commented.

"Correction, Miss Minx. The song you are referring to was sourced from server files at the refugee center. I have however uploaded the full collection to Mister Lowe's storage media." Medeina chimed in, the faint clap of a gauntleted facepalm just barely heard over the whine of the Siege Tower's electric engine.

"Please be careful with that, it's hooked up to the commander radio and I don't want to accidentally start broadcasting internal communication to anyone in range. Nor do I want to blare music at them." Hector said, Minx grumbling a bit before the last song's ending, and the start of something faster-paced, got her focused on the half-open commander's hatch.

She peeked out, narrowly managing to avoid bumping her head on the heavy machinegun slapped onto a mounting clearly not made for it, as a tread rolled over a rather large chunk of missing road. "The gun on this isn't going to fall off into my lap, is it?"

"No, it's Catnip's work, she's put the 197s through worse. I've put those MG mounts through worse, in fact. There's a lever next to the T&E she added, that makes it swing out of the way if you need a clear view. The large one wrapped in duct tape." he added, double-checking the map as they followed the remains of a local frontage road. This is gonna be a long day...
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by saltmummy626 on August 30, 2019, 08:28:23 am »
Minx grinned at Medeina and jerked a thumb at the knight conspiratorially. She'd met some strange people after the cataclysm but she wasn't sure if Hector was in the crazy camp or the eccentric. Either way, he seemed more fun than most of those she'd met. She climbed into the tank after the knight with the robot tucked under one arm.

"For the purpose of this task," Medeina announced suddenly, "Mr. Koenig has modified this proxy with a WiFi repeater and a few other-"

"We're not worried about it Medi, you'll be fine." Minx sighed, then turned to Hector who was in the middle of settling in. "She was hoping you'd ask about bringing her laptop along so she could give you the same exhaustive explaination she gave me."

Medeina pinched her on the upper thigh with one powerful manipulator and Hector was startled from his prep by the yowl of pain Minx gave at that. He stared back at them, Minx giving the proxy a death glare while the tiny robot gazed back up at her glassily but bearing a kind of mock combative posture.

"Alright girls, calm down and have a seat." He instructed. They did as told, or as best they could, and Hector turned back to his checks confident that his helm was hiding the wide grin on his face. He picked up the radio when his checks were done and said simply, "Going out to get Nips materials. Tell Roxanne I won't be in till later." Before racking the radio and setting his machine in motion.

"Well morning ladies." Dave said jovially upon the pairs emergence from the back rooms of the apartment. "I've got good news and gooder news." Atomos blinked at the sun blazing in through the apartment windows, but not quite as blearily as Cherise. In the light of day, the place took on a new appearance. Less of a sparsely dumpy place to an apartment with perhaps an excess of orderliness. Atomos cleared the sun from her eyes quickly, then scoffed at Cherise.

"Where did you get a house coat?" She asked.

"It was in the closet... Maybe you should consider putting on more than nothing at all yourself?" The large woman growled. Atomos looked at herself puzzled. "What? Is it unacceptable to walk around like this, grandma?"

"It's not polite to wander around in your underpants in front of a man you aren't in a relationship with." Cherise shot back.

"Ladies?" Dave said, slipping himself into the conversation, "I sure would like to sit here all day and listen to you harp on each other about proper house wear, but we need to get a move on. And you will want to dress while I talk, we ain't got much time. No breakfast either."

Cherise sniffed derisively while Jennifer grabbed what gear she'd brought along and followed suit. Within a minute, they were dressed and professional again and ready to face what lay ahead. At least they thought so. Dave stood and slid open the glass door leading out onto the shaded balcony and the bridge beyond it, letting the cool air of morning shock the two women awake as they followed.

"Got in touch with the Sun Dogs, like I said. Didn't take em long to get back to me and we spent the whole night seeing what was up. I'm fuckin' exhausted trying to wrangle my tards." He gave a wave to someone sitting by a window across the way and when the man didn't give any indication that he'd seen it, Dave took a quarter from his pocket and belted it at him. "Hey fuck ass, extend the fucking walkway!" He shouted. The man, kid really, disappeared for a moment and reappeared on the opposite balcony with a broad board about ten or so feet long. Dave crossed casually while Jennifer tried to go over as light as possible. Cherise though went over tentatively and slow despite the previous nights reassurance that the "bridge" was in some unexplained way, reinforced. Once they were all on the other side, he went on, "The Sun Dogs say that somebody finally took issue with the candy man's radio show and put two rockets into his shit. One on the tower, one on the booth. The nearby orchard caught fire and seven junkies were killed, not including the asshole operator who was probably off taking a piss or something when the attack happened. Scared the shit out of and stampeded the candy man's herd too, the Screaming Eagles have been running the countryside rustling the loose stock and skirmishing with the junkies trying to round them up. Sun Dogs took the opportunity to take what they could from the wreckage of Hoyt's radio station during the chaos, but they want to offer it to you themselves. Heard you were interested I guess..."

When they emerged from the complex, the grounds outside it were alive with men and women going about, checking motorcycles and weapons like they were about to go to war. Some of them were Sun Dogs and others were Eagles, but not one she could see was one of Dave's men. Jennifer wondered why, and just had to ask. The response she got wasn't entirely unexpected.

"Divers got absorbed... Sent my guys out to get in contact and they joined up with these two after." He said with not a small hint of anger, then sighed, "The gooder news is that the eagles disabled a cattle truck headed for the orchard this morning. If you want it, the Eagles are holding it down. You'll need to take it from the driver." He kicked a stone, an uncharacteristically petulant seeming action in the midst of the raiders around them and Jennifer thought that there was more to his clan leaving him than she'd thought. She'd have to ask later, for now there was a vital bit of intel on her table and she was barely awake enough to register it. Cherise though had recovered quickly and gave her shoulder a painful squeeze.

"We'll take their offer."
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by RedVulnus on August 29, 2019, 03:14:16 pm »
Bolt had returned to work and waited in line for his assignment. The foreman walked down the line handing out assignments until he stopped at Bolt. Looking over his list the foreman. “Bolt you’re scrapping the pile today.”

The pile was just a collection of random items that needed to be separated into parts for other work. It was also the usual assignment Bolt received since no one wanted to work the pile given just how long some of the stuff took to take apart. Grabbing his tool belt Bolt went to work.

The first item was a fridge. He wasn’t sure who had thrown it here or why but here it was. Taking the door off its hinges Bolt started taking it apart. That process took about fifteen minutes with his tools. From there his mind drifted as he did his work by muscle memory.

Elsewhere G had walked across the bridge with the others before splitting off to let Shorts drop off the salvage. Tossing the makeshift chestplate into a spot G hid his stuff in he quickly made his way to where a few of his ‘friends’ hung out.

Taking an offered blunt he took a puff before handing it back. One of them started to play some music as they sat there and talked for a while. Mostly about the mundane things in their lives, work and what they wanted to do. “Of course we’re just street rats so no one’s gonna give us a shot to do anything but dirt.” one of the guys said.

G had to agree with that. He’d never really had a chance at anything other than fighting and rigging tables and now the Shattered Helm had turned him away after he tried joining. And working with Blue hadn’t exactly panned out.

Grabbing another cigarette and flicking his lighter on G  pondered what he and the gang were going to do. Shrugging to himself G told one of the men “One of you keep an eye out for a guy in bandages wearing a turban, if you spot him pass him a sabre.”

That was when G spotted Isaac walking towards them. He looked angry. Hopefully he wasn’t angry at them G thought as he leaned against the wall and smoked a hand rolled cigarette.  As the old man neared G asked “What can us lowly street rats do for you?”

Isaac nodded to him as he said “I need people who can fight. I imagine you and your friends would be willing and I know you’re interested in some of my gear. How about a trade?”

G looked to the others who all nodded. None of them were strangers to violence so what was some fighting to them. “We’re gonna want and need guns. Lots of them. And some better armor than that scrap Blue made.”

“Deal. We’ll be leaving in a half hour, meet me by my truck and we’ll get everything ready.” Isaac said as he turned and walked away.

G had a bad feeling as he pulled out one of his sabres. The gem in the blade had turned a dull black, usually a bad sign. Sheathing it he sighed “Boys, go get ready. We’ve got some killing to do. And bring meds too.”

Elsewhere Shorts slid his papers across the desk and waited. Once they’d finished inspecting the papers the men on the other side of the glass told him to go ahead. Walking into the armoury Shorts sat down and took the first rifle.  The Shattered Helm had never interested him but he liked weaponry.

So here he was cleaning and fixing fire arms for the Shattered Helm thanks to a friend of his. Of course from his recollection they knew how to take care of their own weapons but the surplus needed maintenance as well. So he sat there and worked while he hummed to himself.

Maybe he could get Ell some new clothes with the IOUs he got today. Especially after G got him the share of the IOUs for the parts they’d gotten. But that’d take till tomorrow…

Sighing Shorts wondered what he’d do for food today. The only spot he could afford a meal was that community center but he hated taking charity. Maybe he could go scrounge some food again. But then Ell would want to tag along and he’d be going somewhere dangerous, maybe more dangerous than when they’d headed out with Blue.

Meanwhile Foster had found himself sitting alone looking through his journal. He didn’t have a soul, never did as far as he could tell. But why? He’d never found another with his problem and now he’d run into someone that shouldn’t have had one in the first place.

Tapping the side of his head with a pen Foster contemplated trying another experiment. The only issue was finding someone that wouldn’t be missed by anyone if they disappeared. So that would have to wait for now.

Scribbling a note down in his journal Foster decided the first thing he’d do would be to adjust an old formula. Maybe if he simply adjusted some of the chemical compounds in it he’d actually see results…

An hour had passed before Foster looked up from his notes. Something as he looked around. It felt as though someone was watching him. But not seeing anyone eyeing him Foster shrugged and decided to go find more parts for his lab.
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by Chaosvolt on August 28, 2019, 03:56:57 pm »
"I'm not entirely sure what to make of your labs not being on the map." he admitted, glancing over the location she suggested they attempt. "Could be that someone else was in charge of keeping them secured, maybe..."

As they were interrupted, he turned to her, giving a little nod. "Well, we have locations, and I've already had the tank ready to go, unless you'd prefer something less heavy on the diesel." he answered, soon securing his helm to put it on, checking equipment to be sure everything was at the ready.
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by saltmummy626 on August 28, 2019, 02:48:57 pm »
"Oh, it should be fine, Miss Minx is oddly capable though she is by no means a fighter." Medeina claimed, verbally waving off Hectors concerns, "According to my own directives, my task was to observe and record. There may be holding cells on site, but I can't imagine anything too dangerous. Then again..." She gave the map a serious look and calculated. "The facility should have defenses of their own, and perhaps there is a copy of myself there? Maybe..."

"Medeina?" Hector asked upon hearing the unsure tone the robot spoke with.

"I don't remember anything. I know the name of my creator, the goal of my project, and even a few things about my unique programming structure but everything else is non-existent. I have discussed this at great length with Miss Minx and a conclusion has continued to remain elusive. I want to find answers, and Miss Minx wishes to assist. What is this lab here?" Medeina lamented before directing her question to an area of the map. It looked like a long stretch of deforested land reaching vertically down the map with large scale power lines running through it. The point at which she'd prodded sat at the terminus of a dirt road, seemingly ending at nothing. Hector stared at it for a moment, seeing it had been circled as important, then circled again by himself at some point. Then it came to him.

"That's where we found you." He explained, "But that wasn't your lab."

"No. My lab and the others in my registry are not marked on this map. Why do you think that is Mr. Lowe?" She asked, then adjusted her lens and prodded another space further south of C.I.D.s lab, in a heavily forested area. Then jabbed the map in four other places in what Hector recognized as a square around the point in the forest. "A series of five labs." She explained, "The partial inventory I have suggests that super alloy may be found in any of them, but only one of them contains an adequate sample of graphine, though this could be a result of the fragmented nature of my records." They went over the map a bit more before Hector noticed the shadow that had fallen over it and turned to see the woman that the robot had spent so much time with, running around in the swamp and writing about animals.

"Yo," She said, "So is this happening today or what?"
Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Last post by Chaosvolt on August 28, 2019, 01:54:44 pm »
Hector was, even after having seen Mica's handiwork plenty of times, still taken aback at just how prolific she was. After her remarks and suggestions, despite his reservations he led the way out, unfurling the map upon finding a good place to show it to her.

The map displayed the state they were in, various points of interest and long-obsolete sectors for a failed operation. Of note were the points marked as Priority Sites, most deep within overlapping sectors of operation, indicating the emphasis placed on securing them.

"There are several sites marked here. No real way of telling what was inside them without forcing our way inside, since it was on a need-to-know basis for the people expecting to use this map. But we can use any overlap to hopefully narrow down which of the locations on your registry are the most important." he suggested. "If they're all on the map then we're back to square one, but it's worth a shot..."

"More importantly, however. You sure that the two of you can handle this? I've said before it's dangerous these days to travel along, but..." There was a momentary pause, and the grimace that crossed his face was evident even his helm wasn't on. "I'm reluctant to rope Roxanne into this, Nathaniel's about to become a father, Floyd has his daughter to look after...I was prepared to go looking on my own."
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