Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 22192 times)

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5070 on: September 22, 2018, 06:45:36 pm »
   A nice, calm beat was played by the small band inside the old cabaret. It was well maintained, despite the cataclysm. Lights were still working and and it was a lightshow inside, many went to the Golden Circle Cabaret for the lights, the cold drinks, and the live music. Despite it being little more than a fancy Hooter’s a good few mutants, many came just to talk with the ‘hostesses’, there were many rules in place. That unless you were behind the curtains or shut doors of the hostess’s rooms, you aren’t allowed to touch them.

   It was a normal business day, many customers came to spend their trade-goods and have a good time. However, one of the customers got a little too tipsy… And too handsy. “Sir! This establishment has a firm policy about touching. Please refrain from doing so, sir.” The drunk ignored him, “Look, I’m warning you here.” The drunkard stood up, and glared at the waiter. “An’ you’ll do what, exactly?!” He shouted, before pushing the man to the floor. The cabaret went silent, “Yer gettin’ paid, quit your griping!” A man in a snake-skin dress-coat tapped the drunk on the shoulder.

   “Sir.” The manager went, “Your patronage is much appreciated, thank you so very much, however. I please request you don’t touch the hostesses.” He continued, bowing his head. The drunk looked him up and down, “Th’fuck are you? A bouncer or somethin’?” The manager chuckled, “A common mistake. But, a mistake none-the-less.” He explained, the drunk replied with a “Yeah? Then what the fuck are ya?” The manager took out an Employee ID, showing it to the man. “My name is Nashio Yuko, and I am the manager of this Cabaret.” The drunk laughed in Nashio’s face, “YOU’RE the manager? Hah! They got a jap running the place?” He glared at the drunk, “Sir, please. Refrain from calling me as such.”

   “But I digress, sir. Please refrain from touching the hostesses and acts of violence while you are our guest.” Nashio explained clearly, “If it bothers ya that much, why don’t you do somethin’ about it?” He shouted at the manager, “I’m afraid I can’t do that, sir. ‘The customer is king’, you see.” The drunk had a wicked grin on his face, “Oh?” He said, grabbing the bottle of champagne from his table, “Quite a policy you got there, I’m a big fan. Here, a drink on me.” The thug said, pouring the bottle over Nashio’s head. He didn’t even flinch, he grinned in-fact. “Very kind of you, sir.” He said as he got the liquor out of his eyes, “I always said I loved this brand so much, I wish I could bathe in it.” The manager’s grin widened, “You’ve made a dream come true.” The drunk was furious, “Prick! You’ve certainly got a pair!” He growled, gripping the bottle by it’s neck.

   The bottle was swung, but Nashio dodged effortlessly. It was swung again and again with similar results, “Sir, perhaps you had enough for one evening? If you insist on interrupting our business any further…” The man stepped forward, “You do what, huh?” The manager grinned, “[If that’s the way you want it…] Boys! Gimme one with some beat!” The music erupted again, “The fuck?” He said, confused. “If you insist that I overstep my station, then I, Nashio. Shall dance with you! I will not, however, raise a hand. After all, ‘customer is king’!” He said with a little bow. “You’re still going on with that, Smug motherfucker! I’ll kick your teeth in!”

   The drunkard tossed the bottle over his shoulder and put his fists up, as Nashio adjusted his tie. The drunk swung at him, and he simply stepped out of the way. The thug lost sight of him and looked around, just as Nashio put a hand on his shoulder. “Over here, sir.” He said mockingly, which caused the man to kick at him. Nashi simply caught it, he lifted the leg up and dropped the man onto his back.

   The drunk let out an annoyed growl, before drawing a small folding knife. “Oh dear, sir? I don’t think anyone here wants you to hurt yourself…” Nashio mocked, which caused the man to lunge at him. He dodged out of the way, gripping his wrist, Nashio disarmed the man and threw him over his shoulder. “I will be confiscating this for your own safety, sir.” He said, folding the knife back up and sliding it into pocket.

   The drunk was dragged out by two waiters as he let out a sigh of relief, “Fucks sake… I need a drink.” He grumbled as he walked up to his office, pinching the bridge of his nose. An hour or two pass without much needing his attention as he goes through a nice glass of oolong tea with Sake.
That was, at least, until another argument broke out was heard, just as the music went dead silent. “Dammit... “ He grumbled, grabbing an old louisville slugger. He quietly opened the door to peek at the comotion, there was around four God’s Army thugs and the drunk. “Fuuuuck me sideways… my fault for stayin’ here. Those punks are right at my doorstep.” He growled as he creeped ahead, the intruders were saying something about ‘everyone here isn’t free of sin’ or something. However, Nashio’s eye locked onto one of the crusader’s weapons. The capped man had a signed bat, and Nashio wanted it.

   “You all will be smited by the will of god hims-!” and as if on cue, the maple met the visor of the riot helmet. The glass shattered inwards, and into the crusader’s face and eyes. The man fell to the floor, screaming about how he couldn't see. Nashio scooped up the crusader’s bat, and the three privates recoiled. “He actually hit him…” one of them mumbled, “Not even that van-hellsing looking motherfucker couldn’t…” another said.

   “...what? It’s just a bat. A very nice bat, yes. But a bat none-the-less.” He asked, confused. Another private spoke up, one of the more devoted ones. “It’s been blessed by the lord almighty Himself! And you will be struck down for even grasping-” Nashio brained the privated with the baseball bat, “Really now? Huh.” Cue another meaty thwack at the Private’s skull. “Doesn’t seem very blessed…” He mocked.

   He brought it down again, and the wood snapped in half. The other two privates were stunned, “...what, he- he actually broke it! It caved in tin-heads skulls without breaking! What are you?!” One of them cried out, “You two wanna end up like him? Take your boss and get the fuck out of here, leave the shitstain.” He barked, nodding towards the former drunk.
   The two picked up the blinded crusader and dragged him out, leaving the corpse. Nashio got one of the waiters to toss it for the wolves outside. He dragged the Drunk inside the office, scooping up his maple bat. “You little fundie fuckboy, You thought to bring your fucking choir boy friends here? ‘Eh Merridew?” He tossed him inside his office, and pointed his bat at him. “You. Fucked. Up.” Nashi snarled, cracking the less-than intelligent man across the jaw. He brought it down again, and again as business returned to normal and the band played in the main hall. The drunk was left a beaten and bloody mess when Nashio stopped, just before he opened the window of his Office. It was a two-three story drop, and he set the bloodstained bat to the side. Nashi grabbed the man by  the back of his collar and proceeded to throw him out of the window.

   As he hit the pavement, his skull cracked open and splattered against the concrete. Nashio glared at the mangled corpse, and caught an eyeful of a pair of vehicles, a station wagon and a pick-up truck. Barreling towards the Cabaret with blue crosses on the hood. “[Oh son of a BITCH]” He exclaimed, going to the gun locker he and one of the ‘waiters’ nabbed from an old police station. All they could find was a semi-auto hunting shotgun, a magnum, a pair of semi-autos, and even a small SMG. For being so far north, GA held pretty much a monopoly on whatever firearms they could find. It was a luck of the draw they could even find that.

   Nashio stuffed whatever into his leather bag, the guns, boxes of ammunition, the works. He peered out of the window again, just as God’s Army began to pour out of the black vans. The manager stormed out, scooping up his bat he shouted “Everyone! Get to the back rooms, I need the waiters to stay! Everyone else needs to HIDE!” Everyone began to flood behind the stage, save for a little under a half dozen waiters. Nashi barred the door with his bat, “I need something sturdier! Like a fucking… Barstool!” He shouted, pointing at the bar. One of the ‘waiters’ nodded, an older, middle aged man. An pre-cataclysm immigrant, Nashi could tell from the accent. He said to call him ‘Jimmy’ when he first came around a couple years back. He ran over and hopped the bar. “The fuck are you-?!” Nashio questioned, just as Jimmy grabbed his bag, an old, patched together dufflebag. He took out an barely used sawed off pump action shotgun, he held it in his off hand and grabbed a bar stool with the duffle over his shoulder. “No worries, boss man. Jus’ grabbin’ my ol’ girl here.” Jimboy said, bracing the front door with that barstool. Nashio sighed, before passing out the pistols to the rest.

A tall skinny man, said he used to be a security guard when he first got employed here. He accepted the small SMG and checked it’s chamber, he stuffed the spare mag that was given to him into his dress pocket. Another was a old man, clearly from the south. Was a farmer, he was good muscle for the cabaret. He gladly took the Python and a hefy handful of loose rounds. The other two were average joes, but could at least point and shoot. They were given the semi-autos, the group got situated behind the bar in the center of the hall. The moment the door was blown open, the group of Mundies were torn apart by gunfire, the final crusader struggled to get up as Jimmy finished him off with a shot through his visor.

Nashio rose a brow, “That can’t be it…” He mumbled, his train of thought interrupted by screaming in the back rooms of the stage.  “Oh FUCK.” Nashi exclaimed, scrambling to his feet as several of the waiters followed. The farmer and Jimmy, primarily. Nashio barged into the back room, to be met with a baseball bat to the head. He felt his brain get knocked around inside his skull and was knocked on his back. The man with the bat was blown away by Jimmy, as the farmer walked in to check the room. Nashio was dragged out by Jimboy, groaning. “Aw hell, get DOWN.” The farmer yelled as the drywall was torn up by gunfire, Farmer caught a couple of rounds and returned them in kind. One round per private. The magnum clicked as he slid down the wall, Jimmy barged in as Nashio’s skull pounded as he got back to his feet. The last two privates were taken out, inside the large room was a massacre.

Nashio was sickened, “Ohh no…” he mumbled, but he noticed something. None of them were the hostesses. The corpses were mostly the customers, a door to one of the changing rooms eased open. One of the hostesses spoke up, “Uh- Are they gone?” She meekly asked Nashio, “Yeah, they’re gone. Y’alright back there?” He asked, raising a brow. He looked over at the Farmer. “Aw hell pops, they gotcha bad, old man…” Nashio whispered, kneeling down. The old man wheezed and sputtered, “Nawh, nawh. It’s fine. Jus’ go. Lived my life, kiddo…” He drawled, as the former yakuza nodded. “Rest well, old man…” He whispered, getting up.

There was an agreement that they need to leave, more will no doubt be coming. So they ‘commodeered’ the late GA squad’s vehicles. And with a paint can from storage. They painted over the crosses and Jimmy scratched the back of his head. “Well, boss. I fink this may be our separate ways. I got some unfinished business I shoulda’ taken care of a long time ago. Be seein’ ya.” Nashio nodded, “You too, Jim-boy. Stay safe.” He said, as Jimmy took the old station wagon. The handful of folks following Nashio, along with Nashio himself, took the cube van.

   The Yakuza and the Brit took their separate ways, and hopefully fate had something pleasant in store...
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5071 on: September 22, 2018, 06:55:13 pm »
Horace looked down at the axe in his hand, he remembered what the templar did with it. And he remembered how he'd activate his cursed blade ages ago. Horace just needed to do the same thing, right? "Throw the energy, not the axe. Throw it without throwing it." The Veiled King said to the Abyssal knight, just as he attempted to swing it like he was going to throw it, but he didn't let go.

There was a resonance as Horace swung the blade, feeling as though a tendril of energy lashed out and left a peculiar blur in the air, arcing out as though seeking something to bridge a connection with before flowing back into the blade. "Wait until the moment is right..." the Watcher directed.

"Aaah, such potential!" the beast hissed. An arm came up, crooked bent knuckles curling into an unsightly claw, and with it came stones and debris. Abraham was pulling ahead, but Horace seemed to be slowing. Not the horse, but time itself. "Be careful though, be ever so careful. The fox and the hound, and the old fox surprised you last time. Surprised you and escaped into the land of the dead..." Astor's hand came down and time rippled. It felt like being caught on a wave, and Horace was lifted on it and thrown from his horse.

"Ah, but to devour yet another. So much potential, even in a dead world. Give in, hollow one, give in and experience Oblivion."

The knight's horse doubled back, reacting to its rider suddenly being absent, and Abraham jerked the reins of his own to turn. As he did, the snapped the leaver shut on his rifle, hastily firing a silver bullet at the horrid thing that was bearing down on Horace.

Horace could sense a blur whizzing by, seeming fixed in midair. As well as himself, so too did it catch the claws that sought to ensnare him. A sudden tension filled the air, the presence making itself known again. This time, the threads of the Veil were pulled taut, for a mere instant that felt like an eternity.

The command that resounded through Horace's very being seemed so much more alien in tone than any word he'd heard from the Veiled King before, but its meaning was grasped by simple instinct. Strike.

Horace snarled at the parasite, just as the axe-head began to glow a hot orange. He hacked at the claw, ”I will not. The knight barked, sending the energy towards the horrid thing.

There was a resonance in that moment, energy arcing out in a wave as before, and when it met Astor's form it seemed to pulse through every limb in the immediate vicinity of Horace, flowing like electric current at last completing a circuit.

The energy whipped around and coursed through the being looming above. Then Horace could feel a sense of ease in the air, and an out of place sensation of... Nostalgia? Stone and fragments picked up by Astor's presence dropped dangerously, crushing derelict vehicles and smashing into abandoned houses. The residual energy, at first being lashed out with, was now being drawn away. Pulled into the otherworldly monstrosity.

"Such potential..." Astor said absently. Horace found himself mounting his horse, loyal as always, and riding away full tilt as the last of the energy was drawn away but before the monster could turn it's attention to him or the axe itself.

"Ride for your life, Hollow one. You have your distraction, now ride and let the parasite gorge itself."

The both of them rode off, finding their path to escape Astor, as the Watcher regarded this with a certain amusement. His actions today would draw some unwanted attention, of that he was certain. But it was not a complete loss. The portal was mended in time, and though no harm seemed to befall the Eater of Days from the strike, it gave the Veiled King something to think over...


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5072 on: September 26, 2018, 03:26:36 pm »
Soon after their little reunion, Roxanne excused herself to Hector as she fetched her things. She reminded him that the two weren’t supposed to meet just yet and still had to take care of a couple things. After a goodbye kiss the knight, she put her mask back on and exited their shared room. Her destination wasn’t too far off yet she still didn’t quite know what to expected. Roxanne walked north towards a particular clearing in the dense woods near walkerville; she used to frequent it when she needed some alone time with nature but now she had a guarding looking over it and she wanted to check on him.

As Roxanne walked, her modified two-way radio sounded off; it was Leonard. “Hello, Leo? What’s up? Something holding you back en-route back to the tower?”, Roxanne asked

“Yeah… about that…”, Leonard responded, “We still haven’t moved… A little argument broke out. It seems Clara doesn’t want to meet without seeing her little brother and Christina is taking her side. Rey and Lucy don’t care either way but are pointing out you must have your reasons for us to go.”

Roxanne gave a deep sigh before answering. “Tell you what, tell them to stay put there for the night and tomorrow I’ll give them a tour of walkerville myself. As for Clara, make her take Void and Coalescence, give her a ride to the Hall and let her talk to Victor. While she is there, tell her to put the two pieces in the little warded drawer they have going; gonna need to ask Helen to help me make one some time soon…

“Understood...just one thing if I may…”

What is it?

“Void and Coalescence won’t be too happy that you made them dormant and then put them in a drawer. They see you as their mother you know? Might make them...unstable…”

Don’t worry about it; they have the mentality of children. I’ll deal with it later, just do as you are told ok? Luna and Grey out.

The two way radio went silent afterwards and Roxanne put it back in its place. She have a deep sigh and rubbed the sides of her head. “It’s always something with you people...

Well, you don’t make things easier either you know?

Not now Eris! I am not in the mood...

Awwww, don’t want to talk to yourself either?

Without saying a word Roxanne continued walking forwards as thoughts went through her mind; thoughts that were both her and Eris. She became more and more confused and needed clarification and what better way than talking to herself on the matter to see if she missed any little details.

Hey Eris, you there?

Oh, look who decided to talk... Of course I am here, where else would I be?

Right right… Listen, there is something that I still don’t get...

There’s a surprise...

Shut up this is important!

Fine, what do you want?

Why are we still talking, pretending and outright feeling like we are two different people?

Oh that? Well, it’s kinda obvious from what Lucy said.

What do you mean?

Well, we were two different people who became a single consciousness, and rather forcefully at that. We have different personalities and some aspect of that make us incompatible due to some differences we have. Think of it like the arcane version of Multiple-personalities disorder.

Right right… but how do we fix it? It’s starting to get annoying arguing with...myself of all people...

I feel ya sister! Well, Lucy said that it would naturally happen over the course of a couple decades which is when our personalities will coalesce into one.

Did you just say decades?! What?!

Calm down, that is just the default time frame. It can occur much sooner if we work out those difference of ours that are incompatible. If one can convince the other of the other of their point of view in all those fronts then we would be able to coalesce much sooner.

Huh, so we need to talk things over then… What sorta things?

Well, we have different values, belief and moral compasses so we should focus on those. We can either deal with them as they come or we can set aside time now and again to deal with them.

Eh, I can set aside some time to talk to myself some more. Anything we could discuss that comes to mind?

Well, one that comes to mind is that fact that you won’t allow me to mess around with neither guys or girls...

Roxanne stopped in her tracks; another argument was about to erupt and she knew if she continue walking she would wander elsewhere. “Goddammit Eris you fucking slut! I already told you I am straight so I won’t allow you to fool around with girls. And we have a boyfriend!

Correction, you have a boyfriend. How is it my fault you decided to give up and settled down with the knight? Besides, you let him fool around, why can’t we?

Bitch, you know very well why! I am a ghost remember? I can’t know...satiate his ‘needs’ properly… so if he wants to seek that elsewhere he is free to do so...

And what about our needs huh? Do those not count for anything?

Ghost remember, we don’t really have any.

Oh really now?” Eris forcibly took control for a moment; she took her right hand and jabbed her fingers on her upper chest where the main tattoo seal was. Right before she struck she handed over control to Luna again. Luna fell to her knees as the sensations form the jab took hold and she moaned loudly before plating her hands on the ground as well.

Y-you fucking cunt! Do-don’t you ever...ever d-do that again!”. Roxanne exclaimed in between hard breaths.

Awww, what’s wrong? Luna can’t take a little teasing?”, Eris responding in their mind not bothering taking hold of the body to let Luna feel everything.

F-fuck off!

Anyways, I made my point. You can’t use being a ghost as an excuse anymore.

Roxanne slowly go up and then dusted herself after regaining her composure; she adjusted her mask and continued in the direction of the clearing. “I am not having this conversation with you now… I have a mission to complete why thank you...

Fiiiine, but I am not dropping it...

A while later Roxanne found the clearing in the woods. She walked towards it noting the bright sunlight that permeated through the trees signaling she was close. A bit of excitement took hold as she approached but that soon turned to dread and awe as she looked at the scene before hand. In the middle of the clearing was Jim just where Roxanne had planted him; well, a few things were off from when she last saw him…

First, Jim was bigger, much bigger. The once small desert triffid that lived in Roxanne’s pot had no grown to the size of a compact car and it appeared to have “bloomed” growing tendrils that borrowed themselves to the ground. Second, said tendrils came back up and would dig themselves again making a pattern that resembled a mat. The whole clearing was covered in this mat of tendrils that originated from Jim. Third, Roxanne realized that Jim wasn’t a “him” but a “she” because she recognized this as she uttered it’s name: “Triffid Grove...

Indeed, Roxanne had accidently created a triffid grove about a couple miles away from the farm; and Jim was it’s queen. She just looked at what she had done with awe seemingly in a trance until that was cut short by vines slowly entangling her body. Roxanne had not time to react as they wrapped around her arms, legs and waist before they suddenly lifted her up. In futile desperation Roxanne attempted to struggle against them but to no avail. Through her mask, Roxanne witness as a mutant wasp flew by only for it to be pierced by a vine and then dragged down to the mat below. She gulped hard at this before her attention was shifted elsewhere.

A tendril rose from below and in front of Roxanne; this one was a little different than the other. It was thinner and also had what looked like a needle on it’s tip. It was transparent but soon it began to turned purple from the bottom up until a purple fluid spurted a bit from the tip. The tendril then lined itself up with Roxanne’s chest just above her breast where Eris had jabbed...well, herself… Roxanne gasped knowing what this meant and she didn’t like it. She knew that wouldn’t actually hurt her since it wasn’t an arcane attack but if that little jab had provoked such a reaction from her being stabbed in the seal would be so much worse. Her struggles resumed, this time much more violently which irritated Jim.

Seemingly out of nowhere, another vine rose up; this one was thicker than the tendril but not as much as the ones that made up the mat. Then without any warning it slapped Roxanne on the side of her head which immediately made her cease her struggles. This little act made her mask fall of onto the mat leaving her face exposed; Roxanne’s pink eyes looked at Jim with terror and somehow she knew Jim was looking back. She waited for Jim to pierce her chest but that never came; on the contrary, the tendril lowered itself and then then vines that held her up unwrapped from both her arms and legs but were still wrapped around her waist. Jim brought Roxanne close. “W-what the? Jim? I-it’s me… Roxanne, remember me?” Jim’s head tilted a bit before it did something Roxanne would recognize: it’s now massive maw opened and it gave a light yawn before closing again.

Jim! It’s you!” Roxanne hugged the tiffrid with her now free arms. She held the hug for a minute before letting go at which point the remaining vine lowered her to the mat and unwrapped to her waist. It then picked up Roxanne’s mask and handed it to her; it seemed Jim had some sort of intelligence. “Oh Jim, you are so grown up! I am so proud of you! But… bad Jim! Bad! You have been a naughty bo- girl… girl apparently...” Roxanne gave a deep sigh of both relief and annoyance. “Oh you big dumb and adorable weed, what and I going to do with you? Hmm… wait I know! That catalina lady wants to talk to me still I hope… she has some pull in the center, maybe I can convince her to leave you alone… heh, worth the shot...

Leonard once again pulled up to near the hall in his motorcycle being mindful to not draw any attention. However, he didn’t have Roxanne as his passenger this time but rather it was Clara. She got off the motorcycle checking her stuff.

“You have the swords with you?”, asked Leonard.

“Of course I do, it was part of the deal.”, Clara respond.

“Alright then, just making. We don’t want any mistakes you know?”

Clara glared at him while he remained looking forwards towards the road. “Listen here you undead fuck, you may think you are a big shot because you are Luna’s servant or whatever but I won’t all you to talk to me in such a tone, do I make myself clear?”

“...My apologies Miss Ironwood.”

“Good, now on you go. I’ll take care of my part of the deal…”

With that, Leonard took off again leaving Clara alone. She was wearing black jeans, a grey dress shirt and a black denim jacket. On her back were both Void and Coalescence which she was tasked to take care off for now. With little reservation, Clara have a deep breath and walked towards the door of Victor’s room.

Victor was sitting in a chair in the room pondering something, the note in the journal to be more specific and what Roxanne had told him before she left during their meeting a while ago. He remembered that she asked him something as she was exiting his room with her mask already on:

Hey Victor, before I go, let me ask you something...

What is it?

If today was the end of the world, if this was our last day on earth… would you come back for me?

Victor had smiled when he heard that, he had no memory of it but he recognized those word from the note and he responded to that as he had done all those years back. “To the end of the world and back…

Roxanne had just laugh upon hearing that. “So you did read the note huh? Good, saves me a lot of time… did you tell Helen about it?

I can’t bring myself to do so… even though its something irrelevant now… the way things are going, why risk it?

Eh, I mean, that’s fair but… what if she finds out from someone other than you? That would hurt more wouldn’t it? Besides, you are no longer that person are you? You have a choice to make… The Victor I knew would have had burned the note already… what will you do?

Those last words were what stuck to him, what would he do? Keep the status quo and risk what Roxanne said or bring it out to seal up the last wound? A wound he had no memory of from what was from all intents and purposes another life… That train of thought was interrupted but a sudden knock on the door. Victor’s attention was brought to his aura spell that revealed a single person behind the door. He was thankful they weren’t shielding themselves like the last two had.

Victor was about to ask who it was because he didn’t know who this aura belonged to but he didn’t due to a simple reason: the aura felt familiar and to the point he felt he could trust the person behind the door. Almost as if by instinct he opened the door to find a woman looking at him with both excitement and relief. She gasped and smiled before abruptly pulling him into a hug.

“Victor! It really is you! I finally catched up to you! It’s been so long...”

He was quite confused and pulled her off before responding. “Uhhh...who are you?”, Victor asked.

The woman looked at him confused. “It’s me, Clara, your sister… Don’t you remember me?” She knew the answer to that but she clinged to the hope that it wasn’t true.

Sister? Oh… no...sorry...I don’t remember...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 03:29:28 pm by Noctifer-De-Mortem »
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Granted. A giant box full of bats appears on your doorstep...


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5073 on: September 26, 2018, 05:43:34 pm »
(( Sammy and Sergei stuff written with Wilson. ))

Helen had, after burying what remained of Branches, returned to The Hall to check on things, a thought lingering in the back of her mind. However, after matters pushed her concerns aside, as she went over to check on Solomon, seeing that he was there talking with Steinar, having handed over the note Salazar had instructed him to give to the man. "I...don't know what this is about to be honest, but I hope he's okay." he said, Helen looking the two over with concern. Soon though, she decided to make her very next task to head to her quarters, to check on Victor and Thomas...

Sammy was going through her steamer trunk, frowning a bit at her selection of clothes. Pants, shirts, and jackets. Olive green, blue-jeans, and tan. All of her clothes were very drab, boring, and utilitarian. She let out a huff, “I should of gotten more of a color palette…” She mumbled.

Sergei meanwhile hmmed a bit, having sorted through a few things unpacked since moving into the watchtower, regarding an old leather trenchcoat with an amused look, before tossing it aside. “Can’t blame you. Still looks good, and it works...” Sammy pouted a bit, “But they’re all plaaain… At least you got some actual colors in your clothing. W-well… Clothing that other people are gonna see…” She said, mumbling that last part as she blushed a bit.

Sergei ended up looking away shyly at that. “Suppose if you want we could get something like that...dunno if they have anything like that to spare here, but maybe either the center, or...” he remarked. “Or we can poke around the city.” Sammy suggested, smiling a bit. “Pluuus we can get somewhere a lil’ more sturdy.” She suggested, that smile widening.

Sergei was trying, and failing miserably, to hide his blush at that last remark. Then he thought back on what all he’d been up to lately. In all honesty, very little action, the last being the raid on the lab Apophis had been in. “That sounds fine by me. Much as I trust the construction, er...” he stammered, before regaining his composure as they got ready to head out on a little trip. Sammy grabbed her Vaquero and remembered something else. “Oh! Uh. Sergei! I got you somethin’!” She said, offering the russian a small box wrapped in butcher’s paper and twine.

“Oh? Thank you.” he said, curious as he unwrapped the present, finding to his surprise a pair of what seemed to be demi-gauntlets. As he examined them he quickly took notice of them being just right for his hands, each having a knuckle bar with spikes carefully riveted in place, the bar and spikes contrasting with the rest of the metal plates in being a noticeably darker, harder steel. Leftover pieces of salvaged war walker plating, which immediately made him suspect just who she requested make it. He also took notice of the fluting and other decorative reinforcement on the other plates, and on each a design was engraved on the back of the hand. For the right, a Russian Orthodox cross, and a star design on the left. “I...Sammy, wow this is...I could punch so many things with these.” he blurted out, stunned.

Sammy giggled at that, “Pfff- You dork… I knew you’d like it.” She said, smiling at him. “Had Hector make it for me, I thought he needed somethin’ t’do…” Sammy continued, glancing down at the gauntlets. Sergei nodded as he tried them out, making note of the padding right under the knuckle bars, a bit of fabric of some sort and leather. “Keeps himself busy a lot it seems. And does look like something he’d make, I guess this makes a good right cross punch a real cross punch, hmm?”

Sammy cracked up at that, “Shoooosh!” She giggled, shoving him playfully. “Double Dork!” She teased, before the two climbed down from the tower. Sergei snickered a bit before climbing down after her, checking the supplies he’d brought. A mostly-empty duffel bag actually, expecting to bring home a good bit of loot with them but he did bring food and other basic things in case they found a quiet place to stop while in the old city they planned to explore.

The two went to the motor pool, and Sammy spotted an old motorcycle. “Ooooh! Oooh! A ducati!” She said in delight, pointing at one of the worn vehicles. It was a sleek, modernized motorcycle designed to look like one of those old World War 2 motorcycles. “I should find you a badass biker jacket…” She said, gawking over that motorcycle.

Sergei hmmed a bit at that, examining the ride and getting on. He couldn’t help but feel that the effect was rather less impressive in his plain red tracksuit jacket. “And a helmet or two, but I guess it’ll be fine since the roads aren’t crowded. Besides, if we start asking about helmets Hector will likely start forging a lobster helmet or something like that...”

Sammy pshhed at that, “We can fiiiind some. Jeez.” She teased, waving it off. “It’ll be fiiiiine.” She waved off. Sergei chuckled a bit to himself as he got on. “Maybe we’ll find a pair in town, same shelf as some leather pants, hmm?” he joked. Sammy blushed at that, before getting on the bike behind him, wrapping her arms around him. “I can't fit in those…” She mumbled, as the engine was started on the motorcycle.

Sergei was careful about starting off along the path through the woods, cutting across the field to reach open road, along a path only occasionally visited by passing explorers and caravans. “So how cleaned up do you think this place is?” Sammy shrugged a bit as they neared an old strip mall, “We’ll get lucky, hopefully…” She said softly to him.

Sergei nodded as he pulled the bike to a stop, cutting the engine off and hopping off, looking around for any sign of people, looting, the undead, whatever he could discern. It was sparse save for some wild animals and a handful of long-rotten undead. Sammy looked at the shops with a smile, “Ooh. A spencer’s!” she said quietly, getting off the bike and drawing the Vaquero.

Sergei nodded as he clenched his fists, testing the fit on the gauntlets and moving other to nudge one skeletal corpse with a foot, discerning easily enough that the nearest ones had already been put down. “A...hmm? Never been there.” Sammy smiled at Sergei, “Oh sweetie, you sweet summer child…” She teased as she lead Sergei towards the store, seeking to show him rather than tell him.

To their relief things seemed to be fairly quiet as they entered the store, the place relatively intact and untouched. Up until a dried-out, decayed figure slumped over a checkout stand stirred, giving a raspy hiss right before a quick strike knocked its head right off its body. “Nice!” Sammy said aloud, before going to look at T-shirts. Inside the store could be described as a hot-topic, but not gothic.

Sergei found himself regarding the place with amusement, looking over a few items here and there, only to chuckle a bit at the jacket he found. “Wonder if they have anything made of actual leather, though...” he remarked, more to himself than anything else. As if on cue, Sergei wandered to the back of the store. As he was doing that, Sammy continued to look at various T-Shirts, jeans, and hoodies.

It wasn’t long before Sergei found himself holding up something that, upon realizing that Sammy was looking over at him now, he promptly dropped, blushing furiously. “Well, I said I was looking for leather, but that wasn’t what I had in mind...” he mumbled, looking away. “C’moooon, sweetie. It ain’t that sk- Oh. Oh no it is…” Sammy said, holding up the ‘outfit’. Which was basically a bundle of straps. “How would you even wear this…” She mumbled as she dropped it like Sergei, however.

The two continued to shop, and Sammy picked up a few bright t-shirts and a hoodie. And the two walked back out, and towards another shop. A motorcyclist shop, with biker memorabilia. Sergei once again examined and checked to ensure the area seemed to be clear, looking over a jacket. “I wonder if this is where Nathaniel got that thing that doesn’t fit him...”

Sammy shook her head, “Naw, apparently it was Mr. Lowe’s…” She said, before picking up a leather jacket that'd fit Sergei, before turning it over. She giggled aloud, “Cuuute!” Sammy said, showing the back to the russian.

Sergei smiled some, only to blush as he held up a rather form-fitting pair of pants. On seeing the jacket he started to snicker, dropping the item he was holding up on seeing the design on the back, a kitten. “Well, that’s...not straps at least.” he remarked. Sammy laughed at that, as she stuffed the jacket into the duffel bag. She wandered over to the helmets, spotting a large cardboard box under the shelves.

Picking it up, Sammy took out her knife and cut the tape sealing it. Inside was a bunch of foreign military helmets, along with some antiques. Sergei hmmed a bit, looking at the helms and regarding one with amusement. A particular padded helmet designed for tank crews, in a style he recalled from old photos and stories told by his grandfather. “Huh...”

Sammy snickered a bit as Sergei tried on the helmet, shouldering a duffel bag now filled with various articles of clothing. “Probably should get going. You know, spooky mall, zombies and all that.” she teased, Sergei nodding as they made their way back outside and started up the motorcycle.  “Seems quiet at least...” With that, the two made their way back, a decent amount of loot in tow.

Within the space between realms, bridging worlds immeasurable distances apart, something stirred. Someone stirred. Focus shifted from beyond their reach, following a path that linked their natural domain to a disturbance. Following the effect the Watcher had on the Veil after his latest act wound up the fabric of reality into a dangerously tense state, all for the sake of catching Astor within the ragged net for a split-second.

A voice rang out. Clear in tone and noticeably feminine. "So this is what you have been meddling in. This is very far beyond our reach, you know."

He From Beyond The Veil answered simply, that familiar voice in its impassive tone resounding through the Beyond. "You have not seen the pleas that drew my attention. A thousand flames that burned in offering to me. Too many to be a coincidence." The answer seemed to displease the other presence. "If that is true, then such an event is of vital importance. It demands the attention of us all. All five of us. Not just you."

A wry chuckle answered her. "And the sixth would have been drawn to meddling even sooner. The mortals there call him the Archon. Amusing, to label a servant-turned-god after a servant of a false g-"

"Do NOT speak of him as though he has a place among us. I would not be surprised if you are to blame for said meddling, just as your meddling turned him into what he is now." she practically hissed out.

"Patience. What's done is done, and all the tatters in the Veil, all the fraying links that may endanger even our domains, have weathered foretold events by my steady hand. I suspected that even my involvement was a risk, but one that had to be taken. To involve more of us would only further destabilize things."

"...I understand. I do not approve, and I will be watching, but I understand." With that, at last silence fell upon the void. For but a moment. After what seemed like an entity, one final word broke the eternal quiet.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 05:54:31 pm by Chaosvolt »


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5074 on: September 28, 2018, 08:33:17 am »
Work went ahead steadily on the new robot, even with a bit of a stall caused by Minx. She had come into the workshop, simply striding in as she had since making Dee and Mica's acquaintance, and looked over the parts being assembled. Arms, legs, a torso. It all looked very robot. It also looked a bit improvised and "plebian" as she put it. Catnip had done good work, as was expected, and Dee had worked carefully on fine electronic details, but all in all it failed to impress Minx. She knew Catnip could do better, she just needed a shove to get her thinking extravagantly. What Catnip wanted was a simple robot, something that wouldn't harass her or her sister. Dee on the other hand wanted what they were getting, a humanoid robot. Medeina just wanted a body that could hold her, while Minx... Minx believed Medeina should have the ultimate in walking, talking, fighting, and fucking that robotics could provide. She offered up ideas and crude designs in her own style.

"What she wanted," Dee later explained, "was an android from some science fiction star trek movie, except better. You should have seen the designs she handed over Nip. Shit, actually you can, I've still got em." If anything, Dee had undersold it. Minx's sketches would never match up to Mica's, but Minx had had a lot of practice. What she'd produced was a litany of coolness and sexiness both literally and figuratively. A nearly perfect humanoid robot that even Catnip and Dee likely wouldn't have been able to build. Dee had been aghast but Catnip knew what was up. Minx wanted them to shoot for the moon and land among the stars. Dee was down for it, but Catnip needed the push.

"Ok, we aren't building this. I'm not even sure why a ro-butt would need most of this stuff, so we definitely aren't giving it any of that." Catnip sighed. She and Dee looked over the parts they had and Catnip had to admit, her heart hadn't exactly been into making them. In fact now that she looked them over after all this time, all the parts save for the arms had been built with flaws that could be exploited. More though, a redesign was necessary. Without redesigning the robot, Catnip's solution to the power issue would destroy it. "Two birds with one stone." She said, looking around to make sure Kathrine wasn't listening

And so she and Dee, and Mica, designed something new. Angular lines and narrow abrupt edges were replaced with sweeping curves and decorative sweeps. Specially made opening and closing slot would allow air to flow freely from the wind cell Catnip was providing all throughout the chassis and limbs, as well as allowing Medeina to control the airflow in creative ways. Most of the robots utility would still come from modified CBMs. EMP shielding, a collection of small but useful tools and weapons, a variety of lenses for the robots eye, and a specially made automap unit. Instead of the bulbous eyebot Dee had planned on simply attaching to it's shoulders, Catnip came up with something that looked a lot like an old Polaroid camera. It was smaller than the eyebot and easier to work with. They hashed out the details together, Catnip on the shape and make of the body parts, Dee on the arrangement of smaller parts, and Mica on the design of the detailing. Then, when they had what they thought they could work with, the split up and got on what they would spend the next month creating.

While they were working on designs, Medeina and Minx were busy working on their book. Minx had come to the AI after her first few failed outings on her own. She just didn't know how or where to start, and decided to consult with someone who did. Medeina did of course know where to start and from there, they had put the smallest of dents in organizing and adding to Medeina's collected data.

"Ok, so... According to what that Atomos chick told you, it had to have been fifty or so feet?" Minx asked, making a rough sketch of what the snake may have looked like. She thought she'd probably be taking a visit with this 'Atomos' to help complete the entry.

"Yes, I estimate about fifty based on footage of Miss Atomos hauling the serpent into the center and tanning it's skin on the roof. Unfortunately Miss Atomos did not acquire measurements before butchering it." Medeina enumerated. The AI was fascinated by the idea that more snakes like the one encountered by Atomos existed somewhere, as Minx had told her they did on the west coast. "Do they truly get so large?" She finished.

One of the reasons the information was taking so long to collate was that Medeina kept asking questions and adding to what needed to be parsed. Minx had mentioned the fact about snake sizes only in passing and without realizing the depth of the AI's code borne obsession. Minx told her about the tube fields, an old government storage for building materials, and the men who worked their in steel suits to call the population of giant snakes so it would attack Pricetown's livestock. Medeina also got to hear about the jumping spiders that knocked men and women from their horses in an attempt to pounce not on the human, but on their mount. Armadillo like box trucks that moved sluggishly around the landscape in their impenetrable boo e carapaces, fearless of everything except for the hunters that harried them. The Mycus and the screamers. Gigantic insects and other strange creatures that now stalked the country in place of their old world equivalent. Minx had to admit, Medeina was a great listener. She never interrupted even once to comment on what Minx had to tell her.

"Are we friends now?" Medeina said. The question would have been awkward, coming so suddenly and out of nowhere. From a human, it would have been. From Medeina, the machine, it was perfectly earnest.

"Uh-huh." Minx said, glossing over the question, "Do you want to add anything else to this entry on snakes or leave it as is for now?"

"Leave it as is for now, I still need to sort through remaining data. What do friends do?"

"Alright good. What do you mean 'what do friends do?' Big observant robot, aren't the people you live with your friends? You can't tell what friends are by looking around?"

Medeina felt a bit nettled and oddly embarrassed. The people of the farm we're "friends" yes, but they weren't her "friend friends" as she'd heard it put somewhere. Medeina was to them, "the robot" or "the little spy" or sometimes even "the voyuer." She wasn't a biologist to them, like she thought of herself. She was there, but the AI just wasn't a person. Just a machine to get in the way and get smashed. It turned out, the drawback to emotions was the desire to be noticed and treated like an equal. A desire for more.

"No." She said, then added, "When my body is complete, I will experience what it is to be friends. You will show me."

"Pffft, ok. Whatever you say robolady. I'll walk you to the center and we can go shopping and talk about boys."


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5075 on: October 02, 2018, 03:54:49 am »
((Co-written with Chaosvolt))

After her reunion with Jim, Roxanne started to make her way back to the farm. There really wasn’t anything left to do for the day. Clara should be with Victor by now, she pondered visiting them. Maybe she could go and visit Catnip, Mica and the others; maybe they noticed her absence or maybe they did not but either way she rather them find out about her tattoos and other quirks. For now she figured she would head back to her room and check on her things properly.

It was when she was half way back to the farm that it started. Roxanne was feeling a bit heavy and movement was becoming difficult; it was almost as if she was becoming fatigued. “Hey Eris, it’s really hot today don’t you think?”, Roxanne asked to herself in an attempt at distraction at her current situation.

Yeah, but, what is it with this sudden fatigue? I don’t feel all that good…

I don’t know… let’s just get… back to our room.

The symptoms worsened as she advanced. The heat she was feeling was getting worse and it was becoming ever more difficult to walk. Chills and aches started to manifest all over her body as well followed by a cough. By the time she was in the farm itself her consciousness was hazy.

Eriiiiis… h-help me…” No answer. Roxanne walked seemingly on auto-pilot. Her legs were starting to gave way and she almost lost her footing a couple times. Despite all odds she made it to the door of her room. She abruptly and loudly threw the door open. The moment she did, she coughed and green, viscous fluid spewed from her mouth and into the floor. Roxanne looked at it curiously for a moment. “What?...”, she asked to herself confused before collapsing to the floor, eyes still wide open.

Hector had been there in the room still, regarding the notes he’d been studying, and lost in thought. She was back, but she’d told him almost nothing of what happened, and he still didn’t know of her fusion with the other Roxanne. When she entered the room a clear sense of worry crossed he face, able to tell something was up. “Roxanne? What’s wr-” Her suddenly vomiting, only to collapse, interrupted his question.

He rushed over without hesitation, immediately supporting her, to try and carry her over to the bed, laid on her side as he checked her breathing and pulse. “How the hell...this isn’t supposed to happen, not when you’re already a spirit.” he muttered, setting aside any belongings that got in the way of examining her. That allowed him to finally get a look at the items she’d returned with, and that only left him more confounded.

Roxanne remained on moving while he carried her to the bed, set her on her side, and set aside her belongings. Her eyes were unblinking and despite the heat she was feeling herself she felt cold to the touch. After a few moments she blinked only for her eyes to turn purple; she then let out a groan of discomfort before speaking.

What the… the hell? I can’t… move?

Roxanne’s eyes darted around until they locked at Hector. “Knight? You are Hector right? Luna’s boy- our boyfriend, I mean…” She quieted down for a moment before coughing a bit more. “Fuck… I-I feel horrible…

Hector was stunned, nervous as he tried to figure out what would help, and when their eyes met there was a curious unfamiliarity to her gaze. “It’s me, Hector...what do you mean, our...what’s going on?” he asked, worry giving way to outright fear. “Tell me if there’s anything you need that’ll help, if not I might need to get...not sure if it’d be the center or the Hall, nothing seems off medically from just a quick check.” he explained.

Roxanne laughed slightly before being interrupted by another cough. “Medically? We, I mean I, am too far gone for that to apply… I don’t know what’s going on...feels like a fever? Have an ice pack, maybe that would help? I don’t know anymore…” Her eyes wandered to her hands before looking back at Hector. “Huh… seems Luna has passed out? Didn’t know that was a thing… I will explain things as best I can, you must have lots of questions… for now I need you to help us reset, can you that for me? The instructions might seem weird but... I need you to trust me ok? Please?

Hector nodded at that, holding up a likely old chemical cold pack, uncertain if it’d still work as he offered it to her, sitting at the bedside. “So it seems Roxanne has more going on in there than just herself. Just as she’s traded the sword she was in for...what looks like the katar I forged, except...” He sighed a bit, shaking his head. “Nevermind, we’ll get to that. I will then. Ask me what I need to do.

Eris gave a deep sigh as the explanation that followed wasn’t an easy one. Besides, it was Luna that was in charge of spirit shenanigans like this but now that was she asleep or whatnot she had to take over .“Ok, this might seems a bit weird but once you do it you will understand… So you see the Katar? That is us now...I need you to grab it and I will grant you temporary dominion over us,me? Me. Now, you will feel a slight pull of sorts, not really a physical pull, hard to explain… Just don’t let the sword suggest anything. Once you feel that pull simply order us to reset… It’s the equivalent of turning your phone off and on… If you can do that for me I would really appreciate it…

Hector listened intently, stunned by her explaining that was the sword she was bound to, carefully taking it up. “So be it then...” he said, closing his eyes. He could sense it, a vague tug in the back of his mind. Having handled the cursed sword, a brief experience with the sword of despair, and having used the sword she was formerly bound to, this was something he could shove aside and ignore, calmly speaking up. “I command you to reset...

A small smile formed on her face as Hector followed her instructions. He seemed to resist the pull well enough which was a relief given that otherwise she wouldn’t hear the end of it from Luna. Once the command was uttered Roxanne went limp on the bed with her eyes close this time. Suddenly her tattoos gave of a slight purple glow; not enough to light up the room but enough to be noticeable. A few moments later Roxanne was jolted awake gasping as she sat upright; her eyes were still purple signifying which personality was still present.

“W-well holy shit… that was something… wouldn’t mind doing that again… felt… pleasant. Anyways, seems Luna is still asleep but now I can move again and I don’t feel quite as bad…” She looked down where the green vile she spewed had hit the ground to find only essence. A few ideas came to mind from that but they were quickly ignore in favor of the situation at had. “Uhhh, thanks a lot for that… I now see what Luna sees in you… Now, she is still asleep and I have nothing else to do at the moment, guess an explanation is in order? Like why I keep saying ‘we’ and ‘us’...

Hector watched, cautiously sheathing the katar, now handling it by the scabbarding instead as he set it down. He looked her other, sitting down beside her. “Alright then. I’d already guessed you’re someone else in there...and it seems this katar is neither Despair nor Void, correct? At least based on how it feels versus how handling the others felt. Assuming it’s still one of those other swords, that leaves...Assimilation and one other, right?” he asked.

At his analysis Roxanne gave a laugh. “Ha, very good, you catch on quick. Well, I was another person, this world’s version of Roxanne or her alt as you people call us. However, due to Luna her being a whimsical girl with a deathwish she and I have now become one. Currently we are struggling with mixing our personalities since we are really not that compatible so it feels like we are two different people and we act like it too… To avoid confusion, I go by Eris Grey and when my eyes are purple you are speaking with me, when the eyes are pink you are speaking with Luna. As for the swords… this here katar became Assimilation and due to more arcane happenings the original consciousness of it was destroyed and we became it instead. So congrats, you are now dating 1/4th of a literal god. That should cover the basics. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll fill in the blanks oh knight in shining armor.

Hector hmmed a bit at that, surprised as he listened to her. “So you’re...I see. A pleasure to meet you then, Eris. Not quite what I expected given Helen’s the only one to say anything of you. Though when she mentioned an...incident during the last major problem Roxanne got herself into, I would’ve hoped we’d get the chance to meet under more pleasant circumstances.” he admitted, before giving a sigh.

So I guess the main thing that leaves is...what happened? Roxanne didn’t say much of this yet. I...jesus she gets me worried sometimes. If it isn’t getting her body stolen, or literally dying...” he said softly, his previous worry giving way to a momentary exasperation.

Eris shook her head with a smile on her face before setting a hand on his shoulder. “I am sorry you have to put up with us. On behalf of all Roxanne’s out there, I feel your pain.” She then tried her best to not laugh. “Ok, sorry, had to do that. But yeah, we are a mess. We weren’t supposed to meet but take a girl like us, give us magic and add the wound in the veil and then you have sentient swords with midlife crisis as a result. As for what happened. Well, it all started as most of the messes Luna, I and Victor are involved with do: she was contacted by an arcane entity. She talked with it, as you do, and asked what it wanted. For some reason or another she accepted an invitation to go and discuss a deal of some sort. Well, to no one's surprise said entity turned on her. Said entity was no other than the sword of assimilation itself using the host of a mad man who wanted to shape the world in it’s image of whatnot. Well, the fucker had managed to get 3 of the pieces, void being supplied by Luna, and then was was about to assimilate Roxanne too. Now, due to the veil being the way it is, it backfired and Roxanne ended up being the wielder of the 3 pieces for like 5 minutes until a higher power came, beat her up and then sealed her as Assimilation due to the fact she literally ate, yes ate, the original consciousness. Since it was her fault she would take Assimilation place as a piece and here we are. A couple other things though: the tattoos are arcane seals to keep her stable, if they are damage she might cease to exist; if the sword gets destroyed, it will be reincarnate with a new consciousness leaving us behind and once again we cease to exist; and also once the wound in the veil is fix, don’t fully understand what that is about myself, we will also disappear. Fun! That answer your question?

Hector gave a blank stare at Eris when she was done, only to...promptly facepalm at that. “And she...didn’t tell me anything before setting out on this stupid quest. She could’ve been killed. You know, again.” he said. “Which...I’m guessing isn’t new to you, given the place Roxanne died at was already devoid of life.” he added, before shaking his head. “And on top of that, you’re saying she’ll be gone for good if this ever gets fixed? I...” He trailed off, looking down. “As much as I love her, she’s going to be the death of me at this rate. I think I get why Helen would get so frustrated with Victor. She can’t keep doing things like this...

Eris’ expression changes to; it went from whimsical amusement to something akin to sympathy. “So that is how you feel huh? Listen, I have no experience with relationships at all but knowing her and myself she does behave pretty reckless for someone who has someone worrying about her.” She looked around as if looking for something. “I don’t know if I should do this but… Well, I have access to all her memories and thoughts as she has mine; I currently feel like I have no stake in this despite the fact I kinda do so it wouldn’t be to hard for me to reveal something to you… something Luna would never admit to you or even herself…

Luna and I have something in common; we both value our sovereignty very much. We despise authority and don’t like being tied down or being told what to do. This translates to every facet of our life including social interactions… Because of this I never bothered with relationships, didn’t want to be beholden to anyone. I would have my five minutes of fun and then move on… that is why I had so few people I called friends in the first place… there was Victor and a couple other hunters I called friends but that was it. Now Luna is the same, she doesn’t want to be tied down and I feel her actions are a way to prove to herself she is still free in a way. She fell for you Hector and being the whimsical girl she is she decided to give the whole having a significant other thing a shot. Were it me I wouldn’t have.. Yet she still wanted to retain her freedom; she still adhere to the normal boundaries that are expected of a monogamous relationship from what I see, but she still wanted to go on raids and missions, the call for adventure. She didn’t tell you this because I assume she saw it as some sort of betrayal? I don’t know. Anyways, that attitude is what led her to now. If it brings you any comfort know that I will keep her in line; I am not going to let her stupidity compromise my existence. Keep her, us, me, close and things should settle down on their own now…

And one last thing on that vein… She choose you as her partner… I didn’t… I won’t do anything to get in the way of that but know that I may not be present much… this whole thing is still new to me… still, if you wanna ask me something feel free. Guess the only reason we are talking now is because SOMEONE WON’T WAKE UP!... That didn’t work...worth the shot...

Hector gave a sigh at that, before nodding when she finally finished. “I see. That...that makes sense. I sometimes feel a similar drive to always keep myself occupied. And she knows she’s one of the reasons why I’ve ended up staying. That and Catnip, the center...still.” He gave a little sigh. “There’s a difference between retaining one’s independence and leaving others in the dark, getting themselves in trouble and leaving everyone ignorant. Every single time, I’ve had to find out after the fact what happened, and wasn’t there to help...these days even I rarely go on a mission alone, and either way I keep people informed. Is it not possible to do that without feeling tied down?

Eris nodded at his statement. “People are complicated Hector, what you assume is perfectly logical and obvious might be an alien concept to someone else. What was the name of those xenophobes you guys were fighting constantly? God’s Army? To you it’s clear that killing mutants just because of who they are is wrong but they don’t see it that way; difference of opinion to the extreme and because of that you two are enemies. Hell, some people thinking killing is bad altogether, a certain catgirl from Luna’s memories comes to mind, but neither you are I are uncomfortable getting our hands dirty. This is what it comes down to, a difference of opinion. I can see why it’s frustrating but it’s how it is. Still, doesn’t help she never talks about it…” After saying that she stayed silent for a moment and then bursted out laughing. “Ha, isn’t that hypocritical of me?! And I am still speaking as if we are two different people. This is gonna take some getting used to…

Hector nodded at that. “True...I suppose when the time is right I’ll talk to her about it, but for now there’s not much else one can do. Still, er...thank you.” he said, looking back a bit. “I get the feeling this will be a long day...

“Ha, tell me something I didn’t know!”, Clara responded to Victor’s statement after sipping some coffee, “I have been keeping tabs on you and this place ever since I received that radio signal from Luna all those years back. Wanted to come and meet you sooner but… things got complicated. Still, I have eyes and ears everywhere little brother. Anything else I should know?”

Victor was still processing what the two had discussed. So he had a sister that he had disowned due to SoA. Made sense to him but now that his mind wasn’t clouded with the weight of his past that really seemed like a stupid and cold move. “Eh, not really. Still getting used to life now I supposed. Finding out I had a sister surely didn’t help get things on track…

Clara chuckled and took another sip of coffee. “I am sure it didn’t. But don’t worry, I am back and I won’t be leaving you any time soon. I can help you Victor, I can help you become what father always wanted out of us… I am sorry… that doesn’t matter now…”

Father? What do you mean?

“Don’t worry about that… just a slip of my mouth… I am just glad to have you back. All those years lost… I want to make them up. So, if you have anything that plagues you, don’t hesitate to ask me ok?”

Despite what she said and what the Aura spell indicated, Victor was still very hesitant yet it felt right to open up to her. She didn’t seem to be lying and there was no indication of ill will. Maybe it was alright if he brought up the note to her… “Well, there is one thing that maybe you can help me with…

“Oh, and what would that be?’

It’s a long story… requires an explanation that spans all the way from when I was partners with Blackmore…

At hearing that name Clara’s expression turned to disgust. “Her… so she is still plaguing you to this day huh? Alright… what can I help you with?”

Helen meanwhile had been heading to their quarters to check on Victor and Thomas, surprised to see a figure standing there with him. “Oh. Hello?” she said, a bit surprised, but given all the experiences they’ve had lately noticeably a bit wary, the expression clear as she wasn’t wearing her mask at the moment.

At the sight of Helen entering the room Victor calmly ignore his previous comment and stopped himself from getting his journal out. Clara smiled at Helen and looked back at Victor. “From the way she is dressed I assume that is Helen?”

“Behave…”, Victor warned.

“Oh I will, don’t want to embarrass you more than you have embarrassed yourself no doubt. Besides, I am not the one who had qualms with the Cleansing Flame aster all.” After that she calmly returned to drinking her coffee.

Victor gave a deep sigh before addressing Helen. “Guess introductions are in order… Helen, this is Clara...Clara Ironwood, my sister… Clara, this is Helen McKinnon, my partner...

Clara extended her hand and waved at Helen. “Nice to finally meet you. Taking care of him? Sorry about the headaches he surely has given you…”

Helen gave a polite nod to Clara, surprised at that. “Wife you mean, lack of ceremonies aside you did offer the ring, after all.” she teased, only to give a nod. “A surprise to meet you, Clara, but a pleasant one in any case. Better than Roxanne running off for gods-know-what reason. As for headaches, due to...recent events things have been far less hassle to be honest. As...bad as I feel, admitting that memory loss seems to have made him less inclined to do stupid things involving the arcane.

Clara blinks in surprised at Helen’s words before looking at Victor. “You put a ring on it? Didn’t know you had it in you! Seems she has been doing a good domesticating you in my absence.”

What is that supposed to mean?!”, Victor exclaimed.

“Haha! Still so easy to mess with, glad that didn’t change. Memory loss or not you are still my younger brother after all.”

Can both of you cool it down a bit… this is getting to be a bit too much for my comfort…

“Fine, I will talk to your wife then.” Clara shifted her attention to Helen. “Well, it’s good to see we met in good terms. As for the arcane stuff, he was always a curious one and that led him into trouble. Discipline, like in all things it is required with the arcane. He was good enough to be recruited by that arcane club of his, so was I but I rejected the offer; so I guess you and I both know what it’s like to be at odds with SoA. Well, good to know he has at least cooled off.”

She took a sip of her coffee and then look at Victor again. “Hey, where are your manners? Make your wife a cup and make me another one too if you will.”

Victor grumbled and got up to make more coffee given he needed a cup too. “This is my life now…”, he whispered to himself under his breath.

“Anyways, how are things going for you Helen? Tell me about yourself.”

Healen gave a nod as she sat down, first checking that Thomas was alright. “Well, unlike him I was basically born into this, and for a while things went...about as expected for the Cleansing Flame. To be honest, first time the two of us met was on the battlefield, but we never clashed. Instead it ended in Roxanne’s death, along with several of my friends.” she explained.

Then when we ended up meeting again, here...some things I’d encountered along the way made me better understand that, as dangerous as Shadows of Arcana could be, we needed to be able to make peace, and work out the flaws in both orders. Ending up here at a place that was effectively neutral ground helped.” she said, before accepting the coffee with a nod.

Victor sat down after giving the both of them a cup and then drinking from his own. “From what I’ve gathered apparently we had some slight animosity but that changed rather quickly. A few arcane incidents here and there happened and now we are here.

“Born into it huh? So you must have quite the first hand experience in your area.”, Clara added, ”Victor here and I have some innate affinity with the Arcane which allowed us a head start. But my brother’s is a bit finicky; hell, is aura spell is even colorblind. And you know what, I applaud you wanting to bring the orders together; a lesser person would just try to annihilate the other. For you to put up with the enemy like that is admirable… That will make my ‘boss’ really happy to hear…”

Helen nodded as she listened, taking a sip of the coffee before regarding Clara with concern. “Indeed, ideally we...both would like to form a new order, combining the best of our own traditions, educating so that these practices can be done safely. Who is your boss, if I may ask?

Clara smirked a bit at the question. “Your own order huh? That’s too bad, kinda wanted to recruit you two, oh well. An alliance sounds good too. Excuse me, an explanation is in order.”

“Well, for all intents and purposes the old SoA is dead. It’s members scattered in the post-cataclysm for their own survival. Some probably tried to revive the order but must surely have failed for it to not be know. Well, I am part of a group who is trying to do the same; revive SoA with a different goal in mind, containment and protection. There are many dangerous things out there and it’s best if we understood and learned how to deal with them. This is where my ‘boss’ comes in… Her name is Christina and well… she is one of the original founders of SoA back when it split off from The Cleansing Flame, she says she wants to speak to you some time...something about healing old wounds. Now, you will probably not want to join us then but would you consider some sort of partnership or alliance? Sorry that this became a business meeting all of the sudden…”

She was surprised by this, though part of her expected some peculiar business would happen, at that offer she smiled some. “A partnership may be the best approach then. I that, in fact. To be able to resolve this in a more official manner, at last. A founder of SoA, and the daughter of two of the the Cleansing Flame’s founders...I would hope if there is any others among our old order still out there, that would set an example to foster peace.

“Peace huh? That’s something many of us haven’t had in a while. It’s almost been a decade since it all went to hell...but some of us were already there weren’t we? Anyways, yeah, that would really be something to look forward to. I’ll let her know you’ve agreed to the meeting. Now. what title would you like to go by? You know, for official reasons”

Helen gave a nod at that. “My mother and father both passed on the old rank of thane from the days when they were part of Odin’s Oath, but...Sister Helen would suffice.” she answered.

“As you wish when. I will arrange the meeting between Founder Christina and Sister Helen then. But for now let’s relax some. I wanna catch up with my dear brother here.”
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5076 on: October 02, 2018, 03:13:47 pm »
(( Written with Wilson. ))

   Heather hummed a bit to herself as she walked along an old hiking trail with Taji, hard ground hindering the overgrowth that had started to take over the place in the absence of management. Nonetheless it was relaxing, far from any known anomalies, infested towns, or places known to be patrolled by God’s Army, making it in her mind a romantic place to visit with him.

   Another was following along too, though out of sight. Aurelia had been occasionally trying to get to know Taji as well, but her current stalking hadn’t been related to that. In truth, she’d puzzled out Heather’s little quiet place, and thought it’d be perfect to enjoy time to herself away from the old mage hunter’s constant scrutiny. That she found the two strolling along today was an amusing bonus in her mind.

Less desirable however, was the conversation she overheard, signs of voices just off the beaten path. A chattering of Russian, before one of them spoke up in English, a taller man in a red dress shirt. “English, please…” he grumbled. There was a hearty chuckle shared among the others, before one spoke up, noticeably less fluent-sounding.

“He said the fuck who busted Pyotr’s leg has a girl with him. Probably won’t like us roughing up his boyfriend, but that’s her fucking problem. She wants to do something about it, she’s welcome to try...” one of the men grumbled. Aurelia was glowering at the group through the foliage, pupils narrowed. The first thing she did was retrieve a small vial from her messenger bag, containing a view motes of blood essence. The first thing she thought of would’ve been horribly messy, and the last thing she wanted was for Tajima to stumble into what’d be left of her handiwork.

Instead, a few motes of blood essence drifted up, floating by her will, before focused into a spell. As the group turned and headed towards the treeline, the trees obscured her work, revealing to them what seemed to be the path they were going to ambush Taji from, when in truth she was leading them deeper into the forest, splitting the group up with a moment’s misdirection.

Tajima stopped suddenly, stopped, putting a hand in front of Heather. “Wait…” He said quietly, glaring at the group walking towards him. They carried long, blunt weapons. Ones that stood out was a baseball bat with a steel pipe-cap, and and another was a steel sledgehammer, wielded by a man who reminded Taji of Sergei. Without any of Sergei's integrity, however.

“So this is where you’ve fucked off to.” the man with the hammer remarked, glancing over at Heather. “Cute girlfriend you’ve got there.” he added, prompting Taji to glare at him. “She’s not my girlfriend...” he said, Heather giving Taji a concerned look before he spoke again. “Seems a bit pointless chasing me into Maine over a drunken brawl, you know. What would Sergei say?”

“Probably something pithy about revenge. Boy never did have the stomach for business.” he remarked. “Good thing he’s not here though. He wouldn’t understand. You put the hurt on my brother, and I’m not going to let that slide just because you walked off into God’s Army territory.” he said, taking a step forward. “Not as bad as those augs must be treating you. You know Pyotr would likely disapprove of you risking your life out here just for revenge, Savely.”

The man spat at the ground between them, looking up with a glare. “Don’t think you can try talking your way out of this. Or are you going to pussy out just because we’ve got you 12 to 1?” he said, only for Heather to step forward. “Funny. Looks more like 6 to 2 to me.” she said. At that, the bunch of them started laughing, though soon Savely was the only one laughing, the others looking back warily. “Really, you can’t be serious, this little girl is going to...wait...” He then looked back behind him. “...blyat.

Tajima sighed, cracking his knuckles. “Hoped it wouldn’t come to this… Heather, go. I caused this, I’m going to deal with it” He said, raising his fists. Heather grumbled a bit. “Oh for fucks sake, you’re stubborn...” she grumbled, before finally backing off and heading back the way they came. Taji looked back as she ran off, “Good. There’s nothing holding me back, If you all plan on taking me down. I’m dragging you straight to hell with me.” He stared Savely in the eye, “What did Sergei call you… Ah, that’s right. Little Baby Savely. That was before you got those augs though…”

Savely glared at Taji as a sudden tension filled his frame, grimacing noticeably as his augmentations kicked in. It always made his joints ache to use them, but it’d be worth it, he thought. He simply raised his hammer, stepping forward with two of his compatriots flanking him, muttering something in Russian as they advanced on him…

Elsewhere, the other six gopniks gave a blank stare at the sight before them. The hiking trail just abruptly ended, vanishing into dense underbrush, so thick as to be impenetrable. There was no sign of the other half of the group, nor the two they were following. One of them muttered something only for the one less fluent in Russian to speak up. “What’d he say this time?”

The man at the front whirled around, furious. “He said we’re LOST, you fucking id-” He stopped, going pale. The others whirled around as well and saw the cause of his reaction. The path they’d just been walking down was gone, and now they were completely encircled by sprawling, dense woodland.

“What kinda bullshit is this...” the man in the back muttered, only for a woman’s voice to resound around them. “You shouldn’t be trespassing here, you know...” One of the men grumbled a bit at that, raising the pipe he had on hand. “Who the fuck is out there?” he shouted, only for a mischievous giggle to echo through the forest. “You don’t get to ask the questions, child. What are you doing in my forest?”

“Fuck you and fuck your forest...and fuck Taji for thinking this shithole is a fine place to take his girlfriend out.” the man grumbled, swinging the pipe at a tree trunk to emphasize his point. To his surprise he stumbled right through, put off balance as he swung, as though there was nothing to connect with. Indeed, there wasn’t. One of the men turned in a panic to run the way they came, only to bounce off what seemed to be thin air, the whole forest seeming to shift again in the blink of an eye..

“That one is under my protection, children...and trust me, leaving the forest won’t change that.” The group of them were now increasingly on edge, realizing that the trees seemed to give way to a heavy fog, and even the midday sun no longer seemed to offer much light. “So I suggest you rethink your decisions, give up whatever folly has led you here, and...”

In response to the darkness, one of the men fumbled with a matchbook, the only thing he had on hand, only for a sudden gust of wind to snuff it out, seeming to blow away the fog for a moment. Strange shifting shapes could be seen all around, except a single path through the forest. The next word they heard sounded much closer, a whisper in their ears. “Run.”

Aurelia watched as the six men screamed, running in blind panic at mere illusions, along  a path that’d take them well away from where Taji would be, moreover most likely they’d be running around until eventually stumbling out the way they came. She had a shit-eating grin on her face, trying her hardest not to double over with laughter, and the downright childish giggling only added to the effect of the “haunted forest” they fled from. It took her a moment, thankfully after they were well out of earshot, before she said something in between the ensuing laughter. “Always wanted to do that...”

Back at the path, The hammer was brought down and Tajima dodged to the side. Making sure to stand on the hammerhead, as he kicked Savely across the jaw. Two of the six took the opportunity to rush past Taji, heading down the path, as Savely just gave a bloodied grin. “Can’t let your girlfriend come running home to the rest of you, find where those idiots ran off to, while I give the runt what he deserves...”

Heather grumbled a bit as she ran down the path, thinking that the first thing to do is get the others to assist, uncertain if Taji would be able to handle all of them at once. It was as she stopped a moment, panting and resting against a tree trunk, that she heard someone. “And where you think you’re going?” The two men that bolted past Taji had caught up alarmingly quick, one clutching a bat as the other idly twirled a knife, drawn from a neck sheath. “You’ve got to be kidding me...” she grumbled, sizing the two up and raising her arms, hands in front. “Look, whatever you’re here for, th-” One of them interrupted her. “Save it, shorty. You’re coming back with us, so you can watch. If you ask nicely, Savely just might let him go with just every arm and leg broken...”

A lead-pipe was thrown from the treeline, clocking the one lacking the knife in the head. “The f-!” One of them shouted, before being interrupted by a hand on his shoulder and another scooping the knife out of his hand. “Oy. Knives are dangerous, y'know.” The eye-patched man mocked. The Russian groaned a bit, stumbling a bit. “Who the fuck are you, you fuckin’ ...” Heather meanwhile backed up a bit, glancing back at him. “There’s four more attacking a friend of mine, six more evidently lost out there...”

Nashio hmmphed, before scooping up the pipe and cracking one of the two russians in the head with the pipe, stabbing the other with his own knife in the back, leaving the knife in the wound, and cracking the first russian again across the jaw. He knocked the former knife-owner out with a dress-shoe to the face, “Go wherever you were goin’, [Sweetheart]. Uhh…” Nashio commanded, before yanking the knife out of the last russian and giving it to her. “Here.” He said as he ran down the path.

Heather grumbled a bit at that, taking the knife and continuing on. “Alright, I think Maya and Bigby should be back by the park entrance, they’ll be able to handle them...” she said, breaking into a run.

Elsewhere, Aurelia grumbled a bit as she made her way back towards the hiking trail, hearing a shout in Russian. She spotted one of them, the three sent after the rest of the group having split up to cover more ground. The man was running, shouting, and it only took a moment’s focus for the sanguinist to misdirect him such that he slammed full-tilt into a tree, concealed from his view. Next thing he knew, he was being held with his hands behind his bag, a short length of rope tying them together, before he was slammed face-first against a tree trunk he could’ve sworn wasn’t there a moment ago. Not realizing that two others had ran off as well, she made her way back towards the hiking trail, thinking she’d taken care of their attempt to find the stragglers.

As Nashio made his way back down the path, he recognized who he was supposed to save. His face lit up as a wicked grin formed on his lips, “[Tajima-chan! I've finally found you!]” He cackled as he drew his tanto, “[Do you need an assist, my brother?]” Nashio continued on, prompting a nod from Tajima.

Savely grumbled a bit as he backed up, only to be startled by someone calling out. “Taji! Are you alright? I’m here, I...oh. Bad boy, you only left one of them for me.” Aurelia teased, glowering at the gopnik. “Two ran after Heather, three after their friends.” Taji answered.

Naisho glanced over at Aurelia, only to give a low whistle. “Oppai...” he mumbled under his breath, before speaking up. “I handled the two.” Aurelia then smiled a bit. “I scared off six, and...took care” She looked behind her warily, hearing a rustling before sidestepping a lead pipe thrown at her.

Nine men stepped out onto the path, one of them with a noticeably bloodied-up face and broken nose, and one of the others spoke up. “That voice, that’s her. Some kinda fucking witch.” The man with the broken nose simply smirked a bit, before spitting up a cracked piece of tooth at the ground between them. “See? Just trickery. Funny, I wasn’t expecting your so-called forest spirit to be some girl with bat wings.” he remarked, prompting a glare from Aurelia. “Remind me to actually knock you out next time I have you tied up...”

Nashio rose a brow at Aurelia, “Not the best at this, are ya’?” He shouted, before shaking his head. “Forget it! Just keep these cowards off Tajima’s back!” Nashio continued, grabbing one of the gopniks running towards Tajima and Savely. He threw the man at the group, knocking many of them over as Nashio got back into the fray.

Aurelia simply chuckled a bit. “And here I was hoping Taji could handle a mere six of them.” she said, only to smirk as she lunged forward at one of them. He took a swing at her with a bat, the woman sidestepping and pulling him forward with his own momentum. That tail lashed out as well, striking his knee with enough force to twist it a bit. It wouldn’t been merely painful rather than enough to break something, but she readily used that to further send him toppling facefirst to the ground, followed up with her drawing a peculiar silvery knife from its sheath.

“Mine’s prettier.” Nashio quipped as he readied his tanto, prompting a little fanged smile from Aurelia. “And mine’s bigger.” she responded, leading Nashio to chuckle and mumble something indistinct in Japanese. As they stood between the others that were still conscious and Tajima, Savely squared off with Taji. “Your augs aren’t going to hold out forever you know. This is only going to end in more senseless bloodshed.” he said calmly, prompting Savely to grumble a bit. “Fuck you. I told Pyotr not to come after me if something goes wrong. Not like he’s going to limp all the way to Maine anyway. One way or another, I’m ending this...” he practically growled out, before lunging at Taji, sledgehammer overhead.

Meanwhile, Nashio practically cackled a bit as the two circled and picked at the group, keeping them on their toes and preventing them from joining the fray. A quick flick of his tanto and he hamstrung one, pushing the man into the person charging at him, while Aurelia drove her athame into the arm of another who took a swing at her, using it as leverage to floor him, opening muscles and tendons in the process. “Just try not to get in between them.” she remarked, before another of the men cried out as the abnormally-sharp silver blade was jabbed into his back.

Nashio grinned at Aurelia, before driving a knife in another russian’s elbow. “You need more grace! He teased, dodging to the side as another swung the trench-bat at him. Accidentally, The russian brained his own comrade as Nashio cackled at him. The yakuza’s footwork could be akin to dancing. He ducked with a twirl, as the one wielding the trench-bat swung at him again. As a counter, Nashio stabbed the knife into his side, and kicked the butt of the knife to drive it in deep.

Aurelia, in contrast, made short, sharp movements that left her attackers scrambling to catch up, and catching them right as they lashed out, demonstrating again by shifting a bit, sending the next person to lunge at her tumbling into another person charging at her. “A little viciousness has a beauty all its own.” she teased, and as one man charged at Nashio while he was withdrawing the knife, she sent the person she previously staggered toppling over in front of his attacker, tripping him.

   Meanwhile, Tajima weaved out of the way of that hammer-swing. “You’re better than this, Savely. You don’t need that hammer.” He barked, punching the large brute in the abdomen,then in the ribs, then a kick to the underside of his jaw. Savely spat out a tooth and hit Tajima square in the ribs, knocking the air out of his lungs. He let out a loud wheeze as he fell to one knee, The russian rose the hammer as Tajima caught his breath. He glared hard as the hammer fell, before it collided Taji gripped the fore-end of the handle and struck the russian hard in the chest with his palm. The sledge slipped out of his grasp and into the Yakuza’s, who simply tossed it aside. “Come on. You always bragged about how much of a boxer you were, prove it..” Tajima scorned at, still wheezing. He make a ‘come on’ gesture, getting into a more relaxed stance as he did so. “[C’mon, prove me wrong.]” He taunted.

   Savely grumbled a bit as he raised his guard, practically lunging at Taji with a right hook, demonstrating he was indeed quite a bit quicker on his feet with his bare hands. “Fine, I’ll break you with my bare fucking hands if I have to!” Tajima took the hook, and returned it in kind. The two stumbled backwards, they came back swinging. Taji ducked under Savely’s punch, jabbing him in the face, following up with a hook to the back of the head, and ending with an undercut to his jaw.

   Savely likely would’ve kept going, even as his own augs made the pain worse, but as he reeled and scrambled to grab at Taji, he felt the tension in his frame fading, the shifting and faint hissing of hydraulic muscles faltering as the last reserves of his bionic power faded, only managing to sway forward and give Taji a hard jab before he toppled over, coughing a bit. Tajima caught the swing by Savely’s wrist, he twisted around and brought the arm down over his shoulder. A loud scream was heard as the russian felt a sickening crack as Taji broke his arm.

   Taji then calmly motioned over to Nashio, who walked up and handed over the tanto, knowing exactly what he was about to do. Taji had the man pinned down, grabbing onto his good arm and forcing him to hold his hand out, pinned against the stony ground of the hiking trail. Tajima dug out a clean, white handkerchief from his pocket. He brought the knife to the side of the first pinky knuckle, but lowered to the second. Taji brought the knife down, severing the finger and wraps it in the handkerchief. “Give this to Pyotr. Be glad this is the worst you’ve got.” He spat, glaring hard at the broken russian.

   Aurelia watched with an amused smirk, standing over the last of the others, only to hear a shout from up the hiking path. Maya and Bigby had come running, Heather following close behind, all of them surprised to find Tajima hadn’t in fact been beaten into a pulp. There was something muttered in Russian from the woman, toting a weathered old SMG as she examined the various men sprawled out on the ground. “And I thought you’d need help.”

   Tajima looked over at Heather, “Glad to see you’re alright.” He said, giving a tired little smile. Taji spat out blood out of his mouth, before sighing, “Thought this could of been a nice time…” He continued, frowning a bit. Heather nodded at that, immediately starting to check him for injuries. “Look, it’s fine. But what about you? You’re the one telling me to run off and leave you to fight a dozen people alone.” she grumbled.

   Aurelia simply smiled a bit, watching as Bigby and Maya started securing the various unconscious and bleeding men, tying them up. “I was keeping an eye on things, would’ve gone a lot easier if a little trick I had up my sleeve had kept the other six running though...” she grumbled. “Oh well. Plus we had a surprise visitor here, decent hand with a knife too it seems. Name’s Aurelia, and you are…?”

   Nashio looked over at Aurelia, “Oh-” He dug out an old paper ID card from his suit jacket, he gave it to the bloodmage. “Nashio Yuko, ‘Lord of The Red Light’, and ‘The Mad Oni of Yushi’.” Nashi rambled, before giving a little bow. “You’re friends with Tajima-chan, right?” He asked, raising a brow.

   Aurelia smiled a bit at that. “Oh how adorable. Sadly I don’t have any titles myself. Never been called anything more than Ms. Santoro. And yes, I am. Both of of us met after ending up at the place we’ve been staying at.” Bigby meanwhile glanced over at Taji. “Don’t look like God’s Army boys, not any local bandit gangs either. You know these punks?”

   Taji grimaced, “Russian punks. Gopniks.” He said, glaring hard at Savely once again. “They won’t come back.” Tajima said simply, holding a hand against his ribs. Maya muttered something quietly in Russian at that, kicking one of the downed men in the side, prompting a groan and something mumbled in turn, while Heather sighed a bit. “Let’s get you home and looked at. I’m guessing John Luke might want to talk to you about this, plus meet your friend here.”

   Aurelia then glanced over at the men, getting ideas right up until she saw the annoyed glance Taji was giving her, wiping that smile off her face, approaching Savely. “So we’re just counting on them to not cause further trouble...” She watched Savely fumble a bit, almost getting on all fours before faltering, kneeling beside him. “Just abandon this attempt at revenge. It won’t do anyone any good.” As the man managed to rise a bit, she leaned in to whisper to him. “Talk to your compatriots when they come to, and ask them about the ‘witchcraft‘ they witnessed. I can do more than mere illusions. And you will lose more than just a finger if you attempt this again.

   Nashio rose another brow, “Oh, uh. Speaking of that, I have a few more... people who need a place to stay.” He said, glancing over at the trench-club on the floor. Oooh, Nice bat. It’s mine now, friend.” Nashio mocked, scooping up the bat off the floor.

   Bigby hmmed a bit, nodding some. “Alright. Going to want to talk to the pastor then, runs the community we’re from. Visitors show up all the time on their way farther north, not much safe refuge from God’s Army in the area. Sometimes people decide to stay.” he said, Maya nodding a bit. “Besides, gives these punks time to crawl back home to babushka, the ones that aren't full of holes at least.”

   The group made their way back to the entrance, and Nashio briefly departing to find his vehicle. As he made his way back, with a white van with a crudely painted over hood. In pink paint. The group made their way back to the Oasis of Eden...


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5077 on: October 03, 2018, 08:50:33 am »
[couple paragraphs by Dragon]

New Paris was abuzz with activity. People coming and going to and from their assigned duties, clearing away what was left of the burned trailers. The Canadians helped a little, dragging the steel frames away from the center and leaving them on the edge of the small town just Southwest of the southern fields. Plans were laid to pour a concrete pad on the spot where they'd burned. No resident was particularly superstitious, but all the same most agreed that farming on the spot would be bad. That some illness could be spread from the ashes of Brynna's trailer. Other plans were made to build a church and many small houses north and east of the center while the lands south and west were clear-cut and plowed. Rumors of undead being sighted moving towards the center circulated and there was merit to the rumors. Sound traveled in a dead world, and the undead weren't deaf. The newly settled militia dealt with the small hordes that appeared harshly. Forming up as they were trained in phalanx firing lines, blasting the undead in volleys from behind oversized shields. It was a vacation to them compared to dealing with the Mycus abominations and screamers.

Another reason for the glut of activity at the newly named refugee center was because the people's provider had apparently returned. The ranger, the hunter, Ms. Atomos, had returned from a long trip that no one knew anything about. Whatever it had been though, she'd returned ill and that made them worry. Cards and letters piled up like a snow drift under her door and every now and then, Larion would bring some larger gift in. He knew what to expect but even so, he never caught a glimpse of Jenny until the next day.

Catalina made the rounds late the next day, irritated by the sudden slipping of protocol. The name was on everyones lips, the one she'd told those who knew it to keep to themselves. Jennifer Barrowfield. Only a few knew it, and they either weren't around to spread it or were too trustworthy to do so. That left Atomos, and the woman she'd met with the previous day. Even Dr. Maskens, usually professional to a T, was referring to Atomos by her given name.

"Captain! Hello, I was wondering, you know Jenny pretty well right? Do you know if-" Began a bright faced Migrant. Catalina spun to face her, wanted to chew the young girl out for spouting sensitive information like that, but stopped herself. Instead she counted down from five, and took a deep breath.

"It's Atomos." She said, realizing she was saying it out of impulse, "Where did you learn that name?"

"Er, it's all over the place. Connie from the front desk told me, but she heard it from somewhere else. What's Atomos?"

Somewhere else. Always how rumors and information got spread around. In a small community like the center (It was still just "the center" to her) information spread like wildfire. The girl asking 'what' Atomos was was even more irritating. These peoples first impression of the ranger would be with her real name. The conversation wasn't new though. Four other individuals had approached her wanting to know something or other about Jennifer. She made her way to the cafeteria, ignoring the girls questions. The chef had done a lot of rumor spreading himself, and he seemed like a good place to start. She didn't see Larion coming up the hall from the quarters wing at a fast walk, but by the time she managed her way into the cafeteria he had closed the distance and entered just behind her.

"Atomos is up." He mumbled close to her ear in the old fashioned conspiratorial way of the officer. Catalina leaned back only the smallest bit.

"What's wrong with her?" Catalina asked. Larion meant to tell her that she could ask the ranger herself, but Atomos was already there restored, apparently, to normal. She flinched a little as she pushed Larion gently to the side.

"'Scuse me Larion." She said sweetly, then turned on the Captain and hissed, "None of your business 'Captain,' except for the fact that you fucking lied to me..." The Cafeteria went dead silent. Atomos never swore, at least not often. As such, it lent weight to her words. Catalina looked like she'd been shot at from an unexpected source, but that look vanished as fast as it came, replaced by anger.

"What the hell do you mean 'none of my business?' And watch your mouth soldier, I havn't-"

"I'M NOT YOUR SOLDIER! I'm not your marine, I'm not your ranger, I'm not your anything! You lied to me about..." Atomos was waving her tail at Catalina, making it very obvious as to what she meant. The fur looked brighter somehow, a vibrant rich orange instead of the bright rust it had been before she went on her mission. "All of it. All of it was a lie! Why? What was the point? You had me thinking... Shit... You knew all about what had happened to me and you let me go around thinking I was some kind of freak of radiation!"

Catalina Suddenly realized what the ranger was talking about, but where had she learned anything about it? In New Bangor? What had she seen or heard, or what had they told her? How had they learned? One thing that really struck her at that moment was just how many eyes were on them now, how many ears were open. Jennifer was beginning to get really upset. "Ato- Jennifer," She said more calmly than before, "Not here. Not in front of these people. We don't know who-" She tried.

"Could be listening? Right now, I give less than a shit 'Captain.' You'll get your report as soon as I'm good and ready, but right now 'I' want some goddamn answers!"

Catalina gave a heavy sign. "Jenny, do you recall why the XV Medical Directives existed back then, before this all boiled over? Think back to when the top brass was foolishly thinking we wouldn't NEED to prepare for it, and even the preparation still expected to be able to put it down. Think about what being mutated would be like if it actually went as planned, and look at how poorly some people are handling it now. Literally the only thing the topside directives didn't fuck up was cooking up a way to avoid a blanket execution order for anyone affected by this. Because so long as we could make PE018, xenolase, purifier...whatever you want to call it, we thought there was some way to make things normal."

She then retrieved an odd scrap of paper and handed it over to Jenny. It was an old printout of test results, the same anomalous reading she'd been holding onto for years. "So think about what it means when I have to tell you that, not only will things never be normal, every form of science existing at the time says that shouldn't be the case? Imagine having to handle that, on top of managing a few of those sick fucks that would've been eager to study you, like Doctor Emerson. The doc who 'committed suicide' after the two of us had a spirited discussion? He expressed interest in how you ended up setting off one of the artifacts in Research, and wanted to see if he could get it out of you."

Jenny looked over the scrap with a growing sneer, but a soft one. "You wouldn't know, but I kind of figured this out already." She said, flipping the paper back to Catalina rudely, "I don't really are anymore. I've gotten over it. What I want to know is why the need to cover up? Why would the execution crap even matter? I've had time to think, and you know what? I didn't have anything to be afraid of, not for the reasons I thought. Being terminated for being a mutant? That was stupid, just what I told myself so I wouldn't have to believe that you'd do it just to cover up. I... I guess I didn't have anything to be worried about on that front, but since that's the case, why cover it up? My dad told me that it was just the mentality of the military government. Covering shit up." She flipped her hands up a little, deflated. "I'm done. After this, after I give my report, I'm done."
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5078 on: October 03, 2018, 04:39:32 pm »
As the day turned towards night Alexei sat across from Salazar in the back of the van. The pair of them were wearing clown masks that were reminiscent of the Joker’s gang from an old movie Alexei had watched in his youth. And tonight they were heading to meet with a few people that had expressed interest in some of their supplies.

Sliding a magazine into his P90 Salazar looked out the window into the dark night and thought back. He’d done things like this before when he pretended to be part of the mob. But now he was doing it because he wanted to not just to maintain a cover.

Meanwhile back at the Hall Steinar read the letter and sighed to himself. Throwing the letter off to the side he walked outside to clear his head. Of all the stupid decisions his friend could have made.

Liam saw Steinar walk off into the woods and wondered what that was about. But that wasn’t his business he thought as he looked around. Making sure no one was around he sat down and summoned the little puffball of fire. It drifted over to a pile of wood in the fire pit that the vikings had dug lighting it.

Sitting cross legged Liam started some meditations he’d read about. After a few minutes he felt more in control of himself. He could also ‘feel’ the other’s in the barracks and in the Hall, a rather odd sensation to him. Turning his head towards the barracks he ‘saw’ the others getting ready to sleep and noticed Eino climbing in through a window.

That however dissipated as he turned his focus to a different meditation. Taking a deep breath he let it out and smiled. The little puffball of flames danced around him as he settled in for the night.

Elsewhere Blitz and his men dismounted the halftrack and admired the work their compatriots had done to the building they would be living in. A firehouse that had been abandoned for some time that would need a setup for getting power and more defensive capabilities. At least it wasn’t far from the irradiated zone they would be exploring over the coming months and years.

Of course they probably could have done this while working with the 3rd but Blitz had his reservations. On top of that the Tunnel rats had been getting harrassed for a while over minor things. So it was natural they would leave without a word.

Blitz set his helmet down as he thought about things. Veronica had been acting strange since Roland had passed. He knew that before she had been a part of the 3rd she’d come from some odd religion but had never thought much of it. Now though he wondered if that was playing into some of the strange behaviours he’d noticed.

Shaking his head he heard one of his men call him over. Walking to the man he listened as he reported what work had been done to their base of operations. Nodding in approval he told them to keep at it before walking over to a bed and laying down to get some sleep.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 04:42:15 pm by RedVulnus »


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5079 on: October 06, 2018, 09:54:46 pm »
bNight eventually came; Eris and Hector had their little discussion and while he choose to go to bed she stayed up reading some of the books Luna hadn’t touched yet. Soon after the moon showed itself in the night sky Luna finally “awoke”

Well look who decided to wake up. How was your nap?”, Eris asked

Nap? You call that a nap?Funny...

Eris shrugged, still in control of their body. “I don’t know what to call it.
What the hell happened anyways? What was that whole passing out thing?


Reconstitution? What?

To put it simply, we are tied to the wound in the veil now. Any changes to it will affect us as well. It seems like something in it was patched and as such our information, as Victor would put it, rebalanced itself to find a stable spot. If it wouldn’t have found one that would’ve been it for us.

Eris stayed silent; hearing this was not what disturbed her as she could’ve have pulled the information from their shared memory. No, what disturbed her was just how calm Luna was about the whole thing. Dry, clean and sterile delivery as if it didn’t matter. “Ok… That still doesn’t explain why you went silent for so long.

Due to my past shenanigans I am a bit more complex than you so it took a bit longer to reconstitute me than you.

...I will choose to not take that as an insult...

Good because it wasn’t meant as one.

They two stayed silent. Luna had not bothered to asked Eris for control of their body yet and it was somehow concerning. The two personalities were acting as separate entities more than ever before; was their progress to coalesce being undone?

Luna, are you ok? Seems to me something is bothering you...

If Luna was the one on the wheel this would’ve made her chuckle a bit. “Seems we are still far from coalescing if you cannot pick it up... Well, let me ask you. What is the one universal thing every creature post-cataclysm has fought for? Why do we go on loot runs and fight the hordes of the undead? What in the end are we striving for.

All of the sudden, Eris could now read Luna again, things were returning to normal... well as normal as they could be relative to them. Luna toon over their body seemingly subconsciously and Eris didn’t notice. “Survival?

Luna nodded and gave a deep sigh. She closed the book Eris was reading and looked at its cover. She smirked and put the book away before continuing. “Survival... is that all we are good for? Look at us, are we just going to wait until they day we stop existing?”, Roxanne told herself, “Well, I don’t want to just sit idly by. The veil is something we can’t really mess around with and no doubt better people are working on it and basic survival has not been an issue for years. It think we should focus on the middle, relief the symptoms of the cataclysm; learn it’s cause and both contain and assimilate them. Humanity was here first, it’s only fair we too seek out our place in this world.

Eris was now slightly more confused but she knew where this was coming from and where it was leading. “The symptoms? What do you mean?

The dead starting rising, creature from other worlds arrived, our fellow man started to change and mutate… and what did we do? Well, what we always do as a species when there is something we don’t understand. We fought… We fought, we secured, we survived. The survivors quickly learned to kill the zombies but very few bothered to understand it. What does it want? Why does it attack us? Can we reason with it in any way? Nah, it’s easier to hack and slash...

There was a long pause there. Roxanne placed here hands on her forehead as if stressed over something. “We have been doing this for almost a decade and it has all been meaningless. My transformations,our deaths, the enemies we fought… all meaningless. We could’ve just stayed here, rebuild like we had and justs keep to ourselves but no, the call to adventure was to hard for any of us to resist and in my case… our case… drove us to become abominations… I am tired of all of it you know? No more fighting, no more the next mission… Those areas have already been taken...

Then what do you propose?”, asked Eris. She was curious, concerned and astounded by what she heard.

I want to learn. Figure out the rules of this new world. I want to see what is safe, what needs to be destroyed and anything between. I want to share my findings with the world so that one way we may once more claim our spot as he dominant species. It took about 2 and a half centuries after industrialization for us to reach our peak; I am sure given what we now have available we can do it again...

More silence filled the room. The two needed not to talk about it anymore; they knew it others views and thoughts and a conclusion was quickly reached in their psyches. “We will need manpower you know? I really doubt we can do this alone? Should we get SoA involved i. this? The Flames of Arcana?

Nah, they have their own goals and objectives. We can use the resources of SoA if need be and I am sure Helen and Victor will be willing to help some once we start producing results.

Fair enough… than what about Hector, I am sure he would be willing and someone we can trust.

Roxanne got up and sat next to him by the bed. She stroked his hair as he slept making her smile. “Hector is a warrior at heart. I can’t ask him to lower his sword. Although from the mistakes from before I learned a thing or too… first, we won’t leave him in the dark and if he wishes to help I am certain we can find something for him to do...

Ok then… then who do you propose?

Well, there are dozen of misling here who are loyal and hardworking. I am sure some will be interested in our cause. Besides, maybe they can be the first thing we can learn about… mutations, yes… learn them so that no one follows in GA’s footsteps...” Roxanne had a gleam in her eyes and then an epiphany. With do excitement she go up from where she was and got a pen and paper.

Already getting to work?

Yes.Just leaving a note for Hector.

So much for not leaving him in the dark...”, Eris teased.

Shut up… I just need to gather a few material, talk to a couple people around here and get this ball rolling. Might even have to go to the center… Afterwards we will tell the knight here all about it and hopefully with good news.

Without any time to waste, Roxanne finished up the note and put on her entire get up. One piece leather suit, cloak, revolvers, bandolier and katar. She gave Hector one last look as she stepped out of the room into the night. “As long as the sun still shines...”, Luna whispered before both she and Eris started laughing.
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5080 on: October 06, 2018, 10:29:59 pm »
Grey followed behind Krieg as he ran down the hallway towards the medical bay. The two of them had been sleeping when the radio had told them to book it due to a patrol getting ambushed by a large group of zombies. Pushing through the doors Krieg slid next to one of the men as Grey walked through a couple of beds to one of the critically injured. Krieg looked over for a moment to warn “I’d step away from the bed folks.”

As they did so Grey lifted one of the tools and set to work. A handful of minutes later and he turned to see that there wasn’t enough medical staff to actually help them all. Closing his eyes for a moment he tried to run through what he could do to help. Most options would consume too much essence, others would be too ineffective.

Staring down at his hands for another moment he looked up and started for the next patient. As he did so utensils next to more of the beds lifted and began setting to work as faint replicas of himself set about their work. If this killed him then so be it, at least it would serve a purpose.

Elsewhere Alexei observed the items he’d requested. A suit of old, and most certainly out of date, Russian prototype armor. He’d heard stories of this stuff from his brother. It turned an already lethal soldier into a monster.

Tossing one of the bags they’d brought to the men they were buying from Alexei waited. After a momentary inspection of the guns the man nodded and threw the bag to one of his underlings. The two groups exchanged the items they’d agreed upon.

Salazar for his part had kept his weapon ready. Something gave him an off feeling about this whole deal. But the transaction went smooth. It wasn’t long before they arrived back home.

Edgar and Salazar unloaded the boxes of AKs that they’d traded for while Alexei checked out the armor. The helmet’s subsystems, that of a HUD that tagged confirmed hostiles and kept a tab on ammo of weapons that were synced up to it, where completely smashed. Popping open one of the cases Edgar picked up a rifle and stared at it for a moment. It wasn’t a typical AK he was certain of that.

He passed it over to Alexei along with an odd magazine. Setting those aside for the moment he went to conclude his inspection of the armor. As instructed Salazar hooked a car battery up to part of it and Alexei went to test a few things. Sliding a gauntlet on he connected it to the rest of the armor and flexed his hand. Feeling the old machinery come alive he smiled before activating one of the gauntlet’s other functions. Electricity buzzed over the surface of the gauntlet as it loaded with enough energy to knock a man flat on his ass.

Deactivating the device he moved to the rifle on the table. A bit bulkier and heavier than it’s normal counterparts. Setting the weapon itself down he inspected the magazine. It could contain up to four different kinds of rounds from normal to rounds that contained the chemical equivalent to a high yield grenade. At the command of it’s operator it could switch between any of the rounds loaded into it.

Grabbing a bag that he’d set aside from the others Alexei opened it and nodded in approval. It had the rounds for the rifle as he’d asked. Tossing it on the table he grabbed the rifle and did the setup required to get it to actually work. That was primarily registering as it’s operator using a provided audio sample of a russian officer authorizing it and then saying a few words in his old tongue. Once that was done it wouldn’t fire unless he was the one operating it.

Meanwhile Edgar had pulled out a few bottles of Alexei’s moonshine and the rest of the gang was celebrating in the background. Pulling off his jacket and shirt Edgar, still in his mask, sat in a chair as one of the others pulled out a tattoo gun. After a while he stood up and walked over to Salazar. Giving a short friendly embrace Edgar asked “So you in?”

Rolling up his sleeve Salazar nodded and said “Yeah I’m in. I’ll have my own business to take care of from time to time so I won’t be available all the time.” and sat down at the chair the tattoo artist was in front of. Indicating part of his forearm and telling him what he wanted Salazar let the man get to work.

It was a half hour later and everyone was tatted with the word ‘sinner’ somewhere on their body save Alexei. He’d decided on ‘Heretic’, explaining that that’s what some old..’friends’ of his were calling him now. Taking a bottle of moonshine and adjusting his filter Alexei led the way as he drank. The already half drunk assortment of now shirtless men followed after him as they walked out into the woods. It wasn’t long before they all ended up passed out in the woods.

A few hours later in the morning and Alexei sat up, rubbing the side of his head as he felt the first real hangover he’d felt in a long time. Smiling he looked around before hearing something behind him. Said something was the blood curdling screech of horror that Edgar emitted when he woke up to a zombie falling to it’s knees to try and eat him.

The sound of his pistol going off woke the others. Alexei pulled his pistol and shot the zombie in the head as Edgar fired another shot before standing up and emptying the rest of the magazine into the corpse as he let off a series of expletives that would have made Alexei’s babushka beat him. The others stood up and Salazar grabbed him by the arm to start calming him down.

Which was when one of the others looked around, being smart enough to realize zombies rarely moved alone, and noticed several more. Shouting to the others the man drew an old Tokarev and shot the first of the shambling zombies. The rest turned and opened fire as well before Salazar noticed the electricity pouring off of one. Turning to shoot at it he was surprised when it rushed forward and leapt onto him.

Hitting the ground hard Salazar didn’t have time to react before it bit into him. Feeling it rip part of his shoulder off he noticed it stopped for a moment before shambling off of him and spitting the chunk of meat to the side. Putting a hand on his shoulder Salazar lifted his pistol with the other and put a hole in it’s head before it could turn to attack the others. Standing up he leaned against a nearby tree and fired another couple of shots. They’d dealt with most of them but a few were still moving. Muttering to himself “Guess having rotten blood inside of you has its perks.”

Meanwhile outside the Hall Liam heard the gunshots and snapped out of his meditation. Standing up he saw Charles step out of the barracks with his sword and look around. Turning to run into the woods Liam shouted “Get the rest and get your gear on Charles, I’m going to go check what’s going on!” before running full tilt into the woods.


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5081 on: October 09, 2018, 09:59:23 pm »
Branches heard the distant gunshots from near the hall and turned over, grumbling. Sleeping was always the hardest part when you had so much energy. Not to mention, weren't intended to sleep. It would probably get about an hour if it was lucky. Illiana had insisted though. In bed by dark, up before the crack of dawn, and off to "class" when Helen finally got around to teaching kids why you shouldn't drunk magic and drive, or why you shouldn't cop a feel on a shoggoth or whatever. More gunshots, shouting, the general din of man sized creatures moving through the woods. There was something odd about it though, a sensation in the air that Branches strange senses picked up. The dead were about. The blob. The homunculus decided that trying to sleep was just too much effort, and instead opted to go for a little walk.

Outside the small mudhut it had painstakingly dug out for itself though, branches encountered it's own adversity. only a trio, a small arm of the horde headed towards the only source of sound in the empty landscape. It wasn't as bad as branches thoughts made it sound, but it wasn't a good circumstance. It occurred to the homunculus that it could probably do something to mitigate the issue and maybe even profit itself a little. Branches started by slugging the first of the creatures that came at them, turning it's lower half into a spray of black ichor and shredded cloth that would soak into the environment within a few days. The second got a hand on the homunculus and tried to bite, but was heaved over head much as Mohammad had been when Branches had been named. Instead of knocking the wind out of the zombie though, branches turned the move into a back breaking body slam like the ones it had studied in a stolen wrestling magazine. Branches had grown fond of stuff like that, and executing the moves always gave the homunculus a childish glee.

"Move stupid!" Branches shouted, it's excitement rising. Instead of waiting to see if "stupid" would actually move or not, Branches gave it a kick to the groin. The blow would have certainly castrated a living man, the zombie was simply punted straight up before crashing to the ground at the edge of branches clearing at the lakes edge with a painful crash.

Medeina raked the small group of undead trying to cross the bridge again with the heavy machine gun of her most prized proxy. They danced like marionettes on string, pulled in several directions at once by the bullets tearing them apart. When the gunfire ceased, what was left of the undead would find themselves being snatched up and pitched back towards the opposite end by an oversized tiger woman. Sharlene watched separate from the others, bored by the impromptu show.

"C'mon Lil, you can do better than that. Get a little pepper behind those pitches, jeez." Sharlene shouted. Lilith oblidged by scooping up a pair of zombies and "rolling" them into a ball before pitching it at a trio making their way across the bridge.

"Where'd they come from?" Catnip asked. She'd come outside at the first sign of gunfire, wrapped in a sheet and carrying her sidearm. Floyd did and didn't like the proficiency she showed in carrying the cut down rifle. It was good that she could use it, but the implication that she handled it like a soldier suggested that she'd used it more than he'd like to believe. "I haven't seen them so close in a long time."

"Yeah, it's been awhile alright." Floyd drawled, "If I had to guess, I'd say they're coming after the center or maybe they followed your caravan. If it's the second though, we probably would have seen them sooner..."

Nathaniel stood off to the side waiting for Lilith to finish up and fretted a little. "Hope this doesn't mess up the works on the bridge." He said. One of the foremen from the fishery had come out to see what was going on from the small workshop where he'd been checking over the nets before heading back to the center, and he had taken a place with Nathaniel.

"Not likely, but we'll have to get some guys out here to keep an eye on the opposite end if this is how things are going to be. Hope your folks across the river are alright."

"Helen and the lot? I'm sure they're fine, they're a capable bunch." Floyd said, gently slipping the gun away from Catnip. He'd give it back in the morning. Down on the bridge Lilith tore one zombies leg off and used it to beat another to death while Medeina stomped on into paste and again fired a volley into the few remaining monsters.

"Lilth winth!" Lilith roared. Medeina's walker simply stood still and scanned the treeline, seeking more targets.

Branches crept up on the scene which had unfolded in the woods and watched the men recollecting themselves. The action had died down minutes before, so the homunculus was a bit disappointed that it had missed out. The again, the woods were still full of loosely grouped individual undead. To prove this, some bloated monstrosity lumbered from the tree line and was kicked back for it's trouble. The man who had done the kicking, wounded already at the shoulder, took several steps back and placed a single shot in the belly of the bloated zombie. Instead of exploding as he seemed to expect, it began to vent the gasses built up inside it's foetid belly.

"What the hell!?"

The man had nothing to fear from the gas, at least that Branches could tell, but it was an ample distraction and he didn't see the wirey thing speeding towards him on spindly legs bound up in taught tendon. It lunged, clearing the space of yards between the man and itself in one impressive leap, and Branches hit it. The man spun in time to see the porclain white figure deliver a punishing shoulder tackle to his would be attacker, taking it by the neck and pinning it's rank body to the base of a narrow pine.

"Where the hell are they coming from!?" Someone screamed. The sound of gunfire ripped the early morning apart and the air filled with the stink of the undead. The pinned monsted screeched and clawed, chipping Branches skin around the face and shoulders until the homunculus crushed it's malformed skull.

"Ew... Why did I do that?" It mumbled to itself, noticing more familiar people joining the fray. People from the hall. "Er, I should probably go..."
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5082 on: October 10, 2018, 03:28:59 am »
(( Floyd and Horace segments written with Wilson. ))

Upon Mount Katahdin, the hermit watched and waited, seeing through the eyes and exotic senses of a host of strange creatures. He could hear it again, a distinct resonance in the back of his mind. A distant echo of the days when he served under oath to He From Beyond The Veil. Again, he pushed the thoughts into the back of his mind.

Something gave him pause, enough to nearly lose his focus entirely. The echoes. They were back. They'd faded back into their usual tone over the course of the past few hours, when the latest portal previously drowned them out. A welcome reprieve from the distant demands of the master he abandoned, despite the loss of many of the creatures under his spell. He expected this to happen over the course of days as the portal at last stablized, not mere hours.

A shadowy form was snatched up by his focus, a hunter of the Crawling Chaos enthralled by his magic, formerly resting in the darkness of a fallen tree. Its unnatural senses were forced to turn to the southeast horizon, peering through underbrush, stone, and miles upon miles of distance. It couldn't see the dim glow of the portal, which was destined to fade into the dull haze of countless other holes in reality torn open on zero day. It was gone outright, and he knew of only one thing that could cause that.

Slowly, he stood from his seat, walking over to an old wooden wardrobe, opening it to gaze upon the golden talisman haphazardly thrown in the back. "Seems I'm not the last, Shrouded One..."

Hector gave an irritated grumble as he crumpled up the note Roxanne left for him. "If this goes wrong again..." he muttered to himself, before opening his locker and taking pieces of armor out, suiting up in his full plate. The intermittent, distant gunfire added a renewed sense of urgency to the task, and soon when he made his way out he could discern the cause, making his way to where Catnip, Floyd, and others were keeping watch near the bridge, mopping up what remained of an undead horde.

"Should've known I'd miss out." he remarked, Nathaniel looking back. "Just finished up. Lil and Medina have it all in hand, though there might be more in the woods. No worries, kinda figured let you get some rest, you've been keeping yourself busy enough at the forge in Roxanne's absence." he said, prompting a quizzical look under the helm.

"She hasn't...wait. She returned today actually. Though now she's gone off again." he said, fumbling for the crumpled note he haphazardly tucked in his drop-leg pouch. Nathaniel squinted at the handwriting before looking back up at Hector. "Jesus...she sneaks back in here, doesn't tell anybody except you that she's back, then skulks off again?"

He was interrupted by Hector taking a step forward, prompting him to hush himself, until Floyd set a hand on the knight's shoulder. "Hector look, it's always good t'give a lady her space. But there's a such-a thing as 'too much space'.  An' this's likely somethin' t'do with her. Seein' her track record, she can't be up t'any good." The cowboy drawled on, before scratching his beard. "Plus, y'might wanna have a serious talk with her." He grimaced a bit, before letting out a sigh. "Might do ya' good t'think long an' hard 'bout y'relationship with her too..." Floyd finally admitted.

Hector gave a sigh at that. "You're right. There's a lot to talk about to be honest, and barely enough time to do so. I'm going to make that time if she returns safely." he said, before looking back towards the killzone Medina had left. "For now, if this area's secured, I might wish to check up on The Hall, then push into the woods and hunt down what's left." he said, giving a wave to Medina to ensure she was aware of his presence as he crossed the bridge, to avoid getting shot as he made his way towards The Hall.

Helen had heard the gunfire along with the others, getting her cloak and hammer, Clara looking over at her with concern. "Aw c'mon, let the others handle it. You've got a kid to look after. Two of them if you count Vic over here." she teased, prompting an annoyed groan from Victor.

It was then that Solomon stepped up, mask in hand. "Missus McKinnon, if you'd like I can check on it with the others instead." he offered, and Helen gave a little sigh. She knew what the young man was doing. Wanting to prove that he could handle the duties that came with the mask he now owned. She simply nodded, picking her wraithslayer up on the nearby counter, one hand held out as the other offered it to him. "Bring it back undamaged, and remember that it is a lot more destructive than a regular crossbow." she said, Sol nodding as he exchanged his old hunting crossbow for the wraithslayer, before joining Liam and the others in investigating what was going on outside.

   Horace and Abraham rode for hours, their horses pulling into a clearing, with an abandoned campsite. They tied their steeds down and sat down. Horace sat on the ground while Abraham sat on an old stump as the knight worked on making a fire, unloading some split logs from the horse's saddlebags. Horace spoke up, “We haven't gotten a chance to talk. How did you end up in Maine? You sound like you're from much further south.” He asked rather bluntly.

   Abraham grumbled a bit at that question. “How d’you think I got here? Answer’s a bit more mundane than how y’ likely ended up in that damned tin can. I rode, up from Nevada actually. Been a while...” Horace looked over at the gunslinger at that, dropping the logs into the firepit. “Since what?” He asked, grabbing matches from his horse.

   “Since I mosied on up here. Been a few years, back a’fore all these undead showed up.” he said in response, looking through his supplies. Horace looked at the ornate prosthetic eye as he started the fire, “For someone who doesn’t care at all for ‘Hoodoo’ as you put it, you got an interesting glass eye. What's the story behind it?” He pondered.

   Abraham waved a hand, “It’s non'ya gatdamn business, at least buy me a drink first b'fore you go an’ ask me ‘bout my life's sto-” He was interrupted by Horace tossing the gunslinger a bottle of southern comfort, “Now, what's a tinman like you got with a bottle of whiskey? Thought that kinda stuff would go right through you.” Horace gave a simple answer, “Firebombs. Got flour too for powder explosions.” He said, and Abraham’s face lit up. “Ah got th’ lard if you wanna gimme a bag. Maybe ah can yell yeh the story in exchange for the drink an’ meal?” He said, grinning. “‘cides, ah still gotta eat.” Abraham said, procuring a cast-iron skillet and a tin of lard from his own horse's saddlebags.

   Horace handed over the bag of flour and Abraham set about preparing simple unleavened dough, greasing the pan while letting it warm up near the fire a bit. “I don’t dabble in hoodoo m’self, but I knew a lady what did, coupl’a decades ago. Few o’ them masked folk, I reckon. Either that or used t’ be, dunno what their deal was. Up in th’ area an’ met the lass an’ her friends after we was both after the same coupl’a hooligans. She had this little glass piece among the spoils. Funny thing too, they smashed up most of the stuff those fellas had on ‘em but decided one or two items were alright.” he explained. “Didn’t see no rhyme or reason behind which was what, but then I’m no expert on witchery. Put a little extra in it and gave it t’ me since we were workin’ together for that, parted ways afterward. Never saw hide nor hair of her or th’ others since.”

   Horace hmmed at that, “What about Nevada? What did you do over there?” He asked, before Abraham snickered a bit at Horace. “‘Nev-aaa-da?’ It's Nuh-vaa-da, boy.” He mocked, before The Knight groaned. “Of all the inane...don’t change the subject. He grumbled, as the gunslinger rolled his eyes. “I… got into trouble with th'law. But I ain't gunna go inta more detail, ‘less ya’ got somethin’ more…?” Horace swore under his breath as he dug around in his saddlebags once again. He gave up a few trinkets, tossing them to Abraham. He let out a grunt as he looked them over, “Can melt ‘em down for bullet tips.” He said simply.

Horace grumbled a little under his “breath” at that last remark, before gesturing. “So what happened?” he asked, and Abe grumbled a bit. “Aight kid, don’t git yer panties in a twist. Quite a long damn while ago, a’fore you was born I reckon.” he said, and Horace gave the man a sideways glance. “You don’t look THAT old.” he remarked, only for Abraham to grumble some. “Just trust me on that, it probably was. Anyways...”

Abraham sat in a mojave saloon, in the corner and nursing a drink. He watched as everyone slowly but steadily poured out of the bar. Soon, it was just him and the bartender. “Hey, old man. Where'd everyone go?” Abe asked, and the bartender shifted nervously. “Oh, yahknow. It's gettin’ late an’ sumsuch. Tomorrow's sunday, people gotta go t’church…” He blabbered, and Abraham glared hard at that. “It’s friday, barkeep.” He said simply, and all the color drained from the fat man's face. “Oh- U-uhm. Well…” Abraham stood up suddenly, slamming his hands against the rough-wood table. “Don’t lie to me, boy! He barked at the bartender, drawing steel and pointing his schofield at the fat man.

The barkeep carefully raised his hands up to remain in view. “Easy now. If it were the sheriff I would’ve told him not to get anybody else involved. You know exactly who the damn varmints are what put me up to this.” he grumbled, as outside a group of men circled around the saloon, as the door was barred up from outside, others lurking near the windows. “Show yerself, boy! If I haf’ta burn this place to the ground t’get your hide, I will!”

Abraham cussed under his breath, “Y’ain’t gonna get jack shit Warren!” He shouted, reaching behind the bar. “Hey-!” The bartender shouted as Abraham grabbed the old coach gun from behind the bar, along with the shells. He tucked the shotgun under his arm and loaded in two red shells. “You want me, Warren? Come an’ git me you red-headed sonuvabitch!” The outlaw shouted, just as he gestured at the bartender. “Git outta here you dammed mo-ron! Abraham shouted at him.

The bartender nodded nervously, bolting out the back door, only to yelp as one of the men tripped him, spitting at the ground. “Git, worthless sack o’shit.” the man grumbled, another keeping a shotgun trained on the doorway. Warren just smiled a little at that. “Now now boy, I wouldn’t mind a little bonfire if y’ git me in the mood fer it..” Abraham growled a bit at that, shoving the rest of the shells into his pocket.

Abe grabbed a bottle from the shelf behind him, inspecting the reflection as he inched to the side of the backroom. He saw two men guarding the backdoor in the reflection, dropping the bottle and blind firing around the corner to splatter one of them. With a flick of his wrist, the outlaw drew his schofield once again to give the other bounty hunter a silver bullet in between his eyes.

Warren shouted out to his men as one of them fired through a window, finding the barroom itself empty, the leader of the bounty hunters grumbling a bit. He rose a weathered, sawn off lever-action rifle, gesturing to a couple men to follow him as he ran around the building towards the back. As Abraham ran down the alleyways of the town, he pointed the coachgun backwards and fired blindly back at the mob chasing him, downing one of the bounty hunters. Warren rose his mare’s leg and fired, Abe caught a round in the back, and it clipped his liver. He stumbled and limped down an alley, directly into a dead end.

Warren smirked a bit as he advanced on Abraham, leveling the mare’s leg. He calmly stomped down on Abe’s hand to keep him from reaching for his pistol, before a shot rang out, aimed right at the outlaw’s right eye. “Serves y’right, not like I get any better pay fer bringing you in alive..”

Abraham awoke in an ornate smoking lounge, with fine velvet armchairs and a large fireplace made of dark obsidian. Bookshelves and trophy racks lined the walls. The trophy racks held crystal balls with ornate gold and silver bases with amber studs. A man dressed in a dark purple three-piece suit with silver and amethyst cufflinks sat in the armchair in front of the gunslinger, The man wore a black stovepipe hat and wore a pair of rose-gold lens-less glasses. The man was tan, tall, and skinny and had a wide, toothy grin. “Hey there, Pal. Quite the predicament you got yourself in, ‘eh?” He said, causing Abraham to jump.

Abraham grumbled a bit as he looked the man over. “Aw hell...l’me guess, Ol’ Scratch?” he muttered, a bit nervous as that remark provoked a wry chuckle from the stranger. “Naw. Well. Kinda. They say ‘Greed is of The Devil.’ So not far off, but no dice. Anyways, to my point. I always liked rooting for the little guy, unlike those other deities. Like that snooty bastard with his ‘veils’ and sh-” Abraham cleared his throat, “Yer ramblin’ like my gran-dad. Get to yer point.” And at that, the man rolled his eyes, “My point is; Do you want revenge?” He said, and a grin formed on Abe’s lips. “Why yes ah do… What’s yer offer?” He asked.

“Simple, in fact. The man who killed you stole something from me. Something quite important to me.” he answered, holding up a little flickering ghostly flame at his fingertip, and within the dancing light a faint glimpse of a peculiar glass eye could be seen. “Retrieve it, from his cooling body if you must. Just don't go playing with it.” Abraham nodded, “Trust me, I ain’t gonna take it from ‘im by askin’ nicely… Now, what do ah call ya? Ahm Abraham.” The gunslinger drawled.

“Cupiditas.” he answered, before snuffing out the wisp of flame as though shaking out a lit match. “Now then, time for you to wake up...” With that, everything seemed to fade into darkness.
   The air was stale and it smelled like dry oak, moonlight peered in through the spaces in between the planks. He was in a coffin, and he was being hauled off somewhere. Abe heard voices chatting from outside of the casket,

“We’ll be set for a long while… Warren finally got this sumbitch.”
“What’re you gonna do with yer share?”
“Dunno yet…”

   They chattered for a while as Abe pressed his boots against the cheap wood, and pressed hard. The oak creaked and groaned, the nails were slowly pried from the boards. “The fuck is that?”
“It’s nathin’ don’t fuckin’ worry ‘bout it.”

   The lid was pried off, and the casket was dropped. The younger one screamed and ran, “HOLY SHIT HE'S A FUCKING VAMPIRE!” He screamed bloody murder as he ran. The older one drew his colt navy, only to be met with a large splinter of wood to his throat. Abraham patted at his sheath, and then his holster. Both empty. “Corpse lootin’ sumbitch…” He growled as he scooped up the black-powder revolver.

   It wasn’t long before one of the men was walking back, toting an old coach gun and grumbling. Damn stupid sum’bitch, ain’t no fuckin’ vampires or nothin’.“ he grumbled. The man felt a revolver press up against his back, “Howdy, Jim.” Abe drawled as Jim dropped the coach gun, and Abraham grabbed the colt walker from Jim’s holster. “Well uh, howdy Abe. It was nothin’ personal, yaknow… Jus’ business…” Jim stuttered, “Mhmm, I know for shore we both kill summ’n b’fore for cash. Now, where’s Warren and his boys?” Abraham continued, and Jim nervously pointed towards the saloon. Abe nodded and grabbed the knife from Jimmy’s sheath, placing it in his own. “Buh-bye, Jimmy. Git outta here.” He growled, and the man ran off.

   A bounty hunter stood outside of the saloon, smoking a hand rolled cigarette. Abraham gave a wave as he walked up to him, giving a “Howdy” as he drew that knife. “Oh F-“ The bounty hunter shouted, before Abraham put his hand over the hunter’s mouth. He drove the knife into the hunter’s chest, then into his throat. The man had two revolvers in his holster, and Abraham took both. He slid one into his own holster and clutched the other in his teeth. Abe approached the front doors of the saloon, a revolver in each hand.

Warren gave a little chuckle as he nursed his drink, examining the pistol taken from Abraham, while nearby a couple of the bounty hunters idly chattered over several drinks. “Y’ think he’s gonna sell the shit taken off that bastard or keep it?” he asked, only for one of them to drunkenly pipe up. “This rate I think he’s gonna marry that damn piece he keeps eyeballin’” he joked, only for Warren to look over and glare at the drunkards. “Aw shaddup, y’ fat idiot! Thinkin’ whether I can git the old man next town over to tinker with this. The bullets fer this thing fit in that other piece I was thinkin’ ‘bout buyin’, but not th’ other way ‘round.”

Abraham walked in quietly, and no-one paid him any mind until one of the younger bounty hunters looked at him and went pale, he nudged his friend and Abraham opened fire. He took down two right away, one shot for each. All of them scrambled as the shooting started, one of them drew a pocket-pistol and shot Abraham in the shoulder. The gunslinger took the round without barely flinching, and shot the shooter in the neck. Abe continued to fire until the guns were empty and it left him, Warren, and his right-hand.

The lieutenant tried to knock Abraham to the floor causing him to drop the guns in his hands, but the gunslinger overpowered him. He pinned the right-hand against a table, draw the revolver clutched in his teeth and proceeded to beat him to death with the grip of the pistol.

Warren grumbled a bit as he leveled the mare’s leg, a round ripping right through Abraham’s side seemingly without even fazing him. “Y’ gatdamned spook, what th’ hell...” he grumbled, seemingly the only one of the group that kept his cool in the face of the unearthly sight before him.

Adding to that was the vague sense of unease, a pull towards Warren that Abraham could sense from the moment he entered the bar, drawing him to something on the bounty hunter’s person. “Ah count twelve shots…” Warren mocked and Abe drew the last pistol in his holster, “Ah count four guns.” He mocked right back, kneecapping Warren.

Warren gave a groan of pain as he dropped, raising the mare’s leg only to catch a bullet to the chest, a deliberate round to a lung, drawing it out. In an instant, Abraham closed in, yanking the mare’s leg out of his grasp with an unnatural strength. He then kneeled, spitting blood in the bounty hunter’s face and forcing him to gaze into his eyes. Or eye at least, the right one nothing but a ragged hole.

As Abraham rifled through the man’s pockets, it wasn’t long before he found what he sought, taking it from the dying man and examining it. It was a peculiar golden orb with an eye pattern, decorated with silver and jade forming an iris, and oynx for the pupil. There was a vague sensation pulling at him as he held the fake eye up, gazing into it with his own good eye. It never even occurred to him that what he was about to do might be a bad idea.

He slipped the eye into place, and all at once he could see from that side again. The vision out of his right eye seemed off though, a faded imitation of his natural sight, and it returned to a peculiar blackness when he closed his left eye.

It was then he felt something. A sharp, stabbing pain in his shoulder and side, where he’d been shot before. He hadn’t realized it until now, that he hadn’t felt the wounds, nor had they bled as heavily as they should’ve. He also realized that the earlier wounds he had had mended at some point, though his eye had still been shot out. “You. Absolute. Idiot...” a voice rang out, sensed moreso in the back of his mind than actually heard with his own ears.

Abraham jumped at that, “What?” He said, looking behind him. “Who’s there?” Abraham demanded, “It’s me you ingrate! It's bound to you now! YOU TOOK MY THINGS! I CAN’T GET IT BACK NOW! The personification screamed at him, and the insides of Abe's ears rung at that.

While Abraham stumbled a bit, ears ringing and his wounds now aching, Cupiditas struggled to calm himself. “ you just shove anything eye-shaped where you damn well please?” he quipped, before at last regaining his composure.

“Well then...I’m not about to go repeating this mistake. It’ll take a while before I can pry that damned thing out of your socket and have it back. I have time...oh, so will you.” he hissed, his voice taking on a particularly sinister quality. “It won’t be too long before you’ll find this second chance lasting too long for your liking. And people need only look you in the eye to find what a walking mistake you are. Don’t worry, there’ll come a time when the only people who’ll care are dead.” he said, giving a wry chuckle. “If someone doesn’t put you out of your misery before then...” With that, the voice faded, leaving only the unsteady wheezes of the bounty hunter, and the faint mumbling of the now-traumatized bartender hiding behind the counter.

Horace would be squinting at Abraham if he still had eyes, “What. How did you know about the parts you weren’t there for?” He questioned, moving the johnny cakes off the fire. Abraham grumbled a bit, downing the very last of the bottle. “Barkeep told me a bit, I thiiink.” he slurred, only to toss the bottle over his shoulder. Horace’s “stare” only seemed more intense. “And this ‘Cupiditas’ sounds like he foresaw stuff that only makes sense in hindsight...” he added. “Why y’think I didn’t want t’ tell it shober?” Abe added, grumbling a little. “Shpent ove’a gatdamned cent’ry runnin’ and hidin’ ‘cause eventually people start ashkin’ questions I can’t answer, and whaz’at that letsh m’ show my damn face finally? Shome shecond comin’ bullshit and more folk not stayin’ dead. Thought I’d be happy fer that day ‘til it happened.”

Horace had trouble believing his story, but he pitied him. He gave the finished, if a bit overcooked, johnny cakes to him. “Eat. You need to drink water too.” Horace said, gesturing towards the Abraham’s canteen. Abe nodded at that, taking a swig before he sat down to enjoy his meal. “Bettin’ that boy foreshaw yer spook too I bet.” he remarked, talking through a mouthful of johnnycake. Horace’s stare continued, “Or he was an fresh ‘god’ like that parasite up north. Gods, he may even be lesser than the Archon. He’s likely little more than a forest spirit, or a personification of a human vice. He might be lesser than a forest spirit, actually… At least Forest Spirits are respectable.” The knight ranted calmly, staring at the gunslinger.

Abraham shrugged at that. “I don’t know, nor do I give a damn. Never heard nothin’ from that thing ever since. Hope that fuckin’ space varmint ate him. An’ I hope the ‘parasite’ choked on ‘im.” he added.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 06:53:08 pm by Chaosvolt »


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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5083 on: October 10, 2018, 02:41:10 pm »
Nearby Walkerville in the necropolis Roxanne sat on the roof of an SUV eating an ice cream bar. She was amazed at the rich flavors and textures it gave. “Hey, this whole spiritual comestible line is really good! Being able to taste something, even if it doesn’t give me nurishment, is nice.”, Roxanne commented after finishing the snack.

“I am glad you liked it. You and Rey deserve to enjoy the little pleasures in life just like the rest of us.”, Christina responded. She was standing on the roof next to Roxanne on her right and to her left Rey was standing. The two had come from the convoy to meet her with Roxanne as she explained her vision.

“Getting back to the topic at hand,” Rey interjected with the other two looking at him, “So this is what you want to focus on now Luna? Got to say, quite unexpected of you, what made you seek this path so suddenly.”

It was then the three of them heard the scream; be it with augmented hearing or by supernatural means the scream was loud and clear. Rey deployed his laser rifle and Christina her yo-yo but Roxanne soon stood up and lowered their hands with her own as she shook her hand. “That is why Rey. Listen to that. That has been the norm for the last 8 years. And what were you two going to do? Raise your weapons and fight; is that all we can do? I don’t think so… Look, this is how the future could look.

Roxanne extended her hands outwards signaling the others to look in front. On the street below in front of the SUV was about two dozen zombies standing still. They looked at the trio with what almost appeared like curiosity. Not single sound from them as they shuffled in place looking as if awaiting orders. “Look at them, so obedient. They had lost their will to fight, only because I understand them. No one else bothered to and now they are at my mercy.” Roxanne looked at the zombies before closing her eyes and snapping her fingers. The gathered undead fell to the ground then and there and they would not be getting up. “What a waste… but no one is ready for them to assimilate. Oh well, baby steps am I right?

It wasn’t the little display that worried Rey and Christina; this was the same power Plague had after all. No, it was what she had said that worried them. “Shouldn’t we go and see if anyone needs help?”, Rey asked. Roxanne busted out laughing. “Help? Walkervie, The Hall, The Center? Please, I am sure better men have been deployed to handle whatever that was. Besides, you two don’t really have jurisdiction here don’t you? You two have come here as ambassadors of SoA so let the locals handle it.

“Well, you are a local here right? Why don’t you go and check it out then? We can follow suit and help if need be.”, Christina asked. Roxanne wave her hand dismissively. “I am done with this whole faux warrior thing. Eris and I have had our fun in that department but it’s time we retired from that. I am no longer a huntress, no, I am now Purifier Luna.

Rey and Christina looked at each other for a moment before Christina addressed Roxanne once more. “So, what are we supposed to do now?” Roxanne jumped off the SUV with the other two following suit. “Well, I need to take a sample of this zeds to Medi whenever she is available. I should also let everyone else know I am back now and have a little talk with Catnip, our leader, about a little gathering space… Are Leonard and Lucy heading back to the tower?

“Yes, they left as soon as we got off.”, Rey responded.

Good, alright. You two have your meeting with Helen from what Clara let us know. I’ll let you guys handle the bureaucracy, it was never my thing. Does that seem like a good agenda for now?” Rey and Christina nodded. “Alright, in that case, grab me a leg from one of the corpses here, wrap it in the blanket and let’s go.

She was tempted to wear her mask, go and hide her face but no; this look of hers was due to her own past mistakes and they should serve of a reminder of her… not like she had plenty of them already. With her wooden masked strapped to the back of her head she guided the other two as they walked towards walkerville. Eris had been rather silent as of yet and it hadn’t gone unnoticed. It seemed that at least for now Luna was the dominant personality.
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5084 on: October 10, 2018, 03:19:22 pm »
Alexei squeezed the trigger of his old pistol as his ears rang. Another zombie went stumbling past him missing it’s brain as Edgar dropped his gun and ripped his machete from its sheath. Cutting a zombie’s head off the muscular man started laying into the remaining zombies.

Salazar meanwhile walked amongst the dead executing them with his gun. His maniacal laughter echoed as blood fountained from another head. Now that one had bitten him the rest seemed to realize he wasn’t ‘good’ food and he was loving the carnage that was letting him carry out. Noticing his pistols slide lock back he flipped the weapon in his hand and slammed the handle of the pistol into a skull. The resulting crunching noises only made him laugh louder.

As Liam reached the clearing he saw the few remaining zombies. Reaching an open hand out to the side he leapt up and towards them. The ball of flame that had been following him drifted into his open palm as he closed it. Landing on top of a zombie Liam swung the magic mace that had formed in his hand and killed it. He couldn’t help but to smile that his spell had actually worked.

Looking over his shoulder at the handful of zombies left Liam sighed. “Alright, let’s see how this one goes.” Liam said before focusing for a moment. One of the zombies head’s exploded as Liam shook his head. “Right. Guess it’s back to basics.” he said before taking a step forward and smashing another skull open. His other hand had pulled his axe out and chopped into the head of the last zombie he could see.

Liam looked over the group of shirtless men and rolled his eyes. Walking over to them he cast a glance at the still clothed and laughing Salazar. “Anyone hurt?” Liam asked as Anton and the others emerged from the trees.

Alexei shook his head as he let his empty magazine clatter to the ground. Sliding in his last magazine and chambering a round he tried to recall just who these men were until he spotted Solomon following close behind the group. Retrieving a cigarette he said “We’re fine. I didn’t see anyone get bit at least.”

Salazar meanwhile reached a hand up to wipe away what felt like tears. Pulling his hand away he noticed that it wasn’t tears, it was blood. Pulling out a handkerchief he used it to cover his eye as he leaned back and laughed. He didn’t care about the chunk missing from his shoulder and his eye still worked. even though he was laughing the eye was mildly concerning.

But that also came with a realization. One he’d most likely take advantage of in the future he thought. In the meantime he stood up and noticed the others that had arrived. In truth he hoped Solomon wouldn’t recognize him but his little tricks to change himself didn’t always work on everyone.

Elsewhere Isaac and Alice had finished preparing to leave. As they walked Isaac connected his helmet to his breastplate and let the electronics start up. He only hoped the armor that Alice had managed to find and or make was good enough. He’d given her his old pistol and she’d elected to take a rifle along with her makeshift sword.

Isaac meanwhile had elected to take the spear that the Seven had entrusted to him. Primarily at the suggestion of The Guide, the white raven currently resting on his shoulder. Along with it he carried an automatic pistol that had been in his truck and a bandoleer that contained a few spare magazines and some grenades. And no one was liable to miss the old but reliable RPG attached to the back of his armor.

Spotting the carnage that had happened at the bridge and unholstered his pistol. Nodding to Floyd and the others as they passed Isaac said “We’re going out scavenging. If you need us to keep an eye out for anything you can catch me on the radio.”

As he walked Isaac kept an eye on the corpses. He’d dealt with them enough to be wary of them even when it looked like they had died. Nevertheless they made it across and away from Walkerville.

A few hours later they were looking through an old store. Isaac figured he’d been here before, he’d been to a lot of places in the area, but he figured he hadn’t been looking for books back then. At least Alice seemed to be enjoying getting out of Walkerville.

Isaac picked up an old woodworking magazine and shrugged to himself before stuffing it into his backpack. Standing up and walking through the aisles he and Alice found a few more magazines and books before heading out to look somewhere else.

Walking down the street they caught sight of a group of armed men standing around a young man. Isaac recognized the tattoos and patches the men had as that of a roving raider gang he’d fought a couple times before. The man they were beating looked like he may have been from a rival group.

Alice saw it too and said “We should just go around them. Let things sort themselves out.”

Isaac hesitated before pulling his pistol. The first shot domed one of the eight men that had been beating the young man. His compatriots turned and pulled weapons out of their jackets and pants. The second that took provided room for a second accurate shot that tore through another man’s throat. When the gunfire started pouring in return Isaac went to duck behind an old mail dropbox and felt a bullet hit his left arm, striking a gap in the armor plating.

Alice, telling Isaac he was an idiot over the radio, returned fire as well. Another of the raider gang hit the floor before she had to duck back into cover. Responding to the shift in direction of the gunfire Isaac switched the pistol over to automatic and opened fire. Two of the raiders were caught by the hail of gunfire before the weapon malfunctioned. If it hadn’t of been for the armored glove he was wearing the weapon detonating would have badly injured his hand.

Ducking back down as the three remaining raiders split their fire between the two threats. When they had to stop to reload Isaac charged out with the spear in hand as Alice followed behind firing her pistol. A shot hit one in the shoulder before Alice stabbed him in the stomach and followed that by emptying her pistol’s magazine into the a second. While she did that Isaac stabbed the spear through the last of them before kicking his body off.

Returning the spear to his belt as it magically reduced its size Isaac walked over to the man they’d been beating. Just like he thought the man had a patch on his jacket that belonged to another raider gang. Putting a hand on his shoulder Isaac knelt down. Retrieving some of his medical supplies he treated the man’s wounds. Once he was done he looked the man in the eye and said “You’ll be fine but I’d recommend a change in profession. If I catch you on the other end of this situation you’ll be the one dead on the asphalt “

The man stammered a thank you and picked up his baseball bat from the ground. As he went to walk away he said “I..I won’t forget this sir. And I’ll let my friends know too.”

Leaning down to pick up an MP5 that the raiders had attempted to use to kill him Isaac checked it over. A leather sling had been attached to it so he put that over a shoulder and noted this one had been cut down heavily. A removed stock made the weapon fairly easy for him to use in one hand and he was fairly certain he had some magazines for it in his truck back home.

He didn’t bother responding to the man as he and Alice went back to their business. Once they were out of sight Isaac removed the armor on his left arm to remove the bullet and stitch the wound. Alice helped as best as she could before they started moving again. Isaac had to admit he liked this white suit of armor better but his other one had better plating.

Giving Alice a smile before replacing his helmet Isaac hoped she wasn’t worried too much. Whispering into the mic built into his helmet Isaac had the built in systems administer some pain killers as they walked. Another hour of scavenging and then they’d head back.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 03:24:37 pm by RedVulnus »