Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 20918 times)

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Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5145 on: May 28, 2019, 01:02:18 am »
The gunshot had likewise drawn out Helen, who had just been discussing things with Branch and soon tending to the day's tasks when some commotion sent most of the others there running out to see what was going on. With cloak and mask thrown on hastily, hammer at the ready she was not far behind the others, hammer lowered as she saw what was before them.

"What happened? Is everything alright?" she asked, mask contorted to examine their surroundings. Enough to get a vague sense of something peculiar about the stricken figure sprawled out at Foster's feet, though the signs of otherworldly life growing within were too faint for her to pick up on.

She seemed to briefly look Foster and the cultist over, before the mask deactivated. She'd noticed something else was off, but made no move to suggest that she was aware of it. The man standing in front of them was the bigger concern at the moment, as what she saw nearly made her hesitate. Best to ensure the situation was under control, avoid drawing the attention of whatever was lurking out then, then take him aside to ask him about it, she decided. "That looks like one of the undead if not for how lively he seems...are you injured?" she asked, still on guard but seeming more concerned than anything else.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 01:58:01 am by Chaosvolt »

RedVulnus

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5146 on: May 28, 2019, 02:12:41 am »
“I’m fine, lucky there were only two of them though. I was just coming over-” Foster leaned over and grabbed the knife that one of them had attempted to stab him with and slid it into his belt as he continued “-to say hello, I’m moving in over at Walkerville and Isaac said it might be good to meet the proverbial neighbours.”

Standing up Foster quietly slid the vial of blood into his bag then grabbed the rifle to unload it and remove the round in the chamber. Giving a smile he most certainly wasn’t feeling Foster’s eyes rested on Helen’s mask for a moment before he looked the others over. “I apologize we met in such circumstances by the by. These assholes here should have evaluated the situation a bit better before jumping me like that but I’m guessing they were keeping sketch around here. But uh, where are my manners, I’m Ha-..I’m Foster. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Aaron, Gunnar, and Eino along with Steinar moved into the woods to search for more of the ‘people’ that had attacked Foster. Charles went back to the forge now that he was certain nothing was going to happen. The others decided to keep watch.

saltmummy626

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5147 on: May 28, 2019, 07:49:14 am »
Branches looked down the side of the bridge at the water below. She'd left the hall with the intention of going home and swapping what she'd brought to trade for what she really wanted to trade with, but quickly forgot all about that as she trudged along the river bank towards the bridge. Rather than cross the road and continue her northward course, she had turned and ambled slowly over the bridge. What she was thinking about was Hector. Hector and much needed advice. It had occurred to her that she'd taken a wrong turn, and now she'd stopped to look at the river and think about her predicament. For a long time she stared before realizing that she was rather rudely staring at a couple people fishing in the river, no more than twenty or thirty feet away.

"Heya, do you need anything?" The older of the two men shouted for what must have been the third or fourth time. Branches blinked and actually looked at them. The other man standing further in seemed to be wrapped up in heavy bandages and now that she was actually looking at him, she felt kind of bad for him and wondered what had caused such a serious extensive injury.

"Uh, sorry. I was just thinking." She responded, straightening up as best she could, "I guess I didn't see you down there..."

Isaac looked around and then raised his eyebrow at her questioningly. The question being, 'how could you not see us?' Branches didn't know, but the embarrassment was enough to move her along and get her thinking a little more clearly. With a little help from one of the few people coming and going from the farm, Branches found Roxanne's house. A bit of adjusting her hat and cloak, a deep breath, and she was ready. The door, as innocuous as it was, seemed to menace her a little. Never the less, she knocked and waited. Hopefully this Roxanne would be a nice and understanding lady.


"Well that wasn't here before." Jennifer said while looking up and shading her eyes. What she was looking up at was a tree. The last time she'd been down this way, just before her mission to New Bangor, there had been an intersection on the spot. Now, there was an absolutely monstrous tree just off center of it. Roots had rippled outwards and burst through the road violently which made it obvious to Jennifer, with Cheena's experience, that it was not natural.

"It's huge!" Cherise said, making her awe known. "Where d'ya think it came from if it wasn't here before?" Jennifer thought about it but came up blank. The only other 'miraculous' plant like this she could think of was the 'sacred' birch at Walkerville, a tree she had been allowed to sit under many times when something was bothering her. Sometimes she would be joined by the sad maid who'd lived on the old farm, sometimes the strange four armed girl or her man came to sit and think.

"No idea, but gawd, it's gotta be seven stories..." Jennifer said. She and Cherise made to circle the tree, wordlessly deciding to go in opposite directions around it. Not only was it tall for an oak, it was thick as well. Thick enough to fit a large truck in if it was hollowed out and outfitted to maintain it. On the far side, they were both surprised to find a man absorbed in whatever it was he was doing. Apart from his mask, and the red robed mutant woman with him, he was perfectly ordinary.

"I don't know Sylvia, I can hazard a guess but I'd say it grew out of the trip hammer. We used a fresh log for the construction, perhaps the stone- Oh! Hello, sorry, it's not quite safe yet." Daniel said, noticing the two rangers at the last.

"What isn't safe?" Jennifer asked, snapping into professional mode, "Daniel was it? Just what's going on here?" She noted Cherise drawing something that looked a bit like the handle of one of the tacticool knives from her belt, sans blade, and chose to ignore it for the time being.

"Not much ma'am," Daniel was quick to explain, recognizing Jennifer right away, "We destroyed a dangerous item here yesterday, I just didn't expect it to do something like this. As of right now, I'm searching around to see if the item in question was actually destroyed or not. If it was incompletely destroyed, it could be dangerous. The problem is though, I can't find any trace of it. There should be something but it's just completely and utterly gone. For now it should be safer just to stay away. I swear, I'll have a full report with the Captain by the end of the day. Alright?"

Jennifer glanced at Cherise again, noting that the handle thing had vanished back into whatever hidden belt loop or pocket had stowed it originally and then back to the mage hunter, sanguinist, couple. "Alright then. Do me a favor and have Captain Sandell send me a copy of your report as well. I don't report to her anymore and I'm going to be busy setting up a group of people to look into things like this, alright?" Daniel nodded at that, being privy to some of the details of current refugee center politics. "Orchard is another couple miles on Ms. Cohen, lets get going before we lose the daylight."
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 05:51:10 pm by saltmummy626 »
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5148 on: May 29, 2019, 03:41:15 am »
      The wagon went further west, past the mountains. As there was less mointains, and more trees Quincy played a little tune on his guitar. The obnoxious tune about cheese and pizza continued for most of the trip west, no matter how long Horace glared at Quincy, he didn't stop. Horace looked at the axe for a moment, 'I'm going to kill him, I swear to the gods.' Celine gave a little sigh as she looked back over at Quincy, trying to think of some other song, literally anything else, and how to convince him to switch to it. "Maybe something that isn't about food? It's going to be a long way before we can make camp and prepare dinner, and I think the knight's starting to eye you like a steak." she joked.

      Abraham rubbed his temples, "I swear to god, boy. If you don't'n pick another song or shut up I will personally blow out your god damn kneecaps." Quincy gave a little cackle, and stopped his silly little song. "I haven't been at it for that long!" He stated, Horace barked at that, "You've been at it for over an hour." Celine breathed a sigh of relief, before giving the treeline up ahead a cautious glance. "Looks like activity up ahead." she said, Horace perking up finally, gripping his axe tight. "Someone else seeking to give their opinion on his taste in music?" he remarked, Abraham casting a wary gaze down the road. "Keep y'pants on boy, looks like a town down th' road..."

      As Horace, despite his grumbling over the lack of a fight, dismounted from the wagon, he gave the area a wary glance. "Something still isn't right about this place..." he mumbled, Abraham giving a nod. "Y'can sense it, boy?" he asked, Horace feeling a faint presence. A vague ominous feeling. Though it seemed to fade as they neared the village, a hint of calm among growing darkness, the trees farther down the road carried a sense of foreboding, and a distant warning channeled through the axe hinted that the Veiled King was wary as well...
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Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5149 on: May 30, 2019, 07:22:08 pm »
Helen gave a cautious motion with a hand as the others advanced to investigate the area, intending to gesture towards where she saw figures, as best she could without giving their intent away, though the others scouting ahead likely risked scaring off whatever was watching anyway.

"A pleasure to meet you, then." she said, before reaching to offer a handshake. "The name's Helen McKinnon, sorry if we may have startled you with the sword-waving and such. Though if you've already been around in Walkerville you've likely already seen Hector." she joked.

"The Hall is just down the river nearby, suppose introductions are in order. And if you'd like, we'd almost finished preparing lunch after the morning lessons."

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5150 on: May 30, 2019, 08:51:45 pm »
Dusting his pants off Foster said “I’ve not had the pleasure to speak to him no. But if he is like the others I’ve met I’m sure he’s a wonderful individual.”

At the offer of food Foster realized he’d not eaten breakfast. “If you don’t mind sharing a meal that would be wonderful. I’m sure we’ve plenty to talk about, what with living in this wonderful new world for the past eight years. Must be some stories to tell thanks to that.”

Meanwhile Heinrik adjusted the coat he was wearing as he listened in on the conversation in the other room. A ballistic coat accompanied by plates on his arms and legs  covered his body over a set of black cargo pants and a black long sleeve shirt. Reaching over he pulled the machete out of the body next to him as his other hand lightly gripped his amulet.

“¿Seriamente? ¿Quieres que vaya a buscar al Verdugo? Solo haz lo que te digo que hagas!” Someone in the other room shouted. This was followed by a flurry of sounds from the other room.

Flipping down the protective faceplate of his helmet Heinrik slammed through the wall. He’d inadvertently crashed through it and knocked one of the men to the ground while the others screamed in panic. This gave him the space to capitalize.

Two swings brought three of the five men down, one losing his head, a second getting his body cut in half at the chest, and a third catching the blade in his stomach. As Heinrik pulled the blade out one of the men popped a shot off that hit him in the neck.

Taking two steps he kicked the gun out of the man’s hand before grabbing him by the throat. Lifting him into the air Heinrik turned and cut the last of his opponents down with a rather lazy swing with the blade lodging itself in his throat. Turning his full attention to the man he was holding Heinrik lowered him and grabbed his throat with both hands.

The sound of gunfire echoed throughout the rest of the motel as he stared into his victims eyes. The same feeble attempts at escape as everyone else. As two men in black combat gear entered Heinrik dropped the now dead man to the ground. “It’s done. I’ve paid the debt”

One of the men threw him a wrapped object that he caught with ease. Not a word passed as Heinrik walked away with machete in hand and a healing wound in his neck. Also very happy to have his artifact back as he clipped it back onto his necklace.

Back in the motel B-23 looked to the other members of the Carnicería members. “He didn’t owe us shit. Still he was useful.” one member said as they departed.

B-23 nodded as he replied “Yes, useful. Also dangerous. I fear for whoever it is he is hunting. Especially with what it sounds like they did to him.”

Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5151 on: June 07, 2019, 10:10:28 pm »
"Of course. Would be interesting to hear what stories you have of your travels after lunch." she offered, leading the way back towards The Hall.

As she led the way along the river's shore, she took a look around, the entrance of The Hall already in sight, just around the bend such that it was less visible from the bridge. However, she soon removed her peculiar metal mask, letting the scale-armored hood down as well. "I noticed something earlier, while looking out into the treeline. Aside from signs that you were being watched, possibly by whatever company your attackers brought." she said, before continuing.

"What experience do you have with the arcane? Anomalous, supernatural, whatever you may prefer to call it." As she said this, she held up the mask, to let him see it clearly. "Items such as these can perceive things that one's own eyes can't, though they have their own limitations in turn. When I saw you through it, something seemed as though you had endured your own run-in with dangerous effects before." she explained. "Can you tell me what happened? If you're not...comfortable telling, it's fine. Just concerned that you're alright."

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5152 on: June 07, 2019, 11:00:47 pm »
Foster followed Helen and listened to what she had to say. Sitting and listening to her questions once inside Foster pondered what to tell her. He wasn’t quite sure she knew he didn’t have a soul but still if she did..

Foster retrieved his flask and took a drink before starting to speak “Experience with the arcane? Years of personal research including handling artifacts with anomalous abilities and then years with an organization that provided quite a few chances to witness the more..adverse effects of such things. As for run ins with dangerous effects I’ve had plenty.”

Taking another drink Foster continued with a rather vacant expression “I mean some were just stupid little things, the equivalent to a magic flashlight. One though, well it was an interesting sight. We gave it to a man in a secure room, nothing happens for the first three days. Then they come in early in the morning to see a tree’s grown out of the bastard’s stomach and swallowed the artifact.”

“As for what happened to me. Well as far as I know I was born the way I am. My condition makes others uncomfortable around me but they can never place why. As such I’ve generally been isolated in my life with few people to rely on. In my workplace before whatever it was happened I was only welcome due to my breadth of knowledge on the subject. I’ve grown accustomed to the effects of my condition after all of that. But alright? I'd not go that far.”

Staring down at the engraved flask Foster asked “Any questions?”

Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5153 on: June 07, 2019, 11:33:15 pm »
Helen was a bit surprised at that, listening intently as she set her mask aside, sitting down across from him. When he'd finished, she gave a cautious little nod. "I see. That you've made it through all that at least means you handled yourself cautiously, or so I hope." she said, smiling some. "I was part of a group that had interest in such as well, though it often came down to destroying things we couldn't afford to contain safely." she admitted. "It led to, I suspect, a bit too much bad blood between my brethren and others who were less strict about handling such things."

She was at this point a bit concerned, cautious and mildly unnerved by the anecdote he told of testing dangerous artifacts on people, but for now she said nothing of it. If he proved to be dangerous, then she'd deal with him, she reasoned to herself. If not, he'd be welcome given he was received as a guest. "And I see. So what I saw was due to that, I would guess. I'm not sure what to make of that..." she said softly, before getting up to get a drink, deciding to offer him some of the mead that they'd recently been able to produce, and soon Solomon entered the main area of The Hall to bring them their food.

saltmummy626

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5154 on: June 08, 2019, 12:25:52 am »
Roxanne was very nice, Branches thought. A nice lady who moved about with elegance and purpose, and whose words dripped with wisdom and experience. Anyone else would have told her otherwise but Branches found herself as trusting of Roxanne and her words as Mica was. The house was a fine example of pre-cataclysm ranch, heavily modified after the fact but still standing even after everything had gone to hell. Roxanne led the Homunculus through the house and into the 'inner sanctum,' a bedroom fancifully and heavily adorned in the trappings of Roxanne Luna's particular decorative tastes and post-cataclysm necessity. Now, after a bit of chit chat and Branches introduction, they found themselves seated at the small table in front of a window. Roxanne had opened the curtains to let in a bit of light and give a view of the farm proper should the view of the room around them begin to grow stale to Branches eye.

"So," Roxanne broached, "What exactly can I do for you sweetie?" She took out from a hidden fold of her robes a pair of fresh icecream sandwiches. Using her glamour in small ways like this, no matter how insignificant it was, always made Roxanne feel clever. Branches took the offered ice cream without much comment though, as though it was a trick she'd seen a hundred times before, and that disappointed Roxanne a little. The homunculus unwrapped it and gave it an experimental lick.

"I think I see why Illiana likes vanilla so much..." She commented, side stepping Roxanne's question.

"Oh? You know that lady?" Roxanne asked.

"Yeah, she said I was to be your attorney if you couldn't find one for yourself. Looks like it might never happen since she keeps issuing postponements though." Branches explained, not noticing the color rise a little in Roxanne's face and the sudden flicker of color in her eyes.

"Well uh, I suppose you came here for some other reason though?" She swerved back. Branches own color rose and for a long time Roxanne didn't think the girl would tell her. Then, Branches gave her ice cream another lick and let her gaze drift over to the window.

"W-what do you do... when you have a crush on someone?" Branches asked. She sounded not all there, but Roxanne immediately understood much more than she had when the girl had come knocking on her door. After a very brief internal conference with Eris, Roxanne gave the homunculus another look over, judging not as a person but as her potential as somebodies girlfriend. Average height, average weight, striking gold cornsilk hair and even more striking amethyst eye. Roxanne didn't think she could do much for the girls appearance, but she could at least give her something to wear so that she wouldn't look like some kind of homeless waif. On top of all that though, the girl also had an obvious touch of the arcane about her, and if she was associated with Illiana then that "touch" was more likely than not a veritable well of arcane touches.

"Well, I could tell you generically sweetie, but the generic approach doesn't really work on everybody." Roxanne explained, putting one hand on her chin and licking her own ice cream, "To really net you a successful catch, I need to know what sort of person this guy is. It might even help if you told me exactly who you had in mind." That last was more for Roxanne's own amusement of course, but it was true that it could help. If it was someone Roxanne knew, that was.

"Well..." Branches said dreamily, "He's tall and handsome and strong and kind and... and..." Roxanne noted that Branches seemed to have drifted off, a sure sign that the homunculus had begun to day dream. She'd seen Mica do the same thing before. The empty gaze, the daffy grin. Branches ice cream dripped onto the paper beneath it, and she didn't seem to notice the impending mess. Her eye was fixed firmly on... Roxanne's head twisted like on a pivot to trace the gaze of the girl across from her and immediately had to stifle herself.

'Oh. My. God.' She thought in tandem with her internal other.

"Girls got good taste Luna," Eris whispered a little tauntingly in her head, "Really fine taste!"

Outside the window, just to the side of the house Hector rarely stayed in, was the new workshop Catnip had set up for him. Hector rarely used the work space, preferring to use the old space in the shadow of the sacred birch simply because he liked to see people coming and going to and from the farm. Today though, Catnip could be seen seated on the round pole fence surrounding the forge space, talking to Hector hard at work on some piece of metal work. The knight had decided to remove his armor for the day and replaced the shirt he usually wore under it with a leather apron that did nothing to hide Hectors not inconsiderable and rarely seen muscles. As Roxanne watched, he wiped the sweat from his brow and readied his hammer for another blow at the anvil, then noticed the ladies watching him and waved. Roxanne grinned and waved back, then quickly glanced back at Branches. The homunculus had sunk into her seat a bit, but had turned an obvious bright red.

"This could be fun." Roxanne thought to Eris, then aloud shouted, "Oh ho ho! So that's the way it is then!?" She leaned across the table and pinched Branches cheek. Branches snapped back to, instantly looking guilty like she'd been caught in the act of theft. "You've got good taste sweetie, really good taste! It's a good thing you came to me. Don't worry, Roxanne will help you land that big fish! I'll give you some advice to get started, but ol' Hec is a bit oblivious so give me some time alright?"

Internally, Roxanne and Eris were already hard at work making plans. They had they're own fish to fry first, but when that was done then there would be all the time she needed to have a bit of "fun" with this.


Catnip snuffed the cigarette, much to Hector's relief, and tossed it into the forge to incinerate. Hector didn't really understand why he was working at this forge rather than 'his' forge, but figured it might just have been a momentary desire for a change of scenery. A byproduct of this temporary move was that Catnip had come out to watch and chide. There were worse things, but the situation was akin to one expert trying to tell another how to do something they already knew how to do.

"You need a press." Catnip insisted, "Otherwise you're gonna get de-lams." Hector didn't need a press. At least, not that he believed. His own augmented muscles and a sufficiently heavy hammer was all that he thought he'd need, which was true enough. When he wasn't on official business or out fighting Hector had found in the post cataclysm a talent in himself. Talent as a hobby smith. More than that though, he'd discovered that some people would even appreciate the effort he put into his craft. He wasn't a savant like Catnip, but that didn't mean he was bad or even half bad. It turned out, he was very good.

"I'm not going to get delaminations Nip. I've got this under control." He said, putting down his main hammer and taking out one with a flared flat face.

"Planishing isn't going to take the de-lams out Hector." Catnip commented. Hector growled at that, knowing she knew he wasn't trying to get any mythological delaminations out of the piece. She'd gone over the work he'd done with a master's eye, considering every bit of effort he'd put in and the workmanship he'd worked so hard to develop. Her response had been entirely unexpected though. A simple "it's fine enough." She had been sent away to Arizona and had come back with a sacks worth of ego.

"It's not for getting any delaminations out!" He said sharply. He glared at her, and she grinned back playfully. It was then he realized that she wasn't at all serious. Catnip was pulling his leg. She had come back with a bit of ego, but not as much as she sometimes pretended to have.

"Calm down, calm down." She said, "It's fine. Better than that scrap armor you made anyway." Hector had begun to calm, but that nettled him a little.

"Oh come on, it was a clever idea that came up after you got... You know, teleported and slash or turned into a rat. We had all that scrap power armor turned robot metal left over and I thought it would be poetic to make new armor out of it." Hector said, fuming a little. Catnip scrutinized him and the work he was doing, then Hector had a thought and corrected himself. "Well, after a few of us thought you got turned into a rat. Most of the reasoning there was kind of stupid really..."

"You should never try to heat treat hardened steel tin can," Catnip chastised gently, "who knows what you may have done to it internally..." She kicked her feet a little, then asked "do you think it's strange?"

"What's strange?"

"That I know all this stuff. Minx says it's weird, if Mica and I grew up in a lab, that I should know so much." She explained. Hector made a perfunctory non-committal gesture at that.

"Nip, you have a passion. Considering all the things you don't know, personally I think it's normal. I mean, what's this thing called?" He said, holding up a fork shaped object at his question before picking up a second tool. "Or this?"

"Er... A fork prying thing and a spinny soft wheel?" She said cautiously.

"A picklefork and a buffing wheel." He corrected, setting them down. "Nip, for all the tools you have, I know of only about a fourth of them you can name properly. I'd say you are doing just fine in terms of being a savant."

There was a long silence between them, in which time Kathrine brought out a pair of glasses containing sweet tea, and the announcement the the ice maker had broken down again. Another thing Catnip would have to look into. Catnip stopped watching Hector so much and instead examined the sword he'd laid aside on the forges stout table. The old arming sword he'd carried with him throughout his post cataclysm career onto a hundred fields of battle. It looked, despite the sharpening and buffing and repeated treatment, like it had been thrown into an oversized blender.

"I really should replace that old thing." Hector said wistfully when he noticed Catnip examining it, "But the fact that it hasn't fallen apart yet is just a testament to it's reproduction quality."

Catnip stayed silent for some time, then suggested, "eh, if it does break, bring it to me. I've got something I'd like to try. Speaking of metals and craft works and stuff like that, I'd like to try to build some specialized armor at some point after Dee and I get Medeina built, could use some help with that. Also wanted to know if you had any idea concerning that list I gave you yesterday." Hector swiped a hand at his brow and raised his hammer again. Then he saw the girls watching him and waved. "Putting on quite a show." Catnip mused while watching Roxanne and her guest while they watched Hector.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 10:51:25 am by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
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Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5155 on: July 10, 2019, 12:22:55 am »
2 months ago

The sound of the air tight seals popping open filled the room as the first sounds to greet the silence in nearly fifteen years. The heavy footsteps that followed echoed as the five men stepped out of the stasis pods and shook the drowsiness from their heads.

Once they were able to fully avail themselves of their faculties they moved to the lockers in the room to retrieve their uniforms. Each man donned a grey uniform that was accompanied by a pair of black boots, a metal Sallet helmet and a black chest rig. Walking over to a console one of them switched it back on and inserted his thumb into a slot.

‘ID confirmed: Alexander Sokolov. Rank: Crusader. Status changed: Active’

Moving to another console Sokolov connected a wire to a small port in his neck. ‘Adjusting bionic liver. Tuning bionic eye. Calibrating…’

All of them went through the same process of having their bionics calibrated and getting their gear in order. When all was said and done they approached the door and waited as one of their number stepped forward and read the instructions on the door console. Tapping a button the man started to speak “Howard R. M., Captain of the order speaking. Stasis pods were deactivated, alert from Secure Compound Zeta under the..local bank. Present with me is Alexander Sokolov, survival specialist.” He rattled off the rest of the names and jobs of the men with him before signing off and walking out of the facility with his men in tow.

1 week ago

Sokolov watched his captain stare through a pair of binoculars at the men in the building in front of them. Tilting his head back Sokolov finished the mickey of vodka as he waited. Finally his captain spoke “There’s gotta be thirty of them, maybe more. Heavily armed and looking twitchy from here. You still ready for this Sokolov?”

Setting the bottle down and grabbing his rifle Sokolov shrugged. In the past month he’d watched one of his friends shoot himself in the head because of this apocalypse and two more get gunned down by scum. The way he figured it the pair of them would either complete their objective or die trying. “We go quiet and stay quiet.”

2 days ago

Sokolov sat in Haps bar sipping his drink. And waiting. He’d  been waiting for the past two days. His armor was stowed in a large carryall bag sitting next to him. Pulling his hand from his pocket he sorted through the coins he had, palming one and dumping the rest back into his pocket.

The man he’d been waiting for had entered the building and sat down. Standing up Sokolov walked towards the door. As he passed the table he flipped the coin onto it. Before the man could question it Sokolov was out the door.

“I do not enjoy work. I do not relish a piece of paper being handed to me. I do not savor the moment before action. I do my work as is my duty. When I pass may the Lord forgive my soul. If he does not then may I take my place at Lucifers right hand. Please oh lord hear this sinners prayerr.” Sokolov said to himself as the man picked the coin up to inspect it.

Sokolov didn’t need to hear the gunshot that came quickly after, nor did he need to see the blood stain on the window of the bar.  Sliding the Salet helmet onto his head Sokolov stared down at the coin that had returned to his hand as he walked. The only thing Howard would know of what had happened is that the man whom had been giving the orders to the men that had held the bank was dead. He would never really know how it happened.

For a brief moment the hooded figure walked beside him. He’d been told the man was an old gun who’d wagered his soul for one of the devil’s coins. The Templars wanted to destroy it, the Order had smuggled it away from the Catholics. Then they’d hidden it from the Cleansing Flame.

The Archival Order of Holstadt, a long destroyed town, had hidden many things of historical and religious importance in their eyes. Most of their catalogue were mundane items, glasses of some historical figure, a pair of pants that a crusader had worn, things of such mundane nature. But every once in a while they got their hands on something special.  Along with their modern public facing cover they’d changed the name simply to The Archival Order.

Sokolov had broken a long standing agreement among the high ranking members of the Order when he’d taken this coin. Anything abnormal was supposed to be left in a secure room in the Order’s headquarters. But it had served him well in his work as an assassin of the Order.

When he returned to Howard he informed him that their target was dead. Then he received the news. Some cultists  had taken over. Ones that liked to eat the flesh of the undead and other humans.

Present day

Sokolov had seen the group at the bank and knew no matter what they brought two men wouldn’t be able to take them on. So he’d started his journey to where the friends of an old enemy of the cult lived. Walking down the abandoned road he spotted a handful of the undead here and there but not enough to cause him any problems.

Of course he needed to sell something to these people. After all why did he care that these were the men that killed their friend? So he took a moment to settle back into his old accent. It had been years since he’d spoken like this, since he was a teenager if he recalled correctly. After his mother took him to her homeland of Ireland she’d taught him how to hide the accent of his homeland. “My name Alexander Sokolov, pleasure to meet you. I have news concerning mutual friend Alexei’s killers. I know where man that gave order is located, but I need help to kill.”

Even with practice speaking in broken english was painful at this point. And that was assuming they would be interested in getting revenge on the men. Assuming his intel was accurate. But that was all he had to go on while Howard kept sketch on the old bank.

Shooting a zombie that had been running at him Alexander also wondered about just who this Alexei had been. Why had these men been so angry that they were still partying and celebrating this man’s death? But that and all of Alexander’s other questions about the man would have to wait. He was getting near his destination, Walkerville.

Meanwhile TJ had finished helping Alice and Isaac with the lunch rush and was currently sitting outside leaning against the wall. He’d gotten enough parts to start working on the air gun he wanted to make so he set to work. Sliding the pieces into place and fastening them as best he could onto the frame he’d made TJ soon had the rough outline and basics of it down. Actually getting it to work would take quite a bit more work.

Looking up from his work he spotted a young misling watching him. Scurrying over upon realizing he’d been seen the young misling grabbed the makeshift air rifle and inspected what was built. “Needs seals. Barrell will only work with large bearings or darts. A padded stock would also make it more comfortable.” Handing it back the misling scratched at it’s damaged right ear and said “Could probably scrounge the parts you need, but it’ll take a while.”

TJ blinked, stunned for a moment, before saying “Wait you..want to help me? How much?”

Shaking his head the misling said “No charge. No real scrip around here so it doesn’t matter anyway. Scratch your back now you scratch mine later?”

TJ nodded after a moment’s thought and said “Sure. I’m TJ by the way, what’s your name?”

“Friends call me Bolt, or Wrench, or Driver. I don’t really care, I do my work and get my food, names don’t affect work. Which I probably need to get back to.” Bolt said before scurrying off into Walkerville.

TJ wasn’t sure what had inspired the young misling to talk to him but he had a feeling Bolt would probably be a good friend to have. Standing up and stowing his project TJ decided to explore the place a bit. Maybe even find some work of his own now that he was thinking about it.

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5156 on: July 11, 2019, 11:30:31 pm »
Bolt tapped his foot rapidly as he waited for the foreman to go down the line. He already knew what he was going to be  doing but the last time he’d gone straight to work the foreman had been less than pleased. So he waited, tapping his feet and ignoring the other mislings that were to either side of him.

Finally he got his instructions: dismantle and salvage. Turning and walking away Bolt made his way to where the mislings used to disassemble various things for salvage and parts. He’d not been here long but already knew that the walk was simply a hundred steps, give or take twenty to avoid people or jams of foot traffic.

Once he reached the area he opened the locker that had been designated as his and retrieved his tools. Unlike the others his tool belt included an air tank that connected to his special tools. As he filled the tank nearby he couldn’t help but smile as he recalled how much easier his tools made his work.

He’d made them himself for the express purpose of his salvage job. Of course none of the others believed that he’d made them. Not that he cared if they believed he could build things, he was fine with everyone believing he was only capable of dismantling them. Life was easier when people didn’t expect much from you after all.

Humming to himself Bolt set to work now that his equipment was fully operational. His first task was to cut some pipe down for the construction crews.Nodding to the foreman of the ‘pit’ Bolt retrieved his cutter. Turning on the tool and inserting the pipe, sliding it along so that it was the proper length, Bolt squeezed the handle. The saw blade attached to it was designed for cutting metal so the pipe was taken care of quickly as he slid the next section into place.

Once the pipe was done, which lasted maybe a half hour of work, Bolt was told to just work on the pile. This was what they called the heap of items that had been left in the pit to be disassembled for any sort of use they could make of them. This usually involved stripping items for useful materials or parts such as circuit boards or valves or what have you.

This was work Bolt was particularly good at. That was mostly due to the fact he’d done it so much he could do it without really thinking about it. And so he sat there gutting computers and appliances until he came to a few gas tanks that had made their way into the pit. Inspecting them yielded the reason that they were down here, they’d been punctured here and there. If he were to hazard a guess the holes were small enough to have been caused by something akin to a screwdriver.

Taking off the valves and seals Bolt pocketed a few while the Foreman wasn’t really paying attention. It hadn’t been the first time he’d done such a thing even when the foreman was paying attention. The two had simply come to an understanding. ‘Dont pocket everything and I wont have a problem’ was the gist of it.

After that he just let himself slip into work. Which left his mind to wander. He was curious about the new person, TJ. He’d never seen anyone wearing that many bandages before. And there was an odd mixture of curiosity and sadness about him that clashed with how he tried to act happy. Or maybe Bolt was just misreading him.

Still the pair were outsiders among what appeared to be their own people, they had that much in common. The other mislings had decided that Bolt was unlucky, some due to the marks on his fur and others simply because he’d received more than a handful of opportunities after the misfortune of others. As such he often found himself on his own. So he’d made himself content with his lot in life.

Before long, well at least before it felt like it had been a long time, the bell rang. Bolt finished his cut and walked over to the lockers. Stowing his gear Bolt slid the lock into place and decided to go find something to eat. A bit early for dinner but he’d not eaten lunch.

So he made his way to the community center that Isaac had built. He’d never met the man but had heard from the other mislings they gave food for free. And they were nice people. He’d check and see then go and find TJ.

Entering the place he could smell food cooking and spotted Alice setting some out onto the serving trays. Isaac spotted Bolt and waved as he said “Hey right on time! Let me go get some plates and we’ll let you grab some grub.”

After a moment Bolt had his meal and was sitting down to eat. As he was used to no one really sat next to him. This gave him time to muse over his various projects at the very least.

At the same time as all of this TJ had been wandering around. He’d stopped to talk to some of the mislings here and there but none could really point him towards work that could earn him anything. As Bolt had put it “there isn’t any scrip here yet.” was the general consensus.

As such TJ had found himself sitting with an older misling in what appeared to be some sort of rug stall. The misling wore an old vest, dress shirt, pants and a pair of leather shoes along with a rather long and well kept and trimmed beard of grey hair. The pair had talked over a home mixed and brewed tea that the elder misling had made. “So you say you don’t know your past? Perhaps it matters not where you came from, perhaps you have yet to fulfill your purpose in life? Perhaps you have yet to even determine what that purpose is.”

The way the elder was watching him made TJ somewhat uncomfortable as he sat cross legged across from the man. Taking a moment to sip his tea and collect his thoughts TJ finally admitted “I don’t know, I guess I haven’t really had time to figure out what my purpose is.”

The elder simply nodded as he drank from his own cup. A younger misling had entered the stall and spoke a few words. “Oh for that design you should use that pattern there. It will look lovely, take the roll and bring back what you don’t use.”

From what TJ had gathered this man organized quite a few of the odds and ends for the construction crews. Some of the young mislings under his employ kept things organized in this stall and the others in the area where things like rugs, cloth, and other such items were kept. It also was built like it was going to be turned into a market at some point. Regardless the elder looked at him and said “That is okay child. Many do not find their purpose for most of their lives. What matters is that you carry yourself in a manner that is respectable, one that anyone could admire and look up to. Of course..” he paused for a moment to show that the vest concealed a blade “..sometimes one must act in unsavory manners to protect himself and others. That too is understandable.”

TJ shrugged. He’d killed once and found the act..distasteful himself. Before he could say anything the elder smiled and said “Ah, a pacifist? Admirable I must say but you need to be willing to defend yourself should the need arise.”

TJ nodded and said “I know, I really do. I just hope it doesn’t come to that. That’s why I’ve been trying to find a place like this where I don’t have to fight people.”

For a few minutes the pair sat in silence as the elder inspected TJ.  Finally he stood and retrieved a long dark blue piece of cloth from a table. “I have known many men. Some wear these for the purpose of worship. Others because it means something to them as a symbol of things such as pride and courage. To me it is worn as a symbol of dedication and self worth not for some religious reason.”

Wrapping it around TJ’s head the elder hummed softly to himself. After a moment he finished wrapping the turban and tied it off, leaving a trail of the blue cloth hanging behind TJ’s head. “May it take on whatever meaning you assign to it however. You can always change the style as well, perhaps add layers or shorten the tail of it. That is ultimately up to you, just as all paths ultimately lead to the same place in the end.”

Reaching a hand up TJ touched the turban as the elder misling provided him a mirror to inspect himself. It was a deep blue and unlike the mislings it was only wrapped around his head a couple times to keep it on without really protruding from his head. “Thanks. I don’t really have anything to pay you with though.”

The elder waved the thought of payment away. “All I ask is that you remember our conversation today. I hope that it helps you find your way in life.”

The elder misling bowed and TJ returned the gesture after standing up. “I will. Thank you for the tea.”
The elder smiled as he said “Of course, and as I said whenever we figure out money here I’ll be more than happy to have you working with me.”

TJ departed with that. Some of the younger mislings that worked for the elder waved and nodded to him as he went. The snug feeling of the turban wasn’t dissimilar to his bandages and was oddly comforting. Checking the time he realized it was almost six pm and decided to see if Alice and Isaac needed any help.

The walk there didn’t take very long and he spotted only a handful of mislings making their way in. Walking in he took a look around and spotted Bolt sitting by himself and decided to walk over. Sitting down he couldn’t help but smile at Bolt jumping slightly at his presence. “Hi Bolt, how was work?”

Swallowing a mouthful of mac and cheese Bolt shrugged “Was work. Same thing I did yesterday, same thing tomorrow.” Fishing in his bag Bolt pulled out the valves and seals “But got parts for air gun. Can take time to work on it tomorrow before shift if you’d like.”

TJ nodded as he leaned back and said “That works for me. I’m not gonna have much of anything to do anyway, at least that I know of. Maybe going out to look for parts or books.”

Bolt scratched his nose as he said “You read books? Could teach?”

TJ again nodded and leaned back in his chair “I could.  We could start tonight if you want too.”


Bolt nodded eagerly as he took another bite of his food. As they sat there it dawned on TJ that Bolt was pretty small for his age, standing at thee foot four inches. The pair were both sixteen(well Bolt was Sixteen in misling years) and here they were living the farthest things from what they’d heard described as the life of someone their age. Instead of studying and dating they were disassembling salvage and working on a weapon that could kill both zombies and people while one of them taught the other to read.

Once Bolt had finished his meal he returned the plate to a receptacle and walked back over to TJ. Reaching over TJ pulled a seat out next to him and waited for Bolt to sit down as he retrieved a book from his bag. “This one should be pretty easy to start with.”

As they sat there TJ was surprised at Bolt’s eagerness to learn. The constant stream of questions made him imagine a child if he were honest. But he did his best to stay patient with Bolt as they sat there.

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5157 on: July 22, 2019, 02:49:26 pm »
Jennifer had been rather impressed with the organization on display at the orchard turned ranch, until she and Cherise got a closer look at the place. The first thing they found was a man, not a mutant or cyborg, nailed to a cross in the God's Army fashion. Cherise hadn't been able to look at it long, but Jenny did. The man was wasted away. Not as a man who had been hanging for a week, but like a man who's body was blown out by hard drug use. His eyes sat sunken and empty in his head, cheeks sallow and thin, body a sagging half starved sack. From the condition of the body, they could tell he'd had been alive recently as well, though the women would have had a hard time calling what this man had done before being nailed up "living." A fly buzzed around the feeling body and landed on one glazed over eye and Jenny grimaced before averting her gaze downward. There was a note, a simple scrap of card stock, stapled to the man's chest with industrial staples that read "thief" in long spidery letters. When it came to those desperate for a fix it seemed, this Hoyt didn't fuck around. In the distance, maybe a half mile, they could still barely see the steady line of smoke from a chimney, the orderly trees with people milling here and there among them, cattle in a more distant field, and a run downish looking two story house next to what was either a barn or a processing shed. The wind shifted and they caught the smell of the place. The spiced tang of apples, the stink of manure, and the unpleasant sickly sweet stench burnt plastic and ammonia.

"What do you think?" Jenny asked, trying to look like she was appraising Cherise reaction.

"I think I'd like to shell it and crucify it's occupants." Cherise growled in response. She pulled something from a pocket and Jenny wasn't sure what to think of it until the woman extended it.

"Is that a telescope?" Jenny asked incredulously at Cherise's old fashioned looking glass. Cherise started to raise it, then stopped.

"What? It's lighter and easier to carry than a pair of binoculars." She stated. Jenny pulled out her own pair of looking glasses at that, a small pair of basic folding binoculars that fit comfortably in the palm of her hand. Instead of commenting on it, Cherise simply grunted and peered through her antique while Jenny smirked and raised her own. The people in the orchard were much like the man on the cross. Wasted, sallow, unhealthy. Junkies, most of them, by the look. Their haunted, hunted, eyes told Jenny everything she needed to know. The people in the orchard were working all right, but they were hooked through the bag as well. The two women moved down the dirt road a ways to get a better look at the lay of the land and spotted a man and woman leaving the barn structure, headed for the house. The woman looked tough and wary, and carried some kind of large glaive bouncing on one shoulder. The other, the man, wore a lab coat that flapped gently in the breeze just as his hair was whipped a bit by said wind. His sun glasses glinted with the menacing humor behind them.

"Beware beware," Cherise said, "I think that's our guy." The words sent a shiver up Jenny's spine. Unlike Cherise, Jenny knew for a fact that it was their guy. Hoyt, the candy man. She knew it because Cheena knew it. The animal inside her could feel it, feel the poison in the man's veins. Smell the poison in his being. This man was at home with death and dealt in all the things that "his" kind took for pleasant but would quickly turn them into raving idiots and slaves to him. Cheena didn't like him, but Jenny didn't need Cheena for that. She looked somewhere else just so she wouldn't have to look at the unpleasant scene, and spotted the antenna. Judging from it's position she guessed it to be somewhere around the edge of the distant pasture. "They're looking our way fox girl." Cherise suddenly said matter of factly. Jenny swerved her gaze back down to see the man headed for the house, and the woman walking briskly in their direction.
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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5158 on: August 08, 2019, 10:16:27 pm »
Night had come by the time Foster returned to Walkerville. It was still busy but the noise had died down at this point leaving him in an odd silence as he walked. He’d say he hated the silence but in truth he didn’t..he quite simply couldn’t. So he simply retrieved his bag from where TJ had stored their equipment and made his way to a secluded corner.

Foster contemplated his day. Overall it had been about as productive as he thought it would have been.The attack was unexpected but provided him with some interesting samples to test at the very least. So he pulled out his cigarettes and lit one as he sat there thinking. It wasn’t long before he fell asleep with the cigarette still lit in his mouth.

The next morning TJ woke up to the sound of a plate being set in front of him. Looking up he saw Bolt sit down across from him and say “Is time to wake, work starts soon.”

TJ took the plate and started to eat as he said “I don’t have any work yet. I’ve asked but I keep getting told that they don’t know how to pay me.”

Bolt shrugged “No money here, lot of paper in my bag that says I’m owed though. Will be work when they find something to use as scrip.”

The pair ate the rest of their meal in silence before Bolt retrieved the parts for the airgun and TJ produced the rest of it. Within the hour they had it working properly and a tank of air filled for TJ to use. As Bolt scurried of to work TJ took a pair of metal rings and tightened them around the air tank and hooked them to a leather strap he had setup to wrap around his waist.

The canister was small enough to comfortably fit on his back with his backpack on top of it. The air rifle itself was not dissimilar to an actual rifle in shape as was the intent. Railings on top of the rifle allowed him to mount optics and on the bottom to add a foregrip. At the pressure he had it set to it shot a lethal round quite a distance. And he had a set of barrels for two different kinds of ammo he’d prepared for it.

For now though he set it aside and walked outside. The sun was up but still low in the sky as he stretched and contemplated his day. He needed something to do he guessed.

Alexander, dressed now in an old leather jacket and jeans, walked towards Walkerville with his AK slung over one shoulder and a canteen of water in the other. His face was covered by the visor of the altyn helmet he’d carried with him and a black balaclava.

For a moment he stopped and stared at a zombie limping towards walkerville as well. It didn’t know why it was going there just that it sounded like food was in that direction. “So my friend, we have the same destination? But what was your story? Who were you?”

Alexander’s left eye faintly glowed a golden yellow as he saw the zombie not as what it was but who it had been. A doctor, he’d been out with friends when it had happened. They’d all made it a few days before the zombies found them holed up in his friend’s cabin. He’d vomited after shooting his best friend in the head after he started to turn. And then he’d finally given up.


Alexander clipped the canteen back to his belt and retrieved an internally suppressed pistol. The sound was so quiet he doubted anyone would have heard the gunshot that ended the zombie.  As the last of its life left the body Alexander’s eye stopped glowing. Soon enough he’d be at the bridge and would hopefully be able to bring some help to kill the cultists.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 01:21:08 am by RedVulnus »

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5159 on: August 13, 2019, 01:59:42 am »
Heinrik adjusted his grip on the machete as he stared at the group of zombies walking towards him. A swing and two heads rolled to the ground as he took a stride forward. A second swing and three more fell. These things were growing increasingly common as of late.

Still they had no real way to harm him, their claws scraped against metal plates and their jaws broke when they tried to bite through it. Soon they all were gone and he continued on his way. Soon he reached New Paris.

The guards had him stop outside and approached. One, the elder and most likely more experienced of the two, asked him “What is it you’re here for?”

Heinrik shrugged, he was here for a number of things, “Food, shelter, work.”


A short discussion on the expectations of his behaviour later and he walked in. The noise he was met with immediately made him stop in his tracks. The dull anger in his brain made him wonder if this endeavor called life was worth it. “Why in the name of any god is that playing over the speakers?” He asked to  no one in particular. The response was one he hadn’t quite expected. Someone quite plainly being an asshole.

“Why, who, and where?” Heinrik asked as he stood there. He got the answer to all three. From there he walked to the person who appeared to be in charge and continued “Give me a rocket launcher and I’ll take care of whatever’s playing this noise.”

It was fifteen minutes later and Heinrik, standing his full eight feet tall with a rocket launcher slung over his back, started towards the orchard. It would take him a while but he simply didn’t care. It would take however long it would take, and in the end these fine folks wouldn’t have to listen to that ‘music’.

Elsewhere Sokolov walked over the bridge and into Walkerville. His rifle was still hanging loosely in front of him as he walked to the community center and spotted someone. Walking over he said “Isaac yes? You were friend of Alexei?”

Isaac nodded and suddenly found himself staring at the man. He couldn’t really discern much beneath the helmet and mask but he said “Yes, that’s me and yes that was my friend.”

Sokolov nodded and continued “I know where large number of cultists that attacked him reside. You get revenge, I get revenge, everyone happy.”

Isaac felt the old temper flare. He knew the men that had caused that explosion were more than likely still alive and now that had been confirmed. And he somehow knew the man wasn’t lying. “Alright, but let get some help first. If they feel like coming that is.”

And with that Isaac went to find Nathaniel and present the situation to him. When he did find him he gave him what info he had, having known that there was a group after Alexei thanks to a private conversation between the two. “We could get some justice for Alexei Nathaniel, we could do something about these guys. But it’s gonna need to be more than just me and a stranger.”

Elsewhere Bolt had finished his first shift of the day and was sitting by himself. He unwrapped his sandwich and nibbled at it as he worked on one of his projects in his head. If he just had the parts to make a hydraulic system he could actually make a system to help him bend steel.

He was soon interrupted by TJ sitting down beside him. “Hi Bolt, how’re you?” TJ asked as they sat there.

Bolt finished his bite of the sandwich and said “Good. Work was annoying, too much pipe that needed cutting today. But work is not the whole day.”

TJ and Bolt sat in silence for a minute and TJ nervously asked “Hey can I uh..can I show you something?”

Bolt nodded and the two started walking. Unbenownst to the crew that had made the bridge TJ had found a small alcove under it where one could sit in peace. He’d built a small cover for the entrance to it and had dug a hole that he’d slid a cooler into in the soft dirt. A pair of fishing poles were set to the side as well.

Sitting down the pair just stared at the water for a few moments before Bolt said “Is nice and quiet down here.”

TJ shrugged “Yeah, quiet is nice I guess but I just like being able to stare at the water personally.”

Bolt had to agree that the way the water ran over the rocks under the bridge was oddly soothing. As was the presence of TJ in a strange way. Unlike everyone else he’d met TJ didn’t treat him strangely due to the markings on his fur or the way he acted. It was nice to have a-

Bolt’s thoughts were interrupted by TJ pulling out a book and asking if he’d like to learn some more. Bolt nodded and looked down at the book as TJ pointed to one of the words and helped him read it. After a moment Bolt rested his head on TJ’s shoulder as they worked on his ability to read.

 

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