Author Topic: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)  (Read 1566 times)

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RedVulnus

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Time: 5 Months before the cataclysm
Characters: Dr Morten
__________________________________________________________
To Whom it may concern

My work has been concluded as per orders from the commander. It will be another year before we can fully shut the lab down and deal with the last of the specimens. Following is a list of the projects I was personally involved in as requested, and I want my objection to the shutdown noted on record.

Doctor Tobias Morten Sr.
------

B Series

The B series was an effort to integrate computer technology into the human brain. All subjects proved to be suicidal or extraordinarily violent. Hypothesis is that the confines of the helmet required for the subject to continue to live proved damaging to the psyche as well as issues with the integration.

Number of subjects: 352
--------

203 Series

203 was focused on enhancing the strength of test subjects. Results were easily commanded individuals of exceedingly great strength with claws. Their mental capabilities were severely limited and made them poor in combat exercises. As such they were discontinued.

Number of subjects: 143
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Enhancement Series

Work on Enhancement series was limited, the availability of subjects given the confines of the series was limited. Subjects came from the cleanup crews and occasionally security forces. Forced genetic and synthetic augmentation to enhance physical and mental capabilities. This ranged from replacement arms to entirely new genetic sequences being introduced into their DNA. Perhaps the only test series that we were able to see a large number of successes relative to other test series. A number of interesting results were studied and replicated over the years.

Notable Subjects: Isaiah Williams, Aaron Fletcher, Isaac Mortal, Marshall Frontier, Gerald Hayes, Mathew Mathews.
Total Number of subjects: 52

---------
Archon Series

Archon was established after someone noted some odd properties in a..coffee machine? Yes coffee machine. Someone also sent us a few other ‘artifacts’ with odd properties. We’ve been testing these with mild interest as most effects appear to be mundane. Well save the coffee machine as what it produces seems to have similar addictive properties to methamphetamines. Not that the people here weren’t already addicted to coffee.

Total artifacts: 7
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 01:18:14 pm by RedVulnus »

RedVulnus

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Time: 3.5 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei
________________________________________________________
Alexei had found a small village to stay at for the time being. He was sure it was full of unpleasant people who probably would kill him later but for the night it was ‘home’. And home meant partying.

He’d hauled out quite a stash of alcohol and had gotten the ‘Butcher’ to bring out food for everyone as he lit a massive pile of wood on fire for the centerpiece of the party. He saw some of the cuts of ‘meat’ and decided he’d stick to the veggies for the night as he passed around a few bottles of alcohol to get things in swing. Drinking some himself Alexei started dancing with a few of the folks.

After a couple of hours he found himself sitting with a collection of the locals. Reaching into his own bag he pulled a few small bags out and tossed them around. He almost smiled as someone passed one of the pieces of paper to him and he inhaled the drugs lying on it. He did smile as the world started to change.

Standing up he started towards the giant pillar of fire Alexei put his gas mask on. He wasn’t really sure why as he started dancing around the pillar. He tossed something in the fire as he did and heard the people start laughing. A few even shot fireworks at him as he did so. He just knew that shortly after he blacked out.

He wasn’t sure when he came to but he saw everyone laying on the ground. They were foaming at the mouth and some had gunshot wounds. Standing up he grabbed his shotgun from his belt and walked towards the only one still breathing. The man spat blood at him as he said “Fuck you! You act like you want to be one of us then you kill us all!”

Alexei pointed the shotgun, as always sideways, at the man’s head and told him “I am no friend of cannibal. I lost friends to cannibal, so why should I be his friend?”

The man opened his mouth to shout and found a load of buckshot filling his mouth. Racking the shotgun Alexei held it one handed as he put it against the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger. Walking away Alexei began to sing as he racked the shotgun again and made his way away from that place.


Time: 4 years after the cataclysm

Alexei sighed to himself as he watched the cannibals through the scope of the rifle he held sideways. Pulling the trigger he watched the first of them hit the ground. He knew why they were here after all. No sense in giving them the chance to come after him without casualties.

Ducking away from the window Alexei made his way to the staircase of the building and retrieved a grenade from his jacket. As the first of them reached the thing they found a grenade bouncing at their feet before the shrapnel took the first group. This was followed by a one handed shot from his shotgun down at the next man brave enough to go through the door.

Backing away Alexei retrieved his AK and sprayed the next group to come through. Fifteen dead at this point. Ten more to go. Tossing a smoke grenade at the stairs Alexei did the one thing he could think of in his Vodka deprived mind. He jumped backwards through the window. Firing his AK.

He hit the first four targets he had and rolled to the side as their compatriots turned on him. This was followed by six shots that sent the remainder down before they could fire. He blinked for a moment and realized two things. One: He had better reflexes when he wasn’t drunk, and two: He had better ideas when he was drunk. Cause right about now he felt like he needed a chiropractor as he forced himself to his feet.

Of course the only things he looted were the essentials. Alcohol and bullets.

RedVulnus

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Time: 3 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Drifter(Isaac)
_________________________________________________________

Isaac watched the woman as he sat across from her. She’d been hospitable, giving him food and bandaging him. The only thing she’d asked was some help with one of her rituals. It was almost over when she handed him a cup and said “Drink this.”

Taking the cup Isaac drank half the contents before handing it back. The woman nodded as she took it and drank the rest. She spoke in a language he didn’t quite understand before he began to feel odd. Blinking he reached a hand out to grab a nearby table for support as smoke filled the world in front of him.

Instead a skeletal hand took his and hauled him out the swamp that had been consuming him. “Fucking hell you should be more careful!” came an unfamiliar nasally voice.

Looking up Isaac found himself staring at a man who looked almost skeleton in appearance with a cigar jutting out between his teeth. Shoving a tankard of rum into Isaac’s hand the man pulled out another from seemingly nowhere as he motioned with his free hand for Isaac to follow “Come on shit for brains somehow you got sent somewhere you don’t fucking belong. And not the kinda place that gets you a fun time with some of the sexy Loa.”

Isaac followed, taking a drink from the tankard he’d been handed. “I know the lady that sent you here had good intentions, thought your soul needed mending or some shit. Either way I’m busy at the moment so your ass will have to follow me until it’s time for you to get back to that fucking body of yours.” The man said as he walked.

Isaac raised an eyebrow as he followed but decided not to. It was a few hours later he came to with the woman standing over him. After a few minutes of hasty apologies by the woman Isaac collected his things and moved on. He didn’t remember all the details but he remembered the name Samedi. That and a wild few hours of drinking and humorous talk with him.

Chaosvolt

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Timeline: between 9 and 10 years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Catalina Sandell (AKA Catalina Anquiano), Oliver Sandell, Jared.



Catalina smiled a bit as she looked through several papers. She was still a little nervous as she set aside from papers, waiting for someone at the old manor house she grew up in, and hadn't seen in a few years. Two people walked out of another room to greet her, both in business suits that contrasted sharply to the service uniform she was wearing. A younger man close to her age, and a middle-aged man. The younger one, in a checkered red and black suit she thought would look awful on anyone else, was a bit taken aback by this.

The older man, in a more subdued grey suit, simply walked over to give her a hug. "Catalina, feels like it's been a year since you've visited." he said, a smile on his face as he turned to the other man. "We'll finish our business later, Jared. And quit starin', don't want your face to get stuck like that." he remarked, to which Jared simply nodded.

"Got it. Sorry Boss. And good to see ya, Cat. Growing up fast I see." he said, before leaving the room for now, Catalina a little flustered. "It's only been maybe half that long, dad." she said, before picking up the papers again. "So what's the getup for? Thought your degree would get you a lab coat, not an army uniform." he asked.

She was a bit nervous at that, though offering him the papers that would explain most of it better than she would. "It'd take another 4, maybe even 8 years until I can get into the sort of cutting-edge things, Oliv...dad. Been doing a lot of smaller work to get through college, but I can finish things up this way. There's something available that'll put what I'm learning to good use, and finish it up for getting into research."

The explanation made the man, Oliver as she momentarily almost called him, go a bit pale. That, and reading the paperwork. He didn't even notice the slip of the tongue into a more formal address, normally only reserved for when the two were in the company of people he worked with. "Cat, sweetheart. You should've asked. I helped set things up, was practically pocket change, but could've paid it through completely if you needed to. Or...set you up with something reliable, better-paying." he said. The hesistation in his voice made it clear. He'd struggled all those years he raised her not to get her involved in the family business, but he'd resort to it if she needed to.

"I know you would. I also know it'd kill you to see me getting involved in this. Handling the first few years on my own was worth it though." she answered, but Oliver wasn't any less worried. "Still, you're studying up for nuclear research and such, what the hell kinda army school needs you for that? Am I going to have to explain to the other families that we're not branching out into starting World War III?"

She simply shook her head, bringing one of the papers back up. It had her name listed as Catalina Anguiano. Her mother's maiden name, rather than Sandell. "I don't know what they'd specifically want my degree for, but that won't be needed. I hope this would send the right message to anyone that'd notice it." she said.

"They'll figure it out, yeah..."
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:37:41 pm by Chaosvolt »

A Blitzkrieg of Butts

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Timeline: Day 0 of the cataclysm
Characters: Alexis "Pepper" Verace, Colten Lianstead (Her boyfriend)
___________________________________________________________________________________________

"Hey Pepps, after our shift, you want to get coffee?" The two were patrolling around New Haven, Connecticut. It was about 3:00pm. "Colten, you know I don't like it when you call me that." Pepper gives him a light punch. Colten just chuckles. "Oh come on, I'm only yanking your leg. But I'm serious about the co-" *Crrsh* "Dispatch coming in" *Crrsh* "Yeah dispatch, what's up?" *Crrsh* "We have a possible 10-50, there are reports of three 10-54's in the area. We ne- Reports coming in for 11-99's, we got code 10's. We need you to go code 3 asap." *Crrsh* The two of them froze. "11-99s? Swat? Jesus." Pepper stepped on the gas, sirens blaring toward Yale.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 04:54:30 pm by A Blitzkrieg of Butts »
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Chaosvolt

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Timeline: 2 days after the cataclysm, roughly a week before Hector arrived at an evac shelter.

Characters involved: Hector (AKA Sir Loin of Beef).



Hector pulled an old, worn-down car to the side of the road, giving a frustrated sigh as he realized what was before him. It was a dead-end, branching off of a country road that he felt was too exposed. Every so often he had to force the sedan off-road to go around a wreck, or sometimes a minefield. He felt rusty, like he hadn't driven a civilian car in ages. That wasn't true. It'd been a couple years since he was discharged, the problem was he never needed to push the old vehicle this hard before. The coolant was now leaking slowly, it was badly in need of an oil change, and the treads were all under 2/32. As diligent as he was about taking care of actual mechanical problems, ever since he got home he'd been lax about the more mundane upkeep. As he shut the engine off, he thought back on recent events.



Things happened so fast, in less than a day the city went from a quiet sense of unease, growing unrest in the poorest parts of town, to a complete clusterfuck. Once the strange things started to show up in force, and a few casualties from a recent riot got back up, the wave of death and reanimation spread through the city over a matter of hours. He was vaguely aware of some trouble brewing, and he remembered the offer some suspicious-looking officers made back when he was in training. An offer he declined, and his highschool friend accepted. He remembered the rumors that led to him declining, and how shortly afterward he was discharged for "medical" reasons.

He'd gotten back into his old work at the local mechanic's shop, a place run by an aging uncle of his. Going from maintaining an armored vehicle to cars felt so alien to him now, even if it didn't really hinder him much. He didn't even show up at work today. He had some supplies, a car that was working, and lived close to the edge of town. He just hoped he'd have no problems with a unit he dreaded having a second encounter with. He knew from the rumors that he likely wouldn't have any trouble with them, but it still worried him. He had no signs of the sickness, that the final news report implied was the cause of the undead threat. What he didn't yet know was that he likely owed his life to the boil water notice issued a week ago, a habit soon to become a part of everyday life.

The smoking pile of wreckage he drove past made it clear what happened. It used to be an M701A1, the sort of modern tank he was familiar with driving. Hit from behind he suspected, having a considerable rear hatch had some disadvantages, at least for a light tank. The remains of a tank drone behind it revealed the cause, the rest of the unit likely retreating deeper into the city. The sight left him confused and worried, but relieved that he had a clear route out of town, in time leading him to where he was now.



The empty appearance of the old manor house unnerved him a little, and he wished he found somewhere less unsettling. The gate was battered down, and when he walked up to the door he saw it was left slightly ajar. Either hastily-abandoned, or overrun. Either way, he hoped the original owner wouldn't be there to object if he checked for supplies.

As impressive as the entryway was, a large open space leading to numerous doors and a grand staircase, what he fixated on almost immediately were the armor stands along the walls, carefully creeping towards one such set. The mail was a proper hauberk, riveted instead of butted, accompanied by a great helm, along with a scabbard holding a well-made arming sword. Hanging on the wall next to it was a kite shield, with a white field and a simple red cross as its charge. This time, he had a trip down memory lane that was more pleasant.

Old days of re-enactment, from HEMA to occasional festivals with friends he hadn't heard from in years. The former was what he focused on as he traded his normal clothes for gambeson and mail, scavenging armored boots and gauntlets from another, less-intact set from a different era. Not exactly historical he thought. The gauntlets and boots stood out, while the great helm made the lack of a surcoat stand out. It was then he heard the sounds. A horrible clattering and crashing of doors being pounded down from several directions, and faint moans of the dead.

He simply drew his sword, having tossed away the camping hatchet he took with him. A great number of shambling things battered their way through the doors. A family perhaps, servants, patrons and colleagues of whoever once lived here. Or maybe wandering undead that forced their way through the gates and doors. He would find himself lost in battle, and despite the horror of it all, he felt more alive than he had in years.

This would be his life now, he thought. Either run and scavenge until there's nowhere left to run to, or fight back every step of the way. He might get the car to run for another while longer without proper tools, enough to try the next road he passed by along the way. He knew it led to the next town over, eventually. Most of the way there, close enough to walk to the evac shelter on the edge of town. He held no nope that it'd actually have useful supplies. Only that there might be at least one survivor in need. Maybe a way to get in contact with old friends, see if Nathaniel in particular was still alive. Though he doubted it, and the thought pained him a bit. It was his idea to talk the rather frail young man into volunteering along with him, and now he's likely sharing the same fate as the tank crew whose ruined vehicle he drove past.

That day, and during the hard-fought days ahead of him, Hector the mechanic died. Hector the ex-soldier died. What was left was Hector, the knight. No, a man-at-arms at the most. Car broken down, supplies stretched thin, tools either left behind, broken, or lost. Only the scavenged armament and a few items from the old world remained. A moment of dark humor led to him wondering if he'd even act the part and call himself something else, and despite his image of himself as not a true knight, the thought of a punny title came to him.

Sir Loin of Beef, really? As if anyone would actually dare to question it...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 02:35:15 pm by Chaosvolt »

A Blitzkrieg of Butts

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Continuing from last post
___________________________________________________________________________________________

The two arrived to hell. Dead bodies everywhere, civilian and police alike. Colten threw up beside the car. "Ugh... I think I'm gonna be sick. "Hold it together Colten, we have a job to do." Pepper went to the back of the cruiser and loaded her UMP. Colten grabbed the shotgun from the back as well. The two continued into the campus, seeing bodies in the triple digits. This was the worst thing they had ever seen. "Could this work of terrorists?" Colten was shaken, he had a hard time keeping his gun in front of him. Possi- COLTEN WATCH OUT!" A student who was covered in blood lunged at Colten. He frantically shot and it tore through its torso but it kept coming. It grabbed his arm and bit a good chunk out of it. "AAAAARRRGHHHH!" Colten screamed as he harmlessly bashed it with the butt of his shotgun. "PEPPER HELP ME!" She swung around and unloaded 3 rounds into the student, one which got it in the head. It slumped down and fell off of him. "O-Oh F-F-Fuck! Shit this hurts!" Pepper ran back to the police cruiser and grabbed the first aid kit. Pepper ran back to Colten and starts to patch him up. Th-Thanks Pepper. That w- PEPPER WA-" A shot rang through Pepper's ear and sees Colten fall in front of her with a shot right to the head. She slowly turned around to see a man in hazmat suit just in time before she received a blow to her head.
Every tuba you touch melts into cats.

How the fuck do you dream in ASCII?

Quote from: Sir Loin of Beef
Are we in need of an unfortunate accident involving a sound system and an errant 120mm shell?

RedVulnus

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Time: 4 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei
______________________________________________________________________

Alexei passed the bottle to the man next to him as he smiled. As the bottle was begrudgingly taken from him Alexei adjusted his grip on his AK. The man downed the last of the Irish whiskey before saying “You know you are a right cunt! First you try to kill me with a car bomb, then you try to shoot me, and now we’re gonna kill these fucking assholes together and then you’re gonna try and shoot me again!”

Alexei shook his head as he told the man “No, after this we will be comrades! And then we will go find a place to drink together, end up drunk, and find another reason to try and kill each other.”

As the two stepped out to fire at the band of masked individuals that were currently trying to murder both of them. The first of the brutes hit the ground riddled with bullet holes as their metal pipes clattered to the ground. The man nearly screamed over the gunfire “Kill each other? You were the one trying to kill me! I’ve never met you before!”

Alexei blinked as he put a round through a hapless raider’s eye socket. He was fairly certain this Irishman had done something to him before but...wait no was that the other irishman, or another? Alexei shrugged as he shouted back “Who cares! All that matters at this point is getting out alive!”

Which was fair enough the both of them figured as they continued to fire at the men coming to murder them. Which was easier said than done they found out. But a few hours later they found themselves sitting in a bar, Alexei pouring them both a drink.

Alexei picked up his glass and nodded to Mcguire “To the Saints.”

Mcguire lifted his glass in response and returned the nod as he replied “To the Saints.”

The two downed the whiskey in short order before noticing the handful of men that had gathered around watching them. Alexei tossed a coin to the bartender as he stood up with Mcguire following suit. Mcguire grabbed the bottle by the neck as he said “One last hurrah?”

Alexei had grabbed the back of his chair as he said “Why not.”

Mcguire smashed the end of the bottle to pieces before swinging it into the stomach of one of the six. Alexei meanwhile smashed his chair over the head of a second before taking the broken leg and stabbing the third in the dick with it, causing the man to release a high pitched scream. As this was going on Mcguire had grabbed the fourth and threw him back against the wall before punching the fifth in the throat.

As his compatriots lay wounded and dying around him the sixth assailant raised his hands and stepped back. Trying to apologize he found himself on the receiving end of both men punching him in the face. Looking at each other the pair chuckled a bit before Alexei motioned for the pair to leave before the bartender got pissed off. He had a feeling this was going to be a long and fruitful relationship.

saltmummy626

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Something had gone wrong. The measures Peter had put in place to protect the collection of survivors holed up in the "Mason Banks" building had failed. The turrets that had kept at bay three attacks by bandits, had completely failed to identify and drive off or kill the thing that now harried what was left of them.

"Where's Kyle?" Mekaila asked, clutching at her cudgel defensively. She, Tylor, Carl, and a nervous businessman type who called himself "Swift" were all that remained of the towers previous group of twenty-two and three children.

"He went downstairs to try and get the generator back on. He'll be back." Explained Tylor who was busy peeking out through the door.

"No he won't." Mumbled 'Swift,' "Things got him. Thing as hungry as that. Oh god. Thing as hungry as that... Thing as..."

"What the fuck do you know?" Spat Carl. His words hardly got a response, and that was fine. It wouldn't matter when the thing found them anyway. The best they could hope for was to try and overwhelm it when it inevitably found them. Until then, tensions were high. Whatever it was, they had first seen it skirting the woods the previous morning, seeming to be on the hunt. Jacob Warner, an elderly man who'd been on watch at the time and had been the only one to see it described it as some kind of spidery thing. "Like a cross between a spider, a lizard, a rat, and a woman." He said. Carl had asked him how he knew it had been a woman and Warner had made a circular motion at his chest, and then snatched at his groin. "Pretty obvious since the thing wern't wearing no clothes or nothin.'"

Later, Carl had seen it himself. It wasn't particularly stealthy, and it seemed to be starving. He watched it tear into the leather seats of the four door sedan some of the survivors had made the trip to the tower in. Tearing into the seats with a mouth like the inside of a blender. It- she... would bite down and slough the leather from the seats in long strips, then swallow them without chewing before going in for another. Once in awhile, it devoured a lump of stuffing material as well.

Later still, it had found it's way into the tower. The first sign was an odd snuffling in the main lobby. Jessica went to go check it out, thinking that maybe one of the undead had found it's way in. When she didn't come back, Terrence went to see what was up. Likewise, he also didn't come back and so a group of three went out. This time, the tower was alerted by someone screaming, and the sound of gunfire. From there, things had gotten worse. The three floors of the Mason Banks building had become an abattoir except that in such a killing field, bodies were usually left behind. The creature seemed to leave hardly anything behind.

Now, night had fallen, and the feast didn't seem to have slowed. Warren had been hit by a glob of something offensive to the nose, and caustic as hell. The acid burned away his shirt, ate into the flesh beneath, dissolving and stopping the organs under the site of impact. Then there had been only five. Five people trapped in a room on the second floor of what had once been a loan office of some kind while some horrible man eater stalked the halls searching for them. Kyle had gone out, and now there were four.

"We can't stay here." Makaila said. She was getting tired and didn't want to be here anymore. She'd been one of the few to witness the creature first hand. It had torn into her boyfriend, clamping down on his shoulder with it's sizable maw and parting the arm from his torso in doing so. He fell back, screaming and spraying blood as the arm thus liberated was interred in the monsters sizzling guts. Makaila had struck the thing upside the head with her stick, more out of terror than aggression, and in response it had hissed and slashed. Carl had pulled her away just in time.

"No, we can't." Tylor told her, "but what are we gonna do? We can either take the jump out the window and hope to land on that box truck outside, or we can stay here and hope that it either goes away or kill it if it finds us."

"Can't kill it. Armored. Heals too fast. Too fast. Too fast." Swift mumbled. He leaned on his empty shotgun, turning a single shell over in his fingers and staring at the floor with wide open eyes. Tyler knew what he meant. Swift had escaped death at the things hands over and over again, had managed to get the thing off of him even by socking the stock against it's side and spinning it away. Tylor could see clearly Swift seating that stock against his shoulder and pulling the trigger. The explosion of the shotguns thunder, and the cloud of lead shot peppering the creature. The creatures rat like tail had been blown off and it's side had been absolutely shredded by shot, but as soon as the wounds appeared a black viscous crap had flowed out and stopped up the wounds. It screamed at them and lunged only to get ahold of swifts bag. the creature tore that to shreds while they ran from it. The way swift turned that shell over in his hands, Mekaila thought perhaps it wouldn't be long before he put it to use.

"So the jump then..." One of them said. Mekaila thought it had been Carl. "Well I-" Tylor started, but then a noise from the hall cut him off.

"SSSsssSssSsooo hong-ree. SsssSsssSooo sssSsweeeet meeeetsssS."

There was a low click, and the sound of the shotgun being worked and then the door burst inwards. By the light of the rooms single lantern, they all saw it. A horrendous monstrosity with two pairs of arms, covered in scales, chitin, hair, fur, and with a face comprised mainly of teeth and eyes and more teeth. Swift turned his shotgun on the creature, but it was too late. It wasn't going to allow that to happen again. The shotgun bellowed it's last shot into the ceiling as the monster disemboweled the businessman, then the gun was in motion. Tylor had lunged forward to try and take the opening. His knife, a simple carving number made by the fine folks in a Chicago cookery supply house, came in low and snapped off in the monsters pelvis, inches shy of the groin, before the walnut stock of the gun smashed his jaw. Tylor needn't have worried about his jaw though, the creature was already on and ripping into him with it's teeth. Mekaila turned and wrestled with the window. She'd lost her nerve.

Something hit the floor behind her, and as she finally jimmied the window open and slipped out into the open air, she realized it was Carl. She had no interest in what condition he was in, she just wanted out. The Cataclysm had taken everything from her and she would now do everything in her power to make sure it didn't take her life as well. There was a moment, very clear in her head, where she felt like she was floating. Then before the notion could really take hold, she was falling. She missed the box truck, bouncing painfully off the side and falling the rest of the distance to the asphalt. There was no time to check herself for injuries though, no time to feel pain. The woods were nearby and the monster wouldn't dare make the jump after her. She had to get up, had to-

A weight, like a bag of cement with arms and legs landed on top of her. "SsssSSsssooo hong-reee. Clevvver meeeetssssSSss, ttthiiinkiin' Myyy-kaaa not come affffteeerrr. SsssSSSSSssssooooooo hong-reeee..." Mekaila's last sight, was that of eyes filled with a profound and true hunger, and mile upon mile of serrated white teeth.


"Micaaaa!?" Called Lindsay. She and Damian had been looking for her for the last week. The three had only recently escaped the lab, and the mutant running off had been the one real worry they had.

"It's alright," Damian said, trying more to convince himself than he was lindsay, "She'll be fine, so long as she doesn't- There! Look!"

A figure was snuffling beside the road, occasionally snatching up some insect or other living thing to stuff into it's mouth. "Lindsay, the chicken!"

As the woman pulled the chicken out of her duffel bag, feet first, the creature looked up at them. "SssSS! Chi-kunsssSS!"

"You have to come back to the shelter with us Mica, you have to come back to the home place. Jesus, Lindsay, what happened to her?" Damian said.

"She probably ran into something big or something. Like a bear or maybe..." She said, tapering off. The words seemed hollow and insincere. Mica's handlers knew exactly what she'd gotten into. The wounds were enough to tell them everything they needed to know. Mica had run into people. Just where were those people now? They didn't have to wonder, they knew. Mica's handlers could only hope that some of them had escaped.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:19:21 am by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
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

Chaosvolt

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Timeline: Roughly 2 years before the cataclysm.
Characters involved: Hector, Nathaniel.



Hector looked the papers over, giving a little sigh as he shook his head, before glancing back at Nathaniel. "So why are these guys making this offer, anyway?" he asked.

"Hell if I know. All I know is it's probably the easiest I'm gonna have it at this rate." Nathaniel remarked, and Hector gave an irritated glance at his friend. "Are you sure this is a good idea though? What if they're, you know..."

Nathaniel knew exactly what Hector as referring to, remembering how others had been wary, whispering in hushed tones behind the sergeant's back after the visit of that strange man, the man who pulled a few of the others from their unit aside to make an offer to them. Strange fellow in a uniform that looked half Army, half Marines, with unit patches neither of them could quite recognize.

They did recall one image, one distant image of men in similar outfits, in intermittent reports of small-town relief efforts, claims of water treatment plant failures and other small-scale disasters. And the uniform now sparked hushed questions and whispers among most of the others.

"I know Hector. There has to be a reason for all this shit though." Nathaniel pointed out, and Hector regarded the papers with a critical eye. "Why, though? Is it really because training will be more lax? Of all the idio-"

"Hector, I'm barely keeping up as it is." Nathaniel remarked, and Hector just glared at Nathaniel for the interruption. "You're keeping up a lot better though. Not all rail-thin like a year ago. Just takes time." he remarked. He knew why Nathaniel seemed so willing to join this strange unit. The recruiter, or whatever the hell he was, seemed to explicitly hint at how much easier it'd be, among other things. As if he knew exactly what to say to goad and bait Nathaniel into considering the offer.

"Hector, it's not about that either though. Think about what could happen, or what they're doing if half the rumors are true. Stranger shit aside, it seems like their main thing is disaster relief. We could be putting our training to good use here."

"Nathaniel, this is an armored unit. What the hell sort of disaster relief needs to go out and pester tank crews to get recruits?" he pointed out. Despite his concerns, he was on the fence. He wasn't really sure how much was true, and Nathaniel's idea did get him thinking. He ended up more or less dragging Nathaniel into this unit because he himself was well-suited to his new role in a tank, suiting his mechanical interests and what he already knew. If things had gone differently he might've ended up in a CEV instead, in a different unit entirely.

"I know. There's got to be a good reason though. Either way, I don't know if I can pass up on this offer. You with me?" Hector considered things for a moment, staring down at the form the strange officer had passed out copies of. He'd pretty much dragged Nathaniel into this, after all.

That day, he gave his answer. Little did he know that, a whole world away, things would play out differently. Similar thoughts were running through that Hector's mind, similar discussion took place. Similar strange questions and rumors were mulled over. But the greatest difference that day was the answer.

Quote
"Maybe I...there is a reason, yeah. And I can't just leave you when I dragged you into this mess to begin with."

"Nate, I can't. Not without knowing for sure if it's the right choice."
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 02:42:10 pm by Chaosvolt »

RedVulnus

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Time:4 years 8 months after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family
_____________________________________________________________________

Alexei had found himself in a bar in a little town. A set of twins had sat with him, their little entourage staying nearby enough to be able to attack should he pose a threat but far enough to afford some modicum of privacy. They said they found him intriguing, he found their presence annoying, but whatever they thought of each other in the moment they were conversing about little nothings. The weather, how the world was getting on in their little area of semi civilization, other little odds and ends that were commonplace conversations in the pre cataclysm days.

Soon enough it went to hobbies. They enjoyed drawing and sewing and music. He enjoyed drinking and cleaning his weapons and finding what he could to sell. He found himself enjoying their company far more than he figured he should have. Something about them was rather soothing and calming. After a while one of them commented about how disappointing it was the pianist was missing. Alexei gave a bit of a grin as he walked over to the dormant piano and sat down while he ignored the look the bartender was giving him.

Popping his knuckles he began playing a couple of scales. As some of the patrons voiced impatience he started into an old ragtime piano song. A half hour of music later and Alexei walked back to the table while the patrons gave semi enthusiastic applause. Sitting back down he picked up the glass of vodka that someone had put on the table for him and downed it’s contents before looking at the sisters. The two seemed rather pleased with the performance and he found himself pleased that they were happy with it.

One of them said “You should really get rid of all that.” gesturing towards his beard.

The other nodded as she said “Yes you’d cut a more impressive figure without it, and a bit of cleaning up too.”

He grumbled something about not having the time and one simply waved a hand and told him a man should always make time to look good. He rolled his eyes and told her his primary concern had been surviving. She rolled her eyes and looked at one of their guards as she said “What is it with you men?”

The man shrugged as he spoke in a thick british accent “I don’t know ma’am, maybe something to do with the testosterone.”

The two ladies both nodded as they stood. Speaking to Alexei they said “You could come with us. We’ve always need of new hands. And it would give you time to clean up.”

Alexei’s first response was that he would pass. However he found himself stopping and instead agreeing. Grabbing his bag he followed the pair to Morgan Manor. Looking at the guarded entrance he found himself surprised. If these were bandits they had a taste for the opulent.

RedVulnus

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Time:4 years 8 months 2 weeks after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family
_____________________________________________________________________


Alexei had cleaned up a bit, washing his hair and beard while replacing his clothes with the button up shirt and suit vest that the sisters had given him along with the black slacks that led down to a pair of sturdy combat boots. Walking out of his quarters he turned down the hall to go about his daily duties. Cleaning the kitchen, some garden work, polishing some of the statues, and maintaining the armory.

This all took up most of his day and he found himself oddly content with it. True he’d probably have prefered to be scavenging and drinking but he’d not touched a bottle since arriving here. Finishing putting an AK together he stood up and started towards the rack of rifles that was attached to a wall. Which was when he heard a pair of voices discussing a party. Walking up the stairs and listening to the pair he quickly realized that they were either inept at planning or had never been to an actual party.

Pulling the two aside he told them he’d organize the party. To which they happily agreed since it was something they didn’t have to do now. Alexei walked away smiling as plans already formed in his head.

5 days later

Alexei ushered the server out of the kitchen with a muttered Russian curse. Then it was a mad dash of checking on the cooks, the bakers, the servers, and the decorators. Bouquets of flowers were being put into vases and positioned in the center of tables as the decorators danced around the room. The cooks swirled frying and sauce pans as some chopped vegetables and sliced meat. The bakers were decorating and layering cakes and arranging cookies in a whirlwind of motion that would make a casual observer dizzy. Each gave him an update as he passed and checked their work.

Wiping sweat from his brow as he grabbed a set of whiskey bottles from a liquor cabinet Alexei shouted a jovial remark that had the kitchen staff chuckling as he passed by again. Each table got a bottle of whiskey and a set of wine bottles. Stopping a server that had just arrived with a wooden box Alexei opened it and inspected the pair of bottles before taking them up to the table. The finest wine he could have gotten his hands on was set at the sister’s table.

The servers were now in a mad dash of setting horderves on the tables with the appropriate plates and cutlery and glasses. As the last setting was placed the doors opened and the guests began to arrive. Alexei and one of the head servers of the Manor were beside the door greeting them as they passed. When the sisters came they stopped to speak with the pair shortly, and as they went towards their table one commented that Alexei’s beard looked better now that he’d gotten it cut and styled.

As he walked back to the kitchen everyone saw the way he beamed at the praise.The rest of the night he was a blur of motion as he helped the wait staff get things out. He was happy, something he’d not felt in a long while.

RedVulnus

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Time: 5 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family
_____________________________________________________________________

Alexei adjusted the tie he’d been given by the sisters. The Morgans had organized the Family since the start of this little apocalypse and had invited him to work for them a few months ago after meeting him in a nearby town. They had seemed oddly fascinated with him now that he was thinking about it.

Looking himself over in the mirror he admired his clean shaven self, cutting an objectively handsome and dignified figure to any casual or serious observer. Sharp features mixed with warm green eyes and a semi sophisticated outfit of a suit vest with a stark white button up undershirt that led down to a pair of charcoal black suit pants that matched the vest made him look as a figure of a spy film. The suave ladies man that he’d actually come to despise shortly before leaving his homeland.


Not that I’m not a smooth talker
He thought as he walked out of the door and started down the hall to speak with the Morgans. They’d asked to have a private meeting and he didn’t want to be late. Pushing through the doors to their private tea room he closed them behind him before sitting with them. They made small talk and one asked to see his gasmask. The pair began drawing a beautiful tapestry on his gasmask. He only smiled as the pair amused themselves with the project. It was after they handed it back that they gave him the news that he’d come to dread.


4 months later
Alexei had watched the idiotic among the Family drag it into the mire as he tried his best to guide them to redemption. It wasn’t until a few days ago when he’d found the elder sons of the Morgans consuming their own mothers flesh that he came to the decision. Finding out the true reason for the twins untimely death had only furthered his resolve.

Now he found himself in the clothes he’d worn the day of that meeting with his gas mask hanging around his neck sitting in front of the fire. The manor had been ruined and now the center of what had been the foyer was a large fire that most of the Family members sat beside to keep warm. None of them thought to question Alexei sliding his gas mask over his face and pulling the straps to keep it in position. Nor did they react to him tossing a handful of some form of powder into the fire.

It was a half hour later that most of them found themselves feeling slightly off, kind of sluggish and the world seemed a different hue. The one closest to Alexei looked over to see the man’s mask seemingly melting as the fire reflected in the glass over his eyes. The Obrez that Alexei pointed at the man as he stood and turned fully to the man went unnoticed until it’s muzzle flash reflected sharply in his mask’s lenses.

As the body fell back with a large hole through the chest Alexei lifted his AK as he holstered the pistol and started firing into the assembled. They couldn’t even hold their weapons as he began the slaughter. Only a handful of minutes lay between the start and him entering the corridor filled with concerned servants. They ran as they saw him as only a few had seen the man since coming here. Alexei the enforcer, the hand of the Family..the demon of Morgan House.

Death stopped as he had been moving through the area, stopping to deal with something in the house. An odd feeling that had emanated from it for months now. The sight of Alexei, gunfire reflecting off his masks lenses oddly mesmerizing in the moment as something else worked in the manor.

He was broken from his revery as Alexei moved away, and he found himself following. In truth Death knew this manor well, knew the man he was watching well. He’d seen the aftermath of his work before. Now though he moved with aggression towards a room that had previously only brought him happiness.

Slamming the doors open he saw the elder sons sitting at their table unaware of the gunfire. The sudden disturbance and Alexei’s gun made them stand. He tossed the AK onto the nearby bed as he retrieved the swagger stick the sisters had given him that day, the thing that they had asked he protect even as he carried out his task. The first of the sons charged him, a hooligans play with a feint to the right. The blow caught him in the side of the head regardless and his unconscious form crumpled to the ground as it flung itself past Alexei.

The other son was more dangerous Alexei knew. Twirling the swagger stick in his hand the two circled each other. The sixteen year old made the first move flipping out a switchblade as he went. The blade caught Alexei’s arm before a blow to the hand sent it flying across the room. A blow to the stomach was the follow up that Alexei used to drive the son to the ground before circling him. The order to get up was obeyed and the son made another attempt.

Alexei ducked the fist and slid himself to the right before the son could counter attack. Another failed swing towards Alexei’s arm was rewarded with a strike to the side of the head before the son swept Alexei’s legs out from underneath him. Alexei hit the ground and felt the son immediately grab the swagger stick and try to force it down over Alexei’s neck.

Alexei had to give it to the kid, he knew what he was doing. However brute force was occasionally greater than skill. Alexei pushed the son off of him to the side and kipped up to his feet. The son tried for a third attempt at fighting Alexei but found the end of the stick hitting him square in the forehead with enough force to send him backwards and render him unconscious.

From there Alexei put the stick in his bag, the hard part being done with. Retrieving his AK he looked at the two unconscious individuals and contemplated mercy for a moment. The thoughts were pushed to the side as he recalled what he’d found out. Looking at the ruined state of the room, and by extension the manor’s entirety, Alexei remembered that the two had orchestrated the event that had led to this. Even so he chose efficiency over making them suffer as it’s what he would have wanted were the situations reversed.

Of course the rest of the Family that wasn’t here would follow Alexei. He had told the sisters as much during their meeting. Stepping over the threshold of the manor he knew he wouldn’t find peace. Not after this. The nice clothes he had worn were now stored in his bag and he wore the jacket and jeans he’d been found in. He was back to the wildman as the sisters had called him. Somehow he knew it was always going to be like this, little time for peace in this new world...



RedVulnus

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Time: 1928 A.D.  120 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Salazar
_____________________________________________________________________________
Salazar walked through the hallways of the building in a slight panic. If he planned to go through with the plan he had to be quick about this next part. The two guards at the end of the hallway patted him down before letting him through. After passing the threshold into the next room he excused himself to the bathroom.

Pushing through the door he let out a nervous sigh. Searching the room quickly he found the revolver he’d been left by his Order. Checking the cylinder to find it fully loaded he slid the weapon into the hidden holster in his vest before stepping back out. If it hadn’t been for his training he was certain he’d have vomited.

Stepping through another doorway he took a breath to steady himself. As he did so he cracked a smile at the oddity of his situation, breaking one Omerta as he kept another. He heard the violins coming from the Don’s record player as he stepped in front of the desk.

He doubted he would have made it this far into the mafia if his Order hadn’t pulled some strings. As the chair began to turn he reached a hand into his vest. And felt a pang of shock as he saw the Don’s son sitting in the chair. The kid smiled as he said “Forse questo potrebbe essere andato diversamente. Hai avuto una tale promessa, un peccato che devi morire per questo tradimento.“ (Perhaps this could have gone differently. You had such a promise, a pity that you must die for this betrayal.)

 The ferocious smile on his face caused Salazar to pull his revolver and fire a round through the man’s throat. But...he swore he had heard two gunshots in that moment, and a gun sat in the man’s hand. Shaking it off he turned towards the door as he heard the commotion of men coming for him.

The guards that had checked him for a weapon rushed in to receive a pair of shots that put them down. Tossing a look at the dead son of the Don Salazar felt his heart drop. His wife, his two children. If they knew that he was an enemy, worse if they knew he had broken the Omerta…

Picking up the Chicago typewriter that one of the gangsters had dropped he started for the door before catching himself. If he was known now he may as well die bearing the mark of his order. The symbol was a cross of some kind painted in orange with silver trimming. In his case the mark was a templars cross as was the standard of those in the Order that worked in the US.

Attaching the pin to his collar Salazar began walking for the exit. The two vehicles outside had unloaded their men all of whom assumed that he had been taken care of. As he walked towards them leveling his weapon several of them let out a cry of panicked fear. Before any had the thought to scramble for cover he had killed half their number. A round tore through his chest as he walked forward undaunted, the wound having no effect.
The screams of the men sounded like a symphony to him as he slaughtered them. The last few had made an attempt to run away but had received a spray of gunfire for the trouble. Stepping into one of the cars he started for his home.

When he got there he saw the door kicked open. Running into the house he saw two men searching it. Enforcers as he had been, as he was. Firing a pair of shots from the revolver he still carried the men were sent to the reaper as he went to through the house shouting. When he did find them they screamed until he ran.

A few hours later he had caught sight of himself in the reflection of a puddle. A gunshot wound through the right eye. He’d checked his pulse to find nothing. Sliding down the wall he had been leaning against he sat on the ground and stared at his hands. Reaching a hand into his vest he found his revolver and opened the cylinder. One round left.

Tucking the weapon under his chin he sighed. He was already dead, but this seemed oddly appropriate. The police reports indicated that he had comitted suicide, no apparent reason and the only wound a round fired from a gun tucked underneath his chin.

Of course he woke up in a dark room sitting across from a man dressed as a plague doctor. Closing the folder in his hands the doctor looked at him “I have an offer for you. One I doubt you could refuse given your principles.”

A few minutes later and Salazar was a name none would hear in relation to himself for some time. Shrouded in magic and carrying an unsettling presence he was something else. A man of principle, one whose circumstances were quite odd, was now a spirit of Death. The deal that he had been offered was one that he found he had to accept after all.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 02:17:14 am by RedVulnus »

Chaosvolt

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Timeline: 4 and a half years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Helen McKinnon, Thomas McKinnon, Sister Alexandra, Brother Toshiro.



Quote
Sometimes when following The Path to Power, the road narrows. No longer can you walk side by side with your kindred. If you rush ahead, you risk being stabbed in the back. If you fall behind to allow others forward, they may leave you behind before the road once again allows you to walk together. Ask yourself, can you trust those you walk beside, or should you push them off the Path?
- Excerpt from The Sanguine Codex

There was an old mining town, long-abandoned and allowed to fall into decay. The last few determined inhabitants had, decades ago, either passed away or moved out. Far from the nearby small towns, only the occasional lost tourist or the desperate homeless passed through here.

Or so it would seem. Now, these structures were inhabited, old root cellars and tunnels used to hide away signs of activity. Rumors of hauntings and strange goings-on now surrounded this place, dismissed by the sheriff as either hearsay or more likely the place being used by a drug ring. But leads went nowhere, superstition and more pressing concerns delaying a detailed investigation. One attempt to use the place as part of a smuggling operation had indeed occurred, just over a year ago. None of the smugglers were ever seen again.

"I'm certain that you will have no trouble, young one. This gift will be adequate insurance against any threat." spoke a middle-aged man in a strange, dark red robe. At his side was a man in a duster and broad hat, a patch sewn onto the breast pocket displaying the image of some sort of bird. The man they were speaking to, one of several in more modern attire, simply regarded the worn-down looking hatchet with curiosity, noting the engraved runes and the cloth wrapping the handle had, the fabric a dull brown as though dyed with ochre. Or more likely, some other pigment made with dried blood.

"Well then. We shall see how well they like a little hot lead to go with this." remarked the man holding the axe. "Pleasure doing business with you." he added, before they turned and exited what used to be a company store. They were unaware, as they approached the row of trucks and motorcycles parked outside, how close their pursuers were.

Across the street, a woman in a mask and cloak, carrying an odd crossbow, watched the people exiting the building. Others were in position nearby, and the first thing the group saw was a faint glow from a figure stepping out of the run-down building's doorway. Faint pinpricks of light from the eyeholes of a masked man, and the slightly brighter glow emanating from a warhammer. They barely had time to reach for their weapons when, from three different directions, brilliant flashes of light and thunderous booms announced the attack, cutting the evening's fading light.

"Fuck! We've been ha-" a man shouted to fall on deaf ears, blindly yanking a pistol out of his waistband only for a bolt of green light to rip through his chest, fired from the rooftop. Already they were in a mad scramble to rush for cover, draw weapons, and fire in any direction that might stave off the assault. They'd expected cops, not this.

The man with the hatchet raised it overhead, the only one with any sort of augmentation affording him protection from the sudden blinding light. His eyes looked pitch-black, shielded by a protective lenses CBM. He mainly used it when adding a personal touch to the vehicles his associates sometimes took in to work on, just one of many things they dabbled in. And to think, that they'd be dealing in weird cultist books and supernatural artifacts.

He was ignorant of what the now-glowing axe actually did. They merely told him how to activate it, and that it'd give him the power needed to fend off whoever they suspected tailed them to the ghost town. Indeed, he could see about half a dozen masked men and woman who halted when he ran with it held high, thinking he might scare them off. "Hah, get fucked you pi-"

He'd made it in between his favorite old muscle car and the bike one of his associates rode in on, when the hatchet exploded with a wave of force and heat in his hand. And with it, a sickening spray of blood and gore painted vehicles that were instantly reduced to mangled, burning heaps of metal. Far more burnt, foul-smelling blood than any human would have in them, in truth the axe left a spray of it from who-knows-what in its wake when set off. The weapon itself fell to the ground where he'd been standing, into a small crater blasted in the weathered old pavement.

The instant this grisly scene finished unfolding, the stunned and horrified gangsters found themselves assailed anew by the masked figures. One had been close to the blast and was sprawled out on the ground, screaming and crying. The other three whirled about and fired frantically, outnumbered two-to-one by their attackers. In mere seconds a glowing white-hot blade cleaved one in half, a hammer staving in the head of the second. A single gunshot was all the last man could manage, seeing the charging man in cloak and mask shrug off the bullet to the chest before he was tripped and pounded into a mangled corpse.

The only survivor of the group watched, now half-conscious, as a strange glow surrounded the cloak the wounded assailant wore. Before he lost consciousness, he heard the man, with a painted blue mask and the barest hint of some eastern accent. "Sister Alexandra, stabilize that one. Question him when he comes to. Thane Thomas, if you would secure the area with the rest of the support? Thane Helen and the others, follow my lead..."



The shop had storage in a basement of sorts, and careful work had been expended in carving out a tunnel connecting it to another adjacent basement, and through that connected to old sewers, the barest beginning of a subway, even a few half-collapsed tunnels of the old mine. From there they might be able to lose the hunters. But they had no intention of doing so. No, if they were simply eluded until they gave up, they'd come back again, and this place would cease to be a safe haven.

Two of the hunters already sought the basement they had passed through, and four had found the basement in the store. The former happened upon two novice blood mages who'd been left behind to guard the entrance as the others retreated into the tunnels. One, a burly man in a dark, faded suit of leather armor, etched in a pattern resembling scales, and a silver dagger in his hand. The other was a woman in robes, wielding a simple axe. Not one of the veinreavers, but a common woodcutting axe.

They were expecting the hunters that rushed down the stairs, the hammer-wielding woman leaping over a spray of vile hissing liquid that the man conjured up, wearing on the stairs. The other one, a man wielding one of their glowing broadswords, instead mantled over the stair's railing to drop down and avoid it. In an instant the man in the armor lunged at the woman who'd charged ahead, a deft jab of his dagger avoided and the hammer brought down to shatter his collarbone. He seemed to continue in a berserk frenzy despite this, expecting the axe-bearing woman to come to his aid while the other man was still catching up. Instead she charged at the man with the sword, whose searing blade deftly cleaved through the axe handle and most of her hand in one blow.

The woman with the hammer had ducked a wild left-handed haymaker, only for a hard kick to shatter the blood mage's knee, dropping him and leaving him open to a strike that dashed his brains out over the basement floor. The older man deactivated his sword before heading over to her. "Still in one piece, Thane?" he asked.

The woman, a certain redhead who seven years ago inherited the title of Thane from her mother, simply nodded. "I'm fine, Acolyte." she said. The older man was one of the founders, an Acolyte of The Knights-Errant of Christ, and the father of a childhood friend of hers. One who so far mainly attended to healing back home in between training sessions. Not yet ready.

Helen and Acolyte Johan were soon joined by Toshiro in his blue mask, and three others. "Already falling back to the tunnels. They aren't going to flee for long before bloodlust goads them into a counterattack. Let's go." Toshiro directed. Into the tunnels they went. The blood mages had the advantage of knowing the winding, interconnected tunnels they'd developed into a hideout for the last few years. The mage hunters had the advantage of masksight, peering through old brick, stone, and dirt. Tracking prey, only a few of which had faced hunters before.



Elsewhere, a group of six men and women wielding strange crossbows surrounded the restrained, injured man who survived the initial assault. Sister Alexandra and Thomas McKinnon were among those interrogating him. "You'll live. Now, what were you here for?" the aging man asked, and the young man looked up fearfully at them.

"F-fuck, you aren't cops after all...look, we were just here to offload a book these creeps wanted. What the hell HAPPENED to D-danny? And his ride. And my b-bike..." he stammered out nervously, and Alexandra sighed a bit. "You were used. They didn't tell you to throw the axe, did they?" she said, and the man went a bit pale. "...they fucked us. Sons o' bitches..."

"Alright. Danny picked up some weird cult fuckboy book during one of this business deals, some creep figured out we had it and arranged a meet-and-greet with these assholes." he explained. "Do you recall the title of the book?"

"Mastering the Unknown or something?" At that, the entire group visibly tensed up, making the practically teenage man flinch in fear. "To Master the Unknown. Hard to get ones hands on a good copy of it. So we're on the right track. They're snatching up any copy they can find, comparing versions for some plan of theirs."

"And I'm a fuckin' loose end." he grumbled, wincing at the pain that was still coursing through his body. One of them had forced him to drink a strange, sweet-tasting liquid, and then draped one of their cloaks around him. That was when the bleeding stopped, and the agony started.

One of the others stepped up. "Only one of their cars is still working." At this, Alexandra nodded. "Well then. When we're finished here, we will let you go on one condition. Tell your fellows of the betrayal you suffered. But say nothing of us. Explain that any who speak of The Path to Power, talk of Blood Sacrament or claim to represent the Ordos Sanguine, are not be trusted." she explained.

"G-got it. I didn't want any part of this shit. Far as I'm concerned, the others died because these assholes fucked us. Going into this ghost town was a bad idea from the start..."



Under the tunnels, the sanguinists were waiting and preparing themselves, making their stands in an area where the tunnels converged into a vital part of the network of minecart tracks, and a little deeper was a dead end the last few prepared to defend. "They'll be able to see through the walls. Expect them to flank the whole lot and tear them to pieces." remarked the one in the long coat, prompting a simple retort. "And expend effort doing so."

Already they could hear the chanting. Distant, faint, but all around half a dozen voices could be heard, closing in and letting the words echo through the old mine. "Ecce, sanguinem magum! Impium profligatum! Subire mortem tuam, sub malleo deorum!" Behold, blood mage! Godless profligate! Submit to your death, under the hammer of the gods! The man in the coat grimaced a bit, knowing the others were almost certainly on the verge of panic now. "If even one of their old blood is among them, the prey will be a hard fight."

The chanting was soon drowned out in a grand cacophony. Old stolen firearms firing wildly, the blast of a tossed veinreaver that Helen and Johan swiftly evaded, and from all the directions the thunder of their hammers. Most tried to look away, but again and again the brilliant light filled the mines. None of them dared use scavenged masks, seeing it as a symbol of their enemy. Some had welding goggles and other makeshift means of protecting from the flashes, and one robed man with a staff stood unfazed by the light, letting magic ward his eyes and ears.

For most of the blood mages, they had no idea what to expect, no experience. Blades and hammers tearing through nearly a dozen in seconds. Helen was among them, easily turning aside a machete and driving one woman to the ground. A sweeping tongue of flame engulfed the dead and dying, filling the tunnel with choking smoke and driving the hunters back. "Now! Purge them!" cried the man wielding the staff of hellfire, bolstering the confidence of those remaining. Then something lunged at him through the inferno, flames seeming to part as Toshiro rushed the mage. In one hand, a hammer crashed through the mage's guard and broke his stave in half, and in the other Toshiro held a short knife, plunged into the sanguinist's throat.

In the dead end, the man in coat and hat calmly tied a blindfold around his eyes, drawing a broadsword. It resembled the same that a few mage hunters carried, decorations and holy symbols stripped off or marred. The touch of blood magic had corrupted it, and it glowed with malevolent light as he turned to head down the tunnel. "What are you doing?" the remaining experienced Magus asked. "Hunting some wolves."

The others were being driven back, prepared to backpedal down the tunnel as Helen and the others forced their way across burning bodies, when a flash of dark red darted past them. In an instant, the other swordsman of the six found himself pushed back, narrowly avoiding being ran through. "L-laniu-" he cried out, but the momentary clash of blades ended via a simple zip gun in the man's off hand, jabbed hard into the mage hunter's chin and fired point-blank. Regenerate from that, the man in the duster thought.

Immediately the others moved to flank him, Helen watching warily as Johan and Toshiro took the lead in circling the man. A Sanguine Shrike, of course one of them would be here. He seemed undeterred by his self-inflicted blindness, nor the ringing in his ears caused by the hammers resounding around him. He seemed to fight by scent and instinct, and he had them on the defensive soon enough.

Of the five, only three at a time could really harry him much at all. He quickly discerned that the two who pressed the advance hard and led the attacks were the most experienced. Founders, possibly. A challenge he relished. Of the remaining three, one was a mere girl of little concern to him, while the remaining man and woman each seemed reasonably competent. The other woman seemed especially aggressive for a hunter.

In a moment he'd slipped out of their grasp, no longer flanked and with Johan in between him and the other four. Don't stay flanked, and kill the swordsmen first, he thought. A hard knee to the groin and a careful parry, and Johan's hand was lopped clean off by the corrupted blade. He knew that the oldest of the four, the man in the blue mask, would be on him in a split-second. Path of the Sun, he suspected. Just end this one while he's disarmed, and...

Two had caught up. Toshiro, as expected. And Helen. No matter, he was expecting whoever followed in Toshiro's wake would try to trip him up. Part of him hoped he could read their actions so well because he was the superior fighter, augmented by inhuman gifts. But he suspected the truth was merely how predictable hunters often were. Just a quick turn of the blade and catch a would-be kick with lethal steel, then finish what you started.

The dark metal of the blade skidded off the steel langets of a warhammer, swung low to drop his leg out from under him. That bitch! he thought. She was faster than expected, attacking with renewed aggression and willing to make an attack that was much less efficient than a quick kick, if the opening seemed right. Toshiro was already upon him in an instant, his head driven back by a hard strike that snapped his neck.



The remaining magus could sense what had happened. There were indeed at least two experienced hunters sent here. Mere months ago he'd been to another hideout that suffered a raid by a party of the same size, and it went fine. They lost many of the novices and neophytes, but every last hunter paid the price. This time was different. When he saw the approaching pinpricks of red eyeholes down the tunnel, he plunged his silver athame into the side of his neck, ripping it open. Not enough of us left to take any more with me, he thought. Instead they'd want information that would endanger the others. Consider this your one favor, brethren.

There were four left, and immediately they dropped their weapons and knelt. They saw five come in, one clutching his tightly-wrapped limb, now missing his right hand. Got one at least, though none of the neophyte sanguinists had any idea how many hunters to expect.

They were rounded up, subdued, and questioned. Helen watched as one of the other hunters examined the sword recovered from the Shrike, along with checking on Johan's injury. "Stump may never heal up properly, damn sword seems to have a curse built into it." one of the others remarked.

Toshiro's own examination of the sword worried him. The Dividing Blade. That was the very first thing that came to mind when he gave it a more in-depth look. It was a deliberate conversion of a holy sword, one with distressing similarities to the blade that once served as the driving wedge that led to The Schism. It was different though. Its properties weaker and subdued. It fed solely off blood essence to produce a carefully-crafted foil to the properties of its counterpart, without a spirit bound to it for greater power. Somehow, Toshiro suspected, the Sanguine Order had access to some fragment of knowledge gleaned from The Shadow of Arcana, and they exploited it.

Blood essence, tools of their bloody trade, books and such were confiscated. Among them was the copy of To Master the Unknown they found, to be burnt with all the copies of Sanguine Codex they found. The sanguine artifacts, save the corrupted blade they intended to study, were hastily dismantled and consecrated. What they didn't get was any useful information from the sanguinists. They already knew that the Sanguine Order was seeking a complete understanding of the book, for some sort of Sacrament that might well severely disrupt The Veil if carried out. What they wanted was an understanding of how complete that collection was, concrete locations of other sanguine hideouts, movement patterns and contacts. Only the two Magis knew this.

"Brother Toshiro, Acolyte Johan. News from the support element. Father says the one boy they subdued has been cooperative and willing to do their part, now that they've seen firsthand what they were dealing with. No evidence of actual rogue arcanists, just some street toughs who got their hands on something they shouldn't have." Helen said after returning from a ventilation shaft, to get a sightly better radio signal. Some modern comforts were essential, even in the life of a mage hunter.

"Well, if there are no objections then bid the boy to go and sin no more." the man in mail and cloak answered, clutching his broadsword in his left hand. "And the sanguinists?" Helen asked. She knew the answer. They all did, and it was made clear when Johan calmly activated his incorruptible sword, and with a swipe of white-hot glowing steel, beheaded one of the blood mages.

"Subire mortem tuam, sub malleo deorum..."
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 03:31:06 pm by Chaosvolt »

 

NOCTIFER IS A FAGGOT