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Messages - RedVulnus

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General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« on: July 18, 2021, 11:26:25 pm »
don't mind me, cleaning the cobwebs

General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« on: April 04, 2021, 11:51:33 pm »
zzzzz*snore* wha? whose been knocking on the crypts again?

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: March 25, 2021, 03:21:30 pm »
Sokolov walked with a dozen loyal couriers. They weren’t loyal to the company nor Alice, but to the middle aged russian that had given them their new life. His old contacts from his past life had left him with a catalogue of locations and now he’d made his way to one of them. His men followed him into the building and found themselves in an old house, a picturesque living situation for a family of five underneath all the damage.

Walking to the living room Sokolov held his hand out and waited. After a moment one of the men put the sledgehammer in his hands. Twenty minutes later and the men, Sokolov’s Sparrows, pulled the wooden crate free of what remained of the concrete. After a nod from their leader the men opened it and stared at the contents in surprise. Pulling out one of the rifles the first man examined the AK, thankful for his gloves so the old wood didn’t leave splinters. “Soviet?”

Sokolov nodded as he lit his cigarette and walked “Dah, Soviet era. Remnants from ancient plans made by men long dead. Now they will serve us as they once served the men of the red star.”

Carrying the crate out one of the men pointed out the gear needed to be fixed. Sokolov shrugged as he said “That will be taken care of in time. First we get the rest and then we go to the Church for Agmen’s blessing.”

Within the next three hours the men had crates of AKs, Dragunovs, PKMs, SKSs, and a crate of RPG launchers and a large supply of attachments for the guns. From there they made their drive towards the church. Sokolov sat and smoked, smiling as he put together the pieces of his plan. He’d protect his other self’s daughter, and from there he’d do what he could to make things better.

The pair of old military trucks pulled up to the church and stopped. Their thirteen passengers jumped out wearing tan combat gear, a rifle hanging from each man’s sling. Two of them approached the church entrance as the others pulled the cloth off of the back of the trucks revealing the old crates. Sokolov put his cigarette out as he neared the door of the church. He wanted to make a good first impression after all.

The nun that came out of the church wasn’t quite what he’d expected. She wore a habit like those he’d grown up around but hers was stained with grease and machine oil. A belt of tools wrapped around her waist and a bandoleer that looped over her shoulder held parts for machines that she’d been charged to care for. Giving Sokolov a smile she asked “What brings you to the church of Agmen?”

Sokolov returned the smile as he said “I need my weapons blessed, and repaired if possible. I also come with gifts for the church.” As he says this two of his men bring a crate of the old AKs up behind them.

The nun stared for a moment before saying “Oh my. I think I need to go find someone more important than myself to handle this.”

A few minutes later and a trio of nuns were following a man out to the truck. He rushed over and stared at the array of crates as one of Sokolovs men said “We got ten crates of AKs, packed em tight so we got about fifteen per crate. Two crates Dragunovs, three crates PKMs, five  crates SKSs. I’d say we could give the church a crate of AKs, one crate of SKSs, and three Dragunovs and PKMs.”

Sokolov looked at the man, whom he presumed to be a bishop of some sort, and said “I assume the nun told you what I want. My friend just told you what I have to offer.” Picking up one of the old AKs Sokolov examined it “They could function with little work I imagine, but I want to be sure. I know your people value these things as well. I also have offer but that would be for higher ups of the church. For now I assume you can make decision on repairing my weapons.”

After some discussion the Sparrows moved the crates into the church proper and left them for repair. As they walked back to the trucks Sokolov gave out the orders “We’ll start getting questions, unhappy comments, all of it. I want the rest of the postal service moving faster than normal, three day trips are two day right now. I want the Sparrows to split up, take some bikes out and get in touch with some of our friends. Alice has been absorbed in her project too much, and right now we need to keep an eye on the new arrivals. I don’t like hearing my mail trucks are getting pulled over by armored humvees.”

One of the Sparrows asked “And what about our other problem? The fucking hordes of zombies we keep dodging?”

Sokolov shook his head “Solution is in church right now, we’ll do our best to deal with that once we have gear for it.”

The men voiced understanding as they mounted the trucks. The sun was setting as they drove out of Walkerville and back to the Postal Station.  Sokolov had a feeling something was coming and he wanted to be prepared.

Meanwhile three dirt bikes tore through the abandoned highway. The bikes were custom jobs, not the standardized bikes the postal service issued. The rider in the back pulled the Uzi from his jacket and fired at the sprinting zombies chasing them. “One. Two. THREE!” he said as he took out the closest of the zombies.

The trio were in charge of getting a special package back to Walkerville. The run had been fine until they’d run into a horde that had migrated ahead of schedule. “You know I thought the crews were trying to keep this one corralled in that old city a few miles north!”

The second biker tossed a pipe bomb over his shoulder as he responded “Crew must have bit the dust then cause these fuckers sure are hungry!”

The explosion had taken care of a few but the biker bringing up the rear still fired on target after target. As he reloaded the Uzi he added “Well I don’t exactly care about the crew right now. I care about us getting back home with all our limbs!”

The lead turned them off the highway and tossed a bit of bait off to the side as he told them “Shut up you two! We’re Sparrows, we’re gonna make it just fine!”

Thankfully most of the zombies ran after the bait as the trio tore down the road and out into the countryside. The few that were left the man in the rear took out with his Uzi as the lead took them onto a trail in the woods the Sparrows had mapped out and rigged with a few surprises for anyone following them. The trio rode fast through it and out the other side to find more zombies waiting. Coming to a halt they looked at each other. “Guess it’s gotta be the hard way then.”

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: November 03, 2020, 01:04:53 am »
The trio of armed humvees continued to creep forward with the armored plates covering the windows. The drivers saw the terrain ahead through their helmets visors connected to the armored cameras on the hood. The gunners wore armor so heavy it required the exoskeletons they wore to be able to stand and maneuver the guns.

The humvees were numbered 11, 12, and 13. The Wolves may have borrowed the cars but they came with their own operators. It was tradition among the Bears, who were the New Vermont Military’s armored vehicle operators and heavy infantry, for the gunner and driver to name their vehicle which they would crew together until joint promotion or the vehicle was rendered permanently non functional. 11 was named Rover, 12 was Shock, and 13 was Lucky.

Lucky’s gunner was Akuma, her driver was Tenshi. As they creeped over the terrain Tenshi heard Akuma over the headset “Suppressing.” in response to the calls of ‘bounding!’ from the Wolves. She was also acutely aware of the rifle rounds pinging off the armor plating of the humvee. The low growl of the engine punctuated by the pinging and the ‘thud thud thud’ of the machine gun up top filled her ears.

She was about to push forward to the next position so they could continue to cover the wolves when she heard Akuma scream.Switching the visor off Tenshi turned to see Akuma trying to pull his helmet off. “Shit fucking shit fuck!” Akuma yelled as he ripped the bullet out of the visor of his helmet as Tenshi started checking his vitals.

“Suit says you're good, maybe a concussion Akuma.” Tenshi hesitated a moment as she read the vital signs a bit better “Green light?”

Akuma pushed himself back to his feet as he said “Green light, I’m still good Tenshi.” before standing back up and opening fire with the machine gun again. The staccato of gunfire blurred as Akuma pulled the trigger and didn’t let go as Tenshi rushed to get them caught up with the others.

Switching to the auxiliary Akuma poured high explosive grenades into the building’s third floor silencing the DSHK that had been firing on the infantry.  A few minutes later and the infantry were in.

Gambler was in the lead with a custom made UMP chambered in 5.45.  The exosuit he was wearing was designed to be light, offering little additional protection to his vest, but aided in movement and weapon handling. Even with the suit he either fired in short bursts or single shots as he moved through the building.

The majority of these raiders were ill equipped to handle the co-ordinated teams pushing through the building.As Alpha team pushed into the second floor ‘public’ area, an old room where the former tenants of the building could congregate for social events, they opened fire on a group of raiders that was running from Bravo team.

The raider in the lead managed to get the words “In front!” out before a spray of .45 acp tore into his unarmored chest. The next few were still surprised by the men now in front of them and failed to respond when more gunfire ripped through them. The rest managed a few shots before the expert soldiers slaughtered them. Gambler reloaded as he looked to Bravo’s leader and said “Good work Joker, time for the last floor.”

Joker shrugged as the pair walked together towards the next stairwell. “Aye but that’s assuming Akuma leaves a third floor for us to clear. They shot him in the visor and unlike you if it had gone through he wouldn’t have gotten back up. Think they might have poked the bear.”

Climbing the stairs they found what they’d expected. The third floor had been mostly decimated by gunfire. Gambler and Joker both walked through the wrecked third floor executing any surviving raiders. The voice of Akuma came over the radio “Lucky 13 here, you boys done inside?”

Joker gave Gambler a nod and he said “Yeah, they’re all dead.”

Elsewhere TJ and Drifter walked through the bazaar looking at differing items and shops. TJ was rather excited to be looking around as Drifter quietly watched the crowds. He recognized the old troublemakers, who for the most part were still making trouble, and some other old faces from when he left.

He wasn’t surprised to hear Heinric’s voice as his friend said “I got the package you left me. It’s safe.”

Drifter looked over his shoulder to see TJ talking with one of the merchants, doing a surprisingly good job of haggling. “And the other thing we’ve talked about?”

“Mila is agreeable so long as she’s not at the bottom of the ladder. I know where to procure some of the hardware we’ll need. But building the ‘crawler’ is going to take more man power and resources then I know how to get.”

“I don’t care Heinric. We’ll find a way. For now we’ll get the armor, vehicles, and weapons together. Tomorrow the painful part begins.” Drifter said and started to walk.

In truth Drifter didn’t know quite what they’d be doing. But what he’d recovered, the data specifically, was something he could finally use to start trying to build something. The data specified a successful way to connect the human brain to an advanced computer system. Whoever had built 23 had been a madman.

He’d be the first subject of it’s new implementation. But first he’d finish his shopping trip with TJ. Retrieving his wallet Drifter handed the merchant TJ had been haggling with his money and the pair went to the next stall.

Two hours later

Drifter walked into the building that Heinric and his men lived in. A three story affair with a basement the front room of which acted as a bar for the now former mercenaries. It was the basement where Heinric’s men had assembled the necessary facility and gear. As he entered Drifter removed his right forearm and disconnected Ava from his earpiece. A robotic body was being constructed for her.

Laying down on the table he felt the doctor strap him down and attach several devices to him. The automatic surgery machines in the room had been programmed appropriately, and the specialty gear that was required for the process was ready to go. Closing his eyes Drifter let the world fade as the anesthetics kicked in.

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: September 06, 2020, 03:01:25 pm »
The convoy of supply vehicles came to a slow halt in front of the trio of armed humvees that were blocking the road. The misling in charge grumbled as a man wearing a black uniform with a wolf skull emblem on the right shoulder walked from the roadblock with a team of four following him. As he approached the window the Team Leader said “Hello citizen. We’re going to search these vehicles for a piece of property that was lost by our organization. Compliance is compulsory.”

As he said that last sentence the machine gunner of the center humvee racked the browning fifty caliber and eyed the convoy. Grabbing his radio the head of the convoy ordered the others to let them search through the salvage and take what they wanted. No point in anyone dying.

The retrieval team searched the convoy for the parts that had been stolen from them. When they came up empty handed the Team Lead waved the humvees out of the way. “Move along citizen.”

Once the convoy was out of sight the TL grabbed his radio “Retrieval Team Alpha to Papa Bear, negative on convoy.” The man on the other end barked a few orders and reminded the TL what was at stake here “Understood sir. And if the unit is in use?” Another set of garbled transmissions “Understood.”

Setting the radio back in the humvee and motioned his second over. “If someone’s installed the unit execute them and retrieve the parts that were stolen. Continue halting the convoys to see if the thief is with them, the tracker lost him in this area. Keep the locals complacent, don’t piss them off too much.”

A large truck rolled up and began collecting the men that wouldn’t fit in the trio of humvees. As the last man entered he shoved a civilian out of the truck towards the TL. Grabbing him the TL positioned him beside the road. “I’m just doing my job, I hope you know that. I’d have let you go if the boss hadn’t given the order.”

The man, his head still covered by the burlap bag, shook his head as he said “You always were a good dog Gambler.”

Gambler pulled his pistol as he said “Strength through order, order through obedience. We brought order to that hell hole in New Vermont. All your freedom fighters ever did was cause a lot more suffering. Or did we forget which side planted that IED in New Port.”

The gunshot echoed over the terrain as Gambler tossed an ace of spades onto the body and a piece of paper. ‘Help the thief, die like his friend’ with a drawing of a man in an altyn helmet. As he mounted the humvee his second asked how it felt to kill another of his former brothers. “Same as the last. I don’t feel shit. Just following my orders, waiting for that helicopter ride back home.”

Closing his eyes Gambler drifted off to sleep. His mind wandered through the decades of his life for a time. The wars he’d been involved in, the powers he’d helped install and take down. Then the amulet he wore faintly glowed as his mind settled on his old home and he began to dream.

Elsewhere a pair of men watched Walkerville hidden in the trees. The cloaks they wore made them invisible to the human eye, their armor eliminated the noise they made, and their radios kept their words strictly between the pair. The time ticked by as they drank water and nutrient paste through their armor’s feeding systems.

Cicada sighed to himself as he watched the place bustle with activity. He remembered his time as a mechanic himself, back before he’d moved to New Vermont for it’s promise of a peaceful life. Now he worked as a tracker, hunting men for the promise of supplies or money. He wished his son hadn’t followed him into the business, but at least they were together in it. And they’d tracked the thief here, now to wait for him to show himself.

Meanwhile The mobile home turned mobile lab was still trundling along as Red joined Aleksander in the cab. It had been an hour and twenty minutes to reconstruct his body and now he sat in his new clothes staring at his face in the mirror. “Goddamn, never thought I’d see it again.”

Aleksander looked at Red from the corner of his eye. After a moment he shrugged “Glad you like my work. Had a couple photos to work with.”

Red watched the road as they headed for Walkerville. Only a couple more hours and they’d be there, he’d get to see his daughter again. “I noticed the armory in this thing.” He said.

Aleksander looked at Red from the corner of his eye. Shifting his attention back to the road he said “Yeah, gotta keep it all with me just in case. Rifles, shotguns, grenades, RPGs, never know what you’ll need. Now get some rest, I’ll wake you up when we get close.””

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: August 25, 2020, 07:51:35 pm »
The walk back to his bike took a while. So Drifter retrieved one of his pistols and handed it to TJ “You do know how to use it right? Alice actually did drills with you?”

TJ took the gun and checked the chamber as they walked, followed by checking the magazine. Once he had finished making sure the weapon was in operational condition he slid it into a holster he’d sewn into his jacket. “Yes, and yes. I heard shouting, what were you two arguing about?”

Drifter glanced at TJ, saw the worried look on his face, and decided it was better that he not get between his overprotective adoptive sister and his boyfriend. “Nothing you need to know about. Just..look we’re gonna be in New Paris anyway but I gotta talk to a friend of mine there. Get something sorted.”

TJ nodded as he grabbed his own bike and they started away. Their helmets had a built in two way so they could hear each other. If he had to hazard a guess TJ figured Drifter forgot to switch his off as he said “Hey, I think we might have a bit of a code five. What do you mean..fine, I’ll drop it off at your room.”

A couple hours later and TJ followed Drifter down the streets of New Paris.They’d dropped off the bag at an old house that TJ was pretty sure hadn’t been lived in for at least a week. But now they were making their way to the market. “This place usually has a bit of everything, especially stuff you won’t find in Walkerville.” Drifter said as they walked.

TJ was about to ask just what the place had when they entered the merchant’s plaza. Everything wasn’t an understatement. Everything from weapons and armor to toys and parts was being sold by the various merchants. Drifter was about to tell TJ something when he noticed him walking around staring at everything. “Or just go walk around the bazaar, that works too. Totally can’t just direct you to the spot where stuff you’d be interested in is.” Drifter said to himself as he started to follow.

Meanwhile Heinrich adjusted the scope on the anti-material rifle he always kept with him. He’d noticed that it was firing a bit to the left of center while he’d been looking for a kidnapped child. Now she followed along with the wariness of someone past her years. His mind wandered for a moment to his time as a fifteen year old riding an old dirtbike and sneaking drinks from his parent’s liquor cabinet. Instead she checked the magazine of her pistol for the third time since they’d started their slow trek back towards New Paris.

Several hours later and Heinrich walked into the agreed meeting place. He felt the child stop and tug his arm as the men who’d hired him arrived. As he read her lips while she spoke silently Heinrich quietly pressed a button on his gauntlet. One of the men said something he didn’t really hear as he looked at her father. A deep shaky breath later and Heinrich managed to hear the man annoyedly say that he had the money for finding her.

Heinrich gave a signal to the woman that he’d brought with him for this job. Mila stepped into view with her AK held as it always was in her hands, sideways. The men all put their hands up as she raised an eyebrow at Heinrich, wondering why he’d given her the signal to step out of her concealed hideaway. His response was to grab the man who’d stood closest to him, the one who hired him, by the throat and lifting him off the ground. “Why did you hire me to find her?”

“Boss said she was special. That’s all I know swears it!” The man croaked. Heinrich looked over at the girl and she nodded to him. As he crushed the man’s windpipe Mila shot the other two in the throat. As he let the body fall to the ground he could already hear the police of New Paris rushing towards them. Pulling the man’s pistol from his coat Heinrich tossed it to the ground next to his body as Mila did the same with the other two. Both wore gloves that kept their fingerprints from being left behind.

Pressing the button on his gauntlet again Heinrich put his hands up as Mila let the AKS-74U drop on it’s sling. “HANDS UP!” the first of the cops shouted as they rounded the corner with their weapons up. Sighing the pair of cops lowered their guns as the one in charge asked “Heinrich..what happened?”

The men drew on him, he’d broken the one’s neck and Mila shot the other two before they could fire. The two cops gave each other a look before shrugging. They had enough to worry about. So with that Heinrich, Mila, and the girl started for Heinrich’s old home.

Pushing the door open Heinrich grabbed the bag waiting for him and set an envelope on the counter next to the door. From there the trio made their way to the Bunker. Heinrich’s base of operations for his band of mercenaries. He had business to take care of, including the induction of a new member.

Meanwhile back in Walkerville B-23 felt a subroutine activate. One that he’d shut down years ago since it had never had anything to work with anyway. He could feel his data and even his mind itself being pulled somewhere else, into another system.  Then for the first time in four years he managed to open his eyes.

He could feel the restraints holding him down too as he saw the man sitting beside him. He stood upon noticing B-23’s eyes open and said “Shit! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!”

Smiling the man started typing into a console as he said “I never thought it’d successfully pull your mind along with the data brother but here we are. Oh..oh right. You don’t remember me, but that’s okay.  You really weren’t supposed to, me and you were the first successful prototypes. B units that actually had functioning minds.”

Stepping away from the console he turned to look B-23 in the eyes “The machine is still reconstructing your body, making sure the right nerves are connected to each other around that metal skeleton of yours. That’s what the restraints are for, if you move it could connect the wrong ones to each other and then solidify the muscle, fat, and skin over everything. Then I’d have to start from scratch and that..that would hurt a lot for you. Oh...your voice box is finished, I’ll go ahead and activate that so you don’t have to sit there quietly.”

B-23 could feel it come ‘alive’ as he said “Who the absolute fuck are you and where are we?”

Aleksander smiled as he said “B-28, but you knew me as Aleks in another life. Before we were taken off the streets and used as guinea pigs.Before I uploaded the entirety of the B-series project into my mind so I could work on this little reunion. Do you..remember your name?”

23 shook his head as he said “No. They wiped that part of my memory in order to make me into a killing machine. Of course I broke out with some help, killed a few people, and daughter. I..remember her. I have to get back. She's trying to reactivate my old body.”

Aleksander shook his head “That’s just a robot now, it’ll..fuck! Where were you?”

23 told him he’d been in Walkerville in a basement for the past four years while she tried to rebuild him. Aleksander grabbed a pistol from the table and loaded it as he said “Right, we’re in my mobile lab so I can get us started in that direction. But if she turns your old body on it’ll probably start hunting someone. Probably the last person to piss you off since the programming will rationalize that as being a set target from the control system, aggression towards the target was how they tried to get us to kill without thinking.”

23 asked “And how long am I gonna be stuck on this table?”

Aleksander looked at him “Another hour, maybe two. Oh, your name was Isaac Ward but the old gang, god rest their souls, called you Mister Red. Now I’ll get us started toward Walkerville, hopefully we get there before your girl starts up that killer robot.”

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: March 22, 2020, 01:11:13 am »
As Drifter sat down in the booth at the bar TJ finished ordering their food and drinks.The pub hadn’t changed since he’d left a half year ago and neither had the clientele he noticed as he scanned the room. He recognized a few faces, namely the troublemakers that always frequented anywhere that sold or traded alcohol, but no one that he thought would cause him problems.

He was shaken from his observation by the feeling of TJ sliding into the booth next to him and leaning against his side. Quietly putting his arm around TJ Drifter enjoyed the quiet moment. For just a second the rest of the world faded away.

That too passed as their waitress brought their drinks and food a few seconds later. TJ handed her a coin before she started off towards another table and the two started to eat. A breakfast of steak and eggs with toast and sausage, TJ with an order of juice and Drifter with an irish coffee.

“So that was my trip, how were things here?” Drifter asked as he cut into the steak and took a bite. He was surprised at how good the steak tasted and took a moment to savor it.

Shrugging TJ finished his mouthful of egg and said “Same old same old. Alice never lets me do anything interesting anymore, just over see the workshops and then makes me check the post office every other day. She doesn’t even want me to go with the scavenging parties..”

Drifter didn’t say anything for a moment, taking a drink of his coffee, but he did notice TJ trailing off and his frustrated tone of voice. Of course he understood why Alice was a bit overbearing with TJ, the two had basically become brother and sister after all, but still it was odd just how overprotective she was.

“But I guess it’s not all bad, things are pretty safe around here. I get to check out all the newest stuff the engineers here make and try some of it out too. Sokolov even let me shoot the fifty cal converted AK he had specialty made for him.” TJ said in a not so successful attempt to sound cheerful.

“Sounds like fun. Tell you what though I’ll see if you can come with me once Alice and I talk about these parts she had me run to go get. A trip to New Paris at least.”: Drifter said, smiling at the look in TJ’s eyes in response.

“Alright, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to New Paris. Wonder how the place is doing.” TJ said before taking a bite of his steak. Drifter was still perplexed by the fact that TJ needed to eat. How TJ explained it was that his system took the food and converted it into mana that his body both needed and naturally produced. Still odd to think a skeleton needed to eat.

They finished their meal in relative silence and then decided to go for a walk while they waited for Alice to get back. As they left Drifter decided to ignore the whispered insults about TJ and himself as they walked by. He didn’t need another fight today.

Alice meanwhile took her leave and made the trek back to Walkerville. She watched birds fly overhead and listened to them sing. Her radio was still turned off as she walked and tried to enjoy the surroundings without thinking about Dee. Eventually she passed through the gates and made her way to her house.

That still stung, her house. Flicking it on she called over the radio “Drifter you better be here by now, you know where to meet me.”

Drifter arrived after only a few minutes and Alice saw TJ stop and lean beside the door. Another few minutes and they were in the basement as Drifter said “So now I finally get to know what this big secret project is?”

Alice walked around the table that lay in the middle of her basement as Drifter stopped at the base of the steps. “ that what I think it is?”

Pulling the sheet off Alice revealed the body of B-23, which in it’s current state looked like a collection of parts jerry rigged to work together mixed with bits of the human body. What was there that was human was connected to a machine that simulated the normal bodily functions such as a beating heart and breathing lungs. Drifter stared at this for a few moments before shaking his head “Hell no. I’m out and I’m taking this shit with me.”

Alice took the few steps necessary to close the distance and grabbed Drifter’s arm “Oh no you aren’t! I run the organization that pays you Bandit and I paid you extra for this!”

Drifter stared at Alice through the helmet he was wearing and evaluated his situation. The man on the table was similar to her father but he knew he was different. He’d seen the man fight. “Alice, I know you haven’t really gotten over your dad’s death but that guy on the table ain’t him and he never will be.”

Alice said “You’re my friend, I thought you were going to help me!” she shouted at him.

For a moment Drifter questioned himself. But then he remembered what B-23 had done five years ago and shook his head. “I am Alice, even if you don’t think so. And before you think about threatening me with your little postal service I’ve got just as many friends, some of which are very dear to the both of us.”

Alice stared at him for a few seconds. He could see the mixture of emotions in her expression as the two sat there, both quietly moving their hands towards their holsters. Then she let go and turned away cursing Drifter under her breath. “See you around Alice..I hope things get better.”

Walking back outside TJ fell into step beside him. As they made their way towards the gate TJ said “Why do I have a feeling we’re not going to New Paris?” and Drifter sighed. Then he began to explain things.

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« on: February 10, 2020, 01:26:43 am »
TJ adjusted the bandages wrapped around his body as he leaned against the tree. Of course he had stopped caring if people knew he was a skeleton at this point and wore them more as a formality. It was expected that he hide his ‘grisly’ appearance after all. Of course he could just sit at home and wait for the next assignment of his but Alice had asked him to meet someone on the road to Walkerville.

At first he’d protested saying he could be doing more important things than waiting on the roadside. But after Alice had told him who he was waiting for he’d agreed to the job. After all it had been nearly six months since he’d spoken to the man.

The Altyn helmet that the man approaching was wearing clued TJ in that it was the man he was waiting for. “You’re late Drifter.”

For his part Drifter shrugged and tossed the backpack he was carrying to TJ. Drifter, formerly the drug king Bandit, had returned five years ago and had since began working on a secret project with Alice. “Sorry, Eve kept pestering me to get her some upgrades on the way. Getting ornery about those these days.”

TJ nodded as he heard her voice pick up in his earpiece “Yes, because they’re necessary for our continued mutual survival which you seem to take for granted.”

The two men shared a smile, the glamours that TJ subconcsciously kept up softening his appearance and manipulating it into a more cartoonish and expressive appearance that most could easily tolerate. “Good to hear you two haven’t changed in half a year. Did you get the stuff Alice wanted?”

Pulling the visor open Drifter leaned forward and kissed TJ on the cheek as he took the cigarette. “Of course I did hun. But that talk can wait till the band gets together. For now we ought to catch up.”

TJ turned to follow as Drifter took a drag of the hand rolled cigarette. “How was the trip? I know I’ve asked over the radio but I just..I’m curious.”

Drifter looked over at TJ and couldn’t help but wonder how they’d ended up here. The two had met five years prior and over the first year had tentatively developed a strong bond. After that things had escalated rapidly. Still it struck Drifter just how little TJ knew about the world despite having Alice watching over him like he was her little brother after the ‘incident’. “It was interesting, I had to ride a dirt bike at breakneck speeds through a forest when some Hounds chased me. Ended up in these beautiful caves, crystal stalactites everywhere..”

Elsewhere Sokolov finished topping off the fuel tank of the motorcycle Drifter had dropped off at the courier way station. Alice had established this place as part of her new project four years ago and Sokolov had taken up being it’s caretaker. Waysation ARK was a hotspot for couriers and travelers alike now providing a safe spot to rest and get supplies.

Howard had disappeared shortly after their stay at Walkerville had begun. Sokolov stayed behind as a way to pay penance for his misdeeds in life. Working alongside Alice the community center they’d made in Walkerville he’d decided to move here on a permanent basis when Alice had made it as a stash spot for the couriers of hers. From there it had been built up into the small hub it was now.

But the couriers knew why it really existed. One rule. Unspoken and unbroken by the couriers as it was passed from the experienced to the greenhorns. The last leg of the journey to Walkerville you walked. Ten miles from ARK to walkerville, only one exception that had never been used.

Only Alice knew how the tradition had started and no one asked. The couriers had learned not to. Sokolov didn’t dare ask after he’d seen the end result.

He was broken from his thinking by the thud of a bag hitting his counter. Looking up to see a courier waiting he motioned for him to speak “Package for Walkerville. Just need some water for the walk.”

Sliding it across he noted that a greenhorn had gotten a Walkerville package. “How’d it end up with you?”

Taking the metal canteen the man replied “My trainer got killed by some folk trying to steal it. Miss Rose had a team out to scrounge it and they gave it to”

Nodding Sokolov eyed the man and noticed the tattoo poorly covered with makeup. “Uh one calls her Miss Rose.”

Two of the couriers grabbed the man from behind and started to haul him into another room. Opening the package Sokolov nodded and motioned another over. “Take to Alice. And no water recruit, this is your first walk.” he said before moving to go deal with the cultist straggler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He seemed deflated for a few moments as he walked but he kept going. The fact he wore mostly magically imbued clothes would help him hide from the sight of their masks but if they remembered what he looked like that could be a problem. If they’d ever known him in the first place. But only time would tell if he’d be attacked or left alone. Though he had to admit the amount of magical items he had would probably be a problem in and of itself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An hour had passed before Foster looked up from his notes. Something as he looked around. It felt as though someone was watching him. But not seeing anyone eyeing him Foster shrugged and decided to go find more parts for his lab.

Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« on: August 15, 2019, 01:41:48 am »
TJ had gone off to deal with other things and Bolt once again found himself alone. But he liked the water and he liked that no one was bothering the ‘cursed’ child here. Which was when an idea popped into his head.

Running over to where they kept the supplies Bolt produced his IOUs. After a bit of negotiation Bolt left with a few spare hands to carry his materials. Once they were deposited he ran to get his tools and fill the air tank.

Bolt, aside from being quite competent at making tools to make his work easier, was also excellent at making shelter. Climbing out over the water and he started constructing what would be his home.

A few hours later and he stared at his work. The house itself hung over the water and was attached to the bridge itself. A retractable walkway was all that led from the shore to the house which was painted a dark blue.  It also had an open air patio where one could fish if they so desired. All in all it was a wonderful looking house attached underneath a bridge that could house two.

TJ meanwhile had found himself walking through Walkerville when he saw a group of mislings. Each was decked out with a metal chest plate they’d made and carrying weapons given to them by Isaac. One looked over and called “Hey, we could use a fifth if you want to come along kid.”

After a moments consideration TJ nodded, hoping to get something of value for the trip and being bored out of his skull, and they got him a chestplate of his own. From there he retrieved the air rifle and tank and the lot of them started off and away from Walkerville.

They were heading out to look for a few components one of the engineers needed and the group had volunteered. TJ was surprised to hear that the eldest of the group was the same age as him,. Sixteen, and the youngest only a year younger. But like most mislings they were looking to earn their pay and earn a name for themselves.

As they walked the ‘leader’ revealed her name was Blue. “I grew up fightin’, don’t much care for all this sittin’ around and waitin’.” She said as they walked along the roadside. “Me an’ the boys here are what’s left of one of the old fightin’ rings. Call ourselves the ‘Brigade’ cause Shorts there thought it was a great name for a group of four.”

The man named Shorts sighed and rolled his eyes at her sarcasm. “I was thinking we could bring in some more people Blue, not just stay the four of us.”

The two argued for the next twenty minutes until they saw their destination. At which point they got their serious faces on and started moving into the building. In one room Shorts had lapsed his attention and a zombie came up behind him. “Jesus man, there’s nothing here.” Shorts said shortly before starting to panic as TJ lifted his rifle and swept it up past Shorts.

The dull thump of the air rifle cut through the air as the pellet shattered part of the zombie’s skull and rendered it dead. Turning to look over his shoulder Shorts blinked before saying “Shit man, saved my life. I owe you one.”

From TJ was in the lead as they reached a door and raised his hand to signal the others to stop. Blue pulled a grenade from her belt and moved to the other side of the door as TJ checked the door. Stepping in front of it he kicked the door, breaking the wood around the handle and pushing it in, and stepped back to the side as Blue threw the grenade in.

Pushing in after it went off TJ and the rest swept the room. Everything went fine until TJ heard a gunshot from behind him and felt a bullet rip through his chest plate flying between his fourth and fifth rib on the left side. He also saw the bullet rip the head of a zombie open.

“Shit, G, Shorts pull security.” Blue shouted as she rushed over to TJ. But before she could start to pull his chestplate off he grabbed her hand.

“I’m fine Blue, we need to get what we came for though. Made enough noise to bring more of these things around.” TJ said as he let go of her hand and started searching the room for the parts.

Sure enough once they exited the building TJ and the others saw a large group of the undead shuffling towards them. Pulling something out of his bag TJ put the device over the barrel of his air rifle and took aim as the others started running. Peering down the side mounted sights as he arced the rifle TJ squeezed the trigger and started after them.

The chemical solution inside the large projectile reacted to the sudden g-forces and when the round hit the ground it exploded in a fireball of death and shrapnel. The horde that had come for them was suddenly much smaller as they made their way back home.

On the way TJ plugged the hole in his bandages with fresh ones while telling the others he was fine. It took a while for them to believe him but eventually they just went back to walking. They were surprised by a group of zombies that rushed them from the side and cut TJ and G off from the others. The sound of fast paced gunfire drifted into the distance as TJ kept pulling the trigger of his rifle and G started chopping into the zombies with his pair of shashka.

After a few minutes TJ’s rifle clicked and he turned to spot a zombie about to bite G from behind. Sliding his knife out of it’s sheath TJ threw it past G’s head, cutting some of his fur, and watched the blade sink into the zombie’s skull.

From there they managed to fight through the horde and rush after their friends. As they reached the bridge to Walkerville G retrieved one of his swords and started towards Blue. “YOU LEFT US TO DIE!” G shouted.

Blue put her hands up and gave a grin as she said “I didn’t think you guys made it through the first rush G. My bad.”

G rolled his eyes and twirled the sword in his hand. “Sure Blue. Just like the time me and Shorts had to survive three days on our own because you fucked us. Or did you not tell Shorts that you sent us on a suicide mission?”

The argument between the two lasted a half hour as TJ stood there with Shorts and Ell. It ended when Blue walked off telling the other three to follow the ‘freak in bandages’ then. G rolled his eyes and said “Sorry, Blue’s a bitch. She’ll be back to us in a couple days begging to get back into the brigade though.”

Ell, the youngest of the three left, asked “But who’s gonna be in charge while Blue’s gone?”

G shrugged and responded “Not me, and not Blue when she gets back. Needs to learn there’s consequences for being a cunt.”

The discussion was short and quiet between the three mislings while TJ sat off to the side. Once they were done Shorts walked over to TJ and asked “So, ready to head back to the guy who hired us cap’n?”

TJ blinked and asked why they’d make him their leader, they just met afterall. “You saved two of our lives and took a bullet like a bad ass. Why wouldn’t we want you as our leader. Plus you ain’t another geezer telling us to quiet down, you listened to us back there.”

And with that they made their way back into Walkerville.

Elsewhere Heinrik held the drugged out man by the throat and stared him in the eyes. A sudden twist and the man’s neck snapped before his limp body dropped to the floor. Then he eyed his target from the tree line.

Retrieving the rocket launcher Heinrik aimed down the sights of the RPG and lined up his first shot. A slow pull of the trigger released the rocket into the air. As it soared through the air Heinrik reloaded. As it hit the tower the thing began to topple to the side and rip apart.

The second shot flew through the window of the building that the tower had resided next to. The resulting explosion would most likely have shredded the equipment inside. Standing up and turning he was greeted by another drugie pointing a pistol at him.

Swinging his arm Heinrik knocked the gun from the man’s hands and proceeded to grab him by the jaw. A sudden jerk downwards ripped it off and as he tried to start screaming Heinrik stabbed the man in the head with his own jawbone.  As more of them rushed towards the source of the rockets Heinrik ran into the trees and towards New Paris again. He disappeared and left only the bodies as a trace of his presence.

Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« 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.

Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« 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.

Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« 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.

Rec Room / Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« 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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