Globe Hotel: Ground Floor: West Side
They checked the East Side.
They checked the North Side.
As the Trial Runners approached the West Side, Mordie had stopped them short once again, well before the double-door exit was in sight.
“It’s no use,” she huffed. “There are sirens comin’ from this direction as well… We’re completely surrounded…”
Disgruntled, Seipher snagged Mordie’s binoculars, which have been dangling from her neck as an accessory, but have been completely unused as of recently. He stepped forward, pulling the sultry mouse along with him. “… … …there’s a bunch of guys already standing right outside the Hotel,” he said with a growling undertone. “But they’re not bursting in for some reason?” Seipher stepped forward a second time. “… A couple of them are kicking and shooting at something in front of them. I have no idea what it…”
“The barrier,” Wren said, his eyes on Baltimore as she motioned with her hands sullenly. “Jack had set up a barrier to prevent anyone from busting in or out during the massacre. But now that he’s gone…” Wren couldn’t help but chuckle at their predicament. “It’s only a matter of time until that barrier dies out.”
Seipher looked to Wren, lowering Mordie’s binoculars. “You can’t be serious…!?”
Subsequently the mouse dropped to her knees. “That’s it… we’re trapped…”
“The South Side,” Xell said without thought, a tinge of faith in his voice. “That’s the only side we haven’t checked. Maybe we could—”
Mordie shook her head at this as she looked over her shoulder to her companions behind her. “No… it’s surrounded the’a too. Ah can hear them.” She began to tremble, her eyes wandering. “They’ve surrounded us… the whole buildin’. S, so, what do we do? We can’t just stay he’a… we gotta get out, but…”
“They’ll kill us if we leave,” Lani said.
Mordie cried back, “They’ll kill us if we stay! They’ll…!”
Something behind Lani had caught Mordie's eyes. She gasped loudly and jumped for her feet. “Fiona!!” Hands plastered over her mouth, Mordie ran towards the direction of one of the elevators – presumably the only one working in the entire Globe Hotel – and dropped to her knees a second time upon reaching the few bodies lying prone before it. “Oh my… oh my God… who did… what did…!?”
All four corpses had their stomachs torn open and some organs ripped out – in the SEO soldiers’ case, through their padded armor. Disgusting.
Immediately a few of her comrades headed her way too, curious by her sudden terror. Xell too made a move in her direction – but stopped himself upon tapping something with his foot halfway through. Something relatively cold and sharp, though the tough scales around his foot prevented him from any injury. He glanced down – a sword? No, wait… He knelt down. Illiachen.
Kenneth knelt beside Mordie and patted her gently on her bare shoulder; he had no idea who that girl was, but Mordie needed comfort, and— Instantly he pulled his hand back. Her fur was freezing cold. Before the fox even had a chance to react at that curiosity, Mordie suddenly began cringing and turned away, turned to face the fox. “N, no… that thing… please get it away…!”
The fox turned his attention to whatever was scaring Mordie as she moved passed him. Within reach was the crazy girl’s solar-powered laser blaster; a strange rocket-launcher lookalike lined with all sorts of nutty buttons and a flashing green gauge. Ready to fire.
Again tears began to stream down Mordie’s eyes as she inched further away from the blaster, away from the mutilated corpses. “No… no more… please… ah don’t… ah…” Flashbacks of the solar beams filling her surroundings. Everything blinding white, then blinding red. Screams and screams and screams – she couldn’t get the blasted sounds out of her head. But she had no idea what was going on.
Mordie held her breath. She didn’t want to cry anymore.
“Ah just wanna get outta here… please…”
In response to Mordie’s cry, Baltimore began pleadingly tugging on Wren’s arm, who merely watched all the scenes unravel before him. He rolled his eyes at the childish chipmunk pestering him. “What?”
Immediately Baltimore released her grip on his arm and motioned with her hands in frantic movements.
“Wait, slow down,” he said. “It’s too sloppy for me to understand, kid.”
After stomping her foot in a restrained tantrum-like manner, which subsequently drew the attention of the few Trial Runners standing nearby them, she performed the same motions as earlier, but much more definitively. Wren cracked a smirk in response. “How convenient.”
Sniffing, Mordie ran a finger under her nose as she rose to her feet. “What is?”
“She knows a way out. An entrance to the underground sewage. The cops wouldn’t think to approach us from there if they’ve already got the Hotel surrounded.”
Kenneth raised a brow. “The sewers?”
Baltimore smiled sheepishly. Wren translated as she told a brief story with her hands, “Apparently she and her chameleon friend would go through the sewers to sneak into the casino from time to time, since the guards would shoo them off at the front. Her friend found some secretive spot inside an unused janitor’s closet to dig a small tunnel into. Tch. Talk about desperate.”
Too much time had passed.
The barrier completely vanished.
Shaking her head, Mordie once again rose to her feet, desperately trying to keep her focus on their current situation. Though the forces approaching the Runners were still not in sight, Mordie could hear them. She could definitely hear them. And they were getting nearer every passing second.
“The barriers,” she said coldly. “They’re down.”
Last edited by Rexaura; 11-24-2012 at 01:44 AM.
the crazy one
Xell picked up the sword by the hilt. It was oddly warm. The gem set between the unfurled wings of the crossguard gleamed strangely bright, and suddenly there was another presence in his mind. ~I sense the seeds of darkness in you, Xell Rhinestone.~ The female voice echoed slightly. Xell looked around, but there was no one there, save the other Trial Runners and the silent Baltimore. ~You won't see me standing there, Xell. I am Illiachen.~ The grey dragon gazed in surprise at the sword in his hand. Lani had always spoke of her blade as a partner, almost like another person, but he hadn't expected anything like this...! ~Surprised you, did I?~ Illiachen sees amused. ~Yes, I'm fully aware of things. I don't often let others handle me, but your intentions are good, I believe, and you have shown compassion for my wielder in the past.~ Xell wasn't entirely sure how to respond. "Uh...hello, I guess?" he said softly. ~We don't have time to stand on formalities, Xell. The barriers in her mind are crumbling, and when she remembers, she is going to need all the support she can get. I hope I can count on you to be there for her when she needs it.~ He grimaced at those words, remembering the look of distrust, almost accusation that had appeared on Lani's face when she first saw his transformed wings. "I'll do my best. I don't know that she'll accept my help anymore."
~What I say will hopefully sway her enough to at least listen to you,~ Illiachen replied. ~My advice to you is to avoid falling so deeply into darkness that you cannot make your way out again.~
"Right..." Xell got to his feet. The conversation had taken mere moments, not nearly as long as it had seemed. He looked around for the swordswoman, and found her listening to Wren translate for Baltimore. He approached. "Lani...."
She turned, her eyes narrowing as she saw once again those baleful eyes -- but then she saw what he held, in an almost apologetic manner. Illiachen, held out with one hand beneath the hilt and the other supporting the blade. Lani hesitated briefly. "I'm surprised she let you touch her at all, given your current state," she said coldly, reaching out and lifting the sword from his hands. Her eyes unfocused for a brief moment as her hand wrapped around the hilt, as if she was paying attention to another conversation Xell wasn't privy to. She focused again on Xell as she slid the blade back into its scabbard at her side, gaze sweeping the dragon head to toe and back up again. "It would seem she has a decent opinion of you," she commented at last. "I trust her. But you...I'm not so sure I agree with her assessment. I'll go along with it though." The unspoken "for now" hung heavily in the air between them.
True shot barrage
Revolution in the head don't count for nuthin'
Xell stood there in deep wonder as he gave up Illiachen to Lani. The warrior woman having stood still a few long seconds longer, before taking her dissipating footsteps to distance herself from Xell again.
The dismissal sending a sharp stabbing pain through his chest.
He looked away transiently and narrowed those eyebrows against those azure blue irises.
"Since the beginning of the trial, I've been...seeing things, now and again. People and places totally unfamiliar to me, events that didn't happen to me in my life. But the visions are very clear, like I'm watching someone else's memories. And I feel that they have some sort of significance, even if I don't know what it is."
’Could this be what Illichian is referring to?’ Xell thought with dread ’why is she so worried about her remembering things?
And then Xell scolded himself for such naďve thoughts. His past alone had all but killed him. Even in his death a few years after the war, the memories continued to shackle his tormented mind to bloody mental torture. If it wasn’t for the notion of wanting to get himself and the others through this nightmare, he’d have no resolve to go on.
He looked on as Lani helped Seipher to place the unconscious bodies of Hikari and Nathan onto the trolley. Seipher having given up his scarf to bandage some of Kari’s wounds after tearing it to pieces.
Lani inspecting Nathan, and shook her head solemnly. If she had any anger to express towards Nathan’s critical condition, she masked it in a very tranquil manner. She stood in an about pose, and kept her sword close to her side as the sirens got louder and louder.
Xell was startled out of his deep thoughts when a voice broke out of nowhere.
“Soldier boy!” Mordie was about to tug at his arm, but froze and shuffled back as she found herself intimidated by the demonic wings.
“… Xelly… they’re coming! … we hafta goh now!”
Balti, Wren, and Kenneth approached. The anxiety beginning to rise amongst the group. Some people letting it slip far more than others.
“If we take a gamble with a former gambler herself…” Wren motioned with a palm out, drawing Xell’s eyes towards the chipmunk “then our best route is through the sewers.”
“…right…” Xell grumbled. Knowing full well that now was not the time to be picky.
“Come on!” the dragon beckoned the group to meet up with Lani and Seipher. Who were both pushing the suitcase trolley across the hall.
Everyone took up their various positions in the promenade. Balti ran ahead, leading the way. Whilst Xell took to flight to scout for any incoming dangers from above.
Kenneth and Mordie followed behind Balti, whilst Lani and Seipher drove the trolley to accommodate the unconscious forms of Kari, Glitch and Nathan. Their peaceful forms completely oblivious of the dangers that were coming to box them.
Wren trailed behind. Not making too much of an effort to run, but kept up the pace with a prowling and beastly stride. His luke-warm yellow eyes scanning the area so steadily and precisely at rhythmic beat.
The pace was being picked up as the looming sounds were amplifying. Threatening and invasive as high pitched sirens caused Mordie in particular to wince. Flashing red and blue lights shining through the windows streaked the trial runners as they ran on by.
Xell briefly landed on one of the high marble platforms which had a grand window which looked to the outside world. He pressed himself against one of the lateral walls. Trying to become one with the cold brick wall. Inanimate. Or like a fly on the wall.
There he saw it. Revelations through the glass.
An endless mass of cars, K-9 unit fans, vulturing helicopters circling the skies from above, police operatives marching in with their guns, and red tape to barricade the area of the hotel. But not just red tape- barbed wire fencing that had been rapidly constituted around the perimeters of the hotel.
If the trial runners wanted out of this hotel, through there was not the way.
A mere fraction of this setup was too overwhelming for words and it made Xell’s chest tighten from the anxiety.
He took a deep breath, before swooping down to the ground.
“There’s hundreds of them out there! Police, military force, choppers… the works!” Xell shouted from above. Not loud enough to draw attention given his voice was being drowned by the sirens, but audible enough to be heard from the front end of the group.
“… how are we going Precious?” Xell diverted his attention to the girl as he asked from above.
“I trust she knows where she’s going,” Kenneth answered instead with a shout.
The group found themselves entering a darkened hallway.
Precious leapt forwards and kicked open a pair of heavy doors. So swiftly and deftly that the trailing group members hardly had enough time to acknowledge it.
“Wow, nice move Wren!” Seipher looked up and shouted as he passed through the once barricaded entrance way.
“I’m behind you!” Seipher jumped as he heard the gruff voice behind him, one that sounded like what stones and smoke would if brought to life.
The fennec carried on pushing the trolley aimlessly whilst snapping his gaze to give the rabbit an unimpressed look. He swivelled his gaze back ahead and widened his eyes as everyone halted.
Kenneth and Mordie slowly petered to a stop. Former swift and prompt footsteps brought to a stall. The two catching their breath.
Lani and Seipher both pulled back the trolley which ceased its bowling ball rolling sound and motion. The unconscious bodies wilting forwards, before falling back against the vertical build of the trolley given the momentum of the journey.
Seipher exhaled painfully, before walking to one of the lateral sides of the trolley. He rolled Glitch over to one side and sat down. Forehead buried in his gloved palms to ease that burning headache.
Wren, too, whittled to a stop. Performing another head-check on either side to make sure they were all clear.
Even given everything he had been through, he still found the approaching hunting game unnerving.
The group gave themselves a few micro seconds to gather their bearings before registering the area around them.
They were standing upon some oaken wooden floorboards. A wall behind them cast in shadow, whilst the remaining periphery of the area was lined up with red velvet curtains.
There were hanging ropes, an unlit border of lights against an abyss of carbon paper black from above.
The group were on a stage. Behind closed curtains.
Seipher didn’t bother looking up as he could hear Lani and Wren brush past him. Gathering in front of the trolley. Probably to listen to the group leader. But he was happy to take note from here.
“Where to now, Precious?” Xell asked as he was the last to land between the chipmunk and the rest of the group. A small thump resounding as his feet touched ground.
Seipher’s head shot up. His long ears raised as his head rotated around like a mechanical turret.
And then he spluttered with disgust when he saw the sight before him.
The conscious portion of the group were gathered around someone…
The centre of attention so small and visibly shadowed in this sector that he had to jump on his boots as strode over to peek over Wren’s shoulders. Causing the rabbit to give him a disgusted look and shuffle away.
Seipher paid no mind. His expression went from being dumbstruck and disgusted, to a looming anger that boiled over to the point of him trembling.
The group were gathered round here today to listen to Precious!
One of the SEO operatives. The enemy...!
That conniving, bitch who tried to kill him earlier. That annoying fucking brat!
“Oh for the love of… what the FUCK is going on here?!?!” the fennec stamped his foot and raged deliriously. He immediately pulled out his glock and trained the device upon the rodent’s forehead.
Like an audience that had witnessed a murder, the group turned around. Gasping so horrifically and taken aback. Apart from Wren who folded his arms and observed.
Balti simply stood. Not so much scared but the lost girl look dominating her form as she was reminded of her dealings.
“Are you a bit more TRIGGER happy than you let on?!” Kenneth yelled, stepping forwards to apprehend Seipher but backed away when he found the gun was thrust in his face.
“Don’t you START with me again sly!! Are you bloody well blind or did you haemorrhage your brain during YOUR battle?!” the gun rattled in the white fox’s face.
Kenneth simply shook his head and backed away. Anything to keep his juvenile tantrum happy.
He couldn’t really be bothered with this. Even if Seipher did pull the trigger, it wouldn’t hit him.
“Threatenin’ everybody…?” Mordie spoke out. Disappointed “what’s gottin’ inta ya?”
“This ONE tried to kill me!” Seipher flung the armed hand back at Precious. Despite the mad tremors, his aim ready for a precision shot.
Everyone, including a confused Xell looked to Precious simultaneously. Causing the girl’s head to wilt even more to the ground.
Without looking up to face everyone, she meekly made some hand gestures. Not even bothering to see if Wren could observe as she just wanted to die at this point in time.
“He’s right…” Wren spoke, causing Seipher’s mouth to ‘o’ as he looked on at the rabbit. Confused. He then looked back to the chipmunk and noted further hand motions. Communicating a message.
The penny dropped as he figured that Augustus could in fact, read sign language.
“Your friend who stands in front of me holding the gun was the one I was ordered to pursue and bring back alive to Jack. If he threatened my life, I would’ve killed him…” she looked up. Sorrowful and forlorn.
The disappointment of having been abandoned by her family stinging her.
Everyone fell silent.
“Where did she even come from?!” Seipher broke the stillness, not ready for an apology.
“I found her bound up by ice against a pillar,” Kenneth muttered, lighting another cigar to pass the time. He couldn’t deduce whether he was impatient with hanging around, nervous from the approaching coppers, or whether he just had a colossal amount of questions to ask. Including Mordie’s cold blood, Xell’s monstrous wings, Lani’s black blood and dragon transformation, and of course Seipher’s aversion towards a little girl.
But he figured a smoke break was the next best thing.
“What?!” Seipher demanded.
It made sense. And he didn’t want to hear it as he made the calculations himself. Shortly after Kenneth had bumped into himself and Wraith, he must’ve found an ensnared Precious and freed her. Because he is a sook for females like that.
“Jesus you’re an idiot!!!!”
"Well look who took so long to even notice she was with us! Observant much?" Kenneth laughed sarcastically.
Lani tapped Kenneth's shoulder and shook her head disapprovingly. Kenneth mock-surrendered with his open palms. Closed eyes and cigar in situ as he mouthed a 'sorry, lady'.
Xell stepped next to Seipher and placed a hand on the revolver. Insisting him to lower it and let his guard down.
“PUT the gun down!!” Xell forced Seipher’s hand down. Tempted to confiscate it, but wanted to know here and now if he could trust the fennec’s ability to be reasoned with.
Seipher gave in and put the gun away in his holster belt. Snorting as he faced the dragon briefly, before giving Balti a quizzical look.
“Can we trust you?!” Seipher demanded.
His eyes moving half an inch towards his peripheral vision as the swarm of alarms cascaded across the room.
The approaching invasion of footsteps sending reverberations through the floorboards and environmental structures around them.
They didn’t have much time.
Pachosexual™ Zaftig Lover
OOC: Not my best post by any stretch of the imagination but it gets some things rolling forward a bit. Eh. Things will get better, I'm sure.
The echoing footfalls of heavy men resounded throughout the corridor. A small squadron of five armoured men came to a close as they reached their destination, a large indoor space, where a dozen other fully armed men await, crouched down in ready positions with their weapons trained at a spot before them. The armoured men followed in turn, and set up ready positions in their section of the room, upholstering their firearms and aiming it towards the space in front of them.
“Everyone in position?” Called the leader of the assembled personnel from behind. A chorus of ‘rogers’, head nodding and thumbs ups came in reply. “Well alright then, ready yourselves, men.”
The space before them exploded in a bright white light, before dimming the entire room in darkness, as from nowhere a black pulsing void appeared, crackling and pulsing with dark purple and blue energy. The soldiers were buffeted by a blanket of wind where there should have been none, but all quickly retrained their weapons on the vortex before them, before slowly lowering them, one by one, as from the vortex emerged a number of familiar individuals.
Jack’s entourage had returned to the hidden underground S.E.O compound.
As the Victorian gentleman marched forwards with his cane spinning in one hand, the gentleman whistling a song to himself, his assistant Valentine followed afterwards, offering a small courtesy to the soldiers who welcomed their return.
From there, the rest of the S.E.O squadron who had initiated the Globe Hotel massacre followed. Dr. Arogi Faul dragged behind him a reluctant and still tearful Serenity, to whatever insidious laboratory he owned. Antaeus moved forwards with a confident stride, pushing the scientists away from him who had arrived to check on his wounds and perform the usual battery of tests and experiments that the genetic specimens were subjected to after each mission. A quiet Eric Coil moved on his own away from the vortex to whatever destination he had intended, saying nothing at all. As a contingent of scientists descended upon him, the chameleon vanished, blending into the surroundings of the cold metal walls and disappearing from sight. A far cry from his usual temperament, he had much to dwell on inside his mind.
Aside from this key players, the other returnees included the surviving soldiers of the massacre, as well as the dead and unconscious members whose lives had been lost in the attack. Their bodies had been automatically programmed to return them to the secretive facility, so as not to leave any evidence behind. The scientists swarmed over the bodies of Bella and Cecil, automatically beginning to inspect and treat them.
“They’re both still alive,” One scientist said.
“Throw them into the regenerative chambers immediately and begin treating their wounds!” Said another.
“Specimen 198’s wounds aren’t too severe. She should be fully recovered in a matter of hours. But I don’t think Specimen 239’s facial burns will heal up without substantial scarring…”
“Just get them to the medical bay!”
Jack stopped, turning on the spot to face his assistant, acting oblivious to the rest of the S.E.O. soldiers and scientists activity to treating their situation, as the vortex died down and disappeared once and for all. Valentine stopped before him, looking diligently towards her master.
“Well, my dear, that went rather splendid, wouldn’t you say?” Jack smiled and laughed. “Ah, I do wonder how our friends are doing at the moment, but alas I have some more pressing business to attend to before I can begin to inspect their progress. A report to this lovely facility’s director, for example…” Jack sighed. He wanted to savour his performance, lie back in a nice leather sofa with a glass of wine in hand and watch as his actors played to his script, but as always, he was a busy man with many things to do. “As for you, my dear, you are free to do as you please. You can stay here and watch things develop, even taking a part of it if you so desire, or you are free to return to Hell. People like us are rarely afforded the luxury of a vacation, but you’ve no further orders from me for the foreseeable future. Please feel free to relax and enjoy your time.”
“Thank you sir.” Valentine nodded.
“Well, cheerio, my dear!” Jack tipped his hat towards, and turned in a dance, walking off again with a whistle and spinning cane. “Perhaps we can catch up for a spot of dinner later on, wot wot!”
Globe Hotel: Outside
Helicopters continued to circle around the giant, spherical building, spotlights dancing across the building in search of the perpetrators or any survivors inside the Hotel, only to be greeted by the bloody still corpses of hundreds of patrons within.
On the ground, every exit and inch of the area around it had been closed off by members of the police, swat and approaching military. Red and blue lights sirens wailed near and far into the storm eclipsed night. Thunder and lightning crackled in the distance. This was only one of two sights currently being investigated by authorities, the other the site of ruin and catastrophe caused by the Overlord Julien’s own inimitable entrance. Both the sites of terrorist activity.
None of this made any sense, and all of it should have been impossible.
The weather was the most obvious example of that. It was the middle of summer. It never rained in Las Vegas during the summer, and never would there be a freak storm such as this. Or at the least, as unlikely as that was, it wouldn’t be met at the same by a terrorist attack like this. A massacre caused by a radical group for… what reasons, exactly? Inside footage of the attacks had been transmitted from inside the building to the police and every news station across the country, showing a group of about a dozen people inhumanely killing everyone inside. And a plane crash on the other end of Las Vegas too. None of it made any sense. Why?
But what confounded the police and their captain at the present moment was this strange, invisible thing encasing the building and making any entrance completely impossible. It was almost like an invisible barrier. But such a thing should have, like everything else this night, been impossible. And yet, here it was, and here it existed.
He shook his head clear of the confusing questions, drops of water sprinkling of every which way as he tried to compose himself once more. It didn’t matter how or why things were happening like this, all that was important was that it was happening. And people, so many people, were being killed because of it. And that was something that had to be stopped at once. They needed entrance into the building, and they needed to save as many people as they could. It was their job, their duty. But more importantly then that, it was simply the right thing to do.
“Captain Warrick, sir!” Called out a uniformed swat member pressed against one of the concrete walls of the Hotel. “I think… sir, I think the wall is disappearing!”
‘Thank god,’ The experienced Captain thought to himself, grateful for whatever miracle was being granted to them. The silver haired, muscular man in his forties, garbed in a swat uniform and a fat cigar strode forwards, raising his hands in the air and waving it around in a circle and pointing towards the building, giving the go ahead to enter the Hotel. Captain Warrick, whom was in charge of the operation until his superiors arrived to relieve him of command, had already instructed the assembled the procedure they would take upon entering the building. Offering aid to any injured civilians inside, and the capture of those whom were responsible for the attack. And indeed, if need be, the execution of any resisting terrorists.
“Alright, ladies! You know your orders! Get in there and let’s apprehend these motherfucking sons of bitches who think they can do what the fuck they like to our city and people!” Warrick shouted, pumping his shotgun ready.
Globe Hotel: Inside
“Just leave the little girl alone, alright,” Kenneth sighed, getting tired of Seipher’s antics. The three tailed fennec had irritated the smoking fox to an absurd degree already this evening. Blaming him for problems that weren’t his fault at all, such as condemning him for not helping him in fighting Scar. That was an issue that wasn’t his fault at all, and whilst Kenneth could forgive the Wing Commander for feeling angry and agitated, as they all were, it took a lot of nerve for him to speak to Kenneth that way. Not to mention, he had his own problems with Seipher, including how the hell he could let Wraith get away. That hedgehog had vanished for most of the Trial of Redemption as it was already, and no sooner the moment he reappears, he’s gone again. What the hell, man? They were all working their arses off just to survive and that lazy hedgehog looked like he had a V.I.P. All Access Granted pass to go wherever the hell he wanted. What gives?
He was also hacked off with Seipher’s treatment of the girl, Baltimore. Again, he could forgive his misgivings for the fact that she was an enemy, and that not long ago she was in fact fighting against them. But all the same, he felt for her now. She had been abandoned by the people she called family, left to the wolves as it were. And Kenneth, well… he knew exactly what that felt like. Experienced it enough times in his life, too many to count. A lifetime of bad memories began clouding his mind. The orphanage, the mafia, people he called friends, the suicide, his meeting with Xell, and his long drawn out battle with dying…
That’s when Kenneth’s eyes widened in shock and surprise at the sudden realisation of something that he knew he should have noticed from the very beginning of this entire massacre. Seipher’s disgruntled mutterings, and Xell’s struggle to get the three tailed fennec to calm down fell on deaf ear as Kenneth thought about him. He hadn’t understood it at the time, what with the whole battle to survive and all, but it was unmistakable. The last time he had saw him was a long time, years and years… but he was there, tonight. And he was the very same person that had abandoned Baltimore mere minutes ago. Of course that person hadn’t recognised Kenneth, after all to him, Kenneth was already dead, and he looked noticeably different now from back then, but…
‘Eric… what shit did you get yourself wrapped up into this time…?’
They didn’t have time to argue amongst themselves, and as much as he’d like to, Kenneth didn’t have the time to be pondering or planning anything at the moment. All the group could afford to do now was to get out of them, the heavy sound of footsteps and shouts behind them the impending approach of the fuzz. But for now, Kenneth was sure of several things. As much as he desired to protect Mordie and Xell for all it was worth, he was also positive that he would look after the chipmunk, Baltimore, and he’d make damn sure that three tailed sister complex freak did nothing to her.
And Eric Coil… him and the chameleon would meet and an understanding would be reached.
“Mordie,” Kenneth whispered into the mouse’s ear. “Look after Baltimore, okay? Don’t take your eyes off her. Protect her.”
Mordie smiled, as much as she could considering their circumstances. “Ya d’nt need ta tell me that, Kenny.” It was a reassuring thought to know that Kenneth cared for the girl’s wellbeing. But Kenneth also cared for Mordie’s, too, and he wagered looking after Baltimore might help to keep everything else that was happening to Mordie off her mind.
“Look, as fun as it is to just stand around whilst a whole army of pigs are almost here, I suggest we beat feet and get the hell out of here, savvy?” Kenneth flicked a finished cigarette into the distance.
Hell: Slave Mountain
Dave looked back incredulously towards Freedom. As much as the young woman had tried to say it silently, he was sure he had heard her say what her name was, didn’t he?
“Freedom? Really?” Dave wanted to laugh, but wasn’t sure that he could. Pulling the slab of concrete up this almost neverending mountain, all day, every day… he didn’t think it was possible to ever laugh again. But a short chuckle escaped his lips. “Sorry, I’m sorry.” Dave apologised. “You must hate your parents a bit for that, right?”
“SHH!” Another slave just in front of Dave scolded. “Ya want to get us all in trouble, bucko?”
“Bite me, I’m just trying to keep myself from going mad from boredom, here.” The coyote returned. He then looked back towards the fennec, and offered a sympathetic look.
“Look, hey, if it means anything, I think it’s a nice name. A lot of these people here have just given up but I believe in freedom, and I’m going to get out of here sometime. Just like those Trial Runners. And with a name like that, I think you will too.” Dave tried to reassure, although coming from someone with his age and attitude it looked a little strange. “Besides my parents called me Dave. I think my name probably rates worse.”
“Do you… mind if I ask what you did in your life that made you come here? I have trouble thinking someone with the name of Freedom could get stuck down here. That’s just on a whole different level of irony, there.” Dave asked.
S.E.O. Hidden Compound: Corridor
The soldier rounded the corner, pacing away from the large hall that he and the other soldiers have arrived from them via the vortex. He looked around desperately in all directions, making sure that there was no other soldiers or scientists around, trying to calm himself down and be comfortable that the sight was all clear. He even turned to the ceiling and the corners of the far walls, desperately trying to find any sign of security cameras. As best as he could work out, there wasn’t any.
He sighed, and dropped to the ground, propping his back up against the wall and taking deep, ragged breaths.
What had he been thinking?
He had taken the armour of one of the dead soldiers, figuring it would offer him protection and make sure that the soldiers would pass over him and not kill him as they did everyone else in the Hotel. He hadn’t figured on being instantly teleported with the rest of the soldiers to this strange place that he had never been before, in the middle of insane scary crap that was around him every which way. What the hell was going on?? Nothing good, if that was indeed Serenity who was being dragged away like that. Just what had he gotten himself into?
Jay, ol’ boy, you’re in big crap this time… Someone please save me!!
S.E.O. Hidden Compound: Corridor
What do I do what do I do what do I do
Sitting with his back propped up against the wall behind him, the armoured purple weasel neared hyperventilation as his mind raced for ideas on how to escape the catastrophe he just lodged himself into. He scanned the area, however he was much too tremulous to see anything clearly. Knowing well enough that he’d be questioned if he remained as jittery and paranoid as he currently was, he decided to stand up.
Jay inhaled deeply. Right. Gotta stand up, regain composure and—
“You. Soldier. What are you doing?”
Jay squirmed before jumping to a stance, an automatic salute. “S-sir! I was…”
Three figures stepped out from the corridors to his left – for he had sat down in the centre of a T-intersection. Turning to face them, the only thing he could see was a tall and rather muscular brown reindeer with beautiful, polished antlers glaring down at the man.
“He looks like he’s about to wet himself,” the burgundy-haired young human man behind the reindeer commented, when he noted that Jay wasn’t going to say anything. “We should just kill him.”
Jay gulped audibly.
The reindeer sighed. “Ethan. We can’t just go around killing our own people. We need orders to do that.”
With crossed arms, Ethan rolled his eyes and grunted. “Yeah yeah, whatever. We’d be better off without weaklings, is all I’m saying.”
Ignoring the man’s defiance, the reindeer returned his attention to the soldier cowering before him. “So, soldier. Why aren’t you with the others?”
“Weeelll, I was uh, I was… I had to… go and, uh… bathroom?”
From beside the reindeer, a pink female skunk wearing a beaded sapphire necklace strutted in Jay’s direction and towered over him, assuming power. “Look at us when we’re talking to you!”
“I—I’m sorry ma’am—”
“DON’T,” she snapped, causing him to sink his head between his shoulders, “call me ma’am. What am I, 50? Do I look old to you!?”
Jay squeaked back in response. “…n… no…”
The reindeer yanked her back, gripping her tightly on her shoulder. “Mildred, come on. Let him be. He’s probably just traumatized from whatever disoriented and destroyed these guys.”
Ethan snickered. “Yeah, didn’t you see? Three of them had their stomachs torn open! Fuckin sick.”
“Feh.” The pink skunk tossed her head, eyes slammed shut. “Whatever.”
As Ethan and Mildred began heading down the hall Jay had escaped from, the reindeer glanced around a bit. His attention landed on what appeared to be a blue metallic cabinet down one of the halls. Suddenly, his brown eyes began to glow a neon azure, along with his brilliant antlers and the cabinet. The metal door popped open, and a mop, also glowing, floated out of it and dangled mid-air towards the duo – eventually landing in Jay’s trembling hand.
“Here,” the reindeer said, “why don’t you make yourself useful and clean up the bloody footsteps you made? So one of the other guys don’t have to do it. When you’re done – bathroom’s to your right.”
Jay just blinked at the man, unsure of how to respond.
“Donner, what are you doing?” the man called from down the hall. “Come on, or the big guy’ll try to kill us again for being late.” The reindeer gave Jay an affirmative nod before walking in the duo’s direction, who had already continued their path. “I’m serious though, I have no idea why they’d bring back all the dead guys anyway… They’re dead! Just let ‘em rot, Chrissake.”
“Couldja walk any slower?” Mildred snapped, causing Ethan to flinch. “I realise we need to go help out the soldiers and all, but I wanna see what all the ruckus that damn Foul and the newcomer are causing.”
“Yeaaah yeah, don’t get your panties in a bunch… …”
Shaking, Jay dusted off his armour with his free hand as he rose to his feet… and slowly looked to the cleaning utensil in his hand. Pondering whether he should actually start mopping or not. But he couldn’t deny that the skunk’s words about a ‘newcomer’ intrigued him. No doubt that was Serenity.
Globe Hotel: Casino
Baltimore taking the lead, the Trial Runners burst through the casino, with no time to stop and gaze at their disgusting surroundings. Or to notice the abundant bills and bills scattered beneath their feet, drifted and scattered away from the copious corpses of rich gamblers. Mordie however tripped over what appeared to be a roulette wheel, having been ripped out from its table.
Hearing this, Baltimore skidded to a stop and turned to face her, however the white fox Kenneth was already pulling her to her feet. “Are you sure you’re all right, Mordie?” he asked. “You’re falling down pretty often.”
“Ah said ah was fine, Kenny…” she pulled her arm from his, as a restrained form of defiance. “We can’t just stop an’ rest now anyway. We have to go!” And she continued to run. “They’re gonna catch us if we dawdle! They’re already inside…”
Kenneth followed behind her, into a hallway leading to the employees’ rooms, meeting rooms, and the like. “Well, why don’t you run in front of me? So that way if you fall—Is that a janitor’s closet. Are we going into a janitor’s closet?”
Baltimore nodded firmly as she flung open the knobless door. Behind the layer of mops, a large white poster had been poorly taped along the back wall. The chipmunk wandered inside and pushed the mops’ sticks to one corner, leaving the poster completely visible.
A white piece of paper with two happy stick figures – one green, the other black and white – standing next to each other, with the words “BeST FRiENDs” crossed out and the red words “DO NOT TOUCH!!!!!” painted above it.
Hesitating, Baltimore reached for one corner and carefully removed the poster from the wall to reveal what looked like a tunnel; fairly sloped and rather short, the Runners could see some brown water begin to emerge at the very end of where this particular hole led – the underground sewers. She motioned for the others to move forward. Gathering strength and ignoring any thoughts of hesitation, Mordie was the first to rush in, taking control of pushing the trolley. Kenneth and Seipher pursued closely behind, and the others followed at a calmer pace.
The end of the tunnel led to a hole—which, in turn, led to the dirty sewer waters beneath. The water level had luckily been low enough to remain beneath the unconscious Runners lodged atop it as the wheels rolled on. Upon taking his first step into the filth, Kenneth couldn’t help but look back at Baltimore and almost jokingly say to her, “You guys went through some pretty desperate measures to get to the casino, didn’t you?”
“This isn’t really a time to joke, Kenneth,” Xell said, walking passed the fox. “We need to keep moving…”
“What? Come on, we need to liven up a bit here. I’m kinda getting annoyed with all the moodiness and…” Kenneth’s words trailed off as he continued to watch Baltimore, who lingered behind last. She backed up slowly, manoeuvring her fingers in a fashion that made them almost seem pressed against a flat surface. “What’s she…?”
“Miming tactics,” Seipher said, emotionlessly. Momentarily everyone’s eyes turned to the young teen chipmunk in wonder. “Whatever imaginary object she builds becomes a reality…” Upon finishing, she twirled around – and nearly flopped backwards upon seeing everyone look at her. Her face reddened from catching so much attention as she moved forward, coyly moving her hands in a jittery motion. Completely avoiding Seipher’s direction.
Wren sighed and moved on as well. “Built a wall, in case those cops come after us through here.”
“Ah,” Kenneth mused, “smart girl.”
Everyone too resumed their trek down the sewers, at a much slower pace than before, for now they had finally had the chance to rest. The need for running, running, running had faded away. Despite the slowed pace, Mordie once again began to lag behind, the trolley with her. Her head hung dejectedly, inches away from touching the trolley’s handle as she pushed it through the waters glumly. Odd colours and flashes flooded her mind. The sounds of men screaming. Fiona screaming. Red and white and red and white.
Softly, she lifted a hand to her head. A migraine, worsened from sudden her cold touch.
Voices too. People calling her a… monster? Her pleading someone to stop… but stop what?
Suddenly, Athena’s image. Coming close to the mouse, a cold blade pressed to her throat.
“I know what Julien has done to you,” she had said. “And now I suspect there will be consequences. You need to stay away if you care about your friends.
“I know you won’t be able to control it.”
Her head pounded. Control “it”? Control what? What was going on here?
Flashes of red and white and white and red
Fiona calling her a demon, backing away, far away
A flash of light, painful light flooding the room.
Could she really be—
“…get your grubby demon-zombie hands away—”
Claws snaring through a man’s padded black armour and tearing out his intestines
Blood sprayed in her eyes, but she pressed forward, forward, ripping, tearing
The taste of salt and iron in her mouth
Mordie yelped. Terrified she glanced over her shoulder to find a clothed hand gently rubbing her shoulder. Baltimore smiled back at her weakly. Mordie shuddered and looked forward. “Ah just… ah’m sorry…”
The chipmunk reached for the trolley handle with her free arm, to which Mordie denied access to. A little girl shouldn’t have to do all the work, after all. Suddenly the mouse glanced skyward, ears twitching uncomfortably. “Wait,” she cooed, assuming a ready-to-flee position. “Stop, I hear somethin’…”
The Trial Runners froze in their tracks. Footsteps trampled overhead, followed by the sounds of heavy rolling wheels. Distant putters of helicopters loomed over head. Reloading guns, commands and shouts. Not too long after, the sounds dissipated into silence. More were on their way. Again Baltimore smiled sheepishly, and Mordie beamed back at her. “Thanks,” she whispered, resuming her path as well as the others, “for gettin’ us outta here safely. We owe ya one.”
The chipmunk’s grin soon withered away, and she shook her head solemnly.
No, that was already payback for them sparing her life…
Raverwar Fire Palace: Hall of Mirrors
“Ugh, what was that!? What just happened!?” Athena cried out as the personalized angelic-scripted messages faded away from the otherwise blank mirrors before them.
“I dunno man,” O’Shea backed away from the mirrors. “But this place really creeps me the heck out. It’s just one thing after another. I dunno how you guys put up with this…!”
The blue fox froze, a shiver running up his spine. He scurried forward and looked behind him – he had bumped into the figure of a tall lavender hyena, who had been standing in the doorway.
Athena frowned. “Where the hell have you been all this time?”
The hyena chuckled. “Just taking care of errands, dearest Athena,” he spoke with a low and dragging voice.
“What, vacuuming the hallways!?”
The hyena chuckled again. “You know me too well, dearest Athena.”
“S, so then, why are you here, huh?”
“Oh, no particular reason, dearest.” He chuckled a third time. “I was just passing by. Thought I’d drop a hello.”
“Okay… well… hello.” Athena looked away, though her eyes remained on the figure outside the doorway.
“Do give my regards to the Patriarch. I’m rather eager for my next orders… hehe. It has been rather boring around here lately.”
“Weell, why don’t you go help out the two little lost girls wandering around the Palace or keep cleaning or something? Don’t come bothering me.”
“Oh?” the hyena raised a brow. The smirk never left his face. “I was not aware we had children in this Palace.” Athena merely blinked back at him in response, not entirely sure how to react to the Dark Lord. Met with silence, the hyena continued speaking. “Well then, hehe, I suppose I shall be on my way now. Til next time, dearest.”
The trio merely watched the caped hyena saunter off, out of sight. Zach turned to Athena, raising a quizzical brow. “So, Athena. Who was that? He seems to take quite a liking to you.”
Athena tossed her head with a grunt. “He’s just some creep. Goes by the name of Forrest.
“Apparently he wanted something to do with the last Trial, but the Runners never got far enough for him to be able to do anything big. I don’t know the details of it all. He likes to hide everything to himself. Hell, he’s been around here longer than I have and I know barely anything about the guy!” She stuck out her tongue in disgust. “Creeeep.”
“So what, he just goes around cleaning the Palace or something?” O’shea questioned.
“Pretty much! Weirdo has nothing else to do in his spare time.”
The blue fox brought a finger to his lips in thought. “Think he’s gonna try to get involved with this round of the Redemption Trial? I mean we’ve got survivors from the last Trial, you know?”
“Pah! Like I care.” She crossed her arms defiantly. “Just as long as he leaves me alone, he can do whatever he wants. I swear to God I will strangle that man if he comes near me again.”
Globe Hotel: Underground Sewers
“Sooo, Puff,” Kenneth eyed the dragon up and down. “I like the new makeover. Rustled hair, red scars, scary demon wings – it suits you well.”
Silent, Lani eyed the duo, intently listening in on their conversation. Xell batted his eyelids nervously, as he glanced around in random directions trying to find words to respond with. His wings drooped down even further than they were already kept. “I… uh, well, I…”
His eyes then met those of Lani’s, cold, untrusting, but… waiting. He looked away. “It was… it was an accident. I don’t mean to—”
“An accident?” Seipher pried into the conversation curiously.
“This was—this was never supposed to… I don’t, mean to harm anyone. I’m not—”
“What. The fuck. Is she doing here.”
Again the group came to a halt as all eyes returned back to the two female rodents’ direction.
Glitch sat awake, his back against the trolley’s vertical bars, just as he had been placed there. His furrowed eyes focused on the chipmunk standing beside him.
Immediately Seipher sputtered as he struggled to find the words to—“You’re—you’re up!?”
His hand trembled atop his glock, his fingers nervously drumming along its rims. Only four—five hours passed since… since…
Flashes of that strange ghostly creature absorbing itself into Glitch’s form.
“Someone wanna explain?”
“Y, yeah,” Seipher said, trembling still. Ready in case that demon decides to do something leery. “Ba—basically, they let the girl who tried to kill us join our group. Using her age to justify her trying to kill us…! That doesn’t account for a thing!”
Mordie gulped. “She di’nt have a choice!” she yelped in Baltimore’s defence. “She di’nt know what she was doin’!”
Having wriggled his legs free from beneath the two bodies atop him – which were not of his concern at this point – Glitch slowly rose to a stand beside Baltimore. He stepped closer to her, until he was close enough to tower over her and glare her down in the eyes. His lips cracked into a smirk as he backed away. The poor child began breathing deeply. “Heh. She’s older than my daughter. She’s older than Laura. She knew damn well what she was doing!”
Approaching the duo, Kenneth pulled back Glitch’s shoulder, causing them to step back from the startled rodent. “Hey man, back off.”
Almost immediately Glitch threw his arm outward, knocking off Kenneth’s hand from his shoulder, his cloak. “Oh, so now you’re defending her? Protecting the enemy from your teammate, huh?”
To this, Xell shook his head and buried his face within his palm. “Not this again…”
Kenneth exhaled deeply, keeping his composure. “Look pal, we’re not going to start a fight here. You just need to accept the fact that you got your ass handed to you by a little chipmunk girl and stop trying to pick a fight. That’s the last thing we need right now.”
“Pah! Whatever. Fine, fine!” Glitch threw his single arm in the air as he stormed ahead to the front of the group, ignoring the throbbing pain in his legs, his stomach, his head. He limped but didn’t even realise it. “Let her follow us. Just, somebody better keep a fucking eye on her at all times. I don’t trust the brat.”
Kenneth sneered, thoroughly irate from his teammates screaming obscenities and pointing weapons at the helpless child. “You must reaaally hate children, don’t you.”
Glitch paused in his steps, turned 180 degrees and stormed back in Kenneth’s direction. “Say that to my face, one more time.”
Before Glitch could be within reach of the livid fox, Xell stepped between the two and held out his arms. “Come on, please guys. Just stop bickering for once.”
Once again the white hedgehog turned away. “Bah.”
Kenneth waited for the rest of the group to resume their trek before progressing onward, staying back with Mordie and Baltimore. “Don’t worry, kid,” he said, looking to the child. “I’ll keep you safe from that asshole.”
Seipher rolled his eyes as he followed behind Glitch, whom Xell had caught up with in case the hedgehog keels over, as he refused to return to the back. “Is he an asshole, really,” the fennec said to himself audibly, “for being pissed at a chick who tried to kill us?”
Smacking his palm to his face, Kenneth kept his voice low as he replied. “I thought we were done going on about this subject.”
“Come on, just let it die already.” His glaring eyes met with the back of Seipher’s head. “She’s here, with us. No ifs, ands, or buts at this point. She’s not harming anyone anymore, look. Why are you guys getting so worked up over this?”
The fennec cut him off mid-explanation, his anger from his earlier tantrum still building. “Well, you know, maybe he’s not the only one here who’s actually upset about this!”—Xell, who now had Glitch’s arm around his neck to support him against his will, began walking faster, growing sick of the nonstop screaming and accusations.—“Maybe you’d be angry too if she injured you just as badly as she did us! You know, maybe I would be over it if a certain someone didn’t leave me alone to fend for myself when he was the one who admitted that I was in no shape to fight!”
Kenneth dared not raise his voice again – not while Precious Baltimore needed someone calm to escort her through this mess. “What about that blue guy who was with you? Wraith?”
“He ditched me too!!”
Xell jerked his head over his shoulder. “SERIOUSLY. GUYS. STOP.” He breathed deeply and loudly, too becoming infuriated with everyone in his team acting like children playing the blame-game. Once he was met with silence, he spoke again, but in a much softer tone. “We can’t keep up this fighting, guys. This is exactly what Julien wants. For our team to fall apart…”
Spitting, Glitch removed himself from Xell’s aid and limped ahead. “Fft. Says the guy with red-eyed wings.” He stopped to face the group. “Does anyone here care to explain what happened with our little leader?”
He eyed everyone behind him.
The silently seething Kenneth.
The dejected Mordie.
The tearing-up Baltimore.
The unconscious bodies of Hikari and Nathan.
The piqued Seipher.
The indifferent Wren, who cracked a subtle smirk as he silently watched the anger being tossed left and right like a game of tennis.
The sceptical Lani, who not once had removed her eyes from Xell and his disturbing wings.
And yet he was returned with silence.
“No one?” He looked to Xell a second time. “You wanna explain what’s goin’ on with you, pal?” But before Xell could open his mouth to respond—“As a matter of fact, do you wanna explain what the fuck we’re doing right now? Because I’m lost. Completely lost.”
Where are we.
Why are we here.
Where are we going.
Why the fuck is that freak mime with us.
Why the fuck is Nathan missing an arm.
“Glitch. Seriously.” Kenneth stepped forward, pulling Baltimore by her arm. “The cursing’s gotta stop.”
What happened to Hikari.
Where did Jack and his merry crew go.
Where did Wraith go.
Where did Serenity go.
Blue fabric drifted over his hand. He lowered his eyelids halfway, almost as if in a nostalgic or wistful trance. His tone of voice dropped considerably.
“Thank-you to… whoever returned my scarf.”
Raverwar Fire Palace: Dining Hall
The brief silence between the red-dressed feline and Scott the knight was cut short by echoing footsteps belonging to more than one person. Both their attentions turned to the hallway. A faint shadow, followed by another soon loomed into sight, until finally two young children and a very disturbing monstrosity of a teddy bear emerged into sight. The rabbit cyborg scanned the room in awe at the sheer beauty and antiquity the room exuded. “Wow…”
The Victorian-dressed hedgecat too scanned the room, but in a much more hurried manner. As she made her way towards the hall down the other end of the dining room, she paused and turned to the feline, taking on a quizzical look. “I’m sorry for disturbing you, Miss… I am looking for my papa… have you seen him?”
Last edited by Rexaura; 11-24-2012 at 02:09 AM.
It's a bloody business, Bates!
Pachosexual™ Zaftig Lover
The small room was virtually barren. All that existed in the small, white cubical shaped room was an unkempt bed, with a set of drawers by its side and a small lamp resting atop. Across the far end of the room was a wardrobe, its doors shut.
There was no sound at all, until all so suddenly one of the walls opened up, sliding towards the side with a quiet hissing sound. As soon as it opened, it closed once more, a soft pitter-patter sound of footsteps belonging to an unseen owner walking into the room.
The mattress sagged downwards, as the invisible person sat down upon it with a loud creak.
He sighed, as the figure emerged into visibility, the scales of his skin percolating from the colour of his surroundings, of the barren white walls and the folded creases of the bed’s mattress and duvet, into the familiar green skin that belonged to Eric Coil. The chameleon looked weary and depressed, as he buried his head into his hands and slowly rubbed the temples of his head.
Normally the chameleon would be wise cracking joke after endlessly poor joke, but for now he was silent without a funny bone to spare.
Eric stepped up and unzipped the body suit he would wear when he went out to ‘work’. As the leather suit collapsed to the ground, Eric walked up to one of the barren walls, and pressed his hand against it. A small square panel lit up with a soft glow, and with a small mechanical beep, a part of the wall slid out to the side with another hiss, revealing a hidden bathroom. Eric strode into the room, turning on the shower, and once the water’s heat built up to a comfortable level, Eric stepped in.
He spent the next ten minutes washing the wear and fatigue of the day’s events from his body. His hands moved unconsciously, automatically tending to clean every part of his body, his mind instead being preoccupied with far more pressing, distressing matters.
In particular, everything that had happened to the little chipmunk girl he considered his partner; Precious Baltimore.
Eric banged his head against the wall, letting the shower head continue to cascade water droplets on his back. How could he have been so stupid? How could he have abandoned her? He barely had any friends. She was the only one who ever seemed to care about what he said, the stupid jokes he told. And yet he just left her there like that, to be done with like who knows what by those ‘Trial Runners’. He had abandoned her, just like he had done to that other person before all those years ago.
He thought he had changed, and that maybe he had learnt something by now. But he hadn’t. And this latest event just served to confirm it.
He was a coward.
Eric left the shower, switching it off and drying himself with a clean towel that automatically dispensed itself from a device attached next to the shower. As he patted and dried his hair, he put on a fresh set of casual clothes from the wardrobe and discarded the towel over his shoulder, back into the bathroom, which was shut off from view again as the wall panel slid back into place.
Eric slumped down on the bed again, and opened the top most drawer of the desk next to the bed. Inside there was little except a mobile phone and a locket attached to a necklace. Eric took the necklace out, rubbing the metal locket in his hand, and then took the phone out afterwards. He stared at the illuminated start up menu of the phone, hesitating for a minute, before he entered a memorised string of numbers that added up to a phone number.
He brought the phone to his ear and listened to a repeating dial tone as the phone sought to connect to the other side.
A click resulted, and then the sound of an old woman on the other side received the call.
“Hello?” The woman asked.
Eric said nothing.
“Hello?” The woman repeated. There was silence for approximately twenty seconds, before the woman spoke up again. “Eric, is that you dear?”
“Yes, Mrs. Peters.” Eric replied. “It’s me.”
“My heavens, dear, it’s been so long since you’ve called! How are you doing? Are you well?”
“I’m doing… okay, Mrs. Peters. I’m fine. How are you?” Eric asked.
“Ah, well I’m doing just smashing, thank you.” The kindly old woman on the other side’s voice was positively beaming. “I’m so happy that you called.”
“I’m sorry I’ve not been able to for so long. Work’s kept me busy.”
“I’m sure, I’m sure.” The woman replied. “…do you want me to wake up Mary and hand the phone to her? She’d be so overjoyed to hear you calling!”
“She’s asleep? Oh, of course, I forgot what the time was.” Coil wiped his eyes. He was more tired than he thought. “No, don’t wake her. I know how difficult it is for her to sleep normally, so let her rest. How is she doing otherwise?”
“Ah, well, you know… the usual, dear. It’s not getting any better.” The old woman replied with a resided sigh. “You should be here with her, Eric.”
“I know, I know. I want to but it’s difficult. Work’s busy at the moment and I’m barely given any time off to get away and-”
“It’s been a year, Eric.” The woman spoke, her voice more agitated. “I don’t mean to criticise or anything, but you know that Mary seeing you would be the best medicine she could ever receive. She needs you, you know. Getting money is one thing, but all she truly wants is to be with you right now.”
“I know, I know. I…” Eric sighed. “Speaking of money, is everything still working out okay? You’re getting all the money transferred into your account?”
“Yes dear, everything’s fine on that front. It’s just, it’d be so wonderful to see you again, Eric…”
“I know, Mrs. Peters, I know.” Eric fell silent, his eyes wandering around the room but focusing on nothing inside it. His eyes then fell to his hand, and to the locket that rested in his palm. “Listen, Mrs. Peters. This job of mine will be over in a couple of days. After that I’ll come see you and Mary again.”
“Really, dear?” The woman sounded so elated. “Are you sure? Mary will be over the moon!”
“Yeah, I promise. I need some vacation time anyway.” Eric smirked, as his thumb unconsciously began rolling the locket about in his palm. “And when I come visit, I’ll be staying around for a long time. I promise.”
“Oh dear… I can’t wait. I’ll tell Mary first thing when she wakes up. And I’ll cook your favourite meal and- oh! It’ll be so wonderful!”
“Heh. Thank you Mrs. Peters.” Eric smiled. “Listen, I’ve gotta go, it’s getting really late. I’m sorry for waking you up.”
“Oh you don’t have to worry about me, dear, I’m fine. I’m just glad to hear you doing well. You’ve made an old woman really happy. And it’ll mean the world to Mary. I can’t wait to see you!”
“Neither can I. I’ll see you soon. I love you. Bye.”
The phone went silent as Eric ended the call and placed the mobile phone back into the drawer. He turned and laid back on the bed, stretching himself out as he looked at the locket in his hand, opening it and dangling it out in front of his face by the chain.
A small picture was inside the locket, showing a much younger pair of male and female chameleons, the boy in his teens and the girl as young as six. The boy would obviously grow to become Eric in a few more years. The girl…
‘I’ll see you soon, sis. I’m not going to abandon anyone else ever again. I promise.’
Last edited by Pachamac; 11-24-2012 at 03:37 PM.
SECURITY BREACH! Get her!
Globe Hotel: Somewhere on the Ground Floor:
Strychnyne raised his staff above his head, chanting in a guttural language, one lost to most of the world and only used now by those of an occult persuasion. The congealing blood puddles around him began to steam and boil, as the crystal-incased heart on the end of the staff began to beat slowly, emenating a sickly green glow that intensified until it spread out in a radius from the staff. The glow touched the massacred bodies on the floor, and they shuddered back to un-life, staggering to their feet and looking to their new master as he walked forward, raising yet more bodies, and followed after him in a soulless trance.
Hell: Slave Mountain:
“You must hate your parents a bit for that, right?”
The brown fennec girl snorted, not looking up from her work. "You have NO idea..." She sneered breifly, wishing the coyote named Dave would stop distracting her from her work, but she got no such luck, as he asked her what her 'crime' was that had gotten her down here. "...It's not important. And my name has nothing to do with it." She snorted again. He probably wasn't going to stop pestering her until she told, though. Idiot. "Fine, you really wanna know? I been a slave all my life. Even before I got stuck down 'ere. One time, I thought I could get outta it by informin' tha guards of a planned breakout. Yeah. I snitched. On my friends. Got 'em caught, watched coldly as they was beaten an' executed. It din'nt matter. As long as I had a chance at my namesake, I din'nt care. Then tha guards reneged. I was thrown in chains again, an' laughed at. Dis time, I din'nt 'ave no friends. No one wants to be friends wit' a snitch.
"Des'prate, I tried otha tactics. I offa'd certain...favors...to betteh my position. They took what I gave...but I stayed in chains. I was a pariah to the slaves...an' a tool to the guards, an' a coward over all. An' I'm STILL a coward. But it taught me three things: One: Never. Trust. Anyone. Two: You can't change yer fate, so jus' do as yer told. Hope is pointless. And Three: Never make friends. If they don' let ya down...you'll let THEM down. So if you'll es'cuse me, I'd like to get back to work, a'fore they whip me again." She trudged forward, straining against the rope and the chains.
(OOC: Ahhh, Freedom. You're SUCH a bundle of sunshine. XP I have to think a bit about Reni's side of things before I make that post. Don't want to mess anything up.)
True shot barrage
OOC: Awesome post Vi!
The monochrome blue shades of the sewers reflected off the worn, but wandering trial runners.
The waters they trod through flowed continuously. Taking with it grit, debris, and the odd pieces of junk like shards of crate wood, nails, tin cans, plastic bags, syringes and a beach of decaying disposals.
Their silhouettes passed spray painted graffiti on the walls. Some messages collaborated in airy fair rainbow blends, whereas others were crude scrawlings. One of the bolder statements read ‘Just be free’, which had an overly cheerful bumble bee flying towards a nearby flower. Another read ‘a posse ad esse’ in calligraphic text. Whereas another one… somehow drew Xell’s attention.
He walked over to a text that had slanted, edged writing with thorns protruding from it. Gradients of red, crimson and black.
He squirmed his neck and shoulders away with disgust and dismissal, before resuming his position back into the onwards progression. Series of splashes and echoes resounding off their feet. The ripples causing waves to make the surrounding urban trash bounce up and down.
Seipher stared down at his boots. The formerly fine black-brown leather which once gleamed with Rolls-Royce pride was now tarnished to rusty colours. Even visible in this depressed environmental navy light. However, he wouldn’t deny he was thankful they were keeping his feet safeguarded to the surrounding floating hazards. It made him feel sorry for the colleagues that weren’t donning heavy duty shoes. And even more sorry for those who had no footwear whatsoever.
The mouse ruffled her fur free of the gathered up drops of water that had been accumulating from the leaks.
The mouse yelped. Her face wide-eyed and shocked as a hand came over her shoulder. For reassurance.
“What’s happening to you…?” a familiar male voice asked. From the suited fox, Kenneth.
Mordie instantly jerked away, before patting Kenneth lightly on the shoulder. A forced smile on her face before sagging her head downwards.
The white fox sighed.
“Here… let me take the lead of the trolley for now. You look beat.” Kenneth gently pushed her lower back, more to guide her away from the chore than anything else.
The mouse obliged. Murmuring a thank you behind the damp hair that covered her face, before resuming her footsteps. The beat in her promenade aimless and almost dead to the world.
The white fox scrutinised her for a moment, before letting it slide for now. Maybe once they find somewhere to rest, he’d ask her more.
If they found somewhere to rest.
Glitch carried on walking. His former 2nd wind dying quite rapidly. The stress of his former demands towards knowing about this current situation had worn him out.
At this point in time, he refused to be a passenger on the rudimentary trolley that was being used to trek the unconscious forms of Hikari and Nathan. Besides, being placed next to a dead looking body with a missing arm grossed him out. He’d rather be buried alive.
Lani herself, had a cold but impassive expression on her face. Past revelations were resurfacing and her trust amongst the group, especially that of Xell, had suspended her with doubt and truculence. All along, He seemed the one person she may have been able to confide him. Now that confidence had blemished and blackened. She couldn’t place her emotions on this at this point in time. Despite him pleading that he hadn’t ‘chosen this’ or that ‘this wasn’t what it looked like’, she couldn’t shift her anger.
Especially since those eyes looked so much like Julien’s. Was he able to see through those eyes? Or was the presence of Wren shrouding that?
Either way, his aura carried a sense of spoil.
Yet she was torn since her sword Illiachen had actually trusted him to retrieve her and give her back to Lani. If it hadn’t been for that, her conclusion on the anthromorphian dragon would’ve been so much more simple.
She shook her head again. She had to part from this loop of mental agitation until she could have a rest, at the very least.
“You know guys…” Kenneth finally broke the silence, struggling to shift the trolley straight against the sewer current “any heads up on where we might go once we’re out of this garbage dump?”
He said, wrinkling his nose.
Xell lowered his ears, before raising them. His eyes opening wide as an inspired thought entered his mind.
"you could find the building you seek tonight and then spend the night there. After all, the Hordes of Hell are kept out of there by defences far stronger than the word of Jack the Ripper, and I am sure Mistress Canticle wouldn't begrudge you the stay".
"Who?" Xell asked.
Leandra blinked a moment before realising what he meant. "The occupant of room 6:124," she explained, "that is the name I know her by: Mistress Canticle. Anyhow, I think I have told you as much as I know that could be helpful. The ball is in your court now".
“Yes, there is somewhere we can stay… someone who will let us stay there…” Xell said, coming to a stop. Causing everyone else around him to stall themselves. So attentive that even the dragon felt somewhat intimidated as he turned around to see the focused gazes on him.
“Lani, Reni and Jay were with me. We met someone by the name of Leandra at one of the malls earlier…” he explained before turning to look at Glitch, Kenneth, Mordie, Wren and Seipher respectively “this was whilst you guys had embarked on your own separate paths at the beginning of Circle II.”
“Cooool…” Glitch nodded wryly “so where and more importantly… ‘who’?!” the hedgehog interrogated, damned if there really was anyone he could trust in this world.
“She was a young girl who went by the name of Leandra. She lives in a stronghold that offers sanctuary from the heathens and monsters of hell. We’ll be safe there… safe from the external police force and security operatives, safe from Jack and the SEO, and more importantly…”
“… safe from Julien.”
“Ha!” Wren coughed, causing all eyes to shift in his direction “if what you’re relaying here is true, little dragon, what makes you think we’d be welcome there?”
“Are you more concerned for your sins disallowing you entry?” Seipher mused “after all, you USED to be the Overlord’s first in line…” the fennec reflected on Wren’s earlier conversation at the Globe dining table concerning his former past duties and possible deductions on Dolly’s whereabouts.
“Trust me on this one,” Xell cut the two off before the catalyst could set another argument “if there’s anything worth believing in at this point in time… it’s the fact that there is sanctuary out there that will give us the time we need to recover our wounds and press on with our missions.”
“I’d say with everything that’s gone on, no one is more perfect than the other… so please PLEASE… stop squabbling!” he made his last words more audible.
“If we can at least find somewhere for everyone to hold out, I can try and scout for its location.”
The dragon promptly turned to look at Precious.
“How far are we from the nearest exit?”
The chipmunk looked at the dragon with an unreadable expression, before casting her series of hand gestures. At which Wren resumed the role to translate.
“It depends where you would like to go…” he spoke for her “if we carry in this direction, we will be taken towards the abandoned warehouse.”
“Great idea! Who’s going to look for us at an abandoned warehouse?” Seipher suggested.
“Impractical idea,” Wren read out Balti’s translation “that is one of the entry ways to the SEO underground high-tech facilities.”
“...we could get caught and apprehended.”
“Well. Greeeeeeeeeeat!” Glitch rolled his eyes “why suggest it in the first place then dummy?!”
“If we proceed east, we will be thrown into the ocean.” Wren continued Balti’ instructions “South has been blocked off. North will lead us to the back of an abandoned hospital.”
The group deliberated, by weighing up the options in their head. All seemingly warming up to the idea of taking a North direction.
“Might actually be the best place to hold out in…” Kenneth murmured, before turning to look at Xell again “Puff, are you SURE this Leandra contact wasn’t a random heathen in disguise?”
“I’m pretty sure,” Xell sighed. He couldn’t blame the others for doubting him that he heard from a ‘birdy’ that there’d be some temporary solitude and sanctuary. After all, look at the mess they were in right now.
At this point in time, he wasn’t sure if this plan was the best one to pursue. However, at a time where all logic was broken and all was against them- it was worth giving in to something that his 6th sense told him was true.
“… now come on. Let’s follow Precious and see whether the North really does take us to that hospital.”
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __
The group continued their unrelenting search for that glimmer of hope. Short term, a brief stay at this so called abandoned hospital. Followed by an greater or lesser stay at this sanctuary. A sanctuary some of the group were wondering, was probably just a church spoken of by a religious fanatic in the mall.
After all, Kenneth had been in a church some time earlier and that did little to keep hellions like Jack the Ripper from entering and threatening to kill him.
’Soldier boy had better be right about this…’ the white fox grimaced as another wad of water splashed down the back of his neck.
The sullen blue lights of rusty navy and corroded greys gradually began to lighten. To that of sapphire and royal blues.
Rays of artificial light penetrated from the grates above. Enabling the group to see the night sky and outside world through the slits. There were some distant sirens and traffic horns resounding. Despite the fact it was dead activity compared to daily Vegas regime and the group could feel reassured that they were some distance away from their threat for now.
The group rounded one last corner. The blues now shifting to more aqua, green and azure blue colours.
Ahead of them, they could see an incline platform that coiled around a passage. Non-barricaded and as if it was leading somewhere.
Above the entry way was a dimmed lit ‘Fire exit’ sign, which had a stick figure man dashing down the stairs’ in block white against green. It looked as if the lightning was on emergency power given its poor illumination and its desperate pulse for life.
“What’s the chances of a fire happening down here?!” Glitch asked with an open palm. He leant against the trolley for support. Really beginning to feel woozy from this long and taxing journey.
Waking up so dishevelled and injured after a battle with his inner daemon in another body and having to walk through the sewers with a group of squabbling, lost, irritable, and confused loonies was just cruel.
“Probably next to none… unless there’s an oil refinery nearby…” Kenneth mused as he scratched his chin to take in the surroundings again. After all, what was the deal behind that so called abandoned warehouse and it being a secret entry way to SEO?
He might have to remember that.
“This is convenient,” Xell said somewhat relieved at the exit in front of them “glad we don’t have to take the stairs or some crude ladder with these lot…” he said gesturing towards Kari and Nathan “on our backs.”
“Let me take over that,” Lani said, placing her hands on the trolley handles “and don’t get too complacent. If we don’t run to an obstacle now, we may well later.” The warrior lady advised.
Xell simply waited as Precious lead the way, followed by Lani pushing the trolley, Mordie, Kenneth, Wren, and Glitch.
As they all disappeared around the corner, Glitch swung his eyes towards Xell and lowered his voice.
Xell turned slightly and raised his eyebrows. Continuing his walk despite Glitch addressing him.
“Couple’s spat?” the white hedgehog asked.
“Excuse me?!” Xell retorted, earning a glance from Wren.
Xell caught the rabbit’s gaze. Grinning sheepishly, he shuffled his hand to dismiss the issue as nothing.
The purple daemonic bunny let out a low grunt, before turning around again to mind his own business.
“She seems really mad at you… considering how much she seemed to …trust you… or SOMETHING… earlier…” the hedgehog shut his eyes and smirked somewhat. The aquaey and blue lights dimming again as the trial runners walked. To more corroded blues and greys.
“I don’t know what you mean…” Xell hissed slightly, contorting his expression as he shifted his eyes away. A knee-jerk reaction to wanting to escape this conversation. But he had to stand his ground.
“As far as the group goes, I hope to look out for everyone and help them on an individual basis. Relations I have for everyone are completely orderly and platonic.”
The group were about to arrive somewhere as the lights shifted again. More sapphire and chrome blues in the vicinity, with surrounding orange emergency lights before Glitch and Xell had even noticed.
“Pft yeah well, I always thought she kinda liked you. Just saying…” Glitch sniggered somewhat, before running to join the others.
Xell watched after him, before folding his arms and snorting.
He then unfolded them and then took in the group’s whereabouts.
They had come through a door. And now they found themselves in a long, outstretched hallway.
A black and white chequered floor board stretched into declining perception down the conduit. On the bilateral sides of the grey weathered walls, were doors, boards with pinned up pieces of paper, and windows which looked out into the wards.
The whole group lolled their heads within their circle. One to keep guard of each other, and two, to inspect their surroundings and ascertain its safety. Despite the perceiving tranquillity and stillness, the atmosphere was irking.
Xell place a hand on one of the windows and peered through the ward. Scrunching his eyes, he could deduce abandoned and unkempt hospital beds. Some of the sheets looked stained from blood and moth eaten. Saline drips hung there, deserted.
He then peered down the hallway again, and only just noticed how misty the hospital was.
Exhaust pipes were silently hissing and giving off steam in far corners, whilst gradual drops of water would xylophone down to the floor every so often.
Scattered across the floor itself were biohazard bins and rolled out barrels, as well as dried up blood puddles and piles of scattered glass splinters, scalpels and syringes.
Kha kha kha kha!!!
“Oh my fuckin…” Glitch cursed as he threw himself to the ground along with the others to duck.
The echoes died, as well as the fluttering when the group all peered up to notice it was a cranky raven that had zoomed through the hallway. And out through the window. Into the night sky as its silhouette shrank against the full beaming moon.
“A bit of Ornithophobia?” Kenneth sniggered, casting his eyes in a semi-circle as he watched everyone get up again. Truth was, he was startled as well, but managed to trick the group into thinking the surprise hadn't fazed him.
“It was sudden…” Lani retorted, checking on her sword to make sure all was intact.
“Can’t say I rate this as a first class hospital,” Glitch said, grimacing at the syringe trails “did a buncha druggies get high in this place?!”
“I don’t think I want to know!” Xell face palmed. The prospect of being in this haunt was nowhere near as appealing as it formerly felt minutes ago.
“Hey, wait… the kid’s got something to say…” Kenneth said, turning to look at Balti who was jumping up and down anxiously. Wren turned to look. Folded arms whilst observing. Again.
“Where is the mouse lady? The black one…” he translated.
“Mordie?” Seipher uttered, looking around and scratching his pilot’s helmet. Dumbfounded.
The group frantically scanned the misty hallways with their constricted pupils.
She was gone
The black female mouse was whimpering. Her arteries and veins feeling like shards of glass and thorns were rubbing against the vessel walls. Not to mention how dry her throat felt. Like sandpaper.
Her head, too, was throbbing like a hammer continuously being brought down upon an anvil.
It had been hell suppressing these symptoms since the beginning of the group’s reunion after the massacre. She was just good at concealing it. She had let it slip a couple of times that the inner struggle was making her buckle to her knees.
On the one hand, she wanted to cry out for help. But how could she? She’d become something she hadn’t even admitted to herself yet.
Admit what…? Oh this thirst….
She had to break it off from the group. The smell was overwhelming. It was alluring but sickening. The outer skins of her friends becoming more and more like heated infra-red figures before her vision. Just like when…
No. I don’t want to know… she slammed the door behind her. Turning the knob until it clicked in hope that she had locked it. But she hadn’t. But complacency was comfort. And as long as she was alone and locked away from the world, that was all that mattered.
She pressed her back against the door, arms outstretched and pushing it back as her back slid against it. Sinking to the floor. Falling to a crouch as her hands cradled her cranium.
Trying to restrain the mad thoughts that streaked through her head like fire. That, coupled with her incinerating blood vessels, her heart, her throat.
The sinister hues that coloured the walls differed from the hallway she was previously standing in with her fellow trial runners. Dark crimsons, corroded browns and burgundy streaks of red tinted this room. A sense of foreboding weighing in this place.
In some way, it felt like a safe haven for Mordie.
Her eyes snapped open, whilst her nose wrinkled.
She could smell something
She then followed the scent. Her eyes were dimming. Failing her. But her other senses were heightening.
Animal instincts taking over as her hands found themselves reaching out towards stacked shelves. Patient names in the cubby holes, which each contained red fluid within a bag.
As her fingers curled around one of the cold bags, she trembled violently. So vivaciously and uncontrolled- the bag slipped from her grasp and splattered upon the floor. Staining her feet and knees.
She let out a muffled yelp. Trying hard not to draw attention to the others from the outside. She slanted her ears as she picked up some trace murmurings from them.
“What’s gotten into her anyways?! She looks delirious!” a voice that sounded like Glitch said “last we spoke, she was trying it on with me!”
“I think the thought of that makes her feel sick now…” Seipher joked, letting out a laugh, before a slap was heard that echoed across the hallway.
There was silence for a moment, before a reverberating growl could be heard.
“That chipmunk hit me again!!! Fuckin’ hell!”
The erupting arguments continued.
Mordie was able to hear the initial conversation- before it all fell to a low octave incomprehensible garble.
She couldn’t take it any longer.
She shoved her head forwards and forced herself to read the writings on the shelves. What if some of this blood was diseased… contaminated?
Hepatitis B, Hep C, AIDS…
What did it matter? She was dead anyway.
And even now, with the state she was in, she didn’t care anymore.
The thirst was winning. Unrelenting.
As the written script on the shelf fell to a blur, she cried out as she reach for the bag.
Puncturing it slightly as she fell blind to the strength of her grasp. Blood staining her hands.
She cupped the bag with her hands and ripped open the plastic surface with her teeth.
She began to drink. And drink...
All the while the shelf with the mysterious name now stood empty.
Last edited by BandageKid; 11-26-2012 at 06:39 AM.
Oh man I am so glad to be back here, guh... O_O Just in case no one recognizes me, it's Kim here. Or Shadow Lady. Hell if I can remember, haha. But yeah, I'll be rejoining you guys as soon as I bring myself up to speed (and finals aren't looming over my head...). Can't wait! |D
Pachosexual™ Zaftig Lover
OOC: Awesome post, Vi
And Kimmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! PLZ STAY AND NEVER GO ;O;
I,I,I,I tried my best with Hikari even though it's really poor compared to your awesomeness but hgnghgnghgnnnn. If you need any help with anything at all, I'm your man!
Um, yeah. All that gushing aside, er, IC...
“I am getting really fucking sick of this kid!” The angry three tailed fennec shouted with an agitated sigh. “Remind me again why we brought her with us!?”
Las Vegas: Hospital
“Let it go, Seipher…” Xell sighed. Was he the only one here who was trying to keep a sense of calm? He had hoped that they had left all this behind in the sewers. And it wasn’t like they had more important things to be doing at the present moment. Top of which was being the fact that Mordie had all but suddenly vanished. And considering the current dilapidated state of the Hospital, it didn’t inspire much confidence in him at all. Maybe they shouldn’t have come here after all…?
“Puff’s right. Mordie’s missing.” Kenneth spoke with a firm tone. “We look for her, now.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know it’s important.” Seipher said, wiping the dust off his nose. “I’m just saying-”
“You should say… a little quieter…” A weak pitched voice spoke up, making everybody jump off their feet and back themselves up against in the walls in the most opposite direction to the noise. This hospital was not helping things.
“Hikari! You’re awake!” Seipher was the first to regain his composure as he saw the Siamese cat weakly try to rise to her feet, before stumbling down towards the ground. Seipher spent no time at all in rescuing his partner from a near-miss with the dangerous artefacts littering the ground; the various shards of glass and needles.
“Hikari, are you okay?” The look of worry and concern etched upon his face and his voice made the nearby watching Kenneth sag his shoulders back. He had been irritated at the way Seipher had confronted him earlier, and thought his attitude beyond reproach. But the way he looked towards Hikari, and the concern he felt towards her… it was a lot like…
“You look after her, flyboy, I’ve still got Mordie to find.” Kenneth said, turning around on the spot and beginning to stalk the nearest rooms for any sight of the missing mouse. “Hey, young ‘un, you want to help me look for her?” Kenneth spoke over his shoulder towards Baltimore, who perked her little ears up. “I know this place is scary; Glitch is already wetting himself, but you’ll be fine with me.”
“What the fuck did you say?” Glitch protested, but the fox and quickly following chipmunk rounded the corner out of sight. He stamped his feet on the ground, and turned in the opposite direction. “I’m going to go look that way.”
“Don’t go too far,” Xell urged. “We can’t afford to be split up again.”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s fine.” Glitch handwaved back. “That damn girl with her… her... her…! ...damn girl’s always causing some kind of trouble!”
“I’ll look this way.” Lani said, striding off away from the remainder of the group, without giving pause to waiting for Xell’s permission or acceptance, whilst Wren had taken the remaining corridor from the 4 way junction in silence. Xell followed Wren’s back with a look of confusion and wonder. He certainly didn’t expect, out of any of them, for Wren to show any concern in looking for a teammate. But as long as he was pitching in…
“What happened, ‘kari?” Seipher asked, guiding the Siamese cat to a nearby set of chairs outside one of the wards, and gently lowering her down, before sitting next to her and holding her shoulders.
“I don’t remember a lot… I remember seeing Katsurou, and then being in a casino, with a lot of soldiers who were… just killing so many people. It was horrible. I tried to stop them, but…” Hikari struggled to remember her circumstances, whincing at the trail end of her explanation as she gripped her head in intense pain. She brought her hand back down, and stared at the blood coagulating in her hand.
“I think she got grazed on her head,” Seipher said, following her hand back to her head and parting her hair as he checked for wounds. “It doesn’t look too serious, but…”
“But it might be a concussion, right.” Xell replied. “Well, make sure she rests a little while on that bench until she’s stable again. Luckily enough, despite the upkeep, we’re in a hospital so hopefully we can…”
“A hospital? Why are we in a hospital?” Hikari asked, narrowing her vision to inspect her surroundings.
“It’s… a long story. We’ll fill you in later, Hikari.” Xell replied. “Right now, Mordie’s gone missing, so everyone’s going to look for her.”
“What happened to him?” Hikari asked, pointing towards the trolley. The horrible visage of the beaten and bloody salamander with the missing arm laid propped against the dirty, sewer grimed trolley. The slowly, rhythmic rise and fall of his chest was the only thing that encouraged the idea that he was still alive. “That’s… Nathan, right? The Runner who went missing? What happened to his arm? He did have two before, didn’t he?”
Seipher and Xell were both silent, each unsure what to say or how to explain. What had happened before at the Hotel, with Jack’s massacre and his explanation of the second circle and the fact they were wanted people… it was far too much to simply summarise so quickly and so soon at this point. They couldn’t resent Hikari’s concerns and need to ask what had happened to the Salamander, but it was all something they could discuss later, when their situation wasn’t so haphazard.
“Nathan had a… incident. But we’ll do what we can to help him. And, again, luckily enough we’re in a hospital.” Xell replied to the best of his ability. “I’m not a doctor… I’ve had some field training but that’s nothing that can help deal with this. But we’re at a hospital, and there’s always a chance that there might be a doctor here, or at least something we can do to help treat him…”
“Well, if we get out of here alright and he survives, I might be able to introduce him to a good prosphetic surgeon.” Hikari laughed, wincing once more as the pain in her head flared up again.
“How is the arm, Xell?” Seipher asked, rubbing Hikari’s shoulders and holding her head in his chest. “We were in that sewer a long time. If it’s infected…”
Xell nodded, and turned to look towards Nathan’s body. He crouched down and stared dumbfounded at the wound, taking an uneasy step back in surprise at the image before him. “I don’t believe it!”
“It’s healed right over! There’s no open wound, or bleeding or anything!” Xell turned to look back at Seipher and Hikari. What the hell was up with that?
Ravenwar Fire Palace
The woman stopped, at a loss for how to proceed.
She just stared, dumfounded at the little hedgecat girl who had approached her, asking for help. Her gaze shifted between both her and the rabbit cyborg, and the out of place giant stuffed teddybear that clearly didn’t belong in a haunted locale such as this.
Children had no right to be somewhere like this. At all. They deserved better.
She felt sick to her stomach.
Her hand fell on top of it, holding it tightly as she winced at the nauseating thought, as the knight Scott walked forwards and towards Laura, pushing his hands outwards as if ushering the little girls away.
“Out, out, you!” The red armoured heron insisted. “You children really shouldn’t be left to wandering the halls as you are like this. You’re disturbing people!”
“Have you seen my papa?” Laura asked Scott, her gaze penetrating his eyes as her head tilted to its side. Scott said nothing, instead slightly recalling at the unnerving sight.
“Don’t speak to her like that!” The woman seated before the feast yelled out, standing up as she did.
Scott jumped on the spot, and turned to face the female feline. He bowed his head and muttered several apologies, taking a few more steps back from her. In truth he had no authority at all when it came to the children, being as it were that they ranked above even him. But he felt children deserved some form of discipline, and it would also be for their own safety not to aimlessly wander the halls of the palace so, being that there could be dangers and traps lurking behind any number of doors. Having them get into trouble, or hurting themselves, wasn’t something that Scott wanted to take the responsibility or blame for from the Patriarch Julien or his knight captain, Jacob, which is why he usually took a wide berth of the little girl. He had seen far too many others knights be punished for such.
“My apologies, miss.” Scott replied. “I’m interested in their best interests, of course, and yours too. Many of the Dark Lords and the Overlord’s guests themselves are usually disturbed by the children’s interruptions, so…”
“That’s enough, Scott. Really.” The woman said, looking towards both Laura and Dolly with a sadness in her eyes.
Children shouldn’t be here…
“Come here, little ones.” The woman ushered to the chairs nearest her. As she did, she realised that there, on the table and in her hand still, was the gun that Julien had gifted her. She quickly pulled it away from the table and hid it inside her boot. “There’s food here for you. More than I can eat. And I shall try my best to help you find your ‘papa’. What does he look like?”
SEO Underground Compound
The corridors echoed with the steady rhythm of footsteps, as the tall, well suited Victorian gentleman skipped down the eerie, metallic pathway with a whistle in accompaniment. This evening had been a success, if ever there had been. One more little matter of business to take care of, before he could take a break and relax.
He had walked past several passing guards, who all took a wide berth of the unusually smiling man. They had been trained and readied for near enough anything, but there was something about this very man himself that sent shivers throughout all of them. The gossiping rumours amongst all the military personnel here was that none of them wanted him around, but it was not as if they had any real choice in the matter. Jack’s business, after all, was with the people who ran this facility, and for the soldiers they could do nothing but follow their superiors’ orders. Even if it was creepy.
Jack came to a stop in front of a blue metal door, which on the outside had a holographic reading describing ‘Director’s Office.’ He tapped outside the door with his cane three times in succession, and patiently waited until the door rose upwards with the sound of a whoosh.
Jack walked in, and as he entered the almost pitch black room, several lights above him began to illuminate, keyed to the man’s presence. On either side of the room were several long bookcases, filling the length of the room, the spines of the books a menagerie of reds, blues and greens, emblazoned with gold fonted titles. The floor itself had a long red carpet direct the walker to the far end of the room, where a large wooden desk and large, immaculate looking chair awaited him, the back of which fell before him. Not much was on the desk bar a laptop and some papers, with a ink jar and pens to the side. Beside the desk and facing the direction of Jack was a large, stuffed polar bear looking as if it was pouncing upon him.
At the far end of the room, across the entire wall was a series of monitors, each displaying separate visual feeds. Most of them were video feeds from the security cameras placed throughout the Compound to monitor the activities of the staff. The scientists, experiments and soldiers were all being monitored. But they were not the only pictures on display, included as well were various scenes of the Las Vegas city, a few of the interior of the Globe Hotel and the police’s efforts to search throughout it…
…and two more showed the Trial Runners in the Hospital. One focused on Xell, Seipher, Hikari and Nathan, the other on Kenneth and Baltimore.
“Well, well, sir, good evening and salutations,” Jack greeted, bowing in front of the chair before him. There was no movement at all forthcoming from the seat, but a soft murmur from behind it made it clear that was life preoccupying.
“I say, my good man, what did you think of the show? A blast I’m sure.” Jack continued, moving to the desk and sitting against it, taking his monocle off and polishing it with a spare handkerchief from his jacket pocket.
“Harump…” grunted the other person from behind the back of the seat. The voice made it clear that the owner was man, most likely elderly. “You’re a man of your word, Mr. ‘Ripper’. You did as you said you would.”
“Ah, but of course I did, my good man. I am nothing if but honest.” Jack replied. “I always come through on my deals. A promise is a promise.”
“Yes… I am pleased with the results…” The voice trailed off. The seat shifted a little, and an old, wrinkled hand lifted up into view, and fell on top of the arm on the chair. There was soft click, as the man pressed against something etched into the chair. Several of the monitors on the facing wall changed, showing pre-recorded footage of the Hotel Massacre; the main subjects of which were the five genetic experiments that comprised the group: The Forbidden Fruit. Specifically, Eric Coil, Precious Baltimore, Bella Rose, Cecil Bonaparte and Antaeus.
“This was a perfect opportunity to test the fruits of our creations. The capabilities of our soldiers that so much time and effort have been invested in. And, for the most part, they didn’t disappoint. I have to thank you, Mr. Ripper. I never expected a combat environment as ripe as this to demonstrate the worth of our work. And with your… ‘curious’ abilities, my organisation remains obscured to the world at large. We were able to operate in plain sight and yet no one will ever know.”
“Yes, well, I do respect your company’s desire to remain clandestine.” Jack replied. “I don’t suppose you have any brandy, do you my good man? I’m feeling a mite parched and the desire to celebrate.”
“However, Mr Ripper, I have… issues with your actions…” The voice carried on.
“Oh?” Jack said, turning to face the chair once more, his jovial attitude no more. “And what would that be?”
The screens on the wall shifted again, to the scene just before Jack and the SEO operatives had left, in where Baltimore had been taken hostage by Kenneth and just as soon rejected and left behind by her comrades.
“I don’t much care for the girl’s feelings, as I would any of the other ‘things’ we cultivate here. But she is more than some mewling child. She is a weapon, and many years worth of money and science. Despite her age, she knows things, of our organisation, and she cannot be allowed to roam free as she pleases. She belongs here. She belongs to us.” The voice grunted.
Jack paused, looking up at the screen, and nodding before looking away and jumping off the desk.
“Ah, yes, I thought you might be displeased by that. But no need to fear, my good man, everything is going to plan.” Jack replied. The figure in the seat remained silent, waiting for the Ripper’s explanation.
“To allay your fears, she is, essentially, bait. Despite what occurred on the stage, I am no doubt sure she will come running back here. I have read all of the profiles on your experiments here, and her, I’m sure I’m safe enough to speak, will come running back here as quick as she can, and bringing with her the rest of our combat dummies for your experiments to fight.” Jack begun. “I have also returned to you one of your missing Specimens, who has alluded you for so long. A certain purple hedgehog that a scientist of yours has a fascination for, no…? You don’t need to be in any hurry to thank me.”
“But, more than that… with the two of them like that, they’ll be bringing straight back to you the one person you want more than anything.” Jack continued. “I can’t remember the number you gave him, but I believe he called himself… Nathan Winters…?”
“Winters…” The aged voice moaned, the chair’s bottom squeaking. The owner had shifted in his seat, sitting up straighter in it. “Yes, I thought I saw him on the screens. But… how? Both he and the hedgehog were last reported to be plaguing our Australian branch.”
“A gift, from me to you.” Jack replied with a knowing smile. “I know exactly how much trouble he’s caused you, and your entire organisation at that. Think, my dear sir, just how much more favourably the founders of the wonderful Synthetic Eden Organisation will look upon its Las Vegas branch’s director for being the one able to recapture that irritating blighter? It might have been your facility’s fault that he escaped from him before, but that’s neither here nor there. That was an error of your predecessor’s. Still, all things considered, I think things will be looking up for you once you’re able to capture him again.”
“Perhaps… you’re right…” The voice contemplated. “But what about Specimen 156? We had him recaptured. He was back here in our facility not too long ago. But your experiment… it’s lead to us losing him again.”
The voice’s tone was sterner. Angrier.
“I cannot stress enough how important he was to us and the company. As much of an annoyance Specimen 279 is, 156 is far more important! Do you not understand?! The rest… they were all people before. People who we’ve turned into weapons. But 156… he was BORN a weapon. You might not understand this but he’s the most important belonging of this branch’s!” The voice’s gruff tirade ended with a sputtering cough, as the overexerted owner slowed down to control his breathing, and his racing heartbeat.
“Ah, 156, yes. Wraith… I suspect he too will likely play a part, as well. I cannot say for any certainty, to which I apologise, but I believe it is likely he will return here as well.” Jack smirked, facing the monitors and inspecting the feed again.
“How… can you be so sure…?”
“Because as much as he may hate it, this is his home. He doesn’t know anything else but here. And turbulent children, they may kick and scream and run away, but they’ll always come back eventually. And Wraith is no different. He’ll return… if only to settle the score with his ‘makers’.” Jack replied, clapping his hands together with his cane under his armpit. “Just think, my dear ‘Mr.Black!’ Pretty soon, we may have a nice, big, happy family reunion!”
“Hnn… I’m still not sure what it is you get out of this…” The voice replied after a careful consideration of Jack’s last speech. “You have given us an opportunity. You have given us… unusual technology that will help us develop more weapons, better and stronger than ever before… you even say you will give me back all the little runaways… 156, 279, 123… and yet for what? What do you gain out of all of this?”
“A show, my good man. The show of a lifetime.” Jack replied with no hesitation. “A drama that will be remembered for all of time.”
“I suspect… you’re mad…”
“Oh, well, yes, I am a bit of that, quite.” Jack laughed. “That’s why I and your organisation make such good bedfellows. Who wouldn’t be mad to be doing the things that you’ve got happening here?”
“Heh… heh heh…” The voice laughed, before coughing again. “Yes… it will be a show…”
“You’re familiar with where your… lodgings for you and your assistant are?” The voice asked, to which Jack replied in the affirmative. “You’ll find yourself all the brandy you’d like there, and as many monitors as you wish to watch the… unfolding action.” The voice coughed. “It is as you said… this will be quite a show…”
“Indeed, good sir.” Jack replied, tilting his head towards the chair, and turning to walk away out of the room. “Have yourself a good night, Mr. Black. Thank you for all your help, and I hope you enjoy the festivities.”
Last edited by Pachamac; 11-28-2012 at 12:20 PM.