Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

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Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:31 pm

PINCH never worked silently or subtly. Least of all it's leader, Fatima.

Her hair was never anything other than a small afro. A symmetrical, well groomed sphere of hair framing her dark-skinned face. Her eyes always adorned some sort of slight make-up and below a golden chain necklace graced her neck. She was never seen in public wearing anything that wouldn't qualify as jaw-dropping, and tonight was no different. Fine bolts of silk dyed both gold and black had been arranged into a dress no doubt from someone specializing in the craft, and Fatima's curvy body wore it well. The sturdy clogs she wore were made to thud on the ground she walked, just as they did tonight through the cozy halls of a disenchanted motel. Or course, she never left without an accessory. This evening, her favorite, a gold and maroon clutch. It's size perfectly concealed her small pistol with enough room left over for a few loose cigarettes and extra bullets.

KNOCK KNOCK

The room of greasy haired, poorly dressed, shit kicking assholes was interrupted by a knock at the door. Smoke lingered thick enough to camouflage full expressions to one another, and so no one spoke up.

KNOCK KNOCK

"The fuck!" One of them yelled and sat up, causing his chair to fall back to the floor; an action he of course played off as something he did on purpose, although probably was actually annoyed by loud sounds and would have prevented it if he had been in the right state of mind.

"Sit down!" Another man said. "It's probably just some room service that we don't want and it is stupid!"

The man who stood up had already gone too far to be turned back by one of his drunk friends, "I'll tell them to get the hell out of here, and leave us alone, and to get out of here!!"

One of his friends laughed, "James, just sit the fuck down."

James was already half-way to the door and by this point was too drunk and too far away to care what his 'friends' were saying. He answered the door.


Fatima was met instantly with a wall of cigarette smoke and what seemed to be incense poorly hiding the former scent. She said nothing as James looked at her curvy frame.

"You're Fatima! Jesse's woman! What the hell are you doing here?"

"I'm not Jesse's woman anymore," Fatima spoke with confidence and walked into the room, past James. She walked to the table where three other men sat smoking cigarettes and leaned over. She wore glasses in the shape of circles and bearing a dark brown tinge. "Where's Jesse?" She asked in a tone that didn't seem too far from a mockery of a cocky snake.

The man closest to her right stood up, his chair not falling behind him. He was some sort of man who thought unmaintained hair was a sort of style and wore it proudly with ginger roots. He said nothing as he looked at Fatima.

Fatima lifted her chin and looked at the man in the eyes, through the smoke, through her glasses. "So are you going to tell me what I want to hear?"

The man lifted his fist and sent it towards Fatima's face. She had enough time to grin before raising her own hand and countering his attack into a twist of his arm and a 'snap'. The man screamed out in pain just before a tough kick from Fatima connected to the bottom of his chin and he flew back across the room. Everyone was silent.

"Where is Jesse?" She asked again, fixing her glasses which had slightly dropped down her face.

James, the man who let her in, had since closed the door and stood in awkward amazement at what she had done to his friend. "He's not here, Woman! Check Ridge if that's who you want. You know he's not really close with us, so this is pointless!"

Fatima turned to face James, "Close enough to send your goons after mine! Friends enough to where he relies on your payroll to interfere with PINCH!"

James tilted his head and grinned, "Maybe. Maybe you're right, and maybe I'm lying. Either way, what do you get out of it?"

Fatima took a step towards James, her clogs thudded just as they should. "I need you to let him know, that PINCH is, one, not going to allow our jobs to be effected by him, and, two, be second to his half-assed, slow-witted, untalented, piece of shit bounty hunters!"

"Oh really?" James said in a voice that teased that idea of him instantly sobering up. "Well you let two of them get behind you."

When Fatima, all those months ago, was shopping around for various accessories, she wanted a clutch that had easy accessibility. One who's zipper was easily pulled open, and didn't require leverage or whatever else bad zippers require. She also looked for a clutch who's lining was smooth enough to allow things to fall out of it easily. Which normally seems like a weird thing to want, especially when it includes trying to keep money, but when it involves getting a pistol out in a tight situation, it's something one looks for when shopping around.

Two loud bangs caused the other two men around the table to fall out of their chair and writhe on the wooden floor. A third would have ended the life of James who now had the barrel of a golden pistol shoved in his mouth. "Tell Jesse we're coming for him. Tell him I'm sick of his shit. And tell him I'm going to put a bullet in his fucking head." Fatima pulled the gun out of James' mouth and threw him to the floor. She wasted no time in leaving the smokey motel room, and out of the building, and back into the roaring city of Process.

- -

Process is a city of steel and beams and lights and pathways and streets and tall buildings and freeways which plow across and over the city in a way to say that the future is impatient and greedy. It's population exceeds a little over 15 million, and it does so in one of the most cozy ways. Being generically round in shape, it's buildings topple over each other, and have for years, and so everything built later on sometimes builds right on top of the past. Parking complexes built atop small family shops. Roadways constructed above dojos and parks. A city giving birth on itself.





1.) Temple Hill. The richest district in Process. It's also where the mayor resides in a large mansion surrounded by high stone gates. Security is highest here, and most of the residents somehow have their hand in the government. Temple Hill is also the district with the highest altitude.

2.) Marcy Houses. This would be best described as the 'middle class' district. Decent homes alongside well maintained and not overly busy roads. Being that it's population isn't very high, there is a wide range of parks. Also, most of the houses have at least a couple windows facing the small piece of land and then the Ocean to the West. This is the district with the second highest altitude, so residents are able to look cleanly over District 7 and 10.

3.) Process Project. Also, known as Pro-pro, this was a city project to experiment with new engineering and architecture technology. Mostly, this is a working district. Many of the residents from Marcy Houses work here, and have a short trip home. Since the 'Tower 97' accident, however, it's the most despised district to most of the residents to the SouthWest. It's also worthy to note, that since there are so many experimental buildings, many are forgotten about and are often taken up by thugs, gangsters, vagabonds, and made into hideouts.

4.) Ritt. Nothing very special here. A selection of lower-middle class and middle-class households. A small river runs through the district from West to East, and so there are many homes which have small docks where they can fish. (There is a strict anti-pollution act that protects the river) Not far from the river, the cities main freeway pushes through, around and over buildings.

5.) Archway Fields. The space between Temple Hill and Archway Fields is a massive cliff. The height difference is nearly a half-mile, and is virtually an instant drop. Archway Fields is the rich populations healthy food source. The ground is fertile, and the crop is protected from the cities pollution. The only people who live here are the handful of households which also take care of the fields and organize shipping to Process and out of city. It's a common touristic attraction to look down on Archway Fields from Temple Hill.

6.) South Ritt. Holds the same type of residents that Ritt has, however there are a lot more 'underground' activities. A bunch of immigrants (who can afford it) move to South Ritt and open dojos, apothecary shops, blacksmiths, and various other arts. There's said to be a shop that sells weapons disguised as functioning instruments.

7.) Wenco. A mix of the poor, the creative, the angry, and the violent. There are parts closer to Marcy Houses which still house lower-middle class residents, however, the dip in height from the two districts makes the drastic change in scenery easier. The Southern part of Wenco which extends below South Ritt is probably the safest portion of the city. It's bustling with roads covered by walkways covered by freeways. There are thin winding one-way streets making navigation nearly impossible. It's a place where you can travel 2 blocks and feel like you were in a completely different city with all the various immigrants, architecture and shops.

The Northern portion of Wenco is an absolute mess. The 'Tower 97' accident which happened only in the previous year has quickly sculpted Northern Wenco into what it is. An experimental building that was supposed to rise to 100 stories collapsed and fell onto Wenco, damaging hundreds of buildings and killing many of the residents. When the government sent people in to clean it up, the residents rioted and forced them out. They have since built around the toppled structures iron beams, and have created strange stacks of houses made from the rubble. The part that wasn't hit by the building is not unlike South Wenco, though with a higher crime rate. Also, Wenco stands for 'West Engine Company, the first company every built in that portion of Process many, many years ago.

8.) Apple Sprig. A line of trees and gates disconnects Apple Sprig from the rest of Process. Mostly, there are farmers and fisherman who house here. A quiet place with a healthy atmosphere. The Ocean to the North brings in several ships from neighboring islands and continents. It's said that 'you only pass through Apple Sprig once before you're swallowed up by the city'.

9.) Range. 'A vacation from Wenco', as they call it. It's a generally quiet, industrial part of the city in which residents from Wenco who want or need to get away for a while, but still be hidden from authority, will go. So this being a transition period for many thugs, it's a prime scouting location for budding criminal houses.

10.) Jameson and Nantes. Named after the two explorers who founded Process, this portion of land is not unlike Apple Sprig. However, there are most industrial attributes. It's also the poor persons version of Archway Fields. Many of the crops grown here are delivered into Wenco and Range. There's a sort of unsaid code among criminals that no crime is to happen in Jameson and Nantes, and the farmers are to be carefully looked after.


Geography

North: This is 'The Ocean to the North'. Most of the immigrants who come from this direction move into the better serviced districts of Process.
West: There's a small patch of land before it becomes 'The Ocean to the West'. Virtually no travelers come from this directions. The ones that have, claimed the trip took nearly thirty days, and they come from a far less technological continent. With them, they usually bring strange cultural habits, however.
South: The South Ocean, or, 'Victoria Sea' brings in the most immigrants. They come in all social classes, and bring stories from seemingly several countries.
East: To the East of Process is the rest of the 'Darlington' continent. There are a handful of other cities, all of which have a generally good relationship with Process. However, Process being the least safe and have the most dramatic contrast in social circles, it's not often that other residents of Darlington cities move to Process, unless it's for work.

- -

Character Sheet

Name:
Sex:
Age:
Job:
Skills/Weapons/Equipment:
Other:


- -

CHARACTERS


(Amano Main Character)
Name: Fatima
Sex: Female
Age: 25
Job: Founder, Leader and Organizer of 'PINCH', a small band of martial artists. Regularly, PINCH work as bounty hunters, although chronically getting distracted by Fatima's personal life drama.
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Traditionally taught in 'Eskrima' (especially with improvised weapons), Fatima is generally well rounded as a fighter. She also carries with her a pistol, which she is said to habitually return to her clutch after each shot, even in gun fights. Occasionally for jobs, she'll bring along two rattan fighting sticks.
Other: Fatima grew up with her parents in the district of Jameson and Nantes. Her parents (who age much, much greater than her) work as farmers and try and keep out of Fatima's life. Fatima claims to have a hideout in each district, although basing PINCH in the Southern portion of Wenco.

(Amano Sub Character)
Portrait
Name: "Brother"
Sex: Male
Age: 26
Job: Ex-engineer. Currently works for PINCH.
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Brother uses specialized gloves in battle. He combines his sheer strength with his education and understanding of a building's structure in a sort of fighting style that utilizes the construction of decomposing buildings.
Other: Brother refuses to talk about his past. His only known family tie is that he's the Brother of the 'Boy in Stripes'. He's a gentle and protective person to friends, and remains calm in a fight.


(RUST)
Name: The Amethyst Dream
Sex: Male
Age: 32
Job: Drifter
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: The Amethyst Dream fights using two revolvers. In his right hand is Cyan, a long barreled 7-shooter modified to fire high caliber rounds. In his left is Burgundy, a short barreled 6-shooter with an 8 inch bayonet attached to its underside. Despite being an above-average marksman, he prefers to combine his weapons with his Karate training.
Other: Dream rarely stays in the same place for longer than a day or two. He is always on the move, looking for something larger than himself to devote his life to.

(Alle)
Name: Serrigo
Sex: Female
Age: 22
Job: Markswoman, freelance
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: A silver pistol, the barrel crafted to resemble a miniature violin bow. She keeps this pistol in her back holster, often using other pistols or available weaponry to defend herself. From slingshots to bows to gun, there is little Serrigo cannot aim, and even fewer targets that she will miss.
Other: Turned up in the northern slums of South Ritt five years ago; a nobody with a funny gun; arms wrapped in bandages, nursing burns. Infection set in, the fever warping her memory. If not for a benevolent bodega owner, she would have died behind a trash can. When the fever cleared, she would not speak of where she was front or what occurred. She simply took her gun, shot the family who saved her, and vanished into the smog.

(BSmith)
Name: Nathaniel Jameson
Sex: Male
Age: 19
Job: Underground Fighter
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: In an attempt to differentiate himself from his wealthy, naive family, he often escaped the mansion at night to train his fists and his wits on the streets and in organized fights. He has thus become extremely resourceful, often being able to fabricate an obscure solution to any problem in seconds.
Other: Nathaniel hails from one of the richest families in Process, the Jamesons. They are quick to claim that they are descended from THE Jameson, one of the founders of Process, though there is very little to actually support this claim. Regardless, Nate's family is very rich and very influential... and very overbearing. This led to his sneaking out of his family's mansion nearly every night, and ultimately running away at 18, when he discovered PINCH. He often wears hats and other obscuring pieces of clothing, as his parents are actively searching for him. He currently lives on the streets of Wenco.

(Graven)
Name: Ara Nito Senka
Sex: Male
Age: 23
Job: Courier

Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Ara's sheer immensity is staggering. Standing at nearly seven feet, he was a man born with a gift of violence. His body is a house of stone, and Ara is intensely vigorous, unflinching to any force, and capable of snapping a child's spine with the simple flex of a wrist. Most who see Ara see a hulking brute, a simple creature, with a dark and poorly-tended complexion and eyes hidden under a mop of beige-blond hair, but what Ara lacks in finesse he makes up for in intelligence. He is a reserved genius, cunning and fluent in the common language of Darlington, the southern immigrant tongue and the words of the far eastern land across the ocean, and will rarely resort to his strength alone in a conflict.

Other: Ara is an avid mechanic. His motorcycle is custom-fit to hold his weight, as long and high as most small cars and almost entirely self-built. This is what he drives in his custom package delivery service, often detailing in illegal or precious contents, and his clients are composed mostly of criminal leaders. Ara is trusted in his one hundred percent success rate, and any interceptors are either too intimidated, or briskly dealt with.


(Masked)
Name: Luca Denman
Sex: Male
Age: 26
Job: Soldier (ex), freelance bounty hunter, part time vigilante
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: As a former member of the Salyran Special Forces, he is a competent combatant in almost any situation. On duty, he is clad from head to toe in his Salyran combat armor. He totes a magnetically-operated SSF-77 Battle Rifle with a medium-sized, magazine fed pistol and a combat ready Lightning Rod model shock baton. He is proficient with all of these weapons, and is also quite capable of boxing his foes to death if need be. He also carries a battered brown wide-brimmed hat, which features a pair of strings meant to hold it in the wearer’s head.
Other: All of Luca’s weapons are stolen property that he smuggled from his home country some time after he resigned from the military.
He is, in fact, foreign and speaks with a light accent that involves the softening of some consonants and a slight elongation of As and Is. Salyra is a nation on another continent; one which is much more politically violent than the place in which he makes his home now. He does not often speak of home, and if you try to make him he will not like you.
He never wears the hat, instead either carrying it by hand or slinging it around his neck by those two chin strap strings.


(Nissa)
Name: Jethro (Jet) Williamson
Sex: Male
Age: 17
Job: Student, being groomed as a political leader.
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Jet has been schooled in the art of Sabre Fencing since childhood, and so is highly skilled in sparring/tournament fighting. Unfortunately, he has had little street fighting experience and so is crippled by those who would fight dirty. Being kind of a dick, Jet is a highly skilled eavesdropper and fairly good at sneaking around and gathering information about his mother and father's political agenda. He also has been educated in the workings of the Process stock market and therefore has amassed quite the sizable fortune to his own name. While not a very savvy fighter, Jet is useful because of his connections, wealth, and power.
Other: Jethro lives with his parents, two major political figureheads, on Temple Hill. His family is one of the wealthier in Process, but more importantly they are highly recognized and influential leaders. Everyone knows the Williamsons; whether you hate them or love them, you certainly know of them. Jet has been privately educated since the very start of his life and thus has had few friends or social interactions other than his many brother and sisters. He is the 4th oldest of 10, and therefore is not truly in line for his parent's inheritance and also is not babied like his younger siblings. He has, however, shown great promise as a political and economic leader, and therefore has been groomed to take over some central office/cabinet position. As he has been sheltered most of his life, he has a brash personality and tends to be blunt with his actions and words. He's bored easily and has decided to join a vigilante group to entertain himself while he waits to be elected into office. Opinionated since birth, he believes that the law system in Process is failing and turns to vigilantes to wreak justice on wrong-doers. As one can expect, Jet is somewhat naive and gullible, although he has good intentions and a strong head on his shoulders.

(Nissa)
Name: Naalia Thorndyke (Nat)
Sex: Female
Age: 26
Job: Undercover Police attempting to infiltrate PINCH
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Naalia is an incredible sniper, having received numerous awards at the police academy for her accuracy and gunmanship. Her incredible sniping skill and her choice to be put in the undercover unit of the Process police force made her a prime candidate to go undercover in a highly specialized mercenary group. As most would not hire a fighter with little talent, Naalia was selected for her high probability of being recruited by PINCH. In hand to hand combat, Naalia can do some damage with a knife, but only has basic training. She tends to avoid close quarter fighting at all costs. Naalia also has considerable rhetorical skill and was highly praised in schooling for her ability to debate and persuade. Her charisma is palpable, one might say.
Other: After growing up in a bad neighborhood of Process, Naalia has developed a strong sense of moral conviction after being bullied often in her childhood. Because of her boyish mannerisms and her inconvenient family name, she was often picked on as a child, both physically and with crude insults. ("Wow, you really ARE a thorny dyke!") Driven to succeed by the taunts of her peers, she went on to outperform in her academics and graduated at the top of her class, with a full scholarship to whatever high institution of learning she chose. While she could have gone to a famous university, she chose to join the police force to take down those who would hurt others. Naalia is street smart, charismatic, and completely in control of her own life... which is just the recipe for disaster.


(Ish)
Name: Luther 'Luck' Thor
Sex: Male
Age: 24. Probably.
Job: Librarian
Skills/Weapons/Equipment: Luther, or Luck as everybody calls him, specializes in three things: intelligence, knives, and fire. You can usually count on him to have all three at any given time. Luck carries at least four knives on his person at all times. In his left breast pocket, he carries a single lighter and a pack of matches. In his left pants pocket, he carries flint. Hidden in various places on his person, Luck carries a healthy supply of bombs with a relatively small blast radius of ten feet. He also constantly keeps his 'lucky' bomb hidden beneath his eyepatch.
Additionally, Luck is ambidextrous as well as skilled in parkour, something he considers a necessity in his profession.
Other: Luck is an information broker disguised as a librarian. Or a librarian disguised as an information broker. He changes his 'official' profession with the wind. In any case, he runs, owns, and lives in a library in South Ritt, Luck's Literature. For the most part, Luck's Literature is your average library. For the most part. The restricted section of the library is much more than your average library. Within that section behind Luck's desk and bed, Luck maintains several books of his own, each book dedicated to a single individual he has personally deemed 'interesting' - everything about that person's life, personal details, preferred lunches, underground dealings, affairs, and what have you.
For the right person, with the right amount of money, he is more than willing to lend these books out for a one-week period.
In that same section, there are also several hollow books containing pistols, bombs, crossbows (he has a permit for that one), and a few vials of various drugs and poisons. It's seldom that he lends these out to anybody, being more for his own personal use, but if the situation interests him enough, Luck will part with some of those books. He might even come along himself.

You never know with Luck.


(Ask if you have any questions)

-You can be with PINCH, but you don't have to be.
-You can be with your own crime organization.
-You can be with the enemy.
-You can be creative.
-You are loved.[/b]


Last edited by Amano on Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:25 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:33 pm



If someone were wanting to find for PINCH's hideout for whatever reason, they wouldn't have to look too hard. In fact, if they were in Southern Wenco walking down Korobov Street on the mezzanine level, it would be openly clear which building Fatima based all her missions in. 'PINCH' was in red neon lights just a little above eye level. In three languages. The entire building itself was eight stories high. Out of those eight levels, Fatima owned the bottom three. Street level, mezzanine level, and the Upper Korobov Street level. The bottom level was where all the deliveries went. Things she'd need for missions. Ammo, dynamite, riot shields, gatling guns, sometimes an extra vehicle. A wide garage door could be opened to easily roll these things into the hideout. If someone were to stumble upon the space without knowing what it was, they'd probably instantly pigeon-hole the owner as a demolition hoarder. An unorganized one.

The second level of the hideout was where all the mission briefings happened. If you walked into the shop from the mezzanine level, past the neon signage, it would appear to be a poorly stocked, hovel of a shop. However, behind a pair of swinging doors were walls covered in wanted posters, cabinets full of criminal records of all major gangsters, maps, blueprints, and various other things. A fridge was stocked with milk and whiskey, and a garage-sale boughten microwave sat dormant on a messy counter top.

The top level connected to Upper Korobov Street, which was much busier than the street below. A four-lane road compared to a one-lane, oneway street. If PINCH had a mission that required some travel, they'd leave through here. Commute to the nearest freeway was much closer here than if they'd depart on ground level. A decently sized service elevator tucked in the back of the building could take equipment and even vehicles up from the first floor. Since this floor was seen by much more people than the entrances below, Fatima did disguise it by calling it 'Henhouse'; a pet shop. However, she never went as far as to even have one pet. It always claimed to be 'closed'. An adorably drawn cartoon dog hung on a sign which said 'Go bark where you came from!'.



Far across the Ocean to the West the sun was setting behind a plume of clouds. Process' rush hour was coming to an end, and people would soon be out again in fresh clothes to bite into the Friday night noise and lights. Something the Wenco District did very well.

"Are we using the grappling hook tonight?" Brother asked Fatima who was writing on a piece of paper.

"Probably not." She said, continuing to focus on her writing. "It should be an in and out job. … Good money too."

Brother carefully set the grappling hook aside and continued looking through a shelf of equipment. They were both in the bottom floor of PINCH's hideout preparing for a mission that evening. A couple dim lights shone atop them providing a warm tungsten glow. Steel shutters were pulled over the windows. Strong iron renovation protected them from probably even a truck if it were to crash into the wall. Brother himself, being an ex-engineer, was commissioned by Fatima to reinforce the entire hideout. In return, she paid him a much higher percentage of the bounty fee. This was five months ago when they first met. Once the place was secure, Fatima immediately returned his rate to it's original place.

"Who are you hiring tonight?" Brother asked, yawning a bit.

Fatima ceased her writing and reviewed the piece of paper in front of her, "Well it's you, and of course me. I told Nathaniel and D'arcy to meet us here at 9. But that should be all we need. A piece of cake."

Brother squinted his eyes, "That's really it? What's the target again?"

"Reynolds King. He's a merchant of whores and a trader of drugs. However, he caught the attention by higher districts in both fields. He sold drugs and a whore to an undercover officer. I heard the officer flushed the drugs but slept with the whore. He refused to pay what she wanted and as he does, Reynolds had him killed. Messy police getting caught up with messy people is a deadly recipe. Temple Hill put a bounty on his head of 60,000.00 chips as of two days ago." Fatima grinned and sipped a cup of milk she had sitting next to her. "Split four ways, we'll all be able to buy some good food. … 'Good Food'," Fatima chuckled with a laugh like she had been smoking since birth, but with enough soul to warm the hearts of anyone who heard it. "Two words that are nearly spelt the same, and both words that have excellent connotations."

Brother grinned; something that did not fit his face. "I doubt we'll be the only ones going after him. We should get there as soon as we can."

Fatima stood up and gently pulled down the sides of her tube dress which has risen slightly as she sat. "It's nearly eight'o'clock. We're expecting a delivery soon. When they buzz, let them in sugar. I'm going to prepare the timeline upstairs."



- -



CALLSHEET

Time: 9p DON'T BE A MINUTE LATE!!
Location: PINCH (Enter on Mezz)
Departure: 930p
Target: -classified-
Bounty: 60,000.00

- - Team - -

Brother - Driver and trouble shooting
Fatima - Surveyor
D'arcy - Spearhead
Nathaniel - Assist Spearhead


NOTES: Equipment delivery at 8p. Brother will be in charge of this. Also, you MUST bring the standard issue 9mm pistol with at LEAST two extra clips. I don't care if you like it or not, it's for emergency. I won't have accidents like on the Moan Wellington mission!!













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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Graven on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:00 am

The black beast rolled on two wheels and felt like a night on the corner of Project and Ritt. It was not possible to be subtle in the thing. Only scrap wheels off the government's heavy tractors could support it's massive body. Fully encased in a shell of thick black iron, it was a rigid behemoth.

The rider matched the machine. Clothed in blue-gray overalls and a dark sleeveless shirt, Ara looked half a monster in his enclosed helmet. His chestnut skin was cast even darker from grime, hair, and the shade of the mezzanine ceiling. Tree-like arms reached out to massive handlebars. A full-to-bursting backpack sat snug behind him.

The rider, nervous, tracked through his inventory once more in his mind. That's in the left chest. Those are in the right. And these behind me. I better not regret making this one trip. He eyed the long steel compartments to either side of the bike as he made his way down the barren road as sluggishly as he dared. Many powerful figures knew the vehicle. And many knew the contents of his deliveries. Ara did not work for just one side of the street wars.

The bike took a wide curve to the right, entering the wrong side of a nameless street. It was quiet in the lower levels. Little government. Little law. Process was in the habit of burying it's mistakes. But as Ara knew, the ashes of a buried city never quite die. The restless and forgotten dotted the grid like worms in soil, devouring that which was foreign to their way of life.

Soon enough and to the rider's relief, the bright sign marked the end of his trip. PINCH's loading bay was a warmly familiar place, friendly and secure to him. Ara labored to dismount his giant's body from the bike, wheeled it to the large bay door and pushed the buzzer.

The solemn man known as Brother appeared behind the receding aluminum. "It's nice to see you again, Ara Senka."

Ara wordlessly pushed the bike into the complex as his feeling of safety died. It was not a new sight: piles upon piles of ordinance, firearms, and explosives, the older ones often leaking black powder, ready to ignite in a maelstrom of lead and shrapnel. He was careful to avoid the clutter as much as he could, looping around to the back of the building as Brother directed him.

The first piece of equipment out was in a very long black bag and was accompanied by fuel tank. On the other side of the bike, an identical bag was removed, stuffed full of rigid items. And finally, the backpack was placed on the floor with the others.

"These are fun toys, my friend." Spoke Ara, leaning against his vehicle. "But be careful not to have too much fun."
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by BSmith on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:04 am

"Get the hell back here!!"

The shout rang across the night as a figure in a blue cloak with a bandana tied around his face burst through a pair of trash cans, sending them skittering off into the street. The figure blew through the alleys of Lower Wenco, a man in black following hot on his heels. The two wove their way across the city, dodging support beams and civilians alike as their chase took them through alleys, across the freeway, up buildings, down buildings, and through buildings, and neither showed any signs of tiring.

The cloaked man glanced back at his pursuer: The thug was dressed in all black, just like the others had been. He carried a small pistol, just like the others had. He was muscled and strong, just like the others. But this one had something the others hadn't: agility. Usually, he'd lost his tail within three minutes, thanks to his reflexes and ability to think on the fly. But this one was keeping up.

Predator and prey both dashed around the corner of a windowless stone building, into a passageway that only existed because the house had been built flush with the freeway above them, leaving a small gap between it and the buildings that sat crumbling and forgotten underneath the busy street. The man in the blue cloak ran down the makeshift path, and suddenly found himself at a dead end. To his left was a pile of rubble; on his right, the windowless building; above him, the freeway, rumbling a little as the cars passed by overhead. He heard the unmistakeable sound of a pistol cocking, and slowly turned around.

"You better tell me where the boy is, punk, or I will NOT hesitate to use this." The man's steady hand backed up his threat.

"Now see," the cloaked man said, his thickly-accented voice slightly muffled by the bandana, "If I were you, I think I WOULD hesitate. You see, I'm the only one who knows where Nathaniel is. You shoot me, you lose him, end of story." The man with the gun snarled, but the words hit home.

"...Fine," he said, though he did not lower the gun, "What is it that you want?"

"Me?" the masked man asked, his eyes darting around, his mind in overdrive as he contemplated his predicament. He wasn't about to blackmail the Jamesons, but neither was he going to reveal Nathaniel's location. He had to find a way out of this.

It took him a total of four seconds to do so.

"I don't really want anything," he told his assailant. "I'm just looking to cause... chaos." As he said the last word, he aimed a swift kick at a rusty pipe just barely visible amidst the rubble to his right. The weakened metal snapped easily, and the passageway was suddenly flooded with steam. A single shot rang out as the thug fired blindly into the wall of white smoke that obscured his target.

Cursing silently to himself, the man ran forward into the smoke, but quickly found himself against the back wall of the passage. Impossible! His mark had been right in front of him; where could he possibly have gone?

High atop the pile of rubble, tucked neatly into the small gap under the freeway, Nathaniel Jameson chuckled to himself. He watched the man with the gun look wildly around the alley for a moment, then slunk back into the shadows, crawling the entire distance under the freeway until he emerged on the other side. He untied his bandana and stuffed it into the satchel hidden beneath his cloak. Yet another one of his parents' goons evaded.

But now, he had a more pressing issue. He hadn't expected to be detoured, and he had been run well off-course. He checked his watch: five minute to nine. Shit. He was a good two miles from the PINCH HQ, the briefing started at nine SHARP, and Fatima was not a woman he wanted to upset. This was a problem... but problem-solving was his forte.

He glanced behind him at the cars rushing by on the freeway, and the wheels in his head started to turn...

Thirty seconds later, Nate found himself clinging, white-knuckled, to the roof of a speeding truck as it whizzed down the freeway, silently wishing he'd picked a more cautious driver. The truck weaved in and out of traffic dangerously as it made its way down Upper Korobov Street. The stowaway on its roof could barely make out where he was as street signs and buildings blew by at well over 70 miles per hour.

But suddenly, Nate saw the telltale curve in the road just half a mile ahead, right before which, he knew, was the Henhouse -- PINCH's headquarters. The truck, currently in the second-to-left lane out of four, swerved past a dull red van, and Nate made his move without hesitation. He leaped from the back of the truck onto the roof of the van, rolled across the car, and made a second jump over the final lane of traffic. His hands closed around a rickety streetlight which barely held his weight as he used his momentum to swing himself around towards the window of the Henhouse.

He lowered his head, tucked in his knees, and braced for impact.

Glass shattered and wood splintered as Nate crashed through the window and tumbled across the floor, coming to a hard stop against the "counter" of the "pet store". He got up slowly, checking for injuries, but found none.

Acting as though nothing had happened, he casually strolled down the stairs to the second level, through the swinging doors, into the meeting-room, and took his usual seat in the corner. He looked at his watch:

Nine o'clock on the nose.

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Rust on Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:28 am

It had been nearly half a year since the last time The Amethyst Dream passed through the Wenco region of Process. It hadn't changed much in his time away, and the drifter walked through as though he had lived there all his life. He hadn't been lost in Wenco for years.

He walked with a sense of purpose down the street. At least that's how others would see him; it had been nearly a decade since the man had any purpose. He just had a very imposing presence. It was understandable, he was a fairly large man. Even with his dirty, brown hat, jacket and clothes, tattered from the sheer amount of time that had passed since he replaced them, he commanded the air around him. Scruffy hair ran rampant across his face and his blonde hair was streaked with dirt. All in all, he needed a bath and a place to wash his clothes. Looking into his jacket pocket Dream counted out just enough change to possibly rent out a low class room for the night. Maybe a small meal, if the motel was feeling classy.

'Nah, that wouldn't do at all,' Dream thought to himself as he shook his head. He would have to find somewhere else to clean up. Stomach growling, the gaze of his amber eyes flipped to a small restaurant called Crowe's Nest. It was a run-down joint, out of the way from most major traffic, with half a door and a sign with lights that failed every few seconds. He could smell the food wafting out from where he stood. Perfect, in Dream's mind, though it probably left a lot to be desired.

The Amethyst Dream walked into the restaurant nose first, smells of bread, meat and alcohol drifted through his nostrils. The place wasn't very well lit and groups of shady individuals littered the tables in groups. Nearly half of the patrons went silent as he entered. He could hear whispers from those nearby.

"Hey, is that...?"

"-ethyst-"

"Hasn't been arou-"

"-d'you think he wants?"


Dream pulled his hat lower over his eyes as he walked, threatened to just turn around and find someplace else to eat. Something drew him forward, though. He blamed it on his stomach.

"What can I get for you?" Said the tall, thin man behind the counter. Eyes set deep, he didn't look as though he was fully awake.

"What can I get for this?" The drifter asked with a gruff voice as he threw a few coins on the counter.

The man eyed them and paused, counting in his head. "You won't-" A few more coins hit the counter, another pause. "Stew. Go sit in the corner somewhere. It'll be out in a minute."

A grunt was the only response given before Dream turned to take his seat. At the very instant he sat, a big man stood at the table next to his own. "Hey, you," said the obviously creative man. Dream didn't give him a response, but continued to study the intently. The rest of the bar went quiet as they waited to see how this would go. "Hey! I'm talking to you!"

"Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm just here for food. I'll leave when-" He was cut off by the man striking his fist against the table, causing it to rattle.

"No, man, I know who you are," the man stated, causing The Amethyst Dream to finally look up. The man's face was squashed in, almost like he had gotten into too many fights. Despite all of the hair on his face, he could see a deep blush in his cheeks; the man was drunk. Pleasantly articulate in speech, but still drunk. "No, man, everyone here's heard about you. Heard you're a bit of a, a bad-ass, see. Rumors turned legend and shit like that."

"They're rumors, nothing more." Dream stated with a calm voice.

"You know, they say you're the reason the tower fell."

"That's untrue."

The man struck his the table again, more forcefully this time, splintering the wood. He pulled out a pistol that looked comically small in his hand and pointed it between The Amethyst Dream's eyes. "Yeah, that's what I thought. Doesn't mean people don't believe, though."

"Brandon, friend, put the gun down!" Came the voice of reason from somewhere else in the room.

"You really shouldn't be pulling a gun on me, Brandon," said Dream, his voice calm. "People get hurt that way."

"You're nothing but a bi-"

The Amethyst Dream's arm snapped out, grabbing the man's gun and hand and pinning it to the table. In the next instant, Dream's foot lashed out and pushed the man off-balance. Brandon fell to his knees only to be met with an elbow to the face. He recoiled, clutching at his now bleeding nose. The gun came free and Dream snatched it off the table, pointing it at the man's forehead. He hadn't even needed to leave his chair.

"Both of you!" Came the shrill voice of the man who had taken Dream's money. "Out! Out now! I will not have this in my restaurant!"

The Amethyst Dream stood, and removed the clip from the gun. Pocketing the clip he tossed the gun back onto the table. "Can I have my food?" He asked reasonably.

"OUT!" The man shrieked.

With a sigh, Dream shook his head slightly and began his walk out. It was just another night without food. Nothing special. The restaurant was silent as it happened, no one took their eyes off of him unti...

"I'll get you for this, you fucking prick!" Brandon said from the table. "Consider yourself six feet under! I'll get this whole town after you! Do you hear me, Amethyst!? The whole town!"

'Wouldn't be the first time,' The Amethyst Dream thought to himself as he drifted away, deciding to head to North Wenco. It had been a long time since he had visited the collapsed tower, after all.


Last edited by Rust on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:02 pm

"…'Reynolds King'…how did you come up with that name anyway?"

"That don't matta'!" A man spat with a voice almost as deep as a submerged blues player. "What matta's is she rolls up!"

"Do you think she knows it's a trap?"

The man laughed violently and took a drag from a thick cigar, "Now that don'matta' either! That bitch'll be there!"


- -

Fatima eyed Nathaniel as he slinked down the stairs and into his usual corner. "That better not be my window you shattered up there! My pet shop doesn't need to look like anymore shit than it already does!" Fatima shook her head and took up a piece of paper in her hand. "You're all here now. Well there's not many of us, so don't have to go over too many details. Brother!"

"Yes," Brother replied instantly from his position on a small wooden stool.

"You're the driver, like usual. You're bringing us to 82 Floor Fifty Street. It's in Northern Wenco…I know how familiar you are with that area." Fatima said, glaring up at Brother who was busy playing with a zipper on his coat.

"Got it."

"Did you load up that truck?"

"It's all stocked and ready to go."

"Fireworks too?"

"Fireworks too. The whole shipment. And an extra tank of gasoline for the flamethrower."


Fatima grinned, "That's what I like to hear," she took a sip of her glass of milk and watched the eyes of Brother who seemed to be in a different world. "Now you two," she said and set down her glass; her lipstick claiming the rim. "D'arcy, you're the spearhead in this. Brother will drive us around the corner from the destination, which is a disgusting mansion in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods. It's tough to see from really anywhere except for right in front, which is why we're taking the front." Fatima took another sip of milk. "As soon as Brother parks, I'm getting out and surveying the immediate area. I'll report back to the vehicle with what I see, and I want D'arcy and Nathaniel to be suited up and ready to go. Cause then D'arcy, I want to see you with your scatter gun running into the front entrance. Nathaniel best be right behind you, cause if one son of a bitch gets behind you guys, you'll find yourselves as good as dead."

D'arcy, was in conversation, a joke. 'He' had very little friends apart from the ones he'd meet in drunk flirtation at bars late at night. It would either be that same night or quickly the next morning that he'd lose that friend to soberness. That is, once they'd realize he was, in-fact, a 'he'. D'arcy had hair the color of starlight, and wore in to his shoulders. His face - when not working for PINCH - was covered in a pale make-up with fine tuned eyeliner surrounding his green eyes. His clothing usually consisted of form fitting silver jump suits with various coats and vests contrasting in color. He'd stroll out in heavy boots with extra thick heels and stomp his way around the 'diverse' crowds in South Ritt.

Today - or any day he'd be working for PINCH - this was not the case. He wore comfortable trousers and a shirt the color of charcoal. His hair was tied back in a bun as to not get in the way, and his face clear of make-up. A lightweight beige coat rested on his torso filled with ammo for his scatter shotgun. He was a brilliant gunman when he wanted to be. Almost military like, the way he moved around his environment and would find cover. Fatima hired him for jobs where she needed certainty in success.

"I understand," D'arcy spoke softly.

Fatima continued, "Once you two make it past the first room and secure the area, that's when I'll light the fireworks and roll in with my flamethrower. I already understand that the surrounding buildings are iron, so I'm not too damn worried whether we create a city fire or not."

"What of Reynolds?" D'arcy inquired.

"He'll probably be in the back of that gaudy shit hole. He's a damn idiot, and will take position and fame over strategy in this one." Fatima finished her glass of milk and stood up. "We leave in ten minutes. Do what you have to do before we roll out. Alright sugars?" With a conscious feminine walk, she passed by Nathaniel and grabbed his earlobe. "I wanna see you upstairs this moment, cutie pie."



Last edited by Amano on Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Alle on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:50 am

The glare of sun off steel woke Serrigo. She threw up her arm, cringing as her limbs tingled. Another long day, another fire escape. The metal ridges dug into her hips and knees, leaves stripes of red across what skin showed between the hem of her black tank and the start of her green pinstripe skinnies. She was a creature of the twilight hours, stalking the alleys and rooftops of Process in the early morning and evenings, just as the sun’s corona touches the shadows of the earth. The city was quieter. Sometimes in the brightness of the daytime it was too loud, too many cars, so much racket inside her head.

Crawling to her feet, she surveyed the alley. She could barely remember. It had been bright when she came here, with so many iron buildings, but she had to get closer to the rendezvous before exhaustion won out. Two days without sleep did that to a girl. She was on the Mezz, twenty stories up, in a familiar area of North Wenco, right where the industrial blended out into residential homes.

The gritty city wind caught the ends of her waist-length hair, colored an unnatural salmon pink. It was parted severely to the left, long bangs falling against her pale cheek. At the part, a gaudy black fabric-flower pinned her remaining hair back, a stray strand of fake pearls dangling in her eyes. She was otherwise nondescript from the other rangy Gothics who tramped around the city, thin and pale and nobody, not anymore.

Checking her watch, she sighed, rubbing the soreness from her hip. 9:00pm. Time to go. Climbing the fire escape until she reached the roof, Serrigo hauled herself over the edge, relying on the traction provided by her red-laced black boots. From her perch she could crouch, almost avian with the wind in her hair, emerald green eyes scanning for the large memorial billboards, pointing the way to the tower.

She could not remember the tower falling.

Perhaps that was before, or perhaps it was after.

She found it, off to the northwest. Reaching behind her, checking the holster wrapped around her hips and settling in the small of her back, she touched her gun, like one touches something when they do not believe it’s real. She used her right hand; the left hung at her side, shrouded in a velvet black glove, the pocked pink edges of burn scars creeping from beneath the hem.

The gun metal was cool. It awakened her. Breathing deeply the smell of the city, of the flowers and oil and sweat, she crossed the roof, leaping to the building north of it, thankful the alleys were narrow as she picked her way towards the tower.

They were meeting at the memorial; the two men who wanted the same thing.

The men who would help her stop PINCH.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by The Masked Man on Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:40 am

An entity that resembled something like an alien beetle was cleaning what was probably a weapon but which looked more like an extension of its otherworldly carapace atop a heap of rubble. The thing was man-shaped, about six feet tall, smooth, and oddly featureless. It was also named Luca Denman.

In the current lighting, he was very well aware that the material his equipment was made of left him sticking out like a hard plastic, semi translucent sore thumb: his armor consisted of a slate gray body suit with patches of a translucent, plastic-like material integrated over much of his body. In the open the outfit had a strange, shimmering quality that made it hard for onlookers to focus on the wearer. In cover the suit blended in easily with almost any urban surroundings. This specific combat skin wasn't the toughest the Salyran army had, but Luca had chosen it specifically for its usefulness in urban environments when he decided to relocate to process.

Luca held his weapon up, examining the tapered cylinder of the barrel through his ovular helmet's V-shaped visor. The SSR was a wonderful device, making use of the magnetic technology that was very much Salyra's trademark to propel wicked little spikes through the air as swiftly as any normal gun's bullets. It could fire single shots or bursts of three. It was relatively silent, very light, and accurate at a range of up to three hundred yards. Luca had used this particular weapon since he had joined the special forces, and this made it the closest thing he had to a memento from home. It would also, probably, take a life today.

He sat casually atop the rubble of a fallen tower, making no effort to hide himself. His inner soldier screamed about the tactical folly of this behavior, but lately he found that his desire to taunt death itself gave him strength enough to ignore his training for brief periods of time. Still, his instinctive urge to take cover caused his whole body to shake rather violently when he realized he could hear voices beneath him. He tried to seem unsurprised, but felt the heat of shame on his cheeks as he admitted to having completely spaced out in the open. It was no one in particular though, just some civilians passing by, but the embarrassment was still potent.

Enough reverie he decided. You're here for a reason soldier. Get it done, do it right.

He stood and stepped behind the particular lump of ruined concrete he had been resting on and found that it was cracked in such a way that he could easily scan the street that lead to this sector of town without making himself too obvious, so he did exactly that. He stayed put, crouched in the rubble for several hours as the sun slowly worked its way across the sky. Several times he had the feeling that he was being watched, but brushed it off and stayed focused on the street. Eventually his patience payed off, and a pair of similarly ugly, brutal-looking men sauntered down the street, shoulder to shoulder.

There they are. The men he had been following around since he had first heard rumors of particular violence on the horizon. They were criminals, he knew this because he had encountered and killed several of their companions in the past. They were armed, trying to hide their weapons beneath outfits too bulky for this weather, and they were talking about something. Good that they felt like talking. One of them would be doing a lot of talking very soon. The other? Well. . .

Luca trained his weapon on one of their broad chests and began to count. Picking him off while they were too far away would make his buddy turn tail and run with a lead too large for Luca to guarantee his capture. Too close and he wouldn't have a clear line of sight.

Five, six, seven. . . And there it was. That sensation of being watched again. His eyes flicked to the left, to the right, up, and down, trying to detect what his instincts told him was there. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Wait, there! Was that a person? There on the rooftops?

Luca's eyes snapped back to his intended targets and he swore under his breath: they had moved farther than he expected them to, and now he was going to have to move too if he didn't want the day's only objective to be a failure. He rose into a low crouch, readied his weapon, and began to move toward the base of the tower.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Alle on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:49 am

The odd structure emerged from between buildings. Seeing it jarred her memory: yes, the Tower had collapsed recently, and now the survivors and the angered built houses up the structure, climbing it like ants. As she neared it she began to descend in altitude; the thing about Process was that the actual rooftops were very high up and in constant flux. Whatever newest construction sat atop the old. Serrigo had spent five years - was it five? - learning these causeways, grated bridges, and escapes. North Wenco was close to her home. Or, as close as-!

Nowhere.

She swung her legs over the edge of her current roof, dropping one story to the fire escape below. It crossed the alley to the building adjacent; she followed, slipping into the open window and into the hallway of the apartment building. She passed doors and people, ignoring both to emerge from the window on the opposite side, this time descending the next escape until it crossed to the roof of a nearby bodega. High enough to avoid notice. Low enough to see past the stratospheres of sunlit dust.

Emerald eyes scanned the streets near the base of the tower, skeletal and crooked, off to her right. She was looking for - yes. There - wait - perhaps? Her nostrils flared. That infernal suit, foreign-made, made Luca Denman impossible to track. Almost impossible.

Serrigo was not good at many things, but she could shoot the wings off a butterfly.

Peering through her mane of hair, she spotted him, concealing near the base. He was someone she needed; he was aware of the coming storm, the fire come to burn the King, and unless her ears heard the winds wrong he planned to stop it.

Her eyes narrowed. He was watching something. Skillfully she followed his sight line, spotting the two men, walking abreast. King's men, she would bet her gun. It was obvious Denman had a plan. Reaching into her boot, she withdrew a metal cylinder, three inches in length and thick. As the press of a button a barrel extended, the sidelight blinking green to signal it was loaded and ready. She didn't buy much with her scant chips, but a collapsible mechanized blowgun seemed a solid investment.

A holographic scope blinked up from the barrel. Serrigo crouched in the corner of the bodega room, a warrior in her jungle, watching both Denman and the King's men through her crosshairs. If their made a move she didn't like, or perhaps one that she did, she would act. Nothing would keep her from the King.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Rust on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:25 am

The sun was setting, the shadows were getting longer, and The Amethyst Dream's face disappeared underneath his hat. A short meat stick dangled from his lips as he walked, bobbing up and down as he chewed. The small tube was the only food he had all day and was all he could afford for the day. He was trying to make it last. Dream had only ate about half of it so far, but he was already feeling infinitely better.

A small piece of the tower laid beside the path he was walking on. What the man said to him earlier had rubbed him the wrong way. "You know, they say you're the reason the tower fell," the man had said. Dream had responded that it was untrue, which technically wasn't wrong. His teeth clenched as he remembered the past. Alert eyes began to fade over as he remembered that day.


"Shit!"

"On your knees, kid."

"You're a-"

"On. Your. Knees."

"Tch."

"Good, now hands on the back of your head, no funny business."

"Are you going to slip on a black hood, Dream?"

"Would it make you more comfortable?"

"I'll be comfortable when you're six feet under."

"You'd be nice enough to dig me a grave? How thoughtful. I can't say I'd do the same."

"If you're going to shoot me, then why don't you just shut up and shoot me!"

"Well, if you're that eager. Goodbye, ki-"


Dream snapped out of the past with the shake of his head. To this day, he still didn't know how that bastard managed to take him down. Over and over again it was replayed in his head, but he never came up with an answer. He-

"Hey, watch where yer walkin', pal," came a gruff voice in front of him. "Damn hobos, think they own the goddamn streets." Dream glanced up to see two men in suits walking towards him and bounced to the side instantly, out of their way. "Yeah, that's the spirit." The Amethyst Dream instantly recognized them as part of a crime family. The way they walked, the way they talked, the way they carried themselves. It was obvious.

Once they passed by him he scoffed and ate the last of his meat. He shook his head again, this time a wider arc filled with disapproval. By happenstance he glanced up. At this point he was walking towards a fallen section. If Dream really wanted to, he could climb the rubble all the way to the top. He stopped walking slowly as he noticed something. The rubble, about halfway up, it wavered in the light as though heat were rising. He forced his eyes to focus on the spot. The wave started taking shape in his eyes, looking like a human and a... a... a gun.

But something didn't add up. If the gunman was after him, he would have been dead as soon as he spotted the man. No, he was after something else. The lightbulb clicked on in his head. He turned, watching the men walk off without a care in the world. Gazing back, he looked at the shooter only to find that he was gone. With a small growl, The Amethyst Dream turned around and followed after the two men from the shadows.

Something was going to happen, and this was yet another chance for retribution.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by BSmith on Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:00 am

"Owowowowowowww," Nate wailed as Fatima dragged him upstairs by the ear. She didn't let go until they reached the third floor. She said nothing, she just pointed to the shattered remains of the window, and then crossed her arms, the expression on her face demanding an explanation.

"I do believe the letter said 'DON'T BE A MINUTE LATE!!' All caps and everything. I figured my penalty for being late would be much worse than that for breaking a window." Fatima sighed.

"This is coming out of your share from this mission, you know," she said.

"Figured as much."

"Now, since you paid such careful attention to your summons, I'm going to assume you have your pistol with you?"

Nate reached into his satchel and pulled the gun out, holding it with his thumb and middle finger as if it was diseased.

"Unfortunately, yes. You know I despise these things."

"It's for your own safety, Nathaniel."

"That's what my parents said about locking me in my room every night. Look how well that turned out." Nate shoved the gun back into his bag, knowing full well that it was never coming back out. Not only was it not a convenient place to have to reach for to draw it, but it was the last resort of his last resorts. Guns were messy.

"Fatima?" Nate said after a moment of silence. She turned, having started to go back downstairs. "...Doesn't this job seem a little... off?"

"What do you mean?" her eyes narrowed.

"I dunno... it's just... he killed a cop, right?"

"Yeah."

"I never read about that in the newspapers."

"It was covered up. Both cops were dirty; it wouldn't have looked good for the force."

"Yeah... yeah, okay, I suppose. Don't mind me; this mind doesn't know when to stop overthinking things." As the two walked back down the stairs, Fatima turned to him.

"...I never told you he killed a cop."

"Fatima, I learned long ago that you don't tell us a lot of things."

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Graven on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:08 am

The wind swept the road clear of pebbles like one powerful force dominating another on a field of battle. The watcher sat, looking, but not seeing.

It was an awkward situation. Something in his mind was inhibiting him from simply brushing off the two men shouting in front of him - children to him as children were to the average man. They addressed him violently and threateningly, but he could only respond with indifference.

"-istening to me?"

The situation was not unique. One organization or another was always cross over the double-dealing nature of Ara's services. At times, he had even fueled two sides of a war in the same trip. But the courier did not hold prejudice, except for those who did not pay.

"-fucking listening to me, you freak!?"

Trickling adrenaline pushed Ara out of his thoughts as the stone smashed into his left temple, although aside from the initial dull throb, he hardly felt it. He looked back up to the two dark men.

"Can you understand me?" The second man spoke as if he was addressing a toddler. "He said we have your dear old mom."

Dread stung his chest, unbelievable pain. No, they're bluffing. How? I was so careful.

"Mommy came by to visit the shop. She brought little turd cookies for her little baby boy!"

No! I told her to stay away! Each heartbeat felt like another stone. Ara gripped the handlebars hard.

"I told you, he's a retard. He doesn't even understand us." Again spoke the second.

"Fuckin' useless. Don't worry, kiddo, we'll take real good care of your mom. Give you some little brothers and sisters take over the-"

In a swift motion, the motorcycle's throttle was maxed and it kicked forward. Ara planted a heavy foot and pulled himself off. His hand lagged on the gas and yanked it back. The hulking machine went spinning, the massive iron frame crunching the first man like a leaf as he went sprawling beneath it in a cluster of smoke and an engine's roar.

Ara's mind went hazy, his body numb. The statement he did not remember screaming left the taste of the southern language on his tongue. When he returned to his reality, the second man's face was purple-blue beneath Ara's massive hands, and Ara was kneeling above him on the ground. He was released.

The man struggled to bargain, sputtering fluids. "You fucking freak!" He frantically scraped his way back along the concrete floor. "No! Please, don't! I'm sorry!"

Ara had not the mind nor strength to approach. Instead, he forced out the words. "Where is she? Who are you?"

The criminal took a few deep breaths. "Like you'd fucking understand, retard."

From behind him came the signature shape of a dusty black pistol. The first shot rang out in the thick of the concrete forest and struck Ara's shoulder. One more hit just under his collarbone. The last went wide. Then the gun jammed.

"Shit!" Came the criminal's shriek. He smashed the weapon's butt repeatedly on the ground, and tried another pull of the trigger. It was no good.

Ara Nito Senka had not felt this much rage in a long time. This was not like his berserk state before. This was pure, conscious anger, the stuff that shattered all of his beliefs and mannerisms. He stomped towards his target with contempt, disregarding his own wounds entirely.

"Please, wait! We just need you to stop dealing with PINCH and you can have her back! That was the deal!" Ara did not stop. He barely heard the message. "Please, no! I'll tell you!" In a final attempt, the man threw the pistol. It bounced off Ara's chest, ineffective.

The giant bent low, and leapt.

*

The curbside puddle swept the last of the red from his boots. Ara felt the holes in his chest. I will need to touch these up. He gazed off. Brother said they had another appointment. I wonder if I can make it back in time.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by The Masked Man on Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:18 pm

Luca worked his way across and down the fallen tower's blasted wreckage, approaching the city street and the two thugs slowly and deliberately as a prowling tarantula. His body was the picture of restraint, but his mind had become a seething forge of thoughts and emotions. He now knew, beyond a doubt, that he was being watched: not two minutes ago the sunlight had glinted off of something metallic and he spotted what appeared to be another gunman. Had he been spotted, though? There had also been another man at the scene. He had bumped into Luca's two marks then hesitated suspiciously before darting off to the side of the street somewhere. He, too, must now have been involved in some way.

It hardly mattered, though. That is, the sniper mattered because snipers always matter in a combat situation, but the other man? No problem. Probably. But even so, the presence of the wandered and the sniper changed nothing: his goal was still to kill one of the men and apprehend the other. If someone tried to stop him, he might just
have to kill them too.

He had reached the bottom of the ruin by now, and slightly ahead of his two marks. The sun was still not quite at its zenith so there was a sizable pool of shadows on the western-facing side of the tower that Luca took to like, well, like a shadow to more shadows. He could hear the gruff men talking as they walked, something about Fatima and PINCH. Luca knew all about that subject, though. Not that long ago he had been sitting in his apartment deciding whether or not it would be more cost effective to assassinate King or Fatima. In the end, after reviewing everything he knew about both parties, King presented the easiest target.

The path of least resistance. Just like when we served together, eh Ruhiel? Except it wasn't always easy to tell which path really offered the least resistance. If it were, Ruhiel Koffman might still be alive. Luca shook his head to clear out the old thoughts. This was not the time for mourning dead comrades. The men rounded the corner and walked right past him, within inches of a lurking death neither of them new existed. They were still abreast of each other though, so he had to wait for them to move on before he could take the shot and not kill them both.

And three. . .two. . .one. . .

The sound of a magnetic weapon firing was very distinct. Unlike the gunpowder flash-and-bang weapons the people int his land favored, the only noise that accompanied the SRF-77's firing was a sort of muffled whump! made by the individual rounds as they sliced through the air.

So whump went the single round as it blasted through the air, and splish went the target's head as just over a third of it exploded into a cloud of brains and gore and bone fragment. Thud went the semi-headless body, toppling to the ground, and "Oh fuck!" went the surviving thug, now covered in his buddy's blood and gray matter.

Within two seconds, Luca struck again. He surged forward out of the shadows, just behind the shocked and terrified soon-to-be interrogation victim, planting a heavy boot firmly on the back of his knee and pushing, forcing him into a kneeling position. The thug attempted to turn his head, but Luca bashed his temple in with the butt of his gun and he fell to the ground with a pathetic little "uhh." Luca checked his pulse and confirmed he had not been overzealous in his attempts to incapacitate. Satisfied that the man was still alive, he dragged him off of the mostly abandoned street before the scene could attract too much attention.

The thing Luca Denman loved most about the fallen tower was that it had not collapsed completely, and had ended up creating a dangerously unstable labyrinth of small rooms and smaller air pockets that a careful person could navigate in order to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Over the last few years, he had selected a particularly roomy gap in the debris and set about reinforcing and furnishing it so that it might function as an emergency hideout in a pinch. It wasn't exactly high-tech, just a couple of chairs and some wooden beams in the right places, and a small stock of ammunition and other supplies, but it would be more than effective as an interrogation room today. The concrete would muffle the cries for help quite effectively, and he could even bury the thug in the soft earth nearby once he had decided to execute him.

Getting the body into his own private chamber of horrors was a bit tricky, the man must have weighed almost three hundred pounds, but Luca managed and even found some parachute chord to bind his target's arms and legs with. As he was finishing this, the man began to stir slightly. Another "uhh" escaped his swollen, fish-like lips and he tried to open his eyes but flinched when some blood from his head wound found its way into the left one.

Luca slung his gun over his shoulder and removed his shock baton from its holster on his thigh. It was a simple device, a black rubber grip at the base of a metallic rod about the thickness of a thumb and roughly two feet in length. He twisted the handle until it had clicked twice and the rod hummed with power, then approached the semi-conscious thug.

"King." Luca whispered. "You're going to tell me all about King."
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:07 pm

The lift carried Brother to the top floor of the building. There were windows outlooking the city from the elevator itself which steel beams interrupted every ten feet or so. Brother kept his gaze in the direction to the North until finally reaching the top floor. If Fatima owned the bottom three floors, Brother owned the top, eighth floor. It was where he lived, and where he had recovered from the accident, all those months ago. Evening sun shone into the old apartment. It's walls were painted white with old moldings decorating the floor and ceiling. Plants adorned the many windows, and grew with ease as the sun was nearly always hitting them at that height. Brother sat down. He just had five minutes before he had to be back down at the truck. But it was enough for one drink.


- -


"You look pretty beat up, sugar."

"…"

"Do you need help? I can give you a lift."

"…no thanks…"

"Honey, if a woman offers you a hand-"

"I said no thanks."

"Now that's twice you've been rude to me. Come on now, get up. I'm parked right around the corner."

"…"

"Did you see what happened?"

"…no…"

"It's pretty bad. The city will be in an uproar, I'm sure. … An entire tower."

"…thanks…for the lift…"

"Now I knew you'd come 'round."




- -

Melting ice in the glass in front of him stirred Brother out of his thoughts. "This is stupid." He stood up and watched as the sun became level with the tops of the highest buildings beyond him. "We should go."

It seemed like a blink of an eye and the group of four were cruising down the freeway in an old straight truck. There was room for five people, two in front and three in the back. Behind them was a large cargo hold with enough room to fit a few gating guns, ammo boxes, gasoline and still with room left over. Though today was using minimal space. 'West Engine Co.' was written on the side of the truck in faded black letters harking from the industrial phase of Wenco. Nearly every small bump on the road was felt in the cabin due to spent shocks as they drove. The thing was a piece of shit.

D'arcy leaned forward between the driver, Brother, and the passenger, Fatima. "How long until we arrive?"

Fatima filed her long, red pained nails, "I'd give it a good fifteen minutes. The freeway will bring us to the beginning of the Floor 10 Street, and by the powers of logic, Floor 50 street isn't so far away."

Nathaniel grinned and leaned forward next to D'arcy, "It's eerie how the streets were renamed after the tower fell, isn't it?" No one responded. The sound of the engine accelerating and a slight 'fffftt' from Fatima's filing remained in suspension. "…Just a thought." Nathaniel digressed and fell back into his seat.

D'arcy glared out the window at the sun falling behind the buildings. Buildings with families perched high up who hung their laundry to dry and were able to care about things that connected day to day even though the base of their home was crawling with danger. He curled his lips, "How many are we expecting?"

"What's that?" Fatima said almost inaudibly over the engine roar.

D'arcy leaned forward again, "How many of his goons will we be expecting? There's King, probably a few bodyguards, and who else?"

Fatima sighed and set down her filing brush, "I'm not sure how many people will be there." She paused for a moment with the slighted of grins, "But there's no 'King'."

Nathaniel leaned forward, again next to D'arcy, "No King? But that's the target isn't it?"

"It's all a trap!" Brother spoke up, his eyes focused on the road. "This entire thing is a trap, and we knew it was, but we're going right into it." His eyes darted around the freeway and he prepared to merge into the adjacent lane.

"Can you explain?" D'arcy asked, already terrified of Brother in general and now finding his outburst chilling.

Brother continued with searing anger in his voice, "We're going into something that was made up for us. This bounty, 'Reynolds King', was made up by Jesse, Fatima's ex, and Fatima knows it, and instead of avoiding it, she spread the rumors of Reynolds King herself so that bounty hunters, officers, rangers, whatever, from all over Process would all show up at the same place at once, and help us annihilate who, Fatima hopes, is Jesse himself." Brother finally turned to face Fatima who had been looking out her passenger window. "Were you going to tell them?"

"Keep ur'eyes, on the road!" Fatima shouted, causing Brother to clench his jaw and pay attention on driving again. "What the hell got into you!? I was jus' about to tell'em!"

"You serious!?" Nate demanded.

"Alright!" Fatima spoke up. "I have something to admit to you guys! This job today is a trap!" She snapped her neck back to Brother, "There, I told'em!"

Brother nearly growled at the tension, "You're using their lives to help out your personal life."

"I'm payin'em, aren't I!?"

"They have the right to know."

The truck went silent as it got off the freeway and down the steep ramp. Brother's foot pushed on the breaks causing the entire cabin to shake more violent than it already had been. As they decended, everything became darker. The sun was now blocked behind a wall of brick and steel and replaced by hanging street lights, unserviced in seemingly years. Another fork from the off ramp led into another fork and finally the truck rolled onto Floor 10 Street.

Fatima sighed, "I apologize guys, I should have told you. But you have nothing to worry about. We're really just here to survey the chaos, and hoping we'll find out who the thug is who'll be on site." Fatima removed her sunglasses which were now useless, "If Jesse is here himself, then we'll get him, and get a much bigger bounty than 60,000.00 chips. If it's another thug and he's working for Jesse, then there's a damn good chance that he or she will have a bounty as well. But one thing is for damn sure. Someone will be here, and we're going to be the ones to get'em. Since King doesn't exist, no one else will know who to look for. The picture I used on the bounty sheet is of some thug who died years ago."

"And the others?" D'arcy asked shyly. "The other bounty hunters?"

Fatima grinned and looked back, "Well they'll help us out!"

('we hope')

"We're here," Brother spoke quietly. The truck rumbled to a stop and he turned off the engine. Ahead of them a sign read 'Floor 50 Street'. All streets in the area were oneways, and rarely ever used. Brother had the truck parked next to a closed shop reading 'Mark's Upholstering' above it. Dark shadows were cast from the streets and buildings above, and only a few tungsten lamps lit the area around them.

"This is it?" Nate asked, "This place is where some thug's mansion is?"

"It's around the corner," Fatima assured and checked her clutch. Pistol with ten bullets in the chamber, five extra loose bullets, and three cigarettes. "We'll wait here five minutes."

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by BSmith on Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:43 am

The four PINCHers sat in the van silently. Nate reclined in his seat, his arms crossed.

"So, let me get this straight," he said suddenly, sitting up, "We're walking into a trap. You know it's a trap - you've known it was a trap from day one - and we're going to up and waltz in there, just like they want us to. Sound about right?

"Yup," Brother replied simply from the seat in front of Nate.

"...Am I really the only person here who sees this as a bad idea?!"

"Relax, sugar," Fatima said, without looking at him. "We're going to have an army of bounty hunters on our side."

"Look, Fatima, sweetheart," Nate said, leaning forward and resting his arm on the back of her seat, "I live on the streets. I hear things. So let me tell you something: Jesse's gang isn't very well-liked around these parts, but he's not the only one." Fatima said nothing. "There are quite a few folks out there who don't like PINCH either."

"Naturally," was Fatima's simple reply.

"And you've just invited them ALL here! To this spot! People who don't like you! ...What am I missing here?!"

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Amano: When did you do that?
Smithy: note the first post is March 31?
Amano: See, this is why I'm not a detective.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Nissadex on Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:05 am

The Chief of Undercover Police was a stupendously ugly man.

Arnold Nabokov had been dying his hair black for years now, and he slicked it back with copious
amounts of gel every morning, which created a halo of oily grime around his heavily wrinkled face. Today he wore a tacky blue suit-- two sizes too small for his pompous frame-- which buckled and bunched at the buttons as he sat in the back of his chauffeured limousine. He held a thick cigar up to his lips and took a long drag.

Naalia hated cigars.

Against her every desire, Naalia Thorndyke was in a death squeeze; she was pressed on one side to the wall of the limo, and on the other, she was plastered to the smelly, sweaty mass of flesh that was her boss. His limo, she had found, was her own personal hell. Thankfully, she would be away on a long job in a short time. She was dressed to the nines in swag street garb to suit her role as a bounty hunter. Where she would normally wear her button down police uniform, she wore a pale grey tank top. Where she would normally wear her BDU boots and pants, she wore black and white two-tone street dancer pants and supple street kicks. To enure her safety and reliability, she also wore a standard-issue bulletproof vest and her long range sighting goggles, though at the moment those were pulled up on the crown of her head.

Nabokov released the smoke from his nostrils and smiled grossly. "Go over your mission-op again, Thorndyke," he hissed.
"Sir. My objective is to infiltrate the vigilante group PINCH, under their leader, Fatima. I will work for them as a member of their operation and report back regularly to HQ about their endeavors," Naalia rattled off, without thinking too much.
"And how will you infiltrate their organization?"
"Their leader, Fatima, has recently posted a fake wanted add for a supposed bounty... one that does not exist. When HQ received this information, Central held off on making an arrest for fraudulent impersonation of a police authority to use it as an opportunity to put an agent in the field, one who could monitor PINCH's actions and gather evidence about more serious illegal endeavors in order to make a more potent arrest later down the line. I, the field agent, will pretend to be a bounty hunter after Fatima's fake target, Reynolds King. I will rendezvous with PINCH at the bounty sight, where they are sure to come, and confront them under the guise of an ally while I am there. Is that a sufficient explanation, sir?"
Nabokov took another long drag on his cigar, considering whether to further question his agent. Finally, he exhaled, "Yes, Thorndyke... that will be all. We'll have arrived at your drop off point in a few minutes. You can carry your gun?"
Naalia, trying her best not to grimace at the foul smell of his cigar breath, eyed the large metal box occupying all of the room in the front seat, next to the chauffeur. "Yes, sir. I can certainly carry my own gun."

As the limousine drove off, back to the nicer parts of Process, Naalia took a moment to relish in the comparatively fresh air outdoors. Sure, it reeked of rotting buildings and slum, but shit would smell sweet compared to that car. Next to her on the street was a metal box that seemed to be a head less than her size. The metal casing shone like a mirror, reflecting a image of Nat's ghostly pale skin and snow white, short hair. She looked like a ghost-- a ghost in the slum of disaster. Naalia flipped the buckles on her case to begin assembling her machine. From now on, her street name would be a clever play off of the meaning of her real first name. She was still several city blocks from the rendezvous point, but when she set off, she would no longer be Naalia Thorndyke. Instead, she would be "The Girl Who Gets What She Wants"...

...On second though, "The Girl" would probably be better.

----------------------------------------------

Far away from all the impending drama in the Wenco slum, in the Temple Hill district, a young man was incredibly bored.

The only sparring partner Jet could find was his nine year old brother, the third youngest of his siblings. Garth was too small to truly provide a challenge; Theseus, his eldest brother, would have been the ideal opponent, but Jethro Williamson would have settled even for Antimony, his eldest sister. Unfortunately, he was stuck with little Garth, and the matches had been dull so far.

After flipping his brother on his face using the same move for the sixth time in the row, Jet bent down to take his sabre.
"No! I still want to fight! I can beat you!" Garth protested.
"You, my young sibling, have the same chance of beating me as I do of beating Master Louis. Come now, I'm tired," Jet protested, removing his mesh helmet. His young brother rolled onto his knees and seemed to tear up underneath his mask, which caused Jet to sigh with utmost contempt. "Get up, knave. You're embarrassing yourself," Jet said, nudging his brother with his foot. This only caused his brother to cry more. Jet tried unsuccessfully for a few more minutes to get his brother to regain his composure, but finding it an impossible task took the sparring equipment and put it on the provided rack before heading back to his own rooms.

Unlike the vast majority of the population of Process, Jet lived in eloquent luxury. To get from the Fencing Hall to his own bedrooms, Jet passed no less than three long hallways filled with life-sized statues of his ancestors, two vast dining halls, three sitting areas, a breakfast nook, and three of his sibling's bedrooms. When he finally arrived at his own door (Fourth of ten, for the fourth of ten children) he was so annoyed that he didn't take time to dress himself after stripping off the protective fencing suit. He flipped on a bedside lamp, plopped down in his large bed, and grabbed the remote control of his large television, but found that none of the four hundred channels had something that piqued his interest. Gods be damned. Jet gave up, turned off the blasted machine, and buried his head in one of his many pillows.
I could... go ride in the garden. Oh, fuck that, Jet thought. He knew there was not much he could do to get rid of the restlessness he felt tonight. For years he'd get aroused and incised, but would seem to have no outlet. When he asked Fiero what he thought to do, his closest sibling had offered him a magazine with pages filled with women, that Fiero had snuck out of Theseus' bedroom months ago. The scantly clad women in compromising positions, however, had never quelled his thirst or drive, and so Jet had gotten used to being disappointed. Tonight however, was something much more urgent than he'd ever felt before.

Jet hopped to his feet, clad only in the skin his mother gave him. He paced back and forth, agitated, and finally beat his fists hard against his mahogany dresser.

I want to go out.

The thought was simple, and quiet at first, but once his mind thought it, he realized how absolutely true it was. With a new urgency Jet pulled clothes from the drawers and dressed himself in the plainest of his finery. He combed his cherry-bark hair and grabbed a sabre in its scabbard to hang on his belt. He would not go out unarmed, of course. Jethro Williamson was not so naive.

Jet had been allowed to roam Temple Hill freely since his 16th birthday, but he still had a curfew that was fast approaching. Jet wanted to stay out late. Instead of leaving by the main gate, Jet decided he would leave off of his balcony, so he pushed some pillows under his comforter to make it look as though he was comfortably asleep, tied a rope to the balcony bannister, and disappeared through the garden out into the night.

Tonight, Jet would find a way to quell his boredom.

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:54 pm

Before Fatima had time to avoid Nate's question, a man concealed in a cloak ran across the street in front of the truck and disappeared around the corner. "He's headed to the mansion." Fatima opened her door as quiet as she could. Her long ebony leg extended to the rough concrete below until the heel of her knee-high boots greeted with the uneven street. "I'm going to check it out. You guys get geared up."

Brother looked over at Fatima with the same type of eyes a dog looks at it's master with when it's done something wrong like introduce mud to fresh carpet or destroy a designer pair of shoes; two things Brother had actually done himself in the past. "Be careful. He might not show up this time."

Fatima glanced back at Brother with dark eyes, and then left the truck, slamming it as she did. D'arcy and Nate knew the usual drill. They exited the truck on the left and proceeded to the back. Wenco was quiet this evening. Humming from traffic far overhead created a blanket of white noise, though no local sounds of traffic. D'arcy scanned the rows of torn and aged buildings for signs of life. Nothing.

"It's almost like the residents know something is about to happen." D'arcy commented and opened the truck's garage-like door.

"We all know something's going to happen," Nate said, hoisting himself into the back. "Everyone's just avoiding the issue." He lifted the flame thrower from the back and tossed it to D'arcy who caught it with a sour look on his face.

"This really pisses you off, doesn't it?" D'arcy asked, setting the flame thrower to his side.

"Pissed?" Nate asked rhetorically and paused unloading the cargo. "No. Baffled? A little. Worried about my continued existence? Oh, most definitely." He tossed the box of fireworks at D'arcy who nearly missed catching it.

"I guess it makes sense, consid-" Distant gunfire interrupted D'arcy who immediately dropped the box of fireworks. "My scatter gun!"

Nate reached behind him and lifted up what was D'arcy's scatter shotgun. It weighed nearly ten pounds, twelve with the attached combat knife bayonet. He wasted no time with throwing it to D'arcy who caught it and assumed a tactical position. "I guess we're starting."

The sound of boots came thudding back to the truck, "We're good ta'go!" Fatima shouted and appeared at the back of the truck. "There's already some people fighting inside the mansion. It's gonna get messy!"

"Oh, is it?" Nate hissed.

"None of that!" Fatima spat back. "You guys go in, I'll be right behind you with fire!"

"Got it," D'arcy nodded. "I'll make a path through the front."

Fatima was busy equipping herself with the Hellfire Flame Thrower, "Actually I think you should go 'round back. To the back entrance."

Nate raised his eyebrows, "Oh, D'arcy should be good at that."

"Enough!" Fatima snapped, "Get yourself serious, you're on the clock now!"

D'arcy shook his head, "Lets go then, Nate." Both of them fled from the truck and towards the mansion.

Fatima checked her weapon, "Okay Jesse, you want heat, I'm packing it." She tucked her clutch into her present cleavage, grabbed the box of fireworks and proceeded towards the mansion as well.

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Ishilar's Ego on Tue May 01, 2012 2:31 am

8am

Alan Spacer looked up at the sound of footsteps approaching Luck's Literature.
"Mr. Spacer, to what do I owe this pleasure?"

The man speaking was very tall and very slim, as though any and all fat he might have gained while growing had gone toward his height rather than his non-existent girth. Dressed in light khakis, a plain white shirt and black vest, he could have fit in with most people in Ritt, save for the black eye patch over his left eye.
"I've just come to return my books and to see if you had any new recommendations. Oh-! Very nice hair cut, Mr. Thor. Looks spiffy on ya," Alan added as Luck took off his hat revealing short-cut sandy brown hair, and stepped inside his home and shop.
"Thank you. I don't have any new wares, but if you look around, I'm sure you'll find something to appeal to your tastes."

Alan followed the man inside the library. Inside the relatively small building, a short walk down a narrow smooth-walled hallway opened into a room with shelves upon shelves of books springing up from the floor like a maze with signs indicating the genre of a given section hanging from the ceiling. Directly ahead lay a mesh of steel bars erected around a stove that doubled as a desk and bed, depending on the current use the owner decided to put it to. Behind that was a single shelf of books, the restricted section.

Alan's gaze lingered longingly on that section. It was a mystery, and he liked mysteries. What, he wondered, did a book have to do to become retricted? The titles seemed harmless enough. The Striped Boy, the Wandering Dreamer, Mother Hen, the Burned Huntress...the titles went on, yet nothing gave the books away as being dangerous.

No matter.

His hand drifted toward his pocket, folding around the handle of a pistol and slowly began to ease it out.

"Did you hear?" the owner asked, fumbling with a set of keys to open the door to the cage, "The Amethyst Dream's back in town again."

Alan froze.

"No, I hadn't." Who to kill? He'd been told that the Information Broker had to die, and yet...

"Yeah, they say he came back probably not more than a few hours ago, I'd say."

"I wonder where he is. I've always wanted to meet the Dream."

The owner laughed, "Nobody meets the Amethyst Dream. He comes to you. But I do understand, I've been something of a fan of his legends myself. If he's back, then it means something big is happening. He probably won't be the cause of it, but trouble has a habit of following him around. So just be on the lookout for something big, if you're that deadset on meeting him."

"Something big?"

"You know...like uh...the Tower collapsing. Or..." the owner smiled idly as he sat down behind his desk. Alan grimaced. He'd lost his chance for now. But the Amethyst Dream...!
"Or somebody deciding to take down a big shot. You know, like King. Something ludicrous like that, you know." the Owner laughed at his own joke.

Alan nodded, "Yes, I know, indeed, Mr. Thor." The Informant would always be here again. The Dream came and went. It was time to make his own legend.


11:23am

Roy Lambardo heaved a sigh as the hustle and bustle of the trainstation was drowned out briefly by the whistles of the Executor, the finest train to have ever been commissioned. Thirty years ago. It had aged well, of course, but what with cars and the rush of city life, nobody had much time for trains these days. He had a wife and kid to support, and the money was down to a trickle. Not to mention his other business.

"Excuse me, where does this train go?"
Roy looked up. The speaker was a man wearing glasses over a black eye patch over his left eye and sandy brown hair.
"Ah, it heads on out to the far cities, circles around, and comes back here around 7pm, just check the signs. You heading out of town Mister...?"
"Alan Spacer. Yes, I have a business meeting in the next town over. I may stay the night there. Things are about to heat up here, I think."
Roy blinked, dragged out of his distant thoughts of not being forced to deal with stupid customers who couldn't read signs over each station that listed train schedules, "Heating up?"
"Yeah. Word is, the big shots are paying 150,000 chips for Fatima."
150,000? Roy felt giddy. He'd be able to feed his family, maybe even take them on vacation.
He schooled his face to blankness, "I wouldn't know too much about that, but I imagine there'll be lots of other thugs out for that bounty."
"Yes, the masses jump at the opportunity for a quick fix to their problems, sadly. At any rate, I must be going. Thank you very much, Mister..." the man's eyes traveled down to Roy's name tag, "Roy Lambardo."
"My pleasure, sir. Have a nice trip."
"Thank you."

As soon as the man - Alan Spacer? - had boarded the train, Roy ran for his timepunch. He would have to organize something quickly if he wanted that bounty. 150,000 chips...!

6:12pm

Grey Littleton struggled fruitlessly against his bonds. The train car was empty save for a single flickering candle on the table in front of him. The man who had caught him would be back any moment now, and then he'd make that one-eyed motherfucker pay! If he could just reach his knife...!

The door slid open and the one-eyed man returned, smiling. In his hand was some sort of can with a tab cut into it. Grey eyed it contemptuously as the man sat down across from him.

"Hello," he said pleasantly, "My name is Roy Lambardo. I've got some questions I'd like to ask you."
"I'm going to get you, you cock-sucking shiteater!"
Roy didn't even bat an eyelash, "First question. What's two plus two?"
"The number of times I fucked your mother last night."
Roy's smiled deepened, "Charming. Actually, my mother died in a fire. Some hapless fuck accidentally set off a bomb and burned her whole house down while she slept. Next question. What do you know about Serrigo?"
Grey's insolent grin froze to his face and his retort died on his tongue. How the hell did this guy know? He recovered himself quickly enough, "Never heard of the bitch."
"Indeed?" Roy reached for the can and kicked Grey's chair over.

Grey grunted at the impact of the fall and tried to shake the stars away from his face. Roy was kneeling next to him holding the can he'd come in with.
"Question number three. What do you think is in here? Would it kill you or just severely maim you?" He eyed the can, feeling sweat begin to bead on his face.
"You're not going to get nothin' outta me. I don't know nothin'!"
Grey's tormenter sighed, "You didn't answer my question. But for the record, it's just salt. Now you have to ask yourself: What am I going to do with salt?"

Salt? That was it? Grey laughed. He was getting held up by this?
Roy's smile was back. A gloved hand seized Grey's face, but he didn't go for his mouth, or his nose. He held Grey's eye open.
"What the fuck are you doing!?" Grey yelled. He screamed when the first few particles landed on his eyelid.
"Oh come on, it can't hurt that badly!" Roy said over Grey's screams. His body spasmed and shook against the chair he was tied to, "It's not like I'm dumping this stuff on an open wound."

Abruptly, the pressure of Roy's hand left Grey's face, only to move to the other side. Reflexes made him blink his salted eye. It made it worse. He howled as both his eyes sockets seemed to catch fire. His arms strained against his bonds to try to scrabble at his eyes, either to rub the salt away or tear his eyes out, he hadn't decided.

"So. Let's try this again. We'll start with question two this time. What do you know about Serrigo?"

"Fuck you!" Grey screamed. His vision was completely obscured now. Only defiance and a strong desire to make the bastard's life as miserable and hard as possible kept him from spilling what he knew."
"Now, now. Let's be courteous. There's no need for vulgarities. It isn't like I've sliced you open and rubbed salt into that." Grey heard the click of a switchblade being brought out.
"You're nothing!" Grey spat trying to school his spasming body to stillness, "You hear me, you fuck!? Nothing you've got can hurt me. Nothing!"

Silence.

Grey heard the door slide back open again, letting in a thunderous rush of wind whipping through from outside. He tried to open his eyes, but failed to make out anything more than a splash of vibrant colors that strained his eyes.

"Ah, the sun is setting. How fitting." Grey could feel his bonds being untied partially. He tried to lunge when he was stood up, but Roy moved casually out of the way, tightening his bonds again, and then Grey felt himself careen through the air.
A pair of hands caught his legs and held him suspended over the railroad tracks speeding by below them.
"Oh Jesus! Stop, stop! Pull me up!" Grey bellowed.
"You know what I love more than anything else?" Roy asked behind him, "Cocky little shits like you who think they've experienced pain before and can take anything life dishes out. You know why I love them?" Grey could feel himself being lowered, the tracks grew closer.
"FUCK, FUCK, STOP!"
"Because disabusing them of that notion is so much fun."

A second. That was all it took. A quick second of Grey's facing grinding against the railway before he was lifted up. He could feel bits of his own skin flapping in the wind, feel blood spattering down his face.

"I've got a new question. What do you know about Luther Thor? Luck?"

Luck? Why did this guy want to know about...?

"Well?"

"He's just some information broker! You pay him enough, he'll tell you anything!"

"What else do they say about him?"

Grey scrabbled desperately for the bits of rumors he'd heard about Luck, "They say he's a bit bomb-crazy! A pyro, you know!"

"Why doesn't anybody kill him?"

Grey felt numb. Body going into shock, probably. His body jerked and the rail tracks loomed before him again. He screamed.
"It ain't like people don't try! Guy's a cockroach! He just don't die! One time, people say he was cornered. Broke his hands and everything so he couldn't use his bombs! People say he lit himself on fire to get his bombs off!"

"Is that all?"

"That's all! I swear, I don't know another goddamn thing!"

"Well then."


8:49pm

Luck smiled to himself as he finished scribing what he had learned about Serrigo into her book. Such an interesting young lady. He thought he was ready now to meet her in person. That would have to wait for tomorrow, though. Or even later, perhaps. There was so much going on in Process these days. So much information to gather.

He could probably expect a visit from Dream soon, once that would-be assassin from this morning found him. That was always how he got a hold of Dream. Nobody could resist the attraction of killing a legend. Plus, there was the added benefit of Dream killing the people who wanted to kill Luck.

He chuckled to himself, making a mental note to put aside some money to take Dream out for some fine-dining as thanks.

Finally finished scrawling, Luck closed Serrigo's file and placed the book back onto the shelf and stretched, glancing at the clock on the stove. 8:52. Fatima would be starting any time now. He wondered idly whether that conductor he'd met at the station would realize that the bounty was a blatant lie. Not that he hated Fatima, or even disliked her. She wasn't very interesting like Dream or this Serrigo, granted, but it was fun to piss her off every once in a while. It was a bit of a game to him. Sometimes she found out he was behind it, sometimes she didn't.

Luck closed the steel shutters around the windows and the only door into Luck's Literature and then stripped out of his clothes, reclining in one of the many squashy chairs around the library. He'd have to read the paper tomorrow. He wondered what sort of story would be told about a man whose face had been scraped off. It was certain he'd be found, of course, but Luck doubted it would be traced to him. And if it was, well, thugs weren't the only ones who made use of his services. The police didn't shut him down either. He was simply too useful to kill. To the thugs, to the police, to the big shots running Process.

And that was why people called him Luck.
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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Rust on Tue May 01, 2012 5:19 am

Sure enough, after a few minutes of waiting the man in the odd suit passed by The Amethyst Dream's hiding place. He had glanced down into the alleyway from atop the ruins for a moment or two to look for anything suspicious, but Dream had been doing this for years. He was not spotted. Once he felt it was safe to move the drifter stepped out of the alley and began walking in the same direction of the thugs and their assassin. He kept a more than respectable distance and stuck to the shadows, much like the assailant was doing. Every once in a while a glint would betray Luca's presence to Dream, and he fell back or moved forward accordingly. In his dirty garb he fit into the shadows perfectly. He paused after the assailant turned the corner after the men.

Dream sidled up to the dumpster on the corner and waited. One second... Two seconds... three... four... five... Just as Dream was about to turn the corner he heard a muffled whump and instantly recognized it as a magnetic weapon. The sound was followed by a disgusting squishy sound and a loud thump as the dead man slumped to the ground.

"Oh fuck!" The remaining thug exclaimed. The next sounds Dream heard were what he assumed was the thug being taken out in a melee. There was silence. Then a dragging sound. It appeared to be going the opposite direction, towards the higher Floor streets. This time The Amethyst Dream waited for a few minutes before leaving his hiding spot. Around the corner was a truly gruesome sight, what with the man's brains all over the place. With a shake of his head, Dream started moving. He could clearly see a faint trail of blood even in the darkness. Dream followed the trail until he had caught up enough to see Luca and his victim enter a somewhat small portion of the ruined tower.

After waiting another minute or so Dream followed. This time he didn't have to worry about following the man closely; upon entering the tower the thug had scrapped his back against the broken chunks of cement that made up the ground. Dream could follow this trail easily, and with the lights set up by wanderers on the trails he wouldn't have to worry about getting lost or running into things, either.

The Amethyst dream looked around at nothing in particular. Raising his hand he let it brush against the rubble that made up the walls of these tunnels. It hadn't been that long since the tower fell, but it almost seemed like a lifetime ago. Dream had changed so much in such little time. No longer was he the bloodthirsty dealer of death and no longer did he carve a gash in the city with the blood of the unclean. There was a certain wisdom to him now, as though he was older than he appeared. A stone fell behind him in the tunnel, but he didn't turn. He didn't perk up. He didn't make any sign that he knew he was being followed.

The journey was long and uneventful after that. Eventually, he made it to the end. He could tell that the doorway was reinforced by the girders that held it up. Though saying it was a doorway would be overstating the issue, it was obvious that the tunnel ended and something else began. Quietly he sat himself down in a small alcove, listening.

"King. You're going to tell me all about King."

"I-I-" came the only reply from the man that The Amethyst Dream heard. Another rock had fallen. The drifter froze, wondering if the suited man had heard the same. He continued his interrogation, however, and Dream felt safe. He frowned to himself before standing. He really didn't even know why he followed them this far. Did he think he could have saved the man?

Had Dream really changed all that much?

He made his way back through the tunnels, but only about a quarter of the way in his journey he frowned. "Look, you don't have to keep running," he spoke softly. "Who are you?"

Dream did not have to wait long, and out from around the corner stepped a tall man holding a pistol that was aimed right at the drifter's heart. "I knew that was going to come back and bite me in the ass. Hands in the air, "The Amethyst Dream.'"

"No," Dream stated simply. "Who are you?"

"Someone who's about to become very, very famous." The man replied.

"Did that Brandon fellow send you?"

"I don't know anyone by the name of Brandon. Oh, no, I came here of my own free will."

"Are you here for a bounty, or a legend?"

"I'm only here because of you, drifter."

"The Crazy Fuck, then?" His assassin, Alan Spacer, looked puzzled, so Dream continued. "You might know him as Luck."

Alan began to laugh. "Yeah, that's a good nickname for him. After this, I'm going to go back and kill him, too."

"You're assuming there's an after."

"I'm the one holding the gun here, drifter."

"Doesn't mean anything."

"Oh yeah? What are you going to do about it? You may be a legend but I've got the upper hand!"

"Then why haven't you fired yet?"

"I figured-"

"Gloating gets you nowhere." With almost superhuman speed The Amethyst Dream reached to his side and pulled a metal bar free from the rubble. At the motion Alan fired off one shot, striking Dream in his shoulder. Dream didn't seem to notice as he threw the bar full force at the assassin, striking him in the arm that held his gun. The assassin was thrown to the side by the force, crying out in surprise. In an instant The Amethyst Dream was in front of Alan Shaper with Cyan in his right hand and Burgundy in his left. He held them both aimed at his attacker's face, Burgundy's bayonet pressing against his nose.

"Well, are you going to kill me n-" Alan paused as he noticed something odd. "Why aren't you bleeding? It was a clean shot!"

Dream hesitated. He knew he shouldn't; the man in the cloaking suit would have heard that shot and probably all of the yelling. "I have nothing to say to you except that I hope he will have mercy on you." The drifter lowered his weapons from Alan's face and pointed them at his kneecaps.

"Wait, what are you... ARRRRGHHH!" Yelled Alan after Dream fired, completely shattering his knees. The assassin cradled his legs close to his body as tears streamed freely down his face.

"I'm sorry." Setting his guns back into his jacket The Amethyst Dream turned around and began following the trail of nearly dried blood back to the exit. His shoulder stung from the impact but he didn't bother checking it. He knew there hadn't been any penetration, there would be more pain and his arm would be useless if there had.

The trip out was just as uneventful as the trip in had been, though he noticed something new, now. The streets had been empty when he went in, but now there was a truck. A trio of people exited the truck, taking with them an assortment of objects. One of them looked down the street opposite, and then towards Dream, but then moved on as though nothing was amiss. He didn't spot Dream due to the shitty lighting. The trio ran into the the alley to the side of the building they had stopped in front of.

In the distance, The Amethyst Dream could hear gunfire. "The city never sleeps," the drifter said quietly to himself before heading in the direction of the mayhem. He wasn't going to join in or anything of the sort, he just figured it was as good a direction as any for a wanderer. The truck was a piece of shit. The white paint was chipped here and there along with marks of rust, and the "West Engine Co." lettering that was stenciled in desperately needed a new coat. As he passed the cab he could barely make out the figure sitting at the wheel. They stared at each other until Dream passed. He looked familiar somehow... It took the drifter until he reached the end of the truck before he realized who that was.

He stopped mid-step. Very few things could startle The Amethyst Dream, but he swiveled around in time to see the truck's door open up and found that he was very, very startled.
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Rust

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by The Masked Man on Tue May 01, 2012 11:42 pm

Luca released his grip on the grimy grey shirt and let the twitching corpse fall to the ground. The big, beefy man’s head bounced off of the concrete and a stream of drool began to trickle from his slack jaw almost immediately. He had questioned the man for nearly twenty minutes and, between gasps of pain, the hapless victim had revealed little information. What he had divulged, though, was important enough that he had earned the relatively swift death that had befallen him.

Luca stood and pondered his findings for a few moments. The first thing that the terrified gangster blurted out was that he had never actually seen King before. This earned him an electrified beating the first and second times he made the claim, but by his third shrieked insistence Luca began to realize what this meant. If King wasn’t known to all of his “employees” he was either extremely harmless, or extremely dangerous. In either case, he was also likely to be a coward. Time in the Salyran Special Forces had taught Luca that any commander with half his rank lead from the front. King, then, was likely a weakling and likely cared nothing for his men. Nobody had needed to tell Luca that second part, though.

The next piece of critical information was that King had recently set a trap of some sort for Fatima and her crew, which was set to be sprung this very day. Luca started at this. He might have been too late to stop their stupid war, but if he showed up and ensured that at least one of them died then he could stop it from getting worse. Fatima had been ruled out as an early target because of her reputation. She was dangerous, Luca had seen this for himself, so killing her would be difficult. She was also popular in a strange sort of way, so an attack on her team might have repercussions that weren’t worth dealing with. He stroked the forefingers of one hand thoughtfully across his visor, his thinking habit, as the tip of his shock baton crackled angrily against the ground. What to do, what to do?

Then he heard the gunfire, then the shouting, then the struggle. Immediately combat mode reengaged and Luca dropped into a stealthy crouch, making his way toward the rough “corridor” in the ruined tower. He peered around the corner of his hideout’s doorway just in time to see the bedraggled man from the streets slipping away while another man lay wounded and moaning on the ground. That was bad: it meant the hideout had been compromised. Luca snorted. He hadn’t exactly been careful in his operations today, so maybe he deserved this. Luckily he had prepared for such an event.

He slipped over to his supply cache and grabbed all the most useful gear. Some extra ammo, an emergency power cell for his baton, a little food, and of course the hat. The battered, brown, wide-brimmed hat he had gotten from his friend all those years ago. It was hanging on the wall, exactly where he had left it when he had arrived that afternoon. He held it in his hands for a moment, a look of what may have been longing or adoration flashing across his face, before he looped the drawstrings that dangled from its lining around his neck—it was important that he never actually wear the hat—and walked off briskly, the hat swinging slightly on his back with each step. He paused at the door, then hurried back and grabbed a little device from on top of a munitions crate. He had almost forgotten that. It wouldn’t do to leave that behind.

The wounded man was still writhing in the corridor. Luca glanced at him as he passed, and tapped his forehead with his shock baton, still active and set to quite a lethal voltage just in case of a surprise encounter. The poor runt stiffened, gasped, and died and Luca marched on without missing a stride. As he strode out of the fallen tower and into the dimness of twilight, he thumbed a button at the top of the device he had retrieved and felt the earth shake slightly as a series of dull explosions reverberated within the wrecked building. Almost simultaneously there was the sound of crumbling masonry as a moderate portion of the already ruined structure collapsed further, the tactical detonators burying any trace of his presence in the area under tons of rock and metal.

Luca swore as he stepped over the corpse of the man he had shot earlier: one piece of evidence he had forgotten to destroy. There was no time to worry about it, though, in light of his current appointment. Both King and Fatima in the same place at the same time?
It was just too perfect.
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The Masked Man

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Amano on Wed May 02, 2012 3:45 pm

- -



Grey Shading: Nondiscript rubble

- -

There was nothing to say.

It was impossible and an uncanny waste of time to sit and consider if you recognized someone that had been flooding your nightmares and teasing your guilt. This man's face each night, undesirably. He didn't care about the costume, the outfit, the guns, the things that had changed in the past six months. He cared about the man's face, and who he undoubtably knew it was. The man that helped collapse an entire tower.

Brother's knuckles were white behind a pair of gloves. Together, Brother and the man's eyes shared the same rage. Both of them simultaneously recalling the day they'd hadn't forgotten since.

"I convinced myself a long time ago that if I killed you, my guilt would be eased." Brother spoke.

Dream nodded.


- -


D'arcy usually had the mission operation of 'spearhead'. This meant he was the one who went in first and created a line in the enemies defense. Little light was present in the alleyway D'arcy and Nate had chosen to take around to the back of the hideout. "I'm not going to waste any time," D'arcy said over his shoulder as he skidded his way forward. "As soon as we get to the back exit I'm going to open fire."

Nate said something that was deemed inaudible behind a couple distant gunshots. D'arcy and him had worked together before, and D'arcy knew Nate was trustworthy. Trustworthy and very cunning.

"It's there," D'arcy said and pointed the bayonet of his gun towards a wooden double door ahead. Neither of the doors seemed like they were originally constructed to end up as back doors to a make-shift mansion built in rubble. One was painted a salmon color, while the other was white with various painted triangles. D'arcy lifted the barrel of his gun, took stance and fired at the white one. He liked it the least. Wood splinters filed through the air before falling into the gaudy foyer within. From D'arcy's position outside, he could see a massive room set in front of him. "This place is built like a rich man's treehouse," he commented. Just as he began to set foot inside, there was more gunfire. This time seemingly just on the floor above him.

Nate followed D'arcy into dimly lit back entrance, "If you could draw them down here, that would be much better." A body fell from above and landed just in front of them, almost as a response. "Okay, yeah, just like that. Now do it again."

D'arcy noted that the man had been shot dead. He surveyed the corpse a moment longer. No one that he recognized. "I thought there would be more carnage." Footsteps sounded from the foyer ahead, running down stairs. Five…no, maybe ten. "Here they come," D'arcy lifted his shotgun. "You ready?"

"Sure," Nate responded. "But I'm going to take care of these guys first. "

D'arcy took a second to glance back and saw a handful of thuggish looking men standing just outside the back exit, some with guns, some with melee weapons, all looking pissed. "Damn!" D'arcy spat. And then the men from the foyer in front of him. "Pincer. Okay, lets intend to kill them all."

"Who are you with?" One of the men from the back entrance demanded. He held a silver pistol aimed at Nate's neck. "Are you with Fatima?"

"On three," D'arcy whispered just clear enough for Nate to hear.


- -


Fatima gave the door to the small circular structure a swift kick. It popped open with ease and she dove inside. There hadn't been anyone standing in the courtyard of the target building, so she decided to watch from the second floor of the small round tower. Fatima made her way up a short spiral staircase and perched near a window. "Still no one. That gunfire must be coming from inside the mansion." she said to herself while scanning the are outside.

"Who that up there!?" A man's voice growled from below.

Someone was downstairs. How did he get past her? Was he sneaking along the sides of the buildings? Didn't matter. Fatima stood up and aimed the nozzle of her flame thrower down the stairs. "It's Fatima!" A click from a gun below as a response. The man intending on killing her. Fatima depressed the trigger of her weapon with full strength causing a stream of fire to descend the staircase. There was a terrifying scream and the man went running out of the building into the courtyard. Fatima eased on the trigger and watched the man run for the mansion, ablaze. He nearly made it through the front doors before collapsing. "That should tell them I'm here," she shortly grinned. "But there goes hiding here for cover," she thought, noticing the first floor had caught fire. She dropped the flame throwers gun device and set the backpack down. Her nimble fingers reached for her clutch still stuffed in her cleavage. 'I'll stay for another minute.' Fatima thought and watched the courtyard.


- -


Brother stood glaring at Dream. His eyes were dark beneath his brow as he did. This was the man that he never finished things with. Maybe it would do him some good. He prowled forward. Not unlike an animal going for it's prey, but quite unlike the way an animal may take it's time. Brother knew what he had to do. Or at least what he wanted to do.

Dream didn't go for his guns. His high level training in Karate was confident enough. He knew, after all, that Brother would never use a gun himself. Maybe it was fair to keep it fair.

He didn't waste any time. As soon as Brother decided he was close enough to Dream, he sent his fist forward. Predictable. Dream evaded it with an easy duck and positioned himself to Brother's side. A left hook missed another quick Dream, who now backed off a few feet.

"You were never really quick," Dream stated. "But you're much slower now."

Brother's eyes were furious. He kneeled down and put his hands to the rubble paved street. A slab on concrete. The same one Dream was standing on. Brother lifted it off the ground as if the weight of paper causing Dream to stumble backwards, unbalanced. Before Dream could catch his fall, Brother jumped forward, the slab of concrete standing upright between Dream and himself, and delivered another punch at center of the concrete. It's structure shattered and flew towards Dream.

"Damn," Dream cursed as heavy chucks of rigid concrete pelted his body. He recovered quickly and took a fighting stance, still not reaching for his pistols. "That one was alright." Dream sprung himself forward with a punch to Brother's chest. He connected, but felt little reaction and followed up with a knee to his stomach. That worked better.

Brother collapsed a brief moment until returning a punch to Dream's chest. The sound of knuckle hitting metal echoed through the street and Dream fell back, undamaged. Brother nursed his fist with his other hand. 'He's wearing armor,' he thought. 'Fuck…I'm already winded.'

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by BSmith on Fri May 04, 2012 5:34 pm

"One... two..."

D'arcy was interrupted by the sound of a skull smashing off concrete. He glanced back to see Nate standing above the prone body of one of the thugs. After a moment of hesitation, the others rushed the two members of PINCH.

"Why do you never wait for three?!" D'Arcy yelled as a burst from his shotgun splattered the innards of one assailant across the wall.

"Element of surprise!" Nate replied simply as he nimbly leaped over the head of a man armed with a heavy maul. The man instinctively swung the hammer in an arc around him, but Nate rolled out of the way and the maul connected with the stomach of one of the other men, who crumpled to the floor. Nate heard the cocking of a pump-action shotgun behind him, and without hesitation, sprang upwards as the gangster fired. His hands closed around one of the two crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling high above, which he used to swing himself upwards even further. A second shot rang out, shattering the glass of the light fixture, as Nate somersaulted through the air, landing in the wooden rafters above.

D'Arcy continued firing, carving a path through his enemies, thanks to the increased rate of fire on his modified shotgun. He heard footsteps on the stairs behind him and turned, running one of the thugs through with his gun's bayonet. He pulled the blade back out as hard as he could, simultaneously cracking another assailant in the skull with the butt of the gun as he did so.

With Nate momentarily out of the picture, both sets of goons rushed the stairs. D'Arcy looked back and forth wildly; he was ridiculously outnumbered. He managed to take out a few more with shotgun blasts before the mobs closed in on him. He speared the man on the stairs below him with his bayonet, but the blade got stuck as the thug behind him raised a serrated sword and brought it down towards D'Arcy's head.

The blade never connected, as the swordsman was crushed to the stairs by Nate as he landed from the rafters. There was a sickening crunch from the man's spine and he let go of the sword, which Nate caught. D'Arcy freed his bayonet, tossing the dead body of the man he had impaled to the side and off the stairs to the floor below. He and Nate glanced at each other and nodded.

D'Arcy proceeded down the stairs, shotgun blasts ringing out left and right, while Nate went the opposite way, his newly-acquired serrated blade cleaving off limbs and slicing throats. D'Arcy had almost reached the bottom of the stairs when a new batch of hoodlums burst through the door into the foyer. His jaw clenched. There were too many.

Nate kneed a man in the groin and threw him off the side, and all of a sudden, there was an opening through to the second floor. He took one step, and suddenly D'Arcy blew by him, taking the stairs two at a time.

"Run!" the long-haired man yelled.

"Run?" Nate questioned as a bullet whizzed by his ear. He turned to see another couple dozen enemies, most of them armed with guns, swarming the stairs.

"RUN!!" he echoed, taking off after D'Arcy.

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Amano: When did you do that?
Smithy: note the first post is March 31?
Amano: See, this is why I'm not a detective.
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BSmith

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Re: Fatima and the Boy in Stripes

Post by Graven on Mon May 07, 2012 5:03 pm

In Aes-Conhua across the southern sea, one could count themselves lucky to feel the warmth of the sun just once in their lifetime.

A man, long ago in his youth, took hammer to stone as icy wind and rain left his skin numb. His patchwork was mediocre, but to successfully repair the last shield to their way of life was masterful in the eyes of the men and women behind it. The Break was a massive barricade build of every withstanding material imaginable, towering in many layers of different height and thickness, miles wide and a frightening mess in the light of the black clouded sky.

The youth carefully turned around on the scaffolding hammered in beneath him. He was high enough to see over the remaining walls of the Break, to the ruinous city behind it. If the tales could be believed, Aes-Conhua was not always like this. It once prospered, but that was before the storms. It was said that the land to the north was to blame, their pollution corrupting the wind currents...yet as time went by, more and more of the Conhuai people attempted to migrate to the north, to the place that stripped them of their paradise.

The Break was hard-pressed for volunteers. Though nobody said it, the city had come under martial law. Able-bodied men were conscripted for rotations to help keep the barricade standing. Had the storms been mild, the ports would have closed as well, it was heard, but the hurricanes and tsunamis smashed and sundered every shore, leaving escape impossible in the recent years.

A man called out from below the scaffolding, in the native tongue of the land. "I have a feeling about this year. It's gonna clear up, and we can ditch this place! We're gonna see the sun!"

The sun. Even now, in Process, one seldom saw the sky. Ara shook the vision from his head. There was a more important task at hand.

The giant rolled his dented bike behind PINCH's headquarters at the Upper Korobov level, discarding his helmet close by. Searching for a way in had proven successful as he observed Henhouse's broken window. Somebody already went through the trouble for me. He stepped through as gently as his weight would allow, praying the place wasn't guarded in the absence of Fatima and Brother, and at the same time calculating the most effective excuse for being in the building in the case that it was still inhabited.

It was not, as Ara discovered when descending to the mezzanine floor. The place looked just as hazardous as the garage below, traps of documents strewn about, ready to assault any careless visitors with paper cuts. The intruder quickly spied his best opportunity: a timeline for a mission stuck to the wall over many others. A binder below it had a plethora of information. His eyes darted around the pages as he skimmed through. Sixty thousand dollars, Reynolds King, flamethrower, D'arcy, Nathaniel...Floor 50 Street at Floor 10, ruined mansion. Got it...

Something fluttered behind him and Ara quickly turned, but he saw nothing but papers and discarded alcohol. Not the wind. What was that? His uneasiness got the better of him, and he decided to depart quickly.

*

Not fifteen minutes into his trip did the hard vibration of Ara's motorcycle get the best of his wounds. The bullet holes began to ache, blood oozing thick and slow from them both and leaving shiny stains on his shirt. I picked a great day to procrastinate on getting supplies. He would need to take care of himself before he continued his business, and the public eye was not the place to do so. A foreigner with bullet holes would be immediately reprimanded.

He found luck moments later when a figure emerged in the distant road. What initially seemed like a young boy carrying a massive pipe on his back Ara soon recognized as not a boy, but a tiny woman, fully grown judging by the way she held herself, and the way she carried the oversize long-ranged rifle behind her. A bounty hunter. An eager one at that. He judged the woman may have something close to a first-aid kit given her occupation.

The woman turned to look at Ara and froze at the sight. He approached on his bike as it idled forward, removing his helmet to look at her behind his matted hair. She angled her head sharply up just to look at his face, her head only reaching his waist from his seat on the motorcycle.

The two paused for a moment in their gaze. Ara smiled gently, hoping his friendly intentions would reach her, and spoke. His voice rumbled over the engine of the bike beneath him, just as deep. "I think I need a band-aid."
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Graven

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Join date : 2012-04-25
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