Gravediggers: City State 7

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  1. Gravediggers City State 7

    "The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them."
    Lois McMaster Bujold​

    "Due to the nature of the recent murders, Mortician HQ has declared that they will take over the invesitgation and place their Director of Operations and Active Commander, Agent Kayne, in charge of the investigation. Since the revelation that the crimes were commited by a Gravedigger, and the fact that all five victims were Gravediggers, Director Kayne has stated that he will find the criminal named "The Blood Ripper" and bring justice to the often overlooked Gravedigger community active in City State 7. That concludes our news hour. Tune in tomorrow for your daily news, weather reports, and Gravedigger capture tally count, Goodnight City State 7."

    The broadcast ended as quickly as it began, and those who had stopped for a moment to listen went back to going about their business, scurrying through the busy streets of City State 7 as swiftly as they possibly could. The sky was dark and grey, and a heavy downpour soaked the buildings and streets of the metropolis below.

    The Graveyard District of City 7 was aptly named. Most of the district's residents were Gravediggers, those who had been brought back from dead through the resurrection program and gained special powers through it. The witchhunt for the perpetrator of the "Blood Ripper Murders" had begun, and the people of the Graveyard District are the primary suspects. While the Morticians head the operation, communities of independant Gravediggers have started to investigate their own in the vain hope of appeasing the Morticians. One such Mortician Agent, a Broker, was already on her way to one small community. She stood Outside a large building that used to be a warehouse, previously used by a small crime family that had been disposed of by the Mortician agents some years ago, and swiftly walked inside.

    "I don't think we need to worry at all, Gideon. None of our people have shown the ability to manipulate blood. It's not one of us."

    A young man spoke, a small smile on his face. Wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up, a green t-shirt and baggy jeans, Wallace was definitely a gravedigger "teen" in every sense of the word. Wallace often worked closely with Gideon, the leader of a small enclave of Gravediggers in the district, as his messenger. Walace's speed altering "GD" power was helpful in that regard. Wallace moved to the side of Gideon as the sounds of rain drops struck the window. "Don't you think think you should address that in tonight's meeting?" Wallace asked Gideon. The Community's meeting was to be held in the main room, being the accepted "Leader", it was Gideon's duty to announce anything that involved the community as a whole. Gideon looked at Wallace. "Still, there's a slight chance someone could be hiding that power away. Still, the curfew will hopefully work." Gideon responded as he turned away from the window of his room; a fairly comfortable sized room with a bed and a shower. The Mortician Broker was standing in the doorway, as Wallace looked at Gideon with a nod, leaving the room as quickly as he could. The young Mortician was a female, wearing the standard Mortician issued uniform, her hair was medium length and tied in a ponytail, a auburn-ish like colour. a huge between Gideon and the young Mortician linking them as father and daughter, it was twenty five years ago he became a Gravedigger.

    "Erin...I take it The Morgue isn't hiring Bounty Hunting Gravdiggers at the moment right? I mean you wouldn't be here otherwise if they didn't respond." Gideon asked, hoping he would hear some good news. Erin shook her head in response, moving closer to Gideon. "There's a curfew being initiated today, these murders all seem to have one thing connected; they are all reasonably powerful gravediggers." She replied, looking around his room. "I've been to tell you, Raina, one of your newer arrivals? She's oddly similar to a Gravedigger held in cusody by the Morgue. You don't think Raina could be her, right?" Erin questioned Gideon, her face expressionless only with a sortof stern look to it. "No" Gideon simply replied with a single word. A smile crept slightly on Erin's face. "Fair enough, I just got to check out with all Communities under my watch if they have seen this escapee, othewise we would have to declare them out of the City State." She explained. Erin was Gideon's daughter, while he new that, Erin herself was in the dark about it. They were both friends and respected each other, despite Gideon wanting to tell her the truth. "You're welcome to accompany me to the main hall, we're holding a meeting. If you want to" Gideon asked as they both started to leave the room. "Sure, I see no problem with that" as they both walked out and headed down the flight stairs, Wallace watched on, a glimmer in his eyes with a smirk out of the corner of his mouth. He quickly headed to his own room.

    Gideon looked out to the main hall, waiting for the last to arrive. Anya stood beside him, to make sure that the situation does not turn ugly with her Negation Powers. Gravedigger Community meetings always had the slight chance of getting out of control.
  2. Rain soaked Renna to the bone as she watched the news report. The televisions inside the store flickered back to the regular scheduled programming and the group in front of the window slowly began to disperse. She could hear the stray mutterings of some of the people passing by her. Most were pessimistic comments about how the Morticians could care less that Gravediggers were killed, some going as far as saying that it would be less work for them. Renna was inclined to agree. The Morticians would much rather put a bullet in a Gravedigger than help them. Honestly it had surprised her to find the government hadn't used the recent murders to condemn her kind further and now even saying that they're investigating it. She shrugged it off as some kind of propaganda, turning and continuing on her way down the street.

    The coat she had on did little to prevent the onslaught of water and even less to stay the cold. Her brownish hair framed her face in wet streaks and she started a brisk jog. Renna was on her way to the meeting held at the Gravedigger Community she was a part of. The meetings usually proved informative, but lately the only thing worth talking about were the deaths and the murderer committing them. She realized it was important to find the man, if in fact it was one, and dealing with him, but she was much more interested in dealing with the murderers under the guise of being the law.

    Knuckles rapped on a steel door and eyes peered through the slit at face height. In a moment she was inside, shedding her coat. She was offered towel, by one of the men standing at the door. They had the foresight to think that some of the members might need some drying off. The majority of the members had already arrived by the time she stepped into the main hall. Most faces were familiar by now, since she had been a member for quite a while. She found herself a seat and awaited the start of the meeting.
  3. Perched atop one of the many buildings, above the lights that illuminated the streets below, Andre felt right at home despite the chilling downpour. His scavenged attire did little to prevent the rain from soaking through, but slight discomfort aside it wasn’t a concern. His outfit consisted of pure black that would have screamed suspicious had he stuck to the city’s streets, especially given the thick hood that cast a shadow over everything but a pair of gleaming yellow eyes. The clothes were also clearly secondhand and ragged pieces; numerous holes that he didn’t care enough to patch dotting both his pants and coat. All that aside, even if people could ignore his dubious outfit the assault rifle slung onto his back was likely an entirely different matter; one that likely would have had at least one call to the authorities made. The firearm shifted about slightly as his hood was pulled back so as to not interfere with his hearing.

    The heavy pitter patter did little to muffle the broadcast through the systems set up everywhere in the city, and he scoffed a bit as it ended; glancing down at the pedestrians hurrying about their own ways afterwards. ‘Overlooked my ass.’ With that pleasant thought, he stood up, nearly invisible against the darkened sky, and disappeared amongst the building rooftops.

    It wasn’t hard to tell where the boundaries between districts were drawn whether it was from the ground level or with a bird’s eye view of the place. The buildings looked a bit more run down, less people walked the streets, and certain sparks of livelihood were essentially nonexistent. Andre paid these signs little attention as he made his way towards the location of tonight’s gathering; he didn’t care all too much, but simply noticed such things. As he approached the site the buildings grew more spaced out and less plentiful, so he was forced to ground level a bit further than he would have liked. The rifle was unslung and thrown up into the air, Andre followed by dropping off the edge. The sound of his landing was drowned out by the constant sound of rain and after the roll to bleed off the excess momentum his hand raised up into the air; just in time too as the rifle fell right into it.

    The main entrance was ignored for several reasons by Andre and he instead snuck into the warehouse by one of numerous windows. The second story didn’t require much effort on his part. A bit of a running start and his hands grasped onto the window sill easily enough. A gentle tap against the glass, an inaudible click, and the window slid open easily enough as the lock undid itself. His makeshift entrance was closed behind him after he climbed through and he sighed at the pool of water that had already collected under him. While his presence remaining hidden would be preferable, it wasn’t really necessary if Andre was to be honest. Simply put, staying under the radar was likely better for him and those who lived around where he resided.

    It wasn’t too hard for him to navigate through the building, all the more so with a rather large number of voices to follow. Soon enough there was only a door between him and the walkway on the second floor of the main hall. While somewhat muffled, the voices were still easily understood so he saw no reason to announce his arrival. He took up a position somewhat to the side of the doorframe and closed his eyes to listen, both to the meeting and for anyone approaching.
  4. The song that filled the still air was one of shifting baritones and gentle swaying tones. The sound of a shimasen could be heard as Jin made his way forward. He moved with sure steps, tabi clad feet almost dancing forth. The man looked young, but as many of his kind, he was anything but. Pushing seventy, the man had experienced enough of life and taken man lives of his own. Jin, the ”Kabuki Assassin”, a thorn in the side of the Morticians since he first escaped their clutches. The man was for once not dressed in a entirely outlandish and flamboyant set of clothes. Instead he wore a loose fitting obi with a pair of hakama pants to compliment. His fingeres and pick played across the shamisen as he played ”Raijins Anger” a song his mother had been fond of whenever the rain poured down. Accompanying his voice was that of a lady. Hime strode aside him, holding a traditional Japanese umbrella over them both. The woman seemed to be around her early 30's, and wore a classical geisha styled kimono and makeup. Jins smile was genuine as he greeted those already in place. Some bowed, some shook hands, some got distracted by Himés visage. Jin made nice as he shook hands and caught up on old times. Played a few songs as per request.

    His smile widened at the site of the ”Negotiator.” Now there was sight he didn't see every day.

    ”Oh. I see. It is one of those meetings?” He asked over the voice of everyone else, his power giving him a voice impossible to drown out.

    ”Cut it out Jin” The sound of two massive metal wings could be heard over head. Jin narrowed his eyes as the The ex-mortician, Kalyko, landed. Her wings folded down against her back, the bright yellow light dimming somewhat She looked about her before turning back to Jin. The kabuki dancer shrugged. ”My sources are disappearing one after one. I think the Morticians are panicking, they don't want us to know what they are doing regarding the Ripper.”

    ”Figures.” The woman spoke, the bags around her eyes seemed even worse then usual.

    ”You ok? You look te-” Jin began to speak but the Mortician raised a hand.

    ”I don't care. Go report to the boss-” And then she took of to the skies agian, to keep lookout in case trouble headed their way.

    AS Jin went to listen and discuss with the powers that be around here, Kalyko kept herself airborne. The sunburst rifle slung across her shoulder. Her durt was to watch the skies for helicopters or airborne morticians. She liked the solitude. The Gravediggers weren't exactly thrilled about her existence to begin with, so there was no real reason for her to stick around more then to do her duty and help.
  5. Gideon spent a long while contemplating the state of City State 7. It had been through a lot these past ten years, and Gideon struggled to think about anything else nowadays. What the Gravediggers had been through, what they were going through, and what they were going to go through… It was all too much for one man to worry about, and while Gideon knew well that he was not the only one holding the community of Gravediggers together, he often felt like the strain of keeping them afloat was on his shoulders alone. It always felt worse when a meeting was called, though. There were so many people gathering, and such a large collection of Gravediggers would more often than not lead to trouble. Anya’s powers truly were a godsend, because otherwise the crowd would be a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off.

    Gideon silently prayed that a probing Mortician would not discover them. Just because they were under the jurisdiction of a broker, the woman who stood only a few metres away from Gideon at that very moment did not mean that another Mortician would hesitate to attack them if they felt it necessary. Some of them seemed to take it as a challenge.

    He held his head in his hands for a moment, steadying his breathing and focusing his thoughts, but the steady, rhythmic clap of small heels against the hard concrete floor brought him back from his brief meditation. Gideon raised his head and looked over his right shoulder, a small smile appearing on his face as a female figure turned round the corner of the corridor and came into view, her long, silvery hair immaculately woven into braids and held up, and her slender figure cloaked in an impressive white dress trimmed with red silk. She stood out among the Gravediggers like a sore thumb.

    How are you feeling?” the woman asked, stopping in place when she came into touching distance of Gideon.

    She never looked up from the PDA she held in her hand, and if Gideon did not know her better he might have assumed she were asking out of politeness rather than genuine concern. Her tone certainly implied a degree of apathy, although there was no truth to those implications. Cassandra came off as cold more often than not, but Gideon knew that her intentions were good. Few people cared about their cause as much as Cassandra did.

    “We’ve all been shaken by the recent murders,” Gideon replied. “But I’m okay. We’ve been through worse together and we’ll weather this storm just as we did the others. Thank you for the concern though, Cassandra. I appreciate it.”

    Cassandra ran her fingers across the PDA’s touchscreen and a few documents appeared on the screen. She scanned them briefly before dragging them into a folder, which she would quickly forward to Gideon’s own computer. “Rumour has it that the Morticians have caught a new lead on the murders. It is not a solid lead, but it is something, and the Morticians have more to work with now than they have done in the investigation so far. I think it is perhaps something worth sending our own to investigate, so I have sent you the files so you may judge for yourself when you have the time,” she said.

    “Thank you,” Gideon replied.

    I am probably keeping you from important business. I actually came here to speak with Erin, if that is at all possible.” Cassandra glanced briefly at the Mortician agent, eying her almost warily. “Someone with the direct link to the Morticians would be a great help to this investigation, and I have a specific job in mind”.

    The woman hesitantly nodded her head. “I’ll see what I can do.”

    Cassandra nodded. She quickly turned her attention back to Gideon, and smiled for the first time. She wrapped her arms loosely around the older man in an embrace, sighing contently. “The crowd looks fine. Nervous, but they have every right to be. You have nothing to worry about.

    Gideon opened his mouth to speak, but Cassandra spoke first. “Good luck”.

    The woman slipped away from Gideon’s sight as quickly as she appeared, waving goodbye for but a moment before she turned back around the corner that she appeared from, the young Erin following suit. Gideon smiled, and slight spring in his step he walked out into the main hall, arriving to the hushed whispers of a crowd of Gravediggers.
  6. As Gideon approached the center of main hall, he looked around for both Wallace and Anya. He did not like to rely on on the Gravedigger's ability to negate the powers of her fellows, but right now was a good time to keep everyone at a level head, and Anya's abilities were greatly appreciated. Wallace was perched on top of the window ledge just across from his position, whilst Anya sat on the table just underneath the same ledge, swinging her legs back and forth playfully. Gideon smiled as he approached the deceitfully young looking Gravedigger.

    "We need that barrier set up, Anya," Gideon informed her.

    "Shouldn't be a problem, Giddy!" Anya replied in a teasing tone but she maintained an innocent smile.

    Her eyes, usually a soft hazel colour, shifted to the deepest of reds, as a barrier was placed around the hall. It was invisible to the eyes of most, although Anya could see the shimmering barrier clearly, Gideon made sure that it was in place, taking off the patch that covered his right eye so that he might survey his surroundings. His vision blurred for a moment, but quickly realligned. He saw around the hall that the few Gravediggers who were actively using their powers ceased to be able to do so. Gideon nodded to both Wallace and Anya, and moved towards the crowd of Gravediggers.

    "This meeting will now commence," he announced, his voice loud and clear for all to hear. "Firstly; we have three new members of our community heading this way as we speak.I would like you all to treat them with respect, and to help them settle in well. We do not need a repeat of last week."

    There was a pause, and Gideon shot a glance at a small group of Gravediggers in the corner of the room. They did their best to avoid his gaze.

    "But let us move on to more pressing news," Gideon continued. He held both his hands behind his back and paced back and forth. It was obvious that he had concerning news to bring, and those few in the crowd that spoke were immediately silenced. "As you all are well aware, there have been a number of murders that have taken place in City 7, and the fact that all five victims were Gravediggers means that it is of immediate concern to us. The murderer, the "Blood Ripper", has been targetting us directly, and I urge you all to keep safe in this trying time."

    Gideon paused, fixing his collar for a brief moment before he spoke again. "Little is known about the murderer, but evidence we have gathered points to one of two possibilities; either the murderer is a Mortician, or they a Gravedigger... one of our own."

    The crowd immediately broke out into discussion, the collective sounds of the crowd drowning out all other noise. Gideon noticed out of the corner of his eye that a figure stood in the doorway, both of their arms crossed as they watched the meeting unfold. Gideon nodded to them, acknowledging their arrival.

    "Now, the media is eager to portray these deaths as the work of a Gravedigger, but there is just enough evidence to support that it was the act of a Mortician. We will be putting our full efforts into the investigation, so that we may get the bottom of this mystery and make the streets safe again for our kind. In the mean time, however, we are introducing some new emergency rules to the community until this crisis has been dealt with.

    Gideon cleared his voice. "First, use of Gravedigger abilities that have clear visual signs is prohibited except under dire circumstances. Second, if you are required to leave our enclave's ground for any reason, please inform Cassandra or I as to where we can find you and how long you're going to be." Gideon looked over to the figure in the doorwar. "Furthermore, Broken Agent Erin would also like to inform us that as of now, a curfew has been placed on the city for all Gravediggers in an attempt by the Morticians to catch the culprit. We urge you to abide by these restructions until the case is dealt with."

    "Are there any questions?" He finally asked.

    As he did so, Erin slipped out from the doorway, heading outside and out of sight.
  7. The chatter died down as a familiar voice called out above all the others’. All in all, Gideon didn’t take very long to make his announcements and Andre sighed before he opened his eyes. There wasn’t much that really affected him and even the curfew would only be a minor annoyance given he was already a fugitive from the Morticians. A quick glance around and then he stood and pressed his hand against the door handle. The shifting of the lock’s mechanisms could be felt through the solid metal and after a soft click, the door swung open easily enough. The slight sensation of fatigue as he stepped into the walkways overlooking the hall didn’t pass unnoticed and a small frown formed as he came to a halt to let the feeling pass.

    That combined with the lack of anything really eye catching convinced Andre to make a speedy departure. The door was shut behind him, and he retraced his steps through the darkened warehouse. Given the undisturbed area around his “entrance”, he was fairly certain that his presence had gone relatively unnoticed. However with Tizca acting as a hovering sentry outside in the air, he wasn’t sure if it’d stay that way as he left. He supposed it didn’t matter as he pushed the window open and hopped out. Spinning around to grab hold of the edge, Andre closed the window shut before he let himself drop to the ground. Landing with a splash, his hood was pulled up against the still falling rain and he looked up to the ex-Mortician’s position as he gave a small wave for, hopefully, mutual recognition.
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