Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Asuras, Dec 10, 2014.

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    Koi Ross | Level 178 - Home

    It began as any normal morning would; sun leaked through the aisles of concrete and steel outside the bedroom window, awakening the sleeping couple beneath the rays. For several minutes the two remained in bed, eyes shut but minds active.Eventually Fanty Shark was the first to fully rise from the sheets with a flurry of movement. It didn't take much to get him mentally ready for the day. He dressed lightly and exited the bedroom, likely off to make some morning drink and eat. He had work to do within the hours, and moved with purpose and a well-traveled routine.

    Koi arose fifteen minutes later with a much less driven motion to herself. She wasn't preparing to go anywhere in particular. She met her fiance at the door, his routine nearly finished. Before he could leave, the two said a few words to one another and her fiance planted a light, quick kiss on her lips.

    The light in the room darkened at that moment, and the whole placed seemed to stretch into an infinite horizon. Fanty disappeared, as did her home, replaced by a slowly materializing scene within the city. She was on the streets, somewhere on the lower levels. It was night time, as far as she could tell so far below. The streets were busy and the smell terrible.

    Against her will, her gaze shifted to the left as a scream cried out amidst the sounds of engines and clacking shoes on concrete. Something approached her. A human, it seemed. They were dressed strangely, masked with a grim visage like white leather stretched thin. Blood coated the butchers apron that it wore. Koi could not move herself, and as the entity approached, she learned she could not dictate her speech either. It was not her voice, but Fanty's.

    The words were jumbled, obscure, muffled. She could make no sense of what came out of 'her' mouth. The figure came closer, and she backed away a few steps. More inaudible words. The figure was an arm's length away, approaching with clear intent. Its hand stretched out, and everything went black.

    She was in her home again, just pulling away from her Fiance's light kiss.


    Nechronica & Armel Lienstrung | Occam East District, Policus Station

    Each chair was occupied, filled with either an eager officer leaning forward, or a disinterested badass slouched so far down the seat they could've passed off as dead. Nechronica and Armel attended the mandatory briefing in those morning hours, listening to the superior officer's recanting of a particular situation involving protesters and a bad lie.

    Days before, a bomb exploded on Level 134 in their district, killing two and inuring many more. Policus knew what had transpired, but they of course wouldn't disclose such things; there was money to be had, after all. Most officers themselves had no clue that it was a crime involving the Shark Families struggles, but some were keen enough to deduce as much. What was told publicly was that it was set up by some Painstaker looking for laughs. Clearly the protesters weren't gullible enough.

    "And so there you have it," the officer stated, lowering his hand from the holo-projection displayed at the head of the darkened room, "gonna have a dispatch settle down at the protesters zone and make sure they don't actually go through with the riot plan. If they get to big or rowdy, disperse them. Block off their way to the floor-bound ninety-nine ramp. We'll set up a blockade there. Any questions?"


    Sparkle Bell Lovejoy | Central Babylon, Prime Hour Tower, NBBC

    A few powders to Lovejoy's cheeks were the final touch, and the stylists left her side, disappearing into the background of the backstage. Before her was a carpeted stage, a half circle complete with a set of living room furniture, couches and coffee tables, and one of the most famous talk show hosts around. A show manager stood at her side looking quite stressed and on edge, checking back between Lovejoy and the stage. She was hidden behind a wall at the right of the stage, obscuring her from the moderately-sized crowd just outside. At least two hundred people, she guessed from the noise level as the show started up. The host spoke up with one of the biggest smiles she'd ever seen. Clapping increased alongside excited yells.

    "Welcome back to Morning Hours! Man I am just... just laughing all the time about this whole Terrie Mald snafu. You're all familiar with this guy, right?" the host, a mister Pierce Bray, gestured to the audience, "This guy breaks down in the middle of a skyrail, gets out, he was found to be on some serious drugs, yea. This guy gets out of his car, hops across three rails and makes it to the other side. Seriously, claps for him. I can barely stare out my car window when I'm on the road," the audience laughed, "You think he'd be the luckiest man alive. He, he uh... He," Pierce laughed lightly to himself. "He makes it to the sidewalk, and what does he do? He realizes he did it and just freaks about it. In the ensuing celebration he nails a Policus, right in the shnoze'. He was so close!" The audience was laughing heartily.

    "Let's, let's get that on camera, please. Do we have that clip?" he looked back at the projector towering behind him. A video pulled up on screen, illustrating the events he just recounted. The actually viewing of the event elicited far more laughter. "Anyways," he began, calming down, "Today we've got some special guests, you've probably hear of them." Pierce picked up a disk lying on the table before him and raised it up. "Anyone here fans of pop? Yea? Oh yes, definitely. This is the new, well I really shouldn't say new. It's a CD album for pete's sake! How old am I gosh." More laughter. "This is the new group album coming out, Ice Breaker. It's got stuff by Amrose, Lovejoy, Party Cannon. Lots of fun. So today we've got two guests who put work into making this music, welcome Barenna and Belle Lovejoy!"

    The director gestured to Lovejoy and urged her on vigorously.


    Seti Kleon | Neo Babylon city limits, entering Stret Col District

    It was novel, carrying a package from outside the city into its heart. Seti was used to endogenous missions, getting something unknown from X to Y within the metropolis alone. The package resting underneath his backseat cushion (modified for transport, of course), had been picked up from the neighboring country in a nondescript spot. There was no one around the package, and almost very little to indicate it was special. The cardboard box might as well have been junk dumped accidentally from the trunk of a truck. It wasn't heavy by any means, seeming like it contained paper more than anything else. Instructed not to peer into its contents, and being true to his word thus far, Seti had no clue what was within.

    Now the job was getting it across border security. A large drive-through station was just ahead, allowing cars to go by periodically before being checked. On occasion they'd be searched (albeit rather lazily), before being let through. Others would be directed down a different path, likely headed for the registration office. Seti continued forward, reaching the side of two Policus officers looking quite bored. He rolled down his window as they gestured to do so, an they approached close enough to speak normally.

    "Identification please," one of them said as the other circled around his car. In the backseat, he heard a low, droning hum.


    Evenrue Seele | Morning Patrol, Occam East District

    Unbound by the limitations of civilian transportation, Evenrue and Kirthun enjoyed free flight between the massive towers of Occam East. Policus vehicles were purely flight-based, while citizens around them were tied to the rail tracks that operated their movement. It was safer for them, of course, and limited vehicular accidents to a mere one accident a week, caused entirely by unfortunate computational mistakes in the AI that controlled the entire traffic system. It was nearly perfect.

    Policus, on the other hand, could zip through the air using flying cars. It was much more expedient than a railway-bound car, allowing much faster response times. Well into Layer 2 of Neo Babylon, they carried on their patrol, awaiting orders or to catch some foolish citizen making a ruckus. Without any sort of traffic violations to pull off, a lot of their time had become mere waiting. Quiet as it was, Evenrue couldn't help but sense something ominous in the works. It was small, but reeked of power, like the tiny branches of an otherwise immense lightning bolt coursing through the air. The sensation did not fade, no matter where the car traveled.


    Kheda | Martel's Bookstore, Occam West District Level 122

    It was a warm morning in the shop, the owner being lucky enough to have secured such a location. Originally but another shop drowning in the sight that was other buildings reaching far higher into the sky, the tower across the street was recently remodeled to be shorter due to faulty architecture. That shortening had allowed the morning sun to peek into the window walls, offering the bookstore a wonderful glow.

    It was so perfect, the owner had vacated the bookshelves originally there in favor of a lounge. Perfect reading light. Kheda had been in the shop working for a few hours already, wavering between moving new shipments to operating the register. It was a small family-owned shop that received decent enough patronage, but possessed understandably few employees. For a time Kheda was the only one there in the morning besides her boss.

    In the downtime she'd read some books on her own, picking up on the 300 years of history that passed her by. The books, thus, were often non-fiction. Collections of information on subjects that arose in the time she'd missed; history, technology, magic. A small television hung from the ceiling opposite the room, recounting recent events in the next district over. A bomb had gone off, there were casualties, and people were complaining about Policus. Normal things. The news reel felt the need to replay the explosion caught on camera about 50 times before it cut to commercials again, almost certainly to begin the pattern again.


    Katergi Renwald & Eden Pylar | Thremont Academy of Stret Col

    The office was impossibly filled with nick-knacks and trinkets that could, quite honestly, be of some significant use. One never really knew what was magic and what wasn't in that room. Behind a desk slathered in taped-down papers (and loose tape crumples) sat the Academies head, the Thremont Lord Cornell Rattim. He shifted a few papers with wide eyes before settling down and looking up to his underlings. Katergi Renwald and Eden Pylar stood before him, having been summoned by a paper familiar. Leaning forward and nearly slipping his elbows on the loose mess under his elbows, Cornell spoke up.

    "Eden, I'm left to assume you're a bit more surprised to be here than Mr. Renwald. No need to worry. I've been informed of some particularly interesting tidbits going on in the inner city. A certain defector from the Repenters has been found alive, or rather, they contacted us first, claiming they've got important information." Cornell looked to Eden directly.

    "Now of course we can't just be one-hundred percent trustful. We can't be so sure they're telling the truth. This is where you come in Eden. I've been informed you're quite the capable mage when it comes to making totems of others emotion?" With an outstretched arm, he handed Katergi a slip of paper.

    "That's the address of the defector. It's not in a good part of town, so be careful. I'm sending you two because I think your combined skills will be able to handle whatever transpires. If you can, try and convince the man to arrive here at the Academy, if you deem him safe, Eden." He leaned back.



    Laina Horello | Layer 1, Toland's Orphanage

    A magic lantern highlighted the darkened streets of Neo Babylon's lowest levels. It was an eternal twilight state for much of Layer 1 in the inner city. So far from the equator of Nera, the sun never rose directly above the buildings, and so could not offer much in the way of sunlight. Even if it did, the countless sidewalks and railways above would undoubtedly block most of it.

    A train horned in the distance, and the rickety building built onto the side of a massive concrete monolith rattled. Laina approached up the steps, a plastic bag in hand filled with sweets and foods alike. The last time she'd visited Toland's was a few weeks ago, and the children residing there would undoubtedly become quite excited at her appearance. She rapped on the front door, and from outside she could hear steps approaching on the other side, stop for a moment, and then the door opened.

    The orphanage's matron, Miss Toland, stood in the doorway with a smile on her face, the warmness in her expression alone inviting Laina silently inside.


    Volkov | Ground Level Sewers

    It took Volkov a moment to notice, despite the obtrusiveness it had caused, that his wrist was still entrapped by the shredded husk of a now well-demolished machine. How long had it been there? It was a near-perfect white were it not for the scorch marks crusting the sides. A black 'TH' was printed on the edge. Whatever it fully spelled out had been ripped away long ago.

    The sewers were quite, save for the occasional howl of some system shifting the pipeline flows an unknown distance into the depths. The muffled sounds of shoes and voices were above, and occasionally that of a Policus siren. At least every five minutes. It had been peaceful for Volkov for some time, but he could not count how long. There was only ever, 'short time', 'long time', and 'bored'. It would have persisted, but the distinct sound of a cry caught his ears. It was not above, but beyond. Down the sewer line. Then a rumble vibrated the cement, and the puddles of water at his feet rippled lightly.

    The cries subsided, but the struggle did not, whatever it was. Volkov had resided within the pipes for long enough to deduce the events were not caused by machinery. This was far too violent and persistent. The rumbles got closer.


    Felicia Bell | Home

    The coffee machine bubbled soothingly in the background of Felicia's mind, though much of her thoughts were dedicated moreso to the wealth of lines swimming about.It would have been overwhelming were it not for her adeptness in the skill of acting. She switched between simply recalling them in her thoughts, to speaking them quietly to herself, to bursting into action and performing alongside them. Even outside of a movie studio, Felicia was practicing her lines. There was never a moment that she couldn't somehow fit in the task of ensuring her role would not be gone to waste.

    Even in the middle of breakfast, sipping coffee and munching on breakfast items, she let out some short lines and gestured with her arms to facilitate the acting portion of her career. It was normal a morning as any, quiet and lonely. It was shattered, literally.

    In the midst of eating her breakfast, Felicia caught the distinct sound of glass breaking in the front room. It was easy to find the source given the blast of wind that had then made its way into her house. So high up, opening the window meant letting in a gale of cold air. The strangest part, however, was the the shattered window did not face a sidewalk outside. There was only a sheer hundred-foot drop to the next platform below where it had been broken, and the building across the street was at least a few hundred yards.

    At the foot of the broken window, a brick sat in a field of glass. An envelope was taped underneath. Curious but wary, Felicia retrieved the envelope and withdrew the letter inside.

    Felicia Bell,

    My past letters have clearly failed to reach you. Undoubtedly your cronies did not give them to you. Do you not receive hate-mail? Are you so sheltered? This brick was my only option, it seemed, or rather I might have been so gripped by anger I wanted to do it.

    Anger of your appearance. I was reasonable when I first reached out, but falling unheard has left me only increasingly frustrated. I hate you. I hate your work. You glorify the appearance of dolls. Living dolls. It is terrible, and you cannot understand why. Stop. Stop this portrayal. It is not just for me.

    Please. Or else.

    It was written in pencil, but had the accuracy of an expensive electronic printer. There was no name attached.


    Jhanuis Bedniv | Home

    Three business cards, all three potential, and all three seeming quite hopeful. Jhanuis had never been faced with such options in his life since awakening, nor ones that offered such stable positions. In the past, Jhanius had always been a part-time employee of some sort, always on the cusp between being let go due to a lack of need and retaining meager pay.

    A night guard at a local hospital. A studio set worker. A small crane operator. Three options. Three potential careers. They were small-time, but he wasn't going to complain. Not with this sort of luck. Each of the managers had given him the cards in the same day, somehow coming across the position openings within a single walk through his city district. It was like God had descended upon his luck and French-kissed it into an angel of fortune. Maybe that was a bit too far. Jhanuis was still a ways away from a higher-paying job, and while his decision would be able to pay the bills, it didn't make it any less tight.

    His decision counted here, and if he waited too long, he'd risk losing all three.


    Youn | Layer 1, Abandoned Warehouse

    Cold concrete offered little respite for the young Error, though the pair of worn-out furniture pieces she managed to snag certainly made it better. Youn tinkered with a strange contraption made of wood and metal bindings, a puzzle of some sort, color-coded and clearly suited to the thinking type. Youn had difficulty, to no one's surprise. Faust solved the puzzle in a mere two minutes, handing it back to Youn with the pieces rearranged to its original state. She was going on ten minutes and had barely progressed.

    A few barks signaled that her hounds had returned, a variety of foodstuffs held haphazardly in their mouths. Vegetables were punctured in several places by massive canines, and nearly-dried-out fish and meats were the result of their "hunt". It was wasn't much. The hounds released their quarry upon the dusty floor and Faust spoke up with a worried hush. The hounds had relayed some unheard information to the Neverborn.

    "I sense something ominous in the air, Master. Magic, certainly, but of what nature I cannot deduce." He looked to Terror, as if to be sure the Neverborn was there and ready. Nothing seemed pressing for the moment, but it was clear through Faust's tone that there was something amiss in the area, and that it was not to be trifled with clumsily.


    Elizia | Home

    The news was grim as always, distracting the otherwise pleasant visit Elizia had been faced with. Her TV was left on as she got up to answer the ring at her door, revealing the very people who had given her the home in the first place. Hugs were exchanged and quick catch-ups were voiced before they proceeded into the living room, where the mood of the Shark family visitors had dampened. Elizia knew what the issue was.

    Rumors and blaming abounded on the screen, with half the hosts and protestors pointing fingers at Painstaker activity and the other at Policus payoff corruption. The Shark family name was thrown around as easily as the word 'fault'. Eventually attentions were taken away from the screen and back to more pleasant things.

    Setting down a full family meal from a fast-food restaurant, the Sharks indicated they wished to sit down and eat breakfast with Elizia.
  2. [​IMG]

    Nechronica was good at feigning interest.

    She had taken encrypted notes on her digital pad on the mission briefing, but at the back of her head she was furious. Today was suppose to be her day off. She had planned this weeks ahead. Worked her ass off to get just one vacation day, and it was suppose to be today. Nechronica should have been at Prime Hour Tower to get Sparkle Belle Lovejoy's new album and listen to her live, but just as she was getting clothed, one of her superior officers called her in. Didn't even ask her if she was available. Just orders to head to the station ASAP. Nechronica wasn't so stupid that she'd complain and arrived to the station exactly ten minutes after the call, but that didn't change the fact that she was pissed.

    "Do we have clearance to use live ammunition or heavy ordinances?"

    Anger aside, Nechronica had work to do. Riot control was something she had trained in, though admittedly this would be the first time she would be heading to a riot on her own accord. In the past she had found herself in the midst of an angry mob, but they rarely lasted for more than thirty minutes before getting suppressed by Policus. And since this time they don't have the advantage of surprise on her, Nechronica aimed to face the mob appropriately armed. Her belt only had her Electroshock Pistol and Edge Breaker, but she hopes to take some heavier firepower, perhaps even commandeering a mech suit. If Painstakers are involved, Nechronica has learned that they don't do anything less than ostentatious. Better to be better armed than the enemy anyways.

    In the back of her mind, Nechronica was wondering if she could still listen to the live broadcast of Sparkle's show over the communication lines. That at least would brighten her day, just a little.
    #2 Lucius Cypher, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  3. "Of course sir, here you are." Seti handed over the current set he was using with an idle, automatic pleasant smile like someone would give in this situation, remaining polite and amiable.

    Seti had a series of identifications and cover stories associated with each, that he would use in rotation, knowing which ones were out of the city, and which ones were in at the moment, so it didn't pop up as checking in when leaving, or vice versa. They matched his appearance, and in the bureaucratic mess that was the identification system, no one ever realized it. And if they asked, such as hair not matching or something minor like that, hair cuts and fashion easily hand waved such things. And of course, the time honored traidition of running was always there, just in case things went south. Knowing the droning was back there, the smuggler used his unique properties to manipulate the sound to resemble the engine that was running with the vehicle, rather than just hide it completely. When something sounded right, it was far more convincing then a lack of sound at all, especially when there was supposed to be something.

    Seti had a plan, knowing this station, he knew the service paths he could take that wouldn't lock down before he was through them, this vehicle was acquired with that kind of work in mind. He could bolt through those if he needed to. Second option, manipulate the surrounding environment to incapacitate the two Pollicus officers and drive away normally, not a bad option, but more evidence was left that way. He kept these in mind, keeping a neutral expression while waiting for the paperwork to clear, thinking about his current job. While curiosity had indeed driven him to wonder of the contents, he knew better than to disobey orders. Some packages were not meant to be opened by anyone but their intended recipient, and he did not want to be on the receiving end of such things. But, he knew the drop off, he would make the dead drop, and collect the rest of his pay. Easy day, especially if these Pollicus hurried up and waved him through already.

    Seti didn't say anything until spoken to, just awaiting the verdict from the Pollicus before he chose to run, or get away scot free. He knew the recent events had probably jacked up security a bit, but he was hoping that didn't affect the borders here, just building security. Which wouldn't affect this job, but it irked him some mad bomber wanted to make his line of work more difficult. All the more joy, and pay, to be had then he supposed.
  4. Pictures were enough, he had first thought. He’d find her through pictures. It was a life that alternated between darkness and light. Darkness within his home. Light when he left that home. All he needed, Volkov had thought, were pictures of her. There were many of her, but he could find her through the pictures plastered on buildings, through the billboards screwed onto metal snakes. He had taken and amassed them, but those pictures never lasted long. While going back home, they’d break, one way or the other. Because of strangers. Strangers weren’t friendly people. And pictures were too fragile.


    Pictures weren’t enough. That was his second thought.

    Watching and listening. That was what he tried. But the strangers that were her were also unfriendly. They ran. The uniformed people who became roses when he grabbed them would appear. And he’d have to go home again. It frustrated him. Made him want to cry. He was a big boy though, so Volkov didn’t cry. He just tossed them out of the way, and they’d blossom, filling the air with redness.

    Observation wasn’t enough. He’d have to find her and take her with him, even when she was so delicate and prone to breaking. But that too…that too would be difficult. More uniforms appeared every time he came out, and he could spend less and less time outside. It made him sad. He wanted to run out and do things, but every time, he was met with pain. Their machines were scary.

    What should he do to find her?

    Volkov thought, but it hurt to think, and he struck his right hand against the wall of the sewer. Red sparks flashed and an irritating screech sounded, before he realized that there was a metal plate attached to his wrist. When did that happen? He couldn’t remember. Didn’t remember. Wished he could remember. Must have been the last time he came outside. But when was that?

    He tired of trying to remember, and tore that metal plate off. A cut appeared on his wrist, before closing almost instantaneously. A scab remained, and he picked at it for a moment’s worth of entertainment, before sighing. The metal plate was thrown into the sluggish river of sewage water, disappearing without a trace. He probably should have kept it, but he didn’t think that far.

    It’d be nice if he had someone to play with, but he had been in the sewers for a long time. There were a few bugs and rats, but that was it. Nothing similar to himself. Nothing similar to herself.

    It was then, that a familiar voice could be heard. One that held no meaning, one that appeared to be all that he had ever heard. A cry. And then, a rumble. And then, a splash.

    A cry of someone could be heard, something that had invariably only been directed to himself in the past.

    The earth shook, something that he had only experienced when it was him that was going back home.

    “A friend?”

    With that simple statement, spoken in the voice of a man of a child, Volkov headed down the sewers.

    The big smile that he had on his face was hidden by a blood-red mask.
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  5. Eden had shuffled through the halls nervously after being summoned by the little paper creature. She wondered what the Head of the Academy could want with her? Could they...no! Could they have found out about those books she forgot to return to the library last month? They were just so interesting and informative and...wait, no, that wouldn't warrant a visit to the big man's office...

    The young woman with silver hair gulped before knocking and cautiously entering the office. At the desk was Lord Cornell Rattim, of course, and another tall man with hair not too far off from hers (though he looked quite a bit older). Eden stepped in, bowing slightly to the man, and a bit deeper to the Academy Head. "Y-you wanted to see me, sir?" Eden asked, usually not this nervous. She'd done nothing wrong to her knowledge, but this guy was powerful...she'd heard the rumors around school about the Thermont Lords, and as it stood, she felt kinda like an ant. Thankfully, he dismissed any worries of punishment and instead explained why she had been called.

    A Repenter defector? Just the thought of having to go dumpster diving into one of their heads freaked her out...who knew what crazy things were lurking in there? Eden was normally a very accepting person, but those guys were kind of worshiping a race of evil beings bent on destruction. Not exactly a healthy lifestyle.

    "Yessir, I can do that. I haven't actively searched for the feeling of Honesty in someone's head before, but I will do my best. Thank you for this opportunity, sir!" She bowed once more, showing increased enthusiasm. When it came to questions, Eden had none that wouldn't be answered by seeing the guy. "No questions from me." She replied to the Thermont Lord.

    Now that she knew what was up, Eden was eager to get started. She held out her hand to the older gentleman, "Eden Pylar, at your service. Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Renwald."
  6. Now this was what Armel had been waiting for all day. If it weren't for this riot his day would have been pretty boring. Things only were getting better, because he finally had Nechronica appointed to his squad. That said, briefing was always painful

    "No Sir, hear you loud and clear." Nechronica spoke up, however. Live ammo? While that sound like fun that probably wasn't going to happen... Well, he could make it happen.

    "Sir if I may? Under normal circumstances we are ordered not to use live ammo, though it seems to me that riots have been quite a bit more violent recently. I am not saying we open fire on the group, but to have a small reserve o-"

    "Damn it Armel! Every time we send you out on the field there are at least five reports of excessive force! Yes they are all ruled in your favor, and rightfully so, but the people would be outraged if you are allowed live ammunition!... But it would be stupid of me not to acknowledge the sudden rise of violence in this city... Very well. You are allowed live ammunition should things get out of control."

    "Thank you Si-"

    "On one condition! Nechronica, should things get out of control you are to give the word. Armel it isn't that I distrust your judgement, it's just that-"

    "No no Sir. I understand. Alright then, let's gear up and move out!"

    So things didn't go quite as planned. Armel was a little pissed about having some power taken from him, but he did manage to get the live ammo. He and his squad moved to the Armoury to receive their gear. The squad piled into the trucks and moved on to the Ninety-Nine ramp. He made sure to have Nechronica in the same truck as him. He had plenty to speak to her about.

    "Nechronica. Glad to finally have you on my squad. I've been trying to get you for a while. I am counting on you. If the word is given one second too late or too early, it could easily get out of control."
    #6 Reanimator Bob, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  7. Felicia wasn't quite so disturbed about what was written in the letter, but more so in how it had reached her. Her fingers tightened around the letter for a split-second of losing her composure, her lips tightening slightly. Raising her head, she looked out the window again, feeling a tense coil wind up in her gut, even as her face remained calm.

    She didn't mind any hatred thrown at her; the letter itself was being rather condescending in saying she was sheltered, but she knew not everyone would like her. Despite her pampered appearance, which was partly due to her work and partly the way she looked, she wasn't oblivious to those who would not like her. And how she portrayed these 'living dolls', as the letter so kindly said she glorified. But wasn't that a matter of choice? Her manager was the one who promoted her 'doll' image, and in some of the modelling work she did, she was even posing as an actual doll, laying back with seemingly unmoving limbs. She had even been surrounded by those imitations of human appearance.

    But what got to her was... Her house was on the upper levels of Neo Babylon, specifically for these security reasons as her manager told her. The entrance to the place was even secured by voice and face recognition, along with her fingerprints and a code when it came to her room. And the outside of her window was high up, a sharp drop was just outside it.

    Her home's privacy was somewhat threatened. While she could try to reason that whoever threw this brick must have been far away, at least a few hundred yards, she couldn't even rely on that.


    She was also able to get past matters like heights. Or distances.

    Her back tingled with the urge to let out her wings, a defensive urge reflected in the way the scattered white feathers in her place trembled slightly, some even rising a few inches off the ground. She breathed out and closed her eyes, long lashes veiling any emotion in them. The feathers fell back onto where they were thoughtfully placed. As an absent thought she passed her hand over the letter again, fingertips glowing slightly with mana, feeling around for any traces in it.

    Felicia could defend herself, given what her wings were capable of... But she didn't want to reveal that she had them in the first place. They weren't within the laws of magic that had been set in this world, three hundred years past her own - her wings didn't come from any application of mana, and she could generate her feathers almost endlessly with just her will. No, she didn't want any sort of interest in her to come from the big names in this place. She had an intermediate knowledge of magic... But would it be enough? She wasn't sure if the sender would go through on that implied threat by themselves...

    The Policus. She would just contact them to tell them about her concerns, and perhaps have the letter investigated. She would also see if they could do anything about the brick.

    "Not so easy, my faceless correspondent," she spoke softly, her voice and face devoid of any expression. "I don't have a life outside of what I have now, and I won't let anyone take what I have from me..." For a second time.

    She turned, and moved to her room, the system scanning over her face as she spoke out quietly for it to recognize her voice. She went through the motions of having her fingerprint taken and putting in her passcode as if in a dream, the door sliding open for her with a metallic hiss.

    Sitting on the pristine dark blue covers of her bed, she held her mobile phone in her hand and called the Policus headquarters.
  8. [​IMG]

    Though Nechronica was the one who asked for it, Armel managed to convince the superior officer to allow them to take live ammunition. It was still up in the air if they could take heavy ordinances, but Nechronica decided that she wouldn't test her luck and would simply make due with the new clearance.

    She glanced at Armel while they were leaving the briefing room. She had heard of him in passing, a very controversial officer. Nechronica was no stranger to the city accusing the Policus of various forms of corruption, incompetence, and villainy. It was their right to make these complaints, and despite how venomous they can be, Nechronica was obligated to defend their right. And if need be, silence them. That being said, Armel was not necessarily innocent to Nechronica. Like her, there wasn't much known about Armel, both on and off the record. He more or less joined the Policus around the same time she did, albeit he's a much farther up the hierarchy; he's a Spec Ops Commando, while Nechronica was technically a junior officer. What is known isn't good for the reputation of the Policus or him; there are many who have filed lawsuits against Armel for overusing force and instigating violent conflicts with citizens and protestors. Of course these are only claims, and none have ever been proven right, but the amount of people gunning after Armel with these charges does make one wonder what exactly he did to warrant such hatred.

    To Nechronica, Armel was a troublemaker, but a competent officer. She won't tolerate corruption, but frankly in their line of work, sometimes you have to dirty your hands. Nechronica herself only has one complaint against her for excessive roughness, though in her defense she was tasked with apprehending a powerful but malfunctioning cyborg. Perhaps it might have been "Overkill" to have shot him so many times, but his pain receptors were disabled, so anything less than a brutal maiming wouldn't have stopped his rampage. And that wasn't including other kills she had to preform in her line of duty. She's gotten over most of them, which is the part that scares her the most; she doesn't even remember how many people she's killed.

    Setting aside her observation with Armel, she said her farewells to the superior officer who briefed them. Although Armel would be leading this mission, Nechronica was the one who must give the clearance to "open fire", more or less. She did freeze up upon hearing this; Nechronica did have a itchy trigger finger, and she wasn't certain that she was experienced enough to make such calls. But she has to start somewhere, right? Nechronica only took a deep breath and made some mental notes of what she would need to do now.

    At the armory Nechronica allowed Armel to do the talking, giving them clearance for the live ammunition. Though despite Nechronica asking for permission, she didn't load herself down like a warmachine. There was only two weapons that she had interest in taking: the M-100 Grenade Launcher and RCW (Reactive Chemical Weapon) Rifle. The former was as it's name implied: a Grenade Launcher. Nechronica made sure to pack both riot suppressing gas grenades (And the necessary syringes to ensure that she doesn't become affected by the ensuring gas) and Anti-Armor explosives, in the event that the rioters bring in mechs or something. The RCW Rifle was going to be her main weapon if things really become violent; unlike conventional kinetic shooters, the RCW is an semi-automatic hit-scan chemical laser. Against Policus Armor, it could boil the plates and then expand and rip the surrounding metal apart. The flesh of rioters would fair no better. With an adjustable focus and a clear line of sight, Nechronica could also pick off targets a mile away too, if need be. Of course Nechronica would also carry her sidearms as well, that was a given.

    Once she was armed and ready Nechronica joined Armel in their vehicles. She was a bit disappointed that their rides were just transport APC's and not Mobile Artillery, but than again maybe that would have been overkill to bring tanks to a protest. Nechronica chalked her blood-thirstiness to tension brought about knowing that the Painstakers might show up, and missing out on Sparkle Belle Lovejoy's show. As they rode to the Ninety-Nine Ramp Armel struck up a bit of conversation.

    "Nechronica. Glad to finally have you on my squad. I've been trying to get you for a while. I am counting on you. If the word is given one second too late or too early, it could easily get out of control."

    "Good to know, sir. Glad to be here. I'll make sure not to disappoint you."

  9. Laina Horello | Layer 1, Toland's Orphanage

    "Ms. Toland, I've got unhealthy, cavity inducing, junk food for the children~" Laina grinned from ear to ear as she leaned towards the matron of the orphanage. Glossy green eyes fixated on the woman's warm smile, and as the bodysuited girl began to make her march inside, however she was halted by the right arm of the matron.

    "Good day to you as well, Laina, the little ones are in the dinner room. Eating home-cooked meals... By me." Ms. Toland leered back at Laina, it'd seem like a joke to anyone who caught a glimpse of the two, but it wasn't, this was full-blown rivalry.

    "Ahhh.. You are a pretty good cook Darla, I remember that one time when you cooked for me." Before her words were spoken, Laina had already quietly slunk under Darla Toland's arm which barred her from entrance.

    She massaged the young matron's shoulders, she didn't look much older than Laina herself. Standing at about the same height, long golden-blonde hair, and deep crimson eyes looking back at Laina. Darla sighed, closing the door behind her as she spun around to face her friend. Laina beamed a bright smile back to the matron, whom nodded in acceptance. The two then made their way to the eastern hall of the orphanage, where the dinner room was located.

    Once they arrived at the entrance, Laina took the liberty upon herself to announce their arrival.

    "Laina's here!" She yelled it loudly enough for any of the kids whom decided to not eat in the dinner room to hear. And even more so to Ms. Toland's dismay, the sum of eighteen kids who were quietly eating at the dinner table sprang from their seats and towards the two.

    As they approached she patted heads, offered hugs, and distributed her goodies evenly throughout the bunch. Upon headcount though, she noticed that two of the kids were missing. Looking to Darla with a head dipped slightly to the left, the matron nodded in allowance. In an instant, Laina vanished and appeared in one of the bedrooms on the upper floor of the orphanage. The bedroom of the particular pair that had been missing.

    "Hey misfits." Laina said mischievously atop the bunk bed within the room.

    Two youths looked quickly towards Laina as she directed her words towards them. The older of the two, a red-haired girl in her teens, marched quickly through their open door. The other, a younger boy whom was heavily bandaged, laughed in response and shrugged off his room mate's departure.

    "She gets like that when you're around." He laughed, pulling some white bandages up to get a good look at Laina. His arms stretched outwards towards the bodysuited girl, coughing as he did so.

    Laina smirked, creeping towards the bandaged boy slowly and scooping up by his legs and back, holding him like a princess.

    "Good to see that you're still helpless Ezra." Laina giggled to herself as she held the boy making her way to the door of their room.

    "I'm less helpless than most of the juveniles here." responded Ezra, pulling off a few more of the bandages from his head.

    The two made their way towards the upstairs bathroom. The rest of the orphans could be heard screaming about the dinner they didn't want to eat now that the snacks had been brought, words that would make Laina smile victoriously. They reached the door they sought, and from there, Laina set the boy back to the ground on his feet. Ezra then began to bang on the door, setting his ear to the door shortly after.

    "Go away!" Screamed the girl whom locked herself inside.

    "Zariah, quit being a baby." Ezra responded, his tone annoyed more than anything.

    "Fuck you!" Responded Zariah, with a louder bang against the door in return.

    Laina couldn't help but bust out in laughter, the immaturity had gotten to her and she fell to her rear with teary eyes fixating on Ezra. She winked before standing up, and reaching towards her left hip that had a motorcycle helmet clipped to it. Pulling it from her side and sliding it over her green hair, approaching the bathroom door shortly after. Pressing a button shoddily crafted to the side of the helmet, a few blue lights began to blink along it's jawline.

    "Zah-ri-ah, if you continue to sulk in the bathroom like a baby. I am going to sit you in some alleyway where a homeless guy can have their way with you." Laina spoke bluntly in her robotic-sounding persona, laughing creepily at the end of her statement.

    "Homeless, those don't get more ugly than you Laina Ho-rell-o." Zariah responded in a sarcastic tone, only to be cut short by the helmeted figure appearing within the bathroom a moment later.

    This figure un-helmeting herself and looking at the terrified Zariah with scarily serious green eyes stated. "Did you just call me a man?"

    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Zariah plead, sitting in the bathtub as Laina approached with cold lifeless eyes set upon her own.

    "I know you are, but why'd you get so pink faced when I popped in your room?" Laina inquired, her face quickly changing from serious to curious. Her head again dipping to the left, and her lips pursing quickly as her tongue danced behind them.

    Soon after, Ezra quietly made his way into the bathroom. Causing the Zariah to sink back into the tub with a reddened face. Laina looked to Ezra and waved her right hand towards him, getting the message he shrugged and walked off back to his room.

    "I just.. I want to help people like you do.." The girl avoided eye contact, and pulled her shirt over her face.

    "What does that have to do with running out of the room when I appear? Zariah, you are making -zero- sense." Laina replied, climbing into the bathtub and sitting on it's opposing end, dropping her helmet on the tile floor on the way.

    "Well... Ezra burned himself practicing the other day... So.. I was going to k- him." She muffled her words on time to stop a certain word from being let out.

    "You were going to what? Kill him? That's no good... Can't have you killing the princess." Laina winked, grinning wrily that was borderline evil.

    "I was going to kiss his head! Okay? Get off my back won't ya'?" The red-haired girl banged the back of her head against the marble tub, letting out a loud thud that would probably be heard from the floor below.

    Laina looked at her with a confused expression, not really understanding why herself entering the room would have any influence on that particular situation. Nonetheless, she leaned toward the girl offering a flick to the forehead. Zariah looked up with an apathetic look, and nodded back to Laina as they stood from the tub and exited the bathroom. Ezra had already made his way back to the room, and they made their way back shortly after. Upon entering the bedroom, he leaped out with his legs outwards to kick Laina in the stomache. The boy wasn't very heavy, but the surprise of the kick and it's precision knocked the window out of her and caused her to slump forward in recoil.

    "Call me princess again, see what happens." He spat, looking at Laina as she fell to the ground holding her stomache in pain.

    From the stairway, Ms. Toland appeared, her open hand placed on her forehead and paying little attention the the woman sprawled out across the floor. Pulling her hand from her head, and smiling at the two kids looking at Laina with a pathetic expression, they turned to their matron.

    "Is she causing you two problems again?" The matron asked, in a sincere over-kind tone.

    "Nope, just being her usual self." Zariah responded, rubbing the back of her head that still ached a bit from banging it earlier.

    Ms. Toland nodded, before making her way to the opposite end of the upstairs hallway towards her own room. Laina quickly swung back up into a sitting position once the matron had left. Zariah stepped over the sitting woman, and retreated back to her bottom bunk laying down to rest herself. While Ezra stood overarching Laina with a frown plainly stuck upon his face.

    "I'm sorry for teasing, I'm sorry for teasing." Smiling and nodding her head down, Laina giggled apologetically.

    Helping Laina up, the two sat next to Zariah on her bed. Laina yawned tiredly, stretching her arms upwards as she began to feel tired sitting in the mere presence of an actual bed. Though she remembered why in particular now, that she was looking for them. Reaching into the small leather pouch at her right side, she pulled out three circular coin-sized stones that were marked with a strange crossbones emblem on it's face. She handed one to each of them, and then placed the last one back into her pouch.

    "I found them by the the east gate, they're cool looking... I figured I'd use them as a means of initiation." Laina stated, proudly, he chest puffed out and her chin raised. She was attempting to facade a high and mighty exterior, a means to impress the two kids next to her.

    "They're rocks." Ezra added, looking at Laina with an unimpressed face.

    "They're homeless people rocks." Zariah added, looking to Ezra with the same impression.

    "Whatever, if you have one that means you're part of my troupe!" Laina crossed her arms, and pouted at the two.

    Sitting up from the bed, she turned to face them. Looking at both of them with the same high and mighty posture she had before, she bowed low to them and then stood tall once again. The two youths looked at one another with a confuses expression, and then back to her with their eyebrows raised.

    "From today, here on out. You're my partners... keep training your magic, and I'll actually take you guys out on jobs with me. But for now, you're just partners in name alone. But that's okay, you've got the credentials with that stone, and now once you're ready... You'll stand alongside me, and be a hero within Babylon, solving crimes, fighting justice. How does that sound?"

    The two kids looked at eachother with awestruck faces, before finally bursting from the bed in excitement with loud squeals of energy. Ezra fell to his knees from the jump and looked a little winded, Zariah helped him up and then smiled confidently at Laina.

    "So, as long as we don't lose this rock right?" Ezra, pushed himself from the floor and gripped Zariah's sleeve to pull himself to a stand.

    "Yup, so don't lose it." She smiled softly, winking to the duo.

    Her job was now done though, no more time to waste. She needed to head out, and maybe find some work on the way to Whiteridge Boys' Orphanage. She had another stone to hand out after all, and then she'd have to figure out where she was going to sleep tonight. Laina set her hands on the two before her's shoulders, bringing them close to give them a tight squeeze.

    "I'm going to see if Zael wants to join along too. I'm scared he's going to say no." Laina whispered to the two, in a hush almost frightened voice.

    Quickly standing and clipping the helmet, that she at some point got back into her possession between the bathroom and now to her side. She nodded to the two kids before saluting them, and scurrying out of the room and towards the stairs. The loudness in her steps alerting Darla, who yelled back to Laina.

    "Leaving already?"

    Continuing her rushed pace downstairs until she reached the ground floor, Laina responded.

    "Yeah! I've got another orphan to steal!"

    The matron's voice responded almost instantly.

    "You're not stealing any of mine!"

    Laina smiled making her way to the door, opening it before quickly jogging out and back to the twilit road.
  10. Jin yawned, surprised and rather mortified that a brisk lull such as so was enough to drive a wedge of sleep up his troubled little head. Maybe it was the trouble the other day to blame, but Jin couldn't afford to occupy himself with that thought at the moment. He pulled a hand through his ruffled hair and grabbed at the can of energizing drink SOPHON! that he'd put aside earlier. As the ambrosia of modern-day advertising (SOPHON! So fun!) filled his throat, the sound of a door opening and closing behind him filled the room. Unfortunately for Burham Pit's tenants like him and Kano, their stature (and pay) was not enough to warrant actual automated doors. Even if they did, they'd sooner be killed by it than actually get anywhere, Jin figured. The building was never stellar, but at least it has an actual roof and walls.

    The doors, though. Even with some oil, the hinges would make sounds that could oft be mistaken as offensive-class sound magic.

    "...So, what'd you want to talk to me about?" Jin started their agenda, handing Kano a can of the drink once he sat down across the table from him.


    "Nothing, really... I just wanted to get a chance to tell you just how especially dashing you are today...!" Kano took hold of the can in earnest, but something seemed to be poking out of the closed grip of his other hand. Jin, meanwhile, snickered at the remark.

    "Well, of course. I'll be going to a studio today. But I gotta go soon, or I won't make it." Jin sat back in his chair, ready for small talk. But something at the back of head seemed to nag that this is going to lead to something else instead...

    "You will be taking that job, right?" Kano asked, easily peeling the can open with just his thumb and forefinger. "After all, you're perfect for the job... You've got good hands, and your face will look even better on the camera."

    Something was off, definitely.

    "And who else can handle the thingamajigs as quickly as you."

    Jin could tell by now.

    "And you're such the hard worker..."

    His eyes drifted down to the object hidden in Kano's other palm.

    "Besides, you're superbly hone--"

    "...It's not like I'm sure to bump into her there, you know." Jin cut Kano off, taking another sip from his own can as he did.

    "Err... Pardon?" Kano shifted himself a bit in his chair, pulling out with a bit of an ostentatious accent.

    "That girl. I... don't think it's possible to run into her there. What gave you that idea?" Jin sat straight back up, both his elbows now resting on the table.

    "Oh... But she's everywhere...! Come on, Jin, you gotta at least promise me you'll get her to do something with my Stella-drive!" Kano presented the tiny audio and video playback device in his palm to Jin. "I'm her biggest fan!"

    "That's creepy. You'll get me dog-piled on, you know that right?"

    "So you do admit there's a chance..." Kano leaned forward, holding the drive up between his fingers.

    "That's... That's not the point." Jin's eyes followed Kano for a bit as the latter got up from his seat.

    "Oh! But she's not the only one... If you see Ferrari Maximo, Felicia Bell, or Grandee Welsh, an autograph would be really nice. Preferably from each." he rummaged through a short shelf against the kitchen wall, about to burst with piles of cheap published works and the occasional book.

    "Who and what now?" Jin put down his drink.

    "These!" Kano pulled up a magazine, rather thin and cheaply sold. On the cover was a young girl dressed up like a porcelain doll brimmed hat and puffy dress and all, with snippets of an overly buff, mustachioed man at one side and a thinly, lithe woman with spiral-braided hair on the other. "Since, you know, they're all rising stars, and being shown a little support from a fan like me (and you!) could go a long way..." he edged ever closer to Jin, eyes filling with hope. Obviously, Jin hadn't the heart to say no to eyes like those.

    "I-I can bring it with me, but I can't promise you anything, Kano." Jin told the other man such, as his vidcube began to shake gently and then produce a small alarm that notified him that the closest skyrail would be coming into station soon. "Trying to get to all three applications today, great chance to see some new parts of town and all. Time to take off, or else I'll have to run through the Policus barriers." he snatched the business cards, Stella-drive, and vidcube from on top of the table, and dropped them all into his backpack rather hastily.

    "All three? That's super greedy..." Kano stood by the table, propping himself with one arm.

    "...And who wanted exactly three autographs, again?" Jin grabbed his coat next and started making to his shoes.

    "...Touche." Kano watched Jin wave back, then exit the door. He knew Jin said not to worry, but the wound Jin suffered the other day still hasn't healed completely yet, as much as the lad would want to show otherwise. Oh well. Maybe he could bless him with some mid-day fun over the phone this way. "What was that name again...? Horatio? Othello?" Kano thought, going off to prepare himself for his own work.

    Outside, Jhanuis Bedniv runs out the complex of Burham Pit, Geta District, with his tools in one hand... and opportunity in the other.
  11. , pink [​IMG]


    Sparkle was so excited about being on the top talk show of Nera. She didn't know anything about the show really; since this whole Nera world was still a little new to her. She was just so excited that her manager Barry Jones got her a spot. When the make up artist finished doing Sparkle's make up, the show manager came up besides her. "Chris...do you think I'm going to do a good job? I have never been on a talk show before." Chris the show manager patted her on the back lightly. "Your going to kill it Sparkle, don't worry you just have to answer some questions. Just be your cute adorable self." Sparkle felt better after that little talk with Chris. Still Sparkle was a little nervous. She grabbed on to Mr. Sparks her robotic bunny a little tighter. She new that Barry told her to not bring Mr. Sparks with her, but he was her lucky charm. She would just put him in her purse, for safe keeping. "This is the new group album coming out, Ice Breaker. It's got stuff by Amrose, Lovejoy, Party Cannon. Lots of fun. So today we've got two guests who put work into making this music, welcome Barenna and Belle Lovejoy!"

    Sparkle couldn't believe that Pierce Bray, forgot her first name. Sure he said her middle and last name, but that didn't make it any better. Barenna walked out towards the audience who clapped as she walked towards her seat. The director gestured for Sparkle to get to her seat. As Sparkle walked out everyone stood up and clapped. At least her fans knew who she was. "Welcome ladies, you both look lovely today." Pierce gave both Sparkle and Barenna a hug. Sparkle had to say something before the interviewing started. "I'm sorry Pierce...Mr. Bray, but when you said my name you forgot my first name, Sparkle." Sparkle didn't think that it was a big deal to correct Pierce, even though it was his show. "Oh I'm sorry Sparkle. Well this is going to be fun right audience!" The audience was clapping but Sparkle could tell that they were judging her now. Now regretting the whole thing, Sparkle just wanted to be interviewed and get this all over with. She would hear a lot of words from Barry later today she could feel it.
    #11 PlastixRoyalty, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  12. Judging by the weaponry that Nechronica picked out, it seems that he wasn't wrong about his choice to add her to his squad. She was far more on the destructive side should she be allowed it. It was a risky move, considering how she was working for justice, but hey? Where is fun without a little danger.

    "Oh, I'm certain you won't."

    "Sir, we are about to reach the Barricade."

    "Thank you Soldier" Armel stood up to address the rest of the squad in his truck. Hopefully the highest ranking officer in each of the transports were doing the same. "Alright, I know we went through briefing no more than two hours ago, but I am going to say what I always say. Briefing is a best case scenario. Riots are never best case. In fact, best case would be no riots at all. Do not disregard briefing, but use it as guidelines only. Now, protests can quickly become riots in times of trouble and fear, especially when the Policus become involved. Now remember there will always be the select few who are more aggressive than the pact. That is what the standard riot gear is for. If they try to push, push back with greater force. Now if things become too much, Nechronica will give the word. Switch to live ammo, but do not get trigger happy. People are already on edge with the recent laws and terrorist acts. Now lets go!"

    The transport came to a halt and the soldiers piled out. As the transports pulled in anyone could see that the crowd who was already there was far from happy. Boos and shouts rose into the air as the soldiers set up barricades and roadblocks. Although this had been what he was waiting for he felt... Odd... Anxious was what the word was. He had no idea why. It happened when he awoke in the morning actually. As if his instinct was telling him that something was coming. However he pushed the thought from his mind. Time passed and the crowd grew. There were a few black sheep thus far who acted out, but they were quickly subdued. In fact some of these black sheep came out with the direct intention of attacking him. In truth, he figured he would let this group slide without any outbreak.

    "Hey Armel!!!" A protester called out from the crowd, calling him a plethora of profanities. That was fine. It was what followed that set things in motion. A rock flung from the crowd managed to hit its mark. One lucky 'Hail Mary.' Funny how simple it is for things to fall apart. At that moment, Armel lost it. He had been hearing voices in his head since he first woke up a year ago. However they were always just background noise, and never made sense. This time there was a voice in his head that spoke out from the others. "Crush!!!" It sounded like his own, but there was something different... It honestly scared him for a second, but soon that fear passed, and was replaced with approval.

    "So... It seems these little animals want to have some fun... I'll give it to them..." The group suddenly became restless. It was evident that at any time they could riot. They just needed one simple act to become a catalyst. Now it was all up to the fates to decide whether or not there would be any fun had today.
  13. [​IMG]

    Armel engaged in a very short conversation, and after their chat Nechronica activated her Radar. It wasn't very flashy; no indicator that she did anything aside from blinking her eyes really hard. But that was all she needed to do to see everything around her. Before the truck even reached the ramp she could already see the protestors gathering in precise detail; she could make out everything down to their eye color and freckles. Of course, she also picked up other things as well; the streets below them, above them, the Policus stationed there, people inside houses, even the traffic from about a mile away. That last part was easier to pick up right now since all she was doing was sitting, and once the action starts her Radar would, at best, cover the bridge only. Still, she had situational awareness where others wouldn't.

    As the truck was driving nearer Nechronica closed her eyes once more and widen the Radar range. She could already see an impressive amount while her Radar was on low standby, but when she puts her mind to it there was nothing in the city she couldn't detect. The range of her Radar encompassed the entire Level and five levels above and below the current one. Her mind raced as she looked for potential threats, including other gatherings of people, weaponized mech suits, those who are invisible, and generally anything that Nechronica would identify as "dangerous". At this level of power her Radar could even detect the weapons hidden on the protestors and anyone else within her Radar's range; of course the Policus lighted up on her Radar, but she ignored those to in lieu of scanning the protestors and near by "Civilians" for any weapons, from pocketknives to firearms.

    Once the truck arrived Nechronica had marked everyone she felt would be a "Threat" through her Radar and switched to passive mode. Armel went to address the crowd while Nechronica put her gear one. There was one extra thing she took with her that she didn't get from the armory back at the station; a Grav-Pack, or basically a jetpack. Except that it doesn't use jets for propulsion. Either way, it'll allow Nechronica a bit of air dominance and help her carry her equipment; she didn't really realize it at first for some reason, but the M-100 was a bit heavy, more so since she had to carry the RCW with her too. With the Grav-Pack however, the burden is significantly shorten. She also took a hip-mounted grappling hook, in case her Grav-Pack goes haywire and she needs to do a dramatic building swing.

    Once she was fully loaded Nechronica allowed Armel to distract the protestor's with his presence. She went to take the high ground out of conventional sight, relying on her Radar to keep up-to-date with the crowd as well as to make sure she doesn't run into some ambushers. She sighed lightly when her Radar detected a rock being thrown, and of course it had to land on Armel's head. Stranger still however, despite the action being somehwat hostile, Nechronica did not call the order to open fire. It was strange, but somehow Nechronica seemed to be more... Passive? She shook the thought off. "I just need to get into position first. I'll call the shot once I'm ready."

    Nechronica took a sniping position on the rooftop of a somewhat vacant apartment near the location of the protest. She specifically chose a location on the building that would give her a full view of the rioters and the Policus, marking the entrance with police tape to make sure no one would bother her. With her Radar still active she surveyed the scene and waited for the riot to start.

    More or less following Nechronica's lead, other Policus sharpshooters also took up positions around the rioters in various level of cover. They've gotten their orders to hold their fire until Nechronica gave the green light, and Nechronica herself was waiting to see what Armel was going to do before she gives the permission. Aiming her RCW at various Marks in the crowd Nechronica called to Armel over the Policus Communications. "Nechronica here, I'm in position. Other sharpshooters are also ready to rain hell on my command. What's the situation with the protestors? Over."

    Absentmindedly Nechronica wondered if the Policus communications would pick up the Prime Hour Tower live feed.
    #13 Lucius Cypher, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  14. “Okay, sure,” Elizia replied to the family’s request to eat, despite the lingering feeling of dread in the air. All five moved to the kitchen where a small table was unset. Elizia rubbed her arm sheepishly; normally Elzia would have the table prepared for the Shark family’s visit, with a table cloth and plates neatly arranged. Not this time, especially for an unexpected visit. In fact, their last visit was only just two days ago.

    “Come on, Mabel. Let’s help set the table,” said Caitlin to her daughter. She opened the cabinet doors and pulled out five plates and five glasses. Irvin and Trent opened the bag of food and placed out five take out boxes for everyone to pick and choose what they wanted to eat. Elizia watched them for a while before busying herself to gathering napkins and utensils.

    The heavy mood wasn’t lost on her, but Elizia chose to remain quiet, thinking they might bring it up. It wasn’t hard to catch their name on the news, especially if it was being used in the same story as whatever the Painstakers were involved with. So that couple with the surprise visit and quiet mood only served to raise suspicions The Shark family had really done something.

    Trent picked up one of the utensils and examined it before putting it back. Trent wasn’t even up to bickering and teasing her about her silverware.

    They finished and sat down to eat, each one pulling a box of their choosing. Mabel showed Elizia her waffle and how she liked to use the squares to draw a picture with the syrup, making a sloppy smiley face. It was a pleasant breakfast, like many before and it helped to lighten the mood; they even got Trent to make some remark about his magic.

    “Mabel, why don’t you go watch T.V.? I think I hear Sparkle Belle Lovejoy and I know you love her,” said Caitlin. Mabel nodded and scooted off her chair before going to the living room.

    Once Mabel was gone, Irvin turned to Elzia. “I’m sorry for the unexpected visit,” he began, chuckling a little, probably in an attempt to lift the mood.

    “And for the food,” said Caitlin. “I know this is not normally what I bring and there’s not enough time for me to teach you a new meal and―”

    “Are you okay?” asked Trent. This seemed to be the questions Irvin and Caitlin were trying to get to because both parents suddenly stopped talking and looked at her.

    “I―yes. I’ve been okay,” she replied. “Nothing bad has happened here. Why?”

    Irvin held his hand up. “It’s . . . nothing. We were just worried.”

    “Does that have something to do with the news?”

    “We’ll tell you more later. Anyways, remember you asked us about the Cleaners? Well, my wife’s been doing some digging and . . . .”

    While Irvin made the swift change of subject, Elizia began to have a growing feeling they won’t be able to tell her soon, that one day, she may lose this little family sitting here in her apartment.
  15. He’d been in the middle of figuring out his plans for the day when they were decided for him, thankfully, with the intrusion of a paper familiar into his room at the Academy’s dormitories. He wasn’t housed with the rest of the students thankfully, but had been graciously offered a room in the staff’s building, where individuals knew not to be curious of a message from the Head. Plucking the floating crane from before him, he felt the magic animating it dissipate before pulling it apart to read the message contained within. Raising an eyebrow, he crumpled it after finishing and with but a thought the paper was little more than ash that he brushed off into a nearby trash can. With a sense of urgency to his movements now that he knew every second counted given the Repenter’s general methodology, he got ready for the mission ahead.
    It hadn’t taken him long to get ready after the notification had arrived, and within minutes he was out the door and moving towards the Head’s office. Only a few minutes after that, and he was knocking sharply on the man’s door. No response was had, but this was hardly Katergi’s first visit to the room and the warning had simply been for politeness’ sake. Slipping inside after nudging the door open, he was greeted with a similar mess as the previous times he’d been around. Certain knick knacks were in different positions, the height of the paper stacks had shifted, but there was still no resemblance to order within the room. Giving the Head a small wave of his hand, there wasn’t much for him to do afterwards. The paper had said he’d have a partner for this operation, but hadn’t clarified who, though probably because he’d have no idea from just a name alone anyways.
    Tapping his foot silently as the minutes ticked by, annoyed by the dropping percentage for their target’s survival, he finally stopped when a series of knocks came from the door. Turning his attention to the arrival of his partner, most of his annoyance vanished when he realized it was likely a student of the Academy. “How polite,” he remarked as he returned her bow with a slight nod of his head. With both arrived, it seemed that Mr. Rattim deemed it an appropriate time to speak. The explanation did seem tailored for Ms. Pylar though, given the Head didn’t reveal anything that hadn’t been included in the initial message. Well, aside from his partner’s specialty, something he found rather interesting. He’d have to indulge later though, as more time had passed then he personally liked. “No questions either sir.”

    Having taken the slip of paper from the Head, he kept his expression passive as he contemplated the info he’d just received. Their Repenter ‘friend’ seemed to managed to make his way over the one mile stretch , but not much further. Despite being far from the inner city, a myriad of activity in the area meant he was rather familiar with it, having been there for mercenary work in fact. Cleanser targets popped up a few times every week, Painstalker presence was rather heavy considering it wasn’t the inner city, and it was closest to the Cosmic Hellpath. Not the type of neighbourhood someone would live in if they had a choice.

    Turning to head out as he thought of all that, he motioned for Ms. Pylar to follow, “Indeed. Katergi Renwald, feel free to address me however you’d like. Let’s get moving.”
    Having exited the office, he turned to his ‘partner’ for the operation and began to talk and walk. “As you might have guessed from Mr. Rattim’s comment, this isn’t the first time I’ve been called to do something like this. I’ll be providing protection for both you and our Repenter ‘friend’ should we need to escort them back to the Academy. What I need to know now is your capabilities though. How well can I rely on you to protect yourself, and have you killed before.” His tone was level and professional, making it fairly easy to hear he was fully serious about everything being said and asked.

    Eden had to shake her head and blink to wiggle everything into place in her head. Kill? She wasn't going to kill this Repenter guy, even if he was crazy. Would she restrain him? Yes, that was within her capabilities. But ending a life was not something she would have on her hands. However, she'd not let on to this bundle of thoughts and instead gave a simple answer. "I can defend myself well enough with crystalline constructs. I spent a fair amount of time in the lower Levels when I first came to Neo Babylon. I've dealt with a Painstaker here and there. But killing...no. I've never killed before." Eden explained, before adding an emphasis to her last statement. "And I don't plan on breaking that record today."

    "Well I don't expect you to. That's probably going to my job. The Repenters aren't known for letting their "traitors" go free, so I'll be surprised if we don't run into any trouble when retrieving him." Leading her out of the building, Katergi headed towards the staff's dormitory where his vehicle was parked. A few moments later, he seemed to recall something before asking, "Right, have you ever used any firearms or weapons before? I might be able to get something if you're familiar with it." The comment was punctuated by the sound of his car's doors unlocking and he motioned with a nod of the head for her to climb in.

    A chilly stone settled in her stomach with Katergi's comment. It was true, the Repenters were infamous for silencing their deserters, but...well, it definitely wasn't what she had planned today. "Weapons? No, I've always just made do with my own handicrafts. Never seemed too necessary before." Eden opened the door to the car and sat down in the passenger side before gently closing it. This was one of her first field assignments so far, weapon training wasn't exactly brought up before hand. Looked like she'd at least be learning something.

    "Well, if you're thinking of taking more assignments after this I'd suggest looking into it. Magic isn't always the most reliable or easy to use in the heat of the moment." Climbing into the driver's seat, he tapped on a display and entered the given address before starting up the vehicle. "Hold on," he remarked before a sudden roar filled the air and the vehicle shot off, pulling some impressive acceleration. While aerial vehicles were fairly popular amongst Neo Babylonians, having only seen them recently, Katergi had more than a few reservations about hurtling through the air in one of them. So, bound by the roads that'd been laid, he made his way towards their destination, just over the speed limit as he wove between other vehicles.

    Eden sincerely hoped that the older man's fighting wasn't as reckless as his driving. Her fingers were clamped onto the handhold of the door, hoping and silently praying that Katergi would slow down just a bit, if for their safety alone. "I get that we should get there as soon as possible, but is the endangerment of other drivers and ourselves really necessary?" She said almost through her teeth, not wanting to sound standoff-ish but not wanting to get into a wreck either.

    Chuckling at his passenger's apprehension, he waved a hand nonchalantly at her question as he swerved into the sidelane. "I don't intend on dying in something like a car crash, this is perfectly safe." The sharp sound of a horn faded as he pulled away, so evidently Eden wasn't alone in her thoughts. "Besides, we're almost there." It wasn't a lie either, as the car screeched to a halt but a few minutes later as he turned the car into an alley. Shutting off the engine, he gestured to the wall directly ahead of them. "So, there should be a warehouse behind that where our target's currently hiding. There's a bit of open space between it and the wall, so I'm going to go on over first to make sure nothing's happening unless you need help making the jump." The wall was rather tall, nearly 3m, so even he'd probably have to use a bit of magic to make it. Though it was far from smooth, with handholds that could be seen from even this distance, Katergi didn't feel like practicing his climbing today. Not when he had a mission to get finished.

    Not the most reassuring thing to say, but she'd take it. Before she could further protest, they had arrived near their destination. Eden listened to Katergi's explanation, nodding in agreement before opening the car door and stepping out. It'd been awhile since she'd been this low, where even the air was sort of sketchy. "I can make it over on my own. Whenever your ready, Mr. Renwald." She affirmed, ready to get started. If they were to expect company, they needed to get started pronto.
    #15 Zombehs, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  16. T
    hings really couldn't get any better than this.

    The sun was shining, the store was experiencing a particularly busy day, and the coffee machines soft beeping meant that her coffee was finally ready. After working for a few hours the soft piano music playing throughout the store was beginning to get to Kheda, and with a few more hours of work to go, she wanted to avoid exhaustion at all cost. With a skip in her step and a smile on her face, she briskly walked by the many shelves, and genre sections of the store. Waving politely at every customer she passed by, it was days like these that she loved coming to work.

    Hurrying behind the front desk to the small office behind the counter, the thick scent of freshly made coffee filled her nostrils and brought a soft hum to her chest. From the cabinet she pulled out an odd looking mug, sparkling with glitter pinker then her own hair, a small picture of Sparkle LoveJoy was plastered and half picked off on the front of the cup. Not much of a fan of the musician herself, Kheda had fallen in love with all the glitter and therefor made it her favorite cup amongst the other novelty mugs in the small cabinet.

    Once mixing the coffee with creamer and little bit of sugar, she returned to the front desk and sat her cup down along the counter before plopping down on a comfortable leather computer chair. Enjoying the soft music playing in the background of the televisions light talking, she enjoyed the steam rising off her coffee with a deep inhale. Despite it being too hot she made the risky choice to take a sip, immediately regretting her decision as soon as the hot liquid touched her tongue. "Ah!-"​

    "This is KQNB Channel 3 with more on our breaking story."​

    Nearly dropping her coffee on herself, Kheda quickly sat her mug down along the counter before comically fanning her tongue. Pathetically whining at the burning sensation her attention was eventually pulled to the television above as the news report continued.
    "A bomb was set off Tuesday night in Occam, fatally injuring two and leaving over sixty other civilians in critical condition. Policus suspect infamous gang, The Painstakers, to be direct cause of this recent suspected terror attack, but protesters suspect otherwise. Lets go live now at the protest site with our field anchor Lance Chrystone. Lance--Can you give us some insight on todays protest so far? "

    Watching the explosion replay over and over as the reporters side screened interviews with protestors, Kheda her turned her gaze away, the tragic scene beginning to make her feel sick. "Geez." No matter how extraordinary Neo Babylon seemed, something terrible was always happening. She had never taken part in the protests, but she definitely wasn't against the cause. Policus, like most protection agencies, were always corrupt down to the core. And rather then relying on mainstream news, she had made an effort to watch through social media sites, and through eye witness being passed around online. While many saw the riots caused by 'protesters' many also turned a blind eye to the innocent killings, and the constant brutality. She had read a quote in a book once, 'When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes duty' and it spoke more words to her then any news station ever had.

    Of course, it was also a whole other subject that she still had yet to understand, so once the station cut to commercials her tension was quick to subside. Sighing steadily she leaned over and began to pick through her heavy bag. Pulling out a small notepad she began to flip through the many filled pages, finally coming to a stop once she reached a page marked 'schedule'. Grabbing a pen from the counter she began to quickly scribble between her neatly written words.
    'Go to level 134.'​

    Tired of seeing getting all of her information from the news, if things went well during the protest then she'd make an effort to join the group after work. Representation mattered, after all. The entrance bell suddenly rang causing Kheda to jump to attention, accidentally dropping her small notepad and pen along the floor. Standing quickly from her chair with warm smile, she greeted the customer like any other, "Hello! Welcome to Martel's Bookstore, is there anything I can help you with?"​
    #16 Valhalla, Dec 12, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  17. Evenrue Seele
    East Occam District

    Kirthun drove at a moderate speed—though unrestricted and fairly alone in the free airspace, there was little point in driving fast when there was not yet anything to chase.

    Evenrue, sitting in the passenger's seat, was surveying the streets and people they passed, looking for trouble, so that Kirthun might focus on his steering. Despite the significant decrease in car accidents, patrols were still very much necessary so that the Policus could ensure illegal activity wasn't taking place right underneath their noses. And frankly, patrolling was what Kirthun did best. He wasn't a junior officer, but neither was he a skilled veteran, and his utility in controlled operations was limited to the average grunt with a little more of a soft side.

    Evenrue, on the other hand, wasn't even a junior officer. Though she wore some of the vestments of the Policus and carried a small standard-issue firearm at her belt, she was nothing more than a sanctioned tag-along under the apprenticeship of her partner. Privy to some of the benefits but none of the pay, her presence was more for Kithun's benefit than the Policus's.

    Their vehicle's communication line was at a low volume, on the common channel. A large chunk of Occam East's Policus division had been sent this morning to deal with a riot, and Kirthun had little interest in it. Evenrue was even less interested. Something else was bothering her.

    Something didn't feel right.

    Shutting her eyes for a second and placing her head in her hands, she tried to concentrate on the feeling. "Could you turn off the line for a sec?"

    Confused, Kirthun glanced away from the road to look at her, but complied.

    They drove in silence for a few more seconds, and though she couldn't place the origin, she also couldn't shake the feeling that there was something amok nearby.

    "Kirth— just— Can we pull over? I need some air."

    Now even more worried, Kirthun parked them over at the nearest sidewalk. "Of course. You okay, hun?"

    Without responding, Evenrue opened the door and left the vehicle, before leaning her back on it and facing the sky, still holding her head as if in pain.

    Kirthun moved out of the car himself, and glanced around at their surroundings. At the sight of the Policus vehicle, the local passerby all swerved away from it and kept their gazes downcast, not wanting to attract the ire of an officer. He hated feeling like he was some sort of danger to these people, the people he was trying to protect—but at the same time, the Guardians Respect Act was damned useful, and he was grateful for the added security.

    Walking around to Evenrue's side, he tapped her on the shoulder. "Could you please tell me what's got you so riled up?"

    Opening her eyes and winking at him for a second, she gave a weak attempt at a smile. "Not really. But trust me, there's something."

    "Well, that's bloody useful," he muttered, pulling out his handheld communicator. "Kirthun, East Occam Patrol reporting in. We're stopped at—" Here he gave detailed coordinates. "—to investigate a minor disturbance, over." Though he doubted they would require any sort of backup—unless this was Evenrue sensing one of those beasts—it was important to keep the base aware of their whereabouts. Interrupting a patrol for more than a few minutes was not a normal occurence. Kirthun then began to more adequately survey their surroundings.

    Evenrue, meanwhile, looked into herself, using whatever magical feelers she had to attempt to determine anything about what she was feeling.​
  18. Trial&Error, a concept Youn wasn't aware of, yet capable of employing it masterfully. If the infinite monkey theory could be applied to it, then Youn was surely capable of solving the puzzle, sooner or later at least. There was just this slight problem of an attention span that wasn't quite infinite. And while she hasn't reached a state of total boredom yet, the returning of The Pack sealed the entire deal.

    "Fluffy!" Looking up from the contraption, and in fact, throwing it somewhere behind herself the girl jumped from the broken couch and moved towards the horde of bloodthirsty helldogs who now shared among themselves, giving Faust just the attention he seemed to require. "Something magic something? That sounds like fun!" More fun than this piece of puzzle for sure, and definitely worth checking out. For now though she had to greet her pets, giving each one a few seconds worth of cuddling. "Soo what did you bring today?" She asked in anticipation and got a good look as The Pack became one with Youn. No fresh meat? Whatever. Instead the girl picked up a green long stick like thing "Faust! Faust! What is this?" She never really cared what the food she ate was, as long as it was tasty, but that sure was a bizarre sight to behold. "That is called a Q-Cumber, a vegetable very popular around the middle and poor class of society." So, a Q-Cumber, and stuff Youn didn't really understand. Given its length and thickness there was only one thing that she was supposed to do with it!

    "Fight me!" Youn spouted with a smile, pointing the Q-Cumber sword towards the silent Terror, giving only a blank stare in return. Waiting a few more seconds Youn pouted. "Jeez, both of you are no fun." Seriously, Youn had Terror only since a few weeks yet she had only spoken a few words, always in a bad mood or something.

    Right, she still had to eat, else she would die, Faust told her. "Food-time nationwiiide~~" Giving into her desire she was taking whatever The Pack had left; only realizing she was done with todays meal after everything was devoured. "And now...what was that about something magic something? Faust, Terror! Let's go!" Where Terror was obedient and merged with Youn in an instant, Faust seemed to hesitated for a moment before every Neverborn was finally one in her body. "Alright, where is it?" She asked. "Mhm? Floor...1...Oh, down you mean! Alrighty~" Humming a happy tune the girl made herself on the way to the lower levels. Thanks to Neo Babylon's structure, throwing around a lot of shadows even in daytime and Faust as a navigation device it wasn't such a difficult task to arrive near some certain train tracks.
  19. Koi Ross
    Fanty Shark's Apartment / Level 178

    Koi was shaking and pale as she pulled away from her fiance, caught off balance by the disturbing vision. Fanty reached out a worried hand as she used the wall for some much needed support. She brushed him off with a weak smile. "Just some nausea," she said. "You head off. Don't want to be late for work."

    "You'll be okay?"

    "A little morning sickness never killed anyone." At Fanty's shocked expression she couldn't help but laugh. "It was a joke," she said, shaking her head. "I'll be fine." With a nervous chuckle, Fanty closed the front door behind him, leaving Koi to herself and her thoughts.

    The vision had been disturbing, but there was at least one saving grace; it had taken place at night. She would at least have several hours to figure out what to do; though without any way to place the vision, she could also have several years. But what was there to do? She couldn't go out and follow Fanty home from work every day for the rest of their lives. Yet at the same time, how could she not in good conscience?

    Attempting to take her mind off things, Koi accessed a control panel on the wall, and set the apartment to appear as a woodland grove. The previous system they had had installed had attempted to change the appearance of everything in the room, but the sight of couch shaped bushes was awkward at best. Now the furniture was left untouched, which instead gave the scene a surreal touch to it, an unlikely amalgamation of the constructed and the grown. Bare feet pressing down on a carpet made of moss, Koi made her way to the living room, sat down, and began flicking through books on the reader tablet.

    Nothing, however, could catch her interest. The same went for the drama and comedy channels on the network. Eventually she settled on the news, it's pessimistic presentation of reality hitting a cord with her current mindset. Car crashes, missing people, petty crimes; it portrayed the worst of humanity in an endless cycle of viewer-grabbing horror. Letting people have some suffering in their life so they can tell themselves they know what it is, without needing to experience firsthand themselves. The cowards placebo for a well-rounded life.

    The news managed to override her own worries for awhile, but ignored, they simply boded their time and grew. They coated the walls and dripped down from the ceiling, until the apartment - until Koi - began to drown in their bleak omens. The ceiling showed clear blue skies and whispers of the infinity of the sky, but she was stifled. She needed to get out. Turning off the network as the anchorman said something about their main story of the day coming up next, Koi strapped on her hoversuit, it's lightweight frame covering her upper back and shoulders. Above that went the helmet, to prevent the wind from blinding her with the small airborne refuse of a city.

    Taking off outside, she wove between rails and bridges connected one building to another. Behind her her worries began to spill forth from the apartment, but the world of Neo Babylon was too large for it to drown. The pressure that had been threatening to build up in her head faded away as she began flying further and further away, gradually drifting down towards the lower levels.
  20. Seti Kleon - Stret Col District
    [Arcane Von Neumann]

    The officer took his credentials with a mechanical motion and studied them over with either an utter disinterest or a well-trained and expedient eye. Seti could never quite tell which it was. The other officer continued his circle around Seti's car, bending over on occasion to catch a poor glimpse of the underside and between the wheels. Thanks to the sound of his running engine, neither officer seemed to pick up the droning humming from Seti's backseat. Their mannerisms seemed to indicate a total lack of suspicion, easing his mind. The officer beside his window finished looking over the identification and typed something into a pad with his thumb before looking to his partner for confirmation.

    "Thanks. Just proceed ahead mister Belfrim," the Policus officer stated, calling Seti by his cover name indicated on the credentials. With a circular gesture of his arm, he beckoned Seti to drive forward and continue on his way. Seti disengaged the breaks and pulled on, passing under the station's shade structure and past a wealth of stand-by Policus troops armed to the teeth. Beside a distant building, likely an additional Policus building, a two-story mech stood watch, mechanical head turning perpetually like a surveillance camera.

    The drive onward was met with zero resistance or issues. The buildings got taller and taller with every mile until Seti could not longer see a horizon, nor the sun. Natural light was primarily replaced with the scorch of countless glowing billboard signs and street lights turned on even in the daytime. Eventually the car came to an intersection and, now piloted instead by the city's automatic traffic system, stopped itself without Seti's control. He was free to lean back and enjoy the ride.

    The destination was set into his GPS and the car drove itself there with almost zero stops from there on out. The benefit of an automatic system meant the computer could get cars past intersections perpetually without need for red lights or stop signs. It was unnerving to those who were used to driving cars themselves, but as one soon realized, the computer was far smarter and made fewer mistakes than any human being.

    The hum in the back seat grew louder and louder until it drowned out the car's engine itself. He was at least a few more miles from the drop off point, and the humming seemed to grow only more and more intense. Whatever it was, it sounded dangerous. If he could drive faster, he would have, but the automatic traffic meant things went at the computer's pace, not his own. The hum became a vibrating tone, shaking his whole car.

    Disruptive internal actions detected. Seti's car began speaking to him like most did. Safe driving is achieved with the help of a cooperative passenger. Please refrain from undergoing disruptive movements when inside the vehicle. Please fasten your seat belt if you have not done so already. The vibrating continued, and the car relayed the same lines again. The pattern didn't stop.

    Suddenly the compartment containing the package was blown apart, metal casing bending outwards as a strange glowing object began to expand. It was like many stacks of transparent and bright paper stacked side by side with what appeared to be circuitry coursing along their surfaces. With each second a new page materialized between the others already present and more appeared to its sides. The cube of floating pages grew more and more intensely until the seats had begun to vaporize, simply vanishing into thin air as the object expanded.

    The car came to a halt. Severe rear damage detected. This vehicle has been designated as unfit to continue on the road. Contacting tow vehicle. The computer spoke again. The pages grew to a size far too large for his vehicle, vacating the entirety of his back section. His car had been split in half, and if he didn't vacate the vehicle soon, the object would consume him as well.

    Please exit the vehicle.


    Volkov - Ground Level Sewers

    Volkov's steps unleashed resounding rumbles throughout the enclosed space, no doubt heard by any individual who had a healthy awareness and a pair of ears. The cries were gone, but the rumbling from beyond continued, getting closer and closer. Volkov turned around a corner to catch the mere glimpse of some entity down there with him. A crimson lock of hair disappeared behind the other end of the next tube. The sounds of rumbling turned instead to that of metal on metal. Looking about he could see the damage; gashes in the concrete were all about. Some glowed with a heat that had yet to dissipate.

    Volkov trudged on around the next corner and witnessed what had been transpiring. There in the tunnel stood three individuals; at the very end his eye was caught on a ornately-clothed (though the damage on it made it look quite ragged) young girl of blonde hair and a melancholy expression. She gripped her right arm which bled profusely onto white cloth. Her hunched posture indicated exhaustion.

    Between her and Volkov stood two others looking infinitely more in charge and capable. Another girl, slightly older than the last, bearing crimson hair and toting a glowing blade of some design, no doubt the cause of the gashes he saw earlier. Beside her a creature similar stature to Volkov himself stood clad in copious amounts of metal. As the entity moved and unleashed a low mechanical noise, he realized it was not living.

    Volkov's presence in turn caught the blonde girl's eye for but a moment before the other two traced her sight behind and found themselves facing his great self. The crimson girl spoke.

    "Oi, sewer trash. Screw off. You don't want-" she was interrupted by her partner.

    "This guy does not look like your common hobo." Both of them paused for a second before the girl removed the tip of her blade from the concrete crack it created below. "That is the Beast himself, if I am not mistaken." The machine thing looked upon Volkov with a set of six red eyes on the side of its shark-like head. An unending wide and toothy smile betrayed the otherwise calm demeanor it expressed.

    "What do you want then?" the girl asked, annoyed.


    Felicia Bell - Home

    The phone rang for a mere split second before the other end picked up. For all the citizens utilizing phone lines at that very second, the networking was advanced enough to get her call through before she could even think to blink her eyes. A perfectly natural voice picked up on the other end, though Felicia was well aware that the entity speaking was merely an automated program. Inhuman.

    In a gentle and warm voice, it asked for the nature of Felicia's call, already well aware of her name. It gave a number of options to choose from before Felicia designated that there was a threat letter sent through her window. The system was designed to interpret her answer, regardless of how complicated or specific, and choose a particular next step. The computer's voice remained, apparently not needing to contact a living person by then.

    Please state the details of this home event. This information will be relayed to our officers who will be well informed when they reach your residence, promoting expediency and clarity.

    Felicia relayed in as much detail as she deemed necessary what had transpired, mentioning the strangeness of how the letter arrived and its contents. The computer listened intently, and at the end of it asked if she was sure that was all the information she knew of. Confirming the next step, it asked one final question.

    To help in dealing with your issue, we would like to provide you with temporary autonomous drones controlled by our Policus officers during the investigation. We understand that some citizens of Neo Babylon may object to the presence of very sensitive machines in their home. Do you have any objections to the inclusion of these drones? Felicia gave her answer and the computer thanked her before confirming that officers would appear at her residence within the hour.

    True to its word, three officers arrived at her front doorstep with or without the drones depending on Felicia's answer. With a polite knock and a bow of their heads, they asked for permission inside and for her to explain once more what transpired.


    Youn - Central Babylon, Along the train tracks

    Whatever Faust had sensed was only more apparent in the air. Even Youn could feel it, despite lacking a fondness for using magic herself. It was oppressing, dark, and nearly made Youn want to turn back were it not for the courage granted to her by the Neverborn within. The train tracks before her were empty, though as she approached the protective fence and look side to side, she noticed some peculiar. No not peculiar. It was obvious.

    Painted on the other side of the tracks along a concrete wall running along the path, Youn could see a rather large and complex glowing symbol. It hummed with a distinct energy. For a time that was all it did -glow. Faust spoke up.

    "There, that thing. It is clear my sense of danger is arising from that rune," he stated. Devoid of arcane knowledge, Youn was simply forced to believe her servant, regardless of the meaninglessness it displayed to her. More than anything, it was just pretty. "Something's happening," he said ominously. A train horn sounded off in the distance, approaching fast.

    Suddenly, voices were hushed, and Youn could hear nothing but her own thoughts. The cars above lost their voice somehow. Everything was silent.

    A lightning bolt cracked towards the train tracks, striking the rune in a flash before vanishing. The rune glowed brighter until the light blinded Youn. turning away, Faust advised she retreat, unsure of what was to occur, and sure enough she did. The alleys of buildings had become brighter than the daytime sun gleaming on windows as the rune behind her continued to illuminate harsher and harsher rays. The train horn was just behind her now, running along the tracks.

    The roar that ensued drowned out even her thoughts, and she was thrown to the ground with a slight skid. Debris pelted her back lightly and smoke obscured her vision. For a few minutes she lied there as something collapsed in the distance. She regained her footing amidst the carnage and looked back through stinging eyes to see a glow persist amidst the dust. The dust would not settle for some time, but she could nevertheless clearly see something humanoid standing beyond towards the tracks.

    With a fierce gust, the cloud was dispersed in her area, revealing some human thing standing atop an immense pile of debris. A train car stuck out from underneath the rubble. The entity stood valiantly over the wreckage, looking at what seemed to be nothing in particular. Youn took a step in no particular direction, and the entity turned its gaze quickly, like a hunting bird of prey, upon her tiny stature.

    As Youn's eyes stopped watering, she could fully see what stood before her. Four eyes upon a white mask gazed into Youn's eyes. The entity was human, a woman, clad in a severely torn and drearily-colored cloth that covered her from the neck to her knees.

    Terror stirred within Youn's mind, agitated by this person.


    Laina Horello - Layer 1, Along the train tracks

    Laina's venture to Whiteridge was taken along a single, straight path along the sides of an immense train railway. The magnetic rails spread across at least ten cars in width, carrying with them a similarly-sized train standing three stories tall. The industrial vehicle was designed to carry supplies rather than people, holding untold amounts of food, metals, and corporate merchandise. A metal fence separated Laina from falling into the well that was the tracks, barbed wire encircling its upper portion.

    Homes were put right up against the edge of the tracks, forcing Laina to dodge increasingly larger piles of trash bags and random crates. The train usually came by around this time of day, and Laina waited during her walk for the deafening screech to approach her from behind as she continued on. She would be but a few hundred yards from Whiteridge by the time she generally expected the train to pass.

    Instead of the norm, she was met with a low rumble. It was quick and quite distant, sounding a bit like a deep pop. It wasn't the train, she was sure, as there was no whine of rails on rails accompanying it. She paused and looked behind. The train was nowhere to be seen down the tracks. Then, finally, she heard something more.

    The screech she was used to was instead an ear-piercing wail of metal grinding on metal, and it was painful. It got closer until the train, clad in flames, came into view. The vehicle screamed forward, fire billowing behind it as some sort of flammable material clung to its surface in several areas. Scorch marks dotted it as well. The whole thing rumbled and suddenly it toppled on its side. The train derailed but continued on, taking with it countless things. The fence was uprooted and the close buildings were eviscerated like a machete chopping through fruit.

    Laina practically threw herself from the edge and closer to the streets, barely dodging the oncoming wreck. She fell to the ground, and just as she got up, an explosion rocked the area in the distance. Far too close to Whiteridge. Surely it missed the orphanage. It had to.

    She could only have found out by checking.


    Sparkle Belle Lovejoy - Central Babylon, Prime Hour Tower, NBBC

    Pierce Bray welcomed both of the young women onto the stage, shaking each of their hands in turn. Barenna, dressed just as ridiculously as Sparkle, sat in the beige chair on the other side of Bray, further from Sparkle. Just as Bray sat down, Sparkle voiced her concern, to which Bray replied apologetically.

    "Oh you're darn right. I'm terribly sorry. Perhaps it was because your middle and last names just seemed to pop out to me most of all. It is quite the stage name, I must say." Barenna's once complacent expression turned to distaste at what she thought of as Sparkle's needless worry. The other pop idol, Barenna, was two years Sparkle's senior, far more popular and successful through her additional time in Neo Babylon. Her edge, however, was in experience alone. It was clear her talents were thought of as no greater than Lovejoy's to most. Still, she had an air about her that reflected a sense of entitlement and superiority. Sparkle had worked with her on one song (along with all the other singers in the album), and noticed she was a tad bit demanding and unforgiving.

    "Well then ladies. Good to have you here!" Bray started off. The clapping subsided to make room for him to speak. "I've gotten the chance to listen to your album before it's even out. I noticed, in the middle of it all, that MC Slug has at least some shout out in every single one, no matter how small. Did he just demand to be in all of them or something? What's the point?" Bray chuckled, and the audience laughed. Barenna gave a light smile and answered.

    "Really it was our manager who wanted it in there. You know pop music today has got a lot of background singers. MC Slug is a fantastic guy. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to take the job," she said looking out into the crowd. They applauded. Pierce Bray turned to Sparkle and asked her next.

    "As we all know, Sparkle," he paused and grinned, "Caught myself there. Sparkle Belle Lovejoy is a pretty new popstar here in Neo Babylon, and yet she's risen to the upper charts in no time at all. How do you think you've pulled that off, in your opinion?" Sparkle spoke up, answering Pierce, but before she could finish she was stopped by a shake. Not just her chair, but the entire room. Bray and Barenna gripped their chairs and looked about concerned as the various equipment in the room slowly returned to a resting position.

    "Earthquake?" Pierce called out to one of the prompters standing at the foot of the audience. They shrugged in response. "Well then viewers, I don't know what just happened. Scared me for a secon-" the whole room violently shook, sliding the stage chairs at least a foot towards the back. The audience screamed in response as the sounds of ominous creaking filled the building. "Everybody evacuate the building!" Bray shouted out. The place erupted into chaos as audience members ran for the doorway. Sparkle was escorted by one of the crew members backstage and to her manager.


    Jhanuis Bedniv - Central Babylon, Prime Hour Tower

    Even in the future, human resources and the hiring process was never a streamlined or enjoyable process. The secretary and waiting room Jhanuis was met with was as gloomy as a DMV, possibly worse. No windows and a pile of year-past-due magazines only served to make the scene more picturesque. Jhanuis had arrived with a filled out hiring process form, handed it to the secretary, and awaited further instructions. He already knew that by taking up the job he'd be given a wealth of information on the tasks assigned to him the very same day. It wouldn't be a short day, by any means.

    He waited with a silence like death weighing down on him. One could imagine people started hallucinating inside the waiting room with regularity. Did he actually just hear a fan blowing? Probably. That was definitely likely. The front desk window slid open and the secretary leaned out of it from behind a desk, waving a lanyard and a plastic name card at him.

    "Throw this on and head up to floor 179. Look for studio room 10 and a guy named Timjay. He'll brief you on everything. Good luck," she said. Jhanuis held in his hands a plastic, flexible name card printed with a picture of himself and his full name. Walking outside of the dreary room, he began his search for the elevator to his new workplace before a peculiar incident stopped him.

    Were he severely nervous he might have missed it, but the lobby had clearly shaken. Much of its occupants looked about in confusion. Neo Babylon wasn't known for earthquakes at all, so the event seemed all the more ominous. Jhanuis stood there for a moment as a ringing in his ears became more and more apparent. Then it stopped.

    The glass of the lower tower floors shattered inwards on one side of the massive room, showering those who were sitting in the lobby's lounge area with shards of death and an oncoming wall of flame. In a second the fire was extinguished, overcome by a storm of dust and debris that choked it of oxygen. Soon enough the storm had reached Jhanuis' end of the room, battering him with a slew of god knows what and burning ash. His ears could hear little else than a tremendous roar of metal and concrete shattering and crushing upon one another. He needed to escape anywhere else before he drowned in the dust.


    Nechronica, Arnel Lienstrung & Kheda - Ninety Nine Ramp, Occam-Central Babylon District Border

    It was strange, almost unbelievable, but Kheda had lucked out. Her boss exited his tucked-away office to speak with Kheda, phone in hand. He was apparently watching the news feed as well, mesmerized by the growing crowd.

    "I'm closing the bookstore for the day. It's quite and I'd like to go participate in the protest," he said out of the blue. He was an older man, likely quite liberal judging by his demeanor Kheda had judged awhile ago. It wasn't strange that he was interested, but the sudden onset of fervor for the event was startling. He offered her a ride to the protest, and whether or not she took it, Kheda was free to head down to the ramp where the protest was taking place.

    The restlessness, while initially directed at Arnel, had begun to shift towards the aggressiveness he and his units were exerting as a whole. Protesting was one thing, but aiming deadly weapons at them while doing so seemed like complete overkill, and the protesters were clear in vocalizing it. They objected to their actions, shouting out profanities and decrying brute force. Arnel's aura, too, only served to make their mannerisms more and more indicative of a coming fight. News channels from every studio had their cameras pointed at the gathering of now hundreds, undoubtedly hoping in the back of their heads for something to transpire. More violence meant more views and more to cover.

    In her firing position, Nechronica was given a pretty spectacular view of Prime Hour Tower, a view that helped alleviate her lack of access to the morning show's video feed. It would have continued to be wonderful were it not for the strange light she caught sight of in the distance. Down the alley of massive buildings with roads connecting her district to Central, the Prime Hour Tower stood victorious as the tallest building among the rest. At its base, partially hidden behind another building creating a corner, a preposterously bright red light emanated, drowning out the lights created by everything around it, even the sunlight itself.

    It grew brighter and taller before flickering at a high frequency, and then it exploded. With her eyesight and radar range, she could see the base of the building across the street from Prime Hour Tower instantly annihilated. With nothing below, the immense tower could only fall to its doom. The explosion and sound of collapse easily caught the rioter's attention even amidst the roar of their yells and chants. Their anger was instead replaced with screams as they caught the sight of a Central Tower falling into oblivion.

    200 floors of steel and concrete, vanishing into the rising cloud of dust.


    Elizia - Home

    "... and she's discovered a sort of supposed tutor the Cleaners employ to recruit new individuals. It sounded shady, from what she described of the individual, but it's all she could really find. As Sharks we pride ourselves in knowing what goes on in the city, but we could only get so far with Cleaners stuff," Irvin stated. He pulled a side of his cheek back in worry, looking at Elizia concerned. "You really sure you want go through with this Cleaner thing? It really does seem quite dangerous and questionable."

    Irvin awaited Elizia's response before his phone seemed to buzz. Quickly, he retrieved it from his pocket and surveyed the message displayed on the screen. A look of dread overcame his face as he read it over. Before he could relay to Elizia what was written, Mabel's cries were heard in the next room. She called out to her mom and dad, distress awash in her voice.

    Elizia, Irvin, Caitlin, and Trent all rushed into the room, finding Mabel looking at the television screen with wide eyes. On screen, the morning show featuring Sparkle Belle Lovejoy had shifted to a breaking news story. A news anchor relayed the written words on his paper with a difficult to achieve calmness.

    "Minutes ago an explosion occurred at Central Babylon, severely damaging the lower floors of buildings on Hour Street and collapsing the entirety of Building 8," he stated.

    "No way," Irvin mumbled to himself. A helicopter circling above looked down upon a still billowing cloud of smoke and ash, an entire building now missing beneath it. "How did this happen?!"


    Evenrue Seele - East Occam District

    Evenrue searched with an arcane sense to get a better gauge of what was occurring, trying her best to reduce the vague sense permeating the air to something more understandable. Something she could grasp. The focus worked only slightly, but it did reveal to her what was transpiring in the most basic sense; someone, or something, was casting a spell. Only snippets of the mediums involved passed her mind.

    Initiate. Draw. Link. Repeat.

    Without context or the rest of the mediums, she couldn't deduce any more of the nature of the spell. She was about to speak to Kirthun again when a final medium practically forced itself past her thoughts, like a bullet screaming right through her skull.


    Her head immediately turned in response to sensing the medium, drawn towards a vision of Central Babylon. As soon as her eyes came upon those massive towers, she saw it. A massive light and then an explosion rocking the very city. Kirthun jolted in place at the sound that came seconds later, himself turning to see the destruction. A building began to collapse, disappearing behind the others around it, right by Prime Hour Tower. He was speechless for a time.

    The ominous feelings Evenrue initially felt had only become darker.

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