Suck it, Athos [EverlyxRedSinfonia]

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Everly, May 27, 2015.

  1. "Another day, another cave. Do you think this one is an abandoned dust hole like the last one?"

    It was hot. Much, much too hot. Caryn was convinced that no person should ever willingly torture themselves with any temperature that hit triple digits. It was cruel. Yet here she was, trudging around through sand and sun-bleached rocks like some sort of lost tourist. She had been asked to investigate some sort of 'horrid monster roaming around killing people off.' Could they be any more vague? She didn't even have an idea of size or if there was more than one. Apparently nobody had seen the thing. So, she was left guessing, which meant she was carrying much more than she should have been in the heat. Her snug black cargo pants were bulging with supplies and weapons, several pouches hanging from her belt. Why did she think black was a good idea..?

    "I really should expand my wardrobe to something other than black.." she mused, glancing down at her black shirt - thankfully with short sleeves - and the black bag resting against her back. Usually it was convenient for blending in, but now.. well, not so much. She sighed and shrugged to herself. No point fretting about it now. She had been wandering for hours and hadn't caught a single track or hint of anything unusual. It was starting to look more and more like some sort of human freak going around slaughtering people. Humans were crazy.

    She glanced at her companion, spotting the reflection of her amused green eyes in the shine of the metal before the creature turned and gave her a whirring sound mixed with clicks. It was nothing but a robot, built with six spindly legs for dexterity. The size of a baseball, it was equipped with several internal attachments that came in handy whenever Caryn was stuck somewhere. However, she did not use the robot as a tool, but as a friend. She had programmed a minor personality inside and was rather fond of the thing. Anything was better than complete solitude.

    "Come on, let's peek in this last one, then we'll call it a day," she murmured to the robot, taking the clicks as assent as she wandered into the cave. Darkness, sand, rocks. Boring. She sighed and pulled out a flashlight, walking to the back to ensure she missed nothing. No hidden tunnels or crevices, but.. wait. She paused and tilted her head, spotting a dusty vase tucked behind a larger rock as though somebody had hidden it there. Well then. Maybe she should rub it and get a wish. A steak would be nice. She picked it up with her free hand and examined it closely. The designs were interesting. The screaming human-esque figures made her a bit uneasy, but the snake that was eating its tail was nearly identical to the black tattoo she had around her wrist.

    "Hm. We'll take it along," she decided, wanting to examine it in the sun. She flicked her flashlight off and walked back to the entrance, making it nearly outside before she tripped over a rock in the sandy floor and ended up falling over with a squeal. The tiny robot went flying, landing next to the vase as it slammed against the wall of the cave and shattered.

    "... Damn it."
     
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  2. Uugghh…

    From the shards of the cracked vase, the screaming figures twisted and coiled frantically and the snakes writhed in their death throes. A smoky darkness tasted the jagged edges of the broken prison, descending from the aether of their agony.

    Uugghh…

    A groan, so much like the utterances of a morning after too much revelry and drink and yet lacking the humanity of it, split the air of the cave, quaking it down to the sand. Living shadows poured from the pottery, swirling and spilling over its edges and into the air. The air… A soft wind teased the thing, moving across smooth pores and dancing against its flesh that wasn’t flesh. It was a feeling so pleasureful, so unknown, that it only accepted it as a lover’s caress.

    A feeling. A presence. Two bright eyes blinked from beneath an oily gaze, taking in the dank environment. A thing curled against the ground - no, not a thing. A human. That filled the creature with anger. It’s chest, the bulk of its figure, bristled up on an exaggerated hiss. It filled it with such upset, with such rage, but why? Why did a human make it so angry? The front of its form, its head, began to split in half lengthwise, until needle-sharp, bright teeth appeared from its maw, all aligned and tightly gathered like a shark’s mouth. Was it this one that bothered it? Was it this one that made it want to scream?

    No… not this thing. The creature tried to remember, its mind a haze of glass that caused lashes of pain when it got too close. Think… think. That was when a small thing returned to it, a glimmer of something. Yes… that. Athos. Athos. That was its name, but there was something else, another name. Looking at the human made it sure that there was a name, somewhere deep within, like a thorn lodged in its flesh. That was what made it so furious. That vile, little thing that stuck in his throat. It rasped against it, railed against Athos. Like a lightning strike, it came to him, and a shriek poured from his mouth. “Ryan… Mikami…” Yes! That was it. The thing.

    Like a bullet, Athos shot from his ceramic cage, his bulk growing with every second of flight. From him dripped writhing beasts from its mass, hitting the ground with an audible thump and squirming against the dust. Black serpents, they were, with naked, white eyes.

    ------

    There was a peaceful silence between the ticks of the clock, barring the humming vibrations and heavy bass coming from downstairs. Outside of the window, a bright, neon sign shimmered over the sill, shouting “The Painted Dragon”. Ryan Mikami started from his nap, draped across his desk, and gazed briefly at the green illumination that grazed his paperwork. For a moment, he only wiped his hand across a tanned forehead and left it there for support. A sheen of sweat veiled his flesh from unintentional sleep and his lips quirked disgustedly at the feel of it. For a moment, Ryan rubbed his chocolate eyes with his fingers, slipping them beneath slim, wire-rimmed glasses. A dream had startled him awake, one that dug beneath the skin on his spine and filled him with unease. He’d heard his name called, but whose voice…

    “Ryan!” The musical shout came from the door, followed by a rapping sound on the wood. “Your four o’ clock is here!” The woman’s voice amended before she bounced away, back down the stairs.

    With a sigh, Ryan stood from his deck and gathered his papers, tapping them lightly against the oak to file them neatly before stuffing them into a manila folder. They were due by six, but he’d probably be fine. The tunnel to the office, after all, was located in the basement of his tattoo parlor. Supers never liked to be very far or too disconnected from their assistant charges.

    Smoothing back dark, short hair, Ryan’s hand fell to his angled jaw and felt the stubble that had slowly begun to form. The bane of his existence. Rolling up the sleeves of his white, if crinkled, button-up shirt, he revealed the corded muscles of his arms, inked brilliantly with the scenery of a thousand creative minds, all brightly colored and vividly illustrated. Just barely, beneath the mystery of shadow, one could say that they almost moved with the life inside of them.

    Shaking off the remnants of a nightmare, Ryan dipped down the steps and into the parlor, no more resistant to the sarcasm that entered his voice when his client asked for something overtly compensating than he had been yesterday, and got to work.
     
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  3. Caryn stared at the shattered pieces of pottery, watching as something she could only describe as smoke started to come out of it.

    "Well.. Now we know why it was hidden, don't we?" she muttered to herself, scrambling back away from the sight to sit on her knees instead of laying on her belly. This was not promising. As she watched the.. what was that thing?.. creature come out, she realized that she had just made a grave error. That thing was not some moody werewolf or a blood-lusting vampire on a rage, nor was it a simplistic demon wandering around tying shoelaces together. This was something else, something she had never seen before.. and that meant she didn't know how to kill it. She stared at it, flinching slightly when it hissed at her.

    Great. Now she was going to die in some overheated cave in the middle of nowhere. Just great.

    She slowly reached down to pull out a weapon, trying not to draw attention to herself, but the creature didn't seem to really care. It seemed confused. Disoriented, perhaps? That was a good time to strike. She curled her fingers around the first thing she felt - a blade. Well, it was worth a shot. Just as she went to tug it free, the creature shrieked out a name and fled the cave. She yelped and covered her ears, the sound bouncing around the cave walls and giving her an immediate migraine. After a few moments, she lowered her hands and opened her eyes, which she had squeezed shut. Gone. It was gone. Who was Ryan Mikami? Some poor bastard about to die, probably.. And now she had snakes. Great. Why couldn't it be bears or something?

    She grimaced and stood up, pulling out a gun. Best to just shoot the disgusting things. She took aim, then paused as she saw her little robot scuttle over to the snakes and start darting around them. It was simply injecting them with a mild tranquilizer - enough to make them unable to move so Caryn could leave, but not kill them. It would wear off in about an hour. Hopefully. She honestly didn't know if it would even work on whatever sort of snakes these were.

    "Fingers crossed, buddy.. Once we're out of here, we have to go find that Ryan Mikami person. I have a feeling he's not going to be terribly happy to meet us.."
     
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  4. The last few nights had only been ones of unease and Ryan begrudgingly pulled himself from his bed, despite its lack of recent comfort. The studio below had rustled itself from rest hours ago, if the throbbing bass had anything to say about it, with the perky Jessica at the helm and the grim Jared in the back. The dynamic duo, the J n’ J, were fantastic artists, inspirational for their youth and for their beauty with ink, but many clients had only hearts for Mikami. While he didn’t necessarily enjoy the attention, his artwork came alive in a way that his clients could hardly imagine. On them, of course, the works were merely gorgeous, with intense detail and vibrant colors, but on paper or pottery or whatever surface he saw fit to have a real purpose in life…

    The two J’s didn’t seem to mind, however, but that was probably due to no small part in their understanding of what he could really do. They found Ryan through Nocturna, pushed him to open the parlor - give them all a place to call home for themselves.

    While Ryan wasn’t truly a people person, too busy to deal with the normal flesh and blood of everyday, unknowing humans, he hadn’t regretted opening ‘The Painted Dragon’ beneath his apartment. At least, not yet.

    Today, however, ‘The Painted Dragon’ was only aggravating a headache Ryan had been cooking up during the sleepless night. Without the heart, or the patience, to tell Jessica of his disapproval, he simply dressed himself - with all the silent grumpiness he could muster - in his similar, usual manner. After all, he wasn’t creative with fashion, just lines. A button-up shirt that needed ironed, rolled partway up his arms to reveal muscles and a plethora of tattoos, dark, distressed denim, and some five ‘o clock shadow. Throwing on a black tie with green designs half-heartedly, to accent his eyes, Ryan decided it was good enough for Nocturna.

    The letter lay like a little snake on his desk, a formal request for Ryan to come to the headquarters. It wasn’t a normal thing, and he didn’t like anything that wasn’t the norm. At the very least, for Nocturna, it was never a good sign. ‘No news is good news’ was his motto for the organization.

    However, the letter had mentioned, if very eloquently, that they knew he was having nightmares and they also knew what might be causing it. This caught Ryan’s attention. There wasn’t much that escaped them in the supernatural world, but that only troubled him more.

    After having to cancel his appointments, Jessica was profusely sorry to his customers and offered her own slots to placate them, but no matter how pissed they were, they were alright with waiting however many weeks it took Ryan to get back to them. Ryan acknowledged their persistence with a sigh. One day, he’d retire. One day soon.

    Tucking away his wallet, Ryan opened the door to his cozy apartment and climbed down the just-as-cozy staircase that poured into a side room of the parlor. Jessica, having spotted him, waved her sweet goodbye, and he disappeared into the basement. There, he pulled open a hatch and climbed down into the dark. An eerie, bluish light sparked at his presence in the tunnel below - a ghost light secured by the Nocturna agencies. Along the wall, intricate paintings of mythological beasts watched him in the cast azure glow. In the corner of his eye, they moved and curled with all the natural movement of living things.

    Just over a ten minute walk, and with all the heat of a secured, underground place included, and Ryan made it to the other side. Unlocking a heavy steel door with a complex set of keys, Ryan hauled open the heavy beast and climbed out into an open, radiating Central Nocturna. Like an octopus, or some similarly tentacled creature, it was a bulbous room with many interconnecting hallways. There were several doors, like Ryan’s, that led to places all over the city and pockmocked the walls in the center room.

    Pushing and locking it closed, Ryan joined the liquid mob of supernaturals and humans alike, filling the domed ceiling with bickering and laughter and sob stories that railed against his head. Picking his way through a crowd with rowdy ease, he turned down a hall, incidentally with a decent amount of foot traffic, and then turned into another room.

    This was noticeably quieter and solemn, like the reception of a doctor’s office, and Ryan waved at the receptionist with platinum hair as he passed her. She flashed a vivid smile and pointed him to the right. Turning to the direction of her finger, Ryan opened a door with frosted glass and a printed name on the front. A severe looking woman watched him from behind a desk. “Mr. Mikami. Thank you for joining me. You should sit down. There’s someone you need to meet and she’ll be here soon.”
     
  5. This was not what Caryn had in mind.

    For some reason, she had thought it would be a relatively simple thing to find Ryan Mikami. She had assumed that it would be tedious and likely take a while, but the mission was fairly straightforward. Find person, tell person, apologize to person for setting creature on them. Maybe take them out for a drink after she gauged how angry they were. What she had not been expecting was her search to lead her here, to the Nocturna headquarters.

    She didn't know much about Nocturna, other than it was an organization that did what she did, probably in a more organized and professional way. Personally, she wasn't sure how she felt about having a boss tell her where to go and what to take care of. She liked being on her own.. sometimes. The rest of the time, she had her little robot buddy. She glanced over at the metal creature, which was perched on her shoulder in the same manner that a parrot might perch on a pirate. It whirred and clicked at her, attempting to be comforting in the small capacity that it was able. She smiled and pet it with a finger, then kept walking down the hallway.

    She had shown up at Nocturna and explained who she was looking for. They wanted to know why. Of course, that required admitting it was entirely her fault, but she assumed that they might be better equipped to deal with the issue.

    What she hadn't expected was to be asked to stick around and come back the next day to meet Ryan in person and tell him what happened.

    So, here she was, walking down the hallway to the room she was asked to go to. This was going to be terribly unpleasant. What if Ryan was a jackass? Worse, what if he was some sort of pansy who was going to panic and cry once she told him what she had done? She grimaced to herself. What had she gotten into this time? She took a deep breath, carefully erasing the scrunched up expression, then crossed her fingers and hoped that Ryan was decent.

    "Please don't be a tool.. please don't be a tool.." she muttered to herself, falling silent as she opened the door she was supposed to go in.
     
  6. The door opening seemed to startle the severe woman, but Ryan wondered if that’s because he’d been giving her such a dead-eyed stare the last several minutes that they’d had to endure with each other. Or she was just easily startled.

    Shifting in his chair to eyeball who he’d been called down to Central for, he may have been a tad surprised when it was a young woman with a… what was that thing on her shoulder? Ryan noted that it was some intricate mechanical work, but normally the tech stuff wasn’t his area, so he marveled at it anyway. “Mr. Mikami,” the voice came from behind the desk. “This is Ms…” Some papers shuffled against the oak as she flipped through them. “Caryn. Please, Ms. Caryn, sit down next to Mr. Mikami,” she said in a sickly sweet way. Shocked by the sound, he twisted back around in his seat and eyed the woman her two-sided behavior. There was a pleasant expression on the creases of that face, but something nasty dwelled in those eyes. Ryan shuddered. It clearly wasn’t directed at him, which made him wonder even more as to the nature of this meeting.
    Ms. Caryn had seemed simple enough, with a pleasant face and interesting pet, but Ryan was sure there was more to it if she had wound up here and had warranted a face to face meeting.

    “I am Doctor Mevlar, and I am a superintendent here at Nocturna,” she started.

    “Where’s Mrs. Kiva?” Ryan had to ask. That was his superintendent, and his caretaker at the agency. The one he slaved over all the paperwork for. She wasn’t a peach by any standards, but he liked familiarity.

    “Vacation,” Dr. Mevlar said with a clear, snide frown. Immediately, she shuffled herself back to business. “Ms. Caryn here found a vase of yours, Mikami.”

    This made Ryan straighten in his chair. Most of the worst ones were kept under lock and key at Nocturna, so he had some courage that it wasn’t so bad. “She released Athos.” Closing his eyes, he swiped a big hand over his face. Of course… Rubbing his eyes, he knew that Dr. Mevlar wasn’t going to mention in front of their guest that, ultimately, it was someone’s fault at Nocturna. Athos shouldn’t have been out of the vault. Someone had whisked it away, probably for safe keeping until they learned to leash Athos before releasing him.

    “Ms. Caryn, while you are not a contractor under Nocturna, we have strict authority over supernatural matters in order to keep peace. Breaking a Level 7 Artifact, one of Mikami’s, Quinn’s, or Garen’s, is in strict violation of many rules under Articles 4, 7, and 22 of the Supernatural Peace Treaty. There are some heavy consequences in breaking those rules. However, there is some leniency when someone, such as yourself, broke a Level 7 Artifact unknowingly, and I would give you the benefit of the doubt to assume so much about yourself seeing as you turned yourself in.” Dr. Mevlar paused to take a breath and slid a paper forward. “I believe we can forget this whole thing if you would sign an agreement stating that you will do all within your power, until your untimely or natural death, unless you should survive as an incorporeal being, then until the end of your afterlife on earth, to help Mr. Ryan Mikami retrieve Subject LK3209, or ‘Athos’ and return him to his slumbering state.”
     
  7. Caryn eyed the woman with a calm expression, but something about this whole thing set her on edge. Perhaps it was just her expectation that Ryan was going to be a jerk. Though, to be honest, he didn't look like one. She hesitated, then took the seat indicated and crossed her legs as she leaned back in the chair comfortably. As was her usual, she was wearing her black cargo pants and black tank top again. Despite her grumbling in the desert, she hadn't bothered to go updating her wardrobe to sunshine and daisies. Go figure.

    She plucked her clicking robot up from her shoulder absently, setting him down in her lap to scuttle around and observe what was going on as well as the details of the room while Caryn focused on Dr. Mevlar. Superintendent. She really didn't care, but it was nice to have a name for the faintly unpleasant face.

    "Released? I broke it. Because it was sitting on the ground. Not really a fantastic hiding place.." she said, frowning a bit at the woman. As if she meant to set the damn thing loose. She was going to say something else, but the doctor interjected before she could and started explaining that she had broken rules. Peace Treaty? She blinked and gave the woman a blank stare which soon turned incredulous as she began explaining that she simply had to sign her life away.

    "Um.. what?" she finally said. "I did not break any rules. I found a vase sitting in the sand and I picked it up, and I dropped it. There were no signs posted around saying 'Hey, don't touch the thing that was poorly hidden here, it has an evil beastie in it!' I hardly think that's breaking the rules. If anything, you lot should have been more careful if you didn't want it getting out. A kid could have found that with all the hysteria over Vampires down there right now. I mean, I don't mind helping, but there is no way I'm signing anything. I don't work for you," she pointed out, shaking her head.
     
  8. Painted lips pursing to release all the hell that Doctor Mevlar surely had pent up inside of her, Ryan put a placating hand up and took the chance to speak first, before both he and Caryn burned to death in her rage. “Dr. Mevlar, Athos is my responsibility.”

    Standing and pushing his chair in, she heard her sputter with indignity. Either because protocol was ignored or because he denied her moment to unleash the ferocity of seven underworlds on the poor girl for a mistake, he wasn’t sure. At the moment, Ryan didn’t care. Instead, he was going over all the things he needed to do in his head. For starters, he had to climb into a vault and never get out, with his own little machine that turned his carbon dioxide into oxygen and biological waste into water and food. Not that that would happen, so he’d have to fall back onto another plan, like figuring out how to jam Athos back into a vase.

    Standing, Dr. Mevlar slammed her hand on the desk just subtly enough for it to seem natural, but loud enough to startle and get his attention. “I don’t think you understand, Mr. Mikami. The Council of Nocturna was informed of this and they are very concerned about the possible compromise. Contract aside,” she urged, waving a hand uselessly at the papers, “I highly suggest that you take this seriously and have Miss Caryn help you or they will pursue much crueler possibilities than having her help you fix this mess. Take that to heart, Miss Caryn.” She turned, suddenly calculating eyes alighting. “Nocturna is not a human organization and they will do whatever it takes to make sure a balance is kept, even unfair or ‘underhanded’ methods.”

    Scrubbing a hand over his face, Ryan sighed. Eyeing Caryn and her black clothes, he wondered about her competency, and what, exactly, she did to have set this off in the first place.

    “If you choose to-”

    “There will be no choice if the Council decides to take action!”

    “If you help me, Caryn, would you promise not to break anything else?” Ryan asked, a dark eyebrow quirked. The question was mostly serious, but his eyes held some modicum of amusement in them.
     
  9. Caryn crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes, meeting the angry stare of Doctor Mevlar evenly. She wasn't about to back down just because the woman got angry. It was true - she did not work for Nocturna and she had not done anything wrong. Clumsy, yes. Regrettable, yes. But illegal and punishable by signing a contract? No. Never. She eyed the woman, then looked over at Ryan as he stood up and interrupted the pissing contest. He took responsibility for the creature, managing to keep the raging Doctor silent for another minute before she stood as well. Not to be towered over, Caryn supposed.

    She sighed and looked down at the robot in her lap, gently scooping it up before she stood as well. No point staying in her seat if people were going to start throwing chairs around. She watched Mevlar closely as she snapped off a very thinly veiled threat to Ryan about the Council. Ooh, scary. Caryn rolled her eyes, then refocused on the doctor with a scowl as she was threatened as well, with even less veiling.

    "You don't scare me," she informed the woman flatly.

    She turned to Ryan, raising an eyebrow as he seemed to be looking her over. At this point, she was ready to be hostile toward him, but she mentally took a step back to try and not snap. Instead of demanding she step up, he said 'if' and made what seemed like a jest. She couldn't help but smile.

    "I make no promises, but I'll do my best," she swore, offering a hand to him to shake.
     
  10. After their handshake, and with some promise having slipped beneath their skin, Ryan was satisfied. Or, at least, as satisfied as he could be with Athos free. He’d have to cancel more appointments than previously thought. Not that that was too much of a big deal, but recapturing the bastard would require loads of-

    “Mr. Mikami.” Dr. Mevlar, solemnly fuming between all the unspoken words, placed a thick sheaf of papers on the corner of the desk. She added to the top with three manila folders filled with their individual stacks as well. Ah. Paperwork.

    Not that Ryan necessarily enjoyed doing it, but he didn’t normally have a problem. It was, after all, one of the few steady, easy things in his life. Just fill in this line, and that line, and another line. The bass of the Painted Dragon was a peace all its own. Now, however… now he begrudged it. There were few times that he had to fill out the appropriate forms to recapture, but they weren’t pleasant. A lot of detailing, recollection, explaining, all to sate the ever hungry Council. Most of them weren’t human, and some ‘higher beings’ seemed to really love the meticulous nitty-gritty.

    Of course, not all of that pile was the nitty-gritty for Athos. A lot of it, Ryan assumed, was Dr. Mevlar’s contempt for them, and she had decided to hand him the stuff that hadn’t gotten done. Without bitching about it either way, Ryan picked up the heavy lump of them, and tucked them under an arm.

    Waving his goodbye to the good doctor, he considered Caryn and figured they would both be better acquainted outside of the hissing naga’s office. Stepping out and waiting for her before shutting the replace superintendent’s door, he nodded slightly. “We can discuss things in my office, if you’d like. It’s a few minutes walk from here,” he said, faintly gesturing out the hallway.

    “Unless you’d prefer to return from wherever you’d come from. I won’t report you to Mevlar, but I won’t appreciate the gesture either,” Ryan said, straightening his back and taking his usual long strides, trusting that she’d keep pace. She seemed the quick type either way, and he supposed slowing down for her might be an offense. He would be careful to try to keep the air clear between them.

    “Athos is a nasty thing I trapped a few years back,” Ryan warned. “He won’t come at me right away. He’ll shore up his defenses while sending his… things at me to weaken me. I would be thankful of your help with them. His followers tend to look like snakes. The stronger he gets, the more of a tendency they have to change form. Before I took him out, they were beginning to imitate humans.” Leading her through the crowd, Ryan reached the heavy door to his tunnel, unlocked it and invited her in with an expressionless face. “After you.”