CLOSED PARALOGUE The Evrensel Conflict: Paralogue 1 -- The Cyber-Hangover

Henryboy003

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The group that found the Dhampir would find her in quite the predicament. Three of the men were upsidedown somewhere near the alley exit, one was currently stuck in the wall, and the last one was grabbing their neck and sputting blood from his lips before collapsing on the ground.

The girl had a few circles of glowing light floating around her interlocked with the teeth of gears and rotating slowly. The woman herself was wiping a red oily substance from her mouth and even spit some of it out with a disgusted look on her face. She glanced over to the newcomers, her eyes a deep crimson, quickly fading to a nice sky blue. "Oh good. More..." She scowled, reaching down to pick up her revolver.

"Seeing as you lot don't look like you got lost in a prosthetics factory, I assume you're not with them." The woman took the time to pop open the cylinder to her revolver and drop out three spent brass casings into her hand which were quickly stuffed in her pocket and replaced by new ones. "If you're going to try something now would be the time to do it." Karena spoke idly as she snapped the cylinder shut and cocked the hammer. The glowing rings around her body slowly began to fade. She even waited a few seconds for them to do anything before slipping her revolver back in the holster on her hip.

She didn't fully trust the newcomers, nor did she even know where she was. Walls of smooth stone, metal, and a Bakelite trash can. This place was... weird. "You can call me Karena." She stated simple before taking the time to wipe some dust from her jacket, inspecting the bullet hole in the shoulder with a frown. "And you should probably not be here." She gestured to the rest of them. "The Marshall should be showing up soon due to the gunfire, and I don't want you lot getting mixed up in my bullshit. If I'm even anywhere near Grace." She let out small sigh as she mumbled the last sentence to herself.

"Can one of you tell me the name of this city, had a... bender last night and got a little lost."
 

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Abigail Delano, Courier Six-Played by Amber Franklin


Anri’s smile had given Abby a smile to match. This was an odd girl, but she was still a young girl to Abby. With all these things going on and peculiar people around, to see a kid was still nice. Her behavior was also not unusual to the Courier.

Abby listens to everyone as they throw in their two caps on the matter, her ears accustomed to the rattle of guns and general chaos that come from nearby. For her part it does not make her take a battle-ready stance, as the noise nearest to the landing zone was loud but also quick, meaning whatever happened was over before any of them could run to investigate. The only action she takes is sling the Death Pod off her back and holds it in one hand while walking.

The display on her helmet is a high-tech tool that Abby does not fully understand. It was like a Pip-Boy worn on your head to her and she was still getting accustomed to how it automatically targets and gives distance in a unit she does not understand such as it does with all of the bodies they find in the alley, and the last woman standing.

Now, Abby is not the smartest woman to ever live; but she knows blood and seeing one man bleeding out on the ground with someone else wiping blood from their mouth is an easy equation. This, and the woman’s revolver and light show, do give her more pause and caution. The kid, Anri, got to introducing herself and looting without a care.

Eh, kids don't know better than to be cautious sometimes.

The woman gives her name as Karena, and fair warning for if they're planning to attack, then a question about where they are. Abby keeps her hands on her Death Pod but the weapon low. If this possible cannibal tried anything, she would witness how fast Abby was with her quickdraw.
 

Wade Von Doom

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~~GM~~

Even with how similar she seemed to look on the outset to fit in with this world, on account of all the prosthetic limbs, you put any practical thinking into it, she definitely did not fit into this world. The style and technology of her limbs differed from her attackers, and the light that surrounded her body was clearly magical in some capacity, or just looked it. Not fitting with the insane cyberware the attackers had.

Karena definitely fit the mold for a 'scattered.'

"Uhhh... Hi, Karena. I'm Alec," he introduced himself, signaling Abby to lower her gun a little bit to deescalate things. "And you're in a place called 'Night City.' But, we," he pointed to the entire group, "Don't actually live here. We just arrived, and I have a very good feeling I know how you got here to begin with, but... It's a bit... complicated." Saying you were kidnapped by robots and transported across the multiverse is a hard sell.

"And, I'll be honest, I'm sure law enforcement of some kind will wanna investigate this." With that, Alec was quick to holster his weapon once more, "So, I know it's quite a leap in trust, but if you would be willing to come with us, I can explain everything to you. We won't hurt you or do anything to put you in harms way." He looked to the group once more, hoping they would follow his lead in being a bit more friendly to her. Then, he took his leave quickly back to the street, since he saw something along the side of the road that looked like it could help.

Cyberpunk-2077_20201210155030-scaled.jpg
A 'Data term' as it was called. It projected a hologram of Night City from above, and since his omni-tool was compatible with it, (thanks to some modifications to make the device 'multiversal' by the Doctors before they disappeared,) Alec was easily able to connect to its wireless systems.

He downloaded all available information within it, which laid out the other Data Terms around the city that had specific names of the locations they were based in, along with the names of the Districts and Sub-Districts of the city itself. It would make navigation a hell of a lot easier now for them with a proper map. Now there was one last issue: Transportation.


Thankfully as well, the Data Term had available transport to rent with Taxi's, and even a list of what kind of transport you needed for rent. This was great! For once, things were going swimmingly with figuring all this stuff out. They couldn't take a bus, they would need space for themselves for all the supplies they got, and a normal taxi would be too small to house all ten of them.

That left one, and the most expensive, option. "Well... this won't be inconspicuous." Alec muttered to himself, before returning to the group. "Alright! So, we're in a Distruct called 'Watson,' specifically 'Northside.' Closest local market from here is a bazaar called 'Kabuki,' so we'll make our start there to find supplies, and make our way through the city from there if we need to look elsewhere. I'll be in charge of finding the food, but we'll need people to find medicine and ammo stocks. Who's volunteering for which?"
 
Idan scoffed under his breath. Out of all the people to be working under, of course his leader would be the type to pick the easiest job for himself. But Idan knew better than to voice such thoughts aloud, unless he was looking to make quick enemies.

With a degree of disguised trepidation, Idan stepped forward, "While I don't use 'em much myself, I know how 'nd where we could find some guns in a city like this." Idan then proceeded to make a show of patting down his ragged clothes. "Easiest option 'ere in America would require some I.D. 'nd I left that behind when those..." His head briefly turned to cannibalistic Karena, as if considering his words. "...know-it-all cunts swooped me up."

"Meanin' that we need some... creative work'rounds. Luckily for us, seems like this city's full of 'em."
He gestured to his ears as the ambeint sounds of gunshots rung out into the city. "With 'nough cash 'nd scary lookin' folks, I could drum us up a little payload."
 

Girania the Knightess

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Anri

Medicine, Ammunition, or Food… Normally, Anri would immediately volunteer for the food procurement mission, as she would hunt and forage as fast as she could, finding little things here and there that everyone could feast on! But not this time. There was nothing to hunt. Nothing to forage. There was no scents of animal or even crushed berries that leaked juice. It was as if this place was completely devoid of natural sustenance. There was the smell of cooked food from the distance, sure, but it was strange. There was something off about the way it smelled. So, as much as it hurt her pride to do this, she would not accept the food run. She would also have to say no to the medicine run as well, since she only knew the salves and magic that treated wounds from back in the Orde, and she wouldn't be able to find anything that could make the former in this barren place.

So all that was left is…

"Ammunition!", exclaimed Anri. "I can find those! I know what to look for, so I can bring back lots of it!"

Anri did not know that what she had were but a single type of ammo, and that there were plenty of sniper rounds, revolver bullets, shotgun shells, and grenades that Night City not only had to offer, but likely had stockpiled in any given area of the city.

"You can count on Anri!"
 

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"Alec... Anri..." She glanced around to the others and then to the guns on the ground.

"I guess those don't count?" She stated still a bit weary of those around her. The man she had bit finally sputtering dead. "These cocksuckers aren't suing them anymore. And I have my own." She slowly walked over to the entrance to the alleyway and her eyes went wide. Instantly those rings of light reappeared as she took in her surroundings. "You know. Starting to think I am... just a bit lost..." Her mind wanted her to calm down. Her body wanted her to calm down. But that little voice inside her, the voice of the man that trained her spoke 'Karena, Never calm down'. So she was stuck in a state of constant flux at the moment. The situation just made it worse.

She quickly turned around and glanced to the others. "You're not gonna like... eat me are you. Or turn me into a gear or some shit. Right?"
 

Otomos

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(@BazusoTheGrey) Though this man (Oliver, as he had introduced himself) had helped her, Chika was not able to muster the energy to thank him. It was rude, but it wasn't intended to be as such. Plus the recovery from the coughing fit was still in progress. Still, he went out of his way to introduce himself after helping her, and though the spirits continued their noises in her mind, she could at least figure a way to respond in kind.

"Kobayashi Chika."

As her recovery finished, and her body finally adjusted to the new enviornment's norm, she took another moment to look at her new acquaintance. Suffice to say, his appearance was unlike anything Chika had seen. Armor of curious design, and pieces that did not seem to fit together aesthetically. Granted, she was no stranger to seeing warriors wearing armor pieces that were random and likely scavenged off the battlefield, but this seemed different.

"Your armor is strange", she said. Using that unintentionally rude tone. "It is foreign to me. I... do not know the practicality.... of your helmet."

Chika paid little heed to the goings on of the others. Even when they brought a new companion with them, she figured that they were to do what they wished in the course of the errand. What she did hear was the important part and the newcomer's concerns. They were splitting into teams to get the supplies they need, and the newcomer was worried about them eating her.

Chika looked to Karena (@Henryboy003), and responded to her with, "We are more likely to have you travel with us than kill you."

As for the tasks, Chika herself needed a moment to figure out what to help with. For now, she looked to her acquaitance.

"Which will you look for, Oliver?", she asked. "Food, Medicine, or equipment?"
 

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Agatha Brandt

Agatha held her pistol at the ready, but she didn't holster it just yet. After all, she was pretty confident that they are in the presence of a vampire. Just thinking of it made Agatha feel uneasy. While it was true that a vampire with magic wouldn't be the craziest thing she'll see, it left quite an impression on Agatha regardless. As the vampire who called herself Karena holstered her weapon, Agatha did the same. And based on Karena's comment on the situation, she was pretty lost. Could it be that she's like them?

Alec got busy with a trinket of his and a terminal of sorts, coming back with some information. None of it rang any bells for Agatha, but it appeared he also got a map, as he pointed them towards somewhere. Then, he proposed to split up to look for resources if needed, which made sense. Agatha sensed a tad bit of hostility from Idan, but she disregarded it and allowed the team to continue to volunteer for each task.

She then focused on Karena, who was still internally debating what was going on around her. She even thought she would be turned... into a gear? Yes, definitively a fellow scattered. "Not to worry, it is like the woman said. We're not here to harm you... If anything, we could do with another set of hands working with us."

Having said her piece, Agatha turned to Alec "I'll fetch us some meds" She then remembered her few memories of big cities before the war "I got the feeling that this is going to be quite the task..." Agatha added with a melancholic sigh. Though after a few seconds she snapped back to reality "Oh! By the way, name's Agatha" she concluded.
 

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Oliver, Fifth Grade Fixer

Oliver mentally raises an eyebrow at Chika's confusion over his head or as she called it, his helmet. It wasn't exactly common for someone in The City to get a full-body replacement but come on. You'd think that people switching out their bodies for metal would be a more common thing in the multiverse or something. Or not? Meh, he can shelve that train of thought for another time.

"You talking about this?" he asks as he knocks a fist unto the stylized respirator that is his face, "Shaped like this cause my boss liked the look and decided to wear this sorta mask everywhere he went. It was practically an unofficial part of the uniform." He doesn't explain the idea of body replacements or respirators. Judging by how she looks and how she looks at him, it'd probably take a second or two to explain that sorta thing to her.

Looking past her, he observes the introduction of what seemed to be another person who shared the group's situation. Oliver couldn't really say much about her. Aside from the weird gear lights and what looked like some blood stains on her clothes, she was pretty average looking. She was obviously a danger in some way, but if she shared the same situation as the rest of his foreseeable workmates then it was likely that any danger she brought with her wouldnt't be a problem if nobody fucked around.

Best to keep things friendly then. He'd be prepared for if she started shit, of course, but with the amount of workmates he had on hand, things probably wouldn't go too badly if she actually decided to start shit.

Just after Chika finishes her response to Karena, he responds with a cheery-toned, "What she said. I can't see any one of us being psycho enough to eat other people, and the only gear type thing i'm seeing around here is you." As he says his piece, he relaxes his stance to look as non-threatening as possible. His boss always complained about how his comments tended to spook some of the more well-off clientele, so he tends to try using body language whenever he introduces himself.

His little introduction done, he stands back and listens as the mission parameters are set by Alec and the others chime in with their own responses and comments. All the while he stays back and observes. He would be happy being delegated to whichever job needed an extra man, so he simply waited for the everyone to finish, up until Chika decides to ask him what he was going to do.

He turns to her then, somewhat stiffly, before bringing a hand up to his 'chin' in thought. After a moment he speaks, "Can't say I'd be much good looking for food. This..." he taps the area around his stomach, "can be fueled by just about anything." He pauses a second before he nods to himself "Send me out on an equipment run. Part of being a Fixer is picking out good equipment. That or recognizing when you're being given shitty equipment."
 

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~~GM~~

"Alright then," with everyone picking off where they want to go, Alec was quick to work out a small transfer sum to Idan, "Let's make this.... what, fifty grand? I doubt we'll stay long enough for whatever this city's version of the IRS to come around to investigate where all this money came from. Anri, Oliver, Chika, you three follow his lead," With Oliver being the closest to probably fitting into this city, and being the most familiar with it, he would transfer the money over to him.

"Oli, once you guys get everything, or if things go bad, you just give us a ping and we'll come a knockin'... Oh, and keep the money away from Idan," he whispered that last part to Oli once Idan wasn't looking at him, as while Alec explained everything, their ride appeared before them.

pawel-breshke-czyzewski-rarog-p-7.jpg


A limousine, big enough to fit all of them, and with very comfy looking leather seats, and two bottles of champagne to share around. "Oooooooh, that's bigger than I thought," Alec admitted, as the limo doors opened wide for them all.

"Welcome onboard this Delamain service! With Delamain, you leave your problems at the door!" The AI spoke aloud through the speakers, awaiting everyone to get inside.

"Abby, you can go with Agatha and help her find meds. Karena, if you come with us, I promise I'll explain everything." Alex told them all.
 

LenxKaitoYaoi

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Voláre wanted nothing more than to get out of here, but Alec's call to depart made him give a quiet whimper and follow. He felt like he really had no choice here when it was phrased like that, and he certainly didn't want to upset the already seemingly angry Idan any further by going back to the elevator.



Once they arrived on the world he was a little disoriented, but followed the group as closely as he could. The city was… not sightly, and he found himself coughing a fair bit since arrival. The air was rather… unfavorable. He was not sure how many people survived in this sort of environment. Then again, it didn't look like there were too many as much.

If the scream that resounded through the air was enough to freeze Alec it sure as hell was enough to freeze the ice mage. At least until the group decided they needed to follow it. Why!? It didn't sound like anything good! But… if someone needed help…

He once more followed the group with a small whine, and then promptly hid behind Abby at the sight they were greeted with. Abby was the only one seemingly poised to retaliate what seemingly was a one woman army. That made him feel safe enough to hide behind her for the moment. No one was sure this woman could be trusted and yet they wanted her to tag along? He was seriously concerned about how far this group will get before they're all killed.

Thankfully they were splitting up, which meant he could get away from the crazy woman that could potentially eat them, if her appearance earlier was anything to go by. Did he make it obvious Karena was terrifying yet?

With the groups decided, Voláre choosing to stick with his current protector of choice and help scout of medicines to take back with them, he was somewhat relieved. He did have a few issues though. This place was entirely unfamiliar territory to him, and he surely hoped they didn't plan on just up and stealing what they needed. He couldn't pay for anything, and he wasn't even sure he'd recognize any medicines if he saw them here…
 

Girania the Knightess

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…Continues Onward…
Anri

@Otomos @BazusoTheGrey

A trio of travelers, going into the city for equipment! Not quite all that grandiose, but Anri was glad that she was going to get to know Oliver and Chika more now. Anri knew precious little about her new companions, so she was curious about each and every one of them. With Chika and Oliver, she would have a great many questions. Why's Oliver's helmet look funny? How come Chika's voice sounds the way it does? How old are they? What's their favorite foods? Have they fought monsters? Do they wanna fight monsters? Do they wanna go on a hunt with her sometime? Would they like to meet her small orb friend? Etc. etc. etc. She has a lot of questions.

A strange carriage eventually made it to them, and a calm, but somewhat happy-sounding voice greeted them inside. She hopped in quickly, and found the seats soft and weird. She never appreciated things softer than wood unless it was clothing. She more used to thin sleeping rolls at best. Still, that did nothing to stop her excitement.

"Where to first? Where to first?"

Anri knew what money was, and what it was used for, but she had barely ever used it. The only times she had, were to buy food that she wanted. Hopefully Oliver and Chika knew how to use it properly… and not the mistake of entrusting any of it to Anri, who would most assuredly not use it responsibly.
 

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"Abby, you can go with Agatha and help her find meds. Karena, if you come with us, I promise I'll explain everything." Alex told them all.
"You damn well better..." Karena growled a little under her breath.

"I've been in some weird situations before but this... this is new to me." She replied. "If need by I can accompany Mr. Robot over there. After all I did build this." She gave her right arm a knock and wiggled her fingers. Then she looked down at her own clothing, and the blood covering it just a little. "Anyone have anything for this? Or am I just going to need to find a laundry mat..." If only she had something to clean the damn things, but oh well. She had a sewing kit with her, so at least she could fix the cuts and bullet holes in her jacket...

This self inspection did allow her to catch the strange looks from at least a few of them.

Thankfully they were splitting up, which meant he could get away from the crazy woman that could potentially eat them, if her appearance earlier was anything to go by. Did he make it obvious Karena was terrifying yet?
"For some reason I get the feeling of fear from you... I'm not a vampire, my father was, I'm only half, A Dhampire if you will." She gave a small smile, her fangs on display as if it were nothing to her.
 

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~~GM~~

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The trip was a short one, dropping off both groups at the same location. A roundabout with a small market within the trench between the road and the main building in the center. As Alec promised, he gave Oliver and Idan a 'credchip,' this world's version of a credit chit, apparently. $50,000 was on it.

Hopefully that doesn't come back to bite them in the ass.

luke-abbott-cyberpunk-market.jpg


THE ROUNDABOUT MARKET

To enter the dugout was to be met with a strange concoction of sweet smells and disgusting views. It was a bazaar of businesses, whether food shops that made and sold exotic meals right there for the paying customer, or clothing vendors who stitched together shirts, jackets, pants and shoes in a matter of minutes like a conveyor belt. Of course, how good the food was, and how authentic the fabric they were using was depended on how you viewed such marketplaces.

Especially as when you looked around the corners of all these shops, trash littered the ground into massive piles, with hobos sleeping against trash cans, or passed out with their face cradled against the concrete ground with a bottle of booze close at hand. Most of the people in the markets were also packed with augmentations, from their eyes having colorful irises or logos like hearts or skulls, cyberware decorated along their facial features, to entire limbs decked out in chrome. A leg or an arm was completely robotic, shiny with chrome like fancy jewelry.

The languages spoken were a mix of Japanese and Mandarin, yet the advertisements and shops themselves were only in Chinese. Alec, taking charge, hadn't a clue where to start looking to buy food and meds in this place. "Uhhh..." His translator didn't translate text, and he stood there rubbing his palm against his forehead in trying to think up a plan. ".... Anyone speak.... this?" He actually wasn't sure what language was on all the shops.

There was no shortage of food vendors, each offering different types of food. But there was also a clothing merchant not too far away, and what seemed to be a gun merchant just opposite them. Just beyond them was also a cyberware vendor that sold... well, cyberware.​
 

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Abigail Delano, Courier Six-Played by Amber Franklin



The more Abigail saw of this city, the more she felt a pang of something in her chest remembering New Vegas. This market space they walked was probably somewhat how The Strip would look if it weren't for House keeping the desolation and desperation of the Mojave at bay. The Securitrons would have physically carried away the people sleeping in the alleys, and other robots carried away the junk as well.

House would probably be envious of all the neon. This amuses Abby, for a few seconds until she remembers that House was building The Strip outward. Out and over the squalor of Freeside. To look at her, you would not see the shift in her face behind the helmet. All one would see is Abby turning her head to search the vendors.

"I'm thirsty." says Abby to Alec and the others. She breaks from the group towards the nearest vendor stall that was selling beverages. Since she also could not read the squiggles on everything, Abby decides to just ask directly.

"Howdy. Any of this the strong stuff?" Abby asks of the vendor. Since she had been focused on getting her Death Pod working again, Abby had not imbibed any alcohol in some time. Too long. When she was sober, her head was clear. And when her head was clear, Abby got to thinking about things that just bother her.
 

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1677544954732.png "Just got a shipment of Bumelant this morning. Strongest I got available today. Bottle each is three-sixty," the vendor told her, reaching down to show her the bottle quality.

"Whoa, Abs," Alec quickly made his way over to her upon realizing what she was buying. "I don't mean to kill your incentive of buying booze, especially at one in the afternoon from a guy selling it out in the open," Alec remarked sarcastically, which was the lightest way of saying this was a sketchy place to buy alcohol from.

"Hey, I have a permit!" The guy said back to Alec. What neither of the two knew was it had experienced three months back, and you still can't sell liquor outside establishments. But that wasn't gonna stop him from making a quick buck.

"But I would prefer we kept our focus straight, and not... 'distract' ourselves. We're not from here, so we should just play it safe, get our bearings, find what we need, then get back home and get hammered." As fun as getting drunk on an alternate version of Earth was, Alec was deadset on making sure there were no cock-ups this time around.
 

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"Jackpot!" exclaims Abby. She holds out the thing Alec had given her to buy supplies, but Alec himself pauses the sale. For only a few moments as he makes his case that she shouldn't.

"Al, you know I can hold my drink. One drink ain't gonna do nothin' to me. Relax. Have one yourself.Give us one each." explains and encourages Abby as she completes the sale and gives one bottle each to Alec and the others before taking hers. She takes off the helmet, with some issue since it has an air seal, but manages and sets it on the ground while she opens her bottle and has a drink; one long drink that emptied the bottle.

"Well. That's different. Tastes kinda like…cheap whiskey. But it ain't whiskey." Abby smacks her lips, and contemplates the taste of the alcohol she had downed. It was novel enough to take her mind off New Vegas without really affecting her yet. All she felt was a burn down her throat, and a familiar warmth radiating out from the center of her torso.
 

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Probably not often. I’m more likely to be found on FanFiction and Discord.
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  1. No Preferences
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Yaoi, modern/fantasy, fantasy, horror, romance and so on.
Voláre practically hid in Abby's shadow when the groups had been decided and they split up. The place was unlike anything he had seen to be sure, and as they continued on he was less comfortable by the minute. They were supposed to find useful supplies here? He wasn't so sure he trusted anything here to be useful, much less any medication to do what it should or work at all…

He was rather shocked when Abby stopped not for supplies, but alcohol. He blinked, looking rather concerned. This place was shady enough, why would anyone buy anything consumable from here?? Why did Abby want to!? When Alec chimed in and tried to stop her, he nodded in agreement vehemently with the Scotsman. This was a bad idea.

But they were ignored, and not only after ignoring them Abby proceeded to hand them a bottle each- she handed him a bottle. He looked rather unsure about this. Sure, he was tall, but he was young and he hadn't ever had a drink before. He was barely old enough to do so and this was most definitely not the place he wanted to have his first drink at. So here he stood, holding alcohol he neither trusted nor wanted at the moment, watching in concern as Abby chugged the whole bottle she had. He would simply try his best to make sure she was taken care of if that were poisoned, he supposed. Now really might be a good time to go looking for medicine, which prompted him to look at Alec and tug on his sleeve. They should hurry, just in case… and he was the one in charge around here right?
 

Valkan

Boondock Saints Enthusiast
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Agatha Brandt

Things started to move along smoothly with Karena, so Agatha stopped concerning about her at the moment. The plan started to get in motion. She was paired with "Abby", Alec's girl. Agatha kept to herself during the ride, simply thinking of what would be the most useful medications to get.

They quickly got sidetracked, as Abby went looking for booze. Wonderful. Fantastic even. When Agatha was offered a bottle, she pushed it away and shook her head. "I don't drink while on the clock" she stated dryly. She would wait a moment to see what they would do with their bottles. As she was not going to take one, regardless of how much they tried to force it onto her.
 

Wade Von Doom

All Caps when you spell the man's name
Original poster
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
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Writing Levels
  1. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, modern, horror, a bit of dark romance stories.
The drink was entirely synthesized, which was why it tasted strange. Not a single grain of wheat or barley was inside the bottle, as this world, or specifically this City, barely had any real food in it. Everything was made of synthesized proteins. Because of that, Abby would immediately feel the drink take effect; the curvature of the world subtly becoming tilted, and things seemed ever so slightly dizzy to look at.

Alec wasn't convinced by Abby's logic, as between the two of them, she was the lightweight. And the smell of her open bottle was strong as he put his nose up to the rim for a quick sniff. "Ooooh, I don't think--" He was about to warn her further from drinking this stuff, before he was cut off by a peculiar voice.

"Pardon me!" A high-pitched, English accent called out from behind the group, "Didn't mean to eavesdrop, but you each stand out quite a bit in the crowds here. Are you really not from here? As in... Not from 'this' world?"

"Uh... Yeah, we aren't." Alec hesitantly answered, even if the man asking looked just as out of place as the rest of them.

"Oh, wonderful! You have no idea how long I've been searching for
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more 'scattered' like us! Especially with how mad this city can be. Can cause all sorts of problems if you don't know where you're going. But, I'm getting ahead of myself! I'm Patches. Patches the Unbreakable. A free-spirited, nomadic merchant who's found myself traveling the newly open roads of these interconnected worlds."
Patches even did a little bow to the team as a sign of humble pleasantry.

"Well, um... I'm Alec," Alec introduced himself, offering a hand to shake.

"Pleasure to meet ya, Alec!" Patches shook back with enthusiasm in his voice, happy they're starting off on such a good foot. "If you need to find your way around the city, I'm more than happy to help. I've been scouting around the whole city for the last few days, trying to get my bearings. And now, I know where to go for any of your needs, and where best to avoid entirely, should you wish to not anger any of the numerous gangs here."

While Patches made his pitch, Abby would hear someone behind them as well. A man taking issue with another vendor, this time over a bowl of chicken noodle stir-fry. The voice would be very familiar to her.

"Look, your damn sign says 'fresh ingredients,' so when I ask if you mean REAL food, I mean REAL ingredients, not this fuckin' synthetic crap everyone else is peddling!"

"I'm sorry, sir, but shouting will not change our refund policy," the vendor was trying to be polite, but his customer was getting slightly more obnoxious with his anger with each rebuttle.

"No, you fucking sold me a false bill of goods here! I took barely a bite out of this, it's only been like four-five minutes since I left, I think you can at least have the good faith yourself to give me my money back!"

"All sales are final, sir. If you really want real ingredients, you'll have to try the City Center. But, you paid for it, and had every chance to change your mind while you saw me work until I handed you over the bowl."

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"Yeah, and great work you did. I'm sure opening a fuckin' packet of flavoring powder was really difficult to spray over the noodles."
With that, the man chucked his food all over the vendor's kitchen counter, before throwing the bowl across the ground and making his leave up the stairs to the roundabout above. Abby would catch his face as he left.