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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Romdeaux, Sep 22, 2015.
"It was nine years ago... Yes.. Nine years to the day. That girl walked into my bar, ten years old, and shot me full in the head. No matter how hard you get shot, you don't forget something like that... Not in a million years.."
"Old man, who the hell are you talking to?"
She spoke with a voice about the consistency of pumice, with the vestiges of an old New York accent threatening to be apparent. She was tall, maybe five foot seven, with hair the color of pomegranate. Perhaps the most striking thing about the girl was the way she was strong-arming a man, nearly twice her size, into submission. She tied the man to a chair with relative ease and sauntered over the bar upon gagging him. She grabbed a whiskey glass from the end of the counter, it was scratched in a few places and could've been worse for wear, but if could talk it probably would have told you it didn't want to be alive. She shoved it at the elderly man behind the counter.
"Scotch, on the rocks, sir. And put it on my tab."
"And I suppose you think that'll fool me into letting you drink, won't it? Listen here, E. We might be facing a world-wide catastrophic disaster for the hundredth year in a row, and you may be an incredibly skilled mercenary who doesn't take no for an answer. But you are nineteen years old and the affects of alcohol on your underdeveloped brain could be dangerous."
"Did you just call me stupid?"
"Yes. But no matter, call me old-fashioned, it's my bar, and I don't serve minors."
"Mark my words, old man, I'll get you when you least expect it..."
Eden marched proudly out the room as the finished her sentence. Out of the room and into the alley outside of the Lemon Pop club. The club used to be a rather exciting hangout for young people, but after the attacks on lower Manhattan, it eventually went out of business and fell into decay. 25 or so years ago, a middle aged man, who at the time was fairly important in the counter-movement against the netrunners, took refuge in its walls, and to this day, Darren Korb lives in the disestablished LP club. It was only 9 years ago that He met Eden, at the time, a young girl trying to find her next meal. The man who offered that meal was a mob boss looking for the head of Mr. Korb. And so the story goes. What happened between shooting him and her coming to be his adopted daughter, who knows...
Eden always had a certain love of the atmosphere her home provided, Darren's harsh-yet-kind attitude, the worn couches, not having been upholstered in decades. She left the building with that raw smile that only home can bring, but it faded soon enough, she was a budding adult born into a wasteland, constantly reminded of what civilization once looked like. Eden sighed moisture into the air, condensing into a cloud that skewed her vision of the alley. She closed her eyes and leaned her back against a nearby lamp post, flickering above her in the sparse electricity from Greenwich.
'Someday...this will all be behind us, won't it?'
Location: Outside the Lemon Pop club
A city full of good folks, bad folks, idiots, and geniuses; people. That was all it was now a days in the post apocalyptic city according to some of the occupants, the people trying to focus on the now instead of the past. There were others though whose mere presence could bring back the anger, the fear, and the hope of those olden days with what they did or how they looked. Along the northern border between Central Park and the upper east side was one of those grim if not rejuvinating reminders of the previous years. There, a group of militia were going about their business, carrying their variety of weapons and equipment while they upheld the duty of making sure that nothing dangerous slipped into the markets and food dispensaries behind their entry point.
Among them though were a group of uniformed soldiers standing next to a wartime armored vehicle, their masked gaze scanning the area before them for more serious issues. They were a small group of about four people, and their presence would've easily blended in with the militia if it weren't for a special emblem sewn on their shoulders; the Crazy Charlie emblem.
One of the lucky four standing in the spotlight was Aldway, one of the many operators that were sent to make sure things went by smoothly. He spent the tedious shift standing on the roof of the vehicle, his uniform jacket folded up in the car with his helmet and rifle. There were many things for him to see from today's amazing technology to today's blatant signs of poverty, but he typically kept such distractions buried elsewhere. Such a heavy focus on the job though was interrupted when a subordinate held a plastic container full of handmade cigarettes to the man, convincing him to hop down and join the coversation.
"Naw thanks man. Where'd ya get that anyways?" Aldway asked, the soldier returning a shrug as he stuffed away the container.
"Bumped into a guy sellin' 'em. Was fuckin' growin' a patch behind his stand. Hey you listen to Pat yet? Idiot's spouting off about how we didn't get the action job again."
"Well remind him this is a crucial entry point for some folks, will ya? If that don't work remind him of the time he got shot in the ass on his first run through a hot zone."
With that the two started chuckling, but even the light of the moment didn't settle down the mood. Everything was tense, primarily because of the recent news. It wasn't exactly fear the militias and the soldiers felt though, but a more 'edgy' and eager mood that had influenced them. Fear in a fight happens when the bullets start coming your way.
Yan Wade First Post MusicThe sun was meager this time of year, not enough to really give any warmth, especially not when the sun was setting, but he couldn't help sitting in the window sill attempting to bathe in its warmth. Some would say it's his nature, others would say it was merely his choice, but he knew better. In the end he just wanted to sit in the sun because the warmth on him was soothing in more than one way, it would allow him to slip peacefully into deep sleep. Sadly today was not a day that he would catch much sleep. Sanchez' attention was quickly torn from the little warmth the sun provided to his master as he exploded from his chair, tearing off the glasses that covered his face as he yelled expletives into the apartments quiet atmosphere.
"Fucking shit! Sweet Jesus what the fuck was that!?" Wade yelled as he quickly stood from his chair; "The Dive Chair" is what it was called on the market, but Wade had just went with "Uncomfortable" as a good nickname, because it was a terrible chair; ripping IVs from his arms he quickly turned to his left and focused his attention on multiple screens. Each had graphs and statistics, data and figures. The one that Wade was instantly focused on was the screen to the upper-right, on it shown a simple three letter abbreviation, LOC, 'Loss of Contact, fuck so I really did lose it...' he thought as he quickly moved his fingers on a screen to the left.
The screen switched from data that was being wired from a non-responding bot to a satellite feed. The picture was fuzzy and the computer did the best it could to clean up the picture but there was only so much it could do, "Hell not like I can expect much from an old satellite network anyway" Wade reluctantly said as he took a seat in a real chair. He watched the screen intently, the picture slowly panning to the left as the satellite made its orbit high above. To the right he could see a freeway come into view, and then what he had been wanting to see was visible. A small convoy of black SUVs, just seven strong was stopped in the middle of an overpass, the forward most SUV was up in flames, as well as one of the SUVs in the middle of the convoy. At least that much was evident from the fuzzy picture. "Well shit." Wade said as he waited for the camera to readjust the picture once more.
As it moved up the Freeway he finally saw what he had wanted to know. A rectangular shape with a circular turret on top and a large barrel extending forward toward the convoy. "Why the fuck is there a Soviet Era tank there, how the fuck is it still even operational?! More importantly why wasn't I told...?" he said as he directed his gaze to Sanchez. The cat merely yawned and plopped his head back down on the window sill. "Fuck it I still got payed in advance, not my problem what happens to an East African Drug Lord now, right Sanchez?" he said to his cat in hope of some reassurance. Sanchez merely lay there, finally asleep. "Someone else will take his place" he said under his breath, slightly upset at Sanchez' lack of acknowledgement.
'Whatever you stupid cat' Wade thought as he pulled on a long sleeve shirt. Grabbing a tie from his table he deftly tied it around his neck, cinching it to the top and started toward the door. Making his way through the small living space his loft provided he quickly approached a closet, the paint on the door was worn and chipping in some places, but it was nothing that bothered Wade too much. He opened the door and grabbed the matching jacket to go with his pants, his suit finally complete he turned to the door snatching his keys off the small table to the left of the door he made his way into the busy streets of New York.
Sanchez awoke to the door closing and the sound of the deadbolts being set in place, he hopped down from the window sill and made his way to a window closer to the street. Watching as his master made his way across the street, past the neon lights of the businesses on the other side he let out a small meow and his master disappeared into the stream of people out in the streets.
'Never gets any better' Wade thought as he rubbed his right side, the pain and tenderness from what he could only imagine was a 125mm sabot round was there, and yet he was still alive. Really halfway across the world there was what he could only imagine to be a disembodied torso of one of his many bots laying powerless next to a burning SUV, with two legs laying somewhere close by. 'Better it than me...' he thought as he rounded a corner. The street lights slowly flickered to life, as what little power Greenwich supplied to street lighting was diverted to likely more important needs. As he walked Wade watched the people all around him, many were wearing multiple layers of clothing, some wore suits like him, but there was one thing almost all had in common, the looks on their faces tended to be troubled.
Crossing the street he made his way past a young girl with red hair leaning up against a light post. He'd seen her there before a couple of times, sometimes with bruises, or bandages, or just looking normal. Either way she always seemed to draw his attention. Almost as if he had seen her before but he could never really put a pin on exactly where, 'Maybe during a dive...' Wade shuttered at the thought, shunning it entirely, 'No way a girl so young would have ever been near one of my bots...' the thought was vaguely familiar to him but Wade didn't like the idea what so ever.
Wade pressed on toward the Eastern entry to Central Park, 'I hope my vendor has the good Colombian Blend back in.' he thought in desperate need of a cup of coffee.
It had been warm that morning. Well not so warm, the shadows reached out like dead fingers, sending shivers down the spines of those poor souls who were just now wandering home. There was almost a tangible malice to the shade and the workers of the graveyard shift hesitated at the edge of each rare beam of light, the taste of fear compelling them to stay. Those few instinctual moments never lasted long before what could be mistaken for common sense kicked in and drove then towards their shitty little homes, in this shitty little town, on this planet that had long gone to shit. Just how Della liked it. Alright, maybe liked was a bit to strong, but she had to have some kind of appreciation for the city's condition, without things as they were she would be out of a job. Then again people were always looking for a distraction, and as long as there was a demand people like Della would always exist.
Della glided down the street with a lazy ease, her path only occasionally interrupted as she dodged around the shuffling zombies of the workforce. Besides a pair of heavy cargo pants, and an old grey sweat shirt she had only a small brown paper bag balanced in the crook of her arm. The board beneath her feet hummed away happily as its engine had shaken off the night's chill hours ago, and while it look so banged and dented that some might even be inclined to wonder how it was still running, it ran so smoothly that you could have balanced a glass of water on it without fear of it tipping over. Apartment buildings and store fronts stretched on out of sight, each block a repeat of the next. Always the same grimy little convenience store, that stocked the same items, and sometimes Della swore that it was the same man that ran the stores as well, even when it was a women she was still pretty sure that it was somehow the same person. Today she bypassed the corner stores in favor of getting home that much quicker, though she hid it well her body grumbled at the offence of remaining upright and cussed bitterly when she dodged and weaved through the thin crowd. If she was quick she might just earn herself a nice nap before she had to go out again.
With that thought to placate her angry body she leaned forward and her speed increased enough that she got a few cold looks as people felt a gust of air nip at their clothing as she sped past. A turn three blocks after the mad woman with the frizzled shock of purple hair who likes to gesture menacingly at passersby, another turn five blocks down from the general store that never got around to fixing the three bullet holes in the left window, cross the street with the vaguely sculptural dwelling of the silent homeless man, and there Della finally stopped in front of an old brick apartment. The bars covering the front door showed signs of attack with dents and slashes evenly spread across the surface, the door showed similar abuse, but unlike an unfortunate few this at least was still on its hinges.
"Della!" Something smashed into her from behind as the weary woman turned to pull her apartment door closed. The voice, however, that had greeted her did not belong to the assailant. No as Della turned around she had to hold her arm out, all while still precariously balancing her board and a bag of groceries, to fend off the eager affections of a large dog.
"Peter!" Della said her voice given bitter tones by the ache in her bones. A head of scraggly hair peeked cautiously around from the end of the hall way, and Della gave a deep sigh. "Shouldn't you be in class?"
"It doesn't start for another hour." Peter said stepping into the hallway to pull the still excited dog off of his caretaker, giving Della a moment of peace to place her board in a large metal cabinet behind the door. Without another word she shuffled down to the kitchen and deposited the paper bag onto the counter top before she retreated to a large comfy chair, shoes flung off behind her as she went.
Her movements were followed eagerly by Peter and as she plopped down into her chair he seemed to be expecting something.
"You were gone for the entire night." He started tentatively, settling himself on the edge of one of the kitchen stools.
"mhmm." Was Della's only reply, her eyes closed and her limbs limp.
"Must have been exciting night."
"Must have seen a lot of people." The gentle badgering finally got Della to open a single eye hooded eye and she cast a half tired, half exacerbated look at Peter.
"A bit of this and that, I will show you when get back from school." She said before closing her eye again and settling deeper into the chair. Perhaps it would have been better if she just kept her mouth closed.
"You found something! Did you see them? Did you see my Dad? Has someone seen them? Are they back? Have they settled for the week-" The strung of questions followed Peter as he sprang from his perch and launched himself towards the armchair, barely managing to catch himself from tumbling against Della.
"PEACE--peace Peter." Della said her hands once again thrown up in mock defense. Part of her tempted towards shooing him off to class so that she could investigate further before giving him anything that would get his hopes up. She wanted to keep quiet, but his eyes pleaded with her and after a stretch of silence she pushed herself up and ruffled through her pants' pockets until she pulled out a scrap of paper with a hastily written note.
"Ten more families have entered the city, rumors of large gathering, more contacts at central park." As she finished speaking the happiness that was radiating off of Peter was almost tangible. "I will head there later once I get some rest, and you are at school."
There was a great scampering about as Peter readied himself for school. There was only a brief argument as Della maintained that she did not want any animals in the apartment, followed by the swift eviction of the brown, long legged dog that had greeted her at the door. Part of her knew that as soon as he got home Peter would bring the mutt upstairs again, but she would fight that battle when she wasn't so damn tired. She needed to hold onto at least some of her rules.
Della hummed thoughtfully to herself as the chatter in her ears died away. Netrunners, those bastards are determined to destroy the businesses that had clawed their way up out of the rumble. Now as a whole smugglers tended to be very superstitious and even more gossipy so the chatter that they bounced around was about a quarter truth with some heavy salting and even more imagination. It usually showed in the inconsistencies and evolution of stories as they were told, bounced around, retold, then bounced some more. Rumors were usually just that, but netrunners, if whisper of then popped up the smugglers swarmed like a disturbed hive. While not always the most cooperative bunch most could find it in their shriveled up little hearts to rally against something that threatened to shatter their lives.
"Hey chica ya something to spare." Said a gravely voice and Della pulled up sharply, cocking her head towards the source. A toothy grin reflected off of her solid black helmet, and the man that called to her tapped the brim of filthy hat expectantly. There was a long pause, with Della unreadable under her helmet and the guy growing a bit apprehensive of her staring.
"Might have something." She said, her voice distorting as it left her helmet so that it was very hard to even confirm her gender by her tone. She moved closer, her board keeping her a good two feet off the ground, until she was almost right on top of the guy before she stopped and put on foot onto solid ground.
"You seen any of the nomads around central?" she asked.
"Central? Naw they've been locking down that area, don't want no nomads parking around." The guy said with a shrug. This earned him another silence as Della tapped out a rapid beat against her leg as her mind worked. Then reaching into a inside pocket of her jacket she pulled out a few bucks and dumped them into the man's hat. As quickly as she had come she lifted her foot off the ground and sped off again. So even the militia was up in arms, that was never a good sign. Rumors of some kind of attack was something, having people arming themselves and taking up battle formations was another. Although perhaps Della could find a nice silver lining for herself. After all, soldiers were often her best customers, to much boredom and they would seek her out for drugs and other luxuries entertain themselves with, to much action and they would ask her for special ammo, performance enhancing products, and anything else that would keep them alive, and perhaps, just maybe, one of them had seen something.
Her train of thought was once again interrupted, but this time it was by a face and not a voice. The Lemon Pop club had once been vibrant and colorful, but now it was simply a shiny exterior covering a hallowed interior. A girl stood under the neon sign, leaning against the wall, with all the manners of someone normal. But Della knew better, and slowing down to almost a crawl she paused in front of Eden.
"I never took you for the reminiscing sort." She said, her voice still in that same distorted tone. There was what sounded like humor in her voice as she spoke, as though she found something about the situation very funny. As the board crept to a halt she actually fully dismounted the hoverboard, the steel plates on the bottom of her feet clicking sharply against the cracked pavement. Part of her wondered if Eden would even recognize her, it was not like she had seen her face, the only thing that would single her out from the rest of the faceless riders that haunted New York was the call number 99139 that was printed in faded white numbers across the jaw piece of her helmet. The for ease of those who needed a name the number was attached to the name Fleet, a simple calling card that all of her-professional-acquaintances knew her by. It had been a while since their last job, a simple enough task, Eden had found herself the perfect location and Della had smuggled in all of the equipment that the assassin could want. From what she recalled they had gotten along well enough, but times were always changing.
Himari rolled along the broken pavement of the alleyway, the wind picking up her hair behind her as she skated. The sun was on the horizon, starting to slowly push out the night. It was her favorite time of the day, when the graveyard workers went home and the rest of the world started to wake up and crack it's bones, but still sleepy, still quiet. It reminded her of when she was younger, and she would come home from her mom's competition. She would treat her mother's cuts and bruises, fix a snack for the both of them, and they would crash into their creaky bed together, exhausted. Then in the afternoon, when they woke up, they'd have breakfast. Lazy sunny memories that she liked to remember this time every day, ones that made her eyes brighten.
She held the a small package in her hand, her last delivery of the night. She had no idea what it was, as usual, but it made very little noise, and the package could fit in the palm of her hand. She dodged and old homeless man who had drunkenly stumbled into his makeshift bed, and a stray cat with a rat in its mouth, and turned into a smaller opening. The given location was a well hidden one, one that she rarely delivered to, but she still knew it quite well, and like any other place in the city, had a lot of memories tied to it.
The man that awaited her was not one she had pictured. He was tall, groomed. He looked like the background was fake, and someone had chosen the wrong setting for him. His suit was inconceivably, with not a wrinkle nor a speck of dusk, and when he moved his arm, she could see a hint of a bright gold watch. That's dangerous, she thought, to flash your money around like that. This man wasn't afraid though. In fact, when she stopped in front of him, he gave her a very generous smile, and a composure like he was just meant to be there. She concluded that this man must be very dangerous, and immediately felt fear creeping up her skin, sinking into her bones. She had dealt with scary customers before, all the time, but they all made her feel the same. Especially these kind of "scaries". There were thugs, drug dealers, netrunners who had knives poking out of their clothes and reaked of intimidation like they had poured it on as a cologne, but at least they were honest. She didn't like the type of man in front of her now though, there were snakes, secrets, and lies hiding under that suit. Anything could always happen.
She pulled up her mask, hyperaware of herself and everything around her. Is it slipping, is there a gang behind me, what are his hands doing? Were the constant questions that revolved around her mind. She watched his eyes, seeing if maybe, someway, she had gained the ability to read minds, but if she did, she could not separate her thoughts from his. It was useless. She showed him the package, which he quickly, but politely, plucked it from her, and had tucked it neatly away into his suit. She turned to leave, but of course, he had to say something.
"Am I not supposed to pay you?" The man asked. If she had been in the higher end of the city, she would nod and take his money, no questions asked, but she wanted to leave him as soon as possible. She shook her head and attempted to leave again, but he again reached for her attention, "Here, take it." She ignored him, and as a consequence, he had grabbed her jacket. She forced herself to stop shaking. He pushed the money into her hands, and smiled once again, but this time, the warm grin only seemed malicious. Without a beat, she sped off as fast as she could.
She more familiar alleyways, ones closer to the main streets, and met eyes with two people she had seen multiple times before. She had rarely ever interacted with them, she wasn't a regular when it came to actual relationships with people, acquaintances counted. A smuggler, yes she knew it was a smuggler, she had seen those masks before, and a girl with long red hair who often times had beaten look to her. Sometimes she nodded, other times she had ignored them completely. This time, she came to a complete stop, nodded, and skated off again. She wanted to see her little stray pets, and her comforting whining bed.
The glistening of the city lights on the water only made him think more. What were those people in those buildings doing... Thinking... Were their lives good? A small mechanical hiss came from the back of SAM's head. He looked around the bridge he was sitting under. There was a lot of garbage. Newspapers dating back at least 3 years, tin can, bottles, the usual under-the-bridge junk. SAM often thought that he was under the bridge because he too was garbage. It was just him being dramatic. He was a highly advanced machine that was capable of far greater than a human ever could achieve on their own. However, SAM felt lost. His purpose unknown as of recent. He'd been discarded from both of his past purposes, left to himself. SAM decided he'd at least walk around. At least it would distract him from his thoughts.
SAM picked up his sword that was sheathed and on the ground next to him. The weapon brought him great joy. I had a secondary function besides being a weapon. It could produce an interactive hologram of any instrument. As long as he could hold it in his hands of course, it had limitations. He would occasionally play a song with a stranger, or just by himself. He had a vast library of music save to his memory banks. All of it from his days as a DJ at his previous job. He decided he'd take a walk down memory lane. To his old workplace.
The walk was long. SAM talked to a few people who somehow knew him, probably from his old job, and even got few phone numbers. Mainly for playing Gigs and such. As he neared the nightclub he could make out two females. Both of which appeared to be in a conversation. One of them though, struck SAM as familiar. He had never seen this girl before... or had he... He did a quick check through his memory banks. No. No match. How could he find someone with no match to be familiar..?
SAM decided he'd go talk with them at least. He had been told that his British robotic voice was rather interesting. It was just his default voice. Nothing special. Upon approaching the two, SAM felt a little uncomfortable. Both of the women looked like a force to e reckoned with. If they ended up being scrap hunters, he wouldn't have much of a chance. However, he could hold his own... Maybe. "Good evening. Rather splendid weather isn't it?" He had nothing but good intentions, and he really didn't want another person to freak out and ask for an autograph or something annoying like that. "I assume you to just left the Nightclub. Grand place. I rather enjoyed it there. Too bad they're going under." SAM had the bad habit of talking to strangers, and telling them about him even though they had just met. It often got people annoyed. Such was life...