Verismo de Molto

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[align=center]Verismo de Molto[/align]

Of the many Wall Cities in the world only a few were safe for Musicians. Verismo had, for the most part, taken control of the situation. The Verismo is a government controlled section of the military under direct command of their commander Cero Altos. Accompanied with the Adagio Soldiers, the Verismo pose a very high threat to any rogue Musician in the cities. Their base of operations are all focused around central towers created in the middle of any given city. The tower not only holds offices but houses the residence of most employees there.

-Red Soil Wall City

"The world is a sad place." The voice came from a black haired man sitting at the bar. He shifted on his stool a bit and swirled his drink.
"Yep that it is." The bartender agreed. His big figure but humble face gave welcome to anyone who would come in. This well dressed individual at the bar seemed to be deep in thought. His right and left arm were completely covered by his suit and white gloves.
"If I find it, what will happen?" He questioned to himself.
"So what do they call you stranger?" The lights above shimmered across his unkempt hair as he raised his head. His eyes were dark and brooding with the other lives he had seen.
"My name…is Demte." His glass was finally set down after another swig. "Perhaps you could tell me a bit about the mining operation in Red Soil?"
"Afraid there is not much to talk about. That operation's been going on since the beginning of the month and none of us common folk are allowed near it. Them Verismo fellers have their hands in deep. I saw one of them head into the mining area earlier today. Wearing them fancy black and green highlighted suits they're so proud of."
"His face, what did it look like?"
"Well he had dark green hair, very odd although you can never tell with them. Then again may be a craze with the kids. His face I really didn't get a good look at but them blue green eyes I definitely remember. He looked at me only briefly but man does he give me the chills."
"Xai." Demte muttered to himself. "The Verismo controller of the violin." He finished off.
"What business you got with them anyhow?" He stood up the alcohol not seeming to take much effect on him or at least his motor skills.
"I'm Demte but I also go by another name. Something you might be familiar with." He pulled off his left glove and half way up his forearm was a small, three lined, blue tattoo.
"The Blue Dragon." The bartender nearly fell backwards over himself. This was obviously someone to not trifle with.
"A new era is on the horizon, don't miss it."
*Zeno Village*

The village was a rather quiet place. There were no traces of the Verismo or the Adagio Soldiers. The government's power didn't extend this far. However, this meant it was rather lawless and chaotic at times. Some Rogue Musicians even misused their powers to take control in these villages. Zeno itself was rather peaceful however. There didn't seem to be many musicians in it and none of them were power hungry or violent enough to try and take control from the village elder. People had all the basic needs in the village, water, food and electrical power. Yet it was rather primitive, no roads for vehicles, no malls, no airport, the school was a small building and most of the food or livestock was grown or raised inside the village instead of imported The closet they had to a police force was the village watch, a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting the village.

The environment in the village was comparable to something of an oasis in the middle of a desert, it was built by a large lake. This helped take away some of the brutal heat from the desert and made it a safe place for travelers to take a break from a long journey.

There was but one problem. Rumors began spreading that the government was planning to take control of even remote areas. For now though, Zeno Village was a haven to Rogue Musicians.

A woman's voice called out, "Hey Art, get up please." "Okay okay.. Sorry, I overslept. Last night's job just...Kept me out late.."The man responded. This young red headed man looked to be average. He hadn't any crazy muscles, he didn't have fancy clothes. He lacked an intimidating aura as well. But there was more to him than meets the eye. This man was a Musician, Art Jones.

The woman was Ceana, a friend whom Art roomed with and helped support. She had long flowing black hair, her eyes were blue. She was fiery and not nearly as relaxed as Art. She was also dressed in rather generic clothing,but she took much better care of hers than Art did. "Well. I fed Nero for you, he didn't seem real hungry. Something might be wrong with him..He didn't even look at me when I tried talking to him..I don't think he likes me..." Ceana said to Art, talking about Art's director.

Of course, Art did not tell her the truth, he hid his Musician powers from her so as not to frighten her. Nero was not a pet, not a mere iguana he was a director. "Heh, don't worry about it. He's a reptile, Ceana. He doesn't hate you, they just aren't like cats or dogs, it's hard for them for express their gratitude towards people. I'm sure he appreciates it. You just gotta remember to treat him like a person, look him in the eyes when you talk to him and all that. He's smart. But reptiles have issues expressing emotions, you know. They can't pur like cats or anything like that. Well, I guess I better get ready. I'm gonna go play my pipes at the market again, maybe make a few bucks that way. Maybe even find me a job if I can get lucky."Art began getting ready to leave.

"Ok but be careful. If you take another job like that last might get hurt...How'd you get that bruise on your forehead?" Ceana questioned. Making up a lie, Art said, "Eh, Old Man Reed got pissed when I made one tiny mistake. The cattle got out and nearly trampled on his crops. I gathered them back but he took it all out on me with his cane. He's got a mean swinging arm, I tell ya. Potatoes are serious business. That's what I learned from that job. Well...I'll be back by dinner time, Ceana! I promise that at least.." "Ok...I'll hold you to that,Art. Well then goodbye for now and good luck!" Ceana responded to Art.

He smilied. Art picked up his bag-pipes and Nero. He waved goodbye and stepped out the door of the small home he and Ceana shared. He made his way to the market. It was an outdoor market comparable to a swap-meet, with large rugs or tarps laid out on the ground and merchandise placed on them. Nero hid and took residence around Art's bag-pipes. Art wasn't going out to play his music today. He was going to get a job. He had already talked to one of his friends about it. All he had to do was wait to get more information on it.

"Man..whatever this job is...I hope this job isn't as serious. I'm getting worried...I might just have to spill the beans about being a Musician if I really get beat up this time..Heh, I just have to avoid getting hit maybe. I can pull this off. This is the only real way I know to support Ceana and myself.. With good old fashion fighting!!"
Summer yawned, and stretching her arms above her head she shook the morning dew from hair. She smiled looking over at the wolf laying beside her she shook him gently, "Diablo wake up boy" he grumbled a little but got to his feet. Summer got to her feet and began walking towards the marketplace, a villager walked by her staring nervously at Diablo she couldn't help but laugh as Diablo snapped at him scaring the poor man half to death

"Diablo, their scared of you enough already" She said smiling and scratching his ear, he looked like a fearsome vicious beats but to her acted like a sweet little puppy. Not watching where she was going she accidentally crashed into Art causing them both to fall to the ground, quickly getting to her feet she offered a hand down to him "hey sorry i wasn't looking where i was going" Diablo sniffed the air catching scent of Nero, another directer and growled quietly him.
If one looked to the center of Red Soil City, they would see a massive tower, one of Verismo's many headquarters. The towering construct housed several thousand soldiers, along with a variety of important political figures. And among the grunts and elites, one could see a girl who seemed to have no business amongst them. Her skin showed signs of damage, hidden halfway by a shabby excuse for a dress. Her eyes matched the inside of the building-Robotic and cold. Her hair was unkempt and rather long. If anything, the seven-year-old girl called Liliette looked like an orphan off the street. She was a weapon to some, a soldier-in-training to more still, but to some...she was alive, a person. To her brother Xai, who had taken her in when her parents left her for dead. And so she walked outside to the balcony, staring down at the citizens with that same unchanging expression of apathy. On such a young girl, it didn't fit. She was trained to be unquestioning, remorseless...obedient. But she couldn't stop thinking of what the Composers wanted. Why...Why did she have to hurt?
*Zeno Village*

Art was caught off guard by the whole thing but simply said to Summer.
"It's ok, I understand. Heh, is a bit of a crowded place."However he noticed Diablo growling and looked at the dog himself.

He thought,"Is that..Just a normal dog? Maybe it's not...Could it be, a Director? That might explain why it growled at Nero. But none the less, it doesn't change my plans. It's none of my business if she's a Musician or not. I just have to wait for my client to show up.."

Art then looked around and noticed a rather well dressed man approaching him. He looked to be older and rather timid and secretive. It had to be the client, the scientist whom was offering Art the job. The scientist noticed Summer and was a tad puzzled. Art wasn't working with her but the man assumed she would be involved now. He had not seen her bumping into him.

He spoke quietly but loud enough for both Art and Summer to hear him,"I guess plans have changed a bit. None the less, your job is the same. The Verismo are mining these Red Soil Stones. I need to know why..I need to get my hands on some of these myself and figure it out. I can't ask you to shut the whole operation down but steal some of them for me and bring them back to me here. I'll pay you in accordance of how many you manage to get back, the more the better. I don't care how you do things, just don't leave a trail leading back to me. The operation is at the Red Soil City. It's a wall city, you will have to be careful. They might try to lock you up just for being a Musician. Just get back here alive and with the stones. I'll be in this village for a month or so.. You've got more than enough time to get here and back. Find me once you've returned with the stones and you shall receive your payment then."

Art nodded and said, "I'll take it then but there's one thing-" Before he could explain that Summer was not supposed to be part of the job, the scientist was already walking away and ignored Art. He thought, "Idiot! He compromised things already with his dumb assumptions! Now what do I do?""

He looked over at Summer and said to her, "Guess the cat's outta the bag. There's been a misunderstanding here.He thinks you're part of the job. Listen, you don't have to do anything or be involved in this job. I just need to make some money and it doesn't hurt to learn what those government creeps are planning. Just do me a favor and don't tell anyone about this, ok?"He awaited a response from Summer, he had no idea if she would be interested in such a thing or if she would frown upon it.
Summer stared at him for a moment, thinking "I'll tell you what, im interested in helping out. I don't need the money i just think its a good idea to know what the government is up to." along with having nothing better to do She thought to her self "So why don't you let me come along? i can be very helpful, and besides you wouldn't want me to accidentally have a slip of the tongue and tell someone about this would you?" She smiled cheekily at him, that was a bluff she was too nice but he didn't know that. As if to emphasize her threat, Diablo bared his razor sharp teeth and snapped at him.
[OOC: Will head over to the Red Soil City next post of mine.]

Art was a tad startled by Diablo as he thought,"Man I just don't get along well with dogs..Heh.Or they don't like me. Even though it's a Director..Doesn't change that. Heh, too bad Nero isn't scary looking like that. But he's better like this, won't attract as much attention."

He then said to Summer,"Well then. I'm fine if you come along. I just need to get things ready for the trip. We're definitely going to need a map and I need to make sure my vehicle has got the fuel to handle the trip there. We can leave in about two hours from now. We can meet by the old Sundial near the village entrance then. Is that good for you or do you want more time?"Art awaited a response. He needed this time to get ready for such a trip. He also had to make sure he could have dinner with Ceana. He was a man of his word and would not want to break his promise.
Summer smiled at him "no that's fine, i'll meet you there don't be late" She gave him a grin before turning on her heel and whistling to Diablo,who raced after her. She decided to stock up on supplies if she was going to be traveling, so she headed to the market. She purchased a backpack and some other supplies before lea
"Allright."Art thought. He wandered off and looked throughout the market for a map so he could reach the city. He eventually succeeded in buying one. He also decided to get some fuel for the vehicle in case they needed a refuel while on the road.

One hour later, he returned home to have dinner with Ceana. If this job didn't work out and if the government caught him, perhaps it would be his last.

"Hey Ceana...So....What's for dinner?"Art questioned. "Leftovers... Of the chicken Alfredo." Art did not seem disappointed at all, at least it was home cooked food. Much better than the awful food Art had to eat before living with Ceana. "Awesome! I'll dig right in there!"Art said as he sat down at the table and prepared to chow down.

Ceana noticed Art was eating somewhat fast. "What's going on here, why the hurry?" "Allright.. I'll tell you. I stumbled upon a dream job, Ceana. I got to collect some research samples from the Red Soil City and bring em back to the client here. So I'm gonna have to take my old buggy to get there..Should be back soon. Don't think it'll take days."

He added as he told another half truth, "There is a complication though. There's this lady who heard about the job too. So looks like we might split the pay and she'll end up coming with me as she lives in this village too. Don't think so though, she wants to do it because she's interested in it.". Art did not tell her the whole story and the truth about the job but, he did it so as to not worry her or frighten her. He also never told her he was a Musician, he managed to keep it secret from her. It was a big deal as Ceana's parents were killed my violent Musicians. The Mayor of Zeno Village, whom was also her uncle took her in and helped her adjust to live in the village.

"I see...Well that's a government city. Be careful out there, it should be safe from thugs though at least but...the government has been shown to be corrupt at times...That's all I ask. Just get back home safely." Ceana said, seeming very understanding and trusting.

"But...You better not be planning on having fun with that partner of yours. Art, keep it a business relationship only!" Ceana commanded Art. Art laughed as he said, "I know, I know. besides, she has this mean dog and dogs hate me so don't worry about it. Heck, it might try to eat Nero, I wouldn't want that! I'm happy with what I got here. You, good food, a rather peaceful village..Some excitement here and there doing jobs like this..."

"Allright then. I'm glad to hear that, Art."She smilied as the conversation grew more simple and normal. A few minutes later, they both were done and it as time for Art to meet with Summer.

"Allright, thanks for all the food and everything, Ceana! I'm taking Nero and the buggy with me! Well good luck with your apprenticeship!"While Art took these odd jobs, Ceana was going to become a teacher in the village. There was no village college or anything of that sort so she learned her knowledge directly from the teachers themselves, working under them and helping them. It was different from the cities, that much was for sure.

Art made his way to the old sundial with his buggy, all tuned up and ready to go. He had maps in hand, a fuel container in case they needed to fill up while in the desert and supplies. There was enough room in the back of the buggy to store plenty of Red Soil Stones as well.

"Allright..She should get here..Any minute now..."Art thought as he looked at the sundial, it showed he was a bit early.
The mines of Red Soil, once populated by the job seekers of the city itself, now has been entirely government controlled. Fifteen years ago during a large storm there was some odd sounds coming from the cave. The next morning the government patrols were all over it claiming a Musician had been hiding there. As time went on people just got used to them being there and the reason drifted away as new threats loomed over all cities. Talk of a dangerous felon who had already attacked several outlying Adagio bases had spread throughout and the haunting memory of discovering the Ruined Wall City to the north still remained in their minds.

-Mining Site

"Prepare for excavation of the last samples. We'll need them in the Third Ring laboratories." Xai said as more teal and slightly fluorescent rocks were loaded onto a cart. The walls seemed to be glowing the same color allowing them to mine without an extra light source. The man who commanded these people was accompanied by two Adagio Soldiers who seemed to have full armor on. They looked much like robots but definitely were human based on their mannerisms.
"Sir there is a transmission waiting for you at the entrance." One of the soldiers said to him. Xai nodded and left the men to carry out his orders. It was not long before he turned on the video communicator outside. "Commander Cero."
"Reports have been coming in around the city, the Blue Dragon has resurfaced." A brown haired older man said on the screen. He looked to have seen over several battles and sat up rather straight.
"Should I get some units looking for him?"
"No, we all know what happens when foot soldiers try to take this fellow on. He'll come to you I'm sure of it. Stay there and just be ready for him. I'll be sending your partner soon."
"Roger that sir, Xai out." The monitor shut off as he was left there to figure out how to deal with this threat.
Summer spotted Art and stated to walk towards him, her backpack full of food and supplies slung over her shoulder and Diablo at her heels. When she could see him clearly, she smiled looking him over hes rather handsome. As if he could read her thoughts Diablo scoffed and appeared to roll his eyes, she laughed and pushed him gently "oh be quiet boy" she scratched his ear "and be nice to the guy, its obvious you scare him." Summer ignored a couple who gave her a curious look as she talked to Diablo like a human, she knew it looked strange but she knew he could understand her. She walked up to him and smiled "so before we go, i think we should know each others names." she held out her hand to him "my names Summer" she nodded her head to Diablo who was sitting at her feet "and this is Diablo, he may be a wolf but don't let him scare you"
Art introduced himself as well as he agreed with Summer and shook her hand,"My Name's Art Jones. And this guy here, although you might not be able to seem him...His name is Nero, an iguana director. Well, now we're not strangers so I think we're good to get going here. My buggy is all ready to go. It's not fancy but we shouldn't break down and the AC works like a charm."

He showed Summer over to the buggy as he opened the doors on both sides. He got in, put on his seat belt and started up the engine. He closed the door on his side. He told Summer"Well, ready to go? I am. We can talk about our exact plan on the way because we're going to need one. This is no simple job."Art was ready to go but was beginning to think ahead. He wasn't much of a thinker but he knew they had to come up with something this time, combat alone wouldn't be the best way to get out of the job alive.
Summer smiled "nice to meet you Art" she then climbed in to the car and fastened her seat belt, Diablo jumped in and layed down on the back seat. Summer smiled at him "ready, lets go" she glanced at his bagpipes "bagpipes huh? personally i sing, are they hard to play?" Diablo stared at Nero trying to restrain himself although he desperately wanted to eat him.
Art began the trip, seeing Summer was ready. He started the vehicle up and off they were, to the Red Soil City. He responded to Summer's question,"Yeah it's a bit hard to play, you gotta blow into it and all that. But it's a family heirloom, I like it and reminds me of old times. Can't think of any other instrument I'd like to play. Besides, my singing voice just isn't that great honestly, heh. Believe me I tried, just isn't for me. Seems to be for us Musicians it's best to specialize in what we like and what we're good at playing. You sing good,huh? "

As the buggy left Zeno Village, Art began to notice the change in the landscape, he began to notice they were entering the desert and he turned on the air. "Dang..Never gone out this way before.. Still is pretty lonely out here. Good thing we're prepared so we won't get stranded out here."There weren't any other vehicles out on the path, at least not yet.

Nero didn't seem too afraid of Diablo as he knew Diablo would never be allowed to eat him. Nero began to rest it seemed, realizing Art wouldn't need his powers for a good while, at least not until they arrived at the Red Soil City itself.
Summer smiled shyly "im ok" she sung a little in her beautiful voice, hearing her singing Diablo relaxed and closed his eyes. Summer followed Arts gaze and noticed he was right it was deserted out there, "yep that would really suck." She turned to look at him and realized what she was doing was crazy, she was going to red soil city with a guy she knew nothing about for all she knew he was a crazy serial killer. Not that she was scared she could take care of herself and she had Diablo, she patted his head and casually asked "so.. how long have you lived in the village?"
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Art answered Summer's question,"How long? I used to live with my family until the place got attacked by the Adagio thug squad, I was about ten at the time. I got separated from my parents then and wandered around for a few years until I found the village. So since I was twelve I have been living at the Zeno.I'd say a good five years or more. The Mayor took me in. Got along good with his niece too. So I'm rather attached to the place now, it's simple and safe compared to these places under the government's control. That's why I like it myself. I like a good fight now and then but I don't like chaos or innocent people getting hurt."

"Yeah..Been much easier in the village except having to get a job. The Mayor can't just give me handouts now that I'm old enough to support myself. So I have to do jobs like these, risky jobs. It's how I make a living now. Farming and all that just isn't for me. I don't have the patience. Being a farm hand is no good either, I tried."He said smirking and remembering when he attempted such a job. He looked around and noticed they were getting close to the what Art believe was the Red Soil City.

Art said aloud, "Wow, I think we got here already Summer. This map worked nicely, I think that's the city up ahead. Man, the guy told me the trip would take longer.. Guess he expected there to be traffic or maybe the guy went super slow. Heh, fat chance. Not real safe to travel all the time between villages and cities.." Looking around, Art found a safe spot to park the buggy and did so, turning the engine off eventually.

*Red Soil City*

"Yep..This is the place allright. Ok Summer, let's get going here.. We can talk some more on the way. I understand this is kind of a strange situation. We just need to find those mines and avoid those government creeps..Simple as that."Art stated after consulting the map. He stepped out of the car. He thought about taking the bag out but realized now was not the time, it would just draw suspicion if he walked around with it. As he looked all around, he noticed a large tower.

"Wow..Now this is different from Zeno, it's all fancy. Buildings and towers. These government guys might not know justice but they know how to construct a nice place to live at least. Allright Summer, let's go. I'm thinking we're gonna have to maybe stop by a bar or something to find out the exact place these mines are at. I think that might be the safest way to do things." He began moving towards the entrance of the city, looking rather in awe of it but moving slowly so as to admire it and to wait for Summer.
Summer walked alongside Art, Diablo at her side. She stared in awe at the city around her while others stared in fear and fasinaction at seeing a wolf at her side. as she listened to him describe his life she smiled and poked him a little "mayors niece huh?" she said teasingly. She looked down at Diablo who was attracting a lot of attention, she frowned a little as she patted his head and hoped that Art wouldn't want to hide him somewhere.
Art was contemplating what they could do about the Diablo situation as he thought to himself,"I can't BS and tell these people it's a half wolf half-domestic dog hybrid or anything. But he's not a small creature so hiding him is difficult. He's not like Nero. These people have already seen Diablo hmm."

He then said to some of the people,"Hey, I know he's not the nicest looking dog but is all this necessary? Animals don't like being watched like this. He's half wolf, although he might look full wolf to the untrained eye." One of the spectators asked, "Half wolf? How would you know??? You look like a bum to me! Is it even legal to own something like that??"

Looking annoyed, Art responded to the man trying to sound very passionate convinced of his own lies, "Yes it is, you idiot, he's not trained to be an attack dog! I'm a dog breeder and you're just a simpleton. I know about all types of dogs, Pugs, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers, you name it I know it! I know all their personality tendencies, health issues and variations! Don't ever question my skills. I'm like a legend outside these walls! Now, I think it's time you give us some space here, folks. It'll make him happier that way. That's what matters most. If you can't understand that, then my words are wasted on you. I might not have fancy clothes but I've got knowledge, man. You can't put a price on it! That's something you can't buy."

The spectators ate it up for the most part. The man whom insulted Art walked away looking ashamed as if he had made a mistake insulting Art. They obeyed him for now but if they moved through the city like this, it could continue.

Art turned over to Summer and told her quietly, "Well.. We gotta do something about this. I can't keep this up forever. I don't know how to get around this. You might have to hide him, Summer. Or maybe I gotta go into a bar by myself while you just lay low with Diablo until I get back with directions or information on where the mining is taking place...What do you want to do?"He awaited a response.
Summer was about to protest but saw no point in it as Art was right, Diablo was drawing to much attention. She knelt down to his level and fixed some people with a glare as they whispered "she should watch out that crazy thing'll bite her", she patted his head and whispered something in his ear. He seemed to nod and licked her hand before heading back to the buggy, he snapped at the people who whispered at him on the way before climbing into the back seat. Summer turned back to Art "he won't leave the car, lets go" she walked ahead of him, she felt strange. She wasn't worried about Diablo, she knew he could look after herself although she hadn't been apart from him since she was eight years old. No she felt out of place here like she didn't belong and she felt a sense of foreboding in this city, like something terrible was lurking around the corner.
"Allright, sounds good to me.I'll make this quick here. But this city really is overwhelming..Where are the bars?" Art looked around with his eyes so as to not get separated from Summer. He then thought to himself,

"Man..Is asking in a bar really the best way to go? That might attract some suspicion and-"Art's thoughts were interrupted as he heard some loud machinery coming from the entrance, near the wall. ".....So that's it! That's where it is! They just weren't working on it when we got back..Must have been on break..Heh or maybe they didn't start until now..."

Art said to Summer as he turned around and saw where exactly the mining was taking place. It was around a mine located by the wall, near the entrance itself. He contemplated their options, he knew they'd have to use some kind of stealth. Yet he also knew it'd be wise for Summer to bring Diablo along into the mine. They really did have to blend in as well.

He spoke to Summer quietly as he moved back towards the buggy, "Allright. So we know where the mine is. But now we gotta figure out a way for getting in there. We can't go in there like this, we need to blend in. I'm thinking we try and catch some of the workers off guard and isolated, knock them out, hide em and take their clothes. Least that way we'll look like we belong."

He then said to Summer,"I can hide Nero with me but...Diablo, that's the thing..You'll need him to fight. I'll leave that decision of whether you bring him or not up to you.It will be hard to explain a dog if we're trying to pose as workers....That's the problem with it. I've had my say. Now, what do you think we should do, Summer?"

Art wasn't much of a stealthy guy, he liked head on battles, he didn't like hiding away but in this situation, there was no other option. If they tried to fight their way in they'd be caught instantly but if they disguised as workers, they'd certainly have more of a chance.