Hidden 1 yr ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
Raw
coGM
Avatar of The Harbinger of Ferocity

The Harbinger of Ferocity Aspect of the Ferine

Member Seen 2 days ago

The ensuing shakedown of electronic bits and bobs went about as well as anything could have in the zone. All of the gathered scavengers, like chrome vultures pecking at a machine corpse, after all valued the pieces enough that getting blasted by one another in some standoff was not in their interest. The spindly legged cyborg left with the precious, precious hardware which was laden with everything from combat data to whatever soft updates he had jammed in, while the boosters picked apart the metal and left with arms, forearms, hands, an eye or two, among others. Theron waited patiently despite all of this, the quarry as close as it could be to its extraction as it had been and still alive, remarkably.

All the gizmos inside keeping Golemeth going the gang wasn't about to play with, at least not without their ripper doc. Like the shaggy band of hyenas they were, they were hooting and hollering from start to finish, and with it all said and done left the once giant, unstoppable killer a mess of deformed flesh. Cyber didn't actually go in the body, but people forgot that and just hacked off and jammed in all they could fit. Take it off? Well, as the hunter noted, boots splashing through a blood tinged puddle by the target, it left them as a lump not even capable of defending itself. That was the issue Theron had with cyberware, one really, but a big one. Without your tech, you were just meat and everything wanted to eat you. If the world outside didn't get you because you lived in the wrong side of the city, the corps would and just devour your livelihood. Something they couldn't take away from you was whatever was in your blood, some things just that permanent, and not everyone was interested in taking a life so they could later get hosed by corporate security or the cops. Vigilante justice wasn't a thing, but what was a thing was revenge killing, so picking people apart of their gear? A better option than coldblood unless you knew no one would notice or miss them.

A glance down an alley then back, Theron was alone - brain dead cyborgs without enough processing power to think don't count more than a potted plant does - and now it was his turn. Granted this was going to be a challenge, all he had to do was get him to the nearest terminal, make the call, and the extraction team would find itself here to haul good old Golemeth away to his fate. So with one knee down, both enhanced hands on the effective corpse, the solo gripped and strained. In one motion, one burst of energy, he lifted and tossed up over his shoulders the prize and pushed to standing.

The reeking scent of damaged coolant, mingling with singed blood, burnt electronics, and some exposed ports where limbs once were did not make this any more pleasant. If anything this was the worst part about all of this, worse than the gunfire and exchange, worse than the freakshows that might go back on him, worse than any of that. Why? Hauling around dead weight that was pretty vile wasn't his idea of glory or goods. But the promise of more modifications? Some exceptions could be made, which was what he kept reminding himself as he staggered slowly around a corner, carrying the awkward shape up on his upper back. A terminal was never far, most every corner had them, but ones that were still operating in this side of the Combat Zone? That took time.

All the locals kept their heads indoors and had shut out the nightly crazed gunfight, making the march a comparatively easy task. The haze and glow was gone, the man mostly a silhouette in the darkness, trying to slip from street to street covertly like a pantherine cat.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by 13org
Raw
Avatar of 13org

13org Stay fresh!

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

Nina




@Hekazu



Nina wasn't going to lie, the rapping of the fingers that one of the mans was doing on it's gun was starting to get on Nina's nerves. It was a simple negotiation, or at least it was supposed to be simple. She had the info and the means to gather more. They only needed to say if they wanted it or not, but they were so ridiculously careful around her she started to wonder if being honest like she was being right now was actually making any difference. At that point, she wasn't trying to hide her annoyed expression anymore.

When she mentioned the man wearing the beanie and the trench coat, both men got visibly more interested. For Nina herself, they should pay more attention at the bigger picture and not about a single messenger, but they were the clients... As long as she was getting paid, she would let them know even what type of underwear that trench coat guy was wearing... When one of them confirmed the information she gave them and said he would cut out of her payment, Nina let out an audible annoyed sigh.

"Of course... I should have expected..." she thought to herself. Truth be told, she was being honest about all that. While she did knew some things about what was happening, she was hoping for them to let her know exactly what they wanted to know about and then she would dig deeper for that information but at that point, seeing how things were going, Nina wasn't expecting something like that... They would probably just hand her a few euros and that was it. But when one of them mentioned the partnership once more, she couldn't help but let out a chuckle.

"I don't know why you two are being so paranoid and careful... I am unarmed, you know? Just look at my clothes..." Nina said, spinning around once so they could see that she was really unarmed.

"As I said before, I needed to know what exactly you two are interested in, what exactly you guys want to know so then I can start digging deeper about it... For that, I needed to tell you guys first a little bit about everything happening, watch your reactions & etc..." Nina said, shrugging.

"Honestly, I would be careful about all this if I were you guys... Lt. Davison, Murkywater... We're talking about mega corporations here possibly more than one... Neither me or you would stand a chance against them if they went all out..." Nina said, crossing her legs.

"Something tells me that all this thing about Lt. Davison may be much bigger than we think..." Nina said, just as they tossed the payment on the table in front of her.

"Ooh~ Much appreciated!" Nina said, with a singing tone, taking her payment and putting it on her pocket.

"About that gang up though. Wanna talk more 'bout it? Cuz I'll be heading out anyhow, and it won't hurt to have people on the side." Nina heard one of the two talking just as she got up.

"Sure, why not?" Nina asked, with a smile.

"Just promise me that you wont continue tapping your gun like you was a while ago... That sound was starting to get on my nerves..." she said with a laugh as she waited for the man.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Terminal
Raw
Avatar of Terminal

Terminal Rancorous Narrative Proxy

Member Seen 3 days ago

Tracy began swearing up and down as he shot glimpses towards the ring of scavengers around Golemeth while descending the exit ramp. The Hardware Spider had taken the CD and was already in the process of backing away; the thugs began to ply their tender mercies to the immobile solo to exact their pound of flesh. The Spider slinked out of sight, fading into the smog and murk of Night City's streets and likely about to duck into any one of countless remotely-opened electronically locked doors for the nearby buildings or even for city maintenance tunnels. He would be long gone by the time Tracy reached the bottom ramp - and seeing as none of the bozoz picking over Golemeth's now dormant hardware were objecting to each others' ministrations, the chances Tracy could stir up any trouble amongst them was close to squat. Even as he reached the bottom of the exit ramp Tracy was slowing, surprising the urge to pull her his out and scream in sheer frustration. Why did all his efforts and half-implemented plans mean so little when he put himself at such great risk...?

Moving off to the side from the bottom of the exit, Tracy ducked behind the corner-alley of the nearest building, crouching behind a dumpster as he peered beyond it to watch as the vulturs grabbed what they could and hauled it off. Which when Tracy observed something peculiar - the poser from earlier that he had shot at was standing back, coolly surveying the scene as if he had all the time in the world and nowhere to be.

Peeling off in pairs as they managed to yank out Golemeth's bits and pieces, the gangers split the scene, trailing long streamers of previous compressed, shivering cords and wiring had spilled from every divot and gap in the torn chassis of the appropriated hardware. Tracy peered back anxiously over the side of the dumpster and watched as Theron graciously hauled Golemeth's now substantially trimmer and lighter remnants up onto his back.

Doing some quick mental calculus, Tracy reevaluated the poser - no, the second solo as they dragged what little remained of Golemeth away down the street. Now that he had a better look of the guy, Tracy could tell there was a little more than him than was apparent at first glance - and not just because he was able to haul Golemeth's chassis around with little discernible effort. His jacket had a faintly raised contour, and the texture of the material looked enough like leather but was ever-so-slightly off - and Tracy was reminded of the ballistic fibers he had seen in storage aboard the Phantasmagoria. The solo had some discreet hardware, or maybe even wetware.

But he was also laden down with Golemeth's carcass, and was still out in the open. So all Tracy needed to do was get him to stop in his tracks for a single, scant moment. Without making any effort to hide himself any further, Tracy peeled out and away from the alley and walked up behind Theron, one hand assuming a relaxed position atop his swaying duffel-bag while he adopted a carefully calculated slouch.

"I have some business with your friend there. I can see he's still alive." Tracy spoke softly, projecting his voice as best he could at Theron without actually shouting. "I don't know who you are, but I can make it worth your while to help me get him cogent again."

Tracy did not bother trying to hide the anxiousness in his voice, but did go out of his way to keep his own motions and the cadence of his voice as steady as he could - he wanted to give off an air of shadiness, not twitchy panic.

@The Harbinger of Ferocity
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Hekazu
Raw
GM
Avatar of Hekazu

Hekazu Cleric to Dice Gods

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Nina's show of her being unarmed was appreciated and all, being that it let the men have a good look at her, it didn't actually prove anything. She had enough chrome about to hide a metric crapton of guns in her body, and to be fair the door guard couldn't just go and demand people to rip off their legs when they came to the bar. Though that would be one way to sweep women off their feet. Croaks leaned back and tossed the carrying strap of his weapon on the other side of his neck, letting his left hand hang low while the right one remained on the handle and close to the safety trigger.

The talk went to megacorporations, and how everything was beyond their grasp there. Ribby let out a sigh. "Ya know, as much as you have a point there, look at us. Just… zone out of everything else for a second. For now, this table is everything. Done? Good, lets start adding pieces to the picture. This bar here? It's an entity all right, but we have it. It is friendly. You know why? Because the thing above the bar, the entire Zone, is too big to really care. And when you go to corps of that size… well, they span 'cross more than one Combat Zone. And if the locals dun give enough shits, what makes ya think these people do? They gave a shit about Lt. 'cause he stirred up shit. We just tryna make do. And what ya think if we find 'im for 'em?" the man offered a counterpoint. They were too small for the megacorporations to truly care. But if they did a good turn for them, the big guns might solve their troubles for them. After all, they had sent a messenger all the way over here and they were still not dead. What else could that be taken as but an indirect job offer?

But soon after came the part where the info broker once more took the gang boss along with her. Question was, why? Did she have some purpose for the man in mind? She had brought up the idea in the first place. To be fair, Croaks would have gone along just for the looks alone, but you couldn't just let a pretty face get to you. You needed to keep some sort of a guard up, especially so when it was the other party that made the proposal. But for now, the only promise requested was to not keep rapping his fingers on the gun. While Croaks untangled it from his string vest, he gave the gal a smirk. "As long as you don't bore me to death", he stated his terms, looking around the bar.

He was weighing his options. He could either get his gunfight vest, or just go as was. And given how the broker was looking, going as was didn't seem like too bad an idea. But he had this gun. Bah, no need to go nuts about it. Turning towards the door, he waved for Nina to follow. "If you had a plan on how to go from here, let's hear it. See how hard it butts heads with mine", he kept on with the group leader status he'd grown so accustomed to.

But to be fair, that was pretty much the only familiar thing in this all. He'd fought for this opportunity ever since the dark skinned man had turned away from their table and marched out of the bar, having delivered his message. The message had raised more questions than anything else, and the answers were out there in the NC. But as one knew, just going poking around at random was at least six times more likely to get you death than any other result. And even the info broker could only tell them so much. At least she would have the routine on where to go next. Because Croaks knew he would have no clue to save his life. But he had a plan. Built on occurrences and what he knew, but a plan nonetheless. The bigger and badder of the two bosses as he was, he was not a bumbling idiot. Or so he liked to tell himself anyway.

@13org
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by SleepingSilence
Raw
Avatar of SleepingSilence

SleepingSilence OC, Plz No Stealz.

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

“I expected to be the anxious one…”

The whisper quiet humming coming from within the man’s headgear was barely noticeable with the purring motorcycles leaving their skidding marks across another street corner sidewalk. Scarlett could feel his shivering bones with the gentle grasp of her fingertips. His fear layered like a blanket of snow, accumulating with time into a heavy stiffness in their bony shoulders. His mannerisms bringing about an unorthodox feeling of calm. Her steadily beating heart tunneling deeper into head until it became the center of attention. Her eyes too focused on the road, releasing a soft exhale of warmth upon his neck by being unobservant. An aching guilt of unsubstantiated suspicion felt comparable to her old wisdom teeth digging into her gums, firmly grabbing the man’s shoulder and slowly pressing her thumbs in-between his blades, pushing the stabbing tension that was thick enough to cut with a knife, alleviated with an audible crack. His silence implied acquiescence as she continued to nonchalantly massage his back for a moment. She noticed how Ethan had a very similar frame...de-stressing after a long day that needing to be unwound. Her fingertip acting as the needle untangling the ball of yarn yearning to be free from the knots.

“Wait…” She thoughtlessly touched the side her helmet to wipe the heart pinned on her sleeve as a tiny shard ran down her cheek, cutting far beyond the flesh. Cursing at herself under her breath, when a sudden shift off course kept her mindset on the right track. A sharp left passing the high security garages with guard towers, and fences seemingly designed to protect against invading armies which always seemed a little overkill for just protecting your car...

Regardless of her digression, this direction was wrong! The older gentlemen leading them came to a brief stop, letting the cargo truck cross the intersection while lighting his favorite addiction beneath the flickering flame, shutting it then stuffing it with the pack in his pocket.

“Hey, I’m parched and I overheard through the grapevine that there’s an establishment nearby that makes a good ‘Chronic Twister’. As a frequent bar hopping aficionado, I figured it would be a pleasant respite.” His airy explanation using veiled words as thin as the smoke blown by the subtle breeze. The only thing she needed to consider was if the intention was malingered or malignant...but she still required a ride.

“What? But we passed by that place that had those Fried Jalapenos. You know I love those.” The girlfriend complained stepping on the gas pedal. Scarlett used her last reserve of patience to stay reserved, repeating her reminder that her rewards would be reaped, the reluctant catch-up as the other two raced forth.

“That’s partially because you were temperamental and nearly blinded that young waitress with that shot glass for asking for my number. And my apology, followed by my cash merely lessens the length you’ve been prohibited under any circumstances to enter.” He chided in response without hesitation, maintaining his lead despite her attempts to pull ahead.

“Pft. What’s tempura mental even supposed ta’ mean?” She grumbled.

“Don’t worry Scarlett, one detour won’t kill you…”


They arrived at their deviation destination, a few wasted minutes later they parked and headed into the unfamiliar alleyway, it didn’t even look like anything was open. A quick argument for his girlfriend to let Scarlett use her robes to cover the bloodstains, so she wouldn’t raise wariness and returning it once cleaned up and the altercation aftermath. Scarlett simply countered the suggestion with the logic that keeping herself exposed would go further into indicating their wasn’t anything to hide. The girlfriend removed her cloak and revealed her punk attire. She ambled behind as the couple held hands, questioning why it seemed like he knew exactly where he was going...also noting the third wheel stood by his motorcycle like his feet were stuck in cement.

“Chaz is a highly spiritual fellow. Won’t enter bars unless it’s for a job. So he can just watch over all the equipment we left behind.” He explained with a smile, turning his head around and looking into her eyes. “But I’ve been authorized to keep an eye on you. So feel free to order something, it’s on me.” Scarlett answered with a nod, spotting the bouncer at the entrance as the three casually approached. A weapons check was becoming commonplace in this city’s nightlife. Much as Scarlett didn’t want to be without Beretta’s, her options were limited. The man stepped forward, inhaling and exhaling his cigarette. The girlfriend put on the kindest smile she could muster.

“Greetings, I’ve heard you’re open to passerby. My colleague over there was attacked and could use a strong drink and a sink.” He spoke chummily. Admittedly, that was an effective way to put it...now they waited...
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
Raw
coGM
Avatar of The Harbinger of Ferocity

The Harbinger of Ferocity Aspect of the Ferine

Member Seen 2 days ago

Hearing the other coming wasn't the issue the hunter faced, rather the fact someone else wanted a go at him. The formerly formidable Golemeth was essentially a bag of meat and protruding metal skeleton and sockets. Just how many wanted to tango with him, especially after he was slammed just short of the pearly gates? As far as anyone would be regularly concerned, for all intents and purposes now, Golemeth was dead. Unless someone got him back to remotely function, he was a giant cyborg paperweight, which was part of his issue in this very moment. It wasn't that Theron couldn't shoulder him and keep the plasteel shelled hand cannon hefted, no, that was the easy part. Maneuvering was the hard part and he felt it, now more than ever when the barrel casually panned across Tracy. The finger beside the trigger minded its business, because Theron wasn't the type of solo to blast some sketchy scrounger off the cuff. He had standards, standards enough to humor whatever was about to happen next.

"Oh really?" His voice piqued with interest as he stood a bit more upright in posture, balancing a foot back and keeping the gas operated, semi-automatic, long ranged hole puncher at about gut level and pointed out, "Well, unless you happen to work for a big name corp, that isn't likely."

There wasn't any effort to hide the weapon or even try and it was all a display that Theron wasn't likely to let another vulture peck at the kill and risk ruining his odds at a better reward. However, with the air still tinged by the lingering gun smoke and faintness of burnt flesh, not to mention the iron richness of drying blood, he cringed a bit in reaction, swallowing after. The subtle dryness of mouth faded and he continued on, slowly walking backward with another step.

"Start off with being chatty, maybe convince me." The chimeric amalgam looked down each alley as he kept slow walking, "Anything odd, we cut the conversation short."

It was only then his digit slunk from the polymer frame on down to the finger guard, the telltale "don't move" gesture. The weapon still had plenty in its magazine, one of the benefits of caseless shells, but Theron would be damned if he was not about to make it clear this was his quarry. Whoever this guy was, bag especially included, was far from chromed out, and that made Theron more nervous. Scavs didn't bother all too much any fight it looked like they couldn't handle, so either this guy was supremely confident that the other fairly human looking figure, betrayed only by subtle qualities or the more obvious external baggage, or he wasn't surface level. All that meant in the end was being careful, a lot more careful.

The positive was that they were both effectively alone now and the closer the march got to the access hub at a terminal, the less time he needed to spend in the Combat Zone. Nothing came free or easy before, this certainly was not about to be either. In fact, the last it had gone so well was before everything fell apart and the offers of it being "worth the while" contrasted fairly harshly with the fresh memories of being offered biotech that wasn't cheap. Not to mention that bit about how rare it was for solos to get contracts tailored to them, but Theron knew one thing; this was all wrong from the start. So another interruption, another offer? This might almost become a recurring trend.

@Terminal
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Terminal
Raw
Avatar of Terminal

Terminal Rancorous Narrative Proxy

Member Seen 3 days ago

The haggard, bag-totting man treated Theron's threat and leveled handgun with a deadpan expression. "Don't be an idiot with me." They bit out in a flat tone that belied exasperation, impatience...and a hint of smoldering anger. "I didn't have to make you an offer. For somebody who had enough neurons firing to keep their cool at that chop-shop side-show back there, you don't seem to have figured out its better not to make enemies where you don't have to."

The man was standing with a bit of a slouch, most of their body weight firmly set in the heel of their right foot as they rocked back and forth lightly, the fingers of their left hand idling drumming the duffel-bag's straps rhythmically. He seemed pretty anxious...just apparently not with Theron.

"It's simple." The man uttered the word with a bit of lingering, emphatic dip towards the end, poorly masking the condescension of his tone. He was glancing around the street furtively - when he looked at Theron at all, it was only to look him in the eye. Even with Theron's enhanced vision and tracking, getting a read on this man was eerily difficult. "I have a pretty good idea who you're with, and if I'm right then it'd just cause trouble to have killed you. What I've got in mind is a little mutually beneficial exchange. You get to keep Golemeth's carcass no matter what, and maybe if you're good at paying attention you'll listen to what I have to discuss with him and learn a thing or two. I get what he knows without having to burn any bridges. You get what I know on top of that, and just maybe we might be able to keep helping each other where it's convenient. In the future, maybe I can help you overcome that priaprism-induced inferiority complex you're jacking off in your hand right now."

...This man talked an awful lot of shit considering he looked to be wearing tattered clothes and weighed the next-best thing to fifty-two kilograms soaking wet. Assuming he had no wetware. It was clear from his tone and disposition that he did not feel like he needed to prove anything to Theron. For one thing, he seemed to have simply assumed that Theron would know anything he decided to divulge would be worth the time and breath. Although that was hardly the least believable thing about this situation. Chances were, if this guy wanted information from Golemeth, there was only one topic the both of them might know that could provide as much leverage as he seemed to think he had. He had finally stopped glancing all over the place and was now staring directly at Theron, expression impatient with a pronounced rise to one eyebrow.

@The Harbinger of Ferocity
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by 13org
Raw
Avatar of 13org

13org Stay fresh!

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

Nina




@Hekazu Mention: @SleepingSilence



The negotiation was going... decently well. Despite the fact that both men weren't that interested in the big facts regarding megacorps and instead were focusing more on their envoy, things were going smoothly. Both men apparently a bit more at ease around Nina. As one of them started talking, he raised some points that Nina had forgot to take in consideration... They were just a gang... They couldn't even hope to tickle a megacorporation... And if they somehow did, nothing good would come out of it. Their best bet was to simply keep things under control while trying to be discreet and so the big corps wouldn't turn their eyes towards them.
As he continued talking, Nina heard carefully, realizing that he was completely correct about all that.

"You... are completely right. Maybe it was just my curiosity, but indeed the best course of action would to try to not draw too much unwanted attention." Nina said, nodding to both guys.

"Thinking about it... I wouldn't want to get noticed by them as well... They could get rid of me as easily as they could maybe try to hire me... And the first option is way more likely to happen." Nina said, laughing.

As both Nina and one of the two guys, who had invited her to talk a bit more about the partnership thing, headed towards the exit, he asked her about her plans.

Although she knew that the reason why he wanted to talk more about that wasn't entirely regarding work, that made things a little bit easier to Nina. If they started to see her as a woman and not as an info broker or a solo, that would make them way easier to talk to and it would make the whole negotiation... safer to her.

"A plan? Hm~" Nina replied, crossing her arms, thinking.

"Nope. None!" Nina said with a smile, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

"Maybe to stop somewhere on my way home to buy a fancy bottle of wine to drink with Old Albert for my birthday. Other than that, nothing more." Nina said, looking to him.

"Oh, but If you're worried about me walking around the combat zone unarmed, don't worry. Until today, I never met anyone who could keep up with me. Let alone catch me..." Nina said, laughing.

"By the way... You never told me your name. Neither have I told you mine, right? You can call me Nina." she said as she followed him towards the door.

The way she said that wasn't mere flaunting, judging by the tone of her voice. That, coupled with the fact that her cyber legs, even under the jeans, had an unique design, unlike most other cyber limbs Croak had ever seen, hinted that there might be something more to that girl below the surface...

Just as they both arrived on the door though, Nina saw a group of people arriving at the bar, just outside. Just as Nina put her eyes on them though, it was clear that they have brought blood with them. Overhearing one of them talking, she discovered that apparently, one of them was wounded. If that was the only thing to notice about those guys, Nina wouldn't have even stopped, but what called her attention wasn't any of the other members, not even the one who was talking with the bouncer, but the woman who was behind them, the one who supposedly was wounded.

She was a tall woman wearing a very unique helmet, a helmet that was a bit hard to be confused with standard equipment. It was no doubt made especially for that woman. But maybe the most interesting thing to note was that her helmet looked a lot like the one Nina heard about from a few rumors. Those rumors said that someone wearing a weird helmet and strangely enough, a big, red wolf were targeting people who might know something about Lt. Davison. At first, Nina had dismissed that as just a weird, made up story to keep others away from trying to know more about Lt. Davison and what was happening, but she now had a chance to finally see if it was indeed just a made up rumor or if it could lead to some interesting information...

"So... Have you heard about the weird rumor of a big red wolf and a solo with a strange helmet sniffing around the Combat Zone?" Nina asked Croak, being careful to speak in a low volume so only he would hear.

"According to those rumors, whoever is the one wearing the strange helmet is targeting people who might have information about Lt. Davison." Nina said, discreetly motioning towards the group talking with the bouncer, more specifically, the girl on the back.

"Wanna check it out? They're getting in right now." Nina asked, looking to Croak and waiting for his answer.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Jollan
Raw
Avatar of Jollan

Jollan "let's devide by zero!" / (queue apocalypse)

Member Seen 5 hrs ago



"Only four hundred bucks!? What are you trying to pull?" A slightly robotic voice yelled in a little hole in the wall scrap shop. It was Jarred, standing next to a pile of scrap roughly as tall as he was. "It took me five days to gather this crap ya'know, even if it was just the metal alone it's worth more than that!" His hand was on the counter, fingers rapping against the display glass case at the counter. The little store was filled wall to wall with random scrap metal, junk, parts, and the few still functioning cybernetics were in the glass case, though even they were a little worse for wear.

The very exhausted store owner wiped his face with rolling eyes. "Look, buddy, I gotta run a business 'ere jus' like everyone else, a'right? I'm already payin' ya more than what I want to, and I still gotta cut a profit. Four hundred, or no deal, capiche?" After some incoherent grumbling from Jarred and then an labored sigh Jarred agreed. "Alright, alright. Ya don't have to preach to me about it." he said even thought he has been haggling for nearly thirty minutes now. He waited on the money, in cash as always to keep everything off the books.

"Okay then, same time next week, Hugo?" Jarred asked in a lighter tone. "Yeah yeah, get on out'a here ya masked nuisance. Now I gotta find a place for all this junk you call scrap." Jarred would smile if he could as he waved with his back turned to him. "Always a pleasure doin' buisness with ya sir. Oh-" Jarred turned around, "And if you could tell your son, Miguel, to stop hiding outside the door to try to mug me of the money you just payed me, that would be greeeeaaaat.... chow!" He finished with a lazy two finger salute, his thumb resting on his ring and pinky finger. A very faint whirring sound could be heard as he turned back around and walked out. Shorty after walking out the door, Hugo stood up from the junk pile with a little bit of a worried look on his face. He heard someone start to yell, but it didn't last long.

"Hey, Miguel!" he heard Jarred say. "Give me your money, bi-UALALULULALALALALALALAAUahhhh!" Miguel shouted right before, and apparently while he was getting tased. There was a short silence followed by the sound of someone flopping onto the ground. "Nevermind, Hugo, too late.... I think he knows!" Jarred said as he continued to walk away, making a blowing sound as he brought his two fingers to his face like blowing smoke from a barrel. On his way down the street he saw a familiar bar and thought about his own alcohol stockpile at home.....which was none.

"Hmmmmmm," he hummed as he patted himself over, looking for something. "AHA!" he pulled out a flask from his pocket and gave it a shake....nothing. He popped the cap and turned it over.....still nothing. "....well shit...." He guessed it was time to restock, or at least fill up his flask. He started to walk into the bar when the bouncer was busy with another customer, however, it didn't seem like it was the only bouncer. He got stopped by another, a familiar face (even though Jarred couldn't remember his name for the life of him), who had also asked to offload any weapons. "What? Since when did people start having to do that? Wait...is it because of the mask? It's the mask isn't it? That's not very polite ya'know, but I'll overlook it for now and comply with your asinine request." The bouncer rolled his eyes as Jarred pulled out his sawed off shotgun and placed it in the bouncer's hands. "There, don't scratch her, she already doesn't like being handled by other men."

With a sigh the bouncer continued, "Jarred, c'mon man, I know you have more on you." Damn....this guy really did know him, and Jarred couldn't stand not knowing a name of someone who could remember his. He started offloading his other weapons. "Greg?" he handed over his pistol. "Nope."

"Uuuuhhhh...Kerry?" as he started pulling out his lever action rifle. "Wrong again."
"Dammit...hmmm...Victor?" as he set it in his hands. "Not even close."
"God bless it, Jason, I know I've told you I'm bad at names!" he said irritatedly, unknowing that he got it right. "There ya go."
"OH!....so I did...," he finished as he pulled his knife out, flipping it in the air and catching it by the blade to hand it to Jason handle first. Jason had to shift around a bit to grab it as well. "Holy shit man, you pack enough heat or what?"
"Not at all, I wish I could carry more. Alright, Jack, let me get a drink to fill my flask and I'll be right back out." The bouncer shook his head as he went over and put the weapons in a safe box for him until he came back.

Jarred went over to the counter and ordered enough whiskey to fill his flask, payed for it and filled it up, leaving the glass for the bartender. "I never understand why you don't just stick around and drink, often as you come by here."

"It's easy, Victor-," he started. "Kerry," the man corrected. "OOOOH ok, that makes sense now." Jarred remarked about the mix up of names in his head. "Anyway, yeah, it's easy, I like to drink, just not in public. Cheers." he said as he raised his flask and then stored it. He sat down in the booth and looked around. There was definitely an odd assortment of people in here today.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by SleepingSilence
Raw
Avatar of SleepingSilence

SleepingSilence OC, Plz No Stealz.

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Watching their held hands nonchalantly stride inside like they owned the place, greatly contrasting with her awkward entrance following them. Scarlett immediately took notice of the giant and red headed woman, her anticipatory looks sending mixed vibes. Her peer and her peers probably asking about the bipedal, blood-soaked, somber canine coming along and beelining toward the bathroom. Did her reaction come across cowardly, or was she simply stalling for time?


Her memories poured out as Scarlett turned both knobs, loud as the creaking faucet. Cupping her hands and allowing the water to engulf her face, swishing some through the chunks of flesh stuck between her teeth and spitting it out before the thought made her wretch. The chill had struck her; mindful of her bestial nature that she’d grown accustomed to. Scarlett’s head hung low, she couldn’t stand the mirrors' judgmental glares. Her choices hadn’t pushed her down the path of no return. If she possessed a secondary option, she’d snatch it like a predator — perhaps that was a poor wording choice. But showering herself with platitudes didn’t make her feel any less dirty, as scrubbing away the blood did little to remove the stains. Hiding beneath her helmet once again, quietly stepping out.

What could she expect? The collar didn’t need to around her neck to know she was being lead, but uncertainty didn’t help her intuition. The two sitting beside each other in the farthest corner, just receiving their multiple drinks as Scarlett approached the table, getting a polite smile from the man and a pleasing statement from her.

“I’ll be back baby.” The girlfriend said pecking his cheek then standing up, giving Scarlett the cold shoulder on her way past. Scarlet sat on the opposing side of the man, arms folded in her lap and staring at his outer calmness sipping a shot of strong liquor. Without the literal chessboard, a strategic game was already unfolding. His lackadaisical pinky pointing at the menu lying in the middle of the table while grabbing the frothy mug.

“Have a couple drinks on me. Will make the situation more comfortable for all of us.” His offer obfuscated the point enough, last thing she needed was booze.

“I don’t care for being underestimated. You planned to drag me to a secluded spot away from our usual circles, so what do you want?” Scarlett asked, tone stiff as her posture. He cracked a genuine smile hidden behind slurping his suds.

“Please, I’ve always favored your fervor. Besides, I can relate to when one’s ambition becomes their obsession.” He was talking, but saying nothing as far as she was concerned. He wasn’t even maintaining eye-contact with Scarlett, as his eyes descended and pulled out a notepad from his pants' pocket and reached underneath the table. She grabbed it and glanced down, noticing the writing wasn’t in the English language, but something she could translate easily.

I have a preposition for you…


She returned a glare, but he seemed to be focused on his foam beverage. Taking another drink as he simply changed the subject entirely, speaking in a casual way that felt oddly heartfelt from the degree of softness slathering his speech.

“Drinking alcohol is like young love, once you find one thing you love you overindulgence in it, and eventually make an ass of yourself at best. At worst you’ll be disgusted by the sight of it, just from the memories alone...”

She flipped to another page and read the next several notes in succession, giving a despondent response.

If you can keep quiet, keep reading...


I’ve been tracking your boyfriend’s killers whereabouts for quite some time...


I know where you can find one of them. I can help you directly get to them.


“Your wife told you that right?” Pausing for a moment to exhale. “I’m not interested in talking about my love life.” She said, using her words as a double edge blade cutting off both conversations. He let out muffled cough covered up by a balled fist.

“Fine, I only want you to hear me out.” He countered quickly, clearing his throat before continuing as Scarlett kept reading the notes. “I learned my wife was a psychotherapist on are first date. Heh, she couldn’t have chosen someone more broken to fix. My addictive behavior was fueled by alcohol and narcotics. But somehow her pearly-white presence was like a miracle substance that I couldn’t find the heart to abuse. I grew so sick of that struggle, that I had found resolve inside myself and actually became sober. She made me whole...”

You’re asking why would I help you? Why jeopardize my position for even suggesting breaking the bosses rules? Simply put, your desire coincides with mine. We both seek retribution.


You know what happened to my wife and how I’ve been looking for her killer. We happen to be searching for the same target. I need someone dependable. This is our best chance to succeed. If you refuse my offer, I’m afraid we’ll both let the bastard slip through our fingers…


Her grip tightened on the notepad, clenching her leg. His sentences structured like fists penetrating her emotions, psychologically pummeling her into submission through her many similarities of thought. Closing her eyes for a moment to regain her composure.

“But now I’m left fragmented. We’re both ghosts haunted by our past. But let me offer some sage advice — I used to believe that sticking her advice was like an invisible keepsake. The mere act of following their footsteps would be a sign that they mattered. I’d stay sober forever, just to keep her happy…but she wasn’t happy, she died and horribly so. I can’t think of anything more narcissistic than appeasing the dead. So I stopped thinking about what made others happy, only what made me happy...” Hints of his repressed anger showed transparently as if steam started spewing from his mouth, setting aside the empty glass instead of slamming it.

Shoving the notepad in-between her leg and the seat, looking around and noticing the other patron sitting by himself, before finally cutting him off through clenched teeth. It was clear his sob story never pertained to him. She leaned forward in her chair. “What have you been doing?”

He answers by rotating his finger in the air and leaning forward, putting his elbows on the table.

“Well just like you’ve been pursuing your goal. We’ve been ordered to find friends, lovers, associates, acquaintances etcetera. I doubt I need to explain why?” He spoke softer.

“If you can’t find Lieutenant Davison and he’s not dead or captured, or hell even if he’s either. Those closest to him would be the next best thing to have.” She thought, slightly shaking her head while reading on…

I recently discovered his current location, thanks to an unskeptical sort in our ranks. Its seperated from the others and highly guarded, likely because you and I aren’t the only folks that want him dead.


I also gathered evidence that the security systems in the building are undergoing scheduled maintenance giving you a window to get in and out without being detected. You always seemed to be the best at infiltration.


Neither of us will even be suspected or questioned. Because he wasn’t allowed to tell this location to anyone. But he owed me money for supplying him with hallucinogens and more than a few favors. So his loose lips will be an effective scapegoat.


“Everyone has been following their breadcrumb trail, hoping to catch a songbird. You understand the importance of finding the target supersedes meager promises? They’d let him fly free in a heartbeat, if he sang prettily enough...the most effective way of crushing a songbird’s dreams, is starting with their windpipes.” The serious threat of his words still spoken in a hushed and collected voice. The conditions were becoming clear, finally reminding herself of the folded note she recovered, speaking up.

“An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.”

He laughed bitterly as he came over and whispered in her ears. “I’m not taking moral lectures from someone who drowned the earth. You want a phrase? Good things come to those who wait, but only what's left from those who hustle!”

The boss suspects that he knows about Davison. Not only will you not be allowed to touch him until it's far too late. He could potentially free everyone of his partners in crime, depending on the legitimacy of his information.


I’ve done all the leg work. I’ve sacrificed everything in the moment I gave you this, even my desire to exact revenge with my own two hands. Just scratch my back and I’ll let you scratch out his eyes.


My only condition is giving him the torture he enforced on my wife. Rip out every one of his teeth and make him swallow his tongue. Record it and give me the tape. We’ll be square and that will surely satisfy us both.


He grabbed the notepad from Scarlett, but she didn’t stop him, remaining still and silent. He smiled at her and shoved it back into his pocket. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go check on my girlfriend and pay for our tab.”

Leaving Scarlett to drink in the words, absorbing them all until she felt deep underwater, struggling to catch her breath and bringing about a sensation of panic. She watched the condensation drip down from the glasses, like sand pouring from an hourglass. Her heart was beginning to race. She was clearly running low on time. Her decision needed to be made fast!
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
Raw
coGM
Avatar of The Harbinger of Ferocity

The Harbinger of Ferocity Aspect of the Ferine

Member Seen 2 days ago

"You see, you don't make a convincing argument how this benefits me. That's why I am a bit skeptical. That simple - nothing personal either, just business, and the offer you are making right now?"

The methodical slow steps each boot took when the associated foot fell kept on with their pace, despite the flurry and frenzy of talking the other man did. If anything it just convinced the hunter a lot further that this was not only a bad idea, it was a terrible idea to even keep listening much longer. Golemeth was his quarry, he had him alive and secured, and that was the best he had to offer at the moment for himself. The stranger, who only seemed to become more riled and rowdy with ever new word uttered? There wasn't anything to be offered and not an ounce of trust.

Frankly, Theron trusted him as much as he did the Spider or the boosters or reasonably less as he thought about it, spurring him to note as much as he returned the other man's stare with a narrowed one behind the dust powdered glasses from all the concrete that had been pulverized, "Not too sweet, so I am thinking it would be best for you, us both, is that you start walking back the other way and don't stop."

The situation erred closer and closer to one of the roads that led on down to where Theron needed to be, but there was no opportunity to break and run. Mobility was key, as was not exposing one's self to being just casually shot in the back, and both of those options were effectively up in smoke. All there was, was the grungy alleyway, one unconscious, beaten former cyber junkie, and these two vultures pecking at him. Theron sighed a bit, his posture easing some and the false leather of his coat giving a bit more slack.

"And lets not try to be crafty either. No shadiness with the hands or bag, just nice easy steps and we can both go to sleep tonight somewhere not six feet under or getting picked at by geeked out rats or dregs."

Odds were if he flatlined someone would come looking for him or Golemeth, given this was the last place they so happened to be. Problem was, that was hours away when the day came. Either Theron sent something back, a report of what went down, or he came back with a body, living or dead. A missing hunter, especially in this case? Nothing but added fuel to the fire to try and get it resolved. The more conspiracy it all was shrouded in made employers increasingly more desperate and whoever the corp-cop was that blew their little tech dealing venture up had way more attention than imagined. Theron hadn't even had the chance of trying to figure out what the metal eight-leg freak really wanted or what gang was hunting his quarry. It had all been nonstop since his heels hit the pavement from the transport into the Combat Zone.

That wasn't entirely true, the stalk and chase, that was all a bit time consuming, but it blurred together and getting this far to even catch a breath was short lived. Whoever this guy was, he stood somewhere right on the line between being perfectly rational and absolutely unhinged, which with this case was always on a loop.

@Terminal
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Terminal
Raw
Avatar of Terminal

Terminal Rancorous Narrative Proxy

Member Seen 3 days ago

"You see, you don't make a convincing argument how this benefits me. That's why I am a bit skeptical. That simple - nothing personal either, just business, and the offer you are making right now? Not too sweet, so I am thinking it would be best for you, us both, is that you start walking back the other way and don't stop. And lets not try to be crafty either. No shadiness with the hands or bag, just nice easy steps and we can both go to sleep tonight somewhere not six feet under or getting picked at by geeked out rats or dregs."
Theron

"You're actually going to make me say it out loud?" Theron could see that the man's head was visibly trembling as he grimaced at the corporate solo. "Fine. I have actionable information on Lt. Davison, is that what you wanted to hear? That's the deal. We share what we have. I get a little face-time with Golemeth - who I think we both know has ties with him - and you get what I know. Is that something you think is beneficial enough? Or do you have to go and ask daddy if he'd like that?" He paused emphatically as he glanced at Theron's method footsteps, slowly backing away a bit at a time, before staring dead-straight at Theron's eyes as he spoke. He shifted his body weight from one foot to the other, and was gesturing lightly with his free hand, alternating between pointing at Theron or else hovering lightly in the air as though he was just having a regular conversation. Aside from the aggravated tone of his voice and his eerie stare, the man seemed completely at ease.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Because of course, doubling down on a dick-measuring bluff was exactly the sort of thing that could not possibly backfire. No, the gunfire would go perfectly straight from the solo's gun and through Tracy's skull any second now. Tracy could hear his molars grinding against each other in the back of his mouth. His face was so sensitive, he could actually feel the tips of his ears as they trembled. Icy pins and spiders were stinging every square centimeter of his back, and his legs were actively trying to commit mutiny against the rest of his body both by trying to go from standstill to sprint, as well as by trying to spontaneously cease existing and consequently supporting the remainder of his body. For the moment he was forestalling either possibility by shifting his bodyweight around from side to side nervously, but he was deeply aware that to pull this off, he could not look too nervous. Or the wrong kind of nervous, like bouncing-on-the-balls-of-your-feet nervous.

As part of his brilliant ploy of self-distraction while he tried to focus, Tracy shifted the grip of his fingers along the strap of his duffel bag, turning his clenched fist from a death-grip to an ineffectual suicide attempt by way of digging his nails into his palm. Tracy then decided, as part of the ongoing plan to not get shot as well as part of a signatory ceasefire with his own fight-or-flight response, to deescalate the situation a little.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

"That was actually a rhetorical question. I'm short on time and I need results, not worthless melodrama. Here's some 'benefit' for you. I'll tell you some of what I know before you resuscitate him. You can decide if what I've got is worth the effort then. But we can't keep yammering on like this in the middle of the street. Meet me halfway here." Tracy gestured pointedly to the surrounding environs. There still weren't any vehicles or pedestrians, but in the distance - a few blocks down - the vague outlines of figures could be seen conglomerating.

"Would you really say no to a little help in exfiltrating that aggrandized paperweight somewhere a little more private?" The man asked demurely, voice rising in tone to something a little lighter as he held up his free hand, palm-first, in a placating gesture. "I know a few places nearby where we can at least stop to discuss this a little bit more. I get that you want to just bolt and get out of here, but this is not a game where you get to walk away without either folding or doubling down. How about we help each other rather than starting a second gang war in the streets?"

He lowered his gaze a little and away from Theron briefly before looking back, his expression curiously bitter. "Please?"

@The Harbinger of Ferocity
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Hekazu
Raw
GM
Avatar of Hekazu

Hekazu Cleric to Dice Gods

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

So here was what they had: An unarmed and recently paid info broker, a big guy that unfortunately was just biologically so and not some chrome giant that could stand through any hail of bullets with a smile… and a half-baked plan that went somewhere from an at least mid class booze retailer to fuck knows where. Yep. No way this could backfire at all. Croaks raised a hand to his forehead and rubbed it for a second. "On second thought, just gimme a hot second", he requested and turned around, marching with long strides straight to the barkeep.

Old buzzeye grinned at the approach of the gangster and poured a shot of something clear into a glass that was much less so. "Go get 'em amphibian", the man said with the wry expression frozen on his face while Croaks threw the drink down the hatch.

"Fuck you", the big man returned with an annoyed expression and the drink still burning in his throat, much to the amusement of the bartender.

"Nah, ain't got no time. You should consider that though. Got a pretty input there and all", the man returned an obvious joke to the back of the gangster who did his best to ignore it as he caught up to the woman.

And then it was to catching up from where they had left off. That he wouldn't have to worry about her being unarmed since ain't there nobody on this side of the Combat Zone that could catch up to her. And that they hadn't ever really formally introduced themselves. She was Nina. Had Ribby said that at some point? It sounded familiar. Or maybe he was just confusing it with someone else. He offered his right hand towards her with his answer: "Yeah, don't think I have. Croaks. No, it's not a handle, it's a name. Yes, I do have an 'actual' one. Don't bother, nobody else does." There. An introduction. Now to wait for the questions that inevitably followed every time. Every damn time.

But be there any or not, the music shifted before they got out. Croaks' hand shifted closer to his gun's trigger guard and he clicked his tongue. "Fresh arrivals at the door. Bad timing", he grumbled, but kept on pressing on. They were heading out. He wasn't going to hang around in the barkeep's field of view any longer than he had to, if he was going to be that way. And outside… yeah. A curious collection indeed. Tough to say what for. The sort of people didn't usually come by. New faces, that was. This place was pretty far out of the way. And it was the Amphibians' territory.

Nina did seem to have a clue what they might or might not be though. That there was a strange solo with a weird helmet and 'a big red wolf' in the Combat Zone, these parts probably. Well, he had to admit the fresh arrivals fit the description. But should they go and look? Croaks gave Nina a look that more or less asked of her if she was insane. Targeting people that knew about the Lt., and she was considering fucking going back in? "You need a new set of self preservation chips, girl", Croaks said, shaking his head and motioning towards the outside.

"Ribby and the gang are in there. They talk stuff, they start hit, they do anything… it's our bar. We'll get to know without having to go and interface with the lot. I mean, good on you for knowing the rumours, but… I'd kinda run the logic in the other direction." Again, he would gesture towards the outside. And if she wanted her birthday fine, for whatever fucking reason with the gangster with her given she was the one who'd asked for a partnership… well, that wasn't back in there, nor on the other side of flatline.



Inside though, Ribby would be doing exactly what Croaks had expected of him. The limping guy approached his boss and let him know about the strange arrivals. An exotic kind of gal, and a more ordinary pair that still looked off over in these parts. Ribby would nod at the man and send him on his way. Well. Wasn't that something. Coincidence or not, it paid to pay attention to whatever was going on in there. Ribby put a pair of shades on his eyes and shifted the pillow next to him to the side, dragging a single plug from his neck to the socket behind said decoration element, jacking in to the surveillance network of the bar.

He rolled through the cameras. Two of his guys were keeping an eye on him, as per usual. Good. Several were settled in spots that gave them a line of fire towards the newcomers if need be, though engaged with their own stuff. Was cool, best way for it to be probs. And then there was the table he was actually interested in. The mic was barely picking up any chatter over the music, and whatever it was wasn't all that important. But he caught a few curious movements there. Leaning to the side. Glancing down for longer than possibly made sense. No clue what it was, but it was something. And he wasn't sure he liked it. He'd need to poke his bro with a quick pager note. Get this thing out. Could be related, or it could just be shady dealings in their joint. Without them being asked about it.

@13org@SleepingSilence
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
Raw
coGM
Avatar of The Harbinger of Ferocity

The Harbinger of Ferocity Aspect of the Ferine

Member Seen 2 days ago

This was getting to be pretty tedious and Theron didn't like it, not one bit. The part about his newfound counterpart just blurting out a name made him pause for a moment, not so much shock as it was the soft motion of stabilizing himself for what felt like an impending attack. Just who was this weirdo? Why in the ever loving pits of this trash heap city did everyone on the street want some part of this Davison guy? This little punk, not even a punk really, the guy hadn't even the slightest show of cyber, was doing all he could to gall him out into this deal. It all felt like a trap, just everywhere his mind could run to, but the problem was... now this was his job.

That's what made him not like an ounce of it. This wasn't really about Golemeth, worthless robo-freak he was in this slummed out side of the city rolling hot with the big guns to slam it on with some nobody boosters, it was all about the missing Davison. Unfortunately that compelled him to play nice with his new "friend" who seemed to be somewhere between totally sane and reasonable and more a loose cannon than any of the nightlife the hunter crossed tonight.

The "please" bit didn't help cement the decision in the slightest but at least he could now talk his way out of this one with the corp if things went south; the unconscious solo wasn't worth nearly as much intel potentially as someone who could name drop the target itself. Rolling his eyes behind his glasses, every hair on his body wanting to stand on end, Theron finally uttered his concession, "About time, that was what I was looking for."

But the blacked out street predator wasn't about to make it that easy.

"I make my call, then we meet." It was clear that being potentially dead from the trap wasn't a good option and the man knew it. So, better to take down the potential threat with him if he went down. At least then they would both be dead then as it would put a bigger flame under the ass of the corp to weed out the competition.

"You explain yourself, tinker around with our mutual acquaintance, and then we go our ways, just like you said. We both win and we can quit chatting in this alley. Done deal."

As far as he was concerned, slowly turning the barrel down, that was as sweet as he could make it without getting tagged. The man just smelled, at this point tasted like a cocktail of unstable emotions. At least he didn't seem to be a junkie, that was the upside and bought him a bit more credibility, but no matter how hard Tracy tried to hide it, the more animal parts of his company were all over the fact that he was shadier than he looked on the outside. The little motions of the hand, the flushing of the blood from deathgrip tier fingers, the shift of his weight from soles of the feet to the balls, on and on the list went.

Theron didn't add the obvious either that they would know just where the line tapped in at. Whoever this guy was, he knew it already. Not that the Intellitron prowler would admit it either, but he would send the "All Clear". The last thing he needed was his own to swoop in on his scoop. If this panned out how he was hoping it would, those fleeting images of a quick detour and done, this would be an even bigger payout for whoever was in the know that wanted this guy so badly.

@Terminal
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by SleepingSilence
Raw
Avatar of SleepingSilence

SleepingSilence OC, Plz No Stealz.

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Scarlett stared at the tons of empty glasses and a half-full fruity cocktail, the girlfriend’s jacket hanging on the chair, plus a scribbled note she watched the man leave behind on the table. ‘My compliments to the bartender’ with a generous tip lying beside it. Her panicked mind adrift and thrashing in the rising waves of tension. His offer became a siren song holding her hostage like a serrated blade held up to her neck. He pressed deep and waited for Scarlett to open up and spill out. What if he already suspected she discovered–

"Wait!"

"Breathe…"

This game wasn’t over yet.

In fact, she had the single most valuable piece in her possession quite literally stuffed inside her helmet. In order to maintain her sanity she’d need to quickly glue the pieces together that he intentionally tried to break apart, managing the memorized Machiavellian moments making minutes of time minimized to milliseconds of theorizing.

Taking the opportunity to call his bluff, she had to get her hands dirty and evaluate the groundwork laid before her, charting every peak and valley. She stood up from her seat with a definitive stance, not collapsing from shaky legs due to unbalanced thought, nor underneath the weight of his assertions assaulting her self-assurance.

The first contradicting question that made her feel like he revealed his hand. Why exchange the notes beneath the table? Perhaps nobody at the bar would notice or care to consider it without context. But he specifically agreed to keep everything casual to not arouse raised eyebrows. So why not simply across from it? To avoid her recording receiving the notebook from him, his eyes and movements were focused on her actions. He was incredibly careful and calculated.

Bringing along this woman that hated her, then expressing her wrongdoing on a mission so brazenly might have been effective countermeasures against her ruining the plan and gave him an easily manipulated and obedient ally if Scarlett resisted. Her prolonged absence to the bathroom was likely ingested, would it be a stretch to assume he had put something in her drink?

But that lead into why take the notepad? So she wouldn’t show somebody? A bizarre language she doubted her master even understood? He knew her enough that she didn’t have real friends in The Fortress, let alone in Night City. After all this trouble and supposed trust? She had to look down to read them, so the possibility of recording the messages themselves could still happen. But his thoughtless sentence painted a picture worth a thousand words. That wasn't his handwriting!

The answer to who wrote it and therefore must be an active accomplice became apparent that their third wheel wasn’t accidental. He never showed his face and spoke to reveal his possible difference in nationality. He stayed back to stop her from running away without a fight. His nerves exaggerated to garner sympathy, or was it desperation slipping in while hiding nefarious intentions? Regardless, his similar appearance to her boyfriend was a damned sinister play to tug at her heartstrings. A spider crafting a strong web by spinning a thread of lies that would stick to her and it almost worked. She figured every word was the truth, it would make his motivation to do this in the first place crystal clear.

All except the prisoner actually knowing anything about Davison, and her master’s motivation. Which in turn, completely removed her incentive to accept it. She remembered her master’s words whispered erotically in her eardrum clearly, so if one of her boyfriends killers had known anything about the Lieutenant. She’d be the first he’d sic on him without hesitation. She needed to escape before they returned…

But she couldn’t shake the feeling that that red-headed girl wanted to contact her for reasons unknown, but she couldn’t risk staying much longer. Knowing her ability to record any additional footage without another data chip was limited to approximately forty seconds. She captured video of her and the other two patrons at the pub, hopefully she’d be capable of gathering enough information to find her again. A sharp scream pierced the air, coming from the wraith of a woman scorned sounding off the metaphorical starting pistol. Throwing caution to the wind by exerting her long digitigrade legs, she made a swift exit...


As Scarlett raced out of the bar, she gracefully avoided running head-long into a patron heading in. He was maybe a few centimeters taller than she was with neat hair, and looked to be obese at first glance, a fact poorly concealed by the long, fur-coated aviator jacket he was wearing. The lower-right half of his face was slack and sagging, almost like he had suffered a stroke, and he had a curious, linear tattoo of some kind running down from his nose, past his lips and down to his chin, although she didn't get a good look at it due to her rush. Just another weirdo coming in.

"Sorry there missy." He said as he held up both his hands - which were both covered in thick, calloused scars. His voice was rather deep and had a kind of deep scrape to it, some kind of faint metallic clipping at the end of each syllable, but he was not hard to understand despite the deformity of his jaw. He turned to watch her race past him, calling out to her as she went. "Be safe out there. There's been a firefight in the combat zone, and you aren't the only animal out there. A hardware spider was seen creeping around."

He then turned and headed into the bar.


In the alleyway, waiting at the edge of the road with three parked motorcycles and a set of keys somewhere on the man who stood there like he was expecting her. She clenched her hands and aggressively approached as he whipped out an Excalibur Nightstick in his right hand, glowing blue from the volts of electricity coursing from the tip. Of course, he couldn’t raise concern from other potential liabilities by calling for help or using louder firearms. Neither could she make a break for her Beretta’s and blast away subsequently alerting those who’d be able to pursue her. Her own straps lying on his seat. A single strike against her flesh would suffice to impair her movement entirely.

Throwing the jacket over the taser as he swung down to stop her charge, she grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm back, spinning him around and attempted to yank it out of his grasp. He slammed his left elbow into her chest, it was powerful hit but she refused to let go. They continued to both struggle, the jacket falling between them, she tried manipulating his hand to taser himself in the back and quickly wrapped her other arm around to pat and check his torso for keys. No luck.

He dropped the weapon, landing by the jacket and began pulling out a switchblade with his free arm. She pulled his arm back and used her strength to slam him into the wall of the adjacent building, his left shoe coming off and his helmet audibly clashing. She heard the jingling that time, and if his left pocket held the switchblade...

“What the hell?”

She stuffed her hand inside his right pants' pocket and immediately regretting it, her hand felt trapped in a sticky substance that refused her attempt to pull back. That distraction allowed him to break free from her hold and spin around, shoving her full force off her feet and falling backwards on the ground in front of him. The helmet absorbing the blow to the head, the feeling of exhaustion begin creeping up from her rapid beating heart. She’d lose the battle of attrition, if she hadn’t already lost time. Her gaze catching glimpse of the object inside the tipped over shoe, the keys! He pulled and flipped the switchblade open, she snatched the keys and rolled over toward the jacket, and stood upright on all fours. He stood in a defensive position with his blade ready for Scarlett to lunge forward. Scrutiny and instinct agreed that his left leg was the easiest to sink her teeth into, followed by the wrist he held his weapon in–

He wouldn’t risk throwing it at her and ruining his advantage. She rushed toward his motorbike and hopped on, sitting on her firearms and inserting the keys and turning on the ignition. Scarlett gripped the handlebars and shoved her foot into the gas pedal. What they said about riding a bike proved true as she sped off into the street. He ran forward into the street, noticing her turning around and still increasing speed, coming straight at him. Scarlett was ready and willing to break the rules, she’d allow breaking a few bones on her way out. WHAM! Hurling him into the air and knocking him unconscious.

“I hope that hurts.” She growled aloud, before spending the rest of her time catching her breath as she rode off into the night. Next stop; The Fortress.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Terminal
Raw
Avatar of Terminal

Terminal Rancorous Narrative Proxy

Member Seen 3 days ago

"You explain yourself, tinker around with our mutual acquaintance, and then we go our ways, just like you said. We both win and we can quit chatting in this alley. Done deal."
Theron

'And that,' Tracy thought as he eyed the lowering barrel of Theron's M31. 'Is yet another victory pulled out of thin air.'

"Alright. Two blocks down from here is a Puppet-Play Parlor. If your boy there had kept trucking he might even have had the opportunity to shoot the place up. You'll know the place when you see it, has turquoise glow and, uh, the slightly more lurid wall-inking. They have private rooms, and due to the...nature of the business they have a few spare wetware interfaces and medical instruments lying around we can make use of. I'll hang back, give you some room to make your call, and then you can follow me in. I'll take care of the arrangements."

Tracy proceeded to do exactly that. He took a few tentative steps backward, before pulling away and back down the street - but not too far. He malingered at the corner of the next alleyway, obviously keeping track of Theron as he hauled Golemeth between buildings while heading for the nearest kiosk. The man kept looking every-which-way with small jerking tilts of his head, like some overly-vigilant pigeon. He did not seem satisfied that Theron would keep his word, and was watching from a distance the whole time while Theron made the call, and refused to move on until the Intellitron Hunter had begun dragging Golemeth's carcass back in the opposite direction.

Tracy led Theron and his cargo back down the street past where the shootout had taken place. They had to pause twice as a solitary pedestrian moved by on the main street - people were finally starting to enter the area again. As promised, the Puppet-Play Parlor was readily identified by its sickly-turquoise color theme of neon glow. Although the whole district was usually bathed in glow in any case, the shot-up and partly collapsed buildings on the way there and the continuing string of destitute, condemned buildings on the opposite side made the joint stand out a little in the grimy murk. The front of the brick-and-mortar building had been effaced with a street mural (likely paid for) depicting two scantily-dressed women, their limbs all connected to strings while they prostrated themselves before a man holding onto marionette bars. This particular kind of joint was on the rarer side, even in Night City. It was common knowledge that with the right kind of wetware interface and a big enough server-stack, you could move around and store the real kind of personal data. Puppet-Play Parlors used bodies and minds, some rumored to be acquired through human trafficking or else requisitioned for payment of debt, for the entertainment of discerning patrons. Bodies with a selection of various personas could be rented or even bought, for the right price. So they would definitely have the right kind of equipment to resuscitate Golemeth - as well as make him pliable to questioning. The building was not a particularly large one - it probably had two private rooms at most and its server was probably stuck in a broom-closet, but it would do.

Tracy, for his part, pushed open the glass door and walked into the plaster-and-wood room with cheap neon-strips stapled to the edges of every surface and started talking with the receptionist as if he had done this a hundred times before - although Theron could see from Tracy's stance, the way he was moving, and the coloration of his face even masked by neon-glow as it was, that the man was even more nervous inside the building than he had been when he had been confronting Theron. A creeping edge of uncertainty laced his voice as he spoke.

"Hey, me and my two friends need a room, a bit of messy play gear, and I need all of it put on the Crash account."

The receptionist, a heavyset man wearing a wife-beater who looked perpetually displeased, had started filling out some kind of form on a wall-interface just behind the partition between his office and the entrance, but paused when Tracy mentioned the Crash account, whatever that was.

"And what would the boss say if they knew some nobody loser was trying to get a free ride with that sorry old line?" He asked, an unpleasant scowl appearing on his face.

"She would say that's part of the cost of doing business with lost causes, as long as it only ever happened once." Tracy replied, his entire body tensing up as though he were moments away from bolting right out the door, his expression visibly narrowing.

The man's scowl vanished. He silently and casually closed the form he had been filling out as though he was done with it. "You are in room two, the body-tube will be empty. Check the safe under the bed for your gear. You have as long as you need." He paused, then added, "You will pay for this." The tone of his voice was even and nonthreatening, but he definitely was not talking about money.

"Yeah, I know." Tracy said, not even bothering to hide the miserable undertone of his voice and he trudged down the hallway.

The electronic lock for room two was open when they got there. Unlike the rest of the building, which was as cheaply arranged as possible, a modicum of actual effort had gone into the presentation of the room's interior. The plastic-paneled door had a steel frame, the floor and ceiling had some kind of soft rubbery tiling with the appearance of slick, black glass, and the walls were coated in a silvery metallic paint with horizontal neon strips running along them with controls by the side of the bed to change their coloration and intensity. The bed was a four-poster arrangement wrought from dark metal, with rings and adjustable-length rods at regular intervals, and what looked like actual pillories stationed at the foot and headrests. At the back left-hand corner of the room was a tall glass-partitioned tube in the wall - empty, as the receptionist had indicated. A halfway opened, wall-mounted medical station - its electronic lock also clearly disengaged - clearly displayed an assortment of questionable concoctions and materials. A large black electronic safe-door set into the base of the bed had a glowing green indicator light near the top of its frame, indicating that it too was unlocked.

After Theron hauled Golemeth inside and onto the bed, Tracy closed the door for the room and switched the electronic lock on.

"As promised, here's a little preview of what I know." Tracy began, his voice wavering slightly. His voice sounded a little raw, as though he were parched. "Golemeth here had specific and multiple dealings with Davison. Multiple times and places, and I do not know or care about most of them. Recently though - as in, just before Davison went missing recently - Golemeth met with Davison at one of his actual secure holdings. Not some meet-up in the streets or somewhere else. One of Davison's actual sites. While there, Golemeth saw Davison meeting with somebody else, and witnessed a particular exchange. I am interested in what they said, and what they exchanged. I know the actual address where this meeting took place. There might be some items of interest left-over there, or intel on Davison, I don't know or care since all this drama over Davison going missing is presently peripheral to my actual concerns. If you let me talk with our friend here, I'll give you the address, and if you listen in you can have the name of the other party, and you'll learn why both Golemeth and the other party were there at the same time - as well as all of the same details I am looking to ask him about."

Tracy looked expectantly at Theron. "Is that enough? Are we in business?"
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by 13org
Raw
Avatar of 13org

13org Stay fresh!

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

Nina




@Hekazu



Nina simply stared at Croak's thoughtful expression with a curious gaze as he was lost in his own thoughts. Why was he so on guard? They were on his gang's headquarters, right? Nobody on their right mind would try to cause trouble there unless they had quite the firepower with them. And the new arrivals certainly didn't seem to be wanting trouble, after all, one of them was indeed wounded.

As he asked for a second, Nina simply followed him with her eyes as he walked towards the barkeeper, gulping down a drink and exchanging some pleasantries. He finally introduced himself once he came back. His introduction, albeit short, was direct. Somewhat amicable, but still rather blunt and direct.

"Croaks, funny name." Nina said with a giggle.

"Oh, no offense! It's not that bad. It's even a bit cute!" Nina said, laughing.

"I will spare you of any more questions regarding your name, as it seems you're not that comfortable talking about it. Just Croaks is fine. Everyone has things they might want to keep a secret. I'm no exception." Nina said, with a kind smile but with rather distant eyes.

"Ironically enough, finding out exactly what those things are is part my job. The other part is... well... selling them of course!" she said, laughing, quickly going back to her cheerful self.

After she asked him if he wanted to take a look at the new arrivals though, Croaks looked at her with an expression of someone who was clearly doubting her sanity.

"You need a new set of self preservation chips, girl" she heard Croaks saying to her.

"Not the first time I hear th-" Nina started to say, but was cut off after seeing with the corner of her eyes the woman wearing the strange helmet getting out of the bar hurriedly, in a suspicious manner. Even while she was talking with Croaks, she didn't take off her eyes from the woman. Just after she got in the bar, she sat down with another man to talk. Whatever it was the conversation they had before the man stood up and left her, left her pretty shaken...

"Shit! She's gone!" Nina cursed, as she spun herself, looking to where she last saw the woman going.

"I think I found something~" Nina said with a smirk as she dashed outside with a surprising burst of speed, enough to made clear to Croaks that she wasn't merely boasting when she said no one could catch her.

Unfortunately, the second she got outside, it was already too late. The last thing she saw, other than the man unconscious on the alleyway was the woman riding away in a motorbike. Even though Nina could probably follow her by running through alleyways and rooftops, she had left too quickly and Nina had no idea where she was going.

The signs of confrontation were clear. Nearby the unconscious man, a Excalibur Nightstick was laying on the ground, a jacket, a helmet (albeit not the woman's) and a switchblade. It was clear who had won that fight... The woman might have gotten away, but that man clearly knew who she was. And Nina really wanted that information...

"My lucky day~" Nina thought to herself, looking to the unconscious guy as she grabbed him by his neck, being careful to keep her fingers on his jugular to keep track of his heartbeats in order to react quickly if it looked like he was waking up as she dragged him without any ceremony inside the bar.

Hurriedly heading inside again, she searched for Croaks with her eyes. Upon finding him, she walked towards him, leaning forward to talk to him.

"Do you have any... silent and quiet room? I may have found someone who might have some valuable information... Maybe even for both of us." Nina said, with a serious expression that looked completely out of place in a girl who was smiling so amicably a few moments ago.
1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
Raw
coGM
Avatar of The Harbinger of Ferocity

The Harbinger of Ferocity Aspect of the Ferine

Member Seen 2 days ago

It was not long after the initial conversation ended that heavy barrel lead slinging block of a gun found itself nestled back in its cradle under the now battered coat of another combatant in the Zone. A good faith gesture between them, the sort of "I won't murder you and you won't murder me, at least tonight." conversation. That and that this other drifter had finally somehow, someway, beat himself back to a sense of coherency. Fortunately the call put out at the terminal went smoothly as well, the voice on the other end taking it as calmly as any other. At least now there was a bright flare fired off into the murky sky that flat out said where he was. That helped curb the bad odds, especially as the party-to-be opted for the most sleazy, scummy, types of places to make this a business endeavor in. Realistically it wasn't, just that bit of thought in Theron's mind outright made it feel that way.

Shady folks had a habit of making all of their business even more sketchy, the type of deal where one was never sure who else they were making deals with to forge it. Never did the thought to complain or comment cross his mind though, this was getting interesting. Turn after turn made it abundantly clear as the quarry found itself hauled around until the room was left to just them. That and an inordinate amount of all too unsettling tools and bits of hardware.

Theron wasn't some decker or ripper, he had no idea what half of this stuff was to do, but all of it screamed damn loudly between its mess of wires, tubes, fluids and vials, and whatever on else someone decided to throw in here, that it was a far cry from good news. The sooner they got this over with, the better, and that was right when his newfound informant decided to pipe up, at least addressing him this time. As the story evolved and expanded some parts of Theron wanted to take note but the last thing he wanted was to skeeve the speaker out by making him think the game was up; the guy nearly sank his index through his palm already just by having a gun hefted at him in a tense conversation. It was better to just take it all in and let him work his side of the deal.

"You know," He began, checking the display on his jacket's wrist before dismissing the array of lights, "I like you a lot more when you decide to explain things rather than twitch uncontrollably. So I will give you that, kudos to you. That said, we keep working out business like this and I will keep playing ball nicely. That said, as long as the merchandise isn't ruined, have at him. One thing though, just to sweeten our deal."

The man's fingerless gloves wiped at the fringe of his nose with the knuckles, he could still smell the pulverized concrete, singed blood, and the city outside, "There's one piece you probably would like that some freakshow scav lifted off him, one of those 'spider' things, or whatever in the fuck their new harness wants to be called. Point being, gimpy here is missing a laser disk. No idea what it did, where it came from, why, how - any of it. That's what I have that's up your alley by the looks of it."

Part of the admission was to help settle any potential questions about just where it went, the other was to generate a tad more good faith, but the most prominent was, was that the hunter had no idea what made it valuable. At a glance it was worth more than just what it appeared to be; spiders were gizmo junkies. Whatever was on it was at least in part worth the effort and it certainly wasn't anything like a booster or chip to teach old Golemeth karate. Either way, Theron dusted his hands against the slack of his jacket, scanning for any responses that might be evoked from Tracy.

@Terminal
↑ Top
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet