Hidden 1 yr ago
Zeroth Post
Raw
Zeroth
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mokley
Raw
GM
Avatar of Mokley

Mokley aka windyfiend

Member Seen 2 days ago

"THIS IS THE END TIMES!"

It was market day in Rig, and the crowds flowed and swirled like spilled paint and glitter.

Yellow and green were the latest fashion, draped with patterned sashes and oversized hoods that kept the sun from their necks. Brown faces smiled up out of the heat, laughing at the paper hats glued to the drones overhead. Dogs and children raced squealing underfoot while hawkers bellowed their sales on fresh fish and glass beads and used solar panels and music players. A busker danced with a sitar while a little girl sang along, and a puppeteer competed for crowds with her holographic scenes and robotic players.

Everything would have been peaceful and happy were it not for the bearded man on the stairs.

"SOMETHING IS COMING!" he hollered, his sharp blue eyes wide in terror while he flung his arms over the crowd, a red cape tossed behind him. "THE SIGNS ARE ALL THERE, BUT NO ONE'S LOOKING! THERE'S A REASON THE NOX ARE GONE, AND IT'S NOT A GOOD ONE!"

Everyone knew Ruskali, the self-described prophet. He'd once accused a cat of being the reincarnation of an ancient war-lord, and had called for the destruction of all electronic devices because they were whispering demonic instructions to their users. Last year he'd spent months insisting a particular style of graffiti was proof of alien invasion.

No one listened to him now--
--except one.

Archer leaned back on two legs of her chair, balancing precarious while she shoved handfuls of candied walnuts under her mask. Her flickering scanners were fixed on Ruskali and his wild shouting, so much that she almost didn't notice when her newest recruits began to arrive.

She had asked them to meet her here, after all, under Ruskali's stairs.

"All right, hello then, love the mask!" Archer called whenever another recruit showed up, and she teetered in her chair and gestured to a big wooden chest beside her. "We're just waiting for the others, but in the meantime how 'bout you pick yourself a weapon? They're not all dangerous in the usual sense-- well, some are --but they're for Nox hunting. You can destroy Nox-- they go up in a poof of smoke --or suck them up into little bottles, or stun them or spook them away, whatever makes you less squeamish. There's a lot to be squeamish about, I won't lie to ya. Care for a walnut?"

Hidden 1 yr ago Post by drewccapp
Raw
Avatar of drewccapp

drewccapp

Member Seen 8 days ago

Listener half-skipped through Rig as she made her way to her destination turning her head from side to side to check out each spectacle she came across. A firebreather gulped down and spat up flames in front of an excited crowd of young boys. Their mothers watching from a close distance occasionally warning their child to not get too close and be careful. Listener passed countless stalls only really slowing down to peek at the variety of clothing stalls. One in particular caught her attention: an elegant ball dress with an open back. The top was a goldenrod yellow while the skirt of the dress was emerald green. Listener definitely wanted it.

"Hi! Hi!" She got the attention of the merchant. "I absolutely LOVE this dress. What are you asking for it?"

The merchant lit up at Listener's compliment. "Thank you, My wife made that I'll be sure to let her know your feelings about it. As far as the price..." He stated the price for the dress.

Listener looked between the dress and the merchant while she considered the price. "Oh, I'm Ma-Listener. What's your name?"

The merchant raised an eyebrow with slight amusement. "Nice to meet you, Malistener, you have an interesting name. I'm Walt."

"Walt," Listener felt grateful her mask hid her embarrassment so well. "I can't exactly bring the dress with me right away, so I have an idea. I'll pay for it right now, and you can keep it here as an attention-getter for your stall. It's so lovely that it will certainly serve as a great advertisement for your stall. I'll come by later today to pick up it up when I can, fair?"

Walt nodded his head. "Well, it isn't like you'd be able to walk off with a new dress like this without adjustments being made, so your idea is already going to be in action whether you buy the dress or not. Let's get your measurements, so my wife can fix it up and it will be ready at our store in a day or two." He pointed at the tailor storefront behind the stall he was working at with one hand while the other pulled a measuring tape from a pocket.

Listener's embarrassment now had reached a peak, and she simply nodded and followed his instructions while he took measurements. Once they were completed, Walt gave her a card letting her know she would need it when she came to pick up her dress. They exchanged pleasantries as she paid and said farewell. She walked away from the stall and back into the crowd silently accosting her assumption that it was a mobile stall and not already an advertising stall in front of a year-round store.

She took her humbling as a queue to get to her destination directly, and Listener walked to Archer's location while lost in thought. She instantly brightened up when Archer complimented her mask upon seeing her. "Oh! Thank you! I love it too. Yours is a bit wild, but I like that. It's like a call to adventure!" Her head pivoted to the wooden chest and Listener theatrically gasped. Oh my! It's so big!" The mention of a treat caught Listener's attention as her head pivoted back toward Archer excitedly. "I would love to have a walnut! Thank you, you're so sweet!"

As she pondered which weapon to choose, Listener mumbled loud enough to hear. "I'm not sure how squeamish I'd be around a Nox..." She shuffled through the gear occasionally picking up an item and saying, "Hmmm... no." Finally, she removed a spear with a metal shaft and the spearhead had an Illuminati Eye etched onto the flat of the blade. "This one. I like this one. What do you think?"
1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Grey Omen
Raw
Avatar of Grey Omen

Grey Omen !!!

Member Seen 5 mos ago

Cedar wasn't usually one for the hustle and bustle in the city, but today was important, so he made an exception. Back in the Moonlight district most people were quieter, more conscious of personal space - not that it was never like this place, but the average day there was more simple. His wooden mask stood out in the crowd as much as his monochromatic grey outfit did. He wore a short grey cloak with the hood down and pants, which the heat outside was making him regret slightly, but he'd be damned if he was going to go outside in shorts.

Cedar walked with a quick stride, though his mind was elsewhere. To be honest, he was mainly trying to recall a passage from a book. He could only remember it had something to do with a man-made wall with slots in it facing the ocean and how it painted a picture of a very specific type of madness. It wasn't important to him at all, but for some reason it was gnawing at the back of his head. If only he could -

He abruptly stopped, or more accurately, was stopped by walking directly into another man. He regained his balance, but the other man fell.

"Oh - I'm sorry, sir," Cedar stuttered, quickly offering a hand. The other man accepted it, brushing himself off with his other hand. Traffic resumed flowing around them.

"No problem, man," the other man said. He looked up (apparently satisfied with dusting himself off) and suddenly seemed a little taken aback. The mask, perhaps? Cedar almost felt embarrassed - though what for he couldn't say - and was about to apologize again before he paused. The man's face suddenly seemed a tad familiar. Not someone he knew, but maybe -

"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you from Moonlight?" Cedar hazarded.

Almost instantly the man's face broke into a smile. Cedar mentally sighed in relief. "Yeah, I am. Funny seeing another one of us here. Then again, I guess it's harder to recognize with all the light in my eyes, huh? And the mask over yours, I guess." The man chuckled. "I'm Finn. Nice to meet you."

"I'm Cedar. You can call me Cee if you want." The words flowed naturally, and he almost felt a little proud of it. His old name somehow already felt like a lifetime ago. "Let's hope to see each other again, Finn."

"With any luck, Cee," Finn said, waving as he walked away. Another small twinge - being addressed by his new name. A good start, he supposed.

He made the rest of the walk safely, though he never remembered what book he'd been thinking of. By the time he arrived, another recruit was there as well. Cedar slipped into a more reserved stance, looking downward slightly with his hands close to his body. "Good morning, Archer." He inclined his head slightly towards the other recruit, whose name he didn't yet know. He looked over to the 'prophet' screaming nearby. A strange place to have a meeting, but maybe there was a reason for it.

He turned to the chest of weapons. Many he found not to his liking, but eventually settled on one. He picked it up, testing the weight. It seemed to be a halberd, though slightly smaller than an average one. He tested his fingers along the axe blade first, then the hook on the back end, then finally on the spike at the top. All sharp. It seemed manageable to carry and versatile enough for multiple scenarios. Rather plain, almost brutish in design, but serviceable. A weapon for the working man, perhaps. "This one will do," he said, putting the blunt end into the ground like a staff.
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
Raw
Avatar of LuckyBlackCat

LuckyBlackCat Cats Will Rule The World

Member Seen 8 hrs ago

Steel Rose


Steel Rose hadn't known freedom like this in a long time. Loose green and pink fabric flapped as she sped past stalls and crowds, probably looking quite a sight with her mask, as well as the motorised rollerskates propelling her along. Not that she cared. Children's laughter, a myriad of food scents, lively street music - this was her kind of atmosphere.

An atmosphere, admittedly, that lost some of its luster when experienced alone.

She bit the inside of her lip. This wasn't the same as the times she'd snuck out to the marketplace with Jay, the two of them selling woodcrafts or eating too many snacks, laughing and joking. He'd been so different then, so utterly unlike the husk he was now. Gritting her teeth, Rose accelerated with a swipe of her foot. She'd changed too, her reason for being here. She wasn't going to stand by and let others end up like that. She had to be someone else, someone stronger, better...

"Waugh!" The marketplace blurred as her speed picked up to dizzying levels. "Watch out!" She skittered and swayed like a drunken dancer as crowds scattered, a flute player abruptly pausing his song as he hurried aside. Tilting her feet, Rose tried to brake, only to somehow activate reverse mode. Letting slip an expletive she hoped no children heard, she circled backwards one one foot once, twice, before changing course and zooming forward - right into a pastry stall.

The table flipped over with a thud, as did Rose. "Uuugh..." Shouts snapped her from her dazed state. She propped herself up, aches flaring, albeit from nothing worse than bruises due to the squished cakes that cushioned her. Squished cakes... Uh-oh. With a sinking sensation, she stared up at the fuming vendor.

"What in the name of the gods do you think you're doing?" He thrust out a hand, gesturing at the ruined stall. "I don't care who you're with, miss. Zephyr or not, you'd better pay up!"

Rose flinched, giving a sheepish smile behind her mask. "Eheheh, sorry about that..." Her eyes darted around at the mess as she unstrapped the wheeled attachments from her shoes, putting them in a large satchel and standing up. "Here, I'll help. These ones are still good, more or less." She righted the table, re-stocking it with the less crumpled boxes, and handing over payment for the pastries she couldn't salvage. Not that she had many savings of her own, but it would cover the cost. "Hope the rest of your day goes better!"

She was glad nobody could see her crimson face as she rushed to the spot under the stairs. "Wow, those things need some serious adjustments to the controls," she muttered, brushing away sugared crumbs and almond flakes dotting her tunic top. In her mind, she could almost hear her father yelling. First things first, though, she had to meet the other recruits, first impressions nonwithstanding.

Archer, thankfully, was polite enough not to mention her current state, complimenting her mask instead. "Thanks! I see you like a mix of the mechanical and the natural too. A mask like that, it's gotta show those Nox you're not one to mess with! And squeamish? Ha!" She pumped her fist into the air, hoping to bolster morale - maybe the quiet man in grey needed it. She certainly did herself, her stomach tightening. Squeamish, an apt term for someone who knew what the Nox were capable of. "After we train up, our enemies are gonna be the squeamish ones when they face off against us!"

She popped the sweet treat under her mask. So far, Archer's kindness had calmed her fears of what sort of authority she and the other Zephyrs would answer to. "Mmm, thanks, good to get a snack to eat instead of wear." All too aware she didn't quite look the part of the intimidating warrior, she nonetheless rummaged through the wooden chest.

"This looks like a nice all-round one..." She pulled out a bladed pistol, the knife a foot long and patterned with veins like a leaf, the materials sturdy yet lightweight enough for easy wielding. She studied it, taking in the design and what she could glean of the mechanics, before turning back to Archer. "More of an energy weapon than one with conventional bullets, right? I'll call it Thorn."

2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mokley
Raw
GM
Avatar of Mokley

Mokley aka windyfiend

Member Seen 2 days ago

As she pondered which weapon to choose, Listener mumbled loud enough to hear. "I'm not sure how squeamish I'd be around a Nox..." She shuffled through the gear occasionally picking up an item and saying, "Hmmm... no." Finally, she removed a spear with a metal shaft and the spearhead had an Illuminati Eye etched onto the flat of the blade. "This one. I like this one. What do you think?"

"Listener, there you are!" Archer piped, leaning an elbow on her knee. The scanners in her helmet flickered thoughtfully. "That one's a poofer, I call them. Enough ta skewer a horror well enough, but if ya manage to strike a Nox with that thing, chances are it'll go up in smoke. Might want to invest in some shades for yer mask, though: the fireworks from one of these things could make ya go blind. Just a thought!"

He turned to the chest of weapons. Many he found not to his liking, but eventually settled on one. He picked it up, testing the weight. It seemed to be a halberd, though slightly smaller than an average one. He tested his fingers along the axe blade first, then the hook on the back end, then finally on the spike at the top. All sharp. It seemed manageable to carry and versatile enough for multiple scenarios. Rather plain, almost brutish in design, but serviceable. A weapon for the working man, perhaps. "This one will do," he said, putting the blunt end into the ground like a staff.

"It suits ya well, Cedar!" Archer stood with her fists on her hips, and she nodded approval. "Don't need anything flashy ta get the job done, I always say. That one's not much against the Nox alone, but horrors should be terrified of ya. One strike from that blade and the Nox inside that horror is a goner. Sometimes, if you can aim it right, you can kill the Nox and let the host live. But don't sweat that just yet, yeah?"

"This looks like a nice all-round one..." She pulled out a bladed pistol, the knife a foot long and patterned with veins like a leaf, the materials sturdy yet lightweight enough for easy wielding. She studied it, taking in the design and what she could glean of the mechanics, before turning back to Archer. "More of an energy weapon than one with conventional bullets, right? I'll call it Thorn."

"Steel Rose!" Archer made a wide gesture to Rose's clothing. "Looks like you're wearing half your breakfast. It's a bold look, I like it. Now, that pistol there is a great choice! Works a lot like Listener's spear, there, except that one's long-range. You've got to have a sharp aim under pressure, and remember to warn your comrades. We don't want them goin' blind, now, do we?"




"Listener, Cedar, and Steel Rose!" Archer clasped her arms behind her back and marched back and forth before them. "I suggest you get to know one another-- trust one another --because there will come a time when your life will depend on someone standing here now. The Nox are dangerous. Does anyone know why we use masks and codenames?"

A hand rose up behind the new ZE recruits. Archer craned her neck. "Fluke! Didn't see ya sneak up on us. Go on, tell us your answer."

Fluke shoved his hands in the pockets of his shorts, and his heavy metal mask-- made of pipes and little aluminum sculptures that must have been extremely hot under the glaring sun --forced his head to flop a little to the side. He was skinny compared to the others, but bronzed by the sun and weathered by years of climbing.

"Soul snatchers," he replied in a high voice.

"You got it!" Archer crowed. "Human souls are too complex for the Nox to feed on like they do other animals, but if they get to know your true name they've got you. The mask makes them think you're an animal or not alive at all, so they'll either pass over you or try to possess you without a name, which never works-- hey, are you listening?"

Fluke had plucked a bit of pastry off of Steel Rose's tunic and popped it in his mouth just as Archer spied him. He scuffed away as if he hadn't done anything at all, and he rocked on his heels while he studied Listener's mask and Cedar's shoes with great interest.
1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Plank Sinatra
Raw
Avatar of Plank Sinatra

Plank Sinatra all bets off, the villain got the dice rigged

Member Seen 11 hrs ago

I R I S


She felt like she was walking on stilts this morning.

For a girl who stood as tall as Iris, a masked head over nearly all her contemporaries, walking was always an ungainly way to travel. On a glider or her beloved bike, she was as graceful as the birds she shared the currents with, flitting and turning as though she and her vessel were one unit, guided by telepathy. When you spent your whole life in the skies, there was nothing to feel self-conscious of - until you touched the ground, in which case it was hard to shake that unease away. It felt more confining than a mask ever could.

Still, Iris made the best of it as she maneuvered her way through the markets of Rig, stopping only occasionally to fawn over a few down-to-earth looking necklaces or to purchase a peach. She enjoyed sparing bites of it on her way through the markets, careful not to lift her mask up to reveal more than the sleek, strong cast of her tanned jawline, which clenched with every chew and grew even tauter with each sweet aftertaste. She almost considered picking up a scarf, too, but none of the colors appealed to her; as a child of the skies, she liked to dress in sky blues and whites, and if she must pick a yellow she preferred to at least pick darker yellows or oranges, the ones that evoked the rising and setting of the sun from a perch on the skyline. Green was never her thing. It wasn't like she needed to bring out her eyes or anything.

It also wasn't like the good-natured profiteers who clotted the arteries of Rig would acknowledge any of that, not when there was a charm offensive to be mounted and money to be made.

"Nice clothes! Complement them with a sash?"

"A high-flyer! I can always tell a high-flyer's mask! Can I interest you in one of my new kites, my wife weaves the finest--"


"Strapping sir! A shawl for your valiant shoulders today?"

C'mon, man...is it that hard to tell now...


Still, she had to grin behind her mask. She thought about deepening her voice and barking out a "No" as a gentle prank, but she was probably running late as it was. Relief flooded through her when she finally reached Archer and saw a couple other initiates, all bent over the chest of weapons and trying to select their new weapons. Iris waited patiently behind one in a floral looking mask - she didn't like to bend over; it somehow made her look even more towering, like she was looming over someone - and selected an intricately carved Bo staff, almost long enough to resemble a flagpole. In fact, given the ornamental piece at the end akin to a blunted spearhead, it may in fact have supported some regalia in a prior life. Maybe Rig's flag, maybe another city-state outside the borders. For all her love of flight, Iris had rarely ventured far beyond where Rig's skyline could see her. Even the sky, with no visible borders, had dark patches where wiser men and women were wary to soar.

Whoa, I gotta stop contemplating so much. The sunny smile grew beneath her mask again, and her teeth scraped a drop of peach juice from her bottom lip.

She spun the staff in her hand and whistled; it felt perfectly weighted to her grip.

"I'm glad someone else was already thinking of naming theirs," she jested to the girl who had buried her head in the armory chest before her. "It was gonna bug me all night if I was the only one."
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Grey Omen
Raw
Avatar of Grey Omen

Grey Omen !!!

Member Seen 5 mos ago

Cedar.


Though not visibly, Cedar did give a small smile when Archer complimented his weapon choice, especially at 'suits you well' and 'don't need anything flashy to get the job done'. First impressions are important, and his seemed to be doing well.

Cedar instinctively stepped back as the quiet one - Fluke, said Archer - passed him for a second. He seemed a little strange, though that didn't necessarily indicate subpar performance in the field. Cedar couldn't quite get a grasp on him from just two words and his erratic behavior, something that almost bugged him a bit. Cedar settled for a small nod in his direction.

"A preferred tool can reflect the self better than any mirror," he muttered under his breath. Under his mask his brow furrowed slightly; another misplaced quote from some old book. Just another group of words to poke at his brain. He turned back to Archer. "You'll understand if I don't take any walnuts." He waved his open hand over his face. "A bit hard to eat in this and all. Still, thanks." His voice was thin but somehow close to raspiness as well, almost like a permanent scratchy throat.

His gaze moved over to the other recruits. The one who had came before him - Listener, apparently - had chosen a spear. He took a small glance at her mask. Metal with a diamond design on the front. Appreciably pleasing to the eye. She seemed the outgoing type - she was certainly very friendly. It felt a little strange, hearing someone so dynamic sounding behind the unmoving mask, but he was sure he'd get use to it.

The one who arrived after him - Steel Rose - had a mask half gears and wire, half color and life. He appreciated it artistically, though part of him wondered if it symbolized anything personal to her. He appreciated the weapon as well - one could never go wrong with putting a decent distance on a monster, and a pistol did a fine job at that. Naming it seemed a bit... frivolous, in a way, but Cedar didn't really care if the weapon had a name.

The last of the three - Iris - wore a more austere mask, angular and androgynous in a way Cedar found pleasing. Perhaps the simplicity of it appealed to Cedar's utilitarian; the mask was simple while still remaining aesthetically unique to the eye, which Cedar could always appreciate. Her weapon - a staff- might not've been to Cedar's taste, but he would reserve judgment for much later.

"We seem a good enough team as any," Cedar said. His voice betrayed no loud or excessive pride, but inwardly he felt a little excited. How could he not be? Still, he was a rookie. "Good weapons, good masks, good company - what more could one ask for?" Even now his tone only made a minor shift. Still, the way he kept drumming his fingers on the pole of his weapon gave away a little more of his mood.
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by drewccapp
Raw
Avatar of drewccapp

drewccapp

Member Seen 8 days ago

Listener perked up when she hear "fireworks". "Fireworks! Like colorful sparkly, or more like when someone sets off a lot of firecrackers at once in a small room? Uh... not like I have any experience in that..." She looked at her feet while shuffling around nervously. No one had been hurt anyways only the floor. The thought of seeing a colorful explosion after defeating a Nox was a pretty one though. A fun reward for defeating a scary opponent.

She giggled a bit as Fluke got caught picking food off of Steel Rose. "You got in trouble." She teased with a huge grin. Her dimples caused the mask on her face to move slightly, but it settled back down once she relaxed her grin a little bit. The feeling of the pressure from the mask and her smile was not exactly a comfortable one. "I got to work a bit on my smile."

She tilted her head with curiosity as Rose named her weapon right away. The thought certainly had crossed her mind, but she felt like it was too soon to name her new piece of equipment. Finally, she looked at the messy state Rose had arrived in and shook her head. "Okay, let's get you as clean as possible. Y'know, presentation and all that. A girl should always look her best." She produced a cloth from her pocket and started picking pieces of the food off Rose while piling it into the cloth. "Y'know, I was thinking of naming my weapon, but I think it should earn it, right? Like, based on how it performs? I mean if it does badly, I don't want it having an epic name like... ummm... now that I think of it... it's kind of cheesy to name your weapon. Legends become legends after their story is over... right?"

Listener smiled at Cedar as he mentioned "good company". She definitely liked him. Then again, who didn't she like? "Awww, he likes us!" Her comment was playful and cheery. Once she finished cleaning what she could of the cake on Rose, Listener pulled a piece from the sizable pile in the cloth to snack on it. She then offered to Rose. "Want some? A bit of tasty revenge on the evil cake that messed up your outfit?"
1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
Raw
Avatar of LuckyBlackCat

LuckyBlackCat Cats Will Rule The World

Member Seen 8 hrs ago

Steel Rose


Grimacing behind her mask as Archer commented on the mess that was her clothing, Steel Rose focused instead on the weapon. "Yup, I'll be sure to warn them!" she replied, testing the weighting once more. It seemed Listener wasn't the only one whose mask would need shaders. "Still, what better to use against shadow creatures? They're not gonna be so scary in the light."

For all her blustering, she listened to Archer's speech, thankful nobody would notice her expression turning solemn. Get to know one another. Trust one another. Her stomach knotted at the words. She wanted nothing more than this kind of friendly atmosphere, but letting someone in carried the risk of losing them. This time, she resolved, gripping Thorn, I won't be useless. I'll help in any way I can.

A glimpse of movement pulled her from her thoughts, the Zephyr named Fluke picking cake from her clothes and sneaking it under his elaborate mask of scrap parts. Despite Archer's scolding of the young man, instead of getting annoyed herself, Rose chuckled. "Looks like Archer isn't the only one providing snacks. And wow, that's one impressive mask!"

Quite the team had gathered by now, a tall, strong and sturdy woman spinning a bo staff before speaking up. Steel Rose's eyes widened at the mention of naming. "Ooh, what name are you thinking of? And great choice of weapon there, simple yet effective, we might have to be careful not to get whacked over the head though!" she joked.

Listener, who'd set about cleaning up the squashed pastries, gave her own thoughts about naming weapons, eventually deciding it wasn't for her. "Yep, I get where you're coming from... Even so, a rose needs its thorns, has to show it isn't one to get on the wrong side of!" Steel Rose replied, brushing what she could of the cake from her outfit into the cloth, helping Listener. "And don't ya worry, I doubt that spear of yours would do badly, judging by that description. We may be new to this, but having an idea of the kinds of Zephyrs we want to be... It's a morale boost. Something to aspire to."

Something she hoped with all her heart she could live up to.

Hiding her doubts behind her usual cheer, she turned to Cedar. His tone, however neutral, made his words no less uplifting. "Yup! This is quite some team spirit already!" Rose commented, accepting the cake from Listener and giving a somewhat strained laugh. "I did end up buying it, so might as well. Alright cake, the tables have turned in more ways than one!" She couldn't resist, neither the groan-worthy pun nor the sweet snack as she took a bite. A little crumbly, but still tasty with the mixed fruit filling. "Thanks! Maybe this wasn't such a bad start after all."
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Mokley
Raw
GM
Avatar of Mokley

Mokley aka windyfiend

Member Seen 2 days ago

“OUR EXISTENCE,” Ruskali hollered from the stairs, his brown hands gripped on the sun-bleached banister, his eyes big and shivering with the sight of the end, “IS BORROWED! WE’RE ALIVE ONLY AS LONG AS AMALGAM IS AMUSED WITH US, AND THEN ALL IS LOST UNLESS WE TAKE A STAND!”

His beard was flecked with spittle, his black hair flung afly as if struck by lightning. Yellow and orange and red hung threadbare from his wasted frame, and perhaps he didn’t own any other clothes. The stench that clung to him implied the same.

“Shut up!” someone roared out of the crowd. “You trying to get the Ze after ya?!”

“THE ZE AGREE WITH ME!” Ruskali’s voice seemed permanently screaming. He pointed with a rigid finger down at the masked figures gathered beneath the bright tapestries. “THERE, SEE?! THEY’RE HERE TO LISTEN! THEY KNOW!”

Archer’s scanners flickered green and blue. The shifting, glowing eyes of her mask stared up into Ruskali’s twitching face, but the square of her shoulders revealed nothing of what she truly thought of the end of all things.

Her scanning eyes swept away from the madman, and-- as if in succession to the same grim thought --observed her newest recruits.

There was Iris, sharp and smooth and all-embracing as the sky she was born in. Even her posture stretched toward the clouds that she loved. Iris carried herself with an easy strength, watchful understanding, and a sunny glow of connection and trust and safety, as if she could embrace the whole city if she stretched her arms wide enough.

There was Cedar, his expressionless mask full of splinters, blank as a shadow out of Moonlight. Cedar moved with calm comfort, at ease with the dim and the quiet and an old book. Beneath the splinters was a sharp mind and a soft presence, fueled by a low murmur of longing, a silent anchor of honesty that could put anyone at ease.

There was Listener, with her diamond etchings and her keen sense of fashion, who seemed each moment to fall in love with every person she met. Her voice was always smiling, always chattering, always quick to make friends, as if her finger rested comfortably on the pulse of Rig’s culture. Her determined enthusiasm could rouse even the most apathetic hearts.

There was Steel Rose, a duplicity of bright flowers and churning metal gears. She moved and spoke with friendship and with pride in the unusual and the unexpected: a defiant creativity, unaffected by the opinions around her, that blossomed in her mechanical creations and in the way she questioned every fact or claim. Hers might be the solutions to problems long unsolved.

And then there was Fluke, almost childlike in his unending play. He made a game of not speaking, messed about with his mask when he was bored, and seemed to take amusement in how much he could annoy someone else. He was doing a good job of making himself out to be more of a nuisance than an asset. But perhaps being underestimated was his advantage.

Archer folded her arms in appraisal and, though her face was hidden behind the deerlike mask, a friendly tilt of her head suggested a smile.

”Iris! Glad you could join us!” Archer looked up at Iris with a wink of her scanners. ”Lookin’ sleek! Love the staff, that’ll knock the Nox right out of their hosts if ya aim it right.” She demonstrated with an imaginary swing and laughed.

”Now, the lot of ya, listen up, pay close attention.” Archer beckoned them all forward, her voice dropped quietly while the market blared all around them.

She turned her head and jumped a little to see Fluke’s mask looming an inch from her face. ”Not that close!” Archer shoved at him as if he were an overly nosey dog.

”We’re meeting up here,” Archer continued, when she had everyone’s rapt attention, ”because of that guy up there.” She gestured with her antlers at the shouting man on the stairs.

”We have some intelligence that claims he’s harboring a horror in his apartment. It’s likely a small one, maybe a cat or a dog, but the Nox that multiply in these minor cases are just as dangerous as the big ones, and we can’t ignore them.”

She reached out and laid one hand on Rose’s shoulder, the other on Cedar’s. Her scanners swept over all of the Ze recruits with low whirring sincerity.

”I know ya haven’t had any training, but before I show ya how I would handle a situation, I’d like to see how you would do it. Show us where your real strengths are, yeah? The only advice I’ll give you now is this: there’s extra credit for teamwork.”

Her scanners winked, and Archer took a step back and dropped her hands in her pockets.
”Get a move on, then!”


1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by drewccapp
Raw
Avatar of drewccapp

drewccapp

Member Seen 8 days ago

Listener giggled at Fluke's playfulness with Archer. She definitely felt she was going to enjoy her time as a Ze. At the very least she would enjoy the people she spent time with as a Ze. Then Archer gave the details of their first mission as a team, and Listener clapped her hands excitedly. "Ooooo, our first mission! Sooooo." She spun around to look at everyone on the team. "I know I'm a real chatterbox and all shiny and stuff, but I am very good at hide and seek. I can sneak in and get us lots of information to act on, and most likely I can get out without anyone or anything seeing me."

She paused and thought for a while considering what Archer said about why they had to wear masks, and how it affected the Nox's perception of the Ze. The odds were the Nox would not notice her either. She started to speak again and then stopped herself to see what others had to say. She was sure the others had great strengths that would work great with hers.
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Plank Sinatra
Raw
Avatar of Plank Sinatra

Plank Sinatra all bets off, the villain got the dice rigged

Member Seen 11 hrs ago

I R I S


Iris had to giggle. Of all the new recruits, Listener, with all her contradictions and boundless energy, was the one who had made the best first impression; Iris liked her immediately. She seemed confident of her ability to get in and out of places, too, which would always be handy. But...

"Where exactly does this guy live, again?"

"Can't answer that!" Even beneath a mask, Iris could still feel the sharp edge of Archer's grin. It seemed like a pretty small thing for intelligence to figure out where someone laid their head at night, so clearly they were all being flung off the hover-bike heads-first.

She weighed that for a moment. They had all heard the ravings of the street preacher, harking for his own benefit. He had never been able to draw much of a congregation on his best day, but even now, none of the crowd seemed very invested in Ruskali's apocalypse.

"Anyone feel like shooting the breeze with him?" she joked. "If not, well, most people can't tell a high-flyer from a Ze from the ground. We're all just masks. I could kick back in the currents, listen to him vent for a while, and then follow him home. Give you an idea of where to search, Listener?"
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Grey Omen
Raw
Avatar of Grey Omen

Grey Omen !!!

Member Seen 5 mos ago

Cedar.


Cedar waited for the others to speak first. It wasn't in his nature to be the one leading. Still, he had some ideas.

"I'd be willing to talk to him," he offered. "I like to think I can handle crazy for a bit, and if I play along with his game I could get lucky. Hell, maybe I'll just say I want to hear more but 'it's not safe out here, we should go somewhere safe,'" His voice changed for a second into his best mimic of the sort of fanatic fervor that Ruskali spoke with. "He seems the type of crazy to go with it. The only problems with that would be if he refused or if something bad happened when I was inside, though Ruskie doesn't look too tough. And I guess all of you would have to tail Ruskali and I since he probably wouldn't go for it if he knew we were in a group."

He lapsed into silence for a second. "Of course, this is just one strategy I only just thought of, so it's not perfect, but it could be worth the risk. I'm up for any other ideas any of you might have." Efficiency in a fast first step is ideal, but if one takes too long to think of efficient ways, then efficiency is already lost. Maybe a quote, maybe just one of those random thoughts. It was hard to tell and ultimately irrelevant.
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
Raw
Avatar of LuckyBlackCat

LuckyBlackCat Cats Will Rule The World

Member Seen 8 hrs ago

Steel Rose


Steel Rose blinked in surprise. "Wow, talk about a baptism by fire!" Not what she'd expected, but she wasn't going to put a damper on Listener's excitement - and if there was a Horror around, it needed to be dealt with fast. "Nothing we can't handle though!" It would just be a simple starting mission, after all. A matter of getting into someone's home to take down a Horror with their new weapons, albeit ones they barely knew how to use... What could possibly go wrong?

It was when Archer refused to answer Iris' question that Rose blurted her thoughts. "But... We need to get there fast! Otherwise, if he goes home and we can't help in time, or if it gets out... We can't let that happen!"

At the simple answer - "Up to you, then!" - Steel Rose clenched her fists. She'd probably come across badly just now, talking back to the leader, but the issue stood. They needed to figure something out as quickly as possible. Thankfully, Cedar's plan sounded like a promising one.

"I'd be up for talking with him too," she offered. "Even if it makes him think cakes are coming to life and attacking people. The only issue is, though... He already recognises we're Zephyr. If he's trying to protect his pet, he'll likely figure out our plan." Ruskali had a few screws loose for sure, but that wasn't the same as being stupid.

"Yeah, it might be best if just one or two of us talk to him, then the others can follow. I mean, there are several people here who are good at sneaking around." She glanced from Listener, to Iris, to Fluke. "I can if needs be, I used to sneak out all the time. And however conspicuous we might seem, in the marketplace, anyone can blend in." As long as they didn't wear malfunctioning motor skates and bowl pastry stands over, that was.

After a moment's thought, she continued. "Or there's just being honest, at least partially. We could tell him we have reason to believe he's in danger, and we're here to help... Although how he responds to that will depend on why he's hiding that Horror. Hey Archer, which sounds more convincing?"

"Can't answer that either!"

Rose gave an audible huff through gritted teeth. She understood the logic here, but that didn't make the replies, or lack thereof, any less infuriating.
1x Like Like 1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mokley
Raw
GM
Avatar of Mokley

Mokley aka windyfiend

Member Seen 2 days ago

Fluke squeezed between Cedar and Iris, poked them sharply with his elbows, and puppeted his hand in the air like a chattering frog.

He hopped to Listener and Rose, flung his arms behind their necks, and walked his fingers in a gesture like sneaky little elves.

With a shushing finger against his mask, Fluke extracted himself from his comrades and dove for the big chest full of weapons, which he proceeded to dig into like a dog after a gopher.

Finally he found a smaller wooden box. He popped it open, then he tumbled toward Iris, then Cedar, then Listener and Rose, and he handed each of them a little plastic earpiece with insistent force.

He jammed his own earpiece under his mask, then shoved his hand into a glove that was thick with twisted wires and electronic nodules.

He flexed his fingers and turned his wrist, and a little round drone floated up out of the little box, its camera lens focusing and gleaming. It was like a blue tennis ball with tiny fluttery feet and a big shiny eye, hovering soundlessly in midair.

”I’ll stay outside and watch your backs,” he promised merrily, and they could all hear his (and each other’s) voice through the earpiece. ”If you die, I can go for help.”
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by drewccapp
Raw
Avatar of drewccapp

drewccapp

Member Seen 8 days ago

Listener smiled as she put the earpiece in. She then realized. While she was quite familiar with Rig's major sites as she had spent a lot of time here in her travels it wasn't like she knew this place like she was a resident. She knew Ruskalii was a big figure in the city and with that notoriety she was pretty sure his home was quite well known. Even if it was just to be avoided. Judging from her reaction to Iris and Rose's questions, Archer was using this mission to test out the quality of each new Ze and would not help.

She clapped her hands together. "Alright! So, it seems no one knows where Ruskalii lives." She then looked at Archer. "And this is definitely a test." She faced the crowd. "I have an idea."

She slipped into the crowd with cat-like grace. She was about to use a trick that she used to do to play around with people during events like this. She found a part of the crowd where a woman was standing behind someone, but there was enough space for Listener to stand. The noise would prove to create an interesting challenge, but she was fairly certain she could hear well enough.

"Hey, I think it's time we filed an official complaint with the officials," Listener said to the back of the person in front of her. "Where does Ruskalii live, again? We're going to need that for the paperwork."

Once she finished speaking, Listener slid over to the side. Close enough so that she could listen to the person after they turned around to respond to the question thinking it was the woman behind them. Far enough so that she could remain incognito. She even turned around to look at a stall that just so happened to be close enough. Her eyes scanning over the various woodcrafts that were for sale at this stall.

The last time she did this trick, Listener accidentally and happily played the role of matchmaker. She only just thought of this idea for the use of learning information incognito. If anyone in the crowd believed Ruskalii stating the Ze believed him it was possible they would not be willing to talk with a Ze too much. However, if they believed were talking with fellow protesters then it would be easier for her to get this information.

If she had to then she would simply repeat her trick with another person until she got the needed information.
1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mokley
Raw
GM
Avatar of Mokley

Mokley aka windyfiend

Member Seen 2 days ago

"THE FALL OF EVERYTHING AS WE KNOW IT IS UPON US!" Ruskali howled over the ignorant masses, flinging his cape like a restless duck. "LOOK AROUND YOU AT THE WORLD YOU KNOW, BECAUSE IT WILL BE GONE BEFORE YOU CAN BLINK!"

One of the spectators-- in ragged scrub and a dusty cap --was just rolling his eyes before a voice spoke behind him. He turned around to see a young woman standing there, minding her own business, neatly dressed and heavy with costume jewelry.

"Rusky's two blocks down on the corner," he gestured with his chin, while the woman stared at him like he'd grown a second head. "On the ground floor in an old storage room, he's got all these collections of ... well, I dunno what. Creepy stuff. Shrunk heads and jars of eyeballs and a stuffed dead cat. Sure he can get arrested just for that, I expect. Some kid could wander in there, it's a deathtrap with no door. Probably snakes."

The woman wrinkled her nose at him. "And why in Amalgam's name are you telling me where Ruskali sleeps? Are you his friend? Are you...?" She showed her teeth in disgust.

"Whah?! Naw!" The man wiggled his palms at her for mercy. "Ugh, oh gods! What?! No! I thought you said ... nevermind!"

"You thought I said what now?!"

"Just leave it, then!"

"I should have you arrested for that kind of talk!"

While the two bickered, Fluke's little drone proceeded to follow the lead Listener had provided, and scooted over the heads of the moving cityfolk until it stopped at the corner the hapless man had indicated.

"The way down there's crowded, but nobody suspicious," said Fluke to anyone still near him. "Spotted a back way too, an alley, kinda dark and spooky but the drone can lead ya."

"AND THAT!" Ruskali roared, a finger pointed rigid at the sky, "IS WHY WE'RE ALL DOOMED!"
1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Grey Omen
Raw
Avatar of Grey Omen

Grey Omen !!!

Member Seen 5 mos ago

Cedar.


Tuning out more of Ruskali's rambling, Cedar inserted the earpiece, giving the tumbling one - Fluke - a bit of a strange look, hidden by his mask. He was an interesting figure, to say the least.

Cedar turned back to the mission at hand. "I'll take the back alley. Best to cover all ways in and out. Rose and Iris, it's up to you where you go. We could split evenly to both paths, unless you got some tricks or ideas up your sleeve. And I assume Fluke will make sure to report our deaths if anything goes wonky." Cedar added that last part just as seriously as the rest and threw in a thumbs up towards Fluke for good measure. It was only friendly, of course. Having a backup is always useful, especially if said backup has a drone.

Cedar made his way to the alley, clutching his weapon. He would have to get some sort of back strap for him to put it in when he wasn't using it. Right now, though, it was best to have it out. According to Archer, his halberd would be effective against Horrors. Now was as good a time to test it as any.

"Fluke - if it's safe, then go ahead and let the drone lead the way," Cedar whispered. Though he was sure that no one had a reason to protect Ruskali, best to be safe in dark alleys. Any Moonlight man knew that.
1x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
Raw
Avatar of LuckyBlackCat

LuckyBlackCat Cats Will Rule The World

Member Seen 8 hrs ago

Steel Rose


Popping in the earpiece and leaning forward, Steel Rose watched the situation unfold just as Listener had planned. Well, not exactly as planned, what with the arguing and awkwardness that ensued, but they now had the information they needed.

"Good thinking, and neat trick there!" she commented into the device. While Fluke's and Cedar's casual mention of death brought on a shudder - not exactly words of encouragement for new recruits - she kept her peppy tone and demeanour. "Ehh, let's make sure it doesn't come to that. We've got each other's backs, after all." For all her cheer, her jaw clenched. No way could she let herself fail anyone.

She cast a glance at the hustle and bustle that was the marketplace. "It's safe to say I'll blend in best here, and Listener, I'm guessing you will too?" she asked. "How about you, Iris? Which path is it gonna be, marketplace, alleyway, or your own?" Iris' mention of being a high-flyer, and her plan to listen from above, implied the latter was an option. Although she hadn't brought a bike or glider with her, who knew, maybe she lived close by enough to easily access such a transport mode. To anyone in the streets, a flying Ze would look like just another hoverbiker, especially with the shape of her mask.
2x Like Like
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Plank Sinatra
Raw
Avatar of Plank Sinatra

Plank Sinatra all bets off, the villain got the dice rigged

Member Seen 11 hrs ago

I R I S


Iris grinned at Steel Rose and pointed a finger up to the sky again. There were dozens of caches across the city where high-flyers left maneuvering equipment for each other; many hoverbikes and gliders were painstakingly customized in order to denote their original owners, but those original owners were often comfortable to leave their vehicles in one of several spots throughout the city, easily scaled for any who could brave the vines that clung to Rig's buildings. It was one of the ways that the high-flyers fostered their sense of community together.

Iris had been doing it since she was a kid, and the markets were one of the hubs for any who needed an easy ticket into the skies.

"I got the gist of it," she assured her fellow recruits with easy confidence. "Nobody's going to be able to tell me apart, and if there's trouble I'll have the birds-eye view. So no need for anyone to report any deaths or anything."
1x Like Like
↑ Top
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet