Status

Recent Statuses

3 yrs ago
Current Trying to figure out how some people have the time for more than like, four roleplays, let alone thirty-two.
3 likes
3 yrs ago
What happened to all of the sour patch parents?
3 likes
3 yrs ago
Being an adult is mostly just wondering if the stuff in the dishwasher is dirty or clean while eating soup out of a sand castle bucket with a gas station spork.
8 likes
3 yrs ago
My credit score is so bad I've started receiving pre-declined credit card offers.
6 likes
3 yrs ago
Do you ever feel like you're in Season 5 of your life, and the writers are just doing outrageous stuff to keep it interesting?
16 likes

Bio

Dear Reader;

I am Esoteric, an anomally. But that is merely a label, a title I have given myself. You may refer to me as they, them, she, her, he, him, not because I embody these references of my sexual identity, but simply because I do not care and you will not offend me. If you must know then I suppose "she" would be proper here. I do consider myself non-binary, genderless, etcetera. I prefer to be called Eso, but to be honest you can call me whatever. I do have a love for adorable, cutesy nicknames.

When meeting new people I try my best to skip the formalities, and being callously hit on, and rather try to achieve something interesting about the person, traits, likes, or perhaps a story. I'm more than a pair of pretty eyes, you know? Don't let me mislead you though, I'm not like any crazy feminist or something, as I said, non-binary. Can I even identify as a woman? Oh, right, rambling ^//^. So.. interesting things. I'm a switch and coming to terms with my S-types, if you don't know what that means then I probably won't explain it to you. I often refer to my gender as a Transdimensional Butterfly, because I'm fuckin' weird. I'm adorable, cute, and I curse "like a sailor" at times. I'm an enormous pervert, and fancy sleezy dive bars with sex dungeons. If you know what Fetlife is, cool. No, I will not add you. No, you cannot see my pictures. My name is, No, my sign is, No, my number is, No. I'm here to roleplay, I have other outlets for those needs in my life, sorry. It has recently been made known to me that I may be a bit of a pyro. Moving on, shall we? ^_^

Roleplay interests, hm. I definitely enjoy most things fantasy or apocalyptic, oh and some sci fi though it has to be pretty interesting. I have a love for magic, explosions, and super powers. Zombies are the all time best monster ever created and this tiny creature will fight you over that statement, I will run up your arm and scissor kick you in the neck ^-^. Okay so I probably won't do that. I do enjoy 1x1 especially with some delicious lesbian elements *excessive eyebrow waggling*, though I am a pansexual. Probably should have put that tidbit up there but, whatever. You'll probably never interest me in anything slice of life, especially modern. In fact, it's really hard to get me on board with modern roleplays unless the world is ending, and even then there has to be something to spice it up for me. I tend to include darker themes, taboo, and such forth in my roleplays. This isn't Disney, it's akin to a real world so that means bad shit happens. If you have any "triggers" because of past trauma, let me know beforehand because there is very little I leave out. I don't get very detailed, but rather heavily imply things. I do have limits however. I also love Epic Power Scenes, why fight a dragon in the wilderness when it can WREAK HAVOC IN A CITY, TEARING THE EARTH ASUNDER AND-*coughs* I mean, Michael Bay and I would probably be pretty good friends, just sayin.

Did I mention I'm an adorable pervert? ^//^ I will describe curves, use the term breasts, and look at your characterss imaginary booty. I'm also prone to some typos as I type fast, I think fast, and I just flow. My current obsessions are playing real off the wall sharacters, Saying "WAPOW", forever coloring my posts off tones of white, and doing graphic manipulations. The latter being some pretty bad art and poetry, changing a reference image to suit my needs, and I have a graphics shop now. Oh, I always love playing characters that are exotic, like Animal Girls, Nymphs and Sprites, Demon girls with sexy tails, and so forth.

Sincerely,
Esoteric, The Coquette

P.S: Wubba Dubba Lub Lub! #FreeRick
P.S.S: I'm super hyper most of the time. I'm like, 10% Sugar, 20% Spice, 15% Caffeinated Ice, 5% Sass, 50% Flirt, and 100% extroverted introvert.

Want some fancy artsy stuff? I can't draw for shit but I can manipulate the ass off some imagery. Check out my shop or send me a PM.


Most Recent Posts

@Morose Taka is planting the bomb outside the cave entrance. It's not really the type you can just.. pick up and move around after it's set. Also, ceiling cracks < Power Power Charge, there's a reason it takes a good bit to set up >:)
Everybody gettin them IC posts worked on?
IC lookin' kinda quiet... hum..
Taka's body shook, with her head bent towards the ground before her and her fingers clutching almost painfully at the damp cave soil. For the moment, she was oblivious to the scene around her as she stared fixated on the ground. A steady stream of moisture emptied from her eyes, running it's course down her face and falling slowly from her chin. She felt so far away, as if the cries uttering from her own mouth weren't hers but some other strange, unfamiliar sound. Her arms trembled as a moment of clarity washed over her, one of pain and remembrance. A steady, whining beep played over and over again in her mind, only broken at timed intervals with a squishing eruption that made her shudder. The hollow pain inside of her stomach grew until it encompassed everything she was, pain, hurt, loss.

Beep... Beep.. Beep...
Pop.

A moment later it all wasted away into a dull ache, she was somewhere else again. She wasn't here, she was back in prison, dreaming. No, she was back with Taki on the criminal's ship. Or was she at home, on her planet, sleeping soundly in a smoothly polished shell bed, wrapped up comfortable in sea-cloth woven blankets next to her sister. Her sister... and just like that it came back, flooring over her. An insurmountable pain she couldn't explain, that she had no words for. A pain so strong it physically hurt, why did she have to remember these things. It was cruel, forced to relieve those experiences, the kind of loss you can never come back from. It was as if a piece of her own soul had been taken from her, she felt cold.

Taka struggled to her knees, her trembling arms shaking as she fumbled for her "Law Breaker". Such an innocent name, playful even. How had she blocked it out, all of this overwhelming agony. Somewhere in the distance a mechanical voice droned on, leading to an escalation of shouts, but she didn't hear any of that. There was only the total, all consuming silence, and suffering. "Taki.." She cried, her hand shaking as she pulled back the hammer.

"Taki.. why Taki.. you said... you.. y-" her mumbling was caught off as the sobs came back with renewed vigor. She choked down air in between the forcible wailing, sucking in a breath as she could manage. Everything hurt, but it felt so dull to the pain of losing Taki. It was so strong, so intense.

"Stop-it-stop-it-stop-it-stop-it!" She cried, moving the gun violently towards her skull. It made a resounding thud as it cracked against her head, but that pain was trifling compared to what she was feeling. She swung again, chanting her mantra of insane distress. Pleading, begging for it to go away as if it were some evil spirit that had beset itself upon her. Taki was dead. She was gone forever. Her remains were burned. Yet she lives on through the stains unable to be erased from the ships interior, forever a part of that awful place. Forever trapped in a dark world, all alone, and Taka had let her go.

"NO MOOOORE," She shrieked, shoving the cold steel between her teeth, it rattled with the intensity of her shaking hand. She didn't want to hurt anymore, She wanted to be with Taki. Yes, she promised they would be together forever, that nothing would keep them a part. This pain was a reminder of that broken promise, how Taka had let her sister down. If only she'd been better, waited like they were supposed to do. If only.. if only she didn't feel this way. Her finger hovered over the trigger, her mind oblivious to the events transpiring around her. Shouting, commotion, pain. Only pain. Taka squeezed her eyes shut, her muffled sobs barely audible over the roar of gunfire and yelling.

"Oni please," A sweet voice pleaded. A small, childish hand fell over Taka's own, it felt chilled, cold like death. Taka opened her eyes, staring at the apparition.

"I'm right here so don't be so sad okay? The child asked with a loving smile. Taka slowly removed the gun from her mouth.

"B-but, but.." She blubbered incoherently. Taki was dead but... Taki was right here.

"You have to get up Oni, there are bad things here," The young girl said worriedly, vainly trying to push her sister up.

"But.. you.."

"Oni, pleeease!" Taki whined, her little legs digging in the dirt as she tried to budge her sister.

"Oni, pleeease!" The same voice echoed, an echo of a memory long since past. A young child, confined to a wheel chair begging her old, able bodied sister to retrieve a wrinkled purple fruit from a tree swaying in the breeze. "Pleeease Oni?!" The girl asked again, her eyes seemingly on the verge of tears.


Taka stood, earning a frantic smile from her sister, "We've gotta leave! Away from the thing that hurt you!" Taki declared, continuing her attempts to push her sister towards the mouth of the cave. Taka stumbled towards the opening, seeing the faces of the others, locked in a duel of man versus machine. Lasers ripped past her, and mechanical bodies rose and fell around her, and yet she just stumbled towards the snow flurries dancing in the mouth of the cave. 'Is it cold?' her mind wondered passively. Taki skipped in front of her, taking one of her hands and dragging her off to the side of the cave. Taka's mind didn't process the turn adequately, and she collapses in the snow instead.

"You should show that metal meanie your toys!" The child version of her sister said with vehement excitement. Taka nodded absentmindedly, shrugging off her backpack.

"Oh no, your gun!" Taki exclaimed, skipping back into the fray of the battle. Taka's head shot up, her eyes wide with worry. However, a very slight smile curved at the edges of her lips as she watched the tiny form dance through the danger, seeming ignored, or unseen by the others. But that would be silly. Taka let out a quiet chuckle as she reached into her backpack and pulled out the fat block that was the Pow-Pow Charge. She began assembling integral functions and attaching wires, careful not to disturb the mixture too much as she connected it to a live wire.

"Here ya' go!" Taki said, holding out a gun that was much too large for her small hands. Taka smiled, taking the weapon and holstering it easily, before turning back to her work. A bit of Taka's tongue remained clenched between her teeth as she worked.

"Is it going to make a big boom?" Taki questioned with utter excitement as she peered over Taka's shoulder.

"..uh.. yea.. totally," Taka responded, attempting to match her sister's energy. Taki skipped around her, crouching in front of the device.

"Is it gunna' be pretty?" She asked, staring at the internal components with wide eyes.

"The prettiest," Taka answered once more, though more of her focus was devoted to her task.

"Oh! no-no-no! That one goes here see?" Taki said, pointing a thin strip of blue sheathed wire. Taka paused, examining the suggestion. Taki was right. Taka let out a soft chuckle, she had near prematurely detonated the device. The blast wouldn't have been anywhere near as big, but it would have been enough to turn them both into chunks. Taki laughed with her, her tone devoid of any underlying tones of worry or nervousness. Taka's otherwise nervous laugh, turned into one of mirth simply from the pretense of her sister enjoying herself so much.

"Not much longer now, your friends are doing a good job!" Taki stated, still crouched in the snow.


@Esoteric

*Waves*


*Waves back*
Annelle Caldera Freddy Copperfield
Karen Tobin Raen J. Thormund


The storm was still raging as Anne reached the bottom of the exit escalator, in fact it seemed to have only picked up in intensity. "What a cruel muse your are," Anne breathed, the symbolism was not lost on her. She pulled her soggy scarf around her neck a little closer, trying to trap some heat as the chill creeped through her. She checked the map on her wrist pad, ensuring she hadn't gotten too turned around, or strayed too far off course. It seemed she was still on the right track, she wasn't far from the district's edge. If she listened closely, she could almost hear the faint wailing of gunfire, she sincerely hoped that was a stable defensive line against the monsters. Albeit, that would mean she'd have to find some way through, but she'd take this one step at a time.

She continued her journey cautiously up the street, squinting through the driving force of fat droplets soaking her thoroughly. Conditions were only worsening, and with the icy rain meeting with the warmth of the infrastructure, of powered systems generating heated surfaces, a steady mist was slowly rising, quickly becoming a light fog. She didn't panic however, perhaps this would help her hide from the creatures, at least, when it thickened a little more.

Her heart gave a fearful start as pained shrieks shattered the ambiance, carried on the wind and echoing off of the metal surfaces of the city. The sound made her cringe, she wanted nothing more than to turn around, to go home and hide beneath a table. She grit her teeth, picking up her speed with a light jog towards the wailing cries of what was likely a victim to the creatures. A second scream mimicked the first, though deeper, it must have been a second person. The situation seemed bleak, Anne was sure she'd find nothing but the mangled corpses of other unfortunate travelers on this dreary night. However, it was in the direction she had been heading anyways, perhaps she would help—If she could.

---⚙---

To his bones, Freddy was chilled. His already dark brown coat was several shades darker from soaking in the rain -he gave off a musty air as he accrued more water, like a wet dog. Lizzie especially seemed to notice this, as she fell behind him a few steps. Foal fell back alongside Lizze, and the two began to converse in a harsh whisper. Though Freddy certainly noticed the strange behavior, he decided against commenting. The two seemed to come to a conclusion, and moved in line with Freddy. The soaked old man gave a curious look to Foal, saying nothing.

"Freddy, we shouldn't be getting involved in all this shit. This ain't our job, this is for the Spooks to take care of." Spoke Foal, putting a white-gloved hand on Freddy's back. Freddy frowned, brows furrowing in contemplation. He stopped, and pointed a meaty finger towards a crashed APD carrier, flaming in the streets.

"You fink they 'ave this under control? Our job is to clean this bloody place up, that's what we've always did." Freddy said, looking around at the strangely deserted slums. He pulled out a tablet, and again looked to his messages.

>No connection.

"Alroight. Listen, I ain't 'eard back from Dimes an' Dewy yet. I want the two of ye to track 'em down, okay? Stay off the streets now, they ain't safe." Freddy said, pointing back in the direction from which they had come. He turned from the two, setting a destination in his mind. Lizzie punched him in the shoulder lightly, stopping him in his tracks.

"What are you thinking, old man? You said it yourself, this shit isn't safe. If you're our here, we're out here." Lizzie said, giving him a shit-eating grin. Freddy smiled gently, pushing her away. He opened his mouth to speak, but was distracted by a blue glow stumbling out from an alley. A crack resounded through the slums as Freddy fired his weapon, splattering the head of the creature. He backpedaled from the duo quickly, as he fumbled to reload his weapon.

"Go, now! Get your bloody arses gone!" Shouted Freddy over the din of Advent howling. He ducked into the alleyway in a sprint, following the winding path over mounds of trash, hoping to shake his unseen followers. He looked behind him, and saw a blue glow rushing like a wave around the corner. A string of low curses escaped his mouth, before he found salvation. A boarded up section of wall he recognized very well, the back side of The Blind Harpy. He had told Brad time and time again, nail down the goddamn boards so hooligans couldn't waltz in whenever they liked. Lazy bastard just saved Freddy's life.

"S'pose I owe 'im a drink now." Freddy thought, slipping into the bar through the loose boards. As he slid the board back into place, he felt a wave of light brush over his face, as the zomibe-esque monsters sprinted violently through the alleyway, tearing through piles of garbage. Freddy backed away, chancing a sigh of relief as he moved from the back storage room to the main bar counter, where he hoped to find Brad.

"Oi, ye cunt! Where ye at?" He asked, in a very commanding whisper.

For all the while Karen tried her best to keep still and keep silent, straining her ears to make out any more screaming only to be met with the sounds of heavy rainfall. It seemed it started to rain quite hard since she entered the bar, but really that didn't seem that imporant considering there was a psycho murderer out there. Karen was so focused on listening out for trouble that she missed the subtle movements behind her, and so to say she was caught off guard was putting it lightly.

"FUCK!" she quite abruptly swore at the sudden appearance of a newcomer appearing from the goddamn backroom of all places, and turned to face the stranger.

Freddy raised his hands in a gesture of surrender as he saw Karen sitting behind the bar, before lowering one finger to his lips.

"Hush up now. Dunno if we've got more of 'ese ugly choffers runnin' about." Freddy said in a low voice, walking up to Karen. He took off his coat, and laid the dripping husk on the bar. Speaking up more, he extended a hand. "Names Te-Freddy. It's Freddy. Pleased to meetcha." He huffed.

As Freddy stepped closer to her, Karen slowly rose onto her feet, still making sure to keep her eyes directly on the man. He seemed to be friendly enough, at least that's the first impression she got from him, but then again there were two corpses right outside...

After a moment of tense silence, she met his hand, "Karen... what the hell's going on?" Thing is she knew about nothing, so crazed slasher or not, maybe Freddy here could clue her in on whatever was happening.

Freddy shook Karen's hand firmly, before dropping both his hands limp when she questioned him as to the situation. He pressed one hand up to his temple as he stared to the floor, rubbing it gently as he leaned back against the bar.

"Y'know, I was a bit hopeful 'at you'd 'ave some answers as to the particulars of all that." Freddy said, looking up at Karen. "I just lost one of my best men to some glowy blue fuck out 'ere, and I haven't the foggiest where four of me others are at. Where's Brad at, maybe 'e's got somefin better for me?" He looked around the bar with shifty eyes, scanning the picture of a ghost town before him.

At the mention of Brad, Karen sighed heavily and stared across to the front door. "Brad..." She hesitated to even utter the name. "He... died. We heard screaming outside and before I could really stop him, Brad ran straight out the door, and... yeah..."

She returned to face Freddy, her expression solemn, "Guessing you knew him too, Brad always had a bit of a hero complex... just never expected it to get him killed, not like this." Again with another sigh Karen started her way towards the many bottles of alcohol and then grabbed one, looked like whisky. She popped the top off then held to bottle to Freddy, "I need a drink, want one?"

Freddy didn't even think about the offer of whiskey, as he stared off into the corner. The realization of the night's going-ons finally struck with the news of Brad. Never again would Freddy walk into this bar and hear Brad's stories that went on and on for hours -never again receive the generous overflowing foam from Brad's taps. And Herman was gone as well -Herman's loss brought a deep numbness to Freddy, even deeper than the chill of the rain.

His contemplation was interrupted as he heard the door being fiddled with. An eyebrow raised, Freddy turned to look at the door, before turning back to Karen. He put his finger again to his lips as he slid over the counter, stalking silently towards the sounds. As he approached the door, he listened closely. When he realized he had no idea what he was listening for, he shrugged, and unlocked the door, opening it quickly. In the same movement, he pulled out his pistol, aiming it out the doorway.

Anne took a surmised step back, slipping on a puddle and falling to her ass with a squeak. "I ah.. just wanted a drink," She explained hesitantly, a bit embarrassed. Given the night she was having however, it was excusable.

Freddy lowered the pistol when he saw the face of a completely normal woman behind the door. Well, normal might've been a stretch, she was drenched like a used towel. He put away The Chunder, and urged her in quickly, closing and locking the door behind.

Karen watched with baited breath, with the multiple deaths that night she wasn't exactly thrilled to open that door, luckily Freddy was armed. Much to Karen's surprise, there was actually someone on the other side, and even more it was a normal, sane woman. The sane part was the important bit.

"Uh... welcome I guess, lucky you're not dead far as I know." She called out to the even newer, newcomer.

"I guess ya'll are having the same night I'm having then," Anne confirmed, pushing her wet hair from her eyes and slinging her jacket over the back of a chair close to the bar stool. She frowned down at her tank top, glad she had chosen a darker color to go underneath, as it was more than damp itself.

Freddy frowned at the words of Anne. It seemed all across the slums, no one was having a good time. He moved to the bar, taking a seat as he rested his chin in his palm. Fingers absentmindedly drummed on the bar to the beat of the rain as he sat in contemplation. He looked back and forth between the women, trying to wrap his head around the situation. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but his voice hid shyly in the corner, refusing to reveal itself. He looked to the others, before pulling out his flask and taking a long drink.

Anne's gazed passed across the two in the bar, it seemed to be quite a heavy, somber mood, "Where's Brad?"

Karen couldn't help but burst out laughing, although more of a nervous chuckle. "Didn't know Brad was so famous... well, he's dead. Killed by whatever goddamn thing is out there."

Anne merely looked at Karen for a long moment, poor girl must have been in shock. Fortunately, Anne had been through some shit with the Watchmen, and while not perfect, she hadn't broken yet. "Damn.. Brad was a good man," she said, moving behind the bar. She crouched, looking through the selection of liquor before procuring a mostly full bottle one flavored Butterscotch Pie. She took a long swig, grimacing at the bitter sweetness, before pouring some on the floor.

"...was a hell of a man," Anne whispered quietly, helping herself to a second gulp.

Freddy raised himself slowly to his feet. He gave Anne a curious glance as she poured some liquor on the floor, a look that was quickly wiped from his face. A familiar scent brought a blank stare to Freddy's face, a look of hopelessness. A distant scream brought Freddy back, revitalizing his thoughts.

"Roight, since none of us know what the bloody 'ell is goin' on, we'd best be gettin' to the bottom of it, then. We ought'a run down to the end of tha district, sure as 'ell the Spooks have a quarantine somefin or other set up there. Then we can get some answers, yeah?" He spoke, a bright smile lighting his face. The happy visage was lifelike, easily mistakable for genuine, but only a facade, a weak one at that.

Karen nodded slowly as Anne poured a drink out for Brad, very much understanding the gesture. Hell she even had half a mind to do the same, which reminded her of the whisky in her hands. She poured a drink out as well and then gulped down some for herself. The vague tingling helped her feel better, kinda.

After half listening to Freddy's reasoning, she shrugged, "Don't know if we would even survive out there, then again trying to hold out here doesn't seem like a good idea either, dunno honestly." Karen took her flask out and filled it up with her newly acquired whisky, she'll need this later. "What're you thinking we should do?" She turned to Anne, clearly meaning the question for her.

Anne ran a hand through her hair, mulling over the thought. "I won't lie, it's been pretty rough out there..." Anne began, stalling with another swig from the bottle, "I agree with ah..-"

"Freddy."

"Right, Freddy here. I was actually heading towards the Station district when I saw them glowies, a whole pack of them. Ran around a corner, so I hid a minute. Now that I think about it... one of the bodies they were dragging off did seem kind of familiar, though visibility ain't exactly the best out there, ya'know?"

"That ain't somefin I'm too keen on thinkin' about." Freddy slurred, looking down at his flask. Already, the mental image of one of those freaks carrying Herman off to do whatever they did was troubling him. Almost forcefully, he put down his flask, looking up to the girls. "Those things out 'ere are right tossers. And 'eres a bloody tonne of 'em, too. The two of you know yer way around these parts alright? Don't fink we stand much of a chance doin' much but runnin' for it unless one of ye're packin' some heavy firepower." He mused, looking down at his pistol, then to Anne, who seemed to not even have a sidearm.

Karen sighed and shook her head, "Unless a switchblade is enough then I got nothing either, although yeah guess I do know the Slums well enough, which is something." She downed another drink of whisky, straight from the bottle, feeling the liquid settle fairly well in her gut, which was surprising given the dire situation they found themselves in. "But..." She continued, "The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of trying our luck out there, I mean, I really don't think this bar is gonna be safe for that long."

As if cued by her words, a cacophony of light, metal objects falling sounded from the rear area of the bar. The three fell silent as a low growl followed the noise, followed by more debris shifting. "It seems that may be our cue to leave," Anne whispered, looking at her current would-be companions. Freddy nodded, motioning towards the front of the building with a curt, silent nod. Anne followed Karen as the two trailed close behind the older man, who moved with an unexpected, silent ease towards the door.

As gently as he could, Freddy unbolted the door, and put a hand on the handle. In a silent, yet projected whisper, he spoke to the two.

"We make our way north to the edge of the district, right? Keep close, don't wanna lose any more of ye tonight. Stick to the alleys if we git split up, try not to get caught wandrin' in the open." He said, before silencing himself, and pushing the door open slowly. A painful creak erupted from the door as it opened. Freddy held the door open, waiting for the other two to come out before shutting it. When they all were out, he brought his fist down in a quick motion on the handle, breaking it in order to jam the door, and earning a quirked eyebrow from the dark haired woman, likely surprised at his strength.. He had the strangest feeling no one else would be needing to get into the bar anytime soon.

With a pair of fingers, he motioned for the two to follow him, staying close to the side of the building, where the rain was slightly less harsh. Taking a moment to peer around the corner, he ducked into the alleyway next to the building. As he sloshed through the film of water paving the alley, he flexed his fingers, keeping as much warmth within his hands as he could. He took a brief moment to look back at Anne and Karen, assuring that they were still with him, before focusing his eyes forward, straining to catch any telltale blue glare.

It was only when Freddy looked again back to the girls that he caught a glimpse of that eerie telltale glow. Perhaps the idea of them getting away scott-free was too hopeful, after all. "Ah, bugger." He muttered to the choir of unnatural wails echoing through the alley behind them. The other woman, Karen, seemed to visibly get chills from the unearthly cries as she peered into the murky depths of the night. "Bloody run." He stated simply, practically pushing the two to get them moving. Freddy lagged behind them just a bit, as he pulled out his gun. A frown crossed his face as he stood, pistol aimed down the alley, before he dropped his arm, and began running alongside Anne and Karen.

Anne cast a worried look over her shoulder, the increasingly familiar feeling of adrenaline surging through her veins as the blue horde literally scrambled over themselves in waves, their sightless stares and hungering mouths calling towards her. She dug in harder, pulling ahead of the other two, albeit slightly, as they too seemed to ramp up the speed. They burst from the alley, slipping and sliding across the slick sidewalks as they hurtles themselves towards the north end of the district.

Too.. far," Anne wheezed between breaths, her aching muscles burning, "Won't.. Make it"

"Can't stop now! We can make it!" Freddy shouted harsh words of encouragement, even as he felt fatigue weighing himself down. It was overly hopeful, perhaps, but he refused to be beaten by his own muscles.

---⚙---


It'd been an easy enough journey through the city; the navigation had guided them through the Slums with consummate ease and the Hunchback had enough bulk to plow through any of the obstacles that appeared along their path. Albert had swerved to hit one of the creatures a few times on the journey, raising inquisitive glances from the three soldiers strapped in the back but he'd merely replied with a curt "payback for Konrad" which the squad had passed over. The two of them had always been close and despite Albert's attempts to shrug off concern, he was feeling the loss of such a close comrade.

"Two mikes out" Raen called out as he saw the moving blip that represented Anne, mapped by the transponder Elliot had given to him as part of his 'job offer'. She was moving fast, surely not a good sign for most civilians would choose to bunker down in such a crisis and the dot only seemed to be picking up speed. "She's heading north" he called out to Albert, seeing the man nod in reply before Raen switched his focus back to his wrist mounted computer. He brought up a history of Anne's transponder, following their path to approximate an interception point and uploaded it to the nav-computer of the Hunchback.

"Put us there, Albert" he ordered, before he switched to face the rest of the squad who barely filled the interior of the massive armored vehicle. "Listen up, the VIP is on the move and likely to be panicked. I want everyone out once we get there. Isabella, Albert and I will take a forward sweep, Max you set up the big gun on the Hunchback. I want cover for when we make it back. We'll grab the girl, cover our retreat with rolling fire and make it back in one piece. We copy?"

"Copy" they all replied, almost synchronized in their discipline.

The Hunchback lurched to a stop before the driver's door and the back hatch popped open and the four soldiers came pouring out. Raen took point, Isabella on his left and Albert on his right, with the distinct sound of Maximus' Annihilator snapping open behind them. The rain was pelting down now, with the distant flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder lending an eerie aura to the deserted city they found themselves in. A quick check of Anne's position revealed that they'd meet her on the other side of a dark alley and that'd she'd started tiring. "Down the alley, let's go. Stay frosty, I'll grab the girl, you two cover my six" he called out over the squad radio, waving them in the direction of the blip of his HUD map before the three soldiers entered the dark alley with rifles raised.

The stormy night atmosphere continued to shatter beneath the howls of the glowing beasts, echoing calls scattered throughout the city blocks as their calls were answered by others of their kind. Like ants with the mentality of wolves they poured out of darkened nooks and hidden crannies, oozing out of the infrastructural chinks and oddities. Anne figured they must have been close to the edge of the sector, because the sheer force of the howls splitting through the air seemed to puncture her ears, assaulting her senses. Her tired body filled with sheer terror, her heart nothing but a pounding percussion to the chorus of beasts that wanted nothing more than to sink their claws into her.

The stitch in her side had grown into a burning pain, and her breaths were coming in sharp, ragged gasps. She didn't even have the energy to speak, everything was focused on running. To either side her companions didn't seem to be fairing much better, running in exhausted unison. There seemed to be an impossible number of creatures, she could physically feel the force of them charging behind her. A quick glance, one that had almost sent her sprawling to the ground, had shown an enormous herd, no, a horde. It must have been the wrong place, at the wrong time, because with numbers like that they seemed impossible to stop.

An intersecting block lay before them, it's buildings looming like dark monoliths. Anne felt the despair rising within her as they struggled to continue forward, looking for an escape. She didn't even know if she had the capacity to change her momentum with a turn, it was likely that she would fall. Still, they crossed the crossing street with the other two, who also seemed to share her opinion of squeezing into the narrow alleyway before them. Grimy walls rose up to either side, suffocating Anne, waiting to bury her. Not even the rain fell here, but ran down the walls in filthy streams, barely visible in the depressive darkness. The next thing Anne knew she ran head first into something solid, something strong that wrapped around her.

"Anne? Annelle Caldera?" he called out as the woman who his suit's computer had recognized as Elliot's friend. The girl had come barreling down the alleyway, her two friends holding stride with her but it was obvious to see they were struggling. A terrifying cacophony of howls filled the air in front of Raen; the walls seemed to crawl with a teal glow at the end of the alley. "Get behind us! We'll cover your back. Get to the vehicle at the end of the alley."

"Alpha team, rolling fire as we retreat. We'll cover their backs until Max can cover ours."

They have been running so hard for what seemed like hours, and like the others in her company, Karen was struggling to even force air into her lungs. There was plenty she wanted to talk about, which considering everything it wasn't too much to ask for some damn answers, but she couldn't waste the breath for words.

At the end of the claustrophobic inducing alleyway was the first comforting sight she's seen all night, a trio of armed men. In the darkness Karen couldn't make out who these soldiers were, and normally she would be at least a little wary of them, strangers with guns weren't often the friendly type. After the man's announcement, however, Karen was convinced these guys were actually there to help, and started to push herself even harder, her already heavily fatigued legs screaming in agony. At that moment her focus was solely on the armored vehicle that lied beyond, not quite noticing her two companions anymore.

Freddy stumbled through his long strides when he found their trail met by a line of riflemen in their path. When the other two had fatigued far earlier, Freddy had activated his internal cybernetics in order to keep himself moving. Still, he lagged just behind the two small framed women, even more so when he hesitated to continue charging towards the deep black barrels ahead, lined with death. Raen's call, along with the howls clawing at his back, kicked Freddy towards the line of gunmen.

"...into th' fryin' pan." He wheezed, following Anne and Karen. Glancing back over his shoulder, he saw the tide of pale glowing light creeping up, and more importantly, a pair of the clawed beasts making uncomfortable progress. He stumbled forwards even faster than he thought possible, approaching what he now saw to be a safe haven behind Raen and his comrades. A frown creased his face when he felt a claw just barely brush his back, and his reflexes wrestled the reigns away from his better judgement.

Whirling on his toes, Freddy pivoted to face the cobalt monstrosity behind him, and threw his shoulder into it's chest forcefully. Surprise, raw muscle, and momentum rose in a harmony as Freddy struck the beast, throwing it bodily to the floor. Before the first even hit the ground with a sickening thud, the second was upon Freddy. With a sinister wail, it heaved itself bodily at the older man in a leaping tackle.

It was all Freddy could do to keep the knives along the creature's hands from piercing into his chest as he was forced to the ground, just at Raen's feet. In a fit of panic, he tossed the beast to the side, and crawled through the line, struggling to his feet on the other side of the firing squad. He felt a sharp pain and a chill wind graze against his left bicep, and pressed his hand hard against the wound.

The two creatures, previously hidden by the fleeing trio were dispatched with a brutish efficiency by the rough looking man, he had clearly been in a few brawls in his life before. Isabella and Albert had put a round through each of the floored creatures. A quick glance behind him revealed that the trio behind him were moving far too slowly, evidently exhausted by the exertions they'd made getting so far. As the rest of the horde rounded the corner, Raen's heart skipped a beat as he realized there was just too many of them to hold off. "Full auto, open fire!" he ordered as the trio of rifles blazed into action, the soldiers continuously stepping back towards the Hunchback. The first trio of clips put a sizable dent in their approach, the dual-core rounds exploding on impact, knocking them back.

Yet the ground they made up while the three soldiers reloaded rendered the first volley almost pointless as they moved forward in a frenzied rush. The rearguard they were holding was as useful as stopping a flood with a sponge; before long they'd be buried beneath a tonne of the creatures. The second clip gave him a little more hope, the creatures had been thinned out, and the floor of the alleyway was coated in a thick sea of that teal goo. A quick glance back revealed the three were almost at the vehicle. As Raen's clip ran out he barked a quick "Break and run" before he rolled a grenade towards the onrushing horde. The grenade detonated behind the first line of the creatures, blowing a sizable chunk of them away but just as it looked like they'd make their escape, one of them crashed through a window next to Isabella and with a sickening speed plunged it's claws into her chest.

Raen reacted with all the speed he could muster, yet he was too late to stop the creature's second blow which punctured straight through her neck. His first shot nailed it in the head and he scooped up Isabella's body, the blood pooling from the wounds in her chest and neck. His heart was almost in his mouth though his head rang with a cold fury as Isabella's life monitor began blinking as deceased. It was only Albert grabbing his shoulder and yanking him with a strong arm as he said "get back to the Hunchback, we're a few feet from having Max's cover!" that snapped him out of the dreadful mists his mind had wandered to.

Raen, refusing to let those things have her body, sprinted with all that he could muster, the body draped over his shoulder in a fireman's lift. As they popped out the other side of the alley, he saw that the three they'd come to save were just climbing into the Hunchback. The first shot from Max's gigantic rifle rang out, and a creature simply exploded into chunks as the energy bolt hit it square in the chest. A second shot rang out before Raen ordered him into the drivers seat, he'd need the extra time to pack up the rifle.

His heart was pounding in his ears as he pounded towards the Hunchback, the body over his shoulder slowing him down but his legs were driven by the cold anger which gripped his heart. He almost crashed in through the back of the vehicle, barely stopped himself as he entered the back hatch but spun as he heard the sound of Albert's Interdictor cracking into life. The man had stopped halfway to buy Raen some time but in doing so had stranded himself too far from the vehicle to possibly make it. "Smoke" Albert's voice cracked over the radio as he turned his head toward the vehicle "I'm not going to make it. Get those three out of here. Thanks for the good ride buddy". As he finished the sentence, he detonated into a fiery shower and all Raen could do is slump and cradle Isabella's body as Max launched the big vehicle away from that alley.

Lucias Caldera
Graywall District

8:11p.m, Sunday, April Sixth, 187A.E


Heavy black boots rested atop a scattering of loose papers that were largely being ignore for the time being. A pale smoke drifted down a set of legs clad in the perfectly ironed fabric of black dress slacks, before billowing out over the polished, cluttered desk. A large man recline back in a chair, tipped to an angle dangerously close to snapping its tilting mechanism. A grizzled face wore a triumphant smile, one sculpted with a neatly trimmed beard and a fat patch of hair that sat above his lip. He inhaled again, savoring the flavor of the expensive cigar, something he only treated himself to on special occasions. The tingle on his tongue was a nice change of pace from the cheaper shit he smoked, but he didn't want to think about that now. His gaze traveled outwards, beyond the holo monitors currently broadcasting lives feeds of raids across the sector. Up and out, beyond two cushioned chairs, past the bookcase with books her never read and further still, beyond plants he never watered to the open office area of the precinct.

Cheap bottle of champagne were frothing as the desk jockeys congratulated themselves. Operations were going underway, and they seemed to be doing quite well. Weeks of compiling information, pulling all of the strings, double checking all of the sources for a simultaneous, sector wide raid against filthy terrorists. Lucias exhaled, watching the smoke frolic in the stir of cool air, as he watched the scene unfolding on his holo screen. Live coverage was being aired, showing a line of nondescript looking people on their knees, rough bags tied tightly over their heads. A moment later and the bodies fell back, limp, crimson stains oozing out against their cloth concealing their faces. Small fry terrorists only, not worth the time. Though, the execution was only a statement, the majority of the criminals would find themselves in Sector Three. The leaders, well, John would likely call for a public hanging, another statement to quell the common vermin.

He nodded in satisfaction to himself, yet a part of him longed to put his boots on the ground. This position had far too much paperwork for his liking, but since he began this position the watchmen were really making a difference. Lucias had a brilliant mind, and he knew it, his wits were far superior to whatever ragtag leader the terrorists were trying to hide. He would find them, and methodically crush them one by one. He sat up, flicking over the channel. 'Silence in the Slums, a vision of a peaceful future or an omen of war?' a headline read, scrolling across the bottom of the screen. Lucias shook his head, the news would make a story out of anything just to stir the pot. Always about the ratings, but nobody cared about the slums. Likely, the vagabonds and beggars had moved out in fear of Lucias' new campaign. Zero tolerance, that's how you cleaned up the streets.

The door to his office hissed up into the ceiling as one of the workers from communications and logistics strode in. Lucias returned the salute before beckoning the jittery looking fellow to a seat. The young man's mouth worked, but nothing came out. He looked like a fish struggling to speak. Well, it wasn't uncommon for younger lads to lose their nerve in Lucias' presence. The older man chuckled, taking a honey-amber bottle from his drawer. He poured two smalls glasses, motioning the rookie to have a drink. Lucias was enjoying the bitter, warming liquid when the kid finally found his words.

"There's ah.. trouble, sir," He murmured, deciding he did want that drink.

Lucias chuckled, like a bear having a good laugh, "There's always trouble son, that's the life we've chosen to live." Lucias slapped his glass against the desk, sighing pleasantly as he turned back to nursing his cigar.

"No.. I m-mean yes, Sir, it's the slums," The young man spluttered, swallowing his nervousness and downing the glass like a champ.

"What's your name son? Do you smoke?" Lucias asked, holding out a steel case holding rows of slim, cheaper cigars.

"T-Tobiath Daryl, Sir," came the reply, the boy's hands were shaking too violently to properly cut the end.

Alright, Tobiath," Lucias began, holding out a flame for his underling, "Why don't you take a deep breath, and relax a moment alright? Do you watch the news Son?"

"Ah, yes sir," Tobiath answered, choking on the repugnant smoke. Lucias let out a fatherly chuckle.

"You hold the smoke in your mouth, you've gotta be a grizzled old man like me to inhale it," Lucias instructed, tapping out the growing stem of ash into a small porcelain tray. "What's the situation?"

"There's a situation near one of the maintenance access points," Tobiath explained, finally composing himself though he retained a white knuckled grip on the cigar, "We lost a squad in the tunnels, and one on the surface."

Lucias nodded gravely, it was understandable that during these times of certain victory there would be some losses, "So the Libbies are hiding in the tunnels then?"

"Well.. comm chatter indicated that the ah, men saw something that.. well.. wasn't human," Tobiath managed.

"So, they're trying some sort of fear tactic then?" Lucias dug patiently, his eyes flickering to the holovision as he flipped through some of the channels.

"Perhaps sir, something about glowing blue monsters with uhm.. inhuman strength and speed, ripping people apart."

"Oh?" Lucias questioned, flipping back to the earlier story about the slums. He set the sound to low, so he could listen to the pretty blonde haired woman talk as he turned towards man before him, looking him in the eye. Tobiath was a thin, gaunt thing who barely seemed to fillout the chair he was residing in. A mop of sweaty brown hair was layered over his face, shifted only by his bony hands.

"Well," Lucias sighed, thinking about the definite lack of extra resources he had, "Send in the Heimdall Unit, they can handle it. Kratos and Badger are also in the area, tell them to hold their positions after the raid, we don't want to overthink this too much."

The kid nodded, pulling up his wrist computer, his cigar sat forgotten in the tray as he send the orders back to Logistics, likely to someone higher of rank. Lucias reached over and tapped it for him, reminded of his early days with DigiCorp. The thought brought him back to his daughter, the chink in his armor. She had ripped a hole in his heart when she left, and filled it with blame and guilt. He checked his own communicator, debating on sending her a written message, or if he should just accept her hatred of him. His bushy brows drooped sadly as he turned away from the screen, once more returning to the simple pleasantry of his cigar.

"How long have you been here son?" Lucias asked absentmindedly, his attention once more captured by the images on the holoscreen.

"I'm a week out of the academy sir, I wasn't too great with the physical stuff.. but they said I've got a good head about me," Tobiath explained. Lucias nodded with a grunt, leaning closer towards the screen.

"Hold on a second," He murmured, turning up the broadcast. With nothing better to do as Lucias diverted his attention elsewhere, Tobiath finally remembered his cigar.

A new development was scrolling across the screen, it looked as if Lucias would get to see these new Liberata tactics first hand. Sometimes, the news gave information faster than his own intelligence department, which was disheartening, perhaps he should hire the reporters. He mused over the thought as the news crew ran towards, well, he didn't quite know but he was certainty going to wait and find out. The reporter was in a sort of half turn as she tried to jog towards the scene, and report the unfolding events at the same time. Lucias grinned through the cigar between his teeth, he wouldn't mind a blonde bombshell like her. Big brown eyes, big set of-

"Oh my god.." The woman said, frozen in the street. The cameraman, bless him, remained dutiful to his task and zoomed in on a.. Lucias leaned in further, captivated by the images, the boy was speaking but Lucias couldn't hear him. On the screen a blue.. a blue man was literally tearing somebody apart, blood and gore flying in all directions. Lucias stared at the deranged beings back, in tattered, bloody clothes and pasty gray skill split with glowing blue cracks. The thing stopped, snapping it's head up to attention with an unnatural jerk. It stood, head turned towards the sky, before looking ominously in the direction of the camera crew.

"What the.." Lucias said, his eyes pinching as he tried to make out more details.

Tobiath wandered up to the desk, unable to contain his curiosity from the other side, and peered over Lucias' shoulder rather meekly. Lucias heard the boy gasp as the faceless creature's mouth parted in an earth splitting shriek, it's disgusting flesh wobbling with the intensity of the sound. Its call was answered by another, and another, until there was nothing but a constant howl emitting from the speakers. It charged forward, towards the woman and her coworkers. It was so fast, too fast. In what seemed like an instant, a span of time much to short to be real, it was on her. She shrieked as the cameraman's human instincts finally kicked in. The image fell to the ground, dead center on her as the creature tore at her back, its ghastly hands tipped with claws that flung chunks off her off screen.

Somewhere off in the distance, Tobiath was retching, but Lucias couldn't look away. The beast kneeled on the open cavity ripped in her back, screaming once more into the night. He couldn't tell if there was more of the woman splattered against the beast, or splattered across the street. A low rumbling sounded through the feed. Seconds later the image began to shift slightly, which changed into a steady vibration as the object was shaken by the force of and endless number of legs crowding the small lens of the camera. It had to be hundreds, thousands even, the constant stream of blue flashes was like trying to watch a river composed entirely of fish. It was unending, a horde so thick Lucias couldn't see anything other than mottled gray skin and blue streaks as their stampede thundered out into the office.

He sucked in a breath, finally tearing himself away from the display as the feed broke, the image tearing and the colors warping before cutting completely. For a second longer, he stared at the technical difficulties message, moving to take a drag of his cigar and finding that it had gone out.

"I.." He searched for the words, an unfamiliar feeling ripping through his body. He felt cold, and hollow, and for the first time in years his hands were shaking. It was fear, he was truly, and honestly afraid. "Tobiath.."

"ugh..er.. yes Colonel?" Tobiath responded weakly from his position on the floor, that plant would never be the same.

"Send everybody.. pull them.. all of them," He began, his nerves returned, only gone for a second yet the dull feeling in the pit of his stomach remained, "Get a hold Syndustries and DigiCorp.. we're going to need them."

Lucias left the boy kneeling on the ground, Tobiath didn't even bother getting up, but rather was typing out a message to logistics with a furious intensity. The mood in the outer office died immediately as he swept through, before he reached the end of the room the terminals began going off. A cacophony of pulsing beeps echoed through the office as a swarm of messages came in. A buzz picked up as the employees dropped their celebration in light of the new task at hand—Mobilizing Everyone. Like a wraith from the shadows Sergeant Azerix was at Lucias' side within a minute of the order going out.

"Azerix?" Lucias asked, he didn't need to say anymore.

"I just got the message, the calls should be going out now. I've also put in to contact the private security firms sir, I'm sure by everybody, you meant it," The Sergeant explained, her never looked up from his wristpad as he matched Lucias stride for stride. "It must be serious.." Azerix noted, peering up the entryway to the precinct's armory.

"It is Sergeant, get me a van mobile and waiting I'll be down in four minutes," Lucias commanded, pausing in the doorway, "And Sergeant.."

"Yes sir?"

"Shut it down, all of it."

Possibly accepting more applicants, Bring your A-Game

Theoretics on Shard Sickness added to Citizen Database, courtesy of @Aziraphale
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