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Angels of Mercy vs. Children of Sayang: Khazan City


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#21 treacherous

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 05:14 PM

Shivers

#22 Jason Redfield

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:04 PM

Even if it only ends up being a fraction as good as it could be (and I'm sure it would be MUCH more than that), the prospects are mouth-watering enough to make me cum in my pants.

More! More! Fast!


Tempted to sig this, although I'm pretty certain it's going to end up in Treach's Out of Context Theater very soon.

#23 treacherous

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:42 PM

I don't want that on my sig. Shivers again.

#24 Darkender

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:05 PM

Ew. I remember when this site was PG-13.

#25 Nilan

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:50 PM

Oh grow up people! I know you all do it!

#26 Darkender

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:11 PM

For Nilan:

#27 He who fights monsters

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:11 PM

Don't forget Jasmine Smith!

#28 treacherous

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:39 AM

@Treacherous: Yeah, DeLuca puts up with Reynolds but that's about it. He probably called him all kinds of lowtown naughty words once he was out of the car, but the way I see it John as a current (secret) Syndicate informant, and DeLuca as an Ex-Syndicate Gangster, would not get along famously. I also may have prettied up his language a bit, Poet said the same thing about Huebris so I think its just me not getting hard-boiled detective types.


Let's break these two hard boiled detectives down. First, they are from Khazan, whereas most places only hear about action. Khazan is the epicenter for action. Just like New York is always ground zero in comics and movies, well Khazan is triple that in FPL. So to be from Khazan you have to be a little tougher, a little bit more on edge. Fight or flight is a way of life and these people are instinctively so. Now, lets add that these guys are from Lowtown. Poorest section of Khazan. It's dog eat dog. Now let's add the fact that they (I'm going to assume that ThePoet's character is for sake of argument) are from The Bottom. This is the lowest part of Lowtown. It doesn't get much worse. Skid Row in spades. Any given person there will eat you alive. They don't speak eloquently and they don't quote Shakespeare, but they got street smarts. This is why they make such great detectives. Any respectable Bottom-Feeder can detect a scam a million miles away. Lastly, these guys are Hard Boiled genre. You know what Hard Boiled is. For a modern version or caricature, see Sin City. Not too many Jabroni's in that film. That's Hard Boiled. Want to see a real Hard Boiled movie, see any of my power descriptions for Boiling Point Inc.

#29 deojusto

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:51 AM

PART THREE

At Boiling Point Incorporated, the next day…

A violent knock comes at the door. Jason looks out the warped glass window in the doorframe and can only see a vague humanish form. The backwards letters ‘Boling Point Incorporated’, cover up most of the person’s face.

“Who is it?”

“Who the hell do you think? Open the freaking door!”

“Jill you gotta give the password to get in.”

“The password, oh I forgot… Oh wait, now I remember, its ‘open the door before I kick it down and straight up murder everyone’!”

Jason acquiesces and unbolts the door lock. He pulls it open and the blonde strides in. He wiffs the air, an unpleasant musky smell has come with her.

“What is that?”

“That,” says Jill, “Is the smell of Cambodia… freaking jungle. Rurally backwards, 98 degrees with humidity, mosquitoes the size of tangerines, and everybody had guns. It was like Alabama, except no one spoke any English.”

“Couldn’t be all bad.”

“No you’re right. If I ever go back there they’ll have me executed, but aside from that it was a barrel of laughs. In fact, my translator thought it would be funny if he could get me to tell a three star general that I was a CIA operative.”

:In my defense Jill, in my defense…It was really, really, funny.

She walks past him towards the inner office. On her way she passes little furniture of importance, a lamp, a small desk, and a nameplate reading Merci on it. She opens the door to the inner office and everyone is crowded inside.

“Wow… more Angels operatives then I’ve ever seen in one place. Jack, could you fill me in on the few I don’t know?”

:Lets see… the one talking to Helenas is Jasmine Smith. You can tell from the eyes that she ain’t exactly human. Alien of some sort, works in New York mostly; like all Angels women she carries a disproportionately big gun, which to me tells me that you all joined up because you have—

“I don’t want to hear the Freudian analysis Jack, just move on.”

:Right… The guy sitting on the table in the trench coat is The Conspiracist. Give you three guesses as to what his deal is. I don’t have any record of a real name or biography information. Again, uses a very large gun.

The one next to him is Thomas Jackson, although as far as I know that could be an alias. He uses non-lethal weaponry and has been working in Khazan for a few years. That’s all I got, he keeps a pretty low profile and doesn’t run into the police much.

Then of course there’s the guy whose office were invading to have this little pow-wow. Anthony ‘Tony’, Inconspicuous, DeLuca. Former Syndicate mobster turned private eye. Big player in the Cigar war a few years back. Handy under the trigger and not a bad guy to have in the war-room either; his assistant there is Merci. She’s more attractive than you.


“Do you know anything useful about her?”

: No, I just thought I’d mention how hot I think she is.


Jill sighs. She walks over to Merci and DeLuca to do a meet and greet. Behind them John and Jackson are getting into a heated discussion. The Conspiracist listens in, feigning disinterest.

“So you’re telling me you had no problems with voting for a… well you know. Its not that she’s a woman, but,”

“It wasn’t an issue,” Jackson replies, “I voted for who I thought was the best candidate. The runner up was a drunk, and the other two big players were way too shady. I trusted her more.”

“Really? The fact that she is cold-blooded and has no hands, you didn’t see that as a problem to running a country?”

“You don’t live here, do you?”

John looks to the Conspiracist.

“Who did you vote for?”

“I don’t vote, if you vote they can keep track of your movements by the irradiated dust they put on the ballot boxes. Besides, the president is a meaningless figurehead. The secret Bureau of Twelve actually run all world politics, as chosen by the heads of the three major soft drink companies.”

“Riiiight…. But hypothetically if they didn’t, who would you vote for?”

The Conspiracist shrugs.

“Cameron Drake maybe.”

At the other end of the room Helenas and Jasmine are talking alone. Helenas is slightly energetic, Jasmine seems somewhat uncomfortable.

“I understand what you are saying,” she says, “but it is too illogical. It defies reason.”

“That’s just it, you don’t need logic or reason, just have faith, then it’s true.”

“But hypothetically, if this all-powerful deity existed and had created everything, it would follow that my species would have been in contact with him at some point. How come he has not appeared on our world as he has ‘allegedly’ appeared in this one?”

“Because he couldn’t appear to everyone in the whole of creation. That would be just silly. So he sent his only son to die for all mankind’s sins, forgiving everyone.”

“But that’s just it, he died for MANkind’s sin.”

“It’s an expression,” retorts Helenas, “Woman-kind is included in there as well.”

“That’s not what I mean. If this dead prophet you worship truly was this deity’s only son, and he died to save your species from sin, then my species is not included. Unless this being had multiple sons where he could send them to die on the infinite number of planets of every intelligent species, then he could not save every intelligent being. If it truly was his only son, he cannot die for our sins because he was never one of us. Since you stated earlier that this deity created the entire universe, it is illogical he would make everything, only to save one mostly insignificant planet.”

“Well, I…it’s that…your forgetting that… look don’t think about it that hard. Just follow the faith, do what’s in the book, and don’t ask questions!”

Before Jasmine can retort, Jason opens the door with a dvd in his hands.

“It’s here.”

In a few brief moments the disc ends up in a dvd player and the film begins to play on an old television in the corner of the room. The first 13 minutes to El Coyote play before the real show begins. The collected Angels watch as the man in the Greek comedy mask gives his lecture. Most watch it stone faced, a few wince as things go on. Merci ends up leaving the room about halfway through. The film wraps up then suddenly cuts to white.

De Luca presses the stop button and looks over the team.

“So now we all now what we’re in for. These Say-ang clowns openly said it… the main event is still to come. What information do we have on these guys?”

“Well the guy on screen is a member of The Actor’s Guild,” answers The Conspiracst, “they’re a bunch of famous actors who faked their deaths. I can’t tell which one it is on-screen but they work in the background. They are skilled at both deception and disguise.”

“The one who created the disease calls himself Scourge,” says Jason, “I have been tracking him for a long while, but this is the first time I’ve heard about him joining Sayang. Conspiracist and I checked out some tenement buildings where we think he field tested the virus. He’s not as insane as the others, used to be a healer, turned out to be a degenerate prodigy. If he’s working with Sayang there has to be an angle.”

“I ran into another member in New York,” John adds, “Like Scourge he’s new, and relatively sane by comparison to many of the others. I wasn’t able to get a name before he threw an exploding stapler at me, but he’s a biker and very handy at making things go boom. Then of course there is Koji Ito.”

Jill nods.

“As far as we know Koji is entirely in this just for the aspect of creating chaos. He isn’t what you’d call…human. Jason, Helenas, and I have all gone up against him at some point and we barely came out of it alive. He is a small Japanese man with scars across his cheeks, if you do see him, do me a favor; shoot him on sight.

“Then there’s the ones who we’ve never personally met. One under the name of Dr. Voodoo is a planner and tactician. That name is basically all we have. Good chance he’s working with this Actor’s guild as the brains of the operation…. A few incident reports make mention of Sayang members with psychic abilities. Since to the best of our knowledge none of the ones we mentioned have these abilities, we can assume there is at least one more member unaccounted for.”

DeLuca nods and grins.

“All right then,” he says, “now that we know the opposing team, its time to pick a strategy… Anytime a group that large tries to hide out in the city and plans something this big, they’re bound to pop up on somebody’s radar. I spent most of last night putting out feelers and beating out a few good leads…Meanwhile I’m going to need some of you on defense… their main targets will be water sources, places where they can infect as many people as possible. Jill, I was told you could take care of singling out possible targets.”

“Sure, just give Jack some time and he can check the water system blueprints.”

“Who’s Jack?”

“He’s the AI voice the military planted in my head.”

DeLuca’s eyebrows raise. He turns to John Reynolds who simply nods, assuring him that she wasn’t as crazy as he thought. Thomas Jackson speaks up.

“Ok, while she’s doing that, I have something to bring up… Shouldn’t we call the cops or the Sentinels and let them know about this stuff?”

“The cops already know,” Jason replies, “they’ll be handling their own end. As for the Sentinels I think it would be a waste of time. Lets face it, we don’t want them getting in the way.”

“We need as many people as possible,” Jackson replies “there should be some quote-unquote ‘heroes’ in Khazan we can trust outside the Angels.”

Jason looks back at him with a glare.

“The last time a Sentinels member ‘helped’ us out in Khazan he stopped me from all but ending Scourge. If it wasn’t for that, Scourge would be dead and all those people at The Monument would still be alive. Not all of us are boyscouts, we don’t always follow your rules of non-lethality.”

Jackson startles at the statement.

“I don’t claim to be perfect; far from it. But I wasn’t aware that we were out of options.”

“I have to agree with Vanguard over there,” John adds. He places his hand on his holster to illustrate his point.

“I visited Sonja Sullivan in the hospital last night. To those of you who don’t know, Sonja was secretly one of us. She worked the greater LA area. After the things those bastards did to one of our own, I see this as personal. The Sentinels can lock up whoever’s left once we’re done.”

“Done” says Jill. She pauses for a moment before it hits her.

“Oh, I wasn’t trying to reiterate what he was saying, I mean I’m done searching the water system blueprints.”

“And?”

“And while there are dozen places where they could insert the virus into the water supply, there are just two spots which act as hubs for the whole system. The first is a water treatment and de-salination plant in the Industrial quarter. It covers everything on the north side of the bridge: uptown, midtown, and the financial/industrial center. The other location covers everything south of the bridge, meaning Lowtown and the ports. It’s the primary south-end reservoir, it is, slightly harder to get to.”

“Harder how?” Jason asks

DeLuca laughs at the question.

“You mooks ain’t from around here is ya?... As they built up Lowtown, they just put new buildings on top of the old ones. It ain’t called ‘The Bottom’ for no reason. The entire sewage and water system for the city flows out near a quarter mile beneath where you’re standing. They didn’t bother to replace it, every decade people just kept building ‘up’ until everything was so far underground that the only ones willing to go down there are bums and rats.”

“Charming.” John adds.

Merci enters the room. She looks directly to DeLuca.

“We got some bad news. Turn on channel 3.”

DeLuca turns the knob and a news report comes on. Aerial footage of hundreds of people looting and marching through the streets plays by.

“This footage is live, if you’re just joining us… it seems a mass flash-mob has started in Lowtown… No one yet knows why, but,”

A building on the side of the road explodes; concrete debris flies onto the street.

“Shit… get us out of here.

The building is left in flames and the mob seems more invigorated then ever. The aerial footage pulls back and flees away from the scene. The Conspiracist looks out a window and can see the growing pillar of smoke from DeLuca’s office.

“Well…I guess we know what the police will be doing today.”

“It makes total sense, hell it’s what I’d do.”

Everyone turns to Jason. He nods in concurrence with his suggestion.

“Create a distraction, something loud and visible to keep the police occupied. Then when nobody’s looking you go for the jugular with the real attack.”

“People could still die either way,” says Jackson, “We have to handle both.”

“If it is just a distraction then we can’t afford to be pulled in by it.”

“And if it’s not, then we overlook something that could end up being a major part of their plan. Let me handle the Lowtown riots, I know the city and I’ve got non-lethal gear that can slow things down without killing anyone.”

The Conspiracist places a hand on Jackson’s shoulder. He uses the other to pull out his gun.

“I’ll give him the back-up. I know Khazan pretty well. Besides, riots don’t start themselves, somebody is stoking the flames. Hopefully I’ll be able to extinguish them.”

Jackson looks towards The Conspiracist’s gun.

“That thing is non-lethal?”

“It is if you shoot ‘em in the kneecaps.”

DeLuca points towards the two.
“Ok then, you two handle the riots. The rest of youse guys?”

Jill raises his hand.

“I aught to go to the treatment plant. The blue-prints are pretty messy for this place; it’s easier if I don’t have to walk someone through it.”

“I got you there,” Jason throws in, “ A water treatment plant sounds better then crawling down through the sewers to a buried reservoir system.”

“That leaves you three.” DeLuca says pointing towards Helenas, Jasmine and John.

They look at each other.

“Perhaps I should go see to our injured teammate, Ms. Sullivan,” Helenas volunteers, “I can cure her easily through the power of prayer.”

Jasmine lets out a sarcastic sigh.

“Really?” Merci asks somewhat shocked, “That’s how you heal people?”

“Of course. Through holy water and the sacrament of renewal I can cure anyone. How would you do it?”

“Well, I use liquid… of a sort… It’s complicated. Tony what do you think, save this Sonja chick?”

DeLuca shakes his head.

“That’s a no go. As much as I would like you to save the dame at the hospital, thousands of lives are at risk, we need our designated healers to handle the biggest areas they can. Merci stays with me, as for you redhead dame; sorry toots, you’re going to the underground. With Johnny boy and the alien.”

“Great…” John moans.

Deluca opens the door and pulls his coat from the rack. He checks his holster and finds a loaded pistol ready and waiting for him.

“Its set then. The faceless mook and the guy in the fedora cover the riot scene. Merci and I will follow up the leads I got from a few local ‘sources’. Jason, Jill and ‘Jack’ will handle the first water source, while Jaz, Helen, and Johnny boy muck about in the sewers. Any questions?”

Jasmine’s hand shoots up.

“I’m sorry, but I never volunteered to go into ‘The Underground’. Couldn’t I go with you and Merci, or at least head towards the other target with Jill and Vanguard.”

“Sorry space dame, where I’m going its better if I remain inconspicuous. With eyes like yours that’s hard to do. Besides, The underground is massive, it might take three of you just to find what you’re looking for.”

John taps her on the shoulder.

“Just bring a flashlight, and try to pretend you don’t smell it.”




Somewhere in The Port of Kings…

The man in the shades blows smoke over the table. The room is dark in the corners, pale light streams in from above. Voodoo moves his fingers over a large map of the city. Water drips down from the ceiling to irritate him.

He picks up the radio transceiver.

“Nomad, how is your progress?”

The radio buzzes
“… Fine, won’t be long now. They mostly just needed a push to get started. The police are trying to quarter us off at the bridge and the exits to the other city sections… won’t stop us for long…”

Dr. Voodoo puts the radio down and looks towards the rest of his team.

“It seems our plans have been complicated. We knew Khazan had a large stock of vigilantes and opposition forces who would attempt to stop us. But it seems that they have done something far more dangerous. They have organized. Because of this I am changing up our game-plan.”

“Koji, as your end has already been completed, you and Keijo will join Scourge and give him back-up. Rather then stay with me, Star will take your place. Don’t worry, I’m sure she can take good care of your, projects… ”

“I would be better used hunting them down,” Koji protests, “I can stop them before they ever reach our targets…”

The doctor shakes his head no.

“I cannot have you hunting through an entire city to find seven people. Go with Scourge; with any luck, they will come to you.”

Scourge calmly interrupts.
“What about the girl, the one Koji mentioned? I can let the disease out, but if she’s here it will all be wasted by an instant cure.”

The doctor spews smoke under his breath.

“Do not worry about her. One person cannot stop an entire epidemic. Focus on your targets, nothing else matters. I will coordinate from here.”

The four of them leave as Voodoo remains in the darkened room. Star wanders off on her own, silent as usual. Scourge, Koji, and Keijo walk through a long narrow hallway to the outside world. Keijo turns to her partner.

“So; you going to let him chew you out like that?”

Koji laughs without humor,

“He wants to stick to his plan…I will stick to his plan…Of course if things outside his plan should occur, who’s to blame...”

Scourge interrupts into the conversation.
“If you want, I can cover my assignment alone. That Healer bitch is our real problem. You take care of her and you’ll be doing me a favor.”

Koji laughs again.

“No, no… no reason to spring off... Besides, the good doctor has a point, I can’t track down anyone in a city this size… but I know someone who can… I had a contingency plan in place should something like this happen ”

Koji’s eyes went dull. He stares straight up at nothing. A sick grin slides across his face. His head drops back down suddenly.

“Done…”





St. Crispin’s Hospital

The combination MRI hums to life. Doctor Jacobson stands by the patient while Doctor Wilde stares at the monitor. Jacobson places his hand on Sonja’s shoulder; the patient doesn’t respond. The platform she is laying on automatically slides into the machine.

Jacobson joins Wilde at the monitor. There is a silent pause while the images on the screen begin to come into focus. Wilde looks at them, then back to the woman in the MRI.

“You think she’ll make it?”

“She’s stable… The E.R. never thought she’d make it past an hour and a half.”

“What are we looking for?” asks Doctor Wilde, her eyes scanning the monitor.

“An irregular embolism. The response team that treated her noticed a lump towards the back of her spine as well as an abundance of neuro-chemicals in her blood work.”

“An embolism is just a blockage, the lump is probably just swelling from all the trauma she’s been put through. What kind of embolism going to explain brain chemicals in her bloodstream?”

“…That’s why its an ‘Irregular’ Embolism.”

“I.e. code for, we have no idea….Turn on the FMRI I want to see what her brain looks like.”

The machine switches modes as the images focus on her head. The FMRI sees into her brain, all neural activity present comes onto the screen in blurring colors.

“Holy Christ…”

Sonja’s brain is lit up like a spastic Christmas tree. The outlying lobes of her brain glow obscenely, her frontal lobe barely registers a glimmer.

“Just look at that,” Jacobson marks, “Temporal, Parietal, Occicpital lobes, everything to do with sensory information, all working in overtime while her frontal lobe and conscious thought are barely active.”

“She’s in a coma. None of it should be that active; hell, no ones brain is ever that active even when they’re awake. Its no wonder neurochemicals are leaking into her blood, its like she’s giving her brain an acid bath.”

“Scan down lower, to the embolism. Basic MRI.”

The images change and a section of Sonja’s torso comes up on the monitor. Her heart beats calmly, her lungs slowly pump in and out. The image takes a moment to focus. There is a large foreign object wrapped around her spine; it is four inches long, half an inch in diameter, and appears on the MRI to have the same characteristics of bone.

“What is that?”

“Whatever it is, it isn’t an embolism, it’s nowhere near her blood-stream. It seems to be hooked to her spinal chord. It could be producing the chemicals in her brain.”

Dr. Wilde magnifies the screen. On closer inspection its properties come into focus. It tapers at two ends and seems to have tiny bristles coming off the main body.

“It looks like… like it has legs.”

It moves. Doctor Wilde shudders.

“Did it just… did you see that?”

They both watch. The tiny legs begin to squirm. It slithers up her spine to her brain stem. It’s front end opens, revealing that it has a mouth and pincer like jaws; it clamps onto her brain stem.

Their unconscious patient screams.

“AAAAAAAAH!”

“Jesus!” yells Doctor Jacobson.

He rushes towards her side and slams on a button on the machine. The metal tray rolls out. Sonja’s eyes are finally open, she hyperventilates in a panic.

“Sonja, it’s okay. Remain calm we’re going to help—”

Her thumb jams into his trachea, silencing the doctor. Sonja springs from the table and grabs Jacobson behind the head. She viciously slams his forehead against the MRI until he crumples to the floor.

Sonja’s eyes are cold with a blood red tint. Her breathing is controlled and quiet, she looks back to doctor Wilde. The doctor reaches for a needle that she put down somewhere before they began the test. She searches manically; Sonja stalks towards her in no haste.

Wilde raises the needle like it was a bowie knife.

“SOMEBODY PLEASE! WE NEED SOME HELP!”

She backs into the wall as Sonja comes slowly closer.

“Ms. Sullivan, please. You don’t want to do this, you don’t know what you’re doing!”

“Bloodhound.”

“What?”

Sonja instantly snatches Dr. Wilde at the wrist. She wrenches it quick and Wilde drops the needle.

With her free hand Sonja jabs at the woman’s throat. It stuns Wilde. Sonja moves in a quick blur; her elbow slams the doctor to the ground, then both of her hands end up around Wilde’s neck, one at the chin, one at the back of the head.

“My name is Bloodhound.”

A quick snap and its over. She looks towards the other doctor who seems to be crawling off the ground. She smiles with delight.

#30 deojusto

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:54 AM

Sorry about the length of the last part, but I didn't want to cut up this section. This was the big exposition sequence. From this point on, I promise, action, action, action!

Oh and here's a game to play. Every time I make a vague sports metaphor, take a drink.

#31 M Bison

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 05:28 AM

You've taken the Conspirisist and run with him. He's the dark horse of the story, despite not having huge amounts of dialogue.

Good stuff deo.

And of course my character would vote Velocity. All Hail Velocity!

#32 Jason Redfield

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 09:47 AM

This is probably my personal favorite of the installments you've posted so far. I can't say much that I haven't already, but I will say this: You portrayed Redfield and Scourge perfectly. The same goes for the other characters, so much as I can tell from what I've seen of them, but obviously the only ones I can really say for sure are my own.

For instance, I never really considered that Jason might be bitter at the Sentinels after the Plagues & Paragons storyline, but it certainly fits in well and gives him a bit more depth. The fact that he transitions between jokes at others' expense (particularly Jill) and seriousness also fits him to a T.

As for Scourge, you nailed him as well. The quiet but brash demeanor mixed in with sarcasm and such. I plan on redoing him as a Global level; he and his motivations be more developed there.

Overall, good work. As always, I anxiously await your next chapter.


P.S.: I concur with Nilan's previous statement. You know the one.

#33 Darkender

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:43 AM

I think you've done great at capturing all of the characters personality, and the story seems to be building up to the action perfectly. I can't wait :( .

#34 treacherous

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:45 PM

Seems this is a well thought out tale, Deo. It's very intriguing so far. Characterizations are good (Had a little issue with De Luca's earlier portrayal. He was a little too soft and the voice was wrong, but you seemed to reel it back in by part 3, anything else would be nitpicky and I hate to nitpick), story pulls you in and a great stage has been set. I hope it comes through in the end, because it has mucho potential.

#35 Magnetrex

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:14 PM

Nice stuff man. I especially like how you described Nomad as the sane one :( Which is pretty accurate since he is the the more focused one of the group.

#36 He who fights monsters

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 11:52 AM

Jasmine Smith was portrayed very well, as I intended her to be mocking of human methodology and belief. Puny earthlings.

#37 deojusto

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:29 PM

PART FOUR...

In Lowtown Khazan

The Mustang blasts down the empty side of the road. Everyone else was driving away from the riots; only five people were trying to go towards them.

Jackson and the Conspiracist sit up front, Helenas, John, and Jasmine are crammed in back. John eyes Jasmine’s eyes oddly. Jasmine shifts in her seat. After a few minutes she glares back at him angrily.

“What?”

“Nothing, it’s just… you don’t blink, do you?”

Jackson bends around towards the three in the back.

“The entrance to the underground is just beyond the police barricade. We can pick you back up in four hours. Radio us if you get into trouble or if your water source is already contaminated.”

Jasmine shifts her glare away from John and towards Jackson.

“Does anyone but me find it illogical that we’re sending three members away from a riot scene to go exploring through the sewage filled underground on suspicion that there might be a contamination?”

The police barricade is visible ahead. The officers look back and see the roaring Ford speeding towards them. It wasn’t slowing down. The Conspiracist calmly speaks back to his passengers.

“If you’re not already, you might want to buckle up and hold onto something. Turbulence ahead.”

The Mustang reaches the barricade; policemen dive out of the way. It smashes through the makeshift barrier; debris and splinters fly everywhere. The car lands on the other side and speeds off.

The police get back up and watch the vehicle as it swerves around rioters and enters the burning heart of Lowtown.



The Industrial Quarter/'Moebius'…

“So you’re telling me you think it’s totally fair that they can just exclude me under some stupid, baseless, policy”

“I don’t know.”

Jason drives in circles through the alleys of nearly identical warehouses. Jill sits in the passenger seat whining about something.

“What do you mean you don’t know? It’s totally unfair and more importantly its stupid.”

“Well Jill it’s not that bad. Only a tiny percentage of the US military are women any way. They can still be in the field, they can still be officers, they just can’t be in combat. Girls just aren’t as physically fit. ”

:That’s not true. Girls’ bodies are just more physically adept at other activities. Like flipping eggs, washing dishes, or walking down a catwalk.

“Both of you are wrong. I mean hell, Tobey Maguire was allowed to play a marine, and he was the kid I could give a swirlie to in high school. I mean, look at me, I’m like a fricken Amazon over here. I could pass any army combat test they throw at me.”

“Jill, you also have a talking tactical ai implanted in your head. You’re kind of the exception to the rule.”

Jason turns into a dusty alley. He didn't really disagree with Jill, he just got a weird pleasure knowing that he and Jack could gradually piss her off more and more.

Squished between two brick warehouses lies a thick square building behind a chain fence. A large placard on the gate reads Port of Kings Water & Utilities Department property. No Tresspassing.

They exit the car and head for the trunk. Jason pulls out a loaded AR-15, Jill removes her Reaper 120. They both begin to slip on their brands of body armor, Jason’s slides on quick, Jill’s takes longer.

“So here’s what I don’t get,” he says, “Even if we find that the water system has been infected, then what? We’re going to call the cops?”

“You still got that crate of Helenas’s special water in the trunk?”

“Yeah.”

“We dump it into pipes. Helenas said it aught to work.”

Jill finishes with her armor. They approach the fence; Jill holds out her hands to boost Jason over the fence.

“Ok, lets say you’re in combat. You’re entire team is pinned down. You’re out of ammo, about to get your ass handed to you; you have no other options. Someone could come in to save you…but if that person has breasts, you’d rather die.”

“No, but that’s not the question.”

Jason steps on her hand and pulls himself over the fence. He quickly hops over. He lands on the other side harshly and tucks into an unnecessary roll.

“The question is whether they can keep up with their male counterparts in the field of battle, if they can physically—”

Jill jumps onto the fence without any help. She reaches the top and jumps over it head first; her body flips in air and her legs it the ground cleanly, no roll. She looks back at Jason.

“I’m sorry, what was that you were saying about women being able to physically keep up?”

Jason mutters something under his breath. They walk towards the door of the treatment facility. It had been kicked in, the door almost coming off its hinges. Jill and Jason look to each other, both decide to end the conversation short.

Jason slowly pushes the door open and moves in low and silent. Jill follows in behind whispering tersely.

“Jack, tactical on this building.”

:I’ve got blueprints and structural layouts. That’s it; no cameras, no hidden passages… Good luck babe, you’re gonna need it.



Khazan City Police Precinct 35

“Hey Ortega, come on, everyone’s needed in Lowtown. Shit’s burning up down there.”

Manny Oretega glances over at the young officer. He slowly smiles back at him.

“Kiss my ass.” He replies.

Thirteen minutes ago a lone vehicle smashed through the police barricade at 13th and Bridge. The other officers in his precinct were racing to the scene to give support; Manny Ortega decided to have a smoke instead.

He steps out the back door. The alley behind the precinct smells like a dumpster. He pulls a box of Morley’s out from his overcoat and whips out a lighter. It clicks but no flame ever comes forward.

“Need a light?”

The voice is sweet. Its owner is sweet as well. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a match. She lifts her leg and strikes it against the heel of her shoe. Ortega leans in, the cigarette clenched between his teeth.

“Pretty girls like you shouldn’t hang out behind police stations, vice might get the wrong idea.” He speaks in a voice rough as sandpaper, “So what would a lady like you want?”

“Just some information… Detective Ortega.”

Ortega’s eyes narrow. He reaches for his holster; the cold steel rim of a barrel jams him in the back before he can grasp it.

“Wouldn’t do that Manny,” De Luca suggests calmly, “You would not live long enough to regret the mistake.”

“You little sh*t... You think you can jump a police officer, a detective, outside his own precinct? You would not breathe five minutes before my boys shoot you down.”

“Your boys are all rushing to Lowtown to deal with the riots, just like you should have. But there’s no need to worry, nobody’s jumping anybody, were just having a friendly chat.”

DeLuca reaches into Ortega’s holster and pulls his service revolver from it; he then quickly slams the bald man back first against the back wall of the precinct. Ortega turns and gets a good look at him.

“DeLuca?... You got a lot of balls coming here. They should have arrested you during the street cleaning years ago.”

“You want to share a cell with me Manny? I might get lonely.”

Merci laughs and Ortega shoots her a look that would make a pit-bull retreat. DeLuca steps between them, his gun aimed directly at Ortega’s stomach; his calm has yet to disappear.

“Manuel Ortega, one of PKPD’s lead mob detective. Not surprising really; who better then a rat to bring in troublesome jabronis who don’t follow Syndicate rules. You get more collars then anyone else in the department, they get their trash picked up courtesy of the Port of Kings PD.”

“You’re getting paranoid DeLuca, no such thing as “The Syndicate”. I just handle random, unrelated, cases of organized crime.”

“Then tell me Manny, why does a organized crime detective get called to the scene of an apparent terrorist attack at The Monument theater?”

Ortega is silent for a second. Merci looks back at him.

“We know about the similar attacks in Lowtown,” she says, “the disease was spotted three other times before now, always in low-income housing areas in the Bottom, and you were always the detective assigned to the case.”

Ortega shrugs and pushes himself away from the wall.

“Those cases were all deemed death by natural causes. They were living in unhygienic roach motels, had no health insurance, and all died of influenza-like symptoms. We thought it was a coincidence, until the Monument that is.”

“But why did they call you?” DeLuca asks.

“Because they were cookers. We seized the mini labs they had inside their homes: LSD, amphetamines, ecstasy, party drugs. That’s why we had no reason to suspect foul play when they got sick. Some strung-out kid cuts the product wrong, they all try it, they all die of the same symptoms.”

“But it wasn’t a drug-overdose, they died of the same disease found at The Monument. That means they were targeted, why?”

Ortega looks away and walks towards the back-door into the precinct. He swings it open and looks back at the two.

“If I told you that I would be giving away confidential police information… But hypothetically… James Doogan might have the same information, and would be more than willing to give it up… Can I have my gun back?”

“Sure. Just don’t ever point it at my gal or I’ll have to blow your hand off next time.”

DeLuca throws him the pistol. Ortega forces a smile then walks back into his precinct. Merci and DeLuca head out of the alley.

“Who’s James Doogan?” Merci asks.

“Just an old acquaintance of mine,” DeLuca replies, “He also happens to be the representative of the Irish Mob in Khazan. Racketeering, prostitution, and he’s been dabbling in drug production.”

“This wouldn’t happen to be a close acquaintance would it?”

“Honestly doll, if he remembers me at all, there’s a good chance he’ll smash a whiskey bottle across my face.”



In Lowtown…

The riots have set various buildings brightly aflame. A mass of people are charging at the police barricade, shoving against it like a flood of sinew and anger. They are chanting and screaming hundreds of things in dozens of languages. There is talk of pushing for Uptown, to bring the fire to the privileged few who try to keep the denizens of the slums away from them at all times.

Not everyone is rioting with such purpose. Looters are pillaging what they can. A woman runs out of her home in tears, screaming. A man emerges after her. He is tall and brawny; a stiletto is in his grip. He seems to be gaining on her. She looks back, her foot catches across the pavement. She falls to the ground. He continues to sprint; a few more steps and he will be upon her.

The shot rings out clear from the rooftop. The man falls onto the ground, clutching his kneecap and screaming in anger. The woman sees this but rushes to her feet without asking why. The man attempts to limp after her but he cannot keep up.

Jackson stands on top of the building and looks over the edge. He was aiming for the man’s other knee, but at this distance hitting anything still counted as a good shot. he hears the light tap of a footstep behind him. He pulls The Paralyzer down. He attempts not look like he sees the shadow looming behind him. He carefully takes a deep breath, calculating where the person stands.

He turns and fires The Paralyser. She dodges quickly like an animal. All he sees is a flash of dark hair and glimpses of shredded body armor. She pulls in obscenely close to Jackson, sniffs him audibly, then turns in disgust.

A large boom comes from beneath his feet. Jackson stumbles a bit. He looks back up. She is gone. Nothing moves that quick.

Another boom shakes the building. Jackson falls to his knees this time before regaining composure. The floor still seems stable, but it won’t last long; the whine of warping support beams follows the explosion below. Jackson ignores what he saw, and rushes down the stairwell. What the hell was The Conspiracist doing down there?



Inside the building…

Nomad stalks calmly through the narrow tenement hallway. All the rooms behind him are burning or crumbled, all the rooms in front of him were filled with fleeing civilians. Nomad didn’t care.

He stretches his arms out to touch each side of the hallway. As he touches the wallpaper it fizzles and pops as if boiling. After a few seconds of delay, the walls explode in sequence. The booms rock the building like earthquakes. Nomad chuckles. Then a shot rings out and smacks him hard in the flak jacket.

It stung like a bitch. He glances up at his attacker.

“So Sayang is behind the riots. The explosive biker right?”

The Conspiracist has is gun leveled at Nomad’s chest. Nomad discreetly reaches into his vest, grips a dart, and tosses it at him. The Conspiracist quickly ducks around a corner and out of harm’s way. The dart lands on the door behind him. It explodes, blasting the door off its hinges. In the distraction Nomad dashes down the burning hallway towards the stairwell at the other end.

The Conspiracist turns the corner and sees Nomad’s escape. He aims his gun up, but a family of three rush out of their home as the building burns; they block the shot till Nomad disappears out of sight. Conspiracist mutters beneath his breath. Jackson dashes out of the other stairwell coming from the roof.

“Dammit what’s happening down here?”

“Don’t know,” quips the other, “I’ll find out.”

The Conspiracist pushes his way past the fleeing family and bounds down the crumbling hallway to follow his target.

“Wait,” Jackson yells, “what about—”

The roof collapses as he calls out. Fire seems to build around in every direction. The family is separated, the parents make it past to the stairwell, their daughter is trapped behind. She screams.

“MOMMMMMY!”

Jackson looks behind him. The other stairwell is clouded with smoke. The child clutches to his leg and screams. Jackson shivers at her touch. His breathing gets shallow, and not from the smoke. He carefully picks her up, his heart beating faster every second.

There is a window in the apartment next to him. He steps in and smashes open the window with the butt of his gun. He pokes his head out; there is a steel ventilation duct running up the side of the building.

With the magnets in one hand and in his boots he slowly descends the duct. In his free arm he holds the girl. He slowly moves towards the ground, inching down the stories of the building. She clutches onto him tight; if she lost her grip she’d fall to her death, but Jackson can’t help but wish she wouldn’t touch him.

He reaches the bottom and lets go of the kid. Her parents are waiting below and they rush to her side. The building creaks again, the three floor collapse upon each other and the crowd rushes away. The parents look back to thank Jackson for saving their girl; he is nowhere to be seen.

Jackson stumbles down the street, sweat marks his brow and his heart still races. It wasn’t from the heat. Beside him a group of teens are smashing windows with baseball bats. Jackson doesn’t even notice. He leans against a wall, trying to calm himself. That’s when he hears the whisper in his mind.

“You are a monster… you need to be destroyed…”

#38 treacherous

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:33 PM

I need you to step away from the computer and go outside. You're going to get arthritis or something.

#39 deojusto

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:33 PM

I need you to step away from the computer and go outside. You're going to get arthritis or something.

Treach your concern is thoughtful, but I already wrote all of it. I've been dropping it piece by piece as to not overwhelm you guys with 71 pages of text. At this point all I do is copy, paste, and add italics and bold. Easy squeezy lemon peasy. You should be glad I stopped calling DeLuca "inconspicuous"... for now

#40 Darkender

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:56 AM

A little more action this time. Me likey.




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