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Angels of Mercy vs. Children of Sayang: Khazan City


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#41 M Bison

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:09 AM

Awesome stuff. One minor thing.

only four people were trying to go towards them.


I count five. :P

Anyway, great as usual. And that last section portrayed Jackson very well. The paranoia about his own desires, the fear of being near children and yet still doing his best to save them and anyone else. All well done. And the last part of it? Can't wait to see what happens next.

#42 treacherous

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:42 AM

Treach your concern is thoughtful,


That's me, Treach concerned about arthritis erous?

#43 deojusto

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:28 PM

Awesome stuff. One minor thing.



I count five. :P

Anyway, great as usual. And that last section portrayed Jackson very well. The paranoia about his own desires, the fear of being near children and yet still doing his best to save them and anyone else. All well done. And the last part of it? Can't wait to see what happens next.


Thanks, now fixed. Originally Helenas wasn't with them, then I rewrote it and I must have missed that part.

#44 Jason Redfield

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:54 PM

'Twas good, as expected. I've been looking forward to reading this all day; pulled it up to read this morning but then I had to head off to school :P

In any case, Redfield was still more or less spot-on. His banter with Jill was good stuff -- very amusing. He actually has no problem with women serving in combat roles; his only concern is that the soldier in question is capable of doing the job, regardless of what gender they are. He's served with the Israelis enough to know that women are quite capable in combat.

Regardless, I'm not saying that should be changed; it would be entirely in his character to just deliberately play Devil's advocate to piss Jill off and get a reaction from her.

I'm relatively sure that this fic has me addicted (I'm already suffering withdrawals). I blame you, Deo.

#45 deojusto

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:37 AM

PART FIVE

Khazan Underground, The Great Sewers…

“How can your species tolerate this amount of filth? The stench is unnatural.”

“Yes and I’m sure that on your planet, everyone’s waste smells like fresh cut flowers.”

The entity known as Jasmine Smith tags behind John Reynolds as they carefully walk on the platform around the flowing sewer water. Helenas couldn’t care less about the smell and stomps through the knee high murky water without care. A single splash comes from behind them; Jasmine turns but sees nothing.

“Did you hear that?”

“Yes, and I also heard five-hundred other disturbing things since we jumped in here. It’s a sewer, there are going to be creepy noises, and as a general rule you don’t want to know what they are… look there’s a ladder, we can climb down towards the reservoir level and get out of the stench.”

Jasmine tucks her “Little Joey” under her arm as the group descends a ladder to the lowest section of the great sewer. They reach the bottom and John points his flashlight in all directions. The sewage runs off to another area, this section is clean but it still stinks. Two tunnels run in near opposite directions. John looks both ways, unsure.

“Ok, and Jack said we were supposed to go…left…or was it right?”

“You don’t remember?”

“I don’t think he ever mentioned a fork in the road. Let me call.”

John pulls out a cell phone and attempts to dial a few numbers. The phone flashes ‘no service’ brightly.

“Crap, we’re too far underground.”

“So, split up?” Jasmine asks.

Helenas and John nod. Helenas walks off towards the left, John goes right and Jasmine follows. He looks back at her with a smug grin.

“And here I thought you were beginning not to like me.”

“Your friend stinks like human waste. You are just slightly better.”

She turns her head back the way they came.

“Did you hear that?”

“No.”

They turn a corner and push forward through the pitch-black tunnel. The underground is silent for a second. Then, rapid footsteps come from the entrance to the reservoir level. A slender being jumps down the ladder. She wears torn body armor and her face is cut to slivers after what Sayang put her through.

Bloodhound stands up and sniffs the air. Walking through the darkness with ease she looks in both directions. Then she smells in both directions, twice, then turns left.



The Industrial Quarter, the Water Treatment Plant

Jason and Jill sneak through the facility. Massive pipes and water tanks border everywhere around them. In the center of the facility a lone man is kneeling next to a large piping system, it hums loudly.

Jason gives her a signal to move forward. Jill silently moves closer. She pulls behind a towering metal water tank for cover. From this distance she can make out the man’s profile clearly. Scourge, he hadn’t changed much since they last met. She raises her rifle in line with the back of his head. She never gets the chance.

Gunfire comes from the catwalk above. A few of the rounds bounce off Jill’s armor. She looks up to see Keijo firing down on her. The Reaper lets loose a few volleys in Keijo’s direction. Keijo ducks out of the way and runs off the catwalk. She reloads her pistol; movement comes from the safety ladder next to her.

Jason fires before she can draw her pistol on him. A rubber slug knocks her in the knees and Keijo falls backwards. The pistol drops and falls to the floor below.

“The kneecaps, really? Again?”

The butt of Jason’s AR-15 knocks her across the cheek before she can stand. She goes out cold. Jason looks out over the catwalk to the floor below. Scourge is making a run for it. Jason fires towards him but the path is obstructed by machines and pipes. Jill runs after him and out a door to the external half of the plant. Jason catches his breath and looks to Keijo.

“If she’s here, then that means—”

In the corner of his eye he sees it coming from him. Koji is in full transformation; he grabs at Jason’s body armor with a pincer claw and throws him from the catwalk. Jason falls and slams into a series of pipes, which burst with water as he crashes through them.


The Twelves, The King’s Arms Pub

James Doogan is behind the bar, frantically packing everything he has into a cardboard box. He is lean and jittery; he never even looks up when his door opens.

“Bar’s closed today. No customers, go away.”

“I can see that Doogan, and I’ll be out of your way as soon as I can.”

Doogan looks up and sees Tony DeLuca leaning against a table. He ignores him and continues packing up his shelf liquor into the cardboard carton.

“I don’t have time for this sh*t Tony. I’m kind of busy.”

“Why?”

“Kiss my Irish ass you guinea rat, that’s why.”

DeLuca walks up to the bar and grabs an exquisitely expensive crystal glass before Doogan can lay a hand on it. He admires it briefly, then loosely drops it where it shatters on the floor in a hundred pieces.

“Oops…”

Doogan lucks at him stunned. DeLuca grabs another pricey glass in his hands. Doogan puts his box down.

“—what do you want?”

“Six people died in home drug-labs in lowtown. They all died of a mysterious disease. The police think you’re involved, why?”

“What do you mean why? Of course I was involved, they were my guys, all of ‘em.”

“Why were they targeted?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’m a patient man.”

DeLuca tosses the expensive crystal up and down menacingly. Doogan leans against the bar, he sighs.

“About a week ago, I get a call from one of my soldiers. He says that someone was walking around my turf like they don’t belong, sportin’ tats and looking like he was representing. Now I don’t take kindly to other people stepping on my turf without paying respects, but I don’t start trouble over nothing either… My guy gives me a description, biker guy, bald, describes the colors on his arm. I call around, find out that the tats match a club in the States called ‘The Hellfire’.

“But once I describe this guy to them, and more importantly ask what he’s doing on my turf, they tell me he ain’t one of them anymore. In fact, they ask if I could physically extradite him back to the States in a pine box as a personal favor. 50,000 dollars worth of personal favor that is. I accept, and I send about half of my crew to ‘handle’ the situation.

“Next day, I hear that my guys are all dead. He used some kind of f*cking explosives and it turned them into patty meat. Then, cookers at three of my drug labs, which nobody was supposed to know about, all spontaneously die of a mysterious disease. Coincidence my ass. Whoever’s messing with me has high explosives and biological weapons, and is apparently not to keen on my spoiling their surprise. Well the other half of my crew is running scared, and I’m closing up shop and following suit. Even if these clowns don’t come after me again, my competition smells weakness so its better to get out before you’re pushed.”

DeLuca places the glass back on the bar safely.

“When your guys followed the biker, where did he lead them?”

“You really want to follow this route Tony, after what I just told you?”

DeLuca nods. Doogan smiles and takes the glass from the bar and into is packing box.

“The last I heard, they were in The Big Sink…”


Lowtown

Nomad exits the building just as it starts to collapse. Behind him the man in the mask jumps from a window and lands on the street below. He rises up and follows him, the debris scattering behind him.

They burst through a mob of Lowtown civilians. They have to push and shove just to move forward. Nomad drops an exploding dart to the ground, it takes a second, then explodes violently. The Mob flees chaotically. He turns back and the man in the mask is gone; he must have lost him.

His bike is not far ahead. He hops on it and begins to careen through the crowded streets. The throttle roars. Another engine roars back. Nomad turns and sees a heavy built Mustang accelerating towards him. It pulls up alongside, the faceless man looks back at him from the driver’s seat.

The Conspiracist attempts to sideswipe the biker. Nomad breaks quickly; the car throttles past him. The Mustang speeds a little over a hundred feet away before it turns back around. Both vehicles face each other in a narrow stretch of road with no intersections. The Conspiracist revs his engine; on the other end, Nomad revs back.

The mustang floors it towards it’s target. Nomad yanks the throttle and speeds right back at him. They charge straight forward about to collide. Nomad twists into a turn; as they pass he stretches out to touch the side of the car. His fingers barely glance the hubcab.

The Mustang continues forward for a second or two. The Conspiracist looks at his wheel as it begins to sizzle and pop just like the walls in the tenement building. He opens the door, then ducks and rolls out.

The left front tire on the mustang explodes with a loud blast and the car spins out of control. Nomad grins, The Conspiracist staggers to his feet. He feels injured in places, maybe a sprained ankle, but what harmed him the most was the image of his car slammed against the side of storefront wall. It was enough to make a man cry.

Nomad grabs a fallen piece of rebar, a product from the ensuing rioting. He likes the weight in his hands. He restarts his bike and begins to ride towards his target. He waves the metal club menacingly high above his head.

His target slowly limps forwards in the center of the road as he draws closer. 50 feet, 40, 30… He was almost upon him.

In a single quick motion The Conspiracist draws his gun and fires at the Motorcycle’s front tire. The tire bursts with pressure, the shock sends the back end of the Harley over the front. Nomad flies from his vehicle, soars a dozen feet, hits the pavement then skids for another two or three feet.

The Conspiracist doesn’t move as the bike violently grinds to a halt before him. The momentum dies out suddenly as it reaches his feet.

“I sure hope everybody’s having this kind of fun…”


The Khazan Underground…

Helenas sifts through the foul layers of darkness and human filth. She jogs down one path, then another, turning every couple of feet. The Labyrinth of tunnels spin her round and round, the darkness leaves her blind. The increasing smell indicates she seems to have made her way up toward the sewer levels once more.

She stops completely. The noise of water flows in all directions, nothing but darkness leads her on. She spins her flashlight in all the directions, 360 degrees around her. She stands at an intersection of the sewer flow. She picks a path at random and walks down a long dark pipe.

Behind her a predator lurks. Star appears from a tunnel at the intersection and watches her go.

She jumps down and creeps towards the shrinking dot of light from Helenas’s flashlight. She had sensed the Angels as they came closer to her target, she decided to deal with them carefully.

She follows behind closely, silent and always out of sight, but still gaining ground. This needs to be a close fight, no guns, just one touch and its done. The rush of water covers her footsteps.

“John,” Helenas yells “...Jasmine?......Where are you guys?”

Helenas wanders through the sinister tunnels one step at a time. Her cries go unanswered. The only one who hears them is the assassin pursuing her.



Lowtown….

Jackson stumbles through Lowtown dazed from the incident. More people seem to be in the streets now; bricks are thrown through car windows, Molotov cocktails smash into storefronts. Jackson stands too close to one as it blows. The heat sends him lurching back. The cold eyes of the man who through it just aimlessly drift back at him.

Jackson whips out The Paralyser and aims at the rioter. The gun bucks loudly, the projectile hits him in the chest. He falls down flat on the pavement, stunned as the chemicals take effect, he is still emotionless with the cold stare on his face. Jackson looms over him, he sees another cocktail prepared in the man’s other hand.

“I’ll take that if you don’t mind.”

The rioter looks up, and speaks without an ounce of inflection.

“You’re a monster. You need to be destroyed.”

Jackson freezes as he hears the words. The rioter simply stares back at him with unnatural calm, like his mind was gone. Jackson feels a light tug at the cocktail in his hands. He turns and sees her.

A girl of twelve or thirteen gently pulls the Molotov from his hand. She is in a pink dress, curly hair in pigtails; she is a doll holding an explosive. She looks at it like it was a pretty bauble. She smashes it on the ground beside her; fire erupts over the street. Jackson quickly jumps back, the rioter slowly rises, the girl stares. Her neck wretches back mechanically towards Jackson, her eyes are cold, her voice monotone.

“Do you want me?”

“What…no!” Jackson screams, “No go away, Go HOME!”

“Do you want me?” she repeats, her lips curl into a smile,

“Am I pretty?”

A girlish giggle escapes her lips for a second, then the cold blank stare returns,

“You’re a monster. You need to be destroyed.”

Jackson begins to back away. The girl calmly stalks towards him, the rioter from before is stiff and numb, but attempts to follow. Jackson continues backing away, his shoulder bumps against something…someone that is. A woman in her fifties, she looks to him over her shoulder.

“You’re a monster,” she says, “you need to be destroyed.”

The rioters slowly close in. They all look towards him, their faces were different, but all the same. They all repeat it over and over again. They say it so many times, Jackson tries to blot them out. They just yell louder and louder. From the recesses of his mind, he began to tell himself the same thing.

He ran. He fires the gun in the air to scare them off. They show no fear, no emotion at all really. He runs faster then they can move. Ahead of him is a large park untouched by the fire of Lowtown burning all around it; he dives through the bushes to ditch the mob. Behind a wall he gains some peace, briefly.

His mind is slipping, nothing seems right. The walls he had built to hide everything away were dissolving inside his head. In the brief silence he hears the whisper.

Whisssper Man/ hears aaaall your thoughts and has a plan.
Whisssper Man/ can taaaake your pain from this land.


#46 M Bison

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:53 AM

Whisper Man, you creepy bastard.

The Jackson section was my favourite today, and not because Jackson is my character. That's some good horror writing you did for that section, and you care about what's happening. Unfortunately, I spoiled it for myself by scrolling down too quickly, but it didn't lose anything.

The rest was good. De Luca's being cool as usual; Conspirisist/Nomad confrontation is interesting and such. Good stuff. Again.

#47 Darkender

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:52 AM

Oh Shit! Nomad messed up now!

#48 treacherous

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:38 AM

Jackson couldn't have picked a worse person to tangle with. Not with that already tortured psyche of his, this may not go well Bison. Well, as long as Whisper stays hidden. He's no tough guy, just a high quality manipulator. He's a mean mean bastard too. Good stuff Deo. I'm getting past critique and now just settling in and enjoying. Love the Nomad hubcap scene.

#49 M Bison

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:48 AM

this may not go well Bison.

It may not. Not that I mind, Deo's allowed to do what he wants, it's his story, as long as it's enjoyable. It'd be no fun if I said "Hey! No fair! My characters must always win!" I'm really enjoying what's happening.

#50 treacherous

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

Indeed my friend, indeed.

#51 deojusto

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 12:33 PM

Thanks again guys. As for how things are going to go for people, there will be winners and losers. I tried to avoid the "they fight to a draw then somebody runs away" style, save for one particular match-up. Characters will lose, its just the nature of the story.

#52 Jason Redfield

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:53 PM

I'm a fan. All of the encounters were very entertaining; I didn't lose interest even for a second. Jackson's mental torment at the end was very creepy indeed; I didn't see it coming at all.

I enjoyed Redfield's... "handling" of Keijo. Definitely his style. I have a feeling that Parasite is going to get his well-deserved revenge soon. It's been a long time coming.

In any case, I'm still hooked. Can't wait for more.

#53 deojusto

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:39 PM

PART SIX....

The Industrial Quarter, the Water Treatment Plant

Jill sprays bullets across the pavilion; Scourge jumps for cover behind a massive line of water tanks. The bullets tear massive holes through the tanks, water seeps from them. He laughs.

“Why is it every time we meet, you come with somebody else, but you and I always end up dancing together?”

“Don’t flatter yourself. Your just a virus with a big mouth.” She reloads a clip into the Reaper, “This dance is gonna be over real quick.”

As she fires through the water tank, she presses on his position. She turns, barrel raised, and he’s not there anymore. A hand pops around the other side; Scourge had circled around to keep from being flanked.

The tips of his fingers come towards her. Jill gracefully dodges backwards, only the tip of a fingernail glances her cheeks; the enzymes of decay on Scourge’s finger singe her but nothing is harmed.

Scourge pushes in close on her, Jill pulls the trigger but one of his hands keeps the muzzle focused away from his body. The gunfire barks from her barrel and tears up the ground around them. Scourge shoves her against a wall, he sends everything he has at her through his hands, but that damned armor stops him.

She slams the grip of her gun into his chin and Scourge backs off. Jill pulls the rifle towards her but he still wrestles to keep it away.

:Aim low, babe.

Jill switches her momentum and pushes the gun straight down. She holds the trigger and the Reaper sprays bullets. A few ricochet off her boots harmlessly, others slice through Scourge’s legs and feet. He yells in pain and is finally forced stumbling back.

Jill lifts the gun quickly, she aims.

Something crashes out a window then hits her back with a large thump. The gun fires, yet shots glance off to the side as Jill falls. Scourge retreats behind cover once again. She looks back and finds Jason lying on her, aching.

“What the hell is your problem, why did you jump on me?”

“I didn’t jump, I was thrown.”

Koji rips through the door to the outside pavilion. He had gorged before this in preparation; he was…bigger. Jason’s AR-15 is caught in his arm. With a flick of the wrist he sends it skipping behind him towards the other end of the pavilion. A twisted smile comes across his torn lips.

He pounces towards the two and grabs them both with oversized meat hooks of claws. The jagged blades can’t cut through their armor, but the giant strength behind them offers an immense pressure. Koji lifts them up like ragdolls; Jill’s Reaper clatters on the ground as he lifts them sky-high.

“Two friendly faces…” Koji muses, “Well… two familiar faces anyway… Who’s it gonna be…..who wants to say hello to their old pal first?”

Jason smirks between gasps.

“Let me help you decide,”

He pulls a knife from his vest and slams it through the creature’s claw. Koji lets out a screaming hiss; he drops Jason suddenly. Grasping the knife in his throat with one hand, he flings Jill backwards with the other. She slams against the wall of the treatment plant. The impact chips the brick, she falls ten feet to the ground.

Koji tears the knife from his flesh. Jason attempts to shuffle towards Jill’s gun. Koji catches him by the leg and drags him back. He flips Jason onto his back and pushes onto his sternum with both frontal limbs. His armor begins to creak and break, Koji squeezes harder and Jason can feel it cutting through.

A blast fires off and Koji roars in pain. His head swivels on his neck. Jill is standing, the AR-15 in her hands. Her armor is scratched where she hit the wall but she’s still breathing. She pumps the underslung shotgun and fires again.

The shot hits Koji below the waist. He crumples to his knees; Jason shoves him back. He stands up as Koji crawls. Jason looks to Jill.

“Nice shot.”

“I was aiming for his head.”

Jill laughs. Jason laughs back; then he sees the man approaching her from behind.

“JILL, Behind you!”

Jill turns, Scourge grabs at her head above the armor. Jill’s face grows pained, her air passages shut down from a quick acting respiratory disease. She asphyxiates. Scourge clutches her throat as it happens. She can barely choke out words

“I…shot…you.”

“I got better.”

Gunfire erupts again, this time from Jason’s position towards Jill’s enemy. He holds the Reaper in his hands and it spits full-auto fire towards Scourge. The shots miss Jill for the most part, Jason is a cleaner shot with the assault rifle. Scourge moves Jill as a human shield. Jason knows not to stop, her armor is stronger then her gun. The bullets bounce of her, yet a few rounds catch Scourge in the side.

Scourge throws his shield to the floor and runs. Jason pulls a bead on him. He would have made it; Koji had staggered to his feet and shoves him into the air before he could pull the trigger. He slams against a water tank. It was the lightest hit he’d had so far, but it was enough to stun him. When he drew the gun up again, Parasite and Scourge had fled back into the interior of the building.

Jason considers a chase, but Jill’s struggled gasps interrupt that chain of thought. He moves to her side as fast as he can.

“Jill, are you ok?”

:DOES SHE LOOK OK?

“Water,” Jill croaks.

“Don’t worry about the water, I think they got to it before we got here, but I need to help you first.”

She punches him hard in the arm.

“WATER!… in your…trunk!”

Jason realizes what she means, but doesn’t understand how it would help. She doesn’t leave much time to argue.

Jason dashes on stiff joints through the plant towards where they parked. Rather than climb the fence, he pushes through a gaping hole that had seemingly been torn away by the escaping Sayang members. He goes to his trunk and fumbles with the keys until it opens. A simple cardboard box filled with bottled water sits waiting for him.

He snatches the box and dashes back inside. He carries the whole box with him, the bottles jostle as he runs. Jill lies where he left her; her face is blue, she isn’t breathing. Jason drops the box at the next to her and uncaps a bottle. Jill’s mouth opens and he takes the hint.

He pours it down her mouth, the water dribbles across her blue lips. About half the bottle is spent before Jill shakes herself up, gasping for air. She hyperventilates as her air-passages seem to magically reopen. It takes a few seconds before she can regain speech.

“I…hate… both those guys… SOOO much.”

“Right there with you.”

:Same.

“No, you two don’t understand. I really, really hate both of them….Like twice as much as Marzanna,…. I would pay Marzanna to kill and eviscerate both those guys if I had the cash.”

“I’d probably chip in for that,” Jason says.

He helps her to her feet and the two walk into the main building. They approach the piping system Scourge was kneeling besides when they entered. The maze of pipes looks like the inside of a pinball machine, everything intertwines together in a chaotic knot.

“Jack, any chance you can tell us if he managed to infect the supply?”

:Zero way of knowing babe. The process you have to do to filter it is gonna take awhile. There are five main treatment tanks around this place; if he infected even one of them you have to clean them all because it could have spread to all of them by now. I’m calculating at least 42 separate steps to get this done.

“Great… What’s step one?”

:Shutting off the system. That will stop water flowing out until we’re done. There should be a switch with a big red handle on the catwalk above you.

Jill looks across the room then pounces for the nearest ladder and climbs onto the catwalk. The switch is bright red and marked ‘do not touch’.

“What’s going to happen if we shut off water to the whole city?”

:That would be bad. I just skimmed the news feed, massive fires have built up near the riot in Lowtown. Without the water, that whole sector’s going to look like your mom’s ashtray.

“So, I shouldn’t pull it.”

:Well, uh…no, wait, yes, go ahead. The Underground Reservoir is still online, so excess water will be drained from there. With Helenas, the Alien, and the wanna-be cowboy down there it should be fine, especially since we know the ‘chaos patrol’ decided to attack here. Assuming no massive failure, we should be fine. Shut her down.

Jill shrugs. She grabs the lever.

“Here goes nothing.”



The Underground…

John forces the iron door open. The rust on its joints make it slow work. Once its moves, a slight break from the smell of sewage greets them. The next room is cleaner, but still dark. John waves his flashlight across the room, the beam seemingly continues on forever.

“So this is it,” John muses, “The Primary South-End Reservoir. It’s… bigger than I imagined.”

The reservoir is too wide to look across in the dim light. John looks over the sheer bigness of it as his flashlight dancing across the subterranean lake. Jasmine looks down, at the water itself. Her face arches in disgust.

“John I don’t think this water is clean.”

“You’re fine, it never comes in contact with the sewage, the systems never intersect.”

“That not what I mean. There are…things in it”

“What kind of things?”

“Crawling things.”

John looks down to where her flashlight points. Tiny insectoid spots float and squirm in the water. The water ripples, the miniscule bugs zip away. A dark shape begins to rise to the surface. An insect nearly half a foot long, serpentine in shape, with gnashing teeth swims towards the light. It pops from the water and slithers up the reservoir wall.

John partially recognizes the centipede’s unnatural design. He pulls his revolver and blasts the bug on the spot. The bullet splatters it against the wall. Despite her own inhuman nature, Jasmine musters some feminine disgust at the creature.

“What was that thing?”

John picks up the pieces with his hand. He studies the head briefly, then tosses it away in anger.

“Damn it!”

“What?”

“Parasite.”

“…You mean parasites? Those things are parasites? How can you be sure?”

“I’ve seen them before.”

John shines his light across the surface of the water. Thousands of the tinier bugs still creep and skim through the reservoir.

“I didn’t know he could put them in water,” John says with no explanation.

“What do they do?” she asks.

“They live inside a human host. They enter though the mouth; when they’re bigger they have to be forced down, but if you drank something with an egg or one of the little ones, you wouldn’t even notice…From the stomach they eat their way through the intestinal lining and travel towards the brain stem. They alter a person’s brain chemistry; make them different.”

“Different? You want to be more specific?”

“…Violent… uncontrollable… sociopathic. Jill nearly took my head off when she was infected. But an entire city that could have these things inside them without even knowing, it would cause anarchy, chaos, a—”

“A Riot.” Jasmine says coldly.

The realization hits them both at the same time. They were too late. The parasites had already infected Lowtown. By now, the whole city may be contaminated.

“We can’t help anyone already infected,” Jasmine says, “We have to logically focus on what can be done to fix the underlying problem. When this happened to Jill, how did you reverse the effects?”

“Helenas,” John replies, “Helenas was able to extract the parasite, but that didn’t kill it, I don’t know if—”

“Don’t worry about that. Lets find her then see what we can do.”

They exit through the iron door. They move quicker then before, the path seems more familiar and the urgency greater. They run through the tunnels, searching for the fork where they separated with Helenas. Once they find it, John turns off a different path, back towards the upper sewer. Jasmine looks over at him.

“Where are you going?”

“It shouldn’t take two of us to find her. You find her and take her to the reservoir, see what she can do.”

“And you?”

“I’m heading to the surface. If Helenas can’t kill the bugs then we need a back-up plan. If I can call Jill, I can get Jack to give me instructions on how to shut off all the water from the reservoir.”

John begins to climb the ladder

“Hopefully it won’t come to that, but its better then letting the whole city descend into madness. Besides, since Sayang attacked here, the city should still have safe water from Jill’s location.”

John climbs upward and Jasmine walks down the left path. She yells for Helenas, but nothing comes back. The path seems to descend farther; it reenters the sewers. The stench is horrid. Jasmine waves her flashlight in all seeming directions as she runs. The Underground has split into a labyrinth.

Every now and again she hears a step behind her. She pretends to ignore it. It comes every few seconds, but she can never see what. She yells for Helenas but nothing comes back.

It comes again, this time she hears it for sure. She whips Joey out and charges for the corner she heard it. There is nothing there. Behind her she hears a footstep even closer. This time she feels something as well, a fist that catches her on the side of the jaw.

Jasmine falls back, springs upward, and prepares herself in a quick fighting stance. Her light catches the figure this time. The woman wears shredded body armor; stitches line her limbs and torso. Her hair is dark and she gleams back at Jasmine with eyes like onyx marbles. She sniffs the air and seems absorbed in it.

“You’re not the one I’m hunting for…” She says.

“Sorry to disappoint,” Jasmine retorts.

“It’s all right. I’ll kill you first, then hunt down the other one.”

Jasmine sneers smugly.

“That might be harder than you think. What makes you so certain you’ll beat me, Miss?”

“….Bloodhound.”






Ports Region, The Big Sink

DeLuca glares down over The Sink, the water gurgling at his knees. Half sunk wharves and the roofs of drowned shops pop out from the murky surface of the bog. There are no waves in the murky water; The Sink acts as a tide-breaker for the rest of the city, perhaps one of the reasons it has never been demolished.

This is the first time DeLuca has ever come to the Big Sink, it is the first time he ever had a reason to, but he knew of it well. Before The Sink sank, it was the “Canal District”. It was built on a large triangular sandbar on the edge of the city where a city canal opens up into the sea.

The sandbar only exists hypothetically now. It eroded over time and the landfill foundation crumbled like paper-mache. Unfortunately for the city, the buildings weren’t really destroyed, just lowered. At low tide you could walk the old streets of the Canal District, at high tide you could probably swim through it. No one owned the land anymore, no one wanted the responsibility of tearing it down. As far as Khazan City is concerned it no longer exists, and non-existent territory cannot be within their jurisdiction. Of course, some individuals of the city were more than willing to agree with the concept of The Sink being off-limits for city regulations and law enforcement.

Dusk was coming and visibility was fading. DeLuca looks back towards Merci.

“Stay close.”

He slides down the embankment and moves towards the center of the old district. He can hear the sloshing of Merci’s steps behind him. He scans the rows of buildings. They seem to go on for miles. DeLuca puts his mind to work.

They’d need somewhere big to fit their whole group. If they were storing supplies it would have to be dry enough to not damage anything. DeLuca scans some of the larger sunken warehouses and wharves. The first two prospects were too sunken to hide in, the next one was surrounded by a high fence that had yet to be broken through. He progressed deeper into the graveyard city. At a lumpy highpoint of the Sink stood an ugly rectangular monstrosity, The Port of Kings Fish Co. The first floor was still swamped, but it had two more stories on top of that.

DeLuca sloshes through the water slowly towards the rusted iron double door. Merci follows in behind and lays her hand on the knob.

“Wait.” De Luca says.

One end of the door was slightly ajar, as if pulled taut. He waves her back from the door. He leans against the wall next to the double door and stretches his arm across to the knob. It turns slowly. DeLuca breathes deep then thrusts it open. A shotgun appears inside the door, DeLuca peels his hand away; a shot goes off.

There is a silence. He peers inside the now open door. He sees the pump-action shotgun leveled on a tripod; a string hangs off the trigger and leads up to the inside doorknob. If anyone had opened and walked in they would have set it off. Tony calmly steps inside the rotting abandoned fishery glad to not have his insides filled with lead. He kneels to examine the set-up. Merci follows timidly.

“How could you tell?”

“The string wasn’t quite long enough, it was holding the door open. Saw the same thing back in the old days when I had to forcefully give some mug his last rites… It’s funny. They manage to throw this whole city into a panic, yet they mess up on a simple door-trap. Makes you wonder if it wasn’t just a diver-”

He stops mid-sentence as he sees the dark black wire cutting through the murky water flooding the floor. It hides beneath the surface like a serpent. In his periphery he sees Merci take the step. He tries to warn her again. He isn’t quick enough.

“NO, DON’T!”

Her shoe steps down on the trip wire. It snaps with an elastic bark. The wire ran up to another series of tensioned traps. With it released, a pulley sets in motion. A two ton support beam crashes down on top of them.

DeLuca shoves Merci out of harm’s way. He is almost crushed for it; the beam passes less than an inch from his nose, then lets out a massive splash as it hits the floor.

Tony stumbles back. He looks up. The platform held by the support beam is now tipping over little by little like a domino. Deluca bolts across the flooded floor as part of the roof collapses.

The debris shifts towards him like a wave. Deluca manages to run away just in time and remains unscathed. He pauses to take a breath.

“Damn, somebody went all out.”

“Thank you. I’m glad you noticed.”

Tony revolves fast but not fast enough. His gun hand is blocked by a vice of a grip. The assailant’s other hand slams across his throat, like a sledgehammer swinging against his trachea. He senses his gun wrenched from his fingers. Tony pulls back and throws a blind haymaker, the man dodges and Tony eats a knee. Blood begins to drip from his jaw line, he remains conscious out of sheer force of will. All he sees are the dark glasses masking the man’s face.

Voodoo smiles down at his struggling opponent. He was smart enough to see the door-trap and the tripwire, but not much of a slugger. He throws the gun into the mountain of debris. Tony struggles to his feet; Voodoo moves in and wraps his powerful hands between his shoulders in a half nelson. He shoves Tony’s head down into the calf-high pool of muddy liquid flooding the ground.

Waves of bubbles reach the surface as Tony bucks and tries to escape. Voodoo holds the position calmly, keeping De Luca’s head below the waterline, just waiting for it to be over—



Lowtown/Hickory Park.

The smoke was sifting through the air. It is thick, Jackson feels it burning in his lungs as he stumbles through the park. He clutches his head and yells out in pain.

Whisssper Man/ hears aaaall your thoughts - has a plan.
Whisssper Man/ can taaaake pain away from... this land


The voice was getting deeper. It reverberates inside Jackson’s skull like an echo chamber. He felt his mind weaken and numb. The words were getting to him; the concept of undoing the pain, of getting rid of it all, they started to become his thoughts as well.

Every now and again, the voice would change in pitch. He’d hear the echoes of the little girl from the apartment, her exact words.

You’re a monster. You need to be destroyed.

“Yes… yes I do…”

Jackson whispers to himself. He staggers through the park; in front of him under the shade of a tall hickory tree sits a man tattooed up and down his entire body. The man never says a word as Jackson nears him. The whispers only come to his mind.

Its time…its time to end it all, to end all your pain.

Jackson’s hand lurches down to his waistband. He pulls the pistol out and he draws it upwards in a daze. He had been saving it, in case he had to stop himself, to stop a monster. The tattooed man smiles grimly as the barrel of the gun reaches the side of Jackson’s temple. His mind is gone, completely left, the Whisper man stands.

An engine roars, they both look over.

The frame of the Mustang shoots through the bushes. The car smashes into the tattooed man with a violent crash; his body flies backwards and collides with the tree. He then falls limp on the ground.

Jackson stands in awe. With his mental assailant down, his mind returns. The car missed him by less then a foot. Hyperventilating, he slowly lowers the pistol from his forehead and points it away. The driver door opens and The Conspiracist hops out. He looks at the wiry man he slammed into the tree, then towards the silent and still Jackson, the pistol still in his hand.

“What was happening here?”

“Long story.” Jackson replies.

Jackson slides the gun back into his holster. He looks over the car; it’s been beat to hell. One of the wheels is missing a tire, and the undercarriage looks as if it drove over a grenade. The paint from the bumper seems to have been scraped off when The Conspiracist plowed through the park.

“What happened to your car?”

“Another long story.”

Jackson finally looks The Conspiracist over. The man is limping. He clutches his side and seems to be dabbed all over in blood. Jackson didn’t push the question further.

The sky is turning brown and hazy from smoke. The fires must have spread across more of Lowtown and into other districts. The whistle of sirens breaches the smoke, reaching the two even in the depth of Hickory Park.

“We should get out of here,” The Conspiracist says, “This one, and the other one I dealt with must have been behind the riots. The other one was an explosives guy. What could this one do?”

He points to the tattooed man laid up against the hickory tree.

“He provided the impetus for people to riot,” Jackson replies, “He could push them to do things, set them in the right direction. I don’t know if this was all of them, but I don’t think we can do any more.”

His partner nods. Jackson walks around the car and opens the passenger side door. He steps in as The Conspiracist slides back behind the wheel. The engine revs and the weary Mustang creeps out of the park.

At the side of the tree, the Whisper Man breathes shallowly.

#54 treacherous

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 08:14 PM

Skinny little Whisper Man, that guy really needs to learn how to fight.

#55 deojusto

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 08:31 PM

He was doing pretty well until he got hit by a car.

#56 Jason Redfield

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:43 AM

He was doing pretty well until he got hit by a car.


I cracked up when I read this. Oh, the prospects this rather simple statement has in the OOC Theater...

In any case, what can I say that I haven't stated before? It was great. Even more entertaining than the others, more likely than not due to the constant action. The fights were interesting and intense, but not too hectic, despite having multiple combatants.

There were a few mechanical errors here and there, and maybe a few sentences that could be spruced up to sound a bit better. For the most part that's just nit-picking though -- they didn't detract from the reading.

Once again, Jason and Scourge's portrayal was spot-on. In particular, Redfield's dogged determination and Scourge's sarcasm (loved the "I got better" line) were what I'd expect.

Overall, good job. Keep it coming!

#57 Darkender

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:16 AM

Great as usual. I'm glad the Conspiracist finally got to him someone with his car, and I can't wait to see that fight with Star.

#58 M Bison

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:18 AM

When in doubt: Run it over. :)


Good stuff as usual.

#59 treacherous

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:53 PM

I like that the Actor's Guild hasn't made much of an appearance yet. Thing is, they might have and nobody knows it. Speaking of which, I saw the movie Salt the other day. There was a scene where Angelina Jolie is disguised as a man and does a pretty good job. First thing I think of is Sheryl Quimby. Too much FPL.

#60 deojusto

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:57 PM

PART SEVEN...

The Underground…

Helenas climbs through the narrowing tunnel. Something thick as sewage seems to be flowing past her ankles. In the darkness it was unclear what exactly it was, but the smell seemed to give away its identity. A rushing sound drowns out any footsteps which she might have heard creeping behind her. Star is close, no less than fifteen feet, but the darkness keeps her hidden.

Helenas reaches the end of the long tunnel. There is some dim light at last; it escapes through the iron grate at the other end. A large gash is torn through the grate. It’s too heavy to move, but she might be able to crawl through this opening. She had given up on finding the reservoir, and was now just searching for a way out.

Beyond the grate the tunnel pipe empties out and the sewage water falls over the edge. Helenas attempts to wiggle her way through the tear in the gate. She gets halfway before she gets snagged. She pushes and wretches but she just can’t get through. Star silently moves forward, hand outstretched to attack her trapped prey.

Helenas turns her head back towards the darkness. Star retreats as Helenas looks her direction. Helenas only sees darkness behind her, but notices her rifle clanging against the side of the grate.

Helenas backs-up and stands to her feet once more. She unhooks the gun from the strap holding it on her back, and carefully sends it through the hole before her. The rifle moves through the small hole, uncaught. As it reaches the end of the tunnel an unexpected large flow pushes it from her grip; it travels with the sewage, flowing towards the edge, falling over.

“Shit.”

Helenas quickly crosses herself after uttering the word. She kneels back down, and with hands and knees bathed in the slimy sewage, she crawls through the hole in the grate. She can squeeze through much more easily this time. Star approaches more confidently now that her target is unarmed.

On the other side of the grate Helenas looks down over the edge of the waste waterfall. The tunnel has emptied out into a deep shaft that seems to fall forever. A few platforms wind about the sides of the shaft; Helenas sees her rifle trapped on one such platform no less than four feet beneath where she stands. She kneels down facing towards the bottom of the shaft and reaches for it. It is too far.

Her pursuer dips through the grate silently. Star steadily approaches, hand outstretched in silence. Helenas attempts to stretch and grasp the tip of her gun. She inches her body over the gaping depth of the shaft, everything above her torso leans over. Her fingers are inches from the barrel...almost there; something grabs her leg.

Star shoves her down the gaping shaft.

Helenas screams.

Star sees Helenas tumble off the edge; a crash sounds shortly after. Star peers over the side and sees her hanging off the edge of the lower platform. She grips the edge with her fingers for dear life. Beneath her the fall of the sewage water roars as it plummets down towards the bottom of the shaft.

Helenas looks up and sees Star hanging over the edge of the tunnel. Star hops down onto the platform where both the rifle waits and Helenas hangs. She picks up the gun and examines it closely. Quite ornate really. Helenas interrupts by grunting as she attempts to pull herself up. Star reaches down and touches her face.

The mind blast hits Helenas. Extreme pain enters her senses. She loses her grip and falls into the dark. A second later a splash echoes back. Star glances over the edge. In the darkness she cannot see anything. No one could have survived that fall… but still, better safe then sorry. Star spots a ladder hanging off the platform that seems to lead all the way to the bottom. She heads for it; then stops. She turns and grabs Helenas’s rifle, just in case.


Elsewhere in the Underground….

John had retraced his steps back the way he came, pulling out his cell phone every twenty steps or so. Each time it was the same, no service.

Then on the intersection of three sewer lines he saw a large red box bolted to the wall. He opened the box and found a service phone connected to the landlines. He pulled the phone out and quickly dialed. It rang almost endlessly.

“Come on pick up…”

….. (Beep) :I’m sorry Jill’s busy right now, if you’d like to—

“Jack, don’t screen me this a emergency.”

:Oh sorry, didn’t recognize the number. Let me locate you… Huh, so you’re still in the sewers huh? Manage to find the Reservoir?

“That’s kind of why I called. I need to know how to shut off all the water flowing out of the reservoir asap.”

:Are you insane? The treatment plant’s been infected, and half of Lowtown is on fire. We already shut off our end, if you take out yours then the whole city’s gonna burn. Just get Helenas to purify the water.

“I don’t know where she is, and even if I did, they didn’t infect it exactly, they did something else. Something worse I think.”

:What?

“Remember when they gave Jill that nasty bug and she went completely psychotic and tried to kill me… imagine lots of those, in the drinking water, and small enough for people to swallow without even noticing. I have to shut it down now.”

:Sh*t… look, we’re almost done here. Give me fifteen minutes, then you can shut your end down. Let me check the blueprints here… At the reservoir level there should be an emergency shut-off valve, which will close the sluice out of the reservoir. It’s in the master control platform. It’s big and red if that helps.

“Right. You got fourteen minutes and forty-two seconds, so get a move on.”

John hangs up the phone, and runs back towards the lower levels…


Elsewhere in the Underground…

Bloodhound’s foot came crashing down into Jasmine’s shoulder. Jasmine crumpled to her knees. Another roundhouse came towards her quick. She threw herself backwards.

The tip of Bloodhound’s boot skims by Jasmine’s nose. Jasmine quickly pulls her KAR-95.

She brings it to bare and points it towards where her opponent last stood. In the dark sewer everything is shadows and blurs; Bloodhound retreats out of sight. Jasmine waits too long to take the shot and it fires into dead air. The explosion briefly lights up the tunnel, showing Bloodhound nowhere.

Her flashlight dropped to the floor in the fight and went out in the stream of filth. The sewer was a blind arena. Jasmine had the better firepower, but Bloodhound had the cover of darkness.

Bloodhound creeps behind her target. She can feel her every movement in the tunnel, every twitch and step. Jasmine moves cautiously, but she might as well have been wearing neon overcoat.

Jasmine raises her gun. Steps echo through the water to her right. She moves instantly and fires.

The rounds speed over something dashing in the water. They burst rapidly and loudly, Bloodhound feels their impact even with the armor and she flees. Jasmine pursues, she sees the form duck around a corner.

She runs, turns, and fires. The rounds zip down the empty tunnel, hitting nothing and exploding against the ground. Bloodhound had doubled back in the dark.

She dashes towards her disoriented prey; Jasmine turns back around as she hears the steps, she swerves with her gun in hand. An armored foot is planted into her chest before she fires. Jasmine topples backwards.

Bloodhound presses the advantage, moving for the mount. One of her hands went to shove the KAR-95 against the damp sewage stained ground. Armored fists begin pummeling Jasmine from out of the dark. Jasmine lifts a free hand to protect herself, then attempts to roll out.

They tumble in the dirty water, Bloodhound still pummeling viciously, Jasmine still trying to gain the upper position. She places a knee into Bloodhound’s chest and pushes; it hurts to kick into the Kevlar with unprotected skin, but it forces her attacker out of striking range.

Bloodhound knows she’s losing the mount. She stops punching and grabs for the gun with both hands. Jasmine kicks back quick and hard, her opponent moves, but the gun is now in her hands. Bloodhound stumbles back, she raises the weapon with a grim smile and pulls the trigger.

It clicks without effect.

“Marksmanship without loaded gun,” Jasmine quips, “not much good, is it?”

She rushes Bloodhound, sending a quick jab for the throat. It catches her unaware and Bloodhound is stunned. The next punch comes for gut. It hits the armor hard and does more damage to Jasmine’s hand. She punches again for the woman’s face; Bloodhound counters this time, her hand raises to deflect and her forehead charges quickly to connect with Jasmine’s nose.

Jasmine is the one stunned this time, blood trickles down her nose. She quickly raises her hands to block. Nothing comes at her.

The tunnel is dark again. Unarmed and fighting blind, Jasmine has lost her advantage; her opponent has decided to play the waiting game. She slowly steps forward and attempts to back herself into a wall. A splash careens beside her leg; a heavy kick slams her ankle like swinging rebar.

Jasmine falls. She quickly moves to face behind her; nothing remains there. Some movement flickers by her side, she throws a long cross hoping to connect with something.

Bloodhound dodges back slightly, a grin plastered to her face. She could sense her opponent bright as day. She lightly taps Jasmine on the shoulder; her prey throws a wild haymaker that cuts through air. The spot was open and Bloodhound lunges in for a sucker punch. The armored fist knocks the wind from Jasmine’s lungs.

More phantom blows knock across Jasmine’s face and torso. She can block a few but it is a draining ordeal. Every blow she strikes hits body armor, while every punch Bloodhound throws hits weakened flesh.

Eventually Jasmine drops her guard too low. Bloodhound sends a powerful head kick across her chin. Jasmine goes out like a light, and wilts like a dying flower.


Ports Region, The Big Sink

Voodoo held Tony’s head tight under the muddy water, bubbles were streaming out constantly, but were beginning to slow down. Voodoo’s strength is too much to overcome. He glares down at Tony from behind his sunglasses; he looks up and sees the woman a second too late.

The shot skims across Voodoo’s shoulder; Merci wasn’t much of a crack shot, she levels the gun and aims again. Voodoo raises Tony as a human shield. He gasps for air once his head leaves the water.

“Merci, do it!”

She does. The gun goes off and blasts through Tony’s shoulder and into Voodoo’s collarbone. He lets out a guttural grunt.

Realizing his strategy isn’t working, Voodoo decides to switch up the elements. He tosses Tony forward like a ragdoll into her; they collide and she falls backwards. Voodoo runs to them, and grips her hand in his meaty paw and squeezes till the gun drops.

Tony slides through the water briefly, then stands to his feet and shrugs it off instantly. He reaches for the gun as it falls and scoops it up before it hits the murky water. He quickly points the gun at Voodoo; Merci’s head is moved in the way.

“If you value her life I wouldn’t shoot. I doubt she would be as resilient as you are.”

Voodoo clinches Merci tight across the throat and waist. Tony’s aim was good, even with a slug in his arm distracting him. But his target moved erratically, there was no guarantee.

“Its over,” DeLuca says, “Your whole plan. We’ve uncovered all of it. The water, the riots. There is no escape.”

“There is for me. There is always a plan.”

Voodoo begins backing away towards the entrance gate. Tony levels his gun anew.

“If you shoot me you better not miss.” Voodoo advises, “you could hurt her. Even if you hit me, if I don’t die immediately, I’ll break her spine.”

He clamps down tighter around Merci’s throat and she squirms.

“It would be easy…”

They stare off at one another. DeLuca knows too well not to trust him. Voodoo sees that Tony knows this. Tony’s finger begins to squeeze as do Voodoo’s biceps.

A large plop comes from the water beside them.

They both see the rectangular brick of plastique that had been chucked in from the front entrance behind Voodoo. Both know what to do, and do it fast. They dive for cover.

The explosion is loud and bright; it sends water flying in a wave ten feet into the air. Part of the fishery that has not already collapsed shatters and rains debris down on them. Half the building comes down this time. Everything is crashing; Tony lies still and a support beam dodges him by inches.

Then it is still. Tony gets to his knees slowly. The ringing pounds against his ears for a few moments more. His vision is dizzy and he is losing blood, yet he somehow persists and attempts to stand. A hand greets him, he grabs it and is pulled up. He looks back at the owner.

“Let me guess… The Mortician.”

“The same,” says Huebris, “and you must be the competition. Boiling Point Incorporated…great name, rolls off the tongue like sandpaper. You know, if I was half a decent business man I would have just let the two of you die.”

“Why didn’t you?”

Huebris shrugs.

“I’m a tolerant guy when it comes to most things. In this city, everybody’s got a racket, its how the system works. It’s a system of respect; my business is my business, your business is your business…But when you start a riot that burns down my neighborhood, it becomes my business.”

“Well ain’t you a saint then. How’d you find me, I didn’t leave any corpses in my wake. You got a crystal ball now?”

“Find you? DeLuca, I’ve been following you the entire time. After what I saw at The Monument, I figured that the riots weren’t just handy coincidence, so I tailed the American who hired me. When he left your office with the rest of your ‘team’, I just figured you were in charge so I followed you instead…You know for a man who was just beaten, drowned, shot, and blown up, you ask a lot of dumb questions.”

“Guess I’m just talkative.”

DeLuca smiles a he sees something. From the wreckage, Merci appears walking towards him. Voodoo had his back to the bomb and unintentionally saved her from most of the force that would have hit her. However to his credit, he was nowhere to be seen now.

Merci struts towards Tony, he inspects her.

“Merci, are you—”

She moves in quick and plants her lips onto his. They share a deep spontaneous kiss. Huebris chuckles without comment.

As her saliva meets DeLuca’s lips he feels energy pulse through his veins again. His jaw stops dripping blood and his muscles regain all their old strength. Merci is the first to pull away; she licks the tip of her index finger then drapes it along his shoulder to the bullet wound. She inserts the finger into the wound and slowly coaxes it to heal with smooth gestures. The wound plugs, leaving only a dried bloodstain.

“I’m fine,” she says, “and I’m sorry about that.”

“No trouble doll,” Tony says, “Things happen in this line of work, you know.”

“I know.”

Huebris coughs loudly. They both turn to him.

“As sweet as this is, the mark is getting away by now.”

“No worries,” Tony says, “He took the brunt of a demolition blast to the back, and there’s a bullet in his torso. He won’t get far…”




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