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[Other FULL] Gunpowder (M) (IC)

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Sonata

Don't let me disappear
  • 13,642
    Posts
    11
    Years
    'The Second Longest Night Pt 3'

    Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
    Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
    Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
    Level 2, Fire, $8,200


    Wrench


    Alice stood in the corner of the room. The dark tendrils slipped through slits in her skin, writhing like snakes as then twisted and turned. Jebediah sat helpless, suspended in the air next to The Night Wolf. The darkness emanating from Alice?s body slowly penetrated the skin of the opposing native, causing blood to spurt from the wounds.

    ?Don?t worry my friends,? Vereryl spoke through the young girl he possessed; his much more masculine voice drowned out the soft whine that escaped from its body as the darkness continued to spill forth from it. ?I won?t kill you, not yet at least. Not when I?m so close to breaking free of my worldly bonds. Soon I will leave behind this husk and take on a form all my own. But to do so, I?ll need all of you.?

    Jebediah winced as the tentacles began to dig into his own skin, taking up residence in the layer between flesh and skin as they spread across his body. Slowly, the bounty hunter began to lose all feeling in his body as the tendrils overtook and merged with his nervous system. His spell book sat on a small table across the room from him, surrounded by a dark barrier created by the tendril which circled around it. The dagger he?d brought along with him was lost somewhere along the way as he?d been dragged along through the numerous corridors against his will.

    The Night Wolf slowly turned his head towards the bounty hunter next to him. Their faces were both fill with pain, but the native outlaw managed to suppress the look for the time being. ?Why did-? his words were broken up as pain sporadically shot through his body, causing him to tense up and close both his eyes and mouth. ?Why did you come here, bounty hunter? It?s too late now? not even the gods could save us now??

    ?Yes, not even He could save you at this point. Not after I destroyed his doorway and shattered his guardians.? A smirk spread across Alice?s face as she slowly moved from her isolated corner, closing the distance between herself and the two men. ?For those not of this world, the ability to interfere in our matters has worn thin. No matter how powerful they are, the distance between our worlds has grown far. Only by the hands of our own most powerful - myself being a prime example - could call them down now. Alas, I?ve yet to have need for them. If I were to call my masters now? well, they?d only get in the way if I?m being honest.?

    Jebediah slowly clenched his fist with what little power he had left. The darkness had slowly been draining his body of both magic and physical stamina. The other personality inside of him had also been more or less silent since they?d come into the building, a fact which had began to irk the bounty hunter. The powers of his darker side could prove quite useful at the moment, if he were here.

    ?You still cannot touch his tool.? The Night Wolf stared blankly at the demon, his spread thin as his skin slowly turned grey. ?There?s still another on his way? even if he?s playing into your plans, you still cannot touch the tool of the gods. Their light will seal you, whether it?s by our hands or some other.?

    ?Yes, that is true. However, that boy is no more a match for me than either of you. As you?ll become well aware as he enters in the next few moments. I can feel the last of my power returning to me? the last of my own guardians have just fallen to him and this? tool? I can?t wait to see the looks on your face when I crush the last hope you have left in this world. Soon, my will shall spread and I will become whole once more.?

    Alex arrived outside the room just in time to hear the exchange, his shotgun clutched tight in one hand and Jebediah?s strange glowing knife in the other. He?d found the weapon laying discarded along the way and decided to pick it up. Now, he was standing in a hallway listening to a baffling exchange about gods and divinity and peering through a crack to see Jebediah and the Night Wolf strung up by bindings seemingly made of the shadows themselves. What was more though, it seemed that Veralice somehow knew he was there, or at least nearby already.

    Not wanting to fall victim to any sudden attacks from the Big Bad, Alex decided to attack preemptively himself. He took one more moment to get a good look at the room beyond, then made his move. In an instance, Alex was no longer in the hallway, but appearing on the far side of the room beyond in a flash of red light. He threw the shining knife forwards, severing the tendrils that linked Veralice to her prisoners.

    The Big Bad hissed with rage, launching a serrated, shadowy whip towards the young bounty hunter from her body. The strike came faster than Alex was expecting, forcing him to blink across the room again to where Jeb?s knife was now embedded in the wall. Caught by surprise however, he stumbled and was struck by the appearance of a second tendril that slammed him hard into a wall, causing him to drop his shotgun along the way.

    Jebediah fell to the ground, the light from the weapon that Alex had thrown quickly trailed up the tendrils and caused them to dissolve. The bounty hunter instantly felt the strength return to his body as he rose to his feet. Across the room, the barrier around his spell book and guns dissipated as the coiled tendril dissolved as well. The second the barrier lifted, Jeb blinked across the room, retrieving his belongings before being smashed up against the wall behind Vereryl by an enlarged tendril. As the hunter struck the wall, he blinked back across the room and placed his hand on the weapon lodged into the wall beside Alex. ?We?ll be needing someone a bit more capable to use this one.?

    At the same time, The Night Wolf rose to his feet and rushed at the demon, creating blades of ice in his hands and encasing them in shifting tendrils of water which spiked up in a random fashion. The native threw the weapons at Vereryl as quickly as he could create them, causing the various tendrils protruding from its body to busy themselves with deflecting the onslaught as the outlaw quickly closed the distance between them.

    Alice hissed as she proceeded to lower herself onto all fours. Her body became coated in black, matted fur and the tendrils slowly re-positioned themselves to her back as her entire body contorted into something inhuman. Her fingers elongated and her palms grew to over a dozen times their normal size, following suit with the rest of her body. The doorway to the room collapsed as a number of the limbs on her back dug into the ground and began to lift the room up through the rubble of what used to be the mansion and its labyrinth-like basement. Soon, the room had been reduced to a simple platform, hovering high in the night sky as the walls and ceiling fell apart and crumbled to the ground below. The platform stood on a pedestal, hundreds of feet above the remains of the rubble as the hunters and outlaws stared each other down, racking their minds with what to do next.

    Alex was the first to move, he lunged forward towards his weapon of choice, but he couldn?t outpace Veralice. One of her demonic limbs rocketed forwards to intercept him. The split second before he was impaled by the rushing tentacle, Alex vanished in a burst of flame, searing Veralice as he appeared in a new location in a corresponding flare, already drawing his revolver. Alex raised the weapon and fired twice, each bullet catching Veralice in the side. She hissed again, with pain as well as anger this time, but where a normal person would have been downed and bleeding out from the dual impact, she was barely inconvenienced.

    ?Oh fuck.? Alex managed to breath, half from fear and half from the maddening rush of adrenaline he was now experiencing.

    The Night Wolf was now face-to-face with the demon, trading blows with her as the weapons in his hands grew into full length swords before being ground down by her flailing tendrils. Jebediah took the opportunity to blink behind Alice, slashing at the tendrils protruding from her back as quickly as he could with the sword. As the light began to trail down along the tentacles, more protruded and promptly cut free the others which had already been compromised.

    Alice began to laugh heartily as she impaled Jebediah with two of the new tendrils and threw him far into the sky before doing the same to both The Night World and Alex, the latter of which only just narrowly managed to blink out of the way before being impaled. ?Come, come?. Come at me with all that you have, children. No matter what it is, there will never be a way for you to overcome me?. If I must, allow me to show you??

    As the demon spoke, ten bronze rings shot from its body one by one. Alice slowly rose to her feet and threw her arms outwards, allowing two of the rings to position themselves on each of her arms. Two of the rings snapped onto her neck, and two more positioned themselves on her ankles while the others hovered in front of her chest and her back.

    ?Th-those rings!? Jebediah coughed up blood as his eyes widened, recalling the demon?s masters who had at one time torn free from the sky and utilized similar devices. ?I?ve seen them before, but... ?

    ?Don?t worry about them now! We have to continue fighting, regardless of what they might or might not do!? The Night Wolf dispersed his blades and coated his fists with stones which flowed with liquid fire. ?If I had any other choice, I?d? fight until you die! This is not only for our sakes, but for all those in this world!?

    Alice laughed once more. ?My brother, we are the last of our kind, you and I. No matter how hard you fight, you can never bring them back. It is our right as the natives of this land to engorge on its powers. My darkness is only one more that it has to offer to those of our kind. Never could one of these? trespassers come to hold it like we can. You?re wasting your life fighting for them. They?ve taken everything from us, and now - now, you have the chance to take all the revenge for it that you?d like. Kill them, join me. The white man - Jedediah? he is the one responsible for all of this. The one responsible for my revival. It is no fault of yours that our people were slaughtered and I was brought back? think of me more as a gift. A means to take your revenge for the fallen.?

    The Night Wolf continued to advance on the demon despite the revelation that he had not shirked his duty as a descendant of the sealing party from generations prior. His eyes remained leveled on the beast, and his face stayed firm. ?That all very well may be. You might be a gift from above, or you might be just what you are? a demon was never meant to resurface. You yourself have already murdered and manipulated a number of my brothers and sisters. I have no love for those of white skin, nor have I ever even dreamed that I would come to fight for them. It matters not to me what happens to these white invaders; I fight because for so long that at least one other of my kin could be spared your power then I have something to continue striving towards.?

     

    JukeboxTheGhoul

    Rocking Round the Clock
  • 737
    Posts
    13
    Years



    Elliott


    Anima




    Continuing from the battle... Part 1...Part 2...

    Elliott was underneath the floor, his hands weirdly transparent. Here he was surrounded by golden coins shining their raw precious value. He was caked in riches, so much so he could make a snow angel in this golden sea that was as bright as his hair. He would try to pick them up, shoving his hands in to the mound of money. But nothing moved, he couldn't feel them. Those precious carvings on the side of the metal, only looked upon, not touched. He had nothing he could do. He looked for more gold, even though he knew that would just make him more sad. Rooms led to rooms and doorways to doorways, all filled to the brim in money. It held so much that he couldn't have. All the space was accounted for, except a door upwards. An exit? An entrance? He didn't even know any more.

    Anything and everything gave way as if it were air. He began to think up things he could do with this power. He could rob a bank, but he wouldn't be able to grab anything. It was a shame, he wouldn't be able to control this ability. All he can do is spin the roulette wheel and hope it doesn't land on the fuck-self-up outcome. He's been lucky since he met Shadow and her posse. He mostly had explosions, which are usually the most effective. But it could be anything. He didn't really understand his magic, truth be told he didn't understand himself.

    Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkk. Cassandra and Shadow cracked open the trapdoor to the basement and set aside the crowbar.
    Elliott squinted as the light streamed through, failing to block it with his hand as the transparency became apparent with the glare.
    ?Come on, grab it already.? The blonde mercenary held out her hand.
    ?I can?t.? Elliott voice cracked, he seemed unusually sheepish.
    ?Don?t be a baby.? She complained.
    ?No, I can?t.? He reached up, only to pass right through her hand. He tried to scale the stairs but just ended up stumbling over.
    ?Alright.? The two descended the stairs, their boots phased through Elliott?s head.
    He twisted around, ?Rude.?
    Cassie looked around, ?This looks like it could pay for a mansion for my retirement.?
    ?Hands off,? He poked his fingerless gloved hand at her. ?It?s mine.? He grabbed the loops of his trousers, ?That could pay my debt and then some.?
    ?Silence, both of you. This money will go to the Church, the Order will be strengthened by this amount.?
    ?Yeah, but you?d be strengthened by not having those Waltham debt collectors on your coattails.? He brushed aside his many-pocketed dark tan coat and planted his hand on his hips. The opacity began to return to his skin. He could touch things again. While he rejoiced internally, he had to keep up the conversation.
    ?Yeah and leave us with what??
    ?A sum.?
    ??Some? is not enough. The Prophet has taken what is his and he will have it.?
    ?What does he need it for anyway??

    Anima took his place on the previous throne left by the Fat businessman who had already shuffled off this mortal coil thanks to Skull-freak and Co. Felix was a bitter reminder of Elliott?s old boss. Too rich for his own good. Good thing he?s gone. Oh wait, Waltham still hates his guts and he?s still under protection of this mad cult. Mad- Not in the good way.

    The hall was filled with a bunch of normals who couldn?t use any magic. They couldn?t even stand up to Anima and the magicians, even if they really wanted to. Not that Elliott was always helped by his magic. He took a moment to think, maybe these guys had it easy.
    The Prophet spoke, his head uncaged from the silver skull, ?You were all under the employ of Mr Griffin before his untimely death.? Mr. White shuffled silently, being a witness to such a tragic accident. ?Upon his death, he has set me to be the heir of his operations here in South Jeimas.?
    Shadow stepped forward ?We will be continuing the contracts you have with Mr. Griffin in your line of work. Same pay, but you now work for us.?
    ?However,? Anima continued his speech, as if this performance had been perfectly planned. ?All of you will get a bonus, every time you attend our seminars. We invite you to hear of the benevolent work of the Order and why we do what we do. You will meet with me each time, face to face.?
    Anima had presented the carrot. Now, Shadow presented the stick. ?Those who do not attend any sessions or not meet our expectations after a certain amount of seminars, will face consequences.?


    Elliott had stepped outside the barn for some fresh air, followed by woman. Dressed like a cowgirl, she was a henchman through and through. From her pocket she revealed a cigarette and match book. Failing to light, she looked at Elliott. ?Here, you?re one of those magic buggers. You got a light??
    Elliott shook his head. What would happen when if he tried? Blow up everything they?ve just fought for? Melt her to cinders? Heck, if he was lucky, a big ass ruby would pop out of thin air and crush ?em. He could sell it for millions.

    ?Do you?? The now soldier of Anima gestured to the cigar.
    Before he could object, she placed it in his hands. He really had no choice. She finally struck the match and it became aflame. Lighting the tobacco, Elliott tasted it. The poison filled his lungs. His body rejected the cloud of smoke, he coughed and spluttered to no end, his lungs convulsed.
    ?You alright there?? Her words were sweet in theory but her tone was apathetic
    He expelled it from his lungs. The power of the cough had forced him to double over. Quickly he straightened. ?Yeah.? Elliott croaked.

    As he held the paper between his fingers the, light on the end dimmed, something dropped from above. Red... he looked down, spot of red splashes laid on the thinning sandy entrance. His eyes darted upwards two shapes. He stumbled out, unable to unfix his eyes from the horrific sight. Like slaughtered meat, two bodies stretched out in an X shape, their skin peeled off revealing their terrible pink inner self, blood seeped from every pore. The gruesome face had been clipped from it and transfixed upside down on the carcass on it?s head. There was no mistaking those gory faces. Felix, the big bad, and Flint, the old bandit. Above it the stained glass window bearing Gaudium?s Symbol, below was the word: SUBMIT

    Gunpowder (M) (IC)

    ?Anima?s a bitch aint he?? The stoic henchman continued her gaze.
    After waiting the period of nausea, almost retching, he attempted to save face. ?I?m fine... I?m fine, I... just never seen ?em without their clothes.?
    ?Stop jokin-?
    ?Can?t, it?s in my bones.? He interrupted.
    ?We both know Anima?s a tyrant.? The Henchmen blew smoke like a dragon.?Which makes your job all the more difficult.?
    ?What??
    ?I?m with Waltham Security, Collection Department.? She revealed a gun and a contract, with a big gold W at the top.
    ?You jokers again. Don?t you know I lost all my money gambling? You can?t repossess nothing, because I ain?t got anything!?
    ?Your Anima?s rich now, he?s assumed the role of Felix. He?s now a big bad. He can get our money in no time.?
    ?He won?t like that.?
    ?I know, that?s why I?m not the one doing it. And if you don?t, I?ll kill you.?​

    Happy Birthday, Gimmiepie!
     
    Last edited:

    Sonata

    Don't let me disappear
  • 13,642
    Posts
    11
    Years
    'The End'

    Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
    Level 4, Air, Water, and Fire $1,320
    Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
    Level 2, Fire, $8,200


    Wrench


    Alex watched the exchange take place, carefully waiting for his opportunity this time. He?d seen that bullets still hurt, even though their impact was minimal, that just meant he needed to shoot Veralice more times. He leveled his revolver, knowing that he was mostly concealed by the Night Wolf standing in front of him and pulled the trigger.

    His bullet flew past the Night Wolf, close enough for the man to feel the breeze, striking Veralice square in the head. The demon stumbled back several steps, and for a second it looked like headshots would do the trick, but then the bullet fell to the ground and with a shake of her head she was standing firm again.

    ?If you?re not going to help then just get the hell out of the way!? Jebediah pulled both of his guns from their holsters and completely emptied them at the demon across from him. Each time that one of the bullets made contact, it ricocheted off of Alice?s thickened skin and then struck at her again, and again until the bullets were crunched down to little more than discs due to the repeated impacts. ?It?ll take a whole lot more than just a few bullets to take her down here. The form she?s in now? that demon has just about completely taken her over. She was strong before in just her base form, but now? there?s no telling how high her abilities are.? The bounty hunter refilled his guns as he spoke and then shot a glance behind him at Alex. ?Be careful of those rings. Everything that comes through them is severely weakened, and whatever comes out of them is amplified to ridiculous levels.?

    ?Fantastic.? Alex sighed, making a note to avoid shooting directly through the rings.

    As Jebediah was emptying his guns in vain, The Night Wolf had began to create a small army of familiars. The more of the beasts that were created, the more that the platform seemed to sway and threaten to fall apart.

    ?Trying to summon an avatar, Wolf? I?ll have you know, you?re still not the only one who can do that. Even when I was just a simple spellbook I was capable of creating innumerable avatars without any effort. Anything and everything you all could do against me will be completely in vain. I am the most powerful being in existence right now. Nobody could ever hope to stand in my way as I am now.?

    ?I am getting really tired of listening to this thing speak.? Alex said, swaying and staggering as the platform shook. The movement of the ground they were standing on made it progressively harder to take shots that didn?t go through a ring and so almost every time Alex pulled the trigger he was met with disappointment.

    ?Jebediah, quit being a pussy and attack him. You have the necessary tool. Just take it to him and plunge it as far in as you can.?

    Jeb smirked. ?Hell of a time for you to come back around, eh? You should know better though. I can?t just run up and stab it? Alice is in there still? somewhere??

    ?Then at least cut off some of those tentacles. Maybe lop off an arm. Come on, man. Don?t be a bitch about it and just hurry up and end this. We?ve waited long enough? there?s no other choice right now.?

    ?Maybe you?re right?? Jebediah muttered as he gripped the hilt of the dagger and pulled it from the sheath. As the weapon left its holster, the light that it emitted grew several times more brilliant as the length of its blade elongated into that of a sword. ?There is no other choice. Not now.?

    Alex eyed Jeb, the other hunter was now muttering to himself and drawing his weird sword. Alex wasn?t sure what the man was up to, but he was obviously planning something. Alex just hoped whatever lunacy the unhinged bounty hunter was intending to go through with wasn?t going to get him killed.

    Jebediah placed the sword in his mouth and grit his teeth as he lowered himself to all fours and began undergoing the painful transfiguration into a wolf. After the process had completed itself, the only thing setting him apart from the numerous familiars was their ethereal glowing and his radiance. The Night Wolf peered over his shoulder, sensing distress amongst his familiars. The big bad watched as the bounty hunter transformed into a beast and then disappeared into the pack.

    Now realizing what the plan was, Alex began blinking across the platform constantly, using his fire blink to attract maximum attention from Veralice as he opened fire like a madman. He didn?t know if the strategy was going to work, but he?d be damned if he left it all up to the other two. This was his bounty.

    Grunting, the Night Wolf threw his hand out in front of him and caused four of the familiars around him to condense and transform into a spear. The outlaw twirled the weapon in his right hand before slamming it into the ground. The native smirked as he stared down Vereryl in its monstrous form. ?Aroooo!? As the big bad let out his howl, the numerous familiars that he had created all turned a brilliant white and began to run towards the demon, their paws alive with thunder which caused the floor of the platform to crack beneath them.

    ?Pointless!? Vereryl rose to its hind legs and thrust its arms out in front of it. As the demon?s arms flew forward, the rings on his arms, back and chest all connected together and began to glow a deep, crimson red. ?Turn to ash.? As the words escaped his mouth, a flame erupted from within the rings and instantly incinerated the familiars. The clothes were instantly singed from both The Night Wolf and Alex as the flame licked at their bodies.

    Alex winced as his coat was incinerated and small holes burned through the layer beneath. Only through a quick reaction time was he able to dodge out the way of the worst of the fiery blast.

    ?Shit.? he breathed, barely able to maintain a grip on the handle of his gun now due to the heat absorbed by the weapon.

    Jebediah - in his wolf form - leapt from the flames which seemed to burn away everything in their path with incredible ease. The hunter quickly transformed the upper half of his body back into that of a human and gripped onto the sword in his mouth which had been splitting the flames, causing them to fly around him and miss their mark. A thin line of the familiars had followed behind him, and as Jebediah came within arm?s reach of Vereryl, the wolves took to the demon?s back and began to rip and tear at the tough skin of the monster.

    Vereryl quickly busied himself with the removal of the wolves the second that they attached themselves to him. Jebediah took advantage of the small distraction and used the sword to slice two of the rings surrounding Vereryl as they were returning to their natural positions.

    ?Bastard! How dare you touch me or my weapons!? As two of the rings were split in two and shattered, Vereryl slapped Jebediah off of the platform with a mighty swing of a tentacled arm.

    As the bounty hunter fell from the platform, the numerous tentacles which had surrounded the fist of the demon began to pummel Jebediah even further away from safety. All the hunter had the time to do was block with his sword, as the flurry of blows came faster than his eyes could follow and his lower half had still yet to revert back to that of a human.

    Vereryl brushed himself off as he stared at his left arm, now without the rings adorning it. ?How very rude of him. Have you all any idea just how many chiefs I had to kill to earn these rings? They?re the last of their kind; precious relics from a time long since lost to your kind.? The demon stared down The Night Wolf as he spoke of the adornments. ?No matter. I?ll just have to kill you before you take any more.? At that moment, one of the rings around his right arm re-positioned itself to his left and clamped down tighter than before.

    The half-demon now unleashed a churning vortex of wind at the outlaw chief, blasting the Night Wolf with the nefarious gust and sending him rocketing across the floor of the platform until he rolled off the edge, catching the side of the shaky structure and barely hanging on as the last of his familiar flew past him.

    Left alone to face Veralice now, Alex had no time to think, only to react. He launched back into action forming a fireball over his left hand and throwing it at the Big Bad. Veralice laughed, using a ring to dampen the spell before it washed over her.

    ?You seek to attack me with such weak spells bounty hunter? You don?t know what you?re dealing with.? Veralice then unleashed another gust towards Alex, forcing him to blink away. However, his gun was caught in the attack and sent flying into the distance over the edge. Seeing the Night Wolf claw himself back onto the platform, Alex saw an opportunity though. He wasn?t done yet.

    As the native made a mad dash towards Veralice, Alex blinked again, appearing on the other side of the demon and scooping up the shotgun that had miraculously managed to remain on the structure with them. He lined up the shot past Veralice?s defenses and pulled the trigger, taking advantage of his enemy?s preoccupation? or so he thought.

    A tendril burst from the ground as Alex?s finger squeezed and wrapped around the Night Wolf. As the projectiles left Alex?s weapon, Veralice?s tendril through the other Big Bad into the line of fire between them. The Night Wolf was ripped open by the pellets, hitting the floor as blood began to surge from his wounds onto the ground and leaving a trail behind as he skidded to a halt. An instant later he was dead and Alex was alone on the platform again.

    The demon slowly approached Alex, a wicked smile upon its face as it began the process of reverting back into a human form. ?I look forward to taking my time with you, boy. For that, this form will no longer be necessary, especially not since my last descendant is now gone.? Vereryl raised its charcoal colored hand, the rings forming a sort of tunnel in front of it as the monster aimed at the bounty hunter?s left leg. ?Let us see just how much pain you can withstand.? Lightning began to crackle around the base of Vereryl?s hand as he took several steps forward. The Big Bad wrapped a tendril around Alex?s throat and then dug it into his body, latching it around his collarbone to ensure that he couldn?t simply blink away.

    As the bolt of electricity shot forth from the palm of the demon?s hand, it quickly grew in size and power as it passed through the first two rings of the tunnel. However, as it started to travel, its speed fell dramatically as everything, including Vereryl slowed to a standstill. Jebediah flew up from behind the demon, his upper body transformed into that of an eagle as he soared through the sky. The Bounty Hunter swung his blade at one of the rings on the end of the formation before swooping into and tackling Alex. Jebediah closed his eyes, and as he did, everything returned to its normal speed with the lightning striking the ground and cutting the platform in half.

    ?What the fuck was that?? Vereryl hissed as its body quickly underwent a re-transformation. ?Why couldn?t I move through that??

    The bounty hunter rose to his feet, not making eye contact with Alex who was visibly shaken. The tentacle which had been wrapped around his neck and dug into his body hung limp at his chest like a tie. ?You shouldn?t have even been able to comprehend what was happening during that.? Jebediah closed his eyes once more, slowing time to a halt as his senses grew to an extremely heightened state.

    Vereryl finished its transformation back into its bestial form and instantly shot forth a slew of tentacles at Jebediah. ?This trick of yours can only go so far I see. It?s no match for me in this form. You should have just died when I tossed you down before!?

    Jebediah rushed through the air at the demon, swinging the sword at each and every one of the tentacles that flew at him. ?I should have done this from the start. Even if you are so powerful that you can still move at this level, I can react to you faster than you can to me! It?s over, Vereryl!?

    The bounty hunter soared past the monster, cutting the rest of the rings which surrounded its body with simple flicks of his sword. Vereryl screeched as its jaw split open, hanging wide as an orb formed within its mouth. Ice, electricity, fire, water, and everything in the direct vicinity of the demon was quickly drawn into the orb which continued to grow ever larger. Jebediah flew at the monster, but was knocked back by an invisible barrier. The energy drained from the beast?s body, reverting Vereryl back into the form of the innocent Alice. The girl?s face was covered in tears as it was revealed that her jaw had actually been torn completely apart from the rest of her head. The lower half of her face touched the ground which she stood upon as the orb grew to even more ridiculous sizes. Jebediah winced in pain as the effect of his ability faded. To Jebediah and Alice, it had appeared that several minutes had passed, however for everyone else, not even half a second had seemed to have gone by since time had slowed.

    ?What the fuck just happened?? Alex coughed, going from being strangled by Veralice, to seeing she and Jeb?s exchanged to now seeing Veralice reverted to her child form, injured badly and Jeb not looking much better. More concerning still, the bright pulsating orb now floating above them exerting a force that made the platform they were on crumble and vibrate. ?Jeb, what the fuck did you do?!?

    Jebediah?s gaze trailed back to Alex, still laying on the ground some ways behind him. The bounty hunter looked back to Alice, seeing that all of her power? her very life was being drained away to make the sphere of destruction above them even more powerful. The bounty hunter lifted Mr. Truth, taking two shots at her, only to see the bullets reflect off of her barrier.

    ?Huh?? Jebediah dropped the gun to his side and stared at it. The bounty hunter started to laugh to himself as he raised the sword in his off-hand. ?Guess there really is only one option now? if I?m going to save her then? Alex, I need your help.? The bounty hunter blinked over to Alex, giving him both of his guns. ?Create an opening, as best as you can. I need to get in there. Just keep firing, as much as you can. Every round that you?ve got needs to be unloaded, right here and now. Otherwise, Wrench will be even more fucked than it was before, and we?ll be fucked right along with it.?

    Alex didn?t question the instructions, at this point what else was there to do but shoot at the enemy? He raised the weapons that were foisted upon him, unsure of where his shotgun had ended up now and began to fire over and over, reloading the weapons with his spell as the depleted.

    After the volley had been fired, Jebediah blinked up to the barrier that Alice had erected around herself with the last of her strength. Her skin was growing wrinkled as the light began to fade from her eyes. The girl was aging rapidly as her life was absorbed into Vereryl?s final attack. ?Don?t worry honey, I?ll save you from this.? Jebediah raised his hand, and all the bullets formed around him in a massive door shape. The bounty hunter dropped his hand, sending all of the bullets flying into the invisible wall at once. Newfound energy surged within the bounty hunter. This battle had sent him to new heights and had awakened new abilities within him. Jebediah waved his hand once more, causing a bright light to emanate from within each of the bullets before they each exploded in unison.

    As the dust settled, Alex could see that the orb had ceased to grow. Jebediah was laying on the ground, with Alice in his lap. The sword of light punctured her chest, but missed any vital organs. A black tendril escaped through her mouth and joined up with the orb hanging high above while the bounty hunter had closed his eyes. ?I won?t let you get dragged down to hell with that thing? you?re going to go to a much better place than that? I know you will? I?ll make sure that you will, once I get down there again.?

    Alice?s hand raised to caress Jeb?s face. ?I knew you'd come to save me. Just like you-? her words were cut short as the sound of a gun echoed across the platform and the still night air. The color had completely drained from her, along with her life. Jebediah?s eyes grew wide as he closed his hands around hers and began to cry. His whole body shook as his eyes searched up and down her body, unwilling to accept what had just happened. After a few seconds, his gaze turned to meet Alex?s. Mr. Truth sat in his hand, smoke still rising from its barrel. Jebediah released Alice?s hand as he rose to his feet, his hands clenching and un-clenching as he blinked his eyes, over and over again. ?Did you? did you just? you didn?t, did you? No, not after we came all this far? no? you wouldn?t have dared to.?

    ?She was one of the most wanted criminals in the country, Jebediah.? Alex said, watching the other hunter cautiously. ?I told you what I came here to do, you shouldn?t have expected anything less. Did you think she was going to be able to go home with you and play house after all this? Hunter after hunter was going to come after her to claim her bounty and pass her sentence. She?s probably better of dying quickly anyway. She?s a murderer that just got lucky.?

    As Jebediah?s anger grew, the orb which still hung over the two hunters began to fall towards them. The bounty hunter pulled the sword free from Alice?s limp body and tossed it aside. The weapon skittered to a halt by a broken tile of the basement?s floor which had stayed somewhat intact. ?I?ll wring your scrawny fuckin? neck you hunter piece of shit! She was just a little girl! We had an agreement!?

    ?We had nothing of the sort.?

    ?A new vessel, filled with hatred. Who could have asked for anything better!? The orb screamed as it fell onto Jebediah?s head. The bounty hunter?s body shook violently as the orb exploded into thousands of tentacles and wiggled their way into his body through various orifices. The various elements which the demon had been a master of began to surge throughout the bounty hunter?s body and run wild, completely without control. His limbs exploded to life with the various elements. The skin was slowly stripped away from the hunter?s body until all that was visible was the internal conflict between light, darkness and every other element which resided within him.

    Alex staggered back several steps at the sight before him, surprised by the turn of events. He kept his wits about him though, he knew that Jeb was losing control and that meant he was in danger. He wasn?t sure what kind of power the child had come across or how it was moving to Jeb, but he wasn?t dying there at a bounty hunter?s hand after all he?d just been through. He raised the gun and pulled the trigger again.

    The bullet struck Jebediah in the head, sending him tumbling backwards into the sword which he?d tossed aside. The bounty hunter winced as he looked over at the weapon beside him. The bullet in his skull slowly turned to dust as the various elements ate away at it. ?Seal it? seal?? The bounty hunter wrapped his hand around the hilt of the weapon and rose to his feet. ?I have to? kill? Vereryl??

    Jebediah turned the blade towards himself and plunged it into his chest. The weapon flared up, elongating itself as it ate away at the elemental energy welled up within him. Jebediah ripped the weapon free from his chest and then plunged it in at another spot, and then again, and again. What was left of the platform quickly fell to pieces as the bounty hunter relentlessly assaulted himself with the divine weapon. Jebediah let out a scream as the platform beneath him crumbled, sending him falling to the ground below as the rest of the platform fell after him.

    As the dust cleared, a small light was still visible through the cracks within the rubble into which Jebediah had fallen. The hill upon which the mansion had sat slowly began to cave in on itself. The bounty hunter let out a final scream as the light faded from between the rubble, and what was left of Cosma?s mansion finished devouring the demon that it had once given rebirth to.

     
  • 25,607
    Posts
    12
    Years
    The Weekly Grind

    South More Dangerous than Ever
    The South More Dangerous Than Ever
    Times are changing here in the south, and not for the better. You might reference the recent deaths of three of our "Big Bad's" as positives for our half of the country, but this has left a power vacuum and violent crime is only on the rise as other outlaws, known or otherwise, rise up in an effort to fill that gap. It is no longer safe to be out of your homes unarmed, and you shouldn't stray too far at all if you can avoid it. In particular, residents of Ironhaven are advised that the city is no longer safe. Since the events just over a month ago, Ironhaven has become a warzone for outlaws, law enforcement and bounty hunters alike. In particular, Big Bad "Undead" Lachlan Buzzard's gang has a strong hold over the city and a steadily increasing presence there. I strongly advise residents who are not prepared to defend their homes, families and selves with their lives flee.

    Sheriff Lee Cameron of Ironhaven

    Big Bads on the Move
    In recent months, the south has experienced an unprecedented amount of Big Bad activity as violent crimes have continued to become more and more commonplace. Beginning several months ago, Sister Tess' activity rose sharply culminating in her attack on the church of Fairbell where she was subsequently killed by rival outlaw Emmett Holliday. The void left by her death was then quickly filled by the youngest person to have ever had a dead or alive bounty, the hellchild Veralice Rylian. She subsequently went on a path of destruction, not only here in the south but also foraying north which most Big Bads avoid doing. However, she too was recently killed along with the Night Wolf in a confrontation between each other and with bounty hunters. At almost the same time, her fellow Big Bad, Felix Griffin's desecrated body was seen hanging from the exterior of his mansion base of operations and yet another Big Bad, Borya Bogden, was killed by an unknown assailant in Silverston.

    These three additional deaths have lead to a destabilisation and have shattered the status quo. Almost immediately after the deaths of Bogden and Griffin, outlaws in the Silverston region became more active and violent in an effort to take the place of the deceased. Through this chaos, cult leader and dangerous outlaw, Jose "Anima" Dartmoor, who is believed to be responsible for the death of Felix Griffin, has increased his influence and greatly expanded the size of his following, having absorbed much of Griffin's former following. It wasn't long before law enforcement officially declared Anima a new Big Bad. His current bounty is set at $25,000. As of yet, the three remaining Big Bad slots have yet to be filled but expert analysis indicates that there are many criminals with the potential to take over those places. The currently unknown leader of the Dead Priest Gang, Emmett "Handful" Holliday, Sophia Hartmann of the Sangre Clan, the currently missing Leatherface who was a part of the recent events in Ironhaven and several other gang leaders as well a few more solo outlaws have all been suggested as Big Bad candidates. These are all extremely dangerous outlaws with recent criminal activity to their names and should be avoided at all costs by the general public.

    It's not just the fall of the old Big Bads and the rise of the new that we need to fear, however. As has been well documented at this point, the city of Ironhaven - once the safest place in the south of Jeimas - is now a dangerous battleground and has increasingly fallen further under the control of "Undead" Lachlan Buzzard. It is estimated that by the end of this month, Buzzard will have total control of the city. Perhaps even more concerning, is that self-proclaimed revolutionary, Jedediah Rush's associates have also been extremely active. Followers of Rush have been seen actively recruiting in Fairbell, Larkin, Silverston and Ironhaven as well in smaller, nameless settlements around the Barren Lands. Known collaborator and fellow Big Bad, Jessica Wilcox, has been sighted further north in both Port Blackton and Earnest. Perhaps scarier still is whispers that a third Big Bad, Bonny Cassidy, has also entered into some sort of agreement with Rush. Please keep reading weekly for further updates.

    Rita Greengrass

    Wrench Rebuilding Cancelled
    In a move that surprises nobody, officials have announced that the small town of Wrench is not going to be rebuilt. Destroyed in not once but twice by the Big Bad, Veralice Rylian in recent months before her death, it has been determined that resources cannot be spent on the reconstruction of a small mining town that seems doomed to be repeatedly obliterated. Of course, the mines themselves will be remaining open with some minor accommodation provided for individual minors but families will likely be forced to live in the nearby town of Larkin. Also unsurprising, but much more infuriating, is that the resources being saved by not rebuilding Wrench are not being used to increase the number of law enforcers or peacekeepers in the south. In fact, after a series of incidents in Larkin, all active peacekeepers have been recalled further north leaving the south to rely in more heavily on overworked marshalls and unreliable and unethical bounty hunters to manage our steadily growing problem with violent crime. Abandoned by the north, are we now simply waiting to see if we get taken over by a Big Bad warlord like Jedediah Rush or slip further into anarchy first?

    Read about this in more detail on page 12.

     

    Sonata

    Don't let me disappear
  • 13,642
    Posts
    11
    Years
    'A new beginning'

    Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
    Non-Magical
    Bounty : $0


    Outside Ironhaven, Inside a Wagon


    "Zel. Zel, wake up. I need to talk to you."

    The outlaw picked up the hat which he'd laid upon his face in an attempt to shut out the midday sun. He'd just been on the verge of getting to sleep when one of the newest members of the crew began shaking him.

    "What?" Zel whispered. For as long as he could recall, his throat had felt as if layer upon layer of chalk had been caked along its inner walls. Oftentimes it hurt for him to speak much above the dry, raspy whisper that he was attempting to call forth now.

    The recent addition to their gang was a boy, roughly nineteen or twenty in age. The boy had previously been a part of an archeological crew under the employment of the Judges, however due to recent events he had been forced into unemployment. The leader of the Rainy Days - Jacques Bourgeouis - picked up the boy on their way through Southbridge where the former archaeologist had made his home. Jacques had been attempting to decipher the map within a local bar, when the boy had approached him and pointed out and deciphered a few of the ancient symbols upon it. After realizing the archaeologist's worth, Jacques 'put him under the care' of the Rainy Days until the time that his usefulness had run its course.

    "Zel!" The boy whispered again as he shook the bandaged outlaw's leg. "Why are we stopping in Ironhaven? Judging by the recent news, we should be doing our best to avoid the chasm and move straight on to our first target."

    Zel stared at the boy for a second and then dropped his head back down on the sack of straw behind him, placing his hat back over his eyes. "Not my decision."

    The boy sighed and then leaned back against the wall of the carriage. "The South is too dangerous right now… you guys have no idea what you're getting yourselves in to. The only people here who really know anything are me and that blind native, but even he won't listen to reason. This map's going to get you all killed."

    "What, and you'd suggest we go and pick up all the small fry first before going for the big money?" Jacques pulled up the cloth of the wagon which separated its driver from the cargo area where the rest of the outlaws were resting. "The South right now is a war zone, which is exactly why we're here, boy. So many Big Bad positions have opened up and in such a short amount of time. History is being made here in Jeimas, right now. I want to be in on it. No… I need to be in on it. I'll cement our names in the annals of history as the greatest of the outlaws to exist during this period of destruction and reformation. Jedediah the revolutionary on one side with his backers, the Jeiman government on the other, and us - the Rainy Days - riding straight up the middle with what remains of the native population as well as the strongest magical beings in this blasted country. My dreams are big, and aspirations high. Of course, it'd be naive of me to expect everything to go so well. We'll lose a great number of our men before we ever make it to the big leagues, but that's to be expected because when I look forward, I see a massive bloody battlefield encompassing the entirety of this region. Bodies piled upon bodies, fires burning in every city as women and children scream and squeal for their lives like mere animals! I'll put every other villain in history to shame with what I rain down upon this world!"

    "You're revolting," the archaeologist hissed at Jacques, but being met only by a muffled chuckle as the cloth separating them fell limp. The carriage was silent for several minutes before the boy finally sighed and pulled the map from his bag, having been designated its official carrier after having shown some success at deciphering its contents. The archaeologist ran his finger across the crudely drawn map, littered with glowing symbols and scribbled words from various languages. "Ev tynghacc oui caag, rayt Cuidr du Edc rusa. Ev mekrd pa ouin fecr, zuinhao du dra Hundranh baygc. Tacdnildeuh meac du dra Facd, yht lnaydeuh du dra Aycd. Vuin bemmync, uhla ihedat crymm najaym dra gao."

    Zel raised his head once more, his bandages raised around his eyes as he stared at the boy. "What's it mean?"

    The archaeologist paused for a second and then shook his head. "This language at least is a simple cipher. Each letter in their native tongue is simply replaced with another. For example, if I were to say 'hello', for instance, it would change into 'rammu'. The letter h is replaced with an r, e for an a, l turns into m, and o to u. This carries on throughout every word and never changes no matter what. It's simple, but still quite confusing. Like… how did it end up working this way, that their language which appears to be far more ancient than our own come out to just be a simple rearranging of ours? The whole thing doesn't make any real sense the more that I think about it. I've proposed reason upon reason to my peers and myself, but each time that I think about it it appears to be more and more silly."

    "But what does it mean?"

    The archaeologist sighed. "You're just another outlaw, huh? Oh well… When translated, it reads as such. If darkness you seek, head South to Its home. If light be your wish, journey to the Northern peaks. Destruction lies to the West, and creation to the East. Four pillars, once united shall reveal the key."

    Zel slowly pulled himself upright. The outlaw stretched out his prosthetic limbs and cracked his neck. "So? What's the key then?"

    The archaeologist bit his lip and then shook his head. "I'm sorry. I don't know yet. Only some of this map is in their language. The rest of this is… well… it's this gross assortment of all sorts of things. Some of these glyphs and symbols I can recall from my school days, while others I've never seen before. The rest is written in various other languages and presumably use another cipher to hide their true meaning as well. For the moment, it's all too complex for me to fully comprehend."

    Zel sighed. "What're we looking for now?"

    "Well, these four pillars that it mentions are actually mapped out. There are distinct points in each direction with names scrawled beneath them. However, there're also a number of other points upon the map with names which are bigger than or the same size as these other cardinal points. It may be that just because it's telling us to gather these four pillars, that they're not the strongest beings in Jeimas."

    "You say that…?"

    "Well, for one there's the size of the points and the glyphs surrounding each. Our current position is marked on the map with each of our names beneath, but it's also accompanied by two other symbols and a massive glyphs, all of which I've never seen before. These cardinal points all have names below them as well as at least one or two symbols, but other points on the map are completely shrouded by these glyphs and symbols to the point that I can't even begin to make out the names scribbled beneath."

    "I see… so…"

    "So these other points seem to be, at least to me, far superior than the other points on the map by leaps and bounds."

    "But tell him, archaeologist. Which one of those points are we heading towards right now?" The native, Roe, who had previously been sitting silently in the corner of the wagon spoke up for the first time. Something about the man caused both Zel and the boy to be on edge each time that he spoke up.

    "W-well… we're currently heading to this point on the map. In Ironhaven, there's a man who himself is surrounded by three of these symbols. Seeing as how we've yet to really make a name for ourselves, I do suppose that it's in our best interest to enter Ironhaven now rather than later, regardless of the strength of our potential opponent. However, the potential for loss is so much greater, especially with that old Buzzard fighting for dominance here."

    "Yeah?" Jacques slowed the carriage to a stop and rushed around its side before climbing up inside of it. "And what's that old codger really gonna do to us if we just walk up in there? He's already pushing himself past his limits. All it'd take is one good plan and we could give the old man one final shock and take over in his stead."

    "But… he's been around for so long and is overwhelming the government forces in the city already… I don't think his age really has anything to do with it."

    "All we'd really have to do is send in ol' Georgie. My brother could tear the old bird apart piece by piece. I've a sort of admiration for the old man having held it together for so long, but don't you all think it's about time he's settled down? Hell, he'd been hiding in his hole for so long already, he should have just resigned himself to dying there while he was at it."

    The archaeologist boy shot upright and stared into the eyes of the gang's leader. "Listen to me. I don't care who you are or how strong you think you are. This little group of misfits is nowhere near the level of a Big Bad yet. I don't care how much you want to be remembered, I don't really want to die yet, so what do you say we just carry on with what we initially came here to do?"

    Jacques stared down at the boy and then ran his fingers along his mustache. "Hmmm. I suppose it couldn't hurt to wait for now. But hear me, boy. If you ever get in my face like that again…" the outlaw pulled aside his cloak and revealed the cocked pistol hovering just inches away from the archaeologist's rib cage. The boy turned deathly white and then retook his seat, refusing to make eye contact with the outlaw. "Now then, if everyone's settled, I believe we've a meeting to attend."

     

    JukeboxTheGhoul

    Rocking Round the Clock
  • 737
    Posts
    13
    Years



    ANIMA

    [S-HIGHLIGHT]Music[/S-HIGHLIGHT]
    Information
    Information
    Spoiler:


    As the midnight sun was settling, it screamed through the stained glass. A large congregation sprawled out in front, like the Demon-Prophet's tendrils when it choked the earth. Anima had seized the throne, his claws digging in to the arms of the chair. Martirio darted his eyes towards him through the narrow slits of the helmet, arms folded.

    Anima lowered his face. When he returned his eye glowed like the heart of an explosion. He stood. Piercing all of their brains with images of mass exterminations, the collapses of houses, a thousand sorrowful screams swirled in to a deafening roar. People fell apart, like statues, limbs and all. The overwhelming sight of the plague that menaced the millions of natives. The petty puff of musket smoke. A child... Him, burning his parents alive. This imagery tore through them "This is here. This is now. This is the horror of living."

    Blackness and eternal nothingness turned their eyes black. Vibrations prickled through their skin, needles penetrated every inch of them. It was just a sea of black for nothing happened for miles and miles. Everyone was in the same space with Anima. In the obsidian emptiness, anima's eye illuminated the great expanse. Everywhere, all encompassing and omnipresent, souls bearing the age of ten wrapped around eachother, filling every single piece of open space. Suffering souls within every inch. "This is before. This is where we started. Our natural state. We form in this hell. Every second is pain, and torture and writhing."

    A child packed in to this cacophony of limbs and suffering turned to dust and died. Another mass of flesh formed in its place. "That one is starting its journey."

    "Journey." The word echoed off non-existent walls. "Journey." The very word began running through their veins. "Journey."

    "To here." He answered the simultaneously unspoken question on everyone and no-one's mind.
    A great green sea of nebulous spectaculars spun together like a kaleidoscope. Many worlds lumbered around in perfect ecstasy. Superimposed upon the background, a colossal translucent figure dotted with shining stars simply existed in magnificent glory. The calming blue burned from a billion miles away. Gaudium's voice thundered through space as if the sound existed everywhere at once. "Heaven!"



    Anima opened his bedroom door. His gangly body, clutched by a huge invisible hand in an unusual fashion, interrupted the gaslight sunshine that tried to creep through the open doorway. Anima staggered in to the old king's sleeping den, a place where only uncertain edges exist in a polluted blackness. Pain racked through him as he sprawled on to the sumptuous satin sheets.

    Here he stood, standing before these figures. His mother, dead, to the north; his father, dead, to the east; himself as a child to the west. And the enigmatic figure known as Joy was behind Anima in his whole celestial magnificence. Shooting towards the three in front of him was a long stretching ribbon which connected to his painful mask. His child self adorned a shallow bleeding cut jaggedly splitting him asunder. A precious pink plop of blood loosed itself from it's mortal continent and raced to the black floor, it fell and fell endlessly until it rained down upon the scene again.
    "Mother?" His voice was small and whimpering as he reached toward her.
    The figures responded. They chorused "Killing is wrong."
    Anima scrambled ineffectually across the marble-like floor that meshed with the sky. "Dad?"
    The uptight man in northern gentleman clothing recoiled from the Anima.
    The maimed José cried out in a shrill tone. "Killing"
    His mother's sweet words stung like a hornet. "Is"
    His father wielded his deep, commanding voice. "Wrong"
    The figures yanked the ribbons, unravelling his mask and displaying his scarred face
    Gaudium's voice came from behind him. "Killing is wrong."
    "But you told me to..."
    "Wrong. You're wrong. I'm right, that's what you always wanted wasn't it?" All, except his smaller self, spoke in unison.
    "Leadership," His father declared. Anima turned towards Joy, his deity.
    "Direction," His mother projected. Anima clawed across the floor, bringing himself to his knees
    "Certainty." José shouted at Anima, chastising him with the words. Anima's chin touched the floor as his chest sweated with anxiety.
    "You both lusted for it and resented it." Gaudium took humanoid form and floor around him lightened to a blinding white. The god shined in multiple colours, merging and fracturing as non-existent shattered through him. He crouched next to the pained man, taunting him. "That's why you've killed every leader you've had."
    "No!" He breathed through the pain, "I didn't kill Anaconda!"
    "You did."
    "I did?" Anima questioned his memory. "No... No, no, I didn't! Anaconda died when I got there."
    "What's more likely, a deranged kid happening upon my Prophet dead. Or a serial killer kid killing a man he meets in the desert, frightened that he'd tell someone." Gaudium seemed different.
    "No!"
    "Or were you an adult when you found Anaconda?"
    "No! No, that isn't true..."

    Gaudium continued, "That's why when you found me, I gave you all the things you crave."
    "Leadership,"
    "Direction,"
    "Certainty."
    "And Death, I've gave you immortal leadership, a goal to work toward, certainty that death is sweet. Reassurance that you aren't a psychopath, yet you continue your murder in my name."
    Anima felt cheated. "The horrors you've shown me! I blinded myself in one eye because of the atrocities you I saw."
    "And then you went on to commit those yourself."
    "No, not rape." He protested, as if that would make it better.
    "No, not rape, because sex is for adults and you are still a child. You are still a child inside that corrupted mind of yours."
    He turned to himself, young. He appealed to the child with the bloody hands. "Help me!"
    "Only you can help you." José replied.
    Anima felt tears welling on the cusp of his eyes. "You aren't real..." He uttered in sudden realisation.
    "No, he isn't real, do you know why? Because I'm not real. None of this is real. I'm just a figment of your imagination, a reflection of yourself." The truest words were uttered by the most untrustworthy
    "You're not Gaudium!"
    "I'm not." Suddenly a strange, crooked face looked down upon Anima. The darkness engulfed the family figures, so the universe only contained the face and Anima. Anima brought his eyes to meet the stranger. And it was his own face staring back at him, a wicked smile wrought upon it.​


     
    Last edited:
  • 25,607
    Posts
    12
    Years
    Alex Rose
    Gunpowder (M) (IC)

    Ghosts

    Alex looked the hulking darkness that was Veralice in the eyes, then suddenly, it wasn't the demon standing before him but the small frame of a red-haired girl. The child that Veralice had one been.

    "Please don't." she whimpered as Alex raised his gun.

    "I have to." he said "Your life is forfeit, you're a Big Bad and I am a bounty hunter. You've killed hundreds. You have no right to beg and ending your life is my job."

    "Don't do it, Alex." Tears fell down the child's face.

    "You think someone else won't?!" Alex demanded "You think after what you've done you'll ever get another day of peace?! Every day of your life you'll be a fugitive. You'll be weak prey to dangerous, brutal prisoners. You'd be living in hell."

    "Is that how you justify what you did? What you will do?" a third voice whispered, emanating from everywhere, barely discernible like a breeze. Alex thought it might have belonged to one of his parents, but he couldn't even make out the gender of the speaker.

    "Well?!" Alice demanded angrily, still crying profusely.

    "I don't need to justify myself. This is what I do!" Alex yelled, his temper beginning to flare and his usually cool demeanour now completely gone. "This is who I am."

    Alice looked up at Alex, her tears continued to fall like rain but her expression changed - it soften. She was no longer looking at Alex with hatred, there was no pleading. The child was looking at him with what seemed to be pity. Alex pulled the trigger. Alice's eyes widened in horror as the bullet pierced her skull and she fell flat on her back, the life instantly draining from her as blood pooled from her corpse.

    Then something else oozed from the body, black smoke poured forth from the bullet holes, from her eyes, nose and mouth. It filled the stone platform around Alex, shifting gradually as maniacal laughter in Alice's voice filled the space, coming from nowhere at all, but coming from everywhere.

    The smoke soon became figures, human figures. Each one the face of a man or woman who had lost their life to Alex. As they formed they slowly stalked towards him from all angles. Alex raised his gun and fired. He shot over and over. Soon enough, he was alone but for an army of corpses belonging to people he had already killed.

    "Do you still feel justified?" Alice's voice taunted from the great beyond.


    Alex shot awake, finding himself not on the floating platform above Wrench, nor surrounded by bodies. He was in his bed in his room and he was dripping sweat, breathing heavily. The dreams weren't always the same, but he often found himself being tormented by the girl he'd killed. It had been a month now, and so many nights treated him the same.

    He sat up with a sigh. He'd never been troubled about the lives he'd taken before. To him, the lives of others as well as his own had been a valuable commodity that he gambled with. He wasn't sure what to do about this new… well he wasn't sure how to describe what he felt really. The closest word he could think of was regret but he knew that he'd make the same choice if put in that position again. Maybe it was just because his victim had been so young, but her life was over either way. Either way things had changed after he pulled the trigger. He was now far richer and he had much grander a reputation… but that wasn't always a good thing. His landlord looked at him with pity in his eyes, his wife with disdain. It bothered him more than he felt it should. After all, he was simply a tenant.​

     

    Sonata

    Don't let me disappear
  • 13,642
    Posts
    11
    Years
    'A Friendship Begins'

    Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
    Non-Magical
    Bounty : $0


    Outside Ironhaven, Inside a Bar


    "I'm looking for someone… a girl. In particular, one that shouldn't exactly be here, if you catch my meaning." Jacques pulled out a small stack of bills and placed them on the counter, pushing them slowly towards the bartender without making eye contact with the man.

    The bartender stared at Jacques and then placed his own hand on the stack of cash before pulling it the rest of the way towards him, dropping it behind the counter. "Lots of those sorts around these parts. I take it the lot of you fall in the same category." The bartender scanned over the members of the rainy days before letting out a sigh. "Come with me. I'll show you to the back."

    Jacques motioned for the rest of his men to come along as he followed behind the bartender. Zel took a final look around the room, making sure that none of the other attendees were going to shoot up and knock one of them off when their backs were turned. The outlaw shook his head and then followed through the darkened entryway into the back room of the saloon.

    "This here's where we hold all of our V.I.P. members. Otherwise known as the type you're looking for." The bartender walked all the way to the back wall and then pushed up against it, causing it to turn sideways and reveal a hidden pathway. "This here, is where we house those of even higher status."

    Jacques placed his hand on the bartender's shoulder and smiled wickedly as he walked past him. "Thank you much for your help. I trust you won't let the others know what's going on back here?"

    "I'm not sure I know what you mean, sir. There's nothing back here except for liquor storage." The bartender brushed Jacques' hand off of his shoulder before walking back the way that he'd come.

    "Uncultured filth." Jacques shook his head. "Ever since I came to Jeimas that's all that I've seen. This whole country's in need of a good cleaning and re-educating."

    "Tch. Lot of good your force is gonna do us then. If you want to make the world a better place, you'd go into politics." The archaeologist shook his head and turned his back to the rest of the group.

    "Eh, they'd never let me in there. That Alice girl already did a number on 'em. I doubt they'd be willin' to part with any more judges now."

    "That's not what I meant, and you know it. Damn you…"

    Jacques let out an ugly laugh which caused his face to twist and unpleasantly contort. "Well it's a damn good thing I don't give a fuck what you think or mean. Unless you manage to decipher the rest of that map, you're just another body to me."

    "If you're going to bother me and waste my time, at least come in to my room. Otherwise, leave, before you piss me off even more." The words came from the hall beyond the hidden wall. The woman that they belonged to sounded young, almost like a teenager.

    "Well?" Zel took a step forward, placing his hand on the wall as he looked slightly down at his leader. "We paid good money to be here. Why don't you introduce us to whoever it is we're supposed to be meeting?"

    Jacques twisted his mustached and nodded his head. "Shouldn't keep anyone waiting any longer, I suppose. Well then, let's get on with this."

    The outlaws turned and passed through the hallway one at a time. Zel fell back and pulled up the rear once more, watching once more to ensure nothing went south before they even got to where they needed to be. The V.I.P. rooms were surprisingly quiet… which made him wonder who exactly it was that they were going to meet.

    "Zel! Let's go." Jacques called from the end of the hidden hallway, motioning for his underling to follow through. "Don't forget to pull it close either, you hear?"

    "Yeah, got it." Zel backstepped into the hallway, placing his fingers on the edge of the wall and pulling it slowly shut.

    After he'd closed the door, the outlaw turned around and looked down the now pitch-black hallway. Zel placed his hands on the walls surrounding him and began to walk slowly down the length of the passage, feeling the cold and slimy stones which it was lined with. The further in he got, the more apparent it was that something wasn't quite right. Glowing lizards began to float up from the ground and cling to the ceiling.

    "What… what the fuck? Jacques? This your doing?"

    The lizards quickly multiplied in number, causing the entire passage to light up almost instantaneously. The outlaw could now see a number of things, such as the purple fog that clung to the ground and which the lizards were inhaling, causing them to float up to the ceiling before exhaling again. The outlaw could also see that the rest of his group lay motionless up ahead, slumped lifelessly against the walls and ground.

    "Shit! Jacques!" The outlaw rushed forward, slinging his massive gun around his body before falling down next to his group's leader. "Hey man, wake the fuck up! We got set up! Now's not the time to be sleepin', guy!"

    "Well, I'll be… you're mighty resilient, aren't ya?" The voice from earlier was much closer now. "You sure you ain't magically inclined? Not even my Pa can resist this one on a good day."

    "Who the hell are you? What've you done to the boys?" Zel quickly rose to his feet and spun around, looking for the source of the voice.

    "You'll never find me if you keep lookin' like that. It'd take a trained magician to find me as I am now."

    "Shit…" Zel kept spinning, looking all around for where the voice was coming from. "Show yourself you bitch!"

    "My, what vulgarity. Do you really think you should be talking that way to a child? Honestly, how mean can you get. There's no need for name calling, Azael. See, I can refer to you by your proper name. The least you could do is return the favor."

    "The fuck… I don't even know who the hell you are! How am I supposed to call you anything other than a bitch if I ain't even know your god damn name?"

    "You mean… you're not the one that arranged this little meet-up?"

    "The hell? No I didn't arrange the meet-up. The boss did. See? The man there, lyin unconscious cus'a your damn spells."

    "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Well then, allow me to introduce myself." The purple fog quickly drew itself together into the shape of a person and positioned itself in front of Zel. The lights which had previously been lit through the hall now returned and the lizards crawled up the figure's smokey body until they completely covered her and began to change into a more natural human skin-tone. "My name, is Rieve McLlallan Rush, also known as a member of Jedediah Rush's crew, as well as his one and only full-blooded daughter. It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Aeeb, as I'm sure it is for you."

    Zel's jaw dropped. Jedediah Rush's daughter. If that wasn't a bargaining chip for the big bad, he didn't know what was. Could… could Jacques really be dumb enough to try and kidnap this girl? Is that why this meeting was set up in the first place?

    "Zel? Hello? Look… I know you're surprised and all. You just met a member of the Rush gang, and the daughter of the man himself all at once. You're in shock. I get it. Happened when I first rounded up my own gang. But look, I need your help right now. See, when you were freaking out, you made a little bit too much noise and now the whole saloon's out searchin' for us. That bartender ain't gonna keep us secret for long once a little more cash gets thrown his way. You know as well as I that the upstairs is crawlin with bounty hunters and that old man's men alike… it's in our best interest to drag your friends along as best as we can and relocate for this little get-together. So… whaddya say, partners? For now, at least. We can discuss actual business once your boss wakes up."

    The outlaw stared at the girl who was still in the middle of her teens and then down at his cohorts. She was right. At this time, he had no real other option unless he wanted to turn this into a firefight. The outlaw rubbed at his eyes, sighing deeply. He hadn't had anywhere near enough sleep for this to turn into a firefight. "Fine. Let's start moving them then. It ain't like we got any other choice right now. Would've been better if you'd have just not knocked them out in the first place…"

    "Yeah, but where's the fun in that? Better that I ambush you than the other way around, right? That's one of the perks of being magically inclined, y'know?"

    "Well then use some of that magical inclination and make it so I don't have to carry these shits all the way across town 'til we find a safe place to hunker down."

    "Sorry. Not my type of magic, unfortunately. Usually I'd have the boys carry the bodies… but… they're already back at my little makeshift base here in Ironhaven. So that's pretty much out of the question. Besides… you've got some metal on you, right? You should have no problem lifting the bigger ones while I carry that boy you've been arguing with all day."

    "I believe they're down this way." The voice of the bartender echoed down the hall behind them as the false wall turned sideways, allowing several rays of light to shine through, falling on Zel's boots. "I'd shown them to the V.I.P. rooms, but it seems they were looking for something more dangerous."

    "Get the hell outta the way. This here's my town now. Ain't nowhere these kids're gonna go without me knowin'. I already got some of the boys posted at the back, so they ain't gonna get far regardless." The voice was a new one to Zel's ears - harsh, wheezing and raspy. The wood creaked beneath the man as he walked down the hall towards the gathering of outlaws. "Hear you me, ruffians!" The man continued to walk slowly down the hall, closing the distance between himself and the others.

    "Listen, guy... we need to get out of here before he sees us. It's best if our faces aren't known to them, regardless of if we can kill them or not."

    "I hear you down there. Such a sweet, young voice... a girl, although, not quite... not yet a woman though, I'd say. What are you, sixteen, seventeen years old? I hear others too. The lot of them are unconscious though, minus one other. That one's breathing is... strange. Erattic. Not scared or surprised, but not entirely calm either. Something plague's his mind."

    "Zel..."

    "Zel, huh? Strange name. Can't say I've ever heard of anyone with a name like that. Was it given to you, or do you just think yourself a demon? There's already an outlaw with that namesake, 'course... it's not mine, so I don't much care who's else's toes you intend to step on. But those metal pieces..."

    Zel gripped his arm as a jolt of electricity shot through his body.

    "Get much more of that put on you, and you'll be havin' to answer to me, boy. Man or machine, it doesn't matter. Nobody lives longer than the Undead."

    Rieve's eyes widened at the realization that it was the big bad himself who had come to greet them. "Zel, we've got to go now. This place's too cramped for us to do this right now."

    "Yeah... but... this would also be the perfect opportunity to take the title of Big Bad from someone... Of course, you don't exactly care for that, do you?"

    "Oh? A hint?" Lachlan continued to walk forward, although much faster now. "Care to give me another? Perhaps one about yourself, Mr. Zel. I ain't that smart, but perhaps I can start to put two and two together if you just let me in on a little secret or two. I been around for a long time... I'm sure th-"

    Zel swung the massive gun on his back around and pointed it at the Big Bad. The Buzzard stopped and stared into the dark. Rieve struggled to drag the members of the Rainy Days down the hall to the exit while Zel stepped steadily back in the same direction, his sights still set on the shadowy outline of Lachlan.

    "Boy, if you're aimin' to kill me you'd best do it now. You let me live now and I'll never quit huntin' you."

    Zel winced as another jolt of electricity shot through his arm. The outlaw dropped the gun in his hands slightly, prompting Lachlan to leap forward, seizing the opportunity. Zel attempted to right his aim, but ended up pointing too high and fired off a shell into the ceiling, causing it to quickly cave in on the outlaws. A few rays of light shone through the cracks in the wood above them, causing Zel's face to be illuminated.

    "I know your face." The Buzzard's eye stabbed through Zel, causing the man to stumble backwards. Lachlan was staring at the outlaw through the debris which blocked them off from one another. "I know you face, which means that my boys will too. You'll never escape me now. One day you'll slip up... and when you do, I'll be there to pick your bones clean."

    Rieve gripped Zel's shoulder and pulled him to his feet, covering her face the whole time. The two outlaws quickly gathered up their allies and rushed for the exit as Lachlan called out after them with various obscenities and unintelligible sounds.

     

    Foxrally

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/omi0jS3.gif[/img]
  • 2,791
    Posts
    11
    Years
    Gunpowder (M) (IC)

    Sophia Hartmann
    Status - Outlaw - Leader of Sangre Clan-----------------------Former member of Culebra Clan
    Sorcery Level - 2
    Element - Air
    Bounty - 2200$

    Gunpowder (M) (IC)


    Kelmorr Kuvag
    Status - Bounty Hunter
    Sorcery Level - 2
    Element - Fire
    Money - $3,000




    Near Larkin - National Guard Provisional Base

    Death Without Trial


    It only took a single boot from Kelmorr to break the door's lock, and the duo barged into the office, guns raised. As predicted by Kel earlier, the sheriff was getting ready to go back to sleep, feet on his desk and hat tipped down to cover his eyes. The captain shot upright, eyes wide open in alarm and grabbed for his gun only to have a bullet sail through it. The practiced ease with which the man shrugged off the wound contradicted his attitude and before Kel got another shot off his revolver flew from his hand as if possessed.

    The Captain seemed to have the advantage when every loose metal object in the room began to fly towards the pair at bone-crushing speeds. Another bang rang out and the various projectiles crashed harmlessly to the floor. The Captain's sidearm had gone off inside its holster, apparently while hanging at the perfect angle to fire straight into his right foot. That moment of surprise was all the bounty hunter needed to draw his other revolver and shoot the high caliber round straight through the captain's left knee and another following so closely into his right that he hadn't had time to stumble yet.

    The heavy desk was kicked aside by the assailant and an onyx gunbarrel was pressed to the Captain's temple, slowly sliding around to the back of his head as Kel circled behind him and called out the office door. "C'mere, darlin', your captive audience awaits."

    The sheriff attempted to move his unharmed hand towards his holster, but a precise shot from Sophia to his hip hit his belt, snapping it and dropping his weapon to the ground. "Oh no you don't motherfucker!" Sophia snapped, pushing past Kel and pointing her own revolver at him, before remembering there was a reason they had come in to the office. "The fuck you said you needed him for?" she asked, turning to Kel, looking down at the sheriff in contempt.

    "You wondered much since you woke up in that cell why you were so sick?" Kelmorr asked gravely, now staring directly into the wanted criminal's eyes with obvious anger, though she couldn't guess why it was so intense. An undeniable air of solemn pity crept into that gaze when he continued. "Did it strike you as a tad odd that all the other prisoners had at worst some scrapes and bruises while you were pukin' your guts out? I'm not much for watching anybody get beat and possibly worse like ol' Brutus seemed ready to do down there but not so much as I'd ever normally be caught helping any sort of prisoners escape, not even one looks as good as you. But I decided before I was even sent down here that I'd kill this piece of shit and I'll tell you right now no amount of disrespect from his vile mouth could sway me to such violence on its own."

    Kelmorr picked Wisdom up off the floor and re-holstered it, then stretched to work a kink out of his back. "Just so happens I have a bad habit of eavesdroppin' n' I heard some of this jackass' toadies mouthin' off about something sir Captain here-" He thunked their prisoner on the head with the butt of a revolver at that - "did that even made them[/I[ - shits that they are - uncomfortable, something involving the lady prisoner. I was already pretty sure I could figger what they were gettin' at, then when it was time for the execution detail to head down there and string ya'll up this bloated mule **** said to kill the two male prisoners and leave the girl for him. Then I knew."

    Sophia had remained speechless during the entire speech, her eyes wide open as she had begun hyperventilating. "Wha… what the fuck…?" she croaked, her voice fading away. She took a few steps back, her gun faltering in her hand.

    "I'm 'fraid it's exactly what it sounds like." Kel replied grimly. "After that my mind was made up, there is one crime, one inhuman act in this entire world I put on par with murder of an innocent. I couldn't let him get away with it and killing him myself wouldn't be enough. Then all that racket happened and I saw my chance, I thought it was only fitting you be the one to deal with this trash with yer own hands...or at least be able to tell me what you wanted done to him if you couldn't."

    Sophia paused, still in disbelief of what had just happened. She suddenly felt disgusted with herself, as if she had thrown herself into the dirt outside the building and rolled in it. Would a person really have taken advantage of her in that unconscious state? Would nobody have stopped that person? For a brief moment, the naive, frightened rich girl within her appeared, and her eyes darted between Kelmorr and the sheriff. She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out.

    The sheriff snorted. "Pfah. Don't act like you didn't en-"

    He never got the chance to finish as a bullet shot through his skull and his body fell to the ground. Sophia slowly lowered her gun, smoke still coming out of the barrel, and turned to Kel. She again tried to say something, but couldn't.

    Unbidden Kelmorr's hand found its way to the top of her head, stroking her hair for a moment then pulling her face into his shoulder, hiding her from the world and giving her a space to let out whatever was boiling beneath the surface for better or worse. Without hesitation, and almost involuntarily, the girl began sobbing like the terrified child she was. All of the pressures of her leadership, the death of her comrades, and this realization had all come crashing down. Hundreds of questions and fears coursed through her mind, but she couldn't focus or put any of them into words - all she could do was cry.

    The bounty hunter's hand remained atop her head while the other pat her back with all the gentleness of a nursemaid. He said nothing, knowing no words - especially those of a stranger - could help her at that moment, he simply continued to be her shelter as she vented the pain.


    A joint post of Foxrally and Sephear
     
    Last edited:

    Sonata

    Don't let me disappear
  • 13,642
    Posts
    11
    Years
    'The Question'

    Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
    Non-Magical
    Bounty : $0


    Somewhere In Ironhaven


    "So boys, what's the deal? "Rieve was sitting backwards in a wicker chair. The room had been darkened so that it was as close to pitch as could be. A handful of flaming orbs floated around the room, illuminating the faces of the members of the Rainy Days who were captured and bound in front of the woman.

    Zel sat across the room, separate from his allies and Rieve. The outlaw slowly unwound the bandages from his face which had been soaked in the blood of Lachlan's lackeys which they'd had to tear through in order to reach this hideout on the other side of town. Azael breathed silently as Rieve spoke, not wanting to alert the rest of the Rainy Days to his current position and also to ensure that none paid any attention to the revealing of his true face.

    Jacques' eyes slowly peeled open as he fought against both the heat and light of the flaming orbs hovering around his face. "This isn't the way that I'd intended this deal to go down, Rush."

    "Well, if it'd been my father that you'd met with - the outcome I presume you'd intended - then this little meet up would have ended the second that you opened up that hidden passage and your bodies would still be rotting under the wooden slats of that hall's floor. So tell me, Jacques, what is the deal?"

    The leader of the Rainy Days swallowed hard as his eyes slowly surveyed what little bit of the surrounding area that they could. He couldn't make out much, but it was clear enough that he and his little group were in a bit of a bind. Jacques could see the outline of his adopted brother sitting mere inches away from him, but without their spellbooks the were... the native.

    Jacques' eyes widened further as he struggled even harder now against the flames to find his blind ally. If he could have slapped himself in the head right now, he would have. The natives had no need for book conduits. If he could find the native, then... "Well, you see... the deal... the deal is..." The outlaw spoke slowly, stalling for time as best as he could in the moment. It was useless however, as for as much as he could make out, he, his brother Pete, and Rieve were the only ones in the room at the moment.

    "In case you're wondering, the native has already been taken care of." Rieve suddenly shot up from her seat, having lost her patience. The wicker chair fell forward and caught flame as it made contact with a roaming flame orb. The woman closed the distance between herself and Jacques, coming within a few inches of his face. The burning chair behind her caused her body to cast an ominous shadow which strained the eyes of the opposing outlaw. "Tell me. What is the deal?"

    Jacques' mouth hovered slightly open as he tried to gather himself. "M-m-map. The boy we were with. He's the one who has it now."

    "A map? How interesting." Rieve glanced over at Zel, who was still hidden in the shadows and who had also finished changing the bandages upon his face. The woman brought her gaze back to Jacques and placed her hand on his shoulder, gripping it tightly as she spoke slow and calmly. "And pray tell, what is on this map of yours that makes it worth me or my father's time?"

    Jacques looked down at his knees and struggled to no avail to pull free from his bindings. Things weren't going at all the way that he'd imagined. "We don't know exactly. It shows a few exceptionally strong magicians in Jeimas - but beyond that, we're just about as much in the dark about it as you are."

    Rieve sighed and the stepped back from the bound outlaw. "You know, the last time I was told there was a magical artifact in this country, it was a spellbook which basically gave birth to the demonic wonderchild - The Big Bad known as Alice. We all know what havoc that wrought, I doubt I even need to explain myself to an outsider such as yourself. So tell me, what are your intentions?"

    Jacques caught himself in a moment of silence. Just what had he been planning to accomplish with these actions? Seeing the position that he was in now, his initial desires and ideas almost seemed laughable. "I'd hoped to use the map to lead the revolutionary known as Jedediah to a few more key pieces which could see him change this country... I... I had hoped to use that map as a way to get me and my boys made into a branch of the much bigger gang that your father controls. After that... well..."

    "So, you wanted fame? To piggyback off of my father's success and ideals in order to take up the mantle of Big Bad yourself. What cowardice..."

    Jacques fought back tears, feeling that the time of his death was approaching ever quicker. He'd been planning this for years now... of course, before he'd come to possess the map he'd only intended to offer himself up to Jedediah... but after he bought that paper, his dreams became even wilder and his ambition became far greater. But... now that he was here, talking to the daughter of the man he'd admired for so long at a distance, he realized just how foolish his thinking had been. If they were the ones who'd made that demon child, then there's no way they'd be interested in something so simple as a map.

    "Don't you think that's enough? It's as the native told you, isn't it?" Zel rose from his seat and moved to stand between Rieve and Jacques.

    Jacques looked up at Zel, staring at the bare, blackened back of the fellow outlaw brought a strange sort of comfort to him. "The hell Azael... if you were untied, why didn't you come in to explain me sooner?"

    Zel turned his head slightly to look at his leader, but then returned his gaze to Rieve. "Ever since I joined up with your little gang, you never once told me a thing. You've kept me at a distance for weeks now, and I've no idea why. When Rieve here caught y'all off guard, I could only explain myself as we were runnin' away from Lachlan."

    "You met Lachlan?" Jacques lurched forward, almost causing the seat he was in to tip over before falling back onto its legs. "What was he like? What happened with him?"

    "Well, the way things are looking now..." Rieve waved her hand, dispersing the glowing orbs of fire and causing the light to return to all corners of the room. "Before we go off on this wild hunt of yours, we're going to have to get rid of the old man. He's seen Zel's face. Bandaged or not, Lachlan will never let go of him. He's almost as good a tracker as that Wolf."

    Jacques looked around the newly lit room, recognizing the faces belonging to several of his more or less powerless underlings. A number of Rieve's men were stationed around them as well, with Roe slumped lazily by the door in a wicker chair similar to the one that Rieve had just been sitting in.

    "Is he..."

    Zel nodded his head. "He's fine. We managed to get out of that trap without losing a single person thanks to Rieve. There were a few of Lachlan's men waiting at the exit, but after we dispatched them, she shot up a signal to her own men which brought them out of hiding to help."

    "I lost three good people in those short few minutes. Whatever this map is, it had better make up for their lives. Otherwise... the next time you find yourself strapped to a chair like that, it won't be for some silly interrogation."

    "We kill Buzzard?" Pastel Pete spoke up for the first time since the entire meeting had begun. His voice was deep, but it was clear through its tone that he was simple.

    "Yeah, we kill the Buzzard. Then, we get the hell out of Ironhaven before the government figures out how to properly co-ordinate assaults with bounty hunters." Rieve grabbed her cloak which was riddled with fresh bullet holes. "Also... next town that we get to, you owe me a new one." The woman waved the cloak towards Jacques before wrapping it around her shoulders.

    "I can only imagine what the father must really be like if his daughter is that scary..." Jacques slowly rose from his seat after Zel finished un-binding him.

    "Let's hope we something good to give him so that we don't have to see his bad side." Zel looked over at Pete, wondering if he should undo the bindings around him or not, only to watch in silence as the man simply stood upright, tearing the numerous ropes with ease. "Guess that answers that one..." the outlaw whispered to himself.

    "Do we have a plan, then? Or did you just wait around in the dark for us to wake up?"

    Azael nodded his head. "Yeah, there's a plan of sorts. Get our magic, guns, and knives and beat the shit out of a little old man."

    "Don't downplay him like that," Rieve called from the door. "He may be old, but you saw him. He's not one to simply mess with, even at his advanced age. He's been in control of this town for a good while now, so it's certain to be laden with traps and manpower alike. Electricity is quickly becoming one of the most versatile elements of magic, and he's had more than enough time to master it already. No matter what you've seen before this, you may never see anything or anyone as powerful or cunning as Lachlan again."

    "Which is why I asked if we had a real strategy or not," Jacques stated, irritably.

    "Yes, Jacques. We have a plan. We'll be using the one that my father provided for us. We have a few more members now, given that I can take your group into account. This mission should be safer now than it would have been. I'm going to go round up the rest of my men from around the hideout. I'll give you until sunrise, then we'll head out. Once we're outside, I'll point you all to your positions and explain the proposed procedure."

    Jacques twirled his mustache as he bit his lower lip. "Wouldn't it be better to explain it in here, before we go out there where we can be shot at from every which direction?"

    "I would say so, yes... but given that we now have to worry about a simple, it's better to show than to tell, don't you think?"

    Jacques looked slowly over at his brother Pete, who was still trying to catch the final dying embers of the fireballs from a few moments before. "I understand. I suppose we'll do it your way then... just, let us know when you're ready and we'll move out."

     

    JukeboxTheGhoul

    Rocking Round the Clock
  • 737
    Posts
    13
    Years



    Shadow
    Elliott

    [S-HIGHLIGHT]Mumford & Sons - Broken Crown.[/S-HIGHLIGHT]


    The porch creaked with fresh footsteps. The white colonial mansion was a bastion in an oppressive wasteland of sand and fire. The stained sigil of Gaudium was in every window, etched in to every post. The three rays of a sunset heralded the Apocalypse, the apocalypse that was their duty to bring about. A fist hammered on the door. The impact reverberated throughout the lobby.

    Attention was directed towards the opening door. A figure stood there, blocking out the piercing desert sun. Several lackies reached for their gun. Laboured breaths wheezed out, the silhouette twitched from exhaustion. His hand on the door trembling, Shadow marched through the lobby, intending to hurry up one of the twin staircases, but she paused in her tracks. As criminals began aiming at their revolvers at intruder and taking cover, The door enveloped the sunshine again and the man became clearer. Shadow stared at him in disbelief. His mouth opened but he could say nothing.
    Shadow put purpose in to her strides towards him. Getting faster and faster, the closer she got. The man was totally off guard. She hurtled towards him. She was too fast for him to react. She raised her hands. Urgency permeated the air. The stranger began to fall.
    And Shadow caught him.
    The cowboy-looking man vacantly swivelled his head, his bleary eyes floating around the room at the army pointing at him. Shadow frowned with confusion, ?I... know you?? Her eyes were full of knowing but her voice was filled to the brim with puzzlement. The gang members looked at each other as they pocketed their guns. Shadow called to her attendants. ?Get him some water!?

    The original followers stood around the old dining table, it looked like it was previous used for gambling and meetings, but under that it appeared like a family kitchen. The fixtures were stained with smoke and the white lick of paint was fading.
    The man looked at them with heavy eyes. ?I was previously a high ranking member of Anaconda?s following.? Josiah looked around at these strangers who seemingly believed the same as him. ?You all are actual believers of Gaudium??
    ?Yes.? Shadow nodded, followed by Martirio, ?We even have a priest in fairbell? She explained, referred to Altan, a feeling of despairing longing crept in to her gut. She wanted him to be here so she could show this man how powerful they?d became. She saw a bit of Anima in Altan. Of course, someone would need to preach, someone with personality but it shouldn?t be Altan, she, for some reason, trusted him the most, bar Anima. She needed the most devout here in the capital. She needed to reorganise the Holy Order, there were so many peons that worked entirely on random orders depending on proximity at the time. Without Altan, she felt alone at the top.

    Elliott wanted to correct him and confess that he wasn?t a real believer, more like useful hostage... No, he wasn?t an insurance policy, that didn?t fit... useful prisoner? He didn?t know if ?stringer-alonger? had a better word..

    Cassandra leaned against a counter top, to the right of Elliott. ?I?m not.? Josiah whipped his head from Shadow to Cassie, holding a drink in both his hands. ?I?m a merc. Pay me, I?ll do anything.?
    Elliott raised his eyebrows ?Anything??
    ?Not interested, Elliott.?
    ?Uhh... yeah, I?m that.? He thumbed a gesture to Cassandra, copying her answer.
    Josiah continued before someone could correct Elliott. ?So yeah, We had a following, all pioneer-like, we moved from here to there. Anaconda had this dream an? he shared it with us. Despite what you guys have probably thought, we were originally peaceful. I remember my first sacrifice, Anaconda was a young man then. We didn?t do nothin? to hurt anyone.?
    ?What?? Elliott exclaimed, this was contrary to everything he?d seen.
    Shadow silently agreed, her memories had imprints from Anima, and by extension Anaconda, all she got was violent and disturbing. The Caesar-looking Martirio chastised Elliott with a look.
    ?Well, Anaconda was quite... quiet, his violence was internal. He could only dream of invoking the Ascension like you guys have, I mean I joined up because the Church failed me. Not everyone went ?round murdering, most of our sacrifices had shit lives anyway so they volunteered. He lusted for the success of his predecessors.?
    Shadow listened intently.
    ?But I?m off topic. On my first blooding, the place was raided by the Church, we had to grab anything we had to hand. I stole a revolver off one of them, gunned down several before bailing.
    But they could never destroy us, every death made us stronger, put meaning in to our beliefs. The next time we got attacked, Walker was ready, he was preaching an? we had rifles from... donated by the Church.?
    ?Wait... who?s Walker??
    ?Not everyone has pretty names like...? He looked around, trying to summon an example, ?like... you guys. Prophets take on new names, take on new identities, like kings of old, y?know.?
    ?Walker was a symbol of Rebellion, like the snake.? He returned to the story. ?So with each fight more martyrs were created, we built up a militia, took over places, set up temples. Some fought, Some of us gave their lives to enter the Astral planes, some of us gave their bodies to help new souls start their journey, startin? families and that stuff. Many of our right-handers gave their lives in protection of the Prophet.?
    ?I maintained my friendship with him throughout, rising up the ranks. Then Anaconda was deep in thought one day, and went off to go meditate as he often did. I was worried for him since he?d been feverish for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, he found the desert... calming. Walker never returned. I felt it was only natural... my duty to steer our little colony to continue, those people, those kids needed protection and even though I?d just been in the post for a bit, the burden fell on me.?
    ?Families??
    ?Yeah.?
    ?Didn?t think anyone could settle down doing this.? Elliott crossed his arms
    ?Well, we did it.? He paused, he could feel emotion building behind his eyes. ?And they killed them. They killed them all, the men, women and children.?
    ?Who?? Shadow furrowed her brow.
    ?As soon as I came back, the place was crawling with Waltham slaves.?
    Elliott gasped. Josiah shot a look at him. ?You a friend of them?? He took his hand underneath the table, moving towards his gun.
    ?Nah, I left there, they want my money though. So I guess we?re friends with mutual enemies.? Desperately trying to keep nonchalance, despite his nerves
    ?I hope so.? Josiah observed at him with distrust. He turned away from Elliott who edged towards the door. ?Where?s the Prophet??
    Shadow let a pregnant pause hang as if dead. ?Anima... entered seclusion-?
    ?Fuck!?
    ?-a while ago, we haven?t been able to bring him out of there. Evening opening the door feels heavy.?
    Temere had his forearm rest on the above door frame. He first saw nothing, just the bustle of the Holy Order, until the rise and fall of a coin caught his eye. His hunter glared at him seriously, she caught the coin and tapped her wristwatch.
    Shadow responded to the ageing leader. ?I?m perfectly fine to control our Order in his absense, I?ve done it before, I?ll do it again.?
    ?Still, it?s not good. Did he tell ya his dreams??
    ?No.?
    ?Not even after stress-relief??
    ?I?m sorry, are you under the impression I?m sleeping with the Blessed One? The One Truth? The Prophet who brings the Ascension? What exactly do you think of my faith??
    ?Sorry, that?s my fault. Walker didn?t have a problem with that stuff. Old times I guess.?
    Elliott had an idea to unify them, to distract from current events and proving himself to the new guy. ?Aight guys, calm down. I?ve got something for you.?
    ?Huh??
    Elliott closed the kitchen door. ?A bounty hunter?s here for me.? He loosely pointed toward the chalk-coloured barrier.
    ?What?!?
    ?From the Big W. She?s a fake follower.? Shadow, Martirio and lastly Josiah thundered past him, throwing it open with a gust of wind.
    ?Lock this room down!? As the order was given, the rag-tag followers blundered towards the door.
    The girl figured she was made. Her heart thumping, she tried to appear innocent as she tried to leave. Shadow spotted her.
    Roots grabbed the debt collectors?s ankles and she was stopped in her tracks. The wood stretched out from its slumber curling around like creepers.
    Shadow stormed towards her, the gang members created a ring like a cage fight. The rat went for her gun, but a thug twisted her arm behind her back, another devotee took her revolver.
    ?Where?s your proof?? She tried to struggle but it just increased her pain.
    ?Temere?? She stared at her captive.
    Elliott trailed the action, jogging up beside his protector. ?She has a contract in her coat pocket, it?s signed and sealed by Mr. Waltham.?
    Shadow rifled through the bounty hunter?s coat finding the evidence.
    ?I?m just the messenger.? The bounty hunter writhed in her captivity.

    Shadow began to declare the proof to the mob surrounding her,?Waltham Industries Ltd promises to pay on delivery of...? Her voice lost volume when she read the price for Elliott?s capture.
    She circled the snake like a vulture. ?This person has infiltrated our order, willing to betray our values for the pursuit of money and threatens to kill in the name of another god, Waltham Incorporated Industries.? Shadow made a gesture to move the prisoner. ?For that, She must die.?
    It was all over in a moment. Shadow was handed the bounty hunter?s gun. Pressing it on her forehead, the kneeling girl?s breath became ragged, and it was extinguished with three excessive shots in the head, exploding her brains and splattering all over the floor. Her corpse freely fell, discarded like with all the other garbage.​


     
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