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Chapter 2; Something Wicked

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  • Romania, Summer, 2011-


    Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
    "If you do that whole bat thing, can you carry some other objects on you and they show up when you change back?" (In case you want to move faster, Chris is implying carrying his shotgun and an old anti-tank grenade).
    "Of course, it just seems to vanish when you are in that other shape. I don't don't do cheap magics!"

    When she looks at him kind of quizzically, Chris shrugs and says "A distraction is in order...and I don't like *ahem* flying into some place. If there's only that few people, a drunk Italian looking for a nice place to stargaze will do without the potential discomfort. All I have to do is head up the path, and then get stuck......"
    "Ah, go wandering up to the castle and then get collared by the security guys there will I follow along as your invisible porter carrying your guns for you? Sounds thrilling, how much crap do you expect me to lug around for you?"

    "Wait... you can do invisible?"

    Sushulana blinks. after a long moment she mutters, "this must be what you people call 'having a blond moment'... YES, I can do that!" She smacks her own forehead with a resounding slap.

    It does not make you silent, and you have to keep holding hands or a belt or something in order to keep the effect up.
    From there its a simple matter of waiting by the door at the end of the day and clipping the last guy going through it, thus avoiding the problem of how to open the door. You also reduced the number of enemy by 2 with that move.

    "You have 10 minutes, I would not advise you coming back up here in less than 8 unless you have a gas-mask on your faces." And she releases something like a black wall of fog that moves as if she is controlling it.
    You will be heading downstairs at this point, and there is an alerted guard down there. What Sushulana called 'machine-pistols' are really mini-Uzis, and after a gun-fight that is such a close-run thing that one of his rounds is embedded in your shotgun's stock, you put him down. There is also a "suit" to deal with that comes tumbling out of the dumb-waiter behind you, but he is chocking so hard that this is a much easier kill.

    From above is a crackling roar like a string of M-80s, the occasional bark of a 357, and then silence.

    These cells are a cold-war relic, Warsaw-Pact in nature. They have a sight glass so you can find Kendra quickly, but the lock is one that takes 90 long, noisy seconds to open. Its a work-screw that would be impossible to open from the inside, but once you have it open Kendra kicks it from her side and lunges at you.
    "You?!?" She can't seem to believe it, and looks at Chris as if he's lost his mind. Then- "HE's here TOO!" she blurts out, and dashes towards the less secure wing that is more like an infirmary.

    Having just side-stepped a kick to the groin, Chris is out of position to grab her and can only follow along. Your watch tell you only 7 minutes have gone by, so you might as well have a look anyway.
    This door is a normal one, with a large glass panel that lets you see inside with ease.
    "I'll get the key, the guard must have it!" And Kendra is off again. Well, at least this time she remembered to give you a kiss and a hug before she went bounding off.

    However, Chris's attention is riveted by the two men in Hospital beds in this room. One is famous in his own right, you had thought he was undergoing his long-awaited trial in Gitmo. The other one...
    You try the door, its not locked. "... women..."
    Once you are close enough to look down on him, there is no mistaking the gunslinger that came from nowhere. Two things are different about his; he's as wasted away as you might expect from years in a coma. And, his eyes just opened.

    He seems to be trying to say something to you, but getting close enough to hear it turns out to be a mistake... as the smile and evil flash in his eyes tell you when its too late. His hand flashes out and has your pistol halfway out of the holster before you can do anything about it.

    From behind you, and Uzi chatters, and Kendra puts the last 3 rounds from the Guard's gun into the Mystery Man's belly.
    "I always thought that guy was gonna be a real problem some day."

    The unfortunate fellow sags and seems to deflate even further as he dies. The last sounds that he makes is a rasp that seems to come from far away; "Two down, two to go..." And his last expression is either the sneer of death or a different sort of smile.

    The only sound from above is the crackle of flame and the crash of furniture or something else being tossed around... and then Sushulana cries out "Got ya!", he voice echoing down the dumb-waiter shaft.

    Kendra looks up, "a friend of yours, I hope?"
    9 minuets and counting.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

    Comment


    • Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
      "I need to be in both places, so I have to ride and so must Kasakabe. All three of us can't fit, not with my gear. Why don't you stay here and give us the overhead view and advise as we go?"
      “Understood. I will give Kasakabe two RATS to perform this task. Ensure they are recovered please.”

      Damien has a grin that is showing way too many teeth now, you just gave him Christmas on a platter... but two things temper his mood.
      "I suppose you will tell us about this Nemesis of his, and yours, someday. I just hope you do before it bites us on the ass."
      and-
      "You are appreciated, more than you know. However," and for the only time, he touches her, gently lifting Lori's chin to make sure she is looking at him and not the computer screen for a moment. "Protect us as you like, but you cannot protect us from everything. Should something terrible happen to any of us, never blame yourself. And don't forget, it is Kotomi that needs you most of all. Look first to her needs."
      “Understood.”
      I’ll need more on Merrin before making any serious postings on that issue since it is central to the story and Lori’s information to date is limited.

      That's saying something considerable. Lori will have delved into his past by now. It is known that he had about 2 dozen friends and/or close associates from the 1970s and 80s.
      Not a single of of them is still alive today.
      The records might not be electronic so she might not know as much as you think. But, she could also weasel her way into things you might not want her to know about you.
      Damien or Kim might ask her not to spy on them in a more intimate setting too…

      Rama- "Haven't they ever heard of De-gaussing?"
      Damien- "I'm sure they have, let's stop pestering them."
      Of course they have. But trying to stop a range of stray magnetic fields by countering them is going to be far less desirable because of the interference this causes (think “static noise”) it creates than a clean undisturbed magnetic field.
      Kotomi figured it out early: Faster-Than-Light travel and alternate universes are best set up in deep space away from magnetism and gravity; something Lori showed her.

      Interesting that the 2 humans had no visible reaction, but the Synthetic is now enthusiastic.
      Just as well, the kids no longer see her as a "robot", really. They think that her ability to shut off emotions is rather enviable. You'd know why if you ever spent a night in the main house, and dealt with the nightmares that caue many sleepless nights for some of the kids and most of the adults trying to deal with it all.
      If they do get one flying and it is a two seater Lori can treat them all to one of her infamous “vomit comit” rides…

      The Twins are already on their way to the Turkish target, a bordello with an attached Clinic and a Disco (dance hall) which is considered the more lucrative target. "We are flexible enough to go with either an accidental case of arson, or a terrorist attack, whichever covers our tracks better."
      There will be no subterfuge in Moldova, the point of origin will be dealt with in a personal and utterly ruthless way. There is more than enough chaos in that country to cover for this sort of violence... which is why we have some do-gooders so conveniently placed nearby.
      Due to time restraints I didn't want to get too deep into the tactical side here, we have more than enough character interactions to cover.
      If Murotsu is told to make things painful and gruesome in terms of killing she will do it with a vengeance. In the second novel she catches an operative of the Farreach Margravate trying to commit sabotage. After making sure he can’t escape she wraps him in his own fuse cord and plants some of his explosives on his privates then lights it….
      When it comes to dealing with enemies or “targets” if you tell her to be graphic and horribly violent she will do it almost gleefully. Deep down she is really one psychotic mass murderer and really does enjoy it.

      Comment


      • Chris throws two more rounds from the bandoleir into the shotgun, then tosses it to Kendra. "Let's go!" Drawing the big 45 from its spot under his shoulder, Chris thumbs the hammer back. On a gun that looks a bit more modern than the grip would imply. The hammer comes back with ease and with no spur, and the fit to the forcing cone is very tight. The tips of the bullets also don't look like the round nosed slugs of government ammo, but rather the sharp points of steel-core rifle ammo.

        Taking the stairs two at a time, Chris makes it out the shape of a man firing blindly over a counter. Holding his breath and hoping that Sulshana's 'gas' won't kill him now, he puts two rounds into the guy's back, clobbering him over the head with the big Colt just to make sure work is done. Dashing outside, Kendra in his wake, he runs to the Alfa, Sulshanna already impatiently in the driver seat, and practically throws Kendra in. Waving Sulshanna on, he runs over to one of the bikes, a KTM 950, and manages to get it started without too much trouble, it being carbeurated. With the engine revving, he looks back to see if there's any movement, and immediately dumps the clutch, tearing off after the Alfa in a spray of gravel and dust.

        Carving down the mountain road, Chris overtakes the car on the flatlands, and they head off, for points only known to Sulshanna....but away from the now very alert and unwelcoming locals.
        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

        Comment


        • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          “Understood.”
          I’ll need more on Merrin before making any serious postings on that issue since it is central to the story and Lori’s information to date is limited.
          Thanks for the reminder.
          You have mail-
          "How are things going?"
          - Pariah


          Its a Gmail account, last accessed from a free terminal at the New York Public library.


          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          The records might not be electronic so she might not know as much as you think. But, she could also weasel her way into things you might not want her to know about you.
          Damien or Kim might ask her not to spy on them in a more intimate setting too…
          Actually, they have voiced their concerns about that, with not so subtle hints and non-verbal communication more than once.
          Where you got that from was his Interpol file. "Known" associates pre-dating 1991, I should have added.

          Current status;
          Forced retirement, presumed to be under house arrest in the Sultanate of Burnei.

          XPD.


          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          If they do get one flying and it is a two seater Lori can treat them all to one of her infamous “vomit comit” rides…
          Kim is buying a refurbished Beechcraft Starship, no irony intended.
          Its a sweet aircraft, but there is another one that could be on the horizon soon. A two-seater that will be a fine replacement for the one that Nin trashed before you got here.

          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          If Murotsu is told to make things painful and gruesome in terms of killing she will do it with a vengeance….
          When it comes to dealing with enemies or “targets” if you tell her to be graphic and horribly violent she will do it almost gleefully. Deep down she is really one psychotic mass murderer and really does enjoy it.

          Okay then, on to Sinope;
          The Black Sea, February 2011-
          At 5pm (yes, still daylight) one of the twins lead half a dozen young women out of the target building while the other let a truck loaded with fertilizer catch fire and roll into a gas-station not far away. Most of the "security" guards go chasing after the escapees, but few of the clients leave, the fire has drawn a crowd.
          Caupanna keeps you all informed of the chase, its all a merry game to these two; one of them ducks and hides while the other appears a block ahead, and they wear these goons out by making them run down back-alleys no vehicle could fit into. These guys seem pretty stupid to keep this up even after the kids have vanished, but they have called back-up, the most corrupt police in town join in and the relay-race seems to end with one sister trapped in a dead-end.

          She just smiles and says "Well, it looks like you got me."
          And that's the code phrase the othersister was waiting to hear. She triggers the half-dozen Claymores that were in place and covered every inch of the alley, except the dead end. Cinematic moment as Caupanna stands there with a smile on her face as the blasts fluff her clothes and hair, and the directed energy turns the enemy into hamburger without giving her so much as a scratch. Then she takes the earplug out of the ear that didn't have the blue-tooth in it and jogs over to join in the fun back at the primary target.

          It is full dark by the time you arrive at 5:40, and the fire has died down somewhat, with naught but a puff of smoke to mark the demise of 75% of the armed enemy you might have faced here. The target building looks like its on lock-down as you approach, but Damien points at the Dance-hall.
          "The roof is weak there, shall I drop one?" He holds up a trio of Chinese stick-grenades wired together. They are concussive types, little shrapnel to speak of.

          Ten blocks away a stolen ambulance approaches the scene of the fire on a path that will take it right to the front door of the Bordello. This is how you plan to extract the remaining children.

          An anti-Terrorist Squad from the local Army base has been altered, they will be here in 20 minutes, or so Lori hears.
          Your move.
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

          Comment


          • Romania, Summer, 2011

            Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
            Taking the stairs two at a time, Chris makes it out the shape of a man firing blindly over a counter. Holding his breath and hoping that Sulshana's 'gas' won't kill him now,
            What she did was neither lethal or very damaging, it was a distraction and an irritant. A very good distraction, one that enabled her to eliminate the people up stairs (just 5 in total) and then go pillaging. When you find her she has a sack of stuff over her shoulder and is brandishing a Scimitar that looks like its worth more than all the real estate in South Beach.
            "Ah, so that's her, eh? Sure looks like your type, all right. Howdy, I'm Sushulana, lets get the Blank out of here."

            Kendra looks at Chris, "Who the Blank is this .... Sushi?"

            Chris hustles them out of there before they can start in on each other, but Sushulana won't be parted from her bag of goodies.

            Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
            Dashing outside, Kendra in his wake, he runs to the Alfa, Sulshanna already impatiently in the driver seat, and practically throws Kendra in. Waving Sulshanna on, he runs over to one of the bikes, a KTM 950, and manages to get it started without too much trouble, it being carbeurated. With the engine revving, he looks back to see if there's any movement, and immediately dumps the clutch, tearing off after the Alfa in a spray of gravel and dust.

            Carving down the mountain road, Chris overtakes the car on the flatlands, and they head off, for points only known to Sulshanna....but away from the now very alert and unwelcoming locals.

            As you are hustling the girls into the car, Kendra voices your own suspicion at Sushulana; "So, you were helping Chris get me so that you could grab the loot?"
            "MY blanking loot! I'd still be a guest here if one of the guards hadn't taken to raping me."

            Lots of fires tonight. The Monstary is starting to burn noticeably when you reach the village at the bottom of the hill. There is also a Police Van that slipped off the road into a ditch just short of where it would have been able to block this road. Its burning too, the light allows you to see a gray-haired man leaning back on a stone wall, smoking a pipe, and almost smiling at you.
            You have seen him once before, and so has Kendra.
            The car does not stop, but you can see Kendra looking back at that man with wide eyes.

            If you stop and talk to him... that could be interesting.
            If you don't, Sushulana will head deep into some wild mountain country, the wildest Europe has to offer.
            "Why is the Rum gone?"

            -Captain Jack

            Comment


            • Chris watches the car speed on as he brakes. That road heads out into nowhere, so he figures he can catch it. This guy, on the other hand seems to be glowing. Well, not exactly the right word, but Chris can see something Ethereal about him in his minds eye.

              As the bike stops and he drops the kickstand, the two men regard each other...
              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

              Comment


              • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                Chris watches the car speed on as he brakes. That road heads out into nowhere, so he figures he can catch it. This guy, on the other hand seems to be glowing. Well, not exactly the right word, but Chris can see something Ethereal about him in his minds eye.

                As the bike stops and he drops the kickstand, the two men regard each other...
                And about 5 seconds after that, the the car slams on the brakes. Your time here will be limited.
                But it will leave an impression.

                This is the very same man that you saw in the Hospital back in South Dakota.
                However, he seems a little less beaten down. That almost-smile goes a little lop-sided as he regards you and notices the car stop. "Call me Pariah. You now have a brace of Hellcats, they certainly don't seem willing to leave you behind. I wish you luck with them." He glances skywards. "There will be Helicopters soon, treeless mountains will not be your friend at daylight. Tell the Elf to go to ground at Dracula's Castle, I'll meet you there."
                He takes a business card out of his pocket and hands it to you.
                "In case I don't survive the trip."

                The car reverses, and the back-up lights give you a slightly better look at him. He's giving you that 'I didn't think you had it in you' look that few people have directed your way since you left the army.
                "You are off to a good start, if late, but you have also become noticeable. We must speak further, soon."
                Kendra is halfway out of the car, shotgun in hand. Sushulana is still in the car, revving the engine, all she has to do is pop the clutch to flatten this guy against the wall... but when you look back at him he's already vaulted backwards over that wall.
                From your earlier recon, your pretty sure there is a river back there, a few hundred feet down.

                Neither of the women will argue that his idea is a good one, its a tourist-trap but Sushulana knows that its closed for renovations... right in the middle of the tourist season.
                Eastern European efficiency is about the same as the last time Chris was here.

                Its not far, and you get a good jump on whoever was reacting this little event. There are even signs pointing the way, in English occasionally. When you pass through the little town of Courtu De Arges' Sushulana waves you ahead and follows with the headlights turned off. A Kilometer down the road there is a wooden barrier across the road, she lunges past you and hits it so hard that by the time you get there nothing remains of it but splinters swirling in the wind of the Alfa's passage.

                (oh snap, I never gave you a visual on Sushulana)


                The end of the road is not far, a parking lot that is conveniently close to the river, convenient if should be thinking of pushing a car into the water.

                The girls come tumbling out of the car punching and kicking at each other (Sushulana's driving seems to be the issue) but Kendra rolls free as you pull up and runs to you, hugging Chris hard enough to lift him up off the bike a little.

                (you can insert some dialogue here, but there is more that I need to add.)

                The densely forested path up to the castle can be reached by the motorcycle, and the quickest way up is for you to drive up slowly with the girls holding on and jogging alongside (neither of them know how to drive that beast). They seem to be competing to show who is tougher. Its a draw this time, but at least they are too winded to do much arguing by the time you get up there.

                Dracula's "castle" is actually just a large keep, and as such things go its one of the most blah, uninteresting rock-piles in the Balkans. It was an ancient Serbian outpost that had fallen into ruin before Dracula was even born. Its most outstanding feature is that the upper half is made of brick, mostly, Dracula's renovation of a place that was his for only a few years.
                Its also so well sited that that the 3 of you could hold off a Platoon of Marines for as long as your ammo held out.

                There is a Night Watchman, of course. He's slumped over a half-empty bottle of Slivovitz.... but a close inspection will reveal a lump on the side of his head.
                "I'm glad to see you made it."
                There he is, standing just inside a doorway with a oil lamp burning low in one hand and a 5-foot long walking stick in the other.

                "You!" Both girls say at once, and Sushulana takes a couple of steps forward. "How the BLANK did you get here ahead of us, did you fly, teleport, what?"

                "Teleport?" Kendra looks at Sushulana, and then you... its really a look of pity for her and amazement that Chris had to turn to someone like this for help.

                Pariah looks non-plussed as well. "Uh.... no. A boat." He jerks his thumb back at the water. "The Arges' ... its the same river." And thus, he would have had less than 1/3rd the distance to travel that you just did.


                Sushulana stops, but it not happy. She grinds her heel in the stone floor and glares at Chris. "Where did you find this creepy old... you know him too?" That last at Kendra, who nods calmly, and does not give away Pariah's next move.

                Pariah's stick comes up and deftly flips the headband off the elf's head, revealing her ears. A startled bark of laughter comes from Kendra, until those ears swivel towards her in that odd and vaguely disgusting way. "Yes, they are real." Pariah says to Kendra. His voice has a hollow, care-worn quality, deeply miserable but reaching for hope. "I did that for your benefit. You are ready to say that you just want to go home... but are you sure that home is where you want this trail of blood to lead you?"

                To Chris; "Your selfishness and paranoia fade like a bad dream, and just in time. Take heart from the fact that being a Hero is no longer trite or pointless in your world.
                Indeed, nothing less can possibly see you through what is coming."

                To Sushulana; "Speaking of paranoid... if you draw that blade on me I'll burn you down."
                "Why you-"
                "Shut your mouth, there is no time. You must not desert these people, you must get them out of here as only you can. In five hours the sun will arrive and the authorities will come with it. Merrin could be here even-"

                "MERRIN!?!" You have not seen her show fear yet (while awake), so outright terror is definitely something new. She seems to shrink even smaller than her slight stature as she steps away from Pariah, and you two as well, as she sets her back to the stone wall. Wide, horrified eyes turn to you, Chris, as she goans; "Oh Gods no, you meant that Dragon?"
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • The Black Sea, February 2011-
                  At 5pm (yes, still daylight) one of the twins lead half a dozen young women out of the target building while the other let a truck loaded with fertilizer catch fire and roll into a gas-station not far away. Most of the "security" guards go chasing after the escapees, but few of the clients leave, the fire has drawn a crowd.
                  Caupanna keeps you all informed of the chase, its all a merry game to these two; one of them ducks and hides while the other appears a block ahead, and they wear these goons out by making them run down back-alleys no vehicle could fit into. These guys seem pretty stupid to keep this up even after the kids have vanished, but they have called back-up, the most corrupt police in town join in and the relay-race seems to end with one sister trapped in a dead-end.

                  She just smiles and says "Well, it looks like you got me."
                  And that's the code phrase the othersister was waiting to hear. She triggers the half-dozen Claymores that were in place and covered every inch of the alley, except the dead end. Cinematic moment as Caupanna stands there with a smile on her face as the blasts fluff her clothes and hair, and the directed energy turns the enemy into hamburger without giving her so much as a scratch. Then she takes the earplug out of the ear that didn't have the blue-tooth in it and jogs over to join in the fun back at the primary target.

                  It is full dark by the time you arrive at 5:40, and the fire has died down somewhat, with naught but a puff of smoke to mark the demise of 75% of the armed enemy you might have faced here. The target building looks like its on lock-down as you approach, but Damien points at the Dance-hall.
                  "The roof is weak there, shall I drop one?" He holds up a trio of Chinese stick-grenades wired together. They are concussive types, little shrapnel to speak of.

                  Ten blocks away a stolen ambulance approaches the scene of the fire on a path that will take it right to the front door of the Bordello. This is how you plan to extract the remaining children.

                  An anti-Terrorist Squad from the local Army base has been altered, they will be here in 20 minutes, or so Lori hears.
                  Your move.
                  Before leaving Lori gave Damien a perscomm. She had asked for details on the “targets” but his information was not sufficient so she could not do everything before hand.

                  The perscomm chimes only a minute or two after he arrives in the target area. It’s Lori.
                  “Mister Damien, please bring up the holodisplay as I instructed you.”
                  With it up and them still approaching the site she continues. “The markers you see are all identified adults within the target area. Please touch each one in turn. A picture and other basic data on that person will appear. If they are a target say target to the perscomm and they will be marked. Once you have done that for all targets say ‘finished’ and you can put the perscomm away until you wish to release Kasakabe on the targets. Thank you.”

                  When Damien does release Kasakabe she turns on her thermoptics along with lightening herself using the gravbelt then fades. She runs at a sprinter’s pace into the target area. On her head up display on her suit visor she can see the location of the targets relative to her… Well, those still living…
                  Lori is making occasional comments or giving instructions to her as she does. The smoke, dust, and speed at which she’s moving keep the suit from fully keeping up. To an observer it would appear like a ghost was moving in their view, shimmering and wavering in the fading light.

                  Swords out, she reaches the first man. He literally flies apart as she hacks him into several large pieces. He looks like a toppled human Jenga puzzle. Damien having given her the ‘green light’ to be vicious and gruesome, she tears each target to pieces with her swords.
                  On one target she comes at a run out of a near wall of flames like some unholy demon, now half visible with blood and gore splattered all over the suit. The man freezes in terror, his last vision is this horrible sight cuts him from his left shoulder to nearly his waist in half while simultaneously cutting off his right arm just below the shoulder. Kasakabe stops just long enough to behead him as well before continuing on her rampage.
                  Against another she reduces her weight to near zero and moves straight up a wall of the Monistary Chapel then across the ceiling using her zero-G combat skills to then drop on a man and tear him apart in a flurry of sword strokes. She seems to come out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly back into it.

                  “Time is up Muro. Withdraw” Lori orders. She repeats her order. “MUROTSU KASAKABE WITHDRAW!” Lori recognizes that Murotsu has gone on a killing frenzy much like a shark would. She tries a third time.
                  “Withdraw” Murotsu finally acknowledges.
                  “Your withdrawal point in on your display. Collect the RATS there. Acknowledge when complete.” Lori orders in her usual pilot voice.
                  Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 13 Oct 13, 16:46.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    ...
                    On one target she comes at a run out of a near wall of flames like some unholy demon, now half visible with blood and gore splattered all over the suit. The man freezes in terror, his last vision is this horrible sight cuts him from his left shoulder to nearly his waist in half while simultaneously cutting off his right arm just below the shoulder. Kasakabe stops just long enough to behead him as well before continuing on her rampage.
                    Well, the people you were supposed to come here and rescue would have fled from Muro even if it meant running through the flames to do so. However, after the other half of the staff fled, they have been trussed up and hung from the ceiling to be whipped, for the entertainment of the few clients remaining in the building.

                    Damien deals with the Clients by tazing them and leaving them paralyzed but alive, as the flames creep slowly closer...
                    (he also has one of those pistols that fires a variety of .410 rounds, and has been starting fires with thermite loads)

                    News items for tomorrow-
                    Half of the Turkish Cabinet is missing, an attempted coup' is suspected.
                    Terrorist attacks have devastated the resort town of Sinope, the little known Greek party called Golden Dawn is blamed (by Rama) and the group denies it... until the pedophile angle is uncovered.
                    For no apparent reason, Turkey severs all Diplomatic ties with Moldova.
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    “Time is up Muro. Withdraw” Lori orders. She repeats her order. “MUROTSU KASAKABE WITHDRAW!” Lori recognizes that Murotsu has gone on a killing frenzy much like a shark would. She tries a third time.
                    “Withdraw” Murotsu finally acknowledges.
                    “Your withdrawal point in on your display. Collect the RATS there. Acknowledge when complete.” Lori orders in her usual pilot voice.
                    Anyway, you get those kids cut free and hustled to the ambulance, and fly top-cover to the dock where the boat with the other half of the ground party is waiting, and thence to the Yacht offshore.

                    As you rocket away to your next target, the only mention Damien makes of Kasakabe's berserki-ness is; "Its hard to stop with just a few sometimes, isn't it?"

                    He contacts Nin and Zel; "Change of plans; back up and cover us. Take orders from Lori as they come to you. Oh, and make that call to the do-gooders as soon as we arrive, no lag-time. I have a feeling," winks at Kasakabe," that this will be going a little quicker and a lot smoother than the usual thing."

                    He looks at the display and starts marking off local items of interest. "That armored car is our friendly element. This nasty old warehouse is our target... look at that, must be 50 prisoners, the way they are packed in there. 18 men, all look pretty hostile and armed... maybe even altered, damnit. They must be a busy crew, an 18-way split does not get you much at this end."
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      To Chris; "Your selfishness and paranoia fade like a bad dream, and just in time. Take heart from the fact that being a Hero is no longer trite or pointless in your world.
                      Indeed, nothing less can possibly see you through what is coming."
                      Chris looks at him rather incredously: "Heroes are just fools with conviction. I'm not an idealist, I live in the real world" Pariah ignores him....

                      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      To Sushulana; "Speaking of paranoid... if you draw that blade on me I'll burn you down."
                      "Why you-"
                      "Shut your mouth, there is no time. You must not desert these people, you must get them out of here as only you can. In five hours the sun will arrive and the authorities will come with it. Merrin could be here even-"

                      "MERRIN!?!" You have not seen her show fear yet (while awake), so outright terror is definitely something new. She seems to shrink even smaller than her slight stature as she steps away from Pariah, and you two as well, as she sets her back to the stone wall. Wide, horrified eyes turn to you, Chris, as she goans; "Oh Gods no, you meant that Dragon?"
                      Chris holds up his hands as if to say "What": "I didn't meet him, all I saw were some claw marks. Who is this Merrin anyway? and how do you know him."

                      Before Sulshana can speak, Pariah lashes out at Chris with his staff. But Chris isn't there.....and a click identifies to Pariah that Chris is beside him, with a gun leveled to his head. Pariah looks at Chris and nods, Chris looking at his pistol with an expression of "how did I....". And Kendra and Sulshana nearly chorus "How did you do that?" "I, I have no idea." Chris replies. "I just saw it and I moved....and then it happened."

                      Pariah nods. "You've started to feel it again. Now, you need to use it instead of hide. Let him out of his prison."

                      "I won't." Chris says, matter of factly. "I won't let Ryder get loose on the world again. There's too much anger, too much pain."

                      "I don't think you will have a choice, Ghost Walker. Merrin doesn't know of you, and you're one of the few that can challenge even a part of his power......your world has need of Ryder yet."

                      With that Pariah turns and walks away, the lamp fading in the darkness. Sulshana and Kendra, now united in confusion at the man they thought they had pegged, look at Chris. Chris gives them a 'don't ask' sort of look, but Kendra does anyway. "Who's Ryder? And what does he have to do with you". Chris says only a few words, and then starts the bike, headed East towards Moldova and the Ukraine. Kendra thinks about it for a while, and then her eyes pop in surprise.......

                      The words:

                      "Deputy Nathaniel Ryder, Fremont County Wyoming"
                      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                        Chris holds up his hands as if to say "What": "I didn't meet him, all I saw were some claw marks. Who is this Merrin anyway? and how do you know him."

                        Before Sulshana can speak, Pariah lashes out at Chris with his staff. But Chris isn't there.....and a click identifies to Pariah that Chris is beside him, with a gun leveled to his head. Pariah looks at Chris and nods, Chris looking at his pistol with an expression of "how did I....". And Kendra and Sulshana nearly chorus "How did you do that?" "I, I have no idea." Chris replies. "I just saw it and I moved....and then it happened."
                        Well, that plays things into a different direction, but okay.
                        In fact, I think the next big Narrative on Merrin should wait until the gangs are all together in one place.

                        There are other things to take care of, after all.
                        Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                        Pariah nods. "You've started to feel it again. Now, you need to use it instead of hide. Let him out of his prison."

                        "I won't." Chris says, matter of factly. "I won't let Ryder get loose on the world again. There's too much anger, too much pain."

                        "I don't think you will have a choice, Ghost Walker. Merrin doesn't know of you, and you're one of the few that can challenge even a part of his power......your world has need of Ryder yet."

                        With that Pariah turns and walks away, the lamp fading in the darkness. Sulshana and Kendra, now united in confusion at the man they thought they had pegged, look at Chris. Chris gives them a 'don't ask' sort of look, but Kendra does anyway. "Who's Ryder? And what does he have to do with you". Chris says only a few words, and then starts the bike, headed East towards Moldova and the Ukraine. Kendra thinks about it for a while, and then her eyes pop in surprise.......

                        The words:

                        "Deputy Nathaniel Ryder, Fremont County Wyoming"
                        Sushulana is too surprised to shoot his tires out before Chris is out of range. "Hey! You heard the weird guy, I'm not supposed to abandon you!"
                        She rounds on Kendra; "Deputy who the Blank of where the blanking blank? Why the blank are you just standing there?!?"

                        Kendra shakes her head and gives the alien wench wry smile. "Well, looks like you got your spunk back. For a moment there, you looked like Fay Wray remembering a really bad date with King Kong."

                        One startled glance is all the warning Kendra gets before Sushulana jumps her. Kendra is bigger and stronger and as tough as you would think, but the Elf is relentless in the attack and driven by some serious rage. Sushulana does not have much of a hand-to-hand technique, however, so the advantage swings back and forth...

                        Well, it was inevitable anyway, might as well let them get it out of their systems.

                        (btw- the raid at Krasnoye happened about 6 months ago, but maybe in the interests of a good story, I should wave that? PM me with your opinions)
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

                        Comment


                        • As they are departing the carnage, Kasakabe, now with her helmet off, looks down at her blood splattered thermoptic suit. She takes a glove covered finger and wipes up some of the blood and then looks at it.
                          She gives it a taste. "Victory!" she exclaims. "Do ancestor proud!"

                          Murotsu then pulls out the sword Damien gave her. It is covered in someone's blood. "Sword redeemed! Victorious now!" she declares. It is scary how she says these things so lightly. And it is apparent to everyone present she really does enjoy not just killing people but ruthlessly slaughtering them.

                          Damien thinks Genghis Khan would have made her a general! He worries though whether Lori, or for that matter anyone else, can really control her....

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                          • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            He worries though whether Lori, or for that matter anyone else, can really control her....
                            Indeed, that blood-tasting thing was over the top. He decides they should split up. That turns out to be a good decision, for him.

                            Things are going flawlessly again, and you are just about to wrap this one up when a grenade rolls free from a dead hand and blows Kasakabe through a cheap wall. That, and the 2-story drop might just hurt a bit.

                            But, while you are falling...

                            For a split second, and a slice of eternity that will always stay with you-
                            Kasakabe ceases to fall. All sensation is gone and you are floating there... there being nowhere at all. Its all just bright whiteness, like an illuminated fog. You have no gear, not flesh, just the Ka, the essential spirit. And while you are like this, something broadcasts a thought to you, a wave of thoughts that hit you like a blast of super-heated air not unlike what just blew you through plywood and tin cladding.

                            Interloper. Its all so easy for you, isn't it? You should have left it for them to decide.
                            Very well, little one, I will restore the balance as I see fit.
                            You should have stayed in hiding, Muro-chan.


                            I won't put feelings in her head, and in fact she may question if it happened at all the next day.
                            But in her dreams, she will remember the voice of a Dragon in her head.
                            "Why is the Rum gone?"

                            -Captain Jack

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                            • Gents, I need to end this chapter for someone that has been waiting patiently.

                              "The Mask is strange" begins by Thursday.
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

                              Comment


                              • {Somewhere in Moldova, near the Ukranian Border}

                                In a dreary and drizzling afternoon, a man walks into a bar, his black coat and hat out of place for the region, but perfectly suited to keeping the beads of water out. He sidles up to the bar and never quite sits down on the barstool, motioning for the barkeep.

                                "Whiskey"

                                The bartender pours him a glass, and he takes a sip. Off in a corner a few other patrons are hassling some girls, and a between the rapid-fire mix of languages, one very American "F*** Off" is heard. She pushes her way out of the would-be suitors, and leans back near the man. "So what took you so long?"

                                "How did I know you two would find me" Chris replies, never looking over.

                                "Shanna says your important or something, and I figured you had a plan. Plus I don't want to do that thing she does again, it put me on my back for two days. What are you thinking about?"

                                "I'm thinking about whiskey. And a bed. And more whiskey." Chris says coldly.

                                "You're not going to go with her? Well then, at least come back home with me."

                                "Kendra, you're great, but right now, I don't want to be anywhere, with anyone. You always asked what I do when I go off for months at a time. This is it."

                                "You can't run from your past." Kendra says, half condescending, half frustrated.....

                                "Sure beats thinking about it." Chris deadpans, taking another sip. He notices that three guys at the far end of the bar are looking at Sulshana on the other end.

                                "I know why you did it. And I understand. I'm sorry what hap.." Kendra gets cut off as Chris utters a single word "Don't. And you don't understand. Go on, she can get you home, if she wants to, or give you enough to catch a plane." Chris throws back the rest of the drink and slaps it on the bar. Kendra catches that he's not talking anymore when he nods to the barkeep and continues to ignore her. In a huff she walks away, saying "Impossible".

                                "So, not to your taste tonight?" The barkeep motions towards Kendra as he pours the drink. "Not tonight." Chris replies.

                                Kendra and Sulshana walk out of the bar, and the three men step out into the gloom behind them. Beside Chris a teenager in a bomber jacket slides up.

                                "Nice Hat"

                                "Hmm" is the only reply.

                                "I like it, can I have it." Chris hears the *snick* of a cheap switchblade and continues to ignore the wannabee thug.

                                "Did you hear me?" The thug says, bringing the knife up and edging closer. Without a word, Chris tosses his glass of whiskey into the boy's open eyes, then slams his face down hard on the bar. Snatching up the dropped knife, he reverses it and stabs down in the back of the punk's neck, before turning and walking out, headed the same direction as Kendra and Sulshanna.

                                Out on the street, he hears shouts in a nearby alley. Walking up he watches Sulshanna deftly throw one of her assailants, despite a substantial disadvantage in size. But another grabs Kendra and with a knife at her neck, Sulshanna hesitates, giving her two assailants a chance to draw their guns. "We were told to look out for you two, you're coming back with us. Some people have a lot of questions for you."

                                "Let them go", Chris states, matter-of-factly from the mouth of the alley. One of the men spins to look at him, then turns back just as quickly, not keen on taking his gun off of Sulshanna. The man behind Kendra does the talking though "Go away, Cowboy, this isn't your fight" in a distinctly American accent.

                                Chris' hands fall down to the front of his duster, his eyes peeking out from under the brim of his hat. "Did he just call me Cowboy?" he asks, to no-one in particular.

                                "I said beat it, or you'll find yourself in a world of trouble", the man says, twisting his knife so it's more clearly visible but now the blade isn't on Kendra's throat.

                                Chris replies by turning away ever so slightly, before flipping the front of his coat open, revealing the shining silver against checkered ebony of his two revolvers on his hip. The man with the knife's eyes widen and he goes to pull Kendra in front of him fully as Chris' hands fly to the hilts, and the first shot rings out, catching Kendra's attacker in the teeth and blowing out the back of his head in a spray of gore. A second attacker turns as he drops to a knee, but Chris already has his second gun firing, and the bullet goes through his neck with a wet *smack*. The third attacker lunges for Sulshanna, only to be hit from the front and the side as both Chris and the Elf fire.

                                As Sulshanna checks on Kendra, Chris rifles through the belongings, pulling out a thick wallet, zip ties, and an ID holder. Checking it he sees the *Diplomatic* ID, and mutters "CIA" under his breath. Pulling a shoulder holster off of one of the agents, he tosses it to Kendra, along with a Beretta who's owner no longer has need of. "I think you'll need this where we're going".

                                Chris leads them to a bus-stop locker, where he retrieves his saddle bags and long-guns, and then they head out to the deserted parking lot. "I'd like it if you could get my bike through this time, if it's not too much trouble....I'm tired of having to find a new one." Sulshana rolls her eyes, and Kendra starts. "We're not doing THAT again?" She exclaims. "Well, do you like your odds staying here with three dead agents that were looking for you? Chris replies.

                                Sulshana fiddles behind them and there's a bright light near the motorcycle.....
                                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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