1. TheApprentice
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    The Unnatural Horror

    Discussion in 'Role Play' started by TheApprentice, Mar 16, 2016.

    The Unnatural Horror

    The Setting

    The world is unlike many imagine. A typical human being may work their day job, perhaps study and at most play some video games or watch some movie about magic or vampires. A child may imagine, draw pictures, or play games where they fight monsters or are one themselves. Despite all this most of these people regard such ideas as mages flinging fireballs or blood sucking fanged psychos as little more than fiction.

    Despite the beliefs of many, however, mages and vampires do exist, and always have. They have all been forced into hiding, thanks to an ancient organization that is still around. They are unlike the mages and vampires of mainstream fiction or common understanding.

    Mages
    Mages are not "special humans born with magic talents." Mages are people who discovered that energy all around them could be harnessed by the human mind, and took the time and effort to achieve a good understanding of how to use it. There are slight changes that take place as the mage continues to practice and master their art that could arguably classify them as another species. Their metabolism speeds to a point where most mages appear gaunt and almost sickly. Some of their blood slowly turns into a different unusual substance, which causes a weakness to silver and deadly allergy to agloephotis, a rare Arabian plant.

    There are many magic cities and schools throughout the world, in hidden places, where people can study to become better practitioners of magic. Each of these cities have their own governments and way of doing things.

    There are several schools of magic:

    Psionics (Which is basically telekinesis and manipulation of elements like fire.)
    Buff (Which includes buffing your own strength, speed, durability to reach unnatural levels, and healing.)
    Soul (Which includes necromancy and communication with spirits)
    Illusion (Which includes casting illusions and reading minds.)
    Blood (Which involves manipulating another's blood and sacrificing your own blood for a temporary body enhancement.)
    Shapeshifting (What it says on the tin)
    Enchantment (Imbue some object with magical properties.)

    Vampires
    These "blood sucking psychos" are horribly misrepresented and mistreated, even by those who know about the supernatural world but especially by mages. Nobody knows where the vampire curse came from or if its really a curse or disease but some blame the Mages, others blame some god, and scientists who will entertain the idea think it to be some unexplainable illness.
    Despite the usual depiction of undead Romanians with two fangs on the top row of their mouths that are retractable, these people are not undead but have four long fangs, two up top two on the bottom that do not retract, and abnormally big black irises. They need blood to keep their strength, but can go hundreds of years without actually "starving to death." That being said, their craving for blood isn't ravenous, but like a human's craving for food, and many vampires truly don't like the taste of human blood.

    All vampires are much stronger, faster, and more resilient than a typical human being. Religious items have no effect on them, and all garlic does is activate their gag reflex. They are however unable to handle silver without dissolving as if they were touching acid, and mage blood is poison to most of them. It is unknown what agloephotis would do to one, but they avoid it.

    Mages and vampires have been enemies on and off throughout time. Vampires will say that Mages hunt them for sport. Mages would say the vampires invade their societies and prey on the young and helpless. But these quarrels are petty in comparison to the true threat of the world.

    In addition to these two "species," are two secret factions that know about the supernatural world and deal with them for profit.

    Maniacles Corporation
    Nobody knows much about this corporation aside from the insanely rich who do business with them. This corporation is known for its mercenaries and high tech equipment. They also research the supernatural and have developed several drugs that many have yet to even dream of. They are extremely corrupt, however, and hard to trust.
    The tech includes power armor, which is exactly how you would imagine, plated robot armor. There are also high tech weapons and modifications, one example of a weapon being the Plasma Blaster, which is actually morel like a flame thrower but hotter, and sprays hot plasma short distance.

    R.O.S.E.
    A much smaller company than Maniacles, ROSE is more geared towards working with local law enforcement to deal with supernatural criminals and threats to safety of civilians. ROSE has less advanced technology, but more mages and vampires as agents.

    A Growing Problem
    There have been more and more problems with cults in recent months. Usually its different cults with different gods and fates for the world. Lately, however, it has all been the same cult of some...fetus god. Readings of this god detail it birthing from the sky and swallowing Earth and the stars. These cults are always lunatics and their religious theories are never taken seriously, however many do human sacrifice and are full of mages who will wreak all kinds of unexplainable chaos. Reports of cults to a god matching this description have been found all over the world.

    Because of this growing, very concerning cult problem, Steven Brandoneo, current CEO of Maniacles, is looking for people within his organization, ROSE, any Mages from a school or otherwise, or any Vampires from whatever clan to wage a secret war on this cult and destroy them at their source.

    The Character Creation System
    I made the magic system slightly more strict and revamped the point system from UC. The options listed for magic are what you have to choose from if you have a mage. If you want a different class of magic than listed, pm me and we can talk about it.
    As for the point system, I kept having student mages with advanced skills at a level of 3 points or some lower skill in UC. I wanted to ensure your characters all could have a good understanding of magic if you made a mage character, so a point in a certain class of magic ensures your character has a good understanding of it. The combat skills are also more general, like small guns is all small guns, big guns is all small guns, hand to hand is just whatever martial arts etc. Points in these also come with the knowledge of how to maintain these kinds of weapons. Support skills are whatever you can think of, however. The 5 points you get are for all of your skills, not per category, but one point ensures proficiency.

    So there will be different sheets for each

    Mage/Human CS Template

    Name:
    Age:
    Appearance:
    Personality:
    Organization: (Maniacles, ROSE, Mage city or vampire clan. Either mages or vampires can be mercs btw.)

    You get 5 points to spend throughout all this
    Magic: (Each magic class costs two points)
    Combat: (One point for any sort of melee. Two for any range if you know any magic. If no magic this is one point)
    Support: (One for any of these)

    Vampire CS

    Name:
    Age:
    Personality:
    Appearance:
    Organization:

    Skills are different here. No magic category as vampires cannot use magic. Instead, they get a Primal category, which includes a package of abilities including enhanced strength, enhanced speed, a regeneration factor and resilience. A vampires Primal skills get better with each point you put in this category, but caps at three points. So...

    Primal: (Up to three points)
    Combat skills: (Each thing costs one point)
    Support: (Everything costs one point)

    Rules:

    1. Do not argue with me, the GM, but don't be afraid to make suggestions and ask questions.
    2. Human, vampire, and mage characters only. Nobody is possessed by a demon either.
    3. No taking control of or auto hitting other people's characters and please don't hit any NPCs I say not to control or auto hit.
    4. No time skips without permission either.
    5. No fighting in the OOC.
    6. If I tell you you did a post wrong, please edit or if you cant at least keep it in mind for the future.
    7.Have fun with this.
     
  2. Kingtype
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    APPROOOOOOOOVED!!!!

    WITH A BIG FAT A
     
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    Clayton sighed. He couldn't turn down the offer for this job, especially with ROSE, his full time employer, sending him of all people to answer Maniacles plead for mercs.

    He just hated the desert, where he had to travel through to get to Paradiso, Nevada where Maniacles HQ was. It brought up memories. Bad memories.

    But now was no time to dwell on the past. He was going to likely be working with mages on this assignment and for a while. Though he held no grudge against mages in general, he generally distrusted them, and figured most would distrust him equally. That they would be ready to attack him at any moment if they regarded him as a threat.

    "Welcome!" Announced the executive, Derek Gavelston, as he started up the power point presentation to the others in the room "You are sitting in Maniacles' main head of business. We do business with governments and special interest groups all over the world, providing mercenaries, high tech equipment, and rare supplements to ensure the safety of common people, and the strength of militaries we do business with."

    As he said this, he ran a couple slides with pictures of weapons, power armor, decked out mercenaries, and syringes full of unusual substances.

    "Some accuse us of selfish greed and corruption, but that is just what any corporation, especially one as successful as Maniacles, has to deal with. In truth, our business exists to ensure the safety of the people from unusual dangers and predators more deadly than any you were taught in high school."

    Now there were slides of cartoon images of fat men in suites rolling around in money, followed by images of people getting eaten by giant dog-like creatures and then slides of armored men shooting down monsters and standing in a triumphant pose.

    "This leads us to why Maniacles has chosen to seek help from R.O.S.E. and other groups." He clicked to an image of a city by a beach, burning and in ruins "Ever since the events of what happened a year ago in 2009, cults, especially mage cults-and I mean no offense to anyone here- have been more and more active. Now this was no issue at first. Different cults kidnapping and sacrificing or committing terrorist acts for one god or another. Our mercs were able to take them down easily at first. It wasn't until we began seeing more Maniacles mercenary casualties and noticed a growing trend with the cults that concern began to grow within the company."

    Derek switched through the slides of odd cultist activity showing up in the news as simple unusual activity, and graveyards and even tombstones of a couple noteworthy Maniacles Merc leaders. Then the slides were showing pages of books the cultists had showing a tentacle monster with an umbilical cord going off page, humans happily stabbing themselves, and then news reports of strange killings.

    "The battle with the most mercenary casualties involved cults with these kinds of depictions and similar descriptions of their gods. A god, falling from the sky with its umbilical cord leading up too far to see. Not only were there major casualties in fighting these cults but in many cases even the mercs themselves went insane and turned on Maniacles. Recently, a high ranking merc stole a major amount of agloephotis from us, taking us who-knows-where, but we suspect to a cult operating out of Louisiana. Let me show you all one slide of something a cultist scrawled on a piece of paper before getting shot down."

    The slide changed to one of a piece of paper on which was writing "And The Sky will Birth Her. The Royal Daughter Of Naanthilnach"

    "This very sentence was also found in the merc's journal as we were searching for clue to where and why. That is just a few examples of the strange events that have happened. We thought it would be best if our associates were also made aware of this thread so we could better combat it. Which is why we have hired you all on to form a special team to defeat and destroy this cult once and for all."

    The lights in the meeting room flicked on "Any questions?"
     
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    “Can we just speed this job up, huh?” Pam slurred taking another sip of her paps blue ribbon. “Hate this stern corporate environment, ya know?” Pam was on edge. But it wasn’t the disturbing images nor working with enemies that had done this. It was the room itself. The place stank of sweat, martinis and oddly enough.....semen? Ugh....

    Typical American company nonsense.

    Why couldn't they be more like Google? They got all sorts of neat stuff in their offices and you could even play basketball. Pam sunk lower in her seat her barely open eyes settling on Gavelstone and Clayton..but Clayon specially.

    Cute.

    But a bloodsucker. Threat level? She licked her lips. Pam's mind visualized his possible movements that were common for most vampires in combat but a vampire working for maniacles would better trained no doubt.

    Possibly six or seven?

    But the sexy gloomy vampire wasn't the concern. It was the cultists. Something about a moon? She hadn't really been paying attention, it didn't matter much anyway. Pam let a vicious little grin show on her face, white teeth shining. It wouldn't be long now till whatever they were up against was neutralized.

    "Royal Daughter of nachos...." She muttered. "Naathitoz? Maybe it was Mexican?" A nice Mexican monster and cult would offer an interesting challenge. Pam let a little moan of pleasure escape her lips remembering her last encounter in the country.

    It had been hot and passionate.

    A night to remember really.

    Pam had dueled a Chupacabra. The battle itself had been fast, intense and sweaty, just like she liked it before she finally slayed it by tearing off its head. A good decapitation would almost kill anything. So she'd decapitate the queen of nachos to or whatever had all these fat cats worked up.

    But it would be awfully boring if they had to spend the next couple months just tracking down these rogue mages.

    Her cold amber eyes swept across the room.

    How many?

    How many could be worthy of her in the meantime or at the least offer a new tactical exercise? She doubted ROSE would allow her to decapitate any of these people but perhaps the good lord would provide her with interesting sparring partners and enemies in the coming days.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  5. lixAxil
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    “Can we just speed this job up, huh?” Pam slurred taking another sip of her paps blue ribbon. “Hate this stern corporate environment, ya know?”

    "You seem agitated today? What is it Sweetie Pammy, are you in that violent week of the month?" Asked a man with a hawaiian shirt sitting next to her.

    Aeon Bismarck, who attended the reunion hoping to earn some profit for his own interests.
    He knew such comment would probably make the girl him punch him through the walls of the room and even further yet still he wore a stupid smile on his face.

    "In short, we kill a bunch of cultist and be done with!" Stated
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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    Clayton turned to the other two in the room. One he had seen working for ROSE before. The other one, the woman, he noticed looking at him. He knew she wasn't a vampire, and likely a mage. He hoped she wouldn't start shit during the mission, or lose her sanity like he had seen other mages do before.

    "No..." Clayton said "It's not a moon cult necessarily. The thing is clearly being born from something above, but it could be a god, or a star, or some other far off place."

    "Alright." Derek said, switching off the projector "I see you are all ready to go into this. The first mission will be in a swamp of Louisiana. You will be briefed fully at the American Hotel in New Orleans."
     
  7. halisme
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    Thomas was sat up straight, staring at the presentation in silent amusement. Computers were still strange to him, a newfangled fad that would quickly fade in his mind. PowerPoint presentations were not something he enjoyed however. They lacked the speed of televisions, the crisp detail of movement and instead focused on text and illustration. He had taken a strange joy in watching documentaries, a certain novelty in how they perceived a past that he'd lived through.

    The worst thing about presentations, however, was the non-tactile nature. He remembered the good old days, when battle plans were done with maps and figures, carved lumps of wood to represent the different countries and houses. Even in the past hundred years, when men had dug themselves into the earth, the generals had used pieces of plastic, another curious creation.

    "In spite of your attempts to cover your mistakes, thy selves have decided to apply yourself to a noble cause, and, as such, are befitting aid."
     
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    "You seem agitated today? What is it Sweetie Pammy, are you in that violent week of the month?"

    Pam’s eyes settled on Aeon but his comment wasn’t met with immediate violence but instead a sincere smile. It was good to at least some familiar faces around. Not to say she trusted Aeon but he had a nice smile and he was at least reliable enough on the field. “Aeon.” She drawled taking another sip of her beer. “How long has it been since Nigeria?” She asked. "You remember?" A small giggle escaped her. That had to have been at-least for or five years ago but the image of that pitbull clamping down on that werewolf's junk remained vivid in her head.

    Pam stood and walked slowly over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. . "ROSE still has the amulet of Kandar in lock up somewhere." She whispered. "That Aussie sure was pissed."
     
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    Aeon maintained his idiot smile yet a drop of cold sweat traveled down his spine.

    “I thought you forgot about that thing. Clearly it was the neon mage fault.” Said apologetic.

    For a moment, flashbacks traveled on his head, several images including a crocodile like creature with wings licking his naked feet on a snowstorm, while hanging from a rope made of bedsheets coming from an open window.

    And then the monkey, he just wasn’t expecting the monkey to show up.

    “Ejemm”

    “So what are your thoughts about this cult mister Bram Stroke?” Asked to Thomas evading the topic.
     
  10. halisme
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    Thomas turned to Aeon, tilting his head and examining him carefully. The same height as him, and a mage, but physically weaker and a potentially ally. "For one set of heathens to gain a monopoly over the other's is disadvantageous for all. Their cravenness and sadism benefits us most when aimed at each other, therefore they are to be opposed." He answered, before sitting down. "And might I ask who this Stroke is?"
     
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    The very day after, their plane landed in New Orleans, and ideal vacation spot for young people and perfect for Mardi Gras.

    But this was no vacation. They were all here for briefing on their first assignment in the campaign to take down this cult to the daughter of this...god.

    Clayton couldn't complain about the humidity. This was all a good change, he thought, from the arid Nevada climate. His horrible memories from over a century ago could more easily be ignored.

    Before they left Nevada, they were told to meet in front of a small local bank at the edge of town...which was exactly where they now were. It was too small a building, Clayton thought, to serve as a good hide out for a large corporation like Maniacles.

    When they entered the tiny, run down building, which looked no better on the inside, a man at a counter greeted them without a smile, but an irritated expression instead.

    "Yeah. I'm new in town, and just wondering about opening up a checking account?" Clayton said, handing the man a piece of paper with the Maniacles insignia and the instructions for their mission.

    "Follow me" The man instructed, before leading them to the back room where an elevator waited for them in the center of the room. The elevator brought them down to what looked like an underground bunker but full of high tech gear and even a training area for mercenaries.

    When the elevator stopped, another man, old but fit, approached them with a look of disappointment on his face.

    "That's all they sent? We need an army. What the hell?" The man asked, irritated.
     
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    “Woaaaah. This is aweeesoooome” Exclaimed Aeon excited.

    “Can I have one of these?” asked while pointing to what seemed to be a very large gun

    For a few minutes, Aeon walked around like a crazy, checking the different weaponry and gear. Yet at a moment he suddenly stopped, took a deep breath and said.

    “I’m sorry, but I don’t work with Maniacles. I thought this was going to be a simple mission carried out by R.O.S.E. What are you guys thinking?” Stated with his usual look but a more serious tone.

    “ROSE’s people are a real scum you know? But they’re more trustworthy than the stinky ones from Maniacles”

    Yeah, sure I need the money, but would it be worth if I had to work for Maniacles?
     
  13. TheApprentice
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    "The artifact stolen is believed to be in a little swamp town to the South just West of Delacroix. It's not on any map, but we know the locals have thick accents and can hardly be understood. Here are the coordinates." Said a young, well dressed woman, as the digital map zeroed in on an area west of Delacroix in the swamplands west of Lost Lake.

    "A team of Maniacles mercenaries will be accompanying you. We didn't expect HQ to send us a bunch of ROSE mercs. If you need any weapons, talk to Brandon in the supply room. We have no power armor to spare, however. We will be leaving tomorrow at 7am."

    Clayton wondered what kind of weapons Maniacles might have. He had a hard enough time figuring out the more modern weapons, let alone did he want something that could spray plasma or shoot explosive rounds. Or maybe he did...

    First, however, he wanted to see if anyone had any whiskey. Nothing he found these days was anything like the hard stuff back in the times of cowboys and outlaws, but weak whiskey was better than no whiskey in his opinion.
     
  14. halisme
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    Thomas gave a smile and a thanks before heading to the room specified, ignoring the technology around him and finding the man. "This stockade's alderman directed me to retrieve equipment from you. I shall require a sword capable of slaying the horrors that lurk both within man's heart and those without, and a shield capable of blocking the strikes of monsters both material and ethereal." His voice was loud and booming, hands on his hips and stance open. He was a confident man, self-consciousness having left him in fifteenth century.
     
  15. TheApprentice
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    The gruff, harsh looking man stared at Thomas for a second, his expression not changing. He then suddenly walked over to a shelf, grabbed what looked like a chrome AK-47, but...thicker and with a laser sight, and tossed it on the counter in front of Thomas.

    "That British aristocrat shit is hilarious, by the way." He then turned away and to a sports illustrate magazine "No power armor." He finally said, without looking away from the magazine.
     
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    Prussian, actually." He answered, taking a step toward the counter and pushing the crude, inelegant tool back. "And as I said, I desire a blade a shield. Not to mention a shield."

    The man lowered his magazine, and gave an irritated expression.

    "Fresh out. But I hear the dollar store sells some little plastic swords." He leaned back in his chair, going back to reading his magazine "Might wanna look there."

    "Clearly though are incompetent, might I speak to someone who's mother didn't reek of elderberries while she was pregnant?" He asked, moving over and taking the magazine from the mans's hands and closing it. "And though should seek to temper lustful thoughts, natural philosophers say it may reduce the attention one can pay to maidens not made of pulp."

    "Sorry, I only speak English." The man said, snatching the magazine back from Thomas and then leaning back to his previous position.

    "I have tried to be kind." Thomas murmured, before picking up the man's chair, ensuring that it was well enough balanced for him to be able to stay on it without falling off. "Now, though shall either provide me with my desired armaments, some rough approximation of the sort, or directions to the nearest smith, lest I be forced to act with malevolent intent."

    This startled the man, but only for a second, for he was also a mercenary. He dive rolled off the chair, grabbing a shotgun on the way, which was leaning against a crate. When he got to his feet, he aimed it at Thomas.

    "I'm giving you to five to get outta my sight." He said, the gun trained on Thomas' head "One."

    "I asked, for, a, sword." He replied. "And am speaking in vocabulary closest to the modern prose I can muster. What are you not understanding?"

    Gestured at the rifle he tossed Thomas a moment ago "Rifles are better 'n swords. Take it and go." He said, his gun still aimed at Thomas "Two."

    As this was happening, Clayton was walking up, but noticing what was going on, decided to hand back and watch for a moment.

    "An arquebus may jam, the powder may become wet, or the shot run out, leaving nothing but a glorified club. Not to mention the impositions on the shot by the Swiss. A blade causes people to bleed at a much faster rate, leaving them as corpses at greater speed. It may be sharpened anywhere, and, when combined with a shield, provides excellent defense. So I ask once more. Get me a longsword or possibly a falchion."

    With a sigh, the man lowered the gun, reached into his back pocket, and threw Thomas a pocket knife. "Anything longer n that you will have to find somewhere else."

    While Clayton said nothing, and his expression remained the same, he found this pretty amusing. It was worth keeping in mind, however, that Maniacles, at least the one here, didn't seem to trust them in the first place.

    "Not quite a suitable approximation, but an approximation none the less." Thomas gave a nod, taking the knife and turning to Clayton. "Might you know where the local smith is?"

    "Maybe." Clayton said "If you know where I can get a Winchester Repeater." Clayton was being sarcastic. Unlike Thomas, Clayton was rather accepting of the changing technology of the times. Repeaters always felt good in his hands, just like revolvers did. In fact, Clayton had brought his revolver he had kept maintained since his days as sheriff.

    Clayton walked over and grabbed the assault rifle, feeling the weight of it, feeling how it was when he held it, and tried looking down the sites.

    "Anyway I doubt any sword you find will be as good as one of these. Trust me on it." Clayton said

    ---

    "I will not need a weapon." Pam said casually.

    This was true.

    She did not require a weapon for she was the weapon. In fact even now at her age and career choice she hardly found it useful using guns. They were far too clunky and difficult to use. But despite this she still took her time to analyze each weapon before her. But what caught her attention was the sc-fi looking AK-47 assault rifle in Clayton's hand. Not cause she'd never seen one before.....she hadn't but her mind worked slowly too comprehend if the man was an idiot?

    Well everyone was probably a little bit of an idiot but the point was only an idiot would pick such a stupid gun.

    "Hey." She muttered sauntering over to him. "Let me explain to you how stupid you are." Pam looked at the man behind the counter as well. "Both of you. I'm no expert on firearms but regular humans can see something THAT shiny at night ...hell I could see it from a mile way. I'm pretty sure the creatures of the night will be able to single out the glowing silver."

    Pam's hand swung towards Clayton's head but stopped inches away from cleaving his head open. "This is my impractical chop hand. If you're stupid like this again, you get the impractical chop." She turned to look at the arms dealer again. "He'll take a nice thick black one instead or at the least a dark cover for that ugly gun."

    "We'll see how smart you are trying to beat up some cultists and getting shot." Clayton said, ignoring the black rifle and picking up a shot gun instead. It was obviously a street sweeper too. An automatic shotgun. All the regular mercs had rifles. Maybe someone should take a shotgun. In addition to that Clayton also had his revolver.
     
  17. lixAxil
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    "Always so rude Pammy, do you intend to live with cats when you hit 40?" Asked Aeon smiling while carrying what seemed to be a giant weapon, some sort of very large and thick shotgun with 5 barrels.

    Or instead of carrying, dragging it through the floor as it was too heavy for his, although not weak, thin build.

    "I like this one.... I think... I'll c...call it... Isab...Isabella" Said while heavily breathing.

    "Can I have it? Oh and can you lend me the blueprints of the weapon for a while?"
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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    "Blueprints. What do I look like?" The counter man said "No blueprints, no swords, no cowboy guns. I have rifles, and shotguns. A few grenades but I'm not giving those to you."

    With a slight, barely noticeable smirk, Clayton walked away.

    The group had to get their own hotel rooms for tonight. There were a few rooms in this bunker, but the Maniacles here claimed there wasn't enough room.

    In the next morning they were to meet with a small group of ordinary Maniacles mercs outside of the hideout.

    "Lets go. Get in the van."

    They were loaded into two separate vans and driven off South bound. A merc sitting in the front passenger seat yelled out the plan to the other mercs in the car, but more specifically to the ones from Nevada.

    "We ain't driving all the way there. Part of the way we'll be on boats. When we get there, you don't shoot till commander says or we shoot you."

    Soon enough, they got out of the car and took some inflatable rafts out of a truck that had accompanied them. Nobody was wearing power armor. Wouldn't work in this terrain or for the boats. The dirt was soft and muddy, and hard enough to get around in. There was a light drizzle, but it was hot and humid, not that it bothered Clayton.

    As they continued their journey through the swamp, they eventually came across a shack made of wood and rusted crap metal, with "General Store" pray painted on it. A light glow emanated from the shack, as if from candles or a old school lantern.

    The mercs were ordered to stay, but Clayton figured he didn't have to comply considering he was a ROSE merc, and walked towards the shack with his gun ready.
     
  19. mmarage
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    mmarage The Detective Contributor

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    I was in the backroom of Atelier Nobunaga. One of my ateliers that I had started shortly after leaving Gotha... of course, it doubled as a detective agency, most of them did nowadays. Unless of course I had to set up shop in a regular city, then it was just a regular detective agency. Couldn't exactly be selling the things I sell or offering the services I offer, or else I'd be arrested on the spot, or be asked some very... difficult questions that I would not have satisfactory answers to. "Hm... medicine... medicine..." I mumbled as I looked over the packed shelves. "Geez, I really need to clean this place up." I mumbled, I always kept orders in the back, but I always inexplicably got everything mixed in with ingredients and other stock. "Aha! I've found you, sneaky bottle." I grabbed the glass bottle filled with small pink tablets, then walked back to the front of the shop.

    The front of the shop was far more organized and clean, it was a bright and open room with wood floors and a coat of white paint on the walls and ceiling, and one large display window at the front. The shop was lined with glass cases filled with accessories, weapons, magic items, bombs, and a number of potions, salves, and medicine. There were a few racks with an assortment of clothing and shoes as well. I walked up to the front counter and smiled at an elderly woman as I placed the bottle down. "Here you are ma'am, just make sure to give your grandson one tablet twice a day, the symptoms should begin alleviating in two days, and the cold should be gone in four." I bowed politely and took the payment, storing it away in the cash register.

    "Thank you so much, I was so worried, he's been stuck in bed for a few days now with a high fever, I've been so worried..." She took the glass bottle.

    "It's no problem, wish him well for me." I smiled and waved as she left. I let out a soft sigh and walked out from behind the counter and up to the display window, watching people go by and getting a glimpse of the sign I had nailed up. A boiling cartoon cauldron with green liquid and black smoke and the words "Atelier Nobunaga" on it. Tacked on beneath that was a large magnifying glass examining a question mark with the words "Nobunaga Detective Agency" written beside it. Though, most people here came for my wares, than my prowess as a detective...

    "I guess it's time to pack up, that was my last order... I should check up on some of the other shops, I mean there are some that I haven't been to in a while. The orders'll probably drown me completely... oh well." I had a little box outside of each shop where people could simply put in an order and then I would contact them and let them know if I could do it or not, and when they could expect to pick up their order. I couldn't help but smile a little broader as I took a look around the shop.

    It was so much different than my first one on Gotha. Back there, I was so insistent about starting it myself, I rented the cheapest place I could find. It was in a horrible part of the city and the place was just falling apart, the floorboards were broken and missing in some places, the paint was peeling, the windows were grimy... It took me two weeks to renovate the place myself before I could finally open it to the public. My goodness, the sign I used too, it was so cheap and badly made that I cringed a little every time I saw it. But, nonetheless, I loved that little shop, being able to help people with what little talent I possessed, actually sometimes being able to make significant changes in my customer's lives with my alchemy.

    I brought myself out of my recollections and then began walking beside every case and began to tap each one, they glowed briefly before returning to normal. Better than any lock, a simple enchantment will knock any wannabe criminal on their butts. I brought out a small keyring and went to the front of the shop and locked it before turning the sign from "Open" to "Closed", then turning to go and empty the register of today's funds.

    "Hola?" A voice sounded from end of the door followed by several swift knocks.

    "Hm? Another customer...? Oh... I hope that he doesn't need anything too complicated..." I mumbled. I turned around and walked over to the door, unlocked it, and pulled it open. "Oh, yes?" I looked at the person standing outside. A man.....or it was left of one stood outside Joe's door. His entire left eye was gone along with good portion of the left side of his face. A light grin touched his lips but not exactly one of menace but there was tension there.

    In contrast to his hideous appearance he was dressed rather gentlemanly in a dark three piece suit and his nearly jet black air neatly combed.

    "Hi." He waved. "I'm a specialist with intelligence."

    I blinked a few times, taken slightly aback by his appearance. I shouldn't be too surprised, I mean with all the things that I've seen since finally being introduced to the magical side of this world, a man missing basically half of his face, perhaps even half of his body, shouldn't be too much of a surprise. "I'm sorry, but what are you talking about?"

    "Hey." The man greeted his smile growing wider at hearing Joe's voice. "I know you and you know me....does he know me? Does he know me? Does he know?" The man muttered on repeat for several moments. "But I have intelligence that you want Mr. Detective man."

    Before Joe could respond the man on the outside of the door raised a book into view.

    A book that the detective knew all to well.....

    It was bound in dark leather that could of been rotted flesh and marked with multiple occult symbols. A book that had been the source of so much conflict in Joe's life not but two years ago. "I told you I had it." He said with a snort.

    "T-The... The Sumerian Text?!" I took a step back. I had hoped that I had seen the last of that damn book. I had the overwhelming urge to use every last bomb, acid, and magic item in my shop to turn that thing and everything within a mile radius of it into a crater... but who knows if that would even be enough for it to safely say that no traces of that book remained. "...What do you want?" My eyes narrowed in suspicion.

    "Oooooooh." He moaned. "Joey I'd just like to hire yooooooou." The man giggled. "I promise I don't want to kill you.....well I'm not gonna kill you yet. BUT my dead body is aching all the time, ya know? I really need somewhere to rest it."

    He smile again but this time revealing rotten decayed teeth only five or six left at the most. "I wanna talk about some of your investigations and my dear lord has said I must assist you."

    Great, this shambling corpse says that he's not going to kill me yet, definitely trustworthy. Though, something... was tugging at my memory. I could swear on my life that I had never met this man before in my life, but I felt like I knew him. For some reason... a graveyard popped into my mind's eye. I shook my head and cleared the image away. "Hm... not interested." I slammed the door shut in his face, then I opened the door, then paused for a second. "Oh, but I will be taking that, after all, it shouldn't fall into the wrong hands, correct?" I swiftly reached out and grabbed the Sumerian Text, trying to yank it from his grasp.

    The man's hand remained tightly on the book as they yanked back and forth.. "Relax." He said. "I said I wasn't gonna kill yaaaaaa yet buddy o mine....my lord said that I had to keep you alive cause you were smart." He frowned. "He said I couldn't understand a man of great intellect."

    "I'm real sorry this is intrusive...." He muttered. "If I were to strike you my lord would punish me before I even got to the stabbing....that's how I was gonna do it by the way. I was gonna stab your or maybe bury you alive?"

    "BUT!" The man's foot went into Joe's stomach kicking him off from the book. "We must be temporary allies for GOD has commanded it."

    I fell back, not expecting the blow, more dazed than in actual pain. "Urgh... forgive me if I don't really care what your god has to say, deities and I haven't really blended well, one tricked me, the other nearly wiped out the human race." I got up and glared at him with undisguised suspicion. "This man... I know him, at least, I think I do, he's familiar, and I can feel a distinct distaste for him. He clearly knows me and wants me dead. But how and why?" I cleared my throat. "Tell me what you want." Worst case scenario, I'd send this shambling corpse back to the hell it crawled out of and take the text from his truly lifeless hands.

    "The God in the devil mask has commanded me that I must see it to that stupid cult in those robes are exterminated from this world. I shall then be rewarded with his divine bliss." The talking corpse seemed to get teary eyed. "I had no escape from the reality of nothingness and it is he who freed me. This is how I shall repay him." He stepped closer to Joe.

    "My name is Eugene Splunkerfoot." He nodded. "And I know you so well detective but the important part is ...I was gifted with this book to bring to you and I am to be your servant."

    "Fine... Eugene," The name left a sour taste in my mouth. "How about this, give me the book, and whatever information you have on this cult, and then crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out of before you plant a knife in my back?" I had no idea if he was telling the truth. It was clear this thing hated me, would have loved nothing more than to kill me.

    "I am your butler." He said simply handing the book to Joe without fuss. "I'm to be at your side....please do not make that difficult. My God will help us achieve wonders.....can't you see that? He will save us from the dark days ahead."

    I held the book for a second, looking it over, disgust beginning to fill me, knowing the death and destruction that this book has wrought. Who gave it to him? Who brought him back to life? Was it truly a god? Why hide its face with a devil's mask in that case? Perhaps it's in the event that if we run into him, the corpse won't fall to its knees crying out salvation. For now, I shall assume that this deity is man. "I still pray for the best, but I don't blindly put faith in deities, your "god" might not do a thing." I sighed and walked into the store, leaving the door open for Eugene to shamble into. "This cult, you're talking of the Moon Cult, correct?" I had already set the book down on the front counter next to the register. I needed to prepare certain spells to make sure this thing didn't fall into the wrong hands again.

    Eugene walked in behind him. "This would be correct." He smirked. "They think they are scary but Eugene will show them whose scary."

    "You will show them nothing." I said simply, with a tone that suggested that there would be no argument. "You will tell me where I can find them, then you will stay put and not touch a single thing, lest you blow up half of my shop."

    "Buuuuuuuuuut Goooooooooood said I could heeeeeeeelp." He whined

    "No, your god said that you're to assist me. I make the decisions as to what capacity that shall be. No more whining. The next thing that comes out of your mouth should be information as to where a sect of the cult is operating."

    Eugene sighed. "I haven't a clue on where they are operating out of exactly but a company whose affairs regard such things has began hunting them down. The lord in the mask has provided us with this lead."

    "The Maniacles and that mercenary group ROSE, geez, even I could have told you this." I sighed in annoyance, my informants had already told me as much. "So, you come around with shoddy info, a threat to kill me, and a book that has wrought much death and destruction because of its mere existence. Tell me, how are you helping me?" I had placed my hands on the book and slowly, a bright silver glyph began to spin around the book.

    "I have given you a lead and as I said, my God has picked you has his champion this affair." He clapped his hands together and began to laugh. "Then once this is over and he know longer as need of you....I pray he shall allow me to watch the crimson blood leak for your neck."

    He snorted. "But he says you're to useful to kill and to smart not to work with. So....lets go pay a visit to Maniacles, huh?"

    "I'd rather not, getting yourself involved with them is equivalent to selling one's soul. At least you've done one thing useful, they've actually found something worth while." The book glowed silver for a second and then returned to normal. It'd be difficult to open and anyone who managed to force it open would get one nasty little surprise... "I'll make a few phone calls, you just wait outside." I tucked the book beneath my arm.

    "Yes sir!" Eugene responded giving salute. "Just shout if you need me!"

    "Yes, of course." I walked to the door and then silently locked it after he walked out, then tapped the door, activating the enchantment. "I wonder how long it'll take for him to realize that I slipped out without his knowledge?" I mumbled. I secured the rest of the doors and displays, pocketed the cash that I made that day, and then went upstairs. I secured the door behind me and looked around. It was my living area, and where I would see those that wished to hire me as a detective. It was a cozy modest living space, just a place to sleep or entertain guests, really.

    I walked across the room to a painting of a picturesque landscape and moved it aside to reveal a safe. I tapped it and released the enchantment protecting it, unlocked it, placed the book within, then resealed it and placed the enchantment back on it. This safe would be a challenge for any burglar, several powerful protective enchantments guarding it, masterfully crafted, it'd take a lot to break it open, and the lock needed a combination, a password, and a key in order to open it. What's best was that the contents... tended to... travel. Even if they got past all of the safeguards, there was no guarantee that there was anything in the safe in the first place. A good place to store the Sumerian Text and any other... sensitive items.

    After that, I sat at my desk and began making calls to a few of my informants. A few people who owed me favors, people who I could call friends or at least allies, or people that were simply willing to sell information for a quick buck. It didn't take long for me to figure out that there was an operation going on down in New Orleans, the exact specifics weren't given, but they were planning on searching somewhere west of Delacroix. "Too simple." I muttered as I pocketed my cell phone.

    I went into my room and grabbed a leather pouch and attached it to my belt, then reached inside and pulled out a small cylindrical disk. "Goodbye, Eugene, may we never have the misfortune of ever meeting again." I pressed a button on the top of it, and a blue glyph appeared below me and began to rise up. My body disappearing as the glyph slowly rose. Then, everything went dark for a few moments.

    When the world appeared again before me, I was standing in the middle of a dusty room much like the one I had just left. "Sheesh, I haven't been here for a while... I need to do some serious cleaning once I've done what I've come here to do." Hopefully, I won't have to deal with the Maniacles... I've had my fill of them for a lifetime. All I had to do was prepare and I could begin my own search.
     
  20. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    Whatever is a Power Armor?, nothing beats Isabella Thought Aeon at the moment they arrived the shack.

    His appearance was as usual bizarre, wearing mismatched clothes, however there was something special today.

    Pieces of metal, a very badly arranged armor covered his forearms, legs and a bit of his chest. It seemed as if he picked random pieces of debris and pasted it to create an armor. Those who didn’t knew it would find it strange, others like Pam who was already used to it, knew that was part of Aeon’s ability.

    He spent the whole night researching the extremely large and heavy weapon. It took more time than the usual as he didn’t had the blue prints to understand how it was arranged, yet understanding the materials on it was a simple task.

    Then after that it was easy work to simply break the weapon into pieces and rearrange it into a different form which served as protection and made it easier to be carried.

    As he get off the vehicle his nose picked the stench of the swamp. He quickly covered it with his hand.

    “It stinks, it stinks really bad!!! Or is that you didn’t took a shower again Pammy?”
     
  21. TheApprentice
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    "God damnit. Stay in the fucking boat." The commander said...nice and loud so Clayton would hear him

    "Maybe if I was Maniacles, I could hear you better, but nah." Clayton said casually as he walked past the commander into the shack.

    It was filthy in there. No, thats an understatement. It was like dirtier than two girls one cup, replacing the girls with literal pieces of shit. Whatever was on the walls, it was thick. Thicker than the flies inside, but barely. Not to mention that wherever there were flies, there were also maggots. Everywhere.

    On top of that was the smell...like a mound of adult diapers in a water treatment plant.

    "Who the fuck would shop here?" Clayton said, cringing. The poor bastard was a vampire, meaning his sense of smell was more acute.

    No attendant in sight, however. But there was what looked like an ice cream cooler with the glass door. But inside wasn't ice cream.

    Only human pulp; blood, bones, guts. All that good stuff.
     
  22. TheApprentice
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    Moments later, Clayton was seen leaving with the commander following close behind. Clayton got slightly annoyed when his feet sunk into the mud as he got close to the boat.

    "Fucking swamp." He mumbled.

    "There's a fork in the thicket of trees ahead." The commander announced "One way leads to the village, another leads to a popular fishing spot for these hicks right outside the village. If we all split and go different ways, we can flank em. First off, I want all the mercs from Nevada to get on the same raft and take right, leading to the entrance of the town. The rest of you come with me around."

    It was obvious the mercs here didn't like anyone from ROSE or sent here from Nevada, and the mission was being set up to ensure the safety of the Louisiana mercs, but creating conflict right here with the commander would just botch the whole mission before it started.

    And so, the ROSE mercs and any others sent from HQ were put on a raft with a couple average mercs who wouldn't fit in the other raft. Clayton suspected these mercs were either very experienced and trusted to survive in the most dangerous route, or they were the fuck ups and this was a plan to dispose of them. Regardless, Clayton kept his rifle at the ready, watching the water and trees all around for movement. It was quiet all aside of them, and very obvious they were no longer in the civilization most people were accustomed to.

    Fog rolled in, making it difficult to see too far. More shack like buildings started to appear, however, but seemed abandon. At one point, Clayton could hear gun shots in the far distance. As soon as he noticed those sounds, the raft hit dry land. Or at least, too dry to float on. Run down homes and shacks could barely be made out in the fog before them.
     
  23. halisme
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    "My good fellows, might I enquire if thine knows where a smithy is?" He asked the mercenaries, holding the small knife and throwing it up in the air before catching it and repeating the process. The gore earlier hadn't bothered him. He'd been in battles where the goal was to leave people looking like that, cut from shoulder to hip with organs and viscera spilling onto the field.

    Those were the good old days, back when the world was so much bigger and there was a dragon over each hill. Admittedly it wasn't so much a dragon and more a creature summoned by whatever cult had taken over the hill and sacrificed thirteen maidens within a circle of blood and hemlock. Either way it was a better fight. Now though, arquebuses and hand cannons had advanced to a state that had thoroughly ruined warfare.

    He shook his head, waiting for them to reply before their raft drifted away and he sighed before turning to the others. "So, who are my brothers and sisters in arms today?" His question was punctuated with a thud as the raft hit land and he leapt off and waited for the others.
     
  24. mmarage
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    mmarage The Detective Contributor

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    I had begun getting prepared down in the shop below. I had slipped on an ornate black and silver bracelet. I slowly felt new energy and strength course through my body. "Alchemy still amazes me..." I twisted the bracelet around my wrist slightly. Creating accessories to enhance the body's natural and magical abilities... I was looking through the rest of my things, strapping a black box behind my back, just above my waist, when the phone began ringing. "Oh." I quickly rushed over and picked up the phone. "Hello?"

    “Hello, darling, is this the Nobunaga Detective Agency?” A woman’s voice said. “Oh, who am I kidding, of course it is -- I don’t do wrong numbers. Listen, I have a job for you, detective. Money isn’t an issue, but time is. Interested?”

    "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm actually about to head out, may I ask what this is pertaining to?" I glanced at the clock, I needed to hurry, they'd be conducting their search in just a few hours...

    “Heading out? Good, I hope that means you’re ready to travel,” the woman said. “I’m looking for a dangerous group of people; a cult, really. Maniacles is looking for them as well, and snatching up every two-bit merc they can find, but didn’t have the common courtesy to send me an invite. Me, of all people. I should’ve been the first person they contacted,” she scoffed. "They should’ve been on their knees, begging for my help.”

    Through the phone, he could hear a pill bottle rattling. After a pause, the woman spoke again. “That’s fine,” she said calmly. “They’ll get my help, more help than they’ll know what to do with. The streets will run red with my help and, once I’m done, we’ll never hear from this cult again. All I need you to do, detective, is get me there. The name’s Evangeline, by the way. I’m sure you’ve heard of me.”

    He probably knew who she was long before she said her name. Five years ago, a dozen mages left Morgana Academy, one of the leading schools of magic, to join a cult. They were lured by promises of power, but it didn’t last. The students were found a week later, locked in a filthy cellar. None were harmed… not physically, anyway, but the cultists who had taken them in were brutally slaughtered, execution style.

    ROSE conducted an investigation and concluded that the cultists had been ripped apart by immensely powerful telekinetic forces, their limbs and organs littered the room, spelling out a warning to anyone who dared threaten students from that school again… as well as a warning to the students not to join any fucking cults. Idiots.

    Naturally, the school’s headmistress, who was a powerful telekinetic, fell under suspicion. No evidence could be found linking her to the scene, but the incident and the inquisition that followed was all anyone in the world of magic talked about. If anyone didn’t already know who Evangeline Albrite was, they certainly did now. Some say she got away with murder, while others say she set a precedent for how the mage community should deal with cults and dark magic. Either way, the negative publicity forced her to resign, for the school’s sake.

    But that’s all ancient history. "Now all I want to hear from you, detective, is where shall we meet?" the woman said pleasantly.

    Honestly... I hadn't heard of her. At least not until a year ago when I began my investigations. Apparently this woman had killed members of a cult that had tried to induct her students into their practices. At least, if this is the right woman I'm talking to. "Narcissistic tendencies. I heard a pill bottle, it seemed like she was getting a little manic there, she's likely in the further stages of magically induced insanity, she's dealing with it using anti-psychotics, so it's likely that she's a powerful sorceress. Final analysis... dangerous, could be a liability." I cleared my throat. "A-Ah, sorry, I can't accept your money. After all, I'm performing my own personal investigation into this matter."

    D-did he just turn her down? No, impossible. That couldn't be. Evangeline laughed. "Oh, so you'll do it for free?" she said sweetly. That's what he meant, right? Of course that's what he meant. "Marvelous. And they say chivalry is dead. So, where would you like me to meet you? Normally, I would ask you to come to me, darling, but I'm feeling magnanimous today."

    "Actually ma'am, what I'm trying to say is that I'm already working on this case, and I do not need to include anyone else, if I did, it could potentially harm someone, by that, I mean you, especially due to the dangers involved of this case. I do apologize for any misunderstandings." I hoped that she would take it well, but if I was right about the narcissistic tendencies and her mania, then it's likely that I'm about to get my ear chewed off... or she'll do something drastic.

    The woman sighed. "And now we've stumbled across the downside of chivalry," she said sadly. The disappointment and condescension in her voice were palpable. "Look, detective, I'lla make this very easy for you. I'm going to find this cult. That is a certainty. Somewhere along the way, I suspect I will find you, too. Question is, what will I do when we meet?" She laughed good-naturedly. "I'm not prone to fits of violence, detective, despite what they say. But, if I were, would you really want to offend such a person? Such a person could potentially harm someone, and by that I mean you. Such are the dangers involved in working with --or refusing to work with-- such a person. Do you follow my meaning, detective?"

    I couldn't help but smile. "Madam Eva. I will be calling you Eva, easier that way." My voice was cold. "Do you really think that I'm afraid of you...?" I began chuckling, it was cold, devoid of emotion, dead, in a way. "I've been hunted like an animal. I've nearly lost my life tens, if not hundreds of times. I've been to hell and back. I've seen things that would make it impossible for you to sleep at night, if ever again. No. By making this threat, you should know that you should be watching your own back. Imagine if I look into that little cult business of yours five years ago? I mean, as I understand it, the police never found what they were looking for, they could never quite pin it to you. But, if I begin looking into it... just know this. You will be caught. You will admit to your sins. Then, you will pay for them. Not with your life mind you, I find killing to be a messy business, no reason to take a life if you don't need to. No, I'll make it oh so much worse. You'll rot away for the rest of your life, in a tiny, dirty cell, into obscurity, the world moving along just fine without you, slowly forgetting the name Evangeline Albrite. Now, you may wonder how I could possibly do what they couldn't so many years before. The answer is simple, my dear. I'm the detective." I waited for her response, a grin stretched across my face.

    "Oh, you're threatening me now?" she said pleasantly. "And after I've been nothing but civil with you. Tsk, tsk, tsk, detective." She laughed. "You were recommended highly, but I see that praise was misplaced. With that attitude, it's no wonder you've led such a miserable life, wrought with danger. If your detective work is as sloppy as your words, I can see you're not the man for the job, dear." She sighed again, as if bored with all of this. "Like so many things, it appears the only way this will be done right is if I do it myself. Surely, I can find better places to spend fifty thousand dollars... buuuut, if you happen to grow a brain, you know where to reach me, darling. It could be fun," she purred. "Tchao, Joey. Happy hunting." The line went dead.

    I put the phone back on the hook. "Well, guess I have another psychopath on my case... great." I sighed, I truly hoped that woman wouldn't come along. I mean, it'd be a pain to try and catch her in an act she committed 5 years ago. But, I could probably do it with enough time, but unfortunately for me, that wasn't something that I had enough of. At least if anything happens to me, if she kills me, there'll be a recording of her threatening me...
     
  25. TheApprentice
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    As they walked from the shore and into the fog covered town, everyone was on alert. There were no specific orders on what to do if they actually ran into someone. They were probably expected to shoot first and ask questions days later. That was how Maniacles worked, Clayton figured. While ROSE was focused on keeping order against the supernatural forces and by products of them, Maniacles only cared about profit.

    The buildings in the town were like an abominable mix of decapitated buildings and shacks. In some small areas was bits of asphalt road and sidewalk that seemed to just be laying there in the middle of all the mud next to homes and shops built of run down buildings and shanty material. It made the couple mercs with them wonder what the hell happened here or how the equipment to build even moved here to make the partial pavement. On a clear day, the town would probably look like a typical hick town like you see in the movies, dirt roads and trash everywhere. More than once they walked past piles of scrap metal next to homes and partially buried tires.

    The eerie sound of a little girl giggling echoed , as a tiny human silhouette could hardly be made through the fog running off deeper into the fog. Likely a trap. Obviously, definitely a trap, thought Clayton. Apparently not as obvious to the mercenaries though, as two took off in the direction of the shadow, followed by the third, after an awkward pause, leaving only the ones from Nevada/ROSE.

    Clayton's past experience with fog was that shootout in Texas, but regardless of how long back this memory was, he learned from then not to rush in. They follow tricks like that and chances were some hick cultists would pop out of the windows and doors surrounding them, guns trained on their heads,

    "Maybe we best split up and see whats really going on. Would be better if we could see a damn thing." Clayton had a point. The mercs hadn't vanished behind any object or building, but into the fog. There could be nothing in front of them, a clear road all the way to a dead end on the other side of town, but they wouldn't see more than the first couple meters in front of them.

    There were no clear roads either to make the "shape" of the routes people took. Any cars they saw up to this point looked rusted busted and no longer in use. Clayton walked a bit to the left but tried to see if he could make out the mercs who ran off or any building where an ambush may be set up.
     

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