THEM (Chapter 2: THEM's Hand)

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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby WhiteinBlack on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:39 pm

June 3rd, 1210 Location: Dustin's Shop Time: 8:46am

Dustin had spent most of this morning building and fixing weapons and he occasionally got a customer. But he was still new in town and not many knew of his store. However, Dustin did find out where to get the best materials fairly cheaply.

The spotted canine took notice of the time and wrapped his completed works and placed them with a crate. He hefted the crate and took it out of his workshop to his shop. Opening the shop, Dustin made himself busy amongst his merchandise, polishing, restocking, and cleaning.

At about 10:00 am his data-scroll began to ring 'Now who could that be?' he thought as he grabbed it and said "The Forges of Mar Dustin speaking. How may I help you?"

"Good morning, Dustin. I hope Dena has been pleasant for you and your business."

"It's been fairly good thus far, thanks for asking. So, what can I do for you?"

"Well to tell you the truth, I wish I had a few more customers but it’s been going well, and I’m starting to make money." Dustin said as he thought 'Man. This guy likes to ask questions.' He moved to the crate he had place on the counter and took a rifle from the box.

"Well then. I have a proposition that can benefit both of us. Interested?"

Dustin paused in his movements for a moment. "...I'm listening."

"I represent an organization that needs some work done. The Dena Police Department is delving into information they shouldn't. We need that information destroyed.”

There brief moment was of silence before the voice asked. "Are you willing to do it?"

Dustin's hand began to twitch like he was pulling the trigger of the rifle he held. Grinning, he replied "How do you want it destroyed? Also, what is your casualty limit?"

"The Police Department is a four-story building on North Market Lane. What people don't know is there is a basement level. This were they keep their Memory Units. Due to previous illegal business actions, the department monitors everything, every transaction and action on and off the street."

"You need to get to these units. Download as much info as possible from them then short-circuit them. Destroying them before hand leaves evidence. Short-circuit them, and then destroy them how you please. Minimum Casualties, if possible.
"We take no responsibility for your capture, if it happens."

"Not to worry. It won’t happen. But what do I get out of this?” He placed the rifle on an empty wall mount before he returned to the counter.

"We will provide a substantial cash reward as well as paid advertisement of your business. Maybe an extra supplier, if you do well."

Dustin grabbed his the hilt of his blade hanging from his belt. "It will be over at 1:00am tomorrow till then this call never happened." Dustin then hung up and continued to empty the contents of the crate.

A few moments later, a rapping resounded at the entrance of the shop. ‘Oh good, customers.' Dustin yelled "Come in. It’s unlocked!"

It was small boy entered the store, a red and yellow deer-like boy to be precise. Maybe age ten or eleven. "Is a Mr. Dustin here?" He held a small-sized brown package in his hands.

"Ya, that would be me." Dustin put on a smile and continued. "So, what can I do for you?"

The boy ran up to the counter. "This is for you." The boy set the package on the counter, and then gazed at the weapons of destruction about him.

'I always hate the mystery bag of goodies that I get on these jobs' Dustin grabbed some candy from under the counter and handed it to the boy "Thanks. Now get out of here and go find your parents."

The kid ran off with his blue-colored sucker that he hastily put in his mouth. He waved good-bye as he ran out the shop.

Dustin then opened the bag carefully. Inside were a small data scroll and a smaller cylindrical device. On top of them was a letter. He opened up the letter, and read it.

"The data scroll has Schematic of the Department, once activate the info will only last 2 hours before erasing. The smaller device is portable memory drive. It will beep when full. Don't lose either."

He flipped it over wondering if there was signature. Instead, the back had another message.
"Don’t tamper with them.”

'Well can’t say that I haven’t dealt with business like this before. Better keep them on hand.' Dustin placed both of the items in his vest and continued with the day as usual. Till later that night anyway.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby MandyHabato on Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:14 pm

June 3rd, Jade Blue Inn, 16:10

Lumi was wet from crossing the river. She knew how to do it, but honestly, it was a pain every time. Wet and sopping she plodded back into town, reviewing her next informant. The receiver, a Chiisai or something, was someone who looked more harmless and nicer than the other two. She huffed a breath of relief, as she walked through the town.

By the time she had reached the Jade Blue Inn again, she was dry, but her hair was all tangled which annoyed her, but she carried on. Maybe Chiisai would have a comb. She came in again to be met by the grumpy man who ran the desk, and asked where Chiisai was staying. After a grumbled response, she went to the room where the other girl was staying, and knocked carefully. "H-hello, is, um, anybody there?"

Haru popped her head down in the window, having heard something. A visitor? Was Chiisai back? Haru didn't know, but she climbed in and stood on the bed, watching the door.

Chiisai walked in the inn, a bag hung in her hand. She quickly started for the stairs, deep in thought. "Well, got some snacks, and not really any job opportunities. I'll start earlier tomorrow. There has got to be work somewhere. Maybe the docks..."

She didn't even notice the girl in front of her room until she got to the top of the stairs. She hesitated for a second, studying her. Shen she walked up next to the girl, smiling gently.
"Sorry I was gone. Did you want something?" She asked, nodding her head to the door of her room.

"Um, yes." Even though this girl was more, well, kinder looking, she was still a stranger. It was always awkward talking to strangers. "I um, kinda think my organization, or rather, um, my job, wants to employ you." She looked around for anybody else, but more with her eyes. She didn't want to look weird.

"May I come in?"

Chiisai smiled sweetly, unlocking and opening the door. "Of course." But in her mind, she was much less put together.

"Oh My Gosh! A job offer comes to me after I went out looking for one! Someone's looking out for me!"

As Chiisai entered, Haru smiled and called a greeting. She ran over to her and up to her shoulder. Then she saw the new person with her. Haru stared at Lumi with curiosity from Chiisai's shoulder. Then she realized she wasn't supposed to be seen, and hopped to the bed and into the bag still laying there.

Chiisai sat down on the bed, waiting until the girl closed the door.

"So, what is it that your here for again? Detail now, please." She smiled again, remembering the girl's nervous stuttering. "And you don't have to be nervous or scared. I won't hurt you, or anything silly. Just act like I'm a friend, if that helps."

"T-thank you, I've been dealing with lots, um, lots of people today." Lumi decided to take advantage of the hospitality the lady was giving her and took a seat in the chair nearest the bed. She was almost done, the day was almost complete, just this one left! But the lady seemed so sweet, why would THEM have a job for her, of all people?

She rarely came here, and what she knew about the lavish hotel was from stories of people, but it was apparently very popular. The rooms were spotless, and it must be true that the lady had just come here from far away. Or somewhere in any case, Lumi had skimmed over that in her haste.

When Chiisai brought up the option of considering her a friend, she thought about it and said, "I'm sorry, I don't, um, think that t-that would, um, help." She was fidgeting again, "I-I'm bad at talking one on one, and, um, uh, well, you see..." She trailed off. When she regained composure she felt frazzled. Surely this kind lady was in pain just listening to her stutters!

"Um, ma'am?" She asked feebly, "I come from the organization called, um, THEM. Its an acronym apparently. I, um, am, um supposed to give, well, assignments, and well, how do I put this... the stakes are, um, life, or death. If you complete them, usually you are, um, rewarded lavishly, otherwise..." She trailed off again, trying to find something else to look at besides the other girl's eyes.

They stopped when they spotted a ryu neko, She knew that they weren't allowed here, but she didn't mind, it gave her something else to look at. "Um, well, ma'am, could I use my power?" She paused, then continued, "It feels more, um, natural, yes that's the word, natural to, um, s-speak with." She kept her gaze fixed on the ever moving ryu to keep her mind off what the lady might respond with.

"Life or death?! What would be so important? But...the money..."

Chiisai couldn't help but glance at her special pouch sitting on the bed. It was more-or-less flat. She usually strived for it to be full and round; plenty of money inside to send home. But that was getting harder by the day.

"F-fine, you may use your power, if it doesn't hurt anything."

"Surely this girl is so nervous and stuttering because of these THEM people. It certainly sounds serious."

"Um, okay, be ready," This was the third time that Lumi had activated her power today and her head was feeling a touch woozy. Still she found that the opening, her ghostly and haunting yet beautiful wail opening the way for Chiisai's mouth to be force open and reveal her tune.

Her aria began with the frill of a flute, an alternation between two notes that seemed to last a great deal of time until finally, the music moved on. The sounds changed to long low note from the woodwind instrument but slowly the tune got faster and more glad. Lumi didn't know what this represented as the overall tune represents a person's life, but it didn't matter right now.

Lumi opened her mouth to began the flute duet, and pictures started to form in Chiisai's mind. Lumi's eyes were closed, focusing her attention on the pictures and feelings she would be sending to her customer, she willed it to be right on the first try.

The sound of the flutes clashing sent pictures to Chiisai's head, pictures of a job that Lumi had for her. She sent a picture of a man, a shady man holding a data scroll. She turned her focus on the scroll instead of the man veiled in darkness. The hand clasping the scroll faded away and the scroll opened with words. These words explained to Chiisai that the man worked for THEM, however he also worked for another organization.

A double agent.

The picture, a frozen frame, now changed angles, showing his other hand. Within his other hand was a drive. Lumi spoke the next part in something like words, but clearly it was a still a flute making the sound. The drive held hack programs from the BUGS infiltration system that THEM uses. Lumi shifted the scene to a small apartment where the mongoose man slept. She had a figure like Chiisai grab the drive off of the man's desk, and pocket it.

Lumi hesitated with the next part, but she continued, showing the lady's figure holding a silenced springer to the man's head, killing him. The image faded and Lumi collapsed again. Huffing and puffing, gasping for air, the fox asked, "Nothing is known on the man's powers. Do you have any questions?" She struggled to her feet, her head was feeling like it was lacking blood, the staticy feeling clouding up her vision. She felt her way to the chair again and waited for a response.

Chiisai hadn't moved since Lumi stopped. Her mind was racing too much. The images made the job seem easy enough, until it came to the springer.

"I-i have to k-"

She choked on her words. She grasped for the words and feelings she was looking for. Finally, she got her words out, but a slightly higher pitch.

"I have to kill someone?!"

She closed her eyes and started shaking her head. Her hands came up and cradled her face.

"Kill someone or be killed? Is this corporation that serious...that powerful?" Apparently.

Lumi looked away in shame. She knew that she shouldn't have to feel it, it wasn't her fault, but still, she hated to be the harbinger of horror. "I-I'm sorry, b-but yes, that's how it is. I don't, um, don't know how they choose members, but, once they, um, choose there is no escape. Those who run are tracked down and killed... S-same, um, with those who disobey." Lumi paused but then turned on her powers.

No picture came this time, but Lumi wanted a private conversation. She expressed what she thought to Chiisai, that she believed that few members, she showed pictures of Kiaran, Suraru, and Luna, knew of the others existence within THEM. Then she showed a picture of herself, and drew links between the members, and that Lumi was the messenger, the sole link between them. Her power cut out prematurely.

"T-that's what I think anyway." Lumi stopped again, then said, "Um, anything else I can, um, clarify?"

Chiisai didn't raise her head, sucking in all the info. It was coming a little fast, but she was taking it. This was just something that would take a hour or two to digest.

She thought of what would happen if she didn't do it. She couldn't leave her family without the small income she sent. And she didn't want her little brother, Johnny, to have that experience. To lose his sister.

Finally she raised her head, eyes wet and red. She would do the job, but that didn't mean she had to like it.

"F-fine. Where d-does.." She drifted off, her question shocking her again.

"I'd have never thought I would have to ask where somebody lives, just to kill them."

The thought didn't help, but she was pretty sure she got enough out to get the message across.

"Um..." Lumi muttered while she found words, "Uh, do you, um, have a piece of paper? I can write it down."

While she waited, she mentioned another thing that she had almost forgotten. Really this must have been like torture, what was with this system... "Um... ma'am, the time limit is 2 days. He's only staying that long, if that." The girl looked blown away. That was how she felt at least when she found a cell phone on her doorstep with one message.

"Obey."

It was truly the most shocking thing in her life when, the moment she had picked up the phone that it started texting her instructions. It was how she got caught up in this. It was also why she could go to her dance lessons, so she didn't complain.

No, she didn't complain, but still it nagged at her, that she was ruining perfectly good lives.

Chiisai looked up again. "Huh? Oh, yeah, I think."

She then grabbed her bag, gently rolling Haru onto the bed. She rummaged a minute before pulling a ripped quarter of a poster from her bag.

"Here..."

She handed Lumi the paper then absentmindedly started to pet Haru.
The little spark ryuu-neko rarely was calm, but the immense discomfort radiating from her master was hard to miss. She climbed up into her lap, rolling into Chiisai's stomach and onto her back.

Chiisai grinned a little at the funny action, petting her friend's belly. Haru always did this to cheer her up, and she knew just when to do it as well. Plus, it showed how much she trusted Chiisai, exposing her soft and vulnerable stomach to her. As well as how much she trusted her protection, doing it in front of a stranger.

Either that, or the little spark could tell how much discomfort the little dreamkeeper was trying not to show.

Lumi tentatively took the piece of paper from the girl's hands and wrote an address on it. The fox got up, and made movements for the door. It had been a long, hard day. "If that is all, I'm, um, going to go now."

Chiisai looked at her, nodding. "Yeah, sure. Uh, but, if it's not stupid to ask, any idea why they chose ME? I mean, those other people seem more....fit for this job." She looked back down at Haru. "I've never really even fought anyone. So, why me if I'm so.....inexperienced?"

The word wasn't really what she was thinking of. She used it because there wasn't just a single word for what she WAS thinking of.

Lumi just shook her head and said, as she walked out, "I-I really don't know how they choose. I'm sorry I can't be of more, um, help." Then she closed the door and headed for her home. Her job was finally over, and she wouldn't have to worry for a while.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby SerafinoDragonTamer on Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:06 pm

June 3rd, 1210
2359 hrs
Denian Confinement and Correctional Facility: The Roof

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two air ryuunekos were playing around on the dark roof of the CnC when one was suddenly pulled into a shadow.
"Myah?" the other approached the shadow slowly.
Suddenly, the other gave a cry. "AAHHHH!!!!" it flew out of the shadows haphazardly, it's left wing trailing blood. The other was not far behind.

Out of the darkness strutted an air-dark ryuuneko, it's velvety black fur on it's face shimmering with blood. "Myeh..." The animal licked it up and trembled happily.

Above him, a blue dragon with a strange looking springer strapped to his back emerged. "Okay, firstly, you're gonna blow our cover. Secondly, I fed you already. And thirdly, you always like to make me, a vegetarian, squirm when you try to eat other nekos..."

Alerio ignored him and continued to lap up the blood. The Dragon smirked and shook his head. Hoisting his rifle, he clicked a barrel magazine into it. Within said magazine were around fifty 'SCar' rounds. Specially designed to penetrate armor or walls more than two feet thick and still be able to shred a target's body into slime.

Kiaran peered into his scope and flicked it on, the sight was suddenly filled with all kinds of colors. He scanned around and fiddled with the focus.

"Bingo..." he knelt and aimed into the roof. There were many guards, but they were of no threat. Each one carried a nightstick and a springer pistol. So Kiaran continued scanning around.

"What to do, what to do..." he scanned over to the heavy security cells and found it much more heavily guarded. "And again... Bingo."

Kiaran agilely bound across the roof silently to that cell block. He then landed on the wall and his halo faintly glowed above his head. As a result, he stuck to the shadows painted across the wall.

Remembering back to his time in Anduruna and their ships, he began to hum a sea shanty tune to himself.

Phasing through the wall, he leisurely strolled along. He knew the positions of the guards and if he was correct, the next corner would have about five or six guards. All invisible and, this time, heavily armed with springer shotguns and knives.

As he turned the corner, he raised his voice. "What do we do with a stupid guard? What do we do with a stupid guard? What do we do with a stupid guard? Ear-lie in the mornin'." Kiaran heard the guards fumbling with their guns and then he heard the click of a trigger being tensed.

He dodged up the wall as a spray of shot plastered where he was just standing. Kiaran continued his tune, now that the guards exposed their position. "Way hay!" He shot one guard as he peered through his infrared scope. "Shoot their heads off! Way hay!" He shot two more. "Shoot their heads off! Way hay!" He leapt amongst the last two and slashed both of their throats with his flowood knife. "Knife their heads off! Ear-lie in the mornin'..."

Kiaran smirked as the guards' bodies slowly became visible. Then he frowned when he noticed where his aim guided his rounds. The first guard was shot in the hip. The other two he shot were in the leg and arm. They were dead of course. SCar rounds were also designed to kill if there was a direct hit on almost any part of the body. But Kiaran was not pleased with the results of his gunmanship.

"Alerio!" Kiaran barked. The Dark Air ryuuneko sped around the corner and sat at his master's feet. But as soon as he saw the bodies of the guards, he started to twitch. Kiaran noticed and sighed. "Okay... You may have some... But wait until I am not looking."

Kiaran then turned to find Roman. And when he turned the corner, Alerio tore into his meal...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 4th, 1210
0108 hrs
Denian Confinement and Correctional Facility: Maximum Security Block Alpha

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kiaran removed his Thermal Scope and used it to look around. But he could not find this 'Roman' fellow or the warden. But he did manage to kill several more guards. And to conserve his own weapon, he took the pistols of fallen foes and used those instead. They did pull to the right however.

The Dragon dispatched another group of guards and scowled at his weapon, "Stupid guards don't even know how to maintain a weapon..." He emptied the gun on a fallen guard, took up another pistol, and continued.

Not long after, and several more groups of guards later, Kiaran located a strangely built cell.
"Interesting..." he phased into the room, which was pitch black by the way, and looked around with his scope. Curled up in the corner was a man.

"Ah... Roman... At last." Kiaran approached and held out his hand. "Come... We must--"

The man leapt at him two knives slashing expertly at the Dragon. Kiaran dodged back and clicked his scope onto his rifle. "You're no 'Roman...' Are you, Warden Paul?"

The man snapped his fingers and the lights came on. The Warden's face came into veiw from thin air. "Why, yes... I am not Roman, demon... And I have heard of you. You're the one they call Kiaran. Yes?"

Kiaran smirked and hefted his rifle. "You hear correctly. I am he."

The Warden smiled. "There is a bounty on your head that would make even the Viscount of Anduruna drool..."

"Yes, I've been bragging about that for a long time. Now... As I have done with bounty hunters and attempted captors alike... Welcome to Hell, would you like an opportunity to capture the Demon and reap the rewards?"

The Warden, having heard of Kiaran's famous challenger speech, replied. "I accept the opportunity to Banish you."

Kiaran smirked, it had been a long time since his last challenger. "Do you acknowledge you risk your soul being devoured by the Nightmares of old? And you will almost certainly suffer an agonizing death should you lose?"

The Warden hesitated. "I accept. May God have mercy upon the defeated..."

The Dragon laughed. "Very well, Mortal. Select our method of battle."

"I choose hand-to-hand. Powers use and sheer skill." The warden tossed his knives aside.

Kiaran smiled. "Your selection pleases me." Kiaran tossed his gun and knife aside as well. "Begin!"

Paul immediately disappeared and Kiaran spread his wings to create a shadow beneath him. He felt the warden try to pry it apart. But he held firm. He quickly formed a bow and arrow from the dark matter. He leapt from the ground and fired the arrow at the light. It began to dissolve in the brightness, but it held and destroyed the bulb. The room was once again bathed in darkness.

Kiaran's eyes glowed menacingly as his halo lit up. "Warden Paul... Death awaits to embrace you..."

The Warden, still unfaltering in the threat of death, found one of his knives on the floor. He grabbed it and threw it at Kiaran. "NO!!!" He shouted. "IT IS YOU WHO WILL DIE!!!"

Kiaran was impaled by the long blade. He looked at the hilt protruding from his chest and laughed. He removed a small flash light from his belt and tossed it to the Warden. The light clicked on and the Warden saw his knife. It was protruding from a dripping mass of shadow in the shape of Kiaran. With eyes glowing like hot coals.

"W-what..." the Warden stuttered as he fell back, dropping the flashlight. "W-what a-are you?"

Kiaran smiled as he pinned the Warden to the ground. "I am but a messenger for Serapis. And your soul will be the fodder for the nightmares of old..."

And with that, the Dragon phased a surgically pointed hand into the warden's chest. As he did so, the raccoon began to cough up blood and jerk violently.

His last moments before death were as follows.

Kiaran gently pulled Paul's heart out and showed the feebly beating organ to him. As he did, he laughed and spoke. "Enjoy eternity... Serapis will be pleased with your suffering..."

And with that, he convulsed one final time and died.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 4th, 1210
0203 hrs
Denian Confinement and Correctional Facility: Roman's Cell

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately for the now bloody armed Dragon, he had passed Roman's cell quite a ways back. So far back, it was right next to his first guard encounter. As a result, Alerio was sulking around the now fingerless bodies of his first group of guards.

Kiaran tossed the Warden's heart to the Ryuu-Neko and watched as he perked up and purred while tearing into the muscle. "I do suppose that you couldn't get past the armor, hmm?"

Alerio looked up for a moment and then went back to his meal.

Kiaran turned to the cell door and opened it.

Roman was leaning on the windowsill, staring out of the bars into the night sky. Without turning, he acknowledged Kiaran. "So... Come for my soul now, have you?"

Kiaran bowed respectfully. "It is not yet your time, Roman... Serapis has much in store for you... But for now, you are needed elsewhere..."

Roman turned and bowed to the Dragon. "Very well, messenger... Take me from this place. I would enjoy a drink of half decent fermentae..."

Kiaran led Roman out and onto the roof. Alerio following close behind.

Kiaran snapped his fingers and Alerio slithered up to his shoulder. "Alerio, go back home... You will see me soon..."

As the Dark-Air ryuu left, Kiaran picked Roman up and flew off toward the Jade Blue Inn.

Roman looked off into the distance. "Messenger... Serapis must trust your judgement..."

Kiaran didn't answer. He wasn't comfortable with this new face yet.

Roman smirked. "You don't have to answer for me to know... But let me ask you a question... Why does she allow you to work for THEM?"

After that, neither one of them talked before landing at the inn. But Kiaran had started to think about what Roman had asked. It was troubling him, but right now, he needed to finish the job. He fingered a pistol on his belt.

"Come, Roman... We have to talk..." Kiaran followed him into the inn.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby WhiteinBlack on Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:55 am

June 3rd,1210 Location: Outside the Outskirts Time: 4:24pm

Outside the Outskirts, Luna sat on a large outcropping of rock while she waited for Suraru to return. She took her time creating a plan of attack for the enemies they would so face. However, she had trouble since THEM provide so little information.

An orange-red cat suddenly dropped out from nowhere and landed on the rocks next to her

Luna looks up to see Suraru dusting off his hoodie and jeans. She smiled. "That was fast. So... shall we get moving? The sooner we find a place to camp for the night, the better."

"Yup, hop on my back" Suraru said as he turned around

Luna slung her own bag before climbing to an awaiting Suraru. Tentatively, she mounted Suraru’s back, wrapping her arms around his chest while he held her legs. "Well... shall we begin?" She asked.

Suraru’s light blue halo appeared and he rosed into the air before he began his flight toward the mountains. He flew at a frightening speed. Luna could only look down and her head behind Suraru’s or the wind would rip at her face

As the humanoid cat flew, he noticed the River Dianne. He also noticed a figure trying cross it. All he could tell before the figure passed below them that it was a girl. Luna also noticed the girl and looked down for a look, but fear arose as her hand move ever so slight. She pressed her body even tighter against Suraru’s. The thought that she could be sending an accidental message to him slightly embarrassed her and see loosed her hold somewhat.

"Wonder what she’s doing this far from the town."

"Probably just wandering around, try not to drop anything on her head" Suraru said focusing ahead.

Luna chuckled and said "You make it sound like we are doing a bombing run."The flying cat laughed.

Hours passed as they flew. Suraru stop once, only to rest shortly, before continuing on. It was late into twilight and the sun-moon was just about to disappear into the horizon when they arrived at their destination. Suraru pointed at a ledge that looked over a forest cliff edge many feet below."Alright, the gear is under some bushes there."

Luna couldn’t quite see as the wind battered her eyes, so she waited until Suraru slowed down and lower his altitude.

Upon arrive, Luna hoped off Suraru’s back and surveyed the area and rolled her eyes and said "Out of all places... what if it drops... Spirits.. I wish they hide it somewhere else." The area around them was a narrow ledge. Only a few trees grew up where they were, she dropped her bag on the ground and walks to the shrubs Suraru pointed out earlier.

Suraru walked over to wall of rock that outlined the ledge path and began to climb it. It was a short climb and at the top, the main mountain trail revealed itself. Just one look and he knew that it was a terrible place to walk, ambush points everywhere. 'Hopefully I can be the one ambushing this time' Suraru thought

He down the ledge and yelled "Luna, toss up the gear!"

Ruffling through the bushes, she hefted the large duffle bag, but nearly dropped it. "Damn! This bag is heavier than it looks."She muttered. A navy blue halo glowed dimly above her as her body mass shifted. Soon, she had large strong-looking shoulders and arms. Again, she lifted the bag, this time it was incredibly light.

"Incoming!" She cried then threw the bag, far into the air.

Suraru took a side step, watched the bag fall, then picked it up and started walking down the trail, but stopped. "Need help Luna?" he said.

"Nah. I'm good." Luna replied as she shifted her arms back to normal. She grabbed her own bag and began her climb up the rock wall. Suraru waited patiently as she caught up. "So… refresh me on our job again." She asked when she arrived at the road.

"Alright, so basically, we are going to find a good ambush point on this road. That is, if we don’t get ambushed by the ones were hunting." Suraru said passing some more bushes. It was well into the night and he could only the outline of the trees, but that was it. Anything could be hiding.

"Alright... anything about the target? Like how many of them are expected to show up.." said Luna as she gazed about the surroundings.

"Hmmm, from what I remember, I think there are three or seven guys. I can’t remember, either way, if we get the drop on them, we'll be able to take out a few before they can react... at least I can, I haven’t seen you fight" Suraru said eyeing some bushes.

"Hmmm... Since that’s the case... let’s find a high point where we can take them out without much trouble. We knowing they will be using the route given to us. So, where is the nearest high point?" asked Luna as she looks around.

"Looks like a nice cliff right there hanging out that wall, need help up?” Suraru replied, pointing at a faint looming rock in the darkness.

Luna looks at it. "Perfect. Let’s get up there. And I need your help with it..."

Suraru activated his power once more and lifted Luna up the crag before returned to get the bags. The cliff was perfect. Many trees, shrubs, and bushes surrounded them. Even if the enemy looked up with some light source, they would have immense amount of cover to hide in.

Suraru pulled out his sniper from the duffle bag. He did a quick routine check of the weapon. Making sure nothing would go wrong when he fired. Luna did the same. Once finished the two lay prone side by side, looking down at the mountain path.

"And now we play the waiting game" Said Suraru quietly.

"Indeed…” There was a pause. “Hmmm... I’ve got an idea... we can get them to stop. But... how good are you at taking a shot?" asked Luna.

"Very best shot in my class.” He said with pride. “I could probably stop them with my wind also" He said.

"Good... how long before they arrive?"

"Don’t know. Any second now, just wait" Suraru said

About fifteen quiet minutes passed by. The only noise came from the nocturnal wildlife. Suraru’s ears twitched. "I hear something, get ready.” Suraru said urgently

A new sound joined the night orchestra. The chopping of hooves and scuffling of feet could be heard.

"You get ready to fire..." said Luna and she removes the belt and unzips her suit to reveal a sizeable portion of her bust all the way down to her waist. She then slid down the near vertical rock wall. The sound of falling and loose rock emitted in the night, Luna hoped that their enemy did hear it. Landing on the road, she flopped on the ground and faking unconsciousness.

The orange cat almost had a nose bleed as he watched all this. 'That is effing hawt!' Suraru thought. The sound of clopping of hoofs reminded him of objective and he focused down the line of his scope.

"Can't believe how well we scored!" A voice cried from the mountain forest. A group of four electronic lights lit up the area around the wagon. Eight men could be seen within the light. Two rode Kerricks, three were in the wagon, and a fourth held the reins of the manekale pulling the wagon. The remaining two rode manekales and took the lead. From Suraru's viewpoint he could see the objective. Four crates were guarded by the three men in the wagons. All of them were very armed.


One of manekale riders, a young red and purple bear, talked rapidly to the rider next to him. "I just can't believe it. After this, I am so buying beach front property! We're go-" The rider next to him, a grey macaw-like bird with a green eye patch, quickly turned the bear. "SHUT IT, Kane!" His voice was filled with anger. "You've been yakking ever since we got the Oxmindite. Yes, we are lucky, for the hundredth time. But I get to decide who gets what!" He placed emphasis on 'I'

"Sorry, boss..." the Bear looked down at his reins shameful. “You better be. If wasn't for you power and your shot. We would have one less man to split the loot!"

"Sorry, Boss." The bear flinched at the harsh words and fear filled him. The Boss sighed his frustration. "Look." He said much calmer. "I know you're excited. So are we. But I need you to have more control of your emotions. You're my best man, you should act like it."

Suraru laughed inside his mind at the conversation. It was familiar to him

Kane smiled at the leader. "Thanks." Kane twisted his head and squinted ahead. "Hey, Boss. What's that?" A large lump could be seen at the center of the road.

The parrot squinted with his good eye. "Don't know." He raised a hand, and directed it at the object. Two men emerged from the darkness of the woods, rifles raised. They cautiously approached the object. There have been traps set by bandits for bandits, he had to be sure. The both reached the object and whispered amongst themselves shortly before one announced "It's a woman and she's out of it!"

"A woman?" Boss said to himself. He looked at his second in commander. "Go check it out."

"Ready yourselves, men." Boss order the rest. "It could be a trap."

A series of clicks and shuffling feet could be heard. Suraru readied his own rifle staying as silent as possible. Luna continues to play dead, but she mentally readied herself; waiting for the moment she would active her power. Suraru aimed at two guys standing in a perfect line next to Luna’s figure.

Kane turned his mount so its flank faced the two men and the unconscious figure. She was very pretty and very…exposed. "Any injuries?" A wolf man shook his head. "None that we can see." Kane worried. "Boss. I am not liking this."

The boss thought for a moment. "Shoot her."

Suraru slowly squeezed on the trigger, two men fell behind Kane

"CRAP." Kane cried. He reeled the mankale back to the wagon

"Find that shooter!" order the leader!

Suraru quickly took aim at another, shot, and missed. Thankfully his bullets were hard to trace, but the missed shot could give his location. He took another shot, and a kerrick rider fell silently. The kerrick just stood there, unperturbed. Finally, Suraru aimed at the leader

A green halo appeared above the leader. For second, he sat there. Then he looked up straight at the ledge were the sniper was and grinned. "Gotcha." The plants around the sniper began to move. Bush rustled violently as they mutated and grew at an incredible rate. Believing he was being flanked, Suraru instinctively rolled to the side trying to avoid an unseen blow. It did him no good.

Bramble vines and they launched themselves at the orange cat. They wrapped themselves around his body, restricting his movements. They began to squeeze tighter and tighter. "You shouldn't have messed with me." the leader announced.

Meanwhile, Luna opened her eyes and her halo formed. She shifted to her arms and legs and jumped 3 stories high. As she landed in the ground, incredibly close to the clustered bandits, she slams her fist into the ground causing a shock wave of force sending the bandits flying in random directions, disoriented.

Buying his men time to collect themselves, Kane whipped out his rifle and fired at the not- unconscious woman.

Luna heard the shot and she dodged it just slightly as it grazed her left arm and drew blood. "Damn it!" she looks at where Suraru is and sees him wrestling with…plants? She shifts her left arm into a whip and latches on to the ledge and pulled herself towards him.

Suraru continued to struggle against the painful bonds, regretting to not bring a knife with him.

The macaw noticed the woman leaping into the air with a whip like arm to her hidden friend. He smirked. 'Too easy.' His remaining men continue to fire at the woman until she was out of sight.

When Luna reached Suraru, she changed both hands to claws as she slice the branches and yanked Suraru away. "Well... what's plan B?"

Suraru gasped “Can’t think, we need to bail" he grabbed weapon and rose to his feet. Suddenly, more brambles appeared from the surrounding growth. They seize black-grey cat and wrapped around her body. The ones she tore apart just grew longer, replacing their length and attacked Suraru.

The boss just laughed at the unseen battle. Just give up, you two. I'll make it quick if you do." he shouted.


Suraru used his wind to try and push the vines away, failing. Instead, he jumped up into air, using his power to stay afloat and looked for a location. He hoped Luna would be fine.

The parrot growled in irritation as one of his victims was escaping his grasp.

Luna looks at Suraru and said "I hope you do not mind!" her halo starts to get brighter as she focus and lets out a burst of wind equivalent to a jet blast with her being the point of origin. The blast point caused the vines that are latched to her to break and she took this chance to move out of the way as she uses the wind to boost her jump ability.

The boss was fuming now. He fumed his anger into his order. "KANE! LIGHT THEM UP." Pointing at the airborne figures.
The bear's red halo appeared and his hands burned with a blue fire. "YES! HAHAHA" He shot bolts of fire at the figures. Flying at incredible speed.

Suraru looked behind him, wondering what the leader was yelling at; he yelped as he saw the fiery threat. He sidestep, or side-flew, out of the way, but his arm and leg was hit with the bolts. The pain was enough to force out of his power. The air currents that held above vanished and he fell, slamming onto the hard ground of the road.

Luna watched him fall and grimaced. "This is starting to look bad…" She then noticed the bear laughing as he used his power trying cook her with blue flames. She grinned and allowed herself get hit by the flame.

“HA! Direct hit!” The second-in command cheered. The parrot looked to his seven remaining men. "Three of you find the other. The rest of you guard the wagon.”

The bandits organized themselves, according to their orders.

Appearing from the darkness of the sky, the beautiful cat woman landed gracefully on the ground in a crouch. She flexed her hands as she arose to her feet with a huge grin her face.

"Thanks, hon. I needed that..." Both her hands ignited into blue flames as she aimed it at the rest of the goons and set them ablaze.

The Boss clenched his hands in a tight fury. “KILL THE WHORE!” He roared.

The four remaining men, three atop the wagon, and the last still on his Kerrick unleashed their springers on the woman. Kane continued to use his own fire against the woman, the plants around her erupted into life and reached for Luna.

Luna simply set her entire body on fire, killing the unnatural vegetation. Kane’s own fire simply increase the intensity of her heat causing most of the springers rounds to melt away before even touching her. Luna dashed towards them and blasting them with volleys of fire.

Fear ran through Boss. His plants were useless and Kane's fire was doing nothing. "Ke-KEEP FIRING!"
He pulled out his own rifle and fired at her at top his mount.

Suraru, moaning in pain, lied on the ground. He didn’t want to get up, but he had to. Luna may need him. He pulled out his pistol he bought earlier from Dustin. His vision was blurry; he did his best to aim at one on the mount.

Luna zigzagged around as she ran to avoid getting hit. Once she was in reasonable range, she leaped into the air, lowered her temperature, and yanked the leader off his mount. She held him choke hold and used him as her personal meat shield. "Anyone moves and I'll reduce him into a cinder..."

“HOLD YOU FIRE!” Kane order. There was a series of clicks as the bandits reloaded their rifles and took aim, but fingers only hovered over their triggers.

Seeing the situation was turning for the best, Suraru grunted through his pain stood up and he limped over to the cart.

Kane watched as the leader struggled uselessly in her arms. He didn’t want him dead. He cared too much. Maybe that was a weakness, but he didn’t think so. “What do you want?”

Luna looks around and shifted her bio mass to her arms making sure her hostage had no chance of escape. "Your cargo. Also... help my friend out. Try and be funny and I'll make sure the only thing left of you will be ashes."

"I'm ok Luna" Suraru said exasperated, limping out of the darkness. He winced. It hurt to talk. “I’ll just rest here a moment.” He lied down on the ground. It was probably an awkward time to do it, but exhaustion overwhelmed.

Kane gritted his teeth. Their future, his future was in those crates, but he couldn't let the boss die. He sat on his Manekale for a moment pondering what to do.

Suraru raised his hand "What is in those crates" he said

"Nothing useful to you." Growl the red-purple bear.

"That... depends, we... could take... it all... or just... what we need" Suraru was able to cough out before another wave of pain struck him.

"They want it all, remember?" Luna reminded him. She punched the parrot when he made a sudden movement.

"Did they just take the metal?, alright then" He shakily rose to his feet. "Then we take it all, and we let you live" he finished as he pointed his gun at the men

The bear eyes widened in shock. 'How do they know about the Oxmindite?!' He gritted his teeth in anger. They were being cheated of their prize, by an unknown force! On emotion, he almost cursed them and ordered the remaining men to take them down, but Boss's earlier words stopped his tongue. He hung his head in defeat.

"Get off the wagon." He said too quiet for his men. "What?" one said. Kane growled. "OFF THE WAGON." He roared. He turned his attention to the cat. "Have it your way, but he goes free!" Pointing at his leader.

Suraru walked over the wagon, keeping his weapon aimed on the men before he hefted himself in. He checked the cargo and made sure it was the right stuff. Inside were completely black substances of varying sizes.

Luna, still holding her prisoner, walked slowly to the wagon, eyeing the bandits.

Suraru whispered to Luna. "How are we going to get this out?"

Luna whispered back, "Take the wagon, Ill cover you, and give me the gun."

"Alright" Suraru said, he handed Luna his pistol, took control of the wagon. With haste, he order the manekale to a run, causing the wagon to make a sharp turn around and started to head down the mountain. Luna pushed her captive away from her as soon as they headed back. Jumping on the wagon, she watched as the bandits grew farther away.

Kane rush up to his fallen leader and leaped off the mount.

"You ok?" He asked with concern. Boss gave a small nod as he rose slowly to his feet.

Kane turned about to the three remaining men. "Two of you get on the Kerricks and get after them!"

"NO" Boss cried."Let them go. We've lost too much. No need to lose more."

Kane looked at his leader who winced in pain. Confusion was on his face. "Don't let greed get you. There will be more opportunities." Boss stared as the tail end of the wagon turned the corner and disappeared into the night. Only its light gave away its position.

Suraru focused on getting out of the mountains watching every turn in the road., Luna kept her senses aware making sure they weren’t follow. At this point, they didn’t have a recovery plan.

Eventually, they made it down the mountain and into the hills. Suraru was relived and exhausted. He had Luna the reins and took her place in the rear of the wagon. Unfortunately, the left their bags behind so he bandaged his leg and arm with his shirt. So his fatigue failed, and sleep took Suraru.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby MandyHabato on Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:28 pm

June 4th, 11:26 pm, Jade Blue Inn
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A smallish figure crouched against the roof of the Jade Blue Inn. The half-full moon gave some light, but only enough not to kill yourself.

A shadow appeared, crawling over the barrier of the roof to the girls right. As is came closer, you could just barely see a spot of white or yellow on the otherwise dark ryuu-neko. It dropped the springer cartrage and let out an annoyed growl.

The ryuu-neko scratched behind her ear and a tiny bit of ash fell. The figure reached out and put her hand over the ryuu-neko's ear. It stopped scratching and the hand withdrew.

"Stop that, Haru! I told you if you wanted to come you'd have to put that in you fur." Chiisai grabbed the cartrage and stuck it in her pocket. Her hand brushed the silenced springer attached to her belt on her hip, and she shuttered slightly.

Chiisai was covered from head to toe in ash that she had gotten earlier that day. She hadn't known what to wear, so she had just thrown on black shorts and a tight-ish black tee. She had bought a silenced springer, and a belt holster quickly, half-hoping they would take refunds. Other than that, she had nothing but the knowledge she had gathered.

She had seen the man go back to his house around 9:45 and had Haru check his window around 10:30. He was fast asleep, but the drive wasn't in plain sight. But of course it wasn't, it was only a prayer she had had. Thankfully, the man didn't notice Haru shove a stick under one of his windows just before he closed it. Chiisai was pretty sure she wouldn't be able to break a lock . . .

She stood silently, Haru bolting off and Chiisai ******* her tail. Her thoughts were zooming through her mind faster than a springer round.

"Why am I doing this?! I can't...But these people seem more than willing to kill me...How am I going to do this? I've never even held a springer before I came here and now I have to kill someone with one?" A final reluctant jump to the roof of the house next to her target. "I mean, it's kinda hard to make me even a little annoyed, and when I do get mad, nobody get's really hurt!! Ooooh....Mom, Dad, forgive me for what I'm about to do..."

Haru climbed onto her shoulders and Chiisai slipped, and half-fell, into the ally where the window was. She walked over and peered inside. A sitting room, couple of chairs, a picture or two, nothing out of the ordinary. "Aw, come on! This place looking so normal and peaceful is NOT helping." The ash-covered dreamkeeper opened the window and let the stick fall.

She saddled the ledge and then swung her other led over to where she was sitting. Haru started to jump off, but Chiisai grabbed her. She wiped the strugling ryuu-neko's paws on her shirt, then let her go.

"Sorry, but we can't leave footprints." She whispered and she wiped her hands on her shirt. Without a cloth, she swung her feet out the window and dusted them off too. Now there wasn't much more she could do to stall.

Chiisai took a deep breath and hopped in the house. Nothing. She looked around and shrugged, slowly shutting the window. The girl had been expecting an alarm, or a trigger of some sort to go off, but it seemed this room was clean. It only made the job harder on her.

Stifiling a sigh, she headed to the only door, which led toa small entry way. She went through the door to her right, which led to a kitchen. There was a door on the right wall, and she opened it to find the stairs.

"Seems the first floor is just..normal. I guess he does have a right to a nice house."

She started to go up the stairs, but a black blur attached to her right leg. Haru was digging her claws in and pulling her back.

"What Haru? The guy and probably the drive are up-" It was only for a second, but the poor light coming from the window had reflected on something. "-there...What's this?" She crouched down and Haru let go, pointing and showing her the trip wire.

Petting the now overly-proud neko, Chiisai followed the line up to a bell at the top of the stairs, along with some foot-long logs of plastic. Simple, but the one who tripped it would likely fall down the stairs because of the logs, and awaken the man with the bell. Not to mention the noise of a dreamkeeper falling down stairs.

"Okay, so there are traps. I was a little worried I broke into the wrong guy's house." She managed a weak grin for Haru, and sent the little spark ahead to try and break the trap. Hopefully without setting it off.

Finally, after 5 or so minutes, the wire went loose, and noting else happened. Chiisai took that as a good sign, and started up the stairs. She stepped over the logs and took down the bell; she set it on a table at the top of the stairs. She patted Haru , who was on said table, and moved to the door on her immediate right.

She froze as she opened the door. The man was right there, sleeping, with noting more than shorts. Besides the bed, there was only a dresser in the room. The weak light from the window was enough to tell Chiisai the drive wasn't in there. She took a step, then another step, then another, until she couldn't see the sleeping form anymore.

She was too chicken to do it, not now. "After I've found the drive." She told herself, but she knew it would be no easier then.

She looked the other way, to the door to the left of the stairs. About to open it, Haru stopped her again. She shook her head and Chiisai frowned. The spark neko hopped up onto the tabled, and ever-so-gently tapped the glass. Chiisai nodded, and opened the window. Haru was gone in an instant. And back before another breath could be taken. The window was locked, tight.

Chiisai gave a huff of disappointment, and turned to the door again. She opened it slightly, and felt the top hit something. More bells. "What is with this guy and bells!?" She whispered furiously, stopping herself at once.

As luck would have it, Haru was able to squeeze through the crack of an opening.She tried to find a wire again, but no such luck. The bells were attached to the ceiling. Not for the first time, Haru wished she was half-air. Still, she was able to hop up a bookshelf and silence the bells, then take them down.

Chiisai opened the door as Haru came out, and stifled a gasp. All but one wall was covered in books and data scrolls in bookshelves. They were from the floor to almost the ceiling. There were two tables in the middle of the room, and a desk under the window.

Chiisai checked the tables, just in case, but no drive. She knew that is was probably in the desk. She checked all the clutter on top, but nothing. She looked through three of the four drawers, nothing. Then she came to the last drawer.

It was locked, and it was the bottom right one. The little monkey gave a huff and her hands dropped.

"Okay, how the heck am I supposed to do this? Can't break a lock..."

Before her thought was even half through, Haru once again opted for action over thought. She tried using one of her claws as a pick. Not for the first time, Chiisai wondered why she looked so confident, like the neko has done this a million times. It was a mystery for another time.

Haru was hard at work, Chiisai watching, when she heard a soft *click*. Haru stopped and Chiisai started to smile; but the lock was not open quite yet.

The click was from loading a springer pistol.

"Stand up, and keep your hands away from your weapon."

The shock and realization was like an avalanche on Chiisai's nerves. She was shaking before his sentence was finished. She stood slowly and when she turned, white streaks were running down her face.

The tears made the man hesitate, as well as the girl's small stature. His suspicions were true, THEM did know he was a double agent, and had sent someone, but... "Did they send a kid?" That was one of his first thoughts as he studied the ash-covered girl in front of him.

"I...I didn't..."

The words were barely a whisper, but they were enough to grab the man's attention.

"I didn't have a choice...They said they'd...and-and now they'll-"
Chiisai didn't know how to continue, or how to get out of this mess, but one thing was for sure. Weather here, or somewhere else, she would die if the man in front of her didn't. Losing hope, the little monkey dreamkeeper sank to the floor, head in her hands.

The man nodded, hearing the youth and fear from this would-be assassin they sent. She didn't sound like she would have ever been willing to do a mission for THEM unless her or her loved-ones' lives were threatened.

"But why did they choose you, and why would you do it?" Stalling for time for thought was all he could do.

Chiisai looked up, more of her snow white fur showing from the tears washing the ash away. She mentally shrugged; death was imminent anyway.

"I don't know why they chose me. And I did it so I wouldn't die. I couldn't leave my family like that, and the money might have let me go home. For good... But it doesn't matter now. If you're going to kill me, do it. I'd rather a respectable person trying to stop these people do it than a bunch of murders that would never tell my family."

The man hesitated. She was only a girl, but she was right. He mission was sunk the moment he woke up, and now THEM will try to kill her no matter what. HE was weighing the choises, kill her and find out who she was (tell the family and such), or try to protect her, however long he could. He had made up his mind.

"RAWR!" A dark blur jumped from the top of one of the bookshelves, attacking the man's face. He almost pulled the trigger, but didn't want to risk it. Instead, he threw down the gun and grappled with the ryuu-neko.

Chiisai looked around, noticing for the first time that Haru had been sneaking up the bookshelf the whole time. She hesitated, but ran out the door. She stopped at the top of the stairs, realizing what she was doing.

"I run now, there is equal chance I'll be killed or have to run for the rest of my life."

The angry and scratched-up dreamkeeper in the study finally pulled Haru off, giving a small whoop of victory. Something crashed and he then gave a grunt of surprise before crumpling into the pieces of the lamp Chiisai had smashed over his head. She was panting hard, and still staling sobs, but otherwise okay.


Without a word, she took her silenced springer out, aiming for his head. Everything on her was shaking, and she closed her eyes and turned her head.

*BANG*

The soft sound of the shot reverberated in her head. She refused to look at the body, but prayed he forgave her. Haru stuck the drive in Chiisai's pocket, having rushed to that the second the man let go.

Chiisai walked out of the room, down the stairs and out the window, closing it gently. She managed to climb to the roof again, where Haru led the way back to the roof of the Jade Blue Inn.

The little spark ryuu-neko started for the edge where the window to their room was. She looked over her shoulder, waiting for her master. Chiisai shook her head, sitting.

"Just go on, I'll be there in a minute."

Haru nodded and was gone.

Chiisai laid down, rummaging in her pock, pulling out the drive. She held it up to the just lightening sky.

"All this, conflict, murder, secrecy. All of this for a little program on a normal drive. I wish the underground world of illegal dealings would leave me and mine alone. No one but who's there want's to or has to risk everything for what they are doing. It blackens people's thoughts and actions. Why pull people into it, if everyone want's to stay out?"

As if on cue to her words, the sun peaked out of the horizon. It's climb would happen, just like any other day, and it would set, just to come back again, to get rid of the darkness of night. Most all of the 'illegal dealings' were underground, at night, for a reason, maybe. They don't want to goodness and warmth of the sun to see them, because it too would be tarnished in turn because of their doings. And the sun is the one good thing that every being can share. It is, was, the one thing that made the small, ash-covered, dreamkeeper, finally, stand, pocket the drive, and join her small furry companion in the bathroom to wash the ash and memory out of their fur.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby SerafinoDragonTamer on Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:20 pm

June 4th, 1210
Circa Sunrise.
Jade Blue Inn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A whispering in Kiaran's head caused him to close his eyes.

Roman looked up from his still untouched meal. "What is it, messenger?"

Kiaran took a deep breath and slowly let it out, taking a sip of his fermentae afterwards. "Serapis has another soul..."

Roman nodded. "Hmm... THEM is working much harder than they usually do..." He poked at his food. "I'm wondering why they still haven't had me killed..."

Kiaran raised an eye ridge. "That was the backup plan I was provided, Roman... To have you killed should I not be able to break you away from the Correctional Facility..."

The DreamKeeper smirked. "Ah... I see..." He quickly whipped out a pistol and pointed it at Kiaran. "How fortunate are you, messenger of Serapis?"

Kiaran stared apathetically. "So this is the payment I was promised?" He clicked his tongue. "Poor choice..."

As Roman tightened his grip on the trigger, Kiaran did three things at once. Firstly, he fired his own pistol he had pointed on Roman's foot under the table. Secondly, he lashed his tail out and started to wrap it around Roman's neck. And finally, he yawned.

"YAA-CKKKCCCKKK" Roman dropped his gun onto the table as Kiaran used his tail to lift him off the ground. "You basstarddd..." Roman coughed out.

Kiaran tightened his tail and listened contentedly as Roman struggled for air. He also pointed his pistol at the Fox at the front desk who was getting ready to alert the authorities.. "Don't even think about it..."

Kiaran carried the bleeding DreamKeeper outside and into a nearby alley. The Dragon pinned the DreamKeeper against the wall and threw a punch into his stomach.

"OOoof!!" Roman coughed up a bit of blood that landed on Ki's face.

"Come now, Roman." Ki slugged the DreamKeeper again. "Surely THEM can pick better agents than this? Surely they can take a punch!"

Kiaran ruthlessly punched Roman again and again until...

"F-fine!!"

Ki paused before yet another punch. "Will you talk now?"

"Y... Y-yes..." Roman slumped his head. He was defeated.

Ki smirked, he would get the info he needed... And hopefully get a drop on other agents in THEM that could get the chance to kill him...

Kiaran released his tail and caught Roman's broken form. He walked out of the alley and flew off for his cave just as the sun began to rise. But THEM never sleeps... He was under surveillance even then...

The first to turn. Hopefully not the first to die...
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby Kuurion on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:44 pm

Date: June 3rd, 1210 Location: Kuurion's House Time: 8:14am

"Uh... hello?"

Kuurion was slightly confused. Nobody ever called this early in the morning unless it was a wrong number or some pushy salesman. This obviously wasn't a wrong number and the man on the other side knew him by name. Also sounded pretty creepy. This wasn't the best way to start out a fresh day.

Impatient, he didn't wait for the voice to respond. "Look, I'm just about on my way out the door." A lie. He was lying in bed sleeping in. But it's over the phone. Who the hell cares. "Do you need something? Is this Khaerix? Man you know not to call me this early..."

“This is no Khaerix.” Said the voice. “But I do need something from you. A job of sorts that needs to be done.” The way the man spoke was smooth and well delivered, like he premeditated the conversation.

"... Do I even know you? Who is this?" He rolled over in his bed, getting increasingly frustrated at this nonsensical morning caller, and closer to hanging up on it. Curiosity and general politeness stopped him from ever cutting somebody off with a hangup, but that didn't mean he'd never interrupted somebody to end things. "What are you talking about? I don't need a job."

On the other end, the Contractor frowned and rubbed his temples with his free hand. This, unfortunately, was to be expected. Too many questions and none he would answer. He closed his eyes. It's probably best to get to the point. Hopefully, the sound of a reward would shut him up.

"Who I am is of no consequence. But the job is. You will receive good payment if it is done. Interested?"

His mouth formed to the word "No" instantaneously, but didn’t speak it. Payment, eh...

"I don't like that you're not telling me anything. What kind of 'payment' are you talking about? I'm not some easy sap to be swindled with a con, so say something worth listening to."

He'd sat up in bed now, still irritated but at least paying attention.
Ugh... A somewhat smart person. Something he didn't want. Why can't people just be greedy and say 'yes.'

"I apologize, but I won't speak until I receive a commitment. However, I am not attempting to cheat you. The payment I am offering is a good size cash amount unless you prefer something else. So I ask again, are you interested?"
Urrggh, this guy was being way too difficult. Morbid curiosity got the better of the guy in the end.

"****, WHATEVER, fine! Just tell me what you're talking about!"

"Then we have agreement, one that I will hold you to." He said the last part with slight emphasis.
The jackal swivelled in his chair, facing his data scrolls, and tapped a few keys. On t the right scroll, a wall of text appeared. He read mental before saying.

"There is book, an old book from the end of the Silent Centuries, at the Dena Museum. Your job is simple: retrieve me this book. I will pro-" He was cut off by a voice of anger on the other end of the phone.
"Nope. I'm not stealing for some random guy on the phone. Shoulda hung up 30 seconds ago."

At which, he did. CLICK. Roll over, and tried to go back to sleep. Damn con artists...
The jackal's modified phone click before leaving a unending tone.

"That's just too bad." He pulled up a message program. "You shouldn't have said 'yes.'

He typed in a message. "Client refused agreement. Apply force. Keep Alive." Then he typed a location before sending it.

The contractor sighed. He hated when events turned violent. It certainly will with a certain EYES assigned to poor Kuurion. He ignored his worries and leaned back in his chair embracing the silence once more.


Date: June 3rd, 1210 Location: Kuurion's House Time: 10:13am

Several hours later, Kuur work up again. Naturally, instead of being woken up by another damn call...

Eh, he'd never heard from them again. That's the nature of those con men, they just move on. After a short bit of preparation work (combing, dressing, etc) he threw on his jacket and stepped out the front door - or he would, if there wasn't somebody standing right in front of his door. He was so unprepared for this that he almost ran into the person, catching himself on his forward foot and lurching back.
Damnit, another one? Why me?

He sighed. “And what do you want?"
It was a man dressed in a large and long blue trench coat that consumed his lanky body. Only his scaly claw hands and too long feathered snake tail. He wore a mask, like the ones for the Harvest Festival. Two large black eyes outlined in red bore down on the ram with a large, sharp, toothy smile.

“What I want...” The masked man said slowly with a hint of excitement before slammed his foot into Kuurion’s chest sending him tumbling back into the house. The man invited himself in, shutting the door. It clicked as it was locked. “Is another ‘yesss.’” The man chuckled sinisterly as he walked slowly to his disoriented victim.
Kuur flew back a few feet and collapsed onto the floor of his room, caught completely unaware. Now dazed and disoriented, he lay on the floor trying to catch a breath. "Wha... g-ah, hnnh.. who?"
The man just laugh again, slightly muffled from his mask.

"Don't play dumb." He paused then said. "Wait, do play dumb." He jabbed a metal tipped boot at the ram's gut. "More fun for me."

Still double-over in pain, the grinning mask lifted Kuurion up by the front of his collar, before throwing him backwards. His body skidded across coffee table and landing on the couch in a painful mess.
He slammed into the couch, the cushioning doing nothing to soften the impact. The breath was knocked right out of him, causing a brief bout of dry, empty coughing. Perhaps out of desperation, he got out speech before catching his breath fully, his voice raspy and dry.

"**** - what? Why? Who the hell are you? You can't just... just do that!! I haven't - *cack* - haven't done anything!"

Slamming on his chest with his fist, he still tried to shrink away from the figure now approaching him anew, shimmying over to the farthest corner of the couch.
"You continue to play dumb." He flexed a claw as he continued to walk. "How long will take to REMIND YOU!?" He slashed his claw, but it missed as Kuurion leaped off the couch, leaving a trio of tears. The masked man yanked a fallen table side lamp and tossed at the ram's retreating back. Crying out in pain, he fell to the ground again.

"If you didn't want the job you should have said no." Once more, he walked to his victim. "But you said yes, then rejected it. Now I'm here."
Slowly, through the shock of the situation, the gears turned in Kuurion's head. What seemed like minutes to him was mere seconds in reality.

"What, the.. the phone? That was YOU? What the... no! You can't do that, it's a ... it's a freaking phone call, there's nothing binding about that! Get out!"

His attempt at sounding intimidating came across as a mere whimper. Kuurion knew there was nothing he could do to this man should he want to continue being aggressive, and a meek attempt at intimidating him back, stalling for time to think of something, was all he could fall back on. Not for the first time in his relatively peaceful life, he cursed the meagre power he had inherited. Light. Goddamn light, what good was that going to do for him here?

Ducking a quick swipe from the claw, he scurried across to another corner of the room. "You can't make me do anything!! This - this is illegal! Why do you want a stupid book anyway?! Go and get it yourself! You're obviously tough enough!"
The man laughed again. It was so hilarious how people ask questions when their life was in danger. One would think they would have more pressing matters like staying alive.

"You should be happy that it wasn't me who called! If it was, I would give you something impossible. That's much more entertaining to watch." The grinning man stopped a few feet away for the cowering ram.

"As for illegal, nothing is illegal. It is a question of what I can do and what I cannot do. For example." With one hand, he fiddled at his upper left arm. A small metal click sounded and a springer pistol slid out of his sleeve into his sharp claw.

It was clearly modified as there was a small container attached where a round would enter. Other than the laser attachment hanging below the barrel, it seemed like a normal gun. He aimed it at the ram.

"I can shoot you." A shot impacted right above Kuurion's head, leaving a tight group of tiny holes in the wall.

"But I can't kill you...yet." He giggled and then said in his playful tone, "I can make you do what my employer wills. He asked you to get the book. Not me. So I give you a choice on his behalf: Either get the book you agreed to retrieve..."

He twitched his weapon sideways. It clicked as a new round was placed. "Or I finish my job."
"OKAY!"

His hands had shot up of their own volition after the first shot was fired in the universal 'please don't shoot me' position. Whatever... screwed up rules these people were playing by, it wasn't worth being shot to go against them.

He gulped audibly, trying to sink the lump in the back of his mouth. His eyes never left the barrel of the gun pointed at him. "What... what do you want me to do, again?"
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A Messenger's Life: Part 1

Postby SerafinoDragonTamer on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:44 am

June 4th, 1210
0312
Streets of Dena

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Dragon walked through the morning streets quietly. He had just interrogated Roman and only squeezed a small amount of info about THEM. Mainly that THEM basically ran the city from underground. Killing off the useless agents while generously rewarding the most reliable.

"How am I supposed to figure this out if I don't have any adequate leads!!" Kiaran hissed.

"Serapis help me..." he thought desperately. "Your humble messenger will honor you justly..."

A small wind blew, by coincidence of course, and a flyer brushed up against Kiaran's foot.

"Hmm?" the Dragon bent over and picked it up. "Ah... A weaponsmith... The Forges of Mar..."

Ki glanced at the address and then crushed the paper. "I do suppose a browsing of weaponry will do this street rat some good..."

And with that, he walked off down the street.

June 4th, 1210
0502
The Forges of Mar

Kiaran never was one to go to a place directly, always distracted by a pretty face or an appealing store. As a result, he happened upon a few girls and snagged a few numbers. But, as a personal rule, he never called. He'd always wait for the girls to call him. Nevertheless, he enjoyed scaring some Ryuu-Nekos and found himself just outside the store.

"Ah..." the Dragon looked at the newly furnished building. "This must be the place..."

Sitting down in a nearby alley, he pulled out a bottle of cherry fermentae from his pocket. Taking a swig, he reveled in the warm feeling it provided.

"Serapis, receive my offering..." he said as he splashed some of his drink on a shadow nearby. "Your messenger awaits your next assignment..."
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby davathean on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:00 am

June 3rd 11:39pm
Location: Forges of Mar back room

Why, why, why did i say yes to this, i mean i left so i could escape crime.. Now im right back in it, hell now im honor bound as a thief to do this. "Damn!" Dustin said to himself as he grabbed his cloak and exited the store. He then began to walk towards the police department and open the data-scroll to go over the schematics. Just another day in hell right?



June 4th 12:03am
Location: Roof of the Dena police department

Dustin looked at the schematic again to make sure he had a good entry point after spending the time to double and triple check it. Dustin began to open the vent cover and it luckily had a strait shot to the first floor. Might be a squeeze but i can make it thru, but i do still find it odd that there are no vents to the basement except on the first floor. He then entered feet first and began to slowly slide down the one foot vent, well till he hit a snag. The vent that opened to the first floor was on the ceiling of the main office. ****! This throws a wrench in the plan, but wait this vent should have lead to the power room not the main office so how did i get here? Dustin could hear the stress of his weight on the vents, and so did the officers below.
"Hey Jonson you hear that?" Asked one of the officers. "Ya that's not good sound the alar-.
Dustin broke thru the vent cover and knocked the guard out with a quick hit to the neck on his way down. He then pulled out his Springer pistol from his belt and pointed it at the other officer with a quiet "Don't move!"

The officer began to look from the gun to the alarm switch and back again over and over. Damn not good i cant keep his off the button and make a run past the barracks, in the time i have. Huh guess its a good thing they didn't specify injuries in the job description... Dustin then shifted his aim to the officers knee and simply said "Sorry no time to play games i have a job to do." He then pulled the trigger and began to run as the clang resonated. "Son of a!!!!" the officer yelled as he collapsed in pain. "Hey what the hell is going on!" One of the shock troopers appeared in the door of the Barracks with a typical pissed look. "No time to talk!" Dustin yelled as he shoulder tackled him back into the room with a flash bang attached.
Dustin continued down the hall as the grenade detonated with a resonating *thump*. Now that was satisfying... He thought to himself as he opened the door to the basement level. Slamming the door behind him, Dustin then used his power to fuse the door to the surrounding rockcrete. He then formed several additional barriers behind it, "Well I think that should do it... err at least i hope." Dustin then secured the server room and carefully placed the drive in the server tower. "Now its just the waiting game..."

June 4th 12:54am
Dena police department: server room

Dustin was beginning to fall asleep when he heard the beep from the drive, "Bout time.. huh Almost missed my personal deadline. He then removed it and secured it on his belt. Now how to short circuit these servers..." Dustin began to ponder the possible ways of doing this but he settles on the simplest one, cross the wires. Dustin opened the main power box in the room and began to mumble to himself "Red to blue, black to yellow, green to orange.... Awww Hell ill just cross them all!!!" Dustin once again used his power to strip the high voltage wiring down to the copper and very carefully touched all the wires together. There were some sparks then a large concussive explosion that sent Dustin flying, the servers began to spark fiercely then go dark. Dustin still rearing from the impact began to look around to only see some sparking server towers in the now pitch black room.
"Wwwell that worked, all be it better than i expected." He said with his ears still ringing and a big grin on his face. Better wrap it up here, before they bust thru the door. Dustin then struggled to his feet grunting in pain, and began to create several bombs out of one of the server towers using his power. Good thing theirs Lunarous in these other wise i would have to use reconcilable explosives. Dustin also equipped them all with remote detonators and made a detonator switch. "Better get ou- Grrraaa!" Dustin collapsed in pain but quickly got back on his feet. No time to wast i have to get out of here... **** the blast must have at least broken three of my ribs. He limped over to the nearest wall and formed a small tunnel in it barley big enough for him to climb thru. With a bit of fancy maneuvering he managed to slip thru with out passing out from the pain in his chest. Dustin sealed the tunnel and moved to a good vantage point about two km away, "Now to watch the fireworks..." He then pulled the trigger on the detonator and watched as the police deposes foundation lit up in blue fire, and begin to sink slightly. Dustin then checked the data-storage unit and headed back home. Ugghh im going to need to drink more that normal tonight boy.
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Re: THEM (Chapter 1: THEM's Shadows)

Postby MandyHabato on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:36 am

June 5, 1210; 2:38 am; Jade Blue Inn

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Chiisai opened her eyes slightly, letting them adjust a little to the light coming through the window. She sat up, scratching behind her ear at a piece of ash she had apperentally missed.

"I should have put more thought into what to use to cover my fur. This stuff is irritating!"

Sleep was just not coming. Everytime she laid her head down, some part of her skin itched from the ash. Her fur looked white, but it was hiding the bits and pieces that were stuck to her skin. She glanced at the little yellow ball at the end of her bed. Haru seemed to be having much less trouble, deep asleep and clean.

Chiisai sighed and went back to the bathroom. She stripped and took another shower, scrubing hard at the ash underneath. After about an hour of scrubbing, she thought she had gotten it all. She dried off and flopped down on the bed.

The little white and gold monkey stared at the celing, not even trying for sleep. Her tail hung over the side of the bed, flicking every secong or so. At first, Chiisai had just been waiting to see if she had gotten off all the ash, but now her thoughts wondered to the actions of the night.

She shivered slightly, remembering how he had understood what she ment when she stuttered about THEM recruting her. Then she stopped, focusing on something.

The only thing, throughout the whole ordeal from the minute she left the roof, that had let her do this, let alone live, was Haru.

Haru had propped the window open. Haru had disarmed not one trap, but two. Haru had been sneaky and attacked the badger man when he was distracted. Haru had been picking a lock like no novice could.

Barely moving, Chiisai lifted her head and looked down at the mound of fur sleeping at the end of her bed.

It was almost, no, was like, Haru had done that before. Like she was used to subterfuge, traps, and locks. What kind of ryuu-neko is like that unless dark or owned by a criminal?

It hit Chiisai as she was thinking that, despite their closeness, she had no idea where Haru was from, or if she had masters before her.

The matter rolled and grew and swelled until she was scared out of her wits about what Haru really was. The only thing that stopped her, was another itch.

Chiisai sat up, said a very unladylike word, and grabbed her tail as a spot under the fur crawled. She managed to get it out without having to wash again. She forgot all about Haru.

Finally, sleep caressed her eyes, forcing her to shut them. It stole her strength so she fell back on the bed. It lulled her thought so, unless pointed out she would be unlikely to remember her worries the next morning.

The one thing that sleep did not dampen, was her sense of horror, disgust, and hopelessness. She woke up, half asleep, visions of blood and death tormenting her until she fell to the power of unconsciousness.

Tomorrows actions would be troubled and ignorant. Would she live past the doubt of the terrible organization, THEM?

(note: I said VISIONS not DREAMS! And, if a single person tells me i messed that up, i WILL make you wish I had thrown you to the nightmares.)
(additional note; SOSOSOSOSOSOSOOOOO SORRY !!!!)
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