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Author Topic: 404: Not Found [Nephero]  (Read 112 times)

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Offline Cheesigator

404: Not Found [Nephero]
« on: June 17, 2017, 12:46:26 PM »
The desolate landscape of Teinar had always been one of her favorites.

The glum, the ramshackle buildings, but most importantly: the people.

It was the one place she'd found in this solar system that most closely matched with her home world, and while the physical look of it was the complete opposite, it was the culture and mindset of those living there she appreciated the most. Yes, it was a culture that thrived off the idea that everyone fended for themselves and their families, and thus it was the place she felt the most comfortable, and where she often found herself returning to on a regular basis.

Except that security system up in Aedolis, she hated that. But the colors were pretty up there, so it was kind of a mixed bag. If you took the looks of Aedolis and the mindset of Teinar and smooshed the two together you'd get her home. Kind of.

Today however she'd purposefully avoided the light up in the big cityscape, knowing that this visit had an intention to go down into the depths of this strange planet, where she would need the element of surprise: AKA, not shine like a lightbulb.

Once she'd descended into the dim setting of Teinar, she pulled back her hood, fiery orange hair immediately escaping as she looked around, determining her location and setting off on her course. As she wound her way through the streets, ducking under low-hanging signs (low for her, she was just a giant beanstalk herself) she went over the information she'd been giving during her briefing with the client.

Amar Umino was her target, supposedly one of the higher ups of a ring of drug lords making a profit off of the foolish Aedolians who lived upstairs. Her clients had been pressured by them to sell their goods off and step out of the business, which was, of course, something they didn't want to do. Supposedly if she could take out their leader then they would be left weakened and defenseless, which would allow her clients to make up for their lost time and increase their own sales.

Not a lick of it made any sense to her.

Politics had never been her thing, she'd never had an interest in them--just give her someone's head to bite off and she was fine with that. It was so much easier to understand.

The drug ring's headquarters was a lonely outpost outside of Teinar, closer to the surface of the Deadland. Obviously, a place where they'd be less bothered by city officials from either the surface or the underground, where they could be left to do their work in peace. Minus all of the vicious wildlife, but eh, minor annoyance there.

As she approached the building--a rather large place, like a small warehouse piggybacking on an out-of-commission factory--she crouched behind a rock outcropping, pulling her hood on again to hide her bright colors as she peered over the craggy sandstone and watched.

One to two guards were stationed outside of every entrance, but a look at the windows inside suggested little activity as far as monitoring went. They left that job to the guards, and kept their work inside less based around security and probably more on production, or something. She yawned.

Glancing down, she pushed aside her cloak to check the gun on her right hip's holster; yep, all was there. Looking back up, her minty eyes scanned the enemy hideout and she waited there, patiently, for a solid hour and a half, before she saw a change in the guard shift--a few by one of the smaller entrances disappeared inside, and she took that as her chance. With no one to watch, she flew there, crossing the hundred meters or so in only a few moments, where she latched onto some of the crevices and ledges in the shoddy stonework job of the exterior walls, and climbed her way up to peek into a window. It was fairly busy in there, so instead she scurried up to the flat rooftop, finding an open air duct and discarding her cloak there as she squeezed herself inside. It was an immediate vertical drop, so she kind of fell in and landed on her face with a loud BANG in the metal vent. Oops.

Her stomach growled a little. She wondered if it'd be ok if she ate this guy after she killed him?

Probably.

Offline nephero

Re: 404: Not Found [Nephero]
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 12:38:03 AM »
You would think that a gang lord would invest in better security. No Son squinted through the binoculars on reflex, lip curled and needle-sharp canines exposed in the universal sign of disgust. It wasn't like he was above easy jobs like this-- it just felt like so-called hardcore gangsters should really be of a higher caliber than... whatever it was he was looking at.

The binoculars dropped, and No Son stared out from the crevice he currently occupied, burrowed between the subterranean walls and a patchwork of ducting. Squinted even further. Pulled his helmet up from the muddy earth and slid it over his head. The building, whatever it had once been, was pretty heavily guarded along most of the perimeter. Miniature groupings of effectively thuggish sorts, big and burly and reeking intimidation.

Kind of hot, actually.

If he hadn't been there on business, and on a timeline, he might have considered a detour. Taken in the local cuisine. But Amar Umino wasn't going to kill themselves. Or, maybe they were, No Son didn't quite care to spend brainpower on the hypothetical emotional state of someone he had been paid to put a bullet in.

Either way it kind of chalked up to a win-win.

No Son slid out of the crevice, and down an alleyway, one where the natural bioluminescence didn't quite reach. Between the already-poor lighting situation, as well as his armor's own dampening effects, it was hard to tell No Son was there at all. Which suited him just fine, able to cross the distance to the far side of the building undetected. He leaned back against one wall, keeping still to those shadows, and watched. And waited.

The guards stationed at the rear of the building were squatting on half-rotten crates, passing a cigarette that No Son suspected was not entirely one of tobacco back and forth. Chatting. Relaxed. Completely and utterly confident that they wouldn't be bothered, or rather, that they would be able to handle anything that came at them.

Of course, nothing like No Son ever had come at them before, so how could they possibly have known? They had gotten to their feet when they saw him advance, had lifted their guns with a gruff warning for him to stay where he was, and had never managed to fire a single shot by the time they realized the flickering figure was a hologram and their throats now sported a second, ruddier smile.

It was quick and quiet, much more so than the racket the bodies made as they slumped to the ground, their weapons clattering loudly against the wet rocky ground. Shit.

No Son hoisted one carcass over his shoulder, lifted the other by its ankle and dragged it back to the alleyway, where they would hopefully remain undiscovered for as long as it took No Son to murder the absolute shit out of someone infinitely more important than they. What a pity. They probably didn't even have anyone to bury them.

He considered the carcasses, now ashen-faced and almost grotesquely waxen, and abandoned them for the now-unguarded door. A quick listen indicated that it was likely safe to enter, and so No Son slid inside, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting of what appeared to be a maintenance entrance. The ceiling was suitably high, surprisingly enough, and so it was with no real added thought that he scurried up one large pipe, and pressed himself to the network of piping and wires that ran along the ceiling, scuttling slowly along.

Offline Cheesigator

Re: 404: Not Found [Nephero]
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 12:57:46 AM »
Crawling through air ducts was no easy task; the construction of them and the type of metal used made it hard to stay quiet, and perfect silence was impossible. However, she also knew that in a building like this, random metal noises and hissing and knocking and other things that might go bump in the night were to be expected, and therefor left unchecked. So she tried to keep her banging around to a minimal, slipping gloves onto her hands and feet to keep her claws from clicking too bad as she slithered along.

Of course, did her clients give her a decent description of what this person looked like? A picture, perhaps?

Pfft. No. Why would they do that?

She curled her lip a little as she listened for the sounds of voices, movement, people; followed her nose and kept moving in directions that hinted at a more populated area. Because she ASSUMED if this leader Amar person was going to be anywhere, it would be in a place surrounded by their cronies. That was usually where leaders of things tended to be.

Usually.

Let's see, what had they told her? Dark hair, kinda short.

She peeked out of a vent in one of the ducts, watching a few men passing by below. Uh-huh. Okay, well, average height?

... What was average, for humans? Were these humans? She still had a hard time differentiating with all the hybrids out there.

A good listen in on their conversation didn't provide her with very much intel, either. Sheesh. This was what she got for taking such a screwy job--she didn't even know which guy she was supposed to kill, which was obviously a very big problem. And yet, no matter how much she had stressed the importance of knowing what they looked like, her clients had waved it off and said "You'll know when you see him."

No, obviously, she wouldn't.

She stifled a growl and kept going until she reached a large room, perhaps the biggest in the factory, where she could see the drugs being packaged up and prepared for shipment. And right down there, some fifty meters away, walking with a small group of those who followed, was a dude. He looked like he knew what he was doing. Seemed pretty confident.

Dark hair? Meh yeah kinda. Average height?

Fuck it. Good enough. If she shot the wrong dude, it wasn't her fault because her clients didn't give her a good description. And if they had a problem with it, she'd just eat them. Speaking of food--

She pulled the gun from her holster, making sure the silencer was on and managed to wiggle the muzzle of it in between the spaces of some of the grating, closing an eye and aiming. She wasn't really good with guns, but if she could just shoot him and get it over with and call it a day, that meant the sooner she could go find lunch. Or maybe she could dine in--oh, they might have a break room, with sandwiches or something. But cooked meat wasn't really her favorite.

Well, whatever. Rip in pieces or whatever the phrase was, Sir Guy-who-may-or-may-not-actually-be-her-target. She took in a breath and pulled the trigger, braced for the minor recoil, and curious to see if her shot actually rang true or not.

If it didn't she could just bust down and rip his head off or something, probably would have been easier if she'd gone that route the first place, but hey, she was trying new things.

Offline nephero

Re: 404: Not Found [Nephero]
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 11:59:44 PM »
There really should have been more to this.

No Son ran into a surprising lack of... well. Lackeys as he climbed along. The place wasn't unguarded-- there were a few more bodies stashed in utility closets that certainly were a testament to this-- but it wasn't exactly what he'd call big-time operations material. He'd not even really needed to worry about firepower-- he'd been able to leave the entirety of the work to gravity and razorwire, the grating of the warehouse floors absorbing the torrent of blood that followed.

Thank god for a surplus of utility closets, he supposed. Hopefully this place wasn't crawling with janitors who'd need to use a mopbucket and make a nasty discovery. He really didn't want to have to wipe out the entirety of the complex; he would do it, of course-- there hadn't been any rules about sparing others, after all. But he had places to be and cargo on his ship that required... tending.

Sweet, merciless tending.

He felt his spines raise up just a little, adrenaline pumping and getting him all sorts of excited. Aggressive. Ready. The thick padding that ran along the back of his suit felt overtight for a moment, before calming breaths eased his barbs and had them lay flat against his back again. Best not to get too riled up just yet. That could wait for later, when he was back in his cozy little ship. He carried on his way, grinning beneath his helmet, wide and wicked.

It didn't take long to find the way down to the main storage zone. Somewhere in the center a fire had been lit, controlled by the confines of a meshed trash can, rendering several bodies as stark shadows against bright firelight. Easy pickings.

No Son slid into the room, silently climbed a stack of crates and boxes, perched partially in shadow and raised his rifle. The first to go were the stragglers, the ones closest to doorways who might be able to raise an alarm if left to their own devices. Hard to spot, and with a bullet in their frontal lobes, harder to hear. The second to go were those just outside of the firelight, the sliding thunk of their corpses hitting the floor finally gaining the attention it deserved.

The scope settled over Amar Umino's heart, dark as the room was, and No Son gently squeezed the trigger. It didn't matter that there were still two gangmembers alive; by the time the chaos settled and they realized where the fire had been coming from, he would be long gone, his helmet recording the evidence of a job well done.

No Son hadn't even seen the third survivor, just beyond his line of sight through a few more crates. The man shouted, raised a semiautomatic of some short, compact variety-- rare, in Teinar, which meant that had to have been expensive-- and opened fire on him.

Hissing, the Feneri rolled off the top of his perch just as bulletfire tore the wood apart, pinging off metal cases and flying every which way. So much for a quiet getaway, now the other two survivors knew exactly where he was, and in his haste he had rolled to the side that was no where near the way he'd gotten in. Trusting his suit to conceal him in the shadows, No Son ran for it, boots thudding loudly against the metal of the warehouse floor. The trip in had seemed so much shorter than the trip out, despite the significant difference in pace, and by the time No Son reached the doors that led outside again, there were several more shouting voices beyond the three he had attracted in the main room.

Offline Cheesigator

Re: 404: Not Found [Nephero]
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 08:59:03 PM »
Nope, missed.

Guns just weren't her favorite thing in the whole wide world, she really preferred hand-to-hand combat. But it looked like she wasn't going to get another shot.

There was a moment of confusion as the bullet bounced off the concrete flooring and took out her target's leg, making him fall to the floor and scream. One guy started dragging him off for cover, the other looked around wildly, saw the grate in the air vent, and most likely her glowing face, and started shooting back.

She quickly ducked out of the way of the vent, a bullet denting the metal and another tearing through the thin sheet metal that made up the duct. She immediately started scrambling back, but with how much... Everything... She had to work with, it wasn't easy, and by the time she'd squirmed back a foot or so there were more holes in the duct and then there was a wrenching CREEEEEAAAAAK.

The firing stopped and she stared at the holes in the duct, heart pounding.
Uh oh. That can't be g--

With a shriek of metal that echoed off of the walls and down the halls of the facility, the thin metal that was barely able to hold her weight caved and the duct ripped itself in two. She hissed as she pressed herself against the walls, sinking her claws into the metal as it started to fall and she saw all the walls outside flying by, and the equipment, and then the ground, as it all came tilting down and she hit the floor on her face for the second time today.

The commotion was enough to make everyone in the building pause for a moment, but there in the room, everyone was silent as they waited to see who, or what, dared to move first.

Dust settled and ceiling debris fell, and there was a scratching noise inside the duct. The man with the gun swore and raised his firearm to aim again, unwilling to shed any more pricey shells than necessary until he knew what he was shooting at.

Silence.

Then the duct exploded as Phrike gave a tremendous outwards push with her wings, duct pieces flying everywhere as she jumped into the air and got the fuck out of dodge, flapping her bat-like appendages as quickly as possible to gain momentum and dodge anymore gunfire, of which there was now a lot.

She tucked her wings in closer as she soared through halls, completely lost with no idea which way was the right way to go in order to escape. She knocked over several workers, a giant metal shelving unit stuffed with tool boxes, and through a bag of powdered drug that left her looking like she'd escaped out of a sack of flour, leaving absolute destruction in her wake.

Finally, she saw it, a door with a red EXIT sign above it, and a small group of men rushing towards it, all chasing one figure. A strange scent unlike one she'd picked up before hit her and suddenly she could care less about the guys in this warehouse, or the target she was supposed to kill--what, or who was that?

She yanked the gloves off her claws with her teeth, snapped her wings to her back and dropped on the group of men. She tackled one to the floor, feet on his head as it smashed into the concrete, and opened her set of wings again to throw two more to the adjacent walls, before launching herself forward, sinking her teeth into one guy's neck and using the weight of her tail to swing herself and her prey around and throw him down the hall.

And so, using the confusion to her advantage she jumped to the air again, swooped down and grabbed that strange creature not unlike a bird and a fish, by what she assumed was his shoulders and burst through the door, out into the polluted air and the freedom that awaited them. She was able to climb through the air fast enough that by the time the gang members were out the door, there was no point in trying to shoot her or her new toy, because now they had much bigger issues on their hands.

She shook her head, white powder flying from her hair as she looked down to what she held in her hands, some strange creature with a helmet. And from his view, she probably looked just as strange--glowing underneath the smears of white powder in the dim light of the Deadlands, fresh blood smeared around her mouth.

Huh. Helmet head. Man. Thing.

She tilted her head, as if to get a look around him, and smelled blood on him. Ooh! OOH!

Forcing herself to bring her head back up and look at where she was flying, it took her a few moments before she recognized some of the landscape and swooped down, darting right into a cavern mouth and dropping her baggage to the rocky cave floor still some five feet off the ground, before she landed herself a few feet away.

She coughed a little and sneezed, before she started dusting herself off and wiping the itchy blood off her mouth, turning around to look at this creature now looking much more like herself. Albeit feeling a little warm and fuzzy from the powder she'd inhaled on accident but overall--not too shabby.


Have some complimentary art, by yours truly.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 11:13:03 PM by Cheesigator »

Offline nephero

Re: 404: Not Found [Nephero]
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2017, 11:21:48 AM »
There were plenty of things that No Son was well prepared for; he had contingencies upon contingencies, back routes and alternate means, emergency flash bombs for those super fun firefights, the works.

He was absolutely not prepared in any sense of the word for being scooped up into the air and flown right out the door.

And he did not like it one bit. He flailed for an instant, before seemingly realizing that struggling at this point would send him flying right to the ground, and the thought was enough to make his stomach give a violent jerk. He reached up to grab the ankles of whatever had him, eyes wide beneath the opaque visor of his helmet, and finally turned to look at just whatever the hell had him.

Somewhere, he really wished he hadn't. No Son had seen plenty of strange creatures before, but this one kind of took the cake-- bright and glowing, covered in blood smears and powder, with great big wings that barely cleared the allotted space. Oh, fuck, he was going to die. This was how he died-- like a goddamn chump. Briefly he considered the pistol at his thigh, and briefly he considered his preference-- did he want to get eaten, or did he want to shoot this thing and fall to a very splattery demise?

Neither was... ideal. But if he had to choose, getting eaten was looking better and better, because oh man oh no he did not like flying like this, nope nope nope NOPE. Thankfully, though, the trip was short, and he let out a long hiss as he hit the ground, tucking in his limbs and rolling to a rather dazed stop on the cavern floor, striking a couple rocks that had his helmet's display fizzle and crack. He yanked the whole of it off with a hiss, a few minor sparks leaping from the visor and singing his cheek in the process. Well, that was just friggin' great. The creature, whatever it was, landed just a bit away, and No Son reached again for his pistol. It hadn't immediately set on him, after all, so maybe he still had a chance with this--

Except the ruckus they had caused back at the warehouse was slowly waking up the neighbors, and while the cavern was well hidden, sitting at the mouth of it was not going to be doing them any more favors. He looked at the big... winged... thing. Person. Then back to the cave entrance. No choice in the matter, he supposed; if the thing hadn't eaten him yet that was their loss. He sure as shit wasn't going to sit around waiting for that to happen, and nor was he going to sit around waiting to get caught by a pack of angry gang members. That would really be going out like a chump.

Helmet gripped in one hand and pistol in the other, he took off running deeper into the cave, not even bothering to check to see if the flying-monster-thing was following. Let it get shot up in his stead, for all he cared. Though that did beg the question of what the thing was doing in the warehouse in the first place. It sure hadn't been friendly to the gang members, if all the blood and the shouting had been any indication, and No Son had been sure he was the only... hm. "Agent" on site. He demanded it in his contracts-- he worked alone, always.

So what the shit was any of this?

Or, maybe, the big orange thing was just yet another byproduct of this godawful planet, and was just some random monster that had popped up at the exact right time. That... was not at all a soothing thought, and No Son chanced a glance over his shoulder, half expecting this thing to be right on his ass, all teeth and claws and predatory.