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Postapocalyptia | IC [Episode 1]

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Mincaldenteans
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Founded: Feb 17, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postapocalyptia | IC [Episode 1]

Postby Mincaldenteans » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:09 am

Great Khan City | Morning


“This is a motherfucking mistake,” came the complaint, one of many since his the start of the meeting as he sat languidly with legs crossed and a cup of wine in his well manicured hands. Devine stared at the face of the man on his screen, unamused, before looking out to the window. His brooding, storm grey eyes peered at the busy streets below as he pondered his own involvement. This was utter shit, pure and simple, and he had no clue what he did to deserve this dubious honor.

“Ain’t like this place got enough that we need to be hiring Vagabonds for this job, and you want me to manage them?” Devine continued, although his voice had lost its jovial edge, “Oh sweetness, my fee is about to double on this bitch!”

“The fee remains the same.”

“The hell it does!” Devine replied, exasperated, smacking the wine cup down by the screen. He straightened his hairdo before speaking again, “Now listen here dollface, this be Vagabonds we talkin’ bout, you feel me? I ain’t getting a nail chipped cause they don’t know how to keep their hands off me! Those are buffoons, just one of them is bad enough!”

An amused laugh escaped the other side, “You’ll manage, you always do. Besides, I know you’ve been wanting to get back into the game. Good time as any.”

Damn, you have me there! Devine shook his head, “The shit I put up with… alright what’chu want? Vagabonds are always thirsty so you gotta make good on this, bringing the fucking riffraff into this city.”

“Larger than 10,” came the calm reply.

“Larger than 10! Are you fucking serious!? Aw hell nah, precious, you want that you gonna fork up my motherfucking double or we end this talk now! Call me when you have something sensible!”

His eyes peered impassively at the other for a handful of moments that stretched into an eternity.

“...Double it is.”

“That’s what I thought,” Devine said snidely, letting a heavy breathe lose with a sigh. He peered at his own laptop that sat to the right, the device that took a chunk of his personal fortunes to procure from a snarky dark hair tech girl from some backwater hole, and ran down a list of possible Vagabonds who might even have been in Great Khan City.

The ‘list’ was a misnomer, as it was never an assured source given a Vagabond lifestyle, but those that had been hired before and identified through whatever systems that still existed on this planet had records. Its details were sparse and it took someone like him to narrow who was what: that was his specialty, after all. The laptop was a wonder of its own and he was told never to lose sight of it, she would need it back one day.

Like hell.

The voice on the other end drew Devine’s attention again. “The ad needs to be something above reproach, if you could.”

Perking an eyebrow, “Do you know who I am?”

A smirk in response, “Of course. Devine, as always.”

“Oh sweetness,” he gave an unamused smile, “flattery won’t get you nowhere. I’ll have the ad up by noon. You had best have my money by then also or this shit gonna go south faster than eyeliner on a sobbing queen.”

He clicked off without preamble and settled himself by the windowsill to think on his situation, glass of wine in hand. This was a mobile militia they wanted; god knows for what but they had their reasons and the money was sizeable enough to attract almost everyone, from the homeless to the psychos. He could already see the nightmare of picking and choosing and fuck if he knew how long that was going to take. He had two days to make good on his end, two days to form a team and set them out toward the harsh desert this city thrived in.

The streets below him was noisy as always, business was bustling with merchants, hookers, soothsayers, bankers and vendors with all manner of spoils. The same breeze that wantonly toyed with the fabric of his crimson damask robe also brought with it the distant rumble of the traders bartering and bargaining (“Seventy credits! Fifty and a food heater!”). Residents, travelers, wanderers and miscreants alike milled throughout the busy avenue; behind them, not too far a distance away, nestled the ancient spaceship that so many revered like some god.

“Transmission ready.”

Devine got up from where he sat and walked back over, reading the contents of the message he had been working on despite the banter between him and his contractor.

It read simply:
Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!


He shook his head and confirmed the transmission that would place the ad in every newsfeed (made accessible through the morass of shops that could afford it) and polished off his wine.

He was going to need more if he had any hope of getting through the day. Much more.

“Vagabonds. What have we come to?”





A PORTAL TO THE MULTIVERSE PRODUCTION

AN AYREONIA & CO ROLEPLAY


Shot to the entire gang in the middle of a bar fight. Willis and Aubrey stand back-to-back with their guns raised. Camera focuses on each of them and a gunshot sound echoes as the screen freezes.

CYLARN as WILLIS CLARK, "the Mercenary"
and MINCALDENTEANS as AUBREY SIAN, "the Confused artist"


Camera turns to Esma, as she hits someone in the jewels with her quarterstaff before Constanza KO's him with her copy of 'The Mandate'.

SWITH WITHERWARD as ESMA AKSU, "The Survivalist"
and IMPERIAL JAPAN as CONSTANZA XIONES, "the Zealot"


Mathias is sitting somewhere in a corner, and the camera pans to a shot of a guy duct-taped to a table while Zed carefully moves his scalpel closer, only to be nudged by a passing brawler and accidentally stabs it directly in the man's neck. Mathias squirms as blood sprays all over him. Zed shrugs.

TILTJUICE as MATHIAS STRAND, "the Pacifist"
and ESTERNIAL as ZED M.D., "the DIY Surgeon"


Camera pans towards Johanna; dropping from a ceiling fan and landing in the neck of her unsuspecting foe, twisting his neck with her legs. Temir stands nearby, swooping a guy off his feet with his cane.

JESSJOHNESIK as JOHANNA, "the Assassin"
and HIGHFORT as TEMIR TALGAT, "the Tinkerer"


A drugged-up Charly jumps in front of the camera. One of the goons grabs her, but she head-butts him and dives away just in time as Slat slips a smoke bomb down the back of his pants. The man squirms as it explodes and a cloud of smoke bursts forth from his pants, and he falls down on the floor. Slat extinguishes her cigarette on his head and smiles. Charly rolls back into view across floor, tripping hard.

GALDIUS as CHARLY, "PotGearhead"
and TRANSOXTHRAXIA as SLAT, "the Pyromaniac"


A shot of Eira as she chokes a goon with the sole of her boot while taking a swig from her glass and throws it in the face of another guy, who staggers backwards and is tripped by Shimmer.

THE CARLISLE as EIRA, "the Plural"
and her daughter SHIMMER, as a mistake!


One guy stands back and watches everything go down, slowly stepped back to the exit until a teddy bear falls right in front of him. He picks it up, looks up and sees the vagabonds taking cover as Slat smirks, diving behind a table.

Shot of the bar, camera panning out as a explosion follows and a trail of smoke rises from the building. Camera pans out further to give a panoramic view. The title appears.

Image

In Memoriam, Ayreonia
Last edited by Mincaldenteans on Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Highfort
Minister
 
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:56 am

"Temir, one last time," the sagely elder regarded the middle-aged minister with fatherly concern, "Are you sure you wish to give up your position as Elder Minister and Senior Maintenance Officer? The Great Khans still need people to keep Her Body clean and prepared in case we finally discover the technology to once-again get her airborne to propel us into the Great Beyond."

The aforementioned minister shouldered his rucksack and then his sniper rifle. He checked all his pockets and grabbed for his walking stick without word. This was to be his big adventure - his purpose. The Kindred Spirit had chosen him: she'd appeared to him in a dream and pointed at the desert. And that was where he would go - where he would discover the technology to make the Journey manifest. All the while, the canteens sloshed at his side, their strips pulling tightly on his robes as he loaded himself up for the journey ahead.

"Master Minister," Temir finally said, turning toward the steel door, "I have to do this. The Kindred Spirit has willed it. Her will shall not be denied."

"Peace upon you, Brother Talgat," the wrinkled man replied, nodding his head sadly, "May you find the peace you seek in the desert if it may not be found in Her presence."

"Peace, Brother Holk," Temir replied, completing the traditional parting, "May Her presence and your work lead you to warm, happy sands."

Temir turned to leave, supplies clanging in his rucksack and at his side all the while, his copy of The Most Great Khan grasped securely in one hand and his walking stick - though some derisively referred to it as a cane - in the other. As his boots clapped upon the ground and the metal door hissed open into the main corridor, the Master Minister fidgeted with a laptop at his desk. His eyes widened and he called out.

"Temir! Temir, wait!" Brother Holk turned the brightly-glowing screen toward the door, "Look at this!"

The website was utilitarian and spartan - some would say ugly - but everyone who was someone knew it as the job board and advertisement roster for Vagabonds. Temir had foregone the advertisements, hoping to hook up with a team on-the-fly, but Brother Holk was having none of that. Of course, there hadn't been an advertisement general enough for Temir to accept - most required at least a little, if not several years of adventuring experience. The text in this plain advertisement, however, caught both men's eyes.

Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!


"You're not exactly cute, but it does say that it's a plus," Brother Holk chuckled. Temir merely looked on, his mask shrouding his lack of amusement, as the Master Minister continued, "Says here that 'Field of expertise varies', which means you might actually qualify even though you haven't had any time outside."

"Must have own equipment and deal with danger," Temir raised an eyebrow, "You think they'll let me in?"

"Of course!" Holk's chuckle turned into a laugh, "All that means is you have to hold yourself properly. Look like you have control over the situation, like when you're maintaining Her Body. Don't be surprised - be ready. Khan's Pithole is your regular stop, too, so you should have no trouble being first in line."

"I suppose not," Temir rubbed his chin through his mask, before nodding in resolve, "Alright, thank you, Brother. And peace be upon you."

He turned to leave once more, a spring now in his step as he realized he really was going to have a shot at this. As his boots clanked on the metal floor and he approached the main lobby and exit, the Master Minister's voice rang out.

"I'm giving your room to Brother Bolat since he's taking your position, so don't bother coming back unless you want to share beds with an acolyte!" the old man called out, laughing.

"Wouldn't dream of it!" Temir offered a quick glance back and a smile through his mask - though he wasn't sure it penetrated - before he squinted inadvertently, his eyes adjusting as the hydraulic door hissed open before him and let in a flood of natural light. Rigel Three's heat was as oppressive as ever, though his robes shielded him from roasting in the desert sun.

The streets were packed, as was usual for the morning, as Temir navigated down the main corridor leading away from the Body of the Great Khan. Though many disliked his and his fellow's reverence for the beast, he knew that their fears were misplaced. It would be the Cult - through the power of her restored body - that would deliver all the Kindred Spirit's children - the Khans' siblings - from the pain and suffering of this world. All he and the cultists had to do was get her flying again, and he knew the answer to that was somewhere out in the merciless expanse of the Great Khan desert - her desert.

"It is a test," he was once told, and these words he muttered to himself again as his feet traced the familiar paths toward his watering hole. Though many of his brothers did not agree with his habit, the Cult did not forbid drinking or partaking in drugs and other sensual pleasures, so long as one devoted himself to work during the appropriate hours. And Temir was anything but lazy.

The bar itself was dark, even in the morning, its interior obscured from the outside by curtains and kept dim by low-powered bulbs. Even now, before the socially-acceptable time for drinking, it was filled with Vagabonds looking for work and locals looking to drown their sorrows. It was home away from home and, despite being only a few blocks from Her Body, was almost an alternate life for Temir.

He nodded at the bartender on-duty - she knew of him, but little of his actual tastes or even his name. Faces circulated quickly amongst the numerous bartenders who took varied schedules at Khan's Pithole, and Temir was known as a regular. He paid, so she didn't pay him any mind and merely offered a polite nod.

"What's your poison?" she shuffled over to him, avoiding some of the newer patrons who probably couldn't pay for the extravagant amounts they were going to order, "Tim vouched for you."

"Not here to drink, meeting someone," Temir replied, with an apologetic look in his eyes, "Sorry, I'll buy double next time."

"Suit yourself," and she was off to serve another thirsty patron, paying him no heed.

Temir glanced over the bar and at the familiar clock that occupied one corner of the dimly-lit room. He had some time to kill. And what better way to kill it than by having a drink?

"On second thought," he waved her down, and she shuffled over with a slightly annoyed look on her face, a beer in hand ready to serve to a waiting customer, "Sorry, bit nervous. Pale ale, if you've got any. Your choice."

Her look softened, "Ale, eh? Me too. Give me a few minutes, eh?"

"Fine," Temir shoved his walking stick against his armpit as he sat down on one of the bar stools, propping his book on his desk to trace through some passages and ease his nerves.

The Most Great Khan: Ch IX: Verse XII wrote:Generosity, Her command / Sacrifice, Her demand / Friendliness, Her law of the land
Last edited by Highfort on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Esternial
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Founded: May 09, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby Esternial » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:18 am

It was a quiet morning. A dry wind whisked across the dunes, stirring up clouds of sand that dances across the barren landscape of Rigel-3. This was unbridled nature. Rocks cropped up in the distance into small mountain ranges, drawing a line across the horizon that the rising sun emphasised with silent dignity. The planet's surface was a unforgiving, but rustic and dignified in its own way.

There was no sign of mankind's hand, but one. A small roadhouse. It had withstood the harsh Rigelian climate, but only barely. Sand stacked up against one side, gathered by the predominant eastern winds that blew through the small valley. Strong concrete anchored the structure to the solid rock bedding below the sandy surface, while metal sheets shielded the interior from the climate, signs of wear and wear spread across the exterior of the with no shortage of rust. Fashioned from solid metal, a fin-like outcropping stuck out of the centre of the roof, carrying neon letters that had seen better days.

Rays, written vertically in dark orange neon, with an arrow points downwards next to it. It seemed superfluous given that it was the only place in miles, but the owner felt it gave a nice feel to the place.

A soft sound echoed from within the building, coming from a juxebox suspended from the ceiling with thick insulated cables. Music. The entire room was filled with harmonic sounds of Bach's virtuosity, set at a volume that was just a little too loud. If you were to hear it, you would be poised to turn down the volume, just a bit.

Zed didn't mind it, though.

"Shh. Shhhhh." He hushed quietly, gently caressing a young woman's hair while she squirmed, twisting her wrists and elbows in an idle hope to break free from her bonds, but Zed was quite good at trying knots. The woman weeped quietly as Zed raised his head, slowly swaying from side to side as he felt the music course through his body. His left hand floated in the air, holding a scalpel, as if possessed by a choirmaster guiding an invisible orchestra with his baton.

Humming quietly, Zed brought down his left hand towards the woman's chest. A small stream of crimson flowed down across her stomach, and Zed followed the trail. The woman's squirming intensified, reached its peak and persisted for a short while. Just a few moments, really. When it finally died down completely, she resisted no longer. Her arms and legs were completely still, her eyes trailing upwards as Zed continued his work, calmly and diligently.

"That's right...go to sleep." Zed said to her in a whisper. The scalpel delved deeper, severing flesh from bone, organ from cavity.

Behind him, on the floor, lied the body of a man. His face was frozen in an expression of agony, half of it resting in the warmth of his own blood. His gun, several inches removed from his hand, had fired only once, the trail of smoke already evaporated and the barrel cool enough to grasp it with your bare hands.

*snap*

Zed tossed his latex gloves next to his impromptu workbench, the counter. Several bottles of beer with nondescript labels stood on top of it, some of them gathering a fair amount of dust. The place hadn't been cleaned in a while, and now a stench hung around the place, clinging to the furniture. It wasn't fresh, something was well beyond ripe. This roadhouse hadn't been in business for awhile now.

With a spring in his step, Zed ambled about the place, stopping at one of the corner booths. A man sat at one of the tables, face down. With little effort he lifted up the man's head and pushed it against the headrest, gripping the scalpel poking out of his eye socket, and janked out the piece of surgical equipment. As soon as he let go, the lifeless body slumped down. Zed inspected the blade. It had seen better days. Zed shrugged.

*click* *click*

Good. There's still gas.

The fire began to hiss quietly as it poured out across the bottom of the frying pan. It was old and rusty, but it would do just fine. Beggars can't be choosers. The red meat sizzled, the sound was positively satisfying to Zed's ears. He turned down the fire a tad and left the meat to simmer. There wasn't any rush. It gave him just enough time to find the origin of the stench that permeated the air. Another man, probably dead for awhile now. Zed wasn't the first person they tried to stand up, but he was their last. The corpse lied in a small storage space, but aside from the metal racks bolted to the wall there was little of import. The entire place had been given a thorough once-over before he got there, which saved him time. There was little in the bandits' possession that he could use, aside from some dry food and water, the odd medication and some commercial cleaning products he could use as disinfectant. A licensed physician had to get by with what was available in a place like this.

The stench lessened as the scent of freshly cooked meat struggled to overpower it. Dinner was ready. Vegetables, aside from an unopened jar of pickles, were absent. He'd have to do with raw protein to sustain him.

"Mm...not bad..." Zed mused as he glanced at the carved-up woman. Admiring his artistry as he tore off another piece of flesh and solemnly chowed down on it. Surprisingly tender for the bitch that tried to stab him.

His eyes were suddenly drawn to one of the men on the floor. Something in his trousers was lighting up and casting a faint shine through the fabric. A phone? Zed chuckled as he picked it up. There was reception. Why? He didn't know and didn't care. The only thing he did care about was the last message this man got.

dde gt gr8 jb, Pit @ 3pm. Zsa Zsa Dvine or sumthn.


"Fucking kids and their spelling these days." Zed muttered with a slightly angered tone as he began to type a reply.

You're a fucking stupid cunt and you should re-evaluate your life, you sad and pathetic piece of refuse.


That evening a man died in a horrible accident. He clearly had been drinking way too much.
Last edited by Esternial on Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:51 am

The crowd pressed in and Esma pressed back, exhaling to clear her head. These people! Always moving, always darting! They were fleas on a dog's ass. One flea was seldom noticed by the dog. A thousand fleas? Now there was a problem. Properly infested, the poor animal could do little about its plight except wave a tired limb and pray that something would come along to put it out of its misery. Likewise, the people here leeched everything they could from the land, sucking it dry and polluting it with their own droppings. It was a shame, really. She might have genuinely appreciated the view of the derelict spaceship were it not for the fleas surrounding her.

"Hey, pretty lady, hey!"

Esma turned to find herself confronting a tall, gangly man in a heavy coat. His filthy hands latched onto the coat's seams and flung them wide to reveal half mast and sagging balls.

"Seriously?" she rolled her green eyes in disgust and would have swatted him on general principle but he spun and darted away. She watched him caper down the street, his lewd giggle interspersing itself between vendor calls and vehicle noise.

This... all of this... was hell. Hell. Oh sure, the money would be worth her first trip here, if this Devine person was honest, and if she could hook up with the right vagabonds. Not many seemed too willing to go into the desert with guides these days, and those that did usually chose their guide based upon their expensive equipment. She held nothing against these "experts". In fact, she often said a soft prayer for them whenever she chanced upon their bleached bones.

The crowd thinned in front of her and her eyes fastened upon a bar sign cheekily winking a block away. Khan's Pithole. Esma pressed on.


The establishment was more welcoming than the streets outside it. Khan's Pithole wasn't Ticaret Oasis, but it wasn't intolerable either. The familiar wash of alcohol and sweat pierced the red silken scarf protecting Esma's mouth and nose as she pried open the door, putting the woman at ease. She entered quietly save for the folds of her cloak whispering her movements, and claimed an unoccupied stool at the bar.

"Ale, please," Esma nodded to the barmaid and slipped what she hope to be sufficient payment onto the counter before loosening a corner of the scarf to expose her face. The woman would remove nothing else, preferring to conceal her goods and to keep her staff strapped to her back.

Alert ears captured snippets of conversation around her, but her eyes remained fixed on the mirror lining the wall before her. There weren't many of her kind here and none of the faces in the mirror appeared overly friendly. Then again, her dark skin tone and desert attire might not be a welcomed sight to them. She set an elbow on the bar' worn surface and rested her chin on a curled hand.
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Cylarn
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Posts: 14610
Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:08 am

Clark's ears were ringing with pain, his vision blurred as he had placed himself on his hands and knees, as chaos erupted aorund him. The dig site he had been working at with AA had only been established 3 days ago, and it seemed that the legendary "hospitality" of the desert's raiders had caught up to them. AA was looking for anything Rigelian out here, partly because they had found a bunch of crap on the other side of Rigel-3 and partly because Gazprom, Cudgel, and several other groups were challenging them for the remaining artifacts in the "settled" area of Rigel-3. So, here was an old, disgraced UNSEC officer, on his hands and knees as bullets flew through the air and screams fell on his deafened ears.

The few seconds he spent on the ground felt like hours, but he sound found himself rising up to his feet, rushing over to a large bolder with his rifle in hand as scientists and mercs alike ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. The AA mercs, with their fancy guns and their trenchcoats and body armor, looked like real badasses, but most of them were nothing more than boy scouts with cool coats. They didn't know what to do, as raiders who had raided since their balls dropped were ambushing them from about every side. Out of the 30 men present, a third of them were already mowed down by the skilled sharpshooters, who took advantage of the camp's very non-strategic position at the bottom of a canyon.

Willis pressed his back up against the boulder and crouched down, removing the lens cover from his rifle. He held his weapon at the low-ready, and brought it up as he swung around from cover, trying to find a target. In a sick sense, he knew to use his AA counterparts to his advantage, with their dark clothing making them easy to spot in the red canyon. Willis looked down the scope of the rifle, scanning the ridgeline as he waited for a tell-tale sign of a sharpshooter, and he got it. The metallic gleam of an unshielded scope, coupled with a cloud of smoke and a muzzle flash, gave him the location of his target, who was utilizing rocks as cover as well, though Willis could now see the sillouette of the raider between his crosshairs. He paid no attention to the AA scientist whose head had just exploded before him as he steadied his breathing and slowly pulled the trigger back.

Years of marksmanship training had taught him not to anticipate the trigger pull, to steady him and also to know the wind. It was hot today, with no breeze of any sort going through the still air. It was perfect, as he heard the sound of the weapon fire, expelling a .308 round that sped from the barrel of the rifle, striking his adversary and knocking him from his firing position, down into the canyon below. Keeping his eye looking through the scope, he began to scan the ridgeline once more, when a burst of bullets found themselves impacting the rock that he was using for cover. He winced in pain as a few shards flew up and caught him in the face, with the soldier immediately pulling his body back behind cover. He quickly placed his rifle up against the rock and drew out his carbine, as more rounds began to tear through his position. Amid all of the gunfire and violence, he noticed a shadow rapidly approaching to his right.

He quickly turned his body and charged his carbine, as one of the raiders moved around the boulder and unwittingly found himself with a barrel pointed at his chest. Without wasting a second, Willis fired a single burst. Three rounds tore through the raider's chest and he fell back on the ground, writhing about as Willis pointed the barrel towards the fallen man and fired another 3 rounds that put a stop to the man's pain. Before Willis could do anything else however, he suddenly felt an arm wrap around his neck, tightening quickly.

Willis reacted accordingly, and quickly attempted to push the man back up against a wall, as his vision gradually grew darker with his breathing severely hampered by the hold.. His left hand released the forward grip of the carbine, and he let the weapon drop back behind his right leg as he opened fire, squeezing the trigger and elbowing the raider in the chest until he felt the arm release, at which point Willis fell to his knees, dropping his carbine to the ground and coughing. After taking a second to catch his breath, he turned around to see a rather young raider clutching at his mangled right foot. The kid chose his battle poorly, and thus Willis showed no mercy as he drew out his bolo machete and hacked at the raider's neck, with blood spurting out upon impact and the young raider immediately collapsing to the ground.

Despite the neophyte combat abilities of the AA personnel, some of them were putting up a fight. One of the guards called over to Willis, as the remaining survivors quickly piled into a 4x4, bullets still whizzing around through the air like pissed-off hornets.

"Clark, we're pulling out to the backup RP!" he called out, as another AA guard laid down covering fire with an LMG. "Chopper's gonna meet us there!"

Wasting no time, Willis sheathed his bolo and grabbed his other weapons, booking it for the 4x4, which had an open bed. Willis used this to his advantage, and vaulted himself into the back, where a few scientists were cowring for cover. The guard with the LMG hopped into the back with Willis, and the UNSEC veteran brandished his carbine once again, and the two men proceeded to keep the onslaught of raiders from overwhelming them. More and more raiders were showing up out of the woodwork, and the AA team had left behind most of its data, with only 5 people left. The driver threw the 4x4 into gear, and took off down the road, putting distance between them and the combat zone as they rocked across the rocks and sand of the desert.

The rendezvous point with their ride back to Hercules was about 2 hours away, giving them a good drive. It was strangely quiet, and Willis cradled his carbine as he leaned back against the back of the 4x4. The scientists were still frozen with fear, unsure about what might happen between now and the LZ. Willis had only been to Great Khan once before, back when he was with UNSEC. They were chasing a scumbag warlord, and said warlord fled into the desert, with Willis's IP in hot pursuit. After about a week in the desert, they found their mark, albeit he was impaled on a spear in the middle of nowhere, along with every single scumbag under his command. Despite having not engaged many people in the desert, they were watched the whole way home. The raiders were protective of their homeland, and to this day, Willis had no idea how they survived then, only for his current expedition to be torn to shreds now. Not many people liked UNSEC, but in the grand scheme of things, UNSEC tried to remain neutral with the other major powers. Maybe the raiders thought that an UNSEC IP with 3 APCs was a challenge, but then again, they had taken down a warlord who had led a "grand" exodus with 100 men and half as many vehicles and left their corpses to rot under the glaring sun.

Soon, their respite was interrupted, as the sound of a large-caliber rifle echoed through the canyons and the desert. Willis heard a crack, followed by screaming and an acceleration of their 4x4. He peered into the cab of the vehicle, and saw a large, dark smear on the windshield with a single clear hole, along with the driver slumped over the steering wheel with the other guard trying to maintain control of the vehicle. The scientists were freaking out, crying and screaming as they were covered in the driver's blood, with the man's right foot pressed hard on the gaas pedal.


"Try to keep the vehicle steady!" Willis yelled as he laid his carbine down and switched to his rifle, crouching down and laying his rifle's barrel across the roof of the 4x4.

He was scanning for the shooter, scanning straight in front of the vehicle. It was at that moment when he noticed a large boulder in front of the 4x4, which was pressing forward at 65mph now. Willis's eyes grew wide, and he immediately pulled away from the scope.

"INCOMING!" he called out as he jumped off the side of the 4x4, just in the nick of time.

Willis rolled some distance away, groaning in pain as he writhed on the ground. The 4x4, having not hit the boulder directly, was hit on the right quarter-panel, forcing the vehicle to be knocked onto its side, skidding some distance forward. Willis got to his feet and grabbed his rifle, moving to cover as quick as he could, fearing that the sniper was still watching. He pressed his back up against the rock, his head turning to look at the steaming wreckage of the 4x4. He could see blood in the windows, but no movement.

"Kimberly! Volkov!" he called out, trying to get an answer from someone in the vehicle. "Lars! Tavares!"

No answer, so it seemed that Willis had to investigate. He moved from his cover to the back end of the vehicle, covering the tops of the canyons with his rifle as he secured his assault ruck and carbine, which had survived the crash. With the 4x4 as cover, he opened the doors and looked for survivors inside. None of them had used seatbelts, and their mangled, bloodied corpses were contorted in all sorts of unnatural positions. Willis winced at the grisly scene, but two decades of military service had exposed the "mustang" to all sorts of works of art depicting the frailty of humankind. Exposed bones, guts, flesh everywhere in the compacted space; Willis had erected his emotional shield, just as the vehicle's radio crackled to life.

"-bzzz- Whiskey 5-3, come -bzzzz- n," the radio called out. "Arch -bzzz- gel 1-2 is approach -bzzzz- your mission area. Can we get coordin -bzzz- . Over."

Even under his curent stress, Willis understood the command. Their chopper wanted to know where we were at, which struck Willis as odd because they had agreed at a designated set of coordinates. The 4x4 had a GPS, but unfortunately, it meant that Willis had to climb through the myriad of death inside of the cabin to get to it. Placing his rifle up against the 4x4, he made his way inside the cabin, snaking his way through the unbuckled corpses and death, fighting hard to ignore the carnage around him. Glassy eyes stared upon him, from those who had spent their final moments inside the cabin. Willis was in an awkward sort of prone position between the back and the front of the cabin, his front positioned before the console which contained their radio and their GPS. After getting the coordinates, he took an errant look to his right, errant because he would now notice the particular set of glassy blue eyes upon him, and his heart promptly dropped.

When he was sent to guard the team, he became rather "acquainted" with a certain Dr. Kimberly Stanton, an English woman from Cambridge. She and Willis were about the same age, with Kimberly having been a widow of some poor sap scientist who died of pancreatic cancer long before the current debacle that had untimely taken her life. Stuck out in the unending desert of Great Khan, Kimberly and Willis soon became attracted to one other, with Willis appreciating Kimberly's attractiveness and her intelligence in the social studies of Rigelian culture, and Kimberly interested in not only Willis's prowess, but his intelligence and his values. Their nights were spent in each other's tents, engaging in more than just promiscuous activities. Willis often found himself and Kimberly cuddled up naked together, contemplating life's mysteries. From time to time, they'd escape from the camp for a while, cuddling with one another under the night's sky. In an undesirable turn of events, Willis found himself looking into his lover's eyes glassed over with her wristbones exposed like wrist-blades, her body contorted in a horribly unnatural position and trapped hanging above him, and her neck broken to position her head in a sideways fashion.

Willis immediately began to cry at the sight of his lover's calamity, quickly forgetting about the task at hand. He had spent four weeks with her, and he already found himself under the belief that he had found true love at last. Now, due to some shit-ass raiders, it was all gone. He turned away from Kimberly, tears pouring from his eyes, until he was suddenly brought back into reality, as a 45.70 Gov round forced Kimberly's head to explode and shower Willis with flesh, bone, and brain matter. His instincts told them that he needed cover to survive, and it meant that Kimberly would be ensuring his survival. He jerked her body close to him, using her for cover from the sniper. He moved out of the 4x4 for a brief few seconds and grabbed his rifle, moving back into the cabin for cover. He kicked out the rest of the windshield and stuck his rifle out, using Kimberly's corpse to steady the rifle while he grabbed the radio's receiver and answered AA.

"Whiskey 5-3, to Hercules Actual!" he called. "We're at 23'41! Taking fucking sniper rifle! MASSCAL; I repeat, MASSCAL! One survivor! Over."

He dropped the receiver, and prepared for the sniper duel as another round echoed out, striking Kimberly in her chest. Willis looked through the scope, establishing a master grip on the rifle with his right hand, maintaining trigger discipline as he activated his scope's thermal imaging capability with his left. He zoomed in on the ridgeline, scanning for the fucker. He saw the red-orange blur of the asshole, and he immediately opened fire, with his first shot missing.

"Wh -bzzzzz- We've got a sandstorm approaching. One hour -bzzzz- We'll pick you up afterwards. Ov - bzzzz-."

Willis ignored the message, and carried on with his sniper duel. The sun began to set, as their duel dragged on for an hour. The two men remained in their same spot, with Willis embroiled among his dead colleagues. He didn't even think about the possibility of animals approaching during the duel, though he wouldn't have been surprised had the gunfire kept them from being involved. He had blocked out all thoughts during the duel; all he wanted was to kill that fucker. And then...

BANG

Through his scope, he saw the orange-red figure's head snap back following his last shot, with the rest of him falling to the ground. Keeping his eye on the downed figure, he proceeded to empty out the remaining eight rounds of his rifle into his adversary, as he boiled with rage and heat from the environment that he was in. Upon the fifth empty click of the rifle, he pulled himself from the 4x4, and immediately began to cry and vomit in reaction to his ordeal. His lover, his colleagues were all dead, and he was the only one around. He could hear the sound of blades chopping through the air, the winds of a sandstorm in the distance, but his eyes remained on the sand and vomit before him, tears streaming down onto the pile of vomit. He was covered in a rancid mixture of blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, sand, and bone from head to toe, but he did not care.




Nine hours went by, with two hours being spent flying back to Hercules and seven spent having to explain the firefight and subsequent retreat to a group of AA vultures, who hadn't even allowed him to clean himself up beforehand. In the dead of night, Willis stood alone under the sprinkling showerhead of an empty AA communal shower, letting the hot water cascade down upon him. He was still crying, as the concoction of God-knows-what was washed from his surface. He had failed, today. He had failed Kimberly; he had failed his team. He found his fists slamming into the wall before him in a fit of anger and frustration. He continued to punch the concrete wall, to no effect save for lots of blood and broken hand-bones.

He closed his eyes as he continued to cry, letting his body lean against the shower wall. His eyes were closed, but all he could see was Kimberly and her glazed-over blue eyes, with her body in an unnatural position inside the 4x4. The night before, the two had eloped from their sleeping areas and found their way into the very 4x4 that Kimberly's life would be lost in. After making love for the better part of two hours, they cuddled silently together inside of the bed of the 4x4, wrapped in all sorts of blankets and such to keep warm from the cold desert night, sharing their body heat as well. His muscular arms were wrapped around Kimberly's smaller form, keeping her close as her arms were also wrapped around his body.

He fought hard to vanquish Kimberly's dead eyes, trying to replace the vision he was seeing with that of the night they had spent together. He gave a smile as he could finally see her lively blue eyes staring into his, smiles on both of their faces. During that night, as he gazed into his lover's eyes, he had realized that she was the woman for him. She was a kindly, gentle soul, with a sharp wit and intelligence to boot. Willis had never found a woman quite like her before, but he had lost what he had in the blink of an eye.

He turned his back to the wall, and slid down the wall. He sat quietly, his head leaned back against the wall as he wondered how he could have been so foolish. He was a soldier; he should have known better than to get intimately involved with someone while on a mission. His instructors at UNSEC had practically drilled that into his skull, that personal relationships got people killed, or worse. He remembered his days as an Officer-Candidate, watching PowerPoint after PowerPoint about how research into PTSD had found that intimate relationships and their outcomes - all identical to Willis's current debacle - were a prime factor in causing the affliction. Willis had never dated anyone in UNSEC's ranks, mainly because of the organization's regulations on fraternization between officers and enlisted personnel.

For another hour, he sat there in solace, his knuckles bloodied and battered.


A week later, Clark found himself in Great Khan City, for yet another job. His hands were bandaged with gauze, with the AA doctors having taken care of the damage he did to his hands. He held his head up straight and carried a grimace on his face, giving him a rather dour appearance as he walked through the great city. He couldn't determine whether this, or the myriad of weapons and gear he carried, was convincing people to steer clear of him. AA wasn't paying him him anymore, so he was looking for independent work. Great Khan City was the place to start, and for a scary-looking mercenary like him, he figured that there'd be no shortage of work.

Willis entered the typical watering hole of the city, taking his place at a small, empty table. He wrestled off his gear and took a seat, as a barmaid approached, inquiring about his order. He looked up at her, not allowing his grimace to slip from his face. He wondered if she knew English, but what else was he going to do?

"Scotch," he said, before the young girl departed. "And Zsa Zsa Devine, if you would."

He sat back, and waited silently for his drink - and his new employer - to be brought to him. He noticed a few other patrons, but he paid them no heed. Perhaps they would be his co-workers, and if they were, they would be nothing more than just that. Co-workers.
Last edited by Cylarn on Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:46 am

The Most Great Khan: Chapter III: Verse XXI wrote:Be like the machine / Require minimal maintenance / Provide maximum output


"Imported from Montecristo last month," the bartender set down a bottle in front of Temir. He raised his eyebrow at the fancy font which graced the tightly-wrapped paper label which hugged the darkened, brown glass of the container, and she snorted, "Boss knows you pay on time. Cultists like you may be odd, but we know good customers when we see them. Mask means payment. Drink up."

"Peace upon you," he replied, lowering his mask so he could take a sip. The bartender raised an eyebrow at his weathered, ragged appearance before turning away to serve another impatient customer. He wasn't surprised: few considered that the life of an acolyte and even a Senior Maintenance Officer involved arduous work performed on the outside of the Great Khan. Her Body suffered from the high winds afforded to the city by the desert, and he'd taken numerous shifts to lovingly repaint its coats of weather-resistant acrylic so that she would remain pristine in the event that the time to journey to the Great Beyond came about. Though a ritual, the practicality of keeping the vessel tightly-sealed and thus in top condition could not be underestimated. If only the rich bastards that hoarded the upper floors to themselves understood that...

Rubbing his unevenly-bleached and scarred cheeks with his free hand, he picked up the cool bottle. Goosebumps broke out on his arm as he savored the respite from the harsh desert air outside. Popping the cap off with the help of the scratched, well-used bar surface, he raised the bottle to his lips and gulped down the bitter liquid with a smile. After three such long gulps, he set the beer back on the table, satisfied by the pleasant buzz that was developing and not totally put off by the flavor.

Huge improvement from the local piss, he decided after a moment of letting the aftertaste settle in his mouth.

He set the plain walking stick against the bar and took off his rucksack, rummaging around for his wallet. Finding it with an affirmative grunt, he counted several local bills - all with the fat, wrinkly faces of disgusting power-hungry oligarchs on them - and slapped them on the bar before replacing the sack on his back and the walking stick in his armpit. Best to be ready to leave at a moment's notice, he always figured. Besides, as nice as watering holes were, they always attracted unsavory fellows. Vagabonds were, of course, ultimately looking to make money and he had no interest from being parted with his own. The Kindred Spirit willing, of course.

As he returned to sipping his beer, he glanced down at the bar to see any possible associates. The website had made the project sound like a team effort, though most Vagabond hiring was done in groups, anyways, and he was eager to get on the good side of whoever would be watching his back. He was a fairly good shot and he'd learned a thing or two about how to fight with a staff, but he really would prefer not getting his face smashed in on his first outing. If anything it would save him on medical expenses and ribbing from the cult boys and girls back at the Body.

His eyes scanned down the bar, first. Lots of eager faces, and a few uncomfortable ones. The latter interested him the most - their lack of experience would most likely pull them to this job, given that the more experienced ones would probably have already been pulled aside for more lucrative contracts. His eyes settled on a darker-looking girl with a scarf. She didn't look entirely too comfortable at the place, though whether it was because she didn't like bars or didn't like cities - given her attire - he couldn't tell.

His scan continued. He moved on to the tables, and found likewise many eager patrons. A man with a grimace stood out - he didn't look inexperienced but he certainly didn't look like a prize catch either.

Either way, it seemed as though whomever this Zsa Zsa Devine was, he was interested in keeping people waiting. No one seemed to come out looking for any Vagabonds, though a few Vagabonds went looking for contracts. One tapped on Temir's shoulder and he shook his head. Money was tight. He understood.

"Say, you wouldn't happen to know a... Zsa Zsa Devine, now, would you?" he flagged down the bartender as she was carrying a shot glass and what appeared to be a bottle of scotch, handing it off to a serving girl, "Was told to look for her for work."

The serving girl gave him an odd look for a moment before departing, and the bartender replied with an affirmative, "Yes, but she's not due for a bit. Said around Three PM."

"Mind telling her she's got a prospect?" he took another gulp of the beer, "Talgat. Temir Talgat."

"What's it to you?" she snorted, pocketing the bills for the beer.

"Loyal patron can't get a favor every now and again?" he raised his eyebrows, covering his face once more as he finished his beer and closing his book, "And I always thought this was the finest watering hole this side of the desert. Guess I might have to look elsewhere."

"Don't pull that merchant shit on me," her eyes narrowed, "I'll tell her. Cheap bastard."

"Money's tight," he rubbed his eyes, trying to muster the most apologetic tone of voice, "I'll make it up to you later."

"Sure," she let out a derisive laugh before leaving once more at the beck and call of another customer.

Temir let out a sigh. People always had to be difficult - not like machines. Machines were easy, predictable, useful. People just tended to get in the way.

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Jessjohnesik
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Founded: Sep 11, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Jessjohnesik » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:35 am

Johanna had been in the Great Khan City for over a month now, having greatly expanded her earnings over the course of her stay. She wouldn't call it an exceptionally pleasant stay however, even if there was only one person who tried to kill her off-job. Needless to say that person had their head bashed in against a window ledge. The heat is what somewhat bothered Johanna, despite her being used to typically high Rigelian temperatures and her clothing concealing her body from the sun's aggressive rays.

Having rather safely left her vehicle in a secure garage she had payed for, Johanna slothfully strolled through the city's bazaar, which was rich with various goods ranging from technology and food to drugs and weapons. What she needed was a good rifle, something she hadn't yet found, despite searching for over fifteen minutes. The outlook looked grim for her desired item and Johanna didn't particularly want to spend any more time searching for it, preferring a drink to another minute in the sun amongst a crowd of people she mostly despised, or just generally felt irritated by.

Johanna quickly cast another glance at the market in front of her, before turning around and walking out of it. Khan City's population density was certainly impressive for a city amidst an unforgiving desert, even if Johanna herself wasn't impressed by the ever large crowds of people that dwelled the city streets.

Rather suddenly, a short bleep could be heard resonating from Johanna's pouch, prompting her to walk out of the crowd and take out her phone.

Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!

The message appeared on her screen, her phone having picked up the transmission.

"Interesting...", Johanna mutters to herself, putting her phone back into the pouch and heading towards her newfound destination. Johanna wouldn't say she didn't like the meeting place, though she didn't have any particularly positive emotions about it either. A rather regular pub as she'd describe it. What bothered her most would likely be the fact she'd have to get familiarised with more strangers, even though, perhaps unknowingly to her, social interactions would possibly have a positive effect on her deteriorating psyche.

Sauntering into Khan's Pithole, Johanna promptly located a seat for herself, taking off the dark khaki scarf that adored her head. She hated having headwear for most of the time, putting it on simply out of sheer necessity anyways. The scent of alcohol and many things less pleasant rapidly found a way into her nasal cavity, urging Johanna to order a drink.

"Dunkelweizer please" Johanna uttered in a barely friendly tone to an approaching waitress, who nodded in response. It wasn't quite 3 p.m yet, so Johanna might as well order a drink and observe her lively surroundings.
Last edited by Jessjohnesik on Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Imperial--japan
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Posts: 11532
Founded: Nov 24, 2010
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Imperial--japan » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:47 am

Constanza or Connie as many liked to call her, didn't regret traveling to the 'Great Khan City' one bit. Since she left her home almost three months ago, her travels had taken her to a variety of small towns, and she shared the same route with numerous caravans that she would accompany. Her faith preached that all humans should practice camaraderie, and there was no better way than experiencing the various cultures and faiths that Rigel had to offer. Now the biggest problem facing the blue-haired preacher was the mistrust that she faced from portions of the local population. On a planet where survival of the fittest played a significant role in the lives of many, the selflessness and charity of 'The Schism' came across as rather suspicious. Many suspected an ulterior motive most of the time.

"IT IS ONLY THROUGH SWEAT, TEARS, AND ACCEPTANCE OF OUR FELLOWS THAT WE MAY FIND THE ETERNAL PEACE THAT AWAITS!! WHEN THE TECHNOLOGY THAT SO MANY PRIZE ON A MONETARY LEVEL IS PLACED INTO RESPONSIBLE HANDS, IT IS THEN THAT WE MAY MOVE ON FROM THE SELFISHNESS THAT CLOUDS OUR MINDS!!" Constanza finished up the last part of her sermon with a warm smile to the few people that had actually gathered around to listen to her. It was always refreshing to know that not everybody in the city was as dismissive as she'd like to believe. Approaching each of the few individuals that had listened, she offered them copies of 'The Mandate' which most gladly accepted. Even if it was out of common courtesy, it was nice to think that Connie's efforts weren't in vain.

"If any of you ever find yourselves in need, the enclave is always willing to open its arms in acceptance." Constanza reminded them. In return, she received non-committal grunts and a few 'thank you's', but soon enough, she was alone again on the bustling streets of 'Great Khan City'. Constanza wiped some of the sweat that had been accumulating on her brow, and reached her hand behind her head. She brought up the hood that her robes had, and began making her way back to the city's enclave. As luck may have it, the young preacher came across a rather large message on one of the newsfeeds. Normally, she wouldn't have bothered to look in its direction if it wasn't above the Ramen noodle stand that she often fancied.

"Khan's Pithole? Isn't that the Vagabond bar that the Grand Maester told me about?" Connie thought to herself. It wasn't until someone had bumped into her that she realized that her pausing in the middle of the street could cause problems. Instead, she began to make her way towards the seedy bar as she formed coherent thoughts from excitement.

"If they really were only taking qualified Vagabonds, then it would do her well to try and make connections for the society; with such experienced men and women. Obviously, it was easier said than done, but difficulty wouldn't deter Constanza from her hopeful thoughts. Soon enough, she came upon the outside of the bar, and instead of blocking the entrance-way with her observing, she spirited herself inside quickly. She wasn't too sure how she was going to deal with what she found.

Being a bar, the first smells that permeated the preachers senses were the scents of smoke. The drunks were slouched over their tables, and a few seats remained vacant at the bar. It was quite the different atmosphere than she was used to back at the enclaves' bar. Walking over to a bar seat, she looked at the bartender and shrugged.

"Surprise me," she said to him and twiddled her fingers. She didn't drink, but it seemed polite enough to at least buy something from the establishment. If someone else wanted her drink, they were welcome to it. Looking around, Constanza brushed her fingers over her shoulder to make sure her Machete was still strapped to her back. Places like this always made her wary.
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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:40 am

Damn yabancı. Money is tight but not so tight that your robes are dirty, Esma's face remained passive as she mentally upbraided the man lamenting his funds. The waitress most likely was on her feet all damn day, if not flat on her back at other times, and each delayed round shaved away her already meager tip. Her eyes briefly came to rest on Temir the Tightwad before locking her gaze with the waitress holding a cold ale in her hands.

"Tengri bless you," Esma softly purred as she added another folded bill to her payment. The gesture meant no dried figs from the market, but who needed such luxuries? Weren't fleas also animals and thus deserving of food? Esma would rather do without than think of the waitress whenever she popped a sweet treat into her mouth.

The calls for Zsa Zsa hadn't gone unnoticed. Apparently she would have companions or competition tonight. The first person had all the earmarks of a soldier and bore bandages on his hand. The second was Mr Tightwad, of course. A third person entered while she was padding the waitress' tip, but Esma couldn't be certain if this was just a local; the woman's saunter seem genuine rather than a bluff to cover nerves. A townie zealot - Tengri bless them, but you could spot them a kilometer away - followed shortly after.

Esma fished a peanut from a bowl on the bar and lifted it towards her neck, gently cooing, "Go on, you old Scallion. Might as well enjoy the protein while we wait for Zsa Zsa." The folds of her light grey headdress shifted slightly and the peanut between her fingers slipped out of sight. Esma smiled and returned her attention to the mirror and the patrons reflected in it.
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Cylarn
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Posts: 14610
Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:00 am

The waitress returned with the glass of scotch for Willis, and he passed her a $5 bill in exchange. He slowly took a sip from the glass, and gave a wince at the awful taste of the beverage. The officer was a scotch man, but what he was drinking was actually a noxious concoction of badly-brewed scotch and water. Part of him wanted to pour the beverage out onto the floor and berate the young serving girl, but he thought better of it, realizing that he didn't really need to drink on the job. So he held his tongue and stood to his feet as his eyes made contact with a pool table across the room. He picked up his gear and carried it with him over to the table, setting it down on the floor next to him. He was surprised that no one had tried to jack his gear today, since most people in Great Khan had ever felt the fine craftsmanship of an SR-25 or an HK416, much less models rigged up with the shit that Willis had hooked up onto his weapons. As he walked over to the rack of pool cues, he kept glancing back at his gear, waiting for someone to try to jack one or both of the rifles, though they probably wouldn't get through that door alive if they did.

Finding one of the few pool cues that wasn't heavily damaged or broken in half, he approached the table once more and placed the cue up against the side of the table, as he began to arrange the balls onto the table, forming them into a triangle. He hadn't played pool in a while, not since his days as an UNSEC officer. Their base had an officer's lounge, where Willis would often find himself after long days in garrison, or when he wasn't out combing the desert and blowing shit up. His game had been borderline pro at one time, though it probably had slacked off by now. He picked up a piece of chalk, and began to rub it against the point of the pool cue, as he looked over towards the bar counter, at the other patrons.

"Anyone up for a game?" he called out to the patrons.
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Pan Asian Amercian Coalition
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Posts: 1209
Founded: Jun 01, 2013
Democratic Socialists

Postby Pan Asian Amercian Coalition » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:31 am

The great city of Great Khan. So many people, sights, and such bustle. The streets were crowded by the masses of people, living in the gutted remains of a once proud starcraft, preaching, sleeping, eating, loving, and all those good things that people do when they're not in constant fear of their lives, as they usually are out in the desert. Here, the tall, tritantium armor walls and rusting vacuum bulkheads kept the sun at bay, and the living area pleasantly warm. The town was a large one, and a regional hub, and dominated the aptly named Great Khan desert. Caravans full of people and whatever they managed to drag out of the feral desert came and went like an irregular tide, breathing life into the wreck, now metropolis of Great Khan.

And where there are people, there is money. Armando knew this; he had spent nearly thirty years on Rigel-3, and was with the last wave of people coming from off-world. The types of people this planet had attracted made the sort of work Armando specialized in lucrative, to say the least. Most of those people were now gone, either lost to the deserts and it's inhabitants or lost in some medical shack in the middle of the desert, with insane doctors who also sell suspicious smelling kebabs out the other window. But, they still live through their offspring, whose native blood now packed the narrow market stalls, haggling over a piece of jewelry for a loaf of dusty bread. Such was life on Rigel-3. Civilization was few and far between, and not always civil.

Smoothly moving between the slow river of people was Armando. The caravaneers brought wealth to Great Khan, the people brought life, and Armando brought old world class. Like a fish in a river, Armando in his elegant brown suit and vest, expertly moved about the crowds, perusing the market stalls for anything to catch the sea green eyes underneath his matching brown, wide-brimmed, white banded fedora.

Armando came to rest in a small recess between two builds some distance from the market. He made an appearance of trying to light his cigarette, only to swiftly bring a wallet out from the pocket of his brown vest, which contrasted nicely with his blue and white pinstripe shirt and matching blue tie. The wallet did not belong to him, but some poor sod who was very intently watching some native animal dance around to the sound of cymbals. His white glove clad hands detained all the precious paper and cast the leather wallet aside like a used matchbook, and placed the neatly folded credits into his pocket.

Just as he finished his skillful operation, an advert on a nearby, newly made CRT set flashed to life with the following message:
Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!


Just the sort of thing he needed. Armando knew the sort of people here, far away from the decadent comforts of Montecristo, were much more rough around the edges thanks to the relentless beating of the desert sun and the constant beating of the bandit's war drums. Vagabonding sounded like something he could do. Plus, with this crowd, they would need someone to do the talking for them.

Armando arrived at the cheap dive bar and sauntered inside. His stylish leather shoes clanked gently on the slowly rotting lumber, and his wafting aroma of aftershave and desert herbs clashed with the bar's scent of cheap booze and vinegary testicles. Delving into the pocket of his vest, he checked the time by opening his priceless antique pocketwatch; an ornate, golden timepeace from the ages of the Tzar and von Bismarck, attached to his pocket by an equally ancient chain, made of an surprisingly tough alloy of gold and nickel-steel. For such relics, the two were in flawless condition. It was going to be a few hours until his future employer showed up, so he needed something to do.

"Anyone up for a game?"

Armando approached and took a pool cue of his own. He stood near the opposite corner of the table and spoke in a smooth and thick Spanish accent, which to the ears was akin to a rich milkshake on a hot summer's day.

"My name is Armando T. A. Manhoso. And you might you be...?" he trailed of as he asked the battered veteran, allowing him to answer.
Last edited by Pan Asian Amercian Coalition on Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cylarn
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Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:40 am

Willis took a moment when he was confronted by the suave Spanish gentleman. A dandy fellow in a flashy three-piece suit out in the middle of the desert was about as out of place as a yacht in a small pond. He was way too out of place for Willis to treat him with anything but suspicion. He looked like a con artist, and he probably was. His threads were probably either stolen or purchased with stolen cash, and Willis hated thieves. However, he wasn't going to completely alienate the fellow, but he kept his suspicions in the back of his mind. If the fella even so much as touched one of Willis's guns, he was going to have a rough day.

"Clark," Willis said, making direct eye contact with the fellow. "I haven't played in several years, so go easy on me, alright?"
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Esternial
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Posts: 51800
Founded: May 09, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby Esternial » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:52 am

Zed looked back at the faint trail of smoke in the distance as he walked into Khan City. Probably didn't turn the gas off properly. The massive starship and improvised tower housed quite some people, but ultimately proved unable to support the constant influx of people, causing buildings to prop up around it, forming a periphery around the city and expanding the living space, mostly for the people that couldn't afford the safety of thick steel that the city ship offered. It looked about what you'd expect from post-apocalyptic real estate.

An aura of excitement tinged with nervousness stuck to the place. Merchants and peddlers tried to grab onto passing strangers to sell their wares, fruit and other foodstuff that were close to rotting and other trinkets that held little value in a place where most of your money was spent barely surviving. Zed, on the other hand, wasn't particularly a stranger. His appearance was unmistakeable in this region of Rigel-3. Nobody else looked quite like him, except for one notable exception, but the common denominator for those people w--

What do you mean "those" people?

Ahem. The kind of people that wore that particular gas-mask and wore a captain's hat didn't particularly get any positive advertising.

Zed shrugged and kept up his pace across the dirty path that ran towards Khan City. Even to people that didn't know him, he seemed ominous, if not because of his clothing that revealed not a patch of bare skin, then probably because of the faint but still reasonably pronounced chemical smell that wafted through the air. It's almost as if he wore it like perfume.

To spare his neck from any aches, Zed didn't look up at the tower as he was about to enter it, passing several unsavoury characters that were in charge of local security. They were more like privatised thugs than actual law enforcers, but whatever semblance of a 'law' this place had, they were tasked with enforcing it.

The Pithole already had quite a few patrons, but someone like Zed was bound to stick out in any crowd like a sore thumb, and not just because he was tall...well, partly because of it. That hat only added to his height. Paying no mind to the other customers, the gasmask-toting stranger stepped right up to the bar and bent over it, whispering to the waitress.

"You wouldn't have any cake, would you?"

The bartender raised his eyebrow and placed a jar of pickled eggs between them.

Zed didn't respond to this brazen reply. Instead, he reached into his pocket, causing the bartender's hand to dive underneath the counter with a modicum of subtlety, but when he pulled out a small card the woman let go of her grip on the gun she had taped underneath the bar. It was an organ donor card. Old, worn, and probably useless in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

"Give a hoot. Save a life." He said dryly, slapping it on the counter. On it was the picture of an owl, clearly drawn on it by hand.

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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29320
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:33 pm

Oli stared at his flask, silently mourning it's emptiness. He rarely, if ever, managed to fill it, which left him in his current situation. He'd come into the Khan a week or two back, looking for work; unfortunately, him and cities, such as they were here, never mixed. Well, to be more accurate, his skills and cities didn't mix. He'd never figured out why city dwellers couldn't understand the value of a good trapper. Raiders, bandits and the occasional merc group used them both in ambushes and for protection, but these people preferred their walls, guards and mines.

He'd commandeered an alley to use as somewhere to sleep; there was a door at the back to... Something, but it had been rusted completely shut or locked. He'd jammed a railway spike into the keyhole anyway just to make sure it was completely obliterated. The alley's entrance had his bear trap sitting in the middle, ready to spring, with a roll of barbed wire strung between the alley's walls on railway spikes at roughly neck height. It was easy enough to get round; just duck under the wire and avoid the bear trap's pressure plate. He'd always found that people got so distracted by the first trap they never noticed the second.

He placed his flask back into his rucksack, which rested against his leg, as his phone began to vibrate. It was a crappy thing, with a busted speaker and receiver; he could only get text messages on it, but that was all he needed. He pulled it out and glanced at the screen.

Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!


He mumbled something incoherently to himself. Sure, he hadn't had any work lately, but this seemed... Iffy. He disliked accepting a contract without knowing the exact terms and the small print. Yet it claimed 'pay guaranteed'. That had him interested. There were few jobs people were willing to pay for and claim pay was 'guaranteed', and even fewer with the money to make it happen. And he didn't have anything better to do, so...

He slid his phone back into his pocket and reached down into his rucksack, pulling out his slightly-rusted machete and moving up to his traps. He dropped the machete onto the ground and pulled the railway spikes out from the walls, leaving two small holes. He wrapped the wire around one of the spikes before setting the bundle of spikes and wire on the ground, picking up the machete and moving towards the bear trap. He carefully brought it up, sliding it in so that it touched the pressure plate, and moved it downwards.

The trap snapped shut, and with the scraping of metal on metal Oli withdrew his machete, the trap clicking closed. Satisfied, he picked up the machete and wire bundle and dropped them into the rucksack before closing it, the back of his rocket launcher poking through one of the many holes as he went back for the bear trap and strapped it onto the side. He heaved it onto his back and headed off in the vague-ish direction of Khan's Pithole.

He slipped in and found himself a chair and dropped his rucksack under it before sitting. He had no money to buy drinks, so this wait would be miserable. Extremely miserable.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:46 pm

Temir's eyes narrowed for a moment as someone's gaze passed over him. He was used to emptiness, to being the only one awake as he cared for the ship at odd hours, and to have someone else trace their gaze over him always felt slightly off if they weren't directly speaking to him.

The desert girl with the scarf - she didn't approve of him. He heard her mutter what appeared to be a blessing to the bartender as she slipped her a bill. Another religious person looking to join up with Devine? This would prove most interesting. Then again, given the harshness of the desert, plenty of people said blessings nowadays. It seemed the humane thing to do.

Whatever her thoughts of him, she looked like she wasn't from the city and her garb meant she was probably at-home in the desert, which meant if she was tagging along with Mr. Devine then he could expect not to get lost and die of thirst. Big plus, in his opinion.

Another patron approached the bar and he found himself mildly-enthralled with her. Her blue hair certainly did something for that, although it was her clothing that first caught his eye. She wore robes, much like he and the desert girl, but hers appeared more refined and less worn from use. That meant either a trader or a preacher, but she hadn't any goods on her and her eyes were a little too sparkling and hopeful for a merchant.

Preacher, then.

Though he was an adherent of the Cult, he never passed up an opportunity to discuss beliefs with others and see what the Kindred Spirit had promulgated by Her hand across Rigel Three. If there was one thing he had learned in his many years of service, it was that She had a sense of humor - and it often involved sowing misunderstandings between the various inhabitants and tribes of the unfortunate planet.

"Excuse me, miss," his voice came out dry and husky, the beer that had quenched his throat having long-dried, "Religious woman, I take it? Look a bit out-of-place amongst the rough and tumble here. What sect?"

His gaze toward her was interrupted for a moment by a call near the pool tables for a game. It was the man with bandaged hands - probably not fit to be playing pool in that state, but Temir had no opinion on what people did with their own bodies provided it didn't hurt others - and he appeared to be determined to get at least one game in before their employer arrived. For levity, the cultist supposed, and he figured a little stress relief wouldn't be amiss before going on a possibly-suicidal mission.

A posh-looking man with a smooth voice and a Spanish accent took up the bandaged hand man on his offer. Temir's eyes narrowed. Such gaudy, extravagant wealth could only come from either being an oligarch, a thief, or a scam artist. He didn't like any of the three, and if this man was looking for Mr. Devine as well then they were going to have problems.

He caught the first two names, just barely, above the tinny voices and ambient noise of the bar: Armando T. A. Manhoso and Clark. The former was quite obviously a con man and scam artist, perhaps even a thief, given the ridiculously-fake name he'd just spouted. The latter sounded like a competent soldier, though with those hands the tinkerer wasn't so sure he'd fare well in the heat of combat.

As he awaited a response from the teal-haired preacher girl, he noted a gas-masked wearing individual bending over at the bar. He seemed like a quaint little addition to their little posse and he hoped the man joined, at least until the man began talking and Temir realized how much sense he appeared to be lacking.

Give a hoot. Save a life. Temir was tempted to laugh at the ridiculousness of the prospect before tempering his reaction with the gut feeling that this man had probably killed many others over far smaller squabbles and reactions. Best to keep his mouth shut and just go along with things until his future employer arrived and they could sort out who was being hired for what positions.
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The Carlisle
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Founded: Aug 25, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Carlisle » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:38 pm

"Are we there yet?" said a particular silver haired girl. That question was asked about every five minutes, and every time she woke up from a nap. To others, they would have snapped from the inane and repeated questioning. But Eira was more patient than others, and answered each time with the same answer of Not yet. Though, this time the answer was different.

"Yes," Eira said, her eyes flashing towards the towering ship known as Great Khan. She focused her eyes back onto the ground, driving towards the ship-city at a good speed. Shimmer squealed in delight. "YAY! We're finally here!" she exclaimed, happy the long ride was over. The girl lacked the patience her elders had, though she would gain it eventually. Hopefully.




Eira walked through the crowded streets of Great Khan, with Shimmer holding her hand and following. She was never used to settled life. She did not get how her other acquaintances could settle in these big cities. Hundreds of people walking through the streets, pushing on each other, doing their own business whether it was buying or selling. Shimmer herself was looking at EVERYTHING with great curiosity. Cities were big and full of stuff, with each one different and new. For a four year old with her curiosity, it was a playground. Shimmer tugged in sme directions to see stuff, but Eira held firm, keeping her by her side.

"I need to get more supplies. And gas," she thought. Lil'Bit, a gift from a good friend, was needing a refueling. With a jerry can in hand, Eira searched the markets for a fuel merchant, bound to be here selling their goods, legal or illegal. she did no care.

Of course, plans don't always go accordingly. Eira was a complex individual, stricken with DID. Sometimes, one of them forces their way out. Eira felt the familiar pain of a migraine, touching her head with her palm. She strained, cursing under her breathe. "D-Damnit. W-Why now?" she said to herself, trying to fight it off. But there was no use. Once it comes, there is nothing you can do but go with the flow. The migraine stopped, and Eira lowered her hand. Except, it wasn't exactly Eira anymore.

"I need a drink. And a hard one," she said, commenting on her dry throat. The boss was a teetotaler, which pissed him off. Each time he needed to wet his throat to stave off his thirst. And anything else was secondary.

"Mommy?" Shimmer said. Eira looked down to Shimmer, smirking a bit. "Hey there sugar. We're gonna go to a watering hole. I'm a bit thirsty," he said. Shimmer grinned brightly, nodding up and down with him. "Okay Daddy!" she said.

They continued on down the streets, heading out of market street and into the more service oriented sector. It was easy to find a bar here, with travelers coming and going all the time. Eira and Shimmer walked down the street, hand in hand, before being stopped by a tall man in a coat.

"Hey, pretty lady! Hey!" he said before opening his coat to reveal his birthday suit, his gonads swinging back and forth with a rigid pole sticking out. Eira looked at the man, his face twitching.

Now, if it was another woman around here, with enough speed and shock, he could have gotten away. But unfortunately for him, Eira was both not shocked, not slow, and not a woman.

The man's dangly bits were not dangling very much, as a swift boot to them crushed them flat like pancakes. Reeling back, the man stumbled back, his hands on his flattened nuts and staff. Eira jumped forward, grabbing on and clawing into the man's face, putting it in a vice grip. The man screamed in pain, but that wasn't the end. With a burst of strength, Eira picked him up, holding him above him, and threw him. The man hit a metal trashbin with a loud THUD!

The man was pretty beat up, he tried scrambling to his feet, but a boot applied directly to the neck kept him pinned to the floor. "Your, coat, off, NOW!" said Eira in a very threatening tone, twisting his boot back and forth on the man's neck. The man quickly complied, taking off his coat and tossing it away. Eira picked it up and lifted her foot. The man got up and scrambled away, running naked down the streets like the four horsemen were after him.

Eira looked at the coat, picking through its pockets. She found a couple things, including a phone. The dumb ass left his tech on him while flashing. He certainly deserved that beating.

"Daddy? Isn't that stealing?" Shimmer said. the girl was nonplussed by the gonads, not really understanding what they were and their connotations. Eira shook his head. "No sugar. This ma gave it to me as forgiveness," he said. Shimmer looked a bit confused, trying to piece things together, but then nodded in agreement. "Okay then. that was really nice of him," she said. Eira nodded, chuckling while she searched the man's phone. Surfing through his text's, he found one.

Hey Timmy. When you're done showing your peeper to the local girls, get your ass down to the Pit Hole. Some dude named Devine is looking for Vagabonds for a job. right up our alley. Also, come dressed and with your tools you sick fuck.


Eira grinned. "A bar and a job. The Boss will be happy with that. Or, at least the latter," he said, chuckling a bit. Eira blocked the number on the phone and pocketed it, grabbing Shimmer's hand and continuing forward.




It did not take much longer to find the bar. Eira looked around, seeing the place was becoming filled with people. He doubted most were patrons and were in fact looking for that job by Devine. But his first worry was not that, but wetting his throat. Eira walked up to the bar and sat on one of the bar stools. Shimmer looked up, arms raised up signalling to be picked up. Eira complied, picking up the little girl and resting her on her lap. Shimmer smiled happily at this.

"Bartender. A glass of whiskey please," Eira said, looking down quickly, "Also, a small cup of milk or juice if you have it." Shimmer giggled happily, thirsty from the ride and walk.
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Pan Asian Amercian Coalition
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1209
Founded: Jun 01, 2013
Democratic Socialists

Postby Pan Asian Amercian Coalition » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:04 pm

Cylarn wrote:"Clark," Willis said, making direct eye contact with the fellow. "I haven't played in several years, so go easy on me, alright?"


"Clark, huh?" Armando repeated rhetorically as he eyed up the rough mercenary. There was a brief gleam of suspicion under the man's countenance, which is to not be unexpected with this crowd. Armando's presence among the poorer class did tend to arouse suspicion. They did have a point; not every beggar and peddler could afford a tailored three piece. Then again, he could barely afford it before he left for this dustball, so there's that. He understood the plight of the working class, he just found better employ under himself this way. This soldier type, these grunts tended to value certain pieces of equipment more than anything, especially...

He slowly glanced over at his shoulder nonchalantly, and saw the object of the soldier's contention; two rifles, each finely made, probably from one of the famous Earth armories, which were brought when the great conglomerates and companies came to Rigel-3 during the Timonium rush and brought these professionally made weapons with them. The only thing in common between those well machined pieces and the scrap made native guns was the fact that bullets came out of the same end. Usually.

"Nice heaters of yours" he said calmly, with a hint of admiration to Clark, turning his head back, looking him straight in the eye "and don't worry about me taking them. I've got a piece of my own." He finished with a slight grin before moving into position to prepare to hit the cue ball.

Leaning deep over the table, Armando's suit opened slighty, revealing a glimpse of an antique C96 Mauser handgun in a leather holster under his left arm, as he made sure the cue ball and triangle were perfectly aligned.

"Tell me, Clark. You seem like the military type, my guess is you used to fight with ScanPower or UNSEC." he asked just as a strange lady, with a child, no less wandered up to the bar.
Last edited by Pan Asian Amercian Coalition on Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Scientia viam libertatis "...................................................................................... ///I take my realism with cream and sugar///
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Galdius
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5772
Founded: Sep 26, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Galdius » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:28 pm

Skilled people needed for the Great Khan Desert outside!
Job will be told once qualified applicants have assembled!
Must have own equipment and deal with danger!
Field of expertise varies!
Pay guaranteed!
Inquire with Zsa Zsa Devine at Khan’s Pithole, 3 pm!
Cuties a plus!


Alas, a situation has presented itself, almost as if her best friend fate had dropped it onto her lap.

Charly had been in the great khan's jaw dropping city ship for the past month or so, one of the many stoppages she had made on her extended trip to nowhere, and she couldn't wait to get moving again, her two tires back onto sand of the great khan desert, This time hopefully with some sort of companions. See, she wasn't accustomed to traveling alone, didn't fit her hyperactive fun loving and drug abusing personality, nor was it in her blood, She had been raised on the move with an extended "family" larger than most herds of Thornbacks and this had been just about the only extended amount of time that she had ever had silent solace from their grasps, which wasn't it wasn't exactly comforting to say the least. A mind on drugs left alone could easily dwell of into the darker sanctum and then ultimately start hallucinating it. A place that her mind quite commonly ventured into and could very well craft some truly terrifying shit, which, unfortunately at times, was near indistinguishable from the animals that mother nature had set loose to roam the planet, that could already be considered total nightmare fuel.


Her quest for friendship and jolly cooperation wasn't just for her to safeguard her already messed up mental health. but to also combat the long feeling of loneliness that she had felt since she got torn from the ranks of the dropouts in a blaze of fire and blood. She hadn't really had a meaningful friendship with anyone in the various town's she passed through and worked in, with almost all using her need for fuel as a way of exploiting her, most of the time for getting cheap skilled labor, and as a sort of free pass for them to treat her like total shit due to her membership in dropouts, a poetic justice for them of sorts, payback for all the times the dropouts showed up and caused havoc with their "douchebaggery and degeneracy," So it'd be safe to say that most people didn't like her kind and had no interest in associating outside of slave labor with riff raff like her, and she didn't like saying nor thinking it, but it was fairly justified after the mess that they made.


But this would be different, after all, aside from the tell tale signs of dropout membership that she bore, she could be considered a Vagabond now after all, and Vagabonds where the only other type of people that she could relate too, basically wandering explorers slash mercenaries, with the wandering part being the key word in that sentence. Most had no real sort of home and were often quite content to just wander place from place looking for shiny alien artifacts to sell off to those that had a raging hard on for such things, with them sometimes paying ludicrously exuberant prices for it, something that she both understood and didn't at the same time. So they were more or less the closest alternative she could find, so she was more than a little existed to move onto the first chapter in a new jolly adventure with some new found companions.

That wasn't to say that she hadn't enjoyed her time in the fantastic shipcity, with her being absolutely and totally gobsmacked the first time she saw it, which may or may not had to do with the high dose of cunnial she had been on, which could very easily turn the blandest of sights in this very bland planet into art pieces that looked like they'd been done by the late Leonid Afremov, and on her long distance travels in which she had though she'd seen just about everything, she had witnessed a sight that she had, well, never seen anything like it before in her short twenty five year lifespan. With it towering at-least three to four thousand feet above her when she first arrived, she had never felt so belittled in her life, with her suddenly feeling what it was like being as small as a Hopper, something that she had no intention. The people where a lot more interesting too, an added bonus to the great sights of the city, with most of them also coming from far and wide with an interest in trading their goods with the many people aboard this glorious landmark in the middle of bum fuck nowhere, hell, she had even managed to sling some of her personal collection to a couple of wary travelers in exchange for some spending money and bullets, not before she cut the product first of course, the stuff was in the box was like angel dust to her.


But while she had a grand time and very interesting encounters with the locals, the same rules applied, and she found herself working in one of the many repair garages, sleeping on the floor of the shop by night and working diligently by day for peanuts and god awful food. Which was better than most, considering that many of the people she worked for didn't trust her in the shop at all, thinking that she'd be stealing expensive tools, and they where right to think so, as this time she had replaced a few of her worn tools for some fancy new ones from the guys shop, justified in her eyes by the way he treated her thorough the agreement, which was now void thanks to the new opportunity that just popped up, with the meeting taking place a bar she had frequented a few times by the name of Khan's Pithole, not exactly classy, something that one could easily deduce just by reading the name aloud in their head, but it none the less fulfilled its purpose, serving cheap (Often watered down) booze with a couple of leisurely things should one seek entertainment. Although it wasn't the type of entertainment she looked for when she went to a bar, oh no, she was more into bar brawls than a game of poker, despite her playing the game of deception surprisingly well.

She stood outside the doors of the familiar bar, glancing in with her diluted eyes as her life slowly passed her by, watching the movements of the people inside as she grew slightly nervous, partly because she had never really done anything like this before and because she couldn't remember if she had been barred or not since she had been here, which would likely shoot down her plan of jolly cooperation right at the starting line. It was quite the strange collection of people indoors too, most of whom where sitting at the bar although a couple where a few scattered, some at the various tables and a few even playing pool or possibly snooker, two games that she never learned how to play in the short times she spent at bars.

It was a very mixed bag, with a few very eccentric types, mainly gasmask man(?)with his dinky little hat and the man wearing what looked to be a very exquisite suit and fedora, not exactly desert wear, along with a few more serious types, the brunette girl sitting alone at one of the tables clad in body armor and a middle-aged chad also clad in a plate carrier playing pool, both likely mercenaries and both likely Former UNSEC or one of the many other groups that hated Dropouts. Then there was the bible thumpers, two of them in fact, one blue haired woman, likely a worshiper of the The Mandate and what looked like a great khan, both seemingly engaging in a conversation. And then, well, there was the people she didn't really know what to think about, with a similarly aged woman sitting at the bar with a rugrat sitting on her lap and a rather short girl in loose but colorful garments who looked pretty, well, tribal. Made her wonder if everyone in there was here for the job offer, because it was going to be on weird trip even without her smoking all sorts of narcotics.

But standing outside in the glaring heat from the sun, which beating down on her, wasn't doing her any favors, so it was about time that she wandered inside. She was dressed in what she mostly always wore with her hair flowing freely, stuff that made it clear of the roots that she sprouted from with her armaments also speaking the same, being armed to the teeth for a close quarter battle, which wasn't pre-planned intentionally for wandering into a bar. Her two fancy albeit machine pistols hung comfortably and freely inside her synthetic underarm holsters, the short sawn off shotgun slung tightly under her left arm, the sick stick and tire iron attached to her rigger belt well within easy reach for her along with the many magazine carriers too, making her look like some sort of modern amateur cowboy gunslinger. A feeling of disdain was felt the second she walked in the door, coming from the direction of the bar, the eyes of the bartender digging into the side of her skull, making her little too uncomfortable, but at least whatever antics she pulled the last time she was here had yet to have gotten her barred for the establishment.


Unsure where to go but eager to start up a conversation with somebody, she found herself gravitating towards the pool table, stopping near the end facing towards the door as she watched suited man and action man duke it out with the pool cues, only not in the way that she would have liked to see. "Hey." she blurted out, a disarming grin surfacing on in her face before quickly evaporating, realizing that she could be rather rudely interrupting the game, with her now Instead choosing to stand quietly and relaxed next to the table, removing out a small steel tin from the back pocket of her pants, opening it up to reveal a number of good quality tobacco roll-ups Removing one and placing it between before attempting to light it with a bad lighter, taking her several attempts to spark a flame before successfully pulling it off, lighting the end of the tobacco roll-up before taking a singular drag, feeling a little more mellow and relaxed as she stood before two total strangers, she kept the tin at hand, ready to offer up a cigarette should one ask.
Last edited by Galdius on Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Life's but a walking shadow. Honor. Love. Friends. But in there's death. Curses.

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Jessjohnesik
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12283
Founded: Sep 11, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Jessjohnesik » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:34 pm

Taking a sip from her beer, Johanna inquisitively observed those at the bar, her emerald green eyes carefully darting from one table to the other, observing for the sake of observation. Johanna practised this quite a lot, simply due to her overly curious nature. She took note of some of the more peculiar people at the bar foremost. Two of them in fact. While one seemed like she was from one of the numerous local sects that Johanna despised, another was wearing rather odd clothes for a bar, including a gas mask. The latter Johanna could've sworn to have seen before.

Taking her attention off of her observations would be a middle aged man, who seemed like he was the military type and who was also prompting everyone to play...a game of billiard? Johanna wasn't entirely sure what pool was in the context the man had used the word in, but figured it was likely billiard. Not that Johanna would jump into playing billiard, she didn't exactly know how to play even if she wanted to. The military man would soon be joined by a rather sketchy individual who seemed like he was likely some sort of scam.

Johanna also noticed the military man's lovely weapons. She cast her eye on the HK416, gazing at it for a bit and remembering the days of when she had one while in DU's service. In fact she stole one of those as she escaped, along with the Walther, but after a week lost it during an ambush. She regretted that day for a long time, before realising that she was shot two times during that ambush and was forced to flee after a new convoy was headed to her location, of course she had eradicated the first group that'd come to get rid of her. There really was nothing she could do and carrying the HK416 would prove to be more risky than useful for at least the next week after the ambush.

Swaying the thoughts about her regrettable and largely forgotten past, Johanna instead focused on the two men playing billiard, awaiting for both of them to go at each other's throats as the scammer, or thief, or whatever low life he was, would lunge to get the military man's guns. It would certainly be amusing to watch them both go at each other. Plus, she could effectively and swiftly fill in the void as both sides diminished, taking the guns amidst the fight and nonchalantly leaving with them. Even if she'd get noticed, Johanna would likely easily separate their jaws from their skulls. Of course, she wouldn't dare risk grabbing the guns without a good enough opportunity at hand, likely similar to the simulation she just ran through her mind.

On the other side of the bar, two tribe people seemed a little less intriguing, although Johanna took note of them as well. All while keeping an eye on an odd woman with a child who had just walked in, besides another odd face with an odd demeanour, who also joined the military man at the pool table. Guess billiard is more popular than Johanna previously thought, or it could just be the HK, hard to tell. Johanna pondered whether any of these people were also here for the job. Not that it matters; Johanna had no competition, unless the new boss was wrong in the head.
Last edited by Jessjohnesik on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cylarn
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Posts: 14610
Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:47 pm

Pan Asian Amercian Coalition wrote:-snip-


"UNSEC," he said, rather bluntly.

Unlike other mercenaries, Willis hardly ever immediately went into a deep discussion about his military career. The situation wasn't that he was ashamed of his service; quite the opposite, considering his current pace within the organization before he resigned his commission. It was just that he didn't like to boast about what he did, since it was merely what he was made to do. However, if someone pried enough, it wasn't rare for him to at least reveal what unit he served with. He was proud of his service, but he didn't want to draw attention to himself by boasting.

As he spoke with the con artist, he noticed the man's holstered C96, contained in a shoulder holster. To be fair, it was a nice gun, but Willis believed that antiques were nothing more than conversation pieces. If it was an original German production, then it was just an old pistol that was harder to reload than a more modern design. If it was a Shanxi Type 17, then it was probably a cheap piece of shit. Antiques were antiques for a reason; they were superseded by more modern, effective designs. Willis carried a Five-Seven on his hip, a 21st Century design that was still in production about the same time as Rigel-3 was shut off from the world. It had a 20-round magazine of 5.7mm, that could pierce body armor, it was lightweight, and it was accurate. Sure, the C96 packed a heavy round, but Willis felt that his more modern pistol superseded such a relic.

More people walked in, with a "model" mother and her child walking in, and a grungy-looking young woman fitted with gear. As Willis waited for Armando to actually hit the ball, he let his eyes wander the establishment. It was at this point that he noticed prying eyes from a suspicious-looking woman, who was eyeing Willis and his guns. He narrowed his eyes at her, as his body unconsciously moved into an Interview Stance. She looked dangerous, and Willis got the hunch that she was sizing him up. It was an unconscious process for trained people; do something enough times, and your mind will often relate objects that way. Walking through a hallway, for example, you might start to think about how you could systematically clear each room, or how you could take out a team of soldiers moving down said hallway.

Willis's analysis was interrupted when the grungy young woman with the tire iron approached, offering a greeting as she held a tin full of cigarettes, lighting one up. Willis readjusted his position, allowing him to see both Charly and the suspicious, purple-haired woman who was eyeing his weapons. He gave Charly an acknowledging nod, and looked over at Armando, keeping Johanna in his peripherals.

"Anytime now's fine," he said.
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Tiltjuice
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Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:49 pm

“Seventy credits! A shake of the head.

Fifty and a food heater!” An upraised hand.

"Ah, excuse me - "

But that was to no avail; the Madding Crowd around the tall-framed stall was too busy searching for Their Next Acquisitions. Its members could scarcely be blamed; the rugs hoisted up on the large wireframe racks were second to none in Great Khan City's bazaars. Still, trading a food heater for a rug seemed a bit outré. Not enough, however, to discourage Mathias from attempting to follow in their footsteps with a homemade poultice, excellent for treating acne and boils.

The rug sellers had much better offers, however, and they turned their attention toward the better-dressed individuals in the crowd. Mathias frowned as the state of his clothing sank into his nostrils. Perhaps it had been a while since he'd been able to properly clean them. He turned away from the crowd and strolled some distance away. The scents of good food wafted from one particular direction, and he veered toward it. Where there was sustenance, there was more likely to be lodgings and laundries. As he drew closer to the source of the food smells, though, yelling and the unmistakable sounds of a street fight suggested that he take another route. He glanced swiftly around himself, and noted a young woman and a little girl disappear into an establishment. Supposing it was an inn, he followed.

The doors swung shut behind him and he found himself in a bar instead. Giving a philosophical shrug to himself, he took a seat in the corner and watched the two men playing their game, and the woman who was, like himself, sweeping a gaze over everyone else.
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Imperial--japan
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Posts: 11532
Founded: Nov 24, 2010
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Imperial--japan » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:22 pm

As the bartender came back with her beverage, Constanza gave him a smile and nod of appreciation. He gave her a grin in return, as it wasn't everyday someone went out of their way to thank someone who was expected to do their job. There was just something about brightening someones day, whether by doing them the smallest favor or offering much needed help, it always managed to bring a smile to Connie's lips and a bright warmth to her heart. In this day and age, not many could bring themselves to care about others as selflessly as Constanza tried to do so.

"Bless you brother. I hope your days to come are fruitful," Constanza said to the bartender. She bowed her head in respect towards the everyday working man as he went about his business. No doubt he was a busy man with so many vagabonds to attend to. Connie reached into her side sack in order to pull out her copy of 'The Mandate'. If she wasn't going to drink and she wasn't going to smoke, then she could at least practice up on her beliefs. She wanted the priesthood to accept her as a full-fledged member of the higher echelon after all.

"Excuse me, miss," she heard someone say, and turned to be face to face with a brown-skinned man. Likely a native, and if he was hanging out around here, it was more than likely that he was a Vagabond. He seemed rather polite though, and so Constanza turned and gave him a smile in greeting.

"Religious woman, I take it? Look a bit out-of-place amongst the rough and tumble here. What sect?" Why even better! Someone wanted to infer as to what sect she belonged to! Perhaps not all Vagabonds were as dangerous and rude as she was led to believe. Constanza turned to face him fully and pulled down her hood. Her blue hair reached towards the very top of her back, and there were two tails tied on her left and right side of her head. Connie's matching blue eyes were now visible to any who couldn't get a proper view before. She was truly special in this regard, as not too many folks sported such an abnormal hair color.

"I am a member of 'The Schism', and a follower of 'The Ultimate Mandate'. I'm Constanza Xiones, and it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Throughout her little introduction, Connie's smile never faded. She was quite excited to engage in conversation with someone, as it would help her forget that she was in some seedy establishment in the first place. She raised her arm, and held it out for a handshake.
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Swith Witherward
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Posts: 30302
Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:05 pm

Mathias? Esma's eyes widened as the familiar face and wire glasses made a brief appearance in the mirror. Of all the places for the naturopath to turn up! How many years had it been? Far too many, indeed. She'd often wondered what had become of him and, in truth, had suspected he'd met an untimely demise.

Esma slid off her stool, pausing next to the Tightwad. Only his brown eyes and weathered brow were visible but, now that she was closer, she noticed the book occupying the space in front of him. Ah. Perfect.

"Excuse me, miss?" she waved her ale to catch the barmaid's attention, and then gestured to Temir. "The Great Khan is kindness. My friend here will cover the cost of Gas Mask's drink."

Her voice adopted concern rather than mockery as she leaned closer to the man to whisper, "Things are much tighter for the serving girl."

Having completed her mission as an instrument of karmic justice, Esma moved on. Her austere nomad's posture melted as she approached the corner table.

"If my father were here, he'd tell you to get a tan," Esma's lilting laughter betrayed her mirth as she settled into the chair next to Mathias. He would have been the recipient of a hug but she remained respectful of his paranoid sentiments regarding touch, bestowing a warm, white-toothed smile upon him instead. "How have you been, old friend? Looking to sign on with Zsa Zsa as well?"
Last edited by Swith Witherward on Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Carlisle
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Posts: 10024
Founded: Aug 25, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Carlisle » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:14 pm

The bartender eventually headed over with a glass of whiskey and a cup of apple juice. Eira moved the flask over and scooted herself back, giving shimmer room to stand up, resting her arms onto the counter. "Here you go sugar," he said, moving the cup of juice to Shimmer. Shimmer grabbed the cup and started drinking it, giggling at the sweet apple taste, not noticing how watered down it was.

Eira grabbed her glass with a swift motion and took a drink. He almost spit it out on the counter, the terrible mix of mostly water and whiskey souring his tongue, though his face showed great disdain. He knew that bars around the planet watered down their hard spirits, but fucking hell, this was god awful. The whiskey wasn't that good either, probably some local brewed in a metal barrel. Hell, he could even taste the aluminum. Nothing like a good, aged in an oak barrel, whiskey. She moved a bit so that the bartender wasn't looking and let the bad drink flow out of his mouth and back into the glass.

Eira set the "whiskey" down, moving it away from him. "Sugar, stand still for a few seconds," he said. He got up from the stool and set his backpack down on the floor. Even with a more gentle move, the bag still made an audible thud. The backpack was filled to capacity with survival gear, work equipment, and other assorted items. Despite owning a car to carry stuff, Eira still packed like she was on foot. Eira opened a side pocket of the backpack and took out a flask of whiskey. It was an "emergency ration" when on the road, but bad whiskey was enough of an emergency to bring it out.

While she did all that. Eira took the moment to scan around the room. More people were gathering here, no doubt they were vagabonds looking at it now. Three were wrapped up in robes, no doubt preachers of sorts. Eira didn't prefer these folk, as God or Gods never help him in a gunfight nor healed a wound. To him, they were just nutters believing in fairies or con artists. Three were by the pool table, smoking cigs and hitting balls. Eira thought to crack one out himself, but then remembered Shimmer. Anyways, two men, one a merc looking type and a dressed up gambler, probably a cheat too. The other was quite the fine-looking redhead. Close to his type to, late twenties, early thirties. Maybe he could pull the moves on her and have a fun night. But, then he had to do something about Shimmer. And he couldn't leave her anywhere on her won. She'll start crying and he knew child snatchers would grab her.

Fuck...

Anyways, some other guy entered. Looked like a junkie. Another look revealed another woman. Brown haired, good age. Maybe? She looked a bit bland, and too muscley. looking more, her eyes pinned on someone else, looking for a few seconds as bells rang in his head. A beautiful, exotic, woman sat across the bar, tending to herself in a mirror. Right age, lovely, nice build. She was near perfect. Eira couldn't believe this was happening. It's been years since a woman hit all categories. He couldn't let this catch go.

Eira stood up, took a swig of whiskey from the flask, closed it, and handed it to Shimmer. "Guard this sugar, and don't open it," he said, "Daddy will be right back." And with that, Eira walked to get this vixen.

Of course, she didn't stay put. She moved away to go to one of the preacher types and the junkie. In fact, it seemed she had feelings for the junkie, shockingly. This made Eira a bit angry and disdainful to the man. "They better not be a couple or some shit," she thought to herself. With her gallivanting hitting a brick wall, Eira resigned herself to sitting down and drinking her scotch, waiting for an opportunity to pounce on her.

Of course, she would have done this, if Shimmer hadn't disappeared. Eira looked around, searching for the kid.


Shimmer herself had wandered off, wanting to talk to people. She got down, cup and flask in hand, and walked about, heading to a particular blue-haired woman who looked very interesting.

"Hi there!" Shimmer said, "You have pretty hair. Why is it blue? What's your name? Mine's Shimmer."
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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:20 pm

The Most Great Khan: Chapter V: Verse XVI wrote:Beware he who denies knowledge / He sees himself a future master


Temir grasped Costanza's hand firmly and offered a smile through his mask, "Temir Talgat, former Senior Maintenance Officer of the Cult of the Great Khan. It's a pleasure to meet you."

It was far from a pleasure, however. As Senior Maintenance Officer he'd been in charge of receiving shipments of scrap metal and technological artifacts from hired Vagabond groups and mercenaries, and all spoke ill of the Mandate. Their followers, though friendly individually, were fanatical about ensuring that all technology was funneled toward their group to the exclusion of everyone else. Why their group was exclusive and for what purpose was unknown, for their texts spoke of a bright future brought at the hand of the Mandate's leaders. He wasn't so sure he trusted them. Unlike the Cult, they didn't seem very open about their motives behind hoarding technology, and they didn't seem keen on sharing it. And if there was one thing She willed, it was sharing.

"The Mandate, eh?" he noted that she wasn't taking a sip of her order and supposed it might be a tenet of their order not to partake in sensual pleasures, "Heard a little about you guys, just whispers here and there. Tech hoarders, just like the Cult. Odd for you to be so far out here - proselytizing? Seeking work, perhaps?"

He glanced down at her copy of The Mandate before his gaze flickered back up to her and he made his judgment. She could be trusted, he supposed, but ultimately any technology found would have to go to the Cult. He had no interest in giving it away to some greedy bastards and see it hoarded while the common people starved in the streets.

His gaze returned to the bar and he noted a mother and child had appeared, seemingly out-of-place in such an establishment. He supposed Devine's offer had attracted even the unqualified, though he quickly reminded himself that the Kindred Spirit looked down on considering others based on appearance alone. Without justification for his thoughts, they were poison, they were organic. They were unlike the machine, unlike her Body.

His observations were paused as the desert girl stood up and walked next to him, insisting to the bartender that he would be paying for whatever the gas-masked man ordered. He turned to her, indignant, before she responded with concern for the bartender. He nodded at her as she walked off and looked down for a moment with shame. His merchant instincts had gotten the better of him. The Kindred Spirit would not approve.

"Had a change of heart?" the bartender waltzed over with a quizzical, surprised look as she passed two frothy glasses of beer to a duo of friends at the end of the bar.

"Yes, of course," Temir unslung his pack and fished out his wallet once again, looking down so she wouldn't notice how embarrassed he was "Please, whatever he's ordered, I'll cover it. And... I believe I owe you something for the tip."

He fished out several medium-denomination bills and offered them to her. She accepted them silently, before turning way to serve the masked man.

He had to keep an eye on that desert woman. As much as generosity was the commandment of the Kindred Spirit, he had limited supplies to work with and was not interested in panhandling or begging to get himself through this mission.

His thoughts were interrupted by a little girl who had decided to make the acquaintance of Costanza and, amusingly, was fascinated by the latter's blue hair.

Shimmer. What a fascinating name. It was a shame that the desert was going to eat her up and spit her out sooner or later, like it had him. If she was lucky, someone would take her in - possibly with her mother - and keep them safe from the raiders outside. Perhaps the Cult would be willing...

The Most Great Khan: Chapter II: Verse I wrote:Poor in spirit is he who prolongs suffering to enrich himself
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