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The Silent Veil: IC

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Antimersia
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Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

The Silent Veil: IC

Postby Antimersia » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:51 pm

OOC - https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=512413&p=39156814#p39156814
First Chicago Bank
2300 W Lawrence Ave Chicago, IL
9:43 AM Oct, 31st, 1956


Its raining in Chicago. It seems like it's always raining these days. The streets are crowded with umbrella carrying people none the less. Streets are filled with cars. And the air is filled with tension. No one knows when the next incident will be, how bad it will be, whether or not Silents will be involved. But who are we kidding? Silents are always involved. In Chicago, you have a better chance of dying from organized crime and Silent activity, than you do heart disease or cancer. And everyone knows it. And yet, no one leaves. There is just too much money, and too much opportunity. The poorest man in Chicago is richer than the average man in Kansas. The allure of the night life, with bars, night clubs, cabaret, burlesque and more. Not to mention the crazies that actually want to see Silents in action. Using their powers, and usually destroying property in the process. For some it's like watching a motion picture live and in person. But, for most, it's a horror. And few things tend to be as mudanely nerve racking, as a simple trip to the bank.

Three shots ring out. The tellers and customers of the bank all recoil at the loud bang. They turn to see the source as Five men in tailored suits stride in through the front door of First Chicago Bank. They drag the bleeding corpses of the security guards that were stationed out front. A common sight in Chicago today is a dead security guard. Thankfully their families will be well compensated for their loss. One of the five gangsters aims his Walther P38 up into the air and fires. Robberies have become so routine that that single shot is all the bank customers need to know that they need to get on the ground, and the tellers need to start pulling out the cash from the registers. Things all seem routine for a day in Chicago, until two more men in suits walk into the bank. The first, an older man, in his early fifties. He is wearing a blue suit and his salt and pepper hair betrays his otherwise youthful appearance. He is instantly recognizable to the crowd though. John Dillinger of the Dillinger gang. Beside him is a scrawny young woman in a raggedy flowery dress. She is wearing a red and orange fox mask. She is a Silent, one of Dillinger's pawns. their appearance draws gasps from several in the crowd. A bank robbery in Chicago is nothing out of the ordinary, but First Chicago Bank is outside of Dillinger's territory. A move like this would instigate a gang war. And everyone in the room knows it.

"Now if nobody says a word, and just do what we say, everyone can go home and pretend this never happened. Sound good? Good." Dillinger yells. His voice coarse yet suave. He grabs his Silent by her collar and practically drags her along through the crowd towards the tellers desk. Three of his gangsters walk up with him, grabbing backs handed to them by the tellers. The other two Gangsters hang around by the entrance, keeping lookout. Each of them carrying a shotgun in their hands. Dillinger kicks the door to the back hard, right at the point of the handle to bust it in. He pushes the Silent ahead of him and yells, "Get to work on that safe. If we aren't in in five minutes you know what will happen to that precious grandma of yours."

The woman whimpers running over to the safe and getting to work. She activates her silent ability, releasing a high powers stream of fire from her finger like a welders torch. She presses her finger against the safe door, near the hinges. Slowly she burns through the thick steel, melting it away to allow for the door to be removed. Dillinger watches her work with disdain, and impatience. It takes three minutes for the Silent girl to break through the first of the two hinges. She is behind schedule, and Dillinger has no qualms about letting her know. He places the barrel of his hand gun to the back of her head. To 'motivate' her to move faster. As the five minutes get close to being up, he begins a count down. The girl frantically cuts, trying as hard as she can but as blisters begin to form on her finger it becomes apparent that she is not very resistant to her own heat. She will never be able to finish in time. "Three...two... one." Dillinger counts down to the end point of five minutes. He pulls back the hammer on his handgun and places his finger on the trigger. A gun shot silences the room.

Dillinger turns around, the Silent girl drops to here knees in fear and shock that she is still alive. One of Dillinger's men fired their gun at a man standing in the doorway of the bank. But he appears completely unharmed. The black Oni mask on his face tells them all why. The Silent reaches out into the minds of the gangsters, and telepathically speaks to them. "You abuse your fellow man, for paper adorned with the face of dead patriots. You are slaves to your system. I am here to break your chains." The voice in their minds was brutal and over powering. Another gun shot rings out. The Silent at the door and the gangsters look back to see that Dillinger has shot the Silent girl in the head. Her mask falls off her face and her eyes go dim.

"This is why I hate you mask wearing freaks. You always have to show up and ruin a good thing. So who're you working for? Diamond Joe? North Side? Don't tell me you're with the Outfit." Dillinger asks, mocking and berating.

"Your Mafias do not own me. I am free." The Silent replies.

"A free agent huh? Tell you what, you take off the mask, tell me who you really are, and maybe me and the boys won't blast you to bits. Hell maybe I'll even let you replace that bitch back on the ground." He proposes. The Silent does not reply. "Alright, you made your choice. End him." Dillinger commands. Every one of the gangsters pull out their guns and start firing until their clips are empty. The bullets shred through his clothes but do nothing to his body as they pass through him. Almost like he isn't really there. The Silent steps forward, and suddenly the gangsters drop their weapons and nearly fall to the ground themselves. Their bodies feeling heavy and immobile. "What the hell is this?" Dillinger asks, scared and enraged.

"You fucked up now asshole, never mess with a guy like me." The voice of the Silent has changed in their minds. It has gone from brutal to sharp and cocky. As if coming from a street kid. The Silent walks up behind Dillinger and places his hand on the Don's back. He speaks to them in their minds again. Speaking in a third voice this time. This one sounding intelligent and dignified. First he speaks to Dillinger alone, "Your time has come, Mr. Dillinger." Then he speaks to the gangsters, "You shall be free. Aid me in releasing this world from its self inflicted vices and we can all be free." Suddenly a pulse of energy shoots through the Silent's arm and into Dillinger's body. His chest explodes. Blood, ribcage, and shredded gore paint the bank's marble flooring. Dillinger's body drops forward into the puddle of viscera. The gangsters all slide back in fear. The Silent steps over the body and extends a hand to the closest gangster. A fourth, feminine voice rings through their minds. Come now, stand with me. Together, there is nothing to fear. We will stand together against the binds that restrict us. Until we are all truly free. The gangster takes the Silent's hand and is lifted up. The other gangsters stand as well. They look at each other for confirmation. Ultimately deciding through fear and peer pressure to agree to follow this new Silent. At least for now.

The Silent turns back towards the safe. He walks over to the corpse of the young lady that Dillinger had killed. He closes her eye lids out of respect. Then picks up her mask. He slides it underneath his coat and walks away. He beckons for the gangsters to follow him. They all hesitate at first, but all begin to follow him out. The Silent picks up Dillinger's body as he heads out. Tossing the corpse out onto the road. The public around the bank gasp and run. Women screaming as the commotion grows. On the street, one of the gangsters ask the Silent what they should call him. The Silent takes off his mask to reveal his youthful face and well kept blond hair. "My name is Carter." He answers as he places his hand on the outer wall of the bank. He takes a deep breath and places the mask back on. Three pulses of energy leave Carter's hand into the bank. The first shakes the entire building. The second makes the cracks form all along it. And the third begins to bring it down. The gangsters run off to a safe distance. Carter strides away allowing the falling ruble to pass through him harmlessly. Carter and the gangsters disappear into the darkness of an alleyway, leaving the city to resolve the tragedy.

News travels fast in the city. Papers, news television reports, and even word of mouth has everyone discussing the tragedy of the First Chicago bank and the thirty lives lost. And with the death of on of the fingers on the Hand, the citizens of Chicago know that this will only mark the beginning of a wave of trouble for the city. A new player, and the public display of Dillinger's murder will be on the lips of every gossip from here to D.C. and back. For the first time in years, the balance of power in Chicago is shaken. And a new player has risen to the challenge against the Hand, and against society at large.
Last edited by Antimersia on Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Luminesa
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Posts: 58667
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:39 pm

Day 1
Morning at Mercy Hospital had been busy. A gunfight had exploded a few streets away, and the hospital had filled with patients in various degrees of trauma. Nurses cleaned and wrapped bandages, assured patients who were anxious, and rushed between rooms to bring supplies to the doctors. For Rozalin Harkner, however, the day was far from the first bloody day he had seen. Gang violence in Chicago was everywhere, as the city seemed to be bubbling in a pot and waiting to spill. The War had shaped him to be both mortified and expectant of blood and gore. The tall, shy nurse followed an older nurse into the room of one particular patient, a
man with a knife-wound in his right shoulder and in his left arm. Mercifully, the wounds were not too deep, and he was awake and alert, though he was covering the bloodied wounds with some torn cloth. The man gave a confused look as Rozalin entered, holding a clipboard with attentive concern.

“Hello, Mr. Giorgio Esposito. My name is Bernice, your nurse, and this is Rozalin, also your nurse. We’ll be taking care of your wounds today. How are you feeling?” Bernice was professional and calm, even in the face of a grizzled member of the notorious Diamond Gang.

“I’m doing just dandy, getting my arm sliced-up. If you could get that fixed I’d
appreciate it,” the man answered, scanning the two nurses for a moment. He fixed his eyes on Rozalin as he began to write on a clipboard. Giorgio narrowed his eyes for a moment, as if he was trying to spot something behind the young man. “…You’re tall for a dame, huh?”

“…Excuse me?” Rozalin looked up from his clipboard, tucking some hair behind his ear as he spoke.

“Rozalin. Yeah. That’s a women’s name, ain’t it?”

“Ahem!” Bernice pretended to clear her throat, swiftly interrupting the conversation. “Let’s take a look at your wounds, hm?” She walked over with Rozalin and unwrapped the man’s wounds, giving them a look over. The first nurse then began to ask Giorgio a round of questions, while Rozalin wrote the answers. The latter nurse kept their eyes down, only occasionally lifting his head to give an assuring smile to the patient. Even if he was a criminal, every nurse still took the oath to do no harm. “Luckily the wound does not look infected. We’re going to run some blood-work to make sure you don’t have any infections, Rozalin is going to clean your wounds, and we’ll hopefully have you out of here soon!” Bernice piped.

Giorgio gave a hopeful sigh. “That’d be great, miss. It does sting. Not my first knife fight though.” He gave a smirk, and watched as Bernice and Rozalin took his blood for an examination. The first nurse then left the room to bring blood to be checked in a lab, and Rozalin stayed in the room.

“You ain’t scared, miss?”

Rozalin paused for a moment, as if they were not sure how to answer. Straightening his shoulders, which had been hunched over the clipboard in his hand, he gave a kind smile. “No, sir.”

“Aha! So you are a dame! You know, you do look familiar.”

The young nurse cocked his head to the side. “…Do I?…”

Giorgio gave an impish grin. “…There’s a dancing girl I saw at a club…Yeah…she was tall and lean, and had long black hair. Violet eyes too, that Elizabeth Taylor look. Classic features. You’ve seen Elizabeth Taylor, huh?”

Rozalin gave a soft blush. “…Of course. She’s quite beautiful.”

“Yeah, yeah, they say that her eyes are the rarest color on the planet. But I told my buddy, you know, that broad I saw last night, she had them Elizabeth-Taylor eyes too. She had a…a way about her, too.”

“A way?”

“Yeah, she’d uh…flip her hair and kinda…throw her hips around. Stuff they don’t show on the telly.” He gave a wink, expecting for Rozalin to reciprocate.

There was an odd pause between them, as if the nurse was trying to process what the man had said. Bernice was still waiting for results, so the footsteps around the hall were from other nurses hurrying to help patients. After about a minute, however, Rozalin gave a soft smile. “…She sounds like she was quite enchanting.”

“See? You know what I’m talking about. Yeah…Geez, the only other thing I could ask for, uh…you don’t happen to have a cigarette on you, huh?”

“No sir.”

“Mm. Been needing a good smoke, been on edge since I woke-up this morning.”

Rozalin nodded. Again, another moment passed between them. Now, the nurse had a question. “…Did this woman have a name?”

“A name? Oh…uh…” Giorgio blinked and turned his head, trying to remember. “…Kinda blurry, to be honest…oh! It was like a flower…something exotic, y’know?…Lilac. I think it was Lilac.”

Another pause, then another soft smile. This time, Rozalin’s smile lingered a little.

“…That sounds like a lovely name.”

Previous Night
The smoke, liquor, and cheap perfume of The Dizzy Lizzy created an atmosphere of sleaze and ease, a den for twitchy low-lives, average joes looking for more suggestive entertainment, and other suspicious figures. It was a place in which one never knew if federal agents were skittering around the establishment, either looking for a bust or enjoying the show themselves. Tonight, the headlining act was an upcoming star in the smoky world of jazz clubs, described by the MC as “being both a dream man and woman.”

Lilac hated the moniker they gave him. Too blatant, lacking the air of mystique he wanted to give his audience. Nobody knew he was really a man-they thought the advertising was just that. And as a rising star, not an established one, he had very little power over how clubs advertised him. Nevertheless, he went along with the moniker for his own sake. Tonight, as the MC came to the stage to introduce the opening acts, Lilac stood in the wings fixing his makeup. Everything needed to be perfect. He smoothed his dress and took a breath. His own perfume had melted into the thick air around him, filling his lungs with dirty dread. Yet he knew when his moment had come, and he was ready.

“Well folks, I hate to keep you waiting, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and uh…thrilled by our main act. She’s quite the stunner, especially if you like ‘em tall and dark. Please give a warm welcome to our dream lady herself, Miss Lilac!”

Claps and whistles came from the audience as he walked out to greet them. He was definitely dressed for the role of a seductress. A tight two-piece dress, crimson, with a sweetheart necklace that accentuated the chest. Lilac gave his dress’s skirt one more smoothing, as if to once more draw attention to his curves. Immediately he began to play his character, smirking at the MC as he walked past. “Thank you, thank you. Thank you for the lovely introduction. But let’s clarify one thing before we get started…I am not…not…a lady. I am a woman.” He elongated his phrases, checking for the pulse of the audience with each word. His
voice was soft and husky, feminine but dark. He gave a wink to a man in the front row, and then signaled for the band to start playing.

Lilac loved risqué songs and torch songs, and so he began his repertoire with some of those. He moved in time to the music, batting his lashes and running a hand
through his long hair, which flashed a glowing raven hue in the dim light.

”You gotta see your mamma every night, or you can't see your mamma at all!
You've got to kiss your mamma, treat her right, orI won't be home when you
call!”


Jaunty, playful, and steady, Lilac gave winks and coquettish looks to the audience when appropriate between stanzas. The opening number definitely drew attention, with several men holding thick cigars keeping a close eye on her movements. After each song, the audience clapped and whistled, and some of those men raised their glasses to “her”. At one point, Lilac paused as the band continued to play a beat behind him. Putting a hand on his hip, he smiled toward a corner of the crowd-those men chewing on their cigars. “…Now…wait a moment…I see a gentleman over here who’s still got a frown on his face…I don’t like frowns. We all came to relax, didn’t we?”

Some affirmative shouts came from around the room, and he grinned. With said affirmations, Lilac chuckled and began his next song. This one was slower, sultrier, and had almost a physical presence. One for which the band had prepared, but not the audience.

”You don’t call me much anymore…
You don’t call me much anymore…
Like we did months before…
You don’t call me much anymore…”


The tempo moved at the speed of molasses sliding down a tree in the winter, and so did Lilac move toward the edge of the stage. All the while, his eyes stayed on the frowning gentleman, who now had removed his cigar from his mouth.

”We used to find the time…
Back when love was sweeter than crime…
Back when we didn’t keep the score…
But you don’t call me much anymore…”


He had moved into the crowd now, and dozens of eyes followed Lilac as he held his microphone and walked toward the man’s table. Unprompted, he sat on the table and found his target’s eyes as the instrumental played. He watched the man breathe, and the way his eyes dilated as Lilac drew close.

”I’ve been waiting by the phone…
I write letters, poems, and notes…
To keep my dreams off the kitchen floor…
But you don’t call me much anymore…”


The man and Lilac continued to gaze at each other, in a moment shared both by few and by all. As Lilac repeated the first verse, and the instrumental began to fade, his microphone was the only thing between his lips and the gentleman’s own lips. They were wetted by alcohol and dried by smoke, and his face showed age. Yet his eyesan earthy hazel-seemed to alight as Lilac spent more time in front of him, and now
the slightest smile came to his face. As claps, cat calls, and cheers erupted from around the room, Lilac give a sweet smile. He looked around the room, finally breaking eye-contact. “…Now that’s much better, one more man I’ve made smile today…Do you have a name, sir?”

“Uh…Georgie.” He was almost too starstruck to speak.

“Well, Georgie, I am glad to have met you this evening. And I’ll be glad to spend a little more time with all of you this evening.” More cheers. Lilac could feel his body bubbling with warmth as he walked back to the stage. Even the band was clapping and grinning with pride. A complete victory for the evening.

Day Again
“OW!”

Rozalin gasped, and stared at his patient.

Giorgio had winced as the nurse had began to clean and wrap his wounds. “Please be careful with those wounds, eh?”

“Yessir.” The nurse stared at Giorgio’s eyes. He had almost forgotten that he needed to say that important polite phrase. Yet he had just noticed that Giorgio’s eyes were a deep hazel.

The gangster scowled for a moment, only for the glare to once again become inquisitive. “…You got something on your mind, nurse?”

“Ah no, not really. Just…thinking about the rest of the day. Going to be quite the busy day today, I reckon.”

“Hm! Tell me about it. But you, you try to stay out of trouble, y’hear? These are dangerous times, you nurses are good people. Stay out of trouble.”

Their eyes met again, and Rozalin let his eyes linger over him. The very same hazel, and his breath still smelled faintly of cigar smoke. Not to mention Georgie and Giorgio were very similar names. “…Yessir. I shall. Thank you.” The smile Rozalin gave meant quite the opposite, but Giorgio did not need to know anything more than what bandages were on his arm right now. Indeed, perhaps nobody needed to know at that moment why Rozalin’s gaze seemed to hold such power over a stranger.

It was all a part of the game
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
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Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

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Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 58667
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:25 pm

Antimersia wrote:First Chicago Bank
2300 W Lawrence Ave Chicago, IL
9:43 AM Oct, 31st, 1956


Its raining in Chicago. It seems like it's always raining these days. The streets are crowded with umbrella carrying people none the less. Streets are filled with cars. And the air is filled with tension. No one knows when the next incident will be, how bad it will be, whether or not Silents will be involved. But who are we kidding? Silents are always involved. In Chicago, you have a better chance of dying from organized crime and Silent activity, than you do heart disease or cancer. And everyone knows it. And yet, no one leaves. There is just too much money, and too much opportunity. The poorest man in Chicago is richer than the average man in Kansas. The allure of the night life, with bars, night clubs, cabaret, burlesque and more. Not to mention the crazies that actually want to see Silents in action. Using their powers, and usually destroying property in the process. For some it's like watching a motion picture live and in person. But, for most, it's a horror. And few things tend to be as mudanely nerve racking, as a simple trip to the bank.

Three shots ring out. The tellers and customers of the bank all recoil at the loud bang. They turn to see the source as Five men in tailored suits stride in through the front door of First Chicago Bank. They drag the bleeding corpses of the security guards that were stationed out front. A common sight in Chicago today is a dead security guard. Thankfully their families will be well compensated for their loss. One of the five gangsters aims his Walther P38 up into the air and fires. Robberies have become so routine that that single shot is all the bank customers need to know that they need to get on the ground, and the tellers need to start pulling out the cash from the registers. Things all seem routine for a day in Chicago, until two more men in suits walk into the bank. The first, an older man, in his early fifties. He is wearing a blue suit and his salt and pepper hair betrays his otherwise youthful appearance. He is instantly recognizable to the crowd though. John Dillinger of the Dillinger gang. Beside him is a scrawny young woman in a raggedy flowery dress. She is wearing a red and orange fox mask. She is a Silent, one of Dillinger's pawns. their appearance draws gasps from several in the crowd. A bank robbery in Chicago is nothing out of the ordinary, but First Chicago Bank is outside of Dillinger's territory. A move like this would instigate a gang war. And everyone in the room knows it.

"Now if nobody says a word, and just do what we say, everyone can go home and pretend this never happened. Sound good? Good." Dillinger yells. His voice coarse yet suave. He grabs his Silent by her collar and practically drags her along through the crowd towards the tellers desk. Three of his gangsters walk up with him, grabbing backs handed to them by the tellers. The other two Gangsters hang around by the entrance, keeping lookout. Each of them carrying a shotgun in their hands. Dillinger kicks the door to the back hard, right at the point of the handle to bust it in. He pushes the Silent ahead of him and yells, "Get to work on that safe. If we aren't in in five minutes you know what will happen to that precious grandma of yours."

The woman whimpers running over to the safe and getting to work. She activates her silent ability, releasing a high powers stream of fire from her finger like a welders torch. She presses her finger against the safe door, near the hinges. Slowly she burns through the thick steel, melting it away to allow for the door to be removed. Dillinger watches her work with disdain, and impatience. It takes three minutes for the Silent girl to break through the first of the two hinges. She is behind schedule, and Dillinger has no qualms about letting her know. He places the barrel of his hand gun to the back of her head. To 'motivate' her to move faster. As the five minutes get close to being up, he begins a count down. The girl frantically cuts, trying as hard as she can but as blisters begin to form on her finger it becomes apparent that she is not very resistant to her own heat. She will never be able to finish in time. "Three...two... one." Dillinger counts down to the end point of five minutes. He pulls back the hammer on his handgun and places his finger on the trigger. A gun shot silences the room.

Dillinger turns around, the Silent girl drops to here knees in fear and shock that she is still alive. One of Dillinger's men fired their gun at a man standing in the doorway of the bank. But he appears completely unharmed. The black Oni mask on his face tells them all why. The Silent reaches out into the minds of the gangsters, and telepathically speaks to them. "You abuse your fellow man, for paper adorned with the face of dead patriots. You are slaves to your system. I am here to break your chains." The voice in their minds was brutal and over powering. Another gun shot rings out. The Silent at the door and the gangsters look back to see that Dillinger has shot the Silent girl in the head. Her mask falls off her face and her eyes go dim.

"This is why I hate you mask wearing freaks. You always have to show up and ruin a good thing. So who're you working for? Diamond Joe? North Side? Don't tell me you're with the Outfit." Dillinger asks, mocking and berating.

"Your Mafias do not own me. I am free." The Silent replies.

"A free agent huh? Tell you what, you take off the mask, tell me who you really are, and maybe me and the boys won't blast you to bits. Hell maybe I'll even let you replace that bitch back on the ground." He proposes. The Silent does not reply. "Alright, you made your choice. End him." Dillinger commands. Every one of the gangsters pull out their guns and start firing until their clips are empty. The bullets shred through his clothes but do nothing to his body as they pass through him. Almost like he isn't really there. The Silent steps forward, and suddenly the gangsters drop their weapons and nearly fall to the ground themselves. Their bodies feeling heavy and immobile. "What the hell is this?" Dillinger asks, scared and enraged.

"You fucked up now asshole, never mess with a guy like me." The voice of the Silent has changed in their minds. It has gone from brutal to sharp and cocky. As if coming from a street kid. The Silent walks up behind Dillinger and places his hand on the Don's back. He speaks to them in their minds again. Speaking in a third voice this time. This one sounding intelligent and dignified. First he speaks to Dillinger alone, "Your time has come, Mr. Dillinger." Then he speaks to the gangsters, "You shall be free. Aid me in releasing this world from its self inflicted vices and we can all be free." Suddenly a pulse of energy shoots through the Silent's arm and into Dillinger's body. His chest explodes. Blood, ribcage, and shredded gore paint the bank's marble flooring. Dillinger's body drops forward into the puddle of viscera. The gangsters all slide back in fear. The Silent steps over the body and extends a hand to the closest gangster. A fourth, feminine voice rings through their minds. Come now, stand with me. Together, there is nothing to fear. We will stand together against the binds that restrict us. Until we are all truly free. The gangster takes the Silent's hand and is lifted up. The other gangsters stand as well. They look at each other for confirmation. Ultimately deciding through fear and peer pressure to agree to follow this new Silent. At least for now.

The Silent turns back towards the safe. He walks over to the corpse of the young lady that Dillinger had killed. He closes her eye lids out of respect. Then picks up her mask. He slides it underneath his coat and walks away. He beckons for the gangsters to follow him. They all hesitate at first, but all begin to follow him out. The Silent picks up Dillinger's body as he heads out. Tossing the corpse out onto the road. The public around the bank gasp and run. Women screaming as the commotion grows. On the street, one of the gangsters ask the Silent what they should call him. The Silent takes off his mask to reveal his youthful face and well kept blond hair. "My name is Carter." He answers as he places his hand on the outer wall of the bank. He takes a deep breath and places the mask back on. Three pulses of energy leave Carter's hand into the bank. The first shakes the entire building. The second makes the cracks form all along it. And the third begins to bring it down. The gangsters run off to a safe distance. Carter strides away allowing the falling ruble to pass through him harmlessly. Carter and the gangsters disappear into the darkness of an alleyway, leaving the city to resolve the tragedy.

News travels fast in the city. Papers, news television reports, and even word of mouth has everyone discussing the tragedy of the First Chicago bank and the thirty lives lost. And with the death of on of the fingers on the Hand, the citizens of Chicago know that this will only mark the beginning of a wave of trouble for the city. A new player, and the public display of Dillinger's murder will be on the lips of every gossip from here to D.C. and back. For the first time in years, the balance of power in Chicago is shaken. And a new player has risen to the challenge against the Hand, and against society at large.

Rozalin - Day, 9:30 AM

Four hours into the shift, and Rozalin remembered that he had not eaten that day. He had left the house in a rush, his body aching from a lack of sleep, and had not even thought to make breakfast. Perhaps the cafeteria would have food, but the unfortunate young nurse had also left the house without money in his purse. As he reached into his purse to check it during a lull in work, he sighed with annoyance. "What a shame...I've made quite a lot of money the last few nights as well...I should have written a note to myself to bring money for breakfast..." Luckily, the bank was not far, and if he left now he could return before another wave of patients arrived. Bernice promised she would cover for him, and so he made his way out of the hospital in haste.

Walking into the brisk morning, he wrapped his scarf tightly around his neck and shoulders as he hasted to the bank. The scarf was lovely, a deep-wine color with some lace embroidery, a gift from a smitten admirer of "Lilac" He should not have been wearing it to work, but it was warm and smelled like the smoky bars he enjoyed. He also would not be able to move quickly if he was shivering, and he needed food. The rest of the day would be horribly long.

The "horribly" part came as Rozalin approached the bank and noted with alarm the scene that had developed. The Dillinger Gang had broken into the bank, and tellers had their hands in the air. Innocent people were crouched on the ground, shaking and crying. The suave leader himself, John Dillinger, had made his appearance. He was quite bold, and had every reason to be bold. Nobody in that bank was going to tell him what to do, and the police were almost too afraid to try. Rozalin himself was no exception, and he decided to crouch behind a car for the meantime. Perhaps they would leave without incident. Yet then he had to wonder what he would do if someone fired a shot. If he rushed to save them, he himself would be in danger. He remembered what "Georgie" had told him-stay out of trouble. Yet his career and his heart beckoned him to be ready. He gulped silently, hiding his mouth and nose behind his scarf.

The next few minutes were something out of a horror movie.

Out of nowhere, a handsome blonde marched into the bank behind Dillinger. He was wearing a distinct mask, demon-shaped and obsidian in color. Sharp, calculated, deadly. From what he understood, many "Silents" had bizarre masks, with equally bizarre powers. Yet this man was no ordinary criminal. He stared directly at John Dillinger, unharmed and unafraid of the guns in his face. Rozalin almost wondered if he would stop the gang and perhaps protect the people. How wrong he was.

Instead, some threats fired back and forth, before the blonde lifted his hand and fired an incredible force at the indomitable mobster. In moments, the notorious leader of the Dillinger Gang had exploded into pieces, much like a supernova splitting violently. The tellers and civilians were almost too shocked to react, as was Rozalin. He muffled a gasp, knowing that he would be seen and that he could not reach the man whom the newcomer had mortally wounded. Yet for some moments, the newcomer did not harm anyone else. As the pieces of the man who was John Dillinger disgracefully littered the floor, the newcomer spoke to the crowd. Join him. Join him and be free. Rozalin took another deep breath. The young man's voice kept changing, and something about his persona was frightening. He was beautiful, decisive, manipulative to his core. He knew exactly which voices drew the crowd, in a way he almost envied.

Having set the stage for his statement, the man walked outside and tossed the mangled corpse into the road. Rozalin watched in horror as Dillinger's body flopped in a sickening, disjointed fashion. His entire chest was gone, his eyes were caught in a dead daze, his arms and legs landed in strange angles. Women screamed, but Rozalin only rose slightly, as if looking for the opportunity to hurry out and do...something. Anything. He could smell the blood, almost an alarm that told his body to move. Then the Silent walked outside, and he removed his mask for a brief moment. "...Such a lovely face...Sharp features, a good jaw...stunning eyes..." If he had not been terrified, he would have been enchanted. The stranger also announced that Carter was his name, thus now the onlooking nurse had a name for this memorable face. Now, Rozalin stood upright, not sure whether or not he was a target anymore. He was not.

But the bank was.

He recalled the last time he had seen buildings sink and smash into huge, unrecognizable pieces. Those wicked planes, the screams of the Luftwaffe as they dropped enormous bombs all over the beautiful city of London. In moments, the city that had been the center of his world was rubble, and untold numbers of people were dead. He had been a teenager, creeping out of a cellar to smell and hear the aftereffects of true evil. Screaming men and women, crying children, blood and sulfur and burned iron seeping through the air. Now, the bank in front of him fell in much the same way. Gangsters rushed past and left with their new leader to safety, while enormous rubble fell on the people within the bank.

"HELP! SOMEONE HELP! PLEASE!"

The nurse shook himself back to the present as he absorbed the enormity of the task at hand. Gone was the stunning and wicked blonde Silent, present were dozens of injured and dying individuals. Someone had called for the hospital from a payphone, and so Rozalin hurried toward the first injured person he could find. The man continued to shriek for help, as a part of the stone wall had fallen on his leg. Upon arriving, Rozalin grabbed at the piece and lifted it off with some effort. Grunting as the stone came away, the nurse saw that the man's leg was gushing blood. Ambulances were still in transit, and so he had to bind the man's wound. Knowing he had no other choice, he reached for his scarf. "At least they're the same color..." he thought in dismay. Tying the beautiful scarf as tightly as he could over the wound, he made a tourniquet that would hopefully hold for some time. "...That should hold it," he whispered.

"Th...Thank you...thank you, sir...h-how did you...move that whole..."

"Don't worry, sir. Sit here, don't move, help is coming," Rozalin answered. He turned back toward hints of other people he saw lying in the crushing remains of the bank, and his blood once again ran cold. Yet he had little time to delay. If Carter wanted to destroy, he would heal. Before the man could finish answering his question, Rozalin had hurried over to find more bodies.
Last edited by Luminesa on Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oblivion2
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Oblivion2 » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:16 am

Nicky’s Taphouse
North-Eastern Chicago
6:21PM, Oct 31st, 1956


Francis McArthur thought Nicky’s had charm. It was well appointed without being ostentatious, and cheap enough you could pass out in a booth after having just a little too much to drink. Situated at the edge of Dillinger’s territory, it meant that most people wouldn’t bother you either unless you had the misfortune to offend one of Dillinger’s lads or one of the affiliated small time gangs in the area. Francis considered just that aspect as he lit another cigarette, took a drag and exhaled, contributing to the smoky atmosphere of the bar. Dressed in pressed black pants with suspenders, a white silk shirt and a plain black tie, Francis or Frank, looked like the very picture of a mob enforcer. You could tell one apart from a banker by the set of their eyes; they were dangerous, dancing, or dead. The dark haired Canuck would never make a made man, but in a short time he had become a trusted associate. One who could operate on his own and be counted on to handle difficult and delicate situations with dash and finesse.

That was why he found himself here, closer to Chicago’s North side. The word had traveled quickly that Dillinger was dead, had gotten himself exploded by a Silent this morning during a stick up. If that was true, Mr. Torrio wanted to know just how disorganized Dillinger’s boys were. He’d asked his Capos to recommend a man who could go stir things up in Dillinger’s turf without making a complete mess of things. Frank’s name came up, and it was agreed that he would start a tussle with an affiliated gang of Dillinger’s, take a piece of their action, and then lay low for a bit. Worst case scenario, restitutions would be paid as no made men would be involved in the incident and it could be chalked up to ignorance; Dillinger had more affiliated crews than anyone else, but he went through them far faster too.

That was how Francis found himself drinking Sake and reading a novel in this charming little place. He felt a little bad about it; he’d hate to have to wreck a table or two, but he felt it might come to that in the end. He was about half way through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and his bottle of Sake when he heard the door open, followed by the laughing of rough voices. Four men; Jake Harley, Thomas Creely, Ted Nando, and Richard Finsta his intelligence told him. They called themselves the Saints, but there was hardly anything Saint-like about them. They ran violent extortion schemes, and were more of a danger to those they supposedly protected than anyone else in the neighbourhood could be. Over the top of his book he could see the bartender, presumably Nicky, he could see one of the boys patting their hand against the bartenders chest. Some dispute over unpaid protection money or some such. Taking another long drag of his cigarette, the enforcer then began to stare openly at the four men. One of them took notice and got the attention of the others, prompting two of them to saunter on up to Francis’ table.

“Good book?” The taller of the two asked, his Chicago accent thick and almost dragging.

“Spectacular.” Francis answered, his own accent not unlike a typical Midwestern American, though perhaps with a touch of the lingering music of Scots Gaelic in there.

“Don’t think we’ve seen you in here before, Pal. You know it’s considered a privilege to drink your…” He looks at the bottle of Sake, his face curling into disgust as he sees the Japanese characters on the label, “Drink, here.”

“That so?” Francis asks, the very picture of nonchalance. Even taking another sip of his Sake from the small pewter cup he kept beside the bottle.

“And you gotta pay to enjoy the privilege.” The tall one clarified. Judging by his lazy eye, Francis had him pegged for being Mr. Finsta.

“I paid. With the Barman up front.” Came the Canadian’s answer, a black eyebrow lifted just so quizzically.

“You gotta pay us, this is our turf, and we don’t let just any random jawn drink in here, you understand?”

“Can’t say I do fellas. I’ve paid my share, I’m going to drink my share.” Francis replied. As he reached for his cup, the thug snatched it up before he could and tossed it across the room where it shattered with a sharp crack.

“You’re done drinking your Jap drink.” Richard Finsta said, with a tone of menace beginning to edge into his voice. Francis would have laughed if he wasn’t as well disciplined as he was. “No I don’t think I am. I’ve about half a bottle left, I think you ought to go get me another cup to replace the one you’ve broken.”

The atmosphere in the bar had died just then. There was only deathly silence and shock at Francis’ words. You didn’t challenge the local gangs, not when they had you four to one. “I think it’s time you learned some manners, we’re gonn-“ Before he could finish his words of violence, Francis escalated instantly. He flicked his cigarette into Richard’s eye, causing him to scream as the coals scorched his eye. Francis was out of his seat in a blur, his fist connecting with the second thug’s gut and knocking the wind out of him. The man doubled over and Francis grabbed him by the belt and back of his shirt and tossed him bodily across the room. The sound of a limp body breaking a table shattered the spell. People scrambled to their feet and began to flee towards the closest exit. Before the other two thugs at the bar could close the distance on him, Francis finished off the stunned Mr. Finsta with a punch to the throat and a casual push aside to the floor.

The other two Saints hesitated for a moment before one of them reached into his jacket pocket for something. Francis reached for the Colt M-1911 in the back of his waistband, but the fellow was nearly as fast. He put two bullets into his friend before turning the gun on the other guy with the jacket. Him he unloaded into but too late, for the mask was already on his face and the bullets only staggered him.

Ow. The Silent’s voice growled in everyone’s heads. The mask was a lion with a scarred face. That would make this Thomas Creely, the gang’s leader. A low level Silent with enhanced strength and durability. You shouldn’t have done that, boy. Hope you’re ready to die.

“Always.” Francis replied, dropping his pistol and settling into a crouch. The Silent came at him at speed, but Frank was faster. As the man was closing the distance between the two of them, the Canadian had already slipped his belt off and gotten it into a loop. As the silent’s fist flew, Francis stepped aside and slipped the loop into the inside of Thomas’ arm. Yanking, he used the fellow’s momentum against him and there was a sickening crunch as superhuman strength and momentum overcame superhuman durability and Thomas’ shoulder dislocated. He roared in pain and sank to his knees before Francis got the belt around his neck and began to squeeze.

“Take the mask off!” Francis roared in his ear as the Silent struggled with his only good arm to get the Enforcer off of him. “Take it off!” He yells, narrowly avoiding a meaty hand taking his head off of his shoulders, “Take it off or you fucking die!”

There was a gurgle from the man beneath him and Francis was almost certain he’d choked him into unconsciousness, then there was a clatter as the Mask struck the wooden floor. Letting go of the belt, Francis kicked the Mask across the room as the thug gasped and sputtered on the floor. Francis found his bottle right where he’d left it and took it with him to the bar. “A cup, please Nick.”

“Y-yeah.” The bartender said, handing a new cup to the Enforcer who hardly seemed to have broken a sweat.

“Thanks for not breaking out the double barrel you keep under the bar.” Francis said with a vague smile as he poured himself a drink from the bottle of Sake.

“How’d you-“

“Know?” Francis interrupted with an almost dark chuckle, “Nick, you don’t go looking for fights some place unless you know exactly what you’re getting into. People will tell you all sorts of things if you know how to ask.”

“Who are you?” The innkeeper asked in a baffled tone.

“Francis McArthur. Leftenant McArthur, First Special Service Force, if you’re feeling formal. But you can call me Frank if you like.” The Canadian explained nonchalantly.

“First Special Service… You mean the Black Devils of Anzio?” The Barman asked almost tentatively.

“We don’t like that name.” Frank said almost sourly, it ached of theatrics rather than proper soldering. “But these days I’m with a different Outfit.”

“Ah.” Nick seemed to say in understanding.

Pulling a wad of bills from his pocket, Francis counted out a handful and slid them to Nicky. “This is for the trouble I caused you today. Our sincerest apologies.” Next he slid a business card to the man. “This is my number. You ring it and you ask for Mikey. You ask for Mikey because there is no Mikey. Wait, and I’ll show up to take care of whoever is bothering you.” He glanced down at the Silent still gasping on the floor. “They’re not gonna bother you anymore.” His attention turned back to the bartender, “I’ll be back in a week or two and we can have a drink and discuss what your rates are gonna look like. I’ll need a look at your books too. You be honest with me, and I give you a square deal, ok?”

“Yeah, alright.” Nicky said, some of the shock still apparent in his tone. “Good.” Frank said before filling his cup, slamming it back and then pushing it aside. “I’ll have someone come by and pick these lads up. Have a good night Nick.”

He left the bar then, found a pay phone and made a call. Some of the Outfit’s boys would be by soon to pick up the body and dispose of it, and do whatever needed to be done with the remaining Saints. All that was left was to wander the streets an hour or two, for surely someone would have reported the scuffle to a local Capo or even an underboss by now. Then all there was to do was wait and see if anyone tried to retaliate. He gave it three hours of wandering around the streets, but no one came for him. The rumours were true, Dillinger’s Gang was too busy with its power vacuum to mount an effective response, he knew a lot of people who would be interested in that information. He lit another cigarette and sighed after having a good lungful. Chicago was looking about ready to start tearing itself apart.
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Finsternia
Senator
 
Posts: 4904
Founded: May 01, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Sun Nov 28, 2021 4:21 pm

Ruth "Rue" Morgan - 9:45 AM

Chicago has always been a busy city. The bustling metropolis is always ablaze with the sounds of the post war energy of progress and production, with businesses and cars and pedestrians becoming an ever present cacophony within the concrete jungles of buildings. Nevermind the usual chaos of Silents thrashing streets and buildings, the city itself has its own noises to deal with. Rue has learned to tune out the noises and sleep through the hustle and bustle, but there are noises that she can't just mute out.

"CAW! CAW! WAAAAWRK!"

The sound of the crows and ravens screaming upon the steel bars of the warehouse she is staying in (or rather has cooped in) is one of them. Her dominated animals have been trained, or rather commanded, to make noise in order to alert her of anything of note. With a gasp a bony hand shoots out to the mask lying beside her, cold to the touch and with the texture of bone and ceramics. She jams the oddly shaped mask upon her face, like the top half of a bird's skull made to fit the entire face and yet twisted to have multiple eye sockets, as her eyes scan the grim and barely lit place. The only light provided within are from the few open windows, barely shedding light upon the cramped and unused space. Her body goes limp for a moment as Rue's eyes fall back and slip into the back of her skull, and the birds high above suddenly go silent as if in a vigilant state. Their heads turn as if inspecting the place... before Rue comes back to herself, still breathing heavily.

"WHY DID YOU WAKE ME UP?! THERE'S NOTHING HERE!"

A few of the birds scream and caw out in surprise, as well as in fear, before a barrage of vague images as well as odd sensations come to Rue's mind. Like brief flashes she hears a loud boom, sees debris, and hears sirens. Feelings of panic and fear rise up her throat and stomach, not entirely hers but also tinged by her own anxiety. The Silent girl slowly backs off and raises a hand, stopping her dominated subjects from replying anymore. "An incident... That looks like big news..." Her eyes look up from underneath the mask as her eyes fall back. "Take me for a ride and a view."

As if switching channels through the television, her vision skips from one animal to the other, until she is taken into an aerial view of the scene of the crime. A broken building, collapsed into utter ruins, with nothing but toppled walls and pillars to mark it as its former visage. With the amount of destruction that has been caused, it almost would have been a sink hole and this entire street would have been out of commission. "Imagine the broken pipes under that..." The raven soars and makes a few circles high above like a hungry vulture, waiting for morsels and for other scavengers to be done with the big bites. Police cars and ambulances are all over the scene, trying to curtail the public away from the damage and from further harm. Bodies are being loaded on stretchers, some stuffed into black bags. The black bird slowly descends, standing on top of an electric pole that was saved, or perhaps was lucky, from the destruction. Its avian tongue darts out, and at the same time Rue licks her lips from her own safe haven.

"Oh this is delightful... The people who would WANT to know who's behind this... or where they are... Ah... Chicago... You're getting deadlier and deadlier everyday... Good thing you pay well."
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

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Antimersia
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Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:00 am

Chicago City Hall
11:15 AM, Oct 31st, 1956


Mayor Haytham Abernathy walks down the stone steps of City Hall to a podium prepared for him. A crowd of reporters stand before him. all rabbling and asking questions. He brushes his salted red hair back with one hand and takes a deep breath before speaking.

"A tragedy has befallen our city once again today. One of a new height that cannot be overlooked. First Chicago Bank, a pillar institution in this great City was brought to the ground by a member of the Silent menace." He begins, his voice harsh and heavy with a Chicago accent. "The only good thing to arise from this is the death of John Dillinger, one of the worst men to have ever lived in the great United States. but his death is no cause for celebration. As it comes at the hand of a Silent. A Silent that has killed thirty people, and injured nearly a hundred as of the current information provided to me by our Chief of police. My heart goes out to the many victims and their families. But words are cheap. I am here today, not to simply acknowledge the tragedy but to tell you all, the great citizens of Chicago, what I intend to do about it. I am declaring an official state of emergency until this unknown Silent mass murderer is found. I have spoken on the phone with Governor Stratton, as well with President MacArthur, briefing them both on the situation. They have agreed to lend aid in this situation and National Guard units will be deployed in the city to aid in keeping the peace and in our search for this monstrous Silent. As well as anyone who aid him. There will be a 10pm Curfew in effect for the time being. I apologize in advance to you all for the sacrifices that we will have to make. But I stand here today, just days before we are meant to go to the polls to elect our next president, hopeful that we will see peace and resolution in our city before then. And to the Silent who is responsible for this, I pray you hear me say this. You will be found, you will be brought to justice. And your kind will not oppress us with fear. Thank you, have a glorious day."

The order went out and mobilization began. By the time the news hit the afternoon papers, the first trucks were driving into the city. By the end of the evening, National Guardsmen and FBSS agents would be on every street corner. The city was in lockdown, and any wars between the families would be halted. At least for now.

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Luminesa
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Posts: 58667
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:56 am

Rozalin
Day - 11:10 AM


Ambulances, paramedics, nurses. Bandages, gauze, splints, stretchers. Blood, blood, and more blood. Rozalin could not even remember having the scarf he had worn to the bank. The color of the beautiful cloth had meshed with the flood of that horrible, sticky, life-giving liquid in his eyes. When he closed his eyes, he saw it in his mind. He had been on his hands and knees for almost two hours, wrapping wounds and helping to set splints. Men cried, prayed, howled in pain. Women screamed for help, cried to the officers who had finally arrived, rushed around looking for friends. People took turns using the payphone to call their loved ones and to tell them what was happening. Rozalin had nobody to call.

"Rozalin!"

Someone did, however, finally find the young nurse as he had united a lost child to his mother. She was grateful and hugged Rozalin. A very well-dressed woman with a blush-pink dress-suit and matching felt, white gloves and nude pumps. He wondered if she would still hug him if she knew what he did at night.

"Rozalin! Excuse me, miss. ROZALIN!"

Bernice had found her way through the crowd as the mother had walked away, and she had thrown her fellow nurse into a tight embrace. She was so short compared to her co-worker, who had no issue returning the hug with his exhausted, scraped arms. He could feel her shoulders quivering.

"Bernie..."

"Oh my goodness...I was so scared for you, I knew you had gone to the bank. It was all my fault! I should have told you to stay, I would have paid for your breakfast. You could have died!" She was sobbing, and her head did not even reach his shoulder. He could feel her tears soaking into his chest. "That evil man...they're talking about it at work, some of the paramedics came back...that evil, evil man...Rosie, I'm so glad you're safe..."

He was almost too exhausted to smile, but he managed to curve his lips just a slight amount. Calling him 'Rosie' helped-he felt a slight rush of adrenaline hearing that lovely nickname. "...Of course I'm alright, Bernie...I take care of myself...sometimes...They needed a nurse, and I was here..." As he spoke to her, his eyes flickered upward toward something standing on a wire. A single raven, huge and standing erect on a telephone pole. Somehow, the gaze of this creature was almost cognizant. It looked directly at him, and he returned its gaze for a few moments. Perhaps someone was watching, wanting to learn more about this horrific event. Yet the person behind the raven was not the only bird of prey waiting to devour the carnage left by this event.

Mayor Abernathy spoke with that practiced Mid-Atlantic voice, occasionally letting slip his Scottish ancestry in the way his voice rung with loud authority over the people. To Rozalin, most politicians were the same. They spoke with authority in public, but hid with their mistresses in shady places to avoid the press. He had seen members of Abernathy's cabinet in various underground clubs, mingling with the very villains they claimed to hate. Then again, perhaps the darkness obscured them from really knowing which fellows were beside them during the shows. Yet today, the frigid morning light revealed all who stood and sat to listen to the radio address which resounded on every radio in Chicago. The mayor promised harshness, strictness, violence, justice. Words that squeezed and nuzzled themselves tightly into the ear.

As Rozalin sat with the paramedics and Bernie, who had never let him leave her side until he had a blanket and a breakfast muffin from a local cafe, he narrowed his eyes at the radio. "...How is anyone supposed to have a glorious day with all of this?..." he murmured as the address ended. He could feel his fingers twitching, and he responded by biting hard into the apple-flavored muffin. Silents already had a bad name in this city, and now the war between them and the police would continue. The police would continue to lose-none of them were trained enough to actually fight this menace. Yet they would try, valiantly even, until they found Carter and locked him in a cell, dead or alive.

All the while, he remembered the first time he had worn his mask.

Night - August 17th, 1949.

Memento Mori. Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Rozalin remembered well those words from his mother's funeral, how they were so elegant and foreboding on the priest's lips. Hardly anyone had truly known Florence Harkner as Rozalin had known her. She had huge ambitions, schemes, and dreams. She had stared in silent films as a younger woman, three to be exact. In her prime, she had been a lovely woman with raven-black hair, green eyes, and olive skin which made her look slightly darker than some of her co-stars. The director of My Ibiza Lover coined her as "exotic" and "capable of speaking with only her eyes". Rozalin remembered the promotional posters his mother had pulled out of a chest one day, as she had been thinking on those days.

"They compared me to Dolores Del Rio, Rozalin! Dolores. Del. Rio! We are this close! THIS CLOSE!"

And yet those grand dreams had drowned in endless alcohol over the years. The beautiful silent-movie actress who had thrived on her comparison to the Mexican film star had gained 200 pounds and could not leave her house in her final years. Her melodic, sharp voice had become gravely and distant, and often abusive. She stopped talking about her silent movies, and asked for endless whisky from her overworked son. Then, she was dust.

Rozalin had sat in the front pew at the funeral, as a good son would, but that night he had returned to another club. He would perform, as his mother would have wanted him to perform. However, she would have balked at the place in which he had performed. Another smoky bar, full of mobsters and shady figures whose faces never looked quite human in the oily candlelight. That night, he had his mask, and he had worn it. Most people had thought it was a part of the act, until they not only heard the jazz music behind them, but the beautiful, deep voice speaking in their minds.

"Tonight, my friends...this show is dedicated to our humanness...all of us here are desperate for something, aren't we?...Just for a moment...perhaps I can speak to what desperation is in your hearts..."

The pearl-colored mask was a macabre work of art, but one that fit with the rest of his look that evening. Hair curled, a black velvet gown, white lace gloves. The way the black paint curled and shaped the cheekbones, lips, and nose of the mask, and the way the deep-indigo roses on the top crowned him, made him seem like an otherworldly being. A voodoo queen, communicating between the living and the unliving. He spoke to both the groans of desperation in the crowd and to the consolation of the dead. And everyone who saw him, saw something beautiful in their own eyes. He was glad, even if they did not see his costume the way he had made it. Visions were an art to themselves.

Present Day

A 10 PM curfew would be brutal for Lilac's business. He was used to performing until two or three in the morning, getting paid with cash, drinks, and fabulous gifts by the end of the night. His current promoter would have a fit. Yet nothing could be done. Furthermore, Rozalin would have to be careful about wearing his mask. On one hand, he could become a target if he wore it.

On the other hand, perhaps he would see that blonde again, and could learn more about him. After all, wickedness loved the company of misery.

"Rosie?...Do you want your muffin? Are you still hungry?" Bernice checked on him once again, worried by her co-worker's silence.

"Ah...don't worry about me, Bernie. I'm better now...thank you." He gave her a kind smile, and then bit into his breakfast muffin. Yes. The show would in fact go on.
Last edited by Luminesa on Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 20625
Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:15 pm

2300 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, Illinois


Getting CPD forensics to investigate, properly investigate a Silent crime scene was hard enough when that scene was not covered in twenty feet of marble facade and concrete. Agent Nolan England finished the last of his cigarette, dropped the butt to the curb and quashed it with his bootheel. It was no secret why police detectives called Silent scenes ‘Jungles’; after the novel Sinclair novel. England could do little else than watch as firefighters searched the rubble for survivors. They were on a tight timetable; the ruin was slowly being flooded by water coming from the ruptured sewage pipes, slowly drowing those still stuck under the debris. Though there was little hope regardless; those who had seen the building collapse described it so vividly that Nolan wondered whether anyone was alive still.

"We got another one" he heard one of the firefighters yell. The same voice had called out numerous times that day, enthousiastic at first, but as the 3rd, 4th, 5th crushed and lifeless body was retrieved his spirits died down. A body covered by a bloodied white sheet was hauled down from the wreckage by two paramedics, who handled the stretcher more like a soup pan than if it were holding a human body; an early indication as to the status of the person under the sheet. The paramedics slid the remains onto the pavement like it was a deep dish pizza being slid into an oven. Nolan paced towards the line of bodies, twenty of them now, and casually lifted up the sheet. The sight of the exploded ribcage made him drop it back immediately. He had seen what he needed to see, and it confirmed what about two dozen witnesses had already declared. John Dillinger was dead. The hand that held up the fragile peace of Chicago had just lost a finger.

Nolan returned to an area shielded by five armoured FBSS Fords within the police perimiter, where his agents had set up a temporary field headquarters. A telephone line from a nearby bodega had been stretched all the way across the pavement. Several of the back seats were taken up by agents questioning witnesses, but the story pieced together was already clear enough. A robbery of the First Bank by Dillinger had been botched by the sudden appearance of 'Carter', another Silent. He had killed... No, he had eviscerated Dillinger, and then laid low the First Bank. He had then escaped with some of Dillinger's men. On a portable table one of the agents was making a quick sketch from a few different witness accounts, of both the Oni mask and the fair-haired youngster behind it. The artist periodically consulted a notebook, wherein he also made quick sketches of the mask.

"What do we know, Frederics?" England asked him. Frederics slid his pencil behind his ear and picked up the notebook.

"You want the bad news or the bad news, boss?" Samuel Frederics asked him, a pained tone to his voice.

"Save the bad news for last" Nolan replied. Frederics chuckled.

"So, we're dealing with some kinetic force projection of some kind, combined with what seems to be phase shifting" Frederics explained. Nolan gave him a blank stare, one that Frederics was quite accustomed to. The Silent expert had to change his message somewhat for a more general audience.

"He can blow things up and things pass through him" he elaborated.

"What things are we talking about?" Nolan replied. Frederics sighed heavily and, from the front of his notebook, procured a comparison chart.

"No less than a fifteen-forty, if not a thirty-nine-sixty. 1 inch effective, but I don't know how to rate rubble moving through you"

"My lord..." Nolan exclaimed. The combat potential of Silents was rated in different terms depending on the power. Raw destructive power like Carter's was measured in munition power, from pistol calibre to bomb yields, and durability in equivalent armour thickness. Carter had survived a hail of 9mm bullets, but with the rubble of the bank visibly passing through him, he could as well be indstructable with the mask on. With a thirty-nine-sixty rating, Carter would be as devestating as a 3960 pound aircraft bomb, among the biggest in the US arsenal.

"And the mask?" asked England. Already, with the death of Dillinger and the discovery of such a powerful Silent, he had the feeling he would not have much time for anything else in the coming days. Frederics shook his head.

"I will send over descriptions to anthropology, see what they can make of it. But I don't know many kind souls who would dress up as the Devil, sir"

"Or who would drop a bank on twenty innocents... And counting" Nolan added. He shook his head and walked over to his own car, opening the trunk and retrieving his thermal flask of coffee. He had to shift some folded-up atni-tank rifles to the side; at his reccomendation the Outfit had at least one AT-rifle per car. He poured some into the cup-shaped cover and gulped down what had by that time become a lukewarm liquid. He shuddered all over.

"There is just something I'm not getting. So, Dillinger strolls up to a bank outside his own territory, and immediately gets blasted by this Carter fellow. Is he an enforcer for one of the other fingers? Did his own men betray him? Is that why they ran off together? Does that make sense? How did he know this was going to happen? Or was he just in the neighbourhood? But if he was an enforcer... Why bring down the bank? Is he a communist? An anarchist? An anarchist who really hates bank tellers and mobsters..."

He took another swig of the lukewarm coffee, and then realised Frederics was staring at him. Nolan realised he had been talking to himself quite rapidly, as he was prone to do while thinking, and so rapidly that Frederics had probably only gotten half of what he was saying. Nolan smiled at the agent.

"Keep up the good work, Frederics" he managed to get out. "And try to get some early sleep tonight, I have a feeling the Bureau won't be getting much the coming days"

It was at that moment that one of the agents came running over from the collapsed building. Agent Humboldt nearly collapsed as he entered the perimeter, leaning on his knees to catch his breath.

"Sir... Sir..." He wheezed, fanning himself with his hat. "We found another one. Mishiko Karama. She's been shot dead"

"Shot? What?" Nolan exclaimed, jumping up from the trunk.

"Did she..." he began, but Humboldt shook his head.

"No... nowhere to be found, sir" he replied

"Well, keep looking! It has to be somewhere!" England ordered, though he had a dreadful feeling what might have happened to the Fox' Mask.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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Luminesa
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Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:20 pm

Lilac - Night, 7:45 PM

"I swear to God, this Carter-guy is busting my chops. BUSTING. MY. CHOPS."

As Rozalin had expected, his promoter was not happy in the slightest about the 10 PM curfew. He stood backstage at The Thin Lizzy, his hair hanging messily out of its bun and his nurse's scrubs neatly put away at home. He was now in a business-casual dress-shirt and slacks, still masculine enough that walking too and from work he was not recognizable as Lilac or Rozalin. His mind was barely on the club, however, as the MC paced around the backstage area. He muttered obscenities, smoked his cigarettes, coughed, and continued with the obscenities.

"AND HE BLEW-UP THE BANK. THE ____________ BANK. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO, GO TO ANOTHER ONE ALL OF A SUDDEN?! WE HAD A _________ DEPRESSION AND NOW THIS GUY BLOWS-UP MY _______________ MONEY. HOW DO WE RUN A ______________ SHOW WITHOUT MONEY."

"We earn more money, I suppose." Ricky, the bass player, mumbled from behind his own cigarette.

"Oh, NOW you're smart, huh? NOW you're smart, you're gonna tell ME to just-"

"Yes! Yes I am! We have to keep going, what else do we do? If we cancel, we make no money! You keep freaking-out even when business is doing good, now you're-"

"THIS CARTER-GUY MEANS OUR OPENING ACT BAILED. HOW DO I RUN A ______________ SHOW WITHOUT A _______________ OPENING ACT, YOU-"

"HEY!"

The shouting stopped as soon as Rozalin raised his voice, and the promoter's face went pale. As soft-spoken and passive as Lilac normally was, hearing him raise his voice was shocking. Even stranger, his shouting voice was a deep, angry shout, the sound of a sergeant barking orders at his soldiers. Having seen what he saw today, and then given his plans to try and track Carter, Rozalin was already seething with dread under the surface. In his stressful anger, he yanked his hair out of his bun and started to brush the knots. Anything to keep his hands busy. "...Mr. Rizzoli, if you say what you were going to say to Ricky, I am going to leave and never come back. And then you will have to find a new lead vocalist. And because you just made me shout, I'm going to need a glass of whisky, which I was hoping to avoid. Then again, after what I've seen today, I may need more than a glass..." He murmured the last part, and his eyes skittered around the room. Carter could be anywhere, at any time. He had disappeared from the bank without a trace, he could reappear here or somewhere across town. The thought was enough for him to almost accept a cigarette.

Ricky seemed relieved by their vocalist's intervention, and he walked over to put a hand on his shoulder. "...You sure you don't want one?"

"No, no. Thank you, dear." He turned and gave a genuine smile to the bassist, albeit with a hint of sadness. He took his hand and squeezed it. Even before the bank had exploded, Rozalin had grown tired of Mr. Rizzoli's insults toward...any group he could make himself hate at that moment. Women, men who were "not manly enough", African-Americans, gays, Jews, Catholics, even other Italians whom he considered were "not Italian enough". If Carter had not been a domestic terrorist, the promoter would have still found a way to hate him. Both he and Ricky had discussed leaving, but they need an opportunity to do so.

The other band members had guessed at their intentions, and though their most recent performances had been successful, they knew they were heading for an impasse. None of them liked this gig, though they made plenty of money. Now, their promoter had no money. Other clubs would find themselves in similar dire straits, but they had to ask themselves the question of whether the reward was worth the pain.

At 8 PM, after Mr. Rizzoli had walked outside to talk to an associate, Rozalin took a deep breath and sighed. He looked toward the others, who had spent the last fifteen minutes mired in small talk or in awkward silence. His smile remained drained of any happiness. Just exhausted. "...I think...I'm going to go out for a quick drink for the evening."

"You don't want one here?" Philippe, the trumpeteer, knew what Rozalin really wanted to say.

"...No. No, not really, boys. Not really." He said little more as he picked-up his bag and headed out the door. Silence followed, along with the frost of the cold Halloween night. Mr. Rizzoli had hardly noticed he had left, he was still cursing and screaming outside with one of his friends. No formal goodbyes, no hugs, no pats on the back, no glory. Rozalin knew he was back on the road again, but he would find the work he wanted. Perhaps with this curfew he'd have to look harder for a club that was breaking the rules.

9:26 PM

Wrigley Field loomed in the distance, a hulking and majestic foundation of American baseball culture. Its hallowed halls had seen the greatness of Gabby Hartnett, Ernest Banks, Hank Sauer, and many other legends. On many days, come rain, sun, or snow, the ballpark would fill with thousands of fans, who in turn filled the air with electricity with their screams, groans, and cheers. Rozalin had passed through during baseball games before, and he could hear the shouts from miles away. Tonight, quiet filled the streets as people were tucked away in their homes. Yet Rozalin would not be hiding away, though Georgie's words of, "Stay out of trouble," still rang in his mind. No, his back was to the glorious ballpark, and he was in a payphone trying to call a friend who worked at a nearby underground club.

She would not pick-up the phone, and so Rozalin waited. Perhaps she was out smoking, or she was talking to the band. Either way, the night was still young for Rozalin and for many clubs which operated in the shadows. Speaking of shadows, he could not help but eye the sidewalk around him, his eyes darting toward any signs of human movement. His mind had played and replayed what he would do if Carter approached, but he still could not decide on a proper response. Adrenaline was a heck of a drug, however, and he was sure that it would make the decision for him when the time presented itself. For now, he continued to put quarters into the machine and to wait for his friend to answer the payphone outside of the club.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
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Antimersia
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Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:18 pm

9:30 PM
W Addison St.


Agent Scott Schaeffer of the Federal Bureau of Silent Suppression, an honest man with a short but clean track record, chose the wrong night to patrol the streets. Nearly every agent stationed in Chicago has been put on extra details. Finding Carter was made priority number one. Even for some of the undercover agents. The curfew coming up in half an hour made him feel a little at ease. Passing by few people at all this late. Everybody already being at home. People are almost always more careful the first night of a curfew. At least the honest people who aren't out doing no good are. So when Scott turns the corner onto Addison St., and sees a small group of guys between him and Wrigley, he knows there's a good shot that this will be trouble. He lights a smoke, and takes a deep drag before beginning his approach towards them. The trio of well dressed men stand directly under a street light. The brim of their hats casting a shadow that hides their faces. Scott squints his eyes to try and get a better look but its no use. He has to go in blind. A knot is growing in his stomach and it doubles in size with every step.

"Gentlemen," Scott calls out to the trio, his semi Italian sounding New Jersey accent being unmistakable. "Mind telling me what youse are doing out this late? Curfew's gonna hit in a few. I don't wanna have to arrest ya's."

"You don't look like a cop. You FBSS or something?" One of the trio asks indignantly, yet excitedly. The question perturbs Scott. The way he asked the question made him feel like they wanted the answer to be yes. But he was armed, and he knew that his job carried with it some occupational hazards.

"Maybe I am, what's it to you?" Scott retorts.

"Well if you ain't got a badge you can piss right off. Talking about some curfew like you could do something about it." The man replies, stepping out of the light of the streetlight. His face becoming more visible. A distinctive cut on his chin, creating a gap in his thick brown beard. The three men are all well dressed. And with these types of battle scars, Scott can be sure they're gangsters. He doesn't want to say it, especially three to one, but he reaches into his trench coat pocket to feel for his gun. His Colt pistol is resting right under his arm where it ought to. Knowing that he grabs his badge in the inner pocket and pulls it out to show that he is in fact FBSS. "Lookie here boys. We got a bonafide fed. Get 'em!" The three men all move to advance on Scott. He drops his badge and pulls out his pistol with a lightening reflex. He aims it at the closest of the three gangsters. Who raises his hands at the threat.

"You three are under arrest. Fucking marone's out here tryna rough an agent. How stupid could ya-" Scott's words are cut off as a metal spike flies into the side of his pistol as immense speed. It yanks the gun from his hand and send it flying into the brick wall to his left. Pinning it there. Scott turns to look where the spike came from. Seeing only a black figure with fiery red eyes before he is sucker punched by the gangster closest to him and dropped to the ground.

Scott's eyes open slowly. His vision is blurred but he can tell that he is in an alley somewhere. He is propped up against a brick wall. Surrounded by trashcans and boxes. A dim door light illuminating the alley. He looks to his left and sees a dead end. Looking to his right and seeing the mouth of the alley and a seemingly empty street outside of it. He looks straight ahead and sees four figures. The three gangsters as well as the man with the fiery eyes. "You...You're that Silent freak that fucked with the bank." Scott said hazily.

"That is correct. Or, it is at least a crude description of my acts." Carter replies telepathically, his booming mental voice being the most predominant at this time. "I have a series of questions for you, Agent Schaeffer. I hope that you can be kind enough to answer them for me. I do not wish to be forced to harm you." He continues, his voice switching almost mid thought to the more feminine and soft voice.

"You got questions for me? What is this opposite day? You're a wanted man. If you even is a man." Scott replies, trying to speak with bravado.

"I'm a fair guy, how about we take turns?" Carter spoke in a mocking tone now, "I'll start. How many FBSS agents are in Chicago?"

"Why the fuck do you think I'd tell you that?" Scott asks, spitting some blood from his mouth onto the ground.

"I think you are in no position to refuse." As carter speaks he places a hand on the ground. The pavement begins to transmutate in his hand. A small divot forms in the ground and in Carter's hand now, is a silver dollar that he begins to juggle between his fingers. "Talk or else.The or else is extremely unfavorable for you."

"Fine, I don't know the number. But there's at least five guys working with every major family in some way or another. So 25 or more." Scott explains, trying to be as vague as possible. "My turn, who the fuck are you?" Carter takes his mask off and speaks plainly.

"My name is Carter Knight. Until today I had done nothing of note. I am sorry to say that my past is as unremarkable as could be." He answers, placing his mask back on his face. "Now what do you know and the Bureau know about my plans?" This fourth voice sounding like a gangster in his own right.

"Jesus Christ what the hell is with you?" Scott asks, perturbed. Angry, Carter places the coin on his thumb, and flicks it downwards into Scott's shin. Amplifying the flick with a seismic pulse. Sending it flying like a bullet into his leg and through it. The bone snaps in two loudly., And scott roars in pain. One of the gangsters gag him to stifle it as much as they can.

"Do. Not. Test. Me. Answer the question." Carter stares with building rage.

"We don't know shit!" Scott says when his gag is removed. "The bureau and the National Guard are looking for ya to find that shit out. Their best guess is that you're some new player in the crime world."

"Dumbasses the lot of em. How stupid can you be to think that? Now don't be harsh. How could they know the truth? Silence both of you." Scott stares in horror as he watches Carter argue with himself in different voices. "I think its your turn, my guy."

"I.. uh.." Scott stammers, bleeding and still in horrible pain. "What is it you want? What is the motive?" His police training and instinct kicking in, with nothing else coming to mind.

"Total destruction of industrial society. You look out into the streets right now, and see escape from me. See freedom. See possibility. I look out and see prison. Streets that bar people from walking where they please. Stores that demand meaningless paper for good and services. People so shackled by the expectations of others that they dress uncomfortably for the sake of fashion. A man could work for twelve hours a day, building the same product over and over. He might not even own one of his own. all to get paper to buy food and a place to live. Why? Why is this viewed as a luxury? Why is this a boon? One could build their own home. Hunt their own food. Cook it themselves and spend less time of their day to do it. That is my goal. To show the world how their 'luxuries' have trapped them in a self destructive cycle. Speaking of destructive psycho. Shut the fuck up you mophead." Carter's speech loses steam at the end, he pulls away rubbing his head in pain.

"Hey man, I get it. I do. But this ain't the way. This ain't good for you. Just look at how you're acting." Scott says, trying to talk Carter down. "Turn yourself in, I can help you get some help."

"NO!" Carter roars. He pulls more pavement up from the ground, transmuting them into two long barbed spikes that he seismically propels into each of Scott's shoulders, pinning him to the brick wall he is sitting against. He calls out in pain again. Bleeding profusely. One of the gangsters pops him in the head to silence him for good.

"We good here, Carter?" The gangster asks, speaking to Carter as an equal, rather than as a boss.

"Yes, Giancarlo thank you kindly. We can go now." Carter turns and presses his hands onto the brick face of the wall behind him. The wall changes before their eyes, turning into a wooden door that Carter opens to enter the building. Once the three gangsters are inside with him, the door is turned back into brick. Looking like morphing sand as it is altered by Carter's power. Once again, he disappears. With no one able to follow. The sun is gone and the night is young. As the story of the young Agent Scott Schaeffer ends, who knows what story might yet begin?

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Luminesa
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Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:52 pm

Rozalin - Night, 9:30 PM

Silence was much like a bomb. The longer it sat on Rozalin’s chest, the more destructive it would be when it finally erupted. Nothing came from the payphone, so after a few minutes he decided to just walk to the proximity of the place. However, as he took his hands off the payphone, he heard a man’s voice call to someone in the darkness. His first instinct was to hide, but his second instinct was to turn and look.

A man in a long coat was walking toward a street corner, and he noticed that on this street corner stood three well-dressed men. Rozalin had not noticed them before, and their sudden appearance caused his blood to freeze in his veins.“Could they be…” He recalled that three men had left with Carter in the morning, and suddenly his head fogged. He could not blink, and could only watch what was happening across the street.

The tension felt like a silent movie. He did not have to hear what they said to know heat was rising off the pavement. The three men loomed over the agent, until the lone man drew a weapon. Rozalin almost began to look for a place to duck, but found no cars parked nearby. Horrified, he tried to crouch behind the telephone pole. Yet he knew they would see him anyway, and so he just squeezed his eyes shut.

Yet the man never got to fire his weapon. First, a razor-sharp blur cut through the air and pinned his loaded weapon into a nearby wall. When the agent whipped around to see what had stopped him, his head then whipped back from an iron-fisted punch. At the same moment the punch landed, Rozalin’s heart skipped a beat in horror. Standing over the young agent was a single figure, around whom the other men gathered like a pack of wolves. That presence. The young nurse felt himself suck his breath.

Carter had returned.

And so soon, as well. He acted as though nothing had happened, and seemed to order for the men to take the agent to a nearby alley. Despite all reason and common sense telling him otherwise, Rozalin waited for them to turn away before he stood and began to creep behind them at a distance.

If only his teeth would not clatter so much, both from terror and from the nightly chill. He watched the group drag the agent into an alley, and he decided to hide and listen behind a phone booth. Being a Silent himself meant he could hear Carter with his mask on, and as the voices spoke he had his horrific confirmation.

However, the voices did not act in perfect harmony. Rather, they seemed to argue with each other, or spoke with different personalities. Perhaps Carter’s image of himself was fractured, much like his own, and the mask allowed for each voice to speak? No, Rozalin and Lilac were still the same person. These were all different people, occupying that evil and handsome body. Somehow, the young nurse’s terror sated a little, and he almost felt he could approach Carter. At the same time, he knew that this situation could spell death if he interrupted. Yet that poor agent…

To torture him, Carter had taken a small piece of metal and fired it into his leg, breaking through solid bone. The captured agent screamed in pain, and Rozalin muffled a gasp. Carter then gave a speech on his plans, and all the while the agent bled. His face became pale, then paler. Rozalin could not let the man die. His body was frozen but his mouth moved by itself.

“STOP!”

He screamed far too loud, while standing from behind the booth. His eyes were wide in terror, knowing they could easily kill him next. Yet he stood his ground, and stared at the four men.

Yet somehow, they ignored him. Rather, they continued moving, and soon enough they had somehow moved through the alley. He was horrified, but also relieved that nobody had moved in his direction. Even so, the agent in the alley was most likely dead. Rozalin rushed toward him and checked his body, staring with horror at the bullet. Even if he had called the police, they would not have been able to arrive fast enough to save the agent. Yet Rozalin could not help but feel absolute horror at his lack of motion.

The performance would have to wait. He needed to find Carter, and to perhaps make things right. First, however, he needed to call the police.

“Why, what good will it do?”

“They can take this body to the morgue!”

Rozalin argued with himself, much like Carter had done moments before, and he hurried back to the payphone. This time, he dialed the police. “Hello? Yes, I saw a man get…get shot near Wrigley Field, I believe it was Carter Knight. I…I froze and I…I’m so sorry…I couldn’t do anything…an agent is dead, his name is…his name is Schaffer. Nobody else was harmed…please…” His voice got weaker as he spoke into the phone, and he used all of his strength to keep from crying.
Last edited by Luminesa on Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

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Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 58667
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:41 pm

Rozalin, Night - 9:40 PM

Rozalin walked back to Agent Schaffer’s body. Mutilated, splattered, hardly recognizable. He was young. He had not seen his face in the moonlight, but his hands were still smooth and firm. What was left of his face looked smooth and sharp. Yet he could not stand by the body for long. He had seen plenty of trauma today, but the sight of brains on the wall reminded him of Dillinger’s brutally-hollowed corpse from this morning.

He decided to leave a note. Nothing could be done for the man, but he would give them some information. He found a napkin and a pen on Schaffer’s person, and he wrote a rough message. “Agent Schaffer. Killed by Carter. He shifts through walls. Three gangsters, armed.”

With this message written, he looked toward the wall through which Carter had vanished. He found some garbage cans and moved them toward the high brick structure, before he climbed on them and moved himself over the wall. He was lucky to be healthy, somewhat athletic, and flexible with long legs.

He dropped over the side and landed hard on his ankles, suppressing a grimace at the same time. If all he did was see Carter again, perhaps doing so would be enough. More information for the police, who would not be able to find him with the information they had. Morbid curiosity also beckoned him, and so he continued to move.

Agent Schaffer had confessed that FBSS agents were all over Chicago, something Rozalin already knew. Yet they also seemed to evenly divide themselves among the different fingers of The Hand. The young nurse deducted that at least five agents worked this territory altogether, now at least four with Schaffer dead. “If this territory has at least five agents altogether, then…Carter will be looking for another one to kill…Or he may be hiding and planning his next attack…but on which building?”

His eyes gazed around him. Wrigley Field was enormous, most definitely an accomplishment of modern industrial prowess, which Carter hated. Yet so many other skyscrapers and monuments existed. Libraries, museums, more banks, the Chicago Temple Building…he could pick anything. Yet he did not know how far Carter could teleport, and so he decided to remain close to Wrigley. “…Chances are he’s not the biggest fan of the Cubs…” he murmured, staring at the temple to baseball towering behind him. He was sure that agents had to be looking around such a huge structure, and so he stood in the darkness of a nearby alley and waited. Again.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

User avatar
Antimersia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 402
Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:10 am

Carter Knight
Near Wrigley Field
9:50 pm


He had seen the young woman following them. Something was off about her. But he paid little mind. A simple bystander was not anything for Carter to concern himself with. But when he heard the commotion of her leaping over the brick wall to follow them, he knew this was someone he would have to deal with. Sooner now, than later. He sends the gangsters with him off to the base of operations that Carter had long ago established. A location secluded and secret from any that do not follow him. They would not be able to get inside. As Carter had altered the building to have no entrances when he is not there to create one. But Carter believed this detour would not take long. He walked through buildings. Shifting the walls of each into doors for him to walk through so he could move through them, hidden from anyone on the sidewalk. And when he gets to the alley that they came out of, he moves as silently as possible. Opening the door he changes the brick wall into and closing it silently. He sees the young lady that is tailing that peering out around the building. No doubt watching his gangsters, waiting for something to happen. He pulls a coin from his coat pocket and alters its shape in his hand. Turning it into a long thing blade. Almost like a straight razor. He hides the blade in his sleeve, keeping it close to his grasp should he need it. Then, he speaks to the young lady, taking his mask off as a sign of good will.

"Excuse me miss, but I find being followed to be a terribly rude act." He says with a warm yet smug smirk, not aware that he is actually speaking to a man. And a Silent no less.

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Luminesa
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:10 am

Antimersia wrote:Carter Knight
Near Wrigley Field
9:50 pm


He had seen the young woman following them. Something was off about her. But he paid little mind. A simple bystander was not anything for Carter to concern himself with. But when he heard the commotion of her leaping over the brick wall to follow them, he knew this was someone he would have to deal with. Sooner now, than later. He sends the gangsters with him off to the base of operations that Carter had long ago established. A location secluded and secret from any that do not follow him. They would not be able to get inside. As Carter had altered the building to have no entrances when he is not there to create one. But Carter believed this detour would not take long. He walked through buildings. Shifting the walls of each into doors for him to walk through so he could move through them, hidden from anyone on the sidewalk. And when he gets to the alley that they came out of, he moves as silently as possible. Opening the door he changes the brick wall into and closing it silently. He sees the young lady that is tailing that peering out around the building. No doubt watching his gangsters, waiting for something to happen. He pulls a coin from his coat pocket and alters its shape in his hand. Turning it into a long thing blade. Almost like a straight razor. He hides the blade in his sleeve, keeping it close to his grasp should he need it. Then, he speaks to the young lady, taking his mask off as a sign of good will.

"Excuse me miss, but I find being followed to be a terribly rude act." He says with a warm yet smug smirk, not aware that he is actually speaking to a man. And a Silent no less.

Rozalin - Night, 9:50 PM

Rozalin had considered many scenarios in his head. In most of those cases, Carter stayed with his men and continued moving with them. Such a powerful figure moving alone amongst the streets of Chicago was as dangerous for Carter as the idea was for Rosie. Also much like Rozalin, Carter ignored the concept of staying out of trouble and did what he pleased. With the wicked latter, unfortunately doing as he pleased meant destroying a bank.

Indeed, Rosie did not make many plans for what he should do if he found himself alone with Carter. However, as he had guessed, the opportunity which presented itself did not match the scenarios he had created in his mind. Without warning, he heard a voice address him, and Rozalin whirled around to see the source. His eyes widened, when he saw the speaker smiling at him.

He was indeed alone with Carter.

Alone with the devil in the pale moonlight. The young nurse’s heart pounded in his chest, screaming that the plan to follow him had been a horrendous one and that he should run now. Yet Rozalin was not stupid, though his actions had been reckless. If he ran, Carter would kill him. He was certain. Unless, perhaps, he was not in the mood to attack an unarmed “miss”. He had to admit that the way Carter called him “miss” was intoxicating and smooth. Rozalin wondered if he was simply playing around, as the beautiful and cruel blonde had probably not seen many women in his lifetime who were six-foot-five. Yet he had removed his mask and was speaking with his own voice, not with five. Perhaps he did believe Rozalin was truly a woman.

“Indeed, in most cases such an act would be quite rude, yes?” For once his mother’s speaking lessons were coming in handy. His voice should have been stammering and clattering like falling dinner plates; but instead he pronounced his words with soft clearness like a lady. “My mother would have wished for me to be a more proper lady in many regards, but I suppose I failed in that regard. And perhaps you may also think my voice is deeper than a proper lady’s voice, but Morgan le Fey did charm Merlin with a voice deeper than the tree she buried him in.”

In his abject terror, which had caused his mind to tear from him to watch his actions from afar, Rozalin could not believe himself. He was flirting with a terrorist, and for reasons he could not define. He believed he could connect with him, learn more about him, but had not planned what words he would use. As a result, his heart, or “Lilac”, had acted for him. He had been desperate to perform in a show this evening, and he supposed now he was part of a most macabre one. For now he could only hope Carter reacted well to playful words and gestures.

“…Have you read those stories, Mr. Carter? Morgan le Fey, the dark enchantress capable of both heroism and villainy. The protector of Arthur…and the enemy and lover of Lancelot. What drove Lancelot and Morgan to desire each other?…Perhaps the great enchantress had a desire for his purity, and he sought for that dangerous night in her eyes…”

He was not sure why he continued on this tangent, but folktales and romantic stories settled Rozalin’s panicking heart. Having heard the voices in Carter’s head, as well, had given him a thought. Perhaps Carter felt the same rush from being called “mister” as Rozalin felt from being called “miss”.
Last edited by Luminesa on Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
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Antimersia
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Cowrite with Luminesa

Postby Antimersia » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:09 pm

Carter Knight
Near Wrigley Field
9:50 pm


"A penchant for fantasy?" Carter asked playfully, "Don't tell me you think of me as some fantastical figure. I am nothing but a monster in a well tailored suit." Carter stated bluntly, waving his mask with one hand, indicating he was referring to his Silent abilities. "You may be tall, your voice may be deep. But you are what you do. And we as people, in a truly free world, may choose to do whatever we are physically able. But enough small talk." Carter's disposition turns serious. "You obviously wanted to speak with me. I can imagine why, seeing a bank get torn down to its foundation is bound to raise questions." He says, revealing that he recognizes Roz from the crowd around the bank. "Ask away. If it would satisfy your curiosity and remove this penchant for following me that you have, I'd prefer to speak, rather than act." He looks at Roz expectantly.

Rozalin stared at the mask as Carter talked about himself. Certainly he was no mythological figure…yet. To the city of Chicago, he was a demon, and they had good reason to believe such. Yet he himself had a mask, one in his purse. He did not know whether or not to play his hand and to show the mask now.

Perhaps Carter could meet Rozalin now and Lilac later.

His suspicions were confirmed when Carter mentioned seeing him at the bank he had destroyed. He spoke far too calmly, far too playfully, for a man who had just caused the collapse of a bank and desired the ruin of society. Rozalin needed to approach carefully, and all the while he kept his shoulders firm.

“…Most men are monsters in well-tailored suits…Only different breeds…Mythological men such as Merlin exist in another time, another universe…but even in those days men were mostly the same.”

He turned his eyes toward Carter, and decided to return the playfulness. A suspicious smile lined his lips as he gazed at the man. “…You speak with many voices when you wear your mask. Tell me then…what do you see when you look in the mirror?”

Carter couldn't help but chuckle. "Of all the questions to ask me first, you ask what I see in the mirror. Well, I rarely look, but when I do I just see my face. When I wear the mask, now, that is a bit different. But I'll tell you that it does have something to do with who-... how these masks work." He says holding his in a way to look at it directly. Giving it a dead eyed look of disdain. "That's all I will say for now though. I'm not one to spoil a good surprise until the time is right." The light returns to his eyes as he looks back at Roz. Smiling sweetly.

Well Carter gave less of an answer than Rozalin expected, but he just nodded. He was curious as to the way Carter glared at his mask. He had seemed like someone who enjoyed his power, but instead he seemed uncomfortable with it.

”Of course, if anyone’s powers made then hear five people in their mind at once, they would surely have some discomfort with that power as well.”

“The most important questions are not always the most obvious, I think. ‘Who are you?’ You answered that question this morning. ‘Why did you do this?’ Well I heard your speech to that young agent whose head is now painting the side of a building. I suppose another question would be…why Chicago? Because it is an enormous city, full of the things you seem to hate…Hm.”

Rozalin reached into his purse and found a tube of lipstick. Blood-red. He applied it as he thought of his next question. Maybe the bright color would keep Carter’s attention. “…What do you see when you look at the people? When you look at me?”

"That's the beauty of language. You know my name, but you do not know who I am. You heard me give reasoning, but are unaware of every reason for my actions. I hope my further answers are more enlightening to you than the answers you believe you already have." Carter replies. His words would sound smug coming from anyone else's mouth. Yet he sounds disappointed. As if his message has already be corrupted when he hasn't even revealed it yet. "Chicago does represent much of the ilk that I so fervently despise about our world today. But it is but one city in this massive planet of ours. That alone is not why. I am in Chicago because I am searching for something. A book. One that I hope will give me the last piece I need to solve a puzzle older than anyone knows." He pauses, deep in thought for a moment, looking up at the cloudy moonlit night sky. Staring into the abyss of the night as if staring down an enemy. As if something were looking back at him. "When I look at people," He continues, "I see chains. Look at your hair, your clothes, your lipstick. Do you wear red because you like it? Or do you wear it because you believe others will. Your cloths, are you comfortable? Or do you sacrifice comfort in the name of fashion? Is your hair natural? or do you flood it with products so it holds a perfect shape? You no doubt think that you choose these things, but the truth is others choose it for you. Expectations of the people around you drive you more than you might even be willing to admit. Not all unjust rules, come in such a blatant form as a curfew."

“…Well of course they do, to an extent. Most people live their lives with others in mind…or to please others. Sadly, I spent most of my childhood being told to be a certain kind of lady. But I grew-up and decided I didn’t like that life.”

Rozalin turned and gazed at Carter for a moment, pausing as he listened to him. A certain softness came to his eyes, which frightened him a little. Why did he suddenly feel pity for this man? He had not pitied the monsters of the Nazi regime, and he did not pity the mobsters who shot innocent people dead in the streets. Something about Carter was almost magnetic. Yet Rozalin stuck to his plan, and remained calm.

“…I do like the color red, but I also wear it because most men seem to like it. Quite the kissable color for most, if the movies were to be believed. If it was up to me, I’d wear black lipstick everyday. But black makes people think I’m a witch. They’re…not entirely wrong.”

He chuckled, and showed Carter a stick of his black lipstick. “…Being able to make my own lipstick would be lovely, I think I spend far too much on it. And hair products, though…” He twirled some strands of his long, wavy locks. “…This lovely hair is my own, and my mother’s. As for comfort…I have sacrificed plenty of comfort in my life. When I was 14 I worked in a factory, making clothing for the British soldiers. I saw my home-country bombed and then rebuilt. And I had to take care of an alcoholic mother who died on the couch of our apartment. I have sacrificed plenty of comfort. But dresses…dresses are very comfortable. Especially velvet. If I could sew with velvet, I’d wear velvet scrubs.”

Rozalin removed his lipstick with a makeup wipe in his purse, and then applied the black. He then gave a gentle smile to Carter. “…I should apologize, my intention was not to be dismissive. Rather, I did not want to bore you with the questions I’m sure you’ve heard. As for books…Chicago has plenty. If you have questions, they can no doubt be answered.“

"I'm glad you are at least content in your perception of freedom. The ugly truth is that who we are is so shaped by our world that we are nearly unrecognizable as human beings. The days of the hunter and gatherer seem so far away as to be alien." Carter paused, "But, I do believe that we have spent enough time conversing. As much as I loathe the boot of authority, I find firefights to be even more distasteful. I must take my leave. I would offer you the opportunity to join me. But I can see in your eyes that you would not prefer a world without these rotten institutions. I suggest you keep your mask in your purse though," He says, revealing that he knows of Roz's Silent nature. He places his own mask on his face before continuing. His voice now coming through telepathically, sounding feminine and warm, "I would prefer that we not end up in a scuffle." He kneels down and places his hand on the ground below. The pavement looks like it melts into a new shape. Forming stairs down into the sewers below. He stands and begins to descend the stairs. Disappearing into the darkness below.

Rozalin did not attempt to restrain him, even though he was much bigger than Carter. Knowing his powers, Rozalin would be an exploded corpse on the sidewalk, and the cops would have no other lead. So he continued to give a quiet smile to the man.

“…Indeed, perhaps we have yet to see what we truly are…Though…I hope it has not been the last time we shall meet…”

The color in his face almost drained, however, when Carter mentioned that he had seen his mask. He almost lost his composure as he put his lipstick back in his purse. Yet the feminine voice from Carter’s mask was…oddly soothing. He kept his smile, and chuckled. “…My, my…if you keep talking like that, I might look forward to a little scuffling.”

He then watched him leave, and he narrowed his eyes as the darkness swallowed Carter. The police would soon arrive, and Rozalin would be the prime witness. He wondered what he would say, and how the police would actually try to catch Carter. Yet even more importantly, he wondered when he would see him again.

“…Perhaps I am a witch after all…” he murmured, as the sirens grew louder behind him.

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Luminesa
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:33 am

Co-Written With GCCS

Morning - 7:30 AM

"Alright, I'll send him in," agent Frederics said as he left Nolan's office. The agent had come to dread leaving their meetings, since it seemed like Nolan's office was the eye of the storm. Always pleasantly heated and gently lid, while you were there you were in the moment, with discussions going so fast that you did not have time to think or to fear. That was the way Nolan pushed you when it came to shove. Leaving the office, however, left you in the cold, and immediately a thousand different throughts came to haunt you. Frederics resolutely stepped towards Rozalin, and cleared his throat.

"Right this way, si..."

For a moment, the young agent's eyes narrowed as he looked at the man's soft features, and into his sleep deprived eyes. There was a moment's hesitation.

"Excuse me, do I..." he wondered, but then he shook his head.

"Agent England will see you now," Frederics finally concluded, as he turned on the heels of his well-polished shoes to head back to his own office. The door of Nolan's office was left slightly ajar.

England's office looked like something out of an Agatha Christie-novel. All old wood panneling and red-gold carpet flooring. The large oaken desk, strewn with all manner of small relics and souvenirs, was aimed at the door. Behind Nolan, seated in a large desk chair with red velvet lining, hung a larger-than-normal crucifix, with intricate detail and painting, which made the eyes seem almost lifelike. The walls were decorated in neat, symmatrical intervals with paintings, with the exception of the wall opposite England. There hung a hunting rifle, and the two cracked halves of a Silent mask, with the bullet hole that had cracked it still visible.

Rozalin could not help but give a reassuring smile to the Agent who came to retrieve him. He was still shaking inside, but he always found people’s confusion over his appearance mildly amusing. “…Please. Call me what you wish, but if your concern is what is on my birth certificate, I am a man. Cheers.”

He stood and walked toward the office, and as he entered he found himself staring at all the accruements on the walls. The enormous, elegant crucifix caused for him to duck his eyes, as though he worried he was being watched. If not by Christ, then perhaps his mother from somewhere above or below. The many paintings were equally grand-but-intimidating, demonstrating the outward class many agents and politicians exhibited to show their power.

Yet when he turned and looked at the other wall, his heart leapt against his ribcage in fear. That mask…with a round bullet-hole that almost split the mask in half from force. Next to it was that enormous rifle, shining and well-used. His eyes stayed on it for a moment, before he turned to see Agent Nolan England. “…You are the agent who asked to see me?” he inquired.

England only glanced up momentarily to check who had entered. After Rozalin had closed the door behind him, his eyes fell back towards the yellow-papered notepad he was writing in. With his right, off-hand he gestured at the wooden chair standing opposite Nolan, in front of the desk.

"Yes, Mr. Harkner, please have a seat" he added. As Rozalin got more comfortable, Nolan closed the large volume of 'On the Kinds and Classifications of Silents of the World', after ten years still the predominant book on Silent encounters, with a more academic approach to classification than that of the FBSS field agents. It was like a guide to the dangers and uses of various powers, and most importantly, how their wielders were detained or otherwise stopped. As he put away the volume, England opened one of his drawers and procured a handkerchief, with some hand-crawled writing on it. Now, in daylight, the initials 'S.P.S. were clearly visible on it too, as well as the note:

Agent Schaffer. Killed by Carter. He shifts through walls. Three gangsters, armed.

"Am I correct when I say that you wrote this note, Mr. Harkner?" Nolan began. "Could you tell me why you were there and what you saw?" he added, his left hand hovering over a fresh sheet of paper. There was some kindness in his voice, but most of all it was professionally distant. If agent England had known Schaeffer, his voice was not betraying him, although the perceptive eye could see that he was clutching the handkerchief more than he was holding it.

“I was leaving from work and planning to dial a friend on a pay phone…and I happened to see four men. One was an agent, wearing a…long coat, who walked to the other side of the street. This was close to Wrigley Field. The three men attempted to intimidate him, and he pulled a gun. He was about to fire when a…projectile knocked his gun out of his hand, and he was punched to the ground. I…should have ran, but I froze.” Rozalin gave as honest of an answer as he could, not wanting to allude directly to his night life. He was also honest about freezing in terror. Adrenaline indeed did strange things to the body.

Thus far, the description sounded exactly like Scott. A Jersey cowboy acting like a sheriff in a western, like from the movies. No back-up, no call-in, just walking at three curfew-breakers on his own. A better man than he was an agent, but as fast as the wind and even faster on the draw. Scott had even saved his life once by straight-up sucker punching a silent in the mask. If Schaeffer lacked anything, courage was certainly not it.

"Were any of these four men wearing a mask, Mr. Schae... Mr. Harkner, apologies. Were any of them wearing a mask?"

The question was not bullet-proof; there were some known Silents whose power included hiding the fact that they were wearing a mask. But it would be close enough.

“…I only saw one man wearing a mask, and that was Carter,” Rozalin answered. He kept eye-contact with the agent, knowing he could try to throw him a loop at any time. He stared down at Agent England’s hand, at the handkerchief. The man was holding it with an iron grip, as if his life depended on his grip. “…I see that you must have been quite close to Agent Schaeffer, sir…”

England abruptly look up from his writing and stared straight into Rozelin's eyes. While he remained outwardly calm, there was a sudden twitch of fierce anger, which he did his best to hide.

"The personal information of agent Schaeffer is not up to discussion, sir, and I will be asking the questions, understood?"

The tone of his voice did not shift with emotion, but the speed of his delivery very much did. His head jolted back down again, to his notes, as he pushed his reading glasses further onto his nose. As he felt his fist clench the handkerchief, he let it go, his right hand tapping the desk instead in a nervous rhythm.

"What else did you see? I want to know the whole story, up to the moment you collapsed" Nolan asked, his delivery having slowed to its accustomed lazy crawl again.

Rozalin almost flinched at the way England’s head cocked to eye him, and he saw the way the man squeezed the handkerchief. He had made a mistake in trying to show some compassion, and he decided to sit back and to simply obey. Anything to survive.

“…My apologies for my…brazenness, sir. Yes, ah…it seemed that Agent Schaeffer and Carter had a back-and-forth…which seemed to concern the agent trying to talk him down. This failed and…Agent Schaeffer was pierced with a sharp object. I screamed for them to stop, but…the young agent was then shot in the head.”

Rozalin took a deep breath, wishing he had a glass of water for the moment. He blinked, remembering the gruesome image of the agent’s destroyed head. “…The men vanished, and I approached the agent’s body to check for any signs of life. He had no pulse, no breathing, and…he…most likely died instantly.” Another deep breath.

“…I saw Carter phase through a wall, and so I decided to go and perhaps…find some trace of them. It seems Carter realized I had tried to follow him, and he approached me…”

Rozalin needed to think for a moment about how to describe the conversation that came next. His eyes darted downward, and he was very aware of the large rifle hanging behind him. A Sword of Damocles all in itself.

"As I understand it, Mr. Harkner, you are a nurse?" Nolan continued. It was uncommon, although not unheard of, for men to nurse. The choice of profession was not what was off-putting about Rozalin. It was everything else combined. The name, the feminine appearance, the way he carried himself. It frightened Nolan to think that, in a way, when Rozalin asked after Schaeffer, he felt... cared for. Nursed, in a way. And that feeling, with regards to a figure so queer, repulsed him. And still, in a sense, he longed emotionally to take back his firm rebuttal and be cared for. In the harsh world, which had not existed days before and in which he found himself now, he would pay dearly just to feel secure, comforted. This was probably why Rozalin was such a good nurse.

Nolan shook the feeling, and retook his focus on the matter at hand. Carter was out there. The priority was to take him down and to gain any information that would help him with that.

"Mr. Harkner... I need you to tell me everything Carter told you. Everything. Every detail. He is a dangerous... evil individual, and in Jesus' name, he needs to be stopped. Destroyed if necessary. Or he is going to keep doing what he is doing. So in this moment, I don't care how you pray to God or whatever debts you have with Him. I need you to help me, to help us. Okay?"

“Yessir, I am a nurse. I trained during and after World War 2 as a nurse in London. I managed to take care of my family that way.” Rozalin continued to gaze at him, watching the way he held his firm stare. He wondered about this man, who held such a staunchly-masculine view of himself. The broad shoulders, the way he spoke, his mannerisms. Given that Nolan knew that Rozalin was a man, he could only wonder what he was thinking about him.

He could hear the passion, however, when Nolan described how he wanted for Carter to be stopped, in Jesus’s name. Lilac’s Anglican background had not been very devout, but he had attended Sunday School and had been advised by his mother to play with the wealthier children. Yet Rozalin as a child had always wondered if Jesus would have preferred for him to play with the poor children. He gave a deep sigh, and murmured to himself. “…’For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.’” He then turned his eyes upward to look at Nolan.

“…Carter seems to have an intense hatred for industrial society,” Rozalin answered, “…He is angry at how false and fake the world seems to be. He asked me, for example, if I enjoyed filling my hair with products to make it look the way it does. A sense that…we do the things we do almost as performers, shells of human beings. And he wants a book.”

Nolan lifted his right eyebrow in surprise at the probable motive Rozalin ascribed to Carter. A hatred for industrial society. England had suspected some other reasoning, such as Carter being a mercenary, or a Soviet agent, or perhaps an anarchist of some sort, like the syndicalist he had seen when growing up in West Virginia. Compared to that, a hatred for industrial society seemed somehow... quaint. Almost comparable to the way he himself longed to owning a farm in the countryside, away from it all. Making his own food, feeding his own children, his wife making their clothes. A couple of farm hands to help them out... Of course, however quaint the motive, it was sullied by the destruction and death. If his beef was with industrial society, then what society did he want to take its place?

"What book, Mr. Harkner?" England asked. While continuing taking notes, his right hand hovered over a tiny bell on his desk. This information could grant them a breakthrough in locating Carter and predicting his next move. But they needed to know what book Carter was after first.

Rozalin sighed. “Unfortunately, he would not tell me what book he wanted. I imagine, however, that this book must have some sort of magical quality related to…something he wants to know about being a Silent.” He was kicking himself now for not getting the information, but he could make a guess. “…I imagine the city of Chicago does not merely have the typical selection of books, if he came here searching for one. The ‘last piece of the puzzle’, he said.”

"Thank you, Mr. Harkner. But leave those considerations to the experts at the FBSS." England said curtly, as he dinged the bell and stood up from his desk. Almost immediately a woman opened the door, a stack of papers held under her arm.

"Thank you for your time regardless, Mr. Harkner. Please follow Evelyn, who will take your statement in writing. You can leave your personals with her, and we'll be in contact. Meanwhile, don't be afraid to call if you remember something else"

He turned to his assistant.

"And Evelyn, could you get Samuel and Becker in here, please?" he asked her, so that she might summon both their Silent expert and their political expert. If what Rozalin said was true, Carter had a particular list of targets, and that would make it possible for them to narrow down his next attack. Something that was badly needed, even if there were national guardsmen on every street corner. As Rozalin left, England stared across the room, at the split mask and the rifle. He sighed.

"For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God" he answered.

"Do not despair, and fear no evil" England added of his own accord, just as Becker and Frederics entered the office. England nodded at them to acknowledge their arrival.

"Gentlemen, some little hope at last."

Rozalin was mildly taken aback by the way Nolan snapped at his suggestion, but then he should have expected it. He seemed very uncomfortable with the young nurse in the room, and looked glad that the interview was reaching an end. He still sat quietly and waited for him to give instructions.

“…You are most welcome, sir. In the meantime, I hope you will keep in mind to care for yourself, for your dear friend’s sake. What does the old hymn say? ‘His eye is on the sparrow.’ Good day.”

He then walked out the room after Evelyn, looking out the window as he walked. Today was bright and beautiful. He wondered if he would have to go back to work, or if he could simply rest. He still needed to decide how he would spend his evening.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

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Theyra
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Founded: Aug 29, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Theyra » Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:08 pm

Zeng Jingyi - 9:50 PM

'What in the world is this city coming to?" Zeng said out loud to himself as he looked out the window of his apartment. Sitting down in a chair as he stared out into the dark and empty streets, as he thought about things. "First a Silent criminal wrecks a bank and kills people and now a curfew." Letting out a tired sigh, 'maybe I should have stayed in St.Louis. My apartment there sucked but, at least I do not have to worry about some psycho Silent murdering me while I am at a bank. Who knows what that murderer is up to." Another tired sigh, he came to America to escape violence, not to wind up in a place that is under a state of emergency because of the actions of a solo violent Silent. He can't even do his job as a security guard since he works nights, and he does not know yet if he is even going to be paid because of the curfew. So Zeng might have to consider getting a new job faster than he thought.

Once he was tired of staring out his window, Zeng got up and walked over to his fridge to get something to drink. Something to moisten his mouth, and about halfway did Zeng feel an urge. A familiar but annoying urge, and he turned his gaze towards his bedroom. Why does it do that? Zeng once again asks himself mentally. How does it call to him like this? Zeng grumbled as he made his way to his bed, and once there. Briefly lifting the mattress up and there it was. Zeng's mask. His godforsaken mask that just makes living his life harder. Zeng grabbed his mask from the bed and sat down. His back leaning on his bed and holding his mask with both hands in front of his face.

"Why o why me?" Zeng asked himself as he stared tiredly at his mask. His unwanted gift that he got on his first day in this apartment. Zeng has faced Silents in battle before, after the Sino-Japanese war, the communists were just starting to use them in the civil war. They were few but, they hit hard, and at least one he heard of could take a tank shell like it was nothing. He did manage to kill at least three of them before the Great Retreat was called. It was not an easy feat.

It is weird to him that only now, after decades of being a normal human, did his mask appear to him when he tries for a new beginning in America, no less. Something that he does not want but is forced to have. Funny how the universe works sometimes. In a cruel way to him, or at least the is how he views it. And once again, it calls to him about putting it on. For a moment, he considers it but not before steeling himself from its influence and shaking his head. "No, no no, not today, you accursed thing." Without another word, Zeng got up and put his mask back under his mattress. Hiding it there, and left his bedroom. Actually getting something to drink this time after some time relaxing and thinking of what to do. So Zeng decided on going to bed and tried to keep his mind off his mask.

Next day- 7:30 AM

Waking up bright and early the next day. Zeng did his normal routine, get up, take a shower, eat. The first time in a while that he had what people would call a normal sleep schedule. Working nights can do that to you. Either way, without having to worry about going to work today. Zeng decided on making the most of his day, first by doing some errands and he guessed do some exploring. He has only been in Chicago a short time, and it would be nice to see what the city offers. Maybe go to a park or something. Either way, Zeng left his apartment for greater Chicago and time to get the most out of his day.

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Luminesa
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Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:55 pm

Rozalin - Day, 8:15 AM

A book…books…Chicago’s Public Library had many books. New books, ancient books, manuscripts, records…Anyone could walk inside and grab any books they could possibly want. Rozalin remembered coming here to check-out books while he was a nursing student. Sometimes he would grab textbooks and study for his exams here. Other times, he found romantic novels and books about sewing. As he walked in the library and snuck a glance at a romantic novel on display, he tried to imagine Detective Nolan reading it. “Lady Chatterly’s Lover. The man would no doubt turn redder than lipstick.”

Yet he had not come here to simply browse the selection for his own good. Carter’s insistence on the need to have a book had caught Rozalin’s attention, and he could not help but come here and do some research of his own. “…He dislikes industrial society, I wonder if he’s decided that includes libraries…” he thought. He decided to search for books about Silents first, as he had figured that Carter wanted such a book.

A few textbooks existed. One had the same title as the book on Nolan’s desk, and looked very official and proper. Only having known a little about his own abilities as a Silent, Rozalin hid behind a bookshelf and decided to flip through it. He had not realized how many powers one could have with their masks. Telepathy, however, seemed to be a common power among Silents. He saw beautiful masks, hideous ones as well. He liked his own, which was currently at his home. The skeletal appearance was macabre but elegant, and he loved flowers, especially roses.

Yet for some reason, he felt that Carter was not a person to like textbooks. He did not lack in intelligence, but despite all of his hatred for the world he was almost…simple. Then again, Rozalin could not insult him for any lack of book-smarts. He had struggled to pass academic exams after the war, and had cried into his nursing textbooks from a fear of failure. “…I wonder if he’s ever cried into books…” he murmured. Quickly, he shook his head, and decided to put the textbook away.

He tried to think of what other interests Carter might have. If he hated industrial society, his book selection would be somewhat limited, unless he liked older books. As he stood in the middle of the library, which was bustling with people who mostly ignored him, he decided to look for an unusual choice-an almanac. For almost 200 years, farmers had treasured the weather and gardening advice from versions of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. He had very little difficulty finding a copy, and he decided he would check-out a copy. He also grabbed a smaller book on Silents, and then looked around for another book.

“…Hm…You never know…Nolan might be more of a blushing man…but pretty blond men with wicked dreams in their heads…”

Rozalin did not know whether or not his action would be taken as a prank or as a genuine act, but he decided to walk back through a section of classics. When he put his fingers on the spine of L’Morte de Arthur, he gave a soft grin. Carter did not speak the language of fantasy novels, with their romance, magic, and intrigue, but perhaps an ancient story would catch his eye.

While the receptionist gave him an odd look, she still allowed him to take the books. He found a way to pack them into his bag, and then took his leave without any ceremony. He was glad that his actions in the previous day had earned him a day away from work. Perhaps the rest of his day would be more restful, and he could carefully plan his evening. He still needed to make-up for a lost performance somehow.
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Antimersia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 402
Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Sat Dec 04, 2021 5:23 pm

Simon's Steakhouse
The intersection of Hirsch and Hamlin
Nov. 1st, 1956
noon


Simon's steakhouse is routinely talked about as one of the best in the city. Opens at 11am every and overs only two items until 6pm. A steak sandwich with swiss cheese, horseradish and mustard, on marbled rye bread. And a side order of pickled peppers. At 6 they open for dinner and serve a full menu. But no matter what time of day it is, you can bet that the line to get in for a table wraps around the block. Today, is one of the rare exceptions. There is no line. Instead, there are about fifteen gangsters patrolling the outside of the building with their guns at the ready. Waiting for even the slightest sign of trouble. Inside Simon, the owner and chef, is preparing four sandwiches for his four true guests for the afternoon. In the center of the restaurant, flanked by nearly a dozen more gangsters all standing around them, are the four Caporegimes of the Dillinger gang. Lester "Baby Face Nelson" Gillis, Homer Van Meter, "Fat" Charles Makley, and the presumptive heir to his father, Jonathan "Little Johnny" Dillinger III. Just over twenty four hours since the death of his father, Little Johnny called in the four Capos to speak and agree upon the future of the gang. As well as to discuss how they intend to get revenge for his father's death.

"We gotta fucking kill him. No two ways about it Johnny. Hell you gotta kill him. He killed your pops." Baby Face stated blunly.

"You don't tell me what I need to do, Gillis. The asshole who done killed my father is gonna get his. But shit here needs to be handled first." Little Johnny replied, trying to take control of the conversation. His higher pitched voice and accent betraying his show of force. His accent is so thick that saying 'first' sounds like he is saying 'foist'.

"A steady hand, Jonathan." Homer said, quietly and calmly. Mentoring the young Dillinger.

"I gots it Homer." Little Johnny replies, "When we finds out who's taking over for my pops, then we can handle that Silent freak."

"I vote for myself." Fat Charles speaks up. His voice deep and as rotund as he is. The sound of decades of smoking being prevalent.

"We're all gonna vote for our fucking selves you jack ass. That's why we gotta have this meeting." Baby Face replies annoyed. Makley only replies with a perturbed stare. "If we can't leave here today with an agreement, then I say we split the territory evenly."

"And let those fuckwit Outfit boys pick us off one by one? Fuck that shit. I'd sooner gut every person in this room." Johnny replied angrily. "This is my Pop's gang. He was prepping for me to take over. Just because its happening sooner rather than laters, shouldn't mean shit."

"You are not ready for this role yet, Jonathan. Your father would agree." Homer explained.

"I don't want the kid." Makley adds.

"Fuck what you want you landwhale!" Johnny snaps.

"Fuck all of yas. Here's what I think." Nelson begins, "We all know that if it were five years from now, Johnny here would be taking over the gang. None of us are big enough assholes to argue that. So how about one of us three take over, but we put a five year limit on it while Little Johnny finished growing up?"

"Fuck that. Give one of youse control just so you can fuck me over in a couple years? No fucking way. It's my fucking gang by right!"

"How despicable. To believe you own these people as a right." A new voice appeared towards the back of the restaurant. The four Capos stand up and look towards the back. Nelson, getting his Silent mask ready. The others all pull out pistols. Many of the gangsters guarding them, suddenly pull their guns and aim them at the Capos.

"What's the big idea?" Johnny asked, enraged.

"The idea is that these men never belonged to any of you." Carter walks out from the kitchen, revealing himself to the Capos. He is flanked by more gangsters on both sides. "And I'm here to make sure they are freed." Carter isn't wearing his mask at the moment. Donning only a long black wool coat over a simple black suit. The red tie, popping as much as the fiery eyes of his mask normally would. "But first. We have the question of whether or not any of you will be allowed to live. I am looking for something. Something one of a kind. Something I know that one of you four must be in possession of."

"We ain't giving you squat." Makley said bluntly.

"Shut the fuck up Makley you fat fuck." Johnny yells angrily. Makley stares at him with daggers.

"Three years ago," Carter begins, his tone weary. "the Dillinger gang raided the printing house for a magazine known as Weird Tales. A pulp rag that most considered to be meaningless drivel. In the course of that raid the journal of the creator of the magazine, Edwin Baird was taken. I require this journal. Whichever one of you helps me find it, I will let live." The four men all look at one another. They each wish they could try and fight their way out of the situation. But they know that even together the four of them couldn't take on Carter and nearly fifteen gunmen. And so Homer Van Meter is the first to speak up.

"I have the journal. The others are clueless to its whereabouts." Homer declared staunchly.

"Then you will come with me." Carter declared as one of the gangsters begins to walk up to Homer to take him.

"Alright fuck this your traitor." Nelson said just before slapping his mask onto his face. Carter reacted quickly, sliding his mask on as well to prepare for a fight. Bullets started flying. Makley shot right for Carter, but the bullets phased right through him like they were nothing. Makley only got three shots off before he was gunned down. Johnny Dilliner Jr put his gun right to Homers head and blew his brains out in defiance as the gun fire tore him to shreds. Nelson though, the bullets barely harmed him. He is a Silent of considerable durability. And when he pulls a flaming hammer from the ether, And throws it at the closest gangster to him, the resulting fiery burst sent most of the other gangsters running. The body of the poor soul practically melted into a pool of blood and molten viscera as the flames roared around him. Nelson pulled two more hammers from the ether. One in each hand, ready to battle Carter one on one. Carter knelt down, placing his hands on the floor. He felt the velvet carpet on his palms. He prepared himself for battle as well. But he knew it would be swift. Nelson began to throw one of his hammers at Carter. so in response Carter transmuted the ground in front of him, to raise up and form a concrete wall, over a foot thick. The hammer slams into it, blasting a hold nearly halfway through. Carter then pressed his hand against the wall he created, forming metal spikes on the side facing Nelson in the moment. He sent a pulse of seismic energy into the wall to send it flying towards Nelson. He knew Nelson would be able to stop it. And he did. Nelson let his other hammer dissipate as he reached forward and caught the wall, stopping it in it's tracks before the spikes could pierce him. Carter meanwhile became incorporeal. Sliding through his clothes and the floor below. Launching his nude self back up behind Nelson. He kicks Nelson in the back, sending a seismic pulse into his body through his foot. Which propels Nelson uncontrollably into the spikes, impaling him thoroughly. Nelson's mask falls off his face and onto the floor below, getting soaked in blood. Carter walks over and picks it up. Staring at the phantom of the opera style mask with curiosity.

One of the gangster re enters the restaurant now that the commotion is done and over with. He looks at the still nude Carter as the mask in his hand and the eyes of the mask on his face glow bright red. Nelson's mask suddenly goes limp in Carter's hand. As if it were paper mache that was suddenly soaked with water. He drops the mask, letting it hit the ground with a wet almost meat like slap. The gangster gags in disgust. "Ya know, that's twice I've seen you do that with a mask. I gotta tell you that is some horrifying shit to see."

"What you see is nothing to the abject horrors I bare witness too every time I absorb one of these masks." Carter says as he removes his mask. "If you knew ever a fraction of what I knew about this universe, you would probably end your life in an instant."

"What's keeping you going then?" The gangster asks.

"Revenge." Carter replies cryptically. "Gather Homer's body. We will search him and his residence for any clues we can possibly find for the journal." He walks over towards his cloths and begins getting dressed once again. "And tell the others, that if they wish to follow me they may. And tell them to get the word out. Dillinger's territory is now free Chicago. And that it is now under my protection. No charge."

The gangster complies, picking up the corpse of Homer Van Meter, and carrying him out to the gangsters that survived outside of the restaurant. He relays the order and the news spreads throughout the coming days. A new gang is in town. One that isn't a gang at all. Dillinger's territory is free from the worries of organized crime. By order and protection of the man they are all currently being told to fear most.

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Theyra
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5751
Founded: Aug 29, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Theyra » Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:14 pm

Cowrite with Luminesa


At some point in the day, Rozalin needed to go find The Raven. The Raven was an underground club close to Wrigley Field, one he meant to examine the previous evening. He was sure that the friend who had been waiting for him had been worried about him, and he would have to go apologize to her this evening. However, he would not be able to explain how he was kept away from the club. He was already making too many reckless moves. He had spoken to both a detective and a domestic terrorist in less than a day.

As he was walking, he decided to read and to make himself inconspicuous. He never knew who was watching him, or which gangsters were looking to stage another attack. Yet when he looked from the top of his book, he noticed a lone figure who seemed to be standing in the middle of the sidewalk, not sure of where he wanted to go. “…Are you looking for something?” he asked the man.

"Oh, uh.... kinda?" Zeng was surprised by the sudden voice addressing him. Clearing his voice and focusing on the person, "I am not looking for anything in particular, just getting the lay of the land is all."

“Oh? Are you new to Chicago? What are you looking for?” Rozalin closed his book and gave a quiet little smile. This person looked normal enough, and nothing about him gave a threatening air.

"I have lived here for a short time and I have not really gotten the chance to explore the city." This woman seems nice enough so far, though something about her seems.... off. He can't quite place it.

“Ah. It’s quite large, exploring it can take a few days. When I first arrived I had to take some time, before I went looking for work. Ah, I’m being rather rude though. My name is Rozalin. You?” He was not usually so talkative, but perhaps his nerves and stress were driving him to talk. Not to mention that he did not have many friends.

"Zeng, my name is Zeng and it sounds like I got my work cut out for myself then. I did not have the luxury to see the city when I came to this city." Zeng does not really talk to people much due to his desire to lay low. But, small talk with someone should not be a problem.

"Zeng. Interesting. Well, if you're looking for some sight-seeing, I just came from the public library. Rather quiet, but the Loop is nearby. Then there's Lake Michigan, if you like watching the water and the boats. Wrigley Field, Chicago Theatre, the Adler Planetarium...it all depends on your interests. This city probably has everything you're looking for. But it's not a good place to get lost in these days..." His eyes shifted around, as if he was making sure that nobody was listening to them.

"Yeah, I can imagine why it would be bad to get lost." Zeng does not need a reminder to that. "Well, today, I was thinking of maybe seeing a park or good place to eat or hang out. You know of any good places like that?"

Rozalin chuckled. The largest city in the Midwest, and poor Zeng just needed a place to go sit and eat. "Ah...there are good places for eating all over Chicago. There's Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza, Al's Italian Beef makes great sandwiches, but there are more low-key places as well, especially if you dislike running into plenty of people." He looked in the direction of a smaller cafe, one in which he and Bernice sometimes sat and talked during the weekend's. "There's a smaller bakery called Ma Agnes's, close to Garfield Park. It's quiet, even though the park is usually full of people. It's quite a good place to people-watch, especially if you don't want them to look back." He gave a mischievous snicker, and then looked away. "...And there are several parks. Lincoln Park, Garfield Park, Grant Park, Columbus Park...all you need is a map and two feet to get you there. Maybe the train."

So much of Chicago was an enormous city wrapped into a smaller, denser parcel of land close to the lake, especially all of the tourist sights. Yet in such a large city, finding one's comfort place was important. Rozalin knew that Zeng would get overwhelmed if he tried to see every nice eatery in the city, and so he decided to bring him to the bakery he enjoyed. He nodded to him and chuckled. "Why don't we take it one at a time. Ma Agnes's and Garfield Park are right next to each other, so kill two birds with one stone. Hm?"

"Ah yeah that sounds like good places to start." Zeng felt a little embarrass, you would think he would know of more places in Chicago than the few places he knows. Still a time to see and kill two birds with one stone as Rozalin as put it.

A walk to Garfield Park from this area was only about fifteen minutes. The quiet duo had plenty to pass as they walked, and Rozalin rather enjoyed the calm of the stroll. He did not wish to rush, to run anywhere just yet. Zeng had a calming presence to him, much unlike Nolan or Carter. He was just an average man, perhaps wanting to avoid trouble. Rozalin did not know if he was the best friend to have if Zeng wanted to stay away from danger, but for now the morning was finally brisk and open.

Ma Agnes's was a pleasant little bakery, a brick-and-mortar little shop with a pastel interior. Cotton-candy-colored walls, black-and-white checked floors, lavender booths and chairs. At 9:45 AM, the foot traffic was healthy but not crowded. Many people had gone to work, but some people still lingered in the warm, bread-and-sugar-scented shop. Ma Agnes worked in the back, baking bread, while her daughter, Henriette, worked making cupcakes and donuts. They were not a large business, but family-owned and well-loved. Even better, the shop stood in the distance of Garfield Park, which stood tall and picturesque nearby.

"Well, here we are! The food is quite good and warm, good for a cold morning like this one."

"Yeah and it smells quite good in here." Zeng remarked with a soft smile. Almost reminded of a old bakery back in China that he would go to as a child. A good memory that was. "Well now we better get something to eat if you are open to it." Zeng started to eye some of the pastries.

Rozalin nodded. He had not managed to get breakfast before speaking to Nolan, and his stomach was growling. He walked to the display counter, and Henriette turned and smiled to him. She was just around eighteen, freckle-faced and cheery. She pushed her large glasses up the bridge of her nose and gave a little wave. "Hi, Roz! Whatcha want today?" she piped.

"Ah...a chocolate doughnut sounds wonderful. And coffee. For my acquaintance, he's never been here. Perhaps a raspberry doughnut?"

Henriette smirked at Zeng. "Roz picked a good one for you. Be right out!"

Rozalin paid for both of their orders, nodding to a table where he and Zeng could sit. When they were seated, the young nurse took a deep breath. Finally, perhaps a place of peace in this violent city. "Well! What brought you to Chicago?" he inquired. Henriette soon came with coffee and two mugs, and the rich, earthy scent awakened Rozalin's dazed expression. "...The coffee is quite good, by the way."

Zeng took a bite out of his doughnut before speaking. Clearing hesitating. " Well, no real reason really. Just been roaming the States for a while now." Choosing now to take a sip from his coffee and was pleasantly surprised that Rozalin was right. "Yeah this coffee is good and I rarely drink the stuff."
December 5, 2021

"I'm glad you enjoy it. It's one of the calmer places in the city, and the food is quite good, " Rozalin answered, smirking as he saw Zeng enjoying the coffee. He did not seem too keen to talk about his past, which did not bother Rozalin. Everyone had their secrets. He took a bite into his chocolate doughnut, and thought about the secrets he would not tell if someone asked him. Yet this morning, perhaps those secrets could rest for some time, floating away with the steam of fresh coffee.

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Oblivion2
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1275
Founded: Mar 01, 2007
Democratic Socialists

Postby Oblivion2 » Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:29 pm

International Harvester Co. Tractor Factory
2600 West 31st Boulevard, Chicago
October 31st, 1956
10:31PM


Chicago, like most major cities in America, never seemed to sleep. This was true too for the International Harvester Company’s Chicago Plant. Since it’s opening, it had churned tractor after tractor out it’s wide steel doors and into the great wide American Midwest. It had proven to be a profitable business during the Second World War; if your factory could make a tractor, it could make a tank chassis. War, as everyone knows, is good for business, and the Mob knew good business. The Chicago outfit had long since sunk its claws onto the factory, located just north of the Chicago River. In the factory’s bowels was the lair of Francis’ Mcarthur’s erstwhile ‘boss’, Vincenzo Moretti.

A former sergeant in the First Special Service Force, Moretti was known for having the gift of gab; he had once with the help of another sergeant run a mobile cathouse out of a repurposed army ambulance with some enterprising young Italian women as his ‘employees’. Needless to say, he left Italy and the US army with more money than sense, and a skill set that would make even the most hardened gangster green with envy. Naturally, when the sergeant was assigned to Francis’ platoon, he’d looked the other way. At no point did Vinnie’s extra curricular activities interfere with his duty and fighting spirit, and it kept the other fellows in fine spirits. Naturally, when Francis came looking for a work in Chicago, Vinnie had been his in. It made for a curious relationship to be sure; nominally his superior in the Outfit, Vinnie still couldn’t help but call Francis, Lieutenant and even occasionally, sir.

Somehow, over the ringing of metal and the while of tools, the squat Italian man made himself heard as Francis entered the machine shop of the factory.

“There he is! Our conquering hero!” Vinnie smiled broadly and adjusted his suspenders before walking over and pressing a cup of hot coffee into Francis’ hands. “And not a scratch on you either.” He remarked, looking the older man over with a professional eye. “You do real good work Lieutenant. I wish I had six more guys just like youse.”

Frank took an appreciative sip of the coffee, humming thoughtfully at the delicate blend’s seduction of his palette. “Damn that’s good coffee.” The former officer murmured.

“Columbian, I’m given to understand. I can get you a bag if you’d like some for your apartment.” Vinnie said, all Grace and charm.

“Please. That would be nice, Vinnie.” Answered Francis as his former subordinate began to usher him into the supervisors office. Locking the door and shutting the blinds behind them, Vinnie raised an eyebrow at Frank before sitting down behind a battered desk, with files and papers scattered about the top. “So, tell me exactly what happened. It might up with a ting or two I’ve heard myself today.”

Frank took another sip of the hot beverage and took a moment to clear his mind, his eyes going far away for a moment. Sergeant Moretti knew the look well; Forcemen tended to be more intelligent than the usual soldier, and the Lieutenant had been sharp even amongst their kind. When he got that look, it meant he was dragging everything he’d seen or done past his mind’s eye and discerning any useful piece of information, separating it from the chaff. After a moment of silence, Frank spoke. Unhurriedly, he described the state of the bar and the confrontation he’d caused between himself and the Saints. They hadn’t been hesitant to take the bait, but in the same breath there wasn’t quite the level of swagger he’d been expecting either. The Saints made for competent thugs, but they weren’t trained fighters by any stretch of the imagination. The owner came onside after the fight, but he had no choice but to take a life during the confrontation.

Vinnie nodded, for the possibility of killing someone had crossed his mind when this probing action was conceived. He’d done as instructed and stuck around the neighbourhood for a few hours after calling in a clean up; nobody from Dillinger’s crew had rolled in to enact any sort of reprisals, and while Frank wasn’t exactly famous, it wouldn’t take too long to link him to the Outfit.

“We haven’t had a call from Dillinger’s Crew.” Vinnie said after a long moment of silence, retrieving a cigar from a drawer at his desk and snipping the end off of it with a cutter. “No one’s called for your head, or reparations or anything of the sort. There’s been no reprisals from across the river. Dillinger’s crew is paralyzed.”

Frank nodded at this, “They’re trying to sort out succession, they weren’t ready.”

“Yep, that seems to be the way it looks, sir.” Vinnie replies before striking a match and carefully taking a few pulls from the cigar to get the end burning merrily. “And, it lines up with what we’re hearing from the inside.”

“Is that so?” Came Francis’ nonchalant reply.

“It is. Word is, Little Johnny wants a sit down. He’s called all the Capos together to try and have himself anointed king of the castle. Word is, Simon’s, around lunch.”

“Hrm.” Francis murmured thoughtfully as he took a sip of rapidly cooling coffee. “I know the manager, as it happens. Former Forceman, from before your time, injured in training and mustered out. Hobbled his knee up pretty good from what I understand. We talk sometimes, you know, about the old days and training in Helena. I could see if he could get me inside, if you wanted.”

Vincenzo, who had been nodding along at Frank’s explanation found himself staring at his former commander with an incredulous look. “Listen Frank, I appreciate the sentiment, but I’d rather not put one of my better earners in a casket. Besides, you’d never get enough firepower in to job ‘em all.”

Francis let out a dark chuckle, his eyes almost dancing at the thought of a good firefight. “As much fun as that might be, no, I figured maybe you’d want a reliable set of eyes and ears in there. Get you something you could hand up to your boss straight away.”

Vinnie rubbed thoughtfully at his chin at that idea. “You know I do like looking good for the bosses…” He admitted.

“And, the bastard who took Dillinger might make an appearance.” Frank added, twisting the proverbial knife.

“Alright you mad bastard, if you think you can get in and out without dying, go for it. But so help me god, you come back all holey like a Swiss cheese, I’ll make sure you die slow, got it?”

Frank got to his feet then and snapped off his most precise salute, every bit of the motion looming as ironic as he could make it. “Sir, yes sir!” He barked, as though on the parade ground.

“Get the hell out of here, wiseguy!” Vinnie managed to say, his words bitting hard against the laughter he was sure to be feeling. It took a certain kind of person, and a certain kind of friend to make fun of death.

Kilbourn Park, Chicago
November 1st, 1956
10:21AM


November was always a brisk month back home, Chicago was proving to be similar as the wind off of the lake settled into Frank’s bones and tugged at his coat. He was thankful that the pay phone he was looking for was unoccupied, and that the street surrounding it didn’t seem particularly busy. Stepping inside and shutting the door behind him, he slid a few dimes into the phone and began to dial his sister’s number. It took a moment for the operator to connect them, but Frank hardly seemed to notice. Jammed beneath the frame of the phone itself and the platform it stood on was a small note, so deeply imbedded you’d need a piece of wire or a coat hanger to pull it out, and you’d need to know exactly where it lay.

The writing on the note seemed to be gibberish, or mad man’s scrawl. But that was the point; anyone who didn’t have the cipher would have a hell of a time figuring it out. Fortunately, Frank did know the cipher, and as he exchanged pleasantries with his sister over the phone, he began to decode the message. A ‘how are my nephews’ here, a shifted vowel there, ‘did you get the money I wired?’, circle this letter here and it becomes the first letter in the next paragraph, ‘Give my love to the boys, and don’t forget to make your husband paint the barn before I get back’, and it was all together.

It had been nearly a month since he had communicated directly with his FBSS Handler, Nolan England. They prefered dead drops like this; it made keeping cover exceptionally simpler. Every man in the Outfit who knew Frank knew that he was working for them in order to send money back to a struggling farm north of the border. Moretti had vouched for him and that had swiftly become good enough for everyone. It suited Nolan and the FBSS fine too, as McArthur’s intelligence was making for more than a few racketeering charges. Ultimately, Frank didn’t care much about organized crime in Chicago; it wasn’t his War. Forcemen beginning to concentrate in the area in the employ of organized crime however, was. No matter how crazy you thought the members of the First Special Service Force were, they took care of their own to the very end. Frank so far had managed to quietly convince a few to reconsider what they were doing, a few more in the city had even fed him intelligence wittingly or unwittingly about their criminal betters. But he still hasn’t found out who or what had brought them to Chicago. But it seemed like there might be bigger game in town, and Agent England seemed to agree with that assessment.

Frnk, the message began and continued in shorthand as often as possible.

New, trgt in chi. Carter King, Silent. Poss anarchist? Anti-industry. Motive unknown, srching for book. Did Dillinger, Poss 3960, phase shift and explosive. Investigate, report, unknown if related to 1st SSF mbers in chi. Go with god

-N


A 3960 with potentially more than one power? Brazen enough to take out Dillinger in broad daylight? “Go with God, indeed.” Francis murmured softly to himself before sliding another dime into the pay phone. There were few Silent who could push that sort of power out that easily. If Nolan’s estimate was on the money, and they typically were, Chicago was in for some trouble.

“Simon’s Steakhouse, George speaking.” A voice on the other end said, drowning out Frank’s thoughts.

“George, it’s Lieutenant McArthur.” Frank said, slipping into his personage of command.

“Sir.” The voice on the other end almost quavered. “It’s all set up. The uniform is out back like I said. I just… If they find out about this-“

“I know George,” Frank said reassuringly. “You lay real low and you do what you have to. Even take me out if things go sideways; you’ve risked a lot for me today. But I need you to do me one more favour.”

“Name it sir.”

“Be ready to get everyone the hell out. I’ve got a bad feeling about today.”

Simon’s Steakhouse,
November 1st, 1956.
Noon


Fear wasn’t really something a Forceman felt. Not after being trained in more types of warfare than any man had any right to know how to conduct. Most people would have been terrified of the presence of so many powerful criminals under one roof, but Frank had to admit the staff at Simon’s Steakhouse almost could have been Forcemen through sheer bravery alone. They served, asked only the required questions and generally bustled with a detached sort of professionalism that even Frank found impressive. With his own uniform, he’d managed entry into the kitchens and the dining floor. His handgun, he’d managed to get inside via a concealed pocket in a serving jacket that George had modified just for this. Frank hoped he was wrong about today, and that things would turn out exactly the opposite as he had feared. Alas, experience began proving him right as tensions at the table seemed to flare.

Though he had to weave in and out of the conversation, it was clear that John Junior felt that he should take his father’s place at the table, while it was clear that the other Capos felt that he clearly wasn’t ready for the task. Fat Charles seemed to be ready to make a play for the Crown himself, splitting the territory was discussed, but the worst had yet to arrive. It was only when he entered that Frank knew just how right he had been about his gut feeling.

There was something about having been on the periphery of death so many times that heightened a person’s senses. You could almost feel danger coming, and something about certain Silent, even without seeing their powers screamed danger. Even without his mask on, Carter radiated danger in a way Frank had only seen in certain other people. The men flanking him with weapons already in hand hardly mattered to the Canadian, for he was too busy taking in every detail of Carter’s face, etching it into his mind. Dillinger’s boys all seemed to Ready their weapons at the same time, and old Baby Face readied himself for do battle. To most, he had an impressive power set, but Frank immediately sized up his odds; slim. Carter would tear him to pieces without breaking a sweat.

The restaurant held its breath as Carter explained what he wanted; the journal of one Edwin Baird, a pulp writer of some sort. Homer Van Meter seems to know what he’s talking about and offers to retrieve the journal for him, that was when all hell broke loose.

Francis had been in more firefights than he could remember, but none quite so chaotic as this. The battle breaks down into complete madness as Carter and Nelson face off, gangsters on both sides take shots at one another, and the Capos try to take advantage of one another. For his part, Frank dove for cover, knocking one of the waitresses down to the floor with him. And then it’s over almost as quickly as it began; the room is thick with the stench of blood, cordite smoke and burn flesh. From behind an upturned table, Frank can see Carter kneeling down to gather up Nelson’s mask from his lifeless body. The Forceman watches as Carter’s mask reacts, and seemingly kills Nelson’s mask. For the first time in a long time, he feels something like fear; a greasy palpitating ball of grease, sitting deep in his guts. He’s seen things like this before, more than ten years ago. A room the size of a warehouse underneath Tokyo’s streets. He has to blink hard to clear away the flaring arcs of blue-white from his mind’s eye and concentrate on what Carter is saying.

He knows. Frank thinks to himself, horrified at the implications of what that knowledge might bring. That it might be the reason Nolan believes he has multiple power sets. The former Forceman sits there, dumbfounded as Carter leaves, and remains there until he can hear the screams of the sirens rushing down the street. A plan begins to crystallize in his mind, and the fear is slowly replaced by the cool calm that his training had graced him with.

Sliding the Colt out from his jacket, Frank steps outside with his hands raised. FBSS agents and Chicago PD alike take aim at him and shout for him to freeze and set the weapon down. Frank does as he’s commanded before a young agent rushes him and sets his wrists in cuffs behind his back, reading him his rights. “Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you, sir?”

“Yes.” Frank answers calmly as he is taken towards a waiting patrol car, it’s red and blue lights spinning manically.

“We’re going to take you downtown and you can have a nice chat with the boys at the FBSS about what you saw.” The kid says, his tone cocksure.

“Wouldnt have it any other way.” Frank answers, his voice stony. And neither would Nolan England. He needed to know what Frank did if there was to be any chance of catching up with Carter Knight.
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Luminesa
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:34 pm

Rozalin - Noon, All Saints Day
Near Hamlin Avenue


Rozalin had enjoyed the pleasant morning with Zeng, a bit of a distraction from his current worries. Yet those concerns returned as he and his new friend parted ways. He hoped he would see that friendly face again, but as soon as he was alone, another face came back into his mind. Holding an oni mask, staring at it with dramatic disdain. He had seen the knife Carter had brought last night.

“Why didn’t he kill me?”

The question rang in his mind as he continued to walk around town, thinking about his list of things to do. He needed to make his way back to The Raven, but he was quite far from Wrigley Field. Before he even did that, however, he needed to find an outfit for the evening. He also needed to decide whether or not he wanted to take his mask with him. It matched so many outfits, and added an element of mystery to his shows, but with Carter’s actions he simply could not show his badge as a Silent to the wrong crowd.

He lived halfway between Mercy Hospital and Hamlin, which was at least a forty-minute commute by transit. From South Loop, where Rozalin lived, to Mercy Hospital was not too much of a distance. Rozalin had simply been wandering the city and planning to take the transit back home when he heard that awful noise. Police sirens. Now would mark at least the third time in two days he had heard those cop cars screaming behind him. He turned to take a look, wondering who had died now.

And if he had made an appearance.

Yet if the cop cars had headed in one direction, Rozalin thought, then he would have gone in another direction. He also doubted he wanted to be caught anywhere near Carter in broad daylight, especially when the police now had his contact information. If he managed to accidentally find him, however, he could not help himself. Either way, he decided to go see who had been harmed, especially as he heard gunshots ring in the distance.

Simon’s Steakhouse was a disaster. Glass, guts, and gore littered the sidewalks. From a distance, Rozalin could once again smell blood in the air. Sickly-sweet and ticklish to the nose. Inside, he could see that multiple bodies were on the floor. Yet another hospital was not far, and ambulances were arriving on the scene. Perhaps the police had known this time to expect large casualties. Normally one would assume some sort of gangster-related shootout, but Rozalin had a feeling. Carter’s handiwork had been at play.

More limp bodies, some of whom were large. Against his better judgment, the young nurse decided to run to the scene to get a better look. When he arrived to help the paramedics, he got a better look at the mens’ faces. All of them had been on wanted posters all over Chicago. Rozalin found “Baby Face Nelson” first, and stared at the cruel face which had been beaten, bloodied, and silenced forever. Nelson was one of Dillinger's cruelest henchmen, and a notorious Silent. In any other instance, the young nurse would have felt some relief that he had been incapacitated. However, he still wanted to check him for a pulse and to possibly move his impaled body, if he could do so without shifting the metal spikes which were tamponading parts of his body and his internal organs. He was about to call a paramedic over to try, when his eyes shifted toward the ground and froze. Next to Nelson was his mask, shaped like the mask of the titular Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera. Curious, but unwilling to touch it and to cause danger to himself, Rozalin used a pair of scissors in his purse to shift the mask around.

It was as limp as the rest of his body.

A deep, sinking, sick feeling filled his stomach, and though his hands wanted to bind the mobster’s wounds and to check his pulse, they almost froze in his lap. “…Oh God…oh God…no…why is it…it’s a mask, it shouldn’t…look like wet skin…No…” His stomach leaped, tossing the contents around like rice in a wok. The police sirens drew much closer, and the young nurse jolted. If the police-and the FBSS-found him, they would have questions about his appearance. He could not explain that he had come here sensing Carter's presence, and had shifted the mask ever so slightly. His body moved on its own, and he began to run. He did not even know where he was running, but he had to get away from that melted mask. The sight had awakened something visceral in him. He heard an officer shout after him, but he never looked back to see them.

When he finally stopped, he was in an alley. Alone. Agent Schaeffer had been in an alley alone when he had died. Rozalin wondered if finding himself in this location was revenge from God for abandoning the man’s body. “…Ggh…no…why…why does it…” He gagged, and then almost vomited. Hands on his knees, he stole a panging gasp from the air and groaned. Rozalin had seen all sorts of gore in his life, and had touched organs, tissues, and even melted skin many times during his career. Yet the mask...if his mask was now the same texture as organ tissue, wet, soggy, moist...Such words stirred his stomach too much, and he finally vomited on the concrete. Exhausted, he knelt in the alley, clutching the cold earth under his fingers. Coffee and doughnut gone, his stomach screamed in pain while his throat burned. Tears stung the corners of his eyes. Carter had most definitely been there, and for once, Rozalin feared for his life. If Carter took his own mask…

He vomited again, and sobbed as his body jerked in a retching motion. How could both love and terror exist in his heart this way at the same time? The books were still in his purse, ready for Rozalin to gift, but bile was in his chest and throat, waiting to burst.
Last edited by Luminesa on Sun Dec 05, 2021 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Finsternia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Sun Dec 05, 2021 8:55 pm

Collab with Luminesa


Investigation needs a lot of prep work. Finding leads usually takes a lot of time trying to get on your knees and dig for clues, getting your hands dirty at the scene of the crime, as well as questioning the right individuals. But for Rue, it is quite easy when you have eyes and ears who are not only loyal but stealthy. Usually one would start questioning people, asking eyewitnesses and the like, to know more of the suspect. Rue starts with stalking and sentries. The prime locations would be the very scene of the crime, to observe people who were in there as well as any other suspicious individuals who would come and go more frequently, and the police stations. After all, people who would be prime candidates for observation would be civilians and persons of note that were present in the crime scene and be brought to questioning.

Ravens and crows (really corvids for that matter), a scant number to keep it less suspicious, would be found eyeing these places. Perhaps they were in pairs or trios, simply perched or eating nuts and fruits and foodstuffs as they rest. Those in the know of the mastermind behind these animals would simply focus on the watchful eye of the black feathered birds, never caring of the other animals scurrying and keeping a more watchful eye. Pigeons soaring and fighting for scraps would have a majority of the flock keep the dumb bird facade going as a couple oddballs keep watch, scurrying rats scour for clues as well as become hidden surveillance. While her corvids were her first and most beloved flock, Rue's second and third flocks and their leading Matriarchs, Imperatrix Columba and Imperatrix Rattus, lead the more covert forces of pigeon and rat flocks while the Corvid Matriarch and its ravens and crows lead the branding of Rue.

Her sweet Matriarchs and little eyes and ears indeed pick up an interesting individual. Rozalin Parker who is a nurse with a night job that their Mask greatly aids with. He was taken in by the police, and it seems that not only was he at the scene of the crime aiding with the victims of the explosion but it seems that he also witnessed a murder done by the man named Carter. So her pets trailed him. No one would care about rats in the city of Chicago, nor of pigeons bickering on rooftops, nor even a couple corvids screaming on telephone poles. She had them trail him and report their findings... and now that he is alone, disoriented from a recent murder spree once again by Chicago's number one wanted man. Rue makes her move.

Her body bursts into a flock of black birds and take off into the sky, like a migratory flight out into the city sky, until she arrives close to Rozalin's location. There she resumes form quite ways so that nobody would see her return to being human. Her ravens followed her of course. She needs security, may it be as an alert system or as weaponry if need be. After all, they are not far away from the danger zone. Rozalin would soon feel and find himself accompanied as wings flap around him. One by one ravens perch upon the sides of the alleyway building, all at attention as a single figure approaches him from the far end. Their body is completely covered in order to hide any distinguishable features, except for their slight form and thin physique. From a hood peaks out an odd mask, like the top of a bird's skull shaped into a gnarly implement that covers all the face instead of the top half. A voice calls out to Rozalin, within his mind, as the person keeps a respectable distance. "You are quite down on your luck, aren't you? This isn't simply misfortune. It's as if you've had your doors wide open for the Devil. Third time's not the charm anymore, is it Rozalin?"

Birds. The birds. They had followed him into an alley, quite unusual for these creatures. Ravens, ravens, and more ravens. He recalled the one bird he had seen watching him on the telephone line the other day, and he blinked. A shuddered passed through his body.

”These birds…they are no coincidence…No…a Silent…oh God…”

He stood and stared, now regretting that he had left his mask at home. He could not fight, as he was cornered by dozens of birds. Even worse, a slim, feminine figure was blocking his only realistic exit. No, this was not Carter, but someone who was dangerous enough.

Her question struck right to the man’s heart, and Rozalin pulled himself to his feet with a few gasps and grunts. He leaned against the wall, but the rough bricks offered no comfort. “…So…those birds are yours…the raven on the wire at the bank…that must have been yours…You were…looking right at me…” he breathed.

Knowing that her question had sinister implications, he tried to adjust himself. He fixed his shirt, wiped his lips with a makeup wipe, and fixed his messy bun. “…I am nobody’s accomplice. And anyway, there were bodies at the scene which I could help move. Unfortunately I discovered that…a Silent’s mask can melt.”

"Heh. You are giving me a lot of information there, buddy. Information that is very very pricey." Rue chuckles within his mind, delighted as if a child offered food and sweets without asking. Glassy grey eyes stare at him and behind him, thinking. "I am not cruel, but you know that I am a business woman. How about we talk someplace..." She turns her head towards the space behind him, towards the direction of further chaos. Her birds turn their heads too in unison before several of them take flight into the sky. "...Conducive for discussion, hm?"

She turns her back towards him, confidently as if telling him that she is untouchable, and if he does try something funny it would not end well for him. The ravens atop the buildings take flight, two settle atop Rue's shoulders as she navigates the labyrinthine alleyways of Chicago and taking him far far away from the scene of the crime. Rozalin notices that there are a number of ravens awaiting them at every turn and every corner, likely as scouts and sentries, but the current bulk of the bird flock has lessened to at least half of what has perched in wait. Were they ahead, or were they also keeping watch in that violent take over? He wouldn't know, and his Silent friend here has not said anything except walk and sneak through the dizzying maze of alleys.

She leads him into another alley, where she pushes a dumpster out of the way for a porthole. She opens it up and starts climbing down, before staring right up at him. "Pull the dumpster over. It has wheels. Close the hole once you're in." Down the hole is the sewer system, a disgusting affair to treck through but his companion continue with birds scouting ahead. About ten minutes in, they find an alcove that is out of view and out of the main pipes. Totalling the trek from up above and down here, perhaps it was over twenty minutes of walking. "...And now we are safe." Rue turns to him, unfeeling eyes so close to the eyes of the birds perched on top of her bony shoulders.

"Three times. Three times and you survived. It's been over 24 hours and you've already been tailing and trying to ingratiate yourself to Chicago's Public Enemy #1... I saved you. I think I am entitled to a few questions, hm Rozalin? What do you know of our 24 hour celebrity?" She leans her elbows against pipes made for balance and guide, her chin resting atop folded hands.

Rozalin did not know where this girl wanted to talk, or what she would do to him based on his answers. However, he had survived against the most dangerous man in Chicago at the moment, so he hoped he would survive another encounter.

Trusting that the girl would not kill him, he walked after her until she led him into another alley. He caught a glance at the crime scene as he walked, and noticed the corpses being loaded into an ambulance. At least one had most of his brain completely gone, though he could only tell by the enormous bloodstain near the place where the body’s head would be. His stomach seized, but he decided to ignore the sensation and walked after his new adversary.

She seemed to live in the sewers, and as the stench hit Rozalin’s nose, he took a breath through his mouth. “…Goodness…what a nasty place…” he murmured. Yet he knew he would not be able to leave until he gave answers. He watched the woman lean against the pipes and ask her first question. Another interrogation, this time with a Silent. Though no rifle hung behind him, the endless birds flying above were enough of a threat.

“…Ingratiate?…Hm. I don’t know what gives you that idea. He is a Silent…and a dangerous one. But it’s better to keep one’s enemies closer than one’s friends. Not that I…have many friends,” he replied. “…I know probably less than you hope, however. He’s quite flighty, and with good reason.”

"You prim and proper city folk love to pretend that all these piles of dung do not originate from your polished bottoms." Rue gestures at the muck and grime that has piled and smeared through the underground pipeways, and Rozalin could only imagine the derisive smirk behind the twisted and gnarly Mask that covers her face. Some of the ravens squack and caw as if laughing, before the woman in the Mask raises her hand to quiet them.

"The guilty are always the ones who love to run away. Tell me, what do you know? Not how he has starry eyes or silky black hair. What terrible power does he hold to collapse an entire building? And what does he want to accomplish? His theatrics on the radio just makes it sound like he's a country bumpkin with hatred for factories." Another mental laughter invades his mindscape as the ravens laugh for her physically.

“…Excuse me, miss, but I’m the one with the silky black hair, he happens to be blond,” Rozalin responded with an impatient glare. He pulled his hair out of his bun, showing his long locks as they fell down his back. He needed to be confident, even in the face of another threatening Silent. “…As for his terrible power, he seems to have several different abilities as a Silent. He can summon…some sort of powerful force to collapse buildings and…gut people inside-out. And he wants to destroy industrial society, but…how, or when, or why I do not know. Except that…he believes we have left our humanity behind long ago…”

One of the horrible massive ravens upon her shoulder takes flight and, with a swift swoop, barely misses his face as it flies by. "Dear, don't forget who is doing all the questioning here. You have a blood debt to me, at the very least repay it with good and honest answers. My beloved birds will do anything for me... even fly and smack their sharp beaks into somebody's face regardless of their life." The raven flies back to her and lands on her waiting wrist, where she gently tickles the underside of its beak. Her eyes look back at him, as impatient as he is. "Quite the misanthropist, isn't he? The power to crush buildings and gut people... Powerful telekinesis, it seems... And several powers..." The raven upon her hand slowly climbs back up to her shoulder where it stands guard, alert and staring at Rozalin and towards the tunnels. "...It seems that we simply have a power drunk madman... Dangerous but is still simply a madman with curious powers. Is the Don his primary objective? Does he need money, or his connections? Is that why there's dead and dying goons upstairs? If so, it just sounds like he's using industrial society that he deeply hates... for the sake of destroying the same thing he is playing with." The Masked woman laughs at the thought but her ravens do not laugh. "...Curious."

“…He seems to hate the gangs…which everyone else does as well. But he has targeted the Dillinger Gang at the moment. No doubt he will try to go after the other fingers of The Hand once he is done with them. No…”

Rozalin kept his eyes aimed on the woman, not looking toward his purse and the books it hid. “…He wants…some sort of book. I don’t quite know what kind…but that book is probably dangerous…”

He sighed, and stretched his arms behind his back. “…But I do not wish for the destruction of society. I’m just a nurse. I take care of anyone who shows up at the hospital where I work, or anyone I happen to find who is gravely injured. I have healed agents and mobsters alike.”

Rozalin considered how he had tried to heal Schaeffer, only to find him dead. The same went now for Nelson. People were dying before he could even reach them, and yet even with innocent people dead alongside them, Carter seemed to enjoy the concept of freeing people from authorities he hated. “And yet…despite all of his hatred for society…the people are not his main concern but rather…authorities. The masks. The gangs. Others with power…”

"Well. Quite sad that the Fingers pay quite the good price. Not saying that I would be sad that they're gone. It's simply losing annoying customers." Rue folds her hands behind her back and starts walking. She is not bothering to cover her back nor pay attention to Rozalin, rather her pets would do it for her. Several take flight and swoop into the further tunnels as their master starts moving. "So you're saying that big boy is fighting against the establishment? Well... that is simply quite idealistic. Almost too stupid. As if he isn't also another figure in power in the end."

Rue pauses to walk as they are midway through a tunnel. "As for this book..." Rozalin sees that her eyes squint as if curving into smiles, denoting a hidden grin underneath her porcelain mask. "...You went to a library. Don't try to hide it from me... but ah. We all have our secrets don't we? I honestly do not care if you know what that book is, or if you have it in your possession. I can simply... dig up some clues if need be." She gestures towards one of the bending tunnels ahead of them. "20 meters ahead, 40 meters left from there, then 30 meters forward. There will be a set of ladders for you there to escape, if you wish. Or if you want to keep on talking with yours truly... Well. I wouldn't mind more information."

Rozalin suddenly feels wind and the sudden perching of a bird on his left shoulder. The raven peeks at him with a bunched up roll of dollars in its beak. "Remuneration for your troubles, Rozalin. And... a word of advice. Bring your Mask with you. You are... too vulnerable with your beautiful face out in the open."

“…I don’t happen to know what book he wants…I can only guess…and if it’s not something from the public library, then it must be particularly special.” He twitched as the woman suggested that he was doing something suspicious when he had visited the library. Sure, he was in fact doing something suspicious, but she did not need to know his reasons or motivations.

She did, however, finally give him a means of escape. She pointed the way to an exit from the sewer, and now he knew what he needed to do. He needed to carry his mask with him at all times, just in case a gangster or worse decided to attack him. Even if he met this woman again, he would need his own powers as a Silent. He did find that fact amusing, however. She would have only known he was a Silent if she had attended his club performances as “Lilac”.

A smile curled onto his face, and he walked toward her. If she liked Lilac, she would perhaps come see him again. He would need to be extra careful…and extra pretty. Whether she or Carter came to see him. “Well then…thank you for the cash, miss, and I’ll be sure to grab my mask…” He leaned down quite a bit to look at her face and managed to leave a peck on her cheek, before giving her a smug grin. “A repayment to you for your troubles…and for the compliment. I’m sure your own face is quite pretty under the mask, so make sure you protect it yourself.”

He then paced for the exit, keeping in mind his need to grab his mask and to find his friend from The Raven. Raven. He had seen plenty enough ravens today. Yet one more, one that gave him even more money, could not possibly hurt.

Rue freezes and goes stiff at the invasion of personal space and sudden kiss on the cheek, but Rozalin could only hear a humph from the lady. "Do be careful. The way out is slippery and dark." She keeps her eyes on him as he leaves and takes the turn, and her hand, tucked behind her back and hidden within her sleeve, slowly lets go of a concealed knife. '...And so the venomous Black Widow leaves the scene... That man knows quite a lot... and it would be fruitful to keep an eye. Who knows. Perhaps he'll find Carter a second time. Now then... Time to switch focus. Hopefully that man is busy playing Marx upstairs." Her footfalls, barely echoing as she keeps her steps light and quick, speed through the pipeways as she and her sweet ravens traverse the sewers away from the route that she has shown Rozalin.
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

Soon, the penguins shall rule the Earth with a cold flipper

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Luminesa
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Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:56 pm

Rozalin, Day, All Saints Day, Approximately 1 PM.

"It's not much more than four walls and some rags, but it'll do. Wait until we get famous, Rozalin, we'll have a mansion in the Hills!"

Florence Harkner had already been in a state of decline by the time she and her only son had arrived in the States in 1947. Rozalin could have gone to try and live in London, perhaps even to train at Cambridge as a nurse. However, he wanted to follow his mother's dream of coming to America and becoming famous. In reality, however, his mother was far too unhealthy for any sort of stardom. Once, she had been 5'10" and 140lbs, a statuesque beauty who could have been on the cover of a pin-up poster. Now, at 260lbs, she could hardly walk through the doors of the apartment. Rozalin, still tall and lanky, had carried most of the luggage up three flights of stairs and had gained a little muscle in the process.

For many nights, when Rozalin came home from nursing and from studying at the library, he had found bottles of wine, whiskey, and rum on the floor of the living room. With a resigned sigh, he had thrown them in the trash, located his mother snoring on the couch next to the ads section of the paper, and had covered her with a blanket. Then, he would clean the endless dishes and stare out the window. By then his messy knot had often fallen out of its bun, and he could see how long his hair had become. He had felt a shiver at how different he looked with such long hair. When he washed it, it almost latched to the middle of his back with a heavy, ticklish sensation.

Once the house was clean, however, and he was certain that his mother had not vomited her insides on the carpet, he would go to his own dresser and pull the clothing his mother had not seen. Back then, the dresses were not impressive. Cheap, with duller colors that he had to accessorize. Working and being in school meant his finances funded his schooling, not his extracurricular job. Nevertheless, he would wear the dress, apply the cheapest makeup he could buy at the drug store, and would go to his engagement for the evening.

Nowadays, the apartment was much more than rags and four walls. After his mother had died, and he had started getting regular concerts at nearby clubs, he had started using the money to redecorate the house. Gone was the alcohol-stained carpet, in was a much softer one. He had also managed to buy a new couch and curtains. The radio had been a gift from another smitten patron. If Rozalin remembered correctly, the man had been a member of Dillinger's Gang. He could only imagine what was going to happen to him now.

Of course, the dresses and clothes also improved with Rozalin's improved income. Velvet, silk, chiffon-the wonders of an American fashion industry recovering from making uniforms for that cursed war. He searched his closet for the one he would wear this evening, glad for once to be alone. The radio played softly on his nightstand, next to the new bed he had also bought several years ago. Of course, he was sure that the mayor would make an announcement over that same radio this evening, given Carter's latest attack. For now, however, Doris Day crooned about her pining for a man. The song reminded him of something else he was missing for the evening, and he looked around his room. In the bottom bedroom drawer, hidden under some underwear, he found it.

His fingers traced over the smooth porcelain of his mask. Stiff, structured, morbid, beautiful. He felt the fabric-like roses as well, and almost smiled. If someone was to gift him blue roses such as these, he would fall over himself. Yet this mask, of course, had its dark secrets. The idea of such a lovely piece of work being reduced to...flapping, flopping tissue almost made him gag again, and so he shook his head before shoving the mask into his purse. He also began to search his room for something else. He walked into the kitchen, and his eyes wandered around the counters and drawers. Then, something clicked in his mind, and he moved toward a drawer below the stove.

In the very back of his kitchen drawer, his hands found cold steel. He pulled the Browning pistol from its dark corner, and gave it a good look. His mother, being a single woman, had been quite vigilant when walking alone in London, and had bought it just in case danger arose. "...My Oath says...'do no harm'. But unfortunately, little friend, the time is coming when I may have no other choice but to do harm..." He securely stuffed the pistol and some ammo into the bottom of his purse, underneath his makeup bag, and he looked to the telephone. Now, he needed to make his phone calls and to make arrangements for the evening. Even so, he could not tell what to expect when he walked back out the door tonight.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
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Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 58667
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:05 am

Rozalin - Afternoon, All Saints Day

Crimson rose petals covered the ground, floating against his toes as he walked. Rozalin could smell blood, and when he stepped on the petals, he felt something sticky under his foot. He lifted his toes-which were strangely bare-to see that the petals became blood when he stepped on them. Dread filled his stomach, and he looked around him.

The bodies of various gangsters crowded the room, each with many bullet-holes all over their bodies. One man had a wound right over his left ear. From that wound fell more rose petals. Another man had a bullet go through his heart, and rose petals were piled all around the wall.

In Rozalin’s hand was his Browning, still hot and smoking.

The smell of gunpowder mixed with the scent of roses, and he froze as he realized what had happened. He had shot them. All of them. A shiver went down his spine, and he stared down at his bare toes. Those bare toes led to bare legs, and he realized that he was also naked.

So cold…and where are my clothes?…Why are they…

He began to search the room, with his gun still in his hand. His teeth clattered as he searched the room, anxious and afraid. Yet nothing seemed to surface, nothing at all. The only thing he could feel was on his face, and he touched his cheek. His Silent mask was on his face, porcelain and beautiful. He took a deep breath.

I am…the nightmare that killed them.

As the morbid thought entered his head, he looked behind himself and saw his shadow. It did not match his tall, slender form, but rather looked like some sort of…enormous aberration. Tentacles wiggled in the air in slow, rippling motions. He saw…wings. Curled and un-bird-like. Oh God…please…what I am?…

His horrified eyes shifted away, and he turned to the body of the man in front of him. Now that he got a better look, he could recognize this young man as one of the Dillinger Gang’s members from the posters. John Dillinger Jr., or Little Johnny. He could not be more than twenty, and he had a bullet-hole through his chest. Rozalin leaned down and closed his eyes. “…Sleep, young man…either in Heaven or in Hell…” he murmured.

When he stood, he electricity began to poke the air around him. Rozalin kept peeking around for his clothing, until that static drew closer. Eventually, he felt his body freeze, and his eyes flickered around the room. Nothing. And yet, something. Something soft drew behind him, and while Rozalin wanted to turn to look, he found himself unable to turn. He was shaking, and he squeezed his eyes shut.

Two arms wrapped around his shoulders from behind, keeping him in place.

As Rozalin’s eyes shot open, he felt himself take a breath, and he stared down at the arms. Pale, rolled cuffs, fingers pressed just over his collarbone. A whisper breathed in his ear, deep and charming.

”…Don’t be afraid, Rozalin…You asked for your God, didn’t you?”

Rozalin’s eyes shot open, as he lay gasping for air. His eyes wide, cold sweat all over his body, he clenched the sheets of his mattress with horror. His hands patted the thin nightshirt and night-pants on his person, and he stared toward the clock on the wall. 3:30. The sun was still glowing outside, so he knew that the afternoon was still moving along outside his window.

“Oh God…oh God…my mask, my gun…where…” He leaped out the bed and looked in his purse. The pistol and mask were exactly where he had left them, before he had decided to take a nap. A gulp escaped his throat, and then a sigh of relief. “…It was…it was just…just a dream…” He rubbed his temples, further soothing himself. “…I have clothes…I didn’t shoot…I didn’t…my shadow…” He gazed down at his shadow. Tall, slender, hands touching his face. His own hands. “…Yes…I’m…I’m me…Haaaaaa…”

He took another look at the clock. Soon, he would have to go for a rehearsal at The Raven. After having called Charlotte, his acquaintance who worked as a waitress, he had learned that their lead act had quit due to the new curfew. They were desperate for a singer who would stay the entire evening, and so Rozalin had stepped to the challenge. The only issue, of course, was the the Chicago Outfit more or less ran this club. Of course, that would only mean Rozalin would see plenty of those men at his performance tonight.

“Yes…focus on the evening…The evening will go just fine. Just…just fine…” he murmured to himself. He found an elegant, black, lacy dress, and smiled. He had worn this dress the first time he had won the crowd at a performance three years ago. He needed some luck this evening, he figured, and so he tried the dress on him. Slinky but sophisticated, it was a perfect fit.

“…That’s right…Lilac isn’t afraid of any ghosts, is she?…” he whispered to himself in the mirror, giving a smooth, practiced smile.
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
King Alfred's Prayer
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Be safe, wear your mask outside the home, pray for peace, mercy, and justice to reign in our world. God bless you!

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