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Thread: Meanwhile on Rubi-Ka

  1. #81
    The rent is due on the 1st of every month, and should you be late in paying it there will be an extra fee added to it. “ The man smiled a cold, tiny smile. “And as we discussed earlier, you can do moderate changes to the building to fit your needs, but larger projects needs to be cleared through the building’s administrative offices, and possibly the city administration as well, before you undertake them.

    She couldn’t stop smiling, as she watched and listened to the building’s administrator. This mousy little man, who babbled on about rules and regulations, went through checklists and other things she didn’t really understand anyway, stood there with the papers to her dream in his hands. The first step on the road to independence. To her new life.

    Of course! Don’t worry, I am capable of doing things by the book, even if I am a clanner, Sir.” She chuckled warmly at the man, who gave her a more serious look, obviously not understanding the joke.

    Will that be an issue, miss? We do not want any trouble with either side here. And I assure you, that if there are any complaints from the neighbouring shops action will be taken! Keep the conflict out of our neighbourhood.” He stared at the colourful woman in front of him, a stare that underlined the seriousness of his stance. He wasn’t kidding. Lucy chuckled warmly again, radiating friendliness. “You don’t have to worry, I assure you. Now… where do I sign?

    She left the administrator’s office with the signed lease and the keys to the shop in her bag, her dream one step closer. “Next up on the list.. - oh god, I really am turning into a crat or a trader.. making lists..” She thought to herself, mildly amused.. “Get the kitchen set up, so I can pass that health inspection. And a name..

    Lucy had already given it some thought, but it was difficult deciding on the perfect name for her bakery. It should be unique, something easy to remember, but also something personal – happy and colourful. Every time she came up with a name, a few minutes later she’d dismiss it again. Either it was plain and trivial or it was too long.. Who’d ever remember a name like Lucy’s House of Smiles and Cakes? Or Barchus’ Bakery? well Blackwolf’s Bakery would probably be more correct shortly .. but no, it wasn’t easy to decide on a name - and a name was important. She’d have to find one, and soon.
    Last edited by Youny; Aug 10th, 2014 at 15:13:09.
    Lucy Youny Blackwolf,
    The Red Brotherhood

    ~The Pink Fluffy Younycorn~

  2. #82


    The health inspection was over before she knew it, and much less stressful than anticipated. It turned out that all that time Joe and her had spent cleaning and painting the place had paid off, in more ways than one. The Bakery looked amazing! And now she could finally pull the plans for the opening out of the desk drawer, where it had been waiting for this day.

    She took a step back and looked at the flyer she’d just pinned up on the corkboard in the store. Soon! And it would be so much fun! Even the local radio station had agreed to be there, to help her and hopefully a lot of potential customers celebrate. ‘Lucy’s’ would soon be open and her dream a reality.

    [Grand Opening of Lucy's, Borealis Backyard 6 on September 6th at 8pm RKST, with Gridstream Productions]
    Lucy Youny Blackwolf,
    The Red Brotherhood

    ~The Pink Fluffy Younycorn~

  3. #83
    You there! Citizen.
    Mrmol points to Fixerpayne
    If you're interested in making credits, I have an offer for you!

    Mrmol stood at attention stiffly, watching as people ran by. Behind him was an OTAF trooper. His gun felt as if it was pointing toward Mrmol's back, waiting for a slip up. The gnawing feelings of paranoia had only worsened since his detainment in 2HO. Something was off about the current administration, but he could not say too much about this fear, as the peering eyes of his fellow employees were always waiting to report dissension. The best Mrmol could do was try to show his love for Omni-Tek, if not its leaders.

    So that is what he would do. Standing in front of the Omni-3 Subway, asking employees to assist in OTAF's War on Stims. The more little initiatives and projects he worked on, the less su****ious others will be, and hopefully they would lead to a better Rubi-Ka in the process. That is what must be kept in mind, thought Mrmol. The well-being of the people of this planet. That was why he joined the Armed Forces, after all.

    He looked down at his Omni-Tek Identification Chip with a furious mixture of pride and fear, then called out to Companyrun2 to ask him to help the Corporation.

  4. #84


    Sembly warned them that her bandwidth was exceeding normal levels and kept spamming the message "e4". No unauthorized direct connection had been made, but someone was trying to establish a link to the AI and it was an unidentified source from Omni-Tek. Sembly was still sending the same message; :: e4 e4 e4 e4 e4 ::

    Cord and Fya quickly understood that it was an opening move called King's Pawn in the ancient game of chess. Someone or something was trying to play a game with Sembly. Cord set up a board of his own and started directing moves for their AI, who wouldn't respond to the hostile challenge herself.

    "Chess is a war, non?" said Fya. What? No! Someone was attacking! Cord was finding new and creative ways to curse under his breath and Fya was looking at options.

    The game went on for the better part of an hour, maybe even two. Cord played Sembly's moves, and the response was always quick. Sometimes, obscure messages littered the chess moves. Pieces moved and were taken, strategies changed. Sembly's speech was irregular. She was getting bombarded, yet the AI itself was acting quite calm. Who was this?

    :: The code this enemy is transmitting in makes me happy. Cheeky, cheeky. He was usually better than me anyway. ::, the AI chirped. So she had played this challenger before, then. Jen knew the AI sometimes indulged in the game with authorised AI's and droids, but never against an Omni-Tek source.

    As the game drew towards an end, Sembly started sending the letters CXJ every time the challenger did a move. Fya caught on immediately. Initals?, she suggested.

    CXJ... CXJ...

    And then, finally, deliverance. Sembly confirmed that the Omni-Tek signal was coming from Chozo, Christopher Junior's droid, and that he was asking them for help. Jen couldn't believe her ears. Chris!

  5. #85
    Sat in her office she drums her fingers together as a holographic display shows her a map of Rubi-Ka. With a wicked grin she says aloud:

    "Decisions decisions."
    Officer "Agentcora" Geers - Permakilled </3
    Administrator "Navarl" - OT-OC Administator
    Sheriff Dalten "Basley" Rooster - Omni-Pol
    Fylakas "Aggelos" - Shadowlands Resident
    Janice "Gowski"- IRRK Reporter
    Join Omni-Pol today!

    AO Universe Reporter | Editor News Reporter | OT-OC Administator

  6. #86
    = Analyzing. =

    = Event: Logs. EMP. Targeted. Our signal. =

    = Daneel: Emergency shielded. =

    = Daneel : Stable. =

    = Fya? Viking? =

    = Report. =

    = Report. =

    = Report. Please. Report…=

    = Anyone? =

    = Hello? =

    :: Viking: Systems stabilized. Reactivating. ::

    _ Fya: Host systems functional. _

    Fya fluttered her eyes open. Whole body still humming with pain as Viking's systems sluggishly reactivated restoring full motor control. She rolled over and looked at the mess of colored braids sleeping next to her, a bio-scanner still clutched in one hand. Sandra. Sister. She must have been frantic last night. Fya quietly slipped off the medi bed unhooking IVs and trying not to wake the small doctor. She walked to the desk for pen and paper, “Coffee. Swimming.” she wrote on the note for Sandra before heading out to the city’s lagoon.

    :: Annoyed. ::

    _ Yes. _

    :: We’re killing that cybernetic bitch. ::

    = Agreed. =

    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  7. #87
    Just as he predicted, the Atrox mercenary known as Alles Veem took a left towards the local bar. Quietly, he moved towards the plant box and picked up a rock.

    "Hey, Veem, can you hear me?", he shouted. But he knew all too well Alles had trouble with hearing.

    "Okay then...", he said in an almost demure tone.

    The rock flew at the Atrox. While it barely made a scratch on his Omni-Pol Forest Armor, it had a much more serious effect.

    Alles Veem dropped to his knees. Twitched, then collapsed on the ground.

    Lucio "Zustol" Houston (Lv.123, Engineer), OT-RP
    DC Glenn "Vitellus" Vai (Lv. 62, MP), Department of Investigations
    [Policebot] Policebot: I am lonely.

  8. #88
    There was a subdued hum as the computer screen came to life. A few key presses and the data crystal was inserted into the port. The initial loading screen seemed to suggest that it was ready to reject what it was about to execute. Rameth rubbed his eyes and tried again, this time taking a moment to re-familiarize himself with the process. He hadn't done this much work on a computer in almost a decade. Machines in general seemed to dislike him in their own temperamental ways. He read the carefully laid note that was left on the disk itself, before following each of the directions as Falikos had left for him. The screen seemed to blink, before engaging the executable and then came alive. He was seeing past memories, stored on file. They had been compressed but Falikos did a wonderful job of reconstructing what was there. Everything was nearly fully restored to viewing, and that was more than enough.

    "Thank you my dear," He said to himself, with no one else about.

    The log file was indexed by day. An entire list; Starting back from the first year of his capture, each one set up to be entirely viewable. A flood of nostalgia overtakes him. He touches the screen where the final date was - the day he escaped. With anticipation, his fang click against each other while his jaw muscle flex. The holodisplay lights up to his left and you can see numbers of the timestamp marquee across the field. Then, from a first person point of view eyes seem to open and glance around the room. The harness that he slept in seems to be being tugged at by an incredible bombshell of a young woman, dressed in the sort of finery of a nightgown one would only hope would cost a person at least a million credits. Over that, she wore a barely concealing coat of black velvet, with a fur trimmed collar. It was one of the various people he had been allowed to spend time with when he wasn't required to spend time with others. He only barely remembered her name then. Her blonde hair has looked like it was pulled back into a genteel ponytail, but that had become wild only recently. "It's me, Raymondo. Wake up, my love. We have to go. It's me," She continued.


    As if in time with her, he said, "Sascha. Oh. Madre de Dios... dearest sweet angel. What has become of you?" Rameth blinked, and his fingers tried to touch the woman in the display. His hands passed through the image, sending a wave of shudders through his body. It was a cold comfort.


    In the harness, he struggled to embrace her gently. "Who? What are you doing? You are not allowed in here..." His image spoke to the woman, firmly. She put a finger to his lips, and turned the harness so that he was standing upright within in it. She removed the wires from the port in the back of his neck. Raymondo stirred, and reached out a hand to her face. "You have come again, to me? You could not sleep a wink yes, and had to return..? You must be insatiable, my dear. I will-" But she hushed him fast. His eyes went from stormy to sober very quickly. "Be quiet! We have only a few moments. I am setting you free, my love. I have seen things. Strange things. And I know what your father does to you when no one is looking." Her eyes connect deeply into his. "And, I can't abide was has come to pass. Today you will be free, sweet Raymondo. I have seen to it. All will be well. You must trust me!"

    Raymondo's eyes returned to their intensity looking at her, a predatory smile crosses his face. His fangs reveal to her. She trembles when his hand touches her face. "Is this a game? Are we to run away together? How romantic..." Sascha studied him for a moment, her skin becoming flush and looking more than a bit vulnerable towards him. "Oh, my love. You are partially correct, though I wish it were entirely true. I have come to set you free. The guards will kill me if they see me leave with you. There is too much at stake, and I must return to my home where an alibi awaits me."

    Curiously, he tilts his head. He steps free of the harness as she removes the last bits of binding to his body. "Forgive me this. But you must act quickly. You have only a few minutes to get what you need." With that, she snaps a datachip into the computer that is attached to the harness that he slept in. The computer seems to continue as if nothing had happened. Instantly, the security monitor comes to life. An older gentleman dressed in a corporate bodyguard uniform peers at Rameth, who is standing partially out of his harness. The woman darts behind the screen, before the image completes. She mouths the words "You are free," to him.

    "Mister Ellefson, Evans here. Security reports that your room has been compromised. Are you alright, sir?" The bodyguard asks him pensively, but seems a little sleepy. A few moments, and Raymondo's eyes seem to float for a moment. "I am well, Evens. I.. uh.. I had another dream. Tell my father, all is well. Perhaps I need to get to the restroom a moment. Can you give me a little privacy, please?"

    "Of course sir. If you need anything, let us know." Evans nods. Raymondo ends the call. He looks over to Sascha. "I know what you are trying to do, and this is dangerous business. You could be killed for this."


    Rameth, behind the screen at the desk puts his head in his hands, and shakes it watching. Oh, the missed opportunities, and the naivete. He cursed himself for the thought that things might have turned out differently. He had hoped that she might still be alive, or at least, in one piece. He looked back up at the display, locking his eyes onto Sascha as she looked at his younger self. A solemn tear rolled down his cheek. All the emotions coming at him, deeply, and all at once.


    "You must trust me! Take this, it is a program that will shelter you for a while, until you escape. I must go now, the droid outside is currently powered down and in recharge." She looks at him with sincere desperation. He looks at her, his eyes never leaving as he comes around the security computer. He takes her into a deep embrace, and nuzzles into her neck with a masculine purr. She seems to melt at his touch, but resolves herself and pulls away quickly. She takes his hand and places a single capsule into it. "Remember me.." She says. Spinning on her heel quickly she opens the door to the domocile and peers out into the hallway. As she said so, the droid guard outside was still in recharge mode. Sascha only had a few more minutes. Raymondo looked on, as she was exiting. However, before fully leaving, she looked back at him once more - her eyes welling up with tears.

    Raymondo could only watch her disappear down the passageways of the corporate building. He wasn't sure what he was feeling, but clearly he did not entirely understand what was happening. He looked down at the capsule he was holding. Was this some kind of test? A trap perhaps? His father was not a man of kind intent. It was always laced with something foul. So many tortures, and so many nonconsentual meetings have shown Raymondo that trust is not a thing just freely given. A decade of capture and conditioning the likes of which Omni-tek reform would be proud of was stifling his mind.

    But, something inside him clicked. He swallowed the pill.


    Rameth watched the figures in the display depart from each other. He watched as his younger self took the pill. Fate - was in that pill. It disabled the systems inside his Neural control platform. It enabled him to pass beyond the electronic system in place to keep him within a certain distance of his captors. Even at last, the flight to freedom was bitter and he was left with confusion.. reliving this past caused him heartache and sorrow.


    Raymondo went through his room, and grabbed bits and pieces where he could. He looked down at his personal lockbox. Inside of it where many things from his past as a boy. Things he had to re-earn in order to continue. It was a pact he made with his father in the very beginning of his conditioning. A photo of a beautiful older woman in her mid 40's with long rolling dark locks, and latin features. She was smiling brightly at whomever took the photo. A golden ring, set with the words 'Siempre Contigo' written on the outside inlaid with a dark crystalline monogram. He rolled it around in his hand, letting it drop. There was a moment of sharp pain, followed by a widening of the eyes. His hand closed into a hard balled fist. Against the wall there was an antique rapier. He walked over to it with purpose, drawing the steel from its casing. He pointed it straight up, with the fencers salute. Tonight, there would be blood.

    "Mother!" He cried. She was murdered before his eyes, by the very man who captured him; Used him; Destroyed his life and rebuilt it again with a newer purpose he gave to Raymondo.


    "... Mother," Rameth spoke, trying to contain the image that was burning in his mind, that yet again he was reliving completely in front of him.

    Raymondo stood up from the lockbox. Already the program working its way through his neural system inputs. It was a whole world of black and white, suddenly flashing into bright colours. The smells. Oh dear god, the smells. Flooding into his mind. The smells of blood, fear, and anquish. He was surrounded on all sides by silken lined misery. What were the depths of truly was done?

    Silently, pushing it back into the deeper recesses his emotions were holding. He took out his pistols and set them into their personalized gun harnesses. Reaching over to the guitar stand, he took his classical spanish guitar. It was the one that his mother gifted to him when he was a boy. He slung the guitar over his back, and like Sascha; exited and disappeared into the hallways.


    Rameth looked down at his feet. The same guitar he walked out of his father's life with was still with him, like a steadfast guardian. Reaching down, he patted the case that contained the one friend that had been with him since the beginning. The hardened casing was made of cloth and thin plasteel, and the buckles of it sent a feeling of reassurance to him. Along with about seventeen songs that his mother taught him to play. Pushing buttons into the computer, he looked up his own public profile. Raymondo "Rameth" Ellefson. It was frightening to think, how this may have turned out differently.


    The flight away from his father's corporate palace was intense. There were a trail of bodies as he exited the final checkpoint. Each of them speared several times with a thin blade, but always.. the last one pierced their hearts. The time of judgement came upon then, laid by the law of steel, blood, and vengeance. When he reached the final exit door. It opened for him cleanly as he slid the guard captain's ID. He lifted up the dead man's hand, and pressed its bloody signature upon the control panel. The outer door then blew open with a whiff.

    And into the dawning of a new day, Raymondo strode out into the busy hub of the ICC. He was no longer a puppet or a plaything for evil men with cruel desires and agendas. One day, there will be more blood. He looked down at his personal ID badge. Raymondo "Rameth" Ellefson, was no longer. Just simply Rameth. The man he called Father would be marked for death.


    Rameth switched off the display for now. Too many emotions, even over the past 8 years or so was renewed with a freshness that stung him deeper than he had ever known. He was a creature of emotions. Between the time of conditioning and his time among the wild things of Rubi-ka, there was no other way of life. To hunt, to kill, to mate, and to thrive.. these were the laws of the jungle. Laws he had learned very well. Perhaps another night, he would review more of his past. But for now, this was enough.

    He sat back into the computer chair, looking up at the ceiling. The white buzz of the lights were brighter than usual. He closed his eyes, but the brightness continued to pass through the lids. Tiredly, he picked himself up, slid the data crystal out of the computer interface and back into its protective cover. He reached down and picked up his guitar case, and walked out of the lab, and into the night time waterfront of the Headquarters of Shattered Dreams.

    Sleep would not be easy.
    Last edited by Towerblock; Nov 12th, 2014 at 04:26:29.
    Towerblock, 220/30/70 Engineer
    President of Steadfast

    And way too many alts...

  9. #89
    ( Old Athens, a female Nanomage is walking down the street past the whompahs, when she hears her name screamed out) "Atlanta! Atlanta!" screamed a beaten up Atrox in torn and tattered armor. "Atlanta!" he screams as he tumbles out of the Whompahs and falls down on his knees behind her. "Help!" he shouts one more time before he falls over. Turning around, she looks up from her nano deck and comes running over to the one who was screaming.

    "Trox? Is that you? What happened?" She said in a distressed tone. Getting up and limping towards her he opens his mouth and says

    "Get me to my apartment...Backyard 2, number 3, and I'll tell you..." he says as he puts his weight on her shoulder and whimpers with each step.
    Last edited by MrTrox; Feb 25th, 2015 at 16:58:18.

  10. #90
    A soft glow from the monitor highlighted the scarred face. Cigar smoke gently rose as he scrolled through the daily reports. He takes a long draw from it, slowly exhaling. "Almost got everything ready. Guess I better get that damn press release finished." He closes out of the reports screen and opens up his document editor. It prompts for a password. He begins to type in his code. "Error, password incorrect!" the terminal tells him. He tries it again. "Error, incorrect password dude!" it exclaims followed by what looks like a smiling cats head. A smile slowly creeps onto his scarred and battered features. He swivvels around in his chair, yelling down the hall, "Renard! Get yer arse in here!"
    Last edited by Vinele; Feb 5th, 2015 at 06:03:38.

  11. #91
    Renard comes bounding down the hall, skidding to a stop in front of the Chief's desk. A grin slowly spreads over her face as the Chief turns his computer display to show her the error message.

    "Dude! I told you leet is not a good password so I changed it for you."

    She leans over starting to type in m-a-n-t-...

    "Your favorite, fun-time place Chief. Just remember to change your password to something better than leet."

  12. #92
    "But would it be ethical?" he said as he paced his workshop, thinking about the ramifications of what he was wanting to do.

    "Sure the cyborgs are a "living thing" in their own way, still but they can't reproduce, they drag people out of settlements in the dead of night and then assimilate them to increase their numbers. Is it ethical to fight them for the reason of taking their remains for research? But what of the advancements that could be made? I could adapt their implants to work for all breeds instead of just cyborgs and Atroxes. I could learn more about their conversion processes, and maybe be able to reverse it to a point that the original person is in control of their own body and not simply used by the cyborgs!"

    " cyborgs have "souls"? Do they have a life force that can be transferred or are they powered by the machinery shoved so crudely in their bodies? Are they just robots with the same amount of sentience as the common Slayerdroid? Or are they a sapient, sentient being with the capability of building a culture, and caring for their own? The cyborgs are a violent hateful race if they are indeed a "race" and not zombies, reanimated by the technology shoved into their guts and motivated only by their need to increase their numbers, by any means possible." He looked around his workshop hoping to think of an answer to a question few would ask. "Is it ethical to slaughter and study Cyborgs for the gain of all of Rubi-Ka, or would it be tantamount to genocide of a breed like the Opifex?" He slams his hands down on his table sending tools and blueprints all over the floor. "I'll never get answers talkin to myself in here, I need another opinion." Nate murmurs to himself as he picks up his backpack and goes out into the night air of Old Athens.

  13. #93
    Fya sat cross-legged on the cluttered work table, staring intently at a miniature version of a bureaucrat’s bodyguard droid.

    “…and so I used similar material to Chozo, so she’s going to be lighter and smaller than the usual design but the materials are…Fya? FYA? Are you listening?” Bunny asked as she hooked more wires into the droid.

    Fya blinked, turning to look at the engineer.

    “You don’t really care ‘bout the specs, do you?”


    “Fine! FINE! All this brilliant design work and amazing materials, and…oh never mind. Ok. Are you ready to try the upload?”

    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  14. #94
    Asher Briggs runs a hand over his face and sighs, hesitating a moment before hitting update on the file.

    :: Updating OTAF Personnel File for Special Operative Amelie “Dookumi” Freeman ::

    Status: Deceased.
    Special Note: Deployed undercover in the Clans. Subject failed to reclaim in the Outzones.

    :: Update Successful ::
    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  15. #95
    You open up your grid mail terminal to find a single message marked urgent blinking on the screen...

    :: NEW MESSAGE. ::

    "Rumour has it there was a hacker attack on the Council of Truth and on the Omni-Tek grid servers. A leaked memo points to clandestine meetings taking place in Newland. Might want to keep your eyes open for anyone of note in Newland City tomorrow around 19:00 GMT."

    :: END OF MESSAGE. ::
    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  16. #96

    [id: 'kittiefixie']

    An antlered woman in a pinstripe suit and a sheaf of rolled up posters under her arm, her gaze wandering over pillars and walls in Newland as if searching without really seeing. Now and then stopping, pulling out one of the posters and quickly gluing it up to a wall with nanobot adhesive, easy to remove without doing harm to the surface behind.

    MISSING PERSON ALERT! The poster has a photograph of a young man's face, smiling at the camera. A mischievous glint in hazel eyes and short, dark hair ruffled by wind. GRAHAM KATSULAS the poster says. She takes a step back, staring at the poster. Her nose twitches as her eyes fills up with tears. She wipes them away, almost angrily. Heavy breathing, as if she's trying to keep the panic from taking over.

    Dark hair in a tangled mess in her antlers. She's ignoring it, walking on, into the whom-pah to ICC. Making sure there are no guards looking as she puts up another poster by the whom-pah to Omni Trade. Evading guards and putting more up by the shops, by the statue. Handing a poster to an adventurer asking her what she's doing.

    Hazel eyes still glossy with tears as she raises her hands and disappears into thin air, moving on to find more walls for her posters, wherever they may be.
    Last edited by Kittiefixie; Aug 7th, 2017 at 19:06:54. Reason: ( Added a title for the post. )

  17. #97
    They called it a sliding scale of morality. Cordell was most interested in that and how people saw the scale work, because for the live of him he couldn't quite understand why people insisted on their reality being the right thing. He had his own issues, but he'd found that truth was not objective to people, and if truth wasn't objective, then neither was reality.

    Thus, he was mostly amused whenever people talked to him of social conduct. He knew the rules. He liked them for his own reasons.

    But when it came to what was moral and existentially preferrable, as he leaned against a dumpster in the rain giving Omni-Ent even more of a lived in smell and examined the poster, he was struck with a dilemma of sorts. He thought long and hard about Hannah, and how she had been slowly sliding down her own scales into worry and not focus beyond what he presumed this was -- a glimmer of focus, teeth grinding together in effort, tunnel vision narrowing.

    He listened to the pitter patter of heavy drops against tin, against soft materials, against the pavement and the nearby insurance terminal that he had been staking out on and off as a nearly a hobby. He turned his face toward the rain, blinking eyes that had become to signal far too much of what the use of notum and vicinity to a reactor could do to you, and thought on words he had said in the Council of Truth meeting about the Shadowlands.

    Toss someone over the Brink, and who knew where you might end up.

    After a moment more of contemplating this, still as a statue, he listened to the footprints coming nearby and watched the elderly couple he had been waiting for. Sheltering under an umbrella, carrying their groceries. They'd seen him, he knew, but in cities people tended to ignore other people.

    Cordell stepped out into the light, leaving little traces of nanobots in the puddles he had been walking through, signalling a specialist nano program that wasn't as hard to find as years before. It was one precaution on top of many, nothing more. "What do ya ken o' River Trois?" he asked, finding attention.

    The couple stopped, and naturally did not seem too far away from touching their own precautions. Calling for help, or being their own help. But the two men didn't reach for anything after a single, alarmed look between each other. They were calming down. "Far south. That's what. You're the one they sent, are you?"

    Cordell turned his head to a sound, smelling the air. "Nae sae simple, but close an' by. We talkin' 'bout th' Coast o' Peace?"

    "Thereabouts. Think west. That abandoned ferry." Cordell looked at the other man who spoke up now, measuring body language and build. "It's sometimes used for purposes -- not quite like Lush Hills."

    Professionals as they were, they expected the meeting to end in two ways. Either they died and reclaimed with no issues at all, or they walked away politely.

    Politeness, however, was something that Cordell reserved for those he respected. Mere sources in a long chain of people who had no real cards to play, not so much. "Ah'll see ya twa later," he said, not menacingly, or even specifying what he meant. But he hoped it had their imaginations going. It was, he considered as he shifted into feathers and a beak, on a similar sliding scale of things for people. He'd come to these gentlemen for information in the past.

    Favors for favors. All business.

    He would examine the ferry and the lands around it. And then he would visit a canyon in the Shadowlands.

    And see if the winds spoke more freely than Hannah Katsulas. It was equally likely.
    [Vicinity] Hilfy: Expecting?
    [Vicinity] Redtricks: Pregnant? No.

  18. #98

    [id: 'kittiefixie']

    Pentor's Peek was as quiet as Pentor's Peek ever was when dusk settled. The world was full of chirping and buzzing, reets calling out to one another in the valleys. The waterfall filled the air with moisture, glistening in the grass as if the dew had already formed. Hannah was laying on her back by the water's edge anyway, her suit clinging uncomfortably to her skin whenever she moved. She tried not to move, tried to just breathe, to just look up to the changing sky. Now and then ripples would spread over the water as one of the fishes peeked up over the surface.

    "I miss him," she said, to no one in particular, watching the clouds. She wasn't even sure who she meant; she had no idea if she meant Kevin who she hadn't met since the Backyard 5 Gang days, who she had almost considered an older brother; she had no idea if she meant Dagget, the friendly man who had helped her out when she had been lost and wandering after she had had to flee; she had no idea if she meant Wayne who she hadn't heard anything from and had no idea whether he was even dead or alive; she had no idea if she meant Graham who she was sure was still alive, because there had not been any sign that he had went through reclaim, which meant that he was still alive out there somewhere unable to get back. He had to still be alive out there, somewhere. She had to hold on to that hope, or she knew she would be lost.

    "I miss him," she said again. She knew she meant everyone, now. She knew she was even missing people she had not even met, although the feeling made no sense to her. "I miss all of them."

    The waterfall roared, drowning out the sound of her voice.
    The fishes kept searching the surface for more breadcrumbs, finding none.

  19. #99
    Gumiho strolls through the Omni-HQ building and into a small office where most surfaces are covered in left over takeout boxes, leaning towers of paperwork and disassembled guns. It's nothing like the meticulous order of General Vinele's office or the former OT-AF Urban headquarters. After six months on the job, she's figured out the clutter is as much a cover as the devil-may-care attitude presented by her current boss.

    "Hey there Ash-man, I've got a question."

    The sound of key strokes stops from someplace behind a leaning tower of data disks.

    "I'm going out of the office for a few hours or like maybe a few months. Going to team up with a Clan meeper type a chick, the one in my last report. She's gonna meet up with other meeper dudes to hack stuff. Ya good with that?"

    "Take an agent for backup, and remember to file your reports." is the only reply before the key stroke sounds of whatever Ravus is working on start up again.

  20. #100


    She could swear the shadows were watching her just as intently as she was watching them, mouth slightly open, eyes looking for nothing to look at. The scents of the dim candle shop were vying with each other and the warmth coming from under the table, an arrangement she understood was a replica of some Terran historical tradition of one kind of another where you simply stuck a space heater underneath and covered the top with a blanket or this. The black and purple quilt with fur trimmings was not unlike the proprietor -- if she was the proprietor and had not simply arranged to inherit the shop, Sandra reminded herself. She was torn on that, because the other Opifex in the room moved so lazily with the shadows, smoking something that smelled like cinnamon and rifling around like she had no idea what belonged where or which product was which.

    Her susp(i)cions awakened when the young woman sat down opposite to her again -- Sandra had lost herself to both comfort, something she enjoyed and much more rarely these years than before, and the shadowplay to which the proprietor (?) was party. There were metal ribbons around both of the candles that had caught her magpie eye, and the other was shaking the candles, persuading them to make noise.

    "You know," the proprietor said, "how about you choose either one and we'll just go with the cheaper price."


    The proprietor set both candles on the table and snuck her legs under to soak in the warmth, gracing Sandra with a questioning look. The older Opifex, not that it was entirely so clear with Opifexes, was giving the left-hand candle a proper examination down to smelling it. "It's just that I've got no blessed idea of what that's even supposed to be. It's not like I take notes around the cauldron."

    "Ah. The haphazard method. It extends to your pricing model, n'est-ce pas?"

    "Only when I'm riding a vulture, miss."

    "A vulture?"

    The proprietor sighed and stuck her cinnamon stick in a tray. "It's a figure of speech."

    Somehow, Sandra's sixth sense suggested that this wasn't so, especially when considering the evidence she had collected and constructed of someone who moved in a familiar way. "Mademoiselle, I wholly suspect it is not; but this roof I am honored to find myself under belongs to you, so I shall leave it at that."

    "That extends to using my name, then, please."

    "Oh. But of course." Sandra wracked her brain for a moment, tearing herself from the delight that was the candle. "You did not actually introduce yourself, now that I think about it."

    The proprietor smiled just barely and took a long pull from a bottle. It was familiar to Sandra, and not only somehow. Potions of Yesterday's Thoughts were a horrible roulette gamble between deliciousness and sheer sour mash. She had been given to understand by certain amused tribals that it was maybe a stoic cosmic prank combined with a less cosmic mortal prank. Not that the people in question generally had a sense of humor, until one applied to them a different reading of an old wisdom.

    The doctor had learned to appreciate sense of humor being a sense of proportion. She hazarded a guess, examining the host. Her curiosity was practically itching under her scalp, already straining underneath the long, heavy braids that carried memories tacked onto them. A bell jingled a little as she turned her head. "Is your name terribly long and hyphenated?"

    "Not really, no. It's Fish." The host smiled. "And I didn't ask what the occasion is. What's the occasion?"

    "Oh." Sandra was immediately mollified, and forgot to be susp(i)cious and maybe politely indignant. "I forgot my birthday, that is all." She'd forgotten.

    "Then we're obviously going to have to discount that some more," Fish -- if that was her name -- said, and began to painstaking process of trying to discount an item the price of which the doctor was certain was about as unknowable as the shadows. Or forgotten. Just like the second potion of yestereve's musings, empty, in front of busy, fussy, flaky Sandra.

    Note to anyone wondering about the (i) -- forum language filter is v. effective.
    Last edited by Redtricks; Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:43:59. Reason: See bold text
    [Vicinity] Hilfy: Expecting?
    [Vicinity] Redtricks: Pregnant? No.

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