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About Wade

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  • Birthday 08/27/1996

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  1. The Conspirator

    The next two hours were uneventful. They walked and talked; they sat down and ate; Teddy made a joke and everyone laughed. Eventually they reached a point where everyone was comfortable in their silence, entertained by nothing more than their idle thoughts. The stench grew progressively worse the closer they got to the city. Teddy had no doubt that without his gas mask he’d practically be able to taste the rot in the air; the singed hair and sour milk; the raw sewage and stale tobacco. Rather than make himself gag at the thought, he turned his attention to the buildings up ahead. Great stone obelisks, dotted by a thousand shattered windows. Now that they were within distance, he could see lights flickering in between a few of them. All things considered, it was the best sign they’d seen all day. Power would go a long way in making their stay a comfortable one, if that was possible. Eventually, when the sun began to set, they stood at the edge of a river separating them from the city. About half a mile to their left was a copper bridge, green and rusted from whatever plagued the atmosphere. Some of the cables holding it up had already snapped, and those that hadn’t were well on their way. Teddy lifted his rifle in its direction. With slow, meticulous sweeps, he made a thoughtful sound deep in his throat. “There’s our welcoming party,” he announced. “And I daresay they look ready for dinner.” Lucier stepped beside him, raising his own pair of binoculars. “You think we can make it across?” Teddy made the same sound. Hmm. “If the ghouls don’t kill us, the bridge might. It’s about to keel over any minute now.” He paused, then tilted his rifle slightly lower. “What about that boat down there?” Lucier followed his gaze. “The tour boat?" “Yeah, we could use that.” “Teddy, that thing’s a wreck,” Lucier chided. “And have you seen the water?” “Yeah, I know, it looks like everyone took a shit in it. What’s your point?” Lucier shook his head as if this was an especially thick question. “The boat probably doesn’t even work. None of the cars turned on when we tried them, so I don’t see why this would be any different.” Behind his mask, Teddy rolled his eyes. “Would it kill you to use your imagination a little?” “I’m sorry?” “Look, say we get on and the boat doesn’t work. That’s fine. All you have to do is use your brain-“ Teddy tapped a finger to his temple. “-to get it moving.” Lucier gave him a blank look. “Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to move twenty tons-“ “On water,” Teddy corrected. "You should be able to generate enough of a push to get it drifting at least. It’s that or the bridge.” “Or we keep looking for another way across.” “And risk getting caught in the dark? No way.” Lucier didn’t have an immediate response to the gunslinger’s jab. Instead, he turned his gaze to the darkening sky, the bridge, and finally the tour boat. “I guess it can’t hurt to try.” They made their way down to the boat, where it was docked by a small pier whittled down to its bones. Every step was met with a painful creak, and one of the floorboards actually snapped under Teddy’s weight. He took the time to uncoil the rope tethering the ship while everyone else boarded, then stepped in himself once he was sure there weren’t any more anchors to be dealt with. Lucier stood at the wheel of the ship. He was stretching his arms, his back, his chest, and took a deep breath like a man ready to sprint. “Told you it didn’t work,” he muttered, jabbing a thumb at the ignition. "Good to go?” Teddy patted him on the back. “It’s all you.” Lucier nodded grimly and raised his arms. They flexed instantly, quaking ever so slightly as if he was pushing against a castle wall. Nothing seemed to happen at first, as the boat sat lifelessly in dead waters, but then it inched forward imperceptibly, and kept going and going until it picked up a steady rhythm. After what seemed like an eternity of this, Lucier had to finally sit down and wipe the sweat off his brow. “Please tell me that was good enough,” he gasped. “That was good,” Teddy offered reluctantly. “But I think we’re going to need another go or two.” Lucier looked out the window and moaned a low swear. He’d gotten them halfway across the river, however they were already slowing down to a standstill. “Alright, just… give me a minu-“ Before he could finish, a shriek like broken glass sliced through the air. Teddy whipped his head, realizing the sound had come from overhead. When he opened his mouth to say something, a rush of wind violently battered the surrounding waters, and something heavy slammed onto their roof. No one dared to move. They watched each other with muted breaths, listening to their boat whine as something pawed at its surface, scraping the metal. It rumbled something shrill and awful, like an icy storm raging deep in its gut. Both Lucier and Teddy unholstered their weapons.
  2. Bogus Booty OOC

    @Chouette skipped. @SweetCyanide go ahead
  3. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    A sharp pain woke Teddy from his slumber. His teeth clenched instantly as if someone flicked a switch, and a guttural roar stampeded through his chest and up his throat before dying in the form of a measly gasp. “Hurckh!” It wasn’t the word he'd meant to say, but with a mouthful of leather between his teeth, that was the way it came out. In his daze, Teddy was only faintly aware of Roxanne ripping his shirt open. Anyone with half a mind would’ve seen the opportunity for a quip: something tacky and obvious and charming all at once. Unfortunately, Teddy maybe a had a third of his- a third singularly devoted to the throbbing in his chest. Each pulse was a fresh jolt to the senses, and they only grew stronger the more he came to. It was a sad thing indeed that when the assassin kissed him on his forehead, much of his mood lingered quietly in the dark. Teddy didn’t follow Roxanne and Wiz on their way inside. At least, not right away. All he wanted to do was lie on his back and get this damn belt out of his mouth. Eventually though, he tilted his head to the right. Beast was sitting on the steps next to him. Then, just a couple of feet from the giant, a pile of dead bodies rose from the porch. He found the sight profoundly unpleasant. “Beast,” he said, stretching his arm out. “Help me up.” Together, they made their way inside. The living room was just as he remembered it. Frozen, bloody, and an absolute wreck. Elijah was still where he had left him, except he was beginning to stir and Wiz seemed eager to take advantage of the moment. Coming from behind, Teddy’s hand descended on the boy’s shoulder like a sickly spider. “Let’s save that for later.” He looked down at the farmer. “Right now, we need to get out of here. Anyone within a few miles could’ve heard the gunfire, and I’m not big on jail time." The others nodded. Beast handed Teddy over to Roxanne so he could sling Elijah over his shoulder, while Wiz moved about diligently to search the house. He had the right idea to loot the medicine cabinet for bandages, painkillers and stitches, and Teddy thanked him on their way to the horses. “It’s okay, Rox. You can let me go.” Teddy gave the redhead a weak smile and carefully stepped away. After stuffing his newfound possessions in Mars’ saddlebags, he untied the horse and mounted it with a shaky effort. The sun had fully slipped past the horizon now, and the first stars were announcing their subtle existences. Teddy didn’t think they’d make it to Tekwell in time before the sky turned black. “You guys remember that cave we passed? The one on the hill with all the dead bushes? We’ll camp there for the night.” With a click of his heels, Mars stirred into a full gallop. Teddy had to fight to keep his grip on the reigns as they sailed across the desert, and by the time they made it to the cave he mentioned, his calves and thighs ached from holding on so tightly. They tied their horses to whatever they could find, then headed inside the cave. Wiz sparked a light from the end of his wand, revealing a spacious interior free of wildlife. Teddy slumped down against the back wall and watched as everyone else got their bearings, including Elijah whose state seemed to mirror his own. “Let go of me!” he growled. Beast obliged by dropping him completely, and the sound that followed was part grunt and part thunk. While Elijah contemplated his error, Teddy motioned for Wiz. The mage understood perfectly, and pulled out the medical supplies from the farm. “I don’t suppose any of you know how to do stitches?” he asked, eyeing the bottle of antiseptic.
  4. Bogus Booty OOC

    Just letting you guys know I'm extending my turn by one day. Meaning I have until Friday to post rather than Thursday. Midterms are upon me, so is another thread, and I'm going to need the extra time to churn out something that's not a fresh, steamy pile of poop. Thanks for your patience fam
  5. Bogus Booty OOC

    @dvsn skipped, @supernal go ahead
  6. Bogus Booty OOC

    @Chouette has been skipped. It’s now @SweetCyanide
  7. You're an excellent writer.

    1. Wade


      Muchas gracias, señor King. It makes me very, very happy that you think so

  8. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    “DROP YOUR GUNS!” “SHOOT HIM!” “LET HIM G-" “PUT THE GUNS DOWN NOW-” “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FO-“ “I’LL DO IT-“ “YOU HAVE THREE SECONDS!" “FUCKING SHOOT H-“ “I SWEAR I’LL DO IT-“ “SHOOT HIM-“ “DROP YOUR-" The gunshot was louder than any four men combined. It ripped through the air, their cries, the night, and finally Elijah and Teddy. Gentle smoke rose somewhere in the room, swirling lazy patterns at the end of a barrel. The man holding it was wide-eyed and agape, as if he himself couldn’t believe what just happened. Teddy fired wildly as he fell. Glass shattered everywhere, wood splintered into a tiny million pieces, and every pull of the trigger was a shriek of summer lightning. The two mercenaries recoiled, then fired back, filling the room with a thunder of their own. In the span of less than a second, it was like everything wanted to simply explode. A stray bullet caught the couch in a puff of white feathers, before another tore a hole in one of Elijah’s goons. He made to scream but the gash in his throat was already spewing crimson. Soon he was on the floor trying desperately not to drown. Teddy didn’t pay his victim any mind. Not out of choice, but purely because he couldn't. Between rolling to safety and the pain hammering at his senses, he hadn’t even known he’d hit anything at all. With a sloppy dive he hid behind the kitchen wall, then the island counter in a low crouch. The drawers thumped dangerously at his back, and for a moment he thought his cover would give way. Shaky fingers turned reloading into a maddening process- he almost dropped the gun entirely when he tried to slot in the ammo. So focused was he that he didn’t notice the gunfire had ceased, until Elijah’s disbelieving grunts snapped him back to attention. “You fucking shot me!” The mercenary was slow to respond. From his absent-minded tone, it was clear the adrenaline still ran hot in his veins. “I’m… I’m sorry, sir.” Elijah continued to make noises like a wounded animal. “Did you get him?” “I don’t know.” Teddy waited. He didn’t dare peak around the corner, not yet. “Stay here,” the mercenary said. The wood floor suddenly creaked, once, twice, then a third time. A pause followed, and the creaking began anew. Step, step, step. Pause. … Step, step, step. Pause. … Step, step, st- “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” At the sound of the gunslinger’s roar, bits of hardwood floor sprang up like barbed confetti. The gunfire cut alarmingly close to the right side of the island, yet there was nothing to shoot at and the mercenary knew it. In one brusque motion, Teddy rose above the counter. Three times he pulled the trigger, and three times the mercenary staggered back. When he didn’t go down, Teddy shot him in the eye. Not missing a beat, he swivelled his aim towards the living room. The man he’d shot earlier had stilled in a pool of his own blood. Meanwhile Elijah was curled up by a chair, favouring a wound on his chest. The sight of him fostered a dim awareness in Teddy’s mind. Slowly, he glanced down at himself, and was greeted by a dark hole oozing vigorously from his shirt. It was like someone had stuck him with a kabob right below his collarbone and had done a messy job of pulling it out. As he shifted his left arm, something hard and sharp grated against his ribs. He winced at its touch. The bullet, he thought. It had pierced Elijah clean through only to find him instead. The inspection also revealed two other wounds: a narrow cut marking his shoulder, and the other a deep, tattered gash bleeding along his oblique. Minor wounds in comparison, though they’d come back to haunt him once the adrenaline faded. Gun raised, Teddy approached the bloody mercenary laying on the ground. His eyes stared hopelessly into nothing, and a cruel prod to his neck confirmed Teddy’s suspicions. “Hands behind your head,” he ordered, moving stiffly in Elijah’s direction. The farmer was reluctant to obey. Something in his eyes waxed and waned, an internal debate Teddy found all too foolish. “I’m not going to ask again.” Elijah licked his lips. “You going to kill me?” A magnificent crack shattered his question, along with his foot and any other unwise notions. While he screamed, Teddy stood motionless, devoid of any humour he might’ve attempted minutes before. “Next time it's your brain going all the way to Cosanastre. Hands.” In spite of the pain, the fear, the tears welling up in his eyes- Elijah did as he was told. Teddy began to reload once more. “Turn around. Good. Don’t move.” He flicked the chamber back into place, and Elijah’s flinch was a perfect match to its audible click. “Now listen up, here’s what’s going to happen.” In a swift blur of vengeful karma, Teddy struck Elijah across the head. Fortunately for the farmer, that was all it took for him to pass out. Wordlessly, Teddy went about cuffing his wrists and searching his person. After all that came up were a pair of keys and a wallet, he repeated the exercise with the dead mercenaries. This attempt was a little more fruitful, as it earned him a pair of hunting rifles and the ammo to go with them, on top of two more wallets- -and a body crashing through the window. Teddy jumped and spun around, hissing something obscene. He watched the soldier roll onto a dusting of broken glass, limp as a ragdoll, and listened to whatever fighting that was happening outside. His heart thumped like a jackhammer in his chest while he waited for the soldier to move. When he ultimately didn’t, Teddy shrugged. BANG! Now for another search. Or so he would’ve liked, until a cold laser whizzed inches over his head. He fell to the ground flat on his stomach, then marvelled unthinkingly as the beam swept slow arcs across the living room. Whatever it touched froze and not just lightly- it brought up the memory of when he’d gone to the science museum in elementary school, where they dipped apples in liquid nitrogen. He imagined a simple slap would shatter the couch now, much like a simple fall had splintered the apples. The beam eventually receded from the window. Teddy was left inhaling cool smoke, and discovered that he was shivering slightly. Cautious as ever, he played the waiting game once more, then gradually got to his feet when it felt safe to do so. Outside, the difference in temperature struck him immediately; it made him wonder just how cold it had really been inside. Two of the Porch Five stood frozen ahead of him, in the sense that they were literally and utterly frozen. One of them he recognized as the Bear, the other he recognized as a generic meatsicle. He peeked down at the left to find a third dead soldier. Instead of being coated in frost, this one had apparently suffered a pair of scissors to the throat. A clean job if they were making comparisons. Much cleaner, by far. “Wiz, you’re one scary kid,” Teddy said. “Roxanne, nice shoulders.” Those were the last words he remembered before tumbling off the porch steps.
  9. The Conspirator

    Hanz O’Dair wasn’t your average pilot. For starters, he flew his own luxury airship. Its name was Lily, like his ex-girlfriend, and he thought it every bit as glamorous as the genuine article. Secondly, Hanz wore aviator slacks instead of a captain’s uniform. They were cheaper, loose-fitting, and made him feel like a movie star in an action film. Thirdly, Hanz was four feet tall. He ate fruits and nuts, and drank tomato juice by choice. Finally, Hanz was an ape. It almost seemed like a joke until Lucier saluted and the monkey saluted back. “Hanz, I’d like you to meet Hera, Aries and Tommy." Lucier ushered the teens from behind, like a proud parent at a family reunion. In the background, the air traffic control tower blinked its early morning lights. “Don’t be shy now, he doesn’t bite." The captain shook their hands amiably. “I'd make an exception for you, son,” he chuckled, his voice warm and husky with the crackle of a campfire. He pulled his shades back, revealing a pair of intelligent brown eyes, and suddenly tipped his head in a far off direction. “Maybe for you too, Leon.” The bounty hunter drifted in from a few feet away. Surprisingly, he was fully dressed and not at all naked. “Nice to see you too, Hanz. How’s Lily…” He shook his head, then squinted as if he regretted the action. “Nevermind, you got anything for a headache?" Hanz looked momentarily offended by the abandoned question. “I fly celebrities for a living. Do you know how much champagne they drink?” He cocked his head back and made a few clicking noises, as if that explained everything. “Why, what’s your deal?” Teddy’s smile was grim and honest. “Gaia’s tits, you’re an idiot. And that bruise?” A hairy finger pointed at a dark spot purpling the blonde's forehead. Teddy jabbed a thumb at their resident android. “Turns out she’s not big on cuddling.” Hanz nodded sagely, smiling to himself. He waved for everyone to follow him up the ramp. Lily’s interior was almost as impressive as Lucier’s apartment. It had couches and pillows, chairs and tables, a television and blankets- all the charm you could possibly fit into a small metal tube meant to fly thirty thousand feet in the air. Hanz hummed a giddy tune as he led them inside, and everything about his posture perked up once they were seated. “Welcome to Air O’Dair, folks. Sit back, relax, don’t break anything-“ He gave Lucier and Teddy a significant look when he said this. “-and I’ll get you guys to Telerian safe and sound. Anyone in need of some quick relief, follow me.” While Hanz and Teddy disappeared down the hallway, Lucier flopped onto the couch with a languid stretch. “I’m going back to sleep,” he yawned, swathing himself with a blanket. “Aries, Tommy, you two behave while I’m out." He closed his eyes and dragged out another yawn. "I don’t want to wake up and find out you’ve joined the mile-high club.” —————— Hours later, Lucier woke with a gentle nudge. The first thing he saw was a red-eyed demon peering down at him. “Rise and shine, cupcake.“ Lucier stared, blinking the sleep out of his eyes. The demon’s face slowly resolved itself into the shape of a gas mask, and he realized it was actually Teddy standing above him. “Don’t you look menacing.” The bounty hunter extended a gloved hand. Instead of his regular clothing he had changed into a set of all-black ballistic armour, complete with a duster and a rifle at his back. “You’re making me blush.” “I try,” Lucier said evenly. He took the hand and got to his feet. “How’s your head?” “Better,” Teddy answered. He followed up by making a gagging motion. Lucier understood perfectly. “Mandrake?” A quick nod. “I don’t understand why no one’s invented a potion yet that doesn’t taste like gangrene.” “If it doesn’t taste bad, it’s not real medicine. That’s the law.” “Fair enough,” Teddy huffed. "At least this way-“ He rapped his knuckles against his helmet a couple of times. “-no one’s going to go Krav Maga on my face again.” They laughed just in time for Hanz to cut in over the intercoms. “Ladies and gentleman, we’ll be landing in Telerian in just a few short minutes. Weather’s looking lovely today at a comfortable twenty degrees, with a few clouds in the sky and a high chance of wyverns and spectres. If you haven’t thought about it already, I highly recommend turning back. Thank you for flying Air O’Dair; I hope you enjoy your stay.” And with that, the airship began its slow descent. —————— Off in the distance, Telerian gleamed like a row of blackened teeth. Teddy was the one to make the observation- how each building looked burnt or battered. Rotten, somehow. The idea didn’t seem far-fetched, what with the wind blowing in from the city. It smelled vaguely of singed hair and sour milk, raw sewage and stale tobacco. Even with his mask filtering the air, he picked up a whiff of dust. High overhead, a smattering of drakes could be seen. Their figures were thin and scrawny, being so far away, yet Teddy imagined they were anything but. They circled the skyline aimlessly, taking fruitless jabs at each other; sometimes they disappeared into the clouds or down into the city, and the latter occurred with enough frequency to a foster a sense of unrest among the group. Hanz hadn't dared step onto the ground with them. Just being outside on the ramp seemed to make him profoundly uncomfortable. “You sure you want to go in there?” Lucier kept his eyes on the city. “You sure you don’t want to come with?” “I think I’ll take my chances over here,” he said. “You make it out of this safe, you give me a call, alright?” “I will.” “Good.” For a moment it seemed like there was something more to be said. Then, wordlessly, Hanz slipped back inside and lifted off. The group was left facing a wide stretch of highway roads. A hard walk from the looks of it, even for the most seasoned of the lot. Countless automobiles were lined up in an obvious traffic jam, and the pavement was cracked in the manner of a violent earthquake. Most, if not all of metal in the area had begun to rust; something everyone found odd in light of the catastrophe’s recent timing. Had they not known any better, it would’ve been easy to mistake Telerian for an age-old ruin. “Not a corpse in sight,” Teddy commented. Lucier scanned the streets and found the gunslinger was right. There were smears of blood but never any victims. “I’m sure there’s a welcoming party waiting for us.” He adjusted the straps of his travel sack, then shrugged it over his shoulder. “Shall we go find them?” “Let’s.” And so, they began to walk.
  10. Bogus Booty OOC

    @dvsn has been skipped, it’s now @supernal
  11. The Conspirator

    “Hear that, Lucier? We’re an organization now.” In the background there was a loud snort. “Oh yeah? What are we called?” Teddy paused. “What do you guys think of ‘Teddy and Friends’?” A collective moan stretched down the hallway, followed quickly by a litany of boos and complaints. Teddy’s smile seemed to grow wider with every insult thrown his way, and he turned back to Hera, shooting the cyborg a tongue-in-cheek wink. Once they’d shaken hands, he led her to the living room where everyone was waiting for them. The fireplace roared its greeting along with the group’s. “I think that’s everyone,” Lucier declared. He had already begun dealing in both Hera and the teens, regardless of whether they were interested in playing or not. “Fancy a drink, my lady?” “Hey, don’t be rude." It took a moment for Lucier to catch on. “You’re right. Where are my manners?” He leaned in Aries’ direction, where Tommy also happened to be sitting. “Can I get you guys anything? Apple juice? A glass of milk, maybe?” Teddy rolled his eyes but found himself chuckling. “Ignore him. There’s a minibar behind the counter, plus beer in the fridge.” “You’re a terrible role model." “And you’re a huge prick.” “Girls tend to like that about me.” Teddy threw his head back slightly and mumbled something vile. “Just keep it reasonable,” he said, addressing the other three. “We don’t need anyone throwing up on the road tomorrow." “It’s going to be a long walk,” Lucier added. His expression, while never more than a wry grin, had grown somewhat serious. “A friend of ours is giving us a ride to Telerian, but only so far as the city’s edge. Apparently the skies are a mess.” “Drakes everywhere.” Lucier nodded. "I expect we’ll see some on the ground as well, among other things. Hope you guys aren’t scared of the dead.” Teddy suddenly pounced from his seat, working his fingers high overhead as if dangling invisible marionettes. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Now it was Lucier’s turn to roll his eyes. “Sit down, you drunk.” “How can you call me that after I just gave them the ‘drink in moderation’ speech?” “Because that’s your fourth beer.” “Third.” “Fourth.” “Fourth!” “Thir-“ Lucier abruptly stopped himself. He gave Teddy a spiteful glare. “In any case,” Teddy continued, a victorious grin plastered to his face. “We can talk business on the flight tomorrow morning. For now though…” Skulking around the counter, Teddy produced an amber-coloured bottle alongside five individual shot glasses. The apartment owner’s taste in kitchenware ran in a tacky direction as two of the glasses themselves were shaped like skulls, while the rest had stupid labels on them like 'Bad decisions make good stories’ or ‘For my next trick, I need a condom and a volunteer’. With a twist of his hand, the wax-covered cap came off and out poured the bourbon. Teddy handed out each glass with an exuberant diligence, careful in his movements so as to not spill a single drop on the table. When everyone had a glass in front of them (Aries had the ‘bad luck’ of being stuck with the condom one), he held out his own with an outstretched arm. Lucier looked at him placidly. “You are a terrible role model.” “Sssshhhh!” Teddy hissed. “Now, we’re going to do it the way they do it in Weland. Everyone, hold out your glasses.” He waited a moment for everyone to comply. “Good. At the count of one, we’re all going to clink and shout ‘kanpai’, okay?” “Oh boy.” “Shut up, you. Three.” The glasses inched closer. “Two.” And closer. “One.” ... Clink! “KAAAAAAAAANPAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIII!” And they drank.

  13. Echo Sinclair

    ECHO SINCLAIR Here, have a look. It plays music, takes pictures, tells the time, levels skyscrapers... PERSONAL Age: 25 Date of birth: January 22nd, 3 AO Nationality: Terran Birthplace: Tia, Terrenus Alignment: Chaotic Good Occupation: Research Scientist (magi-tech) PHYSICAL Height: 6’2” Weight: 175 lbs Hair: Strawberry blonde, with an emphasis on strawberry (chest length) Eyes: Electric blue Skin: Ivory Build: Tall, noble, athletic Voice: Smooth and persuasive, like honeyed velvet ABILITIES Echo is, first and foremost, an inventor. With a mind for machinery and the talent for magic, she is rivalled by few in the field of magi-tech. To that extent, she is also an accomplished arcanist. In terms of athletic prowess, there’s little to criticize. She’s strong, fast, and well-versed in self-defense. Her combat experience is practically non-existent, but it’s expected she can hold her own with the help of a few spells. Finally, she is extraordinary brilliant. HISTORY 18 AO, Admitted into Hell’s Gate Second Charter University at age 15 21 AO, Acquired Honours Bachelor's Degree in Engineering with a specialization in Magiphysics 22 AO, Acquired Master’s Degree in Engineering 24 AO, Graduated with a PhD in Engineering 24 AO - Present, Employed as a research scientist at Hell’s Gate Second Charter University
  14. Bogus Booty OOC

    @Chouette has been skipped, it is now @SweetCyanide‘s turn. Chouette, feel free to post late if/whenever you get the chance
  15. [Quest] Bogus Booty

    Teddy pointed a finger at Wiz. “Smart,” he mumbled, injecting the right amount of approval into the word. Grabbing Mars’ reigns, he led the horse to a nearby tree that spoke wonders of the soil Elijah raised his farm on. Its roots held firm as he tugged on the knot he tied, and he nodded once to himself, then to the others. “Let’s get this show on the road.” Climbing the hill, they made their way out into the open. Unsurprisingly, the guards didn’t notice their approach for some time. Most of them were too busy with their card game, while the one older fellow thought it more important to berate his comrades than to keep watch. Teddy was glad, since it gave him the chance to steel his nerves. Anyone who had been listening might’ve heard him sigh through his nose, and anyone who had been watching might’ve seen the uncertainty swimming in his eyes. Confident as he was, he had never truly felt comfortable in the presence of armed men. One of the guards finally looked up. The wind carried his voice across the field as he swatted his colleague along the shoulder. “Look alive, dickhead.” Teddy saluted the group. “Evening, fellas.” He made a point to stop walking when they all stood up, flicking switches and pulling levers on their rifles. “Elijah home by any chance?” “What’s it to you, pal?” The one who spoke followed Teddy’s hand as it dropped to his side. He had the strong, bearded face of a bear with the size to match. “About two silvers each, if you’re interested.” The abrupt prospect of money lightened the air considerably. “Three each,” the Bear said. Teddy briefly looked to the sky as if it had an answer for him. “How about I give you six, and your buddies all get one.” “Deal.” While the Bear wrestled with the complaints of his coworkers, Teddy fished the promised silver coins from his wallet. Their transaction was short though not entirely sweet (a few glares were to be expected), leading the Bear to disappear inside, presumably to fetch Elijah. Teddy wandered back to his friends, convinced he’d be safer there than anywhere near the porch. About a minute later, the door swung open and out came the Bear. Behind him, two more guards poured out along with a dark man wearing glasses and a severe frown. That makes ten now. The man with the glasses moved to the front, noticeable in his painful limp. “Who’re you?” he asked, his voice as cold as granite. Teddy’s instinct was to make a religious joke, but something told him the man wasn’t capable of laughter. “Mercenaries,” he said simply. “Elijah, right? We were told you might be able to help us find a missing person.” “And who told you that?” Teddy’s lie was quick and effortless. “Freddy Corvino. Ring a bell?” Elijah didn’t say anything, nor did he move. Teddy took the farmer's prolonged silence as a resounding ‘no’, and decided to move on before things could get awkward. Rifles clicked into place as Teddy slid Louis’ picture out of his pocket, and he fought down the urge to reach for his own gun. Elijah’s hard expression never wavered, though he motioned with a single hand. One of the guards walked over and back to show him the picture. “Don’t know him.” “That’s too bad,” Teddy replied. “Mind if we ask you some other questions?” “I-“ Teddy didn’t wait for him to finish. “How’d you get that limp?” For the first time, something flickered across Elijah’s face. “What?” “Your leg. What happened to it?” Two of the guards exchanged a glance. Elijah himself had to shift his eyes for a moment. “I was born with it,” he said slowly. “Really? Huh.” Teddy swept his eyes at their surroundings. “Pretty impressive that you can run a whole farm on your own like that. Most people would've settled for something easier.” “I have help.” “Mmm. Is that what these guys are for?” he asked, referring to the mercenaries. “Bandits raided my farm a month ago.” “Well, it just so happens the person we’re looking for disappeared around that time too.” The gunslinger’s smile was sharp like ice. “Maybe they’re linked.” A long silence fell on the farm. The sky above had begun to take on an orange-pinkish quality, painting the clouds like wisps of cosmic fire. Teddy thought it was rather pretty. Elijah turned stiffly, his words even stiffer. “Why don’t we talk about this inside?” “Gladly.” The farmer nodded. “You’ll have to hand over your weapons though.” That gave Teddy a pause. “Sorry, but I’m not in the habit of giving away my gun,” he said. "Especially when every kid at the table has a bigger one than mine.” The farmer nodded a second time. “Then I guess you’re out of luck.” He made to turn around but his movements snagged on Teddy’s response. “Wait." Throwing his gaze over his shoulder, Elijah gave the gunslinger a meaningful glance. Teddy was holding out his revolver by the barrel. “Stay here,” he said to his companions. “There’s no point in all of us going inside.” The Bear plodded over to relieve Teddy of his gun and escorted him to the porch before patting him down. Elijah, satisfied with the decision, plucked the revolver from the Bear’s meaty hand and stuffed it in his belt. If Teddy was agitated, he made a good effort of not showing it. “Keep an eye on them,” Elijah said to the Porch Five. "You two, with me.” Elijah didn’t bother holding the door open as he disappeared inside. Teddy thought about saying something, possibly some words of advice, then followed silently when he concluded his friends were smart enough to think for themselves. Inside, Elijah led him to a wide living room that smelled pleasantly of sandalwood. One couch and two chairs surrounded a coffee table, and across from it a fireplace baked the wood floor in fickle oranges and yellows. Teddy sat down in one of the chairs, and Elijah took a seat in the one across from him. Meanwhile, both guards stood akimbo from the farmer. “I think we both know why we’re here,” Teddy started evenly. “Straight shooter, aren’t you?” The idea almost made Teddy chuckle. “I don’t pretend to be anything else.” Elijah’s smile was all teeth, and Teddy thought it was a terrible look for him. “Who do you work for?” Teddy hmmed. “Gaia," he tested, forcing as much country hick into his voice as possible. "Didjer know that shey lived heah in the Alterion?” Mr. Dawson could smile, but Teddy was right; the man couldn’t laugh. In fact, the joke seemed to have the opposite effect as his mood suddenly darkened and he drew the revolver from his waist. “Who do you work for?” he repeated, letting the weapon sit limply on his good leg. “I’d like to ask you the same thing.” “That’s not how this works, son.” “I don’t see why it can’t.” For a second, Teddy thought Elijah would shoot him. It felt like the appropriate response for a man of his demeanour, so it was rather shocking when he stood up and hobbled over. “Did our friend do that to your l-“ In one savage motion, Elijah brought down the gun against Teddy’s skull. White-hot pain fissured throughout the blonde's temple, and the world around him seemed to shriek back into darkness. In a voice that sounded far, far away, Elijah asked again. “Who do you work for?” Head held low, Teddy couldn’t have answered if he wanted to. His thoughts swam through a river of boiling molasses, and his tongue felt like it was coated in warm, soggy cotton. “Who do you work for?” A moment passed, then Teddy held up a hand. Good lord, holy fuck, it dared. Give me a second. Elijah was relentless. “Who-" “Y’know," Teddy slurred. “I’m getting… real tired of you asking me th-“ This time when Elijah moved, Teddy moved with him. His speed was an impossible blur of excruciating awareness, and by the end of it he somehow had Elijah wedged in the crook of an elbow that weighed like lead. What followed next was an incoherent mess of violent screaming. After that, the first gunshot rang through the night.