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About Nessuno

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    Gliding across the veil...
  • Interests
    Classical Antiquity, Medieval Fantasy, Early Politics and Military Structure, and HEMA among other early Martial Arts.
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    Aviation A&P Apprentice

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  1. "The Trojan? Seen it on the street a few times. Seedy place." he mused, straightening his jacket. "I'll keep in touch, Jack. Next time you hear from me might be with package in hand." Bateman turned and left, his stride as confident as ever- yet at the same time, so painfully ordinary. Z's apartment would be the first hunting ground to look in to. Even if he isn't home, staking out the premises and perhaps even closer inspection would be sure to reveal plenty about the man and his habits. He'd tracked plenty of cutthroats, thieves, and undesirables in his time; enough to make this just another job- but he couldn't shake the feeling that this thread would take him deeper into the belly of New Everrun than he cared to be. Jack's wallet had better be deep enough to afford it.
  2. The Consul repaid The Lion's salute in the casual but respectful manner that was typical of him. "Of course, old friend. She's a beautifully formidable beast, but not an insurmountable one for a man as old as I am." a slight smile drew warm lines on his face. Though he was surely one of the finest politicians in all Thraece, he hardly seemed it, holding himself to a different standard than his contemporaries in both demeanor and esteem. The older political caste to which he belonged was well regarded for their stalwart constitution and unwavering loyalty... two qualities that had become lacking in recent years' upstarts. Without distracting his gaze from Keraunos he focused on the periphery of his vision, watching the ego-wounded praetorians continue their duties. Their march was slightly hurried, and they seemed nervous. Such was the effect of the Novirian Lion, he supposed. Few could muster the spirits to face him without having their pride shredded to pieces. "I apologize on the behalf of my guard, Keraunos. Since the Dominus left them behind in her travels, their morale has been lacking. I will see to it that such misunderstandings do not beset you again." He nodded apologetically. It was true; for many of the praetorians left in Noviria, even those among the palace guard, the Dominus leaving them behind so suddenly was a shock. A minor betrayal, even. They saw themselves as her cloak and sceptre, and for her to leave without properly instructing them was almost unforgivable. Though of course, such wounds would heal. "How was your trip to the east? My ears in the legions tell me that you had Plovdiv quaking in their seat through the treatise talk." He complimented the lion with a quiet laugh. To see Noviria rising above the gales of uncertainty was a truly fortifying experience, made all the better by the sight of his own comrades at the helm.
  3. Derleth... is an odd character. His goal, in the distant before-times of his character history, was to be chosen by his patron god (he was a cultist...) as a champion or agent. To keep things succinct--he was chosen. His story on Val begins a while after that, and he's sort of been a puppet in suspension for a long time. That said; he really only wants for one thing. The independence he sacrificed. But he can't (yet) achieve that, because terrible things will happen if he severs the bond with his patron. He's only just begun his adventures, so he probably won't see that come to fruition for a long time yet.
  4. Nessuno


    He was speechless. He had expected the machine to be impressive once powered, but this was entirely something else--something he'd never imagined possible through technological means. Of course, his smile widened; even moreso when he reached out to touch the grass to his side, only to gently smack his hand into the car interior. He laughed. The tattoo made him laugh again... or maybe it was Susan's admission that came with it. The radio was distraction enough to change his focus, lucky for her. He had heard recorded music before while passing certain establishments, but this was the first time he'd been so close to it--and the first time he'd heard such quality in it. He almost seemed entranced. He watched with enthusiasm as she took on a new form, eyes slowly scrolling over every unique detail. "And to think, Susan, that you called me cute." his smile was just a little mischievous. Mostly innocent, really. It was time to cast off. The road was long, as Susan showed him, and she herself had some business to attend to along the way, but he didn't mind. A delay for a better cause was no reason to fret. As they set off towards the city, something in the back of his head shuddered and frowned.
  5. Time passed at a crawl. Minutes turned to hours, and by the time morning turned to night O'Neill felt as though he'd lived a dozen lifetimes in the spotty shade of the tree against his back. The voices had grown quiet over time, and now they were less than whispers, almost completely faded- but the forest around him remained unfamiliar and alien. The brush rising around him held unfamiliar leaves and pungent smells he couldn't recognize, and the bark of the tree behind him grew in strange patterns he had never seen before. Like Alice, it was as if he'd stepped through a hidden rabbit hole and into a weird new world--but this was no wonderland. He made his move as the sun began to set, standing and checking his gear before glancing at his compass. The needle spun in circles. He tapped the glass a few times with no change. No map, no compass, nothing to follow- and the canopy was still too thick to tell exactly which direction the sun was setting in. He looked back to where he had been sitting, and traced the direction he'd arrived by with his arm. He would have to backtrack as best as he could, which would be no easy feat, and try to find his way back across the border. Getting caught in-country alone was by itself a karmic death sentence, and he wasn't sure that he was going to get a re-trial. With a deep breath and a brief rest of his eyes, O'Neill set off back through the brush in the direction that he came from. It would be a long night.
  6. Nessuno


    Derleth's face brightened with amusement at the sudden show of acrobatic ability- and at the hitherto unknown magic by which his friend summoned her vehicle. He wondered what other tricks she was hiding; how many tools and techniques she could call upon. Her abilities seemed to outstrip all of his own. "You are full of surprises, Ms. Uriel." The apostle's smile faded into concentration as she listed the car's components. Though he had no real way to know of them or of their function, his expression was one of thoughtful consideration. Some day soon, she might teach him how it works. His patron would covet such new knowledge. He stepped closer to the car, laying a hand on the trunk and running it along the side all the way to the open door in front. He bent slightly to look inside, inspecting the dash and seats with great interest. "Quite a few heads above any carriage I might have ridden in my day," he joked. It was true, though. He was hardly rich and rarely traveled in his youth. He stood and turned to face the young woman again. "Shall we? Best not to waste daylight while we have it." He slid into the open door and sat comfortably, taking a reserved pose with his legs held together and his hands in his lap. From the outside the vehicle seemed rather small, but he found the interior more than spacious enough for his liking. Though the journey would have been more than enjoyable on foot with the company of someone as uniquely pleasant as Susan, the luxury of vehicular travel was nothing to scoff at. Derleth's mind wandered as she walked around the car. They would be traversing much of Lagrimosa on the way to Yh'mi--if any of his order yet survived, they would have surely felt the resurgence of their patron's influence... and should they attempt to follow it, they would be led to he and Susan. A problem to be dealt with when it materialized, he concluded. And should the patron make an appearance... well, she'd already met him once, and he seemed to take a liking to her. He hoped it would last.
  7. Nessuno


    "In my time, they called me ascetic," he politely corrected her, "As a preacher or prophet might be... Though I am no proselytizing charlatan. And though I thank you for the offer, new eyes are unnecessary. My blindness is voluntary." Derleth reached up with both hands to lower his hood. In the time after the binding of his patron, he had become accustomed to the lack of eyesight, and his sense of smell had become that much more vivid and discerning. He took a deep breath in through his nose, enjoying the grassy scents wafting up from the open fields. Much had changed in the realm of man since then, far more than he could hope to become familiar with--but it seemed to him that the natural world had remained as he left it. Some small comfort, he supposed. His lips parted in a silent laugh as he replayed girl's compliments in his head. In his time he was more likely to be described as bland and lifeless by womenfolk, most of all those as beautiful in body and heart as the one with him now. As for why he was traveling... had he known himself, he might have shared the reason. His patron rarely spoke, instead preferring to impart vague directing notions upon him until emergence was necessary- and this occasion was no exception. As if reacting to his own thoughts the drive southward pecked at the back of his mind like an impatient bird, and he mulled over the options presented by his new companion. His patron would prefer the swiftest method of travel, but he knew better than to give it precisely what it wanted. "Susan," he began, "Out of our choices, which would be the most enjoyable for you?" he asked courteously. He could not explicitly deny the wills pressing upon his mind and soul, but he was allowed to bestow one kindness every day irrespective of his patron's wishes. "You know these things far better than I, so I would like you to choose." He gave her time to process his request and decide for herself, bending over momentarily to pluck something from the ground before turning around to join her on the path back. As he came to her side again he revealed his palm, and the small flowery specimen cradled within. It was identical to the others blanketing the valley; but where they would wilt and wrinkle mere moments after picking, this one remained bright and lively- and strangely safe to handle, as if it were insulated to the world around it. "So that you can remember where our journey began, no matter how far away it may take us." he offered with a warm smile. It seemed that the trip to Yh'mi would be far shorter and more pleasant than he had anticipated. He only hoped that their arrival would be met by things borne of the same fortune.
  8. Nessuno


    Their chance encounter seemed to root his presence, warming him to further interaction. It had been so long since he last found genuine conversation. He reached for her hand slowly, taking great care to shake it with the proper genteel affect. His hand was cold. "Know me as Derleth." his voice was brightened by a friendly smile. He admired the craftsmanship on display as they shared a touch, igniting a distracting curiosity within him. Autonomous and free, and of such fine construction. Modern technology must be truly magnificent to produce such a specimen. His hidden eyes drank in every outward twitch and mechanical tick she exhibited. It was almost poetic that they should meet. He turned to face her as she continued speaking, now invested in learning more about her. His head bobbed slightly at her suggestions. To fit in was required, and rags such as those that hung from his form would not serve that purpose for very much longer. He waited in place, a renewed smile crawling across his shaded features. She spoke so kindly for a stranger and seemed eager to offer her help, should he accept it. He had grown accustomed to the unease and instinctual avoidance of men--making this a welcome break in the isolated monotony of his travels. A weathered personality, long forgotten and worn to the barest resemblance of a man, had begun to slowly emerge from the depths of his being. It had been long enough, now, he thought. He deserved time at the surface, as more than just a face. The very instant that she looked away from him, an odd and unsightly breeze pressed outward from Derleth's place beside her. It lasted just long enough for her to catch the end as she looked back towards him, but by then the whipping air was surely the least of her curiosities--for where once stood a man wrapped in rags and bandages, now stood a figure draped in flowing robes that only frayed terribly at the edges. Faded like the bandages before, the fabric of the robes bore a strikingly uniform yellow tinge--however at a glance, the composition of the material was entirely different. Thicker, richer. Almost opulent, an an ancient and worn sort of way. While the hood over his head remained it was now even more shallow, revealing the same yellow strips of cloth to be wrapped around his head as an excessively wide blindfold. The friendly smile remained. "Your optimistic hospitality is a pleasant surprise, Ms. Uriel." his voice was louder, more full of life, but still bore the same soft and pleasant intonation. "So often is this world plagued by selfish pessimists... it's enough to drive a man to madness." For the first time since they had met, he cast his eyeless gaze away from her. He drank in the life around them, taking in the sights of a new waking world ripely sown with dreamers unsuspecting. "The southlands call, now. I have little to offer you save for my quiet company, but you are most welcome to join me--to nurture our newfound friendship on the path to fulfillment. Would you grace me with your camaraderie?" His smile was wider than ever before, and quite clearly genuine. Yh'mi--the southmost land to be found--wasn't much farther now, as a local might know. It wouldn't be a particularly long journey by his standards.
  9. Nessuno


    Surprise. Amusement. These things came first into Its mind. It did not feel this one draw near, could not feel it now that it was near. Like golems from long ago, forged from magic and rock--this creation held no shadow in the immaterium, muting its presence to the robed figure. Name. Personage. Facade. It had almost forgotten about that. He had almost forgotten. The hunger was bothersome like that. He continued walking as the construct spoke, stopping only once he stood at her side, looking down upon her. A construct indeed, mechanical in nature and proudly displaying as much. He wondered who her master was. If she had one. She was complex and difficult to comprehend without close inspection. A serviceable mimicry of the human form, he supposed with a smile. Far more sophisticated than any technology the humans of his past had been able to muster. While she spoke of the flowers, he gazed out upon them. Mutations. Incomprehensible relations to natural law. His smile widened. So many new things had come to be in his absence. So many wonderful things. No dream could compare. "In a hurry?" she spoke to his face, directly addressing him. He stood inhumanly still, now, placidly looming above. "No," he replied quietly. "There is no hurry. All the time in the world is mine." His voice was soft and smooth, not quite sing-song but just as pleasant to listen to. A distraction from the less-stable aspects of his facade. From the nigh-imperceptible ripples that tore across the skin of his face with every spoken word. His eyes were still obscured by the badly frayed hood of his robe, and she might have been thankful for that. "What is your name?" he asked directly, ignorant or maybe just uncaring of proper introduction courtesy.
  10. Nessuno


    Alone on a traipsing path through Lagrimosa, a tattered brown-robed figure journeyed far south from its origin. Arms wrapped in faded yellow linen, from fingertip to clavicle, swayed along in step to its sides. It avoided settled places for no particular reason, enjoying the peaceful surroundings offered by the wildlands away from roads. It had been a long, long time since It saw the world like this. Dream-soaked sleep was vapid and unfulfilling in comparison, even if it was less... restrictive. It kept its hood up always, though it was shallow enough to reveal a softly-smiling visage when the wind whipped at the cloth. Few payed the figure any mind as it traveled, as strange monastics were common the world over; but even fewer caught sight of its face. Compelled by something other, they fled with composure, seeking respite away from its presence without realizing. This served only to amuse It. Further south It trod until civilization began to fall away, eaten up by the eerie fogs and silences of old Yh'mi. Where most would turn back, or turn a sour expression at the very least, It merely widened its smile- for there were few Nails to bind It here, and they were far too decrepit to force It beneath the bubbling tide of common consciousness again. But, It did not come to revel in waking freedom. Binds broken by power unseen, brought back into the world by two child-like pawns in the greater game without. This is what had woken It. This is what It sought. It was hungry, and It would feast.
  11. Cpl. Jack O'Neill is a decorated member of the 101st Airborne Division, 327th Infantry Regiment. Re-assigned MACV-SOG █/██/68. Declared MIA 8/16/68. Name: Jackson O'Neill Rank (former): Corporal E-4 Specialization: Tracking and Reconnaissance, Evasion, Counter-Guerrilla Operations Age: 22 Religious Beliefs: Non-Practicing Catholic Voice: Soft, understated, but distinctly masculine. Ethnicity: Caucasian Eyes: Dark Brown Height: 5'9" Build: Small but sturdy; stocky. Strong and quick. Hair: Messy brown, cut short (poorly) Scars: Distinctive scars on ████ bicep and shoulder, ████ █ deep-tissue scar ██ ███ █████ ████ ██ ███ neck. Tattoos: Paratrooper Wings ██ █████ ███ on left bicep. [PENDING EXPANSION]
  12. O'Neill hit the dirt like a lead brick, instinctively dropping to avoid enemy action. His breathing was rapid and shallow but not uneven. As he lay there waiting, seconds turned to minutes, and minutes seemed to stretch into hours. All he heard was the call of the jungle- chirping insects, singing birds, the shaking canopy far above. But with time, the illusion waned and faltered. The jungle, this jungle, was wrong. He'd spent months in-country. He knew how the jungle should look. How it should sound. How it should feel, how the air in it should taste. It was all wrong. The trees were a species he couldn't recognize, with strange leaves and darker bark than he'd ever seen. The forest floor was covered in strange ferns and bushes, things like nothing he'd ever come across before. The water. The water in his canteen. O'Neill's mind raced. They made clean water with purification tablets whenever they came across a source in the field, but it was always a one-man job. Jensen had bought some acid from FNG when they last checked in behind the fence... did he mistake it for the right tabs? His heart raced in his chest. He pulled off his ruck and held it close, sitting up against a thick trunk with his rifle in a deathgrip. He'd have to ride it out. Ride it out, then find the guys and regroup. Fuck. Fuck! We all have the same fucking water! He tried to push the anxiety away but it kept worming back into his brain. If they were still together, and one of them had a bad trip... He forced that thought away. He had to stay calm, or else he'd force one on himself. The longer he sat in silence, sweating and trembling, the worse he felt. The jungle around him seemed more oppressive than any he'd ever been in, like it was clawing at him, trying to get inside his psyche. He thought he could hear the trees trying to speak to him, a thousand muted voices reaching out to take control. He wondered if it was just Charlie closing in, poised to eat him. He shut his eyes and covered his ears, dropping his rifle. It would be over soon. It would be over soon. It would be over soon. Wouldn't it?
  13. Paulinus lounged on the consulship residence's veranda, casting a discerning gaze upon Noviria's government and market districts. The warmth of the setting sun washed over his face and he closed his eyes, losing himself in the scent of the ocean on a soft breeze. It had been a long day, and he was thankful that his duties as consul were over until the next. A man can only handle so many prideful and avaricious nobles in a day before he goes mad. Though, he did still have certain events to see through tonight. An old friend was travelling through Noviria on his way home, and Paulinus had seen to it that he was invited to dinner. Just as well, the Centurion Keraunos would be joining them. Paulinus and he had become well acquainted in recent years while confronting unrest in the wake of House Arcos' return. It was thanks to Paulinus, after all, that he had been given charge over the city garrison- though the Consul would insist that anyone with eyes could have seen how deserving the Centurion was. Perhaps he was getting soft in his age. The hair on his head was surely white, now, though he was barely a year past fifty. He'd hoped that he could keep the detriments of age at bay for years to come, but alas- men have no place making such demands of life. A lesson that he had learnt for the third time earlier today, in an event that left him with an unsightly bandage wrapped around his left arm. The Praetoriae had been rather horrified at the injury, which he had thought was odd, until he remembered that he was the sole governing figure still in Noviria with everyone off at war talks a thousand miles away. The Guard was always antsy, regardless. Even now, three of them impatiently paced the grounds ten yards away near the veranda's entryway, acting as though a threat hid beneath every stone paver underfoot. No matter. One cannot change the way the Praetoriae operate... he asserted to no-one in particular. He relaxed in his seat and reached for the diluted wine in a glass by his side, taking a slight sip just to refresh the taste on his tongue. Keraunos would arrive shortly, ahead of the other guest in order to welcome them with Paulinus. It was something of an incognito affair, as this guest in particular was travelling quietly to avoid unwanted gazes. Preparations were made, the guard had been informed that light company was to be expected- though they were not given a name as to respect the wishes of the coming guest. This was to be the first dinner with friends that he'd had in months. A most welcome break in the monotony of politics and consulship. For now he would wait for the Centurion, and reminisce alone. @L E V I A T H A N
  14. The jungle had closed in around them fast. Foliage was thicker, taller, more robust and thus more difficult to pass through. It was as if they'd found some perfectly adapted stretch of wild jungle, a place where brush never burned and trees never fell... and by the sound of silence all around, a place where nothing lived. For Team Lead taking up point, it was hell: hardly able to see more than ten meters ahead and having to stop every few feet to feel a viable path forward through the undergrowth; but these things only served to simplify O'Neill's job in securing the back of the group. He walked in reverse, his back to his brothers and his eyes on where they came through, ensuring no debris or tracks were left behind to be followed. Normally it was the most taxing position in the patrol, but the slow pace necessitated by the thicker jungle made it far more bearable. "Break ahead," a whisper chained its way down through the patrol from Lead. A break in the jungle meant they were getting close to the objective, and the anticipation caused the fatigue growing in his body to vanish. They'd been on this mission for six days now, the longest in recent memory and the deepest route into uncontested territory that they'd taken in months. He thought about the coffee pouch waiting for him in his ruck. If it was a safe place, they'd stop to eat and hydrate before moving on. Thick leaves smacked against his shoulders with every backward step as the men ahead picked up speed. They quickened their pace faster than he anticipated, and before long he could scarcely hear them pushing through the brush behind him. Finally he felt the sun on the back of his neck, and at last turned around to catch up to them in the clearing. Only, there was no break in the jungle. The canopy had lightened somewhat, letting the hot sun through to warm his skin, but there was no clearing. And there was no patrol. O'Neill froze. He scanned the trees, and saw nothing but verdant green. He listened for hastened footfalls- if they started running, he should hear them. All that reached his ears was the renewed sound of wildlife all around. As if the forest itself consumed them... they were gone.
  15. In another time and place, four shadows of death with painted faces traversed the jungle territory of their enemy. They were armed to the teeth and provisioned for a week, but neither seemed to slow them down as they marched on through the dense underbrush. "Shouldn't be far now. Map says five miles to Dak Sol, and that's about three out from the weather station." the man in front spoke with quiet authority. The three behind nodded, and they continued forward as one- until a voice from the back raised with concern. "Last time we came through here, VC had a training camp in Dak Sol... you think they set up shop again?" Team Lead's reply came quickly, as though he had thought it over in his head a few times already. "Aerial recon came back totally clean before we set out. If Charlie hit Dak Sol and the weather station, they're already long gone." the words were enough to assuage the unease in the others. Again they started forward, now just a few hours from their objective after a week-long journey through hell. Maybe it was fatigue that dulled their nerves, or something worse- but each failed to notice the jungle changing around them. Foliage grew denser. Shadows, darker. By the time they realized that the only sound they could hear was their own echoing footsteps- that the cacophonous jungle around them had grown deafeningly silent- they had no choice but to keep moving forward.
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