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  1. bfc

    Destruction des morts

    Take a citizen aside and ask them: where is your city’s heart? Chances are they will point to the great squares, the towering monuments, the landmarks known far and wide. Favorite gathering places of the populace, wondrous feats of engineering, even simple quirks that have come to define the area in the popular consciousness. Look at our Jidoor Hall, they might say. Look at our Black Tower. Look at our Watch Fort. When told to seek the heart, the mind instinctively reaches for the lynchpins, and therein lies the common mistake, because the landmarks are merely the city’s face, the seat of government merely its brain. Tia's heart lies hidden within, a blocky building all but indistinguishable from the more mundane organs, where cold hands manipulate arrows and levers with surgical precision to open valves and expose the arteries. The heart pumps, and with every beat a new dose of poison seeps out into the city, first to the brain and immune systems, then to the stomach, the muscle, the eyes and liver and bones and kidneys. Infecting cells and turning them against one another, a cancer that consumes all in its path. Oh, the titans had given the city a beating, but skin and bones can take a punch or two. Oh, there had been unrest and uproar in the past, but the vital organs always persisted, keeping the body alive so that it might recover. But no longer. The heart has been compromised, and now Tia is as good as dead. *** As the last of the Maleficence drained down into the water supply, Schrei stood back and dropped a tiny crystalline sphere to the floor. It shattered at her feet with a quiet tinkle, locking a spell in place. Long-duration, low-effect, practically undetectable even to those with the senses to perceive such things. A minor precaution, just in case. The unknown arrivals outside the facility didn’t seem to be getting anywhere fast, but their presence remained an unexpected factor, a potential problem just waiting to emerge. In the meantime, the three infiltrators quietly slipped out of the WAK, through the stifling corridors stuffed with corpses and out into the open air. Gently at first, then louder and louder, the sounds of their work rang out all around: maddened screams, dying wails, shattering glass and snapping wood and cracking stone, gunfire and magic and the wet noises of living meat being torn to shreds. Schrei winced at the cacophony, tweaking a dial on her headphones to drown it out as best she could. Orchestrated or not, the Dead’s work was anything but symphonic. The carriage's roof had been annihilated by an unexpected assault, but the wheels and floor remained more or less intact, and that would serve. Schrei stepped aboard, and a few moments later they were off again, heading for the looming spire where the second half of the job awaited. A more difficult target, this time, though with any luck the Maleficence would soften it up for them. A few maddened heads turned towards the carriage as it tore down wide streets and narrow alleyways, but few were quick enough to catch it, and those that did get in the way were trampled and crushed beneath, little more than bumps on a shaky road. The Problem Solvers might have noticed something amiss, but they had bigger problems on their hands, and under the circumstances there was little they could do about the strange carriage other than report it to their superiors. Thus unimpeded, the killers streaked like a black arrow from Tia’s heart to its brain, readying themselves to finish what they had begun.
  2. bfc

    Destruction des morts

    Blood started to lose its taste, after a while. What had her impression been? Tangy and metallic, a sharp taste, evoking one’s fear of pain from even the slightest drop on the tongue. Something like that. And then she’d quaffed and drenched and drowned herself in it, feeding on others day by day for months and years and crawling decades. All those lives drained down her tiny maw, all those victims blending into a faceless, uncountable mass, until the tang became dull as dishwater, and death and hunger danced hand in hand. Until flesh turned to sustenance, and all she knew was sharpness. She ate, and yet she did not eat. She drank, and yet she did not drink. She consumed hundreds, and never tasted one. *** The head lay dry and desiccated in Schrei’s palm, drained to the last drop. The dead man’s strength was hers now, the last of his warmth slowly fading as he coursed through her myriad arteries, fueling her silent steps. She crouched low to the ground and crept around the counter to meet Cain, taking care to remain out of sight as best she could. The cameras made things tricky, but she’d stuck close to the skeleton while entering the room, concealing her small, dark from behind a larger and darker one until she could use the counter as cover. The situation was familiar: two targets, pointing guns at a narrow entryway. Hardly a major obstacle, as she’d demonstrated mere moments before, but there were complicating factors this time. These men were not asking for surrender, they were shooting to kill. These men knew that the attackers were aware of their presence, and knew they couldn’t count on surprising their opponents. A more careful approach would be required. So she started to sing. In all likelihood nobody would hear it, for the notes that emerged from her throat were well beyond the frequency range generally audible to humanoid creatures. Her voice swept across them, high and beautiful, echoing back and forth and up and down. It echoed around corners and through thin holes, into nostrils and eyelids and the narrrow cracks between skin and clothing. It echoed its way back, dancing to the singer's ears, and in her voice Schrei heard it all. The room, the guards, their weapons, even fragments of the spaces beyond; all sounded out through echolocation. She had no line of sight, and yet she knew precisely where her enemies stood. The two targets were keeping their firearms aimed at the doorway, ready to make mincemeat of anyone who tried to rush through or even peek around the corner at them. Though focused on the chokepoint, they kept the plexiglass screen within their range of vision, on the lookout for the creature that had slithered through before. They were tense, on edge, and ready for anything. And then a head came flying through the door. There was a brief spray of gunfire as the two men reacted, at first seeing only a small and pale object hurtling across their field of vision. The one who’d been struck by Cain’s creature yelped and ducked away, barely avoiding being brained by a flying cranium. His partner, meanwhile, glanced briefly away from the door, trying to pinpoint the thing that had been thrown at them. If it was a grenade of some kind- He didn’t get any further than that. His attention had been drawn away from the doorway, and thus he didn't catch the tiny movement at its edge, at about knee level. The barrel of a phaser, pointing at his head. Two muted thumps followed as a pair of bodies, their brains melted in quick succession, hit the floor. Someone coming through the door, even someone poking their head around to try and take aim, that would have caught their notice, and in turn a hail of bullets. Except Schrei didn’t need a line of sight. She had all the information already in hand, and required only a fraction of a second’s distraction to poke her stolen phaser around the corner and make a few quick shots. Firing blind, yet deadly accurate all the same. She listened to the heartbeats stop, then nodded to Cain and rounded the corner. The staff in the irrigator room were already murdering each other with enthusiasm, but unknown parties were approaching from outside, and the schedule was tightening. Quick and quiet, Schrei rushed past the bodies and into the haze of blue smoke, drawing a short knife from within her coat for up-close work. Her eyes closed as she disappeared from view. One by one, the remaining screams fell silent. Another telepathic ping to Cain and the skeletons, this time an image of scrawled handwriting. White chalk on a black slate, two words. Irrigator clear. @amenities @Mag @Wade @Stumbler @SweetCyanide
  3. Thank you for the like!

  4. bfc

    Destruction des morts

    Death came rolling in to the WAK on four many-spoked black wheels, greeting the inept doorman in exactly the manner one would expect. One heartbeat stopped, one small silence left behind as the carriage rolled straight past its first obstacle. Perhaps he’d had a family. Perhaps they would have wondered why, why his voice had been snuffed out when the intruders could so easily have disabled him through less lethal means. Given the occasion, though, Schrei suspected they wouldn’t be around long enough to ask. The second one she heard well before she saw him. It would have been easy enough to drop him where he stood, or just steal his voice with a Silence orb and watch him cry in vain, but this wasn’t a stealth mission. The plan wasn’t to carefully slip in without being seen. The plan was to kill everyone within five minutes, get the barrels in the irrigator, and leave the military clutching at thin air as the Dead moved on to their next objective. Not Schrei’s usual method, but effective nonetheless. She followed along with Cain and his minions, kneeling briefly to snatch up the second guard’s sidearm and severed head once they’d dealt with him. Already she was picking up noises from inside the facility, some of them very close. A quick telepathic warning pinged to Cain as the small killer strode on ahead of the group, taking point as they moved inside. Hard to say for sure how good his sensory abilities were, but she wasn’t going to stake the operation on them being up to par. The next two guards lying in wait were at least halfway competent. Noting the disturbance, drawing their weapons, keeping their distance and letting the enemy come to them. On the other hand, they were also very, very stupid. Trying to force a surrender against unknown targets, expecting said targets to be surprised, summarily having their numbers reduced by half as Schrei shot one in the head with her stolen phaser before he could make it past “Fre-” The second man was well-trained, and quick to react. First correcting his aim as a smaller-than-anticipated assailant gunned down his partner, then opening fire in retaliation. Except he didn’t, because the first target he saw was the severed head of the dead guard outside, the face of a man he’d known and worked with for years held up to conceal Schrei’s own visage. The shock of it made him hesitate, if only for a split second. And that was enough. Corpse number two hit the floor with a dull splat, torn open by a spray of plasma fire. Schrei marched on without giving it so much as a glance, already sinking her fangs into the head she'd used as cover and draining it of blood. The whole confrontation had taken about two seconds. More telepathic information for Cain, a stream of numbers this time. Positional information on every guard and staff member in the building, starting with the closest. They would not be allowed to gather, they would not be allowed to organize, they would not be allowed to set up defenses, they would not be allowed to hide. This was not an attack, nor a battle, nor even a hunt. Today, the Dead were carrying out an extermination.
  5. bfc

    Project Destroy Tia

    Maybe you could do it anyway. We're meant to stick with our groups for the most part, but I figure characters will at least be aware of some of the other stuff going on in the city. Plus if it's a one-off reaction from an NPC perspective just for fun, I don't think it'd count as interference? @amenities Thoughts? Can Ataraxy bend the rules a little here for creativity's sake?
  6. bfc

    Destruction des morts

    As Cain Rose explained his plan to destroy the city, Schrei closed her eyes and listened. Not to him, of course. That little monologue was telepathic, and mostly a retread anyway, a final repetition of key points in case the halfwits and amateurs among their number had somehow misplaced the details of the plan. She let it play out in the back of her mind, paying only cursory attention as the sounds rushed in from all sides. Ghost town. Dead to the eyes of the blind, perhaps, but she could hear the life in it. Buzzing and skittering insects, the strumming of arachnids on their webs, the heartbeats of scurrying rats setting the beat for their scrabbling claws and twitching tails. The homeless and the desperate holed up here and there, breathing in, then breathing out, sometimes mumbling faintly to themselves as they wallowed in their quiet hopelessness. Other sounds, beyond even these: the creaking of wood, the flaking of rust, the whispers of the breeze and the patter of falling dust. A legion of tiny noises blending and bouncing and interfering with one another until only an ambient morass remained, requiring both artificial filtration and the skilled hand of a master audiomancer to pry apart and properly interpret from a distance. Fortunately, Schrei was in possession of both. She listened now as a form of meditation, flexing and stretching the boundaries of her sense and skill, honing her talents to their sharpest before a time came that she needed them. It was a precaution, too, against approaching threats and wily observers. Even if Cain claimed that the attack would come as a surprise, there would be factors he couldn’t predict, forces he wasn’t aware of. Nothing could be left to chance. Cain’s speech drew to a close, and as he called upon her the small vampire strode out across the grimy earth to join him. Quiet footsteps, just loud enough to hear if one listened for them. For Schrei herself they were as thunder, but this carelessness was deliberate, her control of volume precise. In her wake no trace of a bootprint remained, no sign that she had every crossed this ground. She stepped into the carriage, and world dimmed and quieted around her as its black walls cut her off from the noise outside. Reaching up with one pale hand, she tweaked a dial on her headphones, adjusting filtration to compensate for the new environment. There’d be the carriage itself to consider too, the faint noises it produced in its movement, and the sounds she’d catch from creatures pulling it on top of that. Nothing she couldn’t handle. Her awareness was a little less sharp, in here, but still more than enough to keep track of everything close by. Satisfied, she sat gently down and pulled up one sleeve to inject herself with Cain’s antidote. A quick, precise stab, a moment of pain, and then she stashed the needle in her coat, watching the red-haired man with his many faces through her half-mask. The traditional skull-face of the Dead covered everything from her nose upwards, but her mouth was left free to better allow the use of her fangs. That, and the eventual consumption of suspicious liquids from concealed vials, a necessity apparently shared by her employer. The carriage slid smoothly into motion. More quiet at first, as it passed through the abandoned stretches at the rim of the city, and then a slowly growing cacophony. Puffing breaths and pumping hearts and stamping feet, the clanking of mechanisms and the wheezing of steam, the babble and chatter of voices soft and loud and the wet, gurgling consumption of the morning’s first meals. She caught them all, sorted and filtered and examined each ongoing disturbance for any sign of trouble. Amidst it all, a silent question. Are you ready? Was she? She’d had to move fast, seeing to her preparations at a hectic pace and prioritizing what was most necessary to the mission. Piles of parchments and papers, crystalline magitech tablets scrolling through reams of text, the details and intricacies of her latest target. Layout of the city. Layout of the buildings where attacks were planned. Likely security measures. Population demographics, race and species, likelihood of contact with each. Weapons in common use, magic in common use, other relevant technology in common use likelihood of contact with each. Effective methods of countering. Notable figures in the city, positions and capabilities. Weaknesses, effective means of fighting and/or killing. Notable figures sighted in the surrounding region within recent weeks, capabilities and likelihood of contact. Known weaknesses, possible means of fighting and/or killing. Terrenus military presence, numbers, weapons, training. Notable military figures, means of fighting and/or killing. Effects of Maleficence, likely variation of said effects among individuals and species, likely timing and effect of spread on city in circumstances of three shafts successfully bombed, two shafts, one shaft. Possible escape routes in the event of failure. Possible escape routes of targets, possible means of pursuit. Page after page after page of notes and information, compiled and scanned and boiled down to the critical points. Then her equipment. All her usual supplies and weapons checked for any flaws or weaknesses that might affect performance. Extra knives and crossbow bolts, in case of extended conflict. A cabinet full of red vials, thrown open and sorted through, ten labels sought and picked out to supplement her usual array. Rack upon rack of tiny glasslike spheres, nimble fingers brushing over each to sense the magic contained within and plucking from their spots those with functions relevant to the current task. Boots, clothing, arrangement of equipment within the many pockets of her coat. A final check of her headphones, each of their many functions quickly tested to ensure no major error. And last of all, the box. Six by nine by three inches of black casing, completely insulated and virtually indestructible. Handled carefully, almost reverently, to avoid the slightest disturbance of its contents. Unlikely to be needed, but there nevertheless, a final trump card for the worst eventualities. Schrei gave the slightest of nods. She was ready. @amenities @Mag @Wade @Stumbler @SweetCyanide Ready even for the first unexpected arrival, a sound so clear and loud even Cain probably caught it. Loud enough for Schrei to determine far more than its mere existence. Two or three seconds after the Kriegsreise’s first impact, a telepathic package was squeezed out through the Dead’s network, contacting each operative as they moved towards their tasks. Not so much a voice as a stream of information: location of disturbance… approximate mass, volume, and velocity of impacting object… estimated size and number of attackers… Not part of the plan, but this could be useful. If the Dead stayed informed and took care to avoid the new threat, the sudden intrusion and ensuing distraction of the city’s defenders would only make it easier to carry out their plan. @Aleksei @danzilla3 @ourlachesism @-Lilium-
  7. bfc

    Project Destroy Tia

    @amenities Throw me in Group 1.
  8. bfc

    To sleep

    How do you kill an ant? Crush it beneath your shoe. A rat? Set a baited trap, wait for it to crawl in, then watch the murderous springs uncoil and snap it clean in half. A person? Any good trauma will do: spinal cord, carotid artery, lungs, heart. Take your pick. But how do you kill an infestation of ants? Nobody wants to stand around all day stomping on tiny wriggling insects. That’s inefficient, a waste of time that could be spent killing more important things. Go to an exterminator, and chances are they’ll tell you to use poison. Quick, efficient, barely any manual effort involved. Just get them exposed, and the chemistry does all the work for you. A infestation of rats? Same thing. An infestation of people? Take a guess. It’s simply a matter of scale. *** She looked barely old enough to drink. A kid, slouched over the conference table with headphones jammed over her ears, staring blankly at each speaker in turn. Not the kind of person one would expect to see at a gathering such as this, dressed in a rumpled jacket a little too large for her and standing still and silent as some of the most dangerous people on the continent discussed how to bring down a city. The signs were there, though, if one gave her more than a glance. The unnaturally pale skin. The utter lack of movement in her chest and throat, not so much as a breath or swallow. The rumors of someone matching her description going toe-to-toe with a Peacekeeper and making it out alive, of being involved with the group that had hit Last Chance a short while back. Small though she was, Toma Schrei had a body count to match anyone else in the tent. Her stillness only broke when she took a packet, stashing it away in her coat before pulling out a thin black slab, scratching a few words on it in chalk, and flipping it over so everyone around the table could see. If 1/4 goes bad? 2/4? Salvage, or cut+run?
  9. bfc

    Project Destroy Tia

    Signing up for attacking side with Schrei.
  10. AFV

    1. ODSTDRAGON

      ODSTDRAGON

      NOOOO

      have a good time 

  11. bfc

    LoD II: Hail to the Kings, Baby

    Whatever was coming from the left, Schrei caught it first, and quickly tweaked her headphones to try and get a better sense of their number and location. She had a dead goblin in one hand, now, and was swinging it around with an almost casual ease, bludgeoning back the rest of the screeching fiends as they came within reach. With all the noise in the cavern, however, it was hard to get a read on what was coming down the tunnel. She could come down from above on anything that emerged into view, but nothing had, and a telepathic message brought with it signs of impatience, urgency. Her clients, it seemed, were not fond of waiting. She battered one last goblin away, then tossed the corpse aside and leaped from her perch. Without a specific enemy to target, she went for an ally instead, landing lightly on Dredge's armored shoulder and perching there like some kind of bizarre parrot. One hand flicked outwards, throwing her two tiny, transparent spheres down the tunnel from whence the larger creatures were coming, aiming them so that they'd hit the ground where the faint sounds of movement were thickest. A preemptive strike, to disrupt any ambush that Dredge might be walking into. The two orbs each contained a different spell, neither of which was the one she'd tagged the strange elf girl with back when they'd first arrived. That had been a tracker, marking its target and constantly scanning the area around her via echolocation while transmitting the information received back to Schrei. These two were a messenger and an amplifier: the former releasing a pre-recorded sequence of sounds that could only by heard by those caught in the spell's area of effect, the latter ratcheting up the volume of all sounds in its radius by a factor of three. The 'message' in this case was simple: a high-pitched shriek already loud enough to deafen unprepared targets and cause temporary loss of balance. The five or six creatures coming down the tunnel would be hit by this noise while amplified by the second orb, raising it to unbearable levels even as the effect of the original spell restricted it to their ears only. Their reactions, whether stumbles or screaming or otherwise, would likewise be amplified, pinpointing their positions for Dredge and Schrei and further confusing the targets. The vampire gestured, jabbing one hand urgently forwards. If Dredge wanted those heads, now was the time to take them.
  12. bfc

    [MT2:1] Crow vs Litalis

    Perhaps he was braver than he seemed, or perhaps her words had simply riled him up. Whatever the case, the old woman hadn't been able to scare him off, and now she had a man coming at her with renewed vigor even as her own body sang dirges of pain from the effort she'd forced it through thus far. When she found her feet, it was with a sound between a grunt and a groan. More honorable to finish things the hard way, she supposed, but if the fight carried on much longer some part of her would end up giving out. Old age might be even more of a bitch than I am... She'd have to end this quickly. He came at her with a scythe- an uncommon choice, but she'd dealt with one who used a similar weapon in the past. He struck with the handle and she twisted aside, the blow grazing her slightly as she lunged towards him, moving closer so that the blade would pass well behind her if he swung his weapon about. The scythe could be nasty at mid-range, but in close quarters it became hard to use the blade, and the crone intended to take advantage of that. Her right hand clenched, thumb and three fingers curling into her palm, the middle finger extending straight upwards. One Finger Fist style, secret technique... She swung the staff held in her left hand, but that was merely a feint, a diversion from the right arm that swung out with vicious precision, the old woman's middle knuckle hurtling towards her opponent's chin from below. What had seemed like a rude gesture was in fact a deadly martial technique, insult and injury combined into a single devastating attack: F*ckuppercut!
  13. Does the old lady have a name or does just old lady work?

  14. bfc

    MOBS tournament lobby v2

    @supernal I'm going to be traveling for the next few days, so depending on when @carrionjackal posts I might take more than three days to reply. Fight is already at 9 posts so this hopefully won't be too much of a problem, I just may be a little slow in getting to the resolution.
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