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Tia Dalma

Emergence from the Gates of Hell [Quest]

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Eliza took a drag of her electronic cigarette and blew the smoke out in the shape of rings. She followed the sunset from a rooftop, legs dangling from the edge. A scaly hand followed the shape of her left horn, while she was lost in thought. It was almost time. For a moment longer, everything was bathed in a delicate, pink light, and for a few heartbeats it seemed as though her red skin was glowing. Then the last beams of sunlight disappeared in the horizon. 

She took one last drag. The smoke hung in the air; that and a light smell of strawberries was the only sign that she had been there. She grabbed a hold of the edge and slid down the wall of the house. Her long nails, almost claws, grabbed a ledge. She hung there for a moment longer before making the jump all the way down. She crunched down a bit, but kept her balance when her feet hit the ground. She corrected the binoculars that hung from a string around her neck and walked down the narrow street. The almost six feet tall woman ignored the looks she received, the whispers she heard from the door frames and alleys as she passed. She had grown so accustomed to being an outsider that it barely bothered her anymore. 

Four, five, six... She counted the number of alleys she passed, then suddenly turned down the seventh, leading to a larger street. She looked left, then right, momentarily disoriented. She unzipped her waist bag and found a small, round object that had the appearance of an old compass. However, when she pressed a button in the back of it, it lit up. She whispered the name of a tavern. With a little beep, the device's color turned red. The needle pointed east, and she followed the directions with a sigh of relief. She couldn't be late - the gang-leader had been clear about as much.

Edited by Tia Dalma

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The thud of each heavy boot step echoed down the hallway. There was no rush in the pace or sound, just a constant and inexorable thud....thud....thud, the heartbeat of a professional killer. He had been hired to do a job, take care of a few "problems" who had spurned their own employer. They never said how, but it was implied that it was up to him, how he completed the task. 

His broad shoulders and height seemed to fill the hallway despite it being a good eight feet across and that same high. Something about his presence pulled the air out and made you feel small and claustrophobic. An older man walking the opposite direction pushed himself up agains the wall, shuffling past hurriedly without looking back. He had been alive too long to know trouble when he saw it coming. 

Thanatos stopped in front of one of the many doors lining the hallway. The only difference this one had from the others was its address, the one he had been given. As he lifted his right arm, the leather of his heavy duster jacket creaked and groaned. His fist knocked on the solid wood door in the same manner his boots had on the floor, slow and steady, no real sense of urgency in the sound or action. 

His knock was answered by a scuffling from the other side along with voices. He was able to hear them arguing about who it could be and if they should open the door. Not in any rush he let them finish before he knocked again. He didn't increase the tempo, but he did increase the force. The knock was followed by his voice, low and deep with a drawl to it that wasn't easy to pinpoint to any particular region. 

"If you don't open the door, I will."

Footsteps from inside the apartment scurried towards the door after he spoke. Taking a step back his hand fell to the butt of his gun just in case. 

Sounds of locks being turned could be heard and finally the door cracked open an inch, held there by a small metal chain. It was just enough so that he could see the face of a frightened young man. "W...who are you?" His eyes grew wide when he had to look up to find Thanatos face and only finding the two piercing yellow eyes set in the swirling black mass that was his face. 

"Don't matter. Open up so I can have a word with you."

The man was either too scared or in shock, but the door didn't move a fraction. 

"Now." Thanatos commanded. 

His voice shook "yeah y...yeah man, no its cool...hang on." He was spluttering and fumbling with the chain but finally the door swung wide. 

Inside, the apartment was nothing special, your basic furnishing and a few odds and ends scattered around to make the place seem lived in. Thanatos strode in, his hand still at the ready near his gun. He had no doubt that if someone tried something he could draw faster then they could blink, but he was cautious and patient. 

"You know who sent me?"

"I think so...yeah...it was them wasn't it?" Thanatos nodded once, his hat brim dipping just low enough to hide his eyes for the flash of a second. 

"Then you know why i'm here." Movement off to his side sent his eyes darting. "You move one more step and ill put one in yer belly." It was another young man, clutching a cloth satchel to his chest. Frozen in place the young man stood, shivering, but complying.

"You were told to pick something up. You were given a fine amount for picking up that something." He paused and pushed the door closed behind him with his demonic looking hand. "Word was that you did the job but stopped shy of delivery and thats why i'm here."

Man number two held out the satchel between shaking hands. "H...here then, take it!" Thanatos smiled as the young man stepped towards him. Before either of the two could react, Thanatos pulled the massive revolver from its holster. Arm outstretched, the gun firmly gripped, he pointed it at the mans forehead. 

"You best take a step back now."

The area of his pants around his crotch began to darken and flow down his leg, the smell of hot urine filled Thanatos' nostrils. There were some downsides to having senses as good as his. No one could really see but he made a disgusting face, he hated cowards. Snapping the fingers on his free hand to get the first man's attention, he motioned for him to join his friend. 

"Now yer gonna put that package down real slow and easy on that counter. Then you two pissants are gonna leave, and if I ever hear about you again Ill gut the both of ya." 

As soon as the satchel touched the floor the two men bolted for the door past their unwanted guest. 

A low chuckle issued out from the folded cloth covering his mouth and neck. Those two glorified delivery boys weren't worth shooting. Holstering his weapon he picked up the package and left the building. 

It took him longer to get to his employer's office due to walking, but he liked to walk. rushing wasn't his style. Despite his odd appearance he was able to blend in while walking through the city. When he reached the office no one stopped him. He strode past the guards and pushed open the doors leading into dark office. The only light came off one of those fancy Magitech computers that everyone was using. It shone on the face of a plump, cherry faced man. 

"Thanatos, good to see you back." The fat man's eyes darted down to the satchel that hung from Thanatos' hand. "Those punks give you much trouble?" he asked eagerly. "What did you do with the bodies?" His eyes shown with a wicked light. This was a man who killed because he thought it was fun. He didn't feel the weight of a life. To him people were numbers to be added, subtracted and moved around to get the outcome he wanted. 

Thanatos shook his head, "No bodies this time, but they won't make trouble again." The smile melted off the plump man's face. He half stood up behind his desk and pointed a fat sausage finger at Thanatos. "Now look here, I paid you to do a job..." His voice trailed off as he saw a flash of the revolver on Thanatos' hip. 

"You paid for a package." He set the satchel down on the desk. "Heres your package. Now I will be on my way unless you wish to take things further?" Plump man's eyes darted to the gun again. He had heard that this creature he had hired ate the souls of men and spit them back out of that gun. There was no wish from him to find out. 

"Fine, but next time I expect bodies and examples!" He sat down in a huff and pulled the satchel to him. "Want to know what you got for me?" Thanatos was already heading for the door. "No I do not."

Walking out he paused upon seeing a man in a smart set of clothes, and stopped him with a gloved hand. "Money is owed to me." The man in the suit who was used to these kinds of thugs huffed and pulled out a small sack. The clink of coin could be heard. Taking it, Thanatos dropped it into a pocket inside his duster. He tipped his hat and left. As he walked out and looked up at the sky he saw the light fade and disappear. It was almost time for his meeting with a new player in town. He hadn't heard much from this new bunch, but what he had heard interested him.

Weaving his way through the newly spawned evening crowds he made his way to the designated meeting spot. On his way he picked up the hint of strawberries among the throng of other scents. It surprised him but faded as he moved onward. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As he approaches the meeting spot, he does see someone standing there, though judging by his alien appearance and the fact that he looks just as lost as a person can possibly be, he gets the feeling this isn't the guy he intended to meet. He tries to ask people walking by if they happen to know of a place where he could get an interplanetary teleportation device repaired, but everyone he asks just gives him an odd look and continues on their way. He notices Thanatos and decides to try asking him, thinking his luck may yet turn. He casually approaches the assassin. "'Scuse me, sir, but you wouldn't happen to know of a place where I could get an interplanetary teleportation device repaired would you?"

Edited by Laughingmad

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Eliza frowned a bit in concentration when following the compass. She reached the back entrance of a sleazy looking tavern. "This can't be it..." she muttered to herself. With a shrug and a sigh, she raised her hand and knocked three times quickly, then waited a moment and repeated it. 

Through the glass of a small peephole she saw the contour of someone watching her, followed by the clinking sounds of many locks being opened. A man, a few inches shorter than her, with broad shoulders and a gloomy looking face, opened the door. He smiled toothlessly. The stench from inside wandered to the street. This suddenly all seemed very unappealing to her.

Eliza followed him inside. As soon as he closed the door, everything changed; the sleazy tavern room turned into a modern looking office with the blink of an eye. The air was clean, fresh, cool... She looked around, fascinated, and located an air-condition in the ceiling. The sound of a pleasant, soft laughter pulled her out of the state of awe she was in.

"Yes, it is a lot to take in." Her eyes moved to a kind-looking man. The only resemblance between him and the man she had encountered a few days earlier, was the face and body. The face was still scarred - half of it looked like it had melted - and he had the same stature. But his eyes were friendly, his smile was wide, and he was wearing what looked like a very expensive suit. What was this? Some sort of illusion to fit the image of him she wanted in her mind? Or had the man she had met before been the illusion?

He stredged out his hand to shake hers. She took it. He was shorter than her, but stronger; she felt it in his grip. "Welcome, welcome, miss Elizabeth."

"Eliza. Just Eliza." She corrected him with a firm voice, though her eyes were narrow with suspicion. This couldn't be it, right? This couldn't be the gang-leader who went by Lucifer? The Lucifer she had heard terrible stories about, the Lucifer who had shifted between complimenting her and threatening her into coming here?

"Ah. Yes. Well, Eliza, if you'll kindly take a seat, we're just waiting for a few more... new members to arrive." He flashed a dashing smile at her once more. Laughter spread through the room. Men. Only men. She sat down in a chair that was placed against the wall closest to the door. She wanted access to a quick exit if it came to that.

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The voice sent him instantly into a defensive state. His hand instinctively went to his hip and gun. Turning to see who had asked the question, he found himself looking at the chest of a massive creature. He was by no mean small himself, but this thing was a monster! Parts of him seemed to be flesh or hide, he really wasn't sure, but the other bits seemed to be made of machinery. His right hand clenched, another creature who wan't entirely themselves anymore. 

"You always sneak up on people like that?" Thanatos had to give it to the big guy though. For being that large he hadn't been aware of him up until that point, he was either very skilled or very lucky. "And I ain't got the foggiest what the hell your talking about." Glancing back in the direction he had been heading he thought about how much time he had left before the meeting that had been arranged. Then an idea struck him. There was always a use for big muscle like this one. Maybe the gang leader he was supposed to talk to would want to meet this one. 

"Look I got prior engagements to attend to but I can introduce you to someone who might know about your..." He waved his hands in a circular motion. "...Thingy." Dropping his hands to his side in defeat. "follow me and Ill get ya set up." 

 

 

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"Sounds good to me. And I didn't mean to sneak up on you. I'm surprised you didn't notice me." This sounds sketchy as fuck, but it's the only lead I've got. I'll go along with him, but as soon as I notice something's not right, I'm bailing. Oxidus follows behind Thanatos, mostly keeping an eye on him, periodically looking away to observe his surroundings. After walking in silence for a bit, Oxidus speaks up. "You know, I just realized something. We never bothered to introduce to ourselves. My name is Oxidus, in case you wondering."

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Grant was scouting the skies for someone who led a gang  though he didn't know what the person looked like nor knew the person's name only that hes a man probably in his thirties and one of the others that where joining as well named Thanatos. As far as he knew the man hung around these parts.

He then hovered over a couple of people one of them being Thanatos and the other being a cyberhybrid he landed next to them

 "So are you the ones I was to meet?" When he eyed the circular device. " may I ask is that a communication device?" He asked. "If your wondering my name is Grant." He said in a friendly manner. 

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All these people coming up and talking to him out of nowhere, were making him nervous. His hand moved to the revolver out of habit. 

"Don't know. I was told to meet a new employer, nobody else as far as I knew." His voice trailed off as he stared hard at the creature who called itself Grant. There seemed to be no ill will or ire aimed his way, he decided to take a chance. Plus with the streets being as crowded as they were, bodies tended to attract unwanted attention. "Why don't you come with me and my large new friend here and we can go see the boss. Get this mess all sorted out." He lowered his voice so that only Grant would be able to hear him. "If you're not supposed to be with us well then..." He made a pistol out of his gloved hand and pointed it at Grant. 

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"So, you're coming along too then? Well, the more the merrier I guess. Just three questions for you though. First, where did you come from, second, who were you supposed to meet, and third, why were you meeting them? Sorry to pry about your personal business, it's just that all this talk of meetings is coming off as super shady to me. I mean, I know it probably isn't, I just want to make sure I'm not getting myself into something crazy. I'm very interested to hear what this guy's all about."

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His head drooped low and a sight came rushing out. This was why he worked alone. "Look, you sound like you ain't from around here so im gonna give you a little advice. Most don't take to offering a service without compensation."  He rubbed his thumb along the side of his finger to insinuate money. "Since ya ain't a local I figured you might be lookin' for work. Then you can get someone to help fix your gismo." He crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Now Im going to meet a potential employer about some work and you might as well tag along. If you don't like what he's offerin, then you just walk away and everyone goes home. The important part is that i'm fixin to walk off here and leave you. Either follow along or don't." With that, he turned on his heels and strode off. It wasn't good business to be late to a meeting. 

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Oxidus scratches his head in confusion as he watches Thanatos walk away. "Guess I have a lot to learn about how things work on this planet. I still think this sounds like the sketchiest sketch that ever sketched, but then again, Who knows? Maybe it's legit. I hope it is." Oxidus catches up with him, wondering just what kind of "work" he was talking about. He considers asking but decides it would be best to keep any further questions to himself. They would all be answered soon enough anyway.

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"Do you mind...?" Eliza found her electric cigarette and held it up. Lucifer laughed warmly and shook his head. "By all means, litt- I mean, lady." Laughter. Eliza rolled her eyes. Yes, yes, she was taller than many human men, she had heard it all before. She shifted a bit uncomfortably in her chair and took a deep drag of the cigarette. The strawberry-smelling mist covered her for a few seconds and she felt a bit more at ease. Who were they waiting for? Someone who were very close to being late, she judged, based on the leader's pacing back and forward and a meaner, grimmer look appearing on his face for every minute that passed. Suddenly he drew a dagger and threw it so fast that she could hardly follow it. It was planted very precisely in the freshly-painted wall. 

"One more minute, sir. The last attendant has one more..." She didn't have time to see what happened, but before the man could finish his sentence, he was on the ground, choking. On what? 

She threw herself back in her chair, trying to get as far away from the scenario as possible. This seemed like a good time to run... But she hadn't even seen the threat. Her sense of self-preservation was stronger than her need for running. She stayed. The dead man was carried off into another room through a door that she could have sworn hadn't been there before. This was something very high-tech, and though she was terrified, she couldn't help but feel intrigued. Curious. She almost rolled her eyes at herself. Geek. Now get the hell outta here as soon as you can, she thought, taking another drag of her cigarette and shifting awkwardly in her chair again. 

Edited by Tia Dalma

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Bodies were something he had become accustomed to. The only time he didn't like seeing them was when was walking into unknown territory and wasn't the one creating them. As he walked into the meeting place he caught a glimpse of the body being hurried away and went on the defensive. He began to quickly assess the room.

Two people, one well dressed male and a female sitting in a chair. The door he had seen the body being taken out of seemed to be hidden by some kind of cloaking barrier but he knew the approximate location. Other then that the door he walked through was the only other exit. Judging by his dress and somewhat relaxed demeanor, the male was the one who'd sent him the offer of employment. The female, while trying to look relaxed and at ease, actually reeked of suspicion and...not fear...but something akin to it. More like the sense of self preservation. So that body hadn't been her doing, and she was worried that she might be next. By the looks of her she was someone who knew their way around these situations. The cigarette she was smoking smelled of strawberries. It was intense and sharp to his enhanced sense of smell, causing a dull ache in the inside of his nose. He had never been a fan of sweet things. 

"Looks like the parties started without me." He strode further into the room, the hard heels of his boots clunking solidly on the floor. Stopping short of the woman in the chair he reaching into his coat and pulled out a metal case with several thick, pungent cigars inside. Usually he wasn't inclined to show the lower half of his face but something needed to be done to ease tension in the room. Pulling down the cloth covering his mouth. Despite his skin being the dark swirling mass, his teeth were bright white and filled into jagged points. He lit the cigar and puffed the cloud up into the air. 

He hooked one thumb inside his belt and gestured over to Oxidus with the other hand "Hope you don't mind. I made a friend on the way here. Thought he looked like someone in need of work." Taking another long drag he let the smoke leak out of the corners of his mouth and roll up the wide brim of his hat further giving him the appearance of some demon. 

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"I really don't like the look of this place. Uh, hey. Name's Oxidus. I was hoping you might be able to help me out. You see, I have this interplanetary transporter that I need get repaired as soon as possible, and I heard you might be willing to help in exchange for some work." Oxidus visibly sweats a bit. The sight of a body being carried off and the general atmosphere of the place worry him greatly.

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Eliza looked up when two men entered the room. Both had odd appearances, each in their own way. But who was she to talk? She ran a red-scaled hand nervously through her hair. The rest of the men in the room stood up and she followed their lead, looking to the one who called himself Lucifer now. 

"You were almost late, gentlemen." His voice was kind and soft, in contrast to the grim look on his half-melted face. He first turned his attention to the huge man, the one the smoker had apparently had picked up on the street.

"We have people for all sorts of things, we can figure something out." The short man measured the tall one with an expression that was hard to read. "Hmm. Yes, we can figure something out." He then clapped his hands together once and slowly walked to the middle of the room so he was visible to everyone. He raised his voice slightly despite the silence.

"You have all been called here for an individual purpose. Some were scouted, some sought me out themselves... But the fact that you are here shows me that you are willing to take it to the next level." He reached inside his shirt and pulled out a small silver case where he kept his cigarettes. He lighted one before continuing. "And the next level... We will reach." He smiled. "But first, a proper introduction is in order, hmm? As most of you know, they call me Lucifer. Who I once was and what I once did is of no matter. The same will apply for all of you. Who you were before you entered this room..." He slowly shook his head and took a drag of his cigarette. "... They can be gone if that is what you desire. I honestly don't give a fuck." He laughed hoarsely. "The only thing that matters now is that where your allegiance lied before... Well, now it doesn't. It's with me, with us, or with no one." 

Eliza swallowed hard when she heard his half-threat. Why had she come here? Fear, yes, but also curiosity. The promise of learnings and of earnings. Well, as long as you don't piss him off, everything will be fine. She tried to calm herself, shifting from foot to foot, feeling uneasy. 

Lucifer pointed at Eliza, then spread his arms wide to each side and laughed in a deep, loud voice. "You! Introduce yourself. Tell us your name and what you will contribute with to this family. And then the next. You will all be working closely together so you might as well get to know each other." 

She swallowed hard again and took a deep drag of her electric cigarette. Then she cleared her voice. "I'm Eliza. I... I invent things. And I... Well, I scam people. I'm quite good at distracting people. They never know that they've been cheated before I'm long gone." She laughed nervously, having already decided that honesty about her criminal ways was best in this group of people. She looked to her right where the cigar-smoking man with the strange face - what she good see of it, at least - was standing, waiting eagerly for him to bring the attention away from her.

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