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Die Shize

[ASK] Cruel, Cruel World

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@Hani

NOTICE

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This thread is currently closed, however it is considering the option of opening up to other individuals down the road.

THAT BEING SAID MISTER if you can reckon up a good enough reason to hop in before the grand openinger then just shoot me a PM by the PM (or the AM) and we'll have ourselvez a zinger!

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Sound Presence: IC and OOC

 

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The Grey Flood

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The Gold Rider

Waking up, she felt lazy like the radio. She saw nothing, but the gentle music was undeniable. It soon introduced the voice of a man who sang words just as foreign. He wasn’t alone. A chorus of unintelligible conversation was suddenly detected, along with footsteps. It took a train of effort to part her eyelids and in turn herself from an unknown slumber. What began as a grey world revealed itself to be the front of a chair, with a slender beam of sunlight streaked across it. Finally, her eyes were opened. Rotating the hand of an equally slender arm stretched upon a table, it was evident that she was indeed female. Fingers of a woman.

An array of tables and chairs that catered to two were spread about, floating upon a sea of grey tiles. People sat around but the woman couldn’t recognize any of them. Her eyes peered into those strange faces that smiled at and laughed to one another, but none of those souls were even aware that she was watching them. At the end of her line of sight was a bar with a plethora of bottles lining the wall. Maybe that’s how I got to be in this predicament. One thing was for certain: she had no idea who she was or how she got to be in this bar, one that was called The Grey Flood based on the napkins.

Name. Identity. She had neither. After patting herself down, all she really had was a yellow shirt, brown pants and a hat that hid blonde hair. Did I braid it or did someone else? The thought quivered on her lips, her head slowing while her heart raced. Another familiar feeling. I don’t know who I am or how I got here. And I am panicking.

Edited by Die Shize

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You know what most bounty hunters would say is the hardest part of their profession? You'd think it'd be staying alive, but this isn't actually true since people in this particular line of work that don't get killed within the first two days are usually adept at protecting themselves and combating all manner of freaks and degenerate murderers. No, the hardest part about being a bounty hunter was finding the bounty. It wasn't like in books, movies, or video-games where the hunter just gradually gravitates towards the target via random but convenient events. Hunters would have to conduct a full investigation to figure out the last known whereabouts of their target, and more oft than not they wouldn't even be there. Most wanted men don't want to be found, so they wind up in the craziest of places and situations in their desperate attempt to elude death or capture. Sometimes they even leave false leads to throw people off, making some of the more green hunters run around in circles or get caught up in some elaborate trap they'd paid goons to set for money-hungry pursuers or over-righteous purple hearts with a chip on their shoulder.

Although Clive Mcteague was an experienced bounty-hunter that knew the ropes when it came to finding his mark, he was easily distracted.

"Nother' one please!" Clive called out across the counter, beckoning the bartender to serve him another drink. The bartender took a look at him and paused. Despite the six empty bottles of liquor sitting in front of him on the shiny, grey, wood counter, Clive looked fine. Even bored. The two men he sat between were half-way through their second bottle and were already beginning to sway from side to side. It wasn't because they were light-weights either. The beverage they'd been served was way up the establishments list in terms of alcohol percentage. Four bottles could knock a man clean out. Six could kill one. But here this guy was, barely buzzed and asking for more.

"Are you human sir?" asked the bartender. 

"I reckon I am, yeah." nodded Clive. 

"Are you sure?" pushed the bartender, squinting his eyes to show his disbelief. 

"Pretty sure." answered Clive with a shrug. "Why? You got sum' kinda 'Humans Only' policy?"

"Nope." sighed the bartender as he shook his head and grabbed another bottle of the beverage Clive asked for. "Just curious."

"Hm." grunted Clive as the bartender handed him his drink. In his experience, no one was ever just curious. Every word that came out of a person's mouth had a point to drive home, even if the point was to have no point. Anyone that told you anything else was lying and probably gunning for you. He tried not to think too hard about it though. This was his first time getting a drink here and he had no doubt that folks would be weary of him. Especially with the magi-tech peace-maker holstered at his side that he made no attempts to conceal with clothing. Had he been the bartender, he would've been "just curious" too.

He'd been searching for an outlaw when he'd come across the bar, and figured he needed wet his whistle to keep his mind sharp. He'd need it to be, since the person he was gunning for was shrouded in mystery. When he inquired about the bounty at Predators Keep where he received the job, no one seemed to know what the criminals name was or what he/she looked like. The closest he could get to anything resembling a description were the many stories he'd heard. Some said the criminal laid waste to countless settlements, killing and stealing with the aid of dark  magic. Others said the criminal wasn't a criminal and was being set up by various underground factions governed by real heartless criminals. They'd say that he/she was actually a hero, single-handedly saving entire towns from all manner of danger. Still others would insist that he/she was an all powerful being that adhered to an ancient prophecy. These stories bred many aliases. The Dark One. The Reaper. The Leader of the Resistance. The Savior. The Gold Rider.

Clive wasn't sure what to believe and figured he couldn't trust any of the testimonies he'd heard. They all contradicted one another, making the mystery even bigger and creating even more questions. When he asked the man that had given him the job why he wanted this outlaw hunted down, he declined to answer. Even told Clive to watch his mouth less he wanted to turn up missing one day.

He decided his best bet was to comb the surrounding settlements and continue questioning the citizens for a story that was at the very least, consistent. Unfortunately, it proved to be a fruitless endeavor. The people that did know about the outlaw he was hunting refused to say anything about it, started some stupid tale, or were straight up hostile. By the time six days had passed, all he had to show for his efforts was a black eye and a body-count that got the attention of the authorities. He was growing very tired of this one, ready to give up at numerous points until he came upon The Grey Flood. He figured a good drink could keep his spirits high enough to steel his resolve, but even their strongest stuff was barely having an effect on him. He didn't know why he expected anything more, given the fact that the place looked rather uppity. While most bars were rambunctious, seldom maintained, and prone to violent outbreaks that resulted in some poor sap getting his brains blown out, this one was serene and orderly. The beverages they served here reflected the look, not being strong enough to incite a man to singing or violence. 

On top of that, the drinks weren't cheap.

Realizing he'd likely go broke before he was even half drunk, he elected to stand and make a short visit to the bathroom. While he was on his way there, he took note of a woman sitting at a table by herself. Unlike the other folks seated within the quaint saloon, she didn't have a drink sitting in front of her. Her table was bare save for the pile of napkins placed upon it by the staff. In fact, she looked confused, like she didn't even know where she was. She looked completely out of place. That's what drew his attention. Deciding to trust his gut feeling, he walked over to the woman's table with the intent to question her. It was a stretch, but he figured it couldn't hurt to ask her about the outlaw he was looking for. Worst came to worst, she'd just try to kill him like a few of the other folks he'd talked to. But first thing was first.

"You alright, ma'am?" he asked with a tip of his hat as he walked over to the opposite side of the table. "I don' mean ta' be forward, but'cha lookin' a little lost."

In addition to looking lost, she looked tense too. Like she was at the beginning stages of a panic attack. Something was definitely off, and he was beginning to wonder if he should leave her alone and question somebody else.

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The usual hum of life in The Grey Flood was lost to Lenora as her distant gaze starred out of the window. She had taken her regular seat by the window of the joint, sticking close to the walls, away from all the commotion. This time her pale, slender fingers held a whiskey glass that rested atop of the table. She had needed a stronger drink today given the shitty day she had. Her boss, or now known as her former boss, had let her go. Working the cash register at the little market hadn't been hard, if anything she actually found herself content with the job. She would get to see the local folks and talk about anything new going on. She even made a couple of friends. The pay had been decent. There was the occasional slow day, but it was better than spending her time tending to crops the whole day. 

The red head breathed out a heavy sigh, gaze still locked on nothing particular outside of the window as she lifted the glass to take another drink, and came up short. There was no more whiskey left. It was then that she finally turned her gaze to the glass, clicked her tongue in annoyance, and glanced over to the bar. There she noticed a man stand up from his stool and began to walk away leaving six empty bottles resting on the countertop. Surely the man had to be completely shit faced. As far as she knew, no one could drink so much and still get up and take single step without tipping over. Blue irises followed the man, and watched as he stopped next to a woman who was seated by herself. They were a bit too far for her to hear with all the chattering going on around her, but the confusion and growing panic in the girl's eyes were enough for Lenora to get to her feet and make her way over. 

"Is he botherin' you, hun?" The red head questioned, her words coming out in a slight drawl. There was a slight reassurance to her gaze as she looked to the woman, before her it sharpened as she looked to the male. 

Edited by Hani

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Music (Recurring)

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Black. Grey. Black gate. Black and grey. Black gate black and grey. The words echoed in her head faster than she could think them, each one making less sense than the other; echoes of the eyes as they gazed at the logo on the napkin. The Grey Flood. Its symbol was a black watergate with grey water behind it. That didn’t seem to mean anything no matter how hard she tried to staple it to a memory.

 

The woman heard a voice that might have been in her head. Or maybe it was the person approaching a nearby table to sit. Then she realized that the table was hers, the person was a man and he was speaking to her. Startled, she blinked rapidly up at the stranger.

 

“I...I...I…” She licked her lips. “I’m...I…” Catching her breath, she sighed it all out in a steady breeze, relaxing what nerves she could.

 

Before the woman had a chance at explanations, another woman approached. Catching the look in her eyes, the one without a memory to call her own wondered how sincere that question of concern really was. That triggered a pressing concern of her own: if she couldn’t trust her own unknown self then how could she trust anyone else?

 

“I’m…” The woman cleared her throat. “Oh, no, no, it’s no bother! He is just checking on me...like you were.” She paused and stared back at the napkins. Her own speech was shocking. It was the first time that she had strung words together in a sentence as far as she could remember. Her voice was a woman’s all right, the accent about the same as these two others standing before her.

 

“Sorry, guys.” She had no idea where this ability to attempt deception had come from but she sure went with it. Her awful secret was probably safer kept as a secret. “I must look an ordeal! How embarrassing! ‘Fraid I woke from a frightful nap and am just getting my bearings! Thank you, though!”

 

She stifled a chuckle. Trying not to make eye contact too much, the woman diverted her gaze to the rest of the establishment. Patrons sat and paced beside waiters and waitresses, a couple entered the bar from the outside, their thick clothing proving a point of how cold it was beside the frozen world that waited outside the window. Her eyes landed on the bottles on the bar. Maybe I just need a drink after all...

Edited by Die Shize

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Clive was a little surprised to hear another woman speak beside him, and even more surprised to hear her indirect rebuke. Her sharp gaze cemented that she indeed wanted him to know her distaste for him. He wanted to say something snarky in rebuttal, but figured she had good reason to suspect that he was pestering this woman at the table. He didn't exactly look like a reputable sort, toting a gun and wearing casual clothing that practically screamed how much he didn't care about the way he looked. He'd forgotten the specks of blood that stained the collar of his shirt, some of them smeared from when he used it to wipe off his face. His pants had some caked mud at the bottom from when he'd been treading through a dense forest in the rain. Then, of course, there was his black eye. And the fact that he was at a bar where unscrupulous sorts usually turned up. 

Yes, he figured the lady had good reason to assume he had ill intentions.

He was about to kindly deny her assumption when the woman seated before them spoke up. She seemed to forget how to speak at first, Clive beginning to worry that something was generally wrong with her. He was glad he'd matured passed the years when he couldn't have cared less about this woman's predicament. Back then he would've just been concerned with conning or robbing the woman of her most valued possessions, but now he felt he was a much better man. 

22 hours ago, Die Shize said:

 “Sorry, guys. I must look an ordeal! How embarrassing! ‘Fraid I woke from a frightful nap and am just getting my bearings! Thank you, though!

 Napping? In a bar? Without drinking?

Clive resisted the urge to raise a suspicious eyebrow as he scratched his chin and struck a poker face. He examined the woman closely and took note of how nervous she appeared to be. As a man that made it a point to be good at spotting a liar, he could tell she wasn't telling all the truth. This only made him want to question her more, but he knew that doing so right off the back would seem far too forward and a tad inconsiderate. Eventually forming a smile, he decided to humor her. After all, a lie could only grow so tall before it started to wobble.

"Sure." he said with a small chuckle. "No problem at all miss. I personally know what it's like to wake up in a bar tryin' ta' remember how I got there. Just makin' sure nothing bad happened to ya' or anythin' is all."

Clive paused as he carefully thought up a string of questions.

"Had a little too much to drink last night?" he asked, hoping his question wouldn't put either woman off and end the conversation.

 

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Lenora’s gaze shifted from the bruising eye to the specks and smears of what she could only assume to be blood on the collar of his shirt. The rest of his appearance wasn’t any better. And the gun. It was quite difficult to imagine him inquiring about the young woman’s well being, but Lenora doubted that the girl would choose to cover up for him if he was bothering her. 

Her attention shifted to the woman who spoke out again. This time it was the woman who she doubted. The way she spoke. She was nervous, but of what? Lenora decided to stick around a bit longer. 

“Is that what happened? You drank too much?” 

Lenora has had her fair share of drunken nights, but she never got fully drunk on her own. At least, in a public place she didn’t. She usually came with her friend Sherry. 

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Music (Recurring)

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Sound Presence: IC and OOC

 

 

The woman remained seated as the other one before her and the man beside her kept standing there with their ogling eyes. She caught it from the corner of her own gaze, alongside the movement of the man as he scratched his chin. She remembered enough to know that a person was usually thinking something when they made such a gesture and, under the circumstances, it was likely not in her favor. How many drunks have passed out in a place like this? Even if over a handful, she was all too aware of the mysteries and suspicions that must have been painted all over her like black stains on yellow.

 

She had half a mind to excuse herself and head to the bar counter to order a drink. It wouldn’t have been odd. She didn’t know these two and they didn’t know her. That, though, was part of the problem. I don’t know anything. I need to know. When the man spoke, she looked back, catching the chuckle to mimic it. After all, if she had indeed passed out from copious amounts of alcohol, enough to lose her memory by some feat of tragedy, then it might just be as hilarious as horrifying.

 

The bar that they were in seemed sound enough, with its polished decor, fine furniture and the overall presentable outfits and attitudes of its patrons. But what do I know? I could have been planted here by one of these very patrons. At that thought, the woman caught herself as her eyes barely narrowed at the two individuals standing at her table. It was her turn to scrutinize. The guy looked like he had just come out of a bar fight. She had missed the blood before and, if there had been a fight, she had missed that too. Her eyes went from the man to the other woman who had backed his question up. There might have been some drops of doubt in her tone but, genuine or not, both persons probably realized that they ran the risk of rejection if they pried too deeply. Or exposure, for all I know.

 

“Well, if I’m being honest,” she shrugged. “Last night’s quite a fog…” Last night. There was daylight coming through the windows so how long ago was last night? She almost checked her wrist before remembering that there was no watch on it, but an absentminded gaze landed on the clock above the bar that she had also somehow missed before. The needles rounded to three-thirty. She reckoned that it was a fairly early time for folks to continue coming in and out. Then again, the snowy weather outside was far from inviting and, who knew, it could be the weekend. Weekend. I remember days. I remember speech. I remember what a bar is. But not my name..?

 

“The perils of poison, am I right?” She chuckled again, hearing her own nervous laughter. Still, for all they knew she was just a drunken reject who suffered this fate every night. Unless they were responsible for her situation, then they were probably receiving less and less reasons to remain curious. They had checked on her, she was okay—they played the humanitarians and now it was likely time to leave. But not yet. Her stomach rumbled, too loudly for comfort, and she drew her lips over her teeth in some embarrassment. How long ago since I last ate..? This bar clearly catered to food alongside drink, if the focus appeared to be on the latter. Unfortunately, this lady of long lost memories had already patted herself down, and she hadn’t found a coin to call her own.

 

“Um...” She looked aside at the napkins, the silverware and the empty glass that every table was furnished with. Unfortunately, her glass was still empty and there was no substance to sink her fork or knife into. “Sorry, never mind... I—I shouldn't ask...” Cruel, cruel world... The lyrics were all too fitting as they faded from the speakers with a farewell guitar. So cruel it abandoned me without a meal in my belly.

 

Music

Spoiler

Sound Presence: IC and OOC

 

 

Edited by Die Shize

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When it came to being questioned, it was a lot like dealing with the law. The less you said, the less room the cop had to spin a web that could get you sent to court and locked up later on with a cellmate that ate peoples ears. Everything you said was liable and almost certain to be used against you, no matter how small or insignificant your statement was. Clive had learned that the hard way, and being hard headed caused him to learn it that way multiple times. Even when you were fixing to tell the truth, it was best to just keep your mouth shut and let them make something up. At least that way their report wouldn't have anything solid to go off of and likely wouldn't hold up in court. If you were dealing with a real cop that actually did their job and tried to find the truth, they wouldn't lazily make something up anyway. They'd go out of their way to get the truth and deal justice in the best way they could. It didn't matter how quiet you were.

Clive was by no means a cop. He barely got along with the law enough not to be gunned down as it was, but he learned a thing or two in his formative years when he encountered them as often as he saw the sun. Like how to get a person to start talking about things he had no business knowing. One of the most efficient ways to do this was pretty simple. An offer of communion. He resisted the urge to smile when he heard her stomach growl.

"I'm no detective or anything," said Clive as he placed his thumbs inside his pockets. "But if I heard your stomach rumble as loudly as I think it did just now, I'd say you were about to ask one of us for a bite."

Clive then looked over to the bar, taking note of the prices of the food for the first time since he'd walked in. He'd bought food for many people in the past, but he learned real quick that feeding someone that was genuinely starving was never cheap. They'd often want to order the biggest, juiciest entre' they could find, and it would be rude to hold back after making an offer. Her near request revealed something about her though. She was either broke, or playing him to get a free meal. Both possibilities deserved a bit of delving into if either one was the case, but he didn't want to straight up ask her if she was broke. He wasn't sure if it was just because she was dressed up like a cowgirl, but he got the feeling that asking her that would hurt her pride enough to take offense.

"Tell ya' what." he said, tipping his stetson upwards. Had anyone taken the time to look at the emblem fastened atop the brim, they would see a silver emblem depicting a smiling skull with a bullet between its eyes. To the average person, it was just decor. To criminals that knew what was what when it came to bounty hunters, it was good reason to get gone and fast. "I'm a little hungry myself. If either one'a you would care to join me for a bite, It'd be my treat. I'm new round' these parts and wouldn't mind learning a bit more about the place before I get on my way. I'm kinda blind out here and as you can probably see, that hasn't bode well for me."

Clive initially didn't want to treat the both of them, but only treating the woman seated at the table would surely be suspicious. And creepy. It was worth a shot though, since he'd practically been bumbling around in the dark in search of his mark for the passed few weeks. If he had to spend a few extra bucks to chase a possible lead, so be it. He figured that if the woman seated before them couldn't give him anything, the woman standing beside him could. She seemed like the kind of girl that kept an eye on things that didn't outright concern her, and Clive couldn't have asked for a better candidate. 

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