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[Dead] Opening Night (reprise)

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@Csl@supernal@Rin@-Lilium-@Darth Lager@Sanonymous@amenities

What pained hesitation there was in group interaction. The silences ate at him when he was not pretending to be another. When he pretended, he knew what that persona did with silences. But he did not. He sniffed quietly, then addressing the gathered crowd of the dead, he continued to explain their mission, "Ive prepared for everyone duffle bags with the belongings they requested and hid them inside Arcturon." His gaze drifted from theirs, avoiding meeting anyone's eyes all of a sudden. He was quiet, and had a strange disposition to speaking, as though unfamiliar and forced. "Through prior reconnaissance, everyone should be familiar with the portion of the residential district they begin working in. For clarity, you'll find your assortment of weapons and equipment inside your duffle bag...clothing changes if requested, gas mask, and ten highly compressed canisters of a nerve toxin that was designed to kill the fungi on the lucentglass and allow a flood of hallucinogenic miasma into the city. It won't slow down any of the people, maybe some shortness of breath." He worked his jaw in the light of this dingy, make-shift meeting room they were now debriefing in, the one light that dangled above seeming to leave a shadow cast over everyone's faces. His own, altered to look more like an ex-Terran military officer, with a square jaw and brown hair with a buzzcut. Another day, another face for this morphic creature.

I need to practice this more often.

He scrunched up his nose, then motioned to the map they had prepared, "First..." He grunted, clearing his throat and continuing speaking with a hoarse voice, "You evenly spread out your gas canisters across half of the residential district you're in, then you make your way down to the commercial district by city hall. After that, we need to get underground and start opening up warehouses and containers inside while drawing attention. There is a specific kind of amber we are seeking, though we need not find it...mycenic amber. They are using it in experiments regarding time." He paused, inhaling a deep, raspy breath that seemed afflicted by the strain of this much interaction. It seemed the time he had between missions were spent in stints of isolation despite the social nature of his abilities. "We'll need to stall them just long enough to cause confusion. Once the military realizes the gas isn't affecting the people, they will detach large portions of their forces from evacuating the people and try to come after us, likely when we are either in the commercial district or underground." He sniffed, glancing back at the Dead directly. "We disrupt and withdraw from combat for several hours until the miasma begins breaching the city, then extract. Understood?" He looked at them each for confirmation, then began to gather his things.

Was forty gas canisters truly enough to poison the life-blood of the glass city? So we shall see.


He had been chosen the section of the residential high rises closest to both their goal in the commercial district and the western side of city hall. He was still dressed in that same disguise, sitting now on a bench and enjoying the sight of the afternoon sun. He was linked up to each member of the Dead mentally via the black patches they often adhered to themselves on an out of way location, such as their lower-back in his current case, and was counting the minutes away with admiration for the view of the horizon from here as it closed in on time to don his mask and begin the mass panic. The command would go out across their mental wavelengths to act when it was time, the plan to each gather their duffle bags at 3 PM, and expecting the miasma to have brought the situation completely out of control by 6 PM. It had been ten minutes or so as he watched people go by, when noting the time, he stood. The butch version of Amraphensbane proceeded across the promenade towards the drink station he had hidden the duffle bag in. The modern services of some societies were amazing, and this one merely served drinks from several registers of some icy variety. He had replaced some of their drink supplies with his bag after studying the city for about a week and plotting each of the dead drops.

"It is three PM," He broadcast to the others as he watched the man at the drink stand take off his hat to run off and see his girlfriend while he slipped in behind the counter just as the attendant left. He ripped open the box, and pulled out his duffle bag, stepping away from station before its irresponsible employee returned from his fifteen minute break to find a box torn open. He didn't go very far, as it didn't matter. What he did next was going to draw a lot of attention. So, he knelt on a patch of grass fostered for the scenery with his duffle bag and unzipped it. As he opened it, he found his hand numbly clutching a book placed atop all of his things. This wasn't his grimoire set at the top, but another one of his belongings, and it did not belong. The Midnight Visitor, a romance novel that with shaking hands he recalled had a rather defiant, but stalwart female protagonist who utterly compromised her morally upright beliefs for passionate involvement with the vampire protagonist who lured her away from good. Slowly, he cracked open the cover of the book and found a stalk of dried wolfsbane pressed the covers.

She's been inside my home.

The thoughts of what extents the Dead might go to to vet its members flashed in his mind, resulting in a brief panic. But no, he realized quickly the return of this book meant something different.

How long had she been following me?

He was not hidden from The Body Merchant. A strange, sort of discomforting terror that came from only the upheaval of your safety wished to rise up from his inwards, but he choked it down and focused on the mission. He had caught a stare from someone's glass frontroom a while ago now, and it was time to put on the show. He donned his gas mask, then his wolf mask, and black cloak. Terror began as people pointed and called out while he slung the duffle bag over his shoulder. He would process this and what to do about her stealing his romance novels later, though it was a crushing thought he would see her on this very mission. He didn't have time to process a thing before she was employing this opening.

I am getting a headache.

With a dejected sigh, he pulled the pin off a gas canisters and dropped it on the ground as a massive cloud of orange colored smoke burst out and spread across a large portion of the residential district around him. At first, the thick cloud settled and blocked most of the vision, but as the fungi died and outside filtration began to grow in strength, the miasma would push inward and the nerve gas would hunt down more glass like a hungry predator and strip it of its protective coating so that the people inside may intake of the madness and preferably, begin murdering each other. The others would have begun opening their gas canisters and it was time he employed his talents to get the job done. Crouching downward, he took off at a massive sprint travelling the length of the residential district to escape this cloud of orange vapors. He pulled the pin on another gas canister, and sent it flying into the clear 'sky' of the city's ceiling, where it rained down pillars of smoke that spread through the streets and sought to creep down the entirety of the district, literally sinking into the city and seemingly eating it alive.

 

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Image result for alternate scp symbolEmergency OS council meeting

TF-001-16-2139

Terrorist reports in Arcturon



-03:10 PM-

"This emergency meeting is now in session. OS-05, please brief the council of the situation at hand.", OS-01 spoke rather calmly, his voice echoing throughout the chamber.

"Gladly. Our intelligence branch has attained some intel of high value; the city of Arcturon is under threat. Since our forces are spread so thin, this information came to us rather late. We have hours, if not mere minutes to make a decision, so time is of the essence. We have no clue how these... "terrorists" will attack Arcturon, nor where, nor of their M.O or goal, but we do know that innocent lives are at stake."

"So what do you propose, 5?" a feminime voice spoke beside OS-01.

"...Well... FSTF Alpha-01, detachment 16, currently under inspection by SA-2309, is the quickest response we can send. Our telecommunication interface is not supported by Arcturon, they use a sort of biotechnological communication system still not understood well enough by us to use. We have no way of contacting Taen high command, nor Arcturon's administration itself. Detachment 16 is our only chance, 55 elite men and women."

"What are the city's complements? Defenses? Under who's jurisdiction are we to be in?"

"That's the thing Ma'am, we don't know. Detachment 16 is awaiting further instructions, they're ready to go and we are still wasting time. We need to vote, and we need to vote now."

Murmurs follow the chamber, with each looking left and right. Almost in unison, they fell silent as they raised their hands. A resounding majority voted to aid.

"Very well. Due to the nature of this mission, mission command is to be entrusted directly to SA-2309, notify Administration council 23 of that. This meeting is adjourned.".


-3:33 PM-

"49. 50. 51. 52. 53... That's all sir." Pliskin reported, as he stood rather non-chalantly beside the well-dressed man beside him. The way he spoke and acted around Rookstone, it's clear to the rest of the detachment that they had history before. Rookstone would usually never tolerate this sort of behaviour in a professional setting, but maybe he has a soft spot after all.
Maybe.

Rookstone acknowledging Pliskin, pulled out a file from his suit pocket and read it. Mission is greenlit, they are to be deployed. No rest for the weary.

The agents murmur and chatter quickly fell into silence within the briefing room as Rookstone cleared his throat, a clear symbol of his authority, like mentor like student.
"Thank you. Last minute briefing has now begun, I expect everyone to have their equipment ready by now, time is of the essence. We are currently to be deployed as an expeditionary force to aid the city of Arcturon, mission code TF-001-16-2139. I understand everyone is still tired, but this is what we signed up for. If we waste any time or effort, innocents die. Understood?"

"YES SIR" they all spoke in unison

"Good. Glad to hear everyone is still wide awake. Four main objectives, we are to meet them with haste and efficiency. I do not want to carry any of you back in a bodybag, nor do I want any of you to be court martialed out of VCF jurisdiction, so no collateral. So to re-state,

Mission objective:

1.Establish contact and command over Arcturon militia/military, aid and assist with the resources on hand.

2.Protect civillians and minimize casualty count.

3.Keep collateral damage at a minimum.

4.Establish mutual defense treaty with Arcturon, strengthen ties in Taen.

This is a diplomatic aid mission, not a full out war. Remember, our priority is civillian protection. We are the only one that can answer to their cry for help, let us do so with enthusiastism."

"YES SIR" they cheered once more in unison.

"Great! I expect the very best from you all, remember. We are Alpha-01, we do not make mistakes. To your transports, I'll meet you all when we make landfall. Dismissed!"

 

As they all leave the room, Rookstone was stopped by Pliskin with a hand on his shoulder.

"Rookstone. This is near suicidal, you know that? We are elite, but 55 men? No explosives and only two drones? We barely have enough to bring an APC. I don't know about this one."

"Then we better pray they have good men there, willing to die as much as we are. Let's not keep our men waiting shall we?" he replied with a smile, as confident as ever.


-3:42 PM-

Battle-weary and tired, they boarded their planes, and the sound of rumbling engines start. Experimental tech, fal-coF-11 Magitech ram jets were the name the tech boys on the R&D gave to them. These were under inspection and trial in Facility-02, but now they will undergo a trial by fire as they are fitted on troop transports. Fuel-gobbling but insanely fast, by estimates they should reach Arcturon in 1 hour, more or less, unless the engine burns down and they fall from the skies.

Rookstone just prays that there is still a city left to save by the time they arrive.



@Shatter @Csl @Rin @-Lilium- @Darth Lager @amenities

 

Edited by Sanonymous

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Capricorn-Man-Art.jpg

Taen, it was a land--city, that Esben had never been to and he was enjoying his stroll. Sure, he was here on a mission for the dead, but no one needed to know. He could still take a leisurely stroll to gather what he desired, research. As he made his way down the street, the elf pondered about this particular mission. 

Esben knew that he would have to help in this but then again he didn't have to dirty his fingers too much in the matter. The elf stopped for a moment as he looked around the street. He did look a bit suspicious, out of the city even. However, even though he was here for a mission, he did like to arouse suspicion and make a ton of noise. 

Well, it's a bit quiet around here. No body around to play with. Shame. Esben said as he placed his hands in the pockets of his coat as he remained in the middle of the street. How can I be a distraction if no one comes out. Ahem, hello! Hello? 

Esben sighed. It seemed that no one answered him and the elf shook his head. He came to be the distraction so the others could move in and succeed in the mission. He didn't move as he looked around still. Quietly, he knew that it could still happen.

 

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 Elevators, he hated elevators. These ones particularly stirred phobia, exposing a lavish view of the glass city. To some these sights beheld a wonderous testament to the labors of the government. He saw hope, in the beams of sun which drew through the glass between as the doors closed. His stomach churned as machine noise rung his ears and the descending began.

 The traveler took a moment to breath, closing his eyes off to steel his nerve. The local radio broadcast hadn't helped settle him down, only adding to his unease. Jack breathed doubly, growing clammy, chilled and impatient. John looked down, avoiding something, looking at his watch to check the time. The sleek watch was fitted to be worn upside down, it's face toward the ground, causing him to twist his right hand to view it. It was nice, boasting impressive machining, and the untrained eye could never tell that the owner had made the counterfeit. The fake designer brand circled the lens and face, literally, engraved along an ornate rotating plate which read 'Golgari'. 

  12:08 He was late.

 "Dddyynong."

 The door behind him buzzed, causing him to look up, out toward the mire. It was raining, and he shook his troubled head as he stepped onto the ground level lobby. His legs were shaken, and Johnathan couldn't keep his mind off of the situation as he headed away from the health clinic. His mud printed poncho became hefty, sopping him within a minute or two as he headed east, along the bustling edge of Icarius Square, passing by many others caught in the rain.

 Johnathan thought carefully about what it all meant, and why the clinic had recommended extensive therapy. He had been diagnosed as showing signs of S.I.S. After taking one too many blows to the head, telling one too many lies, and probably drinking a little too much in between, the bum had suffered from Sundered Identity Syndrome. The shrinks claimed that he suppressed trauma by developing alternate identities to safeguard his emotional 'vulnerability'. They hadn't dived much further into it with him yet, but, Jack thought that it was a load of crap. He had never felt like someone else after losing a bar fight.

 '2:22 Damn, what a time to check.'

 Johnathan had been waiting to enter the accreditation process for almost two hours. The office tucked into the government district was busy today, drawing a few more people in than the building fit comfortably. They were all here to get a freelance license for the Taen Research Committee. He huffed a bit impatiently, fiddling around in his chair, his hair bobbing along two white curls in the back. There was a fellow freelancer in the seat beside him, and Johnathan introduced himself leisurely in boredom, extending his hand. They'd be here for a while.

 "My name's Jason."

 He lied politely.

 

Edited by Darth Lager

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Arcturon was not Lunaris; it had learned from its sister city’s mistakes, weathered its own catastrophe less than a year ago, and had set up the necessary countermeasures for similar events.

So when the man in a mask and cloak strode to the center of a garden-park near the City Hall, people took notice. The civilians hastened their pace, leisurely strides becoming hurried.

“Acolyte?” one guard asked another, a hand drifting to his holster. With the blink, the image of the stranger was captured, delivered as an IDSign message to the nearest precinct. A dozen other guards would receive the image-- the equivalent of a report.

The second drew her weapon. “Different mask. Better check just in case.” The masked man had no umbrella or raincoat, and showed no sign of noticing the constant rainfall. He was an intruder, a stranger to the city.

When the first plume of smoke billowed, hurried strides gave way to the thundering of hundreds of footsteps as people bolted. The guards cursed, and were joined by two, then four, then seven. Each donned the Guard’s standard-issue lily filter masks before they swept into the crowd, shouting for the crowd to disperse, to get indoors, to cover their noses and mouths-- in the smoke, the people followed their voices.

[Renee Phoric 15:08] He’s heading south.

[Oscar Chariot 15:08] Phoric and I’ll go after him. 

The two leapt through the smoke, following the black cloak that flapped in the intruder’s wake.

███

“And- oh!” said every active radio in the city, in Oliver Oxenfree’s dulcet tones. “Emergency announcement! A man has launched some kind of gas weapon along Silic Boulevard. All citizens should leave the streets and seek shelter indoors. Keep your windows and doors closed. Stay tuned for further updates. Those exposed to the gas should contact KMed at once. The Guard assures they are handling the situation. I repeat -- A man has launched some kind of gas weapon along Silic Boulevard…”

███

“Two so far,” said the red-eyed woman. The complexity of the inked rune encircling her wrist marked her IDSign access levels - top tier, the entirety of the city’s channels.

Thea Locke stared at the billowing cloud through the windows of the city hall. “What’s the gas?”

“Unconfirmed.” Shuraldam frowned. “No effects but eye irritation so far. It could be a slow-working poison.”

The governess held back a sigh. The acolytes? The Lunaris assassins? Both groups had worn masks, as this cloaked intruder now did. The ring on her index finger was silent, though. Is this not a threat worthy of the King’s attention?

“Skyburn’s released the announcement?”

“Yes.”

“Through IDSign?” The talika telepathic communication system was only over half a year old, but it was quickly proving its usefulness. Good thing they’d shifted implementation to the City Guards stationed within the city proper.

Shuraldam nodded. “Guards along Silic are working to get the citizens inside. Priority is clearing Icarius Square, and there are around twenty Guards heading there. ETA…  three minutes.”

Thea let the sigh seep out through clenched teeth. “Contact Commander Ikrah. Tell the western and southwestern posts to send reinforcements. The rest -- to shut down the roads, keep an eye on anyone exiting the city. Prepare for travel if needed, or evacuation.”

It might’ve been overkill, but this was Taen. One could never be too sure.

Shuraldam closed her eyes. “It is done.”

███

The birds saw everything, of course. They were everywhere -- black from wingtip to wingtip, with golden-orange eyes and beaks.

A hundred or so City Guards were scattered around Arcturon at any given time. At the IDSign signal, they moved into action, equipping their Nuphar masks (wildlight-manufactured, rooted in a water lily species native to the Wetlands), then began to usher nervous citizens off the streets. Stay inside, stay safe, equip your masks, keep the radio on. 

The birds saw the ripple of fear pass through the crowds at Icarius square. Half a year ago, this was the scene of the Low-Tide Festival, where the ringing of a bell heralded the widespread hallucination of constant rain in the city. Wildlight treatments helped the more severe cases-- but most Arcturion citizens had learned to cope with the constant, nonexistent downpour.

The birds, beyond the lucentglass towers, saw the City Guards spill out of their barracks on the edges of Arcturon. A bird perched on the window of the westernmost barrack, listening to a snippet of conversation from within -- the discussion of a new weapon, the proposition of its use, the denial of permission. Golden eyes scrutinized a row of transparent vacuum canisters, a fine, tight-packed white powder held within.

The city was doing well. The birds, for now, remained watching.

@Rin █

"Hey! Hey you!" A burly member of the City Guard tapped the shoulder of the satyr standing in the middle of the street. "Get indoors. Didn't you hear the announcement! We're under attack. All citizens are instructed to stay inside!"

Was he a tourist? The Guard squinted through the phantom rain, realizing the satyr didn't seem to be registering the storm. An outsider, then. "Sir, you need to get indoors. Someone's launched a gas attack -- any buildings will be safer than out on the street."

Edited by Csl
receipts, just links to lore references

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Soft spoken, saccharine sweetened whispers. Lies upon lies…

Treachery knows no binding and is purely paved by intent.

In the curve of a pallid palm rests the succulent unpeeled pulp of an orange. An example of the world, one squeezed harshly beneath the curl of delicate fingers. The rest is left to the imagination as sticky juice and flesh are forced between the knuckles upon its untimely destruction. 

"You're gonna have to pay for that!" Tart lips puckered in disappointment, hands on rounded hips. 

Aren't we all…? Everyone must pay the toll of life. Inadvertent truths. "Of course, my apologies. May I purchase a half dozen and a smaller of your baskets? Thank you." It's a barter, the tinkle of coins being grossed into her palm. Easily done. "Please, keep the change." Not much, but enough to soothe the untamed action.

There’s nothing quite like the time bided on for a purpose. It can be used to take in a deep breath and absorb the knowledge and power so openly displayed. Technology here being more organic in practice than...elsewhere. Gears click and turn while omniscient thoughts turn into ideas. 

Wrist laden by basket handle, it carries onward. Although eyes direct themselves to the front of their chosen path, everything caught in their panoramic view is just as equally acknowledged. This early maneuvering about Arcturon comes with reason. Some personal….mostly personal. A borrowed item needing to be returned here, a few samples to be taken there, a message to be delivered while awaiting a response. Wax sealed in flower pressed paper, resting atop oranges in a basket, hand delivered by a child by exchange of coin. @Csl It wants to know more about this unique natural form of technology. Proving there are many layers to this being, so neatly covered and corded off. 

From this vantage point it moves, domestically dressed….to where it is it should be at the appointed time to the appointed place.



Maps and plans. The Body Merchant watches and listens to Amra as it absorbs the appropriate information regarding what they are doing, when it is to be done, and how. Today’s face is calm. Pallid and rounded cheeks framed by loosely pulled back silvery hair resting in a braid over the collarbone. Still in the commoners clothes she’d arrived in. Masked and unmasked.

It takes careful note of the map, narrowed eyes focusing on several points of contact across it. Indicating personnel positioning and required movements. Keeping tabs on them all for future reference. Necessary information for every being on the team, really. After making a nod of acknowledgement, it proceeds back to its post. Heading once more into the city.


Although the actions appear leisurely, they are always purposeful. Intently following the flow of Arcturon’s citizens as it moves about in its coordinated pathway. Observing their movements, emotions, and speech. Every opportunity is one to be learned. This is taken to with bland fascination, opposing the pleasant curve of rosey puckered lips. Every now and again, this woman stops, partaking in window-shopping and greetings as it has seen others doing the very same. Although not everyone is so social. 

| It is three PM. |

One game ends while another begins. Now, having kept a timed pace it arrives on its ‘x’. West of Amra, another area of residential high rises. So close, but separated by misshapen blocks of buildings and numerous bodies. By now, he received the returned belongings that had been borrowed. Having collected it during one of many one on one skirmishes they seem to engage one another in. It had been interesting, intriguing...and silently received by its scrolling eyes. Absorbed for information parallel to that screened from the patrons she passed to get to the trough where her duffle bag resides. 

It is with this renowned flair that this woman places the back of her hand against her forehead and laments a woeful cry. Catching the attention of a woman watering her plants from a beautifully colored glass window. “You alright, Miss?” 

“I was on my way to work, you see….and my brother. Such a monstrous jealous thing, stole something from me! My marsh toad Percy! I chased them down this way...can you please help me?!” Hands reach for the city ceiling, displaying the stress felt but such a horrid turn of events. And as they follow the lines of arms, wrist and finger, shadows tear the bag from the bottom of a flower garden. These frail instances… where intrigue turns to confusion. “Oh my! What is that?!” In the distance are explosions of orange streaming clouds. ANother explosion abounds, much more closely. Up over the heads of them all. 

Those sly and currently intangible lengths that dig through and open, pull and toss. People know when to act, and so they do. Also guided by the words of officials, telling her that Amra had been successful in releasing his canisters as well. And even beyond that so had others.

“Forget the toad-er Percy for now, Miss! We have to move, there are masked figures about!” 

“I understand...poor poor Percy!” She cries out while following the evacuees. People excusing themselves from their businesses and homes, and all travelling to well planned and designated routes. Another intuned observation. Then, she turns on flat little heels, back to where she began her lament. “I can’t do it! I can’t just leave Percy to the will of monsters! My beloved family toad!”

Even in the vicinity of other evacuees, a new mask is placed….or rather the pleasant face dissolves and is replaced by one adorned by flowers. And more canisters go off with directions it takes, so far above. It has business to attend to, and slips quickly into the cover of orange vapors, a small gas mask nestled beneath that which is petaled by beauty.  In time, The Body Merchant finds itself wondering how quickly the wildlight will be able to repair this damage. Maybe it will get answers from its chosen target.

 


@Shatter
@Rin @amenities @Csl

Edited by -Lilium-

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tap tap tap, tap tap tap;::;

A red-haired pauper, large black glasses and a walking cane to guide him, just a boy wandering down the street. An assumably bliind one, that is. A series spanning ‘Hello, where is x’ to an extended cup jingling ‘Coin for the poor’ had led the bespectacled boy north into Arcturon. Once there he bought himself a jalapeno treat with some assistance from the next person in line at the Von Ronald’s snack cart, and stood in the sun eating it. He faced this way and that, sometimes gazing up at the sky while he ate, but his glasses were close to his face and he but a simple boy; it appeared inconsequential. After finishing his treat, he returned to the cart.

“Hey there son, want another stuffed jalapeno?”

“No, I just wanted to ask, have you changed your recipe? Those tasted like... olives!”

“Ah, no!” Exclaimed the cart tender, pulling up an opened jar of Blasic jalapenos. “We’ve always used these!”

“Oh, my mistake,” said the pauper. “Can you direct me to Blasic? I’ll put a word in with them about their recipe then!”

“Well sure, they’re just southeast of Icarus Square, but I don’t know why you’d ask about a pepper’s recip--”

“Thanks!

1458

The boy with the cane tapped his way to the southwest corner of Icarus Square, making his way down an alley to a dumpster behind the pepper factory. Leaning the cane on the factory’s back wall, he felt his way to the dumpster and put his shoulder against one of its walls. With a great heave, he was able to scrape the cannister a few feet to the side. There, underneath the foot-or-so of leeway, was a bag. Slinging an arm through one of its straps, the boy with sunglasses grabbed his cane and made his way back out to the square.

It is three PM.

Let’s do it!

It was the mental voice of a youthful Sero, the same as a young Rose. Such was the appearance.

The redhead boy’s arms snapped at sudden, grotesque angles to unzip the bag on his back, removing two canisters. Rotating them each to his mouth, he clenched two pins in his teeth at once and let one fly into the middle of Icarus Square, then one toward one of its exitways into the city. Next he removed a triangular mouthpiece from the bag covering his nose and mouth, filtering the air from without. With that, he took off running through the crowds. A solid foot shorter than the others, he was partially concealed by his height alone.

I’m looking for you, Amra.

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It began as a whisper.

Confusion at first, as the citizens of Arcturon began to find their attention pulled away from their daily lives to notice something was amiss. Next was curiosity, trying to understand what was happening. Rumors began to spread; a gas leak, the containment failure of a secret bioweapon, a leak allowing the miasma to seep through. Fear begins to spread as they witness the effects of the gas, followed swiftly by panic. 

00 heard all of this in real time, Its attention now turned fully toward the city. A few calculations told it that he was currently twenty miles away from the city. If he started toward Arcturon now, he could arrive within five to ten minutes. As the fear and panic it felt from the city increased, the decision was quickly made. 

The Argonaut was now heading toward the city.

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3:05

 

Let’s do it!

Cain was an eccentric creature. Even to Amraphensbane, whose various bloody exchanges with The Body Merchant had veered dangerously close to flirtation. He lived many lives like Amraphensbane did, even The Body Merchant who he knew to be a master of disguise as well at this point. No, Cain was literally the youthful human Sero right now, serving the Dead with just as much grave efficiency as the architect himself. He considered it, and quickly realize that child is more dangerous to this city than he is. It was a simple fact that: He is Cain.

Amraphensbane was careful with this man, much more so than he had ever been with The Body Merchant. Cain had a spirited attitude in all forms Amraphensbane had met. Thus far, that was the only consistent trend he could place, and being spirited was not really enough to identify a man in disguise. However, if there was anything Amraphensbane did not trust, it was positivity. Cain's drive and ambition shined like a black sun, meaning to guide the blood-stained hands of the Dead forward. It felt genuine, it was infectious, and he knew people got lost in the haze of charismatic leaders.

Do not forget your training, He told himself. Such men had to be kept at arms length. It was not that he disliked Cain, but thus far, he had politely rebuffed all his attempts at more friendly interactions. Anything that was not business, he could not convince Amraphensbane to participate in, and even when he did try and trick him into having fun, Amraphensbane still refused to comply and 'have fun.' He was not going to do that with Cain. He could not let himself get drawn in.

The truth was, such a severe reprimand was because he had completely thrown his training away after failing to kill Sebastian. Poisoning the man with fast-acting toxins was not enough, and as he encountered a creature that defied the upper limits of his abilities, his whole world fell apart. He only began putting things back into order after meeting The Body Merchant, ceasing excessive killing on mission and becoming far, far more like the creature who was recruited into the Dead long ago. He would never admit to himself it was because of her he snapped back from the dark place he was going. Worse yet, the fact he continued to 'play' with her was a continued violation of his beliefs. He could never get the thought of one more 'match' of any kind, blade or wits, with her.

He groaned loudly to himself, the most audible expression of emotion he had made in years. He only let it out due to the fact none of the Dead were around to see him moping. He knew where she was, looking up into the distance to the west as he had been travelling towards the southern part of the sky-rises. The desire to change course and seek her crept in, his hand resting on the book she returned to him instead of a gas canister, and he stopped abruptly. It was his plan to stop here, but he knew he almost diverted course.

Why here, though? Because the thrum of panic was now returning the tide. Confusion sets in and people become desperate for the safety of their own home, fearing any stranger. And when those from the West and some from the South saw him, they tried to stop, only for others to force by them and push them towards Amraphensbane, the masked man who looked more like monster with the great maw of ivory teeth in a canine skull glaring them down. And in an instant, the crowd overtook him. People looked, brushed by, but hurried about on their business. So, he moved towards the edge of the robe, drew a gun, and grabbed someone by the arm.

The next thing he did as panic turned towards him was shoot out the doorknob to a locked house and throw the man through the door. Then, he unloaded several bullets towards the wall near the family of five inside. His pursuers would be close, but he had the view inside the house. He tossed a gas canister inside the house itself and proceeded to run inside and simply unlock and open the backdoor, entirely ignoring the family and the man he had hurt by throwing him through a door. The thickness of the gas inside the building made seeing next to impossible, but he was in and out in a moment, having caught his path when he smashed down the door in the first place.

I'm looking for you.

Another message from Cain, but just directed at Amraphensbane. He was not particularly aware of the two after him, but this sort of thing was routine for him. He needed to vanish, and once he was out the back of the house, he changed his course. Sprinting East, he just brushed by the perimeter of Icarus Square and he could see the mounting number of guards there. Perhaps he could not deny he would like to talk to her more. He conveyed images of the guards trying to claim order with the panicking civilians directly to The Body Merchant, giving her two points of information:

This is the largest collection of guards, and you will be on your own.

He was going East now, intending on finding a small moment to remind everyone of the blueprints of the city as well as everyone's present location. Then, he would direct them towards the maintenance shaft to the outside of Arcturon he was headed towards, moving at a south-east angle once he was clear of Icarus Square and preferring to move between houses and alley ways, avoiding the major collections of people. In his mask, he would constantly be gathering attention and getting pictures sent to the guards, but he never stopped moving at top speed. He would only unleash his forth gas canister when he was just about to leave the residential district.

 

3:15

((I'm posting some discussion in the OOC thread on time. I know some people haven't followed it, so you won't see replies. Linking here.))

Edited by Shatter

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The tap on his shoulder made him turn, the beaked mask he had upon his face, looked even more out of place. But it did help against the effects of the gas now being unleashed by his companions. The elf eyed the one tapping his shoulder, as his left hand lowered to grasp the flask, he prepared himself. 

A mix of the gas and his own concoction of red blood moon glass pieces. Esben then shook his head, not moving for a moment. 

Shame, and here I thought this wouldn't happen. Though I am well aware of what's happening but you're not going to like the next part. I apologise for this but you're the ones more in danger than me.

Esben then threw the flask at the two that came to see him, knowing that it could miss. If it didn't, it would break among their skin. The elf had walked away, not in a run, but a slow saunter as if he didn't feel any need of danger. The elf placed his hands into the pockets of his coat, humming an old tune. 

It was like he disappeared, though going back into the shadows as he always liked to do. He wondered if those two guard like people had gotten the flask upon them but he would find out in time. 

I guess, they should have been more careful. Esben said as he walked on. He was a weird one after all. But if it works, I'll be seeing them again. If that glass entered them, they'll come crawling for more. 

He chuckled then as he walked into the darkness. Disappearing as he came. Esben hoped the results would come to his favor.

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The Taen Exploration Committee Accreditation Office

@Vaudevillian

”... I repeat -- A man has launched some kind of gas weapon along Silic Boulevard… All citizens should leave the streets and seek shelter indoors. Keep your windows and doors closed. Stay tuned for further updates. KMed has recommended everyone within the highrise complex, especially those without ventilation filters, wear their Nuphar masks...”

Oliver Oxenfree’s announcement filtered through the radio in the TEC accreditation office. The quiet waiting area came to life; many of the adventurers leapt to their feet. Various voices rang out -- questions, exclamations, worries. And just at that moment, one of the TEC officials burst out of a doorway.

“Everyone- everyone, hey!” He clapped his hands to get their attention. “You heard the announcement. Someone’s gassing the city. There’s Nuphar masks in the supply closet in the hall. Put one on. They told us to stay indoors, but if you want to help the Guard, get the civilians out there into safety!”

There was a cacophony of chairs being pushed back, legs grinding against the floor.

The official blinked hard. “The first bomber is--

 

Silic Boulevard

[Renee Phoric 15:11] -heading to Icarius Square.

Phoric and Chariot sped in pursuit of the masked man. The ivory mask wasn’t hard to track; when the stranger dove into a crowd, the two Guards followed.

[Oscar Chariot 15:11] Is the Icarius being evacuated?

A chorus of mental messages confirmed that it was. Good.

Their relief was short-lived. Wolf-mask grabbed a hostage, halting the Guards’ pursuit. Chariot cursed into his mask as the intruder entered the house; he’d thrown another canister, judging by the sudden burst of fumes from the windows and door.

There was no use: the terrorist had gotten away, for now; the two turned to the task of getting the family out of the house safely.

 

Frog Lady

@-Lilium-

Amidst the chaos, the woman’s calls for her frog’s safety were forgotten, and few paid heed to her face blooming into flowers. Arcturon’s City Guard were nothing if not sharp, however. A number had served in the Terran military; even serving a different nation, it remained that they civilian life was a priority over collateral. A guard took note of the woman slipping into the gas, sent a blink-image of her form for others.

 

Satyr

@Rin

The Satyr was wearing a mask- this, the guard realized when the stranger turned. He backed away, drawing his gun. He’d seen the IDSign images of the first attacker. What is it with bad guys and masks?

[Orai Kahel 15:12] There’s this guy with a mask here.

[Orai Kahel 15:12] He has some kinda vial.

Two members of the Guard approached, guns raised.

The stranger threw the flask. Orai flinched, leaping back. Just as another swathe of orange smoke burst out of the flask, the two other guards began firing. Thinking quick, Orai kicked the vial to the side, mindful of the glass shards; though the smoke grew thick, the motion made the satyr temporarily visible.

Orai took careful aim - the satyr was walking slowly - BANG. A few seconds later, the smoke had grown too thick to see through. Orai gritted his teeth.

[Orai Kahel 15:13] I’m going after him.

As other two guards turned back, hastening their efforts to get the citizens to safety, he darted after the masked satyr.

 

The City Hall

The City Hall itself had a ventilation filter they’d activated at first notice, but it didn’t sit well with Thea to be safe, above it all, watching to the chaos that unfolded below. Still, they needed her alive to lead the city. Two canisters became three, became five and seven and nine, Arcturon’s shining skylights growing murky from the smog that filled the lucentglass enclosure. And through it all, the damned ring on her hand remained silent.

Thea thought of turning its outer ring herself, being the first to reach out to their reclusive monarch. Perhaps it was pride that kept her from doing so -- the king saw all -- if a terrorist bombing in Taen’s research center was no concern to him, then Arcturon would handle it on their own, thank you very much.

“Two sightings of the terrorists, maybe three” said Shuldaram, her gaze distant. “The first one’s wearing a wolf mask, was heading to Icarius square before the Guard lost track of him. Took a man hostage before escaping, entered a home. Didn’t kill any civilians. Second sighting reported a woman with a … flower mask going into the smoke. Third is a satyr with a bird mask. The validity of the second’s suspect, since we’ve just now started to receive reports of-”

An alarm sounded across the city. A calm female voice began blaring from every public speaker. “The city has suffered a miasma breach. Please remain calm as you evacuate to the nearest vent-filtrated building. The city has suffered a miasma breach. Please remain calm as you evacuate to the nearest vent-filtrated building.”

“-hallucinations.” Shuldaram finished.

It clicked, then - why they’d targeted the residential sector, the newer buildings. Why the gas was light enough to float upwards, instead of lingering near the ground to expose citizens.

Thea pinched the bridge of her nose. Only about a fifth of the city’s buildings had ventilation filters - these were the buildings constructed prior to the invention of lucentglass.

“Send the full Guard in. Evacuate the city. Central quadrant into the vent-filtrated structures.” These would be the hospitals, some of the older buildings that had been converted to commercial establishments. “Northern quadrant goes underground, into the research districts. Southern quadrant gathers in Talos Park; the nuphar gardens will keep the worst of the miasma away. Have the Guard distribute the nuphar too.”

She rubbed the hand down her face. “Three masked men. There’s more?”

“Judging by the positions of the canisters, yes. And it seems they knew the layout of the city - they’re evading the Guards well.”

Thea glared at the amber ring on her finger. She drew a mental list of names, those who’d have reason to wish for Arcturon’s destruction, and began going down it. Then dismissed it -- useless to consider that at the moment. They’d need to capture one of the terrorists.

“Tell Ikrah to send in a strike team.”

Shuldaram winced. “Alright.”

 

Western Barracks; City Guard

“I’ve sent five divisions to scour the western quadrant for the terrorists, distribute nuphar, and escort the evacuees to safety.” Commander Ikrah said. “Laima Ops. You know your orders?”

“Neutralize the terrorists,” said Hana, eyes burning orange as she siphoned wildlight from a synthetic talika reservoir - a miniature superecosystem in an mycenic amber womb, strapped to her back. She checked the seed stores in the belt slung over her chest, then gave Ikrah a thumbs-up.

Dzul lifted a taubelidor bullet with fascinated glee, putting it close to her eye. “And by that, put them to sleep! Or put a tracker on them, at least. In their bodies, yeah. Shrapnel!” The tiny objects were enclosed in transparent lazurum shells. “Then Seit can track them.”

Seit was quiet, making adjustments to his brass crossbow. Iridium-tipped arrows, a red-gold and silver disc at the bottom of the quiver -- the whole weapon was a modified pneuma-meter; it would able to trace materia and the path it had taken from a singular source. In this case, Dzul’s taubelidor-lazurum bullets.

Netsa was serene, standing to the side with eyes closed, arms crossed. Outside the barracks, a cloud of dragonflies was amassing. Even in a city like Arcturon, the variety of lower life-forms was impressive. Ants, spiders, flies, cockroaches, moths -- these made Netsa’s arsenal, gathering around her in a dark cloud.

“We don’t have IDSigns yet,” Daseot noted. “How are we coordinating with the internal guard?”

Ikrah handed them five radio transceivers - sleek adhesive patches that’d attach to the base of their skulls, behind their ears. “Shuldaram will be your contact. She’ll give you the information you need. Now go.”

The five of them left. As they stepped outside the building, Daseot muttered something under his breath -- a name, perhaps, or a phrase. The wind swept them away, in a flash, and into the heart of the city.
 

Icarius Square

@Shatter @amenities

At the clink of a thrown canister, waves of panic swept through the public space. The plume of orange smoke joined the others streaming up at various places in the city. The sunlight that once streamed through the lucentglass with bright clarity was now hazy, scattered rays casting shadows where once there were none.

Suddenly, blisteringly, the temperature rose, and with it, the gas - the sudden updraft sent the strange smoke to the ceiling; for the meantime, it’d keep the miasma at bay as well. Daseot landed in the middle of the square, Hana beside him. He exchanged a nod with the Guards in the area.

Hana began stalking the crowd, eyes burning wildlight-orange, seeds clutched in one hand. “I'm pulling the strings, scanning for those who aren't in the wildlight web.” She tossed a handful of fine grains in the air; Daseot's wind swept them away, scattering them amongst the crowd. "Dvul, any sight of wolf man?"

A few blocks away, Dvul sighed. “He’s not even trying to hide.” The sniper sat, perched on the top of one of the high-rises - between Icarius Square and Talos Park. Seit was a few floors below him, quietly murmuring into his transceiver, receiving updates from Shuldaram. "Seit says he's just running south-east."

Netsa was on the ground, her bugs spread out across a few blocks. Her control was nowhere near as extensive as the King’s, but the lower-order creatures served as her eyes and ears -- though she rarely spoke of how she’d reached this level of skill. “We’ll be here when he gets here."

Edited by Csl
links, grammar

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'2:53...'

 He was boyish, foolhardy, signing a fake name on the register form. It processed too, those suckers. Someone took his picture hurriedly. Jason smiled, and in charismatic fashion, raised his thumb tastefully during the flash. He was officially a bonafide hero, and a testimony to satirical sorcery. There was a brief wait to receive the credentials. With time to kill, he clicked his spurs patiently. More waiting, and then, they called his name and he cheekily retrieved his prize.

 '3:06... Still have time to grab some grub.' 

 It happened so suddenly, something wasn't right. There was a bit of distant sound at first, people from afar, growing clearer, and nearer. Chiming in eventful unison, the broadcast switched. Authoritative procedures commanded the offices attention. The room stood on end, some looking out windows, others between. A familiar fear threatened to send them all into uproar, and again so soon. They witnessed smoke rising in the distance, was there a fire? No. These clouds were colored oddly, denser than swamp gas. Synthetically produced? It seemed unnatural to him.

'We have reported that a... A man has launched some kind of gas weapon along Silic Boulevard. I repeat -- A man has launched some kind of gas weapon along Silic Boulevard...'

'The Acolytes of the Coiled Beast?'

  Jack wondered. It was a logical thought, a gut feeling, but incorrect. He hadn't time to think before a TEC official had addressed everyone, bringing to attention a course of action after barging into the room. Everyone was to assist with evacuation, and the presumed locations of where the gas had spread from was divulged, canisters being dispersed by masked assailants. Something clicked in Jack's mind, connecting the wrong dots, again drawing false conclusion. The TEC handed out Nuphar masks, but Jack oddly declined and hurried off while the others evacuated. Did he not need one?

 He meandered toward Icarius Square, kicking puddles which seemed to soak him to the bone. Jack paused once along the way, caught off guard by a repetitious splashing. Cacophony echoed, and pulled his attention towards the corner of his mask. Sometimes he saw silhouettes, sometimes colors, but he turned his head in time to see something that he argued to himself to be real. It tore through the rain, soaking itself in mud that never was, or shouldn't be. A wolf? 

 Jack rubbed his eyes from behind a driftwood mask, and when he opened them, it had passed. He was relieved because, sometimes the things in his peripheral lingered. The gunman kicked more water, trudging through the reflections of the clouds gathering overhead, following a patch of beaten road. In a serene confusion, he walked until it's end, and raised his eyes from the ground, realizing he was among a crowd in the Square.

 He dropped the driftwood mask into a puddle, watching it sink endlessly into his reflection. Loud, antsy bustling shook his ears, his hearing coming back at once. A gathering of panicked citizens lined up in front of a building, staring at a crime scene. Someone had been hurled through a door, and there were bullet holes everywhere. Jason was taken back, unsure of how he'd gotten here, but remembering what the TEC official had said about evacuation. Jason used his charismatic nature to try to coax the crowd.

  "Everyone get to a filtrated building!! Go on!"

 He goaded, directing people towards the older structures where he could. There were government operatives around the area, he could distinguish their advanced kits, and their distinct uniforms but he wasn't sure who they were. Fortunately, Jason wasn't a stranger to adversity, and he beckoned to them with his new I.D. in hand.

 

 @Csl 

  The explorer flashed the committee card to a pair of agents, Daseot and Hana, identifying himself as one 'Jason O. Flintshoe' and asked them a question to try and pool information.

 "Hi, I'm with the committee. What's going on?"

 He asked nervously, taking note that the gas in the area had been swept upward.

 

 

 

Edited by Vaudevillian

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| This is the largest collection of guards, and you will be on your own. |

The warning is accepted with silence. Formulations for such an event already prepared for, being that opposition is genuinely inevitable during a mission this broad.

Spread out and continue releasing the cannisters. An order exuded unto those lying in wait at the base of it’s frame. Tendrils of darkness that had been lapping against boot heels with every movement made, now rise. Wriggling free from the pooled mass of darkness in inky squiggles. Colliding and collapsing into one another until two distinct and unique forms take shape to either side of it. Lumbering over the lithe stature. A hand from each takes hold of a shoulder before malforming to match the shape they grasp. Outlining the very nature of the speaker from the tip of the head to the shadow sprawled across the ground.

Where there had been one, there are now three. You shouldn’t go alone. A tri-directional stare ensues from all three points of the broken triangle in which they stand. Split them up and finish the mission. You know where to meet me when it's done. Too quickly the orange gas rises, and for every time it slips from the ground another is opened and tossed, to shroud them.Take this, all information and communication relayed from here on out will go straight to you. It removes the device from its temple and presses it against that of the duplicate to its left, relieving itself organizational technology. Their connection to one another will allow what one intercepts to be mirrored in its reception by the other. Now go.

As you wish.

As you wish.

As if to indicate the directions they should take to do as commanded, gloved hands rise from one of the triplets. Pointing out the differing angles to the residential district the other identicals should travel along. Canisters  gathered, they disperse in opposite directions. Streams of orange flying towards the dome telling of their subservience. It waits. Waits for them to make a void between their presences before carrying on with its own endeavor. 

Although they’d lowered to its sides, the knuckles bend and bow, crackling in disjointed mannerisms. Tremblingly the nails of one make their way to the edge of a flowery mouth, cutting into the twitching flesh residing there. Blood dribbles free, spilling onto them and staining their beds copper. Secondary to the first movement, is that which brings the bevel of a needle into the skin. Penetrating the pallid flesh at the jugular; plunged for injection and discarded into a pocket. This only makes things worse, forcing the spine to pop and snap as it bends much too quickly forward. Forehead a hair's breadth from the knees, hands abrasively scraping against the ground, deadened by the force of erratic motion. 

Matters change, twist and allow froth to ooze from the corners of a shrouded, already plucked bloody mouth. It had felt the trepidation, the utter dissonance breaking free of a body too far away for it to touch. Like claws straining...prickly harshly against the back of an enemy, icy snarls protrudes from within. Infiltration is brought on by a shadow placed on their very first contact. Amraphensbane...Stop allowing your grotesque distraction of fear and panic to break your focus. Do your duty...and do it pleasingly well. They grate inside of its brain, tracing frozen lines of irritating patience only to melt against flames of stolen ferocity. A nature not its own. What follows is broken, twisted unwillingly out of its nominally cold demeanor.

Unseen, beneath layers of fabric and skin are shifting bones and muscle. That folded presentation erecting itself once more. It hadn’t closed it, that connection it craves, leeches off, and shatters. Feeding on every bit given as though starved. It’s left open, and so channels every agonizing sensation of emotion dripping from either of them. Porous and permeable. I... will peel the skin from your face... tear you... piece by piece... every pinch and drop... I will consume you. With an exasperatedly reeling inhalation the connection suddenly slams shut, locking him out and away as control once again has hold. Always taking and giving the most miniscule in return. Thief in the daylight, thief in the night. Stealing as it does, without care for the disease sprung from those treacherous whims. Forcing its fall as prey to… another; birthing an addiction for rage that further blossoms its need to now swallow and choke down its own blood. A fragile fickle attempt to ease the burden of its own making, to sate the magma coursing through its veins. All while beseeching itself to remain indifferent. Separate. Singular. Alone.

Shoulders roll, then neck. Again it moves, with much more intent and purpose than before. Walking northward and down towards the beating heart of Arcturon. The wetland infused home of its most creative minds. 

1515

Edited by -Lilium-

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The chaos of war smote large pieces of Arcturon, its seemingly vibrant peace rent apart in seconds. More than military might or any type of specific force, this was the terrible power of illusion. Plumes of the first batches of fog were clearing, but the panic had already done its job. Still, patches of dense orange filled the wakes and surroundings of the ones dispersing it. 

Without another word, but using the conveyed images of his compadre’s location, the red-haired boy closed the distance between Amraphensbane and him.

One crowd of fleeing civilians was running west down the same street as Amra. Moving to steer around a thick mass of the gas, they were suddenly blown back in fright at the sight of the running Amraphensbane. Once they felt cleared of him, they would regather and continue running at a northwest gate. 

And there you are. Say cheese! Stay the course, Amra.

Within the reformed crowd another figure had joined just moments after passing Icarius Square. This one was a small cane-wielding boy with shocking red hair and a black glasses/gasmask combination that covered his face. While concealing his cheekbones and exposing only a small patch of skin below the hairline, this getup could just as likely have been construed for the sake of utility as it was disguise. On top of having the appearance of a (probably) blind person, he was just a boy, only about two-thirds as tall as anyone else.

“Turn around! Turn around, they’re telling us we have to head to Talos Park!” 

“But we were lucky not to die just then! Didn’t you see one of those.” the citizen swallowed hard, struggling to come to grips with the situation before uttering the word. “Those terrorists, ran right past us!? And they want us to go back there?”

“It’s what’s safest,” was the general responding consensus.

With that, the group was headed back toward Talos Park.

All the while, stewing within this wildlight connection of which he was specifically and singularly not part, the young redhead’s Dialectic skills began inferring that something in him was uncontrollably different from the ones around him. Looking up and around him as the group made its way back southeast, the sophistication of these highrises, the skill that must have gone into this lucentglass casing, caused him to wonder if they were also capable of sussing out the oddity he was within this group.

At least the longer they went without specific attention being drawn to them, the less out of place the boy would look with a gas mask. He could say one of the Guard or a relative, or a good samaritan had blessed the blind boy with a mask.

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The firing of shots caught Esben's attention as he stopped for a moment. Looking over his shoulder, the elf chuckled. So, the man decided to chase him, interesting. And was a bit fun. Seeing that the others would possibly chatise him later for doing the job but encouraging to be almost caught. 

Tell me, you really want to do this? Chase after someone you don't know. It could destroy you. Of course, I don't like battle but if I have to, I might as well. But--

Esben paused as turned around, the mask different from the group's in-case he did get caught--taken in, he could convince them he was of a different group. The elf chuckled again, as he would now try to charm his way out of this. The poor man [or woman, not sure the gender] who followed him wouldn't have wanted to. The elf [or satyr, which ever preferred lol] looked up through the mask's eyes, peering.

Peering as if within the guard's soul/form. Esben didn't look panicked, nor frightened. It was if he enjoyed the game, which to him at the weirdest of times, was. He then spoke towards the guard. 

Isn't it kind of dumb to chase after someone you don't know? O' I know, you want more the delicious glass I threw at you. Esben said with a chuckle, not knowing if he was frightening or not. Which was never the case. Or is it to spend some more time with me? Though, if it's a fight, I really despise those. 

Esben eyed the weapon, knowing he wouldn't escape that part of the game. Most like to use fighting to upstage the man, but Esben knew better. And sure, he was supposed to be heading back, rendezvous with the group. Seeing they did release some kind of gas and the others would be furious if he lingered. Though this made him frown, hated being rushed. 

He turned back around for a moment before looking over his shoulder. 

I must go, I'm afraid. But this game has been fun. Maybe, if you did injest some of my marvelous glass, we meet again. Until then, better go look after those afflicted.

And then continued walking down the street again. A smirk on his face, as he knew that this wasn't going to be easy. That he couldn't just walk away. But wasn't that all part of the game?

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