To the stars...


You are not connected. Please login or register

Ad Astra » Roleplay » Roleplay » Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic)

Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic)

Go to page : Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 2 of 2]

26 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:31 pm

Zero

avatar
Admin
For once, the hyena had a lot to say. It was funny how that worked out for him. Most of the time he kept to himself; reserved, concise, pragmatic. When he did have something to say however, it was usually something of the variety that got other people killed. The quiet life suited him just fine. He was good at that, knew the trade well. Hunting, tracking, scouting, fighting. It was all in his repetoire, after all. Borden hadn't invested in a life, he'd invested in the life's talents, like one would invest a small amount of money into small-time stocks. This man, who was probably the best business man in town, was just a sack of flesh with an intimidating presence and a knack for clever, immoral ideals. Still, a sack of flesh was just that; easy to rip apart, and they all bled the same in the end. Funny how that worked out for him. Thinking about ripping a man apart to comfort his nerves. He wasn't even angry. It just helped sometimes. Zero wasn't sure if he liked that or not: the instinctual drive that lingered within - to hunt, to mock, to kill. Still... say one thing about Zero, say that he's still alive because of it.

It's an easy thing to make a man a carcass. He knew a thousand ways to do it. But once you've done it, there's no going back. One minute you're a living being, all full up with hopes, and thoughts, and dreams. A man with friends, and family, and a place to call home. Next minute you're mud.

Inclined to let some of his thoughts roll into the open, Zero sat upright. It was still a struggle, but it was nothing compared to the pain he'd endured recently. He didn't want to talk, even though he had a lot of things to say for once, but he knew that it would be for the best. "If the measure of a man was judged by the size of his hat, you would be a great man indeed." he began, frowning disappointedly as he looked the man over. "I bet you've never experienced true fear before, have you? Fearlessness is a fool's boast. The only men with no fear in them are dead, or the soon to be dead, maybe. Fear teaches you caution, and respect for your enemy, and to avoid sharp edges used in anger. All good things in their place, believe me. Fear can bring you out alive, and that's the very best anyone can hope for from any fight. Every man who's worth a damn feels fear. It's the use you make of it that counts. My point, exactly? You're speaking with a beast who can rip you limb from limb with no fear at all. You're speaking to him with a lot of disrespect, after all of the shit he put himself through to get you one fucking piece of tech. Now, wouldn't you say, for a wonderful self-respecting businessman such as yourself, that's not a great way to strike up conversation with one of your most talented 'investments?'. Too bad you have all those men and women to feel the fear for you. Too bad that, when I eventually come for you, you'll barely be half a man for me to rip apart, inch by fucking inch."

The way the hyena's eyes darkened after he had finished speaking, well... the black in his eyes faded in with the black of the room, and there was suddenly a large figure with fur and scarred muscle staring dauntingly across the room, like the shadow of a demon suddenly appearing under a child's bed at night. It only lasted for a moment, but for most people, it was a moment longer that they would have liked. He wondered if the same could be said for Borden, or Mercy. He had paid little attention to the girl, and apparently she was to go with him and Visi. His frightening demeanour disappeared, and his rough voice seemed to smooth itself out over the course of his next few words. The animal in him was fading again. He didn't know whether to be thankful or frightened that his courage seemed to fade in and out like the ever-present waves of the ocean.

"I'll find Darkly." he started with a sigh. He was strong enough to pick himself up from the couch now. His belongings had been dumped under a beaten coffee table nearby. He gathered them up, took some time to ready himself, and then opened up the front door. He wasn't about to leave. Not yet. He just needed some fresh air. As fresh as it could be, anyway. The hyena looked over his shoulder with an expression of doubt lining his features. "As for the rest, I make no promises. You want exact results? Get yourself an army. If these people are half as convincing as you are, we're all in trouble."

View user profile http://adastra.freeforums.eu

27 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:35 pm

She'd entered through the back door to find two dogged creatures glaring at one another, Zero's face unfamiliar in that instant. There had been nothing honourable or even hesitant in that look, none of that puppyish awkwardness, only the ferocity his appearance promised. She stiffened as she caught sight of him, not wanting to startle either man. Whilst Borden didn't look like much of a skilled fighter he certainly had the men to take care of Zero should he snap, and as for Zero himself... if he could live through that grenade blast and be this strong already then picking a fight with him was likely suicide. For once she was thankful that his demeanor didn't often match his appearance.

Mercy was lurking in the corner, it seemed she'd slunk away from the heat of the conversation when nobody else was paying attention but Visi saw her, tilting her head and watching the other woman carefully. She'd expected her to be playing the victim, curling up and shaking and drowning herself in the sorrow of shed blood, but no, this woman looked...not angry exactly though there was definitely some element of that in her, bitter perhaps? That was probably the best word for it. Most likely her hands were itching to return the hospitality she'd been granted. Visi had the inexplicable urge to unpeel the patch on her face and take a proper look at Darkly's handiwork. Had he been disciplined so as not to damage his trophy or had it simply been a case of frantic, fervent justice? A person's methods always gave them away, their passions, their sensibilities, whether they were meticulous or frenzied in their destruction. She never knew what to make of those who savoured it; it would be nice to believe that they were only curious.

Had it been up to her she'd leave Mercy here without a second thought; presenting the damaged shell of a friend, taken and beaten by the people returning her, probably wasn't going to help in garnering trust nor in building any positive relations with this gang. Still it wasn't her decision, though she knew it would inevitably become her problem, just as theirs had become Borden's. Time to play Mousy.

"As long as there is fear an army isn't necessary. Not for talking, if they listen. They saw the eye. They saw you. They saw the blood and the empty bullets. Guns speak." Instinctively she rubbed at her arm, just above where she'd bandaged herself, telling herself for the thousandth time that she should be grateful it had gone straight through. It didn't work. It never did. Apologies didn't take much strength but the backlash would. Revenge was such an troublesome thing, once it bit deep enough the wound always festered. It would be a shame to have to leave the small area that had slowly become familiar but if worst came to worst there was always the option to leave Borden's territory once they regrouped, not that she believed for a moment that he wouldn't give chase should they fail to deliver, the wolf's gang too.

"We leave when you are strong enough. Not before."

View user profile

28 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:17 pm

Borden the Banker-man stood so very still indeed. His face usually tended to conjour up images of the last pieces of jelly coalescing around a bowl, but here and there, around the cheek bones and at the corners of his lips, the jolly mixture hardened, discreetly so. With his business-like apparel and demeanour, this might've gone unnoticed, but Borden the Banker-man knew all too well that he was in exceedingly perceptive company, and that the only one who got away with wearing masks was many miles away doing fuck knows what. Even Visi was just a shadow of that thing. The remnants of his jowls swayed as he pivoted his head over to her. He watched until he could watch no longer, because he'd watched so long that it was no longer considered socially unacceptable - and, God forgive - rude, in present company. Although, compared to present company, his manners were probably considered divine. When he thought that, the banker did something that he was certain neither of these two were expecting him to do; he smiled. He smiled until he could smile no longer, because then he began to... laugh?

He did. He actually did. He crackled and cackled and he chortled and he chuckled and as he pushed one leg after the other, closer and closer towards that rude dog of a man, he could even have been said to be hysterical. Yes, it would've not been a difficult thing to say that at all. He was hysterical. Squaring up to Zero as he closed, he was actually level with him, though the hat always made him look a little smaller. "If the measure of a man judged by the glib of his tongue, you and I would be both great men. Even you." Letting out a disappointed sigh, he continued. "If I'd never felt fear, do yer really think I'd be in the bankin' bis'ness?" he allowed himself a laugh at that. "No. But her' I am, her' we are, her' we all are. Because at one point or 'nother we were all 'fraid. Mary can't speak fer shit, Mousy hides behind 'er bloody mask, you act like a bloody cunt and we all know what fucking Beaker's like." Borden shuddered, shook his head, and soldiered on. Bloody Beaker indeed. "Let me 'splain things fer ya here, Chucklelot, since I don't think you seem to get it. I may'na own this ruddy town, but I dunna need'tuh. Wanna know why? Cause I lease it, see? Next best thing. How d'yer think little Miss Rosie Donnadough gets th'quid she needs fer 'er bar? Not from the three reg'lars, I tell yees. And wha'about Ryan an'is farm, or King Kole an'is fuckin' coal stall, or any of th'others? Dead or starvin' or raidin'. But they ain't 'cause I got capital and they got needs and I'm a good, fuckin' bis'ness-man. Borden the Banker-man, geddit? So when yer threaten me, see, yer threaten Rusttonne. An'I fink I know whose winnin' that-there fight, dun-we-now?" After that, he smirked a smirk that was so sharp it seemed like it liked to think Glasgow smiles were really a few inches higher up.

"Point is, see, we can't really hurt each-other real good, not here, not now. I need you, an' you need me. Problem is yer dunna'ave a proxy t'hurt, see?" That smirk held sharp as he snapped his fingers. Men tumbled in up from the stairs behind him. There must've been six... Yes, six. They wore armour on their chests and helmets, all of these scavenged and rusty. A couple had bats and the like, a few had pistols, and one of them had a rifle. The rifolier trained his gun on Zero, while the others moved as Borden indicated. "Take Mousy's mask. And you, Chuckles, you watch, see what cons'quences yer actions bring. Yer your own worst enemy, mate. I'm just taking coll-ate-erole, insurance, see? To insure me against bad behaviour, so t'speak. It's what all good bis-ness men do, you just give me a reason."

View user profile

29 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:38 am

As soon as the words were out of Borden's mouth Visi began backing away, already sensing that her exit would be blocked. She risked a glance and sure enough there was some lout standing there leering, one of the ones who'd taken her from the underground when she'd been so close to wriggling free of Borden's wretched net. She hissed at them, eyes narrowed into slits as she looked past the men for some kind of exit. How dare they take her mask for Zero's mistake? She'd already taken a bullet through the arm for his wretched kindness, coming back to this damned house was returning the favour for the grenade but not this. Not this.

"Get. Back." Again she felt the lack at her belt where her knife had once hung, stupid, stupid bastards!
"We ent gonna hurt'cha if yer hand over the mask Mousey. Need some assurance. Harsh times y'know. Dreadful harsh." Beetle smiled with his teeth but not his eyes, loose skin wrinkling around his sockets in some slimy parody of amusement. She knew it was far more practical to just give in, she knew she couldn't win this fight and nor was that bloody hyena going to pitch in with his fucking mighty honour. This was all his fault. Couldn't help running his mouth. Couldn't resist playing the hero and saving her life. Idiot. Why didn't you just let me die?

They stood at an impasse for several seconds, Beetle staring at her, Visi staring through him until another gang member grabbed her from behind, pinning her arms. She shrieked as his hand closed around her injured arm, struggling as hard as she could. She felt a second set of hands in her hair, searching for the clasps that held the mask in place as she shook her head violently, feeling the hair tear loose. Without even realising it she'd begun a wordless howl, kicking out at the man in front of her again and again, not pausing her fighting even when he collapsed as her boot connected with his groin. Another simply replaced him, a man who punched her in the gut forcing her down beside the one she'd put there. Someone straddled her, their weight giving them a massive advantage and she felt the straps come loose, her head being forced up as the mask was taken from her. She bit down on the thief, hard. I'll never forgive you. They roared in return as she spat the severed finger out beside her, finally going still.

She didn’t struggle as whoever was atop her slammed her head into the floor over and over again; someone was shouting, probably the bitten man, maybe. It didn’t matter.

The mask was handed to Borden but she didn't hear what he said, only lying there in muffled silence. It was difficult not to cough. The air was mustier than she remembered, harsher and laden with disease. Vile. Disgusting. She needed to find a scarf, a cloth, something to cover her mouth as soon as possible. Slowly, slowly she got to her feet, standing perfectly still as if nothing had happened and looked blankly at Borden.

As a whole her face was hollow and pale, no hint of colour in her cheeks. Even the faint pink of her small mouth looked bright in comparison to the rest of her. Freckles dusted the bridge of her nose, her eyes the brightest thing about her, but now they seemed to have lost their shine. Dull sea glass. She swayed slightly as she stood, again failing to process the words coming from Borden and Zero's mouths. She raised one hand to her mouth and kept it there, waiting until they would be dismissed to find Darkly. At least he'd gotten to keep his illusion.

View user profile

30 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:58 pm

Zero

avatar
Admin
No amount of guilt could have changed the way the game was played with a man as crooked as his hat. Once the dice had been rolled, there was nothing left to do but to wait for them to stop spinning in order to check the results. The little lady was now a hollow figure devoid of what little emotion she had in the first place, and what little she had now was showing through the "I'll never forgive you" in her eyes. If there was any renewable energy left in the world, it was guilt; the gift that keeps on giving. It seemed like any chance of redemption was lost a long time ago now, and only a few precious seconds had passed them by.

So there they stood, staring. One with contempt, the other with remorse; a broken beast and a belittled beauty, twisted and grim in their own little ways. Maybe there was even more emotion in the room than there ever could have been now that they had all played their roles. Which actors played which parts was hard to tell when two of them hid themselves behind masks of the past, and the other behind fur, fang and claws. The irony that he wasn't the true beast in the room brought a grin to his expression. It was wide with a hint a madness.

Hers, hers, hers. You fucking monster... you took her pretty little face.

There was a grim understanding of the situation beginning to swell in the hyena's mind. Perhaps he was now beginning to comprehend the true nature of the masked beings. Twisted, dark and butchered thoughts ran rampant through his animalistic mind. The thought of fangs sinking into soft flesh, the warmth of fresh blood splattering against his maw, the soft click of a safety trigger catching... the crumpled hat of a man who liked to test his luck by prodding caged beasts with a stick. Clenched fists softened up, snarling teeth loosened, growling quieted, and the world stopped spinning. He left the building without a word, and in his wake left the man with a hat a silent promise.

Mull over that, you bastard. I'll find her a new face...

As if he'd said something that was supposed to make the man afraid, he walked. He didn't stop, or look back. Just walked, as if his actions spoke as clearly as his idiotic rambling. As if he expected the man in the hat to understand the inner-rantings of a beast who had carved a life out of murder, theft and revenge.

View user profile http://adastra.freeforums.eu

31 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:11 am

Since she'd crossed the building’s threshold she hadn't moved the hand from her face, nor would she; not until she felt that she could breathe. As she walked she took inventory: key, medicine, whistle, water, lock-picks. Yes, even if she'd lost her mask at least they hadn't taken her key. True she'd probably never see what it unlocked again but that was probably best, it mean that it was locked for the rest of time. Even if the box was smashed open the lock would still be closed, her promise would be kept. Now, as she moved mechanically forward she turned her attention to her surroundings looking for any sort of fabric to wrap around her mouth, any sort of corpse to scavenge from. That's all the dead were good for: picking clean.

Part of her wanted to demand from Zero why he'd bothered to save her life, the other, much larger part, firmly deadened that urge. That could wait, and in any case it would turn his attention from doing anything useful. She could feel the crackle of furious pity beside her, was it towards her or himself? After all, hadn’t the great, strong hero lost to the grimy underbelly of the city? City. That word was meaningless. Just another font of human trash to sift through. Residents. Rubble. All one and the same.

She coughed through her fingers, pressing her hand more firmly into skin, digging her nails into the side of her jaw. It makes me sick. It’s all sick! She pictured spores drifting into her mouth, clogging her nose and settling in her lungs, muscles contracting, dying and wasting, filling with fluid until she drowned in blood or pus or choked on the poisonous air. Taking another shuddering breath, filtering the air through her fingers as best she could, she forced herself to concentrate on their objective.

“You woke. When?”

Perhaps Zero had some insight as to where Darkly was, though she highly doubted he’d wanted to impose on Borden’s hospitality any further and swap holiday details. Still, if what that creature had said about the crow-man were true he was probably in good enough shape to trudge through the wastes without much trouble. She couldn’t think of anything he’d want to find, no set goal, no means of gaining anything more than momentarily, therefore he’d probably chosen a direction and followed it until something interesting fell under his feet. The sooner they found him the sooner they could cut ties with Borden. He didn’t seem the type to keep a songbird, and Darkly didn’t seem the sort to suffer song.

View user profile

32 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:43 pm

Zero

avatar
Admin
Somewhere, in the vast space between the beast and the belittled, there were words hanging in the air. They were intolerable, incoherent mumblings that made little sense to him at all. If the tongue had not been framed for articulation, man might have joined the party of corpses a long time ago, because despite the desolation of the world, there was still a lot of power in words. It just so happened that the hyena had very little use for them most of the time, and when he did it usually came with dire consequences, as if he had to pay the price for using a language that wasn't his own. It was all just another part of the ongoing prejudice between man and beast. The struggle, as it had always been, was between the mindful and the mighty; those graced with wit, and those graced with power. The rare combination of the two made leaders out of the rabble, and from there on, everything was as tribal as it might have been a long time ago. As long as he still had a matriarch to bend to, there was still hope to be found.

Zero hadn't even realised it, but by the time he finally found meaning in the words, he had somehow managed to traverse his way to the outer-limits of the settlement. He stopped, took a moment to examine his surroundings and familiarise himself, and then let the last of his frustration slip free with a broken breath. No doubt he must have been close to a jog to have made that sort of distance in such a short time. He could only turn to the little lady and offer an apologetic smile. The echoes of guilt in his eyes as he looked her over might have actually made him seem genuinely emotional for once.

"Does it matter? I woke."

Then he was back to his usual brooding self again; guilty for existing, for actually trying to be nice for once. He wasn't after pity or moral direction, just a little gratitude every now and again. Another thing he hadn't realised was that, during his time spent drowing in culpability and bestial stupor, he had been following his nose. The scent was faint, but it was undeniably the one that belonged to the crow-man. Unashamedly, he dropped to all fours and put the tip of his snout to the beaten grass. It might have been somewhat amusing if he hadn't looked so damned serious about it. Maybe it still was. Getting a laugh out of his self-proclaimed matriarch might have actually been one-step towards making him feel better. But then again, laughter was a bit of a commodity these days. He wouldn't have felt any worse if the silence remained. Soon enough, he was back on his feet, casually brushing down the dirt from his rip-riddled bottoms. "The crow-man came through this way not so long ago. We better follow the trail before it starts to rain again.

The hyena then removed the jaded blanket scarf from around his neck. He spared the little lady no time for objection and began to wrap it around her shoulders. It was long and thick enough to keep her warm, but more importantly it often doubled as a makeshift mask for the lower half of his own face. "Here. It will serve." he nodded, giving her small shoulders two sturdy pats. The fluff of his neck was now exposed, revealing singed fur and the imprinted scar of a hand that had no doubt tried to throttle him at some point in the past.

And with as little said as that, he took the lead.

View user profile http://adastra.freeforums.eu

33 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:17 am

She blinked slowly as he answered, not having really expected much of a useful answer. As long as he could keep going it didn’t particularly matter how long he had been unconscious for. The rest would have done him good at least. Still, his smile seemed odd to her, not because she doubted it’s genuineness but rather she didn’t understand why he was still trying to be kind. As she watched him drop fluidly to all fours she wondered if it wasn’t more part of his nature than his own will; true she knew he could be utterly ruthless, his expression when she’d walked in on his confrontation with Borden flashing in front of her again, but when it came to dealings within their little group he seemed willing to suffer through whatever situation they were in. Visi knew next to nothing about animals, but she’d reasoned that hyenas probably preferred being in packs by watching him. It was incredible how much of an advantage his people must have had if they all banded together, if not for the same camaraderie in humans being used against them. One group baring teeth at another never ended in a true victory for either.

So Darkly had passed this way…where the hell was he going? Thank goodness for Zero’s sense of smell; there were no visible tracks left to follow nor was the crow-man the sort to advertise his presence. She wondered if he wanted to be found. Likely not. Ah well. Fucking Beaker.

As he approached her with the scarf she stiffened, the urge to run seized her muscles, but she forced herself to stay still. This was Zero. It wasn’t as if he was going to smother her with the cloth, and besides he’d moved so quickly that there was no time to go back on her decision. She kept her hand over her mouth until the last moment, taking the end herself to cover the lower half of her face; the garment almost comically large on her. It felt as if she was playing dress up in a parent’s clothes. She looked up at him with wide eyes, wanting to thank him but not certain how to, her gaze drifting to the scar at his throat. Slowly, she lowered her head, not wanting him to think she was staring after he’d given up his cover for her, flinching reflexively as he patted her shoulder.

“Stay awake.”

It was barely more than a murmur and she didn’t know whether or not he would hear but began to follow, matching him step for step.

View user profile

34 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:07 pm

Zero

avatar
Admin
It was barely more than a murmur to the rest of the world, but to him it was as resonant as the funeral bells tolling in the distance. He might not have had strength in words, but he had faith that others could use them to inspire or discourage. His talents were amongst the many, but the only voice that ever seemed to be considered useful was a foreign tongue to the rest of the world. Threatening growls, insidious snarling, bovine-like whooping, the infamous giggling; it was all a part of a repetoir that was far too rarely used. A midjudged placement of laughter in a settlement he was already unwelcome in meant the possibility of a beating, or worse. So, instead, he inclined his head politely, and smiled. Perhaps, somewhere in that sentimental moment, there was something to be gained from the simplicity of an age-old gesture.

Soon enough, the two were back into the twining depths of wilderness beyond the ever-reaching hands of the prejudiced and the petulant. There were exceptions, of course... and the one that mattered the most just so happened to be in the possession of a new scarf that was all too big for her lithe frame. Another smile, though... and that's all that really mattered when times were grim. At least there was hope, and he certainly had a reputation for it.

----------

The abandoned cottage shuddered on the hill, wishing the morning light would come all the sooner to warm its weary walls. It felt so alone, so empty. How long had it been since it had heard laughter? How long had it been since it felt the coolness of fresh paint, or contained the inviting fragrance of a hearty meal? The questions meant little, but the answers were worth more. Still, derelict and decaying, the cottage lived on. Just the boneworks; the timber structure protruding from torn-up bricks. Shelter enough in an emergency, but nothing more than that.

As the structure yearned for golden rays to caress the timber, a stray dog walked in from the fields. Perhaps what remained of the the door had swung open just for him. His soft snuffling and the sound of his prancing feet was the finest music Zero had heard in a while. It seemed content; as free as it ever could have been, eagerly exploring the wastes. After so long in dark silence, the house creaked in happiness, the new sounds being as welcome as the playful whooping of a clan on the savannah. Until, of course, there was much more than just prancing feat tickling the air.

A growl, a deafening blast, a short-lived whimper, and the scent of fresh-spilled blood broke the tranquility. The hyena instinctively took to a crouch once the gunfire hit his sensitive ears. They flicked back against his head, his fur bristling to attention. Zero shuffled quietly to a nearby wall, long ago broken at either end of its section, tugging gently at Visi's sleeves as he crawled along under the cover of its length. He stopped at the edge and listened carefully.

"Are you fucking dumb in the head or somethin'?" one man seemed to be shouting. "It was just a stray dog!"

Another man answered. "Animals carry the virus too! It could've bitten us or something! Y'know, like them, er, upright walking ones do? That's why they're not allowed in the settlements, dumbass."

There was an audible sigh. "For fuck sake, that blast was probably heard from miles. A knife would've done the bloody trick! Ugh, fuckin' hell... d'ya know how valuable a dog would've been to us alive though, you absolute twit? Virus or no, the factions buy 'em for fightin' and huntin' and stuff. Like, er, for the fuckin'... fightin' pits with the upright fellas they have back down Kelton's way."

Needless to say, the clenched fists and the gritted fangs were more than enough to show just how Zero was feeling towards the situation. He gripped the the sabre's hilt and took a depth breath, trying to calm himself. Quietly, he whispered. "Should we?"

View user profile http://adastra.freeforums.eu

35 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:55 pm

Butcher

The walls of that ramshackled little cottage were plastered with blood, and as two of the men argued their meal, a ram shackled to the wall, twitched. The tools with which the beast was butchered - knives, cleaver, bone-saw - were clean, sparkling and bright on a sideboard. With only one exception, they were the only bright things there; the men, after all, were still loudly arguing, and he was still quietly seething. And while he could be little else but quiet, his patience was certainly something the pair should be more gracious for.

The first of the two was not tall or short, just... small. His face was either freckled or pock-marked, nobody was really sure. There were similar questions surrounding that hair-stripped scalp, and whether those gnarly locks had always been brown, or whether it was thanks to the dirt and the grime. His teeth were definitely rotten though, to the core, and when he was nervous or thinking, his tongue squirmed in-between the gaps like a rat in a kitchen, which was, ironically enough, an apt description of what he was. The Cook smiled to himself at the thought, at the thought of the rat wriggling beneath the hand, wriggling beneath cleaver and saw and knives and cleaver. That would shut him up.  The Small Man interjected his own pleasant thoughts with talk of brutish animals and also dogs, while the second shouted back at him about the virus, that backwater Blackwater. The second part, of course, was mostly a lie; he knew damn well why they weren't allowed back. Either he was being stupid, or he'd heard the movement outside too; he could never tell with him. That second one, he slobbered slovenly whenever he spoke, spittle spraying out before the words as if trying to warn anyone who might have the misfortune to be listening to that fat man, to turn their ears away. But he seemed to be filled with the occasional cunning that seems to accompany those who keep their blubber in these starved times. Indeed, the three of them never seemed to have too much to eat, most days (well, out of the few days that he’d known them) - despite his own skill in that area - and yet he never failed to maintain his mass any, something that never went unnoticed by any others they chanced across, the reasons of which usually ended up being noticed by any others they chanced across, much to his perverse delight.

"For fuck sake, that blast was probably heard from miles..." for a man not half-concerned with noise, The Small Man, who was called Ratty because of his nose, sure didn't half shout. He disliked that about him. He disliked much about him; his picky eating habits, his inattentiveness, his teeth. He had not even noticed the group outside, though they made enough noise themselves. And the scent on one of them! He had heard them, over the scraping sounds of a makeshift scourer on professionally-crafted blades and smelt them over Fatty's pungent odour and he could almost see them through the cracked window at the other end of the room. "... A knife would've done the bloody trick! Ugh, fuckin' hell..." Not with his knives, they wouldn't; he had, after-all, just finished cleaning them.

It had become clear to him by now that if either Ratty or Fatty had heard the dwellers, they would have told him, in-case he hadn't. They, the two of them, were growing irritating, and soon the steady screaming back-tune of his cleaning his knife-room faded out. Neither noticed and he was growing irritable and soon he stabbed a knife into the wooden deck and that certainly closed shut their gluttonous mouths now, didn't it? They turned slowly like cuts on a rack or a spit and they certainly looked like many-a-cut he'd seen on many-a-rack, what with the looks on their faces. When they saw he'd not alerted them to dinner, they drew their weapons: rifle and a pistol. They went ahead of him down the stairs and outside, as he walked on his cane; the wound on his leg piercing painfully with each step, evidence to the last time he'd led them to battle. The ever-familiar knife sat bare in a belt-buckle, but his revolver, well that was hidden elsewhere...


*


The fat one led the group that descended out of the cottage, himself a brick-wall with a rifle raised to the broken wall. He was very much very fat, somehow, and wore a stained beater-vest and large jeans, and somehow seemed tightfitting, and would threaten to rip apart every time he walked. The ratty one seemed to be using the brute as a walking shield; a gnarly man with a gnarled face pocking out from behind the big'un, his own gun hidden. They were heralds though, for the one who came last. The scent of him came first, grotesque and deathly, worse than the stink of the fat man, the scent of infection, and it covered up all other smells. Then came his legs and his cane - the wreck of what probably used to be his own rifle - appeared first, limping and tired, one leg covered haphazardly with a dirty bandage. Other than that, he wore absolutely nothing, with the exception of a battered and bloody butcher's apron. And despite how old he must've seemed, descending so carefully, the face that met them was young, however starved it, like the rest of his body, seemed to be. His hair was black-like-jet and his eyes seemed pale and colourless and at the sight of the light, he recoiled with a pathetic little groaning sound. The gnarly man turned to him and, filled half with horror, pushed out behind the fat one, took off his coat and placed it over the Butcher like a hood and in doing so he showed his little gun, as well as how few fingers that he had left.

The fat one spoke. "Who's you, then, behind thur?" he said, as slowly as one might expect, his rifle trained on the broken wall, his face looking back at the butcher to check that he’d gotten the right wall, before turning back and shouting: "This'ere's our shack!"

The young one in the butcher's apron hit him over the head with his cane. Surprisingly, he could reach.

"OW! I mean, err: This'ere's his shack." he said again, gesturing to the butcher-man. "The Butcher-Boy of Bankworth!" he said, making a little fanfare sound with his fat sausage fingers. Again, he was beaten with the cane and again, he yelped like a puppy. "Batswell?!" And again. "Banbus?!?" And again. "Brangwyn Hall?!?!" The Butcher paused, seeming to chew on the name... before he hit him again, for good measure, the fat man crumpling up into a fat pile in the dust and dirt.

The Rat Man moved in-front of the whimpering man and took over, graciously. His hands moved enthusiastically when he spoke, as if he hoped some hand-swishes could swindle. "Nev’rmind that, nutin’ to see there. Anyways, see he's the butcher, we're his, err... hunters, hehe, see?" he said, showing off his gun. "Our cook - hey, nice sword there, whaddya call'er? Yeah, I can see the hilt from here, nice try mate!" he said, flashing something of a rarity in this wasteland; a smile, and a kind one too, "Well anyways, he's a mute'un, so our fat'un speaks for'im, see? As for the light, well he don't go outside much, likes the indoors and whotnot, so it hurts, like, see?"

It was about this time that Mercy peaked her head up above the wall, and saw them all. When her mind clicked and recognised the people before her she turned, tried to grab at Zero's blade and when that failed, launched herself at the butcher, wildly, only to be intercepted by the rat man, who punched her to the ground. He raised his gun then, switching targets from her to the wall, and back again. The fat man had barely recovered from his beating, and seemed similarly confused. The Butcher seemed like he was bothered by very little anyway, so perhaps it was fitting that he did nothing.

The Rat seemed less kind now. "The fucking'ell y’lot doing with the wolf'lot's leavings?! We‘eard that little girl-bitch there was dead, or worse! The fuck you doing bringing her about here?! We don't want any of Thuidi's lot here, you should know that! Unless you're with her, see. Thuidi, see? You better get talking fast, you lot, you'd better! Cum’un, get outta there, all quick’n’proper, like men, right, and get to ecks-plain-nin sharpish, like!"

View user profile

36 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:35 pm

The tapping came first. Three, one three legged, coming towards them. One must be injured if he had a stick, perhaps this could work in their favour…god the stink of him! Visi wrinkled her nose and pressed the borrowed scarf closer to her face. He was sick. Sick and disgusting, a festering creature of pus and maggots, he may not have Blackwater but part of him was dying, dead, rotting. He smells just like-

She flattened her body against the wall as she heard his two pets mouth off about some bloody titles, what was the point of words? They didn’t mean anything. Words were just the precursor to actions, only they were true. These two were certainly theatrical, perhaps they’d have made a decent pair of painted men back before the sickness. She’d seen faded posters of them with too big noses and frizzy curls, red mouths and noses to match, almost as ridiculous as the great lout that crumpled under the sick one’s blows. How on earth had he managed to sustain such a bulk? He was probably a thief and a cannibal; that was usually how it worked. Meat was meat.

As she turned to Zero to speak Mercy darted forward, Visi reaching to pull her back but too late. The stupid thing was going to get them killed. Thuidi could keep her. She was just as dramatic as those two, but she had to admire the girl’s spirit. She’d lost her eye, teeth, dignity but she was still vicious as a pit viper, at least she had one thing going for her the filthy wretch. Poor little lost one. Maybe you want them to kill you.

She’d almost forgotten about her on their journey. Almost. It was difficult to tune out her breathing completely and every so often she’d stumble on the road but she hadn’t said a word. Now with her clawing her way forward it was hard to believe the dejected, well not so much dejected, perhaps bitter was a better word for it, creature still had the energy to make so much of nuisance of herself. Slowly she raised her eyes above the wall to see, predictably, Mercy lying on the ground. She closed her eyes for a moment, gathering her thoughts. If Mercy died it was her own fault, her people were probably already mourning or had kicked the dirt over her memory already. Her death would be no further loss to them considering the rumour that she was already gone. Borden would be the only trouble then, but if they could find Darkly and then leave the city perhaps they wouldn’t need to keep her alive. For now it was far more important that they didn’t get themselves shot.

“You heard correctly. She’s worse. Cargo. Damaged. Not ours.”

Slowly, slowly she stood up, one hand still pressing the scarf tightly to her face, not trusting it to stay put when she was this close to a rotting man. She scanned them over, looking closely at each, taking in teeth and fat and grubby bandages. There was something wrong with the so-called Butcher, something lacking. Hadn’t the ratty one said he was mute? Perhaps that was it. Surely then he should be a wise man, but he was letting himself get eaten alive as he stood there, a rifle for a surrogate leg as he leaned against it.

Visi couldn't help but wonder what Thuidi had done to antogonise so many people in the area, probably just the presence of a larger group was enough to set teeth on edge though she knew that their numbers had thinned a little since their encounter back at the training facility.

Again she called over to them, “Do not kill her.” Do not grant her mercy.

View user profile

37 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:56 pm

Zero

avatar
Admin
For once, he considered it a fruitful endeavour to reveal himself; be done with the lot of them, and be on his way. But, for once, it was also an impossibility now that his body was begging for relief after, well, the incident. The worse thing was, in hindsight, he considered himself an absolute fool for it. For both incidents. First the martyr, second the sack of shit lying on the floor, beaten and broken in his already weakened state. The man with the hat wouldn't have tried that if Zero had been in good health. The man with the hat was a fucking moron, and he didn't even had a proper hat. It was wretched and ripped, an attestment to his stupidity. The man with a hat was just that. A man, with a hat, and it wasn't even a good hat.

By the time he'd snapped himself back into reality, three things had happened. The first was not surprising and could therefore be dismissed; Mercy was no longer at their side, ran into that decrepid building with the dead dog and the butcher. He didn't care much for strangers, never had. It was her mistake, not his. The second thing was that, well, he'd missed the second thing. It was Visi's words, but he had realised she'd said something. Now, the third thing was that, in some subconscious attempt to hide himself behind the small wall, he'd caught his broken arm on a rock. In fact, it was this third thing that had awoken him from his... departure from the real world. He cleared his throat quietly, took a stand, and without a word, walked by the building and carried on his way. Whether Visi wanted to follow or head inside was up to her. It was probably the smartest thing he'd done all week, but he was not getting himself involved with that load of bickering imbeciles. No, he'd let the next passers-by siege the building and rip them apart. They were being loud enough for anyone with ears to notice, never mind his finely-tuned ones. It just wasn't worth the trouble. Even if it was, he wasn't in a position to do anything about it. Not after the incident. So, for once, he walked and remained silent.

----------

Considering it's been so long since I've posted, I think it's best if we try to move things on a little bit; a bit of a fresh start, even. I've left it open enough for you guys to continue with the scenario in the building, should you wish to follow through. I'll wait for your reactions before I continue writing, just so I know where I stand. Feel free to drag Zero back into the fray, or whatever you like! But otherwise, he's not getting himself involved with all that.

View user profile http://adastra.freeforums.eu

38 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:42 pm

Visi watched Zero move in disbelief. He was just going to walk into the firing line? Or leave Mercy to spark something serious between Thuidi and the Butcher? She’d already tried to draw a sword that hadn’t belonged to her on these creatures, surely if she was intending to end them she’d hurl herself straight down the same pit. Stubborn little wench. What a mess you’ve made.

She reached out and dug her nails into Zero’s back, tethering him, one hand still clamping the scarf to her mouth, head tilted. “Borden or Butcher? Which is your killer?” She almost sounded pleased.

Slowly, slowly, she released her grip and looked to the men beyond the wall. Was the three-legged one’s rifle still serviceable, she wondered, or was it merely a prop? The whole house looked to be what with the vermin’s titles, airs and vapours. Festering. The landed gentry. Better off dead. “And you. Does the corpse hate Thuidi?” Visi turned her eyes to the Butcher, feeling her stomach boil as she looked at the thing. She could remember the picture from the gold book, the one of four beasts on horseback. This was sickness. This was waste and ravage, pestilence and rot.

She paused and gave a stiff, mechanical bow. Practised. Painful. “Does the corpse hate us?” Does the corpse feel hate, or love or sun? No.


View user profile

39 Re: Crossfire (Post-Apocalyptic) on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:28 am

An ill wind that blew nowhere good passed between them, across the ragged earth. Softly did the silt slink along, a river of smoke and soot. The Butcher's brow furrowed. By now, the Fat Man had recovered from his beatings and after fumbling to his fat feet he loomed over Mercy, his pistol raised. This in turn allowed the Rat Man to focus his attention on the wall, which was where he and his rifle had been pointing, when Zero rose. He didn't fire. He seemed more stunned, than anything else. "Oi! Stop r-right there!" he spluttered, his eyes darting about the ridge-line. Someone so brazen had a plan, right? But no. No signal, no shots, nothing from the ridge-line or the pine-line or the wall. When he was pulled back down, Ratty laughed. A nervous laugh certainly, but a laugh nonetheless.

At the sound of speech and, more to the point, her speech, Ratty chortled. "Corpse, luv? Y'do know who y'talking to, don'tcha? Or does poor little Fat Fuck haf t'tell you all over again?" The rags he wore flapped in the wind. Perhaps it was that he was simply jealous that it was Fatty who ate the best.

Regardless, the Fatty and the Butcher seemed much less arrogant. The former pointed to the wall, struck half-dumb. The Butcher had noticed it too but said nothing, as always. "Three scars, three scars!" the larger man blubbered. Ratty rounded on him with a frown but soon he'd caught on too. "Oh! He's the fucker then, is he?" At that, he hooted. Pathetic and hollow and empty, the sound rose and tarried on the pestilent wind. "Oh, well then that changes just about everythin', don't it?" His hands were dancing again. " You've no need t'worry!" he called out to the wall, weedy and green, "You're among friends 'ere! He asked us t'help you, your mate like!.. Masked fuck, whatever 'is fuckin' name was. Gory shite. You know him! 'E said y'would! An' well, we owe 'im a favour, right, an' we deliver on our promises, mate. We might be thieves and well... eheheh... But we ain't amoral! No no no!" He lowered his gun, and rested on it like it were a walking stick. Not a cane, never a cane, he wouldn't dare. The Butcher Boy for his part stood in waiting, expectant while attempting to not be; finger on the trigger. Both fingers, both triggers. Just in case.

View user profile

Sponsored content


View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 2 of 2]

Go to page : Previous  1, 2

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum