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Slayers · 54 Posts
Posted on: Jul 17 2017, 02:33 PM
Today was more of a "chill out somewhere alone" day for Alexei.
She'd spent the morning killing behemoths, and had to deal with a farmer's twenty-year-old son trying to play hero. In the process of defending him, one of her riders had lost a limb, and the boy himself had received a laceration across his back. Their field medic had stitched up the boy while Alexei made him cry, repeatedly. She'd decided that was more than enough dealing with people for the day.
So now she was hiding out in the darkest possible corner of the Battleboar, staring out a window into a dark alleyway, drinking and trying to get herself to relax a little. She wasn't normally edgy enough to occupy dark corners like this, but right now she wanted nothing more than to be left alone, and her multitude of weaponry repelled anyone who would've tried to talk to her. She took a gentle swig of ale, then--
Something flickered across the very borders of her vision. She turned and looked closer. There was... someone stumbling through the alleyway, holding their side like they were gravely wounded.
Alexei sighed. It looked like it was time for the Drakonrhedi in her to spring into action, regardless of the fact that she was tired and off-duty.
Leaving the ale on her table for a lucky and observant patron, she made her way around the edges of the pub, nodding at the tavernkeeper before slipping out of the door. They knew who she was and would put her drinks on her tab, not that she'd had much. Actually, she'd only managed to down a half a drink's worth of ale before someone started bleeding out in her general vicinity. She sighed. This was so not her job.
Keeping close to the wall, and being remarkably silent for someone with as many guns on her as she happened to have, she snuck into the alleyway. The man was leaning against the wall, and dark fluid pooled beneath him.
"Hey," Alexei said, quietly. "Bad day?"
The man gurgled and slumped over. His breath rattled, and then he was still, staring up at her.
"Mmm," Alexei noised as she knelt down and closed his eyes. "Me too." Pulling out a flashlight from her pocket, she scanned the body. Immediately, her eyes picked up on two things: one, the sigil cut into the hilt of the dagger that killed him; and two, the tattoos on the knuckles of his hand which gently released the dagger in death. Both were gang signs, specifically, the signs of rival gangs. Alexei was no Stalker, but with a sister like hers it was hard to be out of the loop on gang violence in Dawn. "Looks like I walked right in to some West Side Story bullshit," Alexei muttered.
Standing up, she put away the flashlight and drew her handgun in one hand and a knife in the other, and began to follow his blood trail back.
Stalkers · 13 Posts
Posted on: Aug 2 2017, 09:35 PM
The set up was simple. Incite a turf war. Some gangs in the Dark Levels were gaining too much ground, getting brave and dealing in residential and commercial areas. Normally, the Stalkers wouldn't care too terribly, since shifting power was a constant in the underground, except the gang members with said power had known anti-Drakonrhedi sentiment. Now that was a problem.
Luckily, Schwarz was very good at solving these kinds of problems. And by ‘solve’, he meant violently murder things until there was an entirely different problem. All right, so it wasn’t a perfect solution. It wasn’t like anyone could blame him. And it wasn’t like anyone would miss the people he was murdering. It was poetic. Or something.
He was finishing up the initial paranoia part of the mission. He’d mugged a ‘uniform’ (a simple hoodie with an insignia amateurishly stitched on) from one gang, and stuffed it in a safe place for later. Then he’d infiltrated their largest rival, learning some members were transporting some semi-important contraband to a dead drop. From there, he was to assault the transport, wearing the hoodie and a balaclava. It was a simple frame-up. Or, at least, it was supposed to be.
Five tangos. He’d dropped from an overhanging eave onto one, breaking her back almost instantly. She was still mewling when the nearest gangster pulled a knife on him, shoving it into his side. It sliced through the fabric fine, even the artificial flesh gave way readily enough, but the blade screeched when it met his more metal components. Shocked when Schwarz did nothing but grunt in response, the gang member gave little resistance when hands wrapped around his neck and forced it into a ninety degree angle.
Three left. It only took one person to deliver a message. For a moment, none of them moved. That was fine by Schwarz. It gave them ample time to remember his appearance for when they grovelled before whoever in a gang did occurrence reports. Or whatever gangs did. He wasn’t sure, and didn’t really care.
There was a warcry that came from no one currently visible, and a member from the gang Schwarz was pretending to affiliated with came rushing from a back alley, knife in hand. The idiot was either going to fuck up the mission or get himself killed. Schwarz hoped it was the latter. Instantly, the three targets turned on the newest challenger, the nearest one to the him engaging in hand-to-hand combat like a drunkard would a cow. Which was to say not particularly well.
This was a good moment to abort. Schwarz pulled out a plasma pistol and fired a single shot skywards; the air instantly cracked with heat and sound. The cow-fighting man fell as the remaining combatants fled the scene. As Schwarz approached, the man got up and staggered away in the direction of the more respectable sector of Dawn, leaving a few drops of blood behind him.
“Don’t run so fast!” Schwarz called out to him as he pulled off his balaclava and ripped the insignia from his hoodie. Carefully, he applied the balaclava to the wound in his side, trying to stem what little bleeding there was. “I’m old and tired.”
He could leave at this point, but now it was fun. Or, as fun as walking after a gang member into a civilian area could be. He could probably argue ‘collateral damage’ if anyone higher up on the radar cared, but he doubted they did.
At some point he’d lost his visual on the target, but that didn’t matter, because said target was leaving behind one hell of a biohazardous trail. His ‘friend’ was apparently handy with that knife, which confirmed the need to reset the objective. Unknown variables could upset the controlled chaos.
He turned a corner, not really expecting to find anything. Except there was something—a particularly human-shaped something—and they were coming towards him. He had enough time to recognize the gun and knife in their hands, and he snapped up his own weapon in response. There was a pause, enough for him to begin to pick out the other person’s features, and he let a sort of blank confusion take over his facial expression.
“Corrigan,” he said. There was a slight questioning tone to his voice, but it was enough of a statement that it might not register. Gesturing to the blood trail on the ground, he added, “See my friend anywhere?”
God, I'm sorry this took so long. I have no idea what I'm doing. Let me know if this isn't good!
Slayers · 54 Posts
Posted on: Aug 14 2017, 01:04 AM
Alexei was about to turn the corner when sudden footsteps alerted her to someone else on the way. She jumped back, just in time for a familiar figure to come lurching around the corner. It took her a moment to register fully who the hell it was, and where she remembered him from.
Finally, she got a name, just as blank confusion came over his features. Schwarz. From that time with the gang fight and the insane priest and the bit where she and this particular asshole managed to really wreck some gangs' nights. Right. That certainly took her back a bit--not that she objected, it was a good time, and well before she got Syrus, but damn, really put into perspective how much shit she'd gone through since hitting Altayr.
"Corrigan." He didn't sound entirely sure, either.
"Schwarz," she offered, mimicking his questioning tone. "Long time, no see."
He pointed to the blood trail. "See my friend anywhere?"
Alexei stepped to the side more and pointed to the body hidden in the shadows further down. "Well, there's that one," she replied. "He seems to be having a bit of a rough night. No need to go over and console him, or anything. Won't do him much good now." She glanced around him, peeking to see if anyone else was following him. "Do you have... other friends that you and an innocent bystander such as myself ought to be worried about?" she asked, gesturing down the alleyway with the gun.
She also took a moment to examine him more close, and frowned as she noticed he was holding his side. "Are you bleeding?" she asked. Then her eyes slid back to the dude on the ground. "A gift from one of your friends?"
Stalkers · 13 Posts
Posted on: Aug 25 2017, 10:53 AM
Corrigan seemed to feel much the same at seeing him. “Schwarz. Long time, no see.” An imitation of his own statement. Good to know neither of them knew how to proceed. Very rarely did he run into someone from before he’d been shipped to the Ocular. Well, someone he wasn’t actively trying to kill, anyway. So an alive, competent someone.
It was at his query that she stepped to the side and gestured behind her. He nodded as he saw enough of the body in the shadows to be satisfied. “Well, there's that one,” she said. “He seems to be having a bit of a rough night. No need to go over and console him, or anything. Won't do him much good now.”
“What a pity,” Schwarz said flatly. “He always was a sore loser.”
Corrigan seemed to be trying to get a good look behind him, and he shifted to the side, to give her a better view of the alley. Not because he was feeling helpful. Definitely not. It was just logical, that was all. “Do you have... other friends that you and an innocent bystander such as myself ought to be worried about?” She gestured with her gun for emphasis a maybe a dash of irony. He wasn’t sure which.
He left his gaze wander down the way he’d come. He doubted they’d followed him, with the way they’d scattered, but he wouldn’t be surprised if someone had been following Face-Down-on-the-Floor-Cow-Fighting Man.
“Three,” he said. “One was a party crasher. Very inconsiderate of him. He might try and find where the party went. The other two were his—” He nodded his head towards the body. “—friends. They might come look for him. Emphasis on might.”
He was thinking, mulling over the probability of Party Crasher to just waddle down the alleyway, when he heard Corrigan ask, “Are you bleeding?”
Schwarz blinked. He turned to her, noting her frown, and looked down at where he’d automatically frozen his hand to keep pressure on his side. Carefully, he unlocked it, letting his fingers wiggle stiffly against the cloth bundled there. There. That definitely looked completely natural.
“A gift from one of your friends?”
“Yes,” Schwarz said, peeking into the cloth to get a glance at the wound. He couldn’t tell with complete certainty, but it didn’t look like any of his metal components were showing through. “He was a sore loser too.” He paused. Most people were not calm about being knifed. “I’ll be fine. It’s shallow.”
He resumed staring down the alleyway, trying to buy time. He wasn’t sure how to proceed. Cleanup? Maybe. But if no one had followed him or his ‘friend’, then finding the outlier party crasher, the one he really probably ought to catch up to, had pretty bleak odds. Then again, said outlier clearly had a crazy streak and might be lurking around. He supposed his job demanded he at least attempt to look. Ugh.
The question was, what did he do with Corrigan? His eyes slid to her, giving her a quiet appraisal. She was competent, he remembered that well enough. But she was… something. Alexei Corrigan was something. He hadn’t quite put words to it yet, but he’d figure it out eventually. Probably. If he cared long enough. Which he didn’t plan to, by the way.
“Care for a walk?” he said. He held his gun hand out to the alleyway, as if in invitation and maybe a reference to earlier because those are fun.
Slayers · 54 Posts
Posted on: Dec 24 2017, 06:56 PM
“What a pity. He always was a sore loser.”
Alexei offered a helpless shrug. "He's being very sore about it now," she replied. He was dead, so as far as she was concerned, that was about as sore as someone could be. "Throwing a big tantrum."
She really didn't anticipate running into this particular person again. She wasn't sure she'd ever wanted to. It wasn't even like an active not wanting to, it was just... she'd never even considered it. He was something, certainly, and it wasn't like he was incompetent. But why the heck was he here, knee-deep in gang warfare, in Dawn? It was highly suspect.
At least he was willing enough to cooperate, although Alexei couldn't fathom why. They'd fought together in the past. It'd been a damn good fight. But that was it. He probably didn't even know she was a dragon rider, and typically people involved in gang activity weren't particularly fond of the Drakonrhedi either. Nevertheless, she was appreciative of his helpfulness.
“Three. One was a party crasher. Very inconsiderate of him. He might try and find where the party went. The other two were his friends." He indicated the dead guy. "They might come look for him. Emphasis on might.”
"Mmm." She nodded. "Very, very inconsiderate." Three people in one gang. Another from a different faction. How the hell was Schwarz fitting into all this? Whatever, she'd figure it out as she went along. As far as she was concerned, she had release to kill anyone in any gang in Dawn. The Drakonrhedi frowned on all those activities.
Schwarz moved his hand a little to show her the wound, and she inspected it as well as she could in the darkness of the alleyway, which wasn't well at all. "Yes. He was a sore loser too. I'll be fine. It's shallow."
"I'll take your word for it. I've got a medkit on me if you need, though." She shrugged again. "No need to let sore losers slow you down, you know?" Schwarz was deep enough into gang warfare to get stabbed? That didn't bode well. Although, she supposed gangs weren't really discriminatory about who they stabbed. That was part of the issue with them, from what she understood.
"Care for a walk?"
Alexei blinked, caught off guard for two different but equal reasons: first of all, that Schwarz didn't immediately slink off somewher eelse, and second, that Schwarz was almost bordering on polite for a second there. "Sure!" she managed, after a moment. "Do you need to find that party crasher? I feel like he could deal with a talk about how impolite he's been." Was that ominous enough to translate properly into Schwarz-talk? She couldn't really remember after all this time. She had a very distinct feeling that she'd just be giving up soon, and resorting to blowing things up.
She started down the alleyway once Schwarz indicated he was ready, keeping her weapons at the ready but also perfectly willing to carry on a good conversation while they were at it. "Any idea where his friends might be coming from?" No sense in getting ambushed.
Stalkers · 13 Posts
Posted on: Jan 10 2018, 07:29 PM
Corrigan shrugged at what he assumed was his indifference to the dead man. “He's being very sore about it now. Throwing a big tantrum.”
Schwarz almost cracked a smile. Almost. His lips twitched, but that was all. For all that it had been a while, her mannerisms were easily accessible in his memories. And though she let all of it roll off of her back, he knew it took very little for her carefree persona to grate on his nerves. He wasn’t going to give her too much ammunition, literal or metaphorical, if he could help it. And no incendiary. Dawn did not need to be on fire again. Not that he didn’t enjoy a good bout of arson. Hardly. He just did not want or need the Paragon or her wacky lacky to stick their noses into why he felt compelled to.
Apparently, “It amused me,” was not an acceptable reason in the Drakonrhedi unless your name started with C.
Schwarz took a moment to consider that before mentally shaking his head. Corrigan’s name probably wouldn’t count for multiple reasons, even if he could explain his logic. Whatever. Party poopers.
“Mmm. Very, very inconsiderate.” That was thinking filler. He supposed Corrigan had enough social awareness to employ it, compared to him. He also supposed he should be envious, take the hint, and/or engage in it himself.
That was suggesting he cared, which he didn’t.
Her attention drifted to his wound, and he found himself curling his fingers back over it and shifting his step back so it was out of sight, just to make sure. He didn’t need anyone knowing before he was ready. The look of surprise was one he always savoured, and he’d be remiss to, well, miss it. "I'll take your word for it. I've got a medkit on me if you need, though." She let loose another shrug. "No need to let sore losers slow you down, you know?"
“Not much slows me down,” Schwarz said, before it clicked and he added, “Though your concern is noted.” That was… correct? Niceties were still somewhat beyond him, though he knew now to at least make the effort.
It was at his proposition that something cracked in Corrigan’s façade, and she owlishly blinked at him. He returned the blink, doing his best to look innocent. “Sure!” she said. “Do you need to find that party crasher? I feel like he could deal with a talk about how impolite he's been.”
There, Schwarz deliberated. He wasn’t quite sure how much to tell or how much he trusted her. The answers he decided on were ‘enough’ and ‘definitely never enough’. “I do indeed. I do not tolerate impoliteness. And I daresay he’s crossed over into extreme rudeness.”
With that, he brought his pistol up enough to indicate some readiness, and turned back down the alley. He was most likely the sturdier of the two, and while he hated taking point and leaving his back exposed to an unknown (or at least uncertain) element, his chassis had already proven itself more than a match for the gang’s attacks. Until they brought out the plasma pistols, anyway.
Bringing Corrigan in was a mistake. Drakonrhedi business, let alone Stalker business, was not her business. It wasn’t so much that he cared about the mission itself, but his position. And then he didn’t even so much care about that, but about what happened afterwards. If he became a security leak, well, the Stalkers had no use for those. As good as Corrigan was with her arsenal, he wasn’t really sure he could justify her presence.
So why did he bring her in?
He let those logistics scripts run, before realizing they were hanging.
He had no idea. No fucking idea at all.
She said something, and it took him a moment to rewind the previous fifteen seconds of audio to process what she said. “Any idea where his friends might be coming from?”
There was the liability. He needed one of the original gang members to stay alive, and there were only two left; assuming, of course, the party crasher hadn’t killed one while he was chasing down Cow Man. While he doubted they would find all of them, or that they were even looking for their wayward friend, he wasn’t certain how to proceed in that event. He supposed he would have to disable Corrigan.
Not wanting to linger on that, he said softly, “Main tango is wearing a burnt orange sweater with a handmade sigil stitched on the left arm, so he’ll be hard pressed to hide now that we’re looking for him. If he goes on the offensive, he’ll most likely come from the sides and corners. Typical guerilla and irregular tactics. The others are dressed more appropriately, in dark gray, but they are not so cunning. Keep one of the grays alive, if possible. I’ve yet to see these individuals in particular on the offense, but they’ll fight back well enough when cornered. Historically, however, they do not look up.”
Schwarz tilted his head, eyes scanning over the walls of the alley. There it was, same as it had been before; a roughly made fire escape, starting to colour with rust, but certainly thick enough to hold a climber or two. Maybe. Definitely maybe. He turned to give Corrigan a careful up-and-down, and, without any tact, asked, “How much do you weigh?” It took him more than a moment to add the clarification, “A higher viewpoint will help. You’re welcome to stay on the ground, if you’d prefer.”
Slayers · 54 Posts
Posted on: Jan 11 2018, 04:05 PM
“Not much slows me down. Though your concern is noted.”
At that, Alexei couldn't help but arch a brow and give a low, breathy snort. "Sure, hon," she said, cracking a bit of a smile. "I'm certain that you're utterly unassailable. Very macho of you." It was a hint of her normal humor. She was recovering back to her normal dumbassery after being stuck into a possibly life-threatening situation.
More startling than the sudden life-threatening gang conflict that Alexei had just literally walked into was the fact that Schwarz was being sort of polite to her. She didn't expect it to last. Maybe. Last time they'd worked together, she'd just confounded the man so much that he'd let her do what she wanted, from what she could remember. She felt sorry for him.
No, that was a lie. She didn't feel sorry in the slightest. Like, at all, whatsoever.
“I do indeed. I do not tolerate impoliteness. And I daresay he’s crossed over into extreme rudeness.”
Hell yeah. Alexei checked that her weapons were ready, and crept after him, switching her pistol into plasma mode. The construction materials that made up the ship meant that traditional bullets would probably ricochet, and she didn't want to try and deal with that. Not when she was trying to have her fun. She was starting to get pretty jazzed up for this. She had people to shoot, some asshole to drag along with her on a daring escapade, and no one nearby enough to tell her no! This was great. This was actually just what she needed to make her day a little more interesting!
“Main tango is wearing a burnt orange sweater with a handmade sigil stitched on the left arm, so he’ll be hard pressed to hide now that we’re looking for him."
Alexei looked over at Schwarz, who was also wearing a burnt orange sweater with a handmade sigil stitched on the left arm. "Uh-huh?" she said, arching a brow, looking slightly amused. "Wow, yeah. That definitely sounds like he'd stand out in a crowd."
"If he goes on the offensive, he’ll most likely come from the sides and corners. Typical guerilla and irregular tactics. The others are dressed more appropriately, in dark gray, but they are not so cunning. Keep one of the grays alive, if possible. I’ve yet to see these individuals in particular on the offense, but they’ll fight back well enough when cornered. Historically, however, they do not look up.”
Another nod. "Two idiots and a dude in a bad sweater. Gotcha." Wow, the gang scene in Dawn must be dismal these days if this was the best that they could put up.
“How much do you weigh?”
"I weigh nothing. Literally. I have no mass," Alexei answered, without hesitation.
“A higher viewpoint will help. You’re welcome to stay on the ground, if you’d prefer.”
She was already on it. "Like hell I'm staying on the ground. The ground's fucking lame, dude." Besides, she was more comfortable higher up. Dragons were helpful that way. And this way, she could call Syrus as backup if she needed to.
Heading over to the fire escape, she tested it with a foot. It squeaked a little, and she made a face. "Well, if we die, at least we'll get that nice tickling sensation in our stomachs from falling first," she sighed. With the amount of explosives on her, she hoped she'd blow up, too. Without waiting for Schwarz, she began to practically skip up the fire escape with reckless abandon, leaping over the steps that appeared too rusty or were broken, and made it up to the roof lickety-split. More like rickety-split, though, honestly.
Once on the roof, she slid the dagger back into her boot and pulled out a pair of binoculars from one of the many pouches on her. "You glance around nearby, see if you can spot our waltzes or whatever." She held up the binoculars and began to look over some of the alleyways that were further away.
There. Three blocks out, a man in a very specific orange sweater. She holstered the pistol at her side so she could use her other hand to zoom in. "I see something." She paused. "Yeah. A macareña. Uhh... was your dude, like, blonde? With a ski mask?" Or did they have a complication? She was alright with either, truthfully.