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A Gathering Of Hunters: Vampires // Chapter 1-Complete-

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Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021

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Arcadia is a city swarming with 10 million citizens... and Vampires.

It is up to the Hunters to keep the streets free of the bloodthirsty augmented creatures that come out past 8 PM.

The Hunter guild has stood for over 300 years. Their Creator lost to them, but their priorities still stood: Eliminate the threat.

It was challenging to say how the vampires came to be. Some text stated mutation, and another indicated lab creation. But it was never known for sure what the actual cause of it was. What was known was the Goddess Erra was alive and well, and she had been ruling over the vampires for centuries. Her beauty and abilities were unmatched. One bite from her and a newly turned vampire could change others-- a power they lacked in their newborn phase. She ruled over the vampires with an iron fist. She selected her "Creators" carefully.

Eliminating a Creator is difficult. While most vampires who are staked in the heart perish into dust, a Creator took more clever planning. Their speed was unmatched, their strength Otherworldly. They stalked the night, looking for easy prey, feasting on them like cattle. With the streets empty by 8 PM, it was easy to come across those who lingered, who felt they could outrun death, the trouble makers, and the daredevils—their strength and hearts the strongest-- perfect specimens for a transformation.

By morning the vampires had retreated, their forsaken creations scrambling to hide in the shadows until night, clothes bloodied and torn. This was the way of life in Arcadia. It was miles upon miles of desert outside the city, and the nearest city was nowhere in sight. Running out into the hot sand immediately spelled death. The heat was so intense that even the hover crafts that attempted to leave immediately stalled in the sands and were swallowed by sand storms.

Arcadia was an oasis from 7 AM to 8 PM. But the death that waited for its citizens at night was unmistakable.

The current location of the Hunters is the Bridge apartment complex. This apartment complex overlooks the central part of the city, overlooking restaurants and entertainment. During the day, it can be loud with activity. The bedrooms are enough to hold a bed, nightstand, a small closet for a few clothes, and a wall desk that folds down. There is one window with metal blinds in each bedroom. The kitchen is a small galley-style design with a gas range, refrigerator, and sink on the middle island. In the center of the apartment is an inset area with a circular sofa-- perfect for entertaining or conversations a round glass coffee table stacked with books and magazines. On the west-facing wall stands the eye-catching floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the city. The glass is slightly tinted to combat the heat from the desert sun. A flatscreen t.v sits on the west-facing wall, surrounded by shelves of knick-knacks and more books and scrolls. This apartment is fortunate to have 11 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. While the apartment may seem small, the large window makes it appear larger.



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THE | CITY


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Arcadia is a large city situated in the middle of an unknown desert. This cyberpunk city is home to 10 million citizens and a mayor with 15 additional advisors. While a mayor runs the city, the corporations rule this city with an iron fist, constantly pulling the Mayor into shady deals and unfair laws. Laws are not as informed as one might think with this amount of people. It can take up to 45 minutes for an officer to answer a call regarding crimes of any intensity. Because of this, the Hunters keep the piece—- however, their kind is dwindling.

The Hunters are a known group of individuals practicing their craft for over 300 years. Working regular jobs during the day, they hunt the city's most notorious criminals: Vampires.

It is unknown how the vampire gene came to be. Some speculate a lab experiment gone wrong; others believe the gene mutated at birth. Whatever the case, they swarm the neon-lit city looking for their only source of food: human blood.

To control the increasing vampire legion, more giant corporations who have never felt with the medical field are trying to find solutions to supply the vampires with synthetic blood called A-300( slang term: 300). This has helped some newly turned vampires as they have not yet had a taste for human blood, however, the majority of vampires in the city are older, wiser, and do not take as well to the synthetic alternative.


This city has a strict weapon law, they are not permitted to be used within the city limits, and this is to control crime. However, a bar called the "Widows Peak" will supply weapons and additional support to hunters. This is a vampire-free zone.

The hunters live in pods throughout the city of 6-15 hunters. They keep a low profile and are often on good terms with the landlords, who are required to have documentation and contact information for cleaners, disposal companies, and 24/7 access to the Widows Peak armory.


Vampires often host elaborate balls and gatherings for the city's political members to raise money and stay within the Mayor's good graces. Every full moon, there is a ball called the "The New Oblation" This is when human victims are lured into the home of the head vampire and sacrificed. At this time, all the newly made vampires will receive their gift from the vampire Goddess, Erra.

Humans are aware of the vampires in this city. Because of this, the Mayor has enacted a strict law that from 7 AM-8 PM, humans can continue their daily lives; however, once the curfew draws near, they must be home or in a location where vampires are not permitted.


[SLIDE title="POST TEMPLATE"]
Please ensure when you post that you include this template For organizational purposes.

Character:
Player/Group:
Location:
Time:
Map Of Arcadia

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City Center: The hub of the daytime citizens, this is where you can purchase goods like groceries and necessities.
Corporate Park: This is where the corporate offices are located, often massive skyscrapers that shield the city from dangerous dust storms.
Black Market: The crime bosses and seedy citizens sell repo'd items for cheap.
Shipyard: At one time Arcadia was a bustling trade center. The shipyard still stands even if shipments move slowly.
Armory: For all your weapon and armor needs.
Hunters Guild: Monthly meetings and initiation place for the hunters. This is disguised as a rundown warehouse while all the activity is below ground level.
The Phoenix: An underground fighting ring.
The Widows Peak: The chosen bar for the Hunters. Hunters can take their collected vampire teeth here for credits and appraisals.
Mail Center: Small mail center similar to the post where citizens can mail out items and receive items.
City Council: Where all the political decisions for Arcadia are made.
Erra Mansion: The swanky place to be if you are a vampire.
Harlow Training: Kade's business. Boxing and training are offered here.
Blue Sun Taxi Co: Aratone's business. Taxi service.
Silver Ridge Apartments: High-class, expensive apartments.
Pandarosa Apartments: Mid-range apartments overlooking the industrial park.
Sumpter Apartments: Low-level apartments, Offering apartments on a month-by-month basis for those new to the city.
Man-made canal: This canal was created for shipping barges, however when the water dried up, the barges became stranded and only left a small strip of dwindling water.
The Bridge Apartments

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Resources regarding hunters, vampires, NPC's Terms & Definitions, Plot updates


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Vampire Fang count per chapter: 20 per #29 postCredit amount: 20,000Notes: Kade & Eden secured $20,000 in fangs.



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story inclusion #1
Monday | 9:00 PM: A Creator vampire lurks at the shipyard. 3 day citizens have been compromised. Eliminate the threat. This Creator's primary abilities are speed, strength, and fire.
Collecting the fangs of the Creator will earn you $10,000 Credits.
Once the threat is eliminated, please meet Rolf at the Widows Peak Bar, 1001 Samson Way, Arcadia City.
Obstacles: The Shipyard is 15 miles away. Heavy traffic from citizens late for curfew, crime-ridden streets, and possible violent confrontations are in between this location. 3 fledgling vampires lurk between The Bridge Apartments and the Shipyard.


story inclusion #2
Monday | 9:00 PM: Feral vampires were discovered at the Silver Ridge apartments. This is unusual activity; the thread of ferals in the corporate Park area could spell disaster for AM Tech-- The creator of the A-300.
3 ferals(aware, rabid) 5 docile unless provoked ferals. Collecting the fangs of ferals earns you $2000 credits per pair of fangs.
Once the threat is eliminated, please meet Rolf at the Widows Peak Bar, 1001 Samson Way, Arcadia City.
Obstacles: Several high-rise apartment buildings with dangerous and winding alleyways. Sketchy crime lords operating out of the Black Market may send repo men who will confiscate weapons/ body mods if there are debts due.
 

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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi
Player/Group: All players
Location: The Bridge Apartments
Time: Monday | 5-7:00 PM




Naomi woke in a sweat.

Every night since her Creator had turned her, she had nightmares of the event. It seemed like it plagued her mind more than anyone else, and when she woke, her fangs extended, burying themselves into her bottom lip. Sitting up, she looked at her pillow. Again, tiny drops of blood from her lips dotted the dust purple pillow case. She ripped the pillowcase off, crawled to the edge of the bed, opened her door slowly (mostly because she was half asleep), and shuffled to the bathroom closest to her room to scrub the blood off the fabric with hand soap.

By now, having startled herself awake, she knew she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. So once she had wrung out the pillow case and hung it over the shower curtain rod, she closed the bathroom door and made her way to the kitchen. The stove light created a golden glow over the small area and helped her see the exact things she needed to soothe her craving. As quietly as she could, she rummaged through the kitchen, and from the cooler, in the fridge, she grabbed a pack of A-300 and poured it into a coffee mug. The liquid looked like coffee in the dark, and she felt a pang of comfort in that sight. Throwing the plastic pouch away in a biohazard container installed on the wall next to the stove and over the trash bin, she moved back to the mug and stared down at it.

When she had been turned, she remembered stumbling home in the broken neon lights overhead. All she could remember was the hunger that came with the turn, the way her stomach twisted and burned. The first taste of blood was life-giving, but she knew if she wanted to stay here, she would need to adapt, and that meant facing the sickness that came with drinking A-300. A soft groan bubbled in her throat, and she took the mug and set it in the microwave over the counter for:50 seconds. Warming made it more bearable, but not by much.

After the cup had warmed, Naomi made her way to the circle seating area and crossed her legs while she stared out of the tinted window. The tint made survival easier in this apartment, but if she went out before curfew, she would burn to a crisp like the other vampires. She had thought about it several times-- stepping out into the sunlight. But she knew that this would not solve the state of the city. She had to find her Creator and take them down. Only then would she eradicate those they had created, making this easier for the Hunters she was staying with. But she could never tell them her plan; she had sworn to the oath.

As she finished her cup of '300, she looked at the time; it almost felt like it sped up now in her current state. Unfurling one leg, she hunched over and read an incoming text regarding a Creator in the shipyard. She knew the others would also get the exact text, and quickly she stepped over the cushions and back onto the floor, where she moved to the sink to rinse out the cup. She knew others were cautious around her, untrusting or whatever else they had decided to feel, and she understood it completely. This was an unusual arrangement.



Character: Kade
Player/ group: All Players
Location: The bridge apartments
Time: Monday | 5 pm


Kade could hear his roommate's breathing. This was how it was right? Traumatic events equaled enhanced senses. Seemed right. Logical even. When he looked in the mirror even he didn't recognize himself. He was a husk of a human. A shame really for someone who had lived a life others in Arcadia wanted and dreamed of.

In the darkness with only a sliver of pink neon light stretching across his bed and face, he stared at the ceiling, clenching and unclenching his jaw. Remembering.

It had been 5 years. Five years since he had lost his wife, Estella, to the bloodthirsty vampires that lurked in the dark streets. At times he could see her face in crowds, on the very people he spoke to. And then at the time, he swore he saw the sunken features of the vampire who murdered her.

His jaw clenched again and he turned to his right side. Kade had trouble sleeping since that day. If he thought too hard about the events they put him to sleep. He only hoped for sleep now.

Despite his difficulties with his internal thoughts, Kade was friendly, helpful, thoughtful, and a good hunter. His position as a hunter gave him purpose. Protecting those who needed it filled his chest with warmth and for that he was grateful. What made matters worse for him and his recovery was the idea a vampire "slept" next to his room. That her blood packets were scattered in the fridge they stored their food. That she was likable. Vampires weren't likable in the slightest and they certainly didn't deserve to live here in this apartment.

Despite this, he had been the deciding factor in the vote to keep her. At the time it didn't seem that difficult of a choice, but now as she milled around the apartment warming her fake blood in a coffee cup like a human. He couldn't stand it.

Pepper, his silver-colored lab, heard the quiet rustle in the kitchen and jumped down from Kade's bed and pushed her nose through the doorway to inspect, The soft jingle of her tag against her collar was deafening. Another gleam light from the stove overhead light shot across his face. Tiredly he willed his broken body up and stood with a sigh. Slowly and quietly he opened the door just enough to encapsulate his body so he didn't fall out in his delirious stupor, leaning out of the doorway he stared blankly at Naomi whose back was to his room; She stared outside, sipping on her forsaken drink. Slowly, Kade blinked his disapproval for her and her situation, then pulled pepper back into the bedroom and shut the door. Crawling into the bed he clasped his hands behind his head and tried to nestle back into the tangle of blankets and sheets.

Alone with the neon once again. Beautiful.

Naomi had a strange sleeping schedule. He equated it to her change, she really needed a coffin instead of a bed maybe she would sleep then and leave him with his thoughts. What did the others think of this? What did they think of having a vampire live in their apartment and pretend she was a part of their team while they killed her very kind?

It was fucked up.

He wouldn't blame her for being upset, but she had mentioned something about being attacked and trying to find her Creator. He supposed he could understand wanting the revenge. They all had something about them that made them want to hunt.

Finally, as his brain throbbed with thoughts, his heavy eyes closed and he was fast asleep.
 
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BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: All players, Open.
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, 5:09pm.


Aratone stepped into the floor shared by the group of Hunters and locked the door behind him. It was only a five hour shift, but he felt exhausted. It was by no means laborious work, or physically demanding, or even necessary for pay and survival. As an Arcadian cabbie, working the small market of clients who preferred live drivers to artificial intelligence ones, it served as an excellent cover as a means to snoop, spy, and reconnoitre, while picking up on possible rumors from some of the more chatty passengers. Since it was unlikely for the night-stalkers to be out during the day, it was best to use the hours of sunlight for gathering intel, and preparing for a night’s job or bounty.

And sometimes, uncommon but not impossible, it would be by some strange luck that he got one of them in the backseat.

No, not a vampire. But many had their little circles of familiars and servants, willing or coerced. Some could pass by his sight and smell without giving away what or who they were. But sometimes Aratone could tell. And he always made a note of where they were coming from and where they were going. It served well to crash those areas later, with the team, or by himself. But he was only one man, up against a deep seated rot, like a little pebble trying to resist the flow of a river. But by god, he wasn’t going to stop trying.

There would be work to do later. It was best to start pre-planning for such jobs…with a hearty dinner. Didn’t want to go hungry on the job. Or hangry. Energized, with plenty in reserve, and clear headed, those were good starting points for a successful mission. He walked down the hallway past the series of doors leading to each apartment, heading for the commons area at the end. A lounge, dining area, kitchen, and other amenities for a dozen or so people to share on the floor, though there was never a full roster on the floor ever since Aratone became a Hunter.

Someone was already there. He had missed Kade and Pepper’s departure by minutes. He found their resident blood-sucker at the sink, washing out her cup. A cup of…that. That…fake blood. He didn’t care if it was artificial or supposedly “ethical” in extraction. The alternative…was human blood. His blood. The blood of his fellow Hunters. What would they do if Naomi ran out of that fake shit? Aratone gave a little huff that was somewhere between curiosity and disgust. He dropped a brown paper bag containing his so-called hearty dinner, took off his long black coat to toss over a chair, along with his keys…and the holster containing a sidearm off his left shoulder.

Then he sat down. He pulled out his dinner, tin foiled wrapped sandwich, lettuce, tomato, and cheese between brown bread. Split in two halves. He rolled up his sleeves, all the while continuing to give Naomi a similar disapproving glance as Kade had done, every now and then. Another Hunter, he would have at least said hello. But who was she? He had seen the text about a potential Creator at the shipyards. He was in no hurry to discuss it with her.

He bit into his sandwich, then reached…for the gun atop his jacket? No, he dug into the pocket of his coat instead and drew out a mass of crumpled receipts, the various rides and treks he had driven for all his clients today. He would count and tally them over dinner. It was good to make note, of the names, addresses, who said what, who didn’t say what. Names and addresses could be run through the system. Sometimes suspicious people were just…innocent people. And sometimes, they were not.

He had driven a few away from the shipyard, up to the industrial district or the Pandarosa Apartments. None towards it. Coincidence or proof of something larger going on? A lack of evidence didn’t mean there was nothing going on.

It was only after the second bite he deigned to break the silence. It was pitiful of him to be rude. She was of the lineage. That same lineage had saved him from the streets. Why not her? Everyone had their own battles to fight. ”You ready for tonight?” He asked, his baritone voice low and crisp.
 

Xerxes I

D̸̡̓e̵̡̿v̴̟̆i̷̟̓a̵̭̋n̴͉̿t̵͎͗
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Character: Ollie Kromwell
Player/Group: All players, Open.
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, 5:01pm.

The call had come in just hours prior, and Ollie had passed it on to all of the others via text - Potential Creator, shipyards, sundown.

Fortunately, the young man had actually slept through the day and wasn't at the end of one of his 72 hour awake periods that he seemed to always run, otherwise he might have crashed before the crucial moment. Instead he had the energy to use a few hours to poke and prod at the digital defenses of the shipyard itself, as well as surrounding traffic cams, buildings, ATMs, etc. While he didn't find any definitive evidence yet, ye hadn't really expected to, not during the day.

"Command: execute PathFinder.exe." He said, the headset he wore transmitting the verbal command to the humming server next to his bed. Ollie kept his room quite cold; the server did all the heating he needed. A chime indicated that his command had been received. "Destination: Arcadia Shipyards. Path priorities: speed and stealth." Another chime. The processors began to work, calculating the best route from the massive amounts of data Ollie had collected about the patterns of the city, routines of the people. He didn't know the streets that would be busy at the time of their mission, but the computer did, and it could work for him.

With a sigh, Ollie pushed himself away from the desk, dropping the headset around his neck. Slipping out of his room, he made his way to the kitchen, catching a glance at Aratone as he came into the apartments. "Mornin." Ollie said softly, displaying his usual complete disregard for time of day. "Anything interesting today?" He asked as he punched a button on the shiny coffee maker, opening it up to accept a pod of grounds. The cabinet above the coffee maker was fully stocked, and Ollie quickly selected a pod of Cof-E; a brand of extremely caffeinated grounds. Popping it into the machine, he started it with another jab of his finger, placing a mug that read "No, I will not fix your computer." into the slot.

He gave a glance over to Naomi, the most unusual of the group thus far. She was a vampire, their usual quarry, and her presence here gave him pause. Not for the same reasons as the others though, the others had extreme dislike for her kind, even hate. They killed them. Slaughtered vampires by the dozen. Ollie? Ollie was just the netrunner. He sat in a chair with a neuro-link in, jumping from camera to camera, system to system, overriding security. The vampires could never get him. There was no risk for him.

Until now.

Faced with a vampire in their midst, Ollie found himself quite nervous, a fact that was evident in his drumming fingertips on the countertop and the little jump he did when Aratone spoke, the bite of his lip as he looked to Naomi, wondering how she'd respond to the hunt.

Instead of lingering on that nervousness, he began his own hunt: dinner.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi
Player/Group: All players, Open.
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, 5:15 pm.


Naomi leaned against the counter with her arms crossed before shifting and pulling herself up to sit on it instead.

Was she ready?

The question burned a hole in her mind; it was blurry there like she had been dunked into a pool and lost her breath. She had killed the weaker of her kind before. It felt strange even to think that as she sat there, blankly staring at Aratone's sandwich. This was a Creator, the very type that had turned her and left her for dead. What if it was the same one? Would you be able to face that? Something in her gut made her feel like this was not the same vampire that had turned her; she didn't get tingling in her brain or an ache in her fangs. This must have been something different.

"I don't know..." She paused, bit at the dry skin of her bottom lip, and then shifted her eyes to the side to hear Ollie rustling around in his room. Her ear twitched slightly at the sound, which seemed so much louder than it was, and she waited. "Are you?" She asked Aratone curiously. Was that a stupid question? He was well versed in this life, had his schedule down pat, and she was wading in the water looking for a current.

Naomi turned her head to see Ollie shuffle from his room, placing a pod of caffeine and a cup under the coffee maker she read the saying on the up and thought to herself about how this must have been an issue in his field. She missed the smell of coffee, the way it felt comforting. Now... food, coffee... nearly everything made her sick. She could feel her stomach flip and crossed her arms tightly against her chest again as if keeping herself together. They would see her instability, and she could be the following alert on the phone... The idea made her groan slightly in worry and pain. Naomi could hang back. She could just sleep the night away, live in her dark, cool room, and stay there until all the cravings and strange growing pains of being a vampire were over.

Sliding from the countertop, she turned and opened the refrigerator and pulled out another soft, pliable vinyl bag of A-300 and blinked; this was her second to the last bag, she had underestimated the amount of blood new vampires needed, and she underestimated how much A-300 she would need to curb the craving for human blood. If she held off from this packet, she would be more robust. Unlike the others, she didn't carry fancy weapons of tech. She didn't have modifications on her body; she had a switchblade her boyfriend had given her as a gift when she started her job as a mail carrier and a handgun she had stolen from someone's apartment when she was making a break for the Hunters Guild. She was rabid on human blood, and she couldn't even remember how she acted when she entered that random apartment.

"I'm almost out," Naomi stated blankly and shook the bag slightly before setting it back in the fridge. The fridge closed with an audible suction. "I'll need to stop at AM Tech tonight for more," she said out loud, looking at both of them, wondering who would take her. Even though she was a vampire, the streets at night still scared her; it would be difficult to shake that feeling despite her predicament.

Naomi hated being everyone's responsibility, but she had no choice now. She had to rely on them. Hopefully, the fear of them being her dinner was more Uncomfortable than the inconvenience of picking up a box of this fake blood.
 

sky.

ᴀɴᴅ ꜰʟʏ<҉3҉
Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Character: Eden
Player/Group: ( everyone )
Location: The Bridge Apartment
time:
approx 5 o’clock PM


Eden dangled her long legs, swinging them gently against the warm night breeze from her windowsill. The city glowed around her slender stature - illuminating the bedroom with bold, bright lights. Still, the young woman found herself growing accustomed to it … before Arcadia she had never seen or been anywhere remotely close. Giving her high ponytail a quick pull she rested back against her palms - only to be met with a wet sensation grazing the healing flesh around her knuckles. “I’m fine,” she laughed, arching her head until the large canine came into view. Her cheeks rose, giving the animal a dimpled smirk.

It’s just a flesh wound, see? Already half healed,” Eden paraded the fresh bandages before giving him a lengthy scratch underneath his chin. Cerulean hues examined her outstretched fingers.

Only a few days prior during a scouting, she found herself at the wrong end of the vampire they were tracking. Eden pressed her lips into a hard line, pale cheeks growing hot at the thought of the mistakes made. Being thrown into the glass of a store front wasn’t nearly the worst hit she’d taken.

Hell, training with the other Hunters was at times just as difficult. With a heavy sigh she let her arm drop back down.

What was I thinking? Where was my head at?

The vampire had taken the small party by surprise. Her to be exact. If it hadn’t been for the others there’d be a good chance she wouldn’t be sitting upright. Embarrassed would be an understatement, despite how new or not she was to the whole Hunter job. Nearly a year in and her first real close call, one that she’d make sure was to never happen again. A faint grumble broke the silence, her stomach giving a loud reminder that she hadn’t ate all day. “
Let’s hit the kitchen, a quick bite never hurt anyone,” Eden raised a light brow at the sleek, shiny dog ~ he never got her jokes.

Come on, boy” her boots met the floor with a gentle refined thud.

The blonde bounced her way towards the kitchen, Luxx proudly prancing at her side until reaching their destination. There was no surprise to see she wasn’t the only one with dinner on the brain, most of the place was teamed with someone at all times. Offering Aratone a small nod Edan continued to the refrigerator, not wanting to disturb his meal. Per usual, the Doberman simply passed by with a growl - something he did to about anyone who wasn’t Eden, or female. “
Knock it off,” she rolled her eyes, filling up his bowl before retrieving a large salad for herself.

You ready for tonight?

Finding her routine place amongst the table Edan kept her gaze forward, glad not to be the one to break the ice, conversation wasn’t her strong suite … unless it was mouthing off. Sticking her fork into a chunk of lush, leafy greens she went to work without shame. Her subtle crunching came to a halt when Naomi addressed the question. I don’t know? Eden couldn’t help but smile, it was a fair answer in her book. They were all as ready as they could be each time, she assumed.

You heard her, the lady needs a hand,” Eden gestured, winking in the direction of the vampire. As hard as it was to not forget that she was the very thing that stole the most precious of treasures from her, Naomi was different. A part of the family. Pushing the now empty bowel proudly aside she exchanged equal looks amongst the group. Curious to see who volunteered, “Luxx and I could use a stroll around the block.” she added with a light shrug.
 

StylusWrites

Withdrawn
Withdrawn
Joined
Aug 7, 2022
Characters: Alyssa
Player/Group: Everyone No one
Location: The Bridge Apartment
Time: 17:15

Alyssa was as nocturnal as people came. Sure, she could actually walk around in the daylight - one of the few features separating her from a blood-sucker - but with the way she functioned, she might as well be one. Her days were spent training in her room and sleeping while her evenings and nights were spent in the ring or in the field on some mission.
ruby-hale-earphones.gif She walked out of her room for the first time that day, her lip visibly bruised - worse than when she had shown her face with the original injury and earphones in her ears. The woman moved in time with the music as she went over to the kitchen. She paused at the counter top, briefly as she considered her options before she began to move again. Her long fingers reached up to the top shelf and pulled down a bottle of absinthe - her bottle of absinthe - which she began to pour into the glass. She followed with a few other drinks before adding the solid ingredients, stirring before finally topping off with a few drops of A-300. The drink that was left was a ghostly green colour with drops of A-300 falling through the liquid while covering the surface. She took a sip before placing it down on the counter top.

Her last mission had left her with the aforementioned bruised lip - that was what happened when a vampire telekinetically threw a rock at her face and she failed to knock it out of the way entirely. In her defence, not that she excused her own behaviour, but she hadn’t been expecting the vampire who she had already crippled beyond the point of escape to fight back. When the bruised lip healed, she bruised it again - repeating until her next mission knowing that she wouldn’t make the same mistake again. Next time, she would be quicker and next time, she would cut off the arms before the legs.

Figuring that food would probably be beneficial, she slipped a bag of kernels into the microwave to pop and turned her head towards the rest of the team, curious to see how they were taking the vampire’s presence. It didn’t take the most observant person to know that tensions had risen since the vampire had joined them although it didn’t bother Alyssa in any particular way. Sure, she knew that some people had their history with vampires ruining their lives but Alyssa wasn’t too wound up in all that emotional baggage. For her, the team was more of an accessory than anything else - she was a solo runner and would always be that way. However, she had been put into this little team situation as a way of indirectly monitoring her since her time in court so it was an accessory that the young woman would have to deal with.

She took the bag of popcorn out of the microwave and grabbed her cocktail glass before heading back into her room, walking around her bedroom as she got her kit together for the mission tonight. She increased the volume of the music as she got back into working out, bursting her eardrums with every beat. She had a routine before every mission; she would work out an hour or two before they planned to leave, then she would take a shower and finally, she would get into her gear - a simple yet calming ritual.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kade
Player/Group: All players, Open.
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, 6 pm. 2 hrs before sundown.



The moment Pepper heard Luxx follow Eden into the apartment's common area, Kade's idea of sleep was over. He listened to her scratch at the bedroom door, whine, and huff in the most human way possible. Slowly, he stood groaning as his feet made contact with the floor and realized his arches ached. It took him a moment to get going, but while Pepper paced impatiently in excitement to see her friend, he started to dress. Kade paused in thought, one arm already in a black tee, before reaching over to his nightstand and seeing a new mission pushed out by Ollie.

"Okay." His voice crackled under his breath, and he continued to pull on the soft cotton shirt and then added to it with a uniform of his design--an orange Gortex style jacket with enough room for his arm modification. He followed that with a simple pair of black canvas pants and similarly colored boots to that of his jacket. Leaving his coat unzipped revealed the plain black tee under; when he went for the mission, he would zip up, don his helmet, and stalk the streets with the others, but for now, he just needed to let pepper out of the bedroom.

With the soft clicking of her nails, Pepper found Luxx and immediately started tagging him and encouraging him to play. Shortly after, Kade sat at the bar a few seats over from Aratone to listen to the discussion. He noticed everyone seemed apprehensive about Naomi and had caught the tail end of her talking about needing to get more A-300. He shuttered internally, which caused him to shift his position in his seat.

The vampire needed food; when she arrived to them so abruptly, out of hunger, she killed her boyfriend. Naomi had a taste for human blood, and if he knew anything about the vampires around Arcadia, it was that the first taste drove them to hunt and kill humans almost immediately. Of course, she had been on A-300 for weeks now, but she could slip... and when she did, he would be ready.

Everyone was quiet for a moment concerning retrieving another box of the fake blood.

Naomi paused as she saw Alyssa and then smiled kindly, almost apologetically. Kade knew she had been sharing the vinyl packets with the young hunter, but he couldn't wrap his head around as to why.

"I can go either way. I can take a trip to AM Tech with one of you, or I can go with someone to take down that vamp at the 'yard." He spoke up after a moment of staring at Alyssa, who carried on with her task at hand: popcorn.

Credits didn't mean much to Kade. At the same time, he did invest in a mechanical arm for his Hunter position. He just allowed the money to build; he was a simple man with pretty simple tastes these days. Although... The idea of a skin mod over the arm was enticing, and while he liked the additional power he had with the modification, it would have been nice to feel human again.

Kade suddenly looked up when he heard Eden defending the vampire's position and her needs and stared blankly at her. It was a curious situation. He had known about her sister, about the grief, just as he had known about his fight with seeing his wife's face in strangers and the even more ever-present struggle of keeping his daughter safe. They faced similar problems, but he still felt bitter about it. It was the one thing he clung to, the last memory he had of his wife. He couldn't put blinders on and move past it, even if it went against his nature. This was his.

A growl from pepper broke his thought process, and he looked over at her while she shook a toy behind his seat.

"On second thought." He paused, setting his elbows on the counter and placing his clasped hands against his temple while he watched the dogs play, " I'll go to AM tech. I need a break." that sounded selfish to him. They all needed breaks, but he had to take this opportunity to clear his head, and he didn't trust that Naomi or Alyssa would be able to handle themselves in that building full of all you can eat '300.

Kade's eyes slid to Naomi as she spoke up and placed her hands on the countertop of the bar they surrounded. " Then that's settled. Eden and Kade will go to AM tech, and I will go with Alyssa and Aratone to the shipyards." She looked around curiously. She usually had Forest green eyes-- Kade noted this, but now her eyes were strange, swirling with gold and red. What would happen if she drank vampire blood in her hungry state?

Great, a hungry vampire tasked to kill. He couldn't see an issue in this at all.

Despite his uneasy feeling, Kade remained calm and collected; he would eat his words first before calling out what everyone was thinking. It wasn't his place; his place was to eradicate the vampires.
 

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: All players, Open.
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, ~5:15pm, thereabouts.


In expectation of tonight’s mission, the common area of the apartment began to fill up with various members of their little tribe, apart from a few others. Human and dogs both apparently. Ollie, their tech genius. Naomi, their hybrid companion. Alyssa, fresh from some fighting pit. Kade and Pepper still in their room. Eden, with her dog Luxx, who gave a warning growl towards the rest of them.

Ollie inquired if there had been anything interesting of note during his shift out in the city. He slid a few receipts towards him silently, a few names and addresses the younger techie could perhaps run down through the system in his spare time. Might find a lucky pot of gold and catch some of the bloodsuckers at play. Or not. More often it was nothing, but there were enough finds in the past that it shouldn’t be overlooked or disparaged despite some repeat dead ends. Just needed some patience and diligence.

You ready for tonight? He had asked the blood-sucker Naomi. Was she ready to do battle with her own kind, capture or kill them if need be? Put her life on the line in this thankless task of keeping the city safe, despite few ever knowing or even caring?

I don’t know… She answered back. Are you? Aratone gave an amused snort. Fair question. They’ll both find out tonight, for themselves and each other. Going up against a Creator. Certainly wouldn’t be a milk run. Aratone used one of the cheap napkins to wipe his lips and mouth, gazing back towards the Doberman as it trailed behind his mama.

Behind Eden’s back…he gave the dog a playful, mock-snarl of his own. Look, I got food and you don’t.

They were soon joined by Pepper, their other resident hound, who ran over to it’s compatriot, while her parent, Kade, joined them at the bar. Naomi then blurted out a concern. She was almost out. Out of A-300. The fake, synthetic blood that kept her other urges in check. On one hand, he supposed he could give her a point for being responsible at least. Kade volunteered to go. You heard her, the lady needs a hand Eden remarked coyly. Aratone cast her a dry glance. Was that a cuff at him? What, because he was a cabbie, he was supposed to chauffeur them about for free? He looked back to his sandwich. If he must. But the younger woman volunteered to walk Naomi to the store, along with her hound.

Alyssa came, fixing up some popcorn, a drink, returning to her room without a word. Nothing wrong with that. They weren’t an office space with a polite culture. They weren’t doing charity work. Well, maybe a little. They were bettering the city in a way. But no one was obligated to be personable. They just had to be good at their job.

Kade put himself forth for the task of fetching more of the ‘300. The man looked like shit and Aratone didn’t blame him. He could relate, though he just chewed on his sandwich for now. Sometimes finding the mood to dig down for strength to carry on despite the overwhelming odds and losses were low. It was then that Naomi spoke up, declaring who should go where. And putting herself on the mission to kill the Creator vampire down at the shipyards.

Kill…or join up with?


On one hand, it made sense not to send Naomi to a building full of potential enticement of fake blood, in limitless quantities. But to send her along on the job? Especially in her hungry state. Aratone quirked an eyebrow and shot a glance towards Kade, trying to glimpse what the other man might think of this. From there it was a short jump of his gaze towards Naomi. Something was…off. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it. She sure as hell shouldn’t be coming with-

Well, he couldn’t leave her alone here with Ollie in her state. The safest would in fact be proximity, to him or Alyssa, who could keep an eye on her better and if necessary, carry out retribution. He finished chewing and wiped his mouth again with the napkin, despite his clean manner of eating, and set everything down as he fixed the vampire fledgling with a look.

”Using vampires to kill vampires, we’ve really come full circle.” He said at first, in his usual dry, deliberate way of speaking. He took out his toothpick, indicative of the wheels starting to churn a pace or two more quickly in his mind. He stuck it in the right corner of his mouth, his fingers rotating it back and forth, while his tongue pushed up against it, feeling it’s grind. After a heartbeat, he took it out and gestured with it towards Naomi.

”You’re still a rookie, at both of what you’re supposed to be. We can’t afford for you to be a liability. Out there.” He pointed out in a dispassionate, matter-of-fact tone. ”You come on this hunt, you do what Alyssa or I say, at all times. You might as well finish up what you got left there in the fridge. At least you’ll have your edge, until the others come back with the rest. Hopefully you won’t need a hand between then and now.” He gave a glance towards Eden in reference to her earlier statement. They could always give Naomi a quick fix, sucked from a hand of a willing donor. But who wanted to readily volunteer for that?

He then gestured with his hand, palm upwards, sweeping around the table. They were supposed to be a committee. He said his piece, they could add or detract to what he said if they wanted to. If she accepted his conditions, to be disciplined and follow orders, he’ll take her. And with a glance at Kade… the responsibility to put her down if she went feral. That was really the unspoken hot potato being passed around.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi
Player/Group: @BennyQ
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, 6 pm. 2 hrs before sundown.



Well... What could she say?

Here she was, a powerful creature surrounded by humans who would never be as strong as she was. Holding back this power was excruciating. But now, she was made to follow. It was bewildering to Naomi. She supposed, technically, she was the youngest and least experienced in this group compared to everyone else. It was almost like she was starting her first day of work at the mail center. So much information, so little time, and she couldn't figure out what to do first.

It was then in her deep thoughts she heard it-- a hiss.

A
hiss crept across her mind. The hungrier she got, the more in tune with her Creator was-- and he was calling to her. The A-300 acted like an inhibiter, closing her mind off the call of her kind. She swallowed and blinked, Aratone's words sounded like an echo in her mind, and there he was teasing her with his wrist. How dare he didn't he know what she could do? Her fingertips curled into her palm, and her nails dug into the flesh, there were too many people here, too many opportunities. The dogs growled as they played. The chatter echoed in her mind, the hiss. The HISS.

Naomi took a step back and let her hands fall to her side; she was generally frail, not strong like Eden or Alyssa. If not for the tattoos that covered her arm in black ink she would look almost sickly in her vampire fledgling state. They won if she turned around and grabbed another pack of that disgusting A-300 and drank it right in front of them. She was just a measly vampire to them. But... the cravings were too intense now. Slowly, she looked at each person in the room and then lowered her eyes, opened the refrigerator, and took out another packet.

As Naomi turned, she looked directly at Aratone, boring her color-changing eyes into his own in defiance. Then, she turned away so quickly that her hair smacked her exposed shoulder audibly and took her leave to her room so she could eat peacefully. Silently, she had agreed to his terms, but the idea of actually saying it to him was like silver on her tongue. In fact, she concluded that would feel better and give him that power.

As Naomi glanced back, she watched as Kaden looked at Aratone and gave a slight nod, his clasped hands still pressed into his temple as if trying to hide his eyes and expression from her specifically. Killing one of their own was not his idea of a fun night, but if she did get out of control, that was where it was headed and that had been the agreement. She started to question her morals; vampires had been like her once. They had families and lives and... Suddenly, she bit into the packet of blood once she had entered her bedroom and the hissing and echos finally stopped.
 

sky.

ᴀɴᴅ ꜰʟʏ<҉3҉
Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Character: Eden
Player/Group: ~ open ~
@BennyQ
@Kassia
Location: The Bridge Apartment
time: approaching sundown



Eden settled herself on the edge of the kitchen counter stop, leaning gently against the cabinets lining the wall. She threw her offer on the table ~ that was enough. Aratone had a knack for ever so lightly tapping at all the right buttons - all in jest as she did his, her gaze traveled to the Hunter, gleaming in amusement. “I think we’ll manage,” she smiled .. yawning with a heavy stretch of her arms and adding a theatrical flutter of her dark lashes. Aside from the occasional tiff, she respected the man greatly. Not only seeing him as a superior or mentor. “If I need one, I’ll be sure to call you, Ara” the icy blonde added with a wink before moving her attention to the sound of playful grunts and growls.

Her lips perked into a smile, a true one and rare moment. Luxx rolled onto his back, allowing the silver puppy to win their pretend battle. Just as he had taken to Pepper ~ she had a soft spot for Kade. Looking up to him as an older brother he had been the only one she confided in, truly with her heart on her sleeve. They spoke about her sister, his daughter … her faults and mistakes since becoming a Hunter. For reasons beyond her knowledge - he simply had faith in her.

Eden fallowed the Code given to them all, but walked a tight rope in the eyes of some. Her polished, angular nails tapped faintly, quiet enough for only her ears and definitely Naomi’s, another individual she found herself sympathetic towards more than she thought. The grudge Eden held against vampires was a long dead one, nonetheless one she would never let go. Word traveled quickly not long after Eden arrived. Not only was she a foreigner but her ruthless reputation quickly came into light. A wildcard, loose cannon others would did say … however, one hell of a partner to have watching one’s back when push came to shove.

Perhaps, that was the only thing keeping her around. Loyal and a relentless soul she held her own well, unless her temper won the fight instead of herself.

A double edged sword she fought against every single time. What would happen if the day came I didn’t stop? A difficult mental image she pushed away every-time she went out on a mission. Her bright moved for the sudden movement, Alyssa catching her off guard as she gracefully maneuvered around her - retrieving her own meal. Eden gave her a small nod, seeing the earbuds pressed deep into the hunter’s ears. Never a sight that grew old, she loved watching everyone’s personal routines before they ventured off for the night. Alyssa was just about as tough as they came.

Ducking out of the other woman’s way she stepped down form her perch, clapping her tender healing hands together. The sound was enough to make Luxx pause from his own happenings, leaving a lean paw over Pepper in mid wrestle. His pointed ears immediately turned in her direction, cocking his head to one side. Looks like it was time for her own routine. With hunger satisfied it was one less thing to blame an outburst on. “AMTech it is,” she hummed, pressing her lips together to let out a single whistle. Luxx left his companion, flattening his pointed ears in disapproval.

Don’t give me that look, she knelt to plant a kiss on the top of his head - as well as Pepper’s. Time for work, pal.


Don’t die and I’ll make you a drink, huh?” Eden called over her shoulder to Aratone, passing through the dining area and back towards her room. He too, seemed to be one of the few who understood her in ways others hadn’t quite. Two hot heads at the very least. He had been the first one to offer her proper training - those very skills saving her ass more than she could count now. “See you in a few, Kade,” Luxx’s nails clipped loudly behind her, catching up to her after giving Aratone yet another unnecessary curl of his lip. Waving her hand at the canine she shook her head, laughing under her breath. What is it with you two? Men.

For the most part Eden was ready. Sleep hadn’t been kind to her in the past days, looking at the subtle bags underneath her eyes she pressed lightly at the puffy skin with a a huff. Turning away from the body length mirror to a closet of weapons she began to rummage through the well organized supply. Without much thought she went for one of the usuals, a dual pair of blessed blades which she slipped into her back holsters. There was no sense in changing - already dressed in her typical black, form fitting attire. Mask secured around her neck. She placed a couple more specialize hollow point bullets between her pearly whites, finishing up loading the customized shotgun to it’s limit. With one arm she cocked it, sliding it in its own designated spot. Guns weren’t her strong suit, aside from lessons with Ara she was new to anything that wasn’t bladed.

Ready are we?” Eden asked Luxx who patiently waited in his own gear at her feet. A full body suit, doused in holy water each time they left, thick leather collar blessed with runes, and a simple chain lead. Letting the canine lose on a target was always her last result, despite having a temperament to match his owners. Pulling the snug spandex material over her face Eden swung a small pack over her shoulders, clipping a small strap underneath her chest. “Common, then,” her head nodded for the door, both of them returning back to meet up with their designated group.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kade
Player/Group: @sky. @Xerxes I
Location: The Bridge Apartments.



"That dog dislikes you probably the same amount as the vamp does." Kaden laughed and looked to Aratone while Pepper slowly wandered back over to Kade and sat down with a nervous yawn. She knew that once Luxx was called away, it was either time for bed or trouble. "Shit, If you stay alive out there with Naomi and the other vamps at the shipyard, I'll make you a drink." He chuckled and ran his hand over his hair to flatten any wild strands down.

Twisting the stool 180 degrees, Kaden stood to grab his helmet off of the coffee table between the Halfmoon-shaped sofa and inspected it, tinkered with the settings, and then placed it on his head to ensure that all screens were operational. On the visor, the living room appeared with neon green lines outlining each piece of furniture and the rug with the Hunter Star in the center. He could see everything in this X-ray-like mode; satisfied, he moved over to Pepper and lifted up the visor to reveal his slate-colored eyes. Kneeling, he ran his gloved hands over her head and smiled tiredly.

"Sorry girl, I can't take you; you still have much to learn. Maybe next time." She stared up at him, prim and proper in her state, and blinked. She trusted him with every fiber of her being, and he knew it. Besides, she wasn't completely alone. She would find Ollie and rest at his feet until Kade came home from this mission. Standing, Kade looked down at the silver dog and then over at Luxx and Eden, who made their way back into the common area just as he had turned away from Pepper and fastened a few additional satchels of items to his legs.

"Ready?" He asked the question but knew that even the most experienced warrior wasn't truly ready. Without waiting for a response, he flipped the visor on his helmet down, slung his rifle behind him(which he had kept on a coat hook by the door), and headed to the front door, glancing over at Naomi's closed bedroom door. Unstable was the word that came to mind. She was too unstable to live with them, but she knew the rules, and he clung to that pact they had all made over the Hunter star at the Guild the night she had found them.

The curfew siren bellowed overhead.

---

Once outside, The cool air seeped in under Kade's helmet, he could smell the humidity that lingered and lifted off the wet streets, but it was towards the end of the season, thankfully. His boot crushed into broken cement, and he finally zipped up his jacket just under his visor. The city was black and neon green to him with his helmet on. It had been a while since he had seen it in the ever-florescent pinks and yellows encapsulating Arcadia. Truthfully, the credits rolled in from his business, Harlow Training. Attending every day was no longer needed, so he slept through the day until dusk-- unless he was called into work.

As he looked around, the visor gave him a clear indication of what could be used as a weapon, if he needed and if he needed assistance, he could ring Ollie. He took the sight in and, as he waited for Eden, snuck a glance of the neon-lit city by lifting the visor slightly. It was a mistake.

With slow blinks, Kaden could feel the flood of memories return, the night he had walked Estella home, the laughs they had shared at restaurants on various dates and occasions. It was then he realized it hadn't always been this way. There was a time when this wasn't their life, and he had no idea who the Hunters were. He closed the visor and shoved his hands in his jacket pockets. Rolling his shoulders back, the rifle's muzzle clinked against the silver clasp on a pouch he had attached to his leg, smaller weapons. Kade ran his thumb over the wedding ring he still wore, the smooth silver slid against the pad, and he looked forward. He knew Eden found him like a brother, and he knew this to be the safest route; they were all at risk here in this world.

With that, he felt his nerves fall away; he found this reasonable to himself. Kaden kept clinging to the longing and hope to seek revenge, but it was holding him back from these other personal relationships, the silver ring grew hot under his thumb then, and he stopped spinning it on his finger.

"Ollie, can you read me?" He asked. " How does AM Tech look? Safe?"1​


1​ @Xerxes I I posted a new Story inclusion for you to use in your response!
 

Xerxes I

D̸̡̓e̵̡̿v̴̟̆i̷̟̓a̵̭̋n̴͉̿t̵͎͗
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Ollie observed the socialization and discussion in the central room with a certain amount of detachment, listening to the way people spoke and the plans that emerged. But when Alyssa appeared, his eyes darted over to her, and the young man rapidly busied himself with making coffee, a little heat on his cheeks. The stoic young huntress was... as attractive as she was terrifying, and he'd only ever admit to himself that both of those traits were incredibly appealing in their own ways. She terrified and thrilled him, and he'd only had the most brief of encounters with her.

Coffee in hand, Kade slipped out of the apartment to head to AMTech, and the others set about preparing their departure for the shipyard. Ollie returned to his lair, where glowing screen and the hum of fans waited. Securing the door behind him - he never left it unlocked, particularly while running a mission - he sank into the office chair and rolled across the floor to the desk, Setting his coffee carefully in a cupholder to keep the electronics safe from the liquid, he slid the headset back on. Ollie's fingers danced across the keyboard, transmitting the directions that the computer had generated to the team's cell phones. It was at this point that Kaden's voice crackled across the headset, and Ollie tapped the button on the side.

"I read, one moment."

Another clack of keys, a script running on one screen as his computer broke past the woefully insufficient security around the AMTech's security cameras. In a few moments, the other screens blinked to life, giving him a full view of the store's interior. "Looks all clear, one employee in the front, one in the back, no customers." he replied.

Tapping the headset mute again, Ollie tossed it haphazardly onto the desk, rooting around for a cable in a bin next to him. Finding the NeuroLink cable he needed, he jacked it into his computer tower, then found the other tapered end of the black cable, ending in a silvery tip. With a slight wince, he drove it into the socket behind his right ear. A bright blue light flashed bright behind his eyes, and his body slumped slightly into the chair as the NeuroLink took over, connecting him directly to the computer - and the team - directly with his mind, making him even faster than he already was.

The visible screens all blinked black with a single line of white text:

MOSHED-2022-9-8-23-0-25.gif
 

sky.

ᴀɴᴅ ꜰʟʏ<҉3҉
Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Character: Eden
Player/Group:

@Kassia || Kaden
Location: The Bridge Apartment || Starting route
Time: Nightfall



That switch flicked as soon as Eden stepped out into the crisp city air. Her previous giddy presence in the kitchen was long gone. Time to go to work. With the bottom half of her face concealed, the young woman’s eyes burned against the darkness - almost casting their own matching neon glow surrounding them. Soon she’d slip on a pair of dark vintage oval sunglasses, helping to block out the bold signs and flashing billboards. “Let’s get it done,” she slipped on her black hoodie - speaking more to herself than Luxx who knew his job. Hell, he was on his way up the ladder faster than she was. Eden gave his tall ears a rub, “let’s find Kaden.”

Aside from the sound of her boots clicking against the hard ground things appeared calm. She moved swiftly, silently with a natural discreet confidence. Luxx kept up with ease, long legs providing him with a matching stride to his owners. As was she, he was already on high alert - his dark brown eyes moving from side to side. Times like this she forced to ease up, if anyone was going to sense danger first … it would be Luxx, especially a vampire. Oddly enough Naomi had been the only exception this far when it came to his training. Normal for him was tracking vamps down, not lounging around the apartment with them. However, from the day of her arrival he treated her almost, human.

Eden had no means of transportation. No vehicle or motorcycle to get her from A to B as quickly, but her own two legs came with an advantage. Aside from syringes of adrenaline she carried, tucked away in a safe pouch around her waist, she was quick on her feet and knew the alleyways well. As Eden, Luxx had no issues when it came to running, climbing, or sneaking to get where they needed to be. When a street punk, always a street punk.

Almost there, buddy” underneath the mask her tone sounded soft, sweet - inviting even. Not the normal hint of sarcasm that hung on the edge of her tongue, always at the ready to spill out lacking shame. “At this rate you’re lookin’ better than me,” she grinned, giving the thick chain a look over again .. checking it’s security. If things went sour, she’d want to unhook him as fast as humanly possible. From there - he knew what to do. Running into trouble was the last thing she wanted for tonight, but did any mission run smoothly? Hardly.

Tule mukaani,” Eden nodded to the left, the quickest and most direct route to meet Kaden, she didn’t want him alone for long knowing he most likely had made it there before herself. With no zero time to waste her eyes slid to Luxx, “nopeasti” the command in her native language caused the canine to pick up his pace - breaking into an elegant long limbed run. Eden did the same, jumping and maneuvering the back-way debris scattering the concrete and narrow walls. Those that blocked their way completely were solved by giving Luxx a running boast up and over before scaling it herself. Whether or not something was a potential threat on the other side, Luxx would let her know without hesitation.

She seen him before he her, even without seeing his face she could feel the tension. Scanning the area around showed no sign of danger. This was something .. else. Her heart drummed against her ears, slowly emerging from the shadows. Luxx caught Kaden’s scent - shaking that nub of a tail in a strong uneven wag. Underneath the concealment she bit down on the fullness of her bottom lip, a habit the girl did out of nerves or sunk in deep thought. Not wanting to startle him, Eden bent down to snap the clip off Luxx’s leash, allowing him to sprint to the one man of the house he hadn’t tried to bite, yet.

The Doberman pranced around Kaden’s feet, greeting him with a nudge of his cool, wet nose. I’m ready to work, as if he were to say -

Kaden!” Eden held up a single arm to wave. She took the time to catch her breath, making her way over to him leisurely. One platform foot over the other. The closer she grew the more she felt something was off, was he okay? Her brows furrowed, offering him slight concern in her expressive hues. “Ready to get this over with,” the question came out apprehensive, wanting to make sure he was solid before they went further. To say she merely admired Kaden would be a flat lie, she knew it and perhaps did he. Their sibling bond was startling at first, allowing any other soul other than her companion was strange … but it soon turned into comfort amongst this twisted world.

Eden pulled out her shotgun to rest it on her shoulder, inside she could already feel it waiting. The anger and rush to lash out if trouble came their way. Like an animal licking it’s chops her jaw ached to release everything held behind a mental cage. Was it wicked of her to think such thoughts? To anticipate the moment she was satisfied by taking out the “ bad guys “. With a certain glee at that. It didn’t change anything in the end, the nightmares continued. Her sister was never coming back.

Been here long?” she asked, stopping next to stand by Kade’s side, “should be easy enough, doesn’t look like the city is very active tonight.” Eden added, letting her posture ease - placing the hand not occupied on the curvature of her hip. “Luxx doesn’t seem bothered either, oddly enough,” she glanced at the canine who took position between the two of them. Panting softly.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kade
Player/Group: @sky.
Location: Arcadia streets en route to AM Tech.



Kaden snapped out of whatever strange trance he had put himself in. The autopilot that drove his mind would still let him fight, but it would be brutal and unwavering-- something he tried to put behind him. He nodded to Ollie's words and lifted his head to hear Eden's almost soundless footsteps.

Her voice broke through his mental barrier, and he looked down to find Luxx prancing around him. He only hoped in the time Pepper was ready for the field that, she too could be by his side. He needed it. There was a comfort in knowing he wasn't alone here; everyone had a similar type of pain or story in the guild that brought them to their current position.


Shaking his head at her question regarding his wait, he gently pets Luxx on the head with a gloved hand. "Luxx is a good dog," he started " I can only hope Pepper can learn from him." After a moment of pause, Kade looked around with an eager sigh.

"Shall we?" He asked while he looked down the hallway they stood, halfway between home and AM Tech. As they walked, Kaden turned the silver ring on his finger slowly, nervously.

"So, uh, how did you sleep?" He turned his torso towards her as a movement with the helmet was a little more complicated. The screen consistently pointed out objects he could use as a weapon on their pleasant walk, uninterrupted but the bustle of people. "Seems like City Center was heavy with activity earlier in the day. I couldn't see a reason as to why, though." He had made a note of it because he couldn't sleep, and in his restless state, he had caught a glimpse of Eden out on her window sill.

Kaden had missed his time in the daylight. He felt forced at times to bend to the nocturnal life of the vampire, though he understood why. Adding a mental note, he decided sometime in the week he would visit his shop, check in on things, and maybe see a Mod Shop for that synthetic skin for his arm. After creating a small mental checklist, he slid his visored eyes back to Eden and watched her.


In the early days of the Erra, goddess of the Vampires, she had been a hunter like them. One of the best. Strong and capable. She took down some of the world's renowned creatures. Arcadia didn't even exist at this point. This city was somewhere in Death Valley or the Mohave desert; no one truly knew. All that history had been eased once Arcadia was built. However, when California became flooded from an earthquake, causing some parts to slip in jagged and uneven ways, it created a basis to start anew. Erra had been a part of the survival, so in a way, she was looked to as a leader. However, reality didn't stop because the world was suddenly in shambles. When she was sleeping, she was bitten by a dying vampiric god. This transferred his power to her and captured what was left of the vampire's broken empire.

Still, while Eden wasn't a vampire, Kade respected her for her abilities and kindness, a trait often associated with Erra. He felt at ease with her, and it was incredibly difficult not to want to hold on to that; his thumb stopped twisting the ring around his finger.

"I thought about maybe hitting up my 'place sometime this week. See how everyone is doing, see how business is running. By my absence, they probably think I'm a vampire now." He chuckled to himself and shrugged his shoulders. "Seems like all I've done recently is try to sleep, or lack thereof, to be honest." Kaden paused momentarily, "...and maybe head to the Mod Shop. I've wanted to get one of those synthetic skins for my arm. " He touched his mechanical arm, then moved his hand to mute himself so that Ollie couldn't hear him speak. Everyone was on a need-to-know basis, and ollie didn't need to know. The less people that knew about his daughter, the better. " I'm not sure that it will do well out...here. But I plan to see Caroline one day, and I think she might freak out seeing her dad as a partial robot."


Once the two hit a cross-section of the neon-lit street, Kade's arm shot out to the side, attempting to block Eden and Luxx from moving forward; his protective nature and reflexes were always at work when they were out hunting, even though he knew she could handle her own. Cautiously, He took in the sights and ensured it was safe. His eyes flicked to each pinpointed neon-green outline on his visor and then dropped his arm back to his side to continue their walk, all while adjusting the strap of his rifle that rested over his chest.

" You know what? It is oddly quiet." Kaden spoke after a moment, his voice low and coarse, then he lifted his hand from the rifle sling to his visor to cycle through city events-- trying to find the reason for the lack of movement.

It wasn't a terrible situation to be in; maybe they had finally eradicated vampires from this zone.

It was a hopeful thought.
 

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: All, Shipyard Crew; Naomi Richardsen (@Kassia), Alyssa Queen (@StylusWrites), Maxine Conners (@Fish is yum).
Location: The Bridge Apartments, Interior -> Bridge Apartments, Exterior.
Time: Monday ~5:15pm -> Nightfall.


He expected something…more, from Naomi. Naivety, rebuttal, argumentative, something crass and loud and unfounded in logic. Just like he was at that age. Instead, she deferred, silently, took the rest of her A-300 packet and with a final glare at Aratone, turned with her tail tucked between her slender legs. Aratone piqued his eyebrows. Was that…a yes? No? It was definitely a fuck you but if that was offensive to someone, they clearly hadn’t been living in Arcadia for very long. Aratone found himself thinking he would have preferred an outburst. That would make intentions and motives very obvious. Not knowing Naomi’s? That would be another burdensome uncertainty in a job already laden with them.

It was discomforting to think about taking that wired up landmine into possible combat with a Creator, so much so he barely caught Eden’s playful remark about coming back alive. The offer of drink was a unspoken promise. Either they drank together…or they drank in memory to whoever didn’t get back. Kade offered to make him one as well and Aratone gave him a rueful smile. Endangerment, death, possible betrayal from within, just another day as a Hunter.

”See you when I see you.” Aratone just bid them farewell, wrapping up his meal, his cabbie trip receipts. There was a crew to manage. Weapons to prepare. Routes to plan out. It was time to go kill a vampire.

The curfew siren bellowed overhead.

He didn’t change much. Black khakis, a tight black sweatshirt, with a long duster to cover himself up, and most importantly, the double-barreled shotgun that would dangle from his hip to ankle at his side. A knife in his boot and another knife along the interior of his jacket, opposite to the shotgun. He tucked a pistol in his rear waistline. He ran a hand through his hair, curly and disheveled in a fashionable way. No drinks or smokes to pre-game before a job. Silver toothpick in the corner of his mouth. Diagnostics should no discrepancies in any of his body-mods, within his legs or implants in his head.

”Girls!” Aratone bellowed as he walked out of his room. ”It’s time to go. Hurry up, or you ain’t comin’, or gettin’ paid.” He said, like some old father hassling his tardy kids out of bed for school. He went to Oliver’s room, knocking on the door to announce himself. ”You good, playboy? You want somethin’, souvenir or anything? Beer, chocolate bar” He asked, half joking. ”Going to be driving, can you keep us appraised of any law enforcement along our route?” He took his toothpick out of his mouth and gestured at the techie’s desk.

”Put something solid in your belly, not just that caffeine, alright?” He said in way of farewell to the man. He was overbearing yet nurturing of everyone, girls and boys included.

He exited the premise and out through the back, into the backlot parking area for their particular apartment. His cab was parked there. They would drive some of the distance, using a cover of three young girls hurrying home to make curfew, if they were stopped. They would park near the shipyard, approach under the cover of darkness. Walking the fifteen miles was feasible but Aratone wanted the contingency of having a vehicle nearby in case they needed to make a fast exit. Or escape. Or someone got hurt and needed to be rushed to medical services. If shit got too hairy that they couldn’t make it back to the cab, it was okay to leave it there overnight and collect it in the morning. What’s the worse that could happen, someone was going to steal his meter?

He waited until the others came out before getting in. He wanted to direct where they each sat. ”All of you in the back, like you’re patrons. I’ll going to pretend to chauffeur you. Disguise should hold at a distance, like we’re nobodies.” He instructed the girls as they came out. ”Alyssa, you’re behind me. Max, you’re in the middle, I need your night eyes looking forward. Naomi, far side.” Aratone said, going around the passenger side to place his shotgun on the seat like a cradled baby. The shotgun got to ride shotgun and not any of the girls? And he put Naomi behind the passenger side, and not the driver’s side, so she couldn’t reach up and choke or assault him. Not that Alyssa or Maxine weren’t capable, but he trusted them. He didn’t trust the blood-sucker.

Cyberpunk_2077_Epistrophy_cab_locations_guide.png
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi
Player/Group: @BennyQ
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Nightfall.



Naomi had finished her packet of blood, and while everyone shuffled about getting ready for the night, she ran back into the kitchen, stuffed the empty bag into the biohazard bin, and then returned to her room through the door that led into the bathroom, locked it and paced.

Her blood felt like it was on fire. The more she held off drinking human blood, the more she felt sick and feverish. She paused in front of the bathroom sink and stared at herself in the mirror. Ordinarily, vampires could not see themselves in the mirror, but the A-300 made it possible. The A-300 made a lot of things possible. She could see herself in the mirror, the '300 gave her body warmth and similar attributes to that of a human, but she wasn't. Everyone in this damn apartment knew it.

She turned on the sink with a frustrated sigh, ran her hands under the cool water, and then splashed it on her face. She needed to get ready. Wandering back to her dark room Naomi pulled open the chest of drawers housing her clothes. Unlike Kade, Aratone, Eden, and the rest of them, she didn't have a uniform or a specific set of clothing she wore when going out to fight vampires. She had what she came with; Naomi made a note to ask Eden and Max what they thought would be appropriate clothing for a "night out."

When she worked at the Mail center, the women were tasked to wear a skort and a polo. Could she wear that here?

Scratching the crown of her head, she threw a mess of clothes onto the bed. She supposed that it didn't matter as long as she didn't fuck up when fighting. Taking a tan-colored skort and pulling it on, she noticed a change in her body frame from when she was human. Her transformation into a vampire caused her to lose most of her muscle mass, and the skort struggled to stay on her natural waistline. Is this what it was like? She would have to learn about her body from a whole new perspective, her speed, strength, her cravings. It was as if she had been reborn into something hideously beautiful -- and she wanted no part of it.

Rummaging through the clothing, she settled on a black sleeveless turtle neck, which she tucked into the skirt. She then secured everything with a belt that held all her little leather pouches filled with neatly arranged sawdust-filled bullets, a flask of holy water, and a holster on her hip.

"Good enough," Naomi mumbled while she patted her hip in thought. She took a few steps around the room, testing the skort's movement with a few high kicks and defensive maneuvers Kade had taught when he wasn't too busy trying to sleep. Satisfied, she nodded to herself. It would do.

Finally, Naomi stepped into her black suede ankle boots by the bedroom door and brought her calf behind her to check the heel. There was a small button that she could kick if she needed to, and it would release a small switchblade-- still sharp and unused. Pulling out the knife from the heel of the left boot, Naomi took the flask from her side pouch and doused it in holy water to be safe. She was reckless with it and released a yelp in surprise and pain as the holy water splashed her hand. Immediately she shook the burning hand of the remaining water and watched as her skin reddened to the likeness of fire.

She knew she didn't have time to waste, so even though her hand burned like it had been set aflame, she set the flask back in its carrier and then the blade back in the heel of her boot and held her hand close while it shook. A single bloody tear trailed her cheek, and she wiped it away with her shoulder. Naomi didn't even bother with her hair. She let it rest against her back in long wild silk tendrils before exiting her room and heading downstairs to where the cab was parked.


While Aratone gave out his seating arrangements, Naomi watched curiously. She then looked around the parking area before she got into the passenger side of the car, sitting with her body pressed against the armrest. In the time she had stalled drinking the A-300, her nails had grown longer, demon-like yet as sharp as glass and beautiful; she stared at them in disgust and then looked outside of the cab window. Should she apologize to the other two for having to sit with her? Naomi wasn't sure. Curiously she leaned forward, resting her elbows on the corner of Aratone's seat and the passenger side where his shotgun sat.

"Hey-"Her voice was soft as if she were trying to keep her conversation quiet and between them. " Do you think Eden and Kade are okay?"

She felt as though a lead ball had sunk into her stomach. Having them grab more A-300 was a big ask. She felt like she had unintentionally put them in harm's way, making her feel even sicker than her demon nails, blood tears, and the burning sensation the Holy water left behind.

Despite her frustration with Aratone, she did respect him in her own way, maybe not the way the others did with their tenor, but in her own cryptic way. As she looked at him, she studied his face. She could tell he had seen too much, even if he didn't say what he had seen. It was a small gesture, but she placed her burnt hand first over the other as she waited for a response as if saying she was easily damaged with the holy water, so her current position shouldn't startle him.

Still, Naomi realized that everyone had a different perspective of her and that her gestures of surrender did not always translate well.
 

Xerxes I

D̸̡̓e̵̡̿v̴̟̆i̷̟̓a̵̭̋n̴͉̿t̵͎͗
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Character: Ollie
Player/Group: All
Location: The Bridge Apartments.
Time: Nightfall.


It was difficult to describe what netrunning was like to someone who had never jacked in before. Ollie'd always felt like it was having the answers at the tips of your fingers, but faster. Every question answered the second you thought it. Blind but seeing through a thousand eyes. Deaf but hearing through a thousand ears. Instead of screens, thoughts and mental images flashed through his mind's eye as fast as he could think them. The others might have been the muscle, trained and honed and specialized, but Ollie's strength was the speed of his brain and his understanding of the technology that hummed around them all.

His voice crackled into the headsets of those tuned in for the mission, a little bit digitized and robotic, the slight indicator that he was jacked in and not "speaking" persay. "Route's been sent to your phones, should be the fastest way to the shipyards. Doesn't mean it's the safest though. I'll follow you on traffic cams." Flicking through systems as if he were simply changing the direction of his head, his mind glanced over cameras through the city, the cab's digital maintenance portal (in need of an oil change in a couple weeks, but otherwise fine), and finally the biosigns of the team members; all green. Well. All fine except for the flatline that Naomi's showed, but Ollie hadn't come up with a way to measure her status yet, short of jacking her into a book-sized monitor for the whole op. His headsets could read heartrate, but they couldn't detect anything more complicated than that, let alone something like pain receptors.

Did vampires feel pain normally?

The net didn't have an answer for that one.

In a series of flashing lights, Ollie pulled himself into a bird's eye view of the city, streaming to him from his satellite. Well. The satellite he'd hijacked from the city's police department. They didn't know they had a 19 year old along for the ride. "PD's showing a collision on Third. You'll need to re-route." With a thought, he sent the focus over to the shipyard, waiting for a heartbeat. "All's quiet at the yard. I'll let you know if anything crops up before you get there."
 

sky.

ᴀɴᴅ ꜰʟʏ<҉3҉
Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Character: Eden
Player/Group:
@Kassia || Kaden
Location: en - route || AM TECH. ||

Time: nightfall


Letting the shotgun fall from her slender shoulder, Eden let the cool metal rest against her leg. She narrowed her eyes, “.. yeah. He is” her head cocked to one side, enough to swing the long length of her hair. What was really on his mind? It surely wasn’t Luxx.Ah, she’s a natural don’t worry,” Eden smiled at the thought of the silver puppy waiting eagerly back at the apartments. “I think they learn a bit from one another, keeps Luxx from being such a couch potato,” - patting the canine’s chest she nodded, acknowledging that her and Kaden needed to get a move on.

What was really troubling her partner would come to light - desperately wanting to pick his mind. Kaden had been though a lot in his brief existence, just as she had. For now she left things well alone, straightening her posture and reattaching Luxx to his lead. Not that he needed the guidance of one, but Eden kept it on for more of his protection than anything else. He wasn’t some tool or worthless weapon. Using him was always her last result in a fight. If anything were to happen -

How did I … sleep?”

The question blurted out, alright, enough is enough. Kaden was her friend, and this was not like him. The random questions. The twiddling of his fingers - she knew what sat behind those gloved hands. Eden shook her head, waving her hands in front of her face as if to push away an invisible barrier. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on? You know how much I despise guessing games as much as fucking surprises,” she was blunt but her high cheek bones dimpled with a smile, she knew she could be that way with him. The door swung both ways. Not many could pull the stubborn girl out of her occasional funks.

Forcing him to speak of what she feared was on his made prevented her from prying. He’d tell her on his own time, when he was ready … and maybe while they weren’t out on a mission. As calm and easygoing things seemed to be it was always up for change. Perhaps it was the comfort of an additional hunter, Eden now merely strolled towards AM. In an odd sense everything was peaceful around the trio, at least nothing to cause them alarm.

Eden hummed to herself during the moments of silence, finding a melody to match the swaying tune of Luxx’s chain. Gun placed at ease again over one shoulder, keeping it out was purely for safety measures. Hell, sometimes it wasn’t the vampires who were dangerous. People could be just as horrific in their own way. Eden had been mugged enough to learn quick not to have many trusting bones in her body. Instead she covered it with an outlandish demeanor - often times the one to laugh at all the wrong times.

Her smile slowly faded after hearing his daughter’s name, she understood the mental pain it caused saying the words. Giving his shoulder a tender squeeze Eden urged to stop him dead in his tracks. Screw the mission. “Give her more credit than that, Kade. She’s your daughter, there is nothing that would freak her out about you,” her blue pools traveled sideways, letting go of his arm, “look at her parents. She’s strong and intelligent.” Eden shrugged, glad to be concealed up her to eyes - not wanting him to see her head traveled somewhere else. “Everything will be fine, I promise.”

The blonde left well enough alone, she had spoken what was on her mind and how she felt when it came to his daughter. He knew she wasn’t the type to drag conversations on, especially when they were working. Eden and Luxx gracefully trotted across the street, staying close enough to Kaden if something happened but allowing him his space to monitor things on his own. Ollie was in his ear as well, giving them even more coverage. “Hmm. Could’ve lucked out?” Eden forced the words out as if they were cursed - to prove her fear further Luxx let out a low, unexpected growl.


Against the flashing lights she could see his tiny sleek hairs stand on edge.

Feeling the pit of her gut twist she turned to her partner, “Well, there goes to show I speak to soon,” she pivoted to cover his back … eyes darting in different directions. I didn’t sense anything, anyone before. Eden lowered herself to ground level, putting one arm around Luxx’s back and the other on his clip. The canine quaked with anticipation, seeing or sensing something they hadn’t. “Maybe we should just keep moving,” she whispered loud enough for Kade to hear alone.
 

Fish is yum

Planetoid
Joined
May 3, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
R8S1AAf.gif
Character
: Maxine "Max" Conners
Player/Group: Shipyard Crew; Naomi Richardsen (@Kassia ), Alyssa Queen (@StylusWrites), Aratone Palladino (@BennyQ)
Location: The Bridge Apartments --> The City Streets
Time: Nightfall

Max tightened the Velcro of the tac-vest so it was a bit more snug, pulling a t-shirt then a synth-leather jacket over it. She didn't need it quite as much as some of the others, her body had been reinforced and modded to a high degree, but it wasn't indestructible. So she wore the vest. It was also a confidence booster, and at the moment she needed a bit of one in spite of her experience as a hunter. The message from Op about it being a creator vamp had rattled her, it always did. Would this be Nicole? Could she kill the monster that had once whispered such lovely things in her ear in the dark back when she had been human? She wasn't sure for either question, but in the long run neither really mattered. Monsters that preyed on the living were slated for extermination. If they had been like Naomi, drinking the A-300 instead of actual blood it would be different. She pulled on her baggy pants, then her shoes, and looked up in the mirror. She inspected her mohawk, it would need a bit more green coloring soon, but her tatoos wer still sharp, and her gold lipstick matched the metal that showed on the implants in her face and neck. The vest was so low profile it didn't show under her cloths, and while they were brighter than what the other hunters wore, that was kinda the point. She was the sturdy one, so she could afford to be loud. Eyeing her outfit she turned, tugging on the jacket and smirking slightly. "Damn I look good." She said to herself.

She leaned forward, snarling at her reflection silently, glaring with black eyes with red sensor rings, chrome teeth bared, Max started hyping herself up a bit. It was a bit of a ritual, a bit of a break in the tension, and so far doing so hadn't gotten her killed, so she kept doing it. Done her posturing, she smiled for real, then stretched. The ex-ganger looked over to the chair turned nest in the corner of her room. In a pile of blankets on top of a heated pet bed, happily asleep, was Dave, her tegu lizard. "Hey big boy… momma's gotta go kill some monsters tonight." She said softly to the reptile. One lazy eye opened and regarded her for a moment as she reached down and rubbed Dave's head. "You want your sweater kiddo?" she asked, and the lazy look became a bit more energetic, the head lifting slowly. "Your sweater?" she asked again, using the same tone you would use with a dog. The long forked tongue slid out and flicked her nose and she grinned wider. "Alright hang on boy."

Walking over to her closet she pushed her clothing aside and pulled out a little knit sweater, sized for Dave, walking back. "Here you go," she said, stretching the bottom open a bit as the lizard eagerly crawled in. She had to help him with his arms, but soon, her little lad looked ready for a holiday photo. "Now, you be good for your uncle Op alright?" she said, referring to Ollie, leaning back down to give Dave a kiss on the snout. The tegu closed it's eyes contentedly for a moment before crawling out of the bed and onto the floor over towards the door. "Oh you want out huh?" she asked smiling, still using that sing song voice as she loaded up on gear, sliding in freshly loaded mags into her four pistols, double checking each was ready for use, quickly linking with each through her hands to see the targeting systems interface properly before turning the safety on each and holstering them. She had two under each arm. Max carried four just in case she didn't have time to reload, even though they were not the real workhorse of her load-out. That position was happily filled by her DT 3030, a boxy assault rifle that housed the majority of its barrel internally, similar to the P90. She also snagged spare mags for her guns, her blessed dagger, and several plain mason jars full of her capsaicin/holy water concoction. She still needed to figure out how to pressurize it like pepper spray, she had an idea but didn't have the equipment. She also grabbed her first aid kit, just in case, before finally heading out of her room, letting Dave crawl out directly into the kitchen where he promptly moved to right in front of the fridge, slowly looking back, forked tongue lazily sliding out. "Don't beg you lazy lizard." She said with a slight laugh.

She caught the tail end of Aratone and Naomi's little tiff, her digital eyes sliding between the two just as Naomi stormed off, holding the bag of '300. Her black and red eyes also followed Alyssa, who as usual was drowning out the rest of them with her music, her lip freshly bruised again. She sighed, not having to look at Kade to know what she would see there, pain, loss, a gender swapped mirror of her own inner turmoil. She walked over to the fridge, setting the heavy '3030 on the counter of the bar, and pulled out the bowl of boiled eggs she had made for him the other night, taking one and offering it to her pet. He snapped it up eagerly, as usual making a bit of a mess of it, though Max patiently helped him get all of it. "Messy boy." She said quietly, wiping his face clean of the crumbly yolk before standing back up and replacing the bowl, though not before she popped one of the boiled eggs into her own mouth and grabbed another two in one hand. She grabbed her own mug, which like Op's had an inscription. It was in all caps and read: I LIKE BEING A FUCKING HAMMER. Still chewing her egg, she put in a fresh pod and filled her own mug, she gave Aratone a look. They had been doing this the longest, and knew each other quite well. She swallowed and took her now full and steaming mug out of the coffee machine. "You need to learn some tact old man." She smiled, chrome teeth taking the sting out of the blunt words as she sat next to him at the bar, very aware and playing off of the fact that they weren't that different in age. She added salt to the two eggs in her hand, then reached for the pepper, continuing to talk to her friend "She didn't chose this, and frankly what she is choosing is, as far as I can tell, try to stay as human as possible." Max ate another boiled egg, both of which had been salted and peppered, as Dave crawled over to Pepper and Luxx. The little puppy still didn't know what to make of him, but Luxx simply bent down and licked some egg off the lizards face. Dave closed his eyes contentedly, enjoying the bath.

"So long as she is in control, she is one of us." She continued slurping some coffee and grabbing the salt, adding a bit more to the final egg. She didn't speak loudly, but she did not speak quietly either. It was clear that she was speaking to the whole room, not just Aratone. It wasn't that she had no reservations about Naomi, but Max could see the newest member of their little group working so hard at becoming one of them. She did meet Aratone's eyes though, saying nothing. That look spoke volumes though, and it was plain to the cabbie what Maxine's course of action would be if Naomi lost control. She didn't want to… she truly wanted to see Naomi fight it back, to resist the pull of her transformation. And that was because a tiny part of Max hoped for Nicole to do the same thing… wherever she was… Her synthetic eyes became sad for just a moment before she could rain her thoughts in.


The curfew siren split the night.


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"Awesome, time to kill some monsters."
Max said, hiding her nerves by downing the rest of her coffee and picking up her '3030, heading outside with the others. She cocked an eyebrow at the cabbie, black and red eyes shifting longingly over to her motorcycle. "Well that settles it, you hate my driving don't you?" She said flatly, hefting the '3030 up onto her shoulder "Still, I don't mind you being the designated driver back from Widow's Peak after this." She grinned, teeth glinting. The '3030 was going to be a problem though. The weapon was compact, but it would make the back of the cab cramped. Sighing and seeing that there was nothing else for it she resigned herself to a fairly uncomfortable ride. "And when have I ever looked like a nobody?" She added, flashing another chrome smile at her cabbie friend. As she got into the back, Maxine noted Naomi had a bad burn on her hand as she slid in from the other side, scooting over to let Alyssa get in as well. She unzipped the first aid kit and pulled out a tube of salve, offering it to Naomi. She didn't say anything, pretty sure she knew what had happened. Looking at Naomi for just a moment as she offered the tube, she said out loud "Stay close to me on this one okay? Creators are not to be underestimated." She turned to Alyssa and said "You stick close too. No stunts on this mission. You're one of the best, but no need to show it off. We already know that."

At Naomi's question Maxine answered without hesitation. "They'll be fine. Kade knows his shit. Eden shows promise for a prospect, and a properly trained dog is a damn good weapon." She had no question in her mind about their abilities. Sure, there might be dangers, but they'd handle it. Hearing Op's update about the accident Max said "Take the long way, down Ash to the alleyway between that parking garage and the Vin-Corp building, Crestfield is gonna probably light up in the next five minutes. Couple of my old friends say some beef's getting stirred up." She kept her eyes forward, eyes shifting from spot to spot, scanning for threats.

"Coast is clear so far…"
She said, though her instincts were saying something different. She saw something move quickly to the left in the shadows. Then the street lights started to wink out, one… by… one… "Well shit…" She said, hefting the '3030 and pulling the bolt with one hand, the mechanical sound of the gun being cocked loud in the confinement of the cab. "Don't think they know yet… Probably just scoping out for an easy meal... Hey Op, can you get these lights back on?" She wasn't sure what it was, it could be digital interference, or some vamp could be hucking bolts at the bulbs from a rooftop.
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kade
Player/Group: @sky.
Location: AM Tech



Kaden's brows rose as he sensed the irritation in Eden's voice. But there wasn't much he could do, and his words were out there she would interpret them in whatever way she saw fit for the situation. Maybe she was right, perhaps caroline wouldn't freak out over his mechanical arm, but he still wanted feeling back so he could feel whole again. He respected her words and nodded to them as they walked, Eden was determined in her response, and he wasn't going to fight that. Besides, she made the sound and constant static disappear when they talked, he knew she couldn't be wrong.

As they paused before AM Tech, Kade looked upwards towards the massive building that sparkled in the Arcadian haze. Fortunately, this building was open 24/7, given the situation that plagued the city. Scanning his surroundings, he stepped a few feet forward and then looked back at Luxx, whose hackles were on end. This made his skin crawl; something was very wrong.

With a deep breath, Kade moved to a trash can that was off to the side. It had been beaten and tipped over, and reached for a broken 2 x 4 that had been haphazardly tossed into it. He wouldn't use his rifle until he knew he was out of options. While he was proficient in that skill, he felt more control with found objects.

bats-swarming.gif
Overhead, Kaden heard a swarm of bats. Their little chirps echoed loudly into the boxed-in funnel they were currently in. It was a trap, their small form would definitely be hard to read with traffic cameras.

"Shit!" His visor lit up with green as the bats formed and made a beeline down into the cement arena. Kade swung the board and smacked down one who flopped around on the ground erratically and transformed into a feral vampire, charging at him and hissing and clawing at his jacket. He elbowed it in the face and slammed the board down into its chest, crushing it and effectively ending its life. In a burst of embers, the vampire exploded into ash and created a wind tunnel around them. He knew he wouldn't need to direct Eden on what to do, so he watched her out of the corner of his eye while throwing the broken 2 x 4 into the air and knocking down another one of the massive bats.

It had seemed that even though guards had stood just outside of AM Techs building, they had retreated inside and locked the massive glass doors. Great. "Cowards," he breathed.

He glanced over at Eden then and then at the neon-green outline of potential weapons. Broken bottles, paper, furniture--anything he could get his hands on was at his disposal. Breaking the leg off of a nightstand someone had set in the trash just outside of the apartment, he swung it like a bat knocking two more ferals down from the sky. The more the two and Luxx stayed in this area, even the docile ferals posted a threat. Still, Kaden couldn't see allowing them to roam free to where they could pose a threat later.

While the creatures descended down upon them, he fought. It was then he was face to face with another who bit down onto his arm.

There was a pulse that felt like an eternity, and Kade shook the creature off violently and waited. The vampire had bitten his modified arm, but the flash of past situations made its way through his mind. Had he not had this modification, he would be dead, or worse, like Naomi; he certainly did not want to live that way. His mechanical arm had been blessed, and this vampire's fangs had sunk deep into the metal, causing it to claw at its throat and screech while it stumbled away from him. Kaden watched it, having been up close and personal with a few Creators in his time and even fledglings, but he hadn't really examined a feral before, and this was something out of the pits of hell. Their drug blood-filled veins made them demonic, screeching sirens in the night and caused his ears to ring.

The vampire burst into violent flames that spread around the area, touching anything in its sight and catching it on fire; they were boxed in now.
 

Xerxes I

D̸̡̓e̵̡̿v̴̟̆i̷̟̓a̵̭̋n̴͉̿t̵͎͗
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
As Ollie was surveying the digital (mental?) map of the city that fed to him from the satellite, he felt an alarm trigger, like one might feel a sharp poke in the side. His attention instantly snapped to it, and he became very aware of increased heart rates in a number of his teammates, even as Max called for Operator over comms.

"Operator here, let me see what I can do." He responded, flicking his attention over to the power grid in their area. It seemed there was some kind of virus attacking the lighting controls, adjusting their systems and making them think that it was still daylight out. "Something weird here, someone's definitely tampered with these lights. Give me thirty seconds." He communicated back, already deploying a portable antivirus to the control servers. It was then that Kaden's heart rate spiked, another poke in his side. If he hadn't been jacked in, Ollie might have muttered something along the lines of "oh for fuck's sake", but instead his irritation was internal. Why did everything always go sideways all at the same time, everywhere.

His attention snapped the the area around the AM Tech, activating an external camera to see Kaden beating off a vamp with a makeshift club as one sank fangs into his arm. Ollie mentally winced, forgetting briefly about Kade's modded arm until the creature screeched and burst into flames, setting the area ablaze.

Ah, fuck.

"Kade, Eden, I'm working on that fire, standby." The young hacker scanned the area nearby, opening his focus to anything useful. The city had made a lot of advancements, but a city-wide fire suppression system hadn't been developed yet. Pity, Ollie would have loved to use it to deliver holy water wherever they needed. There were, however, updated fire hydrants with electronic control. With a though, he overrode the locking system and the pipe opened, dousing the street surface in water, putting out the flame, hopefully well after the vamp was burnt to a crisp.

And then, on the other side of things, his antivirus finished, and Ollie calmly toggled the lights back to being active.

"Light's coming back." He reported. "Kade, you want me to get you guys a way out of there, or do you have it handled?"
 

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Shipyard Crew; Naomi Richardsen (@Kassia), Alyssa Queen (@StylusWrites), Maxine Conners (@Fish is yum). Oliver "Operator" Kromwell, mentions of Kade Harlow (@Kassia) and Eden Yearwood (@sky.).
Location: Bridge Apartments, Exterior -> Streets of Arcadia.
Time: Monday, Night-time.


Aratone waited as the girls took their seats. Maxine cracked a joke about her own driving and Aratone just gave an acknowledging grunt. Girl drove a motorcycle, how crazy can one be? The girl could put her weapon in the trunk if she wished but she preferred to cradle it like a baby. Aratone could relate. His shotgun was the closest to parental reverence he might have for something. Once everyone was in, Aratone started up the engine and the car buzzed to life with a cute little Blue Sun start up tune and various other lights and LEDs flashing on the dashboard.

Hey- Do you think Eden and Kade are okay?

Why? Wish you were with them, on the easier milk run job. Luckily Maxine was far more diplomatic and offered up a far more encouraging answer than Aratone’s sass. Not that his sass would have the same meaning intended but… As the girls chatted, Aratone began to drive them through the Arcadian streets, rapidly emptying or already empty in advance of the curfew. Almost all major signs and electronic billboards were displaying the command. Curfew in effect! Please return to your homes. Curfew in effect! Please return to your homes. Violators will be prosecuted… And so on and so on, in dazzling lights or special effects.

Now, cabbies had a measure of immunity. Not everyone could get home from work or some other business in a timely fashion. Better to wait for a safe drive than to attempt the streets alone and in the dark. Law enforcement were understanding, to a degree. Only for the first hour or two.

Ollie got them the best route to the Shipyards designated and plugged through their shared network. An overlay of the city popped up on the cab’s navigation screen, with a marked route. Aratone drove casually. Never pushed the speed limit. But didn’t exactly make safe turns either, as slowing down to bust a left or right or even stopping at an intersection were among the most dangerous and vulnerable moments they could be in. Sucks to suck for the girls in the back, as they would be swayed left or right with the momentum of his sharp, hard turns. No, he didn’t usually drive like this.

PD’s showing a collision on Third. You’ll need to re-route. Ollie’s voice came in over the car’s internal speakers. All’s quiet at the yard. I’ll let you know if anything crops up before you get there.

”Roger, playboy.” Aratone said grimly. Aratone was checking the map, keeping one eye on the road, and for potential dangers, when Maxine helpfully offered up the alternative path. Down Ash, cut through the alley between Vin-Corp and the parking garage. Crestfield is gonna probably light up in the next five minutes. ”Any distraction is a good distraction.” Aratone conceded under his breath, speeding a little down Ash and turning into the alley, trying not to lose any momentum.

Then everything started to go dark. Huh, you said everything was going to light up…

”Stay calm. Lock and load.” Aratone just said, eyes flicking to his rearview mirror, seeing Alyssa’s, Maxine’s…and Naomi’s eyes in turn. He just kept driving. No time to stop and think about alternative paths. That’s what’ll make them vulnerable. Keep driving. They could reroute on the move. His grip atop the steering wheel however betrayed his calm exterior. Grip tight. Knuckles white. In a battle, he could handle himself no problem. It was being on the edge of one, not knowing when it might strike, the anticipation…that was the slow killer of his patience. Better these bastards get right to it.

Ollie had no fix for the lights right away. Something weird here, someone’s definitely tampered with these lights. Give me thirty seconds. And then… Oh for fuck’s sake.

That didn’t sound good.

They were almost down Ash. The big sign atop the Vin-Corp building could be seen ahead, with a darker, non-illuminated structure that was the parking garage, indicated by a long vertical sign that declared Parking in purple neon, underlined with a broad stroke that twisted towards the building in an arrow. The alley would be between them. Aratone brought the vehicle to a minuscule halt as he prepared to make the turn and the front lights would face down the alleyway into immutable darkness and silence. But something was wrong.

A second later, two lights popped up on the far end of the alley and began to approach. A truck was blocking the way and speeding towards them.

Aratone immediately threw the car into reverse, swinging his arm back over the rear of the passenger seat as he twisted around to look out the rear window, driving backwards. A humanoid silhouette became visible in the illumination of the rear lights. They had been running along, in silence, tailing the cab. In fact, there were several silhouettes. Aratone didn’t falter for a second, building up speed as he reversed. And soon the entire vehicle shuddered as he outright rammed into one.

And shuddered again as a vampire leapt onto the trunk. And yet again when one leapt on the front.

It was an ambush.

The vampire on front crawled his way towards the front windshield, hooking his fingers in the gap between the wipers and the hood. Aratone put the vehicle in drive now and began to speed forward, nearly avoiding being caught in a mob. Some vampires had no problem throwing themselves in front of vehicles, letting their durable corpses jam up the wheels, help immobilize the car for it to be swarmed and the occupants dragged out. By now, the pickup truck was clearing the alley and Aratone swept by in front of it as it screeched and swerved onto Ash behind them.

”Alyssa, Naomi, take lateral fire. Maxine, you’re on the sunroof.” Aratone barked at them, himself eye to eye with the blood-sucker clutched onto his hood, the creature’s nails digging into the metal of the vehicle’s frame. The vampire snarled at him. Aratone snarled back. ”Let’s go for a ride, punk.” He growled, as he pressed pedal to the metal. The girls could shoot, fight, through the windows, rolling them down. Or shoot them through them but fuck, that was going to be expensive.

And the truck was following them. Maybe they were anticipated.

Maybe someone…sold them out.
And while he didn’t have a suspect, his eyes happen to flicker to the rearview mirror to check up on the battle behind, and once more fell upon their own bloodsucker in their group.
 

sky.

ᴀɴᴅ ꜰʟʏ<҉3҉
Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Character: Eden
Player/Group: Kade
@Kassia
Location: || AM Tech ||



Eden’s vibrant eyes watched her canine closely, his demeanor changing rapidly. Damnit, knowing all to well he wasn’t easily triggered by merely anything. Luxx lowered his head, teeth fully exposed as numerous growls bellowed lowly. “Kade - I think we should ..” her words trailed off, ducking towards the pavement as soon as they were swarmed by bats. The hand not holding on to Luxx, who worked to defend his companions, leaping up to snap whatever winged devil came their way, reached for her waistband. Detaching a small device Eden swiftly pressed a tiny blinking button, as soon as she did the staff extended out with a couple mechanical ticks. Lähellä minua!” she commanded the canine who had only finished tearing the wing off of an unchanged feral. This was bad.

It was always that first, initial strike that triggered her. Flipping the switch. She gritted her teeth, an almost primal snarl of her own. The long staff made for good coverage - not wanting to allow them the upper hand by getting close. It swung above the top of her head, building momentum before slamming into the nearest vampire. They were turning all around them, twisted and morphing as they plummeted to the ground. One in particular who managed to dodge her rapid swings closed in. Giving the staff a brisk swing behind her back she held it there - pausing for a split second to find the clasp on Luxx’a collar. Eden waited, even behind her mask a smirk was visibly forming. The animal positioned himself, planting all four paws with force, dark eyes gleaming at the feral standing before them.

Mennä.”

Luxx bolted before the heavy chain could fall, coiling into a pile at his owner’s feet. Eden could barely make out the sounds of the vampires calls over the attack. Taking the feral by the arm Luxx tugged it viciously without hesitation. No matter the direction, he held with a vice. Eden raced towards them until her weapon pierced the center of the vampire’s chest. She grunted loudly, pushing her weight onto the pole … stopping mere inches from the injured immortals face. Fangs snapped and fingers clawed for her as she backed away, calling Luxx off. A small chuckle escaped her lips as felt for a small bottle, popping the top off with a single digit. Holy water. Combined with the blessings carved into her weapon it was a one way ticket.

Giving the bottle a wiggle, Eden emptied it over the feral until it was weak enough to free her impaled staff. The vampire hissed when she drew near - struggling on the ground to stay up. So much effort, and for what? With that thought she ended his existence with hard hit to the side of his head. Body convulsing, skin sizzled from holy runes. There wasn’t much time to watch the festivities unfold, her gaze moving to Kade -

The sound of her calling out rang over the range of noises, overlapping one another like a broken horror film. Their screams and cries of anger were no new tune to her ears, yet it sent that chill down her spine. Briefly all she could do was watch the flames grow around them - blocking her view from anything else beyond the fire. No, no. Eden placed two fingers under the mask, a quick sharp whistle called Luxx to her side. Together they moved towards Kade, Eden pushing the button once again to collapse her weapon. We have to get the hell out of here.


Removing her mask she tossed it to the ground, without proper ventilation she already began to cough. Aside from a couple minor cuts and bruises Eden had managed well enough. The greatest concern was their next course of action. Standing there any longer was becoming no longer an option. Time was not on their side. “…. we need to leave, now. We might be able to give Luxx a boost out at the very least,” holding back another cough she shook her head, searching for an area where the flames weren’t equal in height. He was agile enough, but ran the risk of getting burnt. It make her nervous, an expression all to clear on her face. “Anything on Ollie’s end?”
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kade
Player/Group: Eden [ @sky. ] Oliver [ @Xerxes I ]
Location: AM Tech


Kade was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As Ollie flicked the metaphorical switch on the fire hydrant and drenched the flames in the now ashy and muddy arena, Kaden crouched down to catch his breath, quickly pulling off his helmet and setting it on the ground so that he could lean on the top of it for support. His lungs filled with ash, and he looked upwards at the bats swarming overhead, who were fearful of the water and disoriented by the sparkle. They had so little time. He then looked to Eden.

Her voice rang over the commotion, but he still felt conflicted. On the one hand, Eden was right; they needed to leave this area. But on the other hand, Naomi needed that blood, or they were all dinner. Fledglings had enormous appetites, and he feared for Eden's life. Everything was static again. Oliver had offered them a way out. But Kade was unsure of his position right now. Should he take the chance to put all three of them in a dangerous situation to spare her feelings?

Then Kade lifted his helmet, shook off the vampire dust from the underside, and pulled it back on. "Oliver, send a car for Eden. She will meet you at the rally point." Kade pressed the side of the helmet, and a map of Arcadia flickered on the visor. He selected a point of interest and sent it to Ollie. Over the roar of the bats and the fire hydrant, he called out to Eden.

" We need that blood--Without it, we are done. If Naomi goes for human blood, it's over; she will be uncontrollable. She's not strong enough to fight that and...." He paused and heaved," we can't expect her to." His slate-colored eyes looked to the side, eyeing a glinting vampire tooth in the ash. " Go home, get Luxx out of this. I'll gather the teeth, and you can help Ollie direct me home. It seems like he has his hands tied with Ara's group!"


The bats overhead screeched, and he rose from his crouched position as the hydrant decreased in strength. Overhead a feral barred into him. Kade grabbed its arm and flung it to the side to disorient it. Towards the glowing entrance of AM Tech, guards watched and paced, motioning him to get inside. Kade bolted towards the doors, turned, and pulled his rifle out from behind him. His last ditch effort. His arm clinked and ground against the shattered gears that had been bitten, but he still aimed and let off several rounds of the sawdust-filled bullets into the air. Like fireworks, some exploded without targets while one ignited a feral mid-transformation into flames; the flames settled on puddles of water, glowing purple before subsiding.

These creatures were ridiculous and even more so when they caught everything on fire.

He knew in his gut that Eden could hand their own, so when he turned to bolt to the doors of AM Tech, he didn't look back to check on her. She had Luxx, and he felt all the protection she needed. He trusted her, but he also knew fighting her on this was not wise.


The doors swung open suddenly and he was trapped in the small corridor of the building while compressed air rained down on him blowing the ash and water away from his body. Feral bats and night walkers clawed at the bullet and vampire-proof glass. They were rabid, and he watched them curiously, creating a distraction so Eden could leave.

"Sir," one of the guards spoke as the doors behind Kaden opened to the circular lobby; the AM tech logo glittered in gold-plated lettering, matching the rest of the tasteful decor.

"uh, yeah, I need two boxes of '300."

The guard nodded and tilted his head to his partner, who quickly walked past the circular lobby and behind a biometric sealed door--the beep of his keycard was loud, and Kaden winced slightly at the sound.

Kade took a seat on a red leather bench by the window and looked into the ally before hearing the radio crackle on the security guard's belt.

"Wer--zzzt--we're out of --zzzt-- '300. Over-"

Fuck.
 
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