IC- Signs of the Underground

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IC- Signs of the Underground

Post by Nazir » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:19 pm

The fight for salvation from Bug City continues...

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Image Problems!

Post by Nazir » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:39 pm

The power of the spell unleashed, Nazir relaxes and lets out a low growl.
The sound surprises him and looking down at his own hand he realises that instepping through the barrier from the astral realm to this one, he had forgotten to adopt his human form.
Seeng the apparent concern on the faces of the rag tag group of men on the roof he realised that they had noticed too.

Mentally chastising himself for the omission he forced himself to change into the arabic looking male, his hair shoulder length and beard neatly trimmed, his atire more akin to the nomads of the desert than to the ruins of Chicago.

He made visual contact with the human with the glowing red cybereyes.
'Good afternoon Mr Winter!' the spirit said with a short bow.

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Post by Nazir » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:46 am

No Entry sat on the edge of the desk and nodded toward the Arab.
“So who the hell is this guy?” he asked Winter.
The solo looked up from his task of refilling magazines with bullets.
“He’s a friend of Granite’s is all I really know,” the human said with a noticeable degree of disinterest.
“Yeah? But can we trust him?”
Winter took in a deep breath as if about to launch into a lengthy monologue, but then let it all out in one long sigh accentuated with a shrug. “Aw man! I don’t know! Since Granite left us he’s the only person who has shown any interest in helping us.” The cyber enhanced human paused to nod at No Entry’s bloodied clothes. “He’s sorted you out though, hasn’t he?”
No Entry looked down at his arm and at the wounds that were no longer there.
A young orc boy, who No entry figured couldn’t be a day over fourteen, staggered up alongside the pair and dumped a heavy crate of ammunition on the desk beside Winter.
The boy, Give Way, smiled at the two and wandered away again to fetch another crate.
These crates of ammo were more than likely the reason the Blue Boys were so pissed off with them. They had liberated several crates on their way back from Echo Tower.

Solomon glanced over his shoulder at the human with the olive skin and the neatly trimmed beard. Nazir had some sort of symbol tattooed on his face. “What do they mean?” the big troll asked.
It took a second for Nazir to realise what was being referred to. “Oh, that! They are hieroglyphs. The ones on my cheeks spell out the name of Anubis. The ones on my forehead say – Death is not Final. It was the motto of my old legion.”
“Like I thought, religious shit. So, you were a soldier?”
Nazir fell silent for a while, concentrating on his spell. Then after the troll’s wound had gone, he answered. “Of a sort.”

The group were in one of the many offices of the 1st Midwest Bank. They had stumbled into the building’s foyer trying to avoid the Blue Boys.
The bank’s automated defences, after all this time, were still working and began to repel the intruders, that was until HAL walked in and plugged himself in.
Now, his robotic body sat motionless in the basement, connected to the buildings Local Area Network.
The bank’s defences were enough, under the control of HAL to repel the blue boys, and aside from the sudden arrival this morning of the army drones, the gang had enjoyed nearly two days of relative peace.

With the run of the building, virtually untouched since the evacuation of it’s employees, the Sign’s had discovered the kitchens stocked with dried, frozen and tinned foods. The fresh fruit and vegetables had long ago perished, leaving their foetid odour to permeate everything within the refectory.
They were enjoying their first decent meals in weeks.
All in all, the twenty four surviving members of the Signs Gang were in a good mood.

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The Gathering

Post by arcanus » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:58 am

While the mysterious figure healed his comrades, his power mending bones, renewing flesh and blood, he and HAL slipped away.

No Entry made his way to the meeting, in the remnants of IGA Supermarket on 83rd Street, surprisingly the entire glass front of the mall was still intact which was more than be said for the inside. The shelves, aisles and furniture had been torn apart in the panicked frenzy of refugees claiming the precious food contents months and months ago.

People had died here, in the melee, the product of human misery. Skeletal remains lay in the aisles, amongst the litter and refuse, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
"So a, what stops uz from killin youse" No-Entry turned looking at Hispanic ork regarding him. He merely turned as HAL slowly strolled around an end checkout.

Looking back he ignored the ork with bad grammer, and looked at the black clad leader of the 'Illinois Saints'.
The saints were ork/troll gang who fought the fight of Christianity in the South CZ, in being Christian they were every bit as brutal and even murderous as the next gang, they just apologised during evening prayer.

The big black troll stepped in beside him and they walked a distance from the main gang, they made a bizare gathering, each and every one dressed in white winter camoflage, each adorned with crosses and belts of makeshift weaponry.

All apart from 'Hoodlum Priest' their leader, a troll of rare faith. 'Hoodlum' was known from before the CZ, he'd made his place of charity in the 'Shattergraves', leading the poor souls, protecting them from the monsters. His brand of protection was somewhat questionable.

"King Vlad has invited us to join him" said 'Hoodlum'
No-Entry didn't reply, merely looking at the troll dressed in a surprisingly clean and dapper priests garb.
"They are ungodly, no the Children of Judah will not bow before the Philistine"
"We all have our faith" replied No-Entry
"Your no hood ork" observed 'Hoodlum'
"I was a college student, Enviromental Studies" replied No-Entry

"So, your proposing an alliance" said No-Entry cutting to the chase.
"I am" replied Hoodlum "You are being hunted on all sides, it will not be long before the self same hunters turn their hatred upon us"

"Have you heard of The Eighth Regiment Armory?" asked Hoodlum

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Collaterol Damage

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:46 am

"Christ!" Solomon blasphemed. "It's fuckin' snowing!"

The dozen members of the Signs gang rushed to the windows of the bank to look out upon the raging blizzard that was sweeping across the city.

"That's a bit weird, even for Chicago!" No Parking laughed.

Solomon glanced over at one of the few humans left in the gang and noticed U-Turn looking concerned.
The troll approached the ork. "What's up U-Turn?"

The ork cast him a withering look. "You do know there's no such sign as u-turn, don't you. No u-turns, yes, but none that actually instruct you to do one."

"Chill out, friend," the big troll grinned, absently scratching at the base of one of his battle scarred horns.

"Sorry Sol," U-Turn said while keeping his eyes on the foul weather outside. "Getting a bit jaded with the whole signs thing. My name's Mac."
Solomon nodded. "I know who you are. Mclarren Hades. Drafted in to the Chicago Bears after a college scholarship, Running Back. Lasted two seasons before you left after a disagreement with the coach. Got into financial difficulties after their lawyers tore you a new one, and got swept up by Chicago Shatters urban brawl team as a scout and reserve outrider. Been with them for three seasons, think you’ve got a 10.4 seasonal goal average and hold a team record of four games without injury.”

Hades looked suspiciously at the troll. “Are you stalking me?”

Solomon raised a single eyebrow and gave the ork a wink, then smirked. “No my friend. I watch the Brawls. I sort of recognised you ages ago. Got the more technical details from this Sporting Journal I found in the lobby waiting room. There’s a profile of the Shatters, including you.” He held up the data pad and saw Hades wince. The image showed the ork with his face swollen and bruised and his left arm bent at an awkward unnatural angle.
Hades remembered the fracture had hurt a lot.

Another figure joined the two at the window and both meta-human’s fell silent. “The weather seems rather unusual,” Nazir stated.
“It’s freakish is what it is,” Solomon clarified.
“It’s not the weather,” Hades countered.
The troll’s body language became defensive at the challenge. “It’s snowing outside and you reckon it’s nothing to do with the weather. Nice one genius, you’ve had one brawl too many, Mr U-Turn!”
“Really, Sol. This is not the weather’s fault. You need all sort of atmospheric condition to cause naturally forming snow. We haven’t had, and still haven’t got them.”
“What are you now, the weatherman?” Solomon’s voiced was raised and dripping with sarcasm.
“He might as well be,” piped up Speed Limit, also known as Daniel Smith. “He’s got a doctorate in environmental sciences and a bachelor’s in meteorology.”
U-Turn, aka Mclarren Hades looked embarrassed. “Yeah, thanks for that Smudge!”
Solomon looked genuinely impressed. “I was going to take the piss, but then again, for one of us goblin types to get a doctorate is pretty impressive. I heard you can fail your exam just for being an ork. I thought you went to college under a jock scholarship. What’s a brawler doing learning environmental science?”
“I wasn’t aiming on being a brawler then. I wanted to be a football star, remember? I had an eye on the future, once my legs were shot and I was passed my prime. Graciously retire and do something useful, even meaningful with my life.”
“Who’d have thought it though, U-Turn the brainiac!”
“Will you quit with the U-Turn? Granite’s little pet names for us where cool for about five minutes. The appeal and need for them sort of died out when he did.”
Nazir glanced at the ork with surprise. “Granite is not dead.”

“What?” both members of the Signs Gang asked at once.

“He has been evacuated. A LAV from the Atlantean Foundation took him and his friends out of the city.”

“The fucker!” Solomon swore incredulously.

“Were you with him when he went?” Hades asked, slightly more calm than his companion. He got a nod in reply. “Why didn’t you go?”
“I stayed with Mr Curren. He had things that needed taking care of in the city before he left and I stayed to assist him. Which is why I am here now. We want to start getting people out of the city. I’d like your help to do it.”
“What’s the point?” Solomon put in. “Get ourselves shot up for the sake of everyone else, then get shit on again?”
“Easy Sol!” Hades put a calming hand on the big guy’s shoulder. It was funny to think that the two had pretty much been mortal enemies until six months ago. Now the ork counted the troll amongst his best friends. It was a funny old world, as the saying went. Who knew where this would lead. Perhaps in getting everyone else out there would be the opportunity to get themselves out too. If not then at least they will have been doing something. Either way he figured it was probably a good idea to hear the Arab out.
However, the gang seem to have adopted No Entry as their defacto leader, now Granite was gone, and he thought his old school friend should be here to listen to the human’s proposal.
“Where’s Ty?” asked the room but got blank faces in return. Tutting he corrected himself, “No Entry?”
“He left to go to a meeting with Hal,” someone said.
“What meeting?”
At that moment Nazir staggered and let out a groan, one hand pressed across his eyes the other reaching out to steady himself, grasping for anything solid.
Solomon reflexively grabbed the proffered arm.
After a moment Nazir seemed to recover. “Something is coming. Something huge, and very bad.” His eyes fixed on the window and the unusual storm raging outside. “I will not be long,” the human said and with that he began to fade, and then the ghostly image blinked out of existence.

“He’s very odd,” Solomon quipped. “What’s with the invisibility?”
Hades was looking around the room. “I’m not sure he is invisible.”
“What’s wrong with you today, U-Turn? You’re getting close to speaking in riddles.”
“Holy shit, look at that!” A voice called out from elsewhere in the room.
They all turned to the windows. A huge black mass writhed through the sky soaring over the Chicago skyscape, snaking its way down the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The gangers crowded around the windows watching the mass get nearer.
A bright shaft arced through the air and struck the mass, then a LAV appeared a short distance off. Searing bright dots erupted from the LAV’s weapons tracing a line through the air to the dark shape. The dark shape twitch and recoiled from the onslaught but the gunfire kept coming. Then suddenly the rounds were blasting through the other side.

“Fuck! Look out!” Hades yelled diving on top of the two people to his left.
Suddenly the wall of the bank exploded inward in a deadly hail of masonry and glass.
The room was filled with smoke and dust and the screaming if the wounded.

Hades winced, pulling himself up and looking about himself, ignoring the shard of glass sticking out of his leg. The smell of blood was intense and as he climbed to his feet he slipped on the ichor that was once one of his friends.
Two others were dead, two new guys the gang had picked up on their way here, more fugitives from the wrath of the Blue Boys.
Solomon had been the only one to remain standing. His front was plastered with a thick layer of concrete dust that merely highlighted his dark eyes as he blinked and slowly turned to look at Hades.
The wall a foot either side of him had been blasted to rubble as had large chunks of the floor.
“Jesus, Sol!” Hades said shaking his head in disbelief. “You must be the luckiest bastard alive!”
Multiple injuries and just three dead, the ork considered they had all been lucky.

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Post by arcanus » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:31 pm

"What the hell was that" spat No-Entry, as he clambered out of the dumpster and shook his mosquito net off of locusts.
[It was Schistocerca americana or The American Desert Locust] replied HAL, very matter of fact, No-Entry gave him a cool, withering look.

They swiftly made their way through the scene from 'Milton', the already bleak streets of the CZ, had snow flurries, dotted with fresh fires and thousands of dead locusts.

Nearing the bank, the odd pair looked at the large hole in the wall
"Fuck" swore NE as he cautiously scrambled across the street, HAL remained where he was allowing his sensors to take in his suroundings.

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Post by arcanus » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:43 pm

HALs arm shot out, targeted and fired, the tazer struck No-Entry in his arse, sending his body into an imediate spasm and dropping him like a stone.
The somewhat provocative move undoubtably saved Tyrone's life, as a 5.56mm round blew a chunk of ferrocrete out of the road, along a trajectory that would have taken his head from his shoulders.

HAL stepped out, acquired and fired, his shots chewing masonry along his targetted roofline, the sniper suffering grievous wounds to his legs.

HAL strolled out, hoisted No-Entry up and proceeded back to the Bank.

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Roll-Call

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:04 pm

Thought this might be a bit usefull:

THE SIGNS GANG

(Format: Gang Name-Race-Notes)
  • No Entry-ork-Tyronne Beggs (Gang leader). Guitarist

    Solomon-troll

    U-Turn-ork -Mclarren Hades. Vocals and guitar.

    Yield (Give Way)-ork-Age 13

    Klaus-dwarf-techie guy

    Speed Limit-ork-Daniel Smith. Physisist and drummer

    HAL-Automaton

    Hump-troll-plumber

    Bus Lane-human-trucker

    Don’t Walk-ork-rigged taxi driver

    One Way-ork-female, nurse

    Road Works-ork-thief

    City Limits-ork-ganger ******RIP******

    Toll Bridge-ork-ganger

    Crossroads-ork-welder

    Intersection-human-teacher

    Ford-elf-teacher

    Speed Camera-human-photographer

    4 Way-ork

    Slippery When Wet-ork-Chip Dealer

    Rough Road-ork
Last edited by Hades on Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by arcanus » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:36 pm

The Anubian form exploded through the apartment wall, throwing his magical shields up to ward off the deluge of flame that followed.
He attempted to shout over the roar, but instead had to weather further barriage. The huge flame spirit spun, searching for its foe.

An old human habit, but Nazir caught his breath, shifting from his Jackal Headed form to that of an arab and waited.
Ducking from his hiding place, he sent a jet of flame flying into the fiery form, of course in this case fighting fire with fire was a impotent point.
It did however cause the spirit to pause.

"Shalom" he said, as the situation seemed to calm, the huge Salamander stopped and regarded him with feral eyes.
Nazir could see a rawness to its form, this wasn't good, the spirit was turning, he could only guess that the CZ was poisoning it, toxifying it and if this was happening to a creature of such age and power how long would it be for the CZs other spirits including him.

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Asserting one's authority!

Post by Hades » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:40 am

The cafeteria seemed crowded. Hades guessed everyone was here.
The ex-urban brawler looked at the list One Way had drawn up. It was all that was left of the amalgamation of three gangs when Jim Granite had taken over.
The ork hadn’t been sure why the ex-nurse had given him the list, but then, who else was there? Their apparent leader, Ty, had gone off somewhere with HAL.
Solomon, over the last few hours had regressed into an almost vegetative state. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was still walking you’d think he was in a coma.
That episode with the wall earlier had shaken the big troll more that McLarren Hades had realised.

The nurse smiled at him as he entered. “How’s the leg?”
“It’s better. I heal quick, ” he replied, trying not to sound rude. The fact was, he was a fast healer, uncannily fast some had said, and he found it easier not to talk about it. People tended to ask less questions.

One Way gave him her stern ward sister look and peeled back the dressing. The look of surprise almost made him laugh.
“It was just a small cut.” He saw that she was not satisfied and said, “Let’s just leave it there shall we?”
Changing the subject quickly he asked her if Ty was back. After clarifying that he was indeed talking about No Entry he wasn’t overly surprised when she answered in the negative.
“Is anyone down guarding the lobby?”
She shook her head. “I’ve just come from there. Everyone’s up here.”

Hades didn’t like the sound of that. He surveyed the room, looking from person to person. They were sat in groups of threes and fours, chatting , with a few loners lost in their own thoughts. There was no laughter, just the quiet murmur of people deep in conversation. In fact this was a step up compared to how it had been a week ago.
Looking down at the list in his hand, a list that was short by three names, all killed earlier that day.

“Excuse me, everyone,” he said in a loud voice. Some of the conversations died down. “Excuse me!”
“Shut up!” One Way screamed, silencing the whole room.
All eyes were now on the young ork and he felt uncomfortable.
Hades took a deep breath, as much to calm his nerves as to clear his head. Just imagine you are on stage, he kept telling himself. It would help if I had my guitar. Then he realised that everyone was still watching him.
“I think there is something you all ought to know,” he began and his nerves began to abate.
“The Arab has informed me that Granite and the other runners that were with him did not die in the Aztec Pyramid as we first thought, but were in fact extracted and are now alive and well outside the zone.”
There general murmurs along the lines of well done, and nice one.
Then a few seemed to grasp the implications of this.
Hades nodded as many eyes returned to him. “That’s right. He is out and we are in, which means we are on our own. There are enemies on every side of us and sooner or later we are going to get shafted. We have to get out of this city, if we don’t do it soon, we’re all dead. So for those of you who still looked up to our one time leader to return and take us out of here...”
He didn’t need to say any more.

After the rumblings of discord settled down, Hades continued, “I don’t know where No Entry is at the moment. He could be dead. In his absence we need to get ourselves ready and make plans to move. Every moment we stay here is more time for the Blue Boys or anyone else out there who wants a piece of us to plan an attack. We need to stay alert, and ready to move.”
“I want five people armed and installed downstairs, in the lobby. I want another two at the rear fire exit ready for us to bolt if need be. We’ll have to work out a shift rotation. We also need to plan our next move and scout out the route. Most of all we need to stick together. One thing we have on our side at the moment is numbers, there’s still enough of us to make a formidable foe for any opportunistic groups to think twice. Right, seven volunteers for first watch, please.”

There was a moments silence, then a voice piped up. “Who the fuck put you in charge?” It was City Limits, Hades noticed, and his main antagonist since joining with the ork gang over a year ago. He and his flunky, Toll Bridge were the only original surviving members of the Madison Street gang and both were life long gangers who found it hard to shrug that street gang mentality. The fact that the majority of the gang now consisted of everyday people, most of whom used to work for a living before the wall went up, is something the pair rankle about often. City Limits and Toll Bridge (Hades had forgotten their real names) both considered themselves to be next in line for leadership, a fact that most of the other gang members tried to ignore.

Previously Hades would have backed down, not wanting the confrontation. Today, after this mornings events the ork felt as though someone had flicked a switch in his head.
“No one put me in charge, but No Entry isn’t here and we don’t know if he’s coming back, so we need to get some things sorted.”
“Like I said,” City Limits interrupted, coming to the front and standing before Hades. “What makes you think you’re in charge.”
His stance and bearing became suddenly aggressive.
Hades knew where this was going, didn’t really want to go down this road, but he also didn’t know if City Limits had any other backing on this move.
He opted to try and talk through the problem. “I don’t presume to take over leadership, I know everyone has more or less agreed that No Entry is the boss now, but like I said earlier, he isn’t here.”
Again City Limits interrupted. “So why don’t you go and sit down and leave the decision making up to someone who knows they’re doing.”
“Gladly. Who would you recommend?”
“Not you!”
“So who?”
City Limits looked around, knowing that to nominate himself first would be misconstrued as him sulking that he wasn’t in charge. “Winter,” he said with a smile.
Winter looked up from the back of the room and shook his head. “No thanks, don’t do leadership.” The human’s tone told everyone in the room that his statement was to brook no argument.
It was the answer that City Limits both expected and wanted. “Alright, me then.”
“Well I have to admit,” Hades said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “that your plan so far has been ingenious. Gathering everyone into one room to sit and talk and munch your way through our supplies whilst leaving the building unguarded is clearly the work of a moron!”
The urban brawler knew the comment and more specifically it’s tone would provoke a reaction, probably physical, and he was ready for it. If putting City Limits in his place, and letting everyone else know that he was of some use could only be a positive move.

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Post by arcanus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:32 am

Well you asked for it, Initiative roll.

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Post by Hades » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:52 am

Just because someone hands you a loaded gun, doesn't mean you have to pull the trigger!!

Initiative Roll = 15 12 9 8 5 5 4 3 (9 hits so score of 11+9=20 with +2 initiative passes)

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Post by Drake » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:59 am

Hades wrote:
Just because someone hands you a loaded gun, doesn't mean you have to pull the trigger!!

Initiative Roll = 15 12 9 8 5 5 4 3 (9 hits so score of 11+9=20 with +2 initiative passes)
Nice Initiative :)

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Post by Hades » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:02 pm

thanks!

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Post by arcanus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:29 pm

Despite the tell-tale signs of some form of boosted reflex, he is slow.
You have two actions.

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Post by Hades » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:23 pm

Hades sees the attack coming. Before the gangers fist is halfway to its target, Hades grabs the ork’s wrist yanking it towards himself, controlling its direction well wide of himself, and pulling him off balance. Then his right fist shoots out, knuckles aiming for cheekbone.
Grapple: Unarmed Combat + Strength (13) = 13 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 ( 3 hits )
Punch: Unarmed Combat + Agility (11) = 7 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 ( 2 hits )

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Post by arcanus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:53 pm

The entire room flinched as ork fist connected with ork face, sending City Limits flying backwards.
Hade's felt pain shoot down his shoulder, stumbling forwards he glanced backwards to see Toll Bridges finger razors dripping with his blood.
Toll Bridge flinched himself as One Way wrapped a stool around the back of his head, unfortunately her valiance was rewarded by a backhand slap from the larger ork.
The room seemed to freeze, three phut phut phut noises and City Limits crashed to the floor a unrecognisable bloody mess, the ruin that had been his face stripped away by flechette ammo.

The Signs Gang turned and looked at Winter, his face grim and calm.
"Like I said I don't do leadership or bullshit"

"What the fuck is going on?" comically as one the Signs head turned to the new direction, No-Entry stood in the door, a thoroughly pissed off expression on his face.

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Post by Hades » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:32 am

"Fucking hell, Winter!" Hades exclaimed, his tone full of exasperation.

The ork turned to his other attacker. "Toll, find some place to 'burry' your friend, then get back here with a cold compress for One Way's cheek."

Seeing Toll Bridge remain unmoving, he snapped at him, "Move!"

Then he turned to No Entry. "You can take that fuckin' look off your face too!"
How much damage did I take from Toll Bridge?

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Post by arcanus » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:35 am

Then he turned to No Entry. "You can take that fuckin' look off your face too!"
"I leave for a couple of hours and fuckin armagedon breaks out!" chides No-Entry
"Whats arma, amag, am I geddin, oh fuck it" says one of the Signs.

Winter merely shrugs, regards the body and nonchalanty returns to cleaning his beloved 'Vipers'.
How much damage did I take from Toll Bridge?
1 Block.

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Post by Hades » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:55 am

Hades watched Toll Bridge skirting around his friend’s corpse, seeming unwilling to disturb the body.
“You know,” he suddenly announced, “this seems as good a place as any for a tomb. Everyone out! Get what food is left and shift it to another office.”
No one moved, although Toll Bridge seemeds visibly relieved. Hades looked to No Entry for support and the ork nodded. People began to move.

Hades moved to stand next to his best friend. “Next time you decide to go for a stroll you might want to let me know,” he chided quietly. “So, where have you been and what was this meeting about, exactly?”

“Oh and before you answer that, I think the Air Force blew a hole in the bank wall, so we’re kinda breached. You may want to consider a plan for getting us out of here, after you’ve explained yourself.” The ork laughed to show his friend the last part was not meant in an offensive manner.

“Oh! One more thing, pal. I seem to have woken up! Been in a bit of a weird place these last, well alright, this last year, sorry. So eh... fuck U-Turn! Mac’s back!” McLarren Hades grinned.

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Post by arcanus » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:03 pm

Ty looked at Mac through his brown, dirty dreadlocks.
"Well its about fucking time, do you know how tough its been dragging your sorry ass around, as for where I've been, trying to make some friends, yeah yeah I know there ain't no such thing in this place"

Hade's waited, a questioning look upon his face.
"Hoodlum Priests crew, look don't start U-, I mean fuck it, Mac!, their goblins like us, an they got people after them too, strength in numbers"
Almost without thinking both Hades and Ty turned and looked at the human members of their gang.

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In for a penny....

Post by Hades » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:11 pm

"Don't know about you, Ty, but if the priest won't take the roundears or our dandelion eater, then I say fuck him! All or nothing. I'm certainly not going to abandon them. What would Lyssa think?"
Lyssa is/was my human girlfriend outside the zone, mother to my child and vocalist in our band!!

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Post by Hades » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:20 pm

The sun was disappearing down below the Chicago city skyline.
In the 1st Midwestern Bank, the Signs gang were battening down the hatches.
At night a differnet kind of bug came out but they were just as deadly to the living breathing members of the gang as their daytime cousins.

McLarren Hades walked in to the bank managers ample office to see Tyrone Beggs practicing his putting on the manager's indoor putting green.

"Busy?" the urban brawler asked.

Ty shrugged. "Thinking," he replied.

Hades eased himself into the manager's comfortable chair and gently placed his pump action on the Claifornian Redwood desk.

"So what's the deal with Hoodlum Priest? And if I think you are lying or holding anything back, it's wedgy time!!"

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Post by arcanus » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:44 pm

"You were never better at Melvins than me" replied Ty absently.
"Hoodlums been approached by 'The Horde', but he dosen't want to get involved with King Vlad, deals with the devil an all that, so he's looking for allies an heard of us"
"Seems our rep is still pretty solid, so he wants to propose an alliance, strength in numbers all that shit"
"Arse" said Ty as he missed his put.

"He's also after going for something called the Eighth Regimental Armoury, some old weapons dump that was reactivated durin the Ghost Dance"

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Post by Hades » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:29 am

"I suppose the question is, do we trust him? Having said that, I'd rather hitch up with him than Vlad."

Hades laughed as Beggs' next shot missed the hole by almost the entire room.

"Got to admit though, I like the sound of an armoury! Could be a good place to hole up too."
"So what's the score if we do join them? Are we just making up the numbers for Priest's army or are we going in as equals? Reckon we'll have a riot from our guys if it's the former."

"So, when are we off?"

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Post by arcanus » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:05 pm

For Fs sake, curses Ty as his ball goes wide, looking for any explanation other than inability he scans the floor. "Floor can't be level" this causes Hades to smirk
"Truth is Mac, we can't trust anyone in here, but I agree with you, its either some safety in numbers or we're screwed"
"Anyhow, its this armoury I'm most interested in!"

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Moving out

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:56 am

Night had fallen across the city of Chicago and as it had the sounds of gunfire, an almost constant background accompaniment to everyday life in the containment zone had died down. Now only the odd flurry of gunfire rose up as someone somewhere tried to fight off one of the night’s many predators.

Chicago’s warlords were well entrenched and daily battle for territory were the norm.
At night the city was still active. As well as the many warlords claiming ownership over their chunk of the sprawl there were smaller gangs, desperately trying to hold their own or merely make it through another day. Others still were trying their best to get a foothold on the Chicago property market, and were going to make life a misery for everyone they encountered in the process.
Then there was the general citizenry of the city. The everyday people who didn’t manage to make it out in time before the wall went up. Many groups of these were huddled together, frightened and hungry, hoping that their numbers would be enough to keep the predators away or few enough to keep them unnoticed. A lot of these people had stopped going out during the day, when they ran the risk of getting ambushed by one gang or another who would steal what little they had or would try to press-gang them into their warlord’s ranks.
So they went out at night, when the gangs, fearful of an ambush by a rival would retreat to their strongholds and batten down the hatches. At night they still had plenty to worry about, what with dysentery, typhoid, VITAS III, and any other potential plague like disease, the flotsam and jetsam of a partially destroyed city and all the hazards that went with such wreckage, and then, of course, there were the bugs. Although many of these things became dormant out of the daylight, there those insect spirits, emulating their earthly originals that came out in the dark hours.

McLarren Hades wondered how many of these people, if any at all, would make it out of the city alive. Some had, thanks to the signs gang, when the army had come to seize Echo Tower.
Observing what little he could from the relative safety of the bank’s windows, the orkish urban brawler had noticed a definite increase in bug activity over the last few days.
From his position now, in the lobby of the building that had become a refuge for the surviving members of the signs gang, he peered out into the gloomy street. His eyes, naturally adjusted their output to low-light. The orks and trolls amongst the gang could function well enough in the dark, as could the sole elf, but the handful of humans suffered a greatly reduced vision at this time of the day and would need a guide.

No Entry was standing in front of the majority of the gang giving them one last briefing. “Alright, we hope to go quietly, but if the shit hits the fan you humans must remember to stick with your guides, guides keep an eye on them. You all know where we are going so if we do get split up, you know where to head for, and I hope you make it. We’re alright for ammo at the moment, but try not to waste it. If we get into a fire fight, Yield has more ammo, and One Way has the MedKit.”
Still feeling a little uneasy with the whole leadership thing he stepped down off the box, grabbed his SMG and moved to the front of the building.

Hades glanced back over his shoulder as his friend approached. “Very moving!” he quipped. “I’m inspired.”
“Fuck off!” Beggs replied genially.
“What’s the plan?” Winter asked. “Want me to go and flush anyone watching us out?”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Beggs agreed.
“No, I’ll go out first,” Hades put in. “You’re a better shot than me mate. Keep an eye out and if anyone has a pop at me, then you can take them down.”
Winter nodded, unslinging his assault rifle and checking the ammo clip.

Hades ensured that the Roomsweeper was secure in it’s leg holster and the Ares Predator was snug under his arm, then getting the shotgun into a comfortable position he crept forward to the obliterated main door.

Stepping out he crouched, half expecting a hail of gunfire but none came. Slowly cautiously he made his way down the street, his eyes searching for any signs of danger.
Perception + Inuition (11 dice): 9 8 5 5 3 3 2 2 2 (4 hits)

Infiltration (nee Stealth) + Agility (9 dice): 17 13 11 5 5 5 4 4 4 (10 hits – from 9 dice – is that a CRIT?)

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Post by arcanus » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:57 pm

Each of the groups fanned out moving to the shadows in an effort to keep out of the line of fire.
There was an eerie quiet to the streets, the mass of garbage that littered every block and street was disturbed by a faint breeze.

The 'Signs' were watchful of the skies, bug activity had been down of late, the predation of the weak left to more metahuman villains, however all of a sudden they had reappeared.
Rumour had it that a number had been asleep after the bomb, and that somebody had woken a load of them up.

Faced with the prospect of a long and dangerous night the guides rallied their wards and moved off, heading east.

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Post by Hades » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:17 am

Coming to the corner of a block, Hades stopped, nestling down behind the burnt out shell of a Mitsubishi Nightsky.

He signalled for the gang to halt, watching carefully for attackers and making sure that before he did anything else, his comrades had had time to find cover.

With another signal he beckoned Beggs forward.

His band-mate and old classmate scurried along the sidewalk, keeping tight in against the wall until he came up alongside him.

"Christ, Ty! You may have had the charisma to take over from Granite, but you didn't inherit his stealth, did you? I could have heard you coming from a block away!" the ork whispered in a sarcastic tone.

Tyronne gave his friend a withering look, knowing full well that he had been pretty quiet. "This is hardly the time or place for piss taking," he chastised.

Hades shrugged "There's always time, buddy. Now, you know the way."

Beggs pointed straight across and Hades made a check of the area, searching the miriad windows for signs of snipers and the doorways for signs of ambush. Then carefully, covered by Winter on the other side of the street, he made his way forward.

"With a bit of luck I'll lead them to the Priest without incident. Maybe then the guys will have a bit more confidence in me," McLarren Hades thought as he stepped over what looked like a charred cadavre.

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Post by arcanus » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:09 am

They'd done well, having got to Soldier Field without incident.
Then the shots came, fortunately the gunfire was poorly aimed and their ambushers blew element of surprise.
Winter returned fire before everyone else, having not accompanied a specific group he acted as vanguard, however several lucky shots struck the human and he disappeared in amongst a pile of refuse.

Ty watched with a degree of pride, as the various Signs groups scattered taking cover, several figures were visbilble to their low-light sight.
'Stupid humans' thought Ty, 'when will they learn we can see much better in the dark', 'Schoolboy error' Ty chided himself as his opponent appeared above his vantage point.
Ty scrambled clumsily to avoid the shot, but as in all good tales it never came, his attacker a woman was launched sideways, as a stop-sign slice into her kneck and propelled her corpse safely away. For a moment Tyrone Beggs thought he were seeing a ghost, his vision mastered reality once mere as he saw Soloman move off.

A chill passed over Beggs, something had changed, something wrong.
Slowly turning he saw his next opponent, this one was barely dressed, although he/she/it didn't seem to be particularly bothered by the cold.
Bald and emaciated, the humanoid creature, opend its mouth revealing a mouth full of fangs.
Its black eyes silently conveying only hunger.

"Shit, shit, shit" said Ty

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Post by Hades » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:21 am

Do I see this? If so how close is it to me?

And can I get a shot off/lunge in for a strike??

Per+Intuition = 8 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 (4 hits)

Initiative (if I see the action) = 13 12 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 (11 + 8 hits = 19) with 2 extra initiative passes.

Let me know if I'm shooting or giving the thing a whack. (or if I'm oblivious!)

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Post by arcanus » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:37 pm

Hades wrote:
Do I see this? If so how close is it to me?

And can I get a shot off/lunge in for a strike??

Per+Intuition = 8 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 (4 hits)

Initiative (if I see the action) = 13 12 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 (11 + 8 hits = 19) with 2 extra initiative passes.

Let me know if I'm shooting or giving the thing a whack. (or if I'm oblivious!)
It is some 42 feet away from you.

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Post by Hades » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:46 am

“Oh, fuck!” Hades swore aloud.
Forty-two feet, twelve and a bit meters. Easily in range for the shotgun.
His mind switched to Urban Brawl mode, where the sudden appearence of the other team often required quick reactions.
Initiative [11 dice]: 7 7 7 5 5 3 3 3 2 2 (5 hits, therefore ini of 16, with 2 extra initiative passes)
The weapon came up in a flash, left hand pumping the shell into the chamber. His trigger finger squeezed.
Flame erupted from the end of the barrel, spewing hundreds of tiny lead pellets in the creatures direction
Shot [longarms+agility]: 10 5 4 3 3 2 2 (3 hits)

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TWO YEARS LATER...

Post by Hades » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:45 am

Smoke from the now almost extinguished fires that had raged down Fourth Avenue drifted slowly west on the gentle breeze. The inferno had burned for almost three days, engulfing six blocks and reducing the buildings to so much ash and rubble.
Started as the result of a skirmish between 'Lady' Catherine's forces and a small detachment of UCAS Marines, there had been nobody to fight the fires.

As the skirmish died down, the fires built up but that didn't stop the scavengers coming in to pick up what they could.
The Marines were more diligent, still living by their age old oath never to leave a man on the field, living or dead. When they could they would take their fallen with them, or come back for them later.
Catherine's lot were not so loyal. Yes, they would drag their wounded away but the dead tended to stay where they fell.
From those men weapons and small amounts of ammunition could be recovered, sometimes even food. Boots were another sought after commodity.
If they had the time and the inclination the 'scavengers' would bury or cremate the dead. Too many corpses laying in the streets would finish off the beleaguered populace quicker than the bugs or the warring factions would.

Other than the crack and pop of smouldering wood embers this devastated stretch of Fourth was silent.
Twenty Four hours ago it had been very different...

...Tyrone Beggs raised his scarred hand bringing the group to a halt. The ork glanced around the corner of the building, checking for any signs of the original combatants.
Seeing nothing he indicated for the group to advance.

McLarren Hades led a couple of new guys out wide, flitting from car wreck to car wreck, using the burnt out shells as cover.
The gatherers made swift progress up through the litter and debris strewn street, avoiding contact with anyone or anything.

The scene of the skirmish was already well ablaze, the heat intolerable in places.
As the Signs arrived many of them spread out forming a loose perimeter so that the others could scour the scene.

Beggs hopped up onto the bonnet of an old Americar and Hades joined him as several members of the gang began picking through the debris for anything useful.
"What do you think?" Ty inquired.
Hades shrugged. "Don't know what they were fighting over but from the position of that guy over there the troops came in hard and fast."
"Yeah! That apartment building is absolutely riddled with high-cal scars so I'd guess a gun-ship or maybe aerial combat drone." Beggs agreed adding his own perceptions.

There were eight of Catherine's men here, quite some distance from her secure territory. All but one were dead. From them some tinned food, weapons, ammo and four pairs of good boots were recovered. One of the corpses also had a radio and another a platinum credstick.
Dirty had refused to part with it even though it was useless in the Zone. Dirty, was not the ork's given name but one that had stuck with him pretty much from the day he turned his back on the Blue Boys and crossed over to Signs.
There had been a lot of mistrust at the beginning but Harry Callahan had more than proved his worth since. And of course the name which had been used in derogatory terms was now a very apt term of endearment.
It was ironic that the one time cop was now the one pondering how to break through the security on the potentially loaded credstick.

The wounded man was too far gone for any of them to help.
Beggs ordered everyone away, even though they all knew what was about to happen but somehow it was easier to live with if you didn't see it.
Only Hades refused to go and Beggs knew not to bother arguing because he also knew that it was easier to live with if someone else shared the burden. Hades, Beggs thought retrospectively, had done more of the sharing than everyone else.
The shot rang out loud in the relative silence of the deserted street.


With the bodies stripped of their useful items Beggs had them thrown into one of the burning buildings.

That was when they discovered another body, half buried under the bent and twisted hood of some undisclosed car.
One of the Signs tried to drag the body out - it had a fine set of combat boots on. The UCAS Marine slid out easily, and woke up with a start, bringing his SMG up threateningly despite his dazed condition.
Half a dozen men, surprised by the sudden flurry of activity had done likewise.

Tyrone Beggs, hands out wide and open, stepped between the gang and the soldier and indicated for his men to lower their weapons.
Somewhat reluctantly they did, and the marine seemed a little less on edge.
Beggs spoke to him, and after some tense moments calmed the man down.

Apparently he had been a part of a Marine team that was escorting a negotiator to a meeting with Iron Duke's men. Iron Duke was another of the warlords that had sprung up of late.
The army was doing its best to turn the smaller enclaves into protagonists against the larger ones.

The marine told us that they were ambushed by Catherine's men and the extraction team took their time getting to them. The last thing the marine remembered was a guy with a rocket launcher on the opposite roof.
Beggs in his usual generous manner offered the guy a place with the Signs.

The guy didn't get the chance to prove himself. The stop sign, wielded like some ancient battleaxe struck him without warning, slicing into his back and the sharpened blade bursting out through his rib cage.
In the throws of death the marines recorded reflexes honed in on the nearest target and the smartlink to the Heckler and Koch in his hand loosed a fully automatic attack.

Rough Road, an ork whose real name was Jacob took the majority of the attack. His lifeless form hit the ground at the same time as the marine.

Ty yelled in agony as a couple of stray rounds ripped into his leg, staggering back before collapsing onto the asphalt.

There was no time to assess his injuries however as a twisted screeching howl came from the other side of the street, almost gleeful in the attack.
The Signs turned to face their latest aggressor, but Hades already knew who he'd see there. "Solomon."

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Post by Hades » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:49 am

Solomon had been gone over a year now.
With the promise of negotiating an alliance, King Vlad had lured a number of the smaller gangs to a meeting. Only he and his group never turned up. Instead some twisted half-man half-insect shaman and his foul minions burst in on the gathered gangers.
The majority of the Signs got clear but the big troll was subdued. No one heard from him again and it was assumed that he had perished in the attack.
After four months Beggs and Tricia Harton the elven school teacher previously known by her Sign name as Ford encountered the troll.
He was not the man he used to be. Somehow he had been amalgamated with a roach to form a grotesque parody of the old Solomon.
Whatever the reasons the half-troll half-bug had taken a disliking to his old gang-mates. His attack was sudden and ferocious.
Beggs and Harton survived the attack which had taken place in the offices of an insurance company. They were there on a scavenging run.
Hades had smelt something coming and although four floor down he had sprinted up in time to see Beggs fending off the creature.
The ex-brawler had quickly diverted the fight so that Beggs could get the injured elf clear. The fight culminated in McLarren throwing himself and the raging Solomon-thing out of the twentieth storey window.
Both bodies were smashed when they hit the floor, but neither were dead. Solomon dragged its hideous form away, cursing the broken form of Hades. Lifting a manhole cover and easily tossing it aside he dragged himself down into the foetid hole. "Next time!" it hissed over its shoulder as it slid down into the rank darkness.
By the time Beggs and the other signs had arrived out in the street, Hades was already half healed.
They had encountered Solomon a further three times since. Each time they had managed to beat the creature off, but it cost them dearly, either in terms of resources or in lives.

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Post by Hades » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:53 am

Hades was quick off the mark, letting loose with a few slid rounds from his shotgun before sprinting towards cover.
The other Signs did likewise.
Knowing that he was their best chance, Hades yelled for the others to retreat and get Beggs and their dead friend the hell out.
Shots rang out as the Signs began to retreat as instructed, keeping the creature at bay whilst Hades made his way closer.
Solomon had always liked to fight up close, so to engage him in hand to hand combat was the best way for the others to get clear.
Soloman had always been strong, but the new insect thing was even stronger. However, the bulk made him slow which gave Hades the edge of being able to avoid many of the creature's attacks. Those that did connect though did some real damage.
Then the world errupted around them, a huge blast and fireball that engulfed the front of the apartment block as a ruptured gas pipe had poured its invisible contents into the super's apartment which had then ignited as the fires had gotten close enough.

The Signs, now a block away knew the fight was over and prayed that Hades uncanny luck and his ability to heal from his wounds was enough to bring the ork home again.

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Post by Hades » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:03 pm

A glowing timber hissed, issuing forth a puff of steam and smoke as a large drop of water struck it. Shortly it was followed by even more such issues as the dark heavily laden clouds released their quenching burden.
The rain went from a few random drops to a compete downpour in moments, running in dark soot filled rivulets across and between the piled masonry of the collapsed buildings.

A trickle ran down the roof gutter of an old SUV that was partly engulfed in the ruins of one such building. The water turned left and right following the distorted line of the roof before cascading down to splatter on the blood and grime encrusted face of the body laying in the lee of the rusty hulk.
The cold persistent pitter-patter encouraged the unconscious form back to wakefulness.

Bleary eyed, struggling for focus McLarren Hades pulled himself from behind the wreckage, hopping tentatively on his left leg, knowing that before he lost consciousness the leg had been on the receiving end of one of Solomon's axe swings.
At that thought he glanced about knowing also that his old friend and now mortal enemy had been nearby when the building had exploded.
There was no sign of the big amalgamation of troll and cockroach. Hades could only hope that the thing was finally dead, buried beneath many tons of rubble.

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Post by Hades » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:04 pm

Night was on it's way, coming in much earlier than normal thanks to the grim weather conditions. Even so, the rain would keep all but the most desperate off the streets tonight. Hades was glad as all he wanted to do now was get back to the relative safety of the place that he now called home.

A few of Catherine's soldiers still lay in the street having not been collected by the Signs during their clean up before Solomon had attacked.
One of the men sported a nice heavy armour vest, a garment that had done him little good as he had been literally shredded by gunfire from the waist down.
Hades stripped out of his ruined clothes, pulling the useful vest from the cadaver.
The marine was there too, his combat trousers and boots wet but otherwise in good order. The sizes were right so Hades took them too.

His SMG had been crushed and none of the other bodies had any firearms, so with a sigh at the marine's combat knife, but secretly thankful for even that meagre weapon, McLarren Hades picked his way gingerly through the streets, heading in a round about way for home.

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Post by Hades » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:29 am

Within an hour the light had gone completely, draining the city of colour.
A few of the remaining street lights cast their orange hue over their adjacent buildings, but for the most part the lamps had long since been broken or had been stripped of their useful components.
Lady Catherine's territory was still lit, her people having scavenged the bulbs and other parts from the surrounding areas.
Hades could see the location of her 'Queendom' by the way it underlit the low heavy clouds. He deliberately avoided that area, the last thing he needed right now was a skirmish with one of her recruiting parties.
Keeping to the dark streets, doing all he could to avoid the pockets of civilisation, the small neighbourhoods that had closed themselves off, barred the streets to protect themselves from the roving gangs and other predators. He also avoided the gangs too, even though his last encounter with one had gone well. Half of the gang had been wearing Chicago Shatters T-shirts. Hades and the other Signs with him had been treated like a part of the 'Brawlers' family. The Californian orc didn't think he'd be so lucky next time.

Picking a round about route, using the glow of 'Catherine Town' as a navigation aid, he moved cautiously through the litter strewn streets. The wind was picking up now, chilling his wet skin and sending a shiver through his body. Got to get the hell off the streets an hole up somewhere dry, he thought as he hunched his shoulders against the cold.

Finding a shop front that was still relatively intact he tried the door and found it locked. The mag-lock was smashed so he guessed the door was relying merely on the standard lock.
The rain seemed to be coming down even faster, the wind gusting in to make the rain almost horizontal.

Standing on the sidewalk in someone else's trousers and a Kevlar vest the orc cursed the Windy City.
Hades took several paces out further into the rain, then hurtled back in towards the door throwing himself at it. There was even less resistance than he had expected and the door crashed open sending him sprawling to the floor. Realising his entry was not too discreet he scrambled to his feet, knife drawn.

All was silent within what had once been a restaurant, just the howling wind and the staccato hammering of the rain on the front windows.
Hades shoved the door closed again, wedging it shut with a chair. For the most part, the tables and chairs were still arranged ready for business. In the rear half though the furniture had been shoved aside or smashed, evidence that some sort of scrap had occurred.
The floor was littered with paper and a dozen or so leather bound booklets.
Scooping one up he realised that it was a menu. Some of the dishes made his mouth water and his stomach rumble. Flicking to the first page he read 'Welcome to Gianino's.'

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Post by arcanus » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:39 am

The establishment had once been an classic Italian resturant, teak panelled walls, side alcoves for the dinner for two, opening into a larger dining area for family parties.
Pictures of an Italian family adorn the walls, a staircase led downstairs to further seating, the kitchen off to the left of the bar at the back of the ground floor.
'Hades' took in the scene, quite a fight, the wooen ballistrade smashed, the panelling gouged and pitted, the furniture literally exploded.

What concerned him was the method of the damage, the gauges ran through the ceiling and down the height of the walls, cutting 3 to 4 inches into the wood and plaster.
His feet crunched, looking down were fragments of chittin, as he cautiously moved into the room allowing his natural low light sight to give him 'clarity, at the top of the stairs were spent shell casings.

Preparing for action he moved further in, the battle was all around amongst the wreckage, his hearing picked up movement below.
Crouching at the top of the stairs he peered down into the cellar, everything was shades of grey, as little light reached the subterrean level for his vision to amplify.
The cellar had once been a dwelling, the remnants of cots were just visible, 'Hades' could pick out the signs of bodies, despite the current situation and how jaded you could become he knew that his had been a place of refuge and that some of these folk had fallen here.

It was then that he caught sight of the source of the movement, a large creature at first he though it was a troll, but its shape was too ape like.
He readied his knife, then grimaced at the absurdity of facing a huge paranatural with such a meagre weapon.
He felt a little queasy as it dawned upon him that the creature was feeding from the dead, time to leave!
As Maclaren Hades turned to go, he caught sight of the creature, it wasn't feeding upon them at all, it was caring for them, a sadness seemed to follow the animal as in the same manner as a mother would cradle a child, it lifted the head of one of the dead, stroked their hair and quietly crooned, mourning its loss.

Ever the hardman, Hades pretended to ignore the tear that ran down his cheek.

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