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Tales from a (not so) Apex Predator

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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

Joined: 01 Feb 2015
Posts: 327
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Jobs: Bullet Catcher, Village Idiot
Can Be Found: Likely where there's trouble (more likely caused by him)
25940.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Tales from a (not so) Apex Predator Reply with quote

?Halt...! Desist...! For ***'s sake stop!!!? Mach's irate bellows drew more than a few head turns from those he barreled past; midday shoppers, perusers, and strollers alike giving the barking madman a wide berth. He didn't figure many folks would be able to pick up on the flickering trail of glitter which he gave chase to, hear the sing song trill of chime like laughter flitting along the breeze without aid but come on, that was no excuse to give him those kind of looks! Clipping a brick building corner to tighten his rounding of such the man released a sailors vocab list of words, the move almost seeing him drop the spell cartridge that was shoved into the breach of the hand cannon he brandished. Racking the slide the large weapon was pointed at the playful shimmer, trigger pulled back causing the weapon to whiz and whir menacingly. This sound of the damned rose for a few moments before suddenly the gun... popped... a sound not unlike a balloon meeting an unfortunate end and, well, that was it.

Pounding after the shimmer a little longer the hunter appeared pleased with himself and the effect of the spell seemingly cast as he finally slowed his breakneck pace. A corner was rounded and another, caster stuffed hurriedly into it's holster as blue eye blue caught sight of an appropriate target. Near skittering into the sleepy shop the man wasted no time plowing into the old couples wares, a few choice selections snagged before he hurried up and, well, waited - damn old lady in front of him! Trying his best to rush the woman along with an irate toe tap he all but threw his money at the elderly fellow tending the counter when his turn came, some choice words cast his way as he rushed out of the store though he had no surplus of time to spend humoring the fellow. Oh no, out on the streets once more and Mach was off like a bolt, making not for the road; however, but the nearest drain pipe.

Up and up the hunter moved, climbing to the rooftops above the market district which he would take up his mad dash pace once again, free running his way from rooftop to rooftop. A lot more treacherous mode of transport to be sure but other than the odd chimney sweep, dragonkin, or ne'er-do-well a lot less crowded. And, more importantly, much more direct as he chewed through a few blocks of distance, the flitting shimmer spied during one of his daring leaps from building to building. Working ahead of the sprite Mach finally reached to pop the leash on that spell, releasing it from the cycle processor just as he lept to the cobbled roads below. He whiffled out a groan as he hit and rolled on the stones, his precipitous appearance before causing the shimmer to squeal and spark in surprise, completely forgetting about the phantasmal horror which had been chasing after the creature right up till he released that illusionary spell.

It was but a moment yet that was all he needed as he suddenly whipped out his purchase from the shop. ?Hey, hey, look! Pre~tty!? Draping the colorful strip of silk and lace ribbon over his arm he waved his other hand enticingly over the object. He probably looked like a snake oil salesman, and a bad one at that given how haggard he looked from his pursuit, but that wasn't the important bit. No, the fancy was the important bit and this seemed to give the little creature pause as it flit and flickered about like a hummingbird, trying it's best to look nonchalant while still coveting the length of silk he presented.

?Nice, yeah? But if this isn't to your liking then how about...? Fishing dramatically in his button down shirt he produced the pi?ce de r??sis?tance ? a glitter and scaled sequence ribbon that shone like liquid silver. ?... this??

This definitely caught the small spirits attention as the shimmer of prismatic light and childlike laughter coalesced into a waif of a feminine figure, tall as the spans from palm bottom to tip of middle digit and proudly nude though a little too gangly and otherworldly to be erotic. Fluttering about hypnotically the creature slowly flitted closer and closer as a moth to a flame, too wide verdant eyes staring at the shiny as though in a trance. Watching the Pixie close in Mach waited till the very last moment to unhook the green glass jar that had been bumping upon his butt this entire sordid affair, a swift swoop made for the creature before he slammed the top on.

Oh that pissed off the little creature which flickered and flared, volatile sparks spitting about inside the mason jar along with an angry sound like thistle and dried leaves scrapping against a chalkboard. Luckily the vessel held not only the miniature fury but the wrathful spirit itself thanks to the iron used to tint the glass its deep green. Not that he was going to solely rely on such dumb luck in such matters involving angry flares of magic as he snaked a few charms from his pocket, wrapping the glyphed papers around the container with a quickness so as to fully seal it.

?Gotcha you little ***!? A displeased hiss to the jar that rattled and scrapped in protest. ?You certainly gave me a run for my money... but the jigs up, yeah? Now you and me are going to have a little chat about where you've been leading those children you've vanished; and you're answers are going to determine whether you get the shiny or I toss some iron filings in with you and see if you respond like a snail to salt...? The hunter grinned threateningly at the glowing jar as he set off for somewhere to sit down and have a talk with his latest hunt prey, preferably someplace with cold drinks.
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

Joined: 01 Feb 2015
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Jobs: Bullet Catcher, Village Idiot
Can Be Found: Likely where there's trouble (more likely caused by him)
25940.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sigh longing for the sweet release of death rolled languidly from the hunter as he flopped back, abused chair creaking complaintively as it caught him in his indolent attempt at braining himself. This sucked. Kicking off the desk corner sent himself spinning, the spartan room swirling together into a wash of drab greens, browns, and grays. This suuuuucked! A few more kickoffs would have the schmooze feeling a touch ill which was as good a signal as any to quit this particular mode of avoidance. Not that he felt any more keen on diving back into the work before him; a veritable mountain of requisitions, reports, statements, evaluations, checklists, and forms all in triplicate. The part of being a hunter that never made it into the brochures or recruitment drives ? the fact that at the end of the day you still worked for a government, and governments loved their bureaucracy.

And while misery usually loved company Mach was fairly sure none of the others in the room, surrounded by their own varying towers of paperwork, were finding any joy in any of this. ?This suuuucks!? A listless whine escaped the schmooze as his feet drug across the floor, stopping him before that apathetic computer screen once more.

?Yeah, we know, you?ve said that ten times already.? Riklan snapped from their desk across the way. ?Damn veil??

Mach shot the support hunter a dismissive glance from over the range of documents. ?Killjoy.? A mild mutter as his fingers began across the keyboard once more adding to the cacophony of frenetic tics and tacs that hummed as an undertone to the stale whir of the overworked A/C. ?But seriously, it wasn?t this bad a few years ago when last I was here, was it??

This warranted a dull glare from the support hunter who apparently had no intention of answering him, or at least if they did they were cut off by the raspy voice of the dark, burly woman a desk over. ?You were on?leave during that solstice? though no, it wasn?t quiet as much as a cluster *** as this one has been turning out to be. A lot less fae-creep all around.?

?Not to mention a lot less idiots putting in lost requests. Seriously, don?t these morons know how to avoid magical trouble!?? There was a pregnant silence as everyone just sort of eyed the lesser hunter which only seemed to make them bristle more. ?Their *** luck then, not our fault most of them are stupid enough to fall into this realm by accident! Anyway, those sorts of requests should be going to the Watch, not us! We aren?t some charity organization!?

?No, we?re a civil service Charles. So we provide what help we can in the name of civil order while we carry out our peacekeeping duties.? Calway?s tone was drab, devoid of conviction as they spoke what was obviously an administrative memo point.

?Still, it?s ridiculous how many search and monster elimination requests have been flooding in.?

?Fae are a mischievous lot.? Mach shrugged lazily as he stated that simple fact. ?It?s not outside their nature to play tricks on folks.?

?Tricks, yes, malicious even in nature sure. But things seem particularly agitated.? The security officer sighed as they rocked back in their chair now, thick arms crossing over their chest that was robbed of the curves of femininity by the ballistic vest they wore. ?It?s almost as if there?s unrest in the courts.?

?Is there ever not unrest in those damned creatures courts? It seems being trouble is what they do best.? The man shot a baneful look his way, their grin all teeth and no mirth. ?Don?t you know? Aren?t you tupping the May Queen or some bull like that??

This warranted a derisive snort as he resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the other, if only so he didn?t loose his place amongst the sea of drab, bureaucratic text. ?Jelly? You know pointed ears mean more erogenous zones to nibble. And have you seen legs on her??

?Sick ***.?

?Better sick *** then hand ***.?


?That?s enough you two!? The matronly woman shot the both of them a rather harsh look. ?Keep it in your pants, this job's tedious enough without you two dick wagging.?

?To be fair he?s the one that had me taking it out of my pants to begin with?? Okay, that was a death glare if ever he saw one! Rather than push his luck Mach opted to let it go like a mature adult? after sticking his tongue out at Riklan of course. ?Ye~es Ma~am. But still, this is more than a little ridiculous - haven't chased down so many hobbs, stopped so many raging dryads, or played childish games with so many sprites since the Hovlor Yr'dgravs of '32.?

Riklan huffed in indignation as they rolled their eyes at the mention of that much more native to home version of the events like those transpiring in Rhy'Din. A far departure from the look of... interest?... from the dark hued woman as they uncrossed their arms. ?You were involved in The Spirite Ebb of 1732 sir??

This warranted a shrug from the hunter, neither beaming with pride or shrinking away from this fact. ?I think that's a given for hunters, yeah? Though at least I was better prepared for it than the one of '12. I still remember getting in a fight with a brownie cause it was trying to steal from my sis.?

The lanky fellow in the corner who had been doing an admiral job trying to ignore the random banter (or perhaps they just faded too much into the background of things, an impressive skill for someone who was 6'3? but then they did wear the armband of an intelligence officer) seemed to perk at this exchange. ?Wait... 1712... you mean to say you fought a brownie when you were only 8 years old!??

?It was a small one...? Mach's easy grin waned a little under the stares that turned his way. ?What? I had a *** childhood. Fighting was one of those things I was pretty good at.?

?So you mean you've always been a monster??

The others turned sharp glares on the support hunter that was, for all intents and purposes, the pot calling the kettle black. For his part though he just sort of shrugged it off. ?Only in my pants sarge, only in my pants-?


He was already raising his hands up in placation against the tongue lashing he was sure he was about to get from Calway when the sudden bolt of movement drew everyone's attention to the door that swung open. In the door frame a young woman stood awkwardly, their uniform screaming security though they lacked the usual body armor ? probably because of the fact that their arm cast and in a sling sort of derailing such duties. ?Sirs! Ma'ams!? Shifting oddly they offered an awkward salute with their good arm. ?Cpt. Turner, we have a situation that requires your immediate attention ? some fae down by old temple that have been previously reported to be causing property damage in the form of glyphing were spotted moving towards one of the city orphanages with Matryoshka figures.?

A sigh escaped him as his attentions shifted from the commanding officer to the already tall stack of paperwork he had to push through and finally to the messanger. ?Isn't this something a support hunter can handle??

The dirty snort that rose from Riklan garnered a dim gaze from the schmooze. ?No doubt I can handle it but-?

?No sir, the group in question is reported to be augmented by wisps and served by faekin trolls. Logistics has put this as priority for a lead hunter, particularly as this gang is believed to have had some parlance with the recent case 299UA3 that's crossed over.?

His grin was pie eating as he shot it towards the support hunter who scowled in return. ?Oh ho, so it needs a proper hunter, yeah?? He sounded smug but he really wasn't feeling it as he knew this would only generate another stack of paperwork to add to his already Sisyphean mountain of administrative bull to cut through. Well, at least he could stick it to Riklan so, yeah, silver linings. With a tired lurch he rose to his feet, hands autonomously moving to check his potion and gunbelt.

?Don't have too much fun out there, you know how much paperwork that generates.? And now it was their turn to be smug as a cheshire grin pulled on their lips.

?Actually, sir, I was sent to retrieve you as well. A tree has broken through the floorboards of a local alchemy shop we use to purchase ingredients from. The owner has reported that a dryad is behind the destruciton and is currently looting the shop of stock. To what end is unknown but logistics wants a response sent immediatly so as to shore up our ties.?

?What? You've got to be kidding me! Do you know how many reports I already have to file!??

?Now, now, don't be like that. It should be fun!?


?Gentlemen!? The commanders voice cut off the angry bluster from the support hunter though it was the glare which diminished his own mocking smile. Letting that moment stretch a bit their expression finally softened. ?Good hunting. Make sure to comeback alive.?

Riklan's expression rolled through a gambit of anger before finally releasing with a defeated sigh. ?Yes ma'am, thank you.?

?Yeah, yeah.? Offering a gloved, dismissive handwave back he didn't wait to hear what kind of reaciton he'd get for that blase attitude as he slipped on out of the common work room. Hearing the door latch behind he finally let out tired sigh. ?When is this solstice going to end...!? A pleading whine to what were likely deaf and apathetic powers that be before he set off down the hall for the armory as he was expecting probably another heavy fight.

(In relation to the Midsummer Mayhem: The Thinning of the Veil SL)
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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Jobs: Bullet Catcher, Village Idiot
Can Be Found: Likely where there's trouble (more likely caused by him)
25940.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

?Person here, yeah? You?re not sewing a *** thanksgiving turkey!? Mach growled this complaint though the threatening tone did little to stay the merciless hand of the paramedic as they cinched another stitch fast and hard turning that growl into a deflating hiss. Quickly snipping off this one the woman moved on to stitch 39 of what was probably going to be around 80 by the time all was said and done; the lot of them (plus how many umpteen butterfly bandages) literally holding the schmooze together as he looked to have had a tumble with a weed whacker in a concrete mixer.

?You know if you cooperated with, oh, I dunno, any of us this process things would probably go much smoother.?

This warranted the young watchmen a rather irate glare from his lone cobalt eye. ?Whadya mean if I cooperated. I?ve been a right paragon of civility here!? His attempt to look defiant as he said this was cut short by another hissing wince as the paramedic unkindly cinched off another stitch. ?Not. A. Turkey!?

?Civil?? Buddy, I was first on scene and there was nothing civil about what I came upon.?

?Well, okay, civil-ish? hey, I?m half cut to ribbons thanks to those little ***.? Thumb was hiked back at the alleyway full of still smoldering hobgoblins, the acrid smells of ozone and burning hair permeating the air.

The young peacekeeper gave the pile of bodies a withered glance, the sort one gave when they knew they were the ones who were going to have to help clean up such a mess. ?I wasn?t referring to that, I was referring to them?? Motioning with their pen the officer pointed out the four other fellows seated about the ambulances on scene, each looking rather sour and pummeled.

Or perhaps more accurately each one glared sourly at him while they received treatment for the ass kicking?s he?d unleashed on the young punks. Not that he was scratch free from such brawling but treatment for those injuries fell far down the list to treatment that made sure his viscera didn?t slip out. ??What? *** deserved it, lot of gun happy *** *** *** bakers.?

Their expression sank just a little more as they glowered at him sullenly. ?According to their testimony they had come to help you when they heard sounds of fighting from this dead end alley? and then you went ape *** on them.?

?Yeah, because they came in guns blazing. That wasn?t helping, that was popping wood and jacking off with their concealed carry licenses...?

?They say you were down in a puddle of blood and about to get eaten by a monster!?

?See! What I say, jacking off.? Snorting dismissively he shifted lazily, arm lifting so the woman tying him together could get to the next ragged gash that tore through his side. ?I?ll have you know that ?monster? as they claim was a were-morph, a person they were trying to gun down, and one who actually did do something to help.?

Officer P. Stibbons pinched at the bridge of their nose as they worked to process all of this, a classic reaction Mach got often whenever he had to explain things involving his job to the police. ?And what exactly did this ?were-morph? do to help??

Thrusting with his chin back towards the sordid scene in the alleyway he motioned about to the disfigured gnarls of iron that stuck out of ground and hob alike; the metal looking remotely like it had once belonged to the trashed fire escape which climbed up one of the buildings. ?You don?t think I did that myself, do you??

?And you?re sure they weren?t trying to hit you??

This warranted a scoff from the hunter, or perhaps it was a gasp as the medic tugged his lazily weeping flesh together. ?N-Nah, we?re tight. Anyway, see that placement around were I was??

The officer assessed the impressive scene once more, their expression mild though something seemed to have caused a brow to tick upwards. Following the others gaze Mach noted the splatter of vibrant blood amongst the crude slicks of goblinoid blood, the splash seeming to originate from a particularly gnarling chunk of metal that had struck rather close to? oh. ?Er? Well, it was a chaotic mess, I don?t fault them for grazing me a little. Believe me, if they wanted me dead to rights they could done it easily. Or hell, they could have just watched me get my ass taken apart by the hornets nest I kicked!?

?Uh huh?? Their tone was mild as they jot down a few things. ?? And where is this morph now??

Mach wasn?t sure if the incredulous look he gave the young man sank in as that pause stretched on before he flicked his hand irritated. ?Would you stick around when folks are shooting you!? You saw that splash of blood around the corner yeah??

?Oh?? The young man?s apathetic stance stiffened a little under his blazing scowl. ?I uh, guess not? no.? Sniffing a little they shifted back perhaps having an epiphany of why he?d taken to wailing on his ?aid.? Choosing how to proceed carefully as Mach was sure he didn?t look the sort above attacking a cop, they finally settled on shifting gears with their questioning. ?So, uh, does this morph have a name? A way to contact them so we can take a statement? Maybe file charges??

Staring down the man a while longer (a skill inherently easier to do when you only had one eye) the hunter finally let out a breezy sigh as he leaned back a little. ?Nope - nude as a, well, eight foot were-beast? so, uh, yeah, didn?t really have an ID on them.?

?O-kaaay, do you know who they are then??

?Oh sure, I?ve seen them around town here. About 40 centimeters tall, russet fur, fluffy tail, answers to food??

And now the officer was back to eyeballing him dimly. ?I thought you said you were going to cooperate, make this smooth.?

This warranted a mild sniff from the hunter, a dim look returned. ?I said I?d be civil.?

An exasperated sigh escaped from the officer as they snapped their pen against the clipboard they wrote upon. ?You have no intention of cooperating, do you??

?I?m cooperating enough, yeah? Besides, this isn?t exactly going any smo-OW! For ***?s sake, do you not understand what the *** I mean by Not! A! Turkey!??

?Ni sinte.? The woman offered up a sickly sweet smile as they spoke in a distinctly pointy eared tongue.

?? ***.? A groan that rose into a yelp as they continued the dubious duty of sewing shut all the openings in the man save the one they most likely really wanted to.
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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Jobs: Bullet Catcher, Village Idiot
Can Be Found: Likely where there's trouble (more likely caused by him)
25940.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

?So where you going to vote needs some extra helping in the emergency response department??

The drab voice from behind shook him from his reverie, that lone cobalt blue slipping from staring at the cup of acrid smelling liquid that was trying to pass itself off as coffee to the fellow that slipped up from behind. ?What??

Rather than trying to explain, the wiry fellow tossed a copy of a local newspaper before him along their way to taking a seat across the break-room table he sat at. His attention flicked to the paper before shifting to the support hunter and the steaming cinnamon roll they set down before them. ?Hey, where'd you get that??

?Not here.? Their response came mild though they did take care to draw their prize in a little closer away from him. Spoilsport. Refraining from sticking out his tongue at the fellow he instead turned his focus to the featured article.

?...Improving emergency services, huh...?? Taking a sit of his coffee he felt his features scrunch at the revolting taste of the tepid brew. He could've sworn this was hot when he sat down. ?Oh, a move from the governess, Colleen something-another. I think they've seen me naked once.?

This garnered a mild snort from the other hunter. ?Is there anyone in Rhy'Din who hasn't seen you naked??

To this he simply shrugged with a sheepish smile that only made the other scoff more. ?Hey, at least it was due to a wardrobe malfunction if they're the company I'm thinking of! Anyway, I think it's probably a good thing to show everyone of some potential power in Rhy'Din my ding ding at some point or another, sort of a right of passage, yeah??

?And how's that worked out for you??

?Well, they call me Captain now so...? Diggs quirked a brow at this apparently intrigued how he ventured that worked... so of course he left them hanging as he turned back his attention to article. ?Hmm, only two of the five districts, huh? I'm pretty sure I've blown up something in all five of them... maybe even blown something from each of the five into one of the others at some point...?

?You know, I can't tell if your proud or shamed of that fact.? Letting go of any hope of having a well informed conversation with him they simply shrugged off their curiosities, focusing their attention on their melty, oweegoowee looking cinnamon roll... damn that looked tasty. ?Anyway, I'd figure you'd vote for the Docks since you do sorta live there... and got your ass taken apart there.?

He offered a halfhearted shrug to this. ?Nothing more EMT and the sorts would have helped with. Someone wants to snatch your ass they'll do it, high density of authorities or not.?

?Well then how about all the damage you've done there??

That little jab warranted a guilty twitch of lips into a slight frown. Right, he did have a penchant for particularly gratuitous property damage in that district. And of the sorts that did involve EMT in the less savory aspects of his profession.?Hmm, yeah, true. Though maybe if they got too much funding they'd just start having someone following me around, some insurance sorts or another, yeah? Wouldn't that just be a giggle.?

?Oh, I'm sure. Wouldn't be a job I'd want that's for sure.?

Sharing a lazy chuckle the two professional troublemakers turned their attentions back to their respective break-time dining. Or at least he would have if that Styrofoam cup of coffee he had didn't seem partially sentient. Luckily a buzz from his phone worked as a nice distraction, the sliver of tech drawn out to give a glance over the display. ?Well, speak of the devil, looks like a lead of mine's panned out. And surprise surprise bad stuff is going down in the Docks.?

Rising from his seat with a sigh, he carried that cup of coffee over to the sink so as to free it to the public sewage, free hand already doing a quick touch inventory of his potions belt. The support hunter cast a wary glance his direction, a mirthless smile offered. ?Try not to blow the place to hell Mach, they can't bolster the emergency services there if you turn them into a crater.?

Ok, that warranted a stick of tongue before he headed for the door. ?Yeah, yeah, maybe they'll let me vote twice in this ballot.?

?Or chase you out of the polling location with torches and pitch forks.?

Smirking at that thought he offered a lazy wave back before pushing out of the break-room.
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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Jobs: Bullet Catcher, Village Idiot
Can Be Found: Likely where there's trouble (more likely caused by him)
25940.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mach couldn't quite quit the sour expression that clung to his features, that added cigarette only giving it a disgruntled air. Taking a few harsh drags from the cigarette clipped in that frown he pulled his cell phone from his coat pocket once more, one cobalt eye glancing over the time and the message that still hung in the notification area.

?What the *** are we doing asshole! You caught me so why the *** are we just dallying about here *** nugget? Just take me in you damn mongrel of the state, don't go wasting my *** time! Hey, *** for brains, you listening? He-!? Vitriol laden words were cut off in a sharp gagging choke, the form of the man twisting and shifting grotesquely as they could while bound - like a puppet with their strings tangled in a gust of wind. But then the pulsing, biting current from the control collar strapped around their neck was eliciting nothing short of a controlled seizure in the mage.

Not even bothering to look over to see how the other fared he kept on the control button for a full ten count, letting the piss and vinegar wither and writhe out of the man before finally letting off. The poor bastard slumped hard against the cold pavement of that back alley twitching and gulping in air as the collar halted it's sinister attack and loosened it's noose like hold of their throat. A real nasty piece of tech but then it was the most 'humane' means at stopping a mage from casting dead in their tracks and so it was pretty much the gold standard of managing them (second only to a bullet in the brain pan which was, understandably, less humane.)

Turning his attention back to his phone he felt his features harden once more as he read over the simple message that sat obstinately in the middle of the display - set of directions and a time which had passed more than a few minutes prior. Growling lightly as the minute digit ticked ahead once more he shoved the phone away, another impatient drag taken from his cigarette. It wasn't like he was some sort of stickler for timeliness, mind. Perish the thought really given his rather egregious track record. But this whole situation just made him anxious and the longer he had to dwell on it the less he liked the answers his mind came back with to questions he didn't want to think on.

Taking a few more angry drags from that cigarette he opted to busy himself by checking on his prisoner. The man looked to have stopped convulsing, their form remaining prone upon the ground (whether by choice was debatable) though they did shoot him a hate filled glare. It was a look he was pretty accustomed to as a hunter, the accusing hate of one that did not feel they deserved what insult they were suffering at his hand, did not deserve the fear of society solely based off something they were born as. Mach didn't really begrudge the sentiment. He even understood, if only (as always) a little too late to matter.

But while he could usually mollify his conscious with the fact that he worked to save the errant mages he'd hunted, capturing them to return to a, albeit broken, system he found no such comfort with this hunt. No, this felt far too much like the bad old days when he was more like the zealot hunters whom he so disparaged nowadays. Another drag and another passed before finally he spat out that cigarette with a curse, the still smoldering coffin nail snuffed out beneath a boot.

?Come on, we're going.? Reaching down with black gloved hand he grabbed the collar of the downed mage, jerking them from the cold, wet ground. In an act of what he assumed was spite the fellow tried to remain slack, their form flopping and sagging obstinately to remain where they lie. ?I said come on you stupid ***.? Twisting the fabric of their collar to take up the drape he used their clothing to forcefully hoist them to their feet, a shove at the top of the lift slamming them against the brick wall to end their struggle to break free of that constrictive hold. He knew the game they were trying to play and he was having none of it as he held away that remote in his organic hand. ?This is no time to *** around, you said so yourself, yeah? So pull the lead out of your ass and come on.?

Throttling their collar a little more he turned to start dragging the fellow along when spied a figure approaching from the end of the alleyway. A tall individual attired in a long pleather coat against the cold of winter who was at once too rail like to be daunting and yet somehow just felt intimidating. Perhaps it was the deep purple gloves that adorned spindly pianist hands or the onyx visor that deadened the warmth of that smile held on gaunt features. Or maybe it was the innate knowledge that they were who he had been waiting for as he felt his breast pocket buzz helpfully in time to teeth breaking between withered lips. Whatever the reason he couldn't help but feel unnerved as they approached so casually from the front while he just had that feeling of others coming up from behind.

?Mr. Turner I presume.? A thread like digit rose to tap at their chin thoughtfully. ?Oh, my apologies. I believe you go by, Mach, here, yes?? That mirthless smile of theirs contorted with a malevolent joy.

Hazarding a glance back he confirmed the presence of a couple more interlopers, cookie cutter goons who looked to be vastly more brawn than brain attired in much the same way as the gaunt one. Yep, he didn't like this one bit. Turning that lone cobalt back to the thin man he offered a cavalier smile of his own. ?Think you have me at a disadvantage, yeah??

This warranted a slight quirk of the man's head so though they were studying him curiously. ?Do I? It is only reasonable for others to know of the 'Face' of an organization, yes? I am not such-? Those purple clad fingers waved like dead branches in the wind indicating their face. ?-obviously. And it would most certainly not behoove you to make my acquaintance, I assure you. So... I see you have acquired Mr. Davos.?

The mage in his metallic grip jerked at that name, their slack form seeming to find some substance as they shifted to try and eye the man that spoke. ?What the *** is this doggie!? Who the *** are y-? Mach wrenched the man's collar, pressing them harder into the cold, wet stone of the building.

?Yeah, yeah, I got him. But maybe I'm having a change of heart on this whole proposition Mr. He-That-Shant-Be-Named.? Staring down the boogieman he noticed a slight shift in surprise, the man obviously making no attempt to hide what few emotions they had. But it was a short lived moment of unbalance as their head ticked curiously to slant the other way like some appalling pendulum.

?Ah. Yes. Mr. Delorno did say you suffered often from a crisis of conscious.? That subtle name drop sent a chill down spine, both his and the mage in his grip as they lurched hard, scraping their face across the abrasive bricks catch sight of the man who said it. Blood dribbled from a few new cuts, the red obvious on their paling features as their expression dropped from anger to fear.

?W-Wait, n-n-no! NO! You aren't... you can't...!? Suddenly invograted the mage lurched hard in his grasp. ?Let me go! LET ME GO!

For their part the thin man simply smiled at this display. ?He said that I shouldn't' force you to do something that you didn't want to. Said it impinged on the qualities which he values in you.?

?For the love of The Way let me go! Y-Y-You can't give me to them! PLEASE! I'll take anything you have to throw at me! Brainwash! Brain ***! Anything!-?

?So if you want you are free to take him to your superiors. It will just be a slight delay before we inevitably get him anyway.?

?NO! DON'T! PLEASE! ***! Let me go ***! Let me go you damn dirty mongrel!!!?

?Just know that we are trying to be accommodating of your circumstances. All of them. But we do need cooperation from you, otherwise, well, we may have to revisit our policies in regards to you... and yours.?

?GODS DAMN IT LET ME GO! Y-YOU *** *** LET ME GO! ANYTHING, I'LL DO AN-!?? The panicked struggle suddenly jolted stiff, their pleas cut off as he thumbed that remote. Letting them wriggle and writhe like a strung up corpse in his gallows grip he finally let go of both, the man collapsing to the dirty asphalt below as they gasped for breath.

And it took all of his willpower not to use that freed up hand to grab the spindly one by the collar next! Barring his teeth at that thinly veiled threat he held back the torrent of vitriol that rose in response. No, this was what the bastard was looking for, to rile him up into doing something stupid. And even if it wasn't, even if that obtuse bluntness were not some sort of facade none of that didn't take away from the truth of their words. Before he'd just been something to avoid or eliminate if he got in the way, but now that he was deemed useful and willing, at times, to play ball well... now he was an asset worth manipulating. And Delorno had never minced words that they knew exactly where to hit him to truly hurt him, both back in Tang or in Rhy'Din.

Gritting his teeth he swallowed his misguided anger back though he still kept a rather cold glare on the mouthpiece for that constant threat. ?Yeah, I get it. All one big happy family, right?? Despite all the rational restraints he still couldn't help but spit at the man's feet in disgust ? at them, at the situation, and at himself. ?Take him. And you better make sure this doesn't come back to haunt me.?

To his show of disrespect the tall one simply continued to smile in that smug manner one only could when they knew they held the better hand. ?Oh, don't worry. As you are a... professional... in your job, so I am in mine.? Long slender fingers moved with a bit of flair, casting out before twisting a sharp 'snap'. And as if on cue Mach heard, felt even a large explosion rumble from only a block or so away. ?That's the explosion you were promised as cover. You should probably get there before the watch or first responders do.?

He growled at the man's mild manner sneer and matter-of-fact delivery which did little to phase them as already their attention had shifted to the mage who was struggling to worm away. It was a futile attempt as the two muscles moved in, catching each of the man's arms while the tall one leaned down, slender fingers caressing the hunter control collar once, twice, before finally the device disengaged and slipped off as though it had been coaxed. Another subtle display of dominance and a hint that they were far more dangerous than they seemed as they tossed the collar back to him.

Catching the device he hazarded one last glance to the mage as they began to struggle and mewl they pleas once more. They looked well and truly terrified at the prospect of being taken away by those goons... and he'd been the one to hand deliver them to such a fate. But he didn't have to let things play out like this, he could take the two muscles and probably shutdown the thin one. Instead he simply turned, shoving the collar angrily back into his pocket as he strolled quickly down the alleyway, moving in the direction of the billowing cloud of churning black smoke that rose up into the dreary winter sky.
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Old Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Constable Meyers? This is Desk Sergeant Dillard, stand down your pursuit of Eli Turner.

Stand down!? You've gotta be kidding me! I'm in pursuit of a dangerous criminal!

You're in 'pursuit' of another officer of the law...

An 'officer of the law?' ***! When I got on scene this guy was brawling with patrons of The Macabre Macaw! I saw him grinning as he shot an orc through a wall!

Yeaaaah, well, he's not exactly a... traditional officer of any of the local agencies. But he does have a writ to practice investigations and apprehensions here Rhy'Din.

Brawling is a police duty now?

Well, not really, no, but that part of town is known for being rather hostile to our kind. I'm sure Turner was just defending himself after an apprehension went south.

And that makes destroying property okay? He knocked an orc sized hole out of a brick wall.... with an orc!

Did he kill the orc?

Well... no... I think maybe just annoyed it... but still! Eyewitness testimony also put him at the cart fire a block from the bar as well as the several others along Scuttlebutt Avenue!

Okay, so supposedly he was at the scene for all of these... did anyone say he caused them?

Well... I'm not sure. When I heard the perpetrator of all this wanton destruction was still in the area I made the command decision to locate them rather than waste time taking reports. But from what I saw at the I'm sure he was the cause of all these incidents!

-Sighing- Or more like unfortunate and unwilling participant. I think destruction and disaster are a little too cozy with that guy...


But it's fine! He goes after highly danger targets – mages and Minotaur's and the sorts. Collateral damage is an acceptable risk if not a downright expectation! But his agency accounts for this and has a very generous reimbursement policy in place with the city to handle the calamity that follows him.

'Fine'?!? It's not fine! The bastards a menace to society! I personally witnessed him assault five individuals, two of them not even combative! In total I counted ten injured on scene and it sure as hell didn't look like any of them were being apprehended!

Like I said-

And I smelled alcohol on his person!

Well, yeah, he's not a very good-

And before I went in pursuit I heard he was a devilish fiend that made sexual advances on a few of the workers at the bar!

Okay, okay, not a good person in general. But that doesn't mean he was actively rousing trouble. I mean, what did he have to say about the situation?

What did he have to say? Lies of course! Said I was late in providing support and even had the gall to ask me for assistance in his attacking of citizens!

'Late?'... … …damnit Meyers! On the reports log for your patrol there was a call for intra-agency co-op at 14:23! That was probably from Turner!

14:23...oh, that 10-23? I left that for a junior officer...

Junior!? Any more green and you'd be a Dryad!

Well, there's Constable Poppins on beat out here too...

Oh for Dagda's sake you're both from the same class! -growning- So what, you tried to arrest him and he said no-

Actually he threw me into a table.

... Wait, what? Why the hell did he do that!?

Well, after I told him to halt and desist he identified himself and told me to help him while not halting or desisting. So... I gave him a taste of my truncheon... and the bastard assaulted me, me! Twisted my arm when I tried to force him to the floor and threw me into a table! Told me to stand down!

-sighing-... and bolted when he realized what he'd done...

Yeah! Hooligan turned tale when he saw my service revolver-

You're revolver!? You drew your gun on him!?

He'd just assaulted an officer of the law and he was armed with a large caliber hand gun; of course I drew my piece, he's obviously dangerous! Before I could order him to the ground though he hit me with some sort of electrical attack and ran! I gave pursuit as soon as I could but wasn't able to get a clear shot at him...

Oh jeez... ***. Myers, you need to calm down! Damn... you're lucky all you'll get from this is a lesson and a wounded pride!

Lucky!? I don't think it's 'lucky' that a wanton and dangerous criminal escaped the law!

-growling- They're not a criminal! Turner, despite all his rough edges, is one of the good guys... and damn scary if you really get on the wrong side of him and justice, alright? Guy took apart a mad cult of mages by himself and has apprehended more than any reasonable number of dangerous cases for the Watch - criminals and creatures that would chew up and spit out even veteran officers.


But nothing Corporal! The guys more a monster then you think and if he really was a 'bad guy' he'd have had no problem turning you into a fine red smear! As is I doubt he'll even pull his connections in the department to have you reprimanded cause the guys decent like that.

Connections? Wait, are you saying he's involved in some sort of corruption in the department!?

What? No! I'm saying he's a good working friend of Cpt. Jubal of the 27th, you know, that special division of the Watch. You'd best not go around willy-nilly making baseless claims of corruption in the department!

If they were so baseless then why are we letting this bastard run around doing as he pleases in flagrant disregard to the law then?

Look, I told you, he has a writ to do this! Special permission and policies and everything. And he's certainly not just 'doing as he pleases' like you think. There's plenty of oversight over his actions, trust me.

Oversight... we'll see. Forgive me if I'm not just going to take your word for this.

-sighing- Whatever, you're free to look into this yourself. The URTA or whatever they're called has a complaint process for the Watch to use to make reports against their agents. But you do that on your own time – right now you're shelving your pursuit of Turner.

Respectfully sir...

No, no 'respectfully, sir'! This is an order – let it go. If you want to nail Turner's ass to the wall you do it the correct way: go back to The Macabre Macaw, take statements, collect evidence, and call for an investigator if there's actually enough there to pursue actual chargers-

There are chargers!

Actual actionable ones, not just trumped up by your overzealous imagination! And that'll be up to an investigator to work, not you. No more foot chases waving your gun around, this isn't a damn western!

... … Yes sir.

I mean it Meyer, cool your jets! I know there's a lot of pressure on you beat folks right now to get quota but you're barking up the wrong tree on this.

Yeah, okay, whatever. We'll see.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arresting Offenses – B Side

What the... honest ***...!” Exasperation wheezed from him as he gulped down air, rugged form crumpling limply against a nearby wall. Pulling out a handkerchief to mop his brow his other hand moved to fumble with the cellphone in his breast pocket, gaze falling to the dimly glowing AMOLED screen. Chalk it up to morbid curiosity that he wanted to know just how far stupid had chased his happy ass this day.

It was without doubt that he could say, in an official sense, that today sucked. Not half sucked or had sucky bits; oh no, it suuuuuuucked! Not only had the apprehension of an orc that was dealing in illicit 'boosters' blew up in his face (literally, actually, but what was a hunt without a few singed hairs); but it then lead to a street chase which ended in a bar brawl – because sailors, alcohol, and violence. Of course if things had ended there then today would have only had sucky bits to it since he couldn't exactly deny that alcohol and violence wasn't sorta fun. What? If he wanted peaceful and pampered he'd not exactly be a military minted mage and monster hunter now would he?

But then just as he was finishing up with business what he thought was the cavalry support he'd called for earlier turned out to be a freaking crackpot of a Watchman. The idiot had the gall to order him to cease and desist when folks were still actively trying to introduce his pretty mug to a chair! Oh sure, he probably could have been more diplomatic with the officer... just like he probably could be an upstanding scholar and model of moral decency if he really, really tried. Yet once a punky thug always a punky thug which meant he barely got on with cops on the best of days and was more a test to their patience the rest.

Though it seemed patience wasn't a strong suit of this officer who freaking clubbed him and drew a gun on him! Or perhaps this was the new standard for the Watch as even after he'd gotten the hell away from Hitty Mc-Police-Brutality another tried to pick him up for jaywalking... and another for running along the roofs without a chimney sweep or ninja license... and another for smoking within 1000 yards of a church... and another for being too sweaty for May!

Suffice to say things had slid well past crappy and into staunch suck territory. Eyeing his latest GPS location placed him square in the Old Temple District which, by his estimate, was a long ass ways from where he'd started back in the bad...er side of the Docks. Just flipping great. So not only had he been harassed by no end of nutter cops but the damn orc who was his original target had probably long gotten away. Given the cut of today the whackjob officer probably apologized to them for his crap treatment rather, oh, arresting the wanton drug dealer. Figures.

Stuffing away the sodden hanky he proceeded to snake a ciggy out, the cancer stick clipped between lips as he lit it with the poor excuse for a beaten Zippo that he carried. Now that he'd caught his breath it was high time he gave his lungs a treat! And it was any wonder why doctors had a knee jerk hatred for him just as the cops of today. Thumbing from the map function he started in on some digital schmoozery, intent to just bask in that moments break before he got on with adulting and trying to figure out how to turn around this crap ass day.

Oi! Hands where I can see them buster!

Oh you have got to be kidding! A weary groan slipped as he shot a glare to the high tin voice that barked at him; the owner a short but robust woman with close cropped curly-q hair and dark cherub features not at all fitting with the Watch uniform they wore. Hardly the epitome of law enforcement though the drawn and sighted tazer did help to lend some gravity to their words. Slipping his phone back into breast pocket he struggled against the impulse to scowl as he turned fully to address the officer. “What do you want…?” He probably well knew the answer to this but maybe he was wrong?

I’m placing you under arrest!” 

Nope, not wrong… damn. He deflated with a tired sigh, lone eye casting a glance about his surroundings as he straightened up from the wall. “Oh? On what the charge, leaning against a wall?

The woman’s eyes narrowed as they watched him, hips sinking as they settled in a weaver stance. “Complete and utter disregard for fashion!

This… actually stunned him. “Wait… wait… fashion!?

Suspenders, gloves, eye patch, hip belt, and military boots – you’re clearly an eye soar and in need of immediate rehabilitation!

He felt himself swoon at the rather blunt allegations levied against his handsome self. “H-Hey! I’m not that bad-

YES YOU ARE!” His jaw dropped at the boldly snapped response. Not even a moment’s hesitation! Did he really look that bad!? “And I’ve reports of your ugly description causing all sorts of other disturbances around the city! You are clearly a menace to society!

Gloom fell over him as he began to deflate back against the wall. His body had begun to move in defeated supplication, hands raising up meekly till that last jab. A menace to society…? He was the menace to society with all this crap the Watch had been putting him through today!? Gloved hand met brow as he growled softly, the end of his cigarette chirping lightly between the vice of his teeth. “You have got to be kidding me! You know… *** you!

It was a sudden move, that cigarette snagged and chucked at the woman as he juked left before breaking hard right. A pop shot across the distance, two sharp cracks of metal meeting brick bringing a moment of relief. They’d missed their shot, and much as had been the norm for this day he wasn’t going to waste any time absconding the hell away!

Charging down along the side of the building he ignored the fading shouts from the woman, his focus squarely on the fast approaching drainpipe he’d scoped. Leaping against the wall at full pace he ran up an extra foot or so of climb before jumping for the pipe, the wall brackets creaking under the stress as he caught hold. Using the momentum of his mad dash he swung and vaulted his legs up, just catching a foot on a wall radiator well above the ground.

Anchoring that foothold he hauled himself further up the pipe; a quick glance cast from his high vantage to see the woman lumbering well behind as they fumbled to get another taser cartridge loaded. He didn't venture this individual had the prowess, insight, or physical ability to keep up with him and his hard learned parkour skills. Apparently a misspent youth of running from the popo and a misspent adult life of running from things trying to kill him was paying off in spades! Turning his gaze away from the officer he sighted in on the window box that was his next step up the building. Coiling against that wall radiator he tucked his other leg, readying it to kick off the drainpipe when he leap past. Ok, yeah, tricky, but manageable and once he got to the window it was just a couple more bounds and he'd be to the relative safety of the roof.

Giving one last glance to the officer he sucked in a breath, his form tensing like a spring. Calming his nerves he listened for that indignant order from below, for the silent still as the woman lined up another shot on him. Counting off the classic rookie breath pattern for stress fire scenarios he felt immensely pleased as he heard the pop of the taser firing just a moment after he'd launched himself from his precarious perch. Once more he heard the rough smack of metal on rock as the ballistic darts careened into the wall where he was supposed to have been.

Lunging along the wall he reached for the window box, tucked foot shoving against the drainpipe to boost him to that yet higher vantage. He'd not give the woman a third chance to jellify his ass as he caught hold of the window box, the momentum of his leap used to crawl up and bound to the one a floor above. Just how much further would he have to run to escape these whackjob cops!?

Pulling himself up and onto the six inch ledge of the window he paused a moment as he caught sight of an aghast elf staring at him from the other side. Well, this was awkward... and maybe just a little too confirming of that 'menace to society' idea spouted by the Watchwoman though he shook away that thought. Offering a winning smile and a little wave he quickly refocused on the task at hand, his feet drug up and tucked beneath him as he prepared for the final push up to the last window and the roof ledge from there. It was a graceless pose to be sure, sort of a cross between suction cup window decoration and window humping, but then he wasn't sure there was a way to be graceful before a powered leap. Oh sure some might say a cat could do it but he wasn't exactly convinced the Sir Lemon's booty wiggle held any more finesse then what he was doing!

Gauging the distance one last time he flexed his hands, form leaning away from the relative safety of the window so as to clear the top of the jam as he surged upwards. It was a ballsy move and certainly not something any sort of amateur should attempt, but luckily (?) he'd had plenty of practice in his life. Both hands reached out for the ledge, his focus keenly sharp as he closed in, ready to grab and pull so he could momentum his way into another vault. His execution was as flawlessly as could be expected or needed and yet something felt amiss.

And as the ledge seemed to zoom away from his fingers, the world itself seeming to blur into an abyss he finally understood. No. NO! Not now! He tried to force himself to focus, to keep his mind anchored in the real world and yet it was as insurmountable a task as trying to keep a waterfall at bay. Damn it, of all the times for his mind to punch out, for a fugue to take him it just had to happen now!

Through the murky mire of his failing consciousness he felt a sharp jar in his shoulder as his hand apparently hit the ledge he'd been reaching for. He tried to will his fingers to close yet he barely had a sense of what was him and what wasn't. All he felt was the weightlessness of nothingness which enveloped the last of his senses, his awareness like the cold, still depths of the ocean.

- - - - -

And then there was pain. Not, like, owey I stubbed my toe pain. No, this was pain - full body and throbbing. Groaning in a ragged breath he tried to blink away the scratchy dryness of his eyes so he could see though something squeezed into his back pushing the moments relief of breath right out from his lungs. “DON'T MOVE DIRTBAG! YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!

Well ***. The pieces of the puzzle quickly assembled to fill in however long his mind had skipped out on his body. Given how he felt he must have fell and hit the ground hard. It was honestly a miracle his brains weren't smeared across the alley floor given he'd plummeted about three to four stories. Than again he was fairly sure his foot was pointing an abnormal direction... not that he could check since the officer had taken to pushing her knee into his spine while she handcuffed him to his... belt?

Struggling he tried to leverage himself up with his freehand which failed stupendously as there was nothing there from the bicep down. Ah, great, he must have broken his prosthetic to boot, and quiet thoroughly too since it had shut off his feedback receptors... small consolation that but he'd take what he could. Of course the officer would have none of this as he felt the knee in his back bear down. “I SAID DON'T MOVE!!! You have the right to remain silence which means you better shut the *** up because I ain't hearing none of your *** after what you put me through! And anything you say can and will be used against your ass in a court of law...

Yep, today officially sucked.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"He's dead, call it."

"You don't know that!"

A languorous gaze was cast to the younger man causing them to shift uncomfortably, an impressive feat given how utterly uncomfortable they already looked at the lip of that still smoking crater which they so precariously stood far too close too. A rather odd feature, out of place as it marred the picturesque snow covered winter wonderland surrounding the building sized hole in the ground. More so, even, as however this stupendously large divot came to be it did little to disturb the pristine blanket of white that coated even the closest trees to the craters edge.

"They're in the middle of a crater, people don't end up in the middle of craters sergeant major, bodies do."

"But he's fully intact! If he'd made that crater he'd, well, probably be coating it, not lying in it...?"

Uncertainty crept into the young soldiers tone as both men peered back over the edge at the fellow who lay plumb in the middle of the wasteland, reclining almost leisurely in a second, smaller and yet more compact divot. Not that they looked like they were relaxing... unless dribbling blood from every visible orifice was a new form of chillaxing. Or being naked as a jay in the middle of winter for that matter save for a lone eye patch and prosthetic hand that spun at the wrist as though it were possessed.

"I mean, surely if he'd kept himself together through... whatever... it was that happened to him, then he probably aught be alive!"

"Or left a pretty corpse..." Those words left in a dismissive sneer as they shot a glare at the tattooed body - a circuit board tattoo on their organic forearm and a fox on the chest. And then of course there was... well holy hell! They'd heard stories (and seen less than flattering pictures) but it was another thing to see the... 'canon' the schmooze packed just sort of plopped out like a cold python on one of the still smoldering rocks. Damn, that looked like it hurt. Shaking away that thought they turned their attention back to the younger man, the cellphone in their hand held up to proudly display that tracker program. "Besides, they haven't moved from that spot in over an hour and this things got a one meter accuracy. And this is certainly more than a meter hole so..."


The two men looked once more to the body, a somber mood filling the chill between them as the realization sank in. Another hunter dead, another comrade passed on. Not exactly anything unique given the ludicrously high mortality statistics associated with their job though that didn't detract from the gravity of the loss.

Shuffling in reverent silence for a bit the two paid their respects to the hunter known as Mach before at long last one of them broke the silence with a wet sniffle. "Right. So. You know who had Carnsreed on the betting pool?"

A sobering loss, yes, but the other end of that high expectancy for punching out was a rather casual attitude of the rest of the corps towards such. This was only exacerbated by the hunters themselves who were typically top bidders in such grisly humor.

"Y-You know, maybe we shouldn't be discussing such with him right there."

A puff of fog escaped the older soldier as they snorted. "He's dead, he's not going to mind!"

"Yeah, but still, that's a little..." The stretch of uncomfortable cringe fell into mortified silence.

The older soldier quirked a brow as the younger fellows features paled, amber eyes growing wide. "What? Don't you start banging on again about how he might not be..." Looking back to the crater they found their own jaw going slack as they caught sight of the figure in the middle. They... they weren't sitting upright before!

Prosthetic hand still spinning, Mach gasped down a few ragged breathes which racked up a retching cough that worked to clear the sludgy blood that pooled in his lungs. Vomiting up a lovely soup of nasty he was finally able to enunciate how he was feeling with a long, winding groan that ended in a sharp, vicious curse. Oh yeah, that felt good, or at least better than anything else he was feeling at the moment so he opted to string together a few more curses for good measure, listening to them as they echoed in the still of winter.

With that out of the way the schmooze took a quick inventory of himself which, sadly, proved to be a very short list. Lovely. At least the crater he was in was still warm or else he might well have become a popsicle, and not the good to suck on kind either! Speaking of he shifted stiffly to take his kielbasa off a particularly warm rock less he become even more sterile and now it was on to getting his prosthetic to stop spinning about at the wrist...

Well, that was the plan until he finally made note of the two men standing at the rim of the crater which he sat in, obvious panic marring their features as they both sighted down the barrels of their bull pup assault rifles straight at him. "WHGF DN..." Clearing more blood from his throat he blew a few crimson sprays from his nostrils before he tried that again... yeah, this wasn't helping his case for not being shot.

"What the *** do you idiots thinking your aiming at!" Neither was that but there was only so much pussy footing around he could stomach and that amount was as bountiful as his clothing was at this moment. Pushing up to his feet, or trying to at least, he slipped and put a nice gash in his knee as the prosthetic he pushed on merrily tried to spin him right round. And then there was another paint peeling vocabulary lesson from Mach before he boosted himself to his feet with his non twirly hand.

His harsh words seemed to shake the older soldier who doubled down their aiming of that rifle as their features stoned up. "Identify your-"

"Oh don't give me that! You know who I am..." Cavalierly he began picking his way up the slope of the crater, a tricky prospect given how shoeless he was. Stupid too as it just drove the paranoia in those two soldier who backed away from the gleefully slipping madman traipsing up the unnatural hole in the ground.


This caused a pause in the schmoozes merry little scramble, a terse cyclops glare shot up at the fellow. "Captain Elitia Vance Turner - A3 Hunter, sergeant. But even a well animated ghoul could tell you that so why not stop wasting my time and do a life detect on me, or is even that low level spell beyond a supporter like you?"

The older man looked absolutely livid at his bluntness though they held back their outrage, if just so. Probably because their long soldiers trench coat lacked the decorative hunters mantel, unlike the younger mans. Yeah, that was the look of indignation he expected! Holding their tongue the younger man drew out a small foil envelope from their coat which they produced a paper edged lens from. Holding this up at him they peered through the small opening, lips moving quietly in a chant which caused the top of the paper to smolder and scorch. If the artifact worked as it should they should be seeing a (rather lame) green aura surrounding him though with how he was feeling it was a bit dubious.

Well, okay, that part was a joke though with how long the young man stared at him with that detect life lens the more nervous he felt. At long last the young man passed the artifact to the other as they lowered their rifle. "Yeah, he's alive... unfortunately." This warranted a stick of tongue out at the fellow as he continued his ascent once more, struggling more as the angle of the dome grew steeper until finally he was just trying to jump that final sheer edge. One, two, and finally he made flat ground... and snow.

Holy hell it was cold out here! He almost hopped his ass right back into the warmth of crater but reneged on that impulse as he quickly bolted upright, smacking wet snow from himself with that spinning prosthesis while making a 'gimme' gesture to the older fellow with his other hand. The fellow, Lance Sergeant Berger, scoffed at his gesture though relented sullenly when he gave them his best 'I'm an officer' glare. Luckily they were broader than him so he could close the woolen trench coat but they were also quite a bit shorter so while the garment should have brushed mid-shin this was more an above the knee number. Whatever, it was better than he'd had and it was even pre-warmed too!

"Could you at least watch the..." The fellow cringed as he dripped dead vitae on the collar of their coat. Whoops... probably not the time to remind them his junk was rubbing all up on the inside. Sighing in resigned exasperation the man shouldered their rifle if only to free themselves so as to huddle up against the cold their coat had been staving off. "... whatever. So why... how in the hells did you end up out here... like this." They motioned to the sorted scene.

"Oh, you know, pursuing void witches..." Given the looks on the two men's faces they did not, in fact, know about any such thing... right. Ignoring the stupefied gazes he instead took note of the darkening sky above, a hand (his prosthetic one to be precise, apparently it was done being creepy) waving off any inevitable question. "But hey, whatever, right? What time is it anyway?"

Berger scowled as he teased their curiosity while the other, Sergeant Major Simms, just sort of sighed in resignation as, being a support hunter, they all too well understood that dodgy nature inherit of hunters. "It's... 18:74, sir."

"It's past six!?" More than waking up bleeding, in a hole, in the forest, naked it was this that panicked him. "***. ***! I need... I need to find my... damnit... ah!" His frantic searching focused in on one particular tree which had a rather odd looking low lying branch, a swift pace carrying him around the circumference of the crater and to that tree. The two soldiers opted to stay put and just sort of watch him in that uneasy way one did with raving madman, but then he knew he very much had to look the part so no reason not to act it either.

The odd little branch he finally came to was, in fact, not a branch at all but looked to be the poor remnant of a U.T.R.A. caster now buried halfway into the thick trunk of that conifer. Well, to be accurate, it was more part of the tree than buried in it - some rather exotic, and potent, magic apparently befalling the blackbox of technology and arcane. Giving the weapon a few hearty tugs to no avail he changed tactics and started to pull the trigger. Once, twice, the weapon ground, crackled, and whirred unwholesomely obviously not enjoying the treatment it was getting. So much so, in fact, that the thing began to fizz and spit acrid black smoke before it, well, caught on fire.

The two men watched in abject confusion as Mach seemed downright giddy at this turn of events. Prancing about (more for warmth than celebration) he watched the piece of tech burn, the awful sounds and wretched smoke increasing before finally one last whimpering whir escaped the device and at last the remaining, slightly slagged device fell to the ground. Being mindful of the now burning conifer, he picked up the ruined caster carefully before bouncing back to the two military supporters.

"Right, that takes care of that." Tossing the trashed caster to Simms, who caught it with more than a little aggravation and annoyance, his attention turned back to Berger. "Can't leave black box tech behind, yeah? Now... I just need my potion belt and cell phone..." Peering about he hoped with all his might that his cell phone wasn't part tree now as well - he'd just finally gotten all his contacts and such sorted out!

"Sir, we really need to-h-HEY!" The fellow balked angrily as he quickly stole their cellphone right out from their hand, a whimsical twirl blocking their immediate attempts to snatch it back. "What in damnation do you think you're doing!?!"

Mindlessly he dodged the brawny man's continued attempts to retrieve their property, his focus fully on the spoils of his thievery as he tapped away. "You found me with this, yeah? Tracked my arm since... well... yeah... Ergo I should be able to track my phone with this too! And my belt so long as it wasn't, you know, ripped apart by void magic. But hey, my junks intact and my belt sat over that so I'm down with those odds..." Hopping and sliding past a few more determined grabs he finally stopped with an erupted whoop and fist pump which gave the older man a pause. "Found it!" His smile was bright and cheery as he showed the men the glowing blip on the tracker app.

Well, was bright and cheery right up to the point Berger snatched their phone back from the madman, an indignant glower shot at him as they shot back a few steps out of his thieving reach... spoilsport. After a stick of tongue out for the older soldier his attention slid to Simms who took a page from the others book and backed away. "W-We already know where your phone is, we tracked that first and then your arm when you weren't with your, um, belt."

"Oh? Really?" The younger man nodded hesitantly. "So you picked it up?"

"O-Of course we did. It is government prop-"

"Well why didn't you say so from the start! Finally, some good new!" Ignoring the cringe of the younger fellow he looked about excitedly for any sort of vehicle. This excitement faded as he saw nothing but the forest and the remnants of the calamity that was his life. "Or not. Where the hells are you parked!?"

"Two clicks due south." Berger almost seemed pleased as they popped his bubble of elation.

"TWO CLICKS!? What the hells! What if I was injured and needed medievac!?"

Simms stepped in front of the smug Berger. "It was the closest clearing to you that we could find... other than the clearing you were in, sir."


"We thought you were a corpse."

"You thought he was a corpse. I said-"

"He was in a damn hole, wh-"

"Whatever!" Both men's attention snapped to him as he threw up his hands almost giving them another eyeful as that too short of coat rose with the action. "Two clicks thataway... probably... got it. Come on, time's a wasting!" And without waiting he set off through the tracks in the snow he assumed was theirs (because really he couldn't have found south if he had a compass much less just by looking around his surroundings.)

The two men just sort of watched in bewilderment as he marched off briskly into the forest full of bravado and gusto. Certainly not a corpse... not yet anyway, and for the worse by their reckoning likely. Then again the slow rot of his soul was being much less slow as of late and no amount of bluster could fix that nor make him feel the deathly cold he knew he should have been feeling, or at least more than he was. A mixed blessing probably as he was totally missing an anniversary dinner this very moment which may or may not get him bit... and not in any good way. Yep, not dead yet... but maybe soon.
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