The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
"You OK?" Damocles asked Silvia.
"Yeah... thanks to Brandon."
She looked up to the guard that shot the octopus.
Wow, am I glad I gave him that gun back.
"Come on, let's get out of this tank." Damocles said, and started walking towards a service ladder that reached all the way down to the bottom of the tank.
"OK." Silvia replied, and followed.
They climbed up the ladder, and walked back to Brandon.
"Thanks for helping ut out there." Silvia said to the guard.
"No problem." Brandon replied. "But what's with the green skin? I mean... I've seen you change somehow in the water... what was that?"
Silvia sighed. "That were my wings... but it didn't seem to be a good idea to try to use them in the water."
She shifted back to her Elven form.
"I'm a half-dragon... and in certain situations it's handy to have a strong scaly skin. Not to mention the claws."
Suddenly, she realized her clothes were al wet. She hadn't even felt that through the dragon skin.
"Sleg. Now what? I'll better..."
A smile appeared on her face. "...store them. Of course!" She remembered how she got the wine out of her clothes back in Orkistonia. The storage spell she used to put away her clothes didn't take any water with it.
She shifted back to her dragon skin, and started the storage spell.
"Anusalim alantinae" she whispered.
The clothes disappeared, and the water leaked off her body.
"Blegh. I'll just stay this way. It's more comfortable anyway."
Silvia suddenly noticed the guard staring at her chest. The fact that her skin was green didn't change the fact that she was naked.
She sighed. "Or not..."
She shifted on to a complete dragon form minus the wings and tail, thus removing the 'distraction'.
She grinned at Brandon, and stuck out her pointy dragon tongue.
The guard looked a bit embarrassed.
Silvia turned to Damocles.
"I've been wondering..."
Keeping the green dragon skin, she shifted her head back to elvish form to look more familiar to Damocles.
"If you're not on a specific mission, then why the sleg are you here in Scotland? I mean... it's a long way from Orkistonia."
"The sides of the vent are made of aluplast... that's pretty soft material; I should be able to climb up there with my claws. And I could cut pieces out of it to give you holes to put your feet in. But Sarah..."
Wirecat sighed. "Frag... how are we going to solve this?"
"Shudn't we be goin' down to get outta here?" Alanya asked.
Tami grinned. "Listen very carefully, Ork. Just be quiet and listen."
Tami paused for a few seconds. Besides the sound of the action in the CKWAGE hall, the four people could hear something else, a vague sound from below.
"Do you hear that?" Tami continued. "It's water. I tried going down in the vents, but it's all flooded. Whatever is doing this seems to want to keep us up here."
Wirecat turned to Tami. "Flooded? Oh great... then I can already forget about my motorbike."
"Can't we use dese to climb up?" Alanya asked, pointing at the EMP'ed tentacles hanging down in the vent.
"You mean using them as climbing ropes?" Wirecat replied. "Nice idea, but then we'd have to be able to cut 'em off. And my claws will never get through that stuff. These drones are pretty well-armored."
He looked up the vent again.
"I should've taken the rest of that roll of wire with me... "
The dart thudded into Cheever's face, just the line of the left fleshy jowl, embedding painfully in the cheek tissue. The man gasped with the sudden pain, not really realising where the dart had come from.
He dropped the little girl, turning red with anger.
"YOU FRAGGING TROGG!" He screamed, pointing at Tank, who might have been perplexed why the mhuman blamed him, had his mind worked that quickly.
He whipped up his SMG70, squeezing off a burst as he sagged to the ground.
Tank twitched slightly as one of the rounds sparked off a tusk, chipping the great, yellow tooth. the rest of the burst embedded on the construction-plas of the ceiling.
"Ya wan' hurt an Ork, ya aim sumware dat's gonna 'urt him, not da friggin' thick-skulled 'ead, ya damn 'umie." The Massive Ork glowered at the oddly peaceful looking sleeping guard.
Irina ran back to her Father's arms, and the two held each other, sobbing.
Badjimmy looked around - Taking in the dead, elite former serving military Blackwatch men, messily dead, skull shrapnel abundant, spattering the holopix displays of various pieces of Electronic junk that, in a better world, would now be safely installed in some decker-wannabe's self-assembly deck by now.
He hobbled over, as Chance yelled at something or someone, kneeling doqn, staring into the dulled blue eyes of a dead man.
"Idiote." He muttered, pulling off the Soldier's boots, to replace his lost shoe. Never one to waste an opportunity, he rifled the man's pouches for items. He got a wristphone and a beautiful mithril-plated old-fashioned wristwatch.
Proudly made in Tir Nan Og, the inscription read, along with My Dearest Sarah. All my Love - Patrick @)---.
The Elf took the cheap watch he'd been given upon (forced) retirement from Daisaka Security services.
"Au Revoir." He said, grinding the hated thing under foot, and strapping on the new watch in it's place. It felt heavy. It felt good.
"Frag Features!" Crystal screamed. "What fragging exit? More fragging drones are coming!" She said, having run over to shout right at him.
Badjimmy smiled sweetly, and looked up at her.
"What drones, mon cherie?"
Before she could reply, he stood up and unfurled his arm - showing off the glittering new watch under his trenchcoat sleeve - In the direction of the drones, still trying to trundle out of the sticky morass of riot-foam.
Those that did get through made no move towards the group, instead opting to pick over the ruins of the lighting shack, or to unplug and take away deckers that were still sitting in Matrix-booths - Where they were being taken to the nearby shifts.
"As you can see - Perfectly harmless, non?"
Crystal stood, and looked at Raven, Ash and Eva in turn. But the Elf seemed to be right. She turned back to him - And had to snap her fingers in front of his face to get his attention - He'd been staring with those big black eyes at Raven for some reason.
"Eh?" He said, coming back to reality.
"You said something about an exit. Out of the fragging building, or just this fragging hall?" Crystal asked, losing patience. While she did so, she took pistol-clips, flash-grenades and riot foam canisters from the dead men - She'd used up both grenades she'd had wrapped and concealed on her now.
"Why, this hall, of course. You want to leave The wonderful Transys Arcology so soon?" He rolled his eyes and snorted.
Crystal again looked at her compatriots, unable to decide if Badjimmy had just made some kind of joke.
Chance looked at the two - Both deckers. One chubby and injured - One - frag, not another one.. A crossdresser.
"Call me Jenny Zaid." He said, sighing, trying to lift the wounded decker up. "Gimme a hand, will ya?"
The chubby, wailing, wounded decker looked to weigh a ton. And his trousers were wet.
Chance noted the upturned 0ctopu5, trying to right itself, tentacles flailing madly, its delicate underside exposed to the world.
Badjimmy led them to where the CKWAGE hall opened back out onto the main mall levels again, Ash calling after Chance to get a move on.
Crystal turned to Raven again.
"You have any explosives in your van?"
"What self-respecting fitter wouldn't?" He winked. He always had a good supply of ammo to hand, should he get an opportunity to palm some off to a fool with money. Or 'customer', he sometimes thought of them.
"But how'll we get down to it with all the flooding?"
Crystal didn't have an answer to that one. She called a snap-vote.
"Who wants to go take a look at the Car parks, and who wants to head back to the bar?"
Raven instantly decided.
"Car park, we can go and pick up some heavy artillery. I'm sure Chance and Ash would love to have their flamethrower and assault rifle back, am I right? Tank would surely appreciate having his assault cannon back. You, Crystal my dear, probably want some higher quality grenades, these plastic ones you sneaked past security must be cramping your style..."
Raven holstered both of his SMGs and folded to sets of arms and grinned, his argument was convincing and he knew it. Crystal replied, her voice laced with sarcasm.
"Sure, you have a point Raven...my dear...but how long can you hold your breath? Did your mutation include gills?"
Raven's shoulders slumped. That hurt. Crystal saw this and apologised. Ash spoke up.
"You know me, I hate water. I'm going back to the bar. Chance, you're welcome to come with me or go to the carpark.
Chance nodded, he'd have to think about it and discuss it with Lupus.
Jessica watched as the giant orc named Tank dragged the guard, Cheevers was his name, into a corner. The crazy man would be unconsciouss for some time. A civillian policed Cheever's SMG and inspected it. The man posed and growled.
"Now I'm ready for anything! Bring it on!"
Jessica stifled a giggle, this guy had obviously played one too many simsense games. He wouldn't be worth much in a firefight. Jessica wondered whether he might actually be a risk, an overconfident, inexperienced civillian with a high powered SMG could prove a threat to his allies. Eager to fire on anything that moved he might kill some civillians or worse, Jessica Hayes!
DeadEye stepped away from the door. If that man who was previously pounding on the door was right and there was something about to kill him then there was a good chance Peter might be next. At least Parker had left him with a weapon. Peter hoped the shotgun would prove effective against whatever he was about to face...
"Wait up... There's something funny about this guy." Chance said as he knelt beside one of the dead Blackwatch, looking at his dulled blue cybereyes critically.
"Is it just me, or do all of these guards have fancy blue cybereyes?" Chance wondered aloud. To his surprise, Lupus came up with an answer before the rest.
The answer is in the eyes Chance... These men were not themselves, and the factor common to them is in the cybereyes they have installed.
Only one thing to do then... Muttering an apology to the dead man, Chance extended a claw and dug into the cybereye frame, extracting the orbs from the dead face.
"Sorry mate... But serves you right for shooting at me just now." The soldier stowed the eyes away in a pocket and reshouldered his shotgun, returning to the others.
Ash wasn't keen on swimming... It wasn't the water that she hated. Rather, it was the cold that came with it. Still, the temptation of getting her flamethrower back was too great. Besides, she could see that Chance was eager to get going to some other spot other than the bar which they had come from.
After a moment's hesitation, she reluctantly agreed to go to the carpark, reasoning that it beat staying in the bar and waiting for death to find them.
Chance examined the Cybereyes briefly.
He hadn't opted for Cyber mods himself, but like the average joe, knew a bit about them. Cybereyes were basically digital cameras that fed into the brain via currently existing optic nerves, or in some circumstances, replacement optic nerves.
These blue eyes had a skick sheen to them, and were slightly soft under his fingers. He shivered at their greasy texture. He'd pulled off the optic nerves when digging the eyes out, leaving stupms on the eyes where they'd been attached. Looking now, he couldn't seem to find that point again. The eyes had become simple round, blue orbs, with no visible front or back.
He began to feel quite queasy.
As they stepped out into the darkened mall, the group stayed close.
It wasn't as pitch-dark as it had been earlier - Lights could be seen in the distance. Portable, electric lights, camping stoves and torches had been lotted from shops and set up by their new owners, adding to the flickering, wavering glare of a traditional Huge Fire that seemed to be taking hold under tower 3's mall section.
Looking down through the mall levels proved to be a surreal and unnerving experience. The air was alive with shouting, screaming, the occasional gunshot and sound of glass smashing. Someone, somewhere, was playing loud ElectroThrash that put everyone on edge.
The Flooding seemed to have filled up the whole of mall level one now, but from up here it was impossible to see if it was still rising.
Shadows moved with the fire, and the thin grey light from the electric lights dotted around was never quite enough to see properly. Crystal pulled down her Thermographic goggles, reloading her Ultra-power.
There were some un-moving escalators down from the CKWAGE hall, which they walked down, quietly.
"If I am not mistaken, zere is a shop selling diving equipment on zis level. But zen again, you probably knew that, oui?" Badjimmy sighed.
Crystal silenced him with a wave of her hand - A big mob of people were gathered directly under their escalator, chanting, waving burning torches. A man was screaming.
Tempers were getting dangerously frayed in the prison level. The gathering of around thirty-odd criminal humans and metahumans, and then arming them with Autoshotguns and Submachineguns was never going to be a good idea. Things went from bad to worse when one of the Elf posers tried to play brain-surgeon on the mime next to him with a plexiglass bar taken from one of the prison cells, but Jolly had been able to bash the offender's head in before it could get too out of hand - The fragger, Illydiran hadn't been too happy, but he was outnumbered and out-trolled.
A figure appeared back at the open lift shaft way. Belinda swung back in, her grapple arm retracting smartly, as she tied a rope made from knotted bundles of electric cables to a prison cell bar.
"We can use this to climb up a few levels. Floor 9 is open, but its a fragging freezer. From there we should be able to take shifts up to the mall."
She looked around, laid her eyes on Emmanuette.
"Hey babe, want me to give you a personel lift?" She smiled slyly, walking over to lead her by the hand to the open shaft. She held her tight with one arm. Maybe tighter than necessary. Emmanuette found the girl's clothes were surprisingly thin.
"By the way, if any shifts come up while your climbing the line, you're screwed. Seeya!"
And she fired her grapple arm again, grabbing a handhold up the shaft so she and Emmanuette could get up quicker than anyone else.
Zaid stared at the back of the retreating soldier - He'd pointed a massive gun at he and the fat kid, then went over to some dead security guy and... *gulp*... ripped his eyes out.
Weighing up the options, he still decided to try and follow the man. But the damn kid was too heavy...
He heard the sound, and instantly knew it was the 0ctopu5 behind them. It had flipped itself upright.
Instantly he dropped the fat decker.
"You're on your own kid. See YA!"
And he raced after the 'runners, out of the CKWAGE hall leaving the wailing Chr0m3ball to his fate.
Damocles looked at Silvia, apparently thinking over his response. The half-dragon looked back, and watched his slim, but undeniably orkish features.
Damocles shook his head, and stared down at the shattered glass on the ground.
"I... cannot talk of that now. We must get you to safe place, and I will continue my mission alone. Will not risk you as well".
Raven strolled along the motionless escaltor, looking around for the shop Badjimmy had mentioned idly. Frag's luck it's on the other side of this sopping wet floor......stupid arco Raven lifted his arms well above the waterline to ensure the firing mechanisms of his SMGs remained high and dry. He inspected his policed weapon, a similar model SMG to his own. Not too heavy, nice solid frame. Yes, Raven could live with this gun. At least, until Raven had enough time on his hands to venture back into the cess pit streets of Orkistonia and renew the search for his Negotiator...now there was a real man's gun...
Nixie's ear twitched. Voices, she could hear voices from far off. It sounded like a man with a French accent talking. It was coming from on top of the next escalator. They needed to move. They needed to move NOW!
Without warning to the others, she got on all fours. Without a thought she made a run for it, around the edge of the angry mob. They were too preoccupied to notice her. The others half ran, half stumbled after her. As she approached the escalators, she sniffed the air. The people were on top of the left hand side one, but the right hand side was free.
That was all she needed. She dashed up the escalator, a blur of black and white. She had no time to examine the group at the top of the stairs, but her sensitive canine ears picked up a faint
"What le frag?"
As she ran off. She could smell the others coming behind her, There was some muttering about the queen and then, to Nixie's relief, nothing. No gun shots, no footsteps in following, just one Goblin, one Dwarf and two Humans running. She stopped and waited for the others.
"Vot now?" she asked.
"Well.....there is this place...." Veronica offered. "It's a bar, It should be either on this floor or a floor above. It's called the Elf Only Bar, I can take you, if you like."
Nixie thought about this for awhile, it couldn't hurt to check it out. Could it? She nodded at the woman, allowing her to take the front. She sank away to the back, in case any of those fraggers had followed.
What the frag had just happened? One minute Zaid had been holding some fat kid, the next he was running after some soldier. What was wrong with him? Was he going mad?
"Hey!" He yelled before his mind caught up with his mouth. "Hey you, the guy with the eyes."
What was he thinking? The guy was probably going to rip him to pieces. As the man turned, Zaid saw, what can only be described as a thing run up an escalator and straight past him. It was followed by some other people and some woman that looked like a queen.
"What just happened back there?" Asked Zaid, coming back to his senses. Did they even know what had happened? He doubted it.
Silvia carefully listened to Damocles' response.
"So... there is a 'mission' then!"
Damocles didn't reply.
"Look Damocles, don't you think for a second that I'm going to leave you alone here. In case you hadn't noticed, you just nearly got eaten by a giant squid. This is too big... even you can't survive here on your own. Besides... "
She looked Damocles straight in the eyes.
"I owe it to Sorrow to keep you alive."
Damocles sighed, and stared at the floor. Silvia saw he looked sad.
Hmm... that might have been a little too much...
The bio-ork looked up.
"Sorrow once told me you needed a kind of biotech 'sleep' to stay alive, every few days." Silvia said. "Does that mean, that... well... if we don't get out of here..."
"No. I won't die." Damocles replied. "I've been improved; I should be able to survive for about two months without needing a regeneration bath."
Silvia felt relieved. She smiled. "Oh. That's cool."
Regeneration bath. So that's what Sorrow meant.
She looked down the corridor.
"Well... we better get going then, right?"
"Right." Brandon said. "The stairs are at the end of the corridor."
He picked up the flashlight Damocles had dropped when the tentacle grabbed him, and walked into the darkness. Silvia followed.
The guard stopped when he noticed Damocles wasn't following. The bio-ork was staring at the ground again, lost in his thoughts.
"Are you coming?" Brandon asked.
Damocles turned his head.
"Yes. I'm coming."
"Yes, what!?" Chance responded irritably. His legs were still hurting from where shotgun pellets had gouged them and he was suffering a post-adrenaline low from the firefight they had just been through.
It turned out that the person that had been carrying the overweight kid in the hall had followed him. Chance had initially challenged him (or was it her? Chance wasn't sure until Lupus told him) to identify himself, but had decided to let him go since he didn't appear to be one of them.
Now, it seemed like the kid had decided to follow them afterall. Chance examined him critically, wondering what he wanted.
Out of the corner of his eye, the soldier saw a group of people or metahumans go dashing up an escalator a distance away. It was dark, and his goggles and attention were focused on the crossdresser... thus he did not see the people clearly nor notice Highness among them.
Seeing that Chance wasn't in the mood for conversation, Ash asked in a more moderate tone.
"Hi... My name's Ash. Who are you?"
"Erm...." Zaid wasn't sure about this. If they were like that cat man, well they might shoot him. Did they know already? Was this a test? "Erm....I'll get back to you on that."
Those that had even noticed him were looking at him strangely, he was sure they could see him shaking. Maybe he should make a run for it, but they'd probably shoot him. Seemed his only choice was to stick around.
"So....erm. Come here often?" He forced, what he hoped, was an encouraging grin on his face. Today, was not his day.
"We have to get out of here." The woman, who's name was red, said as she paced up and down the now closed Shiftavator.
"Out to where?" Bulldog asked, sitting against a wall.
"Up, down, anywhere."
Bulldog could sense the impatience in her voice. She walked over to the control panel for the Shiftavator and pryed it open with what looked like a screwdriver. She started to rearrange wires, it looked like one big mess to Bulldog's eyes.
"I don't think you should be doing that." He warned.
"Look, you stupid legless gobbo scum, I'm a trained rigger. I know what I'm...." The lift creaked and moved upwards ever so slightly. Bulldog grabbed hold of his pistol, just in case.
"Hit the floor." He told the rigger.
"You worry too much!"
"Fine, but when I put a bullet in your head, don't come crying to me!" She reconsidered her portion, sitting in a corner of the shiftavator. And then, they waited. Each breath could be heard, but no words were spoken. The actual time was a few minutes, but it seemed like a lifetime. Just as Red got impatient and was about to stand, the Shiftavator shot up.
Floor after floor went past as the two sat and panicked. Bulldog raised his pistol, ready to shoot the control panel. But another gun had beaten him to it. As the shiftavator grinded to a halt, he saw Red. Grinning at him with a smoking pistol in her hand.
"38th floor. Hydroponics Gardens" The droll, mechanical voice of the Shiftavator said as the doors opened.
"A little help?" Bulldog looked up at Red expectantly.
Barkah leaped up and drew his sword as something burst though the door of the bar. On closer inspection, it was a human woman, holding a gun, and a think that looked like a giant dog. The thing growled deeply at the Ork then slipped into the bar, still on all fours.
Later it was followed by a Dwarf and Goblin, who looked just as soaked and shattered as the other two. They slipped into a corner with their companions, the goblin giving Barkah an evil look. Soon after that, a young woman stumbled in. Her head turned to the left, her eyes turning from orange to indigo. Then to green as she fixed them in front of her again.
"Highness?" Mary said, getting up and taking the woman in her arms. "You look terrible."
The woman just lay in her arms, staring into space blankly. She looked like she'd been crying, but Mary dismissed this when one of the civvies brought it up.
Jolly watched, he saw it all. He saw the three people in the dark suits nod to each other, The Ork drew a knife. He loomed over one of the chippies, who was too senseless to notice. And before Jolly saw it, the knife was in the chippies head. He nodded to the Dwarf and Human, who carefully dissected the body. Almost all the prisoners watched in horror as every single piece of the body that was suitable was used to make a rope.
The three stepped back, leaving the few remains of the body, which was mostly blood now. The Ork handed one end of the make shift rope, the end made of clothing, to Jolly. He then made a symbol to the vent, he wanted him to climb it.
Jolly didn't argue, He dug his fingers into the metal of the vent, and started to climb. Ignoring Stitch's whining of "Take me with you". He had the make shift "rope" tied to his trousers, grumbling all the way up.
Jessica watched as Mary cradled the woman she had addressed as 'Highness' in her arms. Highness? That was a rather regal name for someone who looked like another underground runner. Although, Jessica thought, no doubt these runner people get kicks out of having nicknames like that. Puzzling, however, was the striking resemblance to the real Queen. Jessica shifted her gaze onto the group who had accompanied the woman named 'Highness' into the bar. They were soaked and bedraggled. Jessica assumed that, being associated with 'highness' and hence Mary it was safe to assume they were allies of the runners Ash, Chance, Crystal and Raven who had ventured through the ventilation duct. Jessica threw a towel she had found behind the bar into the lap of the goblin. The tiny creature squeaked thanks and began to rub itself with the towel. Jessica disliked goblins, horrible, tiny critters. Orcs didn't rate highly in Jessica Hayes' books either. As her mother used to say:
"If skin of green, be sure it's mean. If skin of blue, be wary too."
Orcs and goblins were a pair of metaspecies' that were known for having skin tones ranging from moss green to grey blue. The rhyme Jessica had recalled dated back to the original recorded cases of 'goblinisation' many years ago. While her adult rationality rejected the childish rhymes implications Jessica still kept her distance from the metahumans.
By now the goblin had passed the towel onto the dwarf who wringed the towel before beginning to pat his face dry. Jessica didn't mind dwarves, at least they looked reasonably human, just shorter and more hairy than usual. Their coarse language and loud voices did put Jessica on edge at times but she'd trust a dwarf before a goblin anyday!
Jessica now turned to examine the creature that had ingressed at the same time as Highness. Jessica didn't know what the frag the thing was but it seemed docile enough at the moment...
Raven listened to Ash question the person who had started following them.
"So.....ermmm...come here often? He grinned. Ash shook her head.
"The name's Zaid. Pleased to meet you Ash, what's his name?"
He pointed at Chance. Chance rolled his eyes, no time for stupid introductions, and answered.
"I'm Chance, that there is Raven, there's Crystal, Eva and Badjimmy."
Chance pointed to each of the runners in turn as he talked. Raven interjected.
"Pleased to meet you Zaid, excuse me if I'm being im-fraggin'-polite, but we have somewhere to go and need to be there sometime soon. If you need shelter, go to the Elf Only Bar, knock real polite and maybe, just maybe, our friends there will let you in."
Raven turned to go, so did Chance, but Zaid spoke up.
"What if I wanna go with you? Help you and all, nasty place this is, need all the help you can get...."
Now Raven was getting annoyed, the sooner they got to his van the sooner the party would have the firepower necessary to really take those drones to the cleaners. This guy was just holding them up and here, in the flooding arco, that could prove fatal. Raven decided to give him a chance, just one of course, Raven wasn't getting soft or anything!
"OK pal, we need to get to the carpark. I left my wheels there, and my van is full to the brim with 'survival gear' that we could use. Unfortunately, from here to the carpark is flooded. You know, Noah's arco style flooded. So, Badjimmy here thinks there's a scuba shop nearby but that's all he knows. You got anything for Raven?"
Zaid took in the information and thought for a moment. He replied.
"Sure, if we are where I think we are then I know how to get to the scuba shop. Passed it earlier, ya know? Good enough for you?"
Raven turned to Crystal, he felt the guy knew what he was talking about but Raven always deferred to Crystal's decisions in such matters. Raven strolled over to Crystal and met Ash, Chance and Badjimmy there also, Eva remained by herself, aloof and untouchable. Raven whispered.
"My fitter sense isn't tingling, he's clean and I think he's telling the truth. What do you guys think?"
"Oui, I 'sink you are correct monsieur. But 'oo is to trust Badjimmy and his opinion?"
Chance spoke up. He had felt around Zaid's astral signature, nothing overtly wrong with him.
"Zaid's OK. I've no problem with him tagging along as long as he doesn't slow us down or get in my way."
Ash nodded. Zaid seemed friendly enough.
It was Crystal's decision.....
DeadEye tipped his matress over so that it provided him with some cover to hide behind. No doubt whatever had killed the man that had pounded against his door would move against Peter soon. Peter double checked that the shotgun was ready to fire. It was. He prayed it would be enough to stop whatever came through his door...
Quickly Eva withdrew a gun. She liked to be the bad bitch of the team. She aimed at the punk named Zaid.
"OK, fragger, say your prayers."
Everyone watched in disbelief. She was gonna shoot Zaid! The punk was a hell of a lot more scared now.
"... You see? This is the not least thing you can come across. You will have to have a bunch of cold blood, crossdresser."
She tipped out. It didn´t looked as a tip... But it was Eva´s style.
Now it was time.
"Dr... excuse me. You don´t need my help anymore"
And Wolf left the operathing theater.
"SOMETHING big is happening here." He told to himself.
But what he could do... Mary was at the mall with the runners she had met. The runners...
He smacked his head.
"Crystal and his team! Those are the runners!"
He quickly withdrew the vidphone.
"I think it is your phone, Crystal" Eva tipped off.
The phone continued to ring. Odd. Only a person inside the building could make a call. But what insane bloke would call in such a situation?
Zaid pushed passed the ranting woman and her gun. If she was going to shoot him anyway, it didn't really matter what he did. He walked to the top of the escalator, he could see the angry mob underneath him.
"hmm" He studied them a bit more and smiled. "I suppose you want me to get you past them too."
"You can do that?" The pale freak with four arms asked.
"Sure, I know some of those people. Get you past without a shot being fired, if that suits some of the simpler minded among you." The last comment was obviously aimed at Eva. She glared at him, cold hearted bitch. Well, time to prove his use...
"Now, this scuba shop, if I'm not mistaken, and I hope I'm not, it's down on that floor there, somewhere past that angry mob too the left. If you're lucky the shop keeper will have done a runner, cowardly man he is, afraid of his own shadow. So you'll be able to go in, take what you need and then advance onto the flooded levels I guess."
He smiled to himself, waiting for them to make a derision. Today, was just looking a lot brighter.
"'Ere ya go lass." James shoved the towel in her face, She refused to take it. "Shake yerself off then."
He threw it to Veronica, who got up and wandered across the bar. Probably saw someone she knew or something. Nixie sniffed the air, nothing threatening except two fragging Ork's in here, or so it seemed. And her growling seemed to keep the Ork's away.
She noticed a woman staring at them, judging them. Like Pierre had been doing in the vents. She didn't like it. She growled deeply at the woman and bared her teeth, it was unlike her to be so animalistic. But she had to protect the pack.
Wolf looked up from his phone for a second and caught the form of a Goblin, a Goblin with green cyber eyes. Like the doctors he was walking with. They strolled down the corridor of the hospital level, off towards the shiftavator.
"You must find him, he might know something." Said one of the doctors. "He MUST be found, do you understand?"
"Oui" Replied the Gobbo calmly. "Ah'll 'ave him in a shake of le Frog's leg."
"Good." They had reached the Shiftavator by now, the doctor pressed the button. "When you find him, take him alive. Bring him, and anyone around him, back to me!"
The Goblin nodded. The two stood outside the Shiftavator for a while, until the doctor finally spoke up.
"Odd, It doesn't seem to be working. You'll have to find another way." The Goblin nodded. "But be quick about it!"
The two walked off, Wolf got back to his phone call. Defiantly something strange going on here.
"Easy Eva... Let's give the kid a chance before shooting eh?" Giving a half-nod to Eva and easing down her gun arm, Chance continued. "If anything, you'll want to save your ammo for the drones."
Turning to the kid, he nodded and said.
"You seem to know what you're doing... and can still keep your head when under Eva's gun. No bad for someone your age."
Chance looked at the mob below them, then casually flicked the safety off the wide-barrelled autoshotgun under his arm. With AP slugs the size of thumbs in the magazine, anyone who tried fragging with the runners would realise the error of his ways soon enough. The shotty was darned loud though... unlike the reserved but powerful spitting of the sound-suppressed SAR-125 that had been his friend through the years.
"Lead on kid... We'll cover you."
Crystal followed Chance's lead and brought her arm up, knocking Eva's gun aside.
"Put the fragging thing away until you really need it. Or else you can break out of here on your fragging ownsome."
Crystal hadn't forgotten the time Eva had tried to kill her, and she didn't want another fragging Psycho with her. She glared at the woman, and turned back to Zaid.
She noticed her Phone was beeping. Puzzled, she flipped up the screen.
Static. Someone was trying to say something, but it wasn't gettting through.
Eventually the image vanished.
"Sorry. The signal appears to have been lost. Please make sure the unit is charged up."
"I charged the fragger before I left." Crystal snarled, tempted to whip off the thing and toss it down over the escalator.
But looking up at the blank screens that would be displaying adverts, 3DTV News and subliminal-laden Lei-Fang O'Jones records, she wondered whether something more malevolent may be behind the null signal...
Then Crystal leaned over the balcony, looking down at the chanting mob below.
If they were armed, it was mainly with metal bars and pipes - Nothing serious. They could shoot trhough them - Riot foam grenades could slow them up.
She looked to Chance.
"The best 'run is the 'run where you get back without firing a shot." He said.
True. No need for a bloodbath. We don't seem to be short on enemies.
"Okay. Zaid, do your stuff." Crystal said, giving Eva another warning glance.
Badjimmy looked around, towards the rear of the group. All this hanging around was making him bored - So he flicked a chip into his datajack as he watched Zaid's lithe figure jouncing down the metal steps, the crowd taking a step back as he - or she? Badjimmy wasn't sure himself, but he knew he looked better of course - stepped up. A burly, balding man with over a dozen ties around his neck - Trophies? - Stepped forward to speak.
He couldn't hear the words, because his Head MP5 player had kicked in, playing - from the chip he'd inserted - the Two-Part Electrothrash Opera of Identity Zero's masterpiece 'Dark is my soul/No-one' believes EP.
As the neon rhythms suffused his brain, he felt the music take hold of his being. He began moving in time with the lovingly programmed sequences. The underlying simsense track sent images to his Cybereyes - Beautiful landscapes, Morning above the smog layer of Brit-sprawls' bio domes. ID0 in concert at full-tilt. Happier times.
Crystal moved close to Raven, holding two of his hands while her tail wrapped around his leg affectionately, looking expectantly down at Zaid, talking heatedly with the fat tribal-looking leader of the office savages.
They both turned, looking behind them as Badjimmy started dancing to music no-one could hear.
"Heh, look at him go!" Raven smirked.
Chance looked away in revulsion.
These are the people I'm working with? I'm doomed...
Heh, you get a voice in your head. He gets music. Chance old boy, I think you got short-changed. Lupus said, sarcastically.
The Elf seemed to be completely lost in himself. His moves seemed pretty co-ordinated - No-one could see how out of time he was without hearing the music. His eyes were closed as he moved from foot to foot, step to step, twirled, did a series of karate chops at the air...
The song hit a lull, and Badjimmy slowed his movements a bit - While dancing, he'd gone back up the escalator, quite a distance from the others. Feeling sightly out of breath. He opened his eyes, set on Thermo by default...
And he saw IT.
"LE FRAG!" He threw himself to the ground in a roll as the orange heat-shape snapped past where he'd been but a second ago.
The music in his head adjusted itself to his surge of adrenaline as he jumped to his feet to face his new adversary. Crashing guitar chords kept him on-edge as he faced the... Wild animal?
In the split-second he got to examine it, he spotted clawed feet, a large avian body, as high as his chest. A splayed feathery tail.. He couldn't see colouration with thermographic. But he thought he recognised a Cockatrice when he saw one.
It rose to its full height. It may have been squawking a challenge at him, but the thumping bass line in his head overcame all hearing.
It moved, a charge, blindingly fast, its clawed feet skittering on the Marble-effect floor panels. Badjimmy had heard about these things: Awakened wild birds. They had a paralysing touch - He moved desperately to get away from the rolling mass of claws and feathers. A rolling tunderous beat as he scrambled away became a whine of feedback as hie whipped up his gun - Just as the birc caught up with him.
He pulled the trigger, the gun flying up in his unbraced hand due to recoil. Then the Cockatrice barrelled into him, slamming him back against the railing, up, and over, as the music built into a blinding, amazingly atmospheric and explosive ending loop...
Crystal, Raven, Ash, Eva, Chance, Zaid and about a thousand other fraggers jerked their heads at the sound of the gunshot. most of those people had been hearing scattered gunfire every now and then anyway, as people messed arounds with guns they'd picked up from dead guards, or tried to force their will onto others.
Chance barrelled up the escalators, Eva by his side. But they couldn't see in the darkness up there - They could only hear loud cursing, in Badjimmy's odd, butchered mix of language.
Turning up the power of his goggles, Chance then spotted Badjimmy hanging from the railings, one handed.
"Hold still, bloody fool." Chance shouted at him. "Grab my hand."
It was just about possible to reach the Trenchcoated Elf from the Escalator. Eva hung back and laughed loudly as Chance tried to reach - And then Raven with his four arms appeared, and Badjimmy was able to swing over and get dragged back onto the escalator.
Still cursing, Badjimmy got pulled to safety.
"I'm not gonna ask how the bloody hell you managed that." Raven laughed. "Try not to dance too much next time we end up on a job together."
"What did you fire at? That was you firing, right?" Chance demanded. "Hey!" He slapped the Elf to get his attention - He seemed a little shocked, and his gaze lingered on Raven for a moment too long.
"Cochon." He muttered. "You would not believe me if I told you. Was some sort of Wild Beast, no? Does l'Animale hang about in le Mall, no? Gah!" He cursed, stomping down the stairs, waving his hand in disgust at Chance.
Chance took a glance back up at the level they'd walked down from. He couldn't see anything - Up there was much darker than down here.
The fraggers set up a zoo here, manling. Lupus reminded Chance. Not sure what level it was on. Always amuses me, how humans think they can distance themselves from nature, then expect nature to live in the little holes they set put for it. They'll learn. In fact, I bet any animals that escape are having a pretty bloody good time of it now.
Thanks... I think. Chance thought, his attention now drawn to Crystal coming up the escalator.
"Hey. Zaid got talking to the fragging mob. They seem okay, as long as we don't piss anyone off. But then they heard the gunshot and got spooked, typical data-jerks. What was that, anyway?"
"Just Badjimmy dancing." Raven winked.
"The Elf is a troublesome bollock, no?" Eva smiled.
"Whatever. Lets go. Badjimmy, you go in front." Crystal told him, letting everything go over her confused head.
"Anything for you, un Majesty le Queen!" The one-time detective snorted, with a mock flourish.
Walking down the escalator, they met up with Zaid - Most of the mob had dispersed, leaving the burnt corpse tied to a stake in the centre of the landing. Rubbish lay strewn everywhere, with liberal splashings of blood. Many of the surrounding walls had bullet-hits. One plate glass window had a Chrome and Blue Transys guard lying through it, impaled on shards of glass. He'd long been stripped of any useful equipment.
This had been a scene of some bad fighting, evidently over for now. Dozens of confused and frightened shoppers still hung around, tight, scared filthy faces in the darkness. In shops here and there were groups of people trapped for hours by security shutters, trying in vain to get out.
They found the scuba-shop. Their task was going to be easier once they looked in - It hadn't been looted yet, but the owner was nowhere to be seen. There were some signs of a struggle - Broken items, a trail of blood. The blood had tyre tracks in it, leading out of the shop.
"Can't see any scuba tanks around here." Crystal thought aloud. Racks of Wetsuits, Drysuits, Diving Knives, Watches, Underwater Cameras. all sorts of associated junk.
Raven lookeda round - Everyone could see he was figuring out hiow much stuff he'd be able to take from here. They could practically see the little ¥'s in his eyes.
"Lets look in the back." He said, in a vacant tone of voice.
"Right, right... Just don't drool on me." Crystal chided.
The back door had a simple keypad lock. Crystal took out her explosives and electronic's tools, and had the cover off in seconds. It was only a cherap lock - No anti-tamper system - Not that that would work without power anyway. After giving just enough power to the mechanism to retract the magnetic bolt, the heavy steel door swished open.
"Jackpot." Raven winked at her.
Safely stored within were racks of Oxygen, Helium and Breathing fluid tanks, stacked quite high. There were also spearguns, and a few FN Gyrojet pistols - Guns that fired mini-rocket projectiles, for use underwater.
At the far end was a huge suit of JIM Diving armour - A bulky, powered submersible suit, in bright yellow, with claws for arms and a big spotlight rack on the back - Designed for use in dangerous underwater environments, for heavy work.
"I want that!" Crystal pointed, excitedly.
"Na-uh, babe." Raven shook his head. "You need Rigger jacks for this one. We'll have to settle for plain old drysuits."
Eva and Badjimmy clambered up to the top of the racks of Oxygen canisters, to start looking for what they would need.
Zaid approached Crystal and Raven.
"Hey. I need to talk." He said. "There something I -"
"L'imbecile! What did you do?" Badjimmy screamed.
"ME? That was you!" Eva yelled.
The two screamed at each other full blast, while Chance, Ash Crystal and Raven knelt by Zaid's unmoving form - Which had just been hit in the head by a falling full Oxygen tank...
Deadeye's door was not so much burst through, as quielty removed, taken off it's rollers and carried away by an 0ctopu5 drone. The sound of welding and drilling assauklted his ears from outside.He chanced a look from over his mattress at what was goping on outside.
Surprisingly he couldn't see a huge pile of blood from in front of his door - Where His neighbour had been.
Just then another 0ctopu5 came in - A chrome dome on one wheel, with four tentacle arms (they seemed to all have different numbers of arms, depending on their assigned tasks).
He aimed the Shotgun at the thing that sarted taking down his wall panels - When a middle-aged woman in a skirt suit came in, green eyes, talking to him.
"Mr Peter Stephenson? If you'd like to come with me to the holding area. Come along now. We do not suffer fools lightly."
Her voice took on a nagging, schoolmistress-ish tone...
"Ah crap! The rest of you, get him and yourselves away from the shelves... One oxygen tank is bad enough, don't want more falling on anyone else."
Chance cursed as he helped pull the light form of Zaid to the center of the aisle, ensuring at the same time that Ash was still standing guard at the door to prevent any opportunistic looters from taking advantage of the distraction. She was, for once, armed with a projectile weapon... A 5-round magazine jet harpoon with deadly-looking broadhead bolts. She looked back momentarily to ensure that the others had things under control before returning her attention to watching the door of the store.
"And would you two please stop yelling at each other up there and continue searching for what we'll need?" he snapped to Eva and BadJimmy, both who were still dissing each other on who dropped the cylinder. Chance considered both rather unstable personalities... Eva was cold and heartless, and BadJimmy was plain mad.
Really... it was a 50-50 toss-up who would pull a gun on the other first if they didn't can the argument.
Dropping to one knee by Zaid's form, he examined the elf's head, muttering to himself as he did so. Since Mary wasn't with them, Chance was pretty much taking on the responsibilities of team medic and mage (as Eva seemed to prefer speaking with a Blazer than with magic), even though he was not as good as a doctor on the first, and plain lousy (as Lupus consistently nagged him) on the second.
Zaid was breathing but had a bruise the size of a walnut on the right side of his skull. The bone was firm to the touch though... no soft feeling that would indicate a fracture as Chance felt over it. The soldier checked the kid's ears... no bleeding nor fluid leakage... Good. Looking at the position of the fallen cylinder, he guess that the thing had just clipped him behind the ear as it fell, most of its weight landing across meaty part of the shoulder. The kid would be sore as hell in the arms and shoulders when he woke, but a mixture of luck and angles had prevented him from getting his brain pureed.
"You're a lucky bastard, ain't you?" Chance spoke to himself as he supported the unconscious youth on his lap. Pulling off his half-glove and placing a bare hand over the bruise on the kid's head, the soldier looked into his mind and spoke to Lupus.
I'll need some help here... You know that I'm crap at this mumbo-jumbo kind of stuff, and I really don't want to do something stupid like fry his brain when I'm trying to magically heal him. So pardon me... and let's go through the walk-through again... Just ONE more time, eh?
Lupus looked as disgusted as a teacher with a student that had slacked off the whole year and finally decided to ask for help only a week before the exams. Sighing to himself, the wolf ran Chance through the incantations, which the soldier recited silently in his head... still a bit too self-conscious to say them out loud like other mages and shamans.
There wasn't any glow... No warm feeling or anything like that. Chance's level of magic wasn't of the calibre that could seal wounds, stop bleeding and make fireworks displays with mere thought. But when he pulled off the hand half a minute later or so, the bruise looked a little less nasty-looking as before... or maybe it was just the light playing tricks on him.
It is done. Not too bad... for a newbie. Lupus said.
Gee... I'm sooo touched. Really. Chance replied testily.
A tingling cramping feeling remained in his hands and the crick of his neck as Chance flexed them. Lupus had warned him that magical usage was going to hurt a bit considering his lack of practice. Once again Chance was reminded of his low level in the magical hierachy as he remembered other spell-casters from his experiences... and their lack of ill-effects even after much more complicated spells.
Well, Chance thought to himself in woeful self-consolation. Other spell-casters can't really wield an assault rifle as good as myself, can they?
Crystal and Raven helped roll Zaid into an unconscious-recovery position while the soldier stood and stretched. Standing up brought a momentary feeling of nausea, but the feeling soon passed.
Looking up with a final shrug of the shoulders, Chance turned to Badjimmy, hoping that his voice sounded as crisp as he wanted it to be.
"So, Badjimmy... What have we got here?"
Absolutely confounded Peter stood up and followed the woman without a word. This wasn't right! His door, dismantled piece by piece and then calmly lifted away? To confuse matters more, there was the woman. Holding area? Peter just couldn't fathom why any of this was happening. He, eventually, got around to concluding that if someone really wanted him dead he wouldn't be walking down the corridor right now. Peter kept walking, a few feet behind the middle aged woman, his shotgun kept close to his chest. A pair of octopu5 drones wheeled their way forwards in front of Peter and the woman while another pair flanked the two humans and a final pair brought up the rear. The machines seemed oddly complacent, certainly not giving justice to the absolute fear Peter's (ex?)neighbour had displayed just prior to his disappearance. They lethargically waved their appendages in the air as they trundled along. What was really amazing was the fact they did it in synchronisation, it was like a metallic mexican wave!
Unaware he was doing so, Peter's hand not holding his shotgun drifted up to his face and rubbed the corners of his cybereyes as if to scratch an itch that was just below his consciousness......
Raven kept kneeling after he and Crystal had put Zaid into the recovery position, examining Zaid's unmoving body while Eva and Badjimmy continued to scream at one another.
"For an elf you're pretty fragging clumsy, Badjimmy!"
"Non! You were ze' culprit! Badjimmy eez' innocent of such atrocities!"
"Shut your mouth before I shove my Blazer down your throat and give you some hot lead to digest!"
The two were on the verge of all out warfare. Crystal tried in vain to mediate between the two, and failed. Raven stood up.
"He's not dead but he might not come to for some time. Question is, do we leave him here, take him back to the bar or wait for him to come to?"
Eva and Badjimmy ignored him and continued to hurl abuse at each other...
Mary checked Highness for any obvious injury. Although she'd only met the bio-construct once before, she knew Charlie had been her minder in the last few months, and could hear his breathing and feel his shadow in the artificial lights of the bar. Everyone was either looking at her, or the hissing dog-thing, and the only sound was Highness choaking back tears.
"Mary..." Charlie kneeled down on one knee, and looked at her, his blue eyes twinkling. “Maybe you should let me talk to her, she seems pretty messed up, even if she isn’t hurt. She knows me better than you, after all.”
Mary agreed, and the sniffling queen-lookalike shifted herself into Charlie’s arms. He began to talk to her in a soft voice, as Mary got up and looked around the bar.
The gobbo – it was a gobbo, probably a comet mutant, - continued to growl, and Mary saw a dwarf in a chef’s uniform, and another, smaller gobbo try to contain it. Tank and Barkah got up, and started yelling something back at the Wolf thing, as it began to bark. Mary knew gobbos and orks never got on that well, but…
Suddenly, she heard a hissing noise, louder and over the angry metahumans. She looked around, checking if there wasn’t some kind of leak from some arcane pressurised device in the bar…
And noticed the long, turquoise scaled snake slowly dripping down from the vent, towards the bar floor.
Inside the vent, the Hydra waited. Unshackled from it’s cage in the Transys Zoo, it had used it’s innate psychic abilities gained from it’s multiple heads to locate it’s prey – it hadn’t been fed for days, and was very hungry.
Via the vents, which resembled it’s native tunnels, it headed for the biggest gathering of living humans it could detect in the nearby area.
Elf Only Bar.
Red stepped out of the shiftavator gingerly, It was dark in here, and smelt vaguely salty. Behind her, in the warm glow of the shiftavator, the gobbo looked on.
"What is this place?"
The lens over her eye gave her some view in the dark, and she could see a high, vaulted celing, and rows of large tanks. Some kind of walkway snaked it's way across the huge expanse of the room.
"I dunno. You got us here." The goblin hobbled out behind her, using his stick to balance himself. "You tell me, roboslag"
"Shaddup fragger," Red said, quietly, as if afraid of the echoes her voice could project in this whole room. "Is the lift still working?"
"You shot it, remember? Whadda you think?"
"I said shut up."
"Besides, rememeber what the nice lady said? Hydroponics?"
"What the frag's that meant to mean?"
"Getta dictionary, girl"
Zaid, or rather his Matrix Alter-Ego The Scarlet Dreamer, was sitting in an arm chair. She was in a big room, it had an expensive feel to it. Book cases lined the walls, books filled with pages upon pages of writing crammed the shelves. Scarlet picked one from the shelf, she carefully blew the dust off it and opened it. There was tiny writing, too small for her to read and a few roughly drawn diagrams of what looked like....Zaid.
She slammed it shut, dropping it on the red, patterned carpet that lay on the floor. It didn't make a sound.
"Terrible business death." Said an unknown figure, she turned her head to the direction of the voice. "Ever wondered what those last few moments are like? People say you're life flashes before you're eyes, some say you see a white tunnel, Doppler Gangers, The Grim Reaper, blackness."
A man in a long black cloak walked across the carpet towards her. He was pale, with greasy black hair and burning red eyes. He held a staff in one hand, It looked as if it were made of wood and was painted black.
"But the people who say this are still alive. So how can we ever be sure?" He bent down and picked up the book, carefully flicking though the pages.
"W-who are you?" She half asked, half demanded.
"Me? I am like you. Like all of us."
He moved his hand around the room, Scarlet could see that there were thing's inbetween these bookcases, these things were people. She could see what looked like the Elf BadJimmy strapped to the wall in a straight Jacket, mouth frothing over as he tried to bite the air. A woman that looked like the Queen cowered in one corner, in fear of everything that moved. He saw a dragon, a mighty dragon with a black heart. He was covered in skulls, grinning evilly at Scarlet as she looked on.
"Madness, Fear, Evil...." He pointed to each one. "And then there is you and me. The Dreamer, and the Sorrow." He sat in another chair that had appeared. "Drink?"
He pointed to Scarlet's side, where a glass of wine lay.
"So this...Is my mind?" She asked, taking a sip.
"Who knows what it is? hallucination, near death experience, maybe you have just gone plain mad. Although, if that were so then it would be him and not me that was out here."
The BadJimmy lookalike snapped frantically as he was mentioned. Scarlet had her eyes fixed on the figure before her.
"So, now what?" She drained the glass.
"I do not know. As I see it, we either die....or we do not." He sat back and smiled. "Time tells all.....In the end."
Back in the real world, the Runners were still arguing and deciding what should be done.
"Can we really just leave the kid here? He might be killed or something." She didn't really show concern. It's just the kid had done them a favour.
"We don't have a choice! If we don't move now, WE could be killed! He might have helped us out, but we can't wait any longer." Chance said to her. Raven nodded in agreement. BadJimmy and Eva could still be heard shouting in the background.
"I guess he'll come to no harm, If we block the door on the way out."
The others nodded. They got what they needed and started to move out, Crystal was about to close the door, when she noticed BadJimmy and Eva had lingered behind.
"You two coming? Or do you want to kill each other in private?"
"Jus' le moment!" Eventually BadJimmy appeared, Eva slid out a few seconds later. Crystal suspected something, but thought it was better to not say anything while they weren't screaming at each other.
"Does Herr Ork have a problem?" Nixie growled at the brown skinned Ork scum, He glared back, moving forward silently. "Von step closer Ork, And I vill be forced to attack!"
She slipped back onto four legs, growling at the approaching threat. She was just ready to leap when it happened. She sniffed the air, she could smell something. She strained her ears. A hissing, coming from the vents. Something was up there, and it smelt nasty.
"Look out! In the vents!" She yelled in warning, but it was too late. Whatever it was leapt from it's hiding place onto one of the Civvies. One of it's many mouth's shot out for his arm, ripping it off in one action.
"AAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!" Screamed the man as he fell to the floor. It was a Hydra How it had got here, Nixie did not know. And she wasn't keen on finding out, she just wanted it dead!
"Floor 4. Mall. Bars, Clubs and Shops." The Shiftavator said as the doors swung open. This was roughly where the Shiftavator Bulldog had took was going. Pierre stepped out, The doctor had left him. He was to meet up with a Sergeant Mercandlen, who should be around here somewhere. And so he was, right outside the door.
"Monsuier Mercandlen?" Pierre asked.
"You 'ave seen la Gobbin I am looking for? Un leg missing, eye patch, Cyber Arm?"
"Nay laddie, But ah've been assigned ta 'elp yer look fer 'im."
"We 'ave trace on where le other Shiftavator went?"
"Not yet, but we're working on it."
"Excellent. Search le mall, question ANY Goblin you find, you understand, non?"
"Me men'll be right on it!" Mercandlen walked off, yelling at one of the other BlackWatch. Pierre decided to have a look around himself, he'd find Bulldog. Dead or alive!
Jolly continued to move up the vent. still Grumbling and moaning. His Troll fingers sank into the weak metal, He'd climbed quite a long way. He was sure he'd climbed well past Belinda now. He'd had a bit of a scare a while back, he'd put his fingers in the metal and when he removed them, water had come though! He'd scrambled up faster, probably flooding the Prison levels. But who cared? Only low life scum like himself down there.
"Ugh....Dis iz one fragging 'UGE vent!" He said to himself, he'd dropped the human rope as the smell was choking him....or was that himself? Ah well didn't matter. He'd been climbing for hours now, and was tired. His fingers and legs ached. He needed a rest.
He swung his body 'round, placing his feet firmly on the opposite side of the vent, he then secured his back against the other side, well aware that he could fall God knows how many levels down to the floor.
The vent started to creak, he looked around nervously.
"Dat dun't soond gud."
He was about to get back in climbing portion when the vent started to lean to the right. He could see light coming in though a crack in the top.
And then, with a creak and a snap. The vent fell to the right, taking Jolly with it.
He yelled as the vent fell into a room. Jolly tumbled out of it on landing. Got up and shook his head, waiting for his eyes to catch up.
"Ugh." He fell to the floor, unconscious.
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