The First Age

Full Version: Renovations
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Rune seemed to take the news rather well considering. "Sorry about that. I'd never met another furia before." Aria had only met one other Furia before. She was a Field Hunter, much like Rune, someone who was out in the field all the time. Aria wasn't allowed out of the Vatican headquarters often. And then it was usually only for the gruesome scenes and monsters that needed to be found quickly. Aria felt like a caged animal only brought out when there were no more options. But the anger slide from her as quickly as it came.

"So, umm, that's why you're skiddish? I mean, like earlier at that cafe. When you bumped into the table. You didn't really have a migraine did you?" Rune had put two and two together quickly, and Aria knew that it was better for them to know now instead of when something goes horribly wrong out on the hunt. It wasn't likely but it could, and Aria didn't have a handler to make that claim for her.

Aria nodded. "Yes and no." There wasn't any easy way to say it. She already knew she was a 'freak', many of the people at headquarters avoided her like the plague. It was very off putting. "It was a migraine. At least to anyone who doesn't know what I am. There is no way to explain what I feel when accidents happen. The pain is excruciating, I get nauseous. For all intensive purposes it's a migraine triggered by other's emotions."

Aria frowned, "I was suppose to go straight to headquarters." She shrugged, "Hind sight is 20/20. I didn't go straight there. I went sight seeing. I got absorbed in everything and let my guard down." Aria remembered the sights, the smells and the vast emotions through the crowd. "I should have known better, but I got wrapped up. I didn't see the woman until after she had touched my hand. It wasn't more than a brush." Aria took a deep breath at the memory. If it weren't for the bubble she put around herself she'd feel her own fear when she realized what had happened. "I felt her stress, her anger and everything that was going on inside her. It overwhelmed my shields because I wasn't prepared for the touch and I crashed into your table."

Aria smiled. "And here we sit now going to hunt the same monster, rather monsters. I don't think it's just the one from the hospital. These roguarou aren't leaving dead. There has been no overly strange deaths in Moscow, mostly missing people and a few reported rapes, but for every one reported I guarantee there are two more that didn't get reported." Aria sighed, "I'm sure they think who's going to believe me when I say a man who smelled like death raped me."
”Yah. There has to be more than one in this mess. The one from the hospital was dropped off, which means he has buddies, and rougarou are smart enough to form little packs. Chupakabras are a lot more mistrusting of others of their kind. But who knows...”

Rune kept to business even though she was dying to ask Aria more about her life. It sounded awful, truth be told. To have to constantly ward yourself from freaking out. How was the girl still sane?

”Then again, rougarou can hold down jobs. Their families may not even know anything is different about them, except they’re gone a lot, or maybe they have lots of affairs.” Rune shrugged, thinking back to a family outside Omaha. A wife had hired a PI to tail her husband whom she was certain was cheating on her. When the PI went missing out of thin air, his body found three weeks later in a cornfield as though he’d been mauled by a wild animal, well her and Uncle Seth drove straight there.

”Chupakabra are really similar, but much harder to hold down normal lives. They’re sick after all. It’s a virus... or is it a parasite...? I can never remember which. Anyway, they’re probably the more vampish of the two bloodbags.” Now she was just chattering mindlessly. It’s not like she thought Aria didn’t know that already, but the talking kept her distracted enough to ignore Hood’s stalking into his bedroom to change. Though she did exchange a quick glance with Aria after he was out of sight.

”I guess we should get ready.” Rune sat up, catching the icebags as they slid off their positionings and laid them aside. She’d throw them back in the freezer on her way back down the ladder.

Which meant she pushed herself up, wandered over to her duffel bag and began rummaging through it. She had to get the belt holster for the sidearm she planned on carrying. This particular rig had a slot for a knife situated in front of the weapon too. She wasn’t like ‘street-fighter good’ with a knife, but sometimes it came in very, very handy.

A LED penlight was going to go on the other side of her belt alongside a fog popper. It was about the same size as the light, but the metal tube had a flipper on one end which unlocked the mechanism. Depressing a button would click a timer, and five seconds later (best used when thrown), the fogger would fume up a room the size of Hood’s trailer in moments. It was useful when trying to disorient and get away (from police or monsters). There were other versions rigged with tear gas, but Rune stopped using them after an unfortunate incident that left her cornered and forced to proceed back through the very room she’d just smoked. That left a mark.

She usually wore just her tank and jacket for this kind of work. But since there was going to be at tactical vest involved, and since there were lots of buckles and straps and velcro, she was sure to get the inside of her arms and ribcage all rubbed raw. So she grabbed the only bodyarmor garment she owned: a long-sleeved lycra-based shirt, and right there in the middle of the room ripped the standard tank top over her head and chucked it at her bag. She had on a black sports bra beneath, and didn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to cover back up while she messed with the new article of clothing to the right orientation. In a moment, it was tugged back over her head, pulled down with one sliding motion, and tucked into her pants. Rune was all about being compact on things like this for the same reason she didn’t wear jewelry. The material, though snug along every ridge of her arms and torso, should help with staying cool. It was the same type of thing professional athletes wore under their uniforms back in the States.

She chucked the ice bags back in the freezer and tested out her shoulder with a few twists and turns on the way back. She gathered her things in one arm and hauled herself back down the ladder one-handed. Where it was time to slap everything together, and buckle it all on.

By the time they were ready to go, she had on a utility belt holstered with her sidearm and knife on her strong side, flashlight and fogger on the other hip. Three spare magazines were attached within easy reach. A Kevlar vest with four more spares, two on each side of her torso, covered the body-conforming shirt. Pouches higher up on the vest stowed a couple lightweight, spare tools like the Kulku stake. She didn’t anticipate needing them within as easy a reach as the weapons and clips, etc, so she wasn’t too worried about their awkwardness. They were purely speculative anyway.

Finally, she put on the black-rimmed Land Warriors. Unhidden behind the clear lenses, the pink of her eyelids sparkled behind the high-grade black, almost as dark as the thick liner around her eyes. She even went to the trouble of respiking the top of her hair. All in all, she felt pretty awesome.

By the time she was ready to go, she was dry-swallowing a tiny pain pill she’d stuffed in a pocket, just to take the edge off. Then she slung the MP5 over her shoulder, ”Ready to rock ‘n roll?”
Aria was only half listening to Rune go on about the various monsters. Aria nodded with some things and others were things she didn't know for sure either so she kept her mouth shut. She could have easily answered questions if she wanted to rifle through the rather large tome of monsters. There was no rhyme or reason about the ordering of pages. Aria looked forward to making her notes more modern. It made her smile to be able to call up a monster at will.

Aria noticed the glasses Rune had picked up and more enthusiasm for technology creeped into her being. If the glasses could tie in with the database and recognize the monster and overlay kill shots on top of the live monster. Aria's grin grew wider. She just had to find the right hacker.

But now wasn't the time to get excited. They had a hunt looming. Rune started getting her gear together. Aria rummaged around in her bag for her throwing dagger and strapped it over the tattoo on her arm under her shirt. It was there only in case of an emergency. She insured it was easily released and then started to make her way down to where they would enter the underground tunnels.

Aria knocked on the door to Mr. White's room and half shouted through it for both Mr. White and Rune to hear. "Heading down to wait on ya'll." Aria had no idea how to disarm his traps and she wasn't about to get herself blown to pieces by her own stupidity.

Aria actually took the time to look around once she reached the bottom of the ladder. It was an impressive armory. Aria noted a few mags sitting on the bench just waiting. She figured they were for her to supply the others if necessary. Aria had never been on a mission that held so much tactical gear. It seemed overkill to her. But then Aria ironically also liked the up close and personal kill to using a firearm. She had the skills to be a sniper, but she never really honed it like she had the dual swords. When all you had was books and practicing you got good at things. They may not be of practical use, but Aria didn't care. She could kill a monster and that is what mattered to her. Aria stuffed the mags in the inside pocket of her shirt. She grabbed a pair of the land warrior glasses and tinkered with them enough to get an understanding. Aria had only a limited amount of time to figure them out enough to be of use to her on this mission.
Hood made some sort of affirmative grunt when Aria knocked on his door. Not long after he had locked up the main floor (after tossing some scraps of meat to the dogs on the porch to make sure they continue to stick around), he dropped down into the armoury, and once sure neither of the Atharim would need to go back upstairs for anything, he dropped the trap door and floor cover and locked it up.

His clothes of choice were all function; dark grey tactical pants, black SWAT brand boots. Equally dark shade of grey combat shirt was worn under a black kevlar vest with additional ceramic plates in the chest and back. And most importantly, a brown and black patterned shemagh worn as a scarf at the moment. His own Land Warriors were set atop his head, the dedicated computer tucked away into a pouch on his vest.

He flipped open a key press, displaying five identical key rings. Each had a car key, keys that were probably for the safe house, and two others. He handed one of each to the two Furia, as well as a piece of paper for each to memorize and return. "Memorize those addresses then give them back. First is a location of a small bachelor-style apartment in the Red Light district. The second is the location of a nondescript Lada Priora. A car. Very common model. Dime a dozen. The others are for the trap door to the tunnels, the door up to the safe house, and the front door of the safe house. Don't just copy it into your Wallet; if things go bad and you are captured..."
He left it unspoken; obviously, they'd just look in the Wallet and check out any addresses or contacts found there in.

It was probably over kill; the likelihood of them being separated or arrested were pretty bloody slim, but he hadn't survived as long as he had by leaving things to chance and hoping for the best. He had been trained to plan for the worst, always.

That done, and barring any further questions, he showed them both how to disarm the traps on the trap door; from the top, it was a very simple thing. From the tunnel side, it was much more complicated, but knowing the trick made it easy enough even for those uninitiated to explosives. From there, it would be up to the Furia to do as they saw fit; he was along as muscle, and would keep to that roll.
Rune glanced at the keys and took them curiously. She had to stuff them in a zipper pocket in the side of her pants, but it was the paper which followed that made her furrow her pink brows with concern. Memorize these addresses? It was a bit overkill wasn't it? Then again, she was a walking armory. She could ask the same about herself.

In the end she nodded and took a couple minutes to memorize the addresses and license plate of the car. There was the additional problem to not being fully aware of the layout of the city despite how much walking around she'd done the last few days. That is, she could get to the approximate area of the Red Light District on her own without a map, but finding this one street in the midst of that whole area? It wasn't going to happen without help. Hopefully folks are cool with asking for directions.

She glanced at Aria briefly, wondering how her fellow furia would deal with finding any of these other 'safe house' backups if the three of them were separated or Aria left alone. Obviously she was Atharim so she could handle herself, but Rune felt slightly protective of the other girl for some reason.

Disarming the traps was ridiculously complicated, but once shown the trick, Rune felt stupid for jumping to conclusions. She had that down much more easily than those addresses. Wait. What was that first one again? She frowned briefly before the memory came back.

Rune explained the location of their dead comrade's (assumed dead) last known signal not far from the Guardian complex in Zamoskvoreche. It was there that she suspected he was abducted or killed probably within a reasonable distance to wherever these rougarou were holed up. "I think we can get all the way there without ever needing to surface. Between here and there, though, we should keep an ear out. Who knows what else is down here."

The tunnel itself was dark, which meant she pulled the flashlight right off the bat. It wasn't the greatest smell either, like standing water and wet brick. Yet she walked on, checking now and then to make sure her companions were alongside and well.

Edited by Rune Marx, Aug 11 2013, 03:58 PM.
Continued from: Hidey Hole

Sleep had been fitful for Aria. Images of men and women flinging things through the sky. Terrible monsters taking over the world as if they were human. Aria started awake several times before grasping the candle in her mind and floating back into the emptiness that was safe and calm.

Aria pulled herself out of the cot and stretched her aching muscles. Not only had the dreams kept her up but the cot itself was not very comfortable. Aria looked down at her clothes and sighed. The grime from the day before still covered her and probably the linens she'd slept in as well. Aria grabbed a large t-shirt from her bag and silently made her way to the washer and dryer and took out the things she'd washed yesterday. Aria slipped the filthy clothes off and dropped then in the washer and pulled the shirt over her head. Then started it with a cringe and it started with the filling of water.

The bathroom was free and the safe house was quiet. Aria wasn't sure where anyone was, she wanted to drown in the water but instead took a quick shower. She really needed a place of her own. She really disliked living with others. Even though she technically had lived with others her whole life, but under lock and key where the sun doesn't shine was less than a home than this tin can was.

Aria freed the bathroom as quickly as she could. After fully dressing Aria made sure the clean up after herself. Habits were ingrained in her, she could hardly break then, even if she wanted to. The daily routine was something as comforting to her as drowning herself in the deepest pools away from the world.

There was no bed to make, she smiled. The pillow lay tossed on the cot waiting for the rest of the linens that had been put in the wash with her clothes.

Aria rummaged in her bag and pulled out a small candle and a lighter and tore a piece of paper from the back of her journal. It was the little things that made Aria sane. Avoiding contact with people was just the bare minimum, The emptiness of her personal bubble was a big help, but it was the candle and the flame that brought it all together for her. She had been taught to push all her emotions into the single flame of the candle. She lit the flame symbolically now, but in the beginning it was the only way to gain the calm composure needed for everyday life.

Aria sat in the corner of the make-shift living room near her cot and crossed her legs before placing the unlit candle in front of her on it's little stand. The lighter was something she had picked up at a store on the way to Moscow, she had forgotten to pack the one she had been given. The smell of candle wax burning was just as much a comfort as the ritual itself, it was probably why she did the same thing every morning. Aria lit the candle and tore a small piece of paper from the leaflet and held it over the flame and watched as it burned. Fear. Fear was always the hardest to control. Fear was the deafening if uncontrolled. Hers or others it didn't matter, it could incapacitate the greatest of heroes if they didn't control it.

Another piece of paper, Anger. Another, happiness, sadness, one after another Aria feed the paper into the flame each emotion removed from her bubble, each emotion gone and sliding around the outside as if they were someone else's.

Aria sat back against the wall and just stared at the flame, watching it dance across the surface. It was really the only time there was peace.

Edited by Aria, Aug 27 2013, 12:37 PM.
When Aria got up, there was no sign of Rune. Other than her duffel bag had been dumped back alongside her cot and there was evidence of her actually having slept there.

There was also a bottle of bleach tipped over along side. An empty bottle of bleach. An empty squeeze bottle of bleach. And a towel, still damp, kicked under the cot, tangled up with yesterday’s clothes.

So there was evidence that Rune had been around, but that was about it. Until now.

She tossed back the door and came bounding inside. She was pretty much the same as ever, but with less scowling. She felt chipper as a butterfly. But less elegant. Maybe like a pretty moth rather than a butterfly. Or a bright caterpillar.

She roamed to the kitchen and shoved the paper bag she was carrying into the fridge. Within it was half an eaten sub sandwich and a fresh six pack of AK’s for mister snobby beer. (Since she’d drank three of them between yesterday and today). For now, she was chugging gatorade. The light blue flavored kind, whatever it was. There was a logo of a cloud on the label.

The most obvious thing though, was the obvious change to Rune’s hair and likely the reason she’d been absent. The buzz edging back one half of her scalp was bright pink as before and now brought up to the hue of her eyebrows. But the rest of it was spiked over to the side as a rainbow of bright colors, ROYGBIV style. It was awesome.

She plopped on a chair, slipped the gatorade bottle between her knees, and eyed Aria’s meditation. Maybe she was into yoga? Weird. She could totally go for some highlights too. Rune smiled a frosty red smile, ”Whatcha doin? Got any word from Tehya yet? An’ wheres Cuddles?”

Edited by Rune Marx, Aug 27 2013, 01:26 PM.
Rune's mood was very intoxicating if Aria decided to let it in. Perky was almost as bad as being angry or afraid. She smiled. Aria was glad there was no hard feelings about last night. It would be a shame if there had been, Rune was someone who could mildly understand if anyone could ever understand what she went through on a regular basis.

"Whatcha doin? Got any word from Tehya yet? An’ wheres Cuddles?"

The latter questions were easier to answer. "I've not seen Mr. White. For all I know he's still babysitting." Aria pulled her Wallet to her and flipped through the information on it. She had nothing from Teyha other than the initial message. "And nothing from Tehya yet either." That brought bad thoughts up. What had happened? Did she really want to venture down in the hole again to see what was going on. Aria shook her head, she didn't want to know. And it was probably best not to mention checking on them to Rune, orders were orders after all, let the temptation stay in the hole where it belonged and not up here where life went on.

Aria pulled damp hair back and blew out the flame that danced in the morning light. The smell of the fire going out was probably one of the best things about the whole process. There was no point hiding what she was doing, someone had to know out in this big new world for Aria. She picked up the candle and the last of the journal page she'd ripped out and sat down on her cot. "I was just gathering my self for the day's journey." Aria knew that was cryptic but it was what they had always called it when she was little. Each day was it's own journey. "You can call it getting into my happy place. The place where this," Aria indicated everything around her with her hands, "doesn't make me go mental." She smiled, "The place where I don't pull guns out on friends and swear at them for following their own prerogatives. I am sorry about last night, I really shouldn't have gone down there on the thread I was hanging from. I should have stayed here and drowned myself in the tub to maintain some type of composure."

The candle had cooled enough that Aria stuck it in her bag. She looked up at Rune. "I have to go um, well, shopping." She smiled, "Which I see you've already done. And no offense, but I'm going looking for a place to call home." She laughed softly, "This hardly counts, and I don't think Mr. White cares to have too many people occupying his lovely tin abode."
Well if Tehya wasn't about to drop in, Rune didn't seem to much care what they did now. Although even if Tehya was right outside, Rune didn't know if she'd care then either. All she wanted to do was curl up on the couch, of course Hood didn't have one of those, so she shoved the cot over against the wall, shoved a pillow behind her back, and pulled her legs up under her indian style.

"Crapbag." She muttered just as she got all comfy and decided to get up and go dig through the kitchen cabinets for food. Just as she was pouring a bowl of colorful cereal Oh a marshmellow!, she really did try to give Aria the corner of her head that processed stuff like what the girl just admitted.

Guess everybody needs a happy place.

She shrugged, slopped some milk into the cereal, sniffed it and stalked back to retake her position on the cot. Between slurps, Rune waved off the invitation to join her. She wasn't much into shopping and as far as finding a place to live, she looked around her.

"No offense and good luck," she uttered and said goodbye. After which, Rune popped up a floating screen from her Wallet and flipped through reruns.

((oy so sorry that took forever.))
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5